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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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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Questions I’ve No Wish To Be Answered But Yet They Remain Within The Public Domain So Does Anyone Have An Answer ?

Questions I’ve No Wish To Be Answered But Yet They Remain Within The Public Domain So Does Anyone Have An Answer ?

Well inter-league play is now front and center within MLB and though the purists may well be dead set against the idea here it now is. Personally from my own standpoint I see it as a chance for teams within the AL and NL a chance to play each other and for many of the fans to see their heroes up close and personal. Though I’m not an overly admirer of this format until the World Series as I alluded to , it does give the fans a chance to see their favorite players .

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As the season progresses I know that we’re bound to see the teams at their very best and at their worst. But you can be sure that won’t last long as the season heats up and reaches its halfway point by late July . By then a number of the divisions should be taking shape albeit that there still will be a great deal to play for . I’m not about to make any quick announcements as to what I think will happen other than to suggest that the teams playing the best baseball should actually be stepping up to the plate and making their present felt and their class known .

Well over the weekend several of the top NFL’s rookies gathered on the campus of UCLA Berkley for a charity event . Amongst those attending were Cam Newton , Von Miller , Blaine Gabbert and Andy Dalton to name but a few . Many of the players in question suggested that in spite of the league lockout they were happy to be part of the fraternity but their biggest disappointment was not being able to participate in any drills amongst their new teams or at their respective training facilities. In the midst of this all the NFL hierarchy , team owners and the NFLPA , there still remains a chasm as to their differences . Meanwhile the lockout still remains in place after being upheld by the 8th District Appellate Court . The New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees in an interview granted to ESPN’s Ed Werder during which he stated that the reason why he was a willing participant in a civil suit against the NFL wherein he , Tom Brady and Peyton Manning had all signed on to challenge the league’s antitrust status . One of the points that Brees brought up during this interview was the very fact the players are doing this mainly to represent the veteran players that have retired and the very fact that they have been inadequately assisted by the NFL . If anything this might well have been one of the most pertinent points raised in this whole unsavory episode . Because to my mind it certainly hasn’t been only the NFL that has failed the retired players but also the very union who say that they represent those players’ interests. Certainly neither Gene Upshaw or his successor DeMaurice Smith of the NFLPA have spoken publicly of their wish in obtaining better benefits for their members, in particular the retired veterans . But such has been the idiocy of this lockout and the very fact that the two sides seem to so far apart in trying to reach an accord as it firmly remains about money and how best to split a $9 billion piece of pie .

Well the daggers are now out for seven time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong as the Justice Department seeks testimony and evidence that would indict the former champion of using performance enhancing drugs (PED’s). Such has been the absurdity of this whole spectacle where we have seen former champion Alberto Contador have his own suspension lifted after positive test which he asserts was due to having ate tainted meat at a restaurant . In light of this all I find it rather asinine that the Tour organizers L’Equipe and the sport’s governing body UCI have yet to reach an accord where there is in fact a really comprehensive drug testing policy. The IOC which oversees the Olympic Games has a part to play in this all but they appear to be taking a hands off approach as WADA and UCI try to make the best of a bad situation by trying to get the appropriate testing protocols in place that is universally recognized.

Much of Armstrong’s problems will now manifest itself even more so with the allegations now being made by former teammates of Lance Armstrong as Tyler Hamilton has stated that he repeatedly saw the former champion inject himself with steroids and other illicit PED’S . In an interview conducted by CBS’s Scott Pelley for their magazine news program ’60 Minutes’ , Hamilton emphasizes that Lance Armstrong was a frequent user of PED’s throughout much of his career , especially during the run-up to the Tour de France. Now it’d be naive to even suggest that Armstrong might not be guilty of anything but at the same time one certainly would have doubts . The other teammate of Armstrong who also has also given testimony to the Justice Department is George Hincapie . OK , so Lance Armstrong has never tested positive while in competition or during the cycling off season but yet the allegations appear and reappear with even more frequency as time goes by . Now while Hamilton has given his sworn testimony to the Justice Department the question I would ask is what does he actually gain from all of this ? He would be an idiot to perjure himself at this juncture knowing full well that lying would mean a jail sentence in a Federal penitentiary . But at this juncture until an indictment is handed down all one can do is merely speculate on the matter . 60 Minutes who tried to get in contact with Armstrong and his legal representatives seeking a statement from the beleaguered cyclist were not met with a response of any kind. However , Armstrong has always maintained his innocence in any wrong doing on his part. For someone who was so beloved after his heroics and the fact that he overcame testicular cancer it would appear that his days now seem to be numbered as he looks keep his legacy and integrity in tact.

The vultures are now hovering and it appears that they are looking gorge themselves on the carcass of Lance Armstrong . Witch hunt or not , this might be one of the most unsavory moments in recent l history as it relates to the sport of cycling, especially as to its relevance here in North America , where Armstrong is still very much seen as the face of the sport.

