Wednesday, September 20, 2017

TRS Boxing Ratings: Part Two

Time for part two of the TRS boxing ratings from lightweight down through flyweight and our pound for pound list!
Thanks to Ramon Malpica and Vince Samano for their work with the ratings.
Please keep in mind that these ratings were compiled before last weekend's fights.

1) Jorge Linares WBA Champ 14 pts
2) Mikey Garcia WBC Champ 13 pts
3) Robert Easter IBF Champ 8 pts
4) Terry Flanagan WBO Champ 5 pts
5) Ray Beltran (Unranked) 4 pts
Also Received Votes: Luke Campbell

Junior Lightweights
1) Vasyl Lomachenko WBO Champ 15 pts
2) Miguel Berchelt WBC Champ 12 pts
3) Jezreel Corrales WBA Champ 8 pts
4) Gervonta Davis (Unranked) 7 pts
5) Orlando Salido (Down One) 3 pts

1) Leo Santa Cruz WBA Champ 14 pts
2) Oscar Valdez WBO Champ (Up One) 13 pts
3) Carl Frampton (Down One) 9 pts
4) Gary Russell WBC Champ 6 pts
5) Abner Mares 3 pts

Junior Featherweights
1) Guillermo Rigondeaux WBA Champ 15 pts
2) Jesse Magdaleno WBO Champ 12 pts
3) Nonito Donaire 6 pts
4) Moises Flores 5 pts
5) Rey Vargas WBC Champ 3 pts
Also Received Votes: Shun Kubo

1) Luis Nery WBC Champ (Unranked) 15 pts
2) Shinsuke Yamanaka (Down One) 11 pts
3) Zhanat Zhakiyanov WBA Champ (Down One) 10 pts
4) Jamie McDonnell 5 pts
5) Juan Carlos Payano 2 pts
     Librado Solis (Unranked)

Junior Bantamweights
1) Naoya Inoue WBO Champ 14 pts
2) Srisaket Sor Rungvisai WBC Champ 13 pts
3) Juan Francisco Estrada (Unranked) 6 pts
4) Carlos Cuadras 5 pts
     Roman Gonzalez (Down Two)
Also Received Votes: Khalid Yafai

1) Kazuto Ioka WBA Champ 15 pts
2) Donnie Nietes IBF Champ 9 pts
3) Daigo Higa WBC Champ (Unranked) 8 pts
4) Sho Kimura WBO Champ (Unranked) 7 pts
5) Juan Carlos Reveco (Unranked) 6 pts

Pound for Pound
1) Vasyl Lomachenko 28 pts
2) Terence Crawford (Up Three) 25 pts
    Gennady Golovkin
4) Andre Ward (Down One) 22 pts
5) Canelo Alvarez (Up One) 17 pts
    Guillermo Rigondeaux (Up Two)
7) Errol Spence (Unranked) 9 pts
8) Sergey Kovalev (Down Four) 8 pts
9) Mikey Garcia (Unranked) 7 pts
10) Keith Thurman (Unranked) 5 pts
Also Received Votes: Anthony Joshua.Oleksandr Usyk, Naoya Inoue

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

TRS Boxing Ratings-Part One

The TRS boxing ratings return.
Keep in mind these ratings were turned in before last weekend, so those fights were not considered for the ratings.
Thanks to Ramon Malpica and Vince Samano from the Fightheads family for their help and we may have a new voter for the next ratings, which I'm hoping for early December.

1) Anthony Joshua WBA/IBF Champ 15 pts
2) Luis Ortiz 12 pts (Up One)
3) Deontay Wilder WBC Champ 11 pts
4) Joseph Parker WBO Champ 6 pts
5) Jarrell Miller (Unranked) 1 pt
    Kubrat Pulev (Unranked)
    Andy Ruiz (Unranked)

1) Oleksander Usyk WBO Champ 15 pts
2) Murat Gassiev IBF Champ 12 pts
3) Marius Briedis WBC Champ 9 pts
4) Denis Lebedev WBA Champ (Down One) 6 pts
5) Kryzstof Glowacki 3 pts

