8 thoughts on “Video – HBO’s “Canelo vs. Chavez Jr.: A Fighting Tradition”

  1. In a year of largely good boxing, this simulacrum was such a farce I doubt there’s a promoter other than Oscar who could have better delivered its complete lack of thrills, suspense or barest possible reason for existing — except, cynically, as an informercial for GGG-Canelo.

    If there’s a real upside, though, it should be to keep Julio Cesar out of the ring for good, floating poolside in a haze of Acapulco Gold. I wonder whether Canelo carried him 12 rounds out of charity or malice. I’ll bet things went even more harshly afterward with the enraged bandana-wearing dad, who always tends to remind me, for some reason, of Yukio Mishima decked out in similar headwear while trying to foment his ill-fated coup.

    Your best guess as to GGG-Canelo? We all hope for epic brutality. I don’t know if I believe GGG’s “slipped” as much as I think he’s looked mortal in facing better competition. Canelo’s got every chance in my eyes.

    Thoroughly enjoyed the great duel at Wembley. Dr. Robotnik gave so good an accounting of himself in that brave last stand that it seemed he’d been saving his best all these years for a fighter who truly merited it. Great things must now come from the ascendant Joshua and I hope he will soon be repeating this work on the jaw of the protected, risk-averse Deontay Wilder, who has to be given a KO artist’s chance against anyone. Joshua isn’t exactly invulnerable. But then Deontay isn’t exactly steel-jawed or technically proficient either.

    I see Billy Joe Saunders has big problems. Not so much the collapse of the fight with Georgian crimelord Avtandil Khurtsidze, the lumpy homunculus now seemingly on the hook for just about everything short of hacking our presidential elections. What’s worse news for Billy Joe is the man who wants to be his replacement: Daniel Jacobs. Heh heh: from Danny DeVito to Danny DeVourer!

    Do I sense you may have some filmmaking news?

    • Good to hear from you again! I’d been meaning to email you to see if you were keeping an eye on what’s turning out to be a banner year for boxing.

      Lol @ the image of Chavez Sr. as Mishima — what a farce that fight was. Ordinarily, it’d top the annual freakshow list but this year Mayweather-McGregor will take that dubious honour with ease

      That is as cynical a cash grab in fight sport history and one of its biggest mismatches. But, hey, at least the pressers will be a laugh. It doesn’t say a lot about the intelligence of casual sport fans that it’ll certainly be one of the biggest ppvs ever. Buyer beware!

      Agreed re:GGG looking mortal vs better opposition. I still definitely favour him but a Canelo win now wouldn’t be a major upset, especially with judges likely to favour him if it’s close. I also don’t see it quite being the action fight most expect, but thank god it’s happening before it quite reached May-Pac overmarination.

      AJ-Klitschko, on the other hand, lived up to the hype and more. It’ll be hard to top for fight of the year, and even you giving Wlad props speaks to how he performed in defeat haha. Before Deontay gets flattened in the inevitable unification, a rematch is likely first, in November or December. I see Joshua ending matters earlier and even more conclusively.

      Haha the Khurtsidze situation beggars belief even for boxing. Saunders’ career has stalled awfully, largely by his own hand, but he’s also had some bad luck. Word now is he’ll have a fight September, and await the Canelo-GGG winner. He’s in an enviable position holding the one remaining belt, and won’t be throwing that away by fighting the likes of Jacobs.

      Ward-Kovalev II is going to be as equally fascinating as their first meeting. Pleased to see Rigo back also, against his most serious opposition in years.

      Yes, preparing my new script currently for shooting before the end of the year, but other stuff is getting in the way. One-Way Ticket screened at a festival here last month. What I’d meant to tell you is that I spent the first part of this year in Brazil, exploring and teaching some English. You did the same in Greece years ago, if I recall correctly? Couldn’t find any Smiths lyric books in Portuguese though 😉

      Seen any good movies lately?

      • LOL @ Smiths in Portuguese reference. Brings back memories.

        How cool to be in Brazil! And at such an explosive time in its history. Good experience, then? Did you get off the beaten path? Teaching English really is a nice little ticket to ride.

        Speaking of: very pleased to hear about One-Way Ticket festival screening and even more so about new work on the way. Keep your Minnesota fanbase posted, please.

        Been following the Twin Peaks revival? Feeling a bit silly for not wanting it continued now that I’ve seen Lynch’s plan for it. The bifurcated Coopers was only natural. Shades of Lost Highway’s famous psychic split. And even of MacLachlan’s first dualist role for Lynch as the half-innocent, half-voyeur Jeffrey who needs no less than snuffling sadist Dennis Hopper to show him what he won’t see (“You’re like me…”). We love Lynch for his dream states, but to me he is above all a superb moralist. Btw, those are Minnesota boys who appear in Ep 3 singing their noir-country “Mississippi.”

