Happy 40th Arturo Gatti

He wasn’t the strongest, fastest, or most talented fighter, and he took way too many punches, but he was a man in that ring.

He was a man in that ring like few others have been a man in that ring. He never gave up and he never surrendered. Gatti was one of a currently and rapidly diminishing breed of fighter. Not that there isn’t a group of fighters who bring the same warlike craziness to the table as Gatti, it’s just that the number is dropping dramatically as the years go on.

I may say these things because I’m biased, I openly admit to being as big an Arturo Gatti fan as there is.

I grew up watching his fights, watching his unerring intestinal fortitude, his ability to look as if he would literally be murdered in the ring and in the face of everyone telling him he must stop, he refused. He refused because he would not go quietly into that good night, he would go out in a blaze of fire. He would go down swinging.

Happy 40th Arturo.

I’ll leave you with one of the greatest rounds that you’ll ever see, featuring Mickey Ward;

Gerald Green’s long ride

I remember hearing big things about a young high schooler that got drafted 18th overall by the Boston Celtics in the 2005 NBA Draft.

He seemed like he was dripping with talent, like it was just a matter of time before he realized that talent and took off on an upward trajectory.

That did not happen for various reasons, whether it was lack of a strong work ethic or immaturity or just simply not being ready for the big time. He’s been all over the NBA and the world since just 2005.

He did win the NBA Slam Dunk Championship in 2007 and is notoriously efficient in the transition game with tremendously athletic finishes at the hole.

Here is Gerald Green’s journey from 18th pick of the 2005 NBA Draft to 2012 role player for the New Jersey Nets; Continue reading “Gerald Green’s long ride”

FIBA Asia player scores 113 points (What?!)

Newest member of the 100 points in a game club, Mohammad El Akkari. (Photo: FIBA Asia)

I don’t care in what setting it occurs in, scoring ONE HUNDRED POINTS (or more) in a single basketball game is ungodly.

Mohammad El Akkari of Moutahed of Tripoli (in Lebanon) suited up on April 3rd and got ready for his game against Bejjeh and brought along his 7.6 ppg average he had accumulated over the course of 23 games.

El Akkari averages under eight points per game played, on the season. Just want to point that out again.

What happened during the course of the game is crazy talk, but it happened anyway.

The 27-year-old guard went completely bananas against a Bejjeh squad that, I assume, had no God damn idea what was about to happen.

In what has to be considered one of the best shooting/scoring games in the history of all things basketball, Akkari made 40 of 69 shots overall, 32 of 59 from 3-point, and attempted a mere one free throw.

Considering the man was averaging a paltry 7.6 ppg, this is obviously a ridiculous anomaly. It’s shocking that a man could attempt 69 shots from the field and one receive one lonely free throw. Also shocking that a man could make 32 three point baskets.

All those shots is just mind boggling to comprehend.

From the article on ESPN.com;

According to fibaasia.net, 100 points have been scored in a game in Asia twice: Lou Salvador had 116 for the Philippines against China in the 1923 Far Eastern Games, and Jeron Teng scored 104 points in a high school game in the Philippines.

Also, anytime you place yourself on a short list that contain Wilt
Chamberlain (scored 100 against the Knicks in 1962) you’ve had a good day/year/life.

MLB 2K12: The Predictions (Part II)

Part I can be found here.

The fact that every contending team in MLB has issues (some worse than others) is a good thing, unless of course you are a frustrated fan of one of those teams. The flaws in every good team will almost guarantee a thrilling season.

Every team will have to punch and crawl and drag themselves to the finish line. With the exception of the Detroit Tigers who are (easily) in the worst division in baseball. The Tigers should cruise to the AL Central crown.

Just like the majority of the division races should be fun to watch, so too will the awards races.

The MVP races in both the AL & NL should be especially close, particularly with the additions of Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols to the AL.

