Fast cars, sketchy women, Cuban lawsuits and sleazy agents. What will it take to slow down Aroldis Chapman?
2 Comments · Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Two months into the 2012 baseball season,
the Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher was flying high. In the Reds’ front office, though,
worries about Chapman persisted. Not about his choice or location of
pitches. About other stuff, like his compliance with traffic laws and
his choice of companionship. Some insiders fear that the 24-year-old
Cuban’s personal life is approaching, well, the velocity of his
by Paul Smyth
Posted In: Boxing
at 10:01 AM | Permalink
Westwood resident will defend Junior Lightweight World Champion title at U.S. Bank Arena
Cincinnati resident and elite boxing prospect Adrien "The
Problem" Broner will make his second WBO Junior Lightweight World
Champion title defense at the U.S. Bank Arena Saturday.
The Cincinnati pugilist (23-0, 19 knockouts), who lives in
Westwood, faces Vicente Escobedo (26-3, 15 knockouts). The fight will
be broadcast on HBO's Boxing After Dark and represents the next step in a
career that may propel Broner into the highest levels of the sport.
This will be Broner's fifth appearance on HBO.
Broner is the youngest current U.S. title holder after
winning the WBO Junior Lightweight belt with a third-round knockout of
Vicente Rodriguez last November. His first title defense came in
February of this year, also in Cincinnati. He easily defeated Eloy
Perez, prompting additional fan, cable and promoter attention. His
second title defense this Saturday may be a turning point, leading to
the next tier of exposure and reward — and perhaps much tougher fights.
Escobedo is a 2004 US Olympian, though he did not medal.
He's fighting at 130 pounds, having tasted defeat as a pro at 135 pounds
in a split-decision title fight loss versus Michael Katsidis in 2009.
After four victories in the new weight class, the 30-year-old Escobedo
now faces one of the most highly touted prospects in boxing today in
In the ring, Broner's athleticism, speed, power and
preparation, as well as his side-on fighting style and
offense-from-defense positioning, have led to comparisons with current
pound-for-pound great Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Broner says he doesn't watch
tape of opponents but prefers to adapt in the ring.
Outside the ring, he's known for a flamboyant style that
also has brought comparisons to Mayweather's flashy persona, but Broner
shows adaptability in the arena of life as well. Broner describes strong
and apparently nourishing interests, including recording his own music.
So far, when it's time to focus — in the ring or answering serious
questions about his claims to elite status — the 22-year-old can be
frank, direct and thoughtful.
But he's also being called over-the-top. A rare talent. And, of course, undefeated.
Cincinnati sports fans are on notice that maybe, just
maybe, they have a new, hometown, world-class athlete worth following on
the international stage.
Broner-Escobedo headlines an extensive undercard on Saturday, July 21. U.S. Bank Arena doors open at 5 pm. HBO Boxing After Dark coverage begins at 10 pm. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 11, 2012
A hundred stolen
bases? That’s so 2011. Today, Vince Coleman’s minor-league record of 145
stolen is the goal for Cincinnati minor-leaguer Billy Hamilton.
0 Comments · Tuesday, July 3, 2012
It took all the way until the first day
of July, nearly a week from the All-Star break, to figure out just what
was off about this baseball season. We’ve had plenty of exciting games still
there was something missing, and I couldn’t put my finger on it until
the National League All-Star rosters were announced. Tony La Russa, we missed you.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Quite honestly, a team Hall of Fame never
seemed like a big deal to me — a nice honor, sure, but nothing like
Cooperstown. It’s something, I always thought, to which those being
inducted paid lip service. That was until I threw out the softball
icebreaker to Sean Casey on Saturday before his induction into the Reds
Hall of Fame.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Joey Votto should be the face of baseball
right now. He should be the biggest name in the game, there should be
cameras following his every move, national TV commercials and the
talking heads on TV saying “Votto” so much that you’d think it was a
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Are we living in some kind of strange new
world where down is up, dogs live in harmony with cats and the Bengals
are a well-run organization? Because it appears that the Bengals, long
the butt of jokes not just here in Cincinnati, but nationwide, are
making — gasp — sensible and shrewd decisions.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Does anyone actually enjoy sports anymore? With Twitter, Facebook and message boards, it seems we have more outlets than ever to discuss and learn about sports. Add MLB.tv, NFL Sunday Ticket, ESPN3.com
and other technological advances in streaming video, we’re always
informed and entertained. So we can bitch. And bitch. And bitch. And then bitch some more.
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 30, 2012
From a fan’s standpoint, what Aroldis
Chapman is doing seems amazing. Through May 27, Chapman hadn’t allowed
an earned run in 21 appearances and 26 innings. He’d only allowed seven
hits, walked eight and struck out 44. But it’s not just those in the
stands that are impressed — so are his teammates.
by Danny Cross
Posted In: Basketball
at 11:12 AM | Permalink
Former UC basketball player Eric Hicks to suit up for Cincinnati Commandos
Anyone who misses the
days of Eric “The Helicopter” Hicks jamming on people’s heads
for the University of Cincinnati basketball team will have a chance
to see Hicks suit up for another local team later this month, but
this time he’ll be playing football.
Hicks signed a one-day
contract to play in the Cincinnati Commandos game against the Marion Blue Racers on April
28. He’ll be in town practicing with the United Indoor Football League team during
the next couple of weeks. He calls it his “OchoCinco moment.”
Although he never
played in the NBA, Hicks has been a professional basketball player
since leaving UC after his senior season in 2006. Hicks has been a
very good player in several European leagues, having played on
championship and All-Star teams in such countries as Belgium, Poland,
Russia, Israel, China and Spain.
Several notable NFL
players had college basketball experience, including tight ends
Antonio Gates, Jimmie Graham and Rob Gronkowski. Hicks, who is
6-foot-6 and 250 pounds, hasn’t played football since his sophomore
year of high school in North Carolina. Although he doesn’t expect
to end up in the NFL any time soon, Commandos coach Billy Back says
his size and athleticism could be real advantages in this league.
“He’s an all-time
fan favorite Bearcat and one of my favorites as well,” Back said. “He’s
an athlete, and we can use his height to our advantage.”
Hicks plans to return
to Europe soon to resume his basketball career, but said in a release
that he’s excited about playing for the Commandos.
In addition to the April 28 game in which Hicks will play, the Commandos have home games at the Cincinnati Gardens May 12, May 26 and June 2. Tickets are $10-$22 and available through Ticket Master or the Cincinnati Gardens ticket office, 513-631-7793 or
2250 Seymour Ave. Find the team's website here. Here’s a video
showing a bunch of cool stuff Hicks did as a Bearcat.