Global Boxing Patterns

By Ted Sares on February 5, 2012
Global Boxing Patterns
Eastern Europeans fighters demonstrate an old-school work ethic in and out of the ring

If there is one conclusion that stands out from the rest, it is that the entire global boxing landscape has become just that…

From time to time, I think it’s worthwhile to try to determine what, if any, new patterns have emerged in recent years in boxing? Though I researched this country by country, I focused on major regions like Eastern Europe, South America, Africa, and North America. The following are broad observations; an analysis of each country would require a separate and more thorough treatment.

First and foremost, and for any number of reasons (not the least of which are technological advancements such as the internet), the world has become much smaller. Boxing has followed suit and the commonality of what happens in boxing rings throughout the world has become stark.

An obvious trend in the US among elite—or wannabe elite—boxers is what I call the “Mayweather Business Model” whereby a boxer breaks out of the gate fast, runs up an impressive won-lost record, and then slows things down and picks his spots with more financial circumspection and with a keen eye toward cashing in on a big payday. In Mexico, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. may well be two examples of this. At one time, it appeared that Danny Jacobs was another but he was sidelined by someone named Pirog and then by illness. The bottom line on this—and I see it as an unfortunate one—is that a fighter is now far more pressured by the number of losses he incurs. The days of Gatti, Ward, Salido, Augustus, Margarito, and others who had fair share defeats under their belt may be a thing of the past. So far, this has not seemed to have happened in Canada and the UK, and I hope it stays that way.

Another US observation, albeit a fan-unfriendly one, is an increase in pay-per-view events. The future does not bode well when Roy Jones Jr. fights an unknown and limited Max Alexander in a pay-to-watch farce. In fact, boxing in the UK, Germany, and other countries is more likely to be reminiscent of a time when you could watch it free on the major stations. Maybe that has something to do with boxing being relatively healthier abroad, though the inordinate number of compelling fighters in the UK also contributes.

Eastern Europe and Germany

“The Klitschkos, who enjoy Jordan-like fame in much of northern Europe, fill stadiums and arenas every time they fight in Germany. In the US, however, the fact that they crush all of their opponents and every boxing stereotype just elicits a yawn. It is hard to figure. After all, we have always had a fascination with the big guys. It is as though we hold their intelligence, education, and measured aggression against them.”—Gordon Marino

“I think they are extremely talented six-foot-six, six-foot-seven guys but this is the new generation. I myself never thought that much of a boxer over six-five because I know that was like a boundary and when you get to six-five that was like the end of your coordination for boxing, which was like Lewis and Bowe. The Klitschkos are the exception in that fact… they are the new generation of big heavyweights who have coordination.”—Emanuel Steward

“Armenia’s current crop of fighters is responsible for this nation’s first noticeable impact on the sport of boxing and, in the coming years, just might continue to establish a memorable history for sports fans…. For Armenian boxing, the present is already far brighter than the past. The future could be even brighter.”—Derek Bonnett

“My second home country is Germany. The time I spent there was very important for my career. I will always be thankful to Universum and the German people. I often talk to my friends in this wonderful country and I do hope to come back and be able to give back some of the affection they showed me. Also, I will try and learn some of their language so it will be easier for me to communicate with them.”—Marcos “El Chino” Maidana

The legendary Yuri Arbachakov was probably the first Russian fighter to make the scene (though he made it in Japan), but he predated the explosion of talent that we have seen since the early part of the new millennium. The great Kostya Tszyu fought from 1992-2005. But when the Klitschkos hit the scene, the floodgates opened and Russians, Ukrainians, Uzbekistanis, Kazakhstanians, Belarusians, and others from Eastern Europe made their presence felt—some quickly winning world titles. The Klitschkos have become the most significant boxers of their time— their impact being not only their influence on and dominance of the heavyweight boxing division, but also on their being the triggers that ignited the Eastern Euro boxing explosion. When the brothers chose Germany as their base of operations, the boxing profile of that country was turbo-charged. In fact, so much so that the road to heavyweight glory and riches now appears to run directly through Munich, Hamburg, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Berlin, and other such places.

Today, fighters from Armenia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, and Lithuania are no longer oddities. The breakout from Armenia has been a virtual eruption as warriors from that country and/or descent continually appear in high-profile fights and win fans and influence promoters whenever and wherever they do battle.

