Tag Archives: bernard hopkins

Just Another Joe Named Smith Earns DAZN Debut

The American working class hero Joe Smith Jr will finally be graced with his first title challenge against one of the toughest, most accomplished lightheavies in the division, WBA champ Dmitry Bivol, Saturday, March 9th@Turning Stone Resort & Casino, Verona, New York.

Joe, who is currently 17th ranked in boxrec, wandered off of a construction site in New York City to first take the boxing world by storm when he obliterated Andrzej Fonfara, an established contender often credited with beating up WBC champ Adonis Stevenson to no credit by the judges. That mission accomplished, his team waited for title shot offers that either never came, or tried to lowball this gritty fighter emerging out of nowhere, but one fighter targeted him for his easy retirement fight. Bernard Hopkins was looking for an easy mark like the raw, untutored construction worker to low blow, butt open and otherwise monkey around with to the cheers of the motley n’er do wells who populate the Hopkins fan base.

Alas, the best laid plans of mice and boxing exploitation men found them unexpectedly derailed after the grittiest, most comprehensive Knockout of the decade, blasting Hopkins helplessly through the ropes onto the concrete floor below. Women were sobbing as the sobering reality of Hopkins’ Grand Finale sunk in.

Bivol chose a more conventional boxing route from his birthplace of Kyrgyzstan to that of Russia where much boxing opportunity exists for the youth to pursue. Bivol is 28 years of age, and Joe 29, so they are in their traditional athletic primes. Joe has certainly got enough boxing skills to knock out just about anyone, but has been held back by his Achilles heel, that of an easily fractured chin, something less than sharp hitters than Bivol have accomplished in the past.

Just looking at the face off you can see the incredible thickness of Joe’s neck in comparison. He’s taller than his boxrec 6-0, so how he makes 175 lbs with that amount of musculature is the story of modern boxing. I don’t recall anyone listing his fight weight, but I would suggest over 190 lbs. That’s British promoter Eddie Hearns who was one of the players instrumental in launching the game changing DAZN streaming platform.

All I can say is it’s about time boxing manned up to Joe with a title shot and this one has a chance to be a doozy. Good luck gentlemen. May the best man win.

 

 

Just Another Joe Named Smith~Fighter of the Year~KO of the Year

Yupsir, for many if not most of us boxing fans, Joe Smith Jr ticks all the boxes as Fighter of the Year, the KO of the Year, the Round of the Year, and the Upset of the Year. The self described “special one” Bernard Hopkins tapped common man Joe Smith for his pity farethewell party set up by Oscar and HBO, and he certainly did not disappoint. Joe executed Executioner  with a highlight KO for the ages against all the odds and all the suits stacked against him.

Just Another Joe Named Smith

Just Another Joe Named Smith

Previous to that there was the 1 round demolition of ascending and well respected Contender, Andrzej Fonfara, who fans know beat the silly putty out of WBC beltholder Adonis Stevenson to no credit from the judges. Smith was never even considered a prospect much less a fringe contender, but here he is jumping all the queues ahead of him to a top Ring ranking. Joe Smith Senior must be popping all the buttons on his shirts in pride.

!!!From Coulda Been a Contenda to Top Dog!!!

!!!From Coulda Been a Contenda to Top Dog!!!

Here is the video of the KO for the Ages followed with relevant stills sequencing the action:

 

Entrance of the Executioner

Entrance of the Executioner

Poopsie Oopsie In Motion

Poopsie Oopsie In Motion

Executioner Executed

Executioner Executed

White Boy Hands to the Rescue!

White Boy Hands to the Rescue!
Waaaahhh, Boo, Hoo, Hoo!

Waaaahhh, Boo, Hoo, Hoo!
Mo' Waaah, Boo Hoo Hoo!

Mo’ Waaah, Boo Hoo Hoo!
Unceasing Tears of a Lifetime!

Unceasing Tears of a Lifetime!

Just Another Joe Named Smith

Just Another Joe Named Smith

 

 

 

Bernexit of Bernard Hopkins~Just Another Joe Named Smith

The Bernexit of “The Executioner or is it still Alien?”

Bernard Hopkins, 55-7-2, 32 KO, takes on boxing’s newest darling, Joe Smith Jr, 21-1, 18 KO, in a 12 round WBC International light heavyweight title fight from the Forum in Inglewood, California this Saturday, December 17. Perhaps sadly, it will be broadcast by HBO, whimsically entitled “The Final One.”