As the NBA postseason takes shape with the conference finals I can’t help but wonder how the fans now view things as they begin to play themselves out ? The Eastrn Conference Finals have worked out well as the top two seeds meet for the right to represent to the conference in the NBA Finals . The Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat so far , have given us an exhilarating two games wherein the series is now tied at 1-1 . And for both coaches Tom Thibodeau and Erik Spoelstra are on the cusp of leading their respective teams to what will their first appearance in the league’s showcase event as coaches. It is extremely hard to believe that other than Phil Jackson , Gregg Popovich and Doc Rivers there are no other active coaches in the league that have won an NBA title . But such has been the dominance of that triumvirate as coaches within the NBA that it easy to understand the reasons why they have had the success that they have attained. They are the consummate individuals within their fraternity and have the respect of their peers and their players no less.

The stars on both teams have shone as this series has progressed and it may well take one of those stars to raise their game to another level if their team is to succeed. For league MVP —- Derrick Rose this has been an outstanding season as he has vindicated himself to many by showing why he has been so successful as a player and a leader of this Bulls’ team . With the series now resuming this upcoming Sunday at the AA Arena in Miami , one should expect an explosive and raucous atmosphere in that arena as the Heat’s Dwyane Wade , LeBron James , Chris Bosh and the rest of this roster showcase their skills as they seek to take a lead in the series.

All evidence would point to the fact that should the Heat take game three then they would be viewed as being in the driver’s seat and expected to perhaps look to close out this series . At this juncture I would say that nothing is off the table because this season’s playoffs while exciting , have also been full of a number of surprises as we’ve seen both the San Antonio Spurs and the reigning two time defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers being summarily embarrassed by their respective opponents in the earlier rounds .

In the Western Conference Finals the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder look to up the ante in their series as they each look to regain the upper hand in their series . Dirk Nowitzki after his dominant performance in game one with an emphatic 48 point offensive output in the Mavericks’ 121-112 defeat of the Thunder . This series has see-sawed up and down because of the over powering offensive display of both teams . At the same time I look at the situation where it would appear that defense appears to the last thing on the mind of either team. For both Scott Brooks and Rick Carlisle this is something that has to be remedied if either team is to prevail in the series outright .

Game three resumes in Oklahoma City this Saturday with the series tied at one game apiece . In tying the series the Thunder knew that taking a game at American Airlines Center in Dallas this series is now up for grabs . Much of the post-game scenario played around the benching of Russell Westbrook by Scott Brooks for the entire fourth quarter of the game. Inconsistency or not Westbrook is uniquely aware that he’s not the leader of this Thunder team as that right belongs to the two time league scoring champion Kevin Durant . Westbrook must know that if the Oklahoma City Thunder is to be successful then he will have to defer to Durant as and when necessary . Any other alternative will ultimately lead to the team’s demise and a chance of making their first appearance in the NBA Finals as the NBA’s youngest franchise .

As this NBA postseason unfolds it will be interesting what drama now awaits the participants left the respective series .

After what appeared to be an enthralling bout a rematch was made between former light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins and the reigning champion Jean Pascal of Canada. In their first dramatic fight that ended in a highly contested draw , the animosity between the two antagonists actually grew. What is now undeniable is the that Hopkins seeks to further cement his legacy in becoming the oldest world champion in boxing history. The former champion is 46 years old and some eighteen years the senior of his opponent. Their title bout will take place in Montreal this upcoming Saturday (10:00 pm EST) and will be televised by HBO .

Though the state of boxing has now become mundane and pedantic , Hopkins and Manny Pacquiao remain perhaps the two biggest draw in the sport. Unfortunately however , once these two legends of the sport retire boxing will become bereft of real talent and characters that the fans can actually identify with. Pascal for his part knows that if he actually beats Hopkins his ascent up the ranks will only gain him more exposure and greater financial reward. It seems strange at the age of five Pascal he probably wouldn’t have been aware that his opponent would be making his professional debut in the sport. That being said when these two meet again at the Bell Centre , Montreal , it won’t be about Pascal showing any deference to his more experienced foe and it will certainly be vice- versa with Bernard Hopkins. The former champion felt he was cheated out of the decision on the champion’s home turf in their first outing and for that, he expects to right a wrong . And as impressive as Pascal’s 26-1-1 (16KO’s) record might appear to be the quality of opponents he has met over the course of his career pales into comparison when adjudged against that of Hopkins’ and multi-divisional championship record (51-5-1 [32 KO’s])would and resume’ would indicate.

This rematch has the makings of being an instant classic given what is on the line for both fighters. And I think that there is a distinct possibility that the challenger may well walk away with the title belt as he feels that he has something to prove . Certainly Pascal being the much younger fighter knows that he can ill afford to take Hopkins lightly as he had done in their first meeting. And if anything he was extremely lucky to have retained his title with that favorable decision of a draw by the judges . This time around there may well not be a need for the judges to actually give a verdict as this bout may well be decided by knockout . Either way this could be a fight that will dictate the careers of both fighters and the directions that they may well be heading in .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What opinions might you have as to the topics raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts as you deem fit and anything else you may well feel pertinent .

Alan aka tophatal ………………..

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Atlanta Braves’ Joe Mather celebrates his one run double in the twelfth inning of an interleague baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Saturday, May 21, 2011, in Anaheim, Calif. The Braves won 5-4 . AP Photo/Gus Ruelas …..

