Joe Calzaghe – The Truth Behind His Career

calzaghe53454By Anthony Mason: It was not shocking to see Joe Calzaghe inducted in the Hall of Fame. Not because of Joe Calzaghe’s career, but because of the low standards the Hall of Fame has set for induction. Calzaghe had a very unimpressive career, and the only big names on his resume came against men who were well past their prime.

Chris Eubank was in the very end of his career and a complete shell of his former self. After not losing in over 40 fights, he lost twice in the span of six fights prior to facing Calzaghe. Eubank had not defeated a top-level opponent since Nigel Benn seven years earlier and Michael Watson one year after that. Calzaghe obtained the vacant paper WBO belt and proceeded to make 21 incredibly weak defenses.

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Froch vs. Groves Shows the Extreme Dearth of Quality at super middleweight

froch#2By Anthony Mason: IBF/WBA super middleweight champion Carl Froch (33-2, 24 KO’s) had a magnificent knockout over the outclassed George Groves (19-2, 15 KO’s). Froch vs Groves was a major event in the British boxing world today and a lot of anticipation was behind the event. However, it is hard to see, outside of the hype, trash talk, and controversial nature of the last bout, what made this fight so highly anticipated.

George Groves has not one impressive win on his record, outside of a beyond washed up Glen Johnson. Froch and Groves are good boxers, but there is not much to suggest that they are great. Froch is elite, but it is hard to see how he can compare with the truly great fighters of Britain’s past. Perhaps the high anticipation is a result of the diminished quality of British boxing since the early 1960s, the last days of Randolph Turpin’s career.

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Removing the False Veil of Greatness, Part 2 – Wladimir Klitschko

wladimir64By Anthony Mason: In the previous article, it was established beyond doubt that Vitali Klitschko had done nothing to establish himself as a legitimately great heavyweight by all-standards. Now, it is time to use the same unbiased, fair, 100% factual and contextual analysis to determine how great Wladimir Klitschko is. Wladimir, like his brother, is a good heavyweight, but for him to be great there are a few things that need to be present before the label of greatness can be put on him.

Similarly to the case with his brother, Wladimir is highly praised for being the third-longest reigning heavyweight champion of all time. Once again, these defenses have to be analyzed in detail to determine how truly valuable and impressive this competition is. If title defenses regardless of competition were the determinant of greatness, then Bernard Hopkins (although he is truly great) would be falsely considered the greatest middleweight of all time, ahead of Sugar Ray Robinson, Harry Greb, and Marvin Hagler thanks to Hopkins’ 20 title defenses. Actually, Bernard might be one of the top 5 fighters of all time according to this logic since almost nobody has 20 defenses in boxing history.

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Removing the False Veil of Greatness, Part 1 – Vitali Klitschko

vitali3353By Anthony Mason: Much has been made of the Klitschkos’ long title reigns. What many fail to do is put these so-called title defenses in context. The reigns of both Klitschkos will be analyzed and only when this is done can the legitimacy of their defenses be evaluated. Only after comparing the Klitschkos’ competition against the truly great heavyweights can their place in history be properly determined.

With this article, we will focus on Vitali Klitschko, and a subsequent article will complement this one to analyze Wladimir Klitschko’s career. Vitali is definitely a good heavyweight, but simply being good is not enough to be ranked among the best. Vitali supposedly has nine consecutive title defenses, tied with Lennox Lewis, Joe Frazier, and Mike Tyson for sixth all time.

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Floyd Mayweather – Is he really a five division champion?

mayweather344By Anthony Mason: As is the case with Manny Pacquiao, fans are easily tricked into believing that all of Floyd Mayweather’s five division titles are legitimate. Mayweather has established himself as the best post-2005 boxer, but we will soon see that this is not due to Floyd Mayweather being great, but due to him fighting in a watered down era.

As was the case with the Pacquiao article, it is important to closely examine Mayweather’s titles and who he fought in each weight class. After putting everything in context, only then can the value of Mayweather’s titles be assessed. All fans need to remember that a title is only worth as much as who you beat. Victor Ortiz was considered a welterweight champion for simply beating Andre Berto. I highly doubt anyone can rank Ortiz’s title as valuable as Roberto Duran’s when he defeated Sugar Ray Leonard.

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Manny Pacquiao – Not an Eight-Division Champ?

pac3By Anthony Mason: All boxing fans have heard it by now. Manny Pacquiao is the only man to be an eight-division champion. However, this accomplishment is only true in name, not in value or substance in my opinion. It is true that after Bernard Hopkins’ middleweight reign ended, that Pacquiao, along with Floyd Mayweather, is one of the greatest boxers of this era.

I see it as false, however, to consider Manny Pacquiao to be a legitimate eight-division champion. To see why this is the case it is important to closely examine Pacquiao’s titles and what he accomplished in each weight class. Then after putting this in historical context it will be possible to objectively rank the value of Pacquiao’s multiple championships.

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What truly determines greatness in boxing?

By Anthony Mason: So often do we hear a fighter being anointed as a boxing great, but in modern times it seems that this is largely due to media hype and marketability. It is important to look at what truly determines a great fighter and look past the smoke and mirrors that are often present.

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Floyd Mayweather’s longevity is good, but not close to great

may990By Anthony Mason: A lot of people seem to be very impressed by Floyd Mayweather Jr’s 18-years of dominance. Longevity of this sort is impressive to a degree, but when one goes beyond just memorizing and reciting statistics and numbers, it is clear that the 18 years of the 37 year-old Mayweather’s career is not mind-blowing. A lot of other fighters had lost by the time that they got to 37, but they were too busy fighting some of the best competition in boxing history, fighting much more actively than Mayweather, or both.

In 18 years, Floyd has only fought 46 times, including a retirement of over a year. This amounts to between 2-3 fights a year. Compared to those who are truly great, this is hardly impressive. From 1940 to 1951, when Sugar Ray Robinson only suffered one loss, he fought on average 12 times a year.

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Mayweather’s struggles do not compare to the struggles of the greats

floyd666333By Anthony Mason: Floyd Mayweather Jr’s last performance against an ordinary opponent in Marcos Maidana last Saturday night was hardly impressive. Roger Mayweather himself stated that Maidana had not beaten anyone that impressed him. Despite his own uncle and trainer admitting the ordinary status of Maidana, Floyd clearly lost four to five rounds. And it’s not like Floyd is well past his prime, either.

Floyd was coming off a win against a solid average opponent in Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, and sustained absolutely no damage in that fight. Many considered his win over Canelo to be one of the finest performances in his career, so it is ludicrous to immediately switch to saying that Floyd is getting old and slowing down. Although he is 37, several fighters have peaked in their mid-30s, while others peaked in their early 20s, so age is not indicative of a fighter’s prime.

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Why the Klitschkos cannot be considered historically great

wladimir33By Anthony Mason: I find it very confusing when people compare the Klitschkos to the all-time great heavyweights. The Klitschkos are definitely good boxers, but they have not done anything to stand out and be considered in the league of a Dempsey, Wills, or Tunney, let alone a Joe Louis or Muhammad Ali. No amount of title defenses will hide the fact that the Klitschkos have never beaten an elite heavyweight boxer in their entire careers. To claim that they are historically underrated is a terrible farce.

Simply reciting statistics such as the Klitschkos win-loss record, number of defenses, or KO ratios demonstrates an inability to use logical thinking and an inability to put these misleading statistics into context.

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