Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Five About Fighting: D.A.R.E. II, Easy Call, Wussing Out, Getting Selfish And A Telling Diss

Four random thoughts, plus one prediction.
  1. Revisiting the Shane Mosley drug question, a number of boxing writers want to let this one slide. Mosley, after all, has never behaved like anything but a model citizen and he's a legendary fitness freak, so what would compel him to succumb to the temptation of an extra edge? I don't doubt either of those facts, but Mosley's excuse -- "I didn't know what I was taking" -- is identical to the rote denial offered by less model citizens, and not a particularly good one. It's only value is that, unless someone else brings forth proof otherwise, it can't be debunked automatically. But as Bad Left Hook posed the question, "You're telling me Mosley and his handlers would take something without knowing precisely what it is? Even though the steroids were undetectable, it seems a little too risky." It's even stranger since Mosley is apparently Mr. Goodbody. Whereas Bad Left Hook opts to trust Mosley, I'm going to err in the direction of skepticism.
  2. I don't have much to say about Sam Peter fighting Jameel McCline Saturday on Showtime. Peter's going to knock him out around the sixth, confidence 99%, allegiance to Peter. It's not that McCline's a bad fighter, and yes, his height could pose a problem to the relatively tree trunk-like Peter. But McCline's job, so far as I can tell, is to lose against the elite talents of his division, and Peter's no worse than the second best heavyweight. If Zuri Lawrence -- Zuri Lawrence, for chrissakes -- beat McCline, Peter should have no trouble. Still, I'll probably be watching, as it's hard for me to justify the $50 on Manny Pacquiao-Marco Antonio Barrera II, also airing Saturday on HBO PPV. It's going to be expensive over the next few months if I buy every nifty pay per view coming down the pike.
  3. I've gone soft on "The Contender," a little. The two contestants last week -- Stubby Lopez and Wayne McCantpunch or whatever their names were -- put on a pretty decent scrap considering neither of them were all that good. I loved the spirit of Stubby, who looked like he was going to be a sitting duck with that frame of his and his late start at the fight game. But as a boxing fan, I really enjoyed some of the behind-the-scenes stuff, I liked watching the fighters get prepared, I thought the scene with Sam Soliman in the icewater tub was great and yes, I even got a little emotional about the family scenes. I still was annoyed by some of the reality show's already-cliched conventions, like the ultra-dramatic music when the fighters come to sit down and review the night before, but the music truly works during the fights, and they've cut back since last I saw on the dopey sound effects. Tonight's episode was OK, too, with a nice fight between Sakio Bika and Donnie McCrary, although man is that Bika an awkward cat. I liked it enough to watch if not much else is on, but it still isn't appointment television for me.
  4. There are all kinds of mysterious goings-on surrounding whom David Diaz, a 135-pound beltholder, and Joshua Clottey, a 147-pound contender, will fight next. I won't get into the specifics, but things as they look now suggest that Diaz will fight Michael Katsidis and Clottey will fight Luis Collazo. I'd like both, please. See how selfish I'm getting, after one weekend of being spoiled by excellent fights? Both of those are very intriguing matchups, albeit between people hardly anyone has heard of. Katsidis has star potential, and Diaz is the kind of tough hombre who can bring it out of him if he doesn't beat it out of him. With the other two lightweight Diazes, Juan and Julio, ready to rumble next weekend, it would be an excellent start to attaining some clarity about who's the best in the division. Clottey and Collazo are both peculiar stylists whose contrasts could make for a very interesting bout, and each have the potential to break into the stacked welterweight upper ranks, but they need to earn it against each other.
  5. Once more into Taylor-Pavlik: Over at, Jermain Taylor's promoter, Lou DiBella, totally dissed Taylor's trainer, Emmanuel Steward, for his advice between the second and third rounds, just after Taylor nearly had Kelly Pavlik KO'd. I suspect what has been a rocky partnership between Taylor and Steward may not last much longer. Some of the fault lies with Taylor's stubbornness -- how many times has he done the exact opposite of what Steward asked him? -- but I think general bad chemistry is also to blame. Maybe it's time for Taylor to bring in someone new, or the trainer who led him to the middleweight (160 lbs.) championship, Pat Burns.

