Something I have always avoided doing that many people seem to enjoy, or at least pretend to enjoy on Facebook, is looking back and taking stock. I don’t want to think about where I’ve been, what I’ve accomplished, and where I’ve failed. I tell myself that it’s because I am too focused on the present and future to concern myself with the past. It might be because I still feel the failures, and whether personal or professional, that carnage isn’t worth reviewing. Those are both tiny little parts of the whole. The reality is that it will remind me that I often coast whenever I’m comfortable. The nights I could’ve spent locked away hard at work were scuttled by the phrase “Let’s get a beer.” Many of my fondest memories are from imbibing when I should’ve been working, but you can’t really tell yourself that you didn’t get a fair shake when you didn’t do absolutely everything necessary to get one.
Because I’m a good friend (you’re welcome, Weiler), and had nothing that at that precise moment I would rather be doing, I watched the Sky Sports card from Liverpool last Saturday. Headlining was a pair of tough luck middleweights: Gabriel Rosado and Martin Murray. Their luck depends on your definition of tough. Rosado was cursed with bizarre fashion sense, a decision loss here or there he might’ve deserved, and skin around his eyes that goes all “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” against anyone who can crack. Murray, who is according to the Sky Team, “A world champion without a belt,” whatever the sideways fuck that idiotic statement means, has lost a couple of close shaves and got a draw against Felix Sturm in Germany. A cursory view of their records shows the only thing the two fighters have in common is taking a beating from Gennady Golovkin.
I had never considered it until watching them fight, but they’re pretty much the same guy in the ring. Neither has much power. They lean forward the same way. They both throw a slightly paused lead right that’s more change-up than fastball. They both pitter pat a 1-2 before hopping back. There was a sequence in the latter portions of the 11th round in which they skipped across the ring in unison. Their feet were perfectly timed and at the same distance. No one was fleeing, and no one was truly pursuing. Even the low blows they landed were nearly identical.
Unfortunately, the most fire either man showed all night was after the scorecards were read. Murray was awarded a majority decision by counts of 114-114, 116-112, and an execrable 119-109. I wasn’t scoring the rounds closely, but a draw seemed fair, which may be because I watched the first half live, then went back to finish it later. One thing is for certain; it was not a fun fight. It wasn’t an ugly style clash, either. Being so similar, they made for some good exchanges. The boring part was that they never accelerated in unison, and neither seems to have that top gear. I will admit that some of that is talent based, but on the undercard, a pair of club fighters went balls out and gave everyone a show. The main event was just kind of meh.
That does tend to be the problem when you have something to lose. Whether it’s your own comfort or the remaining tissue around your eyes because you need that next paycheck, your foot waivers over the skinny pedal on the right and things happen to you, not the other way around.
- I’m late to the Avtandil Khurtisidze party, but we need to go back to the bridge in Georgia under which they found him and find some more. His left hook KO of Tommy Langford last Saturday in their middleweight bout was as nonchalant as it was devastating. Langford dropped his right hand moving back and the 5’4” (not a typo) Khurtsidze dropped him with a perfect shot. How the hell is he a middleweight? He’s 1.5” shorter than Vic Darchinyan.
- Khurtsidze is now Billy Joe Saunders’ mandatory for whatever alphabet title he has. I hope it happens. I know Saunders is the best fighter in whatever trailer park he inhabits, but he’s not that good, and seeing him KO’d by a steroidal Smurf would make me happy.
- I don’t enjoy watching Shawn Porter fight. Never have. Probably never will. To shamelessly steal from Malcolm Tucker, it’s like watching a sweaty octopus try to unhook a bra. Zero balance, so inept at head butting that he cuts himself, just one spastic bull rush after another. The ‘Wonderful Tonight”-style slow dances he has with his dad prefight are more than enough reason to hate him; his mugging style does the rest.
- I will say this for Porter, he’s always full throttle, always in shape, and fights the best competition available.
- Andre Berto has a lot of heart. Not much talent, but plenty of heart. It doesn’t matter much in the long run, as he got 1.2 fucking MILLION dollars to fight Porter. HOW? He hasn’t been relevant at welterweight since losing to Vinny Facelube. All I know is he must have pictures of Al Haymon using those horse teeth and other equine anatomy parts in compromising situations.
- The other Charlo can punch and be aggressive too, it turns out. I know Charles Hatley isn’t very good, but Charlo battered then starched him. It might have behooved him and his brother to flash that power and rage a few years back while they were coasting to wide decisions against bums and journeymen. At this point, I’m hard pressed to start giving a fuck about their careers.
- I didn’t watch the Top Rank pay per view card. Fuck paying $50 for that.