Tag Archives: ibo

Gorgeous George Groves vs Chris “Daddy’s Boy” Eubank Jr.

George Groves, 27-3, 20 KO defends his new shiny WBA supermiddleweight belt against usurper IBO champ Chris Eubank Jr, 26-1, 20 KO this Saturday, February 17th @ Manchester Arena (formerly M.E.N Arena)Manchester. As fights go in 2018, this British donnybrook to be one of the biggest due to the British public, against all the odds of the last few years of depravity afflicting boxing, still largely love the sport and flock to the venues.

Both Groves and Eubank are a bit fragile as representatives of the weak top echelons of boxing these days as a dying sport, so in a turnabout for fans who might in other more golden years poohpahed such a limited title bout, fans are expecting to be packing the rafters. I picked Groves in my predictor league due to greater experience at the top and overall maturity. Both have some talents, but both also have limited mental faculties needed for a truly top flight fighter as Eubank Sr was.

So, from the first bell the match will slowly progress into an all action fistic crap shoot that fans can only hope the notoriously bad BBBC officiating doesn’t screw up. At least these guys will mostly put on a decent scrap since both are hungry for some much bigger bouts to come.

Groves vs Eubank Jr

Groves vs Eubank Jr

 

Future Destiny In Waiting~Wladimir Klitschko vs Kubrat Pulev

***Fight postponed due to Wladimir injury reported alternately as a hamstring pull or left bicep tear. Sad but true perhaps this warning shot across the bow of the aging Klitschko juggernaut as he dragged Shannon Briggs across the landscape that left him shaking his right hand. Not much else in the story, but link here for confirmation:

http://www.espn.co.uk/boxing/sport/story/336929.html

Wladimir Klitschko is back in action to defend his myriad collection of world title belts against IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev at O2 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany on Saturday, September 6th. He is coming off a successful defense against his WBO mandatory Alex Leapai who was well tenderized before being knocked out in the 6th round, but there’s much more at stake than just this upcoming title defense.

The Combatants

The Combatants

Klitschko is currently 23-2, 17 KOs in title fights coming into his his 26th title fight. Only the immortal Joe Louis was in more heavyweight title fights, sporting a 26-1 record with the 26 all consecutive wins, one record heavyweights will likely never break. A win against Pulev puts Wladimir within two title fights of tying Joe’s 26 title wins record and breaking his 27 total title fights record.

Records are fascinating reflections of the eras in which they occur and most will eventually be broken as the rules and culture changes, but boxing has a history of pulling the plug on modern fighters approaching Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 heavyweight record. The Joe Louis records may be even more revered as we may discover once Wlad tries to cross that threshold. This is the first recorded instance of a modern heavyweight champion also simultaneously approaching the Joe Louis final record of 66-3, 52 KO, dead square within his sights with Wlad currently at 62-3, 52 KO and still on top of his game. There will be much moaning and wringing of limp hands about this heavy division being soft by the grandsons of the same moaning critics of previous eras who were never satisfied with the greats who do pass through their eras, always preferring the good old days of their misguided besotted youth when the biggest impressions are made on the soft clay of their memory.

The perfect modern era example of that misanthropic thinking is the stellar record of two division champ Dariusz Michalczweski who was the long time “lineal” lightheavyweight champ according to the varied arcane claims kept by persnickety purist “boxing experts” as he waged one of the best title runs in history. He approached the Rocky Marciano career mark of 49-0 as he also made a bid to tie the Joe Louis record of 26 consecutive title wins. During his span of 9 years the aptly monikered “Tiger” defended his WBO lightheavy title while adding the WBO cruiserweight title that he never defended and the IBF, WBA, and “lineal” titles when he beat HOFer Virgil Hill.

The Fates could not have arranged for a more eventful challenge to boxing history, but being such fastidiously fickle sisters, they upped their ante on this poor Polish boy by booting him into Germany where he became a huge star with the expected accumulating hubris as he played out his preordained destiny before adoring fans.

They also made sure that Michalczweski was to be infamously and quite immediately stripped of his hard won WBA and IBF baubles that Roy Jones Jr then moved up to claim to much more acclaim that in turn secured his own lock as a first ballot International Boxing Hall of Famer that Dariusz currently remains locked out of. Roy fought many of the same fighters Dariusz fought, often after Dariusz had already taken care of business in advance. As Dariusz approached those legendary boxing milestones, he and his team obviously developed a sense of history and wanted affirmation from American media that historically define prevailing boxing media content. They flew to America for an HBO televised Jones title match where he publicly lobbies for a Jones unification fight to no avail. Jones and his HBO paymasters blithely snubbed what would have been the biggest money purse in Roy’s career. You could ask them why, but I doubt there will be any truth forthcoming. You see, all that big money was only if the fight were held in Germany with a German broadcaster that HBO either could not or would not match in a home setting for Roy. Nor would Roy travel abroad for a big fight much like the the current crop of acclaimed undefeated American P4Pers whose names are already forgotten in the span of time.

