Late Breaking

Author Archives: Bart Barry

Column without end, part 1

2014-12-09 21.27.31 (640x480)

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 »

Mental alignment, Bernard Hopkins and Sergey Kovalev

Bernard Hopkins

By Bart Barry– SAN MARCOS, Texas – Three miles southwest of Texas State University is a mostly waterless stretch of terrain called Purgatory Creek Natural Area, a verdant place complete with trails named after Dante, Ripheus, Ovid and Beatrice, for those with an Italian literary bent. Saturday at Boardwalk Hall in the American purgatory of Atlantic City, light heavyweight Bernard ... Read More »

MFAH & GGG: Enduring doubts

Gennady Golovkin

By Bart Barry- HOUSTON – Saturday this city’s largest art museum previewed for its members a fall exhibition, “Monet and the Seine,” that is unimpressive. Composed of middling efforts by the French Impressionist master, canvases from sundry places, some painted in cottoncandy hues and some deeply indebted to others’ influences and one so pedestrian Monet himself misdated it, this exhibition ... Read More »

Harmonious manhood: Nicholas Walters, Nonito Donaire and Corey Holcomb

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By Bart Barry– HOUSTON – Saturday at Carson, Calif.’s StubHub Center, a great fight venue with a moronic name, Jamaican featherweight Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters hacked former world champion Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire to a stump, in the co-main, and stopped him at the end of round 6. It was a case of dessert served before dinner, increasingly common in ... Read More »

The Axe Man cometh

Nicholas Walters

By Bart Barry– Saturday at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., in a co-main event broadcast by HBO and certain to be more entertaining than what follows it, Jamaican featherweight titlist Nicholas “The Axe Man” Walters will fight “Filipino Flash” Nonito Donaire in a WBA unification match – being that both men already have WBA featherweight titles. Much as happened two ... Read More »

Jhonny, El Travieso, and Devil’s River

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By Bart Barry– DEL RIO, Texas – A few miles south of here begins the Mexican state of Coahuila, and about 40 miles north of here begins Devil’s River State Natural Area, and if you’re wondering which is more hospitable, it is Mexico – by far. There are lovely places whose brochures promise romantic getaways, and then there are mere ... Read More »

Canelo Alvarez, cable networks, and learned helplessness

Canelo Alvarez

By Bart Barry- Another game changer happened Tuesday. It came with a series of email announcements and a conference call and probably a press conference, somewhere, too, so big the news this time. It was an official notice Mexican junior middleweight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez changed American cable networks. If boxing historians return to this announcement someday, it will be to ... Read More »

Travel box and away

Manny Pacquiao

By Bart Barry– SAN ANTONIO – Saturday night I attended “Jazz’SAlive,” a two-day, free-admission jazz festival in the newly restored Travis Park, which abuts St. Mark’s, the gothic-revival Episcopal church where Lyndon Baines Johnson married Claudia Alta Taylor 80 years ago. As always, the event happened two weeks before the lovely weather arrives, reducing crowds still more than the festival’s ... Read More »

An old Floyd is not the old Floyd

Floyd Mayweather

By Bart Barry– Saturday at MGM Grand Garden Arena in a rematch few aficionados demanded, fewer still watched, and fewer yet found entertaining as its predecessor, American welterweight and super welterweight titlist Floyd “Money” Mayweather unanimously decisioned Argentine Marcos “El Chino” Maidana. After promising to prove himself to himself, not you, by stretching Maidana, Mayweather finished the fight circling shamelessly ... Read More »

Mayweather-Maidana 2: Circus of the sagging big top

Mayweather_maidana

By Bart Barry– Saturday at MGM Grand, over which a 20-story Manny Pacquiao banner likely will not drape, American welterweight Floyd “Money” Mayweather will make a rematch with Argentine Marcos “El Chino” Maidana as part of Mexican Independence Day festivities. Mayweather will seek the definitive victory that eluded him Cinco de Mayo weekend. The fight will happen on Sept. 13 ... Read More »

When a quest for great spectacles leaves boxing behind

PianoPavilion

By Bart Barry– FORT WORTH, Texas – There was a fight card in my hometown Saturday night, and I didn’t hesitate for a tick to forego it and make holiday plans to spend the weekend hundreds of miles away looking at buildings, yes buildings. In fact, hesitate is the wrong verb altogether because it implies choice, a pause over two ... Read More »

Another afternoon press conference for a local card

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By Bart Barry– The temperature in the parking lot is a reminder just how badly abused is the word “sweltering” by Americans anywhere above of the 30th parallel, a plane deeper than most of the Deep South. Heavy with wet, the heat does not sap or wilt or hang or haunt but envelops, and then saps and wilts and hangs ... Read More »

Prizefighting’s blurrily expressed intimacy

Floyd Mayweather

By Bart Barry– A couple years ago, apropos of violence and documentaries and Pablo Picasso, too, a writer whose work I admire mentioned in a correspondence with me that when he blurred his eyes at an Italian photojournalist’s treatment of pornography he “could arrange a fight image.” The idea has not left me. This column, then, will not treat one ... Read More »

Henri Matisse, and absorbing the lessons of predecessors in a way boxing does not

