Connect with us

Featured Articles

Hauser Fires At USADA and Floyd; USADA Then Floyd Respond

Published

on

THURSDAY, Sept. 17 Update: USADA has fired a combination, a 25 pager, back at writer Thomas Hauser.

“On September 9, 2015, SB Nation posted an article written by Mr. Thomas Hauser that contained no less than 40 inaccurate facts and misleading statements, as well as quotes from un-named, un-informed or self-interested sources about USADA and our role in anti-doping in the sport of professional boxing,” reads the intro to their counter-punch, found on their website.

“In order to provide truthful and accurate facts, and to stop the perpetuation of further rumors, speculation and false information, USADA has provided a detailed 25 page fact correction of the full article which can be found HERE.”

Then, a couple hours later, this, from TSS’ Hauser:

Statement of Thomas Hauser with Regard to the

September 17, 2015, Comments by USADA

USADA’s response is long on verbiage and short on documented facts. I intend to write another longform article on this subject at some point in the future. For now, I note the following:

 

(1) The USADA statement goes to great lengths to discredit Victor Conte, attacking him on three separate occasions for past misdeeds (which I referenced in “Can Boxing Trust USADA?”). USADA also states that I “cherry picked Jeff Novitzky’s response to questions posed to him by Mr. Rogan regarding Victor Conte.”

 

Mr. Novitzky’s remarks came in an interview conducted by Joe Rogan last month (The Joe Rogan Experience #685). In that interview, Mr. Rogan and Mr. Novitzky also discussed IVs. Let’s pick a whole barrel of cherries:

 

Joe Rogan: “What’s the reason why they can’t use an IV? Is it to mask possible performance enhancing drugs?”

   

Jeff Novitzsky: “That’s the primary reason. I saw it up front and center in cycling. They were using IVs of saline solution to manipulate their blood level readings, which were being used to determine if they were blood doping. It could also be used to flush a system. It dilutes blood and urine so that natural steroid profiles are very hard to read after you’ve taken an IV bag. That’s the primary reason. WADA also prohibits them for some health reasons. When an IV is administered, especially close to a competition, there’s a possibility of blowing out a vein or having clotting after the IV is taken out. There could be some issues with edema and swelling. If the idea is to rehydrate, it’s much safer to do it orally. Studies show that orally rehydrating is better for you if you’re mildly dehydrated. There’s two things that they show consistently. Number one, it’s obviously safer to put something through your mouth than put it in a needle in your vein. Number two, your perceived rate of exertion, how hard you feel you’re working after rehydrating orally, is less than if you rehydrate via IV. If you rehydrate orally properly, the next day you’re going to feel a whole lot better when you’re exerting yourself.”

   

“Now that’s mild dehydration,” Novitzky added. As for extreme dehydration, Novitzky suggested, “You probably should go to a hospital. [And] I think you need to notify the commission where you’re fighting.”

 

If Floyd Mayweather was dehydrated after the May 1 weigh-in, the USADA doping control officer could have given him several glasses of water. USADA has yet to explain the medical justification and supporting data that led it to grant a retroactive therapeutic use exemption nineteen days after the fact for a procedure that’s on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s “Prohibited Substances and Methods List”.

 

 

(2) Most of the public attention regarding “Can Boxing Trust USADA?” has focussed on the IV that was administered to Floyd Mayweather one day before his fight against Manny Pacquiao. However, the article also references the two testosterone-to-epitestosterone-ratio test results regarding Mr. Mayweather that were made available to this writer. It would be instructive if Mr. Mayweather granted a waiver to USADA allowing it to release the testosterone-to-epitestosterone-ratio test results for each urine test administered to him by USADA for each of his fights beginning with Mayweather vs. Shane Mosley up to and including Mayweather vs. Andre Berto. 3) The issues involved here go far beyond Floyd Mayweather. In that regard, I note that USADA’s contention that it advised the New York State Athletic Commission on October 17, 2012, concerning Erik Morales testing positive for Clenbuterol is rebutted by the statement of Laz Benitez (a spokesperson for the New York State Department of State, which oversees the NYSAC). On August 10, 2015, Mr. Benitez advised in writing, “There is no indication in the Commission’s files that it was notified of this matter prior to October 18, 2012.”

FRIDAY, Sept. 11 AM UPDATE: Manny Pacquiao, who himself has been under a spotlight, a big one held up by Floyd “Take The Test” Mayweather, reacted to the Thomas Hauser story. “Truth finally came out and I was vindicated,” he told Abac Cordero of The Phillipine Star. “mayweather camp used to accuse me of using PED, now look what happened. I hope Floyd Mayweather would learn a lesson out of it.”

