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Notes and Nuggets by Thomas Hauser

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  • Notes and Nuggets by Thomas Hauser

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    BY THOMAS HAUSER

    On September 27, 2014, adult glamour model Jordan Carver and adult film star Melanie Muller entered a boxing ring in Dusseldorf, Germany, and did battle over four heated rounds. Their encounter could be dismissed as taking place far beyond the outer fringe of boxing but for one notable fact.

    The ring announcer was Michael Buffer.

    Carver was born in Germany in 1986. According to Wikipedia, she worked as a hotel manager, beautician, and make-up artist before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a modeling career. In January 2010, she launched her own website featuring glamour photos, videos, and other content.

    Wikipedia further notes, “Carver became successful due to the large size of her breasts paired with her otherwise slim figure.” But in 2017, she posted a video on YouTube entitled “Why I Decided for a Breast Reduction” and a second video heralding her “new life as Ina Marie.” She now says that she has left the adult industry behind. But memories remain. A recent Google search for “Jordan Carver” engendered more than 400,000 results.

    Melanie Muller was born in Germany in 1988. Wikipedia reports that she worked as a “restaurant specialist and bartender” before turning to erotic modeling in 2010. She had a brief career in pornographic films and has been involved in a number of entertainment ventures including singing. In April 2014, Muller recorded and released a song in honor of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the title of which translates into English as “Let’s Go, Germany. Score!”

    Carver vs. Muller (which can be found on YouTube) was honestly, albeit inartfully, fought. There were four two minute rounds without headgear. The women didn’t play-act or pose provocatively. They fought as best they could with Muller winning the decision.

    As for Buffer’s participation . . .

    The Great One has longstanding commercial ties to Germany. He has been a spokesperson for Saturn, a large German electronics manufacturing company. And he was the ring announcer of choice for most of Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko’s championship fights in Germany.

    Where Carver vs. Muller was concerned, Buffer announced Carver as “The Queen of Fitness” and Muller as “The Queen of the Jungle, but tonight she wants to become Germany’s first lady of fighting.” He also intoned “Let’s get ready to rumble!” at the appropriate time and, when the bout was over, announced the decision as he would after any big fight.

    “It was part of a celebrity boxing series,” Buffer recalls, looking back on that night. “And it was done on a pretty high level. They had a good crowd in a respectable venue. [Former heavyweight contender] Axel Schulz was one of the German television commentators, and the telecast got good ratings. I was brought in to give the event credibility. The fight was sloppy but totally for real. Both women tried hard to win. I did my job. They paid me well. And that was it.”

    * * *

    There was a time when boxing’s best fought each as a matter of course. That era peaked when HBO had the resolve and money to push super-fights and the landscape was graced by warriors like Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Marvin Hagler, and Roberto Duran. But too often in recent years, boxing fans have been reduced to imagining big fights rather than watching them.

    Enter an ambitious undertaking known as the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS).

    The WBSS is funded by Comosa AG (a European entertainment company). It began as a joint venture with Sauerland Promotions. Richard Schaefer was brought into the mix to promote WBSS fights that are contested in the United States and, more importantly, to negotiate a deal for WBSS television rights with an American network. It was also contemplated that Schaefer would be involved in dealing with third parties in other countries where he might have better connections than Sauerland.

    It its inaugural year, the WBSS has featured eight-man elimination tournaments in boxing’s cruiserweight and super-middleweight divisions. Schaefer outlined the premise behind the venture as follows: “Most sports have a signature event or events. Baseball, football, soccer, golf, tennis, NCAA basketball. The idea is to brand this as a signature event. Comosa thinks they’ll lose money for the first two or three years while they’re building their brand and then turn a corner.”

    There was a lot of pie-in-the-sky hype at the start. In March 2017, the WBSS announced that fighters in the first two tournaments would compete for $50 million in purses, although Schaefer soon conceded that $50 million was “just a number because we don’t know yet who will enter the tournaments.”

    Comosa also entered into a long term licensing deal with Authentic Brands Group (which controls commercial rights to the name, likeness, and image of Muhammad Ali). That enabled tournament organizers to declare that the fighters in each weight division would do battle for “The Greatest Prize in Boxing, the Muhammad Ali Trophy.”