Matisse

By Bart Barry- SAN ANTONIO – This city’s largest art museum, SAMA, is now in the throes of a three-month exhibition, “Matisse: Life in Color,” that is exceptional by any museum’s standard of quality and particularly exceptional by this one’s. Frenchman Henri Matisse, a painter and sculptor and printmaker and papercutter and architect who resides in the top five of ... Read More »

Sergey Kovalev, and the genuine possibility of being Krushed by an Alien

Serhey Kovalev

By Bart Barry- Saturday in Atlantic City in another hideous but portentous mismatch on HBO, Russian light heavyweight titlist Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev raced through a helpless Australian named Blake Caparello, stumbling out the block and getting flashdropped in round 1 before spearchiseling his way to a TKO-2 result whose time was irrelevant and preordained. For the first time in Kovalev’s ... Read More »

GGG: Golovkin Gores Geale / Good Going Guys

Gennady Golovkin

By Bart Barry- “Geale had the best credentials of anyone that’s gotten in the ring with him. Geale is a former two-time titlist.” – Gennady Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler, July 26. Saturday at Madison Square Garden, 32-year-old Kazakhstani middleweight titlist Gennady “GGG” Golovkin stopped Australian challenger Daniel Geale at 2:47 of round 3. It was another attraction-building event televised by ... Read More »

The Soviets are coming

Gennady Golovkin (208x138)

By Bart Barry- Saturday begins an eight-day Soviet-boxing siege on HBO. No, you’re right, “siege” is more than a bit over the top, and the Soviet Union survives today only in the American minds of Cold Warriors and millionaire defense-contracting executives, and what politicians and media outlets they employ, but those clicks count much as others in online-traffic ratings, so ... Read More »

Anything, please, but a rematch!

Alvarez_Lara_Weigh In

By Bart Barry- When Mexican Saul “Canelo” Alvarez fought countryman Alfredo Angulo in March, I attended a viewing party at the home of a Puerto Rican boxing trainer who, despite no rooting ethnic interest whatever, found his home filled by seven other Puerto Rican aficionados. Saturday, when Alvarez decisioned Cuban southpaw Erislandy Lara at MGM Grand, by a split decision ... Read More »

Saul Alvarez: The cinnamon reckoning of an American promoter and a Cuban boxer

Canelo Alvarez

By Bart Barry- Saturday at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand, home of Floyd Mayweather’s entranceway shrine, Mexican Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will make a pay-per-view match with Cuban Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara to determine who will be considered the world’s best junior middleweight until Mayweather returns to the division. Those who consider themselves insiders are, in many cases, expecting an overrated ... Read More »

Terence Crawford: Ratified with a smile

Terence Crawford

By Bart Barry- After nine years of sitting ringside at Top Rank shows – my first media credential came from Lee Samuels, in April 2005 – one flatters himself to think he can discern the difference between a well-built fight and a well-built fighter, noting hallmarks of the promoter’s extraordinary eye for talent and talent for matchmaking in the differences ... Read More »

In celebration of 0s that went

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By Bart Barry– “Looks like in the next year or two, he is going to be a threat for any featherweight champion.” The quote above belongs to the late Emanuel Steward, an utterance he made about three years ago while watching Gary Russell Jr. decision someone named Eric Estrada, a Chicagoan who then promptly retired with a professional record of ... Read More »

Chris Algieri: Mind over massacre

Chris Algieri

By Bart Barry- Two Saturdays ago in Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden our sport bade a tempered farewell to former middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, squinting at a hobbled impostor sent hobbling to his stool by Miguel Cotto, even while recalling fondly the innovator who once, as a 154-pounder, stood brazenly, gloves on thighs, before middleweight world champion Kelly Pavlik. Saturday in ... Read More »

Adiós, Sergio, con un abrazo fuerte

Sergio Martinez

By Bart Barry– If we choose to believe all was well with Argentine southpaw Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez’s lower body when the opening bell rang on his match with Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto, Saturday, a match Martinez’s corner ended after nine rounds and a few perfunctory protests from Martinez, a match that ended with Cotto leading by three insurmountable scores of ... Read More »

Carl Froch: Into the breach

Carl Froch

By Bart Barry– Saturday at London’s Wembley Stadium British super middleweight titlist Carl “The Cobra” Froch stood before 80,000 of his countrymen, and across from a particularly obstinate one named George Groves, and told them to set aside the ample achievements of a career he casually calls “unbelievable” and judge his legacy on one criterion: How he acquitted himself in ... Read More »

Carl Froch, and the art of unjustifiable self-belief

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By Bart Barry- In a “Gloves Are Off” prefight conversation more entertaining than a highlight reel of every eerily scored “Face Off with Max Kellerman” episode HBO has aired, British super middleweight George Groves, dangling awkwardly in a frame hung by his opponent as a man who makes mysterious predictions profound to him alone, assured Sky Sports host Johnny Nelson ... Read More »

Juan Manuel Marquez: The definition of a prizefighter

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By Bart Barry– Saturday at the newly reopened Forum in Inglewood, Calif., Mexican “Dinamita” Juan Manuel Marquez and Colorado’s “Mile High” Mike Alvarado engaged in a fight entertaining as any that ends with one guy besting the other by wide, unanimous scores, the way Marquez bested Alvarado. It was an engrossing if ultimately inconsequential tilt that approached today’s premium-cable-prizefight definition ... Read More »