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Arturo Gatti’s Greatness Is In Eye of the Beholder



Unlike mathematics, where equations simple and complex can have only one correct answer, other subjects are open to individual interpretation. And one of the areas most open to personal perspective is sports.

Can we all agree that Pete Rose wasn’t the most naturally gifted baseball player ever to pick up a bat or field his position? But “Charley Hustle” approached each game as if it were a life-and-death situation, and that laser-beam intensity enabled him to almost will his way to the highest hit total in major league history.

Basketball’s Moses Malone? A Hall of Famer, to be sure, but hardly anyone speaks of him with the same hushed reverence reserved for fellow centers Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or even free-throw-clanking Shaquille O’Neal. But the 6-10 Moses might have been the premier offensive rebounder ever, small hands and all, because he fought to corral each missed shot in his team’s scoring zone as if he were a hungry wolf going after a T-bone steak. He won a ton of those battles, often against bigger, more athletic opponents, because he wanted to win them more.

The definition of “greatness” is a nebulous thing, as Civil War Gen. Lew Wallace noted when he wrote that “Beauty is altogether in the eye of the beholder.” It is a sentiment expressed, in one form or another, over the centuries by deep thinkers ranging from Confucius to William Shakespeare to John Keats to Ralph Waldo Emerson to H.G. Wells to Aldous Huxley.

And so it is for fight fans who gaze upon the scarred, blood-splattered legacy of the late Arturo “Thunder” Gatti, whose posthumous induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame on Sunday in Canastota, N.Y., has stirred a level of controversy unlike any since 2002, when Sweden’s Ingemar Johansson was enshrined amid charges that the former heavyweight champion did not have a sufficiently impressive resume to take his place among true immortals of the ring.

Oh, sure, Gatti was a fearless warrior who routinely fought through pain and adversity as few boxers ever have. He was a threat until the final bell of every fight, no matter how far down on the scorecards he was at any given moment, and his epic battles with Micky Ward (three times), Ivan Robinson (twice), Wilson Rodriguez, Gabriel Ruelas and Angel Manfredy generated enough electricity to keep the lights burning for a lifetime in any frequent spectator’s memory. Gatti was a participant in The Ring Fight of the Year four times (1998, 1999, 2002 and 2003), a remarkable achievement viewed from any angle.

“You can’t give any fighter higher accolades than to say he always gave fans more than their money’s worth,” said J Russell Peltz, who held a 50 percent promotional share of Gatti (the other half belonged to Main Events) for much of the Italian-born, Montreal-raised, New Jersey-based fighter’s career. “You knew you were always going to get great action every time Gatti stepped inside those ropes.

“I’ve heard all the arguments (against Gatti’s induction). `He never beat a fighter he wasn’t supposed to beat.’ Well, what does that mean? Look, it’s not the Hall of Greatness. It’s the Hall of Fame. Gatti carried East Coast boxing on his back for years. Without him, what would we have had in Atlantic City? We would have had nothing.

“Was Rocky Graziano a great fighter? No, he wasn’t. But he was good for boxing. He meant something to the sport, and do did Gatti. I mean, come on. The people who don’t think Gatti should be in there are jealous. They’re haters, and there’s a lot of haters around.”

By Peltz’s definition, Anthony Coleman qualifies as a “hater” because Coleman is firm in his opinion that Gatti does not pass the sniff test for having a plaque hung on the hallowed walls of the IBHOF. Writing in East Side Boxing prior to the announcement of those making the cut for inclusion in the Class of 2013, Coleman opined that Gatti’s selection “wouldn’t be as odious” as that of Johansson, but “I honestly feel that Gatti shouldn’t be inducted into the Hall of Fame over far more deserving candidates … Maybe all of this controversy would be solved if we created two Halls – one to honor the truly great boxers and the other to honor the fighters we give a damn about.”

There is some merit to both sides of the argument, but one thing seems obvious. Even though Gatti has taken his eternal 10-count – he was only 37 when he died under mysterious circumstances in his wife’s home country of Brazil on July 11, 2009, with Brazilian authorities ruling his death by hanging a suicide after initially charging Amanda Rodrigues Gatti with murder – he nonetheless figures to have the largest, loudest cheering section among the thousands in attendance. The other inductees – “moderns” Virgil Hill and Myung Woo Yuh, old-timers Jeff Smith and Wesley Ramey, pioneer Joe Coburn non-participants Mills Lane, Jimmy Lennon Jr. and Arturo “Cuyo” Hernandez and observers Colin Hart and Ted Carroll – might well have a lower controversy quotient, but then none of those names stir fight fans’ emotions to the same crazy-high degree.

After Gatti thrilled still another sellout crowd in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall with still another blood-and-guts victory, a 12-round unanimous decision over Italy’s Gianluca Branco for the vacant WBC super lightweight title on Jan 24, 2004, Carl Moretti, then a Main Events vice president, smiled and said, “His right hand hurts again, his left eye’s swollen, we had a packed house. It must be an Arturo Gatti fight.”

Gatti himself often acknowledged that his stand-and-trade style not only catered to his pugilistic strengths, but to his thirst for meeting opponents head-on. Whoever walks away from the smashup wins. Boxing strategies don’t come much simpler than that, or more crowd-pleasing.

