It’s not exactly tearing down the Berlin Wall, but rival promoters Top Rank and Golden Boy are moving toward making a fight together.
Golden Boy Chief Executive Richard Schaefer told The Times on Tuesday that HBO wants to broadcast a Dec. 15 fight between Top Rank’s World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Timothy Bradley and Golden Boy’s challenger Robert Guerrero.
Schaefer said he is awaiting a licensing fee figure from HBO and is willing “to not stand in the way of the fight our guy wants” in a bout that would be promoted by Top Rank.
Top Rank Chairman Bob Arum said Tuesday that Guerrero is among those “being considered” for Bradley (29-0, 12 knockouts) after the Palm Springs fighter won a controversial split decision over Manny Pacquiao June 9.
The promoters have feuded off and on for years, contributing to failed negotiations for a Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. super-fight, and as recently as two weeks ago Schaefer said he would not work with Top Rank again as they both staged major fights in Las Vegas on Sept. 15.
Yet Schaefer said he wants Gilroy’s Guerrero (30-1-1, 18 KOs) to get the fight he has aggressively pursued on Twitter and doesn’t want to be portrayed as a hindrance even if he’d sacrifice promoting the bout.
Marquez not a fan of Nevada judges: Although his Dec. 9 opponent Pacquiao can identify weaknesses in Nevada boxing judges, it’s Juan Manuel Marquez who is making the biggest stink about who will judge their fourth fight.
Marquez has never defeated Pacquiao in Nevada, with a 2004 draw, a 2008 split-decision loss and last year’s majority decision defeat.
In Mexico City last week, Marquez said he doesn’t want Nevada judges working the fourth fight at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“I never heard him say that, but I would tell him that’s an absolutely absurd request,” Arum said. “The Nevada commission is very attuned to what’s fair, and they’re not going to let anyone tell them they can’t use Nevada judges. That’s silly.”
Nevada judges Duane Ford and C.J. Ross were highly criticized after scoring Pacquiao’s June 9 fight for Bradley even though most ringside observers had the bout won by Pacquiao at least nine rounds to three.
Ford scored the 2008 Pacquiao-Marquez fight 115-112 for Pacquiao, and Nevada judges Glenn Trowbridge and Dave Moretti scored the November 2011 fight for Pacquiao.
“The commission will do the right thing,” Arum said.
Chavez-Martinez update: Arum said he’s been told by the Nevada commission that if, as expected, former middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is suspended after testing positive for marijuana in a pre-fight urine test, his suspension will be dated from Sept. 15, not the date of their yet-to-be-finalized October commission hearing.
Arum would like Chavez, who rallied from losing the first 11 rounds on two judges’ scorecards to nearly knock out Sergio Martinez in the 12th round, to have a rematch against Martinez in 2013.
Martinez’s representatives have told Arum that the Argentine fighter won’t be ready to fight again until “sometime in April” after breaking a hand and injuring a knee in his unanimous-decision victory.
Chavez has previously been suspended by the Nevada commission for seven months after testing positive for a diuretic after a 2009 fight. Another seven-month suspension would have him eligible to fight again sometime in April.