By Aaron Hutchins - Friday, January 4, 2013 - 0 Comments
Insulting a boxing icon may stop the Biebes from thrilling in Manila
Justin Bieber’s rise to stardom is in large part thanks to YouTube. In the Philippines, however, Instagram may prove to be his downfall.
A resolution was filed in the country’s congress last month declaring Bieber a “persona non grata,” barring him from entering the country unless he offers a public apology for taking a few jabs at boxing legend Manny Pacquiao on Instagram, a photo-sharing social network program.
The Filipino icon was knocked out in a recent bout, and images spread across the Internet of him lying motionless on the canvas. Bieber posted a photo of the unconscious boxer with a superimposed picture of Simba from The Lion King, with the words “Dad wake up.” A second Instagram posting juxtaposed the picture with Michael Jackson doing his dance move. The caption reads: “Pacquiao doing the lean with MJ. Classic moment.”
Bieber’s boxing allegiances are firmly rooted in the corner of American Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr., who is the pound-for-pound king of boxing and Pacquiao’s rival.
“It doesn’t matter if it is someone as big as Justin Bieber making degrading or insulting comments about a Filipino citizen. Banning him will show how seriously we take our national pride,” said Representative Carol Jayne Lopez. She encouraged Filipino youth to stop listening to Bieber’s music. There was the Twitter hashtag “#banjustinbieber.”
Bieber responded on Instagram: “If they were beliebers I know they wouldn’t leave my side over [a] boxing opinion.”
By Jonathon Gatehouse - Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 11:25 AM - 0 Comments
He’s the most popular politician in Canada—and not just because of his last name
Justin Trudeau lets the question hang in the air for long seconds before he exhales heavily and begins to answer. It can’t have taken him by surprise, but it’s not the sort of thing one wants to appear to be too cavalier, or God forbid, eager about. Why does he want to be prime minister?
The words are slow and deliberate at first, then gradually pick up steam. He touches on the deaths of his youngest brother and his father, more than a decade ago, and how the public outpourings of sympathy reinforced his already unique relationship with Canadians. He speaks of his own children, Xavier, 5, and Ella, 3, and his conflicting desires to spend more time with them, yet enhance their future. There’s a nod to the last few months of deliberation and doubt. He’s forthright enough to admit that the timing isn’t ideal—in a perfect world he’d have more Parliamentary experience, maybe even a stint in cabinet under his belt. But the opportunity to become leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, and thereby start auditioning for an even bigger job, is presenting itself now. And for better or for worse, he feels like it’s his destiny.
“Can I actually make a difference? Can I get people to believe in politics once again? Can I get people to accept more complex answers to complex questions? I know I can. I know that’s what I do very well. Why am I doing this? Because I can, not because I want to. Because I must.” His voice drops to a whisper on the final word. The bells at the church across the road from the café where we’re sitting in his Montreal riding are tolling the noon hour. It’s all gotten a bit dramatic. He catches himself and laughs. “I wish there was a simple, easy answer, but there’s a lot of factors. I guess it comes down to that I love this country, and I think I can do better than what we are currently getting from our politicians.”
By Jonathon Gatehouse - Thursday, August 9, 2012 at 1:14 PM - 0 Comments
Shops and offices closed all over her native country so that people could watch her box for gold
It might have been London, but it wasn’t a home crowd. Even when Great Britain’s Nicola Adams made history, winning the 51kg gold and becoming the first Olympic women’s boxing champion—the host nation’s 24th gold of the Games—the cheering was simply loud.
Nothing compared to the welcome that awaited the evening’s main attraction, a red-headed 26-year-old from the town of Bray, south of Dublin. When Katie Taylor strutted on to the floor of the Excel Centre, Thursday, the stands shook, and the full-throated roar went from freight train to jet plane to rocket, then beyond. Seeking to become Ireland’s first gold medalist since the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games, the four-time world lightweight champion has gone from relative unknown to omnipresent superstar in her native land over the course of the week. All over the country offices and shops closed early so that people could watch her final bout against Russia’s Sofya Ochigava. And even if the Brits have been having a tough time getting tickets to Olympic events, somehow the Irish fans didn’t for this one. The arena was one big sea of green shirts waving the green, white and orange tri-colour.
They chanted her name, and clapped four times, football style. They stamped their feet. And they sang “Olé, Olé, Olé” with even more conviction than Habs fans. (Probably with good reason—Taylor has better defense.)
The fight was closer than they wished. After winning the first round 2-1, Taylor lost the second 4-3. The judgement was fair, but the boos rained down nonetheless.
In the third, the 5-foot-5 boxer landed a solid right cross to Ochigava’s chin, and for a moment it seemed as if the Russian might go down. When the bell rang they scored it 4-1 for Taylor, giving her a 7-5 lead.
In the fourth and final round Taylor almost sent herself to the mat, stumbling over her opponent’s leg after throwing a wild haymaker. There was lots of clinching and not many punches, but it didn’t dampen the crowd’s enthusiasm. Still, they held their breath waiting for the final decision. It took a good long while before the ring announcer finally confirmed their most fervent wishes. Taylor had won 10-8.
