Tag Archives: don king

“Deyonce” Wilder Defends WBC Alabama Title against Bermane Stiverne

I wasn’t going to bother with this WBC farce, but the comedy value is just too temptingly great to pass up.

Yup, “Deyonce” Wilder Defends his WBC Alabamy Mudflats Title against Bermane Stiverne in Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, of all places, Saturday, November 4th. Expect the place to be heavily papered in free and reduced value tickets since he can’t draw more than a few flies in his home state of Alabama where he usually can be found fighting the latest TBA on short notice that Stiverne represents for a bag of peanuts and popcorn.

Yup, the WBC Alabamy belt represents the highest achievement of American heavyweights since his debut 9 years ago.

Oh, he’ll moan about phantom drug test failings, something that Stiverne himself is guilty of in the most incremental way of a fail possible when you understand that 90% of the American population couldn’t pass modern day drug testing including the kids who are so addled after being drugged up by modern docs and psychologists that the American culture is ready to implode yet again. So it ain’t like dear Deyonce is some kind of holy warrior only fighting clean fighters when in fact he’s been fighting guys who nominally failed drug tests like Stiverne who couldn’t make a top 20 ranking in Ring or Boxrec, but King can pay the WBC to make him a mandatory opponent in spite of the complete lack of accomplishments after he lost his title to Deyonce.

The 39 year old Stiverne is just a single fight above being retired after their last fight almost 3 years years ago, and that against a journeyman where he hardly distinguished himself. Let’s face it, at this stage of Don King boxing is just a hobby and Stiverne is perfect for him in that he’s about a lazy a ring presence as ever existed. Everything about his first fight with Deyonce stinks as most Don King fights do when Stiverne had to be admitted to a hospital afterward suffering from “severe dehydration”, a condition almost impossible to achieve in heavyweights from never needing to drop weight to make a division limit. Moreover, their fight like most are in climate controlled environments, and like most heavyweight bouts, their’s was slow paced because neither has ever in traditionally good shape because neither has ever aspired to fight the best in their division.

Stiverne turned pro in July 2005 and Deyonce in November of 2008, and allowing the typical 3 years of heavyweight development before fighting their first touted prospect or fringe contender types, Stiverne only shows two wins over former contender Chris Arreola in 2013-2014, 8 years AFTER his debut. Wilder made that jump in 2014 over former champ long past any credible ranking, Siarhoi Liakhovich in 2014, 6 years after his debut, and mostly fringe contenders since if even that. The Ring and Boxrec top ten heavyweights have never been targeted because in general those types of top 10 fighters tend to fight each other. Since both Stiverne and Wilder are basically fringe contender types who have made a decent living holding a corrupted WBC belt, their circle of fighters has been limited to the fringes.

This promises more of the same, and a well deserved pittance for an orchestrated heavyweight title fight for the WBC Alabama title. Deyonce has never fought much less beat a legit Ring or Boxrec top ten heavy. The list of top 10 names he has failed to even bother negotiations with would include a who’s who of top Ring and Boxrec contenders over the past 10 years since his debut that would only partially include:

RING:

Wladimir Klitschko
Vitali Klitschko
Ruslan Chagaev
Alexander Povetkin
Nikolay Valuev
Sultan Ibragimov
Samuel Peter
Oleg Maskaev
Juan Carlos Gomez
Alexander Dimitrenko
Eddie Chambers
David Haye
Denis Boytsov
Tony Thompson
Tomasz Adamek
Robert Helenius
Kubrat Pulev
Tyson Fury

Current BOXREC:

1 ➡ Anthony Joshua
2 ➡ Alexander Povetkin
3 ➡ Deontay Wilder
4 ⬆ 1 Luis Ortiz
5 ⬇1 Kubrat Pulev
6 ➡ Tony Bellew
7 ➡ Joseph Parker
8 ➡ Christian Hammer
9 ➡ Dillian Whyte
10 ➡ Adam Kownacki
11 ➡ Jarrell Miller
12 ⬆ 1 Dominic Breazeale
13 ⬆ 1 Malik Scott
14 ⬆ 1 Charles Martin
15 ⬆ 1 Andy Ruiz Jr
16 ⬆ 1 Johann Duhaupas
17 ⬇5 Lucas Browne
18 ➡ Eric Molina
19 ➡ Carlos Takam
20 ⬆ 1 David Haye

As you can see, he has at least fought and beat the current boxrec #13 and #18, hardly a Murderers Row in the Pantheon of all time feared heavyweights, and that’s it. Yet somehow in today’s heavyweight division where most fighters tend to avoid their fellow top ranked peers in the weakest heavyweight era in history, this 32 year old marshmallow has somehow wormed his way into a high Ring and Boxrec rating on dint of a long career @37-0, 36 KO where 3/4ths of his opponents weren’t above a 300th Boxrec rating.

