Archive for the ‘Boxing’ Category


Understand that I’m not rooting for stuff to be fixed, but here is what’s funny. I was talking with someone earlier this week – and I thought a lot of about this. He did some work at HBO overseas, he was a very low paid employee – not sure if HBO even paid him but rather the producer Frank Belmont. He sat ring side for about 20 fights and he would go home to his roommate and say “god I saw this and this and this and this” and his roommate would say “I watched the same fight on TV, I didn’t see that” so his roommate would him “what did you see?” and he said “the real fight, the one on ring side” Three judges ring side saw something that a lot of people on TV did not and the other people 5 rows back did not.

I’m not saying those judges saw it right but boxing is a subjective sport…that is judged! We’ve had all sorts of these controversies in the Olympics, judged sports.  When you ask people to judge things – reasonable and highly educated people can see something different. You could take two guys from Harvard – Obama speaks, one is Democrat the other Republican, they see two different speeches. What you are denying if you think it’s absolutely fixed is that human beings simply cannot see things differently. I can watch Ellen DeGeneres and think she’s a riot; you can watch her and not think she’s funny yet it’s the same act. Comedy is a great example; guys who I don’t think are funny at all could be absolutely hilarious for you. So to deny that people could watch the same comedian, the same television show and have completely different opinions…why are any of us denying that?

I’d get so much hate mail saying that Tim Tebow was a great quarterback and I would answer “what are you watching?” that’s the same guy that is now saying “that Pacquiao fight was fixed” My friend sat ring side for 20 fights, went home and told somebody what they saw – that one person saw one fight, my friend saw another…yet same fight! I’m not saying that the decision was right but to deny that human beings can see things differently is simply denying humanity. “Well Andrew, there’s rum ours…” there’s always been rumours! They usually start from guys with no access; rumours are people with no access.  “The NBA…it’s rigged” really? I mean, if it was fixed then tell me who made money? Vegas got their butt handed to them on that Pacquiao fight, they got crushed! Sports columnist called it “the sports’ worst loss ever” you might say “Bob Arum fixed it” read what Bob said after the fight, he was ripping the judges!! Calling them incompetent saying “I was absolutely stunned when I heard that one judge had put one in for Bradley, I mean it wasn’t a close fight at all. It was an 11-1, 10-2 fight, the press, the fans, everybody had it that way, everybody except these 3 judges that is”

People see what they want to see and everybody had money on Pacquiao. You could host a sports talk radio show and may literally get someone accusing the NBA to be rigged. Now, that’s a secondary issue though because if it was rigged, it’s still not bad for the NBA. Charlie Sheen is a hell of a lot more interesting when he’s got problems at home – let’s be honest about it, part of Boxing’s twisted charm is this fixed thing. Boxing is more interesting when it’s controversial. “Andrew, I’ll never watch Boxing again” you never watched it to begin with!! Only 1% of sports fans consider it their favourite sport. So don’t give me this “I’ll never watch Boxing again” yet 1% of Americans, according to a Harris Interactive poll, say that Boxing is their favourite sport. Do I believe double that – 2% will watch a re-match because of the controversy? Absolutely!! This is great for Boxing.  Yet people are saying Boxing is going to die…really? Really? And Robert Downey Jr. won’t get another gig neither will Charlie Sheen. Controversy sells – the Kardashians, the more divorces the better the ratings!! Rush Limbaugh’s ratings go up during controversy. So the idea that Boxing is going to die – firstly of all, it’s been largely dead on broadcast networks for 30 years. It will, in re-match get huge ratings.

Now, on the whole thing on being fixed – never forget this, the NBA, the Olympics, Boxing and Wrestling are allegedly for quite some time, rumoured to being fixed. My blog will get astounding viewership numbers. No one has ever claimed hockey as being fixed? Because nobody watches! The reality is that as long you don’t know who’s going to win before you go to a Boxing match, who cares! Now I’m not advocating on these matches being fixed. What I’m saying is that if I told you two guys from work were going to be out in the parking lot in 10 minutes to fight, a real fist fight – now it could be rigged, but they’ll still have a real fist fight. You’d probably go out of your office and watch but if I told you those two guys are going out to play marbles and it won’t be rigged, you wouldn’t watch. Why? In the end, even though Storage Wars, Pawn Stars, Kardashians, Survivor are all written and scripted. If you don’t know the final result, you will tune into see the drama and a big fight has drama.

So the idea that it was rigged and you’ll turn away forever is false on two fronts: A) controversy sells B) even if it was rigged, as long as it’s good television and good drama, we’re always drawn to it. Everything is rigged on television, all the reality shows are scripted yet you still watch don’t you? In fact, I would argue that the more scripted and rigged the show, the higher the ratings! In the end, you don’t know who’s going to win on those reality shows and you don’t really care, you just want to be entertained “entertain me!”

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Don’t look now, but there is actually a heavyweight championship fight taking place this weekend that matters, in fact, it’s probably the division’s most important fight since Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson back in 2002. Easily one of the sports’ critical match ups – I’m talking Wladimir Kiltschko vs. David Haye this Saturday in Hamburg, Germany.  

