by Sarah Deming
The first time I spoke to author Malissa Smith, proprietress of the indispensable blog girlboxing, we argued about skirts in the ring. This was right before the 2012 Olympic Trials, and I had called to get her take on the competitive field in Spokane.
The internets were buzzing over the proposal that women boxers make their Olympic debut in skirts, but I didn’t want to talk about that. I was sick of the media posing female fighters in evening gowns or talking about their history of sexual abuse. Couldn’t we just treat them as athletes?
“The skirt thing is a non-issue,” I said.
Malissa’s rage exploded from my cell phone. “It is not a non-issue! It’s a profound insult to the athleticism of the women entering this sport. It completely undermines them.”
“I’d fight naked if I could be in the Olympics,” I said.
The Knicks have crashed and burned out of Summer League play. Fire Fisher! Can Phil!
Will JR Smith and Iman Shumpert ring in the New Year as New York Knickerbockers? There’s a 69% chance!
PLUS: Mid-Year Music Awards! Beyonce is overrated, Ought are amazing, Rick Ross is fat!
Carmelo is a Knick. LeBron is a Cav. Finkle is Einhorn. Wiggins is a bust. Tanaka is over and MORE.
ALSO: Chips vs Pretzels!
Do you want to know where Carmelo Anthony is going to sign? So do we! Do you want the Big 3 in Miami to break up? Oh my god, we do too! Do you think the Wimbledon final was majestic? That makes at least two of us!
ALSO THIS WEEK: The Fourth of July SUCKS compared to George Harrison’s masterpiece All Things Must Pass! The Oscar Pistorius reenactment video is COMPLETELY INSANE! And fine, we’ll say it, Seinfeld is NO LONGER FUNNY!
Of course, as always, we discuss much, much more. Join us!
Photos by Getty Images for Zuffa LLC
by Dr. Octagon, J.D.
Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey (above) needed just 16 seconds to win on Saturday at UFC 175 in Las Vegas, while Chris Weidman (below) won a terrific battle against Lyoto Machida to keep his middleweight title.
Rousey’s opponent Alexis Davis opened up as a 20-1 underdog and looked very much the part while getting steamrolled in the first minute. Ronda landed a punch, followed by a knee, then put Davis down with a spectacular judo throw that morphed into a headlock. From there all it took was roughly ten undefended strikes to the face before referee Yves Lavigne stepped in to stop the fight. Davis was clearly out of it; she attempted to grapple with Lavigne after the fight was over and clearly had no clue what had happened.
Dear Harley Davidson marketing department, please have a new commercial. I think I’ve seen that stereotypical Harley commercial 1000 times now and it is just as terrible as the first time.
Rob Font KOed George Roop with a huge right at 2:19 in Round 1
Chris Camozzi looked good on the feet, but Bruno Santos was able to hold him down for rounds 2 and 3 without really doing any damage to take a split decision.
Kenny Robertson put three rounds of powerful ground and pound on Ildemar Alcantara to with a unanimous decision with 30-26 on all cards.
Urijah Faber won by rear naked choke in the third against Alex Caceres, who put up a pretty good fight and was able to neutralize a lot of Faber’s offense in the first two rounds and landed a few good shots of his own.
Urijah remains undefeated in non-title fights in the UFC.
That’s it for the free fights (until tomorrow). Time to buy the PPV.
by Dr. Octagon, J.D.
World Series of Fighting had a pretty exciting card this afternoon, with some solid action from fighters who are definitely UFC-caliber (especially given the frequency of UFC events these days). Seriously guys, Marcus Brimage is on the undercard of the UFC 175 Pay Per View.
Melvin Guillard looked pretty good in a slugfest with J.Z. Cavalcante. Melvin was getting the better of the exchanges, but he was also the beneficiary of a seemingly early stoppage, since JZ was still on his feet. Guillard also weighed in three pounds over the lightweight limit, not a great sign from the longtime UFC stalwart.
