“COOL” VINCE PHILLIPS
Yo, Doug! How are things? I was wondering if you would do me a favor for no other reason than that you are a wonderful human being interested in helping out his fellow man. Is there any way you could send me a link to the article you wrote years and years ago titled (I think) "‘Cool’ Vince Phillips goes Hollywood“? I've tried Googling it to no avail. Thanks, man. — Jon
I remember the story you’re talking about, Jon. It was a Southern California Notebook and it was indeed entitled “Cool Vince Goes Hollywood.” I wrote it in January or February of 2002 before Phillips fought Nick Acevedo on ESPN2.
I talked to him at a club show in Inglewood where he told me about his latest comeback. I thought it was a horrible idea, but I ventured out to watch him workout at a fancy fitness club in Hollywood later that week and I got some excellent material for a SCN. That article almost got my ass kicked by Cool Vince. I wrote that it was a mistake for him to continue fighting and predicted that Acevedo would beat him. So of course, Phillips spanked Acevedo. A few weeks later, after I checked into the MGM Grand to cover the first Mayweather-Castillo fight, Phillips and an entourage of Vegas A-holes accosted me outside of the elevators by what used to be the Betty Boop Lounge. Vince was pissed about what he heard about that article. I convinced him to read the story before smashing my face against the wall he had pinned me to and I lived to write another day. Ah, those were good times, my man.
Unfortunately, memories of this particular time in my life may be all that I have. I can’t find the article anywhere online, either. I checked an old external hard drive that I put a lot of my old MaxBoxing stories on, but the Southern California Notebooks only went back to 2006.
There are a few other flash drives that I put old Word documents on that I have not checked yet (because I can’t find them!). If I can find the story, I promise I’ll email it to you. I appreciate (I’m flattered, really) that you remember a nearly 10-year-old story of mine.
It’s funny you mention this. Michael Rosenthal recently brought up the prospect of compiling “power rankings” where we somehow quantify all of a fighter’s abilities and attributes — speed, power, strength, chin, reflexes, timing, coordination, etc. — and rank them by their score. It’s done with various professional team sports. It might be worth trying to do it with boxing’s elite participants.
IS ARUM THE CULPRIT?
I'm sure you are bored of the subject but I'm writing about Mayweather- Pacquiao and I can’t help but wondering if it’s Bob Arum and not the drug testing stopping this fight.
I read an interview with Mayweather in relation to him not fighting Cotto, and how Arum put a stop to it seemingly without Cotto's knowledge. I just wonder whether Arum is terrified of losing his cash cow and will do anything to stop this fight happening?
I have always thought that Mayweather was ducking but the more I think about it, I change my mind. I honestly think Arum is that slimy that he will tell one thing in negotiations and another to Pacquiao just to delay things from proceeding. If he did it with Cotto then he'd definitely do it with Pacquiao!
I think that if HBO could somehow manage a Mayweather-Pacquiao face off in front of the cameras, this thing would get done, no middlemen no bulls__t! Either that or refuse to show each fighter until they meet (unlikely, I know.. But I can wish, lol)
Ps keep an eye on Carl Frampton! You'll be impressed! He is the real deal! Cheers. — Con, Belfast, Ireland
OK, I’ll look out for Mr. Frampton.
There’s no doubt that Arum wants to protect his cash cow. He wants to keep the Manny Train rolling for as long he can before having to put him in the ring with a real threat — and as far as 147-pound fighters go, that’s Mayweather. So if the Pac-monster beats up JMM next month as most expect him to, you can bet that it will be recently signed Tim Bradley, and not Cheap-shot Floyd, who fights the Filipino icon next if Arum has his way.
However, just because Arum doesn’t want to do business with Mayweather, Al Haymon and GBP, doesn’t mean that Floyd really wants to get in the ring with Pacquiao. He drew a line in the sand with his baseless PED allegations and Pacquiao & Company don’t feel the need to cross it. But I maintain that if either fighter REALLY wanted to make the fight, it would have already happened.
Regarding Cotto, Mayweather looked into fighting the Puerto Rican in 2004, which was not the time for that fight to happen. I’m not saying that it was OK for Arum not to let him know about the interest from Mayweather (if that is indeed true), but I am saying that Cotto was just a prospect at the time. He won his first title that year, against another prospect, Kelson Pinto (I was ringside for the fight). But he was still developing and he wasn’t considered a legit champ or even close to an “elite fighter.” He wouldn’t earn that status until he rose to 147 pounds (just a few months after Mayweather did it) and beat RING-rated contenders Carlos Quintana, Zab Judah and Shane Mosley in succession to climb to the magazine’s No. 1 spot and garner a place in the P4P ratings. That time, in 2007/2008, was when Mayweather and Cotto needed to fight. But Floyd was no longer interested when he was the RING/WBC champ. I wonder why?
Maybe he didn’t want to deal with Arum. Maybe it was something else.
I'm a long time reader and an admirer of your work. Though it was saddening to hear the passing of Genaro Hernandez, I have a personal story to share about the man. The guy was a class act and I'm certain everyone he met must share a similar story.
Several years ago, ESPN held one of their Friday Night Fights events here in Arizona (I believe it was one of Casamayor's comeback bouts) and during the undercard, my friend and I got to meet Chicanito.
Being Chicano brings a certain deep pride when you get to meet childhood heroes, but to see the guy in person simply left me in awe. As the preliminary fights were progressing we finally got the courage to walk up to Chicanito and were amazed at how friendly and welcoming he was toward us. He really made us feel like we were friends. Anyway, besides feeling giddy like little school girls we had an embarrassing time fumbling through our pockets looking for paper in order get an autograph. Instead of simply walking away, Chicanito reached for his wallet and took out two of his own boxing trading cards and happily signed each one. That was a kind gesture, but the greatest moment was when he asked us where we were sitting and then continued to sit next to us for about 15 minutes and happily shared war stories from his bouts with both the Golden Boy and Pretty Boy.
I met Roberto Duran and Joel Casamayor that night too, but I walked away having met a great legend. I still carry Chicanito's card in my own wallet to this day. — Abel de Phoenix
That was Genaro. Friendly. Humble. Gracious. He was the most down-to-earth boxing champion — during and after his time at the top of the sport — that I’ve ever known.
Thanks for sharing this story. Younger fans should know about the true class acts of the sport and I know his family, especially his brother Rudy, appreciates it.
Doug Fischer can be emailed at email@example.com