I am going to get start giving reviews on places I go when I hit a night out on the town. I am creating a system to base my reviews off. Just give me sometime. This is the first time I have done a review, I need to get use to it. I just thought with the weekend here I better let people know about this experience I had (April 19th, 2017 ) just in case anyone is looking for some where to go this up and coming weekend- future too. Some of these reviews might be long, and others not.
Last weekend ( Easter ) we had Easter breakfast with another family to celebrate. We were just talking about how much Detroit has changed, and so fast. My wife and I are in Detroit a lot for drinks and food- date night. I live in the suburbs, but we enjoy going to Detroit when we can. Anthony who works downtown was telling us about this place he goes to all the time- Standby. He says to me, "you have to check this place out". I said Mary is leaving for business tomorrow lets make plans to met there this week. We planned on Wednesday and I got a sitter to take care of the kids.
The sitter got over around 7 and I called Uber to come pick me up. Not that I was planning on drinking a ton, or even a lot, but I am not risking it at all. Also Detroit does not have the best parking options. I get in the Uber, call Anthony and tell him I am on my way. I have no idea where this place even is. I just know it is centrally located around Campus Martius. I just know from what I am told Standby is this hidden gem in an ally. I didn't know what to expect.
I get dropped off right in front of this ally. Don't worry its safe, and the area is very clean. LOL. I know people hear an ally in Detroit and freak out. Its the nicest ally you have ever seen. I have a picture I will add to this blog. You don't even think your in Detroit when you start walking down the ally. I over shot Standby and walked all the way down the ally and it is jut full of spots to go. It is really amazing to see what Detroit has transformed into. I started walking back to where I got dropped off at and Standby was the first door on my right. I had a punch drunk moment. I just missed the sign on the wall. I walked through the door and I felt like I was in a New York after hours underground hot spot. I am a music person, music sets the mood for me when I am out. They had some Erykah Badu playing when I walked in, and as the night went on the music just kept getting better. I swear I heard Tribe Called Quest, Outkast, and their might have been some Roots playing in there too.
I see Anthony at the bar, and I walk over and he hands me a drink menu. That's a good friend. They have all these fancy, smancy drinks. I am a vodka guy, give me a Kettle One or Grey Goose on the rocks and I am good. I like simple. But, since I am trying something new I thought I would break the mold. I ordered this drink called a Bull in a China Shop. It was delicious, I had 3 while I was there. We are just hanging out at the bar talking and I am looking around scoping the place out like I am going to rob it. My head was on a swivel. I am looking at how people are dressed, the mood of people, how crowded is was, etc. The place was full to max on a Wednesday night. Anthony asked me if I wanted to stay there and eat, or go somewhere else. I said lets stay, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about he was raving about.
We sit down and the tables are pretty close to one another. Its not a big space. Its not uncomfortable at all, it has good spacing. Standby has a very intimate tone. We sit down look over the menu and order. Its not a really huge menu, but it is effective with nice choices. I am not a big food guy anyways. I like going out for the social aspect, meeting new people, or just sitting at the bar playing with my best friend, my phone. I ordered the Wagu Strip and the Tunisian Fried Cauliflower. Anthony ordered the Whiskey Mushroom Pierogi, and asparagus of some kind I don't see on the menu- I just looked. Maybe they made for him because he is special. LOL.
Here is my little review of Standby. I want to make this clear to anyone who reads this. I don't work for Standby, or any other restaurants I go to. I pay my own way, and I am not looking for handouts.
The services was terrific all the way around, the waiter we had was on his game. We got first class services. Wish I had his name. Once again I am not a food guy so my opinion might be off on the food. The food was good, not great. Worth the money for sure. My steak was good, it was a little salty in spots, but the Tunisian Fried Cauliflower was out of this world. I don't like fried food at all, but this is a must try if you go there. I must have said 10 times through out the night, "I don't even feel like I am in Detroit". Standby has this one of a kind vibe. Its sexy, its Detroit. All the people seemed to be having a good time, and really enjoying themselves. Seemed like professionals, date night, and people just hanging out chilling. People were dressed up, dressed casual, it seemed like NY, but it is was all Detroit. Style, vibe, energy, swag, attitude, and very vibrant. I talked to my wife Thursday morning and told her when she gets home we are going. I am actually going again Friday night before I go see Antonio Wade ( professional boxer out of Detroit ) put on a boxing display at an event he is fighting at.
Bottom line is Standby is a must try.
It is just amazing to see what is going on in Detroit and be part of the city.
Standby thank you so much for the great night. I am looking forward to doing it again.
I have been doing a lot of thinking since the beginning of the year. Should I stop this site, stop my boxing page, where to go next, etc. I don't have a marketing team, PR people, an office, or people to bounce ideas off. I make all my own decisions on what happens with this website, and most important my Team Buck Boxing Talk page on Facebook. That page is the real reason any of this has ever spawned. With that said I do have an ace tucked in my sleeve if needed. I have my wife who is brilliant. My wife deals with world trade, marketing, negotiating, and dealing with people from all kinds of cultures. Every now and then I get some input that is super beneficial- insightful. Its great to get someones advice who has a different view, and doesn't always agree with me. All she has ever asked from day one is that I finish what I start.
This website started as just another way besides my social media to help promote Detroit boxing. I thought if I put it out there on a website it would help give people another outlet to see Detroit boxing that are not directly connected to my social media page Team Buck Boxing Talk on Facebook. That is where I try to highlight Detroit boxing, and the fighters. When I first started this website it didn't have anything on here except Detroit boxing. Obviously a lot has changed since day one on this website.
