Rydell Booker: Padded and Smack-less, once is definitely enough

23.09.04 - By Coach Tim Walker: When I look at heavyweight boxer Rydell Booker I notice a couple of things sticking out. He is good looking guy who possesses a good grasp of the English language. At face value his 22 win zero loss record looks impressive and he seems to have the goods necessary to make the heavyweight division bow to his dreams thereby sending promoters and networks into a signing frenzy. Why hasn’t that happened? He has fought a bunch of nobodies and punches softer than cotton. That isn’t a total putdown. There is obviously room in boxing for a soft punching heavyweight who speaks well. Does anyone come to mind?

I know that you hear this all the time. Boxing critics and supporters use phrases like “tomato can” and “live body” in an attempt to describe the caliber of opponent that a boxer has met in duel. But, in Booker’s case the “he hasn’t fought anybody factor” is exponential.

Three reasons: First, his record is padded; second, he doesn’t punch like a heavyweight and third he isn’t an exciting fighter.

The good old padded record. In boxing more than any other sport it is possible to make a boxer look like he has the stuff. All you have to do is take on a few could have been boxers, some would have been boxers and throw in a couple of should have been boxers and you have the old padded record. Booker’s past opponents fit all three of those descriptions.

During the course of Booker’s three year professional boxing camp he might have written a letter or two that sounded something like this.

To Whom It May Concern: I have enjoyed myself at fantasy boxing camp. I met a great group of guys who I have come to call my dearest and closest opponents. Twenty-two of them in fact. They each allowed me to go in the ring with them and play out my fantasy of becoming a boxer. All of them have been to fantasy camp before and it shows because altogether they have won 254 matches. Wow! Camp is not without its problems though. One of the guys from camp reality keeps yelling across the road that my opponents have also lost 296 times with 7 or 8 draws. Do you think it is true?

Lay the smack down. To be a serious contender on the heavyweight scene you’ve got to have some pressure behind your punches. Of his 22 wins against mediocre talent he has only managed to muster up 12 KOs but it is more than that. The manner in which he fights does not invoke the need to see him fight again. Once around the ring with Booker is usually enough to last you for a lifetime. Periodically during fights he goes catatonic with 20 to 30 second spots where he doesn’t punch. For a guy who doesn’t hit hard that is a big window of opportunity waiting to be exploited.

Mr. Excitement he ain’t. Boxing society embraces carnage. Sure there is a rare anomaly like Chris Byrd who is virtually carnage-deficient but Booker doesn’t fall into that lineage. Byrd is a true middleweight that decided to go to heavyweight because he figured there was more money there. He never developed a heavyweight punch. Booker is a true heavyweight that punches like a middleweight but is inactive like a heavyweight.

Take away their similar records at 22 bouts and the fact that they are both from Michigan and what you end up with is that, until lately, the silver Olympic medal winning Byrd continually punched and moved throughout a fight.

Booker punches intermittently and the end result of that will be carnage at the hands of James “Lights Out” Toney. The good news is that after their fight you will definitely have a lifetime fill of Booker and won’t ever have to see him again.

Oh, my prediction is that Toney wins this bout within five rounds via the knockout. Take it to the bank.

Article posted on 23.09.2004

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