Five, Five, & Five: Boxing In Canada

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FROM SHOWTIME BOXING ANALYST STEVE FARHOOD

THE FIVE GREATEST CANADA-BORN FIGHTERS EVER

1. Sam Langford: Arguably best fighter to never have secured a title shot. Stood only 5-foot-8, but rumbled with bigger men such as legends Jack Johnson and Harry Wills. Born in Nova Scotia, and moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts as child.

2. George Dixon: First black world champion (crowned in 1890) and one of greatest featherweights in history. He’s reported to have invented shadowboxing.

3. George Chuvalo: Might’ve been toughest heavyweight ever; was never floored in 93 bouts. Fought Ali (twice), as well as Foreman, Frazier, Patterson (1965’s Fight of Year), Quarry, Bonavena and Ellis, among others.

4. Lou Brouillard: Southpaw powerpuncher from Quebec reigned as world welter and middle champion in ’30s. Faced all-time greats Mickey Walker and Jimmy McLarnin, among others.

5. Jack Delaney: Was world light heavy champ during first golden era of 175-pound class. Beat all-time great Paul Berlenbach three of four. Never defended title, instead moved up to heavyweight.

FIVE MEMORABLE FIGHTS IN QUEBEC

Roberto Duran W 15 Sugar Ray Leonard, June 20, 1980, Olympic Stadium, Montreal: Both one of most anticipated and best fights in history. Crowd of 46,317 braves rain to watch Duran win welterweight title.

Archie Moore KO 11 Yvon Durelle, December 10, 1956, The Forum, Montreal: Universally listed as one of five best fights in history. Defending light heavyweight champ Moore goes down three times in first round and again in fifth; Durelle, fisherman from New Brunswick, is dropped four times total.

Bernard Hopkins W 12 Jean Pascal, May 21, 2011, Bell Centre, Montreal: Amazing BHop, age 46, becomes oldest fighter ever to win world title (light heavyweight). He had fought to a draw with Pascal five months earlier.

Matthew Hilton W 15 Buster Drayton, June 27, 1987, The Forum, Montreal: Big-punching Hilton becomes first world titlist from Montreal in 44 years. Sellout crowd reacts as if Canadiens had won Stanley Cup.

Lucien Bute W 12 Librado Andrade, October 24, 2008, Bell Centre, Montreal: Controversy in Canada: Bute retains super middle title, but only after suffering devastating knockdown in final five seconds of last round and benefiting from extended count.

FIVE THINGS ABOUT BOXING IN CANADA

I GUESS BUCHAREST WAS UNAVAILABLE: Just curious, but why, in 1983, did light heavyweight titlist Michael Spinks of St. Louis defend against Peruvian contender Oscar Rivadeneyra in Vancouver? Anyway, 5,000 fans attended at Pacific Coliseum, and after knocking out the challenger, Spinks called out middleweight king Marvin Hagler. That fight, of course, never happened.

WHERE DID YOU SAY YOU WERE FROM AGAIN?: England-born Lennox Lewis won an Olympic gold medal for Canada in 1988, but fought Up North only twice as a pro. Arturo Gatti, born in Italy and raised in Montreal, fought in Canada only once as a pro.

Among other fighters associated with Canada who were born elsewhere: Razor Ruddock (Jamaica), Jimmy McLarnin (Ireland), Lucien Bute and Leo Dorin (Romania), and Adonis Stevenson and Jean Pascal (Haiti).

THE MOST CANADIAN OF THEM ALL: George Chuvalo always came home. Although he fought majority of big bouts in the USA, Chuvalo faced Ernie Terrell, Jimmy Ellis and Muhammad Ali in Toronto, and also fought Ali in Vancouver.

HIGH HOPES, BIG BUSTS: The disappointment began at 1984 Olympics, where heavyweight Willie deWit and light middleweight Shawn O’Sullivan, both of whom had been world amateur champions for Canada, came home with “only” silver medals.

As pros, they were major busts. deWit lost only once, by crushing kayo to Bert Cooper in 1987, but never contended. His record: 21-1-1.

