Archive for the ‘Boxing’ Category

I’ve moved — let me show you my new neighborhood…

Roddy White, Julio Jones and Matt Ryan are seeking a little redemption. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Roddy White, Julio Jones and Matt Ryan hope to be doing this Sunday. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Roddy White, Julio Jones and Matt Ryan are so excited because the the AJC has a new digital platform!

OK, not really. But we have moved. You can still find my old blogs on this site. But for the new ones, please go to ajc.com/weblogs/jeff-schultz.

Hopefully we can get through this transition period with a minimal number of hiccups. Also, please note that readers commenting on blogs now need to register first. Just go to my latest blog (about the Falcons) for all of the info.

Thanks for reading, Jeff

Continue reading I’ve moved — let me show you my new neighborhood… »

Sandusky scandal is the sports story that really matters

The Jerry Sandusky case is one that no sports fan can afford to ignore. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The Jerry Sandusky case is one that no sports fan can afford to ignore. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

It’s not a typical sports story. It’s uncomfortable. It’s ugly.

Some of the testimony was so repulsive, so evil, that it was difficult for the brain to even process it. This partly explains why the masses often lean toward the candy of the sports world. A college football playoff debate. Cheering or mocking of LeBron James. A baseball pennant race. It’s simple. It’s easy to digest. Real-life drama such as the Jerry Sandusky child-molestation case gets pushed aside, even if it’s potentially one of the more impactful sports stories of our generation.

“I really wish ESPN and other national sports outlets would start covering this more,” Tammy Lerner, co-founder of the Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse (FACSA) said Thursday. “So many stories like Sandusky are coming out. Pedophiles are drawn to places with access to kids, like sports. We’re seeing stories about …

Continue reading Sandusky scandal is the sports story that really matters »

Falcons can lead way to an Atlanta sports grand slam

Green Bay fans invaded the Georgia Dome last month but learned what we found out: Atlanta now has winners.

Green Bay fans invaded the Georgia Dome last month expecting a Packers win but they learned what we had already found out: Atlanta now has winners. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

If this isn’t Shoeless Joe Jackson looking out at some ball field cut into a cornfield and asking, “Is this heaven?” then what is it? Because it’s certainly not Atlanta.

Is it?

The Braves returned to the playoffs in October after four years of personnel miscalculations and an extended viewing of Mike Hampton’s exploding limbs (later to become a Ripley’s exhibit, adjacent to the two-headed goat).

The Hawks appear to be stabilizing under new coach Larry Drew. The presumed-to-be undermanned Thrashers resemble a Swiss Army knife, taking apart the Axis powers with just the corkscrew and the bottle opener.

The Falcons are 12-2, which ties them for the NFL’s best record and makes them two wins better than the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints, who visit here Monday night.

Bobby Cox and the Braves celebrated after clincing a playoff berth.

Bobby Cox and the …

Continue reading Falcons can lead way to an Atlanta sports grand slam »

Sports’ new bizarre tag team: Falcons and Wrestlemania

Yes, that is a long-time NFL executive, Rich McKay, standing between WWE eye-candy "Eve" and "Kelly Kelly."

Yes, that is a long-time NFL executive, Rich McKay, standing between WWE eye-candy "Eve" and "Kelly Kelly."

NFL executives generally are concerned when they walk into a press conference accompanied by possibly artificially enhanced athletes, who might one day embarrass the organization.

Funny. Falcons president Rich McKay didn’t seem to mind Monday  when he was escorted to the dais at a Wrestlemania news conference by “Eve” and “Kelly Kelly,” who appear to share the same dentist and magical female balloon doctor.

“I would like to thank Arthur Blank, who couldn’t be here today,” the Falcons’ president said, standing between the Stepford escorts. “If not for that, I wouldn’t be here.”

How much has sports changed? So much that the once snooty and better-than-everybody-else NFL is now crawling into the same promotional bed with professional wrestling. It’s debatable whether the NFL has dropped down, or the WWE has risen up, or they’ve just met somewhere in the middle — at an …

Continue reading Sports’ new bizarre tag team: Falcons and Wrestlemania »

Herschel: He’s only a (MMA) freshman! (watch the video)

That's Herschel Walker on top and Greg Nagy pleading for help. (Jeffrey M. Boan.)

That's Herschel Walker on top and Greg Nagy pleading for help.

Last week, I blogged about the fact that the difference between Herschel Walker (MMA) at 47 and Evander Holyfield (boxing) at 47 is Walker wasn’t embarrassing himself by still trying to compete in his career sport (football).

Now, I’m starting to wonder if mixed martial arts can be a new career venture for Walker.

Did you see the video of his bout last night against Greg Nagy? Now, I don’t know a lot about MMA, other than this: 1.) Personally, I’d rather not try it. I need to protect these typing fingers; 2) Nagy is not one of the sport’s biggest stars. But how impressive is it that Walker, a novice, just destroyed him? If Walker chose to, he can make a lot of money in MMA and further grow the sport — dropping boxing further into the abyss.

I’ve posted two videos below. One is a short highlight clip, the other is the entire first round. A few things stand out. Walker, outside of still being in incredible shape, …

Continue reading Herschel: He’s only a (MMA) freshman! (watch the video) »

You go, Herschel! (and please do better than Canseco)

So come on -- who doesn't have abs like this at 47?

