Category: Boxing

Little Shop of Horrors …….


Little Shop of Horrors ….

So there we have it, the NBA Playoffs were something of a failure, ,while the NBA Finals become abhorrent bore and blur. In the aftermath of it all , we had the NBA Draft with all of the uncertainty and drama you would expect at this time of the year. Now comes the idiocy of the fallout , with the teams now trying to position themselves for the upcoming season. Teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers , New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers have found themselves in situations which were of their own making . Phil Jackson after three seasons of complete incompetence on and off the court , came to an agreement that he and the Knicks’ organization would part ways. Three years and being paid almost $60 million in salary and Jackson was unable to achieve anything of note. Team owner James Dolan whose continued stupidity remains boundless, now seems to be in agreement that the Knicks will also have to part ways with Carmelo Anthony . The player has agreed to waive his no-trade clause , while still being owed $54 million on the two remaining years on his existing contract.

Carmelo Anthony’s wish is to join a legitimate contender among the teams he’s said to consider joining would be the Cleveland Cavaliers where his friend , LeBron James is the team’s leader and face of that particular franchise.

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Unfortunately, for the Cleveland Cavaliers to consider acquiring Carmelo Anthony , a third team will be needed to make such a deal a reality , while seeking to remain under the league’s salary cap structure. One should also bear in mind the Cavaliers are coming off-season where they lost money , while also having one of the largest payrolls in the NBA , all in their chase for success. The tumultuous fallout from their loss to the Golden State Warriors was embarrassing enough without then having to witness the dismissal of the general manager David Griffin . There clearly was a difference of opinion between owner Dan Gilbert and his lead front office executive , but for LeBron James , this could very well be the last straw in what appears to be uncertainty within the franchise. Suffice to say, for the moment , James will remain with the Cavaliers , waiting to see the next move to be made by Dan Gilbert.

Away from the NBA, the sports world has provided some fascinating stories , with boxer Manny Pacquiao having lost his WBO Welterweight Title to challenger and little known Australian fighter Jeff Horn . In this title fight which had its own controversy , the champion failed to deliver in the challenger’s backyard of Brisbane, Australia . There may well have been questions about the officiating and the judges awarding Horn a unanimous victory, but to my own mind , this was one of Manny Pacquiao’s worst performances of his career . Whether or not there is a rematch, which is a clause in the contract of the dethroned champion, I am not so sure Pacquaio can come back and avenge such a humiliating loss.

Bob Arum , Manny’s longtime promoter and adviser clearly wants his client back in the ring purely from a financial standpoint. I firmly believe it is time for Manny Pacquiao to retire from a boxing ring once and for all. Teddy Atlas , one-time boxing trainer and now a respected analyst , should stop with his continued whining that this verdict was a travesty. There have been far more egregious and outrageous decisions and verdicts rendered in a boxing over the past decade. Somehow , Atlas must believe this has been the first verdict of its kind given in a boxing during his lifetime. Teddy Atlas should get back to the basics and start to question the integrity of the sport.

An even bigger circus extravaganza due to take place in a boxing ring will be UFC fighter Conor McGregor facing unbeaten welterweight Floyd Mayweather . This bout is likely to be the most viewed PPV event in boxing history as well as the highest grossing boxing match in the sport over the last two decades. Mayweather is likely to net over $300 million after expenses and McGregor is likely to earn in excess of $50 million, the biggest payday of his professional career. If you like the attraction of viewing a freak-show then this might be the event for you.

With less than a week to go before MLB’s mid-season extravaganza of the All Star Weekend , there are a number of teams jockeying themselves into position for the second-half of the season. There is a full slate of games on for this weekend , beginning on Friday afternoon. With the divisional standings being as they are, the most interesting series features the New York Yankees taking on the Milwaukee Brewers , with the Brewers seeking to cement their lead within the NL Central . I have to admit , I am presently surprised by the Brewers’ play this season and also by the lack of competitiveness shown by their divisional rivals the Chicago Cubs , who as the reigning World Series’ champions have shown themselves to be extremely fallible . The Cubs will be in action today when they face off against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field in Chicago , Illinois.

If Joe Girardi really wants to prove his worth as the New York Yankees’ manager , then he has to have this team playing with a great deal more zeal. The Yankees find themselves looking up at the Boston Red Sox within the AL East and this is a Red Sox team buoyed by the productivity of the youngsters on their roster as well as by some of their seasoned veterans . The Boston Red Sox will be on the road to face the Tampa Bay Rays , while the New York Yankees will be taking on the Milwaukee Brewers .

