By Raf Czarnecki
The recent Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis debacle (mistakenly referred to as a press conference) and an overwhelming demand for a World Wrestling Federation update have motivated me to write this week’s column, tentatively titled: Life in the square ring.
With both sports (I’ll refer to WWF wrestling as a sport because if bowling can get away it …) coming off of sub-par years, serious upgrades in the worlds of professional boxing and wrestling are in demand for 2002. Unfortunately for boxing fans, the Tyson-Lewis scandal Tuesday proved that the world of boxing is still on thin ice. On the other hand, last week’s Royal Rumble and the recent rumors of an nWo (new World order) invasion into the WWF have given wrestling fans a reason to be excited. The state of both professions is the main topic of this week’s discussion.
*Vince McMahon’s masterpiece theater …
If you look closely, the WWF is on the verge of making a great run in 2002. Last weekend’s Royal Rumble victory capped off the glorious return of wrestling superstar Triple H. The arrival of the nWo, which likely means the return of fan favorites Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, is almost inevitable. Close sources (the Internet and I go way back) have indicated that the nWo storyline will be in effect before the next WWF pay-per-view, fittingly named No Way Out. Another plus for the WWF will be that after a 2001 campaign labeled “year of the injury,” 2002 brings an almost 100 percent healthy roster of superstars. Once the “Canadian Crippler” Chris Benoit (known by many experts as the best technical wrestler in the business) returns to action, the WWF will be stronger than ever. And last, but certainly not least, there’s a wrestling icon by the name of The Rock, who is about to take the entertainment world by storm. The Rock’s movie, “The Scorpion King,” is scheduled to be released April 19 and a music video to hype the movie’s soundtrack is also on tap for the “Great One.” Not to mention the fact that smart money has Rocky winning the undisputed title at March’s WrestleMania extravaganza. Bottom line is that the WWF is big time, so stop acting like you don’t watch it.
*If Don King ruled the world …
I couldn’t reach Don King for his comments (like I would’ve understood him anyway) on whether or not the April 6 Tyson-Lewis fight was still on, but I did manage to chat with one of Mr. King’s consultants. This person would like to remain unidentified, for personal security reasons of course, but he was kind enough to share the results of a few upcoming bouts. Here’s how I interpreted the conversation:
Feb. 2 — Roy Jones Jr.’s televised sparring session will go well for Roy. On that same night, Bernard Hopkins will also hurt somebody. The result being Roy and Bernard will soon meet together in this year’s version of fight of the year.
March 2 — Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales will beat each other senseless in a rematch of their classic 2000 battle. Morales will again come out victorious, but this time, with no controversy. Barrera goes down in the 10th.
March 23 — Shameless plug for my boy “Prince” Naseem Hamed. He’s back.
May 4 — Memo to Oscar de la Hoya: Stick to singing. “Ferocious” Fernando Vargas wins on points and sends Oscar back to the recording studio.
Finally, the best pound for pound boxer in the world, “Sugar” Shane Mosley, will knock out Vernon Forrest this Saturday evening on HBO in the sixth round. I’m done.