Willie Nelson: What’s In a Name?

Willie-Nelson-boxer-crown-V2Photo: Tom Casino / SHOWTIME

From Showtime Boxing Analyst Steve Farhood
Despite what you may be thinking, Willie Nelson, American icon and 81-year-old singer from Texas, will not be facing Vanes Martirosyan in the co-main event of SHOWTIME BOXING Special Edition this Saturday, October 4th at Foxwoods Casino Resort in Mashantucket, Conn. (9 p.m. ET/PT). Instead, Martirosyan is matched against 27-year-old boxer Willie Nelson,  from Cleveland, Ohio.

Here are 10 more fighters with names that could cause such confusion.

Kirk Douglas: Nicknamed “The Movie Star,” the super middleweight from St. Louis lost to K-9 Bundrage and Ronald Hearns in compiling a career mark of 11-16. The “other” Kirk Douglas played a boxer in the 1949 classic film “Champion.”

Michael Jordan
: In May, this lightweight from Michigan turned pro and got kayoed in one round. He hasn’t fought since. The “other” Michael Jordan once fought (sort of) Reggie Miller.

Richard Nixon: The junior middleweight from Philadelphia went 6-6. I called one of his fights on TV 30 years ago. When in battle, the “other” Richard Nixon was good at covering up.

Isiah Thomas: The cruiserweight from Detroit isn’t a Piston, but he is 13-0. Good with his hands, the “other” Isiah Thomas was known as a “Bad Boy.”

Richard Burton: In the ’80s, the middleweight from The Bronx went 17-5, losing to top contenders Michael Olajide and Mustafa Hamsho along the way. The “other” Richard Burton reportedly had some memorable bouts with Elizabeth Taylor.

Michael Corleone: Care to guess the nickname of this junior middleweight from Long Island, who fought from 1994 to 2005? “The Godfather” faced a pair of world titlists in Yuri Foreman and Jose Antonio Rivera. The “other” Michael Corleone didn’t show much chin when sucker punched by Police Captain McCluskey.

Jimmy Carter: The long-reigning lightweight champ was born in 1923. The “other” Jimmy Carter was born in 1924, so the fighter had the name first.

Jerry Lewis: The lightweight from San Jose went 9-20 in the ’80s and faced three world titlists, including Julio Cesar Chavez. The “other” Jerry Lewis didn’t speak to former partner Dean Martin for 20 years, constituting one of the better fights in Hollywood history.

Brad Pitt: The Australian cruiserweight, 15-1, is nicknamed “Hollywood.” According to Mike Tyson, the “other” Brad Pitt was fortunate to escape the former heavyweight champion’s wrath during a particularly awkward moment involving Robin Givens.

Ty Cobb: The Texas heavyweight is currently 18-5, including a 33-second loss to Deontay Wilder in 2010. From all reports, the “other” Ty Cobb was ornery enough to compete evenly against Jack Johnson and the various other heavyweight champions of his time.

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