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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Slide show for your perusal .

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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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.

Boxing, Welterweights

Pleas Oscar No More Excuses You Were Beaten By The Better Man ……….


For all of the functionality of the sport of boxing and we know that the sport is made up of stars  and their egos. It can be said that  last night’s bout between Manny Pacquiao and  Oscar De La Hoya had all that one could’ve envisioned from two of the biggest stars in the sport.  De La Hoya one again trying to prove that  he’ll willingly take on anyone as long as the price is right. But not all too willing  to admit  when  he’s made  a  profound mistake. 

 

Manny Pacquaio the WBC lighweight champion throws a right hand to the head  of  Oscar De La Hoya  during their none title bout held in Las Vegas, Nevada. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Eric Jamison….

 

Well for Oscar  last  night that  held through  as  he was unwittingly surprised and  beaten  by his Filipino opponent in an 8th  round TKO in their none-title  fight.  De La Hoya unable to answer the bell  for  the ninth round just sat  on  his stool  as  Pacquaio  was later  announced  the  winner.  Much to  the joy  of  fans in attendance  who  were supporters  of the victorious  Filipino ,  Manny  Pacquiao.  

 

De La Hoya stands ground as Pacquaio  throws a right  to the head of his opponent during the fourth round of  their fight. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Eric Jamison ……………

 

 

Now for De La Hoya comes some  home truths  as  to the future of his career.  He  may  well  think of  himself as the savior  of the sport during  these turbulent times.  But  if  anything this particular  loss  has  proven that he’s  now way past  his prime  once and for all. And though a rematch may  not be out of the offing  , I’d  think  that  after tonight’s decision  it wouldn’t prove anything  were Pacquiao enter into  such a discussion.  Such was the lopsided  of the bout that  De La Hoya  has  to admit  at no point was  he in a position to conclusively win the bout outright. H  certainly  didn’t take the pace of the fight  and if  anything  it was Pacquiao who  held the  upper  hand right from the start and through  much of the duration of the bout.

 

De La Hoya connects to the  head  of Pacquiao  during their welterweight  bout in Las  Vegas on Saturday  night. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Ethan  Miller ……………..

 

Businesswise De La Hoya  comes  out a winner as he was co-promoter of the the event  through  his  Golden Boy Promotions Inc, alongside Bob Arum of  Top Rank Inc.  And with Arum  the promoter  of  Pacquiao  proving  to  be victorious  it’d appear  that everyone  came off  a winner in this  PPV event.  With  the price of $54.95 being charged  for subscribers to the event. It  can be  said  that it was more than a profitable night for all.   Both the Arum and the De La Hoya camp  were  hoping  for in excess of  2m buys  for  the event as that  would bring  a whopping $110m alone  in  terms of  the  PPV revenues. And  less one  forgets we also  have  the paying  members  of  the  public  in attendance  plus the  concessions  to  be  accounted. In light of  that we could well hear  that  this  bout  being close to if  not  surpassing the  take of  the previous  highest  grossing   PPV bout.  Which  again  De La Hoya was  a  part of  when  he  faced  Floyd  Mayweather  Jr.  That  fight  took in over  $160m  in gross  revenues  inclusive  of the  PPV total.  Business  is  business and  when it comes to  the  financial pulling  power it would appear that  in the worldof  boxing  no one has that  power  other  than  De La Hoya himself.  He knows it  and he craves both  that  and  the limelight that  it brings.  And for a fighter  that  it’s  said  has  earned purses in excess  of $275m  and counting  over the  course of  his career. Another $10 or  $20m  mightn’t do  him anymore  harm when it’s all said  and done.

 

De La Hoya is hugged by his Filipino opponent  Manny Pacquiao after a surprising end to their much heralded bout.  Pacquiao was  declared the winner  by a TKO  after De La  Hoya  was unable  to answer the bell for the ninth round. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Mark  J Terrill  …………………

 

The fact of the matter is the more Oscar continues to fight albeit  that he’s willing to take on  allcomers as  long as he feels that  he’s in with a chance of beating that opponent. He’ll  fight and it will  have  nothing to  do with his legacy  as  it’s now  become  nothing  more than about the money at the end of the day.  Well  those  days  now may well be coming  to  close  after  what’ll be viewed as a much heralded loss against an opponent he  was favored to  beat. 

 

Oscar De La Hoya  on his stool ringside  looks  across at his opponent  Manny Pacquiao during the interval of the fifth round of their  fight  held at the  MGM Grand  Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. picture appears courtesy of getty images/Jed Jacobsohn …………….

