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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year! 


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Friday, December 29, 2017

Robin Thede Segment on Russian Trolls Makes 10 Best Late-Night Moments of 2017 List 


by Eddie Goldman

I am proud to note that the segment in which I was interviewed for BET's "The Rundown with Robin Thede" about the Russian troll operation known as "Black Fist" has been named one of "The 10 Best Late-Night Moments of 2017" on U.S. TV by Vulture, the culture and entertainment site from New York magazine.

"The Rundown with Robin Thede", which just started airing in October, has also made numerous lists for being among the best new late-night TV shows and the overall best new TV shows of the year. And it won the always-prestigious 2017 No Holds Barred Award for Best U.S. TV Show.

You can read that article here.

The segment from "The Rundown with Robin Thede" can be seen here:

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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2017 No Holds Barred Award for Best U.S. TV Show 


The 2017 No Holds Barred Award for Best U.S. TV Show Goes to "The Rundown with Robin Thede".

It airs Thursday nights at 11 PM ET on BET. The show will return from a brief holiday break and begin airing new episodes on January 11, 2018.

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No Holds Barred: Omowale Adewale on Self-Defense, Robin Thede Show, and 'Black Fist' Russian Trolls 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with former boxer, kickboxer, and MMA fighter, and current trainer, nutritionist, and activist, Omowale Adewale.

We spoke with him by phone Tuesday.

The December 14 episode of late-night hit TV show "The Rundown with Robin Thede", shown on BET in the U.S., had a feature on a Russian troll operation known as "Black Fist". We discussed this with Omowale, how they tricked him into being associated with it (and how I was tricked into covering "Black Fist"), how all he did was conduct self-defense and martial arts training he was already doing and still does, how Black people were being used as a "pawn" in it, and the political implications of this scam. We also discussed the treatment of this scam by the media, and how shows by Black women such as Robin Thede and Karen Hunter provided the best coverage.

Now that he is retired as a fighter, he has had more time to devote to training people, both adults and youth, in fitness, combat sports, and self-defense.

"In terms of fitness, I'm training people mornings and evenings, which started in November. This is a few months after I stopped fighting. I just started training people more often," he said.

"Now I'm doing a Brooklyn Boxing Boot Camp."

This is all part of a greater effort he has been involved with for many years.

"My organization, which has been around for 16 years, we're a small group of folks, Grassroots Artists MovEment, G.A.ME Inc., we have a space in Bed-Stuy, and what we do is focus on addressing the socio-economic conditions of Black and people of color in our community, particularly poor working class."

He also has initiated a vitally important project called "Black Men Dismantle Patriarchy and Misogynoir", where Black men meet to discuss how to fight misogynoir (which is misogyny directed towards Black women), and to support and protect Black women and girls.

We discussed how all this is part of the struggle against white supremacy, how his work helps the community get various resources and nutrition information, the need to fight "toxic masculinity", why people need to get organized and get skilled and get fit, and 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:

The Catch Wrestling Alliance, resurrecting and promoting the sport of authentic catch-as-catch-can wrestling. The Catch Wrestling Alliance provides tournaments, seminars, and training as well as education about catch wrestling. Join the movement and keep real wrestling alive. For more information, go to CatchWrestlingAlliance.com.

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.

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

No Holds Barred: Mike Chapman on the Centenary of the Passing of Frank Gotch 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with wrestling historian and author Mike Chapman.

It is now 100 years since the passing of Frank Gotch of Humboldt, Iowa, who was the professional wrestling heavyweight champion of the world from 1908 to 1913, at a time when pro wrestling was largely a real sport. His style was known as catch-as-catch-can wrestling, or simply catch wrestling, where matches were won by pin or submission. But along with his death, real professional wrestling died soon after.

We spoke with Mike Chapman by phone Tuesday.

"He died December 16, 1917, just a few weeks shy of his fortieth birthday, so he was 39 years old," he said. "And it marked a monumental turning point, I think, in Iowa history and in wrestling, because Frank Gotch was gone. In his place came Joe Stecher and Earl Caddock and Ed 'Strangler' Lewis and people like that. And the sport changed.

"I maintain it was largely a true athletic contest in his era. Not 100 percent, there were some worked matches. But I maintain Frank didn't work matches, and I can spend an hour explaining why I firmly believe that.

"But after he passed away, the regional territories developed and wrestling just went a completely different direction. So his passing, December 16, 1917, marked a huge changing in wrestling in America."

We discussed why Gotch's death was a "seminal moment in wrestling history"; why Gotch was "the father of wrestling in America"; the circumstances of his death and the context of what was the average life expectancy in his era; modern attempts at rebuilding catch wrestling; his latest book entitled "A Journey: Reflections on 50 Years of Writing, Wrestling, Weightlifting and Heroes"; why Mike's first sporting love was baseball; and much more.

(Photo of Mike Chapman wearing Frank Gotch's favorite derby hat by Brad Wilder.)

