Ferocity personified – thats is how I remember the first round of Hagler vs Hearns at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, April 15, 1985.
thesweetscience.com has published an article on this fight that I am loath to try to better it, below excerpt from the article sets the clip up but check out the full piece here:
Nearly a quarter century later it remains a high point of boxing in the latter half of the twentieth century. Some knowledgeable experts have described it as the greatest fight in boxing history – which it probably wasn’t, if only due to its brevity. But its ferocious first round, which to this day remains the standard against which all others are measured, was undoubtedly the most exciting in middleweight annals, and one of the two or three best opening stanzas of all time.
What did Bob Arum know that the rest of us did not? Already in the midst of an age in which it had already become obligatory to sell every big fight – and many smaller ones – with a catchy slogan, the promoter who had already staged (with Don King) the Thrilla in Manila, as well as served as the impresario for Evel Knievel’s ill-fated attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon, christened the 1985 matchup between Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns simply “The Fight.”
Events proved Arum prescient. It was, indeed, The Fight.
From collaborations with Louis Vuitton to mass market figurines available to all, Murakami has been dealing in the three-dimensional for sometime. His Lonesome Cowboy sculpture (directly below) broke auction records by going under the hammer at Sotheby’s for $15 million. Murakami’s sculpture is as ‘in your face’ and lurid as his work in any other media, these cartoonish characters loom at you in gigantic proportions. They are unforgettable and most importantly they sell!
People often ask me why I love boxing – it’s a brutal sport they say, just two men beating each other senseless for meager rewards. While for every car crash of a life that boxing is caught up in – Edwin Valero’s whirlwind of torment, murder, misery and knockout records, there is also the side of boxing that is all about turning chaos into order, lives into productive examples to everyone that has suffered tragedy and come back fighting. The “vida loca” of Johnny Tapia is an example of all every virtue boxing has. As lives on the wrong side of the tracks go you can’t get much worse than Tapia childhood:
When Tapia was born on 13 February 1967 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, his father – whose identity is unclear – had apparently already been murdered.
He was brought up by his mother, Virginia. At the age of seven a bus he was travelling in careered off a 100-foot cliff, killing the pregnant woman who was sitting next to him. The young Johnny was thrown through a window but escaped with only minor injuries.
In 1975 his mother was kidnapped, brutally attacked and left for dead. Virginia Tapia was found and taken to hospital, where she died four days later of her injuries. No one was charged with the murder but the killer’s identity was made public by police in 1999. But the murderer, Richard Espinosa, had been killed in a car crash in 1983.
The comeback fights...
Tapia has battled serve drug addiction throughout his life “I was clinically dead three times for more than a minute each,” he has said of his many overdoses and relapses. He has been banned for his drug use and failing medicals too, but each time his loyal fans and boxing has provided a route back from the brink..His boxing career is a lesson in tough knocks. His career record boasts 57 wins (29 by KO), 5 loses and 2 draws. In amongst those fights he’s won 5 world titles along the way and knocked up some legendary wars with the likes of Paulie Ayala and Marco Antonio Barerra.
Tapi’s battles inside and out of the ring are the stuff Hollywood films are made of, throughout his incarcerations, overdoses, tragedy and world championships Tapia has lived on the brink. Boxing has remained his saviour – his way back from the worst human nature has to throw at a person. In a sport where there is nowhere to hide when the first bell sounds, Tapia has shown again and again just what it takes to be a fighter and one of life’s survivors.
Photographs were import to Francis Bacon – his studio was littered with a piles of them, images of friends, x-rays, medical imagery, the early motion photography of Eadweard Muybridge, Diego Velasquez’s – Pope Innocent X. painting and photos of his own works formed a rich visual aid and were the starting point for many of his paintings.
Photos of the artist himself also helped characterise one of Britons most important and famous artists. Bacon was a tough character, a self-taught artist - his penchant for sadomasochism, East End gangsters, gambling and wild drinking in Soho also provided him with a fearful reputation. There is not an enormous collection of staged photographs of Bacon – but those that exist are fascinating – Bacon’s face had a peculiar doughy shape and how it was recorded and contextualized – either in his studio or out made for a something very visceral.
