On Floyd Mayweather

I’m going to let you all in on a little secret: I’m a girl.

And I’m also a Mayweather fan. 

Although I’ve been informed in polite (and not so polite) company that the two should be mutually exclusive. In fact, one might actually be surprised at the boorish nature of complete strangers who, when the subject of Mayweather is mentioned, feel it necessary to remind me of my link to Eve. (Trust me, my monthly caller and massive collection of paper and cotton absorbent products in my bathroom cabinet are all the reminder I need. Shoutout to all of my male readers!)
But still the ugly truth remains that to most, I shouldn’t appreciate Floyd Mayweather Jr. in any way. Not as an athlete, a person, and certainly not as a man. Because the crime that he committed against a woman is the most reprehensible one that a man can commit aside from rape-he beat her. Badly, from what I’ve read. In front of their children no less. 

I’m not here to advocate on behalf of Floyd (not that he would need it, anyway), but I would like to discuss just how fatally flawed the “you can’t like Mayweather if you’re a girl” argument is. (The “I can like whoever I want, dammit” argument notwithstanding, of course. ) I feel it important to note at this point the obvious, which is that I’m more than capable of separating the actions of a man from the abilities of an athlete. Mayweather is the best at what he does at this time. He might not be the most interesting or exciting fighter, but he’s cornered the “hit and don’t be hit” market. The dude is a defensive genius, and he’s definitely mastered the mental chess aspect of the game.  Love him or hate him (both acceptable) he’s the pound for pound greatest of his time until he retires and a more talented boxer comes along. 

Now let’s deflect for a second here and turn our collective attentions to the NFL. It just so happens that a fortunate occurence, well, occurred in the middle of my writing this post. Namely, this meme popped up on my Facebook feed:

  
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a football fan as well. (College, that is.) As a matter of fact, I’m staying up way too late on game day to get this post published. But I think we can all agree that one need look no further than the NFL to find a rather large amalgamation of derelicts. For within that league  exists a veritable potpurri of offenders: women beaters, kid beaters, dog beaters, rapists, murderers, and ball deflaters (like I could let that last one go.)  

According to an article written by Tomas Barrabi, “NFL’s History of Domestic Violence Extends Beyond Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson Abuse Cases” (September, 2014), from the years spanning 1989-1994, 140 current and former professional or college football players were reported to police for violent acts against women.  And lawd, let’s not forget O.J. After the O.J. arrest in 1994, another study examined criminal background checks on 500 players at random, showing that 21% of them had a record for a serious crime, prominently domestic violence (Barrabi, 2014). 

Granted, 1994 was a loooooong time ago. But not much has changed since then. The same article posits that “Among the 713 arrests of NFL players from 2000-2014, 85 were related to domestic violence,” (Barrabi, 2014). (On a sidenote-713 arrests?! Holy shit! What are those boys doing?!) Regardless of your loyalty toward the sport, the statistics point to a very real problem within the league.  And the NFL’s response? Basically,”we picked these guys up from impoverished hoods! What would you expect from them?” Huh. Can’t remember the last silver spoon sucking, born into wealth boxer that came across my screen. (Kidding, it was Chavez Jr!) But for real, most fighters come from seedy, money-challenged backgrounds, as boxing has always been hailed as a poor man’s sport because it’s one of the cheapest to engage in. 

With all of this being said, why is it okay (encouraged, even) for women to appreciate professional football? Why are these women accepted and lauded while I, a self-proclaimed female Floyd fan, am basically told that I need to be better? After all, we buy the t-shirts and jerseys of men who have commited the same crimes, don’t we? So why is one accepted and the other not?

Oh, I know that Floyd is annoying. But so is Tom Brady with his perfect hair, Ray Rice with his Ray Rice-ness, Aaron Hernandez with his murder charge, and Michael Vick for being Michael Vick. (And don’t even get me started on Tim Tebow.) Just because one is louder and more obnoxious than the other doesn’t make his crime less equal. 

Even more disturbing is that as of 2011, one in three women have experienced “rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime,” (Black, Basile, Breiding, Smith, Walters, Merrick, Chen, & Stevens, 2011). Again, one in three. That’s a disturbingly small amount. In other words: if you have three sisters, three female family members, or three female friends in the same room, one of them has exprienced some form of domestic violence from someone that they trusted, be it a boyfriend, husband, or a hook up.  If we as women are strong enough to look past our own hardships and are able separate the bad from the good from the not applicable in a man and still appreciate their talents, let us. Don’t tell us that we need to be better.

 Indeed, for that we already are. 

Twitter: @junk_n_trunx

Facebook: Just look up “Junk in the Trunks”

Never though I’d need a reference section post grad school, but here it is:

Barrabi, Thomas (IBT Times.com, 2014). NFL’s History of Domestic Violence Extends Beyond Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson Abuse Cases. Retrieved from: http://www.ibtimes.com/nfls-history-domestic-violence-extends-beyond-ray-rice-adrian-peterson-abuse-cases-1692014.

