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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

No Holds Barred: Victor Ortiz, Andre Berto, Edwin Rodriguez, Thomas Williams Jr. 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman previews the April 30 fights between welterweights Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto, and light heavyweights Edwin Rodriguez and Thomas Williams Jr.

These fights take place this Saturday at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, and will be shown live in primetime in the U.S. in English on Fox and in Spanish on Fox Deportes.

Victor Ortiz (31-5-2, 24 KOs) and Andre Berto (30-4, 23 KOs) first met five years ago, on April 16, 2011, in a wild fight of the year that saw both met him the canvas twice over the 12 rounds of the bout. Although Ortiz was the underdog going into this fight, he won a unanimous decision victory as well as capturing Berto's WBC title and handing him his first pro loss.

Since then, both fighters have had their ups and downs, with Ortiz going 2-3 and Berto 3-3, with each man losing to Floyd Mayweather along the way. So this rematch, a 12-round welterweight bout, besides likely guaranteeing fireworks in the ring, is crucial for both fighters at this stage of their careers.

Light heavyweights Edwin Rodriguez (28-1, 19 KOs) and Thomas Williams Jr. (19-1, 13 KOs) are still both contenders and have each yet to win a world title belt. This fight, a ten-round affair, also promises to feature their knockout power and put them closer to that title shot, perhaps against WBC champ Adonis Stevenson.

We spoke with Victor Ortiz, Andre Berto, Edwin Rodriguez, and Thomas Williams Jr. on a media conference call Monday.

(Photos of Ortiz-Berto 1 by Cathlin Daley.)

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

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 free to listen to and is sponsored by:

The Frank Gotch World Catch Wrestling Tournament. On Sunday, July 3, 2016, catch wrestlers from all around the world will compete in Humboldt, Iowa, the hometown of the legendary world champion wrestler Frank Gotch. Organized by the Catch Wrestling Alliance and co-sponsored by IAWrestle, the Frank Gotch Statue Committee, and the Frank Gotch Kids Wrestling Club, the event will take place at Humboldt High School. For more information, go to CatchWrestlingAlliance.com.

The North American Catch Wrestling Association, a grassroots organization designed to help rebuild the sport of catch-as-catch-can-wrestling. For more information, go to their Facebook page at facebook.com/NorthAmericanCatchWrestlingAssociation.

BJJ Eastern Europe, for the latest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu news, articles, interviews, competition calendar, European belt rankings, academy directory, and more. For more information, go to BJJEE.com.

The National Registry for Wrestling, whose mission is to increase wrestling's fanbase, to build a registry of all wrestling fans, to serve as a connecting point for all wrestling fans, and to provide TV and Internet listings for wrestling. For more information, go to NR4W.com.

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

No Holds Barred: James DeGale, Badou Jack, Lucian Bute, Chocolatito, McWilliams Arroyo 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman previews the April 30 fights between James DeGale and Rogelio Medina, and Badou Jack and Lucian Bute, as well as the April 23 fight between Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez and McWilliams Arroyo.

On Saturday, April 30, there will be a super middleweight doubleheader involving separate fights by two titleholders, all in preparation for a showdown and title unification between the victors.

WBC champion Badou Jack (20-1-1, 12 KOs) will face former IBF champion Lucian Bute (32-3, 25 KOs), while current IBF champion and 2008 Olympic gold medalist James DeGale (22-1, 14 KOs) will fight mandatory challenger Rogelio Medina (36-6, 30 KOs). This will take place at the DC Armory in Washington, D.C. and be shown live in the U.S. on Showtime and in the U.K. on Sky Sports.

This coming week, on Saturday. April 23, boxing consensus pound-for-pound best, the WBC flyweight champion Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez (44-0, 38 KOs), will face 2008 Olympian McWilliams Arroyo (16-2, 14 KOs). This fight is the co-feature to the Gennady Golovkin-Dominic Wade middleweight title main event, but is actually more anticipated than that fight by many who know boxing. These fights take place at the Forum in Inglewood, California, and will be televised live in the U.S. on HBO and in the U.K. on BoxNation.

We spoke this week with James DeGale, Badou Jack, Lucian Bute, Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez, and McWilliams Arroyo on media conference calls about these fights and their plans.

(Photo of Badou Jack and Lucian Bute from Stephanie Trapp/Mayweather Promotions. Photo of James Degale from Lawrence Lustig/Matchroom Boxing. Photo of Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez from Ed Mulholland/K2 Promotions. Photo of McWilliams Arroyo from PR Best Boxing Promotions.)

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

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 free to listen to and is sponsored by:

The Frank Gotch World Catch Wrestling Tournament. On Sunday, July 3, 2016, catch wrestlers from all around the world will compete in Humboldt, Iowa, the hometown of the legendary world champion wrestler Frank Gotch. Organized by the Catch Wrestling Alliance and co-sponsored by IAWrestle, the Frank Gotch Statue Committee, and the Frank Gotch Kids Wrestling Club, the event will take place at Humboldt High School. For more information, go to CatchWrestlingAlliance.com.

