Reddit AMA (online Q&A with fans) with Bob Arum

Featuring such gems as:

“Have you ever seen the infamous Oscar fishnet pictures? If so, what are your thoughts?”

Arum: “Oscar always maintained that it was photoshopped, and that’s a testament to his credibility”

&

“With the rise of the #metoo movement, on a scale of 1 to 10 how scared are you of skeletons from your past being exposed?”

Arum: “Well, I always envision getting up at a press conference and talking and some old lady in a walker comes in and accuses me 50 years ago of doing something inappropriate. I can always plead at my age that I have no memory, but it’s possible!”

47 thoughts on “Reddit AMA (online Q&A with fans) with Bob Arum

  1. Great you put this up! Bob is hilarious. If he hadn’t promoted boxing, he could have worked stages in the Borscht Belt.

    Speaking of amusing, i’m sure you’ll have enjoyed Naz’s Eubank diss. Icing on the cake of a fine Groves performance, for me.

    Poor Junior: all six-packed up and nowhere to go. It’s clear he’s wasted every minute since the BJS loss perfecting his sniper stare while hunting for lesser journeymen (and in the WBSS, a faded Arthur Abraham) to clobber. Shoulda coulda woulda, but spurning Adam Booth was the spiritual deposit he made on the night of humiliation with Groves.

    It’s interesting how more has been said about Junior’s wasted potential than Groves’ realized potential. I’m sure this is a consequence of the smack the Eubank factory has talked for years. Perhaps more than any sport, boxing loves it when you can back up the talk, and it loves even more putting the boot in when you can’t.

    Next couple of weekends look like high points in the boxing year.

    • Glad you enjoyed, Bob is far too old to give a fuck what anyone thinks of him!

      Naz instantly became a cult punditry icon off of his display last Saturday. Both unintentionally hilarious and, alternately spot on and hyperbolically, cutting. He has had beef with Eubank senior dating back to their shared heyday supposedly.

      “You’re either good at boxing or you’re not” & “Alisha baby, I love you!” had me in stitches.

      This may well end up as Groves’ signature win and full credit to him for a smart boxing display. More than that, credit to him for bouncing back from his three defeats as strongly as he has. In truth though, his jab and grab tactics, and persistent hittability, didn’t impress me to any great degree.

      He’ll likely enter the final with Smith (if it takes place; it might not due to the shoulder injury) as favourite, but that will be an even sterner test.

      I completely agree with your assessment of Junior. He hasn’t improved a jot since the Saunders loss and hardly at all since he turned pro. There’s only so far you can go on natural talent and strength, and he’s shown an arrogant unwillingness to learn that I’ve seen from few boxers. The brief Booth link-up was always destined to be short-lived.

      Because of his name he has (or maybe had) the ability to become a PPV mainstay on this side of the Atlantic, but I don’t see him ever reaching his potential because of this mindset and his father’s mis-guidance. He’s already been exposed as having little actual boxing ability now, so there’s not a whole lot of mystique left.

      “Perhaps more than any sport, boxing loves it when you can back up the talk, and it loves even more putting the boot in when you can’t.” — so true.

      Absolutely. Superfly 2 (especially Rungvisai-Estrada) and Wilder-Ortiz will both be quality offerings.

      Bivol-Barrera is another fight to keep an eye on.

  2. And now we have SSR-Estrada in the can. Terrific fun. Decision the right one? Looked close to me.

    FYI: our man Teddy in an enjoyable new interview, heart on sleeve, metaphors a-popping (Anthony Joshua, we learn, was born with a school chalkboard eraser in his hand…an eraser called “power”). Interviewer discovers what Joe Tessitore has known for years: resistance is futile.

    • Haha thanks for sharing this — I’ll watch asap

      SSR-Estrada was brilliant, my favourite fight of the year so far. Superfly is a gift that keeps on giving. I scored it 115-113 to the Thai

  3. And Wilder-Ortiz in a thriller, too. Great boxing year so far.

    Felt bad for Ortiz, who, through a combination of many reasons both his and not his fault, saw his chance at the title come when he was past it. Not so far past it that he couldn’t confirm all our suspicions about Wilder’s chin and dubious craft. But past it enough to taste destruction. The final seconds with Deontay clubbing away blindly looked like something out of a nightmare–ragged, forbidden, obscene. Great, blood-pumping spectacle.

    The fight also confirmed something else about Wilder. His science fiction-like powers of recovery. Other fighters won’t gas out as the aged Ortiz did when he had Deontay, so the Bomb Squad will prove mortal eventually, maybe soon at the hands of Joshua. But the decision on when to sell out against him carries really high risks. The longer spent on setting up shots, the more chance he has to land the right hand. I don’t think Ortiz made a mistake; he had to go for it, already tiring and not knowing when or if the chance would come again. But if you don’t finish the terror off, and he snaps back, then what? What do you say to a charging grizzly when you’re out of bullets? (Time-honored answer: “Uh, can we talk about this?”)

    • Tremendous fight, sure to go down as one of the year’s best.

      It was Wilder’s ‘AJ-Wlad moment’, surviving torrid adversity against his first elite opponent to come back for the dramatic ko win.

      Wilder was finally punished for his alarming lack of technique, but proved himself in terms of superior athleticism, at least a decent chin and, most of all, mental calmness to recover from almost being taken out.

      Ortiz is clearly years past his physical prime but showed he still very much has a place in the landscape. He was a punch or two away from altering history in the 7th.

      With fingers crossed for no fucking around, let’s please have AJ-Wilder before the end of 2018. There are few, if any, better fights to be made in the sport.

  4. “There are few, if any, better fights to be made in the sport.” True dat.

    Barring a rejuvenated Tyson Fury back in action, there isn’t much else I care to see from heavyweights. In a year or two, things could heat up as Daniel Dubois develops or one of the East European lhw juggernauts moves up. Right now, it looks like the two titans sit atop a thin division.

    Here’s a question for your boxing brain. How do you think an Ortiz-Joshua fight might have played out? It’s likely moot now, as I suspect Ortiz has taken a career ending beating. AJ, I imagine, would have kept Ortiz more honest, but I also think Ortiz has a point-and-shoot style that would have frustrated practically every current heavyweight. Had he been in with Parker, for instance, I think it would have looked like Fury-Parker — that is, with the addition of hitting.

    Did you catch Terrence Crawford’s quip about Canelo? “I don’t know what’s in that chicken, but it sounds fishy to me.”

    Reading or watching anything good?

    • I agree that HW is lacking in genuine depth currently. Look out for Hrgovic, Dubois, Joyce and Gassiev/Usyk to remedy that in the coming years.

      Good question: potentially, Ortiz, because of his technical nouse, could have been the most difficult fight out there for AJ. But that’s a moot point now as you say, because Ortiz has just suffered a bad ko and is on the outside looking in.

      Crawford has an underrated personality when he’s not busy intimidating mechanics or bludgeoning opponents.

      I read an interesting book on the underbelly of sexual misconduct in sport, focusing particularly on Australia, Anna Krien’s Night Games. Currently reading, god help me, a David Haye biography haha

      I was left baffled by Ostlund’s Palme D’Or winning, The Square. Frequently hilarious and chock full of ideas, I don’t think it adds up to a coherent whole. It deserves a rewatch though.

