Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Best Boxer in the World is on TV Today 

If you love boxing but are put off, disgusted, or even enraged by the endless string of overpriced, overhyped, mediocre, and piss-poor mismatches, meaningless fights, and utter garbage constantly, relentlessly, and shamelessly force-fed to the public by the promoters and TV networks, you can now have a reprieve from this pugilistic purgatory. Of course, it involves a fighter who ruled the boxing world a half-century ago, but we’ll take it, we’ll take it.

ESPN Classic – easily the best TV network for boxing – is premiering the latest edition of its Ringside series today, Sat., Feb. 25. Today’s episode in this series of six-hour specials features the boxer just about everyone agrees is the best pound-for-pound fighter of all time: Sugar Ray Robinson.

Here is the schedule, with all times ET, so check your local listings:
Sat, Feb. 25 12:00 pm
Sat, Feb. 25 6:00 pm
Sun, Feb. 26 12:00 am
Sun, Feb. 26 10:00 am

And don’t forget to get your video recorders ready.

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Friday, February 24, 2006

New Online and on HD Radio: Gretchen 99.9 

The HD radio revolution is beginning in earnest this year. What this means is that over-the-air radio stations are switching to digital transmission. This gives them the capability of broadcasting numerous signals at once. These new signals are called HD 2 channels, and these stations are now figuring out what formats to play on them.

According to the industry trade group, the HD Digital Radio Alliance, from January 2006 on, "some 264 entirely new HD 2 channels will carry a variety of music or talk formats."

Of course, few outside of the techie and radio worlds are at present aware of all this. Plus, receivers able to get HD radio signals are still extremely expensive, going for about 500 bucks. But one report predicts that the prices of these new radios will soon plummet, as have most other new types of technology, and that "sales could surge to 4 million units in 2007 from 35,000" in 2005. Others, however, such as Joel Hollander, chairman and CEO of CBS Radio, are less optimistic, saying that with the spread of HD receivers he "could not see any significant progress happening for at least three to seven years."

Whatever happens with the transition to digital radio, some stations are wasting no time in coming up with innovative formats. One of those is the popular country radio station 99.9 WKIS-FM in Miami, FL.

Their HD 2 channel , begun in September, is named Gretchen 99.9, for the "Redneck Woman" country superstar herself, Gretchen Wilson.

According to a press release, besides Gretchen's own songs, this channel "showcases music from core artists including Hank Williams, Jr., Charlie Daniels Band, The Allman Brothers, Montgomery-Gentry, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Travis Tritt, Toby Keith, Gretchen Wilson, and other musically inventive, creative 'outlaws' of the format."

If you don't have one of these pricey HD radios yet, you can still listen for free by going to the WKIS web site.

Listening for about two hours Friday morning confirmed the promised mix, with country anthems by Gretchen and Hank Williams Jr. alternating with the likes of Janis Joplin and various Southern rockers. It all is hard-edged, rocks, and spirited. So if you're looking for fluff, you found the wrong honky tonk, er, radio station.

Like all present HD 2 channels, Gretchen 99.9 is commercial-free and has no DJ's. But that also means that there is no one to identify the songs played.

Check it out when you can, 24/7. If you have any suggestions, there also was an announcement that e-mails are welcome from listeners. Just send them to bob@wkis.com, and tell 'em Eddie sent you.

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Watch Live Boxing From Mexico City (Friday, Feb. 24) – from TheSweetScience.com 

TheSweetScience.com is pleased to announce a special treat for fight fans ...

Join our sister sites Friday night (Feb. 24th) as BoxingChannel.com and CANALdeBoxeo.com - along with Maldonado Productions - bring you live boxing from Mexico City. There's a 12 round WBC Fecarbox Superfeatherweight title bout on tap, plus 5 more exciting bouts on the undercard.

The Fight Card:
Juan Carlos Salgado vs. Ismael Gonzalez (Superfeatherweight WBC Fecarbox title)
Daniel Tovar vs. Luis Alberto Cruz (8 rounds, lightweight)
Oscar Saturnino vs. Pascasio Zarate (6 rounds, miniflyweight)
Andres Estrada vs. Ambrosio Martinez (4 rounds, bantamweight)
...plus 2 more undercard bouts!

All you have to do is visit BoxingChannel.com TONIGHT (Friday, Feb. 24th) to watch all the exciting fight action. Or if you would like the Spanish webcast, go to CANALdeBoxeo.com.

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

A Guaranteed Prediction 

I was asked to send in a prediction to TheSweetScience.com for Saturday's Mosley-Vargas pay-per-view, available in the U.S. for the low, low price of only $44.95. Here it is:

Here's my prediction, which is guaranteed to be right: HBO will rebroadcast the Mosley-Vargas fight next Sat., March 4, as part of the live Cotto-Branco show. That is their plan to compete with the more important live card on Showtime that same night, headlined by Lacy-Calzaghe. But Showtime will win that fight as well, at least in terms of providing a meaningful and quality show.

PS - And what genius decided to put on a UFC pay-per-view the same time as these two live boxing shows?

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

“Four’s Company” on TheSweetScience.com 

My latest weekly column on TheSweetScience.com is up.