 

The outcome to  many  may not have been surprising  at  all when one considers the punching power of Pacquiao. What may have  surprised many in the audience and  those  viewing by  PPV was the abrupt way that the fight  ended.  De La Hoya seemingly unable  to defend  himself with any great authority looked tired and old  in the  ring. And what might’ve  been viewed an advantage for him in terms  of him  fighting  at  a weight that  he’d seemingly  become accustomed to.  In  many  respects  for  Pacquiao  it was he who looked the  more  accustomed  fighter  at the welterweight division  than  De La Hoya.  For  Pacquiao to  move up  two weight  classes and still sustain such power and  aggression  is compliment to the fighter and  his profound skills.  And for  De La Hoya it now appears  that those days  if being  the big draw in the sport are  now coming  mercifully to an end. If ever a  fight  and  the way in which  he  was defeated ouhgt  to signal an end to  an illustrious career.  Then  this was that  fight without a doubt !

 

Manny Pacquaio  of the Phillipines celebrates  his 8th round TKO victory over  Oscar De La Hoya with the  accompaniment of his country’s  Vice President  Noll De Castro standing  to his left. picture appears courtesy of  ap/photo/Jae C Hong  …………………..

 

The future now is so bright for Pacquiao  that it’s  now extremely  hard to see how  he could  top this feat. Not only  has he tamed a legend  but  he beat  that  legend  ever  so convincingly. The excuses from  De La  Hoya’s  camp  may  well be rife.  But  it’s plain to see that  Oscar is no longer the supremely gifted fighter he once was  or  he that  he  himself  thinks he  still is.  

 

Manny Pacquaio connects with a left hook to  the body of Oscar De La Hoya during their welterweight bout in  Las Vegas  on Saturday  night.  picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Ethan Miller  …………..

 

No one can deny  the acclaim that  De La Hoya has  brought  the sport  and the rewards that he’s attained from it. But at the end of  the  day old Father Time has cought up with a fighter whose  better days are most certainly  not ahead of him  but  if  anything  he can actually  see those days for  himself  have  passed  him  by and he can view them  through a  rear view mirror.  Slowly as they say all  good  things must come to an  end.  And now is the time Oscar to call it quits once  and for all. No amount of excuses  can  be  made  for the  severity and abruptness  of  this loss.  And  even if  he makes the claim  of wanting  a rematch against  Pacquiao.  Is there  really  anyone of  the opinion  who’d view the  outcome any different ?  Oscar you’re  good  but on this night Manny was markedly  better.  And  he  was so  by a very wide margin !

 

A forelorn De La Hoya looks on duriing the interval of  the third and fourth rounds as his trainer Ignacios Beristain implores his fighter to keep his guard up. picture appears  courtesy of ap/photo/Mark J Terrill ….

 

The public may well  clamor for a rematch and  most definitely it’s  not out  of the realms of possibility that Oscar might want  to redeem himself against Pacquiao. But the fact the matter  he  threw  his hat into  the ring once too often an  this time  around he was found to be  wanting.  As alluded to before this may mark  the end of an  illustrious career  once and for  all.  But  there’ll be those  around  De La Hoya advising him  otherwise. The  cash cow that is  Oscar De La Hoya  brings along  with him  much  more  than the  sport itself but also  name recognition.  And  at a time when  the  world  is undergoing an economic  crisis  it  is  the big marquee names that  the fans are  interested  in.  And not  the  bottom  feeders  within the sport as whole.  One can understand  that at this juncture  there aren’t  many recognisable names within the sport.  Merely  from the  lackluster  talent  and  in many  cases  many  of the titlists being  unwilling to  face each other or  major contenders.  With  the sport being so fractured  it can only  left  to the  likes of  De La Hoya  and  Pacquiao  to offer  the fans what  they  so  desperately  crave.

 

 A broken and beaten Oscar De La Hoya  looks  on  after his loss to Manny Pacquiao in their  welterweight bout held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Nevada.  picture appears courtesy of ap/phot/Mark J Terrill  ……………………..

 

Surprisingly though what  I now  crave to  see  Oscar ride off into the sunset  once and  for all. For if he still really has anything to offer the sport.  Then  it can be done by  involving himself in the promotional  side of the  sport. And in nurturing  future  talent that the  public may  well be  interested  in seeing.  I’d rather see him now doing that than viewing  him  flailing  inside the ring with skills being questioned and being ridiculed by the fans. If nothing else  we tend to remember  our heroes when they’re more  so on top.  But when they’re on the decline we tend not to look at them  so deservedly with  the reverence  with which we once held them. 

 

 

 

 

tophatal ……………………….