      I also watched Annihilation, consigned to Netflix in this part of the world after poor box office and battles with the studio for being “too intellectual”.

      I recall you being dubious after viewing the trailer a while back (and you’ve read the books, no?), but it was one of the best films I’ve seen in recent times. Not quite Stalker territory but it’s very much an art film made with few concessions to a commercial audience.

      Intelligent, thought provoking and full of abiguities: I thoroughly enjoyed it. One wordless, dance-like scene towards the end is particularly outstanding.

      There are a few flaws but overall it shows Garland to be a director of real promise, building on the good-but-not-great Ex Machina.

      • I caught Annihilation as well, so let’s discuss. 🙂

        Yes, I know the source material and rate it middling-to-good genre stuff. Since Garland only adapted the first of three books, and not even the best of them, it wouldn’t be very fair of me to say he has done a disservice to Vandermeer. The faults as with the strengths in the film are truly his.

        He has largely reimagined a fleshless and dimly-plotted novel, hung characters on its bony skeleton, whacked out a through-line from its thickets of dull wetlands-gazing, but also horribly sacrificed its mystery. The closest the book comes to any kind of explanation for Area X is in an early setpiece: a descent into an underworld that finds a shambling creature inscribing a long line of symbols that might be formulae, rewriting, as it were, the structure of everything. Generally, though, mankind is in the dark, science is doggedly resigned, and a leviathanic bureaucracy with the morals of Washington D.C. turned up to 11 can’t seem to help. All this gets much better in the second book.

        I liked 3/4 of the film a lot. Nods to Garland’s palette in Area X, his disjointed time structure and the individual performances. My expectations were so low that for most of the picture I was absolutely thrilled by what he’d done. Until.

        As you say, an arthouse piece, casting an eye over its shoulder at Tarkovsky, but what a farcical concession is the final act. The Marcel Marceau stuff in the lighthouse — and that paint-by-number ending. Far better is Vandermeer’s text on the lighthouse: a place serving as the endpoint of futility but also a crypt of government corruption, it’s where the biologist comes upon vast piles of journals left by previous expeditions. Each ended up there in ruin and discovered itself to be only the latest canon fodder thrown into the maw.

        Imagine trying to get -that- despairing finale past a studio on the line for Portman’s and Isaac’s salaries. Garland should take himself to HBO or Showtime.

        Will see The Square at earliest opportunity. Just showed up here.

        Must hear the best anecdote from the Haye biography! I like him quite a bit as a raconteur/commentator. Currently going through Andy Partridge’s deliciously witty tales about XTC’s days in the interview book Complicated Game. Ordered this after watching the recent doc for UK television, itself a real treat.

      • Thanks for sharing your detailed take on the film, Richard.

        The Area X of the book does sound more Tarkovskian and interesting than the version in the film, explained with the usual expository dialogue.

        I enjoyed the ending a lot, and the ambiguities that remained of whether or not Portman’s character or her clone had escaped the lighthouse, the same questions lingering of her husband, or what remains of him. I’m sure the studio bosses would have preferred something far more rosy. Does it differ greatly in plot or tone from the conclusion of the book?

        “A place serving as the endpoint of futility but also a crypt of government corruption, it’s where the biologist comes upon vast piles of journals left by previous expeditions. Each ended up there in ruin and discovered itself to be only the latest canon fodder thrown into the maw” — this sounds terrific, and would have added futher depth.

        I’m curious as to why you didn’t connect with the mime/dance scene. I loved it and thought it worked on the level of an ingenious visual concept and as a curio of abstraction that one very rarely finds in Hollywood cinema.

        Caught Mike Leigh’s Happy Go Lucky a couple of days ago. It was his standard offering, which is to say a sharp character study filled with some of the most believable characters in cinema.

        I haven’t been a fan of what I’ve seen by Wes Anderson, but found myself going to see Isle of Dogs. Funny, intelligent and as impressive a children’s film as you’re likely to see.

        Also saw Terence Davies’ A Quiet Passion, an Emily Dickinson biopic. Davies is one of my favourite filmmakers and, while this ranks on the lower end of his oeuvre, it works in a canny use of Dickinson’s poetry and a smattering of Davies’ trademark visual flourishes. Well worth a watch if you ever get a chance.

        Distant Voices, Still Lives is probably my favourite ever British film, if you need an introduction to Davies. His trilogy of interconnected early shorts is also a good starting point.

  5. Apologies for the late reply.

    “Does it differ greatly in plot or tone from the conclusion of the book?”

    The novel has the protagonist staying on permanently in Area X (never called “the Shimmer”). It’s a fairly unsatisfying wrap-up, actually, but then the strength of the book is its backstory rather than its meandering plot. This finale sets up intrigue in future volumes about the lighthouse. That material is better.

    Garland seems to have been taken with many of the same elements I was: archeological remnants, found footage, nature subverted, clues to what’s gone wrong. But what I really liked and what kept me going through the books was their presentation of this mindbogglingly inept and depressive institute, out in the middle of nowhere, keeping a Soviet-like vigil over things beyond its ken, all while sacrificing budgets and lives as its raison d’être. How like real life!

    “I’m curious as to why you didn’t connect with the mime/dance scene.”

    Just didn’t do it for me, I guess. The previous sequence, which saw the team come upon bushes growing in human shapes, got to the essential mystery better and was, I thought, a visual grace note. I think when cinema tries to put closure to these things, it nearly always errs. Granted, Garland is a lot more subtle than most. My ideal is Kubrick or Tarkovsky: resolutely resolved to resolve nothing!

    Thanks for the tip on that new Mike Leigh. My wife especially loves his cinema and has seen more of it than I.

    Movies involving poets are so rare I must see this one by Davies, who you have praised before. My favorites in this minor genre will be “Henry Fool” and “Reuben, Reuben.” Neither very sober or edifying, but just my cup of tea in irony and twisted fate.

    While I did an English degree and have read and still do read a surprising lot of poetry, I’ve never developed a taste for Dickinson! Surely it’s some deficiency in me that is incurable. I used to have to pretend to care about her when I’d go into see my course advisor, who had a giant portrait of her hanging on the wall. It was so imposing, you walked in and felt expected to make a ritual bow. She’d be there, turning slightly toward it in anticipation — all very awkward. Then there was this: old Bev had clearly modeled her look on Emily, a kind of winking spinster get-up, hair fixed to the scalp in that lepidopteristic finality, so there was this temptation to look from her to the portrait and back to her, and wonder if this was the right time to drop a Dickinson reference into the request for a department grant.

    Did you catch any of The Terror adaptation for TV? I read some of the book, good chilly thriller stuff though it lost me between icebergs. First episode (all I’ve seen) is very nicely done: Lovecraft meets Mutiny on the Bounty.

    Thoughts on Loma-Linares? Confess to having seen only one Linares outing, so rely on you for expertise.

    • I had a hearty laugh at your Dickinson-doppelganger teacher yarn, thanks for that! I enjoy poetry but confess to not being a frequent reader of it. Dickinson has yet to cross my radar in any lingering way.

