midweek workout change

I need to get some more walking midweek and so will replace a lifting session (Wednesday’s) with a medium walk (10 miles). I’ll keep this up until marathon taper week.

Today: from the Riverplex to the first road crossing on the East Peoria trail (about 8 miles) then to the Marina. 2:32 was the total time; it was a lovely day but it was an effort. Yesterday’s workout took something out of me.

I also did 10 minutes on the bike afterward.

It sure looks as if someone is trying to promote a Wladimir Klitschko vs. Shannon Briggs match:

I’m not sure if fight fans will buy this; Briggs is tough but is 42 years old, and his outing against Vitali Klitschko was, well, rather ugly:

Here he was, in the hospital after the fight:


How he got there:

Are the fans really clamoring for this?

July 30, 2014 Posted by | boxing, walking | , , | Leave a comment

Boxing: “best rounds” compiled

Now some may argue with the choices. I, for one, would have loved to have seen that epic Holyfield vs. Bowe, round 10 (which I provided). But these are excellent choices nevertheless.

June 30, 2014 Posted by | boxing | | Leave a comment

Quite a knock out…

Last night’s Friday Night Fights featured two 8 found middle weight matches as part of a boxing tournament (Boxcino). But to me: the (scheduled for 6 round) heavyweight match prior to these fights (which WERE good) stole the show. Nate Heaven was an underdog to Donovan Dennis and Dennis appeared to be winning round 1 when this happened.


The middle weights: yes, Brandon Adams beat Raymond Gatica by a split decision which, well, puzzled me. On my card, I had it 79-71 Adams (too many big shots) but the judges had it: 78-74, 78-74 Adams (which I could understand; some rounds WERE close) and one had it…77-75 for Gatica (????)

In the second bout, Willie Monroe “upset” the favored Vitalii Kopylenko (not sure why Kopylenko was favored); I too had this one 79-71 for the winner. The judges saw it 79-73, 79-73, 78-74. These scores, IMHO, were more reasonable. Kopylenko did land a couple of very hard shots but was mostly beaten to the punch all night long.

April 19, 2014 Posted by | boxing | | Leave a comment

Outliers and society

I think that this is common in this day and age: I have some students who are struggling in our “elementary conceptual calculus” course. They come to class, but work a large number of hours at a job in order to make ends meet. So…they are often left with very little time to study.

And yes, IN THIS COURSE, most of the students need to study quite a bit in order to have a chance at even a “C”.

In short: most students need to have a certain number of hours in order to sleep and to addition to making the classes and their part time jobs.

Now, some might say that this is nonsense.

I remember a professor I had at the Naval Academy. He said that when he was an undergraduate he studied very little for his math classes as he paid his own way through school by waiting tables. He made up for it by PAYING ATTENTION IN CLASS.

That is well and good…..but then remember that he had an earned Ph.D. in mathematics from MIT.

Most of us don’t have that type of natural ability.

Yes, Mohammed Ali could break the conventional rules of boxing (dangle his arms, lean away from punches):

But most, including most other professional boxers, don’t have that kind of ability.

Yes, there are people who can run a 2:15 marathon on 35 miles a week of training:

Following the 1976 trials he trained by running 35 miles per week and ran “a 2:14:37 for second place at the Nike-Oregon Track Club Marathon in Eugene in 1978. After that, he ran 2:15:23 for 15th place in the Boston Marathon in 1979.”

But most of us aren’t that gifted (this was Tony Sandoval, cowinner of the 1980 US Olympic Trials Marathon)

Yes, some can make a successful film while being stoned on marijuana, but most of us aren’t as talented as the Beatles.

The list can go on and on. The bottom line: you can gain inspiration from the incredibly successful, but you won’t be able to get away with taking the short cuts that many of them got away with. Neither you nor I are outliers.

Public policy should reflect this. Yes, it is great that a tiny minority of people might strike it very rich. But MOST WILL NOT. It is unjust to orient society that way.

February 25, 2014 Posted by | boxing, education, marathons, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Fighting a Ghost: Chambers vs. Mchunu, part II

I did a short “live blog” of the fight here.

You can read other accounts of the fight

Here (Boxing News)

When Chambers would come in punching range, Mchunu would pot shot him with jabs, right hands and straight lefts. Mchunu looked like a heavier, more muscular version of Floyd Mayweather Jr. with the way that he was able to dominate Chambers with pot shots and counter punches all night long.

