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Dec 17th
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Home Boxing STRAIT JABS
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STRAIT JABS

boxing_glovesNote to Al Haymon: As good as you are, you cannot be the best manager in boxing if you do not allow your fighters to face one another.  Paul Williams vs. Vernon Forrest made sense for so many reasons: geography, ranked numbers 1 and 2, styles, passing of torch, etc.  Now that both have met tragic ends, we were cheated out of a unification at 154 because of a personal policy you have.  Ego Ego Ego.  Not good for business.  Don't let it slow the progress of anyone in your stable, again.

Speaking of good for business... Andre Ward vs. Kelly Pavlik is a great match.  Maybe not for me, since these are two of my favorite fighters, and I now have to choose.  My pick is the obvious: Ward by late TKO on cuts or unanimous decision.  However, it is still an intriguing match, as Pavlik's size, strength, and power give him a chance in any fight.  Let us not forget that he even outboxed Sergio Martinez for a few rounds.

Speaking of Ward, isn't it amazing how he has never followed trends in boxing, yet has been a success?  Fought above his natural weight in Olympics, not below.  Actually got foreign judges to credit him in those Olympics.  Had virtually no international experience prior to Athens.  Now, as a pro, he has managed to clean out a division full of Europeans without touching European soil.  He is also selling tickets without the benefit of big KO power, a trash-talking personality, or a Latino fan base!  Ward simply did it the Joe Mesi way, by being a home-based sports franchise to a specific town.  While the odds are against it, don't be surprised if Ward also pulls a Sandy Koufax, and even retires at the right time.

Speaking of retiring at the right time, it is one thing to hang on too long.  It is another to retire, and un-retire.  It is understandable when stars such as Mayweather, Leonard, and Ali do so, but there is no reason for guys like David Tua, Jeremy Williams, or Glen Johnson to keep being fickle.  Stay or go.  We like you very much, but your careers are not worthy of multiple retirements.

Speaking of stars, Adrien Broner is there already.  Network TV seems to be making a comeback to boxing this December, as both CBS and NBC will air fights.  He is a natural to end up on one of the future cards, should a series get picked up, and he is a great late night interview to boot.  This is probably the last time that die-hard fans will be able to claim "The Problem" as our own.

Chris Strait
www.convictedartist.com

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