Friday, February 16, 2018

The Race For 2018 Fighter Of The Year: Who has taken the lead?




BGB's pick for 2017 fighter of the year: Vasyl Lomachenko, with Terence Crawford the runner-up
BGB's current leader for fighter of the year: Oleksandr Usyk, runner-up, Murat Gassiev

Usyk takes the lead for me because of his defeating the undefeated Mairis Briedis in Briedis' home country to unify major world titles in his fourteenth professional match. That was a big one.  

Comment and we'll talk as it progresses.


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Basement Gym Boxing


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Evander Holyfield's Mims KO GIF

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Murat Gassiev sleeps Jordan Shimmell with a left hook

Andrew Golota Bites Samson Po'uha

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Evander Holyfield Scores A Timber KO: GIF Spotlight

In May of 1986, one-time prospect Terry Mims, well-worn survivor and then journeyman, making ends meet, did his best to stay upright and upset Evander Holyfield. Evander was burning through the ranks to get a title shot against Dwight Muhammad Qawi while still very short on professional experience. Holyfield was 10-0, while Mims was 13-12, according to Boxrec. During the fight, he was announced as 18-11, winning 15 by knockout. Nobody has to be right, but somebody has to be wrong. Holyfield put Mims down with a humdinger of an uppercut while Mims was trying to press ahead and had just landed one of his own to far less effect. Holyfield also goes down at the same time, because an invisible Emanuel Steward is tackling him.



Holyfield KO5 Terry Mims. I believe Mims was hit squarely on the nose by the uppercut and he was bleeding on the canvas from it when he was trying to get back up. Holyfield would get Qawi in his very next match and fight something tantamount to the cruiserweight version of Ali/Frazier with him. He would win the fight also. Mims would go on to lose most of his fights after this, but he would still get the most high profile name under his win column in Leon Spinks, despite that.

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Basement Gym Boxing


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George Foreman threatens Bill Cosby and takes his shirt off.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Murat Gassiev's Highleet Reel KO Against Jordan Shimmell: GIF Spotlight

PBC and FS1 delivered a card in May of 2016 where then 22-0 prospect Murat Gassiev took on fellow prospect 20-1 Jordan Shimmell. While a good match on paper, it wasn't particularly competitive.



Gassiev KO1 Shimmell. Gassiev is now looking to try and unify all the major cruiserweight claims to the championship against Oleksandr Usyk, with his reputation as a puncher proving more and more weighty as he goes. Jordan Shimmell hasn't fought since this match.


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Basement Gym Boxing


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Holyfield video game intro

Usyk makes sure his hair is still pretty while fighting 

Gene Tunney gives a demonstration to troops in Auckland, New Zealand, 1943.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Urkel VS Fuffner: Skill VS Brute Strength (GIF Spotlight)




This is Jaleel White showing off the slickness as Steve Urkel on the sitcom Family Matters. Urkel has a boxing match with school bully Willie Fuffner (Larenz Tate) in the 1990 episode entitled Requiem for an Urkel. I don't want to be a buzzkill, but Urkel did not win this one on merit, but rather a technicality when the crowd got involved. This should've had a full investigation and an immediate rematch. This was bad for boxing, no matter how skilled Urkel was. Sitcom boxing needs better commissions and higher standards. That's just my opinion. Fuffner was robbed.


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Sugar Ray Leonard KO's Al Bundy

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Juan Manuel Marquez Always Has A Follow-Up Punch: GIF Spotlight

"Dinamita" is not Juan Manuel Marquez's nickname for nothing. In Coeur d'Alene Casino, in Worley, Idaho, October of 2001, he took on Johnny Walker. Many have taken on Johnnie Walker, but this is the fighter, Johnny Walker. Walker was known to give his opponents a gift before the fight. You guessed it, a bottle of Johnnie Walker, as a sign of competitive respect. Gimmicks can really help. This time, not so much. Walker would go from 18-3, before this match, to 18-21 after less than one minute of action with the future Mexican legend. The fight was also another demonstration of JMM pretty much always having a follow-up punch in the knockdowns he scores. They're like shrapnel.  

The first knockdown, with that tail-end left hook to start:


The second and final knockdown/knockout, 56 seconds into the first minute of the first round:

Walker seemed very disoriented for some time as his people told him to sit in the corner. I don't think he believed in the stoppage. It was a rough one. The back of his head hitting the canvas was as much a doozy as the punch. But boxing needs its Johnny Walkers like it needs its JMM's to make the sport go around.


