Baldomir-Mayweather: It might not make the most dollars, but it makes the most sense!

By B. "The Hype" Thompson


Baldomir-Mayweather: It might not make the most dollars, but it makes the most sense!

Ricky Hatton?
Shane Mosley?
Winky Wright?
OK, again.
But Antonio Margarito? No way!
Okay, okay, okay...maybe I'm being a little harsh by dismissing Antonio Margarito as a viable opponent for boxing's "erstwhile pound-for-pound king", but not as harsh as some "respected" journalists have been in their lambasting of Floyd Mayweather simply for exploring his options. I mean honestly, if you're in the market for a new car, do you jump at the first offer? Maybe some of you suckers out there do, but personally, I like to weigh my options.
Love him or hate him, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is widely recognized by most as the best fighter on the planet. Considering the fact that he's now fighting in and around the three hottest divisions in boxing (jr. welterweight, welterweight, and jr. middleweight), one would think that a man with so many options would take his time when considering his next move. Mayweather just fought in April and since then, several fights have taken place that have produced a number of possible opponents:
On May 6th, Oscar De La Hoya defeated Ricardo Mayorga via 6th round TKO.
On May 13th, Ricky Hatton defeated Luis Collazo via unanimous decision.
On May 27th, Paul Williams defeated Walter Matthysse via 10th round TKO.
On June 24th, Carlos Quintana defeated Joel Julio via unanimous decision.
On July 8th, Cory Spinks defeated Roman Karmazin via majority decision.
On July 15th, Shane Mosley defeated Fernando Vargas via 6th round TKO.
On July 22nd, Carlos Baldomir defeated Arturo Gatti via 9th round TKO.
That's at least seven potential opponents for the best pound-for-pound figher in the world. Oh sure, some of those opponents have opted to go in another direction, but does that mean that Team Mayweather should eliminate all other potential opportunities by jumping at the first offer to fight Margarito? I don't think so. Acelino Freitas and Wladimir Klitschko both fought around the same time as Mayweather's last fight. Despite having fewer options, neither one of them were too quick to solidify their next opponent, and yet, I don't recall any "respected" journalists writing open letters or taking stabs at them. So what's the reason for rushing Mayweather into making a decision? Don't get me wrong, I too am anxiously awaiting Floyd Mayweather's next move, but I also realize that there were a lot of options to be considered.

With the last major fight in the welterweight division occuring this past weekend, the dust has settled and it won't be too long before Mayweather is set to announce his next opponent. And now that Carlos Baldomir has proven that his win over Zab Judah was no fluke, it should be clear which opponent is the next logical choice. Just ask any journalist who the welterweight champion of the world is and they'll all reply with an emphatic "Carlos Baldomir"! Well if Baldomir is the weltwerweight champion, doesn't it stand to reason that every fighter in the division should be getting in line to face him? In a world full of alphabet organizations, bogus ratings, and numerous title holders...a world where Ring Magazine, HBO and ESPN are quick to have leading spokesmen like Nigel Collins, Jim Lampley and Brian Kenney clean up the title mess by differentiating between "titlists" and true "champions" would think that most journalists would be clamoring for the best pound-for-pound fighter to take on the legitimate welterweight champion of the world.
Let's be honest, despite what some people may write, Baldomir has a much more solid claim as the man to beat at welterweight than Margarito ever did. Since winning his own version of the welterweight title (a title that was vacant, mind you), Margarito really hasn't done too much in the past four years. He has yet to fight anyone in the lineage...not Baldomir, not Judah, not Spinks, not Mayorga, not Forrest, not Mosley, not De La one. Plus, the only opponents that he  has faced at 147 are WBO contenders that the casual fan hasn't even heard of. The last guy he fought, Manuel Gomez, wasn't even the #1 ranked contender....he  was the 7th ranked contender. In fact, the highest rated contenders that Margarito has faced were Kermit Cintron (#1), Antonio Diaz (#2) and Danny Perez (#3)...and that list isn't even in order. Maurice Brantley, another challenger for Margarito's title, wasn't even ranked by the WBO to my knowledge...and if he was, there's no way he could have been ranked in the top 10 considering he was coming off of a 3 fight losing streak. Sebastian Lujan was the WBO's 10th ranked contender, Hercules Kyvelos was the WBO's 7th ranked contender and Andrew Lewis (who had just been brutally destroyed by Ricardo Mayorga a couple fights prior) was the WBO's 5th ranked contender. Truth be told, Andrew Lewis was the only former champion that Margarito has ever faced at welterweight. Baldomir, on the other hand, is the true lineal champion...simple as that! In his short reign as the welterweight king, he's already beaten former undisputed welterweight champion Zab Judah and two-division champion Arturo Gatti...and he didn't even need any writers to beg and plead on his behalf to get those fights.
So what's with all of this ink about a potential Mayweather-Margarito clash? After all, the winner of that fight isn't even going to be considered the true welterweight champion. In order for Mayweather to be considered the true champion, the only man he can face is Carlos Baldomir. He could fight Margarito, Hatton and Cotto in his next three fights and he still wouldn't be considered the true welterweight champion...unless, of course, one of those guys happened to beat Baldomir. Logically, if the goal is to help "clean up the title mess", then every boxing jounalist and "expert", from Brian Kenney to Nigel Collins, should drop all this talk about a Margarito fight and demand Mayweather to face Baldomir next...unless they'd rather see him fight a guy who's not really the true champion.
Damned if you do...damned if you don't.

Fight the true champion at 147, Baldomir, and be accused of ducking Margarito or fight Margarito and not be considered the true welterweight champion. Well, with Baldomir's win over Arturo Gatti, Mayweather now becomes the WBC #1 contender and should be next in line to challenge the true welterweight champion. I'm sure my friends at The Ring, ESPN and HBO would all agree that, for the good of boxing, Baldomir-Mayweather sould be the next big welterweight fight.

Sorry Margarito, The Truth can be hard to swallow, but it looks like you might have to get certain writers to find you a new opponent.

Brian Kenney eats a right uppercut for saying that Carlos Baldomir "dominated" Zab Judah during last Friday's telecast of Friday Night Fights. Ummmmm...last time I checked, scores of 115-113, 115-112 and 114-113 don't really represent a "dominating" performance. Don't get me wrong, Baldomir definitely "dominated" the second half of the fight, but the first half of the fight was equally "dominated" by Zab Judah. A close, well-deserved victory? Yes! A dominating performance? No! Brian, let's try to call a spade a spade and reserve adjectives like "dominating" for performances like Hopkins' win over Tarver or Wright's win over Trinidad.
The HBO documentary team eats a left hook for not having any kind of pre-fight footage of the welterweight champion Carlos Baldomir. Talk about disrespectful. Not only did they not have any specials with him on HBO ON DEMAND, but they didn't even bother to have any filler footage as we waited for the fight to begin...opting instead to show a brief interview between Gatti and Larry Merchant as well as some ridiculous comparison of Gatti to the Six Million Dollar Man. Note to the documentary team, instead of spending all that money trying to rebuild certain house fighters, maybe you can set a small budget aside to give the fans just a tiny bit of information on the opponent.


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