Boxing Club 

"The 140lb division, and the Champion Emeritus"

Recently the WBC has seen fit to strip "Undisputed" 140 LB. Super Lightweight Champion Kostya Tszyu of his WBC version of the three titles he owns. The reasons stated for this being a lack of mandatory defenses. Wow the one person the WBC stips for this happens to be Undisputed Champion.
The #1 Challenger for Kostya Tszyu's title was Gianluca Branco ( Ever heard of him? Don't worry neither has anyone else.) A man who has no defining, potential displaying fight. A man who hasn't fought anyone worth remembering, or ever knowing for that matter.
Now don't get me wrong I am in favor of mandatory defenses, but the point of the mandatory defense was to assure that the top fighters got shot's at the title. Gianluca Branco is in no way the top challenger in the 140 lb Super Lightweight division.
Tszyu has stated his reason for not fighting Gianluca Branco as being his unworthyness. Now granted most champion's who are avoinding their mandatory challengers state the same ( Lennox Lewis stated Vitali Klitschko was unworthy for a year and a half before barely surviving their long awaiting bout.) while the champion continues to fight sub-par / mediocre opponents. This is not the case with Kostya Tszyu, Tszyu has consistently fought ( aside from frequent sidelining due to injuries ) top ten fighters , Ben Tackie, Sharmba Mitchell, and Zab Judah just to name a few. The fight Tszyu signed onto instead of Branco this time, was a much deserved rematch for Sharmba Mitchell, who had to retire early from the previous bout due to partial ligament tear in his left knee. Upon recovery Mitchell has returned to win his last five fights against such opponents as Vince Phillips and Ben Tackie (Both far superior fighter's to any of Gianluca Branco's opponents, just to prove a point Gianluca's last opponent had the impressively horrible record of 5 wins 8 losses and 1 draw, the fighter before this boasted a record of 31-22-4, top quality opponents? I don't think so.) Having such unworthy mandatories, takes away from the stature of the belt, especially when you consider the fighters not named #1, Arturo Gatti, Vivian Harris, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Paul Spadafora, Panchito Bojado. There is an endless amount of talent in this division, why is such a sub-par fighter ranked top fighter?
Upon deciding to vacate Tszyu's title the WBC decided to create a rank especially for Kostya Tszyu. "Champion Emeritus of the World". Which by definition means "Retired but retaining an honorary title corresponding to that held immediately before retirement." This also means that even though he holds no official WBC title, Kostya Tszyu will be honored as champion forever. This move means much more than just whats stated, since Kostya no longer holds the official WBC title, he is no longer considered "Undisputed" Champion. Tszyu's status know "Unified WBA, IBF champion.
The WBC has decided to pit #1 contender Gianluca Branco vs. #2 contender Arturo Gatti, Gatti, coming off 3 of the best ever bouts versus retired but never forgotten Micky Ward, is argueable one of (if not the) most popular fighters in any weight division south of Heavyweight. As a champion Arturo Gatti would bring in the biggest T.V. ratings of any fighter in the division, and would bring in mainstream occasional boxing watchers, as well as die-hard boxing fans.
When you couple this with the fact that the WBC has also mandated a #1 contender fight between Europe's most popular fighter Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton versus relatively unknown, untested fight Oktay Urkal, who by all accounts is supposed to lose this fight. Were left with a PPV evtravaganza of a fight for Boxing's Die-Hards. Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton VS. Arturo "Thunder" Gatti for the WBC belt.
One question that I keep wondering is why Kostya Tszyu wasn't named "Super Champion". Although just a silly ploy to attain extra sanctioning fees, this option allows Tszyu to keep his belt and Undisputed status, he worked so hard to attain and maintain. In this case Gatti vs. Branco would be for an interim title with Kostya Tszyu fighting the winner of the bout. ( barring any huge upset Arturo Gatti will be the winner) In this scenario the Hatton - Gatti bout is foregone for a Tszyu - Gatti fight, for the Undisputed Champion of 140lb Super Lightweight division.
It is my opinion that an Undisputed Champion should not be stripped of his titles except in extreme cases, this case is no where near that severity in my opinion. To strip a fighter who chose to fight the TRUE top contender (Sharmba Mitchell) rather than the mandated "fringe" contender is just sheer ignorance. Who can forget (I'm sure we all want to) the Bernard Hopkins vs. Morrade Hakkar mandatory fight, in which Hakkar literally ran away from Hopkins for the first few rounds leaving Bernard Hopkins to chase after him and try to land a punch before Hakkar turned away and sprinted across the ring.
In order for the #1 contender mandatory to work correctly, there has to be some rules and regulations, regarding the ranking system. Such as a fighter can't break into the Top 10 rankings until he fights AND DEFEATS another top 10 fighter. Another rule could be something to the effect of, in order to achieve #1 contender status a fighter must fight and defeat the highest available ranked fighter (For example for Gianluca Branco to gain official #1 contendership he must defeat current #2 contender Arturo Gatti, should Gatti be unavailable the #3 contender Ricky Hatton is the fighter to defeat. ) There is a similar rule in effect but it is rarely used. I also believe that the WBC should not profit, from the gross of a fight ( currently sanctioning bodies get a "cut" of a fighter's purse) rather a standard fee should be established, not to be exceeded for any circumstances. Profiting from the gross of a fighter's purse created a conflict of interest, and promotes crookedness and tampering. Of course the WBC would want Gatti to be champion, coming off the spectacular Gatti - Ward fights, Arturo is a huge meal ticket for the WBC, whereas Kostya Tszyu remains relatively unknown in the world of occasional fight watchers, therefore making substantially less money for the WBC.
Having Gatti as the #1 contender brings up an interesting question. Is Arturo Gatti the rightful #1 contender? Sure Gatti is coming off 3 of the most exciting fights in boxing history, in which both Gatti and Ward's incredible chin, heart, strength, defense and speed were on display for the world to marvel at, but Micky Ward had a record of 38 wins and 13 losses, including the 2 losses to Arturo Gatti, and losses to fighters such as Jesse James Leija, and Zab Judah. These record could define Micky Ward as a massively skilled and entertaining journeyman. Arturo Gatti himself has a modest record of 36 wins and 6 losses with losses to fighters such as Oscar DeLaHoya, Angel Manfredy, Ivan Robinson and previously mentioned "Irish" Micky Ward. Given these facts, it is possible to argue that Gatti - Ward was nothing more than a highly entertaining mid-card journeyman bout. I personally think that, this was how they originally started out but with the incredible showcase of these 2 fighters, I am left to think that these 2 fighters didn't show their true potential in earlier fights. Unfortunately for Micky Ward his true potential was realized too late in his career. But for Arturo Gatti, he has been able to gain one more shot at greatness, and with that I end this long article, and I anxiously await your opinions, and criticisms.
Posted by DjNecrogenic

