Stiff Jab

Sep 13

Preview: Floyd Mayweather vs Marcos Maidana 2

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by Gautham Nagesh

LAS VEGAS, Nev.—Last night during an epic run at the 2-5 No Limit game at the MGM Grand, I noticed the top chip on my green stack still read “Mayweather Cotto 2012”. It felt apt.

The Strip had the feel of a Big Fight weekend last night, but just barely. Even the hundreds of women in skintight dresses snaking through the lobby in the absurd line for Hakkasan seemed like they were just going through the motions. On flights, at the weigh-in, and in the casinos, the crowd seemed dutiful, as if they were doing as they were told.

The energy that pulsed here last autumn during Mayweather-Alvarez is just not there. This fight and its result is a foregone conclusion, and most of us are just here to bear witness to a footnote to boxing history. Tonight could be one of the last moments where the world’s eye will be trained on the Sweet Science.

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Photo by Esther Lin for Showtime

Of the two men in the main event, Marcos Maidana has everything to gain and nothing to lose. He has an opportunity to shock the world, and etch his name in history the way Buster Douglas and Boise State have before. He is a formidable underdog, but it would be foolish to underestimate him.

Floyd Mayweather is foolish in many respects, but inside the ring, he is the sage of his pugilistic generation. There are many faults one can find with Floyd, chief among them his sordid relationship with domestic violence, but one cannot accuse him of taking his profession lightly.

These are the last days of big-time boxing, and they will happen on Showtime and at the MGM Grand. Floyd Mayweather will be the star, and in truth, the opponent hardly matters. Maidana has a puncher’s chance, but only that. If this fight goes the full 12 rounds, or Maidana fails to connect on the perfect overhand right, expect fans to cash in those Mayweather betting slips, which pay a paltry 7 to 1.

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Sep 10

Stiff Jab Presents: The Fourth Judge Podcast Episode 31

The boys are back (in town) from summer vacation and ready to tackle the big issues. Issues like:

Melo smoking a cigar shirtless on Instagram

Brad eating Chipotle for lunch

James stacking dishes

AND MORE!

We also attempt to make our way through the Ray Rice and Atlanta Hawks morasses (more asses) without drowning in the muck (and mire) of our privileged ignorance(s).

Join us!

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Sep 05

Preview: UFC Fight Night 50

by Dr. Octagon, J.D.

Last week we were pretty down on the UFC’s shitty Pay Per View card for UFC 177. UFC boss Dana White took the time during the free portion of the card to call out the press for saying “disgusting, despicable things” about UFC 177. He also called out Dave Meltzer by name for something that he didn’t actually say.  

This is just Dana being Dana . If it is disgusting and despicable for me to tell you that a card probably isn’t worth your money (this was even before Cejudo and Renan Barao dropped off the card) then I guess I’m guilty. I have no qualms about buying Pay Per Views. I’ve bought some terrible events, but this one just felt like a punch straight to the junk from Uncle Baldy McLiar. I could afford to buy the card, as usual, I wasn’t doing anything, but I just wasn’t excited about it.  

I also find that it is a little disingenuous of Dana to tell us that we should be supporting the fighters by paying sixty dollars for a Pay Per View when he is paying Shayna Bazler $8,000 to fight on the third to last fight on the card.  That’s how much money she got BEFORE TAXES. After Obama takes his cut and she pays her coaches, there can’t be much cash left. So she’s good enough to put on a Pay Per View, but not good enough to make five figures.  

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Aug 29

UFC 177: Worst Pay Per View Ever?

by Dr. Octagon, J.D.

I’ve been covering the UFC for what feels like a long time now, and it’s starting to feel like a chore.  

Whenever I complain about watching UFC for a living, people give me a hard time. But as these cards get thinner and there is less and less talent on each card, it makes you wonder how they still think they can charge the same amount of money for a Pay Per View. Now, I’m a highly-compensated MMA blogger, but for people who are not in on the payroll of the munificent Mr. Nagesh, just following this sport is becoming a pricey proposition.  