    The participants and seedings in each weight division were determined last summer. No recognized world title-holders were entered in the 168-pound mix, although George Groves picked up a vacant WBA belt when he defeated Jamie Cox in the first round of the tournament.

    The cruiserweights were another matter. All four major cruiserweight beltholders – Murat Gassiev (IBF), Yunier Dorticos (WBA), Oleksandr Usyk (WBO), and Mairus Briedis (WBC) – entered the fray. And they were joined by a credible supporting cast of Marco Huck, Krzyslof Wlodarczyk, Dmitry Kudryashov, and Mike Perez.

    But there have been problems, the most significant of which is the absence of a deal with an American television network.

    Multiple sources say that, at the start of the negotiating process, Schaefer asked Showtime for a $15 million licensing fee that he would then use to sign tournament participants. Showtime responded that Schaefer was dreaming and suggested that he try to work something out on a lesser scale with Al Haymon (Showtime’s primary content provider).

    Epix offered $500,000 for all fourteen fights in the first two tournaments and was prepared to go higher as negotiations progressed. But the WBSS felt they were in different universes when it came to an appropriate license fee for the bouts.

    More recently, Showtime expressed interest in a package deal for the 168-pound semi-final bout between George Groves and Chris Eubank Jr (to be contested in Manchester on February 17) and the two championship finals, which are slated for May. But no agreement has been reached.

    Meanwhile, there are rumblings that all is not well between Comosa, Sauerland, and Schaefer. Feelings have been bruised, and there are questions as to whether Schaefer overstated what he could bring to the table in terms of American television money and whether Showtime backed away from a promise to support the tournaments.

    The absence of a significant TV deal has made it impossible for the WBSS to catch on in the United States. That’s a shame insofar as the cruiserweights are concerned.

    The WBSS super-middleweight tournament has sparked interest in England, primarily because of the involvement of Groves and Eubank. But the cruiserweight tournament is special. The championship round will be contested between Murat Gassiev and Oleksandr Usyk on May 11, most likely in Saudi Arabia but possibly in Russia. Two fighters who have earned the right to call themselves the best cruiserweights in the world will square off with the winner being legitimately acclaimed as #1.

    Jimmy Tobin recently noted that we live in “an era when a fighter can have developmental fights even after winning multiple titles and where every stern challenge provides license for at least one unwatchable one.”

    The World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament has followed a different road. It’s a high-quality gemstone and what boxing should be about.

    * * *

    Greg Sirb (executive director of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission) is a staunch advocate for fighter safety. Sirb regularly reviews fight schedules and fight results from around the country with an eye toward determining which commissions need to upgrade their standards. Recently, he turned an eye toward the National Football League.

    The causal link between football and chronic brain damage is no longer in doubt. After years of waffling and covering up, the NFL is now addressing the issue in a more substantive way. A massive financial settlement with former players and a new “concussion protocol” are part of the mix. But Sirb still believes that the NFL is behind boxing in some respects.

    “Look at [New England Patriots all-pro tight end] Rob Gronkowski,” Sirb said in a recent telephone conversation. “On January 21st, Gronkowski suffered a concussion after a helmet-to-helmet hit in the AFC conference championship game. But he was cleared to participate in a full practice on February 1st and to play in the Super Bowl on February 4th.”

    “In other words,” Sirb continued, “two weeks after Gronkowski suffered a concussion, he was back on the field where he risked getting hit in the head again. Now let’s take the same scenario for boxing. Say, Gronkowski was a boxer and got hit with a big right hand, went down, maybe got to his feet, and the referee stopped the fight. And just like he did on the football field, Gronkowski the boxer suffered a concussion. In boxing, he would have been suspended for at least thirty days.”

    “The NFL can say all it wants about its so-called concussion protocol,” Sirb concluded. “But football is behind boxing when it comes to caring about participant safety. Look, football is a great game. I love football. My son plays college football. And I regulate a sport where one guy is paid to punch another guy in the face. But those guys at the NFL have to get off their high horse and stop all this sanctimonious talk about concussion protocol. Do you know how many NFL players don’t even wear a mouthpiece? A mouthpiece doesn’t just protect the teeth. It helps guard against concussions. You tell me which sport is more dangerous.”

