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Before Mayweather-McGregor … Ali v Inoki

first_imgEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend After more than half a century in the fight game, the legendary 85-year-old promoter often gives the impression of a man who has seen it all before.And when it comes to cross-code duels in the vein of Mayweather-McGregor, he has.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Forty-one years ago, Arum promoted the infamous Tokyo bout between Muhammad Ali and Japanese professional wrestler Antonio Inoki.That shambolic night at the Nippon Budokan arena on June 26 1976 saw Inoki spend most of the bout on his back, attempting to kick out at Ali’s legs. Ali meanwhile threw only six punches in 15 rounds of farce. LATEST STORIES Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Federer shines bright in twilight zone Malacañang open to creating Taal Commission LIVE: Sinulog 2020 Grand Parade The spectacle is widely seen as a tawdry lowpoint in Ali’s glittering career, a cynical, no-holds-barred grab for a multi-million-dollar payday.Or as Arum remembers it: “It was the most atrocious crap that I’ve ever put on.”The contest had been born a year earlier when Ali met Ichiro Hatta, the president of the Japanese Amateur Wrestling Association, and mischievously lamented about the fact that he had never faced an Asian challenger.The remark caught Inoki’s attention and soon Ali was being offered $6 million to fight the Japanese wrestler.Arum recalled a fruitless attempt to hash out the ground rules for the fight between himself, Ali’s trainer Angelo Dundee, manager Herbert Muhammad and Inoki’s handlers.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ ‘It’s another Pearl Harbor!’“I spent two weeks in a conference room in Tokyo, with the Japanese, trying to get rules for that fight. And in the end we went into that fight without any rules at all,” Arum told reporters at a recent lunch in Los Angeles.“Inoki spent most of the fight on his back kicking out at Ali. There was one round where he stood up and Ali threw a punch and he missed him by two feet. By two feet! Because Ali was frustrated. But Inoki staggered back into the ropes like he’d been hit. It was ridiculous.”According to Arum, the plan had initially been to concoct a stage-managed conclusion to the fight that would have kept all sides happy. US wrestling promoter Vince McMahon came up with a narrative that would have seen Inoki declared the winner while Ali could claim a moral victory.“Vince figured out a scenario, which I didn’t take that seriously, where Ali would get Inoki on the ropes,” Arum said. “And Inoki as a professional wrestler, would have a razor in his mouth, and he would cut his own eyebrow, so he’d be bleeding and everything. And Ali would have him on the ropes and ask the referee to stop the fight, and the referee would refuse.“And eventually Ali would turn his back on Inoki and plead with the referee to stop the fight. At which point Inoki would jump on Ali and get him to the canvas and the referee would count ‘1-2-3 out’ and declare Inoki the winner.“And then Ali was supposed to yell ‘It’s another Pearl Harbor!’. But Ali got spooked when he got there and he wouldn’t go through with it.“So after that we spent two weeks trying to figure out what the rules would be. And we couldn’t come up with anything.”Bad for boxing?Memories of Tokyo perhaps explain why Arum is unwilling to join the legions of critics who have disparaged Mayweather and McGregor August 26 fight as being “bad for boxing.”“Mayweather-McGregor will make a lot of money for the people involved,” Arum said. “The idea of whether it’s good for boxing is sort of irrelevant. I don’t even know what ‘Good or bad for boxing’ means. It really has nothing to do with boxing as it carries on.“It’s a spectacle. And people will either watch it or they won’t. And that’s why those kind of questions bother me because nobody is putting a gun to anybody’s head. IT happens: Facebook sorry for Xi Jinping’s name mistranslation Missile-capable frigate BRP Jose Rizal inches closer to entering PH Navy’s fleet “If you want to buy the fight and pay the $100 to watch it on pay-per-view then you do, if you don’t, you don’t. It’s the free market. And the free market should be able to exist without people telling them that it’s good for boxing or not good for boxing. Let them do it.“But at the same time, do I think it’s going to be a real fight? No I don’t.”Arum also had a warning for anyone expecting to see Mayweather risk trading blows with McGregor, predicting that the 40-year-old former welterweight king would opt for the sort of cagey style which marked his fight with Manny Pacquiao in 2015.“With Floyd it’s always take the money and run,” Arum said. “And there’s nothing wrong with that.” CBBSports Related Videospowered by AdSparc Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. This file photo taken on June 04, 2016, shows Japanese parliamentarian and mixed martial artist Antonio Inoki, who fought boxing begend Muhammad Ali in 1976 (background), speaking at a press conference at a hotel in Tokyo following the news of Ali’s death. There are many in the boxing world who are appalled by the prospect of Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor climbing into a ring next month, but forty-one years ago, in another cross-code duel, the world watched as heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali fought Japanese professional wrestler Antonio Inoki. AFPLOS ANGELES, United States — There are many in the boxing world who are appalled by the prospect of Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor climbing into a ring next month.Bob Arum is, emphatically, not one of them.ADVERTISEMENT View comments 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer Read Nextlast_img read more