The advent of the brothers encouraged many others from the former Soviet Union to cash in on their great amateur training and skills. Men like Armenian Arthur Abraham and Khoren Gevor have become German citizens. Even defectors from Cuba are making Germany their new port of call. Defector Odlanier Solis signed a professional promotional contract with German-based Arena Box-Promotions as did other Cuban amateur stars. Cuban heavyweight Juan Carlos Gomez now resides in Hamburg.

As for style, Eastern European boxers no longer fight in the manner of stand-up fighters of the past. They are well-trained, well-schooled fighters who now can adapt to different styles far more readily. Like Marvelous Marvin Hagler, the Eastern Europeans also demonstrate a solid old-school work ethic both in and out of the ring: No obnoxious behavior or over-the-top trash talking that only cheapens the sport.

These days, Michael Buffer is just as likely to exclaim “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble” from the SAP-Arena in Mannheim or the Sporthalle in Hamburg as he is from Madison Square Garden.

Lower weight divisions

The lower weight divisions were once dominated by Latinos and South Koreans, but that has changed markedly. There has been a leveling out process caused by the reemergence of Filipino, Thai, Japanese, and even Indonesian boxers, and this has occurred at the same time South Korean boxing has been undergoing a steep decline. In fact, fan-friendly South Korean Ji Hoon “Volcano” Kim is an anomaly; he is the rare South Korean boxer of some note these days and is a throwback to fighters of the past as he continues to win bouts both inside and outside of South Korea. But like many South Korean warriors of old, his style will not guarantee a long career. 

Latinos

Mexico and Puerto Rico have always been considered elite locales in boxing and that continues to be the case. While Mexican and Mexican-American boxers have had better years than in 2009 and early 2010, they had an incredibly solid 2011 reinforcing their elite global stature. Will we ever again see rugged Tepiteños, or as in more recent years, warriors like Chavez, Barrera, Morales, Vazquez, and either Marquez dominating their divisions? I’m betting we will.

The lineage of great boxers from Puerto Rico is a rich, dramatic, and often tragic one, as many of the fighters met with difficulties both outside the ring or after they finished their careers. In this regard, Puerto Rico continues to produce a remarkable tapestry of sports in general and boxing in particular. In fact, nowhere will you find more world champions per capita.

For gaudy records, great nicknames, legendary fights and especially for high drama, I have always had a great fondness for South American fighters, and most particularly those from Argentina. That tradition is alive and well today as World Middleweight Champion Sergio Martinez leads an influx of dangerous fighters from that great country.

Asia

I’m also betting that the current resurgence in Japanese and Pinoy boxing will not run its course for years to come. Of course, multiple champion Many Pacquiao has been to Filipino boxing what the Klitschkos have been to Eastern Europe and Germany. As for Thailand, it continues to be a hotbed of all different kinds of boxing and this will not change any time soon.

Interestingly, Thai and Filipino fighters are not adverse to running up big records and fighting for a relatively long time. On the other hand, Japanese and South Korean boxers rarely fight more than 30 to 35 times and many often will retire after a second or third loss. In this regard, the active records of such fighters as Tsuneo “Piston” Horiguchi (143-26-15), Yoichiro Hanada (93-37-28), Motomitsu Soda (68-22-30), Hiroshi Horiguchi (80-11-5), Masashi Akiyama (73-28-8), and Takeshi Sasazaki (73-27-11) were likely an anomaly of the war and post-war times. Later, greats like Yoshio Shirai (46-8-2), Fighting Harada (55-7), Yoko Gushiken (23-1), Jiro Watanabe (26-2), and Shinji Takehara (24-1) fought less. Now the trend continues as those great fighter’s records have been replaced by those of Koki Kameda (27-1), Daiki Kameda’s 22-3, Daisuke Naito (36-3-3), Satoshi Hosono (21-2), Hozumi Hasegawa (29-4), Nobuo Nashiro (16-4-1), Masaaki Serie (20-4), Ryoichi Taguchi (16-10, Kazuto Ioka (9-0), and Ryol Li Lee (18-3-1).

Another documented and longstanding pattern is that when Thai (and especially Colombian) boxers fight outside of their homelands, they generally don’t do well.

Today’s South Korean fighters rarely duke beyond 25 times. The aforementioned Ji Hoon Kim is currently at 23-7. Jae-Kwang Jung (13-2-2) retired after losing to Kim in 2007. The late Yo-Sam Choi (32-5) is probably the last fighter to have had that many fights. He was fatally injured in his final fight in 2007 against well traveled Indonesian veteran Heri Amol in a fight Choi won.

