Boxing, Don King, Hon Elijah Muhammad, Joe Frazier, Madison Square Garden, Muhammad Ali, Nation of Islam, Sports, Sports & Social commentary, Vietnam War

The Fight That Was The Beginning And The End Of Heavyweight Boxing


The Fight That Was The Beginning And The End Of Heavyweight Boxing

It’s hard to believe that it has been forty years since the first of their trilogy of legendary fights that took place between then reigning world heavyweight champion Joe Frazier and challenger Muhammad Ali . On the 8th March 1971 it was then the biggest fight in boxing history and the newly released Muhammad Ali would challenge Frazier for his title at Madison Square Garden , New York City , New York . Premium seat tickets at the time were sold at the unheard of price of $150-00 apiece . Today $150 at a marquee PPV  (pay per view ) title fight wouldn’t even place you within 100 feet of the boxing ring. ==============================================================================

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Ali had just been released from prison as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War and be that as it may he took his stance on a principal which was a great deal more than those who simply chose to evade not serving their country by fleeing the US to places such as Canada , Mexico and even Europe having had their callup from the US military as part of the military draft. That fight itself would largely introduce the world to Don King as a boxing promoter as it was he who promoted that fight and many of the others that had covered Ali’s career over the years. Apart from being a promoter at the time King also was a manager and the ultimate showman . His panache for the extraordinary as well as the ridiculous became a selling point that simply had the fans wanting more . And with Ali as his primary box office draw both would paydirt ;over the ensuing years as the promoter tied his sail to Ali’s mast , even though Ali was managed and trained at the time by Angelo Dundee .

Ali’s three and a half layoff away from the sport enforced upon him after his sentence was seen in some circles as unjust , whereas others viewed it as appropriate even though at the height of this , much of the hypocrisy was still going on as it regard the rights of African Americans within the country . Many would like to have seen him still incarcerated at the time but with him having served more than half his sentence and with it being challenged within the justice system , his release after a successful appeal saw him return to his chosen career. Going into the the fight as the underdog many believed that the former champion who’d been stripped of his title stood a remote chance of winning against one of the most feared boxers of the era . Frazier was nobody’s fool in the ring and his plan was simple ………. knock you out or be knocked out.

The fight itself was well marketed by Don King and his associates and the fact that it was televised made the event all the more special at the time. Now in this day and a fight of this magnitude can only be seen the vast majority of the public and fight via PPV , and at an exorbitant cost I might add ! In light of that fact and with the whole world wanting to see and what to make of Ali’s return to the ring the stage was set for a fight that many believe would not have come about. We all knew of Ali’s repartee` and the fact that he was the first real trash talker within the world of sports and boxing . He’d usually make light of an opponent, more so to get under their skin more than anything else . And often that trash talking worked , as it made an opponent feel ill at ease even before entering into the ring. It was something that’d later be followed up by a young champion within the division that many would either come to love or hate and that would be Mike Tyson . A fighter’s career who we’d all at one time or another would come to follow with a great deal of expectation even if in the end we’d come to despise what he would indeed come to stand for because of his demeanor in and outside of the ring. Tyson despite his character flaws may well go down as one of the greatest heavyweights ever in the history of boxing . As to where he’d stand amongst the all time greats within the category and in the annals of boxing itself, who’s to really say ? We can only really judge the fighter from his record in the ring and the accomplishments achieved there.

The Ali Frazier fight was referee’d by veteran fight referee Arthur Mercante Sr whose acumen within the ring as an official was respected the world over. And the fight itself wasn’t without controversy from the start in spite of the protests from those who felt aggrieved that a draft dodger was being given legitimacy to resurrect his professional career while American military fighting men were laying down their lives in the sacrifice of their country. If there was anything to be learned from this era it was that the country wasn’t merely just divided along social line but still very much to an extent along racial lines as well. And it certainly hadn’t helped that Ali having converted to Islam was also seen as something of a demagogue and a radical. The Nation of Islam had made its presence felt , albeit that one of its most prominent voices Malcolm X had long since departed at the hands of an assassin’s bullets. The fact of the matter was that the outspoken Ali a staunch supporter of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad , leader of of the Nation of Islam took his vows seriously as a convert to Islam and would as such show his devout faith to the religion . That alone simply flew in the face of ‘White America’ and all that it stood for at the time . In retrospect things haven’t changed all that much when one thinks about the whole xenophobic intolerance now being shown towards Muslims of any creed be they Arabs or otherwise. They’re in large part viewed as jihadists  whose sole wish is to see the death and destruction of America ……………… but in all sincerity it’s no different to the intolerance also being espoused by alleged Christians who sit in judgment upon US military servicemen who’ve died in vain serving this country in two wars now being waged in Afghanistan and Iraq .

The fight itself took on an intensity all of its own with Ali having lost some of his quickness he made up for with a certain amount of guile within the ring . Frazier for his part took the fight to Ali right from the start looking to wear down the challenger with whatever shots he could take aim with at his opponent. Hooks to the head and body were thrown with devastating effectiveness and he would catch Ali off guard several times in the earlier rounds of the bout. There were those who felt at the time , if Ali could withstand those first five or six rounds of this fifteen round battle then in the latter part of this fight he could very well prevail if his stamina didn’t let him down. The early rounds, both men sought to use their respective skills to outdo each other , Ali with his legendary right jabs , swift movement when needed and Frazier with his equally stunning body shots . Each would make their mark and it wasn’t long before the fans knew that this bout wasn’t simply just any other title fight but something special in the making .

In fact the trilogy of fights between the two have stood the test of time and if anything are the fights which all else are judged by down the years to this day. These fights spoke not only about the greatness of Ali but also the respect which Frazier would later be held by his former nemesis and now close friend. There may well have been a great dislike between the two at the time as to what they each respectively meant to the fans of that era but there’s no denying that both men served the sport well with their prowess and appeal. The latter rounds of this bout would prove fortuitous for the champion as we would begin to see the challenger grow weary due to the lack of stamina and the fact that Frazier’s punches were beginning to take its toll on Ali . Certainly through rounds eleven through fourteen that was most certainly the case as the challenger was repeatedly caught with several devastating blows that many other fighters would not have withstood. But this was what separated Ali the fighter from any other heavyweight of his era or since , he could withstand an amazing amount of punishment and still make light of it and come back and actually eke out a win. However on this night it wasn’t to be as Joe Frazier would have the final say with the punch that would effectively seal the fight for him when in the final thirty seconds of round fifteen he would knock Ali down to the canvas for the first time of his professional career with a devastating right hook. The stunned crowd at Madison Square Garden and those watching around the globe must surely have been shocked by what they’d just witnessed but in essence it shouldn’t have really come as a surprise to anyone who was on hand for this bout.

Inasmuch one may well expected Ali to pull off the upset it was far too much to ask of the fighter who’d been away from the ring for over 3 1/2 years for anyone to have expected to overcome ring rust and effectively regain his sharpness on the way to regaining the world heavyweight title. The two more fights within this trilogy over the ensuing year of both fighters’ careers would come to define the best that heavyweight boxing had to offer at the time. Ever since then the sport of boxing has long yearned for an undisputed heavyweight champion who was as dominant as Ali over the course of his career. We have had champions , undisputed within the division but none as dominant or more of a showman than Muhammad Ali was in his prime. You may agree or disagree with that statement but his record does speak for itself. What other fighter of that generation or since can one actually say that about within the heavyweight division of boxing much less any other division for that matter ?

In truth the sport of boxing now seems to be on its last legs and even though we now have Manny Pacquiao  reigning over the sport as its best pound for pound fighter, it has to be said that Pacquaio is now in the waning moments of an esteemed career with very little else left to prove . He now takes fights merely for the sake of taking them against opponents who aren’t really that much of a challenge for him . Within the heavyweight division itself the champions there are merely fighting to be recognition and have little talent if a modicum at best of what can be described as the worse era of heavyweight boxing in the annals of the sport’s history. To put it bluntly I’d rather not even bother to actually mention the names of the actual title holders , simply out of respect to you all because I personally don’t believe that you actually want to be bored with that fact at all ! Suffice to say , you can simply Google words present world heavyweight champion and find those very names out for yourselves.

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Picture gallery for your perusal

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What thoughts if any do you have on the careers of both Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier as professional fighters and where would you rank them amongst the all time greats within the heavyweight division of boxing during the modern era and pre modern era ? Simply chime in with a comment as to your thoughts on this topic and anything related to the sport of boxing and I’ll do my utmost to respond to your comments in a timely and orderly manner ! Thanks as always for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !

Picture and slide show details below.

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(1) Frazier (right) connects with a right to the jaw of Ali in their world heavyweight title fight at Madison Square Garden in March of 1971. The two would later go on to fight two more times in their storied careers that’s now intertwined forever because of the trilogy. David Hume Kennerley  @ copyrighted material all rights reserved

(2) Ali takes a left hook from Frazier that would send him to the canvas in the fifteenth and final round of their WBA WBC world heavyweight title fight. Referee Arthur Mercante would convene the mandatory count which the challenger would beat to resume the fight in the dying seconds of that final round. Corbis Images @ copyrighted material …… all rights reserved .

(3) Ali seen here falling to the canvas after the left hook thrown by champion in the 15th round of their now classic world title fight . David Hume Kennerley @ copyrighted material ……..

