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PREDICTION PAGE: Amir Khan-Lamont Peterson…NGUYEN



Amir Khan-Lamont Peterson – Khan weighed 139 pounds, while Peterson was 140 on Friday. Could the seasoned but heretofore unspectacular Peterson pull a massive upset in DC? Weigh in, in our Forum.

This Saturday night, Amir Khan will attempt to further cement his dominance at 140 pounds by taking on Lamont Peterson.  The matchup will be the first major bout in years for fight-starved Washington D.C. boxing fans.  With talented D.C. native Peterson trying to pull what would probably be the upset of the year against Khan, this has the makings for a potentially spirited affair.

Questions surround the fight.  Will Khan, who has unsuccessfully tried to woo other top 140-pounders like Timothy Bradley, try to make a statement against Peterson?  Will Peterson finally be able to live up to the now-diminished hype that once surrounded him as a future champion?  Answers should reveal themselves Saturday night, but a closer look at both fighters will paint a revealing picture of what’s likely to go down.

Scouting Report for Lamont Peterson:

Lamont Peterson has been known by boxing insiders for the better part of a decade.  Peterson, along with his brother Anthony, survived a harrowing childhood which saw them homeless and alone in Washington D.C.  Trainer and father-figure Barry Hunter mentored both boys through boxing, saving them from being casualties of the harsh streets of D.C.  Both young men showed promise in their amateur careers that created the buzz that they could possibly be future champions in the sport.

Unfortunately for Lamont Peterson, the step from world-class fighter to world champion has proven troublesome.  Since being heralded as a future world champion as early as 2006, Peterson has plateaued in his progress as a fighter.  When he has stepped up his competition level, he has proven disappointing, dropping a lopsided decision to Timothy Bradley in 2009 and fighting to an uninspired draw with Victor Ortiz in 2010.

From a technical standpoint, Peterson’s lack of progress has stemmed from an inability or, perhaps more accurately, unwillingness to fight outside of his comfort zone.  The ideal blueprint for Lamont Peterson is to fight at his own pace, boxing from range at a relaxed pace or choosing his spots infighting.  Fundamentally, Peterson has the skills to do both quite competently, provided he can decide things on his own terms.  His ideal opponent is one who will cooperate with this tempo of fight.

Against Bradley, and for extended portions of his fight with Ortiz, Peterson did not have a cooperative opponent in front of him.  Bradley’s awkward and unpredictable attack short-circuited Peterson’s rhythm.  While Peterson was able to fight back to good effect, the outcome was a wide-margin defeat, and the primary reason was that Bradley didn’t allow Peterson to dictate the pace of the action.  In the Ortiz fight, Peterson experienced the same difficulties when Ortiz was willing to mount an offensive.  Only during the stretches when Ortiz was inactive was Peterson able establish his gameplan and set up his offense.

Peterson’s career-best win was in his last fight against Victor Cayo.  For much of the fight, Peterson was able to run the table and decide the terms of combat, which allowed him to stop Cayo late in an impressive outing for Peterson.  The knockout of Cayo set up this title opportunity against Khan, but it didn’t reveal a whole lot about Peterson.  It simply showed, once again, that if he can control the tempo, Peterson is a very good fighter.  Still, the mark of a championship-caliber fighter is to adapt to opponents and adjust when needed.  This has been a marked weakness thus far in Peterson’s career.

Another one of Peterson’s liabilities is his habit of going almost completely defensive in the face of an opponent’s assault.  For a classic boxer, Peterson does not effectively utilize head movement to avoid punches.  His favorite method is to hold his hands high and wait out the attack, similar to Winky Wright, but less effective.  While Wright’s high guard was as secure as Fort Knox, Peterson’s cover-up defense can be penetrated with looping shots around his guard and split between with uppercuts that he has difficulty seeing.  Also, unlike Wright, Peterson rarely punches out of this stance, waiting instead for his opponent to back up and allow him to reset his offense.

