Mayweather on #50, Khan vs Brook Twitter beef, and more

December 14, 2016

By CJ Russell

I had been titling this bullet-point style segment “Blow by Blow,” but upon Googling that name I came to find out that “Blow by Blow” is a boxing show in the Philippines spearheaded by Manny Pacquiao.  A lot of OpeningRound readers are Filipino, so I’m going to have to change the name to avoid conflict/confusion.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. spoke with the media at the WBC convention yesterday on his retirement status.  Recently, he has been adamant that he will not be returning to the ring, despite the possibility of getting his 50th win and inevitably a giant paycheck.  He said, “I think it’s a very valuable fact that I left boxing in great condition, and I left boxing on my own terms.  I did what I wanted to do and in one night I got a check for 100 million dollars.  But you know what, my health is more important.  This is a dream come true, the way I handled my career.  For many years my name will be inscribed there on the Guinness Book of Records and that is because I was blessed by my talent, but also with having a great team, a great manager like Al Haymon.”

– Bob Arum talked the other day about how Manny Pacquiao might not fight till June, and how he wasn’t sure who his opposition would be.  He also spoke to ESPN, this time mainly about his Australian fighter Jeff Horn, who he apparently has huge plans for.  “His goal is to fight a top guy, Vargas or Bradley, and if he beats them go into a fight with Manny Pacquiao,” Arum said. “But you can’t just fight Manny Pacquiao. You have to earn it.”  Horn fought on the undercard of Parker-Ruiz, where he was knocked down but ended up knocking out Ali Funeka in the sixth round.  I wouldn’t read too much into it, as Arum is probably just talking up his fighter who just got a big win.

– Last Saturday’s fight between Terence Crawford and John Molina got pretty good ratings on HBO, despite generally being seen as a gross mismatch (which was how it played out in the ring).  It got an average of 806,000 viewers, with 871,000 as the peak.  This was over double what the fights on Showtime did.  The co-feature of Cuellar-Mares and Charlo-Williams did a 327,000 viewer average with a 377,000 peak.  HBO and Showtime were directly competing with each other, as Crawford-Molina was happening at the same time as Cuellar-Mares.  I was able to watch all of Charlo-Williams on Showtime before having to switch back and forth between the other two fights.

– If you missed it yesterday, Amir Khan spoke at the WBC convention on wanting a “tune up” fight with Kell Brook before taking on the winner of the Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman showdown.  I’d suggest watching the interview, Khan has some…interesting ideas.  He and Brook have been beefing a little bit on Twitter now:

Brook was of course referencing when Canelo Alvarez brutally KO’d Khan earlier this year.  Not sure where this fits in to Brooks schedule if he’s planning to face mandatory challenger Errol Spence Jr., but we’ll see.  Khan-Brook would have been a huge fight about a year ago, but Khan has quickly grown irrelevant.  I would think he’d need an actual tune up fight before thinking about fighting Brook.

– Speaking of British boxing, with Kal Yafai’s victory this weekend against Luis Concepcion on Saturday to win the WBA flyweight belt, the United Kingdom became the country with the most reigning world champions.  They now have 13, over America (12) and Mexico (8).  Boxing is a big deal in the UK these days, though at least a few figure to lose their titles in the coming months (Billy Joe Saunders, Tony Bellow).

– Earlier this week, HBO announced that they are releasing a documentary on Muhammad Ali.  It will be produced by LeBron James’ SpringHill Entertainment.  Production has already started.