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Hey Guys, Size Does Matter...At Least Sometimes

BY Bernard Fernandez ON March 19, 2013
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fury-cunninghamStand them next to one another and two things are immediately evident about heavyweight contenders Tyson Fury and Steve “USS” Cunningham, who square off the afternoon of April 20 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Fury, at 6-9 and 250 pounds, is really large, even in this era of super-sized heavyweights who often resemble a cross between NBA power forwards and NFL defensive ends.

Two-time former IBF cruiserweight champion Cunningham, at 6-3 and 203 for his most recent ring appearance, is, well, not so large. His physique is so lean he looks more like an Olympic swimmer or maybe a Calvin Klein underwear model.

At stake when they square off in a voluntary IBF elimination bout is a No. 2 ranking from that sanctioning body, a date for the winner with No. 1 Kubrat Pulev, and a title bout against IBF/WBA/WBO/IBO champion Wladimir Klitschko for the survivor of this latest mini-tournament to establish some sort of pecking order among big men not named Klitschko. (Wladimir’s older brother, Vitali, remains the WBC champ despite persistent rumors that he is considering retirement.)

The bout will be televised by the NBC Sports Network.

Fury (20-0, 14 KOs) is hardly a mini-anything. He towers above Cunningham (25-5, 12 KOs) like Goliath over David, Luis Firpo over Jack Dempsey, Ivan Drago over Rocky Balboa or 7-foot, 320-pound former WBA heavyweight titlist Nikolay Valuev would have over the late, great Rocky Marciano, who did all right as a heavyweight despite being just 5-11 and 188 pounds. But David stoned Goliath, Dempsey devastated Firpo, Rocky whittled down Drago and, to hear Marciano’s younger brother, Peter, tell it, the “Brockton Blockbuster” would have felled the 7-foot, 320-pound Valuev like a chainsaw-wielding lumberjack taking down a big tree with a soft, rotting trunk.

“Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better,” Peter Marciano said in September 2006, when queried as to how the real Rocky, who retired in 1955 with a 49-0 record, might have fared against the humongous Valuev, who at that time was 44-0 and considered by some as a possible threat to eclipse’s Marciano’s renowned unbeaten string. “That has to be made very clear to the public. Valuev is very slow and ponderous. Rocky fought a number of guys who were 30 or 40 pounds heavier than he was, and those were his easiest fights. It was the guys who were a little smaller, a little bit quicker, who threw punches in combinations, that gave Rocky a more difficult time.”

Let it be noted that Valuev’s alphabet reign came tumbling down three fights later, when he was dethroned on a majority decision by fellow Russian Ruslan Chagaev, who was Marciano-sized, at least height-wise, at 5-11, 228¼ the night the WBA version of the championship changed hands in 2009. And also take note of the fact that Valuev, who by then had regained the WBA title, was awarded a highly controversial majority decision over the then-46-year-old Evander Holyfield on Dec. 20, 2008, in Zurich, Switzerland. With the exception of two judges with sharp pencils and dubious eyesight, nearly everyone who observed Commander Vander outhustle the nearly immobile Valuev that night believed the wrong man got the nod.

So what possible advantages does Fury have over Cunningham, the U.S. Navy veteran with the faster fists, superior movement and admittedly lesser punching power? Well, let’s see. The big Englishman has one of the ass-kickingest actual names (no nickname necessary) ever. He’s ranked No. 4 by the WBC, No. 5 by the WBO and No. 8 by the IBF. Cunningham, who has had only two bouts at heavyweight since moving up from cruiser, is ranked in the top 15 by only one sanctioning body, No. 12 by the IBF.

Mostly, though, Fury has the benefit of being so very much younger (he’s 24 to Cunningham’s 36), taller, heavier and with a not-insignificant reach advantage (85 inches to 82). The old adage in boxing is that the good big man usually beats the good little man, but the difference in this instance borders on the ridiculous. As some basketball coach once said, you can’t teach large. Either you are or you aren’t. And, no, eating your way up from 157 to 257, as James Toney did over the course of his career, isn’t the way to go about altering the equation.

Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward, who worked with 6-5, 250-pound Lennox Lewis and 6-6, 245-pound Wladimir Klitschko before he passed away on Oct. 25, 2012, recognized the trend toward XXXL heavyweights dominating the division. Manny went to his grave advocating the addition of a new weight class, super heavyweight, to an already bloated lineup that already includes 17 divisions and four supposedly major sanctioning bodies. Such a division exists in Olympic boxing, so maybe that is an idea worthy of consideration by the powers that be. But what would that make Dempsey and Marciano if they came along today? Super light heavyweights? Junior cruiserweights?

Cunningham stepped up to heavyweight last year because he has a family to support and frankly, his cruiserweight purses weren’t apt to put him on Easy Street for the rest of his life. As he entered his mid-30s, he made the calculated decision to grab at the bigger money and greater recognition that goes to light heavyweights and cruisers who successfully make the transition to heavyweight. It’s a route taken, with varying degrees of success, by Archie Moore, Ezzard Charles and, more recently, Michael Spinks, Holyfield, Toney, Roy Jones Jr. (who fought and won once at heavyweight), Al “Ice” Cole, Antonio Tarver and Jean-Marc Mormeck. Some were able to perform comfortably and successfully at the higher weight; most weren’t.

Before his Dec. 22, 2012, rematch with Tomasz Adamek in Bethlehem, Pa., Cunningham’s trainer, Naazim Richardson, addressed the perils of having someone as light as his fighter – Cunningham stepped between the ropes that afternoon at 203 pounds, 20 less than the 6-1½ Adamek – giving away so much heft. He joined Steward in forwarding the notion that a super heavyweight division might allow guys like “USS” to move up, but not that far up, and thus compete on a more equitable footing.

“There should be a super heavyweight division for those guys who are so freakishly big,” Richardson said. “At 203, 204, (Cunningham) still isn’t very big. When the possibility was raised of him moving up to heavyweight, I was, like, `Whoa.’ It’s like ‘Jack and the Beanstalk.’ Fee, fi, fo, fum. There’s literally giants up there at the top of the division.

“It’s not like they all fight that well, but they’re so big, it’s tough to match up with them physically. If I put boxing gloves on Shaquille O’Neal, he could probably go to 15-0 without much trouble.”

Cunningham looked much sharper than he did in his first matchup with Adamek, but the result was the same – a split-decision loss that, this time, left many observers scratching their heads in puzzlement. Even Adamek’s Polish co-promoter, Ziggy Rozalski, thought his countryman got an early Christmas present.

“You get scores like this and you’re, like, `Huh? What’s up? What’s the deal? What else do I have to do?’” a distraught Cunningham said at the postfight press conference. “

“Let me tell you, real men cry. We did our job and we did it beautifully. We did our thing in the ring. This saddens me, man.”

Cunningham also said he would take some time to contemplate his options, which some took to mean he might move back down to cruiserweight (he’d only have to take off 3 pounds, after all) or maybe even retire. But instead, he’s decided to try to scale the mountain again. It’s just that this time the figurative mountain is Everest, not a large hill like, say, Pike’s Peak. The Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul is a superb point guard, but it might not be the wisest thing for him to try to post up teammate Blake Griffin, the 6-10 dunking machine, in one-on-one contests after practice.

Still, the usually humble Cunningham (he serves as a youth minister to a group of at-risk youths at a storefront church in the gritty Kensington section of Philadelphia) stole a page or two from another Philly guy, the notoriously chatty Bernard Hopkins, during a press conference to formally announce his matchup with Fury. If the punches fly as fast as did the insults unfurled by the fighters, spectators are in for a treat.

“I come up right at the cusp of kids (going) from fistfights to guns,” Cunningham said in channeling his inner B-Hop. “I was a street fighter. That’s what I did. I actually enjoy fighting. That’s way before I stepped in the gym. I started boxing when I was 19; all of this (the street fights) happened when I was 13, 14.

“Back then, there’s a code, and it still runs through the streets today. And that’s that the guys who talk a lot, they’re chumps.”

That was a not-so-veiled poke at the boastful English giant, but Cunningham was far from finished.

“You can talk all that you want,” Cunningham said, turning his body toward the increasingly furious Fury. “The only reason (Fury) is winning fights is because he’s big. Scrape him down to 6-2, 6-3, 6-4, he’s garbage. One thing I can say about the Klitschko brothers --and I’ve been in camp with Wladimir – they’re big, but they work hard, they’re talented, they’re skillful. If they were normal-sized, they’d still be champions.

“This dude right here is winning fights ’cause he’s big. He’s real big. He leans on guys and gets them tired. I don’t get tired; I get better. You understand?”

Not unexpectedly, Fury reacted as if Cunningham had just stomped on the Union Jack while calling Fury’s momma nasty names.

“This guy has no chance at all,” Fury said, glaring at Cunningham. “Let’s talk about talent, size, whatever you want, I’m the best fighter on the planet, in all weights. Nobody can beat Tyson Fury. I don’t care if he’s 7-foot or 3-foot tall.

“Listen, Steve Cunningham’s in big trouble. Come April 20, this guy’s getting knocked spark-out, guaranteed, a hundred percent. I hope he and his trainer believe in magic because he’s going to need a lot of magic to beat Tyson Fury.

“Steve Cunningham and the whole of Philadelphia together couldn’t beat me. There’s not a man 200 pounds and up on the planet can beat me. I ain’t coming here to play games. I’m here to fight. You (Cunningham) talk a good game – I’m a tough guy, a gangster – but let’s be real. I’m a fighting man. Fighting is in my veins. You’re not even a heavyweight.”

Fury is right about one thing. Cunningham isn’t a legitimate heavyweight, at least by current standards. He’s a natural cruiserweight who’s just eaten a hearty lunch. Then again, maybe Cunningham is right, too. Fury could have risen so high in the rankings simply because he rises so high on the scales and has an exceptionally active pituitary gland.

Fee, fi, fo, fum, indeed. But whose soon-to-be-spilled blood is it we’re smelling here? That of the hulking Englishman, or of the comparatively compact Philadelphian?

Either way, it should provide a bit more information in the search for answers to the eternal questions that have been asked since cavemen began bashing one another. Does size really matter? And if so, how much?

