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April 16, 2010     Post-Gazette
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April 16, 2010

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Page 16 BOSTON POST-GAZETTE, APRIL 16, 2010 CORNER TALK by Reinaldo Oliveira, Jr. David Hadley, World Champion Tony DeMarco and Iron Mike Pusateri. We're here at the Wyndham Boston- Andover Hotel honoring State Auditor Joe DeNucci. Here along with his wonderful wife Barbara DeNucci. This fabulous time is great. Along with a line-up of very interest- ing fights. 132 lb. J.O. Christian Monroy vs. Brian Lenane, 165 lb.; novice Robert Man- ning vs. Ethan Marshall, 141 open; August- ine Mauras vs. Willy Carvel; Heavyweight novice John Roach vs. Ben Santos, 141 lb. Open Eric Carranza vs. Anthony Janero, 132 lb. Open Liz Leddy vs. Roberta Pappas, 152 lb. Open Derrik Couture vs. Matt O'Donnel, 152 lb. Open Jason Quirk vs. John Xafaris, 152 lb. Open Joe Vargas vs. Ricky Ford, 123 lb. Open Dan Powers vs. Jacob Solis. They entertained the audience. State Auditor Joe DeNucci spoke well at this gala event. He's a man of class. He's been a benefit to Massachusetts. Two of his dis- tinguished opponents were present to cel- ebrate along with the Auditor. Iron Mike Pusateri and Ben Doherty. Both class indi- viduals. This event was well attended by those who put on this fine show and con- tributed to it's success. Those named al- ready, along with World Champion Tony DeMarco, Dottie McGeary, Robin Di Natale, Jim Barnes, David Hadley, Eric Busa, Jimmy Farrell, Jerry Forte, Mel Peabody, Christine Lewis, Christine Santacroce and the many, many more. John Rulz fought WBA World Heavyweight champion David Haye for the title in Manchester, England. Their bout was stopped at 2:01 of the ninth round with David Haye retaining his title. The corner of John Ruiz threw in the towel and stopped the fight. John Ruiz was in his pursuit of Haye and got knocked down twice in the first round. The second knockdown in the first round was from a rabbit punch. A point was deducted from David Haye and Ruiz was given no time to recover from this foul. Ruiz was knocked down in the fifth and in the sixth round too. In this fight, John Ruiz dis- played that he came to fight and win. John Ruiz of Massachusetts has a 44-9-1, 30 KO record and is 38 years old. David Haye is 29 years old and has a record of 24-0, 22 KO's. John Ruiz has represented the world of box- ing with dignity. He's a class gentleman. John Ruiz, is also a two time WBA Heavy- weight Champion and came to Manchester to fight, as did David Haye. John Ruiz bravely fought in the ninth round for victory, as did David Haye. At the end of the second minute of the ninth round, David Haye caught John Ruiz with some good punches. This prompted the corner of John Ruiz, "Miguel Diaz," to wave the towel, and halt the fight at 2:01 of the ninth round. David Haye, now calls out the Klitschko Brothers and acknowledges the heart and durability of eighteen year successful boxing veteran John Ruiz. In a rematch, 45-year-old Bernard Hopkins, defeated 41-year-old Roy Jones Jr., via scores of 117-110, 117-110, 118-109, in Las Vegas. It was worth the 17 year wait for Bernard Hopkins. Revenge is sweet, as the saying goes. As I read, "Hopkins and Jones, have shared a mutual disdain for one another ..." Bemard Hopkins is an Old School Fighter. He uses his experiences as well as any fighter. He uses the lessons learned in fights. He gets better with age. The ability he's learned versus other great opponents can not be taught: Roy Jones 17 years ago, Kelly Pavlik, Jermaine Taylor, Joe Calzaghe, Ronald Wright, Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad and Glen Johnson. He has John Xafaris and Jason Quirk battle it out. an ability of anticipating opponents inten- tions. Then with his sense of anticipation strikes back effectively. He uses his expe- riences and knowledge as well as any fighter. The experience he's gained versus the caliber of fighters they've fought is not wasted. Hopkins is 51-5-1, with 32 KO's and Jones is 54-7 with 40 KO's. Bernard Hopkins is an old master. A throwback to the mas- ters of yesteryear. He's a fighter who makes new upstarts appear novice. Their rematch was grueling. Both went to a Las Vegas hos- pital after the match. Both warriors pulled out all stops. They fouled. They struck each other with rabbit punches and threw some low blows. Hey, they even fought after the bell. Both are great fighters. Both are future Hall of Fame fighters. A quote from Bernard Hopkins, "I want David Haye, the Heavyweight Champion of the World." What's next for Hopkins? It's nice hearing from Herbie Weissblum. He has dedicated his life to many, in many different ways. He's a highly-qualified attor- ney. A Korean War veteran, who has served in many capacities within our world of box- ing. He was Chairman of the Massachusetts State Boxers Fund Board. We say a prayer for this good man and thank him for all that he has done for boxing. Hear the news. Mlguel Cotto is going to now be trained by ace veteran trainer Emanuel Stewart. Happy Boxer Birthdays: April 16 th Mickey Flynn, 23 rd Jim Melvin, 26 th Ron Borges, 29 th RIP Bernie McNally. UPCOMING FIGHTS