Sports Outside the Beltway

Four Mongolian officials barred for referee bribe at boxing worlds

Did the bribe fail because the Rolex was a fake?* From AP-

Four officials of the Mongolia team were expelled from the world boxing championships Thursday for allegedly trying to bribe a referee with a watch.

The Mongolian boxers, their coaches and team doctor were allowed to stay in Milan until the championships end Saturday, the International Amateur Boxing Association said on its Web site.

AIBA’s code of ethics says any gifts offered to a referee must be authorized. Gifts can be exchanged “only as a mark of respect or friendship” but must have a nominal value.

AIBA spokesman Richard Baker said the Mongolian delegation violated the code by the manner in which the watch was offered, and because it hadn’t been cleared by AIBA.

“Depending on how it was done, these things can be approved,” he said. In the Mongolian case, “it wasn’t done with transparency.”

The code of conduct first took effect during the Beijing Olympics. It was designed to “eliminate any potential of suspicion” that gifts might affect the outcome of a match, Baker said.

I find it interesting gifts can be allowed. Even authorized ones look like an attempt to sway officials in their decision making. That’s just my humble opinion.


Olympic boxing weight classes reduced for 2012

The move was made in order to accommodate women’s boxing. From AP-

The International Boxing Association has reduced the number of men’s weight categories from 11 to 10 for the 2012 London Olympics.

The move was made Monday to accommodate women’s boxing at the games, which the IOC Executive Board unanimously agreed on last month. The IOC would not allow the AIBA to add to its total number of boxers.

At the 2008 Beijing Games, there were 286 boxers — all male. In London the total will remain the same but there will be 250 male boxers and 36 female boxers.

To decrease the number of men, the AIBA condensed its four lightest weight categories into three.

The new categories will apply to all AIBA events starting in September 2010.

Now could anyone fix the farcical Olympic scoring system for boxing.


WBA Light Flyweight Champion Brahim Asloum announces his retirement

At the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney Australia, Asloum became the first French fighter to win a gold medal in over 60 years. From AP-

Former French Olympic champion Brahim Asloum is retiring from boxing.

The 30-year-old boxer said on French television that he is ending his career after a bitter dispute with cable channel Canal Plus, the longtime promoter of his fights.

Asloum became the WBA light flyweight champion in December 2007 with a unanimous decision over defending champion Juan Carlos Reveco of Argentina.

I’m going to make a guess that Asloum’s retirement is very short lived.


Coming to a theater near you- Mayweather-Marquez fight to be shown in cinemas

This used to be a common practice. From AP-

Boxing is coming back to the big screen.

Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s eagerly anticipated showdown with Juan Manuel Marquez on Sept. 19 will be showcased live in about 170 theaters nationwide, promoters announced Monday. The fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas will also air on HBO pay-per-view.

Richard Shaefer of Golden Boy Promotions said he’d been considering theater feeds for several years, ever since a trip to the movies with his kids. Unaware that live boxing has a long history on the big screen, Shaefer’s children asked him whether it was possible today.


Mayweather (39-0, 25 KOs), considered one of the sport’s pound-for-pound kings, will be fighting for the first time since ending a brief retirement. The flamboyant six-time world champion will be taking on a five-time champion in Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KOs), headlining a stacked card that includes two other title fights.

All of the televised undercard fights will also be shown in theaters.

The decision is part of a comprehensive marketing thrust that includes 30-second previews, much like film trailers, shown on about 1,500 screens before the start of movies for the next several weeks. Tickets for the actual fight are expected to be about $15.


The first fight to be publicly shown in theaters was Eric Boon against Arthur Danaher on Feb. 23, 1939, in London. The format gained popularity in the 1950s, after Joe Louis defeated Lee Savold in a fight beamed to thousands from Madison Square Garden, and a young Muhammad Ali earned a tremendous following around the country during the 1960s.

His epic fight against Joe Frazier in March 1971 at the Garden was seen worldwide.

