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Dec 15th
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Home Boxing TAKING TOO LONG
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TAKING TOO LONG

 

boxing ring 02I have often written about professional boxers being moved way too slowly nowadays.  Especially considering that this phenomena is unique to men's boxing, it bears more examination.  Women are moved very quickly once they show their chops.  Amateur fighters with 10 fights are routinely put in with men who have over 100, once they qualify for a given tournament.  Let us not get started on how fast certain MMA fighters are moved.  However, with all of these categories failing to influence, in boxing the problem is getting worse and not better.  We look at a few examples of highly stalled careers:
 
Shawn Estrada - Sure, the entire Olympic class of 2008 has been moved with the speed of a snail, so to single out Estrada may not seem right.  However, at least Wilder, Andrade, and Russell give the appearance of finally taking on real competition.  Estrada, however, has been plagued by inactivity, and barely even takes on other prospects, much less journeyman who could present a challenge.  He should have either had a title shot or two by now, or lost once or twice on the way, to real fighters.  Either way, it'd be less sad than where he is now.
 
Vanes Martirosyan - Yes, I know he was only 17 at the Olympics, but he has been a pro for nearly 9 years now, and is still undefeated, yet has only really been tested a few times.  His 2004 teammate Raushee Warren was the same age, and stayed for two more Olympics, and is not that far behind Martirosyan's development!  Given his weight class, Warren could get a title shot before Vanes.  He looked good in beating Mean Joe Greene, but went even up with Erislandy Lara, and was lucky to get the decision against Kassim Ouma.  He has already beaten Vernon Forrest's record for an unbeaten Olympian taking the longest to get to a title shot.  And like Forrest, when he got there, a head-butt ended it without a winner.  However, Vernon stayed the course.  Martirosyan has gone to the back of the line to pursue an easier path.  Something tells me his managers know something, and his fall from grace is being delayed as long as possible.  Confidence goes a long way, however, and maybe if they'd show some in him, he'd show enough to become a player.
 
Honorable mention: Rock Allen - Is he really done?  After a 4 year pro career, and a 15-0 record, is this former Olympian really hanging them up to help his father train people.  He could still make some noise.  Is there something I am missing here?
 
Honorable mention: Paul Spadafora's comeback - What do fights against guys like Rob Frankel accomplish?  He is in the hottest division in boxing, and is still an unbeaten former titleholder.  Yet, his inactivity, legal troubles, and soft opposition make him a fighter no promoter wants to touch.  Either get out, or show you are serious.

Chris Strait
www.convictedartist.com

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