Thursday, November 27, 2014

Clash in Cotai II Pacquiao-Algieri in Macau 金光决战2

Yet again I descended to Macau for some big ticket professional boxing.  Last year I saw congressman Manny Pacquio defeat Brandon Rios. This time I scored a better seat to watch Pacquiao fight Chris Algieri.  

But it was no contest as the match-up of the PacMan with "a real-life Rocky"—as per Stallone who was in the audience—was one-sided, despite Algieri's five-inch reach advantage. The PacMan won by unanimous decision to retain his World Boxing Organization welterweight championship.

Pre-bout visit: Two politicians. And two boxers—well, one at least one from the silver screen, and literally both of them on the big screen here.

Golden Battle II:

Algieri was knocked down half-a dozen times.

“The only legit time I was hurt was when we were trading left hooks and I went down,” Algieri said. “That was the only shot that really hurt me.” 

Two Filipino congressmen were sitting next to me, watching their fellow congressman fight. 

Proclaiming to want to fight Mayweather:

Jessie Vargas of Las Vegas defending his WBA super lightweight title against former world champion Antonio DeMarco of Mexico.

Vasyl Lomachenko, two-time Ukranian Olympic gold medalist, defended his WBO featherweight title for the first time, against the number one contender Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo of Thailand. This was the best fight of the night. Apparently the Ukrainian injured his left hand with a headshot halfway through, but managed to jab with the other for the rest of the match.

Unlimited drinks, burgers and hot dogs and ice cream.

What are you looking at?

I enjoyed the undercard match more with China’s boxing icon Zou Shimin, who was also trained by Freddie Roach. Zou defeated Manny look-alike Thai boxer Kwanpichit Onesongchaigym in a 12-round WBO flyweight world title elimination bout. 

While Zou owned the ring and achieved four knockdowns, I was more impressed with his Thai opponent. The more Onesongchaigym got hit, the more aggressively he fought back. 

I've seen Zou fight three times now: light flyweight Gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and also at the Venetian Macao last year against Colombian Luis de la Rosa.

Zou's eye injury from an accidental head but might hold him back from his next scheduled fight in February.

Referee Genaro Rodriguez. I gather I must be a better photographer than my friend Tom.

I'll keep it to myself on how I managed to get this ticket with a face value to far too many Macanese Patacas so as to not jeopardize access to future events without having to fork over MOP $11,115.50 (which is equivalent to USD $1,392).

While US casinos are closing, Macau is still building, raking in more than seven times the gambling revenues of Las Vegas. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Finally, a Toronto Seafood Buffet Restaurant in Shanghai

Finally, Shanghai can finally eat some of Toronto's famous "seafood", whatever that is. 

Well, the fourth largest city in North America is next to the deepest of the Great Lakes, courtesy of the fifth glacial melt of the past million years of such a rapid pace as an average increase of 40° Celsius/Kelvin over 40 years. I've mostly eaten salmon I caught there myself.

If you are from Toronto, you are not necessarily greeted so well, unless you know people dining there. These folks are selling children's formula on Taobao, a company that eBay blew $2 billion in two years trying to quash until it sold out to Tom Online.

2014 Zhuhai Airshow / China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition 2014 珠海航展

This was my second time down to the biannual China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition ("Zhuhai Airshow"), the largest airshow in mainland China. Air demonstration teams from China, Russia and the UAE flew, while Washington grounded the South Korean team just a few weeks before the show.

I wanted to see the the still secretive Shenyang J-31 fighter, what's billed as a fifth-generation fighterwith China and the US the only countries to have reached such level, according to some industry observers—but it only flew on the days before I visited.

The J-31 is supposedly a hybrid of stolen plans from the F-35 and the amazing F-22. Its role likely is to carry out anti-access and area-denial strategies in the Western Pacific. Smartly it is a twin engine design unlike the ridiculous single-engine F-35. When and do engines fail, pilots ejecting in remote areas like the Arctic could wait up to a day for rescue—a key argument against Canada's procurement of such planes.

One US pilot recently remarked that all US fourth-generation fighters including the AV-8, F-15 and F/A-18 would be unable to go head-to-head against the J-31 in a dogfight. Thankfully it's been decades since major powers budded heads in the sky, since the Vietnam war. But at least for now, Western pilots are assuredly the top guns.

This is the first time the Xian Y-20 "transport", with its sickly weak engines, flew in public. China hasn't yet mastered making engines powerful enough for such heavy transport planes, relying Russian imports of engines and parts. 

Poor visibility (read: pollution) grounded the super-maneuverable Sukhoi Su-35 fighter , with its thunderous Saturn 117S engines. Beijing placed an order for two dozen. 

Meeting the pilots at shows is great fun, but they are fast becoming unnecessary. And at least regarding passenger flights, pilots are increasingly unable to quickly handle emergency situations. Years ago I read about how more than half of air-travel deaths are the result of “controlled flight into terrain” (CFIT), industry-speak for “the plane was working perfectly, but the pilot flew it into the ground”.  Some of the most spectacular crashes of late are suspected to have been CFIT, likely because pilots are spending significantly less time actually flying and are often unable to quickly take control in emergency situations after the autopilot disengages (notably Air France 447 and Asiana Airlines 214).

The Chinese PLA Bayi team (八一) in their clunky J-10s, but flying much better this year. They must be getting in some good practice. This year they had more female pilots flying than ever before.

Russian Knights:

Shanghai TV station host:


I'd hazard a guess that some of these UAE Knights pilots, shown here in their little Aermacchi MB-339A Italian military trainers/light attack planes with cute colourful trails, have been bombing ISIL positions back in Syria and Iraq. Just like the CF-18 pilots from Canada. The nice thing about the Chinese pilots I saw flying is that they are not using living ammunition on anyone. 

The first A380 ever built, the F-WWOW (or is that F-WWOW!. The pilot really pushed its limits banking, climbing and seemingly nearly stalling. I didn't realize this graceful plane could be so highly maneuverable.

From the biggest to the smallest in the sky. Among the jets, I kept getting buzzed by a dragonfly.

Below, the Russian Knights in their Su-27 heavy fighters. Somehow in my travels I've been to the birthplace of these birds, a place out of Clint Eastwood's "Firefox", Komsolmosk-nar-Amure in the Far East of Russia.

The first time I met Lt. Col. Sergey he couldn't smile, but now that he's flying the $65 million Su-35 Super Flanker, he's all teeth (shown at his far right, below).

Please don't try this at home. Learning "keeping up foreign relations" as per Maverick and Goose flippin' the bird, literally.

A USAF C-17 from Hawaii:

Above, checking out the Su-35, and below, the J-20. This photo has American, Russian and Chinese planes all within the same frame.

Fears of more US technology theft had Washington recently pressure to cancel the ROK's Black Eagle demonstration team in their Lockheed Martin/Korea Aerospace Industries-built T-50s.

SkyNet's future toys, post-Singularity:

Below, the Russian Knights team checking out Bell Helicopters.

Weapons and space gadgetry galore. Touched the little boy inside me. Need more toys!