(4 This color perspective from the cover of Sports Illustrated captures the emotion of the event at Madison Square Garden as Frazier lands the left hook that immediately sends Ali the challenger to the canvas of their world heavyweight title fight. Tony Triolo / SI ……….

(5) The two former pugilists Joe Frazier (left) and Ali seen here are now firm friends . Ali now suffering from Parkinsons Disease now converses through an intermediary or tries to respond by drawing somewhat childlike pictures in order to communicate . Steve Kranitz/ Wire Images Inc. …….

(6) Don King seated (left) is seen here with Joe Frazier and the convened press to publicize his fight with Muhammad Ali which was held at the Araneta Coliseum , Metro City, Manila , Philippines . The fight would come to be simply known as “The Thriller In Manila” for which the champion would lose his title to Ali , having to retire in the fourteenth round of their fifteen round title fight. AP/Reuters/ Ronaldo Massaquoi ……………..

(7) Referee Arthur Mercante Sr guides Joe Frazier to a neutral corner before beginning his mandatory count over Ali seen here lying on the canvas in his world heavyweight title attempt to win back the title from then champion , Joe Frazier . AP Photo/ Nicholas Neville ………….

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Alan aka tophatal  http://tophatal.wordpress.com/ Joe Frazier’s career record 32 (27 KO’s) -4-1  Muhammad Ali’s career record 56 (37 KO’s) -5-0  Ali vs Frazier Verdict unanimous 15 round majority decision Frazier. Titles at stake WBA & WBC heavyweight titles for the then undisputed champion Judges : Bill Recht  , Artie Aidala and Arthur Mercante …….. Referee: Arthur Mercante

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Curtis Mayfield ……………”People Get Ready ” . Don’t hate appreciate ! =============================================================================

Bob Arum, Boxing, College Basketball, Don King, FIFA World Cup (2010), Geno Auriemma, Golf, NASCAR, Oscar De La Hoya, PGA, PGA Tour, Sports

2010 Was A Great Year In Some Sports And In Some Ways It Was An Unmitigated Disaster ….. Part Two !


2010 Was A Great Year In Some Sports And In Some Ways It Was An Unmitigated Disaster ….. Part Two !

The alphabet brigade still remains and the sport of boxing now is no better of than it was four years ago ! The pre-eminent fighter in the world isn’t a heavyweight nor does he happen to be North American. It is in fact a Filipino, Manny Pacquiao (52-38 KO’s 3-2) who is now a multiple world champion in eight different weight categories and quite rightly considered to be the best pound for pound fighter on the planet . He hasn’t been challenged mentally or physically by an opponent in years and it’s safe to say that without Pacquiao, the sport of boxing would become an elephant’s graveyard. Having made tens of millions financially from an immensely successful boxing career Manny Pacquiao’s skills show no signs of diminishing as evidenced in his ferocious beating of his last opponent Antonio Margarito in a fight that the referee Laurence Cole should have stopped to save the Mexican American fighter from further punishment. Margarito had welts over both eyes and a broken right orbital bone that had swollen to the size of a golf ball in their title fight that ended in a unanimous decision loss to the famed fighter.

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With Pacquiao now perhaps leaning closer towards retirement , that one last big pay day that he’d hoped for in a super fight against arch rival Floyd Mayweather isn’t about to take place anytime soon. Especially not with Mayweather now facing legal troubles and the possibility of serving up to 35 years on a litany of felony charges ____ in prison courtesy of the Federal Court system within the Bureau of Prisons . Through his promoter and matchmaker Bob Arum , Pacquiao is scheduled to fight Shane Mosley in mid 2011 in a bout that will no doubt garner Pacquiao another lucrative payday but in all honesty at the end of the day the padding his fight resume’ against an over the hill Mosley is absolutely meaningless and an insult to boxing fans out there. But that’s now the state of the sport where the fans rarely get the fights they really want to see , instead we’re given that constant drivel of hapless and less than capable fighters and then we’re asked to pay at times in excess of $45-00 for the privilege of seeing such a spectacle even with an undercard of up of these upcoming bouts. Is it any wonder that the sport is now considered to be on its last legs ? So much so, that now mixed martial arts events by promoters such as Bellator , Strikeforce and UFC are now all the rage and capturing a larger slice of that once desired male demographic from within the sport of boxing. The sport itself is now finding a captive and receptive audience amongst female fans as well .

The boxing heavyweight scene has become a de-facto who’s who of rather marginal East European boxers who’ve essentially carved out a niche market for themselves . Atop of the heap are the Klitschko brothers , Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko who between them share four of the five recognized belts ratified out there. The lone none European heavyweight title holder is the Englishman David Haye who’s not really known on the North American continent, albeit that he was at one time the cruiserweight champion of the world . Another weight category created by the international governing bodies of the sport not only to create money but in large part to counteract that great divide from light heavyweight to heavyweight division where the fighters are now extremely larger.

If the sport is to remain prominent with its fans then the various promoters out there who control the dominant North American market will essentially have to be proactive making the most lucrative fights possible , rather than rehashing old fighters and serving them up as one big spectacle with a rather mundane story line as a prelude to what more often than not turns out to be a complete embarrassment. Consider this, an aging Evander Holyfield is still of the belief that he can regain the heavyweight title while slowly approaching his fifth decade. Given that the fighter now is merely fighting to stave off bankruptcy, legal entanglements concerning alimony and child support payments it’s easy to understand the reason behind this charade. In the meantime promoters such as Bob Arum ( Top Rank Inc ) , Don King ( Don King Productions ) and Oscar De La Hoya ( Golden Boy Promotions Inc ) continue to foist upon us fights that in large part don’t really capture the public’s imagination. If this situation continues then the sport will most definitely meet a slow and painful demise.

College Basketball saw the re-ascent of Duke (Blue Devils) to the top of men’s game having won their fourth NCAA National title with coach Mike Krzyzewski at the helm for all four . The program is now the most preeminent there is within the game and that’s with all due respect to the legacy achieved under the late John Wooden with the UCLA Bruins . The Blue Devils’ 61-59 victory over the Butler Bulldogs had the nation perhaps wanting the underdogs to win but that wasn’t to be the case as the team led by Kyle Singler would go on to a heart warming victory in the tournament. For Butler , coached by Brad Stevens , this placed his program firmly on the map and one that’s now admired nationwide. It’s safe to say that Stevens now hope that his team can repeat that feat this upcoming season .

For Mike Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils’ program it’s pretty much safe to say that they’re now the pre-eminent college program in the country in terms Duke’s legacy under their esteemed coach. Krzyzewski to my mind would do the famed Wooden proud . Inasmuch as we can remember his feats over the years the lack of recent UCLA success would suggest that the Bruins while still remaining competitive still have something a mountain to climb to get back to the summit of the game they once ruled with such dominance. Duke now sits atop of the national rankings unbeaten at 11-0 while also leading the ACC .

In the women’s game the U Conn Huskies remain dominant under the tenure of their coach Geno Auriemma and having surpassed the astonishing feat of the UCLA Bruins’ 88 consecutive wins the Huskies are now sitting at 89 wins and counting . The unthinkable may well happen with this team reaching the century mark and perhaps along the way successfully defending their NCAA Women’s Basketball title this season . Stoutly led by standout players Maya Moore and Tiffany Hayes it has to be said that there’s the belief that this team may not be seriously challenged in their quest in attaining both feats. And inasmuch as Auriemma has bemoaned the fact that his team and in particular the women’s game gets very little respect in the eyes of the public and press apart from the loyal Huskies’ fans up and down the country. I do believe that the coach ought to be simply thankful that he and the team are getting some ink in the print media and from the ever watchful eye of cable networks such as ESPN . Womens’ basketball doesn’t really resonate amongst the mainstream in the way that it does with the men’s game either at the collegiate or professional level. The NBA reigns supreme and meanwhile the WNBA struggles to capture a meaningful audience via its programming on either ABC or ESPN. Suffice to say that the Nielsen’s ratings barely garner a blip on the scale when the women’s basketball games are being televised .

It’s safe to say that soccer’s 2010 FIFA World Cup staged in South Africa captured the world’s attention and in particular that of the USA , with the team having qualified for the event. FIFA Joseph ‘Sepp’ Blatter and the Executive Committee having chosen the country to stage the world’s most popular sport and second most watched televised sporting event behind that of the Summer Olympics sought to broaden the appeal of the game globally and within the continent of Africa itself. For the country itself, it meant a sense of pride given its most recent history of apartheid under successive white Afrikaan’s regimes until the the successful election of Nelson Mandela as President and then his thoughtful process of peaceful reconciliation amongst the masses.

With the country now being led by incumbent President Jacob Zuma there was much indeed to feel proud about but given the fact that Blatter and a number of his hierarchy remained naive , somewhat intolerably silent concerning the sexual assaults , and murders of several female soccer players in the years leading up to the staging of the event , I found it somewhat insidious in the fact Blatter chose to remain silent on this very issue while speaking out about racial bigotry and violence being espoused by fans in the direction of the male players who happen to be of ethnic minority. How is that any different and less heinous than a female being raped, attacked or murdered by males within their country merely because of their alleged sexuality if they happen to be a lesbian ? As unthinkable as this might have appeared to be it was an occurrence that happened with increasing regularity in South Africa albeit that during the staging of the event nothing was reported to any such event having taken place.

