Monthly Archives: November 2016

A kiss and tell Lothario

“Classy bitch, don’t kiss and tell. Smack her ass and then wish her well. Life sucks, better give em hell.”
— Mac Miller


By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — Any public official, or private individual for that matter, who intends to engage in illicit affair must beware when choosing a partner.
If she is a woman and makes a mistake of picking a kiss and tell Lothario like Ronnie Dayan, God have mercy on her.
If he is a man and thinks his decision to admit that he is the lover of Ai-Ai delas Alas or Dionisia Pacquiao will give him instant fame, God have mercy on Ai-Ai and Mommy Dionisia.
If he is a matinee idol and Kris Aquino discloses in a gossip talk show she had sexual relationship with him, God bless that guy.
Even in a permissive society that accepts any male-female, male-male or female-female dalliance, those who will kiss and tell are considered as traitors.


Those involved in any romantic or sexual affair are not supposed to discuss their relationship’s prurient details in public–unless they are under duress or drugged.
Dayan, former bodyguard of Senator Laila De Lima, was neither under duress nor under the influence of any substance when he shamed an enamorata, who happened to be a prominent national figure, in a congressional hearing.
The hearing was supposed to be conducted “in aid of legislation” or to establish De Lima’s link to illegal drug trade, not to determine the degree of the senator’s sexual appetite.
Kris Aquino was not under the influence of drugs or liquor–and was not under shotgun testimony–when she announced on national TV that she had STD or sexually transmitted disease after having a tryst with comedian Joey Marquez.


What transpired between two consenting adults should be “treasured” privately and valued mutually. Since they both “benefited” from the affair, it leaves a bad taste in the mouth if any of them brags about their conquest.
A quarrel that resulted in break up is not an excuse for one party to expose the relationship’s lurid content. But not Dayan.
Even if he was under the behest of the congressmen, he could have just admitted his affair with De Lima and stop there; without prejudice, of course, to his testimony that he received millions from drug lord Kerwin Espinosa.
Dayan revealed something about him other than being a Lothario that the public did not know before he made the testimony that turned into a slut-shaming binge: he had no utang na loob or debt of gratitude.
In his seven golden years of erotic liaison with a former boss, he probably made money. He was “on top of the world”, to say the least, if testimonies of those privy to his closeness with De Lima, a former justice secretary, were to be believed.
Prosecutors and even judges who wanted promotions sought his “blessings”, among other “sidelines.”
No to mention the “tips” he probably got for his alleged errand job for De Lima and the drug lords, if his admission in the House hearing was true.
You don’t kick a former boss-lover who is already down.

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Posted by on November 28, 2016 in POLITICS


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Who is the Holy Spirit?


Who is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is a Burning Spirit.
It Kindles the hearts of mankind.
Like tympanum and lyre it plays them,
gathering volume in the temple of the soul.
Holy Spirit is
all movement.
Root of all being.
Purifier of all impurity.
Absolver of all faults.
Balm of all wounds.
Radiant life, worthy of all praise.
The Holy Spirit resurrects and awakens
everything that is.
(Meditations with Hildegard of Bingen)

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Posted by on November 28, 2016 in Uncategorized


Don’t slap a woman

“Men and women must be educated, in a great degree, by the opinions and manners of the society they live in.”
— Mary Wollstonecraft


By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — It’s not nice for a man to slap a woman. Even in imagination, a man should never hurt a woman emotionally and physically.
If you want to know a man, listen to the language he uses to describe a member of the opposite sex after he has been jilted by the latter.
It’s not pleasant to admit slapping a woman especially if she is a lover or former lover, a wife or former wife.
Especially if you are having or had emotional attachment with her. Especially if you are having or had sexual liaison with her; if you benefited a lot from her concerning your carnal needs and fleshly desires.
She shouldn’t be called a “slut” or “maniac” to justify dumping her like a waste so his macho tormentor can tarry-hoot with the next nymphet.
It’s not good to be a misogynist. Like envy and irrational jealousy, it’s an aberration of the mind.
A woman is a special creation of God. She represents the image of our mother, sister, girlfriend, wife or partner in life.


