You Had Me At Hello ………. !

You Had Me At Hello !

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

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Slide show for your perusal .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

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

Alan aka tophatal …………….

https://tophatal.wordpress.com/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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NCAA Men’s basketball results

Sweet 16 draw

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy of USA Today

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

By Bob Velin , USA Today

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

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

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

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

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

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

Margarito steadfastly denies he knew about the wraps.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

😛 * 🙂

Alan aka tophatal ………………………….. 😛

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The sultry Simone Anderson

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

Did Hell Freeze Over …………..I Must’ve Missed Something

Well it’s the early hours of Sunday morning and I’m surfing the net to see what’s taken place on the sporting landscape by way of the results as it relates to certain events . My day was spent in the company of one of my buddies as I accompanied him to watch his son participate in a karate contest. The event itself was a spectacle to watch, as there were kids of all ages competing . Think ‘The Karate Kid’ but with more of today’s attitude. In the end my buddy’s son didn’t make it beyond the first round of the competition. But his effort was a gallant one and I commended him on that. He in return promised that he’d do better the next time. And who am I , not to take him at his word ?

University of South Florida  coach  ,  Jim   Leavitt  celebrates  with  one of  his   players   Sam  Barrington after  their   surprise  victory  over    Florida State  , played at  the  Seminoles   home  venue   of  Doak  Campbell  Stadium in Tallahasse ,  Florida.   The unranked  USF Bulls  would  go  on  to  defeat  the Seminoles  17-7  in  a  well  earned   victory.    picture  appears courtesy of   ap/photo/ Phil Coale  ....................
University of South Florida coach , Jim Leavitt celebrates with one of his players Sam Barrington after their surprise victory over Florida State , played at the Seminoles home venue of Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahasse , Florida. The unranked USF Bulls would go on to defeat the Seminoles 17-7 in a well earned victory. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Phil Coale ....................

In so far as the day’s events panned out. In college football we saw a couple of upsets. Not that some weren’t expected. But the one that came as a complete surprise to me , was the defeat of FSU Seminoles at the hands of another instate team in the guise of the USF Bulls . The USF Bulls you might say ? Well in the Big East they’re a team that’s seemingly now on the rise and look for not only acceptance but also respect. Well South Florida’s totally unexpected but yet exhilerating defeat of the Seminoles 17-7 in Tallahassee , has got tongues wagging on the Bulls’ main campus in Tampa. What this win will do for USF’s program can’t be fully quantified. But one can expect that there’ll be a great deal of talk about the loss and why it happened. I for one think that on the day not only was this Jim Leavitt coached team ready . But their desire to win , was simply greater than that of the Bobby Bowden coached Seminoles. Wherein , a loss of this measure hasn’t been felt within Talllahassee, as it relates to one of the lesser programs within the state of Florida. The loss has to be a profound embarrassment for not only Bobby Bowden. But also for the Florida State Seminoles’ football program.

Bobby  Bowden ,left,  greets  his  counterpart   Jim  Leavitt   after  the  collegiate  football  game   played   between  their  respective  teams.      picture  appears courtesy  of  ap/photo /  Phil  Coale  ..................
Bobby Bowden ,left, greets his counterpart Jim Leavitt after the collegiate football game played between their respective teams. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo / Phil Coale ..................

It’d be an understatement to claim that this program has regressed. Inasmuch , as Bowden is considered to be a great coach and the respect which he’s brought to the Seminoles’ program during his tenure. It must now be stated that for all sense purpose the game has now passed Bowden by. He may well be the figure head to the Noles’ fans. But as a coach in recent years , even with him having named a successor in Jimbo Fisher . The program if anything has taken several steps backwards. It now meanders between average and bearly consistent by way of the football now being played. Especially at their home venue of Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahasee, Florida. Long thought of a bastion of college football pre-eminence. For all sense and purpose the stadium and the fans are no longer viewed as a factor when it comes to intimidation.

Noles' running  back Ty Jones  is surrounded  by  Bull  defensive   players  as  he   attempts  attain  some  yardage  in  the third  quater.      picture  appears   courtesy  of ap/photo/  Phil Coale  .................
Noles' running back Ty Jones is surrounded by Bull defensive players as he attempts attain some yardage in the third quater. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Phil Coale .................

