A Tip Of The Hat To Showtime Boxing

In the New York Daily News Tim Smith writes that 2005 will go down as the year of the rematch and asks: Is the sport better off now than it was a year ago? And will 2006 be a better year than 2005? Smith also lists boxing’s winners and losers for 2005. Showtime gets his vote as the big winner for 2005: The cable network broke out of the shadow of HBO with some fantastic shows on a shoestring budget. Hard to argue with that.

Today at TheSweetScience.com Bobby Cassidy Jr. bids farewell to Norman “Stoney” Stone, John Ruiz‘s erstwhile trainer/manager: He strikes me as the type of guy whom you love when he’s on your side but despise when he’s against you. In the end, this is what I know. You want a guy like Stone in your corner. I don’t doubt it’s true, but the WWF-like moments seemed, unfortunately, a little too commonplace when Norman Stone was in the vicinity.

More kudos to Corrales and Castillo as Dan Rafael selects the 10th frame from their first bout as The Round Of The Year. Rafael also lists some other scorchers as honorable mentions, including the 2nd round of Cotto-Torres and the 5th round of Morales-Pacquiao.

The Press Association in the UK looks at the fights the British fans want most for 2006 – and the true likelihood of them ever happening. Lacy v. Calzaghe tops the list as the fight is already made for March 4. The PA tips Lacy as a likely points victor. Hatton v. Mayweather also makes the list … talk about a no-brainer. Also in the UK, young Amir Khan received a tremendous amount of press during 2005. A year that began with an uncertain future for Amir Khan is ending with the world at the feet of the Bolton boxer.

Sid Dorfman of the Star Ledger has a column – Fighting To ReCapture Glory – on Dmitriy Salita, the Orthodox Jewish boxer from Brooklyn, by way of Ukraine. If he is successful in reinventing the glory days of his co-religionists in the damn bloody, anti-social sport, it just might inspire the Italians and Irish to reappear in some numbers. They also have been long missing. Interesting take by Dorfman that Salita is a throwback in that boxing once thrived mostly on cultural vanity.

On New Years eve Showtime presents SHOWTIME BOXING: Best Of 2005. Again, credit where credit is due, Showtime aired some memorable bouts during 2005: Corrales vs. Castillo and Hatton vs. Tszyu in particular stand out as defining moments during 2005 for the sweet science.