Body Blows 12.23.08

Columns, News

As boxing nears an end in 2008, it is time to address the latest news concerning what to expect in 2009.

Holyfield-Valuev Update

In case you missed it, Corey has his take on the controversial fight between Evander Holyfield and Nikolai Valuev. Valuev won a decision over Holyfield last weekend but many people, including the fans in attendance, vehemently disagree. The win would have given Holyfield a world heavyweight title and would have made him the oldest heavyweight champion ever. Now Holyfield must wait and see if he will get or even wants another shot. reports that a rematch between the two is possible, but not until after Valuev’s mandatory defense against Ruslan Chagaev. That’s not good news for Evander Holyfield. One problem is the time frame. Chagaev has a fight in February. Then a fight with Valuev potentially in the summer. The earliest Holyfield can get back at Valuev would be late 2009. He’ll be a year slower. Another problem is that Ruslan Chagaev already holds a victory over Valuev. There is a distinct possibility that Chagaev will win the rematch with Valuev and become champion. Evander wants the title. While Holyfield waits for Valuev, he will be pondering his own future. He should have retired years ago but I think Holyfield will decide to continue fighting. How else is he going to afford those mortgage payments?

Pacquiao-Hatton Close

After destroying Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao stated he wanted to fight at 140 lbs. That is Ricky Hatton Land. And that seems to be exactly what Pacquiao is getting. From Dan Rafael at, nothing is official but it should be before 2009. The fight, when finalized, will take place on May 2nd in Las Vegas. This fight was a logical step for both participants so it’s no surprise that things are coming along this smoothly. I guess in beating De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao also won the opportunity to fight on Cinco De Mayo Weekend, a spot usually reserved for the Golden Boy.

The fight is an exciting matchup. Pacquiao showed that he is the best boxer in the world last month but Hatton will be a more game opponent. I certainly expect Pacquiao to win, but Hatton will be competitive and won’t give up on his stool. I’m also looking forward to the crowd dynamic. Both fighters are heroes in their native countries and both have fan bases that travel well. It should help to produce an electric event.

More Money For Mayweather?

The winner of the aforementioned fight between Pacquiao and Hatton just might create enough of a big money fight to lure Floyd Mayweather Jr out of retirement. According to Dan Rafael at, Mayweather Jr has instructed his team to explore the possibilities of a return to boxing.

As Leonard Ellerbe, Floyd’s adviser, says, “Floyd has given Team Mayweather the green light to go out there and evaluate the biggest fights for him, to come back to him and present it to him. Then he will consider it.”

The biggest fight is Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather, however, is certainly hoping Hatton beats Pacman. He knows he can beat Hatton. Pacquiao is more of a threat and Mayweather has a history of ducking dangerous fighters like Margarito, Cotto, etc. For boxing in 2009, it won’t get any bigger than Mayweather Jr vs. Manny Pacquiao.

More Fights Announced for 2009

Juan Manuel Marquez returns to the ring on February 28th to face Juan Diaz. The fight will be for Marquez’s lightweight title. It’s an excellent matchup and in even better news, will be on HBO and not on pay-per-view. Golden Boy Promotions is trying to work on adding Steven Luevano vs. Rocky Juarez to the undercard. The fight will take place in Houston, Texas, the hometown of both Juan Diaz and Rocky Juarez.

In what is more of a disappointing fight announcement, Chad Dawson will fight Antonio Tarver again. Dawson just scored a convincing victory of Tarver in October and the rematch is set for March 14th on HBO. Tarver had a rematch clause in his contract for the first fight. Although Dawson didn’t have to grant the rematch immediately, he wanted to get it out of the way so he can focus on other big names at 175 lbs like Hopkins, Calzaghe, and even Jermain Taylor. One name Dawson didn’t mention was Glen Johnson. Johnson gave Dawson all he could handle earlier this year and Dawson was awarded a decision that could have gone either way. Johnson wants a rematch but that doesn’t seem to be on Dawson’s radar. That’s a shame.

Israel Vazquez Update

Israel Vazquez fought in one of boxing’s most exciting trilogies ever with Rafael Marquez. With their third fight ending earlier this year, it was obvious both should take some time off. Vazquez needed time specifically for healing his detached retina. From, Vazquez’s recovery has been slow and there is even a small chance that it could cause Vazquez to retire. Doctors expect things to eventually get better for Vazquez. Vazquez remains optimistic and is looking forward to big fights in 2009, including a possible fourth fight with Rafael Marquez.

Thanks for reading this edition of Body Blows. Feel free to leave a comment or even send me an email at What fight would you most like to see in 2009? Stay tuned to Inside Fights for complete UFC 92 coverage and our awards for 2008.