Hi all, thanks for coming to Ringside Report and checking out my weekly mailbag. On Saturday we saw another dominant title defense by Wladimir Klitschko. The Klitschko brothers seem to be falling into the same category as Larry Holmes in the 80’s. They are so much better than the competition that they get a bad rap. The Klitschkos may have the talent to stack up against the all time greats, but we can’t say for sure because they lack the quality of opponents needed to prove their greatness. Being dominant in a weak era is a curse to the champion.
RSR is a site made for news and editorials. Unless you have been hit in the head with a tack hammer moments before reading one of our articles, telling the difference between the two is no problem. Our news is reported in AP Style and formatted with continuity and regularity. Our editorials are in semi-personal voice. Digital story-telling makes for compelling, differentiated opinions that are clearly just those.
Reviewed by Geno McGahee
Dr. Stockton (Larry Gates) has built a bomb shelter and his wealthy friends all seem to believe that he was crazy for building it. They poke fun at him at a dinner party over it, but when a bulletin over the radio declares that there may be enemy nuclear missiles headed toward the U.S., everyone wants in his bomb shelter.
Hello RSR readers and welcome to the debut of my column titled “Bad” Brad’s Scorecard, where I will be reviewing boxing products supplied to me by Boxing Depot.com. In the weeks and months to come, I will review the various products that I have received and actually use on a daily basis in my home boxing gym. You may ask what qualifies me to review products since I am not a boxer?
All of the festivities leading up to what were going to be the biggest night in professional boxing to start off 2010, surfaced recently. If you were in the Dallas area at the beginning of the week of March 9th, you witnessed a great build-up to a welterweight fight between 7-Time World Champion Manny Pacquiao versus former World Champion Joshua Clottey. This fight had all the ingredients to be one for the books.
“Who am I talking to? I’m talking to monsters from outer space.”—Steve (Claude Akins)
In a quiet neighborhood where everyone knows each other by name and considers one another friends, a strange flash in the sky disrupts the normal peaceful street. First, thought to be a meteor, the theory is soon discounted when not only is the electricity cut in everyone’s house, but cars, portable radios, and the telephones all seize to work.
IBO/IBF/WBO Heavyweight Champion, Wladimir “Dr. Steelhammer” Klitschko, 54-3, 48 KO’s, controlled and battered Eddie Chambers, 35-2, 18 KO’s, stopping him in the final round. Chambers couldn’t find his way to the inside. Wladimir’s size and boxing ability were too much to overcome, and as the rounds went by, Wlad built up the points and could have easily walked away with a decision. A good win for Wladimir.
Well, it promised much – but in the end it was nothing but a sham.
At the glitzy Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas, Manny Pacquiao, 51-3, 38 KO’s, took every round in a 12 round shutout victory over Joshua Clottey, 35-4, 20 KO’s, thereby setting up his side of a bargain that should see him share a ring with Floyd Mayweather, JR., before the year is out.
Clearly, Clottey is one of those fight fans who doesn’t want to miss the Pacquiao/Mayweather matchup, since he did little in the fight to upset those plans, preferring instead to sleepwalk through the contest offering little more than target practice for the lauded Pacman.
For his part Manny did everything that was asked of him, but he’s increasingly looking like a pawn in a game of financial brinkmanship that is clearly being played out behind the scenes, designed to eke maximum profit from his encounter with Mayweather when it finally, inevitably, happens.
So complete was Pacquiao’s dominance over Clottey that at one point in the middle of the fight he threw a double punch, effectively clapping his Ghanaian opponent on both sides of his head.
This scribe has never seen such a thing in a professional ring, and not only did Pacquiao get away with it (how could he not, since Clottey spent the vast majority of the fight cowering behind a high guard offering no offensive threat whatsoever), but the fact that he tried the move at all demonstrated just how easy he was finding matters, and also that he himself was bored and frustrated by Clottey’s persistent lack of ambition.
The truth was that Clottey made no effort to win the fight at all. He peeked through his guard as Pacquiao teed off, and every so often prodded out an uppercut, but he had clearly decided he was not in the fight to win it, so that when he returned to his corner at the end of the seventh round and was told by his equally disinterested handlers “you’ve lost every round”, it was no real surprise when his work rate remained pedestrian for the remainder of the fight. He rallied in the eleventh to throw three successive half-hearted uppercuts, which Manny took almost willingly, as if to remind himself that he was still in a fight, but then the familiar pattern returned until the final bell.
