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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Don’t blame me for what an ancestor did , that was then , this is now

Don’t blame me for what an ancestor did , that was then , this is now

Over the past ten years a concerted effort has been made to right an evil wrong perpetrated within this country , that most would rather forget and simply choose to ignore , or better yet, claim , that as it was a thing of the past , then it should be forgotten . Well , racism is not a thing of the past nor has it been forgotten . Today , we have the proliferation of sex trafficking and slavery across the globe , and the United States has become one of the largest market places for the industry . Many of those who are being trafficked are young girls , as well as young boys , as the purveyors of this trade cater to the needs of their perverted customers . Never let it be said , that money doesn’t get you what you want and when you want it . And yes , the oldest profession known to man remains the livelihood of many , with law enforcement simply at a loss as how to eradicate its presence .

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Many of you may well be aware of such boxing luminaries from the past , Archie Moore , and Floyd Patterson , who reigned over the heavyweight scene , when the sport was rich in talent and the title fights actually meant something . Long before, the prominence of Muhammad Ali , George Foreman , Sonny Liston , Larry Holmes and Mike Tyson came into being . The two most celebrated fighters within the division , of any era and weight category , were boxers who paved the way for the sport of boxing to be respected and where boxing historians still reveled in their notoriety , fame and skill-set . Less of the stupidity , as to the “ greatness” of Rocky Marciano , who on his best day would have been hard pressed to defeat either Jack Johnson or Joe Louis Barrow . The latter , whose given name was Barrow , took the name Joe Louis , and then rose to become the greatest heavyweight in boxing history , until the ascent of a young man from Louisville , Kentucky , by the name of Cassius Marcellus Clay. Clay , as you know , would later become known as Muhammad Ali , having converted to Islam , and the Sufi sect, of one of the world’s great religions.

Jack Johnson became boxing’s first African-American world heavyweight boxing champion , when the sport , not so much in its infancy , was still finding a way to legitimize itself and become recognized as a sport that appealed to the masses . Routinely , triumphed as a discipline of gentlemen , the sport was essentially dominated by Caucasian males who refused to fight their African-American contemporaries at the time (turn of the century) , for fear of being beaten or shown to lack the physical ability in proving to be the better athlete or boxer. Much as it was within the game of baseball, and the continued belief that Babe Ruth was, and still remains the greatest player to have ever played the game baseball . The inductee within Baseball’s Hall of Fame , refused to play against teams from the Negro Leagues and was a staunch supporter of the sport remaining segregated . Granted , there were laws on the books that prevented teams from within what was then MLB from facing any affiliate from the Negro Leagues . However , it was known that these edicts were circumvented , when money was said to have changed hands, in order to facilitate such games , which were never actually recognized in or for the record books . Historians and the revisionists of baseball, would later seek to change that all , primarily to suggest that the game at the time was being played on a level playing field . What a crock of fecal matter !

Joe Louis remains amongst the top five heavyweight champions in boxing history , his record of twenty-five consecutive title defenses and the longevity of his boxing reign and career , places him amongst the pantheons of the sport . Yet it was his demeanor away from the ring that enamored the fans of boxing , while at times , we knew there to be detractors, because of Louis’ ethnicity . As World War II (WWII) was about to reach , and spread its tentacles widespread , and the rise of Nazism becoming a plague across Europe . Joe Louis would be used as a battle cry for the war effort , when he fought then former foe and nemesis , German boxer , Max Schmeling , in an epic rematch , that has been described as one of the greatest fights in the annals of boxing history. It should be remembered that Louis , lost to Schmeling , when the two met in a non-title fight at Yankee Stadium , in New York City , New York on June 19th , 1936. A then unbeaten Louis (24-0-0) was the prohibitive favorite for the bout ,which would end with a knockout in the twelfth round victory for Schmeling. The shock of that loss and the fact that the news was reported back to then German Chancellor , Adolph Hitler , was met with a great deal of adulation and exaltation by the leader and German people , as they sought to prove themselves the “Master race “ and that indeed , the rise of an Aryan Nation to profligate the world, and to try and prove that nation’s dominance . Alas , it would prove not to be , for Hitler , or for the German people .