Instead Roy settled for the much touted Don King canned WBA heavyweight challenge against John Ruiz with King contractually keeping that title “in house” for well over a decade before his own inevitable decline finally saw him lose his grip. So King held the WBA heavy option on Roy for one year to no avail when Roy simply refused to defend, instead holding a King’s Court as suitors supplicated themselves before him with a dozen heavyweight and cruiserweight big fight offers before vacating the heavyweight title which, cough, cough, immediately reverted back to the justly maligned John Ruiz.  Roy did finally return and beat Antonio Tarver to an unexpected savaging by critics who finally saw their estimation of his otherworldly talents and career dashed on the rocks of their own misguided expectations of Roy cleaning out the heavyweight division.

‘T’ain’t ever easy being the best ever in the best of times when the times savagely turn on you.

The discouraged Dariusz instead held his historic bout against the light swatting Julio Gonzalez whom Roy had previously beaten in 12 lackluster rounds. Gonzalez was the best Dariusz could find under the circumstances, yet a poor substitute that showed in his own lackluster performance where he looked to be sleep walking underwater for the first half of the fight as the gentle pitty-pattering rain of Gonzalez racked up the points. Then the switch gets turns on as Dariusz finds his timing and desire to chase and pound on Gonzalez down the stretch. I thought Dariusz showed the heart of a champ under adverse conditions to win those rounds, but instead the judges denied him that fight and his place in history with a razor thin split decision loss.

Dariusz record here: Dariusz Michalczewski

The modestly equipped Gonzalez could do nothing with the belt but to promptly drop it to talented undefeated Hungarian Zsolt Erdei who had his own problems making big fights with Americans. So the great Roy Jones thus became something of arcane anomaly after all his storied dozens of title fights in never having once held the “Lineal” belt holder in any of the four divisions he held the belt.

So the extensive history of the above/\ is the backdrop setting in this upcoming international fistic play as we get back to the robust upcoming challenge ahead to Wlad’s own considerable legacy.

The 33 year old Bulgarian Pulev is a rugged 6-5, 250 lbs who doesn’t give away any size or strength worth noting. He has recently beat 3 “giant” heavyweights in a row, knocking out top 20 contenders Alexander Dimitrenko and Alexander Ustinov and then beating top 10 Tony Thompson by decision. Though his record pales compared to Wlad, only 20-0, 11 KO, he seems like the type of fighter who fights up or down to the importance of the fight and this his biggest fight ever.

The Klitschko brothers’ K2 Promotions won the IBF mandatory purse bid over Pulev promoter Saureland promotions which was the only way this fight could have been made since both are big German promotional rivals who seldom work with each other unless circumstances force them.

Sound familiar?

Pulev has managed to go a bit further in the prefight than previous Wlad opponents, claiming he, Pulev, is drug tested 6x per year and demanding Wlad take his same tests. Wlad only undergoes post fight drug testing under the auspices of the German Boxing Federation, approximately 2-3x per year dependent on his fight schedule, so no Olympic drug testing controversy this one. The recent Felix Sturm/Sam Soliman bombardment of vicious charges and counter charges over the legality of a nominal compound used in vitamins and supplements highlights the shameless incompetence of cartels and commissions who crudely rule over this untidy sport. If the illicit cartels and commishes ever establish themselves to be as well tested and competently trained as the fighters that they attempt to pass judgement on, then some day the public might take these clowns seriously. Yeah, fat chance that, but such is the way life is everywhere, so we the people of the world adjust to modern prefight and prework drug testing posturing the best we can.

The Cannon Iced!

The Cannon Iced!

And speaking of going further than normal in prefight posturing, a special mention must be made for the grotesquely abnormal pre-prefight posturing of Shannon Briggs in a frothing, rabid state of hysteria during the weeks to the lead up to this fight. He had been stalking Klitschko in his Florida training regimen with what looked like staged video setups, the first of which showed him taking off a shoe to throw at Wlad who was having his hands taped. OK, just some harmless goofy stuff that gets the usual suspects all riled up, but five weeks away from the Pulev fight Briggs stormed a restaurant Klitscko was dining at, screaming hysterically before grabbing his plate to wolf down Wlad’s meal. Wlad blithely joked around before pouring ice water over his bald noggin which flashed Briggs to sweep the table clear in a shattering violent explosion before a bodyguard wrapped him up to cart off outside where Briggs fled to the local hospital with cut hands and feet. Wlad may have cut or broken his right hand as well as he was looking at the palm and shaking something off.

