Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Shane Mosley’s Road to Pacquiao

“On May 7th, 2011, pound-for-pound superstar Manny Pacquiao will face future hall of famer, Sugar Shane Mosley.”

I read this about a week ago, and immediately found myself shaking my head in disapproval.

Despite being an amazing fighter, with a superb track record at that; the thought of Mosley facing Pacquiao now just makes my stomach turn.

Almost 2 years ago, Shane Mosley was on top of the world.

Fighting as a 4-1 underdog, Mosley utterly trounced Antonio Margarito, making use of a cagey and highly tactile gameplan imparted to him by his new trainer, Bernard Hopkins’ old friend Naazim Richardson.

While he looked absolutely brilliant in that performance, effectively turning back the clock on what at that time was a very uncertain era in his career, (loss to Cotto, tough fight with Mayorga) the truth remains that he clinched, rough housed with and clubbed his way to victory against a momentum based slugger with a habit for blocking punches with his face.

With his FACE.

In other words, while I would never take anything away from Mosley for his incredible victory over Margarito, as the timing of the win couldn’t have been more epic; (Cotto had edged a victory over Mosley earlier, and Margarito had just torn Cotto to shreds) but I think it needs to be said that people shouldn’t have been nearly surprised by it as they were.

Now, if Mosley had gotten a shot at Pacquiao then, when everyone was singing his praises and ballyhooing for him to challenge the world’s best; I probably wouldn’t have had a problem with him challenging Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao.

I would never have believed he could beat either of them, but I could have seen myself entertaining the prospect of him putting up a decent fight.

Instead though, Mosley would miss out on an opportunity to battle the (still) rising prospect Andre Berto due to the Haitian earthquake, and would remain inactive for nearly a year and a half.

A year and a half can make a world of difference when you’re nearly 40 in a young man’s sport.

As fate would have it, Mosley would finally get his shot at Floyd Mayweather, being thoroughly outboxed and, dare I say; brutalized for 12 rounds, despite landing an exciting overhand right that had Mayweather on queer street for a good while.

Outside of that one punch though, deprived of opportunities to clinch with and smother the offense of his fleet-footed opponent, Mosley looked like an old man in that fight.

First and only time I've ever seen him beat up like this.

Even so, it’s easy to look bad when you’re fighting one of the best (semi-active) fighters on the planet.

Following that horrendous loss, Mosley apparently went back to the drawing board and decided to rebuild his career.

How moving up to a weight that brought him nothing but shitty performances and ugly losses, as well as choosing Sergio Mora of Contender fame, an opponent with little to no marquee value or talent, figured into this plan is beyond me; but then again what do I know, I’m just a blog writer.

Anyway, as you can probably tell by now, Mosley’s next and most current fight was fought against Sergio Mora at Jr. Middleweight, in what was one of the sloppiest, boring, and utterly pointless contests in boxing that I can recall in recent memory.

Pictured: Mosley vs. Mora in a nutshell.

Mosley looked tired, bearing an impotent offense with none of the twitchy speed and sharp punching that made us all love him back in the day.

Mora on the other hand, was exactly the same as we all (regretfully) remember him.

Quick of fist and foot, and slippery to boot; Mora was his same boring self, making no use of his speed advantage by throwing too few (pillow fisted) punches.

With neither man able to do much of anything right in the fight, the contest ended in a draw, and rightfully so.

Neither man deserved to walk out of the arena that night feeling like a winner.

I'd have slapped them in the face instead of raising their hands. That's just me though...

And that, my friends; is Shane Mosley’s road to facing the pound-for-pound king of boxing.

A big win against a walking target, a punishing and brutal loss to the “other” best fighter on the planet, and a draw with a slippery tomato can.

That’s what gets you a big-time fight with the best in the world?

Sadly, this match seems to have been constructed, by Bob Arum no less; with the potential of pay-per-view buys in mind more so than it’s significance in regards to the competitive value of the bout.

Mosley’s was and is a great fighter, but it’s clear he’s entered the twilight of his career and should be considering his health more so than his checkbook.

I’ve seen his recent interviews.

I’ve noticed that his speech and mannerisms have begun to slow.

In a young man’s sport, where landing and dodging blows to people’s craniums is the name of the game, one should be wary of how “little things” like this could translate into their in-ring performance.

