Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Best Game I've seen in years!

   I haven't had a chance to watch as many Cavaliers or Devils games as I'd like this season but with a rare evening alone ( with Posey as company), the schedule fell perfect for a doubleheader with the Dallas Mavericks in Cleveland to visit the Cavaliers and later, the Devils in San Jose to drop in on the Sharks.

I was looking forward to the Cavaliers and Mavericks, not because Ryan is a rabid Mavericks fan ( I actually have always had a soft spot for Phoenix, Dallas, and San Antonio in the West) but because the first game between the teams in Dallas earlier in the season was a great game with Cleveland winning 113-110 without Donovan Mitchell for the win.

This one was even better with Luka Doncic and Donovan Mitchell trading big shot after big shot deep into the final quarter (Doncic would finish with 45 points, Mitchell with 31).

Dallas broke a tie game open with ten straight points to take a ten-point lead at 108-98 with four and a half minutes remaining and seemed to be on their way to a road win.

Max Strus had other ideas as Strus nailed FOUR three-pointers in roughly a minute of play to drag Cleveland to within one followed by a Donovan Mitchell to give Cleveland a 115-113 lead with 1:52 to play.

After Josh Green's dunk tied the game with forty-five seconds to play, the final twenty-nine seconds were filled with outstanding play after outstanding play.

Donovan Mitchell hits a three-pointer, Kyrie Irving hits a driving two to cut the lead to one and Dallas forces a turnover on defense with nine seconds remaining.

Dallas goes down low to P.J. Washington, who lays the ball in with two seconds remaining to give Dallas a two-point lead, and Cleveland is unable to call a timeout.

Evan Mobley inbounded to Max Strus, who had time for one dribble and let it fly from what ESPN reported as fifty-nine feet- Swish for three points and a 121-119 Cleveland win!

Strus entered the final four minutes with six points on the evening and finished with twenty-one and a game-winning shot that will be remembered for quite a while by Cavalier fans!

Cleveland had six players with double-figure points on the night (Mitchell 31, Strus 21, Jarrett Allen 19, Evan Mobley 12, Caris LeVert 11, and Georges Niang 10) while Dallas received Luka Doncic's 45 and Kyrie Irving's 30 but only P.J. Washington's eleven points reached double-digits of the rest of the Mavericks.

Sometimes in sports, certain teams simply match up well with others and make great games no matter when they play the other.

In football right now, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills always seem to have memorable battles when they meet up and perhaps the Cavaliers and Mavericks mesh very well with each other to make exciting games.

In any case, it was a tremendous game that was so much fun to watch with so many twists and turns and you might want to make a note next season to catch these two teams when they play each other!  

Cleaning out the Inbox

    The inbox cleaning starts with The Athletic's celebration of the 35th anniversary of the release of Tecmo Bowl for the original Nintendo.

Super Tecmo Bowl was a better game since it included every team (Tecmo Bowl did not) than the original but there's always a special place for the groundbreaker in any field!

The Athletic picks the best players from the original game, and Bo Jackson is included!

The Athletic wrote this article before the college basketball season on then-new Texas Tech basketball coach Grant McCasland.

My college basketball interest has waned through the years, so I didn't know very much about McCasland, who was hired away from North Texas after winning 135 games for the Mean Green and last season's NIT championship. Still, the article is fascinating on the Red Raider coach.

Texas Tech finished dead last in the Big 12 last season but in their first season under McCasland, the Red Raiders are 16-5 and appear headed to the NCAA tournament.

FanBuzz writes of the legality of the famous Happy Gilmore putt that won Gilmore the fictional Tour Championship and broke the hearts of Shooter McGavin fans everywhere.

The article discusses the situation involved, the film ruling by the rules of golf, and whether Gilmore should have been forced to take the shot then and there.

After all, those are the rules- I didn't write them.

The Athletic writes of the making of the film Slap Shot and of the parallels between the real-life Johnstown Jets that inspired the "Charlestown Chiefs" in the film.

The article covers the screenplay, the film, and just how much of the film is pretty dead-on compared to the stories of the actual team!

And yes, that includes the Hanson Brothers!

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Boxing Challenge: Berlanga stops McCrory in Six

    Edgar Berlanga injected a powerful dose into a flagging career with a sixth-round knockout of Padraig McCrory in their super middleweight clash in Orlando Florida.

