Thursday, March 30, 2006

No Holds Barred: Eddie Goldman speaks with Pat Miletich, Marc Ratner, and Ron Scott Stevens 

The world of the combat sports is changing at an almost breathtaking pace. The state of California has emerged as the home of dozens of mixed martial arts events, with the North American attendance record already broken in the first sanctioned show there and possibly set to be surpassed again in the next month or two. Yet it was only this month, March 2006, that the state athletic commission began sanctioning shows there at all.

The new mixed martial arts league, the International Fight League (IFL), officially announced this week that its debut show, to be held April 29 in Atlantic City, will be televised on tape delay on Fox Sports Net in the U.S. And late last week Marc Ratner, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission and perhaps the most respected person in boxing who heads any of these state commissions, announced that he was leaving his post to become an executive with the UFC.

While these advances were made, mixed martial arts remains illegal in New York, as do other well-established combat sports, including kickboxing. A Draconian 1997 law mandating such prohibitions on most “combative sports” remains in effect. While major boxing states including New Jersey, Nevada, Texas, and now California have all sanctioned such events and regulate them through their athletic commissions, the politicians in New York, like the “segregation forever” crowd in the 1960s, are still standing in the courthouse door.

This week on No Holds Barred we address these developments and issues.

We speak with Pat Miletich, a former UFC champion who is now coach of the Silverbacks team in the IFL.

We speak with Marc Ratner about why he is stepping down from his post as executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission and taking a position as an executive with the UFC.

And we speak with Ron Scott Stevens, current Chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission, about the status of boxing and mixed martial arts in New York.

To listen to “No Holds Barred”, just click here or here or here or here.

The show is in MP3 format, so may take some time to download.

“No Holds Barred” is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

Underhook, with Next Level Apparel, the tops in grappling shorts, rashguards, and more.

BJJMart.com, your premier source for all Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gear, videos, books, and much more.

Throwdown Magazine, action lifestyle for extreme sports and the best in combat sports journalism.

King of the Cage, the number one cage fighting promotion on the planet.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

“Boxing’s March Madness” on TheSweetScience.com 

My latest column on TheSweetScience.com is up.

Entitled “Boxing’s March Madness”, it discusses more inanity from the World Boxing Council, more insanity regarding the Rahman-Toney draw and the issue of steroids, and more tragedy from yet another death in the ring in a grossly underregulated sport.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

SecondsOut Radio: Eddie Goldman speaks with Lamon Brewster, Sergei Liakhovich, Buddy McGirt, Kenny Weldon, and Marc Ratner 

On this week's edition of SecondsOut Radio, we speak with WBO heavyweight champion Lamon Brewster and challenger Sergei Liakhovich, who fight April 1 in Cleveland and on Showtime in the USA; Brewster's trainer, Buddy McGirt, and Liakhovich's trainer, Kenny Weldon; and Marc Ratner, outgoing executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission who is leaving to become an executive at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

It is free to listen to SecondsOut Radio, but you must register to gain access to it. Just click here, and listen, learn, and enjoy.

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Passing the Bar 

I have no doubt that there are more than a few snobs who are snickering about my taste in bars, or, to their way of pre-judging, lack of taste. Doc Holliday’s, Yogi’s, The Patriot Saloon – are these Manhattan honky tonks where an Ivy League-educated journalist grandpa should be seen?

Actually the first bar I went to, both ever as a customer and later as a regular, was the West End, right across the street from Columbia. That, of course, was back in the day when the students actually went to the bars to discuss the issues of the day both in and out of the classroom. The beer and the burgers made the atmosphere more congenial, but the intellectual level was still high as professors, students, community folks, Columbia employees, roving radicals, drifters, hookers, and undercover agents all mingled, argued, socialized, and relaxed with one another. Socialist or socialite, there was something there for you.

I graduated from the West End shortly after I graduated from Columbia, moving mainly to the long-departed Clifford’s on West 72nd Street and the nearby McGowan’s, which later became the Bear Bar and then Yogi’s. I would still on occasion drop on by the West End, mainly out of nostalgic sentimentality, but it usually left me empty. It had become more of a yuppie hangout with fancier food than the old steam table fare. When the Internet began to boom, I had much less reason to use Columbia’s libraries, which are open to alumni, and thus didn’t even venture to that area that much at all. But I never ruled out a return, at least for old time’s sake.

Now I have a reason to stay at the New York redneck bars and away from this Ivy League-infested spot. According to reports both in the New York Daily News and the Columbia Spectator, there was a major brawl involving some 200 people early Saturday morning at the West End which spilled onto the street for several blocks along Broadway. It is unclear how many of those involved were actually Columbia students, but all reports agree that this mob brawl erupted at the West End, and somehow involved fraternity members.

Whoever was involved, I’ll stick with the places that play Johnny Cash, Merle, Gretchen, and Hank Sr. and Jr.

It does appear that my old alma mater is up to the same old tricks as it also tried pulling back in the day. Its latest expansion plans include using eminent domain to toss people out of their homes.

Now THAT is something over which these college kids ought to take to the street.

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Saturday, March 25, 2006

New York Social Scene: Trailer Trash Thursday at Doc Holliday’s 

Give me a bar over a club anytime, anywhere. And give me a good dive bar over any other kind, too. They’re the barest, most honest, most modest, and thus most human of all drinking establishments.

For these reasons, of course, they receive little attention in the mainstream snob media, and especially from the dying print and electronic varieties. These dumps may be as primitive, raggedy, and even unclean as can be, but their center of media attention is as high tech as it gets.

I first learned of the weekly Trailer Trash Thursday parties at Doc Holliday’s Bar in New York's East Village online, and specifically through MySpace.com. They are hosted by Alyssa, a perfect choice for such an endeavor.

This bar has already deservedly been recognized by one print outlet as being the best dive bar in America. Now it has added a raucous weekly theme party with this description:

Cheap Booze! Cheaper Women!
(Hillbilly attire suggestted!!)
Most Redneck Tattoo Contest @ 12 midnight (for a $20 bar tab!)
Free Weiners, Tater Tots, & Alyssa's 7 Layer Bean Dip (u luv it!)
*** I heard a rumor of some chili con queso!
$2 PBRS, Bucsh, & Natty Lite cans
$10 pitchers of Budlite & Docs Amber Ale
We now have ROOTBEER & ORANGE SODA on the gun to make your fancy white trash drinks even more.... white trash.
* Starting next week, we'll be doing a King/Queen of The Trailer Park.... with prizes (yet to be decided) Be ready!

Needless to say I had a blast, just as any red-blooded or -necked person should. I do not live close to Doc’s, and cannot get there as much as I would like to, but this was part of my birthday week celebration, so it went to the top of my social calendar. (OK, so it was the only entry, sue me!)

