Brazil’s Eder Jofre Leads the List of South American Favorites
By: Ken Hissner
This writer remembers reading about Brazil’s Eder Jofre seeing a dead chicken ran over by a vehicle in the middle of the road. He never ate meat again.
Jofre was 46-0-3 before this World Bantamweight champion was defeated. He added the WBC and WBA belts to his World belt. He had rematches with Argentina’s Ernesto Miranda, 15-3-1, who was living in Spain when they drew twice. He defeated Miranda twice when he was 40-3-4 for the South American Bantamweight title. Miranda ended his career with 99 wins. All four fights with Miranda were in Brazil. He drew with Manny Elias, 44-17-1, in November of 1965 between his only two losses to Flyweight champion Japan’s WBA, WBC and World champion Fighting Harada which both defeats were in Japan.
It took almost five years to defeat Elias, 51-21-2 in their rematch. It was in May of 1970. The first Harada fight ended in a split decision in Nagoya, Japan, in May of 1965. The rematch took place after the Elias draw in Nippon, Japan, in May of 1966.
Jofre’s third draw was against Uruguay’s Ruben Caceres, 11-1-5, in May of 1958 in Uruguay in Montevideo, Uruguay. In their rematch in July of 1959 Jofre knocked out Caceres in 7 rounds.
Jofre would only have his second bout outside of Brazil in August of 1960 when he defeated Mexico’s Jose “El Huitlacoche” Medel, 43-16-3, by 10th round knockout in a NBA Bantamweight eliminator at the Olympic Auditorium in L.A. In November he won the vacant NBA Bantamweight title knocking out Eloy “Emeterio” Sanchez, 25-12, in 6 rounds at the same facility. He had defenses against the former European champ then the Italian champ Piero Rollo, 53-6-6, stopping him in 9 rounds. He knocked out the OPBF champion Japan’s Sadao Yaoita, 43-9-2, in 10 rounds. He stopped the British champion Johnny Caldwell, 25-0, in the 10th round.
Jofre would travel back to the US in his next fight and win the Bantamweight World title stopping Mexico’s Herman Marques, 19-8-1, living in Stockton, CA, in the 10th round at the Cow Palace in Daly City, CA. Then give Medel a rematch knocking him out in 6 rounds.
Then Jofre would go to Japan for the first time knocking out Japan’s OPBF champion Katsutoshi Aoki, 33-1-1, in 3 rounds. Then travel to the Manila, in the Philippines, stopping Filipino Johnny Jamito, 33-2-2, who couldn’t come out for the last round after being knocked down in the previous round.
Next Jofre went to Bagota, Colombia, knocking out Bernardo Caraballo, 39-0-1, of Colombia in the 7th round. Next up was the first loss to Harada losing his title. After the second loss to Harada he moved up to featherweight. It took fifteen fights for him to win the WBC World Featherweight title by majority decision over Cuban Jose “Pocket Cassius Clay” Legra, 131-9-4, living in Spain, over 12 rounds in Brazil. Legra would have two fights after this losing to Nicaragua’s Alexis Arguello in his last fight by knockout.
In Jofre’s next two fights which were non-title he knocked out possibly Chile’s greatest fighter in Godfrey Stevens, 71-7-3, in 4 rounds. Then American Frankie Crawford, 38-17-5, was defeated over 10 rounds. In his first defense he would end the career of the former WBC champion Vicente “El Zurdo de Oro” Saldivar, 37-2.
Jofre would win six non-title fights before his final bout being a title defense defeating Mexican Octavio Gomez, 55-15-7, over 12 rounds. His final record was 72-2-4 (50) in October 8th 1976 at the age of 40. At age 82 Jofre is still seen at the fights in Brazil
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Helen Joseph: “My Goal Is To Be A World Champion”
By: Sean Crose
“Yeah, I prefer being a professional,” Helen Joseph says over the phone. The 15-3-1 women’s bantamweight won the World Boxing Federation Intercontinental Female Bantamweight Title with a win over Elizabeth Anderson last November and is set to face the 13-1 Tyreshia Douglas later this month. There’s more to the New Haven, by way of Nigeria, fighter than just a background in boxing, however. “Karate and kickboxing, too,” she says of her skill set. Right now, though, it’s boxing that’s the woman’s focus. And it’s a focus that thoroughly intense. “I have worked so hard to come to this level today,” she says. “My goal is to be a world champion to be the world’s best.”
Just how determined is the 29 year old known as the “Iron Lady?” She came all the way from Africa to the United States to achieve hr dream. What’s more, Joseph travels from New Haven to New York, not exactly a hop, skip and a jump away, to train. “I train in New York City at my dad’s gym,” she claims. And her home is miles away on the Connecticut shoreline? “Yeah,” she says. “This is where I stay.” Joseph undoubtedly hopes to join other Connecticut notables, such as Marlon Starling, Chad Dawson, John Scully, and the great Willie Pep.
“After this fight,” she says of the impending Douglas bout, “they’re going to give me a chance to have a world title.” Some may say that’s wishful thinking, but Joseph makes it clear that she aims to make a statement when she steps into the ring to face Douglas on the 29th of this month. “I know the way this is going to end,” she says of the bout. “It’s going to shake the world.” Still, Joseph can’t help but feel somewhat avoided. “They don’t want to fight me,” she says of the top names in her weight realm.
So, what does Joseph feel about Douglas, the opponent she’s determined to make mark against? “I know she’s pretty good and she has a lot of fans,” says Joseph. Joseph exudes confidence in the days leading up to the match. “I believe in my God and I believe in myself,” she says. Provided all goes well, Joseph may have more fans who believe in her, as well. It’s hard not to pull for someone who travels so far, who works so hard, to attain a single goal. It may not by easy “to be the world’s best,” but it’s worth keeping in mind that some hungry fighter is always there to fill the top spot.
And that there are few hungrier than Joseph.
Lennox Lewis and Showtime Wrangle Over the Definition of “Undisputed”
By: Eric Lunger
Former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis has taken to Twitter in recent days, unleashing a barrage of criticism at the Showtime commentators for claiming that Lewis was not the “undisputed” champion of the world in 1999, since Vitali Klitschko held the WBO belt at that time. Lewis, 53, has become somewhat of an elder statesman in the boxing world, weighing in on the sport with his accustomed thoughtfulness and gravitas. His recent remarks on Twitter, while critical of Showtime, show the marks of someone who believes in rational and balanced dialogue. This is rare in our hyperlinked age, where hysteria is often mistaken for passion.
So, when someone of Lewis’ stature speaks out, and speaks out in a considered and thoughtful way, he deserves to be taken seriously. Lewis took exception to Showtime’s build up of the Wilder vs. Parker fight as a step on the path to the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Mike Tyson in 1988. In a nutshell, Lewis argues that the WBO belt was, in the 1990’s, an irrelevant belt, one that fighters either vacated at will or were not interested in pursuing if better options were available. “The politics of my era, and the amount of Mickey Mouse belts made it difficult to impossible to own every fringe belt there was at the time,” Lewis wrote on Twitter, “the WBO belt was not a major or coveted belt in my days.”
.@ShowtimeBoxing The politricks of my era and the amount of Mickey Mouse belts made it difficult to impossible to own every single fringe belt there was at the time, so I only focused on fighting the best of the best and collecting the major belts of the time.
— Lennox Lewis (@LennoxLewis) March 20, 2018
Showtime did respond, trying to walk the line between standing by their original assertion and giving Lennox the respect he deserves as a great champion and hall-of-famer. Arguing that in Tyson’s time there were only three “recognized” world title belts, Showtime via their Tumbler page further said, “In 1999, when Lennox Lewis defeated Evander Holyfield for the WBC, IBF, and WBA world titles, Vitali Klitschko held the WBO heavyweight belt. At that time, the WBO was widely recognized as a legitimate world sanctioning body.”
In a further effort to smooth the ruffled feathers, Showtime concluded: “having said that, we recognize that the term ‘undisputed’ is somewhat subjective… In no way do we intend to devalue or denigrate Lewis’ accomplishments, which stand as the greatest of his era.”
So, is this dispute about the definition of “undisputed” just quibbling over words? Words do matter, definitions matter. If Showtime wants to promote their fighter, Deontay Wilder, who has a real shot at unifying the heavyweight title, we can understand going to the well of hyperbole. But Lennox has the stronger argument here. Becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world is a feat unique in world sport — it’s a title that should be used accurately and with the spirit that it represents the pinnacle of boxing greatness. Adhering to the technical requirements of the alphabet soup of sanctioning bodies breeds cynicism and boredom from the broader boxing public.
Wilder? Joshua? Parker? Fury? Given the excitement over the possibility of unification in the heavyweight division, let’s celebrate Lennox Lewis as an undisputed champion, and let’s hope for another one in the near future.
Worst Heavyweight Champions of All Time
By: Oliver McManus
In my last article, “The Current British Heavyweight Scene”, I lamented those outside the Top 10 globally as “questionable” and proceeded to take pot-shots at the likes of Tony Bellew, Dereck Chisora and David Price. But then I got thinking about past heavyweight Champions and because it’s far easier to moan than it is to laud and applaud, I decided to compile my worst heavyweight champions of ALL time.