Titled “Four’s Company”, it discusses the damaging effects of the existence of four major sanctioning bodies in boxing. And it offers a suggestion for how an alternative, including a broadly-based media rankings poll, might be established.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

What’s New on NO HOLDS BARRED 

As the billions and billions of folks who regularly follow this blog know, important changes have recently been happening pretty fast, both here and in my overall media activities. Working in the media, and especially the Internet media in these still-pioneering days, does not make for a stable situation. Media outlets come and go, technologies change at lightning speed, and wise people are joined by fools young and old trying to make a go of it online.

So here are some of the main new developments to report:

SecondsOut Radio: As I blogged yesterday, the first edition of this new, free, weekly boxing Internet radio show has been posted. I have known many members of the SecondsOut.com team for some time, and it is good to be working with such a serious and stable group of people. If you haven’t done so already, go to http://www.secondsout.com/radio to complete the quick registration form.

TheSweetScience.com: I recently started my weekly column on this boxing site, one of the most popular, well-written, and heavily-trafficked on the net. And, surprise, surprise, I’ve already drummed up some controversy. Yup, I am now with two major boxing sites at once.

Throwdown Magazine: This new combat sports magazine, with veteran journalist Todd Hester as publisher and editor-in-chief, recently put out its premiere issue, in which I have a regular column. You can subscribe online, so check it out.

Combat Sports News: I am still posting stories, mainly press releases, about all of the combat sports. I also posted links in the right-hand column of this blog to the five different categories:
Boxing News
MMA & NHB News
BJJ & Grappling News
Wrestling News
Kickboxing, Karate, Sumo, etc. News

MySpace.Com Profile: My profile and postings on MySpace.com are more for fun than those on this blog, but this social networking site, now reportedly with over 54,000,000 members, is invaluable to anyone who takes the online world seriously. Of course, since it has become so popular, it has alarmed all sorts of technophobic authoritarians who are now trying to either ban it or prevent the youth from using it. And we’re not talking about some place like China or Iran here, but liberal, open-minded New York.

Yup, this will only make it stronger, so keep it up, jerks. With 54,000,000 people on MySpace.com, there are, of course, bound to be some criminals and predators among them – just as there are among some schoolteachers, members of the clergy, and cops. Maybe we should ban all these institutions as well.

Music: Besides just fooling around on the MySpace.com site, a luxury for which I have little time, and corresponding with and even meeting some very cool people, I have also used it to catch up on some new music, new at least to me. So when you go to my profile, you will usually hear a song of my choice playing.

Up now is “I Need More Love” by Robert Randolph, whose band plays a smoking, tight, and fresh blend of soul, funk, gospel, jazz, rock, and even some country. I also added a link to this blog for the Robert Randolph official site which has some of this band’s videos as well as lots more information. Their MySpace page is at http://www.myspace.com/robertrandolph .

American Foundation for the Blind: I have also added a link on my blog to this site. Although I am not blind, I have always had poor vision and it is worsening as I age. This group is playing a leading role in fighting for online accessibility for people with low or no vision. I am grateful for and supportive of the work they are doing, and plan to write more about them in the future.

I already have one post up about their critiques of lack of accessibility in major sports web sites. And I have also forwarded their press release to some people I know at some of these offending sites.

Ourmedia.org: I am also maintaining a page on Ourmedia.org with similar content as on here, although there are direct links to the audio interviews there. Plus, if one site goes down, as has happened a few times, the other is probably still up.

There will be more news to come as I work on these and other, new projects. So to combine two slogans in the same sentence in a way probably no one else would even dream of, I have to Git-R-Done, by any means necessary.

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Monday, February 20, 2006

SecondsOut Radio Debut: Eddie Goldman interviews Fres Oquendo, Curtis Stevens, Joe Mesi, and Sechew Powell 

The debut show of my latest Internet radio production, SecondsOut Radio, is now up.

On this edition of SecondsOut Radio, we have post-fight interviews with returning heavyweight contender Fres Oquendo and undefeated super middleweight prospect Curtis Stevens, who headlined the Feb. 16 Broadway Boxing card in New York. We also spoke with heavyweight Joe Mesi about his plans to resume boxing, and rising, undefeated super middleweight Sechew Powell.

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

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Happy Presidents' Day 

I am still not a crook.

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Not Again …. 

This coming Saturday, for only $44.95 in good American currency, it's Vargas vs. Mosley. Or maybe it's Mosley vs. Vargas.

More importantly, it's pay$per$view vs. your wallet, and your cable or satellite bill vs. the sky.

How many care enough about this one to take the plunge?

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Whole World Wasn’t Watching 

Boo again to the American TV networks for not buying Saturday's fight card in Las Vegas headlined by welterweight slugger Antonio Margarito and undefeated light flyweight Brian Viloria.

Both fighters are ranked at or near the top of their respective weight classes by the independent boxing rankings. All descriptions of these fights, including Margarito's 74-second blowout of Manuel Gomez and Viloria's 12-round unanimous decision over Jose Antonio Aguirre, made them sound interesting in their own ways. And both headliners usually provide an entertaining show.

But the fight was consigned to pay$per$view, and for about 40 bucks at that for a show headlined by excellent but not that well-known fighters facing less than top-notch opposition in their bouts. With more pay$per$views than there are crooked politicians and business execs, I know I was far from alone in passing on this one.

Tim McGraw advised the world to "Live Like You Were Dying". Boxing is dying but living like it wants to accelerate its demise.

When the promoters and network suits can't put their half-brains together to create a show featuring fighters like Margarito and Viloria, then maybe it's time to take a short break from country music and dig out some Mozart.

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