Point Blank. Floyd Mayweather is Scared to Fight Manny Pacquaio.

Yes, Money Mayweather is undefeated, but he is also uneducated and completely unashamed.  The duality of Mayweather lies in his contradiction.  He is quick to claim that he is the greatest fighter of all time, yet, he has spent the last two years putting up every conceivable road block in regards to fighting Manny Pacquaio (blood tests, fake retirements and the latest, refusing a 50/50 purse split on a title fight.)

As Boxing is a slowly dieing sport, with most of its fans switching over to MMA and other fighting equivalents, a Mayweather v Pacquiao would be the equivalent of the a pugilist Super Bowl.  Simply put, it would be the biggest and most profitable fight the world has ever seen.  The magnitude of which could help to resurrect boxing, at least for the time being.

Nonetheless, Scoop Malinowski, a writer for BoxingInsider.com elaborates on a recent interview Mayweather had with Bob Costas, where he all but said he doesn’t want to fight Manny for fear that he would get beaten unrecognizable.

This is a sad excuse for boxing as a sport and for athletic competition as a whole.  Floyd Mayweather is a great fighter, but will never be regarded as one of the best due to his behavior and unwillingness to fight the best competition.  His legacy will remain tainted until this fight happens.  One of my favorite attributes to fighters like Marvin Hagler, Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard was their hunger and desire to fight and beat any and all contenders.  Too bad Money May doesn’t share those sentiments.

Read the article below.

Mayweather Finally Admits Cowardice: Health Concerns Are Why He Ducked Pacquiao

March 4th, 2012

By Scoop Malinowski

Now the truth has finally been confirmed by Floyd Mayweather himself: He’s afraid of getting pounded on like a punching bag by Manny Pacquiao.

Mayweather admitted this to Bob Costas in an NBC show interview about why he doesn’t want to fight Pacquiao. “I am in the game to win, not just inside the ring, but outside the ring,” stated Mayweather. “My health is more important than anything.”

Costas then countered with, “Are you implying there is something to fear in Manny Pacquiao?”

Floyd: “I don’t fear no one. If you’re insinuating that I’m a scared fighter, why would you want to watch a scared fighter?”

Earlier in the interview, Mayweather mentioned Muhammad Ali’s health. “With or without Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather is okay. Floyd Mayweather fights for Floyd Mayweather. At the end of the day, Floyd Mayweather has to be happy and comfortable…Look at the Ali situation. Fans pushed him to get into fights at the end of his career that he didn’t want to get in…If Ali could trade it all in for his health, he would.”

(Note: Let me correct Floyd. Ali was not forced by fans to get in the ring with Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Ken Norton, Larry Holmes or Trevor Berbick. Money, pride and a fearless belief in his skills were the motivation for Ali to take those fights.)

Floyd also said: “One shot can end your whole career. Boxing is a very deadly sport.”

Costas said Floyd has to fight Pacquiao, to see who is the best, to give the fans what they want and to pump up the sport with a much-needed big, exciting, Super Bowl event: “I come first. Self preservation. I gotta worry about my family. If the fight don’t happen, so be it.”

There you go: “Self preservation.” So the reasons Mayweather gave us for two years of ducking and dodging Pacquiao – drug tests, fake retirements, Manny has to leave Arum and be his own boss, no 50-50 split, he doesn’t need Manny, it’s all Bob Arum’s fault, etc. – were indeed mere smokescreens, bluffs and lies. Cleverly but dishonestly used to cover up the real secret truth – Mayweather fears for his health because he knows Pacquiao would simply beat the hell out of him.

Mayweather knows his skills that pay the bills wouldn’t work against Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather does not have the confidence that his all-time great defensive skills will be able to control and subdue Pacquiao and maintain his unbeaten record and his good health, against the relentless assualts that Manny Pacquiao would unleash on him.

