March 4, 2016

KO's Ringside Notes & Quotes XIII — Boxing Politics Now Trump Punches

Bore-a-Phobia Pugilistica
By Jeffrey Freeman, KO Digest 

Stop. Listen. Observe. Well? Do you feel that? Can you hear the silence? Boxing has ground to a gradual halt. No good fights are really happening in 2016. None have actually happened yet and it's already March. The one good show boxing had scheduled, ‪#‎ThurmanPorter‬ was just postponed when ‪#‎OneTime‬ got rear-ended. Nobody cares two shits about ‪#‎PacquiaoBradley‬ III and Canelo Alvarez is shamelessly ducking Gennady Golovkin like Superman Stevenson flying away from Krusher Kovalev. ‪#‎FramptonQuigg‬ was damn near ‪#‎KlitschkoFury‬ II, another dud fight going absolutely nowhere fast. Is the ‪#‎PBC‬ still around to oversaturate fans and media with filler bouts? Dude, where's my sport? Where have the fight fans gone? 

It was fun while it lasted but it now seems to me that the exceptional run boxing was on from 2011 to 2015 is officially over.

No Show Time
Some Other Time — The Keith Thurman versus Shawn "Showtime" Porter bout, originally scheduled for March 12 in Uncasville, Connecticut, has, as we all know by now, been cancelled due to ‪#‎OneTime‬ being involved in a terribly unfortunate car crash. According to reports, Thurman was knocked out of commission by the air bag deployment. The whole DiBella card is now scrapped. When and where it will be rescheduled is unknown at this time. Because I was planning to live cover the WBA welterweight title fight for KO Digest, I wrote a prediction for RingTV Fight Picks. Obviously, it's not getting published now and I'm not so sure I'll feel the same way about the match-up when it does get rescheduled. So, without further ado (what's ado and why can't we have more of it?) here is my original prediction for ‪#‎ThurmanPorter‬ had it gone off as expected:

There's good reason why this welterweight match-up is already viewed as a possible Fight of the Year candidate with hopeful comparisons being made to Gatti-Ward I. Thurman and Porter will be swapping leather at the same Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut where Arturo and Micky first went to war in 2002. Something tells me "One Time" and "Showtime" are both well aware of all this.
Stylistically, Thurman-Porter is everything we want in a potentially great boxing match with trilogy potential. Thurman, the well spoken knockout artist (with underrated boxing skills) against Porter, a fireplug fighter who comes forward all night long like Smokin' Joe Frazier. We know that both 147 pounders can be hurt and that Porter can be outboxed. Look for Thurman to pick his man off with the jab, survive the rough spots inside, land a well timed "critical blow" that drops Porter late, and win a competitive unanimous decision.

Would Emile have killed Manny too?
Pack It In Man — It's a God Damned shame Orlando Cruz can't fight Manny Pacquiao instead of Timothy Bradley April 9th on PPV in Sin City, USA.

Pac and Brad have no beef to speak of. Boxing's only openly gay pugilist would be an ideal "grudge match" opponent for the homophobic "Pac Man" to bellend his career against if Orlando wasn't so much smaller than Manny. As the PC world turns against Pacquiao to bash him for his Biblically big mouth, one has to wonder how much more interesting this would all be if the Filipino Congressman were facing off against a homosexual rival determined to tear him a new asshole. 

Think about it. 

The last time an angry gay boxer took out his frustrations on a hateful homophobe, Emile Griffith killed Benny "Kid" Paret for calling him a "maricón" i.e. a faggot.  

KO Digest Quick Quotes:

Problem child Adrien Broner talks about recently retired Floyd "Money" Mayweather "Big bro Floyd is gone. Everyone else is too boring so I'm taking over the sport. I'm very fortunate to have someone like Floyd to look up to but I don't want to be like Floyd. I admire him and respect him, but I'm creating my own legacy. At the end of the day, Floyd and Ashley Theophane aren't on my side. I'm against them. They're coming to dethrone me. They're my enemies now and I'm going to beat Ashley down. There is nothing Floyd can teach him."

Hammered Hank Lundy on the Terence Crawford stoppage by referee Steve Willis — "I don't think it should have been stopped." 

The memory remains for Micky in Lowell Mass
Comebacking former world welterweight champ Zab Judah talks to KO Digest about fighting "Pride of Lowell" Micky Ward in 1998 — "Micky was probably one of the toughest fights I had in my career. It came at a time when I was only 15-0 as a pro and this guy was like a legend. Everybody told me don't fight him. I went in there, fought him and defeated him [by unanimous decision on ESPN Friday Night Fights] but it was no easy task. I'll tell you that. Big shoutout to Micky Ward."

Judah faces Josh Torres (15-4-2) in Vegas March 12. 

"Knockout Night at the D" on CBS Sports Network.

With professional boxing decidedly lacking of late, the KO Digest recently covered some amateur bouts close to home. Last month at the 70th Annual Golden Gloves in Lowell, Mass, the New England Championship finals produced some good action in the thirteen matches put on at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium on East Merrimack Street. Irish Micky was in the house to support all the young pugilists competing under the same roof where the "Pride of Lowell" once battled as an amateur boxer and as a professional prizefighter. Memorial trophy winners Gabriel "Tito" Morales (novice class, 123 lbs. Portland, Maine) and Jamaine Ortiz Rodriguez (open class, 141 lbs. Worcester, Mass) were named outstanding boxers of the tournament after their big wins in the ring.

Rocky Marciano trophy
The Rocky Marciano Trophy was awarded to New England open class heavyweight champion Demek Edmonds of Worcester, Mass. Edmonds defeated Jesus Flores in one of the most action filled matches of the night to come away with the gold. When I told Edmonds who else won that very same trophy (twice) a few years ago (Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev) he was shocked. The only thing missing from the night's bout sheet would have been a couple more boxers from the world famous Lowell West End Gym in the finals for local Lowell fans to cheer for. The only "West Ender" in action was 18 year-old Nathan Rosa (6-0) who won the novice class 141 lb. finals. There were no Lowell based boxers in the open class finals, a disappointment.

And finally, the William "Bill" Hoar Memorial Award for "Most Outstanding Open Class Team" went to Team Western New England. Congratulations to all. Winners now look ahead to Nationals in Salt Lake City, Utah.  

For the record, the KO Digest endorses Rocky De La Fuente (D) for President of the United States.