Playing Fact or Fiction with All the Top Rumors in Boxing

Kelsey McCarsonFeatured ColumnistJune 25, 2013

Playing Fact or Fiction with All the Top Rumors in Boxing

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    You want rumors? Boxing has them.

    In fact, the sport is downright driven by its myriad of he-said, she-saids. There is simply no shortage of trifling but titillating trivialities within the sweet science, and we’re better off for it. After all, what else would keep us fight fans preoccupied as we wait for the next big fight?

    With that in mind, let’s have a look at the latest and greatest boxing rumors and speculation. Are they fact or fiction? 

Alexander Povetkin Will Finally Step into the Ring with Wladimir Klitschko

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    This should have happened by now, right?

    Starting way back in 2007, Alexander Povetkin strung three pretty impressive wins together over title contenders Larry Donald, Chris Byrd and Eddie Chambers, earning a 2008 world title shot against reigning heavyweight kingpin Wladimir Klitschko.

    Inexplicably, Povetkin declined the opportunity to fight for the world title, as well as earn his largest payday to date, because then-trainer Teddy Atlas did not believe he was ready.

    Apparently, Povetkin wasn’t ready in 2009, 2010, 2011 or 2012 either. During that time, he reeled off wins over mostly nondescript heavyweight competition, except for maybe a narrow decision victory of Ruslan Chagaev in 2011.

    Still, via BoxingNews24, the fight was reportedly agreed to for October 5 in Moscow where world champion Klitschko will most assuredly hand the untested titlist his first professional loss. And it’s about time.

    Verdict: Fact

Erislandy Lara Used an Illegal Thumb Punch to Defeat Alfredo Angulo

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    This one is just plain dumb.

    Nonetheless, numerous boxing websites (even USA Today) ran to press with stories of Angulo and team claiming foul after Lara’s TKO victory.

    The issue, of course, is that it was a clear punch. Not only did replays of the punch show nothing out of the ordinary, but the fighters were actually confirmed later that evening to be wearing thumbless gloves for the bout, making any type of attempted “eye thumbing” virtually impossible.

    Even Showtime broadcaster Al Bernstein felt inclined to speak up on the matter via Twitter.

    “Just so everyone knows--thumbless gloves-no such thing as illegal thumb in boxing anymore,” he tweeted. “Lara DID NOT thumb Angulo. He hit him.”

    Exactly, Al.

    Verdict: Fiction

Andre Ward Will Dump Dan Goossen for Bob Arum and Top Rank

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    BoxingScene’s Rick Reeno reported earlier this month that super middleweight kingpin Andre Ward is planning to ditch longtime promoter Dan Goossen in order to sign with Bob Arum and Top Rank.

    This one has legs. Both Ward and Goossen have been quiet on the matter, which speaks volumes about the potential breakup.

    Goossen is a fine promoter, but Bob Arum can likely offer Ward more lucrative fights against top-tier names than Goossen would be able to with his comparatively limited resources, and Top Rank’s relationship with premier television partner HBO won’t hurt either.

    Look for Ward to get his wish sooner or later and sign with Top Rank.

    Verdict: Fact

    **Update - After this article went to press, Andre Ward confirmed via press release he indeed wants to sever ties with Goossen. 

Juan Manuel Marquez Will Never Fight Manny Pacquiao Again

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    We’ve covered this one before, but Juan Manuel Marquez keeps this thing going so…

    While it’s certainly true Marquez has made seemingly dumb business moves before (e.g., skipping a lucrative 2011 potential showdown with fellow Mexican legend Erik Morales), one simply has to believe he’ll end up fighting Manny Pacquiao a fifth time before the end of his career no matter what the great Mexican champion has to say on the matter.

    The two fighters were speculated to be in line for a showdown as soon as Pacquiao was cleared to fight again, via Scott Christ of Bad Left Hook, but contractual talks of Marquez wanting an even split derailed the bout before it could really get going.

    Assuming Marquez wins his October 12 showdown against Timothy Bradley, and Pacquiao does the same against Brandon Rios in November, expect the two rivals to meet again next May. There is simply too much money at stake for the fight not to happen.

    Verdict: Fiction

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao Will Never Fight

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    Pacquiao advisor Michael Koncz recently indicated his fighter would be glad to face Floyd Mayweather should another potential superfight opportunity present itself, according to Lem Satterfield of The Ring. That’s fantastic.

    The problem, of course, is that Koncz said nothing different at any other time over the past few years when the bout would have been bigger than perhaps any other fight in boxing history, and yet it never materialized.

    Pacquiao fans say it’s Floyd’s fault. Mayweather fans say the same about Manny. Blame neither. Blame both. It doesn’t really matter.

    The fight will never happen, and who really cares at this point anyway?

    Verdict: Fact