We have the Blessed Virgin Mary as the symbol of purity, the epitome of piety and righteousness, the mother of Jesus Christ.
Without a woman, no one could biologically bring us here in this material world.
She labored hard, sacrificed a lot, and carried us in her womb for nine months. She feeds us. She gives us life. She sings for our joy and benefit.
No woman should be ridiculed or put to shame because of her sexual experiences or desires even if she is a criminal or enemy of the most powerful man in the universe.
After all, we are all sinners. In fact, many of us have committed more sins than her.
Magdalene, Cleopatra, Madame Bovary, Lady Chatterley, Princess Diana, Kris Aquino had their own share of infamy in the department of lechery.
They have been slandered and persecuted. But men of antiquity and modern times treated them with respect and adulation because they are women–and because of the great things they contributed for mankind.


Like men, women also fall in love with passion. They, too, have emotions. They also fail and get frustrated and hurt. When they fall for men, they give their best; they give it all.
If some of them happen to be naive they become susceptible to exploitation and abuse–and sometimes end up as sex slaves, if not tortured and murdered.
Women in general are loving and decent human beings. God intended to give them a special role in society, and they should enjoy equal rights, privileges, and happiness with men.
Let’s hear it from Barbra Streisand: “I am a woman in love and I do anything to get you into my world and hold you within. It’s a right I defend ever and over again. What do I do?”
To fall in love, to enjoy a satisfying sex life, to live with dignity and respect, to practice freedom of choice, is the right that every woman should fight and defend in a masochistic society governed by some do-gooder and hypocrite congressmen.



What day did you sneeze?

“Do you know how helpless you feel if you have a full cup of coffee in your hand and you start to sneeze?” — JEAN KERR


By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — While standing in a long line at the Bank of America ATM machine in Jackson Heights, Queens on Thursday morning (a Thanksgiving day, November 24, in the United States), I sneezed twice.
An elderly Latina woman in front of me turned her back and sighed, “God bless you.”
“Thank you,” I replied.
“Today is what day, honey?” she snapped back with a smile. “Ah Thursday. Something better will happen to you because you sneezed on Thursday. If it’s Friday, you sneeze for sorrow.”
She continued: If I sneeze on Wednesday, I will receive a letter. On Tuesday, I kiss a stranger. On Monday, I sneeze for danger. On Saturday, I see my lover tomorrow. On Sunday, the devil will have me for the rest of the week. Oh lala.
She was being superstitious. I don’t believe in superstition but I thanked her nevertheless.


In the bus, train, shopping centers, coffee shops, among other public places, I sneezed in the past and people were apt to say, “God bless you” or the German expression, “Gesundheit,” or the Italian word, “Felicita.”
In the old practice, they would clasp their hands and bow toward the one who sneezed, which is popular in Near and Far East until today.
The custom of asking God’s blessing started when early man believed that the essence of life–the spirit or soul–was in the form of air and breath and resided in one’s head, according to authors Claudia De Lys and Julie Forsyth Bachelor.
A sneeze might accidentally expel the spirit for a short time or even forever, unless God prevented it.
The act of bowing toward the sneezer was also reportedly counter-magic. For it meant, “May your soul not escape.”


There were some ancients who believed that evil spirits which had previously entered the body jumped out when one sneezed. This meant danger to others for such spirits might now enter their bodies.
So the expression or blessing was to protect others as well as the one who sneezed. So serious was a sneezed considered in the Middle Ages that even today people speak of certain situations as “not to be sneezed at.”
We know today that a sneeze is one of our unconscious reflexes. However, medical men consider it almost as harmful to others as some of the primitive people did, explained Lys and Bachelor.
For, instead of “evil spirits,” sneezing expels harmful bacteria and is one of the most effective ways of spreading disease. So our best counter-charm, say the doctors, is to cover a sneeze with a handkerchief so our germs won’t jump down someone else’s throat.

