|. . . THE CYBER BOXING ZONE JOURNAL||
|SPIRITUAL ADVISER ON ALL MATTERS FISTIC:
WEB MASTER & ASSOCIATE EDITOR:
HISTORY & RESEARCH:
Hank Kaplan, Tracy Callis, Matt Tegen
BoxngRules, Chris Bushnell, Adrian Cusack, DscribeDC, Francis Walker, Dave Iamele, Phrank Da Slugger, Pusboil
Enrique Encinosa, Randy Gordon, Pedro Fernandez, Joe Koizumi, Mike Moscone, Dr. Ferdie Pacheco, Jim Trunzo, Barry Lindenman, Katherine Dunn
EDITORIAL - RINSING OUT THE MOUTHPIECE
So far 1999 has seen a welcome & badly needed flurry of activity... The De La Hoya-Quartey & Trinidad-Whitaker fights have set the table nicely for the main course on March 13, Holyfield - Lewis.
Ill get back to the welterweights in a bit, but Holyfield-Lewis is the Big Enchilada that all us starving fight fans have been waiting for... Ive got no prediction on this fight, its about as tough a call as has ever come down the
pike. Unfortunately, its about two years overdue & neither of the protagonists looked very good in their last outings.
Granted, its hard to get it up for a Bean & a Kielbasa & we can only hope they will be motivated & properly trained for this lash-up. I believe they will be, after all, everything is on the line here...
While I have no prediction, I do have a predilection as to how I wish it to go. #1: Boxing needs this to be if not a great fight, at least a competitive one. A blow out or a controversial ending will do the sport no good... #2:
Evander Holyfield is in my personal top ten of all time favorite fighters, a ranking I seriously doubt that Lennox Lewis will ever attain. But with that being said, I believe it will be better for boxing if Lewis wins.
Commander Evander, if he wins, will probably retire after a fight or two & then the Alphabets will swoop down & splinter the heavyweight title yet again... Boxing never does well without an undisputed & linear heavyweight
As long as were discussing heavyweights, How about that Mike Tyson, eh? Talk about always doing the wrong thing at the wrong time... I think ESPNs Dick Schapp put the whole miserable situation best: Mike Tyson is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the penal system. I like that. A lot.
Back to the welterweights: The CBZ has received an enormous amount of e-mails about the welter mega-fights. These two fights seem to have raised more questions that they answered...
Lets start with Tito & The Pea: Simply put, Whitaker was out sized & out gunned. Trinidads youth & physical attributes were just too much for a fading Pernell to handle. Felix impressed with his ring generalship & looked good enough to get my nod over Oscar with one caveat. I was surprised that the light hitting Pea actually rocked Tito about three times & at times his legs looked a little shaky. Maybe sweating down to 147 is the key to his fight with Oscar...
The De La Hoya-Quartey fight was another story altogether. I had Ike winning the fight by one point. A draw or a one point win for either fighter is something I could have accepted, but 116-112 & 116-111? What the hell fight were those judges watching?
Granted, Ike didnt fight the smartest fight, he should have been more aggressive & gone out & worked harder... You dont have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that Ike had as much of a chance of winning by
decision in Vegas as Ken Starr does of getting a lifetime achievement award from the American Civil Liberties Union ....
Lastly, a terrific new writer has come aboard the CBZ, Pete Ehrmann, a boxing historian who has written for The Ring Magazine for over 30 years. Pete has been one of the only reasons I still read The Ring. At the end of his articles The Ring has a note that hes a free lancer from West Allis, Wisconsin. I called information got his # & called him up to introduce myself & the CBZ to him. Pete, who doesnt use a computer & has never seen the web, was astonished to find out that something like the CBZ even existed... After I explained what we were all about he eagerly volunteered to start contributing articles on a regular basis!
This is great news, as Pete Ehrmann is truly a great boxing historian & writer & the CBZ couldnt be more delighted in having Pete join us as a regular contributor. I asked Pete to also send along a capsule bio on himself & here it is:
Pete Ehrmann wanted to be a priest & the first American Pope until the day his father introduced him to former heavyweight champion James J. Braddock. Then he wanted to be heavyweight champion himself until he had his first Golden Gloves bout in 1967. Then he incurred so much brain damage that he decided to become a boxing writer, which he has been ever since. He wrote his first column for The Ring magazine at age 14 & is still a regular contributor of articles to newspapers around the country.
Cyberspace is as big a mystery to him as the ratings of the alphabet groups...
Hmm, he wanted to be Pope & he writes for the bible of boxing... Please welcome to the CBZ, Pete The Pope Ehrmann!!!
So fans, enjoy the new issue & please keep those e-mails coming. GorDoom
YA' CAN'T BEAT FATHER TIME
by Randy Gordon
It's tough watching a fighter grow old. On Saturday, February 20, right it front of our eyes, Pernell Whitaker looked like the 35-year-old fighter he is, rather than the elusive, quick-handed, fleet-footed southpaw I remember him as. It happened to Muhammad Ali against Larry Holmes. It happened to Larry Holmes against Mike Tyson. It happened to Sugar Ray Leonard against Terry Norris. It happened to Terry Norris against Laurent Boudouani. It happens to most of the greats. It happens when they long overstay their welcome. Although Whitaker says he'll continue to fight on, he will no longer be the "Sweet Pea" who could outfox, outspeed and completely dazzle an opponent with feints, head movement, hand and foot speed.
I was there at Madison Square Garden the night he turned pro in November 1984, along with 1984 Olympic teammates Mark Breland, Evander Holyfield, Meldrick Taylor and Tyrell Biggs. That night, in front of a packed crowd, he overwhelmed Farrain Comeaux, stopping him in the second round. You could see this lightweight from Norfolk, Virginia, was something special. It was in his 12th fight, some 28 months later, that Whitaker fought --and beat--Roger Mayweather over 12 rounds for the NABF lightweight title.
One year later came one of the biggest atrocities ever perpetrated upon any fighter. It was March 12, 1988. Whitaker, then 15-0, was matched against WBC lightweight champion Jose Luis Ramirez in France. At the end of 12 rounds, it was obvious to all who watched on ABC-TV that Whitaker had done enough to gain the title. Make that more than enough. The WBC judges didn't see it that way, and allowed Ramirez, who did virtually nothing, to retain his crown. Whitaker took the "loss" in stride and merely said to the viewing audience, "You saw the fight. You know who won." He then moved on. Eleven months later he gained the IBF lightweight version of the crown, thoroughly outboxing tough Greg Haugen over 12 rounds. Whitaker gained a measure of revenge six
months later, adding the WBC belt to his waist with another masterful performance over Ramirez in 12 fast-paced rounds. He picked up the IBF Junior Welterweight title in 1992 by dominating Rafael Pineda in 12 and the WBC
welterweight crown with a decision against Buddy McGirt in March 1993.
One of Whitaker's biggest victories came in a fight he didn't win--on paper, anyway. It came on September 10, 1993, in Texas, against legendary Mexican, Julio Cesar Chavez, who brought an 87-0 record into the ring. Chavez was the WBC Jr. Welterweight king, looking to take Whitaker's WBC Welterweight Title. At the end of 12 rounds, it was apparent Chavez did not do nearly enough to capture Whitaker's title. Just as newsworthy was the fact that Whitaker had just seemingly done more than enough to send Chavez home with his first "L." Incredibly, WBC judges did it again to Whitaker, refusing to give him a victory against a Jose Sulaiman/Don King favorite. They called the fight a draw. Once again, Whitaker shrugged. He knew what everybody knew. The fight belonged to him.
Whitaker continued to defend his welterweight crown over the next four years, even picking up the WBA Jr. Middleweight crown against Julio Vasquez in March 1995. But by 1996, the signs of age--and a championship lifestyle--were catching up with him. He seemed lucky to eke out a decision against Wilfredo Rivera in April 1996, and repeated the decision--albeit with a bit more ease--five months later. Then, leading off 1997, Whitaker faced former Cuban star Diobelis Hurtado. Going into the 11th round, Whitaker was behind on the scorecards. He staged a furious rally in the 11th round to stop Hurtado and retain his title.
On April 12, 1997, Whitaker lost his WBC Welterweight Title to Oscar de la Hoya in a fight which many viewed as much closer than the judges had it. In Whitaker's mind, he was still undefeated. Then came a decision victory in September 1997 against Andrei Pestriaev at Foxwoods Casino. Following the bout, it was announced Whitaker had failed his drug test. However, the test was later ruled invalid, and Whitaker went into training to face Ike Quartey in the Spring of 1998. It was then another drug test showed what the Foxwoods' test seemed to already know--that Whitaker had himself a problem. The fight was cancelled and Whitaker went into rehab.
He spent the rest of the year getting his life back in order and his body back into shape. Without taking a tuneup, he headed right back into the title picture. This time his opponent was unbeaten 26-year-old IBF Welterweight
Champion Felix Trinidad. This time, there was no doubt. Whitaker was trounced, losing by wide margins on all three scorecards. Sadly, he handled himself poorly in the post-fight interview with Larry Merchant, saying "I still haven't lost a fight." He still sees himself as the 20-year-old Olympic gold medallist fresh out of The Games in Los
Angeles--lightning quick and virtually unhittable. Whitaker refuses to let reality enter. The reality is this: he'll never be what he once was. He'll never again be the "Sweet Pea" who was the greatest defensive fighter this side of Willie Pep. It's something he cannot, and may not ever, be able to accept. And so he'll most likely go on, fighting not just younger opponents, but the oldest opponent, as well. Father Time. Even George Foreman can't beat him!
I'm really scared the same thing is going to happen to Evander Holyfield. Maybe it will happen against Lennox Lewis on March 13. Maybe it will happen in his following fight, should he beat Lewis. I'd love to think it won't
happen to Holyfield. But I know better. I've seen it happen so much. If Holyfield keeps fighting, the question is not if it will happen. The question is when? The only way to avoid it happening is to do what Gene Tunney and
Rocky Marciano did--get out while you're still on top. Unfortunately, the way Holyfield has been talking, such a move is simply not going to happen. He will fight on until, on that one night, there will be no more magic left, no
more timing, no more speed, no more defense, no more chin. All that will remain of one of the gutsiest champions in history will be heart. It will help him make a gallant and valiant stand, but in a losing effort. And it will lead to me writing, one more time, "It's tough watching a fighter grow old."
OH NO! NOT THEM AGAIN--James "Buster" Douglas recently returned to action following his first-round blowout at the hands of Lou Savarese with a stoppage of pathetic Andre Crowder. What's the point? Douglas, who will be 39 in April, should do anything but fight again. He's still got millions from his lone total title defense (against Evander Holyfield in 1990) and will forever be remembered as having delivered to fight fans one of the sport's most shocking upsets ever when he KO'd Mike Tyson in the tenth round on February 11, 1990. He's one of the sport's real nice guys and doesn't need to serve as a stepping stone for Savarese or anybody else. Hopefully, he gets out before some truly inferior opponent gives his boxing career an embarrassing end.
...Did somebody say embarrassing? The career of Mitch "Blood" Green has been embarrassing, tumultuous, stormy, hectic, infamous, noisy and just about everything else you can think of--except successful. Well, the former member of "Tomorrow's Champions" (which included Johnny Bumphus, Bobby Czyz, Alex Ramos, Tony Tucker and Tony Ayala in 1980) is now pushing 40 and back in the gym, still singing his worn-out song how "Cecily" Tyson has ducked him for years and that the rest of the division is afraid of him. As the heavyweight division changes faces, some things just seem to stay the same forever.
...There are two other heavyweights who have resumed throwing punches. One is the man from who Mike Tyson took the WBC title in 1986 (Trevor Berbick), the other is the man Tyson faced in his last fight before heading to prison in 1992 (Donovan "Razor" Ruddock). Berbick is 44 and hasn't been a viable top contender for at least nine years. Ruddock is a mere "babe" at 35, but is nowhere near the fighter he was at the start of this decade. You can't convince him of this fact. "I'm gonna' take it step by step and not rush back," said Ruddock after
disposing of a non-descript opponent recently. Gee, just the great news the heavyweight division has been waiting for!
I don't care what the critics say, but Michael Grant is indeed the next top--if not great--heavyweight. He's got a lot to learn, but, with every outing, you can see he is indeed doing just that. You watch. Within a year, he'll be THE heavyweight everyone is talking about.
...Can ya' believe promoter Roger Levitt is still telling people his George Foreman-Larry Holmes "Birthday Bash," set for this past January 23, but cancelled due to lack of funds, is still going to happen? My only question is, for what birthday? And, at this point, who really cares?
By the way. For all you front-runners, who, at the start of this decade were saying, "Mike Tyson is the greatest heavyweight of all time and would easily defeat Muhammad Ali," what do you say now? Even the best Tyson has ever been (would that have been against Michael Spinks or Tyrell Biggs?) would not have been enough to beat Ali. Incredibly, I still get asked that question a lot: "Who do you think would have won in a fight between Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson?" I just look at the questioner with a "You've got to be kidding face!" and they get the picture.
Catch ya' after the Evander Holyfield-Lennox Lewis bash! It should be a great one. Personally, I'd like to see Holyfield win, then get out while he's on top. You can beat an opponent. You can't beat Father Time!
The Jackie Darthard Story
By Pete Ehrmann
Jackie Darthard and Ernestine Alexander grew up around one another in Kansas City, Missouri, and early on, Ernestine says, "I couldn't stand him. He used to pick at me all the time." So naturally they fell in love and got married. They were both only 15 years old, and had just finished the eighth grade. "Just babies," sighs Ernestine.
From the beginning, she shared her husband with another love.
"He lived and breathed boxing," she says.
Slept it, too. Sometimes, dreaming he was in the ring, Jackie would hit his wife in his sleep. Laughing, she recalls, "I'd say, 'Was you doing that on purpose?"
Jackie, who started boxing when he was 12, had so much natural ability that at age 15 he won the national amateur flyweight title. In 1946, the church choir singer turned professional and became an immediate sensation by knocking out 12 of his first 14 opponents. They called him the "Kansas City Slicker," and in his first year as a pro Darthard lost only one fight.
In mid-1947, Darthard set out to conquer bigger worlds, and in boxing then Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was a major fight venue. Cards were held regularly at the auditorium, and on June 5 of that year, Darthard made his Wisconsin debut by knocking out Detroit's tough Fist Dever in three rounds. Local fans, wrote Milwaukee Journal sports editor R.G. Lynch, were impressed by the Missourian's "speed, fine boxing and hard punching."
By the time Darthard upset Eddie O'Neill in Milwaukee on October 10, in his third appearance there, one paper called him "the classiest ring man who has come to town in years, barring only Willie Pep." That was high praise indeed, inasmuch as Pep was then the world featherweight champion and had, at that point in his career, lost only one of 110 pro bouts.
Three weeks after Darthard won a decision over hometown favorite Jimmy Sherrer at the Auditorium, in a fight which he suffered the first knockdown when Sherrer put him down for a brief count in round one, he faced the toughest test of his career on November 18, 1947. His opponent was Cecil Hudson, a strong, crafty veteran who had beaten top 147 pound contender Tommy Bell and future middleweight champion Jake LaMotta. More than 3,000 fans witnessed the 10-rounder that often degenerated into a foul-filled brawl. "They seemed to enjoy the game they were playing, grinning at each other, tying each other up, whaling away at times, pulling dirty tricks," wrote Lynch the next day.
Darthard got the unanimous decision, and in its end-of-the -year rankings, The Ring rated him the ninth-best middleweight in the world under champion Rocky Graziano. Within several more months, Darthard would climb to the number five spot. He was only 18, and his future looked limitless. According to Lynch, Darthard's managers "see in this rapidly growing youngster a potential heavyweight contender."
But that was before Bert Lytell.
The second ranked contender in the 160 pound class, "The Chocolate Kid," as Lytell was known, was one of the great unsung fighters of the 1940's. He was too good, in fact, to ever get a crack at a title. But the Fresno, California boxer beat such other greats as Charlie Burley and Holman Williams. And Lytell had twice as many fights as Darthard when they fought on February 16, 1948, at the Kansas City Municipal Auditorium.
The Slicker received a good going-over in the ring, but Lytell got one from the judges. The fight was called a draw, but even the Kansas City Times reporter wrote that "Lytell was the winner by a thousand points, more or less. Darthard put up a savage fight, but at times was in a state of utter confusion. He punched and swung against a target so elusive that the blows found no resting place. The right was rugged all the way and something more than rough at times."
