Welcome back boxing fans. I sincerely hope everyone enjoyed his or her respective Memorial Day weekends. If you are an American reader that is. I didn’t. Maybe the most tragic news in the history of my life took place this past weekend. Only when Magic Johnson told the world he had HIV have I felt this much despair about an athlete. More on that later. I wish to thank the boxing fans that communicated their opinions to me following my most recent offering and I implore all of you to speak your minds. I am not offended in the least when fellow boxing fans disagree with something I say on the air or write on our website. Boxing more then any other sport is a blast to debate, and because the sport is so subjective, everyone’s opinion has merit. I received a massive amount of tweets following my boxing rant a couple of days ago. I disagreed with many of those tweets concerning Chris John, However, I was pleased to see the amount of knowledge and passion that this here platform will afford me. One tweet stood out above the others, Bernardo Ousna of ESPN tweeted “Props. Boxing is such a subjective sport, but the important thing is to back up your argument with facts or an informed opinion.”
I agree with him, and it gave me the willies to have someone of that stature give me positive feedback. This article is going to be something new for me. I am going to start the ultimate boxing debate, and my hope is that the argument continues on twitter after this is posted, and then Thursday night on “Tha Boxing Voice”. I also will answer some questions about my credibility as a journalist. Some of my peers asked what business I had writing what I did. To answer those questions about my capabilities as a writer I am going to include an excerpt from my recently published book. About 8 months ago I published the biography of former heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe. Not only will this serve as an answer to some of my would be critics, it will also add to the general debate soon to follow on Twitter. The passage is intense, but fortuitous. I worked hand in hand with some of the biggest names in boxing. The passage is filled to the rafters with commentary from some of your favorite boxing titans. It was a joy to write the book. I am going to also include a new set of rankings in this piece. As previously stated in this preamble there will be plenty of room for debate on my new rankings on the backside of this opera.
The first thing we will address if the top four fighters of all time. This is quite the sensitive subject amongst the boxing head masses so I will do my best kid glove impression as I matriculate you the reader through my organized chaos. My points of emphasis in the initial rant will serve as the basis for these projections. I also have one more request my fellow fight freaks; please do NOT shortchange other fighters to further your arguments. It is annoying and simply unfair. I would also advise people to stay away from completely irrelevant emotionally absurd testimony. I want to debate with intelligent boxing fans that are not afraid to tell me I am full of shit. I will pass on discussions that have a cartoon character feel to them. Bombs away
1. Sugar Ray Robinson 173-19 Greatest fighter of All Time
Boxing is more subjective then politics at times. Manny/Floyd, Tyson/Ali. As our radio show proves, dudes can debate boxing until rapture. One debate to me that is pointless is the designation of the GOAT (Greatest of all time). Sugar Ray Robinson is the greatest fighter of all time. Of all time. He is the most sublime mixture of power, speed, and advanced ring intelligence that the sport has ever seen. He is Neo. The chosen one. The man to lead us in our fight against the machines. I am getting carried away.
What sets the real Sugar apart from all other fighters is his fluidity. He moves like a dancer, to a different beat then other human beings were capable of achieving. His movement was music, his feet sweeter then Gabriel Montoya. Supplementing all of this balance and coordination was equal command of both his hands. He could generate power punches in both hands, but he also had unprecedented speed. This is an unusual combination. Fast hands with stone power coupled with sensational footwork makes this man the premiement fighting machine in the history of prize fighting. He was a blur to his opponents, a deity to African Americans, and a goldmine at the box office. In some ways he was the anti Floyd Mayweather. This Boxer made a POINT of pushing himself, a point of figuring out his limits.
Sugar Rays Numbers are bonkers. I give him the nod more based on his skillset, but it is hard to ignore numbers this overwhelming. His record is something that I had to repeat out loud, I had to check and double check it including taking a trip to a library. All the sources seem to be telling me the same thing. Look at that RECORD DUDE! Sugar Ray turned pro at 19; he was a kid, the same age as the graceful Eddie Gomez (who was on our airwaves this past Sunday). What would follow is 11 years of pure domination. This guy was not only the best fighter of that particular generation, he was the best fighter of any generation which made him that much more devastating. Sugar won the Welterweight title in 1946 and did not relinquish it for 5 years. Everyone please remember that this was the day and age of one belt, a Lineal champion and that’s it. Sugar went on to hold the Middleweight title off and on in the fifties compiling an insane record 173-19.