Among the attendees at this Thursday’s bash were a host of MySpace members: Honky Tonk Angel, champagne cupcake, DevilDollDeSoto, red emi, Big Steve, me, and some other folks whose addresses I didn’t get.

Surprisingly, there were quite a few folks there who were not familiar with that surefire Oscar winner, Larry the Cable Guy. Again we see the damage caused by the insane absence of a country radio station in New York. If so many of these fine folks are not familiar with the Git-R-Done man, who will be here? The Philharmonic crowd?

But there is some hope. Our old pal Kevin Fitzpatrick – also a recent MySpace.com joinee – has just begun reinvigorating the New York City Bartenders & Patrons web site. He has been updating a blog there.

The site’s forums are still being revamped. But now perhaps the news from the one of the most important sectors of New York’s underground social scene, the dive bars, can blossom forth again, like the oases of culture and humanity in the intellectual and cold desert of New York nightlife which they are.

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Friday, March 24, 2006

Marc Ratner Resigns from Nevada Athletic Commission to Work for UFC 

As reported by Kevin Iole in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Marc Ratner, the longtime executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, will be leaving that post to take an executive position with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

We will have an audio interview with Marc Ratner on next week’s editions of both No Holds Barred and SecondsOut Radio, so stay tuned for details.

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How the Fundamentalist Liars Spend OUR Tax Dollars 

This is the time of year that many Americans are preparing to pay off those extortionists known as the tax collectors, or the Internal Revenue Service. As people fill out all those forms and cough up all that money, consider these items about how these tax dollars are being spent.

The U.S. has spent billions of dollars installing what the embedded whore mainsteam media has passed off as a democracy in Afghanistan. Now a report has surfaced that an Afghani citizen named Abdul Rahman is facing the death penalty for violating the law in that supposed cradle of liberty. His heinous capital crime: he converted from Islam to Christianity.

An AP story quotes an Islamic cleric named Abdul Raoulf, whom they identify as a “moderate”, as saying, “Rejecting Islam is insulting God. We will not allow God to be humiliated. This man must die.''

He also is quoted as demanding, “Cut off his head! We will call on the people to pull him into pieces so there's nothing left.”

And these are the anti-Taliban guys. What the U.S. has done is depose the anti-U.S. Islamic fundamentalist liars of the Taliban and install a pro-U.S. regime run by another set of Islamic fundamentalist liars.

The evil totalitarian reach of the fundamentalist liars is by no means limited to places like Afghanistan, one of the most backwards countries on earth. The influence of the Christian fundamentalist liars is being particularly felt in places like Texas, and with the support of our tax dollars.

I saw a Reuters report on the blog of my pal Paul Katcher reporting that Texas has started arresting people for being drunk - in bars. Now, Paul can be a very funny guy, but this report was dead serious.

The article began, “Texas has begun sending undercover agents into bars to arrest drinkers for being drunk, a spokeswoman for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission said on Wednesday.”

This is merely another attempt by the corrupt Christian fundamentalist liars to try to restore Prohibition, and trample on the rights of the people.

Maybe the voters in Texas will use the rights they still have left to kick out in the November elections the Bush-supported regime of governor Rick Perry and vote for the one truly independent candidate in that race, Kinky Friedman.

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

“Nothing” on TheSweetScience.com 

My latest column on TheSweetScience.com is up.

Entitled “Nothing”, it discusses the depleted, desultory, and just dang disappointing state of boxing’s heavyweight division, the aftermath of Saturday’s Rahman-Toney fight in Atlantic City, what should be done next but probably won’t, and why.

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Fallen Boxer “May Have Had Pre-existing Brain Injury” 

An Associated Press story today reveals that welterweight boxer Kevin Payne, who died Sunday following a bout in Evansville, Indiana, “may have had a pre-existing brain injury.”

But even though Payne passed the rudimentary pre-fight medical exam required by that weak commission, how could they even have known that ahead of time?

According to information posted on the web site of the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC), all Indiana requires are a pre-fight complete physical exam, a negative HIV test, and a pregnancy test.

NOT required are:

EKG (Heart Test)
EEG (Brain Wave Test)
Dilated Eye Exam (Eye Test)
Cat Scan (Brain X-Ray)
MRI (Brain X-Ray)
Neurological Exam (By Neurologist)
Stress Test (Heart) 2D Echo (Heart)
Negative Hepatitis BsAg (Hepatitis B Test)
Negative Hepatitis CAb (Hepatitis C Test)
Hepatitis Vaccine
CBC (Blood Count)
PT/PTT (Blood Clotting Test)
Chest X-Ray
TB Test (Tuberculosis)
Neuropsychological Exam (Neurologic Test)
Gynecologic Exam

Payne’s death is the latest tragic reason why the U.S. needs a national boxing commission, and one that mandates pre-fight brain tests like MRI's and CAT scans. No other body, and certainly not promoters or TV networks, will or can enact such regulations, and be in a position to enforce them.

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A Little Rest the Rest of the Week 

Life may be short, but it sure can be sweet.

Wednesday, March 22, was my birthday.

Thursday, March 23, at Doc Holliday’s is the weekly Trailer Trash Thursday bash, hosted by everyone’s redneck cousin, Alyssa. And the hot dogs, chips, and bean dip are free!

Then, on Friday, March 24, the new film by Larry the Cable Guy, called “Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector”, opens.

I haven’t found too many reviews yet, and according to one, the film’s producers didn't provide advance screenings for critics, which is never a good sign. However, Steve Persall, film critic for the St. Petersburg Times, wrote, “Don't be surprised if the biggest movie star of early 2006 turns out to be Larry the Cable Guy ….”

The soundtrack to this new film can be heard for free on CMT.com. It is an interesting blend of the kind of redneck rockabilly you would expect, such as the title track, “Git-R-Done” by Montgomery Gentry, with slower pieces, rock, and soul. I also put that title song on my profile on MySpace.com.

With all the diverse projects to which I have been devoting my time, as you can see by looking at this blog, I’m in need of a breather of at least several hours. Hopefully some of you can join me while I recharge my personal power supply.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

No Holds Barred: Eddie Goldman speaks with Kurt Otto of the International Fight League (IFL) 

On this week’s edition of NO HOLDS BARRED, Eddie Goldman speaks with Kurt Otto, co-founder of the International Fight League (IFL). This new mixed martial arts group, which uses a team competition format, has its debut show April 29 in Atlantic City, NJ.

To listen to “No Holds Barred”, just click here or here or here or here.

The show is in MP3 format, so may take some time to download.

“No Holds Barred” is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

Underhook, with Next Level Apparel, the tops in grappling shorts, rashguards, and more.

BJJMart.com, your premier source for all Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gear, videos, books, and much more.

