The Cyber Boxing Zone Journal
by Mike DeLisa (firstname.lastname@example.org)Well -- this is it. The end of the first year of the AOL Boxing Newsletter. I want to give a sincere thanks to all of the contributors from around the globe who have made this newsletter a success. This coming year will see vast improvements in the Newsletter's web page and we are planning several dynamite interviews and special features. As always, I encourage all readers to e-mail directly to the authors with any responses or comments.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year's, and Happy Holiday's to all.
BOXING NEWSLETTER "BEST OF 1995" POLL
by Greg Ling (LostBoy500@aol.com)Have some opinions on the events of 1995 in the "Sweet Science" ? Want to put them to a vote with other cyberspace pugilism fans? Well, here's your chance to let your voice be heard! I am pleased to announce the AOL Boxing Newsletter 1995 "Best Of" Poll! A list of 15 questions follows. All you have to do is e-mail your answers to LostBoy500@aol.com by January 5, 1996, and your votes will be tallied and published in the January Newsletter. What could be simpler? I look forward to hearing from all of you newsletter fans. Your vote counts!
"BEST OF 1995" SURVEY QUESTIONS:
1: Who was the best fighter of 1995?
2: What fighter was the biggest disappointment of 1995?
3: What was the best fight of 1995?
4: What was the worst fight of 1995?
5: What was the best kayo of 1995?
6: What fighter most deserves a title shot in 1996?
7: What was the year's best network/PPV outlet for boxing?
8: Who was the year's best ringside commentator?
9: Who was the year's worst ringside commentator?
10: Which two2 fighters would you most like to see meet in 1996?
11: Who was the year's best promoter?
12: Who was the year's worst promoter?
13: What fighter would you most like to see retire in 1996?
14: Who was the year's best referee?
15: What weight class has the most potential in 1996?
You can keep your answers short, but feel free to give any commentary or explanations with your answers - they would be helpful for the follow-up January article. Thanks in advance for your votes. Democracy in action -- ya gotta love it. As a certain boxing personality would say....'Only in America!" Peace.
THE THRILLER IN VANILLA: SHULZ V. BOTHA
by Paul Pliesenberg (pliesenberg@BIX.com)This was unspeakable. Botha was poor. But Schulz was absolutely, utterly pathetic. And the public was shameful. Schulz blew it big time, he sucked, he'd lost to a tree with two gloves tied to it, and still the public and the TV crew thought Schulz had won. I am German, but this stuff shames me.
In case you wonder: I am back in Germany for a few weeks, putting an end to life in Germany. And thus I had the opportunity to watch this on TV. And I wish I would have done something more exciting, like go take a look at my Uncle's stamp collection, really. To the fight: This was by far the heavyweight title bout with the poorest quality I've ever seen. McCall-Holmes was a highlight in comparision.
The key to the result was the fact that Botha swept the first six rounds. He punched to the body and tagged Schulz even through the latter's high guard. And even found it easy to taunt Schulz: Botha's hands hanging lose by his sides, and Schulz embarassing himself by throwing punchesthat someone with a gout would have been able to duck and slide under. So did Botha. He made Schulz look silly. Besides, Botha was busy compared to Schulz. Which don't mean much, for Schulz hardly threw punches, and the few he threw were inaccurate. But the key were the clear body-punches thrown by Botha - those were the only clear punches and it made it easy to score 5 of the first 6 rounds for Botha. Then, Botha's conditioning went. And still Schulz wasn't able to put anything clear together against a tired, plodding and slow opponent. He winged and amateurishly ran into Botha with no clear concept. It was pathetic. For Botha was there for the taking, and Schulz didn't manage to put anything together. Schulz was so bad. Soooo bad you wouldn't believe it. Be it nerves and being tense -- Schulz failed in a bout that had been set for him to seize the title. Everybody wanted it. Even Don King, whose obvious intention was to put in his worst boxer-Botha-and let a German win the title, to subsequently milk the box-crazy German public with a Tyson-Schulz showdown which would have a) put the title easily in Tyson's hands, and b) drawn every available $ out of the German boxing public. So easy to see. And Botha, with his limited skills, was able to upset this little party. For all of Germany already had Schulz the winner before the bout, so disgutingly that I told Diana (my girlfriend): "This is shameful. Boxing isn't that predictable, and they'd deserve an upset, all these people".
Aw, back to the fight. The rounds 7 to 11 were an ugly, skilless, muddy affair were you had to use your imagination to see a clean punch landing. Depending on your taste, you could have called them all even or awarded three of them to Schulz (which I did, benfit of the doubt), but then the 11th was a clear even round and the 12, if it was anyone's, was Botha's, for Schulz was inaccurate and amateurish beyond belief.
So, Ladies and Gentlemen, the new IBF heavy champion of the world, by split decision, and crowned in a sporty display of raining garbage courtesy of the digustingly partisan German public,is Frank Botha. Great. A pi**-poor boxing night, but no doubt about the result: Botha wasthe better man against a totally incapable foe. Schulz, again, was totally off. He hardly threw punches, and couldn't have hit the Cologne cathedral if it would have been standing in front of him. He made Botha look like Ali for long streaks.
In another, uhm, bout, Mavrkovic defended his European title by KO in the first round against, uh, somebody. 'Twasn't Hide, though, whose hand must be mightily sour.
A TALE OF TWO TOUGH GUYS
by Nick La RosaFrom different ends of the world, at correspondingly different ends of boxing's weight divisions, and other seemingly opposing characteristics do little to hide the commonality of two of boxing's most enigmatic characters. Although this story is about the less famous, or perhaps infamous, of the two, I draw comparisonsf or perspective.
They began their lives in the now cliched way. That is, in areas of a big city when a person with more affluent means would only know by reputation. Through turbulent and troublesome childhoods they both were taken under the wing of fatherly figures who happened to be boxing trainers. Thus their destiny changed for ever.
Under Cus D'amto's guidance, Mike Tyson became the youngest person to win a version of the heavyweight title. As we all know, he would go on to unify the title and become the most feared man in boxing.
Jeff Fenech, on the other hand, under the tutelage of Johnny Lewis, tasted his first taste of disappointment at the hands of judges in the US at the Olympic Games. Although he won his semi-final match, the decision was overturned by the jury (which was the one and only time this system was implemented) and Jeff had to settle for the Bronze medal. He turned professional in a blaze of anger and new direction. He captured his first share of a title in only his eighth professional fight. He proved that victory to be no fluke as he continued to mow down his opponents in ruthless and devastating fashion. In the process he accumulated 3 world titles. In this time he had not only beaten, but also had virtually broken the spirit of several world class boxers. However, he had by and large remained a mystery to the world. I would still venture that the majority of US fans, and world fans for that matter, have never seen the best of Jeff Fenech.
