August 14th’s Random Boxing Rants

Are unnecessary asthma inhalers being used as a PED by Olympic boxing teams?

Victor Conte says ‘yes’:


Thomas Hauser, when asked what 3 words come to mind when he thinks of Wladimir Klitschko: “Intelligent, powerful, PEDs”


Andy Lee vs. Billy Joe Saunders moved from Limerick’s Thomond Park rugby stadium (32k capacity) to an indoor arena in Manchester.

Official reason given: a virus affecting Lee. More credible reason heavily rumoured: poor ticket sales.

Very disappointing that Ireland couldn’t pull off a stadium fight, at least without the support of Sky and/or RTE, the national Irish broadcaster


I don’t know which is a bigger waste of time & money for American boxing fans: $65 for Mayweather-Berto (initially teased as a freebie on CBS) or $50 for the 40+ edition of Mosley-Mayorga II?

Fans would be well advised to keep the money in their wallet for the excellent Golovkin-Lemieux PPV card or long-awaited Cotto-Canelo showdown


As for Mayweather-Berto, what better way to follow up victory in the fight of the century for Mayweather than to fight a badly faded fighter who’s 3-3 in his last 6 fights?

It’s an incredibly insulting mismatch, made even worse when you consider that Berto’s best win is a disputed decision over Luis Collazo a whopping 6 1/2 years ago. Berto is in nobody’s welterweight top ten & lost each round in my view against a faded Josesito Lopez before scoring a sudden ko in his last outing, a performance laughable graded an “A” by the brazen Mayweather.

Ladies and gentlemen, the last man to beat Berto:




Salt water cured Manny Pacquiao’s ‘torn rotator cuff’:

Could’ve used a swim in the sea pre-Mayweather…P.S. the comments section to this brief Tim Starks article is amusing


Showtime exec, aka Al Haymon’s neutered pet poodle, Stephen Espinoza actually thinks Ramadan lasts 8 weeks:–94407

My reaction:




Danny Garcia-Paulie Malignaggi (coming out of semi-retirement)

Keith Thurman-Luis Collazo

Adonis Stevenson-Sakio Bika/Tommy Karpency

Floyd Mayweather-Andre Berto on PPV

Omar Figueroa-Antonio DeMarcoa (coming out of retirement)

Peter Quillin-Michael Zerafa (a part-time stripper)

Beibut Shumenov-BJ Flores

Lucian Bute-Andrea Di Luisa

Deontay Wilder-Eric Molina/Johann Duhaupas

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Miguel Reyes

Anthony Dirrell-Marco Antonio Rubio 


Just a selection, but who do these fights have in common?

A stable of approximately 200 boxers and this is the best you can do?!


28 thoughts on “August 14th’s Random Boxing Rants

  1. What about?

    Mayweather vs Pacquiao

    Omar Figeuroa vs Ricky Burns

    Danny Garcia vs Lamont Peterson

    Adrien Broner vs Shawn Porter

    Andre Dirrell vs James Degale

    Shawn Porter vs Kell Brook

    Marco Huck vs Krystof Glowacki

    Andy Lee vs Peter Quillen

    Vanes Martirosyan vs Willie Nelson

    Jorge Linares vs Kevin Mitchell

    Deontay Wilder vs Bermaine Stivierne

    and of course the upcoming Abner Mares vs Leo Santa Cruz fight which you forgot to mention on your list btw

    Yeah some were bad which is unavoidable in boxing but most like these ones here are good too. And its funny how the boxing media likes to complain about Haymon fights but don’t bat an eye with fights like these from the other promotions.

    Miguel Cotto vs Delvin Rodriguez/ Daniel Gaele

    Sergey Kovalev vs Nadjib Mohammedi

    Manny Pacquiao vs Chris Algieri

    Terence Crawford vs Thomas Dulorme

    GGG vs Willie Monroe Jr

    Nonito Donaire vs Willam Prado/Anthony Settoul

    Andre Ward vs Paul Smith

    At the end of the day boxing is always going to have mismatches. Based on the fact that there are simply not that many top fighters out there and most of them are scattered among petty promoters who will do anything to always protect their investment. But don’t sit there and tell me that Haymon is the only one doing it.

    • Thanks for reading.

      Haymon had nothing to do with Jorge Linares (GB) vs Kevin Mitchell (Matchroom).

      I have no issue with the fights you mentioned involving Kovalev (a mandatory after he had just fought two of top guys in division), GGG (active champion & best available opponent for that date), or Donaire (rebuilding fare taking place on low-key overseas shows). Ward-Smith was an odious mismatch rightfully rejected by HBO and consigned to BET obscurity.

