Chrisí Advice Column
By Chris Acosta - I donít know if this ďAdvice ColumnĒ idea will go any further than this first installment. Much of that hinges on whether readers here at ESB like it or not. Either way, I decided to give this a shot because I have a great interest in the subject of advice. Itís a gift of mine; one that keep on giving unless it gets someone divorced or fired from work, in which case, good luck finding my new phone number. I love to hear someoneís problems and then offer counsel which I most likely got from Oprah but will unashamedly take full credit for.. If there was ever an institution that needed advice, itís boxing. The problems have been the same for years and arenít likely to change: not as long as the same faces run the show. But my hope is that by offering advice rather than scathing criticism, that someone who matters will take heart. Our sport is actually in pretty good shape. Despite what pugilism historians say about boxing coming to an end in the year 2012, itís been generating some pretty impressive numbers. With that said, welcome to chapter one of many more, I think.
Article posted on 08.03.2010
Ah, Mr. Arum. Iím glad we have the chance to address a few of these issues. Go ahead and have a seat and if you donít mind could you turn off your cell phone? Thanks. Okay, let me just go ahead and throw this out there. None of us fans of Mexican descent care about Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. At all. Unless heís in there with Alfredo Angulo, Paul Williams or Sergio Martinez, we donít care. And Jose Luis Castillo on the undercard of Pacquiao- Clottey? What? Was Ruben Olivares not available? Bob, please stop treating us Mexican fight fans- among the most loyal in the sport- like uninformed shmucks whoíll fall for anything after a few Coronas. We recognize quality as much as anyone and patronizing of us is very, very offensive. And further more- Bob? Where are you going? Bob? Of course you know Iíll be billing you for this!
Itís a moot point for now but may come up again which is why we need to talk. While preparing for your mega-fight with Shane Mosley, you were offered a chance to serve as a spar mate for Manny Pac before his eventual fall- through with Floyd Mayweather Jr., which as we all know, you turned down (this was before your need to leave the country to aid your countrymen in Haiti and to which I offer my condolences). Should Manny get past Joshua Clottey in a fight which will elevate the Filipino wonder even higher than he already is, he will either have to face Mosley or Mayweather. You, Mr. Berto, are the closest thing to either that Team Pacquaio will find to emulate them and I recommend this time, that you accept the offer. You are a titlist with great talent and potential and the truth is that several guest appearances on a segment of HBOís 24/7 will expose you to more people than has ever been the case before. Plus, it would serve as a springboard to future bouts with one of the other welterweight greats as casual fans wonít have to learn about you from scratch.
Keep putting new faces on your cover. Having Timothy Bradley right there for everyone to see was a great move for a number of reasons. 1. Tim is an exciting boxer who seems right on the cusp of becoming a pound Ėfor- pound entrant. 2. Itís a nice break from the same names (we all know who they are) youíve been featuring for the last two years. 3. It removes the smug certainty that casual fans and MMA heads have that there arenít any other names outside of the obvious ones, worthy to carry the sport. You are truly the last bastion of fairness in promotion and I applaud you for the move. Now how about Edwin Valero, Andre Ward, Devon Alexander or Yuriorkis Gamboa?
Live up to your potential and put that performance against Nicolay Valuev way, way behind you. Itís been said that a great heavyweight carries the sport and if thatís true, then you could be that guy. You have it all: good-looks, an explosive style and a serious personality. You want to know the real reason we Americans never took to Lennox Lewis? Heís a boring read. Lewis was a great boxer- no denying that- but he was far too literal and highly uncomfortable in front of the camera. Your charisma transcends nationality; we can spot a cool cat from a mile away and you are that. If you can do us all a favor by blasting out John Ruiz in defense of your WBA title, then itís time to start getting under the Klitschkoís skin again.
Itís time to take a break. No, seriously, a long break. You have been in some wars recently; the kind that speed up the odometer. Yes, Arum wants you to challenge Yuri Foreman, a fighter he will not stop trying to shove down our throats, but you might just want to pass on this one. Foreman is a decent boxer (though a bit on the boring side) and beating him wonít fool anyone into believing that youíve returned to the top of your game. Take a vacation with your family, man. You have earned it. Travel the world, sit around playing video games, indulge in fast food, sleep in until noon and whatever else it is that your boxing career hasnít allowed for. And then after a year or more, when the itch to lace on the gloves returns, come back with a fresh mind, recuperated body and rejuvenated spirit. Give us the real Miguel Cotto; we look forward to seeing him.
To those still using the term, ďMost feared fighter on the planet.Ē
This whole thing started with either Antonio Margarito or Paul Williams and I donít care. It was a cool pitch at first and got us excited about the fact that boxers- guys not known for playing the bonus ingredient in a Caesar Salad- would cower at the thought of facing another man in the ring. But the phrase has quickly fizzed out and sounds like a desperate plea to grab our attention. Besides, there are way scarier things in the fight game like the WBA rankings, Roger Mayweatherís molestation of the English language and the thought of John Duddy in the ring with Kelly Pavlik.
Move to heavyweight. Thereís really no one left for you to prove yourself against. The leading candidate, Tavoris Cloud, is injured and will spend the rest of the year participating in legal issues between Lou Dibella and Don King. That leaves you with either a third fight with Glen Johnson or waiting around for a big-name super middleweight to come up and challenge you. The latter is intriguing but with Showtimeís Super Six Tournament keeping most of the division occupied, youíre left waiting around and not gaining any new fans. Think of it this way: Youíre the only guy to beat Tomasz Adamek and heís making some noise with the big boys. Youíre faster than him, more skilled and have the frame to carry 215 pounds. Plus, youíre a southpaw and heavyweights possessing that dreaded stance have a pretty good history. Oh, and youíre American and as starved as we are for a good one, youíll have lots of support. Címon Chad! Do it!
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