Sechew Powell, 26-2, 15 KO’s, outworked the dangerous Deandre Latimore, 25-3, 15 KO’s, by majority decision by scores of 117-111, 116-112, and 114-114. Powell avenged his defeat to Latimore, where he found himself on the wrong end of a knockout. Powell had some scary moments but held tough and made it the distance, getting a lead on the cards and keeping busy. This was an IBF light middleweight eliminator and now Powell can move forward with his promising career.
This Saturday, March 21st, from Dusseldorf Germany, unified IBF and WBO Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko defends his titles against highly ranked contender Eddie Chambers. Wladimir, along with his older brother Vitali, rule the heavyweight division with iron fists and are considered to be a full step above their competition. That is why Chambers, despite being among the best available opponents, is a large underdog in this bout.
“Fast” Eddie Chambers has good counter punching skills and moves well for a heavyweight. He is the best heavyweight that America has to offer at the moment. Chambers is coming off his two most impressive wins, decisions over Sam Peter and Alexander Dimitrenko. Klitschko is on an impressive streak of his own having not lost in over 5 years despite quality competition. Both men appear to be in top form for this intriguing heavyweight title fight. Read on to see who the team of writers are picking to win.
Eddie Chambers drops Wlady Klitschko twice but when Klitschko gets up and drops Chambers in the 7th, Chambers goes to sleep. Klitschko by 7th round KO!
I see this fight going six rounds. Eddie Chambers will put up a good fight for about 3-4 rounds, then Wladimir Klitschko’s jab will be too much. Chambers will start to take too much punishment in round five. Klitschko will start to land combos in the beginning of round six. Chambers begin to wobble in middle of round six. Referee stops the fight before the end of round six. TKO victory for Wladimir.
Gina L. Caliboso
Another Klitschko fight? Oh, this is the younger Wladimir Klitschko. He stands at 6’6 and if he fights anything like his brother Vitali, I expect a lot of jabs. But I always like the underdog, I saw American “Fast” Eddie Chambers and I liked what I saw, notably in his last fight when he defeated Alexander Dimitrenko. Chambers showed impressive hand speed over a much bigger opponent. Against Dimitrenko, Chambers worked his way in and out with punch combination and countered well. Underdog Chambers needs to be productive from round one. Prediction: Chambers by 12 round decision.
It is hard to envision that Chambers can do much of anything in this fight beyond using his quickness and defense to go the distance. Chambers will look to survive and Klitschko will pile up the rounds en route to an easy unanimous decision victory.
This Saturday, the IBO/IBF/WBO Heavyweight Champion of the world, Wladimir “Dr. Steelhammer” Klitschko, 53-3, 47 KO’s, defends in Germany against American challenger, Eddie Chambers, 35-1, 18 KO’s. Klitschko has been featured on HBO’s World Championship Boxing on several occasions against much lesser opposition, but for some reason, they passed on Chambers.
Eddie Chambers has only lost once. He faced Alexander Povetkin and was winning the fight when he lost interest and lost a decision. At 6 feet, 1 inch, he is a small heavyweight by today’s standards and often came into bouts looking soft at 220 pounds, but things have changed.
In his last bout, he battered down the much larger Alexander Dimitrenko en route to a majority decision, which should have been unanimous. For that fight, he weighed 208 pounds and came in with a mission and performed better than ever. That was Chambers at his best.
When he is not in shape, he still wins. He defeated former WBC Champion, Sam Peter, former title challenger, Calvin Brock, Dominick Guinn, and fringe contender Derric Rossy. Chambers is a smart fighter that will use movement and speed to try to frustrate and eventually beat Klitschko. It’s a tall order, literally, and he is the heavy underdog going into Saturday’s showdown, but he is a much bigger of a threat than the long line of opponents that Wlad has feasted on in recent years.
Wlad has been champion since 2006, when he stopped Chris Byrd for the IBF and IBO Titles. He has picked up the WBO Title in 2008 with a decision win over Sultan Ibragimov. His record since he initially lost the WBO Title to Lamon Brewster in 2004 is 10-0, 8 KO’s, and he has beaten some very good opposition, including Brewster in a rematch.