While on the subject of Japanese fighters, the trend there and in most countries (Thailand being the manifest exception) has been to promote more fights in which the boxers are evenly matched in contrast to the past when mismatches were not uncommon. In fact, Mexico, Japan, and South Africa now stand out in this regard.

Fighting less is something that is global in nature and is here to stay. Reflecting this is the fact that even flamboyant Argentineans are fighting fewer times in contrast to their gaudy and monstrous records of the past. However, they still remain the only fighters to compile old-school type records. The day of the 100-fight career is quickly becoming a thing of the past and likely will end if and when Yori Boy Campas wins one more fight. However, there are many fighters in the UK who have more than 100 losses, though few of those have come by way of stoppage. That has been a longstanding pattern in the UK, albeit not an alarming one.

A leveling process

Another pattern, and an important one, is that the entire boxing landscape is more level than ever before. Some locales are enjoying a surge (for example, South Africa, Hungary, Poland, Japan, and the Philippines) while others are on the decline (Boston, Chicago, and even Detroit to a lesser extent). Texas, Nevada, Florida, and California remain healthy, but New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia have cooled off some.

Safety standards seem to have become more uniform throughout the world with referees stopping fights sooner, ambulances nearby, appropriate medical equipment at ringside, fewer mismatches, etc. Unfortunately, Dementia Pugilistica and Alzheimer’s are still easily observable in older boxers. However, the most recent generation of retired boxers seem to be less afflicted with brain damage. Again, this is a subject that requires intensive research and a detailed treatment. Matt Pitt is a physician with degrees in biophysics and medicine. He is board-certified in emergency medicine and has post-graduate training in head injuries and multi-system trauma. He has an article on SHERDOG.COM titled “Fistic Medicine: Dementia Pugilistica & MMA” that speaks to this issue. In terms of a trend, however, the issue of banning boxing has gained little if any traction.

A concluding observation

If there is one conclusion that stands out from the rest, it is that the entire global boxing landscape has become just that—a global boxing landscape where a Ghanaian can live in Stockholm and fight in Europe, or a Venezuelan can live in Tokyo and fight everywhere but in the U.S. An Armenian can become a German or Australian citizen and live in France and thereby get a triple dose of adulation. Vic Darchinyan is given triple homeboy love in Glendale, CA; Australia; and in Armenia. The late Edwin Valero was worshiped in Tokyo and Venezuela—and then, for his macho style, in Mexico.  An Armenian born Russian citizen can live in France and fight throughout Europe. A Cuban can defect to South America, move to Europe and fight out of Germany or Ireland. Born in Uzbekistan and Russian by nationality, a fighter can live and fight out of Munich these days, and in the process, he just might become tri-lingual. How about a Tunisian who resides in Germany but fights in Australia?

Heck, a fighter can be born in Belarus, immigrate to Israel, learn to box in Haifa under a Russian coach, train out of an Arab gym, and then move to Brooklyn, New York where he studies to become a rabbi while at the same time becoming a WBA Super Welterweight Champion.

That’s why I call it Planet Boxing.

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  1. nick 01:25pm, 09/16/2012

    Nice article, but somewhat incomplete. First on Germany. I remember going out with an African American friend of mind to see Raging Bull, and I mentioned that I thought boxing could be big in Germany, and he said that probably they just did not have the fighters to do that. While Henry Maske had been world champ at Jr. Middleweight champ earlier, I also remember earlier reading an article in Ring about the decline of pro boxing in Germany. Of course, this all changed with the downfall of the Iron Curtain, but may have started a little earlier with Rene Weller and Graciano Roccghiani.

    I remember when boxing seemed to be popular in Brazil, but Brazil has not produced that many champs with their population, though they certainly had perhaps the greatest bantamweight champ of all time. Maybe MMA has something to do with this.

    The greatest shock is though South Korea. Once home to many world champs, but now you can hardly find any fighters in the top ten of any organization. There was an article about this once on the internet, a scholarly type paper, which I have not been able to find since. I think that the great decline in that country has something to do with more sport opportunities for the people there. Look at their recent Olympic performance. Possibly also the death of Du Ko Kim in 82 may have started this trend, and the 88 Seoul Olympics, with what happened in the ring that had a very negative effect on the amateur scene.

    Other countries also have interesting histories, and why they have peaked at some times and then declined. It would shed lite on why some countries also have more champs than others.

