Monthly Archives: November 2016

Does Vegas Deserve The Vasyl Lomachenko vs Nicholas Walters Fight?

Two-division world champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko, 6-1, 4 KO defends his WBO junior lightweight title against exfeatherweight champ Nicholas Walters, 28-0-1, 21 KO Saturday, November 26, at Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hi-Tech vs The Axe Man

Hi-Tech vs The Axe Man

The Good News: After pricing himself out of the fight earlier, Walters and HBO came to their senses that provided the necessary financial agreements to get the fight out to the public, one of the best projected fights this year.

The Bad News: This is still boxing and worse, boxing in Vegas, so all bets are off unless you’re one of the insiders who control the officiating. Vegas has been on a Big Stink Run with back to back deplorable November scorings when the untested Jessie Magdaleno scored a wide decision over Nonito Donaire in a bout most thought Nonito won. Then the idiocy of the 72 year old Dave Moretti scoring the Pacquiao/Vargas bout close in spite of everyone on the planet earth scoring it wide for Manny even after Bayless missed 3 of the 4 KDs of Vargas. Then the Byrd family last week, Robert allowed dozen of butt attempts by Andre Ward, and when Sergey Kovalev locked his head up, incredibly Byrd warned him for holding plus missing a clear KD in the first round and then ridiculous close decision for Ward which set off social media sites condemning boxing since most had Kovelev winning wide. And dear Adelaide had Maurice Hooker winning wide over Darlez Perez in a fight Perez won every round with crisp signture boxing. The fact that the Byrds could combine to such heights of outrage just underlines how dirty Vegas can be with impunity. They decide who wins for the bookmakers and their little posse of insiders, fighters and fans be damned.

Crawford and Lomachenko deserve much better and have both suffered at the hands of judges. Crawford suffered a Draw against Jason Sosa that should’ve been a win for him, and Lomachenko in just his 2nd bout was the victim of the most vicious coordinated cheating scam in Texas when the dirty Orlando Salido didn’t even try to make weight and hooked up with ref Laurence Cole to deliver a blizzard of low blows and hitting on the break with impunity. And the Three Blind Mice judges somehow thought those were legit shots while Lomachenko without complaint put a masterclass on Salido that had him hanging on for dear life by the end.

Since both are promoted by Arum and are foreign nationals, technically there should be no bias, but bottom dollar is Arum would rather promote Lomachenko than Walters who stiffarmed the fight early this year over ridiculous purse demands. A cool Million buck purse seems to be his obsession in spite of having less the stellar results the since his coming out party against Nonito Donaire. Problem being both have weak fan bases among American fans who prefer the welter divisions and above, but this will still be a lucrative fight relative to their size since Manny Pacquiao made the division more popular with the public.

The Historic News: These fireworks are to be the perfect honorific of this being Bob Arum’s 2000 such staged boxing event in his 50th year of business. I guess if you could pick and choose the greatest of those fights to sit back with plenty of refreshments and time to watch the really great fights, it might take a few months and an eyeball transplant! He has built a climate controlled underground vault to store those uncounted thousands of fights that is said to withstand a nuclear attack.

So this fight is less about casual fans than true boxing aficionados who greatly appreciate the stylistic contrasts and backgrounds of these tough little guys. Vasyl is the boxer and Walters the slugger, but fact is both are fairly well rounded fighters with a lot of pride and discipline, so this a true high end fight of some of the best, most exciting little guys around.

I favor Lomachenko as having the best ever attributes ever displayed upon his pro debut, just 7 fights thus far, he has been utterly sublime. Nobody can be that perfect though, so Walters as the bigger, stronger guy aims to be that monkey wrench tossed into his works. I could not believe my eyes reading that Lomachenko is a 9-1 favorite a week out from the fight that have improved to 11-1 on the eve of the fight.

Folks, both these guys are deserving better than what Vegas serves up, but such is the unfortunate current business model, so make of it what you may. We can only hope the best man wins in this very poor year for boxing.

Krusher Kovalev vs Andre The Ward of Oakland In Vegas?

Heresy I say! The boxing suits finally managed to drag out Andre Ward from his underground manger in Oakland out into the bright lights of the worst nightmare of his dreams, Sergey Kovalev @ the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, Saturday, November 19th in the aftermath of the post US presidential election apocalypse…And?

It was like waiting for the other shoe to drop as the weeks ticked forward. Son of Who? could have bung his knee, dislocated his shoulder, or even suffered a papercut or broken nail at the last minute, but since here is likely more money than he’ll ever see again, and it’s not really that much compared to the bigger boxing draws, his new beleaguered promoter, Roc Nation, finally bucked him up the best they could to send into the trenches.

“Man, how come you so down on Ward?”

Quick answer is, though he mouths off the usual pasty platitudes of respecting boxing and his opponents, in his last fight against Alexander Brand, SOW? took home $850,000 to Brand’s emaciated $30,000, so how is taking on the lowest, most pitiable bidder on the rung willing to fight him for next to nothing respecting the sport? He took 97% of the total purse, tossing the impoverished 3rd world citizen Brand 3% of the gristle, absolutely beyond the pale of common decency. He, boxing officials, establishment media, and his fans have proven to be utterly shameless in his orchestrated promotion to the top, so let’s move on to how this alleged “fight” goes in theory.

