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."

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Even ‘mild’ head injuries can linger, says neurosurgeon

‘I have kids who are doing better after a severe head injury than those who have had a ‘mild’ head injury”

Even ‘mild’ head injuries can linger, says neurosurgeon

AWA — Pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Vassilyadi works his magic on the kind of head injuries that make parents queasy just to contemplate.

Two years ago on Canada Day, Clayton was visiting a friend’s cottage near Portland. He was riding helmetless on an ATV when the vehicle hit a branch on the ground and careened into a tree. There was a small boy on the ATV, and Clayton shielded him from the impact.

In the process, Clayton crushed part of his skull against the ATV’s roll bar. A bone fragment penetrated his brain and a blood vessel was severed.

Clayton was rushed to hospital in Smiths Falls and taken to CHEO by air ambulance. In the operating room, Vassilyadi stopped the bleeding and reconstructed the shattered portion of skull.

Clayton, who now volunteers to speak to youth about the importance of wearing a helmet, has little memory of that day — although he does remember suffering from savage headaches while he was recovering at CHEO.

Remarkably, a mere four months later, Clayton was back playing competitive hockey. The accident didn’t affect his academic performance, either.

The speedy recovery of a patient with a severe head injury like Clayton compared to another patient with a concussion is one of the conundrums of head injuries.

“He did better than some kids with concussions,” says Vassilyadi, who frequently speaks to school and sports groups about concussion and head injury prevention.

“I have kids who are doing better after a severe head injury than those who have had a ‘mild’ head injury.”

At the end of this month, CHEO is wrapping up a study that looks at youth between the ages of 11 and 17 who have a sports-related concussion and still show symptoms at least three months later. Over the two years of the project, between 50 and 60 patients fit into this category.

About 900 children and youth visit CHEO’s emergency department every year with a suspected concussion. The most common symptoms are headaches, dizziness and nausea.

It is believed that in 90 per cent of cases, symptoms clear up after 10 days. But Vassilyadi and his multi-disciplinary team at CHEO found there are some symptoms that parents don’t connect to concussions. 

Symptoms that parents don’t connect to concussions included:
- sleeping too much or not enough and 
- declining performance at school.

If emotional, social and cognitive symptoms are included:
- about a third of the pediatric patients with concussions have symptoms over three months.

- Symptoms can linger over a year or two.  

Parents and coaches often think there has to be a loss of consciousness in a concussion. But the majority of those who have concussions don’t lose consciousness.

If a concussion is not recognized early, its harder to resolve, says Vassilyadi.

Helmets don’t prevent concussions, says Vassilyadi.

“There is no helmet out there that is concussion-proof. 
Helmets prevent severe head injuries.”

It’s important not to cover up concussion headaches with pain medication. Nutrition and rehydration are crucial and sometimes the best treatment is rest, even if that means not returning to school.

“The mental stress might be too much. We have to offer a mental rest, depending on the severity of the injury.”

Video games, television, reading and texting can also be stress points, and should be removed.

For parents, part of the problem is that it is hard to get an assessment that says when a child should temporarily withdraw from school, or when it is safe to return to a sport. 

It takes a team of health professionals, and an assessment can take up to two hours.

“When in doubt, sit them out,” he advised coaches and parents. “If they get injured a second or third time, the injury will be worse. It’s not a badge of honour to return to play with a concussion.”

Both the provincial government and school boards are looking at policies for a students’ return to school following a head injury.

Lara stops Angulo

*George Chuvalo suffered the same injury, fractured left orbital  in his fight with Joe Frazier and George, who was noted for his toughness, was forced to turn his back on Frazier. So it must be really painful.

Erislandy Lara vs Alfredo Angulo

CARSON, Calif. -- Erislandy Lara got off the deck twice to stop Alfredo Angulo in the 10th round an excellent junior middleweight scrap.
The fight was a dead heat, but Angulo, his left eye badly damaged, quit in the 10th round. The Mexican suffered a possibly fractured left orbital and turned his back on Lara.  

Riddick Bowe's big flop in Thai kickboxing

Judging by the picture, Riddick did not look in Championship shape, as in. it is doubtful that he spent many hours in the gym preparing or doing road work to run off his extra weight.  When he was an active fighter,  his aversion to training was what stood in the way of his becoming one of the great heavyweight champions. At least according to Eddy Futch, his trainer. 