  2. Don from Prov 11:30am, 02/08/2012

    Rax: No, I’d not guess that Martinez would bring in the numbers against Floyd that Miguel will—But that is part of the debate


    argument?

    problem?  Of course boxing, like most everything in the world is a business, but I feel when the business end supersedes the “Best fight the Best” credo in a case like this, then that hurts the sport—and ultimately, a fighter’s legacy.  BTW “Case like this” = Floyd has more money than God. ( If he is going to go through that money, it won’t matter if he earns 100 or 300 million: He is going to go through it and the amount he makes doesn’t matter anyway.)  So, if he were to take on Martinez, who many people have in their current top three or four fighters, and beat him (which you think he’ll do; and you may well be right, but PERCEPTION counts and the perception is that Martinez, the bigger man, is right behind Manny and Floyd in pure ability, so he = a big coup while Cotto has already been tarnished) for a mere (I don’t know) fifteen million dollars, Floyd will still be doing just fine.  And Miguel would still be there for the taking.  So, I’d GUESS that the fight that we are getting fits into Ted’s Mayweather Business Plan in two ways: 1) Wait until a fighter is heading toward the sunset and offer him a going-away purse he can’t say no to; 2) Whatever you do, avoid fighting the best while they are at, or appear to be at, their best.


    Yes, I think the Manny/Floyd “sell by” date is gone.  I’d even say that I’d not mind seeing Manny concentrate on governance at this point.  Floyd?  His style might = a few more good years, and of the two, I might most enjoy seeing him in what I at least perceive to be a real challenge as I think he’s not fulfilled what I would have loved for him to in the ring.  But that’s me, and I don’t count for a whole lot.

  3. raxman 03:04pm, 02/07/2012

    Don - is it a mega fight for floyd? i dunno? how does it fit in ted’s “mayweather business plan”? i guess the mainstream sporting fan only really knows the names floyd and manny but cotto is at least a name - a big name - for fans of the sport. and i expect mayyweather v cotto to do big ppv no’s. do you think floyd vs maravilla does big númbers because i’‘m not sure i do - aside from the no’s that any floyd fight does.


    it’ll be interesting to see what pac v bradley does.


    i think floyd and manny take a huge risk in not fighting each other now. although it’s unlikely an upset in either fight, it is less remote than what it would’ve been a year ago - pac hasn’t looked as good since he fought margarito and it’s possible years banging with mexico’s best has started to take its toll. and floyd having the jail stuff hanging over him may be an inch off his game.

  4. Don from Prov 09:43am, 02/07/2012

    Well Rax, again, I am not and have not said that Martinez is one of the greatest middleweights—or Jr. Middleweights who ever lived.  I am saying that he is fast, shifty-awkward, can punch a bit, has endurance, and has never suffered the beatings that Cotto has.  I also know that he CLAIMS that he can make 154 and was 157 two years ago for Williams, so I’m not going to call him a liar until he gives me reason to.  He has also called out Jr.—something that, when it came from Baldomir, caused Floyd to insist the fight be made immediately.  You are absolutely right that Martinez could be making some money fighting Cotto IF Cotto wanted to fight him.  Then again, Manny and Floyd—cherry pickers supreme—could be making a WHOLE lot of money fighting each other, but they aren’t.  I also agree that Martinez defeated a Pavlik who was beginning to lose it, but he still beat him. He also narrowly lost to and then defeated Williams—a fighter who I always saw as overrated, but who didn’t have many people jumping up to fight him-


    Bottom line, I guess is that we can agree to disagree on who poses the most interesting questions for Mayweather.
    Credit to Floyd for fighting Oscar?  Sure.
    Realize that Martinez is getting old?  Yes.

     

    Begin to at least question if Martinez can make 154, especially when he speaks of facing the Super Middleweights? Yes to that as well, but I’ll keep an open mind until Floyd calls him out at the weight—

     

    Which is not going to happen.

  5. raxman 04:09pm, 02/06/2012

    thanks Irish! yeah that was bizarre wasnt it? i’m yet to see the fight (not on downunder) but it never makes sense when two judges give a fight 9 rounds to 3 but third gives it 7-5 the other way!?! its more than a 4 round turn around its actually 8 coz you giving to one and taking from the other - well thats my equally bizarre way at looking at things so maybe i would make a judge.
    i know certain judges score aggression over all else and that’s sometimes a reason for differing scores but this fight doesnt sound like that was the case.

