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Watch the Olympics for the fighters, not the fights

Your weekly random thoughts ...

&#8226; OK, I get it: the scoring in the Olympics stinks, as NBC's Bob Papa, Teddy Atlas, Jim Gray and Fred Roggin have reminded me every single day of the tournament. Did anyone expect anything different? It's obviously time for a new system. How about actually letting judges judge instead of having them do a very poor impersonation of a CompuBox punch counter? That said, NBC's team on the Olympic tournament has been outstanding. I have watched countless hours of the coverage on CNBC (and recorded all of it on 20 DVDs, so far, because I am not normal) and they have made many of the fights bearable just because of their insightful analysis and entertaining banter. Watching Atlas and Papa in the "Teddy's Corner" segment is one of the highlights of my day. It's often been more entertaining than some of the fights. I've been waiting for one of Atlas' mock blows to accidentally crack Papa across the mouth. Of course, if that does happen, he surely won't get a point for landing a clean shot. The tournament might be rife with ridiculous decisions and stinkeroo fights because of an open scoring system all but begs for a fighter in the lead to run and hold, but if you are interested in Olympic boxing, CNBC has been awesome. The NBC cable network regularly aired six hours of boxing a day, much of it live in the wee hours. There has been more TV coverage than any Olympic tournament in history.

&#8226; Because of the atrocious scoring system, I haven't been watching Olympic boxing with the hopes of seeing exciting fights. Instead, I watch as though the tournament is a televised scouting combine. I want to get a look at the fighters to see who I think will be a good professional, and there are lots of good prospects in this tournament. Here are just a few of the guys I think have a chance to be notable pros (not including the talented Cubans, who won't turn pro unless they defect): pretty much everyone from Team Ukraine, including featherweight stud Vasyl Lomachenko; Russian middleweight Matvey Korobov, who likely will make America his home as he pursues a pro career; Americans Demetrius Andrade, who was badly robbed in the welterweight quarterfinals, and Deontay Wilder, who is as raw as heavyweights come and will need time to develop; light heavyweight Bastie Samir of Ghana, who has a very exciting style and was the victim of one of the many terrible decisions; British super heavyweight David Price; Italian super heavyweight Roberto Cammarelle; Russian heavyweight Rakhim Chakhkiev; and Irish middleweight Darren John Sutherland.

&#8226; These Olympians might not be top pro prospects, but they certainly have the best names of the competitors: Australian heavyweight Brad Pitt and featherweight Prince Octopus Dzanie of Ghana.

&#8226; Did you see how light heavyweight Dzhakhon Kurbanov of Tajikistan was disqualified in the third round for biting Kazakhstan's Yerkebulan Shynaliyev during a clinch in their Olympic quarterfinal Tuesday in Beijing? Although Kurbanov didn't bite Shynaliyev's ear, he did nip at his shoulder, which was bleeding after his attack of the munchies. In one of the great coincidences ever, Evander Holyfield, the victim of the most famous bite in history from Mike Tyson, had been in attendance at that day's fights, although he left just before the bite fight. Shoulder and ear, apparently, both taste like chicken.

&#8226; Did you see how heavyweight prospect Kevin Johnson, who has a lot of ability but has yet to fight anyone of note, has been matched by promoter Joe DeGuardia in a Sept. 5 fight with 41-year-old former titleholder Bruce Seldon, who earned the eternal disdain of boxing fans everywhere when he laid down in the first round against Tyson in a 1996 title fight? Is Seldon supposed to constitute a step up in competition for Johnson?

&#8226; To all of the haters so up in arms about the possible Oscar De La Hoya-Manny Pacquiao fight, keep on hating. But you know damn well that come Dec. 6, you'll be watching.

&#8226; Roy Jones once rapped on one of his CDs that he was "Mr. Unstoppable, Mr. Undroppable, Mr. Invincible, Mr. Unbeatable, Mr. Unknockoutable." He's none of those things anymore, but I think he has enough left to make his Nov. 8 showdown with light heavyweight champ Joe Calzaghe awfully interesting. It's going to be an electric night at Madison Square Garden. And with HBO backing the pay-per-view fight with a "24/7" series, I believe it's going to be a juggernaut that could do 750,000 buys.

&#8226; What's the over-under on pints of blood that will be spilled in the Sept. 6 Juan Diaz-Michael Katsidis fight?

&#8226; Bob Arum told me the other day that Antonio Margarito's Nov. 1 fight won't take place at Dodger Stadium, where he hoped to put on a big card. Too expensive, Arum said. I'm shocked. Just shocked. You gotta love Arum's enthusiasm for wanting to do a ballpark fight, but can we move on now? Arum talks about doing one all the time, be it at Yankee Stadium, Dodger Stadium or UNLV's football stadium, but it never happens. Here's a suggestion: Get the venue signed, sealed and delivered and then we can talk about it.

&#8226; The IBF held a purse bid Tuesday for a junior middleweight title eliminator between Cory Spinks and Alex Bunema. Not a single promoter showed up to bid on the fight. If that isn't an indictment of a crappy match, I don't know what is.

&#8226; Former heavyweight titleholder Lamon Brewster, despite a slew of eye injuries and a horrific beating by Wladimir Klitschko in their rematch 13 months ago, is coming back to fight Aug. 30 in Cincinnati. And the point of that is what?

&#8226; I got a kick out of this quote from heavyweight titleholder Samuel Peter, which was in a press release sent out by Showtime announcing his Oct. 11 defense against Vitali Klitschko: "I want to send Vitali back into retirement, and then end his brother's reign as champion. I will become the first fighter to end an entire family's boxing career. Everyone is going down. The heavyweight division is mine." Someone perhaps ought to remind Peter that he already had one crack at little brother Wladimir and lost a clear decision despite scoring three knockdowns. Speaking of Peter-Klitschko, the long overdue fight will officially be announced Wednesday at a news conference in New York. I hope Klitschko doesn't accidentally trip, bump into a TV camera or do anything else to injure himself yet again.

&#8226; Happy birthday to the High-Haired One, Don King. He turned 77 on Wednesday but has not been slowed by age as evidenced by his trip to Beijing last week to attend the Olympics. That was followed by another flight to Chengdu, where he announced a Nov. 7 card he will promote there. Love him or hate him, King is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. I once stood on the sidewalk outside a Manhattan hotel around midnight talking to him a night or two before a big fight. During our half-hour conversation, King was like the Pied Piper. It seemed every single person on both sides of the street was attracted to him. All while talking to me, he signed autograph after autograph and posed for countless pictures with everyone -- people of all races, old folks, children, men, woman, you name it. I thought I had seen it all until one gentleman, without a scrap of paper, pulled out a $20 bill and had King sign it for him. Only in America.

&#8226; A 10-count for Rhoshii Wells, 31, and Ronney Vargas, 20, two fighters senselessly gunned down within a few days of each other last week. Wells won an Olympic bronze medal in 1996, although his pro career was in heavy decline. Vargas was on the upswing as one of New York's hottest prospects. Both lost their lives in heinous acts of violence that had nothing to do with controlled violence of the ring. What a waste. What a shame. Condolences to both of their families and friends.

&#8226; Winky Wright? No, doesn't ring a bell.

&#8226; DVD pick of the week: None. Too busy watching Olympic boxing every day on CNBC (and occasionally napping through some of it).