Ceremonial Ten Count: A Requiem for HBO Boxing

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The other day, while discussing boxing in detail with a knowledgeable co-worker – and there’s a opening I never would’ve thought I’d possibly write five years ago – I casually reminded him that Saturday night’s Boxing After Dark card would technically be the final telecast of HBO Boxing after 45 years of standard-bearing quality and omnipresent, sport-influencing significance. He professed mild disappointment when hearing that the best card the network could apparently assemble as its swan song was a triple-header featuring two matches from the nascent and still relatively obscure realm of women’s boxing. I found myself neither particularly surprised by his knee jerk response nor my general agreement with it. Boxing fans are always hungry, after all, rarely satisfied, and can be exceedingly hard to impress. Continue reading “Ceremonial Ten Count: A Requiem for HBO Boxing”

“Money’s” Worth: Floyd Mayweather UD12 Manny Pacquiao

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Excessive time spent in the game has weathered me, and, consequently, I’m not nearly the boxing evangelist I was even a year ago, let alone five. Used to be, I was insufferable in addition to being long-winded, but now I’ve bumped up against the walls and limits of indifference (and that weird species of unsolicited antagonism that fans of other sports sometimes offer up to boxing) so much that I’m generally content to live, let live, and keep the majority of my opinions to myself. I can show you an entire parade of boxing matches that might curl your toes and make your hair turn white, not that it particularly matters. I am forced to admit that the sport will probably never again have a transcendent moment in the national sun of the likes that happened so regularly in the ‘70s, ‘80s and before. It’s just a different world. Continue reading ““Money’s” Worth: Floyd Mayweather UD12 Manny Pacquiao”

The New 1-2: Boxing looks poised for breakout 2015

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Boxing is in the hyperbole business. The raison d’etre of the boxing promoter is to attract spectator eyeballs to an event, whether or not the former is separated from the latter by a television screen. Boxing commentators also benefit from having something of a hypeman element present in their genetic makeup. Once the viewer is on the couch, subtle encouragement or reinforcement can be necessary to prevent his/her mind from wandering. Sometimes, the in-ring combat practically oozes with explosive potential – animosity, history, complementary styles, unique skillsets – beyond the baseline interest inherent in watching two determined pugilists each attempt to separate the other from his senses. Corrales-Castillo II didn’t need hype when it had Corrales-Castillo I as a precedent, nor did Gatti-Ward II, or III, or Pacquiao-Marquez II-IV. Continue reading “The New 1-2: Boxing looks poised for breakout 2015”

Evasion of the Body Snatcher: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez SD12 Erislandy Lara

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Watching Saul “Canelo” Alvarez doggedly pursue Erislandy Lara around the MGM Grand Garden ring tonight, I could not help but reflect there are some things that, as a boxing fan, you just innately know.

If indeed the axiom that “styles make fights” holds, then a matchup between two brawlers – say the late Arturo Gatti and Mickey Ward – is going to produce a solid matchup regardless of the eventual winner. The same is generally true for the classic puncher vs. counterpuncher fight – think Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez. These are not deep thoughts. The two pairings I just used as shorthand examples produced a total of seven fights for a reason. Far trickier is the standard boxer vs. puncher fight. Continue reading “Evasion of the Body Snatcher: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez SD12 Erislandy Lara”