The Cyber Boxing Zone Journal
by Mike DeLisa (email@example.com)I am delighted to lead off this month's issue with Melanie Ley's excellent and concise "Road to the Olympics." Melanie is a well respected boxing judge and she is one of the foremost amateur boxing authorities in the country. Her article is followed by a ringside review of the recent German amateur championships.
As indicated by the URL, above, the newsletter is now available on the world wide web. "World Wide" is a valid appellation -- in the past two months I have received articles or comments from Australia, England, and Germany, as well as many of the states.
This issue also contains an extraordinary column by GorDoom -- and, if you want a hint as to why I published it, I give you one word: Unabomber. All kidding aside, apparently the doctors feel that his medication is under control and he was allowed extra access to the computer at his facility. You'll get some insight into his disturbed mind when you check out his column -- it is probably the first time in 30 years anyone has mentioned Conny Rudhoff or Fortunato Manca.
Finally, I have once again provided e-mail addresses for most contributors and I urge you to let them know what you think about their work (if you write to GorDoom, don't use any words that don't appear in Green Eggs and Ham). My snail mail address is 13 East Drive, Woodbury, NY 11797. Ciao!
THE ROAD TO THE OLYMPICS
by Melanie Ley (firstname.lastname@example.org)The Olympic Games begin in Atlanta, GA on July 19, 1996, with boxing preliminaries scheduled for July 20 and the gold medal rounds to be held August 3rd and 4th. Listed below are the eight ways to qualify for the Olympic Trials.
POLICE ATHLETIC LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIPS (October 28-November 3, Dallas, TX)
This tournament was the first event in which boxers can qualify for the 1996 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team Trials. The event included competition in each of the 12 Olympic weight classes and currently has an open format. That is, any registered boxer, who is a U.S. citizen, and has five or more scored bouts, had the opportunity to compete. The 12 champions will be entered in the 1996 Trials. Over 450 boxers competed this year, in 423 bouts - the most ever entered in a national tournament.
USA. INTERSERVICE CHAMPIONSHIPS (January 7-11, Fort Huachuca, AZ)Each branch of the U.S. Armed Services will, either by selection or tournament competition at the U.S. Service Championships, enter a team into the U.S. Interservice Championships. The gold medalist in each weight class at the U.S. Interservice Championships will advance to the Olympic Team Trials.
U.S. CHAMPIONSHIPS (Feb. 12-17, Colorado Springs, CO) Boxers may qualify for the U.S. Championships in one of three ways: 1) through their Local Boxing Committee (LBC); 2) as a representative of a branch of the Armed Forces; or 3) as a member of an at-large team(s). Each LBC will hold a tournament or tournaments to determine which boxer will represent that LBC at the Regional Championships. The winners in each weight division at the regionals will advance to the U.S. Championships. Military boxers may qualify at their respective military service championships; a team in each branch of the Armed Forces will be determined to compete at the U.S. Championships.
The at-large team(s) for the U.S. Championships will be approved based on an application process and the meeting of certain criteria. At-large team members are generally those boxers who were unable to compete in one of the qualifying tournaments as a result of representing the United States as part of a U.S. Team in international competition.
p> The gold and silver medalists in each weight class at the U.S. Championships automatically advance to the Olympic Team Trials.
NATIONAL GOLDEN GLOVES (March 18-23 at Cleveland, OH)Through a series of Golden Gloves franchise tournaments, boxers will qualify for the National Golden Gloves Championships. Gold medalists in each weight class at the National Golden Gloves tournament qualify for the Olympic Team Trials.
EASTERN AND WESTERN QUALIFIERS (March 3-9, sites TBA)
Each LBC will field, either by selection or through competition, a team for the Eastern or Western Qualifiers. The Eastern Qualifier represents LBCs east of the Mississippi River, while the Western qualifier represents LBCs west of the Mississippi River (to be held in Wyoming). The gold medalists in each weight class in both of the qualifiers advance to the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
ne boxer in each weight class will be chosen by a selection committee to compete as part of an at-large team in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. The boxers will be chosen based on past performances at either the events listed above or at previous USA Boxing international and domestic competitions.
U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM TRIALS (April 2-7, Oakland, CA)
The Trials will consist of eight qualifying boxers in each weight class, as described above: gold and silver medalists from the U.S. Championships, gold medalist from the National Golden Gloves, gold medalist from the Eastern and Western Qualifiers, gold medalist from the National PAL, gold medalist from the U.S. Interservice Championships, and one at-large selection. The Team Trials will feature a double elimination tournament for the first time. The gold medalist in each weight class automatically advances to the U.S. Olympic Team Box-offs along with the winner of the losers bracket.
