Tag Archives: Boxing

Boxing Preview: Timoth Bradley vs. Juan Manuel Marquez

The last two men to beat Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao square off in a little over a week. Other than the one similarity of having beaten Manny, the two men couldn’t be any more different. Even the ways the beat Pac Man were different.

Timothy Bradley won in a controversial decision whereby any on lookers with eyes; full with functioning retinas, corneas and pupils, would agree that he lost. The judges, including now shamed judge C.J. Ross, saw differently. Presumably because they lack functioning retinas, corneas, pupils and other eye parts that people have.

Juan Manuel Marquez was also losing the “eye” test until he took matters into his own hands and knocked Pacquiao out. He hit Manny with a well timed counter punch that left the champion face first on the mat.

Apart from how they went about handing Manny L’s they have a myriad of other differences. Marquez is an aggressive counter puncher. Which is kind of rare. He is patient but when he sees an opening he cuts it loose and let’s his fists fly. He’s got a lot of power as well. Marquez has got a touch chin and if a fight ever degenerates into a brawl, which can happen, he’s not only capable of staying in the fight, you better believe he can win it. He’s the boxing equivalent of the Terminator, not matter what happens he just keeps on coming. He doesn’t even age. He’s 40 and some would argue he’s at the top of his game (and really needs your clothes, your boots, and your motorcycle).

Timothy Bradley is another story entirely. For starter’s he’s 30 years old, a full decade younger than Marquez. He’s more of a technical fighter. He’s sharp and defensive, sort of like a poor man’s Floyd Mayweather (this is not an insult, I promise). He likes to be elusive defensively and then pick apart other fighters from afar. He’s more of a boxer than a puncher. This basically means that if the fight turns into a brawl Bradley’s in trouble. His last foray into brawling was not very successful as Bradley just escaped with a victory over Ruslan Provodnikov.  In one  round of the fight Bradley got caught on the chin and while he showed tremendous  will in staying on his feet, his was also bouncing off the ropes and rocking back and forth hilariously like a human punching dummy. If anything he survived that fight more than he won it. Still if Bradley stays in his game plan he’s a quality fighter that can be hard to beat. The fact that no one is sure what he’ll do makes him a complete wild card.

Bradley lands jab against Provodnikov (Source: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America http://www4.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Ruslan+Provodnikov+Timothy+Bradley+v+Ruslan+tUEis5bQmIJl.jpg)


Marquez has the edge in this fight. Stylistically he’s more versatile than Bradley is, and he’s more durable. Bradley offers a threat if the fight stays slower and one man has to out box the other. If for any reason,  this fight picks up in pace Marquez wins it because of the different ways that he’s able fight, and his knockout power a department that Bradley lacks in. The fight could be entertaining Bradley decides to box. He’s very good at it. He decides to brawl though, it’s not going to be pretty.

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The Myth of the Super Fight

Fans would love to see a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight but, it won’t save boxing.

Why do we watch sports? We want to see athletes persevere against odds, mental and physical, real or imagined. We want to see the best in the world perform their craft and do things that we’ve never seen. We want to see the best of the best use their skills against each other to determine which of them is truly the greatest.

It’s simple, really.

What’s wrong with boxing? They, or casual fans anyway, don’t get to see how many boxers persevere against odds. The big names are really all they know. The die-hards know but there aren’t a ton of them left.

They don’t get to see them perform their craft. Not in a way that economically feasible for a lot of fans, especially in America. Fights can be around $55 for non HD and $65 for HD. That’s a lot for just one night of boxing.

They don’t get to see the best because the best duck each other. The best don’t to fight each other for millions, they want to fight each other for tens of millions.

Honestly, a super fight seems like the only way to fix this. It has the adversity, the best fighters on the biggest stage, and the two best fighters fighting one another. Many fans think this way. It meets all of the requirements as to why we watch sports and, it’s all in one convenient little package for everyone. Doesn’t that seem a bit deus ex machina? That’s because it is. This way of thinking is fundamentally flawed because nobody asks one big question.

What happens after the fight?