It would have been a good time to take a breather. Darthard, who wouldn't turn 19 until May 4, had fought 33 times in two years, usually at least once a month. His wife suggested some time off. Jackie's climb had been difficult on Ernestine. She had attended "one or two" of her husband's bouts, but "they got on my nerves," she says. "Professionals was no comparison to Golden Gloves. I didn't want nobody on him like that. But I knew it was his life, so I had to live it too."
There were other hardships for them. In their three years as husband and wife, Ernestine had lost three babies at birth. And despite Jackie's success in boxing, it had not been lucrative for him. In those days, black boxers were on the lowest end of the pay scale. The $2,400 he got for the Lytell fight was Darthard's top purse. He and Ernestine lived in an apartment owned by Beau Davis, Jackie's manager. They didn't own a car. The fifth ranked middleweight contender worked between fights at a mattress company, and even washed dishes to help make ends meet.
But now he had a reputation, and new fight offers were pouring in. Jackie took the one he wanted most when they offered him The Chocolate Kid again in the city in which Darthard figured he couldn't lose.
"This is my lucky spot" Darthard told boxing writer Ray Grody the day before his April 21, 1948 rematch with Lytell at the Milwaukee Auditorium. "Kansas City was a nice place to live, but give me this here town when I'm fighting. You know, I've won 36 of 38 fights. Mickey Savage beat me in my fourth bout in 1946, and this fella Lytell held me to a draw about two months ago. Both occurred in Kansas City.
"See what I mean about Milwaukee? It seems I do my best fighting here."
Brew City wasn't his only lucky charm. There was the blue baseball cap Jackie wore into the ring for every fight. That had started when he played baseball after weighing in for a bout one day. The game ran late, Darthard had to rush to make it to the arena and ended up unconsciously wearing the cap into the ring. He won the fight, and after that insisted on wearing the cap into the ring right up until the referee send him and his opponent back to their corners with instructions to "come out fighting".
Ernestine remembers that cap well. "He never took it off," she says. "He even slept with it. I hid it once, and I thought we was gonna get a divorce."
His childlike belief that all the luck was in his corner accompanied Jackie into the ring that night, but fate may have telegraphed what was in store for the Kansas City Slicker in several events leading up to the bout.
The most chilling was a dream Darthard's mother had in Kansas City the night before. In it, Mary Darthard saw her son being carried out of the ring.
A half century later, Ernestine wonders if Jackie himself didn't have some kind of premonition about what would happen. After he rejected her suggestion that it was too soon to be fighting Lytell again, she asked to at least accompany him to Milwaukee. "I don't think yo need to come to this one," he answered.
Then, there was his lucky blue cap. When Darthard arrived at his dressing room at the Auditorium, he discovered that his prized talisman somehow had been left back at the rooming house at which he and Davis were staying. He wasn't about to fight without it, and a messenger was dispatched for the cap.
But its, and Jackie's, luck had run out.
Ernestine was descending a stairway in her building in Kansas City when she heard a radio announcer say her husband was hurt. She was driven to wait at her parents' home, while her mother-in-law and several of Darthard's siblings drove all night to Milwaukee in a borrowed car.
As they approached the city from the south, the Darthards' car was flagged down by Dorothy Byrd, identified later by writer Richard L. Davis in a widely anthologized piece as the madam at a Milwaukee house of prostitution. The proverbial hooker with a heart of gold, Byrd had gone in search of an incoming car with Missouri license plates and black occupants because she couldn't stand the idea of the Darthards coming alone into a strange city.
It was Byrd who informed them that Jackie had died after emergency surgery to stem the bleeding in his brain that had caused him to slump to the ring floor after the sixth round of the fight.
The teenaged ring sensation had gotten one thing he wished for that night. Darthard had told Ray Grody, "I just hope he comes to me. I'll be there to meet him. That's how I want him to fight--slam-bang. Let him trade punches with me and you'll see some fireworks--and Mr. Lytell will explode right on his back."
Lytell did as hoped. He knocked Darthard down twice in round three. After Jackie got up the second time, Lytell's manager, Sammy Aaronson, noticing what he later described as a "sick expression" on Darthard's face, yelled at the referee to stop the fight. But he was told by a state boxing inspector to be quiet because he was violating an ordinance against yelling at ringside.
Two weeks earlier, a headline in the Journal had announce, "State Ring Board Approves Rules To Guard Against Boxing Deaths" One of the new rules adopted by the Wisconsin Athletic Commission called for a boxer who was knocked down to take an automatic eight count before being allowed to resume fighting. But because they hadn't yet been published by the Secretary of State's office in Madision, the new rules weren't in effect that night.
In the Slicker's corner at the end of the third, Beau Davis was worried. "How do you feel, boy?" he asked Darthard.
"I'm straight now. I can come on from here," Jackie replied. "I'm just getting warmed up. He got a couple of lucky punches, that's all."
When Davis asked a few more concerned questions, Darthard told him, "Say, cut out the jive, man. I'm all right. I'm going to get this chump."
Darthard did better the next round, but by the sixth Lytell was pounding him again. After he returned to his corner, Davis asked his boxer to tell him where they were staying in town, to determine his state of mind.
"All I know," replied the fighter, in the last coherent sentence he would utter, "is that I'm in Milwaukee fighting."
An ambulance took him to the hospital, and an operation was performed. But Darthard died at 8:30 the following morning without ever waking up.
After an inquiry, District Attorney William McCauley ruled the death an "unavoidable accident." Davis said his fighter's health had been good, although he recalled that after the Sherrer bout Jackie had complained of a terrific headache. Mary Darthard said she was satisfied, and told the weeping Lytell, "I know how you feel, son. Like Jackie would have felt. It wasn't your fault. It must have been the will of God, I guess. Brace up, honey. Don't let it ruin your life."
Jackie Darthard's life wasn't the only thing lost that night. When they gathered his personal effects at the morgue, missing was his lucky baseball cap. It was never found.
Before his body was shipped home to Kansas City, a few hundred persons turned out in Milwaukee for a service at a local funeral home. About 2,000 attended Darthard's funeral in Kansas City, and heard Rev. I.L. McAllister say, "One of the saddest things of all in professional boxing is the spectator (who) wants to see the flow of blood. The fighter must be cut down. The fighter hears the roar of the crowd. He tries, and expects to bring his opponent down."
Ernestine was helped through her bereavement by loving and supportive parents. Like Jackie's mother, she never blamed the man whose fists made her a widow at 18. "I had a lot of respect for Bert Lytell," she says.
She never married again. Today, at 68, even though her health is less than robust, her spirit is. "I still miss him, but I know God knew best," she says. Her only exasperation is directed at whomever walked off with her scrapbooks and memorabilia heralding Jackie's meteoric boxing career. Today she doesn't have even one photo left of her late husband. But, she says, "I still have my memories in my heart."
The Jackie Darthard story might seem especially tragic because he was such a young man whose life ended when fame and greatness seemed so near. But his widow doesn't see it that way. In fact, Ernestine thinks the Kansas City Slicker couldn't have asked for better luck after all.
"Boxing was in his blood," she says, "and he went doing what he loved the best."
By Lee Michaels
The Welterweight Wars
Its 12:45 a.m. and Ive just returned from Madison Square Garden, where Felix Trinidad won a lopsided decision against Pernell "Sweet Pea" Whitaker. Im tired and I am hungry.
Hungry for another welterweight showdown, that is.
Bring on Oscar De La Hoya versus Felix Trinidad.
Hopefully by now, people will realize that while De La Hoya is the real deal, he is not the best welterweight in the land. That role belongs to Trinidad, who did something that De La Hoya couldnt do beat Whitaker in decisive fashion.
First things first though. Give De La Hoya credit where credit is due. My scorecard on the De La Hoya-Ike Quartey bout had "The Golden Boy" needing a 10-8 round in the final frame to pull the fight out. De La Hoya, knowing his title could be in jeopardy, came out like a true champion should and nearly finished Quartey before throwing himself out.
Sidenote - the two judges who clearly gave the bout to De La Hoya (John Keane: 116-113; Ken Morita: 116-112) should be forced to watch the fight on tape over and over again until their sight returns.
Boxing needs to address this situation like other major sports do. Baseball picks the best umpires for the World Series. The NFL picks the best referees for the Super Bowl. For fights of this magnitude, boxing needs to choose the best judges and referees, plain and simple.
Back to the real story. De La Hoya made it clear hes in no rush to give Quartey a rematch. Yet he claims to want to face the best fighters around. Which brings us back to Trinidad.
While Whitaker made De La Hoya look bad in victory, he did the exact opposite to Trinidad. Still a master defensive boxer, Whitaker actually became too offensive against the IBF champion. For some reason, he decided to engage in a few toe to toe exchanges with Trinidad, arguably the hardest pound for pound puncher in the sport. Seeing that Whitaker couldnt knock out a dead corpse, he came out on the losing end.
So lets get it on. De La Hoya, the undefeated WBC welterweight champion, against Felix Trinidad, the undefeated IBF welterweight champion. Two power punchers, two questionable chins. Someones going down probably both fighters, in fact but one of them will not go the distance.
My choice Trinidad by TKO in 10.
Thats if this bout can be made. And if it does, we may see these two battle at 154 pounds. Trinidad barely made weight for the Whitaker fight, and De La Hoyas biggest challenges (can you say Fernando Vargas or David Reid to name a couple?) clearly lie ahead at the junior middleweight division.
Foreman x Butterbean = True Love
Remember the scene in "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" when Jim Careys character spoke out of his ass?
For those of you that dont remember, stop reading and rent the movie.
For those of you that do, read on.
HBO is clearly the cream of the crop when it comes to boxing on television. But listening to George Foreman is like being nailed in the head by Roy Jones Jr. for 15 rounds while both of my arms are tied behind my back.
I was mortified to hear the praise Big George was throwing at the self-proclaimed "King of the Four-Rounders," Butterbean, on the De La Hoya-Quartey undercard.
While the Bean is truly the greatest IBA Super Heavyweight champion ever he is a freak show to a sport that is trying so hard to separate itself from the circus atmosphere that professional wrestling displays. When Forman tried to tell me that Butterbean is becoming a legit fighter, I got nauseous. When he supported Butterbeans claim that he may be ready to fight 10 round bouts, I vomited in such a vertical fashion that NASA picked it up on radar.
By continuing to allow Foreman to display his true inability to make sense during their telecasts, HBO has made an unfortunate decision. Entertainment, not credibility to the sport, is what matters most. And to be perfectly honest, I can understand where HBO is coming from. HBO, who has a contract with boxings ultimate crossover star, Oscar De La Hoya, wants to appeal to fans of all sports not just boxing. Like De La Hoya, Foreman appeals to that audience.
George Foreman + competitive fights = ratings = dollars. Enough said.
TNT Boxing Its Explosively Deadly
If you watched TNTs recent "Title Night" telecast, blow by blow man - and believe me, he blew - Kevin Harlan revealed these startling boxing facts:
Tom "Boom Boom" Johnson, who lost to Junior Jones on TNTs card, is also known as "Junior Johnson." Harlan did not tell us if Jones is also known as Junior "Boom Boom" Jones.
"Sugar" Shane Mosley, a guest fight analyst along with Gil Clancy, is the "light-heavyweight champion of the world." Personally, I cannot wait for the Mosley-Roy Jones Jr. light-heavyweight unification bout, with Mosley giving away, oh, 40 pounds or so. Prediction: Roy by KO and decapitation in the 2nd.
TNTs production quality went hand in hand with Harlans comedy of errors. In a live interview with Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis, neither Harlan, Mosley or Clancy noticed Holyfield sporting a Band-Aid of some sort on the right side of his head. Obviously, if it were a major cut or a newsworthy item we may have heard about it before the telecast (on SportsCenter, for example), but the fact that it was completely ignored was a huge error. As a fight fan, I was going nuts wanting to know what this was all about. Was Holyfield cut in training? Was the fight in danger? If TNTs crew knew that it wasnt, could they please let us in on it?
Back to Mosley. If you are going to have a big boxing name on the telecast, how about not waiting until the final round of the first fight (Johnson-Jones) to let him say more than five words? Also, Julie Lederman, daughter of Harold, made a great observation early in the Johnson-Jones bout when she noticed Jones bickering at his nose with his glove. Julie, far more attractive than Harold, stated that Jones might have broken his nose.
A good boxing production would have taken us to Jones corner in-between rounds to see if this was indeed the case. Instead, TNT went to one corner shot during a 12 round fight, and consistently missed the beginning of rounds with totally useless replays.
Hey, I know these guys are new at the sport, but its not like they didnt have competitors to learn from in HBO, Showtime, ESPN2 and Fox Sports Net. As for Harlan - normally a NBA play by play man - he got caught with his pants down. Harlan showed he has absolutely no technical knowledge of the sport, and his in your face, WWF style of calling bouts is not what TNT or boxing needs.
Hopefully TNT, who recently hired Marv Albert to do NBA games, will allow him to permanently fill Harlans role when they air their next card.
Fight of the Century
Sticking with the boxing on television theme here.
Even though I love the concept of ESPN2s "Friday Night Fights," (mixing studio analysis with live fight action), the fights are often second-rate. So I have an idea.
Rather than listen to the usual demolition of analyst Max "The Yellerman" Kellerman by Teddy Atlas every week, lets see them battle inside of the ring. Atlas clearly despises the fact that a Generation X-er attempts to go toe to toe with him in the boxing knowledge department. Therefore, Atlas should train Kellerman .thats right, train his opponent .and then beat his ass in the ring.
Until next time.
Send, questions, comments, hate e-mail to: email@example.com
Interview Conducted by Frisco
The CBZ thanks Marty Mulcahey of Boxing Wise for the use of this interview
Alex Ramos was a 4 time New York Golden Gloves champion in the 70's, and in the early 80's. During one of the middleweight divisions golden era's, he was selected as one of NBC's "Tomorrow's Champions". A group of tough talented fighters and Alex was one of the best of the bunch. At a time before there were 15 "world champions" per division Alex rose through the ranks and won the USBA middleweight title. I discovered Alex Ramos Retired Boxers Foundation and asked him if he'd answer a few questions about his career, he generously accepted and answered everything I threw at him openly and honestly.
The Retired Boxers Foundation
Alex Ramos has also established a foundation to help retired boxers and boxers who have hit hard times deal with life after the cheering has stopped. Please visit the website, where you will find all the information about the foundation and if possible donate to this very worthy cause. This is a newly established foundation so please show your support for them and their great cause
Frisco - OK, First Question Alex. You were a four time New York Golden Gloves Champion. As a former amateur boxer myself I know that's a big deal. Who were some of the fighters you fought in those days that we might know?
Alex Ramos - I fought a number of fighters who would go on to be world champions. As an amateur, I fought Jose Gomez, a world amateur champion and Olympic champion from Cuba; Duane Thomas, world champion. I also fought Tony Ayala twice as an amateur, winning one and losing one. I also fought Mike "The Body Snatcher" McCallum who was a three-time world champion. I beat him in the New York Golden Gloves semi-finals. If I had lost, I would have been on that plane with the Olympic team which went to Warsaw, Poland, for the USA against the world fighters. As you know, that plane crashed killing everyone on board. I also fought Juan Roldan, who I knocked unconscious in the first round. He was the only guy to knock down Marvin Hagler in a controversial 10th round knockdown. In addition, I fought Everett Conklin, J.B. Williams (a light heavyweight champion) and Jeff McCracken.
Frisco - After such a long accomplished amateur career was it hard to make the transition to pro? I ask because guys like Mark Breland though he had success as a pro always seemed to have a very amateur style that in part, I think was due to him staying a amateur for so long and having so many fights.
Alex Ramos - It wasn't difficult for me to make the transition from amateur to pro because I always had a professional style because of my training. The only thing that changed was training to handle the additional rounds. I had to train more for endurance after I turned pro.
Frisco - Was there as much boxing politics involved in the big time amateur game as there seems to be at the pro level?
Alex Ramos - Yes, indeed! The politics in both the amateur and the professional fight game are the same level of intensity. The stakes are much higher in the pro's because the pro level is more about money where as the amateurs are more about making a name. In both amateur and professional fights, it's still about "who you know" which is the basis of the politics.
