Hey everyone. I am finally back to the Laptop, got the Big Punisher rockin (Capital punishment is one of the greatest Rap Albums ever). I was informed by one of my fellow writers that they want to see me go back to penning my opinion as oppose to just doing interviews. During my very short break this was something I thought about and I thought about how I should conduct Christians Corner going forward. My conclusion was to keep doing what I am doing. I believe that it has been working and has drawn praise from my contemporaries. I believe however that a good old-fashioned boxing rant is in order and my friends there is plenty to bitch about. Boxing and the people that it involves from a sociological point of view is an organized circus with elements of the Mafia. Everyday I wake up and either surf to my boxing mail or check out the wire and with out fail something else has happened that does not pass the smell test. The following in my estimation are such occurrences that have occurred in the last couple weeks. I may or may not also through in some news worthy tidbits as well.
Manny and Bob Arum
Quite honestly I will go ahead and stick my foot in my mouth as it pertains to certain aspects of the event. The live gate is one of them. A friend tells me (the people running the event always pump up the gate) that they broke 50,000. Kudos and many props are in order. No question. Bob Arum and Jerry Jones succeeded in selling the worst PPV main event since Wrestlemaina 7(Hulk Hogan Vs Sgt Slaughter). Bob also did it on a massive scale. The Venue and the crowd carried a show that was piss poor all the way around. The undercard was uglier then medusa. I was sitting there with Riddick Bowe and company watching the fight and it was a true root canal watching the undercard. If you think of all the fighters that Bob Arum has in his stable one has to believe that he could furnish more relevant boxing action then the BS we were subjected to last Sat Night. I was actually slated to go to the fight and if I had traveled all the way to Dallas for an undercard like that I would have been ape sh&t. The best fighter on the undercard was Humberto Soto who is a glorified B fighter with no following and an unexciting style not to mention 11 losses. David Diaz is a joke. Alfonso Gomez is a club fighter, and how bout them placing Jose L. Castillo on the televised part of an HBO PPV? Horrible. The announcers were having some dictional difficulties as well. I am a big fan of the team usually but what in the world was going on last Sat night? Mabye they were in awe of the venue and all the pageantry. Mabye they knew that they were handed some poopy cards in terms of the actual action and attempted to be too witty and have TOO much of an impact on the event for the viewers. Jim’s BANG ran was simply an attempt to put his stamp on Manny’s performance for the Greatest Hits highlight reel. It was a disaster of an attempt but I actually understand what he was trying to do.
The fight was…well horrible to be honest. Josh Clottey is a criminal. He robbed boxing fans everywhere of an all action fight and he did it with a smile. He had his lips placed firmly on Manny’s buttocks (as did everyone) through out the weekend. Who, at the biggest fight of their life, laughs at the gosh darn weigh in? Josh had been handed the BIGGEST stage of his career and he went about it with the softness of Brother Love. I do not hate Josh but I do resent him and his sweet ass performance. Manny on the other hand turned in a highly aggressive and superbly impressive performance. He asserted himself despite being the smaller man and pressed the action non-stop. Manny did what he was supposed to do. He came to fight and he appeared to be in tiptop shape as well. I am very curious to know the testing standards of the “EVENT” but that is another blog for another day. What comes next is a point of much debate. Bob Arum has been quoted by a lot of people in recent weeks as saying that Margacheato is next in line. The same Margarito who is as licensed to fight as I am. The Same Margarito who brings no fanfare to the game and is a walking talking boxing Disgrace. Max Kellerman in the midst of a dead broadcast did say one thing right
Mk: if they make the MP/AM fight it is a crime against boxing
Yes it is Max, and Arum has proven he is willing and able to place his personal agenda above any single entity including history. As I delineated in my Manny blog the Manny/Floyd fight will never happen. Manny wants the power to Cheat and Floyd will be dammed to give him that power. We should all accept right now that the two most likely will never meet. So what that means Unified is that all of this talk of Manny’s next opponent has true merit and should not be taken lightly. Juan Manuel Marquez, Edwin Valero and Senor Scumbag seem to the list of early nominees. We just pontificated on Bony Margarito. Juan Manuel Marquez contains no upside to the Pacman whatsoever. None. Not much money and he stands to lose more by losing then he could gain by winning. Not to mention even in the event that fight came to the table it would have to be following a second consecutive failed negociciation between Top Rank(Manny) and Floyd(GoldenBoy). Richard has already said that any Golden Boy fighter that fights Manny from here on out WILL require USDA testing. In fact Juan came out and said that a couple of months ago. Not to mention I don’t see Bob and Richard being too happy with each other if they yet again can not come to an agreement over the drug testing issue. This is boxing; this is not a group of people holding hands singing we are the world. So Juan is out. Now Edwin Valero is something I will buy multiple shares of at 15 dollars a share. THAT is a viable fight and on paper could be a shit show. Edwin Valero not only would be an extremely live dog he also would not back down. The whole reason he signed with Top Rank in his words is to “get the Manny Pacquaio fight” He is an undefeated world champion that has constructed the prime of his career around getting that fight. The only person as of now I want to see Manny fight other then Floyd is certainly Edwin Valero. Edwin would be licensed in Texas. Bob Arum would have no problems making the fight. Edwin would take an 80/20 split to get it. Bob has told me that the Edwin Valero fight is one he has thought about for years. Get it done.