(2) Alex Gonzalez (2) #2 of the Atlanta Braves scores a run in front of Hank Conger (16) Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to take a 5-4 lead during the 12th inning at Angel Stadium on May 21, 2011 in Anaheim, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images …..

(3) MINNEAPOLIS, MN – MAY 17: Former NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith (second from left), NFL retired players’ lawyer Michael Hausfeld and NFL players’ lawyer Jeffrey Kessler arrive for court ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on May 17, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As the NFL lockout remains in place mediation was ordered after a hearing on an antitrust lawsuit filed by NFL players against the NFL owners after labor talks between the two broke down in March. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images ……

(4) Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (8) of the Seattle Seahawks converses with quarterback Drew Brees (9) of the New Orleans Saints after the Saints 34-19 win at Louisiana Superdome on November 21, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. ….

(5) Cyclist Lance Armstrong holds a press conference during Day 1 of the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting on September 24, 2008 in New York City. Armstrong was speaking on his return to competitive cycling and the work of the Lance Armstrong Foundation in conjunction with the Clinton Global Initiative to fight cancer.2008 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting – Day 1New York, NY United StatesSeptember 24, 2008 . Photo by Jemal Countess/WireImage.com @ copyrighted material all rights reserved ……

(6) Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden (13) goes up for a shot attempt as Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki of Germany, right, and DeShawn Stevenson, bottom left, defend in the second half of Game 3 of the NBA Western Conference finals basketball series Saturday, May 21, 2011, in Oklahoma City. The Mavericks won 93-87 . AP Photo/Larry W. Smith ….

(7) Dirk Nowitzki (41) of the Dallas Mavericks reacts in the fourth quarter while taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Oklahoma City Arena on May 21, 2011 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Getty Images / Christian Petersen …….

(8) Bernard Hopkins of US shows his tongue after a hit by Jean Pascal of Canada during their light heavyweight championship fight for the WBC light heavyweight championship, on May 21, 2011, at Bell Centre, Montreal in Quebec, Canada. Ring veteran Bernard Hopkins beat Jean Pascal by decision in a World Boxing Council light heavyweight bout to become the oldest major world champion in boxing history at 46 years old. Hopkins came on strong in the middle rounds and hung on in the 12th against the hard-hitting Canadian Pascal to get the decision in front of a crowd of 17,750 at the Bell Centre arena May 21, 2011. Hopkins won a unanimous decision against Pascal in an entertaining rematch of their December 18 draw in Quebec City, Canada. TOPSHOTS AFP PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES/ ROGERIO BARBOSA …….

(9) Bernard Hopkins misses a punch on Jean Pascal during the WBC Light-Heavyweight Championship fight between Bernard Hopkins and Jean Pascal at the Bell Centre on May 22, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images …….

(10) MONTREAL, CANADA – MAY 21: Bernard Hopkins punches Jean Pascal during the WBC Light-Heavyweight Championship fight between Bernard Hopkins and Jean Pascal at the Bell Centre on May 22, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images ….

(11) Both Bernard Hopkins and Jean Pascal raise their hands in victory after twelve rounds of action during the WBC Light-Heavyweight Championship fight between Bernard Hopkins and Jean Pascal at the Bell Centre on May 22, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The challenger would defeat his younger adversary in obtaining a unanimous verdict from all there judges . In winning the light heavyweight title Bernard Hopkins became the oldest world title holder in boxing history at the age of 46. Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images ….

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It’s Time To Put Up Or Shut Up …………

It’s Time To Put Up Or Shut Up …………

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

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

Alan aka tophatal ………………………..

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

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

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

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

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

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

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MLB News

MLB Scoreboard

MLB Scores & results 7th May 2011

NBA News

NBA schedule Sunday 8th May 2011

You Don’t Bring Sling Shot To A Knife Fight And You Don’t Talk Smack , Then Not Be Able To Back That Shit Up ……………

You Don’t Bring Sling Shot To A Knife Fight And You Don’t Talk Smack , Then Not Be Able To Back That Shit Up ……………

As much I loathe it , I find US athletes so full of shit wanting to talk smack and then when they have their ass handed to them they essentially have nothing to say in defeat when they’ve been exposed as a piece of crap. That being said if you’re an avid MMA fan as I’ve become in recent years as I now find professional boxing about as interesting as watching a political debate or the latest GOP raison-de- etre de jour in Donald Trump . Suffice to say if this is essentially the face of Conservatism in America then fuck it !

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Saturday night UFC staged its latest event UFC 129 at the Rogers Center in Montreal, Canada . The event itself was headlined with the welterweight title defense of George St Pierre making his eighth consecutive title defense against the unbeaten Jake Shields former titlist within Elite XC and Strikeforce . Shields was said to be St Pierre’s sternest test over the course of his already illustrious career . And anyone who has been a fan of MMA will know that St Pierre has been in with the very best within the division .

