Tuesday, 25th June 2019

Wladimir Celebrates His 50th

Posted on 04. Mar, 2012 by FSM Staff in Boxing, Highlight

Wladimir Celebrates His 50th

Spare us the same old comments about the heavyweight division being boring and weak. Though we don’t think they are 100% untrue, they shouldn’t overshadow what Wladimir Klitschko accomplished in the ring on Saturday night when he dominated Jean-Marc Mormeck en route to his 50th career knockout.

The bout only lasted four rounds and Mormeck was dropped on multiple occasions. The inevitable occurred in front of 50,000 fans in Düsseldorf, Germany, a venue where the Klitschko brothers enjoy a more than healthy following. With his monumental KO victory, Wladimir slides up to 5th on the all-time list for knockouts in the heavyweight division. He can now be mentioned in the same sentence as Joe Louis.

The numbers are impressive. Sixty bouts, 57 wins, 50 KOs, and only 3 losses.

Klitschko turns 36 years-old later this month. It has been nearly a decade since he has taken serious punishment in the ring. It’s not unrealistic to think he will be in the boxing game at a high level for another five years if that’s what he chooses to do.

Happy 50th KO Wladimir!

How to beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 3 easy steps

Posted on 01. Nov, 2011 by FSM Staff in Boxing, Highlight

How to beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 3 easy steps

How to beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 3 easy steps

With all the recent controversy over the Floyd Mayweather Jr. – Victor Ortiz knockout, the most important topic of all has been overlooked – How exactly do you beat Floyd Mayweather Jr.? Luckily for the sporting world, the experts at FreeSportsMagazine have finally devised a plan. Follow these three easy steps and FSM guarantees you will attain victory.*

Step 1: Go Amish

In the era of social networking and HBO’s 24/7 series, one of Pretty Boy Floyd’s greatest weapons has been psychology. He is certainly a provocative figure who knows how to push people’s buttons. If you end up hating him, he has done his job. For once you let Floyd Mayweather Jr. wiggle his way into your brain you have already lost the battle. A hate filled fighter throwing wild punches full of rage (Victor Ortiz anyone?) plays right into his hands. Take away the platform, and you take away some of his power. Don’t dare watch television and forget about twitter. Abstain from the internet and only talk to your closest friends.

Step 2: Get Fit

Perhaps the only fighter in history to come in to the ring in better shape than Floyd Mayweather Jr. is Rocky Balboa. Pretty Boy Floyd will battle to the end and you will have to win this fight in the late rounds. Forget about good conditioning. This effort will require supreme conditioning. Don’t waste time working on technique or punching mitts. Run and spar. Run and spar. Run and spar. For as long as possible for as many days in a row as possible. Mix it up with heavy sparring as well. You will have to be able to take punches without getting tired. Sucker Floyd into thinking your stamina has peaked and then take it to the next level for a TKO in the championship rounds.

Step 3: Become the Hunter

Just because step one calls for ignoring Floyd Mayweather Jr., it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t throw verbal jabs of your own whenever you get the chance. Any time someone in the press asks you about him, respond by asking, “Are you referring to the bronze metal winning Floyd Mayweather Jr.?” Remind him of his only failure in boxing. Get under his skin and ignore him when he tries to get under yours. Floyd is an emotional guy. Find his bugaboo and get personal if you have to.

*If anyone other than Manny Pacquiao beats Pretty Boy Floyd we will assume they read this article. Our cut is 10%.

Klitschko TKO’s Adamek, Multitasks in the Process

Posted on 10. Sep, 2011 by FSM Staff in Boxing, Highlight

Klitschko TKO’s Adamek, Multitasks in the Process

I’m usually not a betting man. However, from time to time I have been known to place a wager on a long shot that I’m positive will pay off. Perhaps the ghost of Jimmy the Greek inhabits my body, or perhaps I just have the sport aficionado’s sixth sense. I knew the 2007 Golden State Warriors would beat the Dallas Mavericks in six games and I knew the 2008 New York Giants would halt the undefeated New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. I even had the audacity to believe that Tomasz Adamek could score a twelve round split decision against Vitali Klitschko when the two heavyweights collided today in Poland.

