Pound4poundireland Scorecards from January & February 2016

Danny Garcia 116-112 Robert Guerrero, officially UD, Garcia wins vacant Welterweight title

John Ryder 115-113 Sergey Khomitsky, officially UD

Dmitry Mikhaylenko 99-91 Karim Mayfield, officially UD

Fedor Chudinov 119-109 Felix Sturm (rematch), officially Sturm by MD, Sturm wins Super Middleweight title

Felix Verdejo 98-92 Willian Silva, officially UD

Carl Frampton 115-113 Scott Quigg, officially SD, Frampton unifies Jr. Featherweight titles

11 thoughts on “Pound4poundireland Scorecards from January & February 2016

  1. Interesting charges in US baseball PED scandal:


    Caught first Saul. B&w framing narrative my favorite bit. Gilligan is simply quality, though I don’t know that I’m compelled to watch. Penultimate ep of recent X-Files run had some very good stylized horror built around homelessness and crass urban US attitudes toward it. Revival as a whole was a bit embarrassing.

    Mildly up for this weekend’s fights, particularly the return of Luis Ortiz and young Antoine Douglas. The sport isn’t doing a lot for me at the moment, locked in its doldrums between tantalizing possibility and what’s crushingly real.

    • Sounds implausible but who really knows. Hard to have much sympathy for a guy who was caught using PEDs even one time, although it’s most understandable in a sport with such an overwhelming steroid culture as baseball.

      I’ve heard a criticism of BCS as lacking in plot but I couldn’t care less. I could spend forever luxuriating in that world with those characters. Sorry to hear that The X-Files comeback fell flat. Enjoyed Bartas’ The Corridor and Sokurov’s Francofonia recently. Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank, which I caught belatedly the other day, starring Michael Fassbender, an unfortunate disappointment.

      Did you catch Frampton-Quigg? Does that form part of your malaise? The schedule for the first half of 2016 is a big disappointment so I can’t blame you.

      Vargas-Ali the best fight of the weekend, although I’m grimly fascinated by Chagaev-Browne for Kadyrov’s Heavyweight championship of Chechnya.

      • Yes, Frampton-Quigg didn’t elevate my heart rate. Only on hearing about the barnstorming ending did I go back to complete it and see the championship rounds. In fairness, my anticipation for the fight can have been nothing like yours in the UK. All the same, I was in full agreement with Jim Watt’s disappointment when I tuned out.

        Yet just when it’s darkest… Vargas in a delicious finish of Ali! Very enjoyable hard-fought contest with the balance only tipping at the midpoint. An interesting metamorphosis, too, is seen in the comeback kid: is his power growing with maturity? Training, as he claims? Or is it, ahem, engineered? In any case his flattening of Bradley looks less a fluke now and puts him in contention. I’d like to see him bother Danny Garcia, for instance, whose mid-career risk aversion appalls me.

        Caught a few rounds of Chagaev-Browne; solid comeback against the fat, faded champ though I’d be surprised if Browne could compete at the highest levels. Ortiz-Thompson a sad spectacle, pushing the boundaries of taste. And yes, I would peg Ortiz to give any hw alive trouble, despite his caution tonight around the old, desperate veteran’s arm punches. Dreaming ahead, I’d most like to see him fight Povetkin, who I think his equal in craft and finesse, and then Fury, where it would be bold grace vs. sly gracelessness.

        Regarding the Mejia case: I suspect he’s a sacrificial lamb in a league known for its false piety. No sympathy from me, though I watch all labor disputes in US pro sports with mild interest, in the way, say, one looks at dusty old-school dioramas in a natural history museum: curiosities, pre-digital windows on our past. Here is one of the last zones in our law — player unions — where neoliberalism hasn’t thoroughly tipped the scales against labor.

        The Corridor — rather Tarr-like in the images I peeped — now on my list, along with Francophonia too. As it happens I’m reading Michael Findlay’s interesting meditation, The Value of Art, in which a leading art dealer tries to read our tea leaves in the very commodification he helped foster.

      • Ireland isn’t part of the UK, but I know that was a slip of the fingers on the keyboard haha. Yes, I was as pumped as I’ve been for a fight since May-Pac, but unfortunately, other than the final few rounds, it was almost as anti-climactic. In the end, Quigg made it close as a weight-weakened Frampton tired, but his woeful early tactics and corner instructions cost him.