The only problem I have with Ray is his activity. He fought WAY to many fights, he also fought for to long. Sugar Ray Robinson was not only an all time great, he is THE all time great; he was also an entertainer, a media darling. I believe he should have made an effort to cash in on that much earlier in his decline. That’s nit picking though.
2. Sugar Ray Leonard 36-3 5-division champion
We all had heroes growing up. Men that lifted our spirits, and gave us the strength to face our own challenges in life. Some of us had He-Man, others invested in Hulk Hogan, and this writer was a Ray Charles Leonard guy everyday of the week and twice on Sunday. Sugar Ray had a flare in and out of the ring that has made him larger then life as it relates to boxing history. He saved boxing when it appeared the sport was headed for the doldrums. Muhammad Ali did not retire until the early eighties, but his decline was evident to boxing observers as the 70’s came to a close. Many feared that the sport would enter a dark ages of sorts. Who is going to globalize the sport of boxing? Who should we pass the torch too?
Those questions and fears were dispelled during the 1976 Olympics in Montreal Canada. Sugar Ray burst on the professional boxing scene as an amateur. He took Howard Cosell’s breath away as he troubled international competitors fight after fight. Further enhancing this breath of fresh air was Ray’s personality. The kid could light up a room with his smile, and appeared to be the next big ticket seller in the making. Seizing the gold medal in electrifying fashion laid the groundwork for a legend.
Sugar Ray won a Welterweight title at the expense of Wilfred Benitez, and soared to the top of the boxing world in 4 short years. Ray was a monster at the box office right away. Selling out an arena in Baltimore in his first professional fight. Ray also had the business acumen NOT to align himself with the traditional promoters, which further juiced his earnings. Ray would run into a buzz saw the night he lost to Roberto Duran, but he recovered to baffle Duran in the “No Mas” rematch. The Cross roads of Sugar Ray’s path to greatness would come in the form of the “Motor City Cobra” Thomas Hearns. Thomas Hearns, another Welterweight champion, was considered the second best fighter in the world behind Ray Leonard. Thomas Hearns packed concussive power, power generally not seen at 147 pounds. Thomas was tall, lean, and could jab his ass off. Ray appeared to be an underdog, and Thomas Hearns appeared to be an unwinnable fight. Both proved to be false. Ray climbed the Thomas Hearn’s Mountain. Despite suffering an eye injury that would limit his activity in the 80’s, Ray would go on to win more fights, more titles, and was the biggest star in boxing for the better part of a decade. Mike Tyson would take some of that shine, but Ray was a consistent cornerstone in boxing, and his resume and conduct is super special. Ray also has the distinction of defeating all the fellow hall of famers of his day. The late 70’s to the mid 80’s was the golden age of the small men. The highest quality 147-160 divisions boxing has ever seen. Ray was the best of them all, defeated them all, and cemented THIS position with his clear victory over a game Marvin Hagler.
3. Cassuis Clay 22-0 Heavyweight Champion
What can we say about Clay? The activist, the magician, the entertainer. Clay’s story has been rehashed so many times that it is impossible to write about the man and not be redundant. Why do I say Clay, and not Muhammad Ali? Well let me first clarify that I have boxing reasons and not personal ones like Joe Frazier. My reasoning is based on who the very best Clay was. Muhammad Ali was not Cassuis Clay. Clay was an action hero, the greatest big man that boxing has had the pleasure of knowing. Ali’s resume is pristine, cleaner then a golf course. Clay was clearly the best fighter of the 60’s and was undefeated in the ring. Every man that shared the ring with Clay left the ring a broken man, physically and emotionally. Clay was a cold-blooded killer in the ring. A menace, an anti social personality. Lost in the poems and hycoos was a living, breathing, executioner.