This surprising admission by Mayweather now puts heavy pressure on HBO. The sport of boxing is supposed to be about the best gladiators testing their courage and talents against the best of the best. Now HBO must fully recognize, if they paid attention to what Floyd Mayweather told NBC’s Bob Costas, that Floyd Mayweather is a manufactured fraud, a coward who is unworthy of being marketed and promoted as a premium sports attraction. (Vitali Klitschko said he would rather die than give Dereck Chisora anything.) Mayweather is a pretender who would be better suited for the world of professional wrestling.

It would be counterproductive for the most powerful television network in American boxing to promote and market, with maximum resources, a cowardly fraud who doesn’t care about the sport or it’s fans, only about perserving his own career with safe, low-risk, set up opponents.

“I’m in a great position, a very lucrative position,” Mayweather told Costas, who was pressuring him to accept the 50-50 split with Pacquiao. “I’m NOT giving up the split. I can’t. I can’t afford to.”

Of course he can’t and won’t. Mayweather and his advisor Al Haymon manipulate HBO and the public like subordinates. With HBO’s promotional machine at their beck and call, Mayweather and Haymon think they can keep on going for as long as they wish, making easy money safe “fights” via their stooges at HBO and most of the American media.

Shouldn’t the vast resources of HBO be better served to be used to invest in true, real, fearless champions like the Klitschkos, Bute, Ward, Martinez, Doniare, Rigondeaux, Proksa, Dawson, Bradley, Peterson, etc. in order to retain the credibility and honor of the noble sport? Shouldn’t HBO be expected to deliver to sports fans the best of the best versus the best, not rewarding cowardly frauds who are afraid of getting beaten up to the point of losing their health, while trumpeting them as heroic champions?

Surely, Thomas Hauser will be able to consult HBO to wake up and adhere to this simple basic premise won’t he? Or are the powers that be at HBO so wrapped around the fingers of Haymon and Mayweather that the Mayweather fraud show will go on for another five or ten years?

If HBO continues to knowingly and willingly support a cowardly fraud like Mayweather, how many other outrageous errors in judgement can we expect to see down the road by the powers that be at HBO and what will be the inevitable consequences on our great sport which has so diminished and declined in popularity and credibility over the last 10-15 years?

Don’t forget, Mayweather already told us that he doesn’t love boxing anymore like he used to because “it’s not real anymore.”

With that in mind, can we really expect Mayweather vs. Cotto to be fought at full intensity on May 5, since Mayweather said his “self preservation” is top priority? If Mayweather is, as he says, so concerned about his health, which is “more important than anything”, how do we know for sure he and Cotto won’t make one of those Teddy Atlas silent agreements? Like Floyd told us at Fight hype, “Boxing isn’t real anymore.”

I mean, how much longer can this great deception be allowed to contaminate the sport of boxing?

And you have to wonder if, after this Mayweather revelation to Costas, the powers that be at HBO continue to permit Mayweather’s advisor Al Haymon to use and manipulate the network like his own personal broadcasting service, like he has done for the last five years with Mayweather, Broner, Arreola, Williams, Jacobs, Berto, Mitchell, etc. How many more super fights will be canceled because one fighter and his advisor fear coming out on the loser’s end, which would destroy their “great position” and leverage?

We know now Floyd Mayeather is afraid for his health and well being and that’s why he won’t ever fight Manny Pacquiao. He told this to Bob Costas on national TV. Now the chips must fall where they may.

 

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US Congress passes authoritarian anti-protest law

I found this article on the World Socialist Web Site and it disturbed to the point I felt that I absolutely had to share it.  Our basic civil rights are being taken away from us right before our eyes.  THIS MUST CHANGE!  I URGE YOU ALL TO SHARE THIS MESSAGE AND GET THE WORD OUT TO HELP RESTORE THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION.

US Congress passes authoritarian anti-protest law

By Tom Carter
3 March 2012

Defend democratic rights! Support the Socialist Equality Party election campaign! For more information and to get involved, click here.

A bill passed Monday in the US House of Representatives and Thursday in the Senate would make it a felony—a serious criminal offense punishable by lengthy terms of incarceration—to participate in many forms of protest associated with the Occupy Wall Street protests of last year. Several commentators have dubbed it the “anti-Occupy” law, but its implications are far broader.

