I podcast and write to cope with my continuing struggle to play guitar.
The Punishment Season Episode
I’ll get to the podcast in just a second, but I had a thought while watching Anthony Joshua overcome a great deal of adversity to comeback and defeat one of the heavyweight division’s all-time world champions – only to hear fans roasting the young lion for being knocked down by a 41-year old fighter in the 6th round. Savage or ignorance?
The thought: Boxing matches – the most exciting ones – are like sci-fi movies that involve space travel. They all start with this huge, lavish indestructible looking vessel (no government or private corporation could possibly afford to build), but by the film’s climax the survivor(s) has jettisoned every critical part of the ship in order to survive, and in the end all that’s left is this much smaller, practical looking escape pod.
That analogy isn’t working?
I didn’t process much of 2014’s Interstellar, but I did catch Cooper’s (Matthew McConaughey) explanation of Newton’s Third Law to Brand (Ann Hathaway) as he made the decision to save her life from their doomed mission. Before detaching his ship from the main ship, to lighten the load for Brand’s return trip home to Earth, Cooper courageously said, “…you’ve gotta leave something behind!” Cooper had a lot of complex math and theory to sort out on the fly for his own still-in-process survival plan, so he left out the Law’s critical first part “In order to move forward…”
I’ll connect all the dots now. In order to move forward with his pursuit of greatness as a world champion, Anthony Joshua was inevitably going to emerge from the Klitschko fight having left something behind. That’s the cost to wear one or more of those fancy decorated leather belts around one’s waist.
The year of 2017 continues to churn out entertaining, intriguing, and meaningful fights for its insatiable following. Last weekend, over in London, a pair of 6′ 6″ 240-pound heavyweights engaged in battle in front of 90,000 diehard fans inside Wembley Stadium, and the end result was one of the best bouts in the weight class in over two decades. The younger man won. Briton Anthony Joshua, a 2012 gold medalist, got up off the canvas from a lethal Wladimir Klitschko right hand in the 6th round, bought himself some time over the two subsequent rounds, and then stormed back to knock Klitschko down twice before the fight was stopped as Joshua uninterruptedly pummeled the Ukrainian along the ropes.
The coronation concluded with Joshua adding both the WBA super world title and the vacant IBO world title to go along with his IBF championship. What bout finds itself in the wake of that historical night? Only the latest battle for Mexico installment, as Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. descend upon Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena this Saturday. The sold-out event starts at 9:30 PM EST on HBO Pay-Per-View, and the main event is a nontitle bout at a 164.5-pound catchweight. Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) enters the fight as the favorite at -675, with Chavez Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs) listed at +475.
As usual, while working through this week’s guests, I didn’t clearly lay out my Alvarez-Chavez Jr. prediction. So here we go.
Saul Álvarez versus Julio César Chávez
I feel bullied into going with Alvarez by split decision – to play it safe and stay with the crowd. However, notwithstanding Chavez’s potential issues with making the contracted weight, I feel this rivalry could pull something fantastic out of the kid. He’ll likely have to weather an early storm from the disciplined combination-punching attack of the 26-year old Alvarez who will also look to punish the longer body of the 6′ 1″ Chavez. However, Chavez is an accurate puncher with a 73″ to 70 1/2″ reach advantage. Couple that with his extra 4″ inches in height, and an expected weight advantage on fight night once both men rehydrate. There’s a realistic route to a suspenseful set of championship rounds.
Five years has gone by since Chavez followed up stopping Andy Lee by knocking down Sergio Martinez in the 12th round of his fourth defense of his WBC middleweight title. Chavez lost in convincing fashion but a win versus Alvarez will undoubted require the same type of resilience, to still have the fight in him to put down Martinez late in the fight. We’ll see just how far Chavez can make it being driven by several years of bad blood between him and Canelo. With several questionable decisions occurring recently in some high profile bouts, maybe Chavez is awarded the fight by one judge.
Now that the prediction is out of the way, let’s get to this week’s Pay Me No Mind podcast.
The introduction to this episode is jam packed with some entertainment thoughts. Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. – announced today that the LP is now a platinum-seller – continues to dominate hip hop and many of its discussions. After three, arguably four classic rated albums Kendrick’s mentions in greatest of all time (GOAT) debates is increasing. So, I weighed in with my thought on the M.A.A.D. city product’s standing.
I also had to run down where I am with several TV series – Billions, The Get Down, House of Cards, Dear White People and Amazon Original’s fantastic Bosch (Season 3) and Sneak Pete (Season 1). Detectives Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver) and Jerry Edgar (Jamie Hector), aren’t quite The Wire’s Bunk and McNulty but they’re a welcomed pairing to the genre, and career-long ‘Detective #3’ or ‘Thug #3’ Paul Calderon finally steps out of the shadows as the persistent Detective Roberston – who shows some slick crime-solving moves of his own. I also hit on trailer announcements for The Dark Tower and Netflix’s highly anticipated The Defenders series. Lastly, I run down the upcoming release dates for May – most importantly Alien: Covenant on May 19. Speaking of Newton’s Third Law.
The sports topics include some thoughts on ESPN’s layoff announcements, Marshawn Lynch’s signing with the Oakland Raiders, the NBA Playoffs and a breakdown of the Joshua-Klitchsko fight.
This week’s guests include Chris Young (@ 52:01), a first time visitor, who is an avid football fan that tackled the NFL Draft as a future PMNM NFL contributor. Young will return to the podcast in the future to track the development of some of this year’s rookies.
Next up, I added a clip of an exclusive interview with Premier Boxing Champions ring announcer and punch-by-punch commentator Ray Flores (@ 1:09:49). Flores (@SBRFlores) obviously watches a lot of today’s best boxers up close, so after the Andre Berto versus Shawn Porter welterweight eliminator at Barclays Center April 22, I asked the Chicagoan about his thoughts on the upcoming Kell Brook versus Errol Spence Jr (May 27). Flores also ranks the hottest divisions in boxing and weighs in on a winner for Cinco de Mayo’s Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez versus Julio César Chávez Jr. showdown.
Lastly, the other reason this episode is called Punishment Season is it’s a reference to Premier Boxing Champions unbeaten middleweight Malcolm “The Punisher” McAllister. McAllister talks about overcoming his first career knock down in a February 28, a PBC Toe-2-Toe Tuesday, bout against Alejandro Torres. McAllister speaks on how he managed to survive getting caught, as well as some circumstances that even allowed Torres to make it to the 6th and final round to land his desperate big left hook. The Punisher also talks about the division we’ll likely see him in next, and he breaks down his Alvarez-Chavez winner. Personally, I thought it’d be interesting to get McAllister’s thoughts on muscular boxers, and whether Anthony Joshua’s physique is going to trouble him as he moves on after his big title defense against Klitschko.
Again, there are multiple outlets to check out the podcast besides the link in this article – check us all out at TalkLoudRadio. And, be sure to subscribe to the growing Pay Me No Mind YouTube channel where you can hear things like Hank Lundy’s in-depth analysis of P4P fast-riser Vasyl Lomachenko.