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'Big Show' time for MayweatherWhen Floyd "Money" Mayweather was a kid, he loved professional wrestling. He wanted to be a wrestler. Even today, he remembers his favorites: Hulk Hogan, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, Tito Santana and Junkyard Dog. Now, having conquered boxing, the undefeated pound-for-pound king is giving wrestling a shot.
Take of the tape
|Floyd Mayweather||The Big Show|
Pacquiao-Marquez II a hit
Chris Cozzone/AFP/Getty Images
All parties walked away winners after Pacquiaol, left, and Marquez met in their rematch.
No Vera-Lee rematch
Can you say 'rematch'? Vera, left, and Lee can't.
• The bad cut Manny Pacquiao suffered over his right eye in his junior lightweight championship victory against Juan Manuel Marquez two weeks ago will not deter him from moving up to lightweight to challenge titleholder David Diaz on June 28 in an HBO PPV fight at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. "The status of the June card is that Manny will be ready to fight without any question," promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.com. "They took out the stitches last Friday and you can hardly see anything. Manny will start training for the fight in Los Angeles in mid-April. We're sending out the contracts to David."
• Showtime is working on a deal with British promoter Mick Hennessy to televise junior welterweight titleholder Junior Witter (36-1-2, 21 KOs) in a mandatory defense against Timothy Bradley (21-0, 11 KOs) May 10 in England on a special edition of "ShoBox," the prospect-oriented series that has followed Bradley's rise. The card would also feature the rescheduled super middleweight title eliminator between Carl Froch (22-0, 18 KOs) and Denis Inkin (32-0, 24 KOs), a match which was originally supposed to air on "ShoBox" March 29 but was postponed because Inkin had a medical issue.
• Heralded Cuban Olympic gold medalist Yuriorkis Gamboa (9-0, 8 KOs), who is slated to make his HBO debut in a May 17 tripleheader, is in need of a new opponent. Marcos Ramirez (25-0, 16 KOs) withdrew from the junior lightweight bout because of personal issues. The two junior middleweight TV bouts remain intact: James Kirkland vs. Eromosele Albert and Alfredo Angulo vs. Richard Gutierrez.
• The big show planned for April 18 in Dubai has been called off, matchmaker Sampson Lewkowicz told ESPN.com. He said the reason for the cancellation was because the financial backers there didn't meet certain financial deadlines. Nonito Donaire was to defend his flyweight title in the main event against Hussein Hussein, but now Donaire manager Cameron Dunkin is looking for another fight. Ulises "Archie" Solis's junior flyweight title defense against Juanito Rubillar has found a new home, though. It will take place May 17 in Mexico on the Top Rank PPV undercard of Jorge Arce's next bout. Lewkowicz said Donnie Nietes' strawweight defense against Daniel Reyes probably will move to a May card in the Philippines. The only bout that won't be rescheduled is ex-lightweight titleholder Julio Diaz's match against Ranee Ganoy.
• Lightweight contender Zahir Raheem was forced to withdraw from an April 18 ESPN2 "Friday Night Fights" main event after he was involved in a car accident this week. He was driving promoter Tony Holden's Escalade when another car broadsided Raheem and totaled the car. Raheem was not seriously injured but he's taking time off from training as a precaution. No replacement fight has been set yet, but one match under consideration is a lightweight eliminator between Ray Narh and Ganoy, who was available when his fight with Diaz on the Dubai card was canceled.
• ESPN and Showtime have reached a deal under which many of Showtime's classic bouts will be replayed primarily on ESPN Classic under the title "Showtime Championship Boxing on ESPN," the networks announced. The show will air Thursday nights (8 p.m., midnight replay) and debuted this week with the now-legendary Diego Corrales-Jose Luis Castillo lightweight title fight from May 2005. The first two Israel Vazquez-Rafael Marquez junior featherweight championship fights air May 15. Here are some other bouts scheduled: Corrales-Joel Casamayor II and James Toney-Evander Holyfield (April 3); Wladimir Klitschko-DaVarryl Williamson (April 10); Ricky Hatton-Ben Tackie and Ricky Hatton-Kostya Tszyu (April 17); Juan Manuel Marquez-Victor Polo (April 24); Joe Calzaghe-Jeff Lacy (May 8); Casamayor-Corrales I (May 15) and Castillo-Casamayor (May 22).
