Boxing is missing that instant impact type athlete. In recent history, every other sport has had their share of heroic champions. Michael Jordan was for basketball what Tiger Woods is for golf. But where is our boxing hero? His time is long over due.
Unfortunately, there are no drafts in boxing. A successful boxer cannot be groomed and ready overnight. Fighters are picked out of college to become professionals. The average American sports fan does not have the patience to wait for the next boxing legend.
We want results. We want our boxing savior.
Here is our twelve team boxing draft. The idea is to create “The Perfect Fighter.” Each selection is used to represent a unique quality in this new indestructible boxer. The First Annual “Perfect Fighter Draft” will focus on the intangibles of past and current champions.
1. Mind Games: Team Bernard Hopkins
Bernard Hopkins is the master of irritation. He continuously frustrates his opponents with an equal amount of mockery and low blows. Hopkins will basically do anything he could get away with in the ring. Picture Dennis Rodman without tattoos. Hopkins’ fights are a classic showcase of rabbit punches and jail house bullying.
Perfect Fighter Impact: Having the guts to insult your opponent with a smile on your face is the greatest form of psychological warfare. Hopkins does what it takes to rattles the feathers. “The Perfect Fighter” needs that quality.
2. Overall Boxing Skill: Team Pernell Whitaker
“Sweet Pea” Whitaker did not dominate with power or even hand speed. He won with elusiveness. Sometimes defending himself in a crouch low enough to face the other mans' shorts. Pernell Whitaker was quick enough to smack you in the face and hide behind your back while you’re standing still. The man was “five feet nothing” but used the jab as his greatest weapon. He was a pure boxer.
Perfect Fighter Impact: In order to be a superior boxer, “The Perfect Fighter” must have the ability to box himself out of tough rounds.
3. Chin: Team Jack Dempsey
Jack Dempsey had his own theories on how to strengthen his chin. As legend has it, Dempsey would use the inside of an orange peel to grind across his face. This trick would cause his facial skin to become a rough-jagged texture. The idea created a saying: “the rougher the skin the tougher the chin.” I just call it relentless dedication.
Perfect Fighter Impact: Any man that turns his face into a piece of sand paper has to be crazy. “The Perfect Fighter” would benefit from this type of willpower.
4. Media Savvy: Team Oscar De la Hoya
The marketing genius of Oscar De la Hoya is what he will be remembered for. The man has lost 3 of his last 5 fights and is still considered the most popular boxer in the game. De la Hoya was never the best fighter of his era but he was just good enough to keep people watching. The man is the closest thing boxing has to a crossover star. He has the looks, brains, and talent to understand that boxing is a money making industry.
Perfect Fighter Impact: A combination of a being a smart business man and a talented fighter can make “The Perfect Fighter” a money making machine.
5. Intimidation: Team Mike Tyson
At his peak, most fans believed that Tyson had the qualities of a perfect fighter. His menacing cold demeanor terrorized opponents. In the 1980’s, Tyson seemed indestructible. He won fights before they started by simply staring down his opponent across the ring. During the actual fight, Tyson was like an uncontrollable tiger attacking his prey.
Perfect Fighter Impact: Having the ability to strike fear in opponents is essential to the development of a champion. Those that control their fear in the ring have already won half the battle.
6. Athleticism: Team Roy Jones
Roy Jones Jr. accomplished a great deal in and out of the ring. The man was a two sport athlete, the Bo Jackson of boxing. He would play basketball during the day and knock out his challenger at night. Blessed with hand speed, and unorthodox athletic talent, RJ has been considered superhuman at times. Jones at his prime punched like a mongoose. He is a five tool fighter that could beat you with speed, power, brains, legs, and arrogance.
Perfect Fighter Impact: “The Perfect Fighter” would be even greater if he could win a fight with his hands behind his back. Jones could, at least a round, anyway.
7. Charisma: Team Muhammad Ali
In the words of Charley Steiner, “Muhammad Ali invented trash talking.” Has there been a bigger icon in the sport? This fighter captured the hearts of politicians, activists, war veterans, and boxing fans. Muhammad Ali was a symbol of struggle for an entire nation. Let’s just say he knew how to work the crowd.
Perfect Fighter Impact: Becoming an international hero could make “The Perfect Fighter” an ambassador of humanity.
8. Speed: Team Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The hardest thing to defend in the sport is speed. Mayweather might not be the fastest fighter out there, but he knows how to use his greatest strength. His quickness in the ring helps him create separation like a shooting guard driving to the basket. When he takes one step forward his opponent will either freeze or take two steps back. Love him or hate him, every boxing fan must respect this fighter.
Perfect Fighter Impact: A man cannot hit what he can’t see. “The Perfect Fighter” would excel if he had the reflexes of a cat.
9. Power: Team George Foreman
Foreman was a hazard in the ring. His swing seemed effortless, but his punch was strong enough to drill a hole in any normal man's chest. George Foreman is probably the only fighter that could consistently knock his opponent into next week. Please do not doubt his muscle, Foreman knocked out 91% of the fighters he beat.
Perfect Fighter Impact: Sheer power is always the last thing that leaves an aging fighter. “The Perfect Fighter” will strengthen his reign as a champion if he could maintain his power.
10. Heart: Team Evander Holyfield:
Please Youtube Round 10 of Holyfield vs. Bowe I. You will become a believer. Evander Holyfield reminds me of Rocky Balboa, he keeps coming back for more. This heavyweight legend started his career as a light heavyweight, and seemed to always be fighting and defeating bigger opponents.
Perfect Fighter Impact: “The Real Deal” was not a joke. In an era of big heavyweights, Evander Holyfield proved that the little man can win.
11. Height advantage: Team Lennox Lewis
A wise boxer could use their leverage to control the fight. Lennox Lewis was a master at using his height advantage. Lewis understood the importance of creating enough distance between him and his opponent. Lewis’ God-given talent was the primary tool of his heavyweight reign.
Perfect Fighter Impact: Lewis was successful because he got the most out of his greatest quality. “The Perfect Fighter” must understand the importance of knowing your strengths.
12. Adversary: Team Joe Frazier
Every hero has a worthy adversary. Joe Frazier possessed the great quality of commitment. Frazier was The Joker to Muhammad Ali’s Batman. In every great era in sports, there has been a rivalry that transcended the competition. Magic Johnson had Larry Bird, the Yankees have the Red Sox, and Colts have the Patriots.
Perfect Fighter Impact: Defeating a worthy opponent against all odds can give “The Perfect Fighter” the credibility of becoming an everlasting hero.
The irony is that our hero, the “Perfect Fighter” is out there. Right now he is running a mile, jumping rope, or hitting the speed bag. This particular athlete does not know that we are waiting for him. Every punch he throws and every fight tape studied will eventually lead to something bigger. “The Perfect Fighter” wants to become our hero. He just doesn’t know it yet.
Think I left someone off the list. Contact me at: Raymond.Markarian@yahoo.com