Monthly Archives: July 2014

The Late, Great László Papp Revisited

— The late, great László Papp, amazingly he was with us unto the ripe age of 77 before passing in 2003, easily ranks among the most underrated middleweights due to his career being cut short beyond his circumstances. He was arguably the best amateur boxer ever with 3 consecutive Olympic Gold Medals, and most certainly the best all time ama up to his era, plus he had a claim to be the best southpaw boxer ever until Manny Pacquiao came along.

Hungarian Rhapsody

Hungarian Rhapsody

Only standing 5-5 or so and scaling in the mid 150s, in modern boxing terms, he’d probably start with titles in the welter division and work his way up as a 3 division title holder at middleweight. He was trapped in the cold war politics of his era and never got a professional world title shot although he was at the threshold of such before he was recalled permanently by his communist Hungarian overseers.

His final pro record of 27-0-2, 15 KO can never tell us his whole story, but perhaps the year of 1962 can illuminate what kind of fighter he was in his best year. He started with Ralph “Tiger” Jones who had already mounted the scalps of Hall of Famers Sugar Ray Robinson, Kid Gavilan, and Joey Giardella for his trophy collection and was willing to travel to Austria for the Papp scalp. Alas, Tiger, who was only stopped once early in his career on cuts, was knocked down 3x, the last coming in the 10th and last round that he was only just able to hear the final bell. Then Papp picked up the EBU title and defended in France against an undefeated Frenchman with the coolest name, Hippolyte Annex, 28-0-5 and younger than the 32 yr old Papp as was Jones.

Long before there was 24/7 and such, there was this uniquely styled French video clip that played in theaters the month before the fight. Annex is as cool as his name, very verbal, cheery, loving a good fight and clearly in training he’s a superwhiz at rope skipping and lightning fast. The video also has clips of the fight action tacked on which doesn’t do justice to the fighters, but wow, what a finish that sums up the fight perfectly, László Papp was the goods, no doubt, R.I.P.


Final Act: Tyson Fury CANCELS Alexander Ustinov Fight

***This fight is CANCELLED when Tyson Fury pulled out after his former trainer and uncle Hugie took seriously ill.

Apparently the ever fickle Fates Of Misfortune are keeping Tyson Fury under their thumbs for now as his uncle Peter Fury swung in to effectively cancel the fight as Fury would be fighting without his corner. Expect a fusillade of twitter payback after he has spent years savaging various fighters in spewing streams of foulness normally associated with run off from sewage ponds. In the end, all his talk of being from a fighting family of warriors was but the tale of a toothless fairy. Sad to see him turn down a chance to go against The Man, Wlad Klitschko had he prevailed against Alexander Ustinov, but maybe he can go crawl back to the domestic UK scene and rebuild his image into something more than a bag of gas.

Hint: Time to study up on great fighters like Joe Louis and Jack Dempsey who saved their savagery for the ring and their civilized manners for outside the ring. Story here:

Tyson Fury Makes 7/26 Manchester Card Against Alexander Ustinov

***This fight is CANCELLED when Tyson Fury pulled out after his former trainer and uncle Hugie took seriously ill.

Expect a fusillage of twitter payback after he has spent years savaging various fighters in spewing streams of foulness normally associated with run off from sewage ponds. In the end, all his talk of being from a fighting family of warriors was but the tale of a toothless fairy. Sad to see him turn down a chance to go against The Man, Wlad Klitschko had he prevailed against Alexander Ustinov, but maybe he can go crawl back to the domestic UK scene and rebuild his image into something more than a bag of gas.

Breaking story here:



Two man mountains collide when the 6-9, 250 lb Tyson Fury goes against the 6-8, 300 lb Alexander Ustinov who was last seen in a sparring ring knocking Derek Chisora out of his scheduled sweepstakes fight against Fury.

So Fury remains on the Frank Warren promoted July 26th Manchester card as Derek Chisora is scratched and the K2 promoted Alexander Ustinov his replacement in a typical last minute scramble for the Fury team. His opponents have a history of backing out of scheduled fights not dissimilar to a run of emergency replacement fighters Wladimir Klitschko had a few years back.

No problem, just ever more more hype added to the heavily publicized Fury bandwagon that continues to flatten his critics at every fight. A Fury win opens the door to the Klitschko challenge he’s been banging on about.

