The Sweet Science
October 29, 2008 8:01 PM   Subscribe

Monkey Journey to the West.

The Arguello v Pryor doc. is amazing. I hope some people get to see it before hbo takes it down :(
posted by vronsky at 9:10 PM on October 29, 2008

What an era! Duran, Sugar Ray, Hagler, Hearns, etc. The death of Duk Koo Kim at the hands of Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini, Cosell leaving boxing after the Holmes-Cobb fight...I could go on. I've wondered whether or not that was truly a special time. Were the fighters better back then, were the stories richer, or am I just being sentimental?

Nice post, vronsky.
posted by sluglicker at 9:22 PM on October 29, 2008

Nope slug, I think you are right. I saw almost all those fights (except the mancini) and i can't explain why it changed, but I haven't been interested in boxing in the least over the last ten years. same with the NBA and though I've never read a sports page in my life, I used to follow it as well. I guess money really does ruin everything.
posted by vronsky at 9:36 PM on October 29, 2008

I've never followed boxing. I don't watch TV. I damn sure wouldn't pay forty bucks to watch some mopes circle each other, looking for an opening, dancing.

I'd pay forty bucks to have watched either of these fights. Eighty. Who cares? Elemental, brutal, knock-down, drag-out, total balls-to-the-wall brawling, savagery. This is watching that short story by Jack London (A Piece of Steak), which I've read a hundred times, this is watching that story come to life. Jesus christ.

I had no idea this stuff was on youtube. Any other links, gang?

Thanx for posting.
posted by dancestoblue at 10:10 PM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Damn - I was bad in those days.

Oh wait, different Pryor?

posted by Graygorey at 10:56 PM on October 29, 2008

WhileI also hold a special rosy glow in my heart for the "good ol days" of Hearns and Hagler, Leonard,etc. I think the late 90'searly 2000's were a mini golden age in and of themselves.

Definitely less truly transcendent careers, but some who were interesting to watch were Bernard Hopkins, Felix Trinidad , Marco Antonio Barerra and Johnny Tapia.

dancestoblue...The three best fights i think i've seen in the past ten years are Morales vs. Barerra, Arturo Gatti vs.Mickey Ward and Felix Trinidad vs. Fernando Vargas. Gatti vs. Ward is probably in my top 5 sporting events I've witnessed ever. It was like a real life version of the first Rocky movie. If you can ever find a copy or replay, definitely worth watching.
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:10 PM on October 29, 2008

but I haven't been interested in boxing in the least over the last ten years. same with the NBA

In sports, everything was better in the 1970s. Seriously. And I'm not just being nostalgic. Something to do with increased media saturation, and money and technology getting out of hand.
posted by philip-random at 12:25 AM on October 30, 2008

That was something. Both fights, just, wow. Though it made me sad as shit to see the clips of Taylor today.

On everything being better in the 70's - The Yankees (baseball) in the mid 90's were a great team to follow (as were Oakland a few years later), and the NJ Devils (Hockey) in the same time as well. And Valentino Rossi in MotoGP (motorcycle racing) is going to out-Schumacher Schumacher in the motor-sport history books. Rossi once claimed he had hired a witch to hex Sete Gibernau, after which Gibernau never finished a race ahead of Rossi ever again. Just sayin'.

Though, yeah, in my heart the Habs of the early 70's are it.

posted by From Bklyn at 4:58 AM on October 30, 2008

The Duk Kim Mancini fight referred to above: WARNING TOTALLY BRUTAL
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:44 AM on October 30, 2008

This is really, really great thanks for the link.

Cosell leaving boxing after the Holmes-Cobb fight

This is actually the first fight I remember watching live as a kid. If I recall it was on free TV, on the Wide World of Sports. I remember after the fight Cobb was asked if there would be a rematch and he said "I don't think so...Holmes' fists couldn't take the punishment." (One year later Cobb fought for the world kickboxing title! Lost that too...dude was born about 20 years too early, now he'd have a great career as a MMA fighter.)
posted by vito90 at 8:12 AM on October 30, 2008

Pryor v. Arguello was excellent. I hadn't known about this before. I remember as a kid in the UK staying up late to watch Sugar Ray and Hagler and Tommy the Hitman, but Pryor never really featured as far as I recall.

I can see where philip-random is coming from about the 70s. I guess it's 1 part nostalgia, 1 part saturation and 1 part lack of mystery. There used to be a couple of big fights a year on TV - now there's a couple a month. Football (US and soccer) used to be a fairly rare live TV events - now there are several weekly. Ditto most other sports. You just don't get the sense of occasion. Not sure I would change back, though.
posted by Jakey at 8:33 AM on October 30, 2008

Nice find.

And Philip-random is pretty much right. Most professional sports was more interesting to be a fan of in the 1970's. There was still that innocence. But I have to say the level of performance by the athletes, minus the side-show, is way better now.
posted by tkchrist at 9:40 AM on October 30, 2008

I have to totally disagree with the "sports were better in the 70's" argument. If you had stopped watching all sports in 1980 you would have missed the following...

Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and the Celtics vs. Lakers dynasty. Michael Jordan. Brett Favre. Mike Tyson. The whole Nancy Kerrigan-Tonya Harding fiasco. College basketball and football in the late 80's/early 90's when everyone was cheating,but it was really fun to watch teams like UNLV, and Miami and The Washington Huskies. Tiger Woods. The Williams sisters. The Raiders Patriots "tuck rule" game. The Seattle mariners 1995-2001. The 1998 winter Olympics. LeBron James, high school phenomenon. The Red Sox finally win a world series. The strange saga of Alex Rodriguez.

Not that all of these are the high point of sporting endeavor, but you could make documentaries about any of them and make a convincing case for the interestingness of their time period.
posted by billyfleetwood at 1:50 PM on October 30, 2008

How did I miss this? Here is Hagler vs. Hearns - "the most memorable fight of 30 years of boxing on hbo."
posted by vronsky at 5:15 PM on October 30, 2008

Parts of these docs are really high art! great stuff. God I love Tommy Hearns. That was the thing in these great fights of the '80s -- you couldn't figure out who to root for. I remember seeing Douglas knock out Tyson one night in the Village, in a small restaurant near Waverly Place. Not a great fight, but we later walked down to the Angelika Film Center (on Mercer St.) for a late movie and saw Raging Bull.
posted by vronsky at 5:53 PM on October 30, 2008

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