AMERICA ONLINE BOXING NEWSLETTER (April 1997)
GUEST EDITORIALBy GorDoom (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The egregious error that the Hall Of Fame tried to rectify by inducting the great Luis Manuel Rodrigues into the pantheon this year, cannot pass without comment from the Ol' Spit Bucket. While the Bucket is pleased that the man finally got his due ... ... Jeez, would it have killed anybody to induct him a year (or 15 ) earlier while the man was still alive & could enjoy the honor? Posthumous awards don't do a damn bit of good for the dead ... They mostly assuage the guilt of the living.
SCREW POSTHUMOUS AWARDS, THEY DON'T DO A GODDAMN BIT OF GOOD FOR THE QUITE & VERY DEAD ...
There are far too many deserving boxing people that are still living, who have devoted their lives to the sport who are heading toward the end of the long dusky trail & should be enshrined while alive to enjoy it. The Bucket realizes that it took the death of Rodriguez to bring back attention to this neglected fighter. I would also like to think that articles by Jim Trunzo in Ring Magazine & Dr. Ferdie Pacheco in our own Cyber Boxing Zone as well as the same article in World Boxing - & the Zone dedicating an issue to Luis Manuel had a little something to do with his getting elected ...
Ed Brophy & the folks that help him maintain the Hall up in Canastota should be commended for the exemplerary effort they have put forth to make what they do a viable proposition. The Bucket has nothing but wishes for the best for a group of folks that have truly worked their asses off to make Canastota be right up there with Cooperstown & Canton.
But ... They need t' get their shit together. The Hall Of Fame is not a freakin' popularity contest. Entrance to the Hall should be on merit, not popularity ... When a moke like 50's welterweight Billy Graham gets elected it makes the whole process cheaper than a $20.00 whore ... Let's take Graham for an example. Billy Graham was a top welterweight contender in the early 50's. He challenged "Kid" Gavilan for the welter title & lost an extremely close decision that at the time was decried as an outright robbery. In a rematch, he lost decisively. Graham did engage & defeat many of the top contenders of his day. He was a slick defensive fighter with no punch as attested by his record of W 102 L15 D 9 KO 26. In his first fight against a top ten contender, Tony Pallone, he dropped a 10 round decision in 1946. The next top ten guy he fought was the former jr. welterweight champion the over the hill, Tippy Larkin in 1947. Again he lost the decision. Before Graham lost the controversial decision to Gavilan he had already lost two decisions to him. Between the "robbery" & his rematch with Gavilan for the title he lost a 10 round decision to the very young & far in the future middleweight champion, Joey Giardello. Granted, Graham also won a decision from a young Carmen Basilio, but he went on to lose a decisive rematch with a Gavilan that was far from his prime.
That's the guy's total claim to the Hall Of Fame. Somebody explain to me why Graham is enshrined & not say, Duilio Loi, the great Italian two time jr. welterweight champion. He was also a slick defensive fighter with a 125 career wins & only three defeats, all by close decision, all of which he avenged. Among his victims were the great Carlos Ortiz (twice & in Carlos' prime) & Eddie Perkins. By the criteria used to enshrine Graham, why not Duilio Loi???
