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Showtime, CBS Pull Out All Stops For Mayweather Promotion

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showtimessportsSHOWTIME SPORTS® SETS EXPANSIVE PROGRAMMING

LINE UP ACROSS MULTIPLE PLATFORMS IN SUPPORT OF

MAY DAY: FLOYD MAYWEATHER vs. ROBERT GUERRERO

BOXING’S EVENT OF THE YEAR-SATURDAY, MAY 4 on SHOWTIME PPV®

Documentary Films, Classic Fights, Live Events and More Scheduled For Broadcast,

Cable and Premium Television, Digital and ON DEMAND Platforms

Lauded Sports Executive Ross Greenburg to Serve as Executive Producer on CBS Television Documentary Special and SHOWTIME Sports Series ALL ACCESS: MAYWEATHER vs. GUERRERO

NEW YORK (March 19, 2013)-SHOWTIME Sports has scheduled more than 100 hours of diverse boxing and documentary programming across broadcast television, cable television, premium television, and digital portals in advance of the upcoming SHOWTIME PPV presentation of MAY DAY-the mega-event headlined by boxing’s No. 1 pound-for-pound titlist Floyd “Money” Mayweather’s welterweight world championship defense against four-division world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero, Saturday, May 4 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The lineup features more than 20 hours of live, edited and exclusive content targeted for a general sports audience as well as the core boxing fans and includes two documentary films, a five-part documentary series, a 30-minute countdown show, two live SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® events and live coverage from multiple fight week events, all before the first bell of MAY DAY: Mayweather vs. Guerrero pay-per-view special.

SHOWTIME Sports has tapped renowned television executive Ross Greenburg, recipient of more than 50 Sports Emmy® Awards in his distinguished career, to serve as executive producer on two key pieces of programming. Working with SHOWTIME for the first time, Greenburg is uniquely qualified to guide the editorial on Mayweather, having executive produced multiple documentary series on the fighter since 2007.

“This is an aggressive and varied lineup of content, each element aimed at raising the anticipation for boxing’s marquee event of the year,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “The Mayweather appeal is unmistakable and warrants this type of unprecedented exposure. What viewers will find during this promotion, however, is that Robert Guerrero is one of the most compelling, interesting and talented fighters ever to step into the ring opposite Mayweather.

“I thank my colleagues at SHOWTIME and CBS for their support and enthusiasm since our agreement with Mayweather was announced. Our collective aim in the next seven weeks is to serve the insatiable appetite of the staunchest boxing fans as well as to expose a broad audience to the drama and the intensity that is sure to come on May 4th.”

The programming blitz begins on Wednesday, April 3 with the premiere of an exclusive documentary film titled “30 DAYS IN MAY” (10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME), a one-hour film which chronicles Mayweather’s 2012 stint in prison. Created exclusively from never-before-seen footage, “30 DAYS IN MAY” features the only interviews Mayweather conducted about what he has called “a life-changing experience.”

On Wednesday, April 10, SHOWTIME Sports will debut the latest chapter of its original documentary series ALL ACCESS (10 p.m. ET/PT, SHOWTIME). Greenburg will serve as an executive producer on ALL ACCESS: MAYWEATHER vs GUERRERO as the series takes viewers into the dramatic and unpredictable world of prize fighting. From gritty backstories to the sport’s biggest stage, ALL ACCESS has a unique approach that allows its subjects to guide the narrative on real life terms. New episodes will debut every Wednesday through May 1 on SHOWTIME, with encore presentations airing on CBS SPORTS NETWORK. ALL ACCESS Epilogue, which will spotlight the intensity of fight week, taking viewers inside the ropes on fight night and into the rarely seen, uncelebrated aftermath of world championship boxing, will premiere on SHOWTIME on Saturday, May 18 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT.

VIEW ALL ACCESS PROMO: http://s.sho.com/WBjY3s

CBS Television will broadcast a special one-hour documentary titled “MAYWEATHER” on Saturday, April 27, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Greenburg will executive produce “MAYWEATHER”, a film that reveals the life story of the charismatic character that is Floyd “Money” Mayweather. The program also examines the hard-working, humble approach taken by Four-Division World Champion Robert Guerrero, who has endured incredible challenges on the road to this May 4th mega fight.

