Some more random thoughts


&#8226; It's going to be tough for former four-time heavyweight champ Evander Holyfield to get that title shot he covets so much before the end of the year because the four titleholders may not have time for him. Oleg Maskaev defends his belt against mandatory challenger Samuel Peter on Oct. 6, and the winner must next face Vitali Klitschko. That means the WBC belt will be tied up for probably about a year until Holyfield could conceivably fight for it. Ruslan Chagaev and Sultan Ibragimov are set to unify their WBA and WBO belts in October in Moscow. The winner certainly won't fight again until at least February, and even then Holyfield might not get the next shot as mandatory challengers sneak up. And Wladimir Klitschko, the IBF titlist who defends his belt against Lamon Brewster on Saturday, is tied to HBO, and I doubt the network has any interest in matching Holyfield against Klitschko in what the public would perceive as a mismatch. I think Holyfield's best bet for a title fight is probably to wait for the winner of Chagaev-Ibragimov to emerge and hope to get the fight in the first half of 2008. If he does, he may have to go to Russia or Germany to get it.

&#8226; J Russell Peltz, the Hall of Fame promoter and matchmaker from Philadelphia who signed on in January as a consultant for Main Events, deserves a gold star for his brilliant call to match Holyfield with Lou Savarese. It was the ideal match for Holyfield, who got in 10 rounds and looked terrific against a name opponent who stood right in front of him and posed little threat. Holyfield's two-knockdown performance on June 30 has some people believing he can once again win a heavyweight title at age 44. Without perfect matchmaking, that wouldn't be the case.

&#8226; How is it possible that neither HBO nor Showtime seem to have room on their schedules for the rest of year for Juan Diaz? When those networks can't find a slot for a 23-year-old unified lightweight titlist, who happens to be one of the most exciting fighters in the world, something is wrong. Diaz was sensational in stopping Acelino "Popo" Freitas on HBO in April and is willing to fight top opponents, yet HBO hasn't made him a priority in the least. And Showtime hasn't exactly been beating down his door either.

&#8226; Cruiserweight world champ Jean-Marc Mormeck of France is slated to make his mandatory defense against England's David Haye on Sept. 28 in Paris. They're both sluggers who like to mix it up and I don't think it can be anything other than a slugfest for as long as it lasts. Here's hoping Mormeck promoter Don King does his magic again and gets New York regional sports network MSG to pick up the fight the way he did with Mormeck's rematch earlier this year against O'Neil Bell and Chagaev's heavyweight title-winning effort against Nikolai Valuev.

&#8226; I worry about guys like Zuri Lawrence. The affable heavyweight journeyman returned to the ring June 29 to post a six-round decision victory against unknown Harvey Jolley, Lawrence's first victory since two massive knockout losses in a row. Lawrence was brutally stopped by Dominick Guinn in two rounds in February and a year earlier suffered a titanic sixth-round knockout to Calvin Brock that was named knockout of the year in 2006. Lawrence is 3-5-1 in his last nine bouts with four of the five losses coming via knockout. At 37, and after so many tough fights, it's a shame he's still fighting. Making it worse is that he doesn't even have a prayer of stopping his opponent if he's behind. His record is 27-12-4 with ZERO knockouts, a mind-boggling stat for a heavyweight with that many fights.

&#8226; OK, I admit it; I've thought to myself more than once over the past week that there is no way that the truce between Bob Arum's Top Rank and Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions can possibly last for very long. But then again, I didn't think the business partnership between Bernard Hopkins and De La Hoya would last either. I was wrong on that one and I hope I'm wrong on this one, too.

&#8226; For the first time, the annual ESPY Awards will include mixed martial artists in the "Best Fighter" category, which used to be called "Best Boxer." This year's nominees for the award, which will be given out on the July 15 telecast (ESPN, 9 p.m. ET) from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Calif., include Miguel Cotto, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao and UFC champions Randy Couture and Quinton Jackson. Fans can vote at www.espys.com through Saturday. Personally, I think it is ridiculous to lump the boxers and MMA participants in the same category. They each deserve their own award because they participate in thoroughly different sports.

&#8226; So, Lovemore N'Dou wants a rematch with Paulie Malignaggi, who easily took a junior welterweight belt from him June 16 by winning every single round and scoring a knockdown in the lopsided decision. Contractual rematch clause or not, N'Dou is in dreamland if he thinks he's actually going to get an immediate rematch. Where's the money going to come from? No TV executive in their right mind would even consider buying a rematch and it's hard to imagine the public shelling out a penny for such a nonsensical rematch. Malignaggi beat N'Dou easier than the Spurs beat the Cavs in this year's NBA Finals. If N'Dou wants another shot at a belt, he'll need to earn it.

&#8226; I don't know about you, but I'm still waiting for Tommy Morrison to show up in Las Vegas to take that public blood test he promised he would undergo last month.

&#8226; I am convinced that the Arturo Gatti-Alfonso Gomez fight on July 14 is going to be an exciting battle.

&#8226; At the halfway point of the year, the knockout of the year is Darnell "Ding-A-Ling Man" Wilson's 11th-round obliteration of Emmanuel Nwodo on June 29. Is anything else even remotely close? That KO might be the greatest knockout in the nine-year history of ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights."

&#8226; Hey, whatever happened to the "SuperFighter" tournament? Thought it was supposed to be rescheduled? I won't hold my breath.

&#8226; I watched the wildly entertaining July 4th hot dog eating contest on ESPN in which Joey Chestnut downed a world record 66 dogs in 12 minutes to end the six-year reign of eating machine Takeru Kobayashi, the runner up with 63. All I can say is that it was more exciting than many of the recent heavyweight title bouts I've seen.

DVD pick of the week: After talking to King at length last week about Felix Trinidad's plan to come out of retirement, I dug into my archive and pulled one of his most important fights -- a brutal second-round knockout of Maurice Blocker to win a welterweight title on June 19, 1993. It was a sensational performance from Trinidad, who was just 21 with so much more glory ahead of him.