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Haye And Adamek: Would They Have Been Top-5 Contenders During The 70s & 80s?

Frank Lotierzo

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Former cruiserweight title holder David Haye 25-1 (23) is going to fight WBO/IBF heavyweight title holder Wladimir Klitschko on July 2nd this coming summer. Haye is 4-0 fighting as a heavyweight and his average weight in those bouts is roughly 216. Two months later another former cruiserweight title holder, Tomasz Adamek 44-1 (28), who is 6-0 as a heavyweight and averages about 216.5 will try and lift the WBC heavyweight title from Wladimir's older brother, Vitali Klitschko.

I have a better idea, how about Haye vs. Adamek on July 2nd and Klitschko vs. Klitschko on September 10th? Actually, I'd really be interested to see how Haye-Adamek would turn out. There's a strong case one could make on behalf of both fighters. As for Klitschko vs. Klitschko, we'll never see it. If the brothers were ever going to face each other it would've happened by now.

Combined Haye and Adamek are 69-2. In Haye's lone defeat he was stretched by Carl Thompson in five rounds fighting as a cruiserweight. As for Adamek, he was outboxed over 12-rounds and lost a unanimous decision to Chad Dawson in an attempt to win the WBC light heavyweight title. Yet both Haye and Adamek are seen as viable title threats to Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko. Which seems like a bit of a reach. The Klitschkos are not only bigger than their upcoming opponents, they're also better fighters and more versatile. At the end of the day Haye needs to land a lottery punch to beat Wladimir, and Adamek needs Vitali to separate his shoulder on his way to the ring on fight night to have a chance at the upset.

It's been said here that both Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko would be a real pain in the arse for some of the great heavyweight champs of the past. And keeping in mind that Wladimir is 35 and starting to show signs that he's on the decline, and Vitali will be 40 when he fights Adamek, are they really in such peril in their upcoming fights as some have tried to make the case? Would either Haye or Adamek been able to compete with Jerry Quarry, Ron Lyle, Earnie Shavers, Michael Dokes, Tim Witherspoon and Greg Page from the 1970's and 1980's in order to get a title shot? These are six fighters from previous eras who were relatively the same size as Haye and Adamek when they were in their prime.

We can see that Haye has pretty fast hands. He may carry his punch up–it's too soon to know 100% for sure–but he definitely doesn't have a heavyweight chin. Maybe he'd cut Quarry and win the fight. But the Quarry who went toe-to-toe with Frazier in a losing effort in their first fight and who beat up Lyle and knocked out Shavers beats Haye nine out of 10 times. Lyle, Shavers and Witherspoon would probably ice him and both Dokes and Page would've tortured him on the way to a decision victory if they didn't stop him first. As for Adamek, he doesn't have anything close to a heavyweight punch, he's not fast and his chin is suspect. Neither Haye or Adamek on a night in and night out basis would've been able to stand up to the legit heavyweight power of the six fighters mentioned. And when they landed on those guys, none of them would even blink. So would either Haye or Adamek be contenders during the 70's and 80's? I don't want to say absolutely not, but they'd be fringe at best.

The biggest draw in regards to David Haye is he has a big right hand and usually isn't afraid to cut loose with it. That, and he has a big mouth. But if he fights Wladimir the way he did Nikolay Valuev, (looking more not to get hit than to hit) the fight will be a complete farce or he'll be put to sleep in a brutal fashion. Adamek has worked his way up the ladder, but it's not like it was a steep ladder. Tomaz is a solid fighter all the way around, but he just doesn't bring anything physically to concern Vitali. It's not like he's a super fast and sophisticated boxer or has fight altering power.

Let's be honest, David Haye and Tomaz Adamek are legitimate heavyweight fighters and contenders in 2011. But this is without a morsel of a doubt one of the thinnest heavyweight eras in history. Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko are the only active heavyweights who could go back in time to some of the best heavyweight eras and compete or win a piece of the title. And a lot of that is because of their size. However, they have more than size, they have strength and legitimate upper-tier boxing skill.

Today's boxing public is clamoring in the worst way for a heavyweight title fight that they at least have a pulse about. The two fights (Klitschko-Haye and Klitschko-Adamek) are big because there's not much around these days. Haye talked himself into the public's consciousness and Adamek has a huge Polish constituency. That and there's also a sizable faction of boxing fans out there who want to see the Klitschkos taken down.  

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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