South African Heavyweights: A Tapestry

By Ted Sares on November 18, 2015
South African Heavyweights: A Tapestry
Coetzee became the first boxer from Africa to fight for and win a heavyweight title. (Getty)

The heavyweights have truly played a major role in cementing the rich legacy of boxing in South Africa…

Over the years, the South Africa boxing landscape has been dotted with highly talented small and mid-weight boxers. These include, but are not limited to,  Willie “Wavy Haired Master” Smith, Vuyani “Wonderboy” Nene, Cassius Baloyi, Jacob “Baby Jake” Matlala, Thulani “Sugar Boy” Malinga, Phillip Holliday, Dingaan “The Rose of Soweto” Thobela, Vuyani Bungu, Thomas “The Rock” Mashaba, Brian Mitchell (a member of the international Boxing Hall of Fame), David “Baby Lux” Kambule , Gabula “Slashing Tiger” Vabaza,  Vic Toweel, Harold Volbrecht, Zolani Tete, Lovemore N’dou, Malcolm Klassen, Giovanni Pretorius, the late Mlungisi “The Killer Shark” Dlamini, Simpiwe Vetyeka, Jan Piet Bergman, Bongani Mwelase, Tommy Oosthuizen, and Hekkie Budler. For others, see: http://www.southafrica.info/about/sport/boxing_champs.htm

In addition, six South African boxers have won Olympic Games gold medals. They were Clarence Walker, Willie Smith, Laurie Stevens, Dave Carstens, Gerald Dreyer and George Hunter. “The statistics might have been more impressive had politics not prevented talented blacks from representing their country and if South Africans were not banned from the Games between 1960 and their readmission in 1992.”

Notwithstanding the above, the heavyweights have truly played a major role in cementing the rich legacy of boxing in South Africa.

1974-1997: Gerrie Coetzee et al.

Gerrie had extremely quick hands for a heavyweight. He won the National Lightweight Title as a 13-year-old amateur when he pummeled 16-year-old Hennie Colyn. In his 192 amateur fights, Gerri lost only seven, three against his arch rival and highly ranked Kallie Knoetze (who himself KO’d Duane Bobick in 1978 when Bobick was 40-1). As amateurs, the two sworn enemies met on six occasions, each winning three bouts.

Coetzee (aka the Boksburg Bomber and also known as the Bionic Hand) became national heavyweight champion at 21 when he fought big Mike “The Tank” Schutte, who was disqualified in the sixth round for “dirty tricks.” The “Tank” had back-to-back wins over Chuck Wepner and Rodney Bobick

Here is the well-schooled Coetzee showing both his defensive and offensive skills as he blows away a swarming and bull-rushing Leon Spinks in 1979: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbuanlnI0Ss

Gerrie, who denounced racism and was supported by black fans, then became the first boxer from Africa ever to fight for, and win, a world heavyweight title with a stunning 10th round upset knockout of cocky Michael Dokes in 1983. South Africans celebrated till early morning hours all over the World. Gerrie Coetzee, a 5-to-1 underdog, became an instant hero not only in South Africa, but all over the world.

Coetzee finished his career with a record of 33-6-1. Among his opponents were the aforementioned Dokes and Spinks, Greg Page, Scott Le Doux, Renaldo Snipes, Mike Weaver, John Tate, Ibar Arrington, Randy Stephens, Ron Stander, and arch-rival Kallie Knoetze.

1985-1997: Johnny du Plooy

“Crowds paid money to watch his lightning speed, knockout power and his trademark entrance to the strains of Chuck Berry’s Johnny B Goode.”—David Isaacson

Back in 1990, the exciting and charismatic du Plooy (who was the country’s biggest draw card in the 1980s) fought fellow South African Pierre Coetzer in a bout billed as “Once and For All.” It turned out to be a classic as Coetzer came back from a horrific first round beating to stop Johnny in the next round. Previously du Plooy (a chill-or-be-chilled type) upset highly touted Chicagoan Lee Roy Murphy in 10. Among his other victims were Philipp Brown, Mike Weaver (by TKO), James Broad, Ricky Parkey, and James Tillis.

This is what Ron Jackson of Boxing News said about the “once and for all classic”:

“On August 4, 1990 he met South African heavyweight champion Pierre Coetzer in a non title fight at the Sun City Superbowl in one of the most explosive heavyweight fights seen in South Africa. There was a lot of needle as both fighters came out throwing bombs from the first bell in what was believed to be the biggest money fight in South African boxing history. Coetzer was left bleeding with blood streaming from a cut on the left eyelid.

“In the second round du Plooy impressed as he jolted Coetzer’s head back with lefts and rights, culminating in a big right hand that sent Coetzer crashing down to the canvas. Coetzer was not that badly hurt and as du Plooy stormed in intent on a knockout he was knocked down with two vicious left hooks, one to the side of the head and the other to the jaw. He managed to beat the count but soon afterwards went down again from another left hook du Plooy managed to beat a the count but was in no condition to continue as future Hall of Fame referee Stan Christodoulou waived the fight off at 2 minute 46 seconds into the round.”

