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

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Friday, July 04, 2008

No Holds Barred: Ricardo Torres, Kendall Holt, Bob Arum, Nick Lembo, ABC Meeting and MMA 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman begins by commenting on the discussion we had on the most recent edition of this show with the award-winning boxing writer and author, Thomas Hauser of SecondsOut.com, about his views on UFC and the mixed martial arts. While we obviously disagreed with most of his views on MMA, we comment on the need to establish the positive social benefits of legalizing and sanctioning MMA. This is not only not done by most of the supporters of MMA, but many of the major MMA promotions actually promote anti-social values and bad sportsmanship.

Next, we preview the much-anticipated rematch between WBO junior welterweight champion Ricardo Torres (32-1, 28 KOs) and challenger Kendall Holt (23-2, 12 KOs). Their first bout, held Sept. 1, 2007, in Torres's hometown of Barranquilla, Colombia, ended with a controversial 11th-round TKO win for Torres. This fight was clearly marred by a wildly unruly crowd, which repeatedly soaked the ring with debris and liquids, even hitting Holt and a cornerman with beer cans.

The Torres-Holt rematch takes place this Saturday night, July 5, at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. It will be televised live in the U.S. on Showtime. It is the most important fight being held this weekend, and should be an energetic, exciting scrap.

On a media teleconference call this week, we spoke with both Ricardo Torres and Kendall Holt about their first fight and what to expect in this one. We also got the comments of promoter Bob Arum about the continuing controversies in boxing, including the much-discussed disqualification last week of Humberto Soto in his fight with Francisco Lorenzo.

We next had a lengthy interview with Nick Lembo, counsel for the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, and a longtime supporter of mixed martial arts. He is attending the annual meeting of the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC), which is going on this weekend in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. MMA is a major topic at this meeting.

Among the topics we discussed were: what the ABC is doing to educate various commissions about regulating MMA in their jurisdictions, why the New York legislature did not recently approve the legalization of the sport, the need for the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act to be extended to MMA, why MMA promoters should work together like even boxing promoters often do, UFC contracts, the establishment by the ABC of an official MMA record keeper, federal ID cards for MMA fighters, clarifications of the MMA unified rules, guidelines for amateur MMA, the ABC deciding to make discussion about MMA a regular part of their agenda along with boxing, and more.

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