Long admired as the masters of the glorious game Brazil was viewed as one of the prohibitive favorites for the tournament alongside Spain , France , Italy and Argentina . The United States coached by Bob Bradley were seen as one the outsiders that very well have been in a position to pull off a major upset. Though not endowed with a world class outfielder they did however possess one of the best goalkeepers in the world in Tim Howard . The player himself makes his home in the rough and tumble world of the ultra competitive English Premier League (EPL) in England. Other than Howard the face of US soccer over the last decade has been their multi faceted and well respected striker Landon Donovan who played alongside former English international David Beckham for the Los Angeles Galaxy of the MLS here in the United States.

Both England and the US were drawn in the grouping for the divisional round (Group C) of the tournament and I was of the opinion that while both countries qualified on merit I could see neither going beyond the quarter finals of the competition. Neither team was really endowed with a great deal of talent and that’s in spite of the jingoistic fervor being shown by the domiciled US fans whose broad base and knowledge of the game of soccer ranks up there alongside Sarah Palin’s geopolitical knowledge when it comes to world affairs. It’s safe to say that when a US fan is trying to tell you that the US’s offensive capabilities are vast based on the fact that other than Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan’s international experience , then I’ve truly got to ask the question why the interest ? It’s not as if the game itself has found a long term foothold amongst the masses. US Soccer President Sunil K Gulati and MLS Commissioner Don Garber are still struggling to get the game to resonate with the fans domestically. Broad based coverage of the MLS domestic league are as such scheduled around the wishes of ABC/ESPN to televise the games as and when they see fit and the appeal of the teams playing in the chosen fixtures. The talent is still developing and one would be naive to think that the US is now a major powerhouse on the international soccer stage. Gaining respect, albeit in small steps , nonetheless their showing in the tournament was filled with some success but it all ended too briefly merely from the fact that as a team they were lacking creativity on offense and in the midfield where much of the work needs to be done in order to be effective. they showed little signs of real creativity. Think of it as Brady marshaling his teammates as they seek a third or fourth down in the red zone .

The plight of the English team was certainly no better and the complacency showed in the true lack of effort by not only the players but also on the part team coach Fabio Capello and his coaching staff. To add insult to injury Capello left off his final squad the talented young striker and midfield player Theo Walcott who the coach described as ill equipped to deal with the rigors of international play. Bearing in mind that Walcott had been performing well for his club side (Arsenal) in the Premiership (EPL) I found the coach’s statement completely asinine and without merit ! But somehow he found time to include a veteran such as Peter Crouch whose best years were far behind him. It’s no wonder that once the wheels on the bus started to deflate no amount of excuse could be made for the poor showing of the team in the World Cup. Thankfully the woes of both England and the US team weren’t as embarrassing as that of the heavily favored French squad that argued vehemently with and against their coach leading to dissent after their lackluster effort in a game (2-1 loss) against South Africa . The internal turmoil would not end there with one player being sent home after his profanity laced attack against the coach. Overnight this became a PR disaster of seismic proportions for the French Soccer Federation as well as the French government whose Health and Sports Minister Roselyne Bachelot offered her sincere apologies to the South African government and to FIFA after the televised events that took placed involving coach Raymond Domeneche and several French players. The French squad would soon exit the tournament with their tails between their legs after their unmitigated disaster in failing to qualify for the latter rounds of the Word Cup.

Teams who were excelling as the tournament progressed , did so by sticking to a game plan and playing with a great deal of dexterity. The raucous crowds attending the games came from all corners of the globe and with many of them having found a new to toy for their accompaniment in creating a cacophony of noise …………..the vuvuzelas became the instrument that would create some uproar amongst the purists of the game. South African natives themselves are use to the noise created by the instrument and it has become a way of life with the regards to their use at sporting events be they small or large.

Holland , Germany , Spain and Brazil would excel over the course of the tournament but once it became clear that the Brazilian team wasn’t what many had come to expect, their fate was soon to be sealed. In large part that was due to complacency in taking lightly the challenge of opponents who they thought were beneath them. The World Cup Final itself pitted Spain , the number two ranked team in the world at the time against their European counterparts Holland . And after ninety excruciating painful minutes of regular play the game went into overtime. Rarely were there any really scintillating moments throughout the game and the thirty minutes of overtime proved to be fateful as Spain’s Andres Iniesta would prove to be his country’s hero in scoring the only goal ( 1-0 result) that would lead his side to winning their first World Cup title. A billion followers of the sport of soccer can’t be wrong but I do feel that this event while proving to be a success in terms of its staging on the African continent for the very first time , it somehow left little to suggest that the game itself can take a real foothold here in the United States. The final game itself while creating some suspense it was on the whole something of a boring event in of-itself. While no doubt Dutch and Spanish fans may well wholeheartedly disagree with my statement , I can’t help but wonder if they had it do all over again would they willingly sit and watch that events unfold in front of them given that they knew what the end result would be ?

It’d be safe to say that the events surrounding Tiger Woods’ fall from grace would play a significant part to his season on the PGA Tour in `2010. Woods for all of his sexual dalliances , inappropriate behavior and his then less than contrite apology simply dug himself a whole that not even Harry Houdini could’ve escaped from. Far be it for me to say but Tiger Woods’ performances on the PGA Tour circuit lacked all the drama we’d come to expect from the world’s top golfer. If anything there was more excitement to be had in listening to the ingenues who came forward to state that they had sex with the player. From escorts to , hostesses and porn stars , females came out of the woodwork like termites from a piece of rotting wood. And along the way many of them parlayed their notoriety to gain some financial well being . Rachel Uchitel and Jamie Jungers were but a few who made their stories public and if you just happen to curious enough and something of a voyeur then in due course there will be sexually explicit movie detailing Woods’ exploits that will be marketed by one of his paramours through the distributor and purveyor of adult entertainment _____ Vivid Entertainment . Curious to see whether not the actor portraying Woods will be using as much wood as he laid to those noted conquests ? ‘Four …….. nine iron being used ‘.

Fourteen Majors and some seventy plus wins worldwide and it’s easy to see why Woods has been the most dominant golfer over the last decade plus and of his generation. A career Grand Slam and all the acclaim in the world made him the marketer’s dream , and the titans of Madison Ave in conjunction with international sports management agency IMG made Woods the most marketable athlete on the planet , the first to earn $1 billion ($1,000,000,000) in endorsements and career earnings. And when you’ve made that sort of ‘bank’ you probably do feel impervious and would like to think that you can do anything possible. What Woods seemed to forget is that there’s a cause and effect , for every action there is a reaction. It was only a matter of time before the veil came down on the charade that has been Tiger Woods’ persona. And it’s asinine to think that Woods tried to apportion much of the blame on the media after the sordid allegations became public knowledge ! What the hell did he actually think was going to happen , he’d be given a free pass ? Nigga’ please ?

Winless on the Tour in 2010, Woods’ play veered from at times being brilliant to downright horrendous over the course of the year, in which we saw him withdraw from The Players’ Championship and could only garner two top ten finishes in any of the four Majors (The Masters , The PGA Championship , US Open and The British Open ), with that occurring in The Masters and U S Open where in both cases he finished joint tied four fourth place. Uncharacteristically also Woods would withdraw The Players Championship held at the TPC Sawgrass , Ponte Vedre Beach, Florida.

Tiger Woods would also lose his world number one ranking as he would be passed by Englishman , Lee Westwood atop of the World Rankings . Westwood has yet to win a Major but he’s been very consistent worldwide on the PGA and European Tour events.Woods’ goals no doubt for 2011 will be regain the form that saw him with regularity on the Tour and at the same time refocus his efforts on being a better human being and a parent. As to whether or not he can surpass his idol Jack Nicklaus , garner the four Majors needs to equal Jack’s feat and then add another to make it nineteen, remains to be seen. He’s still young enough to do it but it now all comes down to his will and composure as to whether or not he can achieve that feat.

The Ryder Cup notwithstanding Tiger Woods’ contributions on the PGA Tour in 2010 can be best described as being mediocre . But to others at the lower end of the totem pole on the Tour I bet at times they wouldn’t mind being in Woods’ position without the sexual pecadilos I might add and all of the intrusiveness of the paparazzi that comes along with it !

I’ve never been really much of NASCAR fan , way too many left turns ! And what the hell might I ask is boogity , boogity boogity ? Is that some sort of dumb ass ‘Redneck speak’ for I’ve got a hard on for Lil’ E ? Speaking of which can someone remember the last time that Dale Earnhardt Jr won a Sprint Cup Series race ? I guess not ! He’s way too overpaid for what modicum of talent he does have. For an unprecedented fifth consecutive year Jimmie Johnson has won the Sprint Cup Series Championship and along the way seemingly create an even greater divide between himself and his peers. The only drivers now ahead him with more titles on the sport’s pre-eminent circuit are Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt Sr . Seven to be precise, is the total held by each of these all-time greats within the sport and it remains only a matter of time and the desire shown by Johnson if he chooses to emanate or even surpass those feats.

