* It amazes me how some media “experts” still insist on talking about the depth of the welterweight division. People, this is not 2007 and, as The Beatles said, This Bird Has Flown. The days of ridiculous riches at 147 are long gone. Cotto, Williams, Mosley, and Margarito are all campaigning at 154 now while Clottey and Quintana have been marginalized after humiliating losses (with both likely to take a stab at 154 as well). Luis Collazo, well, he’s with Don King and can only be counted on for one fight per 18 months.
Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are the division’s two biggest stars, but we won’t see them actively and honestly campaign at 147 ever again; It’s pure celebrity circuit for the two divas.
After doing the math, this only leaves us with Andre Berto, Zab Judah and a host of moderately-skilled European welters. Not horrible, but hardly a glamor division anymore.
Testament to the sad state of the division is the recent arrival of Jr. Welterweight cast-offs, looking to grab a quick title and some late-career glory.
Souleymane M’baye, Randall Bailey, Demetrius Hopkins, Junior Witter and Mike Arnaoutis have recently hopped aboard the dying remnants of the welterweight division for one last shot at the main stage. All are solid fighters with respectable careers behind them, but their arrival would’ve been unthinkable a couple years back.
Here’s hoping for a quick turn-around at 147 because, aside from the heavyweight division, no other weight class is as important to boxing as welterweight.
* Mike Tyson is on a pilgrimage to Mecca. All able Muslims are required to participate in at least one pilgrimage to Mecca during their lifetime. Tyson converted to Islam in prison while serving time for rape.
* Showtime is expressing interest in a possible Tyson Fury-Vinny Maddalone bout for their ShoBox series. Believe it or not, Maddalone would be considered a huge step up for the self-punching Fury.
* Trainer, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, has recently added two more names to his ever-growing list of clients. Zab Judah and Tyrone Brunson have been added to a stable which includes Chad Dawson, Ishe Smith, Hasim Rahman, Michael Grant and Bowie Tupou. Zab Judah and Ishe Smith will both be fighting on separate cards on July 16th against, respectively, Jose Armando Santa Cruz and Fernando Guerrero. Muhammad has already said that he will be in Smith’s corner that night since Smith has seniority as a client.
* In noteworthy weekend action: In the fight of the weekend, Hugo Cazarez defended his WBA Super Flyweight title via TKO 7 against Everardo Morales in a thrilling slugfest in Mexico….Ulises Solis beat Eric Ortiz via UD 10….Joey Gilbert over Billy Bailey, UD 8….Mark Melligan UD 10 over Anges Adjaho…Steve Herelius via RTD 11 over Firat Arslan…Deontay Wilder via RTD 1 over Dustin Nichols….
More Grind Tomorrow….