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A Kaleidoscope of Boxers Guaranteed to Provide Action: Past and Present

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  • A Kaleidoscope of Boxers Guaranteed to Provide Action: Past and Present

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    By Ted Sares

    To set the tone for this article, one needs only to watch the way in which Thomas Hearns came out in the first round against Marvelous Marvin Hagler. He was ready to rock and roll as was his fearsome looking opponent. The ensuing unmitigated savagery was the quintessential illustration of full-tilt boogie.

    For most boxing fans, the anticipation of an all-out action bout gets the chills running down spines faster than anything else. But not all, as some prefer a tactical or clinical fight that someone like Mikey Garcia can orchestrate and others –but not many—enjoy a defensive gem via a Willie Pep, Nicolino Locche, or Pernell Whitaker. A few love a genuine blood fest that a Gabe Rosado-type can provide, and who doesn’t like seeing something special as in Sugar Ray Leonard, Kostya Tszyu, Terence Crawford or Vasiliy Lomachenko?

    Chill-or-be-chilled types like Bob Satterfield and Tommy Morrison were super exciting. In this connection—a certain cadre of warriors, past and present, would come out charging and stalking as soon as the bell rang. Many demonstrated a marked disdain for defense and used a non-stop, no let-up pressure that discouraged their opponents, especially in the late rounds. The anticipation from the crowd was palpable because it sensed some form of destruction was on its way. The cheering would start during the instructions and sometimes did not let up until the concussive end.

    This cadre included Rocky Marciano, Tony Ayala, Vicious Victor Galindez, Jeff Fenech, Roberto Duran, and Julio Cesar Chavez (who sapped the spirit of his opponents by ripping away at their mid-section). Also, Carl “The Cat” Thompson , chill-or-be-chilled Ricardo “Pajarito” Moreno (60-12-1 with 59 KOs), Ron Lyle, the ultra-violent Edwin Valero, the appropriately nicknamed JulianMr KO” Letterlough, James “The Outlaw” Hughes and his mindboggling ability to snatch victory from certain defeat, Thai stalking monster Khaosai Galaxy (47-1), the first version of George Foreman (pictured with the aforementioned Lyle), Ji-Hoon “Volcano” Kim, Ruslan Provodnikov, Orlando “Siri” Salido, Marcos Maidana, Lenny Z, Alfredo “Perro” Angulo, Mike Alvarado, Brandon Rios, and Mickey Roman (the later four are still fighting but past their primes).

    Others who presently incite the anticipation of something special include (but are not limited to) Naoya “Monster” Inoue (16-0), Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr (24-0), Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (46-4-1), Alex Saucedo (27-0), and, of course, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-1-1) who now has become slightly more tactical like his nemesis, Canelo Alvarez (50-1-1).

    These stand out as representative.

    Past

    A prime Mike Tyson—and the emphasis is on prime-- was the epitome of a boxer who guaranteed action. One simply would not leave his or her seat when “Iron Mike” was doing his highlight reel thing, and his blowout of Michael Spinks punctuated his standing at the top of all-action type fighters, even if the action was usually non-mutual.

    Joe Frazier came out smokin’ and would not let up until either he or his opponent were done. For the most part, decisions were not in Joe’s DNA and his left hook was as malicious as a hook can be. With Joe, you just sat back and enjoyed the action. Frazier, wrote boxing historian Tracy Callis, “was a strong, ‘swarmer’ style boxer who applied great pressure on his opponent and dealt out tremendous punishment with a relentless attack of lefts and rights; His left hook was especially stiff and quick when delivered during his bob-and-weave perpetual attack; he fought three minutes per round and never seemed to tire.”

    Carlos "Escopeta” (Shotgun) Monzon (87-3-9) was a powerful and rangy Argentinean killing machine, built like an iron rod. Some said he pushed his punches. Well if he did, he pushed 87 opponents to defeat. He also became only the second man to stop former three-time world champion Emile Griffith, turning the trick in the 14th round. Blessed with great and deceptive stamina and a solid chin, he seemingly was an irresistible force. He was unbeaten over the last 81 bouts of his career, a span of 13 years, and defended his title 14 times. “One would need to write a book in order to do justice to comparing a fighter of Carlos Monzon’s calibre to his fellow all-time greats,” wrote Mike Casey.

    Arturo Gatti and Irish Micky Ward were the quintessential action fighters. One is gone amidst controversy, and hopefully the other will not pay a price for his many ring wars. With these two, just count up the Fights-of-the-Year and the rest is history. Suffice it to say that Gatti and Ward will be forever linked in boxing lore.