Light Heavyweights
1) Andre Ward WBA/IBF/WBO Champ 15 pts
2) Adonis Stevenson WBC Champ (Up One) 11 pts
3) Sergey Kovalev (Down One) 10 pts
4) Oleksander Gvozdyk 6 pts
5) Artur Beterbiev 2 pts
Also Received Votes: Sullivan Barrera

Super Middleweights
1) James DeGale IBF Champ (Up One) 14 pts
2) Gilberto Ramirez WBO Champ (Down One) 13 pts
3) Callum Smith (Up Two) 7 pts
4) Anthony Dirrell (Unranked) 3 pts
    Chris Eubank Jr (Unranked)
    George Groves WBA Champ (Unranked)
Also Received Votes: Andre Dirrell, Tyron Zeuge

1) Gennady Golovkin WBA/WBC/IBF Champ 15 pts
2) Canelo Alvarez 12 pts
3) Daniel Jacobs 8 pts
4) David Lemieux 6 pts
5) Jermall Charlo (Unranked) 5 pts
Also Received Votes: Billy Joe Saunders WBO Champ

Junior Middleweights
1) Erislandy Lara WBA Champ 15 pts
2) Jermell Charlo WBC Champ (Up Two) 11 pts
3) Demetrius Andrade 9 pts
4) Jarrett Hurd IBF Champ (Unranked) 7 pts
5) Erickson Lubin (Unranked) 3 pts

1) Errol Spence IBF Champ (Up Two) 14 pts
2) Keith Thurman WBA/WBC Champ 13 pts
3) Kell Brook (Down Two) 9 pts
4) Shawn Porter (Up One) 4 pts
5) Danny Garcia (Unranked)  2 pts
    Manny Pacquiao (Down One)
Also Received Votes: Jeff Horn WBO Champ

Junior Welterweights
1) Terence Crawford WBA/WBC/WBO Champ 15 pts
2) Antonio Orozco (Up Two) 11 pts
3) Julius Indongo (Down One) 7 pts
4) Felix Diaz (Unranked) 3 pts
    Lucas Matthysse (Unranked)
    Sergei Lipinets (Unranked)
Also Received Votes: Eduard Troyanovsky, Regis Prograis

Bobby 'The Brain" Heenan passes away

Sunday was a sad day and not just because the Browns lost again.
The death of Bobby "The Brain" Heenan at the age of 73 was somewhat expected as Heenan had been battling ailments for several years as throat cancer, a jaw infection and later tongue cancer had reduced the Brain to be unable to speak.

Bobby Heenan had been in wrestling since the 1960's and managed about every big heel name that you could think if the wrestler in question had been through the Midwestern AWA promotion based out of Minneapolis.
Heenan's main protege' through the years was the man that was the AWA champion through the late 70's in Nick Bockwinkel and the pair were a formidable and verbose act together.
The pairing had such a regal and elite air to them and their interviews infuriated the everyday "Ham and Eggers" as Heenan often referred to the working class fans of wrestling.
Bockwinkel and Heenan were the main act of the AWA,who despite being owned by Verne Gagne,didn't build the company around the owner (even though he rarely lost) and were the main reason for the success of the AWA throughout their run together.
Watching their interviews today and you marvel at how the pairing get across such a simple message in the age across to get fans to come to the arena to see them get pounded.

Bobby Heenan also did such a good job in "selling" how much he hated the term"Weasel".
One word and Heenan would lose his mind and within in seconds,the entire arena would be chanting "Weasel".
His AWA matches with the Crusher and WWF matches with the Ultimate Warrior weren't exactly technical classics,but between Heenan's crazy bumps, working the crowd, and the big ending where an "asleep" Heenan would be stuffed into a weasel suit (complete with tail) never failed to have the crowd screaming.
Heenan once explained how "simple" his philosophy for success was in his role.
"Wrestle like a manager and manage like a wrestler" sounds easy,but few had that type ability.
Jim Cornette and Paul E.Dangerously perhaps could challenge Heenan with the gift of gab,but lacked the athletic ability of Heenan to believably look like he was getting murdered in the ring with the huge bumps and former wrestlers that transitioned into managing didn't always have the verbal skills to make their protege's as featured as they could be...

