Monthly Archives: April 2019

Rances Barthelemy vs Robert Easter Jr For The WBA Lightweight Belt

A former two division champ, Rances Barthelemy, 27-1, 14 KO, and former lightweight champ,Robert Easter Jr, 21-1, 14 KO, duke it out for the vacant WBA lightweight title on Saturday, April 27 @The Chelsea inside of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. 

Of all the Cuban defectors turning to professional boxing, in spite of their accomplished amateur credentials, they have uniformly been unable to catch on with the American public as pro boxers. I saw the Kid Blast Rances as not only gifted in natural attributes, but possessing a pleasing, flashy American style, but for whatever the reasons, he like most Cubanos simply never fought enough fights, and now he’s 32 years of age, so it’s come time to step on the accelerator before his time is done.

As to the 28 year old Easter, he looked great against the usual suspects coming up, but against better competition he was somewhat exposed as lacking higher boxing skills or natural attributes. He’s still young enough to turn things around and now is supposed to start using his Dad as his trainer, but can he do it? I’d say Rances can do everything better than Easter, but will he?

Such is boxing in a nutshell, and it’s a good scrap, so enjoy!

REMATCH~Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs Juan Francisco Estrada

The bruising Wisaksil Wangek, aka Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, 47-4, 41 KO, puts his Ring P4P ranking and WBC junior bantamweight titles on the line against Juan Francisco Estrada, 38-3, 27 KO in an hotly anticipated rematch at the Forum in Inglewood, California this Friday, April 26th.

The combatants fought at the Forum last year when the Thai held off the hard charging Mexican former champion in an all action bout. Because of the dynamic intensity of that fight, both agreed to a rematch, and we the people agree.

Estrada is best known for his hard charging losses against then Ring P4P #1 Roman Gonzalez. Poor Roman unfortunately met up with a fighter he couldn’t beat in Sri, taking consecutive horrific beatings against the emerging Thai star. Perhaps Sri took a worse beating than even that when his long time girl who had been him through all their impoverished times suddenly abandoned him as he reached the pinnacle of the his division, leaving him adrift and anchorless in that dark, forbidding place that men in love with women know so well. He was so thoroughly immersed that he was unable to train to fight for an extended time, but he finally roared back for more good fights, and so here we are yet again locked and loaded in the fight queue.

Was it a curse or a blessing when Ring “experts” surprisingly picked Estrada by a 10-3 margin? Do they have inside information that we the public don’t know about? We’ll for sure find out this Friday night in compelling toe to toe action as two little banty cocks rock the Forum as only little banty cocks know how to do.

Terence Crawford In The Money Pot With Amir Khan

Terence Crawford gets a tiny taste of the money pot in what may be his biggest purse ever against the biggest name he has ever fought, Amir Khan. Crawford, 34-0, 25 KO puts his WBO bauble on the line. Khan, 33-4, 20 KO, has never fought for a welterweight world title and last held a junior welterweight title 7 years ago, but don’t cry for him Argentina. He makes outsized money just based on his name recognition, yet never managed to land his dream Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather Jr fights due to excessive purse demands.

On paper this fight looks like a blowout given that Crawford outstrips Khan in every natural fighting attribute known to mankind as well as in skills, but Khan, currently ranked #10 in Boxrec, does have fairly swift feet and can run and flurry with the best, so however long the fight lasts, it may well be a stinker. As their presser shows, Khan also seems to have some modest size advantage for this fight.

Crawford is signed to Top Rank and the ESPN+ platform for an unknown period, and with the majority of the best welters being signed by  Al Haymon who generally hates to even have his top fighters fight each other, “Bud” may well have to endure a frustrating period in his prime years watching fighters not as accomplished as him like Khan commanding larger purses while fighting lessor talents.

The fight all of boxing truly want to see is Crawford vs Errol Spence Jr, but the moguls who control the sport will seemingly be marinating that fight for a couple of years until perhaps a chink appears on one of the fighter’s arsenal.