The bill—H.R. 347, or the “Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011”—was passed by unanimous consent in the Senate, while only Ron Paul and two other Republicans voted against the bill in the House of Representatives (the bill passed 388-3). Not a single Democratic politician voted against the bill.

The virtually unanimous passage of H.R. 347 starkly exposes the fact that, despite all the posturing, the Democrats and the Republicans stand shoulder to shoulder with the corporate and financial oligarchy, which regarded last year’s popular protests against social inequality with a mixture of fear and hostility.

Among the central provisions of H.R. 347 is a section that would make it a criminal offense to “enter or remain in” an area designated as “restricted.”

The bill defines the areas that qualify as “restricted” in extremely vague and broad terms. Restricted areas can include “a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting” and “a building or grounds so restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance.”

The Secret Service provides bodyguards not just to the US president, but to a broad layer of top figures in the political establishment, including presidential candidates and foreign dignitaries.

Even more sinister is the provision regarding events of “national significance.” What circumstances constitute events of “national significance” is left to the unbridled discretion of the Department of Homeland Security. The occasion for virtually any large protest could be designated by the Department of Homeland Security as an event of “national significance,” making any demonstrations in the vicinity illegal.

For certain, included among such events would be the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, which have been classified as National Special Security Events (NSSE), a category created under the Clinton administration. These conventions have been the occasion for protests that have been subjected to ever increasing police restrictions and repression. Under H.R. 347, future protests at such events could be outright criminalized.

The standard punishment under the new law is a fine and up to one year in prison. If a weapon or serious physical injury is involved, the penalty may be increased to up to ten years.

Also criminalized by the bill is conduct “that impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions” and “obstructs or impedes ingress or egress to or from any restricted building or grounds.” These provisions, even more so than the provisions creating “restricted areas,” threaten to criminalize a broad range of protest activities that were previously perfectly legal.

In order to appreciate the unprecedented sweep of H.R. 347, it is necessary to consider a few examples:

 A wide area around the next G-20 meeting or other global summit could be designated “restricted” by the Secret Service, such that any person who “enters” that area can be subject to a fine and a year in jail under Section 1752(a)(1) (making it a felony to enter any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so).

 Senator Rick Santorum, the ultra-right Republican presidential candidate, enjoys the protection of the Secret Service. Accordingly, a person who shouts “boo!” during a speech by Santorum could be subject to arrest and a year of imprisonment under Section 1752(a)(2) (making it a felony to “engag[e] in disorderly or disruptive conduct in” a restricted area).

 Striking government workers who form a picket line near any event of “national significance” can be locked up under Section 1752(a)(3) (making it a crime to imped[e] ingress or egress to or from any restricted building or grounds).

Under the ancien regime in France, steps were taken to ensure that the “unwashed masses” were kept out of sight whenever a carriage containing an important aristocrat or church official was passing through. Similarly, H.R. 347 creates for the US president and other top officials a protest-free bubble or “no-free-speech zone” that follows them wherever they go, making sure the discontented multitude is kept out of the picture.

The Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act is plainly in violation of the First Amendment to the US Constitution, which was passed in 1791 in the aftermath of the American Revolution. The First Amendment provides: “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech . . . or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” (The arrogance of the Democratic and Republican politicians is staggering—what part of “Congress shall make no law” do they not understand?)

H.R. 347 comes on the heels of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which was signed by President Obama into law on December 31, 2011. The NDAA gives the president the power to order the assassination and incarceration of any person—including a US citizen—anywhere in the world without charge or trial.

The passage of H.R. 347 has been the subject of a virtual blackout in the media. In light of the unprecedented nature of the bill, which would effectively overturn the First Amendment, this blackout cannot be innocent. The media silence therefore represents a conscious effort to keep the American population in the dark as to the government’s efforts to eviscerate the Bill of Rights.

The bill would vastly expand a previous law making it misdemeanor to trespass on the grounds of the White House. An earlier version of the bill would have made it a felony just to “conspire” to engage in any of the conduct described above. The bill now awaits President Obama’s signature before it becomes the law of the land.

