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I hope it's competitive and at least a little entertaining, as the other fight on the card looks rather underwhelming. As Michael mentioned, it should be interesting to see Donaire in with a guy that's actually bigger than him. I do wonder just how good Mathebula can be though, as he split a pair of bouts with Ndlovu, a fighter I've seen a few times, and one that I definitely wouldn't consider a threat to Donaire.
I hate to publicly admit this... but I might actually record the HBO show and watch the UFC. I know, that's outrageous, but it looks like a fun show and I'm tempted to go out and watch somewhere, while indulging in wings, nachos, etc.
1 year, 8 months ago on SUPERUNKNOWN: Nonito Donaire-Jeffrey Mathebula Preview
@thenonpareil Hi CA,
There's quite a bit of extra drama to the Bivins-Moore feud.
Publicly, their dislike was said to stem from Moore's knockout of Lloyd Marshall, a buddy of Bivins. But, I'd guess that was just an easy way for both guys to explain it without getting into the real issue...
The book Cleveland's Greatest Fighters mentions that Moore was dating Bivins soon to be ex-wife, Dollree Map, at the time, and she was ringside that night cheering for Moore. Only two weeks before their fight, Bivins and his wife were in court, having just filed for divorce. During the proceedings, she managed to get his purse for the Moore fight tied up.
Bivins wasn't a playboy, didn't drink, and saved his money... and she took him for a large chunk of it in their divorce settlement. She would eventually sue Moore for $750,000, after he broke off their engagement. Part of her suit alleged that Moore had beat her, which was a claim she made against Bivins too. The suit was dismissed.
After her involvement with Bivins and Moore, she got into a bit of trouble with the law and was the defendant in a 1961 court case over illegal seized evidence that went all the way to the US Supreme Court. She won that one. But in 1973, she was sentenced to 20 years for running a heroine factory out of her apartment.
Anyway, Bivins ended up losing his cool when he fought Moore and the Cleveland crowd really turned on him. His next fight in Cleveland wasn't for another 8 months, when he fought Walcott... and the crowd rooted for Walcott that night. Next up for Bivins was Lee Q. Murray, and the Plain Dealer described his performance that night as "Spiritless and Stale". And of course, next up was Charles... and he knocked Bivins flat for a 10 count.
I wonder how much of his fall had to do with not just being burnt out, but perhaps disillusioned with life in general. All his money going to a woman, who by the sounds of it, was nothing but trouble. Having Moore kind of rub his face in it, and then his hometown crowd turning on him too. It couldn't have been a very happy time for him... and perhaps his training slacked, etc.
1 year, 8 months ago on JIMMY BIVINS 1919-2012
I've been going through the Plain Dealer archives, reading about Bivins today. There's some good stuff in there. It's too bad that the timing wasn't quite right for him. It seems like he just kind of fell off after his great run from 42 to 45 - which isn't really surprising given the impossibly rough schedule he fought. Before his career was 2 1/2 years old, he'd already been in with Burley, Christoforidis, Yarosz, Sheppard, Franklin, Bettina, Soose, Lesnevich, Pastor and Maxim. Even considering the era, that's still kind of mind boggling for a youngster.
From what I read, it sounds like he was quite brash in the ring, especially in his younger days - though modest in retirement. When fans asked him why his name wasn't listed with Louis and Charles, he would say that he was "just another fighter."
A line from a 1974 article on Bivins by Allen Wiggins...
"He is a man prepared to live with his own pain as part of his character, his fate, and it is not to share."
Thanks Scott. Regarding Garcia's work in the corner... I'm hesitant to be *too* critical, as I don't know their full history. Perhaps Ortiz has a habit during training camp, etc, of taking it easy when the going gets rough - or maybe saying he's hurt, when he's not, and Garcia has had to really push him to stay at it. We've all seen plenty of corners act irresponsibly, so I realize I might be reaching with this, but the same way many fans doubted the seriousness of the injury, Garcia may have doubted it too... and felt he owed it to his fighter to get Ortiz through, what Garcia may have felt was just a loss of self belief, and not a serious injury.
