Ted "The Bull" Sares is back at Bad Left Hook for the 19th and final edition of the Scotch and Cigar Club. Pour yourself three fingers, dry those peeps, and carry on, my wayward son. Note: This post is video-heavy, so if you're on a slow connection, uh...tough, I guess.
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Welcome to the latest and FINAL edition of the Club (19th overall). Yes, after several years the time has come to retire the concept before it gets stale. It's best to quit while being near the top and preserve a decent legacy which includes the greatest post count in history for another large on-line boxing site (2,600). BUT, I might be coming back with something new so we will just have to wait and see.
Tonight, we're simply going to have the very of everything available. I won't name them; they'll just be there. Each table is also lined up with just about every fine single malt scotch imaginable and the cigar humidor is overflowing with premium Cubans. Shipment of fresh Maine lobsters and oysters are on the way. Anyone with more exotic proclivities may want to sample the abalone and sushi that just arrived from San Francisco. Maryland crabs are here too. Steaks from Ruth Christ and Morton are available for the beef eaters along with juicy racks of Memphis ribs oozing with your favorite sauces. Heck, we even have some black pudding and raw beef sliced paper thin and dressed with olive oil and capers (or mayonnaise) for the mates and blokes. Enjoy.
The music features the one and only Miles Davis (a great boxing fan), Etta James (of Chess Records fame), the Doors. And with a nod to more recent times, we have Bruce Springsteen's Boxed Set. Also Chaka Khan and Rufus, Chicago, Blood, Sweat and Tears, and Southside Johnny will stop by. Again, Country, Dixieland and New Age is verboten.
Now, let's get to it and please feel free to inject your own boxing topics, opinions, disagreement, or agreement. Let's have some serious fun here.
1) My Top Ten Pound for Pound
Again, this is simply a snapshot in time as of November 24, 2010 and is different from my last listing.
1. Manny Pacquiao
2. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
3. Sergio Martinez
4. Luciea Bute
5. Andre Ward
6. Juan Manuel Lopez
7. Celestino Caballero
8. Wladimir Klitschko
9. Timothy Bradley
10. Juan Manuel Marquez
Others closing in include Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, Giovani Segura, Yonnhy Perez, Abner Mares, Chad Dawson, Jean Pascal, Fernando Montiel, Nonito Donaire, Vitali Klitschko, Vic Darchinyan and Marcos Maidana.
Paul Williams disappears because the manner in which he was knocked out suggests to me that recovery will be a daunting task. What do you think?
2) Boxing Event of the Month
Sergio Martinez may well have KO of the Year and Fighter of the Year Awards all wrapped up given his wax job over Paul Williams. Any disagreement?
3) Most Active Fighter: Sid Razak
Lightweight out of Birmingham, UK. Sid has fought 14 times so far in 2010 and 22 times in 2009. That's 36 bouts. Regrettably (for Sid), his record during that time is at 1-35. But he was stopped just once during that period. He is due to fight John Downie next week-- subject to change and commission approval. Kristian Laight may be giving Sid a run for his money.
4) Prospect of the Month
Tall, dark and handsome, Jose Benavidez has charisma and star quality written all over him. Benavidez (9-0 with 9 KO's) now fight out of Los Angeles and is just 18 years old. He has duked in Texas, Nevada (several times), Illinois, and Mexico, getting great exposure. His next fight is with Justo Sanchez (17-25) in California hopefully will get him some badly needed rounds. More importantly, he is trained by none other than Freddie Roach. Jose, also somewhat of a stylist, may just be the next big Mexican American fighter in a long line of such great boxer. Oh yes, Jose, a decorated amateur, started boxing at the age of six and has a boxing in his blood Keep your eyes on him.
Under the Radar: Ran Nakash (25-0 with 18 KO's). Ran, an Israeli-born cruiserweight, has become the latest Blue Horizon regular and his style will do nothing to taint that legendary arena's great reputation. Nakash is teak tough and has a sound grasp of fundamental. He bears watching. His next opponent is rugged Bobby Gunn who has been around forever. A great match-up that no one knows about.