Then there were the quips and one liners that so many associate with Bobby Heenan.
Too many to count and too good to feature just one,a Bobby Heenan interview or evening behind the microphone was filled with laughs and after a certain point in his WWF run ( and especially when he left for WCW) fans just couldn't help but laugh and like the guy.
An appearance from Bobby Heenan always delivered at least a few lines that you could use on someone else or you'd remember forever.
I still remember Heenan running through the sand in Atlantic City "training" for Wrestlemania  as he huffed and puffed about being so quick "Come and get me Matlida,you miserable mutt" as he referred to the British Bulldogs pet that Heenan and his Islanders had stolen in another silly WWF angle.

Of course,you couldn't mention Bobby Heenan to a wrestling fan and not smile about his on screen banter with Gorilla Monsoon.
The Monsoon-Heenan pairing may not have been the best team ever at calling a match,but they likely were the most entertaining duo ever and the two sitting behind a table for USA Network's "Prime Time Wrestling" was the main reason to watch that show!
Once I was married and had access to the NWA product,my WWF interest waned,but still on Monday nights,I watched that show just for the interaction between Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan!

Heenan's work on the studio stage might have been more on the funny side,but behind the mic as a "broadcast journalist" as the Brain liked to refer to himself as,he was wonderful at elevating a wrestler in the eye of viewers or even getting across emotion beyond that of a normal wrestling match.
Just watch Ric Flair's legendary Royal Rumble win and listen to Heenan,almost in anguish with every near-elimination of Flair's-the emotion is right in front of you and Heenan was able to make you feel what he was trying to emote.
Sadly,currently on YouTube,the entire Rumble is currently only posted with other announcers,so defeats the purposes of linking to it.
Heenan was in pain for his WWF run as his neck had been broken in Japan in the early 80's and it had never been truly fixed properly.
That means all of those flips,flops and spectacular pratfalls that we all remember from the Brain were performed by a man with an injured neck.

Bobby Heenan wasn't all laughs as leader of the Heenan family as he infuriated fans as the man that turned Andre the Giant "bad",was behind the great betrayal of Hulk Hogan by Paul Orndorff and with Ken Patera and John Studd cut Andre's hair and showed up with this bag of hair all over this country.
Heenan was able to cross the line seamlessly from humorous to evil in the snap of his fingers and his proteges' benefited from this gift.

Heenan's work in WCW wasn't quite as strong as his past,but he was still better than most of the broadcasters there,even he was going through the motions as Heenan himself had said that he was doing.
Bobby Heenan spent a lot of time in retirement around the business as he did several shoot interviews with a three part series with Jim Cornette being the highlight of this run as the conversations between the two.

Those were really the last interviews that Heenan could give as the throat cancer came first and then the issues that forced a jaw reconstruction that muted the Brain.
Heenan still did autograph shows and wrestling conventions and was reported to be able to draw a laugh with simple expressions.

Bobby Heenan was a pure entertainer and one gets the feeling that he could have entertained as a comedian,actor,talk show host (they tried with the Bobby Heenan Show before USA Network complained) and radio host just as well as being involved in professional wrestling-Heenan was that good.

One more personal story on the type of hatred that Bobby Heenan could bring up.
About twenty years ago,there was a gentleman that I'll leave nameless that took his wrestling seriously-very seriously and he hated Bobby Heenan with a passion.
So a friend and myself took a wrestling collectible that this guy raved about and would always have in his car and replaced it with the pictured figure of Bobby Heenan.
This fellow went crazy,threw Bobby Heenan as far he could throw the figure and spent quite a time cussing at us and about "that damn Bobby "the weasel" Heenan in a loud voice.
The even funnier thing was that this was about the time Bobby Heenan was either just an announcer or might have already left wrestling and the animosity that he built from years before was still there!

It's not often that we have the chance in any profession to say we saw the best at it.
Often times,current stars shine brighter or older people are better in memory than they were in actuality and it's hard to say with certainty just who was the greatest in any particular profession or area.
I'll say this and few disagree Bobby Heenan was the greatest manager that professional wrestling has ever seen.

