Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I have been a huge fan of Showtime’s Super Six Super Middleweight tournament because of it’s multiple fight format that forces the best to fight the best and more than once as well as the importance of each and every fight.  Despite even it’s recent problems I remain a huge fan of it as well as the tournaments format.  Although I don’t see it happening again anywhere or anytime soon, I’d love to see a Super Six happen in other weight divisions too.  Here’s who and what I’d like to see

Heavyweight Tournament

I want a Super Six to happen in this division for several reasons but more than any other…to force a Haye/Klitschko matchup. This tournament might also produce a Klitschko vs. Klitschko matchup.  I’d also like to see Povetkin, Boytsov, and Adamek face the three title holders of the division as they’re pretty much the only meaningful fighters that haven’t.  I’m leaving out Chambers, Arreola, and Valuev because they’ve already been tested at the elite level and failed miserably. Additionally those guys aren’t ever going to bring enough talent or skill to the ring to beat the best.  This list also has plenty of power punchers in it too which will add huge excitement to this thing. Predicted winner: Wladimir Klitschko/David Haye.  Shamefully however even if such a tournament were proposed you could count just about ever fight out of this one for one reason or another.

Participants

  • Wladimir Klitschko
  • Vitali Klitschko
  • David Haye
  • Tomasz Adamek
  • Alexander Povetkin
  • Denis Boytsov

Middleweight Tournament

This like the Heavyweight division has seen its fair share of ducker’s and excuses for fights not happening in the past few years.  A Middleweight tournament would help settle who’s the best in the division by pitting these guys against each other possibly more than once.  It’d be interesting too to see who wins this one.  It’s a tough one for me to call too.  A few years ago I would have picked Pavlik but he’s become one of the sports most disappointing fighters for a number of reasons.  Pavlik aside though there isn’t a lot of power punchers in my fantasy tournament but there’s some good action fights here.  Predicted winner: Paul Williams

Participants

  • Sergio Martinez
  • Paul Williams
  • Kelly Pavlik
  • Dmitry Pirog
  • Felix Sturm
  • Sebastian Zbik

Jr. Middleweight Tournament

This division has a lot of talent floating around in it. Unfortunately a Super Six style tournament is the only way the majority of them will ever face one another. The last two fighters I included because undefeated fighters add some excitement to the mix. Predicted winner: James Kirkland

Participants

  • Miguel Cotto
  • Alfredo Angulo
  • Kermit Cintron
  • James Kirkland
  • Sergei Dzinziruk
  • Vanes Martirosyan

Jr. Welterweight Tournament:

This is another weight division that’s seen it’s fair share of lame excuses and even blatant ducking recently.  There are very few fighters in the modern boxing era that want to take any meaningful risks.  It’s all about padding your record and rationalizing mismatches and “mandatory” fights to fans.  That said a Super Six in this division would force all of these guys, who always have one reason or another for not fighting each other, to square off against one another.  It would also give boxing fans some terrific matchup’s that we would otherwise most likely miss out on without the tournament. None of these guys nor their management/promoters would allow or want them involved in this thing.  Predicted winner: Amir Khan

Participants

  • Timothy Bradley
  • Amir Khan
  • Devon Alexander
  • Marcos Maidana
  • Victor Ortiz
  • Juan Urango

Will any of these tournaments actually happen?  No, nor do I expect them too.  I do believe however that if any Super Six style tournaments where to be made in any of the aforementioned divisions that they’d feature different, less risky rosters for all those involved.  When Showtime’s tournament started each one of those guys was potentially putting his career on the line.  For some it was the start, for others it was the end, but in the end I have nothing but praise and admiration for all involved with the Super Middleweight tournament, even if it’s not progressing as many of us had hoped.  I’d also love to see multiple tournaments going on at once to fill in the gaps between other tournament fights or group stages and to fill in gaps left by injuries and withdraws.  Of course I’d prefer to see all of these happen on Showtime which I realize is practically an impossible feat but who wouldn’t want to see more Fight Camp 360’s?

I guess for the time being and for the foreseeable future us fight fans will have to deal with excuse after excuse why this guy can’t/won’t fight that guy etc and the endless debates over who’s the best in any respective division will continue.  I love this sport but it occasionally tries my patience!