It’s a critical fight because you have the division’s biggest name defending his title against a challenger who has a belt of his own and is in his prime. Critical because of all the crazy noise Haye has been making, leading up to this fight…believe me, Haye has done his part in selling it – hence why I’m ranting about it “You are going to see the most brutal execution of a boxer. I will absolutely destroy him” and when asked why he won’t shake Kiltschko’s hand he says “I’ll do it when I visit him in the hospital after the fight” and that comes on the heels of him rocking a t-shirt where he is shown holding the severed heads of Kiltschko and his brother – at that point, Kiltschko had already had enough and told SI.com’s Chris Manic’s “Whose parents would love to see their son’s head cut off? There are certain things you can’t do, there are certain lines you can’t cross. I’m glad such a bastard like David Haye exist because he definitely did something stupid with that t-shirt and he knows that it was stupid”

Well I guess we’ll find out Saturday to see if it was – Haye is the younger, quicker, more athletic fighter and if anybody can beat Kiltschko, it’s Haye. But I think he won’t…Kiltshcko is bigger, stronger, more experienced and while his chin will always be a question, Haye’s gonna have to catch him with some clean shots – something that not many people have been able to do in years. Kiltschko is way too smart and despite seeing him and his brother’s domes locked off, he will not take any unnecessary chances and he will wear the smaller Haye down and win by stoppage late. Haye will dominate that fight outside of the ring, but he’s going to come up short inside of it.


It was about 10 years ago that Lennox Lewis (Kitchener-Waterloo kid) fought Mike Tyson. It reminded me of what I saw last night in the Heat/Bulls game. With Miami being Mike Tyson – power, devastating talent, could embarrass you quickly and Chicago being Lennox Lewis – good length, size, nobody gives them the respect they probably deserve because they’re not as flashy. So I remember about 10 years ago when they fought – and if you recall the press conference before the fight took place, there was a brawl between Tyson’s guys and Lewis’s guys.

But what you noticed in the fight – in boxing they say styles make fights. You gotta see the guys in the ring, you can’t – the measurable, the tail of the tape only tell so much…you gotta see how they match up in the ring. And within 2 or 3 minutes of the first round (I watched the entire fight today) you know, your 2 ½ minutes into the 1st round, Tyson landed one nice punch but you saw something developing and you knew in the 1st round “oh this is going to be problematic for Tyson” The way Lennox Lewis was longer and pushing him and holding him and using his savvy and his patience and discipline – at that point in Mike’s career, he didn’t have any of that stuff, especially discipline.

You could tell by round 2 “this is just not going to work out well for Mike Tyson” I didn’t need to see the whole fight – I only needed to watch about 4 minutes of it and you knew what was going to happen in the fight. Mike needed a haymaker to win…his only shot, and he didn’t. Eventually he lost T.K.O.

So I’m watching the game last night and again – you could have all the measurable in the world, take out regular season match ups…it’s just different! The playoffs are different. But, about the middle of the 2nd Qtr – and it was a very close game, in fact Miami was winning at that point by a bucket or two. But I noticed about middle of the 2nd Qtr and told myself that “Chicago’s length, is going to give Miami real trouble in this series” Forget Derrick Rose, that’s not the issue. “Chicago’s great defense…” remember, Chicago plays much better at home than on the road – they’re a young team that feeds off their crowd’s energy, Miami is the same team – home or away. Chicago is not, they were 36-5 at home in the regular season – they were unbelievable. They were good on the road – they weren’t spectacular.

But when you watch the length of Chicago in this series – they’re not getting shorter. Now they’re not going to shoot that well on Wednesday night and Miami is going to shoot better Wednesday night, so a lot of thing will add/subtract and change that night. But I’m sitting and watching this game by the 2nd Qtr – and unless Chicago gets significantly shorter, they are going to give Miami all sorts of issues in this series. They are going to get 3 or 4 possessions per game on tips and loose balls – that’s 21 over the course of a series.

I mean, Luol Deng is not going to play that well, but the fact that Lebron only took 15 shots tells you a lot. It’s not that he scored 15 points, it’s that he didn’t take any more than Luol Deng and you sit there – and I felt the exact same way when watching Tyson and Lennox, I didn’t need to see 8 rounds to see who was going to win and I’m not saying Miami is going to lose this series, but you can watch very quickly these two teams match up in the ring. I don’t need to watch 7 games – Chicago’s length is going to give Miami problems.