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:

The Catch Wrestling Alliance, resurrecting and promoting the sport of authentic catch-as-catch-can wrestling. The Catch Wrestling Alliance provides tournaments, seminars, and training as well as education about catch wrestling. Join the movement and keep real wrestling alive. For more information, go to CatchWrestlingAlliance.com.

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.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Return of Tyson Fury 



by Eddie Goldman

As I predicted, a face-saving compromise was reached between UK Anti-Doping and the heavyweight fighters Tyson Fury and his cousin Hughie Fury, allowing Tyson to resume his career and Hughie to continue fighting.

They each received a two-year backdated ban for doping, which ended midnight on December 12, 2017, while maintaining their innocence of intentional doping stemming from a positive test for the steroid nandrolone in February 2015. The deal also withdraws the charge that Tyson threw their drug testers out and refused a test in September 2016, with some doubletalk explanation, which is really part of this whole compromise.

Both are free to fight immediately, although Tyson still is massively overweight and out of shape, somewhere north of 300 pounds. But it is expected that Tyson will be re-licensed by the British Boxing Board of Control shortly, since the BBBoC also approved this deal.

No explanation was given as to why it took UK Anti-Doping so long to resolve this case, and why a charge of doping from February 2015 led to no action until June 2016, when the fighters were temporarily suspended. It looks like a combination of incompetence and pandering to the fighters played a role in these delays. The UK Anti-Doping statement also makes no mention of Tyson's positive tests for cocaine, which were conducted by a real anti-doping body, VADA, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association.

Note also that this same UK Anti-Doping was brought in by WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, to help the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) get back to a status of compliance with world and Olympic doping rules. I guess that Bozo the Clown was too busy and couldn't also "help" out.

But this deal does seem to close this ugly chapter. It not only lets Tyson resume a regular schedule for boxing and Hughie continue without any ban, but also removes the threat of a lawsuit by these fighters against UK Anti-Doping for screwing them around for so long.

Tyson Fury wasted no time after this deal was announced, taking to Twitter, with a pinned tweet, challenging heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. A fight between these two undefeated fighters, each of whom defeated Wladimir Klitschko, would no doubt be the biggest heavyweight fight of 2018 and in many years.

The full decision of UK Anti-Doping can be read here.

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Monday, December 11, 2017

No Holds Barred: Quit Bitching About Quitting in Boxing 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses the controversy from the ending of Saturday's Vasyl Lomachenko-Guillermo Rigondeaux fight, where Rigondeaux decided not to come out for the seventh round, citing an injury to his left hand. The whole issue of quitting in boxing is discussed and why in this and other cases it should not be opposed. Also discussed are the disgusting attacks on Rigondeaux from some alleged boxing "writers", why the standard of "going out on your shield" is barbaric, the importance of boxing and combat sports for self-defense, and 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:

The Catch Wrestling Alliance, resurrecting and promoting the sport of authentic catch-as-catch-can wrestling. The Catch Wrestling Alliance provides tournaments, seminars, and training as well as education about catch wrestling. Join the movement and keep real wrestling alive. For more information, go to CatchWrestlingAlliance.com.

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.

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Friday, December 08, 2017

ESPN, Vasyl Lomachenko, and Guillermo Rigondeaux 



by Eddie Goldman

ESPN has put out a press release propagandizing that Saturday's fight between Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux is "the biggest boxing match of the year". This is pretty funny, since it is being held in Madison Square Garden's Theater, which is not even the biggest room in that building, and in whose main arena Miguel Cotto dropped his retirement fight to Sadam Ali just last week.

And, of course, it ignores (and insults) what was really the biggest fight of the year, the April 29 heavyweight classic between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko in front of 90,000 people in London's Wembley Stadium, which broke U.K. pay-per-view records, and was viewed by tens of millions of people around the world.

As for TV, being the biggest fight on U.S. TV this year (since for most American hacks and flacks only America is great for sports and matters) is a possibility, but will be difficult to achieve. So far that honor belongs to the fight between Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia on CBS March 4, which peaked at 5.1 million viewers and averaged 3.1 million viewers. So we shall know the ratings for Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux sometime shortly after the show airs.

What is significant, behind all the cliches, hype, and rubbish, is that for this fight at least, ESPN is providing much support on its various networks and online. The press conference was shown on ESPN3, the weigh-ins will be televised on ESPN2, and Lomachenko, the Top Rank fighter being showcased ahead of Rigondeaux, was on SportsCenter. They also have several supporting preview articles, although expert analysis of this fight is far better in many non-ESPN places.

For some unannounced reason, Teddy Atlas will not be this fight's live blabbermouth. Those positions are being filled by Mark Kriegel and Stephen A. Smith, so expect the commentary to be best experienced with the volume muted.

For U.K. viewers, this fight is on BoxNation, which might provide more professional commentary and analysis.

My preview, "Will Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux Be Arum's Revenge?" can be seen here.