Before you call the loony bin to come pick me up, just hear me out. My prediction was born more from an apprehension over Klitschko’s age and history of injuries than Adamek’s ability to get the job done. And I was never going to be more than $100 anyway.

No disrespect to Tomasz Adamek. He was outsized and outclassed from the beginning. But he showed up and let his gloves go as much as he could in typical Adamek fashion. It just wasn’t enough though as he suffered a TKO in round 10 in his native Poland.

At one point Vitali Klitschko was averaging 44 jabs per round. At age 40, are you kidding me?

Hyperbole be damned. Vitali Klitschko is one of the most dominant pugilists I have seen in my 30 year lifetime (I didn’t start following boxing until my late teens). Lean and mean, what I saw today defies logic. There is no doubt in my mind that Vitali can whip Wladimir’s arse any day of the week.

More impressive is that Vitali and his younger, overrated brother, have the nerve to multitask while they are dominating the heavyweight division. That’s how easy it is for them to fight. Despite thriving, busy careers, they still have the time to promote themselves via their promo company K2.

The Klitschko brothers are no fools. Once their domination in the ring comes to an end, they will give their full attention to dominating the world of promotion. With the fledgling K2 gaining slow momentum like George Foreman in a Michael Moorer fight, it was a no-brainer that Vitali Klitschko would agree to defend his title on his opponent’s home turf when he faced Adamek today in Poland. The event took place in brand new stadium capable of accommodating 40,000 fight freaks (as Dan Rafael would say). The vast majority of those fans were Polish and were card carrying members of the Tomas Adamek fan club. There was potential for a hostile environment to say the least. In the end however, Vitali Klitschko took care of business as usual while planting a small promotional seed with the Polish nationals. A seed, like so many of the other little seeds the Klitschko brothers have been planting throughout Europe, that will grow in to a redwood by the time both retire and are out of the fight game for good.

A Letter to the NBPA and NBA Owners

Posted on 12. Jul, 2011 by FSM Staff in Highlight, NBA

A Letter to the NBPA and NBA Owners

Dear NBPA & NBA Owners,

I am writing to inform you that I am also engaging in a lockout. My situation is far direr than that of the NBA players and owners. For nearly 20 years I have been investing my time and money in the NBA, and I have yet to see any returns on my investment. Roughly 10% of my pathetic $35,000 annual salary goes to tickets, merchandise, memorabilia, parking, beer, and nachos. I used to have no problem spreading my money around to the NBA, but the players have made me see the light. Why would should I keep making someone else rich if they don’t want to share their profits with me? Even if the 2011-12 NBA season goes on as scheduled, I still plan to employ a lockout until the following fan demands are met:

-The NBA owners must do as much as possible to cover up news reports of players behaving badly. Perhaps the media outlets in North Korea can be used as a model. Andrew Bynum will still be allowed to “make it rain” by throwing his cash up in the air, the hard working fans just don’t need to see it or know about it because it makes us feel bad. Also, players should not be allowed to show off the ridiculous material possessions they have purchased with fan money on MTV Cribs.

-The NBA players must admit that what they do for a living is not important – at all. They throw a little ball through a metal ring. If the NBA were to end forever, the world would go on without missing a beat.

-The NBA players and NBA owners must share their wealth with the cotton candy guy at your local stadium. You know the guy I’m talking about – he’s worked there for 10 years and drives home every night in his Datsun with the primer paint job. He is also still enthusiastic about selling cotton candy for some reason.

-Offering contracts like Eric Dampier’s $60 million deal should be punishable by jail time, or possibly the death penalty.

-Fans will get back 1% of every dollar they spend on the NBA as a show of appreciation for making NBA players and owners filthy stinkin’ rich.

-NBA players will admit that their life is not as hard as they claim. Traveling from town to town on a private jet and playing sports is not a tough life. Having money, women, and weed available at all times is actually fun and can lead to good times, even if you are married.

-At least one NBA player has to come out of the closet as being gay and that player must be accepted by everyone. We know players and owners are greedy, but we’re not so sure they are good, empathetic people.

Once these demands are met, I may consider watching the NBA again. Actually, I would even settle if you meet me half way – it’s called a compromise in case you are unfamiliar with the term. Until then, it will be nothing but Major League Soccer for me because I think I make more money than most of those guys and I harbor no resentment towards any of them whatsoever.