The rise of pay-per-view coincided with the demise of boxing on the big screen, as fans began to watch high-profile fights from the comfort of home. Among the last fights widely shown in theaters was Ray Leonard’s infamous “no mas” victory over Roberto Duran in November 1980.

IMHO boxing needs to be more public friendly. Most big championship fights are not on free television, basic cable, or even HBO. Due to this I can count the fights I’ve watched one hand in the last twenty years. To me, I won’t pay $50-60 to watch less than an hour’s action.

I might pay $15 to watch a fight in a movie theater. Dear Wife would also, if Manny Pacquiao was boxing.


Nevada Boxing Commission votes to allow instant replay

The Nevada State Athletic Commission adopted two major rules changes at its meetings in Las Vegas on Wednesday that could have a significant impact on boxing in the fight capital of the United States.

In two 5-0 votes, the commission approved the use of instant replay for boxing and mixed martial arts bouts and also amended a rule that previously did not allow fighters in either sport to apply for a license in the state if they had previously suffered a cerebral hemorrhage.

Both new rules are expected to go into effect in September, said Keith Kizer, the executive director of the Nevada commission.

How will instant replay work? Will it interfere with the flow of a boxing match?

The use of instant replay was adopted on a limited basis and will be at the sole discretion of the referee. Kizer said it will only be used when an injury forces a fight to be stopped.

“An eye poke, a cut, something along those lines,” Kizer said. “The cut happens, the fighter cannot continue and the referee makes a call whether it was caused by a punch or a head butt. If he feels the use of replay will help him be sure, he can review it. It’s no different than the NFL. If the replay is inconclusive, the initial call stands.”

That makes perfect sense. I remember some Marvin Hagler fight(Vito Antuofermo?) being stopped because of his opponent’s excessive bleeding. Hagler’s opponent claimed the cut was a result of a head butt but the fighter Marvelous Marvin was fighting often led with his head.

Replay will not be used, Kizer said, to determine such things as whether a knockdown is caused by a punch or was a slip.

All sports today seem to be in need of dragging when it comes to the use of technology. Why should a sporting event be decided in a infalliable and often wrong fashion, if instant replay can prove conclusively a mistake was done?

Since 1972, Nevada rules prevented a fighter who had suffered a head injury, such as a subdural hematoma (bleeding on the brain), from applying for a license, even if the injury was not related to fighting and there was no longer evidence of it in medical testing.

That rule is what prevented fighters such as heavyweight Joe Mesi and lightweight titlist Edwin Valero from asking Nevada for a license after injuries.

But with advances in medical technology, the commission revisited the rule and took its unanimous vote after a recommendation from Dr. Albert Capanna, a neurosurgeon and chairman of Nevada’s medical advisory board, which also approved of the rule change.

This I feel is a bad decision. The history of boxing has clearly shown brain bleeds can happen and if not with with fatal consequences then with permanent brain damage occurring. Errorring on the side of caution would be more prudent.


Former Junior Middleweight Champion Vernon Forrest dead at 38

He was shot after two men tried to steal his car. Tragic and RIP.

Recent WBC junior middleweight champion and 1992 U.S. Olympian Vernon Forrest was shot and killed Saturday night during an attempted carjacking, WSB Radio in Atlanta has reported, citing a police spokesman.

Forrest, whose title was vacated in May amid an indefinite rib injury, was shot seven or eight times as he chased at least two men who had tried to steal his Jaguar as he put air in his tires at an Atlanta gas station, Lt. Keith Meadows said, according to the radio station.

But Forrest had a gun and confronted the men, police said.

“The victim and suspect became involved in a brief foot chase,” Lt. Meadows said. “At some point, gunfire was exchanged between the two of them. The victim was shot at least once in the head.”

Forrest, 38, was fatally wounded by two semi-automatic weapons, according to police.


