Promethean Logic- November 10, 2010
By Coyote Duran, MaxBoxing (Nov 10, 2010) Special to Doghouse Boxing (Photo © German Villasenor)
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“Fighter of the Year”? Perhaps if I had anything to do with it…

Not long ago in this very column, I expressed concern about Showtime involving Glen Johnson as a substitution in its “Super Six” super middleweight tournament, so soon after his loss to Tavoris Cloud. Three months prior to “The Road Warrior’s” eighth-round flattening of Allan Green on Saturday night, Johnson gave a gutsy account in a disputed decision loss to the light heavyweight titlist, in which he didn’t exactly look his best (and was ever rattled a few times). However, making an assessment on the outcome of Johnson-Green by the outcome of Cloud-Johnson just wasn’t fair to Johnson at all. I didn’t think coming back down to a weight Johnson hadn’t seen in ten years wasn’t the safest thing in the world, especially against a potentially dangerous opponent like Green. Boy, was I wrong. And it just goes to show that some fighters aren’t just special because they happen to be older than the rest of the pack; they’re special because they’re gutsy beyond belief. Johnson has never bucked a challenge, especially if it can pad a nice retirement down the line (whenever that may be). After all, as he told me in an interview over five years ago, “If it makes dollars, it makes sense.” Johnson’s not a careless sort; he’s an evolutionary sort and has definitely turned this tournament on its ear. Now, I’m not going out on a limb and saying he’s going to sweep this sucker but it’s gonna get a whole lot more interesting from here. That being said, despite no title changing hands in any of Johnson’s three fights this year, I think a strong argument for Johnson grabbing a nomination for “Fighter of the Year” is more than reasonable. In February, Johnson wiped out Yusaf Mack and when you add that to him making Cloud earn his money in August and the Green fight seven pounds south, you have the makings of a fighter who personifies the spirit of Our Sport. And for those of you who justify the alphabets and their equally ridiculous belts by saying the fighters make the belts and not the other way around, I’d think you’d definitely be on board with this suggestion. Like I said, Johnson didn’t net a belt but why should that be part of the criteria?

As for Green’s intent to file a protest with the Nevada State Athletic Commission? C’mon. Every angle available showed that Green opened himself to the first shot that felled him: a Johnson right hand that barely…BARELY crossed that aural boundary due to Green’s dipping to his own right and shifting his head (likely an unconscious, instinctive move) ever so slightly and minutely. When you Howlers at home watch a buddy cop film or a procedural crime drama, you might be familiar with when someone says, “It was a clean shoot.” Well, Johnson’s shots that dropped Green in the eighth were indeed clean shoots…or shots. Take your pick; they land just the same.

That’s what friends are for…

There’s a lesson to be learned from Johnson-Green that Andre Dirrell can appreciate. If the alleged neurological issues Dirrell suffered from his “Super Six” outing against Arthur Abraham are really covering up not wanting to face his friend Andre Ward, someone’s gonna feel really dumb. And I’m not saying there’s nothing going on; I certainly hope Dirrell’s in good health. But I’m making it known now; should Dirrell eventually face Ward down the road, Green’s already cornered the “He rabbit-punched me” excuse.

Decisions, decisions…

Three days out. We’re three days away from one of the most interesting and intriguing fights in boxing history. No, that’s not hyperbole; it’s a fact. When, after years of domination within the squared circle, Manny Pacquiao gets a feature on his rise to fame on “60 Minutes” on the dawn of fight week, you know something’s up. Group that with the hype (or are they just brilliant psychological tactics?) about Pacquiao not looking as good in this camp (as he has in past camps) and his opponent on Saturday night, Antonio Margarito, looking exceptional and this editor is having one helluva go at trying to pick a winner for this one. And with the impact that Pacquiao has made on mainstream pop culture by sharing stages with Will Ferrell and Jimmy Kimmel, it seems like the mainstream notion would be to not hedge a pick on Margarito. Maybe that’s why it should be a notion relegated to the mainstream. More fans than you might think are putting their money on Margarito, who is (as of press time) the betting underdog at +300, if you follow Bodog.com. Of course, there will always be the lingering hand-wraps issue to content with, regarding what side one picks. If I haven’t said it on record yet, I’ll say it now; I honestly have given Margarito the benefit of the doubt. I don’t think he knew of former trainer Javier Capetillo’s impropriety. I really don’t. And with Margarito fulfilling his suspension (or at least the minimum), it’s come down to him simply going back to work like any other human who has paid a debt to society. And I’m sure that now, more than any time ever, the wrapping of “The Tijuana Tornado’s” hands will be heavily scrutinized, regardless of who trains him. But if he wins on Saturday night, one has to wonder what possible excuses could emerge in a Pacquiao loss. It seems that HBO’s “24/7” has already laid the groundwork for a few. All that’s left, Howlers, is the waiting. I just that if Bob Arum’s setting up Margarito to become Pacquiao’s next sacrificial lamb, he’s got another thing coming.

Sing a song of six-Pac…

OK, it doesn’t come across my desk/lap often (actually, it never does) but I received a request to check out Manny Pacquiao’s “official” theme song, as rendered by a group called Rag Rag (featuring “Britain’s Got Talent semifinalist Madonna Decena). It’s called “Fighting Pride” and opens with a brief spoken word lyric by Pacquiao himself. The song kicks into a beat reminiscent of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” and opens with a brisk horn section before lyrics like “faster than the speed of light. You’re gonna fear for your life” take hold. Now as far as lyrical hyperbole goes, the band (consisting of brothers Glen, Michael and Christopher Ragrag and Norbert Ace Gayanilo) has cornered the market but as a band in and of itself, the group is pretty solid and the guitar solo (caked with plenty of- is that a Dunlop Wah pedal? Richie Sambora would honestly be pretty proud), courtesy of Gayanilo cuts beautifully into the heart of the song and takes you home. And that’s the thing; as a song, “Fighting Pride” would’ve been pretty awesome had it been generalized. You know, with no references to Pacquiao and his indomitability? The spoken word at the beginning would’ve even been just so. But to dedicate the lyrics in specific to Pacquiao limits the song to musical kitsch (Gosh, I hate saying that as a music fanatic because these cats are obviously very talented). This is why anthems like “Eye of the Tiger” and Bill Conti’s “Gonna Fly Now- specifics to boxing lore- and even AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” have become such welcomed tunes for ring walks in Our Sport. However, for Pacquiao’s hardest of hardcore fans, especially in the Philippines, “Fighting Pride” will be a true, true treat. And why not? If nothing else, it reinforces the hope of a country who needs as much hope as it can get. And that ain’t a bad thing. As for Rag Rag, as a music nerd, I’m curious to hear what else they have in store that doesn’t serve as theme for anyone but them. Hey, if you’d like to check out the press release, please check out https://authentikartists.box.net/shared/q6a9od9rhl. If you’d like to hear the song and judge for yourself if you dig it (or for more on Rag Rag, a rather good band), please visit the band’s My Space page at http://www.myspace.com/RagRagBand.

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Contact Coyote at artofthepaw@yahoo.com or visit him at www.facebook.com/CoyoteDuran or www.myspace.com/coyote_duran. Please visit www.coyoteduran.com or www.facebook.com/CDCreationNation to check out Coyote’s original art. Currently, Coyote has no followers on Twitter. Because he has no Twitter.

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