I worked on this for over a day,so some things were put aside,but still plenty to come!
The Baltimore convention,Inboxes (both sports and non-sports) need cleaning and boxing ratings as well!!!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Browns bounced in Baltimore 24-10

The Cleveland Browns didn't look as sharp in their first road game of the season in Baltimore as they lost to the Ravens 24-10.
The Browns were forced to use both of their young quarterbacks in the defeat as both starter DeShone Kizer and backup Kevin Hogan saw action.
Rashard Higgins was promoted from the practice squad before the game and led the Browns with his career high seven catches for 95 yards.
The only Cleveland touchdown came in the second quarter when Kevin Hogan hit David Njoku with a 23 yard touchdown pass.
Cleveland drops to 0-2 with the defeat and will travel to Indianapolis next Sunday to play the 0-2 Colts...

Brownie Bits

1) DeShone Kizer left the game in the second quarter with a migraine headache.
I get that, I've known people that suffer from them and I have no doubt about their pain, legitimacy and that they can come out of nowhere.
What I am wondering about are these two issues- How did the Browns not know that this was an issue (They may have, but I was searching online during the game and came up empty) and now this raises an interesting issue for the Browns.
If DeShone Kizer is the quarterback of the future, how comfortable can you be with a quarterback that could be forced to leave the game at any time?
This may mean the Browns may be forced to invest more money than a usual team in a backup quarterback, should Kizer become what the Browns hope for him to be.

2) Kizer threw three interceptions and fumbled once, but I'm inclined to give him a pass, which are words that you will occasionally see this season.
Young quarterbacks will make mistakes and they will do things that they shouldn't-particularly when encountering things for the first time.
The key will be seeing how Kizer deals with the growing process and how does he progress??

3) Kizer was only sacked twice after his being dumped seven times by the Steelers but was under pressure all day.
It's only two games,but part of the developmental process will be seeing if Kizer will be able to get the ball out faster and if he does- can he avoid the interceptions that come with getting the ball away under duress at times?

4) Kevin Hogan was impressive on his scoring drive with several nice throws, but his interception late in the first half that resulted in the Baltimore touchdown that essentially finished the game there was a bad one.
Hogan, like Kizer, is inexperienced so mistakes will happen, but something about Hogan makes me think he's going to be a popular second stringer wherever he goes and that might be many places.
He reminds me a little of Doug Flutie and that would be enough to keep him collecting checks for quite a while.

5) And welcome back Rashard "Hollywood" Higgins.
Longtime readers know that it was Higgins of the WR draftees last year that I liked most (after the first round) and Higgins rarely saw time on the field with just six catches in 2016.
Then when Higgins was waived, I figured that he was just another player that I liked, but was wrong on when the Browns decided to claim Kasen Williams instead.
Suddenly, the Browns signed Higgins to the practice squad, promoted him to the main roster and then played him over Williams (Inactive vs Baltimore) all in the span of about eight days.
Higgins (for one week at least) repaid my faith with a team-leading seven catches for 95 yards and was the only Browns receiver that the Ravens seemed to have trouble covering.
I had always thought Higgins would work better in the slot than outside and the Browns might have found a slot receiver to make the tough catches...

6) Corey Coleman was the first rounder last season and even with some flashes of brilliance, Coleman has been a mild disappointment.
Coleman finished the day with one catch for nine yards on seven targets and is suspected to have suffered a broken hand.which would be his second in two years as a Brown...

7) Dwayne Bowe, I mean Kenny Britt had another wonderful day on the field as he caught one pass for two yards, got called for a pass interference call on the other target and was tweeted about (from a non-Browns fan) for literally walking around DURING play!
I see it coming-Kenny Britt could be a poison on this team as the featured free agent among the wideouts.
What I don't know is this- was Kenny Britt a Hue Jackson guy or was he hoisted on him by Sashi Brown?
Could this be the beginning of a rift between "football" guys and "stat" guys?
and the other question is how long can the Browns tolerate a lack of effort like this from Britt?
Can you 'change the culture' without cutting loose and admitting mistakes?
Time will tell...

8) The receivers other than Higgins had trouble getting any type of separation from the Ravens defensive back and that had a small role in the four interceptions thrown by the Browns.
They did make a few big plays, but those were by the tight ends-Seth DeValve, David Njoku and even one from the blocking tight end Randall Telfer.
This is one of my major concerns as things don't seem to have improved from last season for the receivers.