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The unfortunate thing here is that the sport has now reached its maturation point and whereas viewership and attendances are on the decline , the fan appreciation of Johnson’s feat isn’t being appreciated by all. Other than his own following I truly doubt that the vast majority of NASCAR fans like the guy to begin with ! It’s been suggested that Johnson has no character , he’s not really affable or he’s simply not rambunctious enough. Screw that ., the guy simply wins and he’s begun to make a habit with an ever increasing consistency ! As to NASCAR’s own hierarchy led by Brian France and Mike Helton , though they’ve now got a dominant face for their sport they’re still all too reliant Dale Earnhardt Jr to be the face that arguably reigns over their sport. Far be it for me to suggest but when you simply have a guy who of late has shown marginal talent at best in the practice of his craft, then why the hell is there a need to have him as the face of your sport ? You’ve got the most dominant driver of this era now within your midst and he’s garnering about as much respect as Rodney Dangerfield jokingly said he could attain being a comic. What’s up with that ?

This now ends part two of this two part series concerning my own sporting observations concerning some the events that took place across the landscape of sports during 2010 . What events if any caught your attention over this calendar year and what wishes if any would you like see take place in 2011 as an event ? Simply chime in with a comment and thanks as always for the continued support !

NB: Pacaquiao’s scheduled bout against Mosley is due to take place at the MGM Grand Casino & Resort in Las Vegas , Nevada on the 7th May 2011 .

Auriemma’s U Conn Huskies’ team had their winning streak snapped at 89 by the Stanford Cardinals team . The Lady Cardinals were in fact that the last team to beat U Conn in 2008.

NB: Click in the link provided to read Part 1 of this two part series . https://abritishman.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/2010-was-a-great-year-in-some-sports-and-in-some-ways-it-was-also-an-unmitigated-disaster/

Alan aka tophatal ………………………….


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Vida Guerra

Eye candy ………. Vida Guerra . Any takers ?

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Jesikah

More of the same ………………… or perhaps something more enticing ? Jesikah Maximus .

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Stephanie Kyoko

And still a little bit more just to simply entice you. Stephanie Kyoko courtesy of Smooth Magazine.

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Baseball, Basketball, Boxing, Football, MLB, NBA, NFL, Sports

The State of Play ……… What Irks You About Sports At Present ?


I don’t know about you but nothing irks me in sports more , than when I see someone who’s supposedly intelligent act like a complete ass ! You just think on the face it, that when things are at their best, that it can’t get any worse. But it can and normally does. And that’s when you think and then ask yourself what’s the state of play ?

Well as no doubt all of you now may now know NBA Commissioner, David Stern has finally ‘had the stones’ to do what he ought to have done immediately of having been notified that a player within the NBA organization had been found to have taken a hand gun into his place of employ. In this case, it was the Washington Wizards’ player, Gilbert Arenas. The fact that the club itself, is still in the midst of conducting its own internal investigation as to the conduct of Arenas and that of his teammate , Javaris Crittenton at the Verizon Center – the home venue of the basketball team. And their altercation that led to each player drawing a hand gun on each other , leads me to believe that either dire warnings of errant gun play just doesn’t seem to mean anything to these two individuals. Never mind the fact that the city of Washington ,D.C has amongst the highest homicide rates in the nation as well as the most virulent crime with regard to the use of guns.

Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports

Gilbert Arenas indefinitely suspended by the NBA

By Brian Mahoney , AP Basketball Writer

New York (AP)—Some of his teammates laughed when Gilbert Arenas(notes) pointed his index fingers at them, as if they were guns.

David Stern didn’t.

Stern hasn’t found any of Arenas’ behavior funny lately, so on Wednesday he handed down a punishment he wasn’t expected to deliver until much later.

Arenas was suspended indefinitely without pay by the NBA commissioner, who determined the Washington Wizards guard was “not currently fit to take the court.”

A day after Arenas made the gesture with his fingers toward his teammates who encircled him before a game in Philadelphia, Stern warned the former All-Star that his conduct will “ultimately result in a substantial suspension, and perhaps worse.”

Arenas is under investigation by federal and local authorities after admittedly bringing guns to the Wizards’ locker room. Stern said he intended to wait for that to be completed before taking action, and directed the Wizards to do the same.

He changed his mind a day after the Philadelphia game, when Arenas said he feared Stern more than the authorities because the commissioner was “mean.”

“Although it is clear that the actions of Mr. Arenas will ultimately result in a substantial suspension, and perhaps worse, his ongoing conduct has led me to conclude that he is not currently fit to take the court in an NBA game,” Stern said in a statement. “Accordingly, I am suspending Mr. Arenas indefinitely, without pay, effective immediately pending the completion of the investigation by the NBA.”

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In this Jan. 5, 2010 photo, Washington Wizards' Gilbert Arenas watches a free-throw attempt in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers  in Philadelphia.  Arenas was suspended without pay Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010,  by commissioner David Stern, who determined the Washington Wizards guard's behavior made him "not currently fit to take the court." A day after Arenas was photographed before a game in Philadelphia pointing his index fingers at his teammates as if they were guns, Stern also warned that the former All-Star's conduct will "ultimately result in a substantial suspension, and perhaps worse."  picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Matt Slocum   .........

In this Jan 5th ,2010 photo, Washington Wizards’ player Gilbert Arenas watches a free throw attempt in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Philadelphia. Arenas was suspended without pay Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010, by commissioner David Stern, who determined the Washington Wizards guard’s behavior made him ” not currently fit to take the court. ” A day after Arenas was photographed before a game in Philadelphia pointing his index fingers at his teammates as if they were guns, Stern also warned that the former All-Star’s conduct will ” ultimately result in a substantial suspension, and perhaps worse. ” picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Matt Slocum ………

Stern has since suspended Arenas indefinitely, without pay but no action as of yet has been taken against Crittenton, as to his own conduct in the affair. The fact that this has taken so long to be dealt with by the league office is bewildering to me. And no matter what excuses are being used by Arenas for his behavior , it clearly shows that the player simply just doesn’t get it. The fact that he’d also had a prior encounter with law enforcement , having been pulled over in a traffic stop, wherein the officer in question conducted a search of the player’s vehicle and found two unlicensed hand guns in Arenas’ possession. And we’re now to think that his actions can’t be seen aren’t as counter productive as to the image of the NBA ? . Well anyone with the mindset to think that it’s OK for someone like Arenas to be towing hand guns around with him at his pleasure , clearly needs to rethink their ‘whole’ thought process through !

At an informal and impromptu get together Bruce Allen , Mike Shanahan and Daniel Snyder are seen at a local eaterie.

Well, well, well, the revolving door policy of coaches coming and going within the Washington Redskins’ organization abounds at a rapid pace. What is it now ? They’re now on their seventh coach since owner, Daniel Snyder bought the franchise in 1999. And considering that the Pittsburgh Steelers is now only on its fourth coach in the past four decades. It either tells us that the Steelers have definitely been doing something right , whereas, the Redskins must simply love the novelty of having all of these faces come and go. With the expected dismissal of Jim Zorn and the ousting of former GM , Vinny Cerrato. Daniel Snyder saw fit to hire Bruce Allen as the new general manager for the team and at the same time former Denver Broncos’ coach , Mike Shanahan was hired to be the coach. Now we know that Snyder’s pockets are deeply laden and money isn’t a major concern for this multi-billionaire entrepreneur. But what I’d like to know is when will Snyder to take it upon himself to apportion some the blame for the malaise of the franchise upon himself ? I’ve heard it said that he just sits back and delegates to others as to the teams wants and needs. But from where I sit this guy is just as meddlesome in the team’s affairs as Jerry Jones and Al Davis are with their respective NFL organizations. Never mind the fact that all three teams haven’t won anything of note, in the past decade or more. Essentially both franchises have been moribund in their very existence when it comes to competitiveness within the NFL .

Ashburn , Va,. Mike Shanahan speaks at a press conference introducing him as the new Executive Vice President and Head Coach of the Washington Redskins as  Bruce Allen, Executive Vice President and general manager watches on January 6, 2010 at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Virginia.  picture appears courtesy of  Getty Images / Mitchell  Layton ........
Ashburn , Va,. Mike Shanahan speaks at a press conference introducing him as the new Executive Vice President and Head Coach of the Washington Redskins as Bruce Allen, Executive Vice President and general manager watches on January 6, 2010 at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Virginia. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images / Mitchell Layton ........

There’s no doubting that Shanahan is a very good coach when he’s surrounded by the right talent on the field of play. But herein , lies the caveat with the Redskins , they’ve no real talent of sorts when it comes to this team. Theirs has been one of missteps with either terrible NFL draftees or essentially overpaying for ‘free agents’ that have never amounted to much. But the real coup-de-gras may well be watching whether or not Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan can co-exist as equals of sorts ? Shanahan now not only becomes the Redskins’ head coach but also an Executive President , directly responsible for player personnel. Where that leaves Allen and his place in the pecking order of things and his overall input remains to be seen. But somehow , just by looking at this whole scenario you know that sometime down the line things are going to go awry for the organization and in the relationship between Allen and Shanahan. Never mind the fact that when it comes to assessing college football talent , Bruce Allen has about as much experience and intuitiveness in the matter, as Stevie Wonder and Andrea Bocelli combined. His track record jointly with Jon Gruden speaks for itself.

