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Sunday, April 30, 2017

One Love: The Message of Anthony Joshua 


by Eddie Goldman

It may have been logistically impossible for those who attended Donald Trump's rally Saturday evening at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to have watched the live TV showing of the Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko fight from London. But in the unlikely event that they did see it live, or saw the televised replay later that night, they would have heard diametrically opposed messages.

Trump gave a speech which CNN senior political analyst David Gergen, who had been a top presidential adviser under Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton, said on CNN was "a deeply disturbing speech" and "the most divisive speech I have ever heard from a sitting American president." In the speech, Trump returned to his campaign's ultra-nationalist, anti-scientific, anti-immigrant, and anti-media themes. Presented on his 100th day in office, Trump has thus far had zero major legislative achievements and has the lowest approval ratings of any new president at this stage of his term since World War II. And his faithful cheered him like a rock star.

Trump even lied about the attendance at this meeting, claiming the building couldn't fit all the people who wanted to enter inside, even though there were visibly entire rows and sections of empty seats, easily seen in photographs of the event.

Across the Atlantic, in a world normally as or more sordid than politics, a boxing match was taking place, and this one legitimately had filled up 90,000 seats in London's Wembley Stadium. It also, according to promoter Eddie Hearn, broke the UK pay-per-view record of 1.15 million for the 2015 Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight. We are awaiting what are expected to be record or near-record numbers from the German telecast on RTL, as well as the live US telecast on Showtime and replay on HBO later that night. And we know a lot of folks watched it online, legit or not.

On Twitter, its hashtag, #JoshuaKlitschko, was trending number two in the US even before the fight started, and trended (or some spelling variation of it) first in the world and the US for some time after it ended.

This battle, of course, featured the UK's superstar, 27-year-old Anthony Joshua, in the toughest test in his brief career, defeating the former champion of the heavyweight division, 41-year-old Wladimir Klitschko of Ukraine, who also spends time living in Germany and California.

As you likely know, this was an epic fight which saw both fighters knocked down and hurt. The climax and culmination had, in the 11th round, Joshua score two massive knockdowns on Klitschko, followed by a fierce barrage while a battered Klitschko was up against the ropes, causing American referee David Fields correctly to halt the fight.

The TKO victory for Joshua was not only a successful defense of his IBF belt and gave him the WBA belt, but it showed that Joshua could come back from adversity and after being seriously in trouble, to overcome a vastly more experienced fighter like Klitschko.

This was without question one of the greatest heavyweight fights in history. It is a bona fide fight of the year candidate. And it included a round of the year candidate in the fifth, where Joshua dropped and hurt Klitschko early on, only to be hurt himself and almost dropped as the round progressed. In fact, Joshua clearly was winning the fight when he scored his fifth-round knockdown, but it was in that round that the momentum changed and Klitschko rallied for a significant portion of the rest of the fight, until he met his doom in round 11.

There has already been lots and lots of poignant analyses of the ups and downs of this fight. I recommend checking out what Frank Lotierzo and, when it comes out probably this week, Charles Farrell have to say about it. It would be pointless for me to try to duplicate, even if I actually could, what they said and wrote.

More important than the breakdown of these 11 rounds, and even that Joshua is now obviously the top heavyweight in the world and probably the most popular fighter in the world today, are the cultural and even political significance of Anthony Joshua's rise to such prominence.

While much of the West descends into the flames of xenophobia and anti-immigrant hysteria, from Trump to Le Pen to Brexit and on and on, while Putin and the Mullahs of Iran prop up the genocidal Assad regime in carrying out its countless war crimes and killing and displacing of millions of people, while the various Islamic terrorists such as Daesh/ISIS and others remain active forces, here comes a boxer, the British-born son of Nigerian immigrants, who has captivated the hearts of so many diverse people from all around the world.

In his postfight comments, of course, Joshua discussed the fight itself, whom he may want to fight next, and so on. He continued his entirely respectful and almost reverential approach to Klitschko, as did Klitschko towards Joshua.

George Orwell may have written in 1945 in his essay The Sporting Spirit that "sport is an unfailing cause of ill-will." He may have been right much of the time, and especially in boxing, but not in Wembley Stadium this past Saturday night.