Don King has not done his part to help boxing in recent weeks. I am not sure what goes on behind the scenes of Don King Promotions but from a distance the organization seems to be run at a chaotic level. Don King for different reasons has cost the boxing world 3 relevant title fights inside of a month. He can paint what eve picture he wants to the boxing media I am not one of those writers who is drinking the Kool-Aid. First we had the Tavoris cloud fiasco. What in the world was that? Yes I personally adore Lou Dibella but trust me that isn’t clouding the issue. Glenn Johnson fresh off his 6 round destruction of Yusaf Mack had emerged as Clouds Mandatory. The IBF then mandated the fight and set a purse bid. Lou Dibella won the purse bid and the fight was set to take place on the televised undercard of Berto/Quintana. On March 2nd I got an email from Dibella entertainment about the press conference scheduled to announce the HBO card. The email had everything, the time, date, the fighters, and phone numbers for the media to call in the event of any questions. Clouds name and number were on the list. I could not make the press conference because I had already committed to the $/Sugar tour stop in DC which coincidentally was the same day. While I was at the press conference a mainstream reporter confided to me that Don King was going to step in and blow up the Cloud/Johnson title fight. I told him impossible because I had been getting a steady stream of media emails concerning the event as recently as 4 hours ago. “Christian trust me Don King is in the process of signing Cloud and will have the fight delayed” . I will give my friend credit, he called it. I got home to hear the awful news. I Shot Lou an email but he was tied up trying to fill the now vacated spot. Don as usual played the denial card and acted with true impunity when questioned about his questionable timing of the fight in question. Don claimed there was no contract and it was HE who had been contacted by Cloud’s people. If that was the case why didn’t Don make an official announcement? Cloud is a VERY hot prospect that happens to own a title so you would figure that type of signing would incline Don to go public. The other strange thing about this issue is Cloud’s reasoning for pulling out of the fight. Even though Cloud had changed promoters the IBF mandate remains the same. So in signing with Don he still was expected to fight on the 10th. Cloud then told the media that he was suffering from a Ham String issue. This issue would prevent him from being able to fight on the 10th and therefore would force him pull out. What is funny about that is my friend from a fellow boxing website saw Tavoris in CT a couple of days later at the Alexander/Urango fight and he broke out into a full out sprint playfully chasing a woman in the parking lot. When I heard that I became SICK and I also put two and two together. Don signed Cloud and then advised him to pull out of the fight so when the bout does take place the terms would be terms that Don has had a hand in. See Unified Don would have inherited the fight contract as oppose to having a hand in its creation which was motive to have Cloud lie to the world and conduct a production worthy of Broadway.
