|This is what it will look like|
Boxing is not a sport -it is life- and life is brutal and
life is sweet. It is the reason some people are appalled by the
fisticuffs and why some, like myself, cannot get enough. I've
been a boxing fan for 24 years of my 30 years of life, but it
was not until my early twenties that I became a hard-core fan.
You, reading this, you are a hard-core fan, or you wouldn't
be out here is cyberwaste.
My point is that we all share the joy of watching or
participating in "the exhibition of masculinity" as Joyce Carol
defines boxing. But enough is enough I cannot sit back anymore
and listen and read morons who consider themselves experts on
the "sport". I hope you appreciate my writings here and if you
disagree, feel free to throw some hooks at me via email. I am
now a professional boxing judge for the State of Washington.
I write for Boxing Wise because I love this site and love boxing.
How can a boxing fan find order in the Heavyweight division? It's simply impossible. There are so many promoters trying to get in on the $$$$ action, fattening up fighters with weak skills against inferior opponents just to cash in on a division that provides the most fame and fortune in all of boxing. We also have what I like to call the "Hanger-on Heavies" who by some mystery stay ranked in the top ten by losing, by getting D.Q'd, or by sheer inactivity! MT. Whitiker, Lance Whitaker, whomever you call him, is not what you call a true heavyweight. Sure he weighs something like 260, sure he's like 7 feet tall, sure he puts on a pair of boxing trunks, but can he fight is not even the question because if you've seen him on a Fox America Presents card. You'd have seen a very large, well physiqued man wearing boxing trunks, looking clumsy and tentative; he seems just plain afraid of the whole game. He has yet to fight top ten, twenty, or even thirty opponent as far as I can see and he remains the perfect example of a fighter given the diet of Tennessee circuit lamps. He will get eaten alive when he meets a top ten Heavyweight wolf. This wolf just might be Lou Savarese a top 20 fighter, look for the MT. to have the book closed on him. End of this fairytale. "Big" Ed Mahone: Hmmm BIG as in clean out the Cornish game hen section at your nearest grocery store, for that's been his steady diet. When he's fought a top twenty or thirty Heavyweight they've given him a big run for his favorite frozen food aisle. Sure you've heard boasts of his work ethic to the body, sure he's well backed in the promotion department of Forum Boxing, sure he owns some kind of Chunky Soup Championship Belt. But even those praises and claims are hard to swallow for its easy to digest that as soon as he sets his place at the real Heavyweight dining room table, he will have to be excused for his lack of etiquette in Emily Post's Book of Heavyweights. Wolfgramm: This guy I believe weighs in around 300lbs. This guy is a complete joke and he is also another America Presents Heavyweight fraud. I would even put my fast food dollar on Butterbean if these two ever met. Don't let these promoters pull the wool over your eyes no wolf in sheep's clothing, but a large pathetic man who can't fight in heavyweight apparel John Ruiz: What is amazing about this heavyweight is that he can stay consistently ranked very high in the top 5 of all major sanctioning bodies and never really fight any other boxers of significant value or skill, which just goes to show you, if you rub the right people you get the right ranking. He's not active either. If this boxer ever fights a legitimate contender he gets knocked out! Quote me! Oliver McCall: This is another amazement. How does this guy get D.Q'd, and worst yet, not fight since 2/98 and stay ranked in the top ten? How? I would win the Nobel Boxing Prize if I could answer this question. Duncan Dokiwari: Muscle bound America Presents fighter. No prospect here just physically looks like a boxer. I propose that Mt. Whitaker, Ed Mahone, Wolfgramm, and good ol' Duncan square off and decide who is the best loser of the group. Now that would be a CSKN PPV I would pay for! Recently, Dokiwari fought Fres Oquendo and lost. Oquendo is a young, free for all type of boxer with an OK chin, but shows some amateurish skill that will improve over time unless he gets caught. The loss to Oquendo by Dokiwari