LCS staff talks Boxing, Basketball and blundering refs. By John Nestor
TORRINGTON - It was a great night Monday at the WAPJ studios as the Litchfield County Sports Reporters show went heavy on boxing thanks to the insights and analysis of special guest Brian Campbell.
"Soup", as he is affectionately known to his friends on the LCS staff, is a contributing boxing writer and fight editor at ESPN.com. He gave some interesting commentary on the state of the sweet science, some upcoming fights to look out for and some future stars to watch.
Like many, Campbell can be frustrated at times with the politics of boxing. Too many belts, too many promoters and not enough of the fights that the fans want to see and that the sport needs to get back into the sports consciousness of the country.
It doesn't help that boxing's glamour division, Heavyweight, it devoid of any true American stars and it doesn't look like many are on the horizon. Campbell did say that with the Klitschko brothers getting up there in age, the division is setting itself up for some title battles between a number of brawling style fighters which could be entertaining.
Some of my other takeaways from the conversation include that boxing isn't dead, it could just use some new blood, and that there are still of plenty of exciting and entertaining fights being scheduled even if the one fight everyone wants to see may never happen.
A Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. bout would be one of, if not the biggest fight in the history of the sport in terms of coverage and revenue. Pay-per-view buys would be off the charts. Pacquiao has a fight on Dec. 8 against Juan Manuel Marquez, their fourth meeting. Mayweather just got out of jail and has no plans to fight the rest of this year. Campbell said that the superfight could go off in early May but the longer we wait the less likely it is to happen.
That would be a shame, but Mayweather has been ducking the fight and making excuses for a long time now and things are unlikely to change.
Locally, Campbell said New Haven's Chad Dawson, the WBC Light Heavyweight champ, has a few more good fights left in him and boxing fans can head down to Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun for some good action featuring up-and-coming fighters.
Campbell was a great guest, knowledgeable and passionate, and we'll certainly look to have him back on the show in the future to provide insight into some of boxing's upcoming showcase events.
Former Torrington High star and University of Maryland product Jordan Williams came up on Monday's show as he is looking for a new team after being waived by the Atlanta Hawks earlier this month.
Williams spent last season with the New Jersey Nets before being sent to Atlanta as part of the Joe Johnson trade. Celtics beat writer Gary Washburn said he thought Williams "will not be out of work (for) long." But so far Williams has yet to latch on with another club abd training camp is rapidly approaching.
Williams left Maryland early and was the No. 36 pick in 2011 and is just 21 years old. He got off to a slow start in New Jersey and spent some time in the D-League but also showed a good shooting touch and a knack for rebounding later in the season.
It seems that Williams will get another shot with an NBA team, but the longer he goes without signing, the more questions pop up. Did he show up to Summer League ready to go or did the fitness issues that dogged him at the start of his time with the Nets pop up. Did the Hawks need his spot for a player at a different position or did they think so little of him that they would rather pay him over $700,000 this season to not play?
It's always good to see a local product make good, especially one that has the talent to take it to the highest level of their sport. I'm hoping to cover Williams at his next NBA stop, but if that will happen remains to be seen.
The Replacements - Great band, terrible refs
Give us credit for this one, about four hours before the "Fail Mary" or "Inacurate Reception" call in the Seattle-Green Bay game on Monday Night Football, the LCS crew kicked around ideas about what it would take for the league to give in and bring back the real officials.
To a man we agreed that a call costing a team a game would be the breaking point and that appeared to happen Monday when what looked like a Green Bay interception in the end zone to end the game was ruled simultaneous possession and a Seattle TD.
However, reports are that the league is not budging and both sides are dug in over the pension issue.
To me, the league is in a no-win situation. More and more errors are going to occur and the spotlight on them is going to get brighter, harsher. It's head-scratching but that shouldn't come as a surprise since it is greedy billionaire owners we are talking about. I am just curious how they will explain away a call like Monday's when it happens in a playoff game or even the Super Bowl.