A year in review , I think not !

A year in review, I think not!

This tends to be the time of year, where we tend to reflect upon the events of the outgoing three-hundred and sixty-five days. In sports, like any other , there too, fans and analysts alike will tend to dissect and reflect upon what is said to be their favorite moments of the 2013. From a personal standpoint, I believe that there were a number of highlights , but none that would simply have me jumping out of my seat and suggest that they were simply fantastic feats of excellence . As a once proud and avid boxing fan, well let’s just say it was another year of simple fatigue and neurosis for a sport now dying on its feet .

Floyd Mayweather still rules the roost as the best boxer on the planet , while his best adversary Manny Pacquiao made a comeback of sorts in claiming a title that does nothing for the legitimacy of a fighter who remains on a downward slide . Far be it for me to suggest that Pacquiao and his handlers are avoiding Floyd Mayweather , but a proposed mega-fight between these two long-time adversaries , no longer elicits the excitement that it would have perhaps two or three years ago . Pacquiao’s manager Bob Arum still believes that a fight can be made , but had he not spent a great deal of his time haranguing Mayweather and the boxer’s main representative Leonard Ellerbe , then perhaps a fight of this magnitude would have definitely happened a long time ago.

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If dinosaurs were still alive today, then I believe that they would be truly represented by the Neanderthals , who now are part of the heavyweight scene of boxing ! The Klitschko brothers for the past eight years have fought no one of anyone of any real consequence while padding their statistics with their numerous title defenses of the heavyweight title . To suggest that Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko , are now the two best boxers within the division, is truly an affront to the sport and it denigrates the achievements of champions past , when boxing historians are now trying to suggest that the Ukrainian siblings are the most dominant fighters to have come along in the sport of boxing over the past decade. Somehow, these individuals, are either viewing the division through rose-colored glasses or indeed the stature of heavyweights within boxing, is extremely dire . It may well be both, but I can assure of this, if Mike Tyson were to make comeback and get himself into shape , that was part of his preeminent reign , early in his career. He would have, clearly carved up this division and provided us with an undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Instead, it has been the Klitschko’s refusal to meet each other in the ring, that clearly sets not only the sport back , but also from the division from now being taken seriously .

As to the other notable events within boxing that are said to have taken place , if you simply have no recognition of many of the fighters now afforded championship status , why would anyone seek to take an interest ?

The Miami Heat strolled their way to a second consecutive NBA title , albeit , that in the 2013 NBA Finals , they were pushed to the limits by the San Antonio Spurs . Miami Heat player LeBron James proved beyond a reasonable doubt , why he is now arguably the best player in the NBA , leaving little else to the imagination with his spectacular play during those Finals. The four-time League MVP and reigning two-time reigning Finals’ MVP has definitely cemented his legacy , as he now seeks to add a third consecutive title for the franchise , and the Heat’s fourth overall .

Now while the Miami Heat may well seem to be laboring this season , do not be fooled into thinking that although with a revamped roster . The appetite of the players has lessened, as they seek to place themselves amongst a very select fraternity. Erik Spoelstra , his coaching staff and the front office , led by team President Pat Riley have a singular purpose in mind this season , and that is to make a successful defense of their title.

The Eastern Conference of the NBA this season has become an eyesore , for the most ardent of fans as the teams there , just seem to be going through the motions, without showing actual competitiveness or signs of real life . At present, only three of the top eight franchises , actually possess a winning record within the conference , and in all likelihood , we are likely to quite possibly see five of the eight occupants for the upcoming NBA Playoffs with conference records that will be, sub 500 . If that is not a sad indictment of the NBA brand at present , then the league hierarchy led by NBA Commissioner David Stern , has to offer the fans a succinct explanation for the league’s travails this season . Fans may well be willing to part with their hard-earned disposable income, but at what cost to their own allegiance to their teams, when the play has been so abhorrent.

Injuries, will continue to plague any team sport and rob it at times , of their marquee stars. Nowhere has this become more relevant or prevalent, than with the misfortunes of Chicago Bulls’ point guard Derrick Rose , who for the second time inside of eighteen months, has been lost to the league for an indeterminate period , through no fault of his own , as he once again succumbs to a career threatening injury. Chicago for its part , has continued on without the star , while posting some impressive wins , with coach Tom Thibodeau , now asking more of his players than ever before. As to whether or not the team can keep up their momentum over the course of the season remains to be seen .

Continuing to labor, under the belief, that they remain credible challengers to the Miami Heat and the high-flying Indiana Pacers . This season, if nothing else, the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks have provided their fans with a bellyful of comedic drama and quite actually, some horrendous play. With a combined record of eighteen and thirty-eight (9-19 apiece) , it is easy to understand why some are calling for the heads of Jason Kidd and Mike Woodson , respectively. Only the , actual ineptitude of Mike Shanahan and his handling of the playing staff of the Washington Redskins , might be considered a worst performing coaching experience than of any coach of the four major professional teams sports over the course of this or last season. Granted , Bo Porter and the managerial staff of the Houston Astros have been a testament to ineptitude over the past two seasons . Yes, it’s the Astros and we simply cannot expect any-less from baseball’s worst franchise over time span in question.

James Dolan and Mikhail Prokhorov , as the respective owners of the franchises in question , may well feel it appropriate to make a combined payroll outlay exceeding $200 million , to see an outpouring of such banality , fitting enough to make a child suffering from a stomach ailment , feel even worse than they already happen to be .

In the Western Conference last season’s conference champions the San Antonio Spurs are gently plodding along , as if they have not skipped a beat in terms of their form of last year. Gregg Popovich and his coaching staff still have the triumvirate of Tim Duncan , Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker to work with , along with the rising star of Danny Green , who last season proved himself to be a budding accomplice to the renowned trio. This season, it is hoped, that Green’s maturity, along with that of the team in general, will lift them over the hump and on to a fifth NBA title. Meanwhile, the rest of the West, saw the arrival of Doc Rivers as the new head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers , while what appears to be the angst of the Los Angeles Lakers still taking a turn for the worst, with Mike D’Antoni still unable to get the best out of what in actuality is a poorly assembled roster . With Kobe Bryant having only appeared in six games all year this season for the Lakers, it is hard to imagine how the team can fare without him and his leadership abilities. Lakers’ fans merely speak in hyperbole and cannot point to another player on the roster capable of leading the team in the player’s absence , such is their real lack of intelligence on the issue .

With Rivers’ arrival in Los Angeles to coach a team led by point guard Chris Paul , the question now being asked , is whether or not the coach can corral the talent on the roster and get these players playing as a cohesive unit on both ends of the floor . Vinny Del Negro tried as hard as he did to achieve that last season, but it was clear that the players felt it only necessary to show their prowess on offense and simply forget about defense altogether . Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan , will certainly, have to prove their worth in that, very aspect of the game if the Clippers are to have any real chance during the postseason , should they actually make it that far. With the only other real stories of any relevance within the conference , might just be the ascent of the Portland Trailblazers under head coach Terry Stotts this season and the growing signs that Damian Lillard is very much the player that many presumed him to be . Also back into the mix are the Oklahoma City Thunder , where the league’s top offensive duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are now making it a statisticians’ nightmare in trying to keep up with their combined offensive and defensive prowess. It is now fair to say , that there seems to be a new ” pecking order “ within the Western Conference , with once perennial Lakers now taking a back seat to teams with more athleticism and coaching ingenuity.

No matter how much anyone tries to spin it and this continued idiotic insistence in using the idiom, that there is such a thing as parity in the NFL . The fact of the matter is , the only reality has been that there are some good teams , mediocre teams , extremely inept coaching and no real dearth of talent at some of the more notable positions . For the protagonists, still trying to use parity to make their claims, and then please feel free to make your case. Otherwise , simply shut the hell up and look at the facts as they are being displayed right in front of your very eyes. Last season in the league , the Baltimore Ravens simply got into a rhythm a of consistency that brought them the Superbowl and laid the foundation for Joe Flacco to be given an exorbitant contract that he has failed to live up to this year , beyond his own lack of consistency , but failure to step up to the plate as a leader of this team .

In 2013, the Ravens have certainly regressed , but such has been the banality of the play , that the team still remains remotely in the hunt for a playoff berth , even with an 8-7 record within the AFC . Baltimore faces a sizable task on Sunday afternoon, when they face their divisional rivals and leaders of the AFC North , the Cincinnati Bengals in the final game of the season for both teams as the regular season comes to a finale. A win is imperative for John Harbaugh and the team if they are to have any chance of making the playoffs along with the failures and at the expense of the Miami Dolphins , Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers , if they are to assure themselves of a playoff berth.

The AFC as a conference , has now come down to which opponent, is capable of stopping the offensive juggernaut of the Denver Broncos and the record-breaking season of Peyton Manning , who now seems on course to win an unprecedented fifth league MVP Award , barring the downright stupidity of the voters. No other NFL player this season has remotely come close to putting up the type of statistics , much less show the consistency of Manning, as he and the Broncos have simply laid waste to the rest of the NFL over the course of the season . Nick Foles remains a nice feel-good story for the Philadelphia Eagles and their fans , but is anyone truly ready to trust that defense much less the coaching ability of Chip Kelly at this juncture ? Especially in light of what has been a downright pathetic showing within the NFC East by all four occupants of the division over the course of their respective schedules . The Seattle Seahawks for their part , while proving to be very effective , because of the progression of Russell Wilson and the undoubted ability and tenacity of Richard Sherman. Yet, the conference itself, the NFC remains a pick ‘em , as to who the outright conference champion is likely to be amongst the top four contenders . You simply cannot discount the Carolina Panthers and the coaching acumen shown by Ron Rivera , while Cam Newton has regained the type of form shown during his rookie season , while becoming a better all-round player and the apparent leader on that Panthers’ team . It is simply amazing what winning can do in changing a player’s attitude and mindset along with showing a great deal more maturity. Those traits have been evident with the Panthers’ quarterback , all season long. The Panthers will seek to not only close out their season with a win against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday , but also secure themselves their first divisional title since 2008 , when they won the NFC South quite handily over their closest rivals that season the Atlanta Falcons .

I do not believe that there was a great deal to be learned from this past baseball season , other than the fact that the owners still remain clueless , general managers are overpaid and work nowhere near hard enough some would have us believe . As to the players themselves , well let’s just say they remain in denial are poor examples as human beings as well as role as being, a role-model for the young . The entire playing fraternity’s stance on the use of banned substances within their sport remains a joke with not one noted player willing to step into the fray or up to the plate to address the issue of PED’s (performance enhancing drugs) within baseball . And yes , that does include the likes of Derek Jeter , Mike Trout , Albert Pujols , Miguel Cabrera , Mariano Rivera , Yasiel Puig .

When you have a union (MLBPA) that simply remains disingenuous alongside a league hierarchy made up middle-aged individuals who are not quite aware that we now are in the twenty-first century and that the sport has evolved . Then you simply can no longer take the game seriously on its merits , let alone point to any real positive strides that have been made. As to the purists falling in line , with the idiocy of the introduction the use of cameras for instant replay. If you are dumb enough to believe that to be the most important issue within the game , then simply bury your head in the sand or preferably in a bucket of dog crap and smell the odor emanating there , because it is simply no different from the bull#hit being served up from the MLB Commissioner Bud Selig during his entire tenure.

The season did not play out as planned for teams such as the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers , two teams with the highest payrolls in baseball , with a combined outlay exceeding $425 million , with several of their players being amongst the highest paid in the game. For managers Joe Girardi and Don Mattingly , their task was at a minimum, to guide both teams deep into the postseason . Anything less, had to be viewed as a major disappointment for both ball-clubs as well as their respective fans who are among the most rabid in all baseball , if not professional team sports. While those teams faltered , the storyline for much of the season was simply about whether or not the Pittsburgh Pirates could hold sway and make a successful attempt in gaining their first playoff berth in two decades. Granted, Yasiel Puig and the Dodgers did provide the fans in general with a fifty-game stretch , where the team went a 42-8 , a run that essentially made the NL West a foregone conclusion before the end of the season.

