COMMISSIONER'S CORNER: Talking Broner, HBO Bouts, P4P List, More

BY Randy Gordon ON June 24, 2014
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BronerThe Sweet Science (not the sport, but TSS.com) has been ablaze with talk/chatter/comments about Adrien “The Problem” Broner. It is 100% agreed upon that he takes his pre-fight and post-fight antics way too far. Even the most liberal of us cannot sit there, either by ourselves or with family and/or friends and say, after watching him grab himself more than Miley Cyrus and throw F-bombs around more than “Kid Chocolate” throws chocolate kisses to the crowd after a victory, “I really like this guy. He’s a class act.”

He hasn’t done anything, er, Problematic lately. It’s just that a recent thread on TSS, started by Skibbz on June 19, entitled, “Re: Adrien Broner-A Problem?” has already garnered dozens of responses covering eight pages—and still coming--as of this writing. Apparently, fans love speculating about Floyd Mayweather; discussing Manny Pacquiao; showing new love for Vasyl Lomachenko; and bashing Adrien Broner.

If Broner were in the WWE, he would unquestionably be a “heel”—a bad guy. However, in the WWE, it’s all an act (sorry if I just burst a few bubbles). With bad-guy Broner, it’s no act. What you see and what you get is what he is: a man-child who is 24 going on 14.

Broner thinks he’s funny.

Broner thinks he’s tough.

Broner thinks he’s entertaining.

He’s none of the above. If anything, he’s crude, a punk and repulsive. He’s been a champ in the ring and a top-rated chump outside of it.

I think it’s safe to say (or write) that most of us would like to see Adrien Broner fight again very soon. The tougher and more-skilled the opponent, the more we’ll like it. I think it’s also safe to say (or write) that most of us have no desire—NONE!—of hearing Broner in his pre-fight and post-fight drivvle (that’s a lot of words, a lot of nonsense and little substance.

So, what I am going to do, is send an open letter to the head of Showtime Sports, Steve Espinoza, before Broner’s next fight. The letter will ask, very politely, to only show Broner’s fight, but nothing more. I will ask him to refrain from doing pre-fight interviews, post-fight interviews and keeping the microphone away from Broner’s mouth. We don’t want to hear his potty-mouth, we don’t want to hear him telling us he is going to be known as the best fighter in history and we don’t need to hear him telling some groupie bimbette to “brush my hair.”

Steve Espinoza should let us watch Adrien Broner fight.

We should not have to endure anything else from him until he grows up.

**********************************************************************************************************************

QUICK JABS: Next Saturday, young, gifted WBO Lightweight Champion Terence Crawford puts his title on the line against veteran Yuri Gamboa on HBO. It’s the fourth straight weekend of world-class boxing action on television. This past Saturday was the Showtime card featuring Robert Guerrero v Yoshihiro Kamegai and V-Lo against Gary Russell. The week before was Chris Algieri v Ruslan Provodnikov. The week before that was Miguel Cotto v Sergio Martinez at Madison Square Garden. In case you haven’t noticed, our sport is hot!

***************

POUND-FOR-POUND: Just what does Pound-for-Pound mean? What is it? Pound-for-Pound is either a consensus list or our own personal list of who we think the best fighter in the world is if everybody were the same size and weight. Could Manny Pacquiao beat Wladimir Klitschko? Could Mikey Garcia beat Andre Ward? With that, here’s my updated, fictitional list of the best Top-10 fighters in the world, starting with #10 and working up to #1:

10. Leo Santa Cruz

9. Miguel Cotto

8. Vasyl Lomachenko

7. Sergey Kovalev

6. Mikey Garcia

5. Gennady Golovkin

4. Wladimir Klitschko

3. Manny Pacquiao

2. Andre Ward

1. Floyd Mayweather

Whether or not you agree with the list doesn’t matter. V-Lo at #8. Hey, it’s my list. MINE! You have your lists. I have mine.