    Thomas Hauser can be reached by email at thauser@rcn.com. His most recent book – There Will Always Be Boxing – was published by the University of Arkansas Press. In 2004, the Boxing Writers Association of America honored Hauser with the Nat Fleischer Award for career excellence in boxing
    journalism.


    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel.



  • #2
    A couple notes on the article. George Groves did win a Super Middleweight belt (WBA) in May of 2017 when he defeated Fedor Chudinov. Afterwards, he entered the WBSS and was the WBA champion and his first defense was against Cox.

    Epix was interested but were they willing to go higher than the amount in the article given two facts? One is we are still in a buy time era and Epix probably thought it was being generous offering anything. And two, Epix was looking at boxing but apparently in the form of bringing back the Contender reality show. They are spending big bucks on that series. Would they really have been willing to negotiate higher as the article suggests for WBSS given the other significant financial investment they were planning to make with the Contender?

    Yes the Usyk-Briedis fight was a misstep with no US platform. I think the WBSS has learned and gave us fans here in the US a tremendous free stream for Gassiev-Dorticos. That fight did not require a tv or any subscription but was able free to anyone with an internet connection. It reached a massive audience in the US and was truly 100% free. And the undercard was also streamed giving fight fans here a full day of action.
    Last edited by oubobcat; 02-12-2018, 04:13 AM.

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    • #3
      Based on the photo headlining these tidbits, i automatically knew and dissmissed any information regarding as pure feces! Assumed lack of credibility! When will the knuckleheads get it right? Pure turnoff!

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      • #4
        There is a boycott currently called for on all DiBella promotions. Evidently in protest of persistaent entries of at least 1 womens boxing match on every fight card hes responsible for. The Ortiz Wilder fight is currently the first target. Ticket sales have been affected at the Barcaly Center with slow response.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by oubobcat View Post
          A couple notes on the article. George Groves did win a Super Middleweight belt (WBA) in May of 2017 when he defeated Fedor Chudinov. Afterwards, he entered the WBSS and was the WBA champion and his first defense was against Cox.

          Epix was interested but were they willing to go higher than the amount in the article given two facts? One is we are still in a buy time era and Epix probably thought it was being generous offering anything. And two, Epix was looking at boxing but apparently in the form of bringing back the Contender reality show. They are spending big bucks on that series. Would they really have been willing to negotiate higher as the article suggests for WBSS given the other significant financial investment they were planning to make with the Contender?

          Yes the Usyk-Briedis fight was a misstep with no US platform. I think the WBSS has learned and gave us fans here in the US a tremendous free stream for Gassiev-Dorticos. That fight did not require a tv or any subscription but was able free to anyone with an internet connection. It reached a massive audience in the US and was truly 100% free. And the undercard was also streamed giving fight fans here a full day of action.



          Speaking of Groves . . . . .

          Surprised to see there isn’t any dedicated thread and/or in-depth report about the upcoming Groves V Eubank Jr. fight.

          Aside from the fact that it will be a cracker; if you like stepping through the tangibles and analysing results/outcomes (especially within the context of odds) there is a really interesting fight for you right there.



          Groves is pretty tough, he can hit, follow a game-plan within reason, and is arguably quite a bit more tried/proven against better competition than Eubank.

          But, does that greater experience transform into;
          Silly
          Silly
          A) Positive attributes that can be capitalized on so it translates into success for Groves?


          B) Or, greater wear/tear and/or attributes that can only be capitalized on by Eubank?



          Eubank, I think, is favored by the bookies.

          He probably has the more versatile attacking, speed, and punching dexterity.

          I say “punching dexterity”, because Chris’ single/combination punching technique is (up until the point of defensive considerations) most likely a cut above George’s.



          Both guys make counter-puncher’s dreams come true.

          Neither give much thought to where their hands are after attacking arm has extended its glove to the intended location.

          So, both guys are are defensively flawed, and probably hate each other as much as they have durable chins.



          Groves has taken some hellish shots from Froch and others.

          And, Eubank showed he can hold a shot too when he took some really heavy flush power shots from Saunders, and a few others.

          Particularly Ireland’s Gary O’Sullivan; whom whilst he may seem limited, really landed on Eubank in some of the early rounds of their fight.



