Some news and notes on boxing
Appeal Sports Writer
It’s Wednesday, so it’s time for some more pugilistic pontifications:
xx–All together now: The man makes the belt, not vice-versa. Who cares what the IBF and WBA say. Carlos Baldomir is the undisputed welterweight champion of the world. He beat The Man (Zab Judah, Saturday at Madison Square Garden), who beat The Man (Cory Spinks), who beat The Man (Ricardo Mayorga), who beat The Man (Vernon Forrest), who beat The Man (Shane Mosley). Any questions?
xx–Because Baldomir, now 42-9-6, with 12 knockouts, did not want to pay $10,000 in sanctioning fees, only the WBC recognizes him as its champion. The WBA, in its lack of wisdom, calls Luis Collazo its champion (Judah was its “super champion” before, Collazo the “regular” champion) and the IBF now declares its belt vacant. Antonio Margarito remains the WBO’s beltholder. Pure madness.
xx–Is anyone seriously wondering why boxing is continuing to lose its fans faster than Playboy models lose their clothes? Seventeen divisions, four major sanctioning bodies, 68 possible champions. And be sure to factor in “super” and “regular” champions – until they are stripped of their crowns for this or that arbitrary reason. If you can name each champion in every alphabet organization, you give a new meaning to “boxing fanatic.”
xx–No knock on Baldomir, but what had he done to earn a title shot at Judah? Bid deal, so he beat Miguel Rodriguez, whose biggest win had come over 32-9 Luis Maysonet. Let’s give the good old boys at the Mexico-based WBC (which stands for “We Be Crooked,” according to trainer and EPSN2 boxing analyst Teddy Atlas) for keeping the Southern Hemisphere in undeserved title shots.
xx–It’s time to take a shot at my fellow journalists. Why the hell does fightnews.com recognize Margarito as its world champion? Note to fightnews: See the common-sense championship formula above.
xx–And here’s a WTHFWYW (What the Hell Fight Were You Watching) Award to USA Today’s Chuck Johnson (115-112), boxingtalk.com’s Greg Leon (115-112) and the Newark Star-Ledger’s Franklin McNeil (116-111), all of whom had Judah winning the fight. As Atlas likes to say, “Are you effin kidding me?”
xx–Did it actually take new undisputed cruiserweight champion O’Neil Bell and former champion Jean-Marc Mormeck beating the snot out of each other for people to realize that the 200-pound division is no longer a joke?
xx–Credit has to go to Bell and Reno’s “Koncrete” Kelvin Davis, whose 11-round war in 2003 (Bell won), kicked off the excitement in the division. The all-action Davis continued to carried the mantle in 2004 when he stopped Ezra Sellers in eight to win the IBF belt and Mormeck furthered the new division tradition last April when he defeated Wayne Braithwaite in a unification bout. This was followed by last year’s punch-out between Guillermo Jones and Braithwaite.
xx–The cruiserweight division is now a mix-’em-and-match-’em smorgasbord: Bell, Mormeck, Davis, Braithwaite, Jones, Dale Brown (who got jobbed against Bell last year in their IBF title eliminator and deserves first crack at the champ), Steve Cunningham, WBO titlist Johnny Nelson and Felix Cora Jr.: Match any of ’em against each other and let ’em mix it up.