The Boxing Scene; The IBF Sure Gotta-lota Nerve!
20.03.04 - By Keith Terceira - A few months ago, shortly after the "Night of Young Heavyweights" the rankings of the major sanctioning bodies hit the press and outcries were heard around the world as to how Mesi, Guinn, and Gomez were suddenly thrust into the top ten without having to face true contenders. Taking into account