Using several social media platforms, Anthony Joshua posted a short video while still in the ring shortly after the fight. Along with his mates, he said he hoped his fans enjoyed the fight, and added, echoing Bob Marley, "And onto the next one. I'm saying, we don't rest. Let's keep it going, people. One love. Peace."

One love. Peace. From the heavyweight champion of the world after a brutal boxing match with the former champion who topped that division for over a decade.

At the postfight press conference, Joshua explained again, as he has done on other occasions, his views on life and boxing:

"I'm a champion outside of the ring, first and foremost. With or without the belts or boxing, I'm a good man, I'm a family man, and I love life, so that's what's important.

"The fighting is fun, I say it to you again. I don't box just for the belts. I don't box for money. I just enjoy it, the discipline."

Again, these are the words of the heavyweight champion in one of the most dangerous if not THE most dangerous and bloody sports in the world.

There are far more reasons to like this guy than just his boxing skills, proven courage, good looks, and cheerful attitude. Whether by design or merely by the way he has developed as a person, he is attempting to bring people together around the world, regardless of where they come from or reside.

Soon he will begin a world tour to enrapture fans and non-fans alike on continent after continent. Sure, it is almost a sure bet that he will soon have his first fight in the US, probably against the undefeated WBC champion Deontay Wilder. That Joshua had no easy night against Klitschko and almost tasted defeat for the first time in his professional career, only to rally for his 19th knockout win in as many fights, only makes a Joshua-Wilder showdown that much easier of a sell and a virtual guaranteed record-setter once again. It is a serious possibility that since both Joshua and Wilder are contracted to Showtime, which is part of CBS, that their fight could air live in prime time on the CBS Broadcast Network. Get ready for more television records to be made.

While others stand in line for Joshua, including Klitschko for a rematch, the still-unlicensed and obese former champion Tyson Fury, the unbeaten WBO champ Joseph Parker, British opponents like Tony Bellew and even David Haye, and the two sanctioning body mandatory challengers Kubrat Pulev and Luis "King Kong" Ortiz, Eddie Hearn wants to take the Joshua show on the road, and fast and far.

"The plan, rather than just keep going in the UK, is to explore and break new markets and boundaries," Hearn told Reuters.

"Like the Middle East, China -- I could see him fighting in the Bird's Nest Stadium -- and Africa. I want to go worldwide with him. Ali was one of AJ's inspirations. He knows everything he did."

Whether or not the Bird's Nest Stadium is ready for a major world title fight, Anthony Joshua now has an open path, not only to being the most popular boxer and best heavyweight in the world, but to becoming the best known athlete in the world, and the most revered since his and countless millions of others' idol, Muhammad Ali.

Yet these years have a far different atmosphere than the 1960s, when that era's rebellious spirit was seen in so many people including Muhammad Ali. Anthony Joshua has as of yet shown no public signs of being a rebel. He has talked about becoming boxing's first billionaire. But he still lives in the modest working class and racially, nationally, and religiously mixed neighborhood of Golders Green in London, and with his mum, Yeta Odusanya, who is a social worker. He sports high-end headphones, but they are labelled with a map of Africa, an outline of the borders of his parents' home country Nigeria where he also spent some years of his youth, and the word "Wisdom". This same map and message is on a prominent tattoo on his right shoulder.

So Anthony Joshua is a man of two worlds: the modest life of a first-generation son of immigrants, and the custom-made luxury of a multi-millionaire worldwide star who just made at least £15 million (over USD $19 million) in one night's work.

Right now his message of "one love" remains undiluted. Who knows how he might change if or when he fights on the continent of his ancestors in a bout which would rightly or wrongly be compared to the iconic "Rumble In The Jungle" of Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. You could even envision Foreman being involved in such a promotion.

Joshua already has connections in the Middle East. He spent some time this winter in the United Arab Emirates, where local Emirati promoters have been trying to land a major fight for a few years now. He posted online a photo of himself praying in a Muslim mosque in Dubai, even though he is not a Muslim. He knows how to make friends, and with integrity in his own beliefs.