The undercard had its litany of bouts that if anything may well be the most enticing card put together by the UFC in quite while . You had Randy Couture a former champion at both light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions facing Lyoto Machida the Brazilian martial arts specialist seeking to reassert himself within the light heavyweight division having lost his title in a rematch with Mauricio Rua . Shields came into this fight playing the part of the villain and if anything chose to viewed that way but if anything what might be even more unpalatable as to his position was the fact he chose to denigrate the champion by questioning his integrity and legitimacy as a champion . Well over the course of the five rounds of this title bout all questions would be answered and unfortunately for the challenger it was his own legitimacy as the number one ranked contender that actually had to be questioned because his own display was simply mediocre given his so called record coming into this bout .

Jake Shields like St Pierre’s previous opponent Josh Koscheck simply proved that talking smack and not being able to back the shit up essentially proves you to be nothing more than an ass wipe and a pussy ! Having taught the martial arts to members of the military while serving , I can say that I’ve enough of an insight into MMA . I’ve over a decade in experience of karate having attained a black belt , practiced not only that particular art but also savate , tai chi , ai-kido and krav-magav . These styles have in principle are taught to various military units around the globe . However within UFC and the genre of MMA it is essentially Brazilian ju-jitsu developed by the Gracie family, that has become the essence of the sport along with Greco Roman wrestling.

Throughout this bout the experience title holder simply showed us why he’s viewed as one of the best pound for pound fighters within the sport alongside Jose Aldo and Anderson Silva . St Pierre and Silva if anything , because of their already global popularity are viewed as the faces of the sport. But Aldo has already begun to make a name for himself having carved his way through the bantamweight division to become its most dominant fighter. But it remains to be seen whether or not Aldo will continue to make that division his domain by right or seek to win another title within the UFC possibly in the lightweight division in a possible challenge to the champion there , Frankie Edgar . But that would be predicated upon Edgar making a successful defense of that title in rematch against number one ranked challenger Gray Maynard . Jake Shields simply showed why for all of his experience he simply brought nothing at all to the table as St Pierre exposed him as a flawed fighter despite Shields’ expertise as ju-jitsu specialist. Simply put St Pierre used his prodigious martial arts talent as being a karate , ju-jitsu and styling boxing array of jabs . But if anything it was St Pierre’s use of his feet and particular his round-house and frontal kicks that dominated this bout . St Pierre added to his already impressive resume’ with his eighth successful defense of his welterweight title and a run of nine consecutive wins a record within the welterweight division of UFC .

Now with this win a possible big money match-up now awaits St Pierre as UFC President Dana White looks to put together what will undoubtedly be the biggest fight in UFC history with St Pierre meeting the Brazlian middleweight champion Anderson Silva in catch-weight none title bout. It is a fight that the majority of MMA fans would like to see . And the though the sport has found its niche within the sporting landscape of North America and in many respects it is and has now been outstripping the viewership for many of the PPV boxing bouts now shown on cable . And that if anything now gives us an indication as to why the sport of boxing has now fallen from grace so fast . Simply put , boxing no longer puts together any real marquee bouts that the fight fans there really want to see. I mean let’s be honest here , who the hell wants to see an aging Shane Mosley —- fight —– Manny Pacquiao when the former three time multi division titlist , Mosley , is well past his prime ? In truth Pacquiao , himself, now fights , merely for the money and in particular to pad the wallet of his promoter Bob Arum , as Pacquiao remains his only valuable asset in his stable of fighters .

I know that there might not be the vast array of MMA fans out there who will surf the net and perhaps even come across this piece . But I simply want to let many of you out there know that there are some of us about who think highly of this fast growing sport that has found its popularity not only here in North America but also across the globe in some of the most unlikely of places . Granted , there are but only four states where MMA isn’t sanctioned legally within the US but over the course of time that will undoubtedly change as the sport makes its presence known even more so and then and only then will the various state legislatures such as New York will find out that once sanctioned they too can profit greatly from seeing this sport provide it with a great deal of money from the economic and financial impact . The Rogers Center was completely sold out with in excess of 55 ,000 fans there not only to see their home town hero George St Pierre defend his title but also the rather special undercard ,

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Whether or not you’re an boxing or MMA fan how do you as such view either sport ? And if anything do you now believe that boxing is actually on the decline here in the US as well across the globe as the sport of MMA seems to be now expanding and gaining in popularity across the globe ? Simply leave a comment as to 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) Bantamweight champion Jose Aldo (left) is seen seated next to Georges St-Pierre the UFC welterweight champion at a press conference at the Rogers Centre publicize UFC 129 . Standing is UFC President Dana White , who oversees the organization . Courtesy of UFC.com /MMA Weekly …

(2) Title holder St Pierre is seen here with the challenger Jake Shields prior their headline bout at UFC 129 held at the Rogers Center in Montreal ,Quebec , Canada . MMA Weekly …

(3) St Pierre takes the fight to his challenger Jake Shields (left) . The champion would successfully defend his title completely outclassing the challenger winning by a unanimous verdict in the five round title bout for the UFC welterweight title . UFC.com @ copyrighted material all rights reserved .

(4) Shields lands a punch during their title bout but it’d one of few that the challenger would land in a fight that was dominated by the champion who used all of his martial arts prowess as a karate and ju-jitsu practitioner. His solid boxing skills also came to be being having landed several well timed shots that jolted the challenger . UFC .com …………..