The Good News is both Boxrec #1 Crawford and #2 Spence agree they want to fight each other, but for now a sacrificial lamb in the form of “King Khan” stands in their way with Crawford posed at the scratch line like a tiger in waiting for the first dinner bell to sound, so all is well for the here and the now with the future looking so bright and hopeful, we may all need to to be wearing shades…Enjoy!

VADA Knocks Out Big Baby Miller

Big Baby Miller got knocked out of the lucrative Anthony Joshua US debut by yet another specious VADA drug test. What’s up with that?

The marriage of the boxing suits with BALCO Vic’s VADA drug testing operation based in Vegas is making shambles out of a historically poorly run sport littered with n’er do wells and other assorted exploitative sociopaths. That overall boxing has proven to be cleaner than the combined megalith of the NFL/MLB/NBA is beyond question given that their drug testing amounts to cartoon standards. However the negative publicity generated by VADA and the boxing suits is bringing financial ruin to boxing not to mentioned the lifetime ruination of fighter reputations when found guilty of nanogram ghost traces of banned substances too often legal over the counter stuff or found in various foods.

In this latest Miller case, did it really take a month to return the results of a March 20th drug test? This is unacceptable oversight, and moreover the test values are seldom released because it’s becoming extremely embarrassing to see just how low level is the alleged contamination, not even the equivalent of a 4 year old kid stealing a gumball out of a candy jar.

So there is precious little drug testing transparency in boxing, and though the Miller substance cited is something I never heard of, GW1516, there’s a good chance it’s something found in typical over the counter stuff nutritional stuff including bottled “energy drinks” that moderns quaff in multitudes.

The irony of Miller accusing Joshua of  being a drug cheat hasn’t been lost on the toxic social media platforms, so perhaps some nonboxing Karma may be in play here. No matter the replacement fighter this June the 1st, Miller can kiss his thug persona in the ass as he delivers the latest illicit boxing drama. 

Jarrell Miller denied license by NYSAC, Anthony Joshua seeks replacement foe

Vasiliy Lomachenko Continues Comeback vs Anthony Crolla

Vasiliy Lomachenko looks to continue his post surgery comeback when he defends his WBA/WBO titles against a former title holder, Englishman Anthony Crolla, this Friday, April 12th@Staples Center, Los Angeles.

Bit odd having Loma fight on a Friday that makes me think his shoulder may still be a bother after shoulder surgery, hence a fight against a guy nobody has heard of in LA. In his last outing, Lomachenko was still pretty much a one armed fighter that sorta bodes ill for his future, so by necessity this is not designed as a superfight like most of his fights have been since he turned pro. By now he’s Ring P4P #1 and well established as a very rare, very elite fighter with very rare and very elite skills that have largely proved to be baffling to his previous opponents and absolutely amazing to boxing aficionados who understand the sweet science.

I expect the 32 year old Crolla to provide quality rounds as a benchmark to let us know where Loma’s health is. He’s well experienced, currently 34-6, 13 KO, and a bigger, stronger, and quite durable former title holder and won’t go meekly as many opponents did by their end against Lomachenko.

With over 300 amateur fights and competing to as near to perfection as possible in that venue, the 31 year old Lomachenko is generally acknowledged as the best ever amateur, so it may be time to prepare for a soft landing and retirement since all our mortal bodies, no matter how strong and well trained, eventually wear down before breaking down, and not necessarily in that order. That’s an unbelievable amount of time at the highest level obtainable. His pro record looks spare, 12-1, 9 KO, but it’s packed with 12 world title bouts. 

I’d think most fans and insiders in boxing appreciate the art of Lomachenko’s aggressive matchmaking that has upended the usual novice boxing developmental model. A bout with the 40+ Manny Pacquiao, currently ranked as the #8 P4P and #3 Boxrec welterweight just below Ring P4Per welters Terence Crawford and Errol Spence, has been floated by Bob Arum as a superfight for a few years now. It could be made at 140 lbs to provide the perfect vehicle for a well deserved retirement for both, but will they ever take it?