In other words:

If you’re noticeably slowing down and getting “goofy” in a fucking interview, maybe, just maybe; you’re also slowing down in the ring, probably more than you think.

This fight scares me, as I can’t help but feel that this time, against a far more aggressive and active opponent than his previous conqueror; Mosley will get hurt.

And I don’t mean “hurt” in the “I cut my finger on an envelope” sort of way.

I mean the guy might get knocked stupid.

Truth be told though, for a boxer like Shane Mosley, a pugilist that many proudly refer to as more of a “fighter” than a “boxer,” such an experience might be the only way he’ll ever find it within himself to call it quits.

I just hope the day Sugar Shane finally throws in the towel isn’t the day he finds himself unable to remember his kid’s names.

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Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito Evaluation

I had a lot of fun last night watching the fight at the bar.

Good friends, rowdy atmosphere, and the guilty pleasure of watching a bunch of meat-head douchebags that looked straight out of the fuckin’ Jersey Shore squirm as their boy “Tony” Margarito died by a thousand cuts.

*Sigh* It’s the little things in life that matter most sometimes…

Regardless of my contempt for all things douchy and meat-headed, I figured I would take the time to share my feelings on some of the fights on the Manny Pacquiao Vs. Antonio Margarito PPV.

I missed the Brandon Rios fight, so I’m not at liberty to comment on that one, however I will say this about the young Mexican:

He’s a rugged and talented fighter that definitely earned my notice with his crushing victory over Anthony Peterson, however the public persona he’s created for himself via his appearances HBO’s 24/7 are definitely not gonna’ earn him any fans.

Seriously man, he came across as oafish and needlessly “street.”

We know you’re tough man, we’ve seen you fight.

Just do us all a favor and let your fists do the talking instead of your mouth next time.

Moving on, I was thoroughly disappointed in Gabriel Rigondeaux’s performance against Ricardo Cordoba.

Perhaps it’s just the hype that Cuban fighters have been getting ever since Yuriorkis Gamboa started fighting in the ‘states regularly, but I expected a lot more from Rigondeaux.

His amateur accolades, recent pair of utterly devastating one-punch body shot knockouts, combined with his built in Pernell Whitaker/Wilfred Benitez-esque anti-punch radar led me to believe that he’d make his HBO debut count for something.

As fate would have it though, Rigondeaux apparently switched off his radar (or broke it), and caught a whiff of something he didn’t like about Cordoba, and thusly decided to wear his dance shoes for most of the fight.

The real surprise for me, was that Rigondeaux looked pretty lousy during the feeling out portion of the fight.

Despite the dramatic knockouts in his young pro career, Rigondeaux is not known among boxing circles for his punching power.

From what I’ve seen, and read, he’s a pure counter puncher that hurts his opponents by exploiting their missteps, not by pounding them with full force shots.

I don’t know if it was the pressure from the crowd, or maybe Cordoba himself; but Rigondeaux’s gameplan from the start seemed to be that of:

Hang back, slip shots, and then charge in with overhand haymakers.

Though it sounds exciting on paper, it doesn’t exactly thrill the audience when not a single one of said haymakers actually lands during the fight.

There were a pair of knockdowns in the fight, one for each man, with Rigondeaux taking a flash down at the hands of a jab to the nose, and Cordoba taking a full 8 count from a nasty body shot.

Kudos to him for getting up from that, can’t imagine how difficult that must’ve been.

While I’m on the subject, kudos to Ricardo Cordoba in general.

Despite a sloppy start, Cordoba skillfully made adjustments to his game, tucking in his elbows tighter after the down, and pressuring with the jab throughout the remainder of the fight.

Though I don’t doubt that he lost the fight, as in my opinion Rigondeaux scored just enough, and was just slippery enough to outpoint him; Cordoba showed an unerring tenacity that will likely score him some big victories in the future.

The man has a serious resume of losses to stellar competition, which will no doubt serve to either make him a gatekeeper for the up and comers, or a thoroughly avoided fighter.

In either case, I was impressed, and hope to seem him get a win next time.

Moving on, the next fight on the undercard was the truly bizarre, and utterly ridiculous contest between Philadelphian prospect Mike Jones, and the consistently tough to handle Jesus Soto Karass.