We can only hope not fatally since Hopkins has been unofficially retired after Sergey Kovalev beat the tarballs out of him two years ago not to mention he’ll be about a month shy of his 52nd birthday. Why Hopkins wants one last fight has to do with his ferociously insecure ego of not wanting to retire on a defeat, that and needing to be coddled with extra “Special” accolades after mostly anonymous beginnings in the first half of his career and a much mottled latter half of his career where he’s been promoted like the mysterious meat item on the corporate menu by obligated announcers lest they offend powerful corporate bosses.

That said, if you’re Ol’ Man Stinker in desperate need of the newest contender to beat, Joe Smith would be it. That is no knock on Smith whose day job has been as a union construction worker in the Big Apple. He may well have many as yet undiscovered talents going for him, but the simple fact is that he’s been a career New York centric fighter in small halls against fellow clubfighters. He’s a good lookin’ kid as far as base level physical fighter attributes, and he obviously packs a punch as he showed in his one round blitzkreig against Andrzej Fonfara, but that perhaps partially the fault of the Fonfara team rightfully underestimating Smith based on his limited record.

I shudder to remember when fellow construction worker and derided journeyman underdog Glen Johnson brutalized big favorite Roy Jones Jr in one of the most horrific beatdowns in modern history. Jones took a savage whooping that left him for all intents quite literally dead on the canvas and took some long minutes before he was able to be carried to his stool and many more minutes before he had recovered enough to leave the ring with assistance. Glen Johnson, unlike Smith, was well experienced at the highest levels of boxing at that point. Joe’s logged a career total of 73 baby rounds to Hopkins’ 506 mostly either easy rounds against nobodies, or stinker rounds against the elite. So on paper it’s hardly fair fight but for that single knockout round against Fonfara.

Let’s at least acknowledge Hopkins’ few best fights where he fought as clean as capable, yet still mixed in with hitting on the break against Felix Trinidad for example. Tito saw the ref wouldn’t protect him and fought in kind until he was buried in Hopkins’ dirt, so all in all it was a equal fight save Tito hopping up two divisions to middleweight where his slugging couldn’t hide his lack of boxing skills. And then there was Hopkins’ crowning achievement in expertly throttling new middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik at a 170 lb catchweight. Hopkins likes to brag he ruined Kelly mentally, but facts are after winning the title Pavlik shattered a window at home in a drunken incident that required surgery to repair the tendons that led to the dreaded staph hospital infection that at one point threatened his life and caused cancellation of a couple of fights. Pavlik could never be the same fighter afterward, going into seizures and seeking treatment for alcoholism, so of course his career ended up prematurely since he was no longer medically fit to fight.

The really good news: Likely the best fight of the night will be when new champ Oleksandr Usyk defends against tricky southpaw Thabiso Mchunu in one of the best cruiserweight matches that can be made. Usyk has been looking mighty impressive for a guy with only 10 pro fights. I suspect this to be high end controlled violence for as long as it last as both can box and punch very well. Both are southpaws which should make the action even trickier.

Meanwhile, nobody can know how the Hopkins/Smith fight turns out because of fighter unknowns going into the bout, but typically, I smell another Hopkins’ stinker, he simply can’t help soiling himself when push comes to shove. Will Smith get the appropriate high end sparring needed, ie the 101 + advanced course of defense against headbutts, low blows, hitting on the break, elbows, and unceasing grappling for such a dirty foe? Does Hopkins still have any reflexes, chin, and heart left after the Kovalev beating? We already know Joe is the hungry one not looking for a mere hand out, but ready to fight for what’s his. Meanwhile Hopkins has long been sleeping on silk sheets in silk pajamas in his mansion before pulling his typical wink-wink mugging act in the ring. Hey, who says boxing can’t be like ‘rassling?

The battle of the trainers is also striking with Smith employing the unknown Gerard Capobianco as opposed to Hopkins dumping his 2nd trainer, Nazim Richardson, just like he did his first, Bouie Fisher, not by letter or to their face, but rather just coldly forgetting they ever existed. He instead hired  John David Jackson in replacement, yet says nothing has changed for these preparations. What, he thinks were born yesterday? This is touted as his last fight as written into his contract, but he’s welched against his word plenty and will do so again when convenient. One also has wonder if he is still stiffing waitresses as he was notorious for doing not so far back ago. He smiles the snaggly toothed grandfatherly smile, but this is not a nice man.

Oh, and PLEASE, let us all pray together that ol’stinker ain’t coming out in pink shorts. Roll them dice boys, it’s another boxing crap shoot.