Peterson’s other habit is to use a Mayweather-esque shoulder roll to evade punches, twisting and turning his torso, rolling away from punches, and sometimes leaning to his right and firing a right hand of his own.  The problem, once again, is that Peterson does not utilize this technique as well as the man who perfected it.  While Mayweather can twist and turn to avoid shots, he can also simultaneously use his legs to get himself out of precarious positions when needed.  Peterson, though, keeps his feet fairly stationary.  If his opponent doesn’t fall for Peterson’s flashy smoke and mirrors, he can continue to press Peterson by stepping around and continuing to throw punches.  This puts Peterson off balance and allows his opponent to land effectively.  Both Timothy Bradley and Victor Ortiz used this to their advantage against Peterson.  The bottom line is that Peterson is not particularly hard to find, despite his reputation as a sound boxer.

In many ways, Lamont Peterson is like a classical pianist.  With his sheet music in front of him and all of the variables under his control, he can put on quite a performance.  However, if you take the same pianist and have him sit in with a jazz combo, the results are quite different.  Having to play off his bandmates, having to improvise, and having to adjust to unpredictable circumstances requires a different skill set than what a classical pianist possesses.

In order to defeat Amir Khan, Peterson will need to draw from a different skill set than what he’s demonstrated against top-flight opponents so far in his career.  Whether he is capable of this is the question.

Scouting Report for Amir Khan:

Like Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan’s career will almost certainly be viewed in two parts:  the pre-Roach era and the post-Roach era.  The synergy that has resulted from Khan’s pairing with the great Freddy Roach has been among the most dynamic in the sport.  Since enlisting the help of Roach following his devastating knockout loss to Breidis Prescott, Khan has elevated his game to new heights and is now leading the charge of boxing’s next generation.

The still-improving Khan has absorbed knowledge like a sponge under the tutelage of Roach.  He now utilizes his imposing physical assets to their maximum while minimizing his deficiencies.  Khan is growing increasingly proficient at maintaining proper distance with a long, snappy jab and a searing straight right.  To his rangy size, Khan has added the assertiveness of greater physical strength, allowing him to push off his opponents to create distance or tie them up authoritatively when circumstances necessitate.  All this allows Khan to get his potent offense rolling while avoiding contact with his notoriously malleable chin.

Khan has also become a master of feinting, which causes his opponents to react and stunts their offensive efforts.  This was especially apparent in his last fight with Zab Judah, who was reacting to almost all of Khan’s feints.

The way opponents now respond to Khan is not unlike the way opponents respond to Floyd Mayweather.  Both fighters use speed, accuracy, and cleverness to make their opponents extremely reluctant to open up their attack.  While Mayweather uses hair-trigger counterpunching, Khan uses his jab and deftly-timed feints to make his foes second-guess themselves.

Khan’s defensive tactics may not be anything spectacular, but they are undoubtedly successful.  He’s not Pernell Whitaker, but the truth is that he doesn’t need to be.  By fighting tall, with hands held high, and at a proper distance, Khan avoids most of his opponent’s punches with ease.  He is also keenly aware that he is not an infighter, so wrapping up his opponents in close also minimizes damage.  Khan is nothing if not honestly self-aware, so he knows how to stay away from his areas of liability.

This isn’t to say that the Khan-Roach union has been completely smooth sailing.  Khan’s 2010 war with Marcos Maidana almost derailed the entire express train.  After dropping Maidana in round one and dominating the early action, Khan was gradually worn down by Maidana’s maniacal, relentless attack and found himself on the verge of being stopped late in the fight.  It’s a credit to Khan’s fortitude and conditioning that he didn’t cave in down the stretch, but the Maidana fight showed that Khan is still beatable given the right style matchup.  Some view the close call with Maidana as Khan’s crucible, a trial by fire that should erase doubts about his toughness or desire to be a fighter.  Others, though, still doubt whether Khan’s dented jaw will ultimately disqualify him from true greatness.

Khan’s performances since the Maidana fight have been supremely dominant if not electrifying.  In April, Khan dominated unheralded and outclassed propect Paul McCloskey.  In July, he pounded the faded Zab Judah.  Against Lamont Peterson, Khan faces the most formidable foe since Maidana, but also faces a stylistic matchup that appears favorable to the pride of Bolton, England.