China may be a tougher place to open up for him fighting, but remember that the 2008 Summer Olympics were in Beijing and the 2022 Winter Olympics will also be there. Again, he is just 27 and says he expects to fight for another decade.

By that time, Donald Trump will no longer be President of the United States, however sooner or later that may occur. Trump still may be able to get TV coverage of speeches in partially-filled farm show buildings in predominantly white areas, but if the opposite trend continues, by then, Anthony Joshua may be far more admired and listened to than the whole lot of presidents, prime ministers, kings and queens, and dictators throughout the world.

But what will be Joshua's message as he enthralls the world? One love? Show me the money? Or some combination of those, or something else?

We have plenty of time to find out, so enjoy the ride. Let's just hope, and even encourage him, always, to quote the words of Bob Marley's One Love, to "hear the children crying".

(Photo of Anthony Joshua by Esther Lin/Showtime)

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Friday, April 28, 2017

Joshua vs. Klitschko: Final Thoughts Before the Knockout 


by Eddie Goldman

(Photo of Anthony Joshua by Esther Lin/Showtime)

I have exercised my right to change my mind regarding giving discussion on the April 29 Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko fight a rest until fight time. My reasons include the apparently imminent publication of a major piece previewing this fight by the inestimable Charles Farrell. There already was an excellent breakdown of what to expect in this fight by Frank Lotierzo. I worked with both of them on the now-defunct BoxingRanks site. We are also in agreement that we expect a knockout win by Joshua early in the fight. This is the best place for a brief summary of my thoughts the day before the fight.

All signs point to Saturday being the start of worldwide superstardom for Anthony Joshua, and not just the beginning of a new era in the ever-shrinking nook of boxing. Yet Joshua's rise has not yet been visibly met by robust coverage from people you would expect to be intrigued by his appeal, including those in the so-called progressive media and in what's left of the American Black media.

Here is a man who is on the verge of becoming the universally recognized heavyweight champion of the world. He is the son of Nigerian immigrants to the U.K., has a tattoo of Africa with an outline of Nigeria's borders on his right shoulder, coupled with the word "Wisdom", is a former bricklayer, and survived several early missteps and run-ins with the law which had him have to wear an ankle bracelet for a year. While Joshua is already receiving much coverage in the English-speaking African media, one look at the composition of the media attendees at his recent press conferences in New York and London reveals a rather pale and paunchy lot.

Of course, most of the so-called progressives today are enamored of Putin and his Russian criminal oligarchs, as well as murderous regimes in Iran and Syria, and are most at home at conferences at elite universities. So someone like Anthony Joshua, who played several sports and actually fights for a living, is not on their radar. That his appeal resonates so greatly with Black, African, and immigrant peoples, as well as fight and sports fans, is irrelevant to these pencil necks.

The lack of bombastic coverage in the Black American media is instead more directly due to the general dreadful state of the media and the decline, up until recently, of the Black Liberation Movement. Media consolidation and ultra-commercialization have marginalized Black media perhaps more than at any time since the newspaper era began. Where are the breakout Black Internet media sites?

This could change with the development of the Black Lives Matter movement. Of note is that activist, community organizer, attorney, and poet Nikkita Oliver, who is running an invigorating campaign for mayor of Seattle representing the new Peoples Party of Seattle, and was active in the Black Lives Matter movement, is a recreational boxer at the Arcaro Boxing Gym. We may not be at the Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X stage yet, but things they are a-percolating.

For my part, I have had numerous editions of No Holds Barred on Anthony Joshua and interviews with him. Here are a few:

No Holds Barred: Anthony Joshua, Wladimir Klitschko, Eddie Hearn, Kristal Hart, Bob Carson

No Holds Barred: Is 2017 the Year of Anthony Joshua?

No Holds Barred: Is Anthony Joshua Boxing's Next Superstar?

If you want to know more about what is in Joshua's mind, just read some of what he said at Thursday's final prefight press conference in London. I transcribed the comments below from the video of it. They are in response to a question from writer Gareth Davies about carrying the mantle of the heavyweight championship globally and with dignity, following a quite respectful build-up to this fight. Here is what Anthony Joshua said:

For me, I think, before the belt, you carry the burden of your family's name. My son's name is Joshua, and I carry that with pride. So carrying the belt doesn't change me as a person.