I have had all kinds of pages on my website since day 1, but the one page I am starting realize I don't utilize enough is my blog page ( Buck Wild Chronicles ). I was reading a local magazine over the weekend that is published here in Detroit. The articles were about how all these people are getting what they are talking about noticed from what they are writing about in blogs- bloggers. I loved the story and it inspired me. I stated to think maybe that is a avenue I need to take with this website instead of my social media. These bloggers were talking about fashion, food, sports, music, Detroit, etc. I do that now, but only on my Facebook page to a closed caption audience. I have had a few really good articles done on myself and Detroit boxing over the last year. One was in a local magazine the Neighborhood Seen, and the other was the Jewish News that just came out in March that I got a great response from.
Here is what I am thinking. Its time to switch gears. These people I was reading about talk about everything I love to talk about. I am just as qualified. They talk about sports and fitness. I was a professional athlete, and owned a personal training company. They like to dress nice and talk fashion, we all know that rights up my ally. They talk about local restaurants, and food. I go out to all the time locally in the suburbs and Detroit for food and drinks. I am not the biggest eater though. I am also not afraid to start chit-chat with strangers when I go out. I was downtown last night eating sushi at Townhouse. I could totally give a review on what I thought of the vibe, food, and atmosphere. What I really need to do is start blogging on here about being a stay at home dad ( domestic engineer ). I can't tell you how many people come up to me and tell me they love when I write on Facebook about my kids. I could write about the challenges my 11 year old and myself are going through right now, and I know people could connect. She hates me, and that's putting it mildly. Trust me I am qualified to talk about kids, you might not agree with what I say, but I am going to tell you the low down. Its not easy, and never gets easy. Where I lack is my writing skills ( grammar).
I guess this is more of an open letter to myself to vent. I am not looking for answers, empathy, or sympathy. I have to make my own choices, and decisions that will create new learning lessons in life for me. Life is a lot of trial and error, and at the end of the day I just want to be able to say I tried. I can live with that.
I love when I can use something to compare to what happened in a fight I had. I can then say at least I have that experience.
Seems like the big talk was should the fight been GGG and Brook been stopped?
Now as a fan, I would probably say no. Lets see GGG hammer the guy through the floor. What do I care, I don't know Brook. Its not like Brook quit, he went out on his shield. His corner made the call, and they know what is best for their fighter. But, I also have feelings as an x fighter. I see a lot of guys saying they want to go out on their shield, don't ever stop it, etc. God forbid you have to ever be in that position. You might changed your mind really quick, and so might your corner who is suppose to know what's best for their fighter. That is their job in the end. I respect the hell out of that, I would be disappointed if I heard a fighter in the game say anything else. We want to hear the warrior in a fighter. I also want to hear the common sense too. Facts are Brook should have never been in there with GGG. He did okay in spots. You can not expect a guy who fights at 147 to jump up and fight maybe the most feared man in boxing. I don't even think GGG was 100%. Let me say this too, boxing is wrong for putting on fights like this too. Someone is going to get seriously hurt. Kahn got knocked out cold, and Brook broke his eye socket. Its just enough!
I give Brook credit, he had nothing to lose. Except an eye. Money comes and goes, your sight is priceless. GGG looked totally unemotional after the fight, it looked like he didn't even care he won. He made a comment that said he was not a middleweight. Then don't fight him. It makes no one happy in the end. They make us think no one else will fight their guys at 160, then if they are that good they should be the ones jumping up 1-2 weight classes and fight someone.
I posted this video of me fighting because I have been in a situation like this before. Not a proud moment, but it happened. When I fought Juan Diaz my corner stepped in and stopped the fight. Its not like I couldn't make a case I wasn't throwing punches back, I got up from the second knock down and still had bounce my legs. You can actually see me try to wave my trainer Keith Lee off. In the end my corner did was right for me.
Brooks corner did the right thing to me.
Honestly I am having a really hard time even starting this blog because I don't know where to start… being a sponsor, the group of people I was with, I sparred earlier in the day, tequila shots, almost getting thrown out of MGM, green glitter, etc. The night was amazing. I go to a lot of fights and this by far had to be the best time I have ever had at a fight here in Detroit or anywhere else.
One thing I try to do is show support for Detroit boxing. I thought because I knew two of the fighters personally on this card now would be a good time to be a sponsor. One of the fights I wanted to sponsor was Chico Crout vs Eric Hall. I have a history with Chico from the past when I was in boxing. We fought back in the day for the Michigan State Jr Light Weight Title. Since then, we have become friends. Prior to the fight I got to know Eric a little and we talked through social media leading up to the fight. I actually told Eric I was sponsoring the fight about two days before he fought. He was the only one who knew that Team Buck Boxing Talk was going to be a sponsor. We had a few funny moments talking, he knew I wanted Chico to win and I did not deny that talking to him. Eric is a good guy, even though my guy didn't win, it was a really nice win for him, he should be proud of what he did.
The other fight wasn't Team Buck being a sponsor, but my wife’s company, Sure Solutions. I didn't even tell her she was a sponsor until a day before the fight. I wanted her company to be the sponsor for the Anthony Barnes fight. AB is someone I have gotten to know a little over the last 2 plus years. We also believe in him and I wanted to support his career. Plus I thought with the fights being at Motor City Casino it would be worth her company getting seen as a sponsor. Part of sponsor deal is they show the sponsors on the big screen, you get to go in the ring, etc.
I have a lot of mixed feelings on if I would ever be a sponsor again for a show. I would totally approach a fighter about putting a logo on his trunks, robe, etc though. Who knows maybe I will try that next. I will say this, part of the sponsor deal is you get to go to the ring. That was GREAT! I also got asked by ring announcer, Kara Ro about what Team Buck Boxing is all about. I probably should have NOT been allowed anywhere near a mic in the state I was in. By that time I was about 4 tequila shots and five drinks in. I didn't even remember they brought me to the ring until my wife reminded the next day. My wife said I actually sounded pretty good (but she had the same shots an drinks I did). No one called me and told me I sucked, so I guess it couldn't have been all that bad. I am not the best public speaker, I should probably work on those skills a little.