Profile of boxer Edwin Valero as he approached his 2006 title fight with Vicente Mosquera. Includes interviews and sparring footage.
With the hindsight of recent events it makes for sad viewing perhaps, Valero had real raw talent – devasting power as you see from the sparring.
I think his trainer sums it up in the interview when he says Valero was a “street kid, a gang fighter”, unfortunately that mentality followed him into this personal life and had tragic consquences.
Posted in boxing
Tagged edwin valero
For thirty years Francis Bacon lived worked in Reece Mews, a former coach house located in a Victorian mews in the London borough of South Kensington. It was here he produced many of his greatest paintings. Years, after his death the studio remained uninhabited and untouched exactly as he had left it.
Posted in art
Tagged francis bacon
Boxing is a strange sport at times – fighters that once have been highly touted can easily fall from public grace after one defeat for example.
Mikkel Kessler actually established himself on a global stage with a loss in his fight with now retired Joe Calzaghe. That fight took Calzaghe to the wire, Kessler proved that he could mix it with one of the greatest super middleweights ever and only all Calzaghe’s ring smarts and lessons learned over the years saved the Welsh great from losing his unbeaten record that night.
At 31 though, many now question the miles on Kessler’s clock – did the Calzaghe fight take something out of him? Certainly his shock loss to Andre Ward in the first stage of Super Six Boxing Classic gave cause for concern. Most fans and pundits thought that Kessler was the hot favorite for this tournament – his pedigree seemed far too superior to all the other fighters. I thought so too, Kessler on paper should have taken Ward apart and then finished him off for the cameras, instead the Kessler that turned up that night was a shell of his former self – he was flat-footed and easy to hit. It was a hard fight to watch for any Kessler fan, from the looks of that fight he was a shot fighter, a spent force.
Questions to be answered after Ward fight
All questions will be answered this weekend as Kessler faces off against British WBC champion Carl Froch in an eagerly anticipated fight in Kessler’s homeland of Denmark. This is a make or break fight for Kessler – has the chance not only to put himself in the mix with the Super Six Tournament but he can also leapfrog back into world champion status by beating Froch. If he needed motivation he must surely have it now. Kessler has also been making changes behind the scenes – parting with long time coach Ricard Olsen and teamed up with the veteran trainer Jimmy Montoya. Montoya has trainer 16 world champions including Hector “Macho” Camacho and the great Salavdor Sanchez. I think this could bring a much-needed tweak or two from Kessler, one thing is for sure though – we will all find out what Kessler has left on Saturday night!
It’s not often I see something I like, no really that’s actually true. A huge amount of contemporary art is at best forgettable and at worse just plain bad.
So walking into the Haunch of Venison gallery off Piccadilly last July imagine my glee at finding in the upper galleries perhaps the best modern painting I have seen in a very long time.
The artist responsible was Adrian Ghenie. The Haunch of Venison’s summary works well enough on its own I think so here it is:
The work of Romanian painter Adrian Ghenie demonstrates an enduring fascination with European history, addressed through ideas relating to memory, trauma and extremism in the Twentieth century.
Here is a small selection of his work:
The Blue Rain, 2009
Pie Fight Study 4, 2008
Dada is dead study, 2009
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Tagged Adrian Ghenie
Just what is Kaikai Kiki, well in the words of its creator and founder Takashi Murakami its “an internationally-recognized, large-scale art production and artist management corporation, employing over 100 people in its offices and studios in Hiroo, Tokyo and Long Island City, New York, as well as in its new animation studio in Daikanyama, Tokyo”.
The artist’s making up this corporation are Takashi Murakami, Aya Takano, Chiho Aoshima, Mr., Chinatsu Ban, Rei Sato and Akane Koide. By far and away the most important feature is Murakami though – he sits atop of the pile like a guru in much the same way Warhol presided over his Factory in New York.
Check out some of Mr and Chiho Aoshima’s work below:
Mr. 'Strawberry Voice' 2007
Mr. 'Starting Over'
Chiho Aoshima 'Japanese apricot 3 - a pink dream'