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The Standing Eight Count

By Dave Wilcox

We love controversy, don’t we?  No matter the outcome of any sports event, there always seems to be a little something that can be mistaken for the reason one loses. 

Whether it’s Josh Paul rolling the ball to the pitcher’s mound while Mike Scoicia contemplates his next bunt or if someone from the grassy knoll stocks up on Vaseline to rub down Wlad Klitschko. 

Just once I would love to see someone accept defeat and move on.  In the case of Jose Luis Castillo's inability to make weight against Chico Corrales in their rematch, the ugly trend continues. 

Castillo not making weight is disrespectful to say the least, but I’m having a hard time giving the weight issue full credit for the victory over Chico.  The bottom line is that Castillo was the better fighter and landed a perfect left hand to render Corrales unable to continue. 

Instead of looking for excuses why he won, why not just admit Castillo was the better fighter that night?  Corrales chose to go right back to war in the rematch and that was his downfall. Castillo did what he needed to do to win and deserves credit for the victory. 

To Chico’s credit, he isn’t making excuses, but his fans and handlers can’t seem to resist. Going into the bout after it was announced that Castillo didn’t make weight; many people were saying what an advantage it would be for Chico. “Castillo obviously didn’t train hard and Chico did.” That seemed to be the battle cry. 

If Corrales would have been able to pull off a victory, undoubtedly, everyone would be blasting Castillo for his lack of commitment.  I live in a black and white world. You win or you do not. Just as I said in their first bout when the Castillo fans were crying about the mouthpiece issue, all Castillo had to do in that fight was not get knocked out. Bottom line is that Castillo won the rematch and deserves credit for doing so. I look forward to the rubber match and the controversy that will inevitably follow.

Taylor-Hopkins II

It’s nice to hear Jermaine Taylor get a little chippy when discussing his upcoming rematch with Bernard Hopkins. It’s seems I’m not the only one tired of listening to Hopkins run his mouth.

For the record, I scored the first fight for Hopkins, but was very impressed with Taylor’s performance. At his advanced age, Hopkins will have a tough go of it in the return match. My heart keeps telling me Hopkins should beat Taylor and restore his greatness. The problem is that my head keeps interfering and continues to make me think Taylor’s youth and speed will do a number on Hopkins.

That and the fact that Taylor is HBO’s guy, so any close decision will go to Taylor I’m sure. I look for Taylor to set the tone early by working his jab and moving. Hopkins has made a career out of breaking down his opponents and taking over fights in the later rounds. Against Taylor, I think he will run out of rounds. I see the youngster pulling off another close decision victory.

Klitschko-Rahman

Dr. Ironfist is back to continue his quest to prove his heavyweight superiority when he faces former champ Hasim Rahman on November 12th in Las Vegas. Rahman poses an interesting challenge for Klitschko. He has experience and the power needed to slow down Vitali.

The problem with Rahman has always been his conditioning and focus. I’ve seen him sleep walk in the ring with the likes of John Ruiz, but he has also struck lightning, as he did when he stunned Lennox Lewis a few years back.

Rahman has the ever popular “puncher’s chance” but usually that means he doesn’t have much of a chance. If Rahman lands the big right early, we could have an exciting night in Vegas. If not, I look for Vitali to pepper Rahman’s face with his customary straight punches and wear the Rock down. I see Klitschko winning a decision. Hopefully that will set up a huge PPV show against James Toney in the near future.

Lamon Brewster

Watch out for this guy in the future. He is quietly building his resume and improving as a fighter. When it’s all said and done, he might be the guy who reigns. He has big power and a huge fighting heart. That and Don King is his promoter.  It is customary to discount Lamon, but I would be careful to do so. He has what it takes to give any Heavyweight trouble. Maybe nice guys can finish first.

Carlos “Famoso” Hernandez

You’ve got to feel badly for this guy. He has arguably been robbed in his last two fights against Jesus Chavez and Bobby Pacquiao. I thought he won both fights. His fights are always exciting and he doesn’t mind taking a few to give one. At his advanced age and continued punishment, I wonder if he will be able to continue fighting at this level. Either way, he is a credit to the sport. Hopefully he will get a rematch with Pacquia, that is if his wife says it’s ok.

Joe Calzaghe

This guy needs to fight someone, anyone! I’m tired of reading about him. I thought he would finally step up and fight Jeff Lacy, but as usual something came up to prevent it. As the old saying goes, it’s time to “do something” or get off the pot.

Jim Grey

Ok Jim, we get it already. You are that guy who asks the tough questions. I look forward to the first time one of your subjects throws a straight right your way. I’m probably biased because I still get irritated when I think of how he did Pete Rose at the All-Star game. The Hall of Fame is not true until the ALL-TIME hit king is enshrined. Sorry, I went a little off topic.

Rocky 6?

Say it isn’t so Sly. Talk about beating a dead horse. I am the biggest fan in the world of Rocky Balboa. In fact, Rocky 1 is the reason I started following Boxing. That movie inspired me to spend countless hours researching boxing and watching all the films I could get my hands on. In my garage I have posters of Hagler, Holmes and Balboa so you know I love the guy. I just can’t grasp what the possible story line could be and why anyone would want to see it. Hopefully cooler minds will prevail and this project will be cancelled. How about Rambo 4? That sounds fun.

Random thoughts

-Floyd Mayweather is still pound for pound the best fighter in the world

-I heard talk that Antonio Tarver is trying to get a fight with Mike Tyson. Why not? Dare I say that Tarver would most likely beat the former great? Yes, I dare. Tyson is not a good fighter anymore. He is a one punch, three round fighter at best. Tarver has the frame to fight at 200-210 pounds and should be able to keep Tyson at bay for a few rounds until it’s “quitting time” for Iron Mike. Tyson of old would eat his children, but at this point I don’t think Tyson could beat anyone. I know Tarver is no Kevin McBride, but he does have some skill.

-Winky Wright vs. Sam Soliman? Oh brother, wake me when it’s over

Keep punching

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