Mark Clark: Money, Maori are top headliners of the week

Mark Clark: Money, Maori are top headliners of the week

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There are a lot of things going on in the sports world right now that grab attention, but this past week has been a particularly interesting week. That is why this week’s column will not hold to one event. Let’s get started.

Show us the Money!

Well, not the cash dollars. I am writing about the person – Money Powell IV.

On Saturday night, as I flipped through internet sites, I ran across a piece of video concerning Money Powell IV. Why would I be interested? The answer is an easy one. Money Powell IV is a 2016 graduate of Central High here in Phenix City. And, the 21-year-old is a professional boxer in the super middleweight division. His residence is listed on various sites as Fort Mitchell. His father is retired military and Powell began his boxing at Fort Benning.

Now, back to the video.

The video I saw was from Saturday night where Powell had a fight – his ninth professional bout – at the Minneapolis Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He won the bout against a guy named Javier Frazier. Though there is absolutely no humor in getting hit repeatedly, the way the announcers in the video described the ending did require me to chuckle.

The announcer said Frazier was “knocked down” by Powell. That is an understatement. Frazier was beat down and then crushed by a solid blow from Powell’s right hand. Frazier immediately found the canvas of the ring floor. At 2:03 of the third round, Powell claimed his ninth victory of his professional career by a technical knockout. It was definitely a technical showing by Powell.

The blow chart showed that Powell landed 68 shots to Frazier’s 28. Powell hit Frazier 40 more times than Frazier hit Powell. That is almost laughable by itself. The look on Frazier’s face when he got up off the ring mat was even more laughable. Frazier had no idea where he was or where he was going. One thing was for sure, he was going to his corner to sit down until he was able to walk to his locker room.

Powell, on the other hand, knew exactly where he was going. When his post-fight interviewer brought of the subject of where Powell was headed after the bout with Frazier, I expected to hear the words, “I’m going to Disney World.” Wrong. Powell had someplace else in mind – Pizza Hut. He said he was going to have a large pepperoni pan pizza with a side of cheese sticks and “throw in some wings with that.” I am sure he got everything he wanted after that fight. He was a man with a plan.

Suit dismissed, but served purpose

I do not know how many of you out there have followed the fight between the Alabama High School Athletic Association and the family of Maori Davenport. The fight stemmed from the senior from Charles Henderson High in Troy being suspended before Christmas for accepting a check from USA Basketball for participating this past summer as a member of a team representing our country in an international tournament. Davenport’s family returned the money once it was informed the payment violated the AHSAA amateur rule. But, Davenport was still ineligible to play because she had violated the rule – even if she did so unknowingly by cashing the check for over $900. 

The Davenports found a sympathetic judge in Pike County to grant a stay of AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese’s ruling that Davenport was ineligible. Savarese took a lot of crap for his decision – even though it was the right decision under the rules he had to go by – rules he did not create.

Lawyers for the Davenports used delay tactics to prevent the judge from making a ruling on the case while Maori Davenport played her senior season fro Charles Henderson. Just hours after Maori Davenport’s team lost to Ramsay High at the regional tournament, her mother asked the judge to dismiss the case. Mission accomplished for the Davenports. Maori Davenport had played her senior season – the whole reason for the suit against the AHSAA.

Even if the AHSAA goes forth with the case, what can it accomplish as far as the Davenports are concerned? Nothing. The AHSAA can vacate the victories Charles Henderson claimed after Maori Davenport was originally suspended. That would mean little. Everyone knows who won those games on the court. The teams Charles Henderson cannot go back and replay the tournaments and such that they might have played in had Maori Davenport not played. 

What the AHSAA can accomplish is it can get a ruling that says it was right and prevent future athletes from using the ploy used by the Davenports to allow their child to continue to play. Or, the Central Board that is over the AHSAA may just change the rules to allow for payments higher than $250 to be allowed. Either way, Maori Davenport’s family circumvented the rules and got a hollow victory.

Mark Clark is a local sports writer for The Citizen of East Alabama.

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