It’s Time To Put Up Or Shut Up …………

It’s Time To Put Up Or Shut Up …………

It now becomes a battle and test of wills but somehow the Los Angeles Lakers as two time defending champions will have to prove that they’re worthy of the mantel of being champions . Now down 0-3 in series that most on paper would have the Lakers winning with ease the Lakers now find themselves caught between the Devil and the deep blue sea. The Dallas Mavericks have all but placed that last nail in the coffin of the Lakers during this less than suspenseful series . It’s hard to explain but the Lakers faltering at this juncture has more to do with the mindset and complacency that has beset not only this team but also the organization as a whole. The acquisitions made by the Lakers as an addition this team if anything hasn’t improved the Lakers albeit that they ended up with the second best record within the Western Conference .

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Slide show for your perusal .

It seems inconceivable that Phil Jackson and the two time —— defending champions could find themselves in such a position . I don’t know about you but until the white flag of surrender has been raised I think that no there’s no way in hell that the Lakers will give up this series without a fight . That being said if Kobe Bryant is the only one prepared to step up to the plate then there’s really not much else to be said concerning the complete ineptitude shown by the Lakers shown throughout this series . Bryant may well be of the belief that there’s still a great deal to fight for but he ought to remind his teammates that they ought to get their fat asses off the sidelines and man the fu_k up !

I don’t know about you but I’ve long held the opinion that boxing is actually on its last legs . I find it ironic that a sport that once gripped the nation has now become nothing more than after thought amongst the vast majority of sports fans . The heavyweight division and the title itself was once deemed the most prestigious individual title in sports now that division as well as the title itself has become a parody and metaphor for that is actually wrong with the sport. Manny Pacquiao may well be viewed as the face of the sport at present but once he retires this sport may as well fold its tent and pack it all up. There are no longer any real legitimate stars that can be viewed as the future of the sport and those who are now coming to the fore in many respect they lack a personality and if anything they lack a great deal of skill. Promoters such as Don King , Bob Arum and Oscar De La Hoya have made the sport a complete laughing stock as the pre-eminent promoters within boxing . The welterweight title bout that took place this past weekend between Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosely which was staged at the MGM Grand Casino & Resort in Las Vegas , Ne was if anything , something of a non- event. For twelve utterly boring rounds these two champions of the sport staged a fight that was simply so boring that I for one thought the fans would have been better off seeing two octogenarians in the ring trading blows . Mosely a three time three division champion fought a lackluster fight and and his Filipino opponent simply was unable to live up to the hype that many have now come to expect from the all action spectacles he’s given us the majority of his long and illustrious career.

Pacquiao won a unanimous twelve round decision and with it his legacy is still in tact as the best pound for pound fighter on the planet. At this juncture I do believe that it would be in Pacquiao’s best interest to retitre as there are no more challenges left for him to attain. A potential blockbuster bout against Floyd Mayweather seems to be a thing of the past and with Mayweather’s ongoing legal troubles I for one seriously doubt that fight will ever take place .

Two no hitters have been thrown within seventy two hours and the latest was attained by the Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander in his team’s —– 9-0 shellacking of the Toronto Blue Jays . This has been the second time that Verlander has achieved this feat and if anything he’s proven why it is that he may well be one of the main contenders for the AL Cy Young Award this season. I don’t know about you but I’ve never considered the Blue Jays a team that could compete within the AL East much less the rest of baseball ! They’ve not been competitive in a decade and a half at least and while the feat of that no hitter can be considered an excellent feat . Come on now we’re talking the Blue Jays ! . Watching that team hit is like watching the likes of Mitt Romney , Joe Biden and Tim Geithner explain the inherent problems that plague the US economy. They’re simply too stupid to explain it even in laymen’s terms that anyone could actually comprehend and likewise with anyone who actually feels that the Blue Jays are a team that can be viewed as being competitive.

As to the Tigers’ own aspirations this season within the AL Central I do believe that once again they’ll simply underachieve as they have done over the past five seasons . This team has been way too inconsistent for my liking and I feel that Jim Leyland and his coaching staff I do believe are bereft real ideas as to how best to get the optimum out of this team . GM Dave Dombrowski will no doubt make the appropriate acquisitions at the trade deadline needed to make the Tigers competitive enough to be considered a legitimate contender for the World Series .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the points raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts on this topic .

