Boxing's governing bodies will meet in the coming days to discuss ways to cut down on the number of blows to the head in the sport.
"We can't ignore this issue anymore," said Marian Muhammad, president of the IBF. "Boxers have been taking shots to the head for more than 100 years. Enough is enough."
WBA president Gilberto Mendoza says some boxers are literally being knocked out.
"It happens. I've seen it," Mendoza said. "Knocked right out so they're laying on the floor of the ring, completely out of it or at least dazed. It's brutal."
Mendoza says he has also seen boxers knocked down three times in one round.
"Technically, I'd call that a knockout, too," he said.
Punching the guy on the right would be fine, too.
Soda Popinski, 57, the Russian heavyweight who boxed his way to fame on the Punch-Out!! circuit in the late 1980s and early '90s, passed away this weekend due to complications from liver disease.
"He will be missed," said a statement from Little Mac, the diminutive boxer who waged dozens, possibly even hundreds, of epic battles against Popinski over the years. "Even though he would always laugh at me before each round, he respected the sport and kept himself in shape, as evidenced by his very slim waist. When fighting him, I was always sure to keep my guard up, just as my trainer suggested."
Mac, forever classy, failed to address a very open secret about Popinski in his statement, however a fact that those close to Popinski say directly resulted in his passing.
"Soda Popinski was an alcoholic," said Bald Bull, another top heavyweight of the time. "The biggest drunk I've every known. We knew it, everyone at home knew it. He wasn't drinking Sprite out of that bottle, you know? It was cheap vodka."
But boxers from Bald Bull to Don Flamenco to King Hippo say those who ran Punch-Out!! attempted to cover up the truth about Popinski because they feared his alcoholism would hurt the circuit's marketability.
"That is understandable. But they also should have gotten him some help," yapped King Hippo, through an interpreter. "Instead they sold him as this soda-swilling boxer and even gave him that ridiculous stage name."
Popinski was born Drinksi Vodkanyev, but he legally changed his name to Soda Popinski in the mid-'90s after Mike Tyson left Punch-Out!!!
"He wanted to be the biggest star in boxing," said Great Tiger. "But his addiction to drinking never let him achieve his true potential. I don't think there was one time I fought him without him throwing up on me. The only way I could get rid of the smell was to disappear."
Golden Boy Promotions, the promotional company hyping this Saturday’s Shane Mosley-Floyd Mayweather, Jr. bout, is beginning to regret hiring a new employee to organize the run-up to the fight.
“We are learning the hard way that a fight of this magnitude needs to be handled by someone with years of boxing experience – someone who really knows how to over-exaggerate the magnitude of something,” said Golden Boy CEO Howard Ramsey. “Someone who is trained in the fine art of hyperbole. Someone who knows how important outright deceit is in convincing the public to fork over their money.”
Currently dubbed “The Fight of Spring 2010” by HBO and Golden Boy Promotions, those close to the fight worry the tagline isn’t enticing enough to get a high number of pay-per-view buys. But Jeff Miller, who is heading up the fight’s promotion, doesn’t want to mislead the consumer.
“I had a brainstorming meeting with some of my bosses when this fight was in the planning stages and they suggested we call it The Fight Of The Century or The Fight Of The Millennium,” said Miller. “They are fine ideas, sure – but we’re only in 2010. How am I to know the greatest fight ever won’t be in 2078 or something? I think we can only judge the greatness of a fight after it is over. In fact, I feel I’m being quite boastful simply calling this the fight of this spring. There are many fights this spring that could be great.”
But with HBO looking to get more pay-per-view orders with the fight just hours away, Miller has been ordered to come up with a new, more exciting tagline.
“I have one I’m pretty happy with,” he said. “I want to call it: ‘Mayweather-Mosley: This Could Be One Of The Best Fights Of May 1, 2010.’ I think everyone involved will agree this is a great promotional line. It subtly promotes our undercard fights of the same night as worthy of equal attention as the main event. Yet at the same time it protects us from any charges of false advertising, unlike a ‘Fight of the Century’ type of name. The boxing industry doesn't need any more legal troubles.”
And if that pitch is turned down? Miller has one more up his sleeve.
“My Plan B idea is ‘Mayweather-Mosley: This Very Likely Will Be A Huge Letdown Based On The Amount Of Pre-Fight Hype It Has Received,” said Miller. “What that does is lower consumer expectations. Then, once the fight is over, they’re more likely to say: ‘Hey, that wasn’t a huge letdown. It wasn’t the greatest fight ever or anything. But at least some parts parts of it were exciting.’ That way they’re less likely to regret shelling out the money to watch the fight and more likely to trust our advertising for future bouts. It’s Promotions 101. Or at least the Promotions 101 class I would teach.”
NEWARK, NJ > Boxing
Dyson, 15, won his first bout by dropping challenger Andre Timmons with one punch. He then advanced to face Luis Mercado and won in a bout that lasted only 10 seconds. Next up was Timmons' older brother, Joe, who Dyson dropped with a flurry of right crosses, even though the elder Timmons had stabbed him under the ribs with a four-inch blade. By that time police had arrived and broke up the street fight. Dyson is expected to be charged with aggravated assault.
While blessed with one of the most athletic builds and powerful punches in all of women’s boxing, Christi Mitchell has struggled with one thing since beginning her fight career five years ago – her pair ofglassjugs.
“Christi has it all – speed, power, stamina – and a great mind for boxing, as well,” said her trainer, Mickey Arista. “But unfortunately she wasn’t born with a sturdyrack. If she lets those ta-ta’s take a couple good shots, she goes down.”
Mitchell’s latest loss – which dropped her to a disappointing 22-7 for her career – came Saturday night in Atlantic City when she was KO’d in the sixth round in a fight against lightly regarded Lisa Lowry (19-16-2).
“There almost no way that woman had any business being in a ring with Christi,” said Arista, “but she stuck to the playbook that people have developed for fighting her – hit a tit, move, hit the other tit, move again – and came out on top. I don’t want to admit this, but it’s gotten to the point where we may have to accept the fact that Christi’s fun bags are going to prevent her from ever winning a title.”
Lowry said she was confident entering the fight with Mitchell due to the game plan provided by her trainer.
“Every day that I was training and sparring in the weeks leading up to the bout my trainer kept stressing the three H’s – Hit Her Hooters,” said Lowry. “He even stenciled three H’s on each of my gloves to help me remember. And it really struck me how well the strategy was working when we I got tied up with Christi in the fourth round and she whispered in my ear and begged me to please stop hitting her hooters. But I didn’t and by the end of the sixth round she was down for good, clutching at her sensitive boobies.”
Mitchell – wearing a giant, ice-filled bra after the bout – admits she struggles when getting knocked in the knockers, but doubts she has it any worse than any of her other competitors.
“I can’t imagine any femaleboxerlikes getting punched there. It really freaking hurts,” she said. “That’s really what women’s boxing is all about – come out aggressive and knock someone out before they get a chance to crush your cans. I just need to regroup for my next fight and be prepared to turn the tables and bash some bazoombas of my own.”
Picture Epic Bruise