Wrecking Ball / Tapia vs. Kirkland Part II

By Michael Schmidt on December 11, 2013
Wrecking Ball / Tapia vs. Kirkland Part II
Jersey Boy Glen Tapia was anxious to get right back in the gym! (Chris Farina/Top Rank)

Happy birthday Glen Tapia, December 11th. Not the birthday present that you wished but good to know that you will be spending it with those close to you…

Wrecking Ball / Tapia vs. Kirkland Part I

Selling the Sanctimony of a Stoppage / Let’s Talk Tapia Warrior Instead

This past weekend Glen Tapia lost in a big fight showcase that in the end was discussed more so of another case and point rather than case of the fighters at hand.  Post-fight, early the next morning, Glen got on his Twitter to let everyone know “I’m a warrior!  I’ll get better and work harder…” A few hours after that he was back on Twitter, “It’s cool, I’m twenty-three with a looong way to go and as for the 50 Cent shit, I’ll whoop his ass…” That in response to a 50 Cent post to Twitter, “Look this is how the shit went down last night. Lol” coupled with Instagram picture of James Kirkland and Ann Wolfe, inscribed over the picture SMS Promotions, and above Kirkland “I think I’m a have to kill this fool” and inscribed near Ann Wolf, “Yes, James that’s what I want you to do”.  I leave you, the reader, to your own thoughts on the aforementioned under the circumstances of post-fight circumstances and ghosts of countless Benny Parets passing by.

Much was made last week of the corner of Tapia, the alleged lack of decision to stop the fight earlier, the Doctor, the Referee, etc. Before I go further I will take you back, not too long ago, of James Kirkland thoroughly getting his “ass whupped” vs. the light punching Ishida:

Pre-fight Kellerman – “Kirkland is supposed to beat the hell out of him (Ishida)…”

Post-fight Lampley – “I frankly did not believe the Japanese fighter had a chance…”

Max Kellerman – “He’s here because he (Ishida) can’t punch…he (Kirkland) was supposed to beat the hell out of Ishida.”

Jim Lampley – “No one was going to be surprised by a first round knockout…it was supposed to be the other direction.”

Max Kellerman – In the post-fight interview with Ishida, which as acknowledge by Max was such a shock and upset that HBO did not have a translator on hand and in response to the translator acknowledging that the Ishida camp knew they were seen, as in their own words, a “victim.”

Max Kellerman – “You were supposed to be an easy opponent for Kirkland…like a victim, right?”

I have paraphrased the aforementioned, to shorten the item, and you can see the entire brief broadcast destruction of Kirkland for yourself. 

Moving forward last week, Jim Lampley was commenting of the twenty-three-year-old Glen Tapia, “You don’t want him to get ruined in one night.” As the fifth round began, or thereabouts, Max Kellerman was commenting, “Maybe we’ve seen enough.” Again, I leave you the reader with your own thoughts on the grand juxtaposition of the aforementioned vis-à-vis the Ishida matter.

No doubt you have witnessed numerous and sundry under cards where “victims” are placed in line, time and time again, to build the house fighter / promoter’s fighter. That was not the case Saturday night. It was two top end boxers, going full throttle forward at the sound of the first bell. That deserved fighter post-fight comment front forward! This is a blood sport and the color, in dark, very dark red, and it sure isn’t clean white or cowardly yellow.

Things have come a long way since 1963 when Davey Moore passed away and a long way since that famous Life magazine article of April of 1963 asked “Why was the ring becoming a death chamber?” in response to sixteen fatalities in fifteen months. Back then famous sports writer Red Smith in a aggressive response to those that attacked boxing stated, that it was “part time bleeding hearts, the professional sob sisters of press and politics and radio, who seize these opportunities (Boxer Benny Paret’s death) to parade their own ability, demonstrate their eloquence, and incidentally stir the emotions of a few readers, voters, or listeners.” I’m not sure what the response is to such statements anymore other than current day response to what’s blazing across various websites, and a response, born perhaps of willful blindness. I say the aforementioned in the consideration of victim Ishida, pre-arranged, moving forward to two fighters going toe-to-toe this past weekend.

Speaking of blazing, if one goes over to the website “The Blaze,” which is repeatedly showing a replay of the stoppage, the comments are numerous and sundry and words can be choice picked; “sucker punch, boxing is stupid, pleasure in the pain of another is a disgusting human trait, the Romans enjoyed throwing Christians to the lions, two people beating each other senseless and called entertainment, half of these people end up brain dead, like Jerry Quarry.” What is one to say? Well Mr. Glen Tapia to quote one of the ultimate warriors, Mr. George Chuvalo, “When you win you feel like a Lion, when you lose you feel like a Christian.” We have of course come a long way from those days and I can tell you that young Tapia is not feeling like a Christian days after the fight. He is still the Lion ready to go and Tuesday morning as we talked he clearly was anxious to get right back in the gym!

