Monthly Archives: May 2016

Bob Arum vs Al Haymon~Who You Got?

The Skinny: Top Rank Boxing through the direction of former US Department of Justice Attorney and long time boxing promoter, Bob Arum, filed a $100 million lawsuit last year in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on the basis of Al Haymon’s monopolistic PBC series that violated federal antitrust laws and the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act. Haymon, financed through an investment hedge fund, basically bought out most all the boxing programing  of the television networks, in effect leaving the rest of boxing promoters pretty much high and dry in making their own TV deals. Golden Boy Promotions was the first to file suit that is still pending for a much greater sum due to greater damages, a staggering $300 million.

The Blow by Blow

The Blow by Blow

It seems Haymon recently settled with Arum out of court a couple of weeks ago according to latest media releases, but what this means for boxing’s shaky future is unknown. Boxing futures today as seen by young kids and their parents are pretty much a no go investment, this after a long storied era in the US where boxing was the “go to” sport and part of the amateur athletic competition of  higher education along side baseball, football, ect. That status started dying somewhere between the 1950s and 60s when boxing finally started falling out of favor with the public due to the long time mob influence in pro boxing and general exploitation of fighters. In other words, the educated classes no longer saw a future need for boxing with it’s subsequent punch drunkeness, so they largely abandoned it.

Needless to say, this recent settlement sees the litigants sworn to silence regarding the terms, but I’d guess Arum netted $20-30 million along with in number of concessions regarding the way boxing business will go forward.

The much bigger hurdle for Haymon is still in the queue, and it’s a doozy with Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy still waiting for his pound of flesh after Haymon colluded with former Golden Boy CEO, Richard Schaefer, to gut the company from within, taking away most all his fighters. Schaefer has settled with GB out of court already, so now it’s just Haymon still swimming in shark infested waters as GB and Haymon’s investment fund are looking for compensatory justice in the civil courts.

Boxing will survive no doubt, but it’s just a matter to what degree. It would seemingly be in it’s twilight years by the large decline in the numbers of participants, both amateur and pro, but that could change with a better, more productive business model that wasn’t filled with so much skulduggery…

…And the beat goes on…

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***VADA Spoiler Alert***Alexander Povetkin vs Deontay Wilder

WBC heavyweight belt holder, Deontay Wilder, 36-0, 35 KO, goes against mandatory challenger, Alexander Povetkin, 30-1, 22 KO, at Khodynka Ice Palace, Moscow, this Saturday on May 21st.

Or not.

Seems the dirty sport of boxing and drug testing have created a mess that threatens each more than they realize. You can read about my previous take on the grazing herds of the fighting boxing media and neo-Nazi drug testing cartels here that ultimately exposed the hypocrisy of TUE 49-0 Floyd Mayweather as the liar and cheat he deserved to be all along.

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/lance-armstrong-vs-the-world-manny-pacquiao-vs-boxing/

However, this is all about Alexander Povetkin vs Deontay Wilder on May 21st, 2016, where after 3 previous April drug tests were passed by Povetkin, suddenly he failed 4th one with a low doses of what was a legal substance until January 1st of this year, meldonium, triggering the fight cancellation or postponement depending on which official or which fight camp is talking.  Jeez, you might ask, just what in the name of John L Sullivan is this meldonium stuff and how can it just suddenly appear?

One might suppose that meldonium is related to vibranium mixed with tooth faery dust, but NOOOOO, over 100 athletes have been caught unawares this year already for meldonium traces. No telling how many were caught for using asthma inhalers or the thousands of supplement products causing trace drug fail results every year, likely much like this case where many Russian supplements may well contain some meldonium because it’s perfectly legal there. How can we tell when most all the world is infested with what the drug testing cartels deem illegal?

Why o Why? Some of us ask the same suspect boxing officials and drug testing employees, why they can’t pass their own tests? I’ll tell you why, because they’re not obligated to test themselves, but instead chose to insure that their own messes don’t stink by not participating in their fraud. I myself could pass every test but the one for beer traces, and oh to hear the slings and missives hurled my way for being a drug cheat…only in boxing.

