Great White Hype...

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Hey all, this article pretty much lays it out there for you to make that drastic decision on whether to spend that buck on another pathetic heavyweight fight. Im a fan, so I should be careful not to bag on the sport, I should be hyping it up. But what good would that do, lying through my teeth. There is good news for most of you! Boxing is definitely not just about heavyweights, the various (almost infinite) weight classes are great (if not wayyyy better). Heres a look at the heavyweights, here and now.


It is palpable.  The tension in the air; the buzz on the street; all are indicative.  It is the emotional crescendo that leads to the battle for the ultimate prize in sports.  It is the tidal wave that takes us, the viewer, to ringside for the biggest night in Boxing.  That is a night when the ?Heavyweight Championship of the World? is decided.  All of these things?the tension, the crescendo, the tidal wave?all of these things are not present today.  They won?t be Friday either.  Saturday?not really.  That?s because, no matter what Ring Magazine or HBO say, Vitali Klitschko versus Danny Williams is just another fight between a pair of top heavyweights.


The new issue of Ring Magazine features an editorial trying to explain why this position is wrong.  It tries to explain why Klitschko really is the champ of the whole world and not just theirs.  Maybe, as their Editor Nigel Collins argues, there is more to making Klitschko champ than who can sell the sport and their magazine best.  Maybe.  But Ring still has a big credibility problem in explaining how Vitali ever got into position to be their champion.


Considered the lesser of the two Klitschko brothers, Vitali was considered little more than a stepping stone to a battle between then legitimate champion Lennox Lewis and his little brother Wladimir.  Somehow, without ever having beaten a contender ranked in the top ten (by Ring magazine), Vitali had achieved a number one ranking in the WBC.  The only time he had faced one, he suffered an injury and finished the fight on his stool against Chris Byrd in a fight he was winning (though it must be said that the injury happened because of Byrd?s defense).


Funny thing on the way to the superfight?Wladimir, a fighter who had rebounded from a KO loss to Ross Purrity to beat Monte Barrett, Chris Byrd, Ray Mercer and  Jameel McCline was KO?d in two by Corrie Sanders.  For Sanders, it was the first win of his career against a heavyweight in the top twenty, much less ten.  In his other effort at that level, he was stopped against Hasim Rahman.  For Ring, that was good enough for a number three ranking.  (Did I mention that Klitschko and Sanders are big, hard-hitting White guys?)  By a string of fortune, Vitali was plugged into a short notice shot at an out-of-shape Lewis in June of 2003.  He gave as good as he got.  He had Lewis reeling.  He won the first four rounds even with a nasty cut.  Then Lewis turned it up, won the next two rounds big and the fight was stopped due to the severity of the cut. Bottom line?Lewis won.  And he had functional control of the fight when it was stopped.


Due to a poor showing from then Ring #1 contender Chris Byrd in an IBF title defense against universally ranked Fres Oquendo in September of 2003 (a Draw on my cards), Klitschko was able to leap over Byrd in the rankings on the way to his showdown with Sanders for the WBC title with a blowout of a thirty-pounds overweight Kirk Johnson (sporting some porn-sized double D?s).  Johnson was not ranked in the Ring top ten at the time so beating him and losing to Lewis (and Byrd in 2000) left Klitschko with an impressive record of 0-2 against elite heavyweights and a number one ranking.


To his credit, Klitschko showed up in top shape during April of this year and, after surviving a rough first round, knocked out Sanders for his FIRST win against a top ten heavyweight.  Ever.  Impressive?if Sanders had trained a little.  Instead, he showed up heavy, his man-boobs a?jigglin?, and basically did nothing but launch haymakers without a jab or the stamina to keep pressure for a full round at a time.  A great win (I guess) and enough for the WBC, HBO and Ring to declare Klitschko the new man at heavyweight.


Heading into the fight with Williams, the hype machine is firmly in Klitschko?s corner.  It is reminiscent of another hype job from a decade ago.  He gave the man then perceived as baddest on the planet hell in two fights.  For fans, Mike Tyson?s rape conviction in 1992 meant it was only a matter of time until Razor Ruddock knocked over the division.  Unfortunately, Ruddock had never actually beat a legit, elite opponent.  He just looked good losing to one.  When he faced, ironically, Lennox Lewis in a WBC eliminator he was blown out in two rounds.  I remember Larry Merchant saying on the air before that fight that one should never overestimate a guy who makes his reputation from losing.


This is not to say I expect an upset this weekend.  Williams is tough and did knock out Mike Tyson.  He?s also been knocked out by Sinan Sam, and lost a Decision to Julius Francis.  An upset is no shock but I full expect a Klitschko win.  The fact is, he probably is the best of the current heavyweight field.


