Archive for April, 2016

When A Cactus Grows On My Hand

Monday, April 18th, 2016

By William Trillo

“When A Cactus Grows On My Hand” is an old Polish saying that fits into a list of idioms such as, When Pigs Fly, When Hell Freezes Over, When Chickens Have Teeth, etc. etc.

It’s with that thought in mind that I bring you the following article:

There were two separate boxing cards on Saturday night, both brought to you by Al Haymon and/or his PBC venture.

Now…as much as it surprises you to read that I thought they were both decent attractions, just imagine how much it shocks me to look up and read what I just slammed out on the keyboard.

Never the less…I must admit I was somewhat entertained by the televised broadcasts.

Unbeaten Polish WBO cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Glowacki (26-0, 16 KOs) is a beast. Steve Cunningham (28-8, 13 KOs) is no slouch himself, even though he is more than a bit chinny. Those four trips to the canvas by “U.S.S.” made the difference. One look at the scorecards tells us that had Cunningham not gone down he may have walked out with the title……..there go those flying pigs again!

I am sold on Erroll Spence, I was before this fight. The 20-0 fighter with 17 wins coming via KO is the goods. I don’t think anyone thought Chris Algieri (21-3, 8 KO’s) was going to beat him but I am also pretty sure few thought Spence was going to dismantle and destroy the tough former kick boxer that easily. I fully expect Spence to be the man at 147 pounds in the not too distant future.

I know, I know. What about Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter who are now scheduled to fight in June? Shouldn’t the winner be considered the best at 147?

That’s a valid question. Allow me to answer.

Until I see both of them in the ring I do not believe the fight will come to its fruition. (Insert your personal favorite idiom here).

Lest we forget who is pulling the strings here, the credibility of the promoter (see above) still remains in question. Light Heavy Marcus Browne (18-0, 13 KO’s) was given a gift decision over Radivoje Kalajdzic (21-1, 14 KO’s). Browne was given credit for a knockdown that wasn’t, should have been penalized for dirty tactics and was cleanly dropped by Karadzic in round six. Scores ended up 76-74, 76-75 Browne and 76-74 Kalajdzic. That gave Browne an undeserved split decision victory. There can be NO QUESTION about that. Kalajdzic is shouting for a rematch and rightfully so. Look for that to happen “when grapes grow on a willow” (Serbian idiom Kalajdzic may be more familiar with).

The Showtime card was also palatable, semi-main event notwithstanding. Simply said, Puerto Rican world champion Jose Pedraza (22-0, 12 KOs) is a real talent, Smith (23-2, 13 KOs) not so much. The fight did afford me a moment to rustle me up some dinner, for that I am thankful.

The “show” on Showtime was WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. (27-1, 16 KOs). He decimated Patrick Hyland (31-2, 15 KOs) inside of two. The job was complete, thorough and very impressive.

Like Spence I have been high on Russell Jr. long before he became a household name. The first time I spoke to Russell was in early 2010. I found the young man to be purposeful and determined without an ounce of arrogance. I wish him well on his journey.

I would love to speak with him one more time but something tells me I “have a snowball’s chance in hell” for that to ever happen again.

Last but not least, what was with that Showtime announcement at the end of the broadcast announcing that Deontay Wilder would be putting his heavyweight title on the line in Russia on the turf of his mandatory challenger, Alexander Povetkin? Did they really say, “We are working on bringing you that broadcast?” What the heck is that supposed to mean. Either you are showing it or you are not.

In regard to the fight itself, the question is whether or not Wilder returns to the USA with his belt. As they say in Russia, “When the crawfish whistles on the mountain”.

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Let Boxing Season Begin; Better Than Any Video Game

Monday, April 11th, 2016

By William Trillo
Photos: Al Applerose

After a huge lull in boxing it’s finally time for pugilism fans to get their fill of all the big names of the sport. Unlike the garbage that has been force fed to us over the first quarter of the year fight fans won’t have to connect to online video games just to get their proverbial fix.

It all started this past weekend as Manny Pacquiao faced Timothy Bradley in the third installment of their high energy wars. With the vacant WBO International welterweight title on the line as well as bragging rights for their respective trainers, both men let it all hang out. This one did not disappoint. The fans got what they paid for and more.

Let this be a lesson boys and girls, when a promoter is handing out more FREE tickets than he can sell you will most likely be getting ready to witness a card full of meaningless mismatches. That’s also getting what you paid for. And in that case you get nothing, zero, zilch….nada.

Oh wait a minute, where was I? ……….

The biggest questions were Manny’s layoff and how it would affect the aged warrior. The answer was it barely made any difference at all, his hand and foot speed may have slowed a tick, but still world class all the way.

As far as Bradley, this was the litmus test for his new trainer Teddy Atlas. No one believed the human punching bag Brandon Rios gave Bradley any kind of test so this would be the proving ground for Teddy. If Bradley whipped Pacquiao it would have put the training skills of Atlas firmly on the map……..Atlas? Map? Aren’t I clever?