Clay easily took the Gold Medal in the 1960 Olympics. He breezed through the gatekeepers of the heavyweight division and devoured contenders like ju ju beads.Sonny Liston, who was the DEBO of the Heavyweight division at the time. The baddest man on the planet. Goro from Mortal Kombat. A scary motherfucker. Sonny had mob ties and a short temper. He had spent time in the joint, and no doubt was the benefactor of a continuous criminal enterprise. Sonny was also among the most devastating punchers in heavyweight history. He had abnormally long arms that compensated for his slow feet. Clay went into the fight as a massive underdog, and knew it. This public judgment seemed to galvanize Clay as he harassed Liston in the lead up to the fight. He followed Liston all over the country. Insulted him at national press conferences called him a “big ugly bear”. Liston began to become unsettled by Clay’s wild behavior. It would prove to be an ingenious tactical move as Liston actually began to fear CLAY as the fight drew closer.
Clay blew Liston away and shocked the boxing world. He pranced around the ring shouting at all the journalist that had doubted him. He spoke of how pretty he was, how young he was, how great he was. It was a watershed moment in American history. It was he birth of a legend. Clay took the boxing world by the balls that night. He became the face of the sport. The kid also would not shut up, telling the world that his landmark victory was confirmation of his greatness. It was a seismic sift in the boxing world. It was the ultimate transition. Aiding Clay’s fame, or his infamy depending on whom you ask, was his defection to the Nation of Islam. The day after Clay defeated Liston he changed his name to Muhammad Ali. Ali would go on to defeat every fighter there was to defeat, but he suffered some bad losses as well. THAT guy is not in the number 3 pole position, the man who defeated Sonny Liston that night in Miami, is very deserving of making this list. A sensational athlete with boxing telepathy, the ability read his opponent. Floyd Mayweather has radar, Clay had a sixth sense. He also had tremendous power, bruising power. He ate his opponents alive. No heavyweight in history would be a sure fire bet to defeat this fighter
4. Manny Pacquaio 54-3 8-division champion
I feel VERY luck to be a boxing journalist during a time that a top four fighter of all time is plying his trade. Never in my life have I seen an offensive machine like Manny Pacquaio. Many of my friends refer to Manny as the greatest southpaw of all time. I will cosign that statement, but would like to take it a step further. He is among the very best pugilist in the long storied history of the craft. Manny has won more world titles, in more weight classes, then any man in history. His rise in weight is something out of a fairy tale, a fairy tale spanning a decade. Manny has taken all comers, all comers that are willing to fight him that is. His 15 consecutive wins have revolutionized the sport. He gave the sport life again, the same way Sugar Ray Leonard did. Boxing’s biggest problem in the early 2000’s, and even now, is lack of mainstream appeal. Manny’s humble nature, his social cognizance, and of course his immaculate combinations make him the most advanced fighting machine of his generation. Manny is a throwback, a fighter that is willing to fight several fights against the same man to make his point. After taking an L at the hands of Erik Morales,Manny smashed him in the rematch and demolished him in the rubber affair. He bested MAB twice. He defeated Juan Manuel Marquez twice, and then climbed up weight classes at the speed of light.
Manny took over the boxing world the day he entered the 135-pound weight class. The exciting knockout over David Diaz would be followed by one of the most untouchable runs in boxing history. A run that we are currently in the mist of. Manny is a wild card (no puns intended) on this list. I am purposely keeping his story short because there is so much more yet to be decided. If Manny should defeat Floyd Mayweather, and some think he will, I will move up to number 3 on this list based on his championship heritage and the level of his opposition. I look forward to writing this list again someday when Manny “Pacman” Pacquaio’s story is complete.
Riddick Bowe Passage
The Triumph and Tragedy of Riddick Bowe is my greatest work. It is my thesis statement on the Heavyweight division, and a comprehensive account of Riddick Bowes storied career. A major debate amongst my friends, who have read the book, was the chapter I simply titled Lennox. The questions I raise in the chapter pertain to the failure of Riddick Bowe, and Lennox Lewis, to come to terms on a heavyweight championship fight. Who is to blame? With the help of HBO, and a host of others, I attempted to answer that question. I would like for you to read the passage, and then coupled with your own opinion, tweet to me who is more to blame, Riddick Bowe, or Lennox Lewis?
