Lampley Addresses Title Fight Catchweights

jim-lampley

A phrase has popped inside my head a few times over the last couple weeks, and I've shared it on social media, because it appealed to me.

“Just because you CAN it doesn't mean you SHOULD.”

Gosh, I think if that statement were taken in, and adhered to, a lot of stupid things people do wouldn't get done. And by stupid, I more so probably mean “selfish.” I found myself thinking that phrase in the leadup to the Miguel Cotto-Daniel Geale fight on June 6, because Cotto was asking Geale to make 157, to carve and starve, and Geale was agreeing to it. Now, I get the validity of the move on Cotto's part…but I don't agree with the practice. That goes for him, and, really anyone. ESPECIALLY in a title fight, not having both folks adhere to the customary max of the weight class seems excessively nit-picky and like gaming the system…because one can.

It doesn't mean one should…And many, many fans have been turned off by it, and Cotto has a new rep as a “diva” in some circles, and that's a shame, because his legacy shouldn't be besmirched by that perception.

Jim Lampley, who enters the International Boxing Hall of Fame on Sunday, touched on the subject, most eloquently, on the Tuesday night edition of his “The Fight Game,” on HBO. Here is his statment on the carve and starve catchweight issue:

CLOSING COMMENTARY FROM THE FIGHT GAME WITH JIM LAMPLEY

(June 9th edition)

“We'll close now by circling back to Cotto vs. Geale. The big subplot going in was weight, as Cotto intelligently used his enormous bargaining power to force Geale into a catch weight. 157 pounds instead of the middleweight limit of 160.

“The effect was visible at the weigh-in, where the Aussie veteran looked haggard and gaunt. It was visible in the ring, where the comically larger Geale's few landed punches were nothing more than a light drizzle for Cotto. No raincoat, no umbrella necessary.

”We've got no problem with Cotto doing what was once effectively done to him by Manny Pacquiao and his current trainer, Freddie Roach. We understand there is a long and accepted history for catch weights, and over time they’ve helped superstars like Henry Armstrong and Bernard Hopkins and Manny Pacquiao to make their marks on history. But there comes a time when you have to reconsider your relationship to the audience. Boxing, with its 68 recognized titles in 17 different weight classes, its absurd semantic ploys like ‘interim champion’ and ‘super champion’, its revolutionary globalism, is confusing enough already for the consumer. More than enough. If governing bodies want to strike a small blow for sanity, this one is available: no catchweights in real championship fights. Draw a line and promise fans that if a fighter is going to defend the middleweight championship, he will be willing to fight an opponent who weighs 160 on the scale. And so on for all the divisions except heavyweight. That’s not about Miguel Cotto. He has earned everything he's gotten. It's about building better bridges to fans for a sport that yearns to boost its audience share.

“Thanks for being with us on this edition of The Fight Game.”

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COMMENTS

-Radam G :

Wow! I have mad luv for J-Lamp. He straight-up had my 6 by calling out the long-history of "catch-weight" scrapping. And then he gave the names of the late, great "Homcide" Hank Armstrong and B-Hop doing doing da darn thang [sic] just as Da Manny has done. But somehow haters have bad connections between their mud lights and neurons and can only see Da Manny as "the king of catch weights." OMFG! All this bitterness toward the Pinoy when Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns, Terry Norris, Winky Wright, Andre "SOG" Ward, "Second to" Nunn, "Superman" Roy Jones Jr and heavyweights such as the late Buster Mathis and the late, greats Max Baer and "Unforgivable Blackness" Jack Johnson, just to name a few more, all fought in so-called catch weights. Call it whatever! But catch-weight fighting ain't bad. Never has been. And it is going nowhere. Hate it. But enjoy the scraps. Holla!


-Pazuzu :

" If governing bodies want to strike a small blow for sanity, this one is available: no catchweights in real championship fights. Draw a line and promise fans that if a fighter is going to defend the middleweight championship, he will be willing to fight an opponent who weighs 160 on the scale.And so on for all the divisions except heavyweight."
Jim Lampley is a decent man, speaking the voice of reason, while standing on the bustling corner of Sodom and Gomorrah in the red-light district of professional sports.


