Monthly Archives: September 2012

Corrie Sanders–R.I.P. Champ

Corrie Sanders tragically passed from this world in a senseless act of murderous gunplay while celebrating a family occasion at his restaurant in South Africa.

Giving Vitali Grief

Giving Vitali Grief

He’ll always be remembered for having the cojones to fight the Klitschko brothers, Wlad and Vitali back to back, his two signature bouts that defined his late blooming legacy.

 

Go find the fights on YouTube. That’s all you need to know about the fighter that Corrie Sanders was.

Corrie Sanders the Man will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

                                       R.I.P. Champ

 

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Time to Laugh–The Povetkin vs Rahman Comedy Hour.

Well, folks, The Povetkin vs Rahman Comedy Hour is almost upon us as Saturday winds down. The real fight action of course will be provided by the defacto main event when undefeated Kubrat Pulev, 16-0, 8KO rumbles with the former kickboxer, Alexander Ustinov, 27-0, 21 KO, a mountain of 300+ solid pounds spread out uniformly on his 6-8 Russian grizzlybear frame.  

The much awaited comedy hour endured delays from alleged injuries sustained by Hasim Rahman when he attempted to drop the blubber of some 300 lbs of inactivity. It was way back in the Pleistocene era when Rahman last beat a Ring ranked fighter though to be fair, since then all his losses were at least against contender types or champs such as Wlad Klitschko. It must also be noted that Rahman was quite literally robbed after landing a 1001 jabs along with a stiff right hand that knocked James Toney clear across the ring in the reverse ring waddle of the year. Unfortunately the routine nature of true robberies gets mixed into the howls of lesser robberies that typically accompany most every fight card in the world, so Rahman never got credit, the last fight he was in any semblance of shape.

Well, folks, the current WBA champ Alexander Povetkin is very much like all the previous WBA champs going back well over a decade now, he desperately needs a 40ish tubby former American champ or contender well past his best in order hold on to his Comedy Crown. It should be noted that Wlad Klitschko easily dismissed the last two WBA champs, Ruslan Chagaev and David Haye, but then Klitschko is so much more than a mere WBA champ that he is excluded from any comparison.

Povetkin was signed to fight Wlad a few years ago, but the fight fell out on a supposed tear of an ankle tendon, an Achilles heel as it turned out for Povetkin. He has since gone from being the touted Olympic Gold Medalist and top contender to a running joke trained by everyone’s favorite Uncle Teddy into a disaster case.

When he faced the best ever fighter of his career, fellow Sauerland stablemate and Cruiser champ Marco Huck, he resembled more the drunken Russian sailor on shore with his head between his knees for defense as his guts convulsed in horror. Poor Huck was reduced to bouncing Povetkin’s noggin off the canvas with rabbit shots, the only punch available to him to crack Povetkin’s illegal defense that he was never warned penalized for.

Teletubbies 256 lbs vs 229 lbs

Teletubbies 256 lbs vs 229 lbs

Never seen a fighter more punch drunk reeling about the ring on spaghetti legs than Povetkin, yet he won the decision, natch. Enter long time Don King fighter Hasim Rahman into this fetid mess with a chance to tie Muhammed Ali’s three heavyweight titles won.

Yup, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction and you laugh at the WBA matchups so hard that you cry.

Well, folks should be well set up  in a fine fettle after the colossal battle between the Bulgarian Pulev and the Russian Ustinov who may be of Belarus origin. Both are classic come forward offensive fighters swinging some serious clubs, so short of a draw, someone’s zero is got to go since the stakes are the EBU heavy title and IBF International title.

Three of these four heavyweights are Eastern Europeans of undefeated contender status as befits the current international intrusion on the former American stronghold. Hasim Rahman may no longer be in their class, but he knows that he could well deliver another peach of a right hand to make the history, so laugh at your own risk, or cry, or grin and bear it, the choice is yours. 

The Oracle Asks: Ward vs Dawson, Does Anyone Care?

I wasn’t going to cover this this snorefest, but then I thought about the spectacle of two top American fighters, both Ring ranked P4Pers and tops in their divisions and they’re going to fight this Saturday at the Oracle in Oakland, California.

Does anyone in America give a hoot other than the few thousand hometown fans papering the venue? Ask the typical ball sports American fan about the fight and you’ll get puzzled looks all around.

To cover the usual technical details, Dawson is vastly more experienced at the highest level, a pure, well skilled boxer with significant height and reach advantages, yet he will be a significant underdog according to the odds I’m seeing.

