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Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

No Holds Barred: Jens Sejer Andersen on Russian Doping Scandal, Credible Leadership for Sport, and Play the Game 2017 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Jens Sejer Andersen, the international director of Play the Game.

Play the Game is an international conference and communication initiative aiming to strengthen the ethical foundation of sport and promote democracy, transparency, and freedom of expression in sport.

Their biannual international conference, Play the Game 2017, will take place 26-30 November at the Van der Valk Hotel Eindhoven in Eindhoven, Netherlands. This is THE major world event advocating sport reform. The programme for the conference so far can be seen here.

Many sessions will be live-streamed and/or recorded for later viewing. Speakers and panelists will include academics, journalists, sports officials, athletes, and other sports stakeholders.

Featured among the many topics will be discussion of the ongoing Russian state-sponsored doping scandals. Among the speakers and panelists will be:

Professor Richard H. McLaren, who led the investigation and issued reports for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) which documented state-sponsored doping in Russia in sport; David Howman, chairman of the Athletics Integrity of the IAAF and former director-general of WADA; Craig Reedie, the current president of WADA; IOC member Richard Pound, who was the first president of WADA; Travis Tygart, CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA); journalist Hajo Seppelt, who has played a key role exposing these doping scandals; journalists Jens Weinreich and Declan Hill, who have played key roles in exposing corruption and match-fixing in international football and other sports; Brendan Schwab, executive director of the World Players Association, UNI Global Union; and numerous others.

Among the many panels and sessions will be one entitled "Martial Arts: The need for joint regulation". Organized by Sport&Society from the Netherlands and Sport&Society from Belgium, the panel seeks to examine issues related to the failure of self-regulation in the "Full Contact Martial Arts and Combat Sports (FCMACS)" and the issues of regulation by governments. Speakers will include Marloes Coenen, the former Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion who retired as an MMA fighter earlier this year, and Michal Buchel of the International Sambo Federation (FIAS), as well as academics and sports officials from Belgium and the Netherlands.

We spoke with Jens Sejer Andersen by Skype Wednesday.

"Personally, also, although I shouldn't be surprised after watching international sports politics for 20 years now, I can't help becoming surprised by the day about how all these things are developing," he said.

"And I think one of the reasons that they are developing is simply that sport does not have a credible leadership.

"As long as the people on top, at the top, the helmet of these organizations, remain, if not the same individuals then the same family of individuals, as they also like to call themselves, then we will not see a real honest, radical change, and chances are that the skeletons will keep on dropping out of the closet. And the closet holds more skeletons that you would believe when you just take a look at them."

We also discussed more on this conference; the growth of its influence parallel with the growth and exposure of the myriad scandals and negative shift in public opinion regarding world sport; the various possible scenarios of how the IOC will or will not deal with the continued non-compliance of Russia's anti-doping agency (RUSADA) with WADA, with the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, Korea, set to take place in February, and the 2018 FIFA World Cup scheduled to take place in Russia in June and July; issues that are more focused on U.S. sport such as the "Take A Knee" protests by athletes and supporters against racist police killing and brutality; and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link does not work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is available at Google Play Music.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

You can also listen to No Holds Barred via Stitcher through iOS or Android devices or on the web here.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player app is available for free, both for Android at Google Play, and for iOS on the App Store.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

No Holds Barred is sponsored by:

The Catch Wrestling Alliance, resurrecting and promoting the sport of authentic catch-as-catch-can wrestling. The Catch Wrestling Alliance provides tournaments, seminars, and training as well as education about catch wrestling. Join the movement and keep real wrestling alive. For more information, go to CatchWrestlingAlliance.com.

Skullz Double-End Bags, the perfect bag for your combat sports training. Skullz Double-End Bags provide a realistic striking target, and help improve timing, distance, and hand and eye coordination. Hang it and hit it right out of the box! No pump required. For more information, go to SkullzDeBags.com.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Doubles HBO Boxing's Viewers Saturday Night 


by Eddie Goldman

They finally did it. Top Rank boxing on ESPN in the U.S. this past Saturday, November 11, got about twice as many viewers as the HBO card. ESPN's card featured Artur Beterbiev vs. Enrico Köelling for the IBF light heavyweight belt and Jose Ramirez vs. Mike Reed. HBO's card was headlined by Daniel Jacobs vs. Luis Arias.

