Some random thoughts ...
• Texas has always had shaky officiating, and last Saturday's James Kirkland-Carlos Molina bout on the Danny Garcia-Erik Morales card was another fine example of its ineptitude, both in the way the fight was refereed and how it was scored.
Referee Jon Schorle had a woeful night. Not only did he never warn Molina for holding (and Molina held often), Schorle made a horrible call by disqualifying Molina. Kirkland dropped Molina as the bell rang to end the 10th round, after which Molina rose from the canvas and one of his cornermen stepped into the ring. According to Texas rules, either the round should have been ended when Molina got to his feet (he easily beat the 10-count) or the bell shouldn't have been rung at all. But even given the confusion, the DQ for Molina's man entering the ring before the end of the round was a ticky-tack call. Let's just say Schorle made Joe Cooper look like referee of the year as he personally robbed Molina of a career-defining victory.
But Texas judge Gale Van Hoy was at least an accessory to the crime. He has turned in too many laughable scorecards in the past and shouldn't be allowed to score fights anymore after having Kirkland ahead 86-85 in a fight that every other rational person -- including those on Kirkland's own team -- had Molina winning. In fact, Molina was not only winning before the DQ, he was winning easily. It was hard to not feel bad for Molina, whom I had a chance to meet, along with some of his friends and family, for the first time while in Houston. Could not have been a nicer group of people. He deserved better.
One prominent Texas official told me after the fight that he has been campaigning for Van Hoy to be removed from the judging pool. It must happen, because he can no longer do the job. Van Hoy lived down to the worst expectations for Kirkland-Molina, even worse than his scorecard for the first Juan Diaz-Paulie Malignaggi fight, which caused such an uproar. Texas already has credibility issues with its boxing regulation, but it digs a deeper and deeper hole every time it sends Van Hoy to a stool.
• Golden Boy is slated to put on Showtime's June 30 card at the Verizon Center but now will be looking for a new main event. The proposed one was Kirkland against Paul Williams, a very interesting fight. However, Kirkland will be on the shelf because of a shoulder injury that needs surgery, so that fight can't happen in June.
• Showtime is working on an excellent fight for either Aug. 4 or Aug. 11, a light heavyweight showdown between titlist Tavoris Cloud (even though he got a gift in his February fight against Gabriel Campillo) and former champ Jean Pascal. The fight would take place in Montreal, where Pascal is a big draw. Although Campillo certainly deserves a rematch with Cloud, it may not happen right away, and in any case, the fight with Pascal is a good one. Should be action-packed, and there will be a great crowd. The downside is what promoter Don King is pitching to Showtime for the undercard: a Guillermo Jones cruiserweight title defense or an utterly awful rematch between junior middleweight titlist Cornelius "K9" Bundrage and Cory Spinks. I wouldn't mind seeing Bundrage in a solid match, but the mandatory with Spinks is terrible. Thankfully, from what I'm told, Showtime isn't interested in either undercard bout.
• I love the Aug. 25 card that promoters Gary Shaw and Artie Pelullo are in the process of finalizing with HBO. It will match Daniel Geale against Dmitry Pirog in a middleweight unification bout and junior middleweight titlist Austin Trout against former titlist Sergiy Dzinziruk. All four fighters are ranked in the top 10 in their respective divisions, they have a combined record of 107-2 with 67 KOs, and both fights have a chance to be crowd-pleasing. None of the fighters are well known, three of them will be on HBO for the first time, and Dzinziruk will be making just his second appearance on the network. It probably won't do a big rating, but it is what HBO's "Boxing After Dark" is supposed to be about -- competitive fights that help introduce some lesser-known fighters who could eventually become more prominent.
• I know Morales lost to Garcia, but it was a competitive fight and I'm not convinced Morales won't fight again. He left the door open for a possible farewell fight in Mexico. What I really want to see is the fight I've been waiting a decade for: Morales against Juan Manuel Marquez. That's the only matchup that hasn't happened between the great foursome that also includes Manny Pacquiao and Marco Antonio Barrera. I still want to see it and I'm sure millions of others would, too. Any doubt there wouldn't be fireworks?