A dirty, foul-filled affair saw infractions from both fighters throughout with each combatant doing their fair share to contribute to the mess. 

I had Berlanga slightly ahead after five rounds but the fight wasn't exactly thrilling before the sixth round other than the elbows, low blows, and even an attempted bite by McCrory.

Both fighters landed well in the sixth but it was Berlanga's punches that were the harder connections and dropped McCrory along the ropes with his corner quickly throwing in the towel of surrender.

Berlanga predictably called out Canelo Alvarez after the fight but honestly Berlanga is nowhere near being prepared for such a challenge, and his team and promoter Eddie Hearn are likely hoping to take the big chance rather than a smaller purse for a fight against Jaime Munguia that they may have a slightly better chance to win but would still be the underdog in such a pairing.

Boxing Challenge

TRS: 26 Pts (1)
Ramon Malpica; 26 Pts (2)
Vince Samano: 14 Pts (0) 

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Boxing Challenge: Nakatani, Inoue score KO's

    Two bantamweight titles were at stake Saturday in Tokyo and when the evening was over, one title was retained and the other had a new owner with the stage possibly set for a Japanese superfight in the division shortly.

Junto Nakatani made his first fight at 118 pounds a winning one as Nakatani won the WBC title with a sixth-round knockout of Alejandro Santiago.

Santiago had upset Nonito Donaire to win the then-vacant title last year and was regarded as one of the most vulnerable champions in the sport.

Nakatani won the race to fight Santiago first and dominated the champion, winning every round, despite a game effort.

Nakatani dropped Santiago twice in the sixth round to close the show with Santiago being saved by the referee after the second knockdown.

A Nakatani-Takuma Inoue unification fight for the WBA and WBC titles would be a massive event in Japan and I would make Nakatani a prohibitive favorite in such a bout.

Inoue retained his WBA title in the final fight of the card with a vicious body shot in the ninth round that crumbled former IBF junior bantamweight champion Jerwin Ancajas.

The shot from the previously light punching Inoue ended a fight that I scored even at the end of eight and was held mostly at close range with effective infighting from both men.

An Inoue-Nakatani unification match might depend on whether or not Inoue's camp wants to take the chance of losing to another fighter before cashing in on a lucrative Nakatani bout.

Inoue doesn't seem to be of the level of Nakatani, so the more prudent decision may be to try Nakatani now while the money is highest and maybe before Nakatani settles in at the weight.

In the other title fight on the slate, Kosei Tanaka outgunned the gritty Christina Bacasegua by a unanimous decision to win the WBO junior bantamweight title that Junto Nakatani vacated earlier this year.

Bacasegua won some early rounds but after suffering a slice from a clash of heads, the technical skills of Tanaka took over and controlled the second half of the fight, including a knockdown when Bacasegua's glove touched the mat in round eight.

Tanaka won 117-110 on my card, which was the same as one card with the others giving Tanaka edges of 116-111 and 119-108.

Boxing Challenge

TRS: 25 Pts (4) 
Ramon Malpica: 24 Pts (5)
Vince Samano: 14 pts (2) 

Boxing Challenge

 A three-fight early morning card from Tokyo heads the boxing challenge with each match holding a championship in the balance.

Junto Nakatani vacated his WBO junior bantamweight title and will be moving up to bantamweight to try for the WBC bantamweight championship held by Alejandro Santiago in the main event.

Santiago upset Nonito Donaire for the vacant title last year and will make his first defense against Nakatani, who won a decision over Argi Cortes in his last fight.

Another bantamweight title is at stake with WBA champion Takuma Inoue defending against former IBF junior bantamweight champion Jerwin Ancajas.

Inoue, the brother of Naoya Inoue, won the vacant title last April over veteran Liborio Solis while Ancajas defended his 115-pound title nine times before losing the title and rematch to Fernando Martinez.

The WBO junior bantamweight title vacated by Junto Nakatani will be filled as Kosei Tanaka attempts to win a title in his fourth weight class against Christian Bacasequa.

Tanaka was knocked out in the eighth round by Kazuto Ioka in an attempt to win this title in 2020 and has won four fights since that defeat.

Bacasequa is a heavy underdog with a pedestrian record and fewer quality opponents on his resume.

Saturday night from Matchroom/DAZN with super middleweight Edgar Berlanga battling Padraig McCrory in Orlando, Florida.