Now that Showtime has managed to salvage its Super Six Super Middleweight tournament, group stage III is scheduled to get underway on November 27 with a double header no less! Thus far this super middleweight tournament has offered lots of drama, controversy, and excitement. Admittedly it has also had its fair share of disappointments, delays, and politics but it’s nice to see things supposedly getting back on track.

Here are my predictions for the group stage III matchups:

Arthur Abraham vs Carl Froch – I’ve been anticipating this fight more than any other since the tournaments inception. I tend to be a bigger fan of brawlers and boxer-punchers that I am of the slick and all too happy to run boxer. That said everyone knows this fight is likely going to be a shootout and its winner determined by who connects first. I see Arthur Abraham walking away from this fight with a win by knockout. Admittedly Froch has good power in both hands and Abraham could find himself in trouble should Froch find a way to connect or breakthrough his shell defense but I believe Abraham to be too fast, too strong, and too strong on defense for Froch to handle. Additionally Froch has been hurt by other fighters who are far less powerful than Abraham is so I see Froch having a hard time in this fight. If Jermaine Taylor could drop him and Kessler could rock him late, it could be a short night for Froch come November 27. Froch is a good fighter but in this fight he is simply outgunned.

Andre Ward vs Andre Dirrell – Though I find myself intrigued and excited about every single fight and potential fight in this Super Six tournament I have to admit that if there is going to be a complete snooze-fest in this tournament it’s going to be this fight. Ward the tactician and Dirrell the defensive minded and quick footed boxer who doesn’t like to take chances should make for what is potentially the most boring fight of this tournament. In this fight I see Dirrell walking away with a win via split decision. Ward is good no doubt but because he’s not that aggressive and doesn’t take too many chances, I see Dirrell using his superior speed of foot and hands to walk away with a victory. I don’t expect much action in this fight nor do I believe either man is really going to put his foot on the gas pedal at any point. Not just because they are friends but also because neither one likes or wants to get hit and neither one is knockout minded.

Allan Green vs. Unnamed Opponent – There’s good reason to believe that Light Heavyweight Glenn Johnson will be dropping down to Super Middleweight and joining this tournament. At least that’s the “word on the street” anyways. There’s a lot of fans bemoaning this choice but I find that those people are generally the same ones who find weakness in this tournaments structure rather than strength, despite some of it’s problems. I digress however and will say this. I think Glenn Johnson even in his 40’s is more than a match for Allan Green. He’s also a much better option than any of the other available and willing fighters. If Glenn turns out to be Green’s opponent, call me crazy but I see Johnson winning the fight by unanimous decision. Why? Green is a career underachiever who’s skills at making excuses far exceed his skills in the ring. Green has come up short against all credible opponents and lost to gatekeeper Edison Miranda. Green’s self imposed limited ring ability as well as his soft resume tell me that he’s going to struggle against the always ready and willing Johnson. I expect a slightly more energetic performance from Green should this one come off but I don’t see Green being able to handle Johnson’s pressure. Unless Johnson ages overnight that is and even then I don’t see Green being able or perhaps capable of stepping his game up and finishing strong. No matter who they match Green up with I just don’t see him winning. The abysmal performance against Ward, his excuses fight after fight, and his inability to step his game up against gatekeeper and world opposition tell me everything I need to know It’s as shame too because I like Green’s personality.

Posted: February 24, 2010 in Uncategorized


Arthur Abraham – Carl Froch – Mikkel Kessler – Andre Ward – Allen Green – Andre Dirrell

Group stage 1 of Showtime’s Super Six Super Middleweight boxing tournament is over and group stage 2 will kick off on April 24th with Abraham vs. Dirrell. The first round of bouts heralded some surprises, a controversial decision, and a spectacular knockout. If one things was proven in group stage 1 it’s that we should expect the unexpected, as is usually the case in boxing anyways though this tournaments has a lot more value than your average bout. I had the desire to blog tonight about group stage 2 after reading an article about the Dirrell/Abraham fight. I intend to discuss both the strengths and weaknesses I see in each fighter as well as who I expect to see walk away with a win this round. I’ll also talk a bit about who I’m routing for so without further ado:

Arthur Abraham vs. Andre Dirrell

I believe that Arthur Abraham is a much more skilled fighter and a much smarter fighter than many people give him credit for. I also believe that he’s rightfully the betting favorite to win this tournament. Certainly his power is his greatest and most feared asset but he has fairly decent reflexes and an ultra tight defense too. That said I’ve watched King Arthur’s work rate drop dramatically over the last couple of years. While he’s always been a slow starter, Abraham’s work rate has dropped in recent years, especially in the early rounds. Against Andre Dirrell, a fast, slick, and clingy fighter, this is going to be a massive problem for Abraham. While Dirrell’s modest power and tendency to ride his bicycle won’t afford him the opportunity for a knockout, I believe Dirrell will win an extremely boring fight by wide unanimous decision. I’d go so far to suggest that Dirrell will pitch a near shut out against Abraham. I expect Dirrell to stay far away from King Arthur the entire fight and run even more than he did against Froch and I’m expect more holding from Dirrell too. Dirrell will be to fast for Abraham and land jab after jab for 12 rounds while Arthur swings for the fences beginning mid-fight. Dirrell will frustrate Abraham with his speed and desire to stay far on the outside. Of course if Arthur does catch Dirrell it’ll be lights out but I don’t believe Dirrell will afford him that opportunity. Andre Dirrell by wide UD.

Abraham KO’s Taylor

Mikkel Kessler vs. Carl Froch

Though I’m a huge Abraham fan and anxiously await his next fight, the Kessler/Froch fight is perhaps the most intriguing of group stage 2. I’m also looking forward to it more than the other two bouts because it’s tough to pick a clear winner in this bout. I believe that Kessler is a far more talented fighter than is Froch though I give Froch the edge in power. Froch has almost no defense, takes hits to land them and he’s slow, plodding, and there to be hit. He was outclassed when he fought Taylor and won only because he was finally able to catch Taylor with some hard punches in the final round. Kessler possesses much more power than does Taylor and I believe once Froch gets hit by a boxer puncher like Kessler he’s going to be in a lot of trouble. I’m a fan of both fighters but I see Kessler winning this one mid fight. Kessler by KO inside 6

Ward vs. Green

I have nothing against Allen Green but he’s a vastly overrated in my opinion. He’s failed to impress me in his last couple of fights and I don’t believe he belongs in this tournament. It’s a shame that boxing politics has kept Pavlik and Bute out of this tournament as they would have been far greater additions to this tournament than Green or even Bika. I digress however and to get back on track I’ll say that Green has only a punchers chance and a slim one at that when he faces Ward in group stage 2. I believe Green’s talent and power to be vastly overrated and expect to see Ward make him look like an amateur. I also believe placing so much stock in Ward to be folly as well though it’s clear Ward has considerably more talent than does Green. I believe this fight will be just about as uneventful and boring as the Abraham/Dirrell fight and I expect it to play out in almost the same fashion. Expect to see Ward stay on the outside and pot shot Green with jabs and a few hooks but without ever closing in to hurt or finish Green off. This fight is a mismatch. Ward by UD

Though I believe 2 of the 3 fights won’t boast much action let alone knockout’s, I’m eagerly awaiting group stage 2. I believe that this group stage may hold an upset or two and things could get really interesting should upsets be pulled off.

Now in terms of who I’d like to see win their fights, well that’s a different story all together.

I’m a huge long time fan of Arthur Abraham and generally despise fighters like Dirrell who are content to box their way to a points victory. I save my respect for boxers who view a points victory as a last resort. Additionally I have a difficult time finding positives in guys who get on their bicycles for 12 rounds. Save the boxing clinics for the gym! As I’m a fan of both Kessler and Froch too it’s difficult for me to route against either one but I’m hoping Kessler pulls this one off. Andre Ward appears to be one hell of a nice guy and I find his life story very inspirational but there’s just something about the guy I don’t like. I can’t place my finger on it but Ward just rubs me the wrong way. Perhaps if Ward added “finishing” and “pressure fighting” to his already awesome skill set I’d a huge fan. His victory over Kessler is also forcing me to route for Green in this fight. I still favor Abraham to win the tournament too.

Go Abraham, Kessler, & Green!