In the long-awaited rematch , Joe Louis would exact his revenge, with a sweeping and stunning victory , which saw Max Schmeling KO’d in the very first round , when the two fighters met for the second and final time of their illustrious careers. A long-lasting friendship would be built between the two up until 1981 , and the passing of Joe Louis , whose funeral would be attended by Schmeling , who had now become a successful businessman and industrialist .

Louis was hoisted and used as a tool to try to sustain the myth that Rocky Marciano should and would become a great champion . Marciano’s career (49-0, 43 KO’s) was unblemished upon his retirement, and the fact that he fought and defeated , a past his prime Joe Louis , only showed the slippery slope that the sport of boxing would take over the ensuing years . One of the more embarrassing aspects of the post Joe Louis’ career , was the fact that as a ” war hero ” and military veteran , he would then be pursued by the federal government for the non-payment of taxes by the IRS, the agency responsible for such endeavors . It would take the assistance of Louis’ former nemesis, Max Schmeling to come to his aid , with then known gangster , Frank Lucas , disgusted with the treatment of the boxer by the US government , paying off a $50,000 a tax lien levied against Joe Louis by the agency . It would not be the last of Louis’ financial woes , much of which were caused by caused by the mismanagement of his finances by his then manager , Mike Jacobs .In the wake of it all , we can see what happened then to Joe Louis, has been mirrored repeatedly down the years within the sport of boxing , countless times , with promoters and managers defrauding their clients , and simply leaving them destitute .

Jack Johnson’s career was marred by the inherent racism that was abound within the sport and the very fact that the early part of his boxing career was simply prefaced with bouts against “colored fighters” , speaks largely to the fact that the country was still divided primarily along racial lines , before one could actually mention socioeconomic lines . It would also fair to say , that even though the sport had yet to attain an international presence by way of an internationally recognized body to run boxing . Fledgling groups grew out of the need , for there to be some sort of structural setup. However , the main groups were all Caucasian controlled , with the input coming from wealthy financial backers , who simply saw fit for the none inclusion of Black or even Hispanic fighters at the time . Out of this grew the nondescript organizations with claimant of being a legitimate body to govern the sport for colored fighters. Quickly shot down , it was the growing reputation of Johnson as a pugilist , that would catch the attention of the now more famed white fighters, who sought to debunk the myth that their black counterparts were superior and who were merely ancestors of slaves simply looking for another avenue to vent their anger and to seek reparations . Those claims and particular that of Johnson, that would also hold sway with the promoters and manager of James L Jeffries , who at the time was the world heavyweight champion .

During the ensuing years of his reign , Jack Johnson would be the subject of numerous racial attacks, in which, on several occasions he narrowly escaped death . And if to further exacerbate this all, Johnson also became the subject of ongoing police investigations , as law enforcement in the South as well as in his home state of Texas, sought to make an example of him , rather than see him prevail with his new-found fame , wealth , and notoriety. I was recently rebuffed by two patrons who tried to suggest that the racial divide within the country as such no longer exists . Unless I’m mistaken , the “so-called advances” that have been made , are now being trampled upon , not only by the electorate themselves , but also by the highest court in the land , the US Supreme Court. If anything , the apathy of the electorate and the ongoing existence of racism hasn’t declined but can and will remain within our midst , only because so many , no longer wish to question this type of behavior .

Away from the ring , Jack Johnson’s life was lavish , as with his new-found notoriety and acclaim , came the trappings of wealth , success and the very fact that abroad , specifically in Europe, he would find the sort of respect and reverence he would be unable to find in America . The very fact that the Parisians of Paris, France , held the boxer in such high esteem , simply showed, that he could gain respect elsewhere , that was not afforded or granted to him in the land of his birth. Can anyone not see the similarities in Johnson’s life and that of Muhammad Ali’s , at the time of his wrongful incarceration for being a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War ? Ali became a man without a home , having been imprisoned , vilified in the press as a coward , and then to have his family subjected to heinous racial epithets, as well as physical harm . Par for the course in a country that tries to hold itself up as a moral beacon of light , when it subjects many of its citizens to such heinous acts , never-mind the continued mistreatment of the native American Indians .

Four decades on , ask yourself , how far has this country really advanced , and how it treats the minorities within its borders ? Do you really, have an answer that you believe to just and even based on principles that you would hold true?

