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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Is Toney the right choice for boxing to take on the MMA?

The banter began when Floyd Mayweather said that MMA was for the fighters who couldn’t “hack” boxing and it has been escalating ever since. The latest exchange has come between UFC President Dana White and former three-time world champion James “lights out” Toney, who initiated the banter by calling out several MMA fighters that he could and would knock out if pitted against, ahead of his bout with Randy “the natural” Couture and then White countered by stating that Toney would get his #$% kicked on August 28. RC has also chimed in by stating that he heard Toney was talking smack (no pun intended) so “let’s do it”. The very intrigue of mixed martial arts is trying to figure out which style or discipline would be able to enforce it’s will when matched up in the octagon. Now we will have perhaps the two most prominent, with boxing and wrestling. However there is so much more riding on this bout than bragging rights, ad what we’ve seen are two sports heading in different directions as MMA has experienced unprecedented growth while boxing continues to struggle without many likable or bankable stars like Mayweather. Moreover, their lack of ability to make big fights happen has crippled the sport at the ticket counter. Some of the criticism of boxing comes from fans who now watch MMA because of the lack of action in some boxing matches. So now is the chance for boxing to either get some of it’s “street cred” back or take a huge step back to the new kid on the block. Now the lingering question, in a bout with so much significance and potential history, is James Toney (72-6-3) at 41 years-old the best man to represent the sport? I would normally say no but at 47 Randy Couture is no spring chicken either and if ‘styles make fights’ then this is actually a pretty good opponent for Lightsout to face. I realize for a time RC was carrying the flag for the UFC, but in addition to a modest 18-10 record, only one of those wins has come by a submission, which is the ONLY advantage to a wrestler taking on a boxer, because they’re allowed to strike and choke out even when on the ground. So if they stand upright then Toney’s 44 knockouts comes into play and with only 4 ounce gloves (boxers normally wear 10) if Toney manages to catch Couture it will truly be lights out. So although he couldn’t pay his own way into a bout for one of the heavyweight belts, James Toney may end up added a fourth from a very unexpected place. Who do you think will be able to enforce their will in the Toney/Couture match? Let us know here and in any of the quick links.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pac-Man/Money delays may be more self preservation than negotiation

First it was about drug test or lack there of, then it was venue/money, and then an agreement was “imminent” and a date set for Nov 13th, but here we are over half way through the year and the fight of the decade still has not been inked. In the latest chapter of the saga Promoter Bob Arum presented the Mayweather camp with a 12am ultimatum to agree to terms or lose his “exclusivity period”, which really isn’t much a threat to begin with as neither fighter has many options. The only bullets Arum has in his gun are Miguel Cotto (has already lost to Pac-Man and no one wants to see a rematch) and Antonio Margarito(who still doesn’t have a license to fight in the US) so not much a threat against someone who knows you coined HIS fight the “Fight of the Century”. However what may be more of an obstacle are the legal influences in each corner, Manny excuse me, Congressman Pacquiao, may be called away to perform his civic duties and once this window closes it may not open again. Across the ring Floyd’s uncle and trainer, Roger Mayweather, may have pressing legal obligations of his own but on the other side of the room as he has to deal with an upcoming battery allegation and may not be available to work the corner and Money may insist on him being there. Beyond the smoke screen of all of these moving parts may be the simple fact that both men realize that a loss thoroughly tarnishes their legacy as Floyd is the only unbeaten champion who has taken all comers to this point, and Pac-Man needs Floyd to negate his losses and cement his name as one of the best to ever lace them up. Both of these may be more intimidating for both fighters than any of the other external factors, and as they get up there in age and start realizing that there is more waiting for them after they leave the ring the last thing either wants is to go out a loser which is the one issue that is non-negotiable as someone will leave with the dreaded L. Who is more at fault for the fight not happening in your opinion? Let us know here and in any of the quick links.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Big Dogs Lost in the Woods, but the field playing competitive golf

If the proper salutation is “Ms. Andrews” then she must be taking up Elin’s cause because payback has been a bitch to Tiger as he can not seem to gain any momentum or make up any ground on the leaders, and it’s not just TW as the entire pack of players that were within striking distance but needed to pick up a couple of strokes themselves while having the leaders pull back just a bit in order to make for a marquis finish didn’t happen. At the close of round three there are no big names at the top, as Garcia (-4), Woods (-3), Lefty (-2), Singh (-1), and Cink (-1) will be the opening act on Sunday ahead of the headliners, Louis Oosthuizen (leader at -15), Paul Casey (-11), and Martin Kaymer (-8) may not be household names but they are taming a fickle mistress right now, and if lady luck is Ms. Andrews BFF then she is joining those three for cocktails after this round, because they have had their share of visits to the tall stuff as well but have managed to hold it together with only 3 bogeys between them. What makes the Open, “the Open” is the combination of an unforgiving course and the elements themselves and usually they ‘take the white gloves off’, but they had some sympathy yesterday as the top paring on the course was Ms. Andrews and Mother Nature so the officials decided to try and keep it close by calling for a delay in play, not for a rain delay, but because of the wind which you RARELY see. Much of the damage had been done however as the early players got a decisive advantage. Rory McIlroy made the largest peak to trough drop in Open history going from 63 to 80, and the difference of scores before and after the break are staggering, as the players below par 23/0, even par or higher 28/75, rounds in the 60’s 9/0, 68’s or better 6/0, and most of all the scoring average 72.29/76.92. So once again getting on the links early made all the difference and perhaps created an insurmountable lead. Just the same enjoy the final round on Sunday for what it is, great players trying to tame a vicious course. It may not have the names, bit of you were watching live without the benefit of TV titles you wouldn’t know the difference. If you must have a familiar name to keep your interest then watch Phil and Tiger have their game within a game as Lefty tries to leapfrog Tiger and take over the number one ranking which may end up stealing the thunder when all is said and done anyway.
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Early birds get the birds in round one