How Much is Enough for Jones Jr.?

Posted on 24. Mar, 2011 by FSM Staff in Boxing, Highlight

How Much is Enough for Jones Jr.?

Here we go again – again. The announcement was made this month that fading boxing star Roy Jones Jr. will lace up the gloves for yet another questionable fight.

Exactly how much is enough punishment for a man to take in the ring? Unfortunately this is not a question a boxing fan can answer. Well I guess they could answer but it wouldn’t make much difference to Roy Jones Jr. who will travel to Russia on April 22 to face hot prospect Denis Lebedev (21-1, 16 KOs).

Lebedev is bigger, stronger, and 11 years younger. His only loss was a controversial decision in an opponent’s backyard. There should be no doubt that Roy Jones Jr. is being used as a stepping stone. Check any Las Vegas sports book if you think the Russian guy is the underdog this time (yes that was a Rocky IV reference).

Roy Jones Jr. has lost two fights in a row. One of them was an embarrassing first round knockout to an Aussie journeyman and the other was a beating at the hands of Bernard Hopkins. Even before these two bouts, concerned citizens in the boxing community were pleading for Jones to stop fighting. His diminished skills were apparent in the fight against B-Hop. When fighting a younger contender like Lebedev, there will be potential for serious harm. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Jones get knocked out in the style of the Glenn “Road Warrior” Johnson fight.

So back to my original question – how much is enough punishment for Jones Jr. to take? When a question like this is asked it usually means the person has already taken enough.

The truth is that it doesn’t matter what you or I think. And as much as I hate to see former greats blocking punches with their face, I’m not going to be the one to tell Roy Jones Jr. that he needs to quit boxing. I would loathe it if someone told me I had to stop doing something I love, especially if I was the best in the world at doing it at one point in my life.

The Madden Curse

Posted on 02. Feb, 2011 by FSM Staff in Highlight, NFL

The Madden Curse

As NFL fans from around the globe patiently wait for the Super Bowl this month, they are killing time by talking trash and debating football pop-culture. With Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints taking an early flight out of the Playoffs this season, discussion of the “Madden Curse” has sparked up between amigos yet again.

For those readers out there who know not of the curse or its wicked ways, all will be revealed if you keep reading (and click some Google ads while you’re at it). John Madden is a legendary personality in the history of the NFL as a coach and broadcaster. He is also filthy stinkin’ rich thanks to the tremendously successful video game franchise “Madden”. For the last ten years or so, there has been a different NFL superstar on the cover of the latest edition of the game. And for the last ten years or so, that superstar usually has some bad luck with injuries and life in general after he has made the cover. Some say coincidence while others claim that higher powers are at play. Whatever the reason, most fans believe that the “curse” is on a player’s mind when he agrees to be on the Madden cover.

Much like the Swiss, FreeSportsMag does not have an official stance on the Madden Curse. While we do not formally recognize its existence, we acknowledge that something doesn’t smell quite right about the situation. Here is a list of NFL players that made the Madden cover in the last decade and a brief summary of life for them after the big photo shoot. You can decide for yourself if you believe in this curse…

2001 Eddie George – After appearing on the game cover, George and the Tennessee Titans crapped out of the 2001 NFL playoffs which doesn’t seem too bad. George also never averaged more than 3.3 yards per carry for the remainder of his career which is bad however.

2002 Daunte Culpepper – Making the cover in 2002, Culpepper led the Minnesota Vikings to a 5-11 season record. And as a special “curse” bonus, Culpepper set an NFL record for fumbles in a season. In 2005 and 2006 Culpepper suffered serious knee issues and he has never been the same since.

2003 Marshall Faulk – The season Faulk appeared on the Madden cover was the beginning of the end for him and the Super Bowl caliber St. Louis Rams. Faulk’s yards per carry declined for the next three seasons until he retired due to knee problems.

2004 Michael Vick – Vick barely made it to the 2004 season. He broke his leg during a meaningless pre-season game which caused him to miss the first 12 meaningful games of the real season for the Atlanta Falcons. Vick would later get in trouble with the law and go to prison for his role in illegal dog fighting. But more recently, Vick resurrected himself with the Philadelphia Eagles making the Pro Bowl this season. Is this evidence the curse can be lifted?