      I can see any Annihilation sequels being a big disappointment in a different director’s hands. Annihilation is a poor man’s Stalker or 2001 for sure, but my choice of comparing it to those two is, in itself, a compliment to Garland.

      Keep me posted on The Terror & if it keeps up the momentum, I’ll check it out. Looking forward to beginning season 2 of Westworld soon.

      Recently saw:

      Van Sant’s Elephant — an exercise in style that is memorable visually but ultimately less than the sum of its parts. It’s admirable in its refusal to provide easy answers, however.

      Lynn Ramsey’s fantastic new film, You Were Never Really Here — Joaquin Phoenix must be one of the best actors in mainstream cinema, and given that I’d been disappointed by We Need to Talk About Kevin, I was excited to see just why Ramsey is so acclaimed. A subtle visual feast and study in violence & redemption. The Jonny Greenwood score also merits mention, ratcheting up the tension unbearably.

      New horror A Quiet Place — John Krasinski directs, and it’s a good mainstream monster movie. The premise is terrific and someone like David Fincher would have been liable to make a masterpiece of it. As it stands, there are flat moments and cliches but it’s better than the vast majority of Hollywood offerings.

      Spielberg near his worst with sci-fi dystopia adventure Ready Player One — intermittently entertaining but untimately hollow, pop culture reference-filled, muddled in plot and bloated in length.

      Loma-Linares is a terrific matchup and one that, if Loma wins as impressively as I expect him to, will likely establish the Ukranian as consensus pound for pound king upon conquering three divisions in only 13 fights.

      Linares is a classy boxer with beautiful timing and combinations. He’s done remarkably well to resurrect his career in Klitschko-like fashion from a series of early career stoppages. He passes the eye test with flying colours but something is missing in his resume. The matchmaking to get him to this stage has been clever.

      I think Loma is all wrong for him stylistically and forsee another stoppage loss for Linares, who I think, despite the run he’s on, is at the tail end of his career.

  6. Cheers for the tasty film crit!

    You are a brave man going to Ready Player One. I’d be in recovery somewhere right now if I had to sit through it.

    Ramsey and Van Sant are credible artists whose films I have only glancing familiarity with. My favorite of Van Sant’s remains his To Die For for the wry Buck Henry script. Ramsey I feel like I should at least try to get to know better (I started her Morvern Callar). Maybe Joaquin Phoenix will be just the ticket, agree with you about him.

    I’m likely to give A Quiet Place a go after your recommendation and its trailer. It’s intriguing to see how dystopian horror flicks continue to look for new McGuffins. That’s about all that can differentiate them now as the survival plot is fairly calcified in its tropes, and lord knows the 100-minute multiplex form just can’t breathe. Then, too, at least in America, our built environment is in such decay (to say nothing of the more than 60 thousand dropping from opioids annually) that dystopia is a harder sell, visually, than in past decades. It’s all looking so stinking familiar, Jeremy.

    Two 21st century works in other visual media, for me, anyway, transcend what movies are doing with the genre. One is the brilliant Irish writer Garth Ennis’ graphic novel “Crossed” (the original; countless spinoffs have been done by lesser hands, though there’s an Alan Moore mini-masterpiece in there too). The other is the Playstation game The Last of Us, interactive art at its most emotionally sophisticated and gripping. Both the comic and the game suggest to me there’s a lot that commercial cinema can’t do, or won’t for various reasons do, both thematically and experientially. Gaming already seems to have within it the formal capabilities to compete with genre cinema. If it won’t outdo the masters, it’ll make Spielberg bloody unnecessary.

    Thanks for the Loma-Linares breakdown. I’m excited. At the weigh-in, Linares looked the somewhat bigger man, though not giant. Nothing like Mikey Garcia alongside Lomachenko, reducing the Ukrainian to a ventriloquist’s doll.

    Keen to hear your take on Hearn’s billion dollar deal. Promising? He’s right that the PPV is absurd over here. (He says too costly, but of course it’s also costly in the sense that large chunks of a fighter’s life can go missing, as in the Gennady-Canelo circus, with careers warped as fights are skipped in order to cash in on the big prize. Who, eg, needed the keep-busy GGG-Martirosian? PPVs are the black hole of the sport.) I hope the monthly fees come in right, and that he can build a viable US stable for Matchroom/DAZN. I’d love to subscribe if the value is there.

    Watching: the 1970 UK children’s series Catweazel, a recent happy discovery and apparently all but unknown over here. Author Richard Carpenter said of it, “I’d rather create adult programs for children than childish programs for adults.” That’s the spirit! Continuing with The Terror, still taut and satisfying, a production rising above its throwaway source material. I broke out the novel today to review some bits and was depressed by how it read like a Wikipedia entry.

    Listening: the outstanding Richard Poe audiobook of Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, a season in hell if ever there was one.

    • Haha I went in (foolishly) hoping for some of the magic of early Spielberg but left the theatre with a migraine and a reminder of his talent wasted too often on mind-numbing confection.

      Definitely check out that new Ramsey, I’m interested to hear your take. Van Sant’s work I have a mixed opinion of so far.

      New British indie Beast is an interesting film I saw recently. A novel premise, filmed beautifully and full of promise for the two leads (the female lead is from my neck of the woods in Kerry) and debuting director. Unfortunately, the denouement is a melodramatic mess, but it´s impressive until then.

      Yes — seen one dystopian horror of the multiplex era and you’re likely to have seen them all. This one has some aspects of originality, though, and is certainly good as far as mainstream offerings go.

      Your breadth of knowledge never ceases to amaze me, I didn’t expect a video game critique (and Catweazel, which I will google)! I’ll pass that recommendation on to my best friend, who is a gaming connoisseur. Ready Player One is essentially Hollywood’s attempt at bringing the video game experience to the cinema screen, but gone grossly wrong. Spielberg is unnecessary, indeed. I’m not surprised to hear that there are far more immersive and artistically vibrant offerings in the real thing.

      I always laugh at that “ventriloquist’s doll” observation haha.

      We saw how disastrously the PBC has tanked, but Hearn is a different animal so I suspect it’ll do a helluva lot better than Haymon’s failed experiment. The fact that he has his own platform guaranteed for at least four years, rather than buying airtime for two years with no future license fees likely forthcoming, is a good start. Hearn supposedly already has more money at his budgetary disposal now that HBO and SHO combined.

      I suspect he’ll build an impressive stable of several dozen international names and it’s prescient of him (along with Top Rank and ESPN+) to move to an OTT streaming model. All sport, especially niche ones, are likely to transition to online platforms in the coming five or ten years. Amazon Prime have already taken the rights to tennis in my part of the world, for example. The way people view sport and entertainment is changing rapidly.

      It’s a very exciting concept overall, but will all depend on who Hearn signs, what fights he can make with his huge budget and how successfully DAZN takes off in the next couple of years.

      16 extra fight nights at no further cost is a great deal for me as a Sky TV subscriber. Look out for my next Random Rants as I compare this to the decreasing value of Boxnation, which I’ve been a loyal subscriber to since 2011.