Johnson’s undoing, it was believed would be the fact, that his private life became more public , when he remained in America . Lavish cars , the parading of his wealth and his accompanying of females , especially those from outside of his ethnicity ran afoul of the laws of the land. A black man, cavorting with a white woman, and parading her off as a chattel ? Yet, a white male raping a black woman , and you would be hard pressed to find law enforcement agencies seeking to arrest the perpetrators of such a crime , let alone have him being placed on trial . Less, we forget also, interracial relationships were frowned upon , and marriages within those racial demographics , were unlawful, during the early part of the twentieth century . Jack Johnson epitomized the lifestyle of so many of today’s high-profiled athletes , a disdain for the law , specifically those that he felt were unjust , and the very fact that in spite of his wealth and his wish to enhance the life of those amongst his own race , he was treated with disdain by his white counterparts within his chosen profession, as well as by the bodies who sought to represent the sport across the country.

Lucille Cameron, a white female , whom Johnson would be in a long-term relationship for several years was questioned by the police , who sought to coerce her into making a false claim that she had been abducted , and taken across state lines . Under the outmoded and archaic “Mann Act “ (1910) , it was unlawful to take a white female across state lines for a pernicious act . The law itself was drawn up specifically to stop acts of immorality , and prostitution , but more often than not , it was used to target black males with a desire to enter into a sexual relationship with a white female . In the rural south of America , and in the Midwest , it was not uncommon to hear of a black male being railroaded into pleading guilty, for such a crime , even when there was said to be no evidence of a crime being committed . And for Jack Johnson , his fate was a year imprisonment on a trumped charge , for which it was never proven that he took Cameron across state lines , only that the two traveled together as companions , while at the time both he and Lucille Cameron were in a relationship , albeit that it was frowned upon because of their ethnicity . As I alluded to earlier , white male raping a female could go unpunished , but god forbid a black man at the time , got involved with a consensual relationship with a white female .

Over the past two decades, several congressional leaders have sought or proposed a legislative measure to have this crime expunged from Jack Johnson’s record . However , as of late , it has been the past decade , Senators John McCain (R-Az) and Harry Reid (D-Nv) have sought to obtain a Presidential pardon for Jack Johnson , which has been reviewed by successive administrations from Bill Clinton on down to the present White House incumbent , Barack Obama to have a pardon be granted . Having been reviewed by the US Justice Department under then President Clinton , a pardon was never granted. And as the descendants of Johnson’s family, awaits for some kind of progress in the petition for his pardon , it does seem odd that in this day and age, it is left to an ambiguous and some might determine an inept bureaucratic agency to make a recommendation to a President , who seems more intent on trying to create the perception that he seeks to represent the electorate and is said to understand the rule of law . Yet when questioned on the initiative concerning Johnson , he appeared to be nonplussed and out of sorts as to whom this individual was said to be .

Courtesy of USA Today

Pardon still pushed for ex-heavyweight champ Jack Johnson

Members of Congress introduced a resolution Tuesday to pardon ex-champ Jack Johnson

By Jon Saraceno USA Today

The fight for the legacy of Jack Johnson continues unabated.

Two U.S. Senators and two U.S. Representatives introduced a resolution Tuesday to pardon the first African-American heavyweight champion, wrongfully convicted of violating the Mann Act in 1913.

Since 2004, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) have sought a posthumous pardon of Johnson, whose racially motivated prosecution and conviction imprisoned him for a year.

The Mann Act prohibited transporting women across state lines for immoral purposes; Johnson dated a Caucasian woman.

Johnson’s reputation and Hall of Fame career were ruined.

Johnson, the son of a former slave, was born March 31, 1878, in Galveston, Texas. His boxing skills were honed in “battle royals,” events in front of white audiences in which several black men fought until a last man was standing to collect the coins tossed his way.

He turned professional in 1897 and went on to win the heavyweight title in 1908 by defeating Tommy Burns in Australia.

U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Rep. William “Mo” Cowan (D-Mass.) joined McCain and King in co-authoring the resolution.

With bipartisan support, McCain hopes President Obama will take action. In past years, both chambers of Congress unanimously have passed the resolution but no executive action was taken.