LIVE PROGRAMMING

On the two Saturdays preceding the May 4 SHOWTIME PPV event, SHOWTIME will present two high profile world championship boxing events live on the premium network’s acclaimed SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING series.

On Saturday, April 20, from the 43,000+ seat Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez will return to SHOWTIME to headline against Austin Trout in a super welterweight world championship unification bout. In separate fights in 2012, both men set ratings records for boxing on SHOWTIME. Now, they collide in what is by far the most significant and challenging fight in both of their careers.

On Saturday, April 27, live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., undefeated rising star Danny Garcia of Philadelphia risks his unified super lightweight world championship against former Two-Division and Four-Time World Champion Zab Judah of Brooklyn.

VIEW COMBO EVENT TRAILER: http://s.sho.com/ZVF7nN

LIVE FROM LAS VEGAS

SHOWTIME will televise the official weigh-in live on Friday, May 3 and a pre-fight show on Saturday, May 4, immediately preceding the pay-per-view. Each telecast will include live interviews, ALL ACCESS behind-the-scenes features from fight week and, on Saturday’s program, live undercard fights.

MAY DAY FIGHT WEEK LINEUP

A fight week blitz will begin on Monday, April 29, with daily programming on SHOWTIME, SHOWTIME EXTREME and CBS SPORTS NETWORK leading up to May 4. Included in the lineup will be ALL ACCESS marathons, classic Mayweather and Guerrero fights, as well as the aforementioned live programming from Las Vegas.

CLASSIC FIGHTS

Encore presentations of classic bouts featuring Mayweather and Guerrero will air on SHOWTIME, SHOWTIME EXTREME and CBS SPORTS NETWORK. Fights, airing in their entirety, are Mayweather vs. Oscar De La Hoya, the most watched pay-per-view event in history; the controversial fight between Mayweather and Victor Ortiz; Mayweather vs. Ricky Hatton; Mayweather vs. Shane Mosley and Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel Marquez.

CLASSIC FIGHTS (continued)

Full fights from the Guerrero archive include the southpaw’s gutsy, breakthrough performances against Selcuk Aydin, Michael Katsidis, Gamaliel Diaz (rematch) as well as his first fight after learning of his wife’s diagnosis of Leukemia in 2007, a first-round knockout win over Martin Honorio.

DIGITAL

For the digital audience, SHOWTIME will present original long and short form content, both live and edited, in English and Spanish on Sports.SHO.com and SHO.com and will distribute this content to all partner and pay-per-view distributor websites.

SHO STREAM: live streaming of the final press conference on Wednesday, May 1, and the official weigh in on Friday, May 3;

STAREDOWN hosted by SHOWTIME Sports’ Brian Kenny featuring Mayweather and his uncle Roger Mayweather as well as Guerrero and his father Ruben;

– The aforementioned full length fights featuring Mayweather and Guerrero plus co-featured fighters Daniel Ponce De Leon and Abner Mares;

– Complete ALL ACCESS: MAYWEATHER vs. GUERRERO Episode 1 following its television premiere on SHOWTIME and CBS SPORTS NETWORK;

– Online exclusive “ALL ACCESS: Web Extras” and ALL ACCESS outtakes;

– Highlight reels from the fighters on the card;

– Expert analysis of the key MAY DAY: Mayweather vs. Guerrero match-ups.

SHOWTIME PPV® has produced and distributed a broad range of sports and entertainment programs in its history. Beginning in 1987 with The Grateful Dead New Year’s Eve Celebration Live, SHOWTIME PPVhas aired over 75 events including many of the most watched boxing pay-per-view events in history featuring legends Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Julio Cesar Chavez and Manny Pacquiao.

#  #  #

ABOUT “MAY DAY: Mayweather vs. Guerrero”

MAY DAY: Mayweather vs. Guerrero, a 12-round fight for Mayweather’s WBC Welterweight World Championship, is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona, AT&T and O’Reilly Auto Parts. The mega-event will take place Saturday, May 4 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. Also featured will be Daniel Ponce de Leon vs. Abner Mares, a 12-round fight for Ponce de Leon’s WBC Featherweight World Championship.