The six minutes of extraordinary violence was awarded the King Korn/Boxing World Fight of the Year for 1990: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvePGLbIFeI

Here is du Plooy with a frightening KO of Mike Weaver: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhhqbDjQhXE

The heavy handed du Plooy finished with a 27-5-1 mark and was more than willing to fight in his opponent’s home town. His level of opposition was impressive but his amazing amateur record of 196-4 was beyond impressive.

After his retirement, Johnny became obese and suffered from heart problems for years. Several months before his death at age 48, he had a heart attack.

As for Coetzer, he had his share of solid wins and retired with a fine 39-5 mark with three of his losses coming in his last three fights to Riddick Bowe, Frank Bruno, and George Foreman. Interestingly, he was 8-3 while fighting outside of South Africa.

1989- 2008: Corrie Sanders

“Sanders was born in Pretoria. A talented sporting all-rounder, he played rugby and cricket as a schoolboy and later honed a golf game to near-professional standard. His impressive physique and strength, allied to a natural athleticism, helped him develop an intimidating punching power from a southpaw stance, which made him one of the most dangerous fighters of his time.”—from Corrie Sanders’ obituary in The Guardian

“We were shocked to learn of the sudden death of Corrie Sanders and we want to express our sincere condolences to his family…We will remember Corrie as a great person both inside and outside the ring. He was a great fighter with a big heart who always positively represented the sport of boxing.”—Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko who paid a personal tribute to Sanders, who died after being shot by robbers at a restaurant in northern South Africa

“The tragic death of Corrie Sanders was a sad loss to his family, the country’s brand image and to the entire boxing fraternity. That he died not rich, despite his outstanding career and significant contribution, is unfortunate. Boxers, managers, trainers, promoters and officials deserve a better dividend from the multi-million wealth of the sports industry. The boxing fraternity must revive boxing, which is very popular among our people. Corrie is gone, but his outstanding contribution will live on.”—Thabani Khumalo, researcher, writer and commentator

Sanders, like Coetzee, had quick hands and plenty of pop. He turned professional in 1989 and in his 11th professional fight won the SA title with a first round knockout of Johnny du Plooy in 1991.

Twenty years after Coetzee won the WBA heavyweight title with a stunning 10th round upset knockout of Michael Dokes, South Africa had another world heavyweight champion. This affable southpaw shocked the boxing world when he knocked out the seemingly invincible Wladimir Klitschko early in the second round to win the WBO version of the title. At age 37, Sanders’ biggest win was resounding. While he would soon would be savaged by Vitali Klitschko in a thrilling fight for brotherly redemption, that one victory over Wladimir rocked the boxing world and will be talked about for ages. Corrie’s final mark is an admirable 42-4. See: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6p6tn_wladimir-klitschko-vs-corrie-sander_sport

1990-2014: Frans “The White Buffalo” Botha

“I am going right at him (Botha) and I expect him to go down cold. I expect him to die.”—Mike Tyson

“I will cut Michael Grant down to size.”—Botha

Frans is now long in the tooth and has had 63 bouts. He has been there and he has done it all in the heavyweight boxing world. Like Britain’s Danny Williams, Botha has had his highs and his lows and when he gave Michael Moorer almost more than he could handle in 1996, he was 35-0 coming in and at the top of his game.

In what should have been billed as a fight from the Wild Kingdom, Botha fought to a draw with the “Black Rhino,” Clifford Etienne, and soon after retired but came back in 2007. In July of that year, he won a dominant unanimous decision victory over Bob Mirovic thereby winning the Interim WBF World heavyweight title.

Then, on February 6, 2009, Botha beat Ron “Rocky” Guerrero by UD for the vacant WBF World title and successfully defended it against Timo Hoffman in May 2009 in Germany, winning by split decision. He won four in a row but posed little threat and eventually lost to Evander Holyfield in April 2019

After exposing undefeated Flo Simba on June 4, 2011, Frans met Michael Grant (47-4) at the Monte Casino in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa. The fight was billed as “Urban War” and what a war it was.

Botha was in solid shape as he outscored the much taller Grant and buzzed him in rounds seven and 11, but he began to tire late. Then, with just seconds to go in the twelfth and final round in a fight that Frans was winning on all the cards, he was shockingly knocked out in spectacular fashion by a long and thunderous Grant right hand—reminiscent of a Tommy Hearns’ whip shot—that caught the South African on the sweet point of his jaw and sent him down and out. As he remained prone for several scary minutes, the crowd was in disbelief, the announcers were in disbelief, and so was I as I entered this thrilling ending into my Memory Bank for posterity. Cries of “Oh my God” could be heard throughout the casino. It may not have been LaMotta vs. Dauthuille or Darnell Wilson vs. David Rodriguez, but it was close. Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lrlme8PE64

A road warrior type, the Buffalo gained great respect in his losses to Tyson and Moorer when he displayed true courage and left nothing in the ring. Here is Tyson finally catching up to Frans with an incredible power-generated KO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7oXBqKUyxY

Like too many others, Frans has now stayed on too long and has become an easy notch for up-and-coming prospects. His current record is 48-11-3 and he has lost seven of his last eight. The writing is one the wall. Frans is no dummy and surly he knows that better than most.