The problems for the Seminoles on Saturday were far reaching. And it stemmed from their ineffectiveness on both sides of the ball when it came to their play. So much so, that USF were able to have their way with this team as they forced several fumbles and made the Noles’ quarterback , Christian Ponder fear for his life, each time he was in possession of the ball. He was harrassed throughout the game and his offensive line offered about as much protection for him as a wet piece of two-ply tissue paper would be to someone with a cold. He was sacked 5 times during the game and to add further to his own personal tales of woes. Ponder rushed for total net loss of minus 11 yards on six rushing attempts.

 Florida  State wide  receiver  Rod  Owens (86)  fumbles  the ball  after  he's  hit  by  Bulls  defensive  player    Jerome  Murphy   ..................
Florida State wide receiver Rod Owens (86) fumbles the ball after he's hit by Bulls defensive player Jerome Murphy ..................

If fault is to be apportioned for this loss then a great deal of it has to be placed at Bobby Bowden’s door and that of his coaching staff. There’s no drive or determination coming from the team , much less there being any at all coming from Bowden, himself. He lauds over all that he surveys , still thinking that not much has changed from the glory days when one viewed Bowden and the program with a great deal of respect. And for the eighteenth ranked Noles , we’re liable to see them slip further down the rankings after this loss and in essence out of the national picture in terms of a major bowl appearance.

 Delbert Alavarado   (25)  makes  a   successful  last  ditch  attempt    to  tackle    Florida  State's Greg  Reid   on   his   kick  off  return  which    but  for   the attempt   by   Alvarado  would've   resulted   in a  touchdown.     Alvarado's   play  highlighted some  of  the bad  luck  that   befell the    Seminoles.        picture appears  courtesy    of  ap/photo/ Phil  Coale  ...................................
Delbert Alavarado (25) makes a successful last ditch attempt to tackle Florida State's Greg Reid on his kick off return which but for the attempt by Alvarado would've resulted in a touchdown. Alvarado's play highlighted some of the bad luck that befell the Seminoles. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Phil Coale ...................................

For coach Jim Leavitt and his USF Bulls’ program this gives them something to build on. No one essentially thought that the’d be able to go up to Doak Campbell Stadium and seemingly make the impossible happen . But they did and they’re to be commended for it and the effort put forth. They played with such zeal that it was hard to discern which was the ranked team and which one was not. It was if Bowden’s players were like several deers caught in headlights as they attempted to cross the road in-front of oncoming traffic. As the game progressed and with the team not being able to make a play of any substance. The nightmare was about to become a reality for the Florida State Seminoles.

Vitali Klitschko , right,  starts  to  dictate  and  take the   fight  to  his  challenger   Chris  Arreola  .   picture appears  courtesy of  ap/photo/  Mark J Terrill   ............................
Vitali Klitschko , right, starts to dictate and take the fight to his challenger Chris Arreola . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Mark J Terrill ............................

It’s not often that I’m made to eat my words concerning a boxing match. I think of myself as someone who’s knowledgeable enough about the sport. And certainly this wasn’t the case surrounding the events that took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. On Saturday night WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (38-2, 37 KO’s) successfully defended his title against the challenger Chris Arreola (27-1, 24 KO’s) in a bout that was scheduled for twelve rounds.

Vitali  Klitschko  throws a  right  hand  that  catches his  opponent  Chris Arreola  squarely  on  the   side  of  his   head    in the fifth   round of  their  heavyweight title   bout  at  the   Staples   Center  in Los  Angeles  , California.   The fight  would   end  with    Arreola   being  unable   to   come  out   for  the   beginning  of  the  eleventh   round. Arreola's  corner    'threw in  the   towel'  at the   end  of  the  tenth  round  to   save  their   fighter   further  punishment.  The  fight  was  ajudged  a  TKO  in Klitschko's  favor.   picture appears  courtesy  of  getty images/  Jacb  de  Golish   .......................
Vitali Klitschko throws a right hand that catches his opponent Chris Arreola squarely on the side of his head in the fifth round of their heavyweight title bout at the Staples Center in Los Angeles , California. The fight would end with Arreola being unable to come out for the beginning of the eleventh round. Arreola's corner 'threw in the towel' at the end of the tenth round to save their fighter further punishment. The fight was ajudged a TKO in Klitschko's favor. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Jacb de Golish .......................