Comment on this article

brownsugar says:

Fury can throw and box a technically beautiful fight when he wants to... l would be disappointed if he couldn't use his natural gifts to beat the sweet boxing but much smaller Cunningham.

deepwater says:

come on boxing writer, are you new to the game or just acting dumb? size does not matter in boxing. any man can over come anything in boxing.is the size of the fight in the man. fury is from a traveling fighting family so it is in his blood. cunningham couldnt take care of ademak he will not take care of fury. if this writer's premise is correct then julias long would be the p4p greatest heaveyweight of all time. this writers premise is wrong .

deepwater says:

lets start a super heavy divison says the man who cant beat the bigger guys. it is what it is. there should be less weight classes not more. why change the game to suit your needs? it sure does seem selfish. if i cant beat a bald guy in a boxing match should we limit divisions to bald guys only and guys with hair only? steve cunningham sounds like a cry baby. let your fist do the talking. her is an english giant invading usa, why dont you do something about it uss cunningham instead of making excuses. what happened to cunninghmas pizza shop?

brownsugar says:

You make a persuasive argument Deep... but I can't subscribe to the logic that a man who weighs 201 lbs should be able to battle on equal terms with a 250 pounder. Even though there have always been a gifted few who could excel against the greater odds like Jimmy Young ...Chambers and the light heavy who gave Joe Louis a hard time...these guys are the exceptions...but it's hardly the status quo. But I will say there's always somebody who can beat the odds

Radam G says:

LOOK UP THE HISTORY OF IT ALL! USS Cunningham is just bytch crying. Making up all of these divisions is more to protect the BIG GUY, who can fight over the little ones. Exceptions to the rule are BIG GUYS knowing how to beat the small guys because of mental syet, not size syet. The game is 85 percent mental. And that is a BIG FACT.

A great big man always beat a great small is a myth. The best man wins PERIOD! And history has shown that it's been the small fry 75 percent of the time. Not a single so-called giant could have beat Rocky Maricano.

BTW, at what height and weight that they are consider giants? Holla!

Spinach Chin says:

Size matters more now than it did in Marciano's day. Giant heavyweight boxing technique has evolved. There are more giant heavies in boxing now than ever. They have learned that infighting and combination punching gives their smaller opponents chances to hit them. Guys also could not study opponents as well in the days before video technology. A good big man can still beat a good giant, but it takes conditioning, aggression and volume punching (like Marciano and Frazier) that modern heavies simply cannot or will not achieve.

brownsugar says:

Size matters more now than it did in Marciano's day. Giant heavyweight boxing technique has evolved. There are more giant heavies in boxing now than ever. They have learned that infighting and combination punching gives their smaller opponents chances to hit them. Guys also could not study opponents as well in the days before video technology. A good big man can still beat a good giant, but it takes conditioning, aggression and volume punching (like Marciano and Frazier) that modern heavies simply cannot or will not achieve.


Good comments SPINACHCHIN Klitschko could beat Marciano sitting on his stool.

Radam G says:

NO! IT DOESN'T! Pay is what matters MORE! An artificial weight division was created to save giants from butt whuppin!' They had such a hard time winning the heavyweight title belts until the cruiserweight division came in to keep these traditional-size heavies from having to KICK arse at an unlimited heavyweight division.

Nextly, money and an artificial super middleweight division kept these fighters at bay. See, money halted destroyers of giants and fat arses from going up to heavyweight to be gory on the tallies and fatties for the glory and money.

A ton of the yesteryears' 180lbs-something heavies would've dominated nowadays sorry-@SS heavies. Winning-the-world-heavyweight-world-title-at-168lbs Tommy Burns would defeat all today's heavyweight bums and chumps.

If it were not for making money keeping Andre "SOG" Ward at 168lbs, as Burns did, SOG too would -- become heavyweight champion of the world.

People not in da game get so carry away with physical size. Well in boxing, it is mental size. [The game is upperward of 85 percent mental.] Come to old-school gyms and watch a sparring session between a giant heavyweight and a lightweight. It would fudge up that myth sizing stupid-arse thinking A-S-A-P, aka ASAP!

This giants-are-good-and-the-best syet is new syet on da boxing block. A jive-myth-winning-nowadays giant just have a bigger cranium, mitts and feet, not a bigger c*ck! Hahaha! MYTHS! Who buys 'em the most? A weak d'ck, NOT a strong chick at any cost.

WOW! How crippled and non-functioning a dude's brain can come to believing a myth. If size is so important and dominant, what in da double fudge happened to the dinosaur and Neanaderthal? Holla!

Radam G says:

Talk is cheat! Especially when you cannot physically prove it. And physical bullsyetology is the all that ___ ___ ____ ___ can and will believe in, except when it comes to religious make-believe. A giant-arse god that you cannot see is a bad mutha -- shut ya' mouth! -- I'm just talkin' 'bout Shaft, the god of the Big-Screen tough-arse detectives.

Smaller heavyweights beat da holy hebejeebeez outta fatties and tallies 90 percent of the time before the cruiserweight division and money came. Now that is hardcore proof that you grab. But TALK is just cheat air that's _____. Holla!

Grimm says:

A tale from the world of kyokushin karate, where they compete in so called 'knockdown karate'. In the World Championships, held every fourth year in Japan, there are none but one weight-class. More often than not, a big man wins. But: during the 70s & 80s, a fighter named Keiji Sanpei won over his much bigger arch rival, bordering to giant. Sanpei, a small but insanely dedicated and passionate fighter, gave his all in every fight - and after his feat, he became one of the most legendary fighters in the history of kyokushin karate. Anyways, the founder of kyokushin - and the World Championships - Masusatsu Oyama said of the reason for only one weight class: "Only one man can be the best" and "How can you be a world champion if there are other world champions?" He had a point, there.

A lot of the smaller boxers simply don't have the legs - musclewise - to execute rapid movements enough to take them into the zone where they can inflict damage, and neither the footwork for it. And if they get there, they're not good enough to do what's gotta be done. Comes down to a lack of fundamentals, and it's obvious the stock of really good/educated boxers is smaller than ever. Athletes fighting around, on the other hand...

Spinach Chin says:

Check out round 1 and 2 of Wlad-Peter II. Not saying Peter won the rounds but Klitschko could not find him easily because Peter was doing exactly what a shorter guy needs to do, side-to-side, bob and weaving. However Sam did not have the conditioning or training to do it for more than six minutes of the fight, as he reverted to unbalanced slugger he always was and was flattened. Same thing with Tua against Lennox Lewis, the kid had no gas after the first few rounds. Frazier, Marciano, , Tyson, James Toney....those guys could do it for 12 rounds.

the Roast says:

We've been down this road waaaayy too many times. This is Radam's "Niagra Falls." No mention of Clint Jackson yet? Slooowly he turns....

Radam G says:

No need for Clint Jackson, the Roast. I can holla at Jack Dempsey, GOAT Ali, the late, great Smokin' Joe Frazier, Chris Byrd and his cousin, to name a few. It is a hard FACT about size when all these sorry-arse giants started being successful. Nevertheless, dat jive is gettin' ready to end with the end of the K-bros/docs' regimes.

There are some bad@$$, traditional size heavies a coming. Oh, yea, babeee! A change is a coming. And Clinton Jackson is getting out of prison soon and maybe will be training a bad-@$$, kickin'-sorry-@$$ giants' @sses. Holla!

tlig says:

Cunningham's getting pounded. It will be ugly.

Radam G says:

Tlig, my crystal ball of pugilistic punk @ss -- I mean whup@ss -- show what you say. "[Punkingham's] getting pounded. It will be ugly."

Why in da double fudge turkey jive did he leave the made-up syetweight of cruiserweight and go up to [big] heavyweight division anyway and come up with these big-man punk@ss excuses?

Dat Genie Naazim oughta tell him that if he cannot stands the heat of tally-and-fatty kitchen, then burn without hot. And that bulljive-excuse mouthing put into a cooking pot. Show us what you've got. Down with asking for another d@mn weight division we are not. Holla!

Radam G says:

Tlig, my crystal ball of pugilistic punk @ss -- I mean whup@ss -- show what you say. "[Punkingham's] getting pounded. It will be ugly."

Why in da double fudge turkey jive did he leave the made-up syetweight of cruiserweight and go up to [big] heavyweight division anyway and come up with these big-man punk@ss excuses?

Dat Genie Naazim oughta tell him that if he cannot stands the heat of tally-and-fatty kitchen, then burn without hot. And that bulljive-excuse mouthing put into a cooking pot. Show us what you've got. Down with asking for another d@mn weight division we are not. Holla!

Radam G says:

BTW, when the new coming heavies of 205lbs-to-220lbs start knocking out this giant-size-heavyweight lot of sorry-arses, the corrupted-@$$ powers that be will change to heavyweight limit to above 225lbs. See it is all about more sanctioning fees, big-man myth continuation and saving their arses from the BEATDOWN that is mental, not a size thing. Holla!

Radam G says:

I see it now: Cruiserweight above 175lbs to 200lbs; Super Cruiserweight above 200lbs to 225Ibs; and heavyweight fatties and tallies above 225lbs. Holla!

brownsugar says:

I keep hearing Marcianos name being mentioned... without a doubt the Brockton Slugger is one of the most charished and respected Icons of any sport. A humble gracious man outside of the ring... and a demon within the ring. Marciano was, is, and will always be one of the greats, but truthfull, how competitive could he have been in any weight class post 1965. His defense was to crouch low,.. sometimes below the knees, while dragging his right behind him before he threw his whole body behind it like a pitcher throwing a fast ball.

You can't hit a big fighter with those punches... given Marcianos limited mobility,.. he'd never get close enough to land the punch before getting cut to ribbons by the jab.

I'd go as far as say that Quarry, Cooney, a cruserweight Holyfield, and even the hard jabbing, bobbing, and weaving Dwight Muhammad Quawi would have had a field day with him.

If WK was natually 30lbs smaller, does anyone think David Haye wouldn't have knocked him out? Taken it a step further,.. would either Klitschko be champ if there were naturally 30lbs smaller than they are?
This doesn't detract from either boxers abilities in the ring... but when confronted by the scenario of a smaller Klitschko, it's hard to imagine them being the same dominating champions without the size.

just my two cents... now I graciously turn the fillabuster back over to Mr RG.

Radam G says:

David Haye could not have beaten Doc WK if the doctor was the size of all the 5-foot-10 inches whup-a$$ers -- Rocky Marciano, Smokin' Joe Frazier and Iron Mike Tyson. Haye is a hyped-up wuzzy. He could not beat a primed Chris Byrd or Chris's cousin Lamon Brewster. That sorry sucka could even beat a prime James Toney. Once again, it skills that pay the bills and give the W, not size. Holla!

Radam G says:

Things that cannot be are cheap. Especially when your don't know how easy someone is to beat. Holy is my boy. He knows that he would not have had an easy time with Rocky. True kick-@$$ boxers are not ¢ocky. Even the GOAT Ali said that Rocky M would be difficult for a fighter or any era. People who have never been in the squared jungle at the elite level don't know the sting. It ain't easy in that ring.

The late, great "Old Mongoose" Archie Moore can beat all those suckers named. But Rocky M set him on flame, and none of your named muthasucka had the Old Mongoose's game. No need for you to sound like Larry Holmes about Rocky M. Matter of fact, Larry so contrary just out of the hospital with diabetes and super-high blood pressure. Holla!

Radam G says:

WOW! Cunningham should change his name to Punkingjam. The dude is having a long, serious session of jammin' of bytch punking because of size. I've saw that, or heard of it in my LIFE! No Philly dude is scare of another because of size mythology.