The biggest issue with Wlad is how he fights in the ring. When George Foreman was the heavyweight champion (the first time), he went in there and fought like a big man, squashing the opposition. Wlad is a tactical and safety first fighter, using his jab and clinching to keep the opponent in check. It’s rarely pretty, but typically ends in a stoppage win. Lennox Lewis created the blueprint for the big man to rule the division without getting scratched and Wlad and Vitali follow it.
The ugly style has led to victories over Tony Thompson, 2-Time Heavyweight Champion Hasim Rahman, Calvin Brock, Ray Austin, former WBA Champ Ruslan Chagaev, former WBO Champ Sultan Ibragimov, and former WBC Champ Samuel Peter. You cannot argue with success and Wlad has to be commended for being a fighting champion, averaging 2 to 3 fights a year. He did, however, only step into the ring on one occasion in 2009, the battering of Chagaev, and might be rusty coming into the Chambers defense.
HBO has passed on this bout. There is an interest in Wladimir Klitschko, but it has not translated over to the United States and perhaps the return on other Wlad outings with similar unknown opposition may have soured the company to any future investments, but this is the heavyweight championship of the world! Mike Tyson could be fighting anybody. They could yank a fat sportswriter out of press row and throw him into the ring with Iron Mike and HBO would run with it because the fans demanded it here in the states, and around the world where Tyson was concerned. You can ask the average person who the heavyweight champion is and they will probably come up with Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, or another notable from the past. The Klitschko brothers, Nikolay Valuev, David Haye, John Ruiz, Sultan Ibragimov…none of them were able to bring the American fans in and now with the network not covering the Chambers defense, you have to imagine that it is not going to get better.
What boxing is waiting for, especially the American public, is the next big thing in the heavyweight division. Some have placed stock in WBA Kingpin, David “Hayemaker” Haye, a devastating puncher at cruiserweight with a suspect chin…especially suspect at heavyweight. He has a defense coming up against former 2-Time Champ, John Ruiz, and he has to impress. In his title win against “Russian Giant” Nikolay Valuev, Haye didn’t do much outside of moving and Valuev, who arguably benefited from some gift decisions, was seen as the winner by a great deal of press, but Haye walked out with the title. Haye needs to do something dramatic…stop John Ruiz. Ruiz was starched inside of a round by David Tua, but since then, he has shown his true grit and puzzling style. He will not be stopped easily. If Haye does it, maybe he will be the next big thing in the division, but it seems unlikely at this point.
ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights
This weekend’s episode of ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights presents a rematch between light middleweights Sechew Powell, 25-2, 15 KO’s, and Deandre Latimore, 20-2, 16 KO’s, in a 12 round IBF Eliminator.
The two met in 2008, and Latimore scored the upset knockout win in the seventh round. Powell has rebounded with two victories over mediocre opposition and plans to avenge his worst defeat.
Powell made a name for himself on SHOBOX, most notably scoring a 22 second stoppage of Cornelius Bundrage, after both men hit the floor simultaneously in the first five seconds of the round. Powell would lose to a prime Kassim Ouma, rebound with a decision over Contender star, Ishe Smith, before getting stopped by Latimore. He now looks to get back on track.
Erik Morales – Manny Pacquiao IV?
Erik Morales, the three division world champion, has noted that he wants to fight Manny Pacquiao once more. Morales has an impressive record of, 48-6, 34 KO’s, but it loses its luster when you examine his recent track record. He is 0-4 in his last 4 fights, losing twice by knockout to Manny Pacquiao.
Now Morales returns on March 27th, as a welterweight, hoping to rebound against Jose Alfaro, in a WBC International Welterweight title match. Prior to this fight, Morales would lose a decision to David Diaz and announce his retirement, but boxers that have reached the top level of the game usually do not leave quietly. They have to be convinced to go and amazingly, the two beatings by Manny Pacquiao have not done the trick. The four losses in a row have not convinced Morales to hang them up, and amazingly, he wants to fight “The Pacman” again.
