introductions and formalities, you know who this is.
It's your boy and I'm starting off 2011 in a column
format. Gotta get my consistency on and comment on
what the hard game is bringing us inside and outside
of the ring on the steady. Yes, this means a damned
schedule. For those of you who get even a little bit
from what I spit, I'll be cranking one of these out
weekly which is why I got the corny date at the end of
my byline. Up there. Since my piece on B-Hops ignorant
"cultural styles" rant the old man actually fought a
fight you didn't fall asleep watching so I'll also be
giving props to Philly's finest. At the risk of
rambling on any further I'll get this load in my
gloves and start swinging.
Bradley vs. Alexander....
Men have we been
starved for the first real fight of the year, you know
the kind featuring hungry battlers who don't require
prune juice. Bradley vs. Alexander is a "pick 'em" if
I ever saw one, the kind of litmus test we want to see
young championship caliber fighters engage in. The
fact that this fight going forward can create a star,
that there is actual "beef" is sadly lost because of
the attention the inept promotion is getting. This
bout is also overshadowed by the Pacquiao desertion to
Showtime and whispers that HBO overpaid for it in
light of this development. Michigan? A depressed state
that neither fighter hails from is hosting by way of a
fee I'm sure the lead promoter put in Gary Shaw's IRA.
Yeah it was cool to see
Tommy Hearns working the mitts with Bradley but "The
Hitman" can outdraw the 140lb. kingpins in Michigan tomorrow! It's not as if
"Tha Lou" isn't proven; over the last decade St. Louis has
become a solid fight town that WILL turn out for Devon
Alexander. It was such a natural I reserved a spare
bedroom at my baby sister's house in the St. Louis
suburbs. Excuse me for assuming boxing promoters would
stage a bout where they can generate a live gate. I
didn't ponder that all rationality would go out the
window and people actually showing up wouldn't matter.
You can't dismiss a guaranteed turnout in these
economic times, even the NFL is losing folks at the
gate. Hey Tim, got a concern with hometown decisions?
Pick the judges and refs; don't fight in front of
crickets on cable TV.
Holyfield fought, and that was that...
Listening to Evander
say he's on a quest to regain the unified heavyweight
championship reminds me of something even more cliché.
Most of us have to attach noble significance to most
of the hard-headed ill-advised things we do, I call it
the inner license. When strippers tell you they are
saving for college they feel better about the fact
that they just want to strip. When Evander was
actually a player at Heavyweight the belts were losing
relevance and confusing the hell out of mainstream
sports fans. At least Joe Louis could say "hey, I
needed the loot." There's nobility in that. Anyways,
after getting rocked by looping overhand rights from
Sherman "the ESPN tank" Williams, the Real Deal
claimed he couldn't see due to blood from a cut over
his eye. It didn't dawn on anyone involved that psssttt, we can see you!
There's no blood near his
eye! he's quitting. NC 3rd round. In 1997
with a piece of his ear on the floor Evander had to be
restrained from continuing to beat up a dangerous Mike
Tyson. In 2011 the likes of Tank Williams can land
flush shots, open a cut and make him play like he
can't see. This is where we are, funny how Mike turned
out to be the coherent one all these years later.
However, since David
Haye can't seem to beat Tomasz Adamek in the whole
"getting the fight finalized" department maybe he can
give the legend a shot. If not Antonio Tarver is now
on Crispy Cremes and James Toney is probably just as
strapped for cash. Holyfield/Toney 2. "What the hell
else can we do?"
Roger Mayweather avoids jail time...
Not that anyone cares; I just view this column as a
room and Roger as a random vase and chose to put him
here. What did we all learn from this? Well, maybe you
should not rent property from a person who can't seem
to understand that muthafucka isn't a noun. Oh
yeah and don't expect anything concrete until his
nephew can clear up his legal problems. Once Floyd
gets the haters off his back, he'll promptly announce
that he fights when he wants and you're all just
jealous. You can't be him nor can you make his money,
so don't tell him he's got to fight this (insert
racial slur) midget! Hard work and dedication baby:
Mayweather/Pacquiao 2014, The Rivalry.
Rank, Pacquiao bolt for Showtime...
When Pacquiao vs.
Mosley was signed, my thought from a fan perspective
was: this can be an opportunity. This is a chance for
fans to show some muscle and the power of social media
when integrated with protest. We can devalue this
"product" and make it unmarketable to mainstream fans
by getting the word out. "Joe Six-Pack" is not aware
Mosley is aging in dog years and truly shouldn't be
considered for ANOTHER high profile (paying) bout. I
would gladly participate in helping them with a few
choice links of the scared old man that Mayweather
took apart last year. Only in boxing do promoters take
one punch and market the hell out of it as if it were
a good showing. Enter Showtime/CBS and now I'm
conflicted, caught between a worthy cause and the
long-term health of the sport I love. The Showtime
deal is juicy (sorry HBO) with March Madness exposure
and talk show appearances along with the Showtime "Fight Camp 360" documentary series. Frankly
for a while that HBO was looking like an easy mark for
ESPN, with one serious swipe the world wide leader can
jack the complacent network and essentially take the
sport. HBO is blessed that "the" bully never looked
their way, I mean seriously they made poker a heavily
sponsored "sport." Now we have a deal in place that
could open the door for boxing to over 100 million
homes and usher in a 1980's era landscape. However,
this kind of commitment to make Manny a Rock Star is
short sighted because what Arum is serving them isn't
compelling. Yeah, I said it, why should we be gung ho
over seeing Manny become a "Rock Star" on a medium
that requires overall quality? For starters Cotto vs.