In my best loony Uncle Teddy voice shouting out abject TERROR on the air:

Ward is the impala on the savanna and Kovalev the leopard stalking in the grass. The impala knows he makes a good lunch for the leopard, so he has to keep moving and looking sharp. THERE’S A LEOPARD IN THERE HIDING OUT WAITING TO POUNCE ON HIM AND MAYBE LIONS TOO. So, how can the impala figure to get out of this stretch of savanna alive?

“Easy answer is he employs the smartypants loony Uncle Teddy plan.”

The impala needs to keep irregular lateral movements to keep the leopard from setting up to time him, maybe mesmerize him with a feinting shake of his heinie a time or two until he can sprint for more open ground. Sure, Mr. Impala’s got those scary horns that could do terrible damage and all that, but the leopard is smart enough to know not to jump into a dangerous frontal attack. Ultimately the impala has no chance against a leopard, so he has to do what impalas do best if they wanna survive. Don’t slug against a slugger and don’t box against a boxer, and don’t ever fight against a leopard! You run like your smartypants are on FIRE ’til you’re a FIREMAN, and then you run so fast that the fire is extinguished and the leopard becomes but a spot on the horizon before pulling up. Mission Accomplished.

No problems until you get matched against a cheetah, but not now. Better to delay that confrontation for a year or two as you pad out your time against journeyman leopards who don’t know no better, but in the here and now, this Kovalev is a different kind of spotted leopard who knows better than the rest of those bum leopards, so best to move on to Plan C which is pray like a crazy loon and hope the judges and ref bail you out like in your other hometown fights.”

Kovalev vs Ward

Kovalev vs Ward

In a more serious vein, this video might explain the reluctance of top light heavies, Adonis Stevenson and Ward to fight Kovalev. I know he has a family to think of, but if he’s so concerned about his life these past 5 years to effectively grind his career to a halt, he’s in the wrong business. Perhaps his master plan is to pad out his growing Imelda Marcos shoe collection hobby into a business, you know, creating a Son of Who? Museum where folks would travel from all over the world to see his personal collection of shoes. Needs some extra income for those upgrades, hence Kovalev.

Life After Death a video on the tragic Sergey Kovalev vs Roman Simakov bout, and BTW, Kovalev is reported to have donated his entire purse of his last fight in Russia against Isaac Chilemba to the Simakov family, not just a measly 3%:

So why do I think the first time poor Son of Who? gets hit clean, he’ll be wanting to take a little nappy with his shoe collection. How’s this:

Is Ward the last great African-American boxer?

“Boxing’s decline in the United States contrasts with its growth in Eastern Europe and elsewhere, writes Sunni Khalid.”

Folks, I don’t make this stuff up. Truth is Stranger Than Fiction Every Day…The End is Nearing…We’ve seen this house domestic American Ward in his home environs too many times spoil, run, butt, swinging elbows, hit on the break, low blow, and otherwise pull out all his illicit stinker tricks with no intervention by his personal referee whenever faced with a superior opponent, so this could never be a great fight unless the internationally tested Russian Kovalev knocks him out. There’s always the over and under wagers, so plan your stinker crap shoot accordingly.

 

 

Undefeated Austin City Councilman Fights For Top Rank In Vegas Tonight!

*** FYI, a superfeather/lightweight, Casey Ramos, 23-0, 6 KO, is fighting Andy Vences, 16-0, 10 KO, tonite in Vegas.

Casey is an interesting kid who graduated this year with a degree in economics at St Edwards. He’s with Top Rank and on election day a few days later may well be elected as a city councilman in his district, so I fibbed a little to get his great storyline going. Got a lot of irons in his fire he does, and morever sounds like he may have tapped in to his constituency much like Manny Pacquiao did in the Philippines. His moniker is The Wizard, and with only 6 KOs and giving up some big size to The Shark here, so he best bring his A+ game.

Might be worth a look tonite.

Casey Goes to Bat against Vences

Casey Goes to Bat against Vences

Old Lion Manny Pacquiao vs Young Lion Jessie Vargas

Jessie Vargas is the WBO welterweight champ holding Manny Pacquiao‘s old title he won from Timothy Bradley Jr back in April before retiring. Now Manny wants to reclaim it come Saturday, November 5th @ the Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada.

The collective howls of derision from the antisocial media monkeys who were desperate for Junior Welt champ Terence Crawford to get the call promptly soiled any reasonable public expectations for this fight, but just looking at both the excellent title credentials of Vargas coupled with his natural attributes that include significant height, reach, youth, and presumably strength, this looks like a really good action fight. Manny turns 38 next month with 431 rounds waged professionally and Vargas is in a traditional range of athletic prime at age 27 with 189 professional rounds logged, so this the classic battle of the Old Lion against the Young Lion.