In short, the entirety of this fight’s story stemmed from a goofy, and for lack of a better term; stupid, course of action that Mike Jones decided to take after scoring a damaging series of punches on Soto Karass.

Make no mistake, Soto Karass was rocked pretty good in that second round.

He got caught solid, and stumbled to the ropes, and probably would have gone down had Mike Jones the slightest idea how to hang back and aim his shots.

Instead, we the the audience sat in shock, our mouths agape in silent incredulity as the Herculean form of Mike Jones proceeded to tuck his chin to his collar bone, clench his eyes shut, and whirl his arms about in a looping, windmill motion over and over and over again while making a whining sound akin to a female tennis player in the pre-Williams sister’s era of the sport.

To be fair, Jone’s shots landed just about everywhere on Soto Karass’ body.

On his arms.

On his ears.

On top of his head.

Hell, I’m a few landed in, y’know, vital locations, but I could be wrong.

Pretty sure one of the judges got clocked pretty good too.

This went on for probably a minute and a half.

During that time, as he ducked and squirmed about, gradually getting his legs back under himself; I’d imagine Soto Karass must have thought to himself:

“Is this guy fuckin’ serious!?  Oh well, may as well get comfortable…”

Well, turns out Big Mike was dead serious, ’cause he put everything he had into that amateurish display of 3rd grade schoolyard non-pugilism.

And do you know what he got for it boys and girls?

He burnt every ounce of stamina he had in the first 6 minutes of a 10 round fight.

For the remainder of the fight, Jones would stumble around, a rubbery and fatigued mess.

Despite this, he landed hard shots throughout the fight, and managed to skirt away from danger whenever Soto Karass would start building momentum.

Well, most of the time anyway…

Personally, despite punch stats that had Jones way ahead of Soto-Karass, (this was a surprise to me) I actually had Soto Karass beating him via pressure, consistency, and sheer activity.

Put it this way:

My eyes told me Soto Karass won, but if the numbers are indeed legit, then I’d concede that Jones escaped with a narrow decision.

With that ugliness (or is that silliness?) behind us, finally; we get to the main event:

Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito.

This was an amazing experience to see live, surrounded by Pacquiao fans (and a handful of douchebags…).

While every punch the Filipino landed was met with raucous applause, in between it all I found myself clenching my fists and holding my breath every time Margarito got his engine going.

It was an immensely tense and dramatic event, and I’m glad I got to see it live.

That being said, how was the fight?

Well, as I mentioned yesterday, Pacquiao won virtually every round to win a unanimous decision, however it was by no means an easy victory.

On the contrary, this fight showed me a few sides to Pacquiao that I can honestly say I’ve never seen before.

In the first round, Margarito came out throwing nothing but jabs.

My guess is he was trying to set up a straight right hand, but he never really got around to it.

In either case, those jabs, however basic and lazy they may have been, actually landed with alarming regularity in that first round.

That surprised me.

What also surprised me, was that Pacquiao was flat-footed for most of the first half of the fight; something that in my eyes completely negates the advantages yielded by his unique fighting style.

The biggest surprise for me though, came in the 6th round when Margarito landed a tremendous body shot that actually had me thinking “knockout.”

Though my eyes and memories may be playing tricks on me, I swear I saw Manny almost take a knee before biting his lip and running away on rubber legs, and with noodles for arms for the remainder of the round.

Honestly, the look on Pacquiao’s face after he took that shot was one that will stick with me for awhile.

It was primal.

It was the face of a man faced with unfathomable pain, that looked upon the raidly encroaching beast before him and said:

“No.”

Though this moment was far and away Margarito’s finest moment in the fight, for at least 8 rounds he gave Pacquiao fits while eating his best shots.

Margarito never really “got going” as he typically does in the latter half of his fights, but he had his moments.

While his offense may have appeared ineffectual, and he may have won 1, maybe 2 round tops; every single time he landed anything, it sent a chill down your spine.

The disparity in size between the 2 fighters played a major role in this.

While Manny’s punching always looks good, no matter who he’s landing on, Margarito’s thudding shots, however ugly and infrequent, definitely seemed like the punches of a man 17 pounds larger.

In short, you got the sense that if Pacquiao tried to play cute and eat shots on purpose like he did during the Cotto fight, he probably would’ve gotten seriously hurt in this fight.