As to the fight, I’d expect Stiverne to get hit plenty as he did last fight, but this time they’ll call for an early stoppage to save Deyonce for the only big fight of his career where he might clear $5 million, and that’s over in England against Anthony Joshua who’s the hottest thing going in boxing these days. Of course Stiverne could catch Deyonce as he did last time, only harder, but I expect no favors for him by the judges or the ref. Watch it and weep for the good ol’ days when men were men and American heavies the real champs with nobody to dispute them. 

What Are They Thinking? Shane Mosely Vs Ricardo Mayorga Vs Don King

Though this monumental mistake promises some very cheap entertainment this Saturday, August 29th, at the Forum, Inglewood, California, it will be coming at a dear price of a $50 PPV. All I can say is good luck to Shane Mosley and Ricardo Mayorga on their rematch and expected PPV projections as well as the financial lawsuit settlement against the deceitfully decrepit Don King who claims to own Mayorga’s contract. He tried to stop the fight with a court injunction but failed.

Them Were The Days

Them Were The Days

No doubt Mosley, who has been something of a gym rat his whole life, will be in good shape, but he hasn’t fought since two years ago after he was TKOed by Anthony Mundine down under in the topsy-turvy land of OZ after his back went out on him. It’s been ages since he’s had a knockout and he’s been beat up more than a few times since then.

Mayorga has been more active in 2014 with a couple of knockouts over a pair of no hope type lightheavies hovering just under the Boxrec 1000 ranking mark. He had voluntarily retired after Miguel Cotto beat him up and knocked him out in 2011, but now he’s 41 years of age with a poor history of training, so how’s that gonna work for him?

Well, Mayorga is very tough and game as we all know. He can punch too if he ever manages to land one of his roundhouse swings and Mosley is even more ancient at 44 years of age. Supposedly this senior moment is a feud of Twitter insults coming to fruition, but it smacks more of a Three Ring Retirement Circus than a professional fight. Hope everyone comes out healthy with a some spare change to jingle and promptly retire, but too often fighters don’t have enough sense to come out of the rain at their career ends…Shame that… 

Deontay Wilder Finally Steps Up Vs Bermane Stiverne

Freshly crowned WBC heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 KOs) defends against his mandatory, Deontay Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs) this Saturday, January 17 at the MGM in Las Vegas. Unfortunately for boxing, more specifically American boxing, Wilder is only a modest prospect by his limited achievements, yet by hook and crook has managed through dubious rankings in the WBC and shady maneuverings at Al Haymon/Golden Boy News of the Ring World to become top rated contender.

Perhaps more telling has been the tepid promotional push since the fight was announced. That this deal is a backroom deal seems more and more apparent as it flies under the usual radar of hyped American heavyweight title fights. The bigger story is news that Golden Boy Promotions has given up his interest in Al Hayman signed fighters and settled his lawsuit against Richard Schaefer the week before this fight.

In contrast look for the planned Wladimir Klitschko/Bryant Jennings fight at Barclays in Brooklyn to be very well promoted as a legitimate heavyweight challenge by a worthy American against the growing legacy of the long time champ. Though the monetary terms have been agreed to, the other big boxing story is the advances Roc Nation has made by the recent signing of Jennings which may complicate the final details.

Yes,

Yes, “It” Happens!

The Don King promoted Stiverne manage to earn his limited chops and the WBC title by beating long time contender Chris Arreola, once in 2013 and again in 2014 for the belt. Arreola himself had something of a specious record after never having beat a top ten contender, the ultimate scourge of the last decade of faint hearted US heavyweight prospects and their promoters. The last US Olympic boxing medalist, Wilder, was last seen buried in California on the undercard of little known IBF Welter champ Shawn Porter when he defended against even less known British contender Kell Brook. In spite of Wilder’s bronze medal in 2008 and perfect 34-0, 34 KO record, only a couple dozen fans were in the seats of the Stubb Hub to watch him pad out his choreographed streak against long time journeyman Jason Gavern.

