|. . . THE CYBER BOXING ZONE JOURNAL||
|SPIRITUAL ADVISER ON ALL MATTERS
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
RINSING OFF THE MOUTH PIECE
The good news is that the Cyber Boxing Journal is back after our summer hiatus. The bad news is that basically not a damn thing has changed for the betterment of the sport.
Don King beat the rap, as usual & Ironic (or is it Moronic) Mike has done the best possible job of screwing the pooch & now faces not only a pissed off because they were dissed, Nevada Commission, but a very good chance of having his parole revoked & spending some serious time In the Indiana House Of Many Slammers.
Bottom Line Bob Arum perpetrated his most fraudulent fight card ever with De La Hoya vs. Charpentier. But youve gotta hand it to Arum, he actually had 40,000 plus paid ecstatically squealing women, any of whom could have taken the French Pastry apart if he stood in the way of their beloved Oscar.
We did have a handful of interesting match-ups, but the only fight that really stirred this scribe was the Gatti-Robinson brawl, just another Gatti effort for the ages ...
However things are looking up beginning this month which features among others Morales-Jones, Holyfield-Bean, Norris-Rosenblatt & Lennox Lewis against some kind of Kielbasa from Eastern Europe whose name I havent bothered to
There are also rumors of Trinidad vs. Quartey, Tapia vs. Romero & of course, out there, somewhere, is the holy grail of Holyfield vs. Lewis.
Our readers will notice that I did not include De La Hoya vs. Chavez. This is not a fight, its a glorified gym workout between a young stud in his prime versus the bloated, fading, gas bag that once was Julio Cesar Chavez.
With this one Bilious Bob may have raised the bar & leaped into the level of a Don King, Tex Rickard or P.T. Barnum. That Arum could charge $49.95 for this travesty is a testament to his sheer gall.
Another One Bites The Dust Dept.: Web master & associate editor, Pusboil has resigned his duties ... This is another hit like when we lost our European correspondent, Derek Cusack.
Pusboil pulled yeoman like duty with us & for all his terrific effort, he will be greatly missed ... The good news is that he will still be contributing articles & reports regularly.
Replacing Boil, is Tom Gerbasi, who is very familiar to any of our regular readers. Tom is maybe the hardest working writer in the boxing biz. This month, along with contributing three pieces, hes also uploading the magazine & Copy editor. All this & we dont even pay him! Can you imagine how hard he would work if we did?
This issue is filled with good stuff from our regular staff of writers & well as a couple of fine new writers, Francis Walker & Adrian The A TrainQuinton.
A couple of notes about this issue: 1-We are reprinting a story from our news section by Pedro Fernandez. The reason is we felt the article was so extraordinary that it should he disseminated by a wider audience. 2- Phrank The Slugger's ratings are missing. Actually, if you check back later in the week, they should be posted by Friday.
Phrank puts a lot of care & attention to detail in his rankings & they weren't quite ready when we published.
S anyways, I hope all of you enjoy the new issue & to the interesting (at last!), fights we have coming up in the near future.
By Thomas Gerbasi
"That ring is my home. It's been my home most of my life. I know exactly what every inch of that ring means to me. It means my future as well as my past.
"I was picked on because I was a baby faced kid and I had to fight or run. And I didn't like running."
Jerry Quarry was born in California on May 15, 1945. One of eight children (four boys, four girls), Jerry, the son of Jack and Arwanda Quarry, was raised tough. His father had the words HARD LUCK tattooed on his fists, and at the age of five, each Quarry boy was required to lace up the gloves and step into the ring. And there was "no quit in a Quarry", bellowed the patriarch of the family, a motto which would prove devastating to the health of his sons.
Jerry's desire to please his father led him to the safer confines of the amateur fighting scene. By the age of 18, Jerry Quarry had compiled an amateur record of 170-13-54, which included a National Golden Gloves title. After knocking out five consecutive opponents to win the National crown, Jerry was advised by Jack to turn pro.
The year was 1965. Jerry Quarry was 19.
Over the next ten years, the 6 foot, 190 pound Quarry became one of the best heavyweights to never win a title. Jerry made his debut with a four round decision over Gene Hamilton, and a year later he had been undefeated in 19 fights before losing a decision to top contender Eddie Machen. But Quarry rebounded from the loss, parlaying victories over Thad Spencer and Floyd Patterson into a shot at the vacant WBA heavyweight title against Jimmy Ellis. Quarry looked stiff against the slick boxing Ellis, and he wound up losing a close fifteen round decision (one judge scored the fight even, the referee had Ellis winning by one point). After the fight, it was revealed that Quarry fought with a broken vertebrae in his back.
Quarry rebounded with a win over Buster Mathis. This set up a 1969 showdown in Madison Square Garden with "Smokin" Joe Frazier. The Frazier-Quarry match was a war from the opening bell. The first round was a classic, with both fighters slugging it out toe to toe. The pace did not slow down much after that, but after seven rounds, Quarry's right eye had been battered beyond repair. This prompted referee Arthur Mercante to stop the fight and award the victory to Frazier, despite the desperate pleas of Quarry to let the fight continue.
And Irish Jerry refused to go away. He stunned number one contender Mac Foster with a sixth round knockout, and soon he was tabbed as the foil for Muhammad Ali's return to the ring after a three year exile. But the fight was over nearly before it began. A gash over Jerry's left eye forced a halt to the proceedings after three rounds, and once again, Quarry was unable to win the big one.
After another loss to Ali two years later (TKO by 7), Quarry scored victories over Ron Lyle and Earnie Shavers before being bludgeoned again by Frazier, this time in five rounds. After this loss, Quarry remained active, but he would not win another major fight. A brutal fifth round knockout loss to Ken Norton in 1975 prompted Jerry to announce his retirement from boxing at the age of 29.
Quarry became a television analyst and beer pitchman, but as is the curse of the prize fighter, Jerry returned to the ring in 1977 against Italian Lorenzo Zanon. Quarry scored an unimpressive ninth round knockout and promptly retired again.
Six years later, in 1983, he scored two more comeback victories and left the sport a third time, only to return for a six round fight in Colorado (where there is no boxing commission) against a non-descript foe named Ron Cramner, who sported a record of 2-8.
Quarry, 47, took a six round beating from Cramner, and when he returned home, according to brother James, he had no recollection of the events of the previous night.
After the Cramner fight, Jerry's health worsened considerably. His family noticed a big change in his behavior, a change which was never more apparent than at his induction into the World Boxing Hall of Fame dinner in 1995. After the dinner, Quarry was unable to sign autographs for his fans, his condition had deteriorated so considerably.
Soon after, Jerry Quarry was diagnosed with Dementia Puglistica, a medical euphemism for being punch drunk or brain damaged. There is no cure for Dementia Pugilistica. In response to his brother's condition, James Quarry launched the Jerry Quarry Foundation (http://www.jerryquarry.com), a non-profit organization that hopes to pay pensions and provide health care to disabled fighters.
"He was by far the best heavyweight I ever trained, and he had more boxing knowledge and ability than he's given credit for. But he had that Irish head - He had to go in and fight with the other guy."
Gil Clancy, on Jerry Quarry
At the age of 52, Jerry Quarry's brain has deteriorated to the point where it is equal to that of an 80 year old man's. Dr. Peter Russell, a neuropsychologist, says in a People magazine article that "Jerry's brain looks like the inside of a grapefruit that has been dropped dozens of times." Linda Rogers, head of research for the Jerry Quarry Foundation stated in Newsday that "You see incredible damage to Jerry's brain from boxing. The center part of the brain should be divided; you should see a line. With Jerry...the sheath or wall in the middle of the brain is not there any more; it's not separated, as it should be."
Jerry, the two million dollars he made in the ring gone, now lives with his family, with his niece, Sheri taking care of him . Quarry also has three children and three ex-wives. According to his sister, Brenda, "Jerry is in what Dr. Watson, his neurologist, calls third stage Alzheimer's. This means his brain is shrinking and his motor skills and breathing are being affected and shutting down."
A typical day in the life of Jerry Quarry is a far cry from what you would expect from a man who used to have the world in the palm of his hand. Brenda Quarry tells me that "Jerry wakes up at about 6am, and lays in bed until about 8am. He then gets up, takes a shower, shaves, and brushes his teeth, with assistance. By 8:30am he has had his breakfast and is watching TV until about 9:30am. He then goes to an adult day care center where he gets to spend time with others who may be like himself. He stays there until about 2:00pm, then he goes home. We then read and watch TV until about 4pm.
