Boxers Who Have Worn Out Their Welcome: Barrera, Eastman, Holyfield, Jones, Ruiz, McCall, Vargas and More!

roy jones jrAugust 20, 2007 - By Jimmy Bryght: Have you ever been sitting on your couch, easy chair or, if you're a bachelor, milk carton with a six-month old Sunday paper on it so you don't get honeycomb butt, and been watching a favorite TV show and witness the same commercial ten damn times during the viewing? Sure, the advertisement may have been entertaining at first but after seeing it so many times don't you wish it would just go away?

I feel the same way about certain boxers. There they are, the same names, loss after loss, yet they still manifest themselves on Pay-Per-View and won't go away no matter how many times you shut your eyes and make a wish. Feel the same? Sure, you do. Here's my adjective-laden laundry list of complaints:

John Ruiz: besides the "Quiet Man" himself, I don't believe there is anyone on the face of the earth who would disagree with me here. Did anyone actually see the WBA title eliminator between Ruiz and Ruslan Chagaev? Watching a Ruiz fight is like watching paint dry. I'd have more fun matching socks or watching insects mate. The stinking cloud that is John Ruiz has permeated the boxing world for far too long. He is the proverbial turd that won't flush. Go away, John!

Oliver McCall: besides being one of my heroes for exposing the chin of overrated Lennox Lewis in 1994, this guy has been a bit of an unhealed wound. Sure, he's active (11 fights in the last three years), but he's more of a novelty than a contender at this point. The only reason he's still around is because the heavyweight division is so wide open. His opponents over the last few years have been a cocophany of clubbers who are between terrible to exceedingly average in overall ability. Where does his ranking come from? The boring 12-round snorefest against Sinan Samil Sam? The WBC has him ranked number three! What the hell? Hit the bricks, Oliver!

Evander Holyfield: just how much gas does this guy have left in his tank? He's already a future Hall-of-Famer and has bested Muhammad Ali's record of heavyweight title wins. What more does he have to prove to himself? Somehow, he's ranked 11th by the WBO, who is sanctioning a title bout between Evander and champion Sultan Ibragimov to be held on October 13 in Russia. Will anyone actually see it? At 44 years old, Holyfield is risking much more than his legacy or his dream. I'm worried about his health. See ya, Evander!

Howard Eastman: after getting lit up by Bernard Hopkins, Arthur Abraham and Edison Miranda in three consecutive losses in the U.S., Eastman began boxing primarily in England and has peeled off two straight wins and now holds the British Commonwealth middleweight title which, combined with a quid, will get you bus fare from Picadilly Circus to Victoria Grove. He's never really beaten anyone of any honest talent anyway and his bleached-blonde beard pisses me off. Get lost, Howard!

Fernando Vargas: He hasn't been the same since Felix Trinidad pounded him to a pulp in 2000 and he never recovered psychologically from the beating he took from Oscar De La Hoya two years later. His two knockout losses to Shane Mosley last year has solidified his hold on the ratings basement. In a move motivated by money, Vargas will meet "El Matador" Ricardo Mayorga in the Battle of Desperation on September 8. Hopefully, Vargas will lose and retire and do us all a favor. Buh bye, Fernando!

Verno Phillips: perhaps I should shut up about this guy, but after seeing him get beat from pillar to post by an ancient Ike Quartey in 2005, I was done with him. His last three wins have been against journeymen and were still unimpressive. His power seems to be gone as well. He actually has an alphabet belt, but it's the TAB (Trans-America Boxing) middleweight title. He's come along way, hasn't he? Time to hang up the gloves, Verno!

Marco Antonio Barrera: this will probably prove to be an unpopular addidtion to this list of has-beens, but I don't care. Barrera has had it. I know that he's a warrior in the mold of Roberto Duran but Duran didn't know when to quit, either. He's fought 72 mind-boggling rounds since losing in a blowout to the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Manny Pacquiao. Those rounds have taken a toll on him. His two epic battles with Rocky Juarez alone should have been enough to punch his ticket into retirement. His most recent loss (a 12-round beating at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez) has not yet convinced him that he should step down. Instead, he's going to get knocked down and probably out of boxing altogether when he faces Pacquiao again on October 6. For some reason, Barrera thinks that going out on a stretcher would be more memorable than going out with a win. It was a good dance for him, but the party is over. There's the door, Marco!

Roy Jones, Jr.: the man I love to hate. The self-proclaimed "jewel" of the light-heavyweight division hasn't really done anything impressive since blasting Montell Griffin in 1997. Jones' storied career has been mired by overrated opponents and low-class mandatories since that time. He hasn't cared to face anyone of note until agreeing to fight Antonio Tarver for the first time in 2003. He got a gift decision on that night and the rematch and subsequent rubber match proved that Jones' time was over. Tarver ate his lunch and Glen Johnson dined on the leftovers. Jones' last two fights were unimpressive 12-round yawners against Prince Badi Ajamu and Anthony Hanshaw, the latter for the fringe IBC trinket. Roy loves fringe belts - they make him feel important. Anyway, Jones has a fight against Tito Trinidad scheduled for January 26, 2008. Roy is unfamiliar with having to face real opponents, so this fight means more to him than it does for the rest of us. Will he run or will he fight? This could be it for him so he'd better make it count. I'll actually buy the Jones-Trinidad fight but after that...beat it, Roy!

Okay, that's all for now. These are the fighters that have worn out their respective welcome. Some have had awesome careers (Holyfield, Barrera) and others have been overrated from the start (Eastman, Vargas, Jones). Some never had much at all (Ruiz). If I never saw them fight again, it would be too damn soon. So, I guess this article will stir the pot of public opinion so it's a good thing that I don't read Comments, eh?

Article posted on 21.08.2007

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