Large.v487fcb4

thenonpareil

  • joined Dec 20, 2009
  • last login Jul 25, 2014
  • posts 317
  • comments 85
User Blog

AFTERMATH: Nonito Donaire-Jeffrey Mathebula, Kell Brook-Carson Jones, Wladimir Klitschko-Tony Thompson

1
Still, when facing a man with perhaps the most explosive counter left hook in boxing, you tend to pay for the mistakes you do make. The "Marvelous Mongoose" attempted to time Donaire’s cobra-like reflexes with a right hand in the fourth round, which only prompted Donaire, 29-1, with 18 KOs, to launch his left as if it was sprung from the jaws of a bear trap. The South African got put on the seat of his trunks, but he showed his resolve by getting up on shaky legs, making it to this corner, and bouncing back admirably throughout the next round. But the knockdown represented the difference between the two fighters: Donaire had starch on his punches, and Mathebula didn't. From The Cruelest Sport

SUPERUNKNOWN: Nonito Donaire-Jeffrey Mathebula Preview

+
In the end, it looks like Donaire, San Leandro, California, will have a tough haul in front of him tomorrow night. At times, "The Filipino Flash" looks like he might be wearing an invisible pneumatic exoskeleton in the ring. Donaire can be that explosive. Other times, he tends to lose focus, and, like many fighters gifted with extraordinary athleticism, Donaire, 29, seems impatient when unable to close the show quickly. He is like a bricklayer who—mystifyingly—always wants to start at the top row. Learning to build a foundation in the ring from the opening bell is something he should have learned long ago, but that kind of patience is as yesteryear as horse-drawn buggies and spirit photography are. Few fighters work diligently, round by round, to produce a gradual result if an immediate one is unavailable. From The Cruelest Sport

SUPERUNKNOWN: Nonito Donaire-Jeffrey Mathebula Preview

8
With 31 fights over a 12-year career, Mathebula might be mistaken for an American. At 33, the 2000 Olympian has decided to go for the jackpot instead of risking the slow returns of the "World Title" installment plan in South Africa, where boxing is all but dead on television and major paydays are hard to come by. Since turning pro in 2001, Mathebula, Brakpan, Gauteng, South Africa, has faced a handful of fighters with fairly solid international reputations, among them Malcolm Klassen, Thomas Mashaba, and Takalani Ndlovu. His biggest achievement, however, was dropping a split decision in Panama to Celestino Caballero in 2009. At that time, Caballero was considered to be the biggest thing to hit boxing since the introduction of round card girls in bikinis. From The Cruelest Sport

ENFORCER: The Life & Crimes Of Gus Dorazio

1
In retirement Dorazio revealed a bleak entrepreneurial side that included numbers running, leg-breaking, and armed robbery. But it was as a union goon that Dorazio found himself in existential trouble. In 1949 Dorazio lost control while performing his duties as an enforcer at the C. Schmidt and Sons Brewery in Philadelphia. Ostensibly a bottler at the plant, Dorazio was really hired muscle for the mob. The vicious beating he gave to Albert Blomeyer, 33, on January 27, 1949 proved to be fatal. Blomeyer, a bottler who had been circulating pro-labor petitions at the brewery, died of a fractured skull after Dorazio was through with him. Did Dorazio miscalculate the amount of force he needed to teach Blomeyer a lesson? Or did he just snap at the wrong time? When collared by detectives at his home in Yeadon, Dorazio spluttered out an impromptu, pre-Miranda Rights defense: ""People had been taunting me," he said. "They called me punch drunk. They called me on the phone to heckle me. I just got the notion to get even with someone." From The Cruelest Sport

ENFORCER: The Life & Crimes Of Gus Dorazio

2
In retirement Dorazio revealed a bleak entrepreneurial side that included numbers running, leg-breaking, and armed robbery. But it was as a union goon that Dorazio found himself in existential trouble. In 1949 Dorazio lost control while performing his duties as an enforcer at the C. Schmidt and Sons Brewery in Philadelphia. Ostensibly a bottler at the plant, Dorazio was really hired muscle for the mob. The vicious beating he gave to Albert Blomeyer, 33, on January 27, 1949 proved to be fatal. Blomeyer, a bottler who had been circulating pro-labor petitions at the brewery, died of a fractured skull after Dorazio was through with him. Did Dorazio miscalculate the amount of force he needed to teach Blomeyer a lesson? Or did he just snap at the wrong time? When collared by detectives at his home in Yeadon, Dorazio spluttered out an impromptu, pre-Miranda Rights defense: ""People had been taunting me," he said. "They called me punch drunk. They called me on the phone to heckle me. I just got the notion to get even with someone." From The Cruelest Sport