      The ultimate irony with regards to bloated PPV & the Canelo failed tests stalling GGG’s momentum, when he is likely running out of prime years, would be if Canelo beats him in the eventual rematch. I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens, and equally it wouldn’t surprise me if the fight doesn’t happen until next May. This would give Canelo time to beef up with an interim win and for Golovkin to age further. GGG-Vanes was an uninteresting mismatch but I can’t begrudge him too much for taking the opportunity to stay active and collect a payday for the troubles of his efforts in training.

      I’ve had Blood Meridian recommended to me in the past. It’s on my radar for sure.

  7. What a fight. Watching it again, I had Loma up by one at the time of the stoppage.

    In late action, Linares looked to be landing the bigger blows. Yet he also looked like the one paying the heaviest price in exchanges, despite enjoying a criminal 14-lb. weight advantage. Worn down mentally, maybe. Fighting Lomachenko must be like taking on a bottomless beehive.

    Enjoyed the ESPN commentary team, even sans dear old Teddy.

    Your thoughts? Loma big enough for 135? I’d pick Garcia to have the size and acumen to hurt him.

    • I had Loma a little further ahead, but that was the best technical boxing match I’ve watched in forever. Brilliant stuff.

      Loma looks to be the first undisputed p4p best since Mayweather & Linares proved that his Wlad-esque resurgence from knockout defeats of years gone by was no mirage of careful matchmaking.

      I typically hate this new ESPN lineup. Kriegel is infuriating…but last night they were unobtrusive and let the fighting do the talking.

      The Garcia fight just got even more interesting in my eyes now, as Loma certainly did have issues with the size of Linares, and Garcia is much bigger again.

      It simply has to happen. Hopefully Garcia and Top Rank can put their bad blood behind them to make it before too long. Latest rumour I’ve heard is that Garcia may be the first signing of Dana Whiteºs new boxing venture.

  8. Teddy saw it just as you did.

    Say more about Kriegel. Admittedly, nothing he said struck me as terribly profound or even coherent. I thought the three gelled in a kind of unobtrusive, low-key way. I like Tim Bradley, no BS and his measured presence a bit of a curb on Tessatore’s wowza act. Nobody will confuse them for Lamps, Roy and Max, certainly, but not a bad change of pace.

    “I’m not surprised to hear that there are far more immersive and artistically vibrant offerings in the real thing.” Here and there, yet they only seem to get rarer as the medium matures. Admittedly games rate pretty far down on my cultural needs hierarchy, haha, but I’ve loved them since my first glimpse (in a galaxy far, far away) of the coin-devouring arcade machine Asteroids. Before that, I grew up with the jangle of pinball machines. It’s in my blood.

    “Loma looks to be the first undisputed p4p best since Mayweather” High praise! Is it too early to say how far Loma might go? Progress in boxing today is so much an economic question. The big tests only seem to come if there’s big money.

    I think Floyd’s success was to turn an electrifying early career into a game of long chess, where he could shoulder-roll an occasional pawn move, as spare of effort as a sleepy-eyed Kasparov scratching himself between moves. Outside the ring was where the action lay. He incarnated an OG his fans could track in real time (fed by his hourly car purchase Tweets, his Instagram’d rainmaking at strip clubs, his multimedia-platform run ins with broadcasters and judges). Floyd’s bling life became more interesting at a certain stage than his ring life, yet the one kept up interest in the latter.

    Thinking of late-career Floyd on the ropes potshotting or staging MMA-crossover gag fights, I don’t want Loma to hurry up and become a conservative, chiseling fighter. Maybe he should take a page from Floyd’s book and let Mikey wear himself out a bit up at 140, first.

    Nice analysis of Hearn. If he truly has a pile bigger than HBO and SHO combined, I wonder what kind of disloyalty this might inspire in their stables. Maybe, also, he could lure some people out of retirement, eg Ward for a one-time pasting of Bellew. I suppose he could try to interest the Sauerlands in a stateside WBSS broadcasting deal. Btw, I’ll be aggrieved if Eubank Jr. is substituted for Groves.

    • Kriegel irritates me greatly. So often he invokes the family backstory or some other anecdote from their childhood in a faux-poetic attempt to inject further meaning into the fight. Bradley is passable and Tessitore misses Teddy, who curbs his “wowza”/WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MAIN EVENT instincts.

      I expect Loma to excel at the top of the sport for years to come, but perhaps it’s time to calm down on the weight jumping and settle into lightweight for the time being. We all want the Garcia fight but Arum’s recent comments suggest it’s not likely to get made. It’s interesting to note that Garcia has vacated his 140 belt to stay at lightweight for now. He’s supposedly unifying with Robert Easter next.

      Loma may be forced to 140 and beyond prematurely due to lack of credible opposition.

      My interest level in Ward-Bellew is very low haha. I hope that one doesn’t happen. Broner has allegedly turned down a huge money offer from Hearn already.

      It seems increasingly likely that Groves won’t fight in the final. That would basically render the whole tournament meaningless, and while Smith-Eubank is certainly a good fight, a losing semi-finalist possibly winning the whole thing is patently ludicrous.

  9. “So often he invokes the family backstory or some other anecdote from their childhood in a faux-poetic attempt to inject further meaning into the fight.”

    That’s put perfectly. I can’t stand such cloying shit, either. Frankly, that only takes me out of the fight. Now, in a very different way, The Fight Game did a segment about a Philadelphia youth boxing center/church ministry situated in the hood near a filthy streetside shooting gallery: the geographies of hope and ruin, side by side. Lampley moved me with his account of the ex-mob enforcer-turned-trainer-preacher (he looked like the Goodfellas-era Joe Pesci). There’s a time and a place and a sensibility needed for this material.

    Now you have me thinking of Barton Fink, where the bloviating studio head, Lipnik, sets Barton straight on why he’s botched his wrestling picture assignment:

    Hell, I could take you through it
    step by step, explain why your story
    stinks, but I won’t insult your
    intelligence. Well all right, first
    of all: This is a wrestling picture;
    the audience wants to see action,
    drama, wrestling, and plenty of it.
    They don’t wanna see a guy wrestling
    with his soul – well, all right, a
    little bit, for the critics – but
    you make it the carrot that wags the
    dog. Too much of it and they head
    for exits and I don’t blame ’em.
    There’s plenty of poetry right inside
    that ring, Fink. Look at “Hell Ten
    Feet Square”.

    LOU
    “Blood, Sweat, and Canvas”.

    LIPNIK
    Look at “Blood, Sweat, and Canvas”.
    These are big movies, Fink. About
    big men, in tights – both physically
    and mentally. But especially
    physically. We don’t put Wallace
    Beery in some fruity movie about
    suffering – I thought we were together
    on that.

    • Been struggling to find Fight Game links lately. I’ve always been higher on the show than most. That sounds like a segment worth catching.

      “Frankly, that only takes me out of the fight” – spot on.

      Here is more evidence of Kriegel’s unsuitability to his role, as he labels Roman Gonzalez a “loser” (click the link within the tweet to see Kriegel’s comments, referring to what he initially said on the Ancajas broadcast):

      I had a good laugh at that dialogue.

      “These are big movies, Fink. About
      big men, in tights – both physically
      and mentally. But especially
      physically.”