should show you that I am right on target by telling you he'll never make it to the top. Ray Mercer: Well, not that I want to be hard on Mercer, because I do like his work ethic and fine resume it's just that his last win was over a no name Leo Loiacono almost a year ago to this day. The 3 bouts he fought prior to Loiacono ended in a draw and two losses. Mercer is ranked #3 in the WBA and the WBC with this 3 year history! Go figure this one? But again, look who is in the top ten these days so I suppose it might make sense. Lawrence Clay-Bey: Well, he's only 9-0 at this point in his 2 year professional career he does have KO wins over club circuit kings Louis Monaco and Tony LaRosa, but at age 32 I cannot see this Olympic fighter doing much besides beating club-fighters, he's not that active and age is totally against him. If we enter him in the best of the losers CSKN tourney he may come out on top. Dannel Nicholson: This boxer, based out of Chicago, IL., has a decent jab and certainly could hold his own with a top twenty down to ten heavyweight. He was once touted as being a force until Andrew Golota broke him down with headbutts and intimidation. The loss to Golota set him back tremendously, and since he has been given a steady diet of nobodies. Nicholson seems a regular on CSKN PPV cards, and has shown, though he has won, that he does not have the heart, will, and skill to ever be a heavyweight champion. He is intimidated easily, and just seems to be a payday for the CSKN Network. Larry Donald: While having an excellent jab and having quickness, all the flash in the world will not win you a heavyweight championship. Larry simply does not have the championship chin for the BIG BOYS. He may get a minor title, but he'll never get a major title. Plus, he's boring and tentative! Bring on the chamomile tea!
First of all, I want to say I learned something over the summer and fall of 1998, "Always bet on the faster hands!" I lost McDonald Gift Certificate bets on Roberto Duran and Genaro Hernandez! Like "A Piece of Steak", youth 99.9% of the time prevails over experience. My heart is no longer soft for the veterans. I am Boxing Wise! As the year of 1998 began, Boxing Junkies like myself were starved for decent matchups and quality TV bouts. But as 1998 closes, it seems professional boxing is on the upward spiral and fans are slowly able to call more of the shots because we have come together and demanded quality fisticuffs! The boxers I will mention below are in no particuliar order, but just a list of boxers I'm feel are on their way up and could make an impact in 1999 and 2000. Edgar Ruiz : Welterweight from Mexico, based in L.A, California, USA. This tough customer has shown he can demolish another boxer almost at will by stepping up the tempo of the fight. He takes a decent shot and can cut the ring of exceptionally well. Ruiz's strengths are a killer body attack, an accurate, hard left hook, and a beautiful loopy overhand right. I really like how he puts his hips (center of gravity) into his punches and that he shows the ability to fight through adverse conditions like getting cut or losing a round or two. What amazes me is that he is excelling tremedously fight after fight and gaining experience in every bout. He is now 14-1-1 with 10 KO's. Key Victorys are K.O wins over Larry Dixon and Giorbis Barthelmey. He also won a unanimous decision over the once promising prospect, Ricky Hesia. What Edgar Ruiz seems to lack in hand speed, he makes up for with power, will, and a champion's heart. Israel Vasquez : Jr. Featherweight from Mexico, Based in LA, California, USA. Young, tough, fast, relentless, with excellent boxing ability are strong words to give a fighter, but they fit this kid perfectly. Vasquez can fight in dire straits and has much power for his size. I suppose his best quality would be youthful exhuberance with the killer instinct via Mexico style. He fights for Forum Boxing and is a definite future world champ if he keeps his chin tucked! Watch out for this kid! Emil Baku : Jr. Middleweight from Azerbajan (former Soviet Republic), now based in Maryland, USA. Still fighting strong. Needs a few more bouts and then a step up in class on National TV to see where his boxing skills are at. He takes his last name, Baku, from the city of his native country of Azerbajan. This is a tough