Maybe the Best Do Fight the Best

By Ted Sares on February 26, 2012
Maybe the Best Do Fight the Best
Golden Boy's rising star Abner Mares is set to go in Mexico on April 21 against TBA

The “sweet science of bruising” has often been criticized because the best don’t always fight the best…

“They are men’s men. Rocky Marciano was one of them. Oscar Bonavena and Jerry Quarry and George Chuvalo and Gene Fullmer and Carmen Basilio, to name a few…”—Norman Mailer

MMA fighters’ records often aren’t as glossy as those of their boxing counterparts, but that in large part is because in MMA, the best tend to fight the best. While that is a fan-friendly phenomenon, it is not designed to lengthen a combatant’s longevity.

Boxing has often been criticized because the best don’t always fight the best, and this has contributed to my own growing lack of interest. However, this coming year seems to be an exception and more significantly, maybe a new pattern that could help turbo-charge a sport badly in need of one. 

My good friend Matt Mosley of Bad Left Hook has put together the following outstanding list of upcoming bouts scheduled for the first half of 2012 and it reinforces this notion:

March 10:
Orlando Salido (No.3 at Featherweight) vs. Juan Manuel Lopez (No.4 at Featherweight)

March 17:
Sergio Martinez (No.1 at Middleweight) vs. Matthew Macklin (No.3 at Middleweight)

March 24:
Erik Morales (No.9 at Light Welterweight) vs. Danny Garcia (No. 8 at Light Welterweight)

March 24:
Carlos Molina (No. 4 at Light Middleweight) vs. James Kirkland (No.7 at Light Middleweight)

March 31:
Alexander Dimitrenko (No.9 at Heavyweight) vs. Kubrat Pulev (No.10 at Heavyweight)

April 14:
Mikkel Kessler (No.3 at Super Middleweight) vs. Robert Stieglitz (No.7 at Super Middleweight)

April 14:
Brandon Rios (No.2 at Lightweight) vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa (No.1 at Featherweight)

April 28:
Bernard Hopkins (No.1 at Light Heavyweight) vs. Chad Dawson (No.2 at Light Heavyweight)

May 5:
Floyd Mayweather (No.1 at Welterweight) vs. Miguel Cotto (No.1 at Light Middleweight)

May 19:
Lamont Peterson (No.2 at Light Welterweight) vs. Amir Khan (No. 3 at Light Welterweight)

June 9:
Manny Pacquiao (No.2 at Welterweight) vs. Timothy Bradley (No.1 at Light Welterweight)

June 23:
Victor Ortiz (No.3 at Welterweight) vs. Andre Berto (No.4 at Welterweight)

Other Bouts

On March 3, Angky Angkota fights Fernando Montiel, Takalani Ndlovu tackles Jeffrey Mathebula in South Africa on March 3,  Edwin Rodriguez fights Donovan George on March 17, Carl Frampton dukes with Prosper Ankrah on March 17, Piotr Wilczewski takes on Arthur Abraham on March 31, Vic Darchinyan faces undefeated Shinsuke Yamanaka on April 4, Hozumi Hasegawa fights undefeated Felipe Carlos Feliz on April 6, Jhonny Gonzalez goes up against Elio Rojas on April 14, and Anselmo Moreno dukes with rugged David De La Mora on April 21. 

Also, Abner Mares is set to go in Mexico on April 21 against TBA, but given the fact that Mares has fought Joseph Agbeko (twice), Vic Darchinyan, and Yonnhy Perez in his last four outings, the TBA will be no pushover. Jorge Arce also has a meeting with TBA in Las Vegas on June 9. If his opponent turns out to be Toshiaki Nishioka, the current WBC super bantamweight champion, this should be a barnburner.  Only Chris John (46-0-2) may have an easy opponent when he steps in the ring on March 31 to fight still another TBA in Singapore.