What lies behind the unprecedented attack underway on the US Constitution and Bill of Rights is a growing understanding in the ruling class that the protests that took place around the world against social inequality in 2011 will inevitably re-emerge in more and more powerful forms in 2012 and beyond, as austerity measures and the crashing economy make the conditions of life more and more impossible for the working class. The virtually unanimous support in Congress H.R. 347, among Democrats as well as Republicans, reflects overriding sentiment within the ruling establishment for scrapping all existing democratic rights in favor of dictatorial methods of rule.

This sentiment was most directly expressed this week by Wyoming Republican legislator David Miller, who recently introduced a bill into the state legislature that would give the state the power, in an “emergency,” to create its own standing army through conscription, print its own currency, acquire military aircraft, suspend the legislature, and establish martial law. “Things happen quickly sometimes—look at Libya, look at Egypt, look at those situations,” Miller told the Star-Tribune in Casper, Wyoming. Repeating arguments employed by every military dictatorship over the past century, Miller declared, “We wouldn’t have time to meet as a Legislature or even in special session to do anything to respond.” Miller’s so-called “doomsday law” was defeated in the Wyoming legislature Tuesday by the narrow margin of 30-27.

Leblog James’ 2011-2012 Mid-Season Awards.

With the lockout-shortened NBA season officially at its halfway point, here are my picks for the league’s top NBA performers.

 

Most Improved Player:  Jeremy Lin.  Linsanity has been the second best story in sports this year and I only say that because I’m a New York Giants fan.   Yes, Lin’s sample size is relatively small, but both he and the Knicks were starting from scratch.   As a completely unknown player, with no Melo or Amar’e, Lin put an entire franchise on his back and put up All-Star numbers in their absences.   Lin has taken a team that was once 8-15 and has them talking about making the playoffs again.

Honorable Mention: Andrew Bynum.

Defensive Player of the Year: Dwight Howard.  When D-12’s career is over, his defensive capabilities will be compared to Olajuwon and other great defensive big men.  Amidst all the trade rumors and distractions, Howard has still put in the dirty work that has distinguished him as the best center in the association.  The Magic are in the top 10 in field goal percentage allowed (43.2 %,) his blocks are down but he still swats 2.12 shots a game (5th in the NBA,) while leading the league in rebounding (15.3 – a career high.)

Honorable Mention: Andre Igudoala.

 

Coach of the Year: Gregg Poppovich.   Manu Ginobili goes down with an injury and Poppovich still has the Spurs as the #2 team in the Western Conference.   Tim Duncan is a shadow of the player he once was, yet Popps continues to win with players like Danny Green and Gary Neal playing significant minute.   The Spurs have seen resurgence due to a new talented, young, core with players like Kawhi Leonard, Thiago Splitter and Dejaun Blair, as well as Tony Parker spearheading the attack and playing like an MVP candidate. Gregg Poppovich is the best coach in the NBA and is proving it once again this year.

Honorable Mention: Doug Collins

 

Sixth Man Award: James Harden.   Fear the beard.  With perennial All-Stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant at the helm, Harden is still putting All-Star like numbers while leading an Oklahoma City bench that’s without Eric Maynor.  OKC is the best team in the Western Conference and the bench is thriving due to Harden’s ability to distribute, score and to get to the foul line.  Harden could and would start for the majority of teams in the NBA, but the bench role seems to fit him perfectly.

Honorable Mention:  Lou Williams.

Rookie of the Year: Kyrie Irving.   Proving to be the class of the 2012 draft, Kyrie Irving is playing like a seasoned vet and future all-star.  He’s a complete point guard, who can shoot, penetrate/create, pass and defend.  His combination of efficient shooting (48.5 %,) scoring (18.3 ppg) and passing has given Cleveland hope in the post-Lebron era.   The Cavs are currently 13-19 on the year and are poised to have more wins than they had all of last year (19) in a shortened season – a lot of that can be attributed to Irving.  Cleveland has found their floor general and with a few more pieces added, could be poised for another playoff run.

Honorable Mention: Ricky Rubio.