As to what Snyder hopes to get out of this all , one can only hope that the 5 year $ 35 million dollar contract can be justified for the services of Mike Shanhan. Otherwise , we can see the path as to how this could all end up. Over Snyder’s tenure he’s paid out in excess of $100 million for the coaching services of the coaches that he’s hired and fired, as well as their assistants that came in tow. It’s not so much that this irks me as an NFL fan. But what does it suggest to you about the organizational and managerial structure within Washington Redskins ? Their long suffering fans have put up with all of this crap over the past decade. But yet Daniel Stern as the owner has yet to apologize to them for any of the malaprops or prat-falls along the way. Many of which have come about at his own making.

Andre Dawson poses during a news conference after his election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in New York, January 7, 2010. Dawson will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York on July 25, 2010.
Andre Dawson poses during a news conference after his election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in New York, January 7, 2010. Dawson will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York on July 25, 2010. Dawson was the only one of the nominees on the ballot to have reached allotted 75 % vote needed to be considered to be an inductee for Baseball's Hall of Fame. picture appears courtesy of Reuters/ Brendan McDermid ......

One of my acquaintances within this forum, chappy 81 of doin’-work.com wrote a very good article as to the enshrinement of Tim Raines into Baseball’s Hall of Fame. Whilst this was all laudable as to Raines being on the ballot. One knew that from the very start that the player would face an uphill battle with regard to his induction. And that’s certainly not because of his lack of credentials. As a matter of fact those credentials are credible enough. What it isn’t credible is the asinine notion that the BBWAA or Baseball Writer’s Association of America has any real credence to be the adjudicators for this prestigious recognition. After all, next to winning a World Series ring it is the highest honor that one can bestow upon a player over the course of their career. League and World Series MVP awards, while recognizable don’t quite have that same ring to it , as that of stating you’re in baseball’s Hall of Fame. The BBWWA has made the whole process now become more objectiveness rather than that of subjectivity . And that’s especially true in the case of a great many nominees over the years.

Admittedly, now the writers are faced with a great of indecision as to who ought to be included and who ought not to be. While we can all conclude that for the greater part of the nineties baseball was at the height of the ‘steroids era’ and with it great many of the game’s watershed records were broken under dubious circumstances. At the same time who can fail to acknowledge that many of the writers who covered the sport knew full well what was going on inside a great of the ball club locker rooms, as to the omnipresent use of steroids and other banned substances. But in effect either they chose to ignore it all or they just thought it needn’t be reported. If anything, by that act alone along with the duplicity of the MLB hierarchy of Bud Selig and the Players’ Union (MLBPA) all of the parties concerned and that includes the BBWAA were all party to the subterfuge played out in front of the fans with regard to the nation’s pass-time. But yet the BBWAA now acts very pious and sanctimonious concerning the hallowed Hall of Fame and who ought to be now inducted ? That’s akin to saying, that as a Jew you’d welcome a member of Hezbollah into your house …’just as long as they don’t eat your food’. The MLB hierarchy, MLBPA and the BBWAA are simply a joke and not worth the time of day ! What merits the Hall of Fame once had is now being sullied by the laughable antics of the writers to begin with. And I’m supposes to believe that it’s still an honor for a player to be enshrined within that supposedly hallowed hall ? Give me break , it’s simply just not worth it any longer ! ‘nough said !

When is the premise of a boxing bout that’s said to be ‘the fight that everyone is waiting to see and absolutely no wants to miss’ , becomes nothing more than a sight gag and a complete bore ? It’s when fight promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank Inc. gets involved and starts to bitch and whine like someone has stolen money from him ! What was meant to be a world welterweight title bout between the ‘two most prolific fighters’ now in the sport, Floyd Mayweather, Jr and Manny Pacquiao. In essence, that event has become nothing more than afterthought, as two sides battle it out with barbs , that with each passing day over the last two weeks has become a trade insults and now a matter of a legal hyperbole. Pacquiao has started a civil suit against the Mayweather family citing ‘defamation of character’ and ‘slander’. As to why Pacquiao should deem fit to take this stance when he’d better off facing his opponent in the ring is beyond me ! Especially when you would consider that he would be guaranteed at a minimum to see the better part of between $25-$35 million just for stepping into the ring for what many believe would have been the biggest PPV event in boxing history. The proposed March 13th event has been called off and there seems to be no signs of a compromise in sight between the two parties.

Now as much as I love the sport of boxing , as my late father nurtured me on the history of the sport. I now can no longer stand the fact that all of the power is now primarily in the hands of all but a few boxing promoters and at the same time the four major international governing bodies simply cow-tow to their every and very whim. It ought to be the other way around. But promoters such Bob Arum , Don King of Don King Promotions Inc and Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions Inc, simply just now write out an unfilled check and leave those bodies to fill in the blank amount. At the end of the day the promoters know that they’ll end up making ‘a killing’ to begin with.

Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports

Pacquiao promoter says Mayweather bout is off

By Greg Beacham , AP Sports Writer

Manny Pacquiao’s promoters said his prospective bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. was dead late Wednesday night after a mediation session failed to resolve the fighters’ differences over drug testing, scrapping what was likely to be the richest fight in boxing history.

The bout was slated for March 13 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, but Top Rank said it couldn’t reach an agreement with Golden Boy Promotions, which represented Mayweather in the negotiations, after nine hours of mediation Tuesday and more discussions Wednesday.

Although neither side was allowed to publicly discuss the specifics of their dispute, Mayweather apparently balked at a hard-fought compromise in the testing issues first raised by the former welterweight champion.

“I knew this was going to happen,” said a weary Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter. “You had to play it out.”

Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer and Mayweather adviser Leonard Ellerbe didn’t immediately return phone messages.

The promoters went into the lengthy mediation Tuesday to resolve their differences over drug testing for the fight. Both sides claimed every other detail for the fight had been decided, but Mayweather had demanded random blood testing in addition to unlimited urine testing, with Pacquiao balking at the stringent requests.

The fighters’ representatives apparently thought they had a compromise after the mediation. The promoters were widely expected to formally announce the bout Wednesday – but subsequent discussions with Mayweather during the day led Top Rank to declare the fight canceled.

Arum was left fuming by Mayweather, who fought for Top Rank for several years.

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Mayweather  Pacquiao  another  wasted  opportunity  to give the  fans  something that they  want. Instead   we'll   now   continue to  see  the  further  demise of a   sport  that   has  lost all   relevance  for a  great  number  of  fans  and   observers  of the  sport  in  general.       picture  appears  courtesy of   bbc.co.uk/sports/boxing/   Richard Marshall  ......................
Mayweather Pacquiao another wasted opportunity to give the fans something that they want. Instead we'll now continue to see the further demise of a sport that has lost all relevance for a great number of fans and observers of the sport in general. picture appears courtesy of bbc.co.uk/sports/boxing/ Richard Marshall ......................

Much of the tumult behind the divisiveness of the Mayweather- Pacquiao situation lies with the intransigence shown by Arum in not wanting his fighter have to undergo mandated blood and urine sample testing prior and after the fight. Something in this day and age, I would’ve thought that Arum both and Pacquiao would have preferred ? But seemingly not , when one considers the last major indiscretion that took place in a ring concerned one of Arum’s fighters. Then it was his welterweight charge, Antonio Margarito in his title bout against Miguel Cotto . Margarito we later found out had an illegal body placed over his wrappings before his fight gloves were put on. Two things spring to mind right away ! Who did the on sight inspection of Margarito ? And how was it that they couldn’t detect that the fighter had a hardened substance (plaster of paris) over his wrappings prior to him being gloved up ? The fighter was later suspended a monetary fine was paid. In spite of all of this Arum stipulated that his fighter’s punishment was deemed far too harsh. Is he f_cking kidding me ? Margarito with that added advantage on the night could have ended up killing his opponent. But that simply didn’t occur Arum that it could have happened. Now as I’ve told my buddy sportschump , Bob Arum can’t be trusted as far he could be thrown from a standing position. The man for all sense and purpose is a lying, bigoted and self centered ass ! Why anyone now is at all surprised that this bout fell through shouldn’t be surprised by the turn of events that have taken place. Simply put you’re dealing with a cheating bastard in Bob Arum !

These are but a couple of things that’ve irked me as of late with regard to the world of sports. Has there been anything that plainly put , has you pis_ed off or just thinking to yourself…..’enough is enough I’m done with them or that’ ? By all means chime on with a comment and perhaps we can debate the issue or issues as the case maybe ?

Alan Parkins aka tophatal 🙂

A Tribe Called Quest feat’g Faith Evans give you ‘Stressed Out’

Boxing, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Sports

I’ll Make It Rain …..I ‘ll Make It Rain ….So Says ‘Money’ Mayweather


Well let’s face facts, the bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr (40-0, 25 KO’s) and Juan Manuel Marquez(50-5-1-37KO’s) in the end , turned out to be nothing more than a minor day at the office for Mayweather. He wasn’t at all tested by his Mexican opponent -who offered little more than being a minor bump in the road for Mayweather and his ultimate goal . And that’s to meet Manny Pacquiao in a highly anticipated mega-fight.