Leading up to the fights we purchased 6 ring side seats. We had some great help with getting those seats too. I am not sure I can say his name on here, but I really appreciated his help. I really want to say his name because if he didn't come through none of this would have happened. We thought it would be fun to take some friends to the fights and show them a good time in Detroit. You have to take the right people, and we took the right people. We called up some people we have been friends with for a long time, Katie and Andy (the best people- family). Neither of them have ever been to fights so it was important to me to make sure they see Detroit boxing the way it should be done. Better yet, the way I feel it should be done. We also have these great friends we have met through our kid’s school Anthony and Keri. They are just amazing, great people also.
Fight day is here and after a bunch of texts being shot back in forth all week about where to meet, what to wear, a place for dinner, Uber, and some other back and forth garbage. I am about to turn 45 in June and for some reason I have had this bug up my ass to spar on my birthday week (June 18th). I haven't been training or anything, I just thought it would be cool to do and say I did it at 45 years old. I got a little more than I expected and a little before my birthday week. I went to train at 2pm on Friday, at Jabs Boxing Gym. I just went in to train with Rasheed and get some light focus mitt work. It’s been a while, but I have been running and doing a BS weight program just to keep loose. So I am about three rounds in and one of the trainers walks in and asked if I wanted to spar. It’s not really sparring, we just went to the body. It was sparing for me, Jimmie weighs about 180-185 pounds. I am 135-136 on a good day. It is just body work, so I figured what’s the big deal. So after Jimmie got done throwing me around the ring, I got out looked in the mirror and said “oh shit” to myself. We bumped heads a few times and I noticed I had a really small cut above my left eye. I was like, Mary is going to kill me. My wife doesn't care if I spar, but I knew she’d be mad that I did it without head gear. Why get hurt? Why do you need to do that to yourself or your body? She is right. I am not a spring chicken anymore. So I know when I get home from the gym if I do spar show no signs of hurting, being tired, complaining, or being lazy. All I wanted to do when I got home was all of that. My kids on the other hand had a totally different plan for me.
I get home from training, walk in the house and Mary says to me: Ryan heard you pull up and said to Shane daddy’s home we better clean up. Mary said you have these kids on lock down. I hate a dirty house, if you make a mess clean it up before you make another one. My kids go from mess to mess and it drives me bat s&*t crazy. After what these kids did to my house Friday right before we were getting ready pushed me to drinking the way I did Friday night. I needed an adult “time out” from my kids and I took it. I don't exactly remember how it happened, and I am trying to forget it even happened. I went in the kitchen and saw green glitter all over, you know that glitter kids love to play with in an arts and crafts kit. It’s banded from our house, my kids know better than to even bring it home. They tricked nana (my mom) and they snuck it by her. My mom spent the day with the girls and took them to a craft store. My mom knows that we don't allow glitter in the house. It wasn’t her fault, my kids are sneaky. So I look down and see it all over the floor, I freak the f*&k out. I lose it! Then I walk into the dining room, it’s everywhere in the house. The floors, chairs, carpets, couch, I mean it is literally in every room in the house. It looked like the Grinch come over and was shedding. We have about an hour before people are coming over and it looks like X-Mas in our house and we are not showered, dressed or even close to ready for people to come over. We are on our hands and knees trying to get the glitter off the ground, have the vacuum going, and nothing is getting this glitter up. Just piles of this green glitter everywhere. I am just furious at the kids, I lost it on them. Not to mention I felt beat up from having a guy 180 pounds just beating on me. I was in no mood to be cleaning. It’s not the mess I minded, it's the fact they don't clean up. They were watching us clean and they were laughing. We were just trying to get it done without them. They are kids, I get it. They are going to make messes, all I ask is pick up after yourself. Mary and I just gave up after about 45 minutes and said screw it. I walked up stairs to the bathroom and the first thing Mary says to me is. "I am doing 3 tequila shots tonight – one for each kid". I am thinking what, you never drink tequila. I knew from that point on it was going to get out of control at some point in the night.
We finally got the house as clean as we could before Andy and Katie got over. About 10 minutes after they arrived the Uber came and picked us up to head downtown to meet Keri and Anthony. They both were working in the city so they just met us at the restaurant. Before we hit the fights (no pun intended) we went to a place called Central Kitchen, Dennis Archer Jr is the owner and a hell of a host. The place was packed. Dennis sent over some champagne for the table. Not sure if we saw him again to say thank you, I don’t think I did, so I want to say thank you Dennis for the champagne. While there, I ran into one of Detroit’s all-time great fighters and Galaxy Boxing stable mate, Tarick Salmaci. I am pretty sure from the time we sat down the fun just started and it didn’t stop for the entire night. The waitress came over for a drink order and it was pretty much over from that point on. I have no idea why, but we ordered tequila shots. I guess my wife wasn’t joking that she was going to do three of them. I had way more than 3 before the night was over. We all just started talking and I couldn’t have had a better crew to be with. Everyone got along great, and the conversations were awesome. I was talking to Keri a little who does marketing/branding and just telling her what I have done with Team Buck Boxing, and trying to do and it was nice to know I have done a lot of good things and I am doing them the right way. There was one point when I was talking to Keri and I saw my wife’s face while I was talking, and Mary looked like she was actually impressed with what I have done and said. I have worked really hard to make what I do creditable, and valuable. I have set goals and I have achieved some of them and failed on others. I will say that with doing all this stuff for boxing I have set my goals pretty high for myself and people have noticed and set goals for me too. After a wonderful, delicious dinner, I would highly recommend the shrimp and grits if you ever get a chance to eat at Central Kitchen- UNREAL! The tequila shots aren’t too bad either, lol. We finally decided to get up and Uber over to the fights.