Perhaps it was HBO timely of life to death, all things considered of the past month of ring action and the unfortunate Mago, that a replay interview of Nelson Mandela espousing the right, in a consensual context, of two men being able to enjoy such an athletic endeavor as boxing, was played out. Perhaps another individual would simply state that its two men consensually agreeing to beat the living shit out of each other.

Lord only knows how many dinner parties and holiday season corporate events my lovely wife has dragged me to where some politically incorrect jerk-off, simply in trying to obtain their own favorable fired up response from old Schmidty, has dug into me on the boxing matter. Invariably it’s the same son of a bitch that likes to watch The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, and buys his kid that software package, that has a grand opening to a half billion dollars worth of sales, Tour of Duty style, where little junior can shoot the living shit out of the enemy, blood gushing here and there, etc. He likes his violence he just doesn’t like it too close!

Let’s Talk the Tapia Warrior

All the aforementioned takes away from what Glen Tapia endeavored to do this past weekend. Glen followed the Ricky Hatton thought going into that fight, and as Ricky once stated, “I’d rather have fought the best and got knocked on me ass than not had the opportunity to do so,” and that boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, members of the jury certainly was not, for either Mr. Glen Tapia or Mr. James Kirkland pre-arranged you should be gone bye-bye in one round as the “victim.” 

Well as dear old pops used to say, “Either that guy can’t hit or Tapia has an iron jaw.” Well “that guy” hits as good as hitting is and what we found out is that Glen Tapia does in fact have an iron jaw and an iron will. Glen’s corner was imploring him early on to tie Kirkland up on the inside. I can tell you pre-fight, leading up to this battle royal (and for sure those first two rounds were round of the year type endeavors) the thought was Glen could sting Kirkland early (that he did) and outbox him. Unfortunately for young tough guy Mr. Tapia / Warrior Spirit things went bad. From this guy’s initial perspective he simply couldn’t get out of that warrior mentality and what makes some good sometimes, makes some bad. Sometimes head-on is on the head as opposed to working one’s way around an object. Conversely I can tell you that those close to Glen, including Glen himself, commented immediately after the first round that he just didn’t seem to have his legs and that said after a first round and that will be remembered for many many years to come.

Finger Pointing

Kathy Duva, recently, in response to a general question of when a fight should be stopped under certain circumstances, was of the opinion that it’s hard to tell exactly when the right moment is and she was not going to criticize people, and more pointedly, Kathy mentioned that too many times you see someone come back and that the quintessential boxing story, is the comeback!

For anyone that’s ever worked a champion’s corner, it is a strange sequence of time; a mixture of time, a mixture of moments flying by instantaneously, together with some strange cocktail of standstill time of moment. 

I’m not trying to lay out traps in this article. I’m not trying to opine this way or that. I give you food for thought: Ishida sent in as a first round blowout “victim” to be and the finger pointing of blame last weekend in circumstances better suited discussing two warriors and the glory of combat. Hypocrisy of comment, to a degree, maybe? Perhaps?

Not that long long way back, this very neck of the water, Boardwalk Hall, Mr. Micky Ward engaged Thunder Arturo Gatti in something vicious, brutal, and violent. 

Micky Ward – “This may sound barbaric, but I would rather die in that ring than quit. For me, the physical anguish is nothing compared to what I would feel the next day, looking at myself in the mirror, knowing I had given less than a complete effort. That, to me, would be unbearable…it’s the will to go on, to keep fighting under the harshest of circumstances, no matter how much shit gets piled on top of you. And this is true inside the ring or outside the ring. Quit on my stool, no fuckin’ way!”

Byline Hemingway

“I’m not going to apologize for bull fighting. It is a survival of the days of the Roman Coliseum but it does need some explanation. Bull fighting is not a sport…”

Byline El Bastardo Magnifico

“I’m not going to apologize for boxing, nor is boxing going to apologize for me! It is not survival of the days of the Roman Coliseum, but born there close of, and is still gladiatorial. But apparently it does need some explanation for a majority, but for the minority, niche sport that boxing is, neither explanation nor apology is required! It is a sport!” (And as a pre-emptive, no this Bastard is not comparing himself to Hemingway!)

While boxing is not bull fighting there has certainly been much bull about boxing. In salute to these fine athletes perhaps there should be less bull and more focus on the fighters and last weekend was a perfect example thereof. 