In the first Pacquiao fight, Morales won…one of the few that hold a victory over the Filipino legend. In the second fight, Morales was beaten and battered to the floor in ten rounds. The tiebreaker was more of the same, only this time, it came in the third round. Pacquiao is in his prime, fighting better than ever and is stronger now than he was when he met Morales in 2006, when the Mexican boxer didn’t even see the fourth round.
Boxing has been called “The Cruelest Game,” and it is most certainly that. I’m sure that I’m not the only one thinking that the latest Morales comeback is going to end badly…horrible should he somehow convince Team Pacquiao to take a fourth fight. There is nothing worse than seeing a one time great fighter beaten to a pulp in their old age. It’s the norm in boxing though. Most greats leave the sport on their backs and I would bet that it happens with “El Terrible.”
It may just happen in this upcoming fight with Alfaro, a 26 year old with a decent punch.
And so it begins – some much needed hype before a big fight.
On May 1st, you can bet that both Sugar Shane Mosley and Floyd “Money” Mayweather will be ready to exchange punches. Sorry, I mean to report that earlier as both Mosley and Mayweather had a bit of a scuffle in a press conference held in New York. There was definite shoving involved, a stare down, and later, as Mayweather quipped, “Our noses touched, but between two men, you know it’s all about the ladies … and then he grabbed my hands.”
So, it’s hype before the hype.
As my colleague Brian Wilbur stated in his Mailbag, boxing is currently going through a bit of a hiatus (until March 13th anyway). Boxing can use some drama now because of the whole superfight fiasco. But don’t get too excited here fight fans, I’m sure it’s going to be the first of many back and forth verbal barrages between the two fighters. I’ll be watching HBO’s acclaimed 24/7 series showcasing both training camps in anticipation (or hype) of the fight.
Sugar Shane Mosley, 46-5, 39 KO’s is one of my all-time favorite fighters. I always admired his strength, stamina, and speed. Mosley has a solid chin and has always shown up to fight – no excuses, no talking about how good he is. Mosley is just good, period. He has never taken time off from the sport of boxing and I always awaited the announcement of his next opponent. I rooted for him when he fought his battles against Oscar De La Hoya.
When Mosley is on, he is on and he fights like he wants to win every time.
But then there was the period of his fight career that had a shadow of doubt about where he was going in boxing. In 2002, Mosley suffered what seemed to be a string of losses against strong and worthy opponents. He lost twice against the late Vernon Forrest in 12 round unanimous decisions.
“I really care about the boxers and I am not here to make money off of them because I have a business already that does well.”-Cassandra White
Throughout my travels of covering boxing now for many years around the world, I have encountered many diverse characters. From the Korean bosses of boxing, to the cigar chomping promoters whose stained coffee shirts were only matched by the managers of fighters who wanted to work a deal for their fighter in one of our interviews. Well, in December of 2008, I met yet another character in the world of boxing, but this person didn’t fit the mold. She had on what had to be six inch heels, had a walk and a talk that clearly showed she was no pushover, and being in a male dominated sport like boxing, a lady must have those attributes.
In fact, we hit it off out the gate, posed for the camera and she threw me a bag of money that I guarded like a New Orleans Saints Defensive Lineman did during the Super Bowl of their Quarterback Drew Brees when she took her bows in the center ring after a great night of boxing at the Burr Gymnasium located on the campus of Howard University.
Yes, the money was returned. What do I look like here, John Dillinger? That lady in those high heels is none other than DC Boxing Promoter Cassandra White, CEO of Babie Girl Productions. White, a DC native and business owner also in the District of Columbia is continuing her quest to be at the dance with the big boys of boxing by putting on regular boxing cards in the Washington, DC area. She realizes that you must put on strong competitive fights on a consistent basis to build up your fan base of boxing fans that in turn, will come out and pay their hard earned cash to watch one of her cards.
On top of all the boxing stuff, White is also the Owner and President of Safe Haven, INC., a transportation company located in the District of Columbia. If her success in the private sector is any indication, then in years to come, her success in the local boxing scene seems to be destined.
BB: First off, let’s update the RSR readers on your upcoming fight card that takes place on April 2nd at the DC Convention Center.
