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Home Boxing CAREERS RUINED BY CRIME
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CAREERS RUINED BY CRIME

mike_tyson_prisonThere are some bizarre reasons that fighters careers have ended prematurely, but while death is the most tragic, and often the most frequent, the second place finisher is probably crime.  When fighters are not the victims of other people's violent or careless tendencies, they are usually sidelined by their own.  I will look now at three fighters who had promising careers cut short because of trouble with the law, plus a few others that ended their already finished careers with prison time.
 
Tony Ayala Jr.  An unbeaten Junior Middleweight who was set to take on some big names at 154, when he was convicted of rape, and served 17 years in prison.  He lost his entire prime and then some, eyt still made an inspirational comeback, but was limited to a journeyman fighter by that time.  He was untested and likely would not have beaten Leonard, Duran, Hearns, or McCallum, but he would have made a lot of money losing to them, and gotten to move on with his life.
 
Harry Simon.  A handful of people have lost their lives due to this selfish man's erratic driving.  He may have only lost a few years (light sentence if you ask me), but they turned out to be his last vital years.  The Namibian fighter who once defeated a prime Winky Wright, and was an undefeated two-division belt holder, could not even defeat a journeyman legitimately when he was finally freed from prison. 
 
Ike Ibeabuchi.  In virtually every interview he gave or attempted to give, The Nigerian fighter reaked of crazy.  That didn't seem bizarre given the characters we are accustomed to in the fight game, until his imprisonment for rape.  Not to mention this crime didn't have to end the young man's 20-0 career, if he had just had a psychological evaluation.  Instead, he ruined his own chances at a swift justice system by not being able to turn off the psycho switch.  He was the best heavyweight prospect for years, and the perfect combination for a world champion... on the outside anyway.
 
Honorable mention:
 
Mike Tyson.  He lost 3 productive years on what now looks like a false accusation, but in retrospect, his slide had already begun .  In fact, his time away actually tricked us into beliveing in him again for a couple years. 
 
Michael Nunn.  Again he would make this list if he wasnt already a shot fighter when he went to prison.  However, a once undefeated, essentially undisputed middleweight champion had his slow decline culminate with a conviction for cocaine distribution.  That carries with it a sentence (justified or not) that ended his career.  It actually ended with one upset loss to James Toney, however.  It just took us many years, as was the case with Tyson, to fully realize that he was never coming back to complete form.
 
Clifford Ettienne.  He was never a world beater, but an exciting heavyweight who had made some money, yet ended returning to prison for life after a crazed robbery and crime spree.  Ironically, prison was where he learned to box.  His life as a fighter would end up only serving as a nice furlough from his eventual destiny.  Sad.
 
James Page.  You can take the boy out of Oakland, but... you know the rest.  One of many fractional belt-holders left on the shelf by Don King, at a time when his contemporaries were none other then Oscar, Felix, and Pernell.  He would have lost to all 3, but could have made his money that way, instead of knocking off banks.  Instead he had to settle for a TKO loss to Andrew Lewis, and a robbery conviction.
 
James Scott.
  An asterisk that kept him off this list was that he made most of his noise as a fighter while IN prison.  He probably should not have been allowed to fight in the first place, and was not championship material.  However, he became a legitimate contender in a hot division.  He would have likely fought for a title eventually, had he not been incarcerated for life on a murder conviction.
 

Chris Strait
www.convictedartist.com

Strait Video Boxing Predictions
www.str8boxing.com

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Tony Ayala Jr.

Anyone who does so many years in prison only to return swiftly soon after their release belongs in prison. Period! Tony Ayala had his chance to be free but he blew it.

Ike Ibeabuchi.
Men who commit brutal rape do not deserve a career in anything other than hitting dirt with an aggie in hot prison fields. Ike Ibeabuchi blew it.

Mike Tyson.
I believe Mike is mentally ill and was taken advantage of by a wicked gold digging tramp. He sufferes from mood swings and is easily tempted. I always believed Mike deserved another shot in his career. I just hope he stays out of trouble. My prediction is that he commits a crime twice as horrid as OJ Simpson in the future. Gold digging theives .....Beware!


Michael Wynn  - Justice for All |
It’s really sad to see what happened to some of these individuals, careers ruined and lives destroyed.

Many career criminals receive too lenient a sentence time and time again while others who have made a mistake suffer over prosecution which causes irreparable damage with lifelong consequences for relatively minor crimes.

This second group of mostly productive citizens are the ones most affected along with their friends, family and business associates. Once a sentence is served, the person should be considered rehabilitated, not disenfranchised second class citizens. Let the punishment fit the crime and don’t make people pay for the rest of their lives. This is an overburden on them as well as on our nation as a whole. We lose productivity by hobbling people who have been reformed, we spend more tax dollars on the prison business than on higher education, etc.
 
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