(5) Randy Couture (left) is seen here squaring off with his opponent Lyoto Machida of Brazil. Also pictured is UFC President Dana White . The two practitioners were part of the undercard of UFC 129 stated at the Rogers Center , Montreal , Canada . UFC.com all rights reserved ….

(6) Couture in the foreground gets hit with a frontal kick from Machida which would have devastating consequences for the former light heavy & heavyweight champion as he would be knocked out in the first round by the Brazilian . UFC.com copyrighted material all rights reserved …………..

(7) Manny Pacquiao, center, of the Philippines, poses for photos with trainer Freddie Roach, left, and promoter Bob Arum in Los Angeles, Wednesday, April 20, 2011. Pacquiao is scheduled to box Shane Mosley on May 7 in Las Vegas. AP Photo/Chris Carlson …..

(8) (L) Manny Pacquiao and (R) Shane Mosley pose to promote their upcoming fight at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers on February 14, 2011 in New York City. Chris Trotman / Getty Images North America ……….

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UFC news

UFC 129 Results

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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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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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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Mr Cotto Meet Mr Pacquiao , Mr Pacquiao Meet Mr Cotto ……….Gentlemen Please Box

Once again the fading sport of boxing seeks to enrich our lives with another of their extravaganzas. This time around it’s a welterweight title fight being broadcast via PPV ($54.95 11:00pm ET Saturday 14th November 2009). The two combatants will be WBO welterweight champion, Miguel Cotto (34-1,27 KO’s) who faces challenger, Manny Pacquiao (49-3-2,37 KO’s). This highly anticipated fight takes place this Saturday, at the MGM Grand Casino & Resort, in Las Vegas, Nevada. And the bout itself is being promoted and staged by Bob Arum of Top Rank Inc. , in conjunction with several of Top Rank’s media partners and patrons.

 Boxer Manny Pacquiao (L) smiles as he poses with WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto during the final news conference for their bout at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino November 11, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao and Cotto will meet in a WBO welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand on November 14.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Boxer Manny Pacquiao (L) smiles as he poses with WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto during the final news conference for their bout at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino November 11, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao and Cotto will meet in a WBO welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand on November 14. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The bout itself, will lure the real fight fans to see one of the sport’s modern day heroes in Manny Pacquiao. And though he hasn’t a welterweight title to his name. He’s viewed as the linear champion within the welterweight division. And Arum, as the promoter of both fighters is in the enviable position of making a great deal of money from the event and for both Cotto and Pacquiao. It is expected that the bout may well draw in excess 1.75 million buys,realizing in excess of $ 96 million from the anticipated buys alone. And when one adds in the gate receipts of between $10-$15 million , not including the international broadcast rights, concessions and memorabilia sales. And the bout is expected to gross in excess of $110 million. Arum, and neither of his fighters, have made it public as to what the split may well be, between the fighters. But it is expected that neither fighter will walk away with less $20 million each , once the accounting and financial details have been taken care of.

Pacquiao takes care of business with his dismantling and then devastating knockout of Ricky Hatton for the IBO light-welterweight title. Pacquiao defeated the Englishman with a second round knockout in their title fight. The venue was the MGM Grand,Las Vegas, Nevada.
And on the 2nd May 2009 , the whole world knew then , what we all continue to believe now. Manny Pacquiao is the best pound for pound boxer in the world.

Pacuquiao coming off two devastating wins over former champions, in Oscar De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KO’s) and then his sensational display in dismantling and then knocking out Ricky Hatton (45-2-32 KO’s). Well, it has led many to believe that the same fate awaits Miguel Cotto. And though the WBO champion feels that he’s the one with the far more accomplished skills as a fighter. The vast majority of us in the know, are fully aware as evidenced by the recent displays by Pacquiao. Skills may mean one thing but if you can’t back it up in the ring. In the end it all counts for nothing. Personally, I favor Pacquiao to end this fight in a knockout in the early to mid rounds of the bout. Especially, given the fact that Cotto’s skin is very much like porcelain. He’s never been known to be able to take a good shot to the chin. And when cut, his skin essentially opens up to any laceration by way of effective shots to the head. In essence , Cotto’s skin is like that of a newborn baby. He cuts all too easily and given Pacquiao’s proclivity to end his fights rather spectacularly. The only way I can see Cotto overcoming Pacquiao, is to dictate the pace of the fight and to try and use his reach advantage over the challenger. If not then this bout could finish in devastating fashion.

Fans and members of the  press  convene at  Yankees Stadium  at  a  press  conference  for the  upcoming   WBO  welterweight  title   bout  between   the title   holder  Miguel  Cotto  and   the challenger ,  Manny  Pacquiao  of the  Philippines .    At  the dais  is   Pacquiao's  trainer  Freddie Roach  ,  taking  questions  from the  press.     picture   appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/ Will  Hart  ..........

Fans and members of the press convene at Yankees Stadium at a press conference to publicize the upcoming WBO welterweight title bout between title holder, Miguel Cotto and the challenger , Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines. At the podium behind the dais is Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach taking questions from the press and fans alike. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Will Hart ……….