  6. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 03:53pm, 02/06/2012

    Raxman-the boxing acumen demonstrated by yourself and all on this site flibbers my gibbets. I would choose any one of you over Ruben Garcia as a ringside judge for a Donaire/Arce title bout. I still want to see his card for Saturday’s fight…..seriously!

  7. raxman 02:05pm, 02/06/2012

    don - also credit must be given for when floyd did his own stepping up - when he fought a still able bodied oscar - who came as close as anyone to beating floyd (his only split decision from memory?) and he steps up again to fight cotto at his proper weight.  but martinez would have to come down - and we’ve discussed this before - martinez has no intention of making 154 again - maybe he can’t. but surely rather than fighting the barkers and macklins of the limited 160pound class maravilla could be earning bucks fighting cotto or alvarez or even rematching margarito. the fact is martinez is a limited fighter who knows his limitations - hence the cherry picking in his (soon to be) 3 fights since p-dub#2


    martinez is nearly 37. he was 35 when he beat pavlik and then williams. and as a result of those two fights everyone forgets the previous 48 fights. boxers don’t miraculously improve when they are 35 years of age after 13years in the game.


    what is more logical - that after 48fights and at 35yrs old martinez discoverd something new in himself - or he caught two fighters - pavlik at the beginning of crisis and williams possibly chin shot from years of heavy punches (the result of a flawed defense) - and exposed them? we could also reason that perhaps neither of those guys should have been labelled elite to begin with.


    at 154 floyd destroys martinez. an absolute 12round clinic and waste of time. fighting cotto at that weight has much more credibilty.

  8. raxman 01:47pm, 02/06/2012

    ted - you’re american; you’re not supposed to know anything about europe let alone asia - they’ll take your citizenship if you keep recognizing the rest of the world!

  9. David Matthew 12:54pm, 02/06/2012

    fair enough pug…I just think that Floyd has actually produced pretty fascinating match-ups in his most recent fights (Ortiz, Marquez, Hatton, Mosley (when he was still dangerous after his destruction of Margarito) Oscar at 154 - now Cotto at 154) - to me this isn’t the strategic Mayweather business-plan that was worthy of high criticism when he was fighting Gatti, Baldomir, and Sharmba Mitchell.


    I actually think Pacquiao’s most recent scheduling deserves the harsher criticism.

  10. Don from Prov 12:35pm, 02/06/2012

    Anyone who thinks that Floyd cleaned out the division when the welters were primed and ready is missing something—-


    No sin in taking on a young puncher like Ortiz (no matter his mental state), so props there, nor with trying to make a meal of smaller fighters such as Hatton and Marquez—that is boxing, but so is stepping up like Hatton and Marquez—-


    Take on Martinez Floyd.


    And Manny—Ah, save the Republic.

  11. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 11:51am, 02/06/2012

    This article is crazy good….one thing though…if it wasn’t for the Cold War and the Iron Curtain the Eastern Europeans would have had a far greater impact on professional boxing starting in the post war years ....guaranteed.

  12. pugknows 11:46am, 02/06/2012

    David, email Ted and I think he will tell you that Manny has the same model but that Floyd started it—I think.

  13. David Matthew 10:28am, 02/06/2012

    Also - with regards to the “Mayweather Business Plan” as being some sort of a con-job on the sport and fans…I think that’s unfair.  I used to be an outspoken critic of Mayweather’s selective matchmaking prior to the Ricky Hatton bout.  But since, he’s matched himself up against tough competition.


    The Marquez fight was a dangerous fight at the time…and considering Marquez is still in a lot of people’s pound-for-poud rankings, he’s still a legitimate elite fighter (particularly after November 2011) - it’s just that he couldn’t deal w/ Floyd’s skill-set/size…


    As for Ortiz, Ted himself referred to him as being “as hungry as a sumo wrestler” (lol) prior to the bout.  It wasn’t an easy fight…and people often forget that before the lapse in Vic’s focus matched w/ Floyd’s cut-throat finish - it was an interesting fight and young Ortiz was doing his best to press the smaller Mayweather…


    Now we get Cotto.  Sure, it’s not Pacquaio, but many of us have been wanting this match-up for a while (including me).  Cotto may not be the rising superstar that he was prior to Margocheato I, but he’s still a top fighter and outside of Pacquaio, arguably the toughest fight for Floyd when waged at 154.