I don’t blog much anymore because well time is limited and since I write for a living I’d rather spend my free time doing something else.  Tonight however my wife and I had a deplorable experience at the local Babies “R” Us.  Before I delve into the details surrounding our visit I would like to detail the events that preceded or rather prompted our visit.

On Saturday October 10th, my wife and I attended a baby shower for our son who’s due in January.  We received a large number of gifts from friends and family.  While we where and remain appreciative of each and ever gift, we decided earlier this afternoon that we would return a number of the gifts in order to buy the things that we desperately need for the baby, mainly a stroller/car seat.  The gifts we decided

Punchout! Wii

Posted: March 24, 2009 in Uncategorized

I have not blogged in quite some time mainly because my interests have lied elsewhere but I felt the urge to blog once more after reading an article about Punchout! for the Wii.  Barring the type of release delays that Nintendo is known for, the game is set to arrive in May of this year.  Being a fan of both arcade games, the NES verision and the SNES version the prospect of a new Punchout! game got me excited to say
the least.

The Wii being what it is to “core” gamers like me however, I had some trepidations about a couple of things and wasn’t sure if I was going to buy the game or not.  What I find ironic is that five years ago and three years before the Wii existed commercially, if someone had told me that a new Punchout! game was coming down the pipes, I would have pre-ordered it in in 2004.  After owning a Wii however since January of 2007, I’m always leery about games being released for the Wii, especially those that have a long history, attract a core audience, and are known for their difficulty.  The Punchout! series is this type of game and so naturally to say I was apprehensive about the revival of this series would be an
understatement.  I digress however…..

I’ll get right to the point here.  When I first saw the trailer for Punchout! Wii, I was overly pleased with the look and sound of the game, and was happy to see Little Mac, Glass Joe, King Hippo, and Von Kaiser all returning.  Seeing these characters also sparked some doubt in my mind as to how original this game might be.  Originality for Nintendo, especially as of late, means a new “waggle and shake” control scheme usually at the
expense of game play, depth, and quality, so again I immediately began to feel the game would focus on a new way to box rather than adding new elements to the game or giving it things it didn’t have before.  After watching the newest trailer however, one of my worries has been laid to rest.  Nintendo has decided to include “classic” controls so that people can enjoy the game as they did older titles.  In all honesty I’m not a huge fan of the Wii-remote and play with “classic” controls on games that offer them because well they feel more natural to me, are more accurate, less complicated, and much more fun.

The one lingering doubt I have about this game now that the control issue has been laid to rest is the fact that according to IGN the game will
feature 13 playable boxers.  The ability to play as someone other than Little Mac is a fantastic one, one that I’m looking forward too, but only
13 fighters?  If the number 13 refers to just the number of playable boxers and not the entire roster of boxers then another of my fears will be put to rest.  The article at IGN did not clarify this though they state “roughly three more than the original” which leads me to believe the number 13 refers to all of the boxers in the game.

13 Nintendo?  Are you serious?  The Wii is a far cry from the 360 or the PS 3 in terms of power but in 2009 the best you can do is 13 boxers?  As someone who’s extensively played and still revisits those old titles from time to time, I fear 2 things.  One that of the 13 boxers only 2 or 3 at most will be original characters.  Two that being very familiar with these same old tired boxers and their tricks, I will blast through the game far easier than I did any of the series other titles.  These two things, if they come to fruition will make the new Punchout! game a big disappointment for me.  I’m sure that most people are going to eat this game up and throw praise after praise at it whether it’s deserving or not simply because its the return of a major franchise.

It was my hope that this game would not “one up” earlier titles in terms of quality but quantity and originality too.  Thus far the only new character I’ve seen is one named “Disco Kid” who at this point looks as though Disco is just a nickname and not indicative of a far out stereotype, the kind Punchout! usually delivers.  I was really hoping that this game would be a new title in the series and not a remake or pseudo-remake as it appears it might be.

As of late my tastes in video games has changed as has my expectations surrounding games of all types.  Some might say it’s because I’ll be 36 in just over a month.  I think it has far less to do with age and more to do with a maturity with regards to quality and originality, and evolution.  I love Nintendo and my Wii but for the most part it sits and collects dust.  When the Wii is at it’s best its great fun, but Nintendo has discovered all new levels of “suckage” with the Wii as well.  I’ve never see a company produce so much garbage and have so much success but again I digress.