Berlanga knocked Jason Quigley down four times last June in winning a unanimous decision, while the unbeaten McCrory has defeated some European-level fighters but is unknown at the world level.

I've questioned Berlanga in the past and McCrory is a question mark entering this bout himself, so I wouldn't be surprised by anything that happens in this fight.

Boxing Challenge

WBC Bantamweight Title. 12 Rds
Alejandro Santiago vs Junto Nakatani 
Ramon Malpica: Nakatani KO 8
TRS: Nakatani KO 10
Vince Samano: Nakatani Unanimous Decision

WBA Bantamweight Title. 12 Rds
Takuma Inoue vs Jerwin Ancajas
R.L: Inoue Unanimous Decision
TRS & V.S: Ancajas Unanimous Decision

Vacant WBO Junior Bantamweight Title. 12 Rds
Kosei Tanaka vs Christian Bacasegua
R.L and TRS: Tanaka Unanimous Decision
V.S: Tanaka KO 6

Super Middleweights. 12 Rds
Edgar Berlanga vs Padraig McCrory
R.L: Berlanga KO 7
TRS: Berlanga Unanimous Decision
V.S: McCrory Unanimous Decision  

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Boxing Challenge: Foster defeats Nova, Nontshinga regains title

     O'Shaquie Foster cemented his strong final rounds with a round twelve knockdown of Abraham Nova in winning a split decision to retain his WBC junior lightweight title in New York City.

Nova managed to have his moments but Foster swept the final four rounds and punctuated the win when he dropped Nova along the ropes.

Nova wasn't in serious difficulty but the knockdown was a clean one.

Foster won on two cards of 116-111 with Nova winning on the dissenting opinion 114-113.

I had Foster the victor at 115-112.

Foster's win continued his recent run of good form and despite the defeat, Nova proved himself worthy of a future title or title eliminator.

In Oaxaca, Mexico, Sivenathi Nontshinga avenged his loss last year to Adrien Curiel and regained the IBF light flyweight title that he lost to Curiel.

Curiel bullied Nontshinga for the first seven rounds, building a lead on the scorecards on aggression and volume but Nontshinga began to turn the tide in the eighth and badly stung Curiel late in the ninth round.

Curiel was never able to recover and Nontshinga finished the show in the tenth to regain the title.

I haven't seen the Mauricio Lara- Daniel Lugo fight which ended in a majority decision draw.

Boxing Challenge

TRS: 21 Pts (1) 
Ramon Malpica: 19 Pts (1)
Vince Samano: 12 Pts (2) 

Friday, February 16, 2024

Boxing Challenge

 The boxing challenge is based on Friday this week after the Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk card scheduled for Saturday was postponed after Fury suffered a cut in training.

There is a world title at risk on the ESPN/Top Rank card from New York as recent Top Rank signee O'Shaquie Foster will defend his WBC junior lightweight title against Abraham "Super" Nova.

Foster won his title last year on a PBC card in upsetting WBC featherweight champion Rey Vargas and then defended it on a Matchroom show against mandatory challenger Rocky Hernandez by saving his title by stopping Hernandez in the final round with Foster behind on two of the three cards entering the last stanza.

Nova has lost only once but was punished in that loss against his best opponent, Robiesy Ramirez, who stopped Nova in five rounds.

Nova has won twice since then but who knows if Nova is of world-class status?

I kinda hope so, as Nova can make fun fights, has some personality with his traveling mascot, and would be entertaining as a world champion.

The other two challenge fights are from DAZN/Matchroom with a rematch for the IBF junior flyweight title as Adrian Curiel attempts to duplicate his November upset of  Sivenathi Nontshinga.

Curiel had only four knockouts in his then-twenty-three victories as a heavy underdog to Nontshinga in Monaco but landed a crushing right hand in the second round to win the title surprisingly.

The co-feature is an interesting fight at junior lightweight as former minor featherweight champion Mauricio Lara attempts to start his comeback against Daniel Lugo.

Lara, who looked like a buzzsaw in cutting through Josh Warrington and Leigh Wood in impressive knockout wins, missed weight for his rematch vs Wood and looked very slow in losing a clear decision to Wood.

Lara will be facing an unknown in Lugo, who has an impressive record of 27-2 but has fought many fighters with losing records, so Lugo will have questions to answer against Lara.

