Holiday greetings, dear readers, and this gift comes unwrapped: There will be no touts this week, and not only because there’s no action this week.
Tis the season to be jolly, not to be sweating out chalk. We should be giving, but not odds. Little gifts, perhaps, for all our friends in the Sweet Science.
Like continued long life for such long-vested targets like Bob Arum and Don King. Seriously, where would boxing writers be without them?
More and more contests of the best meeting the best, the greatest gift of all to the public.
Not all will be appreciated. Antonio Margarito may not like his lump of coal, but I hope it does not find its way into one of his gloves.
Jose Sulaiman, of course, gets an entire anthracite mine.
To Vic Ziegel, another reason for you and Roberta to host me in 2010.
To boxing commissions and other regulators, the ability to test for Human Growth Hormone, which so far can escape detection and why do you think so many aged fighters are still doing so well and why other boxers move up easily in weight without losing any speed?
To Paul Williams, a big name to fight in 2010.
To Fred Sternburg, the amazing publicist whose clients (Manny Pacquiao, Gary Shaw, Freddie Roach) all say the most quotable things, an expanded copy of Bartlett’s with all his bon mots.
To John Hornewer, who combines photography with the law (now there’s a joke somewhere), continued success in his chosen professions.
To Larry Merchant, continued success in his chosen profession and many, many thanks for all the great work so far.
To Shelly Finkel, a prospect or two so he can continue his quarter-century run.
To Devon Alexander and other Don King minions, better health for your promoter so you can get better fights in 2010.
To Gene Kilroy, what do you get the man who’s got everything?
To Timothy Bradley, a big name to fight in 2010.
To the alphabets, a final omega to signal their implosion.
To Tim Smith, my linear successor, a few fights here and there to cover.
To Chris Byrd, an audition.
To Royce Feour, the best of everything in a rich retirement.
To Floyd Mayweather Jr., a bit of kindness from your many critics, and a pair of gonads to take on a possible loss, like Paul Williams.
To Larry Holmes, the realization of historians that you were one of the greatest.
To Muhammad Ali, who was The Greatest, a miracle in the laboratory to find an immediate cure for Parkinson’s.
To George Kimball, another best-seller.
To Chris Dawson, a big name to fight in 2010.
To the Klitschko brothers, long overdue recognition as class acts – it ain’t your fault there’s no one of stature around to beat up.
To Fast Eddie Schuyler Jr., congratulations again on making the International Hall of Fame – just wish you were with better people there.
To Howard Cosell, who made the hall posthumously, I know there are a lot of folks out there you and I would both like to see get in the hall posthumously – and most of them are still living.
To Manny Pacquiao, a typhoon-free year in your homeland.
To J. Russell Peltz, who may not be as old as Arum and King, but is just as venerable, a Philadelphia pretzel.
To Johnny Bos, a great matchmaking job to get you out of Florida.
To Johnny Tapia and Mike Tyson, peace.
To Kevin Iole, the continued rebirth of boxing so you don’t have to cover so much MMA, whatever that is.
To all the bettors I have buried, the ability to know when to hold’em and when to fold ’em.
To Johnny Ruiz, a one-way ticket out of the top ten. Our problem is that the guy deserves such status.
To Kenny Bayless, recognition as the finest ref today.
To Sugar Shane Mosley, be very careful against Andre Berto.
To Al Bernstein, a hit record.
To Max Kellerman, continued success.
To Tomasz Adameck, a big name to fight for 2010.
To Jermain Taylor, a peaceful and healthy retirement.
To Lou DiBella, thanks for giving that same advice.
To all, good night and season’s greetings.
Yes, that includes you, Jose.
Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Michael Katz