Late Breaking

Author Archives: Bart Barry

Column without end, part 11

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By Bart Barry Editor’s note: For part 10, please click here. * BOGOTA, Colombia – This Andean city hasn’t Medellin’s organization or courtesy but a more amiable climate and what inherent formality nations’ capitals enjoy by default. The distance from here to Medellin, Colombia’s second most-populous city, is about 400 km, a distance whose impossibility of terrain is best illustrated ... Read More »

Column without end, part 10

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By Bart Barry- Editor’s note: For part nine, please click here. * These columns are written to spiral outwards from their centers organically as possible, structures from the fabled building blocks of letters that make words that make sentences that make paragraphs, searching as they do for what architect Robert Venturi called “richness of meaning rather than clarity of meaning” ... Read More »

Brooklyn’s magic castle awash in swift tides or so Rosie said

Danny Garcia

By Bart Barry- Saturday in Brooklyn, Philadelphia welterweight Danny “Swift” Garcia laid waste to the remnants of Brooklyn’s Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi in a PBC main event distributed by ESPN, home of Rosie “Amazingly Knowledgeable” Perez and Teddy “The Sandcastle” Atlas. It was not a particularly suspenseful affair, an absence of suspense being the one flaw in the PBC’s revolutionary ... Read More »

The disappointment of BJ Flores

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By Bart Barry- “Potential remains potent if unused.” – James Wood, “Late Bloom” Saturday in a small theater at Palms Casino in Las Vegas, in a PBC main event televised by NBCSN, 31-year-old Kazakh cruiserweight Beibut Shumenov decisioned 36-year-old American BJ Flores by three scores of 116-112. The match was made under a single expectation: Flores will decimate Shumenov, persuading ... Read More »

Greatness willed: A farewell to Carl Froch

Carl Froch

By Bart Barry- Last week British super middleweight Carl “The Cobra” Froch announced his retirement, ending an unusually fine contemporary prizefighting career on an unusually high note. Froch’s final instant in a prizefight was his best – spearchiseling George Groves in a full Wembley Stadium on May 31, 2014 – and if Froch needed 14 months to be certain that ... Read More »

Luis Collazo: PBC Employee of the Month

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By Bart Barry- Saturday at a local coffee shop I watched the PBC main event I’d already covered five days before it happened (I was off by about 3 1/2 rounds in my report). I watched on my phone as Florida welterweight Keith Thurman “knocked-out” Luis Collazo with an accidental headbutt of slow-developing effect. For the record, and since some ... Read More »

Bad, yes, but probably not bad enough: Thurman stops Collazo in 11

Keith Thurman

By Bart Barry TAMPA, Fla. – Saturday in University of South Florida’s acclaimed Sundome, Florida welterweight Keith “One Time” Thurman stopped Brooklyn’s Luis Collazo in the 11th round of PBC’s insipid ESPN debut. Official attendance in the hauntingly quiet arena was announced at: “A lot, I mean, look around.” Thurman’s victory was not without controversy. After failing to land a ... Read More »

Delayed meritocracy: Kings of the Mic and Timothy Bradley

Timothy Bradley

By Bart Barry- DALLAS – Four miles southeast of this city’s downtown center stands Gexa Energy Pavilion, a 20,000-seat outdoor amphitheater whose stage Friday hosted a deep roster of pioneers in a musical genre then-known as rap – as in Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” – and now known as hip-hop. For those enchanted by the seedling genre in its great ... Read More »

The talented, the untalented, and the Nipsey Hussle

Andre Ward Post Fight

By Bart Barry Saturday on BET, American super middleweight world champion Andre Ward made his much-needed return to boxing, stopping in the ninth round a hapless but stubborn Brit named Paul Smith, right about the time NBC served its viewers a terrible main event called “The Battle for Ohio”, from Las Vegas, that ended with welterweight Shawn Porter decisioning Adrien ... Read More »