Frisco - When You turned pro in 1980 you were a member of NBC's "Tommorows Champions", There were a lot of fighters from that group that went on to make big names for themselves Like Tony Ayala, Davey Moore, Bobby Czyz, and Johnny Bumphus. How did you get involved in that, and what did you think of all the attention some of the guys like Czyz got compared to how you were treated?
Alex Ramos - There were only eight "Tomorrow's Champions" and Bobby Czyz wasn't one of them. The confusion about Bobby being one of the eight was because my manager, Shelly Finkel, was working with Lou Duva, who was Bobby's Manager. I love Bobby Czyz and he was a great fighter. Bobby and I were stablemates. KO Magazine picked us "head-to-head" and picked me 3 to 1 to beat him. The bottom line is that I was always proud to be one of "Tomorrow's Champions" and was never envious of any of the guys. We were all very tight.
Frisco - When You beat Norberto Sabater it seemed to me you were on your way, then you fought Wayne Capplette and you destroyed him. You were looking pretty awesome at the time and people started mentioning you as one of the top young guns. You Next faced a guy who had no business beating you Ted Sanders, yet he did. I've always wanted to ask you, Alex what happened in that fight? How could Sanders beat you?
Alex Ramos - Sanders beat me because I didn't take care of myself. It was my infamous "battle with Cupid!" I was paying more attention to a woman than I was to the bout. They always say that "women weaken legs" and I am living proof that it's true. I had no legs after round 2.
Frisco - What was the deal with him not showing for the scheduled rematch? I remember at the time you walked in the ring and grabbed the mic shrugged your shoulders and said "What can I say he's a coward". Were you ever given a reasonable reason why he no showed? It seemed to me your management should have been anxious to get that one on.
Alex Ramos - Sanders didn't show up for the fight in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but he did show up the day before the media interviews. He saw me and I was in "Granite!" shape. He turned around and flew back home. It was the first time on national TV that a fighter punked out.
Frisco - In your next Fight after the Sanders loss you faced Tony Cerda, who was a tough guy but again he held you to a draw why during this period were we not seeing the same "Bronx Bomber" that beat Capplette and Sabater?
Alex Ramos - After Sanders backed out of the fight, I basically over trained. Usually, after a fight, you get some time off to see your loved ones and to have a little fun. Because of Sanders, I only got one day off. By the time I fought Cerda, I just wanted to get it over with and see my family. I had lost my heart for the win.
Frisco - You fought Curtis Parker in April of 1984 winning the USBA middleweight title. I remember the fight and it was a fantastic effort on your part. I also should tell some of the readers at that time there was a WBA and WBC champion which were both Marvin Hagler, the only other belts were the NABF and USBA and in those days those were very important titles. Guys Like Alex and Parker, James Kinchen, James Shuler all held
those belts if you wanted to get noticed you had to actually fight the other contenders. Parker was amongst the toughest of the bunch. What do you remember about that fight? What was it like finally winning a belt after the rough two years you had going into it?
Alex Ramos - I was actually supposed to fight Wilford Scypion who backed out and I was then matched with Curtis Parker, a much tougher opponent, I might add!! Parker only had 24 hours notice for this fight and he was a hell of a fighter. I remember that I was pumped up, ready to face King Kong! I was criticized for not using my jab in that fight. If I had, I probably would have ended the fight much sooner, but, I had a point to prove: I wanted the world to see that I could take a punch! I had so much press about having a "glass jaw" and I was sick of the "weak chin" comments. I fought the wrong fight with Parker, but I won unanimously on all of the judges cards. That was the biggest night of my career.
Frisco - Do you remember if you were favored to beat Parker?
Alex Ramos - The odds were very close, but I was favored to beat him.
Frisco - You fought a guy from my neck of the woods in your next fight, John Collins. I have asked him about you, and that draw you two fought and he says though he felt he won, he said that you had him stunned a couple of times and maybe even felt you were stronger then him. What was your feelings on that fight, did you deserve to win it?
Alex Ramos - Go figure! I broke his jaw, broke his cheek bones (and probably his ribs) and I cut his face badly. It was a "home-town fight" and if that fight had been anywhere else, there would have been a decisive, clear winner and it wouldn't have been Collins. Tell him I said so!
Frisco - Now in the next fight you faced James "The Heat" Kinchen. I remember looking forward to that fight for weeks because you and he were two guys made for a good fight. Your styles seemed perfect for each other and you didn't let us down that was a classic, though you lost the title and the fight. Now I know that had to be hard but the way the fight turned out in hind sight are you able to look at a fight like that and say well I lost, but we gave them a war, and be proud of how great you did in the fight? Or is it something that you can't think positively
about? I mean if you feel you can't you should reconsider because that was a great fight and in every great fight it takes two to make it one and you were one of the two.
Alex Ramos - James "The Heat" Kinchen was in shock when he won that fight. That was a bad day for me. I wasn't mentally prepared. I just gave up on myself. In fact, I never lost a fight because the opponent was better, I lost fights because I beat myself up.
Frisco - You fought a lot of big names in a golden era of the middleweights and network boxing. I'm gonna name some of your opponents and maybe you can give us a word or two on what you thought of each man.
Murray Sutherland - Tough fighter. Lot's of low blows and head butts. He basically pissed me off and Paul Venti, the referee, took rounds away from me instead of points, for low blows. What made me mad was that Sutherland had been pushing my head down and Venti refused to warn him. Everyone saw it, including the commentators. That loss was basically a political win for Sutherland. Besides the fight, I like Murray Sutherland
and consider him a good friend.
Curtis Parker - One of the toughest fighters I've ever been in the ring with, but I beat him at his own game, slugging. Curtis Parker was a slugger and I played his game. It was a great fight.
John Collins - Highway robbery! It was a home-town decision.
James "The Heat" Kinchen - I gave it to him. I quit on myself.
Michael Nunn - I called him Michael "Run"! The most boring fight of my career. All he did was run for twelve rounds. If he would have fought me, I would have beat him.
Jorge Castro - That night in Argentina was the loneliest night of my life. I went to Argentina alone and I fought him because no one else would fight him in Argentina. It was a comeback fight for me, and the fight that ended my career. If I had fought him in my prime, I would have knocked him out.
Frisco - J.B. Williamson was a man you defeated in 1983 who later became lightheavyweight champion. did you ever consider trying to go after his title while he had it?
Alex Ramos - I watched him win that title, sitting between NBA greats Maurice Lucas and Magic Johnson. I challenged him (loudly!) from ringside. I was the only fighter to ever beat him in a decision. I beat him for the amateur title and as a pro.
Frisco - Is there anything in Boxing that you regret or wish you had done differently? And what are you the most proud of about what you have accomplished?
Alex Ramos - I wish I had taken better care of myself. When I lost a fight, it was because I gave up on myself. Also, I regret putting 100% of my trust in my managers. As a fighter, I knew I was talented, but I was very much in awe of the managers I had and in hindsight, I now realize that decisions were based on business ($$$$) and not necessarily in my best interest. I second guessed my own instincts giving in to managers. If I could do it over again, I would have made more of my own decisions and asked a hell of a lot more questions.
In terms of my accomplishments, I am most proud of being selected for the USA Boxing Team and being one of "Tomorrow's Champions". I am also proud of my amateur career and all of the titles I won, especially the 4 Golden Gloves Championships. Of course, I treasure my 1984 USBA Middleweight Championship and my 1986 California Middleweight title. I'm 37 years old and I have a lot of history in the fight game, and it has
shaped my character. I learned some lessons the hard way, but I feel that everything happens for a reason. I am grateful that my brain is intact and I am extremely hopeful about the future.
Frisco - Now on to the present Alex, you are involved in the "Retired Boxers Foundation" and you have a website devoted to it and we'll give out that info at the bottom of this interview, but maybe you can tell us in your own words what it is, and how you got involved in it? Is it true that you founded it?
Alex Ramos - Of all the accomplishments I have had in the sport of boxing, I am most proud of the Retired Boxers Foundation, which I founded in 1995. While I had my glorious days in the ring like many retired professional fighters, I also had my days in the "darkness" of alcoholism, substance abuse and homelessness. I believe that God saved me from this life so that I could help my brothers from the fight game, especially those who
suffered as I did. In addition to the pain of alcoholism, substance abuse and homelessness, many fighters suffer from dementia pugilistica (the medical term for "punch drunk"), as well as rage disorders, financial problems, etc. The mission of the Retired Boxers Foundation is to help retired professional fighters make the transition from their glory days to a dignified retirement. Too many suffer humiliating retirements on the street and they don't know where to go for help. Worse yet, most of them think no one cares. These once great athletes have provided great
entertainment for boxing fans, and it is my mission for the remainder of my life, to let people know about these fighters and to find the resources to assist them. Fighters should not have to make "comebacks" when they
are well past their prime because they are desperate for money. The RBF will assist fighters in redirecting their lives and getting the support they need. For more information about the RBF, please check out our website at:
The Retired Boxers Foundation
Frisco: Now I see that the big fundraiser scheduled for last week was postponed when can fans and those interested look for that to be rescheduled?
Alex Ramos - We are rescheduling for sometime between April and July of 1999. We are currently working with our venues to choose a new date. Basically, it takes money to make money and we need more funds to make the Retired Boxers Foundation Inaugural Gala and Awards Show a reality. We have over 50 retired professional world champions that want to attend the event, but most of them cannot afford the transportation, much less the cost of a ticket. We want to honor these fighters so we need to raise enough money to pay all of their transportation and accommodations. The RBF Gala and Awards Benefit is important to the RBF because it will spotlight the mission of the organization and will educate the public on the condition of these fighters. Had we been able to acquire adequate funds for the December 10th event, we had ESPN, HBO and others ready to
cover it. This event will be the first of many in the RBF World Tour, with the first event in California, and subsequent events in New York City, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Europe, etc.
HBO's Real Sports, hosted by Bryant Gumbel, is doing a show in February or March on the RBF and boxers' pension plans. We will keep you posted and we hope you will watch the program. In the meantime, we will keep
Frisco - I would like to take this space and thank you For Not only talking to me today and answering these questions, but also for putting it all on the line and giving fans like me many, many great memories to remember you by and making me a little bit more a boxing fan by your efforts.
Alex Ramos - Maybe you can help me. I got a call from NBC in New York. They are trying to find an old time fighter from the '40s by the name of Billy Fox. Billy is supposedly homeless and living somewhere on the East Coast. The RBF is trying to help NBC find this guy because they want to help him out. Also, if you know any other down and out fighters in the New York area, or if any of your fans do, we would like to know about
them and how to find them. Thanks!
Frisco - No Problem Alex, we will pass that along to our readers. If anyone out there knows the where abouts of Billy Fox (who fought Jake LaMotta in a infamous fight), or other retired down and out fighters please pass along that info to Alex Ramos at firstname.lastname@example.org or myself at email@example.com and I will pass that info to Alex.
JOHN L. SULLIVAN I CAN LICK ANY MAN IN THE HOUSE
By Tracy Callis
John L. Sullivan was one of Americas first sports idols. He was a flag-waving patriot who reflected the spirit of a vibrant, young nation. Confident, strong, aggressive, and outspoken, Sullivan was a natural showman.
Shirtless, adorned in knee-breeches and stockings, wearing fighting boots (shoes with spikes), the great John L. fought using either bare-knuckles, skin-tight gloves, or padded gloves. He battled under both the London Prize Ring Rules and the Marquis of Queensberry Rules. McCallum (1974 p 3) calls him "the true link between the bare-knuckle and glove eras".
At the call of "time", Sullivan with black mustache, high cheekbones and sunken cheeks charged out glaring, scowling, snorting, and swinging trying to land the "Boston Special", his powerful right hand punch. He was surprisingly fast for a 195-pounder. He used a straight up stance, employed feints, and threw the "One-Two". In addition, he threw powerful left and right swings.
John could also take a good punch. In his prime, he quickly disposed of power hitters and, because of his endurance, was able to catch and defeat his greatest problem as a fighter the "hit-and-run" tactician. But, over the years, his drinking and riotous living habits did him in. He even drank and smoked cigars during training.
His knockout ability has been challenged in recent years but he most certainly belongs in a special class of power punchers like "Sailor" Tom Sharkey of the 1890s, Rocky Marciano of the 1950s, and Mike Tyson of today. He fought in a day when a man received credit for a knockout only if he scored a knockout. There were no technical knockouts. If a fight was stopped by a referee because of an injury such as a broken arm or by the police to prevent a brutal beating - there was no knockout. If an opponent quit fighting or ran from the ring - there was no knockout. The verdict was a "win".
There are many such bouts on Sullivans record which would be called knockouts by todays rules but were simply recorded as wins in his day Joe Goss, Johnny "Cocky" Woods, Dan Dwyer, Steve Taylor, John Flood, Tug Collins, Charlie Mitchell, John Laflin, Alf Greenfield, Paddy Ryan (1885), and Frank Herald.
There were many "No Decision" bouts on his record and, doubtless, if the details of these matches were known, he would have many more knockouts. Durant (1976 p 24) writes that Sullivan is estimated to have knocked out some 200 men during his career while fighting all types of men lumberjacks, blacksmiths, local strong boys, and professional fighters.
Further, during the early years, records were often in error (for various reasons). Even topnotch fighters were apt to let many victories over minor opponents slip away unrecorded.
There is no question that John L. could hit. Langley (1973 pp 27 29) writes "As a knockout specialist Johns record remains unbeaten. No other fighter in history has left such a trail of broken and aching jaws behind him".
Tim Scannell, 200-pound competitor, was lifted up and out of the ring by a Sullivan punch. Charlie Mitchell and John Donaldson were also knocked out of the ring.
He knocked many men "cold" and battered numerous others into helpless submission. John Flood, Paddy Ryan, Jake Kilrain, John Laflin, and Frank Herald were among those who had to be carried from the ring.
He broke jaws and bashed in faces with abandon. Johnny "Cocky" Woods, Kilrain, Scannell, Laflin, and Ryan were numbered among those who carried distorted features in the years following their pounding by the "Great John L".
Paddy Ryan said "When Sullivan hit me, I thought a telegraph pole had been shoved against me endways" (see Durant and Bettman 1952 p 79; Durant 1976 p 22).
Professor Mike Donovan commented on Sullivans style "It wasnt boxing. It was like being hit by a runaway horse". The Professor called John L. the strongest man he ever fought and add, "He used his right as a blacksmith would use a sledge hammer " (see Durant and Rice 1946 and McCallum 1974 p 10).
Charlie Harvey, old time manager, described Sullivan as a "rushing, tearing-in, two-fisted fighter with a power punch" and called him " big, fast, and courageous" (see Fleischer 1972 p 207).
Diamond (1954 p 10) writes about Sullivan "He was quick on his feet as quick as any modern heavyweight. And what a punch he had! A knockout in each hand! He was not a scientific boxer but a slugger, depending mainly on a vicious right swing to the jaw".
Durant and Rice (1946) state "He was superbly fast with his hands and he moved always forward, growling as he advanced".
Grombach (1977 p 43) describes Sullivan in this way "According to the writers of his time, he was a great burly, slugging fighter with bull-like tactics, mighty fists, and little science. He was good-natured, generous, conceited, blustering, and extremely popular".
Durant and Bettman (1952 p 79) state that " he was more than merely strong. He was amazingly fast for a big man and had a knock-em-dead punch in either hand. Ring science was not for John L. He never bothered much with defense. He brushed aside blows and kept moving forward, always punching. His was a hurricane attack".
McCallum (1974 pp 10 11) describes him " He was far from being muscle-bound. He was a "natural" puncher. His punches were perfectly timed, seldom wild, and fast. In the ring, he was extraordinarily fast. His hands were large. His shoulders enormous, his chest was remarkably deep ".
Lardner (1972 p 43) writes that Sullivan was a bully, a boozer, and a braggart and later adds that he looked like a conqueror with his florid face, black brow, black hair, mustache, and aggressive fighters jaw. Burrill (1974 p 181) says he was "notorious for drinking and tavern brawls". Tom Langley (1973 p 31) says that "Sullivan implicitly believed in his invincibility and wasted no time in passing on this information to the world".
Billy Roche, famous referee, rated Sullivan as the greatest of all heavyweights and said that John L. had the best "One-Two"punch that he (Roche) ever saw (see McCallum 1974 p 4).