But I just want to represent myself the best way, because I know behind me is a million people that walked the same path as me and have come from the same background, and I think I'm a representation of these people and I project that onto many others who then look upon us and judge us. So that's where I come from.

So the belts, if you see, like, some people want to carry their belt, and I'm not really into all that nonsense, 'cause I am who I am with or without the belt.

And I always said that, it's not just what you do inside the ring. It's a championship mentality throughout life.

That's how I see myself with or without the belts.

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Showtime to Stream Joshua-Klitschko Public Workout, Final Press Conference, and Official Weigh-In 


by Eddie Goldman

Showtime has announced that they will stream the major fight week events leading up to the April 29 heavyweight title unification showdown between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko, taking place in London. These will all be streamed on the Showtime YouTube channel, at https://www.youtube.com/user/shosports.

Fight Week Event Live Streams:

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26 – 2:30 p.m. ET
Public Workout from Wembley Arena
SHOWTIME Sports YouTube Event Page: http://s.sho.com/2peRzVL

THURSDAY, APRIL 27 – 8:30 a.m. ET
Final Press Conference from Sky Sports Studios
SHOWTIME Sports YouTube Event Page: http://s.sho.com/2q83wtF

FRIDAY, APRIL 28 – 8:30 a.m. ET
Official Weigh-In from Wembley Arena
SHOWTIME Sports YouTube Event Page: http://s.sho.com/2oElqTM

Joshua vs. Klitschko will air live in the U.S. on Showtime on Saturday, April 29, at 4:15 p.m. ET/1:15 p.m. PT from the sold-out Wembley Stadium in London.

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Photos from Sunday Night Live, April 23, 2017 

by Eddie Goldman

Here are some photos taken before, during, and after the April 23, 2017, broadcast of "Sunday Night Live" AKA "The Late Joey Reynolds Show" at the studios of WABC radio in New York.

The night started off with dinner with the talented and beautiful Ronda Fowler, who will hopefully soon be making her return to the comedy stage, and who took most of these photos.

Eddie posing in front of the "Sunday Night Live" banner.

Joey Reynolds on the air.

Eddie on the air.

Eddie and Joey and guests in studio.

After the show, from left to right: Butch Dener, Eddie Goldman, Dave Konig, Joey Reynolds, Big Jay Sorensen, and Bob Greenberg.

Eddie, Joey Reynolds, and Big Jay Sorensen.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

No Holds Barred: Charles Farrell on the Coming Coronation of Anthony Joshua 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with our colleague, correspondent, and award-winning boxing writer, Charles Farrell.

He is also one of the writers featured in the new book The Bittersweet Science.

Our main topic was the April 29 heavyweight title unification fight between the 27-year-old IBF champion Anthony Joshua (18-0, 18 KOs) and the 41-year-old former champion Wladimir Klitschko (64-4, 53 KOs).

This fight, which is also for a vacant WBA title, takes place at the sold-out 90,000-seat Wembley Stadium in London. It will be shown live in the U.K. on Sky Sports Box Office and in Germany on RTL, with record viewership likely on each. In the U.S., Showtime will telecast it live, with HBO later showing a replay.

We spoke with Charles Farrell by phone Thursday.

While both of us expect Joshua to defeat Klitschko by knockout, we see this fight as having far more significance than just a heavyweight title bout.

"For one thing, it establishes the next dominant heavyweight champion of the world, at a time when there really hasn't been one for a period of time," Charles Farrell said.

"But maybe more importantly than that, it will serve I think as the kind of coming out party for a fighter who has all of the attributes necessary to become one of the, certainly one of the most famous fighters in history, very conceivably the highest paid fighter in history.

"And a guy who if he's promoted -- he barely has to be promoted in the U.K. They're waiting for him. This is a coronation of sorts.

"But this is a kind of celebrity that can easily translate worldwide.

"So I think that this fight, if it goes the way most people expect that it will go, heralds not only a new heavyweight champion, a significant new heavyweight champion, but a new era in terms of money-making possibility."

