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Page 16 BOSTON POST-GAZETTE, SEPTEMBER 25, 2015 HOOPS and HOCKEY in the HUB by Richard Preiss L MAYWEATHER GOES TO 49-0 Am I Supposed to be Impressed? Comparisons to Marciano are Ridiculous Marciano lands a right hand on Ezzard Charles. Former champs Fritzie Zivic and Henry Armstrong would have chased Floyd out of the ring. Emile Griffith and Luis Rodriguez would have toyed with him and made him look like an amateur. Curtis Cokes and Tony DeMarco would have de- stroyed him. Can you even imagine Mayweather put- ting up with the relentless pressure Carmen Basilio would have applied? Sugar Ray Robinson and Charley Burley would have surely been charged with attempt- ing first-degree murder for even agreeing to fight him. With his recent deci- sion victory over the very mediocre Andre Berto, Floyd Mayweather has improved his record to 49 wins with no losses. Many in the boxing world are now saying this puts Floyd on a par with Rocky Marciano, who ended his career with a record of 49 and 0. This comparison is just plain idiocy, and I feel it sullies the name of Rocky Marciano to even discuss it. But, since so many so-called boxing experts seem con- vinced that Mayweather has done something earth-shat- tering here, I feel I must chime in. Today, boxing pundits dis- cuss the sport more like it is baseball. They use all kinds of crazy statistics to try to convince us that we are living in some golden age of boxing. They cite punch stats, the amount of con- secutive rounds won by a fighter, and the most ridicu- lous of all: the number of titles a champion has won. Seeing that just about every fighter who has over a dozen fights manages to get crowned with some type of a title has only trivialized the whole concept of being a world champion. I have writ- ten on this subject before where I discussed how the heavyweight champion- ship has lost any essence of prestige. This also goes for all of the other weight divisions. As to this 49 and 0 business. Mayweather is a fighter with at most average talent when compared to the days when boxing was an art. Robinson vs. LaMotta. I could go on and on about the superior records of so many of the fighters of the past when boxing was an art, not the silly carnival it has become today. So, now we have this in- sane comparison between Floyd Mayweather and Rodky Marciano all based on the fact that, in a period of al- most 20 years, Floyd has compiled a record of 49 wins and no losses against hand- picked opponents, the latest Henry Armstrong vs. Fritzie Zivic. being Berto, a fighter who was not very good at his best and was three and three in his last six bouts. Julio Cesar Chavez was 49 Mcfll :) G llo Appraisals Sales & Rentals Real Estate 376 North Street * Boston, MA02113 (617) 523-2100 * Fax (617) 523-3530 Tony DeMarco rocks Carmen Basilio. and 0 in just the first three years of his career and went on to have 87 straight victo- ries without a loss. I don't remember any comparison being made with Rocky Marciano then. Rocky Marciano was a great fighter who complied his record in eight years while fighting some of the greatest fighters of all time. What made Rocky's record unique is the fact he was and still is the only heavyweight champion to retire without ever having lost a profes- sional fight. Gene Tunney retired as the undefeated heavyweight champ but did have one loss on his record from earlier in his career. Rocky, unlike Floyd, also took on the top contenders when he was champion and never ducked anyone. He took pride in being the champion and it showed in the way be performed both inside of the ring and out of it. He beat three former heavyweight champions, two of them twice. He stopped one of the all-time greatest light heavyweight champi- ons. Rocky had the heart, the determination, and the pride that is sorely lack- ing in. fighters like Floyd Mayweather. Those who insist on mak- ing these nutty comparisons have no respect for the rich history of the Art of Boxing. They are grasping at straws when they are making these ridiculous arguments. Just the other day I read where a noted boxing histo- rian say Roy Jones, Jr., will go down as the great- est middleweight champion of all time. That means he would be better than Sugar Ray Robinson, Harry Greb, Jake LaMotta, Emile Griffith, and dozens of others. This is beyond belief. The hucksters and con men who run boxing to- day are bamboozling the public into believing they are watching real talent in the ring, and they are hav- ing success selling this. They bring on commentators claiming to be "boxing ex- perts" and have them spout all kinds of drivel in order to make it seem like boxing has some connection with the great sport it once was. This is all done to dumb down the average boxing fan. These people have no shame what so ever. It is truer than ever that there is a sucker born every minute, and they seem to gravitate towards boxing. A NEW OT ARRIVES -- Bruins fans got a glimpse -- and it was a very brief one -- of the ]aew overtime format that