by The Cyber Boxing Zone
October-November 1996

by Mike DeLisa (delisa1066@aol.com)

Well, here, finally is another newsletter. Once again, a stellar
group of writers, headed by good friend Randy Gordon.  Randy's
open letter to Holyfield opens the issue and, obviously comes
from the heart.  In addition, we have several takes on the fight. 
You know the one, don't you?


November 15, 1996

Dear Evander,

Congratulations on one of the biggest victories the sport of
boxing has ever seen.  Had your fight taken place one week
earlier, you would have been elected President of the United

For a man who was supposed to be a great cruiserweight, but
have tremendous shortcomings in the heavyweight ranks, your
tremendous boxing ability, coupled with one of the greatest
fighting hearts ever to step inside a ring, has made you one of
history's all-time legendary champions.  It is for this reason I
write to you.  

On November 9, 1996, you capped an incredible career by
doing something you told me years ago you wanted to do.  You
faced and beat Mike Tyson.  Shortly after losing to Riddick Bowe
in November 1995, you said you still had hope of fighting for the
world title just one more time.  You said it meant everything to
you.  Well, on November 9, you got that shot, as well as a shot
against Mike Tyson.  On that night you were everything any
athlete could have ever dreamed of being.  On that night, you
were a great pitcher, capping his sensational career with
yet another no-hitter.  On that night, you were a great
quarterback, engineering a Super Bowl victory over the
highly-favored and defending world champions.  On that night,
your performance must be ranked with one of boxing history's
all-time great performances, and you as one of boxing's all-time
great fighters.  On that night, you put up MVP numbers.  On that
night, you earned yourself 1996's "Fighter of the Year" award, at
least in my book.

Evander, with you I have always known it was not about
money.  With you, the competition and the championship was
forever first.  Then came the money.  With most other fighters,
it's the other way around.  On November 9, you accomplished the
goal you told me you were after.  You captured the "Holy Grail." 
As your friend, I now ask you to fight no more.

Sure, that's such an easy thing for me to say, and such a tough
thing for you to do, especially when you are coming off the
victory of a lifetime and now have countless millions of dollars
staring you in the face.  But, again, I know with you it's not
about money.  It's about that championship and that  victory you
always knew you had inside of you.

While the boxing world talks about a rematch between  you
and Mike Tyson, I ask, "What will that prove?"  I say you should
let us all wonder what would have happened had the two of you
hooked up a second time and maybe even a third time.  You beat
him once and you did so convincingly.  With that, with the
greatest victory any fighter could ask or pray for, I ask you to
call it a career.

The sport of boxing was terribly in the doldrums before your
big victory that night.  It wasn't the victory which was so
uplifting.  It was your spirit.  It was your drive.  It was your
sheer determination to win above anything else.  Your courage
touched the hearts of more people than you realize.

Evander, you are 34 years old.  One day, you'll be 44.  And 54. 
That's how old Muhammad Ali is right now.  Twenty years ago,
Muhammad Ali was 34 and still fighting.  Even after that
legendary battle against Joe Frazier -- "The Thrilla' in Manila"
-- Ali fought on.  We cheered Muhammad to go on, to continue the
battles.  Evander, I cheer you to retire.

You have everything a man could possibly want.  You've got
your family.  You've got money.  You've got your health.  You
also have the respect of an adoring nation.  It is time to stand
on the pedestal -- the way you did on the pedestal in Los Angeles
12 years ago -- and let the world cheer a great champion.  No,
you didn't win a gold medal then -- though you should have -- but
you've got the gold now.  You've got it all. You'll be able to
keep it all if you hang those gloves up from this
moment on.

Five years from now, you'll be elected into the Boxing Hall of
Fame.  I look forward to being in the crowd in Canastota, New
York, that day, as they place the Hall of Fame ring on your
finger, and you enter The Hall, alongside boxing's other
immortalized legends.

I know you will pray to find an answer to whether or not you
should retire now or continue with your magnificent career.  In
that case, I too, will pray, for I believe I already have the

No matter what your decision, you are my friend, and I will
always be in your corner.

                         My love and respect,
                         Randy Gordon

Date: 96-11-14 
by derek@intex.ie

                       (WBO Super Middleweight Title)
                            Nynex Arena, Manchester
                     November 9, 1996

Nigel Benn is a fighter who has been tapering out following a
spectacular career of wars and "tear - ups," as he calls them 
himself. Like Evander Holyfield he had to go to the well on
Saturday night in an attempt to rekindle the old fire. Unlike
Evander Holyfield, Benn's well was dry.

Steve Collins -- who pushed Chris Eubank into retirement last
year  with back-to-back decisions over the former champion - has
forced a similar fate upon "The Dark Destroyer." By the time
Benn's corner retired their man Collins had firmly established
his dominance over the challenger.

Sparks flew between these two men in the build -- up to the event
-- Collins predicting that he would retire Benn permanently. Benn
was reclusive, and as he entered the ring he seemed as intense
and mean as ever.

The first round was an untidy affair with both men missing the
target wildly. Collins just scraped the round by virtue of his
cleaner punches. In the second, "The Celtic Warrior" again got
through with the better shots and was firing combinations to
answer Benn's single bombs.

Benn landed with some of his better punches in this round --
notably a big left hook halfway through. He is accustomed to
standing in a neutral corner when these shots connect, but
Collins simply walked through them and fought back.

Nigel appeared to be finding his feet in the third, winning the
battle in close quarters -- where the best part of this contest
was fought. He started to put punches together and prevented
Collins from settling by keeping him off balance.  

In round four Benn allowed Collins the space he needed to get his 
punches off, and the Irishman capitalized. Very little came back
from "The Dark Destroyer" and where he fought inside in the
previous round, he held on in the fourth. 

Benn's corner told him at the end of this session that he was
being given one more round, and that they wouldn't watch him
"take a beating." The champion continued to dominate in the fifth
however and -- although Collins is not reputed as a big puncher
-- Benn looked distressed as he shipped heavy right hands. The
fact that Collins was deducted a point in this round for untidy
use of the head was irrelevant, as the judges' scorecards were
never likely to be used.

Benn's defense had deteriorated notably by round six. His work
was more tired and Collins found the target with increasing
regularity.  The Ilford man landed a number of devastating
punches during the course of this fight, but granite -- chinned 
Collins never looked seriously hurt. Full credit to the Irishman
(now 34-3) -- he methodically ground Benn down from the start,
and when the challenger's corner did retire him after round six,
there was no protest from Benn.

The general feeling is that Benn's retirement is for good this
time.  Although Nigel (now 42-5-1) may have gone a bridge too
far, no man has given this writer as much edge-of-the seat 
thrills as "The Dark Destroyer."  We wish him all the happiness
he deserves.

                           (WBO Featherweight Title)
                        Manchester, 9 November 1996

Somebody's "0" had to go in this contest, and if you wanted to
bet it would be Molina's the odds were 1 - 20. Justifiably so, as
"Naz" demolished the Argentinean for his ninth win in the second

The Prince was back on form here - cynics would say this was due
to the caliber of the opposition - and he exorcized the ghost of
his performance in August with a chilling display of power. 

Introduced as "Britain's most exciting champion," Hamed looked 
completely relaxed entering the ring -- as Molina sat in his
corner wearing headphones and a towel over his head in an effort
to avoid intimidation. The champion attempted to win the fight
with a single punch, a right hand at the first bell which missed 

In the first round there was a marked improvement in Hamed's
defense.  He rolled his upper body impressively to avoid the same
shots which Medina caught him with. Although he would never admit
it, I feel Hamed's confidence was diminished by his last two
performances. This fight saw the Naz ego soar back up, and we
were even treated to some showboating in the second. Molina
showed tremendous heart in the second round as Naseem began to 
catch him with devastating punches. The challenger caught a 
phenomenal amount of bombs as Naz launched an attack -- in the
second minute of the second round, where he predicted he would
win -- and somehow stayed on his feet.