Gilbert Odd, Boxing Historian, once wrote that John L. in most of his early years only had to hit a man one time. If he did not knock the man out of the fight, he knocked the fight out of the man.
Jim Jeffries called Sullivan the greatest fighter in ring history (see Fullerton 1929 p VIII). Cooper (1978 p 103) calls " John L., the Champion of Champions to everybody who saw him fight ".
Grombach (1977 p 46) writes: " if the strength, speed, hitting power, fighting instinct, and ring ferocity of Sullivan had been developed in the school of modern boxing, and were he around today, he would be a dangerous challenger to any champion".
ReferencesEd. Note - After this interview was conducted William Joppy was involved in a serious car accident which caused the cancellation of his bout with Darren Obah. Julio Cesar Green, who faced Joppy twice, stepped into the ring with Obah, and won the "Interim" middleweight crown by knockout. When Joppy returns, he will face Green. While this interview may seem dated, based upon the date, it is definitely timely in terms of the status of the middleweight division, and the future of William Joppy---TG
Burrill, B. 1974. Whos Who In Boxing: New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House
Cooper, H. 1978. The Great Heavyweights. Secaucus, New Jersey: Chartwell Books, Inc.
Diamond, W. 1954. Kings of the Ring. London: The Worlds Work (1913) Ltd.
Durant, J. and Bettman, O. 1952. Pictorial History of American Sports. Cranbury, New Jersey: A.S. Barnes and Co.
Durant, J. and Rice, E. 1946. Come Out Fighting. Cincinnati: Zebra Picture Books.
Durant, J. 1976. The Heavyweight Champions. New York: Hastings House Pub.
Fleischer, N. 1972. Jack Dempsey. New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House.
Fullerton, H. 1929. Two-Fisted Jeff. Chicago: Consolidated Book Publishers, Inc.
Grombach, J. 1977. The Saga of Sock. London : Thomas Yoseloff Ltd.; Cranbury, New Jersey: A.S. Barnes and Company, Inc.
Langley, T. 1973. The Life of John L. Sullivan. Leicester, England: Vance Harvey Publishing.
Lardner, R. 1972. The Legendary Champions. New York: American Heritage Press.
McCallum, J. 1974. The World Heavyweight Boxing Championship. Radnor, Pa.: Chilton Book Company
December 21, 1998
As The Clock Strikes 12, William Joppy Still Waits!
By Francis Walker
For world middleweight champion William Joppy, boxing has been good. But at the same time it has done him injustice. Within a span of six years, Joppy, a 28-year-old native of Rockville, Maryland, has won the middleweight championship twice. Joppy, despite holding a 26-1-1, 20KO record, has defeated every fighter he has faced. Joppy's style is an exceptional replica of the fighters in old days, who were boxer-sluggers. Joppy, though chooses not to brawl, adds smoothness and ring intelligence to his technique. Yet, Joppy still waits for his opportunity........
Despite having faced tough opposition as a professional thus far, Joppy still waits on the marquee opposition which could eventually put him on the road to greatness. The same way Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns, Roberto Duran, Aaron Pryor, Wilfred Benitez, and Alexis Arguello had epic battles which led to each having legendary careers - Joppy is going to need to have the same type of opponents that will bring out his best. However, in this day and age, quality opponents are few and far between.
The other option for Joppy is to unify the middleweight championship. The same way Hagler did in the 80's, Joppy will have to do in the late 90's-early 2000s. Lastly, Joppy could hold on to the WBA version of the 160-pound championship and defend it as often as possible, without getting beat.
Either way the clock will strike 12, and Joppy has to make a stand. Make no mistake, Joppy is far from the end of his career. However, his time to capture the hearts and minds of the boxing public is now. Nonetheless, until Joppy gets an opportunity to fight the great fights, he has to wait.
In an interview conducted before the holiday season, I had an opportunity to sit with both the champ and his executive advisor J.D. Brown of Sugar Ray Leonard Management. The two were excited about Joppy's future, and were very optimistic that the great fights will come.
Francis Walker: Its been a while since we last saw Joppy in action. What's in the near future for the champ?
J.D. Brown: "We're going to fight the mandatory Darrin Obah of Australia.We've been waiting for a purse bid. Joppy's been training, he's ready to fight. Everyone seems to be ducking him. Its seems like he has the bubonic plague, I think its called the right-hand plague and everybody's scared. One
of the things we're trying to do is to let everyone know they can come get their flu shots. 'Cause, we're going to knockout everybody that wants to come for us."
FW: I have had the pleasure of watching some of the top ranked middleweight contenders in the rankings perform...... I am very confident not only that Joppy could unify, but I think he could also hold on to his middleweight championship for a long time.
Brown: "There is no question he is the best middleweight out there. We're hoping guys come out and unify the titles. We've been asking for (IBF champ) Bernard Hopkins, (WBC Champ) Hassine Cherifi, whoever wants to step to the plate and fight. We're hoping Oscar De La Hoya moves up and get his face at 160 pounds. Especially to meet Joppy."
FW: I don't think Oscar wants to go anywhere near 160 right about now!
Brown: "If he moves up, we got him!"
FW: I would love to see Joppy in a career defining fight. It would be good for Joppy to meet Oscar, but I don't know about at 160 pounds. Oscar, I feel will be at 147 for a very long time.
Brown: "Well, I think he is going to try. He's a risk taker. Right now, he's a welterweight champion. He's going to move up and try to become the junior middleweight champion. Hopefully, he can get up to the middleweight championship - We would love to entertain him."
FW: For much of 1998, I've ran into Bernard Hopkins. He's a big fight fan, always at the fights. Hopkins mostly spoke of Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya, and Roy Jones, Jr. But let me tell you something...... Hopkins knows Robert Allen not only has speed and reflexes, but power as well. It will be a tough fight for "The Executioner" when he meets Allen again.
Brown: "I think its a good fight. I think Bernard Hopkins will rise to the occasion. He's middleweight champion of the world. I think Allen showed well in the first fight. The injury caused the fight to be stopped. I would have liked to seen it continue, but I can't worry about that right now."
FW: What do you think of Antwun Echols?
Brown: "Good fighter, good puncher. But he hasn't fought anyone yet!"
FW: of all the middleweights, does anyone pose the threat to the Joppy reign?
Brown: "The only test for William Joppy would be Evander Holyfield..... And we'll fight him next after Lennox Lewis."
Moments later, the champ spoke......
FW: do you think Hopkins' ankle injury was legitimate?
Joppy: "Hell no, it wasn't legit. What happened, he took Robert Allen lightly. So mentally, he wasn't ready. He knew he was in a fight, and he found out a way out. Now he's going to comeback and train harder. He's going to come back better next time. Still, Robert Allen will be back better. His confidence level is building up to, but Hopkins will come back stronger next time. The next one will be better, I want the winner!"
FW: Just before the incident when referee Mills Lane shoved Hopkins outside the ring the in fourth round, I noticed Allen was just as fast and quicker in terms of reflexes. Not to mention, Allen is a southpaw. Do yo think that could pose a problem for Hopkins in the rematch?
Joppy: "Yeah! Like I said, I got respect for all of them - Robert Allen too! If Bernard Hopkins uses his jab, back Robert Allen up...... It will be a different story! Robert Allen can't fight going back. As long as he dictates the fight, he's in better control."
FW: I read your interview in KO Magazine. You said the difference between being under contract with a managerial group, as oppose to not having one, is they cater to you. You can't do what you want to do. Explain!
Joppy: "Well, when I was under contract, I'm self-managed! I've been self-managed for almost a year now. Since my contract ended in February of this year, its more or less they cater to me since I'm not on paper. In case if something happened, I didn't want to go to court to try and get out of
contract. Now its more or less, they're scared they could lose their jobs. I could tell them kick the bucket - whatever! But I couldn't do that at the time because, I was under contract! Now, I'm making trouble. I pay then what I want to pay them."
"I'm a self-managed fighter! Put that in the paper!"
FW: When I first started out in boxing, I noticed the fighters back in the 50's up until the mid-80's had their managers work for them. With the fighters now, they work for the promoter. They also work for their manager. Look at Hagler, Hearns, Leonard, Arguello, Pryor, and Davis - it wasn't like that back in their time.
Joppy: "Even Ray Leonard tried to get me to sign a contract with him. After J.D. flew me out there to meet Ray Leonard, I took the contract back to my lawyer. My lawyer asked Ray Leonard on the phone, why should Joppy sign a contract, as opposed to when you were a fighter, you weren't under contract? Cat had his (Leonard's) tongue, he didn't know what to say."
FW: As boxing approaches the year 2000, I feel its important for fighters to understand negotiations, contracts, and have promoters and managers work for them. Moving on, your mandatory is next. Do you know much of Darrin Obah?
Joppy: "Well, I don't know nothing about him. Like I said, I'm not taking nobody lightly. Boxing is a dangerous game. I'm going to be more than 150%. I'm always in the gym. I'll be ready for whichever way the ball bounce. I spar with southpaws, heavier guys, fast guys, slow guys, I spar with anything!
Anything you bring to me, I'll be ready."
FW: Are you happy with the 160-pound weight-class?
Joppy: "No, I'm not because, we don't have enough publicity. We need to bring it back to the Roberto Duran days and the Tommy Hearns."
FW: Has Don King mentioned the fact he would like to unify the titles?
Joppy: "I don't know yet. I haven't spoken to Don, we have to talk."
FW: While we are on the topic of middleweights as always, do you think much of Antwun Echols?
Joppy: "Everytime I see him, he gets better. They told me when I fought Duran, had that not come through (Joppy-Duran), stick Echols in there. Robert Allen knocked Echols out in the amateurs. Echols can hit now! Everytime I see him, he gets better. But he can't beat me!"
News Items, Upcoming Pro and Amateur Events, Pro and Amateur Results
By Katherine Dunn
MOTORMOUTH ON THE ROPES
Mike "Motormouth" Morton, the maestro and Jewish leprechaun of Oregon fight managers is recuperating at home from a sudden series of health problems. The situation must be serious because this month the 86 year-old
Morton sold Lager Construction, the siding business he has owned for many decades. "Motormouth" is a cult hero to non-fight fans for the late night TV commercials in which his demonic grin and New York accent invited folks to come on in to Lager for "a cup of kaw-fee. And you know," Morton would grin with intense and mysterious insinuation,"I like mine with cream and shu-gah."
Even more ominous, Morton has released his last pugilistic hope, Miguel Arrozal, from his managerial contract. Arrozal says he will now be trained and managed by his brother and his step father. Morton managed dozens of fighters over the years, among them world ranked contenders such as light heavyweight Andy Kendall who lost his title shot against Bob Foster, middleweight Mike Colbert who lost his championship try against Marvin Hagler, and lightweight Ray Lampkin who lost his campaign for the crown in a legendary battle in the Panamanian sun with the great Roberto Duran. Morton always yearned to manage a world champion, and he faced these close calls with trademark humor. "Always the bridesmaid, never the bride," he'd say.
In 1989 Morton arranged for Arrozal and his family to immigrate to the U.S. from the Phillipines. With a respectable monthly salary from Morton, Arrozal had a rollercoaster campaign as a featherweight. By dint of his
enormous sales skills, Morton kept Arrozal in the top fifteen world rankings for years.
Morton says "When Bobby Lee wanted to drop Miguel from the IBF rankings I told him, 'Bobby you drop him from the rankings you'll give me a heart attack!' and Bobby said he didn't want that on his conscience, so
Miguel stayed in the ratings." In January of 1996, Arrozal lost a respectable 12 round decision in his crack at Eloy Rojas' WBA featherweight crown.
When, in late 1998, Arrozal won the new and nebulous World Boxing Board Jr. lightweight championship in a main event at the Lucky Eagle Casino in Rochester, WA. both Morton and his fighter celebrated as though it were the unified and undisputed crown of the whole planet. In his first title defense Arrozal lost to John Palaki of Seattle, in the same ring where he won it. On the morning of Arrozal's loss, Morton suffered a broken hip and a stroke as he left his Portland home, preparing to drive to the casino for the fight. Further medical complications have delayed his recovery. Morton explained that he could no longer pay Arrozal and the fighter demanded to be released from his contract, which had a year and a half left to run.
Morton says, "I spent over a hundred and fifty thousand dollars on him over the years. Miguel always said I was like a father to him, but when the money dried up I became a step-father."
It's too early to count Morton out, however. By all reports his health is gradually improving, and he's still cracking jokes and laughing uproariously.
OREGON COMMISSION CHANGES
The January 1, '99 retirement of Bruce Anderson, the long-time Executive Director of the Oregon State Police Boxing and Wrestling Commission, triggered a nationwide search for a replacement. The deadline for applications was February 16. At a Commission meeting in the State Building in Portland on Friday, Feb. 26, interim director Loren Glover announced that during the search 33 applications had been requested and sent out, and eighteen applications had been filled out and submitted. The new Director must be selected and installed by the end of May.
A vacancy on the Commission itself was created when former professional wrestler Ed Giovanetti of Canby, OR resigned in January. The remaining commission members are Chairman and medical advisor, Dr. Luis Rios of Albany, former professional boxer Adofo Akil of Portland, businessman Greg Smith of Pendleton, and amateur boxing coach, Joe Pedrojetti of Medford. A replacement for Giovanetti will be appointed by the Superintendent of State Police.
By the end of March, 1999, The Oregon State Police Boxing and Wrestling Commission will move from its original office in Wilsonville, OR to existing OSP Tribal Gaming Offices in the state capitol, Salem, OR. Captain Bob Miller of OSP informed the Commission that the move was intended to save rent money and to improve security for Commission staff.
NORTHWEST LIVE PRO SCHEDULE
Thursday, March 4,--It's Olympian night at the Couer D'Alene Casino in Worley, Idaho. Promoter Cedrick Kushner's featured creatures include '96 U.S. Olympians Terrence Cauthen and Roshii Wells. Local boy, Martin
O'Malley, the former national amateur champ of Edmunds, WA is on the undercard in a 135 lb bout vs Carlos Nevarez of Ft. Collins, Colorado.
Friday, March 12--The Lucky Eagle Casino in Rochester, WA promotes with veteran matchmaker Benny Georgino at the wheel. Georgino says his ten round main event will be for the Northwest Boxing Association middleweight title and pits Seattle's Tim Shocks (17-5) against the California state middleweight champ, Nick Martinez (10-0).
In a Jr. lightweight ten, California's transplant from the Phillipines,
Isagani Pumar tangles with Felipe Garcia of Denver. Both veterans share the distinction of
having defeated the formerly ranked Miguel Arrozal.
Undefeated Portland middleweight, Quandray "Candy" Robertson is scheduled for eight with Augustine Renteria who previously defeated the night's main eventer, Tim Shocks.
In a trio of four rounders: Oregon heavyweights Sean Jewell and Arnette Churn are set, Canadian Ronnie Wilson meets Tacoma's Tex Miles in a heavyweight scrap, and middleweight Chris Huntwork of Portland meets Del Ritchie of Canada.
Saturday, March 20-- Tacoma hosts the HBO broadcast of live fights from the tent at the Emerald Queen Casino. Promoter Cedric Kushner presents Chris Byrd vs Ike Ibeabuchi, and the re-match of Kirk Johnson and Al Cole. All tickets to the live show will be sold through the Emerald Queen Casino, phone 253-594-7777, starting on March 8.
Saturday, March 27--The second pro fight event is scheduled for the Seven Feathers Hotel & Casino Resort in Canyonville, OR. So far no names have been released by the promoter, Patrick Ortiz of Ringside Ticket, based in
San Jose, CA. Details to come.
Saturday, April 3--Portland entrepreneur Alan James makes his debut as a fight promoter with a show in the third floor ballroom of the Portland Art Museum Masonic Temple Annex. Matchmaker Bob Oleson will announce the
NORTHWEST PRO RESULTS
Saturday, Feb. 27, 1999, in the tent at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, promoter Brian Halquist and matchmaker Bob Oleson had a standing room crowd for six bouts.
Three-time world champion, Greg "Mutt" Haugen (148 lbs) of Seattle, WA stepped into his first 8 round bout in many years with a record of 38-8-2. Haugen won a lop-sided decision over Rudy Lavato (146 3/4 lbs) of
Albuquerque, N. Mexico who ended the night with 13-12 record. Lavato needed an 8 count early and survived a knockdown in the final round. Haugen took a three-stitch cut in the corner of his right eye but sailed on with the aid of cut man Joe Vacarella.