A Boxer's Heart - Friend or Foe ???

A lot of people consider "heart" to be the most important trait when boxing. While having "heart" definitely has certain advantages. Heart can also be a boxer's downfall if not properly contained.

My first case is the recent Casamayor vs. Corrales fight. The fight was both beautiful and brutal at the same time. Both boxers displaying excellent skill, and passion. With the realization that the winner of the bout would be in the best possible position to challenge 130 lb. Kingpin Acelino Freitas, while the loser of the bout will be left to attempt to regain credibility as a contender in the Super Featherweight division. With all of this on the line, both fighters came into this fight determined to win a decisive battle. The fight would only go six rounds, but more action and drama than most 12 round fights. Both fighters taste canvas during the fight Joel Casamayor tasting it once in the forth round, and Diego Corrales resting on the mat in once in round three and then again in round four. Corrales suffered a cut from an "accidental headbutt" Joel Casamayor must be the clumsiest person in the world; he seems to accidentally headbutt a lot of people. But the real drama begins in round six; Diego Corrales begins bleeding profusely from the mouth. Upon the close of round six Dr. Margaret Goodman (fight-doctor) immediately begins to examine the blood coming from Diego's mouth, seconds after which she advises the ring judge Tony Weeks to end the fight, stating in her expert opinion that Diego Corrales couldn't continue. So the winner of the fight and new IBA Super Featherweight Champion Joel Casamayor. But Diego Corrales doesn't feel as though he is unable to continue, So Diego walks around in the ring begging and pleading to both Tony Weeks and Dr. Goodman to let the fight continue, for just one round, Corrales was confident that all he needed was one more round. It was reported that Diego Corrales' mouthpiece had "burrowed" its way into the inside of his lip. Nearly finding its way back out the front of Corrales' lip. Even with the immense pain that must be involved in such an injury, with the risk of becoming permanently disfigured and even disabled from this injury, Corrales seemed willing to risk it all for one more round. This is the first case in my theory of "Too much heart can be harmful."