According to the Nielsen ratings listed on ShowBuzzDaily, the ESPN show averaged 1,487,000 viewers. The HBO card had its highest segment during the Jacob-Arias fight, averaging 706,000 viewers.

Top Rank stopped working with HBO earlier this year and signed an exclusive four-year deal with ESPN. According to a report by Bill King on Sports Business Journal, this Top Rank-ESPN deal is "a four-year rights deal that a source familiar with the negotiations valued at eight figures annually."

The figure of 1,487,000 would make it the fifth-most watched boxing show on U.S. broadcast or cable this year, and the second-highest on cable, only behind the July 2 Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn fight on ESPN with 2,810,000 viewers.

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Thursday, November 09, 2017

No Holds Barred: Nola Hanson on Trans Boxing New York City 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Nola Hanson of Trans Boxing New York City.

Trans Boxing New York City is a collective committed to providing trans and gender nonconforming people with the resources and support necessary to fully participate in the sport and culture of boxing.

We spoke with Nola Hanson by phone Wednesday.

"We have been holding beginners' boxing classes in Brooklyn since mid-summer," they said.

These classes are held at Red Planet Muay Thai at 105 Ralph Avenue, and take place every Thursday from 6:30 to 7:30 PM.

"And we are now expanding to Manhattan."

Beginning Saturday, November 11, there will be weekly classes held at the Overthrow Boxing Club at 9 Bleecker Street, from 4 to 5 PM.

Trans Boxing New York City "was set up because I just noticed that there wasn't a trans or queer boxing class or space really at all in the entire city. And it was something that I thought was really needed, and, so I wanted to see if we could get something started."

We discussed the need for safe places for transgender and gender nonconforming to train in boxing and to learn self-defense, the rash of crimes and murders aimed in particular at trans women of color, the history of the Overthrow Boxing Club and why it is a good place for these classes, the importance of having experienced trainers like Muay Thai trainer and former professional fighter Mario Marin, and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link does not work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is available at Google Play Music.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

You can also listen to No Holds Barred via Stitcher through iOS or Android devices or on the web here.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player app is available for free, both for Android at Google Play, and for iOS on the App Store.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

No Holds Barred is sponsored by:

The Catch Wrestling Alliance, resurrecting and promoting the sport of authentic catch-as-catch-can wrestling. The Catch Wrestling Alliance provides tournaments, seminars, and training as well as education about catch wrestling. Join the movement and keep real wrestling alive. For more information, go to CatchWrestlingAlliance.com.

Skullz Double-End Bags, the perfect bag for your combat sports training. Skullz Double-End Bags provide a realistic striking target, and help improve timing, distance, and hand and eye coordination. Hang it and hit it right out of the box! No pump required. For more information, go to SkullzDeBags.com.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2017

The Wilder-Stiverne-Joshua Charade 


by Eddie Goldman

When the alarm went off shortly before 9 PM Saturday night, I awoke from a short nap already in a crabby mood. It was time to get up and watch the fights on Showtime. I don't cover many of these things live anymore for all sorts of reasons, including it being far easier to watch them on TV than in the arena, and also that I may be getting too old to traipse all over the place on a regular basis to cover fights whose outcome even a moron or a dotard would know. I'd rather be outside playing, you know, at what remains of the affordable barrooms in New York, but like covering the fights live, I may be getting too old to keep doing that as well.

My cable company Spectrum, where more than 1700 techs in New York and New Jersey have had to be on strike for over seven months with no negotiations planned by this monopoly, cooperated in bolstering my crabbiness when I put on the TV to watch Showtime, to which I have duly subscribed for many a year. The picture on this channel, but not many others, was all pixelated and unwatchable. But since their service has been deteriorating even further of late into the depths of cable hell, and there is no other TV provider available to me, I had been experimenting using their service which lets you watch many channels online, all legally. Fortunately for me, they were showing the Showtime live feed of the fight, so to the computer it was. Legal streaming. Is there any other kind?

While the first two televised fights, Sergey Lipinets vs. Akihiro Kondo and Shawn Porter vs. Adrian Granados, were action-packed and entertaining, the main event was what was drawing most people in. WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder was facing the only fighter whom he had not knocked out, Bermane Stiverne, in a rematch of their January 2015 fight, won by Wilder by a lopsided unanimous decision.

