hit them again

A boxing tragic's look at the world of boxing. No hidden agendas, no cash for comment, just my opinion, for what it's worth, of the greatest sport there is. Oh yeah, and i can't fight for shit!

Monday, January 09, 2006

You gotta keep your eye on the prize

Zab Judah just found that out when he took challenger (and WBC No. 1 contender) Carlos Baldomir too lightly on the weekend. Rumours have it that Zab did no sparring/serious preparation for this bout other than with a few amateur boxers, instead looking too far ahead at his big bucks fight with Mayweather. You would have thought that given Erik Morales just made the same (losing) mistake against Zahir Raheem that Judah would have been better prepared. He wasn’t though and now he ain’t the champion anymore. Instead, Baldomir, a ‘journeyman’ from Argentina who was prepared to work for his chance is now the Ring’s welterweight champion of the world. (And of course WBC as well – he didn’t get the other two ‘cos his management didn’t put up bucks for them. The alphabet gang will have to now find a couple of more champs – hey Kostya, maybe you can get that big fight now – Zab’s gonna need something to do!)
It’s hard to believe though that in a sport this ‘professional’, in a sport where upsets do and have consistently happened, that Zab Judah and his team weren’t ready, weren’t taking this fight seriously. So much for the ‘new’ Zab, the new serious, mature fighter. Let’s see if he accepts any of the blame himself for this loss. My bet is he won’t. It’ll be his trainers, the WBC, the matchmakers, the guy at the corner shop, everyone but the man himself. And Mayweather will be kicking himself, here was a big bucks moment – a fight people would have paid to see – and it just got KO’ed. What does he do now? Does he stay at welterweight, maybe take on Sugar Shane Mosley or Margarito or does he go back down and look at Hatton or Tszyu. That’s what I love about boxing, it only takes one fight to change everything.
You gotta keep your eye on the prize. And you gotta remember that the prize is the fight you’re currently in, not the one coming up later!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Best of 2005

So another year has gone. Shit, that was fast… or so it seems as you get older! (I know, I know the kids don’t want to hear us old farts talk about time flying by.)
Well, I guess I should follow the tradition and do the best of 2005 type thing. And it was a good year for the fight game despite the usual farces (Ruiz, Rahman, etc etc) and the odd dodgy fight. (Just how did Mayorga get a title shot?) But look at the fights we did get. Coralles/Castillo I (& II) – Arce/Hussein I – Tszyu/Hatton (actually a pretty damn good fight despite the ending) Wright/Trinidad (OK not so good for Trinidad but a superb showcase for Winky’s skills). My pick for the fight of the year though goes to Big Bob Mirovic Vs Rob Calloway for something called the WBF Heavyweight Championship of the World back in June of 2005. Sure, you can’t get much lower on the totem pole (actually you can – IBO anyone?) but this was twelve rounds of non stop boxing from two middle of the field heavyweights; both who suffered broken bones – Calloway broke his cheekbone and fractured an eye socket/ Mirovic fought most of the fight with a broken jaw – despite the injuries though they both went at it for the full twelve rounds. When was the last time you saw two heavweights actually fight for the whole damn fight? No clinches, no leaning on each other, none of that shit just punches being thrown and thrown again. It was a damn fine fight and I bet most of the boxing community outside of Oz didn’t even see it. The good news is Mirovic and Calloway have said they’re willing to do it again in February. It’ll be interesting to see if the rematch can live up to the first fight, they so rarely do these days (Arce/Hussein II anyone?) but with Big Bob in there you can be sure he’ll give his all.
And continuing in the vein… my fighter of the year for 2005 is one Ranee Ganoy. Ganoy, from the Philippines is currently fighting out of Australia and had five fights for 2005, winning four. Fighting from lightweight to welterweight his only loss this past year was to Michael Katsidis and he’s not alone there since Katsidis had already iced 15 other opponents in his 17/0 record. Ranee ain’t no world beater by a long shot but what I like about him is his willingness to have a blue. His record of 18/10/2 (15ko’s) isn’t the greatest sure but he tends to win by KO or lose by KO and some of his losses have been to the likes of Katsidis, Ben Rabah and Bobby Pacquiao. The reason I picked Ganoy as my fighter of the year is that willingness to have a go. Here in Australia, we tend to get a lot of fighters from the Philippines, Thailand and Asia purely for cannon fodder to make the local boys records look good. Hell, Fenech has made his fighters world rated contenders doing just that. The first time I saw Ganoy fight though he iced Alan Luxford (now Oz lightweight champ) and he’s repeated that dose, most recently with welterweight Matthew Paulley knocking him over in the fourth. Ranee has got himself rated no. 2 now in the Australian lightweight division and with his win over Paulley he may even get himself rated in the welters. Personally, I’d like to see him get a shot at a title in 2006. He’ll never be a world beater but boy is he exciting to watch. And with the power he’s got in those fists he’s never out of it.
PS: my runner up would have to be Jackson Asiku, formerly of Uganda now based here in South Australia. In November, Jackson KO’d Britain’s Marc Callaghan to become the new Commonwealth featherweight champion. In the seventies this would have been major news in this country but now it seems to have slipped through the sports news net. Asiku is good, damn good. Expect to see more of him, all he needs is the backing and a lucky break and he will be a world top ten fighter. Mark my words.