Happy Labor Day everyone! It's Monday. Welcome back for another edition of Observe and Fight, The Boxing Observer's compilation of observations and random thoughts from the week that was in boxing. Get caught up on some of the most recent events you may have missed out on, including a preview of Ward vs. Dawson, the postponement of Bailey vs. Alexander, Miguel Cotto vs. Austin Trout, the premiere of 24/7 Chavez Jr. vs. Martinez, Gennady Golovkin's coming out party, and much more. Without further ado, check out the latest observations from The Boxing Observer, David Kassel.
- Andre Ward vs. Chad Dawson is a must-see event. It is very rare when two Top 10 pound-for-pound fighters, in the prime of their careers, go head-to-head in a non-pay-per-view fight card. That is exactly what we are getting Saturday night on HBO as Ward and Dawson put it all on the line in this make or break fight. For Ward, should he lose, he will have lost to the light heavyweight champion of the world, making it nearly impossible to move up in weight any time in the near future. For Dawson, should he lose, he will have a difficult time securing another big fight in the immediate future because it is currently slim pickings in the light heavyweight division. Whoever wins will be an American superstar and is sure to get another major payday. Neither guy has a lot to lose in this fight, but both guys have more than enough to gain with a victory. "Will" and "heart" will be on full display in the main event Saturday night...and a whole lot of Nick Cannon (still scratching my head over that choice as the ring announcer).
- I sure hope Randall Bailey has a legitimate back injury and isn't just postponing the fight in order to receive more time to train. When I woke up Saturday morning, I was shocked to learn Bailey had postponed his title defense, scheduled for Saturday night against Devon Alexander, due to a back injury. Just a week away from the fight and something like this happens? It could very well be true because injuries do happen, and sometimes they occur at the most inopportune times, but something just doesn't seem quite right with this one. Bailey claims he injured his back sparring. That's believable, sure. What I find fishy is that Bailey also said he always stops sparring two weeks before any fight. This time he decided to spar up until one week before fight night? Hmmm. Why is that I ask myself? Is it because this fight is the most important of his career? Maybe. But did Bailey spar all the way up until a week before the fight when he faced Miguel Cotto, Juan Urango, Mike Jones, or Ener Julio, all for world titles? We'll have to ask Randall. The other thing that strikes me as odd is Bailey didn't seem to be taking his training too seriously in the lead up to the fight. The man is 37 years old and nearing the end of his career. I absolutely understand wanting to enjoy your first world title for as long as possible, but if that's truly the case, don't take a fight so quickly after the biggest win of your career. For Randall Bailey's sake, I hope he does have a legitimate injury, but I do have my doubts.
- Bailey may have just cost Devon Alexander a shot against Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in December. Alexander and his team had already decided to call out Canelo after they believed they would have walked away from Saturday night with a welterweight title. With the postponement, Golden Boy says the fight is likely going to be pushed back to October, which is too late for Alexander to recover in enough time to fight Canelo on December 8th. Should Alvarez get by Josesito Lopez next Saturday night, which is no guarantee, he must find a worthy opponent if he hopes to land a Floyd Mayweather fight in 2013. With Miguel Cotto now fighting Austin Trout on December 1st, Canelo's choices of opposition has been reduced. James Kirkland is most likely out now that he is suing Golden Boy Promotions. Erislandy Lara vs. Vanes Martirosyan doesn't seem like it will ever happen. Possible opponents could include IBF champion, Cornelius Bundrage, Alfredo Angulo, and the sleeper pick could be none other than Andre Berto.
- I'm glad Lucas Matthysse and Ajose Olusegun will still get a chance to fight in the main event slot. Even though the world will be watching HBO on Saturday, Showtime's new main event will be nothing to scoff at. If you're not going to watch, make sure to set the DVR because it will be an excellent fight between two guys deserving their just due. The winner should receive a title opportunity against the winner of Danny Garcia vs. Erik Morales on October 20th.
- Some may not be excited, but I'm very much looking forward to Miguel Cotto vs. Austin Trout. It's good to see that Cotto was not going to let Bob Arum use his name in the Manny Pacquiao merry-go-round search for opponents. Trout did not give the fans an impressive showing in his last performance, but he did what he needed to do to retain his jr. middleweight title. Clearly Cotto feels title belts are important or he wouldn't have picked a world champion who is not a household name. Trout proved yet again that signing with Al Haymon is the way for a fighter to earn a career payday. Trout will probably make more for this fight than he would have made fighting Canelo Alvarez, and he will be fighting Cotto at Madison Square Garden with the entire world watching. Stylistically, this match-up is made for TV. Cotto will dictate the tempo, while Trout will try to use his jab to score points against the aggressive Puerto Rican. I'm looking forward to this one and MSG should be rocking.
- Speaking of Manny Pacquiao. Can we please just go ahead and announce the Juan Manuel Marquez quadrilogy already? We all know it's going to happen.
