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.
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“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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In order to read this article just click on the text shown.
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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, IBF, IBO, Sports, WBO, World Heavyweight title

Punch Drunk Apathy ………


 

In the world of boxing as it now stands  there are the have’s and have not’s.  In the heavyweight division it has now become about  the apathy therein.  The fighters there are about as devoid of talent and character as there’s ever been witnessed within the sport.  What was once viewed as the most prestigious division within boxing has now become a place where there’s  said to be a plethora of boxers who are  without talent and even it can be  said poise.

 

Germany Boxing Klitschko Rahman

Klitschko defends his  IBF,IBO and WBO crowns  against former champion Hasim Rahman of the United States in the SAP Arena, Mannheim ,Germany. picture appears courtesy  of ap/photo/Daniel Maurer ……………

 

On Saturday night in Mannheim, Germany Wladimir Klitschko of the Ukraine defended his title against the  former champion  Hasim Rahman of the United States. Rahman, himself hasn’t been the same fighter who many of us saw dethrone Lennox Lewis for the title in the latter part of the nineties.  Since then he’s buffered around the division  propping up his record with even less meaningful bouts.  The fact  that he was a challenger here  for Klitschko’s IBF and WBO crowns is even more astonishing given the current scene of the heavyweight division. And  less we forget not to cheapen the fact Klitschko’s lightly regarded IBO title was also on the line. 

 

 

Referee Tony Weekf of the United States intervenes to save Rahman from further punishment  during the  bout in the seventh round ...............

 Referee TonyWeekf  of  the United States intervenes to  save Rahaman from futher punishment  during the  bout in the seventh round. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Daniel Maurer ………………………..

 

Klitschko is viewed by many as perhaps  the best heavyweight on the scene at present.  But in reality  it doesn’t say much  for the talent that’s now out there within the division.  Nonetheless things are  what they are and  fans of the sport will have to grin and bare it. It should also be noted  that Klitschko’s brother Vitaliy holds one of the other belts within the division. And as much as some may desire to see  both  brothers  face each other in the ring.  It apparently  won’t be happening anytime soon.  Such was the pledge  made to their  mother  concerning  their  ambitions.

 

Klitschko lands shot to the head  of  Rahman .........

Wladimir Klitschko takes to offense in landing a shot to the head of  Hasim Rahman during their title bout. picture appears courtesy of afp/getty images/Thomas Lohnes ………….

 

Boxing has known its’ ups and downs and it may well be that the sport is going through one  of those languid periods where  things’ll sort themselves out. But how long must the paying  public be asked to put up with  the diatribe that’s now taking place within the heavyweight  division ? So political and  fractious has the sport become. That  in  many respects  the  powers  that be are all too  oblivious as to  what’s happening therein.  The governing bodies as they are along  with a number of promoters seemlessly feel  that as long  as their  share of the pie doesn’t become too  miniscule then the status quo can remain as it is. Were it not for such attractions as Oscar De La Hoya , Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny  Pacquiao  the  death knell  would  be being signalled for the sport as we now know it. And  unfortunately within the heayweight division itself  it  most  certainly doesn’t  bode  well  for the  future when you’ve still got fighters such as Evander Holyfield, Riddick  Bowe  and  James Toney still feeding  from the trough and of the belief that  they’re the ones who can bring back  some respectability to the  division.

 

Both Klitschko  and Rahman  land punches during the third round

Both Klitschko and Rahman  land  punches during  the  third  round of their title bout in Mannheim, Germany. Klitschko would go on to win the bout with a TKO in the seventh round. picture appears courtesy of  ap/photo/Daniel Maurer ……………….

 

Saturday’s night bout between  Klitschko did nothing to stave  off the belief  that  the sport  boxing amongst the heavyweight division is in extreme dire straits. So much so that  I wouldn’t put it past some to joke that the  Federal government  would  be  at the  point they’d enter into the fray to bail  out the  sport in one form or  another. Such as  are  the machinations of the Federal  government as we know it at present.  Any self inflicted problem that’s in need  of  an assist and  you can be sure that  the  government’ll be on hand for  the assist.  It’s safe to say  however that  when it comes  to the consumer however  the  help  needed  when necessary  isn’t at  all forthcoming.  Klitschko  for his part  proved to many that as champion he’ll do his  best  to  live up to  the part.  Unfortunately  other than what little  prowess  he  has in the  persona of  a fighter  is about as appealing  as damp cloth soaked  in pig’s blood. For the better part of  six rounds we saw that he was technically  sound as a fighter.  But other than that  we learned  nothing of  him by  way  of  his demeanor  in  or  outside of the ring.

 

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Klitschko showing even more aggression than usual pins Rahman against the ropes in the sixth round

Klitschko showing even  more aggression than most are accustomed of seeing from the fighter pins Rahman against the ropes during their bout. picture appears courtesy of getty images/bongarts/ Lars Baron …………………

 

Rahman during the bout was  never  able to  land a meaningful shot against the champion and what was even more surprising was that he allowed his opponent to dictate the pace and flow of the bout from start  to finish.  Nonetheless for the German crowd who’ve grown  accustomed to  treating the domiciled Ukranian as one of  their own. They were  more than pleased to see  him come away with a victory  against the  American at the  end  of seven rounds.  Referee Tony Weekf had  to intervene during  the seventh  to save  Rahman from further punishment when he was unable to defend himself adequately.  Part and parcel of what is also wrong in a bout such as this  was that Rahman wasn’t even  considered by many a worthy challenger let alone  the number one ranked contender.

 

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