The South African heavyweights were indeed an exciting, fan-friendly bunch of warriors who pulled off some big wins, but only one, Coetzee, has avoided less than a positive and financially rewarding ending and even Gerrie has experienced his share of serious issues. Yet in this respect, they differ little from boxers elsewhere. Boxing is an unforgiving “sport” where there are seldom happy endings.

Ted Sares is one of the world’s oldest active power lifters and holds several world and North American records. He enjoys writing about boxing.

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  1. Ted 05:41pm, 12/05/2015

    Won my class

  2. dollarbond 01:00pm, 12/03/2015

    Bull,
    How did you do in Rhode Island?

  3. Ted 07:15am, 12/01/2015

    Thanks Gutsy. Just saw this. Just returned and will see you on Friday.

  4. Gusty Williams 12:06am, 11/27/2015

    Ted, hope your Thanksgiving in Boston was wonderful and go get the gold powerlifting in Providence!

  5. KB 06:28am, 11/23/2015

    Thanks Paul

  6. Paul Magno 10:21pm, 11/22/2015

    Good stuff, Ted…but why the sniper shots from the teammates?

  7. KB 07:36pm, 11/22/2015

    Let’s get back to boxing lads. This will be my last article for a while as I am going on a once-a month cycle on Boxing.com. That’s why I wanted to have some fun here and I’ll be dammed if anyone is going to muck it up over some petty stuff or misperceived slight.

    Mike Casey is a marvelous writer and I have always shown him nothing but respect. Fact is, It was I who got him (and some others) to write on Boxing.com.

    I will not be lured into some kind of public pissing contest here. Anyone wants to go head to head with me, use email. Most know mine but Robert will give it to you if you ask him.

  8. John aka L.L. Cool John 05:58pm, 11/22/2015

    Robert Ecksel: Ho-hum, huh? If one owns an online boxing site, I would assume popularity and the ability to relate to one’s readers (with posts and genuine interest) would be great for ratings. Apparently, I stand corrected.

  9. Robert Ecksel 05:20pm, 11/22/2015

    Ho-hum. Mike Casey is brilliant. Does he have to be popular as well?

  10. John aka L.L. Cool John 04:46pm, 11/22/2015

    Re: Mike Casey’s previous post.
    Casey has an article currently on Boxing.com entitled “Doug Jones: The Man Who Nearly Beat Cassius Clay.”
    FYI: The article received 1358 reads with a mere 13 posts two of which were from Casey himself. Hmm ...

  11. kb 03:22pm, 11/22/2015

    HE COTT-CANELO THREAD HAS TAKEN OFF. LOVE IT

  12. KB 02:25pm, 11/22/2015

    Bot sure what’s bothering Mike ot my issue.

    Yes Es, Facebook can absorb too much time especially when people use it v their smart phones.

  13. es 02:17pm, 11/22/2015

    Eh!?! Mike casey? Very cryptic post.

  14. KB 01:37pm, 11/22/2015

    ES, when you write, Facebook becomes a great way to get your stuff out there and get some hits and reads. That’s why most sites have their own page. I use it for boxing an powerlifting and enjoy the shit out of it.

    But it’s not for everyone. I know that

  15. KB 01:33pm, 11/22/2015

    Mike Casey . not sure I understand you? couldn’t MAKE UP WHAT?

  16. es 01:25pm, 11/22/2015

    Ughh. Facebook. Just not for me. It’s just not ‘real’.

    Cotto has taken a few beatings. 1 of them not his fault. He should never fight again.

  17. Mike Casey 01:23pm, 11/22/2015

    Indeed, over 2.000 reads and nearly 80 replies. You couldn’t make it up, eh Ted?

  18. KB 12:56pm, 11/22/2015

    Also, an interesting thread can serve as a substitute for Facebook,

    This thread is unusual in that the ratio of hits to posts is very irregular. These things have their own technological explanation and being a High Tech alum I am fascinated by it.

  19. KB 12:52pm, 11/22/2015

    Correct. A prime Cotto was a rampaging body punching monster. Nut Tito had that punch. Both had charisma.

    Hopefully Cotto has taken better care of his funds than Tito..