In the official book for the Hall Of Fame in the short bios on those enshrined it says that ,"... while Billy was never a champion he made innumerable friends in his fourteen year career..." That's my point exactly! What the hell does being a nice guy have to do with being inducted into the Hall Of Fame??? Maybe my values are twisted, but isn't enshrinement supposed to be about merit ??? Because a fighter was a crappy interview or was simply a big asshole shouldn't exclude them ... Since when is the Hall Of Fame in any sport supposed to be a popularity contest? Hell, I believe Pete Rose should be in the Baseball Hall Of Fame. If enshrinement is about character as well as popularity what the hell is Ty Cobb doing in there? Based on what he accomplished on the field Rose should be in ... But I digress, it be boxing we're talkin'... I could go on & on but what's the point? Hopefully most of the overlooked fighters & boxing people will be inducted in time. The errors in judgment here are not Ed Brophy's & the Hall's fault. The blame lies with the Boxing Writers Association which is the electoral body for the Hall Of Fame. Guys, whether you personally disliked the fighter or his management team shouldn't mean shit. Leave the bruised egos at the door & do your research. Also, isn't it time to evaluate who among the living deserves to go in? There are many deserving fighters & boxing figures that have been woefully neglected. For instance, explain to me why Don King is inducted & Bob Arum & Dan Duva aren't. Explain to me why Angelo Dundee & Emanuel Steward are in but Lou Duva isn't? Why aren't Hank Kaplan & Ferdie Pacheco in the Hall? These are only a few of the myriad of deserving people that deserve to be enshrined. Now the Bucket realizes you can't bring everybody in all at once, but a careful examination of living boxing figures who are elderly or in bad health is overdue ... Why not enshrine them while they are still alive & can appreciate the honor? I was the last boxing writer to speak to Luis Manuel before he died as I happened to call him the day before he passed away. In my short conversation with him it was apparent that he was embittered that he had been forgotten by the sweet science. I know for a fact that he would have died a far happier man had he known he had been inducted ... I know I'm verging on redundancy but let me put it another way: I'm not sure that Vincent Van Gough was tickled pink when one of his paintings sold for a gazillion dollars a few months ago. I'm sure he would have much preferred selling said painting for a few miserable shekels to live on while he was still alive ... All that money doesn't do him a damn bit of good now ...
LEWIS - MC CALL REPORT Date: 97-02-08 12:10:00 EST From: email@example.com To: DeLisa1066@aol.comLEWIS REIGNS ONCE AGAIN REPORT: LENNOX LEWIS TKO5 OLIVER MC CALL VACANT WBC WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE LAS VEGAS, NEVADA FEBRUARY 7, 1997Where was the method in Oliver Mc Call's madness? Did he give up hope when Lewis settled and kept him at the end of his jab? Was it his way of saying "no mas?" Did his well - documented problems from outside the ring stem his desire and hunger inside it? Was it a cynical display to deny Lewis real glory in victory?
Only the demons inside Oliver Mc Call's head can answer these questions. This bizarre fight finished with Lewis becoming a two - time World Champion via a TKO victory in round five.
Mc Call's reputation was that of an honest, hard fighter. He has sparred countless rounds with Mike Tyson and fought many hard hitters without being decked once. Much more was expected of "The Atomic Bull" than what he produced on Friday night.
Mc Call started by inventing a new variety of entrance, breaking into a run halfway through his trek to the ring. Lewis looked very focused in round one as he utilized his jab to keep Mc Call at arm's length. The Englishman needed to do so in order to take advantage of his longer reach and prevent Mc Call from launching his short, solid hooks inside.
Round two was where Mc Call stopped Lennox in their first meeting two and a half years ago. Lewis allowed him to rush past his jabs here, and Mc Call suddenly began to look dangerous. Mc Call was launching the cleaner punches and he also began to bully Lewis in close. In the following round however Lewis moved up a gear, snapping his left jab out like a piston and beginning to time overhead rights. Mc Call resembled a mountain climber trying to make progress against a stormy headwind, but towards the end of the session he seemed to stop pushing forward and concentrated on showboating instead.
This was the beginning of the end for Mc Call. He paced around the ring during the interval and proceeded to contribute a solitary left jab to round four. Lewis remained cautious and wary, boxing coolly as Mc Call walked away from him - often with his back or side turned towards Lewis. Poor Lennox must have felt like a hairdresser whose client insisted on performing aerobics while he tried to cut their hair! Lewis landed two powerful rights to the head of Mc Call in round four, but they just seemed to bounce off the Chicago man.
The expression on trainer George Benton's face - as his boxer again walked around the ring between rounds, this time apparently in tears - summed up everybody's feelings on Mc Call's performance: he looked frustrated, bemused and helpless all at once. Mc Call managed to throw another jab in the fifth, but Lewis was by now closing in on the reluctant combatant. He trapped Mc Call in the corner, and when Lewis' combinations began to flow the referee was only too happy to stop the fight.