So, Wlad has to effectively negotiate through Shannon “The Loose Cannon” Briggs first who may well be stalking him in his return to Germany as he has done in the past before Wlad can fight Pulev. We shall see soon enough if these were publicity set ups if and when Wlad schedules the desperate Briggs for his next fight. Video here:

At the very least the best heavyweight champion of this era will meet yet another of his main rivals, something that seldom happens in the US at the lesser weights they represent these days.

It should be noted that Wladimir’s brother Vitali was recently elected mayor of Kiev in Ukraine which is currently engaged in a tragically escalating border war against Russia. Hard to say how those political and war distractions add up, but Wlad should be the betting favorite by a good margin over Pulev who looks like he’s durable enough to be dangerous over all 12 rounds.

The usual anti social media monkeys male bonded in a fury of vitriol over Klitschko’s excessive holding against Russian Alexander Povetkin last year and then piled on over the quality of Alex Leapai as a fighter. Wlad looked like a proctologist grown weary of his profession as he gazed down upon Povetkin in a reflective pause before donning the rubber gloves for the perfunctory examination, but look a little closer and you can almost see a return to the original London Prize Ring Rules with 3 hard knockdowns and otherwise manhandling the surprisingly game Povetkin to toss him about the ring old school style into the ropes and onto the canvas like a rag doll. This Pulev fellow looks too strong and densely built for that, but at the end of the day, Wlad has been executing his various mandatory defenses by the textbook, meaning Pulev is likely well pulped by the end of their session however the means.

Is Pulev made of greater stuff than just another lumped up, lopsided heavybag twisting on the chains for Wladimir? Been much bigger upsets than this one which could be interesting on many fronts. Just you watch and wait and see history in the making…

The Essentials

The Essentials

Low Key Defense–Wladimir Klitschko vs Francesco Pianeta

Wladimir Klitschko defends his myriad collection of championship titles against Francesco Pianeta Saturday, May 4th at SAP-Arena, Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

On paper, it would seem Wlad is taking a breather against Pianeta, but any fighter measuring in at 6-5, 240lbs is hardly the kind of breather most folks would wish to have any part of. Pianeta has been near cracking the boxrec top ten rankings, and he’s a prime 29 yrs of age, and an undefeated southpaw, 28-0-1, 15 KOs. He has typical “names” on his record to lend respectability, decisions over former WBC champ Oliver McCall and former WBO champ Frans Botha, and a decision and a draw over former EBU/EU champs Matt Skelton and Albert Sosnowski.

Pianeta also has some history with Wlad as a sparring partner as typifies many title fights today, and then there’s the understated backdrop of his comeback from a very unusual cancer of the hand. He’s also a native born Italian living and fighting in Germany as befits any fighter serious about pursuing a heavyweight career, so he’s not quite your Daddy’s usual heavyweight contender.

The Gentlemen

The Gentlemen

Speaking of history, Wlad has some real history to contemplate as he closes in on the Joe Louis record of 26 title wins and final record of 66-3. Wlad is currently at 20 title wins with a record of 59-3 after having already surpassed Louis’ knockouts by a 51 to 49 margin. Comparisons to the great Joe Louis stick in the craw of primarily American fans for whom the Russian Robots represent everything wrong with boxing, ignoring that the Klitschko brothers are genuinely Ukrainian, not Russian, and the only thing being wrong with boxing is that fat, spoilt Americans keep on falling behind the rest of the world. It is what it is, an American gag reflex to the current reality.

Facts are there are almost no truly dangerous contenders left for Wlad, so this defense suffices until up and coming contenders Tyson Fury and Kubrat Pulev gain a bit more experience. The WBA shadow champ Alexander Povetkin and his promoter have may have finally mustered up some courage after falling out of previous contracted fights when the Povetkin manager, Vlad Hryunov, put in an outrageous Russian backed $23 million purse bid to win the rights to promote their fight. October 31st is the projected date with the venue not yet chosen, but Russia probably with Moscow as the frontrunner. Wlad receives 75% and Povetkin takes 25% of the proceedings is how purse bids go.

Getting back to the Pianeta defense, many of the usual complainants to claim Pianeta is unworthy and has no chance, but at Wlad’s 37 year maturity with over 20 years of amateur and professional rounds accumulated in sparring and in bouts, lightning could strike to upset the best laid plans of mice and men, even the Wlad juggernaut. Pianeta is certainly big enough, strong enough, skilled enough and credentialed enough to beat up many contenders throughout the heavyweight history as well as versions of previous great champions upset by a huge underdog.

Wouldn’t be the first time, nor the last, so look in to see a bit of history in the making. Wlad seems to have signed a deal with HBO to broadcast the fight to American shores in the late afternoon hours as the battle takes place according to German evening hours, so plenty of Americans to have access this latest waltz round the German ballroom.