Alan aka tophatal ………………………..

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .
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(1) The Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant leaves the floor after the Lakers lost 122-86 to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 4 of a second-round NBA playoff basketball series, Sunday, May 8, 2011, in Dallas. The Mavericks swept the series. AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez …..

(2) Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, right front, and business partner Todd R. Wagner embrace after the Mavericks defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 122-86 in Game 4 of a second-round NBA playoff basketball series, Sunday, May 8, 2011, in Dallas. The Mavericks swept the series. AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez ………..

(3) Teammates rush out as Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander(notes), center right, and catcher Alex Avila(notes) celebrate Verlander’s no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays in a baseball game in Toronto on Saturday, May 7, 2011. The Tigers won 9-0. AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darren Calabrese ……

(4) Shane Mosley of the US falls down after being punched by Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines (L) in their bout for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title at the Garden Arena in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 7, 2011. Pacquiao retained the WBO welterweight title by beating Mosley to extend his winning streak to 14 bouts. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS ……

(5) (L-R) Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines throws a right at Shane Mosley in the WBO welterweight title fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 7, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP/Photo Gabriel Bouys …….

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MLB News

MLB Scoreboard

MLB Scores & results 7th May 2011

NBA News

NBA schedule Sunday 8th May 2011

50,000 People Can’t Be Wrong Can They ? Another Reason You’ve Been Hoodwinked & Conned …….. Does Anyone Not Believe That Bob Arum Is A Con Artist ?

50,000 People Can’t Be Wrong Can They ? Another Reason You’ve Been Hoodwinked & Conned ….. ….Does Anyone Not Believe That Bob Arum Is A Con Artist ?

On Saturday night Manny Pacquaio (51-3-2) defended his WBO welterweight title against journeyman , Joshua Clottey (35-4-0-1,NC) of Ghana. Now far be it for me to suggest that this was a dull fight. But I’ve found greater excitement in watching paint dry, seeing a scantly clad Rosie O’Donnell act sexually provocative. Anyone who derived pleasure from seeing Pacquiao essentially club an unwilling opponent in front of 50,000 plus people at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington , Texas. Well , they either had to be completely inebriated or just had nothing better to do on the night. And for 12 utterly boring rounds the paying fans had to put up with this diatribe. Never mind the fact that the fight’s promoter Bob Arum was trying to pass the event of , as an all-out success . By whose standards ?

Manny Pacquiao, right, of the Philippines, hits Joshua Clottey, from Ghana, during their WBO boxing welterweight title fight in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, March 13, 2010. photo appears  courtesy  of  Associated  Press  / David J Phillip ..............
Manny Pacquiao, right, of the Philippines, hits Joshua Clottey, from Ghana, during their WBO boxing welterweight title fight in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, March 13, 2010. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press / David J Phillip ..............

Now we can subscribed to the fact that Pacquiao may well be one of the best fighters of his generation . Without a doubt that is undeniable and we can attest to the fact that the fighter can only fight the opponent that’s placed in front of him. But for the entire 12 rounds Clottey essentially just stood there and allowed Pacquaio to hit him at will. Now far be it for me to suggest but in all honesty Manny should’ve been able to knock Clottey out , with the barrage of punches he landed. But for some reason he was unable to do so. Either from the fact that he may well have been told by Arum to make the fight lengthy or from the fact that Manny , himself , just wasn’t into the fight and nor was he up to the wish of knocking out a less than receptive Joshua Clottey. For the fans who attended in support of the Filipino fighter , they had to have been tremendously disappointed. Through no fault of his own Manny Pacquiao was once again embarrassed by his promoter, Bob Arum. The champion successfully defended his belt with a unanimous 12 round verdict.

Arlington , Tx  (R-L) Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines throws a left to the body of Joshua Clottey of Ghana during the WBO welterweight title fight at Cowboys Stadium on March 13, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. Pacquiao defeated Clottey by unanimous decision. photo  appears  courtesy of  Getty Images/ Tom Pennington .............
Arlington , Tx (R-L) Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines throws a left to the body of Joshua Clottey of Ghana during the WBO welterweight title fight at Cowboys Stadium on March 13, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. Pacquiao defeated Clottey by unanimous decision. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Tom Pennington .............