I've seen the films of the days that the late, great Sonny "Night Train" Liston lived in Philly. James "Hurricane" Carter used to beat da hebejeebeez outta him. I've seen footage of the late, great "SuperBad" Benny Briscoe whuppin' heayweight arses in training session. At the WildCard, you can see smaller fighters toasting heavyweight arses all the time. And YUP -- The Roast -- "Rugrat Radam G" saw Clinton Jackson whup da holy snot outta the late, very good-and-skilled Michael "Dynamite" Dokes.

OMFG! May the USS Punkingjam -- I mean the USS Cunningham -- will be sunk by the Fists of Fury of Tyson Fury. Steve "USS" Cunningham should change his name to Eve and bite an apple and tell the great-and-poweer Genie Naazim to protect him from the devilish giant Tyson Fury, who wins fights because he is "BIG" and he huff and puff and blews a small man's whole @ss down. Hahahahahaha! Sorry, scary-arse Steve, but you are acting like a clown.

Stop the ahead-of-time excuse making. Fight or STFU! And Tyson Fury will beat you with skill. Not because he is as tall as Caranal Hill. Holla!

stormcentre says:

I keep hearing Marcianos name being mentioned... without a doubt the Brockton Slugger is one of the most charished and respected Icons of any sport. A humble gracious man outside of the ring... and a demon within the ring. Marciano was, is, and will always be one of the greats, but truthfull, how competitive could he have been in any weight class post 1965. His defense was to crouch low,.. sometimes below the knees, while dragging his right behind him before he threw his whole body behind it like a pitcher throwing a fast ball.

You can't hit a big fighter with those punches... given Marcianos limited mobility,.. he'd never get close enough to land the punch before getting cut to ribbons by the jab.

I'd go as far as say that Quarry, Cooney, a cruserweight Holyfield, and even the hard jabbing, bobbing, and weaving Dwight Muhammad Quawi would have had a field day with him.

If WK was natually 30lbs smaller, does anyone think David Haye wouldn't have knocked him out? Taken it a step further,.. would either Klitschko be champ if there were naturally 30lbs smaller than they are?
This doesn't detract from either boxers abilities in the ring... but when confronted by the scenario of a smaller Klitschko, it's hard to imagine them being the same dominating champions without the size.

just my two cents... now I graciously turn the fillabuster back over to Mr RG.



Yes (in my opinion) you're right on that BS. Marciano’s style had some serious limitations, but (as you say either explicitly or by omission) for the most part he worked around that.

I actually think the Toney that beat Holyfield would have a field day with Rocky; but then I have to be careful where and with whom I say that to, as Slugger has quite a few passionate fans - me included.

stormcentre says:

David Haye could not have beaten Doc WK if the doctor was the size of all the 5-foot-10 inches whup-a$$ers -- Rocky Marciano, Smokin' Joe Frazier and Iron Mike Tyson. Haye is a hyped-up wuzzy. He could not beat a primed Chris Byrd or Chris's cousin Lamon Brewster. That sorry sucka could even beat a prime James Toney. Once again, it skills that pay the bills and get the W, not size. Holla!h


Honesty blaze; sometimes you do confuse me RG, but mostly when that happens your posts make me smile or laugh. I don’t profess to always know (or have a clue) what you're talking about – but that’s cool and this is not criticism.

Forums need color and fun.

OK, that’s out of the way as a disclaimer in case I get what I thought you mean wrong. ☺

Haye is almost an oxygen thief in the world of premier class boxing champions in my opinion.

So I agree with your comments on him there. Haye’s self-promotion before the Klitscho fight (the Hitler send off video included) was enormously crass and indicative a of low intelligence mammal.

In fact, there are other perhaps even stronger indications of low level (if any) thinking to be found in Haye’s;

a) Seemingly uncontrolled fixation with his very own body and posting photos of it on various websites that he either has control over or not.

b) Total lack of embarrassment for the way he promoted his fight with Klitscho. I mean, in the very least, making strong Hitler and decapitation references, and explicitly claiming you were coming out in round 1 looking to exert extreme pressure and expose your opponent; then not even trying to meaningfully fight.

c) Existing low level thinking that can be observed when we hear Haye talk as if he hasn’t shamed himself and is a proven product.

And, as for his offerings and performance in the sport? Even if you do believe his broken toe theory, he redefined what being a hypocrite means for me and probably sets the benchmark for putting the greatest gap between what a fighter says (before a fight) and does within it.

I’d love to see someone knock the plaits out of his hair.

Radam G says:

C'mon, Storm! I'm like a storm. Sometimes you don't have a clue what it is going to do. You can only project a storm's behavior on what you know. And what you know will not always be what a storm will show.

Holla at the "limited" Marciano in three or four different types of opponents, and you will see the genius, just as in GOAT Ali and The boxing wiz Willie Pep. "Limited" great fighters know how to adapt and change. And they are so good at it, it gives inattention blindness to doubters and haters.

Marciano fought the Old Mongoose differently from the way he fought Jersey Joe Walcott. And Rocky fought Ez Charles differently from the way he fought the Brownbomber. GOAT Ali fought "Night Train" Liston differently from the way he fought Henry Cooper. The GOAT fought Ernie Terrell differently from the way he fought Big Cat Williams. Wisp-o-Wiz Willie Pep fought the fights the way he needed to win, even after a broken back.

Okay to my point, Marciano was undefeated against the best of the era and some of the greatest arse thrashers of all times. Quarry and Qawi would've gotten kayoed in one round by Rocky IMHO. Quarry couldn't take the punch and Qawi couldn't take the pressure.

What amazes me in this Universe, is that haters can say any dogsyet about undefeated or near-undefeated fighters from yesteryears, but if I post the the truth, and the whole truth, about Sugar Ray Robinson, they lose their d@mn minds. Because they have prejudice minds, not boxing (fighting with regulated boxing gloves on) minds.

Dwight Muhammad-Qawi could not beat Tommy Burns, Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, Bob FitzSimmon, Floyd Patterson or Joey Maxim, who kicked the arse of cow-blood poison Sugar Ray Robinson.

The game is "the threare of the unexpected." Always expect that from me. I see the game, not the boxers' fame. BTW, "limited" is a catchword for haters. A non-hater has cojones and will call a spade a spade because he is not agitating. It is flaws of Rocky -- not "limited." Even Jesus on earth had flaws. That is why those Romans got his @ss. And he didn't cry uncle. He cried 'WTF, Father Have Thou Forsaven Me?" Hehehe! Holla!

amayseng says:

I agree Radam.
I don't see Marciano as limited.
I see him as patient.
Using timing and stalking patiently
Through his fights.
He wasn't flashy.
He was a straight quiet killer !

stormcentre says:

C'mon, Storm! I'm like a storm. Sometimes you don't have a clue what it is going to do. You can only project a storm's behavior on what you know. And what you know will not always be what a storm will show.

Holla at the "limited" Marciano in three or four different types of opponents, and you will see the genius, just as in GOAT Ali and The boxing wiz Willie Pep. "Limited" great fighters know how to adapt and change. And they are so good at it, it gives inattention blindness to doubters and haters.

Marciano fought the Old Mongoose differently from the way he fought Jersey Joe Walcott. And Rocky fought Ez Charles differently from the way he fought the Brownbomber. GOAT Ali fought "Night Train" Liston differently from the way he fought Henry Cooper. The GOAT fought Ernie Terrell differently from the way he fought Big Cat Williams. Wisp-o-Wiz Willie Pep fought the fights the way he needed to win, even after a broken back.

Okay to my point, Marciano was undefeated against the best of the era and some of the greatest arse thrashers of all times. Quarry and Qawi would've gotten kayoed in one round by Rocky IMHO. Quarry couldn't take the punch and Qawi couldn't take the pressure.

What amazes me in this Universe, is that haters can say any dogsyet about undefeated or near-undefeated fighters from yesteryears, but if I post the the truth, and the whole truth, about Sugar Ray Robinson, they lose their d@mn minds. Because they have prejudice minds, not boxing (fighting with regulated boxing gloves on) minds.

Dwight Muhammad-Qawi could not beat Tommy Burns, Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, Bob FitzSimmon, Floyd Patterson or Joey Maxim, who kicked the arse of cow-blood poison Sugar Ray Robinson.

The game is "the threare of the unexpected." Always expect that from me. I see the game, not the boxers' fame. BTW, "limited" is a catchword for haters. A non-hater has cojones and will call a spade a spade because he is not agitating. It is flaws of Rocky -- not "limited." Even Jesus on earth had flaws. That is why those Romans got his @ss. And he didn't cry uncle. He cried 'WTF, Father Have Thou Forsaven Me?" Hehehe! Holla!



Hi There RG,

Thanks for your response.

I probably shouldn't have used the word "serious" with "limitations" when describing Marciano.

That was a mistake. Apologies. I was probably typing too quickly.

I really am a big fan of Rocky's as some of my earlier posts will attest to. What I probably meant to say was that he has "obvious (but not significant) limitations" when critically considered and with the benefit of hindsight and when also looking at some of the more recent fighters and their styles.

I should say also though, that in my view Rocky Marciano owes much of his legendary/iconic status to the fact that he was undefeated. However, it is commonly (if not widely) accepted that his competition was not quite the same as others, including those of his generation. For instance, I don't think Slugger fought anywhere near the level of formidable competition as Henry Armstrong, Duran, Toney, Tszyu, Willie Pep, Hagler, Pacquiao, Ali, and Sugar Ray Robinson.

Part of that was due to who was available at the time, but nevertheless it still is a consideration that many boxing historians have not entirely dismissed. I don't want to diminish Marciano's achievements though, as he was awesome.

However, in my view, if he had met competition like some of the others mentioned I believe some of the limitations of his style would have been revealed. Who knows, maybe he would have adjusted to that.

I may return and clarify more. But once again, apologies and yes you are correct to call me out on the point I have corrected.

Cheers.

Radam G says:

And I agree that Amayseng is spot on. And he made it easy for haters and posers to dig it. Rocky M was not about the flash, but he could and did whup-@ss slash. And made those @sses crash. Holla!

stormcentre says:

As far as the advantage of size is concerned (the real subject of this thread I believe) that’s an interesting subject.

I used to think that the bigger guys didn’t really have that much of an advantage at one stage of the game when I was competing. At that stage though, I was very fit, had good speed and not a bad punch and defence.

Like many of you here that have actually got in the ring and gloved up, there were also a few times when I did really well against ridiculously big and capable guys. One time comes to mind, and this is not an exaggeration, where I was opening a can of whip-azz on a super heavy.

I was a welterweight at the time. He was a nice guy and couldn’t get sparring partners.

I got over-confident, didn’t zig when I should’ve zagged, and he knocked me through the ropes.

It was all cool as we were friends, but it made me realize what would happen if I wasn’t fit and lost my athleticism and speed. Or if I wasn’t in peak shape.