Interesting stuff…

It is no secret in certain circles, many of them public, as people like Paul Malignaggi have been vocal about their suspicions of the Pacquiao power surge in later years, and then dropoff, that some presume Manny used.

Floyd himself toyed with the issue before they fought, needling–pun intended, I suppose–Team Pacquiao by pointing to ex strength and conditioning man Alex Ariza as an integral part of Manny’s success. This was in the context of Pacman trainer Freddie Roach having accused Ariza of giving his guy “shady” drinks with undisclosed chemicals in them when he was with the Congressman.

Mud is still being slung, friends. No surprise, there is immense money, and pride, and legacies at stake here.

ALSO: Sides are being taken, and the messenger, Hauser, is being fired upon. Kill the messenger if the message is disagreeable, a time honored if not honorable tradition.

The catalyst for that can be varied; some writers, I think, like their Floyd access and are sucking up.

Others, I’ve seen this from a couple “young guns,” might be suffering from envy issues. Rather than choosing to primarily parse the material, and ponder what it truly means IF the sport’s marquee star, a vocal anti-PED activist, has in fact used PEDs, some are choosing to focus on what they perceive as a journalistic misstep. They say that Hauser is biased, being that he works for HBO. And he didn’t disclose that, they rail. To the contrary, he did. See this: https://twitter.com/Woodsy1069/status/642353071247466498

We can check their, and for that matter, my archive in ten years, and if we make 25% of the impact Hauser has in his four decades in this sphere, then we will have done well. Investigative journalism is REALLY hard, and how it is done isn’t really taught in textbooks. I’m seeing a lot of criticism at a superlative talent, but I suppose that comes with that territory…

Let me be clear, I question myself all the time about how to play a story. Go negative all the time and you get a rep as a toxic type, and you get avoided. Plus, it’s too gloomy to always be looking for the bad. But journos are always doing a balancing act: how to do the right thing, keep sources, maintain a balance..and it is what it is. But I don’t care for some of these guys out there acting like they are the gold standard of ultra-professionalism, telling you they only write the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and are completely immune from political pressures, whether it be from sources, potential sources, or their employers. (You saw an ESPN non-boxing story get an after-posting edit to soften wording harsh versus the NFL, a partner to that cabler…so this happens, all the time. Writers get impacted by politics, overtly, or covertly, oftentimes subconsciously.) I call BS. All of us can simply do the best we can, at all times…and I think most do.

END RANT.

—————————————————————————————————————————

2:10 (ET) THURSDAY UPDATE: Thomas Hauser has released his own statement, responding to the one put out by USADA late Thursday morning. The author chooses a high degree of specificity in his comeback, you will note:

Statement of Thomas Hauser with Regard to the

September 10, 2015, Comments by Annie Skinner on Behalf of USADA

No amount of self-serving rhetoric from USADA can change the following unrebutted facts:

(1) The IV was administered at Floyd Mayweather’s home after the weigh-in on May 1. USADA learned about the IV on that date.

(2) The 2015 WADA “Prohibited Substances and Methods List” states, “Intravenous infusions and/or injections of more than 50 ml per 6 hour period are prohibited except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital admissions, surgical procedures, or clinical investigations.”

(3) The above-referenced prohibition is in effect at all times that the athlete is subject to testing. It exists because, in addition to being administered for the purpose of adding specific substances to a person’s body, an IV infusion can dilute or mask the presence of another substance that is already in the recipient’s system or might be added to it in the near future.

(4) Mayweather-Pacquiao was contested on May 2.

(5) Mayweather applied for a therapeutic use exemption on May 19 (seventeen days after the fight).

(6) USADA granted the therapeutic use exemption on May 20 (eighteen days after the fight).

(7) USADA did not notify the Nevada State Athletic Commission about the IV until May 21 (nineteen days after the fight).

Meanwhile, on May 2 (fight night), Manny Pacquiao’s request to be injected with Toradol (a legal substance) to ease the pain caused by a torn rotator cuff was denied by the Nevada State Athletic Commission because the request was not made in a timely manner.

It would be helpful if Travis Tygart or his spokesperson answered the following questions directly:

(1) What was the medical justification and supporting data that led to USADA granting the therapeutic use exemption for an otherwise prohibited IV procedure?

(2) On how many occasions has the “A” sample of a professional boxer tested by USADA come back positive for a prohibited substance?

(3) What was the testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio for each urine test administered to Floyd Mayweather by USADA for each of his fights beginning with Mayweather vs. Shane Mosley up to and including Mayweather vs. Andre Berto?

(4) Does USADA still maintain that it handled the Erik Morales matter correctly?

