Since No One Asked...
By Gabriel Montoya, from Maxboxing.com (Oct 2, 2010) Special to Doghouse Boxing  
I’ve been reading a lot of boxing history lately. I don’t know. Maybe it’s that ‘90s heavyweight article I did but it seems a dam has opened and I’ve realized I can never know enough about our great sport. In my research, I came across a writer I had read years ago but was reminded of, the great Jimmy Cannon. Mr. Cannon was as good as it gets; a true writer who understood our sport as well as anyone who put pen to paper. He penned the famous line about Joe Louis: “He was a credit to his race: the human race.”

The thing that got me most was his column that always began “Nobody asked me, but…” To me, that’s an absolutely perfect way to begin a column about random things he had gleaned through the week. Obviously, it’s what I based the title of this article on.

A few weeks back, after months of getting multiple emails about the same two fighters and nothing about great little warriors like Giovanni Segura and Ivan Calderon, I got a little frustrated and discontinued my Friday Mailbag which, in my opinion, should be geared towards the weekend’s upcoming bouts. That column belongs to the readers not me. You make it go with the fuel you put in it. But for the most part, readers only ask me about the fights if they want betting advice. I have no problem with that. In fact, I enjoy helping out (WHERE’S MY CUT?!) but I can’t build a mailbag column off one-line emails with zero opinion from the readers. So now I do the Monday Mailbag and keep it there unless I get flooded with emails about the upcoming fight weekend which, we don’t have for a little bit here in October.

So in honor of Mr. Cannon, and per the request of readers who missed my Friday writings, I give you a Mailbag with no questions.

Since no one asked…

The “Super Six” is alive again. I think.

You know everyone is a little anxious these days to get this thing done and over with. But you have to admit, the roller coaster that is the “Super Six” has been as exciting as we had hoped with a few more twists and turns than expected. But hey, what did you expect when six of the best fighters in the world and Allan Green entered this tournament? I’m surprised Showtime was able to not only pull it off but keep it going.

When Mikkel Kessler dropped out with a bad eye, I thought, “Uh-oh. Here we go. This thing is going to unravel.” Especially considering Andre Ward and Andre Dirrell looked like they didn’t want to fight any time soon. Which, to me, is just crazy. They are fighters. What’s more, they are prizefighters. Granted, this is a free will world as far as I am concerned but what’s even more is that they signed up knowing this was the deal.

Whatever the hell happened, thank Buddha we have the fights we had hoped for.

However, there is one new addition I am so not crazy about.

Since no one asked…

What the hell is 87-year-old Glen Johnson doing in a super middleweight tourney when he could barely make 175 against Tavoris Cloud? Did I miss something? Did he amputate a love handle? Or a leg? Did he have a seven-pound creature living inside him that he cut loose? Now I know Allan “Non-violence” Green is a guy who doesn’t like pressure or crowding and Johnson has that to spare but c’mon, Glen is 147 years old and was getting hurt for the first time in a career longer than the sport of boxing against Cloud.

I don’t need to see Glen Johnson, who, in the 497 years he has been boxing and has brought nothing but class and true fighting spirit to the game, struggle his aging body to make 168 and then be hurt by Allan “Mystery Reasons for my Poor Performance Against Andre Ward” Green to know he isn’t a super middleweight.

I’ve interviewed Glen Johnson and it was an honor and a pleasure to speak to him. I’d like to keep that option open. I for one don’t need to see the 41-year-old get hurt or knocked out in brutal fashion or worse. It’s that time and no, I don’t mean time to move down in weight.

Since no one asked…

A few months back, I heard that Golden Boy Promotions’ board asked Oscar De La Hoya to be more present at fight promotions, do interviews and such on a regular basis, seeing as how he is the face and founder of his company and all. Now no one confirmed it but I heard from a couple folks it did happen and what’s more, Oscar magically began to show up a lot more to fights and open workouts and such.

Now between his blog that had to be removed where he basically accused Manny Pacquiao of being less than natural, his comments regarding the status of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.’s promotional contract with Top Rank, his “misquoted” interview about the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao negotiations 2.0, and this week’s interview where he said he’d like to run the sport as a monopoly, I wonder if Golden Boy’s board is rethinking their request?

I know I would.

Since no one asked…

Is it me or is November boxing’s answer to the sweeps? It’s like boxing did a murder/suicide pact with the fans and we all went to the same heaven where the fights were awesome and plentiful.

