News Item: Lennox Lewis makes White Buffalo extinct. While HBO
stinks out the joint.
After Lennox Lewis’ second round destruction
of Frans “The White Buffalo (Buffalo Chip?) Botha, these
questions beg to be asked. Has Lewis improved so much he is now to
be considered as one of the all time greats in the heavyweight
division? Or is the heavyweight division so lacking in talent,
Lennox Lewis looks like Joe Louis by comparison?”
The answer is undisputable. I really can’t
From the opening bell it was obvious Botha
was in way over his head. Unfortunately for Botha, Lewis punches
weren’t way over his head too.
The six-foot five-inch Lewis towered over
the six-foot Botha, who staggered around the ring like a drunk
from the start. A straight right in round one knocked Botha back
and bucked the bow-legged Botha’s legs. In round two, Lewis
landed a stiff left jab. Then he followed with a crisp right
cross, a left hook and a devastating overhand right. All four
punches landed flush, propelling Botha though the ropes and almost
completely out of the ring.
Botha pulled himself up to his feet at five.
The referee Larry O’Connell took one look at Botha’s puffy and
crossed eyes, and immediately stopped the fight. The time was 2:39
of the second round.
After the fight all the talk was about Lewis
fighting Mike Tyson, and rightfully so. As sad as it seems,
Lewis-Tyson is the only fight out there that makes any financial,
or promotional sense.
“I think he should now put up or shut up.
Simple as that,'' Lewis said of Tyson. Then he added with
disdain, “He's not even the best in this era. He's turned into a
circus show for me.''
On HBO, color commentator Larry
Merchant (of Menace), once again failed miserably in his
interrogation of a fighter after a fight. Merchant has an annoying
habit of hesitating just before he’s about to ask a question, as
if he trying to search for exactly the proper words to elicit the
sagacious response the world is waiting for with baited breath.
Three consecutive times Merchant prudently paused, then asked
Botha questions relating to Lennox Lewis’ boxing ability. All
three times Botha replied, “I just got caught.”
In two fights, Botha has been KO’d by both
Lewis and Tyson. But instead of pursuing this angle, Merchant
paused again, then asked another puzzling question to which Botha
again replied, “I just got caught.”
Larry, what about Tyson ? Who does
Botha think punches harder? Who does Botha think would win the
fight. Does Botha give Tyson a snowball’s chance in hell? A
Christian’s chance in a Roman Coliseum.
Instead, Merchant thanked Botha for his
riveting interview and he threw the ball back to Jim Lampley.
Wonder if Lampley “just caught” the ball too.
In the opening fight of the non-competitive
HBO fight card, six foot seven-inch Russian Wladimir
Klitschko toyed with inept Monte Barrett and floored
him fives times, before Barrett collapsed to the canvas in round
seven, blood spurting grotesquely from a cut over his right eye
onto the canvas.
Golden Glove Sub Novice heavyweights have
shown more ability than Barrett, and why this mismatch was put on
a pay TV network like HBO is a question that begs to be asked.
Barrett showed a lot of heart and mucho blood to the TV audience,
but nothing more. Monte Hall would’ve been a better opponent for
Klitschko. Maybe even Rona Barrett.
The Russian Klitschko boxes like Ivan Drago,
only not as deft. He moves around the ring like the Statue of
Liberty, only not as quick. You get the idea.
The bout was once big clinch and dreadful to
watch. If fight cards like this are what we are to expect from HBO
after the departure of vice president Lou DiBella, I think it’s
time we turned to more competitive sporting events, like
wresting guru Vince McMahon’s new extreme football league. Maybe
in McMahon’s new venture both teams will have a chance of
winning, which was not the case Saturday night on HBO boxing.
Then again, maybe we “just caught” HBO
on a bad night. Spit happens.