Nevada boxing judge indicted for fraud

Collecting social security disability while at the same time working as a sports official does it seem to be a little inconsistent to you? From AP-

A Nevada boxing judge has been indicted in Las Vegas on a federal charge that he improperly collected about $250,000 in Social Security disability benefits.

U.S. Attorney Gregory Brower said in a statement Wednesday that 65-year-old Paul G. Smith worked more than 100 boxing matches from September 1994 and December 2005 and was involved in several other businesses inconsistent with his disability status.

A federal grand jury handed up a one-count indictment Tuesday charging Smith with Social Security fraud.

Brower says Smith received a summons to appear for arraignment June 12 in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

I find it interesting they just issued a summons to Smith. Is there not enough jail cells in Clark County?


Manny Pacquiao drops Ricky Hatton in 2nd round

When I got up this morning my Philippine born wife asked. “Who won the fight?” From AP-

First Oscar De La Hoya, now Ricky Hatton. The way Manny Pacquiao is handing out beatings, maybe Floyd Mayweather Jr. should have stayed retired.

Pacquiao cemented his claim to being the best pound-for-pound boxer Saturday night with a spectacular performance that ended with Hatton sprawled helplessly on the canvas after a devastating left hand to the head late in the second round.

Coming off a dominating win over De La Hoya, Pacquiao was even better against Hatton, knocking him down two times in the first round before finally stopping him with a vicious left hand that dropped Hatton for good in the 140-pound title bout.

Referee Kenny Bayless took one look at Hatton and declared the fight over at 2:59 of the second round.

“I didn’t have to count,” Bayless said.

Hatton laid on the canvas for several minutes while doctors tended to him before finally leaving the ring with a wry smile on his face. He was taken to a local hospital for a precautionary brain scan.

Lets hope and pray Hatton is all right. Dear wife and I were invited to a friend’s house to watch the fight but we were both too tired to stay up. It was a short fight, we’ll get to watch some time later today.

So who is up next for Pac Man?


Former Heavyweight Boxing Champion Greg Page dead at age 50

He won the title from Gerrie Coetzee in 1984 but lost it five months later to Tony Tubbs. Before that he lost a title bout to Tim Witherspoon. I remember all these fighters but Page. Those were the days when heavyweight boxing matches were on network television, sometimes in prime-time. RIP.

Greg Page, a former heavyweight boxing champion who suffered a severe brain injury in a 2001 fight, has died at his Louisville home. He was 50.

His wife, Patricia Page, said she found the one-time World Boxing Association champion in his bed Monday morning. Patricia Page said he died of complications related to injuries he suffered in the fight.

Page told The Associated Press her husband “is in a better place now.”

The March 9, 2001, fight left Page in a coma for nearly a week. He then had a stroke during post-fight surgery. He was paralyzed on his left side and received intensive physical therapy.


Boxer Oscar De La Hoya announces his retirement

In light of how many fighters end up un-retiring, you have to wonder if the former champ’s career decision will stick.

Oscar De La Hoya stopped battling himself Tuesday, deciding after much internal turmoil to retire and end a career in which he won 10 world titles in six divisions and became boxing’s most popular fighter.

He made his announcement at an outdoor plaza across the street from Staples Center, where a 7-foot bronze statue of the 36-year-old Golden Boy stands.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s over,” the East Los Angeles native said before hundreds of fans, including comedian George Lopez and Oscar-nominated actor and former fighter Mickey Rourke. “It’s over inside the ring for me.”

De La Hoya retired four months after he was thoroughly beaten by Manny Pacquiao, his fourth loss in his last seven fights. He has not defeated a formidable opponent since Fernando Vargas in 2002. Age and diminished skills led to losses in recent years to Felix Trinidad, Shane Mosley, Bernard Hopkins and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

He won his last title in May 2006, beating Ricardo Mayorga in six rounds for the WBC 154-pound belt. He finished with a record of 39-6 and 30 knockouts.

De La Hoya looked terrible in the Pac Man fight. Based on that alone, I think it was wise for him to hang up his gloves.


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