***************

SANCTIONING FEE RUBLES: Ahh, leave it to the sanctioning bodies to find ways for promoters to make deposits into the sanctioning body’s account. Only July 6, in Grozny, Russia, Ruslan Chagaev will face perennial contender Fres Oquendo. We use the term “perennial contender” for a guy who’s been around a long time and who usually loses his big fights. Well, Chagaev will face Oquendo for what the WBA is calling a championship bout. In case you’re keeping score, the bout is for the WBA’s vacant “regular” heavyweight title. What is the “regular” heavyweight title? Is that like vanilla ice cream and vanilla “lite.” And low-fat vanilla. And sugar-free vanilla? What is the the “regular” heavyweight champion? The “regular” heavyweight champion is a title for sale by a sanctioning body. It’s money, in this case rubles. Lots of them. FYI. The WBA Heavyweight Champion, just the plain ‘ol heavyweight champion, is a guy named Wladimir Klitschko. In June, 2009, Klitschko and Chagaev fought. Klitschko dominated, cut, dropped and battered Chagaev on the way to winning on a ninth-round TKO. So much for holding a WBA Heavyweight Title belt (should Chagaev beat Oquendo) while Klitschko is the real title holder. Titles for sale, anyone?

**************

BOOKS & DOCS: There are so many boxing books and videos on the market now I am in boxing heaven. Here are a few I highly recommend:

“El Boxeo”—this one is a documentary on the legends of Hispanic boxing. Directed by veteran filmmaker Alan Swyer, this is a fight fans’ collectible: From Alexis Arguello to Fernando Vargas, Swyer leaves nothing out. Roberto Duran, Wilfred Benitez, Julio Cesar Chavez, Ruben Olivares, Miguel Cotto, Carlos Palomino, Bobby Chacon, Canelo Alvarez and Oscar de la Hoya are just a few of the personalities and talent Swyer brings to your screen. Check it out online at elboxeothemovie.com.

“Typhoon Technique” is a book with both explanations and photos of training tips and boxing basics, written in masterful style by Vinny Furlani, along with former world champion Tracy Harris Patterson. It’s a fun book to have, especially when you might be thinking of expanding your boxing horizons from the couch to the gym.

Then there’s Steve Canton’s “Tributes, Memories & Observations of the Sweet Science,” with a foreword by Al Bernstein.This is a plethora of boxing stories and bios, put together by a lifelong boxing fan. It has 38 chapters and 358 pages of boxing info to sink your teeth into. I just got the book, and every morning, before leaving for the gym, I read another chapter. I can’t put this book down. You’ll see what I mean.

**********************************************************************************************************************

HERE & THERE, THIS & THAT: I keep hearing talk of two opponents being thrown in the direction of Manny Pacquiao. One is Robert Guerrero. The other is Chris Algieri. With Al Haymon advising Guerrero, is there any real possibility of matching “The Ghost” with Bob Arum-promoted Pacquiao? I’d say little chance. The better chance is Chris Algieri, the unbeaten slickster from Long Island, N.Y. Algieri is promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, and DeGuardia/Top Rank have no problem working together. Between the two fights, Guerrero would provide more fireworks, but most of the time those fireworks would be blowing up on his face. While there would be little fireworks with Algieri, there would be drama. That’s because Algieri would keep the fight close and take it into the late rounds. His reach and speed may be a huge problem for Pacquiao, which will also be a huge problem for Arum. The safe fight would be Guerrero. The most logical and realistic fight will be Algieri. We’ll have the answer soon…Comebacking Shannon Briggs, 42, looks to make it four straight KO’s on his comeback when he takes on Raphael Zumbano Love in Oklahoma this weekend. Since launching his comeback last April, Briggs has knocked out all three opponents in the first round. Will another first-round ending come on Saturday? The 33-year-old Love is 34-7…The U.K.’s David Haye, recovering from shoulder surgery, is planning a comeback. Haye v Briggs would be a fun fight…Daniel Geale, who will face GGG in MSG on July 28, is talking tough. “Golovkin can be hit,” says Geale. “I am going to hit him hard and I am going to hit him often.” To that, GGG just replies, “Let him try!”…Might it be time for unbeaten Heather Hardy and Roberto Guerrero to get new trainers? Neither know the meaning of the word “Defense.”