While I may be over-dramaticizing the events of the fight, the whole thing had an eerie, if not uneven sense of ebb and flow that reminded me a lot of the Oscar De La Hoya and Fernando Vargas fight.

Make no mistake though, Manny dominated the fight.

Don’t let anyone tell you he didn’t have to drag his ass through a mobile minefield to do it though.

One thing I’d like to point out, was how somber and worn out Manny seemed after the fight.

Come to think of it, there were several stretches in the fight, post 6th round body shot, where Manny actually seemed fatigued.

Can’t say I’ve ever seen the man slow down before, and I can’t say I liked it.

Seriously though, during the post-fight interview, the combination of Manny’s words and facial expression gave me the impression that he really just wanted to get out of there.

Usually he’s all smiles, and he’s so animated, but this time his mind really seemed to be in a different place.

My gut tells me he’s probably going to retire if he doesn’t get a date with Mayweather.

I suspect this fight was tougher than most seem to think, and he’s obviously got his congressional obligations to think about, so I guess it makes to leave while he’s on top.

Anyway, congrats to Manny for another history making victory, and all the best to Margarito, who I hope didn’t leave any years of his career, or life for that matter; in the ring at Cowboys Stadium.

Seriously man, Robert Garcia should check his words next time during the post-fight interviews.

There’s a time and a place for machismo, and the 11th round of a world title fight, with a battered, blinded and wholly ineffectual in your corner is not it.

That’s my opinion anyway.

Thanks for reading, see yah’ tomorrow!

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Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito Result

Manny Pacquiao wins over Antonio Margarito via a hard fought, and dramatic 12 round UD.

Sorry about the one sentence post, but I’ve got work tomorrow, so this is the best I’ve got for now.\

This post will be updated and fleshed out with a full report sometime tomorrow.

In any case, don’t believe what some of the writers are saying, (I’m lookin’ at you Chicago Tribune..) this was one helluva’ a tension filled fight, and was in no way an easy victory for Pacquiao.

Both guys were seriously hurt and fatigued at several points in the contest, with Pacquiao seeming uncharacteristically solemn during the post-fight interviews.

In short, this was a fight that I’m really proud I went out of my way to see live, and I feel sorry for any boxing fans that didn’t.

Anyway, goodnight everyone, see yah’ tomorrow!

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The Azn Badger Has A Nickname

"WELL LET ME TELL YAH' SOMETHIN' MEAN GENE!..."

Last week, the Azn Badger was fortunate to discover that he has a nickname at work.

As a result of my repeated references to old-school WWF wrestlers, as well as my frequent impressions of Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage, I’ve henceforth been given the nickname of “Bonesaw” among certain social circles in the Amazon.com warehouse.

Who, or what is Bonesaw, you ask?

Well, in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, (or don’t about movies half as much as I do) Bonesaw McGraw was the name of the wrestler that Randy Savage played in the first Spider-Man film.

"HEY FREAKSHOW! I GOT'CHA' FOR 3 MINUTES! 3 MINUTES OF, PLAYTIIIIIME!!!"

While he only had a few lines of dialogue, make no mistake; every last one of them was unbelievably epic, such that I’ve memorized, and am able to imitate each and every one of them with stunning proficiency.

In other words, it’s not uncommon for me to start the work day by shouting retarded shit like:

BONESAW IS REEEAADYYY!!!!”

Well, that went on a helluva’ lot longer than I was expecting…

Anyway, let it be known, the Azn Badger’s charms are something that appeals to a very select group of individuals

Mostly retards, nerds, gamers, and in very rare cases, people that are actually more socially inept than the Azn Badger himself.

 

Pictured: An example of the type of person that legitimately finds the Azn Badger's behavior "endearing." The Azn Badger rarely feels the same in regards to them...

Mostly just retards though…

Anyway, I figured I would share this little tidbit of information being as I am dead tired and have absolutely no inspiration to write anything of significance following yesterday’s mega-prediction post regarding the Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito fight.

Seriously, that took a lot out of me…

Anyway, until tomorrow!

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Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito Prediction

This is going to be what I like to call a “political” prediction.

That is to say, I’ll post my genuine, honest to God feelings as to what’s going to happen in the fight; but I’ll do so while mentioning some of the other potential outcomes.

