By William Trillo
Photo-Chops: Bret “The Threat”
From fighters to network executives to trainers, there was enough movement in boxing on Thursday to make even the casual boxing fan stand up and take note. From England to the USA to Canada, trash-talkers were quitting, guys in suits were changing their jacket lapel pins and heads were rolling. Here is a quick rundown of the midweek boxing festivities:
(Or as we say in America…GOOD RIDDANCE!)
David Haye officially announced his retirement on Wednesday and it’s with a huge sigh of relief that I along with the majority of the boxing world breathe a huge sigh of relief. It’s not because we feared Haye would soon be pulverizing our favorite Champions, it’s that we have had it with his big mouth and his lack of being able to back it up.
How long did we have to put up with his Klitschko charade?
2 years? It seemed like an eternity.
The only thing that seemed longer was the 12 brutal rounds we had to watch when he gingerly stepped in the ring on a hobbled foot, (or bad toe), and then slammed the gears in reverse and ran away from Wladimir for the entire 36 minutes.
After taking a good hard look at the prospect of fighting Wladimir’s big brother and how Vitali was going to crush his bones to make his bread, “The Hayemaker” did what he does best….run away.
In a written statement Haye said:
“Today’s date is Thursday, October 13, 2011 and I’ve just turned 31 years of age. As the clock struck twelve last night, my professional boxing career came to an end,” Haye wrote in the London Telegraph.
Either that or the carraige turned into a pumpkin and the horse became the mouse we all knew he was.
Haye listed three objectives he wanted to accomplish in boxing:
1. Win as many genuine titles as possible.
Let the record reflect that Haye barely beat a stumbling giant (and some say he didn’t) to win the WBA version of the heavyweight title and his only defense was against an aged and broken down light hitting pug. Hardly impressive. So if his goal was to attain only one genuine title in his “stellar” career…job well done…I guess….?
2. Generate as much money as possible and financially secure my future.
Nothing like lying through your teeth to generate that income and nothing like ripping of the masses for a few quid David!
3. Get out of boxing in my prime, aged 30 and in perfect physical and mental health.
Haye was in his prime when he beat Mormeck. He hung around about 4 years past it. He does look in decent shape, but mental health? Only David knows the answer to
that, we can only go by what we see.
Maybe the most stunning news of the day was the shocking announcement that Showtime’s Executive Vice President and General Manager of Sports & Event Programming Ken Hershman has left the network. Even more shocking was the fact that Hershman not only left but he jumped ship over to the enemy, HBO Boxing, where he will soon be filling the shoes of recently departed Ross Greenburg.
On one hand I can honestly say I never saw this coming and on the other hand, in hindsight it’s really not a bad move for either HBO or Hershman. As for Showtime…well only time will tell.
Over the past few years Showtime has put on some very good, competitive fights with a much smaller budget than HBO. The guy put on very good fight cards with very little money. A few years back I got myself in some hot water with Hershman for writing some very true facts about Showtime’s piss poor PR department, and I stand by that story today. Under the HBO sports department of Public Relations, the exact opposite is true and it may be just the platform Hershman has always silently been hoping for.
At Showtime, Hershman was also responsible for making Mixed Martial Arts a significant part of the network’s sports menu beginning in 2007. Insiders have said Greenburg was strongly opposed to MMA at HBO. Look for possible inroads to be made for HBO & MMA.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that Hershman is also coincidentally leaving Showtime before the Super Six Tournament comes to its ultimate fruition. In fact the Showtime Bantamweight Tournament still hasn’t come to a final outcome. The tournament(s) at the outset drew industry wide praise among boxing writers, except for me, and that was good for Showtime, But in the long run, the tourney proved an embarrassment for Showtime, no matter what anyone is telling you.
Also, Hershman has little or no experience in PPV. It’s hard to say what he may bring to the table there. Maybe he is better off relying on HBO’s existing structure.
Here are the big questions.
What can Hershman bring to 24/7, based on his previous Pacquiao Pre-Fight promotion? Will he rely on the producers and editors that made it an award winner?
Also, others have credited Hershman with luring the Pacquiao fight away from HBO, but I am told it was Bob Arum who couldn’t control Ross and had a love/hate relationship with HBO. Speculation is Bob was doing it, using Showtime as a money ploy for future fights, and Arum’s move paid off as HBO corporate is throwing its weight (TBS/CNN) behind Pacquiao’s fight with Marquez. Arum should get all the credit there, not Hershman.
Lastly, it was easy for Hershman to get second tier promoters to put on completive fights. The question now is how will he do with a bigger budget and promoters used to being coddled and fed with the proverbial “Golden” Spoon by HBO?
And last but not least we heard from our good friend Daniel Cloutier in Montreal. He tells us that Russ Anber, who was David Lemieux’s trainer, has been fired by David early Wednesday morning.
David thinks his loss against Marco Antonio Rubio in the middleweight WBC elimination bout April 8th in Montréal was caused by a bad preparation and Abner was responsible for that.
As you may recall David did great in the first five rounds that night, but was exhausted in the 6th round and Rubio stopped him in the 7th round.
David is supposed to make a comeback in December in Montréal. GYM group is trying to persuade Joachim Alcine to fight David. That would be a big fight in Quebec.
GYM’s Yvon Michel said that Marc Ramsay will probably become the new Lemieux trainer and the Cuban Pedro Diaz will be the physical education supervisor. Marc is training also Jean Pascal, Antonin Décarie and Didier Bence (a heavyweight rookie who was ranked seven in the world in the amateurs last year).
Lemiuex may be well advised to do some soul searching as he prepares for his return. The hype he was receiving in Montreal may have went to his head. It’s time for David to look in the mirror and take responsibility for his showing against Rubio and stop laying blame on his staff.
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