Archive for March, 2020

“Round Zero”, Boxing & The Coronavirus

Monday, March 16th, 2020

By William Trillo

The first time I heard of The Corona Virus was back at the tail end of January 2020 when Top Rank Boxing decided to cancel and reschedule Jose Ramirez’s junior welterweight title defense against Viktor Postol. The fight was set to take place Feb. 1 at Mission Hills Haikou resort in Haikou, China. As the story goes, Coronavirus concerns in China led to the rescheduling. At the time I thought to myself, “That’s a great idea, let’s nip this crap in the bud now before it gets out of control.”

I don’t need to tell you how that worked out. It was a nice thought but……..

Let’s go ahead and dub that ill-fated Ramirez/Postol fight “Round Zero” for professional boxing.

Over the course of the next month plenty of boxing matches took place but as the virus spread and fear began to take over it wasn’t long before The Manly Art of Self Defense was shut down. Boxing rings around the world are empty. Like the rest of the world boxing has no choice but to hunker down and wait this thing out.

In the interim let’s hope the powers that be take this opportunity to take a deep collective breath, (face mask optional), and make the decision to come back stronger than ever to close out the year.

This will be easier to do than most may assume.

Boxing fans will be chomping at the bit when the sport is allowed to continue. If ever there was a time to put the best against the best, this will be it. The end result would put boxing right back on the map.

My suggestion would be for promoters to temporarily bury the proverbial hatchet and make the big fights happen before 2020 grinds to a halt. I’m talking Spence vs. Crawford, Fury vs. Joshua, Canelo vs. Charlo (A or B), or Berterbiev vs Bivol. I’m sure there are other high-profile matchups I am leaving out but whatever the case may be…Let’s Get It On!

Yeah Yeah, I know fights like these might cross the promotional boundaries line, but these are the match-ups the fans wanna see. Promoters, Advisors, Managers and the like need to do the right thing now and stop all the bickering and backbiting. Show the fans you care about them, now is your chance.

Coming back with a bang will cure what ails you, so to speak.

And oh by the way, that Ramirez vs. Postol fight was rescheduled for May and set to take place in Fresno. I am counting on this situation to be over by then.

Fresno or Bust!

Last but not least… It’s become a ritual of mine to always purchase an L.A. Street Dog after covering the fights. Right now I am 50/50 on continuing that tradition. ☹

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Loss, Blame & Excuses Give Deontay Wilder Attention He Never Achieved As Champion

Monday, March 2nd, 2020

By William Trillo

Just before Fury and Wilder took center stage in Las Vegas last week the in-house MGM Grand Arena Twitter feed flashed results of one of their polls on the big screen over the ring. The poll question was easy; Who are you here to support tonight in tonight’s main event Heavyweight Championship bout? Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury?

Simple enough.

The result was a whopping 78% of the 15,000+ crowd were there to cheer on Fury. That left a paltry 22% of the crowd rooting for Wilder. Considering Wilder was fighting on his home turf that was a pretty pathetic but not surprising number.

Yes, the Brit boxing fans are ravenous and they came over in droves to support Fury, but for Wilder that lack of home court advantage had to smart a little. Truth be told, as American Heavyweight Champs go, Wilder just never became a household name.

That poll was proof of that. So is this little diddy I am about to share with you.

Let’s step into “The Wayback Machine” and allow me to enlighten you. It was very early in 2018 and I was covering fights in Las Vegas. To put things into perspective for you; two months earlier Wilder had just successfully defended his Heavyweight Title for the sixth time.

As I took my media seat before the very first fight of the day a former world contender got my attention and I went over to sit with him next to his second-row ringside seat. As we were talking, fans directly in front of us, (4 or 5 of them), couldn’t help but turn around to meet the fighter whom they easily recognized. They were great knowledgeable boxing fans. It was a pleasure to chew the fat with them for a while. After the opening bout came to its conclusion one of them, knowing I was a boxing writer, turned around and asked me what happened to boxing? Why wasn’t it as popular as it used to be?

As if I was E.F Hutton, all the guys he was with turned in my direction as I answered his question with a question of my own.

I replied, “You guys are here for the very first fight of the night and shelled out some serious coin for those front row ringside seats. It’s obvious you all are very astute boxing fans. You want me to tell you what is wrong with boxing?”

They all shook their head in unison saying yes!

I asked, “OK…Who is the current Heavyweight Champion of The World?”

They all had blank stares on their grills while shrugging their shoulders! I might as well have asked them to explain Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

They were without a clue.

I told them that’s your problem with boxing, no one knows who the champ is. I then revealed the Champion was Deontay Wilder. One of them said, and I quote, “Oh yeah…I think I’ve heard of him.” Somehow, I doubt that statement was ever uttered when the names Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson were mentioned.

Spin it any way you want, Wilder just wasn’t a popular Heavyweight Champ. That’s the fact.

That being said, and I am sure he didn’t plan it this way but…taking that beating from Fury last week and his subsequent laundry list of excuses and blame have become the best career move Deontay has ever made. Dude has been trending on every social media platform on the internet this past week like never before. At the crux of his new found popularity is that 70 pound costume excuse that will go down in history as an all-timer.

According to reports this weekend, Wilder has triggered the rematch clause. That is the only thing he has done this past week that makes any sense at all. He may never be as popular as he is right now, waiting or taking a pass could be very costly in the long run.

Of course, with the trilogy fight only months away it’s doubtful Wilder can learn anything new or break any of his old habits that have been engrained in him over the years. At the end of the day he will still be the same flawed fighter who carries a huge eraser in his right hand. Outside of landing that one huge punch it is likely Wilder will come up on the short end of the stick once again.

If Deontay didn’t have the “It Factor” when he was Champion, it’s safe to assume losing to Fury a second time won’t do his popularity (or lack thereof) any favors at all.

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