Convicted Artist Magazine

Feb 28th
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boxing-cleanupTime for another installment of... well... me letting certain fighters it is time to clear the lane.  Some choices are obvious, some choices are wishful thinking, and others may surprise you.  Here is my latest assessment of a few who need to start thinking of their health before money.
Juan Manuel Marquez
Much like Holyfield, his style and abilities do lot lend itself to a retirement-level beatdown.  Tyson may burn bright, but he lost just as brutally, or as sadly, as his opponents.  This left him with no question as to when his heart, and body was no longer in it.  Marquez on the other hand can still compete, which may fool him into thinking that he should.  Three of the best defensive fighters ever: Ali, Benitez and Pep, suffered the ill effects of punches, despite us rarely seeing them caught clean.  Marquez has his faculties, his finances, and his legacy secured.  There is nothing left for him to accomplish.
Tavoris Cloud
I know he is young, but he is also done.  Two straight fights being outboxed, against Campillo and Hopkins, only to be completely taken apart by Adonis Stevenson.  He is a Don King fighter, so history would suggest he is not set financially.  However, he has been exposed, and now his confidence has been shattered.  He is pretty much out of the discussions at 175, and being the huge jump to cruiserweight, that move seems unlikely either... although an all-Don King war with Guillermo Jones would be entertaining, in his home state of Florida.  Guys like him end up getting beat up badly, and/or becoming opponents for young fighters.  He was such a strong prospect, that it sounds sad to say, but a former belt-holder who appeared on HBO and Showtime many times, is nothing of which to be ashamed.
Vitali Klitschko
This one has been obvious for a while, and I have mentioned it before, but new aspects have been recently introduced that make it even moreso.  Vitali is running for president of Ukraine.  Those elections are still two years off, so he can technically still fight, but if campaigning there is anything like here, he'll almost need all 2 years.  Also, he is aging, and it's only a matter of time before he suffers yet a 3rd loss due to injury, in a fight he was otherwise winning.  That is no way to go out, for such an accomplished fighter.
Also, he has been idle, and is holding a belt hostage.  How much longer should Bermane Stiverne be forced to wait?  And finally, people are tiring of he and Wladimir in general.  It used to be, 'what are we going to do with heavyweights after the Klitschkos retire?'.  Now it's 'I can't wait to see the Klitschkos retire, so the heavyweights will be exciting again.'  They are great examples in nearly every other aspect of the game.  Why not this one?  Big brother has to take the lead.

Chris Strait

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