The North American Catch Wrestling Association, a grassroots organization designed to help rebuild the sport of catch-as-catch-can-wrestling. For more information, go to their Facebook page at facebook.com/NorthAmericanCatchWrestlingAssociation.

BJJ Eastern Europe, for the latest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu news, articles, interviews, competition calendar, European belt rankings, academy directory, and more. For more information, go to BJJEE.com.

The National Registry for Wrestling, whose mission is to increase wrestling's fanbase, to build a registry of all wrestling fans, to serve as a connecting point for all wrestling fans, and to provide TV and Internet listings for wrestling. For more information, go to NR4W.com.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

No Holds Barred Tenth Anniversary: Dr. Margaret Goodman on Boxing, MMA, and Doping 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Dr. Margaret Goodman, a neurologist, the former chair of the Medical Advisory Board of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, and the president and board chairman of VADA, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association.

This is another in a series of discussions celebrating the tenth anniversary of this No Holds Barred podcast, which began in March 2006. These interviews will focus both on the legacy and issues raised over the years on this show, as well as contemporary issues and the future of the combat sports and martial arts.

We spoke with Dr. Margaret Goodman by phone Monday.

There is hardly a day without a report, discussion, or analysis of doping in sports. Even a decade ago, this was not the case, particularly in the combat and contact sports. Yet today, issues like doping, as well as athlete safety, brain trauma, and CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), regularly appear in the headlines and are the main topics in the news and on discussion shows. It has taken time for public awareness of these issues and the crises for sport they entail to grow to a critical mass, but that is where we are today.

"I think that public awareness, and the public, the fans that watch these sports, asking questions, demanding answers to those questions, keeping on top of the sports, and even with the athletic commissions and the media asking questions, I think changes do come," said Dr. Goodman.

"The public is more and more aware of this," she said, and urged, "I think that it's really important for the average boxing fan and MMA fan to ask questions, to find out as much information as they can."

More and more transparency on these issues and more and more people asking questions, she said, "this is what really will evoke changes."

We discussed many specific issues, including that of the many suspensions of athletes for using the banned substance meldonium; why many of these suspensions have now been lifted; drug-testing in MMA including the UFC-USADA program; the World Boxing Council (WBC) working directly with VADA on testing fighters and the WBC Clean Boxing Program; the growing list of top-rated boxers who are part of VADA's anti-doping program; the lack of uniformity in drug and medical testing of fighters, both around the U.S. and the world; Bellator MMA's booking of Kimbo Slice for a fight in the U.K. right after he tested positive for using a steroid from his February fight and was suspended for three months and had his fighter's license revoked by the Texas commission; the dangers of brain injuries in. and the relative safety of, boxing and MMA; whether or not bare knuckle boxing can be safer than boxing with gloves; the ethics of watching and covering such dangerous sports as boxing and MMA; the need for a national commission for boxing and MMA, for MMA to be included in the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, and for international regulation of these sports; the importance of the recent film "Concussion" about Dr. Bennet Omalu; how repeated sub-concussive blows to the head must be examined and not just full concussions; an upcoming WBC webinar; and much, much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

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 free to listen to and is sponsored by:

The Frank Gotch World Catch Wrestling Tournament. On Sunday, July 3, 2016, catch wrestlers from all around the world will compete in Humboldt, Iowa, the hometown of the legendary world champion wrestler Frank Gotch. Organized by the Catch Wrestling Alliance and co-sponsored by IAWrestle, the Frank Gotch Statue Committee, and the Frank Gotch Kids Wrestling Club, the event will take place at Humboldt High School. For more information, go to CatchWrestlingAlliance.com.

The North American Catch Wrestling Association, a grassroots organization designed to help rebuild the sport of catch-as-catch-can-wrestling. For more information, go to their Facebook page at facebook.com/NorthAmericanCatchWrestlingAssociation.

BJJ Eastern Europe, for the latest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu news, articles, interviews, competition calendar, European belt rankings, academy directory, and more. For more information, go to BJJEE.com.

The National Registry for Wrestling, whose mission is to increase wrestling's fanbase, to build a registry of all wrestling fans, to serve as a connecting point for all wrestling fans, and to provide TV and Internet listings for wrestling. For more information, go to NR4W.com.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

No Holds Barred: On Bare Knuckle Fighting 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses the issue of the safety of bare knuckle fighting, and how it compares to boxing and MMA with gloves.

It was just announced that the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship will be taking place Saturday, June 11, at the Miccosukee Resort and Gaming Casino on the sovereign land of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida, in Miami, Florida.