Throwdown Magazine, action lifestyle for extreme sports and the best in combat sports journalism.

King of the Cage, the number one cage fighting promotion on the planet.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Thanks for the Plugs! 

Special thanks go out to my brothers Kid Peligro and Adisa Banjoko for their plugs of “No Holds Barred”. They helped so much that in its second week, my podcast was ranked sixth for Tuesday, March 21, on podOmatic. Look for more information on our next show, featuring an interview with Kurt Otto, co-founder of the International Fight League (IFL), in a few hours.

Some people, by the way, know me as just a boxing guy. Others know me as a mixed martial arts guy, while still others know me as a wrestling guy. They’re all at least partially right, because it’s all good. And some know that I’m a country music aficionado, while others know of my taste for jazz, blues, and soul music. Right, right, right, right again.

Maybe I’m a bit reflective right now because my birthday starts at midnight. And I’m going to celebrate it with three kids who know me as Grandpa Eddie.

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SecondsOut Radio: Eddie Goldman speaks with Don King, Bob Arum, and John Duddy 

On this week's edition of SecondsOut Radio, we speak with promoters Don King and Bob Arum about Saturday’s Rahman-Toney fight in Atlantic City, NJ, and the future of the heavyweight division, and undefeated middleweight prospect John Duddy after his first-round knockout victory March 16 at Madison Square Garden.

It is free to listen to SecondsOut Radio, but you must register to gain access to it. Just click here, and listen, learn, and enjoy.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

The Paper of Record-ing 

This is almost enough to get a guy to change his position on the First Amendment.

The New York Times posted a piece on March 20 about the Rahman-Toney fight called “Heavyweight Division Is Still Searching for a Star”. In it is the following quote:

“The promoter Don King, who did not have any sanctioned involvement in this fight, was asked what he thought the fight did for the division.King whisked past the reporter who asked the question, then turned his head, widened his eyes and said, ‘Nothing.’”

That unnamed reporter, whom King turned around to answer, unlike, apparently, the print guy, was me. You can also hear a recording of this repartee on this week’s forthcoming edition of SecondsOut Radio.

Now, I suppose usage of this quote is OK since it was done in the open at a press conference with other members of the media present. I don’t have a real problem with that.

What I do want to know is why the hell we even need these print fossils anymore when the meatiest and most salient questions are being asked by us Internet journalists?

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Rahman-Toney: A Draw in Jersey 

While most of the ringside media (including me) scored Saturday’s Hasim Rahman-James Toney fight at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, for Rahman by close margins such as 115-113, there were some journalists who, like two of the judges, had it a draw, and some who even had Toney winning 115-113. It was that kind of a fight, back-and-forth with few rounds where one man easily dominated the other. And those who ended up with the same tally often differed on individual rounds, including the two judges who had it 114-114.

The majority draw decision, though maddeningly frustrating to many, may have been the fairest verdict. Most of the boxing journalists who had it for Rahman sounded less than passionate and firm when revealing their views to each other. That usually signifies that one guy did not beat up the other.

Veteran boxing writer George Kimball has a wonderful summary of this card on TheSweetScience.com. Note also that just about everyone in the building concurred with his view that Dmitriy Salita was given a gift in his fight, also scored a draw, with little-known Mexican Ramon Montano.

There will be a discussion of this fight card this afternoon, Sun., March 19, on WHCR-FM radio, broadcasting on 90.3 from Harlem, NY.

Stephanie Stepp, who also covered the fight from ringside, hosts a sports show called “What’s Going On” with Zach Husser, John Isaacs, and Brian T. Mingo. The show is on 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM EST.

You can also listen online to WHCR at http://whcr.org/liveaudio.htm.

And we will have more on this in the coming week.

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Weekend Boxing and Wrestling Media Notes 

Boxing in Sports Illustrated

Thanks to Rich O’Brien of Sports Illustrated for the mention and plug in his latest online boxing column called Worth the weight - A calmer, gentler Toney could get jump on Rahman.

Rich will be covering Saturday’s Rahman-Toney fight in Atlantic City for the SI.com web site, while Chris Mannix will be covering it for the magazine. It’s also good to see Sports Illustrated paying more attention to a sport whose very nature had engendered some of the best sportswriting ever. We will also be there.

SecondsOut Radio and TheSweetScience.com Rahman-Toney Coverage

You can also still listen to our pre-fight interviews with both Hasim Rahman and James Toney on SecondsOut Radio. More info is here.

Plus, my latest column on TheSweetScience.com is up.

Called Waiting for the Heavyweight Message, it discusses many of the issues surrounding this fight.

And for those who cannot get to Atlantic City for the fight, it will be shown live on HBO starting at 10 PM EST. This is regular HBO, not pay$per$view. Plus, this is a free preview weekend on HBO, so you don’t even have to be an HBO subscriber to watch it.

NCAA Wrestling: Cowboys Up Again

I spoke briefly with Bob Mayeri who is in Oklahoma City for the 2006 NCAA Div. I Wrestling Championships. He reported that despite some up and downs in the regular season, the three-time defending champion Oklahoma State Cowboys have just about clinched the team title by the second day of this three-day tournament.

To find out more information about how to follow this event, check our post here.

Also, the finals will be televised live Sat., March 18, on ESPN beginning at 6:30 PM CST/7:30 PM EST, so check your local listings.

Down Goes Blogger Yet Again

Finally, there have been some technical problems with Blogger, the host of this blog.

Not everything has been displaying properly, including the links and contact information on the right-hand column. So if you are using this to contact me (and don’t run into me at my periodic sojourns to the fights, press events, and bars), e-mail me here.

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Eddie Goldman on "Joey Reynolds Show" Late Thurs./Early Fri. 

This Thursday night/Friday morning, March 16/17, I will be a guest on the nationally-syndicated "Joey Reynolds Show" on radio. I will be coming to the studio directly from Madison Square Garden where undefeated middleweight prospect John Duddy headlines a card Thursday night.

The "Joey Reynolds Show" is heard on over 80 radio stations. This talk show airs live beginning at 1 AM EST and runs to 5 AM, on WOR 710 AM in New York.

You can also listen to the "Joey Reynolds Show" online. For more information on the show's webcast, go to: http://www.wor710.com/listen.shtml.

For more information on the "Joey Reynolds Show," go to: http://wor710.com/joey_reynolds.shtml.

For more information on Myra Chanin, who works with the show, and also about Joey and the show, go to: http://motherwonderful.com/.

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NCAA Div. I Wrestling Championships Get Underway Today 

The biggest wrestling event of any kind in the USA opens Thursday, as the NCAA Div. I Wrestling Championships kick off in the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, OK.

