Theres been too much of a focus on Boxers Behaving Badly of late, with the focus being on ill advised and self destructive actions outside the ring. So it was a nice change of pace to see the talents of one Brandon Rios, no stranger to those in the know on the West Coast, emerge on HBO on Saturday. While we pondered the Mayweather saga, getting stranger and sadder with each passing day, and were saddened to see Ricky Hatton vainly trying to tickle that part of the brain that buzzed him good when he fought and triumphed in front of 30,000 Hattonites, using a tempting but dead end shortcut, cocaine, we were happy to exit that funk, and see Rios do what the sweet scientist does best. Battle, with skill, dignity, honor, good sportsmanship.
The same qualities were on display on Germany, as Wladimir Klitschko did the expected, did what he does every damn time of late: dismantle a lesser light, soften his foe up round after round, and drop the guillotine down when he was good and ready, while driving his trainer Manny Stewards blood pressure into the danger zone. Steward knows that its wise for his guy to proceed with caution, lest he revert back to that time when hed get fatigued, and his chin would start to melt like margarine, and hed be in danger of getting stretched. But Manny also knows that he could reach the desired result, a TKO, in about half the time, each and every bout, if he so chose. If he saw the light, and trusted Manny, his legacy would be upgraded, IMO.
Many of our A Game commenters weighed in on Wlad, his big bro, and the state of the division, with their typical wit, insight and intelligence. Yes, the heavyweight division, despite being in such a sad state, perhaps unprecedentely, still commands attention. Your top ten, TSS style, a day late because daddys been running around like a headless chicken on A side meth, so mama can get some rest, considering she birthed a baby one week ago.
10) FeRoz There were Once Seven Lines. But there is Only One Ricky Hatton. Thats a whole lot of coke and a lot of alcohol for a former 140 pounder.
9) Toonoy Well, Ricky FATMAN Hatton really needs to lose weight. He fought KenDUCKy Floyd Chicken Maysprinter at an obese 147 and against Pacquiao he wasnt even a top-75 140 pounder. GARBAGE. Glad hes moved onto cocaine after ruining fight fans nights too many times.
8) The Saint Ive said this many months ago, but how dominant would a prime Ali and Tyson be in this era? Theyll be as dominant as the Klitschkos. Wlad and Vitali are definitely ATG material. The heavyweight division might be a joke, but to their credit, none of their fights have been close and theyve dominated the opposition the way Ali wouldve if he was fighting in his prime today. I think thats a fair measuring stick.
7) Porkupine Tyson Furys a geek. I never thought Id be nostalgic about Lance Whitaker or Clifford Ettiene but Im feeling it now. Where have all the b——s gone?
6) Chris G Wlad Klitschko is a talented figher, but Ive seen oil tankers that move quicker than Sam Peter. To glorify Klitschko for beating Peter is a bit of stretch. Klitschko is an impressive offensive fighter, but he still has the look of a fighter who might panic if someone hits him back. Its unfortunate the heavyweight division is so desperately thin on talent there is scarcely another fighter in the division with the tools to trouble either of the Klitschkos.
5) Mortcola Peter landed a total of zero solid punches – except for about 9 to the groin. Wlad carved and served. Peter hurled and hugged. Not exciting, but a busier fight for Wlad, total discipline and focus, and some willingness to mix it up, mix his punches. He showed none of that old anxiety, no lapses. And there was no way Sanchez was gonna teach Sam to be Joe Frazier in there. Easy fight to call.
4) Real Talk The kid Rios is a hard hittin Mexican warrior who brought his A-game, Anthony Peterson fought a stupid fight and went like a sucker with all the low blows and truly embarrassed D.C., especially S.E. with that performance. It seems like he wasnt focused and fought a stupid fight, his ring IQ was very poor. Where was the jab, the head movement, the ring generalship? These dudes need better sparring partners or just need to get their minds right. Anthony was popping his gums at the gas station a while back and I saw something in him when he did it. I saw a little bit of a sucka and a childishness in him when he called himself bucking at me and my cousin and it showed up in the ring when he faced a more mature and focused Rios who fought with heart and guts. Both Lamont and Anthony fought dumb fights in their biggest fights to date and just need to buckle down and get on their A game back to the drawing board. I wont write them off but Im disappointed.
3) In Touch Here is the main reason why this sport suffers: We all knew this outcome. We knew it almost exactly as it turned out. That is what is wrong with boxing. There is no more drama left in the heavyweight division. When Ali fought Fraser, we didnt know who was gonna win and how. When Ali fought Foreman, everyone thought Foreman would win, but lots gave Ali a chance. And then at the end, Ali shocked the world. Thats drama. When Sugar Ray fought Duran and Hearns, nobody knew who was gonna win. Nowadays, with a lot of fights, the way they are set up, its an easy prediction. Without drama, a sport suffers. Think about basketball or football. If you already knew who was gonna win the title in each sport, you just wouldnt pay attention. And that is why few people pay attention to boxing matches nowadays.
2) Straight Right Yall want to know where the great American heavyweights are? Aside from less dangerous, more lucrative sports (read baseball, basketball and football), theyre in JAIL! Blacks make up 12% of the population of the US, but 44% of the prison population. A system designed to flood illegal drugs and guns into poor neighborhoods combined with three strikes youre out legislation and has effectively clapped the irons on black and Hispanic men. The US has 5% of the worlds population, but 25% of its incarcerated population. The US has half a million more prisoners than China, a country with 5 times the population. Many American prisoners are forced to work for 25 cents an hour or face solitary confinement. A corrupt system and a for-profit prison industry has made slaves out of the next great heavyweight generation in America.
1) Robert Curtis Yeah, the Klits own this time and have piled up plenty of KOs, but against butterball pluggers like Sam Peter, whos really that impressed? If heavyweight boxing ever gets on its feet again, I think the Klitschko years will be respected, but they wont be remembered that fondly. Mortcola makes a case for the quiet drama of watching a master dominate an opponent, dismantle him piece by piece, and take him out with the precision of a guided missile. Its kind of liking waging war with drone planes. VK and WK are never in any apparent danger and their opponents are basically overfed sitting ducks with their webbed feet nailed to the floor. I suppose it is less dull than watching paint dry or your beer get warm. The best Vitali ever faced was Lennox Lewis, and VK blew that one by using his eye to block one of Lewiss bombs. If Lennox could do that to VK, Ali would have turned his face into lasagna.