So, at that time I came to the conclusion that big guys are (usually) slower, more open (in some cases) and rarely have good technique (eg; very few seem to throw straight punches that are meant to have the elbow in full extension, without it actually being to some extent in flexion or bent – therefore negating their power).

You get the picture.

Then one day I sparred a southpaw light heavyweight who could have easily been a heavyweight. He had a score to settle in light heavyweight, as he lost the state title the year before by a narrow margin to some guy that he wasn’t happy to forget about; so he was staying at light heavyweight.

This guy had actually been a junior middleweight and middleweight, and from those experiences – unlike many heavyweights – he knew how to put his feet under his punches and he knew how to throw combinations and vary power and speed. His technique was also very good.

He also didn’t gasp for breath between rounds either.

Boy, it was a completely different story and I soon had the notion (that I really didn’t doubt and supported) reinforced as to why there were different weight divisions.

Once the welterweight advantages (I usually had usually enjoyed over heavyweights) in speed, technique, fitness and others, were negated . . .. . . in simple terms and because (his southpaw style aside) we were similarly experienced, for the most (obvious) part it just came down to punch resistance and power.

And he had more of the latter due to his weight and good technique. And of course, competing at a high level quite frequently, he was used to being hit by fast/powerful light heavyweight fighters; which I was not.

The most obvious advantage I had then was speed, which was better than his. But, being the gym rat he was and whilst he wasn’t looking to eat shots, it also wasn’t like he was getting leaned on by someone his own size.

The conclusion I came to is, that many times size will not matter.

But if you have a light heavyweight or a heavyweight that has fast hands and a good technique, sure you can spar and learn from then.

However, if you're a boxer that campaigns under middleweight and you're also the type of guy that likes to go to boxing gyms looking to make a statement (which was not me); then choose someone else other than a light heavyweight or heavyweight with fast hands as your dance partner.

Unless you like the taste of your own blood.

This whole experience came to a head one day when I was at a gym that was involved in a cross-gym sparring session. You know the ones. One gym goes to the other, and then the other goes returns the favor.

What unfolds can sometimes be a greater level of intensity, ferocity and competition than an actual fight. And it’s not like there’s a referee there concerned about rules. ☺

I remember an Irish guy from, yep a gym called “Shamrock something”. (Unusual for an Irish boxing gym to have that word in its name isn’t it?)

This guy (let’s call him Shamrock) was a very good junior middleweight fighter whom had a reputation for sparring/fighting anyone and also hurting them and heavyweights; a bit like GGG but obviously not at that level. At the time we also had a very, very tough light heavyweight guy that had done way too much successful street fighting to make him a safe bet for anyone except guys similar to James Toney who could stay cool under big pressure.

Our guy was raw, but (and it was a big “but&#8221 he was undeterred when hit hard, he knew how to throw a jab, cross and hook, he was f'n fast, and these basic skills were all he had used to get him (in) and out of trouble for years.

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He had showed up at the gym with his parole/probation officer who said, “we need to find an outlet for this guy’s energy so he doesn’t re-offend”. After having a confidential discussion with the officer it became extremely clear that the translation was “this guy is a live wire that not only has fought all his life, but is also highly capable of and has seriously hurt quite a few people without any other weapons than those god gave him”.

At the time he had had 7 amateur fights where each one was more of a comical event than sport. Not in the least as during those occasions his (often vastly more experienced in boxing) opponents would come out of the traps thinking what was about to happen was (just) a boxing match.

No.

What really happened was destruction. For the most part they all got crunched and stopped.

By the time the person I am talking about was in his 5th fight the amateur organization was concerned and saying stuff like because he was training with professionals it might not be fair. Of course none of that meant anything, because the reality was that this guy hadn’t fought in a sporting sense before. So they allowed him to pass over the novice section (after he KO’d everyone there), intermediate (after he KO’d one guy there) and fight in open class; after about 5 fights.

You know when some guys just have their eye in and can see the openings, and capitalize; well this guy was like that. He used to shock the amateur referees.

At open class he won his 6th fight by KO, fighting a guy whom had more than 20 fights. That guy went to the canvass with his legs convulsing, his girlfriend screaming and in need of the doctor and oxygen.

I remember it vividly as I knew his screaming girlfriend and comforted her. Also, I had previously considered talking to her and her boyfriend to let them know that the guy they were about to fight shouldn’t be judged by his inexperienced amateur record, and that he was a real live dog.

But you know how it goes. Her boy had already told everyone who he was taking out; so the sting was already in.

Anyway after that this guy, obviously had a real hard time getting fights. It embarrassed the amateur organization as all the guys they had in mind to represent the state and go away to fight; were not willing to fight the guy from our gym who hadn’t even had 10 fights yet.

You know how even the amateurs are; word of who to look out for travels fast.

And the news that someone whom was still, officially, a novice boxer - had sent a competent open class fighter (with some good opponents and wins on his record) to the canvass with his legs convulsing, girlfriend screaming and the doctor running with oxygen mask and tank in hand; spread like wildfire.

By the time our guy had, his 7th (I think) fight they matched him with some import from Canada whom was travelling and wanted to keep fighting regularly for all the obvious reasons. The Canadian guy didn’t seem to care who he fought and was pretty good.

I can’t remember the numbers exactly, but I think the Canadian import had more then 40 fights under his belt. Anyway, the Canadian guy was experienced enough to move around and pick our guy off and make him reset all the time. As a result Mr. Canada won a close fight and one that on more than one occasion he tasted power he clearly didn’t want to get reacquainted with.

After that fight we learned that Mr. Canada had lost out in the Canadian finals for Olympic selection for either the LA or Seoul games. That kind of eased the pain of the loss for our guy.

Anyway being the good/experienced sport he was, the Canadian boxer decided to come over to us all after the fight. But humorously our guy still couldn’t be near or talk to Mr. Canada; as losing was personal, unfamiliar and too recent.

That in itself was a minor drama that our guy wrongly interpreted as a continuation of the boxing match.

But when the dust settled and it was resolved, we found out that all Mr. Canada wanted to tell us, and particularly his opponent (our guy) - the inexperienced light heavyweight guy in question – was that he believed he (our guy) would one day be an Olympic gold medalist.

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So with that loss on our guy’s record and him seemingly exposed when in with experienced guys that move and force him to reset; Shamrock must have decided he was going to make a statement.

I have never seen anyone do this before, and at the time I assumed Shamrock must have been Jesus Christ reincarnated as a boxer - or someone with similar skills. I say that because I simply couldn’t imagine anyone walking into a boxing gym - particularly the one I was at, at the time – the way Shamrock did and saying what he did, unless you were very good (or David Haye).

Our gym was one that was in a basement; so you couldn’t enter without being seen, even before you transcended down the stairs.

So, leading the other gym’s fighters whom had all decided to be a part of the above-mentioned cross-gym sparring session; was Shamrock.

Down the stairs he walked, ahead of the coach and trainers of the club he represented, and ahead of all the other boxers too. As he walked down he smiled and said in a cocky gypsy tone “I here ya got all de best boys ere, lets have em out an gloved up then”.

At that time I knew it was going to be war. As well all had a healthy pride and were not about to be embarrassed in our own club.

Shamrock continued; “ey, what about dat big fast light heavy dat no-one wants. Bring im to me”.

I will never forget the sideways glances we all took to each other as Shamrock said this.

Unfortunately our guy wasn’t there at the time and as a result Shamrock had a verbal field day. He pulled out all his best Celtic jokes that in one way or another mocked our guy’s absence and attributed it to fear and Shamrock’s attendance.

In an effort to retain an element of sport to the event; both trainers insisted that everybody hit the bag lightly, and warm up first - despite the fact that we all wanted to get straight down to business.

Shamrock then went over to the gym’s stereo and put on an early UK Digweed and Sasha renaissance dance album that he had brought to train to (remember it was our gym). Some of our gym members at the time said that after he did that they heard him talking to other Shamrock gym members, as they all hit the bags, telling them that the music he put on is his favorite music for smacking heads to.

They say life is art and boxing is the theatre of the unexpected, and the timing of how all that follows unfolded couldn’t have been better.

Hitting the bag finished and everyone was told to glove up. Back then Velcro gloves weren't in abundance and more than a few of us struggled with the laces out of anxiety and anticipation.

It was clear someone was going to get hurt; as even the gym owners were unusually separated and staying in their own sections of the gym – like the boxers. Plus no one was telling Shamrock to stop running his mouth and what was coming out of it ensured that any chances of varying punching power for the purposes of learning and sportsmanship, went out the window.

After our guy fought the above-mentioned Canadian guy (whom we were advised narrowly lost in Olympic selection trials within his own country) and put in such a good effort – particularly considering the experience deficit; our guy was in the local paper for the effort.

A few weeks prior Shamrock had been interviewed by the same reporter, and featured in the same paper for similar boxing reasons.

“Looks like ya light heavyweight star has run away – like a rat up a drain pipe”; Shamrock said.

We all didn’t know what to say, as usually Shamrock was at the gym by 4.30pm.

“Well fear ill do dat to a man, make em do strange fings”; Shamrock said as his gym mates erupted in laughter.

Just as two other feather or light(er)weight guys were about to step into the ring (one from each gym) to kick the sparring session off; the spar had to be delayed - as our gym owner was unexpectedly called up the stairs and outside by a police officer.

It caught everyone’s attention and Shamrock used the opportunity to self promote, laugh, and run his mouth off even more about his abilities.

He started to tell us all of what he believed was a plausible explanation for what just happened, that which we saw, and why the officer was present.

Shamrock’s view was that, perhaps the (imaginary) news that he was jumping up a few weight divisions - to light heavyweight – had got out and struck the fear of god himself into our light heavyweight guy - so much so that he had a heart attack.

And, according to Shamrock’s world, it was actually the news of that event that had called the gym owner to leave the gym momentarily and talk to ambulance and police officers.

Shamrock and his merry men’s confident laughter at that thought echoed way above “perfect motion” which was not a bad UK dance/trance song to listen and train to; I had thought at the time.

At the same time that Shamrock was living with and laughing to his own jokes, down the stairs walked our guy with grazes over his forearms and skin of his knuckles.

It didn’t take him too long to work out what Shamrock’s laughter was about, and even if he didn’t have it understood as he came down the steps; the discussion with us as we helped him glove up clarified the matter.

What had happened, or so we were told, was that our guy had violated his probation/parole conditions - but had actually tried to avoid the fight that caused that violation. Even his parole/probation officer seemed to believe the story and that, even though our guy would be in court again in the near future for causing grievous bodily harm to someone; his actions were in self defence.

We had wondered what happened and how his parole/probation and the police officer both seemed to be on his side and confident that he would not be dealt with too harshly; particularly considering his record (of not seeking mediation or legal assistance to sort out his problems; if you know what I mean) was literally pages and pages in length.