We also replay a long segment from an edition of No Holds Barred from August 2011 on the subject of the issue of bare knuckle fighting and the myth that wearing gloves in boxing and MMA makes those sports safer. We quoted Dr. Allan J. Ryan, considered to be a co-founder of the field of sports medicine in 1945, who wrote an article in 1983 called "Eliminate Boxing Gloves".

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

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 free to listen to and is sponsored by:

The Frank Gotch World Catch Wrestling Tournament. On Sunday, July 3, 2016, catch wrestlers from all around the world will compete in Humboldt, Iowa, the hometown of the legendary world champion wrestler Frank Gotch. Organized by the Catch Wrestling Alliance and co-sponsored by IAWrestle, the Frank Gotch Statue Committee, and the Frank Gotch Kids Wrestling Club, the event will take place at Humboldt High School. For more information, go to CatchWrestlingAlliance.com.

The North American Catch Wrestling Association, a grassroots organization designed to help rebuild the sport of catch-as-catch-can-wrestling. For more information, go to their Facebook page at facebook.com/NorthAmericanCatchWrestlingAssociation.

BJJ Eastern Europe, for the latest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu news, articles, interviews, competition calendar, European belt rankings, academy directory, and more. For more information, go to BJJEE.com.

The National Registry for Wrestling, whose mission is to increase wrestling's fanbase, to build a registry of all wrestling fans, to serve as a connecting point for all wrestling fans, and to provide TV and Internet listings for wrestling. For more information, go to NR4W.com.

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Wednesday, April 06, 2016

No Holds Barred: Charles Martin, Anthony Joshua, The Unpredictable Heavyweights 


(Photo of Charles Martin and Anthony Joshua by Lawrence Lustig)

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with unbeaten heavyweight boxers Charles Martin and Anthony Joshua, who face each other this Saturday, April 9.

Martin (23-0-1, 21 KOs), who is 29 years old, will make the first defense of his IBF title when he faces Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs), 26, at the O2 Arena in London, England. Although he holds the belt, Martin, from Carson, California, in the U.S., is the underdog against Joshua, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist who is from Watford, Hertfordshire, U.K.

This fight will be shown live in the U.K. on Sky Sports Box Office and live in the U.S. on Showtime.

We spoke with both Charles Martin and Anthony Joshua on a media conference call Monday.

On that call, Joshua predicted that he would win by a knockout by the sixth round, while a confident Martin dismissed Joshua as being "green" and inexperienced.

In a year when heavyweight boxing has yielded a series of unpredictable results and developments, we shall see Saturday if the local hero and favorite Joshua wins and fulfills the predictions of many that he is the future of the heavyweight division, or if the underdog and unexpected champion Martin retains his belt and proves the pundits and oddsmakers wrong.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

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 free to listen to and is sponsored by:

The Frank Gotch World Catch Wrestling Tournament. On Sunday, July 3, 2016, catch wrestlers from all around the world will compete in Humboldt, Iowa, the hometown of the legendary world champion wrestler Frank Gotch. Organized by the Catch Wrestling Alliance and co-sponsored by IAWrestle, the Frank Gotch Statue Committee, and the Frank Gotch Kids Wrestling Club, the event will take place at Humboldt High School. For more information, go to CatchWrestlingAlliance.com.

The North American Catch Wrestling Association, a grassroots organization designed to help rebuild the sport of catch-as-catch-can-wrestling. For more information, go to their Facebook page at facebook.com/NorthAmericanCatchWrestlingAssociation.

BJJ Eastern Europe, for the latest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu news, articles, interviews, competition calendar, European belt rankings, academy directory, and more. For more information, go to BJJEE.com.

The National Registry for Wrestling, whose mission is to increase wrestling's fanbase, to build a registry of all wrestling fans, to serve as a connecting point for all wrestling fans, and to provide TV and Internet listings for wrestling. For more information, go to NR4W.com.

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Monday, April 04, 2016

No Holds Barred Tenth Anniversary: Jens Sejer Andersen on Corruption and Elite vs. Grassroots Sport 


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

This is another in a series of discussions celebrating the tenth anniversary of this No Holds Barred podcast, which began in March 2006. These interviews will focus both on the legacy and issues raised over the years on this show, as well as contemporary issues and the future of the combat sports and martial arts.

We spoke with Jens Sejer Andersen by Skype Thursday.

The list of scandals and exposures of corruption in world sport continues to grow. The Olympics were once the world's most respected and prestigious sporting event. Now the people of many cities around the world are opposing hosting the Olympics. There have been mass demonstrations against the Olympics and major events like the FIFA World Cup in usually sports-positive places like Brazil. Discussions about bribery, match-fixing, doping, and the role of organized crime in sport now get as much or even more attention than analyses of the sporting events themselves.