Boxing Challenge

WBC Junior Lightweight Title. 12 Rds
O'Shaquie Foster vs Abraham Nova
All; Foster Unanimous Decision

IBF Junior Flyweight Title.12 Rds
Adrian Curiel vs Sivenathi Nontshinga
R.L & TRS: Curiel Unanimous Decision
V.S: Nontshinga Unanimous Decision

Junior Lightweights. 10 Rds
Mauricio Lara vs Daniel Lugo
R.L: Lara Unanimous Decision
TRS: Lara KO 6
V.S: Lugo Unanimous Decision 

Monday, February 12, 2024

Cleaning out the Inbox: Passings

   The tributes never stop here at TRS and it always seems to have so many to say goodbye to.

Goodbye to Rich Caster at the age of 75.

A three-time Pro Bowler for the New York Jets, Caster would later play for the Oilers, Redskins, and the Saints in his thirteen-year career.

Caster caught 322 passes in his career, forty-five of those for touchdowns, usually as a pass-receiving tight end after the Jets selected him in the second round in 1970.

Caster was part of the Jets' bizarre 1977 decision to flip positions with Jerome Barkum moving Caster to WR and Barkum to TE and watching two productive players statistically plummet with Caster being traded to Houston after the season.

Caster's son Max is currently a professional wrestler for AEW.

Goodbye to Jimy Williams at the age of 80.

Williams managed the Blue Jays, Red Sox, and Astros for eleven seasons and coached for several teams, most notably as the third base coach for Bobby Cox's powerhouse Atlanta Braves.

It was Williams who waved home Sid Bream to barely beat the throw from Barry Bonds in game seven of the 1992 NLCS which sent Atlanta to the World Series over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

I met Williams once in Hagerstown, where he was visiting his son, Shawn, who was managing the Lakewood Blue Claws at the time.

Williams signed a few cards and was nice enough but when Brad Adams asked Williams for a picture with him, Williams wrinkled up his face and said "Nah, I'm not gonna do that" and walked away!

Goodbye to Earl Cuerton at the age of 66.

A long-time backup big man for parts of sixteen seasons in the NBA, Cureton was known for his willingness to bang on the boards and won a world championship with Philadelphia in 1983.

Cuerton played for seven NBA teams and spent several years playing actively in Europe before transitioning to life off the floor where he was an assistant in the WNBA , led the Long Beach Jame to the ABA title in 2004, served as a strength coach with the Raptors, and as a commentator for the Pistons and his alma mater-Detroit Mercy.

Goodbye to Brant Alyea at the age of 83.

Alyea homered off the first pitch that he saw in the big leagues as he drove a Rudy May offering in 1965 over the wall for the Washington Senators.

Alyea's best season was in 1970 with the Twins, when he hit .291 with sixteen homers and sixty-one RBI.

After retirement, Alyea was the supervisor of the crap tables at the Tropicana Hotel in Atlantic City.

Goodbye to Alonzo Johnson at the age of 60.

A two-time All-American linebacker for the Florida Gators in 1984 and 85, Johnson was expected to be a first-round draft pick in the 1986 draft before rumors of drug issues caused him to fall into the second round where he was part of the first draft of Buddy Ryan with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Johnson started nine games as a rookie, grabbing three interceptions and adding one sack but entered rehab in the off-season and would play only three games in the 1987 season.

Johnson would never play professional football again.

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Unanswered Rewatch: 1986 Mid-South Wrestlng

    I've been rewatching YouTube videos when I have downtime at home and the office and usually I'm watching old football games as I can mute the television and watch as I speak with someone on the phone or on video chat.

However, I sometimes rewatch entire years or seasons at once and I'm working on 1986 in the promotion owned by Bill Watts that started the year as Mid-South Wrestling and changed its name to the Universal Wrestling Federation as the year progressed in an attempt to establish itself as a national promotion.

I first noticed the UWF on Baltimore television in August 1986, and I am currently watching May, so up to that point, it's either a new episode to me or I saw it so long ago that I remember very little about seeing the episode.

For the purposes of this, I am going to ask questions that I do not have the answer and should I ever receive those answers- I will edit this and give credit to whoever gives the answer.

On one program, the old (not the one that would be turned over to the company when the UWF title becomes the top title in the federation) North American championship belt was offered in a contest with one clue given over four shows to make a guess on the trivia question with the winner winning the belt.