These two men eventually met and became friends as each was an admirer of the other. In a strange and twisted way, their lives continued to mirror each other.
Jeff was an idol. At home his popularity transcended the sport and his genuine likableness had won him and boxing a legion of new fans. The way he treated his intellectually handicapped childhood friend make many of the rest of Australia feel ashamed for being less accepting of people in similar situations.
What went wrong?
It all started when Don King offered him a chance at immortality. All he had to do was beat another great boxer in Azumah Nelson on US soil to become a four time champion and his destiny was secure. After an unsteady start, Jeff finished off as his Australian fans had become accustomed to by battering his opponent all over the ring. Convinced he had won, Jeff was devastated by the draw decision. In his mind 'it' had happened again. Never the same after this, Jeff lost the fire that had made him so devastating and was kayoed in the return in front of his home fans. Nelson stopped him in the rematch. The fans started to desert him. The sponsors immediately said goodbye. Jeff, always loyal to everyone he came in contact with wondered what he had done wrong.
He took what was supposed to be an 'easy' tune up but again was kayoed. From my vantage at ringside I can tell you that he might have been there physically, but Jeff definitely wasn't there mentally.
He knew it, and retired for the second time. In an earlier retirement (due to bad hands) while unable to stand the pressures of having no focus, Jeff dabbled in things that he didn't have any experience in. He had problems with the law as his street upbringing meant that he couldn't help 'defending his honor' when confronted by troublesome punks, and in some cases, the general community.
He had developed many enemies. The accumulation of 'enemies' continued during his retirement. Due to his involvement in the split between Kostya Tszyu and Jeff's own former management, much of the public perceived him as jealous of his 'heir'. Why did the public love this new kid more than they loved him he probably wondered? For the US and other fans, who might not be aware, Kostya Tszyu was brought to Australia by Jeff Fenech's former promoter and was/is trained by Jeff's old trainer. For some reason Jeff got into Kostya's ear and at one stage publicly announced that he was Kostya's new manager. As a result, Kostya and Bill Mordey (the former promoter) were no longer a team.
This then, is the background to the now obligatory comeback. Could he win back the fans that had deserted him? At this stage it would appear that he hasn't. Jeff is still in the bad books with many people. Many fans felt that Jeff was more than a little jealous in his endevours. They will be even more hard on him now that Kostya was stripped of his title. In fact on returning home after winning his comeback fight he was only greeted at the airport by the media. This is in contrast to the large number of fans who welcomed Kostya back after his title winning effort.
One thing has to be said of his comeback however, he is doing it smart. He has taken up with legendary trainer Emmanuel Steward after his old trainer wouldn't train him for this comeback. He also took a 'tune up' fight. In my opinion, he was lucky that the original opponent who had a decent record was replaced by Tito Tovar, who has a 10-10 record. It was a chance to blow out the rust. This is what Steward ordered and Fenech delivered. When it was time to show that he was always in command, the throttle was pressed and it was over. Was it impressive? Not performance wise, but definitely strategically. The interesting thing about this fight was that Jeff 'boxed' for the whole fight rather than use his usual pressure style. This surprised many including George Foreman who said "I heard this kid was a brawler but he has a lovely jab." Keeping in mind that it was a comeback fight and that Fenech was using a new style, how could we rate his performance?
Indeed his jab was working well. His right hand appeared to be holding up well after surgery as he was landing some telling overhand rights which according to Fenech he had been 'working on'. He hardly worked the body at all until rounds seven and eight. When he did it the referee was forced to stop the fight and award Jeff the victory. His footwork appeared to be balanced and free flowing as he danced around the ring a lot. Perhaps because he was trying to get rounds under his belt, Jeff did not exactly have a high work rate, and I'm talking general standards and not Jeff standards. In fact for many of the rounds Tovar outworked Fenech. Worryingly, although Tovar never hurt Jeff, he landed a very high number of punches. If we remember that Tovar can't punch and has a record of 10-10, Jeff's fans can only hope that his defence improves -- quickly.
What does the future hold? Maybe he will win more world titles and thereby take his place in history that Jeff feels was denied him. One can't help the feeling however, that just like his friend across the ocean, any future deeds will be tarnished by deeds outside of the arena.
RESULTS OF RECENT USA INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION
by Melanie Ley (email@example.com)
USA-Cuba Dual; November 15 - Foxwoods Resort Casino - Ledyard, CT
For those who comment the U.S.A. team is weak, please remember that hardly anyone in the world can beat the Cubans. Javier Munoz did a tremendous job in out pointing #3 world ranked Juan Ramirez and Terrance Cauthen pulled out a very narrow win over #1 world ranked Julio Gonzalez. #1 world ranked Arnaldo Mesa dropped down to 119 Lbs.. for this competition against a less experienced Jesus Vega. David Diaz lost to #1 world ranked Hector Vinent and Jorge Hawley was stopped with a good body shot by #1 world ranked Juan Hernandez. #1 world ranked, unbeatable, Felix Savon continued his unbroken international record and #2 world ranked Pedro Carrion proved to be to much for less experienced Robert Geer. The complete results follow:
106 Lbs.. - Javier Munoz, El Paso, dec. Juan Ramirez, 9-5
112 Lbs.. - Rubinelson Hardy dec. Eric Morel, Madison, WI, 6-3
119 Lbs.. - Arnaldo Mesa dec. Jesus Vega, Salinas, CA, 3-0 (computer broke - manual scoring used)
125 Lbs.. - Lorenzo Aragon dec. Carlos Navarro, Los Angeles, CA, 12-8
132 Lbs.. - Terrance Cauthen, Philadelphia, PA dec. Julio Gonzalez, 18-17
139 Lbs.. - Hector Vinent dec. David Diaz, Chicago, IL, 16-10
147 Lbs.. - Juan Hernandez stopped Jorge Hawley, Pomona, CA, RSC-1 (heard it was from a hard body shot)
156 Lbs.. - Anibal Rodriguez dec. Jeffrey Clark, Army, Fort Bragg, NC, 10-10 (tie breaker - 54-33)
165 Lbs.. - Ariel Hernandez dec. Benjamin McDowell, Army, Ft. Bragg, 3-1
178 Lbs.. - Gerardo Deroncelet dec. Eric Wright, Army, Fort Bragg, 7-4
201 Lbs.. - Felix Savon dec. Nate Jones, Chicago, IL, 6-2
201+ Lbs.. - Pedro Carrion won on retirement over Robert Geer, San Jose, CA, RET-3
Team Score: Cuba 10 - USA 2
(Computer scoring used)
November 20 - Hilton Hotel - London, England
The U.S. team fared much better in this international competition, winning 4 out of 8 bouts. Some of the newer, upcoming U.S. boxers were given an opportunity to gain international experience: Alejandro (Alex) Ramos, Olanda Anderson, DeMarcus Corley and Joseph Mesi). No. 4 nationally ranked David Palac and No. 1 nationally ranked Shane Swartz both lost with Palac losing on a very narrow margin.