Tickets for “MAY DAY: Mayweather vs. Guerrero” priced at $1,500, $1,250, $800, $600, $300 and $200, not including applicable service charges, are on sale now. There is a total ticket limit of 12 per person with a limit of 10 per person at the $1,500, $1,250, $800, $600 and $300 price levels and limit of two per person at the $200 price level. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets will also be available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

For more information, visit www.mayweatherpromotions.com, www.goldenboypromotions.com,www.sports.sho.com and www.mgmgrand.com, follow on Twitter at @FloydMayweather, @GHOSTBOXING, @DanielPonceDel1, @abnermares00,@MayweatherPromo, @GoldenBoyBoxing, @mgmgrand and @SHOSports, follow the conversation using #MayDay or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FloydMayweather, www.facebook.com/MayweatherPromotions, www.facebook.com/GoldenBoyBoxing,www.facebook.com/GhostFans and www.facebook.com/SHOsports.

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How Soon Before We Know the Fate of Ryan Garcia and Will the Result Stand?

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How Soon Before We Know the Fate of Ryan Garcia and Will the Result Stand?

Today. May 23, the results of Ryan Garcia’s B-sample were made known, The findings were congruent with the A-sample as they are in almost 100 percent of the cases. (Why wouldn’t they be? Both samples are derived from the same urine specimen. The B-sample, notes ESPN’s Mike Coppinger, is a safeguard to ensure that that there was no lab contamination or other error involved in the test that produced the original finding.)

As if there were any doubts, the B-sample confirmed that Garcia had the banned substance Ostarine in his system when he fought Devin Haney at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on April 30. Ostarine, popular among body builders, helps build muscle mass, improve stamina, and quicken recovery time.

What’s next for Ryan Garcia? He will undoubtedly be fined and suspended by the New York State Athletic Commission. But, as they say, the wheels of justice grind slowly.

Unlike the Nevada Commission, which meets every month, typically on the last Tuesday, the New York Commission does not meet at regular intervals. At their next meeting, whenever that is, one can expect representatives of the Garcia and Haney camps to stand before the body and argue in favor of their preferred dispensation.

It behooves Acting Executive Director Matthew Delaglio to recommend a course of action. He could, in theory, recommend exonerating Garcia, not even a slap on the wrist, or he could recommend coming down hard on the 25-year-old boxer in ways that would cost him a substantial sum of money and bar him from fighting in New York ever again. The other commissioners – there are currently only four – get to vote on it.

And what about changing the decision, retroactively declaring Devin Haney the winner?

There’s actually a precedent for it.

On April 30, 2016, Badou Jack defended his WBC world super middleweight title against Romanian-Canadian campaigner Lucian Bute, a former 168-pound title-holder, at the Armory in Washington, DC. After 12 rounds, one of the judges favored Bute, but the others had it even and the match was scored a draw.

On May 27, it was revealed that Bute’s post-fight urine specimen tested positive for Ostarine. He insisted the finding was wrong and exercised his right to have the B-sample evaluated.

Eleven weeks later, on Aug. 12, the DC Commission informed the WBC that Bute’s B-Sample confirmed the presence of Ostarine.

Lucian Bute still insisted that he was innocent. He blamed the finding on a contaminated supplement provided to him by his strength and conditioning coach and he threatened to sue the San Diego lab that manufactured the supplement. Neither Ostarine nor any other banned substance was listed in the ingredients of the supplement that Bute ingested with the understanding it would help him sleep and recover from a strenuous workout.

The DC Commission eventually accepted the argument that Bute did not knowingly use a banned substance, but still fined him $50,000 (in the form of a donation to the WBC Clean Boxing Program) and changed the result of the fight from a draw to a win by disqualification for Badou Jack. The revised outcome appears that way in boxrec, the official record-keeper of the United States Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports.

Here’s the interesting thing: The DC Commission did not resolve this case until the day after Thanksgiving and the public announcement didn’t come until the following week when one of the commissioners returned from a vacation. This case dragged on forever.

Ryan Garcia and his legal team continue to maintain his innocence. “Kingry” was in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last weekend for the Fury-Usyk megafight and while there he was interviewed by DAZN reporter Emily Austin. In the video clip, which was widely disseminated, Garcia said, “I feel a little hurt and damaged by the accusations that are put on me because I know for fact that I’m not a cheater, never been a cheater. I’m dead hurt. I’ve put in so much work in my whole life, since I was seven years old, and it’s just one of my greatest victories is now being, you know, has a little bit of an asterisk because of a lie….I cry at night sometimes knowing that they’re trying to taint my victory.”

