In Boxing News: Floyd Mayweather goes independent

It looks like Floyd Mayweather Jr., boxing’s Mr. Pound-For-Pound, can afford to be pretty darn picky and choosey. Pretty Boy Floyd rejected Bob Arum‘s $8 million offer to fight welterweight titlist Antonio Margarito, a fight that everyone wants to see, and instead decided exercise an option in his contract to buy Arum out and become a free agent.

“I did hear from him,” Arum told Dan Rafael at “He decided not to fight this summer. I made him a tremendous offer. I think Margarito is the riskiest fight for him of anyone out there.” Leonard Ellerbe, Floyd’s advisor and confidant, insisted that Mayweather isn’t ducking Margarito. “Floyd is not 100 percent healthy,” said Ellerbe. “He has a bruised right hand. His hand is not broken. It’s bruised, but it’s a bad bruise. He wants to go into any fight 100 percent healthy. If Antonio Margarito happens to be the best available option when he is healthy, so be it. Arum said Mayweather agreed to the $8 mil to fight Margarito, but he wanted $10 million to fight Miguel Cotto and Ricky Hatton, and $20 million to fight Oscar De La Hoya. “That’s not in the cards,” Arum said. “He wants $20 million for the De La Hoya fight? It’s not there. Sometimes, my man, you gotta know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em If every debut was like Tom Zbikowski‘s debut boxing would be a different sport than it is. But not every first time pro fighter plays football for Notre Dame or gets to strut his stuff at Madison Square Garden. Nor is every 0-0 pug so complected. Zbikowski is special in these ways, and maybe in ways we have yet to discover, but the young fighter isn’t wasting any time making his mark, in or out of the ring. Surrounded by his lawyer/boxing advisor Mike Joyce and his sister/public relations coordinator Kristen Zbikowski, Team Zbikowski found time to open up. If he wasn’t playing football here at Notre Dame, said Joyce, people would be talking about this kid being the next Mike Tyson, or the anti-Mike Tyson, as far as out of the ring behavior goes. His skills are that good and amateur credentials are that good. I firmly believe that if he tried out for our last Olympics, he would have been our representative. Zbikowski is being promoted by Top Rank and has Arum in his corner, but I’m just taking this as a one-fight deal, Zbikowski said. I want to get ready for the football season. Zbikowski has an amateur record of 66-13. According to the Notre Dame Spring Media Guide, he weighs 202 pounds, but wants to fight at 215. Zbikowski will train at the university and at a gym in Chicago before heading off to Miami to work with Angelo Dundee. From the New York Times N.Y./Region section comes an article about a small company that makes boxing gloves in the Bronx. In a dimly lighted fourth-floor factory in the South Bronx, three women chatted in Spanish as they stitched together boxing headgear. The windows were closed, the smell of leather and glue strong. John Golomb, who runs the tiny operation called Legacy, is the grandson of a Russian immigrant named Jacob Golomb, the man who in 1910 founded what would eventually become the giant Everlast. Jacob’s specialty in the beginning was bathing suits (he was an avid swimmer), until a little-known boxer named Jack Dempsey asked Mr. Golomb to make him a headgear that would protect his cauliflower ear during training. The dye was cast. A few years later Golomb designed the gloves Dempsey wore during his July 4, 1919 massacre in Toledo, Ohio of the heavyweight champion of the world Jess Willard. A lot has happened since then. The company changed hands in 2003 and moved production from the Bronx to Moberly, Missouri. But Golomb isn’t down; nor is he out. My father used to say that Everlast is the Mercedes-Benz of boxing. If you want the best cigar, you get a Havana cigar. I’m not saying I can make a Havana cigar in the Bronx, but I can make a boxing glove.” According to the Times, Making a boxing glove starts with a high-quality section of cowhide, a strong and supple leather, cut very thin. It is treated and cut into patterns. The strongest part of the hide will form the gloves’ punching surface, while weaker portions from the cow’s stomach area, for instance will be used for the palm and thumb. The interior lining is a synthetic, absorbent material, while the padding is a combination of four types of foam molded together with an adhesive. Each glove is first sewn inside out and then turned right-side out. Then the foam padding is inserted and the remaining hole covered with leather. And then we all get together and punch.