Saturday, November 25, 2006

Top 25 Heavyweights (As of December, 2006)

By JE Grant

November gave us some clear answers and some fuzzy questions about where the division will go next year.

Wladimir Klitschko separated himself from the rest of the division with a blow out of the talented Calvin Brock. His combination of power, speed, and boxing skills is unmatched in the division. While his chin will always be questioned, it will take a big hitter to even have a chance. No one will outbox him.

Shannon Briggs made the most of his long-awaited shot but just in the nick of time. Far behind in the fight, Briggs stopped Serguei Liakhovich in the waning seconds of the final round. Let’s be honest, neither man looked like a world beater. Lots of posing and not a lot of punching.

Oleg Maskaev will hopefully end his defense against Peter Okhello early enough that it allows him to return to action soon --- against a qualified challenger. It seems that the sanctioning bodies are doing everything in their power to out-stupid each other and the sanctioning of this title bout is this month’s WBC contribution.

In the 25th spot on this list you’ll see the name Alexander Povetkin. Go ahead and throw your stones --- I know it’s risky putting a 9-0 fighter in the top 25. The former Olympic gold medal winner has the ability, if the not the track record, to contend for a top spot soon.

Many thanks to Brian Bizzack and Troy Ondrizek for their early warning systems that alert us all to what’s happening in the division.

* * *

1. Wladimir Klitschko, Ukraine – IBF Champion (Last month #1) The big man left no doubts about who rules the division. The alphabet titles are meaningless in the equation. Knocking out Calvin Brock is a significant milestone in the Manny Steward-induced reclamation of Klitschko’s career. He has power in both hands, speed to burn, and a jab that only a top fighter can work himself through. Look for the other alphabet boys to hide behind their alphabet “mandatories” for some time to come.

2. Samuel Peter, Nigeria (Last month #4) Peter will face James Toney in January following the disgusting WBC’s rematch edict. He should be fighting Maskaev instead. Nonethless, getting past Toney won’t be easy unless he learned from their first meeting. I would urge him to end matters by pressing his power and not trying to figure out the boxing master.

3. James Toney, USA (Last month #5) Sam Peter represents his only obstacle to yet another attempt at heavyweight belt. Will he be a well-conditioned version or the tubby guy who showed up last time? We are hesitant to say this is his last chance should he lose because the WBC is involved but it will prove difficult to advance again given his age. So, it’s now or never……maybe.

4. Oleg Maskaev, Uzbekistan / USA – WBC Champion (Last month #6) The clock is ticking for his showdown with the Peter Okhello. Don’t you feel the tingle? Let’s get this joke over with in a hurry.

5. Nicolay Valuev, Russia – WBA Champion (Last month #9) Scheduled to go against an as yet to be named opponent in January, possibly in Sweden. It looks like his people want to keep him under wraps as long as possible. Don’t expect to see him to show up at a Klitschko press conference – or any press conference – to call out anyone. We’ll just wait and see if he really faces the rugged Ruslan Chagaev, the supposed “mandatory” challenger.

6. Shannon Briggs, USA – WBO Champion (Last month #13) Briggs came into his match with a lot of baggage --- and a lot of extra weight --- and it nearly cost him. But, give him credit, he powered home a knockout and he left the arena with a belt. Many will be skeptical about the length of his title reign, but for now he can celebrate a big win.

7. Serguei Liakhovich, Belarus – (Last month #2) Last month we said that a loss against Shannon Briggs would make his title-winning effort against Brewster seem illusionary. It’s not quite that bad – he was winning going into the last round – but he is now way back in the line for the big dollar matches.

8. Hasim Rahman, USA – (Last Month #7) He figures to gain some big paydays as the former champion. Still rated in everyone’s top ten, he’ll make a substantial amount as a stepping stone. We don’t see him wearing a world title belt again.

9. Sultan Ibragimov, Russia (Last month #10) He’s supposedly now the mandatory for the new titlist Briggs. But, don’t count on it happening just yet. If there’s bigger money to be made look for Briggs to go elsewhere. Oh, and by the way, Briggs is promoted by Don King and Ibragimov is not.