• Philadelphia junior middleweight Anthony Thompson (23-2, 17 KOs), released by Top Rank in January, appears headed to Seminole Warriors Boxing. Thompson manager Cameron Dunkin and Seminole Warriors Boxing's Leon Margules told ESPN.com they are working on a deal. Thompson, 26, was considered a can't-miss prospect at one time. He's been idle since losing a controversial decision to Yuri Foreman last summer.
• Idle since an eye-catching seventh-round TKO of Luis Perez to win a bantamweight title last September on Showtime, Ghana's Joseph "King Kong" Agbeko (25-1, 22 KOs) will return in May. His promoter, Don King, and Warriors' Margules avoided a purse bid and made a deal for Agbeko to face Nicaragua's William Gonzalez, the mandatory challenger. The bout hasn't been scheduled, but both sides told ESPN.com that they've agreed to terms and that it will take place in May. Gonzalez (21-2, 19 KOs) has won five in a row in Central America since losing his only fight in the U.S., a memorable third-round knockout to Jhonny Gonzalez in September 2005.
• On the eve of the annual Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga., the city will host the April 9 season premiere of "Wednesday Night Fights" (ESPN2). The main event features rising flyweight contender Rayonta "Stingray" Whitfield (20-0, 10 KOs) of Augusta against Manuel Vargas (24-2, 10 KOs) in a bout that will serve as a title eliminator in two sanctioning organizations. Whitfield, 26, may be America's best flyweight. Vargas, of Mexico, is on a seven-year, 23-fight winning streak. The winner will have a choice of which title to fight for, either the belt held by Nonito Donaire or by Omar Narvaez.
• Heavyweight Calvin Brock (31-2, 23 KOs), who had surgery to repair retinal damage in his right eye in December, is still uncertain when he'll return to the ring. "Recently I underwent surgery to fix damage in the retina of my right eye, and I am waiting for the damage to heal," said Brock, 33, who was knocked out by Wladimir Klitschko in the seventh round in a November 2006 title challenge and is coming off a decision loss to Eddie Chambers in an eliminator four months ago. "I plan to return to the ring once my eye is 100 percent. Until then I will rest and do what is necessary to help my eye."
• Middleweight titlist Arthur Abraham defends his belt for the seventh time on Saturday against American Elvin Ayala in Kiel, Germany. Although Abraham (25-0, 20 KOs) is a massive favorite against Ayala (18-2-1, 8 KOs), who is best known for drawing with first-season "Contender" winner Sergio Mora in his last fight in October, he and his team insist they aren't looking past Ayala because a loss would crush their plans to come to the U.S. "A victory is very important for Arthur because then he wants to go to the States and make a name for himself there," trainer Ulli Wegner said. Said Abraham, "Kiel is bigger for me at the moment than New York."
• Boxing is certainly a male-dominated sport, but there are many woman who have made a name for themselves. Some of them will be feted at the World Boxing Hall of Fame's "Salute to Women in Boxing" on Sunday in Commerce, Calif. Among the honorees: famed manager Jackie Kallen, known to many as "The First Lady of Boxing"; longtime publicist Debbie Caplan; Lorraine Chargin, who, with her husband Don Chargin, has been a fixture of the California boxing scene for more than 40 years; and former female pound-for-pound No. 1 Lucia Rijker.
"A match-up between me and Ricky will be a super fight, one talked about for as long as there is boxing. No other fight at 140 matters. And before the fight, well, everyone knows that I talk a lot of smack, so Ricky's not going to get any breaks there, either. Me and Ricky can save seeing if we're cool until once we've earned each other's respect at the only place it counts -- in the ring. There is no one, I repeat, no one I want to fight more than the No. 1 guy in the division, Ricky Hatton. Forget the money, forget the titles. This is about being the best." -- Junior welterweight titleholder Paulie Malignaggi, on challenging division champion Hatton this fall if they both on the May 24th card they'll share in Hatton's hometown of Manchester, England.