In other words:

I’m hoping to make my prediction while covering my ass.

Anyway, here’s what I think:

Manny Pacquiao has demonstrated in his previous fights in the 140 lbs+ weight range, that his speed, tenacity, and chin have survived the climb in weight.

In Antonio Margarito, Pacquiao will be facing a naturally larger opponent, creating perhaps the largest size disparity he’ll have faced up to this point.

Despite the size issue, here are some of my thoughts Pacquiao as a fighter in general:

 

Manny Pacquiao, being awesome.

Manny’s greatest assets in my book, are his impeccable footwork; wherein he keeps his feet set and primed for leverage and power regardless of his positioning, his calculated exploitation of the obscure punching angles granted to him by his Southpaw stance, and his tendency to breach his opponent’s comfort zone for slightly longer stretches than most fighters are capable.

What I mean by that last statement, is that Pacquiao uses in-and-out tactics with his power punching; but with greater emphasis on the “in” than the “out.”

Most fighters dart in for a few shots, reset; and start from scratch.

Manny darts in for A SHIT TON of shots, changes angles, and comes in for some more; all while generally remaining (or at least feigning that he is) within his opponent’s perceivable punching range.

This results in many opponents chasing Manny in instances when he’s really not far enough away for such actions to be a viable option I.E. Ricky Hatton.

 

A little to the left Mr. Hatton. Jus' sayin'...

Lunging/charging fighter + Filipino with superior handspeed = Filipino with another KO notch on his belt.

In terms of punching angles, to my knowledge Manny’s best shots come straight down the pipe ala a Southpaw Kostya Tszyu, or swatting down from above with a right hook to the point of the chin.

In general, like any good middle range fighter, he aims to connect at the height of extension, though in his case he tends to aim for the chin with his hooks instead a broader target like the the temple or sinus.

 

Sorry to spam the Hatton pics, but you have no idea how happy I was to see his clinching ass flattened...

And you wonder why he’s been knockin’ fools out all these years?

Enough about Pacman, it’s time to show Antonio Margarito some respect:

 

Antonio Margarito, being awesome while pointing.

Antonio Margarito’s best assests are his granite chin, the tremendous volume of his punch output, and his capacity to continually build momentum throughout the fight.

The Tijuana Tornado has a chin, I don’t think anyone would argue that.

To date, Shane Mosley is the first and only fighter to knockout Antonio Margarito, in what was an incredibly one-sided affair.

Despite this, one has to take into consideration the fact that ‘ole Sugar Shane had to club the mighty Mexican across the jaw with overhand rights for nearly 8 rounds straight before his legs began to wobble.

 

9 rounds of THIS. Even Tony Zale would've gone down once or twice...

Make no mistake, water droplets can crack any rock given enough time, and in the case of Antonio Margarito, it took around 24 minutes of torrential downpour for it to finally happen.

The man was knocked out, yes; but in no way should that make anyone discount his ability to take punishment.

Moving on, Margarito is a very large Welterweight with average handspeed, but with a round-to-round punch output and well-varied repertoire of punches to make up for it.

He’s a classic example of the “Bionic Mexican (TM)”:

"I need your clothes, your boots, and your motorcycle..."

A momentum and pressure based fighter with an incredible chin that loves to go to the body, but will gladly throw at whatever you show him in the meantime.

That being said, Margarito is an especially large example of the Bionic Mexican, particularly at his weight.

No doubt aware of this, Margarito stalks his opponents and keeps his gloves in their face all night until they mentally break down.

While said strategy often results in him eating a lot more shots than most trainers would like to see their fighters deal with, it also has the added benefit of causing fighters to fight on the move, forcing opponents with foowork issues to throw the majority of their punches from weak stances, thusly diminishing the power of their shots I.E. Miguel Cotto.

This was hard for me to watch. *Sniff* Cotto was my boy...

In terms of best punches, I have to say that I’ve always felt Antonio Margarito had a particularly nasty uppercut with both hands.

Given the length of his arms, I’d imagine it comes from below many fighters periphery, as well as reaches farther than most would expect; thusly resulting in a elusive and powerful punch that is hard to see coming.

"Hello, Golden Johnson." (2 minutes and 28 seconds later) "Goodbye, Golden Johnson."

