In Boxing News: Floyd Vs. Zab, Butler Sentenced, 50 Cent/Nick Cage Fight Flick

BY Robert Ecksel ON April 06, 2006
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In Boxing News: Mayweather-Judah heat ups Sin City

The Sweet Science’s Michael Katz reminds us that “Hearing Is Not Always Believing.� From his sniper’s nest in the catbird seat high atop the glittering lights of Las Vegas, Katz reports hearing the Team Judah drum and bugle corps a mile away as they paraded down the Vegas Strip, before he did the only smart thing and turned away.

“There was no compelling reason to listen to Judah anyway,� writes Katz. “What can he say that we already didn’t know? Was he going to explain e=mc2, the affect of global warming on the Albanian economy or why William Shakespeare was more overrated as a dramatist than as a quarterback? Zab’s observations on the considerably narrower world of boxing have not been known to be that illuminating. This was the guy who kept insisting he was the best fighter “pound for pound� in the world, even after Jan Bergmann dropped him and Kostya Tszyu knocked him down twice with a single blow. This was the guy who, in a bolt of intellectual brilliance, called Pretty Boy Floyd “pretty girl,� who proved that silence is golden, especially after you lose, blaming his ‘bad night’ against the ordinary Carlos Baldomir on Don King.� Then the Wolfman goes on a hilarious romp describing all the fighters he pissed off over the years. Falstaffian writing from a scribe who’s been fighting the good fight on the inside forever … Dan Rafael reports from ESPN.com that former heavyweight champ Lamon Brewster, recuperating from his war with Sergei Liakhovich Saturday night, suffered a detached retina in his left eye during the first round. Brewster was had four hours of surgery Tuesday morning in L.A. to repair the injury. Brewster said Liakhovich caught him with a jab directly in the eye. "I went blind in my left eye for the duration of the fight, I couldn't see anything on my left side. Everything was just like a yellow blur. It looked like a painting." His eye is now bandaged and doctors told him the injury shouldn’t be a career-ender. "They told me I should make a full recovery," Brewster told Rafael. "They told me my eye will be better as long as I listen to doctor's orders. They said I need to just rest it for 60 days. They said I can't do anything to strain the eye. Don't do any reading or anything strenuous. But I can watch TV." Lamon’s trainer Buddy McGirt said, "I knew he was having a problem with the left eye and that he couldn't really see out of it. After the first round, he said to me that he couldn't see. But we didn't say too much because we didn't want the television mics to pick it up. But I'll tell you this: Lamon is a great warrior. He showed his heart and he showed what boxing is all about." Fight fans got their money’s worth and rocks off Saturday night and are already lobbying for a quick rematch. "Absolutely,� affirmed Brewster. “I want a rematch. He can't run away, unless he wants a lawsuit" … Illinois can’t get enough of Tom Sbikowski. Wheeling Countryside brings us the comforting news that “If the NFL doesn't pan out, former Buffalo Grove football player Tom Zbikowski has a back-up plan.� That backup plan was announced by Bob Arum last week at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Notre Dame junior safety will have his debut four-round fight on the undercard of the Cotto-Malignaggi. Those who have visions of Marc Gastineau and Ed “Too Tall� Green lumbering in front of their eyes, take two aspirin and call me in the morning, because the 20-year-old Sbikowski has been boxing since grade school and reached the semifinals of the Chicago Golden Gloves last year, before a wrist injury and death in the family kept him from boxing in the finals. He was a national finalist for the Silver Gloves in 1998, 1999 and 2000. "Other people have approached (Tom) about boxing (professionally), but none of that got him interested," said Ed Zbikowski, the young fighter’s father. "When the guy said Madison Square Garden, his eyes just popped open. Having him walk into Madison Square Garden – knowing he'll fight there soon – even I was excited as his father." Tom’s older brother E.J. acted as manager during negotiations with Top Rank. "The manager thing came about after negotiations were already done," E.J. admitted. "It's more like I keep an eye on him. It's a big brother-little brother relationship." E.J. began boxing when he was nine and claims he introduced Tom to boxing: "I was a junior playing football and I remember Tom dragging a car tire with a rope around his waist (in eighth grade). He has always worked hard to pursue his dream" … Sports Illustrated reports that former light heavyweight James "The Harlem Hammer" Butler Jr., was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years in prison for the death of sports journalist Sam Kellerman. The court also ruled that Butler will be responsible for paying $17,853 in funeral expenses to Kellerman's family, $10,000 to the state's victim restitution fund and $11,882 to the owner of the victim's apartment, which was left torched and blood-soaked after the killing, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office. The 29-year-old Sam Kellerman’s body was found in his Hollywood apartment on Oct. 17, 2004. Butler pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and arson as jury selection was set to begin. Butler and Kellerman, the younger brother of New York-based boxing expert and talk show host Max Kellerman, had been friends and the boxer had been staying at his apartment. Prosecutors believe the attack came as Butler was having a tough time reviving his career, and was depressed about a souring relationship with his girlfriend. What a crappy way for two lives to end … And while we’re on the subject of incarceration, from MTV comes word that rapper extraordinaire 50 Cent, real name Curtis Jackson, of Get Rich or Die Trying fame, will star opposite Nicholas Cage in a new movie called The Dance, an uncompromising film about a prison boxing coach teaching the sweet science to prisoners behind bars. The film will also star Missy Elliot and Oscar winners Three 6 Mafia. The Dance, based on a 2002 documentary with the same name, is the true-life story of Billy "The Kid" Roth, a former champion who devoted nearly 45 years of his life to coaching boxing in Louisiana prisons. The plot follows Roth as he helps a lifer, played by 50 Cent, bursting with potential, try to realize some part of his dream deferred. "Billy Roth's story truly spoke to my heart,� said Nick Cage. “Despite the darkness and intense despair, an unlikely and flawed character is able to find and provide hope to others." Let’s hope The Dance is better than the Wesley Snipes-Peter Falk mess of a prison/boxing flick several years back, because there are some real saints in the game whose stories deserve to be told. Trouble is the sinners get all the attention.

To read more of the TSS Boxing News Wire Read more at the BLOG

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