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RINGS OF CRUNK

Posted by HG on May 20, 2007

fifty-winky.jpgI consider myself a pretty big boxing fan. If there’s boxing on tv I’m gonna tune in.. Unless it’s The Contender, and that’s just because I don’t watch reality shows. So last night I sat down to watch HBO’s double header before getting into my Saturday night activities.

The first fight, featuring Kelly Pavlik and Edison Miranda, had more action in the first two rounds than De La Hoya/Mayweather had their entire night. If Oscar and Floyd had given us that kind of performance people would still be talking about the fight andkelly-pavlik.jpg saying “boxing is back”. After the back and forth action of rounds 1 and 2, Pavlik took over the fight. He floored Miranda twice in the 6th, and picked up the victory in the 7th when referee Steve Smoger stopped the fight. Kelly Pavlik aka “The Ghost” was the superior fighter in every aspect. He landed the cleaner, more effective power punches, and he was definitely more skilled than Miranda. If/when Pavlik gets a shot at Jermain Taylor he’ll be the underdog, but trust me, he’s a live dog.

How do you know when it’s time to put a term or phrase to rest? Here’s how:

Larry Merchant: There’s a new expression in the South called “Crunk” from Southern Hip Hop music it means hot. This fighter, fight, figures to be crrruuunk.

Larry dropped that jewel on us right before the Pavlik/Miranda match. I would say that “crunk” has now jumped the proverbial shark. Go ahead and put “crunk” on the same list as “you go girl”, “fa shizzle my nizzle”, and “da bomb”…

The second fight got off on the wrong foot as Cory Spinks walkedjermain-taylor.jpg to the ring with the rapper Jibbs performing King Kong alongside him… I should have heeded the omen and went about my business. I stuck around because I was still giving Jermain Taylor the benefit of the doubt. Taylor’s style is.. is.. well, I don’t know what it is. When Jermain took on Bernard Hopkins, Hopkins’ style took the blame for the 2 fights being stale. When Jermain fought Winky Wright, people said that Wright’s defense can make anybody look bad. I know it’s hard to look good against a guy that seemed more interested in track than boxing, but Jermain Taylor just didn’t take the fight to Spinks the way I had hoped the bigger, stronger, champion would. Even Taylor’s trainer, Emmanuel Stewart wanted more out of Jermain. Stewart to Taylor before the 12th round:

Don’t give a fuck whether you land or not just let ’em go. Don’t worry about it, he’s gonna be a shitty fight but you gotta let punches go. You can’t wait until you gettin him, if you miss him buuyoow and go right back..and don’t take 30 seconds and start another punch… but you gotta get ready to fight this Goddamn round man. He is doing exactly what he said he was gonna do.. Trying to steal the bullshit championship. but you gotta throw some Goddamn punches, quit going up and down up and down..get in there and fight.. you got 3 minutes man, you gotta fight.

The transcript doesn’t do justice to the tone and frustration in Stewart’s voice, but it’s exactly what anybody watching this fight was feeling. There was no doubt that Jermain won the fight, but he’s just not living up to the potential people see in him. I’m not sure if he ever will.

The were only two interesting parts of this fight. 1) After the fight when Cory Spinks was “running around, celebrating as though he has just won the World Series” (c) Jim Lampley, and 2) the judges scores. Let’s look at the scores.

Judge Michael Pernick scored the fight 117-111, and Judge Gale Van Hoy scored the fight 115-113 both for Taylor. The judge’s scores could be reversed because Michael Buffer announced that Van Hoy had it 117-111 and Pernick had 115-113, both for Taylor. The scores in the beginning of this paragraph are from ESPN. The score that both ESPN and the HBO broadcast agree on is Judge Richard Flaherty’s 117-111 scorecard in favor of Cory Spinks. Whaaaaa?!? To quote Jim Lampley on his views about Flaherty’s scorecard “on the basis of that I would say that he should never judge a major championship again. That’s a complete travesty”. I’m not saying that Flaherty was getting paid to score for Spinks, but after a card that far off, I hope he was. I hope he made as much money as possible for working the fight because I wouldn’t let him judge a wet t-shirt contest at this point.