    Yes, ES, we used to get 1,500 posts on the Club and even BLH drew them in. But those days are gone because the speed of the sites has increased and articles are not marinated long enough. I still think it’s the number of hits that counts the most for most sites. If the hit count is high, the post count will take care of itself,

  20. es 12:46pm, 11/22/2015

    Cotto was good. But he was no Tito.

  21. es 12:44pm, 11/22/2015

    Wow. Those Scotch and cigar clubs regularly topped 1,000+ posts. Had some truly memorable banter on those threads. Only Sares could pull them in like that. Sorely missed but never forgotten. Truly great. Even better when Cupey Alto was around. Man that poster handed tumbo his ass at will.

  22. KB 12:27pm, 11/22/2015

    Yes, quality indeed

  23. John aka L.L. Cool John 12:25pm, 11/22/2015

    KB: And maybe spend some quality alone time with his voluptuous wife who was sitting at ringside.

  24. KB 12:24pm, 11/22/2015

    no problem, this thread took on a life of its own and became kind of a Cigar and Scotch Club thang that we used to do on ESB and BLH.

  25. John aka L.L. Cool John 12:21pm, 11/22/2015

    Teddy Atlas and Angelo Dundee are terrible at picking fights. I always liked, and (usually) agreed with, Al Bernstein and Bobby Czyz.
    FYI: Bernstein predicted Foreman to beat Tyson had they ever fought. I agree with that assessment.
    I’m sorry to get off the topic which was/is South African Heavyweights.

  26. KB 12:07pm, 11/22/2015

    But keep in mind that Floyd beat both Cotto and Canelo.

    I was surprised that Cotto did as well he did. Now he needs to head for the Rain Forest, dine on some fresh fish from Ojudo, sip some fine wine, enjoy his family, maybe get another tat, waill from and fade into history as another R legend like Tito.

  27. John aka L.L. Cool John 12:02pm, 11/22/2015

    Re: Alvarez/Cotto:
    Alvarez looked so much bigger than Cotto last night. He’s monster at 154! It appeared as if Cotto was fighting a light heavyweight. Cotto did a great job boxing and using angles, but Alvarez was just way too strong.
    As for Alvarez/GGG, I’ll give the edge to GGG. But I predict one HELL of an exciting fight.
    You know, I think I’m going to have an easy time getting over the retirement of Floyd Mayweather.

  28. KB 12:02pm, 11/22/2015

    Thanks John. Max is not a great historian. Atlas is. When Max sticks to modern, he is good. When he goes back, he is not as good. Just the reverse for Teddy who may be the worse predictor of fights I have ever come across. If he touted a stock, I would short it. Harold is very, very good when it comes to history. I think it all depends on where you want to start. Murray was my favorite

    As far as myself, I won’t touch (write)  anything that occurred before I became a fan. But I don’t begrudge those that do. By doing what I know, I never have to look back and that works fine for me.

  29. John aka L.L. Cool John 11:19am, 11/22/2015

    ***The Tijuana Kid:
    When Max Kellerman first came on the scene, I didn’t care for his style. The brash youngster was talking Joe Louis, Marciano, et al. like he new ‘em first hand. That’s what I like about our own Ted Sares. He’s witnessed the majority of his historical fights he’s written on first-hand.
    FYI: I’ve come around to liking Kellerman much better now. In my opinion, he did a good job last night with the Alvarez/Cotto fight.

  30. KB 07:47am, 11/22/2015

    Thanks Kid

  31. The Tijuana Kid 07:17pm, 11/21/2015

    Ted another wonderful read. It is so refreshing to read history by someone who actually witnessed it! Not some 1890s bare knuckle historical fiction crap by some 20-something hack.

  32. KB 06:35pm, 11/21/2015

    Hey Tex, thanks and welcome to the party Reverend. Gerrie was one very good heavyweight.

  33. kb 06:33pm, 11/21/2015

    He’s till alive isn’t he? Must be close to 100. I have a bunch of photos with him. Very nice man in person. I remember him rolling on the mat hyperventilating during the Golata-Bowe riot. LMFAO.

  34. Tex Hassler 06:33pm, 11/21/2015

    Gerrie was a very good fighter and shocked many including Dokes when he KO’d Michael. Thanks for bring him back to mind.

  35. John aka L.L. Cool John 05:49pm, 11/21/2015

    PA: “Lou Duva went bananas….!”
    Ha, that guy ALWAYS went bananas! I have a great photo of Lou and me in Vegas. The both of us were watching “Boom Boom” Mancini train back in ‘89. I wish I could post photos on this site.

  36. KB 05:05pm, 11/21/2015

    I wrote extensively about Courage in my first book and I could never corroborate his amateur record. Too good to be true. Larry Merchant said he would be the next Mike Tyson. Uh huh. The Wilson fight was a remarkable one. Courage should have won but Wilson somehow recovered and took him out. Great fight.

    His earlier loss to the late Brian Scott was the real shocker.

    Courage is now training young fighters in South Africa and is seen as a good citizen. More power to him.