Manny’s PPV numbers for Bradley III were about the same as the Floyd TUE Mayweather PPV against the hapless Andre Berto, in other words the expected blow back of fans against both for their sham “Fight of the Century.” So is the public ready to embrace their former favorite again?

Old Lions vs Young Lions

Old Lions vs Young Lions

Boxing is in a major rebuild thanks to that pathetic grubbing of greed and corruption, so nobody should ever expect big PPV numbers again until some legit new crossover stars are born. The much ballyhooed Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward PPV that follows this probably won’t clear more than 300-400K if even that because Kovalev is Russian and Ward a P4P STINKER who has made himself irrelevant these past few years. And speaking of pathetic, Vargas should be undefeated after knocking out Bradley only to have the silly putty ref change his mind AFTER he stepped in to save Bradley. How could such blatant idiocy ever be more convenient than that? Amazingly Vargas seems not to have let it get to him, instead turning around disappointment for a very excellent upswing after that robbery, a vicious KO of the undefeated Sadam Ali that earned him this fight. That said, if Manny gets in a half decent camp, he should handle Vargas in a great fight for fans, but it’s hardly the given win his critics complain about. See the Bradley/Ali KOs for proof. Young Vargas has the lean and hungry look of being reborn with cracking power and confidence.

Crawford has a chance to grow a few more fans, humility, and the understanding he won’t dictate the weights and finances like he attempted. Manny’s still the boss and most obviously as a welt if he wins back the WBO title. I didn’t see the alleged Crawford shutout of Postol, but I did see a very crafty Crawford using his speed and power to get the two knockdowns that insured in an otherwise well contested fight he would get the win. That was some smart boxing from the kid instead of trying to match brute strength against a bigger, stronger guy. Now he needs to better calculate his appeal after drawing 60K PPVs for that fight. At any rate, Manny is still the fastest in the division with power enough and more experience at top levels than any fighter going today. He too seems to be reborn after his shoulder surgery, so if the Vargas fight reestablishes his star power, he won’t go away quietly if he can come back once every year like clockwork. His greedy Uncle Bob is already talking about the Crawford fight next April, way too much return action for what is now a full time Senator.

And speaking of politics with this being a particularly low brow, low blow waged American presidential election year, the Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte is as harshly hard line conservative and vulgar as they come. He slandered US President Obama as the son of a whore and demanded US troops stationed there exit the Philippines post haste. America is not his friend, instead looking to Asia and especially China for economic and military allegiances. The last time Manny got caught up in presidential politics during an election year was 2012 when he was baited by the press into offering his negative views of gay marriage in the liberal state of Nevada. That faux pas cost him one of boxing’s worst decision losses ever against Tim Bradley that reduced his earnings by multimillions of dollars. So here we go again with Manny perfectly framed for an identical political crunching moment in time, literally a deer in the Vegas headlights against a really rough, tough, game Mexican for boxing promotional purposes, but who is as native born and endemically American as breakfast tacos have become.

It’s an embarrassment to have to broach the historic reach of boxing corruption in the land of the free and home of the brave where all are guaranteed Constitutional rights in theory, but not boxing decisions. A few days later the big Presidential election occurs, and a few days after that comes the “hated” Russian destroyer Sergey Kovalev  fighting the last American Olympic Gold Medalist Andre Ward in another title fight in Las Vegas. We will see with these two boxing events just how fair America is for honorable visiting foreign nationals these days.

The Odd Couple

The Odd Couple

An interesting development in this fight is the PPV structure will be in house on Top Rank’s own website where they have broadcast fights in the past. The results of this experiment should be interesting, but one problem I picked up early is that the promotion seemed a little weak, and on their website I saw no place to purchase the PPV stream just 2 weeks away from fight time, but we could purchase tickets to the fight, c’mon now Bob. I had to research to google to a completely different website, http://www.toprank.tv/index.jsp where the fight costs $59.99, and which is backlinked to the main Top Rank website. Why their main site has no forwarding link that I see can only be answered by their website designers, but dumb is still dumb by any other name. When I checked back days before the fight, Hallelujah, the forwarding link is there. Better late than never.

The backdrop of this in house PPV was that HBO had already committed to Kovalev vs Ward the very next week and didn’t have the funds left in their reduced boxing budget to finance this, and also didn’t want to have two PPVs on the same month for business reasons known only to them. Top Rank is desperate to develop alternatives after taking a financial bath on both the Manny/Bradley fight and the Crawford/Postal one as well, but criminy, next time put the freaking livestream link on their main site well in advance with the ticket sales for folks to buy the stream at their convenience…duh!

Of course after doing decuple duty, that’s 10x duty as Senator, husband, father,fighter, movie star, basketball player and coach, singer, lover, and the softest touch for money for the needy, Manny could get proverbially old overnight, but I say let him do it his way. He looked dominant in his last P4P battle against Bradley and has earned his chops at least as hard as any fighter in history and harder than most all. Jessie not only earned his opportunity, but is also the hungriest for it in the welterweight division. That counts for a whole lot more than just picking up a payday like many fighters do in big fights these days.

Here they were out of training 2 months away already looking in shape and fight ready. This is gonna be great, guaranteed.