Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fenech vs. Nelson - 2008 Style: Huh?


(for more go to www.theage.com)

They should have followed the script that preceded the ending credits to Rocky III. It was in the scene where Apollo Creed, who, after helping Rocky Balboa gain revenge on Clubber Lang, asked Rocko to come through on a favor; a rematch. The rematch was held cellar ring, away from the glitz and glamour that perverts the noble art of self defense.

Why didn't Hall-of-Famer Azumah Nelson, the pride of Ghana, and Australian legend Jeff Fenech do this? Did fenech never get over their very close first fight or his kayo loss in the rematch?

Are the profits really that great? Understandably and admirably some of this money is going to charity.

But when it takes a 49-year old, already inducted, noble sportsman (Nelson) and a 44-year-old continental blast form the past (Fenech, who last was seen training an unmotivated Mike Tyson) to rev up interest and donation grants, the question of building up young fighters must be asked.

Now, if this is more of an exhibition, more power to them. Once great athletes are forced into retirement due to either boredom or bodily injuries, they become mere civilians in both the physical and economic form. But once a comeback is yelled, those in the solar system of the sport will take notice, as well as their pen, pads, and cameras.

For the sake of the aged boxers, the sport itself, and to the younger fighters looking on, this should be treated as an exhibition where two lapse their prime fighters give new and old fans a glimpse of what they use to be and what some younger fighter's are today. And the latter was meant as a compliment to current fighters with the skills and reflexes to match their predecessors.

Look for Father Time to flare up one of the fighter's arthritis.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

King Arthur Tries to Tame the Panther


In the world of professional pugilism, kings are self appointed. It makes sense since anyone can make the claim but not everyone can keep it. It is the intent rather than the lineage which produces royal blood.

In a rematch that shows both fighters truly respect and disregard each other's power at the same time, Arthur Abraham (the Armenian king, this time) and Edison Miranda (the self-proclaimed panther by way of Colombia) will lock horns again to see who keeps the crown.

It was almost two years ago that Abraham's courage was forever solidified and the magic of Miranda's powerful fists personified. In the fourth round, Miranda, whose fists have brought about 26 KO's in 32 fights, broke the King's jaw. Abraham, who was oozing and spitting blood out his mouth, never relented and chose to continue onward against a devastating puncher. Muhammad Ali, who did the same thing three decades earlier against Ken Norton said he never would have come out for the next round had he known his jaw was broken. Ali simply though he got hit hard to the jaw.

In the fifth round, after a headbutt by Miranda hurt the already broken jaw of Abraham even more, the referee gave him five minutes to recuperate and was advised by the doctor to stop the fight due to the broken and swollen jaw. But Abraham, already clear of the danger he faced pressed forward.

Miranda, to his credit, never stopped coming forward. he was in his opponent's backyard. He had been deducted five points, some which seem misplaced. And on top of that, he was facing a man whose record suggests brings as much kayo power as he does.

After the fight, it was Miranda who had the momentum. He had lost a controversial decision. He was the poster boy of the ultimate rags to riches story. And he was in contention for the undisputed middleweight title after decisively beating strong upstart, Allan Green. Hell, even Bernard Hopkins had named him his successor after his narrow losses to then champion Jermain Taylor.

But a pale, tall, slender fighter with a less than intimidating name of Kelly Pavlik, came in and ripped the script apart. Now, all that was left was for Miranda to fade into the background and let his conqueror settle things in the ring. But this is professional pugilism where dollars always makes more than (common) sense. And a build up which will provide financial interest in both fighter's is of the utmost importance.

So, what are we left with? A surging middleweight king who may want to battle to earn the ultimate middleweight crown, not merely a trinket. Problem is that Pavlik is eyeing Calzaghe, another man Abraham is targeting.

But if Abraham has proven one thing, it's his determination. He must first get by Miranda. He has racked off 4 straight KO's since squaring off against Miranda. Miranda, on the other hand, has 2 KO's against non-descript opposition since the Pavlik defeat. They will both meet at a catch weight of 166 lbs. Miranda has a slight edge here having already fought at "super" middleweight.

The guess here is that Miranda will be anxious to test Abraham's jaw. Abraham will not give in to a war of attrition though he will not be afraid. The big edge here is for Abraham. He saw Miranda dropped to his knees against Pavlik. Miranda was unable to stop a fighter with a broken jaw. Look for Abraham to score a late-round stoppage, if he doesn't get caught early.

Aloha to the King



There is a reason why some of us blog and do not bet. Last night, KJ (Karl James) Noons took a huge leap toward cementing himself as a real threat to anyone in the MMA lightweight realm with an extremely fast knockout of MMA veteran Yves Edwards in front of a partisan crowd.

It seemed as if Noons would be the precocious one as the fight began. The thought was that Edwards would use his vast experience to lure the younger Noons into unfamiliar territory. But Edwards was too eager to impressed and broke a rule as written by George Foreman: "Never follow a puncher."

Noons caught an overly zealous, stalking Edwards with an uppercut and Edwards immediately took a seat. Noons ran to join him and proceeded to drop some heavy elbows on Edwards' unprotected head causing referee Mario Yamasaki to stop the fight.

Ever the gracious winner, Noons gave Edwards, a long-time friend and training partner, high praise. A visibly shaken and disappointed Edwards was terse in his summation of Noons' performance.

"What can I say? he kicked my ass. I don't even remember it," said Edwards when looking at the replay.

After the fight, Nick Diaz and his ever volatile, middle-finger saluting, younger brother and UFC contender, Nate Diaz came through to make a formal and public challenge. After words and a water bottle were exchanged between the Diaz and Noons camp, Karl Noons, the father, looked to relive his past fighting years and went after the Diaz brothers as security prevented any further incident.

While a rematch between Diaz and Noons is intriguing, there is one rematch that beckons. And to his credit, Noons wants it as bad as anyone.

Fitness Jiu Jitsu