Being a member of the independent media isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, like most of the skulking, twitter-addicted, media-day-dwelling shills out there, we here at the Tribune can’t go out in public without having to fight adoring readers off with a tennis racket. But without the steady influx of revenue from the very subjects we’re expected to objectively cover, day jobs, odd jobs, and night jobs sometimes hampers our ability to provide our dedicated readers with the latest breaking news about everyone’s favorite sport in the “Other” section of most general sports websites.
Of course, it is well within your rights to go the usual route for your boxing news fix, or you can always get your news with just the right amount of commentary from someone lacking an agenda. Our very own Jesse Ian Lardies’ Sunday Brunch feature is also a great source for news commentary. So without further ado, let’s dive right into an eclectic mix of recent boxing headlines– some new, some old, all of them broken.
Don’t Touch the Sacred Cow
I’ll preface this section by stating the obvious: boxing is a dangerous sport and I don’t wish irreparable harm on any of the brave men and women who lace up a pair of gloves, climb into the ring and destroy their bodies and brains for our mere entertainment.
That said, the numerous internet memes showing a face-down and unconscious Manny Pacquiao photo-shopped into various scenarios are entertaining. The backlash against those who choose to share said photos on social media sites is ridiculous. Go back a few years and you’d be hard-pressed not to find a photo-shopped gem of Paul Williams lying face down and unconscious with his eyes wide open after being sent down for a mid-fight nap in his November 2010 middleweight title fight with Sergio Martinez. Another popular internet meme often featured Floyd Mayweather as a chicken being lovingly mounted from behind by Oscar De La Rooster. Possibly the most popular was the infamous “Chicken Gayweather” photo with Mayweather’s face as Colonel Sanders on a KFC poster. If Floyd Mayweather as Colonel Sanders on a KFC poster is a real knee-slapper, then a kayoed Manny Pacquiao can be laughed at too, as you can see in the photo to the right.
Professional prize fighters take up the sport knowing that they are laying their health, and sometimes lives on the line for our entertainment. It comes with the territory. Those who follow me on Facebook or Twitter are aware that a lot of my in-fight comments are of the insightful, yet funny-as-all-hell variety. The posts that receive the most “Likes” and “ReTweets” are often those that point to the humorous aspects of a fight. Manny Pacquiao is aware his livelihood is dangerous, and as he will say, (ad nauseum) he fights to put on good fights for his fans, whatever the cost.
As comedian Doug Stanhope said before he took a huge swig from a beer on stage; “Jesus died for your sins. I’m doing it for your mere entertainment dollar.” So lighten up, as boxing fans you know you’re being entertained by sanctioned violence. Most of all, boxing’s sacred cow is tough enough to take a little good-natured ribbing for a few chuckles.
Even if Saturday’s Donaire-Arce fight didn’t have the cloud of Jorge Arce being ceremoniously led to slaughter hanging over it, this will be yet another high-profile fight to have the albatross of PED suspicion hanging overhead. After dubbing Pacquiao-Marquez 4, “Chemical Warfare 2”, Victor Conte (one of Donaire’s strength and conditioning coaches) has resumed his Twitter attacks on Angel “Memo” Heredia, the strength coach for Juan Manuel Marquez and Jorge Arce. MaxBoxing’s Gabe Montoya even penned a painfully long piece last week titled “Pacquiao-Marquez 4: Sweet Science or Chemical Warfare 2?” (Note the question mark…that makes it legit!), reiterating all of Conte’s talking points about those he feels are suspicious.
Conte, the convicted PED peddler of BALCO infamy has turned into an outspoken critic of established PEDs testing in boxing (I agree with him here). Conte, along with his magical Re-Tweet Fairy, have waged a Twitter-based PR campaign to sully the already shaky reputation of the USADA, while at the same time working to establish VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association) – a company to whom Conte provided his consulting services in developing their testing protocols – as the only game in town. He’s also been very critical of Heredia and Alex Ariza (strength coach for Manny Pacquiao), and is quick to give his opinion on those he feels are suspicious, which is quite ironic. Don’t you think?
It’s ironic when you think about the fact that Conte has bragged vociferously about his ability to beat any doping test out there, and after helping develop VADA’s protocols he funnels his clients through their system, while telling anyone who will listen (or read his Twitter feed) how great they are. For most of us, that doesn’t pass the smell test. Hell, it smells about as bad as I’d imagine a flaming tire covered in cow shit would smell. But for those desperate for fame and glory, it’s a great opportunity to hitch one’s trailer to the manure wagon coming down the grapevine.
So, to be fair, given the checkered histories of Conte and Heredia, shouldn’t we label Donaire-Arce “Chemical Warfare 3”? See what I did there? Did you see it? I added a question mark to mask a barbed opinion as a question. Gotta love the power of punctuation?
Hostage Situation in Germany
Arthur Abraham (35-3, 27 KOs) has again nabbed a world title and has taken it back to Germany. The former IBF middleweight titlist, who defended his title eleven times before moving up to be exposed in the Super Six super middleweight tournament in 2009, spent most of those eleven title defenses beating up street sweepers and guys who you may have seen in obscure German scat porn. Abraham recently defeated Robert Stieglitz to capture the WBO super middleweight title and will make his first title defense against Frenchman Mehdi Bouadla (26-4, 11 KOs) this Saturday.
If you’re having trouble figuring out who Bouadla is, don’t rack your brain. Until September he was unranked by the WBO, but has since crept in on the strength of an 8-round decision win over Gari Abajian, the second-ranked junior middleweight (yes, two divisions south) in Georgia (not the state). If Abraham’s super middleweight title reign is anything like his middleweight reign, the WBO’s belt will be tied up indefinitely.
You can email Tim at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/TheTimHarrison, where you can be condescended to and blocked if you criticize his opinions or work in any way. His collected anthology of erotic poetry, “Are Violets Really So Blue?” is available in hardcover from Amazon, with an audio version narrated by Kevin Pollack as Christopher Walken.