Black, M.C., Basile, K.C., Breiding, M.J., Smith, S.G., Walters, M.L., Merrick, M.T., Chen, J. & Stevens, M.R. (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control, and Prevention.

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Chisme and Review Part 2

Because I like to rhyme and I was, um, out of time. (See what I did there?) Here’s your review of last night’s PBC fights and the weekly Chisme article, along with a surprise bonus topic (!)

Andy Lee vs. Peter Quillin

First of all, let’s address the elephant in the room: Is it really pronounced “Kwill-in” or should we all actually be saying “Kee-in”? (My vote is on the second one, btw.) And if it really is “Kwill-in,” then why the hell did his trunks say “100% Puro” on them? Given the empirical evidence presented, “Kee-in” makes more sense. (Plus, as a South Texan, it’s an easier default. “Kwill-in” requires way too much effort. It’s just not natural.)

Now that the hard part is over, on to the fight. I’m sure that I speak for the majority (but with my Kanye-esque ego, I’m usually pretty sure of that) when I say that this fight turned out to be a surprisingly even battle. Although he was dormant in the first few rounds, Andy Lee made an astonishing comeback. I thought that Peter Quillin put on a great performance as well, which was a bit surprising seeing as he couldn’t even be bothered to make weight for the fight. I wasn’t a big Lee fan before, and had only seen him fight a handful of other times, but I really enjoyed his performance last night. He showed a lot of heart and refused to be defeated, even after suffering a knockdown and some hard blows (huh huh) early on in the bout.

Which brings me to what will surely go down in history as “Toe Gate.” Lee went down in the third round, and while it was scored a knock down by the ref, it appeared as though  Quillin had actually stepped on Lee’s foot causing him to fall. (And this is me being generous-playback and a picture I saw on Facebook showed that Quillen stood on the man’s foot, causing a fall). Still, it was scored in favor of Quillen, which became a hot topic amongst fans (including my husband-never in my lifetime have I heard so many “See? I told you so’s” than with this particular incident AND  that time when he predicted that Christian Bale would win an Oscar for his performance as Dicky Eklund in “The Fighter”) and was the subject of many a debate across the Interwebs.

So the fight was ruled a draw, which I thought was a very fair call. Yes, Toe Gate did play a role in points being taken from Lee that probably shouldn’t have been, but Lee wasn’t too successful in the early rounds of the fight anyway and really didn’t shine until the mid- to late rounds, so it was kind of a wash. Also, since judges in boxing are NEVER corrupt (shoutout, Texas!) a draw against Quillin in his home arena was really still a win, anyway. This is a fight that I would love to see a rematch of, especially if Quillin made weight.

Danny Garcia vs. Lamont Peterson

I had originally thought of writing a prediction article for this fight, but decided against it solely because it would be the least thought out and shortest article in history, basically culminating in something like this: “I hope that they both somehow manage to knock each other out at the same time, but that Lamont Peterson is able to miraculously get up, stagger over to Angel Garcia, knock him out too, and then fall back down.” Fueling my haterade filled perspective is this: I was, up until last week (two weeks ago?) a big Amir Khan fan (shame), and old habits die hard. One of the first fights to ever really excite me and engage my attention in the sport was Khan vs. Peterson, which was ruled in favor of Cheaterson (:D) who later was found to have tested positive for PEDs (performance enhancing drugs), specifically testosterone, and was stripped of the belt for that bout. And of course, we all remember that time when Garcia KO’d Khan (quite beautifully, really), in the third round of their face off, resulting in me drunkenly laying on the floor of my apartment repeating “This is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me” over and over until it was time to go to bed. (And then mercilessly posting about it on FB every day for a week #sorrynotsorry).

Anyway.

All of this just to say that I came into this bout believing that the lesser of two evils is still an evil. And then I remembered that I’m no longer a Khan fan and can now come out of the proverbial closet to all of you about the fact that I was secretly excited to watch every single damn Garcia fight after the insipid Khan bout because he’s a talented and strong fighter and can be really, really fun to watch sometimes (except for the year 2014 as a whole).  And Lamont Peterson was a foster kid, and I have a soft spot in my little black heart for foster kids. And shoutout to Al Haymon, who (I’m assuming) had a gag order against Angel Garcia for any and all  bullshit leading up to the bout, because he was surprisingly quiet and the whole world thanks him for that. The whole world. Even snails. (Seriously, the week of April 5-April 11 should henceforth be dubbed “Thank Al Haymon Week” in honor of this great achievement). More realistically, what probably happened was that only the lucky peeps attending the press conference were privy to Angel Garcia’s nonsense and since PBC doesn’t televise their press conferences and the rest of the world is preoccupied with Pac/Mayweather we just didn’t hear about it. Whatever happened, I’m in favor of it. Hell if it was the gag order option, Haymon can come to me next time to pay the court costs and filing fees.