We got to Motor City and as soon as we walked in, I ran into Willie Fortune (500) professional boxer from Detroit, and over the last few years of training at his gym, one of my favorite people to talk boxing with. He has become a little more than someone I just talk boxing with, he has become a friend. He was with his coach Greg ”Candyman” Coverson. Greg has some great stories about boxing, because he was around a lot of guys from back in the day. We talked to them for a few and headed into Sound Board at the Casino where the fights were happening. We were late, so we missed a few fights. When we sat down I think the first person I saw was Lanardo Tyner and he was sitting next to me. I told the guy next to me this guy can fight his a^& off, he fought Canelo. Andy was like whoa! Lanardo a hell of a guy, and he is great for Detroit boxing. It will be nice to see him back in the ring again come September 2016. I wasn’t really paying any attention to the fights. I just wanted to make sure the people we were with were having fun. I ran in the back to see Chico, and Anthony to tell them to have a good fights. It’s always a pleasure seeing Tony “Superbad” Harrison, we talked briefly and I asked him a few questions. Tony is always smiling, having fun, and talking to people. I saw Anthony ”TheDog” Dirrell at the fights, said hello. I talked to Kara Ro, who honestly does a great job with announcing the fights. She has some game for sure, speaks clear, has fun, and friendly with the fans and fighters, she gets an A+. I got to meet Rick Pratt for the first time who just became a writer for Ringside Report. I have only talked to him through social media prior to the fights. Super cool guy! I introduced myself and said hello. He was busy watching the fights so I left him alone. I made sure I said hello to Brad Snyder who now writes for Fight News and who does a local podcast here in Detroit called “The Undercard Radio Show”. They always have on some of the local boxing talent from Detroit. They do a lot of positive work for Detroit boxing amateur and professionally.
I guess I can talk about the fights a little. I didn’t watch many of them, I really only tuned in for the ones we sponsored. I did see this kid Winfred Harris, he is a nice looking prospect. I watched the Barnes fight, I really wanted to see if Anthony could stop the guy. He has never been stopped and AB was coming off a pretty long layoff. He stopped the guy, and his opponent has never fought a guy with a bad record. He caught AB with a nice shot in the second round too. I looked like it shook him. AB’s first fight in over a year, he let his hands go, took some shots, and did what he was supposed to and won. His opponent made him work enough to get the rust of and get going again. I look forward to seeing him fighting again soon. My wife told me that he said he wasn’t happy with performance. Me personally, I would like to see a little more head movement in the future from AB. The Hall and Crout fight didn’t go as I wanted it to, but the best man won. This is hard for me to say, but I have to be honest. I told my dad when I saw Chico weighed in at 146 I was worried about the outcome-. I was so confident Crout was going to win. I have never seen him fight that heavy. I am not taking anything away from Hall he did a nice job. Hall is coming off fighting a guy 17-7 to a draw and with this win over a guy 11-10 I will say nice job. Maybe he is on a roll and some good things will happen now that his confidence is building up.
I did not go to the fights to sit down and watch the fights this time around. I don’t even think the people I was with were watching the fights, they (we) were at the bar socializing and drinking. It was a night out for a bunch of people that got away from reality for a few hours. We made the most of it too. I could sit here and tell you that a few of the fights were totally uncompetitive, and why does that happen? Why are fights so uncompetitive? Is it the promoters, match makers fault or the fighters? As a fighter I would never tell you that I had fight that wasn’t totally uncompetitive. I fought one time and I was embarrassed I even fought the guy. I had a few fights like that, I would never lie about it. But there comes a point we need to see these fighters get tested, not beat, but tested. If they don’t come prepared they would get beat kind of fights. Most of these fights the opponents are human punching bags and the punch output they have is terrible. It doesn’t mean going to the fights is bad, or not fun, it’s a blast! I know a lot of people want to blame the match maker for the fights, but is it really his fault? If the match marker offers a fight to the fighter and he says no what is he suppose too do? If that fighter sells tickets you are going to put him on the show and roll with it. Maybe the fighter wants to fight better quality but it costs more money to get better quality opponents? Maybe the money isn’t there to spend on better opposition? We don’t see the behind the scenes stuff, we only take a guess at what the problem is. I go, I enjoy myself and see a lot of other people doing the same.
Here is by far the best part of the night:
After the fights we headed over to MGM to have some more drinks, I think by this time none of us needed any more drinks. As we are walking out of Motor City Casino and the people we were with said you are like the mayor here. So they took it one step further. Andy and Anthony started acting like they were my body guards walking out of the casino. Holding their hands up to their ear yelling, “Eagle One is moving”. They wouldn’t let anyone near me walking down the hallway. I am shocked we didn’t get arrested, well that almost came later on at MGM casino when we got there. We got to MGM and headed to the bar in the middle. I didn’t even realize Mary left, and when she came back she had a bunch of Rueben sandwiches and a huge cake. We looked like animals diving in for all this food she brought back to the table. As we are going bananas over the food, security and management came over to us and told we couldn’t eat in the bar. At this point we pretty much all looked at each other with food hanging out of our mouths like, are they talking to us? We got caught red-handed, but we didn’t know that you couldn’t have food in there and they were total a$%holes on how they treated us about it. So after arguing with them we decided to get up and throw the food and the brand new cake out that no one even touched. Someone in our group ate a Rueben so fast I am still in awe. Man can he eat! They walked away and Mary got up to complain to her host (loves to argue), and while she was gone Andy decided he was going to go dumpster diving for the cake. He brought the cake back to the table and we went to town on that bad boy. Once again security came over and through a fit on us. As they were telling us we couldn’t be in there with food we just continued to eat the cake. We were totally not paying any attention to them. Finally after we had enough cake we threw it out, and by that time they asked us to leave because it was 2am in the morning and they had MGM real security come over and handle us. He was cool as hell though, he was laughing at us, he knew we were having fun. So after he asked nicely we got up and we left.