The WBC mandated that Bowe defend the It’s version of the heavyweight title against Lennox Lewis within 100 days or be stripped. Bowe, at this point, was swimming in money from his title victory and did not desperately need Lennox Lewis. Rock and Bowe would try to make the fight, but they would not go to far out of their way to do so. If Lennox had kept his mouth shut and not been so disrespectful of Bowe, maybe Rock would have gone into talks with a more understanding attitude. HBO also had a say in this thing along with the WBC. Originally HBO wanted the Lewis/Ruddock and Holyfield/Bowe fights to be a final four of sorts. Three of the fighters had agreed to the set up contractually. Riddick Bowe was the only one that did not sign the contract. In wake of his victory over Holyfield, Riddick Bowe and Lennox Lewis were reportedly offered a 30 million dollar purse to which they could negotiate the split. Rock Newman offered Lennox Lewis a 90/10 split of the purse that HBO had put on the table. From a business standpoint alone, that is insane. It’s a very unreasonable offer that Lennox Lewis and Frank Maloney had every right to pass on. Lennox Lewis had not yet burst onto the American scene, but he was a huge draw in England. Lennox had also snuffed Razor Ruddock in two rounds. Yes, Lennox Lewis was not yet a star in America, but he was star overseas. Rock’s contention seemed to be that Riddick Bowe was the much bigger star and didn’t need Lennox Lewis. The low ball offers however made it seem like Bowe didn’t want the fight. After some internal discussions it was decided that Lennox Lewis was literally more trouble then he was worth. Passing on the fight was deemed the prudent course of action. Rock Newman informed the WBC that Bowe would vacate the title, and so began the uproar.
Championship belts meant a lot more to the heavyweight division back in the early 90’s then they do now. That could be because there were only 3 major titles back then as oppose to four now, five if you count the IBO. One fact has remained true through both eras and all of boxing history. The Lineal championship is more important then any single belt or magazine/internet ranking. The man to beat the man supersedes all claims to the championship of a given division. Today Ring Magazine champions are considered to be the lineal kingpin of their respective division. Ring Magazine (because of its business relationship with an active promoter) unto itself is flawed; the only true way is the man who beat the man. Riddick Bowe at this point in time was the Lineal Heavyweight champion of the world. He had defeated Evander Holyfield who had defeated Buster Douglas who defeated Mike Tyson who defeated Michael Spinks who defeated Larry Holmes who defeated Ali who defeated George Foreman who defeated Joe Frazier who defeated Cassius Clay who defeated Sonny Liston who defeated Floyd Patterson and so on and so forth. The WBC title as lavish as it looked, was not necessary for Bowe to claim he was the heavyweight champion of the world. As talented and deserving as Lennox Lewis was, he was not necessary for Bowe to make a hefty Paycheck. It would be a good PR move to appease boxing critics, to Bowe’s camp however, it was seen as just another option. All of these factors, combined with the personal history, led Bowe to make a decision that many would hold against him and his legacy.
Lou Dibella: Not fighting Lennox Lewis hurt him. It hurt him then and it still hurts him now. I believe many would see him in a different light if he had taken that fight. We at HBO pushed for it but it was not to be.
Lem Satterfield: I do not think that, at the time, he was ducking him. It was a political issue. It was not as cut and dry as getting in the ring and fighting. There was more to the situation then that. But because Lewis had beaten Bowe as an amateur, and Lewis stopped Ruddock in the first round in October of 1992 after Ruddock had gone life and death with Tyson, it appeared that Bowe was avoiding him. Bowe was so good, and so proud that I believe he and Rock Newman felt that they simply should not be dictated to. Some may believe Bowe to have feared Lewis. Maybe he did, later, but I do not believe that that was the case at the time. I believe that at the time, because he had Eddie Futch and because his skills were so great that he would have gotten up for and beaten Lewis.
Thell Torrence: The truth is Riddick Bowe would have handled Lennox Lewis. At the time we wanted the fight because we knew we could win it. Lennox Lewis had trouble with the jab. I remember when he attempted to hire us to train him; he asked us if we could help him with defending the jab. Right there in his kitchen, he told me to my face that was his weakness, and could we help him with it. The jab was one of Riddick Bowe’s strengths. He would have beaten Lennox Lewis rather easily. This was before Lennox started working with Emanuel Steward. Prior to the adjustments that Steward made, Riddick Bowe would have defeated Lennox Lewis. No doubt about it.