“I walk this earth like a God”, you’d be forgiven for thinking he said “I walk this earth like a cod” given the manner in which he flopped to the floor against Anthony Joshua, a contest in which he promised to “step over” the, now unified champion then, challenger to his IBF title.
What we witnessed from the southpaw Saint Louis fighter was anything but Godly, in fact, a performance which makes even the most mortal of men look heavenly – £6million for getting flattened within two rounds by AJ is a fee large enough to sooth even Martin’s ego.
His ring walk alone saw him ridiculed beyond recovery with THAT purple gown and crown making him look less like royalty and more like King Stupid! If you’re not a British child from the 00’s, you probably won’t understand that reference, but King Stupid was a children’s TV show featuring a, predictably, stupid king.
Nonetheless it was the manner in which he lost to Anthony Joshua that marks him out as someone truly undeserving of the heavyweight champion moniker – a tame, reaching straight right hand which would have been withstood by any half-decent boxer sent Martin to the canvas but such was his arrogance, he refused to learn the lesson and was dropped yet again by a similar punch merely seconds later; a lack of motivation, aspiration and ambition for the “prince” willing to settle for pauper-like performances.
A champion through circumstance as opposed to credibility, Charles Martin only got his initial world title shot against, Ukrainian, Vyacheslav Glazkov as a result of Tyson Fury agreeing to a rematch with Wladimir Klitschko and, therefore, being unable to fulfil his mandatory obligations.
Glazkov was next in line with Martin being deemed the suitable challenger – The Czar fom Luhansk was an unparalleled favourite going into the fight – but was struck down in the third round when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament, causing him to retire as a result.
With that the belt was Martin’s and he was free to live the life of a champion, calling out anyone and everyone that would earn him millions – he milked it for a full 85 days before his reign came to an end, marking him out as the second briefest heavyweight kingpin in history.
Since then he’s been shot in the forearm during an early-hours altercation in Los Angeles and has been seen across social media declaring that kids should “not do drugs” whilst professing to smoke weed himself.
His return to the ring came 54 weeks since his humbling loss, taking place at Fitzgeralds Casino and Hotel, Tunica, as he faced veteran journeyman, The Bear, Byron Polley (at the time 30-20-1). A second round knockout saw him, unfathomably, slotted at Number 12 within the IBF rankings – he’s subsequently risen to ninth place, SEVENTH with the WBC.
The only other fight since that comeback was against Michael Marrone (21-7), in July of last year, who was fighting having lost eight of his last 11 fights, over the span of nine years. For a former champion looking to make a statement, he wasn’t picking particularly tricky opposition.
A first round knockout in the back pocket would suffice and be enough to see him restate his plans “like (they) were originally, undisputed champ.” Hmmm, deluded as ever.
The White Wolf from Belarus, Liakhovich held the WBO belt for the duration of a mere one fight back in 2006 before losing it to Shannon Briggs in his first attempted defence – someone else who I was leaning towards placing on this list.
Born in Vitebsk, Liakhovich certainly had the amateur credentials to warrant him being seen as a valid threat to those at the top of the professional ranks – having competed at the 1996 Olympics, losing out to eventual silver medallist Paea Wolfgramm, and taken home a bronze medal at the ’97 World Amateur Championships, the orthodox fighter turned pro the following year with a record of 145-15 in the amateurs.
Having moved to 15 and 0 within three years there could be no room for criticism as to the way the Belarusian had adapted to life in America and his first step us came on the 17th November 2001, on the undercard of Hasim Rahman vs Lennox Lewis II, against, fellow undefeated fighter, Friday Ahunanya in a fight where someone’s 0 had to go!
A relatively one sided fight saw Liakhovich win by unanimous decision (116-112, 118-110, 116-112) before, yet again, a spell in the relative nomadic strays of heavyweight near-contenders saw him there-and-thereabouts for five further years until his big shot came against Lamon Brewster for the WBO title in that classic big-fight location of Cleveland, Ohio.
Despite working his way to the world title shot the hard way, the awkward-looking White Wolf had already displayed frailties to contrast with his explosive knockout power; the main issue was his defensive capabilities which, to be honest, were lacking in the extremity and perhaps only unexploited due to the level of opposition faced – often keeping is hands low, Liakhovich’s chin was susceptible and this was found out in his fight against Maurice Harris some years before the bout with Brewster.
With all odds against him, the 29 year old came out punching in an enthralling fight that saw Brewster lose his vision from the left eye within the first round – perhaps unsurprising that Liakhovich would triumph but, nonetheless, an entertaining fight.
I’ll say very little on his bout with Shannon Briggs except to note that he was beaten with relative ease by an opponent who was five years his elder – the first 11 rounds were boring and defensive from Liakhovich before Briggs bounced to life, dropping him twice, sending him out of the ring once, causing the referee to wave off the bout.
It is, however, his career post-Briggs that has really rammed home his inadequacy at the highest level – defeats against Robert Helenius and Bryant Jennings, both in the ninth round, saw him drop drastically from his stock back at the beginning of his career into someone that was just an easy yet recognizable name to add to a record.
His performance against Deontay Wilder on the 9th August 2013 was the most alarming display of a past-it boxer I’ve seen in a long time, Wilder was still an unknown animal at the time but sent Liakhovich down to the floor, stiff as a board, convulsing on the canvas from a thunderous attack – a truly harrowing image.
And whilst he’s attempting to make a comeback – the now 41 year old beat Ramon Olivas in Mexico in November of last year, his first fight in three years – it is perhaps more evident than ever before that Liakhovich was never really at a world level and was guilty of letting his amateur pedigree get ahead of his actual ability.
The white wolf ain’t howlin’ no more.
Bermane Stiverne, Bermane Stiverne, oh it’s hard to know where to start when discussing the protracted saga that is the WBC Heavyweight title situation but nonetheless Stiverne found himself top of the cherry tree when the political merry-go-round matched him against Chris Arreola for the vacant title in 2014.
The title itself only became vacant as a result of Vitali Kilitschko’s retirement – ending the Ukranian’s five year domination of the division – and was to be fought on the 10th May at the Galen Center, Los Angeles.
Straight from the outset the result always seemed like a foregone conclusion – Stiverne went into the bout at 24-1-1 with victories over Ray Austin and Kertson Manswell being his stand out names whereas Arreola (the nipple) held a 34-2 record and a past failed drugs test.
Oh and there’s one other thing to mention, Stiverne and Arreola met just over a year before this world title fight for the WBC Silver title, a fight in which the Haitian cruised past Arreola by scorecards of 117-110, 117-110 and 118-109; who could possibly be the favourite?
When it came to the big night, the time for action as opposed to talk mere verbals, B. Ware managed to get the job done even more convincingly than the last time with a 6th round knockout to end the hopes of his American counterpart.
But thereon began the farce that has seen him placed on this list for it would appear to me that the only credentials Stiverne has for being seen as “elite” is that he, so far, has been the only boxer to take Deontay Wilder a full 12 rounds – as he did in January 2015.
That fight was nifty for Stiverne in that he had a ready-made excuse for when he, inevitably, succumbed to the Bronze Bomber and it’s not that his excuse was fake, it was very legitimate, but it was also convenient in that it somehow made everyone forget just how dire he was in that fight.
Diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis – a condition that causes rapid muscle breakdown – it was obvious that the 240lb fighter wasn’t at full fitness but by no means could it fully explain how slow, lacklustre and, to be honest, mopey he seemed across the 12 rounds of boxing. He didn’t push Wilder and Wilder didn’t push back.
But since that night he’s been selling it as though he would have one, he should have one and managed to blag himself a fight against Alexander Povetkin who, to be fair, is a brave opponent to face after just one comeback bout but Povetkin always looked like doing a job on Stiverne and I imagine the money was what got him on that plane to Russia.
As luck would have it Povetkin failed a drugs test – as by the way did Stiverne but no-one mentions that – which meant he was robbed again, allegedly. All this bad luck and constant talking made sure he maintained his position as mandatory challenger for the WBC title until Deontay Wilder agreed to take him on again in November of last year.
If you thought we hadn’t seen enough of B.Ware then November 4th was YOUR day, a pummelling first round knockout at the hands of his former foe saw Stiverne wave goodbye to his title shot with just one second left of the opening stanza; if Stiverne had any credibility left to purport his arguments as to why he should have beaten Wilder or, indeed, any other world level contender than that door was slammed firmly shut that night.
Hopefully, for all of us, the lock remains jammed.
At the beginning of this article I did say these would be the worst champions of all time so for this last one we’re going to have to stretch our minds back all the way back to 1933 – the days where 15 round bouts were still existent.
Primo Carnera may, on the face of it, look like a not too shabby boxer with a record of 88-14 but that flatters to deceive – The Ambling Alp appears to exist as a mere bizarre footnote for those immersed into the boxing culture rather than a former World Heavyweight Champion.
Unlike the other guys featured here Carnera actually had the cheek to defend his title successfully not just once but twice before losing via an 11th round knockout against Max Baer, a fight in which Carnera hit the canvas on 10 occasions.