Devin Haney doesn’t turn 26 until November. Heading into his fight with Ryan Garcia, he was 31-0. At the same age, Floyd Mayweather Jr. was 27-0.

Because of his tender age, Haney was accorded a reasonable shot at breaking Mayweather’s 50-0 mark. A reversal of the decision would keep him on that path, albeit with an asterisk and the odds of him achieving that milestone dimmed substantially the first time that Garcia planted him on the deck. “Kingry” knocked him down three times in total en route to winning a majority decision and now that victory — his signature triumph — may be erased from his ledger.

Who will prevail? Stay tuned but don’t hold your breath. The adjudication may not come anytime soon.

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In a One-Sided Beatdown, Batyr Jukembayev TKOs Shopworn Ivan Redkach

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In a One-Sided Beatdown, Batyr Jukembayev TKOs Shopworn Ivan Redkach

The noted trainer Brian “BoMac” McIntyre had two fighters on tonight’s ProBox card in Plant City, Florida, and brought along the ace of his stable, Terence Crawford, to provide moral support.

The main event, contested at 140 pounds, had an Eastern European flavor pitting Kazakhstan’s Batyr Jukembayev against LA-based Ukrainian Ivan Redkach. Jukembayev, Crawford’s stablemate, needed no moral support as Redkach fought a survivor’s fight for as long as it lasted. A 33-year-old southpaw, the Kazkh won every second of the fight until the mismatch was halted at the 2:18 mark of round five.

It was the fifth straight win for Jukembayev (23-1, 17 KOs) whose only defeat was inflicted by Subriel Matias, the current holder of the IBF world title at 140. Redkach (24-7-1) was stopped for the fourth time including a fight with Regis Prograis where he succumbed to a phantom low blow. Now 38 years old, he should not be allowed to fight again. His showing tonight bore stark evidence that he is completely shot.

Co-Feature

In the co-feature, a 10-round junior lightweight affair, Jonhatan Cardoso, a 25-year-old Brazilian, advanced to 17-1 (15) with a split decision over LA’s Adam “Bluenose” Lopez. This figured to be a fan-friendly fight and didn’t disappoint. Both fighters threw punches in bunches although Lopez’s workrate declined in the late rounds.

Lopez, now 17-6-1, is better than his record. His first five losses came against opponents who were collectively 109-6 at the time that he fought them. The son of the late Hector Lopez, an Olympic silver medalist for Mexico and a three-time world title challenger, “Bluenose” doesn’t have a signature win, but has a signature moment. He knocked Oscar Valdez down hard in their first of two meetings, a fight he took on 1-day notice when Valdez’s original opponent was scratched after coming in 11 pounds overweight. As a pro he has limitations, but is a high-octane fighter who rarely has a bad fight.

Two of the judges favored Cardoso. Their tallies were 99-91 and 96-94. The dissenter favored Lopez 97-93. The scores were all over the map, but the right guy wn.

Also

In the TV opener, Omaha-bred junior welterweight Charles Harris Jr scored a unanimous 6-round decision over Oceanside, California’s Kyle Erwin. The judges had it 58-56 and 59-55 twice.

A protégé of “BoMac,” Harris Jr., who began his pro career in Mexico at age 16, improved to 9-1 (7). It was the second pro loss for Erwin (7-2) whose lone prior defeat was the result of a cut.

In an unrelated matter, today (May 22) was the day that Ryan Garcia’s B-sample would be opened and analyzed. So we were all led to believe.

Confoundingly, it appears that opening the urine specimen and testing the contents aren’t performed on the same day. Dan Rafael enlightened us. “Will take a few days for results but certainly possible it could stretch into early next week due to weekend and holiday,” Rafael tweeted today on his Fight Freaks Unite platform.

Why wasn’t this made known beforehand so that fight journalists could plan their day accordingly? I place the blame on the New York State Athletic Commission.

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Oleksandr Usyk from a Historical Perspective 

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Oleksandr Usyk flipped the heavyweight division onto its head this past Saturday night in the Kingdom Arena, Riyadh, travelling a long way from home to seal his greatest victory. Usyk, small by modern heavyweight standards, towers over most men at 6’3″ and 220lbs and sporting a reach that lineal champions Ezzard Charles or Joe Walcott would have killed for. Things have changed though, and in the middle rounds of his war with Tyson Fury, Usyk suddenly appeared tiny. Fury, a giant at around 6’8” and over 260lbs seems a heavyweight for this century. Usyk, a journeyman in the most ancient sense of the word, feels like a throwback to a more savage time. His greatest achievements have taken place on foreign soil. The last time he boxed at home was almost a decade ago and given the situation in Ukraine and given Usyk’s 37 years, it is unlikely he will ever box there again.