U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM BOX-OFFS (April 18-20, Augusta, GA)
The final step in determining the U.S. Olympic Boxing Team will be the U.S. Olympic Team Box-offs. The gold medalist and winner of the losers bracket of each weight class from the U.S. Olympic Team Trials box each other one or two times. In order to qualify for the Olympic Games, the winner of the losers bracket from the Team Trials must defeat the gold medalist twice, while the Team Trials champion must only win once. For example, if the gold medalist defeats the opponent in the first match, he automatically qualifies for the Olympic Team. If, however, the gold medalists loses the first match, the two will box again the following day. The winner of the second match qualifies for the Olympic Team. The runner-up in each weight class will be offered the opportunity to be the Olympic Team alternate in the event the Olympic Team member is unable to compete.
Again, all boxers must have at least five scored bouts in their passbooks and must be U.S. Citizens, between the ages of 17 and 34.
GERMAN AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIPS
by pliesenberg@BIX.comHere's a short report for the followers of amateur boxing about the German championships, which took place last weekend in Duisburg in front of only 1200 die-hard fans (yours truly included).
The only surprise was seeing highly touted light-heavy Thomas Ulrich being beaten by Thorsten Bengtson. After winning last year and winning a bronze in the world-championships, Ulrich started to believe his own legend and put up a poor performance, seemingly trying to win the bout on blows to the head, which ain't a safe or smart strategy in the amateurs against someone with even average mobility. He reacted like a sour loser and started crying about the injustice of it all. Truth is, he didn't have it when it counted. He's still only 20 and has lots of room for improvement, but emotional stability seems to be a weak point when it comes to him.
Other than that, perennial Sven Ottke won his tenth (!) middleweight championship after having been written off by most observers given the fact he didn't even qualify for the world championships. Now he claims to want a medal in Atlanta. At 28, and after having failed in both Seoul and Barcelona, I don't see Sven winning it this time. Even though it'd be a fair reward for someone who is an amateur to the core (inasmuch as he despises the professional sport despite having received some good offers). "Amateur to the core" these days means that you're training or competing 180 days during the year leading up to the Olympics. Most of Germany's top boxers are "professional soldiers" in the German army (similar to the model they had in Eastern countries) and do little except training, and the ones who still train in their home gyms also receive generous government support. So at top level, the days of the amateur are finally a thing of the past. I hope other countries have similar "amateur arrangements" to keep things competitive.
The level of the German championships was pretty high. A guy who beat me during the last championships I competed in and who told me he was in the shape of his life got stopped (the referee didn't see a vicious punch and let things go on when poor Andreas was out on his feet against the ropes) in quarter finals. Gawd!
Another guy who claimed to be in the "shape of his life", Oktay Urkal at junior-welter, delivered, too, despite everybody in the hall rooting for his opponent, military world-champion Steven Kuechler because of Urkal's ridiculous habit of showboating and using superstar antics. Luckily, he's toned down his act after having been kayoed in the world-championships.
Good performances were also shown by Falk Huste (feather) and Markus Beyer (junior middle), who'll probably go pro after the Olympics under Maske's manager.
The results in the finals:
- Junior flyweight: Wagner 16:10 Siebert
- Flyweight: Lunka 17:16 Schultz (I saw it the other way)
- Feather: Huste 25:6 Demir
- Junior welter: Urkal 33:10 Kuechler (best bout of the championships)
- Welter: Otto 20:14 Thormann
- Junior middle: Beyer 27:5 Rosomkiewics
- Middle: Ottke 16:10 Eigenbrodt
PS: Don't include Duisburg on your itinerary if you're planning a vacation in Germany. It's hellishly ugly.
- Junior heavy: Bengtson 13:9 Ulrich
- Heavy: Krasniqi 6:5 Hanke (Krasniqi, who didn't look half as bad against Savon despite being RSC'd, seems to have regressed.)
- Flabberweight, uh, Super heavy: Hoffmann 30:27 Fuhrmann (enjoyable bar-brawl with little skills involved).
GORDOOM'S SPIT BUCKET
by Stephen Gordon (email@example.com)
As of this post (Oct. 27/95) the Ol' Spit Bucket got's nothing to really bitch about . . . I mean Don King is on trial (my money is he gets off), & we've got Bowe-Holyfield III & the Bad B Boy in the House, on the same night. For boxing aficionados, it's a welcome blast of publicity (hopefully, on the main, positive), that will bring some renewed interest & excitement from the general sporting public ... Every major sport, except Boxing, has experienced a huge surge in public interest at one time or another thru the mid-90's ... This is because Boxing is viewed as a bastard relation to what is generally accepted as a sport ...or, as it was far more eloquently written, by the revered sportswriter, Red Smith, "Boxing, is the red light district of sport."
Any attention, even negative attention, unfortunately, is good for boxing. When I see major fights such as Jones Jr.-Toney, or De La Hoya-Ruelas, get relegated to agate type in the back of the USA Today sports section, it bothers the hell outta me, especially since if Dennis Rodman has pierced a new, previously unexplored body part that's major fuckin' news ... Yeah, well ... I'm trying to stay in a mellow mood this month & the rest of this column will be dedicated to three capsule biographies of some great fighters who have been largely forgotten in the bloody mitts of time . . . .
