Tag Archives: Emanuel Steward

Hot Blast From The Past~Lennox Lewis vs Evander Holyfield I

I confess that I didn’t care for the first Lennox Lewis vs Evander Holyfield fight in the day and thus never had any reason to revisit it other than in sometimes spirited verbal debate arising over such controversial decisions. Finally, 15 years later I pulled it up today for a stylistic comparison of the last “great” American heavyweight as he wound down his career.

In boxing what goes around comes around as the more things change the more they remain the same and every other lame duck adage you can conjure up. Boxing “officials” back then stifled the righteous unification of the titles that Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield each held.

I only wanted see the fight, not to listen to blowhard announcers or review drunken punch monkey stats all strategically placed in to disrupt the basic sounds and sights of the fight. The average viewer soon becomes duped into thinking he is in the magnificent present of all knowing boxing experts emceeing the typical broadcast entertainment extravaganza. Me thinks that this particular fight  set the modern productions of the many international title events “promoted” by the entertainment industry moguls that have followed.

Lewis, Mercante, Holyfield

Lewis, Mercante, Holyfield

Holyfield is the last “great” American heavy at the end of his productive years propped up in Madison Square Garden as his “international” rival Lewis agrees to fly across the Atlantic for the big unification bout everyone and their granny wants to see. The judges are from South Africa, UK, and US with New York based Arthur Mercante Jr. the referee. Big George, Larry and Lamps are the Moe, Larry, and Curly announcing trio with the last great heavyweight trainer Emanuel Steward in the Lewis corner. Roy Jones Jr is set up at another studio and still on top of the boxing world as his braggadocio shoots off the charts. Everyone looks impossibly  young and healthy, yet shockingly Steward is no longer with us. Life is fickle and certainly not as permanent as it sometimes seems during our day to day struggles that seem unceasing before we tune in for ol’ reliable to get the juices roiling, the birthright of Americans, a big match heavyweight duke’em up.

Mercante impossibly slips a missed Real Deal left hook early on that most certainly would have sent him into the 3rd row had it connected as he demonstrated great reflexes and physicality in this grappling, big man affair. The fight turned out to be much better than I remembered though it petered out the last two rounds that doubtless increased the latitude of the scoring as well as dampened my memory of the fight. It was more informative this time around because of the context of the passage of time, so I ended up watching the whole broadcast instead of just the fight.

The broadcast ended up extremely raw and forthright as the hosts and participants struggled to make sense of the incomprehensible.

Lamps is all over the “stench” of the scoring as soon as the scorecards are announced. The setup was the typical Don King promoted modis operandi in the day and still the same format used in many big international fights today. British judge brought in to stay mum with the draw scoring while the American female judge has it for Holyfield and the South African judge for Lewis, the perfect foil for the perfect draw denouement pre-orchestrated by all time scoundrel Don King.

Noteworthy are the vast boos from the majority 21,000 American crowd who certainly have no history of ever taking a shine to Lewis. The reported 7500 Brits flying over to attend the fight can be heard all through taking up the Lewis chant. Had no idea Lewis was “that” popular with Brits in the day though I knew he had a good following.

Emmanuel Steward point blank: “This is is killing boxing.”

Fast forward>>> Shawn Porter vs Kell Brook>>> and we had California based referee Pat Russel as the 3rd man in the ring, the British judge mum again with a draw as the two American judges showed their “impartiality” by going all for the British Brook who is now suddenly mooted for all these artificial “superfights” boxing is desperate to make. The poorly attended crowd of 3000 didn’t have much to cheer about in this poor card that also featured touted American flagship heavyweight contender Deontay Wilder fighting a prelim in front of maybe a few hundred spectators who cheered on his TBA opponent. Sad to see boxing come down to such a low level that the long maligned Lewis/Holyfield fight actually looks good in comparison even if the past it Holyfield fought a poor fight.

