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February 19, 2010     Post-Gazette
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February 19, 2010

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Page 16 BOSTON POST-GAZETTE, FEBRUARY 19, 2010 CORNER TALK by Reinaldo Oliveira, Jr. The Pugs are out to lunch. That's right, we're really out to lunch, at the Florian Hall, Dorchester. Pug ring leader Tommy Martini. again scored a knockout. Dining out are World Rated Heavyweight Title Challenger and pro- fessional football prospect Tom McNeeley, Dick Lydon, Dick Flaherty, Bob Benoit, Paul Doyle, Paul Barry, Joe Marques, Jimmy Connors, Don Green, Rick Rudolph, re- cipient of the "Pug of the Month Award," Mickey Finn's lady friend Mary Nelson and the other recipient of "Pug of the Month Award," 2010 Ring 4 President Bobby Franklin, Peter Santoro, Walter Groves, Ed Quigley, Danny Long, Art Boyson, Tinker Picot, Eli Gonzalez, Tony Magnifico of Boxing at Ringside in Viet- nam and George Kreger Jr., are here. This is another great get together. I'm watching Ed LaVache, owner of Boston Boxing & Fitness, on television. Boston Boxing, is a good show, with a good gym, and some good fighters. This gym is in Allston. There's Jimmy Far- rell and there's some others talking about the talented McNeeley family (Tom Mc- Neeley, Peter McNeeley and Kevin McNeeley). There's trainer John Biddy. The last match on this show is be- tween Mike Gallagher and Pat Bedig of Boston Boxing. "Ding!" This Saturday the 20 th of February. It's time to rock at Joe Angelo's. This is a time honoring RIP Allie Colombo. A great gentleman that is spo- ken well of by all. A neighbor, friend and trainer of the Rock of Brockton, will be honored this night. Come on down to this great time. Many from the world of boxing and the great world of Allie Colombo will be present. "Battle of the Badgesl" is in planning. Like, "Field Gen- erals", Dennis Marrese, Brian Dee Executive Director of Scientific Social Solutions, and Andrew Kelly-Hayes Event Promoter with the Boston Athletic Club are in planning. Strategically pre- paring for battle between New England Badged adefending our turf versus FDNY Boxing (Fire Department New York Boxl. This confrontation is on April 24 th. What I enjoy and admire about fighters is fighters stand up to adversity and battle opposition to reach goals. Darwin's "Survival of the Fittest1" It's the willing- ness to stand up and fight adversity. The willingness to compete to succeed. I admire L to R: Reinaldo Oliveira, Jr., with Father Marek Chmurski of St. Lawrence Church in New Bedford, champion musician Tony Melendez and Brother Jose Melendez. (Photo by Patrick Grime) "The Real Rocky!" World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Marciano, pictured with honored champion trainer, Allie Colombo. the fight business and love it. I've learned that fighters are not always Just boxers. Just as others, from other fields have written, and shown their admiration of boxers. I enjoy showing my admiration of true fighters in other fields. This last Sunday, I went to the church I regularly attend, St. Lawrence in New Bedford. We have a wonderful Priest Reverend Marek Chmurski, he has been at our church for a few years and has done great work. He came to the United State from Poland in 1992. Father Chmurski. ar- ranged a spectacular event with talented guitarist Singer Tony Melendez. "Tony Melendezl" and his music have inspired many. Tony Melendez, born with the desire to entertain and in- spire. He's a true fighter in life. This admirable man played for Pope John Paul II on September 15, 1987, sing- ing "Never Be the Same." Pope John Paul If, responded with "My wish for you is that you continue to give hope to others and continue in what you are doing." I myself sat in admiration of his abilities and I sang along as we were invited to. This well-tuned guitarist performed like a well-tuned fighter. He in- spired and motivated myself, as he did others. I admire the abilities of guitarist Tony Melendez. Guitarist Tony Melendez plays with his feet and has no arms. He's a Champion. Upcoming Fights: March 12  at Foxwoods, Let's "Brace for Impact:" as Local Heavy- weight Tony "TNT" Grano 16-I-I, 13 KO's takes on Mark "Oak Tree" Brown 15- 2, 7 KO's. Maybe the impact we are bracing for are falling Oak Trees? There will also be an exciting undercard. On March 13 th Manny Pacquiao dukes it out with Joshua Clottey at Cowboys Stadium in Texas. This will be a WBO World Welterweight title fight. Then on April 2, watch ESPN2, Olympian Demetrius Andrade fights Mike Arnsouti in New York. Then the 3 rd David Haye fights seasoned veteran John Ruiz. This fight is a WBA World Heavyweight title fight. Let's send our best wishes and prayers to John Ruiz. You can win John! On May I st Floyd Mayweather Jr., battles Sugar Shane Mosley at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Sugar Shane looked great in his victory over Antonio Margarito on January 24, 2009. Sugar Shane is a true seasoned, talented veteran. He won by way of a 9 th round TKO over Margarito. His fight should be a very inspiring fight with Pretty Boy Floyd. The speed of Mosley to Margarito will not be the same speed needed in comparison to beat Floyd Mayweather. I believe that Sugar Shane will have to practice on his speed of throw- ing combinations and press- ing Mayweather more to de- feat him. Margarito is a slower target to Sugar Shane than