How do they overcome it? They’ve re-invented themselves 2 or 3 times this season – I mean, this is a team that offensively was a mess, then got better and now they’ve been great for the last month and a half against everybody in the league. But Erik Spoelstra admitted it – I think Chicago woke up this morning and I think Chicago thought “we’re better than they are” and I think Miami players woke up this morning and thought “we could be in some trouble here” Read what Erik Spoelstra, acknowledging that mentally, the Heat were defeated “Losing a lot of those effort areas in the second chance points, it really deflated us and then we lost our concentration on the offensive end and the game got away from us. The offensive rebounding really affected us, you know, we had some great stops but were not able to come up with a 50/50 ball or a rebound to seal it and they made us pay”

I think Chicago is going to get more cheap points, more tip possessions, more offensive rebounds – and that’s not a shot, because statistically they are a very good offensive rebounding team. But it looks like to me “uh oh, Miami is going to have to re-adjust”


I saw this story last week, I usually don’t rant about stuff like this, as it stands right now, it is an NFL world in the fall and into the winter I lead in with NFL as well, but this is beyond the sport that I will be talking about today. You know how I have feel about purist…I believe that they kill their respective sports…they are killing baseball, they kill boxing, they are hurting the NHL. Purists – you own them, don’t worry about them, don’t placate, don’t appease them, die hard baseball fan that’s 70 years old is not going anywhere….grow the sport! Create instant replay.

Well listen to this story, Mike Tyson will controversially be inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame. Also joining him, Sylvester Stallone – who wrote and created the Rocky movie back in 76’. The nomination for the Hollywood Stallone “threatens the credibility of the Hall of Fame and is already diving an opinion among boxing officianatos” The credibility? of the Boxing Hall of Fame? Haha…there actually is one?

Folks, once again the “don’t get it crowd” is staring us right in the face. Dick Vitale is in the College Basketball Hall of Fame. Not because of his coaching, but because of his service to the sport. The two biggest names in college basketball today? Mike Krzyzewski # 1 and Dick Vitale #2.

The Rocky movie won “Best Picture”; it glamorized a soon to be dying sport. Is Sylvester Stallone a Hall of Famer? Are you kidding me??? Because of Sylvester Stallone, Hollywood was able to finance Cinderella Man, Raging Bull, Million Dollar Baby, Rocky 1,2,3,4 and 5. Kids went to gyms because of that movie. Kids who were lost in their life and would’ve ended up in the streets went to a gym. He helped the economy! They erected a statue in Philadelphia for a fictional character, he globalized the word “Yo” and you’re asking if he’s a hall of famer?

Never forget this – first of all, it’s not like putting Tom Cruise in the Racing Hall of Fame because of “Days of Thunder” But I would put Tom Cruise in the Navy Hall of Fame. You think that’s outrageous? Really? Tom Cruise gave them a $500 million dollar cheque. Tom Cruise, in the movie “Top Gun” there is pal papal evidence; it’s called the “Top Gun Effect” increased enrollment in the Navy for a decade…for a decade! And you’re about to say that he doesn’t deserve…? Does everybody who is in a Hall of Fame actually have to win a basketball game or hit a jumper? You can’t serve a sport? Are you going to tell me that Peter Ueberroth – he didn’t throw a Javelin, he didn’t run the 220! But he sure as heck saved the Olympics! They were dead! Peter Ueberroth saved the Olympics in Los Angeles, without him – because of Jimmy Carter, the Olympics are dead! If there is an Olympic Hall of Fame, Peter Ueberroth – who never ran the 220, should be at the head of the class to get in.

Come on people! Karate Kid created a karate boom! You gotta put that movie in some wing of the Hall of Fame! Think about this…think about this with Top Gun and what Tom Cruise did to the Navy. In one particular sequence of the film they were taping it, the commander of the ship was filming it and he moved the ship. The director, Tony Scotts said “when the planes take off from the aircraft carrier, we want them to be lit, the sunlight to be seen on camera, lit from behind” and the commander of the Navy ship was like “that would cost $25,000” Tony Scott, the director, took out his cheque book and was like “he’s $25,000…turn the ship around…this will make you $500 million dollars”

Sometimes folks, you jump over a $5 dollar bill to get to a $20. You either see the big picture in life or you don’t. American Idol opened up the door for all these other talent shows. [Before you continue reading this rant, go to this website, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioE_O7Lm0I4, and play the music as you continue reading this rant] Anyways, think about this, in the history of American music, has there ever been another song, that without hearing a lyric, you think of a thought…to me, nothing says rags to riches, American hope, blue collar getting a shot like those horns, no lyrics, you don’t hear anything, you don’t hear a single word…yet it speaks of America, rags to riches, blue collar to Wall Street.

In the history of cinema, has there ever been a movie – by the way, filmed in 28 days, made for a million dollars, it grossed $255 million in 76’, greatest grossing movie that year. The only other song that speaks to life in America without a lyric is the song by Jefferson Aeroplane “White Rabbit”, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XR8LFNUr3vw , and that speaks to Americans, it says that everyone in the room listening is stoned outta their mind.

I mean it’s amazing! If you look at the history of America and what makes America so great – this doesn’t happen in England, Russia or even here in Canada, that a guy from Arkansas with an alcoholic father and a mother who bets the ponny’s becomes president of the United States. Barack Obama can become president. You can’t do that in countries with royalty. What America is all about is portrayed in the movie “Rocky” He opened the door for hundreds of other boxing movies.

I mean, it’s just…these boxing purist are worried about “the credibility of the boxing hall of fame?” You’re a sport that was run by Don King! Hahaha, like seriously!