Archive for the ‘Boxing’ Category

Boxing Controversy (Not Really)

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

In the February 2009 edition “The Ring” I am sure Editor-in-Cheif Nigel Collins had no intention of being controversial when he closed out his editorial by stating the following: “Because it doesn’t matter whether it’s a pencil, telegraph, typewriter, or a computer, fundamentally, the message will always be more important then the medium.” Mr. Collins I beg to differ. Depending on the medium the message is often irrelevant and always shaped. Just look at Facebook. Is what we are saying (message) as important as the community or method of communication we are all partaking in? When I give a presentation today at work it is completely different then 10 years ago. Is the primary message different? No. But the way people look at the data and even what they see as important and how they process the information is different.

So which comes first the egg or the chicken? The medium or the message? I claim it is the medium.

Snooze Fest

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

What a bore.  The heavyweight bout 7/12/08 between Wladimir Klitschko and Tony Thompson was so tedious that the 11th round knockout barely caught my attention.  This is exactly what is making this division so unaproachable to American fight fans.  You have the best heavy weight out there (Wladimir Klitschko) fighting inconsistently and without apparrent passion.  Also the opponents are uninspring……Sultan, Tony?  The division needs a hard punching, chance taker who talks the talk but can back it up as well.  

Whatever happens please don’t let the next fight for Wladimir be with John Ruiz.  That bout would be so boring that I doubt I would ever be able to watch another bout.

Another Night of Frustration

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

Boxing GlovesThis past weekend was a great weekend for people who enjoy boxing. There were several high quality match-ups. We saw David Haye partially unite the Cruiserweight division. We saw Samuel Peter take the interim status off his alphabet title belt. We also saw an incredible upset with Nate Campbell upsetting heavy favorite Juan Diaz in the storied lightweight division.

Unfortunately it was also a bad weekend for boxing fans as well. We were given again the spectacle of embarrassing judging. I am not even going to begin to discuss the minor quibbles I have with the judging on the big cards of the weekend. No. My special angst is for the judging exhibited on the televised bouts on the ESPN Friday Night Fights event on March 7, 2008.

There were two match-ups that night. The first was Jason LeHoullier versus Jose Luis Gonzalez. The second match-up was between rising young contender Thomas Mashaba versus live underdog Cristobal Cruz. Both match-ups went the distance and both bouts were judged horribly in my opinion.

The second match were Mashaba was beaten by Cruz was less of a shock then the first in my opinion. There is no doubt that Cruz out punched Mashaba by a wide margin. Throwing lots of punches is only part of the equation. A judge is supposed to determine who is throwing the punches, who is connecting, who is connecting with the more significant punches and who is driving the action. In my opinion Cruz threw more punches but his punches were not accurate, they were not meaningful and he did not control the action. One judge saw this as a draw and the other two saw it 113-115 all for Cruz. A very bad decision in my view.

Far worse was the robbery that took place against Jose Luis Gonzalez. I don’t see any way this match was a tie. On my card this bout was 97-93 in favor of Gonzalez. I could see how a reasonable person could have judged this 96-94 Gonzalez or 98-92 Gonzalez as well. What I can’t see is any scenario were this is not a clear Gonzalez win. He was completely and totally dominant in this fight. Of the three judges the scores were judge: George Smith 97-93 (Gonzalez) | judge: Clark Sammartino 95-95 | judge: Don Trella 96-94 (LeHoullier). The only score I do not have a problem with here is George Smith. Clark is plain wrong and Don Trella should be investigated. This type of garbage scoring makes this purest of all sports into a joke. It makes a mockery of the sweat, blood and heart that these fighters leave on the canvas. It irks me and I wish something could be done about. For now we will call out the worst of the worst judges when and how we see them.

This week the Thoughtless Award of Shame goes to Don Trella, Judge, for his embarrassing and suspicious score of 96-94 (LeHoullier) in the LeHoullier vs. Gonzalez bout.

It is a pity that the last bout at the Foxwoods Casino, before tear down and rebuild, had to be a fiasco. It is also sad that the sport continues to serve up fiascoes as if they are a fans dearest wish.

On a side note there was a lot worth discussing this past weekend. I would love to discuss Samuel Peter’s development as a fighter and Nate Campbell’s improbable win over the Baby Bull. Unfortunately there is no time this week yet. If time opens up I may revisit these topics unless someone else opens up a dialogue first.

ESPN: Boxings Patron or Part of the Problem?

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

Boxing GlovesRecently the Boxing Program Director of ESPN Doug Loughrey had been the focus of some much unwanted attention. In January he and TV personality Teddy Atlas got into a much publicized shouting match over how matches were agreed upon and brought to the ESPN airwaves. This altercation led to the one week suspension of Teddy Atlas. Even more recently Doug Loughrey appears to be making this perception of impropriety even more crystallized by getting between boxer and trainer and offering legal advise were it is very much not wanted. See the link below for the situation in detail.

You know I was a casual fan of boxing, maybe a bit more then casual, in the 80’s through early 90’s. I then got busy and the lack of coverage and televised fights drove me away. It was only two years ago when my travels forced me to spend 4 to 5 nights a week in a hotel room that I became a true fan. Watching ESPN classic showings of matches gave me something to look forward to in the hotel room.

This crap is the type of thing that could turn me right back off again. It seems criminal to me that you can’t watch any names at the top of the game without shelling out $50.00. If you want to split the PPV you have to find a few friends that actually give a flying fart about a sport they all gave up years ago. To see a fight in person for one of these names you need to travel to one of a few cities that seem to host them. Then for local fighting give it up. Because of the lack of coverage half the cards seem to get cancelled and promoters continue to swear they will “never return” due to a 10% occupancy at the arena. Then of course we have the sanctioning bodies who couldn’t sanction a tarot reading if any real oversight was in place. We have fighters that don’t or won’t fight real competition. I think Floyd is the best fighter out there but you know what….who cares if he isn’t going to fight. If you aren’t going to do anything but do the victory dance then fine but lets stop arguing about your talent as your talent is no longer relevant.

I can deal with the frustrations above but when the last real vestige of free viewing of the sport begins to look as tainted as we are all told it really is, well it really starts to get you down.

Don’t get me wrong. I really, really love the sport. It does frustrate me that it seems a sport that I alone of anyone I talk to in real life seems to care about. But in reality am I the only one who gets a little down on these type of articles and the business decisions that seem to be driving the sport into the nosebleed seats of the sports arena?

Sorry for the rant. Just a bit ornery today I guess.