Wolak Could Face Foreman or Clottey on Cotto-Mayorga Undercard
New Jersey junior middleweight (154 pounds) Pawel Wolak could face either former world champion Yuri Foreman of New York or ex-titlist Joshua Clottey of Ghana on the pay per view under card of a March 12 main event featuring former world titlist Ricardo Mayorga of Managua, Nicaragua, against WBA junior middleweight king Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, according to Top Rank Promotions CEO, Bob Arum.
Arum, who has the 30-year-old Cotto (35-2, 28 knockouts), will handle the card along with rival and fellow 79-year-old promoter, Don King, who works with the 37-year-old Mayorga (29-7-1, 22 KOs).
"That is absolutely right. Discussions are going on for Wolak to face either Foreman or Clottey," said Arum. "[Top Rank's Hall of Fame matchmaker] Bruce Trampler is handling that. So yes, those match ups are a distinct possibility."
Mayorga was chosen to face Cotto over Wolak (28-1, 18 KOs), unbeaten Armenian-born prospect Vanes Martirosyan (28-0, 17 KOs), of Glendale, Calif., Rigoburto Alvarez (26-2, 19 KOs), of Mexico, and, IBF junior middleweight king Cornelius Bundrage (30-4, 18 KOs), of Detroit.
The 29-year-old Wolak is coming off of a Dec. 4, seventh-round stoppage of Jose Pinzon (18-2-1, 12 KOs), against whom he rose from a second-round knockdown in a middleweight (160 pounds) clash.
Pinzon was a replacement on the Tuesday prior to the fight for junior middleweight and middleweight prospect Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (40-0-1, 30 KOs) after Chavez pulled out with a 103-degree fever.
The victory over Pinzon was the seventh straight for Wolak, including four knockouts, since losing an August of 2008, unanimous 10-round decision to Ishe Smith.
"There's a possibility that Pawel Wolak will be fighting on March 12 on the under card of Miguel Cotto versus Ricardo Mayorga against either Joshua Clottey or Yuri Foreman. There have been discussions, and we're most certainly interested in those fights," said Wolak's manager, Ivan Edwards.
"Either one of them would be an excellent opportunity. Either of these fights would legitimize Pawel Wolak in the eyes of the public," said Edwards. "So it looks like it's either going to be Yuri Foreman or Joshua Clottey. I think that either of those fights would definitely put everyone on notice that he is championship material."
The 30-year-old Foreman (28-1, eight KOs) is coming off of June's ninth-round knockout loss to Cotto, who dethroned him as WBA titlist in the first-ever professional fight to be staged at the new Yankee Stadium in New York.
Foreman suffered a knee injury against Cotto that required successful reconstructive surgery and a summer of rehabilitation before he could return to training and working out in October.
Foreman, who is studying to become a rabbi, became the first Israeli world champion when he dethroned Puerto Rico's Daniel Santos by unanimous decision in November.
The 33-year-old Clottey (35-4, 20 KOs) is looking to return to the ring for the first time since March, when he lost an HBO pay per view televised unanimous decision in the first-ever fight at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium to WBO welterweight (147 pounds) king, Manny Pacquaio (52-3-2, 38 KOs), who is also the current holder of the WBC's junior middleweight belt.
A big, accurate-puncher and a durable fighter who has campaigned mostly as a welterweight, Clottey lost a disputed, split-decision to Cotto in June of 2009 -- the last fight he was involved in before facing Pacquiao.
Nicknamed, "The Grand Master," the muscular, 5-foot-9 Clottey received a career-high $1 million purse against Pacquiao, and has has fought at more than 147 pounds 11 times during his career, including twice at 154.
Clottey (pictured at right) dismantled former southpaw world champion Zab Judah, cutting his rival's face badly on the way to all but scoring a knockout. The result was a ninth-round technical decision in August 2008 that earned Clottey the vacant IBF title.
Clottey's four losses have been against former world champs.
Clottey was ahead on all three judges' cards in November 1999 when he was mysteriously disqualified for an intentional head butt -- during a time when the fighters were at a distance -- on the way to an 11th-round disqualification loss to Carlos Baldomir.
In December 2006, Clottey was ahead after four rounds when he broke one hand and suffered damage in the other that slowed him over the course of a 12-round unanimous decision loss to Antonio Margarito during his initial bid to earn the WBO crown.
"Yuri and Clottey are two, excellent ex-champions, so a win over one of them would establish Pawel Wolak as one of the best junior middleweights out there," said Edwards.
"Wolak has conveyed to me that he wants to fight the best," said Edwards. "Wolak wants to show the world that he is ready to become a champion. I just hope that Mr. Arum give him the nod. After that, Wolak wants the winner between Cotto and Mayorga."