John Farrell and his managerial staff worked a major miracle, in taking a last placed team from 2012, and simply turning the Boston Red Sox into a championship caliber talent in 2013. GM Ben Cherington , felt it prudent enough to simply jettison a number of big name and highly paid stars , in order to make the roster a great deal more competitive. Contributions came from all round, as the improbable, became possible and the memory of Bobby Valentine’s year of incompetency , seem a distant memory from the past . Having won the AL East with considerable ease , the Red Sox were up to the challenge of the postseason , as they swept through the ALDS , ALCS and the World Series , without simply skipping a beat . Their opponents in the postseason finale, the St Louis Cardinals gave a bold effort , but they were found wanting in so many ways . Boston’s triumph in that series, was the ball-club’s third title in the past eight years and their eighth overall.

As to baseball’s individual prizes for 2013, there were no major surprises overall, as the most worthy individuals won the awards in question.

With the steady decline of boxing, the sport of MMA has come within focus for the public, while leaving the more renowned pugilistic sport in its wake, as the rise of the UFC , has guided mixed-martial arts to the forefront of combat sports. UFC President Dana White , Frank Fertitta and Lorenzo Fertitta the co-founders of the sport’s sanctioning body , have built the genre into a multi-billion dollar commercial behemoth . . The fighters within MMA have in many cases become household names and there is now a global presence not only with UFC affiliates but also amongst the practitioners , male and female , who have come from around the globe to make a name for themselves.

At the forefront of this ascent of MMA in recent years , have been Georges St Pierre, Jon Jones , Demetrius Johnson , Jose Aldo , Anthony Pettis , Cain Velasquez , Anderson Silva and the most notable female fighter Ronda Rousey , who now represents the female face of MMA.

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Anderson Silva holds his fractured right leg having suffered the injury in his rematch against UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman on Saturday night in their title contest . UFC Inc/Zuffa LLC

Of the most anticipated bouts on the UCF’s schedule during 2013, was the highly anticipated middleweight title defense of MMA’s most successful fighter Anderson Silva , who happened to be making a record twelfth defense of his championship belt . His challenger, at the time, was the well-rounded former college wrestler Chris Weidman . What took place at UFC 162 is perhaps the biggest upset in MMA history , as the challenger wrestled away the belt from the champion with a ferocious knockdown and then knockout that was heard around the world and shook up the middleweight division . Their highly anticipated rematch at UFC 168 , would also end up with an equally surprising outcome , with the former champion being forced to retire , having suffered a leg injury . Referee Herb Dean immediately stopped the fight in the second round of the five round title bout, realizing the gravity of Silva’s leg injury (broken right fibula) and Weidman was declared the winner , with a successful first defense of his title, improving his record to 11-0 . Anderson Silva’s future now seems unclear, but the future Hall of Fame inductee is assured of one thing , his legacy has certainly helped the sport to gain worldwide respect as well heightening the fact that the Brazilian jujitsu art form is amongst the most successful fighting forms , in mixed martial arts as well as all forms of combat sports .

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Picture gallery .

In what has been a highly eventful year in the world of sports in part two of this look at the sports’ calendar. I will address my thoughts on the College Basketball and College Football seasons and what the fans were afforded during 2013. Yet, do take time to provide me with your own analysis of the sports’ year , as you have viewed it overall.

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below.

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(1) Floyd Mayweather ,right , on his way to a twelve round majority decision over Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez this year . The fight was even more controversial than necessary , because of the incompetency of the judging by one ringside official , Cynthia CJ Ross , who actually scored the fight a draw , after Mayweather overwhelmed his opponent throughout the entire twelve round contest , held at the MGM Grand Casino & Resort Complex in Las Vegas , Nevada,. AP Photo / Benny Thompson …

(2) Bob Arum , Chairman & CEO of Top Rank Inc , is seen here with Filipino fighter Manny Pacquiao . The boxer recently suffered a number of untimely losses that has now placed in an unenviable position . Any proposed mega-bout between he and Floyd Mayweather now seems unlikely , even with the renowned ‘clout’ of Pacquiao’s promoter . The animus that there remains between the two opposing camps remains as deep as ever in spite of Arum’s insistence that he and Leonard Ellerbe remain in close contact , seeking to make a deal , for a a proposed bout . Getty Images / Tom Rowan …….

(3) LeBron James of the Miami Heat is seen here on the sidelines with the team’s head coach Erik Spoelstra during a game . The Heat are seeking to win a third consecutive NBA title this season , with the only obstacle likely to be in their way , are the players’ own complacency . Miami Herald /AP Photo / Alberto Ramos ….

(4) Mikhail Prokhorov , owner of the Brooklyn Nets is seen here inside the franchise’s cavernous venue the Barclays Center , in Brooklyn , New York . This season, the Nets have simply underperformed , while having amongst the NBA’s highest paid salaried team payroll , with a crop of aging players in Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry . Fans may well feel it plausible that the team can still make a run at gaining a postseason berth within the Eastern Conference , given the dire state of play within all three divisions as well as the conference , itself . That belief however , may well be only viewed with any reality by the front office and the Nets’ fans and players , themselves . NY Daily News /AP Photo / Mark Brown ….

(5) Los Angeles Clippers’ point guard Chris Paul is seen here with team head coach Doc Rivers as they discuss a play during the interval of a game played at the Staples Center in Los Angeles , California . Off to a good start within the Pacific Division of the Western Conference , fans and the players are hoping for the team to make a deep run in this season’s playoffs. The Clippers who share their venue with their more famous residents the Los Angeles Lakers , who are laboring at present without their All Star guard Kobe Bryant , with their being calls for changes in the coaching and roster makeup . As the Clippers’ ascent seems to be more assured , for the Lakers , their days ahead seem very uncertain , albeit that Bryant signed a two-year $48.5 million deal with the franchise. LA Time/AP Photo / Hector Munoz ….

(6) Joe Flacco (5) of the Baltimore Ravens answers questions from the media during Super Bowl XLVII Media Day ahead of Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 29, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The San Francisco 49ers will take on the Baltimore Ravens on February 3, 2013 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome . The Ravens would go on to defeat San Francisco in a highly contested Superbowl contest . This season for Baltimore , with the retirement of Ray Lewis and the trading of Ed Reed , the team’s season has been one of inconsistency , with the quarterback’s play .. being somewhat erratic , without their being any on-field leadership being provided by Flacco or any of his teammates . A remote chance and shot of making the postseason was simply obliterated on Sunday afternoon with the team’s embarrassing loss to the Cincinnati Bengals . Getty Images North America / Scott Halleran …..

(7) Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington , background , is seen here with manager John Farrell foreground , as the formal announcement was made that Farrell would succeed Bobby Valentine , who was fired at the end of the 2012 season . The newly hired manager would lead the team to the AL East divisional title as well as the ALCS pennant and World Series in his first season as the organization’s manager . In 2014 , with the front office having made several moves to bolster the roster , the Red Sox remain favorites within the division as well as being likely to make a successful defense of their divisional title and ALCS pennant . AP Photo / Alex Reid ….

(8) At UFC 162 then UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva is seen here mocking his challenger Chris Weidman in the first round of their title fight . Weidman would go on to defeat the champion with a devastating knockout in the second round of their bout . On Saturday night at UFC 168 , in their highly anticipated rematch Chris Weidman would prevail once again in the first defense of his title , after the former champion suffered a leg injury that would prohibit him from carrying on in the bout . Referee Herb Dean , had no other option , but to call a halt to the fight . Silva’s future may well remain in doubt , as Weidman now looks to flourish within the middleweight division by making another defense of his title against the number one contender Vitor Belfort . . Courtesy of Foxsports .

(9) UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman , right , looks to avert a leg kick from challenger Anderson Silva during their rematch at UFC 168 , held at the MGM Grand Garden Casino & Hotel Resort in Las Vegas , Nevada . UFC Inc/Zuffa LLC . Copyrighted material all rights reserved …

(10) Referee Herb Dean calls a halt to the UFC middleweight title bout between Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva (lying prostrate) after the challenger suffered a broken right fibula during the bout in the second round . Weidman retained his belt in his rematch against the former champion. UFC Inc / Zuffa LLC …

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Anderson Silva holds his fractured right leg having suffered the injury in his rematch against UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman on Saturday night in their title contest . UFC Inc/Zuffa LLC

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tophatal ……….

NB: Related article A year in review, part two

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Boxing news

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NBA news and archived stories

NBA standings (division)

NBA 2012 postseason

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NFL news

NFL standings division

NFL standings (conference)

NFL Playoff picture

NFL schedule week seventeen

NFL team injuries

NFL transactions

MLB news

MLB postseason 2013

MLB transactions

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UFC and UFC news and highlighted coverage by Foxsports and FoxSports 1 .

Upcoming UFC scheduled events and past events

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A breast in one hand is better than a bird don’t you think ? Adult star Alexa Loren .

And here’s Alexa, having some fun with her mammary glands

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No it’s not a punch drunk diatribe ……… it’s real boxing , is dead on its feet .. no last man or standing count

No it’s not a punch drunk diatribe ……… it’s real, boxing is dead on its feet .. no last man or standing count

It has becoming increasingly embarrassing to look at the world of boxing and take that sport, either legitimately or seriously . The talent level, I believe has dropped to an all-time low ! Granted , we are asked to look at the ring exploits of Floyd Mayweather (45-0, 26 KO’a) with a great deal of praise as he seeks to make his reign with the sport even more impactful than it already is . To my mind , Mayweather’s statistics, have simply been padded out over the past seven years ,with the welterweight champion having not fought anyone of note . The fact that he is now being paid a king’s ransom for many of these bouts is an affront to fans of the sport, but more so, I believe, it continues to show the gullibility of the fans and the fractious nature of a sport governed by so many international bodies , with each having their own champions in the various weight ; categories . Add in the fact that promoters such as Bob Arum ( Top Rank Inc) , Don King ( Don King Promotions ) , Oscar de La Hoya ( Golden Boy Promotions ) , Shelly Finkel , Lou Duva and Dan Goosen have simply made a mockery of boxing’s landscape along with corrupt practices of the Nevada State Athletic Commission and the lack of real accountability within the state ran agency .

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Consider the following , it has been almost a decade since the sport of boxing had an undisputed heavyweight champion. The title holder at the time, was Lennox Lewis of the United Kingdom. Lewis was a boxer of limited ability , but with a more than adept defense , in terms of his boxing skills , but he was simply not a fighter who drew you to the edge of your seat once he was in the ring , let alone provide you with great deal of excitement or entertainment level . His career record bore this out , in spite of becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world . Boxing longs , and yearns for the days when Mike Tyson ruled the heavyweight division with such animus and venom . Unfortunately, the division is simply devoid a dearth of talent and the title holders , a pair of Ukrainian siblings , in Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko , have no wish to unify the titles and grant the fans the wish of seeing an undisputed champion. To show how dire the situation now appears to be, the top ten rankings as ratified by the WBA and WBC , two of the more recognized international bodied that govern the sport , the list of American fighters ranked are barely known in the country much less from a global standpoint . Such are , the dire state of affairs in the sport , where US born fighters , once actually littered the rankings with recognized names . Now you would be hard pressed to ask a fan if they could recognize Chris Arreola , Deontay Wilder , Bryant Jennings and the other no-named aspiring list of contenders for what was once the most prized possession in sports, and that was to be known as the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world .