Molina finally fell however from a right uppercut -- straight
left combination. He rose at seven and although he fought back,
he did so on legs of jelly. Naz refused to let him off the hook
and stopped Molina on his feet at 2:32 of the round. Thirty two
seconds off an exact prediction -- how many current champions can 
measure their opponents with such precision?

                       (WBO Light Middleweight Title)
                         Manchester, 9 November, 1996

Ronald "Winky" Wright retained his World title by comprehensively 
out pointing Manchester's Ensley Bingham over the twelve round 

After this -- his first defense -- Wright (now 36-1) must be
recognized as one of the World's top pound-for-pound boxers, and
can not be written off against any of the champions at this
weight. With slightly more power behind his punches, Wright would
be a carbon copy of Roy Jones Jr.

Bingham received a thunderous reception from the 22,000 -- strong 
crowd at the offset. As Wright got down to business however the
crowd became muted and settled down to watch a superb exhibition
of the noble art -- sadly at the expense of the local challenger. 

We all wondered what would happen when Bingham landed his big
left hook, but at the end of twelve rounds we were still
wondering. Wright kept Bingham off balance throughout with his
crisp, fast punches and dazzling footwork. Even when Wright stood
in front of the challenger and traded in the later rounds,
Bingham couldn't catch him cleanly.

The Florida man's dominance was reflected accurately in the 
scorecards which read 120-109, 119-109 and 119-110, as Bingham 
suffered his first loss in four years.

                             (8*3min Heavyweights)
                        Manchester, 9 November, 1996

Herbie Hide took his second step back towards a World title by 
knocking out Frankie Swindell at 0:59 of the first round.

Swindell (now 30-13-1) looked very flabby and didn't manage to
land a punch on Hide -- who scaled a lean 15st8lbs. Although one
can't tell a lot from a fight of this nature against Swindle
(oops!!!), Hide (now 28-1) looks to have regained his old

by GorDoom

The Old Spit Bucket is one of those "Ye of little faith. . ."
kinda guys. I'm not proud of it; it's just a fact -- Jack . . .
But last night, watching Evander Holyfield take Iron Mike Tyson
apart it made me realize the power of faith. I still don't have
any -- but now I respect it. Evander for this one glorious night,
truly was the Christian holding the Barbarian at the Gate.

We live in a world replete with barbarians . . . We have Army
Drill Instructors drilling recruits in ways no one had here to
fore thought of . . . We have foreigners trying to buy their way
to favor thru presidential campaigns . . . Mother's driving their
children into lakes . . . OJ Simpson literally getting away with
murder . . . Y' get the drift, all our sensibilities are under
attack . . . But I'm not paranoid -- just aware. In real life the
good guys rarely win & the venal find heaven on earth & that's
why Evander Holyfield's stunning victory over  Tyson resounds so
strongly with the general public. Finally a decent, non-self
aggrandizing & trash talking athlete makes good, surmounting all
the odds & not only wins, but wins with dignity.
These days, most noticeably in B Ball many of the athletes are
more like Gangsta/Rapper street thugs than professional athletes.
You have Rodman headbutting a ref, that Laker, Van Exel who threw
the ref across the table, attitude ridden, trash talking, women
abusing football players & smug over payed baseball players. We
live in a society were a kid can interfere with the flight of the
ball in the playoffs, possibly costing the other team a victory &
he's hailed as a freakin' hero!??. . . You have Mike Tyson's
thuggish entourage, -- Team Tasteless & on & on . . . That's why
sports figures like Cal Ripken & Evander Holyfield stand so far
above the crowd. Their no bullshit approach to their sports which
they conduct with true dignity & reserve is a gasping breath of
fresh air in the miasma we live with.  They stand as lonely
examples of substance over style.  They stand as men among a
throng of self absorbed, greedy, whining, bores.

This fight will rank as one of the four greatest upsets in modern
heavyweight boxing history.  Only Clay/Liston, The Rumble In the
Jungle & Tyson/Douglas can compare in sheer shock value.  Once it
became apparent that Evander was cleaning Tyson's clock, the
shock I felt was visceral in it's impact.  Ron Borges of the
Boston Globe was the only boxing writer from 25 major daily
newspapers that picked Holyfield to win.  Who can blame them,
given the circumstances & questions swirling around Evander?  
The Bucket is not ashamed to admit he really blew the call on
this one . . . I have to say I've never been happier to be so
wrong in my life.

Holyfield's accomplishment is truly monumental, transcending
boxing & even the sports world . . . A victory for the spirit of
the human condition.  It was an upset on a level of Joe Namath's
call in the '69 Super Bowl.  Evander, like Namath before him, was
so utterly confident & self assured in his victory call -- a call
not made out of over blown ego -- that like Namath, Ali & very
few other sports stars he is now an athlete for the ages.

It is my fervent  hope that Evander decides to retire (he won't),
& goes out in a blaze of glory.  Unfortunately that's probably
not going to be how the Mercedes Bends.  I hope Evander realizes
that he is in a unique position, not unlike Big George after he
slam dunked Moorer.  Before this fight, Holyfield would never
have been ranked in the top ten all-time heavyweights.  He was
viewed as one of the second tier of heavyweight champions.  On a
level with Schmeling, Charles, Walcott  & a few others.  With
this victory Holyfield must now be ranked among the upper
echelons of heavyweight champions.  This is something that I
believe is important to Evander.  He doesn't fight for  money or
ego -- he fights for respect & stature.  It is unlikely that
Evander can psyche himself up to fight like this again & those
physical crisis with Bowe, Moorer & Czyz were not aberrations.  I
believe that Holyfield somehow overcame them by sheer will & his
devout faith.  Whether he can do it again at the soon to be age
of 35, is not a question I particularly want to see answered.  If
he retires he's got a ticket straight to the Hall Of Fame (even
if he had lost, he would have deserved it), instead he'll
probably fight on & inevitably get waxed like he did in his last
fight with Bowe.  That would be a shame, because like Big George
he will devalue his incredible accomplishment in the public
perception;  as well as taking risks with his health that are
totally unnecessary.  The sport of boxing doesn't need another
all-time great champion ending up like Ali . . .

===================   Gloves Off!   ==========================

By David Farrell

November 9, 1996 - A Night to Remember

Going into the Holyfield-Tyson fight, I could only think of one
thing:  Liston-Patterson.  You know, classy small guy with
average talent gets absolutely demolished by brutalizing bully. 
Sure, there are differences between the two cases you could point
out.  Like Evander often shaves off his beard right before a
fight, while Floyd dons a beard right after the fight.  But the
analogy just couldn't escape me.  And when I thought about it
deeper, Holyfield's troubles against Bert Cooper came to mind,
and Tyson's steam rolling of Michael Spinks.  Recipe for a short
main event, with two sure 12 rounders on the undercard.

I'm not the only person, of course, that was WAY WAY off. 
Instead of Liston-Patterson, we got Clay-Liston.  Or Ali-Foreman. 
You know, the bully gets stood up to and humiliatingly deflated
before our eyes.  Several have also compared the fight to the
Ali-Frazier battles.

I'll leave details of the fight to others, I just wanted to write
about how this fight made me feel soooo good. . . You simply
couldn't write a better recipe.  Congratulations to all the fans
that picked Evander to win (or more specifically those who laid
money on him!).

It was particularly satisfying to see Tyson get his own medicine
handed to him, similar to the way the usually dirty R. Bowe was
low blowed into submission by Andrew Golota.  Holyfield fought
like a real bastard -- forearms, elbows, holding & wrestling, a
headbutt here, a low blow there.  There's no way I'm gonna feel
sorry for anything anybody does to Tyson.  Also particularly
shocking was Evander's punching efficiency in the 10th and 11th
rounds.  He had hurt Moorer, Mercer, and Bowe but was totally
unable to finish them.  Not so Saturday night, when every shot he
threw in the last minute or so was deadly accurate.