The finals will be held Saturday evening, March 18, beginning at 6:30 PM CST/7:30 PM EST. They will be televised live on ESPN, so check your local listings.

USA Wrestling's web site, TheMat.com - which is still the best wrestling web site in the world - has a special section devoted to the NCAA championships. It can be seen at TheMat.com.

The official event web site is at http://www.okcallsports.org/ncaawrestling/.

And the official NCAA wrestling web site is at http://www.ncaasports.com/wrestling/mens.

You can also still listen for free to our NCAA preview with wrestling journalist Bob Mayeri on "No Holds Barred". Just click here for the links to hear the show.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

No Holds Barred: Shamrock-Gracie and NCAA Wrestling - Eddie Goldman speaks with Eugene Robinson and Bob Mayeri 

On this week’s edition of NO HOLDS BARRED, Eddie Goldman speaks with combat sports journalist Eugene Robinson about the historic March 10 Shamrock-Gracie mixed martial arts card, and with wrestling journalist Bob Mayeri about the 2006 NCAA Wrestling Championships.

To listen to “No Holds Barred”, just click here or here or here or here.

The show is in MP3 format, so may take some time to download. And the volume level of this show was set loud, so those with good hearing might want to adjust their settings.

“No Holds Barred” is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

Underhook, with Next Level Apparel, the tops in grappling shorts, rashguards, and more.

BJJMart.com, your premier source for all Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gear, videos, books, and much more.

Throwdown Magazine, action lifestyle for extreme sports and the best in combat sports journalism.

King of the Cage, the number one cage fighting promotion on the planet.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Hasim Rahman and James Toney Interviews on SecondsOut Radio 

Will we ever again see the day when there is one consensus heavyweight champion of the world? Many hope so, despite the absence of one since Lennox Lewis retired two years ago.

Many also hope that Saturday night’s fight between WBC heavyweight champ Hasim Rahman (41-5-1, 33 KOs) and the former middleweight, super middleweight, and cruiserweight champion, James Toney (69-4-2, 43 KOs), will be a step on the road to the crowning of an undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. We shall see.

Rahman and Toney face each other in the main event of a card Sat., March 18, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, USA. In the USA, it will be televised live on HBO, and, fortunately, not on pay-per-view.

To preview this fight, we spoke with both Rahman and Toney to get their thoughts on what to expect in the ring. Each fighter assured us that he would win by a knockout. That, of course, cannot happen, even in as bizarre a sport as boxing sometimes is, so we can discuss this fight now and learn the outcome Saturday night.

On this week's edition of SecondsOut Radio, Eddie Goldman interviews both Hasim Rahman and James Toney.

It is free to listen to SecondsOut Radio, but you must register to gain access to it. Just click here, and listen, learn, and enjoy.

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Cowboy Troy Takes Over TV; Plus, Two Foot Fred on “Nashville Star” 

His hybrid style is known as hick-hop, and you will get a huge chance to sample it this week if you’ve thus far been derelict in your cultural duties.

Cowboy Troy’s new video, “My Last Yee Haw”, has just been released. You can see it on the Yahoo music site at http://music.yahoo.com/promos/premieres/.

Troy will also debut as co-host with Wynonna Judd on the new season of “Nashville Star”. The first episode is on Tuesday, March 14, on the USA Network, so make sure to check your local listings for the time as well as replays. Also, they are going to be running a contest on MySpace.com involving Nashville Star and CBT, so check out his page there.

In addition, after a stint as an announcer on Monday’s WWE show (I could only watch about two minutes of that, so please don’t ask), he will be making the following TV appearances this week:

3/14 - Nashville Star - 10pm EST on USA
3/16 - Imus In The Morning - 6am EST on MSNBC
3/17 - The Weekend Today Show - 7am EST on NBC

Let us know what you think, y’all!

Update from Two Foot Fred:

Check out Two Foot Fred on Nashville Star. Two Foot will be interviewing the contestants when they get voted out telling them to: "HIT THE BRICKS." Make sure to watch the show all the way to the end, as Two Foot's part will be during the credits. Cowboy Troy and Wynonna will host this season!

Also, TFF will be hosting a new podcast called "Smalltalk With Two Foot Fred." The first 9 episodes will concentrate on Nashville Star as it is deemed the "official" podcast of Nashville Star 4. You can check it out at http://www.nashvillestar.usanetwork.com/ under the blogs section!!!!

Nashville Star premiers Tuesday March 14th at 9pm Central, 10pm Eastern time. Check local listings for channels.

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Monday, March 13, 2006

FDA: Stop Selling Steroids in “Dietary Supplements” 

Athletes who are caught cheating for using illegal substances which are supposed to be performance-enhancing do not have the greatest track record for credibility. No dopes, for that matter, do. But when athletes claim that they have ingested these substances without their knowledge and against their consent, their claims must be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Take mixed martial arts fighter Nathan Marquardt, who has recently begun fighting in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and is also the current middleweight King of Pancrase in that organization based in Japan.

Marquardt made his UFC debut on Aug. 6, 2005, winning a three-round unanimous decision victory over Ivan Salaverry in Las Vegas in an outcome some considered to be an upset. After the fight, however, Marquardt tested positive the anabolic steroid nandrolone, and was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

At a commission hearing in January, according to an article by Kevin Iole in the Jan. 7, 2006, Las Vegas Review-Journal, "Marquardt said he bought an over-the-counter supplement at a Max Muscle store that, much to his eventual chagrin, caused the positive test."

Marquardt subsequently had his suspension lifted, and returned to fight in the UFC on March 4 to win another three-round unanimous decision, this time over Joe Doerksen.

Now more evidence has emerged that the problem of many of these otherwise legal over-the-counter “dietary supplements” being laced with illegal substances like steroids is widespread. This past week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it had sent out letters to a number of manufacturers and distributors of these products.

In a press release, the FDA warned those who make or sell these “unapproved drugs containing steroids that continued distribution and sale of these products without FDA approval could result in regulatory action including seizure and injunction.”

Of course, this has become an increasingly growing problem since 1994, when the U.S. Congress passed the Dietary Supplements and Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), which basically deregulated this racket. Not surprisingly, as pointed out in a series on this industry in the July 15, 2001, edition of the New York Daily News, politicians of both supposedly feuding major political parties have accepted large contributions from these outfits.

According to the watchdog group the Center for Responsive Politics, since 1990 this industry has made $5,920,013 in campaign contributions to politicians, giving 69 percent to Democrats and 31 percent to Republicans. Of this amount, $4,230,569 was soft money, that is, contributions made via legal loopholes so that they are not regulated under federal election laws.

With so many politicians on this legal dole from this sleazy industry, it is not surprising that some honest athletes are getting caught in the middle of what should be a major and shameful national scandal.