If you thought things could not get much worse in a sport, where there no longer seems to a dearth of young and upcoming talent . Consider, the fact, that aging veterans such as Shane Mosley and Bernard Hopkins are still lured back into the ring , simply to bask in past glories. Both fighters are both past their prime , albeit , that Hopkins is currently the current IBF light heavyweight champion , a title that he will be defending against the lightly regarded Karo Murat , though ranked the number two contender by the IBF for the crown . That fight is scheduled to take place on Saturday , 26th October , 2013 at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey . This will be Hopkins’ first defense of the title won under a controversial decision when he defeated Tavoris Cloud . To say that the sport is not without its ongoing controversies and problems could be best summed up in stating , ‘that boxing’s governing bodies and the various states’ athletic commissions , still show a great deal of incompetence at all levels , from the officiating to the referees actually presiding over a number of these title fights . In the case of Shane Mosley , whose yearning for one more title shot seems about as compulsive , as one might believe, that the fighter would be still be considered at the age of forty-two , a serious contender to challenge either Floyd Mayweather or Timothy Bradley . Yet with his proposed fight against Australian , Anthony Mundine being postponed, due to a contract dispute between the fighter and Mundine’s promoter , in a schedule bout that was due to take place in Sydney, Australia . It begs the question, why else would Mosley now risk life and limb, in a bout where it is unlikely that the winner would likely prove to be cannon fodder in a proposed title bout against any of the claimants in the light middleweight division .

As financially rewarding as the sport has become for Floyd Mayweather with the world champion having now surpassed over $300 million in career earnings , a figure unheard of with regard to the sport, with only Mike Tyson , and Oscar de La Hoya having exceeded the $200 million career earnings’ mark in their professional ring careers. Mayweather for his part, in conjunction with Leonard Ellerbee , his business partner as well his chief legal counsel, have invested the fighter’s earnings into several lucrative fields , with Floyd Mayweather now owning large tracks of real estate in the greater Las Vegas area , alongside a lucrative collection of classic automobiles, as well as his own fight promotion’s company . With the fighter also midway through his six fight $200 million deal . with Showtime PPV , whose parent company Viacom , are looking to re-sign the champion to perhaps an additional two or three fight deal,. that could net him as much as $150 to $200 million . One has to wonder what will happen , when the announcement is made by Floyd Mayweather that he intends to retire ? It is solely my belief , that if he is able to run his career record to 50-0 , he will walk away from the sport knowing that he will go undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest fighters ever to grace a boxing ring , in the annals of pugilism history . Should he be anointed as the greatest of all-time ? Well, that is rather subjective rather than being objective, but the boxing historians are likely to try and make a case either way.

With no real challenger on the horizon, Floyd Mayweather simply cherry-picks his opponents, while seeking to obtain the highest financial rewards possible . In his last bout, against the then unbeaten Saul Alvarez , which turned out to be an erroneous mismatch . Yet somehow, an official sanctioned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission came up with a scorecard that suggested that the ’bout’ was a draw . These are the repeated types incompetency shown within the sport at the highest levels which brings into disrepute , boxing , the collective misdeeds of the promoters , the governing bodies and the state commissions, themselves . With their being no intent by the states, to have some uniform code applicable to the sport , there remains no cohesive mandate of how boxing governed in the United States . In the aftermath of Mayweather versus Alvarez fiasco , the lone dissenter amongst the group of boxing adjudicators Cynthia “C J “ Ross , took an indefinite leave of absence, notifying Executive Director Keith Kizer of her decision . It should be noted however, that Kizer stood by Ross’ decision and scorecard from the bout , calling her a person of impeccable character and above reproach . With the comedic derision and echoes of criticism that followed Keith Kizer’s statement, it is a wonder how the sport of boxing remains relevant within the state of Nevada , let alone Las Vegas.

The fight that everyone yearned for , but it all came to no avail, would have been the match-up of arguably the two best boxers of the last decade , in the welterweight division . A contest between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines . Yet the constant bickering between the two opposing camps, the constant mistrust and allegations of outrageous demands , meant that a proposed bout would never get off the ground in spite of the undoubted promotional acumen of Bob Arum , the promoter of Pacquiao and the always publicity seeking forte of Mayweather . With the Filipino fighter , having lost two of his last five bouts , his career on the decline, a proposed match-up of the two fighters , though lucrative in some circles, would not necessarily bring about the rewards sought by the promoters and for either Mayweather or Pacquiao .

Another troubling aspect, that remains within boxing , is the simple reluctance with the various title holders , in seeking the unification of the titles at the various weight categories . At present , there is not one unified champion , in any of the categories , in what is now turning out to be a drab and an almost unprecedented era in the sport’s history . Yet, with the decline of the sport, figurehead promoters such as Bob Arum and Don King remain eternal optimists, while pointing to what they say are fast rising stars within boxing . I am sorry , but despite the skills of Andre Ward , Sergio Martinez , Gennady Golovkin , Adrien Broner and Adonis Stevenson , no one is likely to feel that these fighters are likely to set the sport abuzz , with each lacking the charisma to lure fans back to the sport in droves .

While Las Vegas has now become the Mecca for the sport of boxing , with the most lucrative fights taking place in the gaming capital of the world . It is easy to understand why boxing has become a billion dollar economic impact for the city on annual basis . It is has become a rarity for either Vitali Klitschko or Wladimir Klitschko to fight in North America , where their popularity can be best summed up, as being marginal. Beyond the presence Floyd Mayweather and the now declining skill-set of Manny Pacquiao , boxing will face a hard time ringing in a new era of superstars within its sport . Mayweather and his promotion’s company Mayweather Promotions Inc do seem to be nurturing a budding stable of stars , but they are a long way off from gaining the notoriety or becoming the marquee names , sought to make them a lucrative draw in the boxing capital of the world .

With boxing’s marked decline and the rapid rise of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) under the banner of UFC . Simply another reason why the sport of boxing either has to do something radical to bring itself back into the mainstream or become on the brink being extinct . It is my belie, f that the sport is now considerably closer to the latter than most would care to admit and that includes notable boxing historians , journalists who cover boxing along with the president of the WBA Gilberto Mendoza , WBC President Jose Sulaiman , IBF President Daryl J Peoples , and WBO President Francisco Varcarcel . All of whom are somewhat distrustful of the other competitive organizations governing the sport and their alleged altruism and intent. From my own perspective , with that much dissent within the masses , nothing good can be gained , when all of the parties concerned, have their own self interests at hand, rather than seeking to sort out their difference and then work towards the betterment of the sport and a common goal !

The state of Nevada and California have been quick to recognize the rapid growth of MMA , with UFC President Dana White leading the charge for the combative genre/sport to gain national and worldwide recognition . With their being now twenty-four state sanctioned commissions now validating the sport and a code of conduct in place alongside what in many circles is deemed to be one of the toughest medical and drug testing policies in all of professional sports . It does lead to the question , as how far behind does the sport of boxing remain in that particular category ? When fighters such as Evander Holyfield , Roy Jones Jr and Miguel Cotto are allowed to circumvent one state’s rules and then be sanctioned to fight, after having proven to have suffered a major concussion . In all fairness , it does seem that boxing and the pretext set , that it cares about the fighters, must be seen as a charade .

White along with Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta III have come in with the mindset of giving the fans what they want by way of their brand and product . Competitive bouts, regular title fights , and with fighters , who are of an accomplished skill-set to go alongside a personality . That type of “selling point” , obviously beats out the “ scripted idiocy” of the WWE and the current lackluster scene within the state boxing . Fighters within the UFC have made themselves accessible to the fans and events scheduled by the UFC as a precursor to major title bout brings out legions of fans seeking a chance to many of the top stars on show , as well as the protagonists for the scheduled fights in question . With many of the UFC’s titleholders now becoming significantly more well-known , not just by way the television broadcasts but with the sport now gaining a much wide acceptance within the print media. Clearly , Dana White and his co-founding partners of the UFC have given the consumers and fans alike , something that they deem to be a viable brand and product . Can the same be said for the current state of boxing and the exorbitant prices fans are being asked to pay for a pay-per-view (PPV) event ?

If the unbeaten Floyd Mayweather is seen as the “current face “ of boxing , then in the world of MMA , with the rapid ascent the UFC’s light heavyweight champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones , that division as well as the genre could be well served for years to come if the charismatic and unbeaten Jones simply delivers what he has been doing since his entrance into the sport a little more than five years ago. . Jones has become increasingly popular, not just within the sport but his new-found celebrity status has now brought him not only fame and fortune, but also opportunities outside the sport, by way of contract endorsements. The light heavyweight champion has become the first MMA fighter to be actually signed to an endorsement deal with sports’ apparel giant Nike Inc . Add in the fact , that Jon Jones’ agent Malki Kawa was also able to land him an endorsement deal with Gatorade and it is clear that beyond the ring earnings for a fighter within the sport there are now untold riches to be attained outside the octagon. One of MMA’s greatest fighters Randy Couture , a former light heavyweight and heavyweight champion has now progressed from the sport , to now a supporting cast member of the now popular Sylvester Stallone driven action series’ franchise , ‘ The Expendables’ , of which the two movies have now grossed over $575 million worldwide . With Couture back on board, for the third movie, now being shot on location, there is no telling whether or not this might also be something that is likely to pique Jones’ interest at some point in the future , with his delving into Hollywood. Certainly, with the heightened popularity of female MMA fighter Ronda Rousey and her having joined the cast for the third installment of the action series . It begs the question, do UFC fighters make better actors, than their boxing counterparts ? No one ever claimed that either Muhammad Ali or the late Ken Norton , were thespians of a proven quality , but their presence in front of a camera even in an acting portrayal , were considerably less memorable than their careers in the ring .

With no projected bout on the horizon for Jon Jones but with a legitimate batch of contenders all seeking to take the crown away from the champion . It will be left in the hands of UFC President Dana White to make the announcement, as to who Jones’ next challenger is likely to be . For Jon Jones, much as it now has been for Georges St Pierre , Jose Aldo , Anthony Pettis and Cain Velazquez , the sport of MMA has become their stomping ground to gain worldwide fame and access to a new burgeoning legion of enthusiasts for the genre. Boxing has never effectively marketed their fighters or the sport, in such a way. So much so , that beyond the marked decline in its popularity , other than Floyd Mayweather there is simply no fighter that one could point and make the valid claim that he would be a worthy successor , once the current pound-for-pound “King of the Ring” hangs up his gloves permanently .

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Boxing fan or not , what do you believe to be the greatest impediment to the sport over the past decade ? Has it been the rapid rise of Mixed Martial Arts or the continued misdeeds by those who govern the sport or has it been the unwillingness of the title-holders to unify their divisions ? Chime in, with your thoughts on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the topic as a whole. Thanks, as always, for the continued support of this site as it has always been greatly appreciated , whether or not you are in agreement with the content matter .

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below .

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(1) Saul Alvarez , left , is seen here taking some extreme punishment from welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr during their title in September held at MGM Grand Resort Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas Nevada . Mayweather would successfully defended his title , winning with a majority decision , but not without controversy after it was revealed that ring judge Cynthia ” CJ ” Ross declared the bout a draw , scoring her card 114 points apiece for each fighter after the twelve round title fight . Ross has since taken a prolonged leave of absence as a licensed boxing judge with the Nevada State Athletic Commission . AP Photo / Mark Ross ……

(2) Mayweather , left , is once again seen getting the better of his opponent Saul Alvarez during their welterweight title fight . Floyd Mayweather has now pushed his record to 45-0 (26 KO’s) and is looking to reach that fifty fight win streak before perhaps calling it a day in the world of boxing . Having multiple titles in multiple weight classes , the future seems somewhat bleak in terms of a quality opponent being found for the title holder in terms of his fight . With his seeming reluctance to move up into the middleweight division and perhaps meet Sergio Martinez , we are likely to see Mayweather simply cherry pick his opponents as he meets his contractual obligations with Showtime PPV . Getty Images / Brian Ettinger …..