The second case I will make is a particularly serious one, in my opinion. The four time heavyweight champion and former Cruiserweight champion Evander Holyfield has always been known for his tremendous heart, as well as great boxing skills. Having fought every top fighter in and around his division since his professional debut in 1984. Evander, now finds himself 40 years old, with boxing skills that are rapidly diminishing, a speech that sadly seems to get slower with every interview given by Holyfield, not to mention a sting of unimpressive fights dating back to the last millennium which are beginning to overshadow the great accomplishments made by Holyfield. Yet Evander Holyfield still fights and dreams of one day becoming "Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World." On October 4, 2003 Evander stepped into the ring with what seemed on paper to be an easy win for Holyfield, fighting a "Blown-Up Cruiserweight" in James Toney. Finally Evander Holyfield is the bigger fighter ( albeit not by much ) James Toney came into this fight with one game plan, to stand in front of Evander Holyfield and attempt to knock him out. The two fighters traded blows through out the night, by the 9th Round Evander Holyfield seemed to be in another dimension, he didn't seem to be in the fight, and to most it became brutally apparent that the fight should be stopped, Evander was hurt, and hurt badly. Now myself being a boxing fan I always enjoy a good fight / knockout, But for the last round or so, I found myself on the verge of tears, begging, and pleading, and even screaming, at the television to stop the fight, Evander was being brutally beaten, I was afraid for Evander Holyfield's life. After the fight Holyfield seemed vacant, his mind did not seem to survive the fight (I shouldn't be joking about it, it is a very serious matter.). The very next day while I sat at my desk at work reading articles on various boxing sites, I came across a new article, about how Evander Holyfield plans to continue fighting. There is no doubt in my mind that Evander Holyfield is beginning to show signs of brain-damage, and I can't see how any boxing commission / Athletic Commission / Sanctioning Body can let Evander Holyfield continue to punish himself, when will they realize he shouldn't be fighting anymore? When he is in a coma? This to me is a severe case of a fighter having too much heart for his own good; here is a case that could end in a fighter being killed by his heart, and passion for the sport of boxing. I hope that Evander Holyfield decides that it is time to hang up the gloves, for the sake of his children and family.