will be in effect this year throughout the NHL. It lasted only 12 seconds. In case you missed the news, once a regular sea- son garne ends in a tie, the teams will go to a 3-on-3 for- mat for the standard five- minute overtime. The previ- ous format in the regular season was 4-on-4 and resulted in many contests going to a shootout, some- thing many people came to dislike as the years went on. So, the NHL used the American Hockey League as a lab last year to carry out an experiment. They added a couple of minutes to the OT, had the first few minutes played in the 4-on-4 format and the last few in the 3-on- 3. A lot more games ended during the 3-on-3 portion. Far fewer games advanced to a shootout. Thus, the NHL decided to eliminate 4-on-4 altogether and use 3-on-3 exclusively. Now, all teams will use 3-on- 3 ff there's a tie at the end of regulation. Each team will still get a point. They'll play for a second one in the OT. If a penalty is called, one side will not lose a player, mean- ing it won't go to 3-on-2. In- stead, the other side will gain a player and the action will resume with 4-on-3. If the game is still tied af- ter the five-minute overtime skating session, then the teams will go to a shootout, something that is expected to occur on a much-less- frequent basis this year. The Bruins and Capitals were supposed to have a 3-on-3 regardless of the score at the end of the game so the teams could practice the for- mat in advance of the regu- lar season. So, when the two teams dueled at the Garden in the first home preseason game and things actually stood at I-1 after 60 minutes, it made it more realistic. The 3-on-3 overtime lasted all of 12 seconds as the B's won the faceoff, moved down the ice, got a 2-on-1 break and won the game as David Pastrnak took a pass from David Krejci and whizzed a shot past Caps Goalie Philipp Grubauer. It was a quick ending to the proceedings, and if the goal of the NHL was to cut down on shootouts, then the dem- onstration at the Garden was a pretty vivid one. Consider: there was a winner, some- thing television really wants; it ended quickly; and, best of all, there wasn't a shootout. If you don't like shootouts, this may be just the format for you, "I'm OK with it (3-on-3) because, honestly, I hate shootouts," Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien had said before the game. "I hate an individual deciding a team game. So I like it because I think a lot of it will get resolved in the 3-on-3." But Julien also said he was partial to the older 4-on-4 for- mat. "We didn't lose that many games. We definitely won more than we lost. A lot of times last year our best period was the overtime period." However, he conceded that the newer way might achieve what many want: far fewer shootouts. "The 3-on-3 is definitely going to resolve what I think a lot of people secretly hope for -- fewer shootouts and hopefully more decision-making on the out- come of games." Julien says the B's strat- egy in this new form of OT is to gain puck possession as soon as possible and then maintain high energy. "As soon as you lose the puck, you have to get on the right side of it and that's why shifts have to be short. You may get only one or two chances and, if you don't score, get off the ice because we've got to get fresh legs out there. I think it's important to keep it short and high- energy because it just takes a little mistake. One bad pass that's behind you, they get it and they're gone on a break- away or on a 2-on-1. So, it's not going to take much to decide the outcome." Indeed, that's what hap- pened on the B's winning goal. The Bruins won the faceoff, maintained posses- sion, and created a 2-on-1 situation that led to Pastrnak's winning goal. "I liked the way they scored that goal," noted Julien. "It was great winning the face- off. I thought it was a little bit of a challenge for us through- out the game. Even though it's preseason when you don't win faceoffs, you're chasing the puck more than you'd like. But in the overtime, we won the faceoff, took control of the puck, made a couple of passes and the puck was in the net." Caps Coach Barry Trotz in- dicated that he and his staff are collecting "data and film" so that they "can get our guys to realize that it's more about puck manage- ment and situational man- agement. When you don't have the puck, you've got to be good defensively. When you have the puck, you've got to manage it right and look for windows. We haven't learned that yet. We're giving up a goal because our minds are al- ways on the offensive part of it. We've got to get balance. You're going to let them score if you don't manage the defensive part of it. And the defensive part of it is just angling and using your skills to make sure they don't out- number you in any situation -- which the Bruins did on that one." We still think it's a gim- mick. You wouldn't play base- ball with fewer players in the extra innings. You wouldn't play football with nine or ten men in OT. It may be a better gimmick than the older one, but it's still a gimmick.