Then we have the Spinks/Cunningham event. Don has done everything he can to sabotage this card. He also is doing everything he can to sabotage their respective careers. The card was slated to take place originally on Friday night fights on March 26th. The plans had actually been laid in January when HBO and Showtime passed on the card. I can see that logic. I know its not an A level event worthy of a premium cable network it certainly is a world class championship card. ESPN as everyone knows has a standard contract with all of their fights. It is non negotiable and it is iron clad. It essentially gives you no rights to anything that the card will generate. It also is not very lucrative. That is why Friday Night Fights is the 5th option when Promoters are trying to secure TV rights. The exposure of ESPN far outweighs the stipulated monetary allocation. Don knows this and still attempted to barter a contract that has been the same for 5 thousand years. Don produced correspondence proving that ESPN was willing to listen to Don’s ideas but in the end they simply refused because they have a limited budget and a certain way of doing things. In light of this Cunningham who has not fought in a year looks to be shelved until further notice. I have heard rumors about Chicago and Main events salvaging his fight but that is not set in stone by any means. I have not however gotten any emails about Cory Spinks being saved. Cory Spinks Defeated Deandre Latimore almost (April 24th 2009) a year ago. He has held the IBF middleweight title for 320 plus days with out defending it. This could only take place in Don’s Reality. Don’t get me wrong, a part of me feels that Cory wants to bask in the glow of being champion based on how long he went with out a title. The other part of me believes that Don is simply attempting to pull one of his old tricks. When Don has a champion, no matter how much talent they have, he keeps them on the shelf in order to make the claim that he has a stable full of “Champions”. He does this at the expense of peoples careers. The problem is now he is doing it at an insane level and it is costing boxing fans decent fights. Before we close the book on Don we have to discuss the Valuev/ Vitali issue. I attempted to speak to Shelly Finkel about this and I will but according to sources Valuev was commanding a 60/40 split plus a share of the TV revenue? No I am sorry. Don King was demanding such terms. How is King in any position to ask for a portion of the TV rights? Valuev is not a draw. He is an awful heavyweight. His only saving grace is his size. Even in Mother Russia where he is from he is not a draw. Not at all. He was beaten by Ruiz twice if you ask this writer. He lost to Holyfield in the worst decision in Boxing history. He then was thoroughly outclassed by David Haye. He has done nothing of substance in the sport of boxing to command anything but minimal allocations. The fact that he was asking for relative financial parity with a world class, monster draw(in Germany) of a fighter makes no sense to me and it somewhat agitating to be quite honest. I was eager to see Vitali knock his punk ass out. Oh well. Mabye next time.
I believe myself to be quite an astute observer of the sport of boxing. I believe that between my contacts, emails and reading that I am usually in the know before the public is. I may not write about it but I know about it. Why Amir Khan is being given the respect he is being given is befuddling me. I can’t figure it out and at this point it is beginning to tax my emotions. Like REALLY annoy me. Every day I read headlines I read something else from a fighter who is unproven at best. He is for starters a paper champion. The belt that underwrites his current position is made of trees dude. He was stopped inside of a minute by a fighter that could work the McDonalds drive through. He had trouble dispensing with a shot Marco Antonio Barrera even though the Hall of Famer was suffering from a horrible cut. He then for whatever reason is given an unreasonable position at the table when it came to Juan Manuel Marquez. Shame on Golden Boy for dissing Juan Manuel Marquez like that. Juan Manuel has paid his dues, is a hall of famer and certainly is the bigger name here in the states. I give Juan Manuel big time street credit for walking away. What has Amir done to get that type of respect? Then as I blogged on, the Magic Man question was causing quite a stir in boxing circles. Paulie is not a huge draw but he does draw in New York. He is a respected veteran with a name. Can Amir Claim the same thing? Lou Dibella told Christians Corner that they wanted to make the fight but not if the proposed terms were impractical. More power to him dude. Who is Amir Khan? Then I hear that Amir wants to fight FMJ at some point and hand him his first loss. You gotta be sh@ttin me. Amir as it stands now would have been an under dog to Juan Manuel. The fight with Paulie will be a pick em. He would be an underdog to Devon and Timothy. I even think soft Victor Ortiz could give him a run for his money. In so many words he is not even in the top 4 in his division so how in the world can he speak with such an EGO? Because of he was a medalist? A silver medal and 50 cents gets you a bus ticket from this writer. Give me a break. I am going to actually be speaking to the outspoken “world” champion in short order so I will leave him alone until that day comes…for now
William Joppy called Christians Corner on Friday to announce his retirement from the sport of boxing. It was shocking for this writer to receive such a call because I have never gotten that type of phone call. It was sad, William according to Ring Magazine is one of the top ten middleweights of the last ten years. He is a two time middleweight champion and has shared the ring with all the great fighters of his time at his weight. I ask him why he came to this decision and he told me
WJ: I realized in my last fight in the middle of the fight that I do not want to do this anymore. I am just not motivated by the sport in general anymore. I am also tired of getting hit Christian. I am tired of getting hit upside my head. Boxing is a Young mans game. I am going to get out now while I still have my wits about me. I am not stuttering or anything like that so now is a good time to go