It’s rare to see a fight stopped while a fighter is on his feet in MMA (as opposed to boxing), but maybe we could use more of them. JZ was getting his ass kicked, and ate a particularly large knee before the stoppage, so there’s probably not going to be much of an uproar over this one. Melvin by TKO in 2:36
Cody Bollinger won by rear naked choke in the first round at 2:37 against Pablo Alonso. This was a nice quick fight, but Bollinger said he will move up to 145 lbs. after weighing in two pounds above the 135-lb limit for this fight.
Jon Fitch put a vicious ground-and-pound on the thoroughly over-matched Dennis Hallman, winning all three rounds on all three cards. The whole fight took place on the ground, but it was more exciting than a typical Fitch fight, with oodles of ground striking.
The battle of the undefeated lightweights in the main event was tough to watch. Justin Gaethje was able to keep the fight on the feet against one-handed (congenital amputee) submission expert Nick Newell. Gaethje teed off on Newell for what seemed like the longest 1.5 rounds I’ve ever watched.
I know it was a championship fight and everything, but I wouldn’t have minded seeing it stopped earlier. Gaithje retains the belt with a KO at 2:36 of Round 2 via overhand right. Newell remains the most badass one-armed man on the planet.
This week in sports: Jason Kidd's miscalculated maneuverings, Phil Jackson's bold restructuring of the Knicks’ roster, NBA Draft observations, Pau Gasol free agency rumors, Tanaka’s greatness, the Yankees’ shittiness, World Cup, and more!.
This week in grab bag: bok choy vs Chinese broccoli, The Act of Killing, the fleshlight iPad holder, subway breasts, and more!
We’re sorry we didn’t give you an episode last week. We were wrong and stupid and we’re sorry. That being said, you’re being kind of a baby about this. We didn’t do anything that bad.
This week: Melo should probably get the hell out of here already. The Illuminati is definitely more powerful than the Church of Scientology. The World Cup is marginally more entertaining than your “favorite” hockey team making the Stanley Cup Finals, and Brad confesses that he’s never had a conversation that’s lasted more than 60 minutes — not even with his mother!
Lamont Peterson photo by Trey Pollard for StiffJab.com
by Gautham Nagesh
Even if featherweight Gary Russell Jr. wins his first belt on Saturday, the reigning pride of D.C. will still be junior welterweight contender Lamont Peterson. Peterson is the man that brought big-time boxing back to D.C. and is the only local fighter that has proven himself again and again in front of his hometown fans. So when we hear Peterson is planning to return on August 9th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, that qualifies as big news.
The news comes to us via Headbangers spokesman Andre Johnson, who had few other details. The fact Lamont is leaving D.C. makes me think this will be against a real opponent; why else would Peterson forego a hometown fight to perform on the undercard of a stinker like Shawn Porter vs. Kell Brook? I’m sure Showtime isn’t eager to televise that fight as a main event, and definitely not with Lamont in a stay-busy fight as the co-feature.
So we are quietly hoping that this will be the moment Lamont finally gets his shot at the division’s top man, Danny Garcia of Philadelphia. Now, I have no inside information on this. The word on the street is that Garcia is lining up to fight Brooklyn’s once-beaten Gabriel “Tito” Bracero after his lack-luster showing against Mauricio Herrera. But little would be gained from that fight for Garcia. Meanwhile, Peterson is a real name, and someone that has earned another shot at the title.
Photos by Wallace Barron for Keystone Boxing
by Gautham Nagesh
FORT WASHINGTON, Md.—Unbeaten featherweight Kevin Rivers Jr. looked good in his return to the ring, while junior welterweight Patrick Harris Jr. made his debut short and sweet at Rosecroft Raceway on Friday night. The pair both impressed, but for different reasons, on the show promoted by Gene Molovinsky of Keystone Boxing, with his son Ross serving as matchmaker.
Rivers (above) hasn’t fought in a year, and showed some rust early against the game Xavier Montelongo Jr. before settling down to win a clear six-round decision. Harris (below) needed just 45 seconds to dispatch George Palmer of Oklahoma, who had no business in the ring with a terror like Pat Jr. Unbeaten local junior middleweight "Swift" Jarrett Hurd was similarly efficient, taking just two minutes to stop Joshua Robertson in the main event.
