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Rinsing Off the Mouthpiece
As we once again head into the happy horseshit of the Holiday Season; the Ol’ Spit Bucket is thankful for the fact that we are all still here & no mo’ bad mojo has rained down on us from the skies ... But it be boxing that we are dealing with here & the events that I will remember from boxing in 2001, are numerous.
In no particular order: The fact that I picked the wrong guy in EVERY major fight but one this year ... You would think that after 45 years of being involved in the sweet science as a fighter (Golden Gloves, painful & mercifully short career), cornerman & wizened scribe, that The Bucket would have a freakin’ clue. Yeah, well, what can I say? Somebody could have made a fortune betting against my picks ...
Boxing has been on a terrific run the last few years. All the big match ups have been made. But this year, the fights that had the fans salivating were non-competitive. Mayweather-Corales, Hamed-Barrera, Hopkins-Trinidad, Tszyu-Judah & Rahman-Lewis II, were all walkovers.
For once you can’t blame the promoters. They delivered the fights we wanted. The fights themselves didn’t deliver the anticipated action.
However, what Hopkins, Barrera & Mayweather accomplished was remarkable. All three of them faced daunting competition & totally shut them down. They fought highly regarded, undefeated champions & against all odds not only won, they triumphed. What each of these fighters did was so outstanding The Bucket be thinking it should be a three way tie for fighter of the year.
Which leads me to Zab Judah & James Butler, "The Harlem Hammer" (great moniker, rotten human being):
Let me start by saying the Nevada Commission blew chunks in the way they handled Judah. A six month suspension & a $75,000 fine? Judah basically did a Sprewell on Nady & then threw a stool at him. I believe that's called assault & battery. A six month suspension is meaningless ... Judah probably wouldn't have fought before then anyway.
I'm jiggy with the fine but the suspension, in order to be meaningful, should have been for a year. A full year would have hurt him in the pocket & been a real punishment. Six months is absurd ... We can't have athletes in ANY sport attacking officials. If this is condoned there won't be anybody willing to officiate a sporting contest. Referees & umpires are sacrostant, screw with them & your destroying the foundation of your sport.
Which devolves us to James Butler ... “The Harlem Hammer”. This is a guy with the IQ of a rusty nail. Not only does he pull his stupefying stunt, he does it in front of 500 cops!!!! Personally I lay some of the blame on this incident on Judah. Young fighters look up to main eventers like Zab & when they see him seemingly get away with attacking a ref, it only encourages them to act in kind ...
As far as I'm concerned, Butler should get a stiff jail sentence & be banned from boxing for life. As to Judah, fuck him in the neck! What do you think the NFL would do if one of their players attacked a referee? He's be suspended without pay for the season & possibly beyond, IMMEDIATELY.
Judah should have had his ass suspended for a year & then maybe he'd grow up & become the fighter & more importantly, the man, he has the potential to be ...
& while we’re discussing Judah, Let’s talk about the actual fight with Tszyu ... Adam Pollack, one of the CBZ’s most astute writer’s, has an article in this issue where he berates the stoppage of the fight. Adam is a real boxing guy & a helluva writer, but on this bout are opinions diverge. I’ll let our dear readers form their own opinions.
But I got’s mine & here it is: There's no question in my mind that the fight was properly stopped. There's no rule that a ref HAS to give an 8 count. It's up to his discretion. & in this case I would have done exactly the same thing as Nady.
A fighter gets knocked down. Rises & then wobbles like jello on a plate & falls down again ... Hey, the fight’s over folks. Yeah, I’ve heard the excuses, Judah should have taken an 8 count & then gotten up ... He’s young & full of himself & didn’t know better ... Bullshit!
Before the fight I wrote this prediction: “Kostya Tszyu is a very efficient fighter. He does everything well, box, power, stamina, chin, etc. He's an “Old School” fighter who in Judah is facing an undisciplined example of the “New School” in boxing. Judah's best attribute is his blazing speed. His worst attribute is his lack of discipline. On paper, with his youth, speed, power & agility, this fight should be a cake walk for him.
That's on paper. In the ring, Zaba Daba Duh, gets lazy & unfocused & at some point or another he usually gets nailed & knocked on his ass. He's gotten away with his lapses in concentration because his opposition has been considerably less than stellar. Against Tszyu, he can't afford these mental fugues or he will be starched. I can see this fight developing along the lines of Hamed - Barrera but I think Judah will have focus on this night. If he does he could slice & dice Tszyu into ribbons of bloody flesh. If he doesn't have focus - for all 12 rounds - I can see Kostya grinding him down for a late round stoppage or decision.
The tenor of this fight is up to Judah. If he concentrates & uses all his skills he should win. If he veers from this path & starts show boating & screwing around, Tszyu, a consummate warrior, will decapitate the young man.”
I republish this prediction for three reasons: 1- I was right. 2- In 2001, I so seldom was ... 3- I loved it because both the, Barrera-Hamed & Tszyu-Judah fights, were victories for “Old School” vs. “New School" fighters. & The Ol’ Spit Bucket is an “Old School” kinda guy ...
I’ve never been impressed by Judah. But it’s like Katherine Dunn, one of the CBZ’s most valued contributors, said to me, “A fart get lit in Brooklyn & the New York boxing writer’s think it’s the fucking Aurora Borealis”.
The Ol’ Spit Bucket couldn’t have said it better me self ...
Gotta say this for Ol’ Leg-Iron Mikey, 13 years past his prime & I still gotta write about him. Tyson is the Rasputin of boxing. Jail him, bail him & do it again ... He still bobs out of the cesspool like the little rotten apple that he is, & makes you pay attention to him. That’s his gift ... Along with blowing the greatest career in the history of the sweet science.
I weary of discussing Leg-Iron. But there’s no getting around it. To the general sporting public, when it comes to boxing, he’s “‘Da Man”. Which go’s to show how little the general public actually knows ...
But it also shows the quintessential charisma that imbues Tyson. The man is a boxing superstar. It don’t matter that he hasn’t had a great performance since he knocked out Michael Spinks in 1988. It don’t matter that he’s looked like crap in EVERY fight since Buster Douglas sent him to the great beyond in January of 1990. It don’t matter that he got sent to prison for rape & has been accused of (but never arrested), for a multitude of sexual ... let’s call them discrepancy’s, since his release from The House Of Many Slammers ...
He’s still “‘Da Man”, to millions of misguided boxing fans. I’ve worked in the music business for thirty one years. I grok star power & charisma. In my biz I’ve seen so many twisted forms of it ... But, Iron Mike Tyson’s hold on the publics lack of imagination, baffles the crap outta me.
He hasn’t delivered since the 80’s. He’s been toast since 1990. He definitely hasn’t done anything impressive in the new millennium ...
& yet he’s the logical contender for the heavyweight title. Unbelievable but true! Who else is there? Chris Byrd & the Klitschko’s??? I think not ... So Bad Mikey gets to face Lewis & it’s my sincerest hope that Lewis wipes the floor with him & then maybe Tyson will disappear from the fistic stage ....
Of course since Lewis sued to prevent him from fighting Ray Mercer first, he’s got a built in excuse for when he loses. Mark my words, he will whine & snivel that because Lennox stopped the tune-up, it’s Lewis’ fault that he lost.
Lastly, I want to tell all our readers about the CBZ’s new message board. You can access it by going to the CBZ’s news page & clicking on the link or directly at: http://pub97.ezboard.com/bcyberboxingzone
I look forward to seeing our readers posts. Have a great holiday everybody & we will be back with a new issue in January.
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