Tim Puller (228 lbs) now of Lakewood, WA took his 15th win in twenty fights stopping Matt Green, (239 1/4 lbs) of Sanford, North Carolina at 2:52 of the third round. Green won the first two rounds but dropped to 10-5 compliments of Puller's right hand. This main event bout was scheduled for ten rounds.
Raul Garcia-Pena (141 3/4 lbs) went to 5-1-1, stopping Alfonzo "Scooter" Meza (139 3/4 lbs) of Yakima at 2:51 of the 6th and final round. Meza declined to 8-5, and may have suffered a broken jaw in the encounter.
In a women's four-rounder, Katherine Williams (118 lbs) of Ontario, Canada came in at 3-0 to win a unanimous decision over Tawana Braxton (118 1/2 lbs) of Forest Park, Georgia, who started the night with 1-7 record.
A female flyweight four had Kim Messer (107 3/4 lbs) now 4-1, winning a unanimous decision over Tracey Stevens (108 1/4 lbs) now 0-2, of Ontario, Canada.
Ronnie Warren (173 1/2 lbs) of Tacoma went to 5-3 with a four round decision over Nathaniel "Tex" Miles (175 lbs) now 3-11-1, also of Tacoma.
Saturday, Jan. 30, 1999
Brian Halquist Productions, with matchmaker Bob Oleson brought boxing back to the big tent in the parking lot of the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, WA.
The main event was scheduled for eight and featured a former prospect named Tim Puller, who is making a run at resurrection in the heavyweight division. The 29 year-old, 6'6'' Puller is originally from Philadelphia and kicked off as a pro fighting in Nevada in 1990. Puller was going along nicely at 12-2, 7 KO's until 1995. In that year he was slammed with back-to-back stoppages by Chris Byrd and Tim Witherspoon. After nine months of recuperation, Puller was stopped by Lou Savarese in the second round. Now, coming back from an eighteen month lay-off, Puller has new management in Seattle's Roland Jankelson, who handled heavyweights Pinklon
Thomas and Joe Hipp, among others.
Puller came in at 221 pounds with a 13-5 record, and his dance partner for
the night was 35 year-old Isaac Brown of Tennessee. Brown's half-and-half record shows
he's been stopped by Vaughn Bean, Lance Whitaker, Obed Sullivan and lesser luminaries. His
luck didn't change in Tacoma. Puller stopped Brown at 1:14 of the second round.
In a middleweight eight, Tim Shocks (158 lbs) of Seattle won a unanimous decision over Leroy Owens (153 3/4 lbs) of Las Vegas.
Alfonzo "Scooter" Meza (140 3/4 lbs) of Yakima, WA TKO'd Carlos Navarez (137 1/4 lbs) of Denver, CO. at 2:04 of the 6th in a scheduled six.
In a trio of four-round bouts:
Ronnie Warren (177 1/4 lbs) of Tacoma, WA won a majority decision over Mark Longo (177
1/4 lbs) of Denver, CO.
Heavyweight Willie Chapman (231 1/2 lbs) of Ogden, UT decisioned Arnet Churn (237 3/4
lbs) of Portland, OR.
In a women's Jr. lightweight bout, 45 year-old Marsha Budde (131 1/2 lbs) of Denver won
a split decision over 42 year-old Cathy Boyes (129 3/4 lbs) of Kamloops, British Columbia.
Referees were Jeff Macaluso and Ron Rall. Judges were Glen Hamada, Tom McDonough, and Barry Druxman.
Friday, Jan. 22, 1999
Young promoter Tom O'Malley produced this show with the help of matchmaker Bob Oleson and others as a showcase for his brother, Martin O'Malley, in their hometown of Edmonds, WA. The arena was the Seaview Auditorium at Edmonds Community College, the site for international headlines back in '94 when O'Malley's manager/trainer, Bob Jarvis, presented the first ever amateur boxing match between American women. O'Malley fought and won on that card as an amateur. Five years later the crowd was almost as big and just as enthusiastic.
Former national amateur champ, Martin O'Malley (132 1/2 lbs) of Edmonds remained
undefeated by stopping Charles Dairy (131 1/2 lbs) of Kansas at 1:25 of the third round in
a scheduled eight round main event.
In four round bouts:
Mike Lucero (139 lbs) of Portland, OR won a majority decision over James Alger (138 lbs) of Portland.
Brock Stodden (163 1/2 lbs) of Bremerton, WA decisioned Ignacio Gonzalez (164 1/4 lbs) of Washougal, WA.
In a women's bout, the 1998 bronze medallist at the U.S. Amateur Championships, Shelley Lay (128 1/4 lbs) of Salt Lake City, Utah took the decision from Bambi Bertoncello (127 3/4 lbs) of Issaquah, WA. Both women
were making their pro debut.
The 1997 National Golden Glove Champ, Kenito Drake (151 3/4 lbs) of Detroit, MI remained undefeated with a decision over Enrico Ramirez (154 3/4 lbs) of Omaha, Nebraska.
Referees were Paul Field and Bob Howard. Judges were Alan Krebs, Joe Macaluso and Mac McCollum
"Razor" Ruddock: Can he slice his way back?
By: Dave Iamele
From the mid 80's until the mid 90's, Donovan "Razor" Ruddock was a force to be reckoned with in the heavyweight division. Then, after a June '95 bout with Tommy Morrison, Razor disappeared from the fight game. Like many great and not so great heavyweights from the past, Ruddock could not stay away, and resurfaced in April of '98 drubbing out unheralded Brian Yates in four rounds. Since then, Ruddock has won three more "comeback" bouts all by KO.
I had the opportunity to speak with Razor on the eve of his latest comeback bout at the Turningstone Casino in Verona, NY where he was scheduled to face Anthony Willis (17-8, 12 KO's) in the main event on February 19. The 1999 version of Razor Ruddock is indeed the new and improved version, at least out of the ring, as he has jettisoned all of the distractions that he claims account for many of his losses inside the squared circle. Razor has a new promoter, Mike Acri, a new trainer, Jesse Reid, and a new outlook. Jesse was kind enough to sit in on the conversation and add his thoughts on his latest pupil.
DI: "You were born in Jamaica. How long did you live there?"
RR: "For 11 years."
DI: "Then you moved to Canada?"
RR: "Yes, Toronto."
DI: "When you started fighting, your trainer was Art Miles?"
RR: "No! No, he was never my trainer."
DI: "That's a . . . misconception?"
RR: "That's not a misconception, that's a damn lie."
DI: "Well, I know for a time you worked with Floyd Patterson. What happened to him?"
RR: "Oh yeah, Floyd was my trainer. He just kind of faded away . . . he just faded away. We just tried and it didn't work and he just faded away. Floyd is a good decent person. Most boxers are good, decent people."
DI: "You had kind of an interesting amateur background in that you had only 17 bouts. What was the rush?"
RR: "I figured what the heck . . . instead of fighting three rounds and getting a trophy, I could fight for four rounds and get $500." -laughs-
DI: "You fought and beat Lennox Lewis in the amateurs, what was the difference as a pro?"
RR: "What happened was that a lot of things went wrong in London. I shouldn't have gone to London, number one, and when I did, I didn't really do the right thing. I made a lot of mistakes."
DI: "How did you become involved in boxing?"
RR: "Well, I used to play tennis, but in Canada it gets cold and snows so you can't play outdoors and it's very expensive to play indoors so I had to go to a different sport, and I chose boxing." -laughs-
DI: "You have one of the best and most colorful nicknames in boxing, "Razor" Ruddock. How did you get it?"
RR: "When I was in the Canadian Army, they used to call me Razor and it stuck with me."
DI: "When you turned pro in '83, you didn't lose in your first 10 bouts, then lost to journeyman Dave Jaco because of what your brother claimed was an asthma attack. Is that true? Has it bothered you since?"
RR: "Yeah, yeah. That's true and it has bothered me. Every fight I fought, I've fought taking Ventaline (asthma medication) except for the last oh. . . What happened was I moved to Florida for the nice weather, and it's helped me quite a bit. I haven't had a problem with it since. I also had some serious large tonsils that were blocking my airway that I've had removed."
DI: "In the last bout of your first career in June of '95, you lost a bout to Tommy Morrison. How?"
RR: "No, Tommy can't beat me! I know Tommy can't beat me! He can't really beat me! I went through a whole bunch of problems before that fight. I hate making excuses, but it happened. The referee stopped the fight too quickly, I had dropped Tommy twice. He had me on the ropes, and I was blocking all of his shots. I was trying to let him ware himself out. He couldn't have come out for the next round but the ref stopped the fight. But, you know, you get some good ones and you get some bad ones. These are the breaks you get. But you know I can't look back on . . . you see I can't lose. I can't lose. What I mean is, the only time I lose is if I say to myself, 'I lose'. If I lose a fight, I don't lose because I say to myself, 'I learn', ok, so I never lose. So I continue trying to learn all the time, I will succeed. Even when I walk into the fight if people 'boo' me that's ok cause I'll come back."
DI: "Prior to that bout, you were involved in a lawsuit with Murad Muhammad. Why was your promoter suing you?"
RR: "Oh man, oh God."
DI: "But you won the suit, didn't you?"
RR: "Yeah, yeah . . . oh man that fight (Morrison) was a mistake!!"
DI: "Why was Murad suing you?"
RR: "He's a thief, that's why. A con artist, you know. I don't really want to get into anymore than that, he's just a con artist."
DI: "Now back home in Florida, you had even more problems when your nightclub went bankrupt, what happened?"
RR: "Yeah, you know, we tried. If we don't try, we don't know if we're going to succeed. When I made my money, I was young, no one gave me a play book to show me how to deal with it. I didn't go to University to learn how to invest it. I had to learn the hard way, and I made some serious mistakes. My education is so expensive you couldn't afford to pay for it because it cost me millions of dollars to get my education (laughs) so I'll know differently next time."
DI: "So many of the problems you've had in bouts you've lost had a lot to do with outside (of the ring) distractions.?"
RR: "Yes, lots. When I started boxing, I wanted to fight. I'd fight for free! As soon as money became involved, I had all kinds of different people around me. I mean suddenly it's all about the money, people arguing. I mean all of that just turned me off of boxing, you know. It wasn't fun anymore."
DI: "Is your brother Delroy still working with you?"
RR: "No, no." (Ruddock's reply was quiet, obviously there are some hard feelings between the two brothers)
DI: "You were out of the ring for a few years from 95 - 98 and then one day, I read in the papers, 'arrested for robbing convenience store, former heavyweight contender, Razor Ruddock.' The charges were dropped, but what the heck was that all about?"
RR: "No, no!!" (laughing) "Convenience store? Where did you get that? Somebody got that wrong, that's not true. You guys, where do you get this stuff?" (Razor's obviously amused by this whole thing)
DI: "Well, now is your chance to set the record straight. Why were you even arrested?"
RR: "C'mon, I can't believe that! Convenience store?"
DI: "Yeah, like a 7-11."
RR: "No, c'mon, that's not true! No, this was all a mixup with my ex-girlfriend. My ex-girlfriend is . . . crazy. She's just crazy, she comes to my house and just . . . all this happened in my house, ok? And they charge me with robbing my own house?!"
DI: "Why come back after three years?"
RR: "I want to finish the job that I didn't do. I feel I have the ability to go all the way, and I just want to give myself an honest chance and do the best I can so that when I sit back years from now, I can say I gave it my all, that I tried all of it instead of thinking that I wasted these years, that I didn't do the best that I can. I won't have that regret for the rest of my life."
DI: "What's your goal, a title shot?"
RR: "Yeah, yeah."
DI: "How is your relationship with your new promoter, Mike Acri?"
RR: "Great. I mean, it's a great relationship and also with my trainer and Nate Brown. I only have a few people around me. Also, my wife, she supported me all the way."
DI: "What are you and your new trainer, Jesse Reid, working on in the gym?"
RR: "We're working on everything. Jesse is a very good trainer, he's the best I've had. Really."
DI: "The big knocks on Razor Ruddock in the past have been that you are a one armed fighter. What happened to your right hand?"
RR: "Ok, ok!! Well we have a lot to show you. I've come a long way, I mean I'm just now learning how to fight, so I can't just sit here and say I'm gonna do this and I'm gonna do that, you'll just have to see. Over the course of the years, as you see me comeback, you're going to say ok, you know?"
DI: "Well, we know you've got the smash. No one can deny that . . ."
RR: "We just have to learn when to use it, that's all. When to set it up. Usually, I just walk in and try to use it right away and jump on the guy because that's all I knew but now it's a different story, a totally different story."
DI: "I have to admit that I am a big Razor Ruddock fan, so I'll be pulling for you in your comeback. I told everyone prior to your bout with L. Lewis that I thought you could beat all of the dominant heavies at that time - Lewis, Holyfield, Bowe, etc. . . Now's your chance to show everyone that I was just ahead of my time."
RR: "Are you? Well, I had my chance then but I also had something negative working against me. I had people that were taking way my energy from boxing, you know what I mean? A boxer is like a race car, it has to be tuned. If one spark plug is bad, that car can't win. Same thing with a boxer, when you walk in that ring, you have to be 100%, at your best. A lot of the times, I've gone in the ring, and I'm not 100%, not my best because I've had no one beside me to tell me, ok, Donovan, you have to do this, you have to do that, cut down on this. I had no one to give me guidance all they wanted to do was stand around and get the cash. If they had just helped me, everyone would have got all the cash in the world, they were just too damn greedy."
DI: "I heard that David Tua called you to fight after Rahman pulled out of his original date. Why didn't you take the bout, short notice?"
RR: "They never called me! Who said they called me?! Oh, man, I'm not even going to dispute that!"
DI: "What about Michael Grant? I read that Grant was going to fight you and some of the boxing writers were like, 'oh, I hope not, Grant would kill poor Razor Ruddock!'?"
RR: "Who said that?! Let me tell you something, heavyweights reach their peak between 30 and 40. They really do, and I'm just really learning to fight right now. I'm telling you the truth. I'm getting my strength up, I'm more experienced . . . I have to prove it, I can't sit here and tell you this, you know? When they talk negative, I never ever really listen, I don't even read the newspaper because I know Razor Ruddock. So, if you write - Donovan Ruddock is the greatest guy in the world, that doesn't make it so. If I'm an asshole that doesn't change me into a good guy, does it. So it doesn't matter what people say."
DI: "When are you going to step up your competition?"
RR: "You know that I'll fight anyone. Win or lose, I fight everyone. What I'm doing right now is fine tuning my skills so that when the time comes, I'll be sharp. We're going to get there, we're going to fight for the title, but right now this is the way we fine tune it. To go in there, get in front of the crowd, put in the work, be consistent and then bam, when I get my shot (at the title) I'll be able to deal with it. I don't underestimate anyone because on any given night if a heavyweight hits you, something can happen. So what I do is I train for the title every day. When I finish this fight, I take a week off and relax then I'm back in the gym again, and I start to work. You see if I do this I'm going to do it 100% and no less."
DI: "Do you worry about losing to a guy like this before you can get a shot at a big payday or a title?"
RR: "That always crosses your mind, of course, if someone says they don't think about it, they're lying. In football, it's 3rd down and a yard, why do you think they don't go for it? Because there is a chance they might not make it. A yard seems short but that's why they don't go for it. Every time I walk into the ring, there is a chance for me to be upset. I don't take nothing for granted. I don't over look this guy, he could walk in there a tiger, but then I'll be a tiger. Same thing when I go for the title."
DI: "Who do you see out there in the top 10 that looks beatable to you?"
RR: "Tua. David Tua. David Tua!!"
Jesse Reid: "Grant."
RR: "Tua, Tua, Tua."
DI: "I think you have to talk to Lou Duva."
RR: "Don't worry. I'm not going to sit here and brag and show off. Just wait, in time, everything will work out and fall into place. They think Razor Ruddock. . . everybody beat him, Tommy Morrison, beat him, and so on. So guess what? They're in for a surprise."
DI: "What do you like to do when you're not fighting or training?"