        What about you? Seeing, reading anything good? Books: whittling down a big pile of Taschens. The title Symbolism by Michael Gibson is a standout, even though I like little of the art, haha, as he has such a fine sense for that moment when the old parochial world was collapsing before the industrial revolution and there was a rearguard action to hang onto its ideals and myths…only this was carried out by artists, many of them lunatics, so the past was soon well and buried. But their strange, unsettling art lives on.

        Discovered yet another fine novel by the Strugatsky Brothers, the Soviet science fiction masters. Snail on the Slope, where they work out themes they’d really do up brilliantly a decade later in Roadside Picnic. Batshit crazy bureaucracies, science as Pandora’s box, mythic overlays on society, nature as bottomless pit, human endeavor making everything worse: pass the vodka, comrade, for chrissakes. Nothing like a little 50-year old Communist science fiction to brighten your day. 😉

      • An excellent experience: Rio for Carnival, Sao Paulo, a bit of Minas Gerais, and mostly in Campinas & Sumare. There’s so much more to see and I can’t wait to return. As for the current political climate there, it won’t surprise you to hear that almost every young Brazilian I spoke to expressed a desire to leave.

        Thanks man, I’ll keep you up to date.

        I’ll certainly pick up a Strugatsky novel at some stage on your recommendation. I’m very slowly reading Tender is the Night currently. Recently read 1984. Have some Brazilian literature by Nassar and Lispector to crack into soon also.

        Caught the semi-interesting Argentine film Liverpool recently, as well as the luminous Dardenne brothers’ film Rosetta. They are surely among the world’s finest current filmmakers. Mike Figgis’ Internal Affairs is a sometimes fun mess, and Get Shorty is cool but not quite as cool as Leonard’s novel.

        It’s too early for absolute judgements, seven episodes in, but Twin Peaks season 3 has been a monumental disappointment for me so far, all the more so because it’s my favourite all-time tv series. Self-indulent, overlong, overwrought, stilted to a surely deliberate degree & lacking in the original run’s humour. As you rightly alluded to, it’s more similar to Lost Highway or Inland Empire than classic Lynch. I’ll watch til the end, and there are some bright spots so far, but watching Dougie/Cooper stumble around in a daze has been a chore.

        Better Call Saul is back too, but I haven’t caught any of it yet. I’ll correct that soon.

  2. Ah, we have arrived at Twin Peaks on different mountains, haha. You were looking forward to it, I wasn’t. Now I like it, but you hate it!

    What I feared he’d do is give us more of the same, ca. 1992. I like the original series, as you do. The only times it really did it for me though were when he’d direct. Then there’d come the deep, troubling strangeness, richer stuff than served by the TV hands who did the continuity episodes. Lynch like very few of his peers can give me that feeling, in Auden’s phrase, of observing as “the green field comes off like a lid / Revealing what was much better hid.” I still think the best episode from that time was the pilot, where there must be more hysterical tears shed per screen minute than in Jerry Lewis’s collected body of Muscular Dystrophy telethons.

    The episode just broadcast, with its Kubrickian flight into the atomic cloud, is just what I have wanted him to do: go completely bonkers. You’ll shudder to learn I watched it twice, haha, which broke a rule I established for myself many years ago. That was: never, ever listen to Penderecki’s “Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima” again. A sonic and spiritual torture, pure. (Honestly, I could only listen to Steve Reich’s “Different Trains” once, too, without feeling like a voyeur with his nose pressed to the barbed wire.)

    F. Scott! I used to live down the street from a historical marker over the door of a building where he and Zelda lived. How do you like Tender is the Night?

    You had me at “luminous” so I watched the trailer for Rosetta. It reminds me of that kind of meticulously heartbreaking character study that Agnes Varda used to do.

    That sounds like a great first tour of Brazil. Very sad about what’s happening; I have indeed heard what you heard, and can’t blame anybody for trying to leave.

    • Apologies for late reply, internet issues — I also owe my blog a judging the judges for the last two months..coming soon!

      Agree re: Lynch directed episodes being the best and the hysterically emotional pilot being perhaps unsurpassed. Surely the best first episode of a tv series I’ve ever seen.

      I’ll check out that music you reference — and I too saw shades of Kubrick. But I thought it was another uninspired episode. Moral/cultural references to the A bomb aside, I have little interest in a laborious, esoteric investigation into the mythology of BOB’s origin story. If I did, I’d watch the likes of X-Men. Lynch’s self indulgence at its worst imo and I was shocked to hear the widespread praise for this installment, some calling it one of the best episodes of dramatic television of all time. Lynch’s new clothes? I’m interested to hear more of what you liked in it, and the series as a whole so far.