Cotto’s resume’ as a fighter ,though not littered with as many high profiled names as his opponent’s fight record. Nonetheless, he’s faced some stiff opposition over the course of his career. But in many people’s eyes the loss to Antonio Margarito gave us something of a glimpse as to the vulnerability of the fighter. And even though it came back to haunt Margarito as to his actions. Nonetheless, we saw one of the more corrupt sides to the sport. And at the same time, how ineffective the governing bodies are with regard to the sport of boxing. It’s something that essentially has curbed the appetite of the fight fan in general. The laissez-faire attitude of the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBC has become an anathema to us all.

Cotto and  Pacquiao  pose  for the   press on the  hallowed  ground  of  Yankees  Stadium  in New York  City, New  York.   picture appears courtesy  of   ap/photo/Will Hart ................
Cotto and Pacquiao pose for the press on the hallowed ground of Yankees Stadium in New York City, New York. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Will Hart ................

Cotto’s most recent bout saw him win comfortably in defeating Joshua Clottey (35-3-0, 20KO’s,1-NC). A fighter who’s now on the downside of his career but someone who’s still respected amongst his peers. And that’s solely for the main reason he comes to bang and bang he does with the very best of them. And though it led to Cotto dethroning the then WBO champion. The bout, and the way it ended was non too impressive. Cotto did enough to win but he was nowhere dominant as he,himself had hoped to be.

Cotto stands  over  Joshua  Clottey in the  first round of  their WBO welterweight  title  fight.  Referee  Arthur Mercante Sr,  looks  on  at the events  .     picture appears courtesy  of  Top  Rank Inc.  - Chris  Farina  ................
Cotto stands over Joshua Clottey in the first round of their WBO welterweight title fight. Referee Arthur Mercante Sr, looks on at the events . picture appears courtesy of Top Rank Inc. - Chris Farina ................

As I alluded to earlier, if the champion is to prevail. Then, he’ll have to make use of all of the physical advantages that he can avail himself of. His opponent is a fighter ,who can either box his way through a fight , or he can indeed turn the bout into a slugfest between he and Cotto, on the night. The latter scenario, I believe wouldn’t at all bode well for the champion ! Cotto has to prove himself a worthy champion. A loss here, and in essence his career takes a backseat for the foreseeable future. A win for the challenger, further cements Pacquiao’s legacy as one of the all-time greats of the sport of boxing. And with the win would come another history making achievement. Winning the WBO welterweight title would make him the first fighter in history to win a title in seven different weight categories. And there haven’t been many boxers to have titles multiple weight divisions over the years. There’ve been but a handful , and all have had illustrious careers. If Pacquiao is to join them , which in all honesty I believe that he will. Then there’ll be no doubt in anyone’s mind as to who the best fighter has been this decade.


Mr Cotto meet Mr Pacquiao, Mr Pacquiao meet Mr Cotto. Gentleman ,Please Box
! This has the makings of being an instant classic and I surely hope that the event itself lives up to the hype ! It’s something that the sport of boxing surely needs !

NB Current welterweight titlists as recognized by the various international organizations.

Boxer
Shane Mosley(46-5,39 KO’s) WBA (World Boxing Association)

Andre Berto (25-0,19 KO’s) WBC (World Boxing Council)

IBF(Int’l Boxing Federation)is at present vacant.

It’s Hard Out There Being A Pimp When You Ain’t Got Money To Pay The Rent….

It’s Hard Out There Being A Pimp When You Ain’t Got Money To Pay The Rent ……….

Unfortunately  it’d  appear  that  some  didn’t l read the words written when I stated “Ricky This Bud Isn’t For You”. In the piece I detailed the reason why I for one believed that light welterweight champion Ricky Hatton didn’t have what it takes to defeat Manny Pacquiao of the Phillippines.

Pacquiao lands a crushing blow to the  head  of  Hatton.
Pacquiao lands a crushing blow to the head of Hatton.

Pacquiao lands a crushing blow to the head of Hatton in their light welterweight title bout held at the MGM Grand Garden Resort Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas , Nevada. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Ethan Miller ………..

And I proved to be eerily correct with my thoughts on the bout. It didn’t take the Fillipino champion but two rounds to completely manhandle his opponent and derail his ambitions in a one sided fight. It only served the purpose of showing that Hatton had absolutely no right being in the ring that was by far his superior mentally as well as physically and in every way possible when it came to boxing ability.

What Pacquiao was able to do for the short time that both fighters were in the ring. It was a devastating exhibition of punching power and complete dominance of a fighter who at best didn’t possess the physical gifts to make this bout a competitive match from the start.

It proved that once and for all that Pacquiao is the most complete fighter in the sport of boxing at present. And that others could only wish to possess his abilities when it comes to the sport.

In two devastating rounds Pacquiao dispatched his opponent with ease. Having knocked down the Englishman twice in the first round with some punches that one can only describe as being lethal in their execution.

Hatton for all the good intentions in the world must’ve known that tonight was not to be his night. As he was completely outmatched by an opponent , who came to fight as well as box.

The events of the second round can best described as a lion descending on its prey and feasting on its carcas after the initial carnage wrought from the apparent initial attacks. Much of what took place can be rated PG for parental guidance.