**********************************************************************************************************************

THIS DAY IN BOXING: This morning, I sat down and watched the first Joe Frazier-Jerry Quarry match with my wife, Roni. The bout was held on June 23, 1969, in Madison Square Garden.

I was there that day as a college kid, not yet in possession of either a press pass and still 19 years away from being handed my Commissioner’s badge. I bought two $50 seats ($100 was a lot for a college kid back then!!!) to watch my favorite fighter, Joe Frazier, defend his share of the heavyweight title against “Irish” Jerry Quarry. I gave the usher $10 and he moved me and my first-time date down to ringside. I had wanted to take my girlfriend, but she had just broken up with me, so I took another girl instead. Well, what a fight it was, especially that first round. It’s on Youtube. Watch it. You’ll probably watch it a few times. It was kind of like a heavyweight version of Marvelous Marvin Hagler-Thomas Hearns. Nobody except Frazier could have kept up that pace, and he stopped Quarry in the seventh round. As for my date, she hated the fights. I never saw her again. My ex-girlfriend? Her name is Roni. She came back to me. She loves the fights. She married me. Goes to nearly every one with me. She sits in-studio while I do my show on SiriusXM. So, this morning, on the 45th anniversary of the Frazier-Quarry fight, which was Ring Magazine’s “Fight of the Year,” we watched the fight in its entirety.

“I can’t believe I missed this fight,” she said.

“Yeh, but you got to watch a lot more,” I said, “and you got to become friends with both Frazier and Quarry.

“Sorry for breaking up with you,” she said.

“Thanks for coming back,” I replied.

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Comment on this article

Skibbz says:

This is brilliant, I enjoyed every word. So much content, all of it relevant.. I am looking forward to many more of these in the future, it's a must.

Froggy says:

Great stuff !

deepwater2 says:

Wonderful write up.

dino da vinci says:

Great stuff !


We're not worthy! We're not worthy!

oubobcat says:

Great piece Commish, can't wait to read more of these.

Radam G says:

Ditto everyone. The Commish has the strut of a thousand-and-one peacocks. Hehe! He rocks! Holla!

The Commish says:

Thanks, guys. I've been given the green light by the guys in the ivory tower to give you Commissioner's Corner every Monday, so the next one is under six days away, as of this writing.

-Randy G.

Domenic says:

JFK wrote a book once, with ample succor from Ted Sorensen, titled Profiles in Courage (Sorensen never wilted when people accused him of being the true author, and countered that 'the author is the man that stands behind the written word.'). PIC won the Pulitzer Prize. Putting Klitschko 4th on the mythical P4P list is boxing's version of a profile in courage. P4P has NOTHING to do with crowd pleasing; it has to do with the dominance and the gap between a man and his respective opposition. I've seen lists here where Klitschko doesn't even warrant a spot in the honorable mention section that's thrown in as an afterthought. Very nice to see someone with gravitas recognize this.

the Roast says:

I love the story about the Frazier fight. I hope you get a tally for that!

the Roast says:

I would like to nominate Froggy for the next Mod. I like the cut of his jib.

The Commish says:

Thanks, Domenic. I was wondering where you were going with the Profiles in Courage talk, then I realized. Yeh, it has always irked me that Wladimir Klitschko always seems to be omitted from the PxP lists. So, I decided to do my own. Kind of like: So There! Now he's got Kubrat Pulev coming up. Klitschko absolutely should be on everyone's Top-10 list...tR, I always remember June 23 when it rolls around as being the anniversary of Smokin' Joe v Jerry Quarry. Sitting there with my bored-to-tears date, I tried my best to get her to like what she was watching during the undercard, but couldn't. She even hinted around that we should leave before the start of the main event.