In December 1992, Riddick Bowe and Rock Newman flew to London England to humiliate Lennox Lewis. Roughly a month after winning the title, Riddick Bowe called a press conference and tossed the WBC Heavyweight title in the trash. He didn’t do it alone. Rock Newman stood next to him and helped guide the belt into the trash. Bowe sought to show everyone that Lennox Lewis could come get his belt out of the trash. Riddick Bowe also wanted to show the world, that he refused to hold a title he believed was secretly controlled by Don King. Riddick Bowe told the media, if Lennox Lewis vacated the title that was bestowed upon him, he would fight Lennox Lewis. A suspicion in Bowes camp, was that the WBC champion would be dictated to by Don King. Lennox’s disrespect towards Bowe, and the prospect of Don King, was enough to make Rock Newman pass on the whole situation completely. Riddick Bowe did not really foresee the depth of the reaction that followed. Bowe saw the dumping of the belt as comical. No different then a professional wrestling gag. Fans, writers, and even boxing constituents saw it another way. They saw the situation as Riddick Bowe ducking Lennox Lewis. This is the prevailing opinion on the subject amongst media members and boxing fans alike. That is an intensely uninformed view. That’s the view of fans and some writers who were on the outside looking in. Bowe did not need the risk, or the stipulations that involved Lennox Lewis. Riddick Bowe made a public relations mistake, being so cavalier about giving the belt up. Staging a cause célèbre of a press conference was over the top. It was not necessary to cheapen the history of the heavyweight championship by throwing the belt in the trash.
Riddick Bowe: I was following the advice of my handlers. I would have fought Lennox Lewis. Who the fuck is Lennox Lewis dog? I did not fear that man at all. I was told by people that I trust that I didn’t need that fight. I did what I did because I was advised to do so.
Jim Lampley: Lennox Lewis was the more mature fighter from the beginning. Going back to Korea, Lennox always seemed to have the edge. If Riddick had been convinced that he had evolved enough as a professional to win, the fight would have happened. If a big hitter whacks another big hitter once its hard to regain your confidence. Some people thought that after Seoul, Riddick never truly believed he could beat Lewis. I have heard rumors that Lennox’s name was on the contract but Riddick would not sign. I have come to the conclusion that as a broadcast journalist, I am always going to piss someone off. When Riddick would talk to me he would always bust my chops about complimenting Lennox Lewis. He didn’t like it. I would always tell him to prove me wrong if it bothered him that much. He never did
Thom Loverro: I remember Larry Merchant saying after the first Bowe-Holyfield fight that it would be the time then to fight Lewis, because sometimes in boxing these fights that you figure will get made never do, for many unpredictable reasons. I think Rock Newman was smart to allow Bowe to establish himself as a heavyweight champion before facing Lewis (I also think Bowe won the rematch with Holyfield, and was robbed of the decision). I suspect he and Lewis were close to a fight; Oliver McCall then knocked out Lewis
Angelou Dundee: I believe that it is hard to discard a fighter simply because he did not win the gold. It did not stop Riddick from becoming Heavyweight champion before the man who won the gold medal in 1988, Lennox Lewis. The key in that loss for Bowe following the Olympics was to not let it define him, and he didn’t.
Ross Greenburg: First of all, the rumors of a 30 million dollar purse are false. I remember being at the Jesse Feurgson fight in Washington DC and thinking to myself, why is this not the Lennox Lewis fight? HBO made several offers to Rock Newman and Riddick Bowe to fight Lennox Lewis over a period of time. They didn’t want the fight. I wont say they ducked the fight, but you do the math. Riddick Bowe instead of fighting Lennox Lewis got several consecutive soft touches from our network. That is a credit to Rock Newman. He was a master negotiator for Riddick Bowe. They were content to take the money and literally run from Lennox Lewis.