As for what the future now holds for both fighters. It’s abundantly clear that the fortunes of Pacquiao are on the ascent. Whereas it’d be in Hatton’s best interests now to call it quits once and for all ! Clearly for him to recover from this defeat will take a great deal of time not only mentally but physically as well.

A prostrate Hatton lies on the canvas  motionless after  the third and  descisive knockdown of  the  bout. The  referee  would  stop the  fight with Hatton  being  unable  to come out for the third round  of the light welterweight title bout.  picture  appears courtesy  of getty  images/Ethan Miller ..............
A prostrate Hatton lies on the canvas motionless after the third and descisive knockdown of the bout. The referee would stop the fight with Hatton being unable to come out for the third round of the light welterweight title bout. picture appears courtesy of getty images/Ethan Miller ..............

 

And finally a word of advice to the respected boxing coach ,trainer and tv analyst Teddy Atlas on the sport. It’s best when making a prognostication to at least have some semblance of thought when making that statement. Rather than it being based on nothing more than you’d rather be viewed as someone having insight on the sport. If nothing else you make yourself look a complete a_s_s to begin with !

Ricky This Bud, Isn’t For You …. !

                                                 
 
 

Ricky  This  Bud,  Isn’t   For  You   ………….

 

 

I hate to  say  but I’m  never  enamored  to  see  one  of  my   countrymen  fight  inside  a  boxing  ring, here  in   the  United  States.  The   one   true   champion  the  country   has  produced  of any  merit  over the    last   decade  has   been   undisputed   super middleweight champion  Joe  Calzaghe. 

 

 

British fighter  Ricky  Hatton and  his  trainer   Floyd Mayweather Sr  take questions  from the  convened press.
British fighter Ricky Hatton and his trainer Floyd Mayweather Jr take questions from the convened press concerning his upcoming bout against Phillippine's fighter Manny Pacquiao. picture appears courtesy of getty images / Curtis Brunson ...............
 

 

OK  ,  I   know  that   some  of  you  will  allude to  the  fact  the   former  undisputed   heavyweight  champion   Lennox  Lewis   was  good   for the     sport.  As  he  basically   came in  and  cleaned  up  the  division  by  taking  on and   beating  allcomers.   That’s  akin   to  saying that  were   the  Detroit  Lions   to  play  the New England   Patriots  ten  times  over  the  course  of  eight weeks  and   beat   them  all  ten  times.      Then it’d  put  some   credence  as to the   merits   of  Lewis’ tenure as  champion.

  

 

Manny  Pacquiao  and   his  trainer  Freddy  Roach  make  some   adjustments  to the  fighter's  training   regimen.    picture  appears  courtesy  of  getty images/  Rick  Baldizon...
Freddy Roach (left) and his fighter Manny Pacquiao make some ajustments in the fighter's training regimen. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Richard Baldizon ................

 

 

 First that  scenario   would be  a  joke  to  begin  with.  And  secondly   are  the   Lions  actually playing  anything  that    borders   on  being  a  game  being  played  in  the   NFL  to   begin   with.  ?  It  does   take  a  lot  of  gusto   to    play an   entire   NFL schedule  and  lose  all   sixteen   games.  Lewis   for  his  part   while   capable   was  viewed  as   nothing   more  than a  guy   who  happened  to  be  in the  right   place  at the  right  time.  Nothing   more  ,  nothing  less.    It’s   not as  if   you’ll  hear   his name   ever   being   mentioned  amongst   the   greatest   heavyweight  champions   of  all time.  Much   being   considered  to  be  one  of the  top   20  heavyweights  ever   in the  sport. 

 

 

Bernard  Hopkins looks to evade a  punch  from  Joe Calzaghe  in their   light   heavyweight   bout.
Bernard Hopkins (left) looks to evade a punch from Joe Cazaghe in their light heavyweight bout. Calzaghe would go on to defeat Hopkins with a unanimous verdict. Calzaghe retired as an undefeated champion in the supermiddleweight divsion and was universally recognized as the linear champion within the lightheavyweight division . picture appears courtesy of ap/ Mark Hughes .............

 

 

Which  brings  me   to  the  point  and  premise  behind  this   piece.  On Saturday   2nd  May   former  welterweight   champion   Ricky Hatton  of  Great  Britain  will  be facing  Manny  Pacquiao  in  a  light  welterweight  title  bout.   And   for  those  of  you   who  may  have   witnessed  Pacquiao’s  last   fight  against    Oscar  De  La  Hoya.    You’ll  no doubt  have  seen  that   Pacquiao   dispatched   De  La  Hoya   with  the   ease   for     which  it   would   take   an   adult  to   take  candy  from  a  baby.     De La  Hoya   was   a  spent   force and  offered    nothing  of   consequence   when  he  faced  his   opponent. 

 

 

 

 

Hatton Pacquiao Boxing
Hatton speaks with members of the convened press having taken a break in training to publicize his upcoming bout against Manny Pacquiao. The light welterweight bout will be The MGM Grand Hotel Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday 2nd May. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Martin Mitchell .............
 