Mayweather  knocks   down  Marquez  in the  first  round  of   their  welterweight   bout   taking  place  at  the  MGM  Grand  Casino  Hotel  &  Resort  in    Las  Vegas,  Nevada .   picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/  Larry   Bouchard  ......................
Mayweather knocks down Marquez in the first round of their welterweight bout taking place at the MGM Grand Casino Hotel & Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Larry Bouchard ......................


But first , Pacquiao will have to take care of his next opponent , Miguel Cotto. That fight is being viewed as an eliminator for the privilege of meeting Mayweather. The smart money at present is on Pacquaio to defeat Cotto. It’s viewed in boxing circles that a meeting between Mayweather and Pacquiao would offer the better fight in terms of commercial appeal and economic sense. It would definitely be something that the fans of the sport would crave.


Mayweather  on  the  attack  as  he   takes  the  fight  to  Marquez.   Mayweather   would   end  up winning  the  fight  decisively  with a  unanimous   verdict  over  his  Mexican   opponent  ,  Juan  Manuel  Marquez.      picture appears  courtesy  of   getty  images/  Eric  Jamison  .............
Mayweather on the attack as he takes the fight to Marquez. Mayweather would end up winning the fight decisively with a unanimous verdict over his Mexican opponent , Juan Manuel Marquez. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Eric Jamison .............


Courtesy of Yahoo Sports :

Mayweather pummels Marquez in return

By Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports

LAS VEGAS – Round-by-round coverage of Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s unanimous decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez in front of 13,116 fans at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Official judges scores: William Lerch 118-109; Bert Clements 120-107; Dave Moretti 119-108.

KEVIN IOLE’S UNOFFICIAL SCORECARD
Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Total
Floyd Mayweather 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 120
Juan M. Marquez 9 8 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 107

Round 1: Mayweather opens with a jab to the head and one to the body. Marquez short with a jab. Hook by Mayweather lands. Mayweather lands a hook. Marquez not doing much at all. Jab by Marquez. Marquez misses wildly with a hook. Left-right by Marquez. Good left hook by Mayweather. Another hard left by Floyd.
Mayweather wins round, 10-9

Round 2: Mayweather lands a jab and Marquez lands a hook. Mayweather seems so much faster. Crowd chanting for Marquez, but he’s not landing much. Hard right by Marquez. Mayweather smiles. It definitely landed flush. Left uppercut by Mayweather puts Marquez down. Marquez is up. Hard right by Mayweather lands. Marquez misses three shots badly. Combination by Mayweather. Hard right by Mayweather.
Mayweather wins round, 10-8.

Round 3: Hard jab by Mayweather to open the round. Mayweather blocks a Marquez combination. Left-right by Mayweather. Straight right by Floyd. Short right inside by Juan. Mayweather lands a jab. Combination by Mayweather lands. Marquez gets in a right. Speed difference between the men is stark. Right over the top by Marquez. Mayweather smiles again.
Mayweather wins round, 10-9.

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In order to read Kevin Iole’s complete scorecard rundown then just click on the text link provided.

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And whilst the bout itself didn’t provide us with anything that we didn’t already know about Mayweather as to his boxing skills. It did tell us one thing most definitely – and that’s fighters such as Marquez despite their alleged skill-set. They’re in effect no real match for a fighter of Mayweather’s pedigree. And for the fans in attendance , although they may well have expected much more fluid performance from Marquez. It only provided us with further proof of what a wide margin there is between the likes of Mayeather , Pacquiao and when it comes to the other fighters within the welterweight division at this present moment in time. Both Mayweather and Pacquiao stand head and shoulders above the others within the division-that’s by a considerably wide margin.

Mayweather  and   Marquez  exchange   punches   while  on  the  ropes .    picture  appears   courtesy of  getty images/  Eric  Jamison................
Mayweather and Marquez exchange punches while on the ropes . picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Eric Jamison................

The other thing that also is profound is that once leave the welterweight division . There’s very little to offer the sport by way of real talent and charisma in terms of the fighters now on display . In essence it has become a barren waste land of non-descript boxers with little talent and personality. Is it any wonder that many fans are now scurrying away from the sport in droves. And that seemingly idiots like once prominent boxing promoter Bob Arum is seemingly in denial, as to what’s wrong with the sport that he amongst others, has now turned into something of a sham , in terms of true entertainment.

Mayweather  lands  a  good  solid  right  to the  head  of  Marquez   during  their   welterweight  bout  .      picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/   Paul   Moran  ................
Mayweather lands a good solid right to the head of Marquez during their welterweight bout . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Paul Moran ................

The bout was easily won by Mayweather and the judges had somewhat of an easy decision to make. He won the bout decisively and by a wide margin , scoring a unanimous decision in the end – over the course of twelve rounds.

The promotional tour for the upcoming Cotto vs. Pacquaio. The bout will be promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc.

Now the boxing world will wait to see if a mega-fight will take place between Mayweather and Pacquiao. Which will no doubt will be predicated upon the events that first take place between Pacquiao and Cotto , when they meet. For myself , as a long time boxing fan , who as of late , I haven’t found much to be excited about when it comes to the sport. Needless to say my appetite is wetted when such fights are made. Wherein, we have the very best of best facing off against each other inside the ring.

Unfortunately for a sport , that claims it has the fans’ best interests at heart. Of late the sport has been doing a lousy job creating great entertainment for even its most avid fans. Is it any wonder that many of them are now finding more compelling form of entertainment that’s now being found within the world of mixed martial arts under the auspices of UFC ?

NB : In order to hear Arum’s reasons as to why he believes that UFC and the genre known as ‘ mixed martial arts’ is what he deems ‘trash’ . Just click on the link provided below. There you’ll be able to see an interview he gave describing the sport as one filled with Nazi skinheads adorned with tattoos. Clearly Arum is devoid of knowledge when it comes to the sport and its growing following.


A Sad State of Affairs …………..

Bob Arum, Boxing, Don King, Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, Rocky Marciano, Sonny Liston, Sports, UFC

A Sad State of Affairs


It says a lot about a sport when the powers that be will try and lure you in with any gimmick that they deem appropriate. Much like GM and their now 60 day money back guarantee with regard to a purchase of one of their vehicles. If GM couldn't get it right the first time around then what makes them think that this maneuver will indeed turn the tide as to their fortunes ? It's bad enough that in excess of $50 billion of taxpayers’ monies has been spent to bail them out. And there’s still no actual sign that they’re on the way to turning things around.

And please don’t for one minute think that the Ford Motor Company is safe by any means. Its creditors may well have loaned it in excess of $30 billion as part of their cash infusion. But that venerable company is leveraged to unprecedented proportions. It’s now clinging by the seat of its pants as to its very financial health. The fact of the matter is the US automotive industry is all but dead. And though no one yet is prepared to admit it. Much of their problems stems from the intransigence shown by unions as well as the respective hierarchies of ‘The Big Three’ domestic automotive companies.

The problem that now faces the automotive industry in essence is the same thing that now faces the sport of boxing. And unfortunately for the erstwhile fans of the sport , they’re now being neglected by the various governing bodies.
They’ve lacked intuitiveness and innovation. And the product that they’re trying to get the public to consume or even find somewhat appealing. Well , in all honesty it’s about as welcoming as having a contagious disease. No wants it ,nor would they be willing to even feign interest, as to what’s going on.

A video tribute to Rocky Marciano.

The sport of boxing is invariably ran by four international governing bodies. Each has an affiliation with various national entities around the world at that runs the sport in those countries domestically. However, in light of that it has done little to stem the tide of corruption that has ran rampant throughout the sport. And in essence it still remains today. The fact is , however , whereas you and I would conduct our business with open transparency . The same cannot be said for the sport of boxing.

Courtesy of AP Sports :

Boxing trying to reach out to new consumers

By Dave Skretta , AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP)—When a young Evander Holyfield fought an aged George Foreman nearly 20 years ago, there wasn’t much publicity necessary. A few press tours, some television ads, and some carefully crafted newspaper stories generated plenty of interest.

To the tune of 1.4 million pay-per-view buys.

Even today, when big fights are synonymous with the buy-for-battle format, Holyfield-Foreman remains one of the top 10 boxing events in terms of viewership. The reasons it has rarely been trumped are many and varied, from waning interest in the sport to stagnant promotions, to the sheer number of alternatives for the casual sports fan.

These days, traditional means of promoting a big fight are not enough.
ADVERTISEMENT

“Boxing has to reach a younger audience, a new audience,” HBO Sports vice president Mark Taffett said Wednesday. “We need to connect them to the athletes to move the sport forward.”

Golden Boy Promotions and HBO understand this, and are embarking on a marketing blitz unlike anything the sport has seen in recent years, focused on raising awareness for Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s fight against Juan Manuel Marquez on Sept. 19 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The fight figures to be one of the year’s most entertaining, carried by the erstwhile pound-for-pound champion’s return from a brief retirement. Mayweather (39-0, 25 KOs) has been involved in some of the biggest promotions in boxing history, including his record-setting fight against Oscar De La Hoya, while Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KOs) is backed by a feverish Hispanic fanbase.

The difficulty comes in getting their message out to a broad prospective audience, something that boxing has struggled with for decades. The interests of the 40-something sect are far different from the tech-savvy teen; blue-collar workers and urban youth have little in common.

The trick is to attach the fight, and the sport itself, to something that interests them.

