Discussion

Some more random thoughts

Updated: July 5, 2007, 11:09 AM ET
By Dan Rafael
• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

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