WAIL! | The CBZ Journal | September 2004






Table of Contents

Rinsing off the Mouthpiece
By GorDoom

Current Champions, Top Contenders, and Fighters to Watch Out For
By Adam Pollack

Hopkins-De La Hoya: A True Boxing Super Bowl
By Dean Vios

They Sure Don't Get Any Easier
By Orion Foote

The Best Argentinean Fighters of All Time, Class by Class
By Martín Cameron

Hand Speed Among the Big Fellows
By Don Cogswell

Flashback to the 2003 Hall of Fame Inductions
Pictorial by Dan Hanley

Vince Martinez
By Dan Cuoco

Black Dynamite: Len Johnson
By Rob Howard

Wes Ramey
By Tracy Callis and Keith Palmer

Henry Hank, One of Boxing's Forgotten Warriors
By Dan Cuoco

Joe Gans, the Old Master

Joe Gans: Championship Years
Two Articles By Monte Cox

































by Dean Vios


Every once in a while, boxing has its own Super Bowl. However, in boxing there are not enough stars to fuel annual Super Bowls, so boxing tends to have more bouts on the scale of “division championships.”  As far as public appeal and press coverage, even this is too ambitious of a description. In actuality, the better fights of the year generally get the press coverage of two people fighting over a parking spot.  So by anyone’s definition, the Hopkins-De La Hoya fight was boxing’s Super Bowl.  Unfortunately, any time you carry the term “Super Bowl,” you also run the risk of encountering its real definition as amended below:

Super Bowl (soo-pur-bohl) n. : a contest or event that is the most important or prestigious of its kind (often failing somehow to meet its lofty expectations).

Now, when the two words “boxing” and “Super Bowl” meet in a sentence, they take on a completely different range of possibilities.  Boxing is often called “The Theater of the Unexpected."  Combine this with the infrequency of fights on a "Super Bowl" level, and we get higher highs, lower lows and, of course, an increased possibility of the unexpected.

Hopkins-De La Hoya was indeed a boxing Super Bowl, as were other fights including Ali-Foreman, Leonard-Hagler, Tyson-Spinks, and even Lewis-Tyson.  All of these bouts have elements similar to Super Bowls of years past.  Ali-Foreman is the story of a dynasty team looking to make an unlikely return to the top amidst tremendous odds.  Leonard-Hagler was the closest of battles where the game may have had some questionable calls that led to a debatable or even unpopular outcome.  Tyson-Spinks was the typical Super Bowl blow-out where the favorite performed as they were supposed to.  Lewis-Tyson was the really hyped-up game that ended up being one of those very dull Sunday affairs where no one even watched the end.  These past bouts had a real football twinge to them. Hopkins-De La Hoya, however, was more a Super Bowl of the boxing kind.

Though the underdog in this Super Bowl was not given much of a chance, De La Hoya quickly showed he was not there only to make an appearance.  At only three rounds into the fight, De La Hoya had already made a strong impression; he was not just going through the motions.  Much to the surprise of everyone watching, he was not running, and Hopkins was not pressuring or overwhelming the smaller fighter as he had promised to.  It was apparent that this fight was not going to be a mere reply of Hopkins-Tito.  Call it nerves, call it age, call it whatever you like, but Hopkins showed much more respect for De La Hoya than anyone could have imagined.  He certainly showed far more respect than he had to Tito.

In the following rounds, Hopkins loosened up more and started to land, but De La Hoya was determined to give as much as he took as he fired combinations in close.  There was no surprise in who the stronger fighter was, but the gritty De La Hoya was making it a tough fight to score.

But this is not football...

Reality set in almost immediately as in the flurry of a close encounter along the ropes, De La Hoya crumbled down in a heap of disappointment.  He pounded the mat in disgust as he writhed in pain, knowing his ability to return upright was robbed of him.  All of the hard work and exceeded expectations thus far were gone in the blink of an accurately-placed punch -- a body shot no less!  One may liken it to losing electricity just after the middle of a movie.

Anticlimactic?  Yes.  Surprising?  No.

This fight only adds to the amazing but puzzling resume of De La Hoya.  He adds yet another fight in recent years where, despite a great effort, he did not receive the win nor was he soundly beaten in the process. Only this time, the Golden Boy got a Golden Gancho sprinkled with some Hopkins hot sauce.

Football fans just never need to deal with this type of inconclusiveness or short, sudden, final ends to a game.  A “Hail Mary” attempt at the buzzer in a close game may be the nearest comparison, but one at least enjoys the luxury of an entire game beforehand.

Not a soul could have predicted this particular night’s sequence of events or especially the manner of its end, but this is what a boxing Super Bowl is all about.

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