We discussed how the U.K. has once again become a major place for boxing; why we expect this fight to be a decisive and likely quick knockout victory for Joshua; Klitschko's awful performance in his last fight in November 2015 against Tyson Fury; how Joshua is well-schooled as a fighter and has been prepared for his role as an international superstar; potential future opponents for Joshua including WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder of the U.S. and a possible huge fight between them in New York or Las Vegas; what should happen if Tyson Fury returns to fighting; why Anthony Joshua is reminiscent of Joe Louis; the parochialism of much of the American boxing media and fan base in not recognizing Joshua's full potential; and much, much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link does not work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is available at Google Play Music.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

You can also listen to No Holds Barred via Stitcher through iOS or Android devices or on the web here.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player app is available for free, both for Android at Google Play, and for iOS on the App Store.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

No Holds Barred is sponsored by:

Skullz Double-End Bags, the perfect bag for your combat sports training. Skullz Double-End Bags provide a realistic striking target, and help improve timing, distance, and hand and eye coordination. Hang it and hit it right out of the box! No pump required. For more information, go to SkullzDeBags.com.

USA Combat Wrestling, the official U.S. governing body for combat wrestling and U.S. delegate of the International Combat Wrestling Federation (FICW), which was founded by the legendary wrestler Noriaki Kiguchi of Japan. For more information, go to CombatWrestling.us.

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Monday, April 17, 2017

MATCHROOM SPORT AND KLITSCHKO MANAGEMENT GROUP INK DEAL FOR U.S. TELEVISION RIGHTS TO HEAVYWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BLOCKBUSTER EVENT: ANTHONY JOSHUA vs. WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO 

Finally.

From Showtime:

MATCHROOM SPORT AND KLITSCHKO MANAGEMENT GROUP INK DEAL FOR U.S. TELEVISION RIGHTS TO HEAVYWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BLOCKBUSTER EVENT: ANTHONY JOSHUA vs. WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO

American Premium Television Giants SHOWTIME and HBO To Produce Separate Telecasts on Saturday, April 29 From London’s Wembley Stadium

SHOWTIME Live at 4:15 p.m. ET/1:15 p.m. PT;
HBO Telecast in Primetime at approx. 10:45 p.m. ET/PT


Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

LONDON (April 17, 2017) – Matchroom Sport, Klitschko Management Group (KMG) and K2 Promotions have reached agreement with U.S. premium television giants Showtime and HBO to televise the most significant heavyweight world championship match in more than a decade. On Saturday, April 29, IBF Heavyweight World Champion Anthony Joshua will face former unified world champion Wladimir Klitschko from a sold-out Wembley Stadium in London.

Showtime is the exclusive U.S. television partner of Joshua, while HBO has an exclusive agreement with Klitschko in the States. Each premium network will produce its own separate telecast of the main event match for the U.S. audience. SHOWTIME will televise its SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING presentation live at 4:15 p.m. ET/1:15 p.m. PT, while HBO will televise its WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING production at approximately 10:45 p.m. ET/PT.

Joshua (18-0, 18 KOs) and Klitschko (64-4, 53 KOs) will meet for Joshua’s IBF World Championship and the vacant IBO and WBA World Championships. The British sensation Joshua has knocked out all 18 of his professional opponents in a meteoric rise to stardom, while the long-reigning world champion from Ukraine, Klitschko, aims to win back titles he previously held in his 11-year rule as heavyweight world champion. Joshua vs. Klitschko is promoted by Matchroom Boxing, KMG and K2 Promotions and has officially sold out Wembley Stadium with a record-setting 90,000 tickets sold.

“I'm extremely happy and thankful that our respective U.S. TV partners Showtime and HBO reached an agreement,” said Bernd Boente, Managing Director of Klitschko Management Group. “This happened before in the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao and the Lewis vs. Tyson fights and shows you the magnitude of our event at Wembley Stadium on April 29.”

"I'm delighted to announce this historic deal that will see Britain's biggest ever fight shown on both HBO and SHOWTIME in the U.S.,” said Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport. “It takes a special fight to break down barriers and boundaries but also networks and executives who believe in working with the best interest of fight fans in mind. With the obstacles in place it would have been any easy resolution to not air the fight in the States but I want to thank HBO and Showtime for their perseverance and allowing America to see one hell of a fight at our national stadium in front on 90,000 passionate fans. Joshua vs. Klitschko is a fight for the ages and we look forward to the show!"