Glen Tapia’s birthday is today. Glen, you are a smarter and better fighter than you showed this past weekend. I will leave you with the image of Glen Tapia, early Sunday morning, shooting out social media post-fight comment that he would be back. A fighter! You haven’t even remotely seen the last of Glen Tapia! Set the bear traps!

Side Note I

James Kirkland hit Glen Tapia at the end of the fight with a microsecond instantaneous sucker shot. The adrenaline was flowing and things happened. It very much reminded one of the Manny vs. JMM fight where Manny clearly hit JMM hard while Marquez was on the canvas.

At the beginning of each round Glen Tapia came out firing, including the last two rounds. He had not been knocked down. He was not knocked down. Only those in his inner circle, of trainers, chief seconds and corner man would know their fighter and no one knows their fighter better. 

As for the joker, post-fight, that had worked James Kirkland’s corner and was laughing and smiling towards Tapia’s group, as Glen was being attended to, what is one to say?

As for Ann Wolfe post-fight, in the corridor as the commissioner was attempting to clear way to have a stretcher brought in, commenting that “Glen Tapia wouldn’t last one week in our training camp,” I can only suspect, having met Ann in the past, that it is something she regrets saying and something fueled by the post-excitement of victory. 

I will say this to you. Having met Glen Tapia and Pat Lynch, I much prefer the view of an Alexis Arguello / Ray Mancini type of class act in a fighter, with a huge upside of talent and an iron jaw and will power that was exhibited last weekend. Keep an eye on the resurrection ladies and gentlemen. It will be a fun ride indeed.

Side Note II

Happy birthday Glen Tapia, December 11th. Not the birthday present that you wished but good to know that you will be spending it with those close to you, that support you, and that have your interests in mind outside and inside the ring.

Side Note III

To the best sport, to its combatants, drawn of skill and mentality of battle ages past.

Side Note IV

To James Kirkland, the ups and downs hopefully a remembrance of failure past, and as born of his style, the further hope of a straight forward future under the support of the reliable big bad Wolfe!

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  1. K Nazir 04:19am, 12/14/2013

    I’m glad the kid (Tapia) is alright, he took as you all know a brutal beating that his corner should never have allowed him to take. The fight could have easily been stopped at the very least the round before. Those last two shots he took, especially that last one, and it’s hard to stop the momentum on that one, were two of the most vicious, brutal shots to the head I’ve seen in a minute. Reminded me of the shot Tyson hit Pinklon Thomas with back in the day.

  2. ROB 09:36pm, 12/12/2013

    Stupid biased article. You created animosity toward Kirkland and Wolfe by suggesting they were somehow wrong for crowing a little in victory and suggested he take the quiet man approach because he had been knocked out before. first of all there are youtube videos of Tapia talking all manner of shit about Kirkland pre fight and you posted some of the crap he’s been talking after the fight! what’s the difference? Why should Kirkland be humble in victory when Tapia isn’t even humble in defeat?

  3. Mike Schmidt 08:19pm, 12/11/2013

    And PS our Fearless Editor has met my wife and they had a long chat about the business of boxing, but not of boxing itself.  More like about one gets “the business” and to avoid “getting the business.” Much like my article, here, sometimes it is better to give than receive!!1I Guess our Fearless Editor thinks she is the better lawyer or sumtin like dat.

  4. Mike Schmidt 08:14pm, 12/11/2013

    Sure I like The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, The Rat Patrol, The Time Tunnel. You see the point is you go out socially, lets say your favorite show is, hell, how about The Sopranos, and the person your talking to starts digging in because they KNOW you like it, The Soprano’s is violent, why would anybody want to watch that, you’d have to be stupid, etc etc Now spin it around and let the same person start to rail about boxing- on and on and on…Suzanna usually knows when it is coming….and I can’t help myself, I get a little glaze look, a little curl of a smile, look right at em, and say, ” shit, maybe I just like to see somebody take a good hard fucking shot!! I mean, I like it, I like it!!!! Now on the other hand Suzanna and I where out some time ago with very close friends who are heavy in the Casino Junket business. That business requires a high degree of diplomacy. My friends wife asked Suzanna if she like boxing ( at the time I thought to myself, “what the fuck, now why would she asked that, she knows Suzanna does not like boxing.) The answer from Suzanna was ” I like boxing because Mike likes boxing.” My friend’s wife just smiled and said “I often wondered how you would diplomatically answer that question. What a lovely answer.” ha ha, I use myself all the time with Suzanna when I decide to go to the scraps!!!

  5. Paul 07:12pm, 12/11/2013

    Schmidty, you don’t like The Soprano’s?

