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Home Boxing CRUISERS - A SHIFT?
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CRUISERS - A SHIFT?

 

cruiserweight-boxing-championsFor nearly a decade, the cruiserweight division has been entirely lost on Americans.  It seems as if every 15 years or so, we have a reason to pay attention, and then it slowly fades. The 200lb division should be one of boxing's glamour divisions.  There is action, knockouts, great athletes who are big enough to cause knockouts, yet small enough to be athletic.  The reasons it has not become big money stateside are numerous.  Mainly, it is just so close to heavyweight, that once fighters get near it, they feel they can jump up and make heavyweight money.

 Indeed, some major world champions have thought so little of the cruiserweight division that they leap over it entirely.  Michael Spinks was a dominant light heavyweight champion, who went straight after Heavyweight champion Larry Holmes.  Michael Moorer went from a fractional belt holder at 175, who could not get unification bouts, to a heavyweight contender... never having once laced up the gloves at cruiser.  Roy Jones also skipped cruiserweight entirely, when he followed up years of light heavyweight domination with a challenge of heavyweight beltholder John Ruiz.  Jones is just now, 12 years later, plying his trade at 200lbs.

Evander Holyfield first caused us to pay attention by unifying the belts and engaging in spirited battles with the likes of Henry Tillman and Dwight Muhammad Qawi.  However, the culmination of his KO win over Carlos DeLeon was not a long list of defenses.  Rather, it was a predictable move up to heavyweight.  James Toney finally got into shape long enough to dethrone longtime belt holder Vassily Jirov in 2003, yet that, too, was his last fight at cruiserweight.

 O'Neill Bell became the second man to unify belts after he defeated Jean-Marc Mormeck at Madison Square garden in 2006.  However, he parlayed it into nothing, and never won another meaningful fight.  He didn't fight for 14 months, then lost the belts back to Mormeck.  David Haye also moved right up to heavyweight after unifying titles with wins over Mormeck and Enzo Maccarinelli.  The only people who have been interested, it seems, in staying at 200lbs, have been those making money in Europe: Anaclet Wamba, Juan Carlos Gomez, and nowadays: Marco Huck, Denis Lebedev, Grigory Drozd, and Yoan Hernandez.

 However, the summer of 2015 is bringing us two fights on our shores in the cruiserweight division.  Huck vs. Krystoff Glowacki will be a title fight held in New Jersey, while this weekend, contender turned commentator BJ Flores will take on former 175lb-titlist Beibut Shumenov.  Both fights will be televised.  Should these men put on the scraps their division is famous for, maybe we can get a taste for cruisers once again.

 Chris Strait
www.convictedartist.com

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