Mutt & Jeff Monkeyshines

Mutt & Jeff Monkeyshines

The physical aesthetics of this fight are something akin to a modern day rendition of the old Mutt & Jeff cartoon given the sleek 6-7 tattooed physiology of 29 year old Wilder in contrast to the stubby blubber of the 36 year old Stiverne, generously listed at 6-2 on boxrec in spite obviously challenging the 5-11 mark. In a styles make fights sport, the fight becomes a real puzzle since nobody knows what kind of style Wilder will use since he’s never faced any fighter near the danger of the limited Stiverne who can easily be outboxed in the early going. Does Wilder have the stamina to go the distance against a tough guy like Stiverne? Does he have the power to knock him out? Does Wilder have the chin to stand up to the inevitable shots landed on him? Does he have the innate moxie to know when to move and box and when to stand and land?

We know what Stiverne brings but in spite of 34 fights we don’t know what kind of fighter Wilder really is other than heavily protected and we may not find out given the shaky promotional natures of Don King and Al Hayman for whom fairly officiated fights are an anathema. This is a roll of unknown dice for the public, however there’s little doubt that young Wilder represents the future American boxing interests as opposed to the unheralded Haitian Stiverne who can never generate a decent sized purse unless the unspeakable happens and he knocks out Wilder. Then he would have to sign to fight Wladimir Klitschko in a unification bout, not likely given his promoter Don King’s reluctance to risk one of his last meal tickets.

Speculation aside, the model for this “event” is likely found in the first Michael Dokes vs Mike Weaver confrontation when the unsung Weaver was stopped controversially in the first round in spite of having all of his faculties just because he took some hard punches as was always his style. Naturally Don King secured the rematch which did nothing to settle the controversy with the draw result.

Stiverne is the closest heavyweight to the Weaver style today and there is no historical parallel to the limitations of Wilder, so the big question is whether the ref will favor Wilder or not. Regardless, I don’t see these guys going the distance and the potential for controversy is about as high as it can get for a fight.

 

Future Destiny In Waiting~Wladimir Klitschko vs Kubrat Pulev

***Fight postponed due to Wladimir injury reported alternately as a hamstring pull or left bicep tear. Sad but true perhaps this warning shot across the bow of the aging Klitschko juggernaut as he dragged Shannon Briggs across the landscape that left him shaking his right hand. Not much else in the story, but link here for confirmation:

http://www.espn.co.uk/boxing/sport/story/336929.html

Wladimir Klitschko is back in action to defend his myriad collection of world title belts against IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev at O2 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany on Saturday, September 6th. He is coming off a successful defense against his WBO mandatory Alex Leapai who was well tenderized before being knocked out in the 6th round, but there’s much more at stake than just this upcoming title defense.

The Combatants

The Combatants

Klitschko is currently 23-2, 17 KOs in title fights coming into his his 26th title fight. Only the immortal Joe Louis was in more heavyweight title fights, sporting a 26-1 record with the 26 all consecutive wins, one record heavyweights will likely never break. A win against Pulev puts Wladimir within two title fights of tying Joe’s 26 title wins record and breaking his 27 total title fights record.

Records are fascinating reflections of the eras in which they occur and most will eventually be broken as the rules and culture changes, but boxing has a history of pulling the plug on modern fighters approaching Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 heavyweight record. The Joe Louis records may be even more revered as we may discover once Wlad tries to cross that threshold. This is the first recorded instance of a modern heavyweight champion also simultaneously approaching the Joe Louis final record of 66-3, 52 KO, dead square within his sights with Wlad currently at 62-3, 52 KO and still on top of his game. There will be much moaning and wringing of limp hands about this heavy division being soft by the grandsons of the same moaning critics of previous eras who were never satisfied with the greats who do pass through their eras, always preferring the good old days of their misguided besotted youth when the biggest impressions are made on the soft clay of their memory.

The perfect modern era example of that misanthropic thinking is the stellar record of two division champ Dariusz Michalczweski who was the long time “lineal” lightheavyweight champ according to the varied arcane claims kept by persnickety purist “boxing experts” as he waged one of the best title runs in history. He approached the Rocky Marciano career mark of 49-0 as he also made a bid to tie the Joe Louis record of 26 consecutive title wins. During his span of 9 years the aptly monikered “Tiger” defended his WBO lightheavy title while adding the WBO cruiserweight title that he never defended and the IBF, WBA, and “lineal” titles when he beat HOFer Virgil Hill.

The Fates could not have arranged for a more eventful challenge to boxing history, but being such fastidiously fickle sisters, they upped their ante on this poor Polish boy by booting him into Germany where he became a huge star with the expected accumulating hubris as he played out his preordained destiny before adoring fans.