He became a criminal attorney.

Nicknamed “The Cabbagetown Kid,” O’Sullivan was stopped by Simon Brown in 1986, and also never contended. He finished at 23-5.

LEGAL RIGHTS AND LEFTS: In 1913, Ontario’s Arthur Pelkey won the White Heavyweight Championship (yes, during Jack Johnson’s reign, there really was such a title) in Calgary by knocking out Luther McCarty in the first round. McCarty died in the ring and Pelkey was arrested and charged with murder by the Northwest Mounted Police. He was released a few days later.

Pelkey fought 15 more times and lost 12 of those bouts by kayo.

Farhood’s Top Light Heavyweights

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1 *Adonis Stevenson (Haiti) 23-1
2 *Bernard Hopkins (USA) 55-6-2
3 *Sergey Kovalev (Russia) 24-0-1
4 Jean Pascal (Haiti) 29-2-1
5 *Juergen Braehmer (Germany) 43-2
6 Chad Dawson (USA) 31-3
7 Isaac Chilemba (Malawi) 22-2-2
8 Beibut Shumenov (Kazakhstan) 14-2
9 Tavoris Cloud (USA) 24-2
10 Karo Murat (Iraq) 25-2-1

* Denotes world titlist

Behind the Numbers of Hopkins vs. Shumenov

005 Hopkins and Shumenov IMG_4837Photo: Tom Casino / SHOWTIME

Beibut Shumenov has fought 101 pro rounds, far less than Bernard Hopkins who has fought 301 rounds just in world title fights. However, those aren’t the only numbers to consider.

SHOSTATS® historical comparison report for both fighters was calculated from Hopkins’ last 6 fights, and Shumenov’s last 5 fights.

ShoStats_HopkinsShumenov

Shumenov throws and lands above the average for the weight class including landing an average of 42% of his power shots.

Tonight, boxing fans will see a test of experience versus firepower when Bernard Hopkins takes on Beibut Shumenov.

Hopkins Tops List of World Titlists – Beyond Forty, and Still Unstoppable

From SHOWTIME Boxing Analyst Steve Farhoodhopkins-with-beltPhoto: Tom Casino / SHOWTIME

Bernard Hopkins is 49 and going strong. There’s little doubt that today’s pro athletes are maintaining their form for a greater length of time than their predecessors.

While Hopkins seems to be stretching the boundaries of what can be accomplished, it’s telling that most of the boxers on this list fought within the past 20 years or so.

FIGHTER AGE AT TIME OF LAST TITLE FIGHT
*Bernard Hopkins (now 49)
*Guillermo Jones (now 41)
Archie Moore 48
George Foreman 46
Virgil Hill 43
Bob Fitzsimmons 42
Sugar Boy Malinga 42
Vitali Klitschko 41

*Denotes fighter still actively boxing

Hopkins, Shumenov Motivated By Looming Stevenson Bout

shumenov-hopkins-press-conferencePhoto: Amanda Kwok / SHOWTIME

From BoxingScene.com: Jake Donovan
Rare is the occasion when a fighter will admit to having his eye on a fight beyond the challenge in front of him. However, Bernard Hopkins and Beibut Shumenov are both realists and are well aware that there exists plenty of chatter regarding the extra layers attached to their April 19 light heavyweight title unification bout in Washington D.C.

The fight was already in the works from the moment Shumenov (14-1, 9KO) signed with Golden Boy Promotions late last year. There were concerns regarding what awaited the winner of the upcoming Showtime-televised main event, given that the rest of the best light heavyweights in the world were fighting on HBO.

That dynamic dramatically shifted when Stevenson decided in late March to take his business down the block. The lineal light heavyweight king will defend his crown versus Andrzej Fonfara on May 24, with Showtime to televise the bout after months of speculation that HBO had the fight locked up. The fight was made with the intention of Stevenson next facing Sergey Kovalev, who last weekend crushed overmatched Cedric Agnew on HBO.

Read the full article at BoxingScene.com »