  14. David Matthew 09:43am, 02/06/2012

    pugknows - how is that business model any diff. from the present pacquiao model for the past few fights?

  15. pugknows 09:40am, 02/06/2012

    Great post Adam. I too hope there will be an American heavyweight hopeful down the road, but my sense is the wait will be a long one. Meanwhile, props to my friend here for coming up with some observations that help me understand what is going on today in the boxing scene. By the way, any thoughts on Australia? If you have quit posting, email me your answer and I’ll post it for you. But I am bummed that you seem to have stopped posting though I think I might know why.

  16. pugknows 09:39am, 02/06/2012

    As the Bull posted on another site—–one on which I also post:

    The choice of picking Cotto is part of Mayweather’s Business Model. He waits until a guy is ripe, then presents him with a retirement package he can’t refuse, and then beats him up until a referee, hopefully not a fair but firm one, steps in and gives the beloved Miguel a compassionate stoppage. The key ingredient here is in the waiting.

  17. David Matthew 08:31am, 02/06/2012

    I personally have always been a fan of the Klitschkos - particularly Wladimir - who I regard as one of the most skilled hw’s of all time.  Despite the recent travesty published by ESPN magazine declaring once again ‘boxing is dead’ - the Klitschkos remind us that boxing is flourishing.  It’s just that boxing’s allure has transcended our continent.  As Ted’s article points out - the Klitschkos are Jordan-like figures in europe - and in particular - Germany.

  18. TEX HASSLER 08:01am, 02/06/2012

    The Klitschko brothers are not afraid of hard work, training, and making an all out effort at learning their trade. Most of the American fighters they have fought did not put in that hard work and did not learn the skills to cope with the K. Brothers height and reach advantage. Fighters in shape to fight 3 rounds are not likely to beat those in shape to fight 12 rounds or more. If all the other fighter had the Klitschko’s work ethic boxing would be much more competitive. Thanks for the 2 photos of 2 great trainers who have passed off the scene and will be greatly missed by the boxing community.

  19. Charlie 07:56am, 02/06/2012

    Nice work Ted in bringing the present global picture into view in a few paragraphs. Agreed that Europe and Asia is more prominant now than ever before,and Mexico putting forth a titanic wave of fighters-many in my eyes do not put on a first class show like the 60’s-70’s. For instance, the Klitschkos are reigning but as far as entertainment leave something to be desired. I attended Vlad vs, Ibragmov fight-saw more action with a pair of Long Island welters in a 6 rounder. They are products of their time and that’s what we have in in respect to their time and era.
    Another point on global fighters.
    Adamek (now living in New Jersey) along with numerous fighters are using their ethnic backgrounds for support. (This has always been the case going back to ancient times to sell tickets). I think a fighter should be represented by where he trains-not where he was born.You would see a different global landscape.

    Note of homage to referree Wayne Kelly (seen here working the Ji Hoon Kim vs Leonardo Zappavigna fight) on his passing last week. RIP Mr Kelly.

  20. dollar bond 06:17am, 02/06/2012

    My God, Ted.  Your knowledge is truly remarkable.  When do you find time to do the research?

  21. Don from Prov 05:46am, 02/06/2012

    I must say that I find the “Mayweather Business Model” and the PPV situation to be distressing.

  22. johnwriter60 05:34am, 02/06/2012

    Today’s “fast out of the gate” approach began when? With the rocky (no pun) economy and dreams of riches rather than reputation and self-esteem that endures in accordance with multi-cultural habituation?  Or maybe when young fighters became older trainers and managers who were just plain tired of the bull…........

  23. Adam P Short 08:59pm, 02/05/2012

    Heavyweights are always a tough cover.  It’s the planet theory - at any given time there are only going to be a certain small number of guys who are big enough and athletic enough to give it a credible go. 


    Right now, most of those guys are from the East - Russia, Ukraine, etc…  The Russians have focused on creating big, coordinated fighters while the US has turned those guys into tight ends. 


    Do we care enough to develop the guys who can take the title back?  History says…  probably yes.  The heavyweight title is a prize worth striving for.  Right now, though, the Klitsckos are the kings.  More power to them. 


    Will there be an American heavyweight for me to teach my son about?  Sure…  but his name might be Jon Jones, and his game might be something that doesn’t include the word “boxing.”  We’re at a tipping point now in the US.  Who will be the next great US champion?


    The world watches, and waits…

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