SYMPATHY FOR GLENCOFFE JOHNSON...
The fight between Glencoffe Johnson and Joseph Calzaghe is for the American based light heavyweight long time in coming IBF Championship belt. Yet the strings are being very much pulled by the Welshman, who in this bout finds himself playing the role of challenger despite being the long time undefeated super middleweight champion.
When the match was first announced Joseph began to want all the trappings usually enjoyed by the reigning champion in a title fight. The lion's share of the purse has to be Glen's perk for being champion, even if the hometown advantage once again won't be. However, as the original date drew ever so close (June 5th) Joe pulled out and rescheduled for a week (June 12th) when the cash was supposedly sorted out and Glen would once again travel into Joe's territory and fly to the British Isles to defend his own title?? Joe still found it necessary to pull out for a second time , even stating in one publication " You (Johnson) wouldn't be anything without me to fight." Does Glencoffe have options? (i.e. Tarver) ....
July 24th was the new set date. Joe has once again withdrawn from the bout, for a supposed injury, yet no new date has been announced. Let's give Glen some proper acknowledgement. He is THE IBF light heavyweight champion and has had to travel the world over to snare a championship belt and finally he is a proud owner. Why is he doing the traveling... and... why is he still playing bridesmaid to his so called challengers? So, if no one else does, I will spell it out for all to see. Glen, I am just letting you know I haven't forgotten where you came from, and here is a small gift from me. R E S P E C T.
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BYRD PREPARED TO FLY
IBF heavyweight champion Chris Byrd has made it very clear in the last week that he is quite prepared to stroll away from his very carefree promoter Don King, for really neglecting to put Chris and his Championship in his immediate priorities. Don has several promotions in the works at the minute and Chris is very unclear if he is to feature in any of them. Chris for all of his faults may not be everyone's cup of tea but as IBF heavyweight champ he really should be somewhere in the fore of Don's thoughts. Chris is very stand-up in his approach to defending his title and is aiming his primary focus on boxing either James Toney or Vitali Klitschko, the former being his preferred choice.
I think that as a champion Chris objects to seeing a man who holds no belts whatsoever shooting his lip off at every presser possible about beating every chump out there, and including Byrd into his vocal ranting. Byrd -like so many others- wants to make the Detroit slickster eat up every one of his trashy comments and finish off with some humble pie for dessert.
Klitschko is where the real championship superfights are at, but something tells me that JT's Mouth has hit a raw nerve, infuriating the IBF holder's usually calm exterior to the extent that he has made suggestions of moving on to Toney with or without King by his side.
Feeling that King has kept him literally in the dark over his future defenses and feeling so adamant about making the Toney bout a reality, I think Byrd would be prepared to allow Toney's people (Goossen Tutor) to promote such a fight, just to make it happen.
Chris, I know it's no consolation but I have a short poem written by Larry Holmes a while ago that may make you feel somebody, somewhere, knows how you are feeling...
Boxing politics is what I am talking about,
It's the only thing worse than getting knocked out,
Promoters get the money,
Fighters get the pain,
That's how it goes in the Boxing game..
VERY SAD NOTE...
The veteran Cutman Al Gavin who worked famously for many years alongside the former Undisputed heavyweight champion of the World Lennox Lewis suffered a massive stroke on Monday and is in an extremely critical condition in Mineola Long Island's (NY) Winthrop Hospital. The saddest news of all is that doctors are not very confident about his chances of recovery.
Al is a very respected and loved character in the world of boxing and seems to have been around forever. He never said a bad word about anyone and was truly from the old school and loved to pass on his vast library of Knowledge to anyone who cared to pass the time with him.
This is a man who would be truly missed by many, just spare a moment of thought for Al during the next few critical hours, and hope by some means he begins to show signs of recovery.
CASH CONTRACT OUT ON CHAMP JEFF FENECH'S LIFE
Former multi-division champion and Hall of Famer, Jeff Fenech was stabbed six months ago. A week ago his house was shot at seven times. Fenech ventured to guess the incidents were not related, but now an Australian newspaper is saying a source told them a crime gang has put out a contract on his life.