Prince Fielder, 1B, Detroit Tigers – The 1-2 punch of Fielder and Miguel Cabrera is a scary prospect for every pitcher in the American League. Fielder, like Pujols, should have a field day on more than a few of these #4 & #5 back end pictures. (Think .310 avg, 40 HR, 130 RBI)

Honorable mention:
Albert Pujols, 1B, Los Angeles Angels
Evan Longoria, 3B, Tampa Bay Rays

AL Cy Young
David Price, Tampa Bay Rays – Being 6’6″/220 lbs he can handle the rigors of a full season and well over 200 innings of Grade A pitching. His ERA elevated slightly last year, but I see him returning to his 2010 season where he finished second in the Cy Young race to the stellar Felix Hernandez. The kid is 26-years-old and is entering his prime years. (Think 21-6, 2.50 ERA, 230 IP, 215 SO)

Honorable mention:
Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers
CC Sabathia, New York Yankees

Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds – Votto signed a massive $251.5 million, 12-year deal that is the largest in Cincinnati Reds history. Votto won the NL MVP in 2010 and I expect him to repeat that feat again this season. (Think .300, 25 HR, 125 RBI)

Honorable mention:
Matt Kemp, CF, Los Angeles Dodgers
Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Rockies

NL Cy Young
Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies – since 2008 he has been one of the best (if not the best) pitchers in baseball. Last season he threw six (I repeat six!!) complete game shutouts in addition to winning 17 games, posting a 2.40 ERA, and striking out 238 (in 232.2 innings). Damn impressive. He’ll be 34 in August and he’s thrown at least 212 innings each of the last four seasons, but he has shown no sign of slowing down. (Think 19-5, 2.25 ERA, 220 IP, 220 SO)

Honorable mention:
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
Josh Johnson, Miami Marlins

MLB 2K12: The Predictions (Part I)

Smell that? IT’S BASEBALL!

It’s a looooong season and filled with numerous injuries and many good surprises to (the inevitable) terrible disappointments.

There is no one sure-fire pick for World Series champion. There is, however, a few teams that are in that ‘favorite’ position (Yankees, Tigers, Rangers in the AL & Phillies, Braves, Marlins in the NL).

Yes, I realize that the three teams with a shot in the National League are all from the NL East. My reasoning is equal parts, ‘the NL East is going to be the best division in baseball’, and ‘the rest of the NL’s possible contenders are at least a year away from being good enough’.

Conversely the American League has three top contenders (mentioned above) and three secondary contenders (Rays, Red Sox, and Angels) that could easily rise above with the right combination of break out/huge season from a star(s) and injury to a pivotal player. Overall there’s six possible teams that could represent the AL in the World Series this season.

On to the records predictions; Continue reading “MLB 2K12: The Predictions (Part I)”

ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights coming to Albany!

Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing is making a return to Albany’s Times Union Center.

Star Boxing was last in Albany February 4th when Joe Hanks defeated Rafael Pedro via 2nd round TKO in the main event.

From Star Boxing;


Raymond Serrano vs. Karim Mayfield Headline

BRONX, NY (March 30, 2012) Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing returns to the Times Union Center in Albany, New York with ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights on Friday, May 18th.

Priced at $75, $50, $40 and $30, advance tickets go on sale this Thursday, April 5th and are available through Ticketmaster, (www.Ticketmaster.com, 800-745-3000) or at the Times Union Center Box Office, (1-800-30-EVENT), and at select Wal-Mart Music Centers. Tickets are also available by calling Star Boxing at 718-823-2000 or on www.starboxing.com.

The May 18th event marks the return of Star Boxing to the Times Union Center, following an action packed debut on February 4th.

Headlining ESPN2’S Friday Night Fights is a terrific junior welterweight ten round bout between 22 year old undefeated Philadelphia prospect Raymond “Tito” Serrano, 18-0-0 (8KO’s) and the also unbeaten and defending NABO Champion Karim “Hard Hitta” Mayfield, 15-0-1 (9KO’s) of San Francisco, California.

“We’re very excited to return to the Times Union Center and the great boxing fans in the Albany, New York region with ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights. The support we received from the fans and media for our first show convinced us to bring another terrific event to the area” said DeGuardia.

“Serrano and Mayfield each understand this is an outstanding opportunity and we expect a sensational fight from the opening bell.”

A native of Puerto Rico, Serrano returns to ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights following a dominant ten round decision win over Kenny Abril on February 10th at the Mohegan Sun Casino. A pro since the age of 18, Serrano is seen by many in boxing as having the skills needed to become a world champion.

The big talking Mayfield is coming off two excellent wins in 2011, a tenth round stoppage of former world champion Stevie Forbes on June 17th in Austin, Texas and a ten round decision over Patrick Lopez on October 1st in Tunica, Mississippi.

Additional bouts on this card will be announced shortly by Star Boxing.

The Times Union Center is location at 51 South Pearl Street in Albany, New York, 12207. Doors on the night of the event will open at 6:30pm with the first bell scheduled for 7:30pm.