The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty


Things which happened tonight:

– There’s a rumor going around that Rory Markham deliberately blew weight because he knew Diaz would take the fight anyway and wanted the advantage.

– Joan Guzman blew weight by 9 pounds for a rematch unjustly gifted to him, lied about being on weight in the days before the bout, and used his extra size to steal a close win over a fighter who has now been fucked over, what, 3 or 4 separate times now?

– Arthur Abraham deliberately hit Andre Dirrell when he was down, possibly to get out of a fight that he was losing in semi-embarrassing fashion, possibly out of malice.

– I disagree with this, but many people feel Rousimar Palhares deliberately held his heel hook on Thomas Drwal excessively long and thus badly injured Drwal; Palhares has since been suspended.

What the fuck is wrong with these people? Abraham was just an idiot and has already been justly punished, the Palhares thing is debatable, but there need to be vastly harsher suspensions, fines, and institutional penalties in the future for fighters failing to make weight. On the boxing side HBO need to stop pretending that they don’t have major influence on the sport and take the lead on this- they enabled Joan Guzman by promoting his first fight with Funeka after his weight debacle against Nate Campbell, they enabled him by giving him an idiotic and pointless rematch after the judges fucked Funeka on the first fight, and the odds are they’ll enable Guzman again after his win tonight. The problem with this is less serious than but similar in type to the one with Margarito and the loaded gloves: if you allow fighters to abuse the rules that badly and profit by their cheating or negligence, you incentivize every other fighter out there to do the same in the future. It’s not an accident that this sort of thing seems to be getting more common, and it needs to be killed off now before it becomes combat sports’ answer to the NHL’s head shots problem.


March 28, 2010 - Posted by | Boxing, MMA


  1. I got two things:
    1) I don’t mind that Abraham was DQ’d in that it was clearly an illegal hit. But Dirrell took a dive. That was some pathetic acting. Seriously, for five minutes the guy was writhing around like he had just been hit with a shovel. It was a joke, but actually I’m kind of glad that it happened because he pathetic acting took away from the fact that he was beating Abraham.

    2) I disagree with the HBO thing. It’s there job to televise fights and make money, that is all. They are not the promoters or the commission. HBO wants to be able to televise a fight so that they don’t piss off subscribers. That’s is–and should be–HBO’s main concern.

    What should be done (and what is usually done) is there is a fine involved for coming in over weight that goes to the other fighter. Make that fine stiffer (and the promoter/commissioners would have to do this) and you help to prevent these things.

    But it’s really not that big of a deal. If Funeka wanted, he could’ve pulled out of the fight (and he probably should’ve learned his lesson after the Nate Campbell debacle). These weight issues are few and far between on the biggest stages of MMA and boxing.

    To compare Guzman to Margacheato is a little over the top. Funeka knew what he was stepping into the ring with. It was his choice to go forward with the fight. Margacheato tried to beat a man to the head with cement bricks. Big difference.

    Comment by Tony M | March 29, 2010 | Reply

  2. 1. I don’t even care if Dirrell took a dive, although the same thought did cross my mind. Abraham and his people have so thoroughly embarrassed themselves with their conduct throughout this thing that even if Dirrell dived, he still looks like less of an idiot here.

    2. So with a galaxy of other interesting fights on Saturday, why of all the possible fights did they choose to show Guzman vs. Funeka- AGAIN? Why was that fight shown the first time, when Guzman had already F’d over Showtime by refusing to fight for them after blowing weight once? How was showing a boring fighter with a history of screwing over his opponents good for subscribers? If there was giant money in Guzman I could see it for business reasons, but he has no constituency, no draw, and he is, as Dan Rafael said, a disgrace to boxing. The idea that HBO somehow had to show this fight or risk a viewer revolt I don’t buy, not at the fight scheduling stage and not after Guzman showed up fat and lied about it. Not one extra person bought or tuned into HBO in trembling anticipation of this fight.

    As for Funeka, do you really think he could have pulled out? HBO never would have used him again and he’d be relegated to fighting in South Africa in front of no one. HBO made the choice to prioritize showing a BS fight which put one of the fighters in unnecessary danger to career and health over enforcing the rules of the sport which they make money off of. Effectively, they’re using their promotional muscle to force a fighter to not exercise his rights in this situation, which is what happens when you have a semi-monopoly.

    And I didn’t say Guzman was as bad as Margarito, I said if you let fighters like him get away with this it’s going to happen more and more frequently (which it has been), which is also what will happen if Margarito is rewarded with, say, a Pacquiao fight in 6 months. The severity is not the comparison, the pattern of consequences is.