The newspaper, "The Australian," claims the source insists the contract is for $50,000 in Australian money. That is roughly $39,000 in the United States. Supposedly the gang offered the contract after Fenech was involved in a fight outside a restaurant near his home.
Jeff was involved in a couple of wonderful fights with Ghana's Terrible warrior Azumah Nelson in the early 1990's. I hope he doesn't become a horrible statistic in this brutal world we live in. Let Azumah be the last terrible warrior Jeff will have to face.
Take great care Jeff , you are a much loved hero to many around the globe.
ROBBER, I MEAN ROBERT W. LEE BEGINS HIS STAY IN THE BIGHOUSE JULY 26TH
Judge John Bissell has ordered the former IBF president Robert Lee to begin serving the 22 month prison sentence he was attempting to appeal whilst living freely in a retirement community aged 70.
Bobby, if you do the crime you have got to do the time.
Mister Lee used his once powerful position to place fighters in phoney ranking spots to obtain title opportunities, amongst a host of other things that would make your hair curl. Many very hard working contenders were robbed of Championship chances because of Bob's meddling and many worthy winners went home losers in high profile fights because of those who championed Robert's little fiddles.
Bob it ain't no Champagne Suite at The Mirage but, it's going to be home for the next two years. Make sure you have a soap on a rope, it is a must.
Next Wednesday the 30th of June, Former Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World Mike Tyson will turn 38 years old. His statistics show us 50 wins 4 losses with 43 KO's and 2 no contests.
Mike became the youngest heavyweight champion since Floyd Patterson by beating Trevor Berbick five months after his 20th birthday in 1986. Ten months later he would become the undisputed heavyweight champion by beating The IBF champion Tony Tucker in August of 1987, a title he defended six times in two years taking just 20 rounds, (1 hour of boxing), to do so, before losing his titles to James Douglas in Japan..
Sixteen months and four fights later he would be incarcerated never to box again until 1995.
Seven months after returning to the ring he would capture the very title he snared as a 20 year old youth ten years earlier by crushing WBC holder Frank Bruno.
Six months later he would take the WBA title from newly crowned Bruce Seldon in 1 round..
Mike then met nemesis Evander Holyfield, losing his title in an amazing battle that would set up the infamous rematch ear bite fight that sadly he will forever be remembered by.
Six fights and 19 rounds later he would find himself facing the toughest fight in his long career. A career defining historic grudge match with the now dominating, established champion Lennox Lewis who would hand Mike the third stoppage loss in a great up and down roller coaster career. Since that fight he has boxed only once swiping Cliff Ettiene off his feet in less than 3 minutes just over a year ago.
Mike has beaten 24 of his opponents in less than three minutes, and has beaten 36 of his opponents in less than 9 minutes, and an astonishing 5 men out of 50 beaten opponents hearing the final bell.
Mike featured in 16 World Championship fights, and on the 30th of July he will face Britain's Danny Williams in his most recent quest towards the Heavyweight championship of the world. Like him or loathe him Mike is probably the most publicized Heavyweight fighter since Jack Johnson, basically because of his high octane style of living. Mike is probably the most notorious and curious heavyweight since the brooding Sonny Liston walked the boards in the 1960's.
God bless Mike. You have given us all something to at least talk about throughout the last eighteen years of activity. We wish you well in whatever the future may hold. Happy Birthday Champ.
Well it's about that time once again ..
WHO IS THIS MAN...
Answer to last week's Who Is This Man: The Pineapple haired fighter seen sparring with his 16 year old son Ellijah is none other than Livingstone Bramble.
Thank you for all of your very constructive E-Mails and responses from earlier episodes of The Mouthpiece. I hope you all continue to enjoy the straight shooting , and often humorous -yet truthful side- of our beloved sport that I attempt to capture in The Mouthpiece reports.
Be sure to tune in to future episodes. You all know where to find me:
By the way Mr.Digs, I hope you understand now that most of my contempt is truly for the betterment of boxing, and thank you for your nice E-Mail, God bless Bro. I do intend to make the boxing environment a better environment.
Until the next Episode...
Good luck, good health, God bless.
Stephen Jones... AKA The Mouthpiece