Friday, September 7, 2007

Dresses, Egomania, Ripoffs And Knuckleheads

Upon my return from a work trip, I find boxing still in its late summer doldrums prior to its outstanding fights just around the corner. And so, random thoughts...

  • A brief bit of bragging: The Ring's William Dettloff, a writer whose work I admire, recently penned an item on Ricardo Mayorga as boxing's ultimate villain. That would be the same topic of a blog entry by yours truly not so very long ago. I can't claim that Dettloff saw my piece, but if I was ahead of such a tremendous fight scribe by that much, maybe I'm getting the hang of this thing. I still recommend his piece, because it makes many different points than mine, all of them thoughtful.
  • A brief bit of self-deprecation to compensate: I struck out on yet another fight prediction, picking Kendall Holt to defeat Ricardo Torres. But it seems what I underestimated was not Holt, but Torres' home-court advantage in Colombia. The 11th round stoppage by the referee, which I'd read about but only just now viewed, was very questionable. Holt was ahead on two of the three scorecards when Torres dropped him. Holt was undoubtedly hurt, but was on his feet, was trying to hold, and was even throwing a punch when the referee stepped in to call it off and give the win to Torres. Things had become extremely chaotic after Torres knocked down Holt, with fans showering the ring in beer, and Holt, slipping on his feet, may have looked more hurt than he was because of it -- not to mention that it's up to the referee to make sure the mat is not dangerous to the fighters. There better be a rematch of what looks and sounded like a solid rumble up to that point, and it better not be in Colombia. Let me know what you think of the stoppage, captured here.
  • There's something very disturbing and simultaneously crafty about the bet between Sugar Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya that will result in one or both of them playing ring card girl in the final fight of next weekend. The gist is that two fighters from Leonard's "Contender" TV show will take on two fighters from De Le Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions. If Contender fighters go 2-0, De La Hoya ascends to ring card girl duties for the headlining fight between Juan Manuel Marquez and Rocky Juarez, and Leonard will do the same if Golden Boy fighters go 2-0. In the event of a tie, both will do the ring card girl thing. I wonder what happens in the event of draws or no contests, but I do not wonder what either man looks like in a bikini or dress or whatever. According to USA Today, this has generated interest in what was otherwise a decent but not must-buy pay-per-view event. I can't for the life of me imagine why, although the main event and the scrap pitting Sergio Mora against Kassim Ouma could both be nice. But as I've said before in the aforementioned blog entry on Mayorga's antics, I don't much care what generates interest in boxing, so long as interest is generated, and therefore I commend both men for putting their masculinity on the line for their sport. And maybe if Leonard wins the bet, Mayorga finally gets to see De La Hoya in that "Golden Girl" dress he taunted him with last year.
  • I find myself torn over the strange impulse I have to watch Zab Judah fight a nobody tonight in the final Friday Night Fights of the season on ESPN. I'd previously only watched Judah in hopes that someone would hit him so hard he'd do that funny dance he does when he gets clocked but good. That's because Judah is one of my least favorite kind of athletes, the gifted knucklehead. Now that he's on a three-fight losing streak, I should have no interest in him whatsoever, but Judah's got to be the most marketable guy in boxing on a three-fight losing streak. He finally showed some guts in his grueling loss to Miguel Cotto this year. And at his best, he's always been a captivating talent. Plus, Cotto and Shane Mosley are going to be in the studio to hype their superfight on Nov. 10. On the other hand, IFC is airing all the new chapters of R. Kelly's "Trapped In A Closet" at around the time Judah will be paving the way to another big welterweight (147 lbs.) fight. Or it'll be around the time he's getting clocked and looking silly as he flops around like a fish out of water, something you can't discount happening when Judah's in against a nobody.













And then, Judah did what has since become best known as the chicken dance, to be viewed here, although I have compared it to both a fish and funny puppet flopping around, and others have called it the rubberman dance.

6 comments:

merjoem32 said...

I love seeing Judah do the chicken dance. I would also like to see a rematch between Holt and Torres. i just hoped it will be in a neutral county. Controversial fights have hurt boxing and hometown decisions have discouraged a lot of fans.

B. Bradley said...

Great blog Tim. I've been checking it out, as I noticed your blog address from the comments you left me. You're definitely linked at my page. It's great to see people representing such an underappreciated sport in a positive way. Props bro!

Jacob said...

The Holt-Torres stoppage was definitely questionable, although I usually try to save most of my criticism for late stoppages as opposed to early ones. The real crime was doing nothing about the flying beverages. Like you said, this was by all accounts an action-packed fight up to the time of the stoppage. Couple that with a controversial ending, and a rematch seems like a no-brainer. Let's just hope we get to watch it this time...

As for the horrific visual of Sugar Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya prancing around as ring girls, it seems as though we've dodged that bullet. Apparently the PPV is being scrapped as a result of a Juan Manuel Marquez hand injury (infection). Seriously though, this last half of 2007 is already starting to lose some of its luster. First Vargas-Mayorga, and now Marquez-Juarez. As I type this I'm watching Miguel Cotto and Shane Mosley in studio for Friday Night Fights and praying neither of them trip over a camera cord on their way off the set...

Tim -- tstarks2@gmail.com said...

merjoem32: I concur, obviously.
b. bradley: Same to you, sir. And I didn't even go into some of the allegations of leg-pulling and other high jinks that you went into on your site. I'm going to see about creating a new section focused on boxing blogs with links to you, and merjoem, etc.
jacob: I, too, prefer to see an early stoppage instead of a late one. The cost is simply too great of waiting too long. And the rest of what you say is true, too. Hopefully, though, these kind of "appetizer" fights that are getting scrapped are the only ones that will. Because as good as JMMarquez v. Juarez is, and as entertaining as Vargas v. Mayorga could be, they're bottom-top10 fights I'm looking forward to. And because I haven't read anything about Cotto or Mosley tripping over a camera cord (funny, btw), I'm going to stay optimistic.

Sean A. Malone said...

Kudos Tim! Excellent site and funny to boot. Welcome to the growing army of boxing blog brethren.

Sean M.
http://standing8count.wordpress.com

Tim -- tstarks2@gmail.com said...

Thanks, Sean. I'll be visiting your site soon enough.