Just about this time, what is known as "sundowners" starts to affect him. This is when we go for a three mile walk. We do this because the "sundowners" make him really agitated and the walk helps him to calm down. After the walk we have dinner. Getting him to eat has been our new challenge, this is due to the brain's lack of recognition of hunger. After dinner he seems to become more confused, and he starts to ask repeated questions. For this we put up cards that have answers, like where his mother is. Then we get him in bed by 9:30pm to 10pm. He is up every two hours throughout the night. Then we start all over again in the morning." Think about this every time you hear a crowd boo because it thinks a fight was stopped too soon.
Jerry still enjoys boxing, and he remembers that he was a boxer, though he believes that he won all his fights, including those with Ali and Frazier. When watching fights today, he relates to it, yet he always says "I beat them", unable to distinguish that this is a new era of fighters whom he has never met.
Boxing made Jerry Quarry, and now it is destroying him.
"When he finally retired, so I did not have to see my brother continue to be hurt."
Brenda Quarry, when asked her favorite moment of her brother's career
Dr. Russell has stated that "if he lives another ten years, he'll be lucky" in reference to Jerry Quarry. And he is not the only Quarry affected by this condition. Brothers Mike and Bobby are both paying the price from their lives in the ring. Mike, a light heavyweight contender best remembered for his brutal knockout loss in a title fight against Bob Foster, also has Dementia Pugilistica. He lives with his wife of fifteen years (a psychologist), and this stable environment has slowed the effects of his condition somewhat, though he too will experience a premature death. Bobby has nerve damage which affects the muscles on one side of his body, causing tremors in his hand. His brain is still intact at this time.
But while the tale of the Quarry brothers is tragic, some good may come out of James Quarry's decision to go public with his brothers' condition. The Jerry Quarry Foundation hopes "to get medical resources to study this type of Dementia. We are hoping to find ways to prevent this in others. We are also hoping to be able to build a medical living facility for retired boxers." says Brenda Quarry.
To accomplish this, the JQF holds various fundraisers, as well as by selling Jerry Quarry videotapes through the Internet. As for accusations that James Quarry is using the Foundation for his own purposes, Brenda responds "All people enjoy doing things that make them feel good. My brother James is doing his best to help not only Jerry, but others like him. If this seems selfish to others, it still benefits more than just James. The foundation is non profit and the books are open to all who request to see them. I believe that my brother is doing the best job that he can to help everyone involved."
Does Brenda Quarry feel bitter towards boxing? "Bitter is a strong word. I feel sad about the end results of a boxer's life. I feel that we have no right to ban anything. God put everything here so we could choose what road to take."
And of her brother, she has this to say "A misconception is that my brother was a big druggie and drunk. He did enjoy his beer, but I never saw him use drugs. That is not to say that he did not do it, it was the 70's, but he had a lot more fights than he had parties. My brother is one of the nice guys."
I look at my past, great memories abound
For I fought, I bled and I cried
I gave it my all round after round
And the world knows that I tried
A poem by Jerry Quarry
AUGUST 25, SAD DAY FOR FISTIC FANS
By Pedro Fernandez
The majority of you were heartbroken when USA Cable recently dropped its Tuesday Night Fight series. A weekly staple in the diet of the "diehard" boxing fan that was both successful from a ratings standpoint, as well as being financial plus.
The bottom line is that this series was a success. So, why then was it thrown out like old bath water? Because the guy running the show was said to be taking kickbacks from certain promoters in order to garner the ever so precious Tuesday Night Fight dates.
MEET BRAD JACOBS
The man under the microscope is Brad Jacobs. Formerly the Boxing Director for USA Cable, Jacobs runs a television company called Global Productions. What has been alleged for several years was that Jacobs was awarding the
dates "to a select few promoters." And that he in turn received compensation.
Jacobs is a guy whose start in the boxing business was when he was driving losers with fictitious names all around Florida in a station wagon. The forty something Jacobs has been the center of government attention before. A couple of years ago the FBI looked deeply into allegations by some promoters who said they couldn't get USA dates without helping out old Brad.
AGENT IN ARUM'S TOW
Former U.S. Attorney Bob Arum, now the President of Top Rank, Inc., had complained for years that he couldn't get any USA Cable dates. He even introduced an FBI Agent to a friend of mine like this. "This is the FBI Agent investigating Brad Jacobs." Soon thereafter, a worried Jacobs was calling people in the business asking if the story of Arum and the FBI Agent were true.
But, Jacobs and his cronies stood as one and J. Edgar's boys went away knowing there was something more to it. But they didn't feel they could win with what they had then. But just like Poltergeist....
Jacobs is now the focus of a Justice Dept. probe that is investigating "kickbacks" he received from 1993 to 1998. In fact, the Justice Dept. is so set on getting Jacobs that they will convene a Grand Jury soon in order to compel his lackeys to speak.
Jimmie Wheeler is a Texas based promoter who says he gave Jacobs, through Global Productions "large amounts of cash "on two occasions" in order to secure USA Cable dates.
LOTS OF PROMOTERS TRIED, BUT...
Everybody from Don Chargin on down has tried to wrest USA Cable dates from Jacobs, and to no avail. And all the while Jacobs would be forcing Jimmy Thunder on the viewers (one of promoter Art Pelulu's clients) time and again. And even after he had been drubbed on more than one occasion.
It has long been suspected that Pelulu paid Jacobs off. But the Philadelphia resident denies it. Why then did Pelulu get more USA dates than just about anyone else seeing he only has a couple to three fighters?
USA HAD "NO CHOICE"
When I say that USA Cable had no choice but to cancel the series, here is what I mean.
Sooner or later, the Fed's are going to indict Jacobs I'm told. If I know it, then USA knew it. And even though the polyester suits at USA detest boxing, it had been a fixture for 17 years and made money. Thus, it was palatable.
FEDS COME A KNOCKIN'
But when the Feds started opening up the Jacobs/USA can of worms AGAIN, the network saw the light. The first move was to cut the two hour show to one. The idea of "weaning" the network off boxing by cutting the show in half didn't work.
All the while, everytime somebody turned around at USA, there was a "G" man asking questions about old Brad. So, with the spit eventually going to hit the fan, USA said "adios" and the Tuesday night series was history!
JACOBS AND BUTTERBEAN?
I'm being told about witnesses willing to testify before the Grand Jury that Jacobs had been involved in the fixing of a fight for Eric "Butterbean" Esch.
FIXED FIGHTS ON TV, PEDRO AREN'T YOU REACHING A BIT?
No! We know Mark Gastineau, the former NY Jets lineman fought a number of fights on USA that were later confirmed as "fixes" arranged by Jacobs' close friend, the late promoter Rick Parker. That's a fact!
And now my source is telling me that USA went so far as to prop up James Baker, a guy who had never won a fight before the night before to come in as Butterbean's March 19, 1996 opponent in Long Beach, CA.
THE WAY IT WAS...
Both Jacobs and Top Rank were beginning to build the falsehood that is Eric "Butterbean" Esch, the (sic) professional fighter. As we all know, the Bean was built up to such heights by Jacobs that he appeared on the USA Network at least 15 times. He was also the "name" principle when the network signed off forever on August 25.
But on March 19, 1996, Butterbean was supposed to face George Clark in Long Beach. A Kansan, Clark was 40 years old. And although he couldn't fight much, Clark talked a great game. As soon as he hit the hotel lobby, all he was telling people was that he went 175-1, as a kick boxer. And that he was going to kick the Bean's ass.
REMEMBER THOSE "RATINGS"
With all the hoopla being caused by Clark, Butterbean began shaking. All around the hotel people are asking. "Do you think Clark can do it?" Frightened, Esch would attempt to get out of the fight by claiming a hand injury.
Brad couldn't have that. No, Jacobs needed the carnival clown Butterbean on the card because of the ratings he would bring in. So, they went in search of a guy that would take a dive.
Enter the aforementioned James Baker who hadn't won a fight until the night before he faced Butterbean in Long Beach. What I'm saying is that USA got Baker a win in Missouri the night before. Then, they flew him to California and the next night he flops in the first round against Mr. Esch.
And without so much as a blow landing on him!
The gent Baker bested the night before in Missouri was Jim Reynolds. This right here suggests that USA fixed two fights. The one in Missouri and the Butterbean debacle.
The California Commission wasn't going to a approve a guy to fight Esch who had never won a fight. And that's why Baker fought the prior evening March 18, in Missouri.
