Not since the Sex Pistols has Britain exported such an outre experience as "Prince" Naseem Hamed. Like the Pistols in their metier, the Prince has stretched the boundaries of what a boxer is ... This kid takes the freakin' cake & stuffs it right back up our collective pie hole.
The Ol' Spit Bucket must confess that his record on picking fights lately has not exactly been sterling. Tyson-Holyfield, Zaragosa-McCullough, come immediately to what's left of the mind ... The Bucket is not a gambling man (surviving yet another day is enough of one from this look-out) but if I was, I would have bet some serious geets that Tom Johnson would clean the Prince's clock. Yeah, well ... What the hell do I know?
30 years ago the Stones sang: "... but what can a poor boy do/'cept to sing for a rock 'n roll band/'Cause in sleepy London town/there's no place for a street fighting man ..." Times have changed folks. London has made way for that fighting man & crowned him the new Prince Of The City ...
As a boxing purist, jez 'bout everythang 'bout Hamed rubs against the grain ... but the freakin' kid is phenomenal. Like Cassius Clay & Roy Jones Jr. everything he does in the ring is wrong ... but Christ, the kid makes his reflexes work for him. & the power ... In my 40 + years of being involved with boxing I have never seen a featherweight that displayed this kind of one punch KO power. With all that being said, I gotsta tell ya that jez about everything else about this kid turns me off ... Take his ring entrances - please! The Prince makes Hector Camacho & Jorge Paez's demeanor seem modest in comparison. (& that's a freakin' stretch!) There's something about bumping & grinding (with lotsa dramatic pauses) your way to the ring that makes me wanna puke...
But ... If y' can back it up like the kid has so far, I can take all my qualms & as I said before, stuff 'em up my pie hole. I hate t' admit it, but it sure looks like Naseem is the real deal - as hard as that is to accept or understand ... Granted, the Bucket like the majority of the American public has only seen him on TV. & it's hard to make a call on a fighter you've only seen three times, but jeez, this kid is something special ... even if he is British -- by way of Yemen.
There haven't been very many great Arabic fighters ... The only good fighter of that particular ethnic extraction that immediately comes to mind is 80's middleweight contender, Mustapha Hamsho. Both Marcel Cerdan (middleweight champion) & Alphonse Halimi (bantamweight champion) fought out of Algeria, but both of them were of more French rather than Arabic extraction. The Prince is probably the best Arabic fighter to ever make an impact on the International scene. So now what? Well, even more than America's Oscar De La Hoya, this is the fighter with the most cross cultural potential.
Think about it ... Nassem, like Ali, has the potential to be one of the most recognized human frijoles on our planet. The main reason Muhammed Ali is still one of the most recognised human's on our pitiful orb is precisely because he's a Muslim. We (by we, I mean Americans - & I'm proud to be one, yes siree Bob) tend to discount the rest of the world - like everybody else is playing catch-up ... but there really is a whole planet out there that counts (as hard as it is to admit) as much as the good ol' United States Of America ...
The Prince has the potential of being the best known fighter in this whole weird wide world ... & with today's hyper-media & communications, possibly the best known fighter there has ever been ... All he has to do is keep winning - & at this point I don't know if I would bet against him. His future is so bright, I gotta wear shades. The amount of interesting match up's for the Prince is almost limitless ... but beyond the feathers & jr. feathers are two great fights waiting for him at 130 lb's. Azumah Nelson & Arturo Gatti - & the Bucket can't wait to see either one.
|Upcoming Fights||Current Champions||America Online Newsletter||Back to Main Page|
3.24.97 [Return to Top]