18.8.09

Franchise Thoughts: Another Delay for Kelly Pavlik, Floyd Mayweather Does WWE Again and More

Well, that didn't take long.

That was my first reaction upon my return from Uatu's very nice destination wedding and getting a text from Spartan117 that the Kelly Pavlik-Paul Williams fight that was just announced for Oct. 3 will now, um, not be on Oct. 3. Because of Pavlik's recurring staph infection problem - you may remember that as the same thing that torpedoed his June 27 bout with Sergio Mora - the fight is postponed, perhaps until late November or early December.

Dan Rafael's report for ESPN contains two interesting tidbits. The first, which doesn't seem to be disputed by co-manager Cameron Dunkin, is that Pavlik missed several doctor's appointments for his hand, possibly contributing to the lingering nature of the infection.

So does this mean the Mora fight really was canceled because of the infection? And if The Ghost can't fight until he receives a clean bill of health, why the heck is he missing trips to the doctor?

Rafael also notes that Nov. 21 is a date that would be agreeable to Pavlik, Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City and HBO. Of course it's agreeable to HBO, because it gives the network something to air opposite the final first-round fight in Showtime's Super Six World Boxing Classic, between Mikkel Kessler and Andre Ward.

But with Dan Goossen telling ESPN in not so many words that he's not going to have his guys Ward and Williams fighting on the same day, don't expect that to happen. Maybe it will be in December, where no big fights have materialized just yet.

Or maybe it won't happen at all, giving Tim Starks of The Queensberry Rules even more ammo to call Pavlik the worst-managed boxer around. It's pretty ridiculous to see the wrong turn his career has taken clearly laid out like that.

I'll take it a step further and say that there feels like there's a bigger disconnect between the real Kelly Pavlik and the public image that the people around him have crafted than there is for any other boxer. There's a lot to lose for Dunkin, Jack Loew, Pavlik's father, and even Top Rank if boxing fans stop thinking of The Ghost as the warrior who carries the hopes of blue-collar Youngstown on his back and still sleeps on his parents' couch before fights and becomes just another guy who runs his mouth a bit too much and gripes because he's underpaid.

Thus, Team Pavlik is constantly scrambling around trying to spin things when Kelly gets off track, which is happening with increasing frequency. And though some of the more damning allegations haven't turned out to be fact, Pavlik is the only boxer for which we have an inside source, and he's convinced me there's at least a small fire to go with all that smoke.

Moving on to fighters who are actually, you know, fighting, I had to say I'm not sure why some people were surprised at how easy a time Roy Jones had stopping Jeff Lacy. It's not that I don't think Jones is old (he is), but Lacy is so clearly not good at this point that a victory for Roy should have been easy to predict.

Uatu and I agree that the term exposed is used too frequently in the aftermath of boxing losses, but it definitely applied to Lacy after his crushing defeat at the hands of Joe Calzaghe three years ago. Further evidence came when he gave Jermain Taylor a rare drama-free night last November, and I think after losing to a 40-year old Jones that it's case closed.

Lacy is a decent boxer with a strong left hook and seems like a good guy, but in his three fights against world class competition he's gone 0-3 and has won maybe four or five total rounds.

Finally, Floyd Mayweather may be training for his upcoming fight with Juan Manuel Marquez, but he'll take at least one night off to make another appearance on WWE programming. Money was one of the focal points of WrestleMania 24 last year, but one suspects he'll have a less active role as the guest host of Raw next Monday.

Floyd's larger than life personality would make him a natural for a full time WWE career once he decided to retire from boxing (for good, I mean)... except that Vince McMahon isn't known for hiring too many 5-foot-8, 150-pound performers.

Posted by The Franchise

1 comment:

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