They also made sure that Michalczweski was to be infamously and quite immediately stripped of his hard won WBA and IBF baubles that Roy Jones Jr then moved up to claim to much more acclaim that in turn secured his own lock as a first ballot International Boxing Hall of Famer that Dariusz currently remains locked out of. Roy fought many of the same fighters Dariusz fought, often after Dariusz had already taken care of business in advance. As Dariusz approached those legendary boxing milestones, he and his team obviously developed a sense of history and wanted affirmation from American media that historically define prevailing boxing media content. They flew to America for an HBO televised Jones title match where he publicly lobbies for a Jones unification fight to no avail. Jones and his HBO paymasters blithely snubbed what would have been the biggest money purse in Roy’s career. You could ask them why, but I doubt there will be any truth forthcoming. You see, all that big money was only if the fight were held in Germany with a German broadcaster that HBO either could not or would not match in a home setting for Roy. Nor would Roy travel abroad for a big fight much like the the current crop of acclaimed undefeated American P4Pers whose names are already forgotten in the span of time.

Instead Roy settled for the much touted Don King canned WBA heavyweight challenge against John Ruiz with King contractually keeping that title “in house” for well over a decade before his own inevitable decline finally saw him lose his grip. So King held the WBA heavy option on Roy for one year to no avail when Roy simply refused to defend, instead holding a King’s Court as suitors supplicated themselves before him with a dozen heavyweight and cruiserweight big fight offers before vacating the heavyweight title which, cough, cough, immediately reverted back to the justly maligned John Ruiz.  Roy did finally return and beat Antonio Tarver to an unexpected savaging by critics who finally saw their estimation of his otherworldly talents and career dashed on the rocks of their own misguided expectations of Roy cleaning out the heavyweight division.

‘T’ain’t ever easy being the best ever in the best of times when the times savagely turn on you.

The discouraged Dariusz instead held his historic bout against the light swatting Julio Gonzalez whom Roy had previously beaten in 12 lackluster rounds. Gonzalez was the best Dariusz could find under the circumstances, yet a poor substitute that showed in his own lackluster performance where he looked to be sleep walking underwater for the first half of the fight as the gentle pitty-pattering rain of Gonzalez racked up the points. Then the switch gets turns on as Dariusz finds his timing and desire to chase and pound on Gonzalez down the stretch. I thought Dariusz showed the heart of a champ under adverse conditions to win those rounds, but instead the judges denied him that fight and his place in history with a razor thin split decision loss.

Dariusz record here: Dariusz Michalczewski

The modestly equipped Gonzalez could do nothing with the belt but to promptly drop it to talented undefeated Hungarian Zsolt Erdei who had his own problems making big fights with Americans. So the great Roy Jones thus became something of arcane anomaly after all his storied dozens of title fights in never having once held the “Lineal” belt holder in any of the four divisions he held the belt.

So the extensive history of the above/\ is the backdrop setting in this upcoming international fistic play as we get back to the robust upcoming challenge ahead to Wlad’s own considerable legacy.

The 33 year old Bulgarian Pulev is a rugged 6-5, 250 lbs who doesn’t give away any size or strength worth noting. He has recently beat 3 “giant” heavyweights in a row, knocking out top 20 contenders Alexander Dimitrenko and Alexander Ustinov and then beating top 10 Tony Thompson by decision. Though his record pales compared to Wlad, only 20-0, 11 KO, he seems like the type of fighter who fights up or down to the importance of the fight and this his biggest fight ever.

The Klitschko brothers’ K2 Promotions won the IBF mandatory purse bid over Pulev promoter Saureland promotions which was the only way this fight could have been made since both are big German promotional rivals who seldom work with each other unless circumstances force them.

Sound familiar?

Pulev has managed to go a bit further in the prefight than previous Wlad opponents, claiming he, Pulev, is drug tested 6x per year and demanding Wlad take his same tests. Wlad only undergoes post fight drug testing under the auspices of the German Boxing Federation, approximately 2-3x per year dependent on his fight schedule, so no Olympic drug testing controversy this one. The recent Felix Sturm/Sam Soliman bombardment of vicious charges and counter charges over the legality of a nominal compound used in vitamins and supplements highlights the shameless incompetence of cartels and commissions who crudely rule over this untidy sport. If the illicit cartels and commishes ever establish themselves to be as well tested and competently trained as the fighters that they attempt to pass judgement on, then some day the public might take these clowns seriously. Yeah, fat chance that, but such is the way life is everywhere, so we the people of the world adjust to modern prefight and prework drug testing posturing the best we can.

The Cannon Iced!

The Cannon Iced!