119 Lbs.. - Zahir Raheem, Philadelphia, PA dec. Danny Adams, 5-0
125 Lbs.. - David Burke stopped Alex Ramos, Los Angeles, CA, RSC-1
139 Lbs.. - Demarcus Corley, Washington, DC stopped Alan Vaughan, RSC-2
147 Lbs.. - Michael Jones dec. David Palac, Hamtramck, MI, 3-2
165 Lbs.. - Andrew Lowe dec. Shane Swartz, Ft. Collins, CO, 5-0
178 Lbs.. - James Branch dec. Olanda Anderson, Army, Ft. Bragg, 3-2
201 Lbs.. - Juan Cruz, San Diego, CA dec. Michael Sprott, 5-0
201+ Lbs.. - Joseph Mesi, Buffalo, NY stopped Harold Senior, RSC-1.
Team Score: USA 4 - England 4
(Manual scoring used)
1995 NATIONAL PAL BOXING CHAMPIONSHIPS
The PAL Nationals was the first qualifying tournament leading into the 1996 Olympic Trials. Champions in each of the 12 weight classes automatically qualified for one of the 8 available slots. The final results are as follows:
106 Lbs.. Javier Munoz, El Paso, TX dec. Jauquin Gallardo, Hayward, CA (4-1) Javier showed surprising power for the 106 Lb. weight class, working the body well, along withcombinations, to decision former Junior Olympic and Silver Gloves champion Jauquin Gallardo.
112 Lbs.. Pedro Pena, Los Angeles, CA dec. Ramases Patterson, Detroit, MI (5/0) Pedro Pena, last year's 106 Lb. national champion, moved up in weight and showed he could continue to dominate at the heavier weight.
119 Lbs.. Zahir Raheem, Marquette, MI dec. Teaunce Shephard, Marquette, MI (5/0) As can happen when a team enters more than one boxer in a weight class, roommates at Northern Michigan University Raheem and Shephard ended up facing each other in the finals. It was mostly a sparring match for the first two rounds until both boxers were commanded by the referee to box and Raheem went into action.
125 Lbs.. Floyd Mayweather, Grand Rapids, MI dec. Carmello Ramos, Miami, FL (5/0) Fast, slick, multi-dimensional Mayweather totally dominated this bout and Ramos never could figure out a game plan. Ramos just moved up from the Junior Olympic program, where he was the silver medalist at the 1995 Junior Olympic Nationals.
132 Lbs.. Fred Neal, Cleveland, OH dec. Jermain Fields, Washington, DC (3/2) A very close bout for the experienced Neal who won on a very narrow margin against a slick boxer. Fields had done very well in the Junior Olympic program and then took several years off before boxing again at the Senior level. Fields was very impressive in spite of his previous inactivity.
139 Lbs.. Zabdiel Judah, Brooklyn, NY dec. David Diaz, Chicago, IL (3/2) In what could be considered an upset, virtually unknown Judah beat nationally ranked, experienced Diaz in a close decision.
147 Lbs.. David Palac, Hamtramck, MI dec. Jorge Hawley, Pomona, CA (3/2) This bout was held the day following the rest of the finals.
156 Lbs.. Travis Simms, Norwalk, CT dec. Michael Nunnally, Marquette, MI (3/2) In another upset, Simms won a very close decision over nationally ranked Nunnally.
165 Lbs.. Andre Haynes, Portland, OR dec. Shane Swartz, Ft. Collins, CO (3/2) In probably the biggest upset of the tournament, virtual unknown, little-experienced Haynes outboxed nationally ranked and very experienced Swartz.
178 Lbs.. Antonio Tarver, Orlando, FL dec. Orlanda Anderson, Ft. Huachuca, AZ (5/0) It was no surprise when Pan American Games and World Championships gold medalist Tarver won the decision. Anderson did an excellent job boxing the No. 1 in the world for three rounds.
201 Lbs.. Nate Jones, Chicago, IL dec. Davarryl Williamson, Marquette, MI (5/0) No. 1 rated Williamson was totally outboxed by Jones.
201+ Lbs.. Lovy Page, Dallas, T X dec. David Floyd, Laurel, MD (5/0) Dallas policeman Page dominated Floyd in a brawling, no-skills bout.
AMERICAN BOXING CLASSIC
Following a week after the National PAL tournament, the first American Boxing Classic (featuring boxers chosen by USA Boxing, the national governing body, competing against group member Golden Gloves boxers).
106 Lbs.. Sean Johnson, Washington, DC dec. Jauquin Gallardo, Hayward, CA
112 Lbs.. Jerome McIntyre, Marquette, MI dec. Joey Garcia, Modesto, CA
119 Lbs.. Zahir Raheem, Marquette, MI dec. Teaunce Shepherd, Marquette, MI
125 Lbs.. Floyd Mayweather, Grand Rapids, MI dec. Mark Partner, Altoona, PA
132 Lbs.. Mack McLin, Marquette, MI dec. Brian Adams, New York, NY
139 Lbs.. LeChaunce Shepherd, Marquette, MI dec. DeMarcus Corley, Washington, DC
147 Lbs.. David Palac, Detroit, MI dec. Kendall Gould, Milwaukee, WI
156 Lbs.. Darnell Wilson, Indianapolis, IN dec. Roshii Wells, Atlanta, GA
165 Lbs.. Shane Swartz, Ft. Collins, CO dec. Ralph Moncrief, Cleveland, OH
178 Lbs.. Anthony Stewart, Chicago, IL dec. Sean Dishman, Washington, DC
201 Lbs.. Davarryl Williamson, Marquette, MI stopped Lamon Brewster, Los Angeles, CA
201+ Lbs. Joseph Mesi, Buffalo, NY dec. Elfair McKnight, NY, NY
I will continue to report on both the international dual meets and the national championships as we move into the upcoming Olympic year.
Random Notes (and a few results)
by Phrank Da Slugger (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tyson-Mathis is on for 16 Dec in Atlantic City. Donald Trump will be the promoter, with possible co-promotion from Cedric Kushner. No details on an undercard.
Jones-Sosa will meet at MSG on January 12 in a non-title bout, at 171 pounds. On the undercard will be Tim Witherspoon vs. Al Cole (early prediction: 'Spoon kicks his ass).
