The CyberBoxingZone News

Bruno on Boxing

Joe Bruno - Former Vice President of the New York Boxing Writers
Association and the International Boxing Writers Association

News Item: ESPN2 boxing show constantly outshines those on HBO and
Pay-Per-View. And itís free too (Iím a poet and donít know it).

    The best boxing matches on television have consistently been shown on
Friday nights on ESPN2. This past weekend was no different.

    Friday nightís fight card from the Molson Centre in Montreal featured
three of Canadaís favorite sons: middleweights Stephane Ouellet versus Davey
Hilton and former International Boxing Federation junior-lightweight champion
Arturo ďThunderĒ Gatti against American Joe Hutchinson.

    Gatti, pouring blood from his left eye from the second round on, won a
unanimous decision over Hutchinson, in a fight that, because on the enormity
of a cut over Gattiís left eye, should have been stopped in the second round.

    An obvious clash of heads in round two, gave Gatti a two-inch gash under
the left eyebrow, big enough to stuff Prince Naseem Hamedís mouth into it.
The referee amazingly ruled the cut was caused from a punch. If the fight had
been stopped due to the cut, as it should have, Hutchinson wouldíve been
declared the winner, and over 18,000 Canadians wouldíve tore down the Molson Centre, brew by bubbly brew.

    Between rounds, the ring doctor, who was dressed in a collarless solid
gray shirt, and had a beard as long as the Smith Brothers, looked at Gattiís
gigantic cut, told the ref it was merely a scratch, and inexcusably waved the
fight to continue.

    In round four, another clash of heads gave Gatti a cut over his right eyebrow, to match the nasty over his left. Enraged, Gatti, with both eyebrows bleeding, and both eyes slowly closing, proceeded to chase Hutchinson all over the ring, firing with both hands, more often than not below Hutchinsonís Mason-Dixon line.

    The rest of the ten rounds proceeded in this same manner. Gattiís eyes
swelled almost shut, and Hutchinsonís voice got higher and higher with each
low blow, almost reaching soprano, and I donít mean Tony Soprano.

    All three judges scored the fight in favor of Gatti. This reporter agreed, scoring it  8-2 in rounds, 97-91 in points, due to a flash knockdown by Gatti in round six.

    "I didn't fight like I wanted to, but I showed I'm a true warrior," Gatti said afterward.  "I fought with my heart and my guts. The ref missed a few head butts. I tried to fight dirty too, but he caught me."

    The ref did deduct one point from Gatti for a low blow, or maybe a dozen. 

    Ouellet and Hilton, the Canadian middleweight champ, were meeting for the
third time since November 1998. Hilton had won both fights - a dramatic 12th-round technical knockout and a third-round TKO in the rematch. Usually
when a fighter KOís another fighter, he KOís him quicker in the rematch,
which was the case in the second Ouellet-Hilton fight. There is no benchmark
for a third fight after one fighter wins the first two by knockout, because,
frankly, this feebleminded reporter canít think of another instance where
such an event has taken place. But Montreal is divided by fervent Ouellet and
Hilton supporters, so a third match was made so both fighters could earn a
big payday, and 18,000 people could quaff down Molson beer. After Ouelletís
convincing 10-round near shutout of the 35-year old Hilton, look for a fourth
installment to take place in the near future.

    It was an exciting, action packed-fight with the taller and quicker Ouellete repeatedly painting a nasty picture on the pudgy Hiltonís face. But Hilton is a big banger, as evidenced by his two earlier knockouts of Ouellete, so there was never a time in this fight where it wasnít possible Hilton could pull off this feat for a third time. But as the fight went on, Ouellete got stronger and Hilton seemed to fade. Maybe Hilton thought he would win easily and forgot to train properly. Or maybe Hilton just has nothing left.

    Ouellet improved to 29-4, while Hilton lost for only the second time in 43 bouts (38-2-3). Ouellet received $35,000 ,  $25,000 less than Hilton.        Thereís not a city in America in which these two mediocre, but evenly matched
fighters, can make this kind of dough. Look for a fourth fight in Montreal.
If Ouellete wins the fourth match, look for fight number five. Hey, worse
thing could happen to fight fans.

    Like for instance, the junk HBO showed itís fight fans on Saturday afternoon, in their third installment of KO Nation, which is a part fight card, part rap show, and part exotic dancing monstrosity, with three wiggly women called the Knockouts, writhing their bodies in such a manner to make eyeballs protrude and penises bulge.

    The first fight was a 12-round bore, with Winky Wright   winning a dull 12-round decision over Bronco McKart in an IBF jr middleweight eliminator
bout, whatever that means. Both fighters are southpaws and both canít fight too much. But at least this was an evenly-matched bout.

    Still,  this fight was infinitely better than the garbage bout shown next between heavyweight Clifford Etienne, who recently finished a ten-year stretch in the pen for armed robbery,  and Mike Tyson-lookalike Cliff Couser. Couser, looks like Tysonís twin (he played Tyson in the HBO movie ďTysonĒ), and he claims that he and Mike Tyson share the same father. Which, if true, shows Tysonís boxing gene definitely comes from his motherís side of the family.

    Etienne (pronounced A-T-N) landed at will on Couserís ugly mug for the entire three rounds, and was smacking Couser around the ring like a rag doll, when the referee Davey Johnson, not the Dodgerís manager, saved Couser and the television viewers from further punishment  at 2:13 of round three.

    The biggest rip-off of the weekend was the Roy Jones-Eric Harding light heavyweight title fight that was inexplicably shown on pay-per-view at $34.95
a pop.      After ten rounds of nothing, Harding quit in his corner after round ten due to a torn left bicep. Jones retained his WBC/WBA/IBF/IBO/NBA light heavyweight crowns, and he also retained his unofficial crown of being the the worldís best pound-for-pound fighter, who canít draw flies to a week-old hamburger sitting in the sun.

    Anyone who paid to watch this fight should be subject to a lifetime of listening, in a soundproof room, to the grating voice of TV boxing judge Harold Lederman, singing the Star Spangled Banner in the key of freaking C.

    P.T. Barnum said there is a sucker born every minute. If you are one of
these suckers, do yourself a favor. Cancel your Showtime and HBO, and throw
away the little box over your TV set that allows you to purchase pay-per-view. You want a boxing fix? Watch ESPN2 on Friday nights. Max Kellerman and Teddy Atlas will tell you all you need to know about the world of boxing.

    With the money you save, buy yourself a book, go see a movie, or take your wife, or whomever, out for a nice dinner. Don King, Bob Arum and other blood-sucking fight promoters and pay -TV networks might lose a few rubles,
which to all you atheists and Martians, will prove God really does exist  on
our zany planet Earth.


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