Eddie Futch in 1992 said that Riddick Bowe had more God given talent than ANYONE he ever trained. Eddie Futch ALSO trained "Smokin" Joe Frazier, Larry Holmes and Ken Norton. Eddie truly believed that Riddick "Big Daddy" Bowe had them all beat in terms of God given talent.  Scan ahead 21 years and we see Riddick performing in the kick boxing ring lke in pro wrestling.  It is sad to see an old fighter selling his name, expected to lose while enhancing the other guy's record...

June 14, 2013

(Photo: Apichart Weerawong, AP)

Bowe beat Evander Holyfield in 1992 to become the undisputed world heavyweight champion
Bowe's last boxing fight was in 2008

Bowe, who tried Muay Thai because he was bored with retirement and needed cash, made $150,000

PATTAYA, Thailand (AP) — Wincing in pain and clutching his shins, Riddick Bowe ended his debut in Thai kickboxing with a thud in the second round.
The 45-year-old former world heavyweight boxing champion came to a rude awakening on Friday that Muay Thai is just as punishing.

"It's much harder than boxing," Bowe said after limping out of the ring.

Bowe took a big beating from his 30-year-old Russian opponent Levgen Golovin, who assaulted the former champion with repeated kicks to the shins.

Bowe lost his balance and fell five times before the bout was ended by technical knockout after his last fall.

"You can recover from a head shot or a body shot, but when you get kicked in the leg it lasts a long time,"
he said. "My leg is still hurting. I don't know how long it's been — 15 minutes?"

Bowe's last boxing match was in 2008.
He says he decided to try Muay Thai because he was bored with retirement and needs the cash.

He made $150,000 from Friday's fight, organized
by Thai promoters trying to increase the international appeal of Thailand's national sport. The bout was held at an outdoor ring set up beside the beach in Pattaya, a Thai town best known for its seaside red-light district.

Weighing 300 pounds, Bowe was heavy and slow and barely landed a punch in Friday's fight.



Bowe loses his balance after getting kicked by Golovin.

Riddick Bowe gets kicked on the leg by Levgen Golovin during their  World Muay Thai fight.

Former heavyweight boxing champion Riddick Bowe was knocked down by Levgen Golovin during their World Muay Thai fight in Pattaya, Thailand. Golovin won the bout in a second-round knockout by kicking on the leg. Apichart Weerawong, AP


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Canelo vs Trout

This is a great technical fight!  It is demonstrates how a good boxer/puncher goes about keeping up the pressure, creating openings, landing clean punches while maintaining a great defense the whole time.  Plus, Canelo appears to be untroubled by Trout being a southpaw.  Canelo is a well-rounded fighter and less experienced fighters could learn a great deal from watching this fight between two well-matched, excellent boxers which is also very entertaining knowing there is a good possibility of a knockout.

Canelo Alvarez versus Austin Trout

Marcos Maidana stops Josesito Lopez, shows punching power is still the ultimate equalizer

Maidana is my favorite fighter for his scrappy style and his huge heart plus punching power. The opening statement of this article captures the essence of the bull and the matador type fights, like Ali - Frazier....

Boxing is more than just a contest to find out who punches the hardest. Part of the magnificence of the sport is watching a fast, smart, technician discover a way to defuse the power of a knockout artist.

Marcos Maidana and his knockout win over Josesito Lopez was the kind of fight boxing fans love. 

Lopez was fighting brilliantly, particularly in the fourth and fifth rounds, as he repeatedly tagged Maidana with a series of clean, hard shots. He found a home for his straight right time and again, hitting the target like a pitcher firing a fastball directly into the catcher's mitt.

That became clear in the sixth when Maidana picked up the pace after struggling for a couple of rounds and absorbing a great deal of punishment. Midway through the sixth, Maidana hit Lopez with a body shot that seemed to suck the air out of him. Lopez froze, and Maidana blasted him with a crushing straight right.
Lopez staggered back to the ropes and then hit a knee, where he took the eight-count. When he got up, he was greeted by a punishing right uppercut. Referee Dr. Lou Moret gave Lopez a chance to fight his way out of trouble, but finally hopped in at 1:18 of the sixth to stop it.

Lopez moaned about the stoppage, and it was understandable given how well he was doing, but Maidana is one of the hardest pound-for-pound punchers in the game and too many more of those right hands wouldn't have been good for Lopez's long-term health.

Maidana is never out of a fight, no matter how far behind he falls, because with him, one punch can change everything. "My character and my guts got me this victory," Maidana said.  

And this is where it all pays off for the fans:

Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer could barely contain his glee after the main event, a back-and-forth battle that had the crowd cheering deliriously throughout...  Schaefer promised such fights would be the future of the sport.
Schaefer said. "The fighters and the networks have learned that the fans want to see action fights. That's what the audience wants to see. Winning and losing, winning means a lot, but [what is really important] is giving them great fights."