Mayweather will be to Mosey. Margarito was slower than Mosley and May- weather appears faster than Mosley. This could be the dif- ference? Thank you Bob Trieger for your great work ... The Pugs, at the Florian Hall Dorchester. Recent Happy Birthday Boys, the 19 t, 21 st, and 20 t. The Break. If it happened early in February, many would have thought it was just what the Bruins needed. But how a few games can change things. When the Bruins left town to start a four-game road trip they were lugging a sorry record -- only two wins in the 2010 portion of the schedule and none at all on Causeway Street, the only one in Bos- ton coming on New Year's Day in the Winter Classic at Fenway. But as the Olympic break began, one had to wonder if, in fact, it might take away the momentum that the team seemed to have ac- quired on the road, banking all eight points available in those four games. Right now, save for the six players the B's sent to Vancouver to partake in the quadrennial event, the Bru- ins are idle and won't resume their schedule until March 2 when they meet Montreal at the Garden. What's right with the Bru- ins is that they won those four games and thus can have pleasant thoughts during their fortnight away from the action. Not only that but those victories vaulted the B's into 7  place in the Eastern Con- ference standings, placing them once more -- however tenuously -- among those who might go forward to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in April. The week's road trip lead- ing into the break saw the Bruins come alive -- indeed, out of a virtual hibernation that had enveloped them since they skated off the ice at Fenway. A number of people think what ails the Bruins is the goaltending. But that's not the case. Yes, Tim Thomas has let in some soft goals. And Tuukka Rask could be better at times, although he has played very well of late. But consider this. That two- some has backstopped the B's to the third fewest goals al- lowed in the Eastern Confer- ence this season -- 154. That's right. At the Olympic break, 12 Eastern Confer- ence teams had allowed more goals than the B's. That in- cludes conference leader and overall NHL leader Washing- ton which had allowed 177 some 23 more than the Bru- ins. So if there's something wrong with the goaltending, at least 12 teams in the East- ern Conference and quite an additional number in the Western Conference would like to have the goaltending "problem" that Boston has. What really has hurt the Bruins this year is lack of scoring. That's the center of it all. At the break, the B's had scored a meager 149 goals -- the fewest of any team in the NHL and the only team to be below 150 tallies on the season as league ac- tion paused for Vancouver. Indeed, Conference leader Washington has found the range for 247 markers -- best in the NHL -- a full 98 more than the Bruins. That's not a small gap but a chasm -- and it has the potential to become even wider when play re- sumes after the Olympics. And therein lies the expla- nation. Boston's goalies can hold down the goals scored per night, but the team hasn't been able to back up the goal- tending by outscoring its op- ponents. If the B's surrender two goals but only score one and lose, that doesn't mean there is poor goaltending. It means that no one has stepped up to provide the scor- ing that was so evident last year. It wasn't that the Bruins traded Phil Kessel -- last season's leading goal scorer with 36 -- to Toronto. If he didn't really want to be here it was good to move him. The problem is that no single player -- or combination of players -- has stepped up and supplied the needed goals. Another aspect that's both- ersome is that the B's are 8-9 in skating overtimes and shootouts. That's nine poten- tial points lost so far this sea- son. Winning them all isn't realistic but ff the B's had con- verted five of those losses into wins they would have five more points and would have moved up another notch in the conference standings. When play does resume, there's going to be a real cram session as numerous teams compete for the remaining five spots on the Eastern Con- ference side of the playoffs. The three divisional winners gain automatic berths but the B's are ineligible for two of those spots by playing in the Northeast Division. At the break the B's, with 65 points, were 11 behind Northeast Division leader Ottawa. If the B's get red hot they might be able to chase down the Senators but the more realistic outcome is that they won't. Take away the three divisional winners then the Bruins are left to fight for one of the remain- ing five playoff berths open to them. The trouble is, so are nu- merous other teams and they are bunched so closely that on any given night one might move up or down in the Conference standings by 3-4 places. The Bruins are 10 points behind fifth place Buffalo, but also only seven points ahead of the 12 th place Islanders and Florida. That tightness means that the B's, in effect, no longer have sole control over their own destiny. On any given night where they stand will not only depend on how they do but on how others do as well. When action resumes there are 22 games left for the Bruins -- I0 at home and 12 on the road. Seven of those away games come between March 6-16 when the B's go on their longest road trip of the season. Come St. Patrick's Day morn we'll know a lot more. The Bruins either will have the luck of the Irish --or wish they had.