Bottom Dogs: Josesito Lopez TKO 9 Victor Ortiz, Lucas Matthysse TKO 5 Humberto Soto

+

The finish–unexpected if not altogether shocking, given the mercurial career of the unpredictable Ortiz–came at the end of nine punishing rounds, when a broken jaw forced the 25-year-old to call it a night. Ortiz, who seemed to take his previous defeat, a bizarre knockout at the hands of Floyd Mayweather, with a mere shrug and a grin, clearly felt the emotional sting this time. Perhaps it was the big payday slipping from his grasp, or maybe, finally, he realized that life in the ring would remain forever unforgiving. From The Cruelest Sport

Bottom Dogs: Josesito Lopez TKO 9 Victor Ortiz, Lucas Matthysse TKO 5 Humberto Soto

2
The finish–unexpected if not altogether shocking, given the mercurial career of the unpredictable Ortiz–came at the end of nine punishing rounds, when a broken jaw forced the 25-year-old to call it a night. Ortiz, who seemed to take his previous defeat, a bizarre knockout at the hands of Floyd Mayweather, with a mere shrug and a grin, clearly felt the emotional sting this time. Perhaps it was the big payday slipping from his grasp, or maybe, finally, he realized that life in the ring would remain forever unforgiving. From The Cruelest Sport

Carts Before Horses: On Victor Ortiz, Saul Alvarez, And Josesito Lopez

+
This much can be said about Alvarez–Ortiz: paradoxically, it has downgraded Ortiz–Lopez by upping the stakes, and it has created another pathetic installment in the sports’ most recent promotional feud. But these are not the defining features of Alvarez-Ortiz—indeed, neither feature is its most telling characteristic. For just as fists engage in exchanges, so too can a contrary perspective volley back, one that argues that despite complaints about the announcement of Alvarez– Ortiz, satisfaction will be found in the ring. From The Cruelest Sport

Carts Before Horses: On Victor Ortiz, Saul Alvarez, And Josesito Lopez

2
This much can be said about Alvarez–Ortiz: paradoxically, it has downgraded Ortiz–Lopez by upping the stakes, and it has created another pathetic installment in the sports’ most recent promotional feud. But these are not the defining features of Alvarez-Ortiz—indeed, neither feature is its most telling characteristic. For just as fists engage in exchanges, so too can a contrary perspective volley back, one that argues that despite complaints about the announcement of Alvarez– Ortiz, satisfaction will be found in the ring. From The Cruelest Sport

You Got To Work To Get Your Pay: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr-Andy Lee Preview

+
Who can forget the days when Emanuel Steward used to hype Andy Lee as a future heavyweight champion? Lee, 28, takes his first step toward that unlikely goal tonight when he faces mucho-maligned Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, for the Sweet-N-Kickin BBQ Sauce middleweight title. The winner of this bout—by decree of a WBC contract—is supposed to face Sergio Martinez. That slip of paper, however, is probably worth as much as a Confederate dollar. Only a Lee victory, it seems, will make that proviso a reality. From The Cruelest Sport

You Got To Work To Get Your Pay: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr-Andy Lee Preview

1
The winner of this bout—by decree of a WBC contract—is supposed to face Sergio Martinez. That slip of paper, however, is probably worth as much as a Confederate dollar. Only a Lee victory, it seems, will make that proviso a reality. Having been blamed for everything from cow mutilations to the Rockefeller Drug Laws to the current plight of the Euro Zone, Chavez, 26, returns to the ring and to the jibes of those who like to see pound-for-pound stalwarts pound 15-1 longshots into gory submission. This preference, in 2012, makes you an expert, a hardcore fan, or a dyslexic Comments Creature. Often, it is a combination of all three. From The Cruelest Sport