It turns out that if you examine Slim Goodbody's insides closely, you can see he has a hematocrit level of 52.2, "off the charts," according to experts.


Dammrod said...

I think Mosley knew what he was taking. It's just impossible for me to think Mosley would put anything into his body without knowing full well what it is. To be honest, the one thing that really seems to be stopping me from calling Mosley a cheater is that I've always liked Mosley. The guy is simply too friendly, too talented, and too good a human being to really hate. That said, if Mosley is guilty then to his credit no doping allegations have been leveled at him before the De La Hoya fight or after it.

I agree. McCline gets railroaded by Sam Peter. I believe it's been 9 months since Peter's last fight, and I think he's going to take out all of his aggression and pent up frustration on McCline.

I don't mind this season of The Contender. In fact, I sort of like it. Yeah, it can be soap operatically cheesy sometimes, but you feel for the guys. They've improved the show incrementally with each season. The first season was kind of painful with Sylvester Stallone being there for some reason. I remember watching an episode where Stallone's in the audience during the fight and a guy gets punched, then Stallone leaps out of his seat and says, "Woah. He got punched." Kind of obvious, man.

I also think it might be time to end the Taylor-Steward relationship. I think it's just a case of two personalities not gelling well together. Or it might be because Jermain's heart just isn't into the sport like it once was. I remember reading an interview where the guy asks Taylor, "Do you love or like boxing?" To which Taylor responded, "I like boxing." Hmm.... Of course, this was before the Pavlik fight. Maybe a loss will give Taylor the extra incentive to improve himself.

Sean A. Malone said...

Stubby Lopez! Classic! I will say that this season of the Contender is hands down the best so far.

beetqueen said...

I wouldn't buy the "I didn't know what I was taking" line from my high school students, much less a professional athlete who knows his career at least partially hangs in the balance of adhering to abstaining from drugs. This is especially true in the wake of all the fairly recent drug scandals in other sports such as baseball and wrestling. I honestly don't know a thing about Mosely, but I'm 99.9% sure he's a big fat drug taking liar. Ok, probably a big very fit drug taking liar.

Tim -- said...

Sean: Classic? Now that's flattering.

Beetqueen: Again, I just can't get enough of non-boxing fans commenting. Different perspective. Also, funny comment i.e. fit v. fat.

-There's some thought that Peter will be rusty, not frustrated, but I lean toward frustrated. And anyway, not rusty enough.
-Mosley's pre/post record of no cheat allegations is a mitigating factor toward leniency.
-That Stallone line is hilarious.
-I saw that "love/like" thing by Taylor. Disturbing. But revealing. I like the kid, I really do, but if he doesn't have the passion...?

dammrod said...

Peter 250, McCline 266.

When I originally read 250, I got a little worries. I assumed that Peter must have gotten a little pudgy around the midsection to weight 250, but he looks ripped and ready in the weight-in photos. I'm a little surprised, considering Peter usually looks his best in the low 240s. The guy must have been pumping quite a bit of iron. McCline is in pretty good shape, as usual. If he loses his fight with Peter then McCline may be the first person to lost title fights for every major belt in the last 5 years.

Tim -- said...

Say, dammrod, since I don't have your e-mail, this might be the best way to alert you to something if you haven't seen it yet but that has little to do with this post and yet doesn't warrant its own blog entry: boxingtalk is reporting that Jeff Lacy's gonna fight Peter Manfredo. Not a bad comeback fight.

dammrod said...

Sweet. I think Lacy will win, but Manfredo can make it competitive. The guy is one of the better people to come from The Contender series. Is Roach still training Manfredo?

I'll send you an e-mail, but I don't really check my e-mail on a daily basis. Usually, I just forget, because most of my communication is still done with the phone. I'll try to remember though.