Originally it had been announced that Wilder was to face unbeaten heavyweight Luis "King Kong" Ortiz, but by now you probably know what happened to that match, although perhaps not why. Ortiz tested positive for banned substances on a prefight doping test conducted by VADA, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, but his camp claimed they were just from taking a prescription blood pressure medication. Of course, when Ortiz's team helped him fill out the paperwork for VADA, they conveniently omitted mentioning this prescription medication, failed to ask for a therapeutic use exemption for it, and didn't even list any blood pressure problem for him.

Then, also conveniently, the WBC withdrew sanctioning for this bout as a title fight and Ortiz was pulled from the bout. Stiverne, the mandatory challenger who had taken step-aside money to let the more marketable and powerful Ortiz take his place, now became Wilder's opponent. Showtime, which had balked at showing Wilder-Stiverne 2, was already locked into this date, as was the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Coincidences or trickeration that Wilder, perhaps facing a dangerous title unification fight next year with the undefeated star Anthony Joshua, now had a sure-fire win? You make the call, but at least some people believe they know the score, as unprovable as that may be. Even Stiverne had repeatedly said, including on this fight's media conference call, that he knew that Wilder would never face Ortiz.

But what was left of Stiverne anyway? For this fight, he came in at an almost career-high of 254 3/4 pounds, his heaviest since a mismatch he won in 2008 and 15 3/4 pounds heavier than when he first fought Wilder in 2015. Stiverne alluded to numerous injuries he had suffered before and after that fight, why this heavy weight signified nothing since he had eaten before the weigh-in, and so forth.

Yes, both fighters had promised a war in the prefight p.r. propaganda, but when Stiverne walked his soft body to the ring, he looked like he had a date with the hangman.

Then the bell rang, with, to his credit, Showtime announcer Mauro Ranallo joining the tiny ranks of those in the media who properly pronounced Stiverne's name. (It is BER-man Sti-VERNE.)

So this was what we had waited for. Wilder came out loose and fired a few jabs in the first minute. Stiverne fired nought. Wilder then stepped up his attack, and as you may have already seen one way or another, knocked down Stiverne three times, with the third one crumpling him on the ropes. At just 2:59 of the first round, referee Arthur Mercante wrestled his way between these two men and stopped the fight.

CompuBox stats showed that Stiverne had thrown four punches, two jabs and power punches each, and landed exactly none. Zero. Yup, he had really come to fight.

Even Wilder's stats in this one-sided affair were modest, landing 15 of 39 punches to score three knockdowns in the last two minutes of this round.

The fight had gone as planned, according to those who smelled trickeration. Stiverne was there to be a punching bag, collecting a reported half-million bucks to stand there and get put to sleep. Even Showtime announcer Al Bernstein had to say on the air, with interpretation up to the viewer, "Bermane Stiverne was a cooperator."

Now all the accolades poured in for Wilder, as if he had beaten a reincarnated Muhammad Ali or Joe Louis. Few noted that once more Wilder had been protected from a foe like Luis Ortiz who would have likely put him to sleep. But his perfect record was intact, now at 39-0 with 38 knockouts, and he could claim that he had finally knocked out every man he had faced, although there are more John Does on that list of his opponents than who register at the front desk of the short stay hotels.

Nowhere could I find in the media mentions of the astute comments made by Charles Farrell, mainly on Twitter (@cfarrell_boxing). Few had the guts, smarts, and/or integrity to repost them, so here are just two of them:

"Wilder can't fight, and he can't draw money, so the plan is to cash him out against Joshua. Anyone who knows boxing can see that."

"This was a beautifully executed hustle from the moment Ortiz was signed. It will end when Wilder is cashed out against Joshua. Great stuff."

Perhaps the only positive thing about Wilder that emerged from this fight was a comment that he made that also was barely mentioned in the media. In his televised postfight interview, he noted the death of Delrawn Small, an unarmed man murdered by a New York cop. Wilder has recently started speaking out more publicly about police brutality, joining a growing list of athletes.

But the main postfight focus and theatrics focused on a potential lucrative title unification fight with the IBF and WBA champ Anthony Joshua of the U.K., with Wilder having safely secured his WBC belt.