"I think one of the main reasons that we have reached this low point for international sport is that the sports organizations themselves have for too many years oppressed and neglected this problem. They have tried to tone them down. They have denied that they existed. They have told critics that they were just negative people focusing on isolated individual incidents, etc., etc.," he said.

"There has been no power that could hold from the outside," he said, "the international sports bodies accountable. And they have been subject to no competition at all."

Such a monopoly situation and bureaucratic top-down control have inevitably resulted in a world of corruption.

"Lack of challenge from the outside, lack of challenge from the inside. Lack of understanding that critical questions are necessary if you want to progress. That, I think, has been sort of the cardinal sin of the sports organizations."

One tired defense of the growth of these elite sports organizations and events is that there is a trickle-down effect which benefits youth and grassroots sports. Yet the facts speak otherwise, as grassroots sports programs are often neglected and even discontinued.

"If you want mass sport, if you want grassroots sport and participation in sport, you just have to invest in it. Don't invest in elite sport if what you wish is grassroots sport. And don't invest in grassroots sport if what you wish is elite sport. Those are two worlds apart. They both deserve respect," he said.

"I think there is a growing recognition and understanding, slowly but surely, that hosting the Olympics will not increase physical activity in a country. On the contrary, there is a big risk that money will be diverted from grassroots sport to elite sport during the preparations."

We discussed how after the 2012 London Olympics youth participation in sport actually declined in the U.K., the many potential disasters facing the 2016 Rio Olympics, the need for strategies to make sure that all children are provided physical activity, the international fight against sports corruption, and much, much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

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 free to listen to and is sponsored by:

The Frank Gotch World Catch Wrestling Tournament. On Sunday, July 3, 2016, catch wrestlers from all around the world will compete in Humboldt, Iowa, the hometown of the legendary world champion wrestler Frank Gotch. Organized by the Catch Wrestling Alliance and co-sponsored by IAWrestle, the Frank Gotch Statue Committee, and the Frank Gotch Kids Wrestling Club, the event will take place at Humboldt High School. For more information, go to CatchWrestlingAlliance.com.

The North American Catch Wrestling Association, a grassroots organization designed to help rebuild the sport of catch-as-catch-can-wrestling. For more information, go to their Facebook page at facebook.com/NorthAmericanCatchWrestlingAssociation.

BJJ Eastern Europe, for the latest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu news, articles, interviews, competition calendar, European belt rankings, academy directory, and more. For more information, go to BJJEE.com.

The National Registry for Wrestling, whose mission is to increase wrestling's fanbase, to build a registry of all wrestling fans, to serve as a connecting point for all wrestling fans, and to provide TV and Internet listings for wrestling. For more information, go to NR4W.com.

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Friday, April 01, 2016

Eddie Goldman Named Commissioner of World International Catch Wrestling Association Federation (WICWAF) 


NEW YORK, April 1 -- The newly-formed World International Catch Wrestling Association Federation (WICWAF) is proud to announce that the "Voice of Catch Wrestling", Eddie Goldman, has been named its first Commissioner.

WICWAF unveiled its catch-y acronym at its inaugural news conference Friday, April 1. This took place on the site of the old Gilmore's Garden, which was renamed Madison Square Garden in 1879 and was the first of four buildings with that name, in Madison Square Park in New York (or maybe it was at a nearby barroom with a bathroom).

"My goal as Commissioner of WICWAF is to unify all the catch wrestling groups in one organization, run real world championships, hold events alongside other styles of wrestling and grappling, promote diversity in the sport around the world, and have a real grassroots-run international association with good governance," said Eddie Goldman before the hundreds of assembled media and drinkers.

"Everyone is welcome to join, except those who are part of organized crime and already have their own wrestling bodies to ruin. Also, Donald Trump is not welcome. We have zero tolerance for bigotry and idiocy."

The packed news conference featured a live psychic hookup with several dead catch wrestling greats of the past, including Frank Gotch, Tom Connors, Billy Riley, Mitsuyo "Conde Koma" Maeda, Euclydes "Tatu" Hatem, George Gracie, Viro "Black Sam" Small, Phyllis "Tiger Lady" Lee, Billy Robinson, Karl Gotch, Lou Thesz, and Milo of Croton. Google Translate provided the translation. Video was provided via virtual reality headsets borrowed from the back of a truck found near the Lincoln Tunnel, which was named for the wrestler Abraham Lincoln.

"With the forthcoming re-legalization of MMA in New York this year, WICWAF vows that our wrestlers will challenge all MMA champions in two-out-of-three falls catch wrestling matches, where you can only win by pin or submission. We'll see how many accept this challenge, especially since we will have drug testing done by VADA," said Eddie Goldman to thunderous applause.

"And if you still believe that this is anything other than an April Fool's joke, well, come to the live wrestling tonight at midnight in the Roosevelt Avenue subway station, which was named for the wrestler Theodore Roosevelt."

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