(3) Lennox Lewis is seen here defeating Mike Tyson in their WBC / IBO heavyweight title fight in June , 2002 , staged at The Pyramid in Memphis , Tennessee . Lewis won the fight with an eighth round stoppage of the challenger , with a knockout . The British boxer was the last undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. It has been over a decade since we have a claimant of that undisputed crown within the heavyweight division . Daily Mirror UK / Evan Grant ….

(4) CEO of Mayweather Promotions Leonard Ellerbe (L) talks with boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. during the final news conference for Mayweather’s bout against Shane Mosley at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino April 28, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather and Mosley will meet in a 12-round welterweight bout on May 1, 2010 in Las Vegas. Ethan Miller / Getty Images North America …..

(5) Owners, from left, Frank Fertitta, Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta have come a long way since Zuffa was founded in 2001. Zuffa LLC is the holding and parent company of UFC and its associated affiliates . With in excess of $1.6 billion in annual revenues , the company has made all three men extremely wealthy individuals, with the UFC brand, now reaching globally, with offices in London , , Montreal , Rio de Janeiro , Sydney, and Beijing , China. AP Photo / Eric Jamison ….

(6) Challenger Chael Sonnen ,left, is met with an elbow from UFC light heavyweight title holder Jon ‘Bones’ Jones in their bout at UFC 159 staged at the Prudential Center in Newark , New Jersey on April 27th 2013. MMA Junkie / …..

(7) A skilled grappler and wrestler , Jon Jones has now become the quintessential fighter and the pound-for-pound top ranked practitioner in the UFC , holding a 19-1 record . Jones also holds the record for the number of title defenses made as the light heavyweight champion , with five successful defenses. Heath Evans / AP Photo ……

(8) Miesha Tate , left , is seen here at the cursory pre-fight picture junket and publicity exhibition , where Tate will challenge the unbeaten women’s Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey for her title at UFC 168 , which will be staged the MGM Grand Garden Casino & Hotel Complex in Las Vegas on December 23rd , 2013 . Rousey has become one of the most recognizable faces in the world of women’s MMA as well as within the UFC as whole , which has allowed her to parlay that notoriety into some acting roles , notably in Fast & Furious VII as well as ‘The Expendables III ‘ . Top Fighter Inc ….

(9) With the male demographic making up more than 85% of the fan-base of MMA , there is no denying that at every opportunity the UFC will choose to use the sexual allure of their female fighters . Ronda Rousey has no qualms and is seen here as part of a very extended Maxim pictorial photo shoot . Courtesy of Maxim Magazine .

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There’s no crying in baseball , as in football , and in all sports , men are supposed to act like men

There’s no crying in baseball , as in football , and in all sports , men are supposed to act like men

By Tophatal

Well the sporting weekend brought us all a whole slew of news from the sublime to the ridiculous . As a once proud boxing fan , I must say, to see another folk hero and legend simply bite the dust , when my memories of him were as he reigned supreme as a world title holder , took something of a shock . This past weekend , legendary fighter , Erik Morales challenged world lightweight titlist Danny Garcia in a televised title fight for Garcia’s WBA and WBC titles . The fight promoted by Oscar de La Hoya’s promotional company , Golden Boy Promotions Inc. , was staged at the Barclaycard Center , in Brooklyn , New York , home to the Brooklyn Nets (formerly known as the New Jersey Nets).

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In sports , there are times when I believe all of us have witnessed a legend simply go down in flames , in essence they have been involved in their chosen endeavor for far too long , and they have not been encouraged to walk away in their prime . Such , has been the case for Morales , himself a former world title holder and a formidable opponent to many of his peers at the height of his dominance and once impressive career. Saturday night, against a much younger opponent in Garcia, Morales’ career came to an abrupt end . In four hellacious rounds of boxing the former title holder was subdued, punished and almost beaten to a bloody pulp. This is not the way I envisaged Erik Morales fight career to end , as I felt that he would walk away from the sport of boxing under his own steam. Instead , a fourth round knockout inflicted upon him by the title holder , sealed his fate, and has now brought Danny Garcia new-found fame , and perhaps untold future riches , as his promoter Oscar de La Hoya has promised the young fighter major title defenses against credible contenders and perhaps a chance to challenge unbeaten welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather . The latter prospect I do not believe will take place this year but is likely to place at some point during 2013 . A great deal of that however , would be predicated upon Mayweather , and his business adviser , Leonard Ellerbee , reaching a compromise with Golden Boy Promotions , on the purse and revenues’ split , as well an agreement on co-promoting the bout as a joint venture. Anything short of that and we are liable to be left with the same asinine and misguided scenario that has deprived the fight fans of seeing Floyd Mayweather taken on Manny Pacquiao.

There is no denying at the height of his boxing prowess , Evander Holyfield was a fighter of great talent , but the unfortunate thing that fans have to now stomach , is the very fact that this former world heavyweight champion , now past his prime , is seeking one more title shot , as he seeks to win the heavyweight crown for an unprecedented fifth time. It is at times like this, where you simply have to question the integrity of boxing as a sport , and whether or not there is a voice reason within the upper echelons of boxing’s numerous hierarchies. I mean, where else can you have at least six international governing bodies of one sport, and where in the United States , each of the various state athletic commissions do not have a comprehensive standard for presiding over the sport , much less how they deal with the cross state interpretations of the rules mandating the governing of the boxing ?

With the New York Yankees being swatted aside like an unwanted insect by the Detroit Tigers , as Jim Leyland’s team inflicted such a painful 4-0 series’ sweep over the Bronx Bombers in the ALCS . Now within the Yankees’ locker room and clubhouse of this franchise , you have a great deal of whining and dissension amongst the players. So much so , that one has ask is this simply “sour grapes” on the part of the team in simply failing to admit that over the course of this series they were of no match for the Detroit Tigers, who were by far the better team , not just throughout the season but also over the course of the postseason ?

The biggest failure with the Yankees has been the lack of offense shown during the playoffs by the players , who thought to be amongst the best hitters in the game. Instead their efforts bordered upon being so inept , that it had many wondering , whether or not Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano , Nick Swisher , Mark Teixeira and Eric Chavez could actually hit above their own body weight . With the ball-club’s exit from baseball’s postseason fare , it now leaves us with three team’s vying for the game’s biggest prize. The Detroit Tigers , having punched their ticket to the World Series, now awaits the outcome of the NLCS , where the St Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants are now tied at three games apiece (3-3) in this best of seven game series.

The Giants were able to force a game seven , after a thrilling game six victory (6-1) over the Cardinals. As to what to expect tonight , when these two teams meet in the series’ decider. Well , there is likely to be a great deal of fireworks both on and off the field of play , as both sets of fans will be geed up at the prospects and also for what is at stake for both of these respected franchises . Taking the mound for the series’ decider , will be Matt Cain of the Giants, who will face Kyle Lohse of the Cardinals. The winner of tonight’s game will not be given much rest , as the World Series begins on Wednesday 24th October , with the Detroit Tigers playing host to the NL pennant winner at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan.

Week seven in the NFL , brought us a slew of games , inter-divisional as inter conference match-ups that should have wetted the appetites of the NFL fans . Well , we got that and a hell of a great deal more , as many of those duels were exhilarating , while others were simply “ clunkers” of the highest order. Who could have foreseen that the Baltimore Ravens would have ended up being maligned and beaten like an unwanted stepchild by the Houston Texans ? Cruel and inhumane punishment ? At one point I believed that , Roger Goodell was in communication with the NFL hierarchy , to see if the league had a rule to govern what was taking place on the field ! Forget about the Saints’ bounty scandal, as there were more hits being put on the Ravens’ defense than the New Orleans Saints had placed on their entire opponents over the four-year span that their nefarious deeds were said to be enacted . Let me pose this question to you all , when was the last time that you saw a Baltimore Ravens’ defense look so exposed , flawed and completely outplayed ? Injuries asides, a can of proverbial whoop ass was laid out by Matt Schaub and his teammates , as the Texans romped their way to a decisive 43-13 victory. Yeah buddy, I get the impression that Ray Lewis and rest of the Ravens’ secondary may not have been crying when it came to their postgame locker room discussions with head coach, John Harbaugh , but there might have been a few F-bomb “ expletives” …. rolling off the tongues of several of the Ravens’ players ! And fu@k you as well , may well have been the exchanges between the defensive and offensive units of the team. The Ravens’ 5-2 record within the AFC North , would suggest that they are a good team , but not exactly a great team , as they would envisage themselves to be.

Ah , the pain of defeat , it tells you a great deal about the teams and how they handle that type of adversity . The leaders on a team , are viewed as players who can lead by example , wherein others will follow. However, far too often , a rookie is thrown in at the deep end and the psychological damage done, can cause irreparable harm to a franchise . After an outstanding rookie season in 2011 , Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers has fallen back to earth with a tremendous thud . So much so , that some are questioning whether or not this player can have a long and prosperous career in the NFL. Sophomore slumps ? Yes , we have heard of those but how does that now equate with what we are now witnessing with the young quarterback , taken number one overall in the 2011 NFL Draft ?

An outstanding college career by Cam Newton was seen as a precursor as the next step for the player. The team did have their issues by way of injuries in 2011, and their inconsistent play led to a number of misgivings as to the possible progress sought, but it was felt that for the most part in 2012 the team could and would be competitive . Instead , head coach, Ron Rivera , now has to deal with a litany of issues both on and off the field of play . GM Marty Hurney , was promptly fired by team owner Jerry Richardson , after what he feels has been a disastrous start to the season . The Panthers are off to a 1-5 start and sit at the bottom of the NFC South , and there now seems to be no respite in sight.

With his undoubted talents , Cam Newton has not endeared himself to the Panthers’ fans or the local media , with his ongoing signs of immaturity and constant complaining about the team’s defeats , since his introduction to the NFL. Newton should understand , that you win and lose as a team , as the game of football is certainly not singularly about individual talent. If that were the case , then there would be no damn need for the sport . The expectations may well have been high, and it could well be that the burden that the young quarterback was being asked to bear , was too much of a task to undertake. Herein , lies my question , when drafted as the number one pick by the Carolina Panthers in 2011 , surely the player must have known what he was in for , from a franchise whose record that previous season as a miserly 2-14 mark ? Newton , for his part is being handsomely rewarded by the Panthers as a player , and it should be noted that he now has several lucrative commercial endorsements that nets the quarterback additional millions.

Coming off the team’s lackluster home loss (19-14) to the Dallas Cowboys , during which both teams played some rather uninspired football . It has to be said , that if Cam Newton’s continued whining is anything to go by , then he as well as teammates are as just much to blame for the Panthers’ languid performances this season ! The player however, has sought to distance himself from to those woes , instead choosing to complain about what he sees are the constant mistakes made by others . There may well be other far more experienced players on the Panthers’ roster , but it is to Cam Newton to whom the fans and press alike will continue to look at in gauging the team’s success. If as witnessed, his continued demeanor suggests a lack of maturity and complaints in not being able handle the adversity of defeat , then Newton’s career in the NFL will not be a successful one. As to where this now leave a franchise with a 1-5 mark this season, the team’s next scheduled game against the Chicago Bears , could very well give us a clear indication as what to expect over the remainder of the season. Your thoughts on the Panthers’ woes this season and the constant whining now coming from Cam Newton?

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What thoughts if any, do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? And what sporting event this past weekend do you feel may well have been the most relevant in terms of its emotional draw ? Do leave a comment as you see fit , and thanks as always for the continued support of this site !