The ESPN press release mentioned above can be seen here.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Will Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux Be Arum's Revenge? 


by Eddie Goldman

(Here is a very slightly edited transcript of the section of the latest edition of the No Holds Barred podcast on the upcoming fight between Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux.)

This coming Saturday, December 9, in Madison Square Garden's small 5000-seat room known as the Theater, and televised in the U.S. on ESPN and in the U.K. on BoxNation, there will be another fight with great appeal to the true believers in boxing, but which also might require a miracle for the scores to be fair and reflect what goes on in the ring, should it, as most expect, go to the judges. That is the showdown between the two double Olympic gold medalists and among the best if not THE best technicians in boxing today, WBO 130-pound champion Vasyl Lomachenko and WBA 122-pound champion Guillermo Rigondeaux.

To get this fight, the older, shorter, and smaller Rigondeaux had to move up two weight classes and fight on a card promoted by Top Rank, the outfit that dumped and trashed him after he decisively outboxed and schooled the talented Nonito Donaire in 2013, whom Top Rank was pushing at the time.

Could this fight end in another fair decision? Will Santa Claus make an appearance in your chimney? Do people even use chimneys anymore? Will Arum and company let Rigondeaux win if he fails to knock out Lomachenko a couple of times? Our colleague Charles Farrell is writing a piece on this, so hopefully it will be posted soon, and make sure to read it when it is up.

Top Rank fled the declining HBO boxing program earlier this year for ESPN, meaning they now have expanded reach for their fights on TV on this regular cable network, and through its app, much more than through the premium network HBO. On Saturday, November 11, the Top Rank boxing show on ESPN in the U.S. got about twice as many viewers as the HBO card on that same night. ESPN's card featured Artur Beterbiev vs. Enrico Köelling for the IBF light heavyweight belt and Jose Ramirez vs. Mike Reed. HBO's card was headlined by Daniel Jacobs vs. Luis Arias. So Top Rank's strategy seems to be working so far, with more evidence coming this week as the Lomachenko-Rigondeaux card goes head-to-head with an HBO live show.

This one is a Golden Boy show, headlined by Miguel Roman facing Orlando Salido, who, not fighting by coincidence on the same day as Lomachenko, handed Lomachenko his only pro loss back in 2014 in Lomachenko's second pro fight. But that will likely not be enough to make this show competitive in the TV ratings department with Lomachenko-Rigondeaux on ESPN.

It is of course within reason that Lomachenko might legitimately defeat Rigondeaux. Lomachenko, though many fighters avoid him, has been more active than Rigondeaux, who has had various fights fall through. This will be Lomachenko's third fight this year, and second for Rigondeaux, but who only fought that one controversial round against Moises Flores in June in a fight which ended after Rigondeaux decked Flores just after the bell and he did not continue. Rigondeaux only fought once in 2016 and 2015, while Lomachenko fought twice in each of those years.

Size and age will matter as well, although Rigondeaux has shown no signs of slowing down in the ring. But he sometimes doesn't have the explosive, eye-catching style which judges usually favor. Lomachenko could be the more active fighter also. Both men are defensive wizards and accurate punchers, and also southpaws. Rigondeaux has underrated power, with the Flores fight and his breaking Jazza Dickens's jaw with one punch in his previous fight being examples. Rigondeaux will certainly need that power against Lomachenko, but unless he is able to connect squarely and visibly, all the factors working against him may result in a Lomachenko victory, disputed or not.

Either way, it appears the working script for this fight is entitled "Arum's Revenge". The unanimous decision for Rigondeaux against Donaire, also in New York, upset both Arum and many tools and fools in the Boxing Writers Association of America (lol). Will they bow to fairness this time, or will there be more of boxing's patented trickeration? We shall find out soon.

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Monday, December 04, 2017

No Holds Barred: How I Crush The December Blues 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses how to crush the December blues, no holds barred style.

Among the topics discussed are how and why for many people December is the most alienating time of the year; the season of flagrant commercialism disguised as holidays; Saturday's Miguel Cotto-Sadam Ali fight at Madison Square Garden; this coming Saturday's Vasyl Lomachenko-Guillermo Rigondeaux fight, also at Madison Square Garden, including a possible decision dripping in trickeration, and why it may be named Arum's Revenge; the ESPN-HBO boxing rivalry; why my interest in wrestling is at a low point this year; the decision expected this week by the International Olympic Committee on whether or not the Russian team will be banned from the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, because of Russia's state-sponsored doping program; the African Diaspora International Film Festival in New York, and documentaries in it about Malcolm X and C.L.R. James, and how James saw the relation between the sport of cricket and politics; my upcoming interview on BET's "The Rundown with Robin Thede"; the growth of Trans Boxing; and 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:

The Catch Wrestling Alliance, resurrecting and promoting the sport of authentic catch-as-catch-can wrestling. The Catch Wrestling Alliance provides tournaments, seminars, and training as well as education about catch wrestling. Join the movement and keep real wrestling alive. For more information, go to CatchWrestlingAlliance.com.

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.

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