If he does come back, he should have to refight every still-active boxer he beat prior to his suspension, with Miguel Cotto being his last do-over. Not the most lucrative way for a fighter to spend his peak earning/performance years, but that should be the breaks when you bring two concealed weapons to a fist fight for who knows how many times.
It's odd that the stages have been scheduled such that Andre Dirrell backdrafts Jermaine Taylor exactly through the entire first round of fights. Taylor's fought Froch [before the tournament] and Arthur Abraham, and he faces Andre Ward next. Dirrell fought Froch, fights Abraham next and then Ward in stage 3. [Taylor fights Mikkel Kessler in the final fight of that stage; I don't expect Dirrell to reach the semi-finals, much less make it to the final fight, and face Kessler.]
So, judging by last night and in serene ignorance of the Five Elephants In The Ring [the fight's location, its referee and three judges] I would predict the first-round results being:
1. Abraham: If he works on his cutting-off-the-ring skills, KO Dirrell before the Championship rounds, and Froch may not last even that long in Stage Three. All of my questions about how "King Arthur" would handle an almost ten-pound jump in weight were answered emphatically last night. He seems hungrier than any of the Americans, even Taylor. 7 Points; 8 if KO Froch
1. Kessler: Ward is a huge X factor and this is an incredibly big If, but it's possible that he could outpoint Kessler or get a hometown win on the scorecards. On the other hand, Froch will want to trade with Kessler, and Taylor will probably be good and fucked by the time he staggers into the ring with him after by hammered by surefire semifinalists Froch, Abraham and Ward in a row. 5 to 8 points, depending on Ward/the homecooking in Oakland, and how much of a warrior/dipshit Froch really is
3. Ward: I'm waiting to see how he handles Kessler next month; regardless, getting Taylor and Dirrell after that practically confirms his ticket to the semi-finals no matter how he fares in November. 4 to 6 points
4. Froch: There's no way he beats Abraham and Kessler in Stage 1; whether they get an extra point for a knockout is the only question in my mind, but he'll squeak into the semis thanks to the Dirrell win. 2 points
5. Dirrell: I expect him to finish the Abraham and Ward fights on his feet, and little else. 0 points and bragging rights to not getting knocked out
6. Taylor: Alas, Babylon. 0 points and slightly-more-respected-than-usual Gatekeeper status, although I'd be happy to be proven wrong on this one
Semis will probably go Abraham-Froch and Kessler-Ward, but I'm pulling for Abraham-Kessler and Froch-Ward only because at this point we'll have already seen the former set of fights and every other combination except the latter. For the former set, I don't see Froch as the kind of fighter who could rise above himself and beat the man who beat him [especially as it's a power puncher with an almost unfathomably erratic style], whereas Ward and Kessler both seem smart, strong and centered enough to beat their fear, their failure and then their conqueror. Again, waiting for November to see Ward on the big stage.
Regardless of when it happens, a Kessler-Abraham fight will trigger a collective nerdgasm amongst Euro boxing fanatics from the cliffs of Moher to .... shit, I don't know, the river Volga or someplace. Europe is going to go Fucking Apeshit over that fight -- like the-Chicago-Bulls/Red-Sox-win-the-championship, have-another-beer-Tony-soon-you'll-be-strong-enough-to-flip-over-a-Honda-Civic-by-yourself kind of Fucking Apeshit. The celebratory riots would at least make the mainstream American news, even when the fight itself doesn't.
.... yep, Froch retains his title and takes second place in the tournament. It was kind of sweet that the two fighters kneeled and held hands when they announced the split decision results.
If this performance really was Dirrell "working my ass off," he's dead meat against Kessler next.
I'm looking forward to Andre Dirrell eating a lot of fist; I'm still mad that I never got the 45 minutes of my life I wasted watching him backpeddle and potshot that "brutal" "power" "puncher," Curtis Stevens.
It's curious how there's a significant amount of babble about the loss/gain of speed, stamina and power when a Pacquiao or even a Paul Williams moves up in weight, but there's been zero chatter about Arthur Abraham going up almost 10 pounds to be a super-middleweight.