10. Calvin Brock, USA (Last month #3) A loss to Klitschko is no great shame. In fact, Brock may still be the second best heavyweight – we can’t be sure until we see him in action again. He had his moments but he was just a bit short in power, speed, and size.

11. Ray Austin, USA (Last month #11) His July draw with Ibragimov has led to a possible “mandatory” shot for Ibragimov in the WBO. But, presto Austin has suddenly emerged as a “mandatory” in the IBF. Neither fighter really rates a mandatory challenge. Isn’t it just plain silly that two fighters who scored a draw with each other in their last bout are mandatory challengers anywhere?

12. Lamon Brewster, USA (Last month #8) No word on the former titlist. Of course his former title has now changed hands again. Soon, the memory of the exciting Brewster will fade.

13. Ruslan Chagaev, Uzbekistan (Last month #14) Welcome to the big leagues. The November decision win over Der Huggmeister John Ruiz in Germany means the Uzbeki is supposed to be next in line for Valuev. Don’t believe it until you see them climbing through the ropes.

14. John Ruiz, USA (Last month #12) Another split decision, another loss. Ruslan Chagaev squeeks past the “Quiet Man” to quietly proceed to a match with Valuev. Always keep in mind that weird things have happened in the past when Ruiz has lost – let’s not count him out of the picture until he announces his retirement and then wait for six months.

15. DaVarryl Williamson, USA (Last month #15) Nothing scheduled. He last fought in May, beating previously undefeated Mike Mollo, but hasn’t capitalized on the win.

16. Matt Skelton, England (Last month #17) Though not highly rated by the alphabets, if he can defeat Audley Harrison in December do not be surprised to see him in some kind of title fight. British audiences are big.

17. Jameel McCline, USA (Last month #18) The consistent campaigner has to be disappointed that Superfighter fell by the wayside. He had a real chance at the big money. Time to regroup and make a final push in the twilight of his career.

18 Danny Williams, England (Last month #19) Last we heard he was looking for a British title shot against Scott Gammer.

19. David Tua, New Zealand (Last month #22) – A rusty version of the Tuaman took seven rounds to dispose of last ditch sub Maurice Wheeler (now 10-9-1). Tua fought only twice in 2006. He’ll have to step up the pace and competition if he really wants another go at the top.

20. Luan Krasniqi, Germany (Last month #20) A knee injury forced a cancellation of his December return.

21. Tony Thompson, USA (Last month #21) Yet another big American who scored a substantial victory – for him it was a June win over Dominick Guinn – and then had a period of inactivity. I don’t get it.

22. Vladimir Virchis, Ukraine (Last month #23) Scheduled to defend his EBU title in January against journeyman Russian Dennis Bakhtov. At age 33, he needs to pick up the competition level soon.

23 Alexander Dimitrenko, Ukraine (Last month #24) – Oddly, he blew out Gonzalo Omar Basile in one round in October but was extended 12 full rounds against journeyman Billy Zumbrun in a stay-busy fight in November. While the scores were thoroughly lopsided, decision victories over fighters at the club level make us wonder about his power.

24. Eddie Chambers, USA (Last month #25) Recent sparring with the best heavyweight in the world, Wladimir Klitshcko, will surely help in his rise to top ten status.

25. Alexander Povetkin, Russia (Last month unranked) – We’re obviously going out on a limb by putting in a 9-0 fighter in the top 25. Povetkin may just be that good. Of course in facing journeyman Imanu Mayfield he’s not going to thoroughly inspire the boxing world. What should inspire us about this former Olympic gold medal winner is an abundance of talent in all facets of the game. He’ll emerge soon enough as a top ten performer.

Prospects, fringe contenders, and others who need mentioning listed in no particular order. Don’t read the fact that they are listed here as an indication a ranking is imminent. Regular readers should also note that I’ve taken off some names that were here in months past who still rate attention. We're highlighting activity and when potentially top fighters have bouts scheduled you’ll likely see them reappear.

Fres Oquendo, USA (Last month #16) Oquendo gave away his last opportunity by standing around and doing soooooooooooo little against Holyfield. Some ringside observers thought Oquendo did enough to eke out the decision but no one left convinced that he did so with emphasis. You can’t lose to a 44 year-old shell of a former champion and expect to go anywhere. Fres is out.

