Boxing in 2015: Strange Brew

By Dennis Taylor on December 22, 2015
Boxing in 2015: Strange Brew
Is it possible that the Four Horsemen of the Boxing Apocalypse are finally on their way?

Somewhere in Hell, Fritzie Zivic, The Croat Comet, is probably cussing a blue streak, but it’s a brave, new world…

Another memorable year in the sport we love.

A big-time boxing promoter in England changed genders, slipping out the back door as Frank Maloney, returning through the front as Kellie Maloney. There’s also a U.S. amateur boxer, once known as Patricia Manuel, who underwent transgender surgery and now is fighting as Pat.

Somewhere in Hell, Fritzie Zivic is probably cussing a blue streak, but it’s a brave, new world.

It’s a world in which we can wonder aloud whether Ronda Rousey could beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a no-rules street fight.

And there was a story in June about former contender Yusaf Mack, who made the cover of the Philadelphia Daily News after somebody recognized him in a gay porn film. Mack, who fought Carl Froch, Tavoris Cloud, Glen Johnson and other big names, says he was drugged by the producers, but also admitted leaving the set with an extra $4,500 in his pocket.

Well, heck, times are tough: Juanma sold two of his WBO world title belts on eBay. Seems like everybody can use a few extra bucks except Adrien Broner, who, in January, was offered $40 million to sign a five-year contract with Jay-Z and RocNation. Broner called the offer “f***ed up” and “bulls**t,” and was equally offended that it came via email (as opposed, I suppose, to being delivered on a silver platter by a Victoria’s Secret angel in a diamond-sequined toga.)

But, Broner has his level: It’s “about billions,” he tells us, and as long as people keep paying $99.95 for pay-per-view dogs like Mayeather-Pacquiao, there will be plenty of money to go around.

Jean Pascal and Sergey Kovalev recently made a $50,000 side bet on who KOs whom in their rematch.

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. offered to bet Gennady Golovkin a cool million that he’d knock out GGG if they fought at 168. (Golovkin accepted the wager … right before Chavez Jr. got dropped and stopped by 175-pound Andrzej Fonfara. The recent scuttlebutt is that Junior is headed to down 160 … where Golovkin is king.)

Our new heavyweight king, Tyson Fury, may be suffering from altitude sickness on his perch at the top of the world. He’s been saying things to the media that suggest he might not be getting enough oxygen to his brain.

In recent weeks he bragged that he’s slept with 500 women — which should put him in good standing at the Pearly Gates after homosexuality brings on “the end of times.” (Not your fault, Yusaf Mack … you were drugged).

But it gets weirder. Fury told Wladimir Klitschko, “You look nice and sexy, and you smell good” at one press conference. He declared him to be “a devil worshipper” at another. Then the Greater Manchester Police Department investigated him for an alleged “hate crime.” Cops say Fury went on a foul-mouthed rant, branding two fellow English boxers “gay lovers.” (No charges were filed.)

Well, hey, Tyson loves any woman who understands that “her best place is in the kitchen and on her back.” He sang an Aerosmith love song to his best gal, an arena full of fans, and a worldwide television audience after beating the hell out of Klitschko. Is more proof needed that this man has balls?

And poor Wlad … his rough times started long before the Fury loss, with Shannon Briggs, who established himself as a heavyweight nuisance by menacing Klitschko at his press conferences, at his training camp, even at sidewalk cafes, where he stole food right off the champ’s plate. Briggs even rented a boat at a beach where Klitschko was paddleboarding, then circled him until he created a wake large enough to knock him into the water.

The good news for Klitschko is this: Turns out ocean water has miraculous healing powers. Manny Pacquiao shredded his shoulder fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr., took a swim in the sea, said a prayer, and now it’s all better. Didn’t even have to pay a deductible.

But maybe the Four Horsemen really are on their way. How else to explain an MMA superstar (Rousey) on the cover of The Ring magazine? Madonna and Mike Tyson collaborating on a new single? Evander Holyfield fighting Mitt Romney in a boxing exhibition? A boxer (Marvin Jones) bringing a cell phone into the ring during a fight? The World Boxing Association putting a dead man (Ali Raymi) in its 108-pound rankings? Ominous signs, all.

