Convicted Artist Magazine

Oct 17th
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boxing_glovesHats off to Vic Darchinyan.  Most fighters with a unique style are finished one that style is figured out, or can no longer be applied (Roy Jones, Naseem Hamed, etc.)  Darchinyan has attempted to add many facets to his game, and readjusted well after each loss.

While Darchinyan’s recent win is very impressive, the fact that he has taken 4 years to re-perfect his style after the Donaire loss is not.  After all the patience and boxing skills he tried to add, it turned out to not be necessary.  It wasn’t a hard adjustment after all.  He simply mixed his natural aggression, with slightly higher-held hands.  That’s it.

After Omar Sheika’s recent loss to Garrett Wilson, two things are clear.  Sheika should retire, and Steve Cunningham may finally have an easy hometown defense.  It makes sense for everyone.  Wilson clearly got an IBF ranking by picking up the USBA Cruiserweight belt.  Cunningham, the IBF champ, hails from Philadelphia , where Peltz boxing (the promoters for Wilson-Sheika took place) promotes matches.  Cunningham may have jumped ship to Germany where the money is, but he deserves to have the crowd on his side for once in his career, and to get an easy defense.  Sauerland can finally have a U.S. promotion where their man will probably be victorious, and they don’t have to do much of the work.  Last but not least, Wilson can live a real-life Rocky story, in the city where that all started.

Whatever happened to Dana Rosenblatt?  “Pollo” Valenzuela?  Zeljko Mavrovic?  It seems some guys just quit fighting, right when the big money is getting close, and we never really hear a good reason why.

Speaking of quitting fighting, apparently Deamrcus ‘Chop Chop’ Corley is our generation’s Livingstone Bramble.  A fallen former belt-holder who is competitive enough to give a young test to prospects, therefore he continues to fight on, thinking he is one win away from resurrection.  He does have 14 kids to feed, so it may seem practical.  I can’t believe Antwun Echols is still fighting either.  Guys… it’s all over!

Taking failed football players and making boxers out of them is not a bad plan.  It’s just a bad plan for after college.  Do it the Tommy Z way.  Start the youth football stars in boxing by age 13 or 14, at the latest.  Execute it initially as a way to stay in shape during the off-season.  Unlike basketball, the off-season is long, and there is no spring league.  If they keep up the habit, they will gather up 50-100 amateur fights by the time college is over, and won’t be behind their Eastern European counterparts at heavyweight.  P.S. Some of them may even be cruiserweights or light heavyweights.  Don’t be surprised.  The training is entirely different.

Chris Strait

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