- As for Timothy Bradley, Zab Judah is looking for an opponent. Just sayin.
- Julio Ceasr Chavez Jr. is very confident, but the closer his fight with Sergio Martinez gets, the more I remember back to the beating "Maravilla" put on Kelly Pavlik. I LOVE Julio's bravado, but I just don't think it will be enough come fight night. I can see Chavez Jr. knocking down Martinez, but Sergio is going to be too fast, too athletic, and in better condition than Chavez Jr. During the premiere of 24/7 on Saturday night, it is evident the dislike these two men have for one another, but one man clearly looked to be in peak condition, while the other man looked like he still needed to lose a few pounds, which were not made of muscle. Chavez Jr. has always struggled to make the 160-pound limit, and this time doesn't look like any exception. I expect him to look like a ghost on the scales at the weigh-in, and it will catch up with him when he steps into the ring with the best middleweight in the world. If this fight goes the way I believe it will, I just hope Martinez gets a fair shake from the judges. Poor decisions have happened before, and they will continue to occur in the sport of boxing until something changes from the powers that be.
- We may be witnessing the start of another great middleweight run in the making. Gennady Golovkin did exactly what I expected him to do this past Saturday night when he knocked out Grzegorz Proska. The only thing that surprised me was how easy he made it look. Golovkin's heavyweight-type power has long been the best kept secret in boxing, but his ability to walk through punches, mixed in with his solid technique, makes him possibly the most dangerous middleweight in the world. I congratulate Daniel Geale for going to Germany and upsetting Felix Sturm, where I thought it was against the law for a non-German to win a decision against a German fighter, for the middleweight title, and no disrespect is meant because I think Geale is one hell of a fighter, but I wouldn't be so eager to step into the ring with Golovkin next. It will be a big fight in Europe, which will make a lot of money, but I just don't see any way of Geale beating Golovkin. GGG is that G-G-Good. Look out Sergio and Julio. There's a new middleweight on the block and he hits harder than you.
- Amir Khan is making the correct decision to leave Freddie Roach. I know it has been rumored for quite some time, but nothing had been confirmed until this week. Khan will be replacing Roach as head trainer. Though a new trainer has yet to be named, Khan is making a move which, I believe, will benefit him greatly moving forward. Yes, Freddie Roach did great things with Amir, but Roach has taught Khan everything he can and can no longer help contain Khan's emotions inside the ring. If Khan fights the way he did against Zab Judah, he may never lose again. But it was Roach's job to make sure he did that, and clearly Roach could not stop Khan from getting into brawls with Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia. Khan is making the right move. Let's just hope he finds a defensive-minded trainer to help him protect his money-maker.
- Don't forget there is a heavyweight fight card being promoted by Main Events on Wealth TV on Saturday afternoon (in the United States). Tomasz Adamek is the main event, with Bryant Jennings on the card, and former cruiserweight champion, Steve Cunningham, making his heavyweight debut.
- I'm looking forward to the Klitschko documentary on HBO Saturday afternoon as well. The two heavyweight champions live very quiet, and secretive, lives outside the ring. It will be nice to get a look into their personalities. Hopefully, this will give them some amount of respect they deserve as a lot of fans feel they have killed the heavyweight division in boxing. The Klitschko brothers haven't killed the heavyweight division. The lack of fighters willing to fight them have killed the heavyweight division. The Klitschkos have always taken on all comers, and will be amongst the all-time greats when they retire from the sport. We are witnessing greatness. The documentary will be a nice lead-up to Vitali's fight against Manuel Charr, which will kick off HBO's triple-header. Antonio Demarco vs. John Molina should be a decent scrap as well.
- Each week, I feature an email from a fan on Observe and Fight. This week's email comes to us from Marc L. on a potential Lamont Peterson vs. Danny Garcia match-up...
"Why do think there is no talk of a Peterson Garcia fight so Peterson can attempt regaining his title should not have been taken in the first place? The WBA belt was up for grabs when Garcia beat Khan so now Garcia has WBA/WBC and Ring Magazine belts. I believe Lamont was cleared and is scheduled to fight Judah. If Garcia and Peterson win their fights, they should face each other."
Great question, Marc. I had forgotten the WBA title was up for grabs when Garcia beat Khan (thanks for nothing WBA). It's definitely a fight worth watching because Garcia should get by Morales again on October 20th, and if Peterson fights Judah, I think Lamont will wear him down in the later rounds. However, just because Peterson was cleared to fight by the IBF doesn't mean he has been sanctioned by any athletic commission. Also, it's looking more and more likely a Peterson vs. Judah fight may not happen right away because Lamont seems to be dragging his feet about appearing before the Nevada State Athletic Commission, and Judah may not want to wait forever.
That's all I've got for this week. Email any questions or comments to email@example.com
and I will answer them throughout the week. Your email may be featured in the next "Observe and Fight." Follow me on Twitter @BoxingObserver, and be sure to "Like" The Boxing Observer on Facebook.