THE UGLY AMERICAN: Junior & Maravilla

15
Martinez is a star in America much in the same way George W. Bush once owned a "ranch." When Vicente Fox visited Bush in Crawford, Texas, in 2005, he was mystified to find that the Bush ranch had neither horses nor cattle nor hogs nor anything else resembling ranch paraphernalia. There was, however, a seemingly limitless supply of scrub brush for Bush to haul around in front of press corps cameras at every opportunity. Like something out of Baudrillard, reality never got in the way of simulacra on the Bush Ranch and the same can be said about boxing. Martinez is a talented fighter whose popularity does not equal his rabid critical acclaim. And this is why "Maravilla" has spent a year heckling Chavez and weeping—telenovela-style—over the WBC middleweight title Martinez willingly vacated in order to appease HBO. From The Cruelest Sport

Imagine A Day At The End Of Your Life: Larry Holmes-Gerry Cooney Revisited

+

They met thirty years ago under the stars in that neon desert of illusion, Las Vegas, drawn together by hate, cynicism, greed. Mere sports seemed like an afterthought that night. On June 11, 1982, hardscrabble Larry Holmes, whose magnificent bitterness had fueled his rise to the heavyweight championship, met affable Gerry Cooney, young, powerful, Irish, unproven, and feverishly mooned over. With racism looming over the promotion from the day it first kicked off, Holmes-Cooney became a national Rorschach test with ugly interpretations. More than 30,000 spectators gathered to see Holmes and Cooney wage war, with millions more tuning in on closed-circuit, radio, and pay-per-view. It was the biggest fight of its time and, perhaps, a brief glimpse into the dark heart of America. From The Cruelest Sport

Imagine A Day At The End Of Your Life: Larry Holmes-Gerry Cooney Revisited

14
They met thirty years ago under the stars in that neon desert of illusion, Las Vegas, drawn together by hate, cynicism, greed. Mere sports seemed like an afterthought that night. On June 11, 1982, hardscrabble Larry Holmes, whose magnificent bitterness had fueled his rise to the heavyweight championship, met affable Gerry Cooney, young, powerful, Irish, unproven, and feverishly mooned over. With racism looming over the promotion from the day it first kicked off, Holmes-Cooney became a national Rorschach test with ugly interpretations. More than 30,000 spectators gathered to see Holmes and Cooney wage war, with millions more tuning in on closed-circuit, radio, and pay-per-view. It was the biggest fight of its time and, perhaps, a brief glimpse into the dark heart of America. From The Cruelest Sport

CONTEMPT: On Timothy Bradley-Manny Pacquiao

2
Whatever the clincher was for Bradley, now 29-0 (12), it was not readily apparent, but, like those paranormal researchers on television who insist a grainy blotch in an out-of-focus still is some sort of demonic apparition, a case can be made for almost anything in boxing. You would have to search long and hard to tab Bradley the winner last night, but if you believe in ghosts, well, here are two pointy ears and what appears to be a sliver of fang or an ectoplasmic cock. From The Cruelest Sport

STORMBRINGER: Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley Preview

1
While it’s clear that Bradley doesn’t have Pacquiao’s firepower, a combination of attributes makes him tough to deal with. He scarcely gets caught with a flush punch, accompanying a low center of gravity with copious head movement. He has a spirited and varied jab to go along with a dedicated body attack. And he’s quick to make sharp deviations from a strategy that begins to flounder. That you rarely see him get handled for a full three minutes of a stanza, or clearly lose two consecutive rounds, is a sign that he’s an intelligent, well-rounded fighter. From The Cruelest Sport

AFTERMATH: Tarver-Kayode, Quillin-Wright, Trout-Rodriguez, Santa Cruz-Malinga, & Bika-Davis

1

Apparently, getting Stephen Espinoza to buy a fight based solely on its merits is as hard to do as it is to hit the numbers two days in a row. It remains to be seen what Ken Hershman has added to HBO, but what he has subtracted from Showtime is astonishing. Showtime Championship Boxing has been dominated this year by Al Haymon and Golden Boy Promotions, who have a yoke hold, it seems, on Espinoza, and they will not let go until the former GBP lawyer is blue with cyanosis. Ironically, "Four Warned" managed to bring together a slew of promoters—like something out of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. This motley crew, which included Joe DeGuardia, Greg Cohen, Gary Shaw, Lou DiBella, and Golden Boy Promotions, gathered under the most favorable circumstances imaginable: looting the coffers. Trying to get some of these guys to work together for important or crowd-pleasing fights is nigh impossible, but when there is a cheap dollar to be made, they will fly first class to meet beneath the lip of a roiling volcano. From The Cruelest Sport

