Neil Cavuto Takes On Larry Holmes: Boxing Loses

21.06.05 - By Wray Edwards: My bedtime is usually between one and two AM. It is at that time that we occasionally tune to the Fox News channel to watch "Your World With Neil Cavuto". Mr. Cavuto is one of the self-appointed gurus who populate the cable networks presenting news of the Stock Markets and world-wide financial goings-on. "Your World" is a general interest show on which Neil discusses events of the day which includes in-studio guests from time-to-time. We privately refer to Mr. Cavuto as the "Sandman" because as he drones on his often inane patter puts us neatly to sleep..

Around five AM I suddenly awake with a start from seeing vague and disturbing images of Larry Holmes in a business suit passing through my dreams. Or was it a dream? That little voice spoke and the TV was turned back on. As luck would have it the very same show which had so nicely put us to sleep was on again, and there, for all the world to see, sat the great Larry Holmes, like Jabba the Hut, talking with Mr. Cavuto. They were discussing comments and articles which are all over the Web that Ann Wolfe has been licensed by the Mississippi Boxing Commission to fight a MAN at the Coast Coliseum on August 20th.

Mr. Cavuto introduces Larry amid comments about how the Association of Boxing Commissions is attempting to block the alleged fight and its $100,000.00 purse. "Larry Holmes is here to give us his reaction to what probably is the sorry state of boxing when this is a big deal." Larry was in New York to be recognized for his philanthropic activities. Mr. Holmes, on his third try, finally managed to pronounce the name Laila Ali correctly as the two discussed the rumor that Laila is ducking Ms. Wolfe (who, by the way, is alleged to be ducking Valerie Mahfood). Good Grief!!

Neil: "So now let's say she finds a man, they still haven't dug up a guy (as if they're looking for a corpse) willing to do this. But let's say they do, and this woman, you know, beats him then what? Larry then manages to stick both feet directly in his mouth with the chauvinist comment, "Then we (referring to men) have to wash dishes" to which Neil laughs and then, thinking better of it, says, "Now careful careful." Larry remarks that the association probably won't allow the fight.

Mr. Cavuto then comments: "I think what's sorrier Larry, uh, no offence to the sport that you made so big, it ain't there any more. This has become a circus." Larry responds: "Too many champions, too many promoters trying to get champions, too many different organizations that's messing boxing up." He's right about that.

First of all, Larry was a great champion, but for Neil to patronize him with such a condescending remark is ludicrous. Many great champions were probably turning over in their graves after hearing that statement. Additionally, as with any system of enterprises, there are good examples of the sport and bad ones. Mr. Cavuto does a great disservice by his blanket condemnation of the sport which haplessly includes those boxers who are honest, courageous and successful in the sport, despite its current configuration. Should Gatti, Barrera, Morales, Corrales, Tszyu, Hatton, Elder, and so many others, who typify what is best in the sport hang 'em up just because they have to work within a flawed system? The answer is an emphatic NO!

Second, where in hell does Neil Cavuto get the pompous temerity to characterize professional Boxing (which has its problems, to be sure) as a "circus", considering the outrageous felonies committed by the CEO's and CFO's of the corporate world which is more Neil's métier than the sport of Boxing which he so glibly condemns? These Wall Street nabobs and corporate wheeler-dealers at Tyco, Enron, Global Crossing and other firms like Arthur Anderson are being charged with and, in some cases, being convicted of destroying the lives of millions of pensioners and trusting investors all over the country. Now there's a "circus" for you. Get real Neil!

They then went on to discuss the recent demise of Mike Tyson's career to which Neil remarks, at one point, "You said he should have fought a couple of tin cans." Hey Neil! Most of fans who use the term prefer "tomato cans". This writer finds the term offensive and disrespectful of boxing in general, no matter who uses it, or to whom they are referring in doing so. The conversation then turned to Larry's comeback and Neil offers, "I think boxing's a joke now." Larry: "It's a joke to a certain extent, but remember when I was fighting it was on ABC, NBC and CBS and now it's on pay-per-view and they want money" in a tone which smacked of disapproval and sour grapes.

Mr. Cavuto then lauds Larry's willingness to take on the top contenders, not avoiding anybody and fighting "every few months". Then he says, "NOW the name of the game is fight once a year, tops.pre-picked opponent, save your strategy, hang on to the belt, milk it for all the money you can." Larry responds, "Get the five - ten million dollars every time you go out that's what their doin' (Neil, "Yeah.") and I couldn't do that then." Everything in life is timing Larry. Besides, many boxers risk their lives for chicken-feed just to get their noses in the tent and never make it to the harem.

Holmes then says something to the effect that "We don't even know who's fighting a lotta times. A lotta guys with different names and whatnot.we don't even know who's fighting." Well Mr. Holmes, maybe you should pay closer attention to present day rankings and fights. Then you would know what's happening instead of mumbling inane comments about the sport.

Neil then asks if Larry might be back in the ring to which he replies that "George is the only one for me" and they both laugh about how George has been avoiding Larry. They conclude the interview with good-natured laughing amid Neil's kudos to Holmes about his great career.

To be fair, "Your World With Neil Cavuto" is usually pretty informative and entertaining, except at 1:30 AM. Then it's a great route to the land of Morpheus. Neil should stick to what he knows (and respects) best. If he wants to take his six foot plus frame into a boxing ring somewhere, I'm sure there are several "clowns" from the ranks of professional Boxing who would be glad to acquaint him with the finer points of pugilism, and it won't take three rings.just one will do nicely.

Then we'll see whether he still thinks the sport is a "joke" or not.

Mr. Cavuto, you are hereby challenged to invite a guest on your show who is capable of being an articulate spokesman for the sport. We suggest Al Bernstein, Diego Corrales, Buddy McGirt, Joe Goosen, or anyone of many qualified by dint of ethically participating in the sport, who will readily admit to its faults, but will also give voice to the courage and grandeur which are displayed when two men meet in the single combat of our Sweet Science.

Article posted on 21.06.2005

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