It's Monday. Welcome back for another edition of Observe and Fight, The Boxing Observer's compilation of observations and random thoughts from the week that was in boxing. Get caught up on some of the most recent events you may have missed out on, including Floyd Mayweather's release from prison, the quick rise of TMT Promotions, the newest American heavyweight on the scene, Amir Khan's next move, and much more. Without further ado, check out the latest observations from The Boxing Observer, David Kassel.
- In case you missed it, Floyd Mayweather is out of prison. Mayweather was released from prison early Friday morning in Las Vegas and was greeted by a swarm of his people, including new business partner Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson. Mayweather, who has surely spent some time catching up with his loved ones the past few days, probably won't take too long to get back into the spotlight. "Money" Mayweather clearly didn't have time to shave his head in the slammer and came out with a full head of hair. The biggest reaction I got from people who saw the picture he tweeted out was, "Damn, he looks like his daddy!"
- TMT Promotions is making big boy moves in the fight game. When TMT first signed Andre Dirrell, Yuriorkis Gamboa, and Billy Dib, to go along with Mayweather, it was seen as a power move, but not yet enough to make them a major player. Last week though, TMT announced its presence in the fight game by signing Andre Berto, Zab Judah, and Celestino Caballero. The promotional company now has enough leverage to get some dates on major networks, outside of Mayweather. With these types of major moves, and most likely the guidance of Al Haymon, expect more major signings by TMT in the coming weeks. If the business plan comes to fruition and TMT Promotions proves that it can pay its fighters their true worth, why wouldn't other fighters jump ship and sign with TMT when their current contracts are up? We could be seeing a shift in the balance of power in the fight game right before our very eyes.
- There is a new player in the heavyweight division and his name is "The Bronze Bomber." 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist Deontay Wilder improved his record to 24-0 with 24 knockouts on Saturday night with a 1st round knockout of Kertson Manswell. I know people are saying that Manswell had no business being in the same ring with Wilder, and they are correct, however, Wilder had three separate opponents fall out before Manswell took the fight. The original opponent for Wilder was supposed to be undefeated verteran Kelvin Price. When Price pulled out due to a rib injury, Wilder's people were left scrambling yet again to find a replacement. This seems to be a common theme with Wilder's opponents, who pull out with supposed "injuries." Golden Boy Promotions needs to pony up the cash to get Wilder a legitimate opponent who can take him beyond 4 rounds, or at the very least, get an opponent who has proven he can go deep into fights with other top heavyweights. There are two heavyweights currently looking for opponents on September 8th, Bryant Jennings and Steve Cunningham. GBP needs to get on the phone with Kathy Duva to make one of the those fights happen for Wilder. It may cost a bit now, but the rewards will be even greater later.
- Did anyone know that former world title challenger Dmitry Salita was fighting on the Deontay Wilder undercard? Don't lie. I didn't either.
- Amir Khan will soon be deciding if he wants to dump trainer Freddie Roach. This is a double-edged sword. Roach is no doubt a great trainer, but most of his fighters lack the one thing that Khan needs, defense. Khan's chin is not made out of granite, but he has the physical tools, along with unreal athletic ability, to be one of the best in the business. Khan says he has been approached by just about every trainer in boxing, and Emanuel Steward is a serious candidate to replace Roach. I don't feel like that's the answer for Khan however. Khan says he doesn't want to play second fiddle to anyone, or have a joint training camp like he has been having with Manny Pacquiao. Steward's #1 guy will remain Wladimir Klitschko, however, and Amir Khan will not change that. Steward also trains the likes of Andy Lee, Adonis Stevenson, and Cornelius Bundrage to go along with his other gig as an HBO commentator. Somehow, I don't think Steward will find the time to give Khan what he is looking for.
- I'm glad Top Rank decided not to put undefeated Mercito Gesta in the ring with Juan Manuel Marquez back in July. Before Top Rank called off the July 14th Marquez card, they were struggling trying to find southpaw opponents for Marquez. One name mentioned was Gesta, who is very young and is very expolsive, however, the fact remains he is still a bit raw and has a lot of work to do. The 24-year-old Filipino completely dominated Ty Barnett Friday night, but Marquez would have picked Gesta apart. Gesta is still a fight or two away from being ready for a world title shot, and Top Rank is moving him along at the proper pace. Gesta has a very bright future and could be a star. No need to rush him into anything.
- How good are the Magdaleno brothers? It still remains to be seen, but both Diego and Jesse had very impressive wins this past weekend. They may not have been fighting on HBO or Showtime, but as I wrote last week, fight fans looking for a fix this month will see some excellent up-and-coming talent on networks like ESPN, Fox Sports, and Telefutura. Both Magdaleno brothers look to have a bright future, as does Jose Benavidez Jr., who was also featured on the undercard of the Diego Magdaleno card. Top Rank still has some good, young fighters in its stable. If it can keep them around for awhile, Top Rank isn't going anywhere.
- I'm glad to see ESPN Friday Night Fights pick up the Adonis Stevenson vs. Donovan George fight. This fight can easily stand alone as a main event on a lower-level boxing network. Stevenson is looking to prove he is the best in the super middleweight division. George is looking to show his last fight with Edwin Rodriguez was nothing more than a minor bump in the road. Should be some major fireworks and I don't expect it to last 12 rounds. Someone is going down. I'll be watching August 17th.
- USA Boxing in the Olympics has been dreadful. Even with Errol Spence Jr. winning his appeal to stay in the games, I don't expect him to medal, leaving no American male leaving with a medal around his neck. Let's hope the females can bring home some hardware.
- Evander Holyfield is still calling out the Klitschkos, really? Evander, please give it up. I'm know you're broke, but it's an absolute crime to your reputation to say the Klitschko brothers need you. After all, it was just this past week that Holyfield was mistaken for an everyday tourist while being interviewed by The Today Show at the Olympics.
- Each week, I feature an email from a fan on Observe and Fight. This week's email comes to us from Corey W. on Mayweather vs. Pacquiao...
"Do you think Mayweather and pacquaio wil ever fight each other? If yes, Who do you think will win? And will it still be the highest ppv ever?"
I think they will fight eventually, unless one of them takes a loss beforehand (I don't count Pacquiao's loss to Bradley as a real loss because we all saw what happened). If one loses, what's the point of them fighting? It has to be after Pacquiao gets away from Bob Arum though. That fight will NEVER happen if Arum is still promoting Pacquiao because of the hatred Mayweather and Arum have for one another. I have thought for years, and still think to this day, Mayweather will box Pacquiao's ears off for an easy unanimous decision victory. I think Mayweather wins at least 9 rounds of the fight, and the more Pacquiao fights, we can all see him starting to slow down some. Whether or not it is the highest grossing PPV of all time is more a question of when the fight takes place. The longer it takes to happen, the less likely it will surpass those numbers. If the fight happened tomorrow, yes, I do believe it would be the highest grossing PPV of all time.
That's all I've got for this week. Email any questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
and I will answer them throughout the week. Your email may be featured in the next "Observe and Fight." Follow me on Twitter @BoxingObserver, and be sure to "Like" The Boxing Observer on Facebook.