What a shakeup this fight does to the all time rankings. 
Holyfield and Tyson pretty much switch places, with Tyson exiting
the top ten to become a 2nd tier champ, while Holyfield leapfrogs
the Jersey Joes and Sonny Listons to join the rarefied air of the
best of the best.  There is nothing that even winning a rematch
could do to enhance Holyfield's standing, so unless he attempts
to unify the title, I wish he'd just retire.  Speaking of the
unification tournament, isn't it funny how they change the
brackets to allow Tyson an immediate rematch?  Well, money talks;
gotta love that Don King.

To speak about Tyson for a minute, he just didn't offer much of a
fight.  Just one good combination in the 5th round.  Was his
corner pathetic or what?  I do give him credit for one thing
(besides being gracious in defeat):  my elevated heart rate
throughout the fight.  Because it's Mike Tyson, you stay glued to
the edge of your seat all the way to the end, waiting to see if
he turns it around with one punch.  I actually had the same score
as two of the judges did -- Holyfield up by two going into the
tenth.  Tyson wins the first two minutes of the tenth, with the
possibility of pulling out the fight, when Evander shellacks him
into a 10-8 round.  Up by 4 going into the 11th, and nite-nite
Iron Mike.

Finally, I watched this fight in a bar in Key West while on
vacation with my wife.  The weather in Key West is very nice. The
weather here in Chicago sucks.  Just wanted to say that.  Anyway,
this guy at the bar and I were joking that we'd do a shot every
time Evander hit Tyson.  Became a damn sick joke around the 4th
round or so. . .

Bowe-Golota II:  Let's Get it On!!!
Well, wrong as I can be when trying to pick 'em (see
Holyfield-Tyson above), I don't mind saying, and GorDoom and
Mikey D.L. will back me up on this. . . I called it!!!  Predicted 
he Bowe-Golota I outcome to a 'T' right up to when the riot

I figured that Bowe had never seen a power puncher his whole
career.  If Evander Holyfield is a warrior then Andrew Golota is
a mediaeval dungeon torture master, or a Gestapo agent.  One mean
sunavabitch, for which Bowe's 40 previous fights would be scant
preparation.  Taking Golota's size and athletic ability into
account, I figured that once in the ring we might see that "Get
Me Outta HEEERE" look on Bowe's face and that he would, if not
lose, come out of the fight severely (permanently?) damaged.

Sound familiar?

And while I enjoyed watching it almost as much as the Tyson-Holy
scrap, I am looking forward to the rematch much more so.  Party
at Dave's for this one. 

What am I looking for this time?

Well, we all know Bowe could hardly be any worse than on that
night.  But think how much damage was done; he lost Eddie Futch
and God knows how much mentally.  This is not the bravest guy in
the world we're talking about here to begin with; how many people
have years of nightmares over Lennox Lewis?!?  One can only
wonder how many helpings of chittlins' it took to console Big
Daddy.  And although he was badly out of shape, should that make
your jab slower in the first round?  No way -- even Big George
and Buster Douglas, when they first reentered a gym at well over
300 lbs., were surprised to note that they still had their jab. 
Riddick Bowe will NEVER get into top condition, and Golota is one
of those fighters that just zaps your energy (note how Danell
Nicholson looked exhausted much the same as Bowe).

One final point is that, although Golota certainly won't be
allowed to throw low blows anymore, Riddick Bowe won't be allowed
to rabbit punch anymore either, and that is a far greater loss. 
The overhand right to behind the ear is by far Bowe's best punch. 
It's interesting to note that, in the NY State Athletic
Commision's rule book, a low blow is considered a minor foul (due
to assumed protection from the supporter), while a rabbit punch
is considered a major foul (due to potential damage to the

I predict a close fight at the beginning, with Golota slowly
picking up steam midway to take the fight over an exhausted and
battered Bowe.  Big Daddy just does not have the heart for 12
rounds of that kind of battle.

Paz Should be Banned for Life
I know the Pazienza-Rosenblatt fight was a couple months back,
but looking at The Ring magazine article about it last night, I
was thinking:  Paz should be not fined, nor suspended for a time,
but banned for life by the NJSAC for his conduct that evening.  

A review of his transgressions shows the following:  Following a
flash knockdown in the opening round, Pazienza sprung to his feet
and cold cocked Dana Rosenblatt.  Although Rosenblatt is
compelled to "protect himself at all times", this was
nevertheless an extremely dangerous maneuver that should've at
minimum levied a point deduction.  Fast forwarding to the
stoppage, which was a remarkable comeback by the Pazman, and we
see Vinny knocking the ref over and continuing to rain haymakers
on his defenseless foe for several seconds before Larry Hazzard
could restrain him.  This was after the referee clearly motioned
for a TKO stoppage. 

Why meter out a lifetime suspension?  Well, I hope you agree that
it was reprehensible conduct.  Now the question to me is, what
does a fine of several thousand dollars do to a multimillionaire? 
Basketball and Football players typically laugh at the fines
levied against them.  A suspension of, say, one year would be
fairly serious against a 26 year old, prime fighter.  But
thirtysomething Pazienza, in the twilight of his career, fights
once a year at most anyway.  So once again, no punishment at all
there.  The only way I feel actions as reckless and dangerous as
Paz's can be effectively dealt with is a lifetime ban.  New
Jersey (and other states in sympathy) should say, in effect,
"Nice knowin' ya, but we don't want your business anymore." 

Fights to Place On the Camacho-Leonard Card
In keeping with the old fogies theme:

Big George vs. Larry Holmes (Sue me, I still want to see it)

Ferdie Pacheco vs. Larry Merchant (A grudge match if there ever
was one)

Flip Homansky vs. Steve Farhood (White guys with bad Afro's)

Don King vs. Rock Newman (What's better, the fight or press

Battle of the State Athletic commissioners: 

NY's Floyd Patterson vs. NJ's Larry Hazzard  (Both still in good

And speaking of Floyd Patterson, anyone ever notice he's had the
exact same haircut for 45 years? 


by a9425912@cfi.waseda.ac.jp (Shun Matsuoka)

Luisito "Koizumi" Espinosa TKO 8 Nobutoshi Hiranaka (11/2/96)

A two time world champ Luisito Espinosa defended his title for
the 3rd time by stopping Hiranaka in the 8th round. Nobutoshi
Hiranaka is a younger brother of Akinobu Hiranaka who won the WBA 
jr. welterweight title by knocking out Edwin Rosario in the 1st

Espinosa used his jabs, left hooks and lateral movement
effectively to outbox an aggressive challenger Hiranaka. 
Hiranaka, a southpaw, was always aggressive, but most of his
punches were avoided by Espinosa. 

Hirana's right eye began to close in the 5th after taking a lot
of left hooks from Espinosa, and it was completely closed by the
7th.  The doctor checked Hiranaka's eye in the 7th, and the ref
then stopped this one-sided fight in the 8th round. Every judge
had it 70-63 in favor of Espinosa before the fight was stopped.

Espinosa won the WBA bantamweight title in the 1989, and defended
it twice. He then won the WBC featherweight title from Manuel
Medina last December and defended it against Alejandro Gonzalez
and Cesar Soto.

