Thursday, October 30, 2008

Quick Update

Sorry for not posting for a while. I've been on the road. But I'm back now and should be on a regular schedule for the foreseeable future.

Tonight's show features the always entertaining Vic Darchinyan, Boxing Digest Editor in Chief Sean Sullivan and Philadelphia Daily News writer Bernard Fernandez who has an incredible story about Bernard Hopkins that you won't want to miss.

Talk to you tonight.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rolling Like Lennon

This weekend, I cage announced the ShoXC card in Hammond, IN.

An hour outside of Chicago, Hammond seemed like your typical struggling rust belt town. The show was at the new $500 million Harrah's Horshoe Casino. However, there is no hotel there, only a casino. So we had to stay at the Ramada Inn just down the road.

Now, I have a very negative impression of Ramada. Several years ago, I stayed in one before taking a professional exam. It was the worst hotel room I've ever had. I actually found a cup of beer with a cigarette butt in it in one of the drawers. And it only went down hill from there.

This Ramada wasn't nearly as bad. But it's still a Ramada. However, for some reason, I was given the "Whirlpool Suite." It was a huge room with a couch, kitchenette and a bathtub/whirlpool that was up on a faux marble riser along with a glass shower.

I don't understand why they would have such a suite in a Ramada in Hammond. Do people really go in there and say, "You know, honey, we don't get to Hammond very often. Let's make it special and spring for the Whirlpool Suite."?

Anyway, the room was fine, other than the train that came roaring past the hotel every 15 minutes and the toilet that would mysteriously make noise in the middle of the night.

Along with the fancy suite, I felt like Jimmy Lennon, Jr. as for the first time, I had an announcer to do the undercard, so I could rest my precious pipes until just before the cameras started rolling.

It was a good show, though there is no commission in Indiana and the officiating was the worst I've ever seen. No inspectors in the dressing room, referees that blew calls and delayed stopping fights while guys were tapping, etc.

Boxing --

Sam (Acelino) Peter's performance Saturday was among the most pathetic in years. I'll have a lot to say about it on the show Thursday. Dawson on the other hand was very impressive. I expected him to win, but didn't believe he could dominate the way he did.

More later in the week.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

What a Riot

Last night I cage announced the undercard of what was supposed to be the Kimbo Slice - Ken Shamrock Card on CBS. For those who tuned in, you heard that Shamrock got cut training earlier in the day and Seth "The Silverback" Petruzelli replaced him (and shockingly knocked out Kimbo in 14 seconds).

I'm not sure if the CBS announcers communicated what went on behind the scenes, but it was nerve racking for everyone involved.

The first fight was scheduled for 6:00 with the CBS broadcast starting at 9:00. A few minutes after 5:00, I was tipped off that Shamrock had pulled out. What he was doing training the afternoon of the fight is beyond me. Elite XC asked Petruzelli if he'd step in.

The Silverback took the fight. Hopefully, they made him a generous offer to do so. However, since the fight was not official yet, I couldn't tell the crowd about the change. Around 6:30 I got word that Kimbo said he would only fight Shamrock or not fight at all.

This was a potential disaster. Financially -- Elite XC would have had to offer a refund to the crowd, which was quite large. The reputation of MMA and Elite XC would have certainly suffered. And most importantly, there was genuine concern there would be a riot.

In fact, at around 7:00 or so, Jimmy Lennon, Jr. told me CBS was working on the wording for the announcement to the crowd, and that we would have to give the arena's management a 15 minute warning before the announcement was made, in order to get security in place.

At about 8:00, CBS's stage manager told me that before Jimmy makes the announcement, they were going to take CBS's talent to a secure area and that I was welcome to join them if I wanted to. Hell yes, I wanted to!

I was still sworn to secrecy but I was planning on texting a friend in the crowd (John Martin who produces Through the Ropes) to go find somewhere safe.

Luckily, at 8:30 we got word that Kimbo had thankfully agreed to the fight. You could see everyone in the know exhale a deep sigh of relief.

I give a lot of credit to both Kimbo and Petruzelli for taking the fight. I don't know if Kimbo was threatened, bribed, cajoled, bluffed or in any other way persuaded to take the fight (Petruzelli accepted right away). As it turns out, I think the rematch will be bigger than the Shamrock fight ever was.

Just a little peek at what was going on cage side and behind the curtains.

FYI - no show this week due to Yom Kippur. Talk to you next week.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bad Chad

Tonight we've got light heavyweight champ Chad Dawson and promoter Tom Moran. Tom is Kassim Ouma's advisor and traveled with him back to Uganda. He'll have lots of interesting stories about life with Kassim.

I'm not sure if we'll be on Fightnews tonight as I haven't been able to get a hold of Flattop for the past 24 hours. If you listen online, you should go to for tonight's show.