<$BlogRSDURL$>

Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast and the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog.

Subscribe to No Holds Barred
Email:
Browse Archives at groups.google.com

Google
Web No Holds Barred

Thursday, September 20, 2018

No Holds Barred: Anthony Joshua on Fighting Alexander Povetkin 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman presents a two-part, multimedia show and analysis.

The written part of the show has an analysis of the Canelo-Golovkin rematch, the emergence of DAZN in the U.S., the PBC deals with Showtime and Fox, the international stardom of Anthony Joshua, and more. It can be read on the No Holds Barred site here.

The audio of the comments by Anthony Joshua about his September 22 fight with Alexander Povetkin can be played or downloaded at 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.

Labels: , , , , ,


0 comments Tweet
Share/Bookmark

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Anthony Joshua-DAZN-PBC Era 


by Eddie Goldman

One of the benefits of aging is that it encourages you not to waste time and to get right to the point. In about six months I will turn 70, unless someone destroys the world and/or me, and I'm not taking odds on any of that happening. But a lot has been happening in boxing recently, a lot has been said and written about what has been happening, and a lot of it isn't worth the bandwidth it uses up, so I'll dive right in here with some capsule analyses, which are, of course, No Holds Barred.

Canelo-Golovkin 2. This was a very close fight with a few indistinguishable rounds, and could have gone either way. I thus have no quarrel with the majority decision for Canelo using boxing's ten-point must system. Canelo did the most damage, but needed to work a bit more to convince those who thought Golovkin won. Golovkin was busy with the jab, but inexplicably did not, as many have pointed out, hardly go to the body. Canelo landed fewer but harder shots than Golovkin. So how do you balance all these factors? It would be interesting if there were a way in close fights to score the whole fight rather than just round by round. That creates its own set of problems, but in some fights where the fighters fight to a stalemate and it is inconclusive who had the advantage, the ten-point must system and round-by-round scoring are sort of like trying to appreciate a great work of art by chopping it up into small pieces and examining them separately. But I'm not offering scoring the whole fight as THE solution. In a close fight in a sport where scoring is by definition to a large degree subjective, there may be no solution, except rematches and perhaps allowing judges to score even rounds without the commissions disapproving -- and, of course, not having the promoters pay for or have any say in the selection of the judges.

This was a good fight but not a great fight. There just were not enough moments of high drama, and the fighters often nullified each other and prevented sustained offense.

Even if you thought Golovkin squeaked out a points victory, this was not a robbery as some have claimed, such as the ESPN clown duo of Smith and Atlas. True, Golovkin would have had to smash in Canelo's head to get a decision on a Golden Boy show in Las Vegas, and Canelo did get the benefit of the doubt on many close rounds. That we knew already. But fair-minded and unbiased people could make a strong case that Canelo deserved to win.

Now Canelo and Golovkin may or may not have a third fight next year, and who knows on what network, since their deals with HBO have reportedly expired. HBO was roundly criticized for their production and announcing of this show, with long downtimes and absurdly biased announcing. U.S. rivals Showtime, ESPN, and even Fox have all said they want to run pay-per-views, so if HBO cancels or more severely slashes their boxing program, there are more networks willing to try to grab your bottom dollar to watch major fights.

The only exception to this greedy lot among major players in the U.S. is the upstart streaming-only service DAZN, which just started with a small MMA show last week and has their first live boxing telecast this Saturday, September 22, with the Anthony Joshua-Alexander Povetkin heavyweight title fight from London.

While DAZN itself will not do evil by showing pay-per-views, and you can get all their shows in the U.S. for $9.99 a month, there is a catch to this. The main boxing telecasts on DAZN are from the U.K.-based Matchroom Boxing. Their major cards are on pay-per-view on Sky Sports Box Office, although they charge roughly half of what pay-per-views cost in the U.S. But that means that the primary revenue streams for these Matchroom Boxing cards are the pay-per-views and the live gate, which is also considerable since Joshua usually gets between 80- and 90,000 fans packed into football stadiums to see his fights. So they can afford not to run pay-per-views on the DAZN shows aimed at the U.S., and still get the benefits in their main market.