1 year, 8 months ago on Bottom Dogs: Josesito Lopez TKO 9 Victor Ortiz, Lucas Matthysse TKO 5 Humberto Soto
@Michael Nelson Hey Michael, agree on Matthysse. He also seems to have learned from the mistake he made against Judah, when he seemed to really take an overly patient approach early. I still thought he clearly won that fight, but had he fought with more intensity from the opening bell, he wouldn't have had to worry about the cards. On Saturday night, he was coming hard from the get go.
@thenonpareil Thanks CA, it's been awhile since I've written about anything that took place within the last 50 years!
I was also surprised that Lopez stood up so well. There was a moment when I thought he was really starting to lose steam, but I think I was just assuming that Ortiz, being much bigger, was doing more damage than he was. I agree that he's not a star, though right now there aren't too many truly top fighters at 140, and I think he would have a solid shot against many of the current top 10.
I'm a Matthysse fan. Yeah, his technique is lacking, but man, does he fire away at the body with some mean intentions. Looking forward to seeing him in there again soon.
@JohnPaulFutbol Hey JPF, you won't get any arguments from me on Ortiz not helping his cause. When he turned the Mayweather fight into fun and games at the nut house, he pretty much lost the trust of the paying customer.
@jet79 Hey JT. That must have been a fantastic card to attend live. Those five rounds of Soto-Matthysse were as packed with action as any we'll see all year, and the main-event far surpassed all expectations.
In any other sport, fans accept injuries with no issue, and understand it's part of the game, yet with fighters, there's a strange expectation that they endure and get on with it. Easier said than done, especially from the safety of one's stadium seat or living room. While Ortiz didn't deliver on expectations, he certainly didn't shrink from combat, and some of the post-fight reaction on Twitter and the various forums has been quite unfair and cruel. As you say, it does also speak to the importance of the reputation one has cultivated for themselves, and in the case of Ortiz, there's a feeling of... "Oh, geez, what's he doing now..." But in this case, all he did was call it a night after suffering a rough injury, and there's no shame in that.
Nice piece. I have to agree that there's no chance we see the competing September 15 PPVs, as neither GB or TR wants to split that kind of revenue. I imagine something will happen between now and then to scuttle it, though a Lopez victory is probably not it... though when it comes to Ortiz, anything is possible.
Hope you have a good time at the show. I'm excited for Matthysse-Soto, as that looks like a pretty well matched scrap. A 50/50 (at least according to the odds) fight on Showtime or HBO is not a common occurrence, so we should cherish these moments when they come along!
1 year, 8 months ago on Carts Before Horses: On Victor Ortiz, Saul Alvarez, and Josesito Lopez
I just tried to comment and it didn't go through, so I'm trying again!
I'm excited about tonight's fight. It's nice to have a main-event, where the outcome is not a foregone conclusion. I'm a little worried over a potential head clash, as Chavez likes to really lean in and he's facing a southpaw tonight - but hopefully no such downer will befell the night's action, like it did in the UK today.
Chavez is a busy worker, and he's going to have the crowd on his side, so one has to figure Lee will need to do some real damage to win. Maybe he can, maybe he can't - should be fun finding out.
1 year, 8 months ago on You Got to Work to Get Your Pay: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr-Andy Lee Preview
Hey Jeff, I like the 3 point system you have proposed. There have been many systems over the years, and I'm not sure why the current one became the standard, given it's limitations. Tim mentioned that judges will still do stupid things, and that's true, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't look to improve upon things.
Instant replay is a must!
1 year, 8 months ago on Manny Pacquiao And Timothy Bradley: Boxing's Rebirth? | June
@Michael Nelson I would say this to everyone pointing at the Holt fight as an example of why Bradley is going to get flattened... Marquez was dropped hard by a somewhat shop worn Michael Katsidis - and didn't even get buzzed against Pacquiao. Knockdowns happen. Fighters get caught sometimes, and at least in my opinion, how Bradley reacted after the knockdown, is more telling of his chances than anything else. He got back up and took the fight to Holt in every round. He's a smart gritty fighter, and he'll be tough to keep down on Saturday.
