Posted: Tuesday April 11, 2006 1:32PM; Updated: Tuesday April 11, 2006 1:38PM
King's contention that Mayweather should have been DQ'd and an immediate rematch ordered is gallingly self-serving. That Judah even got the big-money shot at Mayweather in the first place (after losing to Carlos Baldomir in January in what was supposed to be a tune-up fight) was something of a joke. That he should be given another after being so convincingly beaten is a preposterous proposal.
Mayweather proved himself the superior fighter and should now be free to move on to better, and probably more lucrative, challenges (Antonio Margarito? Ricky Hatton? Oscar De La Hoya?). Judah, with two straight losses now, needs to regroup and prove himself worthy of another shot at any title.
And, as boxing black eyes go, this one can hardly even be called a shiner.
Heavyweight Dominick Guinn speaks in a rich and easy Arkansas accent. And, while Guinn is from Hot Springs, he clearly -- like fellow Razorback Bill Clinton -- believes in a place called Hope. The 30-year-old southpaw, who two-and-a-half years ago was a highly thought-of prospect with a 24-0 record (17 KOs, including a seven-round destruction of Michael Grant), has lost three of his five fights since (decisions to Monte Barrett, Serguei Lyakhovich and James Toney) and settled for a draw (with Friday Ahunanya) in another.
On Friday night in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Guinn will seek to turn his career around when he takes on Britain's Audley Harrison (the 2000 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist, who has built a lackluster 19-1 pro record since). Considering the site of the bout, the Agua Caliente (which is, after all, nearly Spanish for "Hot Springs") Casino, Guinn may indeed have reason to hope.
For another thing, Guinn is now training under Joe Goossen, having left longtime trainer Ronnie Shields. "You know how when you get a basketball player, like Ron Artest in Indianapolis, and then you put them in a new environment?" asked Guinn. "That's what it's like for me. I'm back to enjoying fighting."
At a moment in which the heavyweight division is as close to wide open as it has ever been, any halfway decent fighter is only one halfway impressive win (albeit over only a halfway-faded Brit and only on ESPN2) away from a crack at the big time. "I was happy to see Lyakhovich and Lamon Brewster put on a good show," said Guinn, referring the Russian's impressive win on April 1, which won him the WBO title. "Now I hope we can put on a great show too."
Bet on Micky Ward to go the distance. The Pride of Lowell, Mass., whose trilogy of light welterweight battles with Arturo Gatti in 2002-03 thrilled fans with their absurdly relentless give and take, is retired from the ring, but on Monday boxing's ultimate tough guy plans to take on another punishing opponent: the Boston Marathon. Ward, 40, will be running the 26-mile race to raise money for K.I.D.S. (Kids in Disability Sports, kidsindisabilitysports.com), a Lowell-based charity that supports disabled athletes.
"I put a lot of miles in," said Ward, whose training has him down to 152 pounds, less than 10 pounds over his fighting weight. "Running's like fighting, there's so much discipline involved. And just like in boxing, it's not the fight that's hard, it's the training."
Monday's race will actually be a rematch for Ward, who ran the 2004 edition as well. In that race, which he entered shortly after hanging up his gloves, Ward suffered severe dehydration but -- no surprise -- gutted it out to the finish, crossing the line in five hours. This time he hopes to run "around 3:40." But he knows it won't be easy. "Boston's tough," Ward said. "You think you got it beaten after the first half, but then, ah, no, here come those hills. It's brutal. I think there's ghosts on that course."
Whatever the outcome in the marathon, Ward plans to continue running. "It's a great way to stay in shape," he said, pointing to the example set by Boston's front-runners. "Those little skinny bastards can really go!"
Fighter I want to see more of: Juan Diaz. The 22-year-old WBA lightweight champ looked terrific on the Mayweather-Judah undercard. A student at the University of Houston, Diaz was fighting for the first time in nine months, but he showed great conditioning and little rust as he ran his record to 29-0 with a hard-fought but convincing 12-round decision over Jose Cotto. Next up: a mandatory defense this summer against Lakva Sim, the fighter Diaz beat for the title in July '04.
Fighter I've seen enough of: Judah. Fast, slick, dangerous at times ... and utterly tiresome.