The night was awesome! I can’t sit here and tell you all the fights were good or bad, I didn’t see most of them. What I do is try to show people through my website blog, pictures on my boxing page that going out to the fights is an amazing experience- best date night ever. I create my own experience and fun when I go, and I tried really hard to get other people involved with Detroit boxing this time around. I got a message the next morning from one of the people saying, “So much Fun” “thank you” “love hanging with you guys”. Mission accomplished! That what is should be all about. When we walked out of Motor City Casino and one women we were with said to me, “you should promote”. I laughed. It’s not something I want to get into I told her. I love going and showing people that being a Detroit boxing fan is a great, positive thing. We have so much to offer the fans of Detroit and the suburbs. I hope one day these promoters take it to the next level.
I want to thank Dmitry Salita and Salita Promotions. When I found out the Deroit Brawl was coming to Detroit in December 2015 I immediately picked up my phone and put in a call. I really wanted to help promote this event through all my social media outlets, website, my Facebook boxing page, etc. I talked to Dmitry a few times on the phone, and we sent a few emails back and forth. I asked questions and made a few suggestions. It was a really nice experience to work with a promoter that wanted to make a difference with Detroit boxing. He did a lot of work leading up to this fight night that I have not seen here in Detroit in a longtime. He had several articles written leading up to the fight, he was on the news, local Detroit radio (The Undercard), and much more. I was impressed with his effort to get people involved with the event. It was a pleasure to be involved with the first Detroit Brawl.
This was my first time ever getting a full blown media pass. I will tell you that was a real learning experience. I never really considered myself media up to this point. They sent me an email with directions in early January and I thought it was a mistake. I didn't think it was for me. I told someone last week that I will contact Salita Promotions and see how I can get a pass/ticket to get in. Part of our deal for doing all the stuff I did. They actually contacted Salita for me, I was a little mad, but I know they meant well- it was a really nice gesture. I like to handle my own business. So they resent the same email back to me and I felt like a complete moron. Oops, my bad. Can I use the “I got hit one to many times in the head” excuse?
I had no idea what to expect when I got to the Masonic on fight night, was I getting a ticket or a media pass? Either would have been great. I walked up to where they were giving the media passes away and they gave me a lanyard with a media pass on it. I got a HUGE smile on my face. I said to myself, it was so worth all the work I put in. They gave me a ticket also so I could sit at a table. When I got down to the ring one of Salita’s people came up to me and said you can sit here, and pointed to a table that was attached the ring. I have to admit, I kind of chuckled. He said you can sit right there if you want. If I knew I was getting that seat I would have brought my lap top. It doesn't matter anyway, I can't sit still when I go to the fights, I got things to do and people to see- I love to mingle. Once I realized I could go anywhere I wanted and not get harassed, it was pretty much free range. I do need to come up with a better plan next time. A lot of what I do is try to keep my Facebook page up to date when I am at the fights. My Facebook page is how it all started and I have never gotten away from that page. But it was really hard for me to go back to where the guys were getting ready and then back out to see them fight. They were going one after another. I wish I would have just picked one or the other. I did the best I could, and like I said it was a first time for me, I will have a way better plan next time.
I was in the back when the first fight started, I went back out to sit down and I decided I would just sit on the stage looking at the ring to get a better video angle. The first fight was Kane Heron vs Brian Otey. I knew this fight was over before it started. Otey was wearing True Religion shoes in the ring. The quality of the fight doesn't bother me, as a fighter I had few fights where I was ashamed to say I won. Who cares, it was the first fight of the night and the KO got the crowd going. Not every fight is going to be fight of the year. What upset me was seeing a guy have no respect for the squared circle and getting in the ring not up to dress code. At least have the proper shoes and trunks. Fight two was actually pretty entertaining. Sadar Hudayberdiyev vs Kevin Shacks. I watched a little of the fight and there was some decent action. After a couple rounds, I took off to the back room to watch James Ballard warm up for his fight. I didn't see any of fight three with Emilio Salas vs Karinn Davis. James is one of the good guys in boxing and I have yet to see him fight live. Right before James walked out, they gathered his team together to do a team prayer. I wasn't even close to them and someone grabbed me to be part of the prayer. You could feel how pumped up the group was for him to fight, you could see the determination on all of their faces. It was go-time! I left the room and I went back out to my spot so I could video James fight. It was a good fight for James, he fought a guy with some experience and James hasn't fought in 9 months. I thought James looked good, maybe a little rusty right off the bat, but once he got warmed up he did exactly what he was supposed to do. He showed good skills and smarts. James is one of a kind too. Flare, charisma, personality, fun, high energy, always dressed up (I call him GQ) and he can fight! The fight after that was Salita’s fighter Eudy Bernardo vs Ben Odamattey. Eudy destroyed him! Not really much to say, he made his opponent look bad. They did a 15 minute intermission after that fight and it gave me time to run in the back and see Ed Williams get ready. The dressing room was hyped, he had a packed room when he was getting ready. I took a few videos and came back out and did some socializing before his fight started. I have to say Ed Williams ring entrance is so much fun. He has all his fraternity brothers come out and do this routine- stomp almost. I have seen Ed fight a few times and it always cool to see the energy he gives off when coming out to the ring- it is entertaining. As a fan that is what I want to see, I like showmanship. I want to see some personality in a unique way. He gives that, I saw people dancing in the crowd while he was coming out and really enjoying themselves. I think Ed enjoys himself too. Every time I have seen him fight it is the same walk out routine. He put on a nice boxing display, he made easy work out of his opponent. He moved smooth, showed lots of skills and won his fight easily. I wasn't able to get up and get to the back after Ed’s fight because James Smith was fighting next and I really wanted to see him fight. Another local Detroit fighter I have heard a lot about. He actually was fighting a guy that looked like he was going to put up a fight. He caught James and knocked him down, but I don't think that it was a knock down, it looked more like a slip. I couldn't tell from taking video and looking up and down. The fight ended with James knocking out his opponent Antwan Robertson with a controversial punch. Boxing needs replay badly. He was going to take the guy out no matter what. James is a good fighter, throws mean body shots, and is very aggressive.