1 year, 9 months ago on STORMBRINGER: Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley Preview
Hey Michael, nice preview.
I've been on the Bradley bandwagon for awhile now, and had been hoping he'd get a crack at Manny - but now that the fight is so close, I can't stop worrying about an early clash of heads and the dreaded 3-round technical draw decision.
If it doesn't end in such disappointing fashion, I think we'll see a good close fight. Bradley is not the same class of counter-puncher as Marquez, but I think he's quicker on his feet, and has the ring smarts to pull off his own variation of that strategy... circling away from Manny's left, while picking his spots to attack. Can he win a decision though with that sort of plan? Of course he might go in to bully mode, and look to keep the fight at close quarters, which has it's pros and cons too. A lot of possibilities - and I agree with your assessment of the match-up as fast paced chess.
Hi JT, nice piece. As you say, it's impossible to criticize Bute's career choices when you consider the sport's economics, but it certainly not the best path for reaching one's true potential. If you took the most talented of baseball players... let them feast on minor league pitching for 10 years, and then at the age of 32, threw them into the majors - they would almost certainly have issues. Bute looked like a guy that had never seen a real nasty slider, and couldn't cope.
1 year, 9 months ago on New Paradigms: On Carl Froch and Lucian Bute
That was quite a piece, a fitting tribute to a trouble soul... and I have to admit that I got a little teary eyed towards the end.
1 year, 9 months ago on UNDER SATURN: Johnny Tapia 1967-2012
@dreaderick Thanks for reading, Dread. I actually went to Hopkins-Dawson... it was underwhelming, to say the least.
1 year, 9 months ago on Terrors of the Lightweight Brigade: Ad Wolgast and Battling Nelson
I'll be watching tonight, but with limited enthusiasm. Agree with your take... Cotto's best days are more than a few years in the past, and I don't think the current version can offer up anything to worry Mayweather. Cotto as his best probably wouldn't have won more than a few rounds either, but at least that guy would have brought a bit of menace into the ring - especially early, when he might have have been able to test Mayweather with some hard hooks downstairs.
Throw in the dismal undercard, and it's hardly an evening to get excited about.
1 year, 10 months ago on THE GOODBYE LOOK: Miguel Cotto-Floyd Mayweather Jr. Preview
Hi Jimmy. Good stuff and welcome aboard.
Of those potential fights, I also find a match-up with Alvarado to be the most appealing. I don't think it will be all that competitive, but Alvarado deserves a nice pay day for his most recent efforts, and you know he's going to bring it for as long as it lasts.
I'm with Carlos in not wanting to see Marquez-Morales. Morales really shouldn't be fighting anymore, and given he has about a 1% chance of winning... why bother? It's a beating he doesn't need to take, and of the opponents mentioned, I hope that's not the match-up that gets made.
1 year, 10 months ago on My Next Victim: Juan Manuel Marquez Takes Aim at Morales, Gesta, Rios, & Alvarado
@jet79 Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. Yes, very much different times when it came to stopping fights, especially a title contest. The fact that Smith actually did stop it, shows just how far gone Nelson was at that stage.
1 year, 11 months ago on Terrors of the Lightweight Brigade: Ad Wolgast and Battling Nelson
Fair points. I certainly don't think it was a conspiracy or anything like that, but just a case of a referee overreacting to a minor incident. Just my guess, but I think if Schorle could get a do-over, he'd let the fight continue.
You mentioned Kirkland's corner, and honestly, their reaction kind of annoyed me. I know I'm not living in the real world when I say this, but I wish there would be a better sense of fair play in sport. I wouldn't want to win in such a manner. Kirkland said as much after the fight, though I don't know if he really meant it, or was just trying to please the angry crowd.
1 year, 11 months ago on 10 & Counting: Linares, Pavlik, Kirkland-Molina Afterthoughts, Harry Crews & The Knockout Artist, Bell-Ringing Blues