The two strikes against him are that he’s coming down a division, not a traditional winning formula, and that he’s fighting in Ward’s hometown, roughly akin to being shackled in chains based on the extensive history of hometown Ward fights.

Who is it that can promote another dynamic Ward hometown fight with a straight face while ignoring all the sniggering in the background? Ward is the last Olympic Gold Medalist in boxing, 2004, so The Oracle asks,

“Why ain’t you fightin’ for big bucks in Vegas?”

Probably because the last Olympic boxing gold medalist couldn’t fill Madison Square Garden in his biggest fight, the Showtime Super Six finale where half the fans had flown in from the UK to see Carl Froch fight.

So why has it taken Ward 8 years to rise to the “top” of his division? Why is it that almost nobody knows him in his own country as he continues to fight in his hometown backwaters? He looks to be tough, fast, and strong, yet he’s not a traditional mix of boxer and puncher, but rather the purest spoiler type that I can ever recall in a “top” fighter. He butts, he hits on the break, lets his elbows fly at will and grabs after every jab ala John Ruiz. He makes professional wrestling look tame, all the while being assisted by his planted hometown styled ref who breaks up the action anytime Ward is being bested to warn his opponent of imaginary fouls committed.

And no way a decision goes against Ward because he makes it impossible for anyone to look good against him, winning not by imposing superior fighting skills, but by making the other guy look bad in a stinker, a negative victory he seems content with.

Chad Dawson is similarly unknown to American fans thanks to his unhurried boxing style devoid of any drama, yet next Saturday we will see a grizzled Argentinean ring veteran go against a young Mexican kid that likely will garner near a  million Pay Per View buys when Sergio Martinez fights Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Go figure because I sure can’t figure out what has happened to American boxing.

Dawson has technically done his part to make a stellar career, but he’s gonna be fighting 5 guys tonight. His stock could rise tremendously if he can rise above the ring shenanigans and post a legitimate win. He has a number of potential breakout superfights in two divisions he could leverage and he’s shown he’s willing to travel outside his environs.

Not sure where Ward can go after this fight but home again.

Manuel Charr Tapped For Vitali Klitschko Rehabilitation

This Vitali comeback is from left shoulder rehabilitation after holding back charging Dereck Chisora with the remaining right arm earlier this year. Vitali made some noises last year about 2012 being his last in boxing, so he scheduled a favored Kiev soccer stadium venue in tribute to his avid Ukrainian support. It goes without saying that as a Kiev mayoral candidate in upcoming elections, the fight can also be seen as a political platform to upgrade his profile with voters. Upsets happen often in politics however, his Ukrainian political opponents coordinated their collective muscle to get his fight booted in favor of a rock concert.

Fast forward, and now the fight is scheduled for September 8th at the Olimpiyskiy in Moscow. The Russian capital has become a new mecca of professional boxing in Eastern Europe as befits the rich boxing history of Russia and the surrounding Eastern European states.

Vitali vs Charr

Vitali vs Charr

Manuel Charr is an excellent young prospect, age 27 with a record of 21-0, 11 KO, but he’s never beaten a ranked fighter. He has the usual faded names of former prospects and contenders on his record while fighting his way up the rankings in Germany. His background is unusual though, having been born in Lebanon, not a place with much if any boxing history to my knowledge.

His weight runs around 235-250 range, perhaps a little heavy for his 6-4 frame, but pretty much the standard for heavyweights these days who only have to go 12 rounds at most these days. The thinking is that fighters and their trainers may feel the need for more mass to stay on their feet in the new era of scored knockdowns where a flash knockdown or touched glove count the same as a hard knockdown.

This fight was made possible because Charr has a WBC #7 ranking and was signable since he is now self promoted. The WBC #1 Chris Arreola wasn’t ready to commit to a challenge after being strafed out of sight by Vitali in 2009.

On paper and in reality, Charr chances lay somewhere between rail thin slim and none. It’s worth noting that historically, there have been some great fighters upset by untested prospects, particularly ailing great fighters. Perhaps also Charr has untapped potential just waiting for the right moment in time to express itself as when Neon Leon Spinks upset the mighty Muhammad Ali so many moons ago in the last millennium.

Regardless, we won’t be seeing Vitali Klitschko in the ring too much longer, but maybe he’s hedging his retirement in anticipation of bigger bouts to come with his recent comments. His mind’s eye says it’s retirement time, but his pocket book says it always has room for another run of the Klitschko mint.

Not a bad dilemma to be caught in. We should all be so lucky.