I saved this fight for last because I feel it was the fight of the night. James Lester vs Dimash Niyazov. Dimash is a Salita fighter and James got the call because they probably thought he was a good opponent for Salita to show off his guy to Detroit. His plan kind of backfired. James came ready to fight. I personally thought James won the fight, but I am looking through a camera and I can’t really tell what is going on. I am looking up and down a lot so I probably miss a lot of what goes on. I have to go home and re-watch the fights. They gave the fight to Dimash by UD. I thought for a guy that was 10-9 coming in and fighting a guy 9-0 James looked good. I was not expecting the fight to go that way. James looked calm, focused, posed, skillful, and ready to fight. He didn’t have to take that fight with the promoter’s fighter. He could have waited to get on another local show and fought a guy of his choice. James was promoting this fight as his last fight before he retires. I am not too sure he will be able to retire with that decision, he might want a rematch before he hangs it up. I think he deserves the rematch.
I had a blast! The fights were very well organized and run. Two thumbs up to Salita Promotions. I hope they continue to bring these class act shows to Detroit.
I was recently in Vegas and decided it was time to take a field trip to the one place I have always wanted to go while I was there. Floyd Mayweathers TMT gym. I have to be honest I wasn't feeling all that well when I went, but I made the best of it. I was actually planning on training while I was in Vegas at TMT gym. I packed my gym bag, gloves, boxing shoes, wraps, etc. HA! That all went to s*&t after the first night in Vegas. You live you learn.
I pulled myself together Monday morning the best I could. I went out to the cab line and the guy said, "Where do you want to go?" I said take me to the Mayweather gym. I had to google it so we could get directions, but he said he knew where it was (he was clueless). So I got in the cab and basically sank into the seat and relaxed. About half way there the cab driver said to me. Are you a fighter? I said no, just a fan. He said why do you want to go there, you should go get a massage. Then he proceeded to break down what happens at the massage place. Ah man, its Monday, its slow, and you could have your pick of like 20 women. Mexican, Oreintal, whatever you want. Dude had me thinking maybe I should go. But I stuck on course for the TMT gym.
We finally got to the TMT gym in China town. I had no idea if the gym was even going to be open or not. I took a risk going at 11:30am. The website says it opens at 5. I was expecting to pull in and see the car show that happens when Floyd in training, but that didn't happen. I arrived there around 11:45am and people were just hanging out in the parking lot until they opened at 12pm. So I just waited outside and looked around at what Chinesee hole in the wall I wanted to get some fried food at when I left the gym. I sat in the sun and just checked out some of the people going to go in the gym to train. I guess when your at a gym you think everyone is intimidating because you think they can all fight. 99% of the guys I saw outside all had a TMT shirt on or a sweat suit that said TMT. So of course you think, they must be the real deal. If you didn't know me and I walked into that gym with TMT my sweat suit, and bag you would think I could fight. Trust me, it all gets settled by the time fighters leave. If you watch long enough at that gym I am sure you would be able to tell the real TMT fighters from the rest. Here is an example. I know for a fact J Leon Love is a TMT fighter. How you ask? Because he was first in the ring to spar and he was being coached by Eddie Mustafa. So if I am a fighter and I have to spar him I know hew can bring it on some level.
12pm finally came along and it seemed to take forever to get there. I was pretty excited to go in and check it out. I had no idea what to expect. I have watched Floyd train on tv there before, but its not the same as actually being there. I was hoping they would have a bunch of merchandise there so I could buy something. I admit, I am a Floyd fan. They had a little glass case that had a few shirts and I kind of blew that right off and walked in the gym to see what was going on. You have to walk through this sitting area and go through another door to get to the boxing area. I didn't even take any pictures or videos, I forgot I even had a camera I was so excited. I was lost in the moment. Sometimes you just have to enjoy things for yourself. I walked in and they had 2 rings. One main ring that was raised up on a platform and a ring next to that on the ground. When I got there Eddie Mustafa (world class trainer and fighter) was in the ring just waiting for the sparring to get going. I had no idea I would run into one of Detroits top prospects "Teflon" Ronnie Austion. We talked for a hot second and he went back to training. He was super nice and took a few to chat. He was warming up with J Leon Love and I ask both of them if I could get a picture. They defenitly showed me a little Detroit love, I got my picture.
There's a few rows of seats in front of the main ring. I sat down and just chilled out. Once they were about to start sparring they announced that no videos or pictures were allowed while the guys were sparring. So I just tried to take in as much as I could with my eyes. First in the ring was J Love and he had his way with the guy he was sparring. He did 6 rounds and pretty much did what he wanted, when he wanted. While he was sparring Leonard Ellerbe walked in, and a few minutes prior to that Jeff Mayweather also walked in. I saw Jeff working with a guy in the ring next to the main ring. It was intense, high level focus mitt work. I was more focused on that then J Love sparring. On a good day I would have went up to Leonard and Jeff and introduced myself and asked for a picture. I have an old picture with Ellerbe from seeing him in Vegas at one of Floyds fights earlier in the year. I just didn't have it in me to get up and move around. I ran into Otis Lee Pimpleton, this was really cool. I know Otis from back in the day from when I used to go to training camps with James Toney. Otis was one of the main guys James would bring in for sparring to get ready for the fight. We talked for a few and he had to get back to work. Next time I go to Vegas I told Otis I would love to have him train me, he said for sure. The gym was packed with people, fighters, trainers, etc. There were probably 50 plus people in the gym. After J Love got out of the ring I was done, I had to get back and lay down. Before I left I said goodbye to Ronnie and made my way out and called it a day.
