(Las Vegas): After a tequila sunrise outside of Los Angeles at nearby Santa Monica Beach, I'm pumping Ice Cube's classic “Good Day” while crossing the street.
After pausing to motion the driver of a vintage silver mustang convertible at the stop sign to go, suddenly, I realize who I'm motioning: Billy Bob Thornton and passenger Maria Bello flash movie star boomerang smiles on cue.
It was on my mind during the taping of a “TalkBOX w/Michael Woods” segment, to discuss the movie that is Andre Ward V Sergey Kovalev II, featuring an array of actors and extras. As blue skies kissing the sand and the coastline turned to a pinkish sky of rusty mountains over desert plains, both camps conjured ‘impressive' thoughts during a sleepy road trip.
The prevailing thought I'll offer PPV gamblers wrestling with the decision to buy is this: This rematch fight won't be anticlimactic and will have a spectacular ending.
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Lips sucking/ G strutting/ fresh off the focus luncheon/ photos snap ‘cuz we know he's up to something__
He knows, too.
The antithesis of a philosophical and Morpheus-like Virgil Hunter, Jackson has downloaded the serious side of George Jefferson into his persona and comes out swinging.
“He (Ward) calls himself the ‘Son of God' but he's a liar, so what does that tell you?” fired an angry and bewildered John David Jackson, trainer of angry and bewildered former light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev.
Jackson, on hand Wednesday at a roundtable with reporters at Mandalay Bay, discussed his role as turncoat among presumed antagonists. He was responding to a question about whether he broke ‘a cardinal rule' (as Andre Ward put it) for trying to play a slippery game of 3-Card Molly with both camps. Thus, it seemed fitting to ask him, “Are you the difference in this fight, JDJ?” after he was pressed with character questions.
“A trainer is always an important factor in any fight, but yeah, I'm huge in this,” said Jackson, adding that ‘whatever code they cracked' was an old one.
The unwitting star in absence at Le Parker Meridian in NYC at the kickoff press conference in April (now revealed as the “code-cracker”), did watch the event dripping with an uneasy racial tension from both sides. Tension that has persisted.
Kathy Duva, Main Events CEO, was more her affable self while not sharing real estate with names she struggles to even mention. She watched her fighter simmer during their Tuesday arrivals to Vegas, as Ward, like a shrewd casting director, kept reshaping moods with middle fingers for pupils.
As we look to Friday's weigh-in, Team Ward has clearly controlled the tone of the run-up, whether or not they dictate the pace of Kovalev's heart at the sound of “Action,” well, that is another box office story this weekend altogether.