Negotiations for a Sergio Martinez-Paul Williams rematch for Martinez's middleweight championship are moving along again, according to Martinez promoter Lou DiBella. However, instead of taking place Oct. 2, as HBO originally intended, it will move to November if it gets done.
"It's moving in the right direction," DiBella said of the negotiations.
What's interesting are the reasons the talks re-ignited this week. One reason was because discussion of Williams challenging junior middleweight titlist Sergei Dzinziruk didn't get very far because of a wide gap in the money available for Dzinziruk, who has a monster minimum from co-promoters Gary Shaw and Artie Pelullo if he headlines on HBO's "World Championship Boxing," a price of $750,000, I am told. So forget that.
The other reason talks are progressing again for Martinez-Williams II, a rematch of last year's epic fight that Williams eked out, is because after HBO approved Martinez to face Alfredo "Perro" Angulo (when it looked like Martinez-Williams II was dead), and DiBella offered Shaw, Angulo's promoter, a package of about $1 million, Angulo turned down the fight.
Hey, it would have been a tremendous birthday present for Angulo had he taken it; he turned 28 on Wednesday.
Shaw, who has done a tremendous job with Angulo, said he offered him $750,000 of the package and was stunned that he rejected it, especially considering he'd never made more than the $350,000 he earned in his loss to Kermit Cintron in May 2009. After that loss, Shaw brought Angulo back, getting him an easy win on ESPN2 followed by three more wins in a row on HBO against the right opponents.
"Perro had everything to gain and nothing to lose," Shaw said. "I don't get it. How many fighters are making $750,000 with a shot at the middleweight championship? That's good money and a big fight."
Shaw, who said Angulo wanted $1 million for himself, had also gotten Angulo other considerations that make his decision to turn down the fight look foolish. Shaw said he got Angulo a guaranteed HBO comeback fight if he lost and a promise from the WBC that he wouldn't be dropped from his No. 1 position in the junior middleweight ratings since the Martinez fight, which would have been at a catch weight of about 157 pounds, was going to be over the 154-pound limit.
"It was a winnable fight for Perro," Shaw said. "He could have wound up as middleweight champion and all the stars were lined up for a special opportunity. But he wanted $1 million and that isn't there. Then they came back and said they'd take $900,000, but that is not there. His manager, Mike Criscio, was as disappointed as I was that he didn't take the fight.
"Hopefully, the opportunity will re-present itself. Perro wanting a million probably helps HBO and DiBella make progress on the Martinez-Williams fight."
Shaw said Angulo's rejection of the fight probably means he won't fight again for the rest of the year because the remaining HBO dates do not include him.
It also means that Perro -- the "Dog" -- needs to loosen that studded dog collar he comes into the ring wearing. I think it's cutting off the oxygen he needs to think straight.
I know I am not alone in my thought that Angulo (19-1, 16 KOs) made the wrong call to turn down the fight. He's earned himself honors at the Winky Wright School of Boxing Business and the ire of my followers on my new Twitter account.