If it's the Taylor of his last four fights, Abraham drops him in the 11th or 12th, probably much the same way he fell to Kelly Pavlik and Carl Froch, winning the fight round after round until he suddenly loses it. Mr. "Bad Intentions" problem really isn't stamina, it's that he makes dangerously bad choices. How someone so gifted could have such lousy instincts -- from choosing his corner to hitting the canvas -- I'll never understand.
Dirrell could beat Froch -- Froch really didn't have any answers for Taylor's riddles, it's just a combination of JT running out of gas then deciding that he needed to press the action was what did him in. Dirrell has that fuck-the-fans survivalist attitude that Taylor's too old to have developed -- I blame the amateur/Olympic boxing scoring system for this generation of careerist pussies -- and he's in better shape. Still hoping he eats fist a few times, regardless.
Dude, the fucking Scorpions are playing Abraham into the ring? I love European fights.
Filming started shortly before the Allied invasion of Sicily [the first European step on the long road to Berlin] and was finished for its premiere two weeks after the 1st and 3rd Armies linked back up, marking the end of the Battle of the Bulge. Or, more appropriately, KOLBERG's filming started two weeks after the Jewish resistance in the Warsaw ghetto was crushed -- Warsaw, Poland is listed as one of the locations used in the film -- and the film made its debut two weeks after the Soviets took control of the city.
Y'know, not to offend anyone here, but the Nazis made some really stupid decisions sometimes; I imagine those 15-20,000 troops could probably have been more effective if they hadn't spent so much time playing war for the camera. Nazis were snappy dressers, regardless, so I bet this movie has some kickass costuming.
I'm largely interested to see this one for the color photography and seeing Heinrich George [no relation ... I think] of METROPOLIS fame and JEW SUSS infame in his final role. He died suddenly in a Soviet concentration camp under decidedly suspicious circumstances [ruptured appendix], which is ironic for a deep-red Communist who was built like a brick shithaus.
For ere long I'll masturbate;
Thy beast hast one back."
Three cartoonist sites I like without reservation: Dylan Horrocks' redesigned Hicksville site, Steve Purcell's blog and Guy Davis' MARQUIS blog.
Continuing a proud tradition of bookmarking webcomics that seem solid after a few pages of reading, forgetting about them [through no fault of their own] for days/weeks at a time and then linkparking them here and forgetting about them entirely [then again, that's essentially what happens with all of my linkparks]:
Cat and Girl -- as far as I'm concerned, this one is the Manny Pacquiao of webcomics, at least until/unless Chris "Money" Onstad gets his shit together again. The dialogue is as quotably funny as ACHEWOOD -- Cat: My colon feels cleansed but my mouth feels like a church threw up in it. Girl: Well, the first was justice; the second was compassion. -- even if the comic isn't as well-known. Also, CAT AND GIRL is attractively drawn and smart. It's not hard to imagine a day when people will be quoting it on their Facebook walls and scoring a "Likes" for it every 20 minutes.
Dinosaur Comics is probably my favorite clip-arty webcomic right now. I hesitate to really dig into its archive for more than a few strips at a sitting -- it seems like work that can wear out its welcome fairly quick -- but when you have a funny-dinosaur itch to scratch, it's the best.
Dresden Codak -- always so very, very pretty, although I refused to let the serials' writing stop me from enjoying the art. I bet Scott McCloud adores this one.
Hark, A Vagrant -- mostly historical funnies, wildly inconsistent but it can ring the bells. Sometimes. Probably doesn't update regularly.
I just realized that I'm pretty sure I discovered all of the above through CAT AND GIRL's store on topatoco.com. So I guess merchandising what's essentially a hobby like it's an industry can have some benefits, even though the only t-shirts of the dozens I saw that I would be eager to buy are be the unused "Dishonor First, Then Death, Then Pizza" and "Mister Feces" designs above. I have failed capitalism again.
I have no idea who Phil McAndrew is, but I like how grotty and amusing his art is; I would describe my favorites as a mix of Charles Rodrigues, Marc Bell and a little Eddie Campbell, and how often do you hear those three mentioned in the same breath? The above illustration makes me laugh every time, and I'm not so sure I understand why.