People on the internet have argued that UFC 177 is the worst card ever. These people must not have woken up at the crack of dawn to watch any of the Asian cards on Fightpass. That said, those cards are part of a ten-dollar-per-month offering for which only the truly hardcore need apply. So UFC 177 isn’t the worst card ever, not by any stretch of the imagination, and to say so is hyperbolic, but it very well might be the worst Pay Per View on paper in recent memory.  

That’s not to say that the fights will be bad, many fights that have looked horrible on paper have turned out great, and some fights that have looked like they would be action-packed slugfests have turned out horribly. The closest thing to this terrible card that I can think of is UFC 149.  Let’s compare:

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Aug 26

Stiff Jab Presents: The Fourth Judge Podcast Episode 30

J.R. Smith canoodles with “1,000 pounds of ass.” Thanasis Antetokounmpo picks the D League. Fifty Cent is a massive dick to Floyd Mayweather, and James can’t keep his balls from twisting into a knot.

All this and MORE on this week’s episode of The Fourth Judge Podcast.

Enjoy!

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Aug 19

Stiff Jab Presents: The Fourth Judge Podcast Episode 29

The boys deal with serious adversity this week as technical difficulties lead to the tragic erasure of the grab bag portion of the show. How do they cope? How do they pick up the pieces? There’s only one way to find out!

Also on the docket: Chris Smith retweets Joe Budden, Melo takes on the ice bucket challenge, the Giants remain a serious threat to go 0-16, and James gets ripped off on Canal Street.

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Aug 13

Stiff Jab Presents: The Fourth Judge Podcast Episode 28

This week the boys talk skinny Melo, tampering Drake, Battered Bastards of Baseball, 7-11 branded Runts, King Louie, and MORE!

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Aug 10

Danny Garcia, Lamont Peterson, and Danny Jacobs Dominate

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Photo courtesy of Suzan Classen

by Sarah Deming

BROOKLYN, N.Y.—Saturday’s card at Barclays was a bad night for the underdog, and  – to quote light welterweight Edgar Santana (above right) – we are all underdogs in one way or another. 

In the first of the night’s three mismatches broadcast on Showtime, bone cancer survivor Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs (below) almost finished Aussie Jarrod Fletcher in the first round. Fletcher hung on until stopped by a barrage in the fifth. 

The reliably odious Jim Gray worked the cancer angle overtime in the post-fight interview, even asking Jacobs what he thought about when he was on his deathbed. What Danny Jacobs thought about on his deathbed is none of our business. Anyway, it’s not a deathbed if you survive. 

Photos by Amanda Kwok for Showtime

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Aug 04

Ten Things About Kovalev-Caparello

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by Sarah Deming

Saturday I headed to Atlantic City with some Russian comrades to see light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev knock out Blake Caparello in two. Due to the generous pour of the vodka martinis at the Revel Casino, I’m having trouble recalling everything, but ten things linger…

1. My Russian lesson on the ride over from the men in the Kovalev caps. I learned that the two heads on the Russian eagle represent secular and religious power, that Kovalev is from a small town in a harsh industrial area in the Ural Mountains, and - because I know no geography except subway lines and wine regions - that the Ural Mountains form the border between Europe and Asia. 

2. The very beautiful and very pregnant wife of undefeated heavyweight Constantin Bejenaru in black sportswear with ample jewelry, dark hair in a glossy braid to her waist, looking like a special effect.

3. The dreadful Polish heavyweight from that Tyson Fury-Steve Cunningham undercard, shaped like a sea lion and unable to block jabs, exchanging brain damage with a journeyman nicknamed “King Charles” while the crowd roared approval.

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Aug 03

Stiff Jab Presents: The Fourth Judge Podcast Episode 27

This week we discuss Paul George's gruesome leg injury, Eli Manning's quest to complete 70% of his passes, a woman who sold tickets to the upcoming birth of her son, and the danger of owning too many dishes.