2 PM (ET) THURSDAY UPDATE: Floyd Mayweather almost 24 hours after Thomas Hausers’ scathing scrutinizer looked at USADA’s testing record in boxing and their handling of Mayweathers’ samples and the protocol involving the sport’s marquee name, responded. His statement is brief:

FLOYD MAYWEATHER STATEMENT

“As already confirmed by the USADA Statement, I did not commit any violations of the Nevada or USADA drug testing guidelines. I follow and have always followed the rules of Nevada and USADA, the gold standard of drug testing.

“Let’s not forget that I was the one six years ago who insisted on elevating the level of drug testing for all my fights. As a result, there is more drug testing and awareness of its importance in the sport of boxing today than ever before.

“I am very proud to be a clean athlete and will continue to champion the cause.”

Thursday AM: Thomas Hauser wrote a lengthy report which scrutinized testing agency USADA and looked long and hard at “TBE” Floyd Mayweather, and his PED testing history, and recent handling of his testing.

The story, which conjured serious questions about the integrity of USADA and Mayweather, who has painted himself as a cleanup agent within the sport, blew up at lunch yesterday and continues to pick up steam, into the mainstream media today, two days before Mayweathers’ supposed last-ever bout, against Floyd Mayweather.

Here is the Hauser piece:

http://www.sbnation.com/longform/2015/9/9/9271811/can-boxing-trust-usada

I asked USADA to respond and they did. That follows.

I also asked Mayweather publicist Kelly Swanson to respond, soon after the Hauser story came out, and she didn’t reply. (Her office sent out a release on Thursday, at about 1:30 PM ET.)

I messaged the Nevada commission to seek their take and am awaiting a response.

I will also post some responses to questions I had from Hauser, who frequently contributes to this site, shortly.

Here is the USADA response, which arrived before noon ET on Thursday.

USADA Statement on Inaccurate News Reports Regarding the Sport of Pro Boxing

Whether due to a genuine misunderstanding of the facts or an intentional desire to mislead, numerous unfounded and false accusations have been leveled against USADA in recent on-line articles. Since our inception, USADA’s sole mission has been to protect clean sport. As such, it is unfortunate and extremely disappointing to have to address articles riddled with significant inaccuracies and misrepresentations based on unsubstantiated rumors as well as anonymous or self-interested sources that have recklessly called our integrity into question. It is simply absurd to suggest that we would ever compromise our integrity for any sport or athlete.

Although the articles in question contain a multitude of errors, all of which will be addressed at the appropriate time, we believe it is important to immediately correct the record regarding the false suggestion that Mayweather violated the rules by receiving an IV infusion of saline and vitamins.

As was already publicly reported in May of this year by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), Mr. Mayweather applied for and was granted a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) by USADA for an IV infusion of saline and vitamins that was administered prior to his May 2 fight against Manny Pacquiao. Mr. Mayweather’s use of the IV was not prohibited under the NSAC rules at that time and would not be a violation of the NSAC rules today. Nonetheless, because Mr. Mayweather was voluntarily taking part in a USADA program, and therefore subject to the rules of the WADA Code, he took the additional step of applying for a TUE after the IV infusion was administered in order remain in compliance with the USADA program. Although Mr. Mayweather’s application was not approved until after his fight with Mr. Pacquiao and all tests results were reported, Mr. Mayweather did disclose the infusion to USADA in advance of the IV being administered to him. Furthermore, once the TUE was granted, the NSAC and Mr. Pacquiao were immediately notified even though the practice is not prohibited under NSAC rules.

Over the past six years USADA has conducted anti-doping programs for over 45 fights in the sport of professional boxing, and each of those programs has been conducted in accordance with the WADA Code and the International Standards. As a result, every athlete who has participated in one of our programs has voluntarily agreed to abide by the rules of the WADA Code and willingly subjected themselves to substantially more stringent testing protocols than they otherwise would have been subject to.

There are certainly those in the sport of professional boxing who appear committed to preventing an independent and comprehensive anti-doping program from being implemented in the sport, and who wish to advance an agenda that fails to put the interests of clean athletes before their own. Despite that opposition, we will continue to demonstrate to the clean athletes we serve, the sport partners we work with, and all those who share the ideal of fair competition, that we remain committed to our mission of protecting the rights of clean athletes and the integrity of competition.

WATCH RELATED VIDEOS ON BOXINGCHANNEL.TV

Featured Articles

Charr-Oquendo Scuttled When Charr Tests Positive; the Odious WBA Saves Face

Published

on

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.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

To comment on this article at The Fight Forum, CLICK HERE.

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

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

Published

on

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.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

To comment on this article at The Fight Forum, CLICK HERE.

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

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

Published

on

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.

Past

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.

Present

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?

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

To comment on this article at The Fight Forum, CLICK HERE.

Continue Reading

Trending