      What an ear the Coens have.

  10. I don’t find it terribly often, either. Can’t be bothered to subscribe to HBO these days; maybe with the return of True Detective, hopefully in this decade!

    Did, however, find the segment:

    Kriegel comes off as quite the weasel in those Tweets. Pretending he’ll buy an upset boxing fan a beer! How low can a man sink?

    Are you a fan of Joe Dante’s “Trailers From Hell” YouTube series? Love notes to trashy, obscure and (often deservedly) forgotten cinema from directors. It isn’t quite Marty talking on film, but there are some nice moments:

    • I’d save my cash and stream True Detective online 😉 Certainly their boxing content doesn’t merit it nowadays.

      I’m fond of what I’ve seen of Dante. I’m not familiar with these videos but will check some out and tell you my opinion.

      Same with the HBO segment. Thanks for finding it for me.

      Did you catch Crawford-Horn? I believe it was not televised in your neck of the woods, instead consigned to ESPN+.

      • I’ve seen that TFH, too. Haven’t seen the De Palma yet. Apart from his Dressed to Kill, he’s never caught on with me. Maybe Femme Fatale would change my mind.

        Too bad about the Lamps link. Maybe try using the Opera browser’s free built-in VPN which defies territorial curbs?

        Enjoyed Crawford’s comeback. Can’t say I learned much from it about how he’ll fare at 147, given Horn’s one-dimensionality. Power seems a question, though Horn’s toughness also makes that hard to judge. Bud certainly looked fast-handed and light on his feet. Your take? Interesting that the quiet Nebraskan might be poised for stardom (if Arum is to be believed, ESPN were happy with the app numbers; good, because the à la carte app model is promising and I’d like to see PPV destroyed). Your nemesis Kriegel wrote a readable piece about the boxer’s gothic upbringing.

        Looking forward to the Josh Kelly fight tomorrow. The stylist is one of my favorite young boxers. Watching?

        Movies: thanks to the plug on Trailers From Hell I saw Cronenberg’s Scanners which I liked a lot. Not sure why it took +30 years; guess I was busy, haha. Happy surprise finding Patrick McGoohan in a tart role riffing with his quirky clarinet of a voice. (McGoohan can find hidden syllables in the word “yes.”) I liked nearly every aspect including the throbbing score. Cronenberg’s aesthetic, the cold corridors of the hollow world inside the military-industrial HQ, is well-tuned to its bygone tropes–amoral scientists, shadowy intel, human experimentation, cultists on the lam. For my money, this makes it one of the few very good cinematic takes on the creepy history of Cold War mischief that informs it.

        He turned around and made his next horror in a similar vein with Oliver Reed. Looks like I’m stuck watching that too. 🙂

      • Femme Fatale is perhaps the ultimate De Palma marmite film. It contains all his tropes and is a summation of all his thriller/suspense techniques. You will probably love it or hate it. De Palma is, along with Malick, my favourite American filmmaker.

        I’ve been watching Trailers from Hell videos for days now haha. Thanks for the tip.

        Haha I read a (positive) review of that Kriegel piece in the weekly ‘Respect Box’ newletter one boxing writer has been distributing lately. Here’s a link if you wish to sign up, I’d recommend it: https://twitter.com/Rafeboogs?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

        Good performance from Crawford. No particular fireworks but he completely dominated a much bigger, and, I still feel, underrated opponent, closing the show with a stoppage. Horn is absolutely one dimensional but he makes for good fights.

        Spence bombed out a bad mandatory last night, so let’s hope that one gets made in 2019. Surely it’s the best fight in the sport currently.

        Kelly looked more hittable now that he was in with a competent opponent, but I thought he looked good again. He’s arguably the best prospect in British boxing currently and will develop well under Adam Booth. It’s easy to forget that Kelly is just 7 fights into his pro career.

        Lewis Ritson on the undercard is another name to watch for.

        Watched the terrible Richard Kelly film, The Box. Stay far away: hard to believe the same filmmaker gave us Donnie Darko, and it’s now easier to see why he’s made just two films since.

        I saw Scanners years ago and enjoyed it. I’ve seen a lot of Cronenberg, including the early purely body horror stuff, and can’t quite make up my mind on him. I guess there’s something there though: I’m fascinated by the coldness (there’s something of a low budget Kubrick in his aesthetic also) and keep coming back.

  11. Knew you’d like the TFH. They have an often wonderful way of being serious while not taking themselves too seriously. I especially like Allan Arkush. He of Rock n’ Roll High School fame who assures us in his review of 8 1/2 that he put a shot-for-shot Fellini homage in some superhero junk he did for TV. Bravo, that’s the spirit!

    Some of the guys there made or were complicit in the drive-in cinema of my distant youth; I’m wired to their sensibilities, even if I no longer would watch their movies, haha.

    Too bad about the new Kelly. Tried watching his Southland Tales; ugh. Any idea what the hell happened?

    Speaking of Spence, what do you make of the talk of him vs. Mikey Garcia at 147? The smaller Garcia would be fearless indeed to take that fight. I’m not sure even Crawford will like his eventual dance with Spence. Whatever happens, I know we will. 🙂

    Impressed by Ritson’s demolition job. Now on my radar, thanks. Agree with your take on Josh Kelly looking more hittable; the plot thickens. Nice tip on the terrifically named Respect Box newsletter.

    “I’m fascinated by the coldness (there’s something of a low budget Kubrick in his aesthetic also) and keep coming back.”

    I think you’ve put it splendidly. Cronenberg has more up his sleeve than his (especially early) subjects might suggest. I’m a big fan of his “Videodrome,” a dystopic movie that manages to get a sense of large social scale on a credit card budget. Prophetically, maybe, it also feels its way to the emerging screen culture in the west–the world-after-books then taking shape.

    Pauline Kael in her New Yorker pieces would always attack coldness in Kubrick. Those are fascinating, cranky works of criticism, her 60s/70s film writing. She meant his cerebral strategies. The long takes, the abstracted settings, the formalist editing, the light bleaching people into specimens. She went for Peckinpah over him any day. I like Sam’s movies a lot, though they are basically stylish treatises on loading and emptying guns. As in boxing, so in film–there are levels. 🙂

    Btw, the artful Peckinpah could pull off some nice formalist tricks when he had the time and inclination, eg, that title sequence when the gunfighters all converge at the train station in Once Upon A Time In the West. A visual poem, crafty as hell.

    • That’s the kind of cinephilia I can get behind!

      I can only speculate on Kelly. Maybe it’s just a case of a filmmaker who isn’t special making one great film. Donnie Darko is probably one of the most accomplished debut films I’ve ever seen.

      I think we’re a long way from seeing Spence-Garcia. Perhaps one day. I don’t see it as a good fight for Mikey.

      I must rewatch Videdrome. Saw it years ago but have mostly forgotten it, save for a few disturbing orifice-based images. I’m motivated now to see more of early Cronenberg. He wrote a novel not long ago, by the way. So has Brian De Palma (co written), but only released in French so far.