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below.
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(1) Mexico’s Erik Morales, right, spins to the canvas after being knocked out by a punch from Danny Garcia, left, of Philadelphia, in the fourth round of their WBC and WBA super-lightweight title boxing bout at the Barclays Center, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012, in New York. AP Photo/Jason DeCrow …

(2) Danny Garcia, right, punches Mexico’s Erik Morales during their WBC and WBA super lightweight title bout at the Barclays Center, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012, in New York. Garcia knocked out Morales in the fourth round. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

(3) Referee Benji Esteves stops the fight after Mexico’s Erik Morales, right, was knocked out by Danny Garcia during the fourth round of their WBC and WBA super lightweight title bout at the Barclays Center, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012, in New York. AP Photo/Jason DeCrow

(4) Russia’s Nikolai Valuev, right, connects with Evander Holyfield. Photograph: Dean Treml/AFP/Getty Images…

(5) Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera celebrates after hitting a two run home run in the fourth inning during Game 4 of the American League championship series against the New York Yankees Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, in Detroit. AP Photo/Matt Slocum …

(6) St. Louis Cardinals’ Daniel Descalso (33) flips his bat in front of San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey after striking out during the second inning of Game 6 of baseball’s National League championship series Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012, in San Francisco. AP Photo/David J. Phillip …

(7) FILE – In this Aug. 4, 2012 file photo, Carolina Panthers’ team president Danny Morrison , left, talks with general manager Marty Hurney during the NFL Carolina Panthers’ Fan Fest football practice in Charlotte, N.C. The Panthers fired Hurney Monday, Oct. 22, 2012 following the team’s 1-5 start this season . AP Photo/Bob Leverone ….

(8) Dallas Cowboys defensive end Jason Hatcher (97) and Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware (94) sack Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) during the first half of an NFL football game , Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012, in Charlotte. AP Photo/Chuck Burton …

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Jay Z , feat’g Chrisette Michelle …… “Lost Ones”

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Some Things Are Best Left Unsaid …………. But F#k It I’m Going To Say It !

Some Things Are Best Left Unsaid …………. But F#k It I’m Going To Say It !

Ah the latest tidbit in the sports world that seems to be norm at present PGA Tour professional Tiger Woods made the formal announcement that he will not be playing in the US Open at Congressional Country Club , Bethseda , Maryland . And once again the bell seem to be tolling as most prognosticate whether or not Woods’ reign at the top is about to implode . The player is now ranked outside the top ten (ranked 15th in the latest rankings) of the World Rankings for the first time in over a decade . From my own standpoint the player apart from recurring injuries, Woods is now gunshy and is completely lacking in confidence . Now sliding down the rankings faster than a cheetah at full speed , it is becoming abundantly clear that we’re now seeing a player whose determination to win is still there but the physical attributes that made him a once dominant player no longer remains . His peers on the PGA Tour no longer seem to be intimidated by their once great nemesis . And this being the national championship I’m not sure that the second major of the season will be won by a US born player , it could well be won by a foreign player and therein lies the situation with regard to the PGA Tour. US talent is now merely about the players here winning the mundane events on the PGA Tour rather than the Majors (The Masters, US Open , British Open and PGA Championship) .

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I have got to admit I will be pleasantly surprised if the winner of the US Open is an American because simply put the inconsistency of Phil Mickelson , Hunter Mahan , Steve Stricker simply doesn’t cut it amongst the real fans of the PGA Tour . It is Woods who drives the meters and the gossip on the Tour while lesser lights are simply the topic of the moment .

Can someone remind me why it is that I simply ought to be interested in the career of Floyd Mayweather as a boxer ? Undoubtedly talented , Mayweather is now more widely known more for his outside the ring run ins with the law , rather than for anything that he has achieved within the ring . A multiple weight divisional champion , the fighter now hopes to challenge Victor Ortiz for his WBC welterweight title this September (venue yet to be arranged) , as Maywether will be making a return to the ring for the first time in almost 18 months since he last fought and defeated Shane Mosley in a bout that was about as entertaining as the viewing of a head on collision between two high speed locomotives.

Ortiz , twelve years Mayweather’s junior knows that this will be a step up in class and at the same time he knows that should he pull off the impossible and defeat the former titlist , then the world becomes his oyster with limitless opportunies to establish himself amongst the top fighters in the world . The sport of boxing has become mundane and the mere fact that the desired fight between Manny Pacquiao no longer seems to be a priority amongst either fighter or the respective promoters. All the talk and hype in the world won’t change the fact that the proposed bout was never on the cards to begin with . They say money talks bullshit walks , well walk it did , as there was such a stench created by Bob Arum , Mayweather’s own camp and co promoter Oscar de La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions Inc.

When this bout actually takes place between Floyd Mayweather and Ortiz there may well be some passing interest there but I for one simply don’t believe that Mayweather is the draw that he once was ! His own failings as a father , a man and as an example to his children leaves a lot to be desired . And with the allegations of spousal abuse , verbal abuse of his children and the threatening of a witness with physical violence simply indicates that from a mental standpoint Mayweather’s faculties might not be all there . If Floyd Mayweather were to step away from boxing today he may well be sorely missed but from my own perspective the sooner he walks away the better off the sport will be !

Well the MLB Draft for 2011 (held in Seacaucus New Jersey) this past Monday , and before we knew it , it was over. Truth be known, it was something of a non-event given the fact that the highlights weren’t shown on either network television or on ABC/ESPN , Fox Sports or for that matter TBS . Instead the whole event was televised live by the MLB Network . There’s a reason why the MLB hierarchy cooperates with their broadcast partners but somehow this wasn’t a time they felt it necessary . Now don’t get me wrong but a from business standpoint I’m not so sure that the league itself much less its teams are on a sure footing financially. The ongoing saga with the Los Angeles Dodgers has become cannon fodder for the sports pages across the nation . And less we forget, the woefully inept the New York Mets in spite of the $200 million investment in the organization by hedge fund manager David Einhorn has me believing that the league has to intervene sooner rather than later.

The Pittsburgh Pirates were the beneficiaries of having the number one overall pick with the organization taking the UCLA Bruins’ Gerrit Cole as their choice. One can understand the reason why the MLB Draft plays second fiddle to the NBA , NFL in terms of their respective drafts and the mere fact of the visibility raised when the events are televised . Granted , there’s more of an interest in the NFL’s Draft and the mere fact that the draft geeks are front and center in assessing the merits of the decisions made by the respective general managers around the league. Inasmuch , as Bud Selig would like to sell us on the merits of the event I don’t really believe that the commissioner himself believes that other than the consumed fan who’s so into the draft there is a heightened interest in the decisions being made.

Well the madness has to stop , it is now or never but fu#k it , sanity has to enter the domain at this juncture. In the sports world where it’s about the immediacy of the here and now , in terms of what have you done for me lately ? In the NBA it appears that the vast majority of fans were already prepared to anoint the Miami Heat as the 2011 NBA champions. Having seen the San Antonio Spurs bow out in the first round of the postseason and as a fan that result was a profound disappointment to me ! The Dallas Mavericks simply made their way through the playoffs with consummate ease and then in the Western Conference Finals they simply manhandled the Los Angeles Lakers , the two time defending NBA champions .

The Finals’ match-up that many had been had desired didn’t materialize as we now have the workman like Mavericks teeing up against the star laden Miami Heat led by LeBron James , Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade . With the series now tied at two games apiece and the knives are out after a diabolical display on Tuesday night by James __ eight points though from a defensive standpoint the player stood his ground but offensively he was more of a detriment to his team . The knives will be out and directly aimed LeBron James. And this being the player who actually anointed himself ‘King James’ and then simply ran with it ? The two time league MVP had one of those games where nothing seem to have gone right but at the same time he rode into town announcing that this team would be good enough to win multiple titles __verbatim “not one , not two but three , four , five and why not six titles ” ? Hey LeBron let’s not get completely ahead of ourselves, you’ve already become an ingrate and are about as welcomed in the Cleveland area multiple doses of the ebola virus . Now you’re bringing your undoubted talents to South Beach but an ego that is large as the Grand Canyon will not make you all the more likeable at this juncture. I just hope for your sake at this moment in time should this team fail …….. you don’t choose to apportion blame elsewhere ?

The three point loss (83-86) told me a great deal about the Miami Heat and in particular about the ‘ Big Three’ on this team ! When placed under a great deal of adversity they are inclined to wilt under pressure and nowhere was this more self evident than last night . James was guilty of failing to deliver the goods and now the excuses will be made as to the reasons why and whether or not LeBron bears a great deal of that blame . While the protagonists out there were trying to make a case that James is now ready to wear the crown worn by Michael Jordan as the best player in the NBA . Here is simply another reason why those very same protagonists should simply shut the hell up and let history take its course , rather thrust upon LeBron James something that he has yet to deserve. It does a great disservice not only to the game but also to its image and Jordan’s legacy.

Lebron James may well yet become a truly great player and have a long and successful career in the league but as of now he’s yet to lead a team to a title and when last I looked , a runner up finish simply meant nothing to even the most ardent of fans !

On the flip side of the script Dirk Nowitzki simply showed why without him the Dallas Mavericks would simply be viewed as an also ran within the league . Now as they look to claim their first NBA title it will be interesting to see whether or not his teammates finally are beginning to believe that they are indeed capable of defeating the Miami Heat . It’s all well and good Jason Terry emblazoning a tattoo on his right bicep as an omen . But given the fact that Terry’s own displays during this series and the playoffs overall have been intermittent I’d say it’s time for him to get with the damn program !

There’s a great deal at stake for both teams in particular for the Miami Heat and their financial viability. Repeated losses over the last few years can’t hide the desperation of team President Pat Riley and Heat owner Micky Arison . The acquisition of Bosh and James wasn’t about merely a last ditch attempt to retain Dwyane Wade but also to shore up the financial coffers of the Miami Heat. Had they not been able to lure the two All Stars then in all likelihood Wade would have been playing elsewhere this season and with that the growing losses of the organization would be like a dead weight around the neck of the organization . Riley knows that a compelling series victory will bode well for the future of the Miami Heat and from a financial standpoint it would be greatly beneficial. As of now this series is far from over and the worrisome situation is that for LeBron James, his struggles continue in an NBA Final. Swept aside by the San Antonio Spurs in 2007 in the Finals of that year when James was a player for the Cleveland Cavaliers . That sole appearance until this year has been something of a nightmare for the player that many have stated has become the new “King of the NBA “ . Doesn’t a King wear a crown and just to add mere substance to those claims shouldn’t he have at least won something that actually resonates with the fans as a whole ? Style over substance means fu#k all but there are those who actually believe otherwise . How naive !

Game five is scheduled for tonight hosted by the Dallas Mavericks in what will be no doubt a sold-out American Airlines Center in Dallas , Texas . Vociferous Mavericks’ fans are sure to get behind Rick Carlisle and his team , with those very same fans being of the belief if they can eke out a victory then they are but a win away from winning their first NBA title . Can you imagine what the fallout may well be should the Miami Heat fail to win what many believe had been preordained ? I for one believe nothing is merely given to you without you actually deserving it ! And nothing that the Miami Heat has achieved so far would suggest that they deserving of winning the NBA title , merely because they are now in the Finals . It has been this sort of complacency that has been clearly visible with many of the players on this Hear roster , including James , himself .

Should Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks triumph this may well be right way for him to bow out of the game with his legacy firmly entrenched within the annals of the game and perhaps the best European player to have played in the NBA ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Simply chime in with a comment on the topics raised within this piece as you see fit and as always thanks for the continued support as it is gratefully appreciated !

Alan aka tophatal ……………………………..

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) This December 3, 2010 file photo shows Tiger Woods of USA as he puts his hat back on as he walks off the 18th green after finishing the second round, at the 2010 Chevron World Challenge at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California. Woods, a 14-time major champion chasing the all-time record of 18 won by Jack Nicklaus, said June 7, 2011 that he will not play in next week’s US Open golf tournament. Left knee and tendon pain has bothered Woods for the past month. “Not playing in US Open. Very disappointed. Short-term frustration for long-term gain,” Woods posted on his Twitter microblogging website. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK /GETTY IMAGES ……

(2) In this June 25, 2008 photo, golfer Michael Whitehead, who is currently a senior at Rice, poses for a photograph in Houston. Whitehead, who was first alternate from the Dallas qualifier, will replace Tiger Woods in the U.S. Open after Woods withdrew due to lingering issues with his left leg. AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Karen Warren ….