Chambers looked frustrated in the second half of the fight, as he kept getting nailed by Mchunu fast shots over and over again, and there was nothing he could do about it because he didn’t have the hand speed or the skills to compete against the little known Mchunu.
This Mchunu looks for real at cruiserweight.

Here (Bad Left Hook):

Mchunu (14-1, 10 KO) won on scores of 99-91, 99-91, and 97-93, the latter score closer than anyone else had it that I was able to see on Twitter or on the site here. BLH had it 100-90 for Mchunu, finding no pity rounds to give Chambers (36-4, 18 KO).

The 31-year-old Chambers just never got out of the starting blocks in this one, as he looked bewildered by the southpaw counter-puncher from South Africa, as if he had no real game plan and was just there to wing it and see what happened. Several theories were offered during the fight: Chambers’ usual speed advantage was gone, Chambers didn’t know how to fight a southpaw, Chambers ate bad Subway pulled pork, #FAMJUICE is definitely not a PED, and so on, but really, he just got outboxed and outfought for the entire fight.

and here (Super Sport: South Africa)

Mchunu had hardly any trouble in keeping the experienced American at bay and picked his punches well throughout. Rated seventh by the WBC, Mchunu probably put himself in line for more lucrative bouts against good opponents.

He improved his professional record to 14-1, with 10 knockouts. Chambers dropped to 36-3, including 18 short-cut wins.

The 31-year-old American had fought the likes of Samuel Peter, Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin. He fought at heavyweight for most of his 13 years as a professional but recently dropped to the cruiserweight division.

Mchunu, a 24-year-old southpaw, had never fought outside South Africa before taking part in this Fight Night tournament.

Chambers lost to Klitschko and Adamek in his previous three fights and had been inactive since June last year. But he was expected to use his height and reach advantages to beat the little-known South African.

If one wants to look at all aspects of this fight, one has to give Mchunu credit for a fine performance. He was very well prepared and he shone; he fought a very smart, disciplined fight.

But I am approaching this as a Chambers follower/fan.

So here is my fan’s opinion (which, by definition is probably a mostly uninformed one):

Here is what went wrong: (follow for the first 2 minutes):

Wait: this was over 3 years ago, right? (March 2010)

In my opinion: Chambers was 35-1 coming into that fight, with just a UD loss to Alexander Povetkin. Losing to Klitschko made him 35-2. Then, after recovery, he had a sort-of lackluster (but earned) UD vs. Derric Rossy (a guy he had previously knocked out) and a controversial UD loss to Tomasz Adamek; Chambers tore a bicep muscle early in the fight and fought on anyway, and in my opinion (and in the opinion of other observers), actually out landed Adamek (causing visible damage) but lost on the score cards because Adamek was busier.

In short, Chambers has lost 3 of his last 4 fights, albeit to top competition (current champion, past champion and top ten contender, top ten contender).

But, it appears to me that he has lost something; 40 professional heavyweight fights vs. people like Sam Peter, Wladimir Klitschko, Tomasz Adamek, Alexander Povetkin and Alexander Dimitrenko will take something out of you.

I wonder if it is time for him to start thinking about *owning* a gym rather than training in it; right now his mind appears to work pretty well. He has had an excellent career.

As far as last night’s fight: Chambers has got some rather negative remarks on the social media.

This reminds me (vaguely) of what happened to me my freshman year at the Naval Academy. I had wrestled in high school and had beaten a couple of other guys who wrestled in high school. So when I took the “place out of PE wrestling” test, I was matched against someone who was recruited for the wrestling team and who had WON varsity matches as a freshman.

When I went against him: total joke. I’d try a move and …he wasn’t there anymore…he was constantly a step (or two or three!) ahead of me the entire time. I looked pathetic; as if I had never wrestled a day in my life. I failed the “place out test”.

The two guys that I had beaten (easily): they wrestled each other and BOTH placed out. Later, I wrestled both again, and had no problems; I could beat them. But I couldn’t beat a ghost.

Obviously, last night’s professional fight was at a much, much, much higher level, but I know the feeling of making a move (punch in this case) and the target being long gone and ready to counter. You get frustrated, tentative and discouraged, and that is what I saw last night.