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In spite of his relationships , and marriages , Johnson’s yearning for respect from his white counterparts would lead to a bout , that saw the beginnings of the decline in his career . His fight with Jess Willard at the Oriental Park , in Havana , Cuba , with the World Heavyweight title at stake , would take on epic proportions. As the fight was staged and fought in humidifying heat , in an outside arena , with the temperature , in excess of 105 degrees. Johnson as the champion could have refused to have taken the fight , but such was his pride and ego , that he simply made light of the threats , from the promoters , his opponent and his detractors who were in attendance , seeking the black champion dethroned . The bout would go on for an astonishing twenty-six rounds , with Willard , winning by a knockout . Yet that was not in part all of the story , as during the fight , Johnson punished his much bigger opponent relentlessly , knocking him down , only to have the referee Jack Welch , disregard what was a clear knockdown , by claiming that Willard slipped during the fight in the third round . A further knockdown took place in the seventh round, that saw a prolonged count , beyond the mandated ten seconds’ count , that allowed the challenger , Jess Willard , to regain his composure and to continue . Johnson would then realize, that this fight could and would not be won by the champion , and that it would not be won fairly , according to the Marquis of Queensbury rules .

Attrition would get the better of the champion in spite of his gallant effort and the very fact that he out-boxed his opponent throughout the entire fight , even after having been knocked down, himself . In the twenty-sixth round the bout came to an end with Johnson being knocked down , seemingly unwilling to make it to his feet. He would later acknowledge that he could have carried on and would have beaten Jess Willard , but knew that any effort that was put forth by him would have been in vain. The 5th April , !915 , would forever , change the face of boxing as we know it, as it would be three decades later before the sport would see another heavyweight champion of color , when Joe Louis won the title by defeating James Braddock , on June 22nd , !937 at Comiskey Park , in Chicago , Illinois , with an eighth round knockout of the champion.

After the championship title loss to Jess Willard , Jack Johnson would fight for another sixteen more years , winning twelve of his final thirteen bouts , never once being allowed to challenge for the heavyweight title again. The boxing establishment in America had enough the braggadocio pugilist and his claims as being the best boxer on the planet who mocked his white opponents for their lack of ability. In reality , it may well have had more to do with the fact that they saw with Johnson’s reign as the champion , more young men of color would seek to make a name for themselves in a predominantly white Caucasian driven sport , that was also dominated at every level by Caucasians and that had intertwined itself with the gaming interests in a number of circles that was also dominated by organized crime . Now the sport of boxing no longer needs organized crime to remain and maintain its seediness , as the remnants of such endeavors have now found themselves at the highest echelons of the sport within each of the main international governing bodies of boxing . Wherein , corruption prevails , promoters dictate, what title fights take place and in many respects, which fighters are given title shots , even when their credentials remain suspect . And I might add, in a sport that now sees declining audience participation, and where the two most prominent boxers of today, are now said to be in the waning years of their careers . It could be said, that Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao can bring nothing new to the sport of boxing , that we have not yet seen from a bygone era .

Both Jack Johnson and Joe Louis , had the skills and the talent to garner fame worldwide , while carrying themselves with a great deal of character and respect. Can the same actually be said of many of today’s fighters, who followed in the footsteps two of the sport’s most renowned talents ? Do bear in mind that Johnson set the template for many of the antics we would later see with Muhammad Ali , with his imbued talents , of which a great many of his traits were also reminiscent of Joe Louis at his very best . Say what you will about the era of Mike Tyson , but in reality Tyson was not so much a boxer , he was more of a street brawler , with an intimidating disposition, that simply scared many of his opponents in the early part of his career .

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Picture gallery .

What thoughts if any, do you have concerning the careers of Jack Johnson and Joe Louis ? Is it your belief that the sport of boxing during the era that each fought had a resounding effect on their lives and the way that they were said to have conducted themselves ? Chime in with a comment as you see fit on this and anything else that you feel is pertinent to this particular subject matter ?

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Picture and slideshow details below .
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(1) World heavyweight champion , Jack Johnson , pictured , prepares to defend his title against Tony Ross at Duquesne Gardens in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania , in June of 1909 . Johnson would go on to defeat Ross with sixth round victory , referee Jimmy Dime presiding . @ copyrighted material ………. all rights reserved .

