Jeremy Bates - A Real Life Rocky?

18.08.06 - By Ted Sares: After being knocked out by contender Ray Austin in March in two rounds, Jeremy "The Beast" Bates, a Parkersburg, KY resident, had pretty much thrown in the towel on a boxing career. But little did he know that his name was going from a very long list to the short list, so when he finally got the call, he jumped at the opportunity to become the opponent that four-time heavyweight titlist Evander Holyfield wanted to in order to measure his rapidly declining skill level. The Beast is 21-11-1, but he does have 18 ko's and a reasonably decent right. The problem is that everytime he has stepped up, he has been beaten badly by the likes of Brian Minto, Sedreck Fields, Leo Nolan, Andre Purlette, and Kirk Johnson. His one bright spot seems to have been a second round blow out of Jeff Lally in 2004.. To his credit, his amateur record was 50-26 and he turned pro after being beaten by tough Dominic Guinn.

Of course there is no need to talk about his opponent. There is little I can add to the saga of "The Real Deal"except to affirm that the soon-to-be 44 year old Holyfield, 38-8-2, looked terrible in his last fight with Larry Donald on Nov. 13, 2004 in Madison Square Garden. However, Donald later gave another "Beast," this one named Nikolai Valuev, all that he could handle. Also in Holyfield's favor is the incredibly high quality of his overall opposition, but that coin has two sides.

So now a 32 year old journeyman and hard working insurance salesman at Potts Insurance in Parkersburg takes on a faded legend. He does all this while on leave without pay though he has a family and mouths to feed. But how many chances like this will he ever get again? He well knows what a win can do for him.

As for the fight itself, he seems to be made to order...even for a fighter who hasn't looked good in years...but don't let the ripped body of Holyfield fool you. What about reflexes and stamina? When does enough become enough? These questions likely will be answered Friday night.

I do know one thing, however. If I were in the Beast's corner, my advice would be to go right after him....bull rush him...overwhelm and mug him to get him disoriented. Then unload the right and keep on unloading until the fight is stopped. Conversely, if I were in Evander's corner, my advice would be to be ready for such a charge and tie him up with strength- draining clinches and shots to his ample and soft mid section. I would advise him to then pick up the pace going into the 2nd which, based on Jeremy's history, seems to be when he is most vulnerable. It really kind of boils down to one or two rounds for me. If the Beast can sustain a charge, who knows? If Evander can withstand a charge, he should have an easy time. Everything suggests a slam dunk for Holyfield, though hopefully not a Tyson- McNeely type of one. We'll all know pretty soon. Can "The Beast" become a "Rocky."

"It is not the size of a man but the size of his heart that matters." Evander Holyfield

Ted Sares is a syndicated writer who can be reached at

Article posted on 18.08.2006

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