Your weekly dose of random thoughts ...
• There is no truth to the rumor that Oscar De La Hoya plans on an Oprah Winfrey-like approach to owning Ring magazine by putting himself on the cover every month. There is also no truth to the rumor that De La Hoya paid for Ring with a suitcase full of cash in the back of a limo, the way he handled the clandestine signing of Manny Pacquiao.
• Speaking of Ring magazine, I got a sneak peek at the new pound-for-pound top 10:
1. De La Hoya
2. De La Hoya
3. De La Hoya
4. Bernard Hopkins
5. De La Hoya
6. De La Hoya
7. Shane Mosley
8. De La Hoya
9. De La Hoya
10. Marco Antonio Barrera
(Note to Oscar and Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer: Just kidding).
In all seriousness, those who are rapping De La Hoya's purchase of Ring and saying that the magazine's credibility is automatically shot with a promoter running the show, calm down, please. Why not give the new arrangement a chance? Keep a close, close eye on it, but give it a chance. If they screw up, they'll hear from all of us very loudly. But in my opinion, this will be a good thing for boxing in the long run, even if there might be a few bumps along the way.
• Middleweight star and former undisputed junior middleweight champion Winky Wright, who has fought exactly one fight in his career at 147 pounds (and that was in 1992) and fought his last fight at 170 pounds, losing a decision to light heavyweight champion Hopkins, says that in order to get a fight with De La Hoya, he is willing to drop down to welterweight. One question: Which limb will the Winkster cut off to make the weight?
• Hard to believe but yes, 44-year-old Evander Holyfield has a legitimate chance at winning another heavyweight title belt against Sultan Ibragimov on Oct. 13. If Holyfield wins, then what? A rematch with George Foreman?
• I've been collecting boxing posters for about 15 years, so I have seen a lot of them in my day. I must say that the HBO poster advertising the broadcast of the Jermain Taylor-Kelly Pavlik middleweight championship fight on Sept. 29 is one of the coolest, most inventive I have ever seen. I love it. I hope the fight is as good as the poster.
• Based on the overwhelmingly negative response I've heard, I am certainly not in the minority here. Why in the world would Showtime waste its Dec. 1 card on a doubleheader featuring Antonio Tarver against Danny Green (an OK fight, but nothing to get too excited about) and Vernon Forrest in a worthless mandatory defense against Michele Piccirillo? This does not in any way, shape or form match Showtime's espoused "great fights, no [future] rights" philosophy when it comes to buying matches. Why in the world would Showtime reward Tarver with a second date in six months, especially when, according to several sources, it was Tarver who is mostly to blame for killing a proposed fight with light heavyweight titlist Chad Dawson, the match Showtime really wanted? And Forrest-Piccirillo? Whatever. Watch at your own peril.
• While the Dec. 1 card on Showtime is sad, what's not to be pleased about with regard to the network's Nov. 3 card? Showtime did boxing fans a great service by rescuing the rescheduled Juan Manuel Marquez-Rocky Juarez and Robert Guerrero-Martin Honorio fights that were originally supposed to happen Sept. 15 on HBO PPV. The card was called off because of an injury to Marquez and Showtime came to the rescue to pick up the main event (Marquez-Juarez) and one of the undercard fights. Now we all save $44.95 and Showtime has a terrific card that should never have been a PPV in the first place. And on top of it all, it has opened the doors for Showtime to do business with Golden Boy Promotions for the first time, which can only benefit boxing fans as well as Showtime and Golden Boy. However, I can't imagine anyone at HBO is too thrilled with Golden Boy taking the card to Showtime after HBO PPV spent a couple of months marketing and promoting it only to have it wind up on its rival. Life's tough.
• The WBO better do the right thing and order a Ricardo Torres-Kendall Holt rematch ASAP.
• After all the politics and posturing that Oleg Maskaev, Vitali Klitschko and the WBC went through in order to try to deny Samuel Peter his rightful mandatory heavyweight title shot, the exact thing the Peter camp argued while refusing to step aside happened -- Klitschko got injured and can't fight this fall. Is anybody at all surprised?
• I just love when the new WBC rankings come out. It's like a field day. Let's go through just a few of the many atrocities in this month's filth:
1. Brazil's Peter Venancio, who is 43, has been facing fighters so obscure that calling them obscure is an insult to obscure fighters. Yet, he is ranked fourth -- ahead of Hopkins (sixth), Tarver (ninth) and Roy Jones Jr. (10th). Venancio doesn't belong in the top 20.
2. I adore Andre Berto's potential as much as anyone. It's why I named him ESPN.com's 2006 prospect of the year. And I think he will be a future titleholder. But to rank him fifth in the world at welterweight is a ridiculous over-ranking. I bet the humble Berto would even admit that fifth is too high for him at the moment. And the WBC also ranks completely untested Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. ninth, one of the most laughable rankings since that time when the WBO ranked a dead guy. Chavez's ranking is nothing more than the typical bouquet that the WBC often throws to Mexican fighters. I guess it shouldn't come as much of a surprise, given that the WBC once made favorite son Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. No. 1 in the world and mandatory to face then-junior welterweight champ Kostya Tszyu about 100 years after Chavez had won a meaningful fight.
3. Junior welterweight Tim Bradley is a fine prospect, as we have all seen from his various appearances on "ShoBox." But he has faced pretty middling competition and has never faced a top-10 or top-15 opponent. So it is an utter farce that the WBC has moved him all the way to No. 2, especially when Juan Urango, a former alphabet titlist whose only loss came to recognized world champion Ricky Hatton, is ninth, and Antonio Margarito shamefully is unranked. Yeah, that's credibility.
• Just a quick tip of the cap to chairman Ron Scott Stevens and the rest of the New York State Athletic Commission for doing the right thing. The panel last week made the right call changing a no-contest result to a second-round TKO for Delvin Rodriguez in the wake of his Aug. 24 ESPN2 bout against Keenan Collins. The nasty cut Collins suffered that forced the fight to be stopped was initially ruled to be caused by a head butt, of which there was absolutely no evidence of on tape. The commission saw that during its review and gave Rodriguez the victory he deserved.
• DVD pick of the week: The past few weeks have been light for live boxing action with all the postponements and the end of the "Friday Night Fights" season, so it's good thing I have an archive to draw from. This week I went for pure action and one of my favorite fights: Tomasz Adamek's first bloody and brutal majority decision win against Paul Briggs to win a vacant light heavyweight belt from May 21, 2005 at Chicago's United Center. Their rematch was also a very good fight, but the first one was better. It was not televised domestically, but I was fortunate enough to be ringside for the fight (which was on the undercard of Lamon Brewster's first-round blowout of Andrew Golota in their heavyweight title bout) and to later obtain a DVD. The brawl was so bloody and hard-hitting that while I was at ringside, I actually had to turn away briefly late in the fight. It doesn't come across as violent on DVD, but trust me -- it was caveman stuff.