Whatever it is, fights like Maidana-Lopez are the type that will bring the fans back. The crowd was as intense as the fighters Saturday and the atmosphere was like it was a major world title showdown.
 Schaefer said he's on a mission to rid boxing of boring fights. 

"Golden Boy is going to make it a priority to sign action fighters and to put together fights we think are going to be action-packed," he said. "We've heard from the fans and this is what they want. They want those kinds of fights and that's what we're going to try to do."

This is welcome news for fight fans have tired of watching Champions like Wladimir Klitschko  sleepwalk through many noncompetitive fights...  

Abandoning the focus on superstars like Floyd Mayweather, jr. whose primary concern is protecting his 'unbeaten' status.  Such fighters become averse to the idea of taking chances, going after the KO and fighting with the idea of entertaining the fans.  

Floyd earns obscene amounts of money for beating handpicked opponents who are unlikely to give him  the kind of fight that fans want to see.

Let the many other boxers have a chance to earn some decent money for giving a respectable account of themselves in fan pleasing fights.  End the "Star" system just the way Hollywood did when certain actors demanded too much......

Friday, June 14, 2013

Adonis Stevenson could move further from past mistakes

This story is remarkable for the fact that another guy is saved by boxing instead of becoming a career criminal. He committed some crimes early in his life and did his time in prison. He learned some hard lessons and has gone on to excel as a prize fighter.

He has joined a tradition of boxing gyms saving people from the streets. Probably, one of the most durable boxing careers today, started after doing time in a penitentiary. Bernard Hopkins made some mistakes early in his life but he is now a multimillionaire and senior statesman of the sport...

Many proponents of the sport offer as an argument against banning boxing, the fact that so many men have used boxing as a way to climb out of poverty. The sport can build character, channel aggression and keep kids out of trouble. They can be involved with amateur organizations with an eye to local Golden Gloves Tournaments, National AAU Titles and ultimately the Olympics. That is plenty of incentive and the cost of entry is minimal making it the perfect inner city sport.


Adonis Stevenson floored Chad Dawson with one punch - but Tony Bellew won't be so easily dismissed © AP

Adonis Stevenson, understandably, would prefer to keep his past buried, the skeletons locked securely in his closet....capturing the WBC light heavyweight title less than 10 years after he took up the sport.

Adonis Stevenson, who boasts big-time power, has come a long way.

He's one of the few one-punch knockout boxers in a sport that delights in knockouts, a guy whose aggressive, hard-hitting style could make him, at 35, an overnight sensation.

His ferocious punching power was one of the most intriguing story lines entering the bout and he quickly legitimized that his reputation was well-deserved.

But to understand who Adonis Stevenson is, one first must understand where he comes from and what he has overcome.

Born in Haiti, he moved to Quebec and, at 18, found himself running with a notorious street gang and in 1998, he was arrested, charged and convicted of being a pimp, as well as assault and making threats.

H spent 18 months of a 4 year sentence in a Bordeaux jail on charges of managing prostitutes, assault and making threats
Ex-jailbird boxers are hardly uncommon.

What Stevenson did or didn't do before he was arrested remains murky, but promoter Yvon Michel said that while he did time for prostitution and simple assault, he was never found guilty of rape, sexual assault or aggravated assault, as has been suggested. Stevenson only said he was jailed for "pimping."

"It's been 14 years," Stevenson said of his criminal past. "That's a long time.  It's in the past, I've made a commitment to change my life, and I have."

"We don't want to diminish the fact that he was beating girls," added Michel. "That's very bad."

He left jail with nothing, with no tangible skill and little hope for the future. But he was preternaturally strong, loved to fight and took up boxing to try to take advantage.

As with so many, boxing turned out to be a salvation for him. The sport imposed the discipline he needed. He had to run, he had to exercise and he had to learn how to fight.

He didn't have time, even if he wanted – which he didn't – to hang with those he did before his imprisonment.

He began to box in 2004, and in that year, he won the Quebec amateur middleweight title. He was Canada's best amateur boxer in both 2005 and 2006 and won the silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in 2006.

He turned pro in late 2006 and strung together a series of highlight-reel knockouts. He fought five times in his first five months as a pro, winning all five by knockout, four of them in the first round and one in the second.

Boxing offered hope, a glimmer of opportunity to escape his dreary past.

