Boxing Myths, Pre-Conceptions & Research

pryorBy William Pinkard II: Eastside boxing is THEE best website that allow fight fans from all over the world to unite and exchange information regarding various topics. It also allows fans to voice their opinions on not only up coming fights, the results of current fights, but also dream matches between legendary fighters in different era’s.

One must remember that when we voice our opinion in support of whomever our favorite fighter(s) are, it is exactly that an opinion. No one could ever be certain that Ali would whip Tyson if they fought today, or even a fight that seems so easy to pick Hagler vs. Pavlik, I am sure there are many out there that will come to site and post some very interesting information regarding why Kelly Pavlik would beat Hagler, and it would be countered with uncountable reasons why Hagler would win. The key point to remember is it is all opinion, and friendly debate. I don’t think any of us is getting paid for our support for a certain fighter..

However, there is debate of our opinion, and there is posting flat out wrong information or information that is not researched, then posting it as if it is fact. There is also debating how it is wrong for fighter "A”, to do something, but not for fighter "B". Remember it is your opinion, but if the same set of circumstances exists for two fighters is seems kind of strange why the level of expectation for one fighter is different, that it is for another. Here are 4 examples of what I am saying:

There is a recent article on here that states that Aaron Pryor beat both Thomas Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard in the amateurs. Aaron while he did defeat Thomas Hearns, never ever faced Sugar Ray Leonard in an official boxing match neither as an amateur or a professional. Posting such information as fact is flat out misleading and thoughtless.

In the great debates since the 80’s there is a popular MYTH, that Sugar Ray Leonard got Marvin Hagler to break the rules, as somehow their fight is tainted because the fight was only scheduled for 12 rounds. - Hmmm all one has to do is take look at the other fights of that era which is 1987, to see how bogus this claim is. I will start off with the Heavyweights. A certain mister Mike Tyson 1st fought for the Heavyweight title in November of 86 vs. Trevor Berbick in a scheduled 12 rounder. Hmmm all of his defenses where scheduled for …hmmmm…. 12 rounds. This is the same era that Sugar Ray Leonard fought Marvin Hagler. I will next visit the Jr. Middleweights. I will just randomly pick Julian Jackson. When he fought in 87 it was a scheduled 12 rounder for the WBC Light middleweight title. Thus all of his fights after that was for 12 rounds. This leads me to Mr. Hagler himself. Three of his previous four fights, including he most recent fight with Mugabi and the legendary slugfest with Thomas Hearns were all scheduled for 12 rounds. Hmmmmm Yes Hagler wanted a 15 round fight, quite possible he wanted it vs. the other fighters too, but he signed for 12 rounds, and at that time is was very clear and easy to find out that this was becoming the norm. Funny how it was never brought up before until some try to go out of their way to discredit Sugar Ray Leonard. All anyone has to do is their own research, and they will see it simply is not true. There may be issues with ring size, etc. However the most popular discussion centers on the 12 round vs. 15 round limit. In either case they signed for the terms of the contract and that should be it.

