Don King, on Mike Tyson

"Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter?
He went to prison, not to Princeton."

"To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there's no music
and the dancers hit each other."

Monday, December 26, 2011

Say 'Banana': Monkey Steals Camera and Takes Pictures of Himself (PHOTOS)

Say 'Banana': Monkey Steals Camera and Takes Pictures of Himself (PHOTOS):

Macaque Self Picture 2

Macaque Self Picture 2

winning photographer David Slater says he had his camera stolen by a black macaque in Indonesia.

The macaque then proceeded to snap several pictures of itself.

“One of them must have accidentally knocked the camera and set it off because the sound caused a bit of a frenzy,” says Slater.

“At first there was a lot of grimacing with their teeth showing because it was probably the first time they had ever seen a reflection. They were quite mischievous jumping all over my equipment, and it looked like they were already posing for the camera when one hit the button.

“The sound got his attention and he kept pressing it. At first it scared the rest of them away but they soon came back – it was amazing to watch.

“He must have taken hundreds of pictures by the time I got my camera back, but not very many were in focus. He obviously hadn’t worked that out yet.

The crested black macaque is extremely rare and endangered which makes these pictures all the more fascinating.

So do you think this little guy knew what he was doing, or was he just monkeying around?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Berto questions Ortiz's loss to Mayweather

Berto questions Ortiz's loss to Mayweather | ABS-CBN News:

Berto is questioning why Ortiz was unable to beat referee Joe Cortez's 10-count.

Berto knocked down Ortiz twice when they fought in April 2011, but Ortiz rose both times and rallied to take a unanimous decision victory.

Berto implied that Ortiz may have deliberately stayed down on the canvas.
Berto and Ortiz are set to face each other in a rematch on February 11.

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Boxing Review

The state of boxing in 2012, part one - Boxing - Yahoo! Sports:
By Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Sports 

Todd duBoef likes to refer to himself as “a boxing evangelist,” an odd choice of words for a low-key man who prefers to shun the spotlight.

Yet, the normally low-key Top Rank president displays a messianic zeal for the fight game. 

He’s not alone in his belief in the sport’s health, despite plenty of skepticism from outsiders. Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said he’s “never been more bullish” about the sport’s future.

Kathy Duva of Main Events laughed at suggestions that boxing will die once Mayweather and Pacquiao retire. The Duva family has been involved in boxing for many decades and have been one of the sport’s leading promoters for more than 35 years.

But promoters, fighters and managers are encouraged by what they see as optimistic signs for the sport’s future, despite myriad problems.

Light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins is among those who believe the sport has a good future. 
But he said if promoters do a better job of making more compelling fights and, particularly, making matches that the fans want to see, the sport will thrive.

Cameron Dunkin, one of the sport’s top managers, with fighters such as Timothy Bradley and Brandon Rios in his portfolio, said he thinks the sport’s future is brighter than at any time since he got into it in 1986.

He said too many promoters are willing to take the television money, open the doors and hope the fans flock in without doing anything to convince the public why it should spend its money on a specific fighter or fight card.

Dunkin said he has been pushing his fighters toward Top Rank and Golden Boy because they are promoters who don’t operate that way and are attempting to change the way fights are promoted.

He raved at many of the initiatives of Top Rank president Todd duBoef, who has improved the company’s foreign distribution, overhauled the company’s website, dramatically increased its social media presence, hired several prominent boxing executives to scout and recruit the best boxing prospects, brought sponsorship sales in house and worked toward making the in-arena events more lively.

Top Rank founder Bob Arum, the 80-year-old Hall of Fame promoter, said he thinks boxing’s bright future is directly attributable to the work done by duBoef, his stepson. He called duBoef “a genius” and said he has laid the foundation for a strong future for the company.

Arum said he believes boxing will wind up on network television in 2012 and will continue to transition toward the Internet. Arum said Top Rank has been working on acquiring sponsors so when it goes to the network, it is what he called “pregnant.” It already will have all the advertising spots sold before it starts.

That will enable Top Rank to introduce fighters to a generation of fans who are missing out on them. The poor economy has forced people to make difficult decisions, and luxuries such as premium cable are often the first thing cut in their budgets.

Part of the issue, he said, has been that many of his competitors are undercapitalized and are either too cheap to spend money or afraid to do so for fear of a loss.

“Boxing is just another form of entertainment,” Arum said. “We can do a lot of things as promoters – getting publicity, doing marketing, so on and so forth – but we can’t control how the fights go. We can make the best matches we can, but once the bell rings, what happens is beyond our control.

