Category: Boxing

Image ? Image And A Self Conscious League


Image ? Image And A Self Conscious League

I found this story somewhat unbelievable when I’d heard that Detroit Lions’ President Tom Lewand has plead guilty to a DUI charge . Now far be it for me to suggest that it should just be the players that be held accountable for their actions both on and off the field of play. The image conscious NFL has been somewhat none compliant on this issue concerning the team executives . Had this been an NFL player pleading guilty to these serious charges then the story would be front and center with everyone opining on the matter. Instead it has been placed at the foot of the sports pages almost nowhere to be seen.

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Courtesy of The Detroit News

Lions’ Tom Lewand apologizes for ‘very, very serious mistake’

By Tim Twentyman , The Detroit News

Roscommon, Mich. –Tom Lewand stood in front of 83rd District Court Judge Daniel L. Sutton in Roscommon on Friday and admitted his guilt.

Charged with driving under the influence June 25, the Lions president pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while visibly impaired, a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to six months of probation, received a $532 fine and will have to complete an “intensive” outpatient alcohol recovery program. He is also not allowed to consume alcohol while on probation.

If Lewand does not complete the program or violates probation, he could spend 60 days in jail, according to Sutton.

“I’d first like to thank Judge Sutton and prosecutor (Mark) Jernigan and Sheriff Stevenson for their professionalism and efficiency in dealing with this matter,” Lewand said afterward. “As I said before, I offer my complete apologies for my actions. I take full responsibility for them.

“I’m glad that this portion of those consequences for my actions is completed and I look forward to coming out of this a stronger and better person as a result of it.”

Lewand was stopped the night of June 25 by Roscommon County sheriff’s deputies on M-55 after deputies saw his Lincoln MKX moving erratically while exiting the Limberlost bar and restaurant near Houghton Lake.

Lewand failed a sobriety test, and when he refused to take a breathalyzer (PBT) test, he was handcuffed and arrested. The charge of failing to take a PBT test was dropped as part of the plea deal.

Lewand was in Houghton Lake attending the 30th annual Kolo Golf Outing, a charity event founded by Bob Kowalkowski, a former Lions offensive lineman who died last September.


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Commissioner Roger Goodell has been playing his cards close to his chest where no one can see them . And now when “the image” of the NFL is at its lowest up comes a story that would have most asking what the hell is going on ? An NFL executive being charged with drunk driving and the league itself has yet to issue a statement on the matter. Never mind that the Detroit Lions have not issued a statement on the matter but rather a curt apology from Lewand and that has been it. Why oh why am I not surprised by any of this at all ?

Call me crazy but now that the LeBron James’ saga is now over perhaps the most disappointed individuals are none other than the Cavaliers’ fans . But what I found most surprising was the fact that comedic actress Betty White had an opinion on the matter and the actress was very eloquent in her thoughts on the matter. White went so far as to suggest that she’d have spent the night with the young superstar if it was enough to entice him to remain with the team . Pardon me for saying but this might well have been the straw that broke the camel’s back as LeBron probably didn’t want it to get that the cause of him remaining in Cleveland was the fact that he bedded the octogenarian actress. Way to go LeBron , you missed out on a glorious opportunity but that being said could you have handled Betty to begin with ?

Hold unto your horses but the New York Yankees lost out on obtaining Seattle Mariners’ starting ace Cliff Lee . The two sides couldn’t agree on the compensation sought by the AL West team. And instead Lee will make his way to the Texas Rangers within the Mariner’ own division. As to the Yankees they may well now pursue other opportunities in terms of acquiring a starting pitcher to add their already burgeoning roster of pitchers. And it appears that team GM Brian Cashman won’t let this minor occurrence get in his way of strengthening the roster of this team. As good as they’ve been Cashman knows that nothing can be overlooked not when you’ve got both the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays chasing you down within the division __(AL East) . Now when it’s all said and done the defending World Series champions would like to make another return to the postseason and thereby successfully defend their crown. Nothing less is expected from the organization where success is deemed the pinnacle and where “failure” is seen as not an option.

