The new year is advancing into the shortest month of the year, February, and we are now looking at dates in March and April, as the power brokers and deal-makers continue to ply their trade in this atmosphere of the new normal, which means that people are reacting to moves Al Haymon makes on a near daily basis.
The HBO crew, which stays in their lanes and lets Al work his, basically, are readying a March 21 double-header, which likely lands in NYC, at the MSG Theater.
Terence Crawford (age 27; 25-0 with 17 Kos; the best athlete in Nebraska), in the hunt as ballots are coming in to the BWAA as 2014 Fighter of the Year, will look to impress the Big Apple area fans of pugilism. His dance partner? Chris Algieri has been rumored as a possible, and word on the street is that Mauricio Herrera’s name is in mix, but he might not want to fight until a month or two later than that date. Plan C is now being hunted down, I’m hearing.
I asked Herrera to confirm he is or was in the running and he answered. “No, they did offer me to fight him but it’s too close of a date,” said El Maestro, the unluckiest man in the sport in regards to getting judges kind to his style. “I just got back in the gym this week. I heard he’s been preparing since January.”
Herrera likes to stay busy but he just fought on Dec. 13, losing a disputed decision to Jose Benavidez in Vegas.
The other hitter who’ll be NYC bound, we think, to ply their trade is Jamaican smasher Nicholas Walters, who opened eyeballs world-wide with his takeout of Nonito Donaire last year. His manager, Robert Mittelman, is searching for a top grade opponent, in concert with Top Rank matchmakers, to rumble with the 29-year-old with a 25-0 (21 Kos) mark. His May 2013 win over Vic Darchinyan started the buzz-build process, but since it took place in Macau, some eyeballs lagged behind. They all caught up when he scored a TKO6 over Donaire, in a WBA super feather title fight, four months ago in Cali.
I predict a no brainer sellout, what with Long Islander Seanie Monaghan getting a slot on the undercard, most likely. He is thisclose to a title crack at 175, and is an easy one to root for, a humble hitter who quietly goes about his business, which is improving fight by fight, and clambering up the ladder.
NOTE: I’m hearing the Feb. 14 CBS cable date is firm, and will unfold at Resorts World in Queens. Sal Musumeci is the promoter and a heavyweight will likely top the card. Subway Mike Lee will rumble on the card and then hustle to the announce table to work with Col. Bob and Benny Ricardo.
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