Fight of the Year candidates lacking

Kevin Iole
Yahoo! Sports

You can follow Kevin Iole on Twitter at @KevinI

Short shots about the world of professional boxing:

In 2009, it seemed there was a Fight of the Year candidate every other week. From major names engaging in memorable battles to lesser lights trying to build a reputation, 2009 was filled with classic scraps.

Such is not the case in 2010. There is no clear leader in the clubhouse for Fight of the Year after the end of the first half, nor are there a list of good candidates.

Probably the best fight to this point was a super bantamweight brawl between Yonnhy Perez and Abner Mares at the Staples Center in May.

That bout came on the undercard of the fourth bout between Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez, but it was nowhere near in the class of Vazquez-Marquez I, II or III.

Hopefully, the second half of the year will provide much better choices.

Golden Boy announced it would promote a pay-per-view bout between Sergio Mora and Shane Mosley on Sept. 18 at the Staples Center. It's a "Who cares?" type of fight, particularly if Juan Manuel Lopez successfully defends his featherweight title against Bernabe Concepcion on Saturday in Puerto Rico in a Showtime-televised bout.

If Lopez wins, he's scheduled to meet Marquez in a featherweight showdown that will steal much of the attention from Mora-Mosley.

Golden Boy president Oscar De La Hoya made a good point on a conference call last week when he compared Jorge Linares' situation to Amir Khan's.

Linares is a highly touted super featherweight who was knocked out in 73 seconds by Juan Carlos Salgado on Oct. 10 in Tokyo. Linares faces a test against Rocky Juarez on July 31 in Las Vegas.

He's in a similar spot to Khan, who was knocked out in the first round by Breidis Prescott, but then rebounded to win a world title.

"If you recall, Amir Khan got knocked out in one round, and then he came back [to win a title]," De La Hoya said. "People thought he was washed up and then he came back in a spectacular fashion and now is on top of the world. I feel the same way for Linares. Suffering a knockout in your career is not easy, and coming back from it is even harder, but this fight here, it's not going to be an easy one against Rocky Juarez.

"This is a true, tough test against a real fighter in Rocky Juarez. If Linares is not going to pass this test, if he's not going to win this fight, then we have to reevaluate his career. We have high hopes for Linares and obviously we still have high hopes for Rocky Juarez,. That's what makes this fight so special."

IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko is going to defend his belts against Alexander Povetkin sometime later this year, not against David Haye.

I won't pay another bit of attention to Haye, the WBA heavyweight champion, until he signs a contract and faces one of the Klitschko brothers.

Anything else he does in the meantime is irrelevant and a waste of time.

If we're to take Chris Arreola and David Tua seriously, then why not match the two heavyweights against one another?

It would probably be declined by one of the fighters' promoters, perhaps both, and deemed too risky, but that's exactly why the fight should be made.

Besides, given their recent performances, what are either really risking?

James Toney, who fights in the UFC against Randy Couture at UFC 118 on Aug. 28 in Boston, said he has a boxing match lined up for Oct. 10. No opponent has been named yet.

Will someone in the featherweight division please discover some courage and step up to fight Celestino Caballero?

Happy birthday today to rapper 50 Cent. Here's hoping that 50 tells his pal, Floyd Mayweather Jr., that for a birthday gift, he wants a signed contract for a Manny Pacquiao fight.

One of the most courageous fighters ever, Jake La Motta, the legendary "Raging Bull," celebrates his 89th birthday on Saturday.

Just wondering: Who do you think was a better one-punch puncher between Mike Tyson, George Foreman and Earnie Shavers? I'll go with Foreman, but it's not a simple pick.

It's beyond sad that 43-year-old Johnny Tapia is still fighting. The troubled Tapia has a July 17 bout slated in his native New Mexico against Frankie Archuleta.

Tapia's one-time rival, Paulie Ayala, is now a promoter in Texas and doing very well.

• There will be no Hooks & Jabs next week because I'll be on vacation. I'll be back in my usual Tuesday slot on July 20.

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