Not only that, it should also be mentioned that said punch is usually backed up by about 20 other punches from several different angles.

Add it all up, and you have a whirlwind of solid shots from all angles, with one particularly nasty one hiding out somewhere just below.

Now then, let’s get to the prediction, shall we?:

Manny Pacquiao, UD or TKO round 6-8.

As with all of Manny Pacquiao’s fights since he started his journey North of 135 lbs, the only way I see him losing if the other guy gets to do “his thing.”

In the case of Ricky Hatton, I felt that if Ricky could only win if he could get his annoying ass “clinch and hit” game going.

He didn’t, and the result was one of the grandest blow-outs I can recall seeing on live TV.

 

Yay! No more clinching!

In the case of Miguel Cotto, I felt that if the stout Puerto Rican could stymie Pacman with his jab, and then play him into his left hook to the body, he might have a chance at taking the fight.

While Cotto managed to do both of these things, for about 10 seconds; he was ultimately unable to cope with the footwork and angles of Pacquiao, and was thusly hurt too early in the fight to build any sort of momentum.

 

... Not exactly the best way to win a fight there Mr. Cotto.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s all about the comfort zone with Pacquiao.

In short, he denies his opponents of ever acquiring one for themselves over the course of the fight.

Fighters like Juan Manuel Marquez, that have the benefit of a sturdy chin and the capacity and to adjust mid-fight, as well as the willingness to stand and trade in order to weather the storm, are exactly the types of fighters that have what it takes to handle Pacquiao.

The boxing equivalent to yelling, "Get the fuck out my face, son!"

Bear in mind I said “handle,” not “beat.”

In Margarito I see a fighter that has all of the traits I just mentioned, except for the ability to adjust.

While I would never go so far as to say that Antonio Margarito is a one-dimensional fighter, (he’s not) I don’t see him as having the sufficient level of science in his fighting to take a step back and say:

“This isn’t working.  Let’s start over next round.”

As such, I have a feeling that this fight could end up being another case of Pacquiao doing his thing, while the other never gets a chance to show what he’s got… While eating an ungodly amount of punches.

While that is my gut feeling and my official prediction for the Pacquiao\Margarito fight, there are a few alternate scenarios I feel are worth mentioning:

First off, Margarito’s chin, coupled with his punch output; could in fact put Pacquiao in his place.

Unlike Ricky Hatton, whose rigid head and neck posture caused his damage to pile up prematurely, Margarito, much like his fellow contemporary Bionic Mexican brother Librado Andrade, is amazingly skilled at rolling with the punches.

Uh... Good job?

While Pacquiao’s hardest shots come straight down the middle, thusly negating this maneuver; said technique could allow the Tijuana Tornado to power through some of Pacman’s more superficial punches, thereby allowing Margarito to land some shots of his own, thusly turning quick potshots into full-blown exchanges.

Make no mistake, if Margarito can exchange with Pacquiao as he’s attempting to step in or out of range, the momentum factor could make for some interesting later rounds.

Another aspect of the fight to take into consideration, is the fact that neither fighter is known to clinch very often, if at all; and yet both display a vulnerability to the technique.

In the case of Margarito, the clinch was instrumental in Shane Mosley’s victory over him, as it allowed him to smother his punches, as well as land heavy shots on the way in without the danger of follow-up shots to contend with.

While I have yet to witness anyone able to successfully clinch with Pacquiao with any sort of regularity, my gut tells me he too would have issues contending with it.

He’s a middle-range fighter with impeccable and commanding footwork, meaning if you take those factors away from him, he’s left with a crippled offense and the fatigue brought on by the constant grappling.

While I honestly don’t see it happening, if Margarito really wants to win, (and lose the respect of his fans in the process) it would be interesting seeing him stoop to the level of using the methods of his previous conqueror to take on Pacman.

Truth be told, while clinching is supposedly a form of cheating according to the official rules of the sport, for this fight it would make a lot of sense for Margarito to try.

He’s got the height and wingspan to take full advantage of it, and the disparity in size would most certainly wear on Pacquiao, regardless of how deep his stamina reserves may be.

Anyway, after a long day of work this is just about everything I can think of to say on the subject of Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito.

I probably won’t be seeing this one live, so make sure to check it out for me!