Back in the Day

This clearly is no return to the glory days but it’s a start. You know, back when Larry Holmes and Evander Holyfield each fought incredibly tough opposition. Maybe Ali fought the toughest. Inexplicitly, Holyfield is still doing it. Ralph Dupas had 135 fights and many were against top level fighters. The same with Willie Pastrano whose opponents have an astounding combined won-loss record. There were others who would fight just about anyone put in front of them, guys like Beau Jack, Aldo Minelli, Chico Vejar, Holly Mims, Yama Bahama, Kenny Lane, Tony Licata, Vito Antuofermo, Tommy Tibbs (who participated in 139 bouts), and Johnny Cesario. And still more like Guts Ishimatsu, Ted Lowry, Johnny Saxton, Frank Minton, Jorge Paez, James Martinez, Ray Oliveira, Saoul Mamby, Jose Monon Gonzalez, Joey Giordello, Juan Laporte, Doug Dewitt, Alvaro “Yaqui” López, Julio Cesar Gonzalez, and Ben Tackie.

Oh yes, Dick Tiger was pretty solid as well. He met Champions Emile Griffith, Nino Benvenuti, Jose Torres, Bob Foster, Joey Giardello, Gene Fullmer and Terry Downes. He also fought some impressive contenders like Andy Kendall, Frankie DePaula, Roger Rouse, Jose Gonzalez, Rubin Carter, Joey Archer, Don Fullmer, Florentino Fernandez, Spider Webb, Henry Hank, Gene Armstrong, Yolande Pompey, Randy Sandy, Holly Mims, Wilf Greaves, and Rory Calhoun.

Still, if forced to pick one boxer who fought the very highest level, of competition, it would be The Cincinnati Cobra, Ezzard Charles.

So sit back and enjoy what’s coming your way in the next several months. You may not get another opportunity.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

HBO Boxing: Yuriorkis Gamboa vs. Orlando Salido Highlights (HBO)

HBO Boxing: Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Steven Luevano Highlights (HBO)

Erik "El Terrible" Morales Career Highlight

James Kirkland vs Dennis Sharpe

Alexander Dimitrenko Highlights 2011

Kubrat Pulev Highlights

Mikkel Kessler vs Robert Stieglitz promo (pc productions)

HBO Boxing: Anthony Peterson vs. Brandon Rios Highlights (HBO)

HBO Boxing: Yuriorkis Gamboa vs. Orlando Salido Highlights (HBO)

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  1. pacquiao vs bradley 09:49pm, 05/09/2012

    Normally I do not read post on blogs, however I would like to say that this
    write-up very pressured me to check out and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me.
    Thanks, quite nice post.

  2. the thresher 01:01pm, 03/02/2012

    Here is another:

    Earlier today, future champion, junior welterweight Mauricio Herrera signed and sealed the deal for a 10 round bout on April 14 against undefeated Mike Alvarado (32-0, 23 KOs). The fight will open the HBO telecast that will feature the much-anticipated main event bout between unbeaten lightweights Brandon Rios and Yuriorkis Gamboa.

  3. MRBILL-HARDCORE XXX 11:29am, 02/29/2012

    Gary Sinise played a great Harry S. Truman back in ‘95… IMDb on the web gives the movie a high rating as well… I also found my ‘86 fights of “Barkley-Kinchen” in which Barkley dropped Kinchen in round 9 and won the 10 rd. decision and “Hearns-DeWitt.”

  4. the thresher 05:23pm, 02/28/2012

    Gary Sinise rocks

  5. MRBILL-HARDCORE XXX 10:22am, 02/28/2012

    Yes, but by 1995, both Brown and Davis were washing up… I just dn’t remember taping this fight off CBS TV back in ‘95, but I did… Davis won a decision over Brown… Also, neither were true middleweights… Both Simon B. and Aaron D. weighed 158 pounds… I also have J.C. Chavez vs. David Kamau on the tape, as well as the HBO special film, “Truman” with Gary Sinise… Very good…

  6. the thresher 06:15pm, 02/27/2012

    MRBILL, Simon Brown engaged in a number of great fights. WORD!

  7. MRBILL-HARDCORE XXX 04:14pm, 02/27/2012

    Ezzard Charles is not overlooked. He is a notable P-4-P all-time great…. Do I rate him as an ATG in the top-10 at heavyweight in 2012? No, but he sure as hell was a solid top-10 heavy of all-time between the years of 1887 to 1960…And, well, most still rate him best ever at 175 pounds… Peace… However, my guy at 175 is still Michael Spinks…. Cheerio…..

  8. TEX HASSLER 02:12pm, 02/27/2012

    Ezzard Charles is often over looked and vastly under rated. He fought absolutely the highest level of competition. He was at his peak at light heavy. Ezzard Charles, Gene Tunney, and Billy Conn were truly great at light heavy and it would be hard to pick a winner if they were matched against each other. If Harry Greb had two good eyes instead of one he might have beaten them all.