The New Deal: Main Events And NBC Fight Night

6
It is practically a cultural cliché that most boxing promoters are crooked, amoral, and as double-dealing as the used car salesmen in The Hot Spot, but this does not keep multi-million dollar television conglomerates from paying promoters upfront for services yet to be rendered. This is like letting the Pied Piper take a kindergarten class on a field trip. Unless there is a significant amount of money to be made, no promoter is looking for competition for his fighters, who are, after all, contractually-bound commodities whose devaluation is a business setback for those who manage them. Any output deal or exclusive agreement on the part of a network is pure folly. Or is it? On Friday night the latest installment of NBC Fight Night–a product of Kathy Duva and Main Events–aired, and it almost looks like there is an output deal in place that bucks the sad trends of recent years. From The Cruelest Sport

New Paradigms: On Carl Froch And Lucian Bute

1
In retrospect the outcome can be easily explained: Froch is the superior fighter. Bute has certain advantages—speed of hand and foot, and perhaps one-punch power—but as a fighter, and more importantly, in a fight, Froch is better. But this superiority cannot be reduced to simply psyche, genetics, and praxis. The version of Froch that blitzed Bute is better than the version that entered the Super Six, and the competition he faced in that tournament played a role his improvement. By facing a diversity of elite opponents, Froch has become intimately aware of his strengths and weaknesses, of his ability to absorb and administer hurt at the highest level. Froch has maximized his potential by having to draw on all of it to succeed, which is a testament both to his ambitions as a fighter, and the inherent value of taking risks. From The Cruelest Sport

UNDER SATURN: Johnny Tapia 1967-2012

2
Johnny Tapia had been killing himself—off and on, now and then, here and there—for years. Addicted to drugs, to prizefighting, to adrenalin rushes, and, finally, addicted to near-death experiences, Tapia was a junkie in a way that most junkies are not. Like a phoenix he rose from the ashes more often than anyone has a right to. Finally, he got it right. Or Death did. Between his battles with a beckoning grave, Tapia lived between the ropes. Call his sordid life a waste if you want; but for some of us, maybe, it was a gift. From The Cruelest Sport

Run Silent, Run Deep: Lucian Bute-Carl Froch Preview

+

But Bute’s dilemma is a mirror image of his opponent’s. Whereas Froch’s substantial resume lacks the definitive performance capable of easing the doubts fostered by his erratic style, Bute’s style, and the polished manner in which he demonstrates it, is all that’s providing cover for a resume crying out for a name the calibre of Froch’s. Each man sees the possibility for affirmation in the other. A victory over the undefeated Bute would, in theory, bring Froch’s list of bested foes beyond the point of reproach. And for Bute, a win against an elite opponent-in that opponent’s hometown, no less-would cement his credentials as one of boxing’s truly gifted practitioners. From The Cruelest Sport

He Who Would Be King: Why Tim Bradley Beating Manny Pacquiao Would Be Good For Boxing

8
For some, Pacquiao’s polarizing gay marriage stance is probably expediting this change in sentiment. To parse the issue in its entirety is more than is required for purposes here. Suffice to say that one’s position on gay marriage is is fundamentally personal. To disagree with Pacquiao is to hold him in opposition to your worldview, your understanding of human worth. Given the ontological significance of the debate, Pacquiao’s opposition to gay marriage is a tipping point, grounds for repositioning oneself in opposition to him. Even those ambivalent about the sport may find themselves forced to choose sides when informed of Pacquiao’s stance. Given that Pacquiao has entered an existential debate, a Bradley victory could be unjustifiably celebrated as a triumph of a particular worldview. From The Cruelest Sport

DARK MIRROR: When Max Baer Met Ben Foord

+
Ben Foord, perhaps the most tragic figure in the history of South African Boxing, was born on January 21, 1913, in Vrede and grew up in Ladysmith. As a teenager, Foord was a gifted athlete, excelling in rugby, swimming, and track and field. He also had a pronounced daredevil streak and it was this, perhaps, that led him to dabble in boxing. After ditching a humdrum career in, of all pursuits, hair styling, Foord found adventure as a lifeguard in Durban. His next career choice–prizefighting–suggests just how much Foord enjoyed being on the dangerous edge of things. From The Cruelest Sport