These replacement bouts have a storied boxing history as the fighters are suddenly operating more in instinctual free form mode rather than a long planned attack against an opponent they’ve had time to study and think about. The 37 year old Belarusan is considerably more dangerous than the 42 year old Shannon The Cannon Briggs who popped off much ado about nothing, turning down the Fury replacement offer as a fight he could not win with no big retirement fund purse he’s been angling for, a lose/lose proposition.

Ustinov, currently at 29-1, 21 KO, has no such retirement thoughts just yet. A former kickboxing and mma champion reportedly undefeated, in his big boxing step up he acquitted himself well in what turned into a war of attrition against undefeated Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev as they battled back and forth in bombardment of brutally heavy artillery. Ustinov finally took a knee in fatigue when his legs could no longer carry his 300 lb mass. Pulev then moved to cement his consensus #1 challenger status to Wlad Klitschko, a fight that plays out 2 months from now in Germany, but I digress.

This fight is probably similar to that fight in that both Fury and Ustinov are come forward offensive fighters with solid power. Fury can box and move when he wants to and could make a showcase for the skills he possesses but seldom employs consistently, yet by heart he wants nothing more than an ol’ fashion British cock-up. That becomes an interesting and conflicting contrast with Ustinov as the more thoughtful, the more methodical fighter, a style that works well against lesser opponents he can overwhelm.

Will Alexander Ustinov make Tyson Fury into one of those lesser fighters or will Tyson Fury’s youthful vim and vigor be too much for the biggest, strongest fighter he’s likely to encounter in his lifetime? Calloused critics may scoff and pull their thumbs from their arrears to smear this donnybrook, but true fight fans will almost certainly be guaranteed of witnessing the fight of the night.

That’s the bottom line that carries the sport too often mired the muck and the grime of it’s history, so thanks be to these merry gentlemen for stepping up to the scratch line. It’s a go!

Tyson Fury Fight With Derek Chisora Scratched!

Poor Tyson Fury must be bemoaning the pitiable state of Britain’s top heavyweights when The Fates killed his third big splashy payday in the last week of preparations when training camps are supposed to be winding down.

So The Legend of Tyson Fury grows when his touted rivals can’t even make it through their training camps, Chisora with broken hand and Mr. Pinky Toe Haye with ongoing pinky toe malfunctions requiring surgery or rest. Fury has even started to sense something amiss in advance in his twitters:

“Don’t even think of pulling out of this fight bitch. Don’t do a @mrdavidhaye & be a s**thouse c**t. You’ll be a laughing stock.”

It’s awfully late to round up a replacement, but plenty of British journeyman around for Fury to vent his frustration on that would at least pay his training camp expenses like former contender and Oympic Gold Medalist Audley Harrison who started training and is in need of a fight or the hapless American Malik”Have Passport-Will Travel” Scott who recently graced British shores and other foreign locales for the expressed purpose of getting beat up for a paycheck.

Don’t know what it is with these soft lads they got boxing these days getting injured in their last days of training when physiologically they are supposed to be winding down and doing the fine tuning. Or maybe it’s the cavemen trainers who don’t understand the subtleties needed to compete at a high level. Old timers didn’t used to have these brutal extended training camps out of the necessity of needing to fight several times a year. Much better to have lots of fights with short training camps than to have long training camps and risk having no fight at all. Fighting keeps fighters in better fighting shape than training camps, but you can’t tell folks who endlessly attempt to pound square pegs into round holes anything.

Oh, well, such is the current British state of boxing. The rest of the card goes on albeit in greatly dwindled attendance of what was supposed to be a big stadium fight.  


Monstrous Chinese Superheavyweights Invade America

It was a long time coming before the first ever Chinese heavyweight boxer would make his American pro debut from the Peoples Republic of China, ie ruling National Communist Party as opposed to the vestigial Republic of China, ie Taiwan to plainly state saber rattling, missile splashing geo-political distinctions. Last night at the storied Fisherman’s Wharf of San Francisco, California, all seven foot and 300 or so pounds of Taishan Dong swung into action to knock out Alex Rozman, a novice journeyman with an nonthreatening losing record. 

7' Taishan Dong

7′ Taishan Dong

It was something of a stealth debut for the little known Dong who is named after a holy Taoist mountain of Mt. Taishan. He may find his fleeting accolades soon shadowed by another supersized countryman come August 8th in Fallon Nevada when Chinese Olympic Superheavyweight Silver Medalist Zhang Zhilei makes a much more touted debut against novice Matt McKinney, 0-0-1, 0 KO and also currently ranking among near the last grouping of the 1000 or so Boxrec listed heavyweights. The stellar amateur accomplishments of Zhilei and the high level professional training he has received cannot be immediately matched by Dong without further development.