Usyk took chances in the seventh and especially the eighth to take charge of a fight that seemed to be slipping away from him. In the vertigo inducing ninth, it was he, not Fury who appeared the giant. Usyk draped the Englishman over the ropes like so much fresh meat and tenderised him to within an inch of unconsciousness, the sheer hugeness of Fury perhaps preventing a referee’s intervention on behalf of his opponent, and not for the first time. Against both Deontay Wilder (the first fight) and Otto Wallin, a more squeamish official would have stepped in and stopped the fight, and here, too, there was a case. If Usyk seems a throwback, then Fury has been refereed like one, spared stoppages likely to be inflicted upon his peers, he was allowed once again to continue boxing, as Joe Louis was against Max Schmeling, or Jack Dempsey was against Luis Pirpo. But with Fury buckled at the knees, Usyk seemed the true heavy man in the ring.

In historical terms, Usyk is not a small heavyweight. He would have dwarfed “The Galveston Giant” Jack Johnson in the ring and loomed large over “Big” George Foreman. Usyk has every attribute necessary to make an unpleasant evening for Joe Louis, but it should be noted that while his footwork and speed and technical excellence would be the source of the discomfort, his excess of height and reach are the wildcards. Usyk would seem two to three weight classes bigger than Rocky Marciano, mainly because he is, and the towering Sonny Liston would look up. Circus strongman Jess Willard and the mob-sponsored Primo Carnera would both look down on Usyk – but not by that much. Usyk would stand eye to eye with Muhammad Ali but prime-for-prime he would outweigh him by ten pounds, as he would Larry Holmes. We must skip Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield and reach all the way into the Lennox Lewis era before we find men from history that truly out-size Usyk on a consistent basis.

Size, as Usyk has proven, is far from everything. Big by historical standards, he is small by modern standards. What else is now true in the wake of the seismic fistic events of Saturday night? Firstly, Usyk is unquestionably ranked the #1 heavyweight in the world. Of this, there can be no dispute. Accounting for his two wonderful defeats of another “super” heavyweight, Anthony Joshua, he is 3-0 against the rest of the top five and sitting unassailably at the head of the heavyweight table. More, and I have been surprised to see it disputed in some corners, Usyk is now almost as equally unassailably the pound-for-pound number one. The only fighter breathing the same air as Usyk right now is Naoya Inoue. Inoue has been operating at or near the highest level for longer, but the level of his opposition has not been as rarefied. Comparing the first phase opposition defeated by Naoya to the murderer’s row of cruiserweights that Usyk ran into during the Super Six series can lead to only one conclusion. Although Naoya’s busy, weight-class-bursting style has topped him out for most of the past two to three years, only one of these men has consistently been beating bigger, taller, longer opposition at the highest level, and that is Usyk. It is not a matter of opinion – he is the smallest man in my heavyweight top ten.

01 – Oleksandr Usyk

02 – Anthony Joshua

03 – Joseph Parker

04 – Tyson Fury

05 – Filip Hrgovic

06 – Zhilei Zhang

07 – Agit Kabayel

08 – Daneil Dubois

09 – Martin Bakole

10 – Joe Joyce

Usyk lives among giants now and where there is parity of height (Kabayel) he is the lighter man by 15 pounds. This is not true of Naoya, who despite his weight-hopping, still manages to run into fighters of the same height and of shorter reach. The opposition argument is narrow, but the relative size opposition is not and there is no pound-for-pound credential more significant than that of consistently out-fighting bigger men. Usyk has done so and will continue to do so for as long as he fights. There is simply no smaller man in his class.

Not since the heyday of Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield has a lineal heavyweight champion consistently fought bigger men and not since Mike’s hype-infused prime has a heavyweight menaced the number one pound-for-pound spot. Usyk has not enjoyed anything like the same machine support as Mike did; indeed, he has laboured in the shadow of more prominent men until such time as he thrashed them. He is a true manifestation of pound-for-pound glory in the unlimited class. Where does this leave him in terms of all-time standing?