And speaking of going further than normal in prefight posturing, a special mention must be made for the grotesquely abnormal pre-prefight posturing of Shannon Briggs in a frothing, rabid state of hysteria during the weeks to the lead up to this fight. He had been stalking Klitschko in his Florida training regimen with what looked like staged video setups, the first of which showed him taking off a shoe to throw at Wlad who was having his hands taped. OK, just some harmless goofy stuff that gets the usual suspects all riled up, but five weeks away from the Pulev fight Briggs stormed a restaurant Klitscko was dining at, screaming hysterically before grabbing his plate to wolf down Wlad’s meal. Wlad blithely joked around before pouring ice water over his bald noggin which flashed Briggs to sweep the table clear in a shattering violent explosion before a bodyguard wrapped him up to cart off outside where Briggs fled to the local hospital with cut hands and feet. Wlad may have cut or broken his right hand as well as he was looking at the palm and shaking something off.

So, Wlad has to effectively negotiate through Shannon “The Loose Cannon” Briggs first who may well be stalking him in his return to Germany as he has done in the past before Wlad can fight Pulev. We shall see soon enough if these were publicity set ups if and when Wlad schedules the desperate Briggs for his next fight. Video here:

At the very least the best heavyweight champion of this era will meet yet another of his main rivals, something that seldom happens in the US at the lesser weights they represent these days.

It should be noted that Wladimir’s brother Vitali was recently elected mayor of Kiev in Ukraine which is currently engaged in a tragically escalating border war against Russia. Hard to say how those political and war distractions add up, but Wlad should be the betting favorite by a good margin over Pulev who looks like he’s durable enough to be dangerous over all 12 rounds.

The usual anti social media monkeys male bonded in a fury of vitriol over Klitschko’s excessive holding against Russian Alexander Povetkin last year and then piled on over the quality of Alex Leapai as a fighter. Wlad looked like a proctologist grown weary of his profession as he gazed down upon Povetkin in a reflective pause before donning the rubber gloves for the perfunctory examination, but look a little closer and you can almost see a return to the original London Prize Ring Rules with 3 hard knockdowns and otherwise manhandling the surprisingly game Povetkin to toss him about the ring old school style into the ropes and onto the canvas like a rag doll. This Pulev fellow looks too strong and densely built for that, but at the end of the day, Wlad has been executing his various mandatory defenses by the textbook, meaning Pulev is likely well pulped by the end of their session however the means.

Is Pulev made of greater stuff than just another lumped up, lopsided heavybag twisting on the chains for Wladimir? Been much bigger upsets than this one which could be interesting on many fronts. Just you watch and wait and see history in the making…

The Essentials

The Essentials

Hot Blast From The Past~Lennox Lewis vs Evander Holyfield I

I confess that I didn’t care for the first Lennox Lewis vs Evander Holyfield fight in the day and thus never had any reason to revisit it other than in sometimes spirited verbal debate arising over such controversial decisions. Finally, 15 years later I pulled it up today for a stylistic comparison of the last “great” American heavyweight as he wound down his career.

In boxing what goes around comes around as the more things change the more they remain the same and every other lame duck adage you can conjure up. Boxing “officials” back then stifled the righteous unification of the titles that Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield each held.

I only wanted see the fight, not to listen to blowhard announcers or review drunken punch monkey stats all strategically placed in to disrupt the basic sounds and sights of the fight. The average viewer soon becomes duped into thinking he is in the magnificent present of all knowing boxing experts emceeing the typical broadcast entertainment extravaganza. Me thinks that this particular fight  set the modern productions of the many international title events “promoted” by the entertainment industry moguls that have followed.

Lewis, Mercante, Holyfield

Lewis, Mercante, Holyfield

Holyfield is the last “great” American heavy at the end of his productive years propped up in Madison Square Garden as his “international” rival Lewis agrees to fly across the Atlantic for the big unification bout everyone and their granny wants to see. The judges are from South Africa, UK, and US with New York based Arthur Mercante Jr. the referee. Big George, Larry and Lamps are the Moe, Larry, and Curly announcing trio with the last great heavyweight trainer Emanuel Steward in the Lewis corner. Roy Jones Jr is set up at another studio and still on top of the boxing world as his braggadocio shoots off the charts. Everyone looks impossibly  young and healthy, yet shockingly Steward is no longer with us. Life is fickle and certainly not as permanent as it sometimes seems during our day to day struggles that seem unceasing before we tune in for ol’ reliable to get the juices roiling, the birthright of Americans, a big match heavyweight duke’em up.