One last boxing related story. In the middle of April I had a post about Joe Frazier suing his daughter. Then I had another post where I reported Joe had called off the dogs on the lawsuit. In that post (this post) I said the only reason he was calling it off was because Jaquelyn Lyde-Frazier was running for a seat on the city of Philadelphia’s Municipal Court in the May 15th Democratic Primary, and he didn’t want to ruin her chances, but I expected the lawsuit to be refiled on May 16th. I was right. Sorta. He refiled on the 17th:

Former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier has refiled a lawsuit against his daughter, days after she won a primary election for city judge. Jacquelyn Frazier-Lyde turned over some of the documents that are being sought, but hasn’t fully accounted for the money she managed for her father from 1989 to 2004, Frazier’s lawyer said Thursday. The 63-year-old Frazier sued for the return of his records in April, but suspended the suit as his daughter waged a campaign for Philadelphia Municipal Court judge. “Joe just didn’t want to ruin his daughter’s judgeship [race],” Frazier lawyer Michael P. Kelly said Thursday.

I guess I’m supposed to type something about blind squirrels or every dog, but I won’t. This should have been obvious to everybody.

Spink’s style frustrates crowd as Taylor wins by split decision. Courtesy of ESPN.com

Frazier seeks documents from daughter in lawsuit. Courtesy of ESPN.com

Frazier stops lawsuit against daughter while she runs for judge. Courtesy of YBB

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Posted in BOXING, CORY SPINKS, EDISON MIRANDA, EMMANUEL STEWART, HBO, JAQUELYN LYDE-FRAZIER, JERMAIN TAYLOR, JIBBS, JIM LAMPLEY, JOE FRAZIER, KELLY PAVLIK, SPORTS | 1 Comment »

5 QUESTIONS WITH JIM LAMPLEY

Posted by HG on May 8, 2007

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Hip HopBoxing is dead.. That’s if you listen to the critics. What people are conveniently forgetting is that boxing has been written off a thousand times before and yet it still staggers forward. The fight over the weekend and the untimely death of Diego “Chico” Corrales have people talking boxing for now… Even if it’s for all of the wrong reasons.

 I was lucky enough to catch up with HBO Boxing’s Jim Lampley just before he boarded a plane to New York. Lamps had plenty to say.

HG: There’s been varying opinions on the outcome of the fight..Some people calling it controversial. How did you feel about the decision?

JL:Well I don’t know why there would be any controversy. I thought it was pretty cut and dry. It was a good fight, better than I expected. I give Oscar De La Hoya a ton of credit for being able to threaten Floyd Mayweather and make him look vulnerable at times, but at the end of the day, particularly in the late rounds, I thought Floyd’s precision punching and effective defense won the fight. I think the two scorecards that had Mayweather winning 116-112, 115-113, those are right in the same neighborhood with where I would have seen the ultimate outcome of the fight. That’s what I expected. Floyd Mayweather to win by decision. I think Oscar deserves a ton of credit, he fought better than I would have expected him to be able to do under those circumstances and he made it a real fight. That was the best thing that could have happened for the sport.

HG: Does the fight warrant a rematch?

JL:I think economics may in fact lead to a rematch, that wouldn’t surprise me. What would surprise me is if there was any difference in the outcome. I think that in the case of an experienced, technical fighter like Mayweather, once he’s had a chance to look at an opponent for 12 rounds, he’s probably going to do better against that person the next time around. Consequently, it’s highly unlikely to me that Oscar could do better. I think probably a lot of his fans and followers don’t really realize that. There’s a lot of people that saw this fight that hadn’t been exposed to Mayweather before. Now that people have seen Mayweather perhaps they understand his precise approach to the sport, his risk free style of fighting, it’s not terribly exciting but it let’s him win all of his fights..that’s what he does.

HG:What did you think of Judge Kaczmarek’s decision, 115-113 for De La Hoya?

JL:Kaczmarek’s scorecard is more enthusiastic for Oscar than I could bring myself to be. I think in order to have scored the fight for Oscar you have to give him every conceivable benefit of the doubt, and it just didn’t look to me that he was able to win rounds after he stopped connecting with his jab. The lingering mystery that will affect people’s view of the fight is what happened to De La Hoya’s jab? Why did it go away after the 7th or 8th round? As long as he’s landing his jab he was in the fight with a chance to win, once that stopped he was no longer in the fight with a chance to win.

HG:You made some comments about the MMA, mixed martial arts/UFC after the fight. Would you like to follow up on those comments or offer any other views on mixed martial arts vs. boxing?

