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Boxers Fighting the Best and Doing It Again for the First Time: Part One

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  • Boxers Fighting the Best and Doing It Again for the First Time: Part One

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    By Ted Sares

    Britain’s Martin Murray has fought the very best and has now closed out a heartbreaking if not admirable and old school career.

    Others are just beginning to hit their stride and suddenly the possibilities are mouthwatering.

    The buzz is back on. The heat is coming. No excuses. No badly injured shoulders. No running. This is macho explosive. This is the best fighting the best like it used to be done. Cherry picking is not allowed.

    Back in the day, warriors like Ernie Durando, Kid Gavilan, Joey Giardello, Tony DeMarco, Bobby Dykes, Paul Pender, Joey Maxim, Holly Mims, Bobo Olson, and way too many others to list here would fight other top-notch boxers. It was the norm; not the exception. Tony DeMarco beat Kid Gavilan in 1956 and then fought Gaspar Ortega three times in a row in a relatively short period of time.

    In the process of compiling a 95-25-1 record, Ezzard Charles engaged in an eye-popping 27 fights against men who would go on to be enshrined in the International Boxing Hall of Fame and/or the World Boxing Hall of Fame.

    The List

    Rocky Marciano (twice) – IBHF/WBHF

    Joe Louis – IBHF/WBHF

    Jersey Joe Walcott (four times) IBHF/WBHF

    Archie Moore (thrice) IBHF/WBHF

    Joey Maxim (five times) IBHF/WBHF

    Jimmy Bivins (five times) IBHF/WBHF

    Charley Burley (twice) IBHF/WBHF

    Harold Johnson IBHF/WBHF

    Lloyd Marshall (thrice) WBHF

    Gus Lesnevich WBHF

    In addition, Charles had three fights with Rex Layne, two with Ken Overlin, two with Elmer Ray, and one with Bob Satterfield

    “Some day, maybe, the public is going to abandon comparisons with Joe Louis and accept Ezzard Charles for what he was—the best fist fighter of his particular time” --Red Smith

    Beau Jack, Aldo Minelli, Yama Bahama, Johnny Cesario, Fighting Harada, Eder “Golden Bantam” Jofre, Vicente Saldivar, Jose “El Huitlacoche” Medal, and then later Juan LaPorte and Livingstone “The Pit Bull” Bramble did not know what easy opponents meant. They were willing to fight anyone anywhere and were seldom stopped.

    Vito Antuofermo, Ralph Dupas, Willie Pastrano, Curtis Parker, Bennie Briscoe, Kassim Ouma, Emanuel Augustus, Scott LeDoux, Ben Tackie, Ray Oliveira, Renaldo Snipes, Freddie Pendleton, John Scully, Charles Murray, Ted Muller, Anthony Ivory, and Alfredo “Freddy” Cuevas were also representative of those who would fight anyone anywhere. Picking made-to-order opponents was not what they were about.

    Ali, Norton, Young, Quarry, fought one another. So did Duran, Leonard, Hagler, and Hearns. Across the pond, Watson, Benn, and Eubank did the same. Frazier, Holyfield, Mugabi, Tszyu, Cotto, and Chacon never ever backed away, nor did Mexican notables Castillo, Marquez (JMM), Morales and Barrera.

    No one will accuse Floyd “Money” Mayweather of not fighting the best but they might point out that Floyd sometimes used long time intervals between bouts to his advantage. “Money” was not a particularly active fighter. The phrase “cherry picking” gained traction during this time.

    Still, Andre Ward cleaned out an entire division. Cotto fought Pacquiao and Canelo, De La Hoya met Pacquiao, Klitschko faced Fury and then Joshua. Fury -- after beating Klitschko -- fought Wilder twice. Chisora will fight anyone they put in front of him. Heck, GGG fought 24 brutal rounds with Canelo and if that wasn’t the best fighting the best, what was?

    “…great fights lead to other great fights.”—Max Kellerman

    To be continued……

    Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel

    Ted Sares can be reached at

  • #2
    Hey Ted another good mention would have been "The Road Warrior" Glen Johnson ...another man who would fight anybody ...his record is like a who's who from middleweight to light heavy..after he knocked out Roy Jones he said "I'm not the best I'm just a guy who's willing to fight the best " ....sums it up pretty good .


    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      Very true indeed.

    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      "Ted, I see you are writing about the "Great Fighters" in boxing. I'm not going to go into a lot of names you miss. But you are missing a lot of names. But you do have a good start going. "Good Luck" to you my friend. Harold Weston"

    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      Harold Weston makes a great point but I just did not have enough space. Heck, Joey LaMotta finished with a record of 32-5-2 and that entire record was completed in less than two years. Jake fought SRR 5 times!

  • #3
    From Alan Swyer: "{Nice work as always. Will we ever see anyone of interest fight Crawford. For several reasons including money, talent, and power, I'd bet against it."


    • #4
      From Bob Mulkey: "the old guys fought each other, and for a long time, best on best. But most died early and broke. Guys today, in and out quick, fight for "the money. Who cares who you are ducking when you can make millions fighting over the hill or never where guys.


      • Kid Blast
        Kid Blast commented
        Editing a comment
        That's where cherry picking has some play. A side vs. C side.

    • #5
      This where I got the idea for the title. I believe it was played at a Super Bowl.


      • #6
        "One thing about the UFC is these guys/gals like to fight and will fight anyone. Such was the case last Saturday with Holloway/Kattar. What a fight! It will probably be included in the 2021 fight of the year. By-the-way, the fight was free on ABC Sports! Can you believe it .. FREE!!!

        I've lost interest in the fight game. Too many prima donnas waiting around for the right fight at the right money. Hell, we waited five years or so for Mayweather/Pacquiao. Give me the four kings in Hagler, Duran, Hearns, and Leonard.

        Thanks for the update, Ted. Looking forward to Part II. John Tango"


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