Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Other Pound for Pounds

I have always used this blog as a forum to discuss what matters most to me: music, cities, art, etc. However, for some reason, one of my passions has gotten nary a mention here: boxing. I decided to change that today, as it has been an exciting two weeks for fight fans after a blah year. First, the best fighter in the world defended his title and reminded us why he is the best, and then a middleweight clash between one of Philly's greatest all-time fighters (which means one of the greatest all-time) and one of the best young stars in the game.

First, the only man who can rightfully claim this blog's name, "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather, the pound for pound best fighter in the world. For those not in the know, Mayweather is the reigning super lightweight champion, having already dominated the lightweight class for a few years. He is the man, the one who has all fighters near his weight class hoping for the chance to fight him. To be the man, you got to be beat the man.

However, that's a lot simpler said than done, as Sharmba Mitchell found out two Saturdays ago. This was Mayweather's first fight as a welterweight, but the extra seven pounds seemed to have no ill effects. In fact, Mayweather toyed with him, clearly pacing himself in the fight, delivering big shot after big shot in short bursts all fight. His speed and power were too much for Mitchell (and everyone else he has faced), as there was a clear sense from the first bell that this was not an even match. However, is there an even match for Mayweather? I'm not sure, but it will be exciting to see the challenges to the throne. Mayweather's next fight must be against a serious challenger, as I agree with Dan Rafael that that's the only way for Floyd to be a legend.

This past weekend, Bernard Hopkins and Jermain Taylor met again to decide who is the undisputed middleweight champion of the world. Taylor won the first match, in a controversial decision. Part 2 was just as close, as Taylor unfortunately delivered a few more power shots than Hopkins for a unanimous victory. It is the passing of the torch in the middleweight class, as always happens. The young lion disposes of the great, older champion, who tries to make his final stand in his career. Unfortunately, Bernard was not able to pull out a final victory in his wonderful career, succumbing to the effects of age at 42. Hopkins was one of the patron saints of this blog, a hero if you will (yeah, I know they don't exist in postmodernism, but whatever), and so it is sad for me that Bernard couldn't finish on top. More to come on him, as he deserves more than a few words after a loss.

If anyone who reads this blog is a boxing fan, please get in touch. I would love to hear from other fans and not feel like such a weirdo.

-Speaking of Philadelphia fights, it's nice to see that City Council has finally enacted serious ethics reform legislation. Michael Nutter lead the way on this issue for the past few years, slowly but surely arguing for the necessity of reform. He did great work, and has only burnished his credentials to run the city. It is a good day for Philadelphia, a dawning of a new period, where the city leads the way and looks forward. Remember that it's only a beginning and not an end.

Forget why this legislation is so important? Today's papers provide a wonderful reminder, as Leonard Ross, Mayor Street's fundraiser and close friend, was indicted today for a scheme to extort $2 million from a developer trying to win the Penn's Landing competition. This competition was supposed to choose a company to develop the waterfront land at the Southern edge of the city, land that is essential to the city's future. Instead, it wasted taxpayers' money, produced no plan for the land's future and furthered the image of the city as a insider's paradise. Ross' indictment is the next step in the battle for the city's future, the struggle to open up the city to outsiders.

-Media Matters is one of the best sites going today for politics, fighting the good fight. They have undertaken the uneviable task of documenting the lies that are spewed daily from the right-wing media machine, from talk radio to Fox News to the blogosphere. They have a new design that looks great, and are a nice resource to remind oneself of what we are fighting against. Check it out and thank them for taking the time to listen to liars like O'Reilly, Hannity, Malkin, Limbaugh et al so that you don't have to.

-More Robbery Week coming up, as we're back in the gym, sparring, working the heavy bag, trying to get back in fighting shape.

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