Ol' Man Stinker vs The Kid

Ol’ Man Stinker vs The Kid

Sergey Krusher Kovalev vs Nadjib Iron Jab Mohammedi

All everything light heavyweight champion Sergey Krusher Kovalev, 27-0-1, 24 KO, takes on IBF mandatory challenger Nadjib Iron Jib Mohammedi, 37- 3, 23 KO, Saturday, July 25 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

No need to be smug, but let’s face it, we already know how this goes. Fairplay, maybe Iron Jib can wing in some good shots as he seems to have a smidgen of power and a bit more experience. It’s Kovalev’s opportunity to stay busy with a highlight result as his promoter Main Events maneuvers for a bigger fights after fighting two consecutive stinker styles in Bernard Hopkins and Jean Pascal.

We’ll just have to see for ourselves how it goes for them.

Here T'is Here T’is

Dead Man Walking~Bernard Hopkins vs Krusher Sergio Kovalev

I vowed to never watch at another unwatchable Bernard Hopkins fight after he was TKOed for quitting the first Chad Dawson fight, but here we go again. Truth be told I wouldn’t be able stomach this light heavy unification fight but for the recent surge of unrelenting slugger, Sergey Kovalev, who deserves much better than the usual Hopkins stink and mirrors circus side show. The suits have placed the thing at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey this Saturday, November 8th, so let’s see what kind of fight we get out of the boxing “establishment” in these parts as their casinos are starting to shut down.

Perhaps it’s telling that long time boxing icon Larry Hazzard has been reinstated as commissioner of the New Jersey Athletic Control Board coming into this fight, but what it says as applies to this fight is unknown. The economy has gotten so bad in Atlantic City that “The Donald” Trump has filed a lawsuit to remove his name from the Trump casinos after they’ve fallen into disgrace. Who could have ever thunk up such capitalistic heresy?

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/08/06/338367389/donald-trump-sues-to-remove-his-name-from-atlantic-city-casinos

As to the fighters I’ll start on a positive note with the A-side, Kovalev, who is getting B-side money because his division is so weak overall and his era so weak that precious few want to be brutalized and knocked dead cold out of the rankings. When his promoter, Kathy Duva of Main Events, was putting together the deal, naturally she contacted his manager who relayed the terms to Kovalev. His response was as blunt force, take no prisoners  style inside the ring, “Make the fight, make the fight, make the fight,” and so she did.

HBO Bound

HBO Bound

These Russians know what it’s like to be hungry. What else is non English speaking Russian immigrant in America to do but to say yes to the terms before the ceremonial jaw breaking commences?

Now with the negative B-side, Hopkins, who is getting A-side money for being the nastiest, dirtiest, not to mention the oldest, rankest fighter of his generation, a puredee rotten spoiler who may shamelessly crawl about on the canvas like a kicked cur puppy howling to the ref for special needs recompensation at the drop of a hat as needed. He was knocked out by Joe Calzaghe and Roy Jones who received no credit because of the hamhanded misanthropic manner that boxing conducts it’s public business if you want to talk about why boxing is dying with the general public. Chad Dawson saw his TKO victory overturned to a No Contest if anyone need contemplate the pull Golden Boy has in California as another example.

When a congenitally dirty fighter turns his back and refuses to fight so as to feign receiving a single payback foul, not once, not twice, but rather a gruesome thrice in big fights, this sure ain’t no all time great no matter what his Golden Boy minders and their News of the Ring World tabloid may spin out in his behalf. He has been recently flattered against weak opposition that has allowed him to alter his prefight Halloween masked entrances that are so important to his self absorbed identity. He should cut holes in a pair of Big Boy training diapers to wear over his mug for his ring entrance as a truth in marketing prop if he had any honesty as to his intentions.

It’s no wonder he and Andre Ward never gloved it up in the ring. That would be an utter promotional and boxing disaster that might well signal a death knell of boxing if not set it back even more generations than it is currently.

I’m not saying Krusher is such a great fighter either. He too is flattered by his weak opposition as well, the sad truth that top level boxing has finally come to in the most historically competitive division in boxing, but at least he yanks the rug out from under unscrupulous judges and give fans infinite more value for the modest purses he claims for his signature knockouts.

These Eastern Euro, African, and Latino nationals know they seldom get any favors with US and British officiating and make no excuses for their straight forward destroyer styles. They can goof off in the gym playing out the running, jabbing, jiving Ali for fun as well as anyone to relieve the stress of training camp, but when the bell rings they assume an aggressive, hurt you badly business model in contrast to the typical modern American floating stink bomb style that needs substantial “in house” officiating to survive. Apologies to raging P4P offensive American fighters Kelly Pavlik and Paul Williams who were throwbacks to the traditional American style when men were men and fought like lions, not pattycaking pettycoats pushing out marshmallows while bleating incessantly to the ref like Mary’s little lost lamb. Alas, the time of Pavlik and Williams has come and gone with their potential replacements  being nonexistent at this point.