2005 Ray Lewis – Ray Lewis survived the curse for the first 14 games of the 2005 NFL season but his streak ended with a week 15 wrist injury. Lewis also finished the season without an interception for the first time in his career. All other cover models considered, Lewis got off relatively easy. He is still an all-pro middle linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens and shows no signs of slowing down. Some would even argue that he is getting away with murder. We just think the curse is scared of him.

2006 Donovan McNabb – McNabb suffered a season ending ACL injury to his right knee after he made the cover for the 2006 season. The Philadelphia Eagles ultimately unloaded McNabb by trading him to the Washington Redskins which has been a wasteland of fading stars in the past few years.

2007 Shaun Alexander – After being named MVP the previous season, Alexander fought a foot injury causing him to miss six starts during the 2007 campaign. Alexander would never regain his MVP form and eventually found his way on to the Redskins much like his 2006 predecessor.

2008 Vince Young – Young did not have any severe injuries or bad luck after appearing on the Madden cover. He had a
decent season and it was not until more recently that injuries and personality differences with his head coach have caused his future with the Tennessee Titans to be in jeopardy.

2009 Brett Favre – A retired Favre made the 2009 cover in a Green Bay Packer uniform. Shortly after the game was released, Favre unretired and joined the New York Jets forcing EA sports to release an updated Madden cover online. The Jets started the season 8-3 but ended 9-7 and missed the playoffs. Favre led the NFL in interceptions that season with 22 while playing with a torn bicep for the final five games.

2010 Larry Fitzgerald / Troy Polamalu – Polamalu and Fitz were both featured on the 2010 edition of Madden thanks to the popularity of the Steelers/Cardinals Super Bowl game the previous season. It was the first time in the game’s history that two players were pictured on the same cover. Polamalu sprained his MCL during the first regular season game of the 2010 season and missed the next four games. He also missed games later in the season with a different ligament injury and the Steelers ended the 2010 campaign in a manner not befitting of champions. Larry Fitzgerald on the other hand was able to start all 16 regular season games and was voted in to the 2010 Pro Bowl.

2011 Drew Brees – After shocking the world by defeating the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl the prior year, Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints shocked the world again last month by losing in the first round of the playoffs to the undeserving 7-9 Seattle Seahawks. Many experts are calling it one of the biggest upsets in NFL playoff history.

In Review: The Fighter

Posted on 21. Dec, 2010 by FSM Staff in Boxing, Highlight

In Review: The Fighter

Based on the life of boxing favorite “Irish” Mickey Ward, The Fighter fails to deliver the knockout blow which could have made it an instant classic with moviegoers this holiday season. Much like Ward’s professional career, The Fighter flirts with greatness but falls just a hair short when all is said and done.

The timeline and some of the events presented in this tale are inaccurate but nothing that is too atypical for a movie “based on a true story.” Overall, The Fighter gets the point across and the viewer leaves the theater with a good Cliff’s Notes version of the Mickey Ward story.

For a movie about a fast paced sport like boxing, this film trudges along at a snail’s pace. The fighting scenes are spectacularly exhilarating though they are few and far between and when they do pop up, they are short lived. The bulk of this film is a series of surreal interactions between Mickey Ward , his family, and of course the obligatory love interest.

This is definitely not the first boxing movie that is not about boxing. The original Rocky film did an excellent job of telling a love story using the darker side of the sport as a backdrop. The Fighter attempts to employ the same strategy but there is simply too much going on in the movie. Is this film about a dysfunctional family? A drug addict brother? A man who has lost the belief in himself? By trying to go in so many different directions, the movie spreads itself thin and ends up lacking in substance.

In terms of acting, there are a few strong performances, most notably Christian Bale as Dickie Ekland, the half-brother of Mickey Ward who is battling crack addiction. Melissa Leo (of Homicide: Life on the Street fame) also delivers as Ward’s mother who is both loveable and annoying to the viewer, often times simultaneously. And Mark Wahlberg is his typical, average, muscular self. He does well during the tough guy scenes and fails miserably when trying to invoke that sense of drama which really would have made this flick reach the next level.