What we found out later was that apparently our guy had busted up several patch riding biker guys that day whom made comments about the color of his skin and started the whole incident by placing their boot in the lower section of his back, trying to eject him from a public place for and also degrading him; for the purposes of humor amongst themselves. It was all captured on CCTV.

If ever there was a bad move to make with our guy; I reckon treating him like that – regardless of his color - would surely be one of them.

Another would be to do exactly what Shamrock was doing.

Since our guy went straight to his parole/probation officer after the event to report what happened – as he was obliged to do. And since his parole/probation officer then went to the police station to report the event – as they were also obliged to do too; it was perhaps not difficult to understand why they all escorted him to where he was meant to go.

And that was because the boxing gym was not only a part of his parole/probation conditions, but also because it was a part of the police and youth centre also.

Additionally, so the story goes, when statements were taken from our guy and his probation officer, there were not only a few police officers present there that knew what was scheduled at our boxing gym that day – but they were also seriously looking forward to it and perhaps – even more importantly – they knew what this entire experience would mean for what they would see.

It was no secret that our guy was violent. And if there were any doubt about that, what the police officers at the station knew had happened to the bikers – whom themselves had been the subject of many police call-outs related to fights they had caused and won (fairly or not) – would have left no doubt in their mind that our guy was both capable and ready for the events scheduled that day at the gym.

Additionally, most local offices liked the changes they saw in our guy since he had been released and was on probation. They knew him previously, from when he regularly featured in their violence related call-outs. Furthermore, many of them, particularly those that worked at the police and youth club, had thought he had enormous potential as a boxer, especially if he could channel his aggression into the sport and stay out of trouble/jail. Finally, his above-mentioned feature in the local paper covering how he was finally turning his life around was a genuine story that touched everyone (police included) as much as it motivated our guy to stay clean and out of trouble.

For the most part and notwithstanding the paper’s above-mentioned feature on our guy (that didn’t really reveal his extra curricular activities that involved fighting and police call-outs); Shamrock knew nothing of this side of our guy.

However, the sight of our guy coming down the stairs with the trademark skin off knuckles, forearm grazes, facial abrasions, and confidence; that is almost always representative of a serious but successful street fight – all as various figures in police uniforms huddled around the boxing gym’s entrance; was a sober enough introduction to make Shamrock stop running his mouth and catch his breath.

It was almost Hollywood movie-esque; the timing and imagery of it all.

We later found out that the police escort was, to a large extent, more of an excuse for the officers to watch the gym session and how much it would be amplified as a result of what had happened earlier that day for our guy; than anything else.

So, there we all were.

Our guy was gloved up and informed of what Shamrock had said whilst he was away dealing with official matters; even though that wasn’t necessary because he had heard what Shamrock was saying both when he was outside the gym and as he came down the stairs. Our guy now had an outlet for his legal concerns, and the enemy within was in distance, and seemingly ready. And, unlike the day’s preceding events, whatever violence was about to unfold, was all legal.

Shamrock’s role in the surreal movie-like situation was cast as perfectly as he was seemingly ready too. He had all but filled the gym and his gym-mate’s heads up with; utter rubbish, his self-beliefs on why our guy wasn’t present, and a seemingly never ending verbal diatribe that guaranteed something serious was about to happen as much as it served to reveal his insecurity and need for attention.

Now our guy was there, Shamrock was quiet. His friends sensed the change as much as we all could hear the music clearly now, and it was time for Shamrock to deliver on all that gospel preaching.

Our guy went over, took Shamrock’s music out of the player and walked over to Shamrock’s gym bag and placed the CD on it, and said nothing.

It gave Shamrock a good view of how scratched up and deep our guy was.

The featherweight guys didn’t get to start the session off. Besides they had gone cold now.

Our guy got in the ring without anyone or the gym owner directing him too. He began stretching on the corner ropes like most guys do.

Everyone looked to Shamrock. He was gloved up, not entirely unready to go; but noticeably quieter and less motivated than before.

There was an eminent feeling amongst everyone that something heavy was about to go down. By the time our guy was in the ring, we had all heard the whispers that our guy was in trouble with the police and had put 2 bikers in hospital, and that’s why he was late and scarred up.

You couldn’t help but think if there was a more perfect way for a guy like ours to have prepared for the spar – his gym entrance included.

Likewise, you couldn’t help but wonder how Shamrock felt looking at him, particularly as they touched gloves for round one. As Shamrock surely saw and knew that our guy - the same one he had just ridiculed - had just been escorted to the gym by the police for doing something obviously wrong, and that his face, hands, arms and present willingness to still train/fight; told a grim tale of a guy that was deep and serious.

The fact that the police stayed to watch could have easily been misinterpreted by Shamrock to mean our guy was on prison leave or something like that.

It was beautiful the way the imagery of it all worked out and unfolded.

Round one served to reinforce to Shamrock that he couldn’t hurt our guy even if he landed, and that that didn’t apply for our guy. Once that was established there was little Shamrock could do of value, not in the least because the way his mouth had run off before they climbed into the ring meant this session was not going to involve a lot of ducking and weaving.

No, Shamrock’s actions, mouth and antics before our guy arrived had got himself into the kind of fight that was far too serious for that.

Now during the first round’s minute break Shamrock not only had to deal with the fact that it was obvious to all that there was a serious power deficit (not incomparable to the difference between each guy’s ability to talk) that our guy had not yet fully played to his advantage – but he also surely must have felt the termites of doubt run through his brain as much as our glances weighed heavy on him and unmistakably asked; “will this be the most significant example of why you don’t run your mouth off as you walk into someone else’s boxing gym”.

Round two commenced with Shamrock using as much speed as possible, but it was to no avail as our guy wasn’t afraid or slow himself, and he was timing Shamrock beautifully with extremely hard shots. Watching GGG take out Rosado actually reminded me of this second round all those years ago.

First Shamrock’s ear started to bleed (with head gear on). Then his nose - then his lip.

During the second round’s minute break Shamrock had to ensure the embarrassment of his trainer asking him if he wanted to continue; in front of their competing gym members and us.

Such experiences are not forgotten easily; as this post stands testimony to.

One can only imagine how Shamrock felt having his trainer ask that, particularly after all Shamrock had said when our guy was running late.

“No, I can go on”, Shamrock said.

After hearing that, I am sure I was not the only one present that must have had a four-leaf clover tucked away down in his groin shield. One thing is for sure, Shamrock would certainly need it.

The 3rd round was a massacre, as Shamrock couldn’t maintain his speed advantage; so now his speed was on par with our guy’s speed.

What was left was the greater power and punch resistance of our guy. And of course the fact that he had heard Shamrock’s jokes and theories before the training session (and even that day); so it was all a long time coming, and now here he was in front of him starting to tire and hurt, and even Shamrock knew that our guy’s power hadn’t yet been exploited fully by its owner.

And as the power came in, Shamrock’s confidence, punch resistance and chances of saving his reputation left town without a forwarding address. Lead right hands rained over Shamrock’s jab, some chased Shamrock’s jab back to their home after they embarrassingly fell short of their mark, and other right hands just smashed their way through and landed in the most disrespectful manner anyway – regardless of whether Shamrock was throwing or not. Meanwhile the light heavyweight power had Shamrock stumbling, so rather than head-hunt our guy went for the body to keep the Shamrock hurt, tired and vulnerable.

The tactic prolonged the pain and lesson and kept Shamrock up there looking like a hypocritical mess in front of his friends for much longer than they would have though possible. There was still half the round to go by the time Shamrock had started to come undone like this.

Fast jabs delivered at will by our guy confirmed that Shamrock could be hit anytime. But then just as it looked like it should be stopped our guy would walk in with his hands up, not throwing, to let the Shamrock back into the fight; so he could seemingly save face.

It was a clever ploy designed to prevent the session from prematurely ending, and to also take Shamrock past the point of exhaustion.

30 seconds to go in round three (and it was clear there would be no round four) and we have Shamrock rocking back on his heels like a rocking horse, only to rock back forward again to regain balance but also come right into and collect full power right crosses and uppercuts.

Hooks followed.

So did the knockdown.

I never heard of Shamrock after that session and I bet he never tells the story exactly as it unfolded (if at all) as much as he, today, avoids anyone in that gym.

I also reckon, but can’t confirm, that Shamrock never shoots his mouth off like that anymore, as well.

No-one else sparred that day, and the Shamrock gym packed up and left immediately after they helped Mr. Shamrock through the ropes, down and out of the ring. He was not able to get out himself out and, embarrassingly, needed help up the stairs.

I actually think that Shamrock may have even stopped boxing after that. It was a long time ago so I can’t be sure of that.

These above experiences involving a lighter weight boxer and a heavier one - including those involving me too - have taught me that (in boxing) size doesn’t always matter.

However, what I have personally learned also is that usually when size doesn’t matter - things between both the smaller and larger guys are not always equal. In other words in those instances when size doesn’t matter usually there is a significant advantage for the smaller guy, and usually that advantage is in the skills, speed and/or stamina department; manifesting itself as the larger guy being unable to land his debilitating power shots.

What I have learnt also is that when size doesn’t matter it’s usually because the significant advantage for the smaller guy is not present anymore, and therefore the larger guy’s own skills, speed and/or stamina equals up the playing field; resulting in the larger guy being able to land his power shots.

In short if there was a middleweight Henry Armstrong (or SRR) and he fought a heavyweight Henry Armstrong (which is the only way to really compare) then the heavyweight would win most times.

However, that’s not how it works in real life.

Usually, heavier guys, in my opinion, are not always as athletic, fit, combination punching and/or fast. And that presents advantages for a lighter guy (unafraid of getting caught and/or hit hard), and heavyweights with fast hands and feet.

In my experience and opinion, (all other things being reasonably equal) the heavier guys with fast hands and feet are the ones to look out for, and they are the ones where size will have a greater chance of mattering.

In fact, in some cases, even if the heavier guy’s hands are not quite as fast as a lighter guy’s (but still faster than the average heavy guy); the heavier guy will still usually be able to dish out and land some serious power and punches, and also find that punch-resistance deficit between the lighter and heavier guy; if it exists.

I believe this is so for numerous reasons, but mostly because heavyweights don’t train for speed as much as they do power, and also because they see weight as an advantage more than speed, and they may have become heavyweights by moving up divisions and therefore putting on weight.

ali says:

It all depends on how u use your height. If your shorter and knows how to get on the inside then u have a great chance at winningthe fight. If your taller and can keep a guy on the outside chances are your going to won't plain and simple. Of course there's some intangibles like how well does a guy take a punch what kind of condition there in ect.

stormcentre says:

I think it also depends how much size difference we’re talking too.

Across one or two weight divisions, and particularly where/if one guy had to starve down or increase weight; speed (and other advantages of being smaller) can overcome and the typical advantages of being bigger.

Radam G says:

Storm, you wrote up a long storm of whup@ss saying what all pugilistic gamers know: It is not size that wins, it is skills, talent and determination. And 75 percent of the time a newly big @ss is whipped because he is the only believer of a size myth.