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Posted by on November 27, 2016 in HEALTH, HISTORY, SCIENCE



‘U.S. Navy submarines will save the world’

“The question of whether a computer can think is no more interesting than the question of whether a submarine can swim.” — Edsger Dijkstra

By Alex P. Vidal

GROTON, Connecticut — It’s normal for the United States (U.S.) Navy not to talk about some of the nuclear-powered attack submarines especially if the story involves the national security, but some basic information that are not classified can be accessed even in the internet, a retired US navyman recently disclosed.
Reynaldo A. Amuan, who retired in 1976, said the U.S. Navy submarines are called as “silent service” because they can save the world from rogue states that occasionally threaten to trigger a nuclear world war.

Amuan, 82, a Filipino-American, said “the U.S. Navy submarines are the most powerful and sophisticated in the world today. Everything is powered by nuclear.”
“Our submarines are now cleaner, more sophisticated and don’t need diesel fuel unlike what we have some 50 years ago,” said Amuan, who was “CPO/E7 Reynaldo A. Amuan” during his active years in service from 1956 to 1976.
Amuan added: “The U.S. Navy submarines were the lifeblood of the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) during the World War II.”


Amuan, active member of Connecticut-based New England Filipino-American, Inc. (NEFAI), said anyone who wants to be enlisted in the U.S. Navy must be willing to act as volunteer first and should have a good moral character.
“The most important is he must be mentally stable as he will undergo a one-year observation or study duty to be able to familiarize the vessel and learn its basic operations,” Amuan quipped.
When he was enlisted in the U.S. Naval Base in Sangley Point, Cavite, Philippines in 1956, the requirements and qualifications were not as rigid compared today.

“It’s because times have changed. There is no more recruitment in the Philippines as the U.S. Navy doesn’t have a military base there anymore,” explained Amuan, who finished radio operator from a technical school in Iloilo City, Philippines prior to applying in the U.S. Navy.


America, considered as military superpower in the world, reportedly has 43 Los Angeles-class submarines on active duty and 19 retired, making it the most numerous nuclear-powered submarine class in the world.
It was learned that the class was preceded by the Sturgeon class and followed by the Seawolf and Virginia classes. Except for USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-709), submarines of this class are named after U.S. cities, breaking a Navy tradition of naming attack submarines after sea creatures.
The final 23 boats in the series, referred to as “688i” boats, are reportedly quieter than their predecessors and incorporate a more advanced combat system. These 688i boats are also designed for under-ice operations: their diving planes are on the bow rather than on the sail, and they have reinforced sails.
The National Interest reported that the Navy doesn’t like to talk about its submarines.
“After all, a sub’s biggest advantage is its stealth. And of the sailing branch’s roughly 70 undersea boats, Seawolf and her two sister vessels Connecticut and Jimmy Carter are among the most secretive,” it stressed.


If readers will Google the names of any of the Navy’s Los Angeles-class submarines, “the most numerous in the fleet, and you’ll get hits: Navy statements and photo releases, the occasional news article. But try to look up Seawolf-class vessels and you’ll get next to nothing,” it explained.

The National Interest disclosed that it’s official website is blocked. The last time Seawolf’s exterior appeared in a Navy photo was 2009, it said.
“That’s because Seawolf and her sisters are special. Newer, bigger, faster and more heavily armed than standard attack submarines, the nearly $3-billion-per-copy Seawolfs have been fitted with hundreds of millions of dollars in unique equipment and are assigned to their own special squadron in Washington State,” the report added.
Amuan named Chris Tibus, a Fil-Am Navy liaison, who was considered as “the godfather of the Filipinos” for his role in helping Filipino guerrilla fighters in the Philippines during the World War II.

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Posted by on November 21, 2016 in HISTORY


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Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Goodness)

Goodness is the only investment that never fails.

When the ethical and behavioral patterns of some people around us are showing signs of rapid decline, we need to save and invest more in goodness. Our moral capital gains are secured when we maintain a good relationship with others.


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Posted by on November 21, 2016 in QUOTES


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What’s your taste?