-Froggy :

Wow! I have mad luv for J-Lamp. He straight-up had my 6 by calling out the long-history of "catch-weight" scrapping. And then he gave the names of the late, great "Homcide" Hank Armstrong and B-Hop doing doing da darn thang [sic] just as Da Manny has done. But somehow haters have bad connections between their mud lights and neurons and can only see Da Manny as "the king of catch weights." OMFG! All this bitterness toward the Pinoy when Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns, Terry Norris, Winky Wright, Andre "SOG" Ward, "Second to" Nunn, "Superman" Roy Jones Jr and heavyweights such as the late Buster Mathis and the late, greats Max Baer and "Unforgivable Blackness" Jack Johnson, just to name a few more, all fought in so-called catch weights. Call it whatever! But catch-weight fighting ain't bad. Never has been. And it is going nowhere. Hate it. But enjoy the scraps. Holla!
I agree 100%, except for title fights, the middleweight division is 160 pounds so no catchweight if you are fighting for a world title ! But the alphabet soup governing bodies want sanctioning fees not credibility !


-amayseng :

Jim Lampley is a decent man, speaking the voice of reason, while standing on the bustling corner of Sodom and Gomorrah in the red-light district of professional sports.
haha good one


-stormcentre :

Wow! I have mad luv for J-Lamp.
(A) He straight-up had my 6 by calling out the long-history of "catch-weight" scrapping. And then he gave the names of the late, great "Homcide" Hank Armstrong and B-Hop doing doing da darn thang [sic] just as Da Manny has done.
(B) But somehow haters have bad connections between their mud lights and neurons and can only see Da Manny as "the king of catch weights."
(C) OMFG! All this bitterness toward the Pinoy when Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns, Terry Norris, Winky Wright, Andre "SOG" Ward, "Second to" Nunn, "Superman" Roy Jones Jr and heavyweights such as the late Buster Mathis and the late, greats Max Baer and "Unforgivable Blackness" Jack Johnson, just to name a few more, all fought in so-called catch weights. Call it whatever! But catch-weight fighting ain't bad. Never has been. And it is going nowhere. Hate it. But enjoy the scraps. Holla!
Sorry, wrong again Radam. I am up to your "ignore this part I don't like, misinterpret this part that doesn't serve my cause, then regurgitate the same as before"; Rinse, Rubbish, and Repeat, Radam style. :)
(A) Over here . . . . . . . .
->http://www.thesweetscience.com/forums/showthread.php?21484-LOTIERZO-LOWDOWN-Cotto-Beat-An-Empty-Package-in-Geale&p=83712&viewfull=1#post83712 . . . we are still waiting on you to explain
not how long catch-weights have been in boxings' history (as you have conveniently misinterpreted the issue to be). But what (Jim Lampley mentioned) catch-weight contests the above fights, fighters and/or those you refer to comply with both; 1) What happened last weekend with Cotto V Geale, and . . . 2) What I actually stated . . which (to avoid further misinterpretation) is above linked and below pasted below for your good/forgetful self
"Particularly when "this type of thing" relates to champions both expecting and contracting for, their opponents to come in and fight at catch weights that are themselves below the weight limit for which the championship title itself is being contested." Now I want to say donkey, but I wont; because I hope you're smarter than that. Now, Radam, Jim Lampley makes no comment in the (important) regard of what champions expect/contract for their opponents to come in and fight at catch weights that are below the weight limit for which the championship title itself is challenged; which is one critical crux of the (overlooked?) issue here. Therefore your use of his claims to support your own previously flawed claims, is itself (again) appearing flawed. That is, unless, of course, you can furnish us with the evidence that has thus far eluded you; as to how many of the above mentioned catch-weight contests and/or those fighters/fights you refer to, involve and/or comply with (what I actually said, which was) "champions both expecting and contracting for their opponents to come in and fight at catch weights that are themselves below the weight limit for which the championship title itself is being contested". Just so you know; the reason that is one critical cruxes of the (overlooked?) issue here, is because that is what Roach and Cotto did last weekend. They didn't just contract for a catch-weight in an era when there is less need for them due to how many more weight divisions exist today. Now, given your currently existing 100% failure at explaining your claims (including those used to make assertions about others) I won't be holding my breath on an accurate response coming forth as quickly as (more) donkey chaff claims based on deliberately misinterpreted readings, are regularly released. :) Just to summarize and keep it simple for you; I am asking you to (either cease making negative references to my substantiated claims; whilst yours remain in tatters - or) explain yourself in relation to, which of the above fighters both used catch-weights
