In much the same way most of press row will be dining on crow all week, having earmarked the return of Erik Morales something closer to a funeral than the epic battle it turned out to be, the campy billing of “Action Heroes” had most of us rolling our eyes . . . |more|
Fighters who deliver are a rarity – but last night’s card in Primm revealed two thrillers for local Las Vegans to rally behind. Want action? Middleweight Bastie “Beast” Samir and female welter Tatina “Li’l Tyson” Anderson deliver. Both fighters had to settle for draws – but only because they were matched up tough, against equally gutsy opponents. See report below for details.
“Thank God for Paulie Malignaggi.”
Never thought I’d be saying those words. But on a card billed as “Action Heroes,” seven of eight fighters to be televised on tomorrows’ HBO PPV-televised card failed to add an ounce of drama to their respective showdowns. That is, except for the “Magic Man,” Paulie Malignaggi, who showed up in uniform. Thanks Paulie!
“Who do ya like?”
It’s a common enough question in the fight biz, but when it comes to “Action Heroes,” I tend to take it a different way. Instead of picking winners and losers, I take the likeability angle, for there ain’t an unlikeable guy on the card. Whether you’re talking about a stand-up and sincere guy like Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero or the charisma that oozes out of James Kirkland, you can’t really lose.
Guerrero and Kirkland were the quiet ones at today’s press conference.
Michael Katsidis nearly stole the show. Looking something between the Joker and the Toxic Avenger, Katsidis was decked out Aussie style –way-Outback. Spitting out a trail of pumpkin seeds around the media room, Katsidis kept the glare of the media room’s fluorescents, the flies and everyone else away with extra-dark sunglasses, neon war paint and corks hanging down from his hat.
Looking more like a guido from “The Pope of Greenwich Village” than an action hero, Paulie Malignaggi, spit out words faster than Katsidis did seeds and proclaimed himself, “Magic Man – Savior of Boxing,” vowing to win back from UFC the 18-35 year-olds. To do his part, he says he will talk to no one above the age of 35 all weekend, which pretty much means he will not be interviewed at all by the writers of note.
Though Marcos Maidana’s team heaped opponent Erik Morales with praise galore, it was “El Terrible” who stole the show with the closing comments. “After so many interviews, I had to question myself whether this was the right decision,” Morales told the press. “Am I the only crazy one, the only one who thinks I’m going to win? But when I’m alone at night, lying in bed, I know, I’m not wrong. I didn’t make a mistake in picking Maidana – and I’m gonna prove it on Saturday night.”
Writer/photographer Chris Cozzone has inked a two-volume book deal with McFarland Press on the history of boxing in New Mexico. In between covering the big fights and local fight scenes in both New Mexico and Las Vegas, Cozzone has spent the last six years in heavy research. He inherited the project in 2005 from the late Jim Boggio, who will share the byline. Boggio began his research in the ’80s, logging in over 400 fight cards throughout N.M. history. Cozzone has brought brought that number to 2,300.
Volume I of the two-book set will cover 1868 to World War II and Volume II, from the ’40s to modern era. Featured fighters in the book include Johnny Tapia, Danny Romero, Bob Foster, Benny Chavez, Eddie Mack, Benny Cordova, Abie Chavez, Larry Cisneros, Art Aragon, Emilio Martinez, Julio Chiaramonte (pictured) and dozens more. Hall-of-Fame matchmaker Bruce Trampler will write the foreword. Cozzone expects Volume I’s completion later this year and to hit the sands in 2012. Stay tuned.
If Erik Morales can block punches Saturday night as effectively as he’s fended off endless questions from aggressive boxing writers asking why-oh-why is he fighting Marcos Maidana, the future Hall-of-Famer might not be in for the slaughter many are expecting . . . |more|
Photo: Morales’ last great fight – the 2005 win over Manny Pacquiao.