I realized two things while writing this column last week. One is that there are just too many things to sound off on in boxing to fit it all into one piece; and two, because of that I may just have to do this every week or day.
Last week I touched on Floyd Mayweather, Arturo Gatti, Oscar De La Hoya, and Vitali Klitschko among others. This week we move on to new meat, new topics, and definitely more conversation provoking commentary on the great sport of boxing and the men and women who make it go 'round.
Ann Wolfe fighting a man: If Laila Ali won't commit to fighting her soon, why not take on a man? Some say that it crosses ethical and physical boundaries. So what, this is boxing, the sport that has made some of it's greatest moments on pushing the limits of physical possibility. Listen, it is not the fact that I think Ann will get hurt because she won't. They will match her up with a post prime has-been ala Billy Jean King-Bobby Riggs.
The only way this thing can be prevented from is for these great 'moral crusaders' who think that a man fighting a woman in the ring is so wrong, is for them to push Laila Ali to get the ball rolling on an Ali-Wolfe title fight. It is either that or the 2005 Battle of the Sexes in boxing.
Silent Cal?: Okay So Samuel Peter destroyed a fat unheralded Taurus Sykes. Calvin Brock has defeated Terry Smith, Cliff Etienne and top ten contender Jameel McCline and still the majority of the boxing public fails to mention him as a future champion. My theory is that he will play this generations Lennox Lewis to Peter's Mike Tyson (I know I sound like a hypocrite for comparing Peter to Tyson but it has nothing to do with skill level). With Brock winning titles and beating big names, but as long as Peter has power in his fists and at the gate, Brock will get history's short end of the stick much as Lewis did until he brutalized Tyson.
But honestly how long will we sleep on this guy? My theory is that the only way you see Mr. Brock come to the forefront is if he finally does away with John Ruiz for good this time. He then becomes a media darling in my eyes.
The blatant whoring of Muhammad Ali: That guy running for mayor somewhere out West used him as a photo op and then went on shaking hands with voters a few days ago, they then make him fly out to meet the IOC to go promote New York as a site for the Olympics (a site not even mentioned in the final two). As much as I love to see The Greatest out and about and smiling, I would much more like to see people stop using Muhammad to make themselves a bigger name. A man with the class and stature of Muhammad Ali does not deserve to be pulled around just because he was given the misfortune of having to deal with Parkinson's.
Corrales-Castillo 2: Do you mean it? It's really happening? Oh this is great! To say I can't wait for this fight would be an understatement. There first clash was easily the greatest fight I have ever seen in my short lifetime and the second will answer alot of questions posed at the end of the first. Such as is Tony Weeks a big reason in why Diego Corrales won the first fight or was the comeback inevitable?
I don't know why but I have a sneaking suspicion that Castillo hangs on in this one and takes it the distance to win a razor thin decision promoting a lucrative third fight, with the winner possibly getting Erik Morales? I hope so, as he has been talking about coming up to 135 lately.
Carlos Maussa: The feel good story of the year so far. Colombian truck driver, refrigerator delivery man, whatever, wins the WBA 140lb title against the ducked, dodged and destroyed Vivian Harris on the Mayweather-Gatti undercard. The Dogpound is just loving this guy and why not? He is a quiet, likeable guy with a great story. I wish him all the best, even though I doubt he will ever successfully defend this belt.
Nicolay Valuev: He is stepping up his competition and from what I hear his boxing skills are improving rapidly. It also may not hurt that he is 7-foot tall and 320 lbs. However all these things you hear about the ‘Beast from the East’ is just talk, and I have never seen him fight. Another rumor is that he wears flannel overalls and travels with a blue ox across the wilderness with a double bladed axe for a right hand. Well I guess you can’t believe everything you hear.
If Valuev wants to start making some real noise he doesn't necessarily have to come Stateside to do it. He just needs to fight on TV somewhere viewable in America. I’m sure HBO and Showtime would jump at the chance to put this freakishly easy draw on a Saturday night. If this guy is anywhere near as good as his undefeated record, he may be the future of the division instead of Brock or Peter.
The returns of Riddick, Tommy, Tua and Tyson: They are all going to be absolutely brutal to watch with the exception maybe of Tua. Riddick looked like something so awful against Billy Zumbrun that it would insult crap to call him crap; Mike Tyson wants to fight four round contests while at the same time not embarrass boxing, which is impossible; and finally Thomas Hearns, at 46, wants to comeback to win another belt. Come on Hitman give it up, you had a great career and have nothing to prove, plus you wouldn't be able to crack the Antonio Tarver's of the world at light heavyweight anyway. You slur your words and have an already cemented legacy, so in the words of Apollo Creed's trainer in Rocky 2 "Let it go, let it go."
David Tua now is another story. He came back and beat Talmadge Griffis and wants to stay active. As long as he keeps winning and stepping up his competition I wish the 32 years young Tuaman to give it all he has left and go after a belt as long as he still looks good and is in shape.
The legacy of Iron Mike set straight: For the last time he is not the greatest. He would have never beaten Ali and never was on the same plane of existence. Tyson flared up for a good title run but ultimately was exposed as a bully with a one track mind, seek and destroy. But like the schoolyard bully, once Mike couldn't intimidate his opponent he got beaten up and beat himself down. Mike will, at least in my eyes, be the Axel Rose of boxing. Whenever Axel or Mike are brought up I say the same thing. "Boy if that guy could have gotten his head on straight for a few years he really could have been one of the best ever."
Mike hasn't held a belt in almost ten years and hasn't been the best heavyweight on earth for fifteen. To add the fact that he was a media and fan hyped up creation, Mike was also the most poorly managed athlete ever, all the way to the end. Where in the book of management does it make sense to pit a 5'10” slugger against a 6'6” slow fellow who likes to grab and lean? Why not put a guy in front of Tyson who is about 6' and will stand in front of him and try to slug with him. Tyson would have cleaned that guy’s clock with no problem and maybe gotten some much needed confidence. I hate to play Monday morning manager but it is kind of what this gig is all about.
And to close this edition we go to… Butterbean: I picked up a newspaper the other day and ran across a picture of the Bean and I must say, that guy is fatter and sloppier than ever. And is it me or did he and Dolly Parton get the same surgery? That guy had some embarrassing man melons.
Well boys and girls that is all for this edition of ranting and raving. I'll see you soon, and I will be steaming about something.
Dog Bites: Ranting and Raving, Edition 1
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