I say fi’ty, you say fifty , but who gives a damn ?
Many of those who know me , through my offerings within this site , may well be a aware that at one time , one of my first loves in the sporting world , was the sport of boxing . My two favorite’s fighters in history are modern-day contemporaries , middleweights, “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler and Bernard Hopkins . Albeit , a special place remains in my heart, for the undisputed “ greatest fighter in history” , Muhammad Ali , a three-time heavyweight champion. With the recent revelation , that rapper and business entrepreneur, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson , has now been licensed in the states of Nevada, New York and California , as a boxing promoter . It begs the question, is this something that the sport now needs to be revitalized, and to remain relevant ? I liken the sport of boxing to the NHL (hockey) and the fact , that particular sport has been mismanaged , does not have a sound economic base , but yet, their half assed fans are still trying to sell the NHL and its teams as something relevant ! Four labor stoppages inside of two decades , doesn’t make you relevant , it makes you by appearance alone, goddamn stupid , and deservedly so !
Jackson hopes to bring along his expertise, having built an estimated fortune of $250 million , from his clothing line, real estate , record and film production company, as well as from selling his stake , in supplement and bottled water product Vitamin Water, for a reputed $100 million , while still retaining a minority stake in the company. Who says, gangster rappers and “bangers”, don’t know, how to make that “government cheese “ (money)? Boxing remains a sport riddled with corruption , mismanaged by the five relevant boxing hierarchies , and wherein the three biggest fight promoters within this environment tend to collude when it supports their interests to deprive and cheat the consumer almost at will. Veteran promoters , Bob Arum , founder of Top Rank Inc , Don King of his self-styled and named Don King Promotions Inc , and the last entrant unto the scene, former multi-world title-holder , Oscar de La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions Inc , have simply made the boxing landscape seem like downtown , Kabul or Baghdad , after another terrorist atrocity , which has left a path of death , destruction and utter chaos. Does anyone, now realize that it has been almost a decade since the sport of boxing had an undisputed heavyweight champion? At present the division, is dominated by East Europeans that are truly lacking in talent. So, much so, that it has become so embarrassing to see those fighters on display inside of a boxing ring. The last fighter to hold the undisputed crown was the British fighter , Lennox Lewis , who retired from the sport in 2004. Since Lewis’ retirement, the heavyweight scene has been dominated by Ukrainian siblings, Vitali (45-2-0) and Vladimir Klitschko (59-3-0) . The two brothers, hold all five of the title belts that matter and with no wish to unify the division , the sport remains devoid of a truly recognizable champion for the heavyweight category .
Arum , King and de La Hoya , have all failed miserably, with their endeavors, in not only cleaning up the sport , but also, in creating a lasting interest , in this once revered spectacle of gladiatorial pugilism . Boxing , if anything , in spite of the presence of Floyd Mayeathter and Manny Pacquiao , has simply lost ground to the explosive arrival and the ascent of MMA under the banner of UFC . And for the idiot who once wrote within his domain, that the genre of Mixed Martial Arts was on the decline , because hockey has more of a fan-base and viewership . Please shut the hell up , take note of the NHL , where it currently stands , and the fact that NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman and the NHL hierarchy now pays NBC Sports to carry its lame ass brand ! Shouldn’t that be, the other way around? So this is how a $2.5 billion sporting enterprise is meant to be ran ? Well , actually , be ran right into the goddamn gutter ! Piss on that , if you like , as I know that I will !
As to the altruistic intentions of 50 Cent , well , you can either judge by his deeds, in terms of his already astonishing success as a recording artist and as an entrepreneur , or by the fact that he comes in as a novice within this realm, but having a sizable knowledge of the sport , and with what now appears to be a budding stable of young and up and coming talent signed to his G-Unit Boxing Promotions Inc . Of the most recognized names within that stable is the undefeated Cuban exile , junior lightweight title aspirant , Yuriorkis Gamboa (22-0-16 KO’s). In September of 2012, 50 Cent and his then budding friendship with Floyd Mayweather , saw the pairing of the two obviously ego-driven talents , forge a business relationship that was begin with the setting up of a fight promotion’s company TMS Promotions . However, with the rapper being openly critical of his partner , and his refusal to take on his young protégé’ Gamboa , in a proposed title fight . What should have been a mutually beneficial business arrangement between Mayweather and 50 Cent , turned into an acrimonious relationship of “name calling “ , with a slew of profanity laden rants, which were exchanged, between the two , virally , in print and on , more than one occasion, in public . The last such exchange, took place after , Manny Pacquiao’s most recent bout , his loss to Juan Manuel Marquez , in which Mayweather, described the Filipino fighter as a boxer past his prime, who deserved an ass whooping, in refusing to give the public what they desired , a super-fight between the two megastars . Jackson’s response , was swift in suggesting , and defending Pacquiao, by suggesting, if there was anyone deserving of an ass whooping , it was Mayweather , himself , and that his fighter, Yuriorkis ” Yuri” Gamboa , would be the fighter to hand out that “said ass whooping “ in grand style .