        Suspicious that Vargas is with the infamous Memo Heredia, but he is VADA-tested, I believe, at least for the duration of his training camps. Very good win for Vargas, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him unify with Kell Brook in the summer. It makes Bradley’s win over him look better in retrospect too. Garcia-Vargas would be good but, like so much else, is prevented by promotional divides.

        Ortiz-Thompson facile, but not much Golden Boy could do at short notice and with very few willing to step in with the imposing Cuban. With HBO’s backing, I expect him to get a big fight at some point though. Interesting that he could be mandatory for the Fury-Wlad II winner very soon.

        Brave effort from Browne and I’m delighted for him. He’s one of boxing’s good guys and deserves the paydays that will result from this victory, plastic belt or not. The likes of Haye and Joseph Parker must be eyeing him up greedily.

        I find it strange that, for example, advances in drug testing move glacially due to players’ unions having to sign off on such matters.

        I recently finished the classic Madame Bovary. Not an easy read, but quite an incredible character study, as well as meditation on desire and human relationships. Vernon God Little, a Booker prize winner a decade or so back, up next.

        Two more Bartas’, Memory of the Day Passed & Freedom, have been bookmarked from Youtube for imminent consumption.

  2. I’ve had Vernon God Little on my radar a very long time, since it won the Booker an eternity ago, so do let me know what you think of it. Having a very nice time just now in Cormac McCarthy’s All The Pretty Horses, his usual high artistry minus his usual arias of violence. (Indeed so conditioned am I by his later, bloodier work that even hints of animosity in this text produce twinges, wardings. So a frown will have me anticipating scalpings, mass graves, and so on.)

    Haha, touché re “UK,” and no slight intended on your fair isle (and that of my paternal grandmother). I was thinking of the collective Irish-English interest in the bout I’d observed in that roaring Manchester crowd and guessing you had Frampton’s back; though he is from Northern Ireland, is he not? Oh hell I’d best stop there. 😉

    Btw, I read half of “The Great Hunger” last week. Deeply impressive, bleak and fraught. Didn’t anticipate so acute a portrait of the wretched inner life as that of Maguire. Will finish shortly; I never tear through verse, indeed read it at a snail’s pace. With Frederick Seidel’s recent collection out on e-book library loan it was a race to get it put away in the twenty-one days before the poems were unceremoniously vanished from my iPad. The Kavanagh demands a good patient hearing, both feet in the soul-stealing mud.

    • Will do, and let me know your thoughts once you’ve finished that milder McCarthy. Watched another Fassbender film, Slow West: a mixed bag (well acted, nice use of literary-esque foreshadowing, distractingly burnished visuals) but shows some promise for its debutant director, John Maclean.

      Haha the North is the most complex of issues. Frampton is a Protestant Unionist as far as I know, but I obviously don’t let such religious or political matters cloud my judgement of a fighter. Glad to hear you have some Irish blood in you: I’m hereby claiming you as one of us!

      Delighted that you’re giving that great Kavanagh poem the attention it deserves. You’ve inspired me to dust it off for another look soon.

      • Ha ha, cheers for the welcome! I will have you know I tuck into my Guinness with pride and a thirst attributable no less to the parts of me that are Croatian and Swedish. 😉

        Vicious Eubank Jr. destruction of Blackwell. In truth, a sight hard to take pleasure in as it became clear neither Blackwell’s corner nor the ref had the beaten man’s well-being in mind. I saw advancement in the winner’s skills, but that is overshadowed as we wait to hear about his victim’s condition.

        Caught a lush Hollywood relic, Shane (1953), that I never expected to see. It’d usually been written off, so only on a whim did I have a go and discover its fervid currents of sex, class and frontier terrorism in what is set up as a gunslinger-goes-straight tale. A strange, sometimes beautiful work pushing up against its Cold War-era constraints with a wish to tell more than its remit, and pointing the way to later, richer works on these themes (eg Missouri Breaks, Deadwood). Woody Allen calls it a masterpiece, but I’d settle for saying it pulls off much more than studio product usually can.

        By contrast, this odd, neuroses-laden 1950 Gregory Peck flick remains one of my favorites of the genre (and this is my review):


        How’s your new film coming?

      • I echo your sentiments. Impressed by Junior’s performance, but greatly sobered by Blackwell’s condition. Supposedly, he will be taken out of his induced coma within the next 24 hours and hopefully not too much permanent damage has been done. We forget too often the very real risks these fighters take every time they step between the ropes.

        Interesting to note that Adam Booth made a quiet exit from Team Eubank before the camp for this fight: a predictably brief tenure. Buglioni and the Collins’ have also parted ways.