Now that probably gives you a glimpse of how favourably he had been matched throughout career but also highlighted that whilst the Italian was an aggressive gung-ho fighter he really lacked any stand out quality apart from his size – often coming to the ring in excess of 270lbs.
It may even be that he only ever won the world title (NBA & NYSAC, as the governing bodies were called back then) due to a sheer freak incident; Carnera faced off with Jack Sharkey (36-9-2) in Queens, USA, on the 29th June 1933 for the two titles but it was Carnera’s last opponent, Ernie Schaaf, that Sharkey claimed had beaten him.
Schaaf died shortly after fighting Carnera and Sharkey claimed “I had no trouble with him in the second, but all of a sudden – and I can’t convince anybody of this – I see Schaaf in front of me. I saw Schaaf. A vision. The next thing I know, I’d lost the championship of the world”. Whether that’s true or not, we’ll never know, but it ensured the Italian would always go down in the history books as, quite possibly, the most bizarre world champion of all time.
Add atop all of that the constant allegations of “mob control” and connections with the mafia which saw him banned in California for, again ALLEGEDLY, fixing his bouts and you really start to garner why it’s hard to take him particularly seriously.
Having had his boxing career abruptly stopped owing to the Second World War, Carnera returned to the ring with five fights afterwards – three of which were losses to the same opponent – he turned his hand to wrestling and acting, two paths which suited him just as much as boxing did.
Nonetheless his ever-present role as a quirk of boxing has kept him present in the mind of many a fan which is more than most achieve so, for that, I doff my cap.
This’ll be brief, I’ll try to keep it to a sentence for each boxer;
Francesco Damiani – the first WBO world champion, won the title against Johnny du Plooy via a third round knockout in 1989, a champion through opportunity who only defended it once and looked hopelessly out of his depth against Ray Mercer.
Ruslan Chagaev – two time world champion fortunate enough to face Matt Skelton, Carl Drumond and Fres Oqueno in title fights, possessed good footwork but who’s chin was found wanting against Lucas Browne despite leading on the scorecards.
Corrie Sanders – let’s take nothing away from the South African who gained notoriety for his fluke win over Wladimir Kilitschko but, let’s be honest, that’s all it was – a fluke.
There we are then, hopefully you found that an entertaining read, I’ll try to be a bit more positive next time you read something of mine but, for now, let’s just appreciate the 3 heavyweight champions of the world – Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder and Joseph Parker, thank you for never being boring!
What’s next for WBA super-flyweight champion Kal Yafai?
By: Dale Josephs
Khalid “Kal” Yafai finally revived Birmingham boxing by bringing world championship boxing back to the region earlier this year, with a lively card of extremely high quality bouts, as well as a WBA world title on the line.Suguru Murunaka was the preferred opponent for Yafai’s first voluntary defence; a durable Japanese fighter who’s never been stopped but had previously only ever fought in his home surroundings of Korakuen Hall, Tokyo.
Eddie Hearn, the figurehead of Matchroom Boxing, delivered once again with a truly enjoyable spectacle which witnessed local Brummies compete; younger brother Gamal Yafai, Sam Eggington and Frankie Gavin emerged victorious from their bouts. Still WBA super-flyweight world champion, Kal Yafai, headlined the Birmingham bill which enticed a rammed arena to cheer, jeer, and drink plenty of beer. The Barclaycard Arena, which sits next to Brindley Place overlooking the famous canals, was occupied by a energetic, vibrant crowd which, along with the lights, music and fighters, created a thrilling atmosphere.
Admittedly, fans wereentirely anticipating Yafai to unite both his raw talent and ferocious power to make easy work of Murunaka. Yet, the Japanese fighter showed heart, courage and commitment to ensure Kal had to work to retain his belt. Despite the contest lasting 12 rounds being seen as extra, unnecessary ring time, it did mean the super-flyweight champion was allowed to showcase his superior boxing ability. Over the distance, Murunaka was completely out-boxed.And, considering Yafai’s hands were immediately in ice following the fight, Murunaka proved he is very tough and durable and is able to take a volume of big punches. Kal was clearly a fan favourite in his home town and he made certain the fans observed a successful defence of his prestigious title.
Now, despite Yafai allowing his bruised hands to heal thoroughly before he advanced any further in his career, the next move in his so-far perfect career has now been plotted. Later this year, the Birmingham based boxer will encounter a Japanese fighter for the second successive fight, and yet another fighter with an unblemished record. The second defence of Yafai’s WBA super-flyweight title will see him share the ring with 25-year-old, Sho Ishida.
So, will this Japanese fighter be able to achieve what the previous one couldn’t and inflict a first defeat on Kal Yafai’s record?
Well, Yafai himself seems to think this will be his most difficult fight to date, and believes Ishida’s unusual height for a super-flyweight will potentially cause him problems. He told Sky Sports, “I’ve watched a few bits of him and the first thing about him is he is very tall. He’s very, very tall for a super-fly so I have no idea how he does that, but he actually looks very good as well.”
Alongside his incredible 5 foot 8 frame, which is 4 inches more than Yafai, he also possesses natural, fierce power which has enabled him to win 13 out of his 24 professional wins inside the allotted distance. But, it’s his range and boxing ability that could prove to be the difference, with a huge reach advantage of 10cm, Kal may discover an extreme difficulty in getting close enough to land his own decisive shots. Although, Yafai is a big body puncher and has showed time and time again his ability to land ferocious punches to his opponents’ ribs and midriff. With that in mind, if he can reduce the gap between himself and Ishida, hurtful body shots could take its toll on a taller, thinner opponent.
Providing Yafai successfully defends his title and retains the WBA super-flyweight belt, an obvious progression would be to establish himself in America and aim to unify the division. Even though Roman Gonzales was finally conquered by Srisaket Sor Runvisai, he remains a colossal name within the 115lbs division, and still has an opportunity to acquire revenge in his rematch with Runvisai. So, along with Roman Gonzales, other opponents which could assist Yafai in creating a legacy would be the other champions; IBF champion Jerwin Acajas, WBO title-holder Naoya Inoue or even WBC champion Srisaket Sor Runvisai if he beats Gonzales for the second time would set up massive clashes in the super-flyweight bracket.
When Heavyweight Champion Floyd Patterson Fought Pete Rademacher, A Champion Facing a Debuting Boxer
When Heavyweight Champion Floyd Patterson Fought Pete Rademacher, A Champion Facing a Debuting Boxer
By: Ken Hissner
With all the big hoopla today about Floyd “Money” Mayweather 49-0 a month away from his match with Colin McGregor 0-0 who has no credible amateur experience since he was a youth this writer goes back when 1956 heavyweight Olympic Gold Medalist Pete Rademacher was also the All Army champion, All Service Champion, won the Olympic Trials and the Gold Medal for the USA. He was 1-1 against Zora Folley and had a 72-7 record in the amateurs.
On August 24, 1957 Rademacher with poor managerial advice made his debut in the professional ranks against the world heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson, 32-1 in the home state of the challenger of Seattle, WA, havin Patterson on the canvas in the second round. By the sixth round Patterson had Rademacher down six times before the referee called a halt at 2:57 of the sixth in a scheduled fifteen rounds.
That was bad enough but in Rademacher’s second fight he takes on Folley, 40-2-2 whom he split in two fights in the amateurs and was knocked out in the fourth round eleven months later. In 1959 he won five straight and traveled to Germany in 1960 twice fighting in Europe knocking out Ulli Nitzschke 13-0 in seven rounds and two months later fighting to a draw with Ulli Ritter, 20-3-3.
Rademacher would go to the UK eighteen days later taking on contender Brian London 22-6 and was knocked out in seven rounds. In June of the same year he started a seven fight win streak defeating the likes of Lamar Clark, 42-1 by stoppage, three weeks later defeating George Chuvalo, 17-3-1, in Toronto, and Kirk Barrow with the same 17-3-1 record and five days later defeating German Willie Besmanoff, 44-23-7.
Rademacher opened up 1961 defeating Donnie Fleeman, 35-10-1 followed by a pair of knockout wins. Then he took on contender Doug Jones, 17-0, and was knocked out in five rounds. George Logan, 19-5-1, and former light heavyweight champion Archie Moore, 182-22-9 followed up with stoppage wins over him. Five weeks later he stopped Buddy Thurman, 35-8-1 but lost to European champion Karl Mildenberger, 29-1, by decision in Germany. He would finish his career with a victory over former middleweight champion Bo Bo Olsen, 87-12, in Honolulu by decision. His final record was 15-7-1 (8) turning pro at 28 and fighting in the fight for pay ranks for five years retiring at age 33.
So what experience does McGregor bring to the table against Mayweather in comparison to what Rademacher brought into the ring against Patterson? McGregor is in a no lose situation taking in millions while Mayweather gives boxing another shameful black eye taking on a UFC fighter in his debut. What will this prove for boxing?
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Canelo-GGG Sell Out T-Mobile Arena
Canelo-GGG Sell Out T-Mobile Arena
By: Sean Crose
In what should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, the much anticipated fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin has sold out the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Still, the fact that the host location sold out in what was essentially a matter of days is impressive. As Lance Pugmire of the LA Times states: “The sellout comes even before promoters have announced their co-main event and undercard, with lightweight champion Jorge Linares a possible participant.” Such details are telling. One could only imagine the size of the live crowd had the fight taken place at AT@T Stadium near Dallas, as many had hoped it would.
