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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 06:31 PM
Original message
Politics in boxing
One of the reasons that the heavyweight division is not generating the interest it should be is because of the political nonsense that the various "commissions" infect the sport with. For example, after a title defense that ended in a draw, Hasim Rahman was not ordered to have an immediate rematch to settle their dispute. Instead, he was allowed to defend against Oleg Maskaev, who was picked because in 1999, he had knocked Rahman out.

Toney was matched against Samuel Peter. The winner of this fight was to be matched with the winner of the Rahman vs Maskaev fight.

The WBC was surprised when Maskaev knocked Rahman out again, and when Peter decisioned Toney. It wasn't what they expected. But they said that they were going to go ahead and schedule a title fight between "champion" Oleg Maskaev and Samuel Peter.

Earlier this month, the WBC voted 21 to 10 to insist that Samuel Peter fight a return bout against James Toney, in order to earn the shot against Maskaev. Now, unlike the Rahman fight, when Toney got a draw, he lost fair and square to Peter. Peter deserves his shot at the title, but the WBC is not big on the idea of Samuel Peter as champion. They know that Maskaev, who had come very close to quitting against Rahman in their recent bout, does not have the ability to beat Samuel Peter. He would not last three rounds.

Toney has not done much, except get a draw against Rahman, in the ring recently. I've always liked James Toney, but he is not the future of the division. Many people think he was lucky to get the draw against Rahman. Personally, I think they should have a return match on the undercard of Maskaev vs Peter, in order for the winner to be considered in the top 6 or 7 in the division.

Peter assures us that he will stop Toney in their return match. I think he was really looking forward to Maskaev, but he says that as a boxer, his job is to beat whoever is put in front of him.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
1. The new Ring magazine ....
states that Peter "powered his way to a close decision over tricky James Toney." They note he is "Oleg Maskaev's mandatory challenger, and given the Kazakh's past chin issues, many will make 'The Nigerian Nightmare' the favorite." (pg 71)

(This issue also has interesting articles on: "Is The Contender Good for Boxing" and "Is Klitschko Too Much, Too Soon for Brock?", both by William Dettoff.)

The thing with the WBC bugs me. The guy earned his title shot. He will flatten Maskaev, if the two ever get in the ring. Samuel says that he will stop Toney this time. He seems confident that he learned enough in the first match, that he will be better prepared for the return bout. I do not think Toney is likely to be improved in the second fight. It is hard for an older warrior to be in top condition for two fights in a row.
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Jack Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
2. Very interesting
Edited on Fri Oct-13-06 03:47 PM by Jack Rabbit
Thank you for your insight on this matter.

It sounds like the WBC is even more corrupt or incompetent than FIDE, the world governing body of chess. That's saying a mouthful. One of the going hypotheses for the problems that developed in the Elista match completed today is that FIDE's officers had a financial stake in Topalov winning.

The WBC was surprised when Maskaev knocked Rahman out again, and when Peter decisioned Toney. It wasn't what they expected.

Why weren't they expecting it? They are acting like they had no plans to simply substitute one boxer for another in the event of an upset. Or that they had plans and then they didn't.

I smell a rat. What's behind this disagreeable odor?

It looks like you and I can have quite a discussion about the unfortunate effect of crooked governing bodies have over sports.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. There are three
levels of parasites in boxing: the commissions, the promoters, and the managers. They are primarily interested in controlling the top positions in the sport, which translates to potentially huge amounts of money.

An example of how crooked the commissions can be is illustrated by the first time Muhammad Ali was heavyweight champion. One commission took his title, and awarded it to a fighter they favored, Ernie Terrell. When Ali and Terrell ended up fighting, it was one of Ali's most brutal performances. Within a year, both commissions took his title for refusing to step forward for the draft. Though he had not been convicted, and indeed won an 8-0 US Supreme Court decision supporting his stance, he lost his title, millions of dollars, and 3.5 years of his prime.