Wlad Klitschko’s 50th KO Celebration, aka Mr. David Haye

Flash back 8 years ago and few of Boxing‘s cognescenti and broadcasting wunderkinds would have been predicting the dominant title reign of Wlad Klitschko, but my how the landscape has changed. He’s even been mooted for IBHOF entry by some, but of course a few certain others who need no identification have been publicly picking against him for the duration.

Well, there’s no accounting for their public affinity for self flagellation, but the masochists have a new white knight in shining armour to make their wildest dreams come true when, or rather IF Mr. David Haye takes the long walk to the ring to toe it up against the Ring/IBF/WBO/IBO champ who already beat up the geniune undefeated WBA champ, Ruslan Chagaev some two years ago.

I say IF only because Mr. Haye has delivered a series of soft level WBA fights after announcing he would move to the heavy division and clean it up in between walking out on several Klitschko fights. The beleaguered British public failed to read the fine print that it was actually the WBA heavyweight division where he would be taking out the rubbish, so they made Mr. Haye something of a reality media star. By natural progression of their modern reality world, they figure this fracas is to be Mr. Haye’s coronation into King David, so they will be flocking to tune in come what may of the result.

Hayemaker Time

Hayemaker Time

At one time Mr. Haye was actually a blood and guts action warrior who briefly held the cruiserweight titles, but that seems ages ago. As a heavyweight contender, he has followed the three ring circus approach much in the way of Odlanier Solis who was demolished in the first round by brother Vitali last March.

I imagine Mr. Haye’s brain trust looked at that fight and plan to break out his fleet footed strategy that takes him into later rounds where presumably he will have a better feel for having his face jabbed into mincemeat.

I will be more than happy to give Mr. Haye due credit if he upsets the big favorite, but given the farcical nature of his heavyweight career with his general disrespect of fans and boxing, Mr. Haye has earned a level of disrespect that cannot easily be dismissed.

WBA Beatdown #1

WBA Beatdown #1

The easy prediction is Wlad notches his 50th knockout in a walkover . His trainer, Manny Steward has been predicting all these great things Wlad is going to do, but he’s a very cautious technician who prefers to set his own tempo, so I look for a late KO as he carefully walks down Mr. Haye much like he did Eddie Chambers.

If Mr. Haye wants to come straight at Wlad early, that would be thrilling for fans, but Wlad made easy work of the previous WBA champ, Ruslan Chagaev, and similar results are expected against their newest WBA hopeful, Mr. Haye.

Objectivity deserves a better place in boxing though, so Mr. Haye either has to produce a dynamic performance well above his previous efforts, not likely at this stage of his career, or Wlad has to revert back to the form of one of his 3 losses.

Could Mr. Haye leverage one of those off performances?

The best and most comprehensive win over Wlad was when the tricky fast handed South African southpaw Corrie Sanders put him down 5x for the TKO stoppage, but what is forgotten in that fight was the unintentional headbutt to Wlad before the first punch landed.

The strangest loss was to Lamon Brewster who absorbed a ferocious beat down and survived two knockdowns when Wlad mysteriously ran out of steam and collapsed after the bell ended the 5th round. Oddsmakers suspended betting on that fight days before because of a mysterious surge for Brewster who scarcely landed a punch on Wlad.

Wlad’s first ever loss was to big journeyman, Ross Puritty, who also absorbed a beatdown for the ages through 11 rds, a fight he could’ve been stopped for being noncompetitive. He surprised the tiring 22 year old Wlad with a sudden attack good enough that Wlad’s trainers threw in the towel.

This is Wlad’s 59th pro fight and a fighter only has so many bullets to fire, so even Clint Eastwood had to ask the punk, “Are you feeling lucky today?

“Well, do you Mr. Haye?”

Alternately entitled Dirty Wlad’s WBA Beatdown #2, coming soon enough(we hope and pray with fingers crossed xx), Saturday, July 2nd at Imtech-Arena, Hamburg, Germany.

Montreal Shimmers As Pascal Glimmers, But Hopkins To Steal The Shine?

Jean Pascal is the latest shining star coming out of a golden era of Montreal fighters, and he means to risk all that glimmers against the aging ring legend, Bernard Hopkins, who can strip the shine off the Sun when his spoiling neurons are all firing in correct sequence.

The best action of this fight might well be the prefight quotes:

Hopkins:  “There is no magic trick to this. December 18 you are going to see me win this fight. Not just go the distance, but win by TKO or stoppage.”

Pascal: ”I went to high school and I had great grades. I went to college and I have my diploma. What I know about you is you’re dangerous and you’re deadly but you’re dirty. That’s three Ds, so you failed the class.”