Mercante impossibly slips a missed Real Deal left hook early on that most certainly would have sent him into the 3rd row had it connected as he demonstrated great reflexes and physicality in this grappling, big man affair. The fight turned out to be much better than I remembered though it petered out the last two rounds that doubtless increased the latitude of the scoring as well as dampened my memory of the fight. It was more informative this time around because of the context of the passage of time, so I ended up watching the whole broadcast instead of just the fight.

The broadcast ended up extremely raw and forthright as the hosts and participants struggled to make sense of the incomprehensible.

Lamps is all over the “stench” of the scoring as soon as the scorecards are announced. The setup was the typical Don King promoted modis operandi in the day and still the same format used in many big international fights today. British judge brought in to stay mum with the draw scoring while the American female judge has it for Holyfield and the South African judge for Lewis, the perfect foil for the perfect draw denouement pre-orchestrated by all time scoundrel Don King.

Noteworthy are the vast boos from the majority 21,000 American crowd who certainly have no history of ever taking a shine to Lewis. The reported 7500 Brits flying over to attend the fight can be heard all through taking up the Lewis chant. Had no idea Lewis was “that” popular with Brits in the day though I knew he had a good following.

Emmanuel Steward point blank: “This is is killing boxing.”

Fast forward>>> Shawn Porter vs Kell Brook>>> and we had California based referee Pat Russel as the 3rd man in the ring, the British judge mum again with a draw as the two American judges showed their “impartiality” by going all for the British Brook who is now suddenly mooted for all these artificial “superfights” boxing is desperate to make. The poorly attended crowd of 3000 didn’t have much to cheer about in this poor card that also featured touted American flagship heavyweight contender Deontay Wilder fighting a prelim in front of maybe a few hundred spectators who cheered on his TBA opponent. Sad to see boxing come down to such a low level that the long maligned Lewis/Holyfield fight actually looks good in comparison even if the past it Holyfield fought a poor fight.

Lewis/Holyfield I:

Here We Go Again~Guillermo Jones vs Denis Lebedev II

WOW is about all anyone could sputter after seeing the first war between Guillermo Jones and Denis Lebedev held in Moscow last year, so here we go again in Moscow, April 25th, a Friday, Jones vs Lebedev II for redemption.

Their first fight was a hands down fight of the year save for one niggling detail. The massive 6-4 Jones from Panama who really should be fighting as a 220 lb heavyweight, why he is supposed to have tested positive for diuretics, a variety of common pharmaceutical weight loss substances long used by boxers but banned under modern rules. Their fight hearkened back to ye gory days of yore with massive shots being given and taken back and forth and even a massive Lebedev body slam of Jones.  Lebedev’s right eye progressively became so grotesquely swollen that he could not see to get up after an 11th round knockdown by Jones.

Yes, That Kind of Fight!

Yes, That Kind of Fight!

The amazing 41 year old Jones has been promoted for a long time now by Don King which means he is notoriously inactive for long stretches of years even, yet still holds his emeritus WBA strap in spite of that inactivity and failed drug test. Then there is the matter of infamously long banned Panama Lewis being his trainer, or at very least he used to be. The rematch should do big numbers in Russia and will be picked up by international hardline aficionados who appreciate the strong warlike attributes of Jones and Lebedev inside the squared ring. This is also a good guy/bad guy scenerio being played out where the Russian Lebedev is cast as the Russian good guy against the evil empire of Don King and the “drug cheating” Guillermo Jones.

Perhaps more amazing is Lebedev miraculously acquiring legendary trainer Freddie Roach who has more on his plate than any two trainers could handle. Lebedev is not a big star and could have been easily dismissed by Roach who is old school all the way down to his creaking bones, but he must have liked what he saw in Lebedev, a southpaw like Manny Pacquiao who can be further developed. The challenge of going against such an experienced big, strong guy in Jones who also knows how to fight in spades and is not easily discouraged no doubt also piqued Roach’s interest who is not shy about taking on challenges.

Jones should enter as the favorite, but facts are that Lebedev was outboxing and outworking him the first fight and should be in even better condition this go round. As to Jones? Be nice if he could pass the drug test this time around if he wants any accolades from fans. We already know he can fight.

Sure to be another tough, all action give and take bust’emup to add on to the already great start to the new year, so here, here, may the trend continue.