During his exhile, there was at first confusion over who became the champion: some recognized Jimmy Ellis, and others Joe Frazier. When they fought, Joe removed any doubt. Then, of course, Ali returned, and there was a great era in boxing history, with Frazier, Ali, Foreman, and others.

At the end of this cycle, the commissions and two promoters (Don King and Bob Arum) divided the spoilsd. There was confusion over who was the new champion. Eventually, new self-appointed commissions began popping up, and soon there were four or five "heavyweight champions." That being the case, the commissions got more money for sanctioning more "title fights." But the "titles" were considered jokes by most real boxing fans. A title is won or lost in the ring -- unless a chasmpion retires, that's the way the titles go. But with the commissions, this no longer was the rule.

The last actual heaveyweight champion was Lennox Lewis. He united the "titles," more or less. Then he retired. Since then, there has been confusion, and each commission is trying to capitalize on that. They decide who looks like the biggest money-maker, and strike deals with his manager. This is a good deal for the promoters, too.

A good fighter who is not hooked up can be ignored for years. They won'y get a fight with a top contender, one of the fake "champions," or one of the real champs. The heavyweight division today has some real talent, but the top fighters too often fail to fight each other. And it's a shame.
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Jack Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Thank you
That is one colorful story, but wait until you see the one I'll be telling in the weekly chess thread. I'm writing it now.

Don King doesn't have anything on Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. He's a bona fide autocrat, complete with his own impoverished fiefdom of which he is president. Tomorrow, I'll give you tales of corruption, murder, a clairvoyant and alien abduction. Oh, yes, and chess. That is a promise.
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dr.zoidberg Donating Member (612 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 04:50 PM
Response to Original message
3. It sounds to me like...
To me, it looks like Goosen did some lobbying(that is, bribed) the WBC for the rematch. From what I have heard, this is not all that unusual, as it usually takes place at one of the sanctioning bodies' annual conventions. Some people would find this unusual, bit as anyone that has followed boxing can say, that is business as usual.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. What is not
uncommon is for someone to lobby, and to pay to get ahead in line, so to speak. I do not think that Toney's people had much say. Oleg Maskaev's people are planning for him to fight a non-contender in western Europe as a warm-up. Then, as you've likely heard, a recently retired lightheavyweight champion has expressed interest in moving up to fight Maskaev. I think that it is likely Bernard will recognize this is a silly idea. If not, Maskaev would make more money for fighting an old middleweight, which should not be too tough for him, rather than fighting a big, young, powerful heavyweight. In that sense, of course, you are right: it is a business.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-15-06 08:38 AM
Response to Original message
7. Calzaghe vs Bika
Joe Calzaghe's decision win over Sakio Bika was shown on tape delay last night on HBO. Calzaghe is a very talented fighter, but his attempts to mock and humiliate Bika in the first few rounds almost backfired on him. The combination of Calzaghe and the ref were too much for Bika to overcome on the score cards, but there were times when it was clear that Bika was hurting the undefeated European champion.

Will Calzaghe finally untie the apron strings, and come to the USA? He wants B-Hop, and he certainly would be a very difficult opponent for the Light Heavyweight champion. But this fight showed that Calzaghe, who looked so good in his last fight with Jeff Lacy, has flaws that can be exploited.

Another note on HBO: I'm not comfortable with their new promotions for the Wladimir Klitschko vs Calvin Brock fight. Much like the article in the new The Ring magazine, they seem to take for granted that Klitschko will defeat Brock. I won't go so far as to say that Brock should be the betting favorite, but I think that some of the boxing experts are viewing his cautious, often boring style as an indicator that he lacks the ability to do more. His last fight was indeed a lackluster showing, but that is because he fought a guy who only looked to survive. If Klitscho comes looking for a boring fight -- which I think is his most likely approach -- and intends to clinch and wrestle every time Brock gets close to him, then we'll see if Brock's people have prepared him to make the "champion" pay. (I think Brock has one of the smartest groups of people in his corner; they are highly underrated.)

