19 thoughts on “Video – “The Fight Game” with Jim Lampley: Episode 20

  1. Thanks for this. Enjoyed Lampley’s “this jury convicts!” crimestopper bit on Margarito’s hand wraps. Melodramatic, but fun. The puff piece on Oscar, meanwhile, was practically an infomercial, one with a key missed opportunity: I longed for lovely Michele Beadle to offer to loan him her lingerie.

    Lampley’s insinuation that Fury can fairly be regarded an “ill wind that blows no good” was the nadir. Please, it’s not as if Wlad’s fights have been cliffhangers in ages. HBO also has their own empire of dullness. If he’s going to berate Fury, Lamps should apologize for Rigondeaux’s cautious performances or their long profitable association with Mayweather’s snoozers. I expect the subtext here is the uncouth Fury doesn’t fit the gentleman-scholar fantasy that HBO works so hard to promote. (Oscar knows the score: look at the fake books on his office bookshelf. Say, is that the Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire I spy beside the potted fern? Or Leather Maidens From Phobos?)

    No points either for the claim Max came up with that we should care more about Deontay Wilder. Of course the protected Wilder’s more “exciting” beating up journeymen. Shameful.

    • Wow, what a night of boxing!

      Enzo hands Russian Roy his first & hopefully final brutal knockout, and AJ-Whyte (fight of the year candidate) & Eubank-Spike both exceed expectations…and the huge upset loss for Olympic champ Luke Campbell too. The British card was the card of the year.

      Your thoughts on it all?

      Lampley near tears, as usual, at the end of the faux trial!

      Lol @ “fake books”, presumably behind which lies the lingerie closet: http://www.manorbindery.co.uk/secret_doors.htm

      Max & Jim are entitled to their opinions, but Fury is a breath of fresh, if politically incorrect, air & his achievement in beating Klitschko makes a mockery of Wilder’s facile ‘world title’ showcases.

      • Hell of a great night!

        That card was a fan’s Xmas gift come early. Action, suspense, KOs, even an upset.

        Eubank Jr. impressed me with his improved offensive accuracy and dismayed me with his shocking defensive decisions. He really does make things hard for himself, doesn’t he? Mentally, I mean: too much Gatti in him. Because clearly, as he managed distance better in the later rounds, it’s possible for him to avoid taking such clubbing shots. But he wants to trade.

        For his part, AJ looks suddenly mortal, but now can say he’s come through fire cleverly and decisively. I am not entirely sure if the contestable early part of the fight is a fairer measure of Whyte’s gifts or AJ’s vulnerability. (Cf. Wilder’s being similarly rocked in recent outings by low-calibre opposition.) But his ferocity, his love of violence and willingness to exchange, is every bit as acute as in Eubank Jr. and makes both immensely watchable. Your thoughts?

        Hats off to O’Sullivan and Whyte, brave guys who had their heart broken. Good retirement decision by Spike’s corner. Watch out, Saunders!

        What do you think is the future for Luke Campbell? Were you at all surprised?

        LOL @ that bookcase door. 🙂

      • One of the best cards, and, Enzo-Roy taken into consideration, nights of boxing in recent years. Thrilling entertainment that left me breathless. Two upsets with Barroso knocking out Mitchell (to earn a shot at Anthony Crolla), and Bellew-Masternak was fun.

        All heart, no head from Eubank. I couldn’t believe I was watching an Adam Booth fighter in there. Played with fire, but man was it exciting. He’s obviously nowhere near ready for Jacobs & I’d be surprised if he’s sent to New York to fight him next year.

        I knew the AJ journey would be exciting, but this was a surprisingly early test of his mettle. He flirted with disaster and it’s telling of how raw he is that he struggled so mightily the first time he faced somebody with ambition, a decent chin and who threw punches of his own in return.

        A world level fighter would likely have ended matters in the 2nd, which puts the kibosh on the hype merchants who would have us believe that he’s already one of the best in the world. Defence needs improving, and he lacked fluency in there at times, appearing stiff in the shoulders. Those improbable muscles had him gulping oxygen mighty early too. On the plus side, he’ll have gained a lot of experience & his composure from round 4 onwards to break Whyte down was admirable, as was the spectacular finish.

