Article By Vinnie Paz
A lot has happened in the few months since I’ve talked to you guys. I was on a two-month world tour supporting my Heavy Metal Kings record (which, interestingly enough, you can learn more about the album and tour at www.heavymetalkings.com). Through modern technology, both legal or illegal (c’mon, I watched Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Give me some slack), I was able to stay on top of the game pretty well.
Here’s some things I peeped from the road: Sam Peter got knocked around and stopped. Again. Ivan Calderon’s age caught up with him. Erik Morales met with Juan Ponce de Leon, went to the Fountain of Youth and took Marcos Maidana to hell. Robert Guerrero looked amazing against Michael Katsidis, throwing the most crisp, hard punches I’ve seen him throw in his career. Chris John fought another no-name opponent in his quest to be the best fighter nobody knows of. Demetrius Andrade continues to underwhelm me. Vic Darchinyan continues to crack me the f**k up. Pacquiao put on a clinic and, like in the Antonio Margarito fight, I think “Pac-Man” could’ve stopped Mosley if he wasn’t such a good-hearted guy. SOMEHOW, Evander Holyfield continues to get sanctioned. PLEASE, can we get a national commission? Andre Ward continues to win convincingly and continues to bore the sh*t out of me. I know, I know. I’m supposed to love him and believe that he’s the next Sugar Ray Leonard. Guess what? He’s not and that comparison offends me. If he beats Carl Froch and Lucian Bute, I suppose I’ll have to eat crow. Am I all caught up?
On to some Philly business: Bernard Hopkins fought Jean Pascal in a rematch of a fight he won in the first place. Hopkins went BACK into hostile territory in Montreal, Quebec because…well, because he’s an old-school Philly fighter and people from Philly aren’t scared to go anywhere to take back what is rightfully theirs. “B-Hop” did exactly what I told my brother he would do: lure the kid in over the first four rounds, then drop the hammer. Hopkins traded more than he ever has, which ironically, at 46-years-young, makes him more exciting than he’s ever been. He threw the straight right inside Pascal’s wide punches all night and started to look like a glitch in the HBO feed, it happened so often. I’m not gonna front; I didn’t have much faith in the judges up there but they did the right thing. The city of Philadelphia also did the right thing. We had a ceremony at the Rocky statue to commemorate a 46-year-old champ bringing another world championship home to the best fight city in the world. I got to chop it up with Naazim Richardson and his son Rock Allen (who, along with his brother, Tiger, is currently hospitalized as a result of a very recent auto accident. Let’s keep them in our thoughts and prayers). I didn’t get to talk to Bernard until I bumped into him at Froch-Johnson. It looks like Chad Dawson is next. I want people outside of Philadelphia to understand something; we weren’t shocked by what Hopkins did. George Benson was never supposed to get a title shot either but he did and he won. Vinnie DeCarlo. Billy Fox (forget the Jake LaMotta scandal). Joe Frazier. Meldrick Taylor. Matthew Saad Muhammad. All of these guys were told, “You cant do it,” and they all did it. Why? Because there is a spirit in this city that overcomes you if the idea of quitting even crosses your mind. Bernard’s speech in front of that statue will stay with me for the rest of my life. I just wish the rest of the world got to hear it. I’ll carry it with me when I’m feeling sorry for myself.
Last weekend, I had the privilege to sit ringside for Carl Froch-Glen Johnson. Apparently, Steve Kim, who I ALWAYS agree with, said I was the only human that thought Johnson won. I had it 115-113. Judge John Stewart had it 117-111, Froch. Wow. Just, wow. I was there. Johnson was picking off most of those shots with his arms and landing the straight right at will. Froch has a beard though, because the “Road Warrior” is the naturally bigger, stronger guy. We already know about Johnson’s chin. Johnson was fading a bit at the end but not enough to lose in my opinion. Funny thing is, when I spoke to him after the fight, he didn’t even seem THAT upset. Getting robbed has become part of his being.
Well, thank you for letting me rant again and thanks to the homie Steve Kim for letting me do what I do. Just wanna give a shout-out to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for going to war with Sebastian Zbik. It was a really entertaining fight and the kid showed the heart we all loved in his father. He doesn’t have the skill set of Sr. but it looks like we have a good, solid, entertaining kid to watch for some years to come. Oh, and Floyd, you’re doing nothing but damaging your legacy. Victor Ortiz? C’mon, son, you’re better than that. Turning down 65 mil to fight “Pac”? Everyone saw you pop off with that racist sh*t about Pacquiao and how bad you’ll beat him, so 65 mil isn’t enough to put on a clinic? Ji-Won Kim retired undefeated too. Remember him? I didn’t think so. Do the right thing for the sport that has been so good to you. Oh yeah, the payday will help you with that 8,000,000 you owe the IRS.
As always, thanks for listening to a fellow boxing nerd rant. If you hated my little article, please send all hate mail to Steve “K9” Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you enjoyed it, please send all love, money, and pornography to me, Vinnie Paz @ email@example.com…until next time.
Rest in Peace, Genaro “Chicanito” Hernandez. We’ll miss you, “El Gran Campeon.”