But I digress (shocker). This fight also turned out differently than I thought it would, which is truly one of the best aspects of boxing as a whole. Strategies always change, and the best of the best accept this, adapt to it, and use it in their favor. Lamont Peterson showed exceptional ring generalship (I LOVE that term, and always picture the subject of my rant in the same outfit as Cap’n Crunch whenever I am lucky enough to use it) for the first half of the fight and was really frustrating the hell out of Danny Garcia because he didn’t just stand there and engage. (Probably would have equaled suicide. Garcia is a really strong dude). But in the second half, the playing field was a little more level and it became more fun to watch. The two both engaged in showmanship, with the little foot shuffle dance off in the tenth round being my least favorite, but still funny nonetheless. Prior to the fight, Peterson was asked for his prediction as to when the fight would end, and he said the tenth round. This made me wonder if part of his strategy was to outbox Garcia in the first half and then engage more in the second as a means of survival, or if he just wasn’t up for a slug fest against Danny (again-suicide IMO) for the duration of the fight. Either way, it made for an enjoyable, if not slightly boring at times, bout.

I was not in any way, shape, or form surprised that Garcia took the win. From what I’ve observed in the past, using the strategy that Peterson adapted typically results in a loss because he just didn’t engage enough. (I’ve also noticed that it tends to be divisive among fans-some really enjoy it and others view it as-ugh- “running.”) Although Danny’s face would suggest otherwise-call it running if you want, but Peterson absolutely got in some really good shots against DSG. And the cynic in me (which is, like 95% of me) also had a feeling coming into this that Garcia would win, as he’s the favorite. Good fight, no need for a rematch. Hope that doesn’t happen.

And if you’re having a boring Sunday and would like to witness some really fun trash talk, go to the Twitter and check out Sugar Shane Mosley’s feed (@ShaneMosley_). He thought that Peterson should have won the fight and definitely did NOT keep that to himself.

Bonus: Trunk Show

Because every now and then, one of these dudes has trunks that are too glorious to go unnoticed. The inaugural nod for this section goes to Danny “Swift” Garcia and his giraffe print trunks. Giraffe. At first glance I thought that the boxing world was being treated to yet another set of leopard print trunks, but Danny had another idea in mind. Whether this is a personal throwback to Geoffrey the Toys “R” Us giraffe in honor of more innocent times or just a personal favorite of DSG’s, the boxing community thanks you.

Chisme

My favorite, Keith “One Time” Thurman, called out Amir Khan on “Tha Boxing Voice” for being a “chump,” “soft,”  and a worse cherry picker than Mayweather. And it was pretty amazing. He also challenged him to a fight tomorrow (um, which would actually be today, since it happened last night) and said that Khan wasn’t ready for him, which I completely agree with. If y’all are interested in watching the video, it can be found on YouTube.

Adrien Broner was spotted at the PBC fight last night ringside wearing a shirt that looked like it was borrowed from DJ Jazzy Jeff right before being thrown out of Uncle Phil’s mansion. Not really gossip, but worth noting anyway. In other Broner news, he called out Danny Garcia for a fight in September. This would be a good candidate for a PBC fight later in the year, and one that would likely make for an interesting matchup. (Not to mention that it would likely garner a mention in the “Trunk Show” section). Garcia’s only request was to make the bout happen in Philly so this could be something to look forward to.

Robert Garcia was interviewed on Grantland’s “The Ropes” podcast a couple of weeks ago (I’m a little behind, obvi), and confirmed that Marcos Maidana has put on a of weight and is taking a year off from boxing. If anyone deserves a year off, it’s definitely Maidana who had one hell of a 2014, but the weight gain is a little disheartening, although not at all uncommon amongst fighters. Also noteworthy was Garcia’s statement that Marcos’s younger brother, Fabian Maidana, (who will be fighting on this Saturday’s Chavez Jr undercard) is a better fighter than Marcos. I guess this is TBA until we all see more of him.

Sergio Martinez could be announcing a career decision very soon. Were it up to me (unfortunately, it’s not), I’d advise him to retire. Sergio was an amazing and engaging fighter during his time, but his age and his bad knees have caught up with him. But man, it was so much fun to watch while it lasted.

After announcing a bout with Chris Algieri last week much to my chagrin (and everyone else with a pulse-you know you were awake nights lamenting this), Amir Khan pulled a “just kidding,” and is now stating that the fight hasn’t yet been finalized. This was probably in response to the backlash he received from everyone in the world (even snails) after announcing that nonsense. Kell Brook has finalized his next bout against Frankie Gavin on May 30, so I’m guessing that ship has sailed for now, anyway (probably forever).

PSA-This Saturday (4/18) is going to be an amazing night of fights. Chavez Jr is fighting Fonfara  on Showtime, and the highly, highly HIGHLY anticipated Mathysse vs. Provodnikov (this could actually be a match where both fighters knock each other out at the same time) is on HBO. Get ready for some fangirl madness coming up, y’all.

Also-notice a lack of Mayweather/Pac chisme? Wanna know why? Stay tuned.