For Hopkins the prize is becoming the oldest fighter, one month short of 46 years, to claim a stake to a major title with Pascal holding the WBC, IBO, and Ring belts with the glittering vacant WBC “Diamond” belt being tossed in for grabs as well.

Be a nice bounty of booty for the old man if he can pull it off, but the sad truth is that with respect for two notable exceptions, the old man hasn’t been all that for a fair number of years now. He’s coming off of a disgraceful travesty against Roy Jones and a torpid performance against Enrique Ornelas who at least managed to leverage his own loss to the ring legend into a title challenge to WBO supermiddleweight champ, Robert Stieglitz.

The notable exceptions where Hopkins wowed the boxing cogsnetti sufficiently to maintain himself in the always mysterious myriad of boxing rankings are a signature masterclass against middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik at a 170lb catchweight in 2008, and his lifting the Ring belts off an aging, bloated Antonio Tarver in 2006. He has steadfastly refused to face any of the legitimately ranked lightheavies in the division since he dethroned Tarver, and now he’s going against a prime aged one in Jean Pascal in the Lion’s own den.

Pretty Enough For Now

Pretty Enough For Now

Pascal is quite the surprising choice given that Hopkins turned down big money against Danny Green to fight a Roy Jones coming off a devastating 1st round knockout loss to Green. Hopkins may not be all that anymore, but he’s still got a cagey predator’s mind and he sees what I see, huge holes in Pascal’s style that can be exploited.

It also helps his risk/reward decision making process that this is about the last big money option left to him, and it fell into his lap, so why not?

Let’s take a look at the weaknesses of Pascal that Hopkins means to exploit, but first we should acknowledge Pascal’s strengths, that of being prime aged, durable, strong, quick and talented with a fiery fighter’s heart. In short, a handful for anyone in the ring.

In Pascal’s only loss against Carl Froch, he fought in bursts and became visibly fatigued as the fight progressed, lacking any consistency. Froch pulled away by fighting a steady, disciplined basic boxing plan that piled on the points at the end. That fight was closely contested as were his fights against Diaconu and Dawson, meaning that Pascal has yet to show any significant class that would vault him over his peers. Most recently, he was quite fortunate to get an opportune hometown Technical Decision ruling at a point where Dawson had Pascal hurt yet again and ready to go.

Pascal’s style of using great bursts of activity combined with his helter skelter ring movement and skittish jumping about that left him fatigued and off balance are all targets to be zeroed in on by Boxing Judo Grandmaster Hopkins. One could almost envision him orchestrating Pascal to leap through the ropes to bung up his previously dinged up shoulder on the arena floor ala Kermit “The Froggie” Cintron.

Hopkins means to use that shoulder injury and lack of balance as fulcrum points to yank his shoulder out during the inside fighting and pop his signature flash right hand to send the off balanced Pascal tumbling to the canvas for scoring knockdowns. Typically Hopkins slows the fight to his pace by use of the “walk-around”, getting the other fighter to follow him around which he controls by flash right hand counters and then resting on the ropes in the defensive mode, soaking up opponent energy.

Pascal will be forced by the home venue and the advanced age of Hopkins to be the aggressor, but it remains to be seen if he can fight a controlled, consistent fight plan with some nuance to offset the spoiling Hopkins tactics. It could be an easy fight with a good chance for a knockout such are his natural physical attributes over Hopkins, or it could be another classic Hopkins stinker, the choice is Pascal’s.

Hopkins has stated that he will knock out Pascal, but Hopkins ain’t the Archie Moore legend he fancies himself as, barely able to ding a bag of popcorn these days, so it would be a slap in the professional face of Pascal if he allows the old man to clown him.

Can Pasqual man up to the unenviable task ahead, or is he just another pretty boy sporting some shiny baubles for ol’ Gollum to steal from him?

Que sera, sera, what will be, will be, so we shall see what we shall see, que sera, sera…..

Wlad Klitschko vs Derek Chisora, Robbing the Cradle?

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See updated Fightnews link:

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/klitschko-chisora-off-69636

Wlad is rightfully staying as busy as he can like his brother, Vitali, lining up as many challengers as their schedules will reasonably allow. So, for Wlad’s latest defense, he’s lined up Derek Del Boy Chisora for a December 11th defense at SAP-Arena, Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. 

 
 

Practicing Pirouettes

Practicing Pirouettes

 

Joe Louis famously took the busy route as he put up his heavyweight crown against a record number of contenders to let the people see the full measure of a great, undisputed heavyweight reign. The boxing writers of the day referred to this phase as his Bum of the Month Club, but looking back on that era, most were Ring ranked fighters at the time that he fought them.

