Late Breaking

Author Archives: Bart Barry

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 »

For an article about Mike Tyson, click here

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By Bart Barry– SAN ANTONIO – This column was supposed to be about a live theatrical performance by Mike Tyson, a review of sorts from ringside by a writer who lives above the historic Majestic Theatre, downtown, and attends most Broadway-musical productions that visit. “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth” was scheduled for Saturday night in the Lila Cockrell Theatre, a 2,000-seat ... Read More »

Retired: Juarez loses to Castellanos and calls it a career

SAN ANTONIO – Rocky Juarez spent his career being an honest prizefighter who never quite found within himself a transcendent performance when the occasion demanded one. Monday’s match was no exception, and Juarez’s retirement, announced immediately afterwards, was no surprise. Fighting in the main event of a good card at Cowboys Dancehall, Houston’s Juarez (30-11-1, 21 KOs) dropped a lopsided ... Read More »

With Mile High Mike as my mentor

Mike Alvarado

By Bart Barry- Ring the bell already, fool. I’ve written so many great columns in the past. That’s why you read me. And I’m more prepared for this column than any of those. This is the column for not just readers but writers, too, because they know what hard writing looks like. It’s for the readers also, don’t misunderstand, especially ... Read More »

Deontay Wilder, and an aficionado’s permission slip

Deontay Wilder

By Bart Barry- Saturday in Las Vegas, undefeated American heavyweight Deontay Wilder saw his 32-fight knockout streak come to a quiet end against Bermane Stiverne. Expected to force a violent conclusion to the match, regardless of victor, Wilder instead cautiously and exhaustedly made his way to the closing bell and won a wide decision, 120-107, 119-108 and 118-109. Stiverne, who ... Read More »

Column without end, part 3

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By Bart Barry- Editor’s note: For part 2, please click here. * MARFA, Texas – This city sits in a little known region of our country called “Big Bend” for the curve the Rio Grande takes. There is a national park that boasts Texas’ most challenging and beloved hiking trail to the top of the Chisos Mountains, but the basin ... Read More »

Portrait of HBO’s most-viewed fight of 2014, part 2

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By Bart Barry- Editor’s note: For part 1, please click here. * The week that began in February, ended in March and became the pinnacle of HBO boxing’s viewership feats in 2014 did not fool any of its participants or witnesses and still hasn’t. The ratings phenom who is Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is not phenomenal at all when his ... Read More »

Portrait of HBO’s most-viewed fight of 2014, part 1

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By Bart Barry- The week that began in February, ended in March and became the pinnacle of HBO boxing’s viewership feats in 2014 began on a Thursday with dinner at La Gloria restaurant in the Pearl Brewery complex of the northern part of downtown San Antonio, a dinner that marked the first of the year’s biannual meetings of the Irish-American ... Read More »

Column without end, part 2

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By Bart Barry- Editor’s note: Part 1 can be found here. * Every kid under the age of 25 on the Metro de Madrid has Sergio Martinez’s haircut, and while none is likely imitating Martinez so much as imitating Martinez’s influences, whoever they are, an hour on the Madrid metro – with aspiring supermodels, male and female, all practicing their ... Read More »

Column without end, part 1

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By Bart Barry– BARCELONA – At the metaphorical center of this autonomous place on the Mediterranean Sea, an ostensibly Spanish city much nearer France than Madrid, stands La Sagrada Familia basilica, masterwork of its city’s greatest architect, Antoni Gaudí i Cornet, known the world over as Gaudí, a man whose patronymic bears a curious resemblance to the derisive modifier “gaudy.” ... Read More »

Terence Crawford, and optimists and evangelists

Terence Crawford

By Bart Barry- Saturday at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraskan lightweight champion Terence Crawford decisioned Mexican Raymundo Beltran lopsidedly, 119-109 and 118-110 and 119-109, in a match that was not large as its superlatives but demonstrated Crawford should stay at lightweight, which he won’t, Beltran was overrated, which no rater will admit, and Crawford should be 2014’s fighter of the ... Read More »

Full gonzo: Sleeping through Pacquiao-Algieri

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By Bart Barry– FORT WORTH, Texas – The understated perfection of architect Louis I. Kahn’s soft marble masterpiece, Kimbell Art Museum, known round the world as The Kimbell, is so palpable one cannot fathom hoarding its charms, if architectural charms were somehow hoardable, and feels a compulsion to share. Long a fan of friend and mentor Thomas Hauser’s accounts of ... Read More »

Pacquiao-Algieri: From opposite ends

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By Bart Barry Saturday at the Venetian in Macau, Filipino Manny Pacquiao will defend his welterweight title against New Yorker Chris Algieri, a junior welterweight titlist. It is a fight somewhat intriguing because, while few aficionados imagine the match will be close, a number disagree on its likely victor. Perspective plays a larger role than usual in determining where an ... Read More »

Kovalev-Hopkins: The fight of 2014

Sergey Kovalev

By Bart Barry- The most unexpected thing shared by guys who hit hardest is rarely how hard they hit or the speed of their attack. No, what surprises most about those guys is the nimbleness with which they take a backwards step the first three or four times you try to attack and smother them, their balletic willingness to move ... Read More »