Khan, Bradley, Salido and Other Observations from Around the Ring

James FoleyCorrespondent IJuly 25, 2011

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 23:  (L-R) Referee Vic Drakulich seperates Zab Judah and Amir Khan after Judah closes his eye in the fifth round during their super lightweight world championship unification bout at Mandalay Bay Events Center on July 23, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Some random thoughts from a slightly disappointing weekend of boxing:

Vic Drakulich absolutely has one of the coolest names in the sport. He's also got great hair. As a referee, he ranks somewhere beneath Kenny Bayless and Steve Smoger but still well above Arthur Mercante Jr.

If Junior had been on watch Saturday night, you can be sure even more ridiculousness would have ensued on the low-blow psuedo-controversy, "Come on champ, shake it off. All right, I'm gonna allow Zab to continue, even though he was down for the count...shake it off guys, we're family."

HBO broadcasts are approximately 6.4 times as entertaining with Larry Merchant and Roy Jones in the booth. Not necessarily better but Kellerman and Steward aren't firing memorable one-liners left and right like Merch-dogg and RJJ.

Amir Khan looked a lot better than he did against hapless Paul McCloskey in April. He brought the A-game on saturday night and this looked like a mismatch about 90 seconds into the opening round.

Even when Zab was doing a decent job ducking and dodging, Khan was still bullying him around the ring with a healthy size advantage and superior speed.

I think Khan's a clear favorite should Timothy Bradley ever decide to go slumming and try to fight someone who's not miles out of his league.

Ran across a pugilist named Sid Razak on Box-Rec while scouring the resume of a fighter on the undercard of Khan-Judah. Boasting a record of six wins and 67 losses, Razak is the type of guy you'll stumble across occasionally while checking prospect's profiles.

The amazing thing, to me, is that for a guy clearly meant to be an easy "W" for fighters on the rise, a man with over 70 fights and a winning percentage under 10 percent, Razak had only been stopped in four of his 67 losses.

Which begs the question, is he a stepping stone with an unusually tough jaw or just the worst boxer ever? He's lost 63 decisions.

HBO needs to stop doing one-fight events. Let's check this year's one-and-out offerings: Bradley/Alexander, Haye/Klitschko and Khan/Judah.

The most scintillating thing that happened in any of those fights was David Haye's security guards tossing aside unruly fans during his ring-walk.

It's an omen. Stop doing one-fight events. There hasn't been a single one this year that didn't leave a bad taste in the mouth.

Orlando Salido successfully defended his featherweight strap that he won from Juan Manuel Lopez in April. The rematch now appears to be on the table for sometime in the fall.

The original rumblings were that Top Rank wanted to do an Arce-Vazquez Jr. rematch on the same night. That would obviously be awesome.

If not, I've got Salido-Lopez II in my three most anticipated fights this fall regardless, along with Guerrero-Maidana and Mayweather-Ortiz.

The first fight was one of the best fights of the year, overshadowed by the more knockdown-friendly and higher-profile Ortiz-Berto slug-fest the same night. If Lopez loses the rematch, it's a long way back to the top for a guy on the cusp of boxing super-stardom as recently as a few months ago.

On the under-card of Khan-Maidana last December, Lamont Peterson rallied from two knockdowns to salvage a draw with Victor Ortiz. Ortiz ended up getting a shot at Andre Berto, then-undefeated WBC welterweight champ.

Peterson first turned down a shot at Amir Khan, one that would have netted him several hundred thousand dollars (below market-value for a Khan opponent perhaps, but a lot more than he could make against any other possible foe). 

He finally signed on to fight Victor Cayo for well below that amount. And the fight has been delayed numerous times over multiple issues. Finally the two Junior-welterweight contenders will duke it out in what should be an above-average ESPN offering on Friday night. 

And Peterson will make a fraction of what Victor Ortiz will in his next fight.

Timothy Bradley says he's not interested in Amir Khan. Cool...I'm not really interested in Tim Bradley anymore to be completely honest. He seems like a great guy, a genuinely good person in a sport of rogues.

But he's completely removed himself from the mix in the most sizzling weight class in the sport at the worst possible time, with an abundance of great fights and worthy challengers looming. If he thinks he's done enough to earn a fight against Pacquiao, he is delusional.

On the other hand, if he had mentioned that his wife is due to deliver their first child any day, and that is why he wanted some time away from the sport, I would absolve him completely, but he has never indicated that to be the case.

Plain and simple, whatever was going on with his promotional issues, he ducked Khan on July 23rd. He let down HBO, and he let down whatever fans (and I considered myself one of them) that he had.