Bigger But Not Better, Any Questions?
It was painful to watch, however it should serve as a permanent reminder to those who get all crazy, and fall in love with the big heavyweights of today. Michael Grant showed undeniable proof that being big, strong, well built, and athletic doesn't equate to being and outstanding heavyweight fighter! And another thing, you can't do exercises for your chin, you're either born with it or your not regardless of size.
See, great fighters are born. Fighters are authentically tough guys with egos, attitudes, and a desire to want to be great and beat everything and everyone they confront. You can take any great football or basketball player from the NFL or NBA, regardless of how big or great an athlete he is, I'll bet he can't be made into a fighter! Because if he could fight, he'd be fighting instead of blocking and tackling, or shooting and rebounding! Fighters are born with that something inside that can't be measured on a scale, or by what they bench press.
Again, we saw in the Grant-Guinn fight how irrelevant size is. With all 254 pounds of Grant, it couldn't overcome the 218 pounds of Guinn. And let's be realistic, Guinn is nothing special at that. Guinn is not that great of a boxer, he's not a big puncher, nor is he that fast, yet he was able to control the fight when ever he went on the offensive vs Grant. Grant, like McCline, Akinwande, Whittaker, Jefferson and all of the other so called giant heavyweights of today are just big, they're not fighters. They just got into fighting because someone suggested it to them. The only thing that separates the Klitschko brothers from the other huge heavyweights is that they have a somewhat decorated boxing back ground, although they are both just one stoppage away from being lumped with the others.
These so called super-heavyweights fighting today are cumbersome and ponderous. In most cases they are slow of both hand and foot, have no inside game and are just about exhausted after four or five rounds of doing anything that resembles fighting! The extra weight does nothing to enhance their ability to hit or take a punch, most times it just gets in the way.
Since the days of Jess Williard and Primo Carnera, (and they were nothing special) only Riddick Bowe and Lennox Lewis have amounted to anything special regarding the super-heavyweights. Both Bowe and Lewis stand around 6'5" and consistently weigh in the 240's. They are the only so called new breed heavyweights that have had any real success as champions. Yet three fights with the 210 pound Evander Holyfield took everything out of Bowe, and Lewis' legacy is built on two lackluster decisions over a washed up Holyfield and an 8th round knockout over the 5'10" Mike Tyson. It must also be mentioned that both Bowe and Lewis started fighting at an early age and are both Olympic Medalist. Fighting is in their blood, however they are the exception, not the rule.
Boxing is one of the few sports that you can be too big. The perfect size heavyweight is in the 6'2" -- 6'3" range, weighing between 215 - 230 pounds. That size heavyweight can be athletic and powerful at the same time without sacrificing stamina. A heavyweight in that range can be a great boxer, or a great puncher. Neither Bowe or Lewis had the speed or skill, or even the chin of Ali or Holmes, nor did they have the punch or strength of Liston or Foreman.
Regarding Gatti-Ward III
Thank you Arturo and Mickey for fighting for the championship of each other for the third and final time. I don't know what you two warriors were paid but, I do know what ever it was, it wasn't enough! Please don't do it again, let us remember it with the same zeal and passion as some of boxings other all-time great trilogy. It ranks right up there with Ali-Frazier, Bowe-Holyfield, and Zale-Graziano just to name a few.
I was surprised when Larry Merchant asked Emanuel Stewart what Ward could be doing if he knew Gatti's right hand was broke, and Stewart replied trying to get Gatti into more exchanges so he had to use it more. What about Ward punching at that right hand, making it pain Gatti so bad that he couldn't even hold it up. Don't fighters punch at the cut on their opponent to try and get it to bleed more, leading to the fight being stopped? That's what I would have instructed my fighter!