"We are thrilled to be delivering Joshua vs. Klitschko to the U.S. audience live on SHOWTIME,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “On the afternoon of April 29, U.S. sports fans will be able to tune in to SHOWTIME to join a record-breaking crowd of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium and a worldwide television audience in witnessing an event that represents not only the contesting of the heavyweight world championship, but potentially the changing of the guard in the most influential division in boxing. We are proud to be Anthony Joshua’s exclusive U.S. television partner as he attempts to establish his legacy against the legendary Wladimir Klitschko, live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, as Showtime continues its unrivaled commitment to the sport."

Said Peter Nelson, executive vice president, HBO Sports: "Both promoters and both networks have found a solution that enables boxing fans in the U.S. to watch the world heavyweight championship. This agreement ensures that our subscribers have access to same-day primetime coverage of the fight. It will mark Wladimir Klitschko’s 22nd appearance on HBO and the first for Anthony Joshua.”

The 27-year-old Joshua has been perfect since turning professional shortly after winning Gold at the 2012 Olympics for Great Britain. Joshua, of Watford, England, won the IBF Heavyweight World Championship with a second-round knockout of defending champion Charles Martin in April 2016, earning a heavyweight belt in the fewest number of fights in more than 20 years. He has since successfully defended the title twice—against Dominic Breazeale in June and Eric Molina in December.

Joshua is just the sixth Olympic Gold Medalist at super heavyweight to go on to win a professional heavyweight world title, joining Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Lennox Lewis, Alexander Povetkin and his rival on April 29, Wladimir Klitschko.

HBO has been the long-time home of Klitschko’s professional boxing career in the States. The 41-year-old has been a kingpin in the heavyweight division since winning Gold at the 1996 Olympic Games. He turned pro shortly after the Atlanta games and ran an undefeated campaign for 24 fights before suffering his first defeat to experienced veteran Ross Puritty. Klitschko quickly rebounded by winning 10 in a row and captured his first world title (WBO) with a unanimous decision victory over Chris Byrd in 2000, a win which avenged a loss by his brother, Vitali, earlier that year.

Klitschko’s most recent reign at heavyweight began in 2006 when he captured the IBF and IBO belts via knockout in a rematch against Chris Byrd. He went on to make 17 consecutive defenses of the IBF and IBO crowns, 13 consecutive defenses of the WBO belt, and eight consecutive defenses of the WBA title. Along the way, he amassed victories over Sultan Ibragimov, Hasim Rahman, Ruslan Chagaev, David Haye, Samuel Peter, Alexander Povetkin, Kubrat Pulev and more. In total he has fought in 28 total world title fights - a unique record in the history of the heavyweight division - compared to just 18 total professional fights for Anthony Joshua. He was the longest reigning world champion (2006-2015) after Joe Louis.

This will be Klitschko’s first outing since losing the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO titles to Tyson Fury in 2015, his first defeat in 11 years.

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Friday, April 14, 2017

No Holds Barred: Berto-Porter, Charlo-Hatley, and Fake Boxing News 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with welterweight contenders Shawn Porter and Andre Berto, and WBC 154-pound champion Jermell Charlo and challenger Charles Hatley, who fight Saturday, April 22, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, on Showtime Championship Boxing, presented by Premier Boxing Champions. We spoke with these fighters on recent media conference calls.

We also discuss the plague of fake boxing news, especially in America, which seeks to favor the dying HBO boxing shows, disparage the growing Premier Boxing Champions series, and also spread propaganda aimed at promoting some fighters, explicitly or implicitly, as "great white hopes".

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link does not work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is available at Google Play Music.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

You can also listen to No Holds Barred via Stitcher through iOS or Android devices or on the web here.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player app is available for free, both for Android at Google Play, and for iOS on the App Store.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

No Holds Barred is sponsored by:

Skullz Double-End Bags, the perfect bag for your combat sports training. Skullz Double-End Bags provide a realistic striking target, and help improve timing, distance, and hand and eye coordination. Hang it and hit it right out of the box! No pump required. For more information, go to SkullzDeBags.com.