  37. PA 04:46pm, 11/21/2015

    Du Plooy was also the 1st WBO HW title holder ever…
    Italian Francesco Damiani KO’d him later.
    Then Ray Mercer KO’d Damiani in one of the craziest KO’s I’ve ever seen.
    EXCELLENT read Ted.
    pa
    ps-
    Why no Courage Tshabalala???
    HA!
    Just kidding…
    BUT!
    His amateur record was insane…like 80-1, 80 1st round KO’s.  And his only loss was by DQ, I think…?
    Obvious flop as a pro, but before he mentally threw in the towel on his career, his fight with Darrell “Doin’ Damage” Wilson was a killer scrap. Like a poor man’s Moorer-Cooper.  And a weird one…
    Kinda seemed like ref Rudy Battle gave Wilson tons of tip, and kinda dicked-off Courage.
    But yeah, Wilson by TKO6 (or 7?)...
    Lou Duva went bananas….!

  38. kb 11:40am, 11/21/2015

    Neat post Eric. The Camden Buzzsaw also destroyed Said Mohammed. Those light heavyweight of that era would have throttled the old school ones for the most part. Of course, Ezzard Charles was special.


    John, Jim Murray’s post is a great one. Being from the heartland, I can truly appreciate it. Let’s have some Mulligan Stew in a Hobo Jungle?

  39. KB 11:36am, 11/21/2015

    Gee thanks Don. Of course I’m ok—at least when it comes to Tunney, Dempsey, and the Murder’s Row. But then I morph to modern boxing—POST 1950—where I am more than just ok.

  40. Don from Prov 10:38am, 11/21/2015

    Good answer, Ted.  All the times I’ve talked boxing with and didn’t realize that we shared an appreciation of Tunney,  You just might be okay.

  41. John aka L.L. Cool John 09:24am, 11/21/2015

    Good points, Eric. I stand corrected.
    I saw Qawi fight in person against Ossie Ocasio back in ‘87 on the undercard of Holyfield/Parkey. He was one tough guy.
    FYI: Oawi also gave Michael Spinks all he could handle.

  42. John aka L.L. Cool John 09:13am, 11/21/2015

    I love this quote by the late sportswriter Jim Murray of the Los Angeles Times.
    ““Whenever I hear the name, Jack Dempsey, I think of an America that was one big roaring camp of miners, drifters, bunkhouse hands, con men, hard cases, men who lived by their fists and their shooting irons and by the cards they drew. America at high noon.”
    —Jim Murray
    .

  43. Eric 09:09am, 11/21/2015

    Tommy Burns fighting light heavy at 5’7” againt modern day fighters? Dwight Qawi was listed at 5’6 3/4” and even captured the cruiserweight title to go along with the light heavy title. Qawi didn’t do too bad against Big George in their heavyweight matchup in ‘88 despite weighing an obscene 220+ pounds. I believe Miguel Cuello was about 5’9” when he held the light heavy title briefly in the 70’s and Dick Tiger was about 5’8” give or take an inch or so. Of course Tiger was demolished by the 6’3” Bob Foster.

  44. KB 08:51am, 11/21/2015

    What I meant was whenever I tout Tunney as having beat Greb more than once, I’ll immediately get responses that make excuse for Greb-like differences in weight, etc. To that I say bullshit because Gene won and there is no such thing as a bad win. He went 3-1-1 against Greb. IMO, Gene was one of the true greats of all time. He also had Dempsey’s number. Dempsey was uncommon in his will, determination, and ability to brawl. He was hard man during hard times. I’m just a great Tunney fan based on his great body of work. I think he would match up very well with today’s light heavyweights.

    As for Louis, he was stylish in the sense that he had a good sense of the ring (high ring (IQ), and knew how to stalk stun and kill with his short one two. He was a classic heavyweight.

  45. Don from Prov 08:09am, 11/21/2015

    So, Ted—what do you mean by “uncommon” when you mention Dempsey?

    And stylish for Tunney and Louis? 
    I think you are referring to smooth, effective boxers.
    Your post interested me, including the mention of Greb.  Do you really find people saying “Ah, Tunney wasn’t much; a middleweight beat him” or something along those lines?  I do think it was amazing that Greb won the first fight—beat the hell out of Tunney—but the rest of the fights, how Gene adjusted were very telling.  Anyway, what do you mean when you say “5 guys will come at you with Greb”?  Sorry for all the questions—I did like your comment but really wasn’t sure about some of the particulars.

  46. KB 05:20pm, 11/20/2015

    The link tells it all IMO. If I had to set a benchmark for a heavyweight being stylish, I suspect it would be Tunney and then Louis. For being uncommon and tough, Dempsey.

    But as soon as you mention Gene’s name, 5 guys will come at you with Harry Greb. WTF is that all about. I mean, were they at ringside.