UPDATE: Fight called off and may 0r may not be rescheduled due to positive Jones drug test for weight loss diuretic Furosemide, a real shame that and yet another kick in the teeth of boxing:

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/guillermo-jones-tests-positive-again-243332

Hush-Hush-It’s Haye vs Harrison@Handbags-Shhhhhhhh…

Today, Halloween has fallen on a Sunday, meaning that tomorrow is the start of another work week, the start of another November, and 13 unlucky days before the English witching hour strikes when two MONSTERS commence with their titanic engagement.

!MONSTERS!

!MONSTERS!

If the great American heavyweights have gone the way of ALL YOU CAN EAT buffet stockyards, then surely the Haye vs Harrison battle of the sweet tweets is the type of English Handbags @ strokes of midnight affair that real men dare not contemplate for fear of a real beating or worse.

Well, never fear, Mr. Haye and the WBA have no such old fashioned manly sensibilities to hinder them from putting their WBA cheese belt up for grabs in public, so here we are, David Haye vs Audley Harrison, Handbags & Hairbraids a’Flyin’ in equal measure.

Who you got?

Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s a new era of harder women and softer men where anyone can own a designer belt of their choice. Hey, I’m OK with the sociologic notion of everyone owning a piece of self esteem. I like Teddy Bears and easy work as much as the next man, woman, or other.

Regardless of the comedic value of the fight, David Haye and Audley Harrison do have some genuine talent and credentials, so it never had to come down to this level of derision. Technically and emotionally, it’s quite possible a fine fight can be waged IF they can summon up the will and courage, however, on every weekend a boxing fan can find a few really fine, heroic quality fights being waged by journeymen class fighters, prospects, and fringe contenders.

So What?

One supposes Homer Simpson could also put together a fine battle between Krusty the Klown and Ronald MacDonald, and one can only imagine the all time randy cat scratchin’s that Hugh Hefner has refereed, so really, a world title fight should represent more than just a fine battle between contestants.

Myself, well then, I’ll happily confess to having more than my fair share of sport over these gentle metromen given the amount of money being generated by this fluff, the reason being that they have both been heavily promoted in their heavyweight careers and promised much, yet have scarcely delivered more than comedy or farce.

Fairplay: Mr. Harrison promised way back that he was going to fight for a world title and fight Mr. Haye, so he’s met most of his contractual obligations with the public regardless of what happens next. Given the rollercoaster nature of his career, injuries, and advanced age, 39, that’s quite a comeback for the former 2000 Olympic superheavyweight gold medalist who first turned professional with the world as his oyster.

Boo-hoo: The 31 yr old Mr. Haye relinquished his brief cruiser championship(one defense), with the promise of bringing a top ten heavyweight contender to England to smash up in his quest to clean out the division and seize all the belts. Instead, he retired to his new estate in Cypress for 8 months, ignoring the WBA’s generous offer to give him first crack at undefeated Russian legend, Ruslan Chagaev, who had wrested the WBA crown from the undefeated giant Nickoli Valuev on the eve of his attempt to tie Rocky Marciano’s undefeated 49-0 record.

Could it get any hotter than that?

Way, way too scalding HOT for Mr. Haye to handle. Instead he served up cold chipped beef leftovers on milquetoast on a dark and dreary London night against 40ish fringe contender Monte Barrett who hasn’t won a fight since.

Oh, I guess Mr. Hayemaker promotions delivered value of sorts, pricing the tickets at 2 for one to paper out the sparse attendance. And the fight was “exciting” for those of a wickedly cruel disposition, first kicked off when Barrett fell over while attempting to leap into the ring before both commenced to winging wide clubfighter swings in a donnybrook straight out of an Irish pub where everyone hit the floor to be hit on the floor.

The only thing missing was bar stools crashing, pints a’flying, and the tough Martin Rogan who had qualified himself by winning Prizefighter, but was not invited to the festivities. Alas, a threesome would’ve been way too much fun for the Marquis of Queensbury who promptly quelled the unseemly disturbance by pulling the plug on Barrett to declare Mr. Haye the victor.

Mr. Haye then pasted together an 8th grade styled youtube video of him promoting hisself running up an escalator to the foot of the big Ukrainian champ, Wlad Klitschko, pestering him for a title fight like a dog whining for a treat. Wlad patted him on his head and then went on about his business.

That promotion being unsuccessful, Mr. Haye then manufactured some tee-shirts of hisself carrying the severed heads of the Klitschko brothers who then had their first ever brotherly squabble, dickering over who had first crack at sending Mr. Haye splotto into Bolivia.

So, they pulled straws and Wlad won the contractual rights to Mr. Haye who promptly backed out of his contractual arrangements, leaving Wlad scrambling weeks before their fight to conjure up a credible challenger out of the rapidly Klitschko decimated heavyweight ranks.