Here is the FDA press release cited above:

March 9, 2006

FDA Warns Manufacturers About Illegal Steroid Products Sold as Dietary Supplements

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today warned several manufacturers and distributors of unapproved drugs containing steroids that continued distribution and sale of these products without FDA approval could result in regulatory action including seizure and injunction. FDA is concerned that the use of these products, which are marketed as dietary supplements and promoted for building muscle and increasing strength, may cause serious long-term adverse health consequences in men, women, and children. These products claim to be anabolic and problems associated with anabolic steroids include: liver toxicity, testicular atrophy and male infertility, masculinization of women, breast enlargement in males, short stature in children, adverse effects on blood lipid levels, and a potential to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

"FDA takes its responsibility to protect Americans from dangerous unapproved drugs seriously. Today's action is indicative of our resolve," said Margaret O'K. Glavin, FDA's Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs.

Consumers who have any of the products listed below should stop taking them and return them to their place of purchase. FDA issued warning letters for the following so-called dietary supplement products:

· Anabolic Xtreme Superdrol, manufactured for Anabolic Resources LLC, Gilbert, Arizona, and distributed by Supplements To Go, Cincinnati, Ohio

· Methyl-1-P, manufactured for Legal Gear, Brighton, MI and distributed by Affordable Supplements, Wichita, Kansas

These warning letters are part of FDA's continued efforts to protect consumers from dangerous steroid products. In March 2004, FDA sent warning letters to 23 manufacturers and distributors of products containing androstenedione.

Warning Letters:

Affordable Supplements

Anabolic Resources LLC

Legal Gear

Supplementstogo.com, LLC

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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Dr. Wafa Sultan: Fanaticism vs. Rationality 

In 1979, when Dr. Wafa Sultan was still a medical student at the University of Aleppo in her native Syria, she experienced what she described as “the turning point of my life.”

Now a psychiatrist based in California and an American citizen, she recounted in a March 9 radio interview with Tovia Singer on Israel National Radio how during one of her classes, Islamic terrorists burst into the classroom and began firing at her professor.

“They filled his body with hundreds of bullets before my eyes while they were screaming, ‘Allah is great, Allah is great,’” she said. “At that moment I was traumatized. I had just lost trust in their god and started to question his teaching.” (Her interview starts about 26 minutes into this show.)

Ever since she has been refining her views on just why the Arab and Muslim worlds have largely remained captive of what she describes as “a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages.”

She recently elaborated on her views in a must-see interview on Feb. 21 on the Qatar-based, Arabic-language Aljazeera television, which can be viewed for free online in its original Arabic with English subtitles. There she was paired with Dr. Ibrahim al-Khouli, an Egyptian professor of religious studies, but the show turned more into a virtuoso performance as her adversary could say little against her.

Just click here to see the interview. Save that link because you will most likely want to watch it again and send it to other people.

In a booming voice and with the unwavering authority that knowledge gained the hard way provides, she said, according to a transcript of this show:

“The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions, or a clash of civilizations. It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality. It is a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights, on the one hand, and the violation of these rights, on other hand. It is a clash between those who treat women like beasts, and those who treat them like human beings. What we see today is not a clash of civilizations. Civilizations do not clash, but compete.”

She also very favorably compares the contributions made to world civilization by Jews with those made by Muslims.

Such clearly and concisely stated humanism coming from a Syrian-born woman who was brought up in an Islamic culture and in a closed, one-party military dictatorship has caught the attention of the world’s media. After numerous blogs and web sites began reporting on the buzz and excitement about Dr. Sultan which was reverberating throughout the world, and after over one million downloads of her Aljazeera interview, she was profiled in a front page story in the Saturday edition of The New York Times.

However, although The Times’ piece afforded Dr. Sultan perhaps the widest coverage she has received in the English-speaking world, the article contains at least one major error.

It is entitled “For Muslim Who Says Violence Destroys Islam, Violent Threats”. The article does say, “She said she no longer practiced Islam. ‘I am a secular human being,’ she said.”

Yet in the Aljazeera interview – which is hyperlinked next to this article on The Times’ web site – she goes much further than what The Times decided to include here. She stated:

“I am not a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew. I am a secular human being. I do not believe in the supernatural, but I respect others' right to believe in it.”

When Dr. Al-Khouli asked her if she was a heretic, she replied: “You can say whatever you like. I am a secular human being who does not believe in the supernatural.”

Thus The Times chose to edit out the fact that Dr. Sultan clearly stated that she no longer considers herself a Muslim or is a believer in anything “supernatural.” Whether she is an atheist, an agnostic, or simply prefers to be identified with the term she used on Aljazeera, “secular,” is not specified. But what is crystal clear is that she does not consider herself a Muslim. No doubt that news was not fit to print in The Times.

To understand better, however, why the type of fanaticism she is so courageously and brilliantly campaigning against has taken hold among so many Arab and Muslim people, all you have to do is look at that same Saturday edition of The Times at the article directly above her profile.

This one is called "Symbol of Abu Ghraib Seeks to Spare Others His Nightmare". It is a profile of Ali Shalal Qaissi, a former prisoner at that notorious prison in Iraq.

In the print edition, right above that article is a current photograph of a gray-haired and bespectacled Qaissi holding a much more famous photograph of himself from two years ago. In that one, apparently taken by a member of the U.S. military in Iraq when he was a prisoner in Abu Ghraib, he is seen wearing a pointed hood covering his entire head, standing on a box, holding his arms in an outstretched position, and with electrical wires attached to him.

As The Times correctly wrote, this photo “became the indelible symbol of the torture at Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad.”

All this muddies up the good vs. evil debate quite a lot. Dr. Sultan was, obviously, addressing the Arabic-speaking world on Aljazeera when she argued that the supposed clash of civilizations was really “a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights, on the one hand, and the violation of these rights, on other hand.”

With atrocities such as Abu Ghraib by the U.S.-led forces in Iraq, it becomes a much harder sell to convince those to whom she is appealing that all these laudable values are actually practiced in deed in the West and are the sole possession of their culture as well.

Then again, someone like Dr. Sultan who has condemned barbarity and embraced rationality should be expected to address these concerns. I, for one, cannot wait to hear any and all interviews with her again, to read what she has written, and, if I can arrange it, to interview her myself.

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“My Cage Fighter” Film Coming Soon 

A new independently-produced documentary about the mixed martial arts called “My Cage Fighter” is now in production by the California-based husband-and-wife team of Tamera and Todd Sturgis.

They describe their film as “a behind the scenes look at the world of mixed martial arts. The movie shows what it’s like to have a family member in the fight game. Focusing on the families, as well as the fighters, really creates an original perspective on the sport of cage fighting.”

According to Tamera, the film should be completed shortly.

You can view the trailer and find out more information on their web site.