The biggest intangible that plays in Khan’s favor is his desire to be great.  His willingness to globe-trot with Freddy Roach, moving stateside from England, traveling to the Philippines to train with Manny Pacquiao, and having a humble, teachable attitude has been Khan’s greatest asset.  He is willing to pay the price to make a run at greatness, which, among young fighters, is a trait that is slowing going the way of the dodo bird.  Some fighters dream of a big payday; some dream of being a world champion.  Amir Khan has his sights set on far bigger things.  Khan really believes that he is destined to become a legend.  When a fighter sets his sights that high, is willing to pay his dues, and has the physical gifts to do it, it’s a tough combination to beat.

The Bottom Line:

It is hard to see Peterson summoning what it takes against Khan.  Peterson needs time to think and process to fight effectively, but he will have as much as his mind can handle dealing with what Khan will be throwing at him.  Expect to see a lot of jabbing and feinting from Khan, and a lot of watching and waiting from Peterson, who will wait patiently for openings to land, only to find himself reticent to commit to a significant  attack.  Peterson hasn’t shown a knack for being able to force the type of physically draining war that Maidana used to great effect against Khan.  Also, Peterson’s tendency to cuff and slap with his punches will make it difficult to put serious hurt on Khan.  Without a healthy fear of Peterson’s power, Khan will use his jab and right hand to pile up points while staying out of harm’s way, just to be safe.

Stylistically, this doesn’t have the look of a barn burner.  It will be a matchup of two skilled boxers trying to outwit one another, but ultimately one boxer will prove far more skilled than the other.

The Result:

Amir Khan UD 12 Lamont Peterson, possibly by shutout.
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Charr-Oquendo Scuttled When Charr Tests Positive; the Odious WBA Saves Face



Manuel Charr

Manuel Charr and Fres Oquendo were scheduled to fight in Cologne, Germany, later this month (Sept. 29). Charr would be defending his WBA world heavyweight title, the “regular” version of it, not the “super” version which rests in the hands of Anthony Joshua.

The bout was quickly cancelled when it was revealed that Charr had tested positive for two banned anabolic steroids. The test was performed by VADA, the anti-doping agency identified with Las Vegas neurologist Dr. Margaret Goodman.

The 33-year-old Charr, born in Lebanon but a resident of Germany since the age of three, won the belt in his last start with a unanimous decision over 281-pound Russian behemoth Alexander Ustinov in Oberhausen, Germany. The title was vacant. Charr won the right to fight for it with a 10-round decision over Albanian slug Sefer Seferi. The victory over Ustinov elevated his record to 31-4. He has been stopped three times, by Vitali Klitschko, Alexander Povetkin, and Mairis Briedis.

If it wasn’t for bad luck, as the old saying goes, Fres Oquendo wouldn’t have any luck at all. For various reasons, his fights keep falling out. Before long he’ll be drawing social security. Well, not exactly, but he turned 45 in April and hasn’t fought in more than four years.

Oquendo has competed for this belt before. In his last ring appearance in July of 2014, he lost a majority decision to Russia’s Ruslan Chagaev in Grozny, Russia. As a concession for taking the fight on short notice, Team Oquendo negotiated a rematch clause in the contract, but a shoulder injury prevented Fres from activating it. When the injury healed, he had to go to court to compel Chagaev to fulfill his obligation. But then the Russian retired, muddling the water.

The WBA was legally bound to find Oquendo a title fight and in desperation turned to ancient Shannon Briggs. But the Oquendo-Briggs fight, scheduled for June 3 of last year in Hollywood, Florida, fell out when Briggs’ urine specimen showed an abnormally high level of testosterone.

Fres Oquendo was dogged by bad luck even before these recent developments. His professional record, 37-8, is somewhat misleading as six of his eight defeats were razor-thin including his 2003 setback to Chris Byrd and his 2006 setback to Evander Holyfield. However, Oquendo, something of a cutie, was never a crowd-pleaser and in none of his narrow defeats was there a public clamor for a rematch.

The cancellation of Charr-Oquendo cuts the World Boxing Association out of a sanctioning fee, but one would think that the WBA honchos are actually rather pleased by this turn of events. The fight, more precisely the WBA’s world title imprimatur, would have brought more unwanted publicity to the Panama-based organization.