Evander Holyfield, USA – Okay, some will say that since he beat a rated fighter that he deserves to be rated once again. All the fight with Oquendo proved is that neither man belongs in the ring with the top fighters of the division. The qualities of slow and easy to hit are a potentially lethal combination. Please don’t let him near Klitschko.

Chris Byrd, USA – I’ve received many emails wondering why Chris is out of the top 25. Had he elected to continue campaigning in the division he would certainly rate a slot in the top 25 – but he has stated his intention to go to the cruiserweight division. He’ll also participate in the so-called “Superfighter” tournament if and when it ever occurs.

Travis Walker, USA – “Freight Train” Walker, 22-0-1, captured a majority decision over fellow unbeaten former Olympian Jason Estrada in November. The unusual meeting of two young heavyweights served as a significant venue for both. Walker is now primed to face a rated fighter, though he still has much to prove. Solid win.

Roman Greenberg, England (via Israel) – A knockout win over Alexei Varakin in November precedes his move to America. He’s already scheduled for a December date in Florida.

Chris Arreola, USA – Arreola scored a big win by stopping fellow unbeaten Damian Wills on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather – Carlos Baldomir. Now 18-0 (16 KOs), you can expect to see him in a significant bout soon.

Albert Sosnowski, Poland – The Pole moved to 39-1 (23 KOs) beating Lawrence Tauasa in South Africa to win an obscure alphabet belt.

Oleg Platov, Ukraine – The Belgium-based 23 year-old pounded out a 12-round split vote over the former WBO titlist, 41 year-old Henry Akinwande in Germany. It’s hard to know how much this win tells us given the advanced age of Akinwande, but it represents clearing a hurdle that is a requirement of an up-and-coming potential contender. Platov moves to 23-1 (19 KOs).

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The IBF pushing Calzaghe to fight unproven “number one” contender

Ruling the latest in a series of outlandish actions by the organization

By JE Grant

In a weight division with top fighters such as Joe Calzaghe and Mikkel Kessler, Robert Stieglitz is now the number one contender according to the IBF.

So firm is the organization in this belief that it is poised to strip the 42-0 champion Calzaghe of its belt if he chooses to defends against anyone else.

Stieglitz, a Russian based in Germany, though 25-0, has never beaten a consensus top 10 fighter.

Fighters such as former titlists Jeff Lacy, Anthony Mundine, and Markus Beyer, have been leap-frogged by the 25 year-old for reasons apparent only to the IBF.

Other top division dwellers such as Allan Green, Librado Andrade, and Lucien Bute are also relegated to a lower status.

The BBC quoted IBF championship committed chairman Lindsey Tucker as saying "I don't think it's fair that Stieglitz should wait any longer."

As unbelievable as it is that anyone from the IBF is talking about something being “fair,” nevertheless the organization is pushing for Stieglitz to get a shot now.

This is of course just a small part of the lunacy that pervades the IBF (and the other alphabets) and is just the reason why the organizations, through their intense greed, will eventually drive themselves from existence.

Hopefully Calzaghe thumbs his nose at the IBF and carries on with plans to fight an actual, proven top fighter next time out. His previous slavish resolve to keep his other belt, the WBO version, kept him from fighting several big names along the way.

Nearing age 35 he simply does not have the time to continue the alphabet game any longer.

We cannot be surprised by virtually any action by the IBF. The organization stripped the undisputed (and undisputable) middleweight champion Jermain Taylor so that Arthur Abraham could fight Kingsley Ikeke for the belt.

So out of touch is the IBF that it lists Abraham, a native of Armenia but now a German citizen, as being from “Australia” on its website. His current number one contender is hard-punching Edison Miranda. We can only guess that they haven’t seen Winky Wright.

At heavyweight the organization lists that fine young fighter “Not Rated” as the number one contender. How can the organization not settle on a top-rated contender? You have to wonder what exactly they are waiting for.

Want more? How about the stripping of O’Neil Bell who the entire world saw win the undisputed (and undisputable) cruiserweight championship. The IBF still can’t put together two fighters to compete for the bogus belt.