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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Shamrock KOs Gracie in 21 Seconds 

In what turned out to be an historic show for many reasons, Frank Shamrock knocked out Cesar Gracie in just 21 seconds of the first round Friday night at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. This fight was the main event of the first state-sanctioned mixed martial arts card in California.

According to veteran journalist Eugene Robinson, who was covering the fight ringside for Throwdown Magazine, the arena was packed with 18,265 fans, a new attendance record for mixed martial arts in North America. In an interview which will be run in its entirety on the next edition of “No Holds Barred,” he said this event was “exceedingly healthy for the sport” of mixed martial arts.

You can also find out more about Eugene Robinson on his band’s web site at http://theoxbow.com/.

As announced by Frank Shamrock on the first edition of the new “No Holds Barred” show, this fight card will be broadcast on Fox Sports Net in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more information on that.

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Hasim Rahman and James Toney Conference Call Transcripts Posted 

The transcripts of this week’s media conference calls with WBC heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman and James Toney, who fight Sat., March 18, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, have been released.

We posted them on the Boxing section of the Combat Sports News at http://www.keepersofthecage.com/forums/index.php?showforum=19.

Make sure to check these out and be ready for a lot more on this upcoming fight.

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Friday, March 10, 2006

Frank Shamrock vs. Cesar Gracie Tonight in San Jose CA 

History will be made tonight at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., as the first state-sanctioned mixed martial arts card in California will take place. Headlined by the return of former fighter of the year Frank Shamrock after a lengthy absence from major competition against Cesar Gracie, this fight pits two members of two of the greatest families in mixed martial arts and grappling history, the Shamrocks and Gracies, against one other.

Our interview with Frank Shamrock on the first edition of the new "No Holds Barred" show can still be heard for free.

You can either stream or download the show on my No Holds Barred page on the Internet Archive at http://www.archive.org/details/NoHoldsBarred.

You can also download it via the King of the Cage page at http://www.kingofthecage.com/videos/nhb1.mp3.

It is also still available, and all for free, on NowPublic.com at http://www.nowpublic.com/node/32296 and through PodOmatic.com at http://nhbnews.podomatic.com/entry/2006-03-06T22_41_53-08_00.

This fight will also be shown on tape-delay in the coming weeks on Fox Sports Net, so stay tuned for an official announcement about dates and times.

And for more information about the event tonight, go to the official web site at http://www.shamrockvsgracie.com/.

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Real Pro Wrestling Announces Season Two Plans 

Real Pro Wrestling has just announced its plans for a second season, which they say “is expected to take place in the late fall of 2006.” Among the highlights are that there will be eight states in this new league hosting teams which will hold live dual meets.

Here is the press release:

Nashville, Tenn. - Real Pro Wrestling (RPW), a professional sports league for collegiate and Olympic-style wrestlers, has announced its initial plans for a second season of competition, which is expected to take place in the late fall of 2006, along with the eight states that will host franchises, co-founders Toby Willis and Matt Case have announced.

"We've brought a lot of exposure to our sport through these amazing athletes," Willis said. "We consider that one of our biggest successes. In addition to adding value to our tight knit wrestling community, we need to continue to create more awareness for our sport.

"While the actual cities of the eight franchises have yet to be finalized, RPW will select teams to compete in the following eight states: California, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas. All eight of those states hosted teams in the first season as well, but this will be the first season that actual competitions will be held in those states.

"We chose these regions for a variety of reasons. They are either top wrestling markets or are showing considerable growing in the sport," Case said. "Texas, for example, isn't a traditional wrestling hotbed, but it's growing fast. It's a region that if successful, could be a foundational area.

"Currently, venues in various cities throughout the eight aforementioned states are being surveyed along with community interest and local sponsors in each region.

"Wrestling could support many teams in many regions because of the wealth of it's grassroots programs. The sport doesn't require huge football-size stadiums because of the close-up action. You don't need a big field of play," Willis added.

RPW will announce the host cities of the franchises along with rosters as they are finalized and become available.

Willis and Case also announced that the league format will change for its second season to dual meet competitions held regionally. In Season One, wrestlers competed in individual tournaments in seven separate weight classes. A team score was kept for eight teams, each of which had one wrestler per weight class.

In Season Two, the eight teams will compete against each other in dual meets in front of live crowds, culminating with a dual meet championship at the end of the season. Each team will have seven weight classes, and rosters are expected to be filled by the end of summer.

"We initially used the tournament format because it allowed us to meet the 'made for TV' requirements and capture all the episodes in a short time," Case stated. "However, our aim has always been team based competition in a live dual meet format in cities. This is why we're making the transition from tournament to duals.

"In 2005, RPW presented a historic first season of wrestling action on PAX and Fox Sports Net. Seven, one-hour episodes were aired, one for each weight class, and a two-hour finale showcased the championship bouts from each of the seven weight classes. Nearly a half million people viewed the two-hour finale.

The episodes also aired in over 90 countries on major networks such as EuroSport and ESPN Star-Asia.

The Iowa Stalkers ran away with the team title. Individual champions were 2000 Olympic silver medalist Sammie Henson of the Pennsylvania Hammer (121 lbs.), Tony DeAnda of the New York Outrage (132), former NCAA champion Doug Schwab of the Iowa Stalkers (145), 2004 Olympian Joe Williams of the Chicago Groove (163), Mo Lawal of the Oklahoma Slam (184), 2004 Olympian Daniel Cormier of the Oklahoma Slam (211) and Pat Cummins of the Pennsylvania Hammer (264).

Overall, eight Olympians, six U.S. World Team members and 23 former NCAA champions competed in Season One. Over $300,000 in cash prizes were awarded to wrestlers.

RPW is a hybrid style of wrestling, combining the Olympic styles of Greco-Roman and Freestyle, along with elements of collegiate and Sumo wrestling.

In RPW, classic meets the future as the matches are conducted in a specially designed coliseum which showcases a raised circular mat to facilitate better camera angles and to afford the live audience a better viewing experience. The circular mat allows for 360 degree camera angles and aids in covering the close quarters that wrestlers frequently find themselves in as they maneuver for position.

Real Pro Wrestling, Inc was founded in 2002 by former Northwestern University wrestling teammates, Toby Willis and Matt Case. The company is based in Nashville, Tenn. with brand offices in Los Angeles and Colorado Springs. RPW is a television production company and a producer of live events.

Complete information about Real Pro Wrestling can be found on its official web site, www.RealProWrestling.com.

-- John Fuller
Real Pro Wrestling
Director of Communications

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“Why Boxing Needs Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton” on TheSweetScience.com 

Who but yours truly would find a way to connect the recent actions of Oscar De La Hoya, Ricardo Mayorga, Golden Boy Promotions’ CEO Richard Schaefer, Don King, Willie Nelson, and Dolly Parton? It’s all there in my latest column on TheSweetScience.com.