If I had subpoena power I'd look into when the airline ticket for Baker was paid for. If it was bought before Baker fought that Monday, this further proves a case of conspiracy to rig the outcome of an athletic event.
FIGHT FAX DOES HAVE A JAMES C. BAKER
Listed in their 1996 record book. As it turns out, Baker had went four rounds and lost in his pro debut. He then got knocked out in the very first round of his next four fights before beating Reynolds.
There seems to be a pattern developing here that can be seen by Ray Charles.
We know were "commonplace" because a number of boxing people have come forward and affirmed Jacob's role in the kickback procedure. This is in addition to Jimmie Wheeler.
Both Mark Gastineau and Eric "Butterbean" Esch appeared on USA Cable in "fixed" fights. Although we can only confirm the Baker dive in the case of Butterbean, there was testimony given in a Florida court that "nearly all of Gastineau's fights were fixed."
AXING SERIES WAS THE EASY WAY OUT?
Being a cable network with aspirations of being one of the big four, NBC, CBS, ABC, and now FOX, USA Cable could ill afford a scandal of such magnitude. The polyester suits knew something like this could set the network back with the people that count, the sponsors.
But if they washed their hands of boxing entirely, Jacobs couldn't take USA Cable down with him if and when the "G" indicts old Brad baby.
FYI: The writer his own site at www.fighters.com
Pedro also hosts Ring Talk, a syndicated talk show on boxing that airs Saturday and Sunday on the Talk America Radio Network(s) at 11:06 PM ET with LIVE Internet audio at www.talkamerica.com
On Saturday, Ring Talk airs on the Talk America "1" Network and is two hours long.
On Sunday night, Ring Talk is carried by the Talk America "2" Network aka "The Deuce" and is an hour in duration. Both Talk "1" and Talk "2" have separate audio channels at www.talkamerica.com
Ring Talk is in it's 12th year! Where have you been?
RANDY'S WORLD OF BOXING
By Randy Gordon
I had a chance to chat with Ivan Robinson at the Blue Horizon the night of USA Network's final show (which was three days after his "Fight of the Year" against Arturo Gatti). Robinson said he'd fight Gatti again, but hoped it wouldn't be too soon. Quite frankly, after a 10-round war like they had, time off is needed. Well, both guys have rested enough. It's now back to the gym, because HBO has signed them to do it again on November 14, as part of a doubleheader. The other fight will most likely match Roy Jones against Gianfranco Rocchigiani. By the way, that first Robinson-Gatti war outdrew two rather tough TV opponents that night: Saturday Night Live and the Howard Stern Show.
* * *
Look for the Mohegan Sun to begin work soon on a 10,000-seat arena, to be used for major-league entertainment and for big-time boxing events. Their Executive V.P., Mitch Etess, is one of the most knowledgeable and respected men in the business, and promises to bring nothing but quality boxing events to the "Sun." Once their arena is built, along with a hotel on
their reservation, they'll take the play away from Foxwoods, whose Gaming Commission--which oversees their boxing commission--has earned a reputation as being nothing more than a group of overbearing, power-crazed thugs who think
nothing of manhandling any individual who dares challenge one of their ludicrous rules (such as no gum-chewing or radio-playing in the dressing rooms). Recently, a mother who went to wish her boxer-son luck in his dressing room was threatened and nearly thrown out of the hotel merely because she wasn't allowed in the dressing room area. Thankfully, the "Sun" has stepped to the plate and delivered a huge hit for boxing, more than making up for the dismal failure of their neighbor nine miles up the road...Another Native American casino/resort which will be putting on more boxing is the Turning Stone Casino in Verona (Syracuse), New York.
* * *
Madison Square Garden is about to announce they've hired a new Vice President of Boxing Operations. His name is Kevin Wynn and he's formerly of the I.M.G. Corp. And he was one of at least several dozen names who were considered for
the job. His position will be two-fold. One will be to try and bring big fights back to the Garden, the other will be to run the show from top to bottom when they do come in. His big problem will be getting the fights into New York. No matter how you slice it or look at it, mega-fights simply cannot be put on in non-casino towns, cities and states. Once in a while, one can,
but only if it's truly meaningful. Twenty-seven years ago, Joe Frazier-Muhammad Ali packed Madison Square Garden. Only a few years ago, a Mike Tyson-Riddick Bowe fight would have packed Yankee Stadium, but the fight never happened. Aside from that, all other fights head to the casinos. The last I looked, MSG didn't have a casino. True, they had betting all around the arena, but they had no casino. Casinos, my friends, are what any city needs to compete in the boxing world. I've always said if they playing field was level--if everyone had a casino or if nobody had a casino--New York would be on top again. New York would be the Mecca once again. But those days are like a Mark McGwire homerun. Long gone! So, we wish Mr. Wynne the best of luck. As he tries to bring mega-fights back to New York and as he attempts to re-establish itself as the Mecca of boxing, Wynne, will need all the luck he can get!
* * *
I knew we'd be reading his name again on the dark side of the news, so it didn't surprise me when I heard that former WBA heavyweight champ Michael Dokes was arrested for beating the mess out of his girlfriend in the home they shared in Las Vegas. His girlfriend was admitted to a local hospital with several facial fractures and deep bruises. Said Las Vegas police Lt. Tom Monaghan, "I never saw one of Dokes' opponents look so bad after climbing out of the ring with him." According to reports, the young lady was unrecognizable. Who knows what she did to anger or enrage Dokes, but no matter what it was, Dokes should never have laid so much as a pinky upon her. If she follows through with charges against Dokes, he'll probably be headed away for an extended vacation in some concrete and steel resort. He deserves only the best. What a creep...
On the other side of the coin, one of boxing's true gentlemen is WBC junior lightweight king Genaro Hernandez. You won't hear it come from him, but when he suffered his only loss--a TKO to Oscar de la Hoya three years ago--due to a broken nose, the nose was only re-broken by de la Hoya. Only days earlier, it had been mashed by Shane Mosley in a sparring session.
* * *
LOOK FOR: A possible pullout in his upcoming (Sept. 26 against David Tua) fight by Hasim Rahman. He has bolted training camp several times and sources say this is because of the promotional tug-of-war he is involved in between Cedric Kushner and Don King...Can you think of any challenger who has ever had fewer credentials to be in a world heavyweight title fight than Vaughn Bean as he gets ready to face Evander Holyfield? Well, maybe Jean-Pierre Coopman in 1976 against Muhammad Ali...IBF Lightweight Champ Sugar Shane Mosley puts his title and 28-0 record on the line against undefeated (26-0) and hard-hitting Argentine, Eduardo Morales at The Theatre in Madison Square Garden on September 22. Also on that card will be Angel Manfredy-John Brown. The card will be televised on TNT. Ahh! A Tuesday night. Although TNT execs say they
have no plans on replacing USA Network's dearly-departed "Tuesday Night Fights," it feels good, even for one night, to have the "TNF's" back again...
Vinny Pazienza hoping to secure a title shot at IBF super middleweight boss Charles Brewer...
Looks like British promoter Frank Warren has landed a nice show in Atlantic City for Halloween Night. This one'll match the
exciting Prince Naseem Hamed (30-0) against former bantamweight king Wayne McCullough (22-1). On the undercard, expect to also see Marco Antonio Barrera against a contender as well as unbeaten featherweight slugger Angel Vazquez.
Because of his explosive punching power, Vazquez is rapidly becoming the most avoided contender in the world.
* * *
Condolences to former middleweight king Jake LaMotta, who's son, Joe, was among the victims of SwissAir Flight 111 recently. In July, I had a chance to dine with both of them at the Turning Stone Casino, and found Jake to be, well, Jake, and Joe to be warm, friendly and engaging. He was headed to Switzerland to close a deal on distributing the tomato sauce which bears his father's name, "LaMotta's Tomattas." Joe was 49. Earlier this year, Jake had lost his only other son to cancer.
* * *
Too bad boxing doesn't have anything near as exciting as the incredible Mark McGwire-Sammy Sosa race for baseball immortality. What do we have? A very gifted Oscar de la Hoya facing the likes of Patrick Charpentier and a tired, worn-out, over-the-hill Julio Cesar Chavez? A basically-inactive Felix Trinidad, who fights more in the courts than he does in the ring? A
sensational talent like Roy Jones who would rather be somewhere other than in a ring? A heavyweight champion named Evander Holyfield who turns down $20 million to face his only real competition? A master like Pernell Whitaker whose biggest battle the last couple of years has been against himself? A former heavyweight champion named Mike Tyson who is still thought of as a draw, when in fact, he hasn't been at the top of his game since the start of this decade--which is rapidly drawing to a close. A circus attraction named Butterbean? A popular weekly cable boxing show going off the air after 17 years? What we need are the boys to start fighting each other. We need Holyfield-Lennox Lewis. We need Trinidad-de la Hoya. We need Prince Naseem Hamed-Angel Manfredy. We need Lucia Rijker-Christy Martin. Ahh! It's frustrating.
