WAIL! The CyberBoxingZone Journal
October 2000 issue

Editorial - Rinsing Off the Mouthpiece

By GorDoom

R.I.P. Howard Winstone
1960's British & European Featherweight Champion

   Boxing is beset by many ills but the most insidious one is the plethora of
terrible decisions in major fights. Nothing undermines the credibility of the
sweet science more. For instance, say a novice fight fan watches a fight like
the recent Tapia-Ayala rematch. At the end of the fight it's quite & very
obvious who won; but invariably we get a putrid decision that does more to
turn off fans than a dozen IBF scandals.

   For a newcomer to the sport, or the "event" sports fan who only tunes in
for what the general sports media touts as a major fight. Decisions like,
Chavez-Whitaker, Holyfield-Lewis I, or Tapia-Ayala -to name just three of
seemingly dozens in the last decade - do irreparable damage to the sport.
Casual fans don't really care about the soap opera of the promoters, the
venality of the alphabets or the chaos that is the state of modern boxing.

    All they want is a good, fair, fight, with competent rendering of
verdicts when the bouts go the distance ... Nothing devalues the sport more
than blatant, reeking, decisions by judges who are either, blind, incredibly
inept or deeply compromised ...

   The Ol' Spit Bucket has been deep into boxing since 1956 & has spent
countless hours studying the history of the squared circle. I deeply respect
many of the champions & contenders from the past but I'm not one to subscribe
to the theory that modern fighters simply don't stack up against the greats
of yore.

   In every era, if you examine the records, there have been ten to twenty
fighters that would have been champions or top contenders in any decade of
the last century. A careful perusal of today's title belt holders &
contenders also reveals twenty fighters who qualify for this distinction.

   One caveat. All the fighters the Bucket lists are at or very near their
primes. This disqualifies fighters like, Leg-Iron Mike, Evander Holyfield,
Bernard Hopkins or Pernell Whitaker who are on the downside of their careers.


   Lennox Lewis: No matter what you think of the big lug, he's proven his
worth over the last 10 years. He would give any heavyweight champ, of any
era, an extremely difficult fight.

   David Tua: When he's in shape & focused - a very dangerous fighter with
great killer instinct.
   The middleweight divisions: Since Roy Jones is supposedly dropping back
down to super middleweight, this leaves the cruiser & light heavy divisions

   Roy Jones: Despite my well documented antipathy for Mr. Jones, he is the
class act of the divisions & if properly motivated could probably beat most
of the champions of the past. The key is, properly motivated.

   Felix Trinidad: At worst, the third best fighter pound for pound today.
Well on his way to a well deserved place in the Hall Of Fame.

   Fernando Vargas: His fight with Tito will be his crucible. A
very tough & exciting fighter. Would have been at least a top contender in
any era.

   William Joppy: While he has yet to have a defining moment in his career,
Joppy is a tall, lanky, superb boxer, with very fast hands & decent power. On
his best night he'd give anybody trouble.

   The Welterweights:

   The choices are obvious, Shane Mosley & Oscar De La Hoya.

    The Jr.Welterweights:

    Kostya Tszyu: Is a very well proven commodity. With the exception of the
Vince Phillips fight, he has dominated the division.

   Zab Judah: He is definitely a work in progress ... Tszyu will be his crucible
next year. Like Jones & Hamed, Judah displays numbing speed & power. He
has all the tools & will be a great one .... Once he displays some discipline.

   The Lightweights:  There aren't any ...
   The Jr. Lightweights & Featherweights:

   Without a doubt the hottest divisions in boxing right now.
Diego Corrales, Naseem Hamed, Floyd Mayweather, Marco Antonio Barrera & Eric
Morales are all potential all-time greats.

    The Jr Featherweights & Bantams:

    Johnny Tapia: This a fighter that would have flourished in any era. Tapia
is the real deal, lacking only a big punch.

   Paulie Ayala: His rematch with Tapia was clearly, in my view, a loss. But
Paulie's got the goods to have been a contender at any time.

   Mark Johnson: Now that he has his prison term behind him, he has all the
tools to win a title belt again.

   Mauricio Pastrana: Overcame a horrendous childhood to become a champion.
This is one, tough, swarming fighter without an ounce of give ... If he gets
knocked down, he will be back. Not to be underestimated.

   Flyweight, Jr. & Straw weight.

   Ricardo Lopez: While slightly  past his prime, still a major force in
boxing. A certain Hall Of Famer.

   Rosendo Alvarez: Proved his worth in two matches with Lopez.

   The Bucket wrote this examination because it's common to hear - especially
from older fans - that the fighters today aren't worth squat ... Yeah, well
... A little research proves that boxing's cupboards are hardly bare. There
are plenty of dynamic fighters today that could more than hold their own with
champions & contenders from the past.


   The Ol' Spit Bucket feels that this is one of our most outstanding issues;
with a great mix of stories & interviews involving present day boxing figures
& one TV celebrity, as well as ones about boxing's rich & storied history.

   One of the stories, The Hatchet Man, is by Rocky Alkazoff. Regular readers
will remember him as the winner of the Sonny Liston essay contest a few
months back. His vivid account of Liston's seamier impulses was a must read.

   This time he returns with an absolutely incredible story about legendary
1940's heavyweight contender, Curtis Hatchetman Sheppard. This is one story
that after you read it, I guarantee you'll never forget it!

   We also are joined by a new writer this issue, Mohammed Khan, who
contributes an interesting take on Leg-Iron Mike Tyson. Mr. Khan also has a
website, http://msnhomepages.talkcity.com/Terminus/mrmohammedkhan/index.htm 
where you can find other fine boxing articles to peruse.

   Also, I'd like to let our readers know that the CBZ has yet another new
author on it's staff. Last month Tom Gerbasi came out with an excellent
boxing book, Ring Ramblings, this month, the irascible, Joe Bruno (who also
contribute an article this month), has a terrific new novel entitled, Angel
Of Death. This is a noirish  serial killer novel with a real Big Apple feel
to it. Those interested in checking it out can find it through the links

   Lastly, I would  like to mention that the U.S. Marines have landed on the
shores of the CBZ ... Lance Cpl. Damian McGee, who is stationed in Okinawa has written an interesting boxing piece about service boxing. Thanks to Sgt. Pauline Franklin/Consolidated Public Affairs Office  for sending it in.

   So that's about it for this month, enjoy the new issue & don't waste fifty
bucks on Tyson - Golota!

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