I have to apologize, folks. Taking advantage of a slow news cycle, I decided to rearrange my stacks of Rant cash and, well, one of those 50 lb. sacks of filthy lucre fell right on top of me. To make a long story short, I broke my back. My back is broken. Spinal. So, while I explore options for my upcoming backiotomy, here’s a random sampling of stuff I wish you had read the first time (and definitely could use a second look if you caught it back when it was fresh)…
Money (Mayweather) Makes The World Go ‘Round (April, 2013)
The real truth is that Mayweather became such a target because he’s really the first fighter to assume full control over his own business from top to bottom. He’s the first fighter to buck the plantation owner-slave relationship upon which boxing’s entire business structure is based. Having Mayweather exist is a very dangerous thing for the status quo and a real shake up for the money guys who play with fighters’ livelihoods like expendable pieces on a chess board.
Arum may have hated Mayweather for leaving him, but below the surface he hated the idea of a Floyd Mayweather existing and thriving without signing over half his soul to the company.
Whereas co-boxing cash cow Manny Pacquiao was a good boy and acted the part of the sweet little pet, Mayweather insisted on doing his own thing and flaunting his own independence. Therefore, Pacquiao was a beloved sweetheart of a man while Mayweather was a greedy, deceitful, and cowardly cad who had no respect for the sport.
It was in the best interest of the sport’s power brokers to bury the man. And the media was more than compliant in this because Team Mayweather was not doing a damn thing for them. No egos were being stroked, no favors being dealt out. The boxing media’s closest proximity to fairness is jilted rage and they were more than willing to let their anger fly– even letting loose some attacks that revealed, perhaps, a racial component to the Mayweather pile-on, such as when the managing editor of one prominent boxing site directly referred to Mayweather as “uppity” in one of his pieces.
Read the full article HERE
Jose Sulaiman and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr: An Erotic Love Story (May, 2013)
“Don” Jose would have to wait nearly an hour for his special dinner guest. While loading up on salsa-heavy tortilla chips and peering anxiously at the restaurant’s front door, he rehearsed his planned dialogue in his head, over and over again.
Then, the door was flung open and Jr. came lumbering in, seemingly carried to the table by the rush of exhaust-heavy Mexico City air.
Jr. flashed a gummy smile before plopping down on a chair and shoving a handful of tortilla chips into his mouth.
“What did you want to see me about,” Jr. said while shards of corn chips shot from his mouth. He wiped the yellowish cornmeal sludge from his lips with the back of his hand.
“I don’t know how to say this.”
“Come on, I don’t got all day.” Jr. picked his teeth with his pinky, then examined the chip remnants under his fingernail before sucking them back into his mouth.
Sweat beaded on Sulaiman’s forehead and his pulse raced.
“Junior, we have been friends for a long, long time. And you know how I feel about your father. I was wondering…” Sulaiman trailed off, looking to find the bravery to finish. He took a deep breath. “I want us to be more than friends…”
Jr. began licking the salt off a tortilla chip and then shoved it into his mouth with a loud crunch. He looked up at Sulaiman, but said nothing and quickly began looking around the restaurant. His ADD was getting the best of him and he became distracted by the clinking of plates in a nearby bus boy’s cart.
“Listen,” Sulaiman continued. “I know I am 81 and you are 27, but we are so right together. I am not a jealous man, I can share. I will share. And you know I’m generous. You know how generous I can be. I’ve even brought you a gift tonight.”
Jr.’s eyes focused back on Sulaiman. “A gift?”
The aged sanctioning body president reached under the table and produced a black leather briefcase. He placed it on the table and slid it over to Jr. “Open it,” he said.
Jr. undid the latches on the briefcase and opened it. Inside was a brand new WBC belt.
“It’s the WBC super middleweight title,” Sulaiman said, proudly. “We took it from Andre Ward, we’re giving it to you. I know how hard it is to make 160…”
“Super,” Jr. whispered to himself before letting loose with another gummy grin and raising his voice. “SUPER Chavez.”
The two, fighter and sanctioning body head, broke out in loud, simultaneous laughter that brought the table to the attention of everyone in the restaurant.
Then Jr. abruptly stopped laughing.
“But what if Ward comes back and wants the belt? Remember what happened with Martinez?”
“But that’s the best part,” Sulaiman assured. “Ward refused to take the emeritus title, he wants nothing to do with us anymore. It’s all yours, whenever you want it, and nobody can make you fight anyone you don’t like.”
A sneer came upon Jr.’s lips and soon morphed into yet another gummy grin. He shoved a few more tortilla chips into his mouth.
“Okay, Jose, I’ll let you do things to me. Let’s go back to your office.”
Sulaiman exploded from his seat with glee and tossed a pack of hundred peso bills on the table to cover the bill. He escorted Jr. to the door, opening it for him, and taking a long, lustful look at the fighter’s back side as he exited.
They walked together in the night to an awaiting car and a night of fantasies fulfilled…
Read the full article HERE
The Chinese Connection (April, 2013)
Las Vegas became LAS VEGAS because it offered a nation of vice-loving gamblers and whore mongers a chance to get out of the shadows and do their thing out in the open.