HBO the much vaulted cable network more widely known for its dramatic staple and first runs of box office success movies is also home to rather influential niche in the sport of boxing. Especially within the heavyweight division but recently the head of the sports programming Ross Greenburg has stated the cable network is no longer interested in televising fights within the heavyweight division as the public interest is no longer there. Now that statement should not come as a surprise to anyone with a keen interest in the sport. But given the lack of credibility within the division and wherein the two best heavyweights refuse to meet each other in an undisputed unification bout because of familial ties. This decision will have some serious ramifications for the sport as HBO and its parent company Time Warner are one of the primary sponsors of PPV. And without that to hang its hat on then the division and the various international governing bodies within the sport are at something of a loss. And for champions Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko the big paydays that they’re both no doubt looking for won’t be forthcoming, not unless they are prepared to fight each other in an undisputed title unification bout. The fighters , their managers and respective promoters have simply made a mockery of the division and the pretext that the problem as to the malaise within the division has nothing to do with them is a complete misnomer. As it has everything to do with and the diabolical situation within the heavyweight division.

The fact of the matter is that the division has not had an undisputed heavyweight champion since the retirement of the British fighter Lennox Lewis in 2004. And since then the championship has found itself in its various forms in the hands of the Ukrainian, Klitschko brothers. Ability wise , watching either brother fight is a rather mundane and at time painful experience . A tooth extraction without the use of anesthesia would be far less painful than watching either Vitali or Wladimir Klitschko. And such is the scene of heavyweight boxing that there are no real credible opponents within the division and that’s with due respect to WBA champion David Haye .

Well known and legendary promoters Don King and Bob Arum once the most gregarious of showmen seem to be more interested in dividing the spoils between them in the lighter divisions. And for King this would be something of a come down given the stable of credible heavyweight fighters that he’s either managed or promoted over the years. And Bob Arum for his part , well his main concern is to create the buzz and promote what has been described as what will be the biggest fight in boxing . The proposed bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao promises to be that and a great deal more . But as of yet no concrete timetable has been set as to where the bout will be staged. This much we do know however , it will be by far the most anticipated and biggest grossing fight in history without a doubt. And the fight itself will be co-promoted by Top Rank Inc , Golden Boy Promotions Inc in conjunction with Mayweather’s own fledgling promotional company.

Everyone involved in that aspect of the bout will end up being a winner. At $49-95 per viewer and with an anticipated 2 million buys expected the gross via the sales only here in North America will top $100 million and when one takes into account the international interest that figure is liable to double without taking into account ticket sales and merchandising .

A $200 million grossing fight would be unimaginable but it is in the offing should this proposed bout take place. One would expect both fighters to be handsomely rewarded for their exploits and suffice to say that having fought then retirement could very well be beckoning for both fighters. With Pacquiao pursuing a political career in his native Philippines and Mayweather looking to cross over into the business side of the sport , boxing could very well face some lean times ahead.. Say what you will however much of this malaise within the sport has been brought about by the lack of authority from the various international governing bodies and their unwillingness to do what is inherently best for the sport.

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If sport is so much about its image then why is it a great deal of the time when there’s something inherently wrong , so why is it that the proper authorities are so slow to act ? The answer could well lie in the fact that those who are actually in power either have very little intelligence or they are for all sense purpose merely a puppet while it is the marionette who is indeed pulling the strings . Your thoughts on the topics raised in this piece are welcome and I will do my best to respond with a succinct and clear answer. Thanks as always for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………… 🙂

Chris Brown ……….. feat’g Tyga & Kevin McCall …….. ” Deuces”

If A Tree Falls In A Forest Does It Make A Sound ….. ?


If A Tree Falls In A Forest Does It Make A Sound ….. ?

This I believe is a very apt phrase and it probably best describes this weekend’s debacle or we’re led to believe is what the boxing fans yearn for in terms of a bout. We’ll have two aging fossils in Bernard Hopkins (50-5-1, 1NC, 32KO’s) and Roy Jones Jr (54-6-0,40 KO’s) enter the ring in a rematch of their now classic tussle from 1993. The bout was won by Jones with a unanimous and was a middleweight fight. Jones and Hopkins were two of the premiere fighters not only of that era but also within the division. Though the rivalry cannot match that of a Hagler Hearns or Hagler Leonard ! The two did bring the fans to the bouts when ‘they fought the elite’ within the division.