This latest drug testing disaster was all foretold in advance when the two different classes of snakes decided to engage the unholy marriage dance with each other. There have been no big fails as the boxing cognoscenti predicted, only little nickle and dime stuff with the one exception, the USADA’s TUE 49-0 Therapeutic User Exemption swept under the Vegas commish handy rug with the rest of the trash they try to hide. The  exemption was found to be  submitted for approval  to the Vegas commish a full 3 weeks after the fight ended, utterly shameless.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars have already been lost in expensive training preparation for the Povetkin/Wilder fight, and may magnify to 20+ millions lost if this fight can’t be properly rescheduled as the usual shady suspects dicker over what amounts to much ado about nothing. Just pitiable, but such is not only reflective of the current state of boxing, but also that of the world.

 

Joseph Parker To Tangle With Carlos Takam

Joseph Parker, 18-0, 16 KO, takes on his most difficult challenge yet when he tangles with Carlos Takam, 33-2-1, 25 KO, in a 12 round heavyweight IBF elimination bout, Saturday, May 21 at the Vodafone Events Centre, Manukau City, New Zealand. The winner gets a crack at the winner of the upcoming Anthony Joshua IBF title defense against Dominic Breazeale.

Carlos Takam vs Joseph Parker

Carlos Takam vs Joseph Parker

Takam, a 35 year old France based Cameroonian, gave former WBA champ Alexander Povetkin one of his toughest fights in 2014 before succumbing. Listed on Boxrec just under 6-3 and in the 240 lb range, here he is standing slightly back from the listed 6-4, 240 lb Parker, so even allowing for that diminishing perspective factor, likely Takam is slightly shorter than listed and/or Parker slightly taller.

No matter, it’s who wins that matters to the fighters, not size differences which are but one of a myriad factors in any fight. New Zealand born and recently relocated to Las Vegas,  the 24 year old Parker is the young gun projected to be the favorite and the winner, but even at his best it’s likely to be a tough bout for him. It goes without saying that Takam is the hungrier, more experienced fighter here, a very dangerous proposition for any heavyweight no matter how credentialed.

We’ll see how well Parker responds to this new challenge of Takam that both need to advance further through the ranks, so fair play all and a big thanks from the boxing public for making such a good bout.

Shock & Awe~Canelo vs Amir Khan

Now that seismic tsunami waves created by the Thunderclap announcement of Saul Alvarez vs Amir Khan have finally died out, here they’ll be on this Cinco de Mayo weekend to inaugurate the spanking brand new T-Mobile in Las Vegas @ 155lb catchweight, the new Caneloweight class. What comes next?

Back to 2015 for context: Fans of both Miguel Cotto and Canelo were highly disappointed over that light sparring match for the legendary WBC/Ring/Lineal middleweight title after expecting a well waged WAR for the ages given their usually fan friendly styles. Fans of Khan have been long disappointed over his lack of top ten opponents since being knocked out by Danny Garcia in 2012. Upon announcement of this fight, based upon expectations on paper, ie their records, Canelo knocks Khan out all day every day and twice on Sundays, and true, that may well come to pass, but Khan does have some upside on Canelo starting with nominally better handspeed and the kind of fleet running footspeed that could dampen Canelo’s offense. If Khan manages to survive the distance, then according to unwritten boxing code, that means he exceeded expectations, meaning he may cop the decision regardless how many might think Canelo won it in a landslide. Decisions, sometimes even knockouts these days, are too often a crapshoot in boxing. Who could ever really win or lose when boxing’s officiating/scoring rules are so backward, corrupt, and unenforceable that they literally create negative feedback from fans every other fight week? Especially grievous are when Al Haymon fighters are on the cards, and guess what, Khan is currently one of 200 fighters “advised” by Haymon.

The Money Fighter: This fight was designed for the 25 year old Canelo, 46-1-1, 32 KO, to secure a big payday before the Gennady Golovkin fight that we all hope we’ll see later this year. Although Canelo was brought up hard in the traditional Mexican way, he now occupies a rare high niche as the future of high level boxing along with the newly minted Brit Anthony Joshua. His critics have long moaned over his supposed favored status, but critics are always moaning about everyone and everything anyway, especially Canelo even when he fights top contenders. Now he enters into the main of his prime still huge in Mexico, yet still developing internationally, so enter Khan and the potential harvest of new British fans who may like what they see in their first viewing if Canelo seals the deal.

