The Promoter: A Brave New 2012

There’s nothing death-and-taxes about the boxing game. It doesn’t even afford us the courtesy of a simple, encapsulable season that scribes can break down with a list of winners and losers to be; there’s no divisions and conferences and championships, no best bargains or silliest signings.

There is no offseason; there’s always a fight to watch, no matter how obscure.

Yet January’s a slow month for the sweet science, we need something to talk about, and there’s nothing I can add to the Muhammad Ali birthday tributes.

So, by default, it’s time for some irresponsible prognostication. We’ll do a few near-certainties, and mostly talk about the best case scenarios, the coming Good-if man is still alive.

For those needing social media attention, retweet this column with an “@” aimed at one of the boxing rumor sites and it’ll probably get reported as a “deal in the works” item within a half hour. The Internet’s so much fun.

Beginning with the big fishies…

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will meet in November

The Twittersphere is alight these days with Mayweather calling out the Filipino. Floyd’s jail stint, originally scheduled to start this month, has been pushed back to accommodate his May 5th reservation at the MGM Grand. If only landlords let us commoners delay rent payments for dates with the Golden Corral Chocolate Fountain. Other possible opponents for both men come with far less intrigue. Yet the long-desired #1 vs. #2 fight won’t happen this spring.

The night before the contracts are to be signed, Evil Promoter Bob Arum will release an old video of Manny singing John Lennon in English, with Tagalog subtitles that say, in effect, Sarangani, my homeland, YOU SUCK I HATE YOU DIE, PLEASE.

The resulting need for political damage control scraps the spring encounter, and Pacquiao ends up beating Miguel Cotto in a close June bout, while Floyd uses nothing but open-handed slaps to beat Mexican wunderkind Canelo Alvarez on points, on Cinco de Mayo.

After the protests in always volatile Mindanao die down and Mayweather gets free, there will be no excuses: The fight will take place November 3. Ron Paul’s independent presidential campaign will outbid all Vegas casinos, and hold the fight equidistant between Las Vegas and Manila on the recently purchased U.S.S. End The Fed, a former naval aircraft carrier serving as the pirate radio headquarters and party boat for 20,000 of the Texas congressman’s most righteously bearded 20something antiwar weed-smoking dudes.

The “Mission Accomplished” banner unfurled at fight’s end, no matter who wins, will be delicious in its irony.

The Klitschko brothers will fight for all the Commie marbles

It’s been a long, long, (indeterminable without Wikipedia’s help) time since the two Ukrainian “brothers” didn’t knock around halfassed contenders to defend their variety of heavyweight belts. Not one, but two Dragos have been beating the hell out of American heavyweights for years. I hope that you’re appropriately ashamed (fellow U.S. citizen and probable Eighties child who thought the Cold War happened in Canada).

Like any good product of Marxist dialectics, though, the Klitschko contradiction will resolve itself this year.

After Mrs. Heroes & Wladimir split this spring, citing “continental issues” i.e. philosophical differences w/r/t Wladimir being a FREAK, the often underaggressive champion decided to get his DNA analyzed. Results resulted, and it was found that there are in actuality 307 Klitschko “brothers,” the last great gasp of the Soviet labs, and any memory the heavyweights have of a shared childhood is merely the product of hallucinatory imprinting that would’ve been just awesome, man, if Solidarity hadn’t got all up in the way, you know.

Vitali will beat his little “brother’s” ass.

Madness in the middling weights

The Klitschkos will be a big story, but the big talent and money in boxing is in the 140 through 160-pounders. There’s a slew of guys who can fight, because for some reason even the most heavily muscled or quickest of that approximate size don’t have a whole lot of other athletic options in sport.

New HBO Sports headman Ken Hershman will recognize this market opportunity and get together the biggest bracket ever to happen in the sweet science, seeding a slew of average-heighted action stars into a 32-fighter tournament, including pound-for-pounders Juan Manuel Marquez and Sergio Martinez; the brutal Brandon Rios, Marcos Maidana, and James Kirkland; Mexican stars Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.; and some British guys. Or so a boy can dream.

The General Public will demand the winner faces the Mayweather-Pacquiao victor. It will never happen.

The Promoter: Hey, Do You Remember 2011?

I do.

There are few rules for writing on the Internet.  In my understanding, these include:

1) Write far more than you have to say.

2) Make lists of whatever, the more nonsensical the category the better.