It's also been widely discussed that DAZN is just starting out in the U.S., is a work in progress, and has a long-term plan to grow and make lucrative bids to acquire the rights to many mainstream sports when they become available in a few years. While they are starting off with a good lineup of combat sports, including the Matchroom cards from both the U.K. and U.S., the highly acclaimed World Boxing Super Series, and what seems like a revitalized Bellator MMA, their key to stability in the U.S. will be breaking through with some combination of NFL football, NBA basketball, Major League Baseball, and/or NHL hockey. Note that DAZN does have many of these rights outside the U.S., so they already have a relationship with these leagues. Until then, they are creating a base of American fans with the combat sports.

With more and more people cutting the cord from the despicable cable companies and a growing number of younger people never bothering to deal with such outfits, and presumably technology continuing to march forward, streaming is certainly here to stay and the future of how sports and all video are and will be watched. But that transition will take many years, and there is no telling to what degree traditional TV will remain popular. A lot of us still listen to AM and FM radio, even on radios themselves, so there may be a not-so-peaceful coexistence of these old and new technologies for some time to come.

This is why the main winner in all this recent media reshuffling in boxing, for the present anyway, is PBC. They were counted out by the tools and fools in the so-called boxing media. They were the subject of spurious lawsuits by those trying to save a dying business model, the Top Rank and Golden Boy promoters. And even some in the MMA world who know less than nothing about boxing thought they wanted to be a monopoly like the odious so-called UFC tries to be.

In the end, or so far anyway, PBC's big gamble paid off. They raised tons of cash in order to buy time on most U.S. TV networks in the hopes of sooner rather than later getting one or more of these networks to cough up rights fees for their shows. Their shows started airing in 2015, but they actually were on too many networks at once for the average fan to keep up with them, and did not have the following of the NFL or MLB, which have big and established enough audiences to thrive on multiple networks. For the last year or so, when they obviously had burned through a lot of their original investments, it looked like they only were getting TV revenue from Showtime.

But then DAZN came along and upped the ante with their announced eight-year, billion dollar commitment. Plus, and more importantly, the media reshuffling was taking place across the entire U.S. sports scene. The Fox networks went through a major reorganization, selling off their TV studio and popular networks like FX to Disney. They did keep the main Fox broadcast network and FS1 and FS2, but needed reliable sources of programming now that they didn't have direct access to their studio. So the focus of Fox switched to live sports. They got Thursday Night NFL Football, always a ratings winner. In so-called sports entertainment, they got one of the WWE weekly shows. But they refused to meet the outrageous demands for the declining UFC brawls which they had been showing, and UFC jumped to Disney's ESPN and their streaming service, ESPN+. Now Fox had a hole in their programming lineup and more cash to spend, and in came PBC. Good timing plus opportunity equals success.

The Fox deal is for major PBC shows ten times a year on free broadcast TV, 12 more shows a year on FS1, Spanish telecasts on Fox Deportes, and they tell us "more than 175 hours of original PBC boxing content per year across its channels". With Fox's reach and the ability to have many millions of people watching live boxing, this is easily the biggest and most far-reaching TV deal for American boxing in years. Couple this with the recently announced PBC-Showtime deal for major monthly shows, this means that PBC will have about three or more shows a month on TV between Showtime, Fox, and FS1, perhaps for as many as 52 shows a year. This easily makes them the biggest boxing organization in America.

For hardcore boxing types in the U.S., with all this televised and streamed boxing, there will be almost no more free Saturday nights. That should be better anyway than going to some overpriced club filled with drunks, hustlers, thugs, freeloaders, and future indicted politicians.

Matchroom Boxing is bigger overall in the world than PBC, but it is premature and lazy thinking simply to speak of a "DAZN era" today, as some already have. Even though the reported yearly budgets for boxing shows on DAZN in the U.S. and for PBC on both Fox and Showtime appear to be in the same range, it will take time for DAZN to establish itself in America. That will likely eventually happen, but let's not run up the "W" flag just yet, so let's leave that to the Cubbies.

