Heavyweight boxing has never been my thing.
Aside from the hype surrounding Mike Tyson’s post-prison bouts, I could never see the beauty in boxing fought North of 200 lbs.
Ever since Lennox Lewis dominated the division, with his superior height and reach, coupled with his fundamental based European-style boxing; I couldn’t help but be kinda’ bored by the heavyweights.
Personally, I blame Lewis and the Klitschko brothers for being so fucking tall, and so fucking good at fighting tall, but that’s besides the point.
Honestly, I think my disenchantment with the heavyweight division has a lot to do with the era in which I grew up, an era where truly talented fighters were hard to come by.
Ask any old timer and they’ll tell you that knowing the name of the heavyweight champion of the world was common knowledge among most Americans back in the day.
Hell, I remember hearing that in WWII, the current heavyweight champs name, as well as the date and venue of the Rose Bowl (January 1st, Pasadena), were facts used as codes for determining friend from foe.
It makes me sad to know that boxing was practically the king of all sports back in the day, only for it to turn into a niche sport around the time I was growing up.
I blame the establishment of PPV, and the various belt factions, but again; that’s besides the point.
The point is:
The heavyweight boxing used to represent the pinnacle of the sport, but these days it’s reduced to a sideshow act with maybe 3 worthwhile fighters to go around, none of which are American.
While a lack of talent in divisions in relatively common in this age of boxing, wherein moving up in weight is treated not so much as a physical inevitability, but as a business tactic for seeking larger contracts; when there’s only a handful of good fighters at a weight, it’s downright painful to see them kick tomato cans back and forth between one another rather than fight each other.
Such has been the situation in the heavyweight division ever since Lennox Lewis vacated the undisputed championship (a title which, technically; has yet to be reclaimed).
It’s funny, this article was supposed to be a hopeful one, singing the praises of boxing and it’s promoters for finally getting Wladimir Klitschko into the ring with David Haye, but unfortunately; from the time I started writing this, to the present; that pivotal match-up in the sport has since fallen through… For the 3rd time.
Instead, we get the premier heavyweight champion of the world, Wladimir Klitschko; versus unproven British prospect Derek Chisora in April, and then against former light heavyweight, turned cruiserweight, turned heavyweight contender, Tomasz Adamek.
While I don’t expect Chisora to make it to the final bell, or even the 6th round; I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Adamek’s pluck and tenacity; so I give him a fair chance to put on a good show.
On a side note, Paul Briggs looks a helluva’ lot like Sam Worthington if you ask me…
While Adamek has had a good run as a heavyweight thus far, we’ve never really seen him in there with anyone as large, skillful, or powerful as a Klitschko.
Needless to say, in the case of both Chisora and Adamek, both men will be at a severe disadvantage in terms of height, reach, and perhaps most important of all; power.
I don’t expect either man to topple Dr. Steelhammer, but like I said; Adamek will find a way to make things exciting at the very least.
Like I mentioned earlier, this post was originally intended to be celebrating the emerging sense of clarity that a Klitschko/Haye match-up would provide for the heavyweight division, but instead I’m forced to write about a champion defending his title against an undersized tomato can, and an undersized tomato can that can take a punch.
It should be noted, that I give Adamek about as good a chance against Klitschko as David Haye, but in this case; Haye’s value on paper is what counts, more so than his (questionable) merit as a fighter.
Goddamnit boxing, you ruined my article!