The main event is Henry “Sugar Poo” Buchanan versus Clarence “Sonny Boy” Taylor who has been in with many of the top fighters in the world today. The co main event will be heavyweight Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell who is undefeated. Thomas Williams will be making his professional debut in the super middleweight division and Tony Jeter will be fighting as well. Rounding out the card will be two female fights that should really be exciting to watch.
Tickets can be purchased at Capitol Hill Sporting Goods & Apparel located at 727 8th Street SE (Across from the US Marine Barracks) or by calling them at: (202) 546-8078.
Or you can contact Cassandra at her Babie Girl Productions office at: (202) 365-5021.
Finally, you can also call (202) 582-0007 between the hours of 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM to reserve tickets…
The dynamic duo, the twin towers of Europe. The Klitschko Brothers presence in the heavyweight division is as solid as a rock. When you think of the heavyweight division of today, you think of the Klitschkos. Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko is the subject of heavyweight boxing. I’ve heard it put this way, their last name begins with “K” and ends with “O” but that only partially describe the hard-hitting Klitschko Brothers. Will they both be remembered as great heavyweights?
They are both educated with degrees as Doctors. Grew up in the Ukraine. Raised by their two parents, father Wladimir Rodionovich a General in the Air Force, and mother Nadezhda Ulyanovna a schoolteacher. They both are well mannered with great attitudes and well spoken. They speak four different languages – English, Russian, German and Ukrainian. Most people think they are twins, but they are not. Vitali is the older of the two. He is five years older and one and a half inch taller than Wladimir.
Vitali was born in Belovodsk (Kyrgyzstan) given the Nickname “Dr. Ironfist.” He was the first to earn a Doctorate’s Degree. He was also the first to capture a world title, the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Heavyweight Championship. He stands 6-foot-6 1/2 in height with a record of 39-2, 37 KO’s. He has over 24 knockouts inside of three rounds.
At the age of 13, Vitali put on a pair of boxing gloves for the first time. Vitali started his career as a successful kickboxer. He became a six-time Kickboxing World Champion twice as an amateur and four times as a professional. It was not until later when Vitali discovered his passion for the sport of boxing. As an amateur he became Ukrainian Heavyweight Champion three times. He also became champion of the first World Military Games and a winner of the Silver Medal at the Amateur World Championships.
In 1996 Vitali left the amateurs and started his career in professional boxing. He won his first title fight on October 24th 1998. It was a European championship were he defeated Mario Schieber by TKO in the 2nd round. That victory paved the way for an opportunity to fight for the World Heavyweight Title. On June 25th 1999 Vitali knocked out Herbie Hide in round 2 and became WBO- Heavyweight Champion of the World.
After holding the WBO- Championship Title for nearly a year, Vitali lost the title to
Chris Byrd. In round nine Vitali had to quit due to a severe injury to his shoulder. Up until that time the judges had Vitali ahead on all three scorecards. On April 24th 2004, at Staples Center in Los Angeles Vitali fought Corrie Sanders for the World Boxing Council (WBC) Title. After a different and entertaining fight Vitali won by TKO in round 8. By winning that fight Vitali was able to get revenge from the loss his brother Wladimir had suffered from Corrie Sanders a year before. “They called it big brothers revenge.”
The idea of WrestleMania being the one show where the wrestlers seem to really give their all is quite true. I realize that a lot of the wrestlers take pride in always working their best and giving their all, no matter the show, but it just is a little different at WrestleMania. There is a different feeling, a different atmosphere. There is more of a drive to compete, to outdo your peers, to have the best ‘Mania match of not only the year, but of all time. With this whole mystique over WrestleMania, there is no doubt it gets into the minds of referees, wrestles, commentators, and anyone else involved in WWE. WrestleMania sets a high standard for all involved, so there is always that need to want to live up to what is being touted as such a great show.
I can only imagine what it means to perform at WrestleMania in any capacity. The WrestleMania name has grown so big over the last 26 years that backstage there must be a feeling in the air. That whole magic of ‘Mania subconsciously makes one want to do the best they can. When you do something amazing at WM, it is seen by the world. In the opposite thought, when you mess something up, that goes down in history. Therefore, everyone is looking to look, do, perform, act, and be their best when late March, early April arrives every year.