DIRTY POOL: On David Haye, Dereck Chisora, & Frank Warren

1
After a brawl at a post-fight press conference in Munich, one that involved glasses, tripods, and death threats, Haye and Chisora will now bring their special brand of vulgarity to West Ham punters and BoxNation subscribers. But this is not an issue of morality. Boxing is full of vile characters—managers, matchmakers, fighters, promoters, trainers, editors of certain independent websites—and there is no point in pretending that a livelihood based on hurting and being hurt can have an air of gentility about it. Moral qualms about a blood sport ought to be checked at the door the moment you decide to buy a ticket, order a pay-per-view, watch Fight Night Club, or cheer for a KO finish. From The Cruelest Sport

THE GOODBYE LOOK: Miguel Cotto-Floyd Mayweather Jr. Preview

3
And, between Face Off, Floyd Mayweather Speaking Out, 24/7, a live weigh-in, and five hours of prefight coverage, HBO has done more than its share to create the illusion that Mayweather is some sort of cultural touchstone. There is something cynical about all this in-house hype. Think about it: You pay X dollars a month for a premium network and are forced to sit through hours of infomercials designed to get you to buy extracurricular programming. It suggests one of these quarterly PBS or NPR pledge drives, except the motivation is far more calculating. Why Time Warner would hitch itself to a star recently convicted of domestic violence and on his way to doing points in a jail cell instead of scoring points in the ring is another puzzle altogether. It is one thing to produce Mayweather pay-per-view outings, but another thing to make a convicted criminal some sort of network flagship week after week. From The Cruelest Sport

Lord of Illusions: Bernard Hopkins, Chad Dawson, and Style as Strategy

+
Throughout the fight, Hopkins fought not to win rounds, but to obscure and obfuscate. His histrionics during the fight—playing the victim, clowning to give the impression of control—were meant to vilify Dawson and sway judges and spectators alike. Hopkins could not win by fighting alone, so he resorted to manipulating the observer to gain an advantage. Hopkins laid the foundation for this manipulation with the tactics he employed before the fight began and tried to build on that foundation rather than simply put his hands on his opponent. From The Cruelest Sport

Why Not Lucy the Elephant Instead? Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson Preview

+
How a bomb as big as Hopkins-Dawson I can produce a sequel is something only the boys in the backroom can answer. Contractual obligations, Public Enemy #1 for television networks—and, by extension, consumers—may have forced HBO to broadcast this fight, but must it be aired at such a reasonable hour? Like a midnight marquee film (think Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! or The Gore Gore Girls) Hopkins-Dawson II ought to take place in front of an audience sweating Cutty Sark or stoned out of its mind. From The Cruelest Sport

My Next Victim: Juan Manuel Marquez Takes Aim at Morales, Gesta, Rios, & Alvarado

+

Flashes of guile and machismo notwithstanding, Morales is a greatly diminished fighter. It may reasonably be asked what a victory over the Tijuana fighter means for Marquez at this juncture. Marquez has retained his membership in the sport’s elite, while Morales is coming off of a loss to athletic yet unremarkable junior welterweight Danny Garcia. The careers of Marquez and Morales are on different trajectories. Morales would undoubtedly have his moments—to his credit he will not be denied them—but Marquez would be a prohibitive favorite should they meet. From The Cruelest Sport

AFTERMATH: Mares-Morel, Moreno-De La Mora, Taylor-Truax, Lara-Hearns, & Stevenson-Gonzalez

+
Truax, 18-1-1 (10), now has the unique distinction of being the only fighter to score a knockdown against Taylor and lose. Even Taylor seemed to realize that. Despite being the former undisputed middleweight champion of the world, Taylor was feverishly proud of having survived being blasted to the canvas by a novice who had gone the distance with Antwun Echols. In the post-fight interview, Taylor spouted rubber-room gibberish generated by his shock at having survived a knockdown. His word salad spiel to Steve Farhood included the following: "I been knocked out lots of times, so who gives a damn? I don’t care. That’s what’s dangerous about me. I don’t care about it! You know what I’m saying? They gotta get me outta there!" Actually, what makes him dangerous is the fact that he is licensed to fight. From The Cruelest Sport

DOUBLE SHOT: Marquez Defeats Fedchenko to Keep Pacquiao in His Sights, Rios Slinks Past Abril

+

Predictably, given the shoddy judging that continues to plague the sport, he got the victory anyway, "earning" a split decision by scores of 111-117, 116-112, and 115-113. Reaction after the bout was a mixed bag of outrage and indifference, but the question of which stunk worse – the decision or the action inside the ring – is a riddle not worth investigating. From The Cruelest Sport

Newer Showing 91 - 120 of 203 Older
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.