  6. Pete The Sneak 06:08pm, 12/11/2013

    CG, even mentioning Barbara Nichols will ensure Irish Frankie as an investor in our T-Shirt foray…EBM, that Tapia design sounds incredible, but if Pam Grier insists on her likeness being included on the ‘T” as a condition of sale, then we’d be lucky to have enough room to just fit “El Basta.. (ironically, meaning stop in Italian)...Keep the ideas coming, man…Peace.

  7. Mike Schmidt 02:48pm, 12/11/2013

    Fuck me!! You make some dough off Frank Pick Em Bears pick em last week and want in on the T-Shirts. Yes, you can get in on the T’s. How many do you want and yes we will take your Bank Ship Letter of Credit!! Seriously, the video NAKED SPORT is one of the better “inside” ones. Have not had a view of that in some time—good stuff Fearless Editor! Thanks

  8. Francis 02:21pm, 12/11/2013

    Can I get in on the T-Shirt auction.

  9. Francis 02:19pm, 12/11/2013

    “Naked Sport: Welcome to the Sewer”  Sad state

  10. Mike Schmidt 02:03pm, 12/11/2013

    I already tried to approach—pre-sold the rights to Pam Grier—was trying to entice 50 cent in the back door, er, so to speak, kinda.. This was of course with Sneak’s consent as El Presendte’ Once we had 50 on line we had intended to then plaster it with Glen Tapia photos in a nice Armani suit, with a logo looking at Kirkland, saying “I am still standing Dingo Warrior” On the side of each arm would be a Japanese warrior insignia Ishida with a photo caption from Ishida saying Nah, yer nut! Sneak and I are debating if it is toooo over the top and whether we can Larry Merchant involved. Your thoughts appreciated. I gotta go park some more cars since I ain’t going anywhere with this big snow storm we are getting.

  11. Clarence George 01:43pm, 12/11/2013

    Correction:  The Barbara Nichols estate.

  12. Mike Schmidt 01:32pm, 12/11/2013

    True enough. What was that one with Floyd which will be youtube clipped forever with Larry, “If I was 30 (was that the number) years younger I would kick your ass.” classic. Now I gotta get back to the El Bastardo Magnifico T-Shirt designs—there is a story circulating that you have pre-sold the rights and graphics to 50 Cent but we already know that is bullshit because Clarence George went behind our backs and tried to cut a deal with the lads over at the Playboy Mansion. Besides why take 50 when you can have a buck ten plus.

  13. Pete The Sneak 01:19pm, 12/11/2013

    Yeah, I’m with that…One of the things I find so pathetic is when a fighter is being interviewed and amid all his lumps and bruises there is some sidekick/hanger on/yokel yelling and screaming like he himself just completed a 12 round war. I always liked the way Larry Merchant used to check those dudes back in the day…lol…Peace.

  14. Mike Schmidt 01:03pm, 12/11/2013

    Actually Sneak the more I think about your comment—for the safety of everybody they should keep everybody, post fight, the fuck out of the ring other than the Chief Second, the commish guys, the doc, and the TV guys. We have one fighter being attended/checked out by the doc, we have some dudes jumping around surely enough to want somebody else to pop em one in the snozzeeeollla—no need for any of them being in there and it surely is inviting some action.

  15. Mike Schmidt 12:45pm, 12/11/2013

    Thanks Sneak. Class-over on Glen’s twitter is a message from Danny “Swift” Garcia—“Keep your head up bro.”  Yes indeed!!!

  16. Pete The Sneak 12:38pm, 12/11/2013

    To El Bastardo Magnifico: Wonderful read man…Yeah, that dude that was working Kirkland’s corner with Wolfe was a grade ‘A’ A-Hole!...Even when James was being interviewed by Kellerman the dude was behind Kirkland shouting, talking shite, and yelling stupidities over James. They should have a rule during the interview only the fighter (a little kid if they want to pick them up in their arms) chief second, and perhaps the promoter and if needed, a translator (except the sign language guy signing for Obama). Everyone else, back the F—k up…As for Wolfe, that’s who she is.. i agree however, that if you were to give her a call (what about it, Mr. Editor?) and ask her about that comment in regards to Tapia, she would quickly tell you it was wrong… To GlennTapia: Dude, if you’re reading this, a very Happy Birthday to you and many, many , more. Thanks for the great performance you gave us last week and I’m truly thrilled that you are ok, and plan to be back in business. I look forward to your next fight. Warrior spirit indeed…Peace.

  17. Mike Schmidt 10:45am, 12/11/2013

    Nick before you jump me on this, and since I am going to be on the road very shortly—I have not changed my mind on Max—I think he is superb for and on HBO—thought his Paul Williams training camp video/visit was superb. This is not aimed as critical to Jim or Max. They weren’t the matchmakers for Kirkland vs Ishida and they most certainly pre and post fight, Howard C, “told it like it was.”

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