Here’s What I Know, Vol. 15: Eastwood, Mayweather Jr., Ted Drewes, and Peaky Blinders

A potpourri of semi-important topics for your consideration.

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Good evening, folks. Let’s talk about a few things you may or may not deem important. Tip the whiskey and let’s get started on the latest edition of Here’s what I know, in bullet formation.

  • Clint Eastwood makes very good movies, but occasionally, he can fire a dud out of his filmmaking pistol. His latest, 15:17 to Paris, recounts the heroic tale of three Americans who saved lives on a train in Paris taken over by terrorists. It arrives in theaters this Friday, and WAS NOT screened for critics. I’ve been reviewing films for seven years, and this is never a good sign. It’s like sneaking your girlfriend into a party through the kitchen. The studio didn’t like the cuts of the film they saw, so there were no word-of-mouth generating screenings. We all know the end to the film, so why withhold it? This is not good, but I hope Clint proves me wrong.
  • Ted Drewes and Imos Pizza are institutions for St. Louis residents, and the former reopens this week for people seeking something sweet. Let’s say you hit up the Hill for an Italian dish, but the old fashioned tiramisu doesn’t interest you for dessert. You head over to Ted Drewes for a delicious hot fudge sundae or lemon crumb concrete that will make you believe in world peace for a matter of minutes. People who speak out against it simply don’t know what good custard tastes like. Get over there and have some.

Continue reading “Here’s What I Know, Vol. 15: Eastwood, Mayweather Jr., Ted Drewes, and Peaky Blinders”

Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor Fight: Not happening

While it sounds juicy and entertaining, this fight will never happen.

Let me get something out of the way before I rip into this fantasy rumor. I would personally love to see Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor fight….in the street. That’s right. Rocky 5 style!  Get the metal trash cans, dark alley, and bad beer ready because these two millionaires are scrapping. That would be cool and would shred Pay Per View records to pieces. Sylvester Stallone can be the referee. Now, let’s get back to reality.

Stop listening to Floyd, Dana White, McGregor, and any other knucklehead trying to pound click bait pieces on why this fight may, could, should, or might happen. Here’s a hint. It will never happen. This isn’t a movie. It’s real life and two men from different sports don’t step into the same ring. A hockey player doesn’t play in an MLB game, right? Football players don’t step on soccer fields. Yes, these two men compete in different sports. Continue reading “Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor Fight: Not happening”

Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s final fight: What We Learned

Floyd Mayweather Jr. put a pillow over boxing fans’ heads on September 12th, in his snooze fest of a finale.

There’s nothing in life that leaves a worse taste in your mouth than being swindled out of your hard earned cash. Of course, if you were dumb enough to hand it over to something so mildly promising, the joke is on you.

The promo reel for Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Andre Berto fighting in Las Vegas Saturday night promised something special. What paying customers got was a snoozefest. Same as it ever was with a Mayweather fight.

Here are five things we learned about Mayweather Jr.’s supposed “final” ride-

  1. Mayweather Jr. picked an easy final ride. For his 49th win, Floyd picked a guy who had lost 3 of his last 6 fights. Embarrassing for a so called pound for pound champ.
  2. The clinic for getting beat by Floyd isn’t rocket science. Berto leans his head in and Mayweather Jr. pounds him with jabs. Berto isn’t fast enough. When Berto tries to land something heavy, he misses and Floyd lands 3-4 counter shots. Snooze.
  3. Boxing is greedy. 65 dollars for that. Hold up. One can only hope the sport follows the UFC and gives back some of its earnings to the sport and its younger generation and development systems.
  4. The chances of Floyd fighting again are very good but not so good for a rematch against Manny Pacquiao.
  5. A lot of boxing fans were lost this weekend because they paid for this fight.

Sometimes you spend money on that shiny toy that looks good in the packaging only to find it fall apart when the bands are cut and the wrapping is thrown in the trash. Boxing didn’t die Saturday night. It just didn’t grow.

The best thing about it. The sport’s big villain may finally be done. That’s also the worst thing. Boxing may have lost its most interesting “must beat” participant.

Mayweather Jr./Berto match isn’t worth your money

Floyd Mayweather Jr. looks for a sleepwalk victory in his match with Andre Berto.

Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Spare yourself the 65 dollars tonight’s boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Andre Berto will cost you. It’s not worth it. It’s not worth anybody’s cash or time. Call it a snoozefest and something you can merely read about later on during your morning coffee on Sunday or gently forget about.