Shun Matsuoka

Not that much too write about this last month (October), as my
beloved sport is in one of the most fallow times for good fights
in recent memory.  Before the Ol' Spit Bucket goes off in one of
his screeds I would like to give some acknowledgment to one of
the truly good guys in boxing, Chuck Bodak . . . Some things
exist in darkness & others flourish in the light . . . Sports
like Baseball ( ostensibly ),  or Figure Skating exist in the
bright light of public approbation . . . Other sporting
activities like say pit bull fighting, or Boxing exist under a
deep dark storm cloud of public unease . . . Of course, Boxing
never tries to rectify its predicament; instead it consistently
shoots itself down 'cause the people who run it basically don't
give a shit about anything except lining their own pockets . . .
Important business figures in the sport consistently make a
mockery of it -- the latest example being the swinish behavior of
Rock Newman after the Bowe-Golota lash up. To this day he refuses
to take any  responsibility whatsoever for the disgrace at the
Garden.  That's why it was such a pleasure this month to find in
the current issue of World Boxing, to find the truly
inspirational story of the life of corner man extrodinaire Chuck 

While most boxing fans (includin' the Bucket's own bad self),
won't know the name, they will recognize his bald head which is
always plastered with a wealth of informational/advertisement 
stickers that must be the envy of every bald NASCAR sponsor out
there; for every fighter whose corner he works in.  Bodak is a
truly unique character that who has worked in boxing for over 50
years.  He has worked with amateurs since the 30's & now works
the corner for Jorge Paez, De La Hoya & many other top left coast
fighters.  Bodak is one of the good guys in boxing.  Read the
article, its a revelation & a reminder for mokes like us -- that 
don't pay the price of the not so sweet, & brutally savage
science . . . Speaking of revelations -- Roy Jones Jr.'s absolute
destruction of Brian Bannon was a stark reminder of how awesome
his talents truly are wasted & a reminder of how far behind the 8
ball my beloved sport is . . . In any other sport, young talents
like Roy, Oscar, Barrera & Hamed would be the stuff of endless
commercials & ESPN fawning in the same way as  Ken Griffey Jr.,
Shaq & Farve have been accorded as they've risen into the
stratospheres of their respective sports . . . But Hey! This is
Boxing we're discussing, not the NFL or even the WWF . . . This
is get down & dirty -- a C hair above out right pimping . . .
It's freakin' Boxing . . . An enterprise even the Ol' Spit Bucket
at times finds appalling . . . but an eternal, bleeding  mirror
of the Human Condition . . .  Boxing -- for any rational human
frijole  is an exercise in the stretching of credulity . . . But
yet, the Bucket is always drawn back by the high drama that
encompasses the sport -- like your basic adrenaline junkie I keep
searching for that final fix of a thrill . . . but it never comes
-- especially in the 90's. 

A lot of people have e-mailed me asking why the Zone recognizes
Frank Liles as the linear super middleweight champion & not
someone as undeniably superior like say, Roy Jones Jr. Well . . .
Yeah, it ain't popular to take an unfavorable public stance --
sometimes you gotta -- 'cause it's the freakin' truth.  I
explained that the linear championship of the super middleweight
division begins with Chong Pal Park; who was recognized &
defended his championship for a couple of years by the WBA (Now
don't anybody take this as an inference that the Bucket thinks 
the WBA is the bee's knees or somethin') . . . But Chong Pal Park
(who while crude, was by no means a bad fighter -- In fact he's
one of the best super middle weight champions in the history of
the division's truncated life), is to paraphrase those gin soaked
19th century British explorers of Africa, "The source of the
Nile", so to speak, of the super middleweight division . . . Now
Roy Jones Jr. is undeniably the best fighter in that division, if
not all of boxing, but he is not the legitimate linear champion
of that division -- Frank Liles is. The same holds true for Big
George.  You win a title in the ring & that's were you lose it.
In George's case there are numerous examples to back this
assertion up.  Let's start with Ali.  In 1965, the WBA in it's
infinite wisdom stripped Ali & bestowed the title on Ernie
Terrell, who held the spurious title until Ali thoroughly kicked
his ass in 1967.  Does this mean Ernie Terrell should be
recognized as a world heavyweight champion?  I don't think so . .
. Another criticism of Foreman is his long stretches of
inactivity followed with bouts against decidedly inferior
competition.  Well, Dempsey didn't fight for 3  years before he
defended against Gene Tunney in their first fight.  Nobody
stripped him of his title.  Joe Louis, Floyd Patterson & Ali
defended against incredibly inept opponents at times during their
careers; do any of these names ring any bells?  Louis:  Nathan
Mann, Johnny Paychek, Al McCoy, Gus Dorazio -- in fact just about
everybody in the "Bum Of The Month Club"!  Floyd Patterson:  Pete
Rademacher, Roy Harris, Tom McNeely (only marginally better than
his son), & others.  Ali:  No one is going to rank opponents like
Alfredo Evangelista, Joe Bugner, Rudi Lubbers, Jean Pierre
Coopman & Richard Dunn among the immortals . . . The point I'm
trying to make is that all champions take time off, sometimes
defend against mediocrities.  Not every fight is the Thrilla In
Manila.  It wouldn't be possible physically & a champion has
earned the right to bide his time & pad the old bank account.  A
champion doesn't get stripped by spurious governing bodies . . .
He loses his title in the ring.

In closing I'd like to discuss Dr. Ferdie Pacheco . . . The Ol'
Spit Bucket thinks the good doctor has taken a bad rap from the
fans & the media the last few years.  It's one thing to criticize
the man's broadcasting style if you want to, hell that's just a
matter of personal taste -- but it's a whole 'nother ball of wax
when he is accused of pandering to Don King & toeing the party
line.  This is truly bull shit & Pacheco proved it during the
broadcast of the Tyson/Holyfield fight.  When it was becoming
obvious that Evander was starting to kick Tyson's ass in the
sixth round, Pacheco called it like it was.  He didn't try to
spin doctor (no pun intended), the viewers into believing we were
seeing something we weren't.  I thought he did a fine job of
explaining to the viewer what was & most importantly what wasn't 
happening in the ring with Tyson.  I've spoken several times with
Dr. Pacheco since the death of Luis Rodrigues, the former welter
champ.  My impression of him is that he's a what you see is what
you get kinda guy.  In other words, not a man of artifice. 
That's why I think it's unfair that he's called a shill for Don
King.  When it was becoming apparent that Ali was coming to the
end of the line, Pacheco was the only person in his entourage who
spoke up against Ali's continued fighting. When it became
apparent that no one was going to listen, he stood on his
principles as a doctor & left Ali's camp.  I venture to say most
people would have stayed on Ali's gravy train until the end of
the lucrative ride.  One other point I'd like to make, Pacheco
works for Showtime, not Don King, with whom he has had quite an
adversarial relationship with over the last 22 years.  I think
enough is enough & the media & the fans should cut the good
doctor some slack . . .

by Dave G. (DscribeDC@aol.com)

"Thing is, Butch, right now, you got ability, but painful as it
may be, ability don't last...this business is filled to the brim
with unrealistic muthafuckas, muthafuckas who thought their asses
was gonna age like wine.  If you mean it turns to vinegar, it
does.  If you mean it gets better with age, it don't..." 

     --Ving Rhames to Bruce Willis, Pulp Fiction (1994) 

Journalists are some lazy muthas.  They take short-cuts.  They
make predictions.  They cook the books.  I had selected a lovely
quote from Quentin Tarantino's breakout hit Pulp Fiction to start
off this article on the Tyson-Holyfield clash, a quote that
summarized how Evander would put all his heart and soul and will
and determination into unseating the malefic Mike Tyson, but
would just not be able to hold up the expectations of the world
on his wobbly, 34-year-old legs.  Of course, I was completely,
utterly, undeniably wrong.  Quentin and Mira Sorvino,
coincidentally enough, were there in person at the MGM Grand
Saturday night to watch Evander give the lie to Marcellus
Wallace's boxing bromides, to watch him knock into a cocked hat
every doubt, misgiving and trepidation of every "expert" who
thought he was too sick, too old, too something-else, to take the 

The papers were full of talk that Holyfield had a snowball's
chance, that he was liable to go back to the dressing room in a
body bag, that, as Charlie Steiner put it, Vander had as much
chance to carry the day as Bob Dole.  He was a shot fighter, an
aging warhorse, the veteran of two unspectacular reigns with only
some evangelical PTL nonsense on his side and a mysterious hole
in his heart.  Funny that the heart should turn out to be his
most indestructible feature.  People snickered when he told
reporters that the "Spirit" would guide his hand, but if the
market sold futures on Jesus every trader on the Street would be
going way, way long come Tuesday morning.  Holyfield is the best
advance man for the guy upstairs since John the Baptist.  After
Saturday night, he's like Lazarus with endorsements. 