The beginning of the four-man tourney at 118, the continuation of the “Super Six” with Arthur Abraham vs. Carl Froch and Ward vs. Dirrell, Pacquiao vs. Margarito, Guillermo Rigondeaux fighting for his first title in less than ten fights, Paul Williams vs. Sergio Martinez II for the “ciddleweight” title of the world (more on that later), Zab Judah vs. Lucas Matthysse, John Molina vs. Raymundo Beltran, Danny Green vs. BJ Flores (Hey, at the very least, we get to see one guy lose. That’s worth something), Juan Carlos Burgos vs. Hozumi Hasegawa, Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Michael Katsidis, plus we get to see Andre Berto and Celestino Caballero in tune-ups.

I’d say I don’t care what we did to deserve such an amazing month of boxing but I want to repeat it so it can keep happening. Boxing Gods? What gives?

Since no one asked…

Will someone please tell me why Paul Williams and/or his team would denigrate such a storied title as the middleweight championship by asking for a 157-pound catchweight? And while you’re at it, explain how anyone would agree to that? Last I checked, he’s the challenger and Sergio Martinez is the champ.

If Martinez wins, despite giving up the three pounds, he is still the middleweight champ of the world, alpha-belt titles or not.

If Williams wins, he is the “ciddleweight” champion of the world.

Now I know what you’re saying. Why all the hate?

“Hate” or “hatin’” is a junior high term. This is 2010 and we’re mostly adults here. It’s called “calling it like you see it.”

Paul Williams has long claimed he can fight from 147 to 168 and no one is taking the bait. Now he asks for a catchweight.

I say the marketing buck stops at 157 pounds.

Since no asked…

Heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko is looking for a fight on December 11. Names like David “I gave a non-effort the first time I went for a title. Why would it be different a decade later?” Tua are being thrown out.

At the same time, Maurice Harris (wait for it…) is also looking for a fight.

Now, I know what you are thinking.

“Doesn’t this guy have like ten losses?”

“Wasn’t he a ‘90s heavyweight?”

“Who?”

Well, let me answer those questions.

He has actually 14 losses.

Maurice actually turned pro in 1992 and has been up and down in a career that had nearly zero amateur experience and was taking on top guys very early on.

Maurice Harris is a skilled, mobile heavyweight with size (6’4”), reach (80”), experience (He is known as one of the great gym fighters of our times, having worked with everyone of note at one time or another), and is the guy Antonio Tarver decided not to face in his heavyweight debut in favor of Nagy Aguilera, who just lost to Harris in August. Harris won the USBA heavyweight title which has garnered a favorable ranking.

Now I know what you are thinking. “It’s late and Gabriel is clearly nuts,” but I’m dead serious. If Vitali can take on Shannon Briggs and my inbox can get flooded with folks saying “The Cannon” has a shot, then why not a skilled heavyweight with experience who is on a winning streak of four fights vs. Wladimir? None of our current crop is stepping up nor looks to be doing so any time soon.

At the very least, Maurice Harris would be exciting and would give it his best. Can you say the same for any of Wlad’s last few opponents? I can’t.

What’s too good for Tarver should be just right for the heavyweight champ.

Since no one asked…

I could not be more excited for David O. Russell’s “The Fighter” about the life of “Irish” Micky Ward starring Mark Wahlberg as Ward and Christian Bale as Ward’s step brother and trainer Dickie Eklund. Bale looks to have transformed yet again to portray Eklund and Wahlberg, a long time boxing fan, has primed himself to play everyone’s favorite blue-collar fighter with a left hook to the body from hell.

Wahlberg has grown as an actor over the years, displaying depth in roles ranging from Russell’s “Three Kings” and “I Heart Huckabees.” He’s not afraid to take chances as shown in “Boogie Nights” and those aforementioned films and here, paired with a consummate transformative actor like Bale and a no-holds-barred director like Russell, I expect nothing less than a top-notch film that does our great sport, which is the most prolific of all sports’ genres, justice.

Here’s a look at the trailer for the film which will be released December 10 (just in time for awards season). Take a look.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_zijS_UAtw.

Mr. Montoya would like to thank Mike Miller, Cameron Dunkin, Steve Kim and of course, James Kirkland, for making this interview possible.

You can email Gabriel at maxgmontoya@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gabriel_montoya and catch him on each Monday’s episode of “The Next Round” with Steve Kim or tune into him live on Thursdays at 5-8 PM PST when he co-hosts the BlogTalk radio show Leave-it-in- the-Ring.com. Gabriel is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

* Special Thanks
To
MaxBoxing.




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