9) Again, so much for the vaunted commitment to the running game as Isaiah Crowell, who was supposed to carry the load for this ground friendly offense carried just ten times.
Crowell finished with 37 yards,17 coming on one rush.

10) All of this and nothing about the defense yet?
Well, here goes-this defense for all the preseason buzz about impact playmakers in re-signing Jamie Collins and drafting Jabrill Peppers just doesn't make plays.
Christian Kirksey did have a sack,but all often this defense looks like the Browns past-tackling downfield, giving up chunks of yardage and not making the big stop when needed.

11) It's tough to blame Jabrill Peppers too much, considering that Gregg Williams continues to play him 30 yards off the ball.
I'm assuming that this is to take away the deep ball and I guess that's worked, but instead of that, the Browns give up chunks of yardage underneath and the guy that they drafted to make plays just rushes up to take tackles (five in this game).

12) It's easy to read this and feel discouraged, but I'll brush this one off as a road trip against a decent team as one of those "process" games.
I do like the Browns chances in Indianapolis next week against the 0-2 Colts and not against Andrew Luck.
I'm not sure that I'll pick them to win, but this is a winnable game for the Browns.

13) The commentators in this game seem to think the Ravens have this killer defense in allowing ten points in the second game.
Keep in mind that their opponents were the Bengals and Browns -let's not get too excited yet...

More to come this week as we have our trip to the nostalgia convention to look back on, inbox cleaning, boxing ratings and the death of Bobby "the Brain" Heenan..

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Golovkin-Alvarez Draw-Boxing Challenge

Photo: Getty Images

I had a big weekend filled with things going on in and out of the sports world, so I'll be here catching up with everything over the next few days.
Not sure how much coverage that I am going to do on the Ohio State win over Army, but if I have time to watch, I'll have a few notes.

The Boxing Challenge continued with a huge fight filled with garbage around it.
In the main event, Gennady Golovkin finally got his time on the main stage and retained his WBA/WBC/IBF middleweight titles after his fight with Canelo Alvarez was scored a draw.
I had Golovkin a 116-112 winner and most scores I've seen were similar, but my notes had two rounds as close so I could see a 114-114 draw as one judge scored.
The problem was the godawful 118-110 score for Alvarez, which was so bad that you cannot believe it.
Byrd's score was excused by the chairman of the Nevada State Athletic Commission as a "bad night", so despite a less than sterling track record-she'll be back in the future.

The biggest issue with last night, well behind the draw and Adelaide Byrd was the awful undercard, which featured three boring bouts that did nothing to attract new fans on an evening that gave new watchers a chance to become followers.
Oscar De La Hoya and his Golden Boy Promotions so often get passes from many in the boxing media-I for one am tired of that.
De La Hoya used his position to duck Gennady Golovkin for years as promoter of Canelo Alvarez and then on a night where the fight everyone wanted to see delivered a good battle, De La Hoya gave them featherfisted Joseph Diaz, De La Hoya's cousin Diego and disappointing prospect Ryan Martin in a combined 32 boring rounds that saw no knockdowns scored.
Diego De La Hoya's win over Randy Caballero looked better on paper than it turned out in the ring, which happens sometimes in boxing-they cannot all be winners, after all but still a promoter should be able to figure out that on the biggest stage that the sport had to offer, you need to put exciting fights together.
Instead, the promotion took the lazy way out, figuring that the pay per view buys were there anyway, so why bother to spend money on bigger fights?
The answer should have been this- If we want to save money and not pay for "bigger" fights, at least put together exciting fights.
Golden Boy did neither in a major failing.

The less I say about those fights the better, but the Diaz and De La Hoya unanimous decision wins gave Ramon Malpica and I each four boxing challenge points.

In Europe, two fights of interest were challenge features.
The WBO middleweight title (the only one not held by Gennady Golovkin) was defended by Billy Joe Saunders of England with a unanimous decision win over Willie Monroe Jr.
Monroe had been knocked out by Golovkin a few years back, so this was seen as a way for Saunders to look good.
I haven't watched yet, so not sure on how he looked.
Two points for Ramon and I for the Saunders win.