The WBC may try to intercede if Wilder can't get an immediate fight with Joshua. They first declared Dominic Breazeale, who stopped Eric Molina on the undercard, Wilder's new mandatory challenger, but had to pull back when reminded that there are still several fighters ranked ahead of the number six Breazeale, including Dillian Whyte and Andy Ruiz. Now they told whomever still listens that this was not the "final" eliminator, thus waiting to see where the most dollars and pesos in sanctioning fees would be for Wilder's next outing.

So after the fight, Wilder challenged Joshua again. But Joshua interestingly enough was not even at this fight, as some of us had thought he might be. Joshua's unspectacular tenth-round TKO of late replacement Carlos Takam the week earlier, also shown in the U.S. on Showtime, took place in front of about 78,000 fans in Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, and was shown in the U.K. on pay-per-view. The reported attendance for the Wilder-Stiverne card was 10,924, with the entire mezzanine of the Barclays Center being reportedly covered up and reports of many free tickets being handed out.

While for the limited Wilder the only big money fight left is one with Joshua, there are numerous spectacular paydays awaiting Joshua in 2018 and beyond. He could have a unification fight with unbeaten WBO champ Joseph Parker, who now is based in the U.K. A fight with the colorful and outspoken David Haye, if he is healthy and gets by Tony Bellew in their Dec. 17 rematch in London, would do massive business. And, of course, there is the mercurial and unpredictable Tyson Fury, still suspended, unlicensed, and obese, and in questionable physical and mental shape. But if the unbeaten Fury manages to overcome all his demons and obstacles, a fight between the two men who last defeated Wladimir Klitschko could set any number of gate and TV records.

Wilder? Yeah, a fight with Joshua would do well, but it is just not as urgent for Joshua to unify with him. Wilder is neither a draw on TV nor in the arenas. He is not well-known outside of the U.S., or even beyond boxing's devotees in America.

Wilder and his team need Joshua, but not the reverse.

While Wilder was walking over Stiverne, not only was Joshua not in attendance, but neither was his loquacious promoter, Eddie Hearn. On that same day, Hearn was in Monte Carlo, Monaco, for a show he was promoting, and whose main event was a one-round, one-punch blowout by rising light heavyweight star Dmitry Bivol over Trent Broadhurst. And that fight, while Wilder-Stiverne was on Showtime, was aired live in the U.S. by Showtime's rival, HBO.

Hearn has recently set up Matchroom Boxing USA, with its debut show this Saturday, November 11, at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, Long Island, New York. Its main event will be a middleweight fight between Al Haymon-fighter Danny Jacobs and unbeaten but likely overmatched Luis Arias. The co-feature has yet another unbeaten heavyweight, Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller, against veteran former title challenger Mariusz Wach. And for a second week in a row, HBO will telecast a Hearn-promoted show.

While Wilder and Joshua both are signed to fight for Showtime in the U.S., Joshua's deals could be matched by HBO. Showtime was set to sign the fight between Joshua and his original opponent, Kubrat Pulev, but had the offer reportedly doubled by HBO. They obliged, but will no doubt face tough competition from HBO in keeping Joshua when their deal is finally up.

Hearn is already leveraging HBO and Showtime against each other. Does he plan to take Joshua with him to HBO when the contract allows? Who will blink in a bidding war between HBO and Showtime? HBO now has a freer budget than recently thanks to the retirements of Andre Ward and Wladimir Klitschko, and the departure to ESPN of Top Rank's fighters including Manny Pacquiao. Showtime only delivered a lukewarm number of views for the Joshua-Takam fight, shown in the U.S. in the afternoon, of 334,000 viewers.

This gamesmanship may explain why HBO sent three announcers and apparently paid a rights fee, for a one-round obvious mismatch in Monaco, the only fight they aired. Supposedly they have a tight boxing budget, right? HBO seems to be doing whatever Hearn asks of them to butter him up for when Joshua becomes free of his Showtime deal. This HBO show was like an investment, a loss leader, for HBO's bid for Joshua, who is the real prize in all of this.

If Joshua ends up at HBO, that might complicate or even scuttle a deal for a Wilder fight if he stays with Showtime. But with Joshua seemingly guaranteed to earn immense paydays for years to come by fighting on U.K. pay-per-view and in sold-out football stadiums there, and supplemented by ballooning rights fees from Showtime or HBO, what's the rush from his standpoint to fight Wilder?

