Boxing


Former Heavyweight Contender "Indian" Joe Hipp To Make Comeback Next Year?

by James Slater - Back in the early part of this year, this writer had the pleasure of interviewing 90's heavyweight contender Joe Hipp, a member of the Blackfoot Indian tribe (hence his "Indian" nickname.) Hipp, who got as far as challenging for a version of the heavyweight title in 1995, and who had a great and memorable losing battle with Tommy "The Duke" Morrison in 1992, told me how he was planning to fight again in April or May of 2008. Now aged 46 and inactive since August of 2005, the 6'1" southpaw will apparently get his ring return, almost a year later than he had originally planned..

According to BoxRec.com, Hipp, 43-7(29), will box one Corey Williams on March the 7th in Billings, Montana. With something called the CBA heavyweight title on the line, Hipp will be contesting what will be only his fourth fight in almost ten years. Obviously, coming back after such inactivity and at such an advanced age, the likeable fighter will not be rushing things. Williams, a guy who will turn 30 on January 1st next year, is a fighter with a modest 7-9-2(4) record, and as such he will not present Hipp with any overt danger - although at his age and after having been out of action for so long, no fight can be considered a gimme for the 46-year-old veteran.

A quirk attached to the bout set for March, is the fact that Williams will be the promoter and matchmaker of the card. Hipp, then, will be fighting a guy who is in effect selling tickets to the bout. What can the fans expect from March 7th?

Williams has not fought himself since December of 2007, losing on a 2nd round TKO to a guy named Shane Andreesen. The soon-to-be-30-year-old who weighs approx 260-pounds and who is the same height as Hipp, also lost his previous fight, also on a stoppage. You have to go back to September of 2007 to find a Williams victory. The fighter nicknamed "Whiz Kid" was active enough in 007, engaging in no less than six fights (winning two), but he has seen no action since. As such, it's tough predicting just what will happen in the ring next year.

No-one knows what Hipp has left at his current age, or what weight he will tip in at. Back in the days when he was bravely using his limited skills but not so limited heart and guts to battle big names like the aforementioned Morrison, Bruce Seldon (for the WBA heavyweight title), Bert Cooper and Jose Ribalta, Hipp fought in the 230-245-pound range. In his last fight, Hipp scaled 267, though. His weight aside, there are likely to be concerns among fans and experts about Joe's ability to either avoid or take a shot. Never a defensive master in his prime, but a guy with an admirable chin nonetheless, Hipp figures to be both slower and easier to hit as a 46-year-old. And as to how his chin will hold up today, we just don't know.

Facing a guy who has been stopped seven times in eighteen starts, as Hipp will be in March, "Indian" Joe should not be denied a win. Always able to bang a bit in his heyday, it's reasonably safe to assume Hipp will still be able to punch some even now. Unless he has absolutely nothing left, Hipp should grind out a win in March, possibly by stoppage. Even though he will be the older man by sixteen years and in reality shouldn't be fighting today, Hipp should see a successful start to his comeback.

How far it can possibly go is another thing entirely.

Article posted on 29.12.2008



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