|Down Goes Huck on SpikeTV for PBC|
August is my least favorite month. Not because of the beautiful late summer weather in New England, but because of the boxing drought that we all experience year after year. For whatever reason, rare is the big or important bout held in the eighth month of the year.
Sometimes I think of it like this: If a year represented a 12 round title fight, August would be the round both fighters take off in order to save a little something extra for the championship rounds still to come. As the weather cools, boxing heats up in the fall and into the winter. Last month was not without its exception to the rule of course and by that I mean the incredible Marco Huck-Krzysztof Glowacki brawl aired on SpikeTV by Premier Boxing Champions.
The defending cruiserweight champ was cruising to a record setting 14th successful title defense when he was brutally stopped late in the fight by Glowacki of Walcz, Poland. Like it or not, 2015 has been, and will continue to be, the year of Premier Boxing Champions. Al Haymon's revolutionary production concept is now in full swing. Boxing is suddenly everywhere you look. Fighters (and fans) are actively benefiting from all the exposure and all the action. Yet only the fighters seem to know this and appreciate it.
Perpetually impossible to please boxing fans seem unappreciative of Haymon's efforts to preserve and restore their favorite sport through clever use of nostalgia and all-you-can-eat knuckle sandwiches on "free" TV. After some of their early bouts fell flat, PBC now has a legitimate "Fight of the Year" candidate in Glowacki's "made for television" knockout of Huck to win the cruiserweight title with a stunning, come from behind, get up off the floor, and knock the long reigning, defending world champion through the ropes KO. It is exactly these kinds of improbably exciting results that will create new boxing fans and bring old ones back to the fold. Thank you Mr. Haymon, thank you PBC, and thank you to the fighters who put it all on the line for our televised entertainment.
|Lowell Golden Gloves |
Not only has KO Digest live covered the last two significant boxing cards held in the Mill City (2012 at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium and 2013 at the Tsongas Arena, both Chicago Fight Club Promotions shows headlined by Irish Joey McCreedy) but I also lived in Lowell during the best years of Micky Ward's memorable career, from 1998 to 2003. I know the city. I know the people. I know the history of fisticuffs on the streets and in the ring there. I even covered the entire 2012 Lowell Golden Gloves tournament from start to finish and let me tell you, that's a lot of amateur bouts to have kept track of.
In this photo I took from ringside during the 2012 Lowell GG's, that's Matt Doherty (born and raised in nearby Salem, MA where they once famously burned "witches" to death) in the corner with Lowell's Cowboy cutman Bill Murphy and trainer Michael Strazzere. Doherty, now 3-1 as a professional lightweight, and known as "The Mantis" will be competing when big time professional boxing returns to the Lowell Memorial Auditorium on Saturday October 10. That's just 6 days after Micky Ward ("The Pride of Lowell") celebrates his 50th birthday in style on October 4. Additional details on the card are "sketchy" at this time (that just means I can't say anything yet) but what I can tell you is that this is a Murphy's Boxing card under the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) banner. Local New England talent will be in action and the rich history of boxing in Lowell, Massachusetts will be featured prominently. Look for KO in press row again for this one.
|Santa Cruz batters a Schaefer-jinxed Mares on PBC on ESPN|
|Catch me if you can Manny|
|Hunter gives the boxing media a cerebral tongue lashing|
|Only the Ghost of Rocky Marciano can stop 49-0|
|The greatest upset in sports history, for Mom|
As a challenger to the best fighter on the planet, Douglas, unlike Berto, was known for a questionable heart and for quitting under fire in a title fight. Berto, immeasurably less talented than Douglas but no less written off, suffers from no such ticker issues as evidenced by his many entertaining wars in the ring. If Berto somehow beats Mayweather, it will be because he outfought him not because he caught him unprepared or undertrained.
Divine Intervention — What do Evander Holyfield and Manny Pacquiao have in common? Both now claim to have been miraculously healed of physical afflictions by the power of the Lord our God. Long time fight fans will recall that when "The Real Deal" was diagnosed with a pin sized hole in his enormous heart back in the 1990's, Holyfield actually claimed it was God and God alone who healed his ticker and ultimately made him fit for epic battle against Iron Mike Tyson. Pacquiao, he of the torn rotator cuff and ensuing "fraud of the century" against Floyd Mayweather last April, now claims that his injured shoulder was healed by God and swimming in salt water, this according to boxing writer Mike Coppinger in his new piece about Pacquiao on Boxing Junkie for USA Today Sports. But the questions remain, was either condition ever legitimate to begin with and does God really heal prizefighters?
|Times have changed in boxing|
Then in the 1980's, when "same day" weigh-ins went the way of 15-round title fights and mob control of the Sweet Science, the rationale behind the change was easily attributable to health concerns and fighter safety. A boxer who has to dehydrate his body to make a strict divisional weight limit will be weakened to the point of peril, or so the claim went. Give that fighter a full day to rehydrate with fluids they argued. That makes sense, fans said, and so it went on and on that way for over 30 years now.
Today, weigh-ins are big business and a big part of the "fight week" experience. Fans and media attend in droves, even paying for the right to be there, as was the case last April for #MayPac when a ticket cost $10 to something that was traditionally free. Mayweather's greed aside, in a down economy, a niche sport like boxing must do everything within its own power to squeeze every last drop of publicity possible and the structure of today's boxing weigh-in allows for that. So again we can see clearly that the powers that be don't really care about the safety of the fighters as much as they care about selling a few more tickets or a few more pay-per-views. That's why the 24-hour weigh-in is here to stay no matter how much weight today's boxers put on between the scale and the ring.
|Don't forget the girls Bob|
|Holly Holm is next up for Rousey in the UFC|
|Will the winner risk it all against GGG?|
|Nunn has been locked up too long for drug charges|
|Editor-in-Chief Jeffrey Freeman|
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