Jones: "If he beats me, I'll give him a title shot. Merqui just sent Prince Charles (Williams) to the hospital. You think I don't pay attention to that. I'm the best fighter in the world, but I'm no fool, either".
Since it's not a title fight, Jones promises excitement. If he were defending his title, he'd box --"it's a business," and he'd really need to keep the title. But no title on the line means "I can take more chances". . .
A mega-card is rumored for 3 Feb: Marco Antonio Barrera-Kennedy McKinney and Soran Sorjaturong-Chiquita Gonzalez. Keep your fingers crossed for that one!
Sergei Kobazev has been classified a missing person by the New York City Police. He was last seen in his Brooklyn neighborhood at a gasstation. His car was found at a nearby diner, and after a day his girlfriend reported him gone. His trainer, Tommy Gallagher, said, "It's like aliens got him. There's not even a clue. I don't even want to think about what could have happened." Kobazev was training for a spring fight w/the winner of the Mauricio Dominguez-Anaclet Wamba March bout for the WBC title. Disturbing rumors say things about involvement of the Russian mob. Shades of Jesse James Hughes. . .
The Silver Nuggett in Vegas won't be featuring boxing anymore. All their boxing shows have moved down the street to The Aladdin. . .
Ike Quartey won't be fighting Oba Carr -- instead he's defending against Vince Phillips next year (it's signed, but no date or site confirmed). I hope to God they televise this. . .
Marc Ratner has said that if Holyfield wants to fight again in Nevada, he will first have to appear before the NSAC.
Frank Bruno is very confident of his chances against Tyson in March: "I'm in the best shape of my life now." If he means like he was against McCall, he's really kidding himself. . .
Result: Nazarov Olzubek W12 Dindo Canoy (18 Nov for the WBA Light title). The champ pounded out a unan dec (120-107, 120-113, 119-110). Canoy was the WBA #8 Lightweight (?!). Olzubek: "I was expecting the fight to develop this way. Canoy was a rough fighter to deal with." Olzubek 22-0 (16); Canoy 29-10-1 (18).
Result: Michael Carbajal kayoed Francisco Montiel in a Fly bout where he "looked sharp." Carbajal pounded on him till the third when a left-right to the body put Montiel down for the count. Carbajal: "I was in good shape and focused for this fight and I think it showed." Carbajal, 38-2(26), said he wants to regain the IF Jr. Fly title on 27 Jan -- which I guess means it's signed. On the same card: Jr Welter Ruben Castillo came back after 3 months off to take a 10-round split decision over Pac Cuesta. Castillo started slow but had a strong tenth round that swung the fight...Fly James Crayton w 6 Tony Wilson. . .Feather Francisco Rodriguez KO1 Jesus Paredez.
Bonecrusher Smith has been named as the first commissioner of the new North Carolina Boxing Commission. Good to see a commission in NC, good to see a former boxer in a high position, good to see an educated person in the seat of commish. I just hope he doesn't license himself to fight. . .
Despite saying "Let's get it on" when asked if he wanted to fight Felix Trinidad, Pernell Whitaker doesn't look likely to fight his IBF counterpart anytime soon. When asked his opinion,
Jake Rodriguez (loser to both), gives the edge to Trinidad -- "he has the power". . . Unfortunately, my old stablemate Andrew Maynard is coming back. Maynard is remembered for winning a gold medal in Seoul, getting signed by Ray Leonard then getting his style screwed up by trainer Pepe Correa. His bumbling managers also did brilliant things like throw him in against Bobby Czyz way too early in his career, and sending him overseas to fight Anaclet Wamba at too high a weight. Maynard's last fight was a KO loss to Sergei Kobazev about a year ago. Thereason I hate to see him come back is because he's too far gone to be effective at a world class level, and because he's just too damn nice a guy. I have a strong stomach, but seeing 'Drew get knocked out again is too painful to think about. . .
And finally a result -- a big upset: Paul Jones W12 Verno Phillips. Jones, a 25-8-1 stiff, won the WBO Jr. Middle crown after getting knocked down in round 1. Jones stayed busy and even staggered Phillips in the 9th w/a combination. Scores: 116-111, 113-113 and 114-113. (Word is Phillips struggled to make weight which is really odd since he's always come in well below 154).
by email@example.com (Phrank Da Slugger)
Champion: Riddick Bowe (WBO)
1. Lennox Lewis
2. Frank Bruno (WBC)
3. Michael Moorer
4. Evander Holyfield
5. Axel Schulz
6. George Foreman (WBU)
7. Oliver McCall
8. Bruce Seldon (WBA)
9. Ray Mercer
10. Alexandre Zolkin
Wow -- who'd have thought Bowe and Holyfield would each visit the canvas before it was all over. Some have said it wasn't a Championship-caliber fight, and it's true enough that Bowe, while showing heart and a great body attack, didn't put in his best performance ever. But when the #1 guy beats the #3, he's the Champion, and so, after a 2-year hiatus, Bowe's The Man again. . . Next up for Big Daddy should be new #1 contender Lennox Lewis. . . Tough to gauge where Holyfield belongs after getting KOed for the 1st time ever. Since he will keep on going for at least another year -- and since he performed well against the new Champion -- he stays. Placing him just above Schulz seemed right. . . Moorer would have been the #2, but his 5th-straight month of inactivity dropped him a notch. (His Feb match w/Foreman was announced after these ratings were compiled -- still, that will come 8 months after his last fight. And 10 months after Foreman's last). . . Anyone seen McCall lately? Maybe he's still looking in his sock for his check from the Bruno fight. . .Seldon continues to rise solely through attrition. If Tyson gets past Bruno, Seldon doesn't stand a chance. . . Raising Bowe up opened a slot at the very bottom of the division, and it was tough to decide who to elevate. I decided on Zolkin. He's active and was at #11 anyway -- although after seeing him the other night I might have to reconsider.
