Like, let's talk about this Ortiz video for a second. It's got no place in either post, but it's too daffy not to mention at all.
In the video, he talks about how fighting Vivian Harris was "fighting the best of the best." No. As of that moment, that was the wrongest thing he'd ever said. But he'd have more wrongness to soon eclipse it: "I put him on the floor, on the canvas, which was kinda funny to me because I wasn't supposed to do that... everyone was kind of stunned (after the knockout)." No. That's exactly what everyone thought he was supposed to do. It was mismatch from the get-go and everyone knew it, since Harris' ability to take a punch had long since degraded and Ortiz has authentic power.
I like Ortiz. But sometimes? I get it when people don't.
To the rest of the Quick Jabs!
I've never taken a hard stance on what happened with Arturo Gatti's death, other than to think it was fishy and that the investigators hired by his former manager, Pat Lynch, were unlikely to come to any kind of unbiased conclusion. But the evidence they presented last week -- it's fairly convincing to me that Gatti was likely murdered. And some of the stuff coming out in court? That ain't so pretty either, about Gatti's wife, Amanda Rodrigues. Granted, there has been some not-so-incriminating stuff coming out of late, too. But hesitant though I might be to convict someone myself when a court hasn't, none of this looks good. Brazilian authorities are considering re-opening the case; maybe I won't need to convict anyone, if justice is done by the people who should do it...
Ignoring a boxer's retirement talk is usually a good idea. About 95% of the time, they don't mean it. But there's good reason to think that Manny Pacquiao's recent talk of retiring in 2013 is legit: because that's when he might run for governor. His remark about being in Congress as "not really hard work" was maybe a bad thing to say aloud, but I get his meaning -- Congress is a part-time gig, and being governor isn't. Being a part-time boxer/part-time congressman is already a risky proposition, and being a part-time boxer/full-time governor simply isn't viable...
But hey, as complicated as things will be for Pac's careers, at least in his rivalry with Juan Manuel Marquez, a rivalry where Marquez has often been surly toward Pacquiao, has taken a turn for the better. Marquez recently tossed out a backhanded compliment about Pacquiao's singing, which might be the only nice thing he's ever said about the guy...
And Pacquiao's not the only one in politics these days, by the way. Heavyweight Nikolai Valuev will find out in December whether he's a member of the Russian Duma, after the announcement last week that elections are set for then. Valuev as congressman is an image I like. Valuev takes a lot of abuse for being a "freak" and such, and a lot of it is fairly cruel. He's always been a man of many assets, and one of them is his brain...
Junior welterweight prospect Mercito Gesta isn't suffering from poor sparring, to say the least. In recent weeks and months he's gone in with Amir Khan, Shane Mosley (and his kid!), Jose Benavidez, Jr., Jorge Linares and Paulie Malignaggi, as a partial list. That makes him the temporary world boxing sparring champion, by my reckoning...
There has naturally be fallout from Vanes Martirosyan turning down a junior middleweight title fight with Alfredo Angulo. First, we now know that he turned it down for sure. Second, his manager dumped him. Third, he's talked a fair bit on Twitter about why he turned it down. None of it is convincing. Let this be a lesson, Internet tough guys: You can't talk shit non-stop then back down from a challenge. Vanes' reputation -- maybe even his career -- is going to be very, very difficult to renovate after this.
Yeah, lately there's been a series of great potential fights/made fights that haven't happened: First Maidana/Guerrero. Then Matthysse/Morales falls apart. Then Maidana won't take that fight on 8 days notice (can't blame him but how sick would that have been?! And didn't he say in the ring after Morales "I'll fight you again anytime. Tomorrow!"...I guess he meant anytime except Sept. 17th. Now there's talk he may face McCloskey--that's an absolute joke. And that brief, glorious talk of Angulo-Vanes with a Dzinzurik-Lara undercard--knew that was too good to be true. 4 Top 10 guys in a division all fighting each other in one night? Nope, sorry too sensible. Instead we "might" get Angulo-Kirkland...I love Kirkland but 2 fights after the Ishida debacle, I'm not quite convinced throwing him to the wolves (or el perro, in this case) is a great idea. Anyway, all that nonsense plus the unsatisfying ending to Berto/Zavs and Gamboa/Ponce have me in a bit of a boxing funk lately. But maybe that means the odds are against this PPV being a horrible dissapointment too.
With Martirosyan turning down Angulo, I saw somewhere we might get Angulo vs Kirkland. That's an all action slugfest I'd love to see. And if Kirkland goes out early, Ann Wolfe can step in and fight Perro! I think I might favor her in that one
@JFoley Seems like we're always juuuuust missing out on some great fights. As for Kirkland, Ann Wolfe doesn't want to baby him and I don't blame her. KOs like that can happen. No one holds it against Amir Khan. Plus, Perro has only fought 2 rounds in the past, what, 18 months or more? Regardless of the ?s surrounding Kirkland I would def look forward to that fight
@jasonmfschoming It's been written about in a few spots, including here, although not from my reporting.