(2) Jack Johnson is seen here during a ring workout in preparation for a defense of the World “Colored” Heavyweight” title . Johnson before actually winning the legitimate world championship primarily fought only black or Latin fighters because of the restrictions that prevailed within the sport of boxing at the time . The sport was a closely monitored and controlled by primarily white businessmen and organized gambling , who sought no participation whatsoever at any level by minority fighters or trainers . As with all of the major sports’ recreational activities , segregation dominated the landscape completely . In many cases there were legal statutes on the books around the country restricting mixed sports between Caucasians and minorities of any ethnicity . AP/REUTERS archives ….

(3) Johnson is seen here with the third of his three wives , Irene Pineau . The couple were married for twenty-five years , right up until his death in 1946. Attalla pictorial biographies .

(4) A pensive Joe Louis is seen here having just finished an arduous and rigorous ring schedule . Louis still remains the longest tenured champion in heavyweight boxing history , along with having made a record 25 consecutive title defenses . Time Inc @ copyrighted material ….. all rights reserved ….

(5) Joe Louis would prove to be triumphant in his rematch against German fighter Max Schmeling . Considered bitter rivals at the height of their respective careers . It was the “fog of war” and the looming appearance of the country having to enter WWII that brought about much of the seething vitriol and xenophobia aimed at Schmeling . The two ring rivals would end up being close friends , right up until the time Louis’ death , which Max Schmeling who had become a wealthy industrialist , and who would come his friend’s financial aid , as well as attending his funeral in 1981. REUTERS/ Thomson Inc …….

(6) Joe Louis , left , is seen here with former boxing adversary Max Schmeling . The two former pugilists fought two epic battles during their careers , but would later become firm friends . It was Schmeling who would provide Louis with financial assistance when the former world champion underwent financial difficulties , much of which was self-inflicted . However, a large portion of Louis’ ring earnings were squandered on meaningless investments or simply withheld from him surreptitiously by his then manager , Mike Jacobs . Joe Louis was also given assistance when renowned Harlem gangster and drug Lord , Frank Lucas paid off a $50,000 tax-lien placed against the fighter by the IRS. It should be noted that Louis a war hero and veteran during WWII , had been hounded by the IRS and US government for his debts. It would later take an act of Congress to have that debt stricken , in recognition of Louis contribution to the “war effort” and his contributions to the sport of boxing . Hearst Inc. / Keith Appleton ….. …….

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Boxing related pieces within this site

NB : Reference source Ten Fascinating Interracial Marriages in History

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Tophatal …………. 04/17/2013

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Chronologically – heavyweight boxing champions

Not Anymore ………………

Not Anymore

It seems strange the heavyweight scene of boxing cannot be identified with as having a champion that the fans can actually identify with . At present that niche within the sport has been carved out by the Ukrainian brothers Vladimir and Vitali Klitschko who between them hold all four of the pre-eminent titles that are duly recognized by the major governing bodies of boxing .

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Slide show for your perusal .

From my own perspective the sport and in particular the heavyweight division took a downward spiral the moment that Lennox Lewis stepped away from the ring and announced his retirement as the last undisputed champion of the world . Since then there have been a plethora of claimants to the title in one form or any other with no one champion standing out or having the ability to unite the division . What might now be even more detrimental for the sport is that neither Vitlali or Wladimir Klitschko would care to fight each other and bring about a unified champion within the division . Instead the two have refused to consider such a bout stating that this is in fact due to a promise made to their mother . That asides this only further adds evidence as to the fact that there’s little discerning interest within the division and even less so throughout the sport beyond the names of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather .

And though the fans long for a bout between the two most recognizable names within the sport that prospect now seems further off then one would have thought possible. Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum has simply scuttled such an instance and Mayweather through his own sheer stupidity simply makes such a scenario seem even further unattainable either through his own outrageous demands or the very fact that he’s still embroiled with a number of legal issues that have yet to be resolved . As a fight fan who longs to see meaningful fights in all of the weight categories I now find it where that simply watching a bout in what we’re told is an title fight more often than not simply turns out to be a monotonous bore !

Here within the US many of the states are either aligned to multiple boxing authorities for their own self aggrandizement more than anything else . Furthermore domestically the rules governing the various state athletics commissions simply makes an outright mockery as to how the sport is actually regulated in North America , albeit that Las Vegas and New York city are seen as the Meccas for the sport .