So here we are well into the third millennium and it would be a major upgrade to see American refs and judges step up to the fair play and justice that boxing rules were designed so as to give legitimate form and function to the public nature of the sport. Or do we get more of the same seedy backroom deal officiating boxing is renown for?

I know Sergey Kovalev comes to fight out of a pretty nifty boxing style for the purists, but will Bernard Hopkins actually man up for a good fight or is this just another in a long list of stink’em ups for him as he feathers out his pension well beyond his sell date?

 

Jermain Taylor Arrested In Shooting Altercation

Very sad news to report as Jermain Taylor was arrested in connection with a shooting that left his cousin hospitalized in serious condition.

Details here:

http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2014/aug/26/sheriffs-office-intruder-shot-jermain-taylors-home/

Jermaine Taylor had a life in the mold of a classic All American type as any boy born in Arkansas could ever hope for. He was personable and telegenic, yet humble and disciplined, a working man’s hero who abundantly gave back to the community who had supported him. He rose through the competitive ranks of boxing as a skinny amateur onto Olympic medal honors before winning the most unified world title in history against Bernard Hopkins. Subsequent P4P accolades and various media honors further feathered out his nest. Taylor was married to a beautiful collegiate basketball player who shared his Southern and athletic roots and had started a family as any proper All American should.

Life was beautiful, the fish were jumping, his purses substantial, and he was highly regarded in the boxing industry. Who could ever ask for more?

Then he got tangled up with Kelly Pavlik in an explosive life and death classic and neither has ever been the same since though Taylor’s plunge from the heady heights was more immediate. Yet here he was again, poised in the queue of greatness to challenge new IBF champion Sam Soliman just down the river at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi only 6 weeks from now, but it looks to have all come tumbling down on him with the news of his arrest.

He’ll be going through the justice system for however long that takes with whatever restrictions they impose until his case comes to a conclusion. He has yet to regain a boxing license, so hopefully this is an opportunity disguised as a warning shot across the bow that he may need help in restructuring his life.

All our best to the extended Taylor family members…

All American Taylors

All American Taylors

The Day Boxing Died~~Where Have All The Sluggers Gone…”long time passing…”

IE: The Day Boxing Died~~Where have all the “American” sluggers gone to the tune of the alltime top classics below with the substitution in the lyrics.

The Day The Music Died by Don McLean

I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music(boxing) died

Where have all the flowers gone by Pete Seeger

Where have all the flowers(sluggers) gone, long time passing?
Where have all the flowers(sluggers) gone, long time ago?
Where have all the flowers(sluggers) gone?
Young girls(boxing poohbahs) have picked(neutered) them everyone.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Mrs Robinson by Paul Simon

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio(Joe Louis)
A nation turns it’s lonely eyes to you (Woo, woo, woo)
What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson(Sugar Ray Robinson)
Joltin’ Joe has left and gone away
(Hey, hey, hey…hey, hey, hey)

There are still plenty of Latino sluggers and sluggers from the former Soviet states, but there is a critically endangered species watch for American sluggers as the most optimistic designation, or an extinct designation for the pessimist and realist. The top American fighters in their divisions are Floyd Mayweather Jr, Andre Ward, Timothy Bradley, and Bernard Hopkins, and none of them could pop a bubble gum bubble with a sledgehammer. They couldn’t break an egg with a piledriver. They couldn’t dent a stick of butter or bust a bag of popcorn with brass knuckles. Flies giggle when they pull out their flyswatters. The light in loafer crowd blow kisses at them.

Look, there is no shame in being a top boxing featherduster, but a quick look at the IBRO top 20 P4P greats indicates that traditionally big sluggers who could also box some were highly prized above all other fighters with some 15 out of their 20 being some great sluggers. Featherduster types like Willie Pep or Harry Greb were anomalies to the greater preference for boxer/punchers like Gene Tunney or Ezzard Charles or sluggers who were also good boxers like Jack Dempsey or Sam Langford. Not that we can ignore the fighter Hopkins pretends to be like, Archie Moore, the all time knockout king with 131 knockouts. Hopkins pretends like Olive Oyl pretends to being like Miss Italy or a garden slug pretending to be a tiger.

Pep and Greb each have tons more fights than these modern toothless wonders all combined if you want to talk about the light relevancy of modern fighters to the core history of boxing. Fighting canned, hometown fights once a year is what today’s boxing illiterati prize as their top two P4Pers in Mayweather and Ward.

Unbelievable that boxing has dwindled down to this.