In the here and now, “Million Dollar” Crolla serves up a decent enough fight for a minor viewing spectacle showcasing sublime Lomachenko skills that kicks both he and boxing down the road for further development. Stay tuned.

Bobby Mac Sez This Ain’t Yer Pappy’s Top Ten Heavyweights in History!

A directive was recently issued to me, that of a compilation of the greatest top 10 heavyweights of all time, a daunting task for the serious aficionado full of disputation to be sure. The criteria ain’t specified other than the assumption of my own unique perspective, so with me and myself having seen and made so many such lists as to become fuzzy over time, I am going to recreate two lists based on two distinct criteria; that of the overall excellence of record, and that of looking at heavies who had the biggest impact on boxing and the world in which they lived, both leavened with the unique opportunities and obstacles of their eras.

The first list is the boxing and world impact, both of which have the biggest influence in boxing.

1.Joe Louis…It don’t get any bigger worldwide than the rematch with Max Schmeling on the eve of WW2 in a bout that was relayed worldwide via the nascent radio of the era. Joe was the first black American heavyweight the overwhelming white majority could rally around and set the stage for the post WW2 integration of Major League Baseball and the US armed forces and subsequent civil rights movements. Need I add that Joe was also a major inspiration in the development of Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King as young boys avidly listening to his fights on the radio?

2.The Klitschko brothers…Their collective was 109-7, 94 KO and never once took a ten count that averages ot to 55-4, 47 KO. Between them they moved the heavyweight division to Germany and knocked Don King out of the heavy division to usher in the continuing saga of East European dominance of the heavier boxing divisions.

3.Bob Fitzsimmons…A rare trifecta of being part the first proposed full length feature cinematographic project by Thomas Edison’s Black Maria Studio, the first title fight against James J Corbett to be held in Dallas, Texas, circa 1895 that was cancelled when the Texas Legislature made prize fighting illegal. The always overly dramatic Corbett publicly forfeited his title that was then fought over near Langtry, Texas by Fitz and Peter Maher.

Maher had previously claimed the forfeited Corbett title in November of 1895 against Steve O’Donnell with a 1st rd KO. Fitz and Maher were situated in 1896 on a spit island in the middle of the Rio Grande(Bravo) for the first failed full length feature cinematographic project by Thomas Edison. Tragically the crew could not not get properly set up in misty conditions before Maher became his own victim of a first round KO as his claims to the title transferred to Ruby Robert. Whatever may have been filmed has thus far been lost in time though hope springs eternal that it may possibly turn up.

The 1897 Corbett vs Fitz fight held in Reno, Nevada, the first ever successful full length feature film that additionally became the first ever national and international blockbuster that established art of cinematography permanently in the world. Subsequently James J Jeffries helped develop the art of cinematography further when he knocked out Fitz to claim the title though sadly almost all of the Jeffries film has be either lost or waiting to be rediscovered. The first non boxing blockbuster featuring actors was The Great Train Robbery 6 years later in 1903, a film of only 10 minutes for perspective that introduced the first ever silent screen star to the public, Bronco Billy.

4.John L Sullivan, 39-1-1, 33 KO. John L was the first and only unified Bareknucks and Gloved Queensbury champ and the first American to consolidate titles that had previously belonged exclusively to the British. John L first set up the worldwide heavyweight stage in a growing age of literacy and media expansion, where they remained save for a nanoblip by Ingemar Johansson for a century before Lennox Lewis upset the American monopoly.

5A.Jack Dempsey, 55-6-8, 45 KO. Established the modern spectacle of boxing that is seldom matched and never exceeded.

5B.Muhammad Ali, 56-5, 37 KO. Perhaps the 2nd best known fighter in the world only exceeded by the modern phenomenon of Manny Pacquiao and his 3 billion Asian population base enhanced with modern communication broadcasting.