  47. John aka L.L. Cool John 05:14pm, 11/20/2015

    I agree with your old vs. current assessment of fighters.
    FYI: Tommy Burns vs. Jack Johnson video for the heavyweight title back in 1908.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Dc6lHQxdbU

  48. KB 05:01pm, 11/20/2015

    As for Tommy Burns, I know nothing about him. Zilch

  49. KB 04:59pm, 11/20/2015

    Ha. I don’t think the old school guys will take the bait, John. but in answer to your question, Lewis and Bowe started an entirely new type of heavyweight who fought under a different business model and who trained differently. That type has evolved to a bunch of monsters where even a big: Sasha Povetkin is considered smallish. I cannot visualize the old school heavies competing but then I have never really seen any of them in person so I can’t make a 100% judgment. . I do think that the beloved Tony Galento, who had a great record, great hook and fought in an unorthodox manner, would not be competitive today. Just my opinion and I could be dead wrong. I think a great fantasy fight would be between Povetkin and Quarry. Or between Mariuz Wach and any of the tall oldies like Abe Simon.

  50. John aka L.L. Cool John 03:20pm, 11/20/2015

    Can you imagine Tommy Burns fighting today as a light heavyweight at around 5’7” and 175 pounds!

  51. John aka L.L. Cool John 03:11pm, 11/20/2015

    KB: From your post earlier:
    “I also might start a “war” here by writing one that sets forth how modern fighters would destroy “old School” ones. I’d start it by showing how Lewis and the others of the new norm of heavyweights would decapitate the small. slow, and plodding heavies of old—old—those being in the 40’s and maybe 50’s and before.  Just a thought. “
    No doubt about it, these new heavyweights are faster, stronger, better trained, and more scientific then those of yesterday. Can ANYONE imagine a 5’10” 192-pound Jack Dempsey fighting Lewis, or one the the Klitschko? In the 20s, Luis Firpo was considered a giant at 6’3” and 216 pounds. That was an average heavyweight by 70s standards.

  52. KB 06:44am, 11/20/2015

    FD, I was thinking Abe Simon, but Galento might be a worthy starting point. With his speed afoot and fast hands, I’m sure he could handle the 6’7”-6’9”’ monsters of today.

  53. KB 06:40am, 11/20/2015

    Don, you are a sore winner

  54. Don from Prov 05:48am, 11/20/2015

    Please, stop being silly.  You are going to embarrass yourself.
    The thing about the Jets is that they DO at times compete against the best—

    Sanders had NEVER stepped up before, even to the level of Rahman.
    The he was served up for fodder to Wlad, but young Wald. ...
    And along came Viatli to beat him into pork chop salad.


    At least Rahman fought some of the main players. I have to say, that for my part—and that of any rational being—this debate has already run its course.

  55. FrankinDallas 07:46pm, 11/19/2015

    Kid…you know I’m all in on your side when and if you start an “old vs new” war.
    We can start with that fat pig Tony “Butterbean Part I” Galento.

  56. KB 07:19pm, 11/19/2015

    Weaver beats Mercado who beats Shavers who KO’s Norton who beats Al who beats everyone.

    Now then, du Plooy almost kills Weaver with an incredible uppercut..

    BUT-Sanders wipes out du Plooy in the first round.

    Prov, give me something to work with

  57. kb 07:10pm, 11/19/2015

    Don from Prov. The Jets can compete with any team in football. So can the Bears. Same with Sanders. He COULD compete. Might not be able to win them all, but he COULD compete and he could beat anyone on any given day.

    BTW, I can show how Butterbean KO’s Tyson using the above logic. And I don’t need Google. It’s all in my head.

  58. KB 06:59pm, 11/19/2015

    Many of the debates centered on economics and politics. Lots of overt racism as well. Tumbo took a brutal beating but held his own. Some had the syndrome of having to have the last word. It was sick. I enjoyed it only to the extent I could learn something about boxing history and get ideas for articles.

    Now I just want to relax and sit back and enjoy some fights and occasionally write an article that suits my tastes. I also might start a “war” here by writing one that sets forth how modern fighters would destroy “old School” ones. I’d start it by showing how Lewis and the others of the new norm of heavyweights would decapitate the small. slow, and plodding heavies of old—old—those being in the 40’s and maybe 50’s and before.  Just a thought. lol

  59. Don from Prov 06:55pm, 11/19/2015

    Seriously?  Some second tier fighter beating the ghost of Tyson leads to

    your A therefore B therefore C is one of the most pitiful attempts I’ve seen—
    discrediting a discredited (non) logic.  The fact is that Sanders was beaten when he stepped up, and Rahman was knocked out when he stepped up.
    Corrie Sanders could not, and did not “compete” with every HW alive.  Period.