Full credit to Lewis (now 30 - 1 (25)) - he is WBC heavyweight champion once more despite having been frozen out of the title scene for long enough to break the will of a lesser man. His performance tonight was that of a confident and improved champion. However I feel that shedding some of his 251 lbs would be a wise investment for tougher unification bouts which (hopefully) lie ahead.
Credit also to referee Mills Lane: As always, he showed true professionalism despite being faced with Mc Call's baffling performance. Though some may feel a disqualification was merited, the TKO decision attributes a fitting statistical victory to Lewis: he becomes the first man to stop Mc Call in 35 fights.
European and UK NEWS
by firstname.lastname@example.org (Tony Phelps)Billy HARDY v Steve ROBINSON - European Featherweight Championship Rags -to-riches Billy Hardy used to work at the Crowtree Leisure Centre in Sunderland - as a pool attendant. Years later he finds himself defending his European title against the hard hitting Steve Robinson. This was a fight neither fighter could afford to lose - both are approaching the twilight of their careers and whoever lost this fight would need to sit down and take a good hard look at their future in the sport.
Naseem Hamed must have featured highly in both fighters thoughts as this fight approached - Hardy desperately wants a shot at Hamed's title, and as no 1 contender winning this fight should assure him of the shot he wants - Steve Robinson desperately wants to forget the humiliation he suffered at the hands of the Prince when he lost his world title, and winning this fight would help put it all behind him.
Robinson has not had a good time of it recently - his fickle support has dropped to a handful that did not fill one bus for trip from Wales to Sunderland, and a court battle with Barry Hearns has resulted in Robinson being ordered to pay £115,000 to Hearns, leaving Robinson looking for the big pay-days that seem to be eluding him.
It was always going to be a close fight, this one - the bookies were unable to separate the two and settled for 6-5 on for both fighters - and that's how it proved to be, though you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise from the scorecards at the end of the fight. Both fighters stuck to their game plans well with Hardy's hit-and-run tactics just having the edge over Robinson's in-fighting and close body work.
After a tentative start from both combatants the fighters settled into their respective rhythms and the fight went very much the way the pundits expected. Robinson trying to close the distance on Hardy, cut him off at the corners and involve him in a brawl - Hardy, refusing to be drawn, darting in, scoring mainly to the body and darting out again; Robinson the stronger - Hardy producing the crisper, cleaner work.
It was the cleaner work that told in the event - Robinson never seemed quite able to close the distance sufficiently, though when he did, he caught the defending champion with some nice telling rights that threatened to wear the effervescent Hardy down . Apart from a little needle in the fifth round that was born more of frustration than enmity that resulted in ref Roy Francis issuing a finger wagging it was a clean sporting contest that was pretty even right up to the latter rounds.
In the last three rounds though, Hardy seemed to keep his rhythm going better and pulled away from Robinson to clinch the fight. The judges scoring was wildly in favour of Hardy, indicating a disparity that seemed a little unfair on Robinson's effort. UD 118-11- 119-110 117-112. Billy Hardy should have earned his shot at Naz (presuming Naz retains his title), Steve Robinson will need to carefully consider his next move. Hardy now 36-7-2 Robinson 22-11-1
Mark PRINCE v Michael GALE - Final Eliminator British Light-Heavyweight Championship. The highly touted and unbeaten Mark Prince looked unmotivated for this fight, and underdog Gale grew in confidence as he sensed he could cause an upset. In round four though, Gale decided to stand and trade with Prince, which was to prove costly. Prince was careless with his head and at the end of the fifth he went boring into Gale with head down and the resultant clash opened horrific cuts around Gale's eyes. The fight looked sure to be stopped, but the corner gave Gale one more round, and what ensued was an incredible scene as Gale tore into Prince - Prince's eyes were rolling, his legs gone to rubber and one clean punch would surely have finished it. Gale just couldn't find it though, and with both men flailing at each other like drunks on a street corner, Gale's wounds literally gushing blood, Prince recovered enough to put the desperate young man down twice. Finally a solid right-counter dumped Gale firmly on the canvas with no chance of rising and the terrific attempt was over. Gale won himself a lot of respect and a lot of fans though. Prince now 15-0 (12 by k.o.) Gale 21-2-2
Hughie DAVEY(16-11-1) v John GREEN(2-0) 4rnd Welterweight. Someone obviously has great faith in Green to match him so ambitiously in only his second fight - though at 27 he probably needs to move pretty fast. Hughie Davey has never been stopped, but Green came as close as anyone probably has - a good fight and a great prospect in Green. Green took every round.