ESPN’s Dan Rafael, who has the largest platform of any boxing writer, has been a persistent critic of the organization which once recognized 41 “champions” in 17 weight classes. In 2009, Rafael wrote, “(The WBA) has become such an absolute farce that even somebody like me, who follows boxing closely, sometimes has a hard time keeping track of all the nonsensical so-called world title belts the WBA has been doling out at an alarming rate. It almost reminds me of the ladies at Costco who hand out various samples on a busy Saturday afternoon.”

Rafael took note when WBA president Gilberto Mendoza promised to cull the herd by eliminating “regular” titles, and then became more caustic when Mendoza didn’t follow through. Recently, in one short, punchy diatribe, Rafael blistered the WBA as wretched, vile, and rancid.

Regardless of your opinion, it’s hard not to feel sorry for Fres Oquendo who keeps getting stranded at the altar. No, he’s not fun to watch and a man of his age shouldn’t be taking any more punches, but he has always been an honest workman and by all accounts he’s a very decent man. Born in Puerto Rico but raised in Chicago, Oquendo pitched right in when the island nation of his birth was ravaged by Hurricane Maria. He was personally responsible for relocating Puerto Rican boxing legend Wilfred Benitez and Benitez’s sister, his caregiver, to Chicago where their lives wouldn’t be as hard.

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Bob Arum Hails Terence Crawford (not Lomachenko) as Boxing’s Next Superstar



Arum says Terence

Top Rank’s Bob Arum says Terence Crawford will become this generation’s Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao–elite boxers who became worldwide celebrity sensations. Arum, who promoted both Mayweather and Pacquiao on the way to their historic crossover statuses expects big things from the undefeated Crawford over the next few years.

“He’s the best fighter in the United States, and he’s so charismatic,” said Arum. “He comes from middle America, and In the next year or so, he will be huge.”

Arum’s assertion is noteworthy for two reasons. First, Arum is also the promoter for Vasyl Lomachenko. Lomachenko is ranked No. 1 pound-for-pound by The Ring, the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board. More importantly, Lomachenko seems to have a groundswell of support behind him both in the media and among fight fans.

Lomachenko has also been heavily featured through Top Rank’s television partnership with ESPN. While Crawford has achieved more in his career than Lomachenko (at least in my eyes) and, as noted by Arum, is a homegrown American talent, Lomachenko seems to be considered the more marketable commodity to that network judging by the amount of promotional materials ESPN has pumped out about the fighter over the last year.

The other reason Arum’s claim about Crawford is interesting is the performance of Canelo Alvarez over the weekend in his majority decision rematch win over Gennady Golovkin. Besides Mayweather and Pacquiao, Alvarez is the clear PPV leader among all of boxing’s current commodities, and his status as boxing’s new money fighter should only grow stronger after the best win of his career.

Still, Crawford is one of the few very elite fighters in all of boxing. He’s ranked No. 2 pound-for-pound by The Ring, the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board.

While Lomachenko and Alvarez are also candidates to become boxing’s next big thing, there’s no doubt Crawford is also one of the few boxers in the sport right now with the right things in place to become the next Mayweather or Pacquiao.

Omaha’s Crawford is in the midst of an historic run. When he stopped Jeff Horn in round 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in June, Crawford captured a world title in his third different weight class, welterweight. This after Crawford had already captured two lineal boxing championships, as well as multiple alphabet titles, in both the lightweight and junior welterweight divisions.

By any measure, Crawford is truly one of the best boxers in the sport. Not only does he look the part in the ring on fight night (something more and more writers seem to value most when voting for pound-for-pound lists), but the fighter has already accomplished so much in his career that it seems Arum is doing more than the fiduciary duty of promoting his fighter when he ascribes to Crawford such lofty praise.

Crawford, still just 30 years old, is already halfway to matching Mayweather and Pacquiao’s shared record of most lineal championships. Over the course of his career, Mayweather captured lineal championships at junior lightweight, lightweight, welterweight, and junior middleweight. Pacquiao won his as a flyweight, featherweight, junior lightweight, and junior welterweight.

In order for Crawford to grab lineal championship No. 3, most believe he’ll have to go through welterweight phenom Errol Spence. While promotional entanglements might keep this superfight on the shelf for a while, Arum said he had no problem pitting Crawford against Spence in what would be one of the best matchups in recent memory.