Of course, for the PBC deals to work, they will have to showcase and develop stars, and have better cards on Fox than they have had recently, where former champions on the downside of their careers have been in the main events. But PBC has an incredibly deep talent roster in many weight classes, including Errol Spence Jr, Keith Thurman, the Charlos, Deontay Wilder, Jarret Hurd, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, Mikey Garcia, Leo Santa Cruz, Gary Russell Jr., Abner Mares, Erislandy Lara, and many more.

The biggest loser in all of this is ESPN. Their main boxing writer continued to disgrace himself as a witless propagandist by calling the PBC-Fox deal "a modest victory". Although ESPN has many more subscribers than HBO and Showtime, and is obviously well-established as a sports network, the Top Rank on ESPN shows have recently drawn miserable ratings, in the 500- to 600,000 range, approaching the dismal numbers their old "Friday Night Fights" cards got a few years ago leading to that show's cancellation. They have had to overpay fighters like Terence Crawford who they hid on the ESPN+ app recently before an audience which had to be a small fraction of what they even get on TV on ESPN. Right now they keep the viewership numbers for ESPN+ secret, which would no doubt interest Disney's shareholders. The Top Rank on ESPN boxing shows often start late and run long, as they are put after live events from other major sports, which are what ESPN really cares about. Top Rank has a lot of great and up-and-coming fighters, so it's a shame these fighters are stuck with this bad deal. And the addition of the Frank Warren-promoted shows from the U.K. to ESPN+ in the U.S. will only give them a very modest boost.

HBO lost a long time ago, with collapsing budgets and an uncertain commitment to boxing from the new ownership of AT&T. Their boxing program is terminal, so it's just a matter of making funeral arrangements now.

While PBC is firmly in the lead in America, they, too are tied to aging technology. There are some statements about streaming buried in the announcements of their Fox and Showtime deals, like that is some afterthought and minor point. With the new super-fast 5G being tested and rolled out starting this year, streaming will become easier than ever. This situation reminds me of the early days of cable in the 1970s and 1980s, when mainstream TV types regarded it as a trashbin of reruns, soft-core porn, and amateur programming. Adapt or die, the maxim goes, and there will be a lot more bodies lying on the roadside before this latest technological upheaval is done, of course only to make way for the next one, and the next one, and the next one, if we don't destroy humanity and the planet first.

It is DAZN, though, which holds an ace that no one else can match. That is the 28-year-old, charismatic, undefeated heavyweight champion of the world, Anthony Joshua. Besides drawing live crowds the size of entire cities, Joshua holds the top two spots on pay-per-view in the U.K., getting over one and a half million buys for his 2017 triumph over Wladimir Klitschko, and slightly under than for his 2018 title unification fight with Joseph Parker. Unlike almost all other fighters and especially heavyweights, Joshua has widespread international appeal. Last year he was named the most marketable athlete in the world, in any sport, by SportPro Media. This year he slipped, but only to number two, behind Paul Pogba of Manchester United and the French national football team. No other boxer made the top 50 of this list. And if you dismiss this because SportsPro Media is based in the U.K. and not up on U.S. sports, the country with the largest number of athletes on this list was the U.S., with 22 out of the top 50.

Joshua's next assignment, as you no doubt already know, is this Saturday, September 22, against former WBA champ and fellow Olympic gold medalist Alexander Povetkin of Russia. Joshua is a huge favorite and rightly so, as the 39-year-old Povetkin possesses power and good boxing skills, but is not a match for Joshua in any department, save for professional experience.

To get some idea of what to expect, we spoke with Anthony Joshua on last week's media conference call. His answers to these questions were widely quoted by media around the world, but the questions and answers were not posted.

I mentioned that I had just rewatched Povetkin's 2013 fight with Wladimir Klitschko, and said, though he and Klitschko have different styles, he will have the same height and reach advantage over Povetkin. I then asked what we can expect from this fight given his height and reach advantage and given Povetkin's history of fights.

"I look at like different fights, like the Marco Huck fight, the David Price fight more recently, then the Christian Hammer -- I don't know. Povetkin fights differently in all of his fights. I think the thing with him and Klitschko," he said, "he really wanted to prove himself. Then you look at the fight with Christian Hammer where it was a 12 round breeze.