Yeah, the belts. By now you should know what happens there. The more you unify, the more mandatories you have. And since you can't fight them all at once, and since some or even most of them aren't marketable or don't deserve to be mandatory challengers for a fight to be heavyweight champion of the world as much as Vince McMahon does, you don't fight them and end up getting stripped of one or more of the belts. And nobody will fucking care.

So who needs Wilder? Joshua certainly doesn't, at least now. Joshua also has a WBA mandatory he must face sometime, which he has indicated he intends to do. Wilder, thus, must take a number and stand in line.

With half the Barclays Center in Brooklyn empty, on the other side of the East River, UFC was having one of its brawls at Madison Square Garden. It drew a reported 18,201 fans and was on pay-per-view. The number of people who watched that on pay-per-view may be about the same or even more than saw Wilder-Stiverne on regular Showtime, although numbers aren't available yet.

The reviews of this UFC show were all positive from that milieu, with three title changes. Of course, UFC's present-day fan base is generally younger, whiter, richer, Trumpier, and far less knowledgeable about the art of striking than boxing's present-day fan base. While Stiverne standing like a statue raised questions in boxing, in MMA in general and particularly in UFC, that style of fighting is preferred, even though it has been ridiculed as being professional toughman or, to use the phrase of the late MMA fight manager Phyllis Lee, junior boxing. But the UFC fans lap this up, especially when one fighter is almost helplessly pounded repeatedly on the head while on the ground, in a sport which once purported to be safer than boxing. But even though it is a dumber sport than boxing, today's MMA has outsmarted boxing in terms of marketing and even matchmaking.

Now after assessing all this after the fight, it was too late to head to the barrooms, even with the extra hour due to the end of Daylight Savings Time. Yet I was even crabbier than before, and still wide awake. We had been shown a charade which should have infuriated people, or at least not have been taken seriously. So it was time to find an entertaining, light-hearted, and feel-good charade. Fortunately, someone had posted on YouTube for free a full, uncut version of the classic 1963 film "Charade" starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn (it turns out this film has always been in the public domain because of a copyright screwup when it first came out).

I'm far from being a film historian, but articles about this comedy-drama-mystery have glowingly called it the last sparkle of Hollywood's golden age. Even though it came out 54 years ago, I won't post spoilers, although Cary Grant's character is named Peter Joshua. But there's no Wilder in this story, either, as there may not be for the Joshua named Anthony.

Watching this late night dose of unreality, romance, and superb acting, dialogue, and writing was a fitting way to start to heal the intellectual wounds suffered from watching Saturday's boxing charade. Now would that some of these boxers in their upcoming in-ring charades inject a bit of ironic reality into them by using as walkout music Henry Mancini's theme from "Charade"!

(Photo of Deontay Wilder and Bermane Stiverne by Tom Casino/Showtime. Photo of Anthony Joshua by Esther Lin/Showtime.)



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Saturday, November 04, 2017

Wilder-Stiverne 2, November 4, 2017 



Another Saturday, another 'world heavyweight championship' fight. Will Deontay Wilder finally knock out Bermane Stiverne, the only fighter to take him the distance? Will Stiverne defy the bookies and experts to score a major upset? Will there be trickeration galore, with Don King in the house and the geniuses of the New York State Athletic Commission running the show? Will Anthony Joshua make a surprise run-in from the back and hit Wilder with a steel chair? Will this fight just make people sick and disgusted? Or will we see a clean and historic heavyweight classic? (Photo of Wilder and Stiverne from Amanda Westcott/Showtime.)

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Sunday, October 29, 2017

No Holds Barred: Joshua Disappoints, But Will Wilder and Big Baby Impress? 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses Anthony Joshua's tenth-round TKO victory over Carlos Takam on October 28, and the controversies it caused regarding the fast stoppage and Joshua's less-than-stellar performance.

Next in an unofficial trilogy of top heavyweight fights will be WBC champion Deontay Wilder's rematch with Bermane Stiverne this Saturday, November 4. Wilder is 38-0 with 37 knockouts, Stiverne being his lone opponent not stopped within the distance. This rematch of their 2015 fight takes place at Brooklyn's Barclays Center and will be shown in the U.S. on Showtime and in the U.K. on Sky Sports.

Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller, 19-0-1 with 17 KOs, wants to get into title contention when he faces former title challenger Mariusz Wach on November 11 at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, Long Island, New York, in a fight which will be shown on HBO in the U.S.

We spoke with "Big Baby" and promoter Eddie Hearn on a media conference call this past week.

In addition, on his media conference call, Deontay Wilder was asked about racial inequality in the U.S., in light of the growing revolt by athletes against racist killings by police. We play Wilder's remarks on that subject, complete and unedited.

And we discuss what all this means for the heavyweight division, and much more.

You can play or download No Hold and here and here. If one link does not work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is available at Google Play Music.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

You can also listen to No Holds Barred via Stitcher through iOS or Android devices or on the web here.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player app is available for free, both for Android at Google Play, and for iOS on the App Store.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

No Holds Barred is sponsored by:

The Catch Wrestling Alliance, resurrecting and promoting the sport of authentic catch-as-catch-can wrestling. The Catch Wrestling Alliance provides tournaments, seminars, and training as well as education about catch wrestling. Join the movement and keep real wrestling alive. For more information, go to CatchWrestlingAlliance.com.

Skullz Double-End Bags, the perfect bag for your combat sports training. Skullz Double-End Bags provide a realistic striking target, and help improve timing, distance, and hand and eye coordination. Hang it and hit it right out of the box! No pump required. For more information, go to SkullzDeBags.com.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

No Holds Barred: The World Is Watching Anthony Joshua 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses the fight between IBF and WBA heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs) and IBF mandatory challenger Carlos Takam (35-3-1, 27 KOs).

This fight takes place Saturday, October 28, at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, with an expected crowd of between 70,000 and 80,000. It will be shown live in the U.K. on Sky Sports Box Office, in the U.S. on Showtime, in many countries in Africa on Kwesé Free Sports, and in many other countries around the world.

Topics include the global importance of this fight and event; the international popularity of Anthony Joshua; the significance of this fight for Africa, especially since Joshua's family comes from Nigeria and Takam is originally from its neighbor, Cameroon; what to expect in this fight; the state of the heavyweight division; how most of the U.S. boxing media understands none of this; and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link does not work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is available at Google Play Music.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

You can also listen to No Holds Barred via Stitcher through iOS or Android devices or on the web here.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player app is available for free, both for Android at Google Play, and for iOS on the App Store.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

No Holds Barred is sponsored by:

The Catch Wrestling Alliance, resurrecting and promoting the sport of authentic catch-as-catch-can wrestling. The Catch Wrestling Alliance provides tournaments, seminars, and training as well as education about catch wrestling. Join the movement and keep real wrestling alive. For more information, go to CatchWrestlingAlliance.com.

Skullz Double-End Bags, the perfect bag for your combat sports training. Skullz Double-End Bags provide a realistic striking target, and help improve timing, distance, and hand and eye coordination. Hang it and hit it right out of the box! No pump required. For more information, go to SkullzDeBags.com.

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Saturday, October 14, 2017

No Holds Barred: Frank Shamrock on Grappling Sakuraba in Rizin 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with MMA legend Frank Shamrock.

Now 44 and retired as a fighter for many years, he will be returning to competition at the Rizin Fighting World Grand-Prix 2017 Autumn this Sunday, October 15.

This match, however, will not be an MMA fight, but a submission-only grappling rules match with a ten-minute time limit. His opponent will be another MMA legend, but someone whom he never fought in MMA, the 48-year-old Kazushi Sakuraba.

This event takes place at the Marine Messe Fukuoka in Fukuoka, Japan.

The main event on this card is a women's MMA fight between RENA and Andy Nguyen, which is a first round fight in the Rizin Woman's Super Atom Tournament.

We spoke with Frank Shamrock by phone Saturday while he was in Japan (Friday New York time).

Asked why he decided to take this match against Sakuraba, whom he called "a master at submissions," he said, "The reason why I always wanted to fight him, we had the same lineage of teachings. His teachers are my teachers."

He continued, "The main reason I want to fight him is, we have the same style, and I've never fought my style, my lineage before."