No matter. The September 16th twelve round middleweight bout between the 37-0 Kazakh and the 49-1-1 Mexican superstar is set to go down in the “Mecca of Boxing” and nothing can change that now. Vegas is where the money is, and Canelo-GGG has already proven itself to be a big money affair, with ticket prices ranging into the thousands and many willing to pay into the better half of one hundred dollars to watch the festivities live on pay per view. “The boxing public fully understands that this is the biggest fight in many years,” gushed Oscar De La Hoya, who clearly had reason to be happy.
What makes today’s news positive for die hard fight fans is it shows the September 16th event is not going to be overwhelmed entirely by the Mayweather-McGregor circus a few weeks earlier – though that might well be something Mayweather himself wishes would happen. While the circus may indeed take a lot of air out of the room, it’s not going to take all of it. In fact, right now it’s looking like there’s two major happenings on the horizon: The Most Interesting Fight In Boxing and the Pop Culture Event Of The Summer.
The Pop Culture extravaganza will come first, absorbing tons of mainstream media, fan boy and general societal attention before the Interesting Fight arrives. This may mean the Interesting Fight won’t get the attention and energy it might have had two possible narcissists not decided to perform a surreal duet in the public spotlight. Yet things are looking good for Canelo-GGG, regardless. Those who prefer good boxing to oversize personalities – and the numbers of such people are legion – are clearly looking forward to a top level event after the headache of August 26th subsides.
Nigel Benn, What Are You Doing?
Nigel Benn, What Are You Doing?
By: Greg Houghton
Former two-weight world champion Nigel Benn has recently stated that a contract has been drawn which secures a fight between himself (aged 53) and Steve Collins (aged 52) to take place this year.
Photo Credit: Nigel Benn Twitter Page
Now at the age of 53 Benn has transformed from the animal he used to be, into one of the most gentlemenly and respectful figures associated with the sport. Benn is a British boxing legend and appears to have a wonderful and loving relationship with his son, upcoming prospect Connor Benn. Heart warming scenes have shown the two after Connor Benn’s previous fights kissing and hugging in celebration. Nigel Benn appears to have gotten the balance just right in supporting his son whilst staying away from the limelight of Connor’s career, all the while giving him the room he needs to grow as an athlete and having the complete respect of his son. On camera, Nigel Benn is also an absolute joy to watch in interviews as someone whose wise words and tips for the younger generation of the sport sparkle with joy and pride at the man that his son is becomming.
It has been pressed for a while now that he and old foe Chris Eubank (AKA English) have been planning to fight for a third time. They are both now over the age of 50. Apparent complications in closing the deal (which are very believable based on Jr’s career so far) have meant that Benn has apparently withdrawn from the idea, and instead offered the fight to someone who has beaten them both, Steve Collins.
“For me it’s all about closure, it ain’t about the money. I just want to have a fight, and Steve obliged”
Collins stopped Benn twice when they fought, at a point where Benn was rumoured to be going through serious issues in his home life which hindered his performance. These performances, particularly his last one against Collins, are perhaps the catilyst for Benn wanting to take this fight. In a recent interview with IFL TV, Benn stated “For me it’s all about closure, it ain’t about the money. I just want to have a fight, and Steve obliged”. It’s not surprising Collins, aka The Celtic Warrior, took this fight as he not only beat Eubank and Benn twice, he long after retiring continued to try to book a fight with Roy Jones Jr.
This was one of the greatest eras in British boxing with the top three (Colins, Eubank, Benn) all dying to fight each other and doing so multiple times. The hostility and rivalry between these three, along with top contenders Henry Wharton and Michael Watson, was electric for boxing fans.This period in a way draws parallels to the essence of Ali, Frazier and Foreman in the early 70’s. Some would say that this era in which the three Brits starred is a world away from the state of boxing today, with fighters seemingly being able to vacate belts and back out of fights at will. However, this era happened more than twenty years ago, and these once great fighters, have aged.
History tells us, for the most part, that ageing fighters who were once legendary bring sad moments to the ring, which are difficult for boxing fans to swallow. Watching Bernard Hopkins get dismanteld by Joe Smith Jr, Muhammed Ali get punished by Larry Holmes, these are not fights which any boxing fan really wanted to see. Most recently, watching EnzoMaccarinelli knock Roy Jones Jr out in the fourth round of their fight in December 2015 was like watching your favorite pub burn to the ground in front of you.
If the fight between Benn and Collins were to get licensed, it is not a fight that many boxing fans would want to see at the age these two are at now. Several leaked videos of Nigel Benn in training at the age of 53 show him being lightning fast and looking exceptional for his age. In fact, Benn claims to be capable of “doing things now that he’s never done before”, due to his healthy and stress-free lifestyle of recent times.
Nigel Benn has grown old very gracefully and is a witty, charming and entertaining presence in his interviews. We beg, please Nigel let this fight go for you have nothing to prove. You are one of Britain’s boxing heroes and your work will always be remembered. Stay in shape, stay humble and continue your wonderful work in guiding your talented son to stardom. Let boxing fans continue to marvel in the magnificence that was the era of Middleweight and Super-Middleweight boxing of the 90’s. As Eddie Hutch famously said to Joe Frazier at the Thrilla in Manilla;
“No one will ever forget what you did here”.
Chayaphon Moonsri goes to 47-0 defeating Omari Kimweri!
Chayaphon Moonsri goes to 47-0 defeating Omari Kimweri!
By: Ken Hissner
WBC Minimumweight champion Chayaphon Moonsri, of Thailand, improved his record to 47-0 (17), defeating No. 4 contender Omari “Lion Boy” Kimweri, 16-4 (6), from Tanzania fighting out of Australia over 12 rounds.
Moonsri received a cut on his left eye lid in the first round which referee Bruce McTavish deducted a point from Kimweri. It was the seventh title defense for the champion and the second in 2017 along with a non-title win. 17 of his 47 wins were against opponents without winning records.
Scores were 117-110 and 118-109 twice. The bout was on June 3rd at the Provincial Stadium, Rayong, Thailand.
Moonsri continues to approach the 49-0 record held by Rocky Marciano and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Adonis Stevenson vs. Andrzej Fonfara, Jean Pascal vs. Eleider Alvarez
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Adonis Stevenson vs. Andrzej Fonfara, Jean Pascal vs. Eleider Alvarez
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada Adonis Stevenson will take on Andrzej Fonfara for Adonis Stevenson’s WBC Light Heavyweight
Title in the main event of World Championship Boxing on Showtime.
Former world champion Jean Pascal will be the lead fight of the undercard as he takes on undefeated contender Eleider Alvarez.
Two other light heavyweight stalwarts, Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward, will meet in a few weeks on HBO Pay Per View. It seems logical that the winner of Saturday’s Stevenson and Fonfara bout will likely face the winner of the pay per view bout between Kovalev and Ward, at least it should happen for boxing fans worldwide.
The following is a preview of Saturday’s card.
Jean Pascal (31-4-1) vs. Eleider Alvarez (22-0); Light Heavyweight
Eleider Alvarez is an intriguing prospect with a successful amateur background that includes competing in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Pascal is an ex-champion that has faced some legends in the sport. He also had a successful amateur background and won the Canadian Amateur Championships seven times and competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Alvarez will have about an inch and a half height advantage as well as a three and a half inch reach advantage. They’re both nearing the end of their primes, with Pascal being thirty four years old and Alvarez being thirty three years old.
Pascal has defeated the likes of Ricardo Ramallo, Yunieski Gonzalez, Lucian Bute, George Blades, Chad Dawson, and Adrian Diaconu. His losses have come to Carl Froch, Bernard Hopkins, and Sergey Kovalev twice.
Alvarez opened up a lot of eyes with his knockout in his last bout against Lucian Bute. He has also defeated the likes of Robert Berridge, Isaac Chilemba, Ryno Liebenberg, and Edison Miranda. Alvarez has never tasted defeated.
Both boxers have average power, Pascal has stopped eighteen of his opponents while Alvarez has stopped eleven of his opponents.
Alvarez is an intriguing prospect, he’s undefeated with a deep amateur background but older than the age most people would consider someone to be a prospect. But his career trajectory is on the upswing, while Pascal’s appears to be on the downswing. For that reason this writer has to give the edge to Alvarez.
Adonis Stevenson (28-1) vs. Andrzej Fonfara (29-4); WBC Light Heavyweight Title
This bout is a rematch of their bout in May of 2014 that saw Stevenson win a close and tightly contested decision.
Since that bout Stevenson has gone on a tear, including winning three of his past four fights by stoppage. Fonfara was knocked out viciously and quickly by Joe Smith Jr., but was able to bounce back from that by defeating former world champion Chad Dawson.
Both boxers had moderate success as an amateur. Stevenson won the Canadian National Championship in 2005 and 2006. Fonfara competed regularly on the European circuit. Neither boxer competed in the Olympics.
Stevenson has considerable power and has stopped twenty three of his opponents. Fonfara has seventeen stoppage victories. Both boxers have at times been stopped. Stevenson was stopped by Darnell Boone while Fonfara was stopped twice.
