News Item: Showtime's agenda supersedes reality.
It was so bad, it's starting to get sad.
As was their predisposition in the past, Showtime's boxing team of Bobby
Czyz and Steve Albert portrayed to their viewers a totally different fight
than the one actually occurring in the ring between Paulie Ayala and Johnny
Tapia on Saturday night October 7th.
The fight was 12 rounds of nonstop action, with both fighters giving as
as they were talking. Neither fighter could punch his way out of a house made
of tissue paper. But the 33-year old Tapia seemed to fade in the later rounds
and Ayala took advantage, outscoring Tapia in the final two rounds to take
the fight on this reporter's scorecard, 115-113, 7-5 in rounds. But the fight
was so close, if someone told me he had it for Tapia 7-5, I'd say okay,
that's possible too.
The official scoring was unanimous. Judge Keith Macdonald scored
116-112 for Ayala. Judges Chuck Giampa and Jerry Roth, each had it 115-113
for Ayala. now 31-1 with 12 knockouts. Since both fighter weighed two weight
division higher at fight time, Ayala's WBA bantamweight title was not at
stake. Ayala earned $425,000 to $600,000 for Tapia, whose only two losses
(48-2-2) have come to Ayala.
Yet from the first round on, listening to the inane ranting of Czyz and
Albert, you'd think Tapia was the only fighter in the ring. And their schtick
was so convincing, buffaloed viewers, scoring the fight on their computer,
actually had Tapia winning nine rounds to three, which proves Showtimešs
fight audience wouldnšt know a right cross from a burning cross.
Predictably, both Czyz and Albert scored the fight 8-4 for Tapia and in
post-fight analysis, Czyz all but said the scoring was fixed. He
viewing audience, "It helps to have the promoter on your side." The
for the fight was Bob Arum, a man not known for his integrity. More on Arum
later in this column.
Sure, fight judges tend to favor the promoteršs guy, but this fight was
robbery. Respected sage Mike Katz of House of Boxing had it 116-113 for
Ayala. And most of the ringside writers also had Ayala winning. (Now I'm
worried. Katz and I agree on the scoring of fights as often as we see Haley's
If I were any of the three judges in attendance, I'd wipe the slime off
face and call my lawyer post haste. Direct him to file a libel suit against
Czyz, Albert and Showtime. If Czyz has any proof of fixed, or crooked judges,
let him come forth with such proof. Otherwise Czyz, he of the Mensa Militia,
should shut his yap and stick a jumbo cork in Albert's pie-hole too.
After the fight, Ayalašs analysis of Albert and Czyz was right on the
Ayala said, "Johnny's one of their co-workers, and they do that for
every one of their fighters. The way they announce a fight is like their guy
is shadow boxing and nobody is fighting him."
Advice to all boxing fans. When you watch a Showtime fight show, turn
the sound. Youšll only be hearing fairy tales anyway. Non-fight fans --
watch a movie instead.
New Item: IBA awards Johnny Tapia the vacant Featherweight belt on the basis
of his loss against Ayala.
Johnny Tapia's trainer Jesse Reid announced after the Ayala-Tapia
fringe and obscure boxing organization IBA (I Be Absurd), would award Tapia
the vacant IBA featherweight title, even though Tapia lost to Ayala, which
tell you all you need to know about the IBA.
Upon hearing this, promoter Bullspit Bob Arum was irate. "We'll
further business with the IBA, this is an absolute absurdity and I'm not
going to tolerate it," Arum said.
Arum and absolute absurdity in the same sentence. Has a nice ring to it.
The IBA is run by former Cy Young Award winner Dean Chance. Chance had
good year in baseball and no good years in boxing. Extreme Football seems
more up Chancešs alley.
Vince McMahon should award Chance a franchise in Las Vegas. Call them
Las Vegas Final Chances. Buy a ticket and get a token for the slots.
New item: Bob Arum to lose his promoter's license in New Jersey.
I would've written this story sooner, but first I had to stop laughing.
In a cosmetic move to clean up boxing in New Jersey, sort of like
band aid on a broken leg, the state attorney general and gambling regulators
of the state of New Jersey are planning to strip promoters 'Bullspit'
Arum and Cedric 'The Fat Walrus' Kushner of their licenses to stage
in Atlantic City casinos. Arum and Kushner testified during the IBF trail of
its president Bob Lee in Newark last summer, that they had made payoffs to
officials of the IBF to influence its rankings. The two rats, informers, or
whatever else you call slugs like this, were not charged with any
But now they may have hell to pay
New Jersey Attorney General John J. Farmer Jr. said, "We felt it
unconscionable to let them continue in New Jersey."
Dung King, who was the real target of the Feds, became the one and only
Teflon Don, when Lee was acquitted of accepting these bribes, but convicted
of not paying taxes on the bribes he didnšt take, and laundering the cash to
Donšt feel bad. I'm confused too.
If the New Jersey Casino Control Commission decides to revoke both
promoter's licenses, Bullspit and the Fat Walrus would be barred from staging
fights at the casinos for at least five years. Gaming officials are also
asking the Athletic Control Board to deny both men promoter's licenses this
Arum testified as a government witness in June that he made a $100,000
payoff to Lee, so the IBF would sanction a title fight between George
Foreman, whom Arum was promoting, and German, Axel Schulz.
Arum, incensed that his arch-enemy King had gone untouched in this
said, "It seems extraordinary that they go after people who cooperate
with the federal government, and people whose names are all over the record
as having repeatedly done similar things are not questioned."
The Fat Walrus told the federal jury he had made payments of $2,500 to
$10,000 to I.B.F. officials several times a year between 1987 and 1994, as
well as a $100,000 payoff in 1995 for the I.B.F. to order a rematch after
Foreman beat Schulz, whom Kushner promoted.
The kicker here, is that Bullspit has paid $125,000 to the Nevada
Athletic Commission and gave another $75,000 to six youth-sports
organizations within the state to settle with the Nevada commission, which
accused him of bringing disrespect to the sport. The NSAC also put Bullspit
on probation and barred him from such formalities as weigh-ins. The fat
Walrus is presently negotiating his own settlement with the NSAC.
The bottom line here is that Bullspit and the Fat Walrus are being
for their cooperation (meaning acting like yellow-bellied, rat-fink
informers) and King, who may be a lot of things (but a rat is not one of
them), is free to do whatever he's been doing in the past.
Where I grew up in the mean streets of New York City, the worst thing
could be was a rat. Killers, bank robbers, extortion artists, bookies and
loan sharks are certainly on the bottom rung of the food chain. But a being a
rat sits firmly at the base.
So, to all this I say -- good for King. And to Bullspit and the
-- I hope you enjoy your Limburger cheese.
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