I've seen two of these four episodes, so I'm sure they eventually announce the winner, but does that person still own that belt? And if not, who does?

The big Russian character Korstia Korchenko managed by "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert was being given a huge push on television and even had interaction with Cowboy Bill Watts but disappeared suddenly and quickly shortly after that.

Why was this cut off and was there an incident with Korchenko and someone else in the territory?

I didn't recognize Korchenko, so did he have a previous gimmick in another area? And where did Korchenko wrestle after leaving Mid-South?

Then-North American champion Dick Slater, also held the Mid-South TV title, which was against the promotion rules, and a vignette was shown with Slater and valet Dark Journey dumping the TV medal ( yes, medal) into the Mississippi River.

It was an excuse to replace the medal with a traditional title belt (I didn't care for the medal but credit them for trying something different) but the question is did anyone ever look for or find the medal at the bottom of the river?

Am I the only person who thinks the Fantastics were better than the Rock N Roll Express?

Granted, they never drew the same money as the RnR but some of that was good fortune in getting to an area first, their matches hold up a little better and I firmly believe that the late Tommy Rogers of the Fantastics ranks with the most underrated stars of the age.

The commentary of Bill Watts is so on point and more like a true sports analyst rather than the often cartoonish aspect that so many wrestling color commentators portray.

While Watts does an excellent job in getting the points across that he wants, I'm not sure that it would play as well today.

Take, for example, his feelings on Russia and yes, he is trying to make the Russian Korchenko the heel in this case but he paints such a broad brush covering all Russians as being cheats and horrible people (you had to know the times) that I'm not sure that his commentary would wear well in the current climate.

Another topic that both Watts and Jim Ross mentioned on two different shows was how Michael Hayes was the "Charles Manson-like" cult leader of the Fabulous Freebirds and once mentioned that Terry Gordy was under the spell of Hayes.

While I've never heard of anything beyond pointing out that Hayes was the leader of the team, I wonder if it had ever been discussed to have Hayes as a cult leader with Gordy and Buddy Roberts doing his bidding?

It's more likely that it was a talking point to establish Michael Hayes as the leader and mouthpiece of the group but it's interesting to think about.

I have watched into May at this point, so I may do a second post on this topic after I have finished the year.  


 The season is over after Sunday with one more game to determine a champion!

Last Week: 2-0 
Overall: 183-95

Super Bowl
Chiefs over 49ers 27-21

Friday, February 9, 2024

Boxing Challenge: Davis roars, Lopez bores

   Teofimo Lopez had a chance to dazzle the Las Vegas crowd in the area for Sunday's Super Bowl and his entrance was entertaining as a circus ringmaster.

Unfortunately, that was as entertaining as things would be in the main event as Lopez looked mediocre in a desultory outing in retaining his WBO junior welterweight title by a unanimous decision that has been panned by many over Jamaine Ortiz.

Neither fighter threw many punches and Ortiz was content to box from the outside using a lefthanded stance which was enough to win on my card 115-113.

Lopez experienced difficulty cutting the ring off from the mobile Ortiz. He looked more like the puzzled and unmotivated fighter that slid by Sandor Martin than the determined tiger that upended Josh Taylor last year.

Lopez won on two cards 115-113, which I disagree with but the Steve Weisfeld card of 117-111 seemed particularly out of whack.

While I thought Ortiz deserved the nod, I don't need to see a rematch of a fight that was extremely dull and Lopez certainly will not want to face a defensive-minded boxer like Ortiz for a lesser paycheck again.

Teofimo Lopez is starting to remind me of Zab Judah as a fighter that you can never count out yet as one that you can't count on as well.

Lopez has the talent to defeat the best in the sport but struggles against mobile boxers, especially if he feels that he doesn't have to focus on the opposition.

It happened against George Kambosos, Sandor Martin, and now Jamaine Ortiz, showing a pattern of his biggest flaw.

Just don't rule him out against elite fighters, because when motivated Lopez ranks at the top of the spot.

The star of the night was former Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis, who impressed in stopping former junior lightweight and lightweight champion Jose Pedraza in six rounds.

Davis showed more strength and power than he had in recent outings and won every round against Pedraza, who tried his best but didn't use his range and seemed content to wait and hope for a right-hand miracle.

Davis looked very sharp in victory, and I'm looking forward to seeing him in his next attempt against top opponents.