        Spike & Whyte both see their stock rise in defeat, and can come again. I see Joshua-Whyte II in the future. Maybe Chisora next?

        Perfect stoppage by Spike’s corner. It boggles the mind that the same corner let Buglioni absorb a full 12 rounds of hellacious punishment against Chudinov. Maybe they’ve learned a valuable lesson.

        The Campbell loss is one of the biggest upsets of the year, as he was one of the sport’s brightest prospects.

        He’ll learn a lot from the loss but was seriously exposed at this stage of his development. His weak, amateurish punches hardly penetrated Mendy’s guard at all, and, as a bantamweight amateur, clearly he had trouble dealing with pressure from a decently skilled, natural lightweight. In fact, Mendy has gone 12 rounds with Postol at jr. welter.

        A lot of work for “Cool Hand” to do, but I still think that someday he will win a world title, but the expected showdown next year with Anthony Crolla is down the tubes.

  2. Superb analysis, Jeremy, really enjoyed it.

    You mentioned in passing the latest Jones Jr. disgrace. Have you seen this piece? I admired it; it’s also sickening. Once past the preliminaries, there is a surprisingly vivid and penetrating type of gothic horror — an autopsy of the spirit. Schrader’s film of the novel Affliction comes to mind. Wear your asbestos suit, this is hell.

    http://thelab.bleacherreport.com/roy-jones-jr-s-br-long-goodbye/

    • Thanks.

      I had bookmarked that article a few days ago & just finished it. Very good read: insightful about his past and present & really humanizes Roy, who evidently went through hell to earn all he’s achieved.

      All that was missing was a discussion on what he’s doing in Russia masquerading as a citizen. Obviously, it’s a money grab. He’s evidently entrenched with the Night Wolves biker gang also, whose leader (nicknamed ‘The Surgeon’ – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Zaldostanov) joined him in pre-fight prayer and post-defeat consolation.

      A tip of the hat to Enzo Maccarinelli & his team, by the way, who reacted in sombre, respectful fashion after inflicting the knockout.

      It reminds me of a late conqueror of Sugar Ray Robinson’s, who upon being congratulated on his win by a journalist replied “I didn’t beat Sugar Ray. I beat his ghost”.

      P.S. That is one Schrader film I’ve yet to see!

      Saw Terence Davies’ (one of my favourite filmmakers, whom I met and had a terrific chat with at a film festival a few years back) Sunset Song. Quality film, but not among his best. Distant Voices, Still Lives is one of the best British films ever, and his trilogy of shorts are also stunning.

      • What sad news that Roy is in with those fascist scum.

        You are right that makes for a sharp ironic contrast to the sacrificial Roy seen in the Bleacher Report piece. On a simple level, I suppose, he will be the innocent abroad. His experience of the world is all mediated at the end of a boxing glove or a microphone, and of course it’s been mostly adulatory. This opens doors, but it’s hardly great preparation for understanding who’s letting you in. Not to make apologies for him or anything — it’s possible in the bikers he sees something he likes. Acolytes.

        What is of interest is how the Russian bikers have latched on to him. How do you read it? Does it go beyond their mafia-like interest in boxing? Do they want to mount his head on their handlebars as a totem?

        Sadly I know nothing about Terrence Davies, so this is a grand opportunity to relieve my ignorance. I’ll see Distant Voices, Still Lives and/or start with the shorts. High praise from you indeed!

        Not watching a lot at the moment; I go through phases where it’s film or reading. Did catch, come to think of it, some episodes of the older English tv series “Life On Mars,” enjoyable fluff. And on Youtube I heard a bit of the spluttering Slovenien stand-up comedian Slavoj Zizek — yes, ahem, philosopher. I rather like him, off his rocker as much as he is insightful, his crackpot persona (it sounds like he has a kazoo made out of glazed cocaine lodged in his larynx) maybe a measure of what is left to the public intellectual hoping to be heard in the age of PewDiePie. Finished the fine Vandermeer novel cycle (“Southern Reach”) and have moved on to Marie Arana’s life of Simon Bolívar along with some books of poems. Ben Okri’s An African Elegy, a party I’m pretty late to, is impressive.

