The week in boxing - Bernie's rant | July 15
Pac vs Luke and ESPN+
I refused to watch the Manny Pacquiao vs Lucas Matthysse fight broadcast on ESPN + because I don’t believe in giving these chiselers and their promoters any more money because there are more compelling fights to be made.
Manny dominated the fight with slick upper body and foot movement, tight defense and great angle power punching. He knocked Matthysse down 3 times, forcing Lucas to take a knee on the second. These knockdowns occurred in the 3rd, 5th and 7th rounds after finally resulting in a 7th Round TKO.
In a previous article I stated Pacquiao was robbed on the scorecards against Tim Bradley (2012) and Jeff Horn (2017) for his "politically incorrect" statements on same-sex marriage. Against Matthysse, Pacquiao took it out of the judges’ hands and won the fight by TKO. In my opinion, a stoppage was his only path to victory.
Because he's 39, some still say he has little credibility as a force in the current Welterweight picture. I strongly disagree and based on the performance he is a very relevant player in that weight division.
As far as ESPN+ is concerned, I will not subscribe to a package that offers an Alexander Dimitrenko vs Bryant Jennings fight showcase as their next feature for my coin.
140 pound tournament
Regis Prograis won impressively Saturday night beating previously unbeaten Juan Velasco in a title bout. I think it is a wise move for Prograis to test himself by entering the WBSS 140lb tournament. Currently, the field has the likes of Josh Taylor and Denys Berinchyk but I do think that Mikey Garcia should be drafted to make this series more worthwhile.
Marijuana, Wilder and substance testing
The New York Board of Health recently submitted a recommendation to Governor Andrew Cuomo that the benefits of Marijuana highly outweigh its harmful effects.
... A vote in favor of legalizing the drug. Huh, Pigs Eye!
I haven’t read this in a textbook but my experience as a Social Worker and otherwise advise me different.
Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder is currently serving a 2-year probation for Marijuana possession in his home state. With VADA testing for PEDs, the commissions should be testing for use of legal and illegal drugs such as Vicodin, Oxicodel, Cocaine, Heroin and Pot. A requisite even for non-title matches.
A clear message should be sent out for the well-being of the fighters as well as the young fans that this activity shouldn’t be tolerated in the sport.
The habitual use of marijuana builds unrealistic "pyramidic constructs" of illusion. The mind gets used to a place that is pleasing and pertinent to the high, even if you’re not stoned it sets a "muscle memory of the brain." The result produces a lack of creativeness and resourcefulness in pressured and adverse conditions. Thus, in competitive and combat sports this mindset could be limiting. I didn’t read this from a textbook.
Marijuana was tolerated in target areas in the 1950s to control certain "demographic groups" by propagating complacency and lack of proactive individualism to inhibit political and social interaction to maintain the status quo of respective political districts in the US. To a certain degree, drugs serve that purpose to a more widely and diverse targeted population nowadays coupled with the media as another form of segmented dope.
For Deontay Wilder to get caught with weed tells me that he doesn’t really care about the title and is not taking it seriously. It is very sad for all the young kids who look up to him as a role model.
WTF?!?! Pulev still in the top 10?
Jarrell Miller pulled out recently of a match with # 4 ranked contender Kubrat Pulev of Bulgaria. Miller turned down a whopping 550,00 pay day to fight Pulev in the latter's native Bulgaria. Pulev match-ups with several tough opponents, including Dillian White and Anthony Joshua, have fallen through. I can't fathom why someone would not take the fight with the former Olympian. Since he was knocked out badly by Wladimir Klitschko over 3 years ago, he has only fought 5 times against marginal opponents including the likes of Kevin Johnson, an "old" Sam Peter, George Arias, Maurice Harris and Derick Chisora. Pulev should be knocked out of the rankings.
Peter Quillin has a fight scheduled with J'Leon Love for August 14. Quillin has been absent from competition close to a year now. He got the wind knocked out of his sails by suffering a first round TKO against Danny Jacobs in 2015 and hasn't been anxious about getting in the ring since. He is a quality fighter and would be a great addition to that Middleweight mix. I once saw him at knock down Hassan N'Dam at least 6 times during a match at the Barclays Center one night en route to a UD victory.
Saludar, Freshmart and more...
Strawweight Vic Saludar, of the Philippines, dethroned WBO champion Ryuya Yamanaka in Japan this past weekend. Saludar knocked his opponent down in the 7th round to coast to the victory.
Knockout CP Freshmart 17-0 will defend his WBA title against tough Chinese challenger Chaozhong Xiong 27-1-1. These guys should really be fighting unification bouts that the champions sit on. I would like to see WBC Champion Wanheng Menayothin 50-0 fight Freshmart for a blockbuster match in their native Thailand.
6'6" Olympic Medalist from China, Zhilei Zhang 18-0 fights Eugen Buchmueller 11-2 on July 20th in Zhang's continued march toward Heavyweight contention.
Garcia vs Porter... Nobody cares?
Why hasn't there been any hype regarding the fight between Danny Garcia and Sean Porter, September 8th at the Barclay Center? This is the best Welterweight matchup in years. The priorities with the media seem to be fixated on the hype of the lackluster promotion of Alvarez vs Golovkin at about the same time.
Critique of the boxing broadcast team on Showtime
Although Paulie Malignaggi may be a good analyst, he is deadpan in his delivery and personality. He appears to have no sense of humor and has a very fast talking, poor speaking voice. His lack of eloquence sometimes is annoying and forces me to turn down the volume of the television.
Mauro Ranallo is a flake but he can hype a cockroach race and make it sound like Ali Frazier 3. I don’t think too many people like his style that I talk to. He came out recently with the story of his Bi-Polar condition and how he has dealt with it for many years. Me thinks that it’s a last gasp effort for him to hold onto his job at the premium network for poor disapproval ratings. In my assessment, he is not good to promote the credibility of the fight game and sounds like a big jerk.
Al Bernstein has got to do something about that Bram Stoker's Dracula hairdo that he sports. The philosophy of the producers in maintaining the teams at Showtime and ESPN seems to be stooping to the lowest common denominator at those two networks and seem to be driving people and hardcore fans especially away.
Lennox Lewis was a real honest and astute commentator for HBO and they gave him his walking papers. A more traditional approach should be implemented with a veteran like Dave Bontempo or an invitation should be put out there for Jim Watt or Glen McCrory from Sky Sports to spice things up.
...Resurrect Nick Charles for crying out loud.
N.B: Bernie's views are simply his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of this website or others who write for FightSaga.
Bernie Campbell is a graduate of Wagner College and has been writing about the fight game for the past several years. He resides in New York City in which he brings to life his 50 plus years of experience in reporting and observing about the "hard knocks" of the world of pugilism!
He has had a renaissance man-like existence, working as a porter, pizza driver, data technician, mailman, and social worker. He tries to see through the smoke screens of professional boxing, and he prefers to “tell it like it is!”
Bernie also does freelance reporting for the Boxing Newspaper publication, USA Boxing News!