Champion: Nate Miller (WBA)
1. Marcelo Dominguez
2. Alfred Cole (IBF)
3. Adolfo Washington
4. Alexander Gurov
5. Orlin Norris
6. Anaclet Wamba (WBC)
7. Ralf Rocchigiani (WBO)
8. Sergei Kobazev
9. Chris Okoh
10. Karl Thompson
This was the best month for the Crusiers in years -- lots of movement here. . . Dominguez rockets to #1 with his impressive win over former-#4 Kobazev. It was the biggest win in this sorry division since Miller upset Norris earlier this year. (Since then, Kobazev, now #8, has gone disturbingly missing in a case that reeks of what happened to James Hughes. Let's keep our fingers crossed). . . Speaking of Miller, what ever happened to momentum?. . . Washington inexplicably inactive since his close loss to Norris months ago. He drops a couple notches and will continue to do so next month. . . Gurov moves back in w/a very impressive KO of former-contender Patrice Aouissi. In doing so, he avenged his only loss and drops the Frenchman from the ratings. . . Also impressive is Okoh -- who scored his biggest win and entered just last month -- won again this month. . . Has anyone heard from Wamba since Feb? They say he's injured (and that's why Dominguez is the WBC "Interim" titlist), and he may return in the Spring of 96. By then, he won't be rated here. Next month, look for him to drop again. . . There will be some moves here come the new year: Cole will be moving up to Heavyweight to face Tim Witherspoon in Jan (although after the beating he's gonna get, he may come back to defend his title against Uriah Grant or someone again), and Norris looks unlikely to fight at 190/195 again.
Champion: Henry Maske (IBF)
1. Fabrice Tiozzo WBC)
2. James Toney (WBU)
3. Virgil Hill (WBA)
4. Merqui Sosa
5. Graciano Rocchigiani
6. Montell Griffin
7. Darius Michelczewski (WBO)
8. Mike McCallum
9. Michael Nunn
10. Prince Charles Williams
Get ready: Jones makes his entrance in Jan when he meets top contender Sosa. I can't wait. . . Sosa wins, as does Griffin, but against nobodies. Wow, Griffin's 2nd fight in 2 months. Good to see him in the ring, but howabout against one of the other fighters here?. . . Nunn enters after a string of Camacho-like wins over a bunch of journeymen. Unfortunately, that's more then enough to get you rated at 175. . . Nunn displaces the less-deserving Eric Nicoletta. . . And Nunn and Toney will both be on ESPN this week fighting a couple of no-hopers. Why not a rematch?. . . Damn, Hill vs. The Swiss Nobody is now off. Oh, dear. Hey, Vigil, maybe David Vedder is available (again). . . Tiozzo finally makes his 1st defense against European titlist Eddy Smulders in Dec. . . Man, I hope Jones gets here quick -- this division is so poor.
Champion: Roy Jones (IBF)
1. Nigel Benn (WBC)
2. Steve Collins (WBO)
3. Frank Liles (WBA)
4. Chris Eubank
5. Bryant Brannon
6. Henry Wharton
7. Ray Close
8. Thomas Tate
9. Tony Thornton
10. Tim Littles
This division is populated by guys Jones and Benn have already beaten. But it certainly looks better now that deadwood like Steve Littles and Frederic Seillier are gone. . . Last month Littles left and this month we say bon voyage to Seillier, who is replaced by Thomas Tate. Tate won an inspired match against Joseph Kiwanuka (O'Grady, it's KI-WAN-U-KA). . . Michael Nunn exits after it became evident that he isn't going to see anything under 175 for a while now. He is replaced by Tim Littles, the top of the bottom. . . Wharton also saw action this month. . . And Liles finally defends against Mauricio Amaral in Dec. Was this a fight that the public clamoured for so much that it warranted being rescheduled so many times? Sheesh.
Champion: TITLE VACANT
1. Jorge Castro (WBA)
2. Quincy Taylor (WBC)
3. John David Jackson
4. Bernard Hopkins (IBF)
5. Reggie Johnson
6. Lonnie Bradley (WBO)
7. Aaron Davis
8. Chris Pyatt
9. Joe Lipsey
10. Dana Rosenblatt
The Middleweights are stagnating. The only action here this month was Rosenblatt fighting yet another stiff, and w/only Castro and Pyatt having fights on the horizon (and those against nobodies), things look bleek. . . Hopkins drops a notch after 7 months of inactivity. I wouldn't be surprised to hear the IBF in the near future begin to speak of stripping him. And I don't know that I'd blame them. . . Former Executioner-victim Segundo Mercado exits after no ring appearances since getting mugged by Hopkins in April. The undeserving Rosenblatt replaces him. . . This month I reassessed Davis' win over Brown and elevated him from 7 to 9. . . Where's Bradley? The WBO titlist should be using this opportunity to establish himself in a weak division. For someone who considers himself the best Middleweight in the world, he's not only not establishing this by fighting the top fighters here, he's not even fighting the journeymen he beat on his way to the WBO title.
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. Simon Brown
8. Glenwood Brown
9. Bronco McKart
10. Winky Wright
Lots of action here this month. As usual, the Jr. Middles are a nice alternative to the dreary 160- pound class -- like night and day. What a strong division. . . I hear the Norris-Vaden title unification bout (and Championship vacancy) is rescheduled for Dec. I really hope so. . . Simon Brown moves up a notch as Verno Phillips exits. Phillips' conqueror and new WBO titlist Paul Jones isn't here -- he's a stiff. But he resides just below the #10 spot. . . Glenwood Brown enters after his impressive win over career underachiever Tony Marshall. . . Ditto Winky Wright, an impressive winner over Young Dick Tiger. . . Council fought and won, and has another bout scheduled for 2 weeks later. I like this guy. . . The question this month was who to drop. It came down to McKart and WBA titlist Carl Daniels. McKart was impressive earlier this year against Aaron Davis, while Daniels only beat Julio Cesar Green. A win over Vasquez (if it ever comes off) would elevate him quite a bit. Till then, he joins the growing ranks of WBC, WBA and IBF titlists who aren't ranked.
Champion: Pernell Whitaker (WBC)
1. Felix Trinidad (IBF)
2. Ike Quartey (WBA)
3. Oba Carr
4. Vince Phillips
5. Derrell Coley
6. Luis Ramon Campas
7. Eamonn Loughran (WBO)
8. Adrian Stone
9. Hector Camacho
10. Shibata Flores
Trinidad was simply awesome in disposing of Larry Barnes w/a bodyshot in 4 rounds, and I have cemented my opinion that Whitaker would have no chance against him. Trinidad is honing his skills against good fighters, while Whitaker is not. . . And that leads us to Whitaker's 1st KO win in 5 years. He scored the win over a guy in need of a heart transplant -- or maybe Jake Rodriguez and Genaro Hernandez are sharing one. . . Carr deserves a title shot as much as anyone -- hope he doesn't get screwed like Lennox Lewis. . . Phillips scores another KO -- now there is talk of him challenging fellow power puncher Ike Quartey in what would surely be a great fight. . . Campas takes out the unwilling Anthony Jones and moves up, showing why he's a threat to anyone. . . As I predicted, Stone blasts his way in w/a dominating performance in stopping veteran Roger Turner. He displaces Anthony Stephens. . . Coley and Camacho were also active, and Camacho moves up a notch, showing that constant activity can pay off.