August 4, 2013 Posted by | boxing | , , | Leave a comment

Eddie Chambers vs. Thabiso Mchunu: live blogging

Round one: boxers feeling each other out; both land jabs; Mchunu landed the harder shots. 10-9 Mchunu, but it was close.

Round two: not much; both fighters are cautious but Mchunu landed a bit more. 10-9 Mchunu.

Comment: it appears as if Chambers is surprised at how quick Mchunu is. No one has gotten hurt.

Round three: like the first two. 10-9 Mchunu.

Comment: it is weird to see Chambers in the ring with someone that is quicker than he is. But that appears to be the case, at least so far.

Round four: just like the first 3. 10-9 Mchunu. It is cat/mouse; not a lot of exchanges and very few connects by either fighter. Chambers doesn’t look comfortable, at all.

I hate to say it, but this looks like a fighter on his way up versus one on his way down.

Round Five: crowd boos; Chambers falls further behind. He appears to be in with someone who is too quick for him, at least too quick to fight this style. Can he brawl?

But after 5: 50-45 Mchunu.

After 6: Chambers is getting frustrated and Mchunu is taking advantage. Again, no real damage but Mchunu is landing more. 60-54.

Chambers needs knockdowns or a knock out; he needs to take risks.

After 7: nothing changed. 70-63 Mchunu. Again, the punch difference is maybe 6-7 more per round. No one is hurt, but Mchunu is outlanding him.

Round 8: same old. Chambers can’t land; Mchunu counterpunches. 80-72.

The speed advantage that Chambers is used to having is gone; it might be the drop in weight division, and it might be…age.

Round 9: 90-81. Not close at all; Chambers is not hurt but is getting outboxed. Then again, this is his 40’th fight…and he hasn’t really been the same after the Klitschko knock-out.

Round 10: same. I have it 100-90, Mchunu.

Chambers: he trained and he tried. But this is his 40’th professional fight and he is in his 30’s; unless there is something going on that we don’t know about, he is on the downside of his career.

But he has had an excellent career.

Official scores: 97-93, 99-91, 99-91. Oh Eddie, you had a rough night. But it takes guts to put it all on the line for all to see and you did that.

August 4, 2013 Posted by | boxing, Uncategorized | | 1 Comment

Keyboard Krugmans and Klitschkos

I was a bit amused when I read the following Tweet from Lennox Lewis, a former world heavyweight boxing champion:

Screen shot 2013-05-24 at 8.30.14 PM

Someone made a comment about “Keyboard Klitschkos”; it is sure easy to puff out the old chest and talk trash to someone you will never meet in the ring.

In terms of boxing: I had to box for PE at the Naval Academy. I made a B (86); they didn’t inflate grades. Basically, an “A” was someone who was at the level to box in intramurals, from which the boxing team was drawn. Going head to head with someone who could compete at that level was both a painful and humiliating experience.

Never mind a competitive amateur or a professional!

This internet principle holds in other arenas. On the internet, an average person can provide “corrections” to a Nobel Laureate economist. Paul Krugman talked about “pulling rank” (e. g. two economists are arguing over a policy, and the more lauded economist argues “hey, I am more successful than you are therefore….”). Paul Krugman thinks that is not a good thing to do. But he goes on to say:

Do I do this myself? Probably on occasion, when I don’t catch myself. But I try not to. I would say that commenters who begin with “I can’t believe that a Nobel prize winner doesn’t understand that …” might want to think a bit harder; mostly, though not always, I have actually thought whatever you’re saying through, and the obvious fallacy you think you’ve found, isn’t.

In other words, if YOU think that he missed something basic in economics, it is highly likely that you are wrong.

And of course, there are the untrained who think that their “common sense” observations (e. g. the heuristics that makes sense TO THEM) constitute something useful to the discussion of a complicated topic. It doesn’t:

In the nicest possible way and with great respect, could I make two suggestions to would-be commenters, based on past experience when this topic has come up-

Please pause before offering your own common sense view. There are topics in science, of which this is one, where common sense is not a good guide. If it were, professional biologists would not have been arguing about it for five decades. There is a large back literature in which the likelihood is strong that whatever commonsense view you put forward has already been proposed and exhaustively discussed. As an analogy, common sense is notoriously misleading when we try to understand quantum mechanics. If you could do physics by common sense, we wouldn’t need physicists. To a lesser extent, something like the same thing applies here.