“So, to make sure that we create a fun environment and want the person who buys a ticket to want to come back, we’re doing a lot of things in the arena: dancers, lights, music, singers, what goes up on the scoreboard, all those sorts of things. You have to spend money to make money, but there are a lot of people in this business who aren’t forward-thinking and don’t realize that you have to invest in the product. There has been way too little investment in the product for far too long, and it can’t remain that way.”

Golden Boy president Oscar De La Hoya said he gave a dictate to his matchmaker, Eric Gomez, to put on the best fights possible and said he has told his fighters they should expect to face difficult opponents each time out.

He agreed with Arum that there will be network television in 2012 and said he would be willing to put his biggest stars on free television, with the caveat that they fight opponents they’re not guaranteed to beat.

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Mayweather off to Jail

Floyd Jr out of jail earlier than expected | ABS-CBN News:

Mayweather, the court said, will serve his first day in jail on Jan. 6, and should be out by April 2. But Cassell is now saying he could be out by March."

Still, it doesn’t mean that Mayweather can go on and fight on May 5 as he had previously announced, even if he gets out of jail two months before the date.

Two months may not be enough for Mayweather to train, especially if he’s looking at Manny Pacquiao as his next opponent, and while in jail he gets limited time to sweat it out.

Mayweather will be given only one day a week to work out. Even if he is given several hours a day at the exercise yard, it still won’t be enough.

Mayweather, despite his layoff from boxing from 2007 until 2009, is always in shape, and this should be the first time in his life he’d be away from the gym for the longest period.

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Monkey Baiting

The Westminster-Pit: A Turn-up between a Dog and Jacco Macacco, the Fighting Monkey
by Henry Thomas Alken
Illustration, 1822

The Battle of the Bulldog and the Monkey
by Samuel Howitt
Engraving, published 1799

Fight between Jacko Maccacco a celebrated Monkey and Mr Tho. Cribbs well known bitch Pus
by Edwin Henry Landseer
Illustration, 1825


Tom & Jerry sporting their Blunt on the phenomenon Monkey Jacco Macacco at the Westminster Pit
by George and Isaac Robert Cruikshank
Copperplate engraving, 1821

 'Dog versus Monkey'

The English were always keen for something new to challenge their dog fighting breeds. This resulted in rather strange fights, in part with completely surprising outcomes. 'Dog versus Monkey' was shown to be such a match-up.

The monkey proved to be a formidable opponent for the canine warrior; owners and handlers of fighting dogs frequently underestimated the monkey's abilities. The monkey's intelligence, dexterity, unorthodox fighting style and gameness proved to be overwhelming for many canine opponents.

The following occurrence is from The Sporting Magazine in the year 1799:

A quite unusual fight between two animals was staged in Worcester. The wager stood at three guineas, according to which the dog would kill the monkey in at most six minutes. The dog's owner agreed that the monkey would be allowed to defend itself with a stick about a foot long.
Hundreds of spectators gathered to witness this fight and the odds stood at eight, nine and even ten to one in favour of the dog, which could scarcely be subdued before the fight. The monkey's owner took a stick, about twelve inches long, from his coat pocket, tossed it to the monkey and said:

"Now Jack, pay attention, defend yourself against the dog!"
The butcher cried:
"Now, get after the monkey!"

He let the dog go and it sprang at the monkey like a tiger. The monkey was amazingly nimble, jumped about three feet high in the air and when it came down landed directly on the dog's back, bit firmly in the dog's neck, grabbed his opponent's left ear with his hand thereby preventing the dog from turning his head to bite him. In this totally surprising situation the monkey now began to work over the dog's head with his club and he pounded so forcefully and relentlessly on the dog's skull that the poor creature cried out loudly. In short, the skull was soon cracked and the dead dog was carried from the ring. Yet, the monkey was only of medium size."

This monkey-baiting inspired the famous English animal painter, Samuel Howitt, to illustrate this account in the engraving entitled The Battle of the Bulldog and the Monkey circa 1799, which preserved this fight for future generations.

Main article: Jacco Macacco

Jacco Macacco was a fighting ape or monkey who was exhibited in monkey-baiting matches at the Westminster Pit in London in the early 1820s. He achieved some measure of fame among the sporting community through his reputed prodigious record of victories against dogs. He was described as ashy, with black fingers and muzzle and may have derived his first name from the his association with the Jack Tars that brought him into the country.

Jacco was reported to weigh 10 to 12 pounds (4.5 to 5.4 kg) and was pitched against dogs of up to twice his weight for a bet from ten to fifty pounds that the dog would not last five minutes.