        Did you catch Ward’s return from yet another layoff? A textbook uneventful Ward boxing lesson, but impressive all the same against a solid opponent. He looks slower and a touch more hittable at 175. A pity that it looks like there will be another interim fight before Kovalev.

        On the day of my country’s centenary celebrations of our 1916 Rising, I found myself reading Yeats and watching this sharp satire of Ireland’s relationship to our native tongue (featuring recently deceased sitcom legend, Frank Kelly): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqYtG9BNhfM&feature=youtu.be

        I saw Shane many years ago. Your take on it has motivated me to rewatch it next time I come across it on tv.

        After further delays, happy to say that my film is coming quite soon to an email inbox near you! I screened my final cut for the first time (minus sound mix/colour grade) to a close friend last night.

  3. Oh, good news! Send it on when ready and please drop a note in comments (I am an inconstant checker of email).

    Will see the O’Hara short, looks intriguing.

    Yes, caught Ward — great guile and craft, yet agree re slight slippage. I think he knows it, too, and hence the interminable rebuilding. Like RJJ in better days, his profits are taken on the slimmest margins of timing and distance. Based on what I saw I’d have to favor him to frustrate and out-perform Kovalev, but with the cavil that time isn’t on an aging Andre’s side. Further cavil: Bernard thought to do the same. (But Bhop was fooling everyone, possibly himself too.)

    No news re Blackwell last I checked but there’s Eubank Sr. making the rounds and the non-boxing press having its usual moral panic.

    One of the more interesting decisions in Shane was casting the smooth Alan Ladd, no toughie, and a late substitute for another non-toughie, Montgomery Clift. In 1953 the nation was besotted again with killing (Korea was just ending, vets like my flamethrower uncle returning home to their new life of screaming nightmares) and there is an implicit guilt and longing for normalcy built into the seen-all-too-much Ladd. Striking counterpoint to the grinning hired-gun Jack Palance, who can never see enough. Palance, anachronistic in speech and affect, wears his erotic violence like a dandy whose Harley Davidson is parked behind the saloon. And there’s the matronly Jean Arthur, rediscovering desire in a forbidden stranger much younger than herself, while her kid seems to want a new father, too! Tough week for family man ranchers, haha.

    But the centerpiece for me was a speech given by Emile Meyer, the ruthless cattle baron trying to drive off the settlers. It comes much too late to complicate his character, and again, points at the film biting off more than it can chew. But its lunatic moral logic is revealing. The cattleman tries to reason with the recalcitrant rancher by evoking the slaughter of Indians — he is one of those who long ago “won the west,” ethnically cleansing the territory, and he thinks a good record of genocide ought to count for something in today’s complicated land disputes! Incredible, nutso, dark, phantom-filled stuff, all in a family movie. I don’t think George Stevens was the master of his material; at best he opened some kind gyre, as Yeats might say, and jumped in.

    • Will do.

      I still favour Ward over Kovalev, but have greater doubts now, despite the virtual shutout win. I find Ward more comparable to Hopkins than Jones, relying more on fundamentals & veteran tricks than pure athleticism, but a slight drop in his speed and reflexes could indeed be fatal in the second chapter of his career at 175.

      Yes, no update yet unfortunately on Blackwell’s condition. David Haye is generously donating 10% of the gate for his upcoming May mismatch to a fund for Blackwell. Spot on regarding the usual moral panic among some, as well as laughable media reports of Eubank Sr.’s instructions to his son to target the body somehow being based on compassion rather than a better route to the stoppage as Blackwell’s chin held firm.

      Clift is one of my favourite actors and I read a couple of biographies on him years ago: didn’t know, or had forgotten, that he was originally cast in Shane. Enjoyed your review of The Gunfighter. And, in browsing your other reviews & comments, was pleased to see you’re a fan of both Diva and Donnie Darko (loved reading your review), the latter of which was one of the two films, along with Pulp Fiction, to spark my love for cinema in my teens. It was the first DVD I ever bought or watched. A shame that Richard Kelly seems consigned to the tag of one hit wonder.

      Haha nice Yeats reference, and one wonders with some of the classic studio films that sparked the French to coin ‘auteurism’ whether that is too definite a term to apply to such films whose creative impetus stemmed often as much from producers, writers and even actors, than from the director alone. To state the obvious, in a collaborative medium like film, it’s never really true, and directors like Steven Soderbergh scoff at auteur theory as self-aggrandizing.

      Anyway, your take on Shane is fascinating, and I look forward to rewatching.

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