“All of life is a dispute over taste and tasting.” — FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE


By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — What is bad taste? How do we differentiate it from good taste? Who determines whether my taste, your taste, their taste is better?
That people differ in their tastes is itself an indisputable fact. It is also true that there is no point in arguing with a man about what he likes or dislikes.
But it is still quite possible to tell a man that he has poor taste and that what he likes is in itself not excellent or beautiful. Here there is plenty of room for argument.
Those who say there is no disputing about tastes usually mean more than they say. In our judgment they are wrong not in what they say but in what they mean. They start from the fact that people differ in taste, in what they like and dislike, and conclude that that is all there is to it.
They conclude, in other words, that in talking about works of art of things of beauty, the only opinions which people can express must take the familiar form of “I don’t know whether it’s beautiful or not, but I know what I like.”


This conclusion makes beauty entirely subjective or, as the saying goes, entirely a matter of individual taste. People sometimes take the same position about truth and goodness. The truth, they say, is merely what seems true to me. The good is merely what I regard as desirable. They thus reduce truth and goodness to matters of taste about which there can be no argument.
Let us illustrate the mistake they make. If a man says to us, “That object looks red to me,” we would be foolish to argue with him about how it looks. The fact that it looks gray to us has no bearing on how it looks to him.
Nevertheless, we may be able to show him that he is deceived by the reddish glow from a light shining on the object and that, in fact, the object is gray, not red. Even after we have proved this to him by physical tests, the object may still look red to him, but he will be able to recognize the difference between the appearance and the reality.


This simple illustration shows that while there is no point in arguing about how things look, there is good reason to argue about what things are.
Similarly, if a person insists upon telling us what he likes or dislikes in works of art, he is expressing purely subjective opinions which cannot be disputed. But good critics try to express objective judgments about the excellence or defects of a work itself. They are talking about the object, not about themselves.
Most of us know the difference between good and bad workmanship. If we hire a carpenter to make a table for us and he does a bad job, we point out to him that the table is unsteady or that its legs are too light for the weight of the top. What is true of carpentry is true of all the other arts. Like tables, works of fine art can be well made or poorly made. Well-made things have certain objective qualities which can be recognized by those who know what is involved in good or bad workmanship in the particular field of art.
To recognize excellence in a piece of music, one must have some knowledge of the art of composing music. If a man lacks such knowledge, of course, all he can say is that he likes or dislikes the music. The man who insists that that is all he or anyone else can say is simply confessing his own ignorance about music. He can go expressing his likes and dislikes in music, but he should not, in his ignorance, deny others the right to make objective judgments based on knowledge he does not have.


The question to ask anyone who insists that the beauty in works of art is entirely a matter of personal taste is whether some people have better taste than others. Do some men have good taste and others quite bad taste? Is it possible for a person to improve his taste?
An affirmative answer to these questions amounts to an admission that there are objective standards for making critical judgments about works of art. Having good taste consists in preferring that which is objectively more excellent. Acquiring good taste in some field of art depends on acquiring knowledge about the art and learning to recognize excellence in workmanship.
If there were no objective differences which made works of art more or less beautiful, it would be impossible to say that anyone has good or bad taste or that it is worth making a great effort to improve one’s taste.

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Posted by on November 21, 2016 in HEALTH, PSYCHOLOGY



An affair to remember…in Connecticut

“If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business, because we’d be cynical. Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.” — Ray Bradbury


By Alex P. Vidal

GROTON, Connecticut — If the story of her love affair with a fellow Ilonggo that began on board a commercial vessel in 1956 would be told, Aida Castro-Amuan, 80, wanted to compare it to Leo McCarey’s 1957 classic film, An Affair to Remember.
Aboard a Manila-bound ship from Iloilo City one summer in 1957, Aida met Reynaldo Adrias Amuan, 82.
She was 20 and he was 22. Aida was scheduled to enroll in a nursing school in Manila, while Reynaldo was on his way to Cavite for physical examination at the U.S. Base Naval Station in Sangley Point.
“A true friendship was built aboard the ship like in that movie before we hit it off romantically,” recalls Aida, a native of Ajuy, Iloilo, Philippines and now resides here.
While the ultimate romantic tearjerker chick flick starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr ended in a tight embrace atop New York City’s Empire State Building, the love affair between Aida and Reynaldo continues until today, or 60 years after they got married.