Lewis/Holyfield I:

It’s Big Boy Time–Wlad Klitschko vs Mariusz Wach

November the 10th at the O2 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany marks a another milestone in Wladimir Klitschko‘s boxing career when he aims for his 20th title victory against a fighter with height and reach greater than his.

Mariusz Wach  runs about the same size as Wlad’s older brother, Vitali, almost 6-8, generally around 245-260 lbs with an 82″ listed reach. He’s also undefeated with a 27-0, 15 KO record, coming off of 7 straight knockouts starting back in 2009.

Big & Bigger

Big & Bigger

Wach of course lacks the depth of Wlad’s stellar record, but he is prime age for a big man these days at a very fresh 32, and he sports a mixed martial arts and amateur boxing background much like the Klitschko brothers. He looks to be tough enough at the level he’s fought at and is a come forward attacking fighter, so what more can the Klitschkos do but fight the few heavyweights left who are willing to step in the ring with them?

Wlad’s record against similar sized fighters, Tony Thompson, Jamel McCline, and Ray Austin is 4-0, 4 KO, not exactly the best promotional selling point for Wach making a compelling fight. Thing about the Klitschko fights is that German and other various European fans love the theatrics of the Klitschko promotions which feature a smorgasborg of music, razzle dazzle light shows and pop personalities revving up the premises in advance of the main event. The promotions are well packed, and of course with Wach being of Polish heritage, well, Poles really get behind their own even when it looks hopeless.

Make no mistake though, Wach is far from hopeless. His size, strength and toughness  alone make him a very awkward, dangerous fighter. Typically teams upgrade the quality of sparring partners for an opportunity like this, so if Wach had previously been on a learning curve as he worked his way up the chain, #21 on Boxrec, #4WBC, #15 WBO, there could be a big spike in his skills and conditioning for this performance.

All that could be completely negated by the proven quality of Wlad who usually starts off very cautious behind his jab to rack up points before picking his spots for the usual knockout result. Perhaps as big a challenge as the size of Wach will be the absence of his long time trainer and mentor, Manny Steward, whose untimely passing has left a big hole in the boxing world.

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/a-legend-passes-manny-steward-r-i-p/

Fellow stablemate Johnathon Banks was tapped by Steward to anchor Wlad’s corner, and of course Wlad’s brother, Vitali Klitschko should be there in support as both brothers do when the other fights.

The heavyweight division is strangely active as the year draws down with some compelling action that will lead to next year’s title challenges.

Johnathon Banks is also a quality heavyweight with his own big fight against rising American contender, Seth Mitchell. Banks is a legit boxer with skills, whereas Mitchell has a modest pro football background with a limited amateur background. As such, I expect Banks to easily handle him, but as to whether he’ll get a fair judgement at Boardwalk Hall Atlantic City where the fight takes place this November 17th, let’s not get started on the horrors of judging fights.

Everyone knows about the poor judging but nothing can be done until boxing cleans up it’s act, so fat chance.

Fellow undefeated and Ring ranked Tyson Fury invites Denis Boytsov to Odyssey Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland on December the 1st to mark up somebody’s zero, probably Boytsov who has a softer record with a history of hand injuries. Props to both camps for making the fight when each could be sitting on their rankings hoping a lucrative title fight will hatch.

Last but not least, the rematch of the fight of the year quality donnybrook between former lightheavy and cruiserweight champ Tomasz Adamek and his cruiserweight rival, Steve Cunningham who took the loss the first time around. The fight takes place December 22nd, ostensibly in Cunningham’s backyard of Sands Casino Resort, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, but the born and bred Philadelphian has tragically been under promoted in Europe thanks to an ill advised compact with Don King.

Adamek will be the obvious favorite with a stellar 47-2, 29 KO record against Cunningham’s 25-4, 12 KO, but this is the kind of fight a paper record can’t predict. Cunningham has always been speedy and top class even if he’s taken more losses in less fights. Adamek looked a bit slow at his heaviest weight ever when he outpointed the defensive minded Chambers, so I predict the punches to be flying with first class boxing skills as in the first fight.