"But with that being said, how am I going to approach the fight? However I want to approach it. Maybe I might just box and keep it simple. Maybe I might keep a tight guard and go pound-for-pound with him, trade-for-trade. It just really depends how I feel, but the reason why I say that is because I'm versatile. I can keep it long or I can slug it out. It depends what I analyze from my opponent as soon as I get in there for a minute or two," he said.

"I never really go in there with exactly what I'm going to do from round one to whenever I'm going to get him out of there. I just analyze them punch by punch, and I'll switch up my styles as the rounds go along."

Asked to make a prediction for the fight with Povetkin, he replied, "12 rounds, probably. 11, 12 rounds. He's a tough cookie. He will stay around for a while. And I'll win. I'll win. Yes, we're at an elite level now. These guys, they don't just come with skill. They come with a lot of determination as well."

And he added, with a laugh, "Anything shorter than that is a blessing."

Soon we shall find out.

There are, as is typical in boxing, some wild cards in its immediate future. Promises continue of an imminent official announcement of the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury fight, which was announced last month but without a date or location. Chatter, rumors, and leaks pollute the Internet about a Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch, about which only those two seem enthused. Just don't expect too much from all the overseers, lords, and vassals in boxing, and then you won't be disappointed.

Labels: , , , , , ,


2 comments Tweet
Share/Bookmark

Sunday, September 16, 2018

No Holds Barred: Declan Hill on Sports Gambling and the Fight for Sports Integrity in the U.S. 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with investigative journalist, academic, consultant, and expert on match-fixing and corruption in international sports, Declan Hill.

He has just started a new teaching position as an associate professor in the Investigations Department at the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences at the University of New Haven in New Haven, Connecticut. This unique position, which he calls a "professor of investigations", has him teaching a graduate course focusing on corruption in sport and what the recent legalization of sports gambling in the U.S. means for American society.

We spoke with him by phone Wednesday.

"This is an epic-changing moment in American society," he said. "It's comparable with the repeal of Prohibition, because sports gambling has effectively been illegal for over a century. And it's been driven by the trauma of the Chicago White Sox fixing the World Series of baseball in 1919. That Shoeless Joe Jackson trauma 99 years ago has cast a pall over American sports leagues since that time.

"And only this year, only in 2018, on May 14th, did finally the U.S. judicial system say, 'Hey, it's OK for people to gamble on sports.'

"So this is a massively complex question. It's massively complicated, with good stuff on both sides of the issue, bad stuff on both sides of the issue. All kinds of societal stuff, all kinds of religious stuff, all kinds of social stuff."

The debate in the U.S. over the next steps, however, have been dominated by two types of groups which only are serving their own interests, he noted. First are those with their own commercial agendas, including the gambling casinos and the relatively new group of sports gambling monitoring companies. They are trying to ensure a major stake in the legal sports gambling market in the U.S., which it is estimated will grow to hundreds of billions of dollars.

The second group, he said, are those with a "geopolitical agenda". Much of agenda in the U.S. is being pushed by the Middle Eastern monarchy of Qatar -- the same country whose government was accused of massive bribery to get the hosting rights for the FIFA World Cup in 2022. This monarchy, he said, has founded an organization "purportedly" fighting for sports integrity and which is in the forefront of the discussion on sports gambling in U.S. They also, doing what they are paid to do, seek to deflect discussion away from Qatar's role in sports corruption, he said.

While little useful debate is going on about the effects of sports gambling, it is expected that massive amounts of gambling will take place not only on the largest sports in the U.S., but, judging from how gamblers have operated around the world, on the minor leagues of professional sports as well as college and even high school sports.

"Fixing turns sport into theater," he said, and we will see more of it on all levels of sport in America.

In order to address these dangers, he made a proposal.

"It is absolutely clear what American sports needs," he said.

"It needs an Environmental Protection Agency. It needs a meat-packing inspector agency. A similar independent agency needs to be set up at a federal level to protect the integrity of sport.

"And it needs to be funded by a one percent tax on legal gambling. So every sports bet that takes place in the United States, a very small section of it, one percent, goes to setting up that agency, funding it, staffing it with good people."