Boxing Challenge

TRS: 20 Pts (3)
Ramon Malpica: 18 Pts (3)
Vince Samano; 10 Pts (3) 

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Boxing Challenge

  No matches in the boxing challenge this weekend but a special ESPN/Top Rank event from Las Vegas on a Thursday before the Super Bowl has one of the best in the world defending his title.

Teofimo Lopez will defend his WBO junior welterweight title for the first time since winning it from Josh Taylor, announcing his retirement, reneging on said retirement, calling out Terence Crawford, and various personal issues.

Lopez will face Jamaine Ortiz, who is remembered for his losing but determined outing in a close loss to Vasyl Lomachenko and defeated Antonio Moran in his only fight since losing to Lomachenko.

While Lopez is a deserved strong favorite over Ortiz, Ortiz is better than a pushover, Lopez's M.O. has been to show his best only when motivated (his wins over Lomachenko and Taylor) and when he perceives his opponent to be beneath him, his performances have varied in his loss to George Kambosos and his split decision win over Sandor Martin that many believe he lost.

A motivated Lopez should win this one, perhaps even by stoppage.

A distracted or over-confident champion could find himself in quite a battle.

The co-feature will pit Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis against former junior lightweight and lightweight champion Jose Pedraza in the first test of Davis in his pro career.

Pedraza has won two world championships but in his chances against the elite of the sport (Gervonta Davis, Vasyl Lomachenko, and Jose Ramirez), Pedraza has come up with the short end.

Pedraza is 1-2-1 in his three most recent fights against world-class competitions, losing decisions to Jose Ramirez and Arnold Barboza with a draw with Richard Commey in between the defeats, so he does seem to be on the decline.

Davis defeated Nahir Albright last October via majority decision with the fight later overturned to a no-contest when Davis tested positive for marijuana after the fight.

Pedraza is a step up in opposition for Davis but if Davis is as talented as his hype suggests, Pedraza may be just too slow to keep up with the flashy Norfolk, Virginia native.

Boxing Challenge

WBO Junior Welterweight Title. 12 Rds
Teofimo Lopez vs Jamaine Ortiz
All: Lopez Unanimous Decision

Lightweights. 10 Rds
Keyshawn Davis vs Jose Pedraza
All; Davis Unanimous Decision

Monday, February 5, 2024

Cleaning out the Inbox: Non-Sports Passings

 It's always sad news when the tribute series continues but this one leads with one harder than usual.

Goodbye to Carl Weathers at the age of 76.

Weathers played two seasons with the Oakland Raiders in 1970 and 71 after playing for Hall of Fame coach Don Coryell at San Diego State before a knee injury forced him to the B.C.Lions of the CFL for three years to finish his career.

Weathers decided to try his hand at acting and appeared in a few films and television shows as a character performer before the biggest break of his career with the role of Apollo Creed in the first Rocky film in 1976.

The role of Creed (loosely based on Muhammad Ali) was intended for heavyweight contender Ken Norton, who accepted the role but pulled out in a decision that would make the break of Weathers's career.

It can be argued that Creed may have been the most versatile character in the first four Rocky films, serving as a boxer in the first two films (winning and losing), a color commentator and trainer in the third film before returning to the ring against Ivan Drago when he would be killed in the ring and exiting the series.

Weathers continued steady work in the decades since with notable roles in "Predator", "Action Jackson" and a voice role in "Toy Story 4" but he is remembered as "Chubbs Peterson" the golf mentor to "Happy Gilmore" in the Adam Sandler film of the same time.

Noted for his prosthetic hand that continually is damaged throughout the film after an alligator bit his hand off in a tournament, ending his golfing career, Peterson dies falling through a window after Happy Gilmore presents him with the head of the one-eyed gator that took his hand.

I may revisit more on Carl Weathers in a future post.

Goodbye to Gary Graham at the age of 73.

A long-time character actor, Graham is remembered for his starring role in the "Alien Nation" series that ran for two seasons but would also have several TV movies as part of the show's bible.

Graham would also appear in a few of the Star Trek series and as Tom Cruise's older brother in Cruise's 1983 football film based in Western Pennsylvania "All The Right Moves".

Goodbye to Charles Osgood at the age of 91.