The Hype That Didn't Deliver

The Hype That Didn’t Deliver

The Wannabe Money Fighter: The now 29 year old Khan, 31-3, 19 KO, was the sorta money fighter for a while, but Golden Boy could only keep him propped up so long. After his setbacks, he disappeared from the mainstream, only surfacing during petty twitter nonsense. As a former Olympic Silver medalist, he had turned pro with a lucrative contract and guaranteed popularity until he started opening his mouth to repeatedly insert his foot. Then came the humiliating 54 second first round knockout at the explosive hands of Breidis Prescott. Devastated personally by such a brutal loss and subsequent derision by Brits who loved his cocky comeuppance, he soon fled the British Isles for a productive maturing phase to be trained by Freddie Roach, but seemed to be off mentally in the ring the few times he was matched up hard as if he never actually learned to actually fight and strategize other than going through basic boxing mechanics that put him further back of the pack with a couple more losses. Recently completing a succession of interim and vacant WBC silver titles, he now goes for one of the most prestigious titles ever, the Lineal/Ring/WBC middleweight title held by Canelo, a humongous step from where he’s ever been before, but as legendary English Poet Robert Browning once asked three centuries back, “if a man’s reach can’t extend beyond his grasp, then what’s a heaven for?”

Canelo vs Khan

Canelo vs Khan

Khan has the sort of flashy hand and foot speed with eye popping combinations to dazzle judges, yet the individual talents never added up for the expected whole package down to the mental letdowns and somewhat fragile chin. In contrast, Canelo turned pro as a 15 year old kid Julio Cesar Chavez style and worked his way up a very competitive Mexicano food chain to the point where his startling looks in an otherwise mostly mono physiotypical culture combined with his youth and fighting ability to make him a huge star. He’s not blessed with flashy physical attributes that wow the casual fan, but every physical and mental attribute that he needs in boxing he has in plenty enough abundance, sorta like an all around B+/A- student beating out all the honor students on college entrance examines and in the workforce. The sum of his individual talents have thus far proven greater than the expected whole.

It helps in the English speaking culture Canelo primarily operates out of these days that he doesn’t yet speak English very well, perhaps mitigating any potential “gotcha” stupid comments. The press takes great joy in baiting those unfamiliar with the dirty machinations of the media. Poor Khan in contrast, continues to step in one public mess after another because he does speak English and is not shy about expressing himself.

The Officiating: This being Las Vegas, you can bet your last dollar on it, the officiating is generally atrocious. Kenny Bayless is the assigned referee who most notably as far as Canelo is concerned, allowed TUE 49-0 to headbutt Canelo with impunity in the early stages of that fight as well as warning Canelo for a low tap he delivered to let TUE know he needed to release his simultaneous choke hold while lacing his face with the tape on his gloves, all while Bayless stood by pretending to be a statue until Canelo roused him from his stupor by issuing his love tap. So no love for Canelo by Bayless who would also appear to favor Haymon fighters. Judges are: Adalaide Byrd, Glenn Trowbridge and Glenn Feldman who is the only non Nevada resident of the bunch to make the officiating appear at least somewhat fair, yeah, right. Byrd is an horrific judge who favors light hitting/hard running American boxer types, an unholy alliance that has literally eliminated boxing as a traditional sport of combat and popularity. She seemingly would favor Khan, especially since he’s become an American trained, American based fighter. Trowbridge seems to be a low profile type on the right side of the scoring scale in the few big fights I used to establish context for him. Feldman operates normally in the northeast US, most recently in the Adrien Broner vs Ashley Theophane joke this April Fool’s 1st in Washington, DC, a place rife with specious officiating as one might expect from the seat of US government these days.

Bayless nets $4,150 as  the judges net $2,950 for the gig, but of course these are chump change figures released for the rubes. There is no telling what’s going on under the table behind the scenes.

So, stylistically, Khan has to implement an effective hit and run style to have any chance of surviving to win a decision. In contrast, Canelo is basically a well balanced fighter both on offense and defense who can pretty much do it all when needed. His style perhaps best described as counterpuncher/slugger against powerful fighters or a cautious boxer/counterpuncher in some of his less compelling fights against boxers where he concentrates on not making any mistakes, so in his fashion he boxes with boxers, and punches with punchers.

That would seem to indicate Canelo would box with Khan to put steady but careful pressure on him, making sure the public gets to see Khan running the extra mile in the ring to avoid contact. He surely knows he’s expected to knockout Khan and generally abhors disappointing his fans. Can he deliver this go round?

Young Canelo muscling up to Golovkin

Young Canelo muscling up to Golovkin