I admit that the folks I just talked about are in the elite ranks of sports, economics and science.
I am NOT in the elite of anything, though I am competent in mathematics; I do get a few references in mathematical literature:

Screen shot 2013-05-24 at 8.57.17 PM

And even I get tired of dealing with cranks. I can handle it when people know that they don’t know what they are talking about. But, in many cases, people really don’t realize that there IS a body of knowledge out there and that “this makes sense to me” is NOT evidence of anything!

If an expert in a field is doing something in their field that seems counterintuitive to you, just remember that the chances that you are right and that the expert is wrong is very, very small.

I hasten to point out that having a blog or being a writer about a topic does not qualify as being an expert. :-)

May 25, 2013 Posted by | boxing, evolution, internet issues, science, social/political | , , | Leave a comment

Meowhammed Ali

(title was shamelessly stolen from a comment made by Redscout3 at youtube)

Note: my back is a bit more sore than normal. I have to stretch it really well; perhaps do some yoga and a light jog.

March 7, 2013 Posted by | boxing, humor | , | Leave a comment

Cicada Walk

I slept in a bit and didn’t start walking until 8:30 am. I walked the lunch course plus two 3 mile Cornstalk out-and-backs. There was some traffic but not that much. The cicadas (perennial ones) were singing their hearts out.

Speaking of athletics: here is a biochemistry professor’s discussion of latic acid and endurance.



Note: I am watching Olympic boxing on television; I am shocked that the referees got a call right.
Well, the judges just made a questionable call…again in a Satoshi Shimizu fight. This time I thought that is opponent Mohamed Ouadahi (from Algeria) won…but the score was 17-15 and his opponent got a 2 point penalty. But then again, this was an opinion and not gross incompetence.

I just watched a good fight between BETERBIEV from Russia and Usyk of the Ukraine. Usyk won though I had Beterbiev winning on my card. Interestingly, Usyk nailed Beterbiev with a body shot that resulted in an 8 count (like a knockdown) but then….got a warning from the referee? The action in the ring was pretty good though.

The Perlata (Argentina) vs. Pulev (Bulgaria) match was good; somehow Pulev got the decision though Perlata nailed him with repeated bodyshots in the last round. I had Perlata winning…go figure.

Now we had ANOTHER crappy decision….

Another note: The boxing association overturned a verdict against American Errol Spence; his Indian opponent held him repeatedly and wasn’t called for it. Spence advances to the next round and has an excellent chance at a medal.

August 5, 2012 Posted by | boxing, Olympics, training, walking | Leave a comment

Who is winning this fight?

From here

Magomed Abdulhamidov was knocked down SIX times by Satoshi Shimizu in the last round alone, but was never given a single count. He was only told to get up. After the fight, he had to be helped to the dressing area. Yet he was “given” the victory.

Fortunately the Japanese team filed a protest and the protest was correctly upheld; Shimizu should have been given a knock-out win after the third knock down.

Frankly, I think that the referee should have stopped the fight after the second knock-down, but what the heck.
See the above link for more photos.

There are more videos and stories here.

In other action, Joseph Diaz fought well against World Champion Lazaro Alvarez but lost a decision that I thought was too wide; the judges gave Alvarez a 4 point win in round 2 that I just didn’t see. I can see Alvarez getting the decision, but this was a grueling, competitive fight.

There were a couple of other questionable decisions:

Iran’s Ali Mazaheri cried foul when the heavyweight was disqualified after being warned three times for persistent holding against Cuban Jose Larduet Gomez despite leading by two points going into the second round.

I really didn’t see much that warranted Mazaheri getting DQ’ed.

Then: superheavyweight Joshua Anthony was given a decision against Cuban Erislandy Savon that I didn’t quite understand. Anthony was head by 2 points going into the final round which Savon won by one point; on my card Savon won the last 2 rounds by 3-4 punches each.

Also in the super heavyweights, Zhang Zhilei of China knocked out Johan Linde of Australia with a huge right hook to the head. Zhilei can hit.

August 2, 2012 Posted by | boxing, Olympics | Leave a comment


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