My final case is a completely different perspective on the subject. The day was April 1st, 2000 with the WBO Heavyweight Title on the line, then champion Vitali Klitschko takes on challenger Chris Byrd. Vitali Klitshko completely dominates Chris Byrd for 9 rounds winning the fights on all judges score cards 88-83 (X2) and 89-82 all three in favor of Vitali Klitschko. But after 9 full rounds Vitali Klitschko retires on his stool, having suffered a torn-rotator cuff at some point earlier in the fight, Vitali decided to take a loss, and lose his WBO Belt, rather than lose full mobility of his arm, and his career. Vitali's decision to retire in that fight sparked criticism and hatred amongst "fans" Vitali, and his brother Wladimir were immediately dubbed the Quitschko Brothers, and statements regarding Vitali having no heart begin emerging and would stay with him through his rise to #1 contender to the WBC Title held by Lennox Lewis. Being the #1 contender for over a year, with no attempt by Lennox Lewis made to fight rightful challenger Vitali Klitschko, Vitali sees his only chance at fighting Lennox Lewis for the title is by court jurisdiction. Vitali begins to file a suit to force Lennox Lewis into taking his mandatory defense. Lewis on the other hand doesn't seem to be phased by the lawsuit, he then signs on to fight Kirk Johnson (a mediocre boxer with limited skills and even more limited power) Lennox Lewis then offers Vitali Klitschko a fight on the undercard of the Lewis v. Johnson bout, with the promise of a Lewis v. Klitschko fight next provided that both Lewis and Klitschko win the respective fights. Vitali opts to take a fight against then unbeaten prospect Cedric "The Bos" Boswell. Then the unexpected happened, just two short weeks before the fight Kirk Johnson is forced to withdraw from the fight, citing a torn pectoral muscle as the reason. This leaves Lennox Lewis with two options, neither of them very attractive. The first is to cancel the fight, and remain inactive having already been inactive a year. Or find a new opponent and face him blindly, without the benefit of viewing fight tapes, sparring with similar fighters, basically the fight would be two guys who know nothing about each other, being forced to learn and adapt as the fight goes on. A formal announcement regarding the status of the fight card that night was held in just around a week away from the actual fight date. Lennox Lewis announces that his official challenger is none other than #1 contender Vitali Klitschko. This being a less than ideal situation for Vitali Klitschko, who now has a little less than one week until the fight promises to prove that both he and his brother Wladimir are truly skilled boxers. There were many reports that Lennox Lewis did in fact know he was going to be facing Vitali Klitschko, so for Lewis his training started a week before the official announcement was made to the public, and Vitali, thus giving Lewis a miniscule advantage in having an extra week of training, which while seeming like nothing, actually has a world of difference when it comes to fighting with only one week to train. Regardless of training, Vitali jumped at the chance to prove his much doubted skills versus the Heavyweight Champion Lennox Lewis, and he did just that he made Lennox Lewis earn his pay the hard way. Klitschko staggered Lennox as early as round two, then a cut breaks out on Vitali's eye (the source of the cut is a much debated topic).With this being Vitali's first cut, there were questions as to how he would handle it. Vitali never even acknowledged a cut existed, as he continued his quest for the Heavyweight Title, and respect. As the fight went on Vitali's cut spread further and further apart, with Lennox rubbing his abrasive braids against the cut, in successful attempt to further damage the cut. After each round the cut was closed up and the bleeding was stopped thanks to the best cutman in the business Joe Souza. Vitali continued on his gameplan and gets Lewis in trouble a few more times, although also getting into a bit of trouble himself. At the end of round six the referee stops the fight due to Vitali's cuts. At the time of the stoppage Vitali was leading on all scorecards 58-56. Had the referee deemed the cut to have been started by an accidental headbutt, that fight would have gone to the scorecards, in which Vitali would have won. As Vitali hears that he has lost the fight, he angrily jumps off his stool and begins screaming, he can't understand why they stopped the fight, but when Lennox Lewis is announced as winner, an unexpected thing happened. The crown begins booing Lennox Lewis, and cheering Vitali Klitschko. Vitali had proven himself, to be a talented, strong fighter, and he also proved to have more heart than he was given credit for. In this case we have a fighter who never lacked "heart" he simply knew that a win against Chris Byrd, and retaining the WBO Title, were not worth risking having to retire early. But when faced with a fight versus Lennox Lewis for the WBC Title, a career defining fight, Vitali realized everything that this fight meant, and rose to the occasion and even though he did not win the fight, Vitali won over a whole new fan base, boxing fans in the United States, and also sent a Heavyweight Champion running, hiding, and considering retirement, with so many questions remaining for Lennox Lewis regarding his physical condition, his ability to get into top shape in a 2 1/2 month training camp. But even with all of these things there is one thing that is for certain should Lewis decide to continue boxing, and grant Klitschko a rematch, this would be the biggest PayPerView event we have seen in a long time. The outcome would be virtually impossible to predict. Considering both fighters now knows each other's basic style, and this time around they would both have a full training camp.

In conclusion, I believe that there is a delicate balance between the heart and soul of a fighter and the analytical, intelligence / skill level that a fighter needs to succeed. A fighter needs heart / soul to persevere, compel, and to supply the sheer determination, but these alone will only take the fighter so far. The fighter will also need to rely on his ability to analyze opponent's style, and punch placements, and intelligently work up a game plan, on the spot and follow the plan throughout the fight, while maintaining a plan to assure safety. Hopefully soon we will find quick means of testing damage to one's brain, body, and cognitive skills and based on these skills fighters will either be sanctioned or not. Thus ensuring safety for fighters at risk.
Thank you for reading my novella here.I look forward to any comments Mike "DjNecrogenic" Correa