But the good news is that the Chinese peoples and international boxing community will have some new favorites or villains to pick from. Dong’s background is in various martial arts, most notably kick boxing like the Klitschko brothers who have infuriated, re: emasculated the more traditional mainstream American and British heavyweight fans with their dominance in the ring. How Chinese fighters will be received is unknown, but the most touted professional Chinese fighter is currently Olympic gold medalist Zou Shiming who fights out of Macao, China for Top Rank, currently at 5-0, 1 KO. He trains with Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles though and may eventually make an American debut in the future, but since he’s a flyweight, he won’t catch on like the heavyweights might well do.
I know little of Zhang Zhilhei’s boxing skills other than he defeated current New Zealander up and coming contender Joseph Parker in the 2008 Olympics in Bejing. The notoriously “political” International Olympic Committee always reserve medals for the host nation’s best boxers, so make of it what you will.
Making a Splash in the Big Apple

Making a Splash in the Big Apple

The 31 year old Zhilei is definitely cast in the mold of a giant, looking much bigger here than his listed 6-6, 240 claimed pounds as he dwarfs his “advisor” Evander Holyfield. He is also looks to be quite personable which may endear him to American fans, but he’s also a southpaw who may soon be flattening hapless American prospects which may not endear him at all to flag waving Americans, but it is what it is, currently a fragile construct of modern international politics that would allow these types of immigrations to take place.

The plan seems to move Zhilei along smartly with maybe a title shot in 3 years or so around 34-35 years of age. Looking forward to seeing these latest Chinese developments for sure. True boxing fans are always game for more good fighters to come along to blast some much needed infusion into a stagnating sport, so we shall see what shall be.

Play It Again Sam~Tyson Fury vs Dereck Chisora II

Big British Heavyweight rivalry goes down Saturday, July 26th as Tyson Fury looks to reprise his first schooling of Dereck Chisora when they glove up for the rematch at the storied M.E.N. Stadium in Manchester. Regrettably the stadium has been renamed in some silly modern flash fad name that will only last as long until the next silly fad name comes along. Both the British Commonwealth and European Union title will be on the line as well as the disreputable reputations of the disputants not to mention competing graphic exchanges between their overly vociferous fans.

The Belts

The Belts

The undefeated man-mountain-child Fury, now 25 years of age, why amazingly he was supposed to have scheduled a private preliminary warmup, a 12-round gym fight in April to knock off the rust and frustration he accumulated while watching his  £5 million purse and Mr. David Haye slowly crumble into pinkie toe twinkie dust before his frustrated eyes. Powerful Cameroon fringe contender Carlos Takam was chosen for this private “fight,” likely to have been quite interesting away from the bright lights of the public ring. Seems a bit dangerous because of the possibility of cuts or other physical injuries before a big fight, but Fury is still in full mode of youth’s invincibility and has an overwhelming need for a “real” fight to settle him down. Can’t say how much the somewhat taciturn Takam cooperated in actually giving him a fight or even if it occurred , yet the Fury style would goad him if nothing else. A very aggressive, bluntforce punching Takam has since notched his biggest win against longtime contender Tony Thompson to jump into the middle of the contender fray, so make of it what you will.

The squattish British bad boy Chisora, 20-4, 13 KO, is no stranger to thuggish, threatening manners, yet seems dwarfed again in his assigned British role of the traditional “brave” British fighter losing all his biggest matches  in spite of his busy run of victories against the usual spate of heavyweight suspects. Now he returns to avenge the injury of his first professional loss against Fury.

The voluble Irish Traveler Fury, 22-0, 16 KO, has proven to be a throwback in both his brutal brawling style and bi-polar personality that alternates between the substantial charms of Irish blarney and volcanic blasts of temperament, all now available via Fury’s well traveled Twitter account. Certainly his fights have a similar cartoonish character to them, his last being against Joey Abell where Abell hit the deck four times as the flouncing Fury flab filling out his gut shot forth in comic  staccato bursts that in turn jarred loose the flapping gums of his critics into a bitter twitter strafing of the Fury boxing attributes.