More still? The one-time undisputed welterweight champion Zab Judah was stunned and upset by the tough Carlos Baldomir in a world title fight. Baldomir, who chose not to pay the exorbitant fee for the precious right to wear the organization’s belt, was denied the IBF version.

Much worse, however, was the fact that Judah was allowed to keep the belt and subsequently lost his next fight and the fake title to the great Floyd Mayweather.

So impressed by the title was Mayweather, that he almost instantly dumped it and instead chose to face the real champion Baldomir.

Who knows who will be paired for the “vacant” title now.

Perhaps the most blatant action by the organization was its 2005 ruling that DaVarryl Williamson should jet past Wladimir Klitschko to get a title shot at then-titlist Chris Byrd despite having lost to Klitschko.

The consequence? The boxing world was made to watch Byrd easily dismantle Williamson for a paltry (by heavyweight title standards) purse.

The waste of time and energy for the titlist and the sport resulted in yet one more reason the general sporting public bemoans the state of the sport.

The collection of inane actions by the IBF and the companion alphabet organizations makes them deserving of ignoring.

Hopefully Calzaghe takes the path of Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson as they eschewed title belts to give us the best match-up at the time in the light-heavyweight division.

By facing Taylor or fellow belt-wearer Kessler, he will make more money and gain even wider recognition as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.

Heavyweights in weekend action

By JE Grant

Saturday, 18 November

DÜSSELDORF, Germany – Ruslan Chagaev, 229, separated himself from the pack with a split 12-round decision nod over the former titlist John Ruiz. The win ostensibly gains him a mandatory chance at Nicolay Valuev. For Ruiz it may be the end of the road near the top. He has not won a bout since defeating Andrew Golota in November 2004. Chagaev improves to 22-0-1 (17 KOs) and at age 28 is practically a kid in the division.

On the same card, Alexander Dimitrenko, 249, fresh off an October one-round blowout of Gonzalo Omar Basile, quickly returned to action with a lop-sided 12-round over journeyman Billy Zumbrun. Now 24-0 (14 KOs), Dimitrenko’s power is something of a question mark given the club status of Zumbrun.

TROIS RIVIERES, Canada – David Cadieux, a 6’6”, 230-pound campaigner, won the Canadian heavyweight title with a unanimous 12-round decision over Patrice L’Heureux. Cadieux climbs to 14-1 (1 NC). The no-contest and one loss came in his first two bouts. He recently served as a sparring partner for title challenger Calvin Brock

Friday, 17 November

GOLD COAST, Australia – One time title challenger Kali Meehan, 231 ½, scored a three-round stoppage of Anton Nel, to score his third successive win since his knockout loss to Hasim Rahman in November 2006.

SAN JACINTO, Calif. – Fighting on the nationally televised ShoBox on Showtime, Travis Walker, 235, scored the biggest win of his career with an eight-round majority decision over former Olympian Jason Estrada in a bout of young unbeatens. Walker, now 22-0-1 (17 KOs), used a consistent attack against the mauling, holding tactics of the very hefty 257-pound Estrada.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Published TODAY – The Ropes Held Him Up --- Boxing Essays and Articles

JE Grant’s The Ropes Held Him Up -- Boxing Essays and Articles was published today and is now available. Click on the title above to place your order.

The collection of boxing pieces covering a wide variety of fights and issues facing the sport today provide the reader insights into the professional scene.

Grant, who currently writes for the highly-acclaimed Boxing, continues to highlight the action of fighters worldwide and jabs at those that he sees as pounding at the sport.

JE Grant is a pen name used exclusively by the author for writing about boxing. This is his first compilation.

Founded in 2002, Lulu is the world’s fastest-growing print-on-demand marketplace. Please see for more information.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Mind of the WBC: Understanding the Meaning of ‘Eliminator’

By JE Grant

In its quest to achieve ever-increasing idiocy, the WBC issued another of its infamous semi-English news releases that give us insights to the dysfunctional organization.

This time it concerns the upcoming Manny Pacquiao – Erik Morales III bout for something called the WBC International Super-Featherweight title.

Setting aside for a moment the ludicrous and virtually meaningless “title,” the WBC also want to call this a “final eliminator” for the right to face the “world” champion Marco Antonio Barrera.

