The holidays are a time for reflection. They’re also the time of year when awards are handed out. Thus, the 2010 Hauser Awards:
MOST EMBARRASSING HIGH-PROFILE MISMATCH OF THE YEAR: Vitali Klitschko vs. Albert Sosnowski for the WBC heavyweight “championship.” Sosnowski had never fought, let alone beaten, a world-class fighter. Last year, he fought to a draw against Francesco Pianeta. Eight months before that, he lost an 80-72, 80-72, 80-72 decision to journeyman Zuri Lawrence. Lawrence has fifteen losses on his record and has been knocked out eight times.
WORST STOPPAGE OF THE YEAR: Referee Gelasio Perez Huerta's fourth round stoppage of Lucas Matthysse vs. Vivian Harris in Mexico City. One punch, not very hard, and the referee stepped in. How bad was the call? So bad that there wasn’t any controversy over it Everyone with a brain agreed that it was just plain wrong.
SILLIEST CLAIM BY A FIGHTER'S REPRESENTATIVE: The assertion by Leonard Ellerbe (Floyd Mayweather’s business representative) that there had been no negotiations for a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.
THE “THIS WILL MAKE THE ANTITRUST LAWYERS HAPPY” QUOTE OF THE YEAR: To Oscar De La Hoya, who told Ben Grossman of Broadcasting and Cable magazine, “I commend UFC for what they have done in such a short period of time. They are the only real player in their category, the mixed martial arts world. We [Golden Boy] need to sign all the talent and get all the TV dates. Then you can have your own agenda. You can do a monthly PPV, a bi-weekly HBO fight. When you have five or six promoters, it's very difficult.”
BRAVEST CORNERMAN OF THE YEAR: Herman Caicedo, chief second for Shannon Briggs, when Briggs fought Vitali Klitschko. Honorable mention to Robert Garcia for his work with Antonio Margarito in Pacquiao-Margarito.
HEADLINE OF THE YEAR: “Sulaiman Urges Calzaghe to Confront Cocaine Problem” (Headline we wanted to see in response: “Calzaghe Urges Sulaiman to Confront Obesity Problem”).
THE NATO AWARD (No Action, Talk Only): To David Haye, for talking big and offering nothing but gobbledy-gook as an explanation for why he was ducking the Klitschko brothers.
MOST ILL-CONSIDERED DECISION BY A REFEREE: Arthur Mercante’s handling of Cotto-Foreman.
IRONIC STATEMENT OF THE YEAR: Jose Sulaiman (at the March 11th press conference in Dallas for the Pacquiao-Clottey undercard): “Whoever knows me knows that I speak the truth or I don’t speak at all.” – It was duly noted by those in attendance that Sulaiman’s remarks were brief.
AWARDS OF THE YEAR: To the NABF, which bestowed the following honors for the reasons quoted herein: (1) Promoter of the Year – “Square Ring kept the career of the legendary Roy Jones Jr. alive. Promoting fights between Jones and Omar Sheika and Jeff Lacy led to much bigger bouts for Jones against local hero Danny Green in Australia and a long-awaited grudge match against Bernard Hopkins.” (2) President’s Award: “Gale Van Hoy’s long and meritorious contributions to the organization are tremendous. Each year he runs a memorabilia auction that raises funds for the NABF treasury. Van Hoy is quick to assist in any endeavor that will enhance the reputation of boxing in general and the NABF in particular.”
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD AWARD: To Bernard Hopkins, for suggesting that Manny Pacquiao is reluctant to fight “a top-notch black fighter" because the styles that African-American fighters bring “from the streets” would be successful against boxing’s reigning pound-for-pound king. Hopkins is already fondly remembered for declaring “I would never let a white boy beat me” before losing to Joe Calzaghe.
THE "DO YOU REALLY EXPECT US TO BELIEVE THAT" STATEMENT OF THE YEAR: To Wladimir Klitschko. When every network in the United States passed on Wladimir’s title defense against American Eddie Chambers, Team Klitschko arranged for a pay-per-view webcast on Klitschko.com, and Wladimir issued a press release that read, "I enjoy working on the computer and I am very interested in new technologies. I like the idea that we are pioneers with this new technology.”
THE IL PAPA DOC AWARD: To Jose Sulaiman, who was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as “the longest-serving president of a world sports organization.” Sulaiman’s reign as WBC president (thirty-five years and counting) is well behind the benchmark for monarchs set by Ngwenyama Sobhuza II of Swaziland, whose reign dated from 1899 to 1982. King Sobhuza had seventy wives and 210 children. However, none of the children is believed to be as charming as Jose’s son, Mauricio.
ADVICE OF THE YEAR AWARD: To whoever tells Emma Bowe that, if she wants to “help” Ricky Hatton, she should shut her big fat mouth.
Thomas Hauser can be reached by email at email@example.com. His most recent book (“Waiting For Carver Boyd”) was published by JR Books and can be purchased at http://www.amazon.co.uk/ or http://www.abebooks.com.
Hauser says that Waiting for Carver Boyd is “the best pure boxing writing I’ve ever done.”