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Home Boxing ODDLY TIMED QUITTERS
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ODDLY TIMED QUITTERS

joe-lipsey-valdemir-pereira-zejlko-mavrovicIf at first you don't succeed, quit?  Apparently some do take that road.  For every Jersey Joe Walcott, Leavander Johnson or Frank Bruno that become champions on their 3rd, 4th, or even 5th try, there is one who packs it in, and says enough after failing once at the highest level.  In many cases, it is even their first defeat.  Today I will look at 3 examples of bizarrely timed retirements.  not fighters who walked away for personal reasons.  No, these men had a bad loss, but not one bad enough to stop fighting altogether:

Joe Lipsey
He was an unbeaten middleweight contender, with a handful of TV appearances, when he took on a relatively new champion named Bernard Hopkins.  From Mississippi, he fought out of Michigan, and while some record-padding was definitely a part of his 25-0 record, he had beaten veteran Sanderline Williams, and upended a few unbeaten prospects on his way to the title shot.  However, once the fight started, the class difference was apparent.  Lipsey was stopped in 4 rounds, and never fought again.  Knowing what we now know about "The Executioner", it is a wonder if Lipsey might have had more success if he kept going.

Valdemir Pereira
Ok, he technically was a world champion, but had only won a vacant belt, when he lost it in his first defense.  The IBF Featherweight champion from Brazil had come to the US, won the vacant title on ESPN2, and was making an optional defense against ordinary Eric Aiken (a recent loser to a 6-5 opponent).  Aiken had a scored a couple of upsets to get to the title shot, and was beginning to do so again, after dropping Pereira twice in the 4th and 5th rounds.  However, what happened next was a compete unraveling.  Pereira repeatedly hit Aiken low until he was finally DQ'd in round 8.  Never known as a clean fighter, this was not a surprise. Tthe surprise was that this seems to be how Pereira chose to end his career.  Nearly 7 years later, he has not fought again.  He was in his twenties, and competing in a division that was just about to get hot.  Wonder what happened.

Zejlko Mavrovic
The big Croatian with the funny haircut only made one televised appearance on American soil, but it was the biggest stage possible.  The last defense Lennox Lewis made before the Holyfield unification was against the 22-0 challenger.  He had feasted mostly on European contenders, and American journeyman, as is customary in building a record.  That said, he was European champion, and Lewis's mandatory.  Expected to be destroyed in the first few rounds, Mavrovic actually went the distance, and even won a few rounds.  He then followed  this up with... nothing.  We heard he had some health problems in later years, and worked as a commentator, but to see him in with Rahman, Tua, Ruiz, and the other heavyweights around at that time would have been entertaining, and quite lucrative.  It was a shame he walked away so soon.

Chris Strait
www.convictedartist.com

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Tony  - re: Joe Lipsey |
Just some info that is missing from your Lipsey story. He didn't just quit, he ran into some health issues. He made the 1988 Olympic trials. Unfortunately he was unable to participate in the Olympics due to a shoulder injury. He turned pro the summer of 1988. He then worked his way up to the world rankings as no.1 contender. In 1996 he suffered from a respiratory problem leading up to world title fight with Bernard Hopkins. He was unable to back out of the fight. He fought as is and lost the fight. He spent two years unable to train or work. He then retired 1996 due to his injuries that he was unable to overcome. I worked with Joe for many years in Lansing, and he is one of the most down to earth, honest and nicest persons you will ever meet. [/quote]
Tony  - Joe Lipsey |
Just some info that is missing from your Lipsey story. He didn't just quit, he ran into some health issues. He made the1988 Olympic trials. Then he was unable to participate due to a shoulder injury. He turned pro that summer of 1988. He then worked his way up to the world rankings as no.1 contender. In 1996 he suffered from a respiratory problem leading up to world title fight with Bernard Hopkins. He was unable to back out of the fight. He fought as is and lost the fight. He spent two years unable to train or work. He then retired 1996 due to his injuries that he was unable to overcome. I worked with Joe for many years in Lansing, and he is one of the most down to earth, honest and nicest person you will ever meet.
 
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