I’m Pumped!

I just came across three boxing articles that made me smile.

First, I saw that Vitali Klitschko would be defending his WBC title for a fifth time against Shannon Briggs, who in his own right was a two-time champion, but neither reign (if you could even call them that) was all that spectacular.

In 1997 he claimed a controversial decision victory against a nearly 50-year-old George Foreman to claim the lineal championship, only to be knocked out by Lennox Lewis in his next fight.  Then in 2006 he was losing against Sergei Liakhovich for the WBO championship, but knocked him out with 1 second remaining in the 12th and final round, then turned around to defend his new belt against Sultan Ibragimov who won an easy unanimous decision.

Briggs laid out on the canvas, right where Vitali is going to put him.

Either way, I figured it would be a tough fight (although a fight he would easily win) for Vitali against a man (Briggs) who can really throw some powerful shots when he is properly motivated and in shape.

Second, the fact that the aforementioned Shannon Briggs (yes, THIS Shannon Briggs) would make the WBC champion, Vitali Klitschko, his “32nd first round victim”, saying, “That’s how a lot of my fights end.”

Whoa there buddy.

I’ll be honest here, short of Vitali hurting himself during the fight, there is no way Briggs is going to win this fight, BUT if he could have just kept his mouth shut and let a sleeping giant lie he might have, he just might have had a puncher’s chance.

He can forget all that now.  Vitali is entirely too smart and has tasted leather from some of the hardest puncher’s of today (i.e. Sam Peter, Lennox Lewis) and Briggs doesn’t have anything on them.  I could be wrong, but I do believe that Vitali has never even been down once in his career. 

Even in his two losses (Chris Byrd and Lennox Lewis) which are technically down as “KO’s” he never hit the floor.  One stoppage was a shoulder injury that Vitali needed surgery (and he was winning the fight by large margins by all three judges) and if Lennox hadn’t opened up the most ghastly cuts in the history of pro boxing, Vitali would have won that fight.

Yes, Vitali would have won that fight despite Lennox Lewis saying after the fight that, “I had him right where I wanted him.”

Shannon Briggs just shook a sleeping bear.  Stupid.

And lastly, I read that Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer is trying to put a deal together for a title fight between Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez and Australia’s Michael Katsidis.

This fight has all the makings and potential to be the 2010 fight of the year.

HBO gave Shaefer a November 27 date, which Shaefer wasn’t happy about, but what’s he going to do? Put the fight on Telemundo? I don’t think so.

So, hopefully, this fight will be finalized and I can sit down and watch a potential Fight of the Year for 2010 and I can be happy.

Montreal’s Newest Hero; Jean Pascal

The following is my account of each of the 11 rounds as they happened live.

Check after the round-by-round account to see my thoughts on Dawson’s reaction to what happened during the fight and what I think should occur that would be fantastic for boxing (if it could ever really happen is doubtful).

Chad Dawson-Jean Pascal
175lbs for the WBC, IBO, and Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight Championship

Incredible to hear about Pascal having his shoulder dislocate THREE TIMES in his second fight against Adrian Diaconu. Simply incredible.

Rd 1, good body work from Dawson early, Pascal very aggressive with about a minute left, and again with a right uppercut with under 20 seconds left

10-9 Pascal

Rd 2, Pascal very active, not a lot of lands, but some shots are definitely getting through, Dawson has Pascal on ropes, throws a bunch, lands very little, Pascal is dominating this round from start to finish, round won easily by Pascal

10-9 Pascal

Rd 3, slow first half of round, then flurry of very good body shots by Pascal, some big shots from Pascal, nice work, Dawson has small flurry, but answered immediately by Pascal

10-9 Pascal

Rd 4, good work from both fighters in first half of round with one big shot from Dawson, Dawson using ring well and the distance between the them is perfect for him, Pascal flurries at the end, lands some big shots, not enough to win the round though

10-9 Dawson

Rd 5, good back and forth, but Pascal landing the better shots, very solid round from Pascal

10-9 Pascal

Rd 6, Dawson using the ring well, jabbing, Pascal good flurry, Dawson answers with solid hook as Pascal comes in, Dawson good 1-2, Pascal answers well with hard straight right

10-9 Pascal

Rd 7, Pascal with HUGE punch, Dawson stumbling, knee buckled against the ropes, Dawson throwing back hard now, warned for low blow, then rounds slow considerably, Pascal seems slightly fatigued

10-9 Pascal

Rd 8, Pascal’s hands are hanging much lower than they should be, but Dawson isn’t engaging, strange, HUGE punch from Pascal, Dawson stumbling, is definitely hurt, Pascal against the ropes and is working Dawson’s body

10-9 Pascal

Rd 9, Pascal’s right hand is fantastic, HUGE right from Pascal, Dawson FINALLY throws some meaningful punches back, Dawson SHOULD be pushing the action with Pascal looking exhausted at times, but he does light jabbing, maybe a left, not gonna cut it, Dawson hurts Pascal, Pascal against the ropes, Dawson lets him off easy

10-9 Dawson

Note: If Dawson would just press the action he would certainly knock out Pascal, because Pascal is completely exhausted and fighting off what little adrenaline he has left

Rd 10, though Pascal is tired he is still landing good punches, Pascal hammering Dawson up against the ropes, Dawson turns it and retaliates and lands good punches on Pascal against the ropes

10-9 Pascal

Rd 11, Dawson comes out with hard shots pushing Pascal up against the ropes, Dawson working Pascal hard, Pascal is hurt & tired, may go soon, Inexplicably Dawson lets Pascal bounce around the round and rest and recoup, odd, Dawson with a FANTASTIC counter, Pascal stopped dead in his tracks, surprised he didn’t go down, now a HUGE cut over Dawson’s right eye, gushing blood, accidental butt, DOCTOR STOPS THE FIGHT BECAUSE OF THE CUT!

