Your weekly random thoughts ...
• If Floyd Mayweather Jr. is No. 1 on the pound-for-pound list, does that make his massive 7-foot, 441-pound wrestling rival, The Big Show, No. 1 on the ton-for-ton list? I think next time out, Mayweather ought to wrestle Bionic Bigfoot. And, by the way, for anyone who actually believes that Mayweather made the $20 million that he and WWE boss Vince McMahon say he did for his WrestleMania XXIV participation, I have some farmland in Manhattan to sell you.
That aside, I found WrestleMania very entertaining besides just Mayweather's match. One thing that I also noticed watching my first wrestling pay-per-view in probably 15 years was the incredible production the WWE puts on with everything from massive amounts of pyro to the music to the constant energy. Seems to me that HBO and Showtime, as well as most promoters, could learn a lesson or two from the WWE (and also the UFC) when it comes to improving the presentation of boxing events both on television and in the arena. There's a reason almost 75,000 people turned out for a scripted event such as WrestleMania -- because it was non-stop fun. Go to even the biggest boxing event and sometimes the arena feels like morgue during undercard bouts, often because the fights are total mismatches. Top Rank has made great strides in its presentation of events, using more video and music lately, but other promoters and the networks really need to perk things up to bring more energy to boxing shows.
• Mikkel Kessler and his team are a disgrace to boxing. It's one thing to pull out of a fight, even if it's not for a very good reason. That stuff happens. I get it. But the way Kessler withdrew from a May 24 fight with Edison Miranda, especially after the Miranda camp gave him everything he asked for, was inexcusable because nobody on his side showed even the slightest professionalism. Promoter Mogens Palle gave Showtime no reason for the pull out, never notified Miranda's promoter and Kessler's publicity representative has ducked numerous media requests to provide a reason or statement on Kessler's behalf. I doubt Showtime will be in any hurry to do business with Kessler any time soon and who could blame it?
• You know what I really liked recently? That on its March 22 telecast, HBO showed the Librado Andrade-Robert Stieglitz and Joel Casamayor-Michael Katsidis matches live and then the replay of the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez rematch. It's not that I would have had a problem sitting through Pacquiao-Marquez II again -- it's a great fight. But I had already seen it live at ringside the week before and I'm sure many of you saw it live on HBO PPV. When the next week's card comes on, I want to get right to live action, not a replay from the week before, which is the typical HBO format. I hope the way HBO put together its recent telecast becomes more the rule than the exception.
• Has Kassim Ouma's career faded fast, or what?
• Telemundo's monthly boxing cards are usually nothing to write home about, but if you missed Friday night's card featuring lightweights Jose Reyes and Ivan Valle, go find a DVD or search the Internet. Reyes knocked Valle out in the fourth round of a roller coaster fight that featured six knockdowns, three by each man. The fight, which had at least one knockdown in every round, is one of the best so far this year.
• Don't look now, but former "Contender" participants are making some noise. First, Brian Vera pulled off a major TKO upset of heralded prospect Andy Lee. Then Cornelius "K9" Bundrage outpointed Ouma in another upset. Maybe that bodes well for a pair of former contestants with important fights coming up -- Alfonso Gomez, who faces Miguel Cotto on April 12, and Steve Forbes, who tangles with Oscar De La Hoya on May 3.
• The Internet is awesome for boxing. Last Thursday night, I watched the Verno Phillips-Cory Spinks card live, which was available exclusively on Don King's Web site for free. There were a few glitches along the way, but all in all, King and his team did an excellent job in their first attempt at Web-only boxing. On Saturday afternoon, I watched middleweight titlist Arthur Abraham's 12th-round knockout of Elvin Ayala and Wayne Braithwaite's upset of Yoan Pablo Hernandez on the undercard live (and also for free) on German broadcaster ARD's Web site. Now, if only I could figure out a way to record the fights. Watching live fights on the Internet is not just the future of boxing. It's the present.
• Three fighters I'd like to see on U.S. TV sooner than later: Abraham, Amir Khan, and Steve Molitor.
• Here's another example of why boxing can be so unfair: When cruiserweight Darnell "Ding-A-Ling Man" Wilson was in the midst of a great run, no titleholder would even consider giving him a shot. Then B.J. Flores came along and upset Wilson on Feb. 2. Now, coming off a clear loss, Wilson is probably going to get a May 3 shot at titlist Firat Arslan in Germany while Flores is the undefeated fighter who can't get an opportunity.
Guess it pays to lose sometimes.
• I know it's not the most significant fight on the schedule, but I am looking forward to the April 25 main event on "Friday Night Fights." Junior middleweight Andrey Tsurkan faces Jesse Feliciano and there's no way it won't be a war.
• It won't get a lot of attention, but Somsak Sithchatchawal, a former junior featherweight titlist, got knocked down twice and was stopped in the 11th round of a title eliminator by Thai countryman Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym on Wednesday in Bangkok. Sithchatchawal, whom I lovingly call "The Sith Lord," has now been stopped in his past two notable bouts -- he was also knocked out by Celestino Caballero in his first title defense in October 2006 -- and I'm not sure if he will ever be back on top. But even if he's never in an important fight again, I won't ever forget the thrill of his epic March 18, 2006 battle with Mahyar Monshipour. The Sith Lord won a 122-pound title that night via 10th-round TKO in the 2006 fight of the year, one of the greatest fights I have ever seen.
• In no particular order, here are a few rematches I'd like to see: Wladimir Klitschko-Samuel Peter, Abraham-Miranda, Casamayor-Nate Campbell, Jermain Taylor-Winky Wright, Pacquiao-Marquez (third fight), Ricardo Torres-Kendall Holt, Caballero-Daniel Ponce De Leon and Daisuke Naito-Takefumi Sakata.
• DVD pick of the week: It never, ever gets old. It could be the DVD pick of the week every week. I hadn't seen it in awhile, but I was in the mood, so I broke out one of the all-time classics: Marvelous Marvin Hagler vs. Thomas "Hitman" Hearns. You want a slugfest? It gets no better than this three-round collision from April 15, 1985, at famed Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, 23 years ago this month. It was one of the most anticipated fights of the decade and it lived up to all the massive hype. From the opening seconds of the first round, perhaps the greatest round in boxing history, Hagler and Hearns traded bombs until a bleeding Hagler knocked Hearns out in the third round to retain the middleweight world championship. Incredible fight.