It’s just that Louis knocked them out in such rapid succession, it followed that new names had to be dredged up to replace the knocked out old names, which made the new contenders seem less than they were to the boxing press.

Fast forward 70 yrs later and we have the great grandsons stocking this era’s boxing press whining about the poor state of the heavyweight division, an academic case in point refuting the theory of the advancement of evolution.

Nothing has changed!

This being the uber-modern 3rd millennium era where the various champions are often challenged to fight even twice a year, generally the fans appreciate when an active champion comes along. What has happened with the brothers is that Wlad and Vitali have by necessity split up Louis’ duties, dividing the belts and the fighters according to need. They will have fought 11x in the two year period since Vitali made his return to the ring before year’s end.

Like Louis, they have quickly exhausted the supply of ranked name fighters, so now it’s Wlad’s turn to select a heavyweight challenger that some claim is unqualified, Derek Chisora, 14-0, 10 KO. Chisora steadily crept up to a # 12 boxrec ranking and 10th by the WBO, so he certainly does hold some qualifications and also titles, the British and Commonwealth, even if he is unable to pass the sniff test of the usual long nosed suspects still shameless enough to pass themselves off as critics these days.

The BBC even went so far as to pen a piece proclaiming “Brave Chisora in too deep.

”Oh dear.

Yet nary a whimper when  game local domestic Rendall Munroe flew all the way over to Tokyo to take on a dominant Japanese champion with one punch knockout power. Must be OK when a happy little hard working binman takes a beating in beeb world one supposes, but let’s be worried about big, strong, unruly probationers now, eh?

Well, such are the misguided sensibilities of many in the newest blinkered era, and since it has been previously proven that boxing writers don’t evolve, but only breed successors, what’s say we skip past all the nonsense and break down the fight and the fighters?

You can check out the current consensus top 25 heavy contenders in a previous article addressing the “Klitschko dilemma” here. Not much has changed:

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/the-heavyweight-dilemma-vitali-klitschko-vs-shannon-briggs/

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2010/05/28/the-battle-of-the-weakest-links/

Using historical context from the much acclaimed “Golden Era” of boxing as a base level of comparison, Muhammad Ali defended against Sir Henry Cooper who was the British, Commonwealth, and EBU heavyweight champion, the first two titles of which Chisora already holds. Cooper only sported a 33-11-1 record, hardly the kind of superior record modern boxing fans demand in fighters these days.

Ali followed that by defending against Brian London, 35-13, who had been beaten twice by Cooper for those titles. In his 2nd reign as heavyweight champ, Ali defended against Richard Dunn, 33-9, who also held a couple of those titles. Cooper and London were 32 yrs of age for those bouts, Dunn was 31 for his.

Derek Del Boy Chisora is undefeated and only a couple of weeks from turning 27 by fight night, the start of traditional peak years for athletes. Whatever ring experience he may lack, he’s certainly more qualified than a Pete Radamacher, he of the zer0 wins-zer0 losses-zer0 ties record, and Leon Spinks, 7-0-1 when they challenged Floyd Patterson and Ali for their undisputed titles as two more examples of heavyweight title history.

At a blocky 240 lbs, Chisora is 40 to 60 lbs stronger than any of the above mentioned Ali challengers were, which is exactly what is needed in modern 12 rd fights against supersized champions where knockdowns are scored and fights are often stopped quicker than in the past.

Speaking of stoppages: Unlike the 8 stoppages(Dunn), 5(London), and 5(Cooper) sported going into their Ali title challenges, Chisora has never been stopped as another point of comparison. This also happens to be Wlad’s 11th straight title match since 2006, so it becomes impossible to keep unplucked top ranked fighters propped in place at that pace of activity with his brother also picking from the rankings tree.

It may be heresy to suggest the obvious, but I’d reckon Chisora to knock out the above mentioned three brave British contenders at the point of their Ali title challenges, even if all were scheduled on the same night if he shows up as ready and fit as he was for the Sexton rematch if I fancied playing the silly card.

The good spin: Chisora’s promoter is the highly experienced Frank Warren who will make sure Chisora is properly prepared. All of Wlad’s belts would be a huge prize to take back to the Warren stable. Chisora is coming off a short but competitive fight in September, so he’s had plenty of time to recover and plenty of time for training that should see him in the condition of his prime life.

The bad spin: Wlad is coming off a dominant beating and knockout of Sam Peter, a championship fighter in the same size, shape, and approximate style of Chisora.

Chisora has something of a punch though, so if he can keep himself in the bout long enough to land it, he will have more of a puncher’s chance in this fight than many in the division would. Nobody has ever successfully outboxed Wlad, so power and stamina has proven to be the key to the few wins over him, that and the durability to soak up one of the most damaging offensive arsenals in history, certainly not a task for everyone.