The other bout was the beginning of the World Boxing Super Series tournament in the super middleweight division as second seed Callum Smith won a unanimous decisio over Erik Skoglund.
Smith dominated the overmatched Skoglund as expected and dropped him in the eleventh round.
I scored Smith a 117-110 winner as Smith advances to fight the winner of Jurgen Brahmer and Rob Brant's fight next month.
Ramon scored two points for Smith's win compared to my one.
The Challenge stands at 129-115 in my favor.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Big day and my messup

The plan for this post was going to be the latest TRS boxing ratings before the Golovkin-Alvarez fight tonight, but from the road office, I'm too dumb to remember to bring the materials along with me.
That means that the rating will likely be posted after that fight and my apologies.
For the record, Golovkin was ranked as our top middleweight and Alvarez at number two.

So, with little time and lots of things to do, that won't be happening.
I'm also not sure if I'll have time to do an Ohio State recap, although I'll be watching the game later this week.
Today, I'll be making my second trip to the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention to see some television stars of the past and I'm sure I'll be writing about that sometime next week.
I'm excited to add a few pieces to my various collections as well as getting a few pictures taken as well.

I also will be traveling to Fred Landucci's as Fred is throwing a fight party for tonight's middleweight championship battle, which both of us have long awaited.
Fred is going all out for the event, which includes a shipped in Cootie Brown's Key Lime Pie, which I'm looking forward to almost as much as the fight!

So when you consider that I will have worked all night and with maybe an hour or two nap (If I get very lucky), I'll be a little behind on the Buckeyes.
I don't think I'll be missing much and honestly if I do miss anything unexpected, it's likely to be a negative!

I'll be doing a post on Golovkin-Alvarez for the boxing challenge of course and be talking about the fight Monday night on Fightheads!

I'm pretty pleased of late with the increase of hits over the last month, which is really surprising as readership usually dips a bit over the summer.
Glad things are picking up a bit!!

Lots of posts coming over the week with the convention, boxing, the Browns in Baltimore and ratings!!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Boxing Challenge

The boxing challenge continues with the fight-BOXING fans really wanted to see rather than the "fight" last month as Gennady Golovkin defends three of the four middleweight titles (WBA,WBC and IBF) against Canelo Alvarez,who holds the lineal 160 pound title after his win over Miguel Cotto in 2015.
I'm as pumped for this as I've been all year!!

The undercard is nothing to get excited about,but I put two of three on the challenge anyway as Joseph Diaz faces Rafael Rivera (a late replacement) in a WBC featherweight eliminator and Diego De La Hoya faces former IBF bantamweight champ Randy Caballero in what is being hyped as junior featherweight grudge match.

The BC has two fights from Europe as well this week as the "other" middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders defends his WBO title against former Golovkin KO victim Willie Monroe Jr and the first bout in the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight tournament as second seed Callum Smith of Great Britain tackles his picked opponent in Sweden's Erik Skoglund.
Saunders needs to look good after just one blase' performance in the almost two years since winning his title vs Andy Lee,if he wants a big money bout against the Golovkin-Alvarez winner.
I think a Golovkin win makes such a bout inevitable as he wants all four belts,but a Canelo win and another dull Saunders performance makes a Canelo-Saunders bout doubtul.
As for Callum Smith,he's a heavy favorite to dispatch the undefeated,but untested Skoglund,who doesn't appear to be a good puncher even against the limited opposition that he has faced.
The winner will face the winner of Germany's Jurgern Braehmer and the only American in either tournament Rob Brant,who fight in October.
I lead the challenge 122-107...

WBA/WBC/IBF Middleweight Titles 12 rds
Gennady Golovkin vs Canelo Alvarez
R.L:Golovkin Unanimous Decision
TRS: Golovkin KO 10

Featherweights 12 rds
Joseph Diaz vs Rafael Rivera
Both:Diaz Unanimous Decision

Jr.Featherweights.10 rds
Diego De La Hoya vs Randy Caballero
Both:De La Hoya Unanimous Decision

WBO Middleweight Title.12 rds
Billy Joe Saunders vs Willie Monroe Jr.
Both:Saunders Unanimous Decision

World Boxing Super Series Super Middleweight Quarter-Final.12 rds
Callum Smith vs Erik Skoglund
R.L:Smith Unanimous Decision
TRS:Smith KO 8