We discussed the need for independent intelligent discussion on these issues, problems like sports gambling addiction and what happens when illegal bookmakers try to go legal, how sports gambling may kill off some sports, the opposition to forming an independent sports integrity agency, and much, 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.

Labels: , , , , ,


0 comments Tweet
Share/Bookmark

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

No Holds Barred: Raul Ramirez on Catch Wrestling in Singapore and Asia 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Raul Ramirez of the Catch Wrestling Alliance.

We spoke with him by phone Tuesday.

This week he will be traveling to Singapore to conduct seminars on the takedowns and submissions of catch wrestling, and also sanda. The submission series seminar is scheduled for Saturday, September 16, and the takedown series seminar for Saturday, September 23. Details can be gotten from the Kapap Academy Singapore.

Organizing such seminars in Singapore recognizes its importance as one of the world capitals of martial arts and combat sports.

"Singapore is the epicenter of martial arts in Asia nowadays," he said, where the headquarters of One Championship, Evolve MMA, and the Kapap Academy Singapore are located. One Championship, he added, has been called "potentially the biggest martial arts promotion in the world"

Siingapore, thus, is "really the place to be for catch wrestling for it to grow in the future."

We discussed more on what he plans to teach during his week long stay in Singapore, the importance of teaching and learning self-defense, the potential for the growth of catch wrestling throughout Asia, plans for catch wrestling competition in Singapore, using the latest video technology, 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.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,


0 comments Tweet
Share/Bookmark

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

No Holds Barred: Qin Yunquan on Self-Defense and Catch Wrestling in Singapore and Asia 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with martial artist and catch wrestler Qin Yunquan, who is the CEO, co-founder, and chief instructor for women's and children's self-defense at the Kapap Academy Singapore.

We spoke with her by Skype Tuesday.

The activities of Qin Yunquan, particularly in the area of teaching self-defense, have been getting widespread coverage in the Asian mainstream media, which reaches an enormous number of people on that continent and beyond.

"It was a huge honor," she said, to be listed on the "Forbes" 30 Under 30 Asia list, in the social entrepreneurs category, which is for "leveraging business tools to save the region's problems". An event for these honorees was held in Hong Kong, which she attended.

"It was a great opportunity to share with these people about what I did in Singapore, the social impact we're trying to create, etc. And of course to hear from these inspiring people as well about their own achievements and their work."

She has also been "featured in quite a few mainstream media, being on TV, in magazines, being part of what are called the Change Makers Campaign by CLEO Magazine.

"Being on these channels has been a great opportunity for me to continue to share the message of empowerment and self-defense with as many people as possible. Because the whole idea is to continue to educating people the importance of self-defense, and why EVERYBODY can do self-defense."

At the same time, she is training people in catch wrestling and grappling.

"More people are hearing of catch wrestling than ever before," she said.

We discussed plans for seminars and competitions in catch wrestling this fall, the need for catch wrestling to have standardized rules and proper governance, her plans to train women in India in self-defense, why her work is more than a job and really a "calling", and much, 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.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


0 comments Tweet
Share/Bookmark

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

No Holds Barred: The Isaac Dogboe Days of Summer 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discussed the sensational performance by Ghanaian boxer Isaac Dogboe, who made the first successful defense of his WBO 122-pound belt this past Saturday with a first-round TKO of Hidenori Otake, who had never been stopped before. Now with a record of 20-0 with 14 KOs, including three knockout wins this year alone, and an appealing aggressive style, and a bubbling personality, the 23-year-old Dogboe should be one of boxing's stars by now. But discussed is why that is not the case, at least not yet, largely due to the mishandling of his U.S. TV appearances by ESPN, which started the telecast of his fight Saturday right after it had begun, and with no introductions.

(Photos of Isaac Dogboe by Mikey Williams, Top Rank.)

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.