Mayorga is going to serve as a test pilot for this
union. Yes, while Sergio Martinez is languishing
waiting for big names, Mayorga gets a platform to
display his exquisite skills in "jackassery' because
lord knows he cant fight anymore.
If the goal is to make
one guy a star, where's the incentive for CBS to stay
in the boxing business? Will there be a free card the
weekend of the bout that reinvigorates mainstream
interest in boxing? To show you how committed the
Pacquiao team is to "stacking the deck," Freddie Roach
is calling for more extensive blood testing for Mosley
than Mayweather required. If you really want to kick
down the door with this deal you don't test Mosley, as
a matter of fact his EPO should be covered by Top Rank
to guarantee a barnburner. Ever notice when talking to
mainstream outlets Arum talks about bringing boxing
back to free TV but the message to us is "Manny's
going to be huge." ESPN's "Around the Horn" covered
the topic Thursday and guess what? They're not buying
anything that isn't involving Floyd Mayweather.
Confused, fight fans?
Which side do you fall on? Protest the status quo or
buy the crappy fight hoping for long-term benefits.
I'm leaning toward protest because this isn't about
boxing; it's about Manny and negotiating muscle over
Mayweather. Top Rank is all out of mismatches for
Manny after Shane, they can't (and wont) deliver CBS
anything that would keep our foot in the door.
Consider this, Roger
Goodell, the most powerful man in sports, responded to
a disgruntled fan's e-mail with a phone call last
week. He knows he is caretaker of the countries most
popular sport, the NFL by far can buy boxing 10 times
over. Yet, lesser men in our sport don't feel
they owe us a damned thing. The NFL is a socialist
entity where cities like Green Bay and Pittsburgh will
surely generate the highest rated Super Bowl ever.
Power mongers in boxing want a monopoly similar to
baseball's, the only problem is New York and Boston at
least have to
play one another.
WBC mandates Hopkins vs. Pascal 2...
Told you I was going to
give the old man props and I didn't bail out on my
word. I'm a man damnit. Hopkins schooled Pascal,
pulling himself up from five points down and
validating his license to do battle as well as get
discounts at Denny's. I feel for "Bad Chad" Dawson but
he has no case for a spot in line in front of the
Philly legend. There's plenty to do and if he wants to
stay busy he can take on the winner of Yusef Mack/Otis
Griffin or see if he can get a crack at rugged Tavoris
Cloud. Sitting around waiting on Bernard Hopkins
(he'll win the rematch easier) will be futile because
Nard wanted no part of him in the first place. I'm
afraid to comment on the WBC doing the right thing
because I know this is but a rare speck of reason in
the grand scheme of things.
Stealing the last Round
So now Andre Berto can
make 140lb after slapping around a succession of
chumps and forgetting how to spell "Collazo." The
funny thing is I can't understand why GBP would cash
Victor Ortiz out like that; he's not elite but he's a
good looking Mexican kid you can market. Sergio
Martinez and Paul Williams deserve HBO's support and
build up to a third bout. They send their cameras to
Klitschko's turf; why not a double bill in Argentina
featuring a Lucas Matthysse vs. Marcos Maidana clash?
Speaking of Matthysse, his eighth round TKO vs. "Chop
Chop" Corley was a referendum on forced retirement.
Corley, like a lot of shopworn veterans is in a severe
pickle, He went down 8 times vs. Matthysse. In his
quest to care for his children he may not be able to
enjoy them. I'd love to see Amir Kahn tackle a
slickster like Lamont Peterson and see if he can
upstage his stable mate (Ortiz) with a definitive win
on HBO. Tim Bradley won't be the only shredded
physique on the airwaves Saturday night. Forty-eight
years old Herschel Walker will be taking on Scott
Carson in his second Strikeforce MMA bout on Showtime.
If Juan Manuel Marquez is reduced to fighting Eric
Morales he should get a "walk away" check from Manny
Pacquiao added to his purse. Big props to John Duddy,
he wasn't feeling it and he responded according to his
truth. No need to fight trumped up Irish showdowns and
padding everybody else's pocket, if he has saved well
he should enjoy his life.
That's it, I'm thru,
now cut 'em off before the Commission rep comes in
For Fight Recaps between January and June 2010, click
For Fight Recaps between January and May 2009, click
Fight Recaps - Part I - (January-May 2009)
For Fight Recaps starting June 2009, click
Fight Recaps - Part II - (June-December 2009)