Photo of Provodnikov-Algieri by Suzan Classen; Photos of Hardy-Trivilino by Sue Jaye Johnson
by Sarah Deming
Ruslan Provodnikov lost his junior welterweight title on a split decision Saturday night at the Barclays Center, and I lost some of my faith in my powers of observation.
As a rule, converted kickboxers don’t make great boxers, nor do men with master’s degrees and faces like an actor in The O.C. Who would have thought Chris Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) could take the belt from the Siberian wildman who concussed Tim Bradley in 2013’s consensus fight of the year?
Provodnikov (23-3, 16 KOs) smiled as he made his ring walk to Eye of the Tiger. Perhaps he was reciting Russian poetry in his head or practicing a Vulcan mind meld with trainer Freddie Roach. He did not seem worried in the slightest about Chris Algieri, the local boy who hadn’t yet learned to lose.
Photos by Jason Costa for Hit First
by Sarah Deming
What got me out of bed and over to the Barclays Center for Friday’s weigh-in was the image of Ruslan Provodnikov in dinosaur Underoos. Provodnikov (23-2, 16 KOs) will defend his junior welterweight title against Chris Algieri (19-0, 8 KOs) in the main event of Saturday’s HBO card, and although most boxing writers have cast him as some kind of Siberian missing link, I still think he’s smarter than the average bear.
Ruslan recites Russian poetry during his ring walk, eschews materialism, and says he grew up sniffing glue. Even if his pull quotes are tweaked in translation, they still beat anything Chris Algieri says.
by Gautham Nagesh
Waldorf, Md. junior welterweight Mike “Yes Indeed” Reed has taken the hard road to 9-0 (6 KOs).
Since turning professional 15 months ago, Reed has fought without a promoter or manager, and has endured tough match-making to become a local headliner for Keystone Boxing. At a time when most prospects are knocking out creampuffs, the 21-year-old Reed has fought quality opposition, and handled everything thrown at him with aplomb. We’ve been ringside for almost all of those fights to witness his steady improvement, which is why we named him our 2013 Prospect of the Year.
Word of Reed’s talent couldn’t help but escape the beltway, and his name eventually found its way to Top Rank matchmaker Brad Goodman via Keystone matchmaker Ross Molovinsky. One of the oldest and largest promotional outfits in boxing, Top Rank has built an empire in the Southwest, and rarely signs East Coast talent. But Goodman reportedly decided to give Reed a shot, hence his appearance on the undercard of Glenn Tapia vs. Keenan Collins tomorrow night in Atlantic City.
Reed will take on Alberto Morales of Nicaragua in a six-round battle early in the evening. Even for a prospect as proven as Reed, the fight is a real test. Morales is bigger, having campaigned at welterweight and junior middleweight. He has been in with tougher competition than Reed, and has power to boot. Reached by phone Thursday night, Reed said he’s ready for the challenge, and expects Morales to be in his face all night.
"He’s a pressure fighter and this should be a good fight. I’m not going to have to chase him, or find him," Reed said.
Chael Sonnen photo by Josh Hedges for Zuffa LLC
by Dr. Octagon, J.D.
Former UFC middleweight and lightweight contender Chael Sonnen failed his random drug test and is no longer fighting Vitor Belfort at UFC 175.
For those of you at home, that makes three middleweights in the last month or so who failed drug tests (well Wandy technically just ran away, but you know…) While Sonnen had previously announced that he was going to appeal, on Wednesday night he seemed to change his mind and retired on-air on UFC Tonight.
Chael tested positive for Anastrozole and Clomiphene, which are not steroids, but rather estrogen blockers. People who know way more about this stuff than I do have said that these are the sort of things you take to transition from Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) usage. There’s also been a claim about Chael having fertility issues, which I don’t really understand. Sometimes it seems like you need an M.D. in juicehead bro-science to cover MMA.