Then to see the cloying, clinging cognoscenti rattle on about superior athleticism of today’s boxers is like watching a cat cough up a rat hairball as if they even knew the definition of athleticism much less how it might apply to the essentials of what makes a fighter an all time great. Archie Moore, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Sam Langford, Jimmy Wilde, they weren’t competing in the decathlon, the timeless gold standard that track and field uses to define athleticism from whence the idea originated.

The decathlete needs both strength and speed allayed with rare superior coordination, endurance, and mental toughness to compete in 10 separate events in the heat of summer over a 2 day period. Jim Thorpe was the first modern athlete widely regarded as the greatest ever when he accepted gold medals in the 1912 Summer Olympics in both the pentathlon and decathlon, the only Olympian to ever win both. Not only, but he played Major League Baseball for a number of years before being a founder and first star of the fledgling National Football League, so his achievements greatly surpass modern athletes who seldom show multi-sport talent much less abilities to Thorpe’s gold standard. He was a pretty fair boxer and wrestler on top of all that. Today’s American boxing P4Pers have no strength or power, so we have to ask, how fast are these modern wunderkinds over 100 meters or 1500 meters and what are their pole vault and javelin numbers?

Not good enough to bother to count or who TF cares, take your pick. IBRO link here for an actual boxing comparison:

http://www.ibroresearch.com/?p=463

As often happens in boxing, the politics have shifted much like a storied slugging  pro baseball team falling on hard times, reacting as any politician might by changing the debate and altering their message to stay relevant. Baseball does this by expanding or contracting their field dimensions to complement their pitchers and hitters on the team. Visiting team sluggers can’t easily crack newly spacious outfield fences that reflect the type of left and right handed pitchers the hometown team has. If the home team is stocked with left and right handed sluggers, bring the fences in and blast out the visiting teams in a blizzard of homeruns.

;-

;-

Boxing can also alter ring dimensions and surfaces and shorten the rounds, but additionally has altered the debate and message on the fly as needed by altering the scoring rules on a fight to fight basis, wink-wink.

There was a noteworthy slip up in the “Boxing Poohbah World” recently when a well known and well impugned long time boxing rag mentioned in an article that good defense usually beats good offense. Oh brother, more drinkin’ instead of thinkin’ as happens too often in boxing publications, otherwise they would recall the order in the original Marquis of Queensbury rules. In order of importance, 1.) Offense, 2.) Defense, 3.) Ring Generalship.

Simply put, without offense there is no fight nor any purpose to boxing. It’s been proven that a fleet footed fighter in good condition can run around the ring forever avoiding most blows, but is that boxing or some catch me at the track type of sport? Yet highly hyped fighters will usually be given those types of decisions today, turning off boxing fans who don’t care for track meets which is why they wanted boxing, especially when boxing is allayed with slugging, not track…….DUH!

Not that the self appointed “boxing authorities” throughout history have paid any more attention to rules any more than democracies pay more than lip service to their constitutions. Rules are made to be broken as the saying goes in any state of governance including the anarchy of boxing as it grew out of illegal bare knuckle roots. Nonetheless, boxing remains the only sport where the loser of 100% of every second of every minute of the contest can be the resounding winner and newest big hero by delivering a thunderous knockout in the waning seconds of a fight as recently happened to longtime undefeated fringe heavyweight contender David Rodriguez, delivered by former fringe contender Darnell “Ding-a-ling” Wilson who didn’t get his name by pushing out marshmallows. Record here:

Darnell Wilson

There are various levels of offense starting with marginal round by round point accumulations as Mayweather totals his fights during his most acclaimed period, but slugging offense rules over all as the ultimate end statement. Moreover, a fighter loses at least a point every time they’re knocked down, negating an otherwise good boxing round in their favor.

Longtime curmudgeon Bernard Hopkins continues to charge that “slick black boxers” are being “underrated,” clearly clueless of the high Boxrec and Ring ratings of Floyd Mayweather Jr, Andre Ward, Timothy Bradley, plus the grizzled baldeth one hisself. I’m here to tell you that on the elemental boxing level in the ring, the Hopkin’s slick rhymes with “it” and starts with “sh” since all but Bradley are among the dirtiest of the top fighters, not that the sometimes butting Bradley is a saint.

Incidental fouls, however, are part of the sport which are supposed to be one of many reasons for an impartial referee if such a beast ever existed. Smart fighters like a Miguel Cotto will invariably fight a clean fight as he reserves the right to a well timed low blast to the protective cup anytime he gets hit hard enough to need some time to recover. He’ll gladly take that first warning and the time it takes for the opposing fighter to recover his ardor for fighting, usually not for the rest of the fight. That’s staying within the fair boundary of the rules.

Marshmallows anyone?

Marshmallows anyone?