Where are the Ministers?

first_imgDear Editor,Paddy bugs have led to the loss of almost 20 per cent of the rice crop in Region Six so far this year. Reports are that a similar loss has been experienced in Region Two and smaller amounts in Regions Three and Five. For Region Six alone, this loss translates into the loss of 500,000 bags of paddy, equating to the loss of $1.4 billion in revenue for farmers. Overall, Guyanese rice farmers are estimated to lose about $5 billion this year, having already lost more than $5 billion in 2018. Most of these are poor farmers and it is unconscionable that the GRDB and the Ministry of Agriculture are largely missing in action. Even more unforgivable, the President and APNU/AFC have ignored the suffering farmers, being more obsessed with violating the Constitution and avoiding elections.It has been confirmed that rice production fell by 10 per cent in the first half of 2019. The major reason advanced for the drop in production of rice is the devastation caused by paddy bug infestation, mainly in Regions Two and Six. In 2014, Guyana produced more than 637,000 tons of rice. In the first crop of 2015, production reached almost 400,000 tons, far ahead of the pace to meet the 2015 target of 700,000 tons. But Guyana failed to reach the 2015 target because of a significant drop in production for the second 2015 crop. Guyana failed again in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and now it is highly unlikely Guyana will reach the 700,000 target in 2019. One of the major reasons for production missing the 700,000 target in 2017, 2018 and now in 2019 is the paddy bug infestation.This week, the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) finally sought to assure everyone the paddy bug problem limiting rice production in the last two years, particularly in Regions Two and Six, is being seriously addressed. According to the GRDB, two experts in paddy bug control were in Guyana last week, under the auspices of FLAR, to assist farmers in controlling paddy bugs. However, few farmers have confidence the GRDB is of any help in fighting paddy bugs. The Central Corentyne Chambers of Commerce (CCCC) called out the GRDB for its sloth and its lack of serious interest in the paddy bug problem. Like the farmers, the CCCC called on the GRDB to declare the paddy bug problem an emergency. While supporting this call, I believe the Ministry of Agriculture must lead the fight against the paddy bug emergency.The paddy bugs are not new to Guyana, but it has emerged as a bigger problem in the last couple of years, seriously affecting production. After meeting with the FLAR experts, farmers contend the recommendations made by the experts are things they are already doing. Some of the things are not possible without the direct intervention of the GRDB, the Ministry of Agriculture and other Government entities. Farmers believe the GRDB and the Ministry of Agriculture are not just clueless, but they have little to no serious interest in assisting farmers in the fight against paddy bugs. I entirely concur with the farmers. The GRDB and the Ministry of Agriculture have been negligent and have allowed the paddy bug problem to escalate, careen out of control and it is now an emergency.It is a good thing the GRDB, after more than two years of neglect, sought to bring in FLAR, the Latin American Fund for Irrigated Rice. However, farmers, while not questioning the expertise of the two FLAR experts, noted neither of them is an entomologist. This begs the question – what happened to the resident and local entomologists, persons very familiar with paddy bugs in Guyana? Dr Vivian Baharally is a resident entomologist who is an employee of the GRDB and works out of the Burma Rice Research Centre. After her studies abroad, Dr Baharally returned home and started working at Burma since, at least, 2014. Another young entomologist just returned home. While retired, there are also two other very experienced entomologists living in Guyana – both Dr Leslie Munroe and Dr Dindial Permaul are not only experienced entomologists, they both have extensive research experience and management experience with paddy bugs. Why were these persons not engaged in the paddy bug fight?In 2014, the GRDB, with support from the Ministry of Agriculture, and my own engagement, commenced a $90 million initiative for the management and control of paddy bugs in Guyana’s rice industry. Dr Vivian Baharally, an entomologist, was the lead scientist in this initiative. The initiative was led by a team of experts chaired by Dr Leslie Munroe. But before the initiative gathered speed, the Government changed and most of the persons in charge at the GRDB were either forced to resign or were fired. The initiative died. It is no coincidence, therefore, that the paddy bug today has a destructive presence in Guyana.Many of the field officers were reporting the increasing paddy bug presence since 2016, but their reports fell on deaf ears. The GRDB clearly dropped the ball and their response is still too timid, lacking cohesion. The Ministry of Agriculture has been absolutely negligent. The Ministers of Agriculture have shown a complete lack of interest. In fact, farmers query if Guyana has any Minister of Agriculture.Regards,Dr Leslie Ramsammylast_img read more