For his “supposed” last fight, Floyd is picking a fighter who used to be good but has lost 3 of his last 6 fights. Not a pretender but definitely not a contender to take away Mayweather’s flawless record. Berto is simply no match for Floyd, a superior defensive fighter and a man known for aggravating and picking apart offensive punchers like Berto. In order to obtain his 49th win, Floyd bypassed Amir Khan, Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman so he could sleepwalk over Berto. It’s disgusting and laughable.

It doesn’t help that a report was released this week showing Mayweather Jr. took an illegal IV injection before the Manny Pacquiao fight, a match that the Filipino champion also wasn’t completely healthy for. It’s a swipe of dirt on Mayweather Jr. that will only anger his detractors even more and promise few people care or watch this fight. It was a mix of saline and vitamins but it may as well have been salt and pepper because the amount he took was over the limit and it was before a big fight. If the claims that it was used for dehydration are the raft Floyd and company are floating on, I am not buying it. It’s sketchy, crap and suggests that Mr. Clean Mayweather Jr. may be anything but. It doesn’t matter what the USADA says either. The amount of fluids Mayweather Jr. took was against what WADA(the rules that which the USADA follows) allows before a fight.

This is greedy dealings. If Floyd wanted to give back to boxing or help the sport, he could have made this fight a non Pay Per View fight. He’s made more money than any man can possibly spend and could have made his exit a true fan favorite event. The opponent he picked isn’t exciting enough to make a sleepy styled fighter like Floyd interesting enough to pay big money for. After the disappointment that came with the Pacquiao fight, handing over cash for a Mayweather-Berto match is pointless. Save the money and take your husband or wife out for a wonderful steak dinner. Boxing doesn’t deserve your attention tonight.

Pacquiao Needs To Accept The Invitation

manny-pacquiao-floyd-mayweatherLet me admit up front that I am a Manny Pacquiao fan. I have always admired the fighter and held his best interests close to my chest. In sports, it’s easy to pick favorites and attach some emotion to their ups and downs. It’s part of the addiction. So when I say Manny needs to accept Floyd Mayweather’s terms for a May 2nd fight in 2015, I mean it. There is no way out for Pacquiao here. Say yes or forever be a coward.

This fight is the only fight casual boxing fans want to see. Hardcore fight fans also want to see it. It would launch 200-300 million dollars in revenue. Las Vegas would light up. Showtime and HBO would come together and promote it across billboards, buildings, and outer space satellite stations. If this were 1975, the fight would have happened. Back then, when two fighters wanted to beat the shit out of each other, it happened quick because the suits didn’t come into play until after the fight when the money was being collected. These days, it’s political, slow moving and horribly impersonal. Boxing as a sport is one big hesitation.

I won’t place blame on one side here. Each garners a decent amount. Floyd started out with requesting Olympic style drug testing, which only stands for a mind control tactic of his. Boxing has done a good job of weeding out cheaters so why ask for advanced testing for one bout. Come on. Manny balked and it broke down. Next time, Floyd went to jail because he is a moron and the fight didn’t happen. The next time, Floyd wanted a huge portion of the cash up front and Manny balked. Then, Manny lost twice and the hopes seriously depleted. Throughout it all, I place the most blame on Top Rank/Pacquaio promoter Bob Arum. He used to represent Floyd and they don’t like each other anymore. Arum also has a tricky way of setting up boring and lopsided fights between his own fighters. Arum isn’t a cancer in the sport but he’s a pain in the ass here. He is making it hard for this fight to get made.

Continue reading “Pacquiao Needs To Accept The Invitation”

Manny Pacquiao Reinvents Himself in China

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I am a little late to the Pacquiao-Rios fight coverage but sometimes you have to take the time required to allow an action packed boxing match to digest in your system.   Certain things send you directly to the keyboard.  Others allow you to wait.  After I watched the fight at a house full of boxing gents young and old, I was on the road to KC in less than 6 hours.  Out in the country of DeSoto Kansas, there isn’t a lot of internet reception for you to play with.   So the Pacquiao triumph on the other side of the world didn’t hit the page until now.  What transpired in Macau last Saturday night?  The reinvention of one of the best boxers of our generation.   Manny Pacquiao is back friends.

Facing a young bully puncher in Brandon Rios, living on a prayer in his highest paid fight card ever, Pacquiao had a lot to lose.   He could have ran into another right hand and slammed into the canvas.  His career could have ended far far away from Las Vegas, where he gathered most of his glory.   You can tell me all day how Rios was a straight forward moving talentless puncher, but I will remind you in the sport of boxing anything can happen at any time.  Manny knew that and so did Brandon.