Stevenson has defeated the likes of Thomas Williams Jr., Tommy Karpency, Sakio Bika, Dmitry Sukhotskiy, Andrzej Fonfara, Tony Bellew, Tavoris Cloud, Chad Dawson, and Donovan George. Fonfara has defeated the likes of Chad Dawson, Nathan Cleverly, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Gabriel Campillo, Tommy Karpency and Glen Johnson.
Stevenson started late as a professional but is currently thirty nine years old. Fonfara is ten years younger at the age of twenty nine. Stevenson will be giving up a three and a half inch height advantage. They have the same reach.
Their first bout was close, but Fonfara is coming off a knockout loss. If this bout goes the distance Fonfara has a chance at winning as stamina favors him. But this writer believes Stevenson will walk away the victor and hopefully chase after the winner of Ward and Kovalev.
Twin Power: The Charlo Brothers
Twin Power: The Charlo Brothers
By: Kirk Jackson
One half of the powerful twin tag team duo was on display this past weekend as Jermell Charlo29-0 (14 KO’s) successfully defended his WBC junior middleweight title, stopping Charles Hatley26-2-1 via 6th round knockout.
In his first defense of his WBC title against the no.1 contender, Charloshowcased a wide range of skills.Displaying offensive versatility;stiff jabs, accurate straight punches, counter left hooks, punching power and range-awareness.
Charlo rocked Hatleyin the 2nd round, dropped Hatley with a right hand in the 3rd round and ultimately finished him in the 6th round.
A boxing-brother tandem issomething we’ve witnessed in the sport as there are many successful examples throughout history.
Juan Manuel and Rafael Marquez, Koki, Daiki and Tomoki Kameda, Ricky and Matthew Hatton, Michael and Leon Spinks, Roger, Jeff and Floyd Mayweather Sr., Vitali and WladimirKlitschko who reigned as heavyweight kings for more than a decade.
The Charlo brothers appear to be the next tandem to take over and they are twins – the Charlo brothers are only the second set of twins to hold world titles at the same time.
The first is Khaosai Galaxy (junior bantamweight) and Khaokor Galaxy (bantamweight), of Thailand, briefly holding world titles simultaneously in the late 1980s.
Jermell aims to dominate the junior middleweight division now that his twin Jermall moved up to the middleweight division.
The younger twin brother (one minute younger) spoke of his ambitions post-fight after defeating Hatley. “They got a guy named JarretHurd that took my brother’s title – we could unify,” said Jermell Charlo.
Hurd 20-0 (14 KO’s) recently won the IBF junior middleweight title Jermall Charlo 25-0 (19 KO’s) vacated in February.
The possibility of facing and potentially defeating another undefeated champion, while adding an additional world title is a great accomplishment and feather on the cap.
The other champions in the division are stable mate Erislandy Lara (WBA) 22-2-2 (14 KO’s) and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (WBO) 48-1-1 (34 KO’s).
Lara and the Charlo brothers shared the same trainer, Ronnie Shields. Although Jermell is no longer with Shields, the prospect of Jermell and Lara fighting is less than likely.
It’s also unlikely we’ll see Jermell vs. Alvarez, with Alvarez facing Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. at 164 lbs. and the Mexican star probably staying in the middleweight division after his clash with Chavez Cinco de Mayo weekend.
Canelo’s ascension towards middleweight does open the door for Jermall however.
Another notable name in the division is the former WBO junior middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade 24-0 (16 KO’s).
He currently holds a portion of the WBA title – one of the many fragments and is adamant on beating both Charlo brothers.
— Demetrius Andrade (@BooBooAndrade) September 29, 2016
— Demetrius Andrade (@BooBooAndrade) September 28, 2016
A fight between the two needs to happen. The winner has the opportunity to unify titles in the division and may establish himself as not only the best at 154, but as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in boxing.
Regarding Jermall at 160 lbs., he is ranked no.2 according to the WBC middleweight rankings and intends on becoming the mandatory challenger for Gennady Golovkin’s 37-0 (33 KO’s) WBC title. However he must defeat Argentinian Jorge Sebastian Heiland to secure that position.
Jermall had a solid run at 154, defeating a faded world titlist at the time Cornelius Bundrage, a strong former champion Austin Trout and one of the best, undefeated, world contenders Julian Williams.
The older twin brother was a terror at junior middleweight; technically sound, a nice blend of overall speed, punching power and athleticism.
If Jermall can carry these traits to middleweight, he’ll present problems to anyone.
Match-ups against Alvarez, Chavez, Golovkin sound intriguing on paper. Even match-ups against some of the other factors at middleweight; WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders, former titlists Danny Jacobs, David Lemieux and Andy Lee, all sound like interesting fights.
It’s just a matter of manifesting. Can each brother put a strangle hold on their respective division?
Will this be the year the twin tag team takes over boxing?
Just How Good was Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson?
Just How Good was Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson?
By: Ken Hissner
Ring Magazine founder Nat Fleischer rated Jack Johnson as the best heavyweight he ever saw. This writer would have to say he would be in anyone’s top five and possibly as high as No. 2.
Johnson was born in Galveston, TX, in March of 1878, and passed in June of 1946 at the age of 68 while living in Raleigh, NC. His record was 56-11-8 (36) and 15-0-3 NWS. He lost 5 of his last 7 matches between the ages of 48 and 53 when he retired in April of 1931.
Johnson’s height was 6’0½ with a first recorded weight of 185 in 1902 while the heaviest was 242 in 1916. In title defenses he was 7-0-2. His trainer was Henry “Pop” Blanken. His managers were George Little, Sam Fitzpatrick and Alex MacLean. Johnson was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990 and also inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame. His career started in 1897 and finished in 1931.
Johnson won his first 3 matches by knockout before losing to Klondike Haynes (was black) in 1899 by technical stoppage in 5 rounds due to exhaustion. He would go onto fight Haynes to a draw in 1900 in June and in December stop him by technical knockout in 14 rounds. In February of 1901 he was knocked out by Joe Choynski. In November of that hear he lost a decision in 20 rounds to Hank Griffin. They would fight 2 more times with both ending in a draw.
One of the best colored boxers was Sam McVea whom Johnson defeated in over 20 rounds in February and October of 2003. In April of 2004 Johnson would knockout McVea in the 20th round. In March of 2005 he would lose a close if not controversial bout to Marvin Hart who was suspected to have only vision in one eye. Just 4 months later Hart would win the vacant heavyweight crown stopping Jack Root. Then lose it on his first defense to Tommy Burns.
At the early part of his career Johnson being black was not allowed to fight white boxers which would change over time. In February of 1903 he won the “Colored Title” with a 20 round decision over Denver Ed Martin. One of the best colored boxers was Joe Jeannette whom Johnson fought 5 times. In their first meeting in May of 1905 Johnson W3NWS, In November he lost by DQ in 2. In December he W6NWS and in January of 1906 Won 3 and in March won in 15 in a defense of his “Colored Title”.
In April of 1906 Johnson defeated Sam “The Black Tar Baby” Langford, 32-4-15, over 15 rounds. Johnson being outweighed Langford 185 to 156 ½ knocking him down in the 6th round. It would be year’s later when then world champion Jack Dempsey would say “I only ducked one man and that was Sam Langford.”
In July of 1907 Johnson would knock out former 3-division champion Bob Fitzsimmons, 61-6-4, in 2 rounds. In November of 1907 he knocked out “Fireman” Jim Flynn, 33-8-13, 11 rounds which put him in line for a possible title fight with Burns. In July of 2008 he stopped Ben Taylor, 23-13-3, in the 8th round in the UK.
In order to get a title fight and being the first black to get that chance Johnson’s backers had to guarantee Burns 30k which was double what anyone ever got in a heavyweight title fight. Named “The Little Giant of Hanover” Burns, 42-2-8, was only 5’7″ and gave away 5½ inches in height to Johnson and only weighed 168½ to Johnson’s 194 and with a record of 36-5-7.Johnson stopped Burns in 14 rounds in Australia. It was the Canadian Burns third fight in the country “down under.”
In Johnson’s first title defense in May of 1909 he took on the former light heavyweight champion “Philadelphia” Jack O’Brien, ending in a draw 6 NWS. The decision was received by mixed feelings. Johnson came in at 205 to O’Brien’s 162½. In October of 1909 Johnson defended against Stanley “The Michigan Assassin” Ketchel, 48-3-4, who won the middleweight title in his in November of 2008. In the 12th round Ketchel dropped Johnson who had his hands to his side. Johnson immediately got up and tore into Ketchel knocking him out with a right to the chin. It was said Johnson had 2 of Ketchel’s teeth embedded into his glove from that blow.Johnson weighed in at 205½ and Ketchel 170¼.
In July of 2004 the former unbeaten heavyweight champion James J Jeffries, 19-0-2, who hadn’t fought in 5 years and 11 months while his weight reached 300 came out of retirement. He was more or less forced to come out as a “white hope” to stop Johnson. It lasted until the 15th round when the referee/promoter Tex Ricard waved it off if favor of Johnson after Jeffries was down twice.