Labels: , , , ,


0 comments Tweet
Share/Bookmark

Thursday, August 23, 2018

No Holds Barred: Fury vs. Wilder, Battle of the Unbeaten and Overrated 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discussed the return to the ring of former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who easily outpointed journeyman Francesco Pianeta this past Saturday at Windsor Park in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Right after the fight, as expected, it was announced that he would be fighting WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder at an unspecified date and location later this year. Discussed are Fury's comeback so far, how such a fight with Wilder might look, both the sport and business reasons this fight was set at this time, and much more about boxing. Also, the show opens with an explanation of the recurring Internet problems caused by Verizon which have hampered production of No Holds Barred.

(Photo of Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder by Chris Roberts, Frank Warren.)

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.

Labels: , , , , , , ,


0 comments Tweet
Share/Bookmark

Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Curious Comeback of Tyson Fury 

by Eddie Goldman

The road to the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world is a crooked one, full of detours, dead ends, and dark alleys. From the days of John L. Sullivan and "Gentleman" Jim Corbett, to Jack Johnson, to Max Schmeling, Max Baer, James J. Braddock, and Joe Louis, to Sonny Liston, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, and George Foreman, to the Larry Holmes era with numerous other belt holders, to Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe, and Lennox Lewis, to Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, and today and tomorrow, there are few examples of heavyweight title reigns beginning and ending smoothly. You could look it up, as "The Old Perfessor" Casey Stengel used to advise.

The man who ended the Klitschko era, Tyson Fury, with an ugly but clear-cut decision win over Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015, had his reign ended almost as soon as it started. Dropped not by Klitschko but by drugs, drink, and depression, Fury cancelled two scheduled rematches with Klitschko in 2016, lost his boxing license, and relinquished his belts while trying to restore his physical and mental health.

After ballooning up to somewhere near 400 pounds, and a sea of contradictory statements about whether or not he would ever fight again, Fury finally resumed training and returned in June of this year to fight, sort of anyway. His opponent was a blown-up cruiserweight journeyman, Sefer Seferi. The highlights of this fight, if it can be classified as such, were both men dancing the Ali Shuffle in the first round, Fury pausing in the ring while in the middle of the second round to watch a real fight in the crowd, a few punches mostly by Fury being thrown here and there, and Seferi quitting after the fourth round. Such a charade would have made P.T. Barnum envious.

But this was supposed to be just the start of the return of Tyson Fury, who mesmerized the media and some fans by regularly peppering his social media posts with an admixture of sometimes hilarious, outrageous, and bigoted remarks.

Fury's next fights this Saturday, August 18. His foe is the 33-year-old Francesco Pianeta, originally from Italy and fighting mainly out of Germany, who has a record of 35-4-1 with 21 KOs, but who has lost two of his last three fights. Also in June of this year, Pianeta lost a decision to 22-year-old Croatian prospect Petar Milas, who is now 12-0. In October 2017, Pianeta lost by seventh-round TKO to journeyman Kevin Johnson, who had been 2-5 in his previous fights. Pianeta's biggest fight was in 2013, when he was dominated and stopped by then-champ Wladimir Klitschko in six rounds. He is currently ranked number 140 in the world by BoxRec, whose computerized ratings are a matter of controversy but in this case give you an idea of Pianeta's standing in the heavyweight division.

But this Fury-Pianeta fight seems to be getting the most attention of any fight in the world this coming weekend, even though it is not the main event on its own card. That card takes place at the famed Windsor Park football stadium in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which is the city's national stadium, first opened in 1905 with renovations throughout the years, and is an outdoor facility.

The main event in Belfast will feature Belfast's own Carl Frampton, the former unified featherweight champion with a record of 25-1 and 14 KOs. He will face the unbeaten but untested Luke Jackson of Australia, who has a record of 16-0 with 7 KOs and has never fought any top level fighter, for some interim belt.

No doubt the expected crowd of some 20,000 will deliriously greet Frampton and sing his praises as long as that fight lasts. But the main attention of the world is focused on how Fury looks and performs in his showcase fight.

This card will be shown live in the U.K. on BT Sport. In the U.S., Showtime will be streaming it live on their Facebook and YouTube pages (I recommend using the latter), with a televised replay that night on Showtime Extreme.

