Archives for the month of: January, 2011

By Johnny Walker

In the “say it ain’t so” boxing sweepstakes, Adam Booth, the manager/trainer of WBA heavyweight champion David Haye, is publicly musing about a rematch between his charge and former cruiserweight champ turned heavyweight contender Jean-Marc Mormeck.

In an interview with ffboxe.com, Booth seems surprised at the discovery of something that most fans of heavyweight boxing have known for some time: that Haye’s mandatory challenger for the WBA crown, Ruslan Chagaev, is infected with the hepatitis B antigen (he is not ill, but is a carrier of the virus).

“Logically, David would have faced [Ruslan] Chagaev but the news about his health is not very good,” Booth says in the interview.

“He reportedly suffers from hepatitis B, which makes their confrontation impossible. I then looked at the classification of the WBA … and I saw that Jean-Marc Mormeck is now ranked in the Top 10 at seven or eight, I think, and that makes a Mormeck-Haye fight possible,” Booth explains.

There are so many things wrong with this idea (as there was with the choice of Haye’s previous opponent, Audley Harrison), that to enumerate them all here would take up too much space. 

But let’s hit the most obvious problems:

First, Haye has already defeated Mormeck when they fought for the WBC cruiserweight title in 2007.  Mormeck did knock Haye down in round four, but is that knockdown really enough to warrant a rematch at heavyweight?

Second, Haye insists he is retiring in October of this year.  That leaves him with probably enough time for two fights, maximum.  Beating a man he’s already defeated at at lighter weight is surely going to do nothing for his legacy at heavyweight. 

But it appears that the question of legacy is no longer a concern for Haye and Booth, if indeed it ever was.

Most of us know by now the sad inability of Booth and Haye to negotiate a deal with either Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko, who currently hold all of the major belts aside from Haye’s WBA title.

But there are alternatives.  If not Chagaev (and it should be noted that Wladimir Klitschko fought Chagaev in 2009 without complaint, merely taking a vaccination before the fight as protection), how about Denis Boytsov, Alexander Povetkin, Samuel Peter, Robert Helenius, Cris Arreola, Tomasz Adamek: these are some fighters who could give Haye a decent (and hopefully entertaining) fight.

And all of them are better than Mormeck, who this writer had losing his last fight to Timur Ibragimov in Paris, only to be saved by a hometown decision.

Booth, however, not only dismisses the notion of a fight with Wladimir, but also with Vitali (too old and likely to lose to Odlanier Solis, according to Booth — a notion shared by almost no one outside of Solis’s inner circle), and also implies that there is public demand for a Haye-Mormeck rematch.

“In England there is no problem,” Booth says. “We’ve sold 20,000 tickets in two to three weeks for each bout of David’s bouts. Haye-Mormeck in England is possible.” 

“But if France wants to see this fight in Paris, David is quite ready to return. It will demonstrate that his first success against Jean-Marc is not a coincidence….”

But who was really insisting it was a coincidence in the first place, Adam?

Advertisements

Tomasz Adamek makes hay(e) while the sun shines

By Johnny Walker

It is being widely reported that top heavyweight challenger Tomasz Adamek of Poland has signed to face either Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko this September in Poland.

“I signed for the most important fight of my life and one of the most important in the history of Polish boxing,” Adamek told ringpolska.pl.

In contrast to the on-again, off-again negotiations between the champion Klitschkos and the UK’s David Haye over the past couple of years, this deal came together quickly.

“It took us less than three weeks to get this done,” Main Events CEO Kathy Duva, who represents Adamek, told ESPN.com.

“Everybody had the same objective — to make the biggest, best event we can and everybody make the most money we can. We’re very excited,” said Duva.

As for the supposed difficulty of negotiating with the Klitschkos’ promotional arm, K2, Duva said, in what seems a thinly-veiled reference to Adam Booth and David Haye, “I didn’t have any of the problems other people talk about … I didn’t have any problem with them at all. And I had a fighter who said, ‘This is what I want, please go out and get it.'”

Which Klitschko brother Adamek fights will depend on the results of their upcoming matches with Dereck Chisora (Wlad) and Odlanier Solis (Vitali).

If both brothers are victorious, K2 will decide who faces Adamek.  In the unlikely event that both lose, the Adamek fight would be off.

Adamek will take an interim April fight in Katowice, Poland as planned, but it won’t be against the still dangerous Samuel Peter, who had been in the running but who is no-one’s idea of a “tune-up” type opponent. 

As for US television coverage of Adamek-Klitschko, K2 rep Bernd Boente told ESPN.com that he prefers the bout to be on Showtime, due to the rocky relationship between the Klitschkos and HBO over the past couple of years.

By Johnny Walker

A recent Wikileaks cable that features material from the US Ambassador to Nicaragua has some surprising revelations for the boxing world. 

One section of the document entitled “NICARAGUA’S MOST WANTED PART I: THE CRIMES OF DANIEL ORTEGA AND HIS FAMILY,” contains the bombshell that super middleweight Ricardo Mayorga, who was accused of raping a woman in a hotel in Managua, Nicaragua in September 2004, made a secret deal with President Daniel Ortega, head of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FLSN) government, allowing him to beat the charge.

According to the document, the FLSN “agreed to protect the boxer in the courts if he would give the party a large portion of his international boxing winnings and “advertise” for Daniel in public.  Mayorga agreed, and an FSLN judge found him not guilty in December.”

Following the alleged fixing of the trial, the document states that, “much of Mayorga’s winnings now reportedly go to Ortega, and when Mayorga fought in Chicago in August 2005, he dedicated the fight to Daniel, wore the FSLN colors, and flashed the number of the FSLN slot on the Nicaraguan electoral ballot (“casilla”) to the international media.”

Mayorga, in other words, in return for his freedom, was allegedly to function as a source of funding and as a puppet who spreads propaganda for Ortega’s leftist regime.

Interestingly, after the Supreme Court in Nicaragua had initially cleared Mayorga in the rape case involving a 22-year-old woman, a lower court found “irregularities” in the trial and in 2005 ordered a retrial, only to be blocked by the Supreme Court, which quashed the lower court’s ruling, again effectively clearing Mayorga.

Mayorga, who recently scored a TKO victory over Michael Walker in Miami after more than 2 years away from the ring, declared the WikiLeaks cable where he is concerned to be “absolutely not true.”

Mayorga is next slated to fight Miguel Angel Cotto for the WBA “Super World light middleweight title” on March 12 in Las Vegas.