Fighters that start boxing early like Tyson Fury, the Klit bros/docs and Lennex Lewis know that Steve "USS" Cunningham is a sunken battleship full of syet. His frighten-of-big-men arse didn't start boxing until he was 19 years old in the U.S. Navy.

If the scary-cat would've started at 11, 12, 13, or 14, you'd not hear that dumb-@ss make-believe about weak-arse Golliaths and Blunderbores.

"The Bigger they are, the harder they fall." The smaller they are, they seem to have it all. Gut check, babeee! Pug a "I-can-whip-your-@ss-because-of-my-size" giant, and that bytch folds like a winkled blanket. Holla!

Radam G says:

A flyweight named Bobby Lee Hunter used to beat the holy hebejeebeez outta the late, very good Ron Lyle. Flyweight Harold "Little Man" Petty used to have Hall of Fame sparring session with welterweight Donald Curry. Iron Mike Tyson's could not find my little arse in dat squared jungle.

Even boxing sideliners know what time it is. The cyberspace know nothings and punk@ss Steve "USS" Cunningham make biggies, tallies and fatties into human kick@ss crushers. Wow! D@mn believers work my last nerve. Holla!

Radam G says:

The next arguement will be the myth that no woman can kick a man's arse. Holla!

deepwater says:

As far as the advantage of size is concerned (the real subject of this thread I believe) that’s an interesting subject.

I used to think that the bigger guys didn’t really have that much of an advantage at one stage of the game when I was competing. At that stage though, I was very fit, had good speed and not a bad punch and defence.

Like many of you here that have actually got in the ring and gloved up, there were also a few times when I did really well against ridiculously big and capable guys. One time comes to mind, and this is not an exaggeration, where I was opening a can of whip-azz on a super heavy.

I was a welterweight at the time. He was a nice guy and couldn’t get sparring partners.

I got over-confident, didn’t zig when I should’ve zagged, and he knocked me through the ropes.

It was all cool as we were friends, but it made me realize what would happen if I wasn’t fit and lost my athleticism and speed.

Or if I wasn’t in peak shape.

So, at that time I came to the conclusion that because big guys are (usually) slower, more open (in some cases) and rarely have good technique (eg; very few seem to throw straight punches that are meant to have the elbow in full extension, without it actually being to some extent in flexion or bent – therefore negating their power); but if you get hit hard you're still in trouble.

You get the picture.

Then one day I sparred a southpaw light heavyweight who could have easily been a heavyweight. He had a score to settle in light heavyweight, as he lost the state title the year before by a narrow margin to some guy that he wasn’t happy to forget about; so he was staying at light heavyweight.

This guy had actually been a junior middleweight and middleweight, and from those experiences – unlike many heavyweights – he knew how to put his feet under his punches and he knew how to throw combinations and vary power and speed. His technique was also very good.

He also didn’t gasp for breath between rounds either.

Boy, it was a completely different story and I soon had the notion (one that I really didn’t doubt and also did already support) reinforced as to why there were different weight divisions.

Once the welterweight advantages (I usually had usually enjoyed over heavyweights) in speed, technique, fitness and others, were negated; in simple terms and because (his southpaw style aside) we were similarly experienced, for the most (obvious) part it just came down to punch resistance and power.

And he had more of the latter due to his weight and good technique, and of course, with him competing at a high level/weight quite frequently he was used to being hit by fast/powerful light heavyweight fighters; which I was not.

The most obvious advantage I had then was speed, which was better than his. But, being the gym rat he was, and whilst he wasn’t looking to eat shots; it also wasn’t like he was getting leaned on hard by someone his own size either.

The conclusion I came to is, that many times size will not matter.

But if you have a light heavyweight or a heavyweight that has fast hands/feet, likes to throw, and he has a good technique also; sure you can spar and learn from them; but if they step it up - you sure will know that size does matter.

So, if you're a boxer that campaigns under middleweight and you're also the type of guy that likes to go to boxing gyms looking to make a statement (which was not me); then choose someone else other than a light heavyweight or heavyweight with fast hands/feet, as your dance partner.

That is unless you like being embarrassed and the taste of your own blood.

This whole experience came to a head one day when I was at a gym that was involved in that was holding a cross-gym sparring session. You know the ones. One gym goes to the other, and then the other goes and returns the favor a week or so later.

What unfolds can sometimes be a greater level of intensity, ferocity and competition than an actual fight. And it’s not like there’s a referee there concerned about rules. ☺

I remember an Irish guy from, yep a gym called, “Shamrock something”. (Unusual for an Irish boxing gym to have that word in its name isn’t it?)

This guy (let’s call him Shamrock) was a very good junior middleweight fighter whom had a reputation for sparring/fighting anyone and also hurting them and heavyweights; a bit like GGG but obviously not at that level.

At the time we also had a very, very tough light heavyweight guy that had done way too much successful street fighting to make him a safe bet for anyone; except guys similar to James Toney who could stay cool under big pressure and not get fatigued from throwing punches.

Our guy was raw, but (and it was a big “but”) he was undeterred when hit hard, he knew how to throw a jab, cross and hook, he was F'n fast. And these basic skills were all he had used to get him (in) and out of trouble for years.

He was a pretty good-looking guy who grew up on a farm with a father who was a boxer, but he never competitively boxed himself until he came to our gym. So, we knew that he had earned his stripes, not as a messy brawler, but more as a basic boxer.

We also knew that with his appearance still in-tact, and with all the charges and bare-knuckle fights he had; that spoke loudly.

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We met him when he had showed up at the gym one day with his parole/probation officer, who said, “we need to find an outlet for this guy’s energy so he doesn’t re-offend”. After having a confidential discussion with the officer it became extremely clear that the translation was “this guy is a live wire that not only has fought all his life, but is also highly capable of and has seriously hurt quite a few people without any other weapons other than those god gave him”.

He ended up having about 7 amateur fights with us. However, most of these bouts were more of a comical event than sport. Not in the least as during those occasions his (often vastly more experienced in boxing) opponents would come out of the traps thinking what was about to happen was (just) a boxing match, and that they had the advantage due to our guy’s inexperience with gloves on.

No. They were wrong.

What really happened was destruction. For the most part they all got crunched and stopped.

By the time the person I am talking about was in his 5th fight, the amateur organization involved was concerned with how he was knocking guys out, and saying stuff like because he was training with professionals it might not be fair. Of course none of that meant anything, because the reality was that this guy hadn’t fought in a sporting or boxing sense before. So the amateur organization reluctantly allowed him to continue and pass over the novice competition class (after he KO’d everyone there) - pass over the intermediate competition class (after he KO’d one guy there), and fight in open class; after about 5 fights.

You know when some guys just have their eye in and can see the openings, and capitalize; well this guy was like that. He used to shock and horrify the amateur referees during novice and intermediate classes.

At open class he won his 6th fight by KO, fighting a guy whom had more than 20 fights. That guy went to the canvass with his legs convulsing, his girlfriend screaming and in need of the doctor and oxygen.

I remember it vividly as I knew his screaming girlfriend and comforted her.

I had previously considered talking to her and her boyfriend to let them know that the guy they were about to fight shouldn’t be judged by his inexperienced amateur record, and that he was a real live dog.

But you know how it goes. Her boy at the time had already told everyone who he was intending taking out before I had a chance; so the sting was already in without him even knowing it.

Anyway after that, this guy obviously had a real hard time getting fights. It embarrassed the amateur organization, as all the guys they had in mind to represent the state and go away to fight on their behalf were not willing to fight the guy from our gym who hadn’t even had 10 fights yet.

You know how even the amateurs are; word of who to look out for, travels fast.

And the news that someone whom was still, officially, a novice boxer - had sent a competent open class fighter (with some good opponents and wins on his record) to the canvass, with his legs convulsing, girlfriend screaming and the doctor running with oxygen mask and tank, in hand; spread like wildfire.

By the time our guy had, his 7th (I think) fight they matched him with some import from Canada whom was travelling and wanted to keep fighting regularly for all the obvious reasons. The Canadian guy didn’t seem to care who he fought and was pretty good.

I can’t remember the numbers exactly, but I think the Canadian import had more then 40 fights under his belt. Anyway, the Canadian guy was experienced enough to move around and pick our guy off and make him reset all the time. As a result “Mr. Canada” won a close fight and one that on more than one occasion he tasted power that he clearly didn’t want to get reacquainted with.

After that fight we learned that Mr. Canada had lost out in the Canadian finals for Olympic selection for either the LA or Seoul games. That kind of eased the pain of the loss for our guy.

Anyway being the good/experienced sport he was, the Canadian boxer decided to come over to us all after the fight. But (humorously or otherwise) our guy still couldn’t be near or talk to Mr. Canada; as losing was personal, unfamiliar and too recent for him.

Aside from that the whole notion of being friends with someone that just beat you (or you beat) was still so new to our guy that the Canadian’s goodwill and sportsman like gesture in itself unintentionally caused a minor drama such that our guy wrongly interpreted it as a continuation of the boxing match.

Such is life.

But when the dust settled and it was resolved, we found out that all Mr. Canada wanted to tell us, and particularly his opponent (our guy) - the inexperienced light heavyweight guy in question – was that he believed he (our guy) would one day be an Olympic gold medalist.

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So with that loss on our guy’s record and him seemingly exposed when in with experienced guys that moved and forced him to reset; Shamrock must have decided he was going to make a statement with a sure mark, and show how size didn’t matter.

I have never seen anyone do this before, and at the time I assumed Shamrock must have been Jesus Christ reincarnated as a boxer - or someone with similar skills. I say that because I simply couldn’t imagine anyone walking into a boxing gym - particularly the one I was at, at the time – the way Shamrock did and say what he did; unless you were very good (or David Haye).

Our gym was one that was in a basement under business offices, so you couldn’t enter the gym without being seen, even before you transcended down the noisy stairs.

So, leading the other gym’s fighters whom had all decided to be a part of the above-mentioned cross-gym sparring session; was Shamrock.

Down the stairs he walked, ahead of the coach and trainers of the club that he represented, and ahead of all the other boxers too. He wanted to be first. As he walked down he smiled and said in a very cocky gypsy like tone “I hear ya got all de best boys ere, well lets have em out an gloved up then, quick n sharp”.

At that time and as soon as I heard that, I knew it was going to be war and that someone would be hurt.

Not in the least as well all (like most boxers) had a healthy pride then, and were not about to be embarrassed - particularly in our own club.

Shamrock continued; “I, what about de big fast light heavy dat no-one wants. Bring im to me”.

I will never forget the sideways glances we all took across to each other, as Shamrock said this. And even today, I have never seen someone do this again.

Unfortunately our guy wasn’t there at the time Shamrock did all this and as a result Shamrock had a field day with it. He pulled out all his best Celtic jokes that in one way or another mocked our guy’s absence and attributed it to fear and Shamrock’s attendance.