Almost no one alive expects Pianeta to win, but there are still a few things to watch for in this match. Since returning from his layoff, how much of Fury's speed, dexterity, stamina, punch accuracy, and mental ability to navigate through an entire fight against a reasonably professional heavyweight remain? Right now thos is unknown. The Seferi farce proved nothing other than he can go through training, media events, and a semblance of a fight again. Fury's weight is also a factor. Whether or not he looks like he can handle or at least stay with for some time top competition anymore is the real issue here, and not the outcome of this fight.

According to all the prefight hype, the next stop on Fury's comeback tour is already planned, and will be previewed right after Pianeta is dispatched. WBC champ Deontay Wilder will be ringside in Windsor Park, and will no doubt reenact the postfight in-ring jawfest he had with Fury following his own knockout of Artur Szpilka back on January 16, 2016, in Brooklyn. That confrontation led nowhere then, but might to a major fight this fall. To do their shtick in the ring, both Fury and Wilder hopefully have cleared it with the Northern Ireland Branch of Equity, the performers' union.

The big prize in the heavyweight division is a shot at unified champion Anthony Joshua, which would draw in tens of millions of dollars and pounds in the U.K., U.S., and elsewhere. With the Joshua-Wilder negotiations, if there ever really were any serious attempt at making that fight this year, at best on hold, Wilder needs someone who is a major draw to face.

By himself Wilder is a mediocre attraction both on TV and in arenas. His WBC mandatory, Dominic Breazeale, who was knocked out by Joshua in 2016, hardly fits that bill. And as boxing writer and historian Frank Lotierzo recently pointed out, Wilder needs to up his international standing in order to increase his bargaining power if or when the talks with Joshua's camp resume. A convincing win over Fury, still laughably referred to by the meaningless and archaic term "linear champion", would greatly assist in that regard. And a Wilder-Fury fight would have Showtime exhume the plagued monster of boxing pay-per-views.

We have seen and heard so much from Fury over the years that it is often overlooked that he just turned 30 on August 12. But all of his life's drama and despair have made his career trajectory seem like it is at an end. Just his motivation for wanting to fight Wilder now, seemingly an end game fight, appears less clear.

Fury could fight Justin Bieber, Mr. Bean, and Graham Norton, and still get an enormous payday with Joshua. A win over Wilder would no doubt enhance his bargaining power, but going straight from the likes of Seferi and Pianeta to Wilder, ranked number two in the world by most observers, is a quite risky endeavor.

If they fight and Wilder defeats Fury, except by a Las Vegas-style decision, Fury's chance of meeting Joshua will be slim and at best for him delayed for some time. Fury thus either is confident that he has returned to form enough so as to defeat Wilder, or is not confident of that and just wants to get a major fight and then cash out. But if Fury does lose a disputed decision, he can still get Joshua.

The question remains: Why don't Fury and Wilder each take easier fights before facing Joshua?

One explanation is boxing's suicidal politics. Wilder fights on Showtime in the U.S., which Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn left for the streaming startup DAZN. Fury fights these days on BT Sport in the U.K. and is promoted by Frank Warren, all rivals of Hearn and the network with which he has a lucrative deal, Sky Sports.

A Wilder-Fury fight this fall is aimed at stealing the spotlight from Joshua and DAZN, which debuts in the U.S. with its first live show headlined by Joshua fighting Alexander Povetkin on September 22. DAZN is especially seen as a threat by Showtime, at present the top boxing network in America. It also seeks to establish an internationally recognized top heavyweight to be as marketable as Joshua, already anointed by SportsPro Media as the most marketable athlete in the world in any sport or country.

What the machinations are should become more evident after the Fury-Pianeta fight. Let's just hope it doesn't rain Saturday at Windsor Park.

Labels: , , , , , ,


0 comments Tweet
Share/Bookmark

Friday, August 03, 2018

Down Goes Verizon, Again and Again 


By Eddie Goldman

By the grace of Kahless the Unforgettable, my Verizon(lol) landline and Internet are back, for the moment at least.

I reported almost two weeks ago that there had to be an outage in my area, since at that time the voice line was down but not Internet. Since Wednesday night, both were up and down like a yo-yo. But when I called the regular Verizon repair, as usual I got an unhelpful and rude rep who denied there was, or even could be, any outage in the area.