The vitriol between the two , has reached a new high, with the cacophony of verbiage and garbage being exchanged between 50 Cent and Floyd Mayweather , seem far more thrilling and interesting than any staged fight at the heavyweight level over the past eighteen months .
Did you see that ? Well for almost the second time in ten days, the once high and mighty New York Knicks were brought back down to earth , by an upstart with the NBA . The Knicks playing at the revered and venerable Madison Square Garden, in New York City , New York , were taken to task by Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors . Curry , would score a career high 54 points in the Warriors’ 109-105 loss to the Knicks. And with the Steph Curry leading all scorers on the night . The game although a victory for the Eastern Conference franchise , further emphasized how poor a defensive team the Knicks just happen to be , and will continue to remain.
Curry’s performance was a season high within the NBA this season . However, what might be even more inexplicable, was how the player was snubbed as an All Star representative for the Warriors this season . Steph Curry has been one of the most prolific scorers within the Western Conference , the NBA and by far the most productive player on the team’s roster . And much of that credit, should go to budding Coach of the Year candidate , Mark Jackson , who now has the franchise on the cusp of returning to the NBA Playoffs for the first time , since 2007 .
As much as Mike Woodson tries to get his players buy into a defensive mindset and strategy, it seems that there is no one cognizant or seemingly intelligent enough on the roster to fully comprehend what that might mean . Ergo , “ defense wins goddamn championships “ , points on freaking board during the season, only gets you regular season wins . Get it ? Good !
There is a lot that the New York Knicks have going for them at present , as Carmelo Anthony , is having one hell of a season . Beyond that , several of his teammates have stepped up , but unfortunately that hasn’t happened on a consistent enough basis . Mike Woodson may well be happy enough with the team’s showing within the their division , but the ball club has slipped off , in the conference standings . No real threat , as of yet , but if the team becomes any shakier , don’t panic , just simply acknowledge that , they are not as good , as first advertised . Knicks’ fans, while knowledgeable , tend to act , as if the goddamn world owes them something . If its respect that they are said to be looking for , then , before you can respect , you have to earn it . And the Knicks simply haven’t done enough to earn that respect , in spite of what their fans may well think . The New York Knicks , are not perennial contenders for the NBA title and haven’t been so , in a considerably long time . And their recent body of work over the past five years tends to bear this out .
With the Knicks having fallen down in the conference standings from that coveted #2 seed to where they now sit behind the surging Indiana Pacers coached by Frank Vogel . It has to be said that all of those wishes and ambitions held by the Knicks’ front office could be forlorn, should this franchise fail to make a successful and deep run in the NBA postseason. Team owner, James Dolan and GM Glen Grunwald have seen fit increase the team’s payroll to where they exceed the league’s soft salary cap of $58.044 million . That figure for the Knicks, is now set at $79,405,151 , which ranks the team’s payroll as the sixth highest in the NBA for the 2012-13 season. The vast resources at the organization’s disposal as part of The Madison Square Garden Company , the familial holdings for the sports’ ventures of the Dolan family. Take into account also, the very fact that the franchise remains the most valuable ($1.1 billion) in the NBA as well as the most profitable by the most sizable of margins besting their nearest rival , the Los Angeles Lakers by almost 50%.
With the NBA’s greatest player recently celebrating his fiftieth birthday ____ Michael Jordan. It was somewhat surprising to see the league not celebrating the event, even more so. The former league star, now the C owner the Charlotte Bobcats , has seen his team perform poorly , all season long. Jordan , alongside team GM Rich Cho , have not seen a great deal of success in recent years with draft pick , after draft pick , has been something of a monumental bust . Granted, this season the Bobcats have struggled primarily from having seen their best player , Kemba Walker beyond the missed games , has been his inconsistency to what was said to be a very good all-round game.