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Juan Manuel Marquez Puts Likar Ramos To Sleep

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Andrew Golota Gets To Feelin' Peckish At Work: GIF Spotlight


Tongan heavyweight prospect Samson Po'uha was 15-1 when he took on another prospect in 23-0 Polish gentleman, Andrew (Andrzej) Golota. "Gentleman" may be something of a misnomer. He was unofficially nicknamed "The Foul Pole." It was May of 1995, in Atlantic City, and a wild affair that Michael Buffer rallied the crowd for at the official finishing announcement. Golota was in pretty serious trouble as Po'uha, who'd recently rallied back from nearly being stopped himself, turned the tide and was laying down a whooping. Golota knew he had to do something to get through the round. But apparently it wasn't using his gloved fists first.



In his defense, it's not like you get to have a snack time at work when you're boxing on TV. If he was hungry, what's he going to do? Eat his gloves? He's not some glove-eating barbarian! His blood sugar was low! He's only human!  


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Conan O'Brien really tempts fate as he throws his crotch around at Andrew Golota

Heavyweight contender Mariusz Wach gets a mythical intro

Billy Joe decides to flash the weigh-in audience for his Lemieux fight

Golovkin dances "Mexican Style" 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Darchinyan Rages & Shifts To KO Mijares (GIF Spotlight)


In 2008 and 2009 Vic Darchinyan put his historical stamp on boxing. He'd had a good run as a major titlist at flyweight, as a blunt object, beating all contenders about the head. He proved one of the most p4p physically imposing titlists, and as awkward a stylist as he was an imposing hulk of the lower weights. This is a combination few could seemingly overcome, until a young Nonito Donaire, the year before, had figured him out and shut him down with awesome ease. Darchinyan moved up to super flyweight and went back to the drawing board. It wasn't long before he broke down Freddie Roach's Dmitry Kirilov to win one of the four major belts in his new division. In November of 2008, only a few months after Kirilov, Darchinyan would match Mexico's Cristian "El Diamante" Mijares. Mijares, held two of the four major world titles. He was a smooth, conventional operator, and a name in the p4p conversation.

So, we got a unification of most of the marbles. In modern boxing's confusion, 3/4 of these titles tends to make journalists call you "undisputed" though any idiot can make any dispute they wish. It's not difficult (Ask The Flat Earth Society). Whoever won this bout would technically be the first modern fighter to be called undisputed in the super flyweight division. Due to politics, it's nearly impossible to do it in any division. This is why the current cruiserweight tournament deserves so much attention, I might add. So, for real boxing fans, the fighters may have been small, but the 2008 unification match was big. It was also a classic clash of styles, on paper.

A smooth operator VS a rough banger. It's boxing history on repeat. Mijares was thought to be a bit slick for Vic. And too sharp a counter-puncher for the crablike Darchinyan, who was so notoriously aggressive and unconventional, his skill was often missed. At a glance, it might have been too difficult to figure out what skills made Darchinyan successful. A deeper look showed a craftiness shrouded by Darchinyan's poor temperament, bizarre movements, and arrogance. He used deception, distraction, superior reflexes that normally belong to "cuter" boxers, to land the shots that destroyed body and spirit alike. Mijares and fans who didn't see it would soon find out the hard way.

Darchinyan's style flummoxed and broke the Mexican down through most of their match. If round one looked like this. . .


. . .you can easily see how round nine, with the cards in Vic's favor, looked like this:



A ninth round KO to become the "undisputed" super flyweight champion of the world from the modern era's Raging Bull. Even as he raged forward, there was method to the madness, shifting and forcing Mijares backward, measuring with the right, annihilating with the left. He owned the momentum; he shut down any ability for his opponent to set his feet and counter, and ran him over. It was a tremendous performance.

In 2009, Vic would defend the three titles against Jorge Arce in another dominant exhibition of skill and brute strength. That would mark the end of the three fight streak I assume will eventually put him in the Hall of Fame. He'd still win title fights after Arce, but he'd be waxing and waning the entire way, up until 2017, most recently. His wins against Kirilov, Mijares and Arce mark a brief peak for a truly unique fighter, as I see it. With another move up in weight, the kind of power he lorded over flyweights and super flyweights was not to be seen. It was fascinating while it lasted. Mijares is still fighting as well, and he'd go on to win a few more world title fights, but, to this day, the only man to ever stop him was Vic Darchinyan.


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