Originally written on The Queensbury Rules  |  Last updated 12/19/14
Thrown fights in boxing in the past decade or so have been hard to prove; many things that might look thrown can't be certified as such, and often we get just wisps of evidence or allegations from one source who is not as credible as we'd like. That one above from last year, via Ryan Bivins? It don't pass the eyeball test, not even a little. In this edition of Quick Jabs, we'll talk more of the thrown fight ilk twice more below. We'll also talk the other subject in the headline; the magical powers of Al Haymon; things HBO is doing or should be; and a few items besides. Quick Jabs Turns out the FBI thought Muhammad Ali-Sonny Liston ONE was thrown. Not TWO, which many people think was. This would be an awfully big deal, since the first Cassius Clay-Liston bout is one of the most iconic moments in sports history. On one level, Liston's mob connections have always been a cause for reasonable doubt. On another level, the FBI had all kinds of cockamamie ideas in those years, and since Ali was moments away from out and out quitting the fight due to being blinded from some agent that was apparently on Liston's gloves, and while there's no evidence Ali was "in on it," it makes you wonder why anyone would go to the trouble of cheating in the opposite direction if it was all predetermined on Liston's end. I'm more willing to debate that the rematch was thrown than the original, although I lean "no" on that one, too. Until something more definitive comes along, I'll believe that Ali flustered Liston and outboxed him so severely that Liston, a bully, didn't want any more... Next comes an allegation about the trainer-manager of Peter McNeeley betting $1 million that he wouldn't last 90 seconds against Mike Tyson. The allegation comes from another boxing manager, Charles Farrell. Farrell represented some real names, among them Leon Spinks and Mitch "Blood" Green, so he's not a full nobody. He also has talked about his willingness to fix fights in the past. He is not someone whose proclamations on this matter we can, by my eye, completely dismiss. But it's worth noting that in the case of Tyson-McNeeley, his allegation amounts to hearsay. And that the 89 seconds in which it was stopped was cutting it awfully close. And McNeeley didn't go nuts toward his corner over the stoppage. It's also not clear to me why we're only hearing about this now. It's enough, however, to make you, at minimum, wonder, especially since the stoppage by McNeeley's corner, even by the standards of recent raised awareness, was early... From allegedly fixed fights to allegedly fixed polls: Floyd Mayweather and his adviser Leonard Ellerbe have explained why they ignored the results of the poll on Mayweather's site that had the public voting for him to face Amir Khan in his May welterweight Showtime pay-per-view over Marcos Maidana. Ya see, all the other results pointed to Maidana as the people's pick. Good explanation, right? Doesn't exactly explain why the Mayweather website poll was the one that was out of line with all the others, though, does it? The poll that Mayweather controlled was the one that had Khan winning. You do the math... Antonio Tarver is the latest ex-great to fall on hard times, what with him getting the mugshot 'n' TMZ treatment thanks to an arrest over a gambling debt., Reportedly, it's not the only gambling debt he has, and that's why he's still boxing. Guess who helpd him get out of jail? Adviser Al Haymon, whose magical boxing powers are legend... So maybe light heavyweight Chad Dawson and welterweight Luis Collazo are hoping to benefit from the mystical voodoo of Haymon, since they've signed with him. Might as well. Dawson needs all the help he can get to reestablish himself, while Collazo has done himself some favors in that regard with the win over Victor Ortiz and surely it can't hurt to get a little extra push. Collazo is talking about wanting Khan, a reasonable fight for both men at this point assuming the more attractive Khan-Adrien Broner fight can't be made for the Mayweather-Maidana undercard... Speaking of "push": Another ex-great, Pernell Whitaker, recently won a court battle with his elderly mother to force her out of the house he bought her. You want to try and give people the benefit of the doubt when you like or admire them, and when the court rules in favor of that person you're inclined to think there might be some validity to the argument, but when Whitaker's reaction to dumping his mom on the street is that the court victory was a "beautiful moment," you no longer want to give them that honor... HBO is going to air Carl Froch-George Groves II in May. Good. One presumes the British super middleweight wasn't too expensive a purchase, which ought to make it so any lower rating is forgivable. The American fans who saw the first one will appreciate it, and the winner will be ripe for champion Andre Ward. Also in HBO "why not air it even though the ratings would be low" suggestions, HBO's Harold Lederman recently suggested the network should air a bout with flyweight Roman Gonzalez. I totally agree. I know the little guys don't do big ratings, but they also come pretty cheap, and anyone who saw Gonzalez would enjoy what they witnessed, right?... Super middleweight/omniweight Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. did nearly 1.4 million viewers for his HBO rematch with Bryan Vera, a very good figure that will probably hold up as one of the better of 2014, especially with Canelo Alvarez and Miguel Cotto and even Chavez's next fight along with some other big names all set for pay-per-view this year. Congrats to you, Chavez, for having the last name you were born with!... From the same broadcast, featherweight Vasyl Lomachenko has done some reflection on his loss to Orlando Salido and is pointing the finger squarely at himself. I like it. It's true that Salido's weight advantage and his low blows had an impact on the outcome of the fight, but it's also true that Lomachenko was, as he said, too conservative with his offense in the bout. This kind of accurate self-critique can only help him going forward, and bucks the notion that he's too arrogant to win a big one soon. His promoter, Bob Arum, is talking about matching him with Evgeny Gradovich soon. As much as I admire Lomachenko's ambition, this strikes me as a bad move. Gradovich is very much like a younger Salido, a bruising, awkward guy who beats you up. Don't do it, Vasyl, at least not for another year or so... The fathers of Floyd Mayweather (Floyd Sr.) and Robert Guerrero (Ruben) say they're going to have a boxing match. It's just pub for their reality show, I'm guessing. Whoever loses, America wins. Hurray for ********.
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