Missing: one tiny heart, last seen beating in the chest of lightweight contender and fallen hero Acelino “Popo” Freitas. Organ mysteriously disappeared late Saturday night following a glancing blow to the head. If found, check for any signs of life, then discard. Don’t bother to return. No reward offered.

What happened to this guy? What happened to guts and glory and going out with guns blazing? What happened to being carried out of the ring on your shield, to being a champion and fighting like one?

Hey Popo, aren’t they paying you enough?

Freitas’ quick and sudden departure from the stinging fists of Diego Corrales on Saturday night was probably a smart thing for Freitas to do. After all, it hurts when someone sticks a boxing glove up your nose or balls up a fist and slams it into your ribs. Freitas didn’t want to do anything foolish, like get hurt, because it sure looked like a fight was starting to break out.

By leaving early, by quitting in the 10th round, Freitas avoided the possibility of being struck on the chin again or receiving more of those irritating, uncomfortable body shots.

And why leave it to the judges? You know how those guys are. Might as well flip a coin, or pick a number and see who’s closest. Leaving it to the judges is like leaving it to the Marx Brothers. But if you quit early, you don’t have to go to the scorecards. You fool everyone. You get to put your life in your own hands, control your own destiny. You know right away you lost.

Yeah, smart thing to do, Popo. Quit before you really got tagged. Because the money is the same, win, lose or draw. Besides, you don’t want to wake up sore two days later, do you? Naw, get out while the getting is good, before it gets ugly. That way, you’ll live to fight another day. Of course, no one will care if you fight again or not, but that’s the price you pay for quitting.

Buy that man a drink – Next time TV and radio star Rich Marrota makes a prediction, call your bookie and bet the house, the wife’s jewelry and your son’s tuition.

Marrota was the only guy out of 75 fight prognosticators to pick Corrales to come on strong late and stop Freitas in the 10th round.

According to fight publicist Fred Sternburg, Marotta’s words of boxing wisdom were as follows: “I look for a tense, competitive battle. I feel that Freitas will have much early success, perhaps even scoring a knockdown. However, Diego will courageously walk down Popo, relentlessly put increasing pressure
on him and finally stop him. Corrales by KO in 10.”

Rich. What ever they’re paying you, it’s not enough.

By the way, do you like the horses? I heard some stuff about this 3-year-old filly running in the fourth race at Pimlico.