Dan Rafael: Travis Kauffman

Wach pulls out of Jennings fight

November, 30, 2013
Promoter Gary Shaw and HBO thought they had a deal for heavyweight Mariusz Wach to face American up-and-comer Bryant Jennings on Jan. 18 -- until Wach and promoter Global Boxing Promotions pulled out on Friday.

Shaw told ESPN.com that he has “no clue” why Wach and his team pulled out of the fight, but that he had prepared a contract reflecting the terms they had agreed to.

“I prepared the (provision-of-services agreement) and hand-delivered it along with a bout agreement on Wednesday afternoon,” Shaw said. “They pulled out on Friday with no reason (given). Global Boxing Promotions told (HBO’s) Peter Nelson we had a deal and that is what I put in (the agreement).”

Jennings (17-0, 9 KOs) is due to fight on the undercard of the Jan. 18 matchup between former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal and former super middleweight titlist Lucian Bute at the Bell Centre in Montreal in his first fight since recently signing with Shaw and co-promoter Antonio Leonard.

Wach (27-1, 15 KOs), who is from Poland but based in New Jersey, figured to be a solid test for Jennings. Wach went the distance with heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in a one-sided loss to him in November 2012. Wach, however, had not fought since because he tested positive for steroids after the fight and was suspended.

With Wach out, the search is on for a new opponent to face Jennings. Shaw said some potential opponents have been rejected by HBO (such as Travis Kauffman and Lateef Kayode) while Main Events declined the fight for Czar Glazkov.

Glad to see Glazkov, not vs. Scott

January, 10, 2013
Heavyweight prospect Vyacheslav "Czar" Glazkov (14-0, 10 KOs), a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist from Ukraine, got tremendous exposure in his last fight when he made Tor Hamer quit after four rounds in the opening bout of the return of boxing to NBC on Dec. 22.

Glazkov will look to build on that solid performance when he headlines the Feb. 23 edition of NBC Sports Net’s “Fight Night” series.

The downside, however, is that Glazkov, 28, has been matched with 32-year-old Malik Scott (35-0, 12 KOs), who has a sterling record but has built it against 35 nobodies and put more people to sleep than Ambien. I’ve been hard on Scott through the years. I admit it. I hung the nickname “80-72” on him because so many of his fights -- against overmatched opponents -- went the distance and he won by shutout rather than even remotely try to press the action. It’s a real shame, too, because Scott has the size and the skills but has never shown an ounce of fire in the ring. Even when in total control, he refuses to try to stop his opponent.

After more than a three-year-layoff, Scott returned last February and made a halfway decent fight (by his low standards, anyway) in an -- you guessed it -- 80-72 decision against Kendrick Releford on Showtime Extreme. I tried to give him another chance, but then, two fights later, Scott absolutely stunk the joint out again in a lame eighth-round TKO win against Bowie Tupou (who injured his arm, which caused the end of the fight) in September on the Andre Ward-Chad Dawson undercard. The fight was so bad, the crowd was booing before the first round was over. I watched the whole fight at ringside. I’ll never get that half hour of my life back.

So I feel for Main Events matchmaker Jolene Mizzone. She did not want to make Glazkov-Scott. She tried hard to make a more fan-friendly match. She told me she offered the fight to 11 different heavyweights before having no other choice but to take Scott. Those other guys did not want to face Glazkov or were not happy with the money or both. Heavyweights such as Magomed Abdusalamov, Travis Kauffman, Joe Hanks, David Rodriguez and Franklin Lawrence all turned it down.

So now we’re stuck with Glazkov-Scott. Maybe, for once, Scott will fight with a shred of passion. He doesn’t deserve it, but Scott is going to be on national TV. If he isn’t going to fight with passion then, when will he ever?

Whatever he does, I’m not worried because I refuse to watch the fight live. I’ll DVR it, watch the Showtime card that is on opposite “Fight Night” and then find out the result of Glazkov-Scott before speeding through it. I’ve watched too many terrible Scott fights to be suckered again.