Monday, June 11, 2007

The Bastards Revisit Holyfield-Bowe I

Say what you will about the ESPN dynasty, but ESPN Classic has been great lately with its weekend marathon of NBA finals (which probably got better ratings than the current finals) and nightly classic boxing. Last night's classic boxing featured the first match up between Evander Holyfield and Riddick Bowe. Both fighters entered the ring undefeated and the 30 pound smaller Holyfield was the champ.

Round 1 began with the boxers trading punches for essentially the entire 3 minutes - a theme that would continue throughout the fight.

The fight continued alternating between brutalizing inside exchanges and sharp exchanges from the outside. Back and forth the fighters went exchanging at punch rates comparable to those of welterweights.

The fight culminated in the 10th round, featured below. This round 10 is one of the best rounds of heavyweight boxing which this Bastard can remember.

Round 11 was marred by a blatant rabbit punch by Bowe. Riddick caught Holyfield with an uppercut, which spun Holyfield around and against the ropes. Bowe teed off on the back of Evander's head knocking him down, but not out. The ref missed it and Bowe was given the knock down. Evander eventually recovered - a testament to his Rocky-esque will power (or idiocy, which is why the 80 year old Holyfield is still trying to box).

A lot of folks are talking about how boxing is dead, replaced by the "new" MMA. I would argue boxing is merely down, but not out. There are, currently, tons of quality exciting fighters in the lower weight classes. Unfortunately, there are no real quality heavyweights. And American audiences, for whatever reasons, seem to prefer exciting heavyweights. When they make their return, and there are a few potential heavyweights on their way up through the ranks, boxing will again regain its popularity. Or at least I hope so.

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