 

 As   much   as  I  value   the  aspirations  of   Hatton  at this   juncture.   I    feel  that   ever   since   his   surprising   victory   over   Kostya  Tzyu    where  he became  the undisputed   welterweight  champion..     Hatton   has   never   reached  those   lofty  heights  again.   Albeit  that   his    credentials  would   suggest  otherwise.     He came   up   short  when   he   fought   a  vastly   far   superior    Floyd  Mayweather  Jr.  And  were  it  not    for  the   fact that    Mayweather   in  large  part   started  to  showboat   for   much  of the fight.   The   result   would   have been  far  more  conclusive  had he  chosen  to end  the   fight   earlier. 

 

 

Lennox  Lewis (left)  seen here  battling  Evander Holyfield  in their  heavyweight title   bout  held  at Madison  Square  Garden  in  1999.   picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Todd  Donald ........
Lennox Lewis (right) seen here battling Evander Holyfield in their heavyweight title bout held at Madison Square Garden in 1999. picture appears courtesy / Todd Donald ............

 

  

Which  brings  me   to  the   point     that  whilst   over  the  years   boxing   has  been  one the  wane.  It can  be  said that   one   of  the  main   reasons   behind it  is the  very  fact that  there  isn’t  that  many   talented  fighters  out  there at all.     And  what   fighters   there  are  , who  are   viewed  as  champions.   They  don’t   seem  to  possess  the   character ,  talent  or persona   to  deliver  to the   fans  the   entertainment  and  excitement that they  seek.     

 

 

Holyfield and  Lewis  (right) do  battle  once  again in their  rematch  the  same year.
Holyfield and Lewis (right) battle once again in their rematch of the same year. picture appears courtesy of afp/ Matthew Richardson .........

 

   

Pacquiao     having defeated  De  La  Hoya   may  well   now  be  seen  as  the  sole    proprietor   of   being  called  the   best   pound  for   pound   boxer  on  the  planet.  Most   certainly there aren’t    aspiring   challengers    who    one   would state   dethrone  from  that  particular   mantel .  Divisional    category    champions   of  late  aren’t   challenging  each   other   looking  to   unify   their  divisions.   And  it certainly   hasn’t  helped  that the   once  most   prestigious   division  of them   all   ……the  heavyweight   division  is   now  considered the   laughing   stock  of the  sport  of boxing   altogether.   

 

 

Ukraninan   brothers Wladimir  and  Vitali    Klitschko who  jointly   hold   two  of the  four recognized belts within  the  heavyweight   division.
Ukrainian brothers Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko who jointly between them hold two of the four recognized belts within the heavyweight division. The brothers have refused to fight each other in order to start the process whereby the division can once again have a unified and undisputed heavyweight champion. picture appears courtesy of afp/reuters/ Bjorn Thorsvaldt ..............

 

  

 

That  particular   division  the   heavyweight  division  lacks  a  credible   champion.  And   it  would appear   that  none  of  the   title   aspirants  or  holders are   at  willing  to  face  each  other.    Furthermore  it  has  not helped    one  iota    that   two  of the  main   antagonists   within  the   division  are  unwilling   to  face  each  other  .  Even   though  they    hold  respective   versions  of the  heavyweight title.    Vitali(WBC)   and   Wladimir (IBF) Klitschko , two   brothers   formerly  from  the  Ukraine   but now   based  in Germany.     The   two  have  let  it  be  known  that  they’re   unwilling  to  fight  each  other   either .  This   came about   as   a   promise to   their   mother  as   youngsters   once they  came  professionals.   To  my  mind   that   whole   scenario   adds to  the  idiocy  of   why  the  sport  is   no   longer  taken   seriously  amongst  a  number  of   fans.  

  

A water break is   needed   for the  thirsty  Fillipino  fighter  Manny  Pacquiao.
A water break is needed for the thirsty Fillipino fighter Manny Pacquiao. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Jaime Gonzalez ...............
 

 

 Fans  are   now  leaving the  sport   in  droves as  they   look    for   their  excitement   elsewhere  when  it comes  to a  combative   between  two   erstwhile   opponents  prepared to lay it  all  on the  line.    Hence  the   reason   behind  the   genre  of  mixed  martial  arts   across  the  globe.   So  much   so that  the   sport   has  outstripped   boxing   in  terms  of  viewership   not   only  with a  live  audience.  But also   via  viewers hip on   television  and   also  through  the  PPV  revenue  streams. 

 

 

 

Hatton  takes   some  time  off  from  his workout  to    pose   for  the  cameras.
Hatton takes some time off away from his workout to pose for the cameras. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Richard Dawson ...............

 

 

 A fight   such   as  this   upcoming   bout   between   Hatton  and   Pacquiao  may   well  elicit   some  excitement   amongst the  fans.   But  I  doubt that  it’ll   raise   seismic  shift  amongst    the  most  ardent   of   boxing’s  fans .  Both  sets   of  fighters   have  their   own  legions  of  fans .   And when  they  face  each  other   at the  MGM  Grand Garden  Hotel  & Casino  in  Las Vegas.   One   would   hope  that  both   fighters  are  prepared to  entertain  the   fans   none  stop  once   that   first  bell  is   rang.   It  would  provide    some    excitement    for the  fans   there in  attendance  ,  as  well  as  those   watching   by   another  medium. 

 

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