According to William Pitt Lennox :

His mode of attack, or rather of defence, was, at first, to present his back or neck to the dog, and to shift and tumble about until he could lay hold on the arm or chest, when he ascended to the windpipe, clawing and biting away, which usually occupied him about one minute and a half, and if his antagonist was not speedily with drawn, his death was certain; the monkey exhibited a frightful appearance, being deluged with blood - but it was that of his opponent alone; as the toughness and flexibility of his own skin rendered him impervious to the teeth of the dog.[2]

Lennox writes that after several fights, Jacco adapted his technique and would overcome his canine opponents by leaping directly on their backs and manoeuvring himself into a position where he could tear at their windpipes while remaining out of reach of their jaws.

"The dog pit was packed in a few minutes and many people were turned away grumbling, as if they had been deprived of the most beautiful sight in the world. They were so disappointed that they could not secure places ahead of time. Jacco Macacco was now presented in a pretty, small cage and was greeted by the shouts and whistles of the spectators. He was not even polite enough to bow in thanks for these signs of approval, which were directed at him alone. Jacco had a thin chain around his waist, about two metres long, which was fastened to a steel spike and pounded deep into the ground. Then he was taken from his cage.
Immediately after that the dog was brought out and it charged directly at the monkey. The monkey, however, before the dog reached him, ducked low, with dexterity that would serve a prize boxer well and rolled into a ball in order to withstand the force of the collision with the dog. Nonetheless, the dog immediately dug under him and turned him over. At that moment, however, the monkey's teeth cut like a saw into the dog's throat and like a knife ripped a large wound.
Because of the great loss of blood, which all dogs that fought against Jacco Macacco suffered, most died shortly afterward. The monkey very rarely suffered even slight wounds in these fights. It was said of him that he was of such an unbelievably ferocious nature that it seemed expedient to his master to always have a steel plate between him and the monkey in the event that the inadvertently bit at his legs.

"What a monster!" said a greasy butcher, who sat there with open mouth, a red nightcap on his head, pointing at Jacco Macacco. "I bet a leg of mutton on the monkey! You could strike me down if I ever saw such a thing before in my life. It is truly astounding! He seems to destroy the dogs with such ease as if for decades he had done nothing but fight dogs!"

You could fill a small book with similar quotations, which came from the noisy and excited crowd, all of whom admired the 'finishing qualities' of Jacco Macacco. Some laughed, others yelled wildly and a few of the people constantly jumped up and down in a kind of ecstasy, pounded their canes on the floor and resembled closely the inmates of a mental hospital, who had escaped from their straight jackets."
Jacco had finished off fourteen dogs in a row, but then he was challenged by a canine named Puss, who had a similar record. Puss suffered a lacerated neck and Jacco had his jaw torn off, both died shortly after the match.


Fleig, D (1996). History of Fighting Dogs. T.F.H. Publications. ISBN 0-7938-0498-1.
Lennox, Lord William Pitt (1860). Pictures of Sporting Life and Character. London: Hurst and Blackett.
[edit]Further reading

Homan, M. (2000). A Complete History of Fighting Dogs. Pg 105 - 109 Howell Book House Inc. ISBN 1-58245-128-1
[edit]External links

Monkey business


Thursday, December 22, 2011

India has a Martial Art Tradition

HANUMAN, the monkey god of the Ramayana, is revered in Kolhapur. It was Hanuman who helped rescue Sita, Rama’s wife, from the demon Ravana. And it was Hanuman who flew to the Himalayas and carried back a mountain with medicinal herbs to save Rama’s brother, Laksmana. He symbolises immense strength and fearlessness and it is to him that India’s wrestlers pray for victory.
     Since India’s wrestlers took home medals from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the spotlight has been turned on kushti, a 3,000-year-old martial art still practised in small pockets of India, Pakistan and Iran; a relic, if you like, of shared Aryan traditions and with a rich moral, ethical, philosophical and mystical heritage. Its ancestry is that of the warrior and it finds mention in the historical record of Parthia, which prevailed as an empire from 132BCE–226CE, a thorn in the side of Rome until vanquished in the time of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. But by then kushti had spread throughout the Roman empire; it is arguably the antecedent of the Graeco-Roman style.
     Kushti is under threat as India’s sporting authorities, buoyed by Olympic success, seek to force its best practitioners to abandon the mud pits for the wrestling mat and train in the more recognised styles of wrestling.