So come on — who doesn't have abs like this at 47?

Evander Holyfield is 47. He’s still climbing into a ring. He looks like a cartoon.

Herschel Walker is 47. He’s also climbing into a ring. He just looks cool.

It took a little while but I think I finally figured out the difference. Holyfield is still trying to hang on to a boxing career that has long been comatose. Walker left his career long ago. He isn’t running with a football at 47. He’s just looking for an outlet for that same competitive gene that drove him on the field.

You’ve probably heard by now that Walker will be competing in his first MMA event next Saturday in Miami. I have no problem with it whatsoever. He’s long been one of my favorite athletes, and certainly the only one who I’ve ever spoken to during three completely different vocations: 1) football player; 2) Olympic bobsledder; 3) frozen food manufacturer. (That is how you define versatility.)

Some former athletes can’t stand being off stage, and …

Continue reading You go, Herschel! (and please do better than Canseco) »

How many cancellations before Holyfield takes a hint?

Here's Holyfield with another Evander, Mr. Kane, of the Thrashers. Pretty sure Kane will make more money this year. (Jason Getz/AJC)

Here's Holyfield with another Evander, Mr. Kane, of the Thrashers. Pretty sure Kane will make more money this year. (Jason Getz/AJC)

Evander Holyfield turns 47 years old on Oct. 19. That basically means if he was writing three blogs a day, he would almost be just like me — because nobody will pay either one of us to fight.

There are three words associated with every boxing-related event: subject to change. That was reaffirmed Wednesday when it was learned boxing organizers in South Korea could not/would not/decided they should not come up with only $250,000 to cover Holyfield’s purse for a non-title fight Nov. 8.

Holyfield has lost his last two fights. He is 6-7-2 in his last 15 bouts. That basically means he’s still alive for an NHL playoff spot but dead in boxing. He last held a piece of the heavyweight title 10 years ago,  give or take a CAT scan. The pleas for him to retire have been loud and frequent, which is really significant when you consider heavyweight boxing these …

Continue reading How many cancellations before Holyfield takes a hint? »

Countdown: Gundy (quack), Vick (Goose), Holtz (turkey)

The Count's also getting a little pudgy.

The Count doesn't like to argue.

In case you missed it, the annual college football argument season officially kicked off Saturday when the Associated Press released its opening national rankings.

I’ve never quite grasped why the rankings fuel such vitriol between fan bases. But it’s what gives college football part of its “charm,” I suppose, and some of that would be lost if we had an actual playoff system instead of the BCS, which of course is the basis for a whole different argument.

Speaking of which, I’ve dug up video footage of the very first argument between a Georgia and Georgia Tech fan. The accents have changed a bit through the years, but I’m sure you’ll recognize the same themes. Ready, set, argue! And after that, The Count will guide you through this week’s Countdown.

Me? I’ll be in the corner over here, trying to sip a Grey Goose and pineapple juice without anybody noticing.

The first Georgia vs. Georgia Tech argument

10. A little paranoid, big fella?

Oklahoma …

Continue reading Countdown: Gundy (quack), Vick (Goose), Holtz (turkey) »

In death, Forrest finally gets recognition he deserves

Vernon Forrest was celebrated a champion, in and outside of the ring. (Bob Andres/bandres@ajc.com)

Vernon Forrest was celebrated as the champion he was. (Bob Andres/bandres@ajc.com)

Sometimes, we pay attention to the wrong people. A true hero walks down a street in his hometown but nobody recognizes him because he’s not loud or crass, because he hasn’t danced with the stars, because he doesn’t move through life like a human spotlight.

So he’s ignored. Until the day all any of us can do is say goodbye.

Vernon Forrest was buried Monday. A quote from Abraham Lincoln shown during the memorial service perfectly capsulated Forrest and grounded us all: “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that’s important. It’s the life in your years.”

He was 38 and is gone too soon. He was shot during a robbery by delinquents who have no idea what it means to really fight for something.

Forrest grew up in the projects but found his way out. He learned to control his anger, using it as fuel in a boxing ring. He surrounded himself with positive people. He earned a …

Continue reading In death, Forrest finally gets recognition he deserves »

So now Holyfield has money problems in Ethiopia, too?

For now, Holyfield remains safe outside the ring (here recently at the ESPYs).

For now, Evander Holyfield remains safe outside the ring (AP photo).

If you’re wondering what a legitimate heavyweight fight (anywhere) and a relatively obscure exhibition in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, have in common, we just found out: At some point, a guy needs to get paid.

Evander Holyfield was scheduled to receive up to $1 million to fight Sammy Retta this past weekend in Ethiopia, a fundraiser to fight the spread of AIDS in the country. But according to Holyfield’s manager, Ken Sanders, payment never was received. So the event was postponed (if not canceled).

“We were supposed to have the check by early June,” said Sanders, who spent a week with Holyfield in Ethiopia two months ago, setting up the bout. “The guy kept saying, ‘It’s coming, it’s coming. Don’t worry about it.’ But finally, we had to cancel. We weren’t going to do one of those those things, ‘We’ll give you the money when you get here.’”

But there is good news. At least nobody in Ethiopia is trying to foreclose on …

Continue reading So now Holyfield has money problems in Ethiopia, too? »