Johnson had lived in Spain, Mexico and France. He was fluent in French and Spanish. He fought in those three countries along with Cuba and Canada. It would be 2 years since the Jeffries fight when Johnson returned to the ring. He gave a rematch to Flynn and won by DQ in 9 rounds. Johnson was arrested in 2012 and put into prison over the Mann Act and escaped through Canada and ended up in Paris, France.
In December of 1913 in France Johnson took on Battling Jim Johnson, 20-6-2, who was black and they waltz to a 20 round draw. In June of 2013 Johnson defeated Frank Moran, 21-6-2, over 20 rounds. In April of 1915 Johnson went to Havana, Cuba to fight the giant Jess Willard, 20-3-1. In the 26th round Johnson hit the canvas onto his back. He raised his arms to block out the sun. He didn’t beat the count and Willard became the new champion.
Johnson would move to Spain and score 3 wins. Then off to Mexico for 5 more wins. He would return to Cuba after an absence of 3 years to post 2 more wins. In 1924 he went to Canada to post a win. It would be another 2 years of inactivity when he got a win in Mexico. Just 4 weeks laterin Mexico he suffered his first defeat in 11 years since losing to Willard. He was 48 years old. His 13 fight winning streak was broken. He would lose 5 of his last 7 fights fighting up until the age of 53 when he defeated Brad Simmons, 28-13-3, after having lost to him twice.
Johnson’s career ended after 34 years. After retiring Johnson attempted to train future world champion Joe “The Brown Bomber” Louis, but the managers felt it would be a mistake and passed.
As you can see Johnson defeated many men smaller than him. His career really ended with the Willard loss and we will never know if he took a dive or not. He may have been a better boxer prior to winning the title.His arrogance made him a very unpopular champion along with crossing the line marrying a pair of white women. He was without a doubt one of the greatest boxers in the history of boxing.
WBC Minimumweight Champion Chayaphon Moosri Goes 46-0!
WBC Minimumweight Champion Chayaphon Moosri goes 46-0!
By: Ken Hissner
Too many times the Thailand boxers have built up records and WBC Minimumweight champion Chayaphon Moosri at 46-0 (17), is no exception.
In Moosri’s third bout he won the vacant WBC Youth title fighting an opponent who was 0-1 in March of 2007. He defended it 8 times. Several of his opponents had records of 0-0, 0-1 and 1-2. In December of 2009 he won the interim WBC International title and made 2 defenses. Then on January 2011 he won the vacant WBC International Silver title over a 7-5-2 opponent and made 3 defenses beforere-winning the vacant International title in November of 2011 making it 5 defenses.
In November of 2014 Moosri wins the WBC World title from a 14-4-1 boxer from Mexico and made 6 defenses. In his 46 fights he has defeated 29 opponents with winning records and 14 with losing records along with 2 debuting opponents and a 15-15-2 opponent.
Moosri is 31 and has been fighting for 10 years. His bio shows no amateur credentials. All 46 of his fights have been fought in Thailand. The WBA champion Thammanoon Niyomtrong, 15-0 (7), is also from Thailand. It would make sense for the two to meet in a unification bout. Mexico’s Jose Argumedo, 19-3-1 (11), holds the IBF titleand Japan’s Katsunari Takayama won the WBO title after losing his IBF title to Argumedo.
In December of 2016 and March of 2017 (his last bout) Moosri has won 6 round decisions in order to build up his record. A world champion shouldn’t be fighting 6 round bouts. It seems he is aiming to overtake both Rocky Marciano and Floyd Mayweather’s 49-0 record.
Another Thai boxer named Samson Dutch Boy Gym was 43-0 (36) when he retired. He won the World Boxing Federation super fly title in his fourth fight and defended it 38 times. Only thing is he defended against opponents with the following records:
1-7, 1-7-1, 8-16-2, 0-7 and 1-6. He never fought outside of Thailand.
Gerrie Coetzee the First African to Win the Heavyweight Title!
Gerrie Coetzee the First African to Win the Heavyweight Title!
By: Ken Hissner
After an amateur career with a 185-7 record Gerrie “Boksburg Bomber” Coetzee would start the long journey to be the first African to become the world heavyweight championship. Losing 3 times to Kallie Knoetze came to an end when in 1973 he stopped Knoetze for the Senior Amateur title. What seemed as a long shot he would overcome all the odds and road blocks he would encounter along the way.
Coetzee would turn professional in September of 1974 against the former South African champion Chris Roos, 11-6-2, seemed like the right opponent to start his career. In having what would be his only scheduled 4 rounder in his career he won the decision over Roos in Johannesburg, South Africa. He would score knockouts in his next 3 fights with a pair of first round knockouts of which one was an opponent from the Netherlands and another from the UK.
After Coetzee’s sixth fight he had won 3 by knockout and 3 by decision. Wanting to get a rematch for those he won decisions over he aimed to show improvement in knocking them out in return matches. He would start with Hennie Thoonen, 4-1, some 7 weeks after defeating him and coming off another decision win some 20 days after defeating Amedeo Laureti, 6-5-1, all over 6 rounds. Thoonen would be halted in 3 rounds this time. This followed with a rematch with Chris Roos who hadn’t fought in 13 months since being defeated by Coetzee. It was a totally different outcome this time stopping Roos in 3 rounds in his first scheduled for 8.
Feeling confident Coetzee would take a giant step taking on the veteran Jimmy Richards, 26-9-4, in February of 1976. Richards was 10-0-1 having won the South African title and drawing with American Henry Clark but losing his title to Mike Schutte over 12 rounds. Coetzee defeated Richards over 6 rounds. Then he moved back up to an 8 rounder against Hartmut Sasse, 11-6-1, from Europe and found himself on the canvas in the first round. He was able to rebound and take an 8 round decision over Sasse.
Then Coetzee had a rematch with Richards some 6 weeks after defeating him. This time he stopped Richards in the 9th of a 10 rounder. Next up American Ron Stander, 30-9-2, was brought in. He had failed in a world title fight with “Smokin” Joe Frazier. He stopped Stander in the 8th round of a 10. This set the stage for his first shot at the South African title against champion Mike Schutte a month later.
Schutte, 32-5-1, was on a 14 fight win streak at the time. It had been almost a year since taking the title from Richards and this would be his first defense in August of 1976. Coetzee was 12-0 at the time with almost 2 years of experience. By the 6th round Schutte was DQ’d and Coetzee was the new South African champion. Coetzee injured his right hand in this fight.
It would be 2 ½ months later when Coetzee would defend against his old nemesis from the amateurs Kallie Knoetz, 6-1, who had defeated Coetzee 3 times before Coetzee ended his amateur career stopping Knoetz. Coetzee went against his physician’s advice to fight having a pulled muscle in his back. Knoetz just 2 weeks earlier lost for the first time by DQ. This would be a 10 round non-title bout. Coetzee would take a decision win over Knoetz.
Now it was time for Coetzee to make the first defense of his title. He was considered the white champ and would be taking on the non-white champion James Mathatho, 12-4-1. He was 7-1-1 since taking his title. Coetzee would score a 7th round knockout. Pierre Fourie, 52-6-1, was next. He had failed twice trying to take Bob Foster’s light heavyweight title and failed both times. He was now on a 3 fight win streak. Coetzee would score a knockout in 3 rounds.
Next up would be a rematch for Coetzee with Schutte whom he won the South African title over. Schutte had rebounded defeating Americans Rodney Bobick and Chuck Wepner. Coetzee would take a 12 round decision over Schutte this time but had hurt his left hand in the second round and his right hand in the third round but showed quite a bit of courage in winning this fight over 12 rounds. After the fight his gloves had to be cut off due to the swelling in his hands.
After this fight a Johannesburg surgeon performed a complex operation on his right hand and also on his left hand at that time. He would be back in the ring 6 months later and win 4 straight fights against Americans stopping Tom Prater, 18-6-1, and Johnny Boudreaux, 20-2-1. He would be off for 5 months before taking on and defeating future cruiserweight world champion Randy Stephens, 10-3. It was a lack luster win and he would receive another operation after this fight and be out for 7 months returning to defeat American Ibar Arrington, 26-6-1.
This writer remembers Cus D’Amato telling me Bob Arum who had been with the IRS wanted him to come up with an idea of taking 2 black boxers to South Africa against 2 white challengers with the winners meeting. Knoetz, 17-2, was on an 11 fight win streak since losing to Coetzee and would meet Olympian John Tate, 18-0, who would knock out Knoetz in 8 rounds. Coetzee would meet former world champion and Olympic champion Leon Spinks, 7-1-1, who had lost in a rematch with Muhammad Ali in his previous fight.
It was in Monte Carlo in June of 1979 and Coetzee would score 3 knockdowns in the first round to stop Spinks earning a shot at the world title in meeting Tate, 19-0, some 4 months later. Before over 77,000 people in a South African stadium Coetzee would fall short losing a decision to Tate. In his first defense Tate would be knocked out by Mike “Hercules” Weaver while ahead on all 3 scorecards being knockout out in 2:13 of the 15th and final round.