Hello Everyone,
I have finished an article for the club to review, but I had a thought I wanted to share first. I think the best thing about Boxing-Central was that there were several articles to post about at all times. I was thinking that one thing we could do to make this "club" better was to have several new articles to post on at all times. I propose that instead of posting just one article every week or so, we should all strive to write articles whenever possible. I have taken the liberty to write 2 articles, I will post them both, and we'll see how we like multiple comments. Don't hesitate to stress a disliking to something. The only way to achieve greatness is through trial and error. I will end this post by encouraging everyone to post whenever they have a comment, and if you write an article you can email it to me or to SAL Thanks.

Posted by DjNecrogenic aka Mike

Chance Of A Lifetime

Dave "Kid Dynamite" Walker challenges for Roman Karmazines European Light Middleweight Championship Belt

On October 4th David Walker will face the toughest test of his career when he takes on Roman "Made In Hell" Karmazine for the European Light Middleweight Belt. But it is a challenge Walker feels ready to accept, and after his exciting clash with Spencer Fearon a couple of months ago, we can be sure of another cracker on the 4th.
I don't think I am unfair in saying that the durable Kamazine is relatively untested, he has faced just one world class opponent, Javier Castillejo, and lost a lopsided Unanimous Decision, and was dropped once, despite the fact that Castllejo is not a big puncher. His last fight however was a resounding stoppage of the highly rated Michael Rask.
Doubtless to say that Castillejo has been in with a higher calibre of opposition than Walker, and the big punching Russian, who can claim20 knockouts from 30 wins, may test Walkers chin. We know that walker can afford to get hit by the likes of Spencer Fearon, but will he get up if Roman Karmazine smacks him like Fearon did.
If Walker wants to win this fight, and I think there is a chance he can, in boxing there is always a chance, then he will need to be a different fighter than he was when he fought Spencer Fearon. I believe that David Walker has a lot of talent and is blessed to be able to showcase his skills on this level.
This isn't a fight Walker necessarily needs to win to come out of looking good. A performance with heart (which of course he will give in no short supply) would still stand him in good stead as far as the world or European scene goes.
I think given the level of opposition that Walker has faced, few people will expect him to win this fight, despite his 19(9)-1-1 record, its unclear whether Walkers power at domestic level will carry through to European level, indeed it would seem that he only has a punchers chance.
Karmazine would do well not to take Dave Walker lightly however, he should know that Walker is as erratic as he is determined, and he may just choose October 4th toproduce the performance of his career, and as John Humphrey found out, as Spencer Fearon found out, and as Roman Karmazine may still find out, in David Walker you deal with an unknown quantity, and Kid Dynamite can definitely explode.
Looking at the fight objectively, Walker is the clear underdog, and it's doubtful that he will last the distance. Looking at things through my own eyes, I think Walker can do it, I think Walker will do it, and even if he doesn't I'll be cheering and encouraging this brave, big hearted young man, I urge all boxing fans to do the same.

Article by GotSugar

Make or Break - A look ahead to the British Title Clash between Michael Sprott a

Back in February of this year, many British fight fans, myself included, thought Danny Williams was on his way out of the domestic scene, and some would say "finally". After being Commonwealth champion for getting on four years and British champion for almost three many thought it was time for him to take his game to the next level. Europe. He stepped up to take on little known German based Turk Sinan Samil Sam and was subsequently demolished in 6. An upset? Yes. A tragedy for the British domestic fight scene? Absolutely not.

As I'm sure many of you will have seen, Williams looked less than impressive in his recovery bout against the enormous Australian Bob Mirovic, indeed he may as well have stayed in his dressing room for the first three rounds, and then just come out for the fourth, when he finished the Aussie in ferociously fine style.

However, it was plain to see that a more talented fighter could have probably beaten Williams, not due to lack of skills, but lack of mental fortitude. Williams WILL NOT be able to dose through those first three rounds if he wishes to retain his British and Commonwealth titles against the in form Michael Sprott.

I am not a Sprott fan, I'll be honest with you all. On first impressions I considered him nothing more than another Pele Reid or a Michael Holden, a workout for young fighters rising through the ranks. I was sorely mistaken.

