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
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
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.