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Home Boxing NEW PROSPECTS MOVED TOO SLOW, BUT IT IS FOR A REASON
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NEW PROSPECTS MOVED TOO SLOW, BUT IT IS FOR A REASON

 

Shiming-Warren--AndradeI have been one of the many leading the charge for promoters to maneuver their fighters into serious challenges much quicker when they have a long amateur background.  Gone seem to be the days of Olympians starting out in 6-rounders, and getting to titles in 10 fights or so.  Nowadays virtually no one from the 2008 class has made any real noise, and the 2012 team is being moved slower than molasses.  To understand this, one must go back to the 2000 class.
 
The lack of success for the US Olympians is partly to blame for promoters protecting their investments, yet if those fighters showed promise in early pro bouts, it would not have made a difference that their Olympic dreams ended medal-less.  Vargas, Forrest, Cotto... all fighters who fell well short of gold, only to become future hall of famers.  The 2000 class, however, failed so miserably in the pro ranks, it became the catalyst for promoter paranoia.  Yes, there was Cotto, and Jermain Taylor... and Rocky Juarez fought for many belts.  If you include foreign promoters, guys like Darchinyan and Sturm have done quite well, but the US market got burned royally.
 
It was our first year with no gold medals in over 50 years, and the biggest star of the games, Ricardo Williams, burned out in under 10 fights.  He lost, and was convicted of cocaine trafficking.  Juarez never won a title.  Taylor started great, then imploded.  Calvin Brock did well until an injury ended his career, but as a heavyweight, you pretty much have to go all the way for people to care.  Team captain Michael Bennett and Dante Craig were KO'd multiple times in their first year or so of fighting, and reduced to Palookaville in no time.
 
So, yes, it is insane that men like Shiming-Warren--Andrade are fighting nobodies for their first few fights... but not everyone will rise to the occasion of fast movement like Leon Spinks, Evander Holyfeild, Jeff Fenech, and Guillermo Rigondeaux.  Other men like George Foreman and Andre Ward achieved top Olympic honors, yet were still moved slowly.  It worked quite well for both of them.  Demetrius Andrade seems to be benefitting, ditto for Gary Russell Jr.  Yes, it is time for them to step up, and this slow movement should not be the norm... but look back only 13 years if you want a reason why we are subjected to 10 hapless victims in a row for top level prospects.
 
Chris Strait
www.convictedartsit.com

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