RR: "I don't like to go to the clubs. I like to go to the movies and spend time with my kids. I like to go to my son's soccer games. After being around boxing for so many years, I'm not trying to top it, I'm just trying to go back to the basics and enjoy myself and the simple things I enjoy that I used to do. Then I am the happiest. When I'm unhappy is when I'm searching for excitement, and I'm traveling. It's a waste of time and I'm never happy. Happiness is right there, you just have to find it. A lot of people figure you have to go here or there to get happiness but you have to find happiness within yourself. When you are able to live with yourself, than you're ok."
DI: "How old are your kids?"
RR: "The oldest is 14."
DI: "Do any of them say they want to be a fighter like dad?"
RR: "I think the young one wants to fight, but I don't want him to fight. The oldest just likes to watch boxing tapes. He'll sit for hours just watching tapes."
DI: "He wants to be a trainer like Jesse then. Is it harder to keep the weight off now and to stay in shape?"
RR: "Definitely, definitely. I gotta be disciplined about it and I am very disciplined. If I take two weeks off from training, I put the weight right back on. I gotta watch it at all times and watch what I eat. The funny thing about it is if you're really disciplined about it,'s not so hard as long as you can push yourself away from the table and not overeat. You don't eat to be happy, you eat for energy."
DI: "Obviously you love boxing, that's why you came back. After it's all over, whether you've won the title or not, you're happy with you're effort and you retire, then what?"
RR: "To tell you the truth, I never thought about it because it could get me side tracked because I've learned one thing - to set one goal and go for it. If you have too many goals, you're going to get sidetracked. If you look for a way out, you'll always take it when things get rough, but if you have only one way to go, you'll always make it because you have one goal."
DI: "How did you and Jesse Reid hook up?"
RR: "Through my promoter, Mike Acri."
DI: "You're happy about that?"
RR: "Oh yeah."
DI: "Jesse, how is it going with Razor in the gym?"
JR: "Excellent. He's a great student, he's hungry to get better and he's followed instructions very well. I haven't thrown a lot at him, I'm just letting him grow with his sport. He's already fundamentally sound, all he needs to do now is work on some edges and learn to relax with himself. I think Razor has always been the type of fighter that has always fought with intensity and he's had so many bad things around him that it's followed him into the ring. What we're trying to do is keep a small group of people around him, keep ourselves focused and have no outside problems and go into the ring with a clear head and a clean conscious and hard work and that's the Razor Ruddock you're talking to right now. I think if we go that way, and have a game plan . . ., I don't think he's ever had a game plan when he's went into a fight and we go into fights now with a basic game plan. We're thinking instead of throwing 30 punches a round to throwing 80 to 100 punches a round. There's not too many heavyweights who do that in a relaxed form. Let his natural body flow, I think you'll see that when Razor fights now."
DI: "Razor has been a fighter that people have always thought - he's got size, strength, skills - yet there's been outside distractions that detracted from his performance. Now when you have a Razor that is relaxed and doesn't have the bad influences around him how far can you take him?"
JR: "Razor can be the ultimate heavyweight. He could be another Muhammad Ali and he can do it in the next 5 years, no problem. I'm real excited, I've been around a lot of good fighters and I see a fighter here with more pluses than I've ever seen in all my life. If we get his head right, which I think it is now, there's no telling what he can do and he's definitely taken care of himself. Most fighters dissipate, he has not. He eats right, he's a good family man, he's got a good conscience, kind to people, but he's also aware that people have taken advantage of his kindness and thought it was weakness. He is not a weak person. He has grown aware of the fact that if he has something bad around him, he's going to get rid of it. I'm real pleased, I'm excited and happy. I was in Tyson's camp and I walked right out within a week and a half. I definitely want to be here with Razor when it's all done."
RR: "See, I just have to have a lot of confidence and a lot of faith and just do my work, and I know everything's going to fall into place. You see, when I was boxing before, I never felt this way. Now I feel I have to comeback, and I have to learn the skills because I never had them. I mean I had sections of skill but I want to have consistency, all the time. For instance, when I fought Michael Dokes, I had it that night but I have to go back and say what did I do right then? But I'm really putting it all together, and I think it's gonna be ok."
DI: "That monster left hook/upper cut you throw, the smash, who thought of that?"
RR: "It's so awkward when you throw it because my hand is out here (extends left arm) and you have to generate power out here. I generate the power my using my whole body and turning my hand at the same time. It's hard for me really to explain. Want me to show you?" (laughs)
DI: "I think I'll pass on that, maybe later. Let me ask you about a couple of your past bouts - the Mike Weaver fight was a bout many people thought you. . ."
RR: "Would lose?"
DI: "No, that you proved yourself. . ."
RR: "No! I was too young, man, to prove myself. I had a lot of confidence, a lot of mobility, I knew how to fight. But I knew I wasn't able to knock out Weaver 'cause Mike was strong. I was just a young kid but I knew I was fast enough to keep away from him. I was fast enough to out jab him and box him through the whole 10 rounds. But he did catch me in the forth round and he almost killed me (laughs) but I escaped that and won the fight. But that fight was a turning point in my life too. I said to myself I don't want to go 10 rounds every time so I had to develop power. Since then, I got the power and started knocking people out. I started relying on the power instead of putting the power and boxing skills together. Now that's what I'm trying to do is put them both together."
DI: 'I remember one of the first times you made an impression on me was the shot you hit Bone Crusher Smith with in '89, I mean I think he just woke up last week. . ."
RR: "Yeah, oh yeah, I know, I know. You see, those are the fights I'm talking about where my talent shows in sections but then when I'm not doing the right thing it doesn't show. Like if I go in the ring, and I don't have enough energy, then I'm not going to do the right thing, I'm going to do stupid things because I'm going to try to finish the fight fast. But when I'm at my peak and ready to go, I'll be able to utilize everything."
DI: "In the Michael Dokes fight when you ko'd him in four, it was the first time he'd ever been ko'd. . ."
JR: "He really softened him up. . ."
RR: "Yeah, I was ready, I did the right things, I didn't overtrain like for the Tyson fight. . ."
DI: "The first one?"
RR: "Oh man, the first one, the second one my jaw was broke in the second round. But I still didn't have a good trainer, and I still wasn't putting things together, I was just depending on all power."
DI: "Now the first fight was a close bout and Richard Steele stopped the bout with you on the ropes in the 7th without even looking at you, and they gave you a rematch but you had to contend with the broken jaw from the second round on, but Tyson still couldn't take you out. . ."
RR: "I know, you're right, but then I went to London and . . . Ah, man . . . you know things just happened. I can't explain to you but things just happened. I can't look back on it now with regret. I have to use it, to learn. If you don't fail, you cannot succeed. You have to fail first and then come back or you'll never know what you're doing wrong so it's not a bad thing."
DI: "What would you like to say to the Razor fans reading this?"
RR: "What I want is for my fans to just have some hope and know that I'm coming back. Have some hope, you know?"
The following evening, Razor Ruddock knocked down Anthony Willis in the forth round, then was head butted and cut over his left eye (remarkably, Razor said this was the first time he'd been cut) in the fifth before he uppercut Willis to the mat again and finished him off late in the 6th with two hard lefts, one to the body and one to the head. Ruddock now moves to 33-5-1.
While calling out tough David Tua maybe a couple of fights premature, no one can deny that if Razor wins impressively in a couple more tune ups, that a Ruddock/Tua match up would be an exciting bout with a ko almost a sure thing.
As I stated in my interview with Razor, I am a fan of his and wish him the best on the comeback trail. One thing I can say with assurance about Razor Ruddock - win or lose, I've never seen him in a dull fight. He's the kind of heavyweight fight fans love.
By Matt Tegen
"People who knew Greb say he was a junior compared to me."
Jenkins describing his lifestyle
"You're nuts, I wasn't knocked out! Uh, where am I?"
Jenkins after getting kayoed by Henry Armstrong
Lew Jenkins ranks with Benny Lynch, Mike Tyson, and Tony Ayala Jr. as one of the most self-destructive fighters who ever lived. Unlike Lynch and Tyson, Jenkins though never achieved any sort of lasting greatness. Blessed with arguably the best right hand in the history of the Lightweight
division, Jenkins literally either knocked your ass out, or lost. For a short span of about 18 months in 1940 and 1941 Jenkins was one of the most dangerous fighters in the business, but for the rest of his career he was a 50-50 proposition to win.
Jenkins rarely ever trained for a fight his entire career. Jenkins usual running regiment was to wake up at nine, run for a half mile, smoke a cigarette, and then walk a little bit more. Jenkins also lived the
nocturnal lifestyle getting drunk and sleeping with every willing woman in New York that he could find. To top that off Lew loved anything that would go fast, he was probably in as many car wrecks and motorcycle accidents as Angel Manfredy, unfortunately for Lew it would take him a lot longer to straighten out his life than it took Manfredy.
Lew Jenkins was born on December 4, 1916 in Milburn or Sweetwater, Texas. Whatever the case may be Jenkins was born dirt poor. Jenkins like everyone else in his family worked in the fields picking cotton from sunrise to sunset. Tired of working for less than a dollar a day, Jenkins left the cotton fields and rode the rails for awhile, while doing this he found the carnivals and took up fighting.
In those days in Texas the carnivals featured boxers and wrestlers. Jenkins found out quickly that along with the good pay, that he could fight, and he began touring around the state with the carnival. After doing this for awhile Jenkins joined the army where he continued to box.
With the Army paying very little Jenkins turned pro in around 1936 in Texas, he had six recorded bouts in 1936 and 1937 though he probably had many more than that, as many of his bouts were unrecorded like many Southern fighters of the day. By 1938 Jenkins was now taking furloughs from the Army on a regular basis fighting no less than 26 times with a mediocre record of 17-7-2, with a pair of losses coming to contenders Wesley Ramey and Lew Feldman.
Jenkins continued his mediocre run for the early part of 1938 failing to beat contender Willie Joyce in three tries and getting stopped by Pete Lello. After getting stopped by Lello though Jenkins began a sudden and dramatic change. All of a sudden Jenkins began to win fights he used to lose, and finished the year with eleven straight wins (7 by kayo) most notable of which were kayoes over former Featherweight title claimant Mike Belloise and another kayo of Billy Marquart.
The 23 year old Jenkins had now emerged from club fighter status to become a top contender. He began 1940 with back-to-back first round knockouts over Future Jr. Welterweight champ Tippy Larkin and Chino Alvarez. Jenkins had now positioned himself for a title shot with Lightweight champ Lou Ambers.
The fight with Ambers was held on May 10, 1940 at Madison Square Garden, Ambers entered the bout a sound 4-to-1 favorite over the young Jenkins. Ambers had recently defeated the great Henry Armstrong and it was figured that he had enough skills to outclass his hard-hitting challenger. Jenkins got into the best shape of his career, which wasn't saying much and put on the best performance of his career.
A minute into the fight Jenkins blasted Ambers with his patented overhand right and dropped Ambers to the canvas. Ambers was as tough as they come though, and he got up and began to outwork Jenkins till the end of the second when Jenkins floored him with a left hook. Jenkins
sensed that his man was doomed, and he tore into Ambers in the third dropping him two more times before referee Billy Cavanaugh called a halt to the slaughter at 1:29 of the third round.
Coming off his big performance against Ambers, he was offered a chance to fight Welterweight champion Henry Armstrong who was the best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing at the time, in a non-title bout. Jenkins was considered having a reasonable chance of beating Armstrong based mostly on him having crushed Lou Ambers who had taken a 15 round decision from Armstrong the prior year. Jenkins hardly trained at all for the fight instead spending his energy on his usual diet of beer, women, and cigarettes.
The fight came off on July 17, 1940 at the Polo Grounds. Jenkins came out blasting away at a cautious Armstrong in the first round. Jenkins continued fighting like a champ until midway through the second when Armstrong blasted Jenkins with a left to the body. To say Lew didn't recover from that punch would be an understatement, the truth is he fell apart. Seconds later Jenkins fell to the canvas, without a punch landing on him. Jenkins would go down six more times (2 were embarrassing slips caused by body punches). Finally after going down three times in the sixth Jenkins handlers tried to drag him to his stool, after he missed the first time he finally found the stool. But referee Arthur Donovan came over and stopped the fight anyway before the start of the seventh round, as he saw Jenkins groaning in obvious pain from the beating Armstrong had inflicted.
Next up for Jenkins was a non-title fight with a young Lightweight from Philadelphia named Bob Montgomery. Montgomery introduced himself to Jenkins early on when he caught Jenkins with a
right hand that sent him down for a nine count. Montgomery then tried to do what Henry Armstrong had succeeded in doing against Jenkins by going to the body. Fortunately for Lew, Montgomery was a bit raw and went after him wildly. This allowed Jenkins to land his patented right over and over again and do just enough to win a narrow 10 round decision.
After defending his Lightweight crown against Pete Lello, Lew was ready for his 4th Future Hall of Famer of the Year: Fritzie Zivic. Jenkins tore into Zivic in the first three rounds trying to knockout the hard-headed Croat. Jenkins in the process wore himself out and was forced to clinch. That was a big mistake as Zivic one of the dozen or so dirtiest fighters who ever lived went to work over Lew lacing his eyes enough to open two big cuts over both eyes, to top things off he split Lew's nose down the middle with a left hook. Jenkins rallied in the tenth though to salvage a split draw.
Lew's next bout was a rematch against Lou Ambers. Jenkins came out blazing again, sending Ambers staggering towards the ropes with a right hand. Ambers righted himself though and took control of the fight. It looked like Ambers was going to win until Lew landed his right again sending Ambers down. Lew finished up the next round to score a 7th round TKO.
After defeating Cleo McNeil in September 1941, Jenkins hard-living lifestyle finally caught up with him. Riding on his motorcycle a drunk Jenkins was going 90 miles per hour when he had an accident that sent him flying 60 feet in the air. When he landed he had three broken vertebrae in his neck. Jenkins would never be the same fighter again.
Instead of taking time off to heal, Jenkins was back in the ring less than month after the accident taking on woeful Welterweight champ Freddie Cochrane. Cochrane took the decision. Three months later Jenkins defended his title for the last time against NBA Lightweight champ Sammy Angott. Angott and Jenkins put on one of the most boring fights of all time. Jenkins at this point had nothing left, while Angott fittingly nicknamed "The Clutch" fought cautiously trying to avoid Jenkins big right that would never show up. Angott won every round of the fight, Jenkins had a chance to win a round in the ninth after Angott caught him him with a low blow, but Lew was at such a low point now that he fittingly answered with a low blow giving the round back to Angott. Most of the crowd was either gone or booing by the time Angott was given the unanimous decision and the Undisputed Lightweight Title.
After losing to Angott, Jenkins forgot how to win. He lost 11 out of 12 completing the worst collapse ever by a champion outside of Bud Smith. Jenkins career was now absolutely dead and he enlisted in the Coast Guard and was shipped off to Europe. Jenkins would fight during D-Day at Normandy. After serving his country Jenkins tried going to bricklaying school in Philadelphia that quickly failed, and Jenkins was quickly back in the ring in 1946.
Jenkins return proved to only be slightly more successful than his efforts before leaving. He was kayoed in 4 by Jimmy Doyle in his first fight back. He fought on till 1950 winning some and losing some including a pair of losses in his last two fights to Carmen Basilio and Beau Jack.
Jenkins was now at rock-bottom, he had no money, was divorced, and still was out partying all the time. Lew then decided that he'd reenlist in the army. Lew was then sent over to Korea to fight in the war. While fighting over there Lew's outfit was ambushed by the Koreans, there Lew found himself as a hero when he saved the lives of many of his fellow soldiers who were being ambushed. Upon return to the states Jenkins was awarded the Silver Star for Gallantry.
After nearly facing death in Korea, Jenkins had finally realized that he had been living wrong for all these years, he got remarried and patched things up with his estranged son. After the war Jenkins made the Army a career, retiring in 1963 as a First Sergeant. After retiring from the Army Lew drove a delivery truck in the Bay Area for several years.
Lew Jenkins died on October 30, 1981, he had lived one hell of a life.
Hector Camacho Jr.
Interview conducted by Thomas Gerbasi
TG - Your first fight as a headliner is coming up . Do you feel any added pressure because of that?
HC - No pressure. I knew the time was coming, it was just a matter of when. I've been preparing for two years, and I decided that this is what I wanted to do, to train and be dedicated. So there's no pressure at all. I was born with this.
TG - Do you think your opponents fight harder against you because of your name?