    Until his fateful fight with Nigel Benn (another all-action fighter), Gerald McClellan was absolutely, positively, a stalking monster with dynamite in his gloves. It was ferocity and fury at its highest level and it was something to behold. Sadly, his fight with Benn left him permanently disabled; his story remains a dark stain on boxing. As Ian McNeilly notes, “one man’s finest hour was the end of another man’s life as he knew it.”

    Michael “The Great” Katsidis’s all-action style made thrilling fights a lock. The Kat” was willing to take three to deliver one. It was blood and guts to the last drop. Whether he too exacted a heavy price for this style remains to be seen.

    Lucia Rijker, AKA “The Dutch Destroyer,” lived up to her moniker and destroyed everyone in her path. Again, it wasn’t “if,” it was “when.”

    Christy Martin (49-7-3) put female boxing on the map in the ‘90s and she did it by going undefeated in 36 straight encounters, running roughshod over her opponents as evidenced by her 25 wins by stoppage during this run. She also managed to steal the show from a Mike Tyson main event in 1996 during her memorable and bloody battle with Deirdre Gogarty.

    Present

    Deontay Wilder, aka “The Bronze Bomber,” has a record of 40-0. With 39 wins coming by KO—many in spectacular fashion, The “Bomber” brings with him that same sense of anticipation that Tyson did. It’s not if; it’s when and “when” can occur at any time. But unlike Tyson, there is a vulnerability that Luis Ortiz exposed that makes the excitement index go even higher.

    Dillian Whyte (24-1) has seldom been in a dull affair. His vulnerability combined with his mode of attack ensures thrilling action and the possibility of a stoppage at any time. Unlike Dereck “Del-Boy” Chisora, Whyte is consistently aggressive and dangerous.

    Manny Pacquiao (60-7-2) has slowed down considerably but his recent stoppage win over Lucas Matthysse offers hope that he can still conjure up his exciting whirlwind style of fast in-an-out movements that allowed him to win multiple titles over several future Hall of Fame opponents between 2005 and 2011. A rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr., if rumors are true, would allow Pac Man an opportunity to accomplish a number of extraordinary things including avenging a prior defeat and ruining Mayweather’s undefeated record. Time will tell.

    Though he appears to have shot his wad, a prime Antonio Margarito was the classic stalk, stun, and kill fighter. Heck, he belonged on the Discovery Channel. His two blowouts of Kermit Cintron showed the “Tijuana Tornado” at his most brutal. His come-from-behind demolition of Miguel Cotto stands out for its drama and bloodletting—and subsequent speculative controversy.

    David Lemieux (39-4) always brings the heat. His fights seldom end as scheduled. With KO power in both hands and a propensity to rehydrate by 20 pounds, he is the essence of danger and attendant excitement. “With the sheer power he carries, Lemieux will always have a shot at beating any middleweight, and he is almost always involved in good action fights,” says James Slater.

    Amanda Serrano (35-1-1) is the only women's boxer to win world titles in six divisions. The “Real Deal” is unique in that she has a high KO percentage (74 percent) which is rare for female boxers. Amanda is 120 seconds of guaranteed action for each round.

    **********

    While Iron Mike Tyson is THE MAN, Matthew Saad Muhammad also warrants special billing as he embodied what this article is all about. Steve Farhood summed up the essence of Saad Muhammad with an observation that would be appropriate for his tombstone: “Eddie Gregory (Mustafa Muhammad) has a better jab, Marvin Johnson wields more power, James Scott does more sit ups. But, Muhammad's heart is the size of a turnbuckle, and it anchors his title reign."

    Who did I leave out? Whose name or names would you add to this list?

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

  • #2
    Jim Lampley emailed me the following: Arturo Gatti, Arturo Gatti and Arturo Gatti. JL
    Last edited by Kid Blast; 09-20-2018, 03:01 PM.

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    • #3
      Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, Dick Tiger, George Chuvalo, Lew Jenkins, Henry Armstrong, Gene Fullmer, Eduardo Lausse to name just a few.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Ron Lipton View Post
        Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, Dick Tiger, George Chuvalo, Lew Jenkins, Henry Armstrong, Gene Fullmer, Eduardo Lausse to name just a few.
        All excellent. I knew you would add Carter. That's why I left him out. lol

        How about "Saigon" Skipper Kelp?
        Last edited by Kid Blast; 09-20-2018, 07:04 PM.