Do we expect new fans inspired by the glory of the one night affair (that probably cost them $65 to see) to start spending money and rejuvenate the sport? It’s not realistic in any sense of the word. This is all of course assuming that the fight is any good in the first place. That there wasn’t a bad decision or an early knockout.

The fact of the matter is that boxing needs a change from the top down. There’s no need to keep dreaming of the magical super fight that will change everything. The fans are the people with the power. However, as long as they continue to pay for an inferior product, the product itself will continue to be terrible and there’s nothing Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Manny Pacquiao can do about that.

Don’t forget to comment below and add your opinions to the conversation.

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5 Steps That Will Save Boxing

Boxing is corrupt. This is news to no one. It’s a dying sport on it’s last leg because it has betrayed the trust of it’s fans over and over again. Boxing fans are the most patient people in the world. They continue to put money up for a product that fails them time and again. On Sunday we answered the question of whether or not boxing was still alive and if it was worth saving.

It’s a touchy subject because the truly die-hard boxing fan really believes the sport can turn around. Many of them, like myself, have come to appreciate mixed-martial arts and UFC for what it offers that boxing cannot. I’m not talking about the product in the ring or octagon. I’m a boxing guy. Always have been, always will be but, boxing fan needs to admit the UFC does many things as far as enhancing the product so that even the casual fan might come around to enjoy it in a way that boxing simply does not. This doesn’t have to be the case. Boxing can be saved. Here’s how:

Get Rid of Promoters

The real stars of boxing are it’s fighters. Leeching off of their success are promoters. The two biggest culprits being Top Rank and Golden Boy promotions. The sport is no longer about the best fights, it’s about how much money promoters can make. This is bad for fight fans and the fighters themselves, who want to put on a good show and prove they’re the best. This system is broken and as long as the old men lining their pockets are allowed to keep control the sport will suffer. I guarantee you that we won’t see Pacquiao vs. Mayweather until these two guys are old and it won’t matter anymore because they’ll be well past their primes.

Start A League

Boxing is currently disorganized. This is the biggest disadvantage it has to the world of MMA. The UFC is king. The best fighter in the world at any given weight division is the one who has the belt. Instead of having a million different boxing federations. Unify the belts under one league. That’s right, all of them. The WBA, WBC, IBF, and the WBO. All of them.

Another advantage of having a league is that the best fighters will always fight. Gone would be the scenarios where a fighter for Golden Boy won’t fight a Top Rank fighter because of whatever silly dispute they happen to be having at the time. No more guys ducking fights to maintain perfect records or winning streaks. The league would decide who would fight and they would fill out the whole card. If a fighter tried to duck a fight he would lose his place in the league similar to what is done by Dana White in the UFC.

Fund Amateur Fighting

Push for boxing to be more prominent in high schools and colleges. This is important. Many UFC stars like Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen started their careers in wrestling which is already prominent in high school and colleges. Developing exciting fighters will pay dividends. Boxing is at it’s best as far as attracting casual fans when Americans are relevant. Building the program up is important.

Equally as important is a place for amateurs to fight when they become pro. There are two options here. The first is a minor league of sorts. A lower level owned by the league to groom future talent in a similar fashion to major league baseball. The second option is to allow smaller leagues to feed into the bigger one like Strikeforce did for the UFC before the UFC bought it. This option though, requires having a monopoly on the market, which is extremely hard to do for obvious reasons.

Remember The Fans

As I’ve mentioned before boxing fans are extremely loyal. Lately, all they’ve taken is a lot of abuse from the sport that they love. That’s not fair. Once things get organized keeping the fans in mind is a top priority. Have boxing events for the fans. Once again I reference the UFC. They have fan expos that give fans the opportunity to meet fighters and get autographs and pictures. It let’s fans get up close and personal with the people whose strength and skills they admire. Failure to appreciate the fans in the UFC could lead to a possible ban. That might be too much but it stresses a point. The people who pay for the product should be part of what they are helping to build.