JL:NO. Because in retrospect I’m sorry that I brought it up. I think that it sounded to defensive for our sport. We had a good fight in circumstances which created audience demand the likes of which no other combat sport could ever approximate. I felt like that was a good enough statement in and of itself. To be totally honest, I haven’t watched as much mixed martial arts as for instance Max Kellerman who disagreed with me so I defer to his opinion on the subject. I wish that I had just kept my mouth shut and stuck with commenting on boxing as opposed to something that was extraneous at the time.

HG:Finally, boxing lost one of it’s warriors last night.. Diego Corrales. Your final thoughts on Diego.

JL: I loved Chico. If you knew him, if you knew him sweet, sober, prepared to fight, the way I saw him several times during his career, you couldn’t help but love Chico. He was a warm, gregarious, outgoing guy. He had a problem when he drank alcohol. I hate to suspect that alcohol might have had something to do with his ultimate demise. There’s a lesson to be learned there. It’s a dangerous substance, legal or not. I don’t think Chico ever really completely got a handle on that, which is true of a lot of people in our sport. But he was essentially a sweet person, a very out going person. He was as big a boxing fan as any fighter could be. He came to as many fights as he could possibly attend. It was always fun to see him at ringside. He had a tremendously entertaining career and will forever be remembered for having fought in the fight that many of my colleagues regard as the greatest they ever saw. I only saw his first fight with Jose Luis Castillo on television, I was not there live, but that drama was unforgettable. His comeback win in that fight is a monument to courage and we’ll miss him.

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Posted in BOXING, CHICO, DE LA HOYA, DIEGO CORRALES, HG, INTERVIEW, JIM LAMPLEY, LAS VEGAS, MAYWEATHER, MISC., MMA, SPORTS, UFC | 6 Comments »

MAYWEATHER/DE LA HOYA ROUND BY ROUND

Posted by HG on May 6, 2007

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All the hype is done and it is finally fight time. Floyd Mayweather jr. starts his march to the ring sporting the colors of the Mexican flag and a sombrero. The broadcast team points out that Floyd’s uncle and trainer Roger Mayweather (The Mexican Assassin) useta enter the ring this way back in the day. I doubt that Roger had 50 Cent rapping alongside him though. Oscar De La Hoya makes his way to the ring looking serious as a mutha with Spanish music in the background. He shoulda gotten Cam’ron to walk with him..

Tonight’s judges are Chuck Giampa(Nevada), Tom Kaczmarek(New Jersey), and Jerry Roth (Nevada). In layman’s terms that’s Oscar, neutral, Oscar. The referee is Kenny Bayless (a brotha).. I’m guessing the NY Times will have a story on Monday about black fighters getting more breaks from black referees… Michael Buffer does his LGRTR (don’t wanna get sued) and Kenny Bayless says “what I say you must obey”.. Opening bell.

Here’s some the video from the fight. My round by round was done while watching the HBOppv broadcast. Rounds 1 thru 3:

ROUND 1

Mayweather starts by showing his speed. Oscar attacks the body. The crowd starts chanting Oscar Oscar.. It’s Vegas, Oscar’s town so you’re gonna get plenty of that. Mayweather landed more shots while Oscar chased him around the ring. The most talked about differences between the two fighters are clear from jump. Oscar is the much bigger man, Floyd has the speed. Round 1 goes to Mayweather 10-9. Mayweather leads 10-9

ROUND 2

Oscar starts round 2 as the aggressor. He’s throwing a lot of punches but I’m not sure how many of them are landing. Emmanuel Stewart just said what I said basically.. Oscar is stalking Floyd around the ring and the crowd starts the Oscar chants again.. Going to the body is clearly a big part of DLH’s game plan. A pretty uneventful round. Round 2 goes to De La Hoya 10-9. Fight tied 19-19

ROUND 3

Oscar starts the round by pumping the jab and going to the body. Oscar’s throwing punches in a flurry. Not too much damage done. Oscar better pace himself.. He tends to wear down late in fights.. Floyd takes charge of the round with defense and by sticking in moving. Round 3 goes to Mayweather 10-9. Mayweather leads 29-28

Rounds 4 thru 6:

ROUND 4

Oscar is walking Floyd down again to start the round. He’s still going to the body.. Floyd is landing the more effective punches but he’s not throwing enough imo. The team of Lampley, Stewart, and Merchant talk about Oscar wearing down in fights.. Oscar pins Mayweather against the ropes and lands 9 consecutive shots to Floyd’s body/elbow. The most action in the fight to this point. De La Hoya is bullying Floyd against the ropes..Floyd works his way back to the middle of the ring.. Oscar’s aggression could be stealing him some rounds. Round 4 goes to De La Hoya 10-9. Fight tied 38-38

Harold Lederman has the score 39-37 Mayweather.

