Eric Armit: SNIPS AND SNIPES vom 12 Novembre 2022 (English)
17.11.2022 17:15 Uhr
Eric Armit / JS
Eric Armit ist einer der weltweit besten Kenner des internationalen Boxsports. Der profunde Analyst und Boxhistoriker informiert seine Leserinnen und Leser wöchentlich über das Boxgeschehen auf den sieben Kontinenten (Weekly Report). Darüber hinaus gewährt er den Boxinteressierten in unregelmässigen Abständen interessante Gedanken, Erkenntnisse und Hintergrundinformationen über das Boxen in der Gegenwart und der Vergangenheit. Der Schotte schreibt ferner für die renommierten Boxsportmagazine „Boxing News“, „Boxeo Mundial" sowie zahlreiche Websites und übt weitere Funktionen wie bspw. jene eines Technischen Beraters der EBU aus. Die neusten, in englischer Sprache unter "Snips & Snipes" abgefassten Informationen möchten wir den Besucherinnen und Besuchern von swissboxing.ch weiterhin nicht vorenthalten.
Boxing fans can be forgiven for thinking that they live in a world of mirages or smoke and mirrors. We thought Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford was shimmering there in front of us to unify the welterweight title but as time moved on it faded into the mist. Spence will next fight Eimantas Stanionis and Crawford will face David Avanesyan. That puts a Crawford vs. Spence over into next year and as negotiations broke down this time for Spence-Crawford who can be sure it will ever happen. It would have been good if Spence had decided to face one of his three mandatory challengers in Jaron Ennis (IBF), Keith Thurman (WBC) or Vergil Ortiz (WBA) but instead he has gone for Eimantas Stanionis who holds the WBA secondary belt which he won with a split decision over Radzhab Butaev in April. Crawford has opted to defend his WBO title against No 6 rated David Avanesyan. Don’t panic we still have Oleksandr Usyk vs. Tyson Fury to at last unify the heavyweight title. With Usyk beating Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury signing up for the not very challenging defence of the WBC title against Derek Chisora it looked as though Usyk vs. Fury in early 2023 had to happen-then along came the IBF ordering Usyk to fight their No 1 Filip Hrgovic. Judging by past experience the IBF are almost certain to strip Usyk if he refuses to fight Hrgovic and in fact have painted themselves into a corner as they would have to strip Usyk or face legal action from Hrgovic’s team and a historic fight will recede in to the land of maybe or sometime.
Now you might think that the IBF are fighting a just cause and that Hrgovc has a good case for being their mandatory challenger. Rubbish-Hrgovic’s rating is a modern day fairy tale of how things work in boxing today. Hrgovic first appeared in the IBF ratings in February 2019 at No 12 after beating 40-year-old trial horse Kevin Johnson. By December 2019 he had risen to No 8 by beating Greg Corbin, Mario Heredia and Eric Molina none of whom were remotely near the ratings. He had only one fight in 2020 on 7 November against 39-year-old Rydell Booker when he won the vacant IBF International title. Although not fighting from January until November that year, he still managed to climb to No 5. He eventually got to No 3. The No 1 spot was vacant but he could not go to No 1 because to do so he had to have beaten a rated opponent and he had never even faced a rated opponent. His management moaned that none of the rated fighters would fight him-they would say that wouldn’t they- so eventually he was matched against No 15 Zhilei Zhang and won a close points decision. Now he is at No 1 having climbed from No 12 to No 3 without facing a single rated opponent and then by beating No 15 he is the mandatory challenger. Box Rec have him at No 16 and that is about right. The blatant machinations by the IBF have put in jeopardy the chance to have the heavyweight titles unified. Just as a side note the latest IBF ratings on their web site has Zhang No 13 and Luis Ortiz No 14!
The injuries suffered by Kazakh Aidos Yerbossynuly were the subject of much discussion over whether the referee or Yerbossynuly’s corner should have stopped the fight earlier. It can be a difficult decision. It brought to mind a visit I made to the Arena Coliseo in Mexico City way back, The Arena was a famous little cockpit of a place almost legendary in Mexican boxing. I was there with Harold Lederman and Mickey Duff and as we watched a fight it became totally one-side. One of the boxers was soaking up far too much punishment. Suddenly bells rang and lights flashed red on each of the ring posts. What had happened was that the ringside doctor had decided the fight had to be stopped for the safety of the losing boxer and the doctor had the authority to make the decision that enough was enough and by pressing a button he had the fight stopped. That tradition seems to no longer be in use. I am sure there are reasons but it just struck me that a doctor with only the boxers well-being in mind might have pressed the button earlier and saved Yerbossynuly from the trauma he suffered. Incidentally ten days after the fight Yerbossynuly is still hospitalised in Minneapolis.