5) Latest Klitschko Call Out
This time it's by none other than the "Hillyard Hammer," Chauncy Welliver (45-5-5 and an anemic KO percentage of 27.27). The Hammer fights out of New Zealand, though he has had many bouts (against dreadful opposition) in the U.S., particularly in Idaho. Though he has won 10 in a row, there is absolutely nothing in his record to suggest he would last very long against either brother. But if he fought and beat David Tua, well, then...
6) Margarito and Briggs get hammered in plain sight. Is it Chisora's turn?
Both losers showed great heart and grit. Clearly, there was no quit in their DNA. Props are in order to both. That said, will Derek "Del-Boy" Chisora suffer the same fate when he goes up against Vitali Klitschko in December
I for one think this is a terrible mismatch-a stay-busy fight if you will. Vitali continues to fight in a very European manner (and that clearly is not meant as criticism) sticking with the basics of pure boxing using his punishing jab and basing everything off that punishing weapon. Call it robotic or mechanical, but it sure works for him and for me as a fan.
As he has done with most opponents, he will bust up the affable Del-Boy with the jab before coming on with the heavier stuff. The big Doctor is not Sam Sexton, and Chisora, though he gets props for coming to win, will take a bad beating.
By the way, who do you think Wladimir could have fought who is better or more worthy than Chisora?
7) "Sucra" (update)
"Sucra" Ray Oliveira (47-11-2) fight scheduled for October 2 (his first in more than five years) against heavy punching light heavyweight Joey "KO Kid" Spina, at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut was canceled by the Foxwoods Commission.
Sometimes, but not nearly enough, the right thing happens in boxing.
8) What's your favorite kind of fight?
For me, the answer is easy and Mike Jones vs. Jesus Soto Karass on the Pac-Margo undercard almost filled the bill, but not quite-though I did think Soto got stiffed by the MD. But when Jose Feliciano beat Delvin Rodriguez 3 years ago, it was exactly what I wanted in terms of drama.
It was a "fun fight" full of pure enjoyment. In this one, I was enjoying the way Delvin Rodriguez, 20-2-1, was setting skillfully traps for tough Jesse "El Rayo" Feliciano, 15-5-3. Rodriguez was dictating the action almost until the end He was luring Jesse in and then punishing him by putting together punches in bunches, fast combos, a stiff jab, and most of all, sharp and slashing right uppercuts propelled by outstanding hand speed. Jesse had few answers.
Finally Feliciano changed his strategy and began to use a body attack on the slick Dominican which slowed him down ever-so-slightly. But then his legs began to show wear and tear and as he tired, almost imperceptibly, Jesse closed the distance. He started to handle D-Rod's punishing jabs and in fact began walking through them and backed up Rodriquez at the end of the 7th. Suddenly, the tide had turned going into the 8th round
As the bell ran for the 8th, "El Rayo" began throwing punches more like a street fighter than a boxer but he caught Delvin with a mean right hook that sent him down. Rodriquez, was now badly hurt and he made a fatal strategic decision as he elected to engage the tough and game Feliciano. It was a bad choice. That's the Las Vegas resident's kind of fight. Another volley of brutal bows put Delvin down for the second time. Clearly, the fight could have been stopped right there and then. Four crushing blows later, Rodriquez was almost knocked out of the ring in a heap as Feliciano got the win with a stunning and savage come-from-behind victory that elicited ooohs and aaahs from the Connecticut fight fans.
He was tough, under-talented, and had great heart. Feliciano was a guy who fought every second of ever round and didn't know the words "retreat" or "quit." He was old school---a throwback! And was he ever fun to watch.
9) Excerpt from Planet Boxing: Providence, Rhode Island
I told you that we are on a different level...I never wanted to take this fight. I never wanted to hurt anybody from Rhode Island, but he [Joey Spina] kept shooting off his mouth. I guess he made his money but he took the beating of his life.