‘Modern life has many temptations,’ a heavy-set palawan told me ringside as we discussed the future of this ancient sport. The young men are being drawn away from the villages to jobs in the cities and turning their backs on many of the traditional arts. Few want to put in the hard work required to become a true wrestler.
     Even those who stay and undergo the rigours of training are becoming corrupted by money – bouts are rigged and wrestlers compete for material gain, not for prestige.
     ‘Everything has changed dramatically,’ the palawan tells me. ‘Nowadays people are not putting in much effort. Even with all these modern trappings the young people are still not happy.
     ‘We had very little but we were content, we were very happy.’
     The future looks bleak for kushti. India’s sporting authorities want wrestlers to fight on modern mats rather than on red clay, saying that the practice is outdated and that wrestling in India should catch up to the rest of the world.
     It is said that whoever worships Hanuman will be granted fortitude and strength. India’s palawans are fighting what they know will be the death knell of kushti, and the end of Hanuman’s army.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gatti-vs.-Gatti - the fifth estate

Gatti-vs.-Gatti - the fifth estate:

Rich, famous, troubled … and dead.
But was a world champion boxer's death suicide or murder?
He was a Montreal kid who grew up to win three world boxing championship titles, millions of dollars in prize money and legions of fans around the world. But Arturo Gatti was also a troubled man. Outside of the ring he loved to party as hard as he fought. In July 2009, Gatti was found dead in a hotel room in Brazil where he was on a second honeymoon with his wife. He was apparently strangled with a bloodied purse strap found near his body.
His wife, Amanda Rodrigues, claims she found him dead on the floor. Brazilian police initially charged her with murder, but freed her less than three weeks later, deeming Gatti's death a suicide. His family maintains he was killed — and now a pair of private investigators they hired say they have the evidence to prove it.
Was it a tragic love story, or a murder mystery? As the fifth estate has discovered, it all depends on whom you believe.
With new evidence and first-hand testimony from Gatti's family, friends, associates and Amanda Rodrigues herself, the fifth estate reveals what's behind the accusations and allegations surrounding the state of Gatti's mind, marriage and financial situation. While the battle over the fighter's $6-million dollar estate heats up in a Montreal courthouse, the fifth estate's Bob McKeown travels to Brazil, New Jersey and Montreal to meticulously reconstruct Arturo Gatti's path to destruction.
"Gatti-vs-Gatti" is a co-production between CBC's the fifth estate and CBS's 48 Hours Mystery.

                                                  Classic Confrontation with Mickey Ward

End of the Line... Gomez

Monday, December 19, 2011

Ban fighting in hockey, medical journal urges - Health - CBC News

Ban fighting in hockey, medical journal urges - Health - CBC News:

Fighting in hockey should be stopped because it leads to head trauma that causes progressive brain damage, says an editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

"The tragic story of Sidney Crosby's layoff due to concussions has not been sufficient for society to hang its head in shame and stop violent play immediately," Dr. Rajendra Kale, a neurologist and Interim editor of the CMAJ, wrote in an editorial in the journal’s Monday issue online.

Dr. Rajendra Kale of the CMAJ writes that a ban should be imposed on all forms of intentional head trauma, based on new research from the Boston University School of Medicine that shows the presence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in the brains of prominent hockey players.Dr. Rajendra Kale of the CMAJ writes that a ban should be imposed on all forms of intentional head trauma, based on new research from the Boston University School of Medicine that shows the presence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in the brains of prominent hockey players. (Sharon Ellman/Associated Press)

Kale says that a ban should be imposed on all forms of intentional head trauma based on new research from the Boston University School of Medicine that shows the presence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the brains of prominent hockey players Rick Martin, Reggie Fleming and Bob Probert.

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease, causes memory problems, changes in personality and mood, Parkinson-like symptoms and changes in speech and gait.

Kale cites 2009 research from the same Boston University researchers that revealed CTE in 50 of 70 athletes studied.

"The simple message from the work done by McKee and colleagues is that the brain does not tolerate repeated hits," he writes.

The editorial, "Stop the violence and play hockey," calls on doctors to support a ban and “endorse deterrent penalties in hockey.”

While he acknowledges that hockey fans may take issue with a sport that is less exciting following such a ban, Kale cites the ban on smoking, which has not reduced the number of people frequenting bars and restaurants:

“Instead, the rates of admission to hospital for heart attacks and lung diseases decreased," he writes.

"Should we not stop the violence now and get on with the main objective of hockey, which is scoring goals?" says Kal

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ultimate Fighting star charged under Alberta's Wildlife Act

Does this guy need a gun?

Brock Lesnar and a hunting guide have been charged with three counts under Alberta's Wildlife Act for a hunting trip in 2010.

