Some of the early reactions to Monday's tragedy have directed blame toward Top Rank's
Pavlik's got a few decisions to make. Weight is obviously an issue; when you rehydrate 18 pounds, it's time to move up. But I wonder if it might be time for him to split with
With his hands-down, in-and-out style, Maravilla is not my favorite type of fighter (give me Marvelous -- as in the aggressive offense of Hagler -- any day), but I'd be happy to see him against a number of 154- or 160-pounders, especially Williams again.
As for Pavlik, I wonder whether he -- as Chris has suggested -- has gone as far as he can under Jack Loew. Pavlik is a heavy-handed fighter, true, but he should be more than a one-dimensional plodder. He strikes me as a fighter who has a lot of tools -- reach, a decent jab, ability to put punches together -- but is unsure what to do with them. Emanuel Steward was providing commentary for Pavlik's fight last Saturday night; it's intriguing to think what might happen were Manny to be in Pavlik's corner the next time.
Maravilla is not wanting for options. Rematches with Pavlik, Paul Williams or even disgraced ex-champion
Pavlik has 30 days to decide on the rematch clause in the fight contract. My guess is he'll take a pass and opt for reinvention in the stacked 168-pound division. Whether Jack Loew tags along -- you two seem to believe he's excess baggage -- is anybody's guess.
Bute is a fascinating fighter. He's not a crushing puncher so much as he is a tremendously accurate one, who times his big shots perfectly and sets them up through a great command of distance. Ask Librado Andrade, a truly tough guy whom Bute finished with a single left uppercut to the body. And, of course, ask Miranda, who caught that same uppercut on the chin.
Add Bute's huge fan base in Montreal, and you have a major attraction, who's going to keep the 168-pound division in the spotlight for a while.
It's far too early to count Bute among boxing's 10 best fighters at any weight, even with longtime pound-for-pound staples like Bernard Hopkins and Miguel Cotto trending down. I'm not even certain Bute cracks my Top 20. (Do you put him above
Kessler-Froch may not scream "must-see" to the casual American fan, but there's a lot at stake in this bout between two accomplished 168-pounders, and I'm eager to see it -- even if it's through the ash cloud of the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano (I threw that in just so I could blow out my spell check).
With his loss to Andre Ward last November, Kessler went from the tournament favorite to a guy desperate to stay in the running for the semifinals. At age 31, Kessler has to show that he can win the big ones. He's a well-schooled fighter with a lot of experience and, now that he has brought in trainer
The intangibles favor Kessler in what's become a crossroads fight for a guy who many considered the pre-tournament favorite. Froch is a hard-nosed, underappreciated boxer who can move into first place with a victory, but Kessler's advantages in hand speed and experience should be enough to win the day. It's not like Froch won't be wanting for motivation -- the Brit's controversial opening-stage decision over