Oh yeah, the fight.  On the off chance that you might have been
tagging tortoises in the Galapagos, let me recap.  Evander
Holyfield came out at the opening bell, ducked a fusillade of
Tyson fists that lasted about 45 seconds, then proceeded to hit
Iron Mike with everything but the solid-gold sink in the Elvis
Presley Suite, pummeling him with a battering-ram jab, popping
him with crisp hooks, blocking punches with his heavily-muscled
arms, tying Mike up on his few forays inside, and generally
having his way with the ex-champ like Tyson was a $100/night
tank-town fill-in.  He made it look easy, putting Tyson on the
seat of his scary black trunks in round 6 with a punch that was 
half-hook, half-uppercut, then pasting His Badness within a
sneeze of a knockdown at the end of the tenth stanza.  By that
time it was all over but the celebratory choruses of "U Can't
Touch This"; the first 37 seconds of round 11 were for feminists
and other assorted Tyson-haters only, the champ barely vertical,
utterly befuddled, a defenseless sack of oats receiving
unanswered punches not unlike he did on a certain enchanted
evening six years ago in Tokyo.  After an unimpeded right hand
that had all the makings of a clincher, ref Mitch "I'm
Interfering As Fast As I Can" Halpern mercifully and properly
stepped in to save Tyson the Douglasian indignity of giving the
canvas The Long Kiss Goodnight.  

It was a sensational, jaw-dropping, show-stopping performance by
a lion we had all written off.  But it was more than that.  It
was an object lesson in the power of faith.  It was a changing of
the guard.  And it just may have saved the nasty, brutish and
corrupt sport called boxing from falling off the edge of the
world, at least for another year or so.  

The pre-fight hype and interviews gave the scribes, the fans, the
promoters, little to work with.  Iron Mike had walked all over
three admittedly weak challengers and had shown little
inclination to slow down.  Holyfield had run out of gas and
crashed in his third fight with Riddick Bowe, then puttered
around with blown-up middleweight Bobby Czyz for five rounds
before closing the show.  "I'm going to like this," Tyson said,
anticipating the infliction of untold pain on the guy who had
allegedly disrespected him with the claim that he would never
fight a rapist.  Tyson boasted that Holyfield would have to chop
his arms off to beat him.  The zoot suits in the Tyson camp
whooped it up like a boys' room gang counting stolen lunch money,
high-fiving, telling the press that if EH wasn't
structurally-damaged before the fight, well sir, he would be
afterward.  And what did Evander offer in return?  He sat calmly,
quietly, invoking the power of the Lord, a figure not too often
found within 100 miles of the Vegas fight mob.  He predicted "a
good outcome," a line which sounded more like a Brookings
Institution economist discussing a Federal Open Market Committee
meeting than a prizefighter hawking woof tickets to a major
championship fight.  What the press hacks mistook for passivity
and terror may have been something they simply had not seen
before, confidence leavened with the rarest essence in
professional sports:  humility.  Can you blame them for
forgetting what it sounded like?

So great was public disregard for Evander's purportedly-flagging
abilities that people missed the subtext, the undercurrents.  A
defiant prophet of black rage ("I'm mad at everybody," MT had
said, "I'm mad at my pigeons for not flying high enough"), 2
black 2 strong, set up by the man, emerging from the furnace of
incarceration a [part-time anyway] Muslim to reclaim his throne,
to wreak his vengeance with the hopes and aspirations of millions
of inner-city blacks behind him.  A humble, southern
bible-tapping, blue-collar workaday champ who embodied all the
assimilationist virtues of heartland, middle-class America but
who seemed too tame and socialized and -- well, let's say it --
too white, for folk hero-dom. The samurai vs. the choirboy. 
Nobody even noticed that Tyson-Holyfield, in its own minor-case, 
cactus-league way, was our generation's very own Ali-Frazier. 

The world-encompassing anger of the political prisoner against
the world-encompassing faith of the preacher.  Christ on a bike,
with a hook like that one, Tex Rickard could have sold out the
Grand Canyon.  The last time the fans were presented with a
contrast like this it was Moses vs. Pharaoh (you remember, it had
to be stopped in the 15th when Mo's corner spilled water and the
fight could not continue). And those odds were only 13-1.  

What is there to say about the fight that you didn't already see? 
Aside from Rounds 1 and (very arguably) 4, there was really no
round even the most compromised WBA judge could hand Tyson.  The
decisive moment for me, aside from the knockdown, came late in
the fight after the second accidental clash of heads.  Mike Tyson
bulls in, like he had expected to do all night, and slams noggins
with Holyfield, opening up a gash over his own eye.  Grimacing in
pain, he reels back, looking imploringly at Halpern for help like
Goliath after the flat rock.  Talk about shedding the veil of
invincibility.  And there is Holyfield, a guy who had been known
to puff and cut, looking like an ad for Max Factor.  I don't
necessarily believe in divine intervention, but something was
making Tyson's gloves slip off EH's face and it wasn't Vaseline. 
Unlike the Douglas fight, where you were on the edge of your seat
wondering when the clock would strike midnight and Buster's coach
would turn back into a pumpkin, there was no moment in this
encounter when Tyson seemed able to win.  There was no ebb and
flow, only ebb and more ebb.

The ultimate verdict on Mike's place in history has now got to be
rewritten.  If one of the indicia of a great champion is the
ability to overcome adversity, to pick oneself off the canvas to
reclaim victory from defeat, then Tyson may just be one or two
steps shy of the Hall of Fame.  As Michael Wilbon pointed out in
the Washington Post, twice Mike has fought guys who weren't
afraid, and twice he has lost.  Iron Mike can't fight from
behind.  He can't adapt and adjust his game plan to overcome a
strategically-accomplished foe.  He's the b-ball team that has to
run off 50 straight against Valparaiso so it can win by 20.  He's
the SEC football squad who reels off 63 unanswered points against
SW Mississippi Valley, then gets caned by Nebraska.  Plant him in
a hole, even a small one no deeper than his shoelaces, and he
can't think his way out.  You've got to wonder how such a
complete dominance meltdown is going to affect a head case like
Tyson.  It's hard not to recall what happened to James Toney, a
pound-for-pound eminence whose resounding defeat at the hands of
Roy Jones had him overweight, feuding with management and
dropping clean off the radar screen in no time at all. 

And yet, like the aftermath of Ali-Frazier I, there's a sense
that the triumph of middle-class virtues that Evander's victory
represents is a fragile peace, a temporary state of affairs, a
brief interregnum while the revolution puffs a cigarette and
gathers its wits.  Mike Tyson will be back.  The money is there
and what else could he do anyway?  A number of pundits are
calling for Holyfield to retire at this, the pinnacle of his
career, and there can be no doubt that history would applaud such
a decision.  But since when do boxers, particularly those who
rule by divine right, make historically-savvy decisions? 
Besides, a Holyfield retirement, glorious and well-advised as it
would be, would be Tyson's worst nightmare, like an alibi witness
skipping town.  He would have no way to avenge the defeat.  Sure,
he could go on slapping up paper chumpions for various McTitles,
but he would never be what he once was.  He would never regain
market value.  Look for Holyfield to stick around for one more
huge payday.  Sure, he's earned it, but is it worth risking the
sheen of one of boxing's greatest moments? 