Nonetheless, “unwritten” changes to rules emphasizing defense might explain the general malaise and ennui among the few remaining occasional public viewers. They might like to watch boxing, but are turned off by incomprehensible weekly scoring controversies, bogus referee stoppages, and idiotic referee interference on top of suffering the off putting powder puffery posing at the top of the boxing food chain. He’d really rather watch the girls volleyball tourney where he can at least honestly admire the form if he can’t see a good fight.

You could almost make the claim these top guys are illegally loading their gloves and protectors in helium the way they punch like junior strawweights. Willy Pep and Harry Greb made up for light punching by with a blizzard of offense delivered with either hand from every angle and position imaginable, some of the most exciting fighters ever. Top Americans today don’t actually want a fight, they want to box and foul in equal measure with a pro ‘rasslin’ type of ref ignoring their fouls that everyone else can plainly see as they dumb down a fight to a level they can a win at.

Timothy Bradley used to have a very dynamic unorthodox style of offense but lost a lot of hard earned respect  after his Pacquiao debacle and now fights in an upright safety first defensive style that he has struggled with. He flirts with the dark side of dirty, but thus far hasn’t crossed over because he wants to become a star and he still has a sense of honor in combat. Compare to Ward and Hopkins who have substituted grotesquely illegal tactics for much of their offensive output. Hopkins seemingly tutored Mayweather who debuted the Hopkin’s  patented upperbutt against Saul Alvarez before lacing his eyes a few rounds later. Then the ref had the audacity to warn Alvarez, not Mayweather. 

Folks, it ain’t just slugging that’s missing in action among today’s developing talent. There are a few still developing American sluggers in James Kirkland and Keith Thurman, but genuine boxing skills are lacking as Mayweather had when he was developing or as Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns and Marvin Hagler developed coming up. There are no Oscar de la Hoyas, Shane Mosleys,  or Vernon Forests type quality coming up. I’m not some ol’ git who always thinks the new generation is inferior to the old generation either. That’s another debate entirely. I respect developing fighters willing to fight top competition no matter what their talent level is, but the canary in the boxing mine has sounded the alarm. 

Bottom line, from heavyweight down to welterweight, there are no extraordinary American fighters coming up. It took only one screwed up generation to leave American boxing effectively dead in the water after more than 120 years of dominance. I’ll close with some comments on a modern application of scoring as judges might be instructed………R.I.P.

This is a 4 part modern interpretation of Queensbury Rules. Note the double emphasis on OFFENSE, not fouls. Offense rules with defense counting dead last in this criteria, but let’s take a closer look:

  • Clean punching: “Clean” punches are punches that land on the face/side of the head and the front/side of the torso. (Modern pro judges have moved to Olympic type tap-tap scoring where body punches are almost never counted)
  • Effective aggressiveness: A boxer demonstrates this trait when he consistently and successfully moves forward in a controlled manner. (We’ve seen too many dominant offensive onslaughts ignored by judges, the most blatant examples are Ponce de Leon and Paulie Malignaggi dominating Adrian Broner with punches and ring generalship yet losing the fight.)
  • Ring generalship: The judges favor the fighter who controls the pace and style of the bout. (Judges in the criminal justice system and boxing actually favor wealthy defendants with high powered attorneys and big money fighters with big promoters. Always have and forever it shall be notable exceptions not withstanding)
  • Defense: Boxers that skillfully incorporate defensive maneuvers receive credit in this area.(Simply running is not is not the traditional defense of staying in the combat range as the fighter slipped, ducked, blocked and countered effectively, skillfully being another key word ignored. Twisting into a pretzel below the beltline is not skillful defense, it’s cowering much like flopping to the ground to buy time in the old bare knuckle days that London Prize Ring Rules corrected) 

Montreal Iced Over~~Lucian Bute vs Jean Pascal

The NABF light heavyweight title Lucien Bute won from Denis Grachev in 2012 is up for grabs for the first “big” fight of 2014, Saturday, January 18th in Montreal at the Bell Centre. There’s no hometown advantage as both fighters enjoyed their greatest success there as very popular assimilated Canadians, Lucian Bute being from Romania and Jean Pascal from Haiti

Their biggest hurdles have been problematic setbacks that have knocked both from their prime form even though Pascal is only 31 and Bute only 33 years. Neither took much career punishment in the ring, yet how quickly they flamed out after being the toast of Montreal, now reduced to a squabble over the NABF bauble. The 37 year old previously unheralded ex-c0nvict Adonis Stevenson of Haiti has eclipsed the both of them in Montreal and in Ring ratings with a stunning year in 2013.

Who’d have thunk it two years ago?