His first fight back since losing to Tate, Coetzee would take on American Mike Koranicki, 22-5-2, who had just knocked out Knoetz in the 10th and final round. Coetzee scored a 1st round knockout. In October of 1980 Coetzee would get another shot at the world title that Weaver had won over Tate. He had Weaver hurt in the 8th round but didn’t finish him off. It would be Weaver’s first defense taking a close decision into the 13th round and knocking out Coetzee.
Coetzee would take his first fight outside of South Africa going to Hawaii and defeating American George Chaplin, 16-2-2, over a lack luster 10 rounds. Some 5 months later he would make his state side debut in America against Renaldo “Mr.” Snipes, 21-0, for the right to meet WBC champion Larry Holmes, but lost a disputed split decision to Snipes in New York.
Coetzee would come back to South Africa and score 4 straight knockouts over American opponents with the last one in Atlantic City, NJ, stopping Stan Ward, 15-4-2, in 2 rounds. He would return to the American City, fighting to a draw with future world champion Pinklon Thomas, 20-0. One judge had it for Coetzee but the other two called it a draw. Thomas would take the WBC title from “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon the following year.
For Coetzee he would meet American Michael “Dynamite” Dokes, 26-0-2, who had taken the WBA title from Weaver by a disputed stoppage and fought to a draw in the rematch in his previous fight before meeting Coetzee. The fight would take place in Richfield, OH, the home state of Dokes and promoter Don King. It was September of 1983 and Coetzee would have his third chance to win a world title. He was a 5-1 underdog. He had dropped Dokes in the 5th round and seemed to tire late in the fight. He was slightly ahead on all 3 scorecards and scored a sensational knockout in the 10th round achieving his dream of being the first African world heavyweight champion. It was reported he received $250,000 to $750 that Dokes the champion received.
Bringing the WBA title back to South Africa Coetzee would make his first defense some 15 months later. A unification bout with Larry Holmes had fallen through. Coetzee had 23 surgeries on his right hand during his career having his bones fused together and was given the moniker the “bionic hand.” His challenger would be American Greg Page, 23-3, who was coming off 2 straight losses, one a loss to Witherspoon for the vacant WBC title but still ranked No. 6. He was from the same city, Louisville, KY, that Ali was from and tried to imitate the same style as Ali. Coetzee was down in the sixth being hit after the bell and in the seventh round. He seemed to recover and started to outbox Page in the 8th round but would be knocked out in the 8th round at 3:50, of the round that had gone well over the 3 minute mark. Pages manager Janks Morton was yelling at the time keeper prior to the stoppage about the fight continuing past the 3 minutes. The WBA Championship committee denied a protest from Coetzee, and Page’s win was upheld.
It would be 9 months before Coetzee would fight again taking on American James “Quick” Tillis, 31-6, winning over 10 rounds. He came in at a career high 232 for this fight. It would be his last fight in South Africa. He would travel to the UK and take on Frank Bruno, 27-1, at the same weight with the winner to fight Witherspoon now the WBA champion. Coetzee was knocked out in the first round. Bruno would lose to Witherspoon in his next fight. Soon after this Coetzee would move his family to America.
Coetzee had Hal Tucker as his manager and co-manager Jock Lewin and later Peter Vension as his manager. His trainers were his father Flip Coetzee, Willie Locke and Jackie McCoy.
It would be 7 ½ years when Coetzee would make a comeback winning 3 straight knockouts in California He had retired after the second win and come back some 3 years later. He was 41 at the time of his return. He would then have the final fight of his career at age 42 against the former middleweight and light heavyweight champion Iran “The Blade” Barkley, 40-12, in Hollywood, CA, coming in at 253 lbs. Barkley was on a 7 fight win streak and a title called the vacant World Boxing Board was at stake. He would drop Barkley in the second round but tired as the fight progressed. Barkley scored a 10th round stoppage ending the career of the first African to ever win a world title, Gerry Coetzee, 33-6-1 (21)! Barkley would never defend the title. Coetzee would return to live in South Africa.
KEN HISSNER: Being the first African to win a world title must have been a dream come true for you.
Yes, I was very proud to open all doors, for all people, and the boxers in Africa. I really was excited to get a third opportunity for the WBA World title against Michael Dokes. Many people in South Africa told me to go to the USA early in my career, but I was so attached to my family, I could not leave them in South Africa. I need to highlight when I went to the USA to meet my USA trainer Jackie Mc Coy I was so impress with him I knew he is the man that shall make me the next World Champ. He asked me to write down what my training sessions was in South Africa. I wrote it down and gave it to him, the next day he said softly. Do I want to impress him, I said no Uncle Jackie this is what I did for my previous fights. He looked at me and said, this will be cut by fifty present as I was over trained for most of my fights. He took over the training and it was a new me. This made me extremely positive, I felt light and quick and could not believe that I won some of my previous fights in that condition and with bad hands. Since my victory over Dokes South Africa and Africa produced many more world champs, it opened the door for them to get the opportunities many couldn’t before
KEN HISSNER: Did you get discouraged having lost in two attempts at the title when you met Michael Dokes for another chance for the title?
Losing to John Tate the next day I could not face the public and press the fight was of such magnitude it drew 96 thousand people it filled Loftus rugby stadium. It was very difficult since that time; I never realized that I was over trained. That is why I felt weak and slow during the fight and the press and public blamed it on me being unfit. Although it went 15 rounds I was weak before even entering the ring after the fight a couple of days later I swallowed tablets because I could not accept that I lost that fight, with all the training as Tate was not a strong puncher and could not take a punch. I was convinced I would beat him. My wife called a doctor when this happened he came to our house and monitored the situation until I was stable and, the doctor found no permanent damage, I just had a good sleep. Luckily my wife managed to keep this away from all the press who would have loved to report this. Getting knocked out by Mike Weaver was even worse after the fight, as I trained even more for the Weaver fight, when watching the fight you will notice that I was holding onto the ropes and Weaver, from round one, I had one good round as my trainer Allan Toweel had me doing 15 rounds of sparing the Friday night before the fight, with 3 different sparring partners from the USA. This loss also had bad publicity and again I was depressed and negative for not being able to win and felt I disappointed my fellow countrymen. I was depressed and embarrassed by my loss that I stayed in bed for around 3 weeks and allowed no one to talk to me, my wife and my cocker spaniel who stayed by my side helped me not to do anything drastically as she knew how I felt and what happened the last time.
KEN HISSNER: Was there any talk of meeting Dokes or Pinklon Thomas whom you had drawn with in the previous fight before defeating Dokes?
Yes there was a lot of talk and pressure on me, for the Pinklon Thomas fight. I broke my right hand again in sparing preparing for that fight. Every person involved in boxing knew about my broken hand. I am sure a promoter, manager or a trainer paid one of my sparing partners to make a fight of my sparing session, to use his elbows, and his head, my sparring partner changed his style of boxing leading into the fight . I kept on training with my broken hand. When I entered my dressing room, the night of the fight, there was an official in the dressing room watching me with an eagle eye. I started to get undressed and put my boxing trunks on. I had a terrible headache and wanted to take a tablet for the headache, before I could take the tablet the official slap the tablet and water out of my hand. He then picked up the tablet in order to keep me from taking it and he was there all the time until we left for the ring. I suppose he had it tested, that did not concern me accept the headache before the fight. I knew they can test it but I was clean. As you know it was a draw, but I can’t recall the round, when I thru my right hand, I could clearly see his eyes rolled, this is a sure sign that I shook him, with my broken hand. He himself had an explosive jab that made you think twice what to do. He also gave me a tremendous cut above my left eye. That evening at their apartment my trainers were loud and the neighbors called the cops, my mom called me immediately as I stayed close by, fortunately I arrived just in time as the cops pulled their guns pointing it at my dad as he kept on moving towards them, I rushed passed them and picked my dad up and took him up stairs and locked the door. I warned him not to open his mouth again; the cops recognized me as they were watching the fight earlier on. A couple of weeks later they brought me a card which allowed me having any moving violation without getting a fine
KEN HISSNER: Did you think the loss to Page getting stopped after the 3 minute mark would be reversed?
With apartheid here in South Africa, it would not have been reversed. For Don King to support and promoting me, he would come across that he supported apartheid, which I don’t agree with as we are all people, unfortunately this is not how it works. The only way out for Mr. King was to sell me for an enormous amount of money, and wipe his hands clean. Again I broke my right hand thumb during sparing, when this happened the people around the ring heard the bone snapped. Jackie McCoy said immediately that I must stop. I completed the round as I did not want the people to know I broke my hand. We went to get x-rays of my hand and it showed that my metacarpal was severely broken. Uncle Jackie said there was going to be no fight with Page, Stan Christodolou who was the head of the boxing board met with us the following day and we showed him the x-rays his response was that Tommy Hearns had his right hand broken and went ahead with the World Title fight by only using his left hand and faking with the right. Uncle Jackie told him that this would never happen in the USA and Stan told him we are not in the USA and if I did not fight he will make sure the WBA would strip me of the title. My response to him was then I will fight with both hands broken. Uncle Jackie did not condone this, on the night of the fight the boxing board doctor injected me with the same stuff the dentist use to num your gums. After the injection I fell asleep and they had to wrap my hands while I was sleeping, Uncle Jackie woke me up when they were announcing the fight. I went in without warming up; many people mentioned that I only started to look better in the 8th round when the injection was wearing off. This was when I was knocked out, most of the damage was done when the bell rang and I turned away and walked to my corner and he came from behind and hit me with a overhand right, which I never saw and I went down.
