I used to take a number of angry phone calls in this town about the negative approach I took towards the embarrassment that is the state of the sport of boxing.
I tried to explain to everyone at the time that I LOVE boxing; and I’m just frustrated with how terrible the sport has become over the last few years, especially at the Heavyweight level.
Even though I know how awful Boxing’s Heavyweight division is; I actually replayed an interview at 5:45 so I could end my show early last year to watch Hasim Rahman fight Taurus Sykes on VERSUS at 6pm Pacific.
Even though I know how awful Boxing’s Heavyweight division is; I can still tell you that Ruslan Chagaev, Wladimir Klitschko, and Samuel Peter hold the four major belts. (I still wouldn’t know who holds which belt without looking it up.)
And even though I know how awful Boxing’s Heavyweight division is; I still stayed up past midnight last night to watch Hasim Rahman fight James Toney; even though I knew I had to wake up for work at 4:30am.
But as FSN announcer Barry Tompkins said last night, “These sorts of things don’t happen in bowling.”
Boxing again embarrassed itself last night, on a night when things should have been good.
Hasim Rahman and James Toney wouldn’t have gotten many PPV buys; but putting them on free TV last night was a GREAT idea for Boxing. It’s not exactly like putting Anderson Silva on free TV Saturday night; but they ARE recognizable names, former champions, and they have a history with each other. Plus, FSN sent out Chris Rose, John Salley, Chris Byrd, and even Jay Glazer to add glitz to the event, which frankly helps.
But once again, boxing managed to piss all over itself.
Hasim Rahman may not have quit last night’s fight; but he made it very clear that he didn’t want any part of it. He said afterwards that he wasn’t happy with the fact he had to fight in California at an event sponsored by Toney’s promoter. That doesn’t mean that he told the referee or doctor that he wanted to quit the fight; but it doesn’t reflect well on him.
From listening to the exchange between Rock and the fight doctor after Round Three, it never sounded like Rock quit the fight. It sounded like he told the fight doctor that he couldn’t see. If boxing rules say that a fight stopped due to an incidental headbutt should go to the scorecards if ended before four rounds; then I would have awarded Rahman the fight 29-28. If boxing rules say that if a fighter cannot continue due to an injury a fight should be declared a TKO; then James Toney was the rightful winner.
Who knows what really happened last night?
The only thing we DO know is that anyone who tuned into last night’s fight as a casual fan of “The Sweet Science” was probably turned off by what they saw; and some may never tune into boxing again.
But I know I will. Despite how much I hate this sport right now; I just can’t help but keep watching.
Rahman and Toney both said that the loser should retire; but certainly after last night; that won’t happen. Perhaps there will be a Rahman-Toney III; and perhaps Rahman’s appeal will even get him a no contest of last night’s fight.
But last night’s events were just plain AWFUL for an entire sport; and another black eye for a sport that has been beaten soundly over the last few years.
Let’s see what everyone else has to say…
Best of Wednesday’s WNST Blogs:
Nestor Aparicio says Sherrill ‘sensational’ in All-Star Game
Thyrl Nelson says Tejada example of “Derby curse”
Bryan Powell says MLL returning to Maryland
The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Birds aiming for winning record in 2nd half
The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin predicts Birds fall short of winning record
The Official Site’s Jeff Seidel says Millar participates in White House event
MLB.com’s Mark Newman says prospect Arrieta named to U.S. Olympic team
The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says MacPhail faces tough decisions
The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says MacPhail keeping focus on rebuilding
The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Sherrill told media he didn’t want to pitch multiple innings in All-Star Game
The Sun’s David Steele hopes long game didn’t hurt Sherrill’s arm
The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. expects big series from Huff
The Sun’s Sandra McKee says Orioles trying Sunday promotion again
The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec breaks down where Birds could be traded
The Sun’s Roch Kubatko says Arrieta’s Olympic nod comes after futures game appearance
The Sun’s Roch Kubatko says Trembley can’t be happy with Sherrill’s lengthy All-Star appearance
Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says 11 game homestand will dictate 2nd half for Birds
Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Arrieta considers Olympic nod ‘icing on cake’ of young career
Frederick News-Post’s Stan Goldberg says former Oriole Johnson liked Arrieta in Futures Game, picked him for Olympic team
Washington Post’s Marc Carig says start of 2nd half could determine team’s future
Washington Post says Birds need SS, pitching depth, another bat
Fox Sports’ Aram Tolegian has Orioles 18th in Power Rankings
Sporting News’ Gerry Fraley thinks Sherrill ‘key performer’ for Birds in 2nd half
CBS Sports’ Scott Miller gives Birds “B” for first half, up from “F” last year
The Official Site’s Mike Duffy previews OLB’s
The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens, Flacco agree to 5 year deal
The Sun’s Kyle Goon profiles Ravens fan/Yardbarker editor Hammond
The Examiner’s Phil Macek thinks Ravens should have extended Suggs
Aaron Wilson says Flacco’s deal includes $8.75 million guaranteed
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio says Flacco’s deal includes similar escalators to Quinn
The Official Site says Thomas thinks depth will help O-Line
The Sun’s Matt Bracken says LB signee Edet going to Milford Academy for prep school
Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Terps have PLENTY of depth at WR
Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem checks in with prospect Austin (must subscribe)
The Diamondback’s Aaron Kraut says Gary intends to use four guard lineups this season
Terrapin Times’ Dan Painter checks in with 2010 prospect Starks (must subscribe)
The Diamondback’s Jakob Engelke says future Terps shine in All-American game
Dallas Morning News’ Brandon George says Dallas will bid for Army-Navy game
Go Mids previews quarterbacks (must subscribe)
CRYSTAL PALACE USA:
The Examiner’s Dave Carey says Brooks was keeper before moving to forward
Fightnews’ Francisco Salazar says Toney gets controversial TKO victory over Rahman due to headbutt
Fightnews’ Francisco Salazar says Toney thinks Rahman wanted out of fight
Max Boxing’s Doug Fischer says Rahman ruled to have quit after third round
Sweet Science’s David A. Avila says deep cut made Rahman unable to see after third round
SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:
-Here’s the skinny on Palmer vs. Murray today. Eddie Murray played 13 seasons in Baltimore (really 12 and a half); making 7 All-Star teams, winning 3 Gold Gloves, 2 Silver Sluggers, the 1977 Rookie of the Year, a World Series title in 1983, and finishing in the Top 10 of MVP voting 7 times. His number 33 is retired by the Orioles, and he was elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 2003. Jim Palmer played 20 seasons in Baltimore; making 6 All-Star teams, winning 3 Cy Young awards, 4 gold gloves, and 3 World Series titles. His number 22 is retired by the Orioles, and he was elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1990. My vote will go to Jim Palmer, if only because (as a number of our hosts have eluded) the Orioles have never won a World Series without him.
-After the Ravens host the Browns in a late afternoon game Sunday, September 21st; will it even be worth racing to an establishment in Federal Hill to watch a watered down Orioles team face a Yankees team that is about to clinch a Wild Card berth and make the regular season finale at Yankee Stadium irrelevant? I think not.
– Kudos to Joe Flacco, Joe Linta, and the Baltimore Ravens for working quickly to get a deal done. Flacco doesn’t appear to be getting any sort of ridiculous deal; but instead a fair deal with escalator clauses that could allow the big man to make money if he proves his worth. I think this is good all around.
-Congratulations to Jake Arrieta, who gets the incredible honor of pitching for the United States at the Olympic Games in Beijing. It’s almost hard to even remember that such luminaries as Rick Krivda, Mike Kincade, and Kurt Ainsworth picked up gold medals back in 2000 in Sydney. There could be some concern about Arrieta overextending himself-especially considering the exhibition schedule BEFORE the Games; but he deserves the opportunity.
-I hate saying this because it is just more competition for Baltimore; but Dallas deserves the opportunity to host an Army/Navy game. There is clearly passion for both institutions down there; and the new stadium would serve as a great host for the Game.
-Make sure you come out today to support Drew, Captain Kirk, Coach Seaman, Coach Stern and the Casey Cares Foundation. You can still make donations by emailing Drew at firstname.lastname@example.org
Talk to you tomorrow.