--Peter Manfredo Jr.
I've heard the town is run by Mafiosi, and I don't want to have to dodge bullets.
I love fighting at Twin River. I'm going back to the future with Dicky Eklund and Micky Ward at my side. It brings back good memories.
If Italian food is your thing, you could find few places in the Northern Hemisphere better than in this city. And if throwbacks to an older generation of Italian fighters (like Ralph "The Ripper" Zannelli, for example) are to your liking, well, how about two division champ Vinny Paz (aka Pazienza 50-10), Gary Balletto (31-3-2), Peter Manfredo (33-6), and Joey Spina (25-1-1)? These are guys with ass-kicking credentials and machismo. Featherweight Harold Gomes was a ‘50s fighter who went 50-10.
Amazingly, he went 3-3 with Tommy Tibbs. The late lightweight, George Araujo, was pure Rhode Island and racked up and fine record of 58-9-1 while fighting the stiffest opposition imaginable during the '40s, '50s, and '60s. In the ‘90s, Louis "The Viper" Veader went 32-2, but unfortunately for him, he fought Irish Micky Ward twice in 1996.
Speaking of Italians, a little-known fact (except by area natives) is that the great Rocky Marciano fought 28 times in Providence and that equates to 57% of his total fights. In fact, after debuting in Holyoke, MA, he duked 16 of his next 17 bouts in Providence.
Cruiserweight Matt "Too Smooth" Godfrey (20-1) is a top contender these days , and Olympian Demetrius "Boo Boo" Andrade is now at 8-0. Another Olympian, technically sound Jason "Big Six" Estrada (16-3), has beaten stiff opposition, but unless he develops more pop in his punches, he likely will not progress very far in the heavyweight division.
Rhode Island is host to a number of great female fighters as well including multiple champ Melissa (Missy) "The Fury" Fiorentino from Cranston and Jaime "The Hurricane" Clampitt who lives in Warwick. When the two met in 2006, it was a barnburner in which Missy won a decision, though Clampitt had suffered a broken hand early on. It was female world championship boxing at its very best and it took place at the Convention Center in Providence.
So the next time you visit the fabulous shoreline of Rhode Island or seek stuffed quahogs in Providence, visit Twin Rivers Events Center in Lincoln which has become a great place to witness boxing action.
-Final words of Todd Beamer to his fellow passengers on Flight 93
I have always been struck by how loosely and generously this word has been used. Too often in my view, sports figures including boxers are referred to as heroes. Oh I get that an act of heroism can be made during a contest or within the context of a contest-such as a last second three-pointer in basketball. For that one moment, the athlete is indeed a hero. But heroes in the real sense are diminished when we attribute this moniker to our athletes and boxers.
Sergio Martinez, for example, is not a hero. Of course, there may be an exception or two. Michael Watson was and is very much a hero and remains one of my true personal heroes. Ted Williams, as a baseball player, was not a hero except perhaps when he won a game in the bottom of the ninth with a hit. But as a marine pilot who served in two wars, he was. Jackie Robinson was such a hero to me when I was a kid that I couldn't do anything but gawk at him in amazement. Charlie Sifford's steadfastness and golf smarts allowed him to break many of golf's racial barriers and become the first black to be inducted in the World Golf Hall of Fame. By paving the way for others, he was a hero.
Heroes can be men or women, black or white, gay or straight, privileged or poor, patriots or rebels, fathers or mothers, children or adults. We honor and celebrate them. They are different from the rest of us, and yet they are the same. But I believe what sets them apart is that they provide our inspiration. They demonstrate the high ideals and values that inspire us to go beyond the norm.
What do you think within a boxing perspective?
We at the club thank you for your past participation and bid you a fond farewell.
For an interesting boxing tour, visit the author's website featuring new articles, music and ever-changing photos at www.tedsares.com. Also, please sign the guest book so I know you dropped by.