HC - Oh yes. They will prepare harder for Hector Camacho Jr. than they would for any other fighter because of the name.
TG - Is that better for you?
HC - (laughs) I don't know if it's better for me. But it motivates me because I know that every time I go in to fight it's going to be a war. They come in ready to beat me. So there's a little pressure in that sense, that I've always got to be prepared. All eyes are on me.
TG - You're living in Puerto Rico. Is it true that you were training with Felix Trinidad Sr?
HC - No. I was working with Freddie Trinidad, his uncle. Now I'm training under Armando Crespo, one of the All-Time great trainers of Puerto Rico.
TG - Have you ever sparred with Felix Jr?
HC - No. Never.
TG - What's the toughest part of boxing for you?
HC - I would have to say that the toughest part is staying focused. There's so much attention. Coming into this sport with any sort of fame can bring a lot of negative people to you. So staying focused is the main thing for me, staying around positive people like my wife, my family. I try to stay as positive as I can.
TG - Has your father helped you in that respect?
HC - Yes and no. You know my father (laughs). You know what kind of guy he is, a showman. He helped me in the sense that when I was small I had been around everything and had seen a lot. I have experience around him. So I know what's wrong and right from just being around him. So I give him some credit for that.
TG - You're with America Presents now. What has that done for your career?
HC - America Presents is one of the best promoters out there now. They're a class organization. They're good people with integrity. They've gotten me the right fights here and there, the headliner coming up. They've got a TV deal now. And they signed Mike Tyson, which will help me out too.
TG - Where do you see room for improvement in your fighting?
HC - Everywhere. I'm a perfectionist. I'm always on top of myself. There's room for improvement in all areas. I want to be perfect everytime I go out there.
TG - You just had your first ten rounder. How was that for you stamina-wise? Did you really notice the difference of the extra two rounds?
HC - Yes and no. I knew the fight was getting long, but then again I felt great. It was my first ten rounder, I wanted to pace myself. I think I paced myself a little bit too much. But I felt great, I won the first seven rounds easily. The eighth round came and I had no intention of staying around and brawling with the guy. Stick and move, stick and move, the fight's already won. After the fight I was happy. I was on and off satisfied with the win because like I said, I'm a perfectionist, so I'm always looking for better.
TG - Does the crowd ever come into play when you fight?
HC - The crowd doesn't bother me. I love it. I love when they boo me, it motivates me (laughs). I've been around my father. I've been there for the Chavez fight when they booed him, like 30 million strong booing him. I love it.
TG - Careerwise, do you think you're being rushed or not being moved fast enough?
HC - I leave that up to my managers. I just prepare for each fight. When my time comes, I'll be ready. I'm not in a rush at all. But if it was up to me, I'd fight for a title tomorrow. But I just let them do their jobs. They're professionals. My job is to fight and to be ready whenever that time comes.
TG - Who are your favorite fighters?
HC - Besides my father, I'd have to say Ali. I'm into the boxer types, the Sugar Rays, the Willie Peps. I love boxers. That's the name of the game, boxing.
TG - What's your earliest boxing memory?
HC - I would say back in 1986. My father fought Edwin Rosario. That was the first time I ever stepped into a ring. I went inside the ring with my father, he did a little flurry and told me "Come on, Papi, do a little flurry." He picked me up and raised me above his shoulders, and the crowd just screamed. That was one of my best moments. I was only eight years old. There were 19,000 people there screaming. That's how I knew I wanted to fight.
TG - When did you decide that this was something you wanted to do for a living?
HC - I was always around the gym, almost since I was a baby. My mother told me I used to punch and kick real hard every time. Kids would pick on me "Oh, your father's Camacho, you wanna fight?" So it's always been in me. And when I said "This is what I want to do" was back in the 1996 Olympic Trials. I wasn't giving it my best, and yet I saw how far I advanced, to the semifinals of the Trials. I said "Aw man, if I was to bust my ass and train, there's no limit."
TG - What was your father's reaction when you told him you wanted to turn pro?
HC - He said "Let me tell you something son. This ain't nothing easy. I'm training, I'm busting my ass for you. You want to do this, you've got to be dedicated. Now you're sure you want to do this?" I said yeah. He asked me again "You sure?" I said yeah. He asked me again like five times. He wanted to convince me not to do it. He was shocked, cause he always said I was a little wuss. He used to lock me in the closet, I'd come out crying. He was like "You're a little wussy". So he was shocked.
TG - Do you get tired of the comparisons?
HC - To tell you the truth, yes. It's getting to the point where I want to fight him (laughs). I understand that there's always going to be this, but I try to block it out. I knew that there were always going to be comparisons. "Oh, your father, when he was your age, he was good. Your father this, your father that. You think you're better than your father." So I came in focused. I put it to the side and tried not to let it bother me. But at times, it does. Everytime "Oh, how you doing Hector? How's your father?" or "When's your father's next fight?". It always comes up. And I get mad (laughs), but what can I do?
TG - What would be one thing about you that would surprise someone, being that you are Hector's son?
HC - I'm humble. I'm a person who like to give back to the community. I spend a lot of time with kids. I feel that kids are the future. Plus I'm an alumnus of the Boys Club, so I've always been around kids. They probably think I'm just like the stereotype of a boxer, uneducated, which I'm not. I like to give back and visit the Boys Club whenever I get a chance, to talk to the kids.
TG - Jeez, you sound like an old man.
HC - (laughs) I do, don't I? I guess I'm mature for my age.
TG - How does your style differ from your father's?
HC - Everything's the same, but I'll say, and he'll get mad, that I'm a harder hitter. I'm a heavier hitter than he is. Same style though, more or less, stick and move. Just the sense of boxing, hit and not be hit. My goal is to win a world championship, make the money I want to make, and get out.
TG - If you could have one fight, who would it be against?
HC - Maybe a Chavez, as revenge for my father. But most of all, Prince Hamed. I'd get down in weight. That would be one big show. He's got his own little style, but he got it from us, the Camachos. So that would be one fight I'd be interested in, which I could see in two or three years from now when he comes up in weight.
TG - He won't come up that much.
HC - Well, I get to 134 in the gym. I walk around at 140, 142, 143 and I feel comfortable. I feel strong at 140 and I feel fast at 135. Whoever has the big name. If the Chavez fight is available, that would be the fight.
TG - Where do you see yourself in a year?
HC - Well it's up to my promoters. If they move me well enough, I could legitimately be one of the superstars coming up.
TG - In just a year?
HC - Yeah, I would say. If I'm constantly on TV, constantly being promoted, yes. I've got the charisma, the personality that people can relate to.
TG - So the business end of the sport (interviews, etc) doesn't bother you?
HC - No, I love this. The fans, the public, that's what will make or break me. This is part of the deal. There are some people who don't like doing it. If I don't do this, how are people going to know me?
TG - So, is it still "Macho Time"?
HC - Junior Time. It's my time. (laughs)
GOLDEN BOY: The Fame, Money, and Mystery of Oscar De La Hoya by Tim Kawakami
Book reviewed by Thomas Gerbasi
Mike Tyson has had no less than five books written about him during his career. Muhammad Ali has received even more attention from the literary world, but then again, he is "The Greatest". So while both Ali and Tyson defined their eras both fistically, and in terms of mainstream exposure, there is no fighter today which commands such respect...until Oscar De La Hoya rolled into town. The "Golden Boy" has been a true crossover star since he was first thrust into our consciousness by the 1992 Olympics. The girls scream and swoon over him, and the men spend money to see him fight, whether it's to cheer him or boo him. Either way, you're going to watch. So it is no surprise that a book was released about him last year "12 Rounds With Oscar De La Hoya", and that two biographies will make their way to your local bookstore in 1999.
The first bio, and one which doesn't seem to be of the sugar-coated variety, is Tim Kawakami's Golden Boy. Kawakami is a boxing writer for the Los Angeles Times, and in that capacity he has had unprecedented access to De La Hoya, his inner circle, his ex-girlfriend, his opponents, and the cast of characters which populate the LA boxing scene. Kawakami's writing style is also breezy and unobtrusive, making for a quick and enjoyable read. And if you're looking for dirt, it's here, albeit in a non trashy way.
Throughout Golden Boy, two themes are evident. One is of the "Daddy Dearest" variety. Joel De La Hoya Sr. continually comes off as a boor, never complimenting Oscar, ignoring Joel Jr. because he didn't become like his younger brother, and basically running the career and life of the WBC welterweight champion. The other theme is more disturbing. If what has been written in this unauthorized bio is true, I would have a heck of a time liking this kid. Numerous interviewees in the book talk about the absence of loyalty from De La Hoya, the vanity, and the general lack of respect shown to others by him. Oscar comes off in the book as a mannequin, as a puppet controlled by his father and business advisor Mike Hernandez.
Even his personal relationships are ruled by the senior DeLa Hoya and Hernandez. Ex-girlfriend Veronica Peralta was dismissed by Oscar at the behest of his "team", and we all know the stories about the musical trainers and musical managers acts run by DeLa Hoya. All of these instances are covered in depth here and done tastefully.
As far as fight reports go, the descriptions here are nothing special, and generally of the news reporting variety. Coverage of Oscar's amateur career, and of various sparring sessions are interesting though, as well as a focus on the hispanic community's shunning of De La Hoya.
Kawakami has taken a sacred cash cow, and told the complete story of the phenomenon known as Oscar De La Hoya. Word has it that Team De La Hoya wouldn't let Oscar read it until after his fight with Ike Quartey. His loss, as Golden Boy is a page turner.
WAH, WAH, WAH!
By Knuckle Junction
Not since the last Parliament Funkadelic concert has there been such a run on diapers and "binkies" at baby stores everywhere. Yes, I am speaking of all the crybabies who just can't believe that Ike Quartey lost the decision to Oscar De la Hoya.
Open your (red and swollen) eyes.
Get jiggy with it.
And, as my man Mike Tyson would say:
Oscar fought a very intelligent and spirited fight against a willing foe, who pushed him to his limits, and to the next level as a worthy champion. The first four rounds, Oscar fought cautiously, which is to say smartly. The object of this sport is to hit and not be hit, and the biggest oversight by Quartey's supporters is the failure to realize that he wasn't touching Oscar in the first four rounds. Watch the fight again, and score it. If you are objective, Oscar will get all 4, or at least 3 of them. Quartey could not reach him with his vaunted jab, as Oscar's quickness and defensive skills rendered him INEFFECTIVE. Remember, EFFECTIVE AGGRESSIVENESS is what earns points, not snappy jabs that catch only air. The thing is, Oscar had a game plan, he was sticking to it, and it was working. Quartey did not know how to solve the puzzle that Oscar presented him, and as it would turn out, the first part of the answer would have to come from Oscar.
Quartey did became more effective in the fifth and I gave him that round. Although Quartey is widely perceived as being stronger than Oscar, and is regarded as having one of the best chins in boxing, within the first few seconds of the sixth round, Quartey was on his backside from the punch that he had to know was Oscar's best--the left hook of course.
This knockdown, however, truly energized Ike, and he did not seem hurt, rather he was pissed! He quickly returned the favor and now the battle was truly engaged. I think Ike hurt Oscar more that round than Oscar hurt Ike, and the tide swung Ike's way.
I gave Ike the fifth through the ninth rounds, making my scorecard even at this point. Oscar continued to fight smartly as he recuperated from Ike's 6th round thunder. At this stage of the fight,
Oscar did not have the defense that he had in the first four rounds, which is understandable when you get your bell rung. The point is that although Ike was picking up points, he was not coming up with the recipe for a knockout, and was not "crushing Oscar's bones" as he promised in the week before the fight.
Although I hate to do it, in trying to be objective, I scored the 10th round even. Thus, on my scorecard, the fight is up for grabs. The question to be answered was who wanted it more. At this point I commented to my friends that were watching the fight with me, that Oscar was getting ready for a sprint to the finish.
Just as most people did, I scored the 11th for Oscar, and I could tell that Oscar was indeed coming on.
In the twelfth and final round (this fight made me wish for the return of 15 round championship fights--but only for such evenly matched and supremely conditioned warriors as these two) the defending champion came out and showed that, for his part, yes he wanted this title. Quartey found himself on his backside again from Oscar's vicious left hook, and now we would see whose championship heart would prevail. Oscar pursued Ike into a corner and rained punch after punch on Ike, snapping his head back several times and coming within a micron of stopping him. Much credit is deserved by Mitch Halpern for letting Ike continue. Huge credit is due to Ike for taking this barrage on his feet and also for throwing back some punches of his own. This was great stuff! After the onslaught, Oscar was exhausted, as was Quartey. No more meaningful punches were thrown the rest of the fight, and it went to the judges.
When I first saw the fight I would have scored the last round 10-7, as Oscar scored the knockdown, and then nearly stopped his man. On a second viewing, I scored it 10-8 and will leave it that way. Add up my card and Oscar wins 115-113. To be sure, a few rounds were close and could have been scored differently, but I think that Oscar dug deeper than Quartey, was more effective and deserved to keep his championship.
I think both of these fighters gave fantastic efforts and I certainly think I, and every other fight fan got our money's worth.
The welterweights are the glamour division again, and I can't wait to see Oscar and Felix tee it up come September 18, as the latest rumors would have it. The time is right! Add to the mix James Page and up and comers Vernon Forrest and Zab Judah and the future really looks bright.
Speaking of the future, I KNOW you are all looking forward to the fight on March 13th, in which Lennox Lewis will have his ass patiently kicked by Evander Holyfield. Why? Hell, why not! But I will give you some reasons, in the form of an anatomy lesson.
Holyfield is a smarter fighter than Lewis, whose only gameplan has been "I'm bigger and stronger than you, and probably (I hope) you're scared of me." Holyfield knows how to adjust, how to execute a fight plan, and when the pressure is on, he sticks to the plan better than Lewis. Holyfield is not scared of Lewis, nor any other man.
Look at pictures of Evander 10 years ago and compare them to what he looks like today. If boxing wasn't working out, Evander could hit the bodybuilding circuit. He has improved his physical condition as he has gotten older, and is much stronger now than he was ten years ago. Evander is much more likely to get knockdowns and knockouts these days than he was as a cruiser. Compare the pictures of Lewis today to those of 10 years ago. What you will notice is a fighter who has gotten bigger--but the increase is more fat than muscle. Lewis is slower now, and if possible, more clumsy (remember how he floundered around the ring against Shannon Briggs--Bozo couldn't fight on the undercard because apparently Lennox had taken his big floppy boats!).
Advantage Evander. No one, no one, not even Manny Steward on crack would argue that Lewis has a bigger heart than Evander Holyfield. Yes, Evander is the Real Deal, and I expect him to stop Lewis in the 9th or 10th round. Evander fights best in the big fights, and you had better believe that this title unification is a big fight to Commander Evander.
February Ratings (as of 14 Feb)
By Phrank Da Slugger
There are 3 criteria I use to rate fighters: Quality of Opposition, Performance and Activity. I am ranking the best from 1 to 10; this is to see who deserves a title shot. I rate all 18 divisions, a time-consuming activity to say the least. Therefore, commentary only appears every 3rd month.
Some mistakenly think the Champion in each division is the guy who I think is the best. This is not the case. There are 2 criteria by which I determine Champions: the 1st is lineage (Oscar de la Hoya beat Pernell Whitaker who beat Buddy McGirt who beat Simon Brown); and the 2nd is defeating another fighter also ranked in the top 3 in the division this is how Evander Holyfield is the Champ. There is an exception: Bernard Hopkins is that rare titlist who has reigned a long time and defeated many contenders. Hopkins is the dominant fighter in his weight class and has won, mostly via KO, against a number of different contenders. You could say Iım rewarding him for long
and meritorious service.
Heavyweights (over 195 lbs)
Champion: Evander Holyfield (WBA & IBF)
1. Lennox Lewis (WBC)
2. David Tua
3. Hasim Rahman
4. Andrew Golota
5. Michael Grant
6. Brian Nielsen (IBO)
7. Larry Donald
8. Ike Ibeabuchi
9. Herbie Hide (WBO)
10. Chris Byrd
I always said Nielsenıs and Donaldıs positions were tenuous and this month proves it. A slot is always a fighterıs to lose and neither has done much towards making a case for their not being bypassed by more worthy fighters.