Lucien Bute vs Jean Pascal

Lucien Bute vs Jean Pascal

 This will only be Bute’s 2nd bout at lightheavy after a long reign as the IBF supermiddleweight champ, 11-1, 8 KO in title bouts with a career mark of 31-1, 24 KO. He did not fight in 2013 after this May 2013 bout was originally rescheduled because of Pascal injuries and then rescheduled again. Whether Pascal can make it to the scratch line this time around on the fight date is unknown, but he still scrapes by with a #10 Ring ranking and amazingly #5 by Boxrec. Bute has dropped out of Boxrec rankings because of inactivity thanks to Pascal, yet amazingly hangs on to his #3 Ring ranking at supermiddle. Go figure since Ring will never be able to.

Pascal is the finer posing physical specimen,  yet woefully delicate with a distinct lack of stamina and pop. He’s 28-2-1, 17 KO for his career, yet never hurt much less knocked out a true world class contender in his five years at the top, 4-2-1, 1 KO overall in title fights. Somehow he managed to deck ol’man Bernard Hopkins twice early in their first fight before running around like a flapping headless chicken to let the uselessly flailing Hopkins back in the fight for a draw. Then he let the ol’timer whup him in the rematch that I will forever refuse to watch so as to save a modicum of respect for boxing.

So how much more disgrace can one fighter bear you might ask yourself?

Plenty more if Pascal plans on moving up to heavyweight as he made noises about, but such posing is what the French Canadians seem to be willing to pay for, so in that regard Pascal is a success. I wasn’t going to cover this fight because it will likely be so ugly as to defy polite descriptors, but since both were so popular in Montreal, there it is in a nutshell. Their suns are setting as they make one last run at a money fight.

Bute had a particularly shocking fall from grace when he was stopped after showing little punch resistance to big slugging Carl Froch as Bute did his best impersonation of a deer frozen in the headlights of a truck. He had been a long time Ring P4Per, an elite fighter scarcely needing to even break into a sweat from his compelling southpaw stance he was handling his competition so easily, but Carl Froch is cut from a different mold of the typical contender and former champions Bute had previously disposed. Bute had one good round where Froch absorbed the best he could throw, and then, poof, Bute folded and the damage was done, exacerbated by disgraceful British officiating as Froch and his promoter Hearns threw a party before the standing Bute had even taken a count by the referee.

I dare say a team of 8th graders could oversee a more respectable fight than the multitudes of n’er do wells running boxing these days, but 8th graders are legally frozen out of pro boxing.

Speaking of, I hear tell the curtains may be coming down on Montreal boxing, a shame if true. I’d surely think some youngsters must be in training to have a chance at such glory as has been fought for at the Bell Centre these past several years. Stevenson and the 25 year old David Lemieux look to have plenty more fights in them, so a stay of execution seems warranted for now.

Pascal and Bute are supposed to be dope tested by WADA whatever that means in the elusive world of ever changing testing parameters in the boxing and illicit drug testing cartel businesses. Bute should prevail against Pascal and could stage a title challenge at lightheavy this year, but he’s got to wrangle a decision from the forever fleeing Pascal, so who can say?

Maybe Pascal feels the pressure and makes a last stand for a classic encounter. There’s always hope in boxing land for a good fight, so let us hope for the sake of Montreal boxing they can break up this impacted ice flow.

A Failure to Fight–Rematch of Hopkins vs Dawson

Or alternately entitled, When Bad Chad Shrugged, Part II.

Officially the “event” is scheduled Saturday, April 28th at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Maybe a fight will break out this time, but the sad fact is that not many boxing fans wanted to see the original farce and fewer still likely to care about a rematch of what never was.

I predicted Dawson wouldn’t be getting any favors in the leadup article to the original, and sure enough the California commish overruled the referee decision of a 2nd round TKO of Hopkins to a NC, No Contest. The WBC ruled it a TD2, a Technical Draw, so Hopkins retained his title and million dollar purse and gets to reprise another day of moaning, crying, and rolling on the ring canvas for more millionaire pay.

Chad Dawson is largely blameless in the travesty save signing on to fight the geezer legend who more and more often doesn’t fancy a good fight anymore when he made his name against Tito Trinidad and Kelly Pavlik. All Dawson did was shrug his shoulders in an attempt to release himself from the clawing death grip Hopkins had placed him in after coming in hard with a UFC flying knee for his offense.

Hopkins is definitely NOT in the old school vein of his “role model,” Archie Moore, who swept the floor of his era with relevant heavyweight contenders in between defending his lightheavy title for a storied decade as one of the most revered P4P fighters in history. Moore was putting big guys on the canvas with their lights turned out, not moaning to the ref who could’ve cared less in an era where men were fighters and not wearing silly little Halloween fright masks into the ring like schoolboys looking for candy handouts.