KEN HISSNER: You had 23 operations on your right hand. What kind of effect did this have over your career?
It was an extra large and serious problem for me during my career, my left hand was broken twice and my right hand was serious with twenty three operations. After the twenty third operations Dr Boonzaier mentioned that this is the last operation that he will do on my hands. His theory was: There was a man with short legs and long arms, which nearly touched the floor. He asked the Dr. to shorten his arms, the Dr. said yes it can be done and he will look like a normal person, but let me tell you one possibility, you can get an infection in one of your arms and then we have to amputate the arm. Then he looked at me seriously and said we can no longer operate on your hand as there were too many ops on your hand and you can end up with only one hand. Training was a terrible problem, as the broken hands prevented me for getting back into the gym. I couldn’t fight too often and when I had a fight I sometimes went in with a broken hand and other times broke it during the fight. My punching power was not there in many fights and I felt I could have had more knockouts. To make it short and sweet I fought more or less with sixty percent of my fights, with broken hands.
KEN HISSNER: In your next fight you would defeat Tillis. Did you know at the time it would be your last fight in South Africa?
I knew I was at the end of my career, my mother passed away on Monday the week of the event; we were unable to cancel the fight because of the date was set for the television. This was the worst time of my life to continue with that fight. But at least I won, I forced my memory to think that I am doing it for my mother, as I was a real mama’s boy.
KEN HISSNER: You travel to the UK and get stopped by Frank Bruno and announced your retirement. Bruno would lose in his next fight losing to Witherspoon for his WBA title. What made you come back over 7 years later?
I was asked by Sol Kersner from Sun International to win two fights and then Larry Holmes. Larry played the same game again as after the Dokes fight Promoter offer him 5 million then He wants 10 million then they offer him 10 million, surprise he then wants 15 million and so on, it never stopped. Renaldo Snipes fought him and dropped Larry. I fought Snipes and drop him twice. Larry didn’t want to fight me, signed many agreements and took upfront money when signing. The love for the UNITED STATES, it is as my country and my youngest daughter is an AMERICAN CITIZEN as well as my grandson.
KEN HISSNER: You won 3 straight by knockout on your return with your weight now over 250 lbs. You are stopped by former 2-division world champion Iran Barkley ending your career. Did you know it was over this time for good?
Re the Barkley fight, it sounds that I have an excuse for every fight I lost. You can check and verify, that my trainer Uncle Jacky had throat cancer and I took that fight without a trainer and training maybe once a week at the gym by myself and the rest is history.
KEN HISSNER: South Africa changed dramatically upon the release of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in 1990. Were you living in South Africa at the time or did you move back afterwards his taking over the country?
I was then all ready in the USA. When I returned from the USA Nelson Mandela wanted to meet me, and I was so privy to meet such a great man .He gave me goose bumps and He reminded me of Ali. There is only good things you can say of our Madiba which Means Father of the Nation.
KEN HISSNER: When was it when you met Mandela and under what circumstances?
GERRIE COETZEE: I recon it was in 2000 or 2001 I shall find out. I went to his government section and I was so nerves. I was so proud when he accepted my gold coin with my face on it. What a great and wise man there is only respect for him.
KEN HISSNER: You had an outstanding career. When did you have what was called the “bionic hand” and was it an asset
After my second Mike Schutte South African title fight it was more of a problem but the press enjoyed it
KEN HISSNER: I understand from Macauley Utuk that Fonta Brilla Productions wants to do a movie of your life. How exciting would that be and have you agreed to it?
Yes, thank you it will be very exciting. I am a supporter of all USA Presidents and the country. I never miss the Presidential elections, on TV. And I would be honored to have a movie made by an American company.
KEN HISSNER: I’ve wanted to do an article on you for years and want to thank you for taking the time out to respond to these questions.
I sincerely appreciate it and it is a big honor for me.
KEN HISSNER:Thank you for taking the time out to respond to these questions.
There is so much more exciting things I can tell you. When I lost an amateur boxing fight between the age of 10 to 12 years, my Father would give me a good hiding and told us he is going to run into another car on our way home, we all were crying, shaken and scared. An unknown person was tail gating our car and my father was so angry with my loss he hit the brakes and the person hit the back of our car, the impact was so big some of the smaller siblings went over the front seat. Later the cops came to our house and wanted to take a statement. My mother always knew how to handle the situation. Another time when I lost he stop behind a car at a shop and on my Mothers return, he started the car and accelerated into the car in front, then put the car in rear gear and hit the car behind him. Then he had a big space to exit and when we got home gave me another hiding. My Father was very aggressive when I lost but normally he is a very soft and kind person, assisting the poor people of all colours.
This was a quote:
A left hand that can thread a needle and a fist that can stun a Rhino. Yet 2 years ago boxing’s most valuable was so mangled in that fight with Mike Schutte that his boxing life hung on a thread.
Thank you let us know if there are any other questions as I have many more incidents in my career. For all the politics and injuries it was a miracle to make it to the top. My medical doctor, Dr Jock Lewin, who lives in America, said I was one of a kind and definitely not human.
Oscar Valdez: The New Generation of Mexican Boxing
Oscar Valdez: The New Generation of Mexican Boxing
By: Francisco Martinez
April 22nd WBO 122lbs champion Oscar Valdez is set to defend his title for the second time as he headlines his first PPV trough Top Rank promotions. An opportunity Oscar Valdez is more than excited for “Right now I’m living the dream. I dream about these moments, being a main event, on great cards, I’m living it right now so I’m enjoying the ride. I’m doing everything with passion, letting everything go on it’s own” and in return everything is going right for the 2 time Mexican Olympian.
Colombian Miguel Marriaga is the rival who that will meet Oscar Valdez in the other end of the ring in Carson, California at the StubHub Center a venue known for fan friendly match ups and spoilers, potential upsets of the year. Which is what Marriaga is aiming for come this 22nd of April. Having shared the ring with former 126lbs king Nicholas Walters, Marriaga feels that kind of experience with that level of opposition gives him the upper hand over the young fast & powerful Valdez who doesn’t care much for the quality of opposition Marriaga has faced.
“I feel good in the gym. I feel good that I’m doing my work. The people around me they got faith in me and that’s all that matters. I’m a family guy and that’s the most important thing to me to worry about my family and not other people’s opinions about me. Do my job in the gym and do my best to win every fight” direct but humble words from the young 126lbs phenom.
Oscar Valdez has great talent and a very humble approach to when speaking about his position as arguably the best 126lbs fighter today but also spoke his mind at the podium when addressing the media during the official press conference to announce the April 22nd Top Rank PPV triple header “My trainer Manny (Robles) & Edgar Jasso we put in the time and I haven’t seen a manager like Frank (Espinoza) that goes to the gym everyday or Frankie, to see how their boxers are doing so that means a lot to me. We’re not only a team we’re a family. Working with Jessie Magdaleno and also seeing Zurdo Ramirez in the gym we all help each other out. We’re a great team. We know that we’re the face off Mexican boxing right now so we gotta take that very seriously so we work hard, help each other out and we get the job done at the fights”
No doubt on paper Miguel Marriaga looks to be the toughest test for Oscar Valdez to date however Valdez has his own beliefs as to how he approaches not just this fight in particular but all his 21 previous fights leading to this exact one “Like Manny (Robles) says, every fight is more important than the last one. Marriaga, he’s no easy opponent, they don’t exists, an easy opponent. Marriaga, he’s a strong, strong fighter, has a lot of experience inside the ring so I know it’s gonna be a tough fight but that’s why we train hard in the gym so we can win these fights”
Trainer Manny Robles adds this to the conversation “For those people who don’t know Marriaga, Marriaga is a great fighter, he’s a solid fighter, solid contender. This guy can crack, he can come forward. The match up itself is great. Styles make fights, this is a great match up. This is a fight the public should not miss. It’s gonna be a great night of boxing” styles do make fights and this match up is a evenly matched up bout and even better that the venue itself really helps make this fight that much more intriguing being that the StubHub Center is known for its action packed fights and electric atmosphere that can make both rivals more aggressive and abandon their game plans. Just something about the warrior like chemistry the StubHub Center has deeply rooted in it.
In this Top Rank promotions triple header fans will also get Jessie Magdaleno who’s defending his 122lbs WBO title against Brazilian Adielson Dos Santos who’s coming in with 2 consecutive knockouts to a total of 14 K.O.’s in 20 professional fights. Also on the card Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez who is the 168lbs WBO title holder who is matched up with Max Bursak a 38 fight professional from the Ukraine along with the debut of 2016 American Olympian silver medalist Shakur Stevenson who’s hope to bring a knockout and leave with a few of those loyal Mexican fans that will be in attendance at the StubHub Center.
So don’t miss it April 22nd Top Rank promotions PPV triple header live at the StubHub Center that’ll bring you a glimpse of the next generation of Mexican boxing.
Follow all coverage of the fight via #TopRankBoxing