We might end up thanking Vanes for pussing out, at this rate.
@jasonmfschoming I'd look forward to watching it if it gets made, for sure. But I also have a sneaking suspicion and a sense of dread that Kirk would get demolished. I think the Prescott/Khan situation...he wobbled Khan with one punch then caught him cold with two monster, clean shots. Khan probably was more hurt than Kirkland was. But Kirkland went down three times against a guy with like five knockouts in thirty fights against marginal competition. It was a combination of weak chin and poor technique. And I do in some ways hold it against Khan. I think he could be in serious trouble if he fights a big puncher with enough athleticism and speed to hold his own...say Victor Ortiz.
And you're right Angulo's been inactive...there's enough question marks that it's interesting, although you don't really want a fight to be good because both guys have lost something.
@tstarks@jasonmfschoming If there is anyone who has positioned himself to take a PR drubbing, its Vanes. You can't call out everyone in the division and then say No when a choice "HBO spot" becomes available without looking the fool.
Having said that, I do see where he's coming from-- and its a problem Angulo will face with any opponent from here on out given the legal problems for which he has no one to blame but himself (and for which I suspect the "whole story" is not close to being out there for public consumption-- you dont mess with ICE in the current environment, nor do they crack down hard as they seemingly have here without something being very very amiss).. Why does Angulo, who for all the ink used on him as the "154 savior" in reality has a pretty skimpy resume that's only slightly better than Canelos, get to dictate the terms,conditions and locale for each fight against the best 154 has to offer from here on out? Why would the new regime at HBO Boxing, who perhaps rightly treated Angulo as radioactive after his legal problems with ICE supposedly arose, now want to be accessories to Angulo's career revival by facilitating matchups where his opponents would have a definite disadvantage? Why doesn't he have his new visa if its just a matter of paperwork getting signed? Doesn't Golden Boy or HBO/Time Warner even, have the best immigration lawyers in town to "smooth" such paperwork problems over? (I'll answer my own question there--- of course they do -- but I suspect its NOT simply a "hold up" in a "new visa" being issued given the complications ).
1. Yes, Vanes has the right to turn down a fight on Angulo's soil. But his manager disagreed with his decision to the point that they parted ways. And Top Rank has been silent on all of this. Remember, his manager and promoter benefit when Vanes benefits. Clearly, his team thought the risk was worthwhile.
2. A lot of fights wouldn't get made if boxers decided to avoid ever going to anyone's turf. In this case, yes, Angulo has leverage. Why? Well, he always had it with HBO; remember, prior to his immigration problems, he was tied with Berto for the most appearances on the network in recent years. HBO clearly decided they wanted to broadcast the shit out of Angulo, even broadcasting a number of brutal mismatches. Maybe some of that had to do with Gary Shaw's strange influence. Maybe some of that has to do with him being an exciting Mexican. Maybe he's retained some of the leverage by being newly connected to Golden Boy, which, to my knowledge, still has a deal with the network on dates. It's hard to say. But it's not like Vanes, between the two, should have any leverage whatsoever with HBO. His appearance on HBO, against Joe Greene, was a shitty fight.
3. I also wonder about the extent of Angulo's immigration problems. On one hand, I might think that GBP had great lawyers who could do some fixing-upping. On another hand, you'd think they'd be smart enough not to sign a fighter who would have trouble advancing his career because his immigration problems were so severe he'd be fighting exclusively from Mexico. On a third hand -- I have three hands, you know -- GBP has been pretty goofy about fighter signing situations. They lost the fight over Nonito, they said they had Mosley and Marquez and clearly didn't, etc.
Sorry, Angulo doesn't deserve such clout, and HBO shouldnt give it to him. After witnessing two Frank Warren robberies over in the UK this weekend (Prescott's loss may be debatable on Saturday, Jamie Cox's "win" was a first degree felony), who would be foolish enough to fight on Angulo's home turf in Mexico-- and now on a card under his own promotional banner? Games go on all the time--- see the tweets of Austin Trout from his latest title defense in Mexico (and its not just Mexico -- its goes on everywhere we all know that-- see Lara/PWill in Jersey). So Vanes deserves to be subject to some ridicule, but I dont blame him one bit. And I suspect fights for Angulo against bigger names from here on out will be even more difficult to make. If I was the manager for a Molina or a Lara or even a PWill, I wouldnt touch any Angulo fight in Mexico under these circumstances.
Having said all that, if HBO is hellbent on giving AA "a date" cause they've already blocked it out for him (see a pattern here?), let Angulo fight Kirkland in a loser leaves town match. I suspect Kirkland may never be what he once was (which was probably a tad overrated as well), and in the big picture probably has no signficance in the 154 division, but like andy Lee vs. the Scot from earlier this year (or the upcoming Andy Lee/Brian Vera rematch on the Serg undercard) is likely to be entertaining.