Give The Fans Quality Fights For “Free”

Obviously nothing on TV is free. It’s a business advertisers pay for space and you the viewer watch commercials to make that investment worthwhile. When I see free I mean that the fans, both casual and die-hard, don’t have to pay out of pocket for every fight. Give them a fight on a major network or, at the very least a cable network. Having to cough up PPV money for fights that don’t always pan out doesn’t sit well with most fans, as you can well imagine. Sometimes we’re force fed stars that don’t make it and forced to pay to watch a fight  of a guy that might make it.

ESPN Friday Night Fights are simply not good enough. It’s inexpensive to watch but, the fighters are unknowns to a lot of casual fans. Giving a little quality away for “free” helps to grow the fan base. It draws in casual fans and makes the die-hards happy.

These are the things that will change boxing, and save it. There’s no doubt that a broken system will die. The beautiful thing is if the system changes, and I believe it will out of necessity, boxing can continue to survive and even flourish. However boxing fans have to stop feeding the system. One thing that fight fans can do to change this is to stop wishing for a mystical superfight that will change everything. Stop wishing for Pacquiao and Mayweather.

Come back Friday and I’ll explain why.

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Is Boxing Dead?

I was watching the UFC on Fox last night when I had a thought. Why doesn’t boxing do something like this? I don’t mean ESPN Friday Night Fights. The fighters there are often times up and coming fighters showing promise. They aren’t the best and we all know it. No, I’m referring to an event where fans can watch quality fights and fighters on TV without having to shell out money on PPV. This is an opportunity for boxing to reconnect with it’s fans and gain new ones. I’m not a huge MMA fan but, I watched the UFC on Fox 2 fights and really enjoyed it. Last night Lyoto Machida had a stunning knock out victory that earned him a title shot and rematch against Jon “Bones” Jones (we’ll talk more about that later) and I didn’t have to pay a dime for it. Why can’t it be the same for boxing?

The fact of the matter is this boxing is a dinosaur. It’s not dead but if it doesn’t evolve soon it will be. It has been in a very clear decline for at least a decade, maybe more. The sport is broken on nearly every level. Every year there’s a scandal with some nonsense that tarnishes the reputation of the sport some more. Look no further the Timothy Bradley’s “victory” over Manny Pacquiao  to see this. Anybody with a pair of eyes could see that Pacquiao was winning that fight. He was more productive throwing and landing more punches than Bradley, and he was more dominant landing more power punches and making Bradley wobble at least 3 times. Even Bradley thought he lost the fight. Inexplicably the judges awarded the fight to Bradley. If this doesn’t change boxing will die.

The judges may be either stupid or corrupt. I have no proof and there is no way to really tell. However, we have know for years how corrupt boxing promoters can be. They don’t care about the fans, they barely care about the fighters but, they care about money. That’s why it’s okay for them if fighters get screwed. Pacquiao will get his rematch with Bradley and while both fighters will make quite a bit of money it stands to reason that Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, who promotes both fighters, stands to make the most money in this whole affair. Promoters are crooks and chief among them is Bob Arum. If Arum appealed to get the decision overturned it may have happened, Pacquiao and Bradley are both his fighters after all. Bob Arum wants to get paid so he never will.

Not only are promoters corrupt but the whole system of boxing doesn’t make any sense. As James Steadman points out here, there are too many weight classes but, there are also way too many belts. This causes the fans to feel like there is never a true champion. This lack of organization polarizes fans and turns away new fans. Another reason why having no singular body govern boxing is that there is no real attempt being made to grow the sport. All of these organizations rely and the die-hard fan while making no attempt to add more fans.

This disorganization hurts the sport on it’s most basic level. The fighters themselves. The boxers of today are not as good as they used to be. I’m not an old fogey grumbling for kids to get off of his lawn while brandishing a shotgun, I’m 22 years old for goodness sake. The truth is still the truth. You could make a case for Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, and the Klitschko brothers. That’s it. Four fighters in the whole world are even truly worth mentioning and the casual fan knows them and nobody else, if even that. If there was more organization money could be put into amateur fighting. Growing the future of the sport. Especially in America. The sport was at it’s best when there were prominent American fighters. Where will they come from if they’re not trained?

