Observations on German boxing
09.01.04 – By A.C. McCoy: I want to make it perfectly clear that I respect every ones opinion, knowing that I do not necessarily have to agree with it, just as they do not have to agree with mine. But there are a few things I refuse to stand for, one of those being the promotion of ignorance and hype. I recently read an article on the web where German boxing was being insulted by the author. I am dumbfounded with the actions of many in participating in what I would call "Germany bashing". There is no conspiracy in the country of Germany to rob foreign fighters. Quite the contrary. Axel Shultz, Henry Maske and Dariusz Michalczewski, who were all super stars and cash cows for their German promotion companies, lost razor thin decisions in Germany. Graciano Rocchigiani the man who hurt the WBC lost a very controversial fight, that many felt he won, not to a German but an English lad by the name of Chris Eubank in Berlin, Germany. If the conspiracy theorists were right in their suggestions, none of these top named German fighters would have lost in these decisions.
Article posted on 10.01.2004
I question the German bashing that has been done in numerous articles I have read recently from boxing writers in America and his choice of words in the articles. Other than the fights being held in Germany, where is the proof of conspiracy? Was the German government involved in this on going attempt to bring down the world of British boxing? We are all aware that Germany failed to fall for such nonsense, refusing to enter into the occupation of Iraq. More fuel for the fire in the search for a conspiracy in Germany I suppose. We are getting off track here, this is another story for another time. Lets get back to Boxing.
SAUERLAND AND KOHL DON'T OWN GERMANY
Wilfried Sauerland owns and operates Sauerland Promotion. Klaus-Peter Kohl likewise for Hamburg's Universum Box-Promotion. They are rival boxing promoters in the country of Germany. They do not own Germany, and they are no different than say, Bob Arum, who is the President of Top Rank Inc or Don King with his promotion company, Don King Productions. The only difference is that when ever there is a close decision in Germany with the home fighter winning there is an immediate out cry of "FIX" by arrogant boxing fans who should know better.
Roy Jones Jr was heavily favored in his fight against Antonio Tarver. No one really gave Tarver a chance. Article after article spoke of how Roy Jones alter ego "RJ" would make Tarver pay for disrespecting him. Guess who lost the fight between Antonio Tarver vs Roy Jones on November 8. Here's a clue - it's the guy with the lump eye, purple welted forehead, bruised and battered face. The chicken loving, cock fighting, Pensacola farm boy lost but was given a gift decision. Judge Glen Hamada had Jones winning 117-111 (he gave Jones the 10th round and that was a round Jones clearly lost.) Englands own Graham Houston had the fight 115-113 in favor of Tarver and that was from ringside. You thought the 117-112 card of one of the judges during the scoring of the Ottke vs Reid was ridiculous, well I don't recall a certain boxing writer discussing the questionable scoring by Glen Hamadas of the Jones vs Tarver fight. Where is the outcry from the American writers about the Scandalous scoring here in America? I can think of 10 fights right off the top of my head without even thinking twice. 1.Medina/Tapia, 2.Briggs/Foreman, 3.lewis/holyfield, 4.Ayala/Adams, 5.Mayweather/Castillo, 6.Tiberi/Toney, 7.Byrd/Oquendo, 8.Johnson/Gonzalez, 9.Barrera/Morales, 10.Fenech/Nelson. Heck, I guess I could list 20 more if you wanted me to. Boxing is and always will be controversial when you have the refs and judges in the back pockets of the promoters here in the US. One of the biggest robberies I have witnessed was the Medina/Tapia fight. Despite throwing an all-time CompuBox record 1005 jabs, Medina also set a featherweight record 1466 total punches. Only to watch his IBF title end up around the waist of Tapia with Murad Muhammad smiling in the background with his gold tooth shinning. Lets not forget the president of the IBF is Marian Muhammad, wife of Murad Muhammad. Conflict of interest? Just the appearance of impropriety is enough in this situation to call for an investigation.
Did you see Eddie Cottons confusing performance during the Acelino Freitas-Artur Grigorian fight? Were those really knockdowns? The sad part here is Freitas was winning the fight and didn't need Cottons help.