Thing is, does Del Boy have the proper motivation?

He only turned to boxing as part to please a probation officer after a life of petty crime. After he gutted out the early stinging pain of the ring and started to rise through the ranks, he has scarcely availed himself of the sizable opportunities that come with being an acclaimed British heavyweight, preferring to land on the wrong side of the law and the British Board of Boxing Control, so it’s possible that he may lose the prize plum that fell into his lap, a challenge to the most heralded heavyweight champ of this era.

Hundreds of strong, talented heavyweight contenders through the eras have fought their guts out in the ring, yet never were granted such a stellar opportunity.

Chisora’s latest crime of tossing his “girlfriend” on the bed for a spanking would be good for some laughs with the bad lads he hangs out with but for the string of previous assaults on his record. The visage of a hulking professional boxer slapping down a petite lass at either end with his prize knock out mitts is not something the authorities can just blindly ignore in the face of such a long rap sheet.

Perhaps Chisora should look carefully at his own words in a recent interview:

“Let’s not kid each other. David doesn’t want to fight the Klitschkos. He hasn’t got a chance against them and he knows that. Haye is a good guy but he’s in the wrong sport. Let me fight Wladimir or Vitali. I ain’t scared.”

Can his promoters keep the young miscreant on a leash to keep him out of jail long enough to make it to the scratch line come fight night?

That’s how Mike Tyson finally came to be handled during his comeback from prison. He was given a minder who kept up with his every move, alerting the team when he was trying to scale the fences so he could be contained from yet another public assault charge until the fight could be completed and everyone got paid.

Wlad has gotten to be an old pro at finding emergency replacements after so many challengers have fallen out before the first bell sounded for various reasons, so he has a few names in training with contract terms agreed upon at this very moment hoping to hear the call for an opportunity of a life time if or when Chisora falls out.

The Consummate Pro @Training
The Consummate Pro @Training

Del Boy locked and loaded in the Klitschko breech. Time to Rumble pending countdown of the endless legal woes and suspensions of Chisora.

A dud or a live round?

Stay tuned on December 11th and all to be answered.

Danny Green vs BJ Flores, The Barbie Down Under

In Tribute to the Haye vs Harrison @ Handbags English classic riposte staged last Saturday, the Aussies, not to be outdone, they are staging their own Commonwealth special down under tie-me-kangaroo-down-mate classic when Danny The Green Machine Green tops it off against BJ El Peligroso Flores.

Green’s Green Machine ring moniker is spot on with him nearing 38 yrs old with at least a couple of retirements, yet raking in millions in recent fights drawn from a junkyard of rusted out hulks who never fought again.

It follows that BJ, (wonder what his parents were thinking when they hung him with that little jewel?), well, BJ’s ring moniker, El Peligroso, translates to The Danger, with the danger in this case being that Green may add him to his collection of cadavers he keeps.

The Blowout

The Blowout

Oh, I need to amend the above to note that Green did stage a 1st round knockout on the legendary Roy Jones in a disputed fight where Jones claimed Green packed his gloves illegally, but regardless, Jones somehow manages to retain some ranking and is still active, so Jones sorta made himself the exception.

Poor Flores has no such credentials as the former supermiddle and light heavy WBC and WBA champ that Green very briefly was. Green is currently on his 4th defense of his IBO cruiser title now, with all his IBO title fights ending in early knockout.

The only recognizable name on Flores ledger is Darnell Ding-a-Ling Wilson,  a powerful, but inconsistent former contender, a credible win, but otherwise, it’s been a very modest cast of journeymen, winning some minor cruiser belts. The IBO title might qualify minor in some quarters, but it’s a step above anything Flores has won. Oh, and then I guess there’s his own stand in for Roy Jones, a first round demolition of one Ali Supreme, so there it is!

Sounds like a mismatch, eh?

But wait, there’s more! Green has matured into a natural 185 pounder in a 200lb division, and Flores fought the first half of his undefeated, 24-0-1, 15 KO career as a heavyweight before moving to cruiser, so if Green comes in at his normal weight, Flores is likely to be at 210+ lbs in the ring, at least a 25 lb advantage or more. There have been catchweight rumors and financial incentives, so we shall see soon enough.

El Peligroso

El Peligroso

Flores is younger too, right in traditional prime years at age 31 with low ring mileage, whereas Green is nearing 38 years. He does look a strong, fit 38 though he has yet to be tested.

But, wait, Flores hasn’t fought in over a rusted year, so is not ranked in many places anymore. Wonder what the sporting odds of him never fighting again after this fight are? We might never see him in the ring again.

Will he get sucked into The Green Machine topsy turvy upside down under parallel boxing world to be  dressed up, waxed, and spit out as Green’s latest addition to his cadaver collection?