“Absolutely,” said Arum when asked about working with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, who represents Spence, to make the fight. Could any response from him be more exciting? Crawford vs. Spence might be the next superfight in boxing. Both fighters are among the very elite, and unlike what ultimately happened with Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, who fought each other well past their peak years, both would be in the prime of their careers.

Winning that fight would certainly go a long way to making Arum’s vision of Crawford’s future come true. And who knows? Maybe Crawford really is the next Mayweather or Pacquiao. Heck, for all we know, he could even be on his way to doing something more.

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A Kaleidoscope of Boxers Guaranteed to Provide Action: Past and Present



Marvelous Marvin

To set the tone for this article, one needs only to watch the way in which Thomas Hearns came out in the first round against Marvelous Marvin Hagler. He was ready to rock and roll as was his fearsome looking opponent. The ensuing unmitigated savagery was the quintessential illustration of full-tilt boogie.

For most boxing fans, the anticipation of an all-out action bout gets the chills running down spines faster than anything else. But not all, as some prefer a tactical or clinical fight that someone like Mikey Garcia can orchestrate and others –but not many—enjoy a defensive gem via a Willie Pep, Nicolino Locche, or Pernell Whitaker. A few love a genuine blood fest that a Gabe Rosado-type can provide, and who doesn’t like seeing something special as in Sugar Ray Leonard, Kostya Tszyu, Terence Crawford or Vasiliy Lomachenko?

Chill-or-be-chilled types like Bob Satterfield and Tommy Morrison were super exciting. In this connection—a certain cadre of warriors, past and present, would come out charging and stalking as soon as the bell rang. Many demonstrated a marked disdain for defense and used a non-stop, no let-up pressure that discouraged their opponents, especially in the late rounds. The anticipation from the crowd was palpable because it sensed some form of destruction was on its way. The cheering would start during the instructions and sometimes did not let up until the concussive end.

This cadre included Rocky Marciano, Tony Ayala, Vicious Victor Galindez, Jeff Fenech, Roberto Duran, and Julio Cesar Chavez (who sapped the spirit of his opponents by ripping away at their mid-section). Also, Carl “The Cat”  Thompson , chill-or-be-chilled Ricardo “Pajarito” Moreno (60-12-1 with 59 KOs),  Ron Lyle, the ultra-violent Edwin Valero, the appropriately nicknamed JulianMr KO” Letterlough, James “The Outlaw” Hughes and his mindboggling ability to snatch victory from certain defeat, Thai stalking monster Khaosai Galaxy (47-1),  the first version of George Foreman (pictured with the aforementioned Lyle), Ji-Hoon “Volcano” Kim, Ruslan  Provodnikov, Orlando “Siri” Salido, Marcos Maidana, Lenny Z, Alfredo “Perro” Angulo, Mike Alvarado, Brandon Rios, and Mickey Roman (the later four are still fighting but past their primes).

Others who presently incite the anticipation of something special include (but are not limited to) Naoya “Monster” Inoue (16-0), Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr (24-0), Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (46-4-1), Alex Saucedo (27-0), and, of course, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-1-1) who now has become slightly more tactical like his nemesis, Canelo Alvarez (50-1-1).

These stand out as representative.


A prime Mike Tyson—and the emphasis is on prime– was the epitome of a boxer who guaranteed action. One simply would not leave his or her seat when “Iron Mike” was doing his highlight reel thing, and his blowout of Michael Spinks punctuated his standing at the top of all-action type fighters, even if the action was usually non-mutual.

Joe Frazier came out smokin’ and would not let up until either he or his opponent were done. For the most part, decisions were not in Joe’s DNA and his left hook was as malicious as a hook can be. With Joe, you just sat back and enjoyed the action. Frazier, wrote boxing historian Tracy Callis,  “was a strong, ‘swarmer’ style boxer who applied great pressure on his opponent and dealt out tremendous punishment with a relentless attack of lefts and rights; His left hook was especially stiff and quick when delivered during his bob-and-weave perpetual attack; he fought three minutes per round and never seemed to tire.”