      Haha I love Kael’s writing, even when I (frequently) disagree with her opinions. I recall her frequently rubbishing the likes of Antonioni (although she rightly praised L’Avventura), Dreyer and Kubrick. The lurid likes of De Palma, Peckinpah and Bertolucci were more to her tastes.

      Once Upon a Time in the West is a Leone film, not Peckinpah, though that is an awesome sequence. Now I’m motivated to rewatch The Wild Bunch (watched the trailer from hell today), as well as see Ride the High Country & Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia for the first time, both of which are recorded to my tv box.

      One episode to go in season 2 of Westworld…

  12. “Once Upon a Time in the West is a Leone film, not Peckinpah”

    Haha, that’ll teach me to babble on the Internet after a few drinks!

    Turning to the actual Peckinpah, Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia is one of his I admire. The sleaze that Leone only cleverly stylizes in Once Upon A Time In The West is palpable in Peckinpah’s Garcia, even though it’s a rougher, looser film. Hell of a title, too.

    David Thomson has this to say about Cronenberg in his New Biographical Dictionary of Film, 5th Ed.:

    “If one entertains suspicions that the post-Psycho vogue for horror pictures by new directors is far too much of a bad thing–slick, overeffectsy, heartless, spectacular, adolescent, exploitative–then Cronenberg is perhaps the most valuable item in the argument. Horror for Cronenberg is not a game or a meal ticket; it is, rather, the natural expression for one of the best directors working today. For Cronenberg’s subject is the intensity of human frailty and decay: in short, the body and its many accelerated mutations, whether out of disease, anger, dread, or hope. These are not easy films to take. But how can horror be easy? Anyone born and reckoning on dying needs to confront Cronenberg.”

    How’s that for praise! He goes on to call Dead Ringers “a masterpiece–one of the few such achievements in the 1980s.” I agree. Care for Thomson at all? As with his book “Have you seen…: A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films,” his mini-portraits here blend scholarship and keen judgment. The main problem is completeness, eg, Adam Sandler but not Pietro Germi, wtf! And it’s prone to his too-oracular pronouncements. In his Woody Allen entry, he speculates Woody made off with Soon Yi because the director’s subconscious demanded real-life problems for his art. Heh. As we say in Coens country, “You betcha!” 😉

    How is the second season of Westworld? I might have a look in. About halfway through The Terror, can recommend.

    Caught Taylor beating Postol; good hard-fought win though I had it a lot closer than the lopsided cards. Postol’s last opponent, a flashy if raw young Uzbek drafted in to help the post-Crawford fighter get up to speed, actually showed him up for a few rounds.

    • Haha it happens to us all.

      I watched Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia last week and unfortunately wasn’t impressed. Sleazy, certainly, and I thought it a mess — the type of film you’d imagine Peckinpah making while on a hooker and drugs bender through Mexico. What a bizarre Kristofferson cameo!

      I loved Hereditary, the new horror from first time director, Ari Aster. One of the best directorial debuts of recent years and instantly one of my favourites in the genre.

      Found Scanners on Youtube and got it queued up for a rewatch. Also ordered some other early Cronenbergs from the library.

      Enjoyable Thompson excerpt, and no, I have only read snippets of his work over the years.

      I enjoyed season two of Westworld, definitely worth watching if you liked the first, though I didn’t rate it as highly. The plot is densely woven and complex, arguably too much so, requiring an overabundance of exposition at the expense of the visual and verbal poetry contained in the show’s best moments.

      I had Taylor winning because of the knockdown. Brilliant fight. I recalled your assessment of Postol’s poor showing in his last fight, so thought Taylor would win more easily. It turned out that Postol was anything but a shot fighter. What Taylor has achieved in so few fights is highly impressive and his participation in the WBSS is exciting. I’d hope there’s a place in the tournament for Postol too.

      Did you see Saucedo-Lenny Z.? If not, it’s my leading candidate for FOTY so far.

  13. “the type of film you’d imagine Peckinpah making while on a hooker and drugs bender through Mexico”

    Haha! Perfect. Exactly why I like it, as it happens. 😉

    I’ve just seen a film that wants to coat itself in such sleaze, but gets hamstrung by its melodrama posing as conscience: Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario. I think you care for his Blade Runner remake, right? This one’s fairly potty yet has something. Superior Hollywood product–a jumped-up drive-in movie selling bang-bang, but one with pretensions to Saying Something in the slow moments.

    I liked the film’s moods, poor Johann Johansson’s synth-doom score and Benicio del Toro’s wincing and wheezing. (It’s the Stanislavski Method: he’s channeling James Dean as a middle-aged cactus.) The trite argument over the moral limits in fighting narco terror didn’t wash, nor did Emily Blunt, for all that she invested in sweat and bulging forehead veins in her by-the-rulebook American cop. The film’s subtext is pure Hollywood schizophrenia: we’re much better off having the louche Popeye Doyle replaced by a most-woke Olive Oyl, it says. She may not catch any bad guys, but she does moral umbrage like nobody’s business, yo!

    Hereditary added to my list. Also seen lately: The Brood, more ambitious than Scanners and no less creepy. In retrospect, his scene of schoolhouse horrors feels like Cronenberg gazing into a cursed crystal ball. Have his Rabid here, too, waiting for me to work up the nerve. (Vampire-penis armpits. Jesus, how much can a man take.) Will be fun discussing after you’ve rewatched. Btw, my life was not complete before Catweazle. Give it a few episodes to gel, and then it’s like the Marx Brothers doing Tolkien: https://www.dailymotion.com/sijohnson869

    Yes, caught the thrilling Saucedo-Zappavigna. Thought I’d accidentally queued up Scanners!

    Agree, exciting that Taylor is in WBSS. On DAZN over here, so I’ll sign up.

    No prospect for AJ and Wilder, pathetically enough. Meanwhile, not long till my most-anticipated fight of 2018: Gassiev-Usyk.

    • “Superior Hollywood product” – exactly what Villeneuve provides. I saw Sicario last year and enjoyed it. The sequel, with a different director, is out now and not supposed to be up to much.

      There are far too few original and real-feeling female characters in American cinema. So many of them are like Blunt’s here: a woman in a man’s world, toughness expressed through behaviour that mirrors traditional masculinity. A woman in a man’s world, Hollywood says, must be a watered down version of a man.

      Maybe I’m talking rubbish and Blunt has a few more nuances in her role (moral conscience of the piece and all that), but I’m mainly voicing a general frustration. I think only Sofie Grabol’s Sarah Lund in the brilliant original The Killing has pulled this kind of portrayal off successfully: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Killing_(Danish_TV_series)

      Catweazle looks like an eccentric one, will give it a look!

      “Thought I’d accidentally queued up Scanners!” — HAHA, one of your best one-liners ever! I’ll tell you once I’ve rewatched.

      Usyk-Gassiev has me VERY, VERY FEEL! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ok9kzo9NZfM

  14. Haha, cheers.

    Usyk in a sublime domination of Gassiev. Not the duel I expected, but no complaining here. The undercard slugfest between Munguia and Smith provided all the fireworks the night needed. Munguia is like those gods cut in stone in Aztec temples; pretty much not going down unless you aim a Spanish galleon at him. Or maybe a Charlo or Hurd?