ROUND 5

ODLH starts the round with a bounce in his step as he approaches Mayweather. Floyd lands a left and a right.. Lampley says the power punch stats are 29-108 for Oscar and 33-58 for Floyd. Floyd is finding the range a lot more frequently this round. Oscar gets Floyd against the ropes again but he doesn’t do much with the advantage. Mayweather is really starting to let his hands go. Round 5 goes to Mayweather 10-9. Mayweather leads 48-47

Harold Lederman has the fight 49-46 for Mayweather.

ROUND 6

Lampley reports that Floyd has out power punched Oscar of the last two round 34 to 20. I want to see the Comp-u-Box… I always hear about it, where is the damn thing? Floyd backs into a corner and Oscar takes off on him again. And again it looks like most of the punches missed or were blocked. Mayweather looks like he’s going for the knockout..Oscar does a good job of slipping the punches… This was a close round but I give the edge to Mayweather. Round 6 goes to Mayweather 10-9. Mayweather leads 58-56

We get a shot of Oscar’s wife between rounds.. Not bad, not bad. We get a shot of Floyd Sr.. Terrible. If I didn’t know any better I would say that the Predator caught Danny Glover in P2 and forcibly mated with him.

The good ole Comp-u-Box says through six rounds Oscar has landed 67 of 267 punches or 25%, while Floyd has landed 99 of 248 or 40%.

Rounds 7 thru 9:

ROUND 7

The round goes the first 15 seconds without a punch being thrown. Harold Lederman chimes in with his score, 58-56 Mayweather. Lederman says everytime Oscar and Floyd are staring each other down, Mayweather attacks first, right as Oscar is attacking Floyd first. ODLH is showing some urgency. Floyd is landing single shots.. He’s been pretty accurate tonight, I don’t know why he’s not throwing more. Another close round. This one goes to Oscar. Round 7 goes to De La Hoya 10-9. MayWeather leads 67-66

Mayweather’s corner tells him to “get a lil closer to the muthafucka”

ROUND 8

Oscar dominates the first minute of the round. Lefts, rights, head, and body..Good start for Oscar. The second minute of the fight goes to Mayweather.. As the broadcast team points out, Oscar has stopped throwing his jab. It’s been pretty effective for him and it holds Floyd at bay.. Not sure why he stopped. Oscar flurries at the end of the round but it wasn’t enough to steal number 8 in my book. Round 8 goes to Mayweather 10-9. Mayweather leads 77-75

Why doesn’t HBO show the ringcard girls? They could show them for a hot second.. Just so we can see the talent. I don’t get that. A cable channel that’s home to “CatHouse” can’t show women in a bikini..That makes a lot of sense.

ROUND 9

Floyd controls the first minute and a half from the center of the ring. Stewart and Merchant question why Mayweather is considered a great fighter. Manny says he never considered him great..”He’s a good fighter”. De La Hoya flurries while Floyd is against the ropes. Floyd works it back to the center of the ring where he’s been dominant. Round 9 goes to Mayweather 10-9. Mayweather leads 87-84

More great words of advice in the Mayweather corner. “Whup his ass”. Oscar’s corner tells him to “double up on the jab”.

Rounds 10 thru 12:

ROUND 10

Hey, Harold’s back..All right.. Just kidding. I couldn’t care less. He has the fight 87-84 just like me.. Harold stop copying from my paper.. Larry Merchant has the fight 86-85 Mayweather… Lampley points out that Oscar threw 61 punches in the last round compared to Floyd’s 35. Merchant says from different sides of the ring, the fight looks different.. They must be shooting the fight from the “Floyd is winning side” for tv. The round is plodding along.. Floyd is winning the round by staying busy. Mayweather lands a nice right hand right at the bell. Round 10 goes to Mayweather 10-9. Mayweather leads 97-93

ROUND 11

The round starts with Lampley reporting De La Hoya landed 7 out of 62 punches in round 10 while Floyd landed 20 out of 44. Mayweather has pretty much parked it in the middle of the ring and is letting his hand speed takeover. I don’t know if Oscar’s tired or he just can’t find a way to get to Floyd. It looks like Oscar is getting frustrated by Floyd. Mayweather is starting to pick ODLH apart. Oscar does one of those flurry things again. Oscar lands a big right at the end of the round but it’s not enough. Round 11 goes to Mayweather 10-9. Mayweather leads 107-102