"BEFORE Frazier and Quarry fight???" I remember thinking. I was prepared to give her $75 for the cab ride home from NYC to Long Island. There was no way I was gonna' miss Frazier v Quarry.

Well, she reluctantly stayed, not understanding why I, along with nearly 17,000 others, were screaming for "these two men to keep hitting each other." Then and there, as beautiful as she was, Iknew it was our last date.

So, sitting on the couch, watching a video of Frazier-Quarry I on my big screen with my beautiful wife, I was transported back to MSG that June 23 evening. Side-by-side with my biggest fan, she was enjoying the event right along with me. Afterwards, while writing my column, she came up to me and apologized "for not being there with you that night."

"You were there," I said. "You were very much there."

She smiled. She understood.

It's always great watching the fights with your best friend.

-Randy G.

brownsugar says:

I never fail to be awed when I come to this site. Its surreal to have Editor Mike talk directly to the movers and shakers of the boxing world and drop the interview right here on a daily basis as if it were routine as heating up a breakfast sandwich in the microwave yet he will respond to your email the same day without an ounce of pompous pretense.

Then we have Dino Da Vinci who is connected to the Boxing industry in a way that I have yet to fully understand. Is he a manager or a promoter? A man almost as mysterious as Al Haymon yet as connected as the Bobfather. I enjoy reading his comments about his various associations with the boxing elite and his peerless insights about the inner workings of the boxing community.

Combined with the best writing staff and forum on the web. You have a one stop web site that will completely satisfy your appetite for professional boxing journalism.

To top it off......the addition of the Commish (Randy Gordon) is truly the icing on the cake .

How cool is it to chat and hobnobb with a man who associates regularly ......
And I mean face to face ...with our most interesting boxing personalities.

Being a grandfather myself its inspirational to see a mature man functioning at the highest levels of journalism.
Every once in a while when I'm participating (and soon to be competing) at the poetry slam against college kids I ask myself if I'm too old.
But guys like The Commish and Bhop serve as an ever present reminder that success is more a function of desire than it is of age.

I'm thoroughly enjoying the article although I'm not in agreement with all of the opinions.

However today (at least for me) is not a day to debate. Its a day to celebrate the arrival of the Commish's excellent weekly article..
I will be looking forward to the weekly blogs and the discussion that ensues. Somebody pop open a bottle of champagne.

amayseng says:

I never fail to be awed when I come to this site. Its surreal to have Editor Mike talk directly to the movers and shakers of the boxing world and drop the interview right here on a daily basis as if it were routine as heating up a breakfast sandwich in the microwave yet he will respond to your email the same day without an ounce of pompous pretense.

Then we have Dino Da Vinci who is connected to the Boxing industry in a way that I have yet to fully understand. Is he a manager or a promoter? A man almost as mysterious as Al Haymon yet as connected as the Bobfather. I enjoy reading his comments about his various associations with the boxing elite and his peerless insights about the inner workings of the boxing community.

Combined with the best writing staff and forum on the web. You have a one stop web site that will completely satisfy your appetite for professional boxing journalism.

To top it off......the addition of the Commish (Randy Gordon) is truly the icing on the cake .

How cool is it to chat and hobnobb with a man who associates regularly ......
And I mean face to face ...with our most interesting boxing personalities.

Being a grandfather myself its inspirational to see a mature man functioning at the highest levels of journalism.
Every once in a while when I'm participating (and soon to be competing) at the poetry slam against college kids I ask myself if I'm too old.
But guys like The Commish and Bhop serve as an ever present reminder that success is more a function of desire than it is of age.

I'm thoroughly enjoying the article although I'm not in agreement with all of the opinions.

However today (at least for me) is not a day to debate. Its a day to celebrate the arrival of the Commish's excellent weekly article..
I will be looking forward to the weekly blogs and the discussion that ensues. Somebody pop open a bottle of champagne.


agreed


I almost don't even feel qualified enough to read this wonderful article from the Commish.

The Commish says:

agreed

I feel like a child at Chucky Cheese running around just trying to stay out of the way..