Some random notes from fight night.  Memo to Tyson:  What was up
with the post-fight interview, when you told Jim Gray you
"weren't aware" of how Evander was fighting and that you'd have
to "review the tape. . . "  Huh?  You'd better spend some more
time at that house outside Washington, because you've got some
finer points to learn about "plausible deniability. . . "  Memo
to John Horne and Rory Hollaway:  I know a summer stock company
of "Guys And Dolls" in Skowhegan who will take the suits off your
hands, provided you can get out the blood.  Memo to Don King: 
here's a hook for the rematch:  The Brawl After the Fall.  Get
it?  "After the Fall?" Funny, huh? Sheesh. . . tough room. . . 

For now, we can all take succor in Holyfield's victory, which
rightly or wrongly, will be remembered as the triumph of 
churchical faith over pathological wrath.  But in the boxing
game, there's a succor born every minute, and it usually ends up
reeling under a pigpile of awful decisions, criminal mismatches
and dubious rankings.  No matter.  Every once in a while nice
guys finish first.  On November 9, Iron Mike tried to play the
schoolyard bully, to rough Evander up, impose his will in the
clinches, break Holyfield's Holy Spirit, but to no avail, which
just goes to show that there are still nights when the gangsta
lean is no kind of match for The Old Rugged [Right] Cross.

dscribedc@aol.com (DscribeDC)

Just when it seems that boxing can't get any weirder, any more
WWF-like. . . something tremendously bizarre happens.  Whatever
became of HBO, the network of champions, which broadcast most of
the pivotal fights of the 1980s?  Does not HBO have the $$$ clout
to make a decent, competitive, big $ Roy Jones fight happen?  Why
are they acquiescing in bullshit like the "live panel discussion"
with Farhood, Paige and Borges (who should be ashamed of
themselves for taking part) lobbing scripted softball questions
("Will I be taking the 11:45 train or the 12:45 home tonight?")
at a glib Jones who used the occasion to spout a bunch of b.s.
platitudes.  He was allowed to slip out of questions about his
lack of competition and his basketball clowning with nary a
challenge.  Why does HBO resort to this circus crap and why do we
put up with it? 

Oh, yeah.  The fights.  This was my first chance to see Ike
Quartey and he definitely WAS a destroyer.  His jab had awesome
bust-up power, he seemed impervious to pain and his hooks were,
until late, crisp and direct.  How do you hurt a guy like that? 
With a howitzer?  My sincere congratulation to Oba Carr, a guy
some people have written off as being on the downside since his
"win" over Livingstone Bramble, but who proved he still has a lot
of heart, skill and stones.  It was truly a championship effort
against a guy who simply had too many tools to be taken. 

Quartey vs. Tito or Oscar is a fight that needs to be made right
away.  On the basis of his last fight, I don't think Whittaker
lasts 10 with IQ even though Ike seemed to tire in rounds 10-12,
put his guard down and show vulnerability.  Is he one of those
fighters who loses interest if he doesn't ko you quickly?  We
probably won't find out in a match against Trinidad or ODLH, two
fighter who have shown tender jaws in their early fights . . . 

What can you say about the Jones thing, other than that HBO spoke
volumes by not even listing Brannon's name on the fight poster. 
How could the IBF make this guy a #1 contender?  He had bullets
lodged in his body fer chrissakes!  How does he get cleared to
fight a Roy Jones?  To his credit, he wasn't scared (at least not
until Jones started hitting him midway through the 1st) and his
bullrush at least made this brief four-minute wonder somewhat


Glad I got that off my chest.  Is it only a rumor that he plans
to fight Christy Martin  while walking on his hands and wearing
gloves on his feet? 

All too typical of 90's televised boxing. . . a decent title
match sandwiched between two farces.  We can do better. 
Dave G.

"Eddie Futch interview" 
or "You Could Learn A lot From This Smurf"

By David "Scoop" Iamele

I had the unexpected pleasure of chatting with one of boxing's
all-time great trainers Eddie Futch, recently at a tight card in
Saratoga Springs, New York.  Eddie is the former trainer of Joe
Frazier, among many others.  He currently trains Riddick Bowe,
Wayne Mccullough, Montell Griffin, among others.  Eddie was in
Saratoga with a new, young welterweight prospect of his, Brandon
Mitchem, now (2-0).  Brandon won his bout by first round TKO, and
with Mr. Futch working with him, he's definitely a righter to
keep your eyes out for in the near future.  I talked with Eddie
about anything I could think of off the top of my head.  Here is
my off the cuff, mini-interview:  

DI:  "I was surprised to see you out there working with this
young man tonight.  How did you hook up with Brandon?

EF:  "He came to one of the outfits I work with, Matt Tinely, who
has Wayne Mccullough -- the bantamweight champion and he brought
this young manto us just like he brought us Wayne.  I liked what
I saw.  He has a lot of ability, a great personality, and a
desire to learn, and with those things to work with, I felt I
would be able to develop him along the lines that we developed
Wayne. So far it's working out."

DI:  "He looked really good out there tonight. Were you happy
with his performance?"

EF:  "I was very happy with his performance.  I'm happy with his
attitude back here in the dressing room. The first thing he
wanted to know was what he did wrong. 

DI:  "He seems like a good kid with a lot of ability."

EF:  "He's a good youngster, just turned 19 last month.  We got a
lot to work with, and with his desire I think that in a couple of
years he'll be the kind of fighter that everyone will be talking

DI:  " How many fights have you been working with Brandon?  Have
you been there from the beginning?" 

EF:  "This is his second pro fight and I started with him with
his first pro fight. 

DI:  "How many fighters are you working with now? 

EF: "Let's see, about 10."

DI:  "Riddick Howe & Wayne Mccullough, being the most well known?

EF:  "Yeah, and Montell Griffin and Justin Juucko.  He doesn't
fight much in this country.  He's been fighting in England,
Ireland, and Scotland.

DI:  "What weight is he in?"

EP:  "He's a 130 pounder. He's really something.  He's got 20 or
21 wins and one loss."     

DI: " Any plans for him to fight in this country?" 

EF:  " Yes. As soon as we can make connections for him here."

DI: "What's next for Wayne Mccullough?"

EF:  "His next fight will be Duke McKenzie, that's the fight he
was supposed to have and illness caused him to cancel.  Now,
he'll go back to that fight and then other fights, such as
Zaragoa.  Those are the two bouts that are planned for him and as
soon as those two are disposed of, he'll have dug deeply into the
122 lb. division.

DI:  " Is Wayne comfortable at 122? Are there any plans for him
to move up in weight even higher? 

EF:  " Well, now he's moved up to the 122 lb. division, as you
know, from the bantamweight division.  He'll be comfortable
fighting at 122 for a while, but Wayne is still growing and he'll
probably be a featherweight."

DI:  "Speaking of weight, what happened to Riddick Bowe prior to
the fight with Golota?" 

EF:  "Well, Riddick Bowe just let himself down and everyone else
that's around him.  I've seen fighters do that before.  I'm
hoping that, for his sake, that he'll pull out of it.  He's got
to much talent to waste. I was with him right from the start of
his professional career.  I know what he can do, cause I taught
him to do these things, so I know what he can do.  But it's up to
him, because the facilities are there for him, if he just uses
them, really.  We're the same team that was with him before. 
Sometimes things for which we have no control. We'll get into the
picture which, if he listens to the team that gets him into
condition, that tells him, teaches him how to fight and what to
do with the talent he has -- if he just gets back to the habit of
doing the things that we ask of him to do, there's nothing wrong
with Riddick Bowe that can't be corrected." 