“We are still very much in love with each other until now,” Aida exclaims shyly, her eyes flicker while stealing a quick stare at Reynaldo, sitting on her right side in the buffet table in a breakfast.
Aida calls Reynaldo “darling” and credits him for encouraging and accompanying her when she “reports to office” everyday so she won’t get sick and bored at home.
Her “office” is the poker table in the Mohegan Sun, a casino hotel in Uncasville, a village in southeastern Montville, at the mouth of the Oxoboxo River.
“I noticed that if she stayed at home for three days, she became weak. So I goaded her to go to her office so she can move and exercise her body,” Reynaldo volunteers with a timid smile.
When they “report” to Aida’s “office”, they bring only credit and reward cards, a few one dollar bills for tips, and a bag full of maintenance pills. Aida admits she is not a good player and only plays to kill time and keeps her mind busy.
Mohegan Sun gives Aida privileges like free buffet meals, tickets and access to entertainment shows and sports events, use of facilities like swimming pool, and hotel room from points earned in a reward card.
If the points are so high, they invite friends “to share their blessings” especially on buffet.
Unlike Grant, Nickie Ferrante in the film, a well-known playboy and dilettante in the arts, Reynaldo had been “engaged” only with one woman before he met Aida, daughter of an affluent family in Iloilo’s fifth district.


“I wasn’t engaged yet,” sighs Aida, “but I had an insistent suitor who wanted to fetch me in the pier (when the ship arrived in Manila). I tried to avoid him (the suitor) but Rey told me to treat the guy nicely.”
To make the long story short, explains Aida, “I rejected that suitor and married Rey.”
“One thing I like about Rey was his honesty. I was immediately attracted to him because he was frank and honest when he told me he came from a poor family,” narrates Aida. “In all our married life, he never gave me a headache.”
After being crowned as municipal queen of Ajuy in 1952 at age 16, Aida had attracted hordes of suitors, mostly coming from Iloilo’s influential and moneyed families, “but I found my true happiness with Rey because I knew he would never take advantage of me.”
She describes her future husband as “guwapo (handsome), soft-spoken, sincere, and simple.”
Aida considers their two children–Fern Boivin, 55, and Sean, 53, and their six grandchildren–as “our real blessings.”


“Their values and the values of their respective families–the husband, wife and children–are exceptional,” Aida boasts. “I think it has something to do with how we raised them and how they raised their own children. Wala na kami sang ipangayuon pa sa Diyos. (We have nothing more to ask from God).”
Fern, an engineer, is married to Mark Boivin, president of Northeast Wood Products. Sean is a pilot at American Airlines with international routes, and a 1985 graduate in the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. They were both born and raised in the United States.
“Everyday we call each other to say hello. If they can’t call us, we call them vice versa using FaceTime (a video call in Smart phone),” reveals Reynaldo.
Seconds later, Reynaldo dials his iPhone: “Hello, son what do you have for breakfast this morning?” Son Sean replies in video call: “I’m having a bagel (bread) right now, dad.”


Aida takes Reynaldo’s iPhone and intones: “Hi darling, how are you doing today?” Son answers: “I’m fine, mom.” Aida: “Are you going for golf today?” Son: “Yes, mom.” Aida: “Okay, you take care my darling.”

Grandchildren call their grandparents from time to time vice versa to say hi and hello. Grandpa tells a teenage female granddaughter in video call, “No holding hands with your suitor or boyfriend, please.” Granddaughter replies with a smile.
“This is our life. This is how we spend our life here in Connecticut as retirees. This is where we get our simple joy and happiness. And our children and grandchildren are very supportive of what we do and where we are,” Reynaldo hisses, holding Aida’s left hand as they saunter the vast, 34-story casino, hotel and entertainment complex that features Native American-style decor.
Reynaldo, a native of Divinagracia, La Paz, Iloilo City, Philippines, retired from the US Navy in 1976 after 20 years of service. He was detailed in the nuclear submarines.