    “A woman in a man’s world, Hollywood says, must be a watered down version of a man.” Terrific insight. I wonder who this watering down works on, and I have my hunch it’s boys. The ass-kicking heroine of the early 21st century multiplex, as bottled by (say) Scarlett Johansson, is an amusing case. There’s a fantasy the woker-than-thou Josh Whedon milks endlessly.

    Turning back to Sicario I think you are perfectly right about Blunt’s character. She’s a Hollywood political fantasy, as I see it. I read the film as a schizoid attempt to do a 21st century The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. In 2018 America, this is impossible without heavy attitudinizing.

    I liked it, anyway. These roiling cross purposes chest-bump each other in a bro-fest of moral posturing and unabated slaughter. Benicio has grown into the ideal late-career figure for this cinema. With his face falling apart in a besotted, reassuring way, and his voice more slur than not, we now know what Serge Gainsbourg would have been like in a spaghetti western. “Moi non plus, muzzer fuckaires!”

    Caught Cronenberg’s “The Dead Zone,” loved it. Perfect in every way and Walken especially good. Still too chicken to see the armpit horror of “The Brood”; every man has his breaking point.

    Must look into The Killing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Danish TV series.

    • Hurd-Munguia is the stuff fights of the year are made of, and it’s tragic as a boxing fan to know that promotional divisions make this almost impossible to even consider being made reality. Munguia is raw, but undoubtedly has potential. He was #2 in my prospect of the year list from December.

      Usyk’s masterclass puts him as the clear frontrunner for fighter of the year honours. It’ll be fascinating to see where he goes from here. Gassiev disappointed: bamboozled and punished almost every time he did let his hands go. Still, he’s young and will surely be a force going forward at cruiser, and could even make some good fights at HW when he goes up there.

      Whyte-Parker is an interesting bout tonight. Pleased to see Saunders-Andrade getting made…now we’ll see if Billy performs another pull-out. (I could make a joke here regarding his little troll of a son, but I’ll leave that to your imagination)

      Love that take on Sicario and beyond: “woker-than-thou” and Benicio’s fallen, furrowed features.

      I’m thoroughly enjoying the True Detective-esque HBO show, Sharp Objects currently, even though Amy Adams’ character is somewhat in the Blunt stereotype mould we discussed before. Great entertainment though, and creative visually and structurally.

      Scandanavian noir series are a big hit over here. The Killing started the trend, and is by most accounts the best. Season one is one of my favourite seasons of television.

      You inspired me to check out more Cronenberg. I watched his early shorts, Transfer and From the Drain. The latter was enjoyable, the former not so much.

      And his bizarre first two features, Stereo and Crimes of the Future, are curios of the highest order. They contain many of the same themes which would come to dominate his oeuvre, but are frequently pretentious and boring. The plots read as very interesting on paper, but the films themselves are a bit of a slog. Crimes of the Future features a conclusion that is Cronenberg’s most disgusting. I won’t spoil in case you someday want to take a glimpse at David’s college-era early cinema.

      • You’ve piqued my curiosity with that tidbit about Crimes of the Future. “Most disgusting” is like an urgent imperative to my ear; I will have to know.

        I did have a look in at Rabid, finally. He hadn’t quite got the hang of the 90-minute form (there are enough set-ups for three movies yet not enough of a plot for one). He proves his mettle two years later with “The Brood,” while two more years bring the more assured “Scanners” and “Videodrome”–memorable stuff, yet still rough, early works in his oeuvre. (I’ve cued up the lot for a chronological run-through.)

        The concerns in those films with machinations under the social and institutional surface (leading, often enough, to mutations under the skin) really set them apart from what would follow in horror cinema. Along came the Freddie Kruegers and the Michael Myers: it was time to get a big axe and get stupid. Cronenberg is like a mysterious scar on film culture–he shows traces of where something was done in the larger world, a piece taken out, say, or another put in, almost without anyone noticing. . .

        The Terror finishing very strongly. Clever piece of work.

        “…the True Detective-esque HBO show, Sharp Objects” — now I’m interested! How good is it?

        Whyte surprised me — so did Parker. I didn’t think Parker would sell out as he did, and did foolishly, repeatedly, even when it wasn’t working. I expect more of a clinical dismantling of Whyte as he’d done with Andy Ruiz, Jr. I also didn’t think Dillian would catch him once, let alone repeatedly. Surprise, surprise.

        I still think Wilder flattens anyone put in front of him for the near future.

        Attending Frampton-Jackson?

      • I didn’t go. I considered it and I very much want to visit Belfast for a fight soon. But this card, despite the cool outdoor venue, didn’t justify it & I’m glad I waited for another time. If Burnett-Tete happens in the WBSS semis, I’ll probably attend that.

        Whyte-Parker & Chisora-Takam were two genuinely great heavyweight fights.

        Parker’s limitations have been well exposed by now, and Whyte’s improvements are quietly impressive. Whyte is the king of the B-level heavyweights, a respectable contender but one with little chance against the elite few. I’ll be unhappy if he gets AJ next April.

        I’m really enjoying Sharp Objects, just a few episodes to go now. I certainly recommend it.

        Good take on Rabid: still a formative work, but fun & far more interesting and clever than the vast majority of its horror contemporaries.

        Haha Crimes of the Future is worth a watch for a Cronenberg completist, but don’t expect to have a very good time. It’s a bit of a slog.

  15. Caught the fights via Sho.

    Easy night for Frampton. Can’t understand Fury-Wilder other than as a cynical cash-out or pure delusion. Doubt Tyson could get past Bellew at this point.

    However, much amused by the BT Sport footage following the gargantuan Wilder around the city (autographs for little old Irish ladies, “bombsquaaaaaad” causing concerned looks).

    • The fights went exactly as expected: easy nights for Frampton and Fury vs. overmatched opponents. Paddy Barnes getting blasted out by Rosales was the most interesting result of the night.

      Call me a cynic, but I’d still be surprised if Fury actually steps in the ring with Wilder at this stage of his comeback. As you say, it makes little sense and would surely end in a KO loss. It’s probably a combo of cash out and delusion. Frank Warren is more than happy to facilitate it to collect his commission and not have to deal with Hearn.

      That said, I hope it does take place and I’ll be riveted watching the chaos unfold. Saunders throwing a roast chicken at Wilder in a restaurant, though, I can live without.

      Will reply to your other comment soon, been busy lately 🙂

      • Cheers, Sharp Objects now on my radar.

        Will be interested to hear your take on Saunders-Andrade. More reason, I think, for me to give DAZN a spin.

      • DAZN is certainly worth the free trial at the very least.

        Saunders-Andrade is a fascinating fight, one I’m rather surprised is happening & an example of a good mandatory.

        The winner emerges as the clear #1 contender to GGG or Canelo imo, and, personally, I’m anxious to see if the hype surrounding Andrade is real or bluster.

        While he is certainly talented, I feel his performances and stop-start career so far have fallen far short of what some (Max Kellerman, for example) believe him to be, a pound for pound level fighter. He’s also completely untested at 160. If Saunders is at his best (not a given, looking at his own history), I think he will win.

        Frank vs Eddie in the fight week press conference is sure to be a juicy subplot.