Other recent fights include:
Johnny ARMOUR v Patrice PARASCHIV - 12 rnd Interim WBC International Bantamweight Title. This should have been a fully fledged title shot between Armour and Willy Perdomo, but Perdomo, resident in Spain had last minute visa problems which left him uncertain whether he would be able to return if he once left, so Armour found himself facing the Rumanian flyweight champion for the interim title instead. In the event, the match was equally as exciting as could be wished, with the superior strength of Armour proving to be the deciding factor in the end. Armour has recently been forced to abandon his Commonwealth and European titles due to a nine-month stint behind bars and started the fight determined to prove he has lost none of his former skills - Paraschiv likewise determined not to let his unexpected opportunity for a title shot go to waste. Armour piled on the pressure from the word go, picking his shots well, but Paraschiv refused to be intimidated - standing his ground and countering with accuracy. When a cut opened on Paraschiv's left-eye, southpaw Armour retained his composure and from then on went head-hunting with the obvious intention of making an early night of it. Despite coming in at late notice, however, Paraschiv seemed well prepared for the fight and Armour was unable to draw the fight to an early conclusion.
The toe-to-toe action continued throughout the fight without visibly slacking and by the seventh round both men were cut (probably as a result of one of the many head clashes that occurred throughout the bout) and the comfortable points margin that Armour accumulated as the fight wound to it's climax was a little misleading - Paraschiv offered a fine resistance and as Armour's arms dropped through sheer weariness in the latter rounds, he found himself getting tagged by some quality combination counter punching.
When the bell rang for the final round, Paraschiv, unusually, embraced Armour and kissing him on the cheeks immediately set to it - but the stoppage that was by now necessary was not forthcoming, and after a tremendous final round where both men gave their all, Armour lifted his arms in the triumph he knew was his. Without doubt it was the best domestic fight of the year so far and both men can be justifiably proud of their performance. The scoring referee gave it 118-112 and the two judges 117-114 & 116-114 in favour of Armour who will now face Perdomo for the full title.
Darren CORBETT v Nigel RAFFERTY 10rnd Cruiserweight - All Ireland Championship With less than half as many wins as losses, journeyman Nigel Rafferty must have realised the nature of the task in front of him - he entered the ring to the theme tune from Mission Impossible. It was not to be a night of surprises - Corbett started off working the body, picking his shots well. He soon had Rafferty in trouble on the ropes; Rafferty grinned back in defiance but was clearly hurt. Corbett showed he is still learning - he was not as wild as in some previous fights and he maintained a steady pressure on Rafferty whose only answer was to use negative spoiling tactics and last the distance. Although Corbett would have liked a stoppage, he can be well satisfied with a good performance that earned him a 100-96 decision. Corbett now 13-1-1 Rafferty 20-43-7.
And on the same bill, Noel MAGEE announced his return to the ring with a points win over journeyman John DUCKWORTH (6 rnd Cruiserweight). Although Duckworth normally fights at Super-Middle and has been stopped in five of his last seven fights, he is an experienced fighter and always offers a decent opposition. A pay-day for Duckworth and a good work out for Magee who has been absent from the ring for 16 months. Magee won every round including a knockdown in round 2.
EUROPEAN NEWS - from Saverne in France (4th Feb)
Mario LUPP (Germany 4-11) v Pierre MORENO (France 8-0) - 6 rnd Middleweight. A very stolid and unexciting affair had the German walking forward but throwing very little. Moreno was content to counter off the back-foot and jab his way to a facile points win. UD had the two judges and ref all scoring it 60-54 in favour of Moreno.