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        • #5
          You mentioned the late Tommy Morrison. The other night I watched Morrison / Hipp. Now that was excitement at its finest! I would have loved to see Tyson / Morrison or Tyson / Foreman.
          Nice piece, Ted. I enjoyed the read.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JohnnyTango View Post
            You mentioned the late Tommy Morrison. The other night I watched Morrison / Hipp. Now that was excitement at its finest! I would have loved to see Tyson / Morrison or Tyson / Foreman.
            Nice piece, Ted. I enjoyed the read.
            Thanks lad. The Morrison-Hipp fight had more broken bones in it than Carter had pills. It was a cruncher. Both guys brawled and mauled and Joe had him going until that uppercut finished him off like he was sapped by a Chicago cop going after a hippe in 1968.

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            • JohnnyTango
              JohnnyTango commented
              Editing a comment
              "Sapped by a Chicago cop going after a hippie in 1968." Ha!

          • #7
            Re: The photo of George Foreman / Ron Lyle. FYI: I met Lyle at the Crazy Horse in Vegas back in the middle 80s. Lyle was working as a bouncer for the strip club. It was pretty sad after the money he must have made taking a beating during his boxing career.

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            • #8
              Originally posted by JohnnyTango View Post
              Re: The photo of George Foreman / Ron Lyle. FYI: I met Lyle at the Crazy Horse in Vegas back in the middle 80s. Lyle was working as a bouncer for the strip club. It was pretty sad after the money he must have made taking a beating during his boxing career.
              terrible but still better than doing time in the "joint."

              "Lyle was one of 19 children born to William and Nellie Lyle of Dayton, Ohio. In 1954, they moved to Denver, Colorado as his father got a job as a sandblaster at Buckley Air Force Base. He grew up on the Northeast side of the city, a predominantly African American area, in public housing projects.During his time in Denver, Lyle was known to have associated with violent gangs. At 19, after dropping out of Manual High School, Lyle was convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of 21-year-old gang rival Douglas Byrd. Lyle argued he was being attacked with a lead pipe and was not the one who pulled the trigger. He was sentenced to 15–25 years in the Colorado State Penitentiary. While in prison, Lyle nearly died on the operating table after being stabbed by an inmate. He was released after serving 7 1/2 years"

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              • JohnnyTango
                JohnnyTango commented
                Editing a comment
                I see your point, Ted. Damn, what a life!

            • #9
              Larry Merchant just emailed me these: "for starters, although I probably missed something, LaMotta, Graziano, Marciano, Moore (131 KOs), Chacon, Holyfield, Armstrong, Montgomery..." I loved Chacon. He was in unreal fights with Boza Edwards and Limon.

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              • #10
                Lyle-Foreman was a heavyweight slugfest hard to duplicate. I was getting punch-drunk from watching all the punches being thrown and landed. And both guys could really bang. But for pure brutality, the three Ward-Gatti fights are hard to beat.
                Last edited by Joebruno999; 09-21-2018, 07:39 AM.

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                • JohnnyTango
                  JohnnyTango commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Foreman / Lyle w/ a real barn burner!

                • Kid Blast
                  Kid Blast commented
                  Editing a comment
                  All of them were very violent and only Foreman seems to have come out unscathed and close to being a billionaire. Geezuz

              • #11
                Aaron Prior and Matthew Saad Muhammad are my favorite action guys. Saad could actually box and had good fundamental technique....until he was seduced by the dark side and developed a lust for the violence and became dependant on his stamina and resilience. Spinks must have hit him with several hundred "prime GGG" quality jabs until he was able to soften the tough philly fighter up enough to take him down. Bantamweight Jeff Chandler gets my personal honorable mention.
                Last edited by brownsugar1; 09-23-2018, 02:06 PM.

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                • #12
                  Being originally from northeast Ohio myself, I loved watching Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini. I just got into boxing when he was at the end of his career and had to go out and find some VHS videos. But loved watching his fights and my passion for the sport only grew after each video I was able to watch of him.

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                  • #13
                    Originally posted by oubobcat View Post
                    Being originally from northeast Ohio myself, I loved watching Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini. I just got into boxing when he was at the end of his career and had to go out and find some VHS videos. But loved watching his fights and my passion for the sport only grew after each video I was able to watch of him.
                    He is a perfect example of what I am writing about here. I saw him fight many times and he was never in a dull one. Thanks for the input, Matt

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