Brock Lesnar is scheduled to appear in a Medicine Hat courtroom in mid-January

“Hunting is an important wildlife management tool ... and when done illegally that can have a large impact on our wildlife, our natural resources, and the populations themselves,” said Whiteside.
Lesnar is scheduled to appear in a Medicine Hat courtroom in mid-January.
The charges in the case carry maximum penalties of a $50,000 fine or a two-year jail term for each offence.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ex-Boxer Edwin Viruet Says He Was Robbed -

Ex-Boxer Edwin Viruet Says He Was Robbed -
December 2, 2011

He Was a Contender

EDWIN VIRUET does not have to talk about what he accomplished in the ring. His career lies laminated on a small ringside table that stakes out the spot where he trains fighters at John’s Boxing Gym in the South Bronx.
Clippings and grainy photographs and promotion posters attesting to Mr. Viruet’s 31 victories during his professional lightweight career are protected by clear tape from the blood and sweat and spit. One shot shows his fist smashing the face of the great champion Roberto Durán, whom he fought twice. There he is carried on shoulders after winning a lightweight title in Puerto Rico.
“That’s a beautiful record right there,” he said Wednesday in the gym packed with fighters sparring, skipping rope, shadow-boxing and pounding the bags.
As for his six supposed losses and two draws, the real explanation cannot be seen on the table. It falls to Mr. Viruet himself to offer an explanation. They were not really losses, but rather fights he says were fixed against him — especially his two close fights against Mr. Durán in the 1970s, the second for the world lightweight title. The judges’ decisions for Mr. Durán in both fights were disputed by people other than just Mr. Viruet.
Back then, Mr. Viruet fought at 135 pounds. Now he weighs in at 210. He subsists on food stamps and Social Security benefits, and rents a $400-a-month room in an apartment near the gym. He lives on the fumes of his beautiful record.
There was the victory over Alfredo Escalera, a featherweight champion, and the one over Vilomar Fernandez, who had beaten the great Alexis Arguello. But now we arrive at the 1971 draw with Saoul Mamby — which Mr. Viruet says should have been a win. Once again he was robbed, he said, and other fighters and promoters avoided setting up fights with him. It all got so frustrating that he decided to end his career with a statement: He took $5,000 to step into the ring with a lesser fighter named Alvin Hayes in Detroit in 1983 and, he says, he took a first-round dive.
“That was it,” he said, miming a wiping clean of his hands. “My message was, ‘What do I need to win? Shoot the other guy with a gun?’ ”
On it goes — Mr. Viruet can pummel you with this stuff for 15 rounds.
The Puerto Rican-born Mr. Viruet grew up in New York City, one of four boxing brothers, including Adolfo, also an illustrious pro who fought Mr. Durán as well as Sugar Ray Leonard. Growing up on the Lower East Side, Edwin and Adolfo would spar at a boys’ club and fight each other on the sidewalk for money.
Edwin was undefeated as an amateur, with 18 wins and Golden Gloves titles in 1968 and 1969 — when he and Adolfo met in the finals and were declared co-champions. While Adolfo was more of a slugger, Edwin was a dancing stylist who patterned himself after Muhammad Ali.
As a teenager, Edwin began training at Gleason’s Gym, which at the time was in the Bronx, next to where John’s is now.
Like many former fighters, Mr. Viruet only feels right in a busy gym. So he shows up every day, though he lacks the large following of the dozen other trainers at this first-floor space in a graffiti-strewn building on Westchester Avenue.
The place calls itself home to current champions like Joseph Agbeko and Joshua Clottey, and colorful trainers like Understanding Allah. Mr. Viruet knocks around, waiting for his next budding champ, or next payday, to walk in.
He trained Alex Stewart during the heavyweight’s ascent, before he fell to the likes of Holyfield, Tyson and Foreman. He prepared Wesley Snipes for fight scenes in the 1986 film“Streets of Gold,” and even snagged a cameo. When the mobster Salvatore Gravano, widely known as Sammy the Bull, wanted to take up boxing, he paid Mr. Viruet good money to play patty-cake in the sparring ring with him. “He was a cupcake,” laughed Mr. Viruet, who bides his time by training amateur fighters, many of whom lack the money to pay him.
Last week, Mr. Viruet agreed to watch a YouTube replay of his second Durán fight, the 15-rounder in 1977, on a laptop propped up on a car hood outside the gym. Suddenly, there was Howard Cosell, in his yellow blazer, declaring that “each man genuinely hates the other,” and noting that their 10-rounder in 1975 ended in a decision for Mr. Durán that was booed.
“One of the classiest boxers you’d want to see,” Mr. Cosell said of Mr. Viruet as the lithe fighter danced around his plodding opponent and taunted him.
The money Mr. Viruet earned is gone now, he said, but not the pleasure of watching himself punch Mr. Durán’s face open in the 12th round. “I’m the only fighter who cut him,” he crowed into the Bronx night, with the No. 5 train clattering by.