      If you’re going to criticize the Donaire tune-ups, you might as well say the same thing about Mares’ uninspiring confidence-rebuilders since his ko defeat. I didn’t even mention the terrible run that Santa Cruz has been on, collecting near million dollar paydays every time.

      Nowhere did I say that Haymon was the only promoter who has put on mismatches this year, but your argument about fractured stables rings false here. Haymon has a stable of approx. 200 boxers, by far the largest in the sport.

      He has the fighters at his disposal to make compelling fights every time out, but that’s not what we’re getting. For example, think of the talent pool he has at 147 for Thurman and Garcia to face, but instead Collazo and Malignaggi are dredged out of semi-retirement as fodder opponents.

      There is no excuse for those fights. Why can’t we get matchmaking like Mares-Santa Cruz and Garcia-Peterson on a consistent basis? That would grow the sport on national television, not the mismatches which have pulled in mediocre ratings.

      Haymon has the biggest stable, yet HBO has blown away the PBC competition this year, while SHO has suffered from the Haymon association, its boxing content rendered almost non-existent in 2015.

      • I disagree. Haymon has access to some fighters not to all. He has a large stable but its only at Welterweight and Middleweight where he has a consistent stable of fighters where he can make compelling matches everytime. And we are starting to see that.

        If you take no issue with Kovalev and Triple G fights. Why take issue with Floyd vs Berto? Floyd has been in the ring with Alverez, Maidana twice, and supposedly his greatest competition in Pacquiao. If anyone deserves a soft touch its him. And I dare say that Berto is a much better opponent than the two guys that Triple G and Kovalev fought. Two I’ve never heard of and never have fought anyone of note before them.

        Yes there are compelling matches at Welterweight among Haymons stable. But what is the point of giving them right away. I would prefer a build before we get Thurman vs Garcia, or Porter vs Garcia, etc. Giving them right away without a proper build is dumb. Thats what PBC is for to give these guys the spotlight and build up an audience for upcoming fights. Its the build up to fights that make them big. Thats why Mayweather vs Pac was big, Oscar vs Trinidad was big, and Sugar Ray Leonard vs Tommy Hearns was big. You want to count how many mediocre fighters all these guys fought before finally facing each other. The list is endless.

        You say mediocre ratings but the ratings are dead even with HBO and Showtime the majority of the time. Plus PBC is on national television not cable. Not everyone has premium cable. Everyone has national television. Fighters like Garcia, Thurman, Porter are being seen in more homes now then ever before. Instead of just people who own HBO and Showtime.

      • The point is that he has access to many more fighters than anybody else, yet still produces the larger % of mismatches. With much smaller stables, Top Rank and Golden Boy have had a far superior year in terms of matchmaking.

        Mayweather claims to be TBE. That is holding yourself to the highest standard imaginable, which makes fighting a badly faded sub-top ten guy who’s best win is a debatable decision over Luis Collazo a total joke, especially when you add a $65 price tag to it. Indefensible garbage. Again, Kovalev and GGG made the best of limited options, whereas by contrast Mayweather can choose literally anybody to fight & they’ll jump at the chance.

        Of course, build-up through comparison fights is part of boxing, but opponents like Malignaggi and Collazo are cynical fodder & do nothing to whet the appetite for any bigger fights. Does Jacobs-Mora and Quillin-Zerafa really count as an effective build towards a long-awaited Quillin-Jacobs fight? What about Santana and Salka for Peterson-Garcia? If anything, the latter clearly diminished interest in the matchup. What is the purpose of Lara-Delvin Rodriguez & Stevenson-Bika other than providing boring showcases against overmatched competition for inflated paydays?

        I have no horse in the race. I want Haymon to do well. My desire is simply to see the best fights possible, and PBC has a lot of promise. Almost every HBO card this year has been compelling; by contrast it’s obvious going in to the majority of PBC cards that the A-sides will win in lopsided, unexciting fights. PBC & Haymon can and should do better.

    • Yes, I did. Good fight but, in my view, not the FOTY contender many feel it is. I prefered Pascal-Gonzalez, Buglioni-Markham & Lemieux-N’Dam to name just 3, and it may not even be the cruiser fight of the year so far with the Lebedev-Kalenga and Afolabi-Ramirez slugfests to consider. Cruiserweight is boxing’s premier division for action-packed fights, sized as they are in the mould of old-time heavyweights.