The last time the two met in February of 2002, Williams stopped Sprott, then a late replacement, in 7, but since then things have changed drastically. Sprott has looked increasingly impressive in his performances, not just beating his opponents, but stopping them in fine style. Indeed this is essentially a different fight, between two different men.

On the one hand we have Williams, a fallen hero if you will, a boxer who, in my opinion, has sold himself short of his talent by not making a move on the European or American scene earlier. A man whose confidence is shot, and is now something of an unknown quantity, because no one but Danny knows what kind of frame of mind he will get into the ring with on that night. This could be Williams make or break factor. Williams has a highly rated jab, a powerful punch (23 stoppages from 28 wins) and a decent chin, also for such a big man, he can throw fast combinations. Physically he has all the tools, mentally however he is a wreck. That said, the knowledge that a loss here could cost him his career and will certainly put paid to any of his hopes of achieving anything outside of Europe, or indeed probably within it, may spur him on to fight like a champion.

On the other hand there is the big punching Michael Sprott who has stopped 6 of his last 8 opponents, only failing to stop the durable Derek McCafferty and hard headed journeyman Garing Lane. Sprotts confidence has seemed to have rocketed whilst Williams has been on the slide. After his first loss to Williams he is now mentally in the right frame of mind to take those belts, and I truly believe that this is now Michael Sprotts make or break time as well. If he cannot beat Danny Williams now, he never will. If he wins he will be ready to look at European level or maybe minor world title level.

I mean no disrespect to Michael Sprott, but he isn't the boxer Williams is, however his improvement ahs been vast, his skills have improved and his power is where it needs to be, not just this but he has a mental edge, knowing he managed to last 7 last time, And coming off impressive stoppage wins I'm sure he will confident of a win inside the distance.

To predict the way the fight will go is nigh impossible, what makes this fight such an interesting clash is that it really is so unpredictable. If Williams comes out of the blocks slow, like he did against Mirovic odds are he will pay, Sprott likes to stop them early and now he has the power to do so. If Williams comes into the ring focused, like he did against Keith Long then I believe Williams will probably stop Sprott between the eighth and the tenth. Sprott hasn't had the rounds lately,a nd I wouldn't be surprised to find him in trouble if it goes past 6.
My bet is that if Williams can survive the first three rounds Sprott will lose. And if Williams does win then I think there is more than a glimmer of hope for him on a wider stage. If he could combine this with a win over former two time WBO champion Herbie Hide in December, and he should stop him in 6, this could help him make an impact on Europe again, or secure a bout with Audley Harrison mid way through next year, which Harrison has commented he would welcome.

Of course I understand that in actuality this bout is unlikely to take place, but it would be great to see. If Williams could win that, he would become a minor name across the pond as well, with Harrison fighting there frequently now. Of course I realise that this is all speculation. Please give me feedback on this article, I'd welcome any constructive comments.

Article by GotSugar

Why Rocky Marciano could beat Lennox Lewis

The strong possibility that Rocky Marciano could successfully compete with the heavyweights of today is not such a far fetched notion. There are many factors and variables supporting such a claim. The contention whether or not he could dominate can certainly never be proven, but absolutely can be argued using a valid fact driven argument.

The first point worthy of note is the simple fact that many more potentially great fighters are moving toward other sports now as compared to Rock's era. The two sports that offered the less fortunate a way out of poverty in those days were baseball and boxing. Nowadays there are so many sports including basketball, hockey, tennis, and golf which are accessible to the rich and poor alike. Any of the sports mentioned here certainly offer the opportunity for wealth and fame equal to or surpassing baseball and boxing in the 50's. When you consider the advent of extreme sports and endorsement contracts, the possibilities are far more ranging in this day and age. This is totally apart from the fact that the modern day drug trade can offer similar opportunity that didn't exist in the old days. Potential athletes do not have to work very hard to succeed in drug trafficking when compared to the plight of the serious potential pro athlete. In short, we lose many more potential hungry professional boxers now than ever before.