On Friday morning, August 3, I got a voicemail from Verizon admitting that “your service disruption was caused by a cable failure”. It appears Verizon’s strategy to paying customers making such reports is to cause them so much aggravation that they either just quit complaining or die.

Now the service is back, but we shall see for how long. This type of outage and back-and-forth has happened about once or twice a year over the past several years.

You have to escalate, first as I did by calling their so-called “Executive Relations” team, at 855-655-2304 (this is just for New York), and then, as is also usually necessary, filing a complaint with the New York State Public Service Commission.

Verizon, in violation of its franchise agreement with the City of New York, still does not offer its Fios service in much of New York City. This rollout was supposed to have been completed by 2014.

The New York State Public Service Commission is kicking the scab Spectrum cable company out of the state, and we should pressure the politicians to make sure this actually happens. But the next target of both state and city officials has to be revoking Verizon’s Fios franchise.

What we really need is municipal broadband, but this unfortunately is a longer-term goal since all the state and city officials are puppets of Wall Street, the real estate sharks, etc.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


0 comments Tweet
Share/Bookmark

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

No Holds Barred: Curran Jacobs, the Giant Slayer 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with catch wrestler Curran "The Giant Slayer" Jacobs.

On July 14, Curran Jacobs competed in the eight-man Snake Pit USA catch wrestling tournament in Hamilton, New Jersey. Facing three talented and heavier opponents in three grueling matches, he defeated Johnny Buck, then Erik Hammer, and lastly Brandon Ruiz in the finals, all by rear naked choke submission.

He wrestled about an hour and a half that night, with only 10- to 15-minute breaks between matches, and thus earned the right to be called not only by his new nickname of the "Giant Slayer", but also the best catch wrestler on the planet.

We spoke with Curran Jacobs by phone Tuesday.

After this tournament he had to rest up and heal from the injuries he suffered during it.

"I could not move the next day," he said. "I was in so much pain.

"I've never been in that much pain in my life, and I've wrestled all of my life. And that was the toughest tournament I've ever been in, and that was the most damage my body's ever taken. It was horrible, horrible pain, but I'm feeling great now.

"I'm looking to enjoy some more time off before I hit the mat."

Next up for him as he completes his healing is not a tournament, but conducting a catch wrestling seminar. This will be this Saturday, August 4, at the 2018 Frank Gotch World Catch Wrestling Tournament.

Organized by the Catch Wrestling Alliance, this event takes place at the Westside Training Center, at Cheviot Hills/Palms, 3272 Motor Avenue, Suite D, Los Angeles, California 90034. This is the third annual Gotch Tournament, and its first two years, Curran Jacobs was victorious in every match he wrestled there.

We discussed how all his three matches went at the July 14 tournament, how he adapted Muhammad Ali's Rope-A-Dope technique to catch wrestling to wear down and defeat his three bigger opponents, how these matches and catch wrestling are "physical chess", how his "big mouth persona" is now a thing of the past, his dual career plans as a wrestler and an actor and how they sometimes conflict, why catch wrestling can develop to be "wrestling's NFL", and much, 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.

Labels: , , , ,


0 comments Tweet
Share/Bookmark

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

The PodOmatic Podcast Player is available for free at:

  • Google Play
  • App Store
  • No Holds Barred Sponsors

  • Catch Wrestling Alliance
  • Skullz Double-End Bags
  • Links
  • ADCC NEWS
  • Eddie Goldman Presented Journalism Lifetime Achievement Award -- The Conscience of Combat Sports
  • "The Martist" with John Perretti
  • Catch Wrestling Alliance
  • National Writers Union
  • MMA World Expo
  • GLOBAL-MMA.COM
  • Play the Game
  • Kristal Hart Show
  • E-Mail Icon Generator
  • Archives
    Subscribe to the NO HOLDS BARRED Blog Here




  • Google
    Web No Holds Barred

    Google Groups Subscribe to No Holds Barred
    Email:
    Browse Archives at groups.google.com
    © 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Eddie Goldman all rights reserved.