Las  Vegas , Nv,.  Boxer Bernard Hopkins towels off as he works out at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino March 30, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jones will face Roy Jones Jr. in a light heavyweight bout on April 3 in Las Vegas.  photo  appears courtesy  of   Getty  Images/ Ethan  Miller   .............
Las Vegas , Nv,. Boxer Bernard Hopkins towels off as he works out at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino March 30, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jones will face Roy Jones Jr. in a light heavyweight bout on April 3 in Las Vegas. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Ethan Miller .............

On Saturday April 3rd the two will meet in a live PPV bout at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino Complex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight is being promoted by Oscar de La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions Inc., of which Hopkins is a co-partner and owner in the boxing promotion’s company. Jones, himself, has a stake in this as well, as he’s also a co-promoter of the event through his own company. Though if anything his financial gain or reward will be nowhere near that Hopkins. The ‘two’ will share the $ 7 million dollar purse that is being split 50/50 but the ancillary earnings such as the gate receipts and the anticipated revenues via the PPV ($44-95/$49-95) hits will be split in Hopkins’ favor (60/40). That’s not something Jones was amenable to at first but given that “his career” has been on the decline over the last five years at least , he had to make do with the offer.

The action between an aging Hopkins and and a ram shackle Jones may not be as exciting as watching two elephants mate.

Given the timing of this bout and the lackluster performance given by Joshua Clottey in his unanimous 12 round verdict loss to Manny Pacquaio . This is hardly the bout that I for one feel, will be a huge draw much less a real crowd pleaser for the fans in attendance or those watching via the tv broadcast ! There’s more excitement to be elicited from watching two pachyderms (elephants) mate than watching these two fossils at this stage of their careers. As to whether or not it’s in the best interests of the sport or the long suffering fans to witness this bout. Let’s just say , the aforementioned statement that I premised concerning mating elephants, in an earlier paragraph , still stands. And why shouldn’t it ? Will you be willing to spend that much money on the main event and a somewhat lackluster under-card to witness two aging fighters whose best years are behind them ?

The publicity shpeel begins concerning Hopkins vs Jones II . The animosity between the two hasn’t yet dissipated between the two. Whether or not the animosity and hatred between the two is mere hype or simply being done to garner the publicity needed.

As the title of this piece would suggest “…………If A Tree Falls In A Forest Does It Make A Sound ….. ” ? I’ll let you be the judge of that ! But for myself it is becoming abundantly clear that boxing as a sport no longer resonates with the fans en masse’ . If anything fight fans are more inclined to gravitate towards mixed martial arts (MMA) and the energy and excitement that can be derived from watching the events now being staged by UFC .

Hopkins (left) & Jones (right) meet to publicize their upcoming bout at the Mandaly Bay Resort Hotel & Casino Complex in Las Vegas , Nevada this upcoming Saturday night 3rd April 2010. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images / Skip Milligan ..........
Hopkins (left) & Jones (right) meet to publicize their upcoming bout at the Mandaly Bay Resort Hotel & Casino Complex in Las Vegas , Nevada this upcoming Saturday night 3rd April 2010. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images / Skip Milligan ..........

Though both camps have been doing all that they can to hype up the bout and the undercard program . A nationwide tour and overseas marketing hasn’t exactly set the world alight with anticipation for the bout. If anything it has been lackluster in terms of the perceived importance being attached to the event. Hopkins may well be seeking vengeance for the the middleweight loss when the two met for what was then, the vacant middleweight title. But since then, any dominance attained in the true sense of the word, has been acquired by Hopkins with his reign and supremacy within the middleweight division. Even now within the category he’s sorely missed , as the champions there, are marginally average at best !

One can now only ponder the future of the sport . Because once the likes of Pacquiao , Hopkins , Jones and Floyd Mayweather have retired, the sport will become ominously silent . And as I suggested you won’t be able to hear if a tree falls in the forest and discern the sound that it might make. That’s how ominous the signs have really become for the sport.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………….

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