I have to wonder if the same fans who bitched about the left/right Mayweather landed on the hapless Ortiz bitched about “comedian” Katt Williams’ (I use quotation marks because I think Williams is as funny as a case of hives) recent rant about Mexicans. As our own Steve Kim discussed in his recent Maxboxing article, Cheap but Legal (http://www.maxboxing.com/news/sub-lead/cheap-but-legal), all because you can do it doesn’t mean you should. That said, if legal is legal, what’s to cry about any longer? I think in order to get that wound up about the actions of a prizefighter within the legal limits of a contest, you have to harbor some serious dislike for and bias against said fighter. And did Ortiz really think looking at referee Joe Cortez was the best of ideas after taking that left? All fighters should know full well that a ref isn’t going to give two sh*ts about what you think when you bring try and grab his attention. It’s only when he notices the infraction when a fighter either gets satisfaction or penalized, depending on the situation.
Unless you’ve been on the moon or you’re Amish, you’ve enjoyed HBO analyst Larry Merchant’s response to Floyd’s rather unnecessary tangent, which has made its rounds on- believe it or not- local news sports reports (the last time I recall Mark Giangreco, Chicago’s ABC sports guy, making any mention of boxing was when he rhetorically asked, “What’s a Nicolay Valuev?” There. That’s it). And yeah, I think Mayweather was out of line when he went off on Uncle Lar.’ Was Merchant’s mission for answers really that much of a pain in Mayweather’s ass? It’s just too bad that a couple of months of training for Victor Ortiz can’t strengthen one’s manners. On the other hand, with as irreverent as Floyd “I ain’t no junior!” Jr. is to his own father, why did we expect him to act any other way toward Merchant? A word of advice to LeRoy Neiman (the only advice I think I can actually give him): Don’t sit so close to render a Mayweather fight. At age 90, your paintbrush’ll get slapped out of your hand and your canvas will wind up in the nosebleeds.
And does anyone have a clue what irrelevant mouthpiece (or “Dime Store Bundini,” as I think I’ll coin him from now on) Leonard Ellerbe was trying to squeak out to Merchant as the object of his affections was set to go off? Me neither. As brief as it was, I hadn’t heard anything as comparatively poignant since the last time I heard the whiny woman in the commercial for A&E’s “Monster-in-Laws” (“Me…me…ME!”). Maybe Ellerbe saw the “Eye of the Tiger” in Merchant and thought it best to keep mum. Good. He should stick to winning stare-down contests with Floyd’s nipples during rest period rubdowns.
Finally, with Merchant’s now immortal catchphrase locked in for all time (and a second gig as an inter-webs meme), there’s no need for H.G. Wells; he’s already defeated Mayweather. No matter how much Mayweather thinks “HBO need to fire Merchant’s ass,” with as much attention as Larry’s retort/challenge brought the “Network of Champions,” that should officially be the last thing the HBO does. Meanwhile octogenarians crown the most powerful “King Larry” since Larry King (OK, so King isn’t 80 yet but he looks older than Merchant) left the air.
With this Ring, I Send Thee to the Unemployment Line…
So, it’s been a few weeks since the boxing world was delivered the somber news (first by former The Ring senior writer William Dettloff and former contributing editor Eric Raskin on their weekly podcast, “Ring Theory”) that the Blue Bell, Pennsylvania offices of The Ring magazine were closed and most of the staff was pink-slipped in owner Oscar De la Hoya’s decision to relocate the magazine’s operations closer to home in Los Angeles. I have to say that it took all the sincerity and every belief in The Ring I could muster in trying to convince fans and fellow members of the media that the “Golden Boy” wouldn’t shake the “Bible of Boxing’s” core mission: to destroy the confusion fans have suffered, thanks mainly to sanctioning bodies. In 2002, then-Editor-in-Chief Nigel Collins brought back the magazine’s championship policy in the hopes that The Ring’s history and refusal to strip its champions, enforce insipid mandatory defenses and collect sanctioning fees (under the guise of a “non-profit organization”) would usher in a new era of integrity and just plain make things easier on fight fans. Sure, not all the championship vacancy-fillers were top-shelf but nobody nor system is perfect. Despite De la Hoya’s insistence that his ownership (his group bought the magazine from Kappa in 2006) wouldn’t negatively affect the magazine’s ratings, he certainly didn’t positively affect it either, when you consider he and fighters under his promotional banner still competed for and defended sanctioning body straps. On the other hand, when a Golden Boy event on HBO features a fight contested for a Ring belt, said belt is referred to during ring announcements. If a Ring belt was up for grabs, say, during an event promoted by Top Rank, you won’t hear mention of the strap. It’s become a pick-and-choose situation in a sense and I’m more than happy to bitch about that.
I have to admit; I was worried when the magazine no longer wanted to support Dettloff’s and Raskin’s “Ring Theory,” not wanting to pony up the dough to keep it afloat, yet turning around to shed up another web show featuring Doug Fischer and Michael Rosenthal. Is it because Dettloff (at one time, bandied about as a columnist whose Monday web columns weren’t to be missed- and that was never a lie) and Raskin never pulled punches, becoming too dangerous a duo for Golden Boy to aid and abet in a quest for truth? Look, this isn’t saying Dougie, Michael or Lem Satterfield are company men. I think those who claim these editors/writers shill for “The Man” haven’t read enough of what they’ve offered, namely Fischer. However, I won’t be surprised if these aforementioned gentlemen are shown the door within five years. Think about it. GBP purchases The Ring via Sports and Entertainment Publishing, LLC in 2006. In 2011, Collins, Joe Santoliquito and other favorites are bounced. By late-2016, The Ring will be choked with sweaty, sedentary, snarky bloggers. Dougie, Michael, Lem, you have the power to change the future. If after this rant, I’m kept on the Championship Ratings Advisory Panel, I’ll do what I can to hold up my end of the deal as a fervent supporter. I have faith in what The Ring once was and can still be…but I’ll be watching it really freaking closely, I promise you that, Howlers.
You Know You’re a Boxing Guy When…
Yesterday, my Maxboxing colleague, Matthew “Young Enough to Be My Son” Paras, Facebook statused, “Watching the ‘X-Factor.’ First impressions? Cheryl Cole sounds like Amir Khan.” I replied, “You’re a total boxing guy, Matty. How many of your regular friends know what the hell you’re talking about? :)” And it’s true. This is the guy who, while on a train home from Chicago last year, rattled off almost every beltholder’s name from the four main sanctioning bodies in all 17 weight classes (Actually, I think he was successful. I blacked out a few times so I’m a little foggy on the details) to me. Boxing guys do this pathetic stuff and I’m just as guilty. On Monday, during “The Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen,” I couldn’t just let “Family Guy” creator Seth McFarland say, “Mike Tyson beat every opponent he ever faced except for the letter ‘S.’” I had to correct him. When Jeff “I don’t own a comb” Ross mentioned Tyson’s “right hook,” my head hurt. And why? Because as a boxing guy, I know differently. And should McFarland and Ross know differently? Of course not. That’s because I don’t know thing one about creating a monster-of-a-hit cartoon for Fox or wearing Gaddafi-inspired threads…and not combing my hair.