From the first round, though, Manny was in control.   He was back at his crafty sharpness in the ring, jumping in like a rattlesnake with fierce combinations and darting and turning out of trouble.   At his best, Pac-Man doesn’t just stand in the middle and exchange.   He bounces around, fires left jabs and right hooks and slowly takes opponents apart who wrongfully judge a man’s size next to his punching power.   Rios smiled all night in an attempt to throw crazy snake eyes at a fighter who knew damage was being done.   Rios’ face usually doesn’t bruise that much.   He can take a punch and stand there and exchange.  The difference tonight was Pacquiao’s defense and quickness didn’t allow Rios to set his feet and fire anything back in return.   Sure, he landed a solid shot every once in a while but each time, Manny shook it off like his mother just slapped him and came right back.   Manny was relentless and boxed the younger fighter into exhaustion and frustration.   It was a clinic that PAC badly needed to put on for his fans and doubters.

A fair share of boxing fans were ready to bury Pacquiao’s career out in China.   You just couldn’t make out the invisible shovels next to their seats.   I knew Manny had a few great fights left in him.   I watched the Bradley fight over and over and saw how highway robbery.  I saw a guy starting to pound the opposing fighter’s face into bloody submission before that said opposer(Juan Manuel Marquez) landed a magical counter hook and knocked out our protagonist.  I didn’t see a disastrous loss of skill in Pacquiao.  Sure, he has aged a bit and lost some of his punching power.   However, smart boxers adapt and get better as they get older while others rely on the same old tricks and get flat lined quick.

When people say Pacquiao has lost something, I agree with them but leave out the negativity.   Every boxer loses something as they get older, and they must adapt to stay strong and at the top of their game.   Every boxer carries the every fight danger of getting dropped and Pac knows about this full well.  However, watching him fight against Rios, I noticed a stronger minded fighter than I had seen in his career.   Pac isn’t the killer he used to be and doesn’t have the blazing power that can stop Ricky Hatton in 2 rounds or destroy Oscar De La Hoya.  He is 34 years old and has to rely on different tricks, like punch accuracy and speed.   Pacquiao still has the speed and has brilliant accuracy when it comes to utilizing his jab and landing combinations.  If you have those two things in check, victory and time are in your corner.   Manny has lost something, as every great fighter not named Floyd Mayweather Jr.(as deadly at 36 as he was when he was 26) runs into at some point.  Pacquiao has rebounded by using a more tactical approach, one that includes even more head movement, jabs and combinations.   At his worst, Manny stands and trades.   At his best, against Rios, he darts in, picks apart his opponent and slips away.   He controls the space inside the ring and makes it torturous for the other fighter to get comfortable.

Manny is a changed fighter, but as we saw November 23rd in China, that is not necessarily a bad thing.   The movement and speed he showed could keep him going for another 2-3 years.   Judging by the face of Rios’ at the end of 12 brutal rounds, his power isn’t looking so bad either.  Manny’s shots would have destroyed other boxers quicker.  I give credit to Rios for being super tough, eating those punches and earning a decision loss.

Ladies and gentlemen, Pacquiao is BACK!

Thanks for reading,

Dan L. Buffa

@buffa82 on Twitter

Reach me at buffa82@gmail.com

Bradley-Marquez Wrapup And A Look Ahead in Boxing

Saturday night featured a fine matchup of counter punching specialists in Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez.   Both had beaten Manny Pacquiao(one convincingly, the other controversially) and were looking to climb on top of the other.  Bradley is still on a respect retrieval tour after his embarrassing decision win over Pacquiao in 2012.  It’s no shame to him because the judges control who wins a decision in boxing but hearing Bradley say in this month’s 24/7 series on HBO that he won the fight only makes my blood boil.   Marquez left all controversy to the creeps when he knocked out Manny last December. He knocked him out cold in the 6th round of a fight that he was losing and getting battered in.  Yes, it is impossible to discuss these two fighters without mentioning Pacquaio because he the link in the chain that pulled them together on October 12th, 2013.  What happened?

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Bradley took the older fighter to school, turning JMM into the hunter and making the fight a tactical war of boxers and leaving the slug fest to the crazier folk.  Bradley didn’t waste any time trading with Marquez or walking into the trap that was set for Pacquaio with the SHOT in December.  Bradley kept a distance, hammered Marquez with his jab and won on 2 of the 3 cards.  Many boxing analysts had no problem with a judge at ringside scoring it for Marquez but I had it a clear win for Bradley, eight rounds to four.  This was a decisive victory for the undefeated fighter nicknamed Desert Storm(maybe because nothing really exciting used to be happen in his fights).  Lately, Bradley didn’t do much convincingly.