I still remember the Vassily Jirov/James Toney fight. The judges awarded the first two rounds to Jirov on all cards, Judges Melvina Lathan and Glenn Feldman gave Toney every remaining round except round eight. Jirov also won the eleventh round on Judge Steve Weisfeld's card, can you believe Toney swept 9 of last 10? No way in hell did toney win 9 of the last 10 rounds. It was a close fight, but no way did Toney win those last 9 rounds. Are you surprised at Toney's margin in the official scoring? Rest assure, many were surprised and shocked. HBO's Lederman had it a draw. America has become notorious for controversial fights. This is nothing new, so those in glass houses should not be casting stones. Weather they live in Britain or America, they should be cleaning up their own back yards first.
LETS TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT OTTKE VS REID
Ottke defended his WBA title for the 20th time and his IBF belt for the third. The Judges scored the bout Levi Martinez (USA) 115-113, Franz Martin(Switzerland) 117-112 and Giulio Mancini (Italy) 115-113 for Ottke, who improved to 33-0. It was Reid who turned this into a foul fest bout. Reid was docked several points for illegal blows,in the ninth, he hit Ottke well below the belt, stopping the fight for 20 seconds as Ottke recovered,Few clean punches were landed in this fight and that can be contributed to Reids foul tactics throughout the bout. One well known writer wrote that he was discussed with the pathetic whining and play-acting performance of Ottke. I could make the same argument about Reid. How pathetic was Reids performance? How many kidney shots and rabbit punches to the back of the head did Reid throw during the fight? I lost count. That's all he did foul, whine, more illegal blows and b*tch as well. Reid never thoroughly dominated Ottke in this fight the way some would make it seem. It was a close fight, Ottke is 36 years old. He is one of those rare champions who fights 4 title defenses a year. Yes Ottke has had a few close decisions go his way, he is the champion. But by no means were they outlandish robberies the way some would have you believe. I hate to burst this writers bubble but even the great Muhammad Ali in the late 1970's was given several gift decisions. Ali lost the rubber match to Ken Norton. But yet the name Ali got him the decision. Ali should have lost to Jimmy Young and Earnie Shavers, both controversial fights but again the name Ali handed him the win. Should America be blamed for those close decision wins given to Ali the way you have blamed Germany for the same situations? Should American citizens be scrutinized for every unlikely decision made in boxing in the US? Was the American government involved in some great conspiracy involving boxing decisions where non-Americans have lost? These statements sound absurd, do they not? But these same statements could be applied in the situations this writer has brought to the front of this argument on Germany.
MICHAEL BRODIE and INJIN CHI DISGRACE IN MANCHESTER
A difference in opinions in a close fight such as in the case of Reid/Ottke is understandable, but if American writers want to show outrage in controversial decisions he should take a look at the numerous outrageous decisions that have taken place in Great Britain. Lets just take a quick look at a fight that took place in Manchester, England. Injin Chi and Michael Brodie fought to what appeared to be a decision win for Injin Chi. At some point during the next 45 minutes following the end of the bout, Jose Sulaiman took the score cards in hand and declared to bout a draw. Still yet another decision was decided in the same bout, a decision draw leaving the title vacant until a rematch could be determined. Many still question the reasoning behind Sulaimans intervention into the scoring of that bout. Now that is a true example of controversy in a professional bout. So where is the outrage on the part of American writers? A disgraceful ending. Wouldn't you say?
REMEMBER THE HAGLER/MINTER FIGHT
I can vividly remember the beer bottles being slung at one of my favorite fighters 23 years ago. It still pisses me off.
Marvelous Marvin Hagler fought Alan Minter in London,England on Sept 27, 1980 and won the World Middleweight Championship. What followed was one of the most disgusting show by fight fans I ever witnessed. This wasn't in Germany, but in Jolly O' England. I know that was quite sometime ago, but there have been many disgusting boxing events in England over the years.
