Quick Jabs: Back To The Bad Kind Of Arturo Gatti Drama; Mercito Gesta, Sparring Champion; The Latest Boxing Politician; More

Caught between a thorough review of this weekend’s action (the Weekend Afterthoughts column, running Monday) and gearing up for next weekend’s action (inaugural entry in our marathon Floyd Mayweather-Victor Ortiz coverage, running tonight), let’s clear the deck of some very, very thin list of goings-on in the past week that we haven’t gotten to yet.

Like, let’s talk about this Ortiz video for a second. It’s got no place in either post, but it’s too daffy not to mention at all.



In the video, he talks about how fighting Vivian Harris was “fighting the best of the best.” No. As of that moment, that was the wrongest thing he’d ever said. But he’d have more wrongness to soon eclipse it: “I put him on the floor, on the canvas, which was kinda funny to me because I wasn’t supposed to do that… everyone was kind of stunned (after the knockout).” No. That’s exactly what everyone thought he was supposed to do. It was mismatch from the get-go and everyone knew it, since Harris’ ability to take a punch had long since degraded and Ortiz has authentic power.

I like Ortiz. But sometimes? I get it when people don’t.

To the rest of the Quick Jabs!

I’ve never taken a hard stance on what happened with Arturo Gatti’s death, other than to think it was fishy and that the investigators hired by his former manager, Pat Lynch, were unlikely to come to any kind of unbiased conclusion. But the evidence they presented last week — it’s fairly convincing to me that Gatti was likely murdered. And some of the stuff coming out in court? That ain’t so pretty either, about Gatti’s wife, Amanda Rodrigues. Granted, there has been some not-so-incriminating stuff coming out of late, too. But hesitant though I might be to convict someone myself when a court hasn’t, none of this looks good. Brazilian authorities are considering re-opening the case; maybe I won’t need to convict anyone, if justice is done by the people who should do it…

Ignoring a boxer’s retirement talk is usually a good idea. About 95% of the time, they don’t mean it. But there’s good reason to think that Manny Pacquiao’s recent talk of retiring in 2013 is legit: because that’s when he might run for governor. His remark about being in Congress as “not really hard work” was maybe a bad thing to say aloud, but I get his meaning — Congress is a part-time gig, and being governor isn’t. Being a part-time boxer/part-time congressman is already a risky proposition, and being a part-time boxer/full-time governor simply isn’t viable…

But hey, as complicated as things will be for Pac’s careers, at least in his rivalry with Juan Manuel Marquez, a rivalry where Marquez has often been surly toward Pacquiao, has taken a turn for the better. Marquez recently tossed out a backhanded compliment about Pacquiao’s singing, which might be the only nice thing he’s ever said about the guy…

And Pacquiao’s not the only one in politics these days, by the way. Heavyweight Nikolai Valuev will find out in December whether he’s a member of the Russian Duma, after the announcement last week that elections are set for then. Valuev as congressman is an image I like. Valuev takes a lot of abuse for being a “freak” and such, and a lot of it is fairly cruel. He’s always been a man of many assets, and one of them is his brain…

Junior welterweight prospect Mercito Gesta isn’t suffering from poor sparring, to say the least. In recent weeks and months he’s gone in with Amir Khan, Shane Mosley (and his kid!), Jose Benavidez, Jr., Jorge Linares and Paulie Malignaggi, as a partial list. That makes him the temporary world boxing sparring champion, by my reckoning…

There has naturally be fallout from Vanes Martirosyan turning down a junior middleweight title fight with Alfredo Angulo. First, we now know that he turned it down for sure. Second, his manager dumped him. Third, he’s talked a fair bit on Twitter about why he turned it down. None of it is convincing. Let this be a lesson, Internet tough guys: You can’t talk shit non-stop then back down from a challenge. Vanes’ reputation — maybe even his career — is going to be very, very difficult to renovate after this.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C., where he is a staff writer for CQ Roll Call.

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