I frequent the boxing boards far more often than I should. If a passion more befits me then im yet to find it….ok, ok, let’s play ball and bark out the well-trodden phrase of “besides my children and my wife, [insert occupation here] is the greatest love of my life”. Slight caveat, I’m not married and I don’t have any kids.
I don’t know when this happened, I don’t know if it was preordained, perhaps Moses had this etched upon the tablets of stone, by the lord himself, when he stood aloft Mount Sinai. Maybe Aesop fabled the coming, or perchance Nostradamus predicted that sometime in the 21st century of our lord Jesus Christ we would be plagued by a swarm of ‘know-it-all” boxing ‘experts’ who would believe a fighter is only of any value as long as his 0 remains intact.
I’m from a different generation. A generation where defeat, far from signalling the culmination of a fighters career, simply meant an opportunity to rise again. The man who enabled me to fall in love with this the most noble of sports was Thomas ‘The Hitman’ Hearns. A universally recognised, bona fide, six weight world champion…..with 5 defeats on his resume.
Part man, part machine. The owner of the finest one punch knockout victory in the history of boxing. Don’t believe me? Simply view his demolition of first ballot hall of famer Roberto Duran at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada in 1984. What you will witness is not the delivery of a punch with military precision, no, it’s far more brutal than that. It’s a laser guided, rocket propelled, heat seeking missile from the barrel of a K2 Black Panther tank! Apologies, aside from boxing my other passion is the military.
I lose count of the number of internet battles I’ve waged, often without success, in the vain attempt of educating the unappreciative of the fact that victories alone do not maketh the man. I’m usually hit with a tirade of abuse backed up by the fact that “Mayweather would have destroyed [insert name of any boxer in the history of pugilism with a defeat on his record].” When asked how they came to this conclusion, the answer is always “well he can’t be that good, he’s been defeated. Floyd has never lost a fight.”
Im not hear to wage war on Mayweather per se, in fact I am a great fan of the self-proclaimed TBE. However, the hard-core Mayweather fan is more often than not my chief combatant in opposition in the virtual squared circle when discussion pertaining a fighter’s record raises its head above the parapet. Once I’ve slipped the jab of “he never lost” and dodged the counter of “he beat all of his peers” its only left for me to bob and weave the onslaught of “perfect record”, “5 weight world champion” and “he destroyed Manny Pacquiao”.
I digress. My argument is simply this, if a fighter’s undefeated record is all it takes for the modern day fan to proclaim him a God amongst men. If that perfect 0 somehow correlates to a seat at the top table of boxing’s higher echelons, then please make way for Sven Ottke the undefeated, German former Super-Middleweight World champion who had more gifts than Santa’s sack.
Anthony Joshua fights this weekend, the whole country is behind him, but heaven help him if he falls foul of an underrated Charles Martin. I can already see the boxing message boards now…
Written by Platinum Boxing Promotion’s Boxing Ghostby