and made their opponents come in under the weight limit for the championship fight in question. From there, you can then use that to show the claimed "long history" of what has happened last weekend with the Cotto V Geale bout. As this - plus the fact that weight divisions in the older days (the history you refer to?) spanned a greater weight band, therefore providing a greater (than is the case now) reason for reasonable catch-weights - is the real issue. Not in the least as, since the weight divisions these days only span a few pounds by comparison (to the old days), there is - especially when compared to the older days - less justification for catch-weights; to start with. Let alone catch-weights that; 1) Laughably constitute a title defence. 2) Contract a fighter to weigh less than the weight the actual title and championship fight represents. 3) Are easily (deliberately?) misinterpreted to justify previously flawed stances and/or claims that are themselves both incomplete and released to; 3a) Self preserve the catch-weight practice. 3b) Mislead and falsify about how the catch-weight practice has - supposedly - been used throughout history in championship contests in the same manner as Roach and Cotto used it last weekend; when, in actual fact, no evidence has really been brought forward by yourself (as usual) to support your claims and/or suggest that the catch-weight practice discussed above has been widespread throughout history, and/or if it had been how it is the same as doing it now, when - as per the above comments - many extra weight divisions exist today than that which existed during the era that appears to be used in your loose and unproven historical comparisons and claims. 3c) Potentially, trivialize and normalize the dangers associated with catch-weight contracts that are designed to, remove the element of surprise related to a fights' outcome in equal - if not greater - parts as they both diminish a fighter's capacity to perform and increase danger for the fighter that must carve, starve, and fight.
(B) Please also note below, as this constitutes an exposure of yet another misinterpreted read/claim on your behalf; used to make false claims about me. I have bolded the part of my post that you clearly overlooked to create yours; just to make it easy for you. Here is the link to my post in question . . .
->http://www.thesweetscience.com/forums/showthread.php?21484-LOTIERZO-LOWDOWN-Cotto-Beat-An-Empty-Package-in-Geale&p=83719&viewfull=1#post83719 And here is the section of my post you overlooked . . . ""Successfully defending titles by ensuring your opponent is catch weight contracted to weigh in under the contested title's weight limit is a relatively new and seriously alarming trend; emanating -
at the moment - from a gym/trainer that has - to some extent- popularized and/or normalized catch weights as a means of stacking the WildCard deck for (some of) his fighters"." Please note how - not just my above response (point "A") and all the posts/claims it relates to that you have both misunderstood and misinterpreted - but also, from above point "B" how the inclusion of the words "at the moment" means that your claim about . . . ""somehow haters have bad connections between their mud lights and neurons and can only see Da Manny as the king of catch weights"". Is as flawed as all the other claims released by donkey that he can't explain; including those he has offered to. Finally, on your above claim (and getting back to the real issue; you skipped over when releasing your trolling/insinuating claims) I would welcome you showing - in writing - where another gym, trainer, and modern day fighter combination exists that has used catch-weights with such regularity and success as Roach has with his fighters; including/especially Pacquaio; regardless of whether it be in championship contests (as many of Pacquaio's catch-weights have been) or not. I would be interested to learn from you how many other champions have used catch-weights in championship contests, as often as Pacquaio and Roach have. In your response; please feel free to (continue - as you do - to) forget/ignore for now the PED issue that also hangs over their heads, and increases the danger (particularly of catch-weight contests) to opponents; more than 5 fold. Some like to misinterpret articles, claims, responses, and posters thoughts, to keep their imagination alive. There's no harm in donkey dreaming though. Provided, that is, you don't try and treat it as reality; as that's were the confusion between "da actuality of da reality" and the truth, starts. For now though - and, as I say this, I am cognizant that you (have assured us that you) know every iota of the boxing game - you may need to gallop a little faster to keep up Radam. Currently you're all over the place; eating leading left hooks and crosses. It's not like you at all. :) Perhaps donkey's hind quarters are mysteriously sore? Anyway, keep up the good (misinterpreted trolling {hypocritical?}) work.
(C) ""OMFG! All this bitterness toward the truth and explaining what we say in the comments we use to accuse."" Please remember, the option to think, properly read posts you refer to (with insults), and check before posting, and also to not lie; is always available to you. Particularly since you have your archives and youtube backing you up 100%. I find it (thinking, checking, and not equivocating) not only saves me a lot of time but also ensures confidence with what I say. Even when questioned and asked to explain. You might like to try it sometime. Hee Haw :)
PS: apologies for the long post, (I know you don’t like then, particularly if they’re about the truth) but - as you can see - it is actually the result of extensive equivocation, misinterpretation, and loose insinuations; on your part.