Andras GALFI (Hungary 23-1-3) v Djaafar FILALI (Hungary 16-18-1) - 8 rnd Middleweight. On paper this should have been a straightforward workout for Galfi but his fellow countryman showed surprising resistance. Although Filali is not a hard hitter, his counter punching was accurate, and while Galfi shrugged the blows off they scored sufficiently to keep the contest very close. From the fourth however, Galfi's superiority began to assert itself, and although Filali had a brief period of success in the seventh, Galfi cruised to a comfortable win. If Galfi hopes to become a name in Europe though, he needs to sharpen up his skills a fair bit first.
Franck GUILMOT (12-5) v Joel HEINRICH (12-6-3) - Semi-finals of the French Heavyweight Title. Pretty it wasn't! Local man Heinrich already has a previous win over Guilmot and there appeared to be no love lost between the protagonists in this brawling, sprawling mess of a fight. Very fast for a heavyweight contest neither fighter showed a deal of finesse. First to hit the canvas was local favourite Heinrich in round three, and round four saw Guilmot tearing into Heinrich more like he was tilting at windmills than participating in the noble art. Heinrich was in all sorts of trouble as he hit the canvas again (the ref incidentally forgetting to give the mandatory eight) and when Heinrich turned his back and cowered into the corner it looked to be all over - but the ref gave a standing count instead. Guilmot had smelt blood by now and he never gave Heinrich the chance to recover. Round eight saw three standing counts and Heinrich kneeling on the canvas gasping for breath after a particularly vicious body shot took the wind out of him. A further brief onslaught was enough - the ref finally stepped in and Franck Guilmot had earned himself a shot at the French Heavyweight title.
Cyber Boxing Bio -- Floyd PatersonBy: email@example.com
TWILIGHT OF THE DEMI-GOD
In the middle of an incredibly dull fight card, Julio Cezar Chavez & Tony Martin actually delivered a moderately entertaining fight. One of the Ol' Spit Bucket's pet boxing theory's is that two fighters who are over the hill can still deliver a highly competitive fight. The Thrilla In Manila being the best example & the recent Toney - McCallum lll being an example of when the fighters are too far gone to deliver.
Though both Chavez & Martin are quite & very far from the primes of their career's they surprised me by actually delivering the goods last night. That's not to say that this was a great fight - just a relatively good one.
Chavez has never been at the top of the Bucket's favorite fighter list but until the Whitaker fight I'd always respected him. The current Chavez is a sad, flabby memory of a once proud fighter. Julio entered the ring at a bloated 151 lb's looking like a guy who had just hauled himself off the couch after a week long session of beer & ring dings. He was a Pillsbury Dough Boy version of his old self & fought like it too. Martin, who at 36 is a little long in the tooth for a fighter - would have been destroyed within five rounds by a prime time Chavez - gave a good effort & at times had Julio in mild trouble. Martin could never capitalize on his efforts because along with his age factor he also took the fight on short notice & wasn't thoroughly prepared. But despite all that Martin looked like a fighter, while Chavez looks like what he is, a cantina connoisseur without a shred of the necessary discipline left to be a real fighter. All that being said, Julio has enough muscle memory left to still go through the motions, though his physical decline made the fight way more competitive then it should have been.
If Martin had been better prepared (& about 5 years younger) he would have been able to more often deliver his straight right down the middle into Chavez's scar tissue laced face & caused some real damage. The majority of the damage that Martin was able to wreak was due to some heavy head butts & low blows that shook up Julio far more than any punches thrown. Martin's lack of power was what ultimately did him in. As Ferdie Pacheco pointed out during the broadcast, Frankie Randall wrote the blue print for beating Chavez - straight rights down the middle & Chavez is in trouble. Last night , as in his previous fight with Joey Gamache, Julio was lucky that he faced a fighter with no power or he would have ended the fight on his face ... Oh, how the mighty have fallen ... It pains the Bucket t' see a once proud warrior devolve into just another scar faced pug. Like I said, I've never been enamored with J.C. as a fighter, but that's a matter of personal predilection.