I asked him what he plans to do now
WJ: I love the sport Christian, I will teach it and promote it. God Blessed me to be able to do both once my career has come to an end. I will go ahead and do that now you know what I’m Saying
William’s career had many fantastic moments. I asked him his favorite in his opinion
WJ: The first time I wont the title in Japan, I to this day can’t describe the feeling
I recently covered the Jimmy Lange fight in Fairfax, VA. It was a good undercard, it was actually a better undercard then the one Top rank would turn in a week later. The main event was eventful to say the least. Jimmy Lange as I blogged on a couple of weeks ago is an up and coming local fighter who was on the CUSP of a big money fight. He was on a winning streak of sorts and was being mentioned a possible opponent for John Duddy. Actually John Duddy mentioned him as a possible opponent to yours truly twice. It was the first fight that I covered that took place 15 min from my house. At that fight I met some local celebs and was treated to a strange and disappointing main event. Jimmy at the weigh in the day before weighed in at 150 pounds. He looked VERY thin. Too thin. I mentioned to the reporter next to me that 150 pounds is starched weight to come in at for a fight set to be contested at 154 pounds. It almost reminded of Oscar when he fought Manny. Then after the weigh in I saw Jimmy in the restaurant that hosted the weigh in and he was not hungry while all the other fighters including his opponent gorged like starving bears. He remarked to me that he had made weight “2 weeks ago” That was somewhat odd to me because most fighters that I speak to or see after a weigh in are struggling all the way around. I mean Miguel Espino looked like he was willing to eat Human flesh when I interviewed him after a weigh in. The next night, almost 40 hours later, Jimmy still weighed in at 150 pounds unofficially. There was no rehydration whatsoever. The other problem that Jimmy ran into was Chase Shields. Chase was an impressive boxer puncher. He gave Jimmy all sorts of problems in the first 4 or 5 rounds. This writer had it a shut out for the first 1/3 of the fight. Chase was moving, catching punches, and countering with blistering straight lefts(he is a southpaw). He also was taking advantage of a flawed game plan. Jimmy seemed to be totally focused on the body, at times me and the other writers in press row noticed that he was not even looking at Chase’s head and in doing that was taking A LOT of shots to the face because he simply was not even looking up. Towards the middle rounds Jimmy began to pick it up, he began to cut the ring off effectively cornering Chase and hurting him with shots to the body. Jimmy would win about 4 rounds in a row when disaster struck.
Things began to get strange when one of the ring girls took the wrong round card into the ring. For about 3 rounds no one in the building seemed to know what round it was. I have never seen anything like it. This writer believes that the fight was actually 13 rounds long due to the mathematical ineptitude of those in charge of keeping track of the rounds. It was quite humorous to me and Tim Stark from Queensbury rules. Once that was solved I saw something I have never seen on TV let alone covering a fight. In the 10th round Jimmy was pressing the action hurting Chase when the LIGHTS WENT OUT. I mean completely out. The entire arena was dark. It was simply bizarre. No body knew what to do. Like nobody knew what this meant. Massive Confusion descended upon the event organizers like a hurricane. I have never seen anything like it. Once they realized that the problem could not be fixed in short order they began to come up with back up plans. The first contingency was to shine SPOT LIGHTS on the ring. They actually tried that. We could not believe it. It was blinding. It reminded me of 24/7 when a fighter is shadowing boxing solo in a ring. It was an awful attempt to band-aid the situation. Once it was clear that was not going to work they turned on the general lighting in the arena, which was better then nothing. But that within itself was strange because it reminded me of the WWF in 70’s. Remember? When the general lighting would be low and the arena would be full of Cigar smoke. During the course of all this Brian Bishop (my friend and head of the event) looked like he wanted kick someone in the balls. He was absolutely irate. He had every right to be.
At the beginning of the 11th round the lighting was restored and the fight resumed. It appeared to everyone that the break had served Chase Shields better then it served Jimmy. Chase began to put together nasty combinations dropping Jimmy in the 11th and almost stopping him. Jimmy was stumbling all over the ring and appeared to be a beaten man. His appearance was accurate. He would lose a decision on all three scorecards. Chase Shields had come into Jimmy’s hometown and taken his title from him. It was a shocking defeat and sad for this writer personally. I had grown fond of Jimmy and had followed him up until this unfortunate turn of events. After the fight I attended the post fight press conference. Before the fighters entered I hung out with my new friend Jackie Kallen. Jackie Kallen is the bomb diggity. Jackie is the woman Meg Ryan portrayed in the Movie “Against the ropes”. I spent a good amount of time with Jackie through out the weekend and we have exchanged emails since. The press conference was somber although Chase Shields was a bit annoying to this writer while being questioned. He made some smart remarks that did not endear people to him if you know what I mean. Jimmy on the other hand was determined to get his title back and admitted that he was “Flat”. I don’t think so. I think he was over trained and it caught up with him. The weight issue to me is the biggest red flag. I believe he can correct it though. I attended his post fight party and Jimmy came up to me and told me “ I am sorry Christian”. I told him to not be sorry for anything. I told him that I was behind him 100 percent and so was Unifiedchamp.com. Jimmy is set to get his rematch July 10th in Houston and I hope he gets the retribution that he has worked so hard for.
Gets at me fellas, peace
Christian is the Senior writer for Unifiedchamp.com