Pandemonium is the only word for what followed. Men cried. Women screamed. Everyone kissed. Taylor sank to her knees on the canvas, clenching her gloves to her head, then bounced back up to hug her father, Peter, a former boxer himself, and now her trainer. An Irish flag appeared from the stands and she wrapped it around her shoulders for the shortest of victory laps inside the ropes.
She was Olympic champion.
By Emma Teitel - Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 3:41 PM - 0 Comments
It’s been almost a month since Trudeau beat Brazeau, Trudeau cut Brazeau’s hair, and Brazeau donned the Liberal Party sweater of shame in Parliament the next day. But who’s next? Surely this isn’t the end of high profile political scraps. At least, it shouldn’t be. Listed below are 4 potential parliamentary boxing matchups.
Who would you pay to see? Scroll to the bottom to cast your vote!
Thrilla on the Hilla II: Marc Garneau VS. Peter MacKay
Thrilla on the Hilla III: Alison Redford VS. Danielle Smith
It’s a far cry from Girlfight but we’ll take it. These two are neck and neck in the Alberta election polls right now and raring to go (some say Smith’s Wildrose party is going to terminate the Tories’ 41-year reign of Alberta). Or as Smith recently said about Redford: “She is the kind of leader who will say anything to get elected and then when she is elected it’s not worth the paper it’s written on”. Them’s fightin’ words, Danielle.
Thrilla on the Hilla IV: Thomas Mulcair VS. Bob Rae
Mulcair thinks Rae’s scared of newborn boxing aficionado and grown man Justin Trudeau, and Rae thinks Mulcair is a mean-spirited “mini-Harper”. Why not make the opposition really official, and have them duke it out in the ring? At least then Mulcair’s gun show promos won’t seem so creepy.
Thrilla on the Hilla V: Stephen Harper VS. This Girl
No one really knows what happened to Brigette DePape—the Harper hating senate page turned lefty superstar, who lost her job last year after staging a one woman protest during the Conservatives’ Throne Speech. If she’s still alive (some say she has been eaten by Michael Moore) I do hope she makes a reappearance on Parliament Hill and challenges the PM to a formal duel. After all, the system is won from within.
By John Geddes - Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 11:29 AM - 0 Comments
Many years ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Morley Callaghan. After I asked him about the famous account in his memoir That Summer in Paris of the day he boxed Ernest Hemingway, with F. Scott Fitzgerald as referee, Callaghan said he thought boxing was pretty much drained of juice as far as storytelling went. “The up-and-coming pug, the washed-up pug,” the old literary pro told me wearily. “They’ve all been done.”
With the greatest of respect to Callaghan’s memory, not quite. How about this outline for novelty? The son of a prime minister agrees to fight a senator. The kid’s not so brawny, but this senator is a beefy aboriginal guy. The kid grew up in comfort, but the senator has a kind of hard-knocks aura about him. Many figure that given the kid’s pampered upbringing and penchant for publicity, it wouldn’t be so bad to see him beat up a bit. But then this senator yaps crudely about how much he wants to hurt his opponent, and you can feel the sentiment begin to shift.
By Aaron Wherry - Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 11:21 PM - 0 Comments
In tonight’s weirdly anticipated charity boxing match, Justin Trudeau defeated Patrick Brazeau by technical knockout in the third round.
Mr. Brazeau came out fast and landed several shots to Mr. Trudeau’s head in the early going, but Mr. Trudeau took over in the second round, out-boxing a seemingly tired Mr. Brazeau. Mr. Brazeau took a standing eight count in the second round and then again in the third round as Mr. Trudeau controlled the fight with a steady jab. The referee stepped in a third time, waving the fight off, with Mr. Trudeau landing a flurry of blows and blood dripping from Mr. Brazeau’s nose.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 9:47 AM - 0 Comments
During QP yesterday, Justin Trudeau wanted to talk about funding for Katimavik. Heritage Minister James Moore wanted to talk about Saturday night’s charity fight between Mr. Trudeau and Senator Patrick Brazeau.
Mr. Speaker, we have a strong record in supporting kids and that will continue. My colleague will have to wait for the budget tomorrow, but I know that he is very anxious to please Canadians. I think the best way for him to please Canadians would be on Saturday night when he gets into the ring, if he keeps his hands nice and low and keeps his chin nice and high, he will be giving Canadians the greatest show we have been waiting for.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 12:07 AM - 0 Comments
Photos from the charity boxing match pre-party
Liberal MP Justin Trudeau and Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau held a weigh-in at the Aulde Dubliner & Pour House before their big charity boxing match on Saturday in Ottawa. Fight for the Cure 2012 is an annual fundraising initiative for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. Since training for the event Trudeau has put on 20 pounds. His shirt collars are now too tight and he can’t do up the top bottom. Brazeau says his weight has pretty much remained the same. Brazeau, who is 5-feet-10 weighed in at 183 pounds, while Trudeau, who is 6-foot-2, is now 180 pounds. Tory MP Patrick Brown, who was at the bar, said he would also be happy to battle Trudeau so long as it was on ice and they were wearing skates and hockey equipment. Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport), noted this was one sports event where he would not remain neutral and sported a Brazeau T-shirt which said Patrick “Brazzknuckles” Brazeau. The majority in the bar were Brazeau supporters.
