The way the boxing world works these days with twitter,
facebook, and message boards, I spend a fair amount of time interacting with
fans getting feedback on the days’ breaking stories, future fight hopes, and the
sport in general. If you follow the threads long enough, you will see a
disturbing trend: Depending on the subject, boxing fans’ moral compass points
north in a new direction.
On Friday afternoon, the news broke that Floyd Mayweather, Jr, who was scheduled to enter Clark County Detention Center today to begin serving a 90 day sentence for misdemeanor domestic battery instead received a continuance to June 1. Was it due to an appeal of the sentence? Nope. Mayweather, no stranger to being accused of violence against women, already pleaded guilty to the lesser charge as part of a plea agreement. No. Mayweather’s sentence was moved because weeks before his guilty plea, Mayweather, the MGM Grand, and Golden Boy Promotions made a deal for a May 5 fight against the always dreaded TBA. Amazing how justice slides if you have enough money. I suppose if it’s good enough for Wall Street it’s good enough for a guy self-nicknamed “Money.”
Mayweather’s advisor Leonard Ellerbe said that an opponent
for Mayweather, who is now clearly as good at defense outside the ropes as he
is in, will be announced next week. The frontrunners appear to be Robert Guerrero,
Saul Alvarez, and WGARA if it isn’t Manny Pacquiao?
As the story broke on twitter, the
first thing every writer and fan was programmed to do was go find out if
finally we can get Pacquiao/Mayweather. Sides were taken. Bob Arum was deemed
at fault by one prominent writer. Everyone was to blame claimed another. Fans,
who insist Top Rank and Bob Arum are driving boxing into the sun laughing and
rolling in their riches the whole way there, blame Evil In-House Bob.
What’s lost here is the fact that a woman was beaten in
front of her kids by the man they call father. He was alleged to have
threatened their lives to the point where one of the kids escaped to get help. No
matter how you want to break it down to punching, arm twisting, hair pulling, cell
phone stealing or any other way that downgrade violent crime against a woman and
children has been pushed aside because we need to see this man fight on May 5.
On facebook, a woman actually said to me that she did not
care about fighter’s personal lives. She explained it is what Mayweather does
in the ring that matters.
Last week, a stalker of mine made a video questioning why
all of a sudden I have become anti-violence against women. I never knew I felt
any other way but against it. A website actually let him post it there as some
sort of comment on the sport.
On what planet have I arrived? When did sports overtake good
sense and common decency?
And still, the twitter and facebook comments rolled on today;
all blaming Arum, arguing for the best fight not Pacquiao for Floyd. No one seemed
to care that Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa who no less than a month ago
made it clear Floyd had to do time to send a message, stepped aside for the
money a Mayweather fight brings to the city of Las Vegas.
Fight fans, who alternately denigrate Manny Pacquiao for not
taking tests assigned by Mayweather, attack Bob Arum for not wanting to risk
his fighters against other companies, or scream robbery at every close fight
while decrying the multi-belt system have fallen silent here. Heaven forbid a
guy gets caught with something in his wraps. But beat a woman in front of her kids?
No problem. 1.5 million pay per views here we come.
At the same time all this has been going on, former IBF and
WBA titleholder Amir Khan has declared that “a mystery man” is the reason he
lost to Lamont Peterson.
The video is quickly becoming one of my favorites.
Now the loss is no longer about being penalized twice for
pushing over 50 times. It’s about this guy in a hat talking to the officials at
ringside. Who the hell is he? Some say he is an IBF official. Others, say that’s
just his CIA cover. We may never know. Maybe it’s the ghost of Richard Nixon in
black face. Or maybe somebody really cheated Khan and because he’s a Pakistani
with an English accent, it’s American acceptable to ignore him.
As of press time, the WBA had told SkySports they’d be
granting a rematch for Khan.
While Golden Boy are busy rushing to give us Maybeatwhomever
vs. the dreaded TBA and searching for the Mystery Man who clearly was hiding
magnets under his feet that caused Amir Khan to uncontrollably push Lamont Peterson,
they gladly remain complicit in a crime of a different sort.
In the world of boxing, justice is the perfect ten who lives
next door who only wants to remain friends with benefits with you exclusively.
In other words, it does not exist. Consider the case of Ajose Olusegun, a
fighter I have written about before. He is the WBC’s number one contender. He has
been that for some time, WBC title eliminator and $10,000 sanctioning fee and
all. When Tim Bradley held that title, Ajose was the mandatory. He was supposed
to receive his timely shot last year.
Instead, Bradley ran into promotional issues and the WBC,
fearing they’d lose a sanctioning fee should those issues last long, stripped
Bradley well before they should have. Rather than allow Olusegun, a 31 year old
Nigerian fighter by way of England, and by all accounts a loving father of two and
husband, to fight for the title as was his right already, the WBC offered the
title to Golden Boy Promotions and Erik Morales. He fought September 30 for that
vacant belt against a challenger no one had ever heard of. Olusegun fought on
Shobox two weeks later in the aforementioned final eliminator, a fight he made roughly
$15,000 for. Again, the fee for getting this ranking was $10,000. Olusegun won
and looked good doing it.
His title shot should be next, right? Wrong.
Golden Boy Promotions has announced Erik Morales will next
fight Danny Garcia, who is ranked number two by the WBC, on January 28. In
December, the WBC held its annual fundraiser/convention in Las Vegas.
Essentially, fighters, promoters and everything in between pay cash to have a
meeting with the WBC council. Olusegun made his case before the council and
made an impassioned plea.
“Mr. President, I
want to say that I fought a final eliminator against Ali Chebah and won a
unanimous decision,” said Olusegun according to a fightnews.com report. “Two
weeks before, Erik Morales, who is a legend, won the vacant title against a guy
who wasn’t even ranked in the top 15. Morales got that title shot after losing
a title fight for another organization. I have paid my sanctioning fees, I have
been waiting for my shot. Morales is a rich man, I am not! I need to feed my
After his speech, the council ruled that Olusegun would fight
the winner of Morales/Garcia. What no one reported was that it was expressly
stipulated by the Olusegun camp, including Lou DiBella, his promoter, and
Damien Ramirez his adviser, that even an injury postponement of the fight wouldn’t
nullify the deal. That is significant because soon after the ruling, Erik
Morales needed emergency gall bladder surgery which has now pushed back the
fight to March 24. The WBC has stayed with their sanctioning of the fight,
ignoring this crucial ruling. Let’s face it, Morales’ name got him this second
title shot in a row (he had previously lost a WBA title shot at 140 pounds).
Olusegun has no name in the States, a style that is problematic for anyone, and
a ticking clock at age 31.
Olusegun is left with the choice of waiting idly for the
outcome of a fight that is now two months past the original date or fighting
and potentially losing what leverage he has.
Now where are fight fans and their moral compass when this
goes on? It seems they are content to see Morales fight a young gun they’ve
seen on TV. Never mind that guy is number 2 behind Olusegun. Never mind the WBC
voted in favor of Olusegun across the board and even put in a clause to protect
his valuable time waiting for this shot. Never mind his kids go hungry while he
pays out 10 grand to get his title shot. What is he going to do? Sue?
As Ajose’ promoter says, “A guy’s career does not progress
when you are in court.”
When the powers that be make sure you get your Mayweather
PPV fix, Lamont Peterson is robbed of any joy he thought of having as champion,
and Ajose Olusegun is avoided at all costs, legal or not, what will you the
boxing fan/writer be outraged about then? I can only hope, your compass
readings aren’t as off as they are right now.