Kieran Mulvaney: I wasn’t yet covering boxing back when Riddick Bowe was champion. Tell you the truth; I didn’t even consider it likely. I was living in Amsterdam at the time, obliged, as most folks in Europe were in those pre-Internet days, to find out my boxing news a couple of months late, courtesy of Ring magazines that I would read in the newsagents without ever actually, you know, buying them. But, with the benefit of hindsight, the heavyweight championship at the time was an interesting situation with a real rivalry between some seriously gifted fighters – and, being British, I paid particular attention to it because of the emergence of Lennox Lewis. I remember thinking at the time that Lewis was going to prove to be something a bit special. I remember reading about him destroying Derek Williams and Glenn McCrory, and I watched live when he fairly easily handled Gary Mason. And then of course came the destruction of Razor Ruddock, in a fight that even the British hacks picked him to lose, largely on the basis of Ruddock’s strong showings in back-to-back fights against Mike Tyson. With Ruddock out the way, there was nothing to stop him fighting the winner of the Riddick Bowe-Evander Holyfield fight. Alas, no. Despite the sighs from boxing fans that the best don’t fight the best any more, by and large that isn’t true. Most of the big fights do get made, albeit sometimes only eventually. Heck, Mike Tyson finally got around to fighting Evander Holyfield, even though the first attempt to make the fight failed when he went to jail. But the failure of Bowe to fight Lewis stands tall in the pantheon of great fights that didn’t happen. And to this day, I still don’t fully understand why. I know now, which I did not then, that there was an offer on the table from HBO, but that Bowe and Rock Newman reportedly wanted a 90-10 split – which is, of course, tantamount to saying they didn’t want the fight. Were they just trying to gain psychological one-upmanship, belittling Lewis and Union Flag jacket-wearing Frank Maloney? You have to think it was, as was the decision to throw the WBC belt in the trash. Team Bowe wanted, I think, to convey that they were bigger than Lewis, too big to be forced to fight anyone. Unfortunately, instead the image it conveyed was that he just didn’t want any part of the Brit, particularly given that Lewis had stopped Bowe in the Olympic final. But the thing of it is, Bowe would have been a big favorite in that fight; you have to think that, at that stage in their relative professional development, he would have wiped the canvas with Lewis. The Ruddock win aside, Lewis didn’t have any signature wins against truly world-class talent; he wound up struggling against Frank Bruno of all people. He didn’t even look so great against Phil Jackson or Tony Tucker. By the time discussions about a Bowe-Lewis fight began to warm up again, Riddick had lost the Fan man fight and Lewis was crumbling under the might of the legendary Oliver McCall. Bowe had missed his chance, one that would surely have set him up to be viewed far more favorably by history than he is.
The dumping of the belt added to public and private perception that Bowe ducked Lewis. Because many saw Bowes behavior as immature and self-absorbed, they were much more comfortable indicting Bowe as a ducker. It’s an understandable position. Lennox Lewis would go on to be knocked out by Oliver McCall at the scene of his third title defense, in one of the bigger upsets in boxing history. The sight of Lennox Lewis stumbling about the ring begging the referee for mercy, at the very least, was enjoyable for Riddick Bowe.
Riddick Bowe: Good, I was laughing my ass off watching Lewis get knocked out by a bum. How could he have competed with me? He could not even whup Oliver McCall. On top of that he was being dictated to by Don King. Can’t say I felt sorry for him
As 1992 came to a close, Riddick Bowe soaked in the greatest year of his life. He was heavyweight champion. He had silenced the Ferdie Pacheco’s. The so-called experts that had questioned his heart and credibility. He had proven to the world that he was the genuine article. Manifest destiny had driven him to greatness and this feat, this achievement, would live forever. Riddick had done some damage at the box office as well. The only person who made more money then Riddick Bowe in 1992 was Michael Jordan. Bowe was set for life financially, or so it would seem. The challenge now was to mow down every enemy in his path and take his place in the pantheon amongst the pound for pound boxers of the era.
The Triumph and Tragedy of Riddick Bowe can be purchased on Amazon.