Filed under: Boxing, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Boxing and the Azn Badger

Boxing is just about the only professional sport I pay attention to.

That’s not to say I don’t enjoy watching sports, I simply haven’t devoted as much time to appreciating and learning the subtleties of them as I have in the case of boxing.

SUBTLETY.

The first time I can remember seeing boxing, was when I was really young, maybe 5 years old.

My parents were watching the end of Rocky III on TV, and I walked into the room (past my bedtime) thinking it was a real fight.

I remember yelling “Jesus!” every time Rocky got, um, clubbed; by Clubber Lang.

"JESUS!"

After 3-4 cries of “Jesus,” my mom ushered me out of the room and told me to go to bed, but not before telling me to say “jeez” instead of “Jesus.”

Now that I think of it, that was kind of weird.

I remember going to church every now and again as a kid, but my parents never enforced any sort of religion in the house.

Oh well, my best guess is that, at that point in my life my parents hadn’t yet decided if I was going to be raised with a religion, so they didn’t want me taking the Lord’s name in vain just in case.

To this day, I have yet to establish any religious affiliations.

Although I did spend some time in the Kamen Rider Kult for awhile... Does that count?

That awkwardness aside, Sylvester Stallone and Mr. T’s climactic brawl at the end of Rocky III served as my introduction to the sport of boxing.

That fight also ranks as one of my favorite in AMERICAN film history, so it’s gonna’ get posted below for your enjoyment:

I remember years later, during Mike Tyson’s big comeback in the mid-90’s, my brother and my dad would “watch” some of the scrambled Pay-Per-Views.

You see, this was back in the day when Pay-Per-Views came via a cable box, (which my home didn’t have until my brother started ordering WWF Pay-Per-Views) but the channels they aired on could still be accessed in “scrambled” format.

That’s right, my brother and my dad cared enough about boxing that they would plop down in front of the TV and watch a scrambled snowstorm just to get the live audio.

"Oh, LOOK at that crushing right hand from Arguello! Boy Jim, that sure LOOKED painful, didn't it!?"

It was around this time that I came to realize that boxing meant something to my family, primarily my dad.

My dad loves all sports, don’t get me wrong; but boxing has always seemed to have a special place in his heart.

When I was little, and would sometimes sit in and watch the fights with him, he’d always amaze me with his ability to predict the outcomes of fights.

I didn’t know it then, but it turns out my pop had done a bit of boxing in his youth.

Pictured: My Dad.

That’s not to say he was some retired legend of the ring or anything, but even so, he managed to do a few neat things during his time in the sport.

For instance, in his youth he competed in the Philadelphia Golden Gloves tournament, even going so far as to the reach the semi-finals.

He was eliminated by a young fighter named Willie “The Worm” Monroe, a man who would later go on to defeat middleweight legend, and easily one of my favorite fighters of all time; Marvelous Marvin Hagler.

Sum' bitch, beat mah' daddy...

Oh yeah, and get knocked the fuck out by Hagler a few years later.

Click below for vengeance by proxy:

During his time in the Vietnam War, my dad made his way over to Thailand once or twice.

While staying there, my dad was invited to participate in a friendly exhibition match with a local fighter.

Nobody told my dad who he was fighting before the match, but as it turns out, his opponent was Chartchai Chionoi.

The same Chartchai Chionoi that had been sitting on the world flyweight championship for a few years by the time my dad met him.

According to my dad, the fight really did play out as a friendly exhibition for the most part, with neither man getting hurt for the most part.

My dad always said he was just glad he on his feet the whole time and didn’t end up embarrassing himself.

He and Chartchai exchanged holiday cards every now and again for years after that.

According to my dad, Mr. Chionoi got kind of pudgy at one point, so my dad used to poke fun at him for it.

Pictured: Chartchai Chionoi in the twilight of his career.

It was my dad’s love for/knowledge of boxing that drew me into it.

I always wanted an excuse to hang out with my dad and shoot the shit, and boxing was the venue I chose to do it from.

I spent my youth listening to the little fundamental tidbits my dad would throw out during the fights, and by the time I was in high school, I felt I knew the sport pretty well.

That’s one of the major differences between boxing and other sports for me.

I get boxing.

I didn’t really pay much attention to other sports as a kid, and as a result, I don’t know them as well.