(3) PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL – MAY 12: Tiger Woods addresses the media after withdrawing on the ninth hole during the first round of THE PLAYERS Championship held at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 12, 2011 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Woods announced June 7, 2011 that he will not play in the U.S. Open because of an injury to his left leg. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images …..

(4) Phil Mickelson hits his tee shot on the par 4 10th hole during the third round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance at Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 4, 2011 in Dublin, Ohio. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

(5) FILE – In this April 30, 2010 file photo, Floyd Mayweather Jr. steps on the scale at a weigh-in ceremony before a WBA welterweight boxing title fight against Shane Mosley in Las Vegas. Mayweather, the undefeated six-time world champion, says on his Twitter feed Tuesday, June 7, 2011, he will end a 16-month hiatus from boxing when he faces WBC welterweight champion Victor Ortiz on September 17. AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File ……

(6) Victor Ortiz (left) the challenger makes sure that Andre Berto’s (left) defense of his WBC welterweight title will be a brief one . Ortiz would defeat the former title holder in a unanimous decision in the bout held at the Foxwoods Resort , Mashantucket ,Connecticut ,. Getty Images / Chris Borbon ……

(7) Miami Heat managing general partner Micky Arison, right, talks to president Pat Riley during a basketball practice for the NBA finals, Wednesday, June 8, 2011, in Dallas. The Heat will face the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 of the best-of-seven series that is tied 2-2, Thursday, June 9, 2011. Do they now have something to be extremely worried about ? AP Photo/David J. Phillip ………

(8) DALLAS, TX – JUNE 08: LeBron James of the Miami Heat attends NBA Finals Media Availability on June 8, 2011 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images ………

(9) Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle applauds while Dirk Nowitzki (L) walks off the court during game 4 of the NBA Finals on June 7, 2011 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat 86-83. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK /GETTY IMAGES …………

(10) LeBron James (C) of the Miami Heat is guarded by Jason Kidd (L) and Tyson Chandler of the Dallas Mavericks during game 4 of the NBA Finals on June 7, 2011 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat 86-83. AFP PHOTO / Robyn BECK / GETTY IMAGES ……..
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You Had Me At Hello ………. !

You Had Me At Hello !

In the Cameron Crowe directed and written movie ” Jerry Macguire” there’s a scene in the movie where Tom Cruise’s character Jerry Maguire ____ his wife in the film played by Oscar winner Renee Zellwegger says the words “you had me hello ” . Well here’s a case in point as I survey the world of sports and the news forthcoming within that arena . The NFL is still looking as if their problems now will be litigated within the US Federal Court system and in which an upcoming case will be heard in Minneapolis , Minnesota. What both the NFLPA ( union) and the NFL continue to show is that neither side is apparent in actually resolving this matter in which an amicable resolution is reached , albeit that owners Jerry Jones and Robert Kraft have stated that’s what they seek with the union led by Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and its executive committee . Pardon me for saying this , but common sense went out the window concerning these deliberations the moment that the union sought to decertify in order that players could challenge the NFL’s antitrust exemption status and its legality within the judicial system.

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Slide show for your perusal .

What might be further illuminating and shows that intelligence on the part of the players is merely a preconception , is the fact that they state they’re now prepared to negotiate directly with the owners rather than NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell . Less I’m mistaken wasn’t the action to instigate the lockout done at the behest of the owners and was enacted by Goodell as the NFL’s highest ranking official within the league’s hierarchy ? Well folks , there’s more to come from this soap opera’s saga and the outcome that most sorely await.

Can someone explain to me why it is that everyone is so sold on the New York Knicks even after the team’s acquisition of Carmelo Anthony instigated by GM Donnie Walsh and team owner James Dolan ? The problem is that in spite of Anthony’s acquisition along with that of Chauncey Billups the New Yorks Knicks have been a rather pedestrian 7-8 whereas the Denver Nuggets in exchange are an impressive 9-6 after Anthony’s departure under coach George Karl as the Nuggets try to make a play for a playoff spot in the Western Conference . Something that many may well have felt beyond the Nuggets after this trade was made by GM Masai Ujiri .

I’m not thoroughly convinced that this Knicks’ team even with the addition of Anthony and Billups are still good enough even with perennial All Star Amar’e Stoudemire leading this team and that’s with the advent of Mike D’Antoni’s coaching philosophy or lack of it thereof. Please don’t try and convince me that the Knicks are legit , when they can’t even play with any semblance of consistency be it on the road or at home . People were so in awe of this trade that they seem to have forgotten that neither Anthony or D’Antoni’s teams have never been known for their defensive capabilities and that clearly has been the case once again with the New York Knicks under D’Antoni’s tutelage. Madison Square Gardens may well play host to its litany New York celebrities such as Spike Lee and Chris Rock who may well be in awe of this team’s aspirations over the course of the season but the Knicks are going to in for a big surprise should they make the postseason and are still playing at the fame level inconsistency we’ve seen from the team .

Now as many of you know I’m an avowed boxing fan but as of late I’ve become disenchanted with the sport and just about anything that’s associated with the sport be it from a world title fight or the latest news involving Floyd Mayweather , Manny Pacquaio , two of the sport’s biggest stars. I’d recently written a piece that dealt with the fortieth anniversary of the fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier . To my mind that first fight and the duo which followed after-wards to make up the trilogy of fights which has made up the greatest series of boxing matches ever to have been staged at any weight category over the sport’s history ! Well this past weekend were led to believe that once again the heavyweight division was once again relevant as Vitali Klitschko would be defending his WBC title against the mandatory number one challenger Odlanier Solis in what was meant to be a bout that the fans would long to see.

The fight itself lived up to the expectations one would come to expect when you have an over hyped challenger and a title holder whose record has been based on meeting opponents either well past their prime or who essentially have been asked to step by now what I largely believe are unscrupulous promoters who don’t necessarily are what the fans think just as long as they’re making money from these staged promotions . Solis a Cuban emigre essentially gave up after one round having been knocked out Klitschko with effortless ease. Solis’ record of having been undefeated merely showed me that the heavyweight division is genuinely devoid of any real talent in spite of what the boxing journalists out there are trying to sell the public. Beyond a disinterested Manny Pacquiao who now merely is fighting for the money and a way of satisfying the ego of his promoter Bob Arum , boxing has now become mundane and about as interesting as watching paint dry or a political debate between two intellectually challenged candidates. Does anyone remember the Vice Presidential debates between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin ? Need I say anymore on the matter ?

A number of my friends know that I’m a former military member who served in the Royal Marines for a 8 1/2 year period serving in various parts of Europe and North Africa . During that time I’d seen active service having been stationed in Northern Ireland , Ethiopia , Eritrea and further afield. And I have to admit those experiences have molded me into the person I am along with my upbringing and post military experience has given me a great deal more insight than I could ever have hoped for . I’ve long maintained that without the experience of having traveled or an education then your life can be something of a void . Luckily enough having brought up by a single mother and being the eldest of the three my mother drummed it into us that education is of the utmost if we’re to strive . Having graduated from high school my initial thought wasn’t to enter college as I’d no real idea as to what I wanted in terms of a vocation. So being rather capricious I entered the military much to the dismay of my mother , and my younger brother and sister. That being said after my stint in the military I was lucky enough to be hired by a bank working within corporate finance and my employer at the time paid for my education having enrolled at UCL and then LSE where I was able to obtain an MBA and degrees in International Finance and Economics .

Now in light of ESPN’s most recent series of their 30 For 30 series of documentaries to commemorate the outlet’s thirtieth anniversary as a sports programming content provider . Their most recent edition was on Michigan’s Fab Five which was that hyped team led by Juwan Howard , Jalen Rose and Chris Webber which went to two straight Final Fours in the NCAA Tournament .

This specific episode though commissioned by the cable outlet provider was in fact produced by Rose’s own production company (Three Tier Entertainment) in conjunction with ESPN and the episode was one of the better made documentaries made shown by ESPN. In the aftermath of the episode’s showing Rose who is also an NBA analyst on TNT’s NBA show has been particularly vocal in the fact that he hates the Duke Blue Devils and the very fact that he’s felt that African Americans who’ve played for Mike Krzyzwewski have been Uncle Tom’s . Much of Rose’s anger in making that statement comes from the fact that he wasn’t recruited by by Duke when he became eligible as a college player. I can understand Rose’s statement but I do believe that the issues raised shows his ignorance and immaturity as a human being ! . Not only that given the fact that even if he’d come from a single parent home it doesn’t change the wholesale environment if what any recruit has to go through once given the chance as a student athlete at any educational establishment . The criteria that has to be met doesn’t necessarily change because of one’s socio-economic standing or ethnictiy , as Rose clearly believes that it does .

In the aftermath of this all , perhaps Duke’s greatest player Grant Hill took umbrage at the statements made by Rose and wrote a concise and illuminating op-ed piece in the Washington Post challenging Rose’s statements and preconceived ideas. If it’s not bad enough that in this day and age young African American males and female have very few role models to which they can look up to, we now have an idiot like Rose now looking to drag down African American males within his own race who just happen to role models that many of today’s youth can look up to , regardless of ethnicity and their sexual identity. What might be even more telling is that Rose hasn’t yet issued any type of formal apology or any further statement having made that original remark. It may well have been done as an effort to further publicize the Fab Five episode but if anything to my mind whatever damage done be it slight in some peoples eyes may well be something that can’t be recanted and looked at as merely a player feeling aggrieved over an issue. The fact of the matter is as great as Rose’s college career may well have been his professional career paled into insignificance where there was nothing exceptional that actually stood out !

Rose may well look back on the statement with some regret but for the moment it looks as if he’s prepared ride it for all that it’s worth while it provides the actual episode that little extra publicity it might not actually get from ESPN from any additional advertising on the cable network.

It’s extremely rare where you get a young athlete that simply takes a sport by storm and where now the expectations become so high after that individual does something that no one literally thought possible. At UFC 128 — Jon Jones the light heavyweight challenger for Mauricio Rua’s UFC title belt made such an emphatic statement that has sent a seismic shock wave across the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). In the space of three brutal and clinically decisive rounds Jones literally beat the formidable Rua and in doing so took the title holder’s belt with discriminate ease. What was scheduled to be a five round title fight where many felt that Jones would be tested by the vastly more experienced Rua simply didn’t come into being. If anything it was the young 23 year old fighter who took the fight to the champion , had him bloodied , bewildered and disheartened long before the fight came to an unlikely ending with a TKO in the third round of the five round title fight.

Now Jones will have to deal with other title aspirants within the division such as former title holders Rashad Evans , Lyoto Machida and the always dangerous and perennial title contender Ryan Bader .The speed and impressive way at which Jones (13-1) has moved up the ranks of the sport and in particular the light heavyweight division with so little allout experience in the UFC ranks speaks to how he has applied himself and the skills that he brings into the genre as a former All American collegiate wrestler. His jujitsu has improved greatly and it only adds to his all round weaponry within MMA . A prospective rematch with Rua seems unlikely given the nature of Jones’ victory over the Brazilian . And now what may well await him is a big money defense of his title against Evans the number one mandated contender for the title . Jones replaced Rashard Evans he’d suffered an injury in his preparations to fight Rua at UFC 128 , his replacement was Jones who took the fight on short notice although he’d been in training for an upcoming fight , seen as an eliminator for the light heavyweight title. Now with that belt now his own the newly anointed champion can now pick and choose his challengers while along the way gaining further notoriety , fame and wealth.