This month, the Ol' Spit Bucket is gonna expound on some forgotten champs of the past. Boxing, like politics, religion & rock & roll, is in need of constant re-examination. This month we're starting off with some all-time greats who, due to lack of media exposure & having the prime of their careers 30 to 35 years ago, have been sadly neglected over the years . . . .
Duilio Loi, Eder Jofre & Luis Rodrigues, are hardly at the top of the list of anybody's all time greats .... but that's why the Ol' Spit Bucket is here to educate y'all. These three champs are among the All Time Top 50 lighter weight fighters in the history of the squared circle ...
POST SCRIPT (Nov.. 3/95: The slave driving editor of this electronic rag, Michael DeLisa, has been besieging the Ol' Spit Bucket with a barrage of pleading (but mostly threatening) phone calls & faxes demanding that I review Bowe vs. Holyfield III & the Tyson fiasco in Vegas. I was gonna keep this month's column to the three capsule biographies that I was very pleased to write, as it's so seldom that I can write a column without slagging anybody. After all, it's November now, & the Ol' Spit Bucket is trying to gracefully slide into Christmas & the New Year in a positive frame of mind . . . but , selah . . . it's not to be. The Charles Manson of editors has forced my hand by threatening to cut off the big bucks he pays for my words of wisdom . . . & hey, The Ol' Spit Bucket needs the dough badly to support his nefarious lifestyle . . .
IRON THUMB FLEES THE SCENE . . . OR WHY DO GIANT CORPORATIONS LIKE FOX & MGM SNIVEL & ACT SURPRISED WHEN THEY'RE DONE IN BY 2 EX-CONS?In the wake of the battle of mega-events his week it was " Iron Thumb" Tyson, Don King & the whole sport of boxing who went down. The sheer stupidity involved in putting on two major events on the same night, in the same town, truly wobbles the mind.
Frankly, I was glad that Iron Thumb pulled out (something disturbingly Freudian about that sentence). For me, as a fan it was too much of a fistic overload to have both cards happening concurrently. Up front, Tyson vs. Mathis was ridiculous. Hell, Iron Thumb could have literally whacked Mathis out with one arm tied behind his back. When I think of Ali coming back against top rated, tough opposition like Jerry Quarry & Oscar Bonavena . . . & compare them to mokes like McNeely & Mathis . . . it is to laugh. . .or maybe decry at Iron Thumb's choice of opposition.
The one regret I have about Tyson's cancellation is that there were some excellent matches on the undercard. Case in point: The Terry Norris vs. Paul Vaden IBF & WBC jr. middleweight unification match. It's so seldom that any champions get to face each other, that losing this bout was a real shame.
As usual, Don King put together an interesting fight card to support the headliner. Also ...as usual the Duva's have given us one good (possibly great), matchup & an under card full of mismatches with at least one mutt, tomato can, or herring featured on every bout of the undercard.
Now, I don't want anybody thinkin' that the Bucket is calling Iron Thumbs fifth cancellation of a major fight in his career, a sham due to lack of ticket sales . . . After seeing Dr. Flip Homansky on ESPN glumly waving the x-rays at the camera; I do believe it was a real injury & not some scam machinated by Don King. I do believe, lord, I do Believe! . . . but damn, It was sure as hell convenient . . .& it did save King & Thumb from the embarrassment of an arena full of empty seats disguised as paying patrons.
Whatever the reasons (or faulty reasoning), all this has done is give boxing another very public black eye. All major sports cultivate & nurture their corporate & network crony's. Case in point: Jerry Jones & that freakin' yuppie CEO guy from Nike practically holding hands & smooching on the sidelines of the Cowboy's Monday Night Football game. So when Fox decides to make an investment in a sport that desperately needs a shot in the arm . . . when MGM, with dancing dollar signs in their eyes hands King the golden goose on a platter with Tyson's long term contract . . . what happens? You got it. Another iron thumb in the eye.
This has been a bad year for boxing. Low-lighted by the death of Jimmy Garcia & the crippling of Gerald McClennan. So just when my beloved sport is finally regaining a tiny toehold in the general sporting public's consciousness . . .this kind of bad mojo has to come down at the 11th hour. Some of the repercussions are going to be felt for a long time. It's one thing to blow off MGM . . . if the fight had gone off they stood to lose millions. Also, I'm sure they had cancellation insurance that wasn't arranged by Don King. The Fox network is a whole other hot ball of wax. It was willing to sink a few spare million into promoting boxing regularly under the auspices of Don King. It's incredible that a network would want to feature a convicted rapist, promoted by a man presently being prosecuted by the government for fraud! What did they expect from these two skells?... Remember this is the all important November sweeps, when the networks pull out all the stops to garner the best possible rating points. Whatever their ratings for the month is; that's what sets the amount of the ad rates they can charge for the rest of the season. In other words for the networks, this month is the Superbowl of raw greed . . . & that & hubris is what blinded the poor suits down at corporate headquarters. Now they may be greedy, but their not gonna let themselves be burned twice. The negative fallout from the events of this week is a source of real pain, financial & otherwise . . . heads will roll. From all the way out here in the bunker, I can hear bloody, grisly, bowling ball like objects thumping down the corporate ladder -- next stop oblivion . . .