Most Valuable Player:  Lebron James.  Lebron is the best player on the league’s best team.   There is only so much he can do in the regular season to silence his critics, but what  he’s done so far is nothing short of amazing.  Despite being criticized unlike anyone in sports, he is having a career year.   While posting incredibly gaudy numbers – 27.4 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 6.8 apg, 54.8 % fgp and 39.3% 3pfg, he is the anchor of a defense that reminds me of the Chicago Bulls in the late 90’s.  Additionally, he had people questioning whether or not Dwayne Wade was necessary during the Heat’s 8-1 stretch with him out.  Anything less than a MVP and a NBA title for Lebron and the Heat will be a huge disappointment.

Honorable Mention: Kevin Durant.

Jeremy Evans in the Dunk Contest.

Much to my delight and due to Knicks rookie Iman Shumpert dropping out, the world will finally be introduced to Utah Jazz second year man Jeremy Evans.  As a die-hard Utah Jazz fan, I have seen the brilliance of Evans (although in insultingly small doses) over the past two seasons.  Dare I say that Jeremy Evans has as much bounce as any player in the league (yes that includes Lebron and Blake Griffin.)  He is an absolute athletic freak!  Jeremy’s field goal percentage is off the charts because all the kid does is DUNK – Whether it be on a lob, a break, drive through the lane or straight over the defender, he elevates and detonates on a regular basis.

I doubt that Evans will actually win the dunk competition, because over the years it has increasingly become a popularity contest.  However, mark my words; the world will know who Jeremy Evans is by the end of the night.  I know it’s wishful thinking, but I hope that Jeremy Evan’s new found popularity will transfer into more minutes on the floor.   I’m really hoping that he is creative, but that is what it’s going to take for him to be successful.   Otherwise, I see him getting the same treatment Demar Derozan received a year ago.

Hats off to both Matt Harpring and Utah Jazz nation, as they’re pleading is a huge reason as to why he is competing.  The #letjeremydunk campaign on Facebook and Twitter definitely paid off.   My money is still on Paul George though.

On a side note, shout out to both Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors for their respective performance in the Rising Stars game last night.  Both had great outings and represented the Jazz well.  The future is bright with both of those kids.  Also, the Jazz were snubbed in the All-Star Game, both Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson were eligible candidates and one of them should have been lacing up to play on Sunday.

Here’s a Jeremy Evans mix that should give you all a preview of what to expect tonight.  I do apologize for the corny editing and sound.

Here’s a mix of Jeremy at the Impact Summer league during the NBA lockout.  Check out some of these put backs!  This kid is a monster!

New Music: Dean Risko Trouble EP + Video

I met Dean Risko a few years ago through some mutual friends and became instantly impressed by him as a person.  He’s intelligent, quick-witted and genuinely one of the nicest guys I have ever come in contact with.   The Johannesburg, South Africa born, Salt Lake City, Utah raised and now Echo Park, Los Angeles residing has released his “Trouble” EP.  Throughout the three songs, Dean weaves together soulful, quasi electro-pop melodies with clever and on point lyricism.  The result is like Motown Records being involved in a head on crash with Def Jam.

One thing that has always resonated with me about Dean is his undeniable hunger for the masses to hear and enjoy his music.   His talent resides in his balance.  Dean is able to stabilize the sing-songy flow without making it sound corny (I’m looking at you Flo-rida, Nelly and Drake) while staying on topic and remaining captivating.

If I had to compare Dean to other artists, it would be a blend of Andre 3000 (circa The Love Below), Justin Timberlake and Mike Posner (only with a better persona and emcee skills).  Plus, he has fantastic taste in production which only helps to elevate his music (the whole EP has a jazzy, electro bounce feel to it)- making it that much more commercially viable.

The first two songs off the Trouble EP were produced by Wesley Thompson (twitter.com/wesismore), another good friend of mine, and a production genius in the making.  I was talking to Wes the other day at a Wale show and he was explaining to me how they spent the better part of a year perfecting this project.  This type of meticulous dedication and hard work has certainly paid off.

