Cinco de Mayweather
The fight of the millennium, De La Hoya v. Mayweather, has now come and gone with the Pretty Boy defeating the Golden Boy via split decision. I watched the fight with about 25 people. There was a pretty even guy/girl split and I would say 90% of the guys were rooting for Mayweather and 90% of the females were pulling for De La Hoya (ostensibly because they thought he was cute or something). That should tell you about how cool De La Hoya is.
I thought it was a great technical fight, but not the type of war that could vaulted boxing back onto the mainstream sports radar. Mayweather, who had a decisive speed advantage, fought a smart and scientific fight, picking his spots to snap his jab and waiting for a De La Hoya to open himself up to counterpunches. De La Hoya realized this and tried to be the aggressor, unleashing several flurries, which were mostly sizzle than steak. Those flurries were enough to steal a few rounds and one judge even gave the fight to De La Hoya (I swear that same judge gave Soda Popinksi the decision over me sometime in 1990 despite having knocked Soda Pop down five times in the match). In the end though, Mayweather was simply too fast, too accurate, and too efficient for De La Hoya, who tried his best but could not find a formula for success.
The problem with the fight was that there was never an instance where either fighter was ever in trouble. There was never that moment when either fighter connected on a punch or combination that made the crowd go "OOHHH." There was never blood in the water. The casual viewer would have been more satisfied had the fight been like Hagler-Hearns- much shorter in duration, but with much more action. While the hype going into the fight was monumental, the post fight buzz has been significantly muted. Maybe boxing would be better served by trotting Gatti-Ward out to fight 15 bare knuckled rounds every month.
The big winner in all of this? Floyd Mayweather Sr.'s hair. Word is that Jerry Rice's hair is extremely jealous.
When Life Hands You Clemens...
You get Clemens's aid. Tremont covered this already so I'll be brief. Clemens to the Yanks is not much of a surprise. They had a substantial need for a pitcher and the deep pockets to outbid all suitors. Plus Andy Petitte offered up the use of the his futon, so the Sox and Astros never had a chance. Non-sequitor alert: How does every one get on Bonds for steroids, but Clemens gets a free pass? Like Bonds, Clemens has put on substantial bulk throughout his career and has had unprecedented production at the four decade mark. Also like Bonds, Clemens is a jerk, so I don't know why he gets such a free pass from the media.
In a match up of two young guns, Phillies lefty Cole Hamels "outdueled" Giants phenom Tim Lincecum yesterday. Lincecum gave up 4ER over 4 1/3 innings, but did strike out five Phils including three in the first inning. Lincecum flashed the plus fastball that made him nearly unhittable in the minor leagues as well as a pretty nasty curve. I'm sure that nerves played a significant role in Lincecum's wildness (5 BB) and his control should improve in his next start. His stuff is for real though.
Cry, Cry Again
It was a great weekend for the Rocket, but a disappointing one for the Rockets, as they fell to the Jazz 103-99 in Game 7. Once again Tracy McGrady could not advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs and apparently took it really really hard...did he just watch Field of Dreams or something?. You can't blame him though. The guy flat out balled in Game 7, putting up a gaudy stat line of 29 pts, 13 assists, 5 rebs, and 3 blocks. I hope he doesn't get labeled as a loser because he has always put up excellent playoff statistics, but it might be inevitable knowing the reactionary nature of the sports media.
In other Rockets news, Jeff Van Gundy did what he does best...walk away from a team. This marks the second occasion Van Gundy has stepped away from his duties as a NBA head coach (see: the "basketball team" that is the NY Knicks). I will cut Van Gundy some slack however, if he needed to have emergency hair plug surgery and would not be able to keep up with his responsibilities in the mean time.