  16. Hear, hear on Frank vs. Eddie. Nothing like a pair of passive-aggressive Englishmen sniping in public, haha.

    I share your thoughts on Andrade and learning the truth. About each man, perhaps. As you say, BJS in peak form is no guarantee; yet now and for his remaining run at the top, it’s a must.

    Intriguing fights on the schedule, many coming in short order. When it rains in this sport, it pours.

    And True Detective 3 in January, at last.

    • I can’t wait for True Detective. I wonder if Pizzolatto can recapture some of the magic of season one.

      I highly recommend the Brazilian film, Aquarius. It’s the second film by Kleber Mendonca Filho, whose Neighbouring Sounds also drew acclaim internationally. Aquarius boasts an elegant visual style, taut Dardennes-esque storytelling & world class acting.

      Black KKKlansman was also the best Spike Lee film in forever. Tremendous fun, as well as relevant to our troubling times, all erring on the right side of bombastic.

      Haha the passive aggression of Frank and Eddie is a constant source of amusement to me.

      Which ones are you looking forward to in particular? I’m hoping the Canelo-GGG saga finally has a full stop put at the end of it next weekend, one way or another. Let’s have a good fight and a fair outcome this time, please.

      I enjoyed Garcia-Porter, and thought hard-luck Porter was just about deserving of his marquee win. Broner was a feather in his cap, but that seems so long ago. Now he’s the de facto number one contender to Spence, and his payday is deserved, though it will be earned in blood.

      Also, it looked at the weekend that Amir Khan is now definitively a shot fighter. Any fights for him near the top level are surely destined to be a disaster. I hope he finally settles things with Kell Brook in a battle of faded stars.

  17. Cheers for the film tips. Noted!

    Couldn’t agree more on your fight assessments. Curious, but not overly, to know outcome of Can-Gol II. Much more interested in finding out how much trouble an aging Povetkin can give Joshua, or who wins Saunders-Andrade.

    Spike vs. Lemieux looks set to bring home the Ward-Gatti Trophy For Life Shortening Machismo on the undercard.

    Speaking of dumb: a bit sad seeing the boastful Khan wobbled by a journeyman. Carl Froch had some merciless but I thought accurate things to say to iFL TV about him.

    Spence making noises about moving up to campaign at middle. He didn’t look his usual sleek self at the Porter-Garcia fight. Not quite the blimp Gervonta Davis has become, though. Davis was led off in handcuffs after a street fight tonight, I see, over an alleged $10K club bill. Heh: try to beat that training regimen.

    I thought Porter outclassed Garcia, though it was close. (Part of the outclassing was thrusting his titanium chin into Garcia’s glove for the first four rounds.) It seems well overdue to acknowledge Garcia isn’t an elite fighter anymore. He never should have been protected after moving up. Where he trounces the next level below, elites make him look leaden, confused. I don’t fancy him being more than a gatekeeper, albeit a dangerous one, after this and the Thurman loss.

    Porter, meanwhile, looks set to take his Greco-Roman shenanigans to the next level, i.e., getting dissected without anesthesia by Spence or Crawford.

    • Khan is pretty much finished. All that remains for him are lucrative paydays in defeat. Povetkin has a legitimate claim to being world number 3 at HW, but I don’t see him troubling Joshua. His power is the X-factor, though, so it is still one to watch.

      It’s already apparent that Davis will never fulfil his tremendous potential. “Blimp” is accurate haha.

      It’s also pretty sad to see Spence drunk, when he should be in training and more active than 1 or 2 fights per year. I’d like to thank Al Haymon.

      I agree with your assessment of Garcia. He was legitimately the champion at 140 but is nothing more than B-level at 147, beating most of those around him but never able to take down an elite name. His prime has passed.

      Porter is a stronger contender, though I don’t think he looked quite the fighter he did against, say, Thurman. Porter would have won against Garcia comfortably had he not given away early rounds by attempting to box on the outside. As Teddy might say, know your identity. He’s the top of the B level, and Spence would be a painful night for him most likely. It’s still the right fight to make next.

      • I imagine you caught Ritson-Patera and saw the Geordie Golovkin become the Geordie Lemieux.

        Three cheers for crafty, fearless, hard-working Belgian!

        Two crashing bores from the WBSS Russian branch — wins at bantam by Tete and cruiser by Tabiti. Neither man to blame for bad style matchups, tricky in Tete’s case and abysmal in Tabiti’s. In an absurd display of holding, the Russian challenger of Tabiti seemed to want to be worn as a pelt by the swarthy American.

        More intriguing (what wouldn’t be?) was watching the dynamics of the Mayweather sect. The night found them deep behind enemy lines. The entourage was tooled up, offering nuclear glares and whispering menacingly. It was, apparently, the ungodly hour of 2:00 in the morning, in a shitty empty hall, filled with drunk tired unhappy Russians, so jet lag along with this icy atmosphere must have hyper-tuned the usual Necronomiconic tendencies, but all the same…Floyd Sr., whom age has turned into something like a randy wrinkled Pan, was highly animated. He carried himself like a man lit by a spotlight, climbing into the ring gracefully and rattling away merrily if totally incomprehensibly in his hoarse yet unwavering corner soliloquy. “That in there…That, what that was, see…you got to be, what you do, that was, you been….knowwhum sayin…that right hand…okay…OKAY…listen…he don’ look like he ain’t hurt you none. Huh?” A subaltern meanwhile fed Tabiti pithier instruction in the ear, but the form was to allow Sr. to carry on, and he did, grinning so contentedly while Tabiti looked up from his busy rope-side instructions and nodded respectfully that it was impossible not to admire the emotional subtext to this theatre. They were letting the old man still have his moment. “…ok, listen, man, listen…right?…OKAY!”

      • Yes, I’m delighted for Patera (despite the fact that he messed up one of my weekend wagers), backing up an impressive win in Finland with an even better one here. Geordie Lemieux is a quality line haha. Plenty of time for Ritson to learn some subtlety, but he’s obviously not the destroyer his British title results suggest.

        The WBSS season 2 has yet to find a tv home over here, so I didn’t catch those quarter finals, and won’t be going out of my way to do so! I’m glad Tete got through his first one because a Burnett unification in the semis is mouthwatering.

        Hilarious assessment of Floyd Sr.’s incomprehensible cornerwork! I fear for Tete now…because I hear he’ll be ‘trained’ by Floyd from this point on.

        I did catch the great first round ko from Inoue though. He looks odds-on to win the bantam tournament.

  18. Yes, Inoue was just fantastic. If that power carries up in weight with him…

    Should be amusing to see Tete and Sr. relate! Tete had an awkward time with the much smaller yet very capable Russian (whose short stubby arms winged in shots from outer space in the manner of a Povetkin), but through not fault of his own. So I’m not sure why a change in trainers is on the cards. Afterwards, he was pure class in victory.

    Agree, hoping for the Burnett matchup.

    • He looks more powerful than ever at 118, perhaps due to struggling a bit less with the weight than before.

      Who knows, probably a PR move based on name value alone. I don’t see what Sr. can really add to him at this stage. Aloyan is a former world amateur champion, so it was a good win for Tete.

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