The way that St. Andrews is set up this year the weather is forcing players to play the back nine differently than they play the front nine, so you can just imagine the adjustments the late groups are making to adapt to climate changes in the late afternoon. That’s been the story of the Open thus far, as the early groups gained a decided advantage as scoring opportunities dried up the moisture increased. As the last group completed their round, umbrellas were abundant and the birdies had all left the course. Lefty was one of many that was taken out with the tide as he finished +1 for the day, ten shots back. Heath Slocum and Gareth Maybin are the only late afternoon players to break par (-2) a further confirmation that Mother Nature is the clubhouse leader. Although it would be almost impossible to match last year’s drama with Tom Watson’s miraculous run only to lose in the playoff, but if Daly can manage not to implode and make it to the weekend it would set up an amazing storyline that could possibly rival if not top Tom’s from last year, but let’s not get crazy and remember it’s Thursday not Saturday. In the event that the JD saga doesn’t interest you then perhaps the tribulations of the number 1 player in the world might, as he did manage to shoot a -5 for the first round and any time Tiger is remotely close after round one you have to think that he will be around in the end. After losing 7(insert 8 zeros) to a divorce settlement then losing his swing in the same month, TW is in need of a comeback of his own as for the first time in a decade his perilous hold on number one is now on a tournament by tournament basis and a finish outside of the top ten could spell the end of an era. Normally a five under par may not put you on top of the leaderboard but you certainly don’t expect to be out of the top 10, actually he’s tied for 8th with nine other players (which makes perfect sense), but for all intent and purposes he’s 12th but only 4 strokes off the lead, which would be half of the front nine for the “old” Tiger but I’m not sure who this new guy is yet, I just know he has a new putter. So who would make a better comeback story for you? Tiger or JD? Let us know here and in any of the quick links.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Spain finally live up to expectations but it wasn’t pretty

Spain has been ranked in the top three spots for what seems like the last decade only to come away with one piece of hardware (08’ European Championship) but now they have the grand prize with their first ever World Cup Championship in an ugly 1-0 game. With all due respect to the Spaniards, it seemed like the Dutch came into the match thinking they might be a little out-manned talent wise top-to-bottom and wanted to physically take control of the match, resulting in a ten yellow cards, and an very slow game. Final game aside, Spain only had eight goals in seven matches, the lowest total on any side ever to win a World Cup. So another WC Final ends 1-0 in anti-climatic fashion which doesn’t do the tournament justice. For a side that was unbeaten in the tournament going into the Final the Dutch certainly looked intimidated from the outset while Spain controlled possession throughout which has their MO, and took the game with another late deciding goal past the 73rd minute for the third time in the tournament. It’s not like Holland didn’t have their chances on offense as Robin simply couldn’t convert on two golden opportunities, and the missed 1-on-1 chance with just him and the goalie will surely haunt him for some time to come. Four years seems like an eternity but if I could be so bold as to make a request (aside from improved officiating) it would be to finally have a final that was the best match of the last four as both semi-final games and the third place game were much more entertaining. What do you think of the 2010 Cup? What was the most impressive/disappointing? In the end how would you rate the US performance, and France and Italy’s lack thereof?
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Monday, July 5, 2010

World Cup’s Final Four are deserving while others have spent too much time in US

You know, if you were on vacation on another planet for the last three weeks and just got back in time to catch the semi-finals of the World Cup you would see Spain (FIFA #1), Netherlands (FIFA #4), Germany (FIFA #6), and Uruguay (FIFA #16) and think that it has pretty much played true to form as on any given day (and depending on who was at home) the top 8 sides could beat each other on any given day and Uruguay pulled off a major upset as there is always at least one per cup. However those that have watched every match would tell you that the real skinny is that the perennial behemoths are not the formidable sides they’ve been in previous years and have some major restructuring to do. Italy, England, France, and Brazil are all stacked with talent and a roster that reads like dream team but it seems the rest of the world is now starting to catch USA disease. For those of you that don’t know what that is, it’s an ailment that sets in when you start to believe that individual talent can still win at the “World Competition Level” and that you can just show up and win because the other sides will be so enamored with your names and reputation. The second stage of the disease comes when you assemble individual stars rather than “teams” only to be astonished when sides of lesser collective talent not only beat you but rather easily. This disease can be fatal to many who bleed certain sports like soccer(football), hockey, and baseball. There are several in the US who have still not come to grips with the fact that the US lost the World Baseball Classic and are NOT considered World Champions in the sport, and that the US ‘Dream Team’ got the bronze medal in the 04’ Olympic Basketball including a 20-point loss in competition. Grant it the US Hoops team was cured of the disease and with dedication and rehabilitation recovered to live productive lives that included the gold medal in 08’. However what it took was a commitment to cause prior to the year of given competition, the selection of a team that was composed of players each for a specific task rather than the best 11 strikers on the best 11 clubs in the country, all of which whom want the ball at the same time. After this week all but two countries in the world will be searching for answers on how four years of preparation could yield such marginal results and France, Italy, England, among others had better make their appointment with the Doctor to begin rehab as 2014 will come around faster than they think and like most potentially fatal illnesses, this one doesn’t leave the system in a day. Who do you think was the biggest disappointment in the 2010 World Cup? Let us know here and in any of the quick links.

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