Notebook: Toney has plenty of choice words for Peter
Briggs and Klitschko have had an agreement for a Nov. 11 fight for months, but the deal hasn't been signed because Klitschko adviser Shelly Finkel was waiting for the outcome of Maskaev's fight with Hasim Rahman. Now that Maskaev has won, Finkel has been pursuing a match with Maskaev, leaving Briggs to twist in the wind.
So Briggs this week instead turned his attention to another fight. He has been involved in serious discussions with promoter Don King about facing titlist Sergei Liakhovich, a fight Showtime and King are talking about to fill the network's open Nov. 4 date.
Briggs' move has left the Klitschko camp scrambling. It responded by raising its offer to Briggs, and it has also made an offer to Calvin Brock, the undefeated 2000 U.S. Olympian whose recent résumé dwarfs Briggs'.
"They contacted me and we are working on it. We're in negotiations," Brock told ESPN.com.
Brock said they began talking Thursday. He recently became a free agent after several years with promoter Main Events, and although he is in Delaware this week to meet with promoter Artie Pelullo, Brock said Main Events is handling the Klitschko talks.
"I'm ready to become world champion," Brock said. "Hopefully, people know I want the shot. So far, negotiations are going pretty well. As long as it's a fair offer, I will take it and I will the fight."
Pacquiao had accused Muhammad of skimming millions of dollars from his purses. It was one of several questionable business dealings Muhammad has had during a career in which he has also promoted Roy Jones, Larry Holmes and Razor Ruddock, among others.
Muhammad surfaced last week in Dallas, where he sat ringside to watch former four-time heavyweight champ Evander Holyfield score a second-round TKO of journeyman Jeremy Bates, in his first fight in 21 months, to end a three-fight losing streak.
Now, Muhammad tells ESPN.com that he has signed Holyfield to a promotional deal in which he will partner with Holyfield's own Real Deal Events to promote future bouts.
Holyfield, who didn't return a call from ESPN.com, hired Texas boxing fixture Lester Bedford to run and market the Dallas show. Bedford did yeoman's work, generating Holyfield close to $1 million for the event and selling nearly 10,000 tickets to the fight. His reward was having Holyfield and attorney George Hudson dump him in favor of Muhammad, despite his shaky reputation.
Muhammad said he and Holyfield had been talking for a couple of months prior to the Dallas fight.
"We began negotiating and I offered him a wonderful deal. Evander, I believe, appreciated that," said Muhammad, who would not divulge details of the arrangement. "We had a deal way before he stepped between the ropes [in Dallas]. He appreciated that I believe in his ability. I believe, like he does, that he will become a five-time heavyweight champion of the world."
Muhammad said he is working on matching Holyfield with Sinan Samil Sam, a fringe Turkish contender based in Germany. Newly crowned heavyweight titlist Oleg Maskaev won a decision against Sam in a November elimination fight, which propelled him into the title fight with Hasim Rahman.
"People say Sam is too tough for Evander at this point, but that is what gets Evander up to fight, a threat," Muhammad said.
Muhammad said whomever Holyfield fights, it would be in November. He said he has spoken to Maskaev promoter Dennis Rappaport about making a Maskaev-Holyfield title bout, but that the timing wouldn't work for it to happen this year.
"Dennis knows how to make a deal, but that fight won't happen this year," Muhammad said. "Maybe early next year. We would be honored for Maskaev to fight Holyfield."
Castillo was fined the maximum $250,000 and suspended for the remainder of 2006 for failing to make the 135-pound limit for his June 3 rubber match with Corrales, the second fight in a row against Corrales that Castillo has missed weight. Ultimately, the fight was canceled. Corrales went through with their second fight in October 2005 despite the weight discrepancy and was knocked out in the fourth round of what became a non-title bout.
Shaw said the commission should have revoked Castillo's license, which would have meant Castillo wouldn't be eligible to apply for a license until at least June 2007. In addition, he would have had to go through a hearing in front of the commission before being granted a license.
"I think it's a travesty for Chico Corrales that they didn't invite him to come and testify," Shaw said. "Corrales should have been asked to speak and been able to talk about how the situation impacted him and his life, and what he went through in training while he suffered to make weight. There is no justice here."
Shaw was also disgusted by the fact that the commission complimented Castillo for rejecting the gruesome suggestion by one of his camp members that he withdraw some of his blood to help Castillo make weight.
"The fact that they complimented Castillo for making the decision not to have his blood drawn is a disgrace," Shaw said. "What they should have done is compliment Chico for making the weight honestly. Castillo couldn't even make it dishonestly."
Shaw said he has never believed that Castillo tried to sincerely make weight, as Castillo told the commission. He said Castillo promoter Bob Arum called him the day before the weigh in and told him he didn't think Castillo was going to make weight.
"They thought what happened last time would happen again -- that we would agree to a new weight and go through with the fight," Shaw said. "This whole thing is just so upsetting. I am not saying they should terminate Castillo's license forever because this was not [Mike] Tyson biting [Evander] Holyfield's ear. But they should have revoked his license and given him a more severe punishment. Make him work to get it back.
"Chico and the public were the two victims here. It's bad for boxing. What did they do? Where was the real punishment for what went on, especially after he embarrassed the commission the way he did?"