      Indeed, like so many places, Brazil is going through a prolonged political and social turmoil with no end in sight. Glenn Greenwald’s reportage on the subject is always fascinating.

      I may have mentioned to u that I once met Varda when she came to speak at my college. Love Cleo and the little of her other work I’ve thus far seen. Highly recommend Rosetta and struggling to get into TITN at halfway mark — a very different book to Gatsby, which I love, but I’ll reserve full judgement for the end

      Did you catch Pac v Horn and what did you make of the scoring controversy, particularly on your side of the pond? Has Teddy a point or has he jumped the shark?

    • These three tweets sum up how I feel about twin peaks season three so far

  3. Haha, those are some razor-sharp Tweets.

    But none is as good as your comment: “If I did, I’d watch the likes of X-Men.” That is a devastating criticism and I think it points up the completely unnecessary grounds for this remake.

    To take that point a little further: what is the nature of depicting evil in 21st century western film? One answer is, All the popcorn dweebs are watching men in capes fight juvenile fantasy “evil,” while the few followers of another, ostensibly more serious art think evil doesn’t have a secret fortress or a special effects budget. Evil for us is as it always was. Local, banal, generally modestly scaled. Drinks Pabst Blue Ribbon, doesn’t look terribly different to you or me. I have in mind Frank from Blue Velvet. A character who joins such memorable assholes as Mitchum’s fist-tatted preacher from Night of the Hunter, Wayne’s soldier from The Searchers and Brando’s Kurtz (or perhaps even more to the point: Duvall’s Col. Kilgore) as only slightly caricatured Everymen. Their terrible superpower is their ordinariness.

    In the original series, Laura’s dad occupied that role, the All-Too Human Monster, while Bob was a nice McGuffin to give the series its creepy motor. At the risk of blowing up his mystery, Lynch is stuck doing more with Bob this time round. (Worse, doing so without compelling figures like Leland Palmer, Bobby Briggs or Leo Johnson around to provide ongoing infusions of conflict — not for long, anyway, as their stand-ins are shuffled in and out of the huge cast arbitrarily, like so many pointless cameos). Honestly, I don’t care at all about Bob either. I put up with the McGuffin nonsense because I like enough of the other stuff around it.

    Mainly, the interstitial moments. His views of ordinary American life, such as in the crime scene investigation in the apartment, Harry Dean Stanton’s dyspeptic ride into town or the insurance company roundtable, are for me worth the price of admission. They’re of no great dramatic consequence, they’re just moments observed by a master. They remind me of Edward Hopper paintings, Tennessee Williams plays, Charles Bukowski poems. The prison interview scenes with Bad Cooper were staged and shot terrifically. The highly stylized throwaway stuff, say, the jackpot sequence or the Brando-esque kid hipster, is enjoyable enough. There’s a lot of padding. Many misfires. The mystical mumbo jumbo (“Eraserhead out-takes”) is dull and I nodded off during it more than once, haha. I laughed at the Black Lodge talking mashed potato tree; somebody should have said, “Uh, David?” to him before that was cut and printed. I’ll bet nobody’s given Lynch feedback in twenty-five years. Probably not since Dino De Laurentiis! Watch that stupid “making of” doc about an absurd fashion spot he made a few years ago and you see him surrounded by sycophants worthy of the retinue of a Wall St. baron.

    As a serial drama, it’s a failure. I’m in to the end for more of what I like, and because I expect it’s the last time he’ll have a canvas. I was observing to my wife that the season represents more released work than his entire oeuvre to date. If it was all we knew him by, I doubt we’d be talking about him as more than a gifted oddball. What’s there at the end of his career is gold flake among much panned wastewater. Anybody insisting this is the best TV ever is only proving that the Internet is history’s desire to collect all the planet’s bad judgment in one place!

    Yes, caught Pac v. Horn and felt Pac was maybe slightly robbed, with this caveat. How do you rob a guy who’s hung on so far past his prime that he’s leaving a fight with the likes of Horn to the judges? He’s deceiving everyone by hanging on. It’s embarrassing. Pac’s lucky he was facing a guy who merely throws like Maidana and not one who actually lands like Maidana. What’s your take? Teddy out to lunch?

    A guy I really feel bad for is Robert Guerrero. The beating he took the other night should be his last. Never much been impressed by The Ghost, apart from his grit, but I hate watching a shot fighter being thrown to the wolves.

    Turning to your land, one of my favorite scraps this year has been Taylor’s crushing of Davies. What a performance! How far do you think he can go? Also, I’ve caught the last couple fights of another Taylor, the gifted Katie, who is dynamite. I never liked women’s boxing, but I’ll watch any fight she’s in.

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