It is extremely sad and exacerbating to see Jordan’s fall from grace as a front office executive, be so extreme. Counting the biggest mistake on that resume` being his decision to take Kwame Brown straight out of high school as the number one draft pick in the 2001 NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards , as then owner, Abe Pollin , was countenanced by Michael Jordan, who was serving in his role as the Head of Basketball Operations , for the Washington , DC based franchise . And as we now know, Brown’s career has seen more misdirection and incompetence, as many believe the decision to acquire the untested high school “ phenom “ , was a mark of sheer indulgence and stupidity , only marked by the imbecilic explanation by the executive, that the player’s game could be honed , and making him a perennial All Star. Unless, I am mistaken, Brown has yet to aspire to those celebrated heights , heights or be a solid contributor to any team that he has ever played on ! And over the course of his ten-year career the player has earned in excess of $58.23 million dollars, with his most productive year being the 2001-02 season when he averaged 10.7 points per game with the Washington Wizards in what was then, his rookie season . Brown now with the Philadelphia 76ers , now languishes on the bench , which comes courtesy of head coach , Doug Collins . And the coach may well seek to use the player as, and when, he so pleases . . Which, given Brown’s average of 1.7 points per game for this season , in the twenty-two games , in which he has started , for which he has been a participant in half of those games, the returns have been a mere pittance for the Sixers , at this juncture . In this day and age, when the perception that the league hierarchy wishes to extol financial expediency , it seems hard to equate, how someone of Kwame Brown’s menial stature be rewarded with a two-year $5.5 million contract by the Sixers’ franchise , with the player becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2014 ? Any takers by then , do you think ?
Next up for the Sixers, will be a home game against the Golden State Warriors , in what is sure to be an entertaining match-up between these two aspiring franchises , seeking to makes themselves heard, amongst the cacophony of teams now seeking a playoff berth within their respective conferences, as the playoff picture begins to get a little clearer in some areas and more into focus . Doug Collins’ players find themselves six games out of the eighth spot , within the Eastern Conference , where the position in question, is currently held by the Milwaukee Bucks (28-28 [.0500]) .
50 Cents’ altruism and wish to make the sport of boxing once again relevant , while commendable, he alone, cannot orchestrate the changed needed , when the “major players” such as Bob Arum , Don King and not coincidentally, the four international governing bodies of the sport, seem so averse to change . The , IBF , WBA , WBC and the IBO have simply created , an all too corrupt landscape where the promoters dictate far too much of the branding , the major bouts that take place , and who in essence are the participants in those major fights , be they title or none title bouts.
The NBA for its part this season , has presented the fans with a monstrous brand of basketball , which if it continues along its present course , could very well lead to where the fans question their allegiance to a brand that has in recent years has been more concerned about its image , revenues and shown little if any thought for the most important aspect of its environment , the fans who pledge their allegiance to the teams , attend the games, with an even bigger television audience watching nationally , as well as internationally .
Picture gallery .
What thoughts if any, do you have with regard to the salient points within this article? And do believe that over the remainder of the NBA season we are inclined to see a marked improvement in the play of the teams? Do you believe that rapper 50 Cents’ entrance into what is already a convoluted and corrupt sport will see any sort of difference within boxing at all? Chime in with your thoughts on this , and anything else you believe to pertinent to the subject matter .
Picture and slideshow gallery details below .
(1) Bernard Hopkins (R) poses with former boxer Marvin Hagler after defeating Ronald ‘Winky’ Wright by unanimous decision after Hopkins and Wright’s light heavyweight fight at the Mandalay Bay Events Center July 21, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Getty Images North America / Ethan Miller ….