city and is 10% Russian and 90% Azerbajanian. Azerbajan is predominatly Muslim, so he probably had lots of street fights growing up in Baku. Emil exhibits amatuerish tendencies in regards to throwing semi- wild punches; Basically, he wants to slug it out and he forgets about defense. He takes a good punch and he is learning English well by going to the local tech school, which shows that he wants to suceed. He has a younger brother by the name of Rufat, but Emil is a much stronger fighter. Acelino "Popo" Freitas : Lightweight from Bahia, Brazil. Dubed the "Brazilian Windmill" by the God of Boxing Wise. This young buck boast a record of 18 wins, no losses, all 18 by KO! He is fast, relentless, vicious, and exhibits uncomprimising boxing agility! He is by far the most exciting fighter I have seen in years. A few years back, he cleaned house in the ESPN's Boxino Tourney. He is a definite world champion in 1999 if he gets a shot. Mayweather and Manfredy better look out! He is only 22 years old, but needs a real test. I have yet to see him get clocked with a good punch. His nickname by trade is the "Brazilian Bomber" and he has been touted as the next Eder Jofre! I really like what I've seen so far and with a name like Acelino, you have to be good! Santiago Samaniego : Welterweight, Panama City, Panama. Don't count this guy out, yet. He was totally robbed in Germany for the WBO Championship against Michael Lowe. German judges must have a thing against solid left hooks. A real fishy decision: Lowe has the WBO belt being wrapped around his waist before the decision is announced; The referee is baffled, telling the WBO representitive that that's not how things work, but that's how the work in Germany these days! Samaniego doesn't have tremedous hand speed, but a concrete work ethic. He lost a fluke bout by KO in his hometown last year, but has recently stepped it up in Miami, Florida with an impressive KO over Tim Shocks. He is still a top ten contender with a considerable effective agression style. Strong left hook and straight left are his strenths also a 2nd cousin of Roberto Duran. Don't count him out! Mads Larsen : Super Middleweight, Denmark. I have yet to see Mads Larsen fight, and I never comment on fighters I have not seen, but since talking to a fellow who is all knowledgeable on the European Boxing scene, I have followed his bouts on the paper trail and have been intrigued! He recently won a 7th Rd. K.O victory over Peter Venacio, who is no slouch. Venacio holds decision victories over Lonnie Beasley and Verno Phillips. Also Venacio went the 12 round distance William Joppy. Mads Larsen is ranked by all the major and petty organizations while holding the IBO crown. From what I've heard, he's one to watch. Klitscho Brothers : Heavyweights, Kiev Ukraine. These two brothers have yet to be tested, but sport sparkling undefeated records. It wouldn't be to hard to get these two mixed up: One is named Vitalij and the other is Vladimir. Vitalij is 27 years of age and Vladimir is 22. I've seen both fight and they looked impressive over mediocre opposition. Both are now moving up in class and doing well. The both have speed, power, not mention a strong will. Vitalij is the current EBU Heavyweight Champion and seems the stronger of the two. I also believe he won the Gold in Atlanta Olympic Games in '96. Vitalij is ranked #1 by the WBO and should get a shot at Herbie Hides title in 1999. Vladimir has had the easier opposition, but is ranked better: 7th by the WBC, 12th by the WBA, and 6th by the WBO. What would be interesting is if one of these brothers one a Major World Championship and the other moves into the #1 spot? Would they duke it out or would it be "Brotherly Love"? Diego Chico Corrales : Lightweight, from Columbia SC. I way Diego's 9th pro bout live: He withstood headbutts to K.O his opponent and was a definite crowd pleaser. After the fight, he was in the audience, smiling and laughing like he was ready for the big Jr. high school dance on Friday night. He's a nice kid, has quick hands, has great feints, and is fighting regularly on Univision. He has yet to be beaten and has a beautiful future. I predict he will get a shot for a title in 1999. Well that's all for now. Before the year closes, I will submit my next article on the worst prospects and overhyped of 1998. Thanks for reading.