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Short shots about the world of professional boxing:
Edwin Valero was clearly a terribly troubled man. There is no way to explain what would possess someone to murder his wife and then to commit suicide, leaving two children, aged 8 and 5, as orphans, as Valero did in Venezuela. As a boxer, though, he was as talented as he was troubled outside the ring. He was an enormous puncher and won all 27 of his fights by knockout. He was learning some skill to go with his power and in his World Boxing Council lightweight-title winning effort over Antonio DeMarco on Feb. 6, he showed significant progress in that regard. Valero, 28, finished his career 27-0 with 27 knockouts, including 19 in the first round. He held both the WBC lightweight belt and the World Boxing Association super featherweight title.
• The unanimous decision defeat to Sergio Martinez on Saturday in Atlantic City, N.J., that cost him his WBC and World Boxing Organization middleweight belts, wasn't the biggest loss for Kelly Pavlik. There were scores of empty seats in Boardwalk Hall and it is obvious that Pavlik is not the successor to the late Arturo Gatti as Atlantic City's money man and guaranteed drawing card.
• Pavlik needs a better cut man, like, pronto. It was ridiculous that he came out of the corner Saturday several times with blood still on his face.
• If Martinez is not a Top 10 pound-for-pound boxer right now, then the rankings are little more than a farce.
• Promoter Lou DiBella said Monday he was serious on Saturday when he shouted to the HBO announce team that he would quit boxing if Martinez was screwed out of the decision against Pavlik.
• There is talk that Martinez may end up facing "Hands of Stone" Antonio Margarito sometime later this year. Margarito gave Martinez his first defeat, in 2002.
• The more I think of it, Margarito has to have brains of stone, as well. It remains incomprehensible that this guy would call a news conference to discuss his return to boxing and wouldn't even so much as apologize for getting caught with a plaster-like substance on his knuckle pad.
• Pretty much forget the idea of a Paul Williams return to welterweight. Promoter Dan Goossen said Williams wants to fight at welterweight, but when I spoke to HBO Sports senior vice president Kery Davis, he didn't seem too enthused by the idea. Williams is 6 feet 1 inch with an 82-inch reach. Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko is 6-6 with an 81-inch reach. When I suggested WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto to Davis as a potential Williams opponent should Williams defeat Kermit Cintron on May 8, Davis said, "Andre Berto is 5-7 on a good day." For the record, Berto is listed at 5-8 1/2 with a 72-inch reach.
• Hey Bob Arum, what are you doing to make a Yuriorkis Gamboa-Celestino Caballero bout?
• The Yahoo! Sports boxing rankings are a compilation of the votes of 30 boxing writers and broadcasters from around the world. The updated rankings will be out later this week, but my Top 10 I submitted is as follows: Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Paul Williams, Shane Mosley, Sergio Martinez, Timothy Bradley, Chad Dawson, Andre Ward, Yuriorkis Gamboa and Juan Manuel Lopez. I dropped Bernard Hopkins, Wladimir Klitschko and Arthur Abraham from my previous personal Top 10.
• There are three top-shelf fights on television on Saturday. I'll be at the HBO card in Ontario, Calif., where heavyweights Chris Arreola and Tomasz Adamek meet in the main event, with an explosive 154-pound undercard bout between Alfredo Angulo and Joel Julio. In Denmark, Showtime's Super Six returns with a match pitting unbeaten Carl Froch against pre-tournament favorite Mikkel Kessler.
• I'm picking Arreola over Adamek, Angulo over Julio and Kessler over Froch. If I had to bet, I'd say the best fight of the three will be Angulo-Julio.
• I was finishing a telephone interview with Angulo on Monday, one in which he didn't provide much insight and in which he refused to answer questions about his loss to Cintron, when I thanked him and began to end the call. His interpreter said he had something else to say, then Angulo launched into a tirade against promoter Dan Goossen about the way the card was being handled. This sounded suspiciously like a plant, since Goossen and Angulo promoter Gary Shaw are feuding over this very topic.
• For those who are concerned that Froch-Kessler will be canceled because of the volcano in Iceland, promoter Wilfried Sauerland flew Froch in on a private jet. The fight will proceed as scheduled.
• Expect to see super welterweight James Kirkland http://sports.yahoo.com/box/news?slug=jo-kirkland093009 return to boxing in the second half of the year. Kirkland, who has been in prison for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, will spice up the 154-pound division.
• I was very impressed by unbeaten welterweight Mike Jones, who stopped Hector Munoz in the fifth round of the Pavlik-Martinez undercard Saturday. He's going places.
• It was good to see Edison Miranda get "rewarded" for taunting Lucian Bute on Saturday in their super middleweight title bout. Miranda put his hands to his side and stuck out his chin and Bute responded with a body shot that knocked him out. Miranda was never very good, but he got major fight after major fight. Clearly, his promoter, Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing, has to be in line for Promoter of the Decade for keeping him at the top so consistently.
• I'm wondering what has become of one of my favorites of the 1990s, flyweight Scotty "The Bulldog" Olson. I always wanted to see a fight between Olson, who was just 5 feet tall, and "Baby" Jake Matlala, who was 4-10. Alas, it never occurred.
• Speaking of millionaires who went broke, how embarrassing is this? The paid gate at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas to see former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield fight Francois Botha was a whopping $58,695. Holyfield has three of the top five gates in Nevada history: No. 2, against Lennox Lewis, at $16.8 million; No. 4 in his rematch against Mike Tyson at $14.2 million and No. 5 in his first fight against Tyson at $14.1 million. The public is completely rejecting Holyfield, 47, and his inane quest to regain the undisputed heavyweight championship. Only 1,100 tickets were sold for the Botha fight in an area that can hold upwards of 19,000 for boxing.
• Heavyweight David Tua returns to the ring on June 26 in Brazil, probably against Monte Barrett.