Boxing


Give Credit Where Credit is Due

14.09.05 Ė By Tim Foley: Zahir Raheem shocked the world on Saturday by defeating the Mexican icon, Erik Morales, over 12 beautifully boxed rounds. I am not going to take anything away from him as I have seen him fight ringside (unfortunately in the fight against Rocky Juarez where referee Robert Gonzalez took issue with everything except his breathing). The person who deserves some credit should be Don House..

To give you a little background on House, he is currently the trainer of Raheem, Kid Diamond, Steven Luevano, and Joan Guzman to name a few. In the past, he has worked with guys like Freddie Norwood and Frankie Liles, so heís very experienced and has worked with fighters who have drastically different styles. He also happens to be one of the best teachers in the game as he prepares his fighters better than almost any trainer in the sport today. Itís nice to see a trainer stress the basics of the sport Ė head movement, stiff jabs, great footwork, etc. Most trainers today stress activity, which is good in most cases, but not all.

Houseís biggest win as a trainer undoubtedly came Saturday night as Raheem used a terrific stick-and-move style to outbox and, at times, overwhelm Morales. Leading up to the fight, House had made it abundantly clear that his fighter was ready and confident, which most trainers say, but donít necessarily mean. I did think the fight was a little closer than the 118-110 score that Julie Lederman had, but I certainly couldnít argue with the decision as Raheem outworked Morales. Letís just say that House did everything he could to prepare his fighter leading up to the fight and he gave him sharp, poignant instructions during the fight that helped Raheem dictate the pace.

Of course, his instructions during the Kid Diamond-Joel Casamayor fight were absolutely terrific. He did not panic when his fighter was knocked silly in the first, getting caught with a straight left as he got anxious. He told Kid Diamond how to beat Casamayor and took it to him arguably better than any fighter ever has. I believe he beat Casamayor that night, but more importantly the experience he gained from that night will carry over to his next bout.

Keep a look out next year for Don House as his fighters will begin the ascent to world-class stardom. Raheem was the first to take that leap, but Diamond, Luevano, and Guzman are not far behind. He already does have a world champion womenís boxer in Jessica Rakoczy (lightweight), but he may have two or three more champions joining her by next year. Hopefully people will start knowing the name Don House and putting him in the same class as other great trainers today like Freddie Roach, Buddy McGirt, and Dan Birmingham. I believe he will rise above them all and consequently land more clientele. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a frontrunner for trainer of the year.

Article posted on 14.09.2005



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