“That’s who I am, that’s how I fight,” Gatti said before he grudgingly relinquished his IBF junior lightweight title on an eighth-round stoppage against Angel Manfredy on Jan. 17, 1998. “Fighting the way I do is what made me a world champion. Maybe I could fight a little more cautiously, but that wouldn’t be me. I’ve come to accept that.”

What Gatti could not accept in the Manfredy bout was being prevented from fighting on, despite the cascade of blood flowing down his swollen face from the gaping gash that was opened over his left eye in the first round. The cut got progressively worse until ring physician Dominic Coletta felt he had no choice but to halt the carnage on medical grounds. “He basically was fighting with one eye,” Coletta said of the half-blinded Gatti.

Gatti, of course, was vehement in his contention that he had Manfredy – who was leading by two and three points, respectively, on two of the official scorecards, with the third even – right where he wanted him.

“(The cut) was the only reason he won the fight,” Gatti complained. “I would have knocked him out in the later rounds.”

Even Manfredy had to marvel at Gatti’s ability to soak up punishment like a sponge when a more prudent action might have been for him to fight more defensively in an effort to protect the eye.

“Once he gets hit, he always goes berserk and tries to trade,” Manfredy said. “Everybody gets to Gatti because he’s easy to hit. He took a beating from Wilson Rodriguez. He took a beating from Calvin Grove. He took a beating from Gabriel Ruelas. But he hung in and won those fights. You have to give him credit for that.”

The suits at HBO, who made it a common practice to exercise contractual “out” clauses with fighters if they lost fights televised by the pay-cable giant, thus reducing their marketability, never seemed to hold it against Gatti when he came up short. Even after he was outpointed in his next two fights following the bloodbath with Manfredy, typical barnburners against Ivan Robinson, HBO stuck with him because a few defeats did nothing to damage his burgeoning popularity. A Gatti fight, win or lose, was assured of producing high ratings and maximum drama.

“Arturo Gatti is not a human being,” Lou DiBella, then a senior vice president with HBO Sports, said after the second of his two slugfests with Robinson. “He is a Bizarro.”

But even Superman was powerless when exposed to kryptonite, and the Bizarro that was Gatti was revealed to be merely mortal against a pair of future Hall of Famers who clearly were way out of his class. Oscar De La Hoya had his way with him en route to winning via fifth-round TKO on March 24, 2001, in Las Vegas, and Floyd Mayweather Jr. had an even easier time cruising to a dominating, sixth-round stoppage on June 25, 2005, in Boardwalk Hall. After that mismatch, Mayweather haughtily dismissed Gatti as nothing more than a “C-plus fighter.”

It was Gatti’s failure to be even somewhat competitive with De La Hoya and Mayweather that his critics claim counts for more than all of Gatti’s bop-’til-you-drop successes against tough but second-tier opponents. Yes, the Gatti-Ward trilogy was mesmerizing, but it wasn’t Ali-Frazier. Although the courage and resilience displayed by Gatti and Ward was similar, they lacked that stamp of greatness that made Ali and Smokin’ Joe so very special.

A dispassionate examination of Gatti’s record lends some credence to the suggestion that he might not be as Hall of Fame-worthy as some. Despite his unquestioned status as a legend in Atlantic City, where he fought 23 times, his record there was a relatively pedestrian 17-6, with 12 knockout victories and four losses inside the distance. He couldn’t mount much of an attack in losing his last two fights in Boardwalk Hall, falling in nine rounds to Carlos Baldomir and in seven to Alfonso Gomez. After the beatdown by Gomez, even Gatti had to acknowledge that he had given all he had and there was nothing left in the tank.

“Hasta la vista, baby,” he said in delivering his farewell address through puffy lips. “I did my best. I came in thinking I could outbox him, but the ring kept getting smaller and smaller. I can’t keep taking this abuse no more.”

But Gatti – who finished with a 40-9 record with 31 KOs, 21 of those outings televised by HBO – is a fighter who can’t be judged solely by statistics. Like former WBC light heavyweight champion Matthew Saad Muhammad, who also made a habit of teetering along the edge of disaster in fights not meant to be seen by the weak of heart, Gatti’s ring appearances always elicited the sort of visceral reactions that defied conventional analysis. His many fans loved him because he went to hell and back in a gasoline overcoat and was unafraid to spit in the eye of the devil himself.

“I have to admit that Saad Muhammad beat better-quality fighters,” said Peltz of the Philadelphian whose 1998 IBHOF induction drew few yelps of outrage. “He beat Marvin Johnson twice. Johnson is probably a better name on Saad’s resume than anybody Gatti beat. Saad also beat Yaqui Lopez twice. He beat John Conteh. The greatest fight I ever saw is still Saad’s first fight with Marvin Johnson.

“But Gatti and Saad were the same kind of fighter. They’d be getting beat to a pulp, then all of a sudden they’d come back and score a knockout.”

Saad Muhammad, maybe more than anybody, can relate to who Arturo Gatti was and what he was all about.

“It’s a man thing, beating hell out of somebody and him beating hell out of you, then hugging each other at the end,” Saad said prior to his IBHOF induction. “Being in that ring, you learn respect. You learn to give it, and to get it.”


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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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