I'll admit that I only read the first bit of Chris Mannix's newest boxing column at Sports Illustrated, but that part about Diaz's jab landing 400 times out of his 296 punches made me read on after I was done with that Katsidis post below.
Holy Lord, Kevin Iole has been topped ten times over.
I'd read Mannix a few times in the past (frankly, Sports Illustrated has become so awful and irrelevant that I never read the print mag and rarely bother with the web site). It was never memorable. This mess is memorable.
I've picked on Iole for kicks before, but I did that with regular ol' mundane for-fun intentions. This Mannix column? Not so much.
An open plea to Pavlik, part II ...
Make your next opponent Arthur Abraham. Last month, Sauerland managing director Meyer expressed frustration with Top Rank over its unwillingness to negotiate a Pavlik-Abraham middleweight unification fight. In typical boxing hyperbole, Meyer went so far as to call Pavlik "scared" to face Abraham. "That's the only explanation I can come up with," said Meyer. "Arthur wants this fight to happen."
Pairing the two hard punchers together would guarantee action and also unify two of the middleweight titles. Win, win.
Pavlik holds the WBC and WBO titles. Abraham holds the IBF title. So this would unify three of the middleweight titles. Win, win, win? Also, Pavlik is the legit middleweight champion, which is something that Mannix ignores. He's not alone in that, though.
Three fights I don't like to close out '08 ...
Shane Mosley-Ricardo Mayorga (a majority decision over Fernando Vargas last year is the only thing keeping Mayorga's career on life support while Mosley is past his prime)
Mosley might be past his prime, considering his prime was so amazing, but the last time we saw Sugar Shane he was more than holding his own with one of the best fighters on the planet, a man significantly younger than he.
Klitschko-Povetchkin (untested Povetchkin not be ready for prime-time yet while Klitschko wastes his time with another meaningless fight)
Povetchkin? REALLY? This is edited, approved mainstream media? POVETCHKIN? "Another meaningless fight"? Who is he supposed to fight? This is a mandatory fight against a highly-accomplished amateur champion and solid pro. There is no better available opponent for Klitschko right now. Would it be preferable for him to not fight at all? Klitschko's 2008 has not been exciting, but it's been anything but time-wasting. Ibragimov unified titles for the first time in about a decade, and Thompson was another mandatory. There was no BS "revenge" fight with faded, one-eyed Lamon Brewster.
Jermaine Taylor-Jeff Lacy (two former stars just fighting to hang on)
JermainE? REALLY? This is an EDITED ARTICLE APPROVED BY SPORTS ILLUSTRATED? This guy can't spell Povetkin or Jermain. Also, this thought that Taylor is washed-up at 30 because he lost two very competitive fights to Kelly Pavlik just amazes me. Jermain didn't become the new Marvin Hagler or anything, so apparently he just sucks now, furthering the stereotype that boxing fans give up on fighters as soon as they lose once or twice. If only MMA fans had these thoughts, they could have the same trouble getting people to care about fights.
Samuel Peter-Vitali Klitschko (Peter's suspect chin opens the window for the elder Klitschko to regain a piece of the heavyweight title -- if he has anything left in the tank)
This is a fight that Mannix is not sure about. Apparently his reasoning is that Samuel Peter might not be very good and Vitali Klitschko might beat him. How awful...if a better fighter wins...at the expense of...what? Wlad Klitschko-Peter II? Does he think they're going to fill some superdome with that fight and bring heavyweight boxing back?
No one was a bigger Jones fan than me but he hasn't been the same since Tarver dropped him in the second round in 2004. That was the first of three straight losses for Jones, who has somehow revived his career with wins over the likes of Prince Badi Ajamu, Anthony Hanshaw and an over-the-hill Felix Trinidad. Calzaghe, meanwhile, has successfully managed to duck Pavlik to the point where no one expects that fight to ever happen. Furthermore, Calzaghe is feasting on overrated American stars.
Since 2006, Calzaghe has feasted on Jeff Lacy, Peter Manfredo, and Bernard Hopkins as far as American fighters go. Lacy was overrated, yes. Manfredo was not rated. Hopkins was absolutely not overrated, and still isn't. This is incorrect generalizing that you'd expect to see from a particularly dull member of a message board where everyone is called "gay" and Anthony Mundine has fans.
Ladies and gentleman, Kevin Iole can step down. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated has taken bad boxing writing to a new level.