Boxing


Connecticut May Get Two World Champions Within 30 Days

18.01.07 - By KIRK LANG: The State of Connecticut, not exactly known for churning out world champion boxers on a regular basis, has a chance to have two world champions within 30 days. "Tremendous" Travis Simms, of Norwalk, did his part on Jan. 6 when he knocked out Jose Rivera, of Worcester, MA, for the legitimate WBA junior middleweight championship. While Simms' previously held the WBA "regular" championship, the "regular" title the WBA created is generally not regarded as the legit title. When Simms won the WBA "regular" title in December 2003, Sugar Shane Mosely was the real WBA champion but was called the "super" champion because he happened to hold another organization's belt as well.

Simms' real world championship win came against Rivera and now New Haven's "Bad" Chad Dawson has a chance to add to his name to Connecticut's list of world title holders less than a month after Simms' dominant performance. Dawson will get his against WBC light heavyweight champion Tomas z Adamek on Feb. 3.

Just as Simms' title shot was broadcast on Showtime Championship Boxing, Dawson will also be fighting for his first world championship on the network. In another commonality, both Simms and Dawson are southpaws.

Prior to Simms defeating Rivera, Connecticut's last legitimate world title holder (not counting WBO titles) was Marlon Starling, who became the WBA welterweight champion in August 1987 by scoring an 11th round TKO of previously undefeated Mark Breland, a 1984 Olympic gold medallist. Starling went on to win the WBC 147-pound crown but lost it in 1990 to Maurice Blocker. Before Starling's dream of a world title came true in the 1980s, the Nutmeg's State's previous world champion was the legendary Willie Pep, who first became champion in 1942 by defeating Chalky Wright on a unanimous 15-round decision.
There was a 45-year span between Pep and Starling winning their first world titles. Then there was a 20-year span between Starling's title-winning performance against Breland and Simms' nearly flawless victory over Rivera. However, if things go right for the 24-year-old Dawson, Connecticut can claim two new champs in the same winter season.

Questions/Comments: kirklang@yahoo.com

Article posted on 19.01.2007



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