USA Combat Wrestling, the official U.S. governing body for combat wrestling and U.S. delegate of the International Combat Wrestling Federation (FICW), which was founded by the legendary wrestler Noriaki Kiguchi of Japan. For more information, go to CombatWrestling.us.

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Friday, April 07, 2017

No Holds Barred: The Return of King Kong 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with the unbeaten heavyweight who is the most avoided fighter in that division, Luis "King Kong" Ortiz.

With a record of 27-0 and 23 KOs, his next fight will be April 22 when he faces journeyman Derric Rossy (31-12, 15 KOs) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn as part of the card headlined by the Shawn Porter vs. Andre Berto fight. Exact TV details will be announced soon, but it will either be shown on Showtime or Showtime Extreme in the U.S.

We spoke with Luis Ortiz at a press conference in New York on March 30. He had just days before signed with advisor/manager Al Haymon and was still working out his plans, although he did repeatedly challenge the various heavyweight beltholders including Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, and Joseph Parker.

We open with an analysis of why Luis Ortiz has been so avoided over his career including the stagnated state of the heavyweight division, how the promoters he has previously worked with have failed to market him and move him to a title fight, his sparring with MMA fighter "King" Mo Lawal, the surreal atmosphere at this New York press conference, and more.

(Photo of Luis Ortiz and Bryant Jennings by Alex Menendez - HoganPhotos/Golden Boy Promotions. Photo of Luis Ortiz and Eddie Goldman by Kristal Hart.)

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link does not work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is available at Google Play Music.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

You can also listen to No Holds Barred via Stitcher through iOS or Android devices or on the web here.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player app is available for free, both for Android at Google Play, and for iOS on the App Store.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

No Holds Barred is sponsored by:

Skullz Double-End Bags, the perfect bag for your combat sports training. Skullz Double-End Bags provide a realistic striking target, and help improve timing, distance, and hand and eye coordination. Hang it and hit it right out of the box! No pump required. For more information, go to SkullzDeBags.com.

USA Combat Wrestling, the official U.S. governing body for combat wrestling and U.S. delegate of the International Combat Wrestling Federation (FICW), which was founded by the legendary wrestler Noriaki Kiguchi of Japan. For more information, go to CombatWrestling.us.

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Sunday, April 02, 2017

No Holds Barred: Tricia Arcaro Turton on Boxing, Poetry, and Politics 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Tricia Arcaro Turton, the owner and head coach of Arcaro Boxing.

A former pro and amateur boxer as well as a rugby player, the gym she now runs in Seattle, Washington, is known not only for training boxers of many ages and levels of experience, but also as a cultural center for the community.

"I just tend to interact in my community. Whether it be a person on the street or the grocery store clerk or a business owner, I just tend to really enjoy people and what they do," she said by phone Friday.

"And I wanted my gym to kind of be a barbershop kind of feeling. I wanted people to come here and be able to chill out and relax and be themselves, no matter what their background was, whether they were a high-level corporate person, or whether they were a struggling person just trying to make ends meet.

"I felt like, boxing gyms are the place where everything's equal. You get in the ring and it doesn't matter who your dad or mom is. It's just you in there and you have to defend yourself, they have to defend themselves, and you get to push each other."

Interacting with the community has meant that the gym has also held events featuring spoken-word poets, who perform their works in a boxing ring. Both the arts of poetry and boxing are interrelated, she said, since they both allow people to express themselves. In addition, these events have brought to the gym "a different group of people", thus exposing each group to the other's art.

It has long been known that boxing is a metaphor for life, but again new ground is being broken here. One person who trains at the gym, Nikkita Oliver, is a political activist, teacher, and attorney, who has worked with Black Lives Matter. She has announced that she is running for mayor of Seattle representing the newly-formed Peoples Party of Seattle.

Tricia Arcaro Turton is actively supporting Nikkita Oliver's campaign, which has its official mayoral launch party April 2.

We also discussed how she got involved with boxing, the role of many trailblazers in women's boxing, the importance of boxing for self-defense, why "boxing is a sport that transcends all labels", boxing and the LGBTQ community, and much more.

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