    And let’s really be honest at this point: HBO are for all intents and purposes far more influential than any promoter right now and thus far more responsible for the future of the sport. Hell, a lot of people would say that their relationship with Golden Boy effectively DOES make them a promoter.

    I’m not asking HBO to leave a pile of money on the table to crusade for a clean up of boxing. I’m asking them to stop actively incentivizing some of the worst aspects of the sport for petty gain.

    Comment by theshipbesinking | March 29, 2010 | Reply

  3. 1) I wish I could disagree with you.

    2) I agree that HBO should use its weight more to put promoters in check. But a) they had to take this fight after another fight fell through, b) I actually enjoy watching Funeka, so I wasn’t so ticked that I got to see this rematch.

    Also, once a fighter comes in overweight, there is nothing HBO can do. They wanted to give their subscribers value and this was still a fight for a lightweight belt.

    Absolutely he is a disgrace and should never get a fight on TV again. But this is more the fault of his promoter for not keeping an eye on his weight and making him step on a scale in front of them.

    And I disagree that Funeka would’ve been punished if he said no, I’m not going through with the fight. Nine pounds is asking a lot. Again, it’s Funeka who put himself at risk… that is plain and simple. Was he incentivised to do so? Sure, but so is every fighter who enters a ring to fight for money. He had a choice, and he will not only make this payday, but HBO will likely reward him with a fight in the future for going through with the fight. It’s risk reward. But if we start saying that HBO is the bad guy for putting a fighter at risk, well then we’re walking that line of is boxing moral. HBO gives the money. That’s its job.

    And if you want to blame HBO for putting this fight on TV, OK. But I like watching Funeka and wasn’t pissed about this making an undercard on Boxing After Dark. Granted, most people weren’t pumped about watching this, but it wasn’t a horrible undercard. It was a title fight of a rematch that had controversy, even if the fight was not scintillating. That’s compelling, in my opinion and OK for an undercard on BAD.

    HBO should now use its power to never allow Guzman on its air, thus costing Guzman tons of money, thus sending a lesson to the sport.

    But the fact that they signed the fight in the fist place and then allowed the fight to go on after Guzman showed up over weight, well I can’t fault them on this on.

    We need to figure out how to start doing a podcast or something.

    Comment by Tony M | March 29, 2010 | Reply

  4. And one more thing, didn’t you think that this was a good fight? Take weight and all that out of it, I thoroughly enjoyed the bout itself.

    Comment by Tony M | March 29, 2010 | Reply

  5. To me, in future I’d like to see HBO learn something from UFC, basically. Insert a clause into the standard contract to appear which says that if a fighter is X% over the contracted weight at the weight in, the fight is off and that fighter is not paid. Opponent gets paid. It puts the honus on the fighters, and as a subscriber I’m ok to miss a few fights here and there if it runs this stuff out of the sport as much as possible.

    FWIW, I think a major point where we disagree is that I think HBO will never use Funeka again, but may well put on, say, Ricky Hatton vs. Joan Guzman if Hatton wants that fight. Funeka has lost or drawn every fight on major TV he’s had I think, he’s not American and doesn’t speak the language, and he’s not a draw; he’s worth nothing to HBO having lost. Guzman has many of the same flaws, sure, but at least he won his last fight on their air.

    In effect I think Funeka was screwed as soon as Guzman showed up fat: fight, probably lose and never be used again as a loser; don’t fight, you’ve fucked HBO out of a match and never be used again for not doing them a favor. He was screwed either way because of Guzman, and HBO’s willingness to back a cheat in Guzman rather than take the hit to do what was right for the guy who actually followed the rules. That doesn’t make them evil, it just makes them another set of people taking more from the sport than they give.

    As for making the fight, it’s still the incentive issue- if bad or corrupt judging resulting in BS draws just means an additional payday for the fighter handed a gift (and for their promoters, commissions, etc.), why would anyone try to raise the standards of judging? HBO could easily have said that regardless of the decision everyone knows Funeka won the first fight, so we’ll try to match him against a different opponent in a new matchup next time out. The UFC analogue is UFC not holding the Hamill loss against Jon Jones, because everyone knows that Jones proved he was the better fighter.

    For the fight itself- I heard about the weight issue and the result in advance, and never watched the fight. Too disgusted.

    Comment by theshipbesinking | March 30, 2010 | Reply

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