Waiting for the Dominoes to Fall By Steve Kim, MaxBoxing (Feb 12, 2010) Special to Doghouse Boxing
Promoter Lou DiBella has his share of marquee talent. Unfortunately, what he doesn’t have, thus far in 2010, are actual fights for his clientele, which include the likes of Andre Berto, Paulie Malignaggi, Sergio Martinez and Kermit Cintron. But that could be changing in the very near-future.
"There are a lot of fights now that seem to be operating in a way where there’s a domino effect," the New York-based promoter told Maxboxing on Thursday afternoon. "Where if this happens, this happens, this happens and that happens. Often that occurs in boxing, but right now there’s a lot of things sort of on hold and a number of dates being held up."
The first domino to fall is the reluctance of Juan Manuel Marquez to put his name on the dotted line to face Amir Khan, as Golden Boy Promotions would have liked. "With that fight falling apart, there’s an interest in making Paulie Malignaggi and Khan and I put a hold on May 15th at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, as a possibility,” DiBella said. “I think there’s interest from the Khan camp. I have to close out a deal for Berto; we were talking about Berto and Malignaggi and I have to make a deal with HBO and/or Golden Boy that I feel is fair for Paulie. So that’s not done, yet, but I’m working on other possibilities for Berto and there are a couple of guys being mentioned and we’ll see what materializes."
If Khan-Malignaggi becomes a reality, Berto would fight on April 10th, most likely in Florida.
"Khan-Malignaggi is by no means a done deal and there remains the possibility that if everything doesn’t work out, that Berto could still fight Malignaggi on April 10th. That has to be clarified in the next day or so."
As for Martinez- who gave Paul Williams all he could handle back in December- he could be facing Kelly Pavlik on April 17th, as part of a split-site doubleheader on HBO, that will also feature IBF super middleweight champion, Lucian Bute, who faces Edison Miranda in Montreal.
"I have a contract, I’ve sent comments back to Bob Arum. We don’t have any open issues, really," said DiBella. "It’s just a matter of getting the contracts signed and I just hope that Kelly’s health and well-being hold up for the fight. If there’s any issues, I’m going to expect an assurance with HBO that Sergio can fight another competent opponent that night, if Kelly is forced to pull out and and fight somebody else- even in Canada, as a co-feature to Bute. But I’m confident that Arum signs a contract with me and Kelly says he’s OK. I’m confident that, absent an injury, Kelly will fight. But if he doesn’t, I want an insurance policy for Sergio because Kelly’s had some issues the last year with his health."
As for Cintron, there is a very good likelihood he will face Williams on May 8th.
"I certainly hope so," said DiBella, who’s been frustrated by Cintron’s inability to get on the premium networks, despite his victory over Alfredo Angulo last May. "I’ve had some conversations with Dan Goossen already and I believe we’ll get a deal done. But again, nothing’s done yet. I believe we’ll get a deal done."
Geez, who knew it was so hard to slot boxers and make fights? But DiBella says some important factors are clouding this process."I think that everything is being complicated by the output deal (between Golden Boy and HBO) that exists. I think things get complicated by the scarcity of dates in general, there’s more provision of service situations and there’s also more of a desire, particularly on the part of the larger promoters- because they can- to make their guys against their guys. So much effort is put on by promoters staying insular and making their guys against their guys, that it does muck things up.
"Now, particularly where Golden Boy and Arum are not exactly getting along, it makes things even more difficult."
If Berto does end up in Florida on April 10th, DiBella plans on putting his welterweight prospect, Antwone Smith on the bill. "I’m going to stack that undercard," said the promoter. "It’s going to be a fund-raising them for Haiti.”
And DiBella would like to add this fight as a co-feature to go alongside Berto vs. TBA.
"I’ve had some conversations in the last few days, working out a deal with Tavoris Cloud’s promotional company and assuming the Berto show does go to Florida. There’s been some discussions about it making perfect sense for Cloud and Glen Johnson to be on that card."
Johnson just recently became Cloud’s mandatory for this IBF light heavyweight title by stopping Yusaf Mack last Friday night.
"I think it would be a sensational doubleheader and I think that, style-wise, Cloud and Glen could be a ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate," said DiBella.
I’ve been told that Gary Shaw doesn’t believe that Arum is really all that serious about matching Edwin Valero with WBO junior welterweight king, Tim Bradley, so Shaw has already discussed other options with Showtime, which include Zab Judah and perhaps even moving up to 147 pounds for one fight.
Well, Bradley-Valero was fun to talk about while it lasted, huh?
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