Both will be 36 years of age for the fight, so there it is, the final countdown of the top action in the heavyweight division for the rest of the year.

Ice John & Bad Chad Reunite for The Execution(er)

 Bad Chad Dawson has rolled the dice in midstream to replace his new trainer, Emanuel Steward with his old trainer, Ice John Scully, who first got Dawson up to speed early in his career.The splits seem to have been amicable, and perhaps so since there’s been nary a squeak out of Steward. Dawson is still open enough to reestablish training with Scully weeks before his challenge for his old WBC strap now held by Bernard Hopkins.

Ice John at Play

Ice John at Play

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scully is a well respected former lightheavy contender with the experience to formulate a plan to dethrone Hopkins. The opportunity is surely his biggest moment as a trainer and it is certainly a critical juncture fight Dawson needs to win to stake his claims to the lions share of future big fights.

Welcome to Ice John’s very own website and register your thoughts on the fight here:

http://icemanjohnscully.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=6279

Bernard Hopkins has been on a hot roll of late after a mysterious resurgence against Jean Pascal. Accusations flew that Hopkins was on Human Growth Hormone, HGH, which didn’t prevent him from being knocked down hard twice by the feather fisted Pascal.

Had Hopkins been fighting with as much vim and vigor as he showed against Pascal, his record would certainly be better, but Chad Dawson is a completely different fighter than Jean Pascal and who knows what version of Hopkins will show up at age 46? 

When He Was King

When He Was King

Hopkins’ last knockout was another decade ago when he still had hair, but he was suspicously fragile against Calzaghe and Jones and may be ripe for the big KO. Thing is that Dawson is something of a lazy boxer, preferring to sit back and let his natural talent do all the work and then take the decision, not a KO artist. It did seem like he had Pascal ready to go when the headbutt stopped their bout, so maybe there’s some hidden knockout potential in him waiting to be released.

Of the Ring ranked southpaws Hopkins faced recently, he was hard pressed against Winky Wright who was brought in as a guest trainer for Dawson for this fight.Then Hopkins looked for all intents to be quitting in the ring against the talented Joe Calzaghe as Hopkins attempted to stop the fight with the worst canvas acting job seen in a boxing ring since Sonny Liston hit the deck against Muhammad Ali.

Not sure what kind of silk stockings have been passed around at Golden Boy these days with Hopkins rolling around on the canvas and

Shane Mosley and Victor Ortiz wanting to hug and kiss Floyd Mayweather instead of fight him, but Dawson should be very suspicious of being suckered into this seedy web and concentrate on taking the fight out of the judges and the ref’s hands. He won’t be getting any favors in this fight, but what he will get is a serious case of looking bad if he can’t concentrate on boxing because that’s the secret to Hopkins’ longevity.

Hopkins doesn’t want a fair fight, he wants to frustrate by fouling and grappling in between running around the ring and then cop an academy award decision. He knows Dawson is a superior boxer at range, so Hopkins will likely be rushing him much like he did Pascal which made for an ugly fight. Hopkins is legendary for what he calls Philly style head butts that many modern fighters just can’t handle.

I don’t recall Dawson ever having to fight inside except the first Johnson fight which many thought he lost, but if he can’t, he’s got to have some good foot movement to maintain his best fighting distance. His footwork and balance have always been excellent, but this is a different fight than he’s used to.

The undercard is compelling with Antonio DeMarco going against former champ Jorge Linares for Gary Bradley’s old WBC strap. New hotshot Danny Garcia goes against ex champ Kendall Holt in an IBF eliminator and Pauli Malignaggi is staying busy as he awaits his next title shot.

Not a bad night to be at the fights if Hopkins shows up to fight and can pull out his old Kelly Pavlik gameplan. We’ll see soon enough who wants it and who’s smart enough to take it.