I am also including a video interview I did with Riddick Bowe shortly before the biography was released
-It is my opinion that James Kirkland/Canelo looks good, it sounds good, but that’s where the “good” stops. This fight is a glorified sacrifice; James Kirkland’s chin is more suspect then Craig Sager’s wardrobe. James Kirkland’s powers of recovery are his only chance in this fight. Canelo is beyond aware of Kirkland’s issues with power shots. It should not be a surprise to anyone when he puts that component of public perception to the test. If James can weather the storm, and avoid any fight ending shots, we MIGHT have a barn-burner on our hands. 7 times out of 10 however, this fight will end in a brutal knockout. Canelo has underrated boxing ability and something to prove. I also do not believe that this fight is worthy of an HBO PPV main event. This is a World Championship Boxing type of fight. Why in the world would I pay fifty bucks for that? I would not pay fifty bucks to see that fight live, my only recourse seems to be a second trip to the movie theater. I am down and everything, but this is not a PPV worthy main event
-It is my opinion that Carl Froch commands our respect. His style is not eye candy. He is not a bullfighter. Nothing graceful about the Cobras style. Carl negates all of his perceived limitations with a will to win that has me standing up and cheering. I have been hard on Carl; I crushed him after the AD fight. I felt he had gotten away with a cheap victory, and questioned his place in the collection of pound for pound boxers. I could still do that to some degree, but I can no longer marginalize this warrior’s effort, and his clutch gene. He HAD to have that fight, he HAD to be impressive. He pulled through. He hit a homer with 2 outs down in the 9th. I am beyond impressed with his performance. He tweeted to me before the fight that this was the biggest fight of his career, He sure fought like it.
-It is my opinion that Tim Bradley has become too big for his britches. He has gone from having an appealing sense of confidence to down right arrogance. His comments during 24-7 were disrespectful. Barking at the camera like Manny Pacman is some slouch. Then Tim Blows off an interview with Tha Boxing Voice and does not have the respect to call Nes and explain what the heck is going on. Nes is a hard working man. Loves the game of boxing, and respects the fabrics that constitute our sport. There is no acceptable reason to blow him off when he is attempting to provide you exposure to YOUR fans. I have no interest in interviewing Tim Bradley until he apologizes to the leader of my crew
-It is my opinion that there are some arrogant pricks on Twitter. People that assume that you know who they are, and that you should bow down to them. For what? I am a published author; I worked hand in hand with HBO for a year. Riddick Bowes biography grew my Rolodex. Lets put it that way. I have covered 40 plus professional fights according to my credential case and will cover many more in the future. I have covered the sport of boxing for four years, and love the sport. Live and breathe the sport. Son of boxing businessman. Been around the game since Mike Tysons punch-out. Think about that before you speak to me like I have no grounds to appraise the situation.
It is my opinion that Erislandy Lara is a non-draw, a high risk, and a short paycheck. He has unquestioned talent, I remember the second interview I ever did was back in 2008 with Shelly Finkel. Shelly was much more involved in boxing in 2008, he had a host of fighters, many of which he has since passed on to other promoters. Shelly told me that Lara would prove to be the best fighter he had. Shelly had a DEEP stable at the time. Wlad and his brother, Victor Ortiz, a host of others. That’s why I was confused when he touted Lara as his top prospect. He was right. This young man has proven to be an ultra talented fighter. I think one day he could become a star, but he is going to have to pile up the wins, grab a couple belts, and move up the food chain. Until he is in a position where it is impossible to duck him, he is NOT going to get big fights or the big draws. After everyone saw what he did to Paul Williams, who in the world wants to risk huge purses and title shots for a guy most of you could not pick out of a lineup? Hey, I understand why everyone is playing him right now
I want to wish Paul Williams the best, from the bottom of my heart. I have a friendship with Paul Williams that I appreciate deeply. I have spent time with Paul and spoken to him on a human level. Every time I would interview him and publish his article, I always felt the need to communicate Paul’s gentle manner to the public. He was awesome. He got me my first big story about a year ago on Boxing Scene. Everything that has become my writing career is tied to the quotes I got from Paul Williams when I was starting out, and getting my feet wet. I will say more on the radio, but yesterday was one of my toughest days as a writer, even writing this blurb is difficult. Paul was MY guy, my fighter, to see my hero chopped down in such tragic fashion is gut wrenching. Fight Hard Paul. I am including a link to my first big story which happened to be on Paul “Punisher” Williams”.
Christian James is a Co-host of Tha Boxing Voice and can be reached on twitter @Quinnbuba