There are fighters well known & obscure that have captured my facination like Tony Canzoneri, King Tut, Chalky Wright, Harold Johnson, Battling Torrez, Pajarito Moreno, Tony Sibson, Chic Calderwood, Davey Moore (both of 'em, the featherweight & the jr. middleweight champion), Toluco Lopez, Alejandro Lavorante, Emile Griffith, Luis Rodriguez, Dick Tiger, Joey Giambra, Henry Hank, Florentino Fernandez, Fighting Harada, Pong Kingpetch, Benny Bass, Carmen Basilio, Mushy Callahan, Jimmy Lester, Zora Folley, Eddie Machen, Cleveland Williams, Pascual Perez, Niccolino Loche, Gene Fullmer, Jackie "Kid" Berg, Mickey Walker, Aaron Pryor, Harry Greb, James "Hard Rock" Green, Mustapha Hamsho, Barney Ross, Gene Tunney, Sugar Ramos, Carlos Ortiz, Eder Jofre, Terry McGovern, Hagler, Hearns,Sugar Ray (both of them) - that have for one reason or another have captured my fascination ... The list is practically endless - & like women - there's no explaining your choices ... It just felt right at the time. Fighters, like women & rock & roll are unexplainable & that's the fascination ...
Julio however, has never captured my imagination. While Chavez has one of the greatest career records of all time, it rings hollow as far as the Bucket is concerned. Greg Haugen did have a good point about all those Tijuana cab drivers ... Roughly two thirds of Chavez's opponents were stiffs that he walked through. & most of the recognizable fighters he fought were a little (or a lot) past their primes. Rosario, Camacho, Haugen, Terrence Ali & Maywhether come immediately to mind. Other fighters, Laporte, Lockridge & most especially Taylor, Whitaker & Randall gave him all the hell he could handle. The De La Hoya fight was a complete farce - I've seen better gym workouts! Anytime Chavez got in the ring with a guy who could box & move he had a problem. & ever since the Whitaker fight in '93, all his gutless sniveling (Randall & Oscar) has been revolting. Chavez always seemed to be a great warrior until he faced adversity ... & then the excuses flew out of his mouth like diarrhea. Hell, even Tyson after he was clocked by Holyfield admitted he got beat by the better man that night.
So now what? Chavez will continue fighting journeymen until he whines himself into another championship fight. His chances of a rematch with De La Hoya are less than zero - Oscar's got bigger fish to fry. If De La Hoya beats Whitaker for the welterweight title there is no reason to fight Chavez. When Oscar gives up the jr. welter title I'm sure Julio's asshole buddy Sulaiman will match him in a WBC eliminator against Gonzales. If Chavez wants to regain credibility he should give (also down on his luck) Frankie Randall another shot - but I'm sure that won't happen - Chavez would actually have to take a risk & at this point the cojones appear to be a bit too shriveled for that ...
STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES
This was the third time the Ol' Spit Bucket has seen Montell Griffin in action & per my expectations for the first two I expected him to be crushed . Toney hardly put a dent in him & the ascendant to the unique throne that Cassius Marcellus Clay once occupied as the most athletically gifted boxer in history - Roy Jones Jr. - crashed & burned tonight in mid flight to that lofty perch.
The moment that Tony Perez was announced as the ref the weird mojo feelin' that something outside the envelope was gonna occur t'night was palpable ... After all Mr. Perez is the same official that's been fucking up big time since Ali - Frazier II back in '74. The most recent extreme example was letting Tommy Morrison get drilled unmercifully in his debacle against Ray Mercer in '91. It seems that ever since he needlessly interjected himself between Ali & Frazier during the second round of their rematch; he has over compensated ever since by letting fighters get wacked way more than they should ... Morrison almost got literally killed that night. The onliest time the Bucket ever has seen a fighter that derailed & helplessly blitzkrieged against the ropes was when Ruby Goldstein let Emile Griffith batter Benny "Kid" Paret beyond submission in the terminal trifecta of their brutal series of bouts. Goldstein (who as a young man was a sensational phenom lightweight back in the mid Roaring 20's) was devastated by the fatal outcome of the fight & had the good grace to permanently retire from officiating. It seems to moi that after overseeing an almost fatal disaster like the Mercer - Morrison fiasco that Perez would have taken a self inventory on himself & gracefully faded from the fistic scene ... Ah jeez ... The Ol' Spit Bucket really does live in an altruistic dream world were people in positions of responsibility really live up to the standards they should so fervently espouse ... But I digress ... It be Roy Boy & that pugilistic pain in the ass Mssr. Montell we be talkin' ...