Now there’s no denying that the loss of Mike Tyson from the sport in spite of his own misdeeds and the fact that Don King seemingly sucked the life blood out of the boxer like a vampire explicably led the fighter’s downfall. Those who simply state different are obviously not acutely aware as to King’s dealing with the fighters whose interests he claims to actually take care of. Simply look at the number of legal entanglements that he has had over the course of his career where he has been sued by fighters formerly associated with him ? It reads like a who’s of the sport from Muhammad Ali on down to the likes of Larry Holmes , Pernell Whitaker , George Foreman and Leon Spinks ___ all fighters who at one time or another had the rather dubious distinction of having to do business with the renowned promoter . This further emphasizes why the sport still remains corrupt and the strangle-hold that both Arum and King have on the sport as the two most dominant promoters in boxing .

I have long maintained that after Tyson’s mentor and former trainer Cus D’Amato died with King intervening seeking to lure Tyson away from his then co-managers Bill Clayton and John Jacobs simply led to the downward spiral of his professional career and private life . Given that King merely saw the young fighter as his way to numerous riches creating conflict within the Tyson camp were the means to the necessary ends for the promoter and all that he sought to achieve . And as impressive as Mike Tyson’s ascent to the top of the boxing world was said to be , his downfall if anything was all the more startling and the numerous events that led to it all. His incarceration for the rape of pageant contestant Desiree’ Washington and those three ” infamous fights” with Evander Holyfield was enough to suggest that as the biggest draw in the sport we simply yearned for more from Mike Tyson as we were all interested in seeing the train the wreck that his life had now become.

In watching fight during e early part of his career was simply to witness a ferocious animal intimidating , tormenting and then devouring its prey. What Tyson was able to achieve in becoming the youngest heavyweight champion in history by defeating Trevor Berbick for the WBC heavyweight title sent shock waves through the sport and especially within the division . Granted , the fighter had been mowing down opponents the way the machine gun had been used during the St Valentine’s Day Masscare led everyone to believe that Mike Tyson’s longevity as the world champion might well be a long one . And for all of his attributes as a fighter the one lingering issue I had with the boxer was the mere fact that biggest advantage was also to my mind his weakest attribute ! He intimidated his opponents to such an extent that he felt he was impervious , unbeatable and if anything complacent . His power lay within the fact that he could knock a fighter out with either hand but if anything his boxing skills were simply not as good as many purists believed it to be. Historians would suggest that his uppercuts and right cross were his most dangerous weapons in his arsenal but if anything what we would then find out over the course of Mike Tyson was the fact that his chin was indeed made of glass .

When Mike Tyson lost his title having made nine successful defense and the fact his demise came at the hands of what many believed was a journeyman in James ‘Buster’ Douglas at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo , Japan , was all the more unbelievable . Douglas to my mind brought with him solid credentials in terms of his fight resume’ ! But it would appear that odds-makers simply viewed Tyson as the prohibitive favorite and the Douglas as simply another stat to pad the fighter’s already impressive record . What would follow then and all of the controversy that surrounds the fight to this day simply attests to the fact that no matter what you came to expect from a Mike Tyson fight there was always a chance that you get to see the unexpected . Tyson crawling around all on fours unable to beat the count of a rather surprised Octavio Meyran , the referee who presided over the bout left over 70,000 fans and a global audience of millions absolutely shell-shocked . The bewildered Tyson who had earlier knocked down the challenger in an earlier round (eighth) would lose in by a knockout in the tenth round . In the aftermath of that fight Tyson’s claim as the ‘baddest man on the planet’ clearly was now a thing of the past .

Don King as the promoter sought have the fight verdict overturned but that simply didn’t happen and Douglas’ own reign as the champion itself was somewhat short-lived as he would lose the title in his very first defense in a lackluster performance in a third round loss to Evander Holyfield at the MGM Mirage & Casino Complex in Las Vegas , Nevada in October of 1990 .

As I survey the boxing scene especially within the heavyweight division I simply no credibility within the division . It has become so asinine in seeing the ridicule being heaped upon the whole landscape of the category . What might be even more incredible this is the very same division that has given us great champions such as Joe Louis , Rocky Marciano , Muhammad Ali , Floyd Patterson , Larry Holmes and Lennox Lewis who have all distinguished themselves as former heavyweight champions of the world. The division no longer has any real legitimacy or credibility to it at all and while this all happens the category has simply become the laughing stock of the sports’ world and boxing in particular . One simply can no longer count on any of the major governing bodies to do what is morally right in bringing about a unified division as they simply have too much vested in their own well being from a financial standpoint rather than seeing the integrity of the sport rise to where it should be . But in reality I now believe that the hierarchies in question have now lost the opportunity to bring their sport back amongst the masses along the lines where the fans feel that they can once again take an interest in boxing .