If that is the case, then I hope Vitali the best.  He is clearly a fan favorite and the best chance for Boxing to sell tickets in its most important division.  However, should he lose, then the credibility of the sport is further harmed.  After all, HBO tried to hype his brother (and Michael Grant) in this same fashion.  They were wrong then too.  These are good heavyweights?but this sort of support and hype should be reserved for sure things.  When Tyson was hyped in 1985 and 1986, he was a sure thing.  Klitschko is a hoped-for thing.


What does Klitscko share with his fellow alphabet titlists Chris Byrd (IBF) and the ever-affectionate Jane Louise (WBA)? Simple.  None of them beat Lennox Lewis for the title.  We know Klitschko?s record against top heavyweights (1-2).  What of the clear next two contenders to the throne?  While each has had controversial results in title fights (Byrd with a win against Oquendo and draw with Andrew Golota and Louise with Holyfield III and Golota) they also have vastly superior records at the top.  They have faced more, and won more, against fighters who were ranked in the Ring Magazine top ten when they fought them.


Byrd, since 1999, has faced Ike Ibeabuchi, both Klitschko?s, David Tua, Evander Holyfield, Fres Oquendo and Jameel McCline for a record of 5-2.  Louise has faced Holyfield (three times), an in shape and Ring ranked Kirk Johnson, lost to light heavyweight Roy Jones and since won three in a row against Hasim Rahman, Fres Oquendo and Andrew Golota for a record of 5-2-1.  Hey, they all have two losses?guess they have two things in common.


Ring & HBO have tremendous stroke in the sport.  They are perhaps its two biggest media symbols.  Without Ring, Klitschko is a harder sell as champ.  Without HBO, there is no sale.  We must ask a simple question.  If Klitschko was such a clear champion, would we need the constant editorializing?  Would Nigel Collins need to write up why his magazine was right or would HBO need to take polls to sell what should be clear?


When the lie was being told that Mike Tyson was the youngest and undisputed champ in 1987, it was Ring Magazine that led the charge of truth reminding the world that it was Michael Spinks who wore the real title after beating Larry Holmes and damn the alphabet belts.  After Tyson destroyed Spinks there was no question.  Until Klitscko cleans out the division by facing the two men who have lingered at the top of the division longest, he?s not the man.  Not without a win over Lewis and that win isn?t going to happen.  Ring started its new rankings system to avoid the politics of the obviously biased sanctioning bodies and HBO constantly cries foul at their machinations.  This is, sadly, no different in reality even if the best economic interests of the sport are at heart.


So, this Saturday, sit back and watch a fight between two top ten heavyweights.  After all, the result brings us closer to the day when we can figure out who the real champion is.  Boxing has been here before.  It was here after the permanent retirements of heavyweight champs Gene Tunney and Rocky Marciano.  It will survive, and one day we will forget these dark, confusing days in the flagship division of the greatest sport of them all.

Whew, that was long. Hope theres no Quitchko fans around here. Actually, I hope theres some boxing fans here. You all are way too dead. Theres hope guys, theres hope

Whoops, heres the link--->

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Who you calling Quitchko?! Im sorry to bash you but don't ever disrespect Russian boxing fighter EVER!


Sorry if you took it personal but I really dont care what color or race a fighter is, they all get the same respect whether they deserve to be champion or not. Notice I said deserve. Im not one who will backstep or hesitate to call it like it is. If you would like to give props to a ruskie, look towards Kostya Tszyu. Thats a real champ.

Do you know why he is called Quitchko btw? He called no mas due to a shoulder injury while hitting against a defensively sound little heavyweight that goes by the name of Chris Byrd. Yep you guessed it, he "quit" against the little man with an injury "most" "professional" "fighters" would continue to fight through. As a boxing fan, do you know what ****es me off the most about it. Quitchko is rated higher than Bryd because he is being hyped as the next great heavyweight. He is far from "great" as the entire division consists of only "good" heavyweights including Byrd.

BTW, Toney (a blown up middleweight) has Quitschko's number.

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Who you calling Quitchko?! Im sorry to bash you but don't ever disrespect Russian boxing fighter EVER!

Thought he was from Ukraine? Anyways...I love watching him fight.

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He's a dominant fighter presently.  No heavyweight can match up to him at this point.


Did someone say Toney? Could have thought someone said Toney.

Vitali is a good fighter but he is for the taking. One slip, hes out. Hes not as dominant as people portray him. He is the "average" heavyweight out there right now. The sad thing, Ruiz can beat him. Thats if the referees let Ruiz continue to get away with the jab n' grab style.

Bottom line... The heavyweights are going through its down time. Watch the other weight classes, its much more rewarding.

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