Good Video at NYT's site:
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ON BOXING. By Joyce Carol Oates.

By Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
Published: March 2, 1987

ON BOXING. By Joyce Carol Oates. With Photographs by John Ranard. 118 pages. Dolphin/Doubleday. $14.95.

IF it betrays a bias on my part to be surprised at the combination of Joyce Carol Oates and the subject of boxing, I can only plead what she herself writes in this penetrating book on the subject: ''Boxing is a purely masculine activity and it inhabits a purely masculine world. . . . Boxing is for men, and is about men, and is men. A celebration of the lost religion of masculinity all the more trenchant for its being lost.'' And: ''Men fighting men to determine worth (i.e., masculinity) excludes women as completely as the female experience of childbirth excludes men. And is there, perhaps, some connection?''

Yet to judge from the few autobiographical remarks she lets drop in her remarkable book, Ms. Oates has been a fan of boxing most of her life. Her father took her to a Golden Gloves tournament in Buffalo in the early 1950's, and it's evident she watched the Friday night matches that were televised in the early 1960's.

Certainly she's at home with the subject. Though she refers to ''On Boxing'' as ''mosaic-like,'' it resembles more a spiral, touching history, lore and anecdote as it circles in on the essential, and disquieting, issues that lie at the heart of boxing. She reminds us that in the bare-knuckle era that preceded the development of gloves, it was the fighters' hands that kept breaking, not their heads.

She makes the cogent point that what with the greater authority that the referee has assumed recently, ''the bloody 'great' fights of boxing's history'' - Jack Dempsey's triumph over Jess Willard in 1919, for instance, or Sugar Ray Robinson's sixth and final fight with Jake LaMotta in 1951 - would be ''inconceivable'' today.

She is eloquent in her judgments: ''Has there ever been a fighter quite like the young Dempsey? - the very embodiment, it seems, of hunger, rage, the will to do hurt; the spirit of the Western frontier come East to win his fortune.'' Or: ''Sonny Liston occupies a position sui generis for the very truculence of his boxing persona - the air of unsmiling menace he presented to the Negro no less than the white world.'' Or: It was Muhammad Ali's style ''when confronted with a 'deadly' puncher like Sonny Liston to simply out-think and -maneuver him: never before, and never since, has a heavyweight performed in the ring with such style -an inimitable combination of intelligence, wit, grace, irreverence, cunning.''

But this is a good deal more than a book that establishes its author's credentials to ''talk boxing.'' Though no defense of prizefighting, it speaks eloquently and profoundly about the fascination of watching two human beings hit each other in the ring. ''How can you enjoy so brutal a sport, people sometimes ask me,'' she writes. ''And it's too complex to answer. In any case I don't 'enjoy' boxing in the usual sense of the word, and never have; boxing isn't invariably 'brutal'; and I don't think of it as a 'sport.' ''

''There is nothing fundamentally playful about it; nothing that seems to belong to daylight, to pleasure,'' she continues later in the book. ''At its moments of greatest intensity it seems to contain so complete and so powerful an image of life - life's beauty, vulnerability, despair, incalculable and often self-destructive courage - that boxing is life, and hardly a mere game. During a superior boxing match (Ali-Frazier I, for instance) we are deeply moved by the body's communion with itself by way of another's intransigent flesh. The body's dialogue with its shadow-self - or Death. Baseball, football, basketball - these quintessentially American pastimes are recognizably sports because they involve play: they are games. One plays football, one doesn't play boxing.''

Unsurprisingly enough, the one activity she compares with boxing is the craft of writing, at least so far as the fighter's training is involved, or the ''fanatic subordination of the self in terms of a wished-for destiny.'' She writes: ''One might compare the time-bound public spectacle of the boxing match (which could be as brief as an ignominious forty-five seconds - the record for a title fight!) with the publication of a writer's book. That which is 'public' is but the final stage in a protracted, arduous, grueling, and frequently despairing period of preparation.''

''Indeed,'' she continues, ''one of the reasons for the habitual attraction of serious writers to boxing . . . is the sport's systematic cultivation of pain in the interests of a project, a life-goal: the willed transposing of the sensation we know as pain (physical, psychological, emotional) into its polar opposite. If this is masochism - and I doubt that it is, or that it is simply - it is also intelligence, cunning, strategy. It is an act of consummate self-determination - the constant re-establishment of the parameters of one's being.''

Yet lest she be accused of romanticizing the fight game, it should quickly be added that she also compares it to pornography - the willful ''violation of a taboo'' - although ''boxing, unlike pornography, is not theatrical. . . . it is altogether real: the blood shed, the damage suffered, the pain (usually suppressed or sublimated) are unfeigned.''

