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Boxing Odds and Ends: Josh Taylor Look-Ahead, Marvelous Marvin and More

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  • Boxing Odds and Ends: Josh Taylor Look-Ahead, Marvelous Marvin and More

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    By Arne K. Lang

    What’s next on the docket for unified 140-pound champion Josh Taylor? There’s talk that he may move up a division to fight Terence Crawford or that Teofimo Lopez may move up in weight to fight him.

    A match between the Tartan Tornado and Teofimo Lopez would be an attractive pairing between two of the most decorated fighters in the four-belt era. (That’s assuming, of course, that George Kambosos Jr, doesn’t upset Teofimo when they meet in Miami on June 19, a very unlikely happenstance). However, Taylor vs. Crawford would seem more likely as Bob Arum currently has a tighter hold on Crawford than on Teofimo.

    WBO #1 super lightweight contender Jack Catterall stepped aside so that Taylor and Ramirez could fight and Catterall would seem to have the best chance of all to be Taylor’s next opponent.

    That isn’t an attractive match. Catterall (26-0, 13 KOs) is undefeated but the Brit isn’t a big puncher and would be a massive underdog. However, Taylor is entitled to a soft defense and would love to defend his titles in Edinburgh where Taylor vs. Catterall would likely be potted.

    Josh Taylor’s bouts with Regis Prograis and Jose Ramirez were grueling fan-friendly fights in which the loser suffered no great loss in esteem. In a perfect world, Prograis would fight Ramirez with the winner earning a rematch with the Scotsman. But in boxing, things are rarely that logical so don’t hold your breath.

    Kenny Bayless

    Kenny Bayless has worked the last big two fights in Las Vegas. He was the third man in the ring for Fury-Wilder II and for Taylor-Ramirez. And in both fights, Bayless was arguably a beat behind the action.

    The second knockdown that Taylor fashioned -- it was by far the harshest of the two – was a short left-uppercut delivered as the two fighters were coming out of a clinch. Had Bayless stepped in and separated the two, rather than backing off after touching Taylor’s left arm, Ramirez, in theory, would not have suffered the lapse in concentration that Taylor exploited. Take away that punch and the bout would have ended in a 113-113 draw.

    Kenny Bayless is 71 years old. “This fight is a reminder that the decision-makers in the sport are elder statesman, and that needs to be revamped,” wrote boxing writer Marquis Johns. (In this vein, Johns might have noted that Nevada’s top boxing judge Dave Moretti turns 77 this year.)

    Johns raises a good point. In a sport as dangerous as boxing, regulators should be alert to any diminution in quick-twitch reflexes on the part of referees. In defense of Bayless, however, he keeps himself in great shape and unlike some of his colleagues was a good athlete in his younger days, winning D-II All-American honors as a middle-distance runner at Cal State-Hayward.

    This reporter remembers when Bayless was first starting out. He had paid his dues officiating at the amateur level and one could see that he had a very bright future. Back in those days, the choicest assignments, by and large, went to Richard Steele or Joe Cortez. Both would go on to be named to the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Bayless will join them there some day.

    Hagler

    They honored the late Marvelous Marvin Hagler yesterday (Sunday, May 23) in Brockton, Massachusetts, the city where Hagler spent his formative years and where he launched his pro career. Bernard Hopkins, Thomas Hearns, TV sports personalities Stephen A. Smith and Al Bernstein and relatives of Rocky Marciano were on hand to celebrate Hagler’s life.

    Also there was Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan who is spearheading the effort to erect a statue of Hagler that would be erected near the statue of Marciano, Brockton’s other great champion.

    Award-winning boxing writer Ron Borges, who was ringside for Hagler’s biggest fights while writing for the Boston Globe, authored a touching tribute to Hagler for a rival web site. Borges noted that three words kept reappearing in the eulogies: loyalty, reliability, and perseverance.

    Hagler passed away suddenly on March 13 in New Hampshire of an apparent (but as yet unconfirmed) heart attack. He would have turned 67 on Sunday.

    Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel

  • #2
    I find it interesting that when Hagler passed nobody in the media pushed for the cause of death or even bothered to speculate on it in any meaningful way. Personally, I treated it like an insurance investigation. Clients wants the probable and the improbable illustrated for them. Thus I dealt with the improbability of virus/vaccine related issues. Hearns’ comments. The wife’s adamance. Floated the possibility of food poisoning. After proving he’d been out and about in the local restaurants days before expiring. Ultimately I arrived at the most logical conclusion, a heart attack or a stroke. Now all of a sudden, it’s settled science. Heart attack. Where’s the proof? The citation?

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