I hope everyone had a great Cinco de Mayo weekend. It certainly was a busy sports weekend, so we have plenty to talk about for this week’s edition of This & That.
I am a boxing guy (though way more of a casual boxing fan than I used to be). Floyd Mayweather scored a unanimous decision over Miguel Cotto to win the WBA 154-pound championship on Saturday night in Las Vegas. Even though the scores were lopsided, the fight was very competitive. Cotto took Mayweather to places he had never been before. He forced Mayweather to stand and trade shots with him. In the end, Mayweather’s speed and the accumulation of punches wound up being the difference (as they normally are).
The question is where Mayweather goes from here. Yes, I know he goes to jail in early June to serve a three-month sentence on a domestic violence charge. However, with good behavior it’s a good bet that he will be out long before those three months are up.
Like everyone else, I’d like to see Mayweather fight Manny Pacquiao. I’d love nothing more than to see the two best fighters pound for pound finally settle their differences in the ring. I doubt, though, that they will fight anytime soon. There is just too much animosity between the two camps standing in the way right now. But there is one fighter (and maybe two) that I wouldn’t mind seeing in there against Mayweather in the absence of a Pacquiao fight.
I would pay good money to see a rematch with Cotto. He didn’t embarrass himself on Saturday night. It wasn’t like Mayweather blew him out. He bloodied Mayweather (which only served to tick him off). He forced Mayweather to abandon his defensive style in order to stand there and trade with him. A rematch would be entertaining.
The other fighter that could find himself in the ring with Mayweather is Timothy Bradley. Most of you probably have never heard of him. The former world champion at 140 pounds is set to fight Pacquiao on June 9th. This may not be a cakewalk for Pacquiao. There has been speculation that Pacquiao has too many distractions outside of boxing (his music, political career and personal issues). Bradley is no joke. He isn’t a big puncher (an understatement), but he is an excellent boxer. He beat the previously undefeated Devon Alexander and did so handily. He can give Pacquiao problems because of his unorthodox style. If he winds up beating Pacquiao he will find himself in position for a big money fight with Mayweather.
Moving on to the NBA Playoffs, the New York Knicks only delayed the inevitable by beating the Miami Heat on Sunday afternoon. Sure, they avoided the sweep, but there is no chance that they will come back and beat Miami in seven games. No NBA team has ever come back from a 3-0 hole in the playoffs to win a series. I doubt this team has it in them to be the first to pull it off. I’d be stunned if they did.
That said, this team showed a lot of heart on Sunday by winning Game Four. I give them credit for that. I give them credit for winning after losing Baron Davis to a dislocated kneecap. But can anyone tell me what the deal was with those streamers that came down after the game went final?
That was bush league. There’s no other way around it. I realize it was their first playoff victory in over a decade, but they are still down 3-1 in the series! Why are you doing that? I could understand if they had won the Eastern Conference. I could understand it if they won the NBA Championship. But I don’t understand what the thinking was behind Sunday’s ‘celebration.’
The Knicks have been a joke for a big part of the last 12 years. Fans outside of New York love to take shots at this team. Doing what they did on Sunday with the streamers just gives the critics even more of a reason to take their shots. Hell, I’m a Knicks fan and I would take my shots as well.
Finally let’s wrap it up with the Saints and the bounty scandal. Yahoo! Sports NFL writer Jason Cole reported that both Gregg Williams and Joe Vitt told ex-Saint Anthony Hargrove (now with the Packers and suspended for eight games) to lie about the program. That isn’t a shock to me. I would have expected nothing less.
My question is whether or not the six-game suspension for Vitt is enough of a punishment. And at the end of the day I say it isn’t. I know Saints fans won’t agree with me. Hear me out. It’s one thing to put the program in place. It’s one thing to maintain the program for years. It’s an entirely different thing when you know you are under investigation by the NFL and instruct one of your players to lie about it.
Williams was suspended indefinitely. Sean Payton got banned for a year. Vitt will be forced to sit for six games. I’m sorry. If he played a part in maintaining the program AND instructed one of his players to lie about it, then a six-game suspension isn’t nearly enough. Not by a long shot.
And a memo to the NFLPA as we wrap up. I know you have to fight for your union members like Jonathan Vilma. But do you realize that the players that the Saints have been accused of attempting injure are members of the union, too? Forget about Brett Favre and Kurt Warner. They no longer play. But Michael Crabtree, Frank Gore, Alex Smith and Kyle Williams were NFLPA members, too.
I wonder what they think about their union fighting for the guys that attempted to end their careers.