Never let it be said that baseball has ever had its financial house in order or that the league hierarchy has a sense of purpose. The Miami Marlins currently are in dire straits, suddenly find themselves in the midst of some real intrigue as potential bidders for the ball-club are falling by the wayside faster than leaves falling from a tree during Fall . The latest consortium to drop out of the bidding and the ludicrous asking price of ‘$1.3 billion ‘ was the once favored group led by billionaire venture capitalist Wayne Rothbaum . The entrepreneur’s patience may well have ran thin with his own partners which included Tagg Romney , son of former GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and also Jeb Bush , the other notable high-profiled partner among the list of investors which made up the syndication group. Marlins’ team owner Jeffrey Loria has come down considerably from his extremely ridiculous original asking price of $2.1 billion for the sale of the team.

Courtesy of the Miami Herald

Marlins sales efforts receive more setbacks

By Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald bjackson@miamiherald.com

The Marlins’ attempts to complete a sale in the next couple of weeks received a significant setback in recent days, with the Wayne Rothbaum/Tagg Romney group dropping out of the bidding and Derek Jeter’s group losing a billionaire investor, according to a report Thursday on the New York Post’s web site.

Meanwhile, Miami businessman Jorge Mas remains interested in buying the team but has not yet made a formal bid and values the team at less than owner Jeffrey Loria’s $1.2 billion asking price, a person close to Mas said by phone this week.

Loria recently rejected a $1.1 billion bid from the Rothbaum group, the Miami Herald reported last week. Loria originally asked for $1.3 billion but is now willing to accept $1.2 billion, according to a source briefed on negotiations.

But Rothbaum ultimately was unwilling to raise his offer, despite the Marlins encouraging him to do so. The Marlins had been under the impression that negotiations would continue.

Two people who have had involvement with the Rothbaum group said Thursday afternoon that they had not been informed that Rothbaum and Romney had dropped their pursuit of the team. The Marlins declined to comment.

Meanwhile, Jeter lost a key member of his investment group, Chicago billionaire Richard Chaifetz, according to The Post report.

Chaifetz was uncomfortable with Jeter seeking control while not investing much money in the team, The Post said.

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This season the Miami Marlins have not fared that well in spite of the contributions from Giancarlo Stanton , Christian Yelich , Marcell Ozuna and others on the team. Marlins’ manager Don Mattingly will seek to get his players back in stride this weekend when they face the San Francisco Giants in a three-game series beginning today. A series’ win against the Giants would be a tremendous boost to the team’s morale and it would go a long way in taking the minds of the fans off the issues now faced by the organization off the field. Never-ending uncertainty , is not the way for the ball-club to proceed forward and even if Jorge Mas is waiting in the wings with his own bid , I seriously doubt that will be enough to secure and deal with the real underlying issues for this baseball franchise.

While I know there will be heightened anticipation concerning this season’s All Star Game , from my own perspective, the second half of the season will certainly tell me more about the direction the teams are heading in.

UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes makes the second defense of her title when she faces the division’s number one challenger Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 213 this Saturday , 8th July , 2017. Nunes and Shevchenko headline the card for the night , but there are several intriguing bouts which make up the under-card for the night. If things go to form then I expect the champion to make a successful defense of her title as well as beating her opponent for the second time in their two meetings.

It is hard to say where Amanda Nunes now goes from here should she make a successful defense of her title. Perhaps enticing the return of Ronda Rousey who she defeated with ease might be an option , but with their being only three weight categories in Women’s MMA under the UFC banner , Nunes’ options are not clearly defined.

At this time of the year there isn’t a great deal happening on the North American sports’ scene. Was anyone really interested in who won the Stanley Cup ? In reality , was there anyone actually watching the series on NBC ? The NFL continues to cast its giant shadow across the sporting landscape , but until the preseason comes into being , the fans simply wait for the latest breaking news and for the drama which tends to unfold.


 


Picture gallery . Click on frame to read the accompanying narrative.

What if anything has been the biggest sports’ story you have been intrigued by over the past ten days ?

Tophatal …… 2017/07/07 03:06 pm

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NBA news

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USA Today Sports (Boxing)


MLB news and weekend schedule

MLB results 6th July and MLB divisional standings

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UFC news

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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