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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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