      Huck came oh-so-close to surpassing the record for cruiser belt defences he holds jointly with Johnny Nelson, but I’m glad he didn’t. Why? Because he never should have gotten this far with 2 debatable escapes vs. Afolabi, and outright robberies against Lebedev and Arslan (in their first meeting). He often relied on home cooking & it’s not a coincidence that defeat came when he stepped away from his German comfort zone. Still an exciting fighter that will make other action fights going forward, perhaps even at heavyweight.

      Tarver-Cunningham was a dire, slow dance of death between two shot fighters. A sad main event to that card.

      • Couldn’t agree more re Tarver-Cunningham. The delusional Antonio sees it differently, but it must be apparent to everyone else watching that many top hw’s would have demolished him last weekend.

        A very tight race for FOTY, and so far I’ll take Lemieux-N’Dam by a hair. I wonder how many rounds we’ll get from GGG-Lemieux; very interested to find out.

        What did you make of talk of Manny vs. Crawford? Pacquiao’s miracle shoulder recovery (“Jesus is my chiropractor”) would seem to have come not a moment too soon — for lo, the tax man cometh. The interest in Crawford as an opponent speaks volumes about the growing marketability of the Nebraska star; it seems like only yesterday we were wondering if he could get noticed.

      • Tarver is delusional and, by all accounts, broke, recently bailed out of huge casino debts by a handout from Haymon.

        I’m confident a classic fight will emerge in second half of this year to better what we’ve seen so far.

        Ever since Crawford beat Gamboa and emerged as a top talent with a significant hometown following, a Pacquiao fight down the road seemed likely. It makes sense to me as a likely passing of the torch from the old Top Rank star to a man Arum hopes will carry the company into the future. A problem for Crawford as a PPV sell though is his utter lack of personality.

        Crawford’s matchmaking this year has been disappointing after such a good 2014. Dulorme and Dierry Jean are underwhelming foes, but, right now, I’d favour Crawford over an ageing Pacman if they met next year.

  2. I’d favor him, too. My caveat would be Pac vs. Bradley, though I think that Manny is gone now. You do too, it appears. He could bathe daily in water from Lourdes and not get his old self back.

    True also about Crawford’s personality. He is a midwesterner, through and through. To be any flashier in this region is to be thought overbearing or pretentious; you can see how this cultural self-editing arbitrates for the midwest being largely overshadowed by our coasts.

    Sorry to learn about Tarver’s debts. I’d assumed something of the sort had him declaring, ludicrously enough, “This is MY time,” the almost-universal cry of the broke boxer.

    Had a look in at last weekend’s Roy Jones embarrassment. Whooping on another barely .500 club fighter (and taking six rounds to find the punch). You know, this would be like Stanley Kubrick with Alzheimers directing the next Adam Sandler movie. And demanding one hundred takes of Adam doing a sneezing bit.

    Sport can do for one’s heroes in ways little else can.

    • Good caveat, but two years on and post-surgery I think he’s ripe to be picked off by a young lion, and Crawford has a better style to do it than Bradley did.

      Very true, I didn’t bother watching that Roy fight. He’s fighting two more bums in the coming weeks, compiling a dubious win streak, on his way no doubt to an eventual horrid beating against a world level cruiserweight. Lol @ the Kubrick/Sandler image. Roy is in similar financial straits to Mosley and Tarver it seems.

      I did, however, see Roy as ringside guest at the recent Kashtanov-Valera card (there’s 4 hours of my life I’m never getting back) in Yalta, Crimea. Incredibly, Jones met with Putin and signed papers for a Russian passport, and was then declared an enemy of the state by Ukraine. Roy did his usual partially lip-synced rap performance before the main event: a sad, and unintentionally hilarious, sight.

  3. I missed that Roy-Vlad lovefest, but heard about it. A UK YouTube boxing commentator by the name of Hatman was holding forth on it, rather amusingly.

    Has Vlad promised Roy a dacha next to Steven Seagal and Gerard Depardieu, I wonder. He will soon have his own stable of washed-up westerners to, erm, flout. And help him wrestle polar bears.

    Incidentally, since we put a pro-Washington, anti-Russian government in the Ukraine, do you know which of our leading politician’s sons has — purely by chance, of course — materialized on the board of directors at its Burisma Holdings, the gas and oil giant? Hint: his discharge on cocaine charges from the Navy merely left him more time to devote to energy concerns. And to family.

    • The incestuous, ‘scratch my back’ world of politics never ceases to amaze, hence why I usually steer well clear of it. Boxing politics are bad enough!

