The real Ali

Featured image Gerald Early, a professor of English and African and African-American studies, explodes some of the mythology surrounding the late Muhammad Ali. The first myth is that Ali was a civil rights advocate or activist. Not so: The Nation of Islam, which Ali joined in 1964, was, if anything, against the civil rights movement and, as a separatist group, opposed to racial integration. The Nation also thought that whites were unnatural »

Ali, my take

Featured image I wasn’t going to write about Muhammad Ali so soon after his death because I don’t have much nice to say about him. But I changed my mind because of (1) the non-stop lionization of him in the media and (2) the posts on the subject by Steve and John. I agree with Steve that Ali was Donald Trump before there was Donald Trump. Beyond that, I’ll simply offer what »

Muhammad Ali: A Dissenting View

I was a big fan of Cassius Clay. Whenever he fought, a classmate and I would tune in on an old radio and cheer him on. One evening, we were at a high school basketball game when it was time for a Clay fight to begin. We slipped out of the game, went to a car and enacted the fight, punching one another, as it was called on the radio. »

Celebrity: The Currency of the 21st Century

Featured image Manny Pacquiao was a great fighter. In his heyday, he was a one-man hurricane, tirelessly throwing punches from every possible angle. I don’t think I have ever seen anything quite like the fury of Pacquiao in his prime. Those days are gone, due to age and, perhaps, to an enhanced drug testing regime, but Manny, a shadow of his former self, can still sign lucrative boxing deals. And he is »

Golovkin vs. Lemieux

Featured image Last May’s Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight was a disappointment, although a predictable one. Both boxers were past their primes, and Pacquiao, in particular, is a shadow of the fighter who terrorized the lower weight classes six or seven years ago. Moreover, Mayweather’s defensive style is good for racking up victories but makes for boring fights, especially in the later years of his career. If you are in the market for »

Mayweather-Pacquiao: A Preview

Featured image The long-awaited fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather is tomorrow night. Will it live up to expectations? I doubt it: look for Mayweather to win easily. It seems odd to say that the undefeated Mayweather, whose opponents are a who’s who of the welterweight division, is underrated. Nevertheless, it is true. Mayweather is one of the all-time greats. Eventually, he will lose to Father Time. But when that happens, »

If You Are a Minnesota Boxing Fan…

Featured image My son has a real job, but in his spare time he manages a professional boxer and promotes fight cards in the Twin Cities. His boxer/best friend, Corey Rodriguez, will fight for the Minnesota Junior Middleweight championship tomorrow night in downtown Minneapolis. Corey has a real job, too; he is a product safety engineer by day. But he is also a legitimate pro boxer, ranked in the top 50 in »

Froch vs. Groves, the Rematch

Featured image Six months ago, Carl Froch, holder of several belts as a super middleweight, fought his fellow Englishman “Saint” George Groves. Groves, ten years younger than Froch, gave the champion all he could handle: he knocked Froch down in the 1st and dominated the early rounds. Froch came back, however, and in the 9th had Groves in trouble. Even though Groves was never knocked down, the referee stopped the fight and »

No Politics, Just Boxing

Featured image Sometimes I feel as though I have said everything I know about current events, and would rather talk about something else. Like, at the moment, boxing. So skip this post if your only interest is politics. I have always been a boxing fan, but my son has long surpassed me. He has a real job, but in his spare time he manages a fighter or two and promotes boxing cards »

Mayweather-Alvarez: A Preview

Featured image The most anticipated fight in a long time will take place tonight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, as Floyd Mayweather, the best boxer of his generation, takes on the undefeated Mexican Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. At stake will be Mayweather’s WBA and Alvarez’s WBC junior middleweight (154 pound) belts. At the insistence of Mayweather’s camp, the fight is taking place at a 152-pound catchweight, intended to neutralize Alvarez’s size »

An Old-Fashioned Weekend

Featured image The world is going to Hell in a hand basket, but it is high summer here in the Upper Midwest. It is hard to think about politics when you’re having so much fun. For us, it was a classic weekend that could have been enjoyed in the 1930s: boxing, guns and horse racing. Friday night it was boxing, a card at the Hyatt in downtown Minneapolis. Our friend Corey Rodriguez, »

Emile Griffith, RIP

Featured image Emile Griffith, one of the best fighters of his generation, died tonight at age 75. Griffith won both the World Welterweight and the World Middleweight championships; this was before the days of multiple belts and “champions” at every five or six pounds. Griffith fought 112 professional fights, winning 85. He fought an extraordinary series of luminaries, including Don Fullmer, Luis Rodriguez, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, Dick Tiger, Joey Archer, Nino Benvenuti, »

Friday Night Fights

Featured image If you live in the Twin Cities area and like boxing, there is a good card Friday night at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Minneapolis. This is the television commercial for the event: Boxing from 13twentythree on Vimeo. Our friend Corey Rodriguez, whom my son manages in his spare time, has a tough fight against Gilbert Venegas, who stepped in at the last minute after Corey’s original opponent pulled out. »

Upper Midwest Boxing Fans: Don’t Miss the July 26 Card In Minneapolis

Featured image An exciting evening of boxing is on tap for July 26 at the Hyatt Hotel in Minneapolis. In the main event, Phil “the Drill” Williams, a Twin Cities favorite, will take on Derrick Findley in a bout featuring ranked middleweights. It is a good card up and down the line, but our main interest is in the middleweight bout between Corey Rodriguez and Kenneth Glenn. My son Eric manages Rodriguez »

Truax-George: A Recap

Featured image It was another exciting night of boxing at the Minneapolis Convention Center last night. ESPN was in town, and broadcast some of the bouts for its Friday Night Fights program. For us, the highlight was local middleweight Caleb Truax’s fight against Don “Da Bomb” George. We wrote about Caleb most recently here, after he won a thrilling but decisive decision over Matt Vanda, another Minnesotan. Truax was a heavy underdog »

Truax-Vanda, Live: A Report

Featured image We saw a terrific evening of fights last night at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The main event featured local middleweights Caleb Truax and Matt Vanda; I previewed their bout here. We had a table in the interior section of the arena near the ring. You needed credentials to get there, like at a political convention: Our guests included a professional boxer and a long-time fight fan who formerly covered Minnesota »

Vanda-Truax: A Preview

Featured image Tomorrow night the biggest Minnesota boxing event of 2013 will take place: long-time favorite Matt Vanda will challenge Caleb Truax for the Minnesota middleweight championship. And, for the first time ever, I will be at ringside. The heavily-tattoed Vanda has both won and lost a lot of fights; his record is 44-14. But he has fought some big-time boxers, like Julio Cesar Chavez, twice. Six years ago, he battled Tony »