9:30 PM, May 6, 2015 • By LEE SMITH
A few days after the Floyd Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao fight, the reviews are still coming in, and most are negative. Perhaps the harshest assessment is a class action suit filed against Pacquiao by boxing fans who are angry that the Filipino southpaw fought with an injured right shoulder and now want their money back. The Las Vegas Gaming Commission is also displeased, and is contemplating disciplinary action against Manny.
The consensus then is that the long-awaited contest between two welterweight champions was anything but the fight of the century. There’s some truth to that. Aside from a brief flurry in the fourth round that pushed Mayweather against the ropes, Pacquiao barely resembled the fighter famous for throwing punches from all sorts of odd angles to exploit the power in both his hands. Sure, Mayweather won, but it was by running away from Pacquiao rather than standing toe-to-toe and dishing it out. Ok, it wasn’t the kind of fight that most boxing fans like to see, but that hardly means it wasn’t special.
I once took a date to the Bronx to see the Yankees play the Red Sox. The ballpark that July 4 was electric for the last several innings because Dave Righetti was on his way to pitching a no-hitter. Later when I told my father about the game, he shook his head in sympathy for my date—“that poor girl must have been bored to tears,” he said. He was right, of course. Unless you knew what you were looking at, Righetti’s mastery of his opponents, it was tedious to watch a game where, without any runs or hits for one team, it seemed nothing was happening. In effect, that’s what Mayweather did to Pacquiao: He threw a no-hitter, and against an exceptional opponent. Many of the fight’s many millions of viewers thought it was boring because they don’t quite understand what they watched.
The reaction to the fight suggests that many boxing fans believe the sport pits two guys in the middle of the ring to beat each other to a bloody pulp. There are plenty of fighters who do that, like Brandon Rios, but to say that kind of fight is crowd-pleasing glosses over the fact that often what makes mobs happy is simply gratuitous violence and bloodshed. The big knock against Mayweather is that he doesn’t like to get hit, but this is in fact the point of boxing—to hit your opponent and not get hit. Still, it’s worth remembering that over the course of his nearly 20-year professional career Mayweather has traded punches with a number of big hitters.
In 2005, Mayweather fought Arturo Gatti, two years after the last of Gatti’s three epic bouts with Mickey Ward. To be sure, you can argue that Mayweather went up against a man still recovering from at least three wars, but he pummeled a fighter famous for his grit and stopped him in the sixth round. In 2007, Mayweather took on another brawler, Ricky Hatton, “The Hitman,” and in the 10th knocked him down with a check hook as the Brit bull-rushed him. In 2010, Shane Mosley buckled Mayweather’s knees with two big rights early on, but Floyd survived. What matters to Mayweather even more than money is winning, without which he doesn’t earn. He wins whatever way he can.
Boxers often fool themselves into slugging it out with brawlers to prove something to their critics and maybe themselves, like Sugar Ray Leonard did in his first fight with Roberto Duran. Mayweather wasn’t tempted to swap blows with Pacquiao, and he didn’t have to—he boxed. The thing about technical skill and defense is that if they can help a fighter avoid big wars, the athlete escapes the kind of physical damage and mental anguish that slow recovery time and sap his confidence. In other words, if you don’t get hit, you can fight more, which is experience that translates into getting hit even less. Saturday’s fight shows that at the age of 38, Mayweather is still improving as a boxer. But it wasn’t just Mayweather’s defense that shut down Pacquiao.
'I want to go home.'11:09 AM, Dec 15, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The top Democrat in the Senate, Harry Reid, admitted today that he hasn't slept at home since May. The admission comes the same week Reid is beginning to plot his 2016 reelection.
3:03 PM, Nov 22, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The White House pool report notes President Obama is golfing with Derek Jeter and that the White House condemns today's terror attack in Kenya:
Subject: Travel pool report No 3 - golf partners, statement on Nairobi attack
Golf partners, per WH:
Statement by NSC Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan on the Nairobi-Bound Bus Attack:
9:36 AM, Nov 19, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
John Harwood of CNBC and the New York Times reports that President Obama's executive amnesty order is coming Friday in Las Vegas:
8:04 AM, Jun 24, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Hillary Clinton will be getting $225,000 to speak at a university fundraiser later this year. Students at the same school, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, have recently been outraged that the institution is raising tuition by a staggering 17 percent.
11:23 AM, Dec 23, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Drudge is headlining a report from Fox News foreseeing the demise of Las Vegas and Atlantic City. In other words, the end of civilization as we know it.
2:36 PM, May 1, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Michelle Obama seems to have tried out a new campaign slogan at today's fundraiser in Las Vegas.
11:33 AM, Apr 17, 2012 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
In times past, government "service" was the career choice for people who didn't really believe in fun. Or had never had much practice at it, anyway. The federal bureaucrat, back then, dressed gray and thought in columns of figures. The kind with many, many zeroes. Washington, D.C., in those days, was a dreary town famously described by John F. Kennedy as a place of "Northern charm and Southern efficiency."
Victorino Matus, sybariteJan 2, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 16 • By VICTORINO MATUS
"This is, like, your third eye,” my massage therapist told me as she dripped a mango-based oil onto my forehead, letting it trickle back through my hair, before she worked her fingers firmly over my scalp. The lights were dimmed and a sensual native beat was emanating softly from the speakers. My hands and feet, meanwhile, were lathered in warm coconut milk and wrapped in towels bearing hot stones.
A Las Vegas proposal. 4:15 PM, Jun 30, 2011 • By AARON MACLEAN
I recently returned from my first visit to Las Vegas, and naturally I was charmed by the various location-themed resorts: New York, New York; Paris, Las Vegas; The Venetian; and many more, with their outlandish designs and so-tacky-it’s-good approach to décor and entertainment. Yet I couldn’t help but wonder: Why not a hotel devoted to my kind of hometown? After all, if travelers enjoy the security of lunching at McDonalds in the shadow of the Pyramids or patronizing the Hard Rock Café in Beirut, surely they’ll enjoy my proposal: the Suburban.
Last words of an Everywoman.10:45 AM, Jul 14, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
Sadly, it is too late for any of us to meet Charlotte McCourt. The Nevada grandmother passed away this week at the age of 84 after a long illness. But it is not too late for Charlotte to tell everyone exactly how she feels.
An excerpt from her obituary, placed in the Las Vegas Review Journal Tuesday, reads:
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