      Lol @ Putin’s obsession with washed up Westerners…although I loved Depardieu in the recent Ferrara film, ‘Welcome to New York’!

  4. Yep, politics is a sewer. The energy bigwig is our vice president’s son.

    I must catch that Ferrara, long been fond of his work. Did you happen to see the last Jarmusch? Wondering if it’s any good; I loved his films until The Limits of Control.

    • Apologies for late reply, going thru some computer issues.

      Yes, I had googled and discovered it was Biden Jr.

      Really looking forward to Ferrara’s Pasolini, which will show on these shores soon. I haven’t seen much Jarmusch, but The Limits of Control left me cold too. I really enjoyed Stranger than Paradise, which seems to me to have been influenced by Herzog’s eccentric Stroszek, which I viewed recently.

  5. Must see Stroszek and other early Herzog (sadly I know only Aguirre: The Wrath of God and Nosferatu among his fictions). Don’t know why I’ve waited, I really liked those films and his docs.

    Stranger Than Paradise is a treat, yet I think Jarmusch hits his stride later with the often very funny Night on Earth and the transcendent Dead Man (which has the best Native American character I’ve ever seen on screen). Ghost Dog and especially Broken Flowers seemed to point to a way of doing ironic character studies while grounding them in social reality. An expansive cinema, even when it was declaring itself an outsider one; all in contrast to a much-copied insular Sundance model. I thought, and still think, America is a lot like Jarmusch represents it in his best films — and as Hollywood never would do.

    A friend has just made me aware of Aleksy German’s “It’s Hard To Be A God,” discussed in passing this week in the LRB, and shiningly reviewed by the following Amazon user who bids us to “imagine a hellish, rank stew of ‘The Devils’, ‘Apocalypse Now’, ‘Andrei Rublev’, Werner Herzog’s pantheon of films about deranged monomaniacs, and add a little ‘Blood Meridian’, Cormac McCarthy’s relentless tale of dead-hearted scalp hunters lost in an world of of violence, as seasoning.”

    Seen it? I’m going to be hunting it down with all haste!

    • I rewatched Nosferatu the other day also, very funny film actually! I’m working my way through my BFI Herzog collection.

      I have a couple of friends who are Jarmusch fans, so your recommendations only add to my need to see more.

      Yes, I’d come across that film a while back. Sounds very intriguing (and an adaptation of a novel by the brothers who wrote the story Tarkovsky’s Stalker is based on), and My Friend Ivan Lapshin has long been on my (frankly mammoth) to-see list.

      The 3rd Libertines album is released over here tomorrow!

      • My wife heard a track on the car radio today. Her verdict: an older-sounding Pete in good voice. Looks from our public radio website like it will have been Gunga Din.

        Pleased to see the new album title making a nod to Wilfred Owen who, like Siegfried Sassoon, was a poet I read in college and never stopped reading. That WWI verse had all but vanished from public discourse until one day I saw these two greasy-haired musicians on a video reciting Sassoon’s “Suicide in the Trenches” to an awards ceremony. Fuck me, I thought, who can they be… And that was my way into the music.

        Yes, noticed that myself about the source material in the Aleksy German film. I am mad for Roadside Picnic, btw, having read it in both translations.

        Envy you that BFI collection. What would you recommend?

      • FYI, the Bradley/Atlas pairing has been confirmed!

        Haha quite a way to get into the Libertines. I like Gunga Din & will be getting the album in next week or so.

        It’s a fantastic collection: so far my favourites have been Stroszek, Aguirre, Heart of Glass and Land of Silence and Darkness, although each film is interesting in some way, and it’s a lot of fun to watch some of his early shorts.

  6. Hungry for more Solaris, I watched the Soderbergh last night.

    Largely good film imo and vastly undeserving of the fate it suffered. Glad I saw it.

    I won’t do an A:B comparison to Tarkovsky but instead take it on its own ample merits. I liked the jellyfish-blue FX for the planet; the somber and wordless moments; the intelligent score; the supporting cast (Davies especially); McElhone’s acting; the editing pace; one or two places where Soderbergh refused to do reveals (e.g., Viola Davis’ visitor); good old Dylan Thomas who I know by heart.

    Where it doesn’t work as well for me isn’t going to surprise you — its concessions. It’s too worried about being explicit and comprehensible. Obviously, this strategy didn’t work out commercially, as attested by the dismal box office (and the shower of philistines raging about it on IMDb). For me, the American need for these crutches marred what he carefully worked toward elsewhere in the film. Not ruined, mind, but I sighed in those heavily underlined expository passages. I bet Soderbergh did, too.

