Archive for October, 2008

Pavlik-Hopkins Depression

October 23, 2008

I’ve been meaning to write about this since last Saturday, but I just haven’t had the heart to do it.

I’m pretty unhappy about the beating Bernard gave Kelly. I just keep reminding myself that styles make fights, e.g. Pavlik beat Taylor who beat Bernard. Or, if you will, Leonard beat Hagler who beat Hearns who beat Duran who beat Leonard and lost to Hagler. I hope to God though, that this fight didn’t ruin Kelly. I’ve always been a Hopkins fan from waaaay back, but I’m a boxing fan foremost, and a 43 year old fighter is not the future of boxing. Pavlik is. Or was.

I can’t help but wonder what the hell the Pavlik camp has been doing the last six weeks. Working on throwing the right? They had to know that Bernard would have a plan to defuse Kelly’s right hand. But if Kelly threw a single uppercut in the fight (the one punch that could have helped him on the inside) I didn’t see it. And the left hooks were few and far between. I’m all for loyalty in the sport, but it sure seems like Loew was depending solely on Kelly’s talent and power to carry the day, and not on any cogent plan. Maybe it’s time to at least bring in a well-established co-trainer.

Bernard won on experience (he had the experience to realize that if he could control the distance, he would control Kelly and the fight) and hand speed. Bernard either stayed on the outside, making Kelly lunge, or moved inside, using his superior hand and foot speed, where Kelly can’t fight effectively. Team Pavlik didn’t seem to anticipate any of this. Or be able to give good advice when Bernard started working his plan in the ring. I think Kelly’s camp probably consisted of lots of sparring–throwing left-right combinations–and whacking giant tires with hammers. Good enough to beat guys like Gary Lockett all day long. But Hopkins is a little wilier. You might want to factor that in.

It was stupid, too, for Kelly to move up in weight for the first time to fight a living legend. Gee, guys, don’t you think it might have been a better idea to have a tune-up fight or two at a heavier weight first to see how Kelly’s body would adjust?

Finally, the 3 million aside, why did Kelly take this fight? It was stupid. If Kelly beat him it would have been a narrow points loss by Bernard (who never loses any other way), a much older fighter who’s lost before. Better to take less money fighting middleweight contenders or fringe-contenders and wait for a true superfight to develop.
It was a bad fight for Kelly to take, and a tremendously one sided beating. But Kelly can come back.



October 23, 2008

So I deleted my first ever post, which was political in content. I’m not sure what I want this blog to be, but I do know that there’s plenty of political blogs out there, the vast majority of which are better than mine, and that writing about politics invites vitriol, from others and yourself. Maybe, if I think of something that I feel just absolutely must be said, I’ll post it. Until then I think I’m leaving politics alone.

In which I disparage pop music, then spend the rest of the post wallowing in it

October 7, 2008

So much of my past seems strange to me now. I don’t know if that’s because I’ve changed so much overall, or if it’s just the principal ramification of sobriety. Looking back, it’s laughable, and sad, how much of my young identity came from music. Pop music. And it is all pop music, you know. I don’t care if it’s your favorite unsigned indie band or black metal or Black Flag, it is all pop music.

I once gave musicians I liked the status of being the ultimate arbiters of what and who was worthy of my interest. It’s not their fault, they never asked to be put in such a position, but I wonder, aghast, at myself. Why would I use someone’s musical taste to form a basis of that person’s intelligence and worth? This seems especially off given that the majority of these bands, whose worship I made the benchmark for another’s “coolness,” were made up of ill-educated, unwashed, and utterly debauched people. And ultimately, is there anything less important in life than pop music? It never got me a job, or illuminated my understanding in any way or did anything for me of any measurable importance, except to give my non-essential and generally bad behavior a soundtrack to make it seem consequential and cool.

I have little use for the pop music industry anymore. Certainly, I no longer have any desire to turn over any of my personal power to it, be it my money, opinion, or time. Yet I found myself thinking this morning about various periods in my life and the music that corresponded to them. Which led me to thinking about particular albums. I tried to put together a list of five secular albums that stood the test of (my) time. Ones that I still think of as, if not of any particular historical or artistic import—and no pop music is, at least as albums that I still enjoy and believe are pretty darn good for what they are. That is, pop music.

1) Court and Spark, Joni Mitchell. I don’t ever see this losing its place at number one on my list. Every guy has had (or should have) a girlfriend a little like Joni. Simply a superb piece of vulnerability, longing and romance.

2) Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash: The Pogues. Shane an awesome force before the bottle and heroin ruined him.

3) The Globe, Big Audio Dynamite. A nearly flawless album. I don’t care how commercial it is. I don’t care how great you think The Clash were, especially in comparison. I love this album.

4) Houses of the Holy, Led Zeppelin. I could really put any Zep album in this list, except for Coda. I chose HoH because I love, love, love the awesome cheesy goodness of “No Quarter.”

5) Damned, Damned, Damned; The Damned. It’s hard to overestimate the influence The Damned had over all the punk, new wave, and PM bands that followed. They make Bowie and the Sex Pistols seem like Herman’s Hermits in comparison. I still believe that Mike Ness of Social Distortion picked up the inspiration for his entire sound from one tiny piece of one Damned track.

If you like these albums, great. If you think they suck fish heads, even better. There are far more important things in life.