There is nothing about ''On Boxing'' that attempts to redeem its subject. Its most eloquent passages are damning in one way or another. ''Yet,'' as Ms. Oates concludes, ''we don't give up on boxing, it isn't that easy. Perhaps it's like tasting blood. Or, more discreetly put, love commingled with hate is more powerful than love. Or hate.''

''Boxing has become America's tragic theater.''

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Boxing - Peterson dethrones Khan; wins split decision

Boxing - Peterson dethrones Khan; wins split decision: "
WBA/IBF jr welterweight champion Amir Khan (26-1, 18 KOs) was dethroned by IBF #1 Lamont Peterson (29-1-1, 15 KOs) in a controversial split decision on Saturday night before a partisan crowd in Peterson’s hometown of Washington DC. Khan dropped Peterson in round one but Peterson got back into the fight with a good round three. Khan adjusted his tactics and had success moving and flurrying. Khan was deducted a point by referee Joe Cooper for pushing in round seven. Close rounds down the stretch. Another point deducted from Khan for pushing in round twelve. Scores were 113-112, 113-112 Peterson, 114-111 Khan."

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Nelson Mandela is a longtime fan of the sport of Boxing



"Although I had boxed a bit at Fort Hare, it was not until I had lived in Johannesburg that I took up the sport in earnest.  I was never an outstanding boxer.  I was in the heavyweight division, and I had neither enough power to compensate for my lack of speed nor enough speed to make up for my lack of power. 

I did not enjoy the violence of boxing so much as the science of it. I was intrigued by how one moved one's body to protect oneself, how one used a strategy both to attack and retreat, how one paced oneself over a match. 

Boxing is egalitarian. In the ring, rank, age, color, and wealth are irrelevant. When you are circling your opponent, probing his strengths and weaknesses, you are not thinking about his color or social status. I never did any real fighting after I entered politics. 

My main interest was in training; I found the rigorous exercise to be an excellent outlet for tension and stress. After a strenuous workout, I felt both mentally and physically lighter. It was a way of losing myself in something that was not the struggle. After an evening's workout I would wake up the next morning feeling strong and refreshed, ready to take up the fight again.

I attended the gym for one and a half hours each evening from Monday through Thursday. I would go home directly after work, pick up Thembi, then drive to the Community Center. We did an hour of exercise, some combination of roadwork, skipping rope, calisthenics, or shadow boxing, followed by fifteen minutes of body work, some weight lifting and then sparring. If we were training for a fight or a tournament, we would extend the training time to two and a half hours.

We each took turns leading the training sessions in order to develop leadership, initiative, and self-confidence. Thembi particularly enjoyed leading these sessions. Things would get a bit rough for me on the nights that my son was in charge, for he would single me out for criticism. He was quick to chastise me whenever I got lazy. 

Everybody in the gym called me "Chief," an honorific he avoided, calling me "Mister Mandela," and occasionally, when he felt sympathy for his old man, "My bra," township slang meaning "My brother." When he saw me loafing, he would say in a stern voice, "Mister Mandela, you are wasting our time this evening. If you cannot keep up, why not go home and sit with the old women." Everyone enjoyed these jibes immensely, and it gave me pleasure to see my son so happy and confident."

Copyright 1994 Time Inc.. All rights reserved.
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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cotto wins convincingly against blinded Margarito

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 03:  Miguel Cotto (R) of Puerto Rico connects with a right handed punch to the face of Antonio Margarito of Mexico during the WBA World Junior Middleweight Title fight at Madison Square Garden on December 3, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
                                         Al Bello/Getty Images

Miguel Cotto battered Antonio Margarito over nine lopsided rounds then won a TKO on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

Cotto earned a punishing measure of payback for his loss to Margarito three years ago. With the New York crowd going wild for the Puerto Rican Cotto, he retained his 154-pound title.

He needed surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone following a loss to Manny Pacquiao last year and considered retirement. The New York State Athletic Commission didn't license Margarito until Nov. 22 after ordering another examination of his eye. Cotto took quick aim on the eye and it was swollen shut in the seventh round.

The sellout crowd at MSG honked horns, waved the Puerto Rico flag and absolutely went wild for all things Cotto - starting with his entrance...
Nothing could hold Cotto back.
With one eye, Margarito gamely fought on, hoping for that one brutal blow that could change the fight. Half blind, he never had a chance. 

Wrong Righted?

