I recently caught up with junior lightweight contender Mickey Bey right before he was set to make a trip back to his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Bey is fresh into a promotional deal with Top Rank and coming off of a six round decision over journeyman Eric Cruz on the Juan Manuel Lopez-Rafael Marquez card earlier this month at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bey injured his right hand in the bout but expects to be making a return to the ring sometime in January.
Bey become very close with Floyd Mayweather Jr. during his amateur days and was persuaded by the superstar to make the move to Nevada to help boost his professional career following the 2004 Olympic trials. The two fighters became very close over the years and they still keep in touch to this day, as Bey trained on a few occasions out of Floyd’s personal gym for the Cruz fight.
At the moment Mayweather has been the target of some criticism online as some members from the media claim he is avoiding a fight with Manny Pacquiao, who last weekend throttled Antonio Margarito over twelve rounds to win the WBC junior middleweight championship. A Pacquiao-Mayweather fight has had the boxing world in limbo for the past year and Bey says that Floyd is in a situation where his back is kind of to the wall.
“He has to [take the fight],” Bey said. “Floyd is like a big brother but it’s time to go ahead. He has to show the world who the best pound for pound is. Everybody wants to see it. There are stars all over the world who are requesting the fight. All the sportswriters on ESPN and everything, they made it public that Floyd is scared to fight Manny.”
Bey went on to state that Mayweather doesn’t read the news online himself but that he is often told of what is written about him by those in his inner circle and that he is annoyed by people insinuating that he is afraid to face Pacquiao. Bey closed out by stating that Floyd loves boxing and deep down he really wants the fight but with random blood testing leading up to the bout.
Expect more from Bey later this week…
Caballero’s time to shine
Ran into two division champion and featherweight contender Celestino Caballero in the gym the other day. ‘Pelenchin’ is getting ready for a November 27th bout with gutsy Jason Litzau at the MGM Grand and actually sparred several rounds with Bey to help prepare for the contest, as each fighter is trained by Jeff Mayweather. The two fighters reportedly went about 50 rounds with one another and Bey insists it was some of the best work he has had.
Caballero-Litzau is sure to elicit several fireworks but it isn’t the fight that the Panamanian wants, as he has been calling out the likes of Juan Manuel Lopez and Yuriorkis Gamboa for quite some time now. After being unable to lure any suitable opponents from the featherweight class into the ring with him, Caballero had to move up to 130 pounds for this particular fight. Given his dimensions and lanky build, he should be able to pull the move off without too many problems.
At 34 years of age time is definitely ticking for Caballero but he has an amazing work ethic and will likely be a force for at least a few more years. Whether or not he is ever able to land a fight with Lopez and Gamboa, two men who seemed destined to face one another, remains to be seen.
Holloway still focused despite loss to Laurente
During Pacquiao’s open media workout late last month in Los Angeles I came across welterweight hopeful Rashad Holloway, who was then eyeing a November 13th fight with Metro Manila’s Dennis Laurente on the Pacquiao-Margarito undercard. Holloway informed me that he had been training like a dog and recalled some earlier sparring sessions that he had with Laurente.
“It was a clinic,” Holloway said. “I boxed the shit out of him.”
Despite that bravado, Holloway was beaten by Laurente after eight rounds when the two met on a professional level in a fight where the 33-year old overcame Holloway’s slick style with an awkward attack, often smothering him for the majority of the rounds. The loss dropped Holloway’s record to 11-2-2 with 5 knockouts and while it may have seemed heartbreaking on the surface, Holloway said it was just a bad style matchup for him and that his aspirations haven’t been deterred.
“It was just an ugly fight,” Holloway claimed. “The guy kind of had a style like a Ricardo Mayorga. But my head is still up and I’m focused. On to the next one.”
Bert Sugar on Pacquiao-Margarito: “It was a one-sided ass whooping”
Devon Alexander-Timothy Bradley headed to St. Louis
What now for Antonio Margarito?
Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at Trimond@aol.com