Called “Why Boxing Needs Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton”, this one is for everyone, be you a redneck, hippie, yuppie, geek, thug, homeboy or girl, or whatever. Except for dumbasses, that is.

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Two More Sites to Hear New “No Holds Barred” Show 

Since the original post and flurry of messages I sent out about the return of “No Holds Barred”, I have uploaded the debut show to two more sites.

You can either stream or download the show on my No Holds Barred page on the Internet Archive at http://www.archive.org/details/NoHoldsBarred.

You can also download it via the King of the Cage page at http://www.kingofthecage.com/videos/nhb1.mp3.

It is also still available, and all for free, on NowPublic.com at http://www.nowpublic.com/node/32296 and through PodOmatic.com at http://nhbnews.podomatic.com/entry/2006-03-06T22_41_53-08_00.

The NowPublic page even has some JavaScript on it you can copy if you want to put the show on your own web page, although I am not sure that will be done every week.

We did have a staff meeting of the show’s host, producer, director, head writer, sales chief, marketing head, chief engineer, and production technician – all coincidentally named Eddie Goldman – to do a bit of fine-tuning on the tech end. The site which was originally chosen to be the main host for the audio file has had some major technical problems of its own, and could not have it uploaded for what it calls “unknown” technical reasons. So I improvised a bit, and, Oop-bop-sh-bam, the show is now up on these four sites. Stay tuned for what happens next week.

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

“No Holds Barred” Returns: Eddie Goldman interviews Frank Shamrock 

It took longer than hoped for, but as promised, “No Holds Barred” is back.

From 1999 to 2001, five days a week, every week, the original “No Holds Barred” daily talk show ran live on the now-defunct eYada.com Internet radio network. We did 400 shows and over 1000 interviews on “No Holds Barred”, and, according to figures provided to us from the eYada.com servers, had about 15,000 listeners a week. I was the host with my able producer Al Gattullo riding shotgun.

But in July 2001, eYada.com closed its doors. It was partially the victim of being somewhat ahead of its time, but also was slain by those who profited from keeping new forms of media in general and the Internet in particular from succeeding. Tellingly, in the almost five years since its demise, and despite the unchecked advance of all sorts of new technology, eYada.com has neither been revived nor replaced.

For myself as host, this put me on another journey in search of a suitable place and method of bringing the show back. As many know, I have recently started as host of an Internet radio boxing show called SecondsOut Radio.

Now after many months of planning and work, we are able to announce the return of “No Holds Barred”.

This new incarnation of the show will have some important differences with the eYada.com version. That was a live show, webcast from the studios funded with the millions of dollars eYada.com had raised (and burnt through in two years). We have no such money tree, although we do have some great sponsors.

The old show, being live, was able to do up-to-date news. This show will be weekly and prerecorded, and thus will focus more on interviews and a talk format. Besides, there are numerous web sites posting news from the combat sports almost as fast as it happens.

But the new show will be the same in two key departments.

First, it will cover all the combat sports (although most of my boxing audio interviews will be done on SecondsOut Radio).

Second, this damn show will be, so long as I can be a host, NO HOLDS BARRED, telling it like it is, speaking truth to power, and leaving the baloney to those who butcher the truth, logic, facts, science, reason, and history in search of a dirty dollar.

On the first edition of the return of “No Holds Barred,” we speak with former mixed martial arts fighter of the year Frank Shamrock. On Friday, March 10, in San Jose, Calif., after being out of the spotlight for several years, Frank returns to action to fight Cesar Gracie.

For more information on that show, click here.

To listen to “No Holds Barred”, just click here or here or here.

The show is in MP3 format, so may take some time to download. And the volume level of this show was set loud, so those with good hearing might want to adjust their settings.

“No Holds Barred” is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

Underhook, with Next Level Apparel, the tops in grappling shorts, rashguards, and more.

BJJMart.com, your premier source for all Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gear, videos, books, and much more.

Throwdown Magazine, action lifestyle for extreme sports and the best in combat sports journalism.

King of the Cage, the number one cage fighting promotion on the planet.

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Monday, March 06, 2006

SecondsOut Radio: Eddie Goldman interviews John Duddy, Maureen Shea, Pete Quillin, Richard Schaefer, and Don King 

The latest edition of SecondsOut Radio, hosted by yours truly, is now up.

On this week’s edition, we speak with undefeated up-and-coming fighters “Irish” John Duddy (15-0, 13 KOs), Maureen Shea (4-0, 3 KOs), and Pete “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (2-0, 2 KOs), who each are in bouts March 16 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York; Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, about boxing’s image and the new sponsorship deals they have lined up; and have a brief talk with promoter Don King.

It is free to listen to SecondsOut Radio, but you must register to gain access to it. Just click here, and listen, learn, and enjoy.

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Sunday, March 05, 2006

Showtime Calzaghe-Lacy Photo 


From Showtime: In the defining fight of an extraordinary career, the longest reigning world champion in boxing, undefeated WBO champion Joe Calzaghe (41-0), produced a masterful, magnificent performance while winning a lopsided, dominant 12-round decision over previously unbeaten IBF kingpin Jeff Lacy (21-1) in a highly anticipated super middleweight world title unification bout Saturday on SHOWTIME from Manchester, England.

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Calzaghe Shuts Out Lacy 


Joe Calzaghe put on a brilliant performance for 12 rounds Saturday night (actually early Sunday morning in the UK) to outbox, outland, outclass, and outwork a thoroughly baffled Jeff Lacy. Calzaghe won every round on every judge’s scorecard, only losing a point for holding in the 11th round. He decked Lacy in the 12th to knock him down for the first time in his career en route to handing Lacy his first pro defeat. Official scores were 119-107 twice and 119-105.

Held at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester, England, this fight also resulted in Calzaghe, the reigning WBO super middleweight champion, capturing the IBF belt from Lacy as well as winning The Ring’s championship belt.

More importantly, it established Calzaghe, now 41-0 with 31 KOs, as one of the truly elite fighters of our time. Calzaghe said afterwards that he might go up to light heavyweight next, but was not sure if he would. Lacy, now 21-1 with 17 KOs, is still only 28, and has time to regroup if this fight did not damage him either physically or mentally that much.

The fight was televised live in the UK on ITV and in the USA by Showtime.

Lead stories about this memorable fight appear on TheSweetScience.com and SecondsOut.com. The Showtime post-fight press release can be seen here.

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Saturday, March 04, 2006

I’ll Be Seeing You 


IBF champion Jeff Lacy (right) weighed 167 pounds at Friday's weigh-in while WBO champion Joe Calzaghe (left) weighed exactly 168 pounds for their super middleweight title unification fight Saturday night in Manchester, England.