He threw everything he had into the sport and was showing promise as a knockout artist. But he was wild and not skilled in the technique he would need to succeed at the sport's highest level.

And then, by chance in 2011, he ran into the great trainer Emanuel Steward. Steward, who was in a fight for his life, took on Stevenson and agreed to train him. Despite his record, he has a waiver that allows him to travel abroad.

It was a life-altering experience.

"It was a gift to have Emanuel come into my life," Stevenson said. "I was with him just a short time, but he changed my life in so many ways."

Steward was quickly able to fix some of the flaws in Stevenson's boxing technique. He had poor footwork and was frequently off-balance. That would result not only in missed shots, but in leaving himself open for counter punches.

More important, perhaps, was the impact Steward had on Stevenson as a man. Steward talked with Stevenson about life almost as much as he did about boxing. Steward was in the final year of his own life, but he managed to affect change in Stevenson's.

"I'm grateful, so thankful, to have had the chance to meet him and know him," Stevenson said of Steward.

Stevenson (20-1, 17 KOs) still trains at Steward's Kronk Gym and is guided by Steward's nephew, Javan "Sugar" Hill.

"Power changes a lot in boxing," Stevenson said. "I don't want to just rely only on my power, but the thing is, having the kind of power that you can knock someone out at any time, it changes so much in a fight. You could lose 11 rounds of a fight and land one punch in the 12th round and it is over. It's a huge difference."

That power has made him a world champion and it may make him a star. Aggressive, up-tempo fighters who can punch are a rarely and highly prized commodity in boxing.

Stevenson is highly motivated to succeed, in part because he knows what may lie ahead, but also, because of what is in his past.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson No Longer Wants To Eat Your Kids, So Adult Swim Gave Him An Animated Series
Iron Mike is dead, Mike Tyson's in charge now.

May 10, 2013, 05:11 PM EST by DJ Dunson


A couple of decades ago, Mike Tyson was "The Baddest Man On The Planet." However, in the last decade, Iron Mike has turned into soft putty. It's not a bad thing. Tyson got older, matured, left behind his hostile boxing persona and reprioritized his life. 

Instead of hanging onto his boxing glory and trying to fight into his late 40's like Bernard Hopkins or Evander Holyfield, Tyson's dove head first into the entertainment industry. Tyson's gone from cameos in The Hangover, to performing his own one-man Broadway show to delivering dramatic lines on Law & Order.

Now, instead of trying to eat your kids, Tyson may soon be entertaining them.

Tyson's past sounds a little cartoonish, therefore, it's only fitting that on Friday, Adult Swim announced they've greenlit an animated cartoon called "Mike Tyson Mysteries," with the former boxing champ voicing a cartoon detective. Adult Swim is a little more mature than your average Saturday morning cartoon, but it still gets a good amount of its viewership from kids who have no adult supervision.

Via USA Today:

On the show, a cartoon version of Tyson will solve wacky problems, assisted by a trusty associate: a foul-mouthed pet pigeon
. The network said Tyson will voice the animated character, as well as make live-action appearances.

Every detail about this is pure perfection — right down to the talking pigeon.
If there was one post-boxing profession that you could have bet me that Tyson would pursue, law enforcement would have been first and voice acting would have been a close second. This is the best of both worlds.

Tags : Mike Tyson, mike tyson mysteries


Saturday, June 1, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETICS - Section takes steps to combat youth head trauma

This article provides more evidence of the growing concern over possible head injuries in contact sports and the need to put protocols in place to deal with head trauma injuries.  Like with Global Warming, the scientists have led the way and the various sports organizations and the public are getting the message.

The Sac-Joaquin Section, which governs the athletics programs of nearly 200 high schools in the Central Valley, has partnered with a Sacramento-based group to help spread awareness, testing and treatment of head trauma injuries.

MindGame, formerly the Sacramento Valley Concussion Care Consortium, already is working with 16 schools in the Sacramento area and hopes it reaches every high school statewide.

"Our goal from the beginning has been to cover every student-athlete in the state through not just baseline testing, but education for athletes, coaches, parents and school staff," said MindGame's co-founder, Dr. Catherine Broomand.

MindGame provides education, baseline and follow-up testing, and has identified medical facilities with staff trained to treat brain injuries. The baseline test costs $20 per student, according to Broomand.

"One of our goals is to reduce barriers to kids that are uninsured or under-insured and get them the care they need from health care providers with that type of expertise," she said.

Section schools are not obligated to use the service, but section commissioner Pete Saco believes the partnership only can help student-athletes.