Here is the kicker. I had no ride back to the strip. I had to walk back to the strip from the Mayweather gym. I couldn't find a cab to save my life. I walked from the TMT gym to the Wynn on the strip. It was a beautiful day, so I didn't mind. I needed thee fresh air and the exercise.
Next time I go back I will make it up to myself. I have to say I let myself down a little not making the most of being at that gym. That isn't an everyday experience and I might never get to go back, I should have made more out of it. Like I said, you live you learn. Next time I go I want to hit Top Rank also.
I went to Cincinnati last weekend to check out the Broner fight. I wasn't expecting too much excitement, but maybe to see Broner win a fourth world title. Seemed liked a good reason to be spontanious and go see the fight. Tickets were more than reasonable. I am not a Broner fan at all. I do NOT like him at all, but I actually think he has some great skills when he applies himself. You don't win four world titles because you can't fight. As far as the fight, I was not impressed. I knew Broner was going to win, but I would have never thought he would go 12 rounds with a guy making 50k to fight him. Broner was way over paid - a million dollars is ridiculous for that fight. The guy had no business in the ring with him. Worse than that, if that guy could have punched at all, he might of actually given Broner a fight. Broner looked half bored in the ring like it was a light sparring session. That fight was okay at best. I got exactly what I went for. I saw a guy win his 4th world title and I can say I was there for it. As a fan, I am cool with that.
I did have some interesting people watching at the fights. The two guys sitting next to me were kind of clueless on boxing but came to the fight. They told me they didn't even know the fight was happening. They found out 4 days before and decided to come. They seemed to have a really good time and enjoy themselves. I don't think they were really happy with the product but they made the most of it for sure. I also met this other guy and he was there for the Robert Easter fight. He knew him and his entire family was there to see the fight. Robert handled his business and did exactly what he was supposed to do against his opponent, take care of business. Easy work! The co main event was nothing special. The guy who came to see the Easter fight stood up in the 3rd or 4th round looked over at the people he came with and said, "I'm out of here, this is BS I am going to Ruth Chris to get a steak." I was cracking up. I almost asked if I could come. I couldn't believe he left. After the Broner fight, before they even annouced him as the new world champion people were walking out. Not too many people stuck around to listen to Broner being interviewed either.
I could sit here and beat up Broner on a few things but I am not going to even waste my time. Niether him nor the show he puts on, are worth it.
The weekend of fights started off better than I expected. I went to Vegas to see Floyds so called last fight(he will be back). While I was there I had a chance to catch a Top Rank promotion fight Friday night. On that card, was Erick Deleon from Detroit. I would have never even went to this event if he wasn't on the card. When I picked up my tickets they had him fighting fourth and the card started at 5pm. I figured that gave me plenty of time before I would have to be back for dinner with my wife. We made dinner reservations at 8:30. At 8:15pm the Jesse Hart fight was still going on and I had to leave. So unfortunately, I did not get to see Erick Deleon fight. The good news is that Erick did win his fight by unanimous decision(6 rounds).
When I first got to the Cosmopolitan for the fights Friday night, I was looking for the ballroom that the fights were in. Turned out it wasn't a ballroom, it was a massive arena I didn't know existed. As I am walking around I had my head buried down in my phone. I didn't even realize it, but when I looked up who was walking right next to me? Terrance Crawford. I asked for a picture with him and he kindly obliged. I took a selfie with him and we walked next to each other trying to find the arena. On the way I asked him a question or two, nothing great just some normal stuff.
Once I got in the arena, I was blown away. It was beautiful - first class all the way. This was a big time show. Top Rank spared no expense. My seat was right next to the announcers, so I got to experience how that was done in full effect. It started off with Bruce (I can't remember his last name, and Ray Mancini. I didn't catch it until the show was about to start but Tim Bradley was also part of the commentary group. I walked over to Ray Mancini and asked him for a picture, he said sure and came down from the stage and snapped a shot with me. When I was over by the stage I noticed a large piece of cardboard with all these notes on them. These were the notes they used to commentate on the fight. I asked Bruce if it was okay, and get let me snap a shot.
The show was going on and Tim was just standing on the stage so I walked over to him and asked him for a photo he said sure but I had to wait until they were done doing something. I finally caught up with him when I saw him taking pictures with some other people. He gladly took a picture with me. I got the chance to tell him I liked the Teddy Atlas pick. I asked him who he liked in the Cornelious Bundrage vrs Jermall Charlo fight? He kind of looked surprise, out of anything I could have asked that is what I asked. He had a big smile on his face and said I just don't know. He almost looked stunned or maybe even surprised I asked that. I figured how many times does this guy want to be asked is this Floyds last fight or do you think Berto has a chance? I had a wonderful time at this event. The people were super cool in the crowd, I had a couple really good talks with some other fans that were there. I also ran into promoter Bobby Hitz from Hitz Boxing Entertainment and we talked for a while. We sat and watched the Jesse Hart fight together. He has been in boxing and around it a long time. It is always fun picking his brain.
On our way out to dinner later that night, we ran into Andre Bertos brother. We were walking out to go to dinner and I noticed a guy sitting at the concierge desk with boxing trunks in front of him. I couldn't see the name on the trunks so I asked him if he was boxing tomorrow. He said no my brother is and then showed us the trunks. I got the chance to snap a couple pics of the trunks and ask him some questions. He was very open to talking. I asked him because of the family back ground in MMA if they were working with Andre to bully Floyd a little. Then I asked if they watched the first Maidana fight to pick up anything helpful? He said yes to both.