* * *
On that note, I'm packing it in. The St. Louis Cardinals are on television
and Mark McGwire is due up next!
Can Tyson Keep Himself Out Of Trouble?
By Francis Walker
On Saturday, September 19, former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson's fate will finally be determined by the Las Vegas Athletic Commission. After a one year ban for biting a piece of Evander Holyfield's right ear off, Tyson seeks to regain his boxing license. At one point, The question was not whether Tyson would regain his license. The biggest debate is whether Tyson can keep himself out of trouble.
It is highly unlikely that we will ever see the Tyson who cleaned up the heavyweight division in the late 80's and early 90's. Nonetheless, fight fans will still have the honor of watching the most devastating fighter of our time used as a cash-cow. The same way Top Rank boxing promoter Bob Arum uses current WBC welterweight champion Oscar De La Hoya. Showtime promoter Don King, despite the reported $100 million lawsuit Tyson filed against him, will use Tyson to make the most money by fighting overmatched opposition.
Tyson is such a huge draw that 7 of the top 10 Pay-Per-View records belong to him. With that in mind, it is easy for Tyson to make the transition from boxing to wrestling. Tyson earned over $3 million to appear as a special guest referee at Wrestlemania XIV. That was just a business transaction based on Tyson's success and WWF owner Vince McMahon's financial setbacks over the years. Aside from Tyson's affiliation with the World Wrestling Federation, I hope he does return to boxing. Tyson should and will return to the ring for the simple fact that boxing is what he does best. Tyson was well on his way to immortality
before he was incarcerated. Since his second coming, he not only lost twice to Holyfield, but Tyson has failed to fall into contention with the likes of: Riddick Bowe, George Foreman, Ray Mercer, Frans Botha, Michael Moorer, and Lennox Lewis, four of which Holyfield fought in seven fights.
Following his emergence onto the scene in March 1985, Tyson showed his critics he was no joke. After one year as a professional fighter, Tyson knocked out his first 19 opponents, 12 of them in the first round. It was only a matter of
time before Tyson won his first world heavyweight title. Tyson, who disposed of Jesse Ferguson (KO 6), Mitch Green (W 10), Marvis Frazier (KO 1), and Jose Ribalta (KO 10), captured the WBC crown in November 1986.
At age 20, Tyson become the youngest fighter to ever win the heavyweight championship when he stopped Trevor Berbick in the second round. In 1987, Tyson went on to defeat World Boxing Association champ James "Bonecrusher" Smith (W 12) and International Boxing Federation titlist Tony Tucker (W 12). Thus, he became the first Undisputed heavyweight king since Ali. In ten defenses, Tyson dismantled the likes of: Tyrell Biggs (KO 7), Larry Holmes (KO 4), Tony Tubbs (KO 2), Michael Spinks (KO 1), Frank Bruno (KO 5), and Carl Williams, before losing to James "Buster" Douglas (KO by 10) in February 1990.
Just when Tyson redeemed himself by knocking out 3 of his next 4 foes, he was then incarcerated for rape in 1992. Tyson did not return to civilization for over three years.
In June 1995, Tyson was relased from prison. After two "tune-ups" against Peter McNeeley (W DQ 1) and Buster Mathis (TKO 3). Tyson challenged Bruno for the WBC title. In March 1996, Tyson won his fourth world title by pummeling Bruno
(TKO 5) to a pulp. After vacating the WBC title for refusing to fight Lennox Lewis, Tyson, in September 1996, spanked WBA king Bruce Seldon (KO 1). At last, when we all thought Tyson was awesome again, Holyfield came out of nowhere and
defeated Tyson in November 1996. In the rematch last June, an enraged Tyson was disqualified in the third for biting Holyfield.
Tyson, nonetheless, will fight again. Here's why...
Tyson's return bout against McNeeley set the record for most Pay-Per-View buys "domestically" with 1.52 million, and largest paid gate in boxing history at $13,965,500. In December 1995, Tyson vs. Mathis was the first major heavyweight fight aired on national television. The FOX special earned a 16.1 rating, which was viewed by more than 43 million people. However, Tyson vs.Holyfield II broke all records...More than 1.95 million households nationwide and closed circuit viewers in over 110 countries, along with 16,331 people at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, witnessed "The Bite." The live gate, as a result, grossed over $14 million.
Since his return, Tyson has grossed $150 million. $25 against McNeeley, $10 against Bruno, $25 against Seldon, and a combined $60 million for his two fights against Holyfield.
Also, no other athlete his sports history has been punished more than Tyson. More than one-third of his career has gone into penalties. The $3 million dollar fine he was issued for biting Holyfield was the highest ever. Also, Tyson's one-year ban
cost him at least $60 million in combined purses.
Tyson, whether in Las Vegas, New Jersey, or anywhere else... will fight again.This fight writer is looking forward to his return, but is not expecting much!
Interview conducted by Thomas Gerbasi
TG - Why boxing?
FV - I guess it was always in me, in the sense of me always fighting in the streets. I didn't know anything about boxing, the form of fighting. But as a little kid I was always a good streetfighter, fighting in the streets, getting in trouble, getting suspended; only for fighting. And that's really how I got into it. I was switching the channel one day and I found out there was boxing. There was amateur boxing, there were kids fighting. I was astounded. I had never seen anything like that before. I mean, I knew names like Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson, but those were just names. They were grown men. I didn't know that they got started training as kids even. So I found out where the gym was and I was so happy I found it. I never let up. I actually got out of trouble because of boxing.
TG - When did you realize "hey, I can make a career out of this"?
FV - I knew from the beginning when they put the gloves on me. I said to myself "I'm going to be the best", and I think that's what helped me out through the years. I really didn't think about a career when I was an amateur, I was just thinking about winning amateur titles and getting to the Olympic games, which I did get to. And after the Olympic games is when I said I want to turn pro. I knew that I would be more fitted for the pros.
TG - Do you feel you missed out on some of the things normal teenagers do, since you were boxing from an early age?
FV - No, nothing whatsoever. I still get to go out sometimes, but it's moderate. I get to go and be with my friends when I can; I have specific times when I can do it. I think that it's instilled a lot of discipline in me and I don't think that I missed out on anything really. I think I grew up a little quicker than everyone else.
TG - How would you describe your fighting style?
FV - I consider myself to be an intelligent boxer-puncher. I always want to use my head. I don't always try to go in there to bang. That's how I consider my style, being an intelligent fighter. Intelligence first, I feel, in anything.
TG - You're getting a lot more attention from the media. How are you dealing with it?
FV - I'm used to it. When I was 16 years old it started for me because I was the youngest ever US national champion, breaking Meldrick Taylor's record. I was exposed to it from a very young age. I just do my thing and let the media do theirs.
TG - You've been constantly compared to Oscar DeLa Hoya. Are you tired of these comparisons, and why?
FV - I want to be known as Fernando Vargas. People don't realize why I don't like DeLa Hoya. When I was 16, I voiced out a few things that maybe I shouldn't have, and maybe I should have explained myself more clearly. I was just quick to insult him and talk bad about him, but I really didn't give a reason why. Maybe if I would have given a reason they would have understood.
The reason I don't like DeLa Hoya is that when I was 16 years old, I went to fight in the US Championships. I was getting ready in Big Bear. He was up there and I was training with him. I was up there because my friend Robert Garcia, who is a world champion right now, was up there with him. I really looked up to him (DeLa Hoya) in the sense of him being a Mexican-American, and him winning the gold medal. And I wanted to do the same thing. I expected him to be like he portrays himself on TV, all nice, all this and that. It wasn't really like that for me. I kind of got the cold shoulder. We worked out together, I sparred with him, and he thought I was just there like a sparring partner. And it wasn't anything like that. I was there to get experience, to get the work in. I can honestly say that I got hurt by that experience because I looked up to him, but after that I just didn't want to hear anything about DeLa Hoya. I don't want to hear that I'm the next Oscar DeLa Hoya. I want to be better. I just want to be the best. That's why when they started saying I'm the next Oscar DeLa Hoya, I wanted no part of that because of my experience in Big Bear.
