Tag Archives: Brandon Rios

The Promoter: The Boss Hogg Gang

The Promoter could tell you that the long layoff this column ends was due to prioritizing, distractions, the monetarily uncompensated nature of this gig, and maybe just a wee touch of sloth, or if you want to minimize the moral judgment inherent in that word, a case of the old postmodern malaise.

As a window into the boxing world, however, we feel obligated to offer an excuse worthy of the modern Sweet Science: Let’s call it a “strained left middle knuckle” on top of some “serious dehydration resulting from a long Tuesday night.”

Alas, it’s been a slow start to the 2012 boxing year, and inspiration to write my way through these  serious physical obstacles has been lacking. The premiere early-year matchup, February’s rematch of welterweights Andre Berto and certified crazy-talker Victor Ortiz, was postponed to June.  Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao still aren’t getting together, and there’s been what feels like a good deal more controversy over scores than heated fights.

Even in dirty dealings, though, we must find some charms.  A studied, screw-it, too-cool cynicism is useful as one waits for something good to happen, but use it every day and you become a graying Jon Stewart: flinging your hands in every direction in response to all stimuli, and maintaining a following because there continue to be people who don’t remember that the time when you were allowed to merely point out a headline for a laugh passed after the late Clinton administration.  And if you just get angry every time something bad happens, well, we need your indignation for Change to occur, but good luck keeping the fire going anywhere other than Facebook after baby number two comes along.

Your average sort of scandal was on display this past weekend, as Action Star Brandon Rios missed the lightweight limit and then did approximately zero to earn a win against the lesser-known and not very exciting Richard Abril. The favored fighter wins, the commission (Nevada, in this case) says “Oh, it wasn’t that bad,” the losing team protests, and presumably, nothing happens.

Appreciating boxing’s foibles as a higher and darker level of comedy requires cartoon villains and more surreal situations than a simple scoring screw-job, though.  (Also, it helps to have a willingness to put aside the fact that these men (and sometimes women) are putting their bodies and lives on the line and getting screwed).  One “Jackass” type example of such absurdity is last August’s fight in which Joseph Agbeko suffered about 700 balltaps–in that case incompetent referee Russell Mora did take a demotion to the 4-rounders for a while, but he was back on TV this winter.

Most of the Big Screw-Jobs lately have come from Texas.  Texas is a pretty great place to hold a fight for promoters, who like making money.  There’s plenty of big markets there, with lots of nice venues, and lots of rich folks, and it’s really close to Mexico, a country that still likes boxing enough to tune into big fights like they’re Super Bowl commercials.  Texas also boasts the best (worst) characters in the sport of late, and the most Pythonesque endings.

Take the James Kirkland-Carlos Molina fight from March 25.

Through most of 10 rounds, Molina negated Kirkland’s power with lots of wrestling, which was boring, but referee Jon Schorle did nothing about it.  Right before the bell sounded in round 10, Kirkland dropped Molina on a left to the chin.  Molina stood up; Schorle gave the count; the bell had rung.  Then Schorle decided he had to stop the fight, since according to the rules Molina’s cornerman coming through the ropes for a second when the count was still going, after the bell had rung, was grounds for disqualification.  Schorle was forced to stop the fight, or so said the announcement.

Here’s the from-the-rules doubletalk:

‘As special and unique circumstances arise in the sport of boxing, not all of which can be anticipated and addressed explicitly in these Rules and Regulations, the President of the WBC, in consultation with the WBC Board of Governors, has full power and authority to interpret these Rules and Regulations, and to issue and apply such rulings as he shall in his
sole discretion deem to be in the best interests of boxing.’

Q.E.D., indeed.

In a just universe, the fans would get to see that fight finish. Can Kirkland finish him?  Can Molina hang on?  Instead, there was a stoppage on a technicality that wasn’t even properly enforced.

So we can complain (and you should), but that’s not a coping mechanism.  My method for dealing with the clowns in the smoke-free backrooms is imagining them as something like Boss Hogg in “The Dukes of Hazzard:” hatching all sorts of plans to rob widows of their property and extending credit to carnies while mixing drinks out of beer mugs and smacking around Sheriff Rosco.

Someday (I do hope) boxing will find its Good Ole Boys who’ll do some serious harm to the way it works.

Not all was gloom in this first quarter of 2012.  Juan Manuel Lopez and Orlando Salido put on a great fight in early March, with Salido earning another win with a 10th round stoppage.

The 9th round is the current frontrunner for Round of the Year:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pm8KocyaAA0

And there’s good stuff a-coming!  Floyd Mayweather took about the best fight sans Pacquiao he could, taking on Miguel Cotto on May 5th, which will again be a crazy sporting day what with the debauched Kentucky Derby and all manner of NBA and NHL playoff action.  Some rich guy sometime needs to take the May First Saturday challenge and hit as much sporting action as he can, dropping out of helicopters to sit courtside and trackside and ringside like drivers who do the Indy 500-Coca Cola 600 double on Memorial Day weekend.

Until next week (maybe!), keep your dukes up.

Photo credit: CBS

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlmCHrNFRkE

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uv6PgYTM_I

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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhvYdiGHnw0

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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Am3o0uxIH3E

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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBYD_q2g9C0

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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJzQaKEEY-0&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PLD4F7211AF6151071

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.