After a week that began with so much promise for Boxing, the Bucket is left, high, weird & lonesome in the bunker, with a sick, queasy feeling in the pit of his stomach. Between Iron Thumb's fast fade & the anti-climatic Bowe-Holyfield bout; Boxing is once again the slavering, mentally challenged relative of sport, consigned to being locked in the media attic were it can be restrained until the next time . . .
Having dissected the Tyson sitch, the Ol' Spit Bucket (under extreme duress from his pitiless editor), turns his jaundiced eye back on the Bowe-Holyfield match . . .
I enjoyed all the hoopla leading up to the fight: It was refreshing to have a promotion based on mutual respect & admiration rather than the excess phony rage & hype that we are usually subjected to. The ESPN interview & recap of the first two fights was particularly enjoyable. The always astute, Charlie "Chazz" Steiner conducted a very comfortable, reasoned interview with both fighters; providing plenty of video clips to back up both of their assertions. It was nice to see the obvious respect & affection that Bowe has for Holyfield (Hell, why shouldn't he, the millions he's made fighting Holyfield, almost certainly guarantee's that Bowe's bedroom refrigerator will never be empty again), & Evander has never been one too slag any opponent.
Unlike in the Donald & Gonzales promotions, Bowe actually displayed some poise & dignity that I wasn't sure he possessed any longer. The disgusting displays during press conferences (cold-cocking Donald was the absolute nadir), were put on the back burner & he actually conducted himself like a gentleman throughout the whole week.
I've always tried & wanted to like Bowe . . . after all, when not egged on by his mean spirited little bulldog of a manager (Rock Newman, who I feel brings out the worst in Bowe), he has a very engaging personality. But over the years Bowe's dirty tactics & increasingly lackadaisical performances have turned me off. Yeah, I know the hype is that the Gonzales fight reinvigorated Bowe's commitment to boxing with what was called a sterling effort. Bullshit! Gonzales, is an unskilled, undertrained, amateurish stiff, who listens to no one & doesn't have a clue as to what it takes to be a real fighter ... & it was obvious too anyone with a modicum of boxing smart's that the Cuban would crash & burn the first time he met a top caliber opponent.
Bowe must be the bane of the incomparable Eddie Futch's life. Too see a fighter that gifted, waste what could be one of the all-time great heavyweight career's, must be a source of deep frustration. Futch who grew up around the quiet dignity of Joe Louis must be mortified & amazed by the antics of not only Bowe.
Holyfield's career, the many great pier 6 brawls, undisputed world champion in two different divisions, being only the third man to regain the heavyweight title ( the Bucket doesn't recognize Tim Witherspoon's "title reign's", as valid) & the quiet dignity & good sportsmanship he has always displayed is the stuff of boxing legend...unfortunately practically all of boxing's greatest heroes have hung around way past their last hurrah's. Sadly, it's now very apparent, that Holyfield has abruptly reached the end of a long, hard, road . . .
A fight the Ol' Spit Bucket had looked forward to with eager anticipation, instead, turned into an eerie episode of ER, with heightened impact . . . because this was freakin' real... four times previously, I have seen fighters either killed or in obviously serious jeopardy: Benny "Kid " Paret, featherweight champ Davey Moore (not the '80's jr. middleweight), Tommy Morrison (vs. Mercer) & Gerald McClennan. Each time I felt sick to my stomach . . . now don't get to thinkin' that the Bucket is some kinda dainty doily . . . as a former (albeit, not very good) amateur boxer & professional corner man, I've seen & experienced my share of gore & physical abuse. There is something about watching a finely conditioned young athlete on the verge of mortal stakes that shakes my bedrock love of boxing. This year I've seen two boxers, Holyfield & McClennan barely survive bouts one due to incompetent refereeing & the other too an athletes self-deluding hubris. Granted, I keep coming back to boxing, but for me boxing isn't about two guys trying to kill each other. . . it isn't known as" The Sweet Science" for nothing. Boxing is more a contest of will, rather than sheer brawn.
Simply stated, Bowe looked like shit against an opponent who could barely stay on his feet . . . & this wasn't due to Bowe's superiority, but rather to the fact that Holyfield's physical problems should have precluded him from being in the ring in the first place!
You would think, by now that Bowe would know how to do something as elemental as cutting off the ring on an elusive opponent . . . but Bowe plodded after Holyfield in a straight line, following him around the ring like a lumbering bear. Luckily for him, by the start of the 3rd round, Holyfield elected to go toe to toe frequently, or Bowe would still be laboriously slogging after him. Through the third, Bowe looked strangely tentative, as if he was psyched out by all the pre-fight furor his propensity for dirty tactics had aroused.