With all this being said, every year around WM time, I start getting really excited for the show. I am not immune to the magic of ‘Mania. Both performers and fans alike can both enjoy that feeling of a special time of the year. Sort of like Christmas to the Christians. No Xanta Klaus joke here. My yearly excitement for WM used to start around Survivor Series. I’m an old school fan, folks, back when there was such a thing know as Survivor Series. But, Survivor Series is when, as a fan, you could start to see where angles were headed and you had somewhat of an idea of what matches you could be seeing at ‘Mania. With so much talent, so many PPVs, and so many television shows, the build for WrestleMania seems to start a bit later now. It isn’t until a bit after The Royal Rumble where you can start to get a picture of where things are going. With PPVs so close to one another, it is tough to see where WWE is headed creatively for the biggest show of the year since they need to book the PPVs before hand as well, and still make them seem important. But, even though the build starts a bit later now, WWE does still seem to try to put in place angles in advance for their biggest show of the year. I always liked that about “The Granddaddy of Them All.”
Back in the days of high school when I was into wrestling and nothing else, I used to keep files written about what angles were developing for WM, what matches were likely to take place, and whatever else was bound to happen. I tell you this not to prove that I had no friends, but to show you just how involved fans can get in a show like WrestleMania. I mean, I wasn‘t keeping a file in my computer written up about what was going to happen at Backlash. See the difference? No? I‘m not sure there is a difference but the fact is that wrestling is still on my mind too much. WrestleMania always is a special time in the eyes of the fans.
“I want to prove to people around the world that I’m the best fighter in the division.” – Sakio Bika
Cameroon-born Australian boxer Sakio Bakia, 28-3-2, 19 KO’s, has endured a difficult time of late. The former IBF Australasian Super Middleweight Champion was due to fight for a place in the Showtime Super Middleweight Super 6 Tournament against Allan Green before the opportunity was taken from him.
Instead, the competition organizers gave former Middleweight Champion Jermain Taylor’s spot to Green without the pair having to fight. This has left the former Contender star in a frustrating position. Bika has been in with the best including Joe Calzaghe and Lucian Bute and now RSR has caught up with the much-avoided fighter:
ER: When do you intend to fight next?
I was supposed to fight Allan Green but it was put off for many reasons. I couldn’t get my visa; my working visa was a little bit difficult and the fight was off.
At this point I’m trying to fight in May or April. At this moment I can’t tell you a big story about that. I’m looking to get a fight around April.
With WrestleMania coming up soon, I wanted to write about the entire aspect of what it means to the fans, and why it is really considered the biggest show of the year. In addition, as part of this, I would also like to cover the build for the matches at this year’s show. Because there is so much to be said about WrestleMania, I figured I would break this into two different columns just as a flow of consciousness about how I feel about “The Showcase of the Immortals.” So, here is part one of what WrestleMania means to a fan, and the reason many people, including the talent, consider it the “Granddaddy Of Them All” and the “Super Bowl Of Wrestling.”
WrestleMania time is always one of the best times to be a wrestling fan. Things always pick up, WWE makes its biggest efforts toward building a good show, and the fans seem genuinely interested in what is going on. It is the one time of the year, where as a fan, even if a long list of other things are annoying you or upsetting you about the state of wrestling, you can put that all behind you and attempt to enjoy a show you can only see once a year. For that reason, WrestleMania really is can’t miss. If you miss it, you are missing out on the culmination of a year’s worth of build. Despite better PPV cards on paper, and despite the fact that sometimes other PPVs from the year end up being better than ’Mania, it is the one show that wrestling fans will be talking about. It is the one show where you should be up to date on as a fan. It is a talking point amongst fans, and it is a time when even casual fans come back around in a bigger force to see what is going on with wrestling. I always thought to myself that even if were to ever stop watching wrestling, I would at least tune in once a year to watch WrestleMania to see where the company is at. WrestleMania is always a good barometer of what is going on in WWE.
Not every WrestleMania is great, some have been on the lower end of the PPVs for their respective year, but then again, every few years there is a defining show that has an amazing card, but also changes the landscape of wrestling forever, like WrestleMania X-Seven. You can’t get that type of thing at Fully Loaded. I realize Fully Loaded hasn’t been around in a while, but I like living in the past. Just like Honkey Tonk Man. WM is the one PPV of the year that big things are bound to happen. Angles culminate, ideas hit a crescendo. The show becomes the end all, be all for everything that it means to be creative in WWE. Writing is all built towards the point of ‘Mania. Big feuds begin and end, stars debut and retire, careers are made and angles are ended. It is the one show where the most noteworthy things happen.