  60. John aka L.L. Cool John 06:39pm, 11/19/2015

    I remember that article as being VERY popular.
    I’d have a few beers and get into a hellacious argument with someone. Sometimes the arguments would tun to current events that were non-boxing related. I felt sorry for Mark (the editor of ESB) who was busy deleting the tremendous amount of profanities and downright hateful rants! He had his hands full.

  61. KB 06:24pm, 11/19/2015

    John, I believe I set the record with the Mosley-Mayweather article. I think it was over, 2,000 posts but I’m not positive.

    Those were fun days indeed.

  62. KB 06:21pm, 11/19/2015

    John, first let me dispose of Don from Prov who is in one of his more truculent moods. Here is the thing. Oleg beat Danny Williams. Of course, Donny waxed Tyson. Danny also beat Michael Sprott twice. Corrie Sanders splattered Sprott in a first round KO in 2001.

    Thus, Sanders beats Tyson based on the above analysis .You can also throw in Ice Cole, Bobby Czyz, Carlos De Leon, Bert Cooper, Johnny Nelson.

    Res Judicata

  63. John aka L.L. Cool John 05:56pm, 11/19/2015

    KB: Your articles always created a buzz of controversy. I’m positive your ESB record for the most posts still stands. Was it somewhere around the 2,000 mark?

  64. John aka L.L. Cool John 05:51pm, 11/19/2015

    KB: I’m sorry, but I somehow forgot about Mr. Bill. I don’t have any idea how I did that. Bill was quite the poster, and was always able to back up his posts with facts. He was/is an encyclopedia of boxing knowledge with a extensive boxing library - WORD!
    On the other side of the spectrum, there was Old Yank. That guy would fight you to his death if you besmirched his beloved Kelly Pavlik.
    And then, there was Te Tumbo ... enough said.
    I miss the old ESB days from back in 2006/07.

  65. Don from Prov 04:00pm, 11/19/2015

    I’m sorry, Nate Tubbs

  66. Don from Prov 03:58pm, 11/19/2015

    No “point taken” here—not on this one.  Rahman “beat” a fat, distracted, out of shape, and nearly out-of-the game Lewis—and was then slaughtered in the rematch. Rahman was nearly decapitated by Maskaev and knocked out by Tua.  And Tubbs was no killer, not by a long shot.  Corries Sanders was beaten whenever he stepped up, except against china-chinned Wlad.

  67. kb 02:44pm, 11/19/2015

    Yes FD, Raven was very weird. He lived for ESB posting. That was when anything could be put up there. It was like the wild west. Anything goes. A great outlet for psychos, cowards, maniacs, racists, fascists, and even boxing fans.

  68. FrankinDallas 12:47pm, 11/19/2015

    You guys remember Raven from ESB days? He had a huge bug up
    his bum about the Klitchkos. Would post dozens of times a day
    about them.

  69. KB 12:15pm, 11/19/2015

    You are most welcome “your name.”

  70. KB 12:13pm, 11/19/2015

    What! Huh. He KO’d Klit who has beaten just about everyone. Rahman beat Lewis. Your logic seems spurious and wanting.

    Based on your reasoning, Klit could not compete with every one because he was beaten by Ross Puritty (?) But Corrie beat Puritty!!!!!!!!!!!!! He was 36-1 when he lost to Rahman. Unlike a lot of American heavies, he was fighting guys with winning records almost from the start. I won’t name some of his victims because I am guessing you will reply with a ‘point taken.”

  71. Don from Prov 12:01pm, 11/19/2015

    And I don’t think that Corrie could compete with any HW alive—


    both Tubbs and Rahman knocked him out

  72. Your Name 11:55am, 11/19/2015

    Thanks for the round-up.
    I always enjoyed Coetzee.  As for Sanders and his destruction of Klit, I never saw, and still don’t see, Wlad as “seemingly invincible.” Too chinny for that.

  73. KB 11:01am, 11/19/2015

    A great post Jan. I did not know that,  Mike Schutte was a tough nut to crack, The Tank!

  74. Jan Swart 10:03am, 11/19/2015

    Thank you for covering SA heavyweights, Mr Sares. We’ve had good one down the years: Ben Foord, Don McCorkindale, Mike Schutte, Robbie Williams ...

    Here’s a bit of trivia: Mike Weaver KOed John Tate at 02:45 of the 15th round with the least time left on the clock in a championship-changing heavyweight fight (15 seconds). He then lost the championship to Mike Weaver at the 60 second mark of round one - the shortest fight in which the championship changed hand. He therefore both won the title with the least amount of time left, and lost it with the least amount of time elapsed. Of course, Gerrie Coetzee fought all three of them for the championship.

  75. KB 08:20am, 11/19/2015

    Yes

  76. Dollarbond 08:08am, 11/19/2015

    Good news for you, eh?

  77. Dollarbond 08:04am, 11/19/2015

    You must have put some time into this one.  Really enjoyed it.  Sanders was a very tragic figure.