Donald has scored no significant wins since Dec 97 and has been inactive while Nielsen (who had more wins in 98 than the top 3 guys here combined, also has not faced a credible opponent since he defeated Larry Holmes 2 years ago. Therefore, Golota and Grant slip ahead of them with a pair of good wins...Ray Mercer exits after a year of inactivity. Byrd returns to replace him...Rahman rises after he boxed Tua's ears off for 9 1/2 rounds. A rematch is definitely in order...Next time we'll have the answer to who's the absolutely best Heavyweight in the world...and an idea of 1 top contender is after Byrd and Ibeabuchi face off in late March.
Crusierweights (195 lbs)
Champion: Fabrice Tiozzo (WBA)
1. Juan Carlos Gomez (WBC)
2. Carl Thompson (WBO)
3. Marcelo Dominguez
4. Arthur Williams (IBF)
5. Johnny Nelson
6. Robert Daniels (IBO)
7. Saul Montana
8. Imamu Mayfield
9. Chris Eubank
10. Kenny Keene (IBA)
Little going on here. Buggest news of the month is that the Gomez-Dominguez rematch was called off after Gomez came down with the flu shortly before fight time. Hopefully theyıll reschedule...Daniels and Eubank down a notch
each due to inactivity. Daniels may show up next month, but at Heavyweight (a mistake)...Whereıs Montana? ...Tiozzo will fight in March, as will Thompson when he defends against Nelson.
Lt. Heavyweights (175 lbs)
Champion: Dariusz Michalczewski (WBO)
1. Roy Jones (WBC & WBA)
2. Reggie Johnson (IBF)
3. Lou del Valle
4. Montell Griffin
5. Michael Nunn
6. Derrick Harmon
7. Crawford Ashley
8. David Telesco
9. Jorge Castro
10. Eric Harding
I finally had to get rid of Graciano Rocchigiani. Inactive for nearly a year, I find this very frustrating as heıs a top fighter in this division, one of the few who could give Jones a good fight...Harmon returns and shoots past a couple guys here, including the one he was to have faced (Harding, who got injured). Harmon was impressive in his TV debut...Griffin active, although heıs back to a steady diet of bottom feeders...This division really sucks after Johnson, itıs a list of guys Jones has beaten, a fat guy who hasnıt made the limit in a long time (Iıll give you a clue: itıs none too evident) and unproven guys. Letıs see that Jones-Michalczewski fight this year!
Super Middleweights (168 lbs)
Champion: TITLE VACANT
1. Joe Calzaghe (WBO)
2. Thomas Tate
3. Richie Woodhall (WBC)
4. Sven Ottke (IBF)
5. Frank Liles (WBA)
6. Charles Brewer
7. Thulane Malinga (WBF)
8. Mads Larsen (IBO)
9. Robin Reid
10. Glenn Catley
A new star in the making? Woodhall looked solid in defeating ex-titlist Vincenzo Nardiello, and passes Ottke...On the same card, Calzaghe passed a stiff test against still-dangerous ex-title holder Reid. Sounds like a great all-UK match brewing between the 2 titlists...Reid put in a good effort and kept it close against the Welshman, so stays put at #9...Liles is MIA, hasnıt fought since early last year. Heıll fall out altogether if he doesnıt get in the ring soon...Tate should get his mandatory shot at Ottke in a couple months. Expect a title change...The on-again, off-again match between Malinga and Larsen is supposed to happen soon. I look for the Dane to secure a place near the top of these ratings afterwards.
Middleweights (160 lbs)
Champion: Bernard Hopkins (IBF)
1. William Joppy (WBA)
2. Hassine Cherifi (WBC)
3. Keith Holmes
4. Agostino Cardamone (WBU)
5. Silvio Branco
6. Antwun Echols
7. Rito Ruvalcaba
8. Andrew Council
9. Robert McCracken
10. Dana Rosenblatt (IBA)
Well if anyone had questions as to who is The Man here, Hopkins certainly dispelled them. He cemented his position and his victim, Robert Allen, disappears after his disgraceful performance...Since last time, Cardamone
upset Branco. The rematch will happen in March or April...Otis Grant leaves as well he hasnıt fought at this weight since before his disasterous foray into 175-lb waters...Lots of activity here: Echols, Holmes, Rosenblatt and Council all fought and won recently, Council looking particularly impressive...Holmes was to have rematched with Cherifi, but the Frenchman was injured in training. Their rematch is reset for March or April.
Jr. Middleweights (154 lbs)
Champion: Javier Castillejo (WBC)
1. Fernando Vargas (IBF)
2. Laurent Boudouani (WBA)
3. Harry Simon (WBO)
4. Keith Mullings
5. Winky Wright
6. Tony Marshall
7. Bronco McKart (IBA)
8. Luis Ramon Campas
9. David Reid
10. Raul Marquez
The news is that for the 1st time ever a Spanaird is a World Champion in the IBF ratings. His victim, Mullings, fought as if he was rusty, his timing was off and he was unsure of his conditioning as if he had been inactive for
too long, which he was...McKart and Marshall active...Verno Phillips is gone after too much time idle a shame as he is a top flight fighter...Wright also inactive after losing his title to Simon last year...Simon was to have fought this month, but the African was injured in training (this is sounding like a trend)...Reid makes a big jump up and challenges Boudouani in early March. If he wins, all the talk will be of Reid-Vargas...and then the winner
vs. de la Hoya!
Welterweights (147 lbs)
Champion: Oscar de la Hoya (WBC)
1. Ike Quartey
2. Felix Trinidad (IBF)
3. James Page (WBA)
4. Oba Carr
5. Jose Luis Lopez
6. Vernon Forrest
7. Shannon Taylor
8. Edgar Ruiz
9. Derrell Coley
10. Michele Piccirillo (WBU)
The problem with doing ratings is that you must have a cut-off date just so you can get them done once a month. This, inevitably, invites problems. Example: Trinidad beats the tar out of Whitaker (who put in a good effort
nonetheless) but the result is not reflected here as the deadline was 14 Feb. Oh, well. Ramifications to come...As it stood at the cut-off date, Quartey fought the Champ close, and thus remained rated at #1. Trinidad in my opinion, the best fighter in this division will replace him next time...Carr cements his place just below the elite guys here and will challenge de la Hoya in May...No changes here since last time in this very solid division. Iıd love to see some of the lower-rated guys square off, taking the example from the top-rated fighters.
Jr. Welterweights (140 lbs)
Champion: TITLE VACANT
1. Vince Phillips (IBF)
2. Kostya Tszyu (WBC)
3. Julio Cesar Chavez
4. Miguel Angel Gonzalez
5. Antonio Diaz (IBA)
6. Sharmba Mitchell (WBA)
7. Khalid Rahilou
8. Zab Judah
9. Carlos Gonzalez (WBO)
10. Diobelys Hurtado
Diaz showed his world class talent in annihilating tough Mauro Lucero and moves ahead of a much less impressive Mitchell, who defended his belt...Chavez returns to action at 140 lbs in April as does MAGonzalez, whoıll challenge Tszyu...Judah moves up a few notches...CGonzalez is on his last legs here if he doesnıt go through with a scheduled title defense next month. Youıre supposed to defend the title at least once a year, right?...Iıd like to see Hurtado back in the ring...And the most disgraceful item of the month occurred after these were done when Phillips lost to the unheralded Terron Millet after having to lose 50 lbs in training camp. Jeez, what am I gonna do here next month?
Lightweights (135 lbs)
Champion: Shane Mosley (IBF)
1. Cesar Bazan (WBC)
2. Stevie Johnston
3. Israel Cardona
4. Ivan Robinson
5. Jean-Baptiste Mendy (WBA)
6. Goyo Vargas (IBA 130#)
7. Artur Grigorijan (WBO)
8. Orzubek Nazarov
9. John Brown
10. Arturo Gatti
This may be controversial, since it almost goes against my own set criteria, but I doubt many will complain. It avoids a big problem and is deserved say hello to the new Lightweight Champion of the World, Shane Mosley. The defense: Mosley is by far the dominant fighter at this weight, made 5 title defenses last year (all knockouts) and has scored wins over a slew of rated fighters since he won his title (something no one else in the sport, save
Mark Johnson, can say). The problem this avoids comes in late Feb when Johnston and Bazan face each other. Using my criteria for determining a Champion, when a top 3 boxer faces another rated in the top 3, heıs The Man. Big problem. By elevating Mosley (using the Bernard Hopkins Exception), the Bazan-Johnston winner is the new #1 contender, and I think youıll agree all will be right in the 135-lb world...Mendy defended his title... Inactive Nazarov drops and the exit of Phillip Holiday (up to 140) allows Grigorijan to rise...Vargas a new entry as he moved up from 130...And Gattiıs back. When was the last time a guy on a 3-bout losing streak who hasnıt won since Oct 97, got into the Top 10? (And I'm not talking about the WBAıs Top 10). But we all know Gatti was in all the fights he lost and deserves to be rated. (Besides, in this division, who else is there?).
Jr. Lightweights (130 lbs)
Champion: Floyd Mayweather (WBC)
1. Anatoly Alexandrov (WBO)
2. Derrick Gainer
3. Angel Manfredy
4. Takanori Hatakeyama (WBA)
5. Yongsoo Choi
6. Saul Duran
7. Jesus Chavez
8. Robert Garcia (IBF)
9. Dennis Holbaek Pedersen (IBC)
10. Julien Lorcy
Lots of changes here since last time...Genaro Hernandez retired, Gainer returned to 130, Manfredy lost to Mayweather (the circumstances of how he lost meant he didnıt fall far)...All this enabled Alexandrov to shoot up,
especially with his dominating win over Arnulfo Castillo...Mayweather defended his title against 126-lb contender Carlos Rios after these were done...Hatakeyama was lucky to have retained his title, 2 less penalty points and new entrant Duran would be the new WBA titlist...Goyo Vargas leaves this division after winning a minor title at 135...Pedersen active, as was Lorcy, who returns to replace Castillo.
Featherweights (126 lbs)
Champion: Luisito Espinosa (WBC)
1. Naseem Hamed (WBO)
2. Fred Norwood
3. Cesar Soto
4. Juan Carlos Ramirez
5. Juan Marquez
6. Carlos Rios
7. Manuel Medina (IBF)
8. Angel Vasquez
9. Cassius Baloyi (WBU)
10. Paul Ingle
With no one fighting, just minor changes here this month...Derrick Gainer left to the 130-lb division. Ingle returns to fill the void...but only till 10 Apr when he faces Hamed...Rios lost to Floyd Mayweather too late to report, but his substantial effort may mean he wonıt fall here...The idle Medina slips a notch...Medina and Ramirez both need to fight soon or theyıll slip further...I love Vazquez, but wish heıd fight every now and then.
Jr. Featherweights (122 lbs)
Champion: Kennedy McKinney
1. Erik Morales (WBC)
2. Marco Antonio Barrera (WBO)
3. Vuyani Bungu (IBF)
4. Danny Romero
5. Carlos Barreto
6. Nestor Garza (WBA)
7. Enrique Sanchez
8. Hector Acero-Sanchez
9. Junior Jones
10. Guty Espadas
A slow month in this excellent weight class...Bungu and Morales both defended their titles...Waiting to see what Romero will do next after his solid title try a couple months ago...Jones rose to 126 after these were done...Good match-up coming up in March when Barreto and Garza face each other...Unfortunately, we can all thank Jose Sulaiman for turning down the best match-up here. The WBCıs Jose doesnıt like his WBO counterpart and so
blocked Morales-Barrera. This from a guy who constantly touts his organizationıs having the best interests of the sport in mind. Right.
Bantamweights (118 lbs)
Champion: TITLE VACANT
1. Johnny Bredahl
2. Johnny Tapia (WBA)
3. Veeraphol Sahaprom (WBC)
4. Jorge Julio (WBO)
5. Paul Ayala
6. Tim Austin (IBF)
7. Joichiro Tatsuyoshi
8. Adan Vargas
9. Nana Konadu
10. Akihiko Nago
Big news here is the vault up from 115 lbs of Sahaprom, who blewout Tatsuyoshi. He displaces an idle Cuahtemoc Gomez...The new Thai titlist and Tapia bypass an inactive Julio...Speaking of inactive, whereıs Austin? Heıs supposed to be very good, but youıd never know it.
Jr. Bantamweights (115 lbs)
Champion: In-Joo Cho (WBC)
1. Johnny Tapia (IBF)
2. Samson 3K Battery (Dutch Boy Gym) (WBF)
3. Gerry Penalosa
4. Joel Luna-Zarate
5. Jesus Rojas (WBA)
6. Satoshi Iida
7. Yokthai Sit Oar
8. Jesper Jensen (IBC 112#)
9. Julio Gamboa (NBA)
10. Hideki Todaka
Tapia still holds the BF title, so he remains here. But Mark Johnson is set to rise and challenge for it, and since Tapiaıs not interested in that fight, don't expect the man from Albuquerque to be here much longer...Rojas upset Iida since last time...Takato Toguchi is gone as he retired...Veerapol Sahaprom also gone as he rose to 118 to win a belt...3K Battery active, as was Jensen...Penalosa is set to return, probally in a rematch with Cho...Gamboa seems to be MIA...Todaka in with a good win, retiring ex-contender Hiroki Ioka.
Flyweights (112 lbs)
Champion: Manny Pacquiao (WBC)
1. Mark Johnson
2. Mauricio Pastrana
3. Chartchai Sasakul
4. Ruben Sanchez-Leon (WBO)
5. Alejandro Montiel
6. Hugo Soto (WBA)
7. David Guerault
8. Saen Sow Ploenchit
9. Jose Bonilla
10. Jose Lopez
Johnson shed the BF title and is prepping to move north. Unfortunately, the top 2 contenders to fill the vacancy are the deserving Guerault and one Irene Pacheco from you guessed it Colombia...Soto, a typical BA titlist (one who wins the title and then sits on it), plummets and is on the verge of disappearing...Ploenchit remains active...Sasakul deserves a rematch with Pacquiao...Melchor Cob-Castro won a minor title at 108, and so returns there...Replacing him is former title challenger Lopez, who continues to win...And look out for Eric Morel. After these were done, he stopped longtime contender Ysaias Zamudio. Heıll be a welcome addition to this strong division.
Jr. Flyweights (108 lbs)
Champion: Saman Sorjaturong (WBC)
1. Jake Matlala (IBA)
2. Pichit Chor Siriwat (WBA)
3. Jorge Arce (WBO)
4. Juan Cordoba
5. Melchor Cob-Castro (IBA 112#)
6. Joma Gamboa
7. Edgar Cardenas
8. Will Grigsby (IBF)
9. Ratanapol Voraphin
10. Oscar Andrade
Since last time, 19-year old Arce came out of nowhere to upset Cordoba...Voraphin rose from 105 to lose to the unheralded Grigsby for the vacant BF belt. He since has fought and won again...Cob-Castro returned after a brief foray into 112-lb waters, defeating fellow contender Andrade...Cob-Castroıs return displaces Tomas Rivera...Yeosam Choi was idle and exits...Gamboa unsuccessfully challenged Siriwat after these were done, and that should move the Thai titlist into the top spot...There are solid fighters below the Top 10 here, such as Hawk Makepula and Juan Herrera...The big thing in the future here is Ricardo Lopez rising to rematch with Sorjaturong. Should happen before the summer.
Strawweights (105 lbs)
Champion: Ricardo Lopez (WBC)
1. Rosendo Alvarez
2. Wandee Chor Chareon
3. Zolani Petelo (IBF)
4. Lindi Memani
5. Songkram Porpaoin (WBA)
6. Ronnie Magramo
7. Kermin Guardia (WBO)
8. Satoru Abe
9. Wolf Tokimitsu
10. Daniel Reyes
Active month here, but things don't look especially good in this weak division. Lopez and Alvarez are both as good as gone, so that leaves things here in sorry shape...Lopez shed his BA title but will retain his BC belt till he moves up to 108, probally in April...Alvarez likely will never weigh-in below 112 again, but his plans are not clear...Porpaoin returned and put on a good show with Magramo, and both fighters move past an inactive Guardia...Petelo is inactive, but so is the guy who passed him, Chareon... Ratanapol Voraphin went north...Jose Aguirre and Andy Tabanas exit as well, but due to idleness...Abe and newcomer Tokimitsu active.
World Champions: 14 (of 17)