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Posted by on November 20, 2016 in Family


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Tabula Rasa

“Wherever law ends, tyranny begins.” — JOHN LOCKE

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By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — One of the British Empiricists, John Locke, lived at a time of great scientific discovery and political upheaval.
He was to become deeply involved in, and affected by, both.
Locke’s claim is that all thoughts and ideas issue from what we have taken in through the senses. Before we perceive anything, the mind is a tabula rasa or an empty slate, as bare and empty as a blackboard before the teacher arrives in the classroom.
But then we begin to sense things.
We see the world around us, we smell, taste, feel and hear.
And nobody does this more intensely than an infant. In this way what Locke called “simple ideas of sense” arises.
But the mind does not just passively receive information from outside it.


Some activity happens in the mind as well.
The single-sense ideas are worked on by thinking, reasoning, believing and doubting, thus giving rise to what he calls “reflection.”
So he distinguished between “sensation” and “reflection.”
The mind is not merely a passive receiver.
It classifies and processes all sensations as they come streaming in.
Locke (1632-1704) spoke out for intellectual liberty and tolerance.
He was also preoccupied with equality of the sexes, maintaining that the subjugation of women to men was “man-made.”
Therefore, it could be altered.
He had a great influence on John Stuart Mill, who, in turn, had a key role in the struggle for equality of the sexes.


Locke was a forerunner of many liberal ideas which came into full flower later, during the French Enlightenment in the 18th century.
It was he who first argued for the principle of division of powers, by which the power of the state is divided between different institutions: the legislative power, or elected representatives; the judicial power, or law of courts; and the executive power, or the government.
Locke rejected many of the ideas of the other great Empiricist, Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), who believed in a powerful monarchy and that man has no right to rebel and break the “social contract.”

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Posted by on November 20, 2016 in CULTURE AND HERITAGE, HISTORY, SCIENCE


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Like Hillary, Kovalev wins but loses in the judges’ ‘electoral college’

“As much as I love boxing, I hate it. And as much as I hate it, I love it.” –– Budd Schulberg

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — Bad news for Vladimir Putin. Good news for his “favorite”, President-elect Donald J. Trump.
We have boxing’s version of the puzzling “electoral college”, the decrepit system that denied Hillary Clinton the presidency despite besting Trump in the popular votes in the recent election.
We respect the judges’ verdict, an identical 114-113 unanimous decision in favor of American Andre Ward (31-0, 15 KOs), but the night belonged to dethroned Russian world champion Sergey Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) in the battle for WBA, WBO, and IBF light heavyweight belts on Saturday night (November 19) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
With 84 percent KO in his ledger, the 33-year-old warrior, born in Kopeysk, Russia, should have prevented a “hometown” decision by finishing off the 32-year-old challenger from Oakland in the early rounds.


But orthodox Kovalev allowed Ward to be rescued by the judges when he failed to put him away for good after scoring a second round knockdown which was worth 55 electoral college votes in the presidential race.
But unlike Clinton who gamely accepted her upset defeat, the Russian KO artist could only complain: “It’s the wrong decision. I don’t want to say my opinion. The witnesses are here – they saw it. It’s my job. It was a fight of my life. I am disappointed in the judges’ decision. He got maybe a few rounds, I agree with that. I kept control. I lost maybe three rounds the whole fight.”
He added: “Of course, I want a rematch and I will kick his ass. I want to show good boxing. I am against here it is the USA and all the judges were from the USA. He is a boxer. It’s a sport, don’t make it politics. It’s a sport and I won the fight!”


Ward, who earned my admiration when he blasted to smithereens the incredible Chad Dawson for the WBC and WBC super-middleweight crowns in 2012, believed he won the bout: “No, I was not surprised when I heard the decision, I don’t’ know where you got that from. I know it was a close fight – the crowd you can hear they thought I won…I have been a champ before I knew it was going to be a tough fight – it was the first time in my career I was dropped.”
Ward added: “He did everything I expected him to do. He started to show up as I expected he started to fight like I expected. My coach did a great job…It’s hard for me to call myself great. At the end of the day I am a two-weight division champion. Of course, I would do a rematch. I am not going to negotiate a fight right now I will go home and relax and see what’s next.”

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Posted by on November 20, 2016 in BOXING, SPORTS


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