TG - So it isn't true that he led you into a bear trap?
FV - (laughs) He didn't lead me in any bear trap. Stories get fabricated when you go mouth to mouth. I was running with Robert Garcia, we were stretching out. He (DeLa Hoya) stayed back stretching out. He wanted to run by himself, I guess. Me and Robert just started running ahead. I didn't know the trail too good. Robert led in front of me. There was snow and there was mud, going up hills and down hills, mountains and everything. I was just following Robert and when I went down a hill, it was very muddy with a lot of snow. I tripped and slipped and just rolled down the hill. I really got dirty, I got mud all over my face. He (DeLa Hoya) just ran by and smirked, instead of trying to help me out or give me a hand. It was no trap, I just fell and he ran by. I guess that's why I got even more hate towards DeLa Hoya.
TG - What has Lou Duva meant to your career?
FV - I think Lou Duva's a big part of my career. Everybody knows Lou Duva. Everybody knows that he's a great trainer, a great manager, a great person who knows a lot about boxing. He's one of the faces in boxing that is very much recognized. I think that to me, Lou Duva is a great person. He treats me with the utmost respect and class. He looks out for his fighters. That's what makes me feel good. I don't think that there are other promoters that are like Lou Duva and Main Events.
TG - You work out with some of the Main Events stable. Do you ever stop and say "Wow, there's Sweet Pea Whitaker" or "Hey, there's Arturo Gatti"?
FV - It makes me feel real good. I think back and say, man, I could have gone down any other avenue and I chose boxing, and God did it for a reason. Look at me now. I feel very happy about all my accomplishments. I thank God for what I have, because I know a lot of people my age don't have what I have and have been where I've been at 20 years of age. I feel very happy that I could work with fighters like Vernon Forrest and Pernell Whitaker. How can you get experience like that, but with working with fighters like that. It's a great experience, and it helps me so much for fights.
TG - You've won all your fights by knockout. Do you run the risk of going into a fight looking just for the knockout?
FV - I take it as it comes. I try to work and be intelligent, look for openings, for angles. Work off my jab and see whatever comes. If it comes, it comes. I know I'm not going to knock everybody out.
TG - Your next fight is on HBO. Do you feel any added pressure?
FV - No, I've fought on HBO before. I think there's pressure in every fight you fight and you've got to thrive off it. Just like Michael Jordan thrives off being in the Championship and making that last shot. You've got to thrive off the pressure and make it. That's what great fighters do, and hopefully I'll be able to do that.
TG - Who are some of your favorite fighters?
FV - I have a lot of them. Roy Jones Jr. is one of my favorite fighters. A great fighter, a good friend. I respect Roy Jones, he's a great guy, a real down to earth person. Chavez, in his prime. When I was young, I grew up on Chavez, and he was one of my idols. Still to this day he is, and I just hope that he retires already. I don't like to look at him as a stepping stone for other people. Ricardo "Finito" Lopez. He's a flyweight, but he's a great fighter, he has great power in both hands, and he's an intelligent fighter.
TG - What are your thoughts on the professional progress of your 1996 Olympic teammates?
FV - Everybody's doing their own thing as a pro. I mainly keep my focus on what I've got to do.
TG - How do you see a fight with between you and David Reid turning out?
FV - I respect David Reid. David Reid's a good friend of mine. I can honestly say that he was one of the fighters on the Olympic team that I really liked and I think he feels the same way about me. We got along real good, but this is boxing. Whoever my promoters want me to fight, I'll fight.
TG - If you could have one fight, what would it be?
FV - I would love to fight DeLa Hoya. That would be my dream fight. I know that I have to get a belt before he will fight me. I'm hearing that after my last fight with Anthony Stephens they're going to rank me number one in the IBF, and I would love to fight against Yori Boy Campas. He's a great fighter, a great name, and I've worked with him before. I just think that my skills have gotten much better from when I did spar with him, and if I did get the title, I would love to fight DeLa Hoya. He wants 14 different belts, and mine's there for the taking if he wants it. If he can take it.
TG - You've already gone from 147 pounds to 154. How high do you see yourself going?
FV - I don't know. I'm junior middleweight right now, and I feel strong. I've got to see where we go from here. I'm only 20 years of age. I know my body's going to grow and get stronger and thicker, so we'll see where it goes. I'm not going to sacrifice my body and kill myself just to make weight. And end up looking bad in a fight because I'm too dehydrated or I haven't eaten properly. I'll see where I feel comfortable at.
TG - What would you say to someone who thinks boxing should be banned?
FV - I think that they're crazy. This is a sport where I can understand their position in the sense where they think it's violent and dangerous. But there is more death in other sports. Football, hockey even. It's just that in boxing it's glorified more, because of the fact that this is a contact sport with nothing but punches. The name of the game is knock the guy out, or try to win in any way, shape, or form.
I think that they would be wrong in banning it because it's a great sport. I think that this is a sport that is safer now. It was a lot different back in the old days. They never stopped punching, and even if a guy was battered on the ropes, they never stopped a fight. You had to go down. So I think it's safer now. There are deaths in boxing, but I think they glorify them more because of the sport.
JOHNNY TAPIA: "I'VE DIED AND COME BACK"
By Dave Iamele
The first part of June was an emotional roller coaster ride for Johnny Tapia. He was disappointed when the Holyfield vs. Akinwande fight card was canceled where he was scheduled to fight on the undercard. He was excited to be visiting the International Boxing Hall of Fame for the first time with his lovely wife, Theresa. Then he was excited as he received an unexpected call to resume training for a bout in July but a little disappointed that he would have to cut his Hall of Fame
visit short. But that's the way Johnny Tapia operates today - when the call to fight comes, play time is over and it's back to business.
And it's a business Johnny now takes very seriously. He's gotten a second chance that some don't get and he's going to make the most of it. Tapia's life story is the stuff movies are made of. There's the brutal murder of his mother when Tapia was just a young tot then Tapia along with eight brothers and six sisters was raised by his grandparents, running the streets alternated with
working out in the gym which eventually led to doing drugs alternating with boxing. The uneasy mix led to trouble, as it often does, and eventually after three positive drug tests, Johnny's boxing license was revoked by the state athlete commission in October of '91. After a downward spiral that found Tapia in and out of both trouble and jail he rededicated himself to the sport he loves and more importantly to himself.
Fast forward to June '98 and Johnny, with his wife, constantly by his side, spent his cut-short visit to the Hall of Fame with the fans, signing autographs and posing for photos. Even after finding out he had to return to training camp for an upcoming bout, he still graciously agreed to talk with me.
I started things off by asking Johnny about the canceled Holyfield card and how disappointed he was. "I was very disappointed because it was like a dream come true for me to fight in Madison Square Garden where all the greats fought." Even though he had received a call to get ready for another bout, Johnny was still disappointed about the cancellation of the Holyfield card,
the loss of exposure it would've provided and the chance to fight at MSG. "I know there'll be another time but it's hard for me to focus with all the stuff going on." Asked about his upcoming opponent Johnny said, "When you're at the top, everyone wants to take you down".
Johnny recently joined Don King's stable of fighters and I asked him if he felt comfortable fighting for DK given his less than sterling reputation "I'm very happy with Don. He's put up everything he said he would and it's a business and we've got to keep it that way."Asked if he knew he'd return to the ring after his suspension in '91, Tapia replied, "No, I never thought I
would come back. You see what happened was my mother-in-law had a slight stroke, and I was off for 3 «years, using and abusing my body in every possible way that you can. So when she went into the hospital, she asked me one favor, that
was to come back to boxing and shut everyone up because I was getting a lot of bad talk. I did that and I give thanks and praise and I'm still here but it wasn't easy, trust me." I asked Johnny what he thought of his first visit to the Hall of Fame. "I'm head over heels! Being here with the greats, being part of it, it's exciting." Today, in an era of multi-titles and numerous champions, I wondered if being in the Hall of Fame was something Tapia strives for - if it meant more than a title? "I think that's every fighter's dream. To be all you can be and fight as hard as you can and in the end, it pays off in being inducted in the Hall of Fame. There's too many belts but the real people, the real fight fans and the world champions know (who are the real champions)."
