The week in boxing, July 9 - Bernie's Rant
You won’t get my money
Manny Pacquiao 59-7-2 (38) will be entering the ring against WBO Welterweight Champion Lucas Matthysse 39-4 (36) in Kuala Lumper next Saturday in a bout to be streamed live by ESPN+. Like I said in a previous article, I’m not spending one red cent for this scheme of Top Rank to limit the amount of quality fights on free TV, ESPN HD, HBO or Showtime for its loyal patrons and devout followers of the sport.
As indicative of Saturday night’s affair and previous streamed events, it is next to impossible to get updates while the fight is going on or in replays, subsequently. Arum has a complete blackout of information. I tried getting detailed information on the Kevin Johnson-Andy Ruiz fight which there was little information available. I do know it was an easy unanimous decision for Ruiz with scores of 99-91 and 97-93 twice.
Andy Ruiz screwed again
Andy Ruiz has gotten screwed on the last 2 occasions since his comeback because those fights have not been televised. ESPN has shown instead lackluster contests of the obscure variety and even interviewed a female boxer in between matchups instead of broadcasting a formidable Heavyweight contender.
We are talking about a guy who is 30-1. Who not too long ago fought and lost a majority decision for The Heavyweight Title and mad it a very close match.
It is obvious that Arum has this man blackballed and despite his last two impressive victories will go the route of such competent fighters of Gary Russell and Artur Beterbiev who have suffered similar fates with other promoters.
The Pacquiao-Matthysse is not of particular concern to the respective promoters. The fight is next week and the reports are that Lucas' man , Oscar De La Hoya, is not even lending credence to go to Malaysia to give the fight some support.
Malaysia borders Indonesia, The Philippines, Vietnam Nam, Singapore and Thailand. Kuala Lumper is the capital harboring 1.75 million residents. The country received their independence from Great Britain in 1957 and is one of the most economically lucrative developing nations in that area.
Separation of church/politics and boxing
How does an A-side fighter like Manny get robbed? It’s happened twice fairly recently, with Timothy Bradley and Jeff Horn.
Before the first Bradley fight, Manny Pacquiao denounced homosexual marriage. Of course, it was at a time when the US Federal Government started seriously exploring its legalization.
Was Manny made example of? After the very bad decision against Pacquiao in the first Bradley fight, Manny refused to apologize and retract his statements, which later brought us to Jeff Horn. Were these bad decisions a form of retribution by the ‘powers that be’ in boxing? All I could say is: Expect the unexpected. Careful attention should be given to the officiating and referee. The odds are -2.13 to +1.55 in favor of Pacquiao.
2016 Gold Medal Super Heavyweight Titleist Tony Yoka has been suspended by the French Boxing Commission where he resides for not complying for consecutive PED testing in the last 3 requirements. Yoka is currently 5-0 (4) and it is shameful that he may be jeopardizing what could be a very successful career.
Morrison movin’ on up
Tommy Morrison's son, Trey Lippe, 15-0 (15 stepped up in competition and defeated Byron Polley, 30-22-7, via a 3rd Round KO. Trey is related to the famous late actor John Wayne.
He just won’t stop
Apparently, 53 year old Oliver McCall former Heavyweight Champion of the world fought also over the weekend. His opponent was 28-year journeyman Jamal Woods 17-42-1 (11) in Corpus Christi, Texas. I really give this man credit.
Morales for Congress
Erik Morales is now Congressman Morales. The four-time division champion and boxing hall of famer was elected to The Mexican Congress representing Tijuana district. You could tell the way Morales carried himself outside and inside the ring that he was a proud natural born leader. A friend of mine who used to work for US Customs told me that Tijuana is the main port of entry smuggling drugs from Latin America into the US via San Diego. US Customs agents and law enforcement personnel are advised not to go into Tijuana especially with a firearm. Tijuana was an exclusive resort area at one time but in recent years it has become a very dangerous place. Even tourism has died down significantly. Sounds like "El Terrible" has his work cut out for him. I wonder who's side he’s on?
Cuban boxing off the radar?
Why don’t we hear much from the boxing phenoms that come out of Cuba anymore? ... The land of Teofilo Stevenson and Felix Savon. If there is any information I can gather or want updates on, I can go to my Short Wave Radio and hear updates from the Sports Programming segments of "Radio Havana Cuba". The broadcasts are in English sometimes.
A Glove Affair
My friend Randy Gordon will be coming out with a Biography in April 2019 called "A Glove Affair".He is a former editor of Ring Magazine, former New York State Boxing Commissioner and was a television commentator and analyst and an amateur boxer himself. He has friends all over the business including legends such as George Foreman and Larry Holmes, and had a good friendship with Muhammad Ali.
He currently hosts the most comprehensive and biggest boxing show in the country on Sirius Radio with co-host Gerry Cooney. I wish Randy good luck with his new book and can’t wait to read of his travels and tidbits that he has experienced in the last 45 years.
Beibut Shumenov 18-2 (12) from Kazakhstan has never impressed me. He has held versions of the Light Heavyweight and Cruiserweight titles despite the fact that he has only fought 20 times in his professional career. He is currently 34 years old and his signature wins have come over a shopworn BJ Flores, William Joppy and Gabriel Campillo. His style doesn’t impress and his MO is usually fighting tactical style of contests with a very low punch output.
After 2 years of absence from the ring, he got the call to fight for the vacant WBA Cruiserweight title, a belt he once held, against Turkish Cruiser Hizni Altunkaya 30-2(17), out of Germany, Saturday night. The guy had absolutely no skills and he put up no opposition. Guys deserving of that title shot on both ends were the cream of the crop in the division who were ignored such as Krztov Glowacki, Mairus Breidis, Yunier Dorticos, Denis Lebedev, and even 47 year old Firat Arslan whose been on a 9 fight win streak. You think the division would want to showcase its best with the WBSS finals coming up in 2 weeks.
The Contender series will premiere on EpixTV late in August with Andre Ward being in the host. The previous contender series was a springboard for former jr middleweight champion Sergio Mora. On this series the Middleweights will be featured.
The biggest fight of the year will be held in Moscow with the finals of the 200lb Crusierweight unification showdown between Murat Gassiev 26-0 (19) and Oleksander Usyk 14-0 (12) for the WBSS Mohammed Ali Trophy July21.
Unfortunately, HBO, Showtime and ESPN had other priorities and agendas to intentionally ignore this very relevant matchup for the possible future direction and prosperity of the sport itself.
Facebook Live will probably put it under the title of WBSS tv. I’m not sure if there will be a charge or nominal fee but they do ask for credit card information. I’m reluctant to submit and sanction that especially to a foreign land.