So what it is that I expected from a new Punchout! game?  Here’s my list:

  • A roster of fighters that at the very least doubles the amount of boxers we faced in any other Punchout! game.
  • No, and I repeat, no palette swapped fighters.
  • Voice acting for between round and in fight commentaries.
  • The ability to play as other boxers
  • A training mode that affects Mac by giving him more stamina, power, etc.
  • Fighter records that change if/when you face them a second time.
  • Boxing commentary during fights
  • Additional circuits to fight in
  • Vodka Drunkinski
  • Nick Bruiser
  • Online and multiplayer modes
  • Returning fighters from all of the other titles
  • At minimum, a game that boasts the same number of original characters as
    returning fighters.

I don’t think anything in my list is unreasonable and I’ll never understand why one, more people don’t want or expect a bigger and better game and two, why standards in video games are so old and stale.  The things we are getting look great but I feel we should be getting a lot more. Not every game needs to be a blockbuster with 200+ hours of gameplay but is it unreasonable to expect publishers to add new elements to old formulas or include more content than they did in previous entries?  As I get older I seem to expect more from my forms of entertainment and I can’t help but feel that Punchout Wii is coming back at us with a jab rather than a knockout punch.  It really feels like the original game has simply been cel shaded.  The added cutscenes in the new trailer and gameplay look exciting but I’m afraid all the good will be overshadowed by the negatives.  Then again I should expect this from a company who took five year old hardware out of a purple box  put in a white box and sold it as the next big thing!  Here’s to hoping I’m wrong about Punchout!!

Spiderman 3 Review

Posted: May 12, 2007 in Uncategorized

Won't ever see this!Well looking at the picture I put up you can probably tell what I thought of Spiderman 3. Read on though, you might be suprised.

First off let me state that I’m one of those purist types of people when it comes to my music, movies, and games so I like to see faithful adaptations of things and although I only have one major gripe against Spidey’s 3rd outing it’s a big one for me as I know it is with alot of fans. I do have alot of little nitpicking to do but first lets go over the good.

The Good:

The acting, the story telling, and the story itself are things I really enjoyed about Spiderman 3. I really enjoyed how the movie was more about Peter Parker and his struggles as opposed to 2 1/2 hours of action. Not that I wouldnt love to see that, but putting the focus and emphasis on Peter was really cool. Once the symbiote comes Peter’s way he begins to change, which is the Spiderman I’ve always preferred, but Rami really showed Peter’s transformation from nice, nerdy guy to a vengful “take no crap” kind of guy who becomes angry and brutal as Spiderman, very well. Although Peter looked like an Emo kid after he bonds with the symbiote the whole thing was pulled off rather well, if for no other reason that Toby Macguire’s acting.

The humor! I’ve seen a lot of people gripping about the humor being oddly placed and awkward in this film. I happen to disagree with them. I thought it was all well placed and really funny. Of course the best humor in the film comes from J. Jonah Jameson. In each Spiderman film he’s been great and this time out it’s no different. Although his dialouge is well written I have to give the real credit to J. K. Simmons who’s acting really brings the character to life. There were a small few jokes that I thought we could have done without but all in all I thought all the humor in this movie was handled nicely.

The Villians! I’ve always liked the Sandman, and if you look at the picture at the beginning of this blog again you’ll know that I am very pro Venom. All this considered I could have easily put Villians under “The Bad” section of this blog. For now though I’ll tell you what I liked about them. The CGI for Sandman was fantastic and Thomas Hayden Church really fits this roll. Although his part in the movie was small he is the main villian here and what scenes he does have work out very well. Next we have the “New Goblin” or Harry Osbourne. Growing up I’ve always prefered Harry’s Goblin over his dad’s and these days are no different. James Franco has always been great in his role as Harry and althought I thought it was way to soon to bring any version of the Green or “New” Goblin back it turned out to be a great addition to the movie and his scenese were all exciting to watch. Although I disagree with how he died, I have to say it was cool to see the Goblin take Spidermans side and kick some symbiote ass!

