Lou Catalano on ‘The Haymon Effect’: “But Honestly: Angel Garcia is a Truth Teller”


7 thoughts on “Lou Catalano on ‘The Haymon Effect’: “But Honestly: Angel Garcia is a Truth Teller”

  1. Thanks for this. Catalano is on my to-read list now, especially after:

    “Wilder’s post-fight interviews are always entertaining, but there’s nothing more entertaining than when a 6’9” drunk gypsy who happens to be the real heavyweight champion of the world stumbles into the ring and makes Jim Gray soil himself.”

    Enjoyed his analysis of the Haymon Effect, which really deserves more examination as a cultural as opposed to a merely financial phenomenon. He hints at this when observing that the downside to a diet of what Floyd used to call easy money consists mainly in “hellish twitter-wrath.” The absence of practicable outrage, the sheep-like herding of the fans, the triumph of empty spectacle, the sense this is only going to get worse — well, not to sound like Guy Debord here, but there’s a lot at work and it goes beyond boxing. Interesting that once more boxing is at a kind of crossroads in the larger culture, as it has often been on questions of race, crime, legitimacy, and violence, and this time it is the tendency toward and appetite for illusion. For simulacra. I don’t doubt the need for an endless roster of “champions” has to do with the perceived value of bread and circuses at a dismal economic time in western history.

    Do you agree that ads on the ring canvas are as injury-inducing as he argues? If they are causing ACL injuries, this would seem about as despicable as it gets.

    • I do agree, and have seen boxers slip on ring advertising countless times. It’s rarely mentioned but is a good example of boxing’s craziness. What other sport would allow such a risk?

      I can’t imagine slippery advertising being stamped on the centre court of Wimbledon to impair movement & significantly heighten the possibility of Roger Federer (I’ll stop the tennis references soon, I promise haha) falling on his ass in front of millions. I plan to briefly address this topic in January’s ‘Judging the Judges’ segment.

      Haven’t caught Garcia-Guerrero yet, as I had better things to be doing this past Saturday, but will catch up later in the week. Supposedly, it was a typically unimpressive slog from Garcia, who continues to do just about enough to impress the judges. Did you see it?

      Impressive looking win for Sammy Vasquez, whom you brought up to me before, on the undercard also.

  2. I had to put Garcia-Guerrero on 2.0 speed, and even then it wasn’t very watchable. Must catch the Vasquez fight! Pleased to hear he is continuing to do well.

    Great analogy to Wimbledon. These slick ads are appalling — an example of big money seeming not merely blind to human well-being but contemptuous thereof. Grrrr.

  3. Caught Vasquez dissecting the tough Martinez (near-conqueror last year of Robert Guerrero). As you say, impressive. I see he’s already trying to get Danny Garcia. After twenty-one pro fights, that’s conviction unheard of in Al Haymon land.

    • Garcia-Guerrero was an ok fight in the ring but suffered from the ‘who cares’ factor that comes with many of Haymon’s matchups. Nobody believes Guerrero is ever going to win a big fight again, and few believe Garcia is going to beat the best at welterweight. Also, a vacant trinket nonsensically being on the line didn’t help.

      It went exactly as I had expected it to: Garcia winning a pedestrian UD, but not looking good in the process.

      Very good performance from Vasquez, who made it look easy against a guy who, as you say, controversially lost to Guerrero, and beat Devon Alexander. The most obvious flaw I see is a lack of power. Breazeale-Mansour was also fun, and this PBC on Fox debut did have a good undercard.

      Speaking of PBC, word is that the hedge fund is rapidly drying up, which is why there are far less shows scheduled so far this year than expected, and why Thurman-Porter (an expensive fight to make) carries the nebulous label of a ‘Showtime presentation’ on CBS, with the purses largely, if not entirely, paid for by that network rather than Waddell & Reid.

      Speaking of ‘who cares’ matchups, it isn’t limited to Haymon, as HBO’s Kovalev-Pascal rematch tonight is most certainly in the category of unnecessary rehashes. I fully expect Kovalev to end matter more quickly and easily than the first time, but at least entertainment is guaranteed before the inevitable finish.

      • The Haymon hedge fund operation could likely engage whole floors of lawyers at both our IRS and Justice Department, and I can almost imagine scenarios in which it would, were not Washington already bravely defending us from the cold-blooded terrorists of FIFA.