I brought up a topic that is inevitably always brought up to Johnny, Danny Romero. When asked if he was sick of Danny's name always being linked to his after he already convincingly kicked his ass, Johnny responded, "No, because I already proved my point . . . I'm a guy that always wishes everybody the best. As for me, I want to do it one more time to take care of business the right way . . ." Asked about Romero's claim after the bout that he felt he won, Johnny said, "When it comes
to losing and you can't admit it, something's wrong with your pride. He's got to realize that I was there before him and I'm gonna be there after him. I asked Johnny if his relationship with Danny has improved at all since the fight because they had seemed awful chummy on TV lately or if it was all hype for a rematch. "It's all hype for the next fight . . . you know you've got to keep all your enemies close to you. We're never gonna like each other, he knows it, I know it. But from a business standpoint, you gotta make money, you gotta be friends, but in the ring you gotta hate each other." I pointed out to Johnny that
Danny Romero wasn't the only one itching for a crack at him, there's also Mark "Too Sharp" Johnson and Tim Austin, just to name a couple. I asked Johnny what it's like now to be a "wanted man"? "You know what it is? I want to continue to be
successful. When everyone's calling you out, that means you're the man. They're starting to need me to make some money. I don't duck nobody, I'm not afraid of nobody. `Cause in the ring, that's my job. Whoever calls me out, we get the fight together and hopefully it's a big payday. I'm in it for the money now, from a business standpoint". I asked Johnny if he was comfortable at his current weight - "118 I'm as strong as a horse and as stubborn as a mule. I feel good, I feel great . . . everything's there for me, but you know since I'm a two time champion at 115, I think I gotta fight Danny one more time so I gotta go back to 115."
I told Johnny that Danny was a visitor to the Hall last year and that I'd spent some time with him. Danny was very confident that he would beat him (Tapia) and that although the odds were very close before the bout, it seemed many people I spoke to were in agreement. I inquired as to why, it seemed, that Danny was regarded so highly before their bout, while Johnny may have been underestimated? Especially now when Romero has looked less than spectacular of late. "You've got to realize I died and I came back and that didn't keep me down. I've done everything that you can do to hurt your body and bounced back. For me, Danny was the easiest fight, but Danny's always had his opponents picked out. The guys he hasn't had picked out, he's lost to. He's cocky but he's good at what he does. But when you come to fight a warrior that can box, that can stick and move, that can slug, and don't care what's gonna happen to him - then you better worry! I didn't even have a trainer! My wife is the one who took care of me for that fight. To make the story short, he didn't know what to do. He was so frustrated he
didn't know where my punches were coming from. They said he was a harder hitter, he was stronger, faster, that he was the best - I proved the world wrong. No matter how many times you fall, I'm living proof that you can pick yourself up and be successful."
"You gotta realize that since the fight, I'm a Showtime fighter, a Don King fighter - he's an undercard for USA, that speaks for itself. But I'm not the type of guy who goes dogging any fighters cause I've got respect for them for just getting in the ring."
After Johnny beat Danny there was a very emotional scene in the ring where Johnny was hugging his grandfather and he was dedicating the fight to his mother and fighting back tears for many varying reasons. I asked Tapia if this was his most satisfying moment in the ring? More so than winning the title. "You know, I've had a problem and when you tease people who are sick, you become sick yourself. I wanted him so bad to show the people, not just in my hometown, but all over the world, you don't have to stay down. You don't have to stay down. As deep as you fall in a hole, you can pick yourself up and be successful. I wanted to show the world that people can come out of whatever they're involved in and it was the best feeling in the world, but it was the saddest feeling because he didn't do what he said cause I didn't come out with a scratch on my face and that was a great job, that went down as the fight of the year."
I read Johnny a quote from May 1995 KO magazine that said, ". . . If there was ever a guy who needed boxing to survive, it's Tapia". I asked him if he felt this was true and what he'd do when the bell rings for him for the last time in his boxing career. His reply, "I am trying to give the people what they want in boxing. I bleed! I'm a heck of a fighter, I'm a people's champion
and I've also got love for the game. People love to see those things and I give it to them. But now I want to be a better and a smarter fighter because careers don't last long. I want to be one of those fighters that know what I have. My wife is one of the best managers out there now. She's got a lot of fighters and she's got good fighters and I've been in the game 22 years now and my brother and I were thinking that we could start training and stay in the game."
Asked about his personal goals, Johnny said "I want to remain undefeated. I have a lot of values. I've been a champion for a long time. I want to stay undefeated and go out the right way."
What about when the Babyfaced Assassin isn't at war or going to war? "Oh, I love to make babies, no, no, I'm kidding! I love to spend time with my family!"
I asked Johnny if he still felt the anger that seemed to fuel his inner fire. "It's something that . . . you know I'm the type of person that likes to be all over, talk to everybody, do anything I want to do, . . . but see now, God has put me in the hands of a beautiful woman that's taking care of me, that's guiding me, that's protecting me - keeping all enemies away - and you know I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for my wife. I put her through hell because, you know . . . I'm not a good guy to be with. I mean, I've got mood swings, I've got different personalities. You know, one day I can be happy . . . but you gotta
realize from the past I've been through I've never been, "one straight minded." And I'm working on that. I've put my wife through a lotta hell but she accepted me when I was at the bottom. She accepted me, her family accepted me, as being an addict. It took lots of time to cure me, but it's one day at a time now. That's how I live life. All I want is to try to give her the love that I never had, back to her."
I asked Johnny if he felt people really understood what he'd been through, especially beating the cocaine addiction which is one of the most difficult things there is to defeat. "I've been in programs . . . they're good for you but you've gotta have somebody that cares for you and understands the situation. You know, you don't wish anyone to go through that (drug abuse). Celebrities fell into it and it's a lonely world and the odds are tough. The higher you get, the lonelier you are, and that's the truth. You gotta realize, if you gotta hundred dollars, you gotta hundred friends. But you can only count the real ones on one hand."
What about the temptation, is it still there? I prompted. "You know, I think of today . . . when I heard the fights not there (the canceled Holyfield card) but God put something else, he put me here. They just put my robe in the Hall of Fame. I mean, how many fighters have their robe in the Hall of Fame? God's good and he works in mysterious ways."
Before we parted, I asked Johnny if he could give any advice to another of this year's visitors to the hall, Pernell Whitaker, what would it be? "I would tell him to think for himself. You know, misery loves company. He's gotta lot of money, he don't need to fight. Put yourself in Jesus' hands and let Him guide him. Take the program serious, follow the 12 steps and he'll be right on track."
In closing, Johnny said, "You know how you can't judge a book by it's cover? Well, you can't judge Johnny Tapia without talking to him and getting to know him. My wife, my family will tell me when it's time to quit. If I'm taking shots that I never should have - tell me, and I'll quit. I want to go down as one of the greats at Jr. bantam and bantamweight but I have been everything in my life already. I mean, If I was to die tomorrow, I'd die happy."
Maybe Johnny's trading his crazy life for the life of a family man now. It's a good trade . . . for Johnny.
The All-Time Light Heavyweight Tournament
By Thomas Gerbasi
Bob Foster W15(u) Henry Maske
Yaqui Lopez W15(u) John Conteh
John Henry Lewis W15(s) Jack O'Brien
Harry Greb TKO13(swelling) Maxie Rosenbloom
Eddie Mustafa Muhammad W15(u) Mate Parlov
Georges Carpentier TKO8(cuts) Lotte Mwale
Billy Conn W15(u) Joey Maxim
Gene Tunney W15(u) Jimmy Slattery
Archie Moore TKO5 Virgil Hill
Tommy Loughran W15(u) Harold Johnson
Jack Delaney TKO5(cuts) Fernandez
Paul Berlenbach W15(u) Marvin Johnson
Bob Fitzsimmons TKO7(cuts) Victor Galindez
Jack Dillon TKO4 Miguel Cuello
Jose Torres KO7 Matthew Saad Muhammad
Michael Spinks KO13 Mike Rossman
Bob Foster TKO5 Yaqui Lopez
Harry Greb W15(u) John Henry Lewis
Georges Carpentier W15(u) Eddie Mustafa Muhammad
Gene Tunney W15(u) Billy Conn
Tommy Loughran W15(u) Archie Moore
Jack Delaney W15(u) Paul Berlenbach
Jack Dillon W15(u) Bob Fitzsimmons
Michael Spinks TKO6(swelling) Jose Torres
TOMMY LOUGHRAN VS. JACK DELANEY
These two technicians set up shop in the middle of the ring, and put on a clinic of the sweet science. While there was not much in the way of knockdown, drag em out action, the fight was entertaining, with a lot of ebb and flow. In the end, it was anyone's fight. The winner, Tommy Loughran. LOUGHRAN W15(u) DELANEY
JACK DILLON VS. MICHAEL SPINKS
This one looked like it was going to be over early. Michael used his Spinks Jinx to perfection, sending Dillon crashing to the canvas three times in the first two rounds. But Jack recovered, and proceeded to bewilder the usually patient Spinks, who in going kayo crazy, ran out of gas late, and allowed Dillon to steal a close but unanimous decision. DILLON W15(u) SPINKS
GEORGES CARPENTIER VS. GENE TUNNEY
As they say, this is why they fight the fights. Tunney, a heavy favorite, was having his way, shutting the Frenchman out, when a single left hook knocked Tunney out cold. CARPENTIER KO7 TUNNEY
BOB FOSTER VS. HARRY GREB
This one should have been the final. Greb and Foster each had their moments in this seesaw battle. Foster took an early lead and looked to be controlling the fight, but round by round, Greb creeped back into it, and by the time the championship rounds arrived, Greb was in control. There was doubt in the air after the fight, but Greb's late rally put him in the semis. GREB W15(u) FOSTER.