Dean’s best attribute is that he has found his own style and voice – an accomplishment 99% of musicians never achieve.  His songwriting is top notch and he has the “it” factor in regards to being able to create a hit song.  Trouble is filled with stories of love, heartbreak, and the roller coaster that is relationships and the chase of that desired woman.  With his aforementioned hunger to succeed and an incredible EP under his belt, it’s only a matter of time until Dean Risko makes that happen.

I’m proud to be able to call Dean my friend; few things make me happier than seeing my friends succeed.

Here is the video for Dean’s lead single “Trouble.”

You can download the Trouble EP at http://deanrisko.bandcamp.com/

Follow Dean Risko on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/#!/DeanRisko

Dean Risko on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/DeanRisko

The Airplane Theory – Help Yourself, First.

A few years ago, I went through a complete life remodeling.  I was in the middle of a divorce with my wife and throughout the breakup, had lost the majority of my possessions.  I was in my last semester of college and was working for the family business while desperately looking for employment in my line of study.   Due to the economy being in the toilet and my lack of experience, I wasn’t having any success.  My emotions were running the gamut from fear and anxiety to depression and self-loathing.   I wasn’t sleeping more than a few hours a night and was becoming increasingly less healthy.  I couldn’t focus on any particular thing and was constantly feeling overwhelmed due to the myriad of emotions and trials I was facing.  I was stuck and had nothing in regards to an exit strategy.

This was of course, until I met my best friend (who has been my girlfriend of over two years), and she shared with me a premise that changed my life.  We call it “The Airplane Theory.”

Now, most of us have been on an airplane.  Before the flight takes off, there is usually a short instructional movie or a presentation given by the flight attendants that explains basic airplane protocol, acceptable behavior and what to do in the event of an emergency.  One of the topics covered in the presentation is what to do if there is a change in cabin pressure – an oxygen mask will drop from the overhead panel.   It is always encouraged to make sure to secure your own mask before trying to help anyone else with there’s.  This same practice is applicable in life.

As a human being it is nearly impossible to help others when your own life is in disorder.  If this is the case, it is imperative to take the necessary time to get yourself healthy and well.  This is not a selfish act; in fact, it’s the best thing that you can do for yourself.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with allowing yourself to become stable once again.  A problem in our society these days is that we spread ourselves too thin and don’t allow for the necessary time to completely recover.  It is important to love and care for yourself and to remember that regardless of everything else, you have to put yourself first.

Coachella 2012.

Last year was my first Coachella experience, and needless to say, it was mind blowing.  Regardless of the heat, being able to immerse myself with friends and that much musical talent was incredible.  The result were some of the best memories of my adult life.  Since I left the Polo Grounds in Indio, California last year, I have been anxiously wanting to go back.

 

A few days ago the 2012 Coachella lineup was announced, there are a lot of bands I have never heard of, but one of the great things about this festival is being able to discover new music.  I’m excited to be able to find out who these bands are, and if there are any suggestions any of you have in regards to bands I should check out that are on the bill, I’d love to hear them.

Bands/emcees/dj’s I’m excited to see: The Black Keys (I saw them last year and was disappointed.  Here’s hoping they put on a better show), Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, LA Riots, R3hab, Afrojack, Swedish House Mafia, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, A$AP Rocky, Santigold, Manchester Orchestra, Miike Snow, Bon Iver, Radiohead, Company Flow, araabMUZIK, DJ Shadow, The Hives, Calvin Harris, Florence and the Machine, At the Drive In, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg (I’ve seen both years ago at the Up in Smoke Tour, but this will be epic.  Hopefully this will be some sort of prequel to an actual Detox album).

The festival is full of surprises, and with this kind of bill, I’m anticipating a few.

There are a few surprises in regards to people I thought would be on the bill – The Beastie Boys, MIA, Danny Brown, Kid Cudi, Lana Del Ray, Bloc Party, Jay-Z and Kanye (especially with both emcees headlining the festival the last two years), Sleigh Bells, The Killers, Chromeo, Ratatat, Tyler the Creator, Skylar Grey, Major Lazer, Little Dragon, Slaughterhouse and Queens of the Stone Age.

Here’s hoping for another mind blowing experience.