Venom! Yep I am not putting Venom/Brock into the villians category because he deserves his own section here. When I learned that he was going to be in the movie I knew I would at least enjoy his scenes once the movie finally came out. I will talk about Venom again later under the bad section but for now lets stick to what kicked ass. First off I dont care what anyone says, Topher Grace was a great Eddie Brock/Venom. I thought he filled those shoes perfectly. Venom looked great, his or rather “thier” scenes were all gold! I was worried like I was with the original Xmen movie that Venom’s “retooled” look would not translate onto the big screen well. Although I miss the huge tounge Venom rocked. It’s just to bad he’s only in it briefly.

Bruce Campbell! I wont write to much here because well just having his name here tells you everything. 🙂 Bruce is great in this movie as a French host at a fancy resturaunt…..let the humor ensue!

The Bad:

Everything I loved in this movie I also was very frustrated with. Outside of the acting which was great, the villians, story telling, etc all have huge downfalls.

First off lets take a look at the story. With so many villians, heroe’s and minor characters 2 1/2 hours of movie just doenst cut it. There were so many character arcs be them big or small and there simply wasnt enough time to build upon those and in some cases complete them. This was frustrating to say the least and I think both Sandman and Venom/Brock suffered from this the most. With the exception of Spiderman, MJ, and Harry whom we already got to know from the first two movies the rest of the characters fall flat and become one dimensional pieces that leave us wanting more…..in one case for me a WHOLE lot more!

Hmmmm…classic Superhero movie mistake that everyone at some point seems to think they can pull off. In Spiderman 3 we get 3 villians. I know that Venom was included at the urging of the movie studio and that Sam Rami sadly dislikes Venom and Carnage because they “lack humantiy” (Sam, this is what makes them GREAT, brutal souless villians!). I hate it when the “Suites” screw with movie and TV shows but in this case I’m glad they did. I’m only sorry that the director of this film didnt share the fan’s and studio exec’s opionions. Had Spiderman 3 gone with just one villian the movie would have had the proper pacing it deserved and so desperatly needs! Although I would have gone with Venom and the Maximum Carnage storyline Sandman is a cool villian and he could have carried this movie all by himself. To sum this part of the review up…..to much going on….to fast, to many characters and not enough character development!

Ok now onto the one thing that really upset me about this movie. Yep…Venom/Brock. I’ve know for a long time that he wasn’t going to have a huge part to play and that he’d only appear near the end of the movie but after watching Spiderman 3 I cant help but feeling let down. Perhaps it was due to the fact that Rami doesnt like the Symbiote villians but the handling of Venom/Brock just kills me. First of all I would have made Eddie Brock a background character in the first two movies and shown a number of scense where Peter Parker humiliates Brock so that by the time you got to the 3rd movie you would have really understood why “they” hate Spiderman/Parker so much! Eddie Brock gets done in by Peter Parker in one big scene (which did kick ass) and then he goes to the Bell Tower and becomes Venom as Peter removes the symbiote. To fast….to shallow. Venom could have carried this movie by himself and what really bothers me is that Venom is Spidermans arch and most dangerous enenmy (not counting Carnage) and an extremly threatening and dangerous presence, something I felt the movie did not convey. Ther’s a huge and long story of hatred between these two but the movie touches on none of this.

What I was really hoping to see was Venom be the one main villain of Spiderman 3 and then have the movie close with part of the symbiote making it’s way into an asylum fade to black…….fade back in we see Cletus Cassidy (who becomes Carnage) breifly being totally insane and then fade to credits…..oh man….to bad we’ll never see that. Venom and Carnage are fan favorites and I really believe that if done right the non-comic fans would really enjoy thier brutality. I really wanted to see Venom and Spidey team up too to battle Carnage. Oh well never to be.

You know…during the scene where Brock becomes Venom and again when he first battles Spiderman, people were cheering and clapping…..come on Rami, you can tell that’s really what they came to see….give it to us, let thier brutallity and insanity run wild on the big screen!

Ok, overall I’d have to say I love Spiderman 3. It’s a huge bag of mixed goods for me and I know alot of other people felt this way too. I do think it’s the best of the 3 but it’s just to fast, disjointed, shallow, and to short. I’m a fan of 4 hour movies so I was left with a feeling like I had just read a book with more than half the pages torn out. If you havent seen it and if you’re not a comic fan then you’ll probably see nothing wrong with the film! Enjoy