Another fact to consider is the great advances in food science and nutrition in the modern era. Much research has led to an improved understanding of how the human body operates and is fueled. These advances have led to the advent of sports supplements as well as the introduction of effective chemicals such as steroids. Just looking at the average modern athlete compared to the athlete of the fifty's tells the entire story here. Also consider the fact that the impoverished didn't eat beef, veal, and pork very often. They quite simply could not afford it. Less protein leads to less muscle and less muscle leads to less body mass. This alone makes it impossible to accurately compare boxers from yesteryear to those of today.

Many studies have shown that people are, on the average, larger both height wise and weight wise in modern time. This is directly due to the nutritional and scientific advances spoken of above. I would agree that it is fair to say that an athlete of 5'11" in 1950 would be about 6'1" nowadays. So in turn it is fair to say that if Rocky was born today, he would mature to a height of about 6'1". When you consider that he was the most meticulously trained athlete of the era, it is fair to assume that he could have weighed 220 pounds at 6'1". When compared to Lewis's 250 and 6'5", it doesn't seem like such a mismatch. Alternatively, if Lewis was born in the 50's he may have only reached 6'2" and weighed about 220 pounds. Again, it doesn't look like such a mismatch when all parameters are considered.

We've already established that less great athletes are becoming boxers and following that logic, not as many great fighters are getting in the ring together. In the current boxing scene, a fighter with two or three losses can easily be written off. This is in stark contrast to yesteryear. Fighters then had to fight other great fighters in order to get their title shot. When you look at a fighter like Archie Moore's record, compare it to modern fighters, and consider his status in the sport, it is a completely different landscape now. Ask any fighter that has a loss on his record and they will tell you that they learned more from a single loss than 10 average wins. Names like Moore, Ezzard Charles, and Jersey Joe Walcott are exceedingly valid examples. Another may be Oscar DeLahoya, but that remains to be seen. It is certainly true that managers and fighters alike steer away from most tough fights on their way up the ladder (especially the heavyweight ladder). If you also consider that the average pro fighter has very little amateur experience comparatively, it is easy to comprehend the dearth of great skilled craftsmen in the ring now. You can probably count on one hand the old school tricksters in the game today, and they are not even legitimate big heavyweights. Names like Chris Byrd, James Toney, RJJ, and Evader Holyfield spring to mind. What also springs to mind when considering these names is the fact that none of them are true heavyweights. A lot of that stems from the fact that being big and strong gets these mammoth fighters through the large majority of their fights on the way to a title shot. It could certainly follow the above logic that there are not as many great trainers now as well.

Most of the fighters that Rocky overcame were not only more skilled, but bigger than him as well. This most certainly was due to his indomitable will and desire. When you look at the hall of fame type fighters that he defeated, it is easy to believe that he could compete with any modern day fighter. Joe Louis, while on the down side of his career, was favored by most to beat Rocky in their fight. It is also important to consider that he was 37 years old, younger than Lewis, when he and Rocky met. Joe Louis was quoted as saying he could never beat Rocky because Rock had the crowding style to negate Louis's best weapons. He also said he had never been hit harder than when he fought Rocky. Add to Louis Charles, Walcott, Moore, and La Starza; and what you have is an impressive list of victims. It is also true that Rocky fought the best available guys in his era, and that they would most likely (because of skill set) be successful in this era as well. This is totally apart from the fact that the man NEVER lost a fight. 49-0 is an impressive record even if you are fighting bums, and it is fair to say that he was not.

When you consider that the greatest heavyweights were not very big, about 210 pounds, it is easy to see that Rocky would not have been at a big size advantage against them. Until just recently the 250 pound athletic heavyweight was non existent, and if you comprehended the reasoning brought forth above, it is easy to see why. In an antiquated study done some 30-40 years ago by an independent firm, it was found that on the average, smaller heavyweights(190-210) actually had more measurable power than the larger ones(220 and up). This may not hold true to this day, but it does still illustrate the basic principle that bigger and stronger doesn't necessarily give a boxer a power advantage. After all, power is the measurement of mass (strength) * speed. Using this logic it is very possible for a smaller faster guy to poses more power than a big slow fighter.