There is no doubt that boxing is busted, broken in nearly aspect. There is a way to fix it though, one fail-proof solution that could change everything. Come back Wednesday when we’ll talk about how to save boxing.

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Open Letter to NBC: Stop Bungling The Olympics

Dear NBC,

For a company that has been around since 1926 you all sure don’t know anything about television. For those of you wondering this isn’t at all about NBC’s failure to find entertaining programming of any kind (except 30 Rock, that show is hilarious). No this isn’t even about how the big brains of the network are hell bent on canceling good shows that they do have. This is about Olympic coverage and how it simply hasn’t been good.

The first thing about NBCs Olympic coverage that didn’t work was the opening ceremony. Aired on NBC as though it were a live event. We know it’s not live NBC. You don’t have to pretend. We just want to see the pageantry not hear Matt Lauer’s inane drivel the whole time. Seriously. Lauer shut up. He talked over the whole thing and it wasn’t even necessary. It was just annoying.

The second complaint actually doesn’t have anything to do with NBC completely. They interviewed random people about the Queen’s entrance in the opening ceremony and among the random people they interviewed, boxing legend Evander Holyfield. The depressing thing about this of course is that they didn’t recognize Evander. At all. This is an NBC fail but also it signifies something much more depressing. Boxing is a dying sport, if it’s not dead already and trust me, we are all worse off for that.

Thirdly, NBC and this is where you really blow hard. Your promo for the interview with Missy Franklin on the Today show about how she won gold on the 100M backstroke aired before the race itself aired. Directly before it aired. Maybe that’s laziness, poor planning, someone who fell asleep on the job, or all of the above but you know what else it was? Stupid. I like the suspense of watching live sports events but since you decided to air pre-recorded events NBC, the least you could do is let me pretend it’s live. I hide the results from myself the least you could do is not spoil the whole thing for me.

The Olympic events themselves haven’t been failures. The Women’s Olympic team had a dominant performance. Michael Phelps became the greatest Olympian of all time when he got his 19th gold medal in the relay. Ye Shiwen the Chinese swimmer has been dominating and that’s been very impressive to watch. France and Argentina had a fantastic basketball game and Team USA is steamrolling everything in it’s path. The Olympics have been good, with no thanks to NBC, because despite what would seem to be the network’s mission to sabotage the games. The athletes continue to rise to the occasion putting on brilliant performances time after time. That is what the Olympic Games are truly about.

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Friday Fast Forward: A Look into the weekend of sports. (Baseball,Boxing, and UFC)

I’ve gotta try something new here. Lots of things happen every weekend and it seems like I don’t get to touch on all of them. This weekend is particularly busy. The MLB is going to have it’s Independence Day weekend of baseball, David Haye is going to fight VVladimir Klitschko, and Urijah Faber takes on Dominick Cruz in the main card of UFC 132.

A Look At The Weekend in Baseball.

An interesting pitching duel is going down this weekend when the Los Angeles Dodgers take on the their rivals the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for the first game of that series. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw against Angels ace Jered Weaver. The Dodgers aren’t exactly having a season to remember, but this is rivalry worth watching. Whenever pitchers of this level get together I find it pretty difficult to miss.

The Yankees won the first game of the Subway series against their rivals the Mets on Friday, but this series is far from over. The Yankees are a scoring machine, but the Mets have been playing extremely well as of late. The Mets have won 6 of their last 8 games. Jason Bay has been on a tear and Jose Reyes continues to be a beast. The Yankees will look to score a lot runs as they boast the most potent offense in the major leagues with a league high 5.33 runs per game this season.

The Cleveland Indians would like to win another game against the Cincinnati Reds to prove that they’re not falling back to earth. They’ve lost 4 out of their last 7 games but have won back to back games as of late. Offensively the Indians have been able to rely on DH Travis Hafner who has been hitting .336 on the season. The Reds can match that fire power of course with their very own Joey Votto. This series will be pretty interesting in how it plays out.

