Eric Armit, who is a Director of the CBC and its former Chairman, is renowned worldwide as an authority on boxers records and also as a satirical and cynical observer.
Eric Armit writes in his capacity as a boxing journalist and not as a director of the CBC. His views and comments are his own and have not been the subject of prior discussion or consideration by his fellow directors, nor form official CBC policy.
One of the downs of only doing this column every other week is in missing the news that come up in that gap. The death of Manny Steward is one of those items. Everything that can be and needed to be said has already been covered. It is not surprising that the praise was so high and unstinting for a great trainer and one of the nicest and giving guys in boxing. He showed genius in the way he brought through his Kronk Kids, but was equally appreciated for what he brought to fighters at other times in their careers. My first dealings with Manny go back to those Kronk days. I used to write features on overseas fighters for Boxing News. In those days there was no such thing as the Internet so the only method open to me was to compile a questionnaire covering the usual details of a boxers’ background and send them out to gyms/managers/promoters/fighters and hope to get something back. No matter how many I sent to Manny he always made sure the guys completed them and responded and with photos etc. A gesture I appreciated so much. The one funny part was that I also did my own research, as you could never be sure the responses would be accurate. Manny once told me that when reading my pieces later he learned things about his boxers he never even knew. A great trainer and a true and generous gentleman RIP Manny.
There must be a bit of the cat in Joan Guzman. In boxing terms he is in danger of using up his nine lives. He just seems to bounce back from disaster. In 2008 he was badly overweight for his scheduled super featherweight unification bout with Nate Campbell and instead of fighting was rushed to hospital experiencing dehydration and vomiting. He came in 9lbs over the limit for his fight for the vacant IBF lightweight title against Ali Funeka in 2010. He then moved up to light welterweight and fought Jason Davis. Guzman was 4 ½ lbs over weight for that one, and also tested positive for Furosmide, a diuretic. That lead to his win over
Daniel Geale was rightly upset over the WBA taking away his title. He won their title in September and was stripped less than two months later for not fighting Gennady Golovkin. Not very even handed. Guillermo Jones won the WBA cruiserweight title in September 2008. He made one defence in February 2010 and a voluntary defence in November 2011. That’s now a year without making any defence with Denis Lebedev playing the role of Golovkin. It takes the WBA a year to take action against Jones and it was only this month they declared Jones “champion in recess” (for me that always conjures up a row of boxers hanging on coat hooks in a cupboard somewhere). A year for Jones-two months for Geale-and even then they gave Jones the sop of a meaningless title. Let me see now. Jones is Panamanian and the WBA Head Office is in ……..oh yes.
Going back to Golovkin there are rumors that Golovkin’s next opponent Thomas Oosthuizen may be struggling to make the weight for his fight with Fulgencio Zuniga at the weekend. At 6’4” it is amazing he makes 168lbs at any time, but he has made it and may do it again. The plan is for an Oosthuizen vs. Golovkin fight so it will be interesting to see what happens on Saturday.
I saw Don King at the WBC Convention in
King’s mistake was in not noticing the trend away from heavyweights. In the past his agile mind was always a jump ahead of the competition, but he took his eye of the ball, whereas his great rival Bob Arum is, if anything, even more influential now than in the past.
One of King’s charges, Samuel Peter, is due to return to the ring on December 15 against Australian Mark de Mori. First fight for the former WBC heavyweight champion since being kayoed in nine rounds by Robert Helenius in April 2011. The 30-year-old de Mori is 19-1-2 with 17 wins by KO/TKO, but from what I saw of his win over Troy Weida in June he has some rough edges to his style, so this will be a big test.
King was still able to a spoke in the wheels of Nat Cleverly’s fight with Ryan Coyne. There has been some mention over Coyne’s replacement Shawn Hawk not being in the WBO ratings. That’s no change as Coyne was not rated by the WBO either. Now Hawk is slipped in at No 15. Hawk has done most of his fighting on the Mid-West circuit where the competition is not strong, but he has wins over experienced fighters in Otis Griffin and Henry Buchanan, and has lasted the distance with Matt Godfrey and big punching Colombian/Canadian Eider Alvarez. He has brought his fighting weight down from 209lbs to 175lbs. Not the toughest of opponents but not bad for a late replacement and Cleverly needs to keep busy.
Roy Jones is in
Boxing got a break, almost literally. New Zealand All Black Sonny Bill Williams was to have fought South African Frans Botha in
Boxers come from all backgrounds and professions. The most surprising one at the moment is Russian Sergey Akimov. The 34-year-old light heavyweight is an ordained priest. He has the permission of his order to fight and has had three bouts. Unfortunately he has lost all three. Make it to the top? Seems like he hasn’t got a prayer.
From Saint to past sinner. Canadian-based Romanian heavyweight Bogdan Dinu is making steady progress with eight wins, five by KO/TKO. He had a very good record as an amateur winning the World Youth title in 2003. He had high hopes of a medal at the 2007 World Championships but lost on a CS. No, not a cut or a stoppage a “caught shoplifting”. He was then banned for life as an amateur. Better days ahead I hope.
A good prospect in boxing is something worth protecting, but over protection is a danger. At the weekend the German heavyweight prospect Edmund Gerber was up against a much smaller, very over weight (he was 175lbs when he turned pro in 2000 and was 240lbs for this fight), 38-year-old Darnell Wilson, who had lost nine of his previous ten fights. Gerber was walking
We have had father and son world champions, and brothers winning world titles. It’s a long way away but perhaps we might one day get a brother and sister pair. On a show in
I don’t know who runs boxing in the
Filipino John Mark Apolinario came close to winning the interim WBA bantamweight title in his draw with Roberto Vasquez at the weekend. A good fight. However, the question is how Apolinario got the chance to fight for the title. In November 2010 he fought a majority draw with a guy with a 10-7-2 record. He did not fight again until December 2011 when he won a six round fight. Suddenly, without fighting again, he, out of nowhere, appears at No 3 in the WBA ratings in April. That stinks, but then it is the WBA.
Similarly at the weekend Nestor Narvaes put up an excellent fight against Toshiyuki Igarashi for the WBC flyweight title. He was No 7 with the WBC and unbeaten in 22 fights. All sounds just right, until you consider that Narvaes had only had one ten round fight. That was back in April 2011 against a guy with a 16-6-1 record. How can a guy rise to No 7 in the world on the back of only one ten round fight (he also had only two eight round fights, all the rest were 4 and 6 rounds). It defies all reason and makes a mockery of ratings.
There were celebrations in