February 28, 2015

Yerro: Muhammad and Larry: Boxing’s black eye

CABLE-cruising one Saturday afternoon I chanced on a re-run on the Balls channel of Muhammad and Larry, a documentary about the World Boxing Council championship fight between Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes. The film, directed by Albert Maysles and Bradley Kaplan, was first shown on ESPN in 2009.

That fight in 1980 was Ali's attempt to capture the heavyweight crown for an unprecedented fourth time. He was trying to wrest it from the champion Holmes, who was eight years his junior.

The docu is not about the bout itself, although it had extensive footage of the actual fight. Instead, Maysles and Kaplan spent most of their time filming the two boxers at their training camps.

Muhammad and Larry is more than just a documentary about two prizefighters. Maysles (Jean-Luc Godard described him as "the best American cameraman") exposes professional boxing as a savage and exploitative sport, where greatness exacts a heavy toll on those who seek it.

Ali was 38 when he challenged Holmes for the title. Two years earlier, he had announced his retirement, saying there was nothing left for him to achieve. But Ali would not be sidelined by retirement for long. Pretty soon he was ranting to the press: "I want Holmes! I want Holmes!"

Holmes, who had won all his previous 35 bouts, could have just ignored the taunts of an ageing, over-the-hill challenger. But here was a chance to finally escape from Ali's shadow and create his own legend. So it was game on.

Maysles's camera was omnipresent at Ali's training camp in Deer Lake, Pennsylvania, filming him in a prayer room reading the Koran, in the gym hitting the bag, sparring, getting a rubdown, posing with visitors, even performing card tricks for the kids. The camera also revealed something more ominous: an Ali whose movement and speech were noticeably slower, the classic symptoms of the onset of Parkinson's Disease.

Three months before the fight the Nevada State Commission ordered Ali to have a neurological exam at the Mayo Clinic. The findings revealed that, among other things, he was "a little off when he tried to touch his finger to his nose." He was losing coordination, and, by any stretch of the imagination, was not fit to fight. Incredibly, the Nevada State Commission gave him the thumbs up to climb the ring.

Wali Muhammad, Ali's assistant trainer, asked why Ali decided to take on Holmes, was brutally frank: "Money. That's all it was. Money. Greed." While Maysles also had prefight scenes of Holmes training and relaxing with his family, the obvious focus was on Ali.

The fight at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas was described by Dr. Ferdie Pacheco, Ali's longtime physician and cornerman, as "an abomination, a crime...All the people involved in this fight should have been arrested."

The documentary highlights sequences of the fight that was almost too painful to watch. Right at opening bell, Holmes unleashed a vicious attack, hoping to end the fight early and spare the challenger a prolonged beating. Yet, despite the punishment, Ali never went down. The referee was later pilloried by critics for not stopping the fight earlier.

Howard Cosell, who was commentating the fight, could not comprehend why the carnage in the ring was being allowed to continue. "This must be stopped. It is a sad way to end," he pleaded.

After the 10th round, Ali corner's decided he had had enough and stopped the fight.

"Legends die hard. And Ali has learned the even he cannot be forever young," Cosell remarked. It could have been a fitting epitaph for Ali's fabled boxing career.

In the documentary's most touching scene, Holmes weeps quietly in the locker room after the fight, overwhelmed by the hollowness of the victory and the pain he had inflicted on his friend (Ali had given the young Holmes his big break by hiring him as a sparring partner.)

Muhammad and Larry captures with stunning clarity one of boxing's darkest moments.

Source: Entertainment | Sun.Star Online

Saturday, February 28, 2015 by Ridgid Sparrow · 0

'I was wrong' says Jolo Revilla on 'accidentally' shooting self - Inquirer.net


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MANILA, Philippines ― “Nagkamali ako.” (I was wrong.)

That was the admission of Cavite Vice Governor Jolo Revilla on Sunday after shooting himself in what his lawyer Raymond Fortun said was “accidental.”

In an interview, Revilla family’s spokesperson Atty. Raymond Fortun recounted his conversation with Revilla.

“I said ‘How are you,’ and Revilla said, ‘Ito Atty. (Fortun), nagkamali ako e,'” Fortun related.

Fortun described Revilla’s current condition as “serious yet stable.”

However, Jolo Revilla will undergo an operation to stop internal bleeding sustained from the gunshot wound in the upper right portion of his chest.

In a post on her Facebook account, Cavite Representative and Jolo’s mother Lani Mercado Revilla said that CT scan results showed bleeding in Jolo’ chest.

“Pls Pray for VG Jolo. CT scan results show bleeding inside his chest. A tube will be inserted to drain the blood. His operation will be at 2pm.We need your prayers,” the Mercado-Revilla said.

Meanwhile, detained Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. will ask for a 24-hour furlough to visit his son at the Asian Hospital.

Fortun said the furlough would be filed before the Sandiganbayan by Monday or Tuesday.

Revilla was said to be cleaning a .40 Glock handgun on Saturday when it accidentally went off. With reports from Kristine Mangunay and Bayani San Diego


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Bong Revillas son Jolo shoots self; accident, kin say

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Source: Top Stories - Google News

Saturday, February 28, 2015 by Ridgid Sparrow · 0

Jolo Revilla's gunshot wound 'accidental' - ABS CBN News

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MANILA, Philippines – More details have emerged on the gunshot wound sustained by Cavite vice-governor and actor Jolo Revilla.

In a statement, the Revilla family's spokesperson, Atty. Raymond Fortun, said the vice governor accidentally fired the gun that he was cleaning and hit himself in the right chest on Saturday morning.

Revilla, the son of detained Senator Bong Revilla and Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla, will remain at the Asian Hospital in Muntinlupa for at least 48 to 72 hours more.

Earlier, there were speculations that the vice-governor may have tried to commit suicide. -- News Now, ANC, March 1, 2015.

Source: Top Stories - Google News

Saturday, February 28, 2015 by Ridgid Sparrow · 0