In summary, the perception that today's bigger stronger heavyweights would dominate the greats of yesteryear is most likely a farce. Simple math and science along with studies illustrate that a smaller man can poses more power than a larger man. It has been argued that Rocky faced better opposition (and more of it) than the heavyweights of the present. Add the factors of science, nutrition, supplements, steroids, and naturally bigger men in this day and age, and it is not far fetched to conclude that Rocky could compete with and beat the stars of today. Remember, with all things being equal, it is quite possible that the size disparity would be much less between fighters from the respective era's mentioned. Ultimately, it is an un-provable matter for conjecture.

Article by Sal

154lb. WBC Title Tournament

Recently the WBC has decided to do something about the lack of mandatories fought in the 154lb division. (in which Oscar De Hoya is the champion) To ratify this matter they have decided that it would be in the best interest of the fans to have a tournament. In which Oscar De La Hoya (36-2 29KO's), Shane Mosley (38-2 35KO's), Javier Castillejo (55-5 36KO's),Fitz Vanderpool (24-4 13KO's), and Fernando Vargas (22-2 20KO's) will participate.

The first fight of the tournament will be held on July 26, 2003, in which Fernando Vargas will do battle with Fitz Vanderpool. This initial fight, is pretty much a throw-away fight, giving Fernando Vargas an easy path to the second round.Granted Fitz Vanderpool has been #1 contender for quite some time but this just shows the inefficiency of the WBC to to properly rank fighters. Fitz Vanderpool's biggest "name" opponent was Hercules Kyvelos whom he fought 3 years ago, and lost might I add. So this initial fight (barring any SHOCKING upsets) is definitely a Victory for Fernando Vargas.

The next fight to take place will be Oscar De La Hoya vs. "Sugar" Shane Mosely. This is arguably one of the most intiguing fights to take place this year. With De La Hoya already having lost to Shane Mosely 3 years ago. Many people think Shane Mosley will take this fight much as he did the last time these 2 met. I personally don't think this will happen. Although I dont particularly care for Oscar De La Hoya, he look remarkable in his fight against Fernando Vargas, and he easily disposed of "Yory Boy" Campas (who wouldve thought). "Sugar" Shane on the other hand is coming off 2 losses to the recently dethroned Vernon Forrest, to move up to 154lbs. only to look horrendous against Raul Marquez, a fight which resulted
in a draw due to a cut on Marquez caused by a Mosley headbutt. In my opinion this fight (while most likely being a great fight showcasing both fighter boxing abilities) will go to Oscar De La Hoya, thus advancing him to the final round of the tourney.

The third fight of the tournament should feature Fernando Vargas challenging Javier Castillejo for the interim title and a guarenteed shot at Oscar in the final round of the Tourney. In my opinion this fight is also a throw-away for Fernando Vargas, although a tougher one than Fitz Vanderpool. Javier's biggest "name" opponent is Oscar De La Hoya to who Javier lost a 12 round Shutout unanimous decision loss. Again Fernando Vargas should arise victorious from this fight.

Thus bringing us to the final fight of the tournament, and in my opinion the fight the WBC is banking on. Oscar De La Hoya vs. Fernando Vargas. A rematch to 2002's "Bad Blood" fight (one of the years best fights). This fight will indeed be a money maker, and the WBC knows it. This fight will definitely spark the interest of avid boxing fans and the occasional watcher alike. The fight however can go to either fighter. Both being really good fighters, Oscar will surely not change the style and gameplan that won him the last fight, and Vargas will box as he did in the first 4 rounds of the first fight for the full fight. I personally will look for Vargas to revenge his loss, in a close 12 round decision. Perhaps sparking the need for a "rubberneck" rematch.

Every fight in this tournament will have its certain charms, but the obvious marquee fights being the Mosley v. De La Hoya fight, and the Vargas v. De La Hoya fight. Again this is assuming that my fight predictions are correct (which the most often are not). One thing I know for certain (well as certain as boxing can be) is that Fernando Vargas will be in the final round. I would love to see Fernando Vargas v. Shane Mosley. I think there styles would compliment each other nicely, and thus making a very good fight, not quite the money maker that a "Bad Blood 2" would make. Before I end this, I would just like to say how glad I am to be able to be able to discuss boxing with intelligently opinionated people as you all. I look forward to hearing responses and debates.
Article by DjNecrogenic

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