25 Things I Learned in May

27efbe3d5d1c09da698467cc65a74591-getty-80927082ml010_ricky_hatton__medium Let's take a look back on what most of us can agree was hardly boxing's most exciting or eventful month, but one that I feel was still fairly memorable. Maybe because I watch all this stuff, good or bad. I don't know.

  1. 27,000 people will pay to see a glorified sparring session if it involves Oscar de la Hoya in Los Angeles. But 55,000 will pay to see Ricky Hatton make a comeback against an old, faded Juan Lazcano in Manchester. Advantage: Hatton.
  2. A lot of weirdos will never stop wanting to see Mike Tyson fight. Or accept the fact that he's 41 years old, fat, and just wants to live his life in peace and occasionally attend a big fight.
  3. Tickets didn't sell so hot for the Kelly Pavlik-Gary Lockett bout on June 7 because of George W. Bush. Thank you, Bob Arum.
  4. MMA fans will react much more harshly to a horribly questionable officiating decision than will boxing fans, it seems. I'm part of the MMA fan sect that thought the Kimbo Slice-James Thompson bout on Saturday night was a little...curious, to say the least. But referee Howard John Foster did Ricky Hatton just as big of a favor on May 24 when he stopped the bout at precisely the moment Lazcano might have looked to stop Hatton, so that Ricky's shoe could be tied. For about a minute and a half. Is this perhaps a product of us being so desensitized to fighter favoritism that we just accept this crap happening? It was deplorable and Foster should at the very least be fined. Also amazing how the Hatton camp has nothing to say regarding that matter, but if you ask them will still whine over Joe Cortez. Because he made Ricky lose to Floyd, not the vast gulf in talent.
  5. Speaking of MMA, Gary Shaw is willing to muck up the waters in not just one sport, but two. Thanks for that, Gary. Maybe just stick with boxing, where we've grown accustomed to your garbage.
  6. Zab Judah and his father, Yoel, will deny rumors of a temper tantrum. Or, wait, will they? Did they? Did anyone really deny it, or did they just yell at Dan Rafael for having the gall to report a grown man smashing his arm through glass in a tift with his dad? Either way, Zab lost out on a payday and a big upset chance.
  7. Dan Goossen has become so desperate to stage major fights in this Top Rank/Golden Boy-dominated era that he's willing to run with Rahman-Toney II, a fight that is clearly irrelevant, features two washed-up fighters and one disgrace to the sport, and has absolutely no one yearning to see it again. It wasn't even any good the first time, and the world has changed quite a bit since then.
  8. Anthony Mundine will say anything for a reaction. "I won't let a Christian beat me" -- good thing he's not fighting Mikkel Kessler again, then. He'd turn out to be a liar, too.
  9. As much as Golden Boy or anyone else might talk about how great it is when the best fight the best, you're still going to get situations like the current Casamayor-Campbell-Diaz thing, wherein Richard Schaefer makes a point to note that Casamayor will make more money to fight Diaz than he would to fight Campbell (he's guaranteed $610,000 to fight Nate after Don King won the purse bid). It's also worth noting that Golden Boy offered $571,000 for the purse bid, and if they had won, absolutely Nate and Joel wouldn't fight. They wouldn't go for a half of $571K each. That would be ridiculous. Good show, Richard.
  10. Long, elaborate hair extensions are never, ever a good idea for a fighter on fight night. Paulie Malignaggi learned his lesson. And to his credit, he makes no claim whatsoever to it being anything less than a stupid decision that he greatly regrets. 
  11. HBO can be pressured by boxing fans. Dan Rafael referred to them as "thin-skinned" when it comes to criticism. After not initially scheduling a "Countdown" show for Cotto-Margarito, they have bent to public demand and are going ahead with one. Which is a good thing, since it was ridiculous to not do everything possible to sell what promises to be a phenomenal fight, after doing a show (and a great show, at that) for something as one-sided on paper and practice as de la Hoya-Forbes.
  12. Showtime cannot be pressured by boxing fans. Onward with Antonio Tarver and the suddenly vile Vernon Forrest!
  13. Junior Witter will never escape the confines of his home country.
  14. Pound-for-pound, Cristian Mijares just might be as good as anyone in the sport right now. Maybe a bold statement, and yeah he's taken on some cans in his title reign, but when faced with top competition (Arce and now Alexander Munoz), he puts the issue to rest.
  15. Stevie Johnston is beyond finished. I really hope he decides that it's just time to end it before something bad happens to him, because he's a great dude. The same goes for Chris Byrd, who seems to be slightly reconsidering what we all assumed was an obvious retirement after he was manhandled by Shaun George.
  16. I didn't really think about it before the Mosley-Judah date came up and I had to find another way to get my combat sports fix for the night, but we haven't had to pay for a major PPV since Marquez-Pacquiao II, and we won't pay for one until Pacquiao-Diaz on June 28. That's not so bad, huh?
  17. There is no "d" in Richar Gutierrez's name.
  18. James Kirkland is a bad, bad man.
  19. Manny Pacquiao is better at boxing than his sparring partners. This is news, if you search the 'net enough. Pacquiao Fever is pretty engrossing stuff.
  20. In a world of smack talkers, David Haye is working his way up the pound-for-pound list with quotes like, "Heavyweight boxing at the moment is a disgrace. You've got one fat guy fighting an even fatter guy. I'm going to show those fat slobs what real boxing is."
  21. Even with the vast improvements in the sport in late 2007 and early 2008, we're still going to be prone to blackout sort of periods like this.
  22. If you rank Timothy Bradley as the No. 1 contender after a rather suspect 21 pro fights, and he beats Junior Witter to win the WBC title, suddenly that justifies the ranking, according to the WBC. Of course, anyone with half a fart of a brain will tell you that it, indeed, will not in any way ever justify the ranking of Bradley as No. 1 contender, or excuse the ludicrous idea of Bradley facing Jose Luis Castillo in March to determine that post, which never happened because of Castillo. I'm happy for Timothy Bradley (and hopeful we never have to endure Bradley-Witter II), but come on. The WBC was more than a little bit off.
  23. Fight of the month? Not something learned, obviously, but how about Ruslan Provodnikov v. Brian Gordon on the Byrd undercard? Great little six-round scrap where both guys brought all they had.
  24. Even someone as good as Yuriorkis Gamboa runs into someone that'll take all their best shots.
  25. The guard is ever-so-slowly changing in boxing. Hatton and Oscar looked entirely unspecial against overmatched opponents, Witter lost to a prospect, Byrd is absolutely finished in every way, etc.
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