We discussed more on how that lineage comes from catch wrestling, how he was contacted to be in this match, how he has had "three careers" in the combat sports, why real professional catch wrestling can succeed if it is entertaining, how this match is a one-off, how Rizin can expand its popularity beyond Japan, his current work in television and a campaign to build awareness about mental health, and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link does not work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is available at Google Play Music.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

You can also listen to No Holds Barred via Stitcher through iOS or Android devices or on the web here.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player app is available for free, both for Android at Google Play, and for iOS on the App Store.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

No Holds Barred is sponsored by:

The Catch Wrestling Alliance, resurrecting and promoting the sport of authentic catch-as-catch-can wrestling. The Catch Wrestling Alliance provides tournaments, seminars, and training as well as education about catch wrestling. Join the movement and keep real wrestling alive. For more information, go to CatchWrestlingAlliance.com.

Skullz Double-End Bags, the perfect bag for your combat sports training. Skullz Double-End Bags provide a realistic striking target, and help improve timing, distance, and hand and eye coordination. Hang it and hit it right out of the box! No pump required. For more information, go to SkullzDeBags.com.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

From 2012 - No Holds Barred: John Perretti on His Pioneering 1997 Grappling Event, The Contenders 



Twenty years ago today, on October 11, 1997, the pioneering grappling event known as "The Contenders" was held. John Perretti was the main organizer of it, and we interviewed him on No Holds Barred about it in December 2012. Here is the original information on that show, as well as links to that original podcast:

From 2012 - No Holds Barred: John Perretti on His Pioneering 1997 Grappling Event, The Contenders

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again speaks with lifelong martial artist, former UFC and Battlecade Extreme Fighting matchmaker, TV commentator, and our senior correspondent, John Perretti.

On October 11, 1997, before the major no-gi grappling championships of today, John Perretti was the main organizer of a pioneering grappling event known simply as "The Contenders". The format was a seven-match card, held in Sioux City, Iowa, pitting a team of various martial artists against a team of elite U.S. wrestlers. Victory in each match could come by submission or, if there was none, judges' decision. There was no striking permitted, and the matches were held in a cage. The martial artists won, four matches to three, including three wins by submissions, but controversy ensued during and after the event about the rules and decisions.

This ended up being a money-losing, one-shot deal, because attendance was sparse and pay-per-view buys were minuscule. Still, it is considered a pioneering event because its concept helped inspire the numerous no-gi grappling championships which followed it.

Calling the event his "brainchild," John Perretti said in this interview, which was recorded by Skype Sunday, "I am to blame for all the problems with it." But he added, quoting a widely-held view about this event, "It's the greatest show no one ever saw."

We thus discussed what happened at this historic event, many of whose matches can be seen on YouTube, some of the lessons for today, and much more.

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Monday, October 09, 2017

No Holds Barred: Deception, Trickeration, and Boxing Matchmaking 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses some of the latest trickeration and treats in boxing, including theories why the Deontay Wilder-Luis Ortiz fight was never meant to take place, and how the rematch between Wilder and Bermane Stiverne, whom Wilder defeated in 2015, was the plan all along. Also examined are the many misconceptions and mountain of misinformation and disinformation which had been spread about anti-doping procedures and why Ortiz was legitimately facing sanctions for taking two substances banned by all anti-doping organizations that were in his blood pressure medicine.

On October 14, the PBC returns with a split doubleheader full of title fights, but of planned, different levels of competitiveness. First up, live on Fox and Fox Deportes in the U.S., and taking place at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, there are two featherweight title fights. Leo Santa Cruz will face Chris Avalos, and Abner Mares will fight Andres Gutierrez, both of which are designed as showcase fights to set up a much more anticipated Santa Cruz-Mares rematch following their 2015 fight, won by split decision by Santa Cruz.

Then on Showtime in the U.S, and taking place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, there will be a tripleheader of 154-pound title fights. WBA super champion Erislandy Lara, considered by many to be the best in the world in that division, will fight unbeaten Terrell Gausha. WBC champ Jermell Charlo will have a stiff test against undefeated Erickson Lubin. And IBF champ Jarrett Hurd will make the first defense of his belt against veteran former champion Austin Trout.

We discuss what is behind these fights, which may eventually lead to title unification fights, and get comments from Jarrett Hurd, Austin Trout, and Erickson Lubin from this past week's media conference call.

(Photo of Bermane Stiverne vs. Deontay Wilder by Esther Lin/SHOWTIME.)

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