The event itself , can’t have been helped by the very fact that the undercard itself , left a lot to be desired by the talent that was allegedly on display. Never mind the fact , that the event was screened via PPV and fans were being asked to pay on average between $39-95 to $44-95 dependent upon your cable subscriber , to view this garbage ! Both fighters did very well financially from the bout, with the champion being paid $12.5 million for the defense of his title and the challenger receiving $1.25 million . Now that figure could very well rise, dependent upon the number of paid subscribers for the fight. But who knows what that figure will be and whether or not Arum will make the figure public ? Given the fact that the event in terms of real entertainment, was nowhere near the success he made it out to be.

Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines throws a right to the body of Joshua Clottey of Ghana during the WBO welterweight title fight at Cowboys Stadium on March 13, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. Pacquiao defeated Clottey by unanimous decision.  photo  appears  courtesy of  Getty  Images/ Jed  Jacobsohn ......
Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines throws a right to the body of Joshua Clottey of Ghana during the WBO welterweight title fight at Cowboys Stadium on March 13, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. Pacquiao defeated Clottey by unanimous decision. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Jed Jacobsohn ......

We know that Pacquiao and Arum feel aggrieved the proposed bout between Manny and Floyd Maywearther Jr fell through. But had calmer heads prevailed. Instead of the contrived nonsense that took place between the two rival camps. Then perhaps, the fight fans would have been witnessing history being made instead of the diabolical con job perpetrated on the public this past Saturday night. Now there may well be fans out there who’ll take the opposite view from myself , as to the evidence of the events of Saturday night. But in reality what has this really done for Manny Pacquiao ? Other than to pad out his stats and add to his bank balance ? If Arum really wanted to create a much better spectacle for the fans in attendance. Then why in hell didn’t he seek out a far more credible opponent for Manny Pacquiao to fight ? If Arum and the WBO are suggesting that Clottey as their mandatory ranked number one challenger was the best that the division had to offer . Then there must have scraped the bottom of the barrel to come up with this bout. It had about as much credibility to it as Sarah Palin’s nomination as John McCain’s Vice Presidential running mate in the Presidential election of 2008. And we all now know how that debacle ended up for the Republicans don’t we ?

 Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines throws a left to the head of Joshua Clottey of Ghana during the WBO welterweight title fight at Cowboys Stadium on March 13, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  The  view  from the  giant  jumbotron  as   viewed  by  the  fans  in attendance. photo appears courtesy of  Getty  Images/  Jed  Jacobsohn  ..........
Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines throws a left to the head of Joshua Clottey of Ghana during the WBO welterweight title fight at Cowboys Stadium on March 13, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. The view from the giant jumbotron as viewed by the fans in attendance. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Jed Jacobsohn ..........

The real problem within the sport of boxing is that it has now become divided not only along political lines but also demarcation lines between the sport’s two biggest promoters in Bob Arum and Don King . And the international governing bodies are forced to align themselves with who they best feel serves their needs. The scraps or morsels that are left as divided as spoils amongst the other promoters. One can well understand the reason why many now the view sport as being on its last legs and close to extinction . And both Arum and King deny that the sport is on the decline ? Many of the boxers know full well that their sport is on the decline as they’ve seen the rise in popularity of MMA (mixed martial arts) under the umbrella organization of UFC . If Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions Inc is cognitive of that fact and is now jointly cross-promoting ‘MMA bouts’ alongside boxing events as a of way of enticing more fans to many of his own promotions . Then you obviously know that there’s something acutely wrong within the sport. But the opposite view , is taken by the elderly veteran promoters Bob Arum and Don King. And when one considers the stranglehold that the two have on the sport, is it any wonder its popularity continues to wane ? The two have done more to harm the sport than they have to benefit it. But yet they’re seemingly treated as grand pubahs and potentates within the sport.

Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines celebrates in the ring after defeating Joshua Clottey of Ghana during the WBO welterweight title fight at Cowboys Stadium on March 13, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. Pacquiao defeated Clottey by unanimous decision.  photo appears  courtesy  of   Getty  Images/ Tom Pennington  .......
Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines celebrates in the ring after defeating Joshua Clottey of Ghana during the WBO welterweight title fight at Cowboys Stadium on March 13, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. Pacquiao defeated Clottey by unanimous decision. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Tom Pennington .......