Wow! That's the first thing which I keep saying as I'm reading your posts...truly makes me want to do more. Already gathering tidbits and juicy rumors for the next one!

-Randy G.

amayseng says:

Wow! That's the first thing which I keep saying as I'm reading your posts...truly makes me want to do more. Already gathering tidbits and juicy rumors for the next one!

-Randy G.


What a compliment, thanks Commish but I am not worthy.

I really enjoyed your story about the Frazier fight and reuniting with your wife who is your best friend. Keeps hope alive for the rest of us. It's easy to see why you have such a blessed family and life.

The Commish says:

What a compliment, thanks Commish but I am not worthy.

I really enjoyed your story about the Frazier fight and reuniting with your wife who is your best friend. Keeps hope alive for the rest of us. It's easy to see why you have such a blessed family and life.


This is so corny, but true: In my own way, I've hit the lottery bigtime!

-Randy G.

The Shadow says:

Rigondeaux! Rigondeaux!! Rigondeaux!!!

The Commish says:

Yes, Shadow, yes!

Rigo, Rigo, Rigo!

-Randy G.

The Shadow says:

Lovely column, by the way.

I especially love the portion where you take us back through a personal experience. You have a vault of experiences to draw from and it would be so awesome to read that.

I see a viral boxing hit in the making! TSS making BIG moves! Now we just need a sweetly-worded bi-weekly Arne K. throwback story and this place is ready for some Red Smith or Pulitzer action!

And Go Rigo! I think this guy is Top 2 or 3, easy. Had this guy had the opportunity to turn pro in 2000, we may have been talking about the best fighter in history.

Had he stayed in Cuba, he would've had four gold medals. Unquestionably.

He's that special. I'm talking Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci, Picasso, Michael Jackson special. In a lot of ways, it must suck to be him.

Skibbz says:

I had a thought this morning and I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier. Why doesn't Algieri give Postol his shot? It'll be two of the tallest 140'ers getting at each other and could make for a good boxing match. I dare to say Postol has fought the better opposition, and so deserves his chance. I say give it to him!

brownsugar says:

Lovely column, by the way.

I especially love the portion where you take us back through a personal experience. You have a vault of experiences to draw from and it would be so awesome to read that.

I see a viral boxing hit in the making! TSS making BIG moves! Now we just need a sweetly-worded bi-weekly Arne K. throwback story and this place is ready for some Red Smith or Pulitzer action!

And Go Rigo! I think this guy is Top 2 or 3, easy. Had this guy had the opportunity to turn pro in 2000, we may have been talking about the best fighter in history.

Had he stayed in Cuba, he would've had four gold medals, based on him only getting better up until '12. Unquestionably. Possibly five gold medals.

He's that special. I'm talking Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci, Picasso, Michael Jackson, Aristotle, Ibn Maryam special. In a lot of ways, it must suck to be him.


Good idea, Shadow personally..... I'd like to see Deep write something on fitness... Exercises that burn fat ..as an article or even post something in random comments. I gets more difficult to keep lean over time.

The Shadow says:

Good idea, Shadow personally..... I'd like to see Deep write something on fitness... Exercises that burn fat ..as an article or even post something in random comments. I gets more difficult to keep lean over time.


Ask and you shall receive. He usually obliges. Start a thread in RT!

brownsugar says:

Ask and you shall receive. He usually obliges. Start a thread in RT!


Done!

The Commish says:

I am gonna' LOVE doing this column.

So much news I feel like a kid in a toy store at Christmas, being told "Pick all the toys you want!"

-Randy G.

miguel1 says:

Thanks for all the hard work. I wont argue Loma in your pound for pound list, because skill wise, it is very hard to argue that one, but I wanted to say my list would include Rigondeaux as well.

Here is a pound for pound question - where do we put a guy like say, Nonito Donaire. He was in the top 10, in some top 5s a little while back, and took a loss and dropped off. Im of the opinion that a loss is a loss, but Nonito is still so incredibly skilled that he might still deserve lower status (ranked 7-10).