ROUND 12

The round starts with Lederman’s card looking just like mine. Oscar needs a knockout on my card and I would be shocked if he got it. The crowd starts a half-hearted Oscar chant. Floyd responds by pop shotting Oscar. DLH is throwing punches like crazy.. Mayweather is landing the cleaner shots. Merchant says “Cinco de Mayo is becoming May weather”.. The two end the fight throwing furiously. The crowd gives De La Hoya a big cheer. Round 12 goes to Oscar 10-9. Mayweather wins the fight 116-112

THE JUDGES

Tom Kaczmarek(New Jersey) scores it 115-113 for De La Hoya.

Chuck Giampa (Nevada) scores it 116-112 for Mayweather.

Jerry Roth (Nevada) scores it 115-113 for Mayweather.

The decision and post fights interviews:

POST FIGHT

The crowd is chanting bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. It’s a pro Hoya crowd so what else did you expect.

Floyd Mayweather: I’m happy..it was a helluva fight.. that’s what the fans wanted. I told the fans they was gonna get a good fight so we gave em a good fight tonight…..Of course I forgot to thank God for this victory and my team..team Mayweather. Al Hayman, Leonard Ellerbe..we got the best team in the world.. the best trainer in the world is Roger Mayweather pound for pound..c’mon over here Roger

Larry Merchant: Well only you were in the ring tonight..

Floyd Mayweather: This the best trainer right here.

Roger Mayweather: He whupped his ass.

Floyd said he still plans on retiring. We know how boxers do so we’ll see about that.

Jim Lampley: You really believe there’s any chance he’s walking away at the pinnacle of the sport after a victory like this?

Emmanuel Stewart: I told him that at the fighter’s meeting yesterday. NO. I mean he loves this limelight. He was born to be a fighter. He’s just beginning. Now he’s gonna get the attention that he craves. I hope he cuts down on some of his cussing cause he doesn’t have to do that. He is a role model whether he wants to face it or not.

I can only imagine that Floyd’s response to that would be “F-bomb, something something, F-bomb, something something.”

Larry Merchant: Oscar, you made a terrific fight.. Did you think you won it?

Oscar De La Hoya: I felt I won. I felt I landed the hard punches…the crisper punches. Everytime I would hit him it would hurt him and I was pressing the fight so I mean you gotta beat the champion decisively..If I didn’t press the fight there would be no fight.

Unless a boxer gets knocked out they never feel that they lost the fight. Oscar, you lost the fight.

Larry Merchant: How did you see the fight Floyd?

Floyd Mayweather Sr.: Well I’m just gonna be honest with you man. If you wanna call a fight by scoring, point system, I mean by who threw the most punches, you gonna have to give it to Oscar. But if you just going on a guy hitting a guy with single shots then you have to give it to my son. I mean my son..he had good defense.. he caught a lot of punches with his shoulder and his arms but uh it’s still about punches..it’s about a guy throwing punches..as long as a guy is touching you, he’s scoring.

Larry Merchant: So what you’re saying here is that you felt that because Oscar was pressing the fight and throwing a lot of punches and that Floyd jr. was throwing single shots and just blocking punches you could have seen Oscar getting the decision. Is that what you’re saying?

Floyd Mayweather Sr.: I thought the fight was a close fight but it’s just the way the point system go man. If you look at the point system man, who touches who the most….

Larry Merchant: Oscar or Floyd, who won?

Floyd Mayweather Sr.: Hey man, if you go by point system you gonna have to give it to Oscar. If you going by point system.

That is one screwy family. Who did you think Sr. was gonna say won the fight? The son that didn’t get him seats to the fight or a hotel room or the guy that ponied up for him? Exactly…

That wraps up my little coverage of the fight. You can check out how the big boys covered the fight below.

Dan Rafael and Kieran Mulvaney go round for round. Courtesy of ESPN.com

Doug Fischer wraps up the fight. Courtesy of Max Boxing

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Posted in BOXING, EMMANUEL STEWART, FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR., FLOYD MAYWEATHER SR., JIM LAMPLEY, LARRY MERCHANT, LAS VEGAS, OSCAR DE LA HOYA, ROGER MAYWEATHER, ROUND BY ROUND, SPLIT DECISION, SPORTS | 3 Comments »