Monday, December 14, 2009
To me, it appears a great opportunity has been given to the boxing community. If the fight takes place in Dallas, the super-fight will be opened up to a whole new audience. Fans without the money required to attend a Vegas fight will have the opportunity to see what will probably be the greatest fight in recent memory. Perhaps more importantly, it will help put boxing back into the spotlight if headlines read the day after the fight, "100,000 Attend the Pacquiao-Mayweather Super-Fight", or "Fight of the Century Sells as Many Tickets as Super Bowl". It could help breathe new life into a sport that, although making a come-back, seems to be waneing in the public eye. Although I'm sure the energy in Vegas in the days leading up to a big fight is amazing, its time make boxing a more public sport again.
Bert Sugar's book, "Boxings Greatest Fighters", is a very thorough review and ranking of the past 150 years of boxers. It is well-written, and it is full of Bert's very distinctive writing style (i.e. lots, and lots of metaphors and analogies). The book is fun to read, and does not require any knowledge of boxing to enjoy. It is hard to find a more accessible, interesting, and engaging book on the history of boxing.
However, I disagreed with many of Bert's rankings (Muhammad Ali at #7 for example, and he also tended to favor boxers from previous generations rather than our current or recent ones), but of course the word "great" is a very subjective term. Bert wrote about, in great detail, many old fighters that have now been all but forgotten. I don't know where, or how, he finds all of his material, but it is very impressive.
I learned alot from this book, and there is probably no better source of information on older boxers than Bert. It's 12 dollars from Amazon.com, and if you are any kind of boxing fan then there is no reason not to purchase it.
Buy it here now if you don't have it already
Read some of the book online with Google Books
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Devon Alexander is an up-and-coming light-welterweight title-holder. He was born on February 10, 1987, and had an outstanding amateur career with 300 wins, 10 losses. He was the Junior Golden Gloves and Junior Olympics champion, and he narrowly missed making the Olympic team in 2004, losing by a tie-breaker to Rock Allen.
Devon turned pro after his loss to Allen, and he trained and fought out of St. Louis. He had his first professional fight against Vincent Torres, which he won by first round TKO. Cory Spinks took Devon under his wing, and was something of a mentor to him. Devon was the under-card to the Spinks vs. Judah fight, and he won a unanimous decision.
Devon continued his winning streak, fighting his way up the ranks of the light-welterweight division. On his way up he decimated veteran fighter, and former champion, DeMarcus Corley, and he broke Scott Ball's chin.
(Devon vs. Corley)
Devon was finally given a shot for the light-welterweight title in a about against Junior Witter. On August 1, 2009, Devon beat Witter into submission, staggering him multiple times, and won in the eight round due to RTD when Witter claimed he could not continue due to an elbow injury.
(Devon breaking Witter down).
I have had the pleasure of watching Devon fight live, and I have faith that he will be great one day. I would love nothing more (except for the heavy-weight division to be restored to its former glory) than to see a great champion come out of St. Louis (due to the fact I am a St. Louisian). I wish Devon the best of luck.
Gerardo Gonzalez, who would later be known as Kid Galivan, was born on January 6, 1926, in Camaguey Cuba. He began his professional boxing career in 1943, fighting only in Cuba for the first three years of his career. During this time, he gave himself the name "Galivan", which means hawk in spanish.
During his time in Cuba, he developed the "bolo punch". For those who don't know, the bolo punch looks something like a combination between a softball pitch and an uppercut. (See picture below of Galivan putting his bolo punch to use).
The bolo punch has been famously used by fighters like Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard.
However, Galivan did alot more than just invent a new punch. When he came to fight in America in 1946, he challenged Sugar Ray Robinson. He lost the bout on decision, but it did not stop the young Cuban. Five years later, he won the vacated welterweight title in a fight against Johnny Bratton.
From there Galivan took the division by storm, defending his title against famous fighers such as Carmen Basilio and many others. Galivan is quoted as saying, "I lick all welterweights. I mush'em like spaghetti mush."
Kid decided that it was too easy in the welterweight division and decided to move up to the middleweight division, challenging Bobo Olson for his title. Kid lost the fight, and in the next fight he lost his welterweight title to Johnny Saxton in an extremely controversial decision (20 out of the 22 ringisde reporters thought Kid won). From there his skills declined, and he lost 17 of his next 30 fights. He retired on September 11, 1958.
During his prime, Kid Galivan was known as a flashy, fast, spray-puncher. He was not a knockout artist, having only 28 KO's in 143 fights. He was one of the best fighters of his time, completely outclassing the others of his division. Galivan was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990, and his recod stood at 143 bouts, 107 wins, 30 losses, 6 draws, and 28 KO's.