Griffin glaringly exposed Jones's deficiency's. That's not to say that Roy has been a press fueled fraud along the lines of Donald Curry in his 80's heyday. Roy Jones Jr. is still one of the most marvelously gifted athletes this side of Michael Jordan & I still expect him to go down as one of the great fighters of the 20th Century ... But like Ali before his first fight with Ken Norton he was loaded down with hubris & a lack of serious comp before engaging in a real battle. Yeah, I know Ali was coming off his loss to Smokin' Joe in their first battle, but after the long alphabetically sanctioned hegira & his majestic loss to Frazier in what will absolutely go down as the "Fight Of The Century", he was ill prepared to face as awkward opponent as Kenny Norton. I'm gonna digress big time here from our subject ... Styles make fights. & Norton was arguably the quirkiest top line heavyweight that's ever climbed through the ropes ... His crab like crossed armed Archie Moore - esque style absolutely frustrated Muhammad for 39 rounds over the course of three fights. Ali arguably never solved the puzzle that Norton so persistently presented ... Which brings me circuitously to my man Montell ... Awkward doesn't begin to describe his style or his physique, which for a light heavyweight is completely unique. When was the last time you saw a 5 foot seven light heavy that was a boxer & not a slugger? Dwight Muhammad Qawi was 5 foot 8 but he was a wade in brawler not a skilled stylist ... Griffin truly is a freak of nature for his weight class ... Consider that Chavez & Montell are the same height & fight at a thirty five pound differential ... When you add Griffin's extremely elongated arms to his natural blazing speed you have an opponent just chock full of perplexities.
Until the final thirty seconds or so of the fight Roy's superior skills had been baffled & muffled by Montell's boxing eccentricity's. When Roy finally got to Griffin & inflicted enough real damage to force Montell to take a kneel down, all he had to do was wait for the mandatory 8 count to finish & he most probably would have taken Montel out ... Instead we all know the incredible act of stupidity by Roy that turned the fight into a shambles. There is no excuse for that kind of conduct in the ring. There is a huge difference between an accidental head butt or low blow & deliberately clocking a guy while he's on the canvass ... At least Larry Hazzard didn't interfere & force the ref to declare a no-contest like he did when Riddick Bowe did the same thing to Buster Mathis Jr. Hazzard took a lot of heat for that outrageous call & he wasn't about to subject himself to that kind of outraged scrutiny by the boxing press again ... The Ol' Spit Bucket would like to know why one was a no-contest & the other a disqualification??? From my jaundiced view point the circumstances were the same but the hypocrisy wasn't ... While I'm bitching about officiating, I have two more. Jones was partially right when he said the ref didn't pull him back after the kneel down (but this in no way excuses Roy's actions) - in fact Perez was nowhere near the fighters. Which is again, exactly what happened to Morrison versus Mercer. My second bitch is does anybody besides the Bucket feel it's improper to have a man refereeing a fight while his wife is one of the judges? Barbara Perez was the only judge who I thought had the fight scored correctly but it still doesn't feel quite right ... One would think that the state of New Jersey has enough judges that this kind of thing wouldn't happen ...
So what is the fall out from this affair? Well despite all of Griffin's sniveling he should thank his lucky stars the fight ended the way it did. He most probably would have been waxed by Jones & that would have been the end of it. Now he has a lucrative rematch that will net him a seven figure purse. No matter what the outcome of their rematch Griffin will leave the ring a far wealthier man ... As for Roy, this is just a bump in the road that will ultimately be a good learning experience. & lets face it a loss by disqualification isn't the same thang as losing by decision or getting your ass whipped.
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