In plain English that means that in order to have the bout sanctioned for the purpose of calling it an “eliminator” that both fighters will have to fork over a sum of cash for what the WBC calls “a high distinction and honor for both fighters.”

Pacquaio is rated number one and Morales number two as they prepare to meet Saturday.

Why, then, is there any need at all to call this bout anything? If either fighter wins should it not follow very simply that the winner would be dubbed a “mandatory” challenger?

Obviously at the bottom of all of it is the matter of sanctioning fees – the true lifeblood of any of the sanctioning bodies.

But what does it mean to fight an eliminator and win?

Ask Oleg Maskaev. In Nov. 2005 he defeated Sinan Samil Sam in an elimination bout that pitted the top two rated fighters in the division (yes, it is somewhat laughable that Sam was in the top two, but stay with me).

The two men entered the ring with the assurance that the winner was entitled to a world title shot.

Maskaev handily captured a decision and guess what, he was passed over by James Toney who was suddenly, and inexplicably, dubbed “mandatory” for the then-champion Hasim Rahman all the way from his then-number five rating.

Of course Rahman and Toney fought to a draw and Maskaev finally did get his title shot.

As the nutty alphabet sanctioning bodies continue to be guided by raw disregard for the very men who line the pockets of their staffs, there will be more and more disregard for their edicts and their belts.

Perhaps one or more state commissions will curtail the percentage of purses a sanctioning body can extract from fighters and promoters for the right to operate in their state.

Imagine if the Nevada, New Jersey, California, or New York commissions took the lead in denying the sanctioning bodies from creating “International” or regional titles for the sole purpose of confiscating sanctioning fees.

In all likelihood most of the organizations would simply fade away.......if only we could be so fortunate.

Manny Pacquiao - Erik Morales Prediction

When Manny Pacquiao met Erik Morales in March 2005 it was a giant fight despite the fact that Morales lost his previous bout to Marco Antonio Barrera. So good were Morales, Barrera and Pacquiao that fans knew going in that any of the three had a solid chance of winning on a given night. Unfortunately for Morales, while Barrera and Pacquiao have continued a blistering pace, he has clearly fallen behind. Although only 30 years old, his 52-fight career has taken its toll on his body and fighting spirit. He has now lost three of his last four fights but the recent drubbing by Pacquiao was the most telling of all. Despite his level best effort, the wheels weren't turning as fast or furiously as was the case just a couple of years ago. This fight will merely provide the exclamation point on what we really all know to be true: Morales is at the end of a Hall of Fame career and there's no going back. Pacquiao by KO in 5.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Organizers ‘postpone’ Australia ‘Superfighter’ event

By JE Grant

The Superfighter tournament scheduled for Dec. 2 in Melbourne, Australia was cancelled according to the event organizer Wednesday.

“It is with great regret that I announce the postponement of the Superfighter Pay-Per-View event scheduled for December 2nd in Melbourne and December 1st in the USA,” said Stephen Duval in a news release.

The originally scheduled cast of heavyweight participants was to include O’Neil Bell, Calvin Brock, Chris Byrd, Tye Fields, Juan Carlos Gomez, Oliver McCall, Jameel McCline and Samuel Peter.

Both Brock, who recently challenged Wladimir Klitschko for a share of the world title and Peter, who is scheduled to duel James Toney in a January 2007 rematch, pulled out as well. Further, unspecified visa problems made the tournament unsustainable according to Duval.

“Due to the withdrawal of Calvin Brock and Samuel Peter, and the visa/entry issues, the investors and management of Superfighter made what we believe to be the appropriate decision to postpone the event regardless of the significant monetary losses we are incurring,” said Duval.

As for the fighters, the loss of a possible $5 million payday is a significant setback.

Although the organizers hope to hold an event in “in the United States in early 2007” it has not been announced specifically when and where the tournament will take place.

Locations are still being contemplated.

“We are currently looking at a number of sites,” said Duval in an email response Thursday. “Ideally, Las Vegas would be the preferred location.”

Duval said a future tournament may include the contestants originally scheduled.

“All fighters currently contracted will be invited to participate, as it will be based in the US, the field is likely to be equal or better than the current line up scheduled in Melbourne,” he said.