10-9 Dawson

Going to the scorecards, my card reads 107-102 for Jean Pascal.

Judges cards read, 108-101, 106-103, 106-103 for the winner and new Ring Magazine, WBC & IBO Light Heavyweight Champion, Jean Pascal in an absolutely stunning upset!

Chad Dawson (left) lost this 'stare-down' and then lost the fight.

Dawson a poor sport in his interview with Larry Merchant. Says, “He held and hit me all night, head butting me all night”…WEAK!

One thing I absolutely hate with a passion is when a fighter loses, and loses fair and square, but wants to complain about having something hurt, or the other fighter fouled him or cheated. It’s weak and it’s, honestly, a bitch move.

You lost. It happens, no one is perfect. Take it like a man and go on your way. Don’t make excuses, don’t make back-handed compliments, admit what happened and move on.

All that being said, it was a very, very entertaining fight. Pascal did what most people didn’t think he could do and that’s beat the uber-favorite Chad Dawson.

Dawson just couldn’t or seemingly wouldn’t attack. He was content to just pick a spot, throw a flurry of punches and then just let Jean Pascal back away and bounce around the ring and compose himself. It’s just inexplicable to me that Dawson allowed that to happen.

If Dawson had just amped up his aggression even 25% he would have knocked Pascal out before the 8th round, guaranteed.

I doubt it will happen, but imagine this; Tavoris Cloud vs. Chad Dawson & Lucian Bute vs. Jean Pascal with the winner of each fight facing off against eachother to be the Ring Magazine 175lbs Champion.

But, alas, this is boxing and good things like that just don’t happen.

It’s sad really.

All Over for Arreola

Arreola crying after Vitali beat him to a bloody pulp. This just about sums it up. (Photo courtesy: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Well, it should be at least.

Remember a little over a year ago when some boxing pundits were proclaiming Cristobal Arreola to be the “next great American heavyweight”?

What a joke.

Whoever said that is an idiot.  Those are harsh words, but this man did not one thing to be proclaimed “the next great American heavyweight.” Not. One. Thing.

Nothing he did led me to believe he was ever going to be anything more than a good fighter.

And he is a good fighter, but not the next great heavyweight, as much was proven against Vitali Klitschko (corner threw in the towel in the 10th rd), Tomasz Adamek, and now against a club fighter in Manuel Quezada.  In each fight he was sloppy and just completely and utterly out of shape.

Yeah, this slob was supposed to be (according to some) the next great one.


Arreola showed in this fight against a bum that he can’t step up (and I wasn’t the only one thinking he looked terrible either).  It’s not in the cards for him.  He is destined to be a middle man, a stepping stone for some up and coming (if there ever is another up and coming) young heavyweight that needs to prove himself against a good puncher with a strong chin.

It’s time to close the book on The Nightmare.  Decent punch, good chin, 6’4″ and fat.

The end.

Favre retiring?!…we can only hope.

Say it ain’t so Brett! You’re retiring…again? like for reelz this time?

I’ll believe it when I see it. For example, it’s November and he’s still retired then he might actually be really done.

Although I can see this scenario happening;

Favre retires.

The first time he lied.

Vikings get off to 0-3 start.

Favre never stopped working out and is in near playing shape.

Vikings hear this and immediately call Favre’s people.

Favre mulls his options for two weeks and then comes back to play for the Vikings in Week 5 or 6.

You cannot tell me that isn’t a possible scenario. It has to be, I mean this is Brett Favre, he might not even stay retired for two weeks, much less FOREVER. This is the same man who has already retired twice only to come back.

If it is true and he has started contacting teammates to tell them he is ready to call it a career, then damn, that’s f’d up.

Consider that the Minnesota Vikings, had they known earlier that Favre was going to retire, would have most certainly been in the Donovan McNabb sweepstakes. Hell even if they couldn’t pull off getting McNabb, they could have thrown their hat in on the Jason Campbell trade talks or even Marc Bulger was out there for the taking.

What would they be left with minus Favre? Tarvaris Jackson, Sage Rosenfels, and Joe Webb (a rookie taken in the 6th round of this years draft out of UAB).

A player drafted to be the franchise QB, but is really nothing more than a glorified second string QB (Jackson), a career backup (Rosenfels) and a rookie (Webb). Yikes. That’s um…just a little under whelming, considering what they could have had.

So if the almighty Favre does actually retire, Vikings fans are going to become the third franchise to have a fan base utterly despise him.

Congratulations Brett, you will become one of the most hated men in NFL history! You worked hard for it, it’s well deserved.