Despite all the hype and Golden Globe nominations (it seems like the only prerequisite these days to get nominated is that a film is released in December), The Fighter is a movie you can wait to see in the comfort of your own home for a fraction of the price.

FreeSportsMagazine gives The Fighter a grade of C+

Old Guys Rule: 3 Fights to Watch

Posted on 06. Sep, 2010 by FSM Staff in Boxing, Highlight

Old Guys Rule: 3 Fights to Watch

Boxing experts usually cringe when they hear news of old-timers lacing up the gloves for one last payday. Boxing fans on the other hand can be more forgiving and do not often rush to such quick judgment. The following is a list of three upcoming fights to look out for involving some of boxing’s elder statesmen. While the fights might not end up as instant classics, there is enough aging star power present to make for some intriguing possibilities in the fight world…

Antonio Tarver (27-6, 19 KOs) VS. Nagy Aguilera (16-4, 11 KOs) – Oct. 15
After a 17 month layoff, the 41 year-old Antonio Tarver is moving up to the heavyweight division to fight the Dominican Republic’s Nagy Aguilera. Aguilera is not exactly a walkover opponent for Tarver. At 6’3” and 230 pounds, the 24 year-old Aguilera is most known for his first round KO of former heavyweight champion Oleg Maskaev. Tarver, who is currently hovering around 210 pounds, plans to eat his way up to 217 by the time the fight rolls around. Even at 210 pounds, this is a drastic change from a career that saw him fight mostly in the 178 range. Tarver is counting on speed and elusiveness to make his way through the heavyweight division but will it be enough?

Vitali Klitschko (40-2, 38 KOs) VS. Shannon Briggs (51-5-1, 45 KOs) – Oct. 16
Current WBC heavyweight title holder Vitali Klitschko will square off against former heavyweight champion and perpetual underachiever Shannon Briggs in Hamburg, Germany. The 39 year-old Klitschko has been destroying everyone in sight since he won the title in 2008 including four consecutive successful title defenses. Boxing fans were hoping to see a fight with David Haye materialize but it has become clear that Haye is avoiding the Klitschko brothers as if they had the plague. With the lack of big name heavyweight contenders in the division at the moment, the hard hitting 38 year-old Shannon Briggs got the call from camp Klitschko. Briggs first gained notoriety in 1997 when he defeated George Foreman for a heavyweight title thanks to a very controversial decision. Briggs was promptly knocked out by Lennox Lewis in his very next fight. He won a piece of the heavyweight crown again in 2006 after a dramatic knockout of Sergei Liakhovich with only one second remaining in the fight. But once again, Briggs lost his title in his very next fight. When Klitschko and Briggs meet in October, there is potential for a great heavyweight fight to emerge as Briggs is still one of the hardest punchers in the division. The burden for a good fight however lies solely on Briggs’ shoulders. Undoubtedly, Vitali Klitschko will arrive in top shape and put his work in as fans have come to expect. The question is, which Shannon Briggs will show up?

Bernard Hopkins (51-5-1, 32 KOs) VS. Jean Pascal (26-1, 16 KOs) – Dec. 18
At age 45, Bernard Hopkins keeps chugging along and getting paid. Never one to back down, Hopkins has faced some serious opposition since hitting age 40 including Jermain Taylor, Antonio Tarver, Joe Calzaghe, Winky Wright, and Kelly Pavlik. So it should be no surprise that Hopkins is not taking it easy in what might very well be the last fight of his professional career. Twenty-seven year old Jean Pascal recently upset Chad Dawson for the light heavyweight title by dominating him for 11 rounds and earning a TKO. While Dawson had a rematch clause in the initial contract, Pascal is not required to give him the fight right away. He is permitted to take a bout in the interim which gives Hopkins a chance to prove his critics wrong one more time. Hopkins’ last bout against Roy Jones Jr. came under much scrutiny in the boxing world and in the aftermath many called for both fighters to retire. Hopkins won the fight by unanimous decision but it was far from his most shining moment. This makes him dangerous going in to the fight with Jean Pascal. Hopkins is a “back against the wall” kind of guy with a wealth of fighting experience. He is eager to rebound from his poor performance against Roy Jones Jr. and he just may shock the boxing world when he hooks up with Pascal in December.

