Saturday: 17.June.2006

HBO Championship Boxing: Bernard Hopkins vs Antonio Tarver & Jermain Taylor vs Winky Wright

Reminder for boxing fans: tonight HBO is airing (not one, but) two championship fights. The first: a rebroadcast of last week's bout, featuring Bernard Hopkins vs (champ) Antonio Tarver .. followed by a live broadcast of tonight's title bout: Winky Wright vs (champ) Jermain Taylor.

The rebroadcast of Hopkins-Taylor could become a classic, as it might be Bernard's final fight (he's 41).

Bernard was the middleweight champ for 10 years, with a record 20 title defenses, until he was defeated by Jermain "Bad Intentions" Taylor .. (who's defending his title tonight, against Winky Wright).

After losing the middleweight crown (to Jermain), Bernard stepped up, not one, but *two* full weight divisions (14 pounds .. to 175-pound class) to take on light-heavyweight champ Antonio Tarver (who's got a mouth I've never much liked).

continued

At 41, nobody gave Bernard much of a chance against the younger Tarver. Note the legendary Sugar Ray Robinson attempted this exact same feat (Yankee Stadium, 1952), but was unable to pull it off. Bernard however, not only won, but totally dominated his fight with Tarver.

None in boxing is craftier than Bernard (who's from Philly). Few come better prepared, in better shape, better studied on their opponent's weaknesses & flaws.

I've always liked boxing, cuz I feel it's the sport that most accurately mirrors real life. Unlike team sports (which I also enjoy) boxing involves two guys, stepping into the ring, mano a mano. Each face one (and only one) opponent. The concept is simple.

In life, we may arrive with a large cast of supporting personnel in our corner, backing us enthusiastically, encouraging us every step of the way, but when the bell of life rings, and push comes to shove, we succeed or fail on our own efforts.

Victors receive all the glory. The vanquished have no one to blame but themselves. Something about that appeals to me. It's raw. Of course, everyone knows boxing is corrupt. But few us us would claim life is fair.

I've heard geniuses have the ability to focus single-mindedly on a task, and tend to maintain that focus until completion of their objective.

When a boxer steps into the ring, he focuses single-mindedly (for 12 rounds) on one (and only one) opponent .. until he (or his opponent) emerges victorious. The loser? No joy.

I contend boxing is a distilled microcosm of life. Barbaric, perhaps. Brutal, no doubt. And life is not?

The action tonight gets underway 9:30 here on the left coast, 6:30 for those of you back East. The introductions are my favorite part. I turn them up real loud.

For more info along these lines, here is a Google search, pre-configured for the query: hbo boxing hopkins tarver taylor wright





Posted by Rad at June 17, 2006 07:39 PM

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