"We simply cannot afford to let this issue linger," Saco said in a statement. "There is too much on the line, and our parents and student-athletes are counting on us."

Football still has the highest instance of head trauma, followed by girls and boys soccer, with lacrosse and rugby injuries increasing as more schools offer those sports. 

According to a 2011 study by Purdue's Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, of 1 million young men who play football each year nationally, "approximately 67,000 are clinically-diagnosed with a concussion, and it's estimated that a similar number of concussed players remain undiagnosed."

Some area high schools already have head trauma protocols in place. Stagg football coach Don Norton said a certified athletic trainer is present at all of the Delta Kings' practices and games. The trainer is paid with funds from Stagg's athletic department and football program. When necessary, the trainer conducts tests the player must pass before he is allowed back on the field. Norton believes the school districts should take more responsibility in this area.

"The school districts should be out front paying for certified trainers for all sports where there is possible head-to-head contact," he said. "To me, it's a no-brainer for school districts to step up and do that. Eventually, all the districts will pay for it when something tragic happens, but by then it will be too late."

This summer, two representatives from each high school in the section will be invited to an informational meeting with Mind Game and the section office.

Success Lessons from Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan did not try his hand at Boxing but he was such an outstanding athlete that anyone pursuing a sport or a business career can learn from him.


                            File:Jordan by Lipofsky 16577.jpg
                                           Jordan going in for a slam dunk with his signature exposed tongue.

Michael Jordan is a former American professional basketball player, active businessman, and majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, National Basketball Association (NBA) team.
His biography on the NBA website states, “By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time.”

Success Lessons from Michael Jordan
1. The Mind
If you go there in your mind, it’s only a matter of time before you go there in body.
You have to see it; if you can see it, if you can perceive it, then you will find away to get it.  The question is, “How bad do you want it?”  If you don’t “want it,” you won’t get it!  If you can live without it, you will. 

To succeed, you have to be hungry; you have to thirst for success.
2. Go Around
“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”
Obstacles are what prepare you for success.   They are there to ensure you don’t arrive prematurely; they are there to ensure that when you arrive, you are ready.   
3. Perspective
“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.”
Every negative situation contains the seed, for a great outcome, but you must recognize it.  To succeed you must turn negative situations into positive ones.  You can’t focus on the negative, you must see the positive, it’s the only way up the ladder of success.  

You must see the positive; you must become positive, in order to experience success.
4. Loyalty and Responsibility
“The game is my wife. It demands loyalty and responsibility, and it gives me back fulfillment and peace.”
Success demands loyalty and responsibility!  Are you loyal to your duties, do you faithfully complete the critical tasks that are requisite to your success.   Are you faithful to your responsibilities, are you consistent.  

To succeed, you must be loyal to your passion; you must give it your all.
5. Expectations
“You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.”
Jordan said, “If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.”
In life you will get what you accept and what you expect.  What are you expecting?  What are you accepting?  When you change the answers to these questions, you will change your life.
6. Make It Happen
“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”
In order to succeed you’re going to have to kick down the door and make it happen on purpose.  

You’re not going to “luck up” and succeed; success won’t come with the passage of time.  If you’re going to succeed, you’re going to have to roll up your sleeves, put your head down, and make it happen at all costs.
7. Passion
“Even when I’m old and grey, I won’t be able to play it, but I’ll still love the game.”
You must have passion in order to succeed.  If success is to be yours, it will be yours while you are following your passion.  You won’t succeed doing something you despise, you won’t even succeed doing something that you like doing, you will succeed when you do what you love — what you’re passionate about.
8. Try
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
How can you succeed if you never try?  How can you go to your grave knowing that you never tried?  You may not know what paths will work best for you, the only way to discover the right path — is to try.  Try and try, until you discover your difference.  Try until you learn where you can be a success.
9. Work
“I’m not out there sweating for three hours every day just to find out what it feels like to sweat.”
If success is to be yours, you can rest assured that you’re going to have to work at it.  To be the best, you have to give your best; you have to work harder than the rest.  While people are resting, you have to be working.
Success is a game, you have to play hard, you have to out-smart the competition, you have to put in the work.  

Jordan said, “I have always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come.”
10. Fail
“I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Never fear failurefear not trying, fear not giving your best, fear losing focus, but never fear failure.  

Failure is the path to success.  

Failure is the sign that you’re headed in the right direction.  To succeed twice as fast, fail twice as much.  Fail often, fail daily, and soon you will succeed.  

Jordan said, “I have never been afraid to fail.”


Author Steve Lipofsky