The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire


Since the dawn of boxing, the heavyweight division has been the glory of the sport. If you were to take a poll of non-boxing fans and ask them to name the first boxer that comes to mind, they'll most likely say Mike Tyson or Muhammad Ali.

How about if you were to ask knowledgeable boxing fans to name the first fighter that comes to their mind? The answer would be the same. Since the world is fascinated by the heavyweight champion, what happens when there is no more heavyweight ruler? What will happen to the sport of boxing once the public stops paying for Mike Tyson?

Or better yet, who will we watch after Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis knock each other out? Michael Grant? I think not. For being the Koby Bryant of boxing, Michael Grant sure doesn't fit the bill of the heir apparent. While he does have what it takes to dominate the heavies, does he have what it takes to rule a fight starved market? He has to be something special.


It must be his style. The reason Koby Bryant is labeled the next Michael Jordan is because he's flashy and he creates magic while on the hardwood. Have we seen any magic from Michael Grant that the general public can recognize?


Granted he's only had 25 or so amateur fights and not yet 30 pro fights. As of now, non boxing fans don't see this as reason enough to plop down $40 bucks. They see such numbers as a deterrent.


Take a look at the two top heavyweights right now in Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis. Neither of these guys could sell even 500,000 homes unless, A. Either was fighting Mike Tyson, or B. They were to fight each other.


And instance B isn't even guaranteed that it'll do great PPV numbers. The reason why they don't sell is "basic." They're boring as hell to watch! Nothing happens in their fights except for "basic boxing" that only the true boxing fan can appreciate. And even the fistic followers are tired of it.


Being a marketing major, I can plainly see the heavyweights are in desperate need of a slick marketer. And balls and bravado is what sells in the long run. You can have a slick marketing plan work for a couple of years, but if you don't have the balls to back up your scheme it will catch up with you..


The bulk of the not so young heavies are all at the same point in their careers. I'll list them all with pluses and minuses.

Chris Byrd is the smoothest boxing heavyweight who'll never "mark my words"    NEVER be a big time heavyweight (unless he fights Roy Jones.) With no KO power and a sleeper style that only the most hard-core boxing fan will watch, Byrd can't draw flies. Minus #1.

Next is Hasim Rahman: An intimidating fighter, who has good boxing skills and fair power. Sometimes though he seems to fall asleep in the ring. He has a good chance at building himself up to good PPV ratings. His only problem is, most of the good heavyweights would whoop his ass! That's two on the minus side.

David Tua has the power, and the look to be a household name. Tua's problem is that his fights are all crap until the 9th round when he decides to start throwing punches in bunches. If he could learn to be a better body killer from one through eight, he could easily find his way through the aorta of our boxing hearts. Plus.

The impeached President Ike Ibeabuchi. Still unbeaten, this guy has all the right qualities to be a name to remember. He's mean, he's a criminal, and Ike can fight. If he can keep his kidnapings down to a minimum, he'll be a great champion. He can start that ascension by knocking out Chris Byrd on March 20, HBO style.

Michael Grant is the next great heavyweight they say. Is he something special, or is he just a towering creation of the media. From what he's shown he can physically beat any heavyweight out there. But is the mental power he holds enough to stand the test of heavyweight time.

Or, is he gonna be pushed into a fight he can't handle? His lack of head movement is a prime 10th round KO target for Tua. Depending of course if David can last to that point. Plus #3.

Next we have the established crew of guys who actually had the balls to challenge for a title. Ray Mercer has a few good skills, and is a good candidate to upset a lot of guys. But not the kind of pug the public likes to see. First of all, his five losses in thirty fights will turn off potential buyers. Negatives # two and three are inactivity, and reality. How can Ray be great if he can't beat the top guys. Minus.

Henry Akinwande: NEXT! Michael Moorer is a very talented boxer who the public could have gotten behind and chased him all the way to the top. Instead he opted to have several Florida cops get behind him and chase his drunk driving ass into a ditch. Bottom line is that Michael never wanted to be a boxer.

Andrew Golota's a guy that can capture the public. First of all he's white, that means good ratings in itself. Now all he needs is a couple wins against name guys after he KO's Jimmy Thunder in less than four. His downside is his lack of confidence, commitment, and control.

If Shannon Briggs worked on conditioning and keeping his anxiety level down, he could be a crowd pleasing champ. Fight fans love New York "ghetto looking" heavyweights.

Finally we have the two dying war horses. One of which was paid millions of dollars throughout his career not to get into wars. Lennox Lewis, the most dodged heavyweight in the early nineties, watched his prime pass him by. If he could sell tickets as fast as he could eat, he would remain on top.

However, 1999 is Lennox Lewis' last year front and center. As for Commander Vander, he has been just that. He commanded the heavyweight picture for a whole decade. And never once got to be General of the ratings.

So it's up to you heavyweights out there to keep boxing going. The only pure test of man to man skill, barring we have two Don King fighters in the same ring. I urge the aforementioned to sit down, and ponder their immediate future before it leaves the gate.

Rodney Verges

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