Lorenzen Wright Memorial

Posted on 03. Aug, 2010 by FSM Staff in Highlight, NBA

Lorenzen Wright Memorial

Tragedy seems to be striking the sports world more than usual these days with the recent deaths of Steve McNair and Chris Henry just to name a few. Lorenzen Wright is the latest sports figure to lose his life in what can only be described as a senseless act of violence.

Though the circumstances surrounding Wright’s death are still a mystery, the Memphis Police Department knows one thing for certain: Lorenzen Wright was murdered.

The Memphis police claim to be working hard to solve the case which they have ruled a homicide. Wright’s body was found in the woods outside of Memphis, multiple gunshots being the cause of death. It is not clear why Wright was murdered though there is talk of a high profile Memphis drug dealer being involved. Whatever the circumstances, Lorenzen Wright deserved to exit this life with much more dignity and our heart goes out to him and his family.

Lorenzen Wright is described as a “people person” who “never met a stranger” by close friends. The owner of the Memphis Grizzlies, one of the NBA franchises Wright played for during his 13 year career, said that Wright “…delighted fans on the court with his passion and off the court with his generosity in [the] Memphis community…”

After a productive stint at the University of Memphis, Wright came in to the NBA as the #7 lottery pick with the Los Angeles Clippers. During his lengthy career, he also played for the Atlanta Hawks, Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings, and Cleveland Cavaliers. A physical presence in the paint, Wright had career averages of 8 points and 6.4 rebounds while playing in a total of 778 professional games.

A statement made by NBA coaching legend Hubie Brown, who coached Wright during his time with the Memphis Grizzlies, does a good job of summarizing Wright’s career and the impact he had on his teammates:

“In my second season with the team…he helped us win 50 games and make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. He had a physical presence, understood his job, was totally professional and, in our style of play, he excelled. He was well-respected by his peers because of his ability to be flexible. He’s an upbeat guy, and really enjoyed leadership. He was an emotional leader who could also back it up with his physical play.”

Another good guy gone. Rest in Peace Lorenzen Wright.

Cuban’s Pride Costs Mavs

Posted on 04. May, 2010 by FSM Staff in Highlight, NBA

Cuban’s Pride Costs Mavs

In a rare display of public humility, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban recently apologized to the team’s sullen fans. He had hoped to make a bigger impact in Texas and he did not get the job done. The apology came on the heels of yet another disappointing first round departure in the NBA Playoffs.

“I’m not proud of my inability over the last 10 years to have the impact like I want to have, so I kind of feel like I owe fans an apology,” Cuban was quoted as saying after the 4-2 series loss to the San Antonio Spurs. This “kind of” apology is the best you will get from an alpha dog like Cuban. If he had humbled up six years ago, the Mavericks would probably have a championship banner hanging in the rafters.

For those with bad short term memories (and all the potheads out there), here is what happened six years ago. Steve Nash was a free agent for the Dallas Mavericks. Him and Dirk Nowitzki were two peas in a pod. Always on the same page. Instant offense. Nash expressed interest in staying. Mark Cuban expressed interest in keeping him. The Phoenix Suns had plans of their own however and offered Nash $60 million for 6 years, a hefty deal at the time for a point guard who was 30 years old.

Mark Cuban was adamant that he would not match the offer. He kept perseverating on the $60 million dollar price tag on Nash. It seemed to genuinely irk him. He kept mentioning it was a bad contract given Nash’s age. His actions ultimately led fans to believe that he did not think Nash was worth the money. Cuban faced criticism for his views but he never budged. Steve Nash signed with the Phoenix Suns and won two consecutive MVP trophies. It is impossible to say what could have been had Cuban swallowed his pride and opened his wallet.

Cuban’s refusal to resign Steve Nash is perplexing indeed. What was driving his decision? This is the same guy who gave Eric Dampier the kind of contract Nash was asking for (yes, that Eric Dampier). The same guy who gave an aging, ungrateful Jason Kidd a three year $24 million contract extension. Mark Cuban’s excuse of age and money does not stand the test of time. He has a history of paying more for less.

It is easy to sit back and say that the Mavericks would have won a title had the duo of Dirk/Nash remained intact. It is definitely something to consider though as both have three consecutive MVP awards between them.