The large purse will likely remain central to the organizers’ design.

“We were only interested in making certain that the best, most elite and exciting boxers were confirmed for Superfighter,” said Duval. “To do this, we offered a great incentive to attract the best fighters.”

According to Duval, in the longer term “the ultimate goal of Superfighter is to bring great boxing action to the fans, a great platform for the best boxers in the world to participate, innovative scoring and technology for the viewer and most of all, a great Superfighter World Series where fans see the eight original weight divisions of boxing annually under the Superfighter format.”

There are no plans to enter into the fray of world championship boxing promotions.

“Superfighter will not promote 12 round bouts apart from the Superfighter format where the winner fights a maximum of 12 rounds against three separate opponents,” said Duval.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Klitschko: Standing tall above the division

By JE Grant

The speed and power of Wladimir Klitschko, exhibited on the head and shoulders of a previously undefeated American Calvin Brock, put an emphatic end to any talk of a muddled heavyweight picture.

Klitschko provided the convincing performance in the latest series of heavyweight title encounters that featured his fellow belt holders. He is now in a class above the field.

Despite the notion that the division is withering, there has been plenty of knockout action of late.

Starting in August Oleg Maskaev’s delivered a crushing final round knockout of Hasim Rahman, the man seen by some as the top campaigner in the division.

In October, the giant Nicolay Valuev stopped Monte Barrett in 11 rounds in a fight that was not exactly exciting but did end with the Russian pounding Barrett into a heap.

Shannon Briggs added his own bit of drama with a last second knockout of the talented Serguei Liakhovich in Phoenix to win an alphabet belt in November.

It was, however, the talent of Wladimir Klitschko that was the most obvious. He made it clear that whatever his history he has come into his own. The combination of speed, power, and athletic ability – something long recognized – is now combined by something missing in key fights --- resolve.

Calvin Brock presented an odd look and better power than almost all the other top 10 heavyweights. He also entered the ring with the confidence of an undefeated heavyweight. He expected to win.

Klitschko had to use his complete arsenal to put together the punctuating right hand that left Brock on his face and the audience in Madison Square Garden fully aware that they had just witnessed the work of the world’s best heavyweight fighter.

He also proved – though cynics will disagree – that the changing of the guard is now complete. We can say goodbye to the skilled fists of Lennox Lewis with the assurance that the division is now firmly in new and equally skilled hands in the form of Wladimir Klitschko.

There is talk of a tournament to unify the titles but the real question is this: Why worry about it?

Klitschko is clearly at the top and the others should at least go through the motions of forming a line to his throne.

Briggs seems to recognize this reality and to his credit there he was in the Klitschko post-fight presser insisting on a shot. Real heavyweight champions do not have to press for fights because the world is supposed to come to them. Briggs knows who the champion is and he wants a chance.

Yes, it’s true that the alphabet title that Klitschko holds is by itself nothing better than the titles held by Maskaev, Valuev and Briggs.

It is his talent along with the clear willingness to take on only the best available opponent that separates him from the crowd.

It is not all that obvious that any of the other three belt holders really represent the best in the division. Maskaev and Briggs certainly have above average power, but both have been dominated by competition that is, generously, less than world class.

Maskaev has elected to take on the unknown and far below world-class Peter Okhello in the first defense of his belt. The fact that many in the sport will not be surprised by an upset tells us all everything we need to know.

Valuev, though undefeated at 45-0, has handlers that do not believe their charge is the best of the bunch. Defending his title against Owen Beck and Monte Barrett, both fighters with recent and clear losses, does nothing to suggest otherwise.

Of course Shannon Briggs has long been seen as a fighter with plenty of talent but not the drive to be a champion. Before the Liakhovich bout, he could point only to his highly controversial win over a 48 year old George Foreman as a victory over a rated fighter.

Assuming Briggs’ talent level was what many thought it was, he did not capitalize on it until his 53rd fight.

Klitschko has his own baggage but his resume is now replete with rated fighters: Chris Byrd (twice); Jameel McCline; Samuel Peter; Monte Barrett; Axel Schulz; DaVarryl Williamson; Frans Botha; and of course Brock.