  9. MRBILL-HARDCORE XXX 01:50pm, 02/27/2012

    Trippy, but I just uncovered my 1995 CBS TV fight between Simon Brown and Aaron Davis… I don’t even remember this fight occuring… I got it rolling since I cannot recall the results… Both are at 158 pounds for this bout… However, this has gotta’ be one of the last good TV fights CBS ever covered… Tim Ryan and Gil Clancy are calling the heat… Peace…

  10. the thresher 12:59pm, 02/26/2012

    Phil, probably a Youtube issue. But don’t really know.

  11. Phil 12:45pm, 02/26/2012

    Thanks Ted.
    Some of these links wont play, is it me or just a YouTube issue?

  12. the thresher 12:42pm, 02/26/2012

    Good to see you drop by, Phil

  13. Phil 12:41pm, 02/26/2012

    When I see a list like that, it gives me something to look forward to. Matt’s always on the ball with up and coming fight schedules. Just as well, cos I don’t have a “Scooby doo” !!

  14. the thresher 11:19am, 02/26/2012

    Wonderful to see Matt Mosley posting on here. It’s a tribute to two boxing sites that can live together. I write for one and post like a madman for the other. What’s not to like?

  15. the thresher 11:18am, 02/26/2012

    Pug, we crossed in cyberspace but it was a perfect intersect. Unreal and scary.

  16. the thresher 11:17am, 02/26/2012


  17. dollarbond 11:14am, 02/26/2012

    Thanks for all the great info Bull.

  18. the thresher 11:12am, 02/26/2012

    Toward his career end, Charles lost seven of his last nine bouts, but still fought top opposition including Harry “Kid” Matthews (88-7-6),Donnie Fleeman (24-2), and rugged ex-college great Pat McMurtry (20-0-1). Like many greats who hang on too long, he faded into obscurity, especially after his last draining fight against Marciano.

    And from 1955 until his retirement in 1959, he fought 24 times, winning only 10 which, of course, diluted his legacy insofar as his record was concerned, but nothing can ever dilute the following encapsulation:

    Rocky Marciano (twice) IBHF/WBHF
    Joe Louis IBHF/WBHF
    Jersey Joe Walcott (four times) IBHF/WBHF
    Archie Moore (thrice) IBHF/WBHF
    Rex Layne (thrice)
    Joe Maxim (five times) IBHF/WBHF
    Jimmy Bivins (four times) IBHF/WBHF
    Charley Burley (twice) IBHF/WBHF
    Lloyd Marshall (thrice) WBHF
    Gus Lesnevich WBHF
    Ken Overlin (twice)
    Elmer Ray (twice)
    Harold Johnson IBHF/WBHF
    Bob Satterfield

    Names like Moore, Burley and Bivins are mentioned in conversations reserved only for the legendary, but when you add Marciano, Walcott, and Joe Louis into the mix, well, “legendary” becomes“immortal.” Charles fought them all.

  19. pugknows 11:08am, 02/26/2012

    Why do you say Charles fought the best? Don’t disagree. Just asking.

  20. MRBILL-HARDCORE XXX 10:49am, 02/26/2012

    Last nights HBO card with Broner and Maidana was nothing more than a good card for ESPN2… Cable TV boxing has dipped big time in quality the last 5 to 7 years… I am not impressed with today’s elite crop of fighters and so-called chumps…

  21. jofre 10:35am, 02/26/2012

    Ezzard Charles is one of boxing’s all-time truly underrated fighters. He was just a young pup and before his 21st birthday he was already in the ring with legendary fighters such as Charley Burley, Ken Overlin, Teddy Yarosz, Kid Tunero, and Anton Christofordis.

  22. Matt Mosley 09:45am, 02/26/2012

    As you say Ted, Ezzard Charles is the epitome of what a real fighter should be.
    I was unaware of his stellar record until you told me.
    He also has those wins over another true legend, Archie Moore, when both were, I imagine, in their prime?

  23. Matt Mosley 09:40am, 02/26/2012

    I hope BoxNation or Sky pick up the Salido v Lopez rematch.
    I think it could be just as good as the first.

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