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NB : Should you wish to read my piece on the upcoming bout this coming Saturday, between Juan Manuel-Marquez and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Then just click on the text link provided below. An excerpt of which have also been placed below.

Rust ? What Rust ?

Be ready,be very ready to see the return of the ‘Money Man’ on the 19th September. Floyd Mayweather (39-0, 25 KO’s),makes his long awaited and anticipated return to the ring. Mayweather has chosen his hand picked opponent,in Juan Manuel Marquez(50-4-1,37 KO’s). And Marquez is as tough as they come. A three time world titlist,the young Mexican comes from a long line if heralded Hispanic boxers. And he’s out to fulfill that obligation, of living up to that line of great Latin pugilists.

The bout itself will be at the welterweight division and though it won’t be for a title fight. It’s being viewed as an eliminator, with the winner having the privilege of meeting Manny Pacquiao. In what’ll be viewed as the title for the linear champion within the welterweight division. Buyer beware, as the caveat here, is that any fight fan willing to make the outlay of $49-95, had better be prepared to do so.
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Bob Arum castigates UFC and Floyd Mayweather. Somewhat ironic from a promoter who has been known to ask a fighter to take a dive. Arum is so oblivious as to the demographics of the sport and in particular the waning popularity of boxing.

As I’d alluded to earlier, the sport is ran internationally by four independent self governing bodies. Each with affiliations around the world to various domestic bodies , that govern the sport within those countries’ various borders. The bodies in question are :International Boxing Federation (IBF) , World Boxing Association(WBA),World Boxing Council (WBC) and the World Boxing Organization(WBO).Commonly known to most, as the ‘alphabet organization’ of world boxing. They’re predisposed in many people’s eyes of primarily furthering their own self interests-rather than that of the sport, for the pleasure of its fans.

Joe Louis in action. The legendary fighter was the longest reigning heavyweight champion in history. And his twenty five successful defenses of the title remains a record to this day, within the sport.

And while a great deal of power does lie in the hands of those bodies. It has been the promoters who’ve coddled, cajoled and misappropriated the integrity of the sport over the last four decades. Alright, we can agree that the sport of boxing has always had a seedier side to it. And what sport hasn’t over the years ? That may well be one of the many reasons why we were all so enthralled with it to begin with. OK , so we had our heroes in Muhammad Ali, Rocky Marciano, Joe Louis, Sonny Liston, Mike Tyson and others-far too numerous to mention. But the sport now has become so lackluster and is almost devoid of real talent . Nowhere, is this more glaring than within the once most prestigious division of them all. The heavyweight division has become the laughing stock of the sport. And if anything, they have little talent , even less personality, charm and charisma. .

Ali vs. Sonny Liston II, in 1965 . Liston was challenging Ali for the title in Lewiston, Maine. As we know the fight ended in an uproar -with charges being made that Liston took a dive. Nothing was ever proven but the conspiracy remains to this day.

And for these two promoters in particular Bob Arum of Top Rank Inc., and Don King of Don King Promotions Incorporated. They’ve brought the sport to the edge of the precipice, where it now sits. The majority of boxing fans, now feign interest in the sport. As they’ve grown to accustomed to the rise of the genre of MMA (mixed martial arts) . Which now far exceeds the popularity of boxing as a sport. Furthermore,, MMA under the auspices of UFC isn’t as fragmented, mismanaged or mishandled as the sport of boxing has become. And with the sport of boxing now having every reason to feel threatened with the revenues now being attained via MMA’s own PPV promoted events. The sport has become a multi-billion dollar industry and its revenues alone from PPV events far outstrips that of boxing. Not only that but UFC takes time to promote the fights that their fans want and expect to see. Not so, in the case of boxing !

It’s ironic that boxing now has to follow in the footsteps of MMA as to how it ought to lure fans and have some resonance with them to begin with. And to listen to someone such as Bob Arum berate the sport with his homophobic and racial slurs. It shows the ignorance of a man whose time has come and gone ! The sooner he departs from the sport . Perhaps the better of it will become ? But that would be predicated upon someone entering into the fray who had some integrity to begin with . Quite frankly, Arum had none to begin with.

Spike Lee’s feature on Mike Tyson and Don King. Can anyone tell me what the f-ck , King is alluding to ? Dumb is as dumb is and no one epitomizes that nowadays more than Don King !

And what of his promotional rival and counterpart you might ask ? Well let’s just say that Don King has excelled as a master showman and entrepreneur. With that however, has come the lies , the fraudulent acts and misrepresentation. Waxing lyrically about the sport but in reality saying nothing of merit. Above all the ruination of a sport has come with King and Arum in tow, that’s but a moment away from seeking resuscitation via CPR . But alas, no one is actually all that interested in seeing the sport rise like a phoenix from the ashes. It sold its soul to ‘The Devil’ and the payment in kind – has been its slow demise.

Boxing, Sports

Rust ? What Rust ?


Rust What Rust ?

Be ready,be very ready to see the return of the ‘Money Man’ on the 19th September. Floyd Mayweather (39-0, 25 KO’s),makes his long awaited and anticipated return to the ring. Mayweather has chosen his hand picked opponent,in Juan Manuel Marquez(50-4-1,37 KO’s). And Marquez is as tough as they come. A three time world titlist,the young Mexican comes from a long line if heralded Hispanic boxers. And he’s out to fulfill that obligation, of living up to that line of great Latin pugilists.

Floyd  Mayweather Jr   and  Juan  Manuel  Marquez  .   The  two   welterweights  are   due  to   meet   on  Saturday  19th  at the  MGM Grand  Hotel  & Casino  Complex  in Las  Vegas  ,  Nevada.     poster  appears   courtesy of   HBO...................
Floyd Mayweather Jr and Juan Manuel Marquez . The two welterweights are due to meet on Saturday 19th at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino Complex in Las Vegas , Nevada. poster appears courtesy of HBO...................

The bout itself will be at the welterweight division and though it won’t be for a title fight. It’s being viewed as an eliminator, with the winner having the privilege of meeting Manny Pacquiao. In what’ll be viewed as the title for the linear champion within the welterweight division. Buyer beware, as the caveat here, is that any fight fan willing to make the outlay of $49-95, had better be prepared to do so.

Floyd  Mayweather  Jr  (left)  works   out  at  his   gym   with   one  of his  trainers,  Leonard  Ellerbee.   Mayweather   takes   on   Juan  Manuel  Marquez  in one  of  the  year's   most   highly  anticipated   fights  at  the  MGM Grand  , Las  Vegas, on   September  19th.  picture appears  courtesy  of   ap/photo/ Isaac  Brekken  ..........................
Floyd Mayweather Jr (left) works out at his gym with one of his trainers, Leonard Ellerbee. Mayweather takes on Juan Manuel Marquez in one of the year's most highly anticipated fights at the MGM Grand , Las Vegas, on September 19th. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Isaac Brekken ..........................

As we all know PPV is the bread and butter that the marquee fight promotions live by. And they’ll continue to do so, for the foreseeable future. It’s hoped, that the bout does live up to the hype and a great deal more. Both Marquez and Mayweather have been doing their very best to publicize the event. But it remains to be seen whether or not there’ll be interest shown in the bout itself. Mayweather, upon his impending return to the ring, has let it be known that it’s Pacquaio, who he’s really after and wants. And off-course it’s understandable why. A bout between the two is bound to be one of the biggest bouts in recent memory. It’s quite possible that a bout of that magnitude could very well gross in excess of $100 million in revenues from the buys alone. And a further $35-$50 million in ticket sales, concession sales and ancillary rights from overseas broadcasts showings.That being said, it will be all be predicated upon Mayweather defeating his Mexican opponent.

Marquez   seen  here  works   out  on a  speed  bag  at  a  gym   in Mexico   City   in   preparation  for   his   upcoming   bout   against  Mayweather.     picture  appears  courtesy   of  ap/photo/Miguel  Tovar  .......................
Marquez seen here works out on a speed bag at a gym in Mexico City in preparation for his upcoming bout against Mayweather. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Miguel Tovar .......................

It would be in Mayweather’s interest to not underestimate Marquez or take the bout too lightly at all. We’ve all seen what a fight of this magnitude can do. Mayweather loses, and Marquzez sets his sights on Pacquiao. Mayweather is bound to want a rematch. A win and he’s right back on the proverbial gravy train. Money at this juncture for Mayweather isn’t the be all and end all. But it does add that certain spice. And for a fighter, who in the last five years has earned in excess of $55million in purses alone. Money has got to be the last thing on his mind.If anything, it is his lust for the recognition that he no doubt feels that he warrants and deserves. He’s had to live in the shadow of Oscar De La Hoya.A fighter, he essentially destroyed in their bout, when they met. But it was De La Hoya, who essentially was given the hero’s send-off ,as he departed from the ring. Essentially, as gifted as Mayweather is ,he’s often thought of as a fighter who tends to alienate the fans with his boorish behavior. If he’s not front and center, in terms of the attention being foisted upon any individual. Then he’ll let you know it. If it isn’t about the ‘Money Man’,then it’s not meant to be about anyone at all, but him.

Mayweather and De La Hoya face off from their bout of June ,2007, two years ago.