In the 4th, Holyfield suddenly started to look drained & listless, just like in the Moorer fight. Even with a fighter as apparently depleted as Holyfield was, Bowe couldn't muster up a sustained offense. By the 5th round, Holyfield was blowing hard & looked like a fighter on the verge of collapse. Big George, who was one of the commentators, pointed out that while Bowe was slowly beginning to lay some real hurt on Holyfield (including a very damaging low blow), it was more a case of Evander's physical problems that were doing him in.
At the beginning of the sixth round, Holyfield looked gray & in serious enough physical crisis too warrant a visit to an ER. Foreman's disgust at the situation was palpable & it drove him (for once) into silence. Frankly, I thought Foreman's actions & commentary were his finest moment in broadcasting. He demonstrated how much he cares about the fight game & the fighters. Clearly, Holyfield was dead on his feet ... yet, out of the blue, he shockingly dumped Bowe on his can! Bowe rose shakily & stumbled back to the ropes for support. Evander followed him, but didn't have enough gas left in the tank to put him away.
After that, it was just a matter of time. Bowe rallied, through the 7th & finally put Holyfield away early in the 8th. Gotta tell you, the Ol'Spit Bucket was totally underwhelmed by Bowe's performance ... Not only could he not put away Evander sooner ... but he got clocked, by a seriously impaired fighter & put on the canvass for the first time in his career. Bowe still has a lot to prove -- he plods, he throws lazy arm punches too often, he looked slow as hell, & I don't care what anybody says, coming in at 240 lb.'s is too heavy. A big deal was made out about how this was his lowest weight since the first fight. So what! He still looked blubbery & he shouldn't carry that much weight, which slows him down & consequently causes him too get hit way too much. At this point, the Bucket feels Bowe is a vulnerable fighter.
Holyfield, on the other hand, should call it a day. He has all the money & accomplishments anybody could attain. There is simply nothing left to prove. I know that his dream was to regain the title & carry the torch at the Olympics in his home town of Atlanta & the last reports I heard, were that Holyfield was indicating that he would come back? What the hell for? So he can actually die in the ring, ... be carried out on a shield to the roar of the crowd, ... & have his corpse immolated during the opening ceremonies? "Hmm," I can hear one of the suits saying, down at whatever network is telecasting the Olympics. "We'd get great ratings for a spectacle like that!"
RINSING OFF THE MOUTH PIECE
As long as my editor, better known as the eyetalian Idi Amin; has again managed to exact his pound of flesh from of my carcass . . . I might as well take the opportunity to ask my question of the month: With all the T & A that's so prevalent on the tube . . . why is it that between rounds they can't show the freakin' round card female gyno-type people ( the Ol' Spit Bucket always strives to remain pc.) . . . instead of some grizzly, wheezing, trainer with the same old rap screeching at a heaving fighter in his own zone that doesn't give a good god damn what anybody's saying?. . . I mean, the gyno-americans on Baywatch or Melrose Place are more scantily clad than your average round card person . . .
In closing, the Old Spit Bucket welcomes any questions, comments, praise, or disparaging remarks. Anyone who wishes too send along via e-mail. I only ask for reasonably intelligent correspondence . . . For instance: If you want to tell me I suck; that's cool . . . but make the effort & tell me why I suck. Then I can write you back with some choice comments of my own . . . peace & profits.
MASKE W 12 ROCCHIGIANI
by firstname.lastname@example.org (Fabian Weber)
Five words: It was a great fight.
Henry Maske won a unanimous decision against rematching opponent and
countryman Graziano Rocchigiani and defended his IBF Light Heavyweight belt.
This is one of the cases, where the result doesn't say anything about the match. In fact the result is not a surprise at all -- most of us picked on UD Maske.
But the way how this fight took place was extraordinary in my eyes -- I hope very much I'm not too involved by my personal enthusiasm about this event, which I saw live at ringside (but I also just watched the video of the fight, after I returned home).
Graziano began the match more aggressive than the last time. He pressured Maske for the first 6 rounds very impressive, forcing the champ to go backwards without a break -- but not without Maske countering and scoring in the back direction. Dramatic moments for Maske again came in round 4, where Rocchigiani again connected pretty hard, but Henry survived this time - all over Maske seemed to me more concentrated, tougher and more speedy on his feed. I didn't score round by round, but I saw the match even through this point.
From the seventh, Rocky's high speed took it's price - he lost his steam. He slowed down - while his punches remained dangerous - but he worked less and less and there were even rounds, where Rocky found it hard to open his double guard at all, because Maske's jab was stiff, sharp and hard.
Desperately tries of Rocky to find the lucky punch in the 12th remained without success. Ironically the score cards sounded pretty similar to their first match in May, but this time it was acceptable at all to announce a unanimous winner -- Maske.
Some were wondering before the match whether they could call the winner of this fight the new Light heavyweight champion. Based on his impressive performance, I say: Call Maske the LH champ. He earns it in my mind. I don't see anybody, who can defeat him -- except Roy Jones.