Here’s hoping Tyson Fury is wrong. All of the above made boxing a show worth watching in 2015. Can’t wait for 2016.

Dennis Taylor is editor/publisher of and host of The Ringside Boxing Show every Sunday at, beginning at 4 p.m. Pacific, 5 Mountain, 6 Central, 7 Eastern.

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  1. Mike Casey 09:36am, 12/23/2015

    I’m pretty sure he is, Dennis!

  2. Dennis 08:44am, 12/23/2015

    Thanks much, Mike. The best boxing writers in the world are on this site—I’ve thought so forever—and I feel privileged to have my articles printed here.
    Whether he’s Fritzie or Fiona, in Heaven, or Hell, or riding on the Hale-Bopp Comet, my guess is he’s still socking people in the nads on a regular basis.

  3. Mike Casey 08:09am, 12/23/2015

    Great stuff, Dennis! I just hope dear old Fritzie is still Fritzie up above and not Fiona.

  4. Dennis 07:07pm, 12/22/2015

    If I see Fritzie when I get to Hell, you owe me a dollar.

  5. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 06:48pm, 12/22/2015

    Dennis Taylor-Offended?! No way! Just over reacting as usual, although I was very serious about Fritzie, who is the antitheses of the modern contenders and Champs with twenty fights on their resumes. Inspired is more like it. Actually the article was great fun and loaded with kink. The quote about Fury liking his women on their backs on the kitchen table was pure gold as was the report of Yusaf Mack waking up on the train with $4,500 in his pocket and an intense perianal itch. Looking forward to seeing Pat Manuel in action as well…thanks for the heads up. Don’t think for a minute that I didn’t pick up on the “back door” reference to Kellie/Frank Maloney….keep’em coming! Finally a writer on this site that shares my sense of humor.

  6. Dennis Taylor 03:56pm, 12/22/2015

    Since you mentioned Burley:
    “He’s the dirtiest fighter I ever met.”—Charley Burley
    And (I can’t believe I have to mention this) the comment was a joke. Sorry you were offended. Personally, I don’t believe in Hell. My theory, if I were to be serious, is that Fritzie is compost right now, and doesn’t even know it.

  7. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 03:31pm, 12/22/2015

    Fritzie fought Kid Azteca, Charley Burley, Ray Robinson, Tommy Bell, Beau Jack, Bob Montgomery, Jake LaMotta and in a 230 bout career he was stopped only four times.I don’t know of anything that Fritzie did outside of the ring that would qualify him to spend eternity in Hell….maybe you are privy to information that is not public knowledge. We had a writer on this site writing that Wladimir is a coward and now you write that Fritzie Zivic resides in Hell….how many times was he DQ’d? It was on the referee to shut down illegal tactics by Zivic and the other fighter who in most cases was just as “dirty” as Zivic.

  8. Dennis 12:53pm, 12/22/2015

    Fritzie Zivic is widely regarded as the dirtiest fighter in boxing history. Yeah, I also admire his grit—hey, I’m a Pittsburgh guy, and my Uncle Richard used to spar with the Zivic brothers—but it’s probably pretty toasty where Fritzie sits today.

  9. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 11:02am, 12/22/2015

    Fritzie Zivic in Hell…..are you crazy?! No….really….are you crazy?! Based on what?! He asked for no quarter and he gave no quarter in his fights….he didn’t duck anyone including those on the black Murderers Row of the time and he whipped Henry Armstrong’s ass to a frazzle. Henry may be in Heaven for all we know but Fritzie is sure as fuk is not in Hell based on what he did in the ring.

  10. Eric 10:20am, 12/22/2015

    Hehe. Nice article. Tyson Fury still has a way to go to compete with toupee wearing asshat tool, Gene Simmons, Wilt Chamberlin, or the legendary John Holmes. Of course, Holmes was actually paid to bed that many women.

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