But, there are signs that after his dusting the ghost of Chris Byrd, he will attempt to out-slug Brock. If that happens, we will be in for one of the most exciting fights in the past five years. Though neither ranks among the hardest punchers in the division, both have some real power. Both have the ability to deliver that power. And, although Klitschko has a decided reach advantage, Brock has a couple things going in his favor: first, he is by far a better combination-puncher. In a fight where they go toe-to-toe, that is something that may make all the difference. Add to that Brock's better chin, it seems that if Klitschko attempts to slug and doesn't take Brock out early, I think the younger man's chances increase significantly.
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aint_no_life_nowhere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-17-06 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Calzaghe is a very good fighter
but I don't think he would stand a chance against Bernard Hopkins, who I think is one of the greatest skilled fighters of this era, even at his advanced age. Hopkins has beaten better fighters than Calzaghe. Even at his age, Hopkins is as fast or faster than Calzaghe, both with his punches and his feet. For one thing, Hopkins will move and he will not let Calzaghe come in straight at him and hold him, the way Calzaghe did throughout the fight with Bika. And Hopkins will exploit Calzaghe's tendency to pull straight back after coming in. I cannot understand how the referee could let Calzaghe turn a boxing match into a wrestling match. I don't like over-management of a fight by the ref at all, but in this case the holding was so systematic and blatant that I think warnings should have been given and points should have been deducted. The ref has got to let them fight on the inside, especially when that happens to be the forte of one of the fighters, like Bika. If the referee had forced the two fighters to fight on the inside, the fight might have gone the other way. Then again, the very versatile and talented Calzaghe might have adjusted and beaten Bika on the outside, which is what I had anticipated him doing in the first place. But I don't blame Calzaghe for taking advantage of the situation. I thought he won, but it wasn't a very good performance.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-18-06 08:01 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. I would favor Bernard.
I think he has proven to be at a higher level than Calzaghe, and for a much longer time. There is a reason that Calzaghe has opted to stay very close to home throughout his career. Though Bernard is getting a little older, he hasn't taken a great deal of punishment, and he is actually fighting at a more comfortable weight now. Still, it would be a very difficult fight.
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Lefty48197 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-17-06 05:55 PM
Response to Original message
9. I hate all the bullsh*t in boxing
Some of the decisions those judges come up with should be a crime. And the way they manipulate who is going to fight whom is just plain stupid sometimes. It seems all they want to do is generate money, instead of treating the athletes fairly.
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dr.zoidberg Donating Member (612 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-17-06 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. I blame the system more than anything else.
If you have ever seen an HBO fight, Harold Lederman always mentions the criteria that the judges use to score a fight: clean, effective punching, effective aggressiveness, and ring generalship. Now to me, those sound very nebulous. There are no single definitions for each criteria and,if you ask three different judges, each would probably give you three different answers. What's worse is that those three answer could be easily seen as being correct. AS you can see, this creates a problem.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-18-06 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Good points.
It's a subjective call. Aggression, for example, might be given more weight by one judge than effective ring generalship. But merely moving forward does not, in my opinion, seem as important as having control of the ring .... including the tempo. A good example was when Wilfred Benitez fought Roberto Duran: while the great Duran's aggression was effective against most opponents, it played into Benitez's hands.

In upstate New York, in the 1970s, there was a period where the promoters had a system that tracked how often a judge voted with the majority. It wasn't fool-proof, but it made it a bit better as far as picking the better qualified officials for fight cards. (On the flip side, I remember a fight in Binghamton where the hometown fighter's father was the ref, and his mother was one of the two judges. Though the guy was decked twice in a 3 round fight, he won a split decision. Both of his parents scored it for him. Surprising, huh?)
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Lefty48197 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-18-06 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. That and the mafia money that oftens buys decisions
also helps screw up boxing.
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