DI:  "It's got to be frustrating for you to see a young guy with
all this talent, a nice guy -- I met him at the Hall of Fame he
just seems to be a good man, a family man.  Is there just some
reason that he can't get himself up for these fights?"  

EF:  "Everyone forgets the Gonzalez fight. That's two fights

DI:  "Right. Now that seems to be the reverse case then with the
Golota bout he was totally pumped up for the fight, looked

EF:  "Now, see -- in less then two fights he can't lose that."

DI:  "It's obvious he has it there .."

EF:  "He has it! It shows!"

DI:  "Will he fight Golota, again?"     

EF:  "I imagine that will be in the works.  It would be the
logical match to make.  But right now, with all the commotion
about the last fight still circulating in the air, you can't tell 
what's going to happen.  Everyone gets settled and some degree of
reason returns, then we'll see."

DI:  "What are your thoughts on the heavyweight division today?
You've been around boxing along time, you see these guys who
maybe fight once or twice a year and they're getting paid big
money not to fight each other.  Have you ever seen anything like

EF:  "I've never seen it before.  It's the worst thing that could
happen in boxing.  I'm reading a very good book on Joe Louis. 
Joe & I came up together.  It reminds me of how the division used
to be.  Louis wanted to keep improving on his work all of the
time.  He had 25 successful title defenses, when he wasn't
winning title fights -- he boxed exhibitions.  Many exhibitions,
just to keep busy, just to stay in the game and staying the ring,
just to keep doing the things he could do.  You don't see that
anymore.  Back in those days, we wanted to stay within reach of
fighting condition at all times.  Because many times, a lot of
the fellas couldn't get work because there was so little.  So we
stayed ready all the time, so if there was any break in the card
we could jump in at any time."

DI:  "What's next for Montell? We haven't seen a lot of him since
his win over James Toney."

EF:  "He just fought on the Garden show, and he knocked out his
opponent.  He took him out in the ninth, I believe." 

DI:  "How's he doing?"

EF:  "I left him in the gym in Las Vegas, and took off down here.
He's in good shape." 

DI:  "Is it hard for him to find a big name fight now, since he
looked so good against Toney?" 

EF:  "It's hard, but we've kept him busy.  e's been fighting a
lot over in England then one in Chicago.  He's got 20 wins now. 
He's had 6 fights since July --  he had 14 when he fought Toney."

DI:  "Do you see any heavyweights coming up now that show you any

EF:  "There two or three good youngsters. There's one I'm quite
impressed with. He hasn't made a big splash yet, but you can
watch for him, his name is Mike Grant.  Pretty good fighter.  I
saw him walk into the gym and he's come along way in a short
time.  He's a big guy too, 6'6".

DI:  "Going to the other end -- one of the new guys that people
are starting to become aware of is David Tua.  What do you think
about him?  Lot's of people think he's too short.  Can he really
be too short?"

EF:  "No, no, no . . . It's not the size of the fighter, it's the
fight in the fighter.  Joe Frazier, he was only 5'll" or so. 
Dwight Qawi, was a short light heavyweight."      

DI:  "Speaking of Joe, he's been in the press a lot lately for
his comments on Ali . . . "

EF:  "I know, I know.  I'm so sorry that he hasn't learned. . .
to go public with that attitude . . . He always resented Ali for
the things Ali used to say when he was making publicity for their 

DI:  "Don't you think now, enough is enough, and Joe should let
it go, or do you understand why he's so bitter?" 

EF:  "He's been bitter now . . . I retired Joe in 1978 . . . he's
been bitter for 18 years.  What does he think he's gonna get out
of being bitter?(chuckles)  This is the worst demonstration of
his bitterness yet.  So, what can you do about it?  I fought it.  
I fought it all the time when I was with him, and I see him often
now and if it comes up, I always tell him I don't want to talk
about it."

DI:  "How old are you now, Eddie?"

EF:  "I'm 85. I just had a birthday on the 9th."

DI:  "Congratulations & Happy Birthday. My sister's is on the
9th, too."

DI:  " You look good, you keep going . . . how do you feel?" 

EF:  "Yeah, good, good." 

DI:  "God bless you.  Thank you very much for talking with me Mr.
Futch, really appreciate it."


=================================================================Sep Ratings
ryan@wizard.net (Phrank Da Slugger)

September Ratings       (as of 21 Sep)

Champion: Riddick Bowe
1. Mike Tyson (WBA)
2. Lennox Lewis
3. Michael Moorer (IBF)
4. Andrew Golota
5. Evander Holyfield
6. Henry Akinwande (WBO)
7. Tim Witherspoon
8. Oliver McCall
9. Ray Mercer
10. David Tua

Tyson moves to the #1 spot w/his totally predictable blowout of
Bruce.  But He Grazed Me w/His Elbow Seldon. The win means
little, but it was against a Top 10 fighter.  If Lewis defeats
McCall for the vacant WBC title, he'll regain the #1 slot. But if
Tyson beats Holyfield. . . I'm very happy to report the
Bowe-Golota rematch is a go in Dec. This could be make or break
for the Champion. . . One HUGE hook and Tua jets ahead of names
such as Byrd, Thunder and Zolkin to solve my dilemma of who to
rank and get into the Top 10.  I look forward to some great
match-ups involving this young, powerful fighter. . . In Nov. we
can look forward to -- and on the same card -- Tyson-Holyfield
(albeit 5 yrs too late), Moorer-Botha and Akinwande-Zolkin.  

Champion: Nate Miller (WBA)
1. Marcelo Dominguez
2. Adolfo Washington (IBF)
3. Ralf Rocchigiani (WBO)
4. Alexander Gurov
5. Chris Okoh
6. Fabrice Tiozzo
7. Carl Thompson
8. Akim Tafer
9. Torsten May
10. Juan Carlos Gomez

Washington dominated May, won the vacant IBF title and moves to
#2. Why's he move ahead of longtime WBO titlist Rocchigiani?
Because May (who drops to #9) is worth more than all of Ralf's  
horrendous title defense camp put together. . . James Toney exits
as it looks like he'll stay at 175 (for now). . . Miller made
another time-killing defense.  I'd really like to see him against
Dominguez -- or at least the oft-discussed Tiozzo . . . Ok oh
active again . . . Gomez premieres at #10 after his KO of tough
Phillipe Michel.  Good to see some new blood . . .
Dominguez-Gurov has been postponed while the #1 fighter here
makes a voluntary defense vs a nobody in Oct.  Look for the
better match-up early next yr. 

Champion: Henry Maske (IBF)
1. James Toney (WBU)
2. Graciano Rocchigiani
3. Virgil Hill (WBA)
4. Dariusz Michalczewski (WBO)
5. Montell Griffin
6. Eddy Smulders
7. Lou Del Valle
8. Merqui Sosa   
9. Mohammad Siluvangui
10. Rocky Gannon

The calm before the storm: Maske-Hill got delayed due to Hill
injuring his arm, but it's only off for a month.  On 23 Nov, they
will meet in Munich . . . Griffin and Siluvangui active . . .
Gannon enters after another win, displacing the idle William
Guthrie. . . I'd love to see Toney-Rocchigiani after Rocky beats
Michalczewski in their Dec rematch.  

Champion: Roy Jones (IBF)
1. Steve Collins (WBO)
2. Frank Liles (WBA)
3. Nigel Benn 
4. Vincent Nardiello (WBC)
5. Thulane Malinga
6. Henry Wharton
7. Michael Nunn
8. Joseph Kiwanuka
9. Vinnie Pazienza
10. Charles Brewer

Paz returns.  His KO of the untested and unproven Dana Rosenblatt
was a great example of why I'll take experience over other
attributes any day.  Paz totally suckered the kid and then just
kicked his ass.  Other than that, he shoulda been Dqed.  Can you
imagine Mills Lane putting up w/all that crap? . . . Paz
displaces the inactive Luciano Torres . . . Some good things
coming up:  Jones defends against Bryant Brannon, Collins-Benn II
will happen in Nov. Nardiello makes his 1st defense and the
return of Chris Eubank.  Suddenly, things are looking slightly
better here.

