Boxing


Valuev / Barrett, a Joke With No “Punch” line

12.10.06 - By Mike Casile: I would like to think I am one of the few boxing purist, that really have some kind of belief, in what we now call the Heavyweight division. I wait and wait, for something big. I didn’t think the big thing I so eagerly yearned for was 7’ 320lb. Nikolai Valuev. In fact, after watching, what can only be described as, two very weak punchers with marginal skills, throw one punch at a time, hoping the other would get hit or just drop from exhaustion, I actually started to doze off, dreaming of the days when titan’s like Bruce Seldon and Trevor Berbick graced the ring.

This was a championship fight, and we are all about 50% dumber for even allowing ourselves, to be sucked into believing that, Monte Barrett deserved this shot, after he basically had a sparring match in last fight with Hasim Rahman. And Valuev, although seemingly a very nice guy, who try’s to run away from the fact, that he is 7’, and very Cro-Magnon looking, beat a John Ruiz (barely) to have the honor of fighting Monte (yes he actually calls himself TWO GUNS) Barrett.

I know this all sounds a little cold, and maybe unfeeling, but this is supposed to be CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING. Who is kidding who here? How does Larry Merchant, who I regard very highly in the boxing industry, look into the camera, and with a semi-straight face, try to tell us this guy has any skills at all? It was as if all three HBO analysts were half smirking, with every word they spoke. As if to say, “we know this really sucks, but watch the big guy, chase the little guy around.” It was like, Benny Hill meets reality television.

The better fight was the light heavyweight slug fest between Tomasz Adamek (31-0, 20KOs), and Paul Briggs 25-2 with (18KOs). Bad is bad, but Briggs and Adamek, just made Valuev and Barrett look so much worse. Briggs landed the harder more damaging punches, dropping his Polish opponent in the first round, while Adamek seemed to pick up the pace in the later rounds, to pull the fight away. The judges had it 115-111, 114-112, 113-113. This fight epitomized what championship fights should be. They were both in a situation, where stepping up, was not only an option; it was damn near a far gone conclusion from round one. If everyone believes this gentle giant Valuev, can be a crowd pleaser, rather than a freak show, than go out and find an opponent that contrasts enough, to at least make a championship fight look a little like it is supposed to.


The Philadelphia Boxing Report

www.philaboxingreport.com

ESPN RADIO Philly

Article posted on 12.10.2006



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