R.I.P BERT SUGAR
The passing of Bert Sugar hit me tonight like the death of no other boxing luminary ever has or probably ever will. I was privileged to share both a banquet and a breakfast table alone with him at a couple of Retired Boxers Foundation fundraising events and they easily rank among the most treasured moments in my lifelong love affair with the sport. Though Bert was a boxing historian, writer, and editor, above all the man was A FAN, the sport’s greatest storyteller and always had a ready ear and an anecdote for anyone. As boxing’s ultimate fan he was the face of the annual International Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Weekend experience and our unofficial master of ceremonies, having declared on numerous occasions that Induction Weekend was as much a celebration of the fan as a celebration of the inductee.
Bert always seemed to be having a better time at Induction Weekend than anyone else. Come Induction Weekend in June I know he’ll be somewhere up there missing us all and, God knows, we’ll be missing him, too. This will be my ninth straight Induction Weekend and it just won’t be the same again; if boxing didn’t have a Bert Sugar, we’d have had to invent one.
RIP, Bert. – Eric Thompson, Cary, N.C.
Well said, Eric. Sugar was a great writer, a prolific author and publisher, a larger than life personality, and (next to the late Hank Kaplan) he was the sport’s most reliable historian, but I think his down-to-earth nature and accessibility are what made him special. He always had time for boxing fans, young fight scribes and the many people who don’t follow the sport who still recognized him. He was a terrific ambassador for our much-maligned sport.
The best thing about Sugar was that he didn’t take himself – or the sport – too serious. He had fun. Too many boxing fans, industry people and members of the media forget to do that.
I’ll miss seeing him at big fights and listening to his stories and jokes. I’ll miss calling him up to use as a source because nobody could provide historical perspective with the insight and flair that he did.
But I’m not going to be too sad about Sugar’s passing because that wasn’t his style. I’m going to keep him in mind when I’m covering fights and interact with fans and fellow boxing folks as he did. I’m not going to forget to have a good time.
A LOT TO CHOOSE FROM
Wasup dude? Where to begin. Let’s see, I have to say that I was happy to see the scrappy and game Garcia win on ShoBox the other night. Too many times cats like that get robbed in favor of the more well known, better connected guy. Ugas just doesn’t throw enough shots. Better to find that out now than when getting the sleeves beat off of him by somebody that can punch.
Want to see more Bryant Jennings. This dude looks better than your average, “Late to the sport of boxing” type of fighter. Don’t think he’s ready for Adamek yet though. Let’s see how he does against somebody like the fat guy Adamek just whooped before throwing him in deep. On that note, I wouldn’t mind seeing Adamek vs Malik Scott though.
The Kirkland-Molina fight went pretty much like I envisioned. Molina is the last dude that I would pick out of a crowd to fight. Tough, wily and knows how to fight: three things that Kirkland has never really had to deal with all at once. If he could punch, this fight would have been over before the ring announcer got to his seat! The ending was done by the rules but the ref could have made the same kind of judgment call that was made in the Mayweather-Judah fight. Your son Floyd (just jokin, lol) would have an “L” on his record if this guy had been reffing that fight. Kirkland says that he’ll grant this guy a rematch. Don’t hold your breath for that one. Dead Game James’ career will be dead soon after losing his “Second” fight in a row to Molina.
Danny Garcia won a title. Good for him. Now let’s see how long he keeps it. He keeps his hands at home too much for my tastes. He beat Holt because Rated R moves his hands even less than he does. For me, the jury is still out on this cat. He’s a fighter, though, which is a quality that I look for in a guy. He brings it when he has to, something that I can’t always say about guys like Kendall Holt.
Judah-Paris. Vernon Paris and Tim Coleman, over the course of the last three weeks learned about the next level of the game. The bad thing is that the two cats that taught them this hard lesson (Judah, Holt) are second tier guys now. Which makes them bottom of the second tier at best and more likely C level.
Mythical Matchups and I’m out.
