Absent a big fight this weekend, is boxing going stir-crazy? Take a look at some of the ridiculous goings-on out there.
- Heavyweight titlist Vladimir Klitschko pulled a fast one on Borat himself, aka Sasha Baron Cohen, implying that he would like to “break his neck” for what he said about Kazakstan. Fortunately for fans of seeing frat boys behave in latently homosexual antics only to turn around and react with disgust at actual homosexuals, Klitschko was joking. It was a good gag, if it went down the way Klitschko described. Alas, the account does not say if Klitschko batted at Cohen’s hands like a large, angry kitten, as he did his last opponent. Also, his brother, fellow heavyweight Vitali, lost the election to become a mayor in Ukraine. Not that funny, but, kinda, and related.
- Sam Soliman, the lovable former “Contender” star, pulled down his opponent Anthony Mundine’s pants during the weigh-in for their super-middleweight (168 lbs.) fight. Fear not: Clicking on that link will not take you to images or video of a de-pantsed Mundine. Mundine didn’t like the prank and reacted by grabbing then thrusting his crotch out to those in attendance, which isn’t nearly as funny. Soliman lost the actual fight, so winning’s the best revenge. Maybe even funnier: Mundine thinks he might get a shot at Kelly Pavlik now. Hahahahaha.
- Paulie Malignaggi’s hair extensions, worn into a junior welterweight (140 lbs.) title fight over the weekend, turned him — officially, according to Unsilent Majority — into a joke; his hair that night has been compared to Milli Vanilli, The Predator and a Komondor dog. I’m also thinking he looked like Bo Derek. Or Axl Rose in his reemergence from years of ruthless plastic surgery and not putting out “Chinese Democracy.”
- Kimbo Slice vs. Mike Tyson. Mon frere Sean’s take on it is ample, but it’s laughable in between my bursts of tears.
- Remember how Zab Judah fell in the shower, ripping his arm open so badly he needed stitches and screwing up what might have been a pretty good fight with fellow welterweight (147 lbs.) Shane Mosley this weekend? It sounded fishy, didn’t it? “Fell in the shower?” The truth may be funnier. ESPN’s Dan Rafael reports that he’s heard Judah got into an argument with his father/trainer Yoel and was having a temper tantrum, and proceeded to put his arm through a steam room door at a gym owned by promoter Top Rank. Is there a less worthy way for a fighter to lose $800,000? Especially since he’ll be fined, too, and will make a lot less fighting Josh Clottey instead? Judah loves beating up things that can’t fight back, I guess, be it steam room doors or a man being held down on the ground for his kicking pleasure. (Judah denies the Rafael tale.)
- Did you know it was President Bush’s fault that ticket sales are slow for the June 7 Kelly Pavlik-Gary Lockett middleweight (160 lbs.) fight? So says Top Rank chief Bob Arum (h/t Bad Left Hook). Nevermind that ticket sales tend to be slow for total mismatches, which is what this one is expected to be. Nevermind that there’s no Mexican or Puerto Rican fan base near Atlantic City to cheer on the card’s highlight, a battle between Daniel Ponce De Leon and Juan Manuel Lopez at 122 lbs. Never mind that the fight’s in Atlantic City at all, close enough for Pavlik’s Ohio fans to travel when it’s a big, big fight but not for this ‘un. Hasn’t Arum watched any of the endless bits of footage out there about the declining industrial city of Youngstown, from whence Pavlik arose, Phoenix-like, forged in steel, all that, to give hope to the economically hopeless? Aside: Yes, I’m getting sick of all the “Pavlik’s an average guy from a town that needs him to win to prevent mass suicide” stuff, even though Pavlik is one of my favorites. Anyhow, Arum blames Bush for the slow ticket sales. Ba-dum-bum.