Ted the Bull’s Scotch and Cigar Club (Number Ten)

Vernon ForrestBy Ted Sares - Let’s get comfortable and light up a nice Camacho 1962 Churchill. This cigar is for cigar aficionados and is synonymous with “full”—as in full-bodied, full-flavored, and full of character. The Camacho blends usually produce a well-balanced smoke full of aromatic flavor. This is why Camacho makers Christian and Julio Eiroa have developed such a loyal cult-like following. And we like cult followings.

For our Scotch this session, we are departing from the premium single malts and paying homage to New York City where ordering a “Dewars and Water” is as common as asking for an egg cream or Italian Ice. Aberfeldy distillery is home of Dewar’s World of Whiskey and a Google will take you on a great tour. Myself, I prefer Dewar's White Label with soda.

In the background, I have Cream playing “Crossroads,” Thin Lizzy, Mountain, Z Z Top, James Brown and John Lee Hooker doing their thing. I also have Joan Jett doing a paricularly rocking version of “Tush.” But as always, any reasonable musical request will be entertained.

Now let’s talk boxing. I have listed a few subjects that might spark your interest or some controversy, but as always feel free to inject your own topic..

1. The following are my most recent ESB rankings for the Jr. Welterweight (140 lbs) Division—a difficult division to rank

1. Manny Pacquiao
2. Timothy Bradley
3. Marcos Maidana
4 Devon Alexander
5. Joan Guzman
6. Amir Khan
7. Juan Urango
8. Juan Diaz
9. Andreas Kotelnik
10. Lamont Peterson
11. Nate Campbell
12. Ricky Hatton
13. Paulie Malignaggi
14. Kendall Holt
15. Randall Bailey

What do you think?

2. My Pound-4-Pound Top Dozen Right Now

Again, this is simply a snapshot at a particular moment in time and is subject to constant change. Here is my snapshot as of September1, 2009:

1. Manny Pacquiao
2. Juan Manuel Marquez
3 Juan Manuel Lopes
4 Shan e Mosley
5. Bernard Hopkins
6. Paul Williams
7. Nonito Donaire
8. Chad Dawson
9. Miguel Cotto
10. Celestino Caballero
11. Lucien Bute
12. Jorge Linares

Linares risks being deleted from the list due to inactivity and may well be replaced by Mikell Kessler next time around.

What do you think? How about an alternative list?

3. Do you think Pavlik- Williams will ever be made?

According to the doctor, Kelly hasn't been making his appointments. So what do you want me to do," "They tell me it will heal and he'll be cleared in the next few weeks. It is what it is. What am I supposed to do? I have absolutely no emotion.
--Bob Arum

Middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik's Oct. 3 title defense against Paul Williams was postponed because Pavlik is dealing with a nagging staph infection on the middle of his left hand according to Top Rank. It has been rescheduled.

However, I have a funny feeling this one is cursed. I also have a feeling too many excuses lurk around the Pavlik camp. Maybe it’s bad karma, but something seems badly amiss here. I hope I am wrong because their respective styles could make for an explosive fight.

4. Who will win the Super Middleweight Tourney?

My choice is Kessler though Carl Froch looms large as well. I see the stateside fighters being eliminated rapidly. The Euros appear to me to be too strong and tenacious, though the Americans may have the edge in technical skills. How do you see it play out?

5. Jones vs. Green. Who do you have and why?

Styles make fights and Danny’s is perfect for Jones to exploit. The granite-chinned Green is slow afoot though he has super heavy hands and explodes when he punches. I see Jones using pot shots and frustrating him throughout with his superior hand speed pulling off triple hooksand dazzling combos. The only danger I see for Roy is if he unwisely does a rope-a dope. Green hits way too hard for Jones to pull that stunt. Jones must not mistake Green for Lacey or Sheika. If he does, it could prove his undoing. Stay in the middle of the ring—and don’t lay on the ropes.

6. Gamboa vs.Lopez

Apparently, there is talk (and only talk) ofsuch a fight being made. Let’s hope it comes true. However, I do see Juan Manuel winning handily as it would be a case of the matadore vs. the bull. Unlike his fellow Cubans, Gamboa can be quite crude at times and is often off balance. He can get away with this against inferior opposition, but against the super-skilled Lopez, he would be exploited, schooled, punished and possibly even waxed.

7. Remembering Vernon (1971 -2009)

He was always a good guy, never did anything to anybody, was respected in the boxing community. This is tough for people to take because of who Vernon was.
--Trainer Ronnie Shield

If you sit there and watch a person take about an hour to tie his shoestrings, then you realize that whatever problems you got ain't that significant
---Vernon Forrest 2006

Maybe Vernon's lasting legacy will be for Americans everywhere to rise up and end this kind of senseless violence.
--HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg

He won his first world title when he defeated Raul Frank for the vacant IBF welterweight championship in 2001. But he was best known for his two stunning victories over Sugar Shane Mosley in 2002, which earned him the Boxing Writers Association of America's Fighter of the Year award. He also won the BWAA's Marvin Kohn Good Guy Award in 2003.

Previously, he had beaten Mosley to keep him off the 1992 Olympic team, but when they met in 2002, Mosley was a big favorite. The first crushing win over Sugar Shane vaulted him into superstardom for the first time, though it came somewhat late in his career. He wisely drew on his new popularity to further his charitable causes.

An engaging and affable man, he was much more than just a boxer. He became a role model in a sport not known for role models. More to the point, he worked tirelessly to improve the lot of young people with mental health problems in Atlanta. In 1997, he helped establish Destiny’s Child Inc., an organization that provides residential services and training for those with developmental, emotional and psychological disabilities.

Senselessly Gunned down and robbed in southwest Atlanta shortly after Arturo Gatti and Steve McNair died violent deaths, Vernon left behind a 12-year-old son, Vernon Jr., a record of three major boxing titles, a 41-3 record, and most importantly a legacy of charitable works within his community. He will be terribly missed.

Visit the author’s site at for stories, photos, and rocking music.

Article posted on 02.09.2009

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