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Bruno on Boxing

Joe Bruno - Former Vice President of the New York Boxing Writers
Association and the International Boxing Writers Association
Sept. 17, 2000

News Item: Showtime’s Saturday night fight card entertaining, but mostly

    If there was a vote for toughest guy in boxing, former middleweight champion Hacine Cherifi, he of the bald head and pony tail,  would win hands down.

    WBA middleweight champion William Joppy beat the crap out of the  #4 contender from France for 12 full rounds, hitting Cherifi with everything but
promoter Dung King’s hair. From the opening bell, the only question was which round would Cherifi collapse into a humbled heap. But it never happened.

    Joppy dropped the the outgunned Cherifi  twice, once in the seventh and
once in the eight round. But both times, Cherifi willingly took a knee after a ferocious Joppy two-handed assault, then got up at one and fired back at the shocked Joppy, like a man possessed.

    Cherifi had a nasty cut over his right eyebrow near the nose, and another cut over the left eyebrow. Referee Joe Cortez seemed like he was ready to stop the fight on several occasion. But how can you stop a fight when the guy is furiously fighting back with both hands?

    The scoring was 119-106, 118-107, 118-107 all for Joppy. This reported also had it 118-107 (10-2 in rounds) for Joppy

    “The man is a true champion and he proved he was tough,” Joppy said afterward. ‘None of the other two middleweight champions (Bernard Hopkins and Keith Holmes) want to fight me, so Cherifi stepped up to the plate. I tried to stop him, but the man just wouldn’t go away.”

    In the opening fight of the televised championship triple-header, WBA jr welter champion Sharmba Mitchell picked himself off the floor and rallied to pound out a unanimous but tough 12-round decision over #8 ranked challenger Felix Flores, who is trained by Felix Trinidad’s father.

    Mitchell was in complete control, when suddenly near the end of the fourth round, Flores nailed him in close with a left uppercut. Mitchell’s legs did the mambo. A right to the body, followed by the right to the head, dropped Mitchell flat on his back, legs askance. The bell rang while the ref was counting, or Mitchell might have been stopped right then.

    When the bell rang starting round five, Mitchell started boxing and dominating the plodding Flores again. The rest of the fight was fairly close, but Mitchell, with his superior hand speed, won nearly every round. The scorecards read 116-113, 116-111, 116-111, all for Mitchell. This reporter had it 116-113 (8-4 in rounds) for Mitchell.

    After the fight, Flores said he thought he won the fight easily because he said , “Mitchell was running.” Which probably means Flores was hit harder by Mitchell than it appeared.

    In the third title fight, WBA jr lightweight champion Joel Casamayor tore apart #8 contender Radford Beasley for four rounds. In round five, the southpaw Casamayor reeled off several combinations that had Beasley’s legs shaking and face bloodied, due to a huge cut over his right eye and a fat lip the
size of Toledo. The ref jumped in and stopped the fight, maybe a tad too soon, but that was academic. The time was :52 of the fifth round.

    Beasley was beat worse than a three egg omelet, but just before the stoppage was broadcast by the ring announcer, he went after Casamayor and anyone between him and Casamayor. It was a scene right out of The Three Stooges, but Beasley’s post fight interview was even more bizarre.

    No matter what question he was asked, Beasley started and ended with, “I want everyone to know I’ll be back.” Back in the nuthouse for sure.

News Item: The Roy Jones Jr.-Eric Harding pay-per-view fight did better than
most expected. 

    According to Gould Media, which tracks figures in the pay-per-view industry, the fight did between 125,000 and 140,000 buys. Taking the high figure, Jones earned $2.1 million. But it was still significantly lower than the $5 million guarantee that HBO had offered Jones to resign with the cable network before the match.

    Two thoughts here. There are more than 125,000 suckers than this world needs, unless you’re Dung King. And Jones either overestimates his monetary worth when it comes to roping in pay-per-view stooges, or math was not one of his better subjects in school. Or both, which is the better bet.

Note to Showtime commentator Steve Albert:

Please shut up and let the viewers watch the fight. We know what we see. We don’t need you to tell us the obvious, and on far-too-many occasions,  exactly the opposite of what’s really is happening in the ring. Albert seems to pick one fighter before the fight, then mentions only the punches that fighter lands. It’s as if the other fighter is a punching bag with ears.

    Steve, your credibility is falling lower than Monica Lewinsky’s head in the Oval Office. You have a nice wig. Almost looks real. Get real with the fights you broadcast too.



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