The sport of boxing is now losing out to the upstart genre of MMA and the fact that the premiere governing body UFC stages bouts around the globe that has fans attending in droves , gives credence as to one of the main reasons why boxing has been steadily on the decline for almost a decade . Boxing for its part simply markets the brand to a select demographic base , those willing to spend $49-95 for PPV and major title bouts . And it now has becomes a rarity to find a major network broadcast of a bout much less a fight that is actually worth watching . Not so in the case of the UFC and the events that they stage for mass consumption and that of their major title bouts.

As to what the future holds for the heavyweight division doesn’t bode well without there being an undisputed champion . If anything it leaves the whole division with a void and a vacuum , moreover , the fans yearn for something far more exciting and meaningful. Mike Tyson may well have had his flaws but you simply knew that while he was in the ring he brought about a great deal of excitement lured us all to watch his fights . Now you’d be hard pressed to show any interest to watch either of the Klitschko brothers fight much realize that they’re said to be heavyweight champions of the world .

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

In your honest opinion do you feel that the sport of boxing actually is of any importance on the sports panacea ? Also what thoughts if any do you have on the career of Mike Tyson and the reasons behind his abrupt fall from grace ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on the points raised within this piece .

Alan aka tophatal …….. https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below.

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(1) Vitali Klitschko, left, from Ukraine and his brother Vladimir pose with their world champion belts after Vitali defeated Samuel Peter from Nigeria during a WBC heavyweight boxing world championship fight in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2008. Klitschko defeated Peter by technical knock out in round nine. The Ukrainian now hold all four of the internationally recognized organizationally belts within the heavyweight division. AP Photo/Herbert Knosowski ….

(2) Bruce Seldon (left) seen here facing Mike Tyson at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas , Nevada for Seldon’s WBA heavyweight title in September 1996 . The challenger , Tyson would end up defeating Seldon with a 12th round TKO. courtesy of stuff.co.nz @ copyrighted material all rights reserved …..

(3) Don King (left) of Don King (Promotions) Inc and Bob Arum of Top Rank Inc are the two most dominant promoters within the sport of boxing . The duo have promoted in excess of 500 world title fights in their cumulative careers spanning in excess of four decades. courtesy of AFP / Ronald Canter ……

(4) Lennox Lewis (left) is seen here defending his world heavyweight title against Mike Tyson at The Pyramid in Memphis , Tennessee. The champion would go on to defeat the challenger with an eighth round knockout to retain the undisputed heavyweight title . REUTERS/ Phillippe Gaston …….

(5) The challenger James ‘Buster’ Douglas is seen here on the canvas in the 8th round as referee Octavio Meyran carries on the count . Tyson also in picture is seen in a neutral corner watching the count . Douglas was able to continue and went on to defeat the champion, Mike Tyson with a 12th round knockout that shocked the world of boxing and ended the champion’s claim of being “the baddest man on the planet” . courtesy of BBC Sports / Cameron Gyles …….

(6) The left hook that led to the now memorable “long count” and Tyson’s demise at the hands of challenger James ‘Buster’ Douglas in their undisputed heavyweight title fight held at the Tokyo Dome , Tokyo , Japan in 1990. BBC Sports / Boxing ….

(7) Referee Octavio Meyran looks to escort Buster Douglas to a neutral corner before commencing the count over the prostrate Mike Tyson during the twelfth round of the duo’s world title bout . BBC Sports/ Boxing …

(8) Evander Holyfield (right) grimaces in pain having just been bitten on his right ear by Mike Tyson during their bout . Referee Mills Lane seen here looks to separate the two fighters after the incident for which Tyson would later be disqualified . Getty Images / archives …..

(9) Both fighters look to connect with solid shots aimed at each other during their now infamous bout staged at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas , Nevada on the 28th June 1997 . Mike Tyson would be disqualified at the end of round three with the verdict being awarded to Evander Holyfield . Getty Images / archives ……
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