As to what the future now holds for Pacquaio remains to be seen. But the fighter has stated that he would still like to meet Mayweather in the ring to establish who is indeed the better fighter and the pound for pound champion. For the moment we’ll just have to take to the wait and see approach. Mayweather has a date himself , as he faces the challenge of Shane Mosley at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on the 1st May, 2010. That headline as a bout alone, gives far more credence than the subterfuge that was showcased as a boxing event on Saturday night. But then again who now cares or gives a damn to begin with ?

NB: Click here to view the WBO rankings of the welterweight division.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………..
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LL Cool J ………….. ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’

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The Fight To Remember Or Perhaps Not …………….

One of the great tragedies of the modern sporting arena, was to witness the downward spiral of the boxing career of Muhammad Ali . We all knew that he fought way past his prime and if anything had four or five fights too many. Call it the ‘Pride And The Passion ,The Agony Of Shame And Defeat’ . But nothing to my mind epitomized that more than when Ali fought Larry Holmes (69-6-1, 44KO’s) for the WBC heavyweight title in October of 1980 .

Here, Ali (56-5, 37 KO’s) is seen challenging Holmes for the heavyweight title in a bout that took place at Caesars Palace , in Las Vegas, Nevada , on the 2nd October , 1980 .

What cannot be disputed is that, whilst being courageous , Ali was also being foolhardy in thinking that he would be able to defeat at Holmes at this stage of his career. Larry Holmes at the time, was the pre-eminent heavyweight boxer in the world and his record suggested as much. And though the relationship between the two wasn’t all strained. Holmes as a former sparring partner of Ali, was at first reluctant to accept his challenge. With that in mind , the fight still went ahead with the usual ballyhoo accorded with such a spectacle. We had a former champion looking to regain the title for an unprecedented fourth time. Holmes if anything , wanted to keep some semblance of respect that he had for his former mentor. But it was hard to do so when Ali , himself, wanted to sell the fight with his usual aplomb. A task made certainly all the much easier as it was being promoted by none other than Don King. Perhaps no else within the sport of boxing as a promoter, would be able to put on such a spectacle and at the same time have the public lapping it all up like voracious beasts ?

Ali (left)  seen  here  in the  ring  with   Holmes (right)   in their   match up  for  the  WBC  heavyweight title  bout held  at  Caesar's  Palace  in  Las Vegas , Nevada  .  The   fight  took   place    2nd  October   1980   .  It  was  Ali's  penultimate   fight   , which  he  lost  in  an  11th  round  TKO  decision to the  champion ,  Larry  Holmes.  In  his  last fight   Ali   would   also   lose  a  unanimous   verdict  to   Trevor  Berbick  of Canada.    picture  appears  courtesy of   John  Iacona  ..........   copyrighted  material      @  All  rights  reserved ...........

Ali (left), seen here with Holmes (right), in their WBC heavyweight title clash . Ali would lose the bout to Holmes in an 11th round TKO. The fight would be Ali’s penultimate fight but he would go on to have one last fight against , Canadian , Trevor Berbick . A fight which he also lost in a unanimous decision. picture appears courtesy of John Iacona – copyrighted material . @ All rights reserved …………..

Now, not wanting to sound outlandish or come off as being trite. I do believe that those within the sport and many who governed the sport of boxing at the time. I feel , full well that they were quite aware as to the acute problems that Ali was facing at the time. Primarily , with his health and the fact that he was lured into taking on fights that in no way shape or form , should be have done so, to begin with. And even prior to the Holmes’ bout , it was quite evident that his skills had already began to erode as a boxer and were in fact on the decline. Unfortunately however, he was being enabled by his handlers and many in and outside of his entourage. They impressed upon that he was still ‘The Champ’ , even if it was in name only. And by all accounts , that was how Ali still wanted to be referred to -as ” The Champ” . Sadly, but surely this was one of those episodes where valor may well have not counted for a great deal on Muhammad Ali’s part.

Holmes   the   aggressor  takes  the   fight  to  Ali   and  backs  him   up  into  a  corner   for  a  vicious  onslaught  in the  sixth   round.   picture  appears  courtesy of   sweetfights.com/ boxing/archives    ......................