          If Groves does that it will be interesting to whether Chris’ chin holds up.

          Eubank has a pretty good engine though - probably a little bit better than Groves.

          But, if you’re fast enough to punch with Eubank and/or can time him (without leaving yourself open) then perhaps Eubank’s defensive liabilities become increased opportunities for Grove.

          More on that later.


          Eubank’s confidence is slightly beyond what his resume dictates.

          But then, just as that is a ledger that will be squared up if he beats Groves - the disparity between Eubank’s confidence and resume is also explained by whom created Chris.

          Eubank’s style and technique is interesting.

          It’s both polished/effective and raw/vulnerable in equal parts; provided you consider most of the sum of all boxing physical movements to fall under the headings of either, defence or offence; with a 50:50 split between defence and offence.

          Lesser skilled fighters have become IBF, WBO, WBA, or WBC world champions.

          And, better skilled fighters have been knocked out and never returned.

          Despite it being polished/effective and raw/vulnerable in equal parts; Eubank’s style mostly works for him because he is faster/fitter than the competition.

          And, because he usually occupies opponents with regular successions of attacks that are delivered at rates greater than they can familiarise with; such that his opposition is almost always unable to capitalize on Chris’ vulnerabilities that lay within the above-mentioned defensive category of his sometimes advantageously complex style.



          Chris has a style that seems to best work if guys come to him and he can just pick off what's on offer and/or outwork them.

          But, as implicitly hinted at above, if you can remain composed whilst Eubank fires off fast/hard combinations and hang with him . . . .

          With almost every punch he throws, he presents himself as a reasonably vulnerable target.



          Groves, is just as open.

          But because Grove’s style is not so high intensity and calculatedly reckless, Eubank (for the first few rounds) will probably only have counter rights across the (Groves) jab, and perhaps counter hooks to (easily) capitalize on.

          That is not to say Eubank can’t create openings, because he can.

          As, that is both;
          Silly
          Silly
          A) Probably one of Eubank’s best attributes.


          B) Another reason why many opponents find it too hard to make use of the fact that Chris’ style is, in equal parts, composed of polished effectiveness and raw vulnerabilities.




          Saunders was possibly an exception to the directly above point “B”.

          As, it appeared that he knew for Eubank to be the most comfortable it required opponents that were not fast handed and/or highly mobile.

          Billy Joe Saunders went on to expose some of the aforementioned raw vulnerabilities within Chris’ style by using movement and possessing comparable hand speed to Eubank.



          However, whilst his mobility and hand speed may not be in Eubank’s league; Groves can box a bit, fight a lot, and he probably is the hardest single puncher of the two.

          So, it remains to be seen if Eubank can deter him; or vice vesa.

          Groves certainly has the power to really hurt anyone, and Eubank’s chin is almost always there and available; if you can catch him.

          The catch is that Eubank’s chin is not usually free and easily accessible unless his opponent is either within range to be hit, or actually being hit/attacked.



          Eubank, whilst he doesn’t switch between stances as easily as Andre, has a style (in orthodox stance) that is partly similar to Andre Dirrell.

          The similarities between Eubank and Dirrell don’t end there either.



          Both guys can put together some very elaborate offensive strategies that are underpinned by sophisticated (sometimes unique) tactics/moves possessing a high degree of technical execution.

          Then again, for all the beneficial danger those elaborate and sophisticated approaches may provide both Dirrel and Eubank. .. . . . .

          It is interesting (for me at least) to note that on some occasions it has been shown, for both guys, that the advantages of their technically refined styles can disintegrate into liabilies.

          Particularly when faced with determined competition and enough pressure to expose the vulnerable seams between each separate attribute woven into the fabric of their technically complex fighting methodologies.


          And, if that happens for Eubank . . .

          Then you would have to assume that such a circumstance favors Groves and his more simplistic style.

          Which is more reliant upon power alone and therefore far easier to remember under duress.


          The big question is what percentage of probability dos one apply to that aforementioned “if”.


          Cheers,

          Storm.

           

          Comment


          • #6
            Why isnt there a photo of Groves Eubank headlining this article? They could a picture of Alejandra Jimenez's fat *** even? Where are the priotities here?