You can read about the stark contrast between Archie Moore old school tough and skilled against the modern softie, Bernard Hopkins:

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2010/05/03/listen-up-without-peer-the-one-the-only-archie-moore/

Tears for Punches

Tears for Punches

I’m generally not one to disparage a fighter for mere losses or one off poor performances, but Bernard Hopkins has been milking the boxing world for a while now. Dawson has to play along in the WBC fun and games if he is ever to return to his formerP4P status that he lost with the dubious stoppage by the Montreal ref on a minor cut in the Pascal fight.

Training with contraptions

Training with contraptions

What a 6-3 highly skilled boxer Dawson is doing ducking below his waist to avoid an old guy with no teeth in his mouth or punches in his mitts is something he and his trainer Ice John Scully will have to address if they ever hope to make Dawson the household name his skills and talents deserve.

You’ve been forewarned, so watch at your peril.

Ice John & Bad Chad Reunite for The Execution(er)

 Bad Chad Dawson has rolled the dice in midstream to replace his new trainer, Emanuel Steward with his old trainer, Ice John Scully, who first got Dawson up to speed early in his career.The splits seem to have been amicable, and perhaps so since there’s been nary a squeak out of Steward. Dawson is still open enough to reestablish training with Scully weeks before his challenge for his old WBC strap now held by Bernard Hopkins.

Ice John at Play

Ice John at Play

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scully is a well respected former lightheavy contender with the experience to formulate a plan to dethrone Hopkins. The opportunity is surely his biggest moment as a trainer and it is certainly a critical juncture fight Dawson needs to win to stake his claims to the lions share of future big fights.

Welcome to Ice John’s very own website and register your thoughts on the fight here:

http://icemanjohnscully.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=6279

Bernard Hopkins has been on a hot roll of late after a mysterious resurgence against Jean Pascal. Accusations flew that Hopkins was on Human Growth Hormone, HGH, which didn’t prevent him from being knocked down hard twice by the feather fisted Pascal.

Had Hopkins been fighting with as much vim and vigor as he showed against Pascal, his record would certainly be better, but Chad Dawson is a completely different fighter than Jean Pascal and who knows what version of Hopkins will show up at age 46? 

When He Was King

When He Was King

Hopkins’ last knockout was another decade ago when he still had hair, but he was suspicously fragile against Calzaghe and Jones and may be ripe for the big KO. Thing is that Dawson is something of a lazy boxer, preferring to sit back and let his natural talent do all the work and then take the decision, not a KO artist. It did seem like he had Pascal ready to go when the headbutt stopped their bout, so maybe there’s some hidden knockout potential in him waiting to be released.

Of the Ring ranked southpaws Hopkins faced recently, he was hard pressed against Winky Wright who was brought in as a guest trainer for Dawson for this fight.Then Hopkins looked for all intents to be quitting in the ring against the talented Joe Calzaghe as Hopkins attempted to stop the fight with the worst canvas acting job seen in a boxing ring since Sonny Liston hit the deck against Muhammad Ali.

Not sure what kind of silk stockings have been passed around at Golden Boy these days with Hopkins rolling around on the canvas and

Shane Mosley and Victor Ortiz wanting to hug and kiss Floyd Mayweather instead of fight him, but Dawson should be very suspicious of being suckered into this seedy web and concentrate on taking the fight out of the judges and the ref’s hands. He won’t be getting any favors in this fight, but what he will get is a serious case of looking bad if he can’t concentrate on boxing because that’s the secret to Hopkins’ longevity.

Hopkins doesn’t want a fair fight, he wants to frustrate by fouling and grappling in between running around the ring and then cop an academy award decision. He knows Dawson is a superior boxer at range, so Hopkins will likely be rushing him much like he did Pascal which made for an ugly fight. Hopkins is legendary for what he calls Philly style head butts that many modern fighters just can’t handle.

I don’t recall Dawson ever having to fight inside except the first Johnson fight which many thought he lost, but if he can’t, he’s got to have some good foot movement to maintain his best fighting distance. His footwork and balance have always been excellent, but this is a different fight than he’s used to.

The undercard is compelling with Antonio DeMarco going against former champ Jorge Linares for Gary Bradley’s old WBC strap. New hotshot Danny Garcia goes against ex champ Kendall Holt in an IBF eliminator and Pauli Malignaggi is staying busy as he awaits his next title shot.

Not a bad night to be at the fights if Hopkins shows up to fight and can pull out his old Kelly Pavlik gameplan. We’ll see soon enough who wants it and who’s smart enough to take it.