January 10, 2012
IMAGINE TRYING to fill in the Grand Canyon with a shovel and a really humongous pile of dirt. That was the kind of daunting challenge that faced the hardy souls who were there when ESPN launched on Sept. 7, 1979. To fill all those hours of programming between the live football and basketball games people were most interested in seeing, the start-up version of ESPN gave viewers scads of Australian Rules Football, strongman contests and coverage of almost anything that was reasonably competitive and involved keeping score.
August 29, 1998 |
It was obvious from the opening bell that Roberto Duran was fighting two opponents. World Boxing Association middleweight champion William Joppy gets credit for administering the thumping absorbed by the 47-year-old Duran last night at the Las Vegas Hilton, but perhaps it was Father Time who played a greater role in terminating the remarkable career of the Panamanian legend. "I am finished," said Duran (102-14, 69 knockouts), a three-time world champion who turned pro in 1967, after the third-round technical knockout by Joppy (26-1-1, 20 KOs)
May 1, 1995 |
Mike Tyson, the boxing analyst, has a long way to go to match the accomplishments of Mike Tyson, the fighter. Bobby Czyz, a two-time former world champion who also served as an analyst for Showtime's cablecast here Saturday night, took pains to be kind in his assessment of Tyson's debut performance behind the microphone. "It's difficult to work as the fourth man on a four-man team, I don't care who you are," Czyz said of the former heavyweight champion, who also worked alongside blow-by-blow announcer Steve Albert and analyst Ferdie Pacheco.
December 14, 1994 |
Julio Cesar Chavez is calling his farewell tour "The Final Journey," but if he fights as he did last weekend, he may stumble on his way to what he hopes is his 100th fight. Chavez stopped Tony "The Tiger" Lopez in the 10th round of their super- lightweight bout Saturday night in Monterrey, Mexico, but he did not look like the man once hailed as the "greatest fighter in the world, pound for pound. " He was slow and tentative, his body punches no longer as quick or menacing as they were in his heyday.
September 10, 1993 |
Major League Baseball and ESPN have cracked a new cable deal. In an announcement yesterday in Boston, Bill Giles - the Phillies' president and a member of the TV negotiating committee for basball - said that baseball signed a six-year deal for $255 million. That represents less than half of what baseball got from ESPN in the previous agreement. In that four-year, $390 million deal, ESPN paid baseball an average of $97.5 million a year. Baseball will now receive approximately $42.5 million a year.
July 17, 1992 |
Given their respective backgrounds, perhaps the most stunning upset in boxing history is that Eddie Futch and Riddick Bowe ever got together. The 80-year-old Futch, who has trained 17 world champions during his legendary career, is a no-nonsense sort who demands absolute adherence to his dictums. "I've turned down some very good fighters because I knew they wouldn't listen to me," Futch said. "I turned down Archie Moore once because I knew he was too much of his own man. "I told him, 'Archie, you have a unique style and I don't think I could add anything to it. And you know I'm not the type of trainer who could just carry the bucket and wipe your face.
June 9, 1989 |
Not everyone is enamored of Monday night's rematch between Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns, but there has been no harsher critic of the fight than NBC boxing analyst Ferdie Pacheco. Pacheco, longtime physician for former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, told United Press International that both fighters are risking permanent disabling injuries. "These are two sinking battleships," Pacheco said of Leonard, 33, and Hearns, 30. "I hope both of them lose. This is a seniors tournament and they're playing with dynamite.
March 10, 1989 |
The public had to wait a quarter-century for the first home-viewing of the Feb. 24, 1964 fight that marked the rite of passage for Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. from boy contender to world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. After all that time, it's too bad NBC botched the opportunity to clear up the two major questions still adhering to the stunning upset scored that night by Clay, as he was then still known, over the seemingly invincible Charles...
September 28, 1988 |
NBC deserves sustained applause for the way it is covering the various foul-ups and scandals darkening the scenery at the Summer Olympic Games in Seoul. It is tempting to believe that South Korean officials griping about the network's coverage just don't know much about how free and uncensored journalists operate. South Korean officials seem most outraged by the way NBC covered the scandalous assault last week by some of the country's citizens on a boxing referee from New Zealand.
September 25, 1988 |
The television lights had just flicked off, and Jamie Pagendam was standing next to the boxing ring, blinking away the little dots in front of his eyes and trying to decide what to do next. Finally, NBC-TV broadcaster Ferdie Pacheco walked over to him, grabbed him by the right shoulder, and said, "Well, Jamie, now you're a hero all over the world. " Pagendam looked back at Pacheco and shrugged self-consciously. If this was what it took to be a hero, then he didn't want to be a hero.