At times, things don’t always seem too noteworthy or history changing at the time. But, when one looks at the history of wrestling, the biggest show of the year is where a lot of historical things take place. Austin turning heel, the beginning of Hulk Hogan’s face run in WWE, Austin’s last match, Shawn Michaels last (at the time) match, Ric Flair retiring, Mick Foley being retired. OK, I won’t get into the entire retirement angle thing because in wrestling, retiring seems to be as serious as a Sheamus WWE title run.
In the new age of WrestleMania where they try to hold the shows at larger venues and well known arenas in an attempt to break attendance records, fans can expect at least one really good match every year. Marquee matches are given more time to develop and become something special. So, even if the show as a whole isn’t the best of the year, you will most likely see a match of the year contender. That is what happens when the wrestlers put it all in the ring for one night of the year. Every year that WrestleMania gets a year older, it is another year of wrestling standards to live up to and another year of matches to attempt to be better than. That creates a lot of want and necessity in the minds of the wrestlers to outdo not only what they have done in previous years, but what others have done. WrestleMania creates a high standard of wrestling quality for the wrestlers involved. That is why Nathan Jones was taken off the card at XIX. I’m not sure of the logic in that decision, however, since they left both A-Train and Big Show in the ring. WrestleMania standards for wrestling? I didn’t say in every match.
Brian's Boxing Mailbag (Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey Aftermath, Wladimir Klitschko Next Weekend)
Greetings and welcome to the mailbag ladies and gents. On Saturday we witnessed yet another brilliant performance by Manny Pacquiao, shutting out Joshua Clottey over twelve rounds. Joshua Clottey’s instinctive fighting style is to cover up, wait for his opponent to stop punching, and then go on the offensive. The problem with using this style against Pacquiao is that Pacquiao never stops punching! Pacquiao has incredible stamina and seemingly never tires. We saw Clottey covering up for twelve rounds and Pacquiao clubbing away at his hands, arms, body, and anything else that Clottey gave him.
Clottey knew that he was losing every round but he didn’t dare open up because he feared the blazing fast counter punches that would have surely put him on his butt. Joshua did not do any favors to his reputation amongst fans by fighting to survive instead of trying to win. I hate to be cocky, but I perfectly analyzed the fight in my official prediction that you can read in the Team RSR Fight Picks posted a couple days before the fight.
I am curious to see the PPV buy rate for Pacquiao vs. Clottey, and how it compares to Mayweather vs. Mosley in May. Once again, the money that both men bring in will affect the inevitable reprising of negotiations for a fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao. My guess is that Pacquiao vs. Clottey did about 800,000 buys, in addition to the very impressive live gate.
Feel free email me with your PPV buy predictions, or your thoughts/reactions to the fight.
With the Pacquiao fight over and done with, the next good match up comes up next Saturday. I am talking about the Heavyweight Championship bout between Wladimir Klitschko and Eddie Chambers. Klitschko vs. Chambers falls into the same category as Pacquiao vs. Clottey. Wladimir, like Pacquiao, is the best. Eddie Chambers, like Joshua Clottey, is a good, respectable opponent, and definitely among the best available. However this is not a fight that captures the imagination of the general public because it is a perceived mismatch.
In the case of Pacquiao, the marquee fight fell through. In the case of Klitschko, there is no marquee opponent to fight. In those tough situations, I commend both for trying to challenge themselves against rated opponents instead of tomato cans while waiting for their desired match up to come along. In this week’s first email I cover the Chambers vs. Klitschko fight, and of course, later on there is more on Pacquiao’s nice win over Clottey. Enjoy and send in your emails to be featured in next week’s mailbag.
Klitschko Shaky No More?
Wladimir has been knocked out early against Lamon Brewster and Corries Sanders, two fighters who aren’t (or weren’t) much better than the guy he is fighting next, Eddie Chambers. Yet nobody thinks that Chambers has much of a chance to do anything but get knocked out. Why is that? I think just one crack to the chin and Wladimir is looking like a drunk who’s had one too many. He’s been getting lucky.