I wish my mid Saturday was just as good but it wasn't. I watched Detroits own Cornelius Bundrage (K9) battle Jermall Charlo. Not that I thought K9 was going to win but I was hoping for a better showing. I was asked on my Facebook page what I thought of this fight about a week prior to it happening. The first thing I said was, "I don't like the match up". I wasn't expecting Charlo to bring it like that. I don't think K9 was expecting that either. Charlo was super focused, and very well prepared. That kid is going to be a handful for a lot of other fighters. I'm not sure where K9 goes from here, he got zero publicity from local papers, news, etc. He did throw out the opening pitch at a Detroit Tigers game a few days before, but besides that this fight was unheard of if you didn't follow boxing here in Detroit . That's a shame that a 2 time world champion gets no love. They didn't even put his picture up on the PBC flyer I found on the internet(2 days prior to the fight). It only had Charlo's picture on it. I think I was more diappointed about the lack of press he got then the fight itself. I'm not sure where K9 goes from here, that's his call. You can't be effective only fighting once in a year when your opponent is fighting three times in that same year. Not a recipe for success. I know he was prepared and was training hard. Man I wanted to see him win this fight, it would have been huge for him. It's easy for me to say that I think it's time to hang them up, but I also understand how hard that can be. It's hard to explain unless you have been there. Boxing is all this guy has done his entire life, it isn't going to be easy for him to walk away. Especially if he still thinks he has something to prove. I just want to see him make the right decision for himself and his family. I can't say it enough, I wanted to see him get that win so bad.
I don't know if I have much to really say about the Floyd fight. That went as expected. The TMT fan base was out in full effect. I have been to Floyds last 4 fights and I have never seen so many Floyd fans. He usually has a rival that gets all the love. That was the first time in all the fights I have been to that I heard the crowd cheer for him. Vegas was nothing like it was for his past fights either, it wasn't dead, but it wasn't booming by any means. Not the atmosphere I was expecting for a retirement fight. I walked in the store at MGM mid day Saturday and not a soul was buying any merchandise, and the store itself was pretty empty. That is usually not the case when he fights. It almost felt like the crowd was not even a fight crowd. My wife said that the people sitting next to us were clueless on boxing. She was listening to them talk. Who gets up in the middle of a Floyd fight to get a drink. Someone who doesn't give a crap. I couldn't believe my eyes on how man empty seats there were for Floyds last fight. It is usually hell walking around MGM fight night and we had absolutely no issues all night. The hotel lobby is usually bumping and I didn't see any big crowds up front all weekend. It just wasn't the same as normal. Truthfully, it was chill. I guess people weren't buying into it this time.
I learned two lessons this time in Vegas. One, never make comments on the fight and relay them back to your Facebook page. It takes away from the pleasure of watching the fight. Two, never leave your phone in the room while you going down stairs to walk around. I was tired of carrying my phone and I needed a break so I left it in the room for a few hours. Here is the problem, I bumped into Keith"One Time"Thurman at about 8:30am when I was walking around. I got to shake his hand at least.
Check out my Facebook page for all the pictures from the weekend.
Team Buck Boxing Talk on Facebook.
I have been trying to figure out what to write about to get this blog under way. I was going to write about the Floyd and Berto fight, but there is no reason for that. I am not saying it won't be a good fight and Berto has no chance, but Floyd picked him for a reason. I think I will tell you how I got into the Detroit boxing scene for a second time around, that will be more entertaining.
Last year in 2014 I caught wind of a fight that was happening here in Detroit at Cobo Hall. The fight was Bronco McKart vs Tony Harrison (I call him Mr.Detroit). When I got out of boxing I didn't keep up on anything related to the sport of boxing nor did I keep in touch with the boxing community. I fell off the map. I was done boxing and started a new stage in my life. When the fight was announced, I noticed that no one really knew that it was happening- no marketing. I got this idea and ran with it. I was going to start a Detroit boxing page and talk all about the fight. In the process I thought to myself why stop there? Why not take it one step further and talk about the other fighters in Detroit and world news too. I admit, maybe I gave a few people a little to much run and promoted more than I should have. I asked Bronco and Tony a question a day for two months straight. Good questions too. While doing this Detroit boxing page I began to watch many of the other Detroit fighters. I even followed a few of them out of state to watch them fight so I could keep the page informed what was going on with their fight. I have traveled to keep up with a lot of fights outside of Detroit as well. I have been to Chicago, St.Louis, Macau China and Vegas over the last year to see many fights. I am not friends with and don't have any kind of a relationship with the fighters on the page. I have just discovered a new path that has allowed me to get back into boxing. I don't ask for handouts. I always expect to pay my own way. I say what I feel when I write about the fighters and their bouts. I always try to do it with class and style. Of course, I am going to stick up for my guys, but I am also going to be realistic when they fight... win, lose or draw. I write about what I see. I am not on the inside, I am on the outside as a fan giving a fans prespective. Opinions are going to fly. I have a lot of the Detroit fighters on the page and I ask them questions every now and then. It gives the people a way to connect with the fighters and maybe even become a fan. Some of the fighters will respond when I ask them a question and some don't. After a while I will just stop asking them if they don't answer. That is their choice, but I sure don't see anyone else in Detroit writing about Detoit boxing daily trying to build up a fan base.
I do not claim to be an expert, a journalist, reporter, writer, etc. I am a fan and I understand we are not always going to agree, its boxing and that is impossible to do. I also think completely outside the box. I don't believe most of what I hear in boxing . For example, I do NOT think Floyd is retiring after the Berto fight. I think he will fight at the new MGM arena and I think him saying that is a complete sales pitch for this Berto fight to get people to buy it.
My Facebook page has allowed me to not only show Detroit, but people all around the world what some of these fighters do. I can't make everyone feel the same way I do about what I see, but I want everyone to at least see it. But be your own judge, just because someone writes something or goes to an event and likes it or hates it does not mean you are going to feel the same way.
People have told me from day one that a Detroit boxing page would never work. I proved those people wrong. That page, some of the fighters, and some of the people and the haters on the page have inspired me to take it to the next level. I have some ideas to really seperate myself from the rest. I will prove that I can do it, but on a bigger scale.
Nothing is impossible!