1. Bernard Hopkins (IBF)
2. Lonnie Bradley (WBO)
3. Keith Holmes (WBC)
4. John David Jackson
5. Simon Brown (IBC)
6. William Joppy (WBA)
7. Jorge Castro
8. Anthony Stephens
9. Shinji Takehara
10. Aaron Davis

I haven't raised a fighter this high in a while, but Bradley's
solid win over Brown was that impressive . . . Brown doesn't fall
far -- he still rates above the untested Joppy and others . . .
Castro active again . . . Quincy Taylor exits after being
inactive since Mar. Word is he's currently injured, but
nevertheless he has nothing on the horizon . . . Davis rises to
replace Taylor . . . BS defenses coming up -- after Don King
promised a DC unification between Joppy and Holmes, we get
instead Holmes-Woodhall and Joppy-Lonnie Davis.  Too bad it's not
Joppy-Aaron Davis . . . I'm anxious to see Hopkins in action

Champion: Terry Norris (WBC & IBF)
1. Winky Wright (WBO)
2. Laurent Boudouani (WBA)
3. Andrew Council
4. Carl Daniels
5. Paul Vaden
6. Bronco McKart
7. Julio Cesar Vasquez
8. Emmett Linton
9. Gianfranco Rosi
10. Vincent Pettway

Wow, big myth here . . . I suspect we won't hear from Vasquez
again after Boudouani whacked him out early.  The new WBA titlist
moves to #2 . . . Daniels rises w/a strong win over tough Roland
Rangel.  Norris-Daniels II would be good . . . The Champion and
Council were both active, albeit against stiffs . . . Vaden's
taken leave again, idle for 4 months now.  He begins to drop next

Champion: Pernell Whitaker (WBC)
1. Felix Trinidad (IBF)
2. Ike Quartey (WBA)
3. Oba Carr
4. Jose Luis Lopez (WBO)
5. Luis Ramon Campas
6. Pat Coleman
7. Vince Phillips
8. Tony Martin
9. Derrell Coley
10. Adrian Stone

While Trinidad continues to feast on patsies, Quartey takes on
another top contender this week. If he beats Carr, as he should,
he overtakes Tito as the new #1 contender . . . Lopez-Campas
alleged to be on for 6 Oct. after umpteen setbacks.  I really
hope to see this on Univision . . . Whitaker actually looked
really good against Wilfredo Rivera, but I still say Rivera was
never much in the 1st place.  Pee Wee keeps avoiding Trinidad and
Quartey and I'll frankly be surprised to see him get in the ring
against de la Hoya this spring -- all the above fighters would
knock him out . . . Winning every rd, Martin replaces victim
Kelp.  The latter threw almost no punches in some rds, while the
veteran fighter was totally in control.  Good to see him back. 

Champion: Oscar de la Hoya (WBC)
1. Frankie Randall (WBA)
2. Kostya Tszyu (IBF)
3. Julio Cesar Chavez
4. Charles Murray
5. Giovanni Parisi (WBO)
6. Juan Coggi
7. Dingaan Thobela
8. Miguel Angel Gonzalez
9. Khalid Rahilou
10. David Kamau

Big news this month is that the Champion's defense against Mago
is off till Jan. de la Hoya has tendinitis in his shoulder.  Get
well, Champ . . . Still no word on Randall's status as WBA
titlist.  He tested positive for coke and lots of other illegal
things, and you'd expect he'd be stripped . . . Tszyu dispatches
w/another overhyped, padded-record pretender in Jan.   Bergman. 
Good riddance. Word is a possible title defense against Charles
Murray may be next.  Finally, a true test! . . . Chavez back next
week vs Joey Gamache (speaking of padded-record pretenders). 
Look  for JCC to steamroll him . . . Good to see Rahilou active
again . . . Kamau drops 2 notches after another month of
inactivity.  What a waste.  He's gone next month if he doesn't
fight . . . I'd like to see Thobela and Rahilou get title shots
-- or just as good, face each other.  

1. Orzubek Nazarov (WBA)
2. George Scott (WBU)
3. Phillip Holiday (IBF)
4. Stevie Johnston
5. John-John Molina
6. Jean-Baptiste Mendy (WBC)
7. Cesar Bazan
8. Ivan Robinson
9. Lamar Murphy
10. Demetrio Ceballos

What happened to Nazarov?  Idle for 6 months (and then defending
against a ring worm), it won't take much for Scott, Holiday or
Johnston to move ahead of him . . . Bazan saw the only action
here this month, and he moves up a notch . . . Murphy, who has
been inactive almost as long as Nazarov, drops again and is gone
next month . . . a Holiday defense and Baptiste-Johnston are the
only things on the horizon here.  This is a pathetic division, a
long cry from when Duran was king, or even when Whitaker was.  It 
needs a  Gabe Ruelas or someone like that to come in and clean

Champion: Azumah Nelson (WBC)
1. Regilio Tuur (WBO)
2. Arturo Gatti (IBF)
3. Tracy Harris Patterson
4. Jungsoo Choi (WBA)
5. Anatoly Alexandrov
6. Robert Garcia
7. Jacobin Yoma
8. Jose Vida Ramos
9. Justin Juuko
10. Angel manfredy

Wow -- Tuur absolutely devastating in KING Ramos in 1 rd. He
impresses, and moves ahead of Gatti to claim the #1 spot . . .
Good  to see Alexandrov remain active . . . Sorry to see Gabe
Ruelas exit, but he leaves me little choice as he's been absent
from the 130-lb division for 9 months . . . Choi and Alexandrov
move up -- as do less deserving Garcia and Yoma -- as Ramos drops
to #8 . . . Speaking of the WBA titlist, Choi has a time-killer
defense coming up against a guy he's already beaten a couple
times.  Typical WBA crap . . . Manfredy moves in again w/exit of
Ruelas . . . And finally, the Champion's next defense comes in
Dec against former-titlist Gainer Hernandez. Hmm, if de la Hoya
made him quit, it wouldn't surprise me to see Nelson have the
same effect on him. 

Champion: Luisito Espinoza (WBC)
1. Tom Johnson (IBF)
2. Wilfredo Vasquez (WBA)
3. Naseem Hamed (WBO)
4. Kevin Kelley (WBU)
5. Jose Badillo
6. Angel Vasquez
7. Derrick Gainer
8. Manuel Medina
9. Juan Marquez
10. Cesar Soto

Well, it finally happened:  Medina exposed Hamed -- but still a
win over a previous-#4 contender moves The Prince up just below
Vasquez.  Medina, probably at the end of his career, drops to #8
. . . Johnson defended on the same card, and proved he's still 
got it, but I wonder for how long.  His wide hooks might be
countered by an Espinoza or Hamed.  Is he slipping? . . .
Alejandro Gonzalez disappears after staying inactive since his
mugging by Espinoza . . . The division is in disarray w/Medina
falling and Gonzalez leaving -- allows still-undeserving Badillo
and Vasquez to move up too far . . . Recent title challenger Soto
enters . . . Is Vasquez making a defense soon?  Rumors have him 
challenging 130-lb WBA titllst Choi and/or unifying w/Espinoza. 
OK, sounds great, but at least fight SOMEBODY, Wilfredo.   

#  of World Champions:  9 (of 11)

Phrank Da Slugger

End Quote:

"I'm not a trainer.  I'm a teacher.  You train animals.  I teach
human beings."

               -- Chuck Bodak
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