  78. KB 07:56am, 11/19/2015

    Eric, there is always a lot of hearsay, but Corrie.s financial situation is what drove him to golf. When he was in shape, he could compete with any heavyweight alive and give them serious trouble. He had hand speed that was every rare for a heavyweight. He had the pop to go with it. He gave both Klits hell.

  79. KB 07:52am, 11/19/2015

    John, I just wrote a lengthy reply to your post and then the power went off, So suffice it to say that we had legendary battles on ESB. Cupy Alto was perhaps the most vicious of the lot. He stirred up some serious shit. So did MRBILL.

  80. Eric 08:45pm, 11/18/2015

    The Coetzee-Snipes decision was one of the worst decisions in the 80’s. I also had Coetzee beating Pinklon Thomas, that bout was ruled a draw. From what I understand, Corrie Sanders was more serious about his golf game than training for a fight. If Sanders would have shown a little more dedication to training, he could have been a helluva force in the heavyweight division.

  81. John aka L.L. Cool John 06:28pm, 11/18/2015

    Back in those ESB days, we had some very heated debates. It would get downright ugly at times.

  82. kb 05:03pm, 11/18/2015

    Thank you Dan. Glad you enjoyed it

  83. Dan Adams 03:45pm, 11/18/2015

    Great article, Ted, bringing back many fond fight memories!

  84. KB 02:56pm, 11/18/2015

    All good things must come to an end, lads. Onward and upward

  85. KB 02:55pm, 11/18/2015

    Irish, Sanders was indeed a freak puncher, His uncommon hand speed generated his power, He was very athletic as well and played Rugby and was a fine golfer.

    Thanks John. Es was an ESB legend indeed

  86. es Viva la France. 02:53pm, 11/18/2015

    Is it really 10 years LL cool John?

    Tumbo is a tumble weed and no more. Old yank went insane. Cupey Alto rocks on.

  87. KB 02:51pm, 11/18/2015

    Big Wally, they would be competitive and were so during their primes. du Plooy almost killed Weaver but Mike and Tate beat Coetzee in SA as did Greg Page. It was a bit like a round robin. Gerrie beat Dokes and Spinks, of course, A prime and in-shape du Plooy may have been the best of all though I favor Sanders.

    Yes, I’ll email you about LV as my daughter and Lee will be coming in from LA.

  88. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 02:29pm, 11/18/2015

    Sanders was a freak puncher if ever there was and the left upper/hook that got to Wlad (did he ever throw it any other way) was a freak punch if ever there was. He brought that fuker up from the hip when he was chest to chest with Wlad (think about that for a Goddamned minute) just as Wlad pulled him forward putting his own head in a veritable vice between Sanders’s head and that hammering punch (who the hell could get any kind of leverage on a punch like that other than loosey goosey Corrie?!).

  89. John aka L.L. Cool John 02:28pm, 11/18/2015

    A damn nice piece, Ted.
    I remember es, Te Tumbo, Old Yank, Tony, Boxing 101, et al. from 10 years ago on ESB.

  90. Big Wally 01:52pm, 11/18/2015

    HOW WOULD THESE GUYS STACK UP WITH AMERICAN FIGHTERS BULL? AND GOOD LUCK IN LAS VEGAS. I’LL BE THERE ROOTING FOR YOU AND SO WILL KID VEGAS.

  91. KB 01:36pm, 11/18/2015

    And yes, Viva lA France!

  92. kb 01:35pm, 11/18/2015

    The young Botha was very good and almost beat Moorer, but then he started fooling around with juicing and while that made him stronger, it did not make him more skillful. Still, he was giving Tyson hell until he got rocked to the Serengeti. Also, he got screwed against the soccer player Sonny Bill and just about had him out and then they say the fight was over. A theft that would make Steve McQueen look on with envy. But now, Frans needs to get out or he will become vegetable soup.

    Lewis put the hammer to him. Lewis was something else.

    By the way, I’m delighted to have your visit here from the UK, ES. Just like old times. Wonder where “SCUMBO” is? lol

  93. es viva la france 01:28pm, 11/18/2015

    Botha was a bit of a plodder but very very tough. Bit like you Badasss Sares.

    ‘Our’ boy Lewis of course layed a peach on him

  94. kb 01:11pm, 11/18/2015

    Why thank you so much es. It’s going to slow down now because I need to get some trophies that are waiting for me in Russia.

    Sanders was a very classy human being. Even when he was broke, he helped out with charitable work. He was a wonderful person with a great heart. He was mourned greatly as was Johnny du Plooy. I always had a great fondness for the grit of the SA fighters. Much like that in the UK. They left very little in the ruing.

  95. es ( Viva la France ) 12:55pm, 11/18/2015

    I like this. SA had some memorable heavyweights. Sanders was a class guy with fast heavy mits. I very much enjoyed this read. Like fine wine. This badass powerlifting writer (can’t be many of those around) never writes a bad piece. Interesting and under the radar writing.

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