Champion: Julio Cesar Chavez (WBC)
1. Frankie Randall (WBA)
2. Kostya Tszyu (IBF)
3. Charles Murray
4. Juan Coggi
5. Fred Pendleton
6. David Kamau
7. Sammy Fuentes (WBO)
8. Stevie Johnston
9. Dingaan Thobela
10. Khalid Rahilou
An unusually calm month here. . . Jake Rodriguez exits after his 2nd fight at 147 -- and a loss at that. Can you believe this is the same guy who outhustled and stole the title from CharlesMurray? Or who went non-stop toe-to-toe w/Ray Oliveira? He's quit twice this year -- time to get a post office application, Jake. . . Randall-Coggi II should come off in December. . . Fuentes the only guy here who saw action this month, an easy defense of his WBO title (are there any other kind of WBO title fights?). . . And Rahilou finally makes it in, arriving at #10. Well deserved.
Champion: Oscar De La Hoya (WBO)
1. Miguel Angel Gonzalez (WBC)
2. Nazarov Olzubek (WBA)
3. Lamar Murphy
4. George Scott (WBU)
5. Stevie Johnston
6. Rafael Ruelas
7. John-John Molina
8. Ivan Robinson
9. Jesse James Leija
10. Michael Ayers
Not much happened here this month -- Olzubek defended his title in a gimme defense, and that was it. . . Coming up we have De La Hoya defending his World Championship against Leija. Hint: don't expect to see Jesse James here next month. Oscar is making things hard on me by eliminating contenders on a regular basis. . . One possible fighter to ascend to the Top 10 might be IBF titlist Phillip Holiday, who won a fight this month. Hopefully he'll defend against one of our contenders here -- THAT would assure him of a place in the Top 10. . . I hope to see Murphy again soon. He considers himself the uncrowned, undefeated Champion after getting ripped off against Gonzalez. I think he needs to prove it by fighting anyone soon, and in particular bydefeating quality fighters. He'd convince me w/a win over Johnston.
Champion: Gabriel Ruelas (WBC)
1. Tracy Harris Patterson
2. Regilio Tuur
3. Arturo Gatti
4. Aaron Zarate (WBF)
5. Genaro Hernandez
6. Anatoly Alexandrov
7. Jungsoo Choi (WBA)
8. Jesus Hernandez
9. Cesar Soto
10. Angel Manfredy
Lots of movement this month (and even more next month considering the shocking result from last weekend). . . Many immigrations: Jesus Rodriguez exits -- he's fighting at 135 now, and lost there this month (not counting his loss to Stevie Johnston last weekend); Eugene Speed exits -- consistently inactive, w/only one fight this year; Ed Hopson exits -- losing to a clubfighter will cause that every time. . . Patterson and Gatti were active, precluding their meeting in December at Madison Square Garden. Gatti beat yet another stiff, but Patterson went up to 135 and Koed Bruno Rabanales, an impressive win. . . Choi, the new WBA titlist, enters w/a title-winning KO of solid veteran and former-contender Victor Hugo Paz. . . Hernandez blasts in w/a decisive win over former-contender Isagani Pumar. Hernandez won in the 1st when Pumar was unable to defend himself. . . And Manfredy enters when he knocked out Calvin Grove in 7.
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
Nada as usual here. . . some good fights planned, but nothing this month. . . This division, more than any other, is ripe for the picking for newcomers such as Garcia and Gainer. Kelley and Robinson have recently suffered losses and Arrozal is not a strong #6. But these 2 need to fight.
GORDOOM'S SPIT BUCKET
by Gordoom@aol.comDATELINE: FURNACE CREEK GOLF COURSE; DEATH VALLEY, MOJAVE DESERT, CALIFORNIA
Wading through the waste stormy winter & theirs not a friend to help you through trying to stop the waves behind your eyeballs ... drop your reds, drop your greens & Blues ... yes, I've got the desert in my toenails & hid the speed inside my shoe But come on down sweet Virginia come on, come on down, you got it in you got to scrape that shit right off your shoes -- SWEET VIRGINIA, MICK JAGGER/KEITH RICHARDS
That Torquemada of editors, Michael DeLisa, must have thought it was real funny, falsely fingering the Bucket, as the UnaBomber, in his editorial last month. Yeah, well. . . The Feds hit my bunker just before dawn, as I was fondly putting to bed a bottle of Armagnac. When without warning . . . two choppers came over the tree tops, spotlights blazing like twin rotary suns . . . A hellish, electronic voice bellowed for my surrender, as I was surrounded not only by the FBI, but a company of crack Granadian UN Special Forces, that they had brought in especially for the occasion. At this point, a hail of bullets rained in on the bunker. I hit the floor cursing. I knew who had set me up: That Machiavellian manipulator . . . DeLisa! . . .
Miraculously, the Ol' Spit Bucket's ass was saved, when the Oregon Militia, who were having a weekend jamboree, on the next ridge over, thought their fondest paranoia had finally come to fruition & came charging over the ridge like Custer & the 7th Cav at the Little Big Horn. Gotta tell ya . . . they were about as successful too . . .
In a scene straight outta Apocalypse Now, the Ol' Spit Bucket, managed to escape thru the tangled carnage & confusion. After awhile, the gunfire & screams of mercy from the Oregon Militia, faded behind me, as I beat feet the hell outta there . . .
It's a twisted tale, too long to get into; suffice it to say, that deep in the weird woods of the Pacific Northwest, I stumbled over a skeleton, next to a satchel full of greenbacks. In the tattered remains of it's clothing . . . I found a molding wallet, with an ID that said, the quite & very dead guy's name, was D.B. Cooper . . . So anyhow, I've ended up here, in a cabana on the edge of the very exclusive, Furnace Creek Golf Course, in Death Valley. It pays too have lotsa cold hard cash . . . it aint so bad sitting out on the veranda, sipping mai tai's & rolling reefers, watching the drunken yuppie louts hack their way thru 18 holes . . . & at night it gets real quiet, only the occasional mournful howl of a coyote & the rustling of the scorpions scurrying over the cooling rocks . . . once again, I digress . . .
The Bucket wants to set the record straight: DeLisa stated that I was under care at a facility, heavily medicated by doctor's. Lies! I've never been in a facility & I've always been entirely self- medicated! DeLisa almost did me in this time, with his UnaBomber schtick, but since he desperately needs my column, he has used his nefarious connections in DC to get the Feds off my case.
So here's the column for this month, DeLisa. Remember, those four figures better be in my Cayman Islands off shore account by the time you receive this . . . or don't plan on ever seeing the rest of the articles . . . Remember you owe me, & I still haven't snitched you out too what's left of the once mighty Oregon Militia . . . Payback is a bitch.