On the opposite side of the MMA genre we have the woefully inept and mediocre situation now arising within the sport of boxing . I’m sorry but I can no longer see the relevancy of the sport when the fights that the fans desire to see aren’t going to take place ! Over this past weekend Vitali Klitschko (42-2-0 ,39KO’s) defended his WBC heavyweight title against what we’re led to believe was a credible mandated number one contender by the WBC in Odlanier Solis . Well the fact that this bout took place in Cologne , Germany gives you all the credcence you need to know why the heavyweight division is no longer taken seriously . The boxing scene and in particular the the division no longer resonates with anyone within North America and the very fact that the division is now dominated by a group of lackluster and character devoid aspirants of fighters chasing greatness makes this all the comedic . There hasn’t been an undisputed champion within the heavyweight ranks for almost 7 years and it’s unlikely that there’ll be one anytime soon.

Solis came into this fight with a record (17-0 , 12 KO’s) that if anything that on paper seemed impressive but as they say what you see on paper doesn’t actually represent anything in terms of a legitimate resume’ . This fight was over before the initial bell rang for the opening round and for the fans in attendance at the Lanxess Arena , Cologne had to have been disappointed in seeing the challenger barely last three minutes into the first round having been knocked flat on his backside from a punch that on appearance didn’t seem to be all that devastating much less having any real power. But this is now what the sport of boxing has now become by way of many of the fights now being staged for the apparent appetites of the fight fans out there. I’m sorry but seeing an overweight bloated specimen being knocked flat on their ass much less lying prostrate on their back isn’t what I for one find anywhere near entertaining ! And that’s in spite of fans and boxing writers now talking as if Vitali Klitschko and his brother Wladimir are now the faces of boxing as far as the heavyweight division is concerned . The two have refused to face each other in order unify the titles within the division and create an undisputed champion within the heavyweight ranks. And fight are suppose to take either seriously within the world of boxing ?

Now one can understand why the sport of boxing and in particular the division can’t be taken seriously as a legitimate concern . I can only surmise that’s why both Don King and Bob Arum as the sport’s pre-eminent promoters aren’t overly concerned with the division or promoting any of the top ranked contenders within the division who just happen to be Europeans ! In doing so they know for a fact that they’d be facing a losing endeavor in trying to gain anyone’s interest in a proposed bout on this side of the Atlantic which is and has always been the epicenter of the fight game.

I personally have lost all faith in the legitimacy in the sport of boxing as it has become devoid of talent , character and most certainly promoters who actually wish to give the fight fans what they want and that’s competitive and entertaining fights . That’s not really too much to ask at this juncture is it ?

Well it goes without saying the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is in full swing and there have already been one or two upsets that most hadn’t envisaged. Suffice to say if your brackets have already imploded because of an errant pick on your part take heart in the fact that you’re probably amongst millions who’ve seen their situation ripped asunder because of that pick . I for one am looking forward to the rest of the tournament as we’re now down to the ” Sweet 16 ” as from hereon in it’s now going to be about the contenders being separated from the pretenders .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

In light of the weekend’s sporting events what if anything has been your own most enjoyable moment ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on the issues raised within this piece and any sporting topic you wish .

Alan aka tophatal …………….

https://tophatal.wordpress.com/

Picture and slide show details below
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(1) FILE – In this file photo taken Feb. 1, 2010, then Houston Texans guard Chester Pitts makes a point to members of the House Judiciary Committee during a forum in Houston. Football labor negotiations with the NFL involving a federal mediator broke off March 11, 2011, without an agreement. NFL players have been warned for years about the need to save and the importance of budgeting their money in case of a work stoppage. Well, the lockout is here. All the players have taken a bit of a financial hit already because of the lockout: NFL teams no longer are paying for their health insurance. AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, ……..

(2) NEW ORLEANS, LA – MARCH 21: Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones attends the NFL Annual Meetings at the Roosevelt Hotel on March 21, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Despite a NFL owners imposed lockout in effect since March 12 the league is conducting its annual owners meeting in New Orleans. Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images …….

(3) Three of the in famous Fab 5 of Michigan’s basketball team of the early nineties that had the five freshmen reach two consecutive NCAA Final Fours . From left to right Juwan Howard , Jalen Rose (center) and Chris Webber . AP /Reuters/ Chris Hill ……………

(4) New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni argues a call with referee Ken Mauer (41) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 20, 2011, in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Bucks won 100-95 . AP Photo/Morry Gash ……….

(5) Milwaukee Bucks’ Andrew Bogut , right, has some words with New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 20, 2011, in Milwaukee. The Bucks won 100-95. AP Photo/Morry Gash ………..

(6) Pictured a badly beaten Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is somewhat dismayed after his loss to Jon “Bones” Jones. In losing to Jones at UFC 128 Rua lost his light heavyweight title in his very first defense to his younger opponent. MMA Fight Weeky .

(7) Jones (right) took the fight to Rua from the opening round here he’s seen unleashing a kick to the champion during their UFC light heavyweight title fight at UFC 128. Both fighters have been suspended by the UFC pending the outcome of their post-fight medical medical results . MMA Weekly.com Ken Pishna …

(8) Jones delivers a frontal kick to Rua’s midrift that he was able to avoid but only partially. Jones would use his athleticism and quickness to defeat the Brazlian jujitsu expert with considerable ease. MMA Weekly.com Ken Pishna ………..

(9) Ukrainian heavyweight titleholder Vitali Klitschko celebrates with the winner’s belt after defeating Cuban challenger Odlanier Solis after their WBC heavyweight world championship boxing match in the western German city of Cologne on March 19, 2011. World heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko won the fight and defended his WBC heavyweight title with a shock first-round knock-out of Cuban challenger Odlanier Solis. Photo credit should read PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images ………

(10) World boxing champion Vitali Klitschko of the Ukraine, right, watches challenger Odlanier Solis of Cuba go ing down during the first round of the WBC heavyweight title bout at the arena in Cologne, Germany, Saturday, March 19, 2011. Solis lost in in the first round with an injured knee. Klitschko’s win was declared k.o. by the referee. AP Photo/Martin Meissner ………..

(11) Cuban challenger Odlanier Solis gets help as he leaves the ring after he lost the fight with Ukrainian heavyweight titleholder Vitali Klitschko in their WBC heavyweight world championship boxing match in the western German city of Cologne on March 19, 2011. World heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko won the fight and defended his WBC heavyweight title with a shock first-round knock-out of Cuban challenger Odlanier Solis. AFP PHOTO / PATRIK STOLLARZ

(12) Ben Hansbrough (23) of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish reacts on the bench in the second half during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the United Center on March 20, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Florida State won 71-57 in regulation. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ……..

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NCAA Men’s basketball results

Sweet 16 draw

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Continue reading “You Had Me At Hello ………. !”

Being An Ass Never Looked So Bad But Being A Bad Ass Has Its Merits ……

Being An Ass Never Looked So Bad But Being A Bad Ass Has Its Merits ……

OK so somewhere along the way it may well have occurred to Floyd Mayweather Jr that being an asshole was the only thing he had going for him. He states that he wants to be judged as the “best pound for pound fighter on the planet” but instead he’s become a pariah by taking out his anger and aggression on his ex girlfriend and their two young sons. Given the seriousness of the charges the boxer now faces which are felony coercion of a witness , grand larceny , robbery and misdemeanor domestic battery and harassment . If found guilty of the charges in question Mayweather faces up to 35 years in jail. And to top it all of Mayweather has a week to pay $34,000 in bail due to the Clark County Court in Las Vegas Courts, Nevada .

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Now while Mayweather’s plight seems to have taken a downward spiral the fighter that many viewed that he should be facing as his next opponent is seven time world champion Manny Pacquiao (51-3-2 (38 KO’s)) of the Philippines . This weekend Pacquiao faces Antonio Margarito (38-6-0 1 NC (27 KO’s)) in a catch-weight title fight being staged at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas this upcoming Saturday night. The fight is being staged and promoted by Top Rank Inc of which owner Bob Arum is the manager of both fighters. The bout itself is being fought for the vacant WBC super welterweight title. And should Pacquiao prevail then it’d be his eighth title at a different weight category. Margarito , himself , has a been a titlist at different weight categories but his lineage and fame isn’t as widespread as the Filipino’s . However what the fans and press at large are hoping to see is whether or not Pacquiao still has what it takes to defeat a dangerous opponent.

The bout itself is being televised via PPV (HBO —- $49.95) scheduled for 9.00 pm EST in order to garner the best possible viewership on both coasts as well as a worldwide audience. And given both fighters’ popularity in their respective countries it has to be said that the Latin and Filipino influence and support will be not only felt internationally but also domestically at the venue. Margarito’s return to the ring after his one year suspension following his fight against Miguel Cotto for the WBA welterweight title had many wondering whether or not his return was appropriate given the actions of his corner on the night of the fight . His corner wrapped the fighter’s hands with an illicit substance which hardens and formed a substance similar to plaster of paris. Though at the time Margarito denies any wrongdoing on his part he was suspended and fined by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and the World Boxing Association (WBA). Bob Arum questioned the length and severity of the suspension but even he has to admit that the actions of the fighter and his trainers were egregious and dangerous.

Courtesy of USA Today

Margarito video adds fuel to Saturday’s fight vs. Pacquiao

By Bob Velin , USA Today

ARLINGTON, Texas — Not much good news has come out of Cowboys Stadium this season, with the Dallas Cowboys sitting at 1-7 and having just fired their coach.

A Wednesday afternoon news conference, with the $1.2 billion wonder as the backdrop, was supposed to hype Manny Pacquiao’s bid for an unprecedented world championship in his eighth weight class Saturday against Antonio Margarito (HBO pay-per-view, 9 p.m. ET). The highly anticipated fight is for the vacant WBC super welterweight title.

Instead, everybody was buzzing over a video that appeared on YouTube that caused plenty of hurt feelings.

VIDEO: Margarito camp mimicks Roach
MARGARITO: Relishes chance at redemption vs. Pacquiao

The video, shot by AOL Fanhouse several weeks ago, shows Margarito and undercard boxer Brandon Rios and their trainer, Robert Garcia, mocking Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, who has battled Parkinson’s disease for several years. Margarito and Rios were shaking their hands and head, appearing to make fun of some of the most debilitating effects of the dreaded disease.

Roach, a former boxer and now one of the world’s most respected trainers, had little use for Margarito coming into this fight, insisting the Mexican fighter knew of the illegal hand wraps that caused him to be suspended from boxing in the USA nearly two years ago. This is his first fight in the USA since then, but Roach still thinks Margarito should have been banned for life.

Margarito steadfastly denies he knew about the wraps.

After learning of the video, Roach said he would have nothing to say to Margarito, Rios and Garcia ever again.

“I don’t give a (bleep) about them,” Roach said Wednesday. “They’re not my friends. They disrespected me. … They’ve always been nice to me, but they showed their true colors this time. I don’t need friends like that.”

Margarito said they were having fun and trying to get Roach mad and meant no disrespect. Asked whether he’d apologize, Margarito said, “Yes, of course.”

Garcia tried to defuse the incident when he brought it up during the news conference. “Of course I apologize,” he said later. “They were just trying to get Freddie Roach mad. But that’s no way to get him mad. That wasn’t right.”

Asked if he thought it might backfire, making Pacquiao and Roach even more determined for the fight, Garcia said, “Definitely. I’m upset about it. I feel bad. This is not me. People know me. I never talk bad about nobody.

“But I was there. I allowed it. It got a little out of hand. But it had nothing to do with us laughing about that disease.”

Margarito said when they started training camp, the two sides were friendly. But the good feelings deteriorated as both sides began jawing about the other.

“It’s normal,” Margarito said. “It’s been a long promotion. We’re talking back and forth, that’s nothing. It’s a sport. We’re going to fight on Saturday, and after Saturday we’re going to shake hands and move on.”

Margarito thinks Pacquiao and his handlers are getting nervous about the fight, which is expected to draw more than 60,000 fans.

“They see me, they see my size and go, ‘What are we getting into?’ That’s all that is. All nerves.”