• I know we probably won't get Marquez-Morales, but if Marquez defeats Sergey Fedchenko for a vacant interim junior welterweight belt on April 14 in Mexico City and Brandon Rios defeats Richard Abril to win back the lightweight title -- both fights are part of a split-site pay-per-view card -- there's a good chance Top Rank will match Marquez and Rios at junior welterweight this summer. If Marquez-Rios comes off, that's a terrific fight.
• Morales showed humility after losing to Garcia and actually admitted he lost. Somewhere, pigs are flying.
• Where was the Zab Judah we saw last week -- the one who looked so sensational against Vernon Paris -- when he got destroyed by Amir Khan last summer? Judah looked as good as he has in years against Paris, who seemed to have no particular game plan for the fight. Based on that performance, I'd love to see Judah fight Garcia.
• I have to give props to the great Fight Freaks in Houston, where I was for last week's Garcia-Morales card. Many of them approached me to talk boxing and take pictures at the weigh-in and at Reliant Arena on fight night, and they could not have been nicer or more passionate about boxing.
• I had a chance to meet Ajose Olusegun in Houston at the press conference after Garcia-Morales. He showed up to encourage Garcia to fulfill his mandatory against Olusegun next. I enjoyed meeting him. He's an interesting guy and, having also seen him fight, I'm interested in seeing him get his opportunity against Garcia. That fight is due next, and I think it would be a good, competitive bout.
• I also saw Adrien Broner in Houston. He came to support Garcia, who is a friend of his. As I was heading out last Friday night, I saw Broner outside the hotel on his way out. He was brushing his hair. Seriously.
• Yet again, former lightweight champion Jose Luis Castillo failed to make weight -- this time for his bout against Jose Cotto on the Houston undercard -- causing the fight to be canceled. That makes at least four times that I can think of that Castillo has missed his contract weight and the fight was canceled. Castillo, who had promised to try to shed some weight, didn't even try. What a joke. Why on earth would any promoter ever book him again? Not only is he shot as a fighter, but he refuses to honor his contracts and is more trouble than he is worth. He was in the greatest fight I've ever seen -- the first epic battle with the late Diego Corrales -- but I hope I never see him again.
• While I was in Houston, I had a chance to talk with Rocky Juarez, the 2000 U.S. Olympic silver medalist who has had six shots at featherweight and junior lightweight titles but was never able to get over the hump. Although his career has fallen on seriously hard times -- five straight losses -- Juarez said he planned to give it another go in the coming months.
• I've heard and read a lot of comments from folks who are unhappy that Showtime is pitting Winky Wright, the former undisputed junior middleweight champion, against rising middleweight contender "Kid Chocolate" Peter Quillin on May 26 (on the Antonio Tarver-Lateef Kayode undercard). Maybe I'm in the minority, then, but I happen to be interested in the fight. I'd like to see what Wright, one of boxing's best for years, has left after a three-year layoff, and I'd like to see if Quillin can beat the best name he has ever faced. Wright (51-5-1, 25 KOs) has never been stopped, and this is a chance for him to keep his career alive. Quillin (26-0, 20 KOs) has never fought anybody of serious consequence, and this is his chance to make a statement against a possible future Hall of Famer. It is the ultimate crossroads fight.
• I was impressed with how Bryant Jennings took apart and stopped former heavyweight titlist Sergei Liakhovich on last week's NBC Sports Net "Fight Night" card. Jennings is a young American heavyweight whom I'm actually interested in seeing more of.
• It wouldn't shock me if Saul "Canelo" Alvarez became the first man to stop Shane Mosley when they meet May 5.
• So Mikkel Kessler and Allan Green are fighting at light heavyweight on May 19. Yawwwwwwn.
• Delvin Rodriguez dominated Pawel Wolak in December (on the Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito II undercard) to win a lopsided decision in a rematch of their classic slugfest from earlier in 2011. Afterward, I figured the door would be open for Rodriguez to get a significant fight in the deep junior middleweight division. Instead, he has nothing in the works, and none of the notable fighters in the weight class seem all that interested in fighting him. It's really a shame. There is absolutely no reason why he shouldn't have a spot on an HBO or Showtime card against a quality opponent.
• Happy 29th birthday to one of boxing's best, Robert Guerrero.