Bum and Glum of the Month

By Joe Masterleo on July 26, 2015
Bum and Glum of the Month
Harold Lederman, who had Gonzalez ahead throughout, was absent. (Naoki Fukuda)

As for “Glum of the Month” honors, the fight between Pascal and Gonzalez was modern day vintage boxing…

The boxing broadcast Saturday night from the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas was little more than a dime bet for HBO. In fact, Kovalev-Mohammedi was penny ante for the 32-year-old hard-punching Kovalev, who had little trouble disposing of the #1 ranked IBF Nadjib Momammedi, knocking the latter down twice before referee Kenny Bayless mercifully stopped the action-packed bout in the third round. Mohammedi served little more than a prop for Kovalev’s ‘Bum of the Month’ cast of casualties. As odors go, this one was a stinker alright. If Mohammedi broke his nose from a chopping Kovalev right hand, likely spared him the acrid whiff that overcame many of us who passed up a late night flick for this viewing fare. If he sustained a thumbed eye injury, better to not view the replays.

Kovalev, who holds the WBO, WBA and IBF belts, has now KO’d 11 of his last 12 opponents. Mohammedi (37-5), who became France’s light-heavyweight champion in 2008, was little more than French pastry for the fierce Eastern-bloc champion. Pardon my French, but as a “formidable” opponent, Mohammedi came off more like a French poodle before the undefeated Russian Rottweiler. As for excitement, intensity and passion, this bout was definitely no French kiss. As for wearing apparel, the peacock-like preoccupation of Kovalev and his corner in colorfully displaying their pre- and post-fight array of boxing belts, just may give them the nod for HBO’s prestigious “Haberdashery-of-the-Year” honors.  Looking ahead, a rematch with Jean Pascal will likely prove a mere redundancy for Kovalev. And Adonis Stevenson? “Superman” would become either French (Canadian) toast or French onion soup for the devouring champion. Take your pick. Truth be told, anyone other than Andre Ward would be a shadow-box workout for Kovalev.

As for “Glum of the Month” honors, the Pascal-Gonzalez bout was modern day vintage boxing. Mind you, not in the ring, but with regard to the sport’s perennially compromised and wanting stable of judges and judging. Incredibly, yet predictably, this bout saw all three judges scoring the fight for Jean Pascal. While the crowd and HBO commentators weighed-in with their usual welter of dissenting sentiments on the suspect decision, the voice of ringside scorer Harold Lederman, who had Gonzalez ahead throughout, was conspicuously absent amid the controversy. Thanks for the refreshing restraint, Harold. Your silence spoke volumes.

Like living souls, enterprises and institutions carry within them the life of those who have gone before, and part of what they carry is the unrestored brokenness within them, as well as their desire to be whole. Plagued as it has been by its karmic past, layer by layer boxing’s woes continue to manifest as open running sores in the modern era, chronic scoring woes being but a sample of same. The less of the past that’s understood, the more it shall repeat in the future. Such leaves the innocent vulnerable, and the good suffering.

Like life, sport is to have its joys and sorrows. Unlike life, boxing continues to have more of its unjust fair share of the latter. For those who oversee boxing to look themselves straight in the eye, to see not only the sports beauty and profitability, but its broken dark side, is a part of the way forward.  Until/unless that happens, boxing shall remain unredeemed, sport’s poster child for what poet Edwin Muir calls “a face once broken in Eden.” Until then, the anguishing grimaces of the Yuniesky Gonzalez’s of the world will continue to parade before us with neither recourse nor remedy. 

Nonetheless, rest assured, Yuniesky Gonzalez has a punch that will be justly seen and heard in many bouts to come.

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HBO World Championship Boxing Highlights: Sergey Kovalev vs. Nadjib Mohammedi

HBO World Championship Boxing Highlights: Pascal vs. Gonzalez

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  1. Martial Arts @calgary 02:08am, 08/11/2015

    I watched the match and I must say I enjoyed it. The fight was a good one and both the contenders gave their best.  So, nothing to complain.

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