John merely the latest victim of WBA

March, 18, 2009
3/18/09
4:16
PM ET
Your weekly random thoughts …

• More insanity from the represensible WBA: Chris John is the WBA featherweight titleholder. He is an outstanding fighter. He is not injured. He defended his title Feb. 28 in a tremendous fight against Rocky Juarez. And John is not a unified titleholder, the excuse the WBA uses to make a fighter a so-called "super champion" before crowning a "regular champion" in order to grab a second sanctioning fee in the same division. But now, in an even more obvious and desperate attempt to line its pockets, the WBA is sanctioning a fight between Yuriorkis Gamboa and Jose "Cheo" Rojas for a so-called vacant featherweight belt (or interim belt) April 17. Last time I checked, John was the non-injured, non-unified beltholder and was not behind on his mandatory obligation. The WBA should be ashamed of itself yet again, but as we all have learned, it has no shame. Frankly, John and his people ought to sue the WBA for fraud. This is absolutely despicable.

• If HBO and Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer actually pull off the proposed June 27 "Boxing After Dark" card of John-Juarez II, Sergei Dzindziruk-James Kirkland and Andreas Kotelnik-Victor Ortiz, I'm giving somebody a kiss.

• Oleg Maskaev certainly doesn't deserve his status as the mandatory challenger for the winner of Saturday's Vitali Klitschko-Juan Carlos Gomez heavyweight title bout, but he's a nice guy with an apparent hidden talent for poetry. After knocking out journeyman Rich Boruff last Saturday in the first round of a stay-busy fight (although apparently not too busy), Maskaev reiterated his desire to face Klitschko, whom he once stopped in the amateurs, with a poem his team circulated to the media:

Don't act like a child, doing trick or treat

Just comply with the WBC order, for us to meet

I stopped you in the first round, when we last fought

Now to avoid me, you want to go to court

Stop acting like a chicken, that is full of fright

Act like a man, and let's settle it in a fight.


Maybe Maskaev and noted poet/trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr. ought to work together?

• I recently watched the trailer for the new Mike Tyson documentary -- simply called "Tyson" -- by director James Toback, and it looks phenomenal. Tyson cooperated with the production of the film, which received acclaim at the Cannes and Sundance film festivals. It opens in limited release on April 24. If you're interested in Tyson, the trailer is definitely worth a look.

• Memo to Robert Guerrero: Get a copy of the Amir Khan-Marco Antonio Barrera fight to see how a fighter is supposed to act when he suffers a cut. Guerrero could certainly take a lesson from Barrera.

• Last Saturday's Khan-Barrera pay-per-view was definitely worth the $24.95.

• Has any fighter recently ranked in the pound-for-pound top 10 fallen as quickly as Cristian Mijares? He went from being a unified junior bantamweight titleholder who looked unstoppable against quality competition to losing two fights in a row. What the heck happened?

• HBO stands for Home Box Office, but on April 11 they should change the name to Home Boxing Office. What a night it's going to be for boxing fans as the network turns over its airwaves to the sweet science for all of prime time. At 8 p.m. ET is the premiere of "Thrilla," a documentary about the third Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier heavyweight championship fight, a savage bout that many believe is the single greatest fight in boxing history. At 9:30 p.m. ET, the first installment of "Pacquiao/Hatton 24/7" airs. It is followed, at 10 p.m. ET, by a live "World Championship Boxing" doubleheader featuring two interesting fights: First, heavyweight contender Cristobal Arreola takes a step up in competition against Jameel McCline, then Paul Williams faces Winky Wright in the middleweight main event. If you live on the West Coast, you get to start with the live fights at 7 p.m., immediately followed by "24/7" and "Thrilla." In whatever order you watch them, it's a helluva night for fight fans.

• I'm a little disappointed in Edison Miranda. The big puncher and even bigger trash-talker fights in London on Friday night, and I have yet to hear him pop off once about his opponent, Joey Vargas.

• Roy Jones fights Omar Sheika on Saturday night on pay-per-view, in case anyone cares. Just thought I'd remind you since there has been virtually no promotion for the card, which features only two boxing matches and a bunch of MMA fights that I couldn't care less about.

• If Andre Dirrell is going to keep getting slots on Showtime, isn't it about time he fights somebody with a pulse? It's not like the gifted fighter can't handle it. I mean, how long can he live off a win against Anthony Hanshaw?

• Now that Joe Calzaghe has won his lawsuit against promoter Frank Warren and stands to collect a few million bucks, doesn't it seem less likely that Calzaghe will fight again?

• I think it's safe to say at this point that Enzo Maccarinelli simply has no chin. It's also safe to say that Ola Afolabi adds some intrigue to the cruiserweight division.

• Don't you think Johnathon Banks is kicking himself right about now? Instead of Afolabi, Banks had the opportunity to face Maccarinelli for a cruiserweight belt for a $240,000 payday under the terms of promoter Frank Warren's winning purse bid. But after the fight was postponed a couple of times (including once because of Banks' own injury), Banks instead took a February fight with Tomasz Adamek, a much more difficult opponent, for $40,000 and got knocked out. It was a horrible decision by Banks and poor management by Emanuel Steward.

• DVD pick of the week: They say time heals all wounds, but it doesn't really. Because even with the passage of 10 years, the decision in the first Lennox Lewis-Evander Holyfield heavyweight championship fight still stinks to high heaven and still ticks me off. The fight was at Madison Square Garden on March 13, 1999 -- a decade ago last week -- so I dipped into the archive to look at a fight I haven't been able to watch for years because it so bothers me. But I did it for the sake of this blog. You know what? It's still horrific. Holyfield held two belts and Lewis held the other as they met for the undisputed championship. Lewis won easily, or so I and just about everybody else thought. However, the judges got it really, really wrong. Stanley Christodoulou had Lewis winning 116-113, but even that was too close. Larry O'Connell had it 115-115, a thoroughly hideous scorecard. But Eugenia Williams rendered perhaps the worst scorecard in boxing history, finding seven rounds to give Holyfield for a score of 115-113. After Jimmy Lennon Jr. announced the scores, HBO's Jim Lampley summed it up perfectly, uttering a line that has resonated in my head for a decade: "Lennox Lewis has just been robbed of the heavyweight championship of the world."

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