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?
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.
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?