In March, Bradley wanted to prove that he could stand in the middle and dish with a monster, and he picked The Serbian Express Ruslan Provodnikov(look at his face in pictures, he’s a human pitbull) for the exchange.  Bradley was torpedoed and nearly destroyed.  He was knocked down twice and beaten up early but recovered and delivered punishment of his own and won a very close decision over the Russian beast.   The fight messed up Bradley and made him sit out for two months without boxing activity.   In a sitdown with HBO’s Max Kellerman, Provodnikov said after watching the fight that he indeed lost.  That’s a big thing to say for any fighter, especially when I hear Bradley tell the cameras he won a Pacquiao fight where he left in a wheelchair and barely put a mark on Manny’s face.  It means a lot when I have to hear Marquez after the fight last night say he was robbed again.   For any man who makes his living with his hands and fights for a career, to admit failure and loss is big in my book.

Marquez is at a crossroads.   He didn’t fight a horrible fight but lost cleanly and may be only marketable for a Pacquiao 5th fight.  It seems that only the Filipino champ brings out the best in him and other fighters, at least lately, only make him look older and slower.  Marquez last night looked like the guy who tried to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. years ago.  He couldn’t sit back and lay a trap for Bradley because he had to spend the majority of the fight avoiding stiff jabs and every time he moved in, Bradley was waiting for a combination.  In a game of counter punchers, one man will have to come forward and take a risk and force a big moment.  Every time JMM did, he was met with big blows.  Bradley won at ease and only truly lost 2-4 rounds in my opinion.   What does Marquez do next?  He either retires or takes a fifth fight with Pac man.  Does that fight carry weight or seem exciting? I think so and here is why.

These two guys always produce thrilling toe to toe bloody battles and if Marquez can swallow his pride and see the worth, he should take on Manny again.  Why not?  Pacquiao wants revenge for a punch he never saw coming in a fight he was winning.  Marquez wants to cap off his career and why not show it was no fluke that he knocked out his arch nemesis.   They have fought four times and here is how I have scored them.   Manny won the first one with his three knockouts and decent finish.  The second fight was a bloody draw in my opinion.  Each fighter pummeled each other.  The third fight was Marquez’s, even though he did take his foot off the gas pedal in the 12th round and may have lost the fight there.  The fourth was a clean cold knockout but for nearly 6 rounds a battle of wills that was tipping towards Pacquiao.  Why fight five times?  Because four times isn’t enough and this sport can use as many entertaining bouts as it can get.   If he doesn’t fight Pacquiao, here is my tip for Marquez.

Contact the Miguel Cotto camp.  Cotto is a proud Puerto Rican champion and just demolished Delvin Rodriguez in a credibility contest that saw the 32 year look better than ever.  While Canelo Alvarez or a rematch with Mayweather Jr or Pacquiao could be in Cotto’s view, a fight with Marquez wouldn’t be bad either.  Think about the matchup.   Cotto is a hunter in the ring and walks down opponents for better or worse.  He always brings the fight and every one of his bouts are entertaining.   He has a great record full of battles.  Marquez wants to retain some credibility and score another win before retiring or go into 5th fight with Pac Man with some confidence.  Take on Cotto.  A power puncher who pursues against a counter puncher who likes to set traps and return fire.  It could be a good fight.

Bradley will probably make an attempt to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. and that will end in a refusal on Floyd’s part or a routine Money Team shutout victory.   I don’t consider Bradley one of the best because he didn’t beat Pac, barely beat Provodnikov and scored a decision win over a 40 year old.   He is improving but not one of the best.  A smarter play for him would be waiting for Pacquiao to defeat Brandon Rios next month and then setting up a rematch with him.  Until he erases that black hole off his resume, Bradley isn’t one of the best to me.  No way.   Wait for Pac to drop Rios and set up a rematch Tim.  I am sure your head can see more rest from that March fight with the Russian.

Next week, Colorado champ Mike Alvarado takes on Provodnikov on HBO in a battle that should bring out the blood buckets and cold press clamps.   Alvarado engaged in two legendary wars with Rios and won the second match decisively   He takes on a guy who nearly knocked Bradley’s head off.  Expect war.   I will be wrapping my hands as I watch the fight.

After that fight, be sure to catch Legendary Nights: Ward and Gatti, which chronicles the amazing three fights between Mickey Ward and Arturo Gatti.   While their fights were mesmerizing and thrilling, their friendship afterwards provided the true narrative of this tale.  Must watch.

That’s all I got fight fans.  Thanks for staying.

-Dan L. Buffa

@buffa82 on twitter

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