ROY & OSCAR
Without a doubt, Oscar De La Hoya & Roy Jones Jr., are the two most lucent young stars in today's fistic firmament . . . & they both, too varying degree's, share the same problem. One (Roy), has already run out of viable opponents . . . & Oscar is on the verge of the same predicament.
In Jones's case, the situation looks particularly grim. The only opponent he has faced who had a chance in hell of beating him -- James Toney -- showed up totally unprepared physically or psychically. It's a damn shame too, 'cause to the Ol' Spit Bucket's jaded eyes, Roy's the most amazing boxer to come down the pike since Cassius Clay. Young Muhammad, was an astonishingly adept phenom & Roy, is equally so . . . Sheer speed is the game, with lightning blows delivered from impossible angles, totally against the book. Like young Cassius, Roy flaunts boxing's most revered precepts inside the ring . . . Lotsa flash & dash & stupid pet tricks . . . but, backed up by real substance. Case in point: Roy barely utilized his jab in 12 rounds with Toney, yet he achieved the same control & results by throwing left hooks! I've never seen anybody do that before [Editor's note: Hey, Gordoom, ever hear of Ezzard Charles?] Jones, is so unorthodox, so strong, fast & powerful, there is really nobody left too fight. In the super middles, the only guy that could possibly give him a rumble, is Britian's " Dark Destroyer ", Nigel Benn. Benn is also a highly unorthodox fighter ... but in very different ways. Benn's style, is way more conventional than Roy's. Plus, he flat out doesn't have the speed to keep up with him. His only chance would be a puncher's chance . . . not impossible, but very unlikely. Roy would decision or ko him, depending on his mood that night.
That's how far superior the Ol' Spit Bucket, thinks Jones is. To everybody, in his own, or any division, under heavy. Don't get the Bucket wrong . . . I think Nigel Benn is a hell of a fighter but Roy may possibly end up in the upper echelon's of the all-time great's.
I can hear the gnashing of some teeth & a distant rumble of discontent, like a far away thunder, outside the cabana . . . Yeah, I know, you gotta beat somebody to be somebody & the Bucket isn't saying, he has by any means reached that lofty status . . .yet . . . but all the tools are there, & sooner or later that career making opponent ( more than one is probably wishful thinking,) will hopefully come along. I am backed up on this contention, by no less an authority than Gil Clancy. Clancy, one of boxing's wisest sages, publicly stated the same during Roy's fight against Tony Thornton.
In the meantime, we're left with a bunch of what if's. If he jumps to Lt. Heavy . . . who does he fight? The biggest names in that sad sack division are, James Toney (but he'll probably eat himself into a cruiser any day now,) & Virgil Hill. Oy . . . Roy could probably fight comfortably at 180 or so, but what's the point? The cruiser weight division is even more barren. There's even been fanciful talk about fighting at heavyweight . . . that's really absurd . . . there are certain physical limitations that even a Roy Jones Jr. can't overcome. He could without a doubt, out box & out speed any heavyweight, but he wouldn't have the power too keep somebody like a Tyson, or even a Bruce Seldon, at a distance. He would eventually get clocked & possibly badly hurt.
It's tough being the best, especially when you have no one to prove it against. Ultimately, unless some suitable opposition comes along, that's the only thing that will keep Roy Jones Jr., out of the Hall Of Fame.
Oscar's immediate future isn't quite as bleak. In the light & jr.welterweight divisions, there are a andful of name opponents out there . . . but none, are real challenges . . . Kostya Tszyu, off his pathetic showing, against a completely shot Roger Maywether, offers marquee value . . . but he's not in the same league as Oscar. Tszyu, with his straight up style, lack of upper body movement, physical size disadvantages, propensity for cutting & swelling, inexperience & inactivity . . . must have Oscar slavering like a panther in heat . . . besides, what's Tszyu got ? 15 fights? Who the hell has he ever beaten? Well, the Bucket is here t' tell ya . . . nuthin' but old, way past their prime fighters. Former champions like Juan LaPorte, Livingston Bramble & the aforementioned Maywether . . . these guys were in their prime during the salad days of the Reagan administration . . . way before anybody had ever heard the dirty phrase, Iran/Contra, in the Honky House . . . arhhg . . . I digress; Tszyu's, also fought a middling contender, Hector Lopez, who gave him all he could handle & really busted his face up. He won the IBF jr. welterweight title from Jake " The Snake " Rodriguez . . . Even in the midst of a three-day drunken binge, compounded with an orgy of mind altering substances, the Bucket, would never mistake Rodriguez for the second coming of Jackie " Kid " Berg.
Miguel Angel Gonzales, the WBC lightweight champion, off his piss-poor showing against Lamar Murphy, can't be taken seriously as an opponent. However he is the only lightweight available out there for a fairly big money fight.
The WBA champion, is Orzubek Nazarov. He is a Soviet southpaw, based out of Japan. While good enough to possibly give Oscar, an interesting tussle; is so obscure, De La Hoya might as well pick an opponent out of a 19th century crypt. Both of these so called "champions, " offer extremely limited opposition & interest.
Julio Cesar Chavez is the BIG TICKET. From way down deep in the bucket, I can tell ya, that JC, has almost as many miles on him as moi . . . if Frankie Randall could lay the leather hard, on Chavez, like he did . . . twice. Does anybody ( besides millions of Hispanic & hard core American fans,) believe J.C., can pull it off against a savant, like De La Hoya?
In his bouts this year, with Giovanni Parisi & David Kamau, Chavez indicated how much he has slipped on time's endless banana peel. The Chavez, of just a couple of years ago, would have chopped down & stopped Kamau & Parisi in the middle rounds. A good example is his fight with the tall & lanky Puerto Rican, Angel Garcia. Like Kamau, he was unbeaten & a fairly tough cookie. The difference in Chavez, in those bouts, is glaringly apparent . . . Oscar, if he keeps his shit together, double & triple pumps his jab, boxes smartly & doesn't let Julio maul him like John-John Molino did . . . should win by easy decision, possible late rounds stoppage . . . best case scenario? It's another Hearns-Cuevas, or Hearns-Duran. A complete blow out by a young, exceptionally gifted fighter, against a once dynamic, but now aging & smaller opponent.
By the time De La Hoya grows into a welter, Whitaker will probably be retired, or just old enough o do a reenactment of the first of the Pep-Saddler classic's. Trinidad will be at least a jr. middle, & Ike Quarty, while exciting to watch, doesn't seem like a long term champion.