PS: At the airport -- waiting for my flight back to Hamburg -- I met Graziano, who was waiting for his flight to Berlin. Oohh boy . . . he looked terrible. I really had some emotional feelings when I saw his face which had been punished from Maske's punches on the one side and deadly frustrated about the fact that he lost again on the other side. And this time he knew that he lost -- no excuses, no dispute. I could read it in his eyes.
I already wrote that Henry is far from retreating next year. He desires to unify the title. And he doesn't mean countryman Dariusz' WBO-title, but Tiozzo's and Hill's WBC and WBA titles. Yet, Jean-Marcel Nartz, Maske's matchmaker, said Maske is one step further from a fight against Hill. If Maske would have lost, he bets that Hill would have agreed in a match against Maske. But after an impressive win? . . . I really have to agree.
After Maske's mandatory challenge against #1 contender Duran Williams (when will finally be somewhere a credible #1 contender?), Chris Eubank was mentioned as a possible opponent. But Eubank just announced his retirement -- did you know that? I was very sad when I heard it. But maybe he will come back.
Nartz also announced that Roy Jones, who probably will step up a weightclass sooner or later, would be a possible opponent.
Oh boy. . . You are really on a high cloud during this days. In fact, this could be an interesting fight. Hey, before you all reply something like "Jones Easy KAYO Maske", did you think about the fact, how 5'11'' Jones would fight against a 6'3'' southpaw?
by email@example.com (Phrank Da Slugger)
Champion: TITLE VACANT
1. Riddick Bowe
2. Lennox Lewis
3. Evander Holyfield
4. Michael Moorer
5. Frank Bruno (WBC)
6. Axel Schulz
7. George Foreman
8. Oliver McCall
9. Bruce Seldon (WBA)
10. Ray Mercer
Lewis moves up 6 notches to the #2 slot w/his strong win over previous #9 Tommy Morrison. Gotta give Lewis credit -- he put in a career-best performance and has beaten better opposition this year than anyone except Bowe (I'm assuming Riddick will prevail over Holyfield)...Moorer falls to #4 -- is he going to fight Foreman? Who cares -- even if they meet in March, as is being discussed, he could get in 2 fights between now and then. As it stands, he's been inactive for 5 months, so he drops. Could the guy be less enthusiastic about fighting?. . . Ironic that the 3 best Heavyweights of the 1st half of this decade are the top 3 here again. . .Hey -- Ray Mercer made an appearance! Too bad it was only in the ring after stablemate Charles Murray's win. Still, he reenters the Top 10 because no one else asserted himself . Don't expect him to be here long, though. Mercer seems to lack the ability to capitalize on good performances (remember also after the Morrison fight?) . . .One strong candidate for replacing Mercer is Jimmy Thunder. Even though he lost in June, and I can't imagine him winning a title, he is busy and wins over decent opposition -- see his most recent, and most impressive, win over Melvin Foster. Another good win will get him in.
Champion: Nate Miller (WBA)
1. Adolfo Washington
2. Alfred Cole (IBF)
3. Orlin Norris
4. Anaclet Wamba (WBC)
5. Sergei Kobazev
6. Ralf Rocchigiani
7. Marcelo Dominguez
8. Patrice Aoussi
9. Chris Okoh
10. Karl Thompson
Finally -- a good match-up in this sorry division! Rolling Dominguez fights Kobazev in late Oct. The winner makes for a strong candidate for #1 contender...The current #1 contender, Washington, has done nothing since losing by a razor's edge to then-Champ Norris months ago. Next month, his plummet begins . . . Rocchigiani active this month, winning a decision over the competent Mark Randazzo...(Oh, yeah -- hopefully all my German spellings are correct this month -- wink to Fab)...Actually, one of those Germans w/the correctly spelled name, Torsten May, drops out because of the ascendence of Chris Okoh. Figuring to be cannon fodder against the suddenly-impressive Franco Wanyama, Okoh came out of nowhere and gave him a pounding, TKOing him in 8. Glad to see new blood...Thomas Hearns also fought, coming back after taking many months off and defeating one Earl Butler. While Hearns dominated, he needs to beat one of the Top 10 before he'll likely get ranked here. But you never know w/the Crusiers.
Champion: Henry Maske (IBF)
1. Fabrice Tiozzo WBC)
2. James Toney
3. Virgil Hill (WBA)
4. Merqui Sosa
5. Graziano Rocchigiani
6. Montell Griffin
7. Darius Michelczewski
8. Mike McCallum
9. Prince Charles Williams
10. Eric Nicoletta
The 1st bit of good news in what will be a good period for the sport -- Maske becomes the Light Heavyweight Champion (Heavy and Jr. Middle vacancies to be filled in Nov.). Maske won an impressive rematch w/former-#4 Rocchigiani, and becomes the 1st Champion here since -- God, since I think Michael Spinks. Everyone, as a result, moves up a few notches...Can't drop Rocchigiani far -- this division is another example of what a chasm there is between a few fighters at the top and the rest. Here, it is a hard argument to rank any of the lower guys over one who's given the Champion 2 tough fights . . . Griffin made time to fight again. That's good news. . .Michalczewski wins again, which is good, but it's not good that he's fighting nobodies. Typical WBO titlist, if you ask me. There is talk of him challenging Maske in the spring. Let's hope for it. For now, though, I'd settle for him vs. another of his countrymen: Rocchigiani. . . Really tough to raise Williams from #9 to 10, but there is NO ONE to elevate. Nicoletta enters through process of elimination only. Weak.