As we all know that did not happen. Bradley was down twice but made it to the final bell on his feet as he came up on the short end of a unanimous decision. Atlas did his best to make it the Teddy show in between every round but at the end of the day his training skills were KO’d by his rival Freddie Roach’s.

Poor Teddy, don’t you feel sorry for him? (He asks rhetorically).

Lastly, Manny ain’t gonna retire. Not permanently anyways. There is no way he will deprive his adoring fans of seeing him in the ring again, not after this performance. If you ask Freddie he will tell you Manny is ready for Canelo and Floyd, which is a very tall order. If you ask Manny he will say he promised his family he will retire. But after some time off and a run for a senate seat I fully expect to see Manny back in the ring again.

On the same day but across the Atlantic ocean the man I predict will become a huge star in the heavyweight division, Anthony Joshua went for his first world title as he took on the ill-equipped IBF Champ Charles Martin.

Both fighters were undefeated but that’s where the similarity ends.

Joshua is a true talent with a great amateur pedigree. Martin on the other hand is another in the long line of big men who after coming up short in their sport of choice decided to give boxing a whirl. 99.9% of the time that fighter regrets his decision. Welcome to reality Mr. Martin.

Joshua is a true talent and should be a fan favorite around the globe for many years to come.

Martin on the other hand will fade into obscurity faster than his short 3 month reign as paper champion.

Make no mistake about it; this was a complete CASHOUT by Al Haymon and the fading into obscurity PBC. After Martin literally tripped into a world title, Haymon went to work and called out the best heavyweight prospect on the planet. Of course he did. Martin was destined to crumble as soon as he fought anyone of note so you might as well grab all the cash you can while the getting is good. Even better, send your fighter across the pond and let someone else foot the bill. Easy money.

One sure fire way to know Haymon is throwing his fighter to the wolves is to look at the defacto puppet…errr…promoter that is sent into the ring with the soon to be humiliated champ. On this night it would be none other than Leon “The Ambulance Chaser” Margules. No shocker there. When you see this guy in the mix at any fight go ahead and assume something very embarrassing is about to take place. Leon took a few pieces of silver to play the fool. It’s a role he’s comfortable in. He has played it to some acclaim on many a night.

Speaking of pieces of silver, it appears Martin’s purse was somewhere around 1.1 million dollars. Factor in TV revenue and he may have made around 2.5 million. Not bad.

Now let’s do a little extra reality check math:

Promoters cut, 15%, managers cut 10%, advisors cut 20%. (Go ahead and assume those are all the same well hidden guy). Thats’s a 45% gouge into Martin’s purse. That’s also a clean crisp $1,250,000 cash out. Not a bad chunk of change to feed your sacrifice to the lions.

Oh, Margules? I’m sure he was compensated with airfare, a cheap hotel room in London and a $45 a day per diem. Don’t worry, that paltry amount wasn’t from Haym…errr..I mean the promoter/manager/advisor’s $1.25 million. That money did not come from Al Mysterioso. The fighter was docked all those “Ambulance Chaser” costs from his ever dwindling paycheck.

On a knee slapping coincidental note, Williams’s moniker is “Prince Charles”. Kinda funny, his trip to Merry Old England ended with him getting “crowned”…and I don’t mean by The Queen. Even the guards at Buckingham palace couldn’t keep the smiles off their faces as they watched Joshua destroy the hapless Martin.

In the coming weeks all the big stars will be making appearances. And yes, I know, they may not be the mega fights we all have been hoping for, but barring some unexpected upsets those huge events could be lurking right around the corner. (Notice the sacrificial lambs in these upcoming high profile cards also belong to the above mentioned promoter/manager/advisor. I thought this guy had his own promotion company and was about to take over the world…well that’s what I was told! Why is he shoving all his fighters onto other promoter’s cards? Unless of course he is running out of that chest of cash he was given).

On April 23rd in Los Angeles Gennady Golovkin will face the little known and not long on his feet Dominic Wade. I hear ticket sales at The Forum in L.A. are at a near sell-out. Let’s not forget that Roman Gonzalez is also featured on the card. He is an attraction not to be missed.

On May 7 in Las Vegas Canelo Alvarez will take on Amir Khan to celebrate the Cinco De Mayo Weekend. I know a lot of you have said Khan is way too small for Alvarez…but have you seen this guy lately? Memo to the NSAC….get those A, B and C sample collectors ready.

The undercard is chock full of fun to. Look for Mauricio Herrera to expose Frankie Gomez for the under-achiever he appears to be.

Skipping back a few weeks I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the April 15 shindig in Los Angeles. That would be Jesus Soto Karass vs. Yoshihiro Kamegai in a bout that has sure fire barn burner written all over it.

Ok, I admit all the right names are there but not necessarily in the fights we all dream about, not yet. But be patient boxing junkies, these fights are closer than you think.

And because I do not want to offend our nerd fan base let me make it perfectly clear I know the popularity of online casino games is at an all time high. From slot machines to video poker a trip to the casino is just a mouse click away.

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