Cotto wins via 9th round TKO:

Cotto wins via 9th round TKO

The fight ends before the 10th begins as Referee Steve Smoger stops it on the advice of the ringside doctor. Cotto was on a way to an easy win.... Cotto was the fresher and the more active fighter ...
This ending probably did not prove Margarito cheated the first time around.  It proved more about the state of his health after the Manny P. fight.  His right  eye was injured in the fight  against Manny P and he lost his vision in his right eye during this fight..  

Margarito would not be the first fighter to lose his vision permanently.  Sugar Ray Seals* reputedly boxed while mostly blind during his final few fights.  

*Sugar Ray Seales ;Tacoma, WA
Height: 6-1 (Southpaw)
Professional Record: 56-8-3 (33 kayos)
Amateur Record: 338-12

Sugar Ray Seales, the only American fighter to win a gold medal in the 1972 Olympics, was a contender for the Middleweight title during the late 70's and early 80's.  In a 1980 fight with Jaime Thomas, Seales was thumbed in the eye, tearing his retina, and he gradualy went blind. Seales retired in 1983....

'via Blog this'

Revenge or Redemption: Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito

Pro Cotto:
Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito fight at Madison Square Garden about settling scores -

For one man, it’s about revenge. For the other, it’s about redemption.

The refurbished Garden might have new seats, a fresh coat of paint and a few more concession stands, but tonight it will hearken back to its storied boxing tradition where the bravest men fought the bloodiest battles in an arena that demands excellence.

How much does each fighter have left...

Cotto is the better boxer. Margarito is the stronger puncher. Though they both met the 153-pound catch weight at yesterday’s weigh-in, Margarito figures to be the bigger man tonight. But he hasn’t looked impressive since the Cotto fight, losing to Mosley and Pacquiao, while Cotto is 4-1 since then. Cotto may have more left than Margarito.
Read more:

Pro Margarito:
Cotto-Margarito: Revenge or Repeat?
By Graham Houston

Revenge and redemption are the themes when Miguel Cotto defends his junior middleweight title against Antonio Margarito at a sold-out Madison Square Garden tonight (HBO PPV).

Cotto won his last two fights by stoppage, over Yuri Foreman and Ricardo Mayorga, whereas Margarito has been inactive since Pacquiao beat him up a year ago. Although Margarito gamely lasted the distance against Pacquiao he suffered a fractured right eye socket, and since then he has had a cataract removed from his eye.

While Margarito took a terrible pasting from Pacquiao he has had a year in which to recover, and it should be remembered that Cotto lost to Pacquiao on a 12th-round stoppage two years ago, suffering two knockdowns before being worn down by an accumulation of punishment.

If Margarito loses, it will reinforce the perception that he cheated in the first fight with Cotto.

Cotto has a new trainer for this fight, Cuban Pedro Diaz, surprisingly parting company with Emanuel Steward, who prepared Cotto for the Foreman and Mayorga fights.

Unless Margarito has been severely diminished by the knockout defeat he suffered against Shane Mosley and the drawn-out pounding inflicted by Pacquiao ...

The Guardian home

Rematch between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito opens old wounds

The pummelling Miguel Cotto took from Antonio Margarito in 2008 and the subsequent controversy over the latter's hand wraps against Shane Mosley make for a charged confrontation

If you've ever wondered why it is that you love boxing - and whether you should - you probably have time before the main set of bouts start to read this piece by Eric Raskin: "Cotto-Margarito II: How Much Punishment Is Enough?":

Villainous behavior sells in most sports, and nowhere is it more bankable than in boxing, where fans crave retribution against the athletes they hate. The defeated fighter feels pain — not just the pain of a loss, but actual pain — and people will pay specifically to watch it be inflicted. So a man like Margarito, who attempted to cheat (and is suspected to have successfully sneaked the plaster-like inserts into his wraps on at least one prior occasion), can reap financial reward as the black hat opposite a hero like Pacquiao. Margarito earned $6 million for the Pacquiao fight. Another seven-figure payday awaits after his rematch with Cotto.

That fight was supposed to happen in July, but with Margarito struggling to recover from two separate surgeries on his right eye, it was bumped back to September and then December. This month, the New York State Athletic Commission threatened to scuttle the fight, or at least force it to relocate to another state, because of Margarito's continuing optical issues. The complications caused by the Pacquiao fight — Margarito's worst beating in a 46-fight career not exactly constructed on a foundation of slickness and defensive savvy — continue to pile up.

Margarito will receive little sympathy. We're talking about an attempted cheater whose entire career has giant "were his gloves loaded in that fight?" asterisks attached to each result. He committed boxing's gravest offense. He paid for it. Then he paid some more. And he might continue to pay for the rest of his life.

When will he have paid enough? And what does it say about boxing fans that Margarito's brutal punishment was precisely the outcome many of us were rooting for?