        Lee-Saunders days away!

      • Good analysis of Roy and the Night Wolves. It can’t be excused, but he’s probably ignorant of the actual implications of linking himself with such people. I see their interest in him and boxing as a vanity project: something flashy to do with their spare money, aligning themselves with a legend to get some more limelight & veneer of respectability.

        Same goes for the Kinahan clan, notorious drug barons who are heavily involved in British & Irish boxing. They are the financiers of Macklin’s Gym Marbella (acronym: MGM), home of an increasingly large stable of notable boxers, most of whom are managed by Daniel Kinahan, including their latest acquisition, Billy Joe Saunders. You also may have noticed that they sponsor the IFL videos. Former Macklin opponent and trainer Jamie Moore was shot in the leg in Marbella a while back, reportedly mistaken for one of the Kinahans.

        They’re also promoting now, and have staged two shows in Dublin, both televised by Boxnation and co-promoted by Frank Warren & sons, with a third to come in February. I’ll likely be in attendance, which will be an interesting experience, as plain clothes police are supposedly dotted in the crowd.

        Boxing & crime go together hand in glove.

        Lee-Saunders! Finally…My prediction remains Lee by late stoppage. Saunders looks in great shape on the scales but I’ll believe he’s gotten over his late fight slumps when I see it, and I don’t think he can avoid the right hook for 12 rounds.

        Davies is one of the greats and I’m certain you’ll love him.

        One of my friends is an admirer of Zizek, and recommended the documentary The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema.

        Funny that you mention Bolivar. I read the G.G. Marquez book on him, The General in his Labyrinth, years ago, and recently found out that there’s a statue of one of his aide-de-camps, an Irish man, in Cork city, which I visit quite regularly. Must find it next time I’m there.

        I’ve bought a ridiculous amount of books lately. Finishing Mewshaw’s Short Circuit (another investigation of tennis’ underbelly, this time following the 80s men’s tour) & Flaubert’s Madame Bovary is next on my list. Showtime’s The Affair finishing up season 2, which is even better than the first. High melodrama, but the strong characters carry the show.

  3. What do you make of Eubank Jr leaving Hearn? Is it for Haymon?

    N.B. At the post-fight press conference, when Hearn sat down at the table, Jr.’s body language turned to ice. Perhaps he and The Monocle had already decided to make their move…

    • Very strange decision, as Sky Sports offer by far the best platform in UK boxing to become a star and make the biggest purses on PPV. Eubank seemed destined to headline lucrative PPVs, perhaps as soon as next year. As you perceptively say, Haymon is the only guy who can offer greater paydays.

      Hearn’s comment in a recent IFL interview that the Eubanks loved everything about their first two experiences on Sky rings hollow now. Interesting observation from the presser.

      Ostensibly, the split is due to Hearn losing out on the purse bids for a British title fight. This is certainly The English Monocle’s doing and reminds me of their rejection of a Saunders rematch on the grounds of not wanting to vacate the meaningless WBA interim trinket, which they then ended up doing shortly afterwards anyway. The Eubanks staunchly dance to the beat of their own drum.

      Eubank-Blackwell (which would happen on terrestrial/network UK TV, not Sky), if it takes place, is actually a good fight, and a more logical, sensible next step for Junior, rather than being sent to America to fight Jacobs.

      • Thanks for this. Hearn combines what is in effect a sales pitch built on lashings of veiled threat and classic passive-aggressiveness in a most entertaining way, lol.

        Some moments, such as the bit regarding his dad where he shifts into the man’s alligator voice, and his hinting at still other “people less forgiving than me” are, I suppose, where the friendly male model Face Lube mask slips. Along with your account earlier of the forces controlling UK boxing, I couldn’t help recalling Michael Gambon, so memorably oozing menace in Greenaway’s Cook-Thief-Wife-Lover.

        Eubank Sr. does appear to have miscalculated in this power struggle.

        Enjoyed Hearn goofing early on at Kugan’s expense. I love these iFL TV videos.

      • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ppgky7FF0jo – Interestingly, here are Frank Warren & his son debunking Hearn’s claim that one can only fight on Sky PPV through his aegis. Hearn exposed for specious, pedantic reasoning at best, outright lying at worst.

        Boxnation PPV coming in 2016. Will the Eubanks return their to rematch Saunders?

        I love them too. Kugan has great rapport with his interviewees, none more so than Eddie, and this one was one of their best ever.

        Lol @ “male model face lube mask” and the Greenaway reference. I remember thinking when I watched that film that Gambon’s character was probably the most odious bastard I’ve ever come across in cinema, even more so than Sebastian in Mike Leigh’s Naked.

  4. Eddie hoisted by his own canard, yuk yuk.

    Some intriguing comments and criticism on Youtube below that joint Warren video. Do you think Box Nation has enough domestic talent to sell via PPV, or that they are hoping to broker international deals?

    Yes, Kugan is without doubt a special operator. I’ve seldom enjoyed sports interviewing as much. He ought to be studied over here. There’s a baleful quality to much US boxing press, an ersatz formality and too much seriousness, that is the same actually throughout much of our stilted sports broadcasting world. I much prefer irreverence.

    Speaking of: had our annual holiday viewing of Douglas Sirk’s subversively heart-warming All That Heaven Allows. Class disruption, nonconformity and other against-the-grain mischief with Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman (once Mrs. Ronald Reagan, the poor lady). Just what Santa ordered. 😉

    https://www.criterion.com/films/635-all-that-heaven-allows

    • Haha! Speaking of “ersatz formality” and uber seriousness, the first time I came across the word ‘canard’ was through Jim Lampley on a HBO preview show for Marquez-Alvarado. Not just a boxing show, but a vocab lesson!

      They can potentially do both, whether it’s an international fight like Fury-Wlad II or something domestic like Flanagan, Saunders & Smith all defending their belts. The new possibility of PPV money will likely allow Frank to make new signings also.

      Kugan is the like a modern Steve Bunce, the irreverent, hilarious journalist & host of Boxnation’s shows. Contrasting Kugan on IFL or Buncey on Boxnation with the sanitized, boring Sky Sports boxing broadcasts is depressing.

      I like Sirk’s films, also Shockproof & Imitation of Life. Have you seen Far from Heaven or Fear Eats the Soul? Both are unofficial remakes of All that Heaven Allows.

  5. Cheers for the Sirk tips! Only know FFH, but after reading a couple of articles about his emigre life I plan to see others. Aware of both adaptations and really should catch the Fassbinder — trailer looks appealing.

    Yes, I’ve caught bits of Bunce’s work (it is usually truncated on the YouTube videos of Boxnation that I see) and have enjoyed it every time. Old school, grumbly, unpretentious, sly.

    • The Fassbinder is a classic. Are you familiar with the German’s other work?

      Bunce is a British boxing legend, the master of filling long silences & holding the lovably shambolic Boxnation ship together. I’ve met him briefly (he grabbed me in a headlock for a photo) & even read his badly written novel The Fixer haha

      • I am ignorant of his work, and high time I did something about it.

        Working my way through Ettore Scola at moment. Brutti, Scorchi e Cattivi (1976) is in my top ten, and I’ll be in double digits of screenings if not careful, so I’ve set myself the task of tracking down his other collaborations with screenwriter Ruggero Maccari. So far, their Police Chief Pepe (1969) has proved a very tasty molotov, and I have high hopes for A Special Day (1977) with Loren and Mastroianni.

        Also began a multi-part Adam Curtis I’d somehow overlooked, his early 90s dissection of Cold War ghosts, Pandora’s Box. Scintillating.

        Love the detail about Bunce’s novel, lol.

      • And I’m ignorant of Scola, though you have mentioned him to me before. That Curtis film is on my list too.

        Haha I was hoping to get it autographed next month, but have only today been made aware of an unavoidable family commitment that means I won’t be able to attend the next Boxnation/MGM card in Ireland. I’ll have to wait until the summer for my next encounter with Buncey.

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