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Nevada's Slap On The Wrist 2001's Worst Cheap Shot
by Steve Coughlin
Yet another terrific year in boxing is overshadowed by the actions of few of the sport's true lowlifes. First it was Zab Judah's 'reverse Heimlich' of Jay Nady that had me to the point of projectile vomiting. Shortly thereafter, Australian 'Philosopher' Tony Mundine Jr. shared with the world that the innocent people who died in the 9/11 attacks & America brought the events upon themselves. Then along came James Butler & the best right hand he's ever thrown. Darn shame that it came well after the final bell. After I watched poor Richard Grant quiver on the canvas I thought to myself 'at least we've hit rock bottom. And this time, these morons will get SEVERELY PUNISHED for their nonsense / thug acts.'
While I write this, Butler is facing a lifetime suspension. Great ! If anyone ever deserved one it's the Harlem Hammer. Mundine, after running his mouth about how he would destroy the light-hitting champion, got what most Americans hoped he would get when he was KOd by Sven Ottke. Zab Judah, on the other hand, got a $75,000.00 slap on the wrist and a 6 month vacation for his actions.
In my humble opinion, The Nevada State Athletic Commission threw the cheap-shot of 2001 by letting Zab off virtually scott free. Jay Nady did Zab a favor by stopping the fight ' PERIOD. For the record, Zab would have been counted out had Nady continued his ten count. And had Judah been allowed to continue & Koysta finally landed one of Tszyu's TRUE power shots, Zab may well have been put in the same condition as Gerald McClellan. Face it folks, when you hit the canvas TWICE from the same punch YOU AREN'T ALRIGHT !!! I thought Nady had done Nevada proud, Judah would still fight another day and a rematch would be in the making. But Zab, who had been on a Nevada State Police 'watch list' of known gang members before the fight, thought he'd be better served by attacking the guy who cared for his safety. So how does Marc Ratner show his support for his official ' He hangs him out to dry, that's how.
Look, Judah would not have been allowed to fight for at least 3 months following his KO loss and most likely would have taken 6 ' 8 month off anyway. A $75,000.00 fine on a purse of over $1,000,000.00 isn't exactly what I'd call sending a very clear message that this type of moronic behavior will no longer be tolerated either. For Christ's sake, it works out to a little less than 6% of his purse. All this does is set the stage for another foolish incident that boxing just can not afford.
How would a Commissioner Coughlin have handled Mr. Judah's post-fight hissy-fit you ask '
Well, for starters, Judah would have been suspended for 15 months. Maybe a year out of the ring would teach Zab that he'd better learn to behave himself and act like the friggin' professional he claims he is. The fine ' How about $250,000.00, with the money going to various boxing charities & fallen fighters like McClellan, Greg Page & Michael Watson.
Bet ya Zab, and more importantly all other fighters, would think twice before they embarrassed themselves & the sport again.
Other Stuff :
Early candidate for 2002's fight of the year : Arturo Gatti vs. Terron Millett.
While I've given up hope on seeing Jones Jr. ' Michalchewski or Jones Jr. ' Hopkins II, I'd really like to see Hopkins ' Michalchewski. Maybe the winner could smoke Roy out '
I'm leaning towards Acelino Freitas over Joel Casamayor in the big 130 showdown, providing that it comes off as scheduled.
Lennox Lewis is Boxing's sleeping dog ' NEVER anger him. Just ask Hasim Rahman how well it worked out for him.
My top pound for pound list as of 12/09/01 :
Play by Play ' Jim Lamply ( HBO )
Studio Host - Max Kellerman ( ESPN )
Color ' Roy Jones Jr. ( HBO )
Ringside ' Sean O'Grady ( Fox )
Speaking of announcers, I sure miss the teams of Gil Clancy & Tim Ryan and the Fight Doctor & Marv Albert.
And speaking of boxing people I miss, Merry Christmas Cornelius Boza-Edwards !
From the cheap seats,
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