Those blonde highlights (see below) we think suited Manny well, but there isn't much the Pacman does that doesn't fill us with gooey admiration. That Bieber Bob, however…Can a boxing column cure your work-week blues? That’s what I’ve come to TheSweetScience.com to find out.
For obvious reasons, nobody likes Mondays. Wednesday is known as “hump day” because it’s a grind to get over. And it just so happens that the two least popular days of the week are the days when my columns will appear. So my job here is simple: Add at least one tiny ray of sunshine to every boxing fan’s Monday and Wednesday routine. If I can accomplish that, I’ll target bloodshed in the Middle East and the global economic crisis next.
Each week, one of my articles will be a traditional column or feature story and the other will be a collection of “Raskin’s Rants.” And going forward, I aim to mix a miniature reader mailbag—maybe one or two e-mails and my responses—into each of these “Rants” columns. So please send your questions, comments, and profanity-laced tirades to firstname.lastname@example.org, and starting next week, your rants will accompany mine.
Until then, happy hump day, and here’s my first collection of random observations as a Sweet Scientist:
• Apropos nothing, how mind-blowing is it that in 1997, just as I was starting on the boxing beat, Floyd Mayweather vs. Augie Sanchez was being billed as a potential major rivalry?
• I’ve been waiting about six months for Mike Tyson to produce an interesting tweet, and he finally did a few days ago: “The best moment in my life was when I retired from boxing. That Mike overstayed his welcome.” That beats the hell out of “Muhammad Ali is one of my heroes” and “Always embrace who you are.”
• Looking for a euphemistic word to apply to HBO’s freshly minted three-fight contract with 46-year-old Bernard Hopkins … let’s go with “ambitious.”
• Then again, if you bet me on when Hopkins is going to retire and you set the line at age 50, I’d feel more comfortable taking the over.
• I viewed the proposed Juan Manuel Marquez-Erik Morales fight as a cringe-worthy mismatch, and I don’t like Marcos Maidana vs. Morales one iota more. Morales isn’t a shot fighter; he can still beat the fringe contenders. But Maidana is a legit top three or four junior welterweight and the biggest, hardest-punching fighter Morales has ever faced. I know it’s difficult for any great fighter to walk away, and if Morales can pass all the medical tests, I have no issues whatsoever with him continuing to box. But I think his management team had it right when they put him in with Jose Alfaro, Willie Limond, and Francisco Lorenzo.
• Speaking of Maidana-Morales, what ever happened to pay-per-view cards where the main event had at least an outside chance at being the fight of the night? This undercard will reportedly include Michael Katsidis vs. Robert Guerrero and an intriguing bout between Winky Wright and Matthew Macklin, and the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley undercard features Humberto Soto-Urbano Antillon II and Wilfredo Vazquez Jr.-Jorge Arce. I’m not complaining about getting high-quality undercards, mind you. I’m just saying that it would be nice to see a PPV main event in which it was hard to pick a winner.
• Well, it’s official: The http://bit.ly/hpBhHv is no longer Manny Pacquiao’s worst hairstyle.
• Other than the occasional tonsorial misstep, is there anything Pacquiao can’t do? While he was in Las Vegas last week promoting the Mosley fight, he took time out to buy into some No-Limit Hold ’Em cash games at Bellagio, where he apparently cleaned out two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Frank Kassela.
• It’s nearly impossible not to be excited by the news that three of the four episodes of the Pacquiao-Mosley prefight documentary series Fight Camp 360 will be shown on CBS. Just two requests for the production team: (1) No staged shots of Manny shadowboxing on a rooftop; (2) It just isn’t Fight Camp 360 without a promoter in a Sweatsedo, so let’s update Bob Arum’s casual wear collection.
• Quick prediction for this Saturday’s bantamweight showdown on HBO: Nonito Donaire over Fernando Montiel by stoppage in about 8-10 rounds. And I have a feeling that, unlike the one other major fight of 2011 so far, Tim Bradley vs. Devon Alexander, we will be clamoring for a rematch afterward.
• I still don’t understand why they stopped that Stevie Forbes fight on Friday night. That cut didn’t inhibit his vision. If anything, it gave him an extra eye hole to see out of.
• Feel-good story of the weekend: Don George bouncing back from a brutal defeat with a sensational first-round knockout win over undefeated Cornelius White. Unexpected sight of the weekend: an athlete celebrating while wearing a Cubs hat. You don’t see that every day … or every year … or every 102 years.
• I kid, Cubs fans. As a Philly sports fan, I’m allowed to. Our four teams have brought us exactly one title in the last 28 years. We’re no Cleveland, but we know what suffering is.
• Gratuitous plug of the week: If you’ve ever wanted to hear a boxing writer publicly admit to watching robot porn, you won’t want to miss the latest episode of http://ringtheory.podbean.com. And if you just want to hear some intelligent, original, humorous boxing banter featuring Showtime analyst Steve Farhood, you’ll find that in there too.
• Damn you, Rico Ramos. Now I have to completely re-think my gambling rule, “Never bet on the guy who has to have his lip ring cut out by his cornermen just before the opening bell.”
• So ESPN2 Friday Night Fights is going 3-D this week? This should be interesting. Especially if B.J. Flores is in studio, as the enhanced technology might just elevate his commentary to 2-D.
Eric Raskin can be contacted at email@example.com. You can follow him on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/EricRaskin and listen to new episodes of his Ring Theory podcast, http://ringtheory.podbean.com, twice a month.