April 30 th in Illinois, Edwin Rodriquez of Massachusetts dukes it out with Kevin Engel. May 1 "t on HBO PPV Shane Moseley battles it out with Floyd Mayweather Jr., in Las Vegas. August 14 th from Canada, on HBO. Chad Dawson of Connecticut fights it out with Jean Pascal, for the WBC Light-heavyweight title fight. Contender Iron Mike Pusateri and World Title Contender Joe DeNucci pose, prior to their two 1963 rousing battles. It was, by any observation, the most joyous postgame locker room of the season, it was, this place which on so many nights had been a tomb of gloom. But on this one particular afternoon, after the Bruins had vanquished the Buffalo Sabres to claim a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, all the doubt and talk of doom had been removed, replaced by the coming of a new second season. It was a day of relief where the frustration that had settled over the team for the past several weeks had been lifted and pulled away, re- vealing a reenergized band of brothers most willing to now more forward. Such was the atmosphere in the locker room that if the nega- tivity of the past somehow could had been made tan- gible and there had been a storm drain in the mid- dle of the room, you would have actually been able to see it leave the building -- that's how much you felt its removal. And it had been replaced by a sense of excitement -- that's the word coach Claude Julien used -- excitement. It was not a time to cel- ebrate -- there was none of that -- but a time to look to the future. "I don't think -- and I'm be- ing sincere here -- that I ever had any doubts," said Julien in a postgame press conference. "But I knew it was going to be a real uphill climb. We had inconsisten- cies. We had everything happen this year. I think lately we played with more energy, more focus on the task at hand and there was more urgency and determi- nation. That's really what helped the team get through this." The day of the victory over the Sabres and the ensuing triumph over Eastern Con- ference leader Washington on the road the next day enabled the B's to conclude the regular season literally on a high note. Their three- game win streak to end the season saw them finish in sixth place, the highest position still available. "You always take the posi- tives for what they are," said Julien. "You keep telling players, sometimes when they have a tough start to the season, people will 1:e- member you or remember the team for how high you finish, not how high you start. I guess the fact that we won our last three games definitely gives us some con- fidence or more confidence going into the playoffs. We know that we can do the job." Years from now few will remember how the Bruins struggled for essentially the second half of the season. In the weeks and months following the New Year's Day triumph over the Philadelphia Flyers in the Winter Classic at Fenway, disconsolation and frustra- tion seemed to be more the order of the day. Removed from memories by time, what will remain are the standings which show that Bruins finished sixth. That it took until the next to last day to claim a playoff spot will be pushed to the back- ground. And while the focus has been on the excellent goaltending of Tuukka Rask of late, let's not forget Tim Thomas, The 2008 Vezina Trophy winner started 43 games this season, the bulk of them early in the year. Rask came on strong, espe- cially after New Year's and deserved to be number 1 in the nets. But Thomas played the bulk of his starts in the first half of the year. Take away any two of his 17 wins and the B's would be going home this week, not going forward. Plus, even after Rask won the job, Thomas could still show flashes of superior play between the pipes. His last victory of the regular season was a 5-0 shutout of Calgary at the Garden, a win that gave the B's two crucial points during their stretch drive run for a play- off berth. But Rask is the right man for the moment. His excel- lent league best 1.97 goals against average says it all. If he keeps that up in the playoffs, the Bruins may well have a long and prosperous spring. It was the late Herb Brooks -- the head coach of the 1980 Miracle on Ice USA Gold medal winning Olym- pic hockey team -- who once said "when I see a new sheet of ice, all I see are possibilities." As the Bruins landed back in Boston for three days of practice before fac- ing the Sabres in the first round of the playoffs all that existed were possibilities. There were no longer any standings, no team was ahead or behind another and no team had won or lost a game. The slate had been wiped clean. Whether the Bruins would have a bumpy start in the playoffs or a relatively smooth one had yet to be determined. But as the second full week of April began a new season had dawned. The new sheet of ice for the second season was being made. Much like the Olym- pians of 30 years ago the Bruins were going forward to a venue where all that existed were possibilities. It would be up to them to turn those possibilities into positive realities. They earned a place at the playoff table with their play during the final week of the season. Now is their time to seize the moment and maximize that opportunity. WWW.BOSTON POSTGAZETTE.COM