In Boxing

Heavyweight fighters David Haye and VVladimir Klitschko go into the ring Saturday night in Hamburg, Germany on HBO. Right now the once proud heavyweight division of boxing is in shambles. There’s no parity in it. There’s nobody who can capture enough interest and have the ability to take out either of the Klitschko’s. David Haye has other plans. He feels that he’s got the skill set psychologically and physically to take VVladimir down. I sure hope so because if Haye were to win, it would be good for boxing. VVladimir is of course a tough opponent. He’s bigger than Haye, he’s got a longer reach, and he’s more experienced. I think this fight will certainly end in a knockout for someone. David Haye is the underdog, but he’s more athletic and faster than Klitschko is. Furthermore if Haye can keep the fight close he gives himself a chance to use his own strength to land some clean shots on VVladimir. This is going to be one of the more exciting heavyweight fights in a long time, especially since all the excitement tends to be in the welterweight, middleweight, and super middleweight divisions.

UFC 132

Also on Saturday night is another fight taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada. With the bantamweight title on the line Urijah Faber will take on Dominick Cruz to become the division’s champ. This is Cruz’s UFC debut, he last fought in December in the WEC. Faber and Cruz don’t particularly like one another as they look to add another chapter to this rivalry.

Wanderlei Silva takes on Chris Leben as the second fight on the card. Silva and Leben are guaranteed to give us a great show. These two men want to knock each other out. They’re strong and each has an extremely good chin, but Silva looks terrifying right now. He’s in extremely good shape and his power looks the same as it ever was.


It’s not a sporting event per se but, I’ll also be keeping an eye on the first weekend of the NBA lockout. Wether or not there will be any decertification of the NBAPA and if the players are willing to go along that route.

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Floyd Mayweather the Money Grabber.

I don’t like Floyd Mayweather. What’s there to like? He’s supremely arrogant, he’s as ignorant as he is arrogant, and he robs boxing fans of great fights. Floyd is very smart. He knows all the right things to say and do to push all the right buttons in the media. I don’t believe, simply based on how Mayweather behaves that he has the proper respect for boxing (see the racist rant that he had about Pacquiao and Philippine people), he treats it like a bank account. He just un-retires and fights somebody who we know he can beat and then takes the resulting giant check all the way to the bank (presumably laughing all the way).

The thing that  makes Floyd unlikable is his way of meticulously choosing fights. Mayweather often selects fights that he can win so that he’ll maintain his undefeated record. This of course involves him fighting guys before or after their prime. Most recently was hugfest . . . errr . . . Mayweather v. Mosley. That fight, as everyone should have expected, was awful. Mosley and Mayweather (both boxers) went for points and there was enough clinching to put any fight fan to sleep. This is what he does and as fans we suffer because we do want to see a good fight.

I bring this up because just like in the Hangover 2; it happened again. This time though instead of catching someone on the back end of their prime Mayweather has caught young WBC welterweight champ Victor Ortiz at the beginning of his. Ortiz had a great fight against Andre Berto. He was knocked down twice early in the fight, rallied and came back with two knockdowns of his own. He’s good fighter with a bright future, but everyone more or less agrees that he doesn’t have enough experience to take on Floyd. He’s about three years too early. I’m not dissing Floyd’s skills. I think he’s a great fighter, but he often does what’s best for his bank account and not what’s best for the sport. Time is quickly running out for the fight that everyone would love to see him fight. We want him to fight Manny Pacquiao obviously, but by the evidence Floyd has given us can we trust that it will happen? If Floyd doesn’t believe he’ll win that fight it’s not happening, I’ll tell you that right now. His perfect record means a lot to him, but if you don’t put that on the line against the very best, what’s the point?

Stuff like this always winds up coming back to what is fundamentally wrong with boxing. In boxing, more often than not, the promoters win, the fighters win, and the fans get shafted. We don’t get to see the best fights, it’s not accessible to new fans, and often times name recognition trumps talent. We all hope that this broken system will get fixed, but while we’re waiting we shouldn’t have to put up with guys like Floyd.

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