In an effort to retain an element of sport to the event and stop Shamrock’s mouth from agitating; both trainers insisted that everybody hit the bag lightly, and warm up first - despite the fact that we all wanted to get straight down to business.

Shamrock then went over to the gym’s stereo and put on an early UK Digweed and Sasha renaissance dance album that he had brought to train to (remember it was our gym). Some of our gym members at the time said that after he did that they heard him talking to other Shamrock gym members, as he and they all hit the bags, telling them that the music he put on is his favorite music for smacking heads to.

So the scene was well and truly set.

They say life is art and that boxing is truly the theatre of the unexpected. If so, then the timing of how all that followed Shamrock’s arrival, simply couldn’t have been better if it was screen written for Hollywood.

Hitting the bag finished and everyone was told to glove up. Back then Velcro gloves weren't in abundance and more than a few of us struggled with the laces out of anxiety and anticipation.

It was clear someone was going to get hurt; as even the gym owners were unusually separated and staying in their own sections of the gym – like the boxers. Plus once Shamrock had started up again there was no one telling him to stop running his mouth, and what was coming out of it ensured that any chances of varying punching power for the purposes of learning and sportsmanship; went right out the window.

But it was our man that fought the Canadian guy that Shamrock wanted.

You see, after our guy fought the above-mentioned Canadian guy (whom we were advised narrowly lost in Olympic selection trials within his own country) and put in such a good effort – particularly considering the experience deficit; our guy was in the local paper for the effort.

And a few weeks prior to that Shamrock had been interviewed by the same reporter, and featured in the same paper for similar boxing reasons. So there was some jealousy there.

“Looks like ya light heavyweight star has run away – like a rat up a drain pipe”; Shamrock said, as he mockingly put his hand up to his face pretending to look high and low.

We all didn’t know what to say, as usually our man was in the gym by 4.30pm.

“Well fear ill do dat to a man, make em do strange fings”; Shamrock said, as his gym mates erupted in laughter like back bench politician laughing regardless of the joke’s appropriateness and quality.

Just as two other feather or light(er)weight guys were about to step into the ring (one from each gym) to kick the sparring session off; the spar had to be delayed - as our gym owner was unexpectedly called up the stairs and outside by a police and other officer.

It caught everyone’s attention and Shamrock used the opportunity to self promote at an even higher pitch and volume, laugh more, and run his mouth off even more still about his abilities.

He started to tell us all of what he believed was a plausible explanation for what just happened, that which we saw, and why the officers were present.

Shamrock’s view was that, perhaps the (imaginary) news that he was jumping up a few weight divisions - to light heavyweight – had got out and struck the fear of god himself into our light heavyweight guy - so much so that he had a heart attack. And, according to Shamrock’s world, it was actually the news of that fearful event that had called the gym owner to leave the gym momentarily and talk to ambulance and police officers.

Shamrock and his merry men’s confident laughter at that thought echoed way above “perfect motion” which I had thought at the time was not a bad UK dance/trance song to listen and train to – it was the best thing about Shamrock being there, as it was his music.

At the same time that we were all paused wondering what outside matters detained the gym owner and sparring session, and as Shamrock was laughing to his own jokes; down the stairs walked our guy with grazes over his forearms and skin off his knuckles.

It didn’t take him too long to work out what Shamrock’s laughter was about, and even if he didn’t have it understood as he came down the steps the discussion with us as we helped him glove up perfectly clarified the matter and what was going down.

What had happened and all the commotion outside was about, or so we were told, was that our guy had violated his probation/parole conditions by getting into a fight - but in the act of doing that he had actually tried to avoid the fight that caused that violation. Even his parole/probation officer seemed to believe the story and that, even though our guy would be in court again in the near future for causing grievous bodily harm to someone else; his actions that day that detained him were in self-defence.

We had wondered what happened and how his parole/probation and the police officer both seemed to be on his side and confident that he would not be dealt with too harshly; particularly considering his record (of not seeking mediation or legal assistance to sort out his problems; if you know what I mean) was literally pages and pages in length.

What we found out later was that apparently our guy had busted up several patch riding biker guys that day whom made comments about the color of his skin and had started the whole incident by placing their boot in the lower section of his back, and both trying to eject him from a public place, and also degrade him, for the purposes of humor amongst themselves.

It was all captured on CCTV. Including the fate of the motorcyclists whom may have fared better had they both had a head on with the SUV.

If ever there was a bad move to make with our guy; I reckon treating him like that – regardless of his color - would surely be one of them.

Another would be to do exactly what Shamrock was doing; whether our guy had just experienced what happened or not.

Since our guy went straight to his parole/probation officer after the event to report what happened – as he was obliged to do. And since his parole/probation officer then went to the police station to report the event – as they were also obliged to do too; it was perhaps not difficult to understand why they all escorted him to where he was meant to go, and why he was late.

And that was because the boxing gym was not only a part of his parole/probation conditions, but also because it was a part of the police and youth centre also.

Additionally, so the story goes, when statements were taken from our guy and his probation officer, there were not only a few police officers present there that knew what was scheduled at our boxing gym that day – but they were also seriously looking forward to it and perhaps – even more importantly – they knew what this entire experience would mean for what they would see if they attended.

It was no secret that our guy was violent. And if there were any doubt about that, what the police officers at the station knew had happened to the bikers that day (whom themselves had been the subject of many police call-outs related to fights they had caused and won (fairly or not)) would have left no doubt in their mind that our guy was both capable and ready for the events scheduled that day at ours and their gym.

Additionally, most local offices liked the changes they saw in our guy since he had been released, was on probation, and had been dedicated at the gym. They had known him previously, from when he regularly featured in their violence related and other call-outs, and they were happy to see someone change their life around.

Furthermore, many of them, particularly those that worked at the police and youth club, had thought our guy had enormous potential as a boxer - especially if he could channel his aggression into the sport and stay out of trouble/jail. Finally, his above-mentioned feature in the local paper covering how he was finally turning his life around was a genuine story that touched most people in the hood (police included), as much as it motivated our guy to stay clean and out of trouble.

For the most part and notwithstanding the paper’s above-mentioned feature on our guy (that didn’t really reveal his extra curricular activities involving fighting and police call-outs); Shamrock knew nothing of this side of our guy.

To Shamrock our guy was some trumped up light heavyweight that had fought a selection of hand picked opponents; whom he was going to show that size doesn’t matter.

However, the sight of our guy coming down the stairs with the trademark skin off knuckles, forearm grazes, facial abrasions, and confidence; that is almost always representative of a serious but successful street fight – all as various figures in police and other uniforms huddled around the boxing gym’s entrance; was a sober enough introduction to make even Shamrock stop running his mouth and catch his breath.

It was almost Hollywood movie-esque; the timing and imagery of it all; seeing our guy show up late with police in tow, still up for a thrash despite obviously being in a serious fight, and watching him walking down the steps looking like someone on a murderous mission.

We later found out that the police escort was, to a large extent, more of an excuse for the officers to watch the gym session and how much it would be amplified as a result of what had happened earlier that day for our guy; than anything else.

So, there we all were.

Our guy was gloved up and informed of what Shamrock had said whilst he was away dealing with official matters; even though that wasn’t necessary because he had heard what Shamrock was saying both when he was outside the gym and as he came down the stairs. Our guy now had an outlet for his newly formed legal and other concerns, that outlet and the enemy where one and the same, and it was within distance, seemingly ready and called Shamrock.

Furthermore, unlike the day’s preceding events, whatever violence was about to unfold; was completely legal.

Shamrock’s role in the surreal movie-like situation was cast as perfectly as he was seemingly ready too. He had all but filled the gym and his gym-mate’s heads up with; utter rubbish, his self-beliefs on why our guy wasn’t present, and a seemingly never ending verbal diatribe that guaranteed something serious was about to happen as much as it served to reveal his insecurity and need for attention.

Now our guy had arrived. So he obviously wasn’t scared, and Shamrock was quiet.

Shamrock’s friends sensed the change as much as we all could hear the music clearly now that Shamrock was quiet.

It was time for Shamrock to deliver on all that gospel preaching. Time to see if size, or talk, mattered.

Our guy went over, took Shamrock’s music out of the player and then walked over to Shamrock’s gym bag and gently placed the CD on it. As he did that, he said nothing.

It gave Shamrock a good view of how scratched up, confident and deep our guy was.

The featherweight guys didn’t get to start the session off; there was no point now. Besides they had gone cold anyway and, like us, were happy to be spectators now that all the required parties were in the house.

Our guy got in the ring without anyone or the gym owner directing him to. He just got up there and began stretching on the corner ropes like most guys do; as if he knew it had to happen.

Everyone then looked to Shamrock. He was gloved up, not entirely unready to go; but noticeably quieter and less motivated than before. He couldn’t back out now, but at the same time it wasn’t quite the same now; there was something in the way our guy both arrived and came across in person that had noticeably spooked Shamrock.

There was an eminent feeling amongst everyone that something heavy was about to go down, and by the time our guy was up in the ring we had all heard the story about why he was late, in trouble with the police, and how he had put 2 bikers in hospital that day; which was why he was late and scarred up.

You couldn’t help but think if there was a more perfect way for a guy like ours to have prepared for the spar, his gym entrance included.

Likewise, you couldn’t help but wonder how Shamrock felt looking at him, particularly as they touched gloves for round one. As Shamrock surely saw and knew that our guy (the same one he had just comprehensively ridiculed and wrongly assumed was scared) had just been escorted to the gym by the police for doing something obviously wrong, and that his face, hands, arms and present willingness to still train/fight; told a grim tale of a guy that was deep serious and capable of withstanding and inflicting serious levels of pain.

His KO record now made sense to Shamrock. But that realization could have come at better times than just before the spar that was to follow.

Furthermore the fact that the police stayed to watch could have been, and probably was, easily misinterpreted by Shamrock to mean our guy was on prison leave or something like that.

It was beautiful the way the theatre, poetry and imagery of it all worked out and unfolded – particularly after Shamrock’s mouth had run off like a lawnmower.

Round one served to reinforce to Shamrock that he couldn’t hurt our guy even if he landed, and that that didn’t apply for our guy. Once that was established there was little of value and purpose that Shamrock could do. Not in the least because the way his mouth had run off before they climbed into the ring, meant this session was not going to involve a lot of ducking and weaving.

No, Shamrock’s actions, mouth and antics before our guy arrived had got himself into the kind of fight that was far too serious for that.

The first round ended with Shamrock being unable to force an advantage and making our guy miss a bit; whilst still tasting some power.

Now during the first round’s minute break Shamrock not only had to deal with the fact that it was obvious to all that there was a serious power deficit (not incomparable to the difference between each guy’s ability to talk before the spar) that our guy had not yet fully played to his advantage – but he also surely must have felt the termites of doubt run through his brain as much as our glances weighed heavy on him and unmistakably asked; “will this be the most significant example of why you don’t run your mouth off as you walk into someone else’s boxing gym”.