TOMMY LOUGHRAN VS. JACK DILLON
Zzzzzzzzzzz. Of all the weight divisions we've fought over the last year, the Light Heavies definitely cornered the market on snoozes. Nothing eventful about this one. Dillon gets to the final. DILLON W15(u) LOUGHRAN
HARRY GREB VS. GEORGES CARPENTIER
They had to do this one twice. In their first match, Greb, not exactly an angel, butted Carpentier, opening a gash over his eye. The fight was stopped in the fourth, and a technical draw declared. A miffed Greb made Carpentier pay in the rematch, punishing him on the inside with punches, elbows, and forearms. When it was over, Carpentier lost a unanimous decision. GREB W15(u) CARPENTIER
ALL-TIME LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
JACK DILLON VS. HARRY GREB
Two old-timers squared off in an unlikely final. Well, it looked like Dillon didn't want to even be in the ring with the Pittsburgh Windmill. When Dillon punched, he landed 82%, but he did not punch much. Greb continued to chase and chase, but Dillon refused to engage. Greb's frustration increased, and finally he resorted to roughouse tactics. By the ninth, Dillon was being mauled, and after another low blow, Greb was disqualified.
WINNER AND ALL-TIME LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION...JACK DILLON (WDISQ9)
Shea Neary The Shamrock Express
By Adrian Cusack
Some fighters, like Naseem Hamed and Hector Camacho, seem to be made for boxing's modern showbiz era. Flashy, dramatic entrances suit them perfectly, and their eccentric personalities demand attention. But there is also a small group of throwback fighters around today, who would be just as happy to ply their trade in the 'rough and tumble' years of the 20's and 30's. Liverpool's Shea Neary, the WBU light welterweight champion, is one such fighter.
Like Mike Tyson, Neary enters the ring in plain black shorts and black leather boots, but Neary has qualities that Tyson will never possess true warrior spirit and a heart the size of Liverpool. Because of his aggressive, all-action style and leaky defence, Neary is one of those fighters who seems incapable of engaging in a dull contest. After stopping 14 of his first 16 opponents, the unbeaten Neary challenged for the vacant WBU crown in October 1996 against American veteran Darryl Tyson. The title may have been meaningless, but Neary and Tyson battled as if their lives depended on it. After twelve thrilling rounds Neary emerged victorious by a wide unanimous decision.
Neary, nicknamed "The Shamrock Express" because of his Irish heritage, made his first defense five months later against South African Jeremiah Malinga. It was an easier night for Shea, who stopped Malinga in three one-sided, but still entertaining, rounds.
Next up for Shea was an all-Liverpool battle against Andy Holligan. The fight captured the city's imagination and was one of those rare occasions when the fight lived up to the hype. As always, the dedicated Neary trained in seclusion, away from his family and without the distraction of TV, radio or newspapers. This monastic training regime paid off in a blistering toe-to-toe war. Neary had to overcome some rocky patches but did so and eventually battered the brave Holligan into submission in the sixth. After a well-deserved break, the 30-year-old Neary returned to the gym to prepare for his most recent contest against South African Naas Schaepers on July 21st. Executives from British terrestrial TV channel ITV had been so impressed by Neary's war with Holligan that they decided to show Neary-Schaepers live. It was their first boxing coverage in almost two years and they could not have asked for a better fight with which to return.
It was yet another Neary classic, a pulsating battle which highlighted both his strengths (relentless aggression, terrific stamina and a solid chin) and weaknesses (a defence with more holes than a bathroom sponge). Schaepers too fought with grit and no little skill, but Neary came on strong in the 'championship rounds' and took the decision by two scores of 116-112 and one of 117-111.
Afterwards, Neary's promoter John Hyland revealed that "Cedric Kushner was here tonight, talking about mega-fights, big-money American opponents and hopefully we can do a deal." Such an opportunity would give Neary the recognition and financial reward that he richly deserves. His slightly-reckless style ensures that one day he will meet his match, but for now "The Shamrock Express" rolls on, and for fight fans it's one exciting journey.
(The CBZ would like to thank Jim Trunzo for donating this piece from his fine Electronic Boxing Weekly publication. EBW can be found at http://www.boxmag.com)
byAdrian "The A-Train" Quinton
The International Brotherhood of Prizefighters - 1997 Factual
Copyright 1997, IBOP Inc. Publishing & Tapes
Editor-in-Chief: 'dess DiZonni
OK, let me first confess, I am a statistics geek, there, I've said it! I am the guy who always seemed to remember the date, exact number and circumstances involved of whatever feat or record was being threatened at the time. Handy to have around yet annoying at the same time.
That being said, the International Brotherhood of Prizefighters (a.k.a. IBOP) have compiled a boxing record book sure to please even the most hard core statistics geek as well as the casual fight fan. It is, simply put, the best and most complete boxing record book I have ever seen.
In all respects, sheer size, general boxing information, number of records, number of fighters covered, information on each fight. The IBOP Factual is the Undisputed Champion of the Boxing World.
It is a massive work two 8 1/2" x 14" hardbound volumes, 2,006 total pages, containing over 6,000 records of fighters active all over the world.
The IBOP has thought to generously include their annual directory of who's who in the boxing world. It lists the address and phone numbers of nearly every boxing commission, promotional group, manager, gym, trainer, cutman, judge, and referee in the world.
The following info is given on each fighter: ring name, full name, nickname, current weight division, height, date of birth, hometown, current residence, even information such as current manager, trainer, promoter, southpaw stance, and fighters reach is provided when available.
Each line in the fighters record of each fight includes the normal info: date, opponent, location, result, then a running total of the fighters: total bouts, wins, losses, draws, ko's, times ko'd, ko%, total rounds, and Average rounds per fight. The info continues on with the fighter's weight for the fight, his opponent's ring record (including ko's), the opponent's weight and finally details on any titles at stake. ALL THIS ON ONE LINE.
The inclusion of the opponent's records is a masterstroke on the IBOP's part. For example: when looking over Evander Holyfields it is striking to see just how many quality world class fighters he took on before becoming Heavyweight Champion. By the same token it is painfully obvious just how little Shannon Briggs' 30 plus victories mean when you see how many pathetic tomato cans he knocked out. By providing information like this the IBOP factual distinguishes it self as the new standard by which all future record books should be measured.
However being a perfectionist (as most statistics geeks are) I respectfully offer the IBOP staff the following suggestions. The running totals of fighter's bouts, wins, losses ect. muddles the overall appearance and readability of the record and would be better presented by a one line summary/total in bold type at the bottom of the record. The space would be better utilized by providing time ko / type dec. information in there results (example KO-1:28-11, W-Unan.-12 rather than KO-11 or W-12) Other info that could be presented would be site/arena, referees or perhaps # of knockdowns.
Perhaps the best compliment I could pay the IBOP for it's top of the line effort is that it is worth every penny I spent for it $179.95! This is a hefty price and in response the IBOP also produces the IBOP light ($59.95) a scaled down version of the factual for the non-obsessive boxing fans out there. I for one like having more info than most television networks let alone boxing fans.
September Ratings (as of 12 Sep)
By Phrank Da Slugger
NOTE: For the 1st time in over a decade, Pernell Whitaker's name doesn't appear in these ratings. Inactive for almost a year, and with no fights scheduled, the once-great Champion is out.
NOTE: Also, I note w/regret having to drop Feather Angel Vazquez, an excellent power puncher. But as he hasn't fought all year, he's gone (but hopefully not for too long).
