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Bruno on Boxing
Joe Bruno

April 24, 2000

Bruno on Boxing

By Joe Bruno---Former Vice President of the New York Boxing Writers Association and the International Boxing Writers Association

News Item: Shamtime's Chinese Boxing Fiasco

On Saturday night, April 22, the hard-working people who pay extra for Showtime were Shanghaied by Shamtime's crack boxing committee, Jay Larkin chief conspirator.

It's bad enough an America cable company ventured into a land where human rights is located somewhere back in the Dark Ages and there is no God. But the fight card televised back to the States was no bad and one-sided, the best fight of the night was Laila Ali's fourth round demolition TKO over Kristina King, a former SWAT team member.

Shamtime gave us one from column A and one from column B. And with three, instead of egg roll, we got double tomato can and a big portion of Peking You Better Duck Fast.

Muhammad Ali's daughter is tall, lankily muscled and more than slightly beautiful. She has her father's fighting flair, and it seems she can punch a bit. King has legs like fifty pound drums and breasts like balloons, but the boxing skills of a Mack Truck.

The fight was not close and Ali won every second of every round, but the sturdy King refused to fall. The referee stopped the fight 37 seconds in the fourth and final round. At fight's end, King's face was bloodied and swollen, and looked a little like Rocky Graziano's after he fought Tony Zale. Ali's face looked like the cover of Vogue Magazine. Enough said

The semi-main event pitted Montell Griffin, maybe the second best light heavyweight in the world next to Roy Jones, against game, but totally outclassed and outgunned Jose Luis Rivera. The best thing Rivera did all night was enter the ring to the sounds of gospel music, with Jesus written in English on the front of his baseball cap, and in Chinese on the back. This sacrilege in a country where atheism is the rule of the land.

Rivera had no boxing skills whatsoever and won maybe one round of the twelve; two if you give him points for praising the Son of God.

``The guy was tough,'' Griffin said. ``He came to fight. I gave him every punch in the book. After a while, I got tired of hitting him. He showed a heck of a heart.''

That Rivera did, but the fight was not a pleasure to watch. Still, that bout was a day at the beach compared to the main event.

On any given night, Andrew Golata can exhibit better skills than any other heavyweight in the world. Okay, so maybe the guy's playing poker with a pinochle deck. But why in the name of Jesus would Shamtime ever match Golata with a tub-of-lard Buddha named Marcus Rhode is beyond comprehension. Rhode was so inept, his best hand movement of the night was him trying to keep his trunks from falling south of Guangzhou, which by the way, was the name of the Chinese city from which this farce was broadcast back to the United States.

After the first round Rhodes' corner wrapped tape around his giggly middle, in order to keep Rhodes from mooning the half empty Oriental arena, which may, or may not be a bigger disgrace in Communist China than believing God actually does exist.

Golata bounced Rhode off the deck forwards, backwards and sidewards. The referee Joe O'Neil stopped the fight in the third round to prevent the viewing public from absorbing any more punishment.

The bottom line is millions of people subscribe to Showtime to view the assorted boxing events. Shamtime consistently shortchanges its customers by airing horrible mismatches, and it's time for us to fight back by canceling our subscriptions.

The maybe the Venerable Jay Larkin will treat his paying customers a little better than cats and dogs are treated in Guangzhou, Hong Kong, or any other city where the name of God is a dirty word.


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