5C.Mike Tyson, 50-6, 44 KO. Youngest ever champ who cleaned up the derelict post Ali era to unify the titles and temporarily wipe Don King’s slate clean. He had already held the record for career purse earnings before King and Robin Givens ever sunk their claws into him.

OK, now, and what about the greatest records?

1.Joe Louis, 66-3, 52 KO. Nominally his 26(27)-1 heavyweight title records were exceeded, but, overall never surpassed. The 27th was Lee Savold who claimed both the white heavy title and the BBBC heavyweight title that Joe is seldom credited with after knocking him out.

2.The Klitschko brothers, 109-7, 94 KO and bukos title fights with nary a 10 count between them. Collectively they smashed the Louis record, and though individually Wlad exceeded his total career heavyweight title fights, he fell short of the overall Louis record. They may well hold the heavyweight record of the most winning rounds scored as overmatched opponents seldom penetrated their defense.  More importantly they put down Don King for years of 10 counts and transferred heavyweight title fights to Germany-HERESY to be sure!

3.Rocky, 49-0, 43 KO. The most iconic record in all of boxing. My next door neighbor who knows shinola about boxing can recite Rocky’s record like a mantra.

4.Sam Langford, 178-29-39, 126 KO. Mere numerical records FAIL to capture Sam’s greatness, not the least being the sheer number of fights he had against HOF fighters that greatly exceed all such fights by other fighters.

5.Anthony Joshua, 22-0, 21 KO. Going into his 8th title fight as a unified belt holder, no heavyweight as yet has done as much with such a limited number of fights. I always like to include a current great in rankings just to PO dusty mossbacks not understanding that all the greats in the making were moderns in their day as Josh is.

Consolidating the two lists by working backwards using my fighter ratings as their points totals, that’s Josh with 5 points, Sam with 4 points, Rocky with 3 points, The Ks with 2, and Louis with 1.

Then we have Dempsey, Ali, and Tyson tied with 5 each, John L with 4, Fitz at 3, the Ks at 2 and Louis at 1.

Adding up the two lists with fighters not appearing on both lists being assigned a place value of 6 to keep my rankings on keel, That’s Louis 1+1 with 2 pts, the Ks 2+2 with 4, Fitz 3+6 with 9, John L 4+6 with 10, Dempsey, Ali, and Tyson, all 5+6 with 11 each, Josh 5+6 with 11, Sam with 10, Rocky with 7. Divided by 2 to get the final point rankings in numerical order:Louis 1, Ks 2, Rocky 3.5, Fitz 4.5, John L 5, Sam 5, and Dempsey, Ali, Tyson, and Josh 5.5

Translated into standard numerical ranking order:Louis 1, Ks 2, Rocky 3, Fitz 4, John L 5A and Sam 5B, Dempsey, Ali, Tyson, and Joshua 7A, 7B, 7C, 7 D.

So technically that 11 heavyweights if we split the Klitschko brothers, but they were such a dominating force in boxing that they really have to be consolidated as one unit to understand their impact.

Honorable mention goes to Manny Pacquiao who has a super duty heavyweight heart encapsulated into that compact frame. He’s become a huge name both here and in the largest potential boxing market in the world, the Asian culture. His dynamic style and willingness to take on, beat, and knock out the most Ring P4Pers in history at the start of the 3rd Millennium after being born into one of the poorest families in history in the 3rd world resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of career purses, most of which was returned to his native peoples in the forms of schools, hospitals, and other desperately needed infrastructure developments as well as holding Congressional duties as well as too many other interests to stagger reality.

Yeah, I know it ain’t yer Pappy’s top 10 heavyweight rankings, but I ain’t much for feeling like your pappy. It’s my list and the one I’m sticking with for now since their is no agreement on how to rank fighters. I at least gave my methodology combining two important elements. Another ranking method many use is who beats who in a fantasy fight. While interesting from various physical and stylistic attributes, seldom do these rankers specify uniform rules and rounds that would average out the wide ranging eras of  the competing fighters and always disputes as to who beats who even before fighters glove up with each other today.

Fighting is the nature of boxing!