(2) Boxing promoters Don King , left , and Bob Arum , long time enemies now respected friends . The two most powerful men in the sport of boxing with over six decades of experience the two , have a stranglehold on the sport , which they have no wish to relinquish control. King, the founder & CEO of Don King Promotions Inc , based in Palm Beach , Florida, has promoted some of the most important heavyweight fights in boxing history as well as managing or promoting some of the most well-known fighters within the division over the past four decades. His contemporary Bob Arum , through Top Rank Inc , based in Las Vegas , Nevada in recent years has promoted some of the biggest fights staged in the city of Las Vegas and the state of Nevada . At present , Arum’s most famous client is former multi-world titlist Manny Pacquiao . Within his promotion’s company , he has a litany of rising and established stars, well-known to the fans of the sport . AP Photo/ Mark Walters …
(3) A towering figure over the sport of boxing and the heavyweight division’s first three-time champion , Muhammad Ali, whose career and legacy have been well established . The seventy-one year old fighter , now suffers from Parkinson’s disease , as well as the early onset of Alzheimer’s Disease, and he is now rarely seen in public , suffering a speech impediment and severe neurological disorders brought by the longevity of his boxing career and the injuries inflicted from that fight career. At his side constantly is his wife and companion of twenty-seven years , Yolanda Ali. Ali , a ” prized inductee “ into the International Boxing Hall of Fame now through his writings , promotes peace and humanitarian efforts that embraces the joint efforts between Muslims and Jews across the globe , in counteracting stereotypes about both religions , while seeking to spread tolerance between not just both religious sects but also across all ethnic divides. AP REUTERS / Ingemar Halstead ….
(4) Floyd Mayweather Jr. weighs in at the MGM Grand Garden Arena May 4, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Joining him , is rapper and entrepreneur 50 Cent , as the two bonded and formed a business relationship ,forming TMS Promotions Inc . Mayweather Jr. fought Oscar De La Hoya for the WBC super welterweight championship at the MGM on May 5, 2007 winning in a split decision . The two former associates and best friends , have now taken to the social platform, Twitter to be highly critical of each other . The falling out , between the two luminaries, centers around the rapper’s claims that he’s owed $2 million by the boxer , after the dissolution of their joint venture, and also Mayweather’s unwillingness to meet his fighter Yuriorkis Gamboa , whom he manages and promotes. Getty Images North America / Carlos Jiminez …..
(5) NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 27: Stephen Curry (30) of the Golden State Warriors advances the ball against Raymond Felton (2) of the New York Knicks on February 27, 2013 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Curry scored a career and season high 54 points in the Warriors 109-105 loss to the Knicks . AP Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images …..
(6) New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony (7) reacts after scoring during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, in New York. The Knicks won the game 109-105 . AP Photo/Frank Franklin II ….
(7) New York Knicks’ Tyson Chandler , left, and Iman Shumpert , right, defend against Golden State Warriors’ Jarrett Jack (2) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, in New York. Jack was called for traveling on the play, resulting in a turnover. The Knicks won 109-105. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II …
(8) LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 26: Blake Griffin (32) of the Los Angeles Clippers passes the ball against the Charlotte Bobcats at Staples Center on February 26, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The Clippers won 106-84 . Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images ……
(9) Charlotte Bobcats guard Ramon Sessions , right, tries to shoot over Los Angeles Clippers center Ronny Turiaf during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. The Clippers won 106-84. AP Photo/Chris Carlson …
(9) In the foreground at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte , North Carolina , are Charlotte Bobcats’ general manager Rich Cho seated , and joining are team owner , Michael Jordan , right and the team’s Snr Exec VP , Fred Whitfield . The Bobcats this season are once again under-achieving and it appears that the franchise looks as if they finish the season once again with a .500 record for the 2012-13 for the year , repeating what appears to be an ongoing cycle of ineptitude of this ball-club , since Jordan assumed control , having bought the team outright from former owner , Robert L Johnson , founder of BET (Black Entertainment Television) . Getty Images / Sarah Gilling …….
(10) Dallas Mavericks guard Darren Collison (4) shoots as Philadelphia 76ers guard Maalik Wayns (18) and center Kwame Brown (54) defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game , Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, in Dallas. Brown is having torrid time this season with the Sixers , producing career lows in a variety of categories , while proving to be one of the least productive centers in the entire NBA this year . AP Photo/John F. Rhodes …
NBA : Related links to articles
List of boxing’s world heavyweight champions down the years with the emphasis placed on the recognized belts of the WBA, WBC, IBF and the WBO .
Kwame Brown’s career earnings , along with other statistics.
NBA Rookies’ stats for the 2001 season
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50 Cent … ” I Get Money ”