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Stealing Iole: Episode 6

Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Kevin_iole_medium More fun with the Y! Expert of boxing AND mixed martial arts.

I also want to note Kevin's recent Wladimir Klitschko article was really good, and that I pretty much agree 100%. Wladimir is a hell of a talent and it's a shame his talent is overlooked by the era. I think Wlad would have had a good chance against anyone, ever. Part of that is his pure physical strength and stature, but the other part is that he's become a very good fighter. Hopefully he'll show up gunning to impress against Tony Thompson this weekend and we don't get another Ibragimov stinker.


As a kid, I watched the Soviets win the gold medal in basketball in the 1972 Olympics and everyone in the world knew that they lost at least twice, but were allowed to win by the officials. The IOC did nothing. People who watch sports want the right call, not the technical winner when all know it is wrong. As far as your column on the Francisco Lorenzo-Humberto Soto fight, the referee was wrong and the boxer was a louse. The best thing for the sport was to let the title be vacant. Honor, sportsmanship, and integrity still have a place in sports. This was the sportsmanlike thing to do, not fake an injury and lie. The travesty would have been to award him the title for his acting and not his boxing.

Phillip Textor
Dayton, Ohio

As badly as I think of Lorenzo for his actions, I still think he deserves the belt, though I agree with a lot of what you say. Imagine this scenario: Yankees are playing the Mets in the World Series. It’s Game 7 and the Mets are up 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and the Yankees have a runner on first. There is a ball hit into the gap. The man on first attempts to score, but is tagged five feet in front of the plate. This is obvious on replays later, but the umpire doesn’t see it and rules the runner safe. The game is tied. But as the play is made at the plate, the batter tries to advance to third. The catcher throws the ball high into short left field trying to get him and the batter now tries for home. Again, the throw beats him and he’s tagged five feet in front of the plate. However, again the umpire doesn’t see it and rules safe. Who wins the Series? The Yankees. Of course, there would be an outcry, but the calls were judgment calls and can’t be overturned. In the Soto-Lorenzo fight, referee Joe Cortez made a judgment call and that has to be respected even if it’s incorrect. And I guarantee you, promoter Bob Arum’s position is colored more by the fact that he promotes Soto than anything else. If the tables were turned and Soto had won by disqualification, you can rest assured Arum would be lobbying for Soto to have the belt.

This absolutely ridiculous baseball analogy -- which would have a chance of happening once in, I don't know, an infinite amount of games, let alone game seven of the World Series -- changes nothing. What also doesn't change is how those of us that think Lorenzo not being awarded the title is the right thing would feel if the shoe were on the other foot. I don't give one rip about how Bob Arum feels about the situation, though he's right, too. If this had happened to Soto and Arum campaigned for Soto to be given the belt, he'd be wrong.

So what's the point here? Kevin is entitled to his opinion, of course, but he's defending it strangely.


Can someone please give Floyd Jr. a hug? First, his Dad doesn’t love him enough, now HBO doesn’t love him enough. I guess money really can’t buy Money happiness.

Chris Boisvert
Beverly, Mass.

Great line, Chris. Mayweather’s comments to David Mayo of the Grand Rapids Press that HBO was racially biased against him were ridiculous. Listening to Jim Lampley at times, I would have sworn he was calling a Sugar Ray Robinson fight when Mayweather was in the ring. And if it’s true they were biased, then isn’t Mayweather a hypocrite for not only failing to say anything about it but then speaking out in praise of HBO during his career?

Mayweather might be a hypocrite for it, but he spoke in praise of HBO during his career because he was doing business with them. It was the prudent thing to do.


Why do people keep saying Kendall Holt won the WBO junior welterweight title fight Saturday over Ricardo Torers with a left or right, and, forget to mention the devastating head butt? Please, watch the end of the fight in slow motion. The head butt won the fight. Torres was basically out after the head butt, a sitting duck. No way Holt won that fight. I would have called it a no contest since there was also a foul by Torres when he had knocked Holt down, which was not called. But clearly, to hear the media keep saying how Holt roared back, it’s simply not true. It was an illegal head butt.

McKinney, Texas

I wasn’t at the show, Steve, as I covered UFC 86. But I’ve watched the replay numerous times and agree with you. I think the head butt stunned Torres, because he froze and didn’t move, giving Holt two free shots at him. But give Holt credit for gathering himself after not only getting knocked down twice but absorbing an illegal punch and getting back into the fight.

The right hand that finished Torres definitely was a beautiful punch, but it was all set up by an unintentional clash of heads -- and it was a clash of heads, not a headbutt. Even Torres isn't complaining about it, though he does acknowledge it. All Ricardo has said was basically, "I got sloppy."

As for the illegal punch, does it bypass Kevin that this punch was no more devastating than the late punch that grazed Francisco Lorenzo? Does the late punch that Andre Berto landed on Miki Rodriguez not really matter? I mean, either crack down on all late punches or don't make an example of Humberto Soto. It's a rule that needs to be slightly re-examined so that things like the Soto travesty don't happen again. Late punches happen all the time, and they generally make no difference in the outcome of the fight.


Do you think Floyd Mayweather will fight the winner of a De La Hoya-Cotto bout? I know the fight has not been set, but after Cotto destroys Antonio Margarito on July 26, De la Hoya will come calling. Mayweather probably hopes that De La Hoya wins so he can come out of retirement for a bigger fight and money. I believe Cotto will be victorious in any bouts against Mayweather, Margarito or De La Hoya.

Christian Phoenix, Ariz.

No, Mayweather is retired and I don’t think a De La Hoya-Cotto bout will occur. De La Hoya is talking with Felix Trinidad about a fight, but if that doesn’t come off, I expect De La Hoya to somehow land Sergio Mora.

He loses me on this one at "No, Mayweather is retired."


Do you think Manny Pacquiao is the most exciting boxer in the world right now?

Richie Majadas


This is a pretty routine answer and Pacquiao is certainly in the running, but this letters column has two portions dedicated to declaring Vazquez-Marquez III a better fight than Pacquiao-Marquez II, which it was. It's just so hard for me to see why anyone that has seen the last four -- at the least -- Israel Vazquez fights can declare anyone in the world a more exciting fighter.

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