None of us will likely forget his blowout loss to Corrie Sanders or his puzzling collapse against Lamon Brewster, but in the full context of a 50-fight career, it is he who stands at the head of the class.

Of course discussions of that class today often begin with a lament for the mythical good old days of heavyweight boxing lore.

At the bottom of this myth, however, is something that is just a bit more sinister.

There is a belief --- spoken but never written --- that because there is no great American heavyweight that no further proof is needed to indicate the sorry state of the division.

After all, American’s have dominated the heavyweights since the dawning of the gloved era. Precious few fighters --- regardless of race or ethnicity --- from countries other than the United States have laid claim to dominance.

The list is short: Tommy Burns; Max Schmeling, Primo Carnera, Ingemar Johannson, and Lennox Lewis have held universal recognition. If we’re generous we could add alphabet title-holders such as Gerrie Coetzee, Vitali Klitschko, and of course one-time Wladimir conqueror Corrie Sanders.

In fact some sports talking heads have resorted to a secondary argument that suggests that America’s best athletes end up in the NBA, NFL or Major League Baseball hence the lack of current American boxing talent.

Such talking heads no doubt see history as having started yesterday. The NBA, NFL, etc… were in full-scale existence in the 1960s right through today.

No one suggested that Muhammad Ali held the heavyweight championship only because Jim Brown was a running back for the Cleveland Browns.

No one even thought that Lyle Alzado would have dominated Larry Holmes had it not been for his selection to play for the Denver Broncos.

The difference, of course, is that with the opening of the east following the fall of the Berlin Wall, athletes from eastern European countries who were culturally guided to sports and desperate to partake in the spoils available in the capitalist world have finally made the transition from amateur to professional status.

Klitschko, Maskaev, Valuev and the recently deposed Liakhovich quite possibly represent only the tip of what is to come.

Young fighters toiling in current obscurity will likely become well-known worldwide with names such as Dennis Boytsov; Alexander Dimitrenko; Alexander Povetkin; Albert Sosnowski; Ruslan Chagaev; and Vladimir Virchis to name just a few are on the march.

For now, suffice it to say that Wladimir Klitschko is king, whatever his country of origin.

The dispute is over.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Mayweather - Baldomir Prediction

By JE Grant

Of course there is not supposed to be a real contest that occurs when Floyd Mayweather meets the champion Carlos Baldomir. There's little doubt that Floyd's consumate skills, almost impenetrable defense, and uber confidence born of a training regime second to none make him the runaway favorite. Just as clearly Baldomir was to have no chance at Zab Judah. He was also supposed to be a victim to Arturo Gatti who many thought would get the last laugh in capturing the true world championship ahead of Mayweather. Neither of his wins in those bouts was expected. However, don't expect the unexpected on this night. The sterling brilliance of Mayweather is the real thing. He will out-speed, out-punch, out-everything Baldomir. The champion Baldomir is not a phony and is not to be trifled with --- and despite his cocky flair, the most complete professional in the game today, Mayweather, won't take anything for granted. Baldomir is gritty and comes to win. His efforts will lead to a rapid-fire pounding and a brutal finish.

Mayweather by KO in 9.
Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu. Purchase Professional Boxing tickets from Coast to Coast Tickets. We have your sports needs covered with New York Yankees tickets, Boston Red Sox tickets and premium Bengals tickets. Check out our Black Eyed Peas tickets and Broadway show tickets.
  • Boxing Trend
  • Boxing Scene
  • Boxing Society
  • KO Corner
  • SJC Boxing
  • Blog and Weave
  • The Eight Count
  • World Boxing Chat
  • Boxing Fan
  • Boxing Along the Beltway
  • The Boxing Blog
  • East Coast Boxing
  • Knocked Out
  • Blogwise
  • Eastside Boxing
  • Late Rounds: A Boxing Blog
  • Irish Boxing
  • Boxing Craze
  • Ringside Report
  • Champions Boxing Gym
  • Boxing Help
  • National Boxing Association
  • Tyson Talk
  • Saddo Boxing
  • Boxing.Net.Au
  • Boxing News.De
  • Boxing Fever
  • Fired Up
  • Boxingranks.Com

    Powered by Blogger

  • Site Feed
    free web counters
    ISP Access Providers