    What I mostly didn’t go for: the chick flick flashbacks. Partly this is down, I think, to Clooney, who can play the distrusting and painful material but is too self-consciously perfect when in God’s Gift mode. Day-Lewis, had he taken the role, would have brought more friction, more internal contradictions, an absence of treacle. However I think this was always going to be a problem with Soderbergh’s thematic focus in the script. Structurally, I admired how he folded in the past, but his division of time requires he use shorthand in those glimpses. For economy’s sake, their language is inevitably pat, an overlay of the glossy, advertising-influenced ordinary. It doesn’t sit well on top his more extraordinary approach to the present narrative time.

    Something else. I felt another imposition resulting from the body of science fiction film since 1972. There’s a Ridley Scott/James Cameron-style setup used upon arrival in the station, i.e., bloodstreaks on the walls conditioned by our cultural training that space=monsters. I would have had Steven cut that device, along with about three or four minutes of expository dialogue, several cloying flashbacks, and the half-happy ending. I’d have ended the film on the last second of the shot of the boy visitor reaching out his finger, Sistine Chapel-like, to the dying Clooney. (Yes, had he listened to me, I could have reduced the film’s gross by another few million!)

    What it all suggests to me is that, in contrast to the period in 1960s and 1970s when Tarkovsky and Kubrick made their admittedly difficult, abstract epics, by 2002 the cinema audience would not sit still even for a good, artful conceptual film made gorgeously, in full awareness of their limits, and with talent to spare. As the late critic Roger Ebert observed, “If they thought Soderbergh’s smart, seductive rhythms were boring, they would have been catatonic after the Tarkovsky version.” Not to give Ebert too much credit here for in the very next breath he went on to endorse having Harvey Weinstein cut “hours” from Tarkovsky’s oeuvre in order to make it more audience-friendly.

    • Enjoyed reading your detailed take on the film, thanks.

      “Shower of philistines” made me laugh!

      It’s been a while since I’ve seen the film, but it’s weaknesses do lie in the ‘necessary’ commercial concessions these days in making a movie in Hollywood, even if that film is arthouse in style. (One wonders how Terrence Malick gets away with what he does and is an exception to this rule)

      The Weinstein-Tarkovsky comment by Ebert is truly awful. While we’re at it, how about we let Harvey have a go with his scissors, or chisel, at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel?!

  7. Meant to comment on your Bradley/Atlas remark — that’s incredible. For my money the reappearance of Teddy in the ring is the exciting part. I don’t think there’s anything wrong, per se, with Bradley. Do you?

    • He needs to box more and not let his heart rule his head. I know you are of the same opinion as I am that Bradley looks past his prime, which is all the more reason to stay out of brawls & use his skills.

      Teddy in the corner, and on 24/7, is sure to be great entertainment. It’s truly a pairing of two of boxing’s most intense characters.

      • Well said!

        I hope Tim fights a couple more times, and then retires. Too nice a fellow. Maybe Teddy, honest to a painful degree, will be instrumental in helping him in this way, too, yeah?

        My immersion in Lem-Tarkovsky-Soderbergh isn’t over yet. I’m reading the new translation of Lem’s novel — the first English version, as it turns out, finally to be based directly on his Polish manuscript and not on an intermediary French translation. Stunning book.

        Usually I would consider a novel ruined in some sense by having seen an adaptation first, but plot here is only a scaffolding to hang his moral universe on. Rather like the genius Tarkovsky, whose films I will now be fully investigating.

      • I really look forward to your take on the oeuvre of Tarkovsky, my favourite filmmaker alongside Malick

        I agree that Teddy should be useful in that sense, unafraid to speak the truth and tell Tim straight if the time comes to hang them up.

        I admire your Solaris obsession haha. One subject we haven’t discussed in detail is our literary tastes

  8. Likewise, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on Tarkovsky. I’m thrilled to be discovering him.

    I’ll have to work on my Malick. Embarrassed to admit I have been circling his work for years without plunging in.

    How goes your latest work?

    • My laptop crashed two weeks ago so that’s set my editing back, but the final day of shooting went perfectly, thanks for asking.

      Looking forward to discussing both of the masters with you

      • Oh fuck, bad break. Luckily all other footage still intact, then?

        Suffered a loss of a pile of work some years ago, felt like the heavens had opened and stuck an eraser into my heart.

        Let me know when you have a cut.

      • Thankfully all my footage is obviously backed up, but I have lost some work, and the completion of the film has been set back. I will of course keep you updated

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