I am reluctant to rate active fighters for reasons that are obvious enough; Usyk could be pole-axed in three by an irate Fury in a December rematch and all this ink is for naught. But what I am willing to do is play let’s pretend and imagine Usyk as retired and consider his place in heavyweight history now.

Usyk’s raw numbers are low-grade at just 22-0 with 14 knockouts. Worse, most of this was built in the cruiserweight division and not the heavyweight division. Against men weighing in as heavyweights, Uysk is essentially 7-0, and only 3-0 against ranked opposition. On the other hand, one of these victories came against Daniel Dubois, now ranked, and the 3-0 was posted against Tyson Fury, generally held to be the best or second-best heavyweight in the world, and Anthony Joshua, ranked behind only Fury at the time of his first fight with Usyk. So, when he stepped up, he stepped up to tackle the best in the world and has become lineal as a result. It’s a hard ledger to wrestle with, but fortunately we have a career that is comparable in the shape of Gene Tunney.

Tunney, a career light-heavyweight, earned a heavyweight legacy built of essentially one man: Jack Dempsey. Past-prime and inactive, Dempsey was ripped apart by Tunney in their legendary first fight and did better in a losing effort against the genius “Fighting Marine” in a rematch, much like Joshua did against Usyk. Tunney then boxed the limited but game Tom Heeney and retired. The rest of his heavyweight career was spent beating great middleweights like Harry Greb and limited losing-streak gatekeepers like Charley Weinert and Martin Burke. One thing that must be noted is that Tunney is matching men who are smaller than Usyk’s cruiserweight opposition to his heavyweight credit. Men like Mairis Briedis and Murat Gassiev would have been big men in Tunney’s era, but they aren’t counted towards heavyweight legacy for the Ukrainian – either would constitute Tunney’s second-best heavyweight scalp, I think. Tunney’s wider resume does not necessarily include fighters who compare that favourably even to Dereck Chisora or Chaz Witherspoon, the men who make up Usyk’s second layer of opposition.

The point is, Tunney was made a legend for defeating a champion. Both Fury and Joshua were active, physically enormous fighters that Usyk simply unmanned with a type of genius Gene Tunney would have stood to applaud. Tunney appended to his light-heavyweight career the important part of a heavyweight career – the part where you fight and beat the champion, and it has made him a stalwart of heavyweight history. This, Usyk too has achieved, but I have been more impressed with Usyk’s summit than Tunney’s. To be direct: Usyk should rate higher at heavyweight than Tunney.

What that means is that the top twenty at heavyweight is the minimum Usyk can expect from history’s eye should he retire undefeated. In such a case, I would place Usyk in this sort of company:

18 – Ezzard Charles

19 – Oleksandr Usyk

20 – Jersey Joe Walcott

21 – James J Corbett

22 – Peter Jackson

23 – Ken Norton

24 – Max Schmeling

25 – Vitali Klitschko

26 – Riddick Bowe

27 – Gene Tunney

Also illustrative of a point is Tunney’s career pre-heavyweight. Tunney, every bit as brilliant as Usyk in the ring (although notably smaller, and successful against notably smaller opposition), laced up his gloves on close to ninety occasions and his level of competition dwarfs that of Usyk. That is no indictment. All it really means is that Usyk isn’t among the thirty greatest fighters ever to have drawn breath, like Tunney is. He can join an enormous and star-studded cast that includes Mike Tyson, Bernard Hopkins and Carlos Monzon in that. I do think, though, that Oleksandr Usyk’s career, were it to end tomorrow, could be readily compared to that of Evander Holyfield and that means that an unbeaten Usyk, lineal cruiserweight and heavyweight champion of the world, current pound-for-pound king, is within spitting distance of a list that captures the fifty greatest fighters in history.

56 – Ruben Olivares

57 – Wilfredo Gomez

58 – Vicente Saldivar

59 – Oleksandr Usyk

60 – Evander Holyfield

61 – Ted Kid Lewis

62 – Lou Ambers

63 – Rocky Marciano

64 – Abe Attell

65 – Manuel Ortiz

A retired Naoya Inoue would join him in the top seventy, I think, and a retired Bud Crawford the top ninety.

Boxing is dead, haven’t you heard?

Photo credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank

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