Since Fury was just a goofy, babyfat kid in the first Chisora go round where he was able to outwork and outpunch the teletubby Chisora, I look for a much stronger Fury to really jump on the now 30 year old Chisora who not only lacks a big punch to get Fury’s respect, but is cursed by a forward plodding, easy to hit style. Fury is also the boxer in this bout whenever he chooses to be, capable of cruising to a wide points decision if he chooses to go that route. Fact is anything could happen in this fight up to and including a double disqualification, now that would be a sight to behold. For certain their fans won’t restrict themselves to the Marquis of Queensberry Rules of etiquette.



Chisora will have to perform well beyond any of his previous fights to win this whereas all Fury has to do is be himself, a much easier and more natural undertaking, yet the odds will likely close fast because of heavy betting by their rabid fans. Their rivalry has become such a big British event that the publicity spillover will grab some of the international market.

Guaranteed a donnybrook anytime Fury and Chisora collide, so keep a wary eye out for flying chairs come crashing through your tele and enjoy.

Big Heavyweight Undercard: Bryant Jennings Vs Mike Perez

Undefeated heavyweight title aspirants, Bryant “By-By” Jennings and Mike “The Rebel” Perez contest a WBC heavyweight title eliminator Saturday, July 26th. They will be in support of the featured main card, middleweights Gennady Golovkin vs Daniel Geale at Madison Square Garden, New York, New York. Their fight was originally scheduled for May 24th in Corpus Christi, Texas, but Perez injured a shoulder, so it was rescheduled with an “upgrade” to Madison Square Garden, a mighty fine deal me thinks. 

Bryant Jennings vs Mike Perez

Bryant Jennings vs Mike Perez

Bryant Jennings is a highly touted Philly fighter in his second straight Madison Square Garden appearance and should be the “hometown” favorite after coming off his biggest win ever, knocking out Artur Szpilka in a fantastic heavyweight scrap that mixed in high level boxing, heady brawling, and heavy duty slugging. Jennings closed the show in old school Bob Fitzsimmons style with a classic solar plexus shot that Szpilka amazingly managed to beat the count, but could never recover from.

Too many stoppages in today’s boxing landscape are premature and perhaps this one was a smidgeon so, but clearly Szpilka looked done after a brutal fight of give and take. We can understand when the ref walks that fine line in juggling official rules with the spirit of the intended purpose of the rules. Referee  Mike Ortega deserves plaudits in overseeing an action packed classic by use of excellent judgement as he respected the fighters roles, something his peers would do well to take note of.

Mike Perez fights in a stark southpaw contrast, a Cuban refugee washed up in Cork, Ireland where he sheltered before launching his world tour in Germany, UK, Canada, and the US.  He is also in his second MSG appearance, the first being when he beat fellow undefeated prospect Magomed Abdusalamov  into a coma that left him on life support for many months and permanently damaged for life. Though Mago has recently shown signs of improvement, Perez and the boxing community have since struggled to deal with the backlash, most significantly the reputed lax oversight by the New York commission that has resulted in a nasty lawsuit. Perez returned to the ring only a couple of months later for an understandably lackluster showing against a big, tough prospect Carlos Takam in Canada that by hook or crook Perez managed to scrape out a draw.

All talents, ages, and experiences otherwise being somewhat equal, 29 year old Jennings at 18-0, 10 KO and 28 year old Perez at 20-0-1, 12 KO, the compromised mental state of Perez will be key to how this fight goes as he returns to the “scene of the crime.” I expect Jennings to use his speedy boxer/puncher form to take the early lead with the animated MSG crowd roaring in ecstatic delight. Will that be punishment enough to jump start Perez out of his recent ring lethargy to make the good fight for this golden fleece?

The main card is emblematic of two foreign nationals having top billing over Americans on American soil these days. One of the most formidable champions currently holding a title, 32 year old Kazakhstani Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin  and former IBF/WBA champion Daniel “Real Deal” Geale Daniel out of Australia are top class operators willing to travel to wherever for a good fight. Geale is in the mold of a fancy dan stylist who can also fight if need be. He has some terribly hard work cut out for him as Govolokin makes his 11th defense of what has been upgraded to the Super WBA title, all previously won by knockout.

Nice Guys Scrapping For Glory

Nice Guys Scrapping For Glory

Overall these fights could prove to be quite interesting in their fashions, so boxing fans and any casual fans who happen to tune in could score big time, but only if the New York commish can oversee an equitable enforcement of their rules and regulations, sadly never a given in boxing…fingers crossed…XX…

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