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As to the prospects of the fight itself Pacquiao is viewed as an odds on favorite but given his opponent’s record I do believe that this fight could well be a lot closer than some prognosticators might think. Both are very well rounded boxer and each packs a punch as can be witnessed from their respective records. the two combined have amassed 65 knockouts in a total of 89 (73%) fights over the course of their careers . If there’s one thing that we can expect it is that both fighters are wary of each others’ knockout power and neither can afford to make a mistake. A win for Pacquiao would cement his already legendary status and legacy but should he succumb to Margarito then for the Latin fighter it would be viewed as a sort of redemption of sorts.

Looming in the background in all of this is what many feel is unfinished business given the fact that a proposed fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao should have already taken place. It is the fight that all fight fans want to see and because of the politics and intransigence on both sides concerning the rules , monetary compensation and the fact that it would appear that Pacquiao’s representatives were unwilling to subject their fighter to pre-fight drug testing the bout fell through. What might have been the biggest and most lucrative boxing match in history became a war of words , insults and further pushed the sport into an area where it doesn’t need to be. And that’s now outside the mainstream of the boxing and sports fans enthusiasts as a whole. And while one might assail the sport as not having any real characters or heroes of note , looming large of this arena are Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather arguably the two most recognized and perhaps the best boxers on the planet without a doubt. Unfortunately for fight fans everywhere it would appear that the fight that everyone wants will perhaps never take place because of one fighter’s stupidity while the other now seeks to stake his claim as the best fighter of his era and one of the alltime greats of the sport.

One can only hope that Saturday night’s spectacle lives up to perceived hype that has been created . If not then absolutely nothing from hereon in can change the way that the fans are now looking at this sport. It is in many ways a sport that seems to be longer resonating with fans and has in many ways lost its appeal and luster for a number of well chronicled reasons . So much so one could say that with the rise of MMA (mixed martial arts) and in particular the UFC as the main authority of the sport and genre that boxing has now taken a back seat as MMA’s fighters have become as widely known and just as popular as many of today’s top boxers.

Manny Pacquiao could go a long way in addressing and perhaps changing the course of the sport with a win on Saturday night . And it is hoped that given Floyd Mayweather’s legal problems there’s a chance that they can be dealt with in such a way the two can perhaps meet at some time in the near future. The gravity of Mayweather’s situation doesn’t lead me to believe that the justice system will deal with him lightly because of his apparent stupidity but at the same who knows how things may well pan out ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal . By clicking on individual frame you can view that picture in its original formatted frame .

What thoughts if any do you have on this upcoming bout between Margarito and Pacquiao ? As such will it be of interest to you and if anything how do you feel about the direction that the sport is now said to be going in ? Chime in with a comment on this and any other thought as it relates to the sport of boxing .

😛 * 🙂

Alan aka tophatal ………………………….. 😛

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The sultry Simone Anderson

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Who wouldn’t want to ‘hit’ that ? I know I would !

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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Pret-A-Porter …………..No I’m Not Buying Into It At All

Absolutely nothing says arrogance and pomposity than when you have two narcissistic individuals trying to ‘one up’ each other, in order to make and get their point across. And so it goes in the world of boxing. While the world awaits the formal announcement and a date to be set for the impending fight between Floyd Mayeather Jr,(40-0,25 KO’s) and Manny Pacquiao(50-3-2,38 KO’s). There is already a ‘war of words’ being waged between the two factions. In this case it’s between Mayweather’s camp and that of Bob Arum , the promoter of the Philippine fighter.

Boxing promoter and  Top Rank Inc  President & CEO, Bob Arum.  The promoter's charge  , Manny Pacquiao  is  due to  fight Floyd Mayweather  Jr  in  early  2010 - in  a  highly anticipated welterweight title  fight  that'll  also  be co-promoted  by  Mayweather  and  Arum's  Top Rank Inc. picture appears courtesy of  ap/photo/ Joe Caravetta ....
Boxing promoter and Top Rank Inc President & CEO, Bob Arum. The promoter's charge , Manny Pacquiao is due to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr in early 2010 - in a highly anticipated welterweight title fight that'll also be co-promoted by Mayweather and Arum's Top Rank Inc. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Joe Caravetta ...

Arum and Mayweather are at logger heads over the fighter’s request that his opponent, Manny Pacquiao be subjected to random blood and urine tests between now and the scheduled fight due to take place on the 13th March, 2010. Mayweather wants the testing to be done in accordance with the USOC and that of WADA. Arum for his part seems all aggrieved by this all, as if it implies that his fighter , Pacquiao is an alleged cheat. Given the fact that the sport is already as corrupt as it can be. And also in light of what had taken place when another of Arum’s charges, Antonio Margarito was found to have used an illicit covering on his hands in his defeat of Miguel Cotto in a welterweight title bout. One could well understand Mayweather’s actions. But given that this may be nothing more than ‘one up-manship’ on the part of Mayweather , his love of controversy and the limelight. This all becomes much ado about nothing. Or does it ? Many now feel that the sport should fall in line with the World Anti-Doping Agency as well as the USOC and its testing protocols for athletes. Somehow the sport of boxing (in the United States) is so far behind the ‘8 ball’ on this one issue, that it doesn’t even bear thinking about.

But if in large part both camps are now at an impasse from the mere fact that Arum and his fighter won’t acquiesce to the request of Mayweather. Then what was meant to be the most anticipated fight in boxing history could very well go ‘up in smoke’ without a punch ever being thrown between the two fighters. Fight fans around the world have eagerly awaited this much anticipated bout. In large part because you’ve two immensely talented fighters and in most people’s minds the two best ‘pound for pound’ fighters on the planet. Never mind the fact they’ve both got their own loyal band of devout followers across the globe.
This event is too good a spectacle to be all of a sudden implode because of one fighter’s possible wish not to take a blood and urine test over the scheduled weeks and months leading up to the event itself. Arum and Pacquiao may well feel slighted. But would it actually hurt either man’s reputation were they to acquiesce ?

Manny Pacquiao (left)  and Floyd Mayweather Jr (right), the two are scheduled to meet in a  higly anticipated welterweight title  bout in the early part  of 2010. It'll be the fist major title fight of the  decade.  picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ A  Randolph ..................
Manny Pacquiao (left) and Floyd Mayweather Jr (right), the two are scheduled to meet in a higly anticipated welterweight title bout in the early part of 2010. It'll be the fist major title fight of the decade. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ A Randolph ..................

The bout itself though it appears in jeopardy , I’d certainly like to think that calmer heads will prevail and that something amenable can be worked out between both camps. As entrenched as they both appear to be. There’s far too much at stake now for either party to back out of this deal. Someone amongst ‘the three’ will have to be the bigger man and step up to the plate and come to some sort of an agreement. If not then irreparable harm could be done to their reputations , as well as to the sport of boxing. And as the sport now stands at present , this is the very last thing that it needs.

Courtesy of the Los Angeles Times

Mayweather promoter: ‘I’m not saying the fight is off’

[Updated]

There’s no love lost between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Bob Arum, the promoter of Manny Pacquiao whom Mayweather split with a few years ago and went on to fight in the major events he says Arum deprived him of.

So when Arum told the Grand Rapids, Mich., Press today that the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight was “off,” it should be noted that past animosity can lead to short tempers.

[Updated at 11:30 a.m: Arum elaborated today, telling The Times he does believe the fight is off because “we have suggested everything possible to make this happen and it’s falling on deaf ears.” He added, “Mayweather is not the commissioner of boxing.”]

Arum is bothered that Mayweather’s camp has asked Pacquiao to agree to Olympic-style random drug testing overseen by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Pacquiao, said Arum, has agreed to blood tests more than 30 days before the fight and right after the fight, but not so close to the actual first bell.

[Updated at 11:30 a.m.: Those independent tests would be used instead of the current pre- and post-fight urine tests required by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Arum said he won’t agree to the testing protocol of USADA because he said that organization has the right to request multiple tests, extra blood and a blood sample on fight night. Arum agreed that USADA was not likely to request a sample just before fight night.

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If the impasse between the two camps is as cavernous as it is now believed to be. Then the fight fans will be denied a fight that has been long time in the making. On the other hand the issues being raised while it may have no veracity in the argument being put forth by Mayweather. It does bear being raised , as not enough is really being done by the sport to counter act the use of illicit substances. Once in a while we hear of fighter having fought and after a post fight test has been conducted we’re made aware that there’s been an illegal substance within their system. The customary apology is sometimes made and the fighter and his manager are then fined and mandatory suspension is given to the fighter. And in some cases to that fighter’s trainer , if it’s known that they acted in conjunction in the subterfuge of cheating.

Throughout his career Pacquiao has conducted himself like a gentleman in and outside of the ring. He has treated his peers and opponents with the utmost respect. And that is a compliment to the Filipino boxer and his entourage. Albeit , that Arum ,with his checkered past tends to intervene to say some rather disdainful and obnoxious things about some of his Pacquiao’s opponents at one time or another. But then that’s to be expected in order to ‘ramp up’ the ‘hype and publicity’ behind a major fight.

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports


Blood test issues turns to test of will

By Kevin Iole Yahoo Sports Writer

The hotly anticipated fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao was teetering on the brink of collapse on Wednesday over a dispute regarding drug testing procedures, a debate that has some experts standing on Mayweather’s side.

On Wednesday, Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank proposed a drug testing schedule that would include three blood draws and an unlimited number of urine tests in an attempt to salvage the bout that hit a negotiating snag on Tuesday, when Mayweather’s side insisted on random Olympic-style drug testing administered by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. The world’s top two boxers had agreed to meet on March 13 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas for what is expected to become the largest-grossing bout in the sport’s history.

Arum said frequent urine testing is sufficient in the final 30 days to prevent either fighter from using performance-enhancing drugs. He said Pacquiao is willing to submit blood samples in early January, in mid-February around 30 days prior to the fight and then again in the locker room immediately upon conclusion of the fight.

In the interim, Arum insisted urine testing would be sufficient.

“Everything can be picked up by urinalysis,” Arum said. “Everything.”

Travis Tygart, the CEO of USADA, disputed Arum’s contention and said a combination of blood and urine testing is required to be effective. He also said that to be most effective, athletes would have to be subject to random testing while out of competition.

If any testing is conducted in the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight outside of what is mandated by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, it would be during competition since the fighters are scheduled to start training in early January.

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Mayweather on the hand, nothing gives him greater pleasure than to mock an opponent in the run up to and after a bout.Though rarely will he actually laud praise upon another fighter. He has some respect for the history of the sport but his ‘greatest respect’ shall we say say is …to portray himself as the narcissist we all know him to be and the boxer and fighter he believes himself to be. He has long felt that he’s not received the credit due because others have looked upon Oscar De La Hoya as being the ‘mainstay’ and ‘savior’ of the sport over the last decade.
And that may well be the case as De La Hoya has proven to be the biggest draw in the history of the sport in terms of PPV revenues. His fights alone have grossed an estimated $450 million over the course of his illustrious career. Mayweather hasn’t even exceeded half that amount in his own esteemed career. And therein, may well lie the jealousy behind Floyd Mayweather Jr and his antagonistic tendencies. He believes that the respect due to him has long been overdue. And now that he’s finally getting the acclaim and the due accolades, he still somehow finds a way to alienate the masses.

If this fight now fails to take place at the time envisaged, then there will be a great many fans of the sport left wondering in what direction is the sport going and why won’t it adopt merely the most simple of policies in order to safeguard its very own integrity.On this one issue alone the sport of boxing is so far behind ‘the 8 ball’ that it doesn’t even bear thinking about. With the various state athletic commissions as well as the international governing bodies of the sport each adopting its own set of guidelines. It’s hard to distinguish what there is right that is being done inside the sport of boxing. And what there is that is being done wrong. So divergent are their policies that there’s no uniform guideline that solely regulates this issue.

What are your own thoughts on this matter as well as the possible title fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao ? I look forward to reading and responding to your comments.