UCN Week in Review – Another Dope, Olympics Tainted & a King Turns 85
This week, super-agency WME-IMG officially took the reigns of the UFC, after purchasing it for a mere $4B, and watched Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz battle for 5 intense, bloody rounds in their first event as ownership. Ari Emanuel, co-CEO of WME-IMG (and the inspiration for Entourage character Ari Gold) was smiling ear-to-ear at the weigh-in and now likely has an epic trilogy on his hands.
Meanwhile, boxing continues to take it on the chin. Al Haymon, who had dreams of re-creating the UFC’s success in the PBC remains in hiding, his product not even the best in boxing. As Steve Kim reports in Sorry, Lucian. There’s no passing the buck here, Lucian Bute, had his B-sample confirmed a positive test for a banned substance stemming from his draw against Badou Jack in April.
Over in Rio, Rian Scalia called out the curious judging (or as he put it “disgusting officiating”) and that was BEFORE Irishman Michael Conlan was robbed by the judges against Vladimir Nikitin, a man he beat so badly that Nikitin was not even able to step into the ring in his semi-final match against American Shakur Stevenson, who got to the gold medal match in a walk over.
— Oliver McParland (@mcparlandart) August 17, 2016
AIBA would send judges home after the most recent Olympic boxing atrocities, but that is little consolation for the Irishman.
Wow this says a lot about AIBA, Sending judges home who ruin dreams, what happens 2 the ppl who’s dream were ruined? https://t.co/n5VnWRzLJa
— Michael Conlan (@mickconlan11) August 17, 2016
The current state of affairs almost makes one yearn for the days of reign of Don King, who turned 85 this week. Happy Birthday, Don King. Here is the week that was at UCN.
Articles of the Week
Nothing from sleep but a dream: Don King at 85 – the best boxing writer on the planet, Carlos Acevedo on “Only in America”.
The brief and curious reign of Jose Becerra – Marty Mulcahey looks back at the short and stout career or Mexican Jose Becerra.
The network ties that don’t bind – Steve Kim reports on Manny Pacquiao’s November return which will not be distributed by longtime partner HBO PPV.
Outside the Ropes: Aug. 18, 2016 – Boxing Don Dinkins on his weekly, colorful round-up of inside and outside of the ring.
Willing spirits and resurrections: “In the Cheap Seats” by Springs Toledo – Sean Nam steps in to review a good summer read, a book of boxing essays.
Videos of the Week
Baca Interviews GGG
Baca Interviews Tom Loeffler
10 Count – HBO vs. Showtime in 2016
Baca Interviews Carlos Cuadras
Baca Interviews Jesus Soto Karass
Fight Photos of the Week