Thoughts?

dino da vinci says:

@Miguel. I'm of the mindset it's possible to lose no ground coming off of a loss. How else would you explain the all-time P-4-P List? If a monster fights a fellow monster and loses by a whisker or even a few rounds, if he engaged the very best opponent, we don't need to banish him to ESPN7. Another reason I have no problem with Pacquiao vs Marquez V. It'll feature adjustments, slippage, etc., but more importantly, wipes out 'what if?' they had met after that. It'll remove the guessing.

I believe I'm alone in how I view knockdowns and losses, because,well, somebody poisoned it. (The well, that is).

miguel1 says:

Thanks Mr D. I appreciate that and think a lot of that in terms of MMA, more my specialty. Donaire was as high as #4 on some of these lists and I tended to agree. He is precise and his KO power is impressive, I once described the shot he hit Fernando Montiel with as being similar to the shot that hit Kennedy in Dallas.... you get my point, I like Donaire.

I rate Rigondeaux top 5 now so the loss to Rigondeaux might have sent Donaire back into the 6-10 pack, but off the list? I haven't seen them completely, but he has been back to winning again. It seems like a harsh assessment on Donaire. My list does not include Klitschko either, I just dont think a skillset comparison favors heavyweights.

The Commish says:

I will be tweeking my Top-10 for Monday.

Hey, top-10 lists are difficult things to do. When 'ol Nat Fleischer, the founder of Ring Magazine, started his lists years ago, he didn't have all the guys who were yet to come to put on those lists: Ali, Frazier, Foreman, Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler...on and on.

I wonder what Nat would have thought about the Klitschko Bros.?

-Randy G.

miguel1 says:

I cant wait to see your toop 10. ill throw mine out there now, to hopefully get the blood flowing..... Your right about the list being kind of personal, lol mine wont include Klitschko at all, I just dont feel a skill set comparison like this favors heavyweights.

1 Floyd Mayweather jr
2 Andre Ward
3 Guillermo Rigondeaux
4 Danny Garcia
5 Manny Pacquiao
6 Juan Manuel Marquez
7 Mikey Garcia
8 Timothy Bradley
9 Nonito Donaire
10 Miguel Cotto

The Shadow says:

I cant wait to see your toop 10. ill throw mine out there now, to hopefully get the blood flowing..... Your right about the list being kind of personal, lol mine wont include Klitschko at all, I just dont feel a skill set comparison like this favors heavyweights.

1 Floyd Mayweather jr
2 Andre Ward
3 Guillermo Rigondeaux
4 Danny Garcia
5 Manny Pacquiao
6 Juan Manuel Marquez
7 Mikey Garcia
8 Timothy Bradley
9 Nonito Donaire
10 Miguel Cotto


Nice list. Skill for skill these guys would match up well with anyone. I don't see a Klitschko inclusion either, though I understand. Mike Tyson was No. 1 P4P for a while but that I was with -- he was almost always smaller and always shorter.

I also think a case can be made for Vazquez, Bernard Hopkins (he's much better than Cotto, IMO), and Strike N Flee EL Dandy Landy Lara.

But I can dig yours too!

The Commish says:

I will have my "tweeked" slightly-changed version in my new column on Monday.

-Randy G.

miguel1 says:

Thanks for the props on the list. I wanted to put Lara, or Gamboa at 10, but I may be a little bit high on the Cubans so I avoided them. I put Cotto there mainly because I had Martinez in that spot, though he is old, up until his last fight, he deserved a top 10 spot IMO. He was coming down from a top 5 spot due to inactivity mainly. Your right that Cotto may be an honorable mention. B-Hop, though incredibly skilled is someone whose speed and athleticism at this age dont match up well with anyone on the list IMO, and he had his day. I love him and admire what he is doing, but I will disagree on him belonging on a 2014 list.

After this weekend, I might be tempted to but Terrence Crawford at 10 instead of Cotto. That win over Gamboa was very solid, he was bigger, meaner and more technical throughout the fight and I was very impressed.

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