You can’t have winners unless you have losers. Life can be tough for a fighter who is past his best and willing to fight in the other guy’s back yard-any other guy’s backyard. The money is usually a lot better than he can earn in his home country now so he takes the pay and takes the pain. He is there to lose that’s the bottom line. It was therefor good to see Argentinian Ruben Acosta get a win in Canada last month. Now 44 Ruben’s best days are behind him. He turned pro in 2002, lost to Robert Stieglitz for the WBO super middle weight title in 2010, and won the South American title. He soldiered on until he joined the ranks of “have gloves will travel-and lose” group. He fought in Australia, Germany, Colombia, Brazil, England-where he lost to Callum Smith-Latvia, Denmark and Canada. Up until this month he was batting 0-14 on the road. On 5 November in Canada, he outpointed local Yan Pellerin to win the WBO NABO cruiserweight title. Good one Ruben-winning a title at 44 and a first win on the road after almost exactly 17 years to the day from his first overseas assignment.
It was interesting to see Claressa Shields being hailed as the GWOAT-The Greatest Women Boxer of All Time- after her revenge win over Savannah Marshall. She certainly has a good case with her achievements as an amateur and a pro but there is some competition out there. One obvious candidate is Katie Taylor. She lost only 12 of her 188 amateur fights winning gold medals at the 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 World Championships and a bronze at the 2016 Championships. She won the WBA light title in 2017, the IBF title in 2018, WBO in 2019, WBC also in 2019 and went up a division to win the WBO super light title then came down to unify all four belts at lightweight-also in 2019. Since unifying the four titles she has defenced the unified titles seven times and is 16-0 in title fights. That’s more than the total of Clarissa’s pro wins. Another candidate who has flown very much under the radar would be India’s Mary Kom. Mary was World Champion six times (the first female boxer to achieve that feat), Asian champion six times a Commonwealth games gold medallist and an Olympic bronze medallist. In all she won 18 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze in major championships and has a 114-16 record. She is still active although now 39 and still hopes to compete at the next Olympics but has had some poor results recently. She has also managed to fit in a six year spell as a Member of Parliament. Claressa is great but the greatest of all time?
Just a couple more notes on female boxing in Leeds on 10 December Ebanie Bridges (8-1) will defend her IBF bantam title against Shannon O’Connell (23-6-1). They are both Australians so it’s a pity the fight will not be taking place Down Under. Bridges will be making the first defence of the title and it could be a tough task against the four inch taller and more experienced O’Connell.
Although Ghana is one of the most active boxing nations in Africa BoxRec list only four active female boxers from Ghana. There are efforts to get more females into boxing and recently the WBC Cares presented prizes for a Girls Box 2022 Tournament in Ghana. Twenty-eight girls took part with the youngest being five years old. A long way to go to get female boxing off the ground in Ghana but big oaks from little acorns grow.
According to some Russian sources the real reason the WBC has removed Russian boxers from their rating is because Dmitrii Bivol beat Sail Alvarez!! I guess it is easier for them to claim that rather than mention their war on Ukraine.
The Cubans must be wondering whether embracing professional boxing was a good decision. The latest to decamp is lightweight Andy Cruz and that is a major blow. Cruz, 27, won Olympic gold in Tokyo, was three times world champion, twice won gold at the Pan American Games and had a 140-9 record. Cuba’s loss is pro boxing’s gain
Earlie this month (7th) marked fifty-two years since the great Carlos Monzon beat Nino Benvenuti on a twelfth round stoppage to win the WBA and WBC middleweight titles. It was Ring Magazine Fight of the Year and was Monzon’s first fight outside of South America. Monzon’s record before the fight was 67-3-9 so 79 fights before he fought for a title. It seems impossible by today’s standard where six or seven fights a year is high level activity for a top level boxer. Their respective lives eventually went in very different directions. Monzon had a deep well of rage arising from his tempestuous youth. He served some jail time early in his life after a brawl and was abusive to his first wife who shot and wounded him in the arm and shoulder blade in 1973. In 1988 he killed his common-law wife Alicia Muniz, by throwing her from a second -story balcony. Monzon also fell from the balcony and suffered two broken ribs and a broken clavicle. He claimed he had fallen in trying to save her but an autopsy showed she had been beaten and strangled to the point of unconsciousness before she fell. In 1989 Monzon was sentenced to eleven years in prison and in 1995 whilst out on furlough he was killed in a car accident. After retiring from boxing Benvenuti became a successful businessman, TV pundit and city counsellor for sport in Trieste. He opened a high-class restaurant and maintained a strong friendship with Monzon. In 1980 Benvenuti asked Griffith to be the godfather of one of his sons. Monzon was a guest at Benvenuti's television show several times, and, when he was accused of murdering Muniz, Benvenuti became one of his most loyal supporters, visiting him in jail in Argentina. Benvenuti was also a pallbearer at Monzon’s funeral. Two great boxers (Monzon was inducted the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990 and Benvenuti in 1992) but very different people who came together to create an unforgettable boxing memory fifty-two years ago.