The Bucket, doesn't feel that Oscar helps his case, by picking opponents like Jesse James Leija. Leija is a good, little fighter. The former WBC jr. lightweight champion (who is really just a big featherweight,) was totally out muscled by Gabe Ruelas, in his title loss. The Bucket thinks their December fight is gonna be a massacre & a pointless one at that. Oscar claimed he wanted nothing but meaningful opponents . . . Leija, hardly qualifies. De La Hoya has all the talent in the world, but he can better stake his claim on greatness by not wasting his time on meaningless fights like this one. Enough already, 3 of his last 4 fights since he became a lightweight, have been against smaller jr. lightweights. At least in Roy Jones' case he really, doesn't have any uality opposition ( besides Nigel Benn,) to face. Oscar's is limited & the two big ticket fights, both Chavez & Whitaker are aging & sooner rather than later, is the time to catch 'em in regards to a quest for fistic immortality.
A WELTER OF FLASH DASH EMOTING
Sweet Pea & Trinidad proved you don't need heavy weights for drama. You also only need, semi-recognizable pugs to create the stage. . . Trinidad, fought a tough, perpetual motion machine, Larry Barnes, who has been rated #1 by various, vagrant, boxing organizations, for the last year & a half or so. Larry's got a lotta heart, but that just don't cut it against a true talent like Trinidad. Only Barnes' persistent awkwardness, made this match a test of Trinidad's talents.
In his first prime time HBO endeavor, young Felix acquited himself quite well. Faced with a rough, tumble guy, in a pressure situation, Trinidad did what he had to before decisively putting Barnes away. In the half dozen or so fights, the Ol' Spit Bucket has seen Trinidad ply his wares in, I've been impressed. Trinidad, like Terry Norris, is a gifted boxer-puncher with some very apparent flaws. Basically, we're talkin' a propensity for getting careless, in the heat of battle. . . that's cool, it makes for exciting fights . . . but, it's a terminal mistake, when your beard is slightlyless than sturdy. While nobody has actually put Trinidad away, he has introduced himself to the canvass, an inordinate amount of times in his brief career. . .
Larry Barnes, while a competent fighter, is hardly the type of opponent that Felix needs to test himself. Similarly, Jake "The Snake" is by no stretch of the imagination, the kind of competitionPea needs to prove himself against. . . This HBO broadcast, was another, in an interminable melange of set up's that HBO & ShowTime has fed us over the years, to get us all hot and bothered over a POTENTIAL match-up which usually never occurs. Let's cut to the bone! The only welterweight fighters, that interest any aficionado, are Whitaker, Trinidad, Quartey & Espana. . . If HBO (or ShowTime) are really what they claim to be, boxing wise, why don't they prove it?. . . Boxing is like sex, in that, while the anticipation get's you way horny, it's the actual deed that knocks you out.
Be that as it may, both Trinidad & Whitaker, shined on brightly. But now it's time for HBO to prove t's muscle. Whitaker - Trinidad, is in no way a major PPV fight but it would certainly be a good barometer for reading the heat & it might be a hell of a fight for measuring it.
RUELAS - NELSON II
After a couple of weeks of lolling around Furnace Creek, it was time to get to the Ruelas - Nelson fight.The two key factors for Azumah were his advanced age and his year & layoff since his desultory title losing effort, to Jesse Leija. For Ruelas, the obvious question was how he would rebound from his last fateful bout which resulted in the death of Jimmy Garcia.
Surprisingly. . . all questions were definitively answered.
Ruelas proved he is not rebounding well from Garcia's death. Compare this fight with his title winning effort against Leija & it's night and day. In the Leija fight, Ruelas was reminicent of a young Roberto Duran. He fought a fierce war and totally out muscled Leija. Against Nelson, he was hesitant & seemingly disinterested. Mid-way thru the 4th, Ruelas finally unfurled his arsenal. . . & had Nelson in a bit of trouble against the ropes. Nelson has always been most dangerous when he is cornered. Like hehas so many times before (i.e. the 2nd Fenech fight), he unleashed a furious counter attack & clubbed Reulas to the floor to end the round, albeit with the aid of a crunching blow to the temple, after Ruelas had hit the canvas.
I thought Joe Goosen's cursing, mad dao, in your face approach to Ruelas between rounds was alittle over the top. . . but it did get him up to meet his fate in the enxt round. . . in which Nelson brought it to him right away & the referee, Marty Denkin, mercifully stopped it.
Gabe Ruelas, along with his bother Rafael, should call it a career. They both have the look of shot fighters. While Gabe is a sounder fighter than Rafael, with his better balance & over all coordination, he seemingly has lost the hunger for combat since Garcia's unfortunate death. A fighter without the drive to fight doesn't belong in the ring, as he will end up getting badly hurt himself.
Azumah on the other hand, is still the wizened professor able to dish out painful lessons to his much younger foes. The Bucket feels this fight was the capstone to Nelson's brilliant career. If he wasn't already a lock for the Hall of Fame, this victory sealed it. Coming off the long layoff at the age of 37 (even against a lesser Ruelas than in their first fight), is an amazing feat. It ranks right up there with Foreman's victory over Moorer. For a lighter weight fighter 37 is ancient. For me, Nelson belongs in that same pantheon that includes Edar Jofre & Pascual Perez as lighter weight fighters remaining quite & very competitive at such advanced ages.
RINSING OFF THE MOUTHPIECE
Some follow up stuff from last month's column: The Bucket had the extreme pleasuer of talkin'boxingh with one of the most knowledgeable gents to ever come down the pike. . .Mr. Hank Kaplan. Talk about Mohammed going to the Mountain. . . y'gotta know, the Bucket pride's h'self on his rather considerable store of boxking knowledge & lore. . . but after talking with Mr. Kaplan, for just a few minutes, it became glaringly apparent that he has forgotten more about boxing than I will ever learn in my lifetime. . . needless to say, it was a humbling thang. . . but hey, a little humility in the presence of a master is always good for a reality check.
I am however, very pleased to report that Mr. Kaplan totally agreed with my thesis on Luis Rodriquez. He backed my contention, about Luis being able to beat any welter or jr. Middle of the last 50 years -- with the exceptions of both Sugar Ray's, Griffith, & possibly Tommy Hearns & Mike McCallum. He also agrees with my contention that Eder Jofre was one of the 5-6 greatest fighters of all time. . . Hey! the Bucket is always confident in his assertions but it sure don't hurt to be backed up by one of the foremost historian's in the history of a centuries old sport!
END QUOTE:"Onesimus the boxer came to the prophet Olympus wishing to learn if he were going to live to an old age. And he said, Yes, if you give up the ring now, but if you go on boxing, Saturn is your horoscope.'"
-- Lucilius, Epigrams.
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