Just say no to another tournament

Kevin Iole

You can follow Kevin Iole on Twitter at @KevinI Short shots about the world of professional boxing:

As Showtime's Super Six World Boxing Classic grinds along at a glacial pace, nine months into it and still stuck in the round robin phase, there are now calls by some for either a super lightweight tournament or a super welterweight tournament.

To that, I say "Arrrrrrrrrrrggggghhhhh!!!"

Now, I wouldn't mind seeing a quick, three-night, two-fight tournament that included, say, Timothy Bradley, Devon Alexander, Marcos Maidana and Amir Khan to determine the top 140-pounder in the world.

That, however, isn't how the tournaments are often run. And boxing fans certainly aren't flocking to the Super Six.

The Andre Ward-Allan Green fight on June 19 is a perfect example. Ward was coming off a sensational victory over Mikkel Kessler and was facing another American in the trash-talking Green.

Showtime averaged just 437,000 viewers during the Ward-Green fight, a pitifully low number and a figure about a third the size of what the UFC expects to sell on pay-per-view Saturday.

The tournament is terrific in that it is matching the best in the world (well, most of the best of the world, since Lucian Bute is not in the field) in the 168-pound class. But it's an epic failure given American boxing fans have proven not to tune into fights emanating for Europe and they've shown little knowledge of or interest in the Europeans in the field.

• Mike Jones, the terrific unbeaten welterweight prospect from Philadelphia, meets Irving Garcia in Atlantic City, N.J., on July 9. If he gets past that fight, he might land a shot at World Boxing Council welterweight champion Andre Berto.

• Las Vegas casino host Gene Kilroy, long a confidante of Muhammad Ali, called to say that there is zero chance that former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson will come out of retirement to fight Evander Holyfield or anyone else.

According to Kilroy, who is close with Tyson, Tyson has lost weight because he was over 300 pounds and his back was bothering him.

Happy birthday to Iron Mike, by the way. He turns 44 on Wednesday.

• The $49.95 price tag for the high definition broadcast of the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-John Duddy pay-per-view card on Saturday was outrageously high. Shame on Top Rank for gouging its fans like that.

There is no way on God's green earth that card should have been a cent more than $29.95.

• Supposedly there's a gag order on everyone associated with the attempt to make a fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Congressman Manny Pacquiao. However, that doesn't stop Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum or trainer Freddie Roach.

Promoters Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy and Arum haven't even officially acknowledged having talks.

On Monday, though, Arum told Fanhouse's Lem Satterfield, "I think that one way or another, we're approaching the time of resolution. I'm still very optimistic, and, you know, Manny and I want this fight to happen. But as I've said before, it takes two to tango."

That comment makes it seem awfully certain that talks are ongoing.

And on Monday in Toronto, Roach said he thought Pacquiao would accede to Mayweather's demands for random drug tests with no cutoff date.

"At this point, I feel that Manny is going to agree to everything," Roach told the Toronto Star. "That's our bluff. We're going to call his bluff. We'll see…I can’t speak for Manny. I can’t speak for Arum, but I feel the fight will happen because Manny is going to call his bluff and say 'Let's do it.'"

• Roach, by the way, did a magnificent job with Chavez, but let's not get carried away with Junior Mania just yet. Nobody had ever compared Duddy with Marvelous Marvin Hagler.

Heck, nobody's ever compared Duddy with Robbie Sims, Hagler's half-brother.

• Give Golden Boy Promotions credit for putting together a sold pay-per-view undercard underneath the July 31 rematch in Las Vegas between Juan Manuel Marquez and Juan Diaz.

Schaefer said the PPV portion of the card will include Joel Casamayor against Robert Guerrero, Daniel Jacobs against Dmitry Pirong for the World Boxing Organization middleweight title and Jorge Linares against Rocky Juarez.

By the way, the vacant title Jacobs and Pirong are fighting for is one that the WBO stole from the man who won it in the ring, Sergio Martinez.

Martinez paid the WBO its sanction fee when he defeated Kelly Pavlik in April to win the title. But he was stripped because he owns a super welterweight title as well and the WBO wanted a quick decision as to which one he would defend.

It's outrageous what these sanctioning bodies get away with. If attorney general Eric Holder ever began investigating their practices, boxing would be shut down for six years.

• With the year half over, is there a clear cut leader for Fight of the Year? I don't think so. • Marco Antonio Barrera is no longer championship material, but he has a name and he's Mexican. Somehow, some way, the WBC will figure a way to get him a shot at its lightweight belt, even if he deserves it about as much as Charlie Morton deserves to start the All-Star Game for the National League.

• Must read: David Greisman's lead to his column on BoxingScene.com, "They Don't Have to be Great to be Good." Greisman actually points out that what fans want to see are hard-fought, action-packed fights.

If they're fought between two of the world's elite fighters, that's all the much better. What we ask out of the fighters, though, is effort and a fight.

• Where have you gone, "Baby" Jake Matlala? Matlala is the only world champion boxer I can remember who was under 5 feet tall and was one of the more fun fighters to watch. He retired in 2002 with a record of 53-13-2, 26 knockouts and world titles at light flyweight and flyweight.

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