Flores should be afraid, very afraid.

Bernard Hopkins was, backing out of an agreed deal with Green after more sober reflection of Green’s dramatic knockout of Jones. Hopkins hopped the greener pastures fence to take on Jones in their all time stinker passed off as their way overripe rematch for easier money.

Flores looks like he’s gonna make the ring march though, and damned if anyone knows what will really happen, or if they do, I sure ain’t in on it, but it’s likely to be dramatic, controversial, and comical theatre wrapped in a ring enigma to be tossed on the barbie. Might be worth the watch if you’re up and about come November 17th, Aussie time.

No Way, Sonny

No Way, Sonny

9/11, Wladimir Klitschko vs Sam Peter Reprised

This coming Saturday, September 11th, Wladimir Klitschko and Sam Peter reprise their classic IBF eliminator match in 2005 that saw Klitschko hit the deck several times against the greatly feared, wide swinging, undefeated clubber who entered the bout at 24-0, 21 KOs.

Peter was on a horrific tear through the division back then and the general feeling in boxing was that Wlad had no heart for combat, and worse, was afflicted with a glass jaw that would quickly shatter.

The Champ

The Champ

It Seems like a distant, fuzzy era light years removed from the current heavyweight scene that has seen Wlad on a fine current run of dominance, going for his 10th straight title win and his 9th knockout. He not only holds the IBF title, but also the WBO, IBO, and more tellingly, the Ring belt, finally fulfilling the promise he held as a gangly 20 yr Olympic Gold Medalist, touted as the savior of the heavyweight division when he turned pro.

The Belts

The Belts

Wlad won that first confrontation with Peter, doing something that his critics said he couldn’t do, and that is overcoming adversity by regrouping his form and going about the task of picking Peter apart until the final bell ended the 12th round.

Peter disputed the decision, wanting a rematch, but the Fates had already set each out on separate paths, only to come back full circle after having run 5 years of boxing’s tortuous gauntlets.

Peter returns as a former WBC champion, having dropped his crown to Wlad’s older brother, Vitali, a couple of years ago. After a lethargic loss to Eddie Chambers in his next bout, Peter has won all 4 of his last bouts by knockout, and, just having turned 30 years of age a few days before the rematch, Peter is near the age of a traditional athletic peak.

Wlad will rightly be a big odds favorite due to his near invincible form since the 1st Peter fight in contrast to Peter’s pair of failures against Vitali and Chambers. Wlad is also 34 yrs old in his 58th career bout which is pushing the envelope for modern heavies.

Nigerian Nightmare Lite
Nigerian Nightmare Lite

Meanwhile, Peter has transformed himself since those losses, dropping some 25 lbs of weight from his ample frame as can be seen in this training photo.

Potentially he should be about as quick afoot or quicker than he was in the first bout, but the question arises as to what style he will utilize?

Since that first bout Peter has reformed his style from crude clubber into a boxer of sorts, but finally was outboxed by Vitali and Chambers. His “Wild Bull of the Pampas” style was effective the first time, putting Wlad in dire straits and needing every fiber of his being to right the sinking ship.

Assisted Boxing

Assisted Boxing

 Of course by the bout’s end, it was Peter hanging on he was so spent. Peter was lucky to hear the final bell.

There is no way Peter can ever outbox Wlad in a million years. Wlad has won almost every round he has boxed in his professional career, so Peter has to outslug him, plain and simple. Can he do it? Peter may be in his 2nd “Reformation” as a fighter, but Wlad has steadily improved his game fight by fight, and more importantly, has earned a bit of swagger in his walk and talk that he lacked before. Whether he has gotten too far afield from his humble Ukrainian roots with the videos and brash talk remains to be seen. Understandably Wlad has been frustrated by dubious antics that saw top contenders David Haye and Alexander Povetkin fall out of scheduled matches that resulted in Wlad being placed in the position of having to search and sign replacement fighters for his defenses these past few years.

I guess it can be seen as a backhanded compliment that the top heavies would rather withdraw to endure the scorn of fans than risk the typical methodical beating followed by a knockout that Wlad lays down on his overmatched opponents.

I don’t recall this phenomena afflicting previous champions, though. Usually top contenders can’t get a title shot soon enough for their satisfaction, but it’s a new era and a softer way of doing business I guess if fighters can move to pick up a weak cheese belt.

Although Peter is a replacement fighter, he is a worthy opponent who has retained a ranking and is very hungry after going on a long diet. He may no longer be the fan favorite on a rampage through the division as he was in the first match, but he does provide the potential for some spectacle that Wlad’s defenses have lacked IF he can connect with a clean shot.

The first fight was one of the most dramatic heavyweight fights of the decade, so I plan on being glued to the rematch.

The "Right" Way

The “Right” Way