Champion: Roy Jones (IBF)
1. Nigel Benn (WBC)
2. Steve Collins
3. Frank Liles (WBA)
4. Chris Eubank
5. Bryant Brannon
6. Henry Wharton
7. Ray Close
8. Michael Nunn
9. Frederic Seillier
10. Tony Thornton
Jones just awesome in knocking out Thornton. Next up, hopefully, Benn...Thornton drops to the bottom but stays in because he performed well -- he actually won a round against Jones (something no one elses done this year). It remains to be seen if he stays active...Thank God Ray Close is back -- hopefully this means he's OK and now I have someone to replace other dead weight here...Speaking of dead weight, Steve Little gets dropped after months of inactivity and Seillier drops to #9. The Frenchman is gone next month if he doesn't fight...And finally, we have a problem: Nunn fought and won again, but he weighed 175, the limit for a Light Heavy, which makes him about 8 pounds over the class- limit. I ranked Nunn both because he said he wanted Jones and would compete as a Super Middle and because I needed someone to fill in. He isn't and I don't anymore, so if he fights again at above 168, I'll remove him from here and consider him for the Light Heavy rankings.
Champion: TITLE VACANT
1. Jorge Castro (WBA)
2. Quincy Taylor (WBC)
3. Bernard Hopkins (IBF)
4. John David Jackson
5. Reggie Johnson
6. Segundo Mercado
7. Lonnie Bradley
8. Chris Pyatt
9. Aaron Davis
10. Joe Lipsey
What to do w/Reggie Johnson? Again, he and Castro fight to a split decision w/little action. Castro remains solidly at #1 while Johnson assumes a position much like Graziano Rocchigiani at 175 lbs. I'd have dropped Johnson a notch, but I was also gonna drop Mercado because of inactivity (I don't consider fighting your girlfriend as "activity"). So they both stay put -- and Mercado's gone next month unless he gets in a ring...Good opportunity for Bradley to step up and take on a real opponent...No movement here this month. But be sure there will be next month as not only is Mercado set to drop because of inactivity, but so is IBF titlist Bernard Hopkins. Hopkins, a fine fighter, hasn't fought --to say nothing of defended his title-- since winning it against Mercado 6 months ago. What a wasted opportunity to establish himself in the sport's 2nd premiere division and make some money.
Champion: TITLE VACANT
1. Terry Norris (WBC)
2. Paul Vaden (IBF)
3. Andrew Council
4. Julio Cesar Vasquez
5. Vincent Pettway
6. Gianfranco Rosi
7. Verno Phillips
8. Simon Brown
9. Carl Daniels (WBA)
10. Bronco McKart
The Championship is vacant for the last month as Norris and Vaden will vie for the REAL title in November. [Editor's note: the fight was canceled when Tyson pulled out of the main event.] This match differs from the other 2 Championship bouts we have within a month (the other 2 being Maske-Rocchigiani and Bowe-Holyfield) because the others feature the #1 contender fighting the #3 or 4 fighter. Here we have the top 2 going at it. I can't wait. . . Norris-Vaden is joined by Daniels-Vasquez on the same card to make for a great month for the Jr. Middles. Expect to see the winner of the latter bout emerge as the new #1. . . Council blasts in and lands at #3 with an absolutely dominating display against 2-time Champion Buddy McGirt, who retired afterwards. Council has only 2 losses on his record --both close, one against Keith Holmes-- and looks to provide a formidable challenge to anyone in this division. . . McKart active again, KOing some unknown punching bag in a round. . . I must say once more that this is the strongest division in the sport (or at least of those I rate). A look below the #10 spot shows some strong names -- Winky Wright, Luis Ramon Campas, Holmes, Troy Waters, Tony Marshall. The Heavyweights only wish they were in as good shape (in more ways than one).
Champion: Pernell Whitaker (WBC)
1. Felix Trinidad (IBF)
2. Ike Quartey (WBA)
3. Oba Carr
4. Vince Phillips
5. Derrell Coley
6. Eamonn Loughran
7. Luis Ramon Campas
8. Shibata Flores
9. Anthony Stephens
10. Hector Camacho
Finally Trinidad comes back against no-hoper Larry Barnes. Whitaker fights for the 3rd time this year (!) against Jake Rodriguez. Ho-hum. No one gives a shit about these fights. All we fight fans wanna know is when are they gonna fight each other?. . . Phillips devastating once again as is becoming regular for him, this time making Omar Flores quit in 3. While I don't like his tendency to cut (which led to his only loss), I would love to see him against any one of the titlists here . . . Loughran and Camacho saw action this month, both defeating more nobodies. . . A name to look for in the future: Adrian Stone. He fights Roger Turner in November. Stone may be remembered best for being one of the fighters who won every round against James Hughes before being KO'ed. Stone has loads of talent -- Turner should be a good gauge of his ability to compete at a world class level.