By Dan Hill - Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 10:10 AM - 23 Comments
Dan Hill on singing a duet singing a duet with Manny Pacquiao
“Sugar Shane Mosley will be getting a personal rendition of Sometimes When We Touch from Manny on May 7–on his chin and ribs—all night!”—Manny Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach
February 1964—47 years before the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley fight in Vegas on May 7
“Daggum, Liston is going to chomp up that blabbermouth Cassius Clay, and then spit him out like a bad meal,” my dad is howling. Dad, who used to teach boxing in the U.S. Army, is out of his mind with excitement as the transistor radio blasts out the preamble to the Cassius Clay vs. Sonny Liston bout. Ducking and weaving as he shadowboxes with an imaginary opponent, his meaty fists are a blur of left jabs and right uppercuts. Bam! Carried away, he smacks the kitchen wall, the dishes on our kitchen table rattling as forks and spoons tumble to the floor. I’m transfixed.
By Mike D'Amour - Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 12:00 PM - 1 Comment
She’s won world titles and may be the best female fighter around. So why do so few of us know Jeannine Garside?
Few people other than boxing aficionados have heard the name Jeannine Garside, yet the Canadian scrapper may be the best female fighter in the world. She holds four featherweight (57-kg) world titles, and when the Windsor, Ont., fighter finishes her career, she imagines being encircled by belts, like a woman hidden in the centre of a stack of all-season Michelins.
Garside, 32, is an attractive five-foot-five blond with a disarming smile and a granite-hard body chiselled during thousands of hours in the gym. She spars mostly with men and often travels to nearby Detroit to prepare at Kronk Gym, home of legendary trainer Emanuel Steward and celebrated champions such as Thomas Hearns and Leon Spinks. But the fact is, many female fighters put in the same number of hours in the gym, and many hit just as hard as Garside, but they don’t win in the ring. What sets her apart as a champion? “Heart,” says her manager, Wally Petrovic. “Heart,” echoes her trainer Josh Canty. “It’s not something you can coach,” he says. “It comes down to will versus will, and Jeannine’s not afraid to go to war. It brings out the best in her when somebody really tests her.”
Garside, a southpaw, doesn’t disagree. “I feel I win a lot of fights because I hit with such a force that when my opponents feel it, well, I’ve seen in their eyes they’ve given up, they don’t want to be there anymore.” Born on Vancouver Island in Duncan, a forestry town of about 5,000, Garside loved roughhousing as a kid. “I grew up with the neighbourhood boys who would spar in the yard and I wanted to join in,” she says. Boys who chivalrously put an arm behind their backs soon regretted it, and many nursed bloody noses as a result of their gallantry.
By Steve Maich - Tuesday, September 9, 2008 at 10:01 AM - 3 Comments
I know I may be one of only about six people in the entire…
I know I may be one of only about six people in the entire world who still care about boxing, but indulge me for a moment please.
Saturday night I’m watching Juan Diaz and Anthony Katsidis fight for one of the meaningless lightweight titles. Fellow blogger and fight fan Aaron Wherry emailed me that evening to ask if I thought it’d be a good scrap. I thought it would. So I set myself up with a beverage and some snacks and was very, very happy indeed.
Alas, after seven rounds it was clear that Diaz was outclassing him. He was connecting at twice the rate, and generally dismantling Katsidis, feeding him a steady diet of head-snapping jabs and battering combinations. Diaz lacks knockout power, but he throws very accurate punches at a very high rate, and really smothers his opponents. I watched him batter Canadian scrapper Billy Irwin into retirement a few years ago, and I wrote about it here. Anyhoo, I went to bed and set the PVR. I watched the rest of the fight in the morning and was stunned (Stunned!) by veteran judge Glen Hamada scoring the fight for Katsidis. Continue…
By Steve Maich - Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 11:16 AM - 0 Comments
So, I’m not much of a tennis lover (not got my head around that…
So, I’m not much of a tennis lover (not got my head around that silly scoring system) but I’ve got a lot of respect for Justine Henin’s decision to walk away from the game. I hate watching sports stars in decline. I even wrote about this once. Part of what makes great athletes great, is that they understand the importance of their legacy and their legend. The toughest thing of all is knowing when you’re hurting your legacy by continuing to play. Don’t give me all that “love of the game” stuff. when you’re past it, give it up and spare your fans the agony of watching you play into senior citizenship.
Most people I talk to remember Muhammad Ali for the Rumble in the Jungle and the Thrilla’ in Manilla. But not me, I can’t forget about the beating he took from Trevor Berbick, of all people, in his final fight.
Henin’s only 25, and she could probably be a competitive player for years yet. But she never wanted to be “competitive”, she wanted to be a champion. Now, that’s how she’ll be remembered.
Good for her.