2a) Lists should include attractive women in scarce clothing.

3) Make everything a joke, even if you’re serious about it and lack any sort of comedic talent.

At calendar-flipping time, it’s best to stick with the rules to get on the year-end lists of lists.  So here we go, with The Promoter’s first and last Summing-Up of Boxing Significance & Happenings in Our Last & Final Roundabout of the Sun.

Contests Of Mostest Violence

The fun thing about following boxing in these Internetting times is those blessed hardcore fans who dredge up obscure bouts held across stormy seas, which are often bloodier and more drama-filled  than the slickly produced big-name fights on our declining American shores.  Really, the Internet is one big VHS highlight tape, except you don’t have to subscribe to Sports Illustrated anymore and wait on your mailperson’s late afternoon arrival.

For all the fights available in the States, on HBO and Showtime and ESPN and the Mexican and British networks, since YouTube became an Institution there always seems to be a Little Man fight somewhere in Asia or France that produces more gore than anything we see over here.  The names are unpronounceable, but the action is real.  In 2006, Mahyar Monshipour and Somsak Sithsatchawal kicked off this trend with a fight that stoked enough Internet flames to win The Ring’s Fight of the Year.

This year’s contenders include Akira Yaegashi and PORNsawan PORPramook, from Tokyo. Watching this fight tired me out.

Throw 60 uppercuts into the air in 3 minutes, repeat 10 times, and see how you’re feeling in the morning.  I guarantee it wouldn’t feel better if someone was hitting you, even a guy who weighs the same as your eighth-grade girlfriend.

Porpramook must be a common Thai surname, because Kompayak also put on a Tiny Man barnburner with Adrian Hernandez.  I start watching this fight, but then the  Geocities-quality flames burn my eyeballs:

2011’s Great White Hope

Sorry. There’s a few, maybe, but they’re all from Soviet nations.  They abhor capitalism, and thus do not count.

Best Terminator Impression

Brandon Rios walks men down:

Marcos Maidana is a close second, but he only had one fight of note in 2011:

The Crazy In Love Award, for In-Ring Romantic Turmoil

Victor Ortiz is a crazy sumuvasomething:

You want to get dirty, I got dirty…I let the best of me get away. For that, I started feeling bad. That’s why I was like, ‘Floyd, man, my bad, yo. I apologize, man.’ So I gave him a hug. That got me to feel human once again in the ring,..”And when I felt human, I paid for it.
Although, you know what? I take it as a learning lesson and a learning experience. And the next time, it ain’t going to be that. If I’m going to head butt you I’m going to break your nose the next head butt.

This is what happens when you headbutt and then kiss Floyd Mayweather:

Old Guys Getting Feisty

Crotchety old HBO commentator Larry Merchant getting nasty with Mayweather in the aftermath of the above shitshow only added to the hilarity:

Breakout Girlfriend of the Year

Carl Froch lost a wide decision to Andre Ward in the finals of Showtime’s Super Six super middleweight tournament on December 17, but his girlfriend Rachel Cordingley was the promotion’s breakout star:

She’s a real working-class charmer, too; a chav in the truest Burberry and Stella sense-check the lungs on this one:

And ladies, I don’t want to hear anything about sexism; there are shirtless men everywhere in this column.

Moving on…

Most Boring Backstory

We haven’t talked since Lamont Peterson beat Amir Khan in a close, action-packed fight on December 10th, but it was boxing’s upset of the year.  Peterson grew up on the DC streets (and we’re not talking Dupont Circle) with his brother Anthony, a fine fighter in his own right, and now is in the mix to face Manny Pacquiao.  You will never hear anything about this storyline ever again.

Hey, Some Knockouts!

Nonito Donaire is a Filipino DYNAMO in SLO-MO. Ever hear of anyone like that? Didn’t think so:

A worthy minute of distilled welterweight action from a damn good fight on the Marquez-Pacquiao III undercard; Mike Alvarado comes back to beat former Amir Khan knocker-outer Breidis Prescott:

Proof that even Soviets can knock guys out, albeit in empty German ballrooms (the End comes around 4 minutes in):

And 23 minutes of Finality from this year’s Friday Night Fights; there were a bunch of good ones on the WorldWideLeader this year:

Next week we’ll do some highly irresponsible prognostication for the Year in Which the World Will Be Knocked Out. Until then, keep your coupon clippings, folks.