It makes a huge difference, knowing what you’re looking at, and knowing “how” to appreciate it.

Art....?

When he was in high school, my brother went to live in Kobe, Japan for a year.

During this time he took the time to join Senrima Keitoku’s boxing gym, the same trainer that would go on to train recently dethroned world bantamweight champion Hozumi Hasegawa.

In a bizarre twist of fate, Hasegawa is a Japanese boxer that is actually GOOD.

I don’t know the extent of my brother’s training in Japan, but I think he did it for the same reasons I wanted to:

To have something in common with dad, and to say that he “did it.”

These guys "did it" too.

Seeing as boxing was one of the few things I could really relate to my dad on, I was always envious of my brother for having that connection.

Unfortunately, I was not in the best of shape as a kid, and I always thought I’d never make it in a gym, so I never really tried.

Pictured: The Azn Badger in his youth.

As fate would have it, I found myself faced with a school project that required one to join a community and do what is called “appreciative inquiry,” I.E. giving and taking while never really implying that you’re overtly “taking.”

Yeah, I know, hippie-dippy-gobbledy-gook at it’s best, right?

Because the project was sprung on us with little notice, I took it upon myself to take advantage my my newly in-shape self, and I joined the local Police Athletic League to try my hand at boxing and do my project at the same time.

I had a lot of fun at the gym, in fact I still miss it to this day, largely because of all the time I got to spend helping out the little kids.

Not in THAT way, you perv.

This way:

At the gym, I was surprised to find that I was more than able to keep up with the training regimen, however my eyesight was a huge problem.

Let it be known, that people that wear contact lenses or glasses should never, ever consider pursuing boxing as anything more than a workout.

Don’t be an idiot like I was, you’ll be better for it.

In sparring, I never told my coach that I was wearing disposable contacts that would come out after getting hit about, oh, once.

As a result, I was blind for most of my sparring sessions, though I did alright anyway.

Never got hurt, anyway.

On my last day in the gym, when my class and the project attached to it ended and I was forced to get back to my normal schedule, I got my ass torn up by a new arrival at the gym.

The guy was about 17 years old, 2 inches taller and 10 pounds heavier than me, and had a few years experience under his belt.

It's true, it's true. I did in fact fight Ivan Drago.

All I had going for me was a thick skull and ridiculously big hair.

Oh yeah, and I'm a FUCKING DOCTOR.

I got my face pounded in that night, and even though it was my last night there anyway, it truly felt like the world was telling me to get out of the ring.

Some of us are made to be fighters, some aren’t.

AREN'T.

I can’t say which I am, but I will say this, starting out in boxing at 21 years of age is not the way to find out.

I never got a chance to fight in a real match, however I was scheduled for one, which I made weight for and everything.

At 152 lbs., there were a lot of other fighters vying for the same spot as me on the card, so I ended up getting pushed aside in favor of more experienced guys.

That match will always be a big “what if” I’ll have in the back of my head, but such is life.

These days I play armchair quarterback with my dad.

I prefer to watch fights alone, or with my dad; rowdy crowds tend to make me nervous on account of how they sensationalize the fight.

Kind of like these guys.

I’ve always said that, in boxing, I never applaud violence, (unless I HATE the guy getting his ass torn up) I’m just there to see what happens.

It’s for this reason that I also prefer to watch fights after they’ve already happened.

I don’t really care about being surprised, I just like sitting back and evaluating, and learning from the situation.

Boxing is a sport that encourages it’s fans to review it’s long and colorful history.

I have spent most of my life doing this, and for that reason I guess I’ve been conditioned to know what is coming ahead of time.

Some would call my preference blasphemy, however in my eyes, boxing is something I “appreciate” more than I care about “being there” for.

I’m not sure if I should thank my dad for getting me into a dieing sport that no one really seems to talk about these days, (try finding a boxing magazine among all the gun, bodybuilding and MMA ones, I dare you) but I will say this:

I am thankful for my father and everything he’s taught me in life.

Sure, I can’t ride a bike, but I can tell you the names of probably 80% of boxing’s hall of famers.

Life skills, that’s what dad’s are for.

Thanks dad, here’s to sittin’ around watching the fights together for the rest of our days.

Happy Father’s Day!

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