There is also, of course, MORE!

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Aug 02

Immanuwel Aleem Passes Test On ESPN, Campillo Beats Top Dog WIlliams

Immanuwel Aleem file photo by Trey Pollard for StiffJab.com

by Gautham Nagesh

Two DMV boxers faced the toughest tests of their career on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights from Shelton, Wash. tonight. Richmond super middleweight Immanuwel Aleem passed with flying colors, reaching back to score a sixth-round stoppage of Juan Carlos Rojas to preserve his unbeaten record. It was an impressive performance by Aleem in his tenth pro bout, and it may have put him on the map after spending his early career largely overlooked.

Light heavyweight prospect Thomas “Top Dog” Williams has gotten much more attention of late, a tribute to his top-ten ranking at 175 lbs. While we haven’t paid as much attention to Williams, other like ESPN’s Teddy Atlas have more than made up for it by showering him with praise. Unfortunately, Williams was unable to live up to that lofty billing in the main event against Gabriel Campillo. Campillo poked him with a jab in the 4th round that opened up a bad cut, from which Williams was unable to recover. The doctor stopped the fight before the 6th round.

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Jul 27

Stiff Jab Presents: The Fourth Judge Podcast Episode 26

Our hosts discuss Melo's interview with ESPN, James Harden's declaration of war against Chandler Parsons, Phil Jackson's taste in movies, and quiche.

That’s right. Quiche.

As always, there is MORE! Everyone loves a good MORE!

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Open Letter To Gennady Golovkin

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Photo courtesy of Suzan Classen

by Sarah Deming

NEW YORK, N.Y.—Thank you, Gennady Golovkin, for taking just three rounds to dispatch Daniel Geale and retain your title. Three is the magic number: quick enough to get us home early, long enough to love. One of the G’s must stand for “generous.”

Thank you for wearing shimmery white trunks of a pre-hip hop length that evoked ancient rites, and thank you for confining the advertisements to discrete patches on each leg. Thank you for your perfect middleweight body and golden skin under the Garden lights. Thank you for the mysterious permasmile onto which we project our own meanings. Thank you for training hard for light work. 

Thank you for your streak of 17 stoppages and your record of 30-0 (27 KOs), the highest knockout percentage of any active champion. Knockouts are better than decisions. Not because they are more violent but because they are negotiated by the actors in the ring rather than the functionaries outside it. Nobody likes to be judged. 

Thank you for cultivating superb balance and timing. Trainer Abel Sanchez attributes your “numbing” power to these fundamentals. This is more praiseworthy than heavy hands.

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Jul 24

A Knockout Night at Broadway Boxing

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Photo courtesy of Krystyna Rodriguez for The Purple Corner

by Sarah Deming

New York is in a GGG state of mind. Hours after the final presser for Gennady Golovkin’s Saturday night fight at Madison Square Garden, those still in a boxing mood gathered at BB Kings for a Dibella card with the highest kayo percentage in recent memory. 

GGG himself rolled in for the main event. If the week’s shilling had tired him – signing caps for Kazakhs on Brighton Beach, skipping rope at Mendez, taking a turn in Broadway’s Rocky – he did not show it. He looked young and fresh in his tracksuit, the best student in the class, his arm draped across the shoulder of trainer Abel Sanchez and his face fixed in the earnest smile that is almost as famous as his ferocity.

The undefeated heavyweight in the ring, “Prince” Charles Martin, 18-0-1 (16 KOs) had trained alongside GGG at Big Bear and was defending his NABO belt against Kerston Manswell of Tobago, 24-9 (18 KOs). A tall southpaw trained by the great Henry Tillman, Martin fought off the back foot with reticence and looked so green I was surprised to hear his people were eying the winner of Jennings-Perez on the GGG undercard. 

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