Marquez comes into this bout with a rich pedigree and who’s known as a fighter who brings it all to the ring. He rarely leaves the fans short changed. And in this much anticipated bout, it’s easy to understand why a number of fight fans and analysts alike, are waiting for this bout with baited breath. You’ve a boxer in Mayweather, who can fight, as well box. And less we forget , he’s the consummate showman as well ? And in Juan Manuel Marquez we have real hardened fighter. Whose motto, is kill or be killed . And quite possibly, this bout mightn’t go the distance. Marquez, if he’s to win this bout , he’ll have to stand toe to toe and look to knock Mayweather out. Floyd, for his part, merely has to use his speed and guile , and typically look for the shots that could wear down his opponent. A slug-fest though, wouldn’t be totally unexpected but then again ,this fight could very well full of surprises.

Fans  watch  and  admire   Marquez   while he's  at   work  in the  gym  .       picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/Miguel   Tovar  ............................
Fans watch and admire Marquez while he's at work in the gym . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Miguel Tovar ............................

So, with the anticipation of the bout, we’ll now have to wait to see what materializes when these two heralded fighters meet in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand. And for Mayweather, who has been away from the ring for 21 months. It’ll be an amazing performance, should he prevail against Marquez in the bout. As much as he’s viewed, as a prohibitive favorite for the bout , merely because of his unbeaten record. It wouldn’t surprise me at all should the bout end in a victory for Juan Manuel Marquez. Mayweather, has been away from the ring for a long time. And it’s not often that a fighter of his pedigree comes back and re-enters the ring with the usual aplomb. In the belief that all he’s got to do, is just show up.

Mayweather   works  the   speed    bag   at  his   gym  in  preparation  for  his   bout.      picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/  Isaac  Brekken  .........................
Mayweather works the speed bag at his gym in preparation for his bout. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Isaac Brekken .........................

This bout has the makings of becoming a real classic. And for both fighters there’s a lot at stake. To the victor,belongs the spoils. And for the loser, it means an abrupt departure from the high profile glare of the sport. It’s by no means a certainty that this will live up to the hype. Because there’s been very little widespread publicity of the event to begin with. However, the cable outlet HBO , has been doing the customary documentary ,profiling both fighters and the upcoming event. Its coverage of which, has been very insightful for even a passer by , showing a curious interest in the event itself. For those of us , who are indeed fans. Then it also gives an insight into each fighter’s preparation and their thought process.

Mayweather (left)  and  Marquez(right)  pose alongside   promoter and   former  boxing  champ  Oscar  De La  Hoya(center).   De La Hoya's   Golden  Boy Promotions is  promoting  the  bout  jointly  with  Mayweather's  own  promotion  company   in  conjunction with  HBO .  The  cable   outlet   operates  the  PPV  programming   of  the  bout  which  will   then  be  retelevized  a   week  later   on  the  cable   outlet.    picture  appears   courtesy  of   afp/reuters / Marc  De  Sainz ...............................................
Mayweather (left) and Marquez(right) pose alongside promoter and former boxing champ Oscar De La Hoya(center). De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions is promoting the bout jointly with Mayweather's own promotion company in conjunction with HBO . The cable outlet operates the PPV programming of the bout which will then be retelevized a week later on the cable outlet. picture appears courtesy of afp/reuters / Marc De Sainz ...............................................

And as much as I’m still in many ways a solid fight fan. I can’t help but wonder what things would be like if we had fights of this magnitude on a regular basis in the sport. Insomuch , as the promoters tell us that the fight game is still very much alive. It’s only alive in the eyes of very few. Many of boxing’s most ardent fans have now gone elsewhere. As they’ve in some ways been vilified by the promoters and boxers, who expect them to shell out countless amounts of dollars for a very anemic and sometimes uninteresting product to begin with. Never-mind, the fact that when it’s a much heralded bout, it tends to be between a guy who’s fighting someone past their prime. Or, as has been often the case, it’s a bout that we’re led to believe has the next young rising star challenging for a title. Only to find that they’ve got as much talent as a lip syncing Ashlee Simpson.

ABC's Monday Night Football, Boxing, Howard Cosell, Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali, Sports

I’d Have Been Nothing Without You ……….


  
 

I’d   Have  Been  Nothing   Without  You !  

 

 

 

 

It’s  often  been  said the   relationships   and  friendships   one has  can  clearly  define  us  as  a  person.   And  in  some  instances  it  is  true.   Though  for some   it  hasn’t  always  been  the  case.     One  relationship  that  I  genuinely  believe  was  something   built   out   of  mutual  respect  and    in   some  cases  one   built   out  of    adoration   if  nothing  else.   Well  it  was  the  friendship  that   was  cemented   between   renowned   broadcaster   Howard  Cosell  and   former  heavyweight   boxing   champion Muhammad  Ali.   

 

 

Howard  Cosell   seen  here  with  Muhammad  Ali  at  the  coverage  of the  1972 Munich  Olympics.
Howard Cosell seen here with Muhammad Ali at the coverage of the 1972 Munich Olympics. Ali playfully mocks Cosell while picking something from his head. picture appears courtesy of afp/ David Thornton......

 

 

 

Though  the   two  on the  face  of  it   had  nothing   in  common  .  Heir’s   was   a    friendship   that   at  times  bordered  on  that  of   father  and   son.  Whilst   there  wasn’t   often   obedience   being  conveyed   by  way  of  their   interaction.  It  has  to  be  said  that  their   friendship   was  something  that   played   out  as a  comedic  farce  that   was   genuinely  entertaining .   Though  at   times    it  was   Cosell   who  became  the   butt  of   Ali’s   jokes.   And   Cosell  willingly  abetted   Ali  in  the   joviality .  If   nothing  else  it   made   for   great   television   and   the   viewers  and  fight   fans    lapped  it   up  for   all  it  was  worth.  And   most    certainly    the  interaction  between  the  two  made  Ali’s   fights  all  the  more  pleasurable  to  watch.  The   publicity  gleaned   by   way  of   the  hype  and  that  of   Cosell   wanting  to  be   part  of it  all  was   merely  nothing   more than  a way  of   selling  a  bout.  

 

 

Ali  seen  here  with  daughters  Maryum,  Rasheeda  and  Laila .
Ali seen here with daughters Maryum, Rasheeda and Laila . picture appears courtesy of si/getty images/ Michael Bell ..................

 

 

The   bouts   themselves   were   memorable   in  more  ways  than  one .   If  it wasn’t   Ali   being   the  consummate   showman    describing  how  he  would  either  be   knocking   out   his  opponent   whilst   also   mocking  them.   Then  it  was   also   about  Cosell   ,  himself.  He  often  interjected  himself   into  the  show.  If   for   nothing  else   other  than  wanting  the   public   to  know  that   it  was  he  ,  Howard  Cosell.  Who  was  the  person    being  the   ring master    bringing   us   the   indomitable   Muhammad Ali.  Cosell   was  absorbed   in  his   own   self   importance   but  he   also    could   be  passionate   about  things   he   felt  were  undignified  and   socially  immoral.   

 

 

Ali  playfully  avoids  a jab  from  Wilt  Chamberlain  during  the  taping  of  a  television  show.  Chamberlain  at  the  time  wanted to  meet  Ali in an  exhibition  bout.
Ali playfully avoids a jab from NBA player Wilt Chamberlain. Wilt at the time wanted to meet Ali in an exhibition bout. He was also seriously considering taking up the sport of boxing, seeking to become a professional. He tried to lure Ali into meeting him in a proposed bout where both men would each receive $1m for the undertaking. picture appears courtesy of corbis. D Bettman .....................

 

 

 

And  nowhere  was  this   more   apparent   than   when   he   came  to  the  support  of  Ali.  The   boxer’s   treatment   at  the   hands  of  the   government  after   his   refusal   to  enter  the   military   during   the  Vietnam   War  saw   Cosell   openly   come  out   to  criticize   administration  at  the  time.  He  fully  supported  the  fighter  and  in   his   cause   made  it  known  to  those   who  were    prepared to  listen.   Though  it   had  to  be  said   he  had  his   detractors   for  taking  that   particular   stance.  But  at  the  same   time   one  has  to  admire   someone  who’s  prepared to   go  against   public  opinion   and   forsake  friendships  along  the  way.

 

 

Don  Meredith  seen  here  with  Cosell  (center) and  Frank  Gifford.  The  three  would  become  the  main anchors  for  ABC's  Monday  Night  Football.    The  show  came  into  being  in  1970.
Don Meredith seen here with Cosell (center) alongside Frank Gifford. The three would become the face of ABC's Monday Night Football during the early seventies. The show came into being in 1970. picture appears courtesy of corbis/ D Bettman .............

 

 

Though  Cosell  was   known  primarily   for   his   broadcast  commentary   provided  for   ABC’s  Monday  Night  Football. At  its  inception in  1970,   he  would   be  working   alongside   Keith  Jackson  and  Don  Meredith.  Frank  Gifford  would   join  the   team  later  in  1971 after the  departure  of  Jackson . Cosell   carried   out  other   duties   for  the  network.    He  wrote  several  books  and  his   long  standing   relationship  and  marriage to  his  beloved  wife  Mary  Edith   Cosell. “Emmy”  to  those who  knew  her  best   and  their   marriage  that  stood   for  over   forty  five years.  

 

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