The long-time anchor of the various CBS programs on Sunday mornings, Osgood joined CBS in 1971 and hosted the CBS News Sunday Morning show from 1994-2016 succeeding the then-longtime anchor Charles Kuralt.

Osgood was also a long-time presence on CBS Radio as the presenter of "The Osgood File", broadcast daily from 1971-2017, earning Osgood the tag of "Poet in Residence" for the network.

Goodbye to Don Murray at the age of 94.

Murray is remembered by most for his Oscar-nominated performance with Marilyn Monroe in the 1956 film Bus Stop as the cowboy character pursuing Monroe.

Murray also was one of the leading characters in the long-running nighttime soap Knots Landing as the husband of Michele Lee but left the show, and his character was killed off at the beginning of the third season.

Boxing Challenge: Buatsi downs Azeez

    Joshua Buatsi earned the biggest win of his career. He became the top contender in the WBA and likely the WBC with a unanimous decision in his light heavyweight eliminator in London on Saturday.

Buatsi outslugged Azeez throughout the fight and dropped Azeez twice in the eleventh round, just after Azeez seemed to be rallying in the ninth and tenth.

Buatsi won by scores of 116-110 and 117-109 times two, the latter score the same as mine.

Buatsi's win will eventually see him with a mandatory challenge of the winner of the Artur Beterbiev-Dmitry Bivol that will take place in June.

Junior welterweight prospect Adam Azim continued his progress with a fifth-round stoppage of Enoch Paulson. 

Azim dominated the fight and finished with Paulson dislocating his shoulder, unable to continue.

I had Azim ahead 40-36 at the time of the stoppage.

Conor Benn took the next step in his ring return with a unanimous decision over Peter Dobson in Las Vegas.

Dobson had his moments, especially in the middle of the fight, but Benn threw more often and deserved the decision. However, he surprisingly was unable to put Dobson in any sort of difficulty.

Benn won by scores of 119-111 and two of 118-110.

I had it a little closer at 116-112.

Boxing Challenge

TRS: 17 Pts (5)
Ramon Malpica: 15 Pts (4)
Vince Samano: 7 Pts (3)

Saturday, February 3, 2024

Boxing Challenge

  The boxing weekend is slanted toward the United Kingdom this Saturday but only one of the two cards will take place in the UK.

The most important card comes from London and Boxxer (streamed on Peacock in the U.S.). Two undefeated light heavyweights will duke it out for one (and possibly) two mandatory challenger positions with those sanctioning organizations.

The winner of the Joshua Buatsi-Dan Azeez will be rated first by the WBA and with both men rated second and third respectively in the WBC and their top contender in their most recent ratings (Callum Smith) having lost to Artur Beterbiev last month, the winner will likely move to the top of the WBC as well.

Buatsi has the better wins with victories over former title challengers Pawel Stepien and Craig Richards in his two most recent fights. Still, despite his thirteen stoppages in seventeen wins, Buatsi is more boxer than banger.

Azeez has twenty wins with the competition a bit lighter with his best wins over national-level fighters rather than world-class opponents.

The co-feature will showcase one of boxing's better prospects as junior welterweight Adam Azim defends his European title against fellow unbeaten Enoch Poulson.

Azim is highly touted and owns a knockout win over Franck Petitjean, who Poulson owns a decision win over.

Azim looks to have potential as a future star of the division and it will be interesting to see if Poulson can test him.

In Las Vegas, English welterweight Conor Benn continues his comeback against Peter Dobson.

Benn is still serving a suspension in the UK for PED usage discovered before his 2022 match against Chris Eubank Jr but is allowed to fight in the United States.

Benn didn't overly impress in his first fight back in winning a unanimous decision over Rodolfo Orozco last September but the unbeaten Dobson has not fought in twenty months and hasn't faced a top fighter in his career.

Boxing Challenge

Light Heavyweights. 12 Rds 
Joshua Buatsi vs Dan Azeez
Ramon Malpica; Buatsi KO 10
TRS: Buatsi Unanimous Decision
Vince Samano: Azeez Split Decision

Junior Welterweights. 12 Rds
Adam Azim vs Enoch Poulson
R.L: Azim Unanimous Decision
TRS: Azim KO 10
V.S: Azim KO 7

Welterweights. 12 Rds
Conor Benn vs Peter Dobson
R.L:: Benn Unanimous Decision
TRS: Benn KO 8
V.S: Benn KO 6