Vegas promised a glitzy, safe background for all their vice needs and, above all else, it provided legal protection to those who liked to live on the fringes of polite society. Of course, all of that has changed, and the Las Vegas of the 21st century is just slightly edgier than Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm.
But there are still places in the world where vice is king and the players play.
Macau, China’s personal off-shore gambling resort, just happens to be the biggest and the baddest vice capital in the world. While other zones may offer, pound for pound, a bigger depraved bang for the buck, nothing outdoes Macau for sheer size. Backed by the economic might of the Chinese and the know-how of veteran Western vice peddlers, the “Sin City of the Far East” has become the number one gaming center in the world, specializing in everything hardcore gambling tends to attract.
Aside from its place atop the totem pole of vice, Macau is also one of the world’s greatest tax havens and largest free ports, thriving as an economic hotspot because of its unregulated “pay as you play” attitude when it comes to finance. With virtually no regulation and little taxation, business transactions in Macau are untraceable by anyone other than those involved. This makes Macau a magnet for wealthy investors looking for tax protection as well as shady characters looking to keep their business dealings away from prying eyes.
With this in mind, we introduce the sport of boxing– a sport already chin-deep in graft and varying shades of ethical gray, even in the comparatively regulation-obsessed West.
So much of the sport of boxing already exists in the shadows, buried deep in the management model its power brokers have created to circumvent any sort of reasonable government regulation. The last thing the sport needs is a Dead Zone where even the pretense of regulation is completely absent.
But with Saturday’s “Fists of Gold” card at The Venetian Resort in Macau, the offshore mecca of vice is officially in the boxing business. And, thanks to Bob Arum, it may have its first two house fighters in China’s mega-amateur star, Zou Shiming and, likely, Manny Pacquiao.
It was a no-brainer that, as soon as the Asian gambling centers seriously called on the sport, there would be plenty of boxing carpetbaggers willing to answer the call. These places, and especially Macau, represent a hustler’s paradise. No regulation. No taxes. No do-good types standing between you and whatever you feel like doing. Cash in, cash out, and you’re back on the plane home. Everything untouchable, everything untraceable.
Read the full article HERE
Golovkin: Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride (October, 2014)
“Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? Good night!”
— Johnny Rotten, 1978, Winterland Theater, San Francisco, California, after an abbreviated set at the end of the last Sex Pistols concert on the group’s infamous U.S. Tour.
Under normal circumstances, a two-round main event laugher where the fall guy goes down like a sack of laundry at the first real contact made would illicit a near riot at a sold-out arena.
But we saw an exception to that rule Saturday night when Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin stood victorious over fall guy Marco Antonio Rubio in front of a sold-out StubHub Center in Carson, California
Rubio, who rubbed the top of his head as if recovering from a noogie and smiled before shrugging off the loss, emerged as a secret winner in all of this. He came in overweight, opted not to try and lose the excess poundage, and wound up walking away with a $350,000 payday while avoiding the bloody, GGG scrapbook beating he had been hired to take.
“He hit me hard, but it’s not the hardest I’ve been hit,” Rubio said after the quick exit. “I came to fight, to put on a good show. I got up, but the referee decided to stop it.”
It was an appropriately sardonic response from a smart man booked into an intellectually dishonest, exploitative, cynical showcase for the “other guy.” Maybe Rubio could’ve continued, maybe not, but it sure made sense for him not to get up until the count of 10-and-a-half.
But nothing Rubio did, before or after the bout, would matter as this sham of a title fight was always about feeding the keenly cultivated cult of personality around “Triple G,” the emerging star.
Few fighters get the free pass that Gennady Golovkin has gotten for the last several years– twelve fights into a world title reign with only Daniel Geale to show for it. The affable Kazakhstan native gets the free pass on a woeful overall level of competition because he is, basically, the living embodiment of fight fans’ greatest macho boxing fantasies.
He’s the smiling assassin with the flawlessly efficient offense. He only exists to kick ass and scare all the sissy millionaire champions into hiding. Golovkin is what boxing would be if written and cast by adolescent boys– or frustrated middle-aged boxing scribes with waning testosterone levels.
Golovkin’s free pass is due in great part to a media that is not shy in showing their absolute fawning adulation of the man. Article after article would emerge during this past fight week, almost all talking about Golovkin’s unstoppable star power and giving reason after reason why the undefeated middleweight will, soon, take over the world.
By the time Golovkin and his team would actually hit the ring at the StubHub center, the West Coast press corps was bursting with anticipatory glee. It was a press row so enamored with the macho fantasy of Triple G that it should’ve been stocked with wet-naps and equipped with a plexiglass fap guard.
Nothing short of an impossible Rubio upset victory or a terrorist attack could’ve kept the “Golovkin is God” fight recaps from being written.
Read the full article HERE
You can email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply enjoy his work in silence, reading with glee under your covers with a flashlight, like many of Paul’s writing colleagues. Paul is a full member of the Burger King Kids’ Club, a born iconoclast, and an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church.