Back in 1981 Aaron Pryor approached Sugar Ray Leonard as he was discussing his upcoming classic with Thomas Hearns. It is clear on the video that Pryor did openly challenge Leonard. There is never any debate about that. However this challenge quickly turns into folklore that Leonard ‘ducked” Aaron Pryor. Hmmmm Lets examine the facts surrounding this. In 1981 the entire boxing world as well as millions who where not true boxing fans, was waiting on a fight between two fighters that had the world debating who would win. These two fighters where Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns. Anyone around at that time knows that this was THE FIGHT! It was the biggest fight since Ali-Frazier I. It also set financial records, and is the standard that all great fights in the lower weight divisions are measured against. There was no mention of a Mr. Pryor at the time. None. At this time, Aaron Pryor’s biggest win came against a 35-year-old fighter by the name of Antonio Cervantes. He was well past his prime, and his record entering into that fight, and was 89-10-3, having actually lost to Wilfred Benitez four years prior to that. Aaron Pryor did not become relevant until he beat Alexis Arguello. In fact leading up to this fight, Aaron Pryor was picked to lose to Arguello who was moving up to attempt to capture his 4th title in as many divisions. It was after his tussles with Arguello, that he became relevant to a Tommy Hearns, Benitez, or Duran. Notice I left out Leonard’s name. Why you may ask? Simply because all one has to do is the time line. Pryor first beat Arguello 11/12/82, and because of all the controversy surrounding the mysterious water bottle he used after the 13th round, en route to a 14th round stoppage. Hmmmmmm. They decided to fight again on 9/9/83 Leonard had already announced his retirement on 11/9/82, before the Pryor-Arguello fight, because of detached retina, which at that time was a much more difficult prognosis. Simply look at other popular and successful fighters who had the same injury that Leonard had but chose to fight on. Sugar Ray Seales, Harry Greb, and Aaron Pryor himself. Each of these fighters became legally blind at least in one eye, due to fighting with a detached Retina. One other thing to consider, Pryor up until 82, had never face a welterweight nor fought in the welterweight division. Why would Sugar Ray Leonard face Aaron Pryor over Thomas Hearns? Could you imagine if Ray had fought Pryor instead of Hearns and had to retire like he did, thus never facing a fighter who was the welterweight WBA champion, electing to fight the Jr. Welterweight champion who at the time was a nobody. This Pryor folklore, is created by the documentary “Legendary Nights: The Tale of Pryor vs. Arguello”. The purpose of this documentary was to document Pryor’s unlucky career, the great fight that occurred, and garner sympathy for a fighter with so much talent but never got the big break he and others felt he deserved. Thus it names Sugar Ray Leonard as a culprit to his not becoming as successful as he may have, because in the early 80’s Leonard was everyone’s path to success and money. Duran moved all the way up from lightweight, skipping Jr Welter’s to fight Leonard. Hagler was the Middleweight King, and was destroying everyone, and he wanted the Leonard name on his resume, as did Pryor. So why wouldn’t Pryor start the Hype by calling out Leonard his good buddy. Had Leonard not had to retire, this would have been a good play, because after Leonard beat Hearns, and after Pryor beat Arguello, there would have been media demand for this fight, however it never happened partially due to Leonard’s retirement, and partially because Pryor became addicted to crack cocaine and thus shortened his career also. I ask how on one hand can a person say Mayweather did not duck Margerito who challenged him, and even had an 8million contract on the table, but on the other hand say Leonard ducked a fighter who was not even a welterweight, and had not beaten anybody yet. Wow!!

Finally many on here truthfully point out that Mayweather is the1st 5-division champ to gain this success while being undefeated. This is True! However, they take it further, by saying he is better than Ray Leonard, and even better than Sugar Ray Robinson, and list two points that have to be addressed, One is that Robinson never had 5 Titles, when they never researched that the Jr welterweight division was not officially sanction until 1959, nor was the Jr. Middleweight division sanctioned until 1962. Hers for those who do not know about Robinson is a brief summary. First off the man they are comparing Mayweather too finished his amateur career with an 85–0 record with 69 knockouts—40 coming in the first round. He won the Golden Gloves Featherweight championship in 1939, and the organization's lightweight championship in 1940. He turned pro weighing 134 pounds. In 1941, he defeated world champion Sammy Angott, future champion Marty Servo and former champion Fritzie Zivic. The Robinson-Angott fight was held above the lightweight limit, since Angott did not want to risk losing his lightweight title. There was no Jr, Welterweight division until 1959. So Robinson moved on up to Welterweight. Robinson built a record of 40–0 before losing for the first time to LaMotta in a 10 round re-match. Three weeks later Robinson avenged this fight, and ultimately went on to beat Lamotta 5 out of 6 times. By 1946, Robinson had fought 75 fights to a 73–1–1 record, and beaten every top contender in the welterweight division. However, he refused to cooperate with the mafia, which controlled much of boxing at the time, and was denied a chance to fight for the welterweight championship. For a long while. Robinson was finally given a chance to win a title against Tommy Bell, on 12/20/1946. He did that, and went on to own the welterweight title 'til 1951. Again there was not a Jr. Middleweight Division until 1962, so Robinson then went on to dominate the Middleweight division. At one point he had a record of 127-1-1. He also was 2 rounds from winning the light heavyweight crown, but was stopped in the 14th round due to heat exhaustion, not a punch from Joey Maxim but heat exhaustion.

This is the man that many on here are attempting to say Mayweather is better than. I ask this, if Mayweather belongs in the same sentence as a Robinson then why not do what Robinson did, that is fight at middleweight, since they both started roughly 2 pounds apart. Mayweather did go back down to 130 from time to time, however the weight for their 1st professional fights was had roughly two pounds of weight difference. I think many need to realize who they are comparing Mayweather too before making these statements.

The main reason I have for this article is simply, to ask, should we not set the bar high enough so that when people post things on here, that they at least take the time to do the research and not jump on every popular myth that is out there.

Article posted on 27.12.2007

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