Champion: Julio Cesar Chavez (WBC)
1. Frankie Randall (WBA)
2. Kostya Tszyu (IBF)
3. Charles Murray
4. Jake Rodriguez
5. Juan Coggi
6. Fred Pendleton
7. David Kamau
8. Sammy Fuentes
9. Stevie Johnston
10. Dingaan Thobela
Looks like Charles Murray maybe should never have left Triple Threat. Where'd that power come from? The impressive win over Reggie Green takes him to #3. . . I wonder if Rodriguez will be here much longer -- he fought at 147 last month and challenges Welter Champion Whitaker in November. . . Pendleton deserves a last payday. A shot against Randall would be interesting. . .I hope Kamau comes back soon. His showing against Chavez was impressive and I'd like to see him remain active. . .Thobela enters after an impressive 8-round KAYO of Jaime Balboa. He replaces Green, and puts a hold on the ascendance of Khalid Rahilou. Hey -- that's boxing.
Champion: Oscar De La Hoya (IBF)
1. Miguel Angel Gonzalez (WBC)
2. Nazarov Olzubek (WBA)
3. Lamar Murphy
4. George Scott
5. Stevie Johnston
6. Rafael Ruelas
7. John-John Molina
8. Ivan Robinson
9. Jesse James Leija
10. Michael Ayers
Scott explodes on the scene, entering at #4, w/his upset win over Ruelas. Originally, I thought Ruelas should fight someone better, but he should be glad he didn't -- had Scott had any power, he woulda KOed Rafael (see the Council-McGirt fight). Round 8 was a scorcher, Scott losing his trunks in round 9 was hilarious. I thought Ruelas would come back late, but Scott had too much of a lead for it to matter. Ruelas never quit trying, but he was off balance and wide open all day. Good scrap. . . Scott displaces Shane Mosely. . . Gonzalez had a non-title bout, but it was at the Welter limit. Considering that he's challenging Chavez in Dec, I have to wonder if he'll fight again at 135. . . Ayers active, as was Robinson in a too-close match with Demetrio Ceballos. Some scored the bout for the latter, but Robinson needs these tough fights coming up. Just ask Mark Breland and Joey Gamache if they wish they'd had a tough match or 2 before getting mauled by the 1st world class fighter they faced.
Champion: Gabriel Ruelas (WBC)
1. Tracy Harris Patterson
2. Regilio Tuur
3. Arturo Gatti
4. Jesus Rodriguez
5. Aaron Zarate
6. Genaro Hernandez
7. Eugene Speed
8. Anatoly Alexandrov
9. Ed Hopson.
10. Cesar Soto
Wow -- Champion Ruelas defends in Dec against all-time great Azumah Nelson. This will be a rematch from 2 years ago when Nelson held this title and took a decision over an inexperienced Ruelas. Now THIS is a crossroads fight -- Nelson, obviously well past his prime, last fought when he lost his title last year to Jesse James Leija; Ruelas is THE dominant fighter in this division, but is coming off a potentially devastating win over Jimmy Garcia, who later died. Many questions to be answered -- we're sure to get some when this fight happens. . .Zarate jumps up a couple spots after his strong win over Carlos Hernandez. Zarate, who holds a win and loss w/#4 Rodriguez, deserves a title shot. . . Speed drops another notch after another month in limbo. Next month, this talented fighter exits. . .Murderous puncher Soto enters after a powerful KAYO win. He comes in on his power as much as anything else. Isagani Pumar exits.
Champion: Manuel Medina (WBC)
1. Tom Johnson (IBF)
2. Alejandro Gonzalez
3. Naseem Hamed
4. Eloy Rojas (WBA)
5. Kevin Kelley
6. Miguel Arrozal
7. Steve Robinson
8. Robert Garcia
9. Derrick Gainer
10. Jesse Benavides
Hamed explodes in -- it is looking as if the hype is real. He KOed Robinson in 8, and enters at #3. . .Rojas defends against Arrozal in November in what should be a good match-up. The winner will rise. . .OK, Alejandro convinced me: Garcia and Gainer switch places. Now lets hope these 2 up-and-comers make the most of their rankings and fight -- each other. . .Yung Kyung Park drops out after being declared an MIA. . .and Benavides won again.
ONLY IN AMERICA: THE LIFE AND CRIMES OF DON KING by Jack Newfield
Reviewed by David Iamele
END QUOTE"Contrary to the belief of most beginners, the clinch is not an accident. It isn't always a defensive measure either."
-- Barney Ross, Fundamentals of Boxing (1942)
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