|A long with January, August is traditionally the slowest month of the year for boxing, the "off-season," so to speak, of a sport with no seasons. However, with today's news that Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero has pulled out of his August 27th fight against Marcos Maidana due to a possibly torn rotator cuff, thus forcing Golden Boy to cancel the entire show (which was to be the biggest TV boxing event of the month), what fans have been left with is an even more empty August than usual, given that out of the three major fights of the month, two have been cancelled and the third resulted in a controversy shitstorm that did nothing but hurt the sport. Let's quickly recap:|
- First, Kelly "The Ghost" Pavlik pulled out of his tune-up bout against Darryl Cunningham citing unhappiness at the size of his purse for his following fight, forcing cancellation of a Youngstown, Ohio card which was to be telecast on Shobox (yes, August is so slow a month that a tune-up fight on Shobox is one of the major fights). Pavlik was getting the entire $50,000 budget from Showtime as his purse for what was presumably a glorified sparring session, and Top Rank was paying out of pocket to foot the bill for the rest of the card. I think there's a very good chance we haven't heard the last of bad news from the Pavlik camp, now that it sounds like the promoter, the manager, the trainer, and the fighter are all on different pages.
- Second, last week's final of the Showtime Bantamweight Tournament was so egregiously officiated by Russell Mora (we all know the details, so I'll skip the recap) that the fight generated the kind of media buzz a clean fight at 118 lb. never would have, no matter how exciting--in other words, it was all bad. It was so bad that we got immediate action from both a sanctioning body (the IBF ordered a mandatory rematch to take place in the next 120 days) and a fight commission (Keith Kizer of NSAC said that Mora would not be reprimanded, and would instead be moved down to ref lesser fights while he undergoes re-training), which, as boxing fans know, are organizations that are usually as quiet as the Sphinx when we want them to react.
- And today, another Ghost pulls out, cancelling a televised HBO card that was set to be the marquee boxing event of August 2011, not the least of which was because it included Seth Mitchell, a guy I'm curious to see now that we've been told ad nauseum that he is the next great American heavyweight. I understand Golden Boy pulling the plug on the show, given that it was set to take place in San Jose, close to Gilroy where Guerrero is from. It's just unfortunate news in a month that could've used a dose of something good instead (like what was presumably going to be an excellent, competitive bout).
Ah well, I feel better now that I've complained. Here's to a great September.