The Klitschkos should’ve known better at that point.

Instead, Vitali exercised his short straw option and offered a crack at his WBC title. The terms had been slowly hammered out in principle, when, SHOCKER, Mr. Haye suddenly announced instead he would be challenging for Nickoli Valuev’s Don King controlled WBA strap that he had previously snubbed when the WBA first offered. That strap had been wrested by King from undefeated WBA champion, Ruslan Chagaev in a classic sleight of hand card trick.

Remember the blood testing shenanigans in Finland when King wouldn’t let Valuev fight Chagaev?

 Instead, it fell to Wlad who picked up yet another emergency replacement to nick Chagaev’s first loss, well pulping him into a mess before retiring him in the 8th round. The WBA refused to sanction that fight, instead, stripping Chagaev of his belt and awarding it to Valuev AFTER Chagaev was knocked out by Wlad.

Poor cheated Chagaev had to win a recent eliminator bout just for the right to challenge for his old strap that Mr. Haye holds now.

Now, I apologize for having to piece together this sordid puzzle that has become the sad tale of Mr. Haye who promised to clean out the division. Instead, Mr. Haye FAILED us for our failure to read the fine print that has to be properly told in sequential order.

Mr. Haye IS cleaning out the division in HIS fashion, sweeping out the pensioners, but STARTING IN REVERSE!

You know, everything depends on what HIS definition of IS is.

Mr. Haye scarcely raised a fisted glove against the creaking giant Valuev, preferring a reenactment of the scalded cat in track shoes act, which, surprise, surprise, was enough to squeak by big Niko who barely had a glimpse of the little critter scurrying about under his feet. Since then, each title challenge is coming against progressively weaker and older 40ish heavy contenders as could be expected from this latest WBA reincarnation of their champ holding the decade long King disgraced belt.

At this rate of deconstruction, I expect the 1988 US Olympic silver medalist, legend, and soon to be 42 yr old Roy Jones Jr. to get a crack at his old WBA heavy belt sometime next year to be followed by1984 US Olympic bronze medalist and teetering ring legend Evander Holyfield who wants a world record 7th crack at his old WBA belt, say 2013 so 50 yr old Commander Evander can simultaneously set the record as the oldest heavyweight challenger.

First things first, however, so here we are with the soft British public A-GaGa over their all English Handbags at the stroke of midnight affair supported by the all English undercard. Harder fight fans may scoff as they will, but, let’s be fair, like any cat fight, this entertainment value is top shelf!

Cat Scratch Fever

Cat Scratch Fever

I can’t help but see this as a pickem fight where either fighter is as likely to either land a bomb or flee for refuge, probably a mixture both as they tussle over who gets to take the easiest path to glory.

Mr. Haye has shown a fighters’ heart in the past, but it’s been awhile.

Mr. Harrison on the other hand seems to have discovered himself while at the lowest ebb of his career, coming back against all odds after even his fans had written him off and his health was compromised. With Mr. Harrison coming off another major injury that left him fighting with just one hand in his last fight, it’s hard to predict what he has left in his quiver when the first bell sounds though.

Did I Hear a Pipsqueak?

Did I Hear a Pipsqueak?

One thing for sure, the British public has been revitalizing Mr. Harrison’s popularity after his sudden show of pluck and heart, so it’s quite possible that the previously popular Mr. Haye may enter the ring as the panto villain to be vociferously booed to the rafters. Fragile mental make-up at the sound of the first bell is likely the decider in this fluffybrook.

For now though, Mr. Haye is the obvious betting favorite, owning a huge ranking and youth advantage.

Oberon, Titania & Puck Fancy a Dance With Faeries

Oberon, Titania & Puck Fancy a Dance With Faeries

Still, Mr. Harrison has the size and experience that has shortened the odds dramatically, all while brilliantly maneuvering Mr. Haye from afar with sweet tweets and naughties, positioning both precisely in the ring for this moment for their intertwined destinies to be played out as The Fates dicker over the outcome in the shadows of Stratford-upon-Avon.

That assumes that Mr. Haye doesn’t back out of yet another contract at the last hour. Recent reports have him smashing his Mercedes in a walkaway, a public cry for help?

Hmmmm, wonder what the odds are for Mr. Haye backing out of this fight would be at Ladbrokes? 

 
 

Splotto!
Splotto!

Answer:

Mr. Harrison will simply not allow Mr. Haye to back out of this fight.

It’s on!

Oh the Terror of a Beating in Love!

Oh the Terror of a Beating in Love!