Those losses are such distance memories at this point that Wladimir Klitschko has regained the same aura of invincibility that he had before those embarrassing KO’s. His skills are hard to ignore and he has changed his style to be less crowd-pleasing but more careful and guarding of his chin and limited stamina.
I still think that certain fighters could bring the nervousness out of Wladimir. Eddie Chambers is not that fighter though. He doesn’t have the right style. Chambers is a short, slick boxer with good reflexes. That is exactly the type of boxer that Klitschko loves to fight. He will dominate Chambers with his size, jab, and movement. Eddie doesn’t have the overwhelming power to break Klitschko’s once-questionable chin.
Sam Peter just won an IBF eliminator last week so he could potentially get another shot at Wladimir. Peter was able to drop Wladimir a few times and could potentially find some more success in a rematch. I don’t think that Peter has the skill to actually beat someone of Klitschko’s ability, but his skill set is better equipped to fight Wladimir than Chambers. A heavyweight with potent knockout power, quick hands, and the ability to slip a jab will be the kind of fighter that beats Klitschko. Unfortunately for Klitschko haters out there, I don’t see anyone in the heavyweight rankings who fits that description.
Former multiple weight class boxing champion James “Lights Out” Toney will be fighting in the UFC.
Oh my God!
I don’t mean to insult James Toney but as soon as I got the message, I fired at a multitude of cell phones with the news and “Oh my God” was the most compelling answer I got in response.
It sure sums up the entirety of what many people feel about this.
James Toney leaving boxing and going into the Ultimate Fighting Championship?
Dana White and Company would obviously disagree if it be said this is a circus alright.
What else do they have in mind with Toney other than to utilize his name as a means to net in a pot-load of cash?
Being one of the Top 5 Best Heavyweight Boxers in the past, James Toney is a curiosity in MMA and a beckoning commodity. It’s not hard to figure that every James Toney fight from here will be on Pay-Per-View.
The UFC wants him to shell the excess fat and be a light heavyweight. But Toney insists he is a heavyweight and should be fighting as a heavyweight.
I can almost smell the conspiracy here – the UFC reeks of it. I see an angle where the UFC will try to lead on – somewhere down the road, if not later then sooner, James Toney will be made to lock fists with the street fighter and fan favorite Kimbo Slice.
Who else would they make him fight that has Slice’s enormous appeal that he can win against?
It’s a good storyline capable of reaping huge profits before and after. It’s 50-50 for both guys. Either man will benefit from it, especially the victor. The UFC can’t lose. There’s a popular question floating around right now that asks:
“What if James Toney does slay a good MMA fighter at this point in his career or at this point in time in MMA?”
Manny Pacquiao, 50-3-2, 38 KO’s vs. Joshua Clottey, 35-3, 20 KO’s
Result: Manny Pacquiao winner by UD: 120-108, 119-109, 119-109.
Arthur Castle (Luther Adler) and his wife Edna (Vivi Janiss) own an antique shop and are not doing very well financially. Arthur’s father owned it before him and his grandfather owned it before his father and now it was his and all three of them never were able to keep their heads above water. He even refers to it as a “monument to failure,” and he is near bankruptcy. That doesn’t change his good heart, however, as he buys what he believes to be an empty wine bottle from Mrs. Gumley (Lisa Golm), only because she is so poor and needs the money. This is more than a wine bottle, however, and Arthur and Edna are going to get more than they bargained for.
During one of Arthur’s angry outbursts concerning the bills and how life has basically shat on him, he knocks down the wine bottle and unleashes a genie. The Genie (Joseph Ruskin) appears and offers the couple four wishes and a guarantee on the performance.
This is a tale that sort of hits everyone, I think. Who doesn’t want the chance to live on easy street, but this is the Twilight Zone and you are not going to get away that easily. Once the couple starts wishing, the genie only lives up to the wish and everything begins to backfire upon them. When they get money, the tax collector arrives to take his share…an absurdly large share. When Arthur wants power, he is sent to Nazi Germany. It makes you think of that saying: “Be careful what you wish for. You might just get it.” It’s a much better saying than: “It’s not who you know, it’s who you blow.”