        As the cash runs out, leaving less to grease the right palms, it will be interesting to see what happens. There is the lingering little matter of Arum’s and GBP’s litigation. There will be the void in the TV network’s schedule and pockets. Perhaps in the manner of Haye, “Dave” channels will be found to accommodate all the boxing that can scarcely pay its own keep. But leaner times may be ahead. HBO may regret signing Ward to a four-fight deal when in another six months it might have got him at bargain basement prices.

        And of course it’ll become intriguing again to see who fights whom. I think the period of Haymon spending will be seen as a kind of economic bubble, an El Niño in which funny money has worked its familiar distortions on reputations and matchups rather than on the usual banal targets of houses and stocks. Leading to the type of who-cares fights you score in Garcia-Guerrero and (though it’s HBO to blame instead) Kov-Pascal II.

        Turning to that fight, Freddie’s moral sense may be all that saved Jean from a coma. I was reminded, watching Sergey’s “torture” as Bhop called it, of how the ring can become something more and less than a place of sport — a medieval court or the kind of trial-by-knuckle in a pasture that the Fury clan approves of. Admitting he wanted more rounds to hurt Pascal, Kovalev punctured the artifice — the gentlemanly clubbishness — that HBO slathers over its shows, and the breach in decorum seems to have provoked Kellerman, who demanded to know if the Russian understood what he was doing to the tender sensibility of the fans. (Kellerman, as we know, has his own personal reasons for caution around pathology.)

        At least Kovalev is honest. By contrast, the SOG has been known to lay his sacramental hands upon men quite painfully, too, but always he is there to praise the lord and then sprinkle sentimental alms around the victim (“a great warrior,” etc). That is the preferred form, isn’t it — the civilized kind of bloodletting. So, a night of some beauty (represented by the compassionate Roach, sounding his care in the voice wracked by Parkinson’s) but of greater ugliness.

        It will be interesting to see if the racism charge continues to dog the Russian. I noted that Bhop wasn’t having any of it, opining that he wishes fans would “embrace” the Krusher as auguring a new golden era. Both he and Lampley framed the controversy over the Tweet (not shown or even mentioned) as if it were a baseless charge that Kovalev was out to avenge; I think it was rather more complicated.

        Began reading the formidable Kavanagh poem and will comment later.

      • The Haymon inflation of paydays for fighting ‘Salkas’ has hurt the sport (it was happening pre-hedge fund, with Andre Berto the inexplicable overpaid darling of HBO), and this bubble bursting would be a good thing, although it may take a while for the overall market to deflate back to sanity.

        Haymon will have nobody to blame but himself and his matchmakers (does he have anybody to perform this role?) if PBC does fail. Offerings like Garcia-Guerrero and Figueroa-De Marco on primetime major network tv are not the way to grow the sport. Further info via Steve Kim: http://ucnlive.com/well-this-is-interesting/

        Perceptive point, as usual, about the sublimation of violence into gentlemanly artifice that HBO likes to convey upon boxing. There is nobody in boxing more real than Kovalev, and he punctured that artifice. His post fight “Chickenson” remark (with hilarious accompanying sounds), followed by Stevenson barreling in amid exchanges of shoves and middle fingers, was almost the equal of the recent Fury/Wilder fracas.

        I would have liked to see Roach pull the plug at least a round earlier, when he got talked out of doing so, and luckily nothing worse happened subsequently. Pascal is lucky he didn’t have Steve Collins in his corner, and he has to be commended on his tremendous will and heart. Pascal’s resume is excellent, and who else would fight a prime Kovalev twice, especially after a brutal beating in the first place. Boxing needs more Jean Pascals. On the downside, make a mismatch and this is the kind of one-sided beating that is, more often than not, going to take place.

        Did you spot Roy, ex-Pascal trainer, rapping as the challenger walked to the ring?

        Kovalev is racist, in my opinion, but as with Fury, if I was looking to boxing for people with the greatest moral character & strongest values, then I’d be an idiot. HBO may be unaware of this or else just seeking to protect their commodity by acknowledging nothing beyond the relatively inocuous tweet, but I have seen footage of Kovalev on Russian tv using the most common racial epithet to refer to past opponent Ismayl Sillakh.

        Nice one, looking forward to your thoughts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s