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            • #7
              The WBSS did announce this week too that the entire fight card for Groves-Eubank will be available to US fans free on their Facebook and YouTube pages. This will reach a massive audience here in the States as you do not need a cable tv service to watch this contest and anyone with an internet connection can tune in for free. Two weeks ago, the Gassiev-Dorticos event also reached a massive audience here in the States and from my social media feeds was very widely viewed (more so than some recent premium cable events broadcast in the US). The WBSS is huge here even if they techincally do not have a US tv deal due to the advent of online streaming.

              Comment


              • #8
                Ah yes, images and words.

                Pull me under, I'm not afraid.

                The esteemed BFERN on the matter, addressing photographers:

                "Please be aware that the BWAA, although a writers’ organization, is fully appreciative of the talent and hard work with which you do your jobs. Any boxing article, no matter how well written, is enhanced by a great photo, and conversely, a great photo is enhanced when it goes with a great article. It is a hand-in-hand relationship, which is why the photo contest was inaugurated a couple of years after the writing contest was launched. We all work toward the same end, which is a union of words and pictures that best illustrate any boxing event."

                👍

                Comment


                • #9
                  "esteemed BFERN" HUH?

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                  • #10
                    Work toward a boxing event? Who the h.. Is this a photo of? The main subject of the articles are not articulated! Even a photo of Jaegern Braehmer would be more appropriate? (Former WBA light heavyweight Champion for several years, currently in the tournament!)! This is NOT a union,l this picture is a political advertisement!

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                    • #11
                      And here I was thinking the Dream Theater reference would be most likely to stump somebody.

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                      • #12
                        Not the esteemed Kid Blast

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by KO Digest View Post
                          Ah yes, images and words.

                          Pull me under, I'm not afraid.

                          The esteemed BFERN on the matter, addressing photographers:

                          a) "Please be aware that the BWAA, although a writers’ organization, is fully appreciative of the talent and hard work with which you do your jobs.

                          b) Any boxing article, no matter how well written, is enhanced by a great photo, and conversely, a great photo is enhanced when it goes with a great article. It is a hand-in-hand relationship, which is why the photo contest was inaugurated a couple of years after the writing contest was launched.

                          We all work toward the same end, which is a union of words and pictures that best illustrate any boxing event."

                          👍


                          Not that I think this applies to you KOD (no sarcasm intended), but on the matter of the above point “a” . . . .
                          Silly
                          Whilst I agree the BWAA is just a writers organization (with low barrier to entry and often without any meaningful journalistic/other “standards” {interpret that potential oxmoron as you wish }); there have been times (after reading the published results of the BWAA and/or their esteemed members) when I might rephrase such a sentence like the above point “a” to something like . . .
                          Silly
                          Please be aware that - although it is just a writers’ organization with a large portion (but not all) of its members being;
                          Silly
                          1) Without a complete grasp of grammar, and other literary skills.
                          Silly
                          Silly
                          2) Unable to construct truly independent and accurate views on some of boxing most controversial/other subjects.
                          Silly
                          Silly
                          3) Obviously, fully aware of its low barrier to entry.
                          Silly
                          The BWAA is, nonetheless, still, appreciative of the hard work and dedication with which its members impart as they go about their merry way performing the various functions of their jobs”.






                          Insofar as the above point “b” is concerned . . . .
                          Silly
                          Firstly, I agree.


                          Secondly, and this is just my personal opinion; as I always (try to lead by example, and usually) think along the lines of . . .
                          Silly
                          Any boxing publication - no matter how well written - is always enhanced by a great picture, image, photograph and/or video.

                          Likewise, a great photograph/video is usually enhanced when it goes with a great publication/article; such that they form a hand-in-hand relationship
                          ”.


                          Thirdly, the fusion of music and boxing is something that often happens at the boxing gym and also within live boxing performances; so why not provide the options when boxing posts/publications are read?

                          Naturally, StormCentre was the first to meaningfully do it.



                          As such, please note the inclusion of a suitable image and/or video at the base of most of my publications, including this one.



                          Kind regards,

                          Storm.










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                          • #14
                            Ohhhj! Applesauce.....

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                            • #15
                               

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