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Ringside With Raymundo 12.23.10: Thank You, 2011
Posted by Raymundo Dioses on 12.23.2010

A reason for the Ali pic? You don't need a reason for an Ali pic...

Below is my annual list of the thanks I give to the sport of boxing. Oftentimes, this column can be full and filled with fond memories of great time and great fights.

This is not one of these times, however. Boxing was somewhat dismal in 2010, but it nonetheless trudged forward and still provided some quality moments.

A unique aspect about covering the sport is that you cover it regardless of the highs and lows. Whether De La Hoya is fighting Mayweather in a super fight, whether Evander Holyfield keeps hopelessly fighting, from the emergence of Manny Pacquiao to the legal woes of Floyd Mayweather Jr., writers keep writing.

Boxing is a special sport. A sweet science. It has certain aspects that sets it apart from all others, and is in fact attended by more baseball, basketball, and football athletes, as well as celebrities, than probably all other sports combined.

Fight night is still special. It's still filled with the unique atmosphere and blend of food, alcohol, shouting, blood, sweat and even a few tears.

So to the sport as a whole, I say, thank you, 2011.

I would also like to extend a special thank you to 411mania.com, a special, dedicated site that has allowed me the privilege to write

- For the diligence of Manny Pacquiao. Negotiations for a fight against Floyd Mayweather in 2010 failed miserably twice, yet we were still treated to witnessing the number one fighter hone his craft in the ring; albeit not against opponents we would have liked for him (Joshua Clottey, Antonio Margarito). Regardless though, Pacquiao fought on, and fought proud. He is the humble warrior of the ring, a Congressman, and a shining light to the sport.

- Thanks for Sergio Martinez, who in my opinion was the fighter of the year and provided the knockout of the year, to boot.

- For "In Harms Way". The fight card fell through one week prior, yet promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank trudged on, moving top ranked Nonito Donaire to the main event and showcasing a FOTY candidate in Humberto Soto/Urbano Antillon. It was also the last fight that I covered live in 2010. I was actually a late sub-in to cover the fight for a fellow 411 scribe. Lucky me!

- For ESPN's Friday Night Fights. There were a multitude of entertaining scraps this season, and the show as a whole is a great production. From Teddy Atlas and Joe Tessitore to Brian Kenny in studio, it was a healthy dose of boxing and boxing news to start the weekend with.

- Getting a question in during a conference call earlier this year BEFORE ESPN's Dan Rafael! I don't recall which conference call it was, but I was surprised that I heard, Raymundo Dioses, 411mania.com before I heard Dan Rafael with ESPN. Now this was obviously just a time when I was able to press "*" before the biggest writer in boxing, and a fluke occurrence at that. Nonetheless, I had a big laugh about it and it was a memorable moment from this year.

- Speaking of conference calls, this year, for the Pacquiao/Clottey conference call, I went down the line and asked Bob Arum, Freddie Roach, and lastly, Manny Pacquiao if they were content if Pacquiao never fought Mayweather. All of their answers were stone cold and confident, as they all said yes. They all believed that Pacquiao has accomplished enough in his career without a fight against Mayweather. And that's really hard to deny.

- For Thompson Boxing Promotions. This company consistently provides competitive fights featuring the up and comers of the sport, provides entertainment for the fans in attendance, and most of all, provides boxing literally a minute or two away from where I live in Ontario, California. Thanks!

- For fights at the still new Citizens Business Bank in Ontario, California. I am hoping this trend continues, and that promoters realize this arena is a still yet to be fully tapped resource. With the right fights, you can fight 10 to 15 thousand fans in this venue. Note to promoters: Make a big fight in 2011 at this venue!

- For Kenny Bayless stopping Marquez/Katsidis. It was a wonderful fight and a wonderful stoppage. As the old adage goes, you live to fight another day. In boxing, that is a literal statement. Katsidis can fight on and put on other great battles, and not just be soaked up with too much punishment from one fight.

- For Mayweather/Mosley at the MGM. Admittedly, the fight itself was only entertaining in the first few rounds, but overall, the nights experience as a whole was very enjoyable, from the in's and out's, back and from backstage to inside the fight, it was fun. A writer friend of mine asked Brian Kenny who he thought was going to win. Kenny said this: "I'm thinking what you're thinking. Unless you're thinking about Shane Mosley." Classic. Muhammad Ali was also in attendance at the right, which is a rare occurrence these days. It's always an honor whenever you can say you were in the same room as "The Greatest".

- You can't have Ali without Frazier, right? Or Frazier without Ali. This year at a fight in Temecula I shook hands with, took a pic and was seated behind legend Joe Frazier for most of the night. It was a little overwhelming being so close to a man who traded blows with Ali, and it was a great experience overall seeing the fan reception and his embracing of what still is a bright spotlight for one of the greatest of his time. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I like to think my pic with Frazier has got to be at least 50,000 words…

- A final thank you for the writing of fight scribe Thomas Hauser. All through the year, he provided high profile, in depth and insightful stories on all of the biggest happenings to the Golden Boy/Top Rank feud, the in's and out's of HBO Sports and how it handled Boxing, to the Mayweather arrest that he will stand trial for in 2011. Hauser's pen is very important to the game, and I would implore all who follow the sport to read every last word this writer writes.

I'll sign off with a quote earlier this year from Mr. Hauser.

"One of boxing's problems in 2010 is that the top promoters are fighting each other more often than the top fighters are fighting each other." Thomas Hauser.


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