In the U.S., this fight will be shown live on Showtime (9 PM ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) and begin in England at about 2 AM GMT early Sunday to accommodate American television. In the UK it will also be shown live on a telecast on ITV1, running from 2310 Saturday night to 0310 early Sunday morning.

Despite this being one of the most important fights of the year, and one that is not on pay-per-view but the regular premium Showtime network, HBO is running a boxing show the same night. Starting at 10:00 PM ET/ 7:00 PM PT, HBO will replay last week’s Mosley-Vargas bout followed by the live Miguel Cotto-Gianluca Branco fight from Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

It is possible that Lacy-Calzaghe may actually be over by the time the HBO show starts. Plus, both networks will have replays of these shows, especially using their digital channels. Here are the replays we have found, all times U.S. EST and for the HBO and Showtime East Coast feeds:

Gianluca Branco vs. Miguel Cotto HBOHD Mar 04 10:00pm
Joe Calzaghe vs. Jeff Lacy SHOTOO Mar 05 01:00am
Gianluca Branco vs. Miguel Cotto HBO2 Mar 05 08:00am
Gianluca Branco vs. Miguel Cotto HBO2 Mar 05 04:30pm
Joe Calzaghe vs. Jeff Lacy SHOWX Mar 06 08:00pm
Joe Calzaghe vs. Jeff Lacy SHOTOO Mar 07 10:00pm
Gianluca Branco vs. Miguel Cotto HBO2 Mar 07 11:45pm
Joe Calzaghe vs. Jeff Lacy SHOW Mar 08 11:00pm
Joe Calzaghe vs. Jeff Lacy SHOWHD Mar 08 11:00pm

But if there is an overlap and you have to choose, pick Showtime. And other live events like UFC on pay-per-view and the free webcast of the NCAA Div. III Wrestling Championships will just have to wait.

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Friday, March 03, 2006

New Book Out March 4: “LYRICAL SWORDS II: Westside Rebellion” by Adisa Banjoko 

LYRICAL SWORDS II: Westside Rebellion by Adisa Banjoko is the second book in a three part series on Hip-Hop and its social and political impact by pioneer Hip-Hop journalist and critically-acclaimed author and lecturer Adisa "The Bishop of Hip-Hop" Banjoko.

It contains a powerful collection of interviews that looks at the subculture of Hip-Hop and its impact on America. It also looks at the relationship between Hip-Hop and martial arts, chess, yoga, the prison industrial complex and various spiritual paths.

This book is a must have for any serious student of Hip-Hop.

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Almost 60 Million Served 

From the MySpace.com home page, at 10:08 AM ET, after you sign in:

Mar 3, 2006
Your Network:

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Thursday, March 02, 2006

No Brawl in New York at De La Hoya-Mayorga Press Conference 

NEW YORK, March 2 - The highlights of Thursday’s press conference at New York’s ESPNZone to promote the May 6 fight between Ricardo Mayorga and Oscar De La Hoya in Las Vegas may not have been earth-shattering, but at least nothing physical was shattered while it went on.

Media members were provided with plastic construction helmets, but this was a gimmick to hype the “Danger Zone” theme of the fight, not protect us if, as had happened earlier this week at other similar events on this national press conference tour, a scuffle erupted.

This time there was no such brawling between anyone. But Mayorga did continue his verbal assault on De La Hoya, including calling him a “maricon,” one of the harshest slur words used by Latinos. De La Hoya refused to take the bait, but did say that “I have more hatred” for Mayorga than any other fighter he has faced. After the formal press conference, when the journalists were trying to get interviews and photographs, De La Hoya marched out of the building.

Perhaps the biggest news was that De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions has lined up two major sponsors for this fight, Bacardi and Coca-Cola. The Golden Boy people, however, were not at all amused by Mayorga’s antics, and must hope that these corporate types do not feel that the build-up to this fight is presenting the wrong image for them. According to Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, Coca-Cola is slated to use this fight to introduce a new drink.

Mayorga’s trainer, Stacey McKinley, formerly with Mike Tyson, promised a brawl. De La Hoya’s trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr., read a poem promising victory for his man. At least these veterans gave interesting if brief presentations.

Bernard Hopkins confirmed that he will indeed be facing light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver June 10 in Atlantic City. He noted that the first fight of his pro career, in which he lost a four-round majority decision to Clinton Mitchell, was also at light heavyweight and was also held in Atlantic City. He also vowed to do what Sugar Ray Robinson couldn’t do, and that is win the light heavyweight title, which he pointed out was for “no belts” but everyone knows that Tarver is the real champ. Robinson failed in 1952 to beat Joey Maxim when after the 13th round he could not answer the bell in a fight held in 104-degree heat outdoors in Yankee Stadium. The Hopkins-Tarver fight will, of course, be held indoors, and at Boardwalk Hall.

HBO Pay-Per-View head Mark Taffet also confirmed that last week’s Mosley-Vargas event got more than 400,000 buys, with an official announcement coming out today. De La Hoya-Mayorga will also be on HBO Pay-Per-View and go for $49.95.

The date of this fight, May 6, is one day after Cinco de Mayo, a major Mexican holiday commemorating the victory of the Mexican Army in 1862 over the French invaders at the Battle of Puebla.

More to come on the web sites.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

“I Ain't Mailing Anymore” on TheSweetScience.com 

My newest contribution to the ongoing discourse in the world of boxing journalism has been posted on TheSweetScience.com.

It is called “I Ain't Mailing Anymore”.

Apologies may seem to be in order to Phil Ochs, as I referenced the title of his anti-war song “I Ain’t Marching Anymore” for an article taking a rather combative position. But don’t forget, or rather make sure to read all about it if you weren’t aware, that those who take a stand against an unfair or unjust practice still have to find a way to fight. Hopefully this article demonstrates clean punching, effective aggressiveness, defense, and online generalship.

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Iran “The Blade” Barkley’s New Plan to Cut Them Up 

Former three-division world champion Iran "The Blade" Barkley, the only man to twice defeat Thomas "Hit Man" Hearns, makes his debut this Thursday night, March 2, in another type of ring.

On that night, Iran will not be throwing punches but instead will be throwing punchlines as he makes his debut in the world of stand-up comedy.

The location is the Laugh Factory at 669 8th Ave and 42nd Street in Manhattan. For more information, call (212) 586-7829.

Of course, boxing is not completely out of his blood. While being interviewed Tuesday night on the “Joey Reynolds Show” on WOR radio in New York, Iran noted that he had heard that Thomas Hearns was interested in making yet another return to the ring. Iran indicated that he would welcome a third go-round with the Hit Man. And that was not one of the jokes he will tell this Thursday night.

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