1. Adamek-Toney at cruiserweight
2. Adamek-Jirov at cruiserweight
3. Superman-Silver Surfer at comicbookweight
Holla back! – Fleetwood
Good to hear from you, Fleetwood. I was also happy to see Juan Garcia get the razor-thin nod in that entertaining ShoBox opener against Yordenis Ugas. I don’t think Ugas was robbed in any way. He just got outworked by the more aggressive fighter. Yeah, the Cuban’s punches were more accurate, but Garcia took advantage of Ugas’ amateurish defense (of just covering up). Garcia consistently landed chopping body shots under Ugas’ elbows and he frequently landed uppercuts between the Cuban’s high-held gloves. Garcia’s technique won’t remind anyone of a prime Donald Curry, but he constantly puts his punches together. Ugas still has tremendous promise, but I’d like to see a sharp jab from him, a left hook and more combinations. I want to see both Garcia and Ugas back on ShoBox (or Friday Night Fights) as soon as possible.
I also want to see more of Jennings. While I agree that he’s not ready for Tomasz Adamek, fighting Nagy Aguilera almost seems like a step backwards after stopping a former titleholder. I’d like to see him take on take on a fellow U.S. prospect. Seth Mitchell is the best known (and considered to be the most advanced American up-and-comer), but there’s also Joe Hanks and Deontay Wilder. Although Wilder is a giant and an Olympic bronze medalist, I’d pick Jennings to chop him down. I think Mitchell-Jennings is a good, competitive fight. Mitchell has the edge because of his power and experience. I haven’t seen Hanks fight, so I can’t make a call in that matchup but I’ve met Joe and he certainly looks and talks the part of a heavyweight hopeful.
Adamek-Scott is an interesting fight. Scott’s got all the physical advantages and more natural ability but Adamek has the experience and a busy, mobile style that would probably trouble the American.
I agree with your take on the Kirkland-Molina DQ. Jon Schorle could have made a judgment call as Richard Steele did in the 10th round of Mayweather-Judah when he didn’t disqualify Mayweather, who had been blatantly fouled, for Roger Mayweather stepping through the ropes in defense of his nephew. Molina’s cornerman was only in the ring for a second. He did not help his fighter or affect the bout in any way.
I believe Kirkland when he says he’ll fight Molina again, however, I know his management (Mike Miller and Cameron Dunkin) are looking for a title shot. Don’t be surprised if IBF beltholder Cornelius Bundrage gets the next opportunity to expose the impetuous southpaw.
I agree with your take on Garcia. The kid is strong, fast and a dangerous counter puncher, but he needs to take the lead every now and then (especially when he’s fighting older/faded veterans) and it wouldn’t hurt his game if he added a consistent jab to his arsenal.
Paris and Coleman are indeed “C level,” but Coleman is a C- while Paris is a C+. Paris can become a strong B-level junior welterweight if he learns from Saturday’s experience and really dedicates himself to his craft. Judah and Holt are B-level junior welterweights who can beat A-level contenders/titleholders (Bradley, Peterson, Khan, etc.) on a good night. They have A-level talent but they are not always mentally on top of things.
I love these mythical matchups.
Toney narrowly out-points Adamek in a great fight. Adamek narrowly out-points Jirov in an even better fight.
Dude, Superman vs. Silver Surfer really stumped me. The knee-jerk answer is Superman. Our Kryptonian homie beats everybody, even one of my all-time faves like the Surfer (unless Javier Capetillo sprinkles kryptonite dust over their hand wraps). But when I thought about it, I figured out that all comes down to where they fight. If they fight on earth, Supes has (adopted) home-planet advantage. He’s invulnerable and stronger, faster, etc. than everyone on earth thanks to our yellow sun. But if they were to tangle out in space, I think my man can beat the pajama-wearing boy scout. You gotta remember, the Silver Surfer was imbued with the “Power Cosmic” by Galactus (the baddest mother f___er in the Marvel Universe!). The power is not just physical, it give him a cosmic awareness. He knows the universe like the back of his silver mitts. So I think Silver Surfer would lure Superman into an interstellar game of cat-n-mouse and maneuver dope into a galaxy with a red sun, where he could put the smashdown on D.C.’s icon.
(My God, I am such a nerd.)