GERMAN BASHING HAS BECOME THE NORM
When I hear arrogant comments about boxing in Germany jealousy comes to mind. It is no secret the German Boxing market is a strong one. Not only have they had numerous champions in varied weight classes but there ticket sales and television numbers are astounding. With several million viewed Reid/Ottke and almost 10 million viewing Michalczweki/Gonzalez. Let me ask you, does Reid get those kind of numbers in England? Could Roy Jones Jr pull in those numbers in the United States? I don't think so. Boxing in Germany is a true event, with many venues that rival the American Super bowl. In reading reviews of matches that have taken place in Germany by non-German writers it becomes obvious to me much of the world still views Germany as a great evil in the world. All I can say is, wake up, you are more likely to get a fair decision in Germany than you are in England, the United States or any other part of the world. You are also more likely to get the highest purse of your career by fighting in Germany. Just ask Chris Byrd or Virgil Hill. OTTKE SHOULD SNUB AMERICA AND BRITAIN. Ottke is at the tail end of his career, he is 36 years old. He has made 20 successful title defenses. He has been world champion for nearly 6 years. Why should he fight in America or England at this point? Both countries have engaged in propaganda against him. Could he get a fair decision in America? Not likely. Isn't this the excuse that Jones and the hordes of media hounds give for the reason Jones has never traveled to fight in Germany? It was despicable of the American media to say that no matter the out come of a fight between Jones and Michalczewski, Jones would not get a fair decision in Germany. Just ask Julio Gonzalez about that absurd rumor. I have often wondered why they would start such a vicious rumor about Germany. Jones wouldn't have to worry about the judges or the ref. 99% of the time the ref in a Michalczewski fight was from America and the judges were international. Further more, the decisions for Michalczewskis fights never went to the judges because Daruiz always won by a knockout. When Michalczewski defeated Hill for the WBO/WBA/IBF and linear light heavyweight championship of the world, up until the bout in which he lost to Gonzalez, Daruiz had 14 title defenses. All by knockout. Quite often you would read in the papers that Roy would not get a nod by the judges. The truth is, you wouldn't have to worry about the judges because they never got the opportunity to rule on a Michaczewski title fight. These fights always ended in a knockout. This isn't about Michalczewski, I just thought I would bring up his name because, after all this is about Germany. There have been many lies told about fighters from Germany or fights that have taken place in Germany and not televised in the US.
CRITICISM OF OTTKE
Ring Magazine, Boxing Monthly, have Joe Calzaghe rated ahead of Sven Ottke. Please someone tell me why? Just take a glance at either of these gentlemen ring records. Who has fought the most of Rings top 10 contenders and defeated them of the last few years? Ottke has. Calzaghe has feed off a diet of Ottke left overs. I am not a hater of Calzaghe, I am a fan actually, but if you believe in the Ring Rankings, then you would have to list Ottke over Calzaghe. Example; in the April 2001 issue of Ring Sven was ranked #1 and Joe #2 the rest as follows; #3 Bruno Girard #4 Byron Mitchell #5 Charles Brewer #6 Thomas Tate #7 Davie Hilton #8 Dingaan Thobela #9 James Butler #10 Glen Catley. Since those rankings Calzaghe has become #1 and Ottke has fallen to the second place slot. Does anyone know why? Ottke has defeated #4 Mitchell(for the WBA title), #6 Thomas Tate (a rematch), #9 James Butler (a fight that most of America thought Butler would win, but was thoroughly dominated by Ottke) Ottke also in this same time span has defeated Mads Larson(currently ranked #8 by Ring) and holds a knock out victory over Anthony Mundine, who is ranked #3 by Ring magazine. If Ottke hold victories over all these fighters in the top 10 of Ring rankings why is it Calzaghe is ranked above him? There should be no excuse here. The bias is obvious. You don't have to be a fan of Ottke, his style is boring, but I don't recall anyone holding that against Byrd or Whitaker. It all comes back to Germany doesn't it? The bias against that country and the fighter from that country. Lets face it, bigotry and intolerance are alive and well in the world of boxing.
A.C. McCoy is a freelance journalist who resides in Louisville, Kentucky. To contact A.C. McCoy send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
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