Carlos “Escopeta” (Shotgun) Monzon (87-3-9) was a powerful and rangy Argentinean killing machine, built like an iron rod. Some said he pushed his punches. Well if he did, he pushed 87 opponents to defeat. He also became only the second man to stop former three-time world champion Emile Griffith, turning the trick in the 14th round. Blessed with great and deceptive stamina and a solid chin, he seemingly was an irresistible force. He was unbeaten over the last 81 bouts of his career, a span of 13 years, and defended his title 14 times. “One would need to write a book in order to do justice to comparing a fighter of Carlos Monzon’s calibre to his fellow all-time greats,” wrote Mike Casey.

Arturo Gatti and Irish Micky Ward were the quintessential action fighters. One is gone amidst controversy, and hopefully the other will not pay a price for his many ring wars. With these two, just count up the Fights-of-the-Year and the rest is history. Suffice it to say that Gatti and Ward will be forever linked in boxing lore.

Until his fateful fight with Nigel Benn (another all-action fighter), Gerald McClellan was absolutely, positively, a stalking monster with dynamite in his gloves. It was ferocity and fury at its highest level and it was something to behold. Sadly, his fight with Benn left him permanently disabled; his story remains a dark stain on boxing. As Ian McNeilly notes, “one man’s finest hour was the end of another man’s life as he knew it.”

Michael “The Great” Katsidis’s all-action style made thrilling fights a lock. The Kat” was willing to take three to deliver one. It was blood and guts to the last drop. Whether he too exacted a heavy price for this style remains to be seen.

Lucia Rijker, AKA “The Dutch Destroyer,” lived up to her moniker and destroyed everyone in her path. Again, it wasn’t “if,” it was “when.”

Christy Martin (49-7-3) put female boxing on the map in the ‘90s and she did it by going undefeated in 36 straight encounters, running roughshod over her opponents as evidenced by her 25 wins by stoppage during this run. She also managed to steal the show from a Mike Tyson main event in 1996 during her memorable and bloody battle with Deirdre Gogarty.


Deontay Wilder, aka “The Bronze Bomber,” has a record of 40-0.  With 39 wins coming by KO—many in spectacular fashion, The “Bomber” brings with him that same sense of anticipation that Tyson did. It’s not if; it’s when and “when” can occur at any time. But unlike Tyson, there is a vulnerability that Luis Ortiz exposed that makes the excitement index go even higher.

Dillian Whyte (24-1) has seldom been in a dull affair. His vulnerability combined with his mode of attack ensures thrilling action and the possibility of a stoppage at any time. Unlike Dereck “Del-Boy” Chisora, Whyte is consistently aggressive and dangerous.

Manny Pacquiao (60-7-2) has slowed down considerably but his recent stoppage win over Lucas Matthysse offers hope that he can still conjure up his exciting whirlwind style of fast in-an-out movements that allowed him to win multiple titles over several future Hall of Fame opponents between 2005 and 2011. A rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr., if rumors are true, would allow Pac Man an opportunity to accomplish a number of extraordinary things including avenging a prior defeat and ruining Mayweather’s undefeated record. Time will tell.

Though he appears to have shot his wad, a prime Antonio Margarito was the classic stalk, stun, and kill fighter. Heck, he belonged on the Discovery Channel. His two blowouts of Kermit Cintron showed the “Tijuana Tornado” at his most brutal. His come-from-behind demolition of Miguel Cotto stands out for its drama and bloodletting—and subsequent speculative controversy.

David Lemieux (39-4) always brings the heat. His fights seldom end as scheduled. With KO power in both hands and a propensity to rehydrate by 20 pounds, he is the essence of danger and attendant excitement. “With the sheer power he carries, Lemieux will always have a shot at beating any middleweight, and he is almost always involved in good action fights,” says James Slater.

Amanda Serrano (35-1-1) is the only women’s boxer to win world titles in six divisions. The “Real Deal” is unique in that she has a high KO percentage (74 percent) which is rare for female boxers. Amanda is 120 seconds of guaranteed action for each round.


While Iron Mike Tyson is THE MAN, Matthew Saad Muhammad also warrants special billing as he embodied what this article is all about. Steve Farhood summed up the essence of Saad Muhammad with an observation that would be appropriate for his tombstone: “Eddie Gregory (Mustafa Muhammad) has a better jab, Marvin Johnson wields more power, James Scott does more sit ups. But, Muhammad’s heart is the size of a turnbuckle, and it anchors his title reign.”

Who did I leave out? Whose name or names would you add to this list?

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