Round two commenced with Shamrock using as much speed as possible, but it was to no avail as our guy wasn’t afraid or slow himself, and he was timing Shamrock beautifully with extremely hard head-crunching shots.

Watching GGG recently take out Rosado actually reminded me, all those years ago, of this second round.

First Shamrock’s ear started to bleed (with head gear on), then his nose - then his lip.

During the second round’s minute break Shamrock had to endure the embarrassment of his trainer asking him if he wanted to continue; in front of their competing gym members and us.

What a contrast, after 7 minutes we had gone from Shamrock’s unstoppable laughter and jokes, to his trainer fearing for his health and reminding him of his options to quit.

Such experiences are not forgotten easily; as this post stands testimony to.

One can only imagine how Shamrock felt having his trainer ask that, particularly after all Shamrock had said when our guy was running late.

“No, I can go on”, Shamrock said.

After hearing Shamrock say he could go on, I am sure I was not the only one present that day that must have thought Shamrock had a four-leaf clover tucked away down in his groin shield.

One thing was for sure Shamrock would certainly need it.

The 3rd round was a massacre, as Shamrock couldn’t maintain his speed advantage; so now his speed was on par with our guy’s speed.

What was left was the greater power and punch resistance of our guy, and of course the fact that he had heard Shamrock’s jokes and theories before the training session (and even that day); so he was motivated and it had all been a long time coming. And now here Shamrock was in front of him starting to tire and hurt, and even Shamrock himself knew that our guy’s power hadn’t yet been exploited fully by its owner.

And as the power came in, Shamrock’s confidence, punch resistance and chances of saving his reputation left town without leaving a forwarding address. Lead right hands then rained over Shamrock’s jab, some chased Shamrock’s jab back to their home after they embarrassingly fell short of their mark, and other right hands just smashed their way through and landed in the most disrespectful manner anyway – regardless of whether Shamrock was throwing a jab or not.

Meanwhile the light heavyweight power had Shamrock stumbling. But, rather than head-hunting and ending it as soon as possible our guy instead went for the body and kept the Shamrock hurt, tired and vulnerable.

The tactic prolonged the pain and the lesson that was going down, and it kept Shamrock up there looking like a hypocritical mess in front of his friends for much longer than they or he would have previously thought possible. And there was still half the round to go by the time Shamrock had started to come undone like this.

Our gym trainer sensed what was about to happen and in turn he did his best to make it seem as if he didn’t want the flogging to go down by offering up an unconvincing “lighten up boys”.

It did nothing to stop the freight train and karma.

Fast jabs delivered at will by our guy now confirmed that Shamrock could be hit anytime; hard. But then just as it looked like it should be stopped our guy would walk in with his hands up, not throwing, to seemingly let the Shamrock back into the fight; so he could save face.

It was a clever ploy designed to prevent the session from prematurely ending, and to also take Shamrock past the point of exhaustion.

30 seconds to go in round three and we have Shamrock rocking back on his heels like a rocking horse after eating a few jabs – with our guy then getting in position and waiting for him to rock back forward again in expectation to regain balance – only for him to come right into, collect and amplify the power of a right cross our guy delivers.

Hooks followed.

So did the knockdown.

It was clear there would be no round four.

I never heard of Shamrock after that session and I bet he never tells the story exactly as it unfolded (if at all) - as much as he, today, avoids anyone in that gym.

I also reckon, but can’t confirm, that Shamrock never shoots his mouth off like that anymore, as well.

No-one else sparred that day, and the Shamrock gym packed up and left immediately after they helped Mr. Shamrock through the ropes, down and out of the ring. He was not able to get out himself out and, embarrassingly, needed help up the stairs also.

I actually think that Shamrock may have even stopped boxing after that. It was a long time ago so I can’t be sure of that; but I don’t recall him fighting on.

These above experiences involving a lighter weight boxer and a heavier one - including those involving me too - have taught me that (in boxing) size doesn’t always matter.

However, what I have personally learned also is that usually when size doesn’t matter - things between both the smaller and larger guys are not always equal. In other words in those instances when size doesn’t matter usually there is a significant advantage for the smaller guy, and usually that advantage is in the skills, speed and/or stamina department; manifesting itself as the larger guy being unable to land his debilitating power shots.

What I have learnt also is that when size does matter it’s usually because the significant advantage for the smaller guy is not present anymore, and therefore the larger guy’s own skills, speed and/or stamina equals up the playing field; resulting in the larger guy being able to land his power shots.

In short if there was a middleweight Henry Armstrong (or SRR) and he fought a heavyweight Henry Armstrong (which is the only way to really compare), then the heavyweight would win most times.

However, that’s not how it works in real life and we all know that.

Usually, heavier guys, in my opinion, are not always as athletic, fit, god combination punchers and/or fast. Particularly at non-championship levels. And, that presents advantages for a lighter guy (unafraid of getting caught and/or hit hard), and heavyweights with fast hands and feet.

In my experience and opinion, (all other things being reasonably equal) the heavier guys with fast hands and feet are really the ones to look out for, and they are the ones where size will have a greater chance of mattering.

In fact, in some cases, even if the heavier guy’s hands are not quite as fast as a lighter guy’s (but still faster than the average heavy guy); the heavier guy will still usually be able to dish out and land some serious power and punches, and also find that punch-resistance deficit between the lighter and heavier guy; if it exists.

I believe this is so for numerous reasons, but mostly because heavyweights don’t train for speed as much as they do power, and also because they see weight as an advantage more than speed, and also because they may have become heavyweights by moving up divisions and therefore putting on weight.

Dude this sounds like my gym. Are you talking about the Julian Townsend vs John Duddy spar? Read the book the gloves by Robert anasi. Are you robert anasi?documents my trainer,my gym, and gym mates . This spar could of been efrain Ortiz vs Sean black . I am a proud member of the supreme team NYC . We went to every gym in NYC and kicked their asses. We were banned from most NYC gyms. Ny amateur boxing basically hated us because we were all converted southpaws that fought with both hands below our waist. We weren't allowed to win decisions so we had to knock people out. We even made a patch logo for our team. Two boxing gloves with the words " in these we trust" because we couldn't trust the officials and had to win by ko. Want to see example ,try and YouTube Julian Townsend vs yuri foreman and watch a true robbery.

Radam G says:

SCLA Ali was righteous with it. It is skills over sizes. The victory goes to skills, not the sizes. Sizes don't matter over skills in boxing or basketball, because you shoot syet. Blocking syet. So yo' do syet, instead just talk syet. You have to be 'bout 'bout in shooting games and working with your hands, legs and minds.

And if you are Tim Bradley, bambilizing with those big-@ss dogs and cranium crushing with dat big-@ss dome. Haha! Holla!

deepwater says:

SCLA Ali was righteous with it. It is skills over sizes. The victory goes to skills, not the sizes. Sizes don't matter over skills in boxing or basketball, because you shoot syet. Blocking syet. So yo' do syet, instead just talk syet. You have to be 'bout 'bout in shooting games and working with your hands, legs and minds.

And if you are Tim Bradley, bambilizing with those big-@ss dogs and cranium crushing with dat big-@ss dome. Haha! Holla!


yup. tye fields and julius long should be heavyweight champions if the size theory held up.

stormcentre says:

Dude this sounds like my gym. Are you talking about the Julian Townsend vs John Duddy spar? Read the book the gloves by Robert anasi. Are you robert anasi?documents my trainer,my gym, and gym mates . This spar could of been efrain Ortiz vs Sean black . I am a proud member of the supreme team NYC . We went to every gym in NYC and kicked their asses. We were banned from most NYC gyms. Ny amateur boxing basically hated us because we were all converted southpaws that fought with both hands below our waist. We weren't allowed to win decisions so we had to knock people out. We even made a patch logo for our team. Two boxing gloves with the words " in these we trust" because we couldn't trust the officials and had to win by ko. Want to see example ,try and YouTube Julian Townsend vs yuri foreman and watch a true robbery.


Hey DP, thanks for reading and responding. I can’t say who I am or who “our guy” was. I hope you understand and appreciate that.

What I can say is that the same gym and people involved I was talking about is not fiction and not the one you mentioned in New York. For some reason your patch doesn't seem unfamiliar to me, but I am not sure if that means I have seen it or not. Cool story attached to it though.

From your post it sounds like you had a similar gym and experiences to me. You sound quite well read and experienced. A lot of people seem to think amateur boxing is much easier than the Pros. Not always so. In the amateurs you don't get to choose who you fight, and in the pros quite often you can. Also, there is a fair bit of intensity crammed into those 3 rounds - particularly back before the new crappy scoring system that turned it into fencing with gloves on.

I know from my own experiences back in those days that going from gym to gym was a sure fire way to get good and also find out if the sport was for you. Once you get familiar with turning up to other's gym and sparring hard; fight night was a breeze.

Oh, I also heard (and was unsurprised) that John Duddy got cleaned up in a few sparring sessions.

Finally, you will get no argument from me about the way Yuri Foreman’s boxing career was managed. ☺

stormcentre says:

Dude this sounds like my gym. Are you talking about the Julian Townsend vs John Duddy spar? Read the book the gloves by Robert anasi. Are you robert anasi?documents my trainer,my gym, and gym mates . This spar could of been efrain Ortiz vs Sean black . I am a proud member of the supreme team NYC . We went to every gym in NYC and kicked their asses. We were banned from most NYC gyms. Ny amateur boxing basically hated us because we were all converted southpaws that fought with both hands below our waist. We weren't allowed to win decisions so we had to knock people out. We even made a patch logo for our team. Two boxing gloves with the words " in these we trust" because we couldn't trust the officials and had to win by ko. Want to see example ,try and YouTube Julian Townsend vs yuri foreman and watch a true robbery.


Hey DP, thanks for reading and responding. I can’t say who I am or who “our guy” was. I hope you understand and appreciate that.

What I can say is that the same gym and people involved I was talking about is not fiction and not the one you mentioned in New York. For some reason your patch doesn't seem unfamiliar to me.

But I am not sure if that means I have seen it or not. Cool story attached to it though.

From your post it sounds like you had a similar gym and experiences to me. You sound quite well read and experienced. A lot of people seem to think amateur boxing is much easier than the Pros. Not always so.

As you know in the amateurs you don't get to choose who you fight, and in the pros quite often you can. Also, there is a fair bit of intensity crammed into those 3 rounds - particularly back before the new crappy scoring system that turned it into fencing with gloves on.

I know from my own experiences back in those days that going from gym to gym was a sure fire way to get good and also find out if the sport was for you. Once you get familiar with turning up to other's gym and sparring hard; fight night was a breeze.

Oh, I also heard (and was unsurprised) that John Duddy got cleaned up in a few sparring sessions.

Finally, you will get no argument from me about the way Yuri Foreman’s boxing career was managed. ☺

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