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 mistakingly 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 I'm rewarding him for long and meritorious service.
Heavyweights (over 195 lbs)
Champion: Evander Holyfield (WBA & IBF)
1. Lennox Lewis (WBC)
2. Larry Donald
3. Ray Mercer
4. David Tua
5. Brian Nielsen (IBO)
6. Michael Grant (IBC)
7. Andrew Golota
8. Hasim Rahman
9. Ike Ibeabuchi
10. Chris Byrd
Active this mth: Nielsen, Ibeabuchi (out: Moorer-inactive)
(Inactive list: Mercer)
Crusierweights (195 lbs)
Champion: Fabrice Tiozzo (WBA)
1. Juan Carlos Gomez (WBC)
2. Carl Thompson (WBO)
3. Marcelo Dominguez
4. Robert Daniels (IBO)
5. Imamu Mayfield (IBF)
6. Johnny Nelson
7. Saul Montana
8. Chris Eubank
9. David Izeqwire
10. Kenny Keene
Active this mth: Dominguez, Montana
Lt. Heavyweights (175 lbs)
Champion: Dariusz Michalczewski (WBO)
1. Roy Jones (WBC & WBA)
2. Graciano Rocchigiani
3. Reggie Johnson (IBF)
4. Montell Griffin
5. Lou del Valle
6. Ole Klemetsen
7. Virgil Hill
8. Michael Nunn
9. Derrick Harmon
10. Mohammed Siluvangui
Active this mth: Griffin, Klemetsen, Nunn
Super Middleweights (168 lbs)
Champion: TITLE VACANT
1. Charles Brewer (IBF)
2. Joe Calzaghe (WBO)
3. Frank Liles (WBA)
4. Thomas Tate
5. Richie Woodhall (WBC)
6. Thulane Malinga
7. Robin Reid
8. Jorge Castro
9. Dean Francis
10. Mads Larsen (IBO)
Active this mth: Brewer, Woodhall, Francis, Larsen, Castro
Middleweights (160 lbs)
Champion: Bernard Hopkins (IBF)
1. Otis Grant (WBO)
2. William Joppy (WBA)
3. Silvio Branco (WBU)
4. Hassine Cherifi (WBC)
5. Keith Holmes
6. Robert Allen
7. Antwun Echols
8. Andrew Council
9. Robert McCracken
10. Peter Venancio
Active this mth: Hopkins, Branco, Joppy, Allen
(Inactive list: McCracken)
Jr. Middleweights (154 lbs)
Champion: Keith Mullings (WBC)
1. Terry Norris
2. Luis Ramon Campas (IBF)
3. Laurent Boudouani (WBA)
4. Harry Simon (WBO)
5. Winky Wright
6. Bronco McKart (IBA)
7. Verno Phillips (WBU)
8. Tony Marshall
9. David Reid
10. Fernando Vargas
Active this mth: Simon, Wright, Vargas (out: Marquez-displaced)
Welterweights (147 lbs)
Champion: Oscar de la Hoya (WBC)
1. Ike Quartey
2. Felix Trinidad (IBF)
3. Jose Luis Lopez
4. Oba Carr
5. Vernon Forrest
6. Shannon Taylor
7. Derrell Coley
8. Edgar Ruiz
9. Ahmed Kotiev (WBO)
10. Soren Sondergaard (IBC)
Active this mth: Forrest, Lopez, Sondergaard (out: Whitaker-inactive)
(Inactive list: Coley)
Jr. Welterweights (140 lbs)
Champion: TITLE VACANT
1. Vince Phillips (IBF)
2. Khalid Rahilou (WBA)
3. Kostya Tszyu
4. Julio Cesar Chavez
5. Miguel Angel Gonzalez
6. Antonio Diaz (IBA)
7. Carlos Gonzalez (WBO)
8. Diobelys Hurtado
9. Reggie Green
10. Hector Lopez
Active this mth: Hurtado
Lightweights (135 lbs)
Champion: TITLE VACANT
1. Shane Mosley (IBF)
2. Cesar Bazan (WBC)
3. Stevie Johnston
4. Jean-Baptiste Mendy (WBA)
5. Orzubek Nazarov
6. Israel Cardona
7. Ivan Robinson
8. Jesse James Leija
9. Phillip Holiday
10. Artur Grigorijan (WBO)
Active this mth: Robinson, Bazan (out: Gatti-lost, displaced)
Jr. Lightweights (130 lbs)
Champion: Genaro Hernandez (WBC)
1. Angel Manfredy (WBU)
2. Gabe Ruelas
3. Anatoly Alexandrov (WBO)
4. Takanori Hatakeyama
5. Yongsoo Choi
6. Goyo Vargas
7. Jesus Chavez
8. Robert Garcia (IBF)
9. Arnulfo Castillo
10. Dennis Holbaek Pedersen
Active this mth: Alexandrov, Hatakeyama, Choi, Pedersen, Castillo,
Chavez (out: Lorcy, Juuko-both displaced)
(Inactive list: Garcia)
Featherweights (126 lbs)
Champion: Luisito Espinosa (WBC)
1. Naseem Hamed (WBO)
2. Fred Norwood (WBA)
3. Cesar Soto
4. Derrick Gainer
5. Juan Carlos Ramirez
6. Wilfredo Vazquez
7. Juan Marquez
8. Manuel Medina (IBF)
9. Carlos Rios
10. Cassius Baloyi (WBU)
Active this mth: Soto, Rios, Gainer, Marquez (out: Ingle-displaced)
Jr. Featherweights (122 lbs)
Champion: Kennedy McKinney (IBC)
1. Erik Morales (WBC)
2. Vuyani Bungu (IBF)
3. Marco Antonio Barrera
4. Hector Acero-Sanchez
5. Enrique Sanchez (WBA)
6. Wayne McCullough
7. Danny Romero
8. Junior Jones
9. Guty Espadas
10. Carlos Navarro (WBU)
Active this mth: Morales, Jones
Bantamweights (118 lbs)
Champion: TITLE VACANT
1. Johnny Bredahl (WBU)
2. Jorge Julio (WBO)
3. Joichiro Tatsuyoshi (WBC)
4. Nana Konadu (WBA)
5. Tim Austin (IBF)
6. Paul Ayala
7. Cuahtemoc Gomez
8. Mbubelo Botile
9. Adan Vargas
10. Dario Azuaga
Active this mth: Tatsuyoshi, Ayala, Gomez
Jr. Bantamweights (115 lbs)
Champion: In-Joo Cho (WBC)
1. Johnny Tapia (WBO & IBF)
2. Samson Dutch Boy Gym (WBF)
3. Gerry Penalosa
4. Satoshi Iida (WBA)
5. Joel Luna-Zarate
6. Takato Toguchi
7. Yokthai Sit Oar
8. Veeraphol Sahaprom
9. Julio Gamboa
10. Julio Cesar Cardona
Active this mth: Cho, Penalosa, Tapia (out: Garcia-inactive)
(Inactive list: Sit Oar, Sahaprom)
Champion: Chartchai Sasakul (WBC)
1. Mark Johnson (IBF)
2. Hugo Soto (WBA)
3. Jose Bonilla
4. Ruben Sanchez (WBO)
5. Carlos Salazar
6. David Guerault
7. Alejandro Montiel
8. Saen Sow Ploenchit
9. Melchor Cob-Castro
10. Jesper Jensen (IBC)
Active this mth: Johnson, Sanchez, Salazar (out: Nene,
Jr. Flyweights (108 lbs)
Champion: Saman Sorjaturong (WBC)
1. Mauricio Pastrana
2. Jake Matlala (IBA)
3. Pichit Chor Siriwat (WBA)
4. Juan Cordoba (WBO)
5. Joma Gamboa
6. Edgar Cardenas
7. Kaaj Chartbandit
8. Oscar Andrade
10. Juan Herrera
Active this mth: Pastrana, Sorjaturong, Andrade, Choi (out: Murillo-lost)
(Inactive list: Siriwat, Chartbandit)
Strawweights (105 lbs)
Champion: Ricardo Lopez (WBC)
1. Rosendo Alvarez (WBA)
2. Zolani Petelo (IBF)
3. Wandee Chor Chareon
4. Ratanapol Voraphin
5. Kermin Guardia (WBO)
6. Rocky Lin
7. Ronnie Magramo
8. Andy Tabanas
9. Satoru Abe
10. Lindi Memani
Active this mth: Chareon, Lin (out: Porpaoin-inactive)
(Inactive list: Magramo)
World Champions: 13 (of 17)
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