I looked at this fight as a chance for the challenger in the form of Arreola to live up to the hype. But unfortunately the only thing that the challenger managed to live up to. Was the fact that always a tin can then you’re liable to be pounded like one. The effort put forth by Chris Arreola was about as banal as they come. He showed little if anything of a fighter who wanted to defeat the incumbent champion. His performance was lackluster and devoid of anything worth mentioning.

And at a time when the sport and in particular the heavyweight division yearns for someone to come along and show some moxy. Unfortunately for the fans in attendance at the Staples Center and those watching at home or from whatever else venue that they chose. Arreola forgot the presence of mind to bring his moxy into the ring and put it on display against Vitali Klitschko. The champion for his part put up a clinical display of boxing. Albeit , that it wasn’t necesssarily artistic in its portrayal. He dissected his opponent with ease using his jabs and a flurry of upper cuts as and when needed.

Arreola throws  a  left  against  Klitschko   during  their   bout  .   picture appearas  courtesy  of   getty  images /  Jacob  de Golish  .....................
Arreola throws a left against Klitschko during their bout . picture appearas courtesy of getty images / Jacob de Golish .....................

On appearance this bout had the basis of being an action packed event. Both boxers were known for their punching power. And the chances were that we were going to see that on display from both. I’d mentioned this in passing to an acquaintance of mine. Chris aka sportshchump (http://sportschump.net) as he’s known around the blogosphere. I’d remarked to him ,that this bout would in effect either be a barnburner with a great deal of action. Or it’d end up being a bore and complete snoozefest ! . Unfortunately my prognostication proved to be true , because what action that took place in pursuance of this title fight , only came from the champion, Vitiali Klitschko.

WBC  heavyweight  champion   Vitali  Klitschko   leaves the  ring   having  successfully  defended  his  title  against  Chris  Arreola  .        picture appears  courtesy  of   ap/photo/  Jae C . Hong  ..................
WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko leaves the ring having successfully defended his title against Chris Arreola . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Jae C . Hong ..................

The bout itself lasted ten rounds . Wherein, the champion bewildered his opponent by simply jabbing away at his torso. In particular wit a flurry of body shots and occasionally taking aim at Arreola’s often open guard -making use of his head as a pinata. As alluded to earlier , the challenger offered up little in the way of resistance or determination. And this lackluster performance in all honesty does nothing to legitimize the health of the heavyweight scene. Vitali Klitschko can’t be blamed for his opponent’s lack of will or presence of mind to fight. I place this squarely on the shoulders of the promoters and the sancitioning body for this particular event. Dan Goossen ,as the promoter and the World Boxing Council (WBC) have once again shown us why the sport is on a downward slide into oblivion. It won’t be long before a sport such as dwarf tossing will outstrip the sport of boxing in terms of its popularity. One can surmise that they believed Arreola to be the #1 challenger for Klitschko’s title. But in all honesty this bout was hastily put together, merely to avail the promoter and sanctioning body a way of making untold millions in terms of selling the broadcast rights of the bout worldwide. Had they really sought some real credibility in making a desired match. Then they’d have gone about their job with a great deal more diligence.

Arreola  of  Riverside, Calif.,  seen  here at  the   postfight    new  conference   offers  very  little   of  an   explanation  by way  of hs  lackluster  performance  in  his   title   challenge  against  Viitali   Klitschko   for  his  WBC  heavyweight  crown  .       picture appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo / Jae  C   Hong   ................................
Arreola of Riverside, Calif., seen here at the postfight new conference offers very little of an explanation by way of his lackluster performance in his title challenge against Viitali Klitschko for his WBC heavyweight crown . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo / Jae C Hong ................................

Two sporting events that took place on the same day. In both cases , each in their own way failed to live up to expectation. Merely because one of the participants in each event didn’t all have have the stomach to be competitive. Nor did they have much to offer by way of an apology to their fans. Hell can’t have frozen over , so what did I actually miss here ?

NB : Should you at all be interested in seeing my original article concerning this bout and my prognosis on it all. Then just click on the text link provided below.

Someone Has Got To Clean House ….So Why Not This Guy ?