SuperFighter hit New York City on Monday – it’s the latest craze. Three fights, four rounds, eight contestants – it’s four hours of mayhem, Australian style.
Stephen Duval, CEO of Australia-based Superfighter, met with the media to talk about his dream – it’s a doozy. Duval invented an eight-man eliminator that offers the winner a whopping $5 million. Fighters can’t even get their contracted minimums, which can be as low as $5,000 a fight, so this is better then lotto. The losers? They collect the $200K minimum.
Here’s the lineup, so far:
Chris Byrd (39-3-1 20 KOs) – The former IBF heavyweight champion. His style has put more people to sleep then Nyquil. Byrd will try to peck his way to victory. But after the beating he took against Wladimir Klitschko, and unofficially losing four of his last five bouts, I wouldn’t bet on him with your money.
O’Neil Bell (26-1-1 24 KOs) – The current cruiserweight champion. He crushed French tank Jean Marc Mormeck in a war. A big plus for Bell is that he can crack. But he never has faced a heavyweight, and he takes too many punches flush. Against a heavy it might be beddy-bye for Bell. Bet on him getting eliminated by the third round.
“The Nigerian Nightmare” Samuel Peter (26-1 22 KOs) – He’s George Foreman’s pick to take it all. In a four-rounder, he’s the most dangerous opponent. But can he carry his power through four hours, 12 rounds and three opponents? Odds should be in his favor.
Steve “USS” Cunningham (19-0 10 KOs) – He’s the #1 IBF cruiserweight and walks around at 195 lbs. Cunningham showed a dynamite chin by taking everything Guillermo Jones could offer. If he’s matched up with Samuel Peter, his ship sails. Otherwise, he has enough boxing skills to dazzle his way to the finals.
Tye Fields (36-1 33 KO) – I agree with Max Kellerman’s analysis: “At 6-9, 293 lbs., and not so skilled, he’s an attraction, not a contender.” He’s a long shot.
Shannon Briggs (45-4 40 KOs) – Since his loss to Jameel McCline, he has fought every club fighter from New York to Arizona. BUT … he’s got the experience, he can fight and has underrated hand speed. He might be the man to beat. I see him making the final
Alexander Povetkin (7-0 5 KOs) – I think Povetkin is Russian for pulverized. He’s too raw to best any of the combatants. He’s a huge underdog and doesn’t make it past the first round.
#8 – OPEN
Maybe we should put odds on this circus even getting off the ground. Just think back to Cedrick Kushner’s “Fist Full of Dollars?” Can you recall who won? Enough said …
Clottey Chasing Margarito
Joshua Clottey (28-1, 20 KOs) is ranked #4 by the WBC, #5 by the WBO and #7 by the IBF. Just as the high ratings indicate, Clottey believes he is capable of beating the best welterweights in the world, and having reeled off nine consecutive victories the star from Ghana has his eyes set on WBO welterweight champion Antonio Margarito (33-4, 24 KOs).
“I’m determined to become a world champion,” Clottey says. “I have the skills, work ethic and heart to be a champion. I’ve dealt with many hardships throughout my career, and getting a shot at Margarito and the title would make it all worth it. This is what I have been working toward my whole life. I have a lot of respect for Antonio Margarito as a champion. I know he always wants to fight the best. I am the best welterweight contender in the world. Margarito may want to fight an easier fight right now, but if Antonio wants to stay at welterweight, he can run, but he can’t hide.”
Floyd Mayweather turned down an $8 million dollar offer to face the WBO champion, so Margarito is running out of defense options.
In a recent FightBeat.com interview, Bob Arum confirmed a Clottey matchup: “Mayweather has shown reluctance to fight Margarito, so we are thinking about putting Margarito-Clottey on the undercard of Rahman-Maskaev clash.” That fight takes place Aug. 12.
Are you ready for WWIII?
Diego “Chico” Corrales (40-2 33 KOs) and Jose Luis Castillo (52-7-1 46 KOs) are revving their engines to produce another “fight of the year.”
If you’ve never seen their first fight, GET IT! “Chico” was knocked down twice in the 10th round and came back some 60 seconds later to win it. Check out garyshawproductions.com to view Round 10. Just amazing.
Their second bout was marked with controversy. Castillo didn’t make weight and refused to even try. Castillo was fined for this stunt, but Team Corrales agreed to fight anyway.
The result: Corrales on his back.
The weight issue proved to be a mistake, something even promoter Gary Shaw admits:
“I’ll never do again what I did in this fight,” Shaw said. “If the contract calls for 135 pounds it will be at 135 pounds.”
The fight takes place June 3. Stay tuned next week for my breakdown and prediction. Sportsbook has Castillo-220, Corrales +180
Barrera Wars with Juarez
As the final bell rang, he walked back to his corner with swollen eyes, a bloody nose and probably a broken jaw – and that was the winner!
Marco Antonio Barrera really underestimated 2000 Olympian Rocky Juarez. Juarez showed power with both hands and kept countering Barrera all night with left hooks and overhand rights. HBO did its usual cheerleading for Barrera, seldom mentioning Juarez unless he got hit. The fighters dueled on even terms for 12 rounds, and the decision was what most anticipated… a draw
Unexpected was the announcement that judge Morita’s scorecard was tabulated wrong. The correct total was 115-114 in Barrera’s favor to give the champion a split-decision victory.
For Christmas I promise to send the commission a calculator