Holmes the aggressor takes the fight to Ali and backs him up into a corner where unleashes a vicious onslaught with a barrage of punches in the sixth round. picture appears courtesy of sweetfights.com/archives/boxing/Ali-Holmes …….

From the moment that the bell first rang and until the referee stopped the fight in the eleventh round. One knew that this was going to be a night when we all saw a once great champion be brought humbly to his knees . Ali had his moments in the fight, where he brought back memories past , with moments of impish speed and flashes of brilliance. But on the side of the equation, there stood Holmes , a masterful technician, with an all too wicked right jab , powerful upper cuts and tremendous body punching. Who completely at will , literally went about destroying the legacy and myth that was once Muhammad Ali. He was brutally efficient in exposing Ali to his barrage of attacks and more than once he called on the referee to stop the fight , in order to save Ali from further punishment and embarrassment. Alas, much of that fell on deaf ears as the referee proceeded to let the fight continue to its bitter conclusion.

Don King , boxing promoter and infamous showman. Here he talks about his influences , the sport of boxing ,how he feels that he’s influenced and enhanced the sport . Little does he speak of the subpoenas that he’s received over the years from boxers who he’d represented over that time. You can see also, that King has a way with words, as he waxes on so lyrically on a number of subjects. I do believe that he’s swallowed a dictionary !

Now we come full circle where both of these tremendous gladiators of the ring have moved in differing directions as far their lives have gone. Both having been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. However, one of these two fighters is in conscious state of clear health. Aging , but still active in the community , Holmes resides in Scranton , Pennsylvania, with his wife and family close at his side. Ali , as we all know suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, plus various other ailments that have ravaged his body over the course of time. Much of it coming from his many fights within the ring.
Cognitive of those around him , Ali now mumbles as he’s unable to speak , nor can he facilitate any prolonged movement because of the degenerative disease. Furthermore , with him being cloaked in silence , it seems all the more bewildering for us all who’ve witnessed him speak with rapid fire aplomb about he would indeed defeat an opponent. Medication alone won’t bring him back to us in some shape or form that we can all recognize from days of old. Sadly in part, this has been due to the negligence of others. But perhaps , even more so, the negligence shown by Al, in not heeding the advice of others who only wanted the best for him and not the worst.

Ali in a scene from a ESPN commissioned documentary entitled ’30 For 30′ . The titles denotes the sports programming network’s thirty years as a cable broadcast outlet. And it has commissioned a wide variety of documentary films covering sport’s topics of the past thirty years. One of the films in question , is a piece on the Ali – Holmes’ title fight , entitled ‘ Muhammad And Larry’ . Which goes into great detail, as to the lead-up to the fight and what ensued after-wards.

Ali  seen  here  at  a    black  tie  affair   ,  though  cheerful  and   irreverent   . He's   nowhere   near  the person  we  once   idolized  as  a  fan  .        picture appears   courtesy of   askmen.com/ celebtrities/sports-icons/   Brett  Stephenson  ......................

Ali seen here at a black tie formal affair, though cheerful and irreverent . He’s nowhere near the person we all once idolized as fans. picture appears courtesy of askmen.com/archives/images/galleries/muhammad-ali …..

There are very few sporting icons alive today whose names are immediately recognized no matter where you are on the face of the planet. Muhammad Ali is one of those icons whose light still shines brightly in terms of that said recognition. But now, it merely in his own mind , it is but a fading ember as his memory . And for we , his fans all we now have to live with are those memories that are on film. Never again will hear his voice speaking passionately on a wide range of subjects. As his voice has now been silenced in the most cruel of ways. I can only but imagine how different his life might have been ,had he not been struck down by such a debilitating disease.

Ali’s career fight record 56 (37 KO’s)-5

Chronology;
Date of Birth 01/17/1942
Name; Born Cassius Marcellus Clay changed name to Muhammas Ali after change in religious status- becoming a Muslim- Nation of Islam
Place of Birth; Louisville, Kentucky,.
Notable achievements; Olympic Gold Medalist at the 1960 Rome Olympics Lt Heavyweight champion
First Professional fight ; 10/29/1960 Opponent ; Tunney Hunsaker W UD 6 rounds
Final Professional fight ; 12/11/1981 Opponent ; Trevor Berbick L
UD 10 rounds

First man to win the heavyweight title three times

* UD Denotes- Unanimous Decision

Nation of Islam