The Axe Man goeth

Nicholas Walters

By Bart Barry– Saturday in Madison Square Garden Theater, the very place Filipino Nonito Donaire’s candidacy for HBO Fighter of the New Century was subverted 3 1/2 years back by a pesky South American, Jamaican featherweight+1 Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters was unable to stretch Colombian featherweight Miguel Marriaga, much to the theater’s icy chagrin. Walters won a unanimous decision, and ... Read More »

Remember the Cinnamon: Alvarez wrecks Cotto in Alamo City

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By Bart Barry– “It is a laborious madness and an impoverishing one, the madness of composing vast books – setting out in five hundred pages an idea that can be perfectly related orally in five minutes. The better way to go about it is to pretend those books already exist, and offer a summary, a commentary on them.” – Jorge ... Read More »

Column without end, part 9

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By Bart Barry Editor’s note: For part eight, please click here. * CARLSBAD, NM – This town is an overpriced outpost on the border of two western states, a dilapidated homebase of sorts for those who might venture to Guadalupe Peak, 8,000 feet in the air, or Carlsbad Caverns, 1,000 feet below ground. It is the nature of adventures they ... Read More »

Column without end, part 8

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By Bart Barry– Editor’s note: For part seven, please click here. * San Antonio Museum of Art currently features a retrospective exhibition of works by American painter Jamie Wyeth, son of Andrew. There is real talent in his paintings. Innovation, too. In a series of works that has seagulls depicting the seven deadly sins, Wyeth uses watercolor paint thickened with ... Read More »

Dung beetles and Chocolatito: Small, extraordinary creatures

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By Bart Barry- SAN ANTONIO – While hiking Saturday morning I came across my first in-action dung beetle, a needly faced creature pushing a smooth cylinder of cow excrement along a path beside the Medina River. If you do not think a dung beetle is among nature’s most extraordinary creatures, keep reading. Saturday evening, a nearly as remarkable Nicaraguan flyweight ... Read More »

Hit by the Cinnamon stick

Canelo Alvarez

By Bart Barry HOUSTON – Minute Maid Park, home of the Astros, made a fine fight venue, even, or perhaps especially, when its retractable roof winked at its anxious media section, water dropping from the sky, papers rising from the table, before shutting once more just before the main event. Mexican Saul “Canelo” Alvarez then knocked Texan James Kirkland stiff ... Read More »

The prestidigitation

Floyd Mayweather 2

By Bart Barry– Saturday at MGM Grand Garden Arena, in the best fight of May 2015, so far, American Floyd “Money” Mayweather easily decisioned Filipino Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, and more importantly, he made $100 million. Official scores went: 116-112, 116-112 and 118-110. Only one judge got right a match in which Pacquiao won two rounds, Mayweather possibly lost two rounds, ... Read More »

The big payout

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By Bart Barry– Saturday at MGM Grand Garden Arena, before a crowd likely to comprise not one person reading this column, American Floyd Mayweather finally will fight Filipino Manny Pacquiao. The time for manufactured enthusiasm is upon us, for tossing oneself wholly into the futility of shouting in print towards a volume to rival the industrial din of Time Warner ... Read More »

Truth and Beauty: Crawford, Piano, Khan, Provodnikov and Matthysse

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By Bart Barry- FORT WORTH, Texas – This is not the city where Terence Crawford fought Saturday. But it is part of an enormous thing called Metroplex, a collection of cities that comprises Dallas and Arlington, where Crawford did fight, a 50-mile expanse whose population, if counted as one, would tally 6.5 million souls, sitting just behind New York City ... Read More »

Everyone’s ‘Bud’: Crawford obliterates Dulorme

Terence Crawford

ARLINGTON, Texas – It is said a fighter becomes 20-percent better upon winning a world title. Undefeated junior welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford appears to have gained an additional 20-percent by winning 2014 fighter of the year. Saturday at College Park Center, before a crowd that compensated with passion for what it lacked in density, Crawford (26-0, 18 KOs) showed ... Read More »

Without Premier: Bud, Rocky and Machine

Terence Crawford

By Bart Barry– Saturday brings a cleansing of the palate, doesn’t it, a reminder of a painfully missed time when you watched boxing because you couldn’t imagine a better use of your energy – not because you felt obligated, as a longtime fan, to support your sport’s return to public airwaves because, apparently, leaving public airwaves was what doomed our ... Read More »

Gabe Oppenheim, and one of the last good books about boxing

Philly Book

By Bart Barry– “If you’re gonna write about boxing, you need facts and grittiness and maybe even some awkward bad writing. It can’t be perfect. It can’t be ethereal. It can’t be self-contained. It can’t be its own art. It has to be bled into by the fighting itself. “But only the defeat is permanent in boxing. And I guess ... Read More »

Gary Russell Jr, and the end of cable sports journalism

Gary Russell Jr

By Bart Barry– Saturday, Showtime’s preternaturally gifted Gary Russell Jr., an Al Haymon fighter, knocked-out the hardest puncher in Mexican history, Jhonny Gonzalez, on Showtime, a Haymon-affiliated network, to seize from Gonzalez the Showtime featherweight title Gonzalez took from Showtime’s Abner Mares a few years back. Whatever the depth of boxing’s featherweight division, and whatever Russell’s postfight protestations, Showtime’s featherweight ... Read More »

Column without end, part 7

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By Bart Barry– Editor’s note: For part 6, please click here. * BURNET, Texas – We begin here, again, with a thought experiment of sorts, before hiking to a roadside memorial in the state Terence Crawford will visit next month, honoring Catalan masterpieces the whole way: A tiger bursts through your door in the next instant. You react, in less ... Read More »

Of Soviets and athletes

Kovalev & Pascal Weigh-InCasino de Montreal

By Bart Barry– SAN ANTONIO – If you’re reading this column, it is highly probable you watched on HBO Russian Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev’s Saturday reduction of Jean Pascal from a ferocious spectacle of athleticism to a man stumbling across the canvas like an enthusiastic toddler determined to crawl no longer. There’s also a fair chance you watched Thursday’s HBO Latino ... Read More »

Vargas ruins Tomlinson in eight

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SAN ANTONIO – A sparse crowd gathered Thursday night at Freeman Coliseum, located beside the stadium in which the world champion Spurs play, and the small turnout was an unfortunate turn, as the evening’s main event, undefeated Mexican junior lightweight Fernando Vargas versus Australian Will Tomlinson, a match broadcast on HBO Latino, deserved a much larger crowd. Vargas (22-0-1, 16 ... Read More »

Premieres

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By Bart Barry– SAN ANTONIO – Tuesday at Aztec Theater, the oldest theater in this old city, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and James Kirkland announced their May 9 fight in Houston. Saturday at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Keith Thurman decisioned Robert Guerrero. In between those two middling affairs, Showtime announced plans to honor its televised trilogy of Israel Vazquez and ... Read More »

Column without end, part 6

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By Bart Barry– Editor’s note: For part five, please click here. * But how will this influence resolve itself? Three of the most influential artists of the 20th century – Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro and Salvador Dali – grew up in Catalonia, wandering through Barcelona looking upwards at the architectural masterpieces of Antoni Gaudi, edifices that, in their sublime ... Read More »

Mayweather-Pacquiao: It’s OK to be happy

Floyd Mayweather

By Bart Barry– The announcement came sometime Thursday, or maybe Tuesday, the announcement there would be an announcement coming soon from a professional athlete about a future sporting event. It was a reminder how unserious our time is that adults awaited such silliness, but there we were, men who are otherwise grandfathers, fathers, professionals, role models, even, collectively saying, “Whatever ... Read More »

Column without end, part 5

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By Bart Barry– Editor’s note: For part 4, please click here. * It is a question of competence much as intent. That is where boxing now stumbles in an exaggerated way that defies expectations more than most things in America do anymore. Whether the larger part of this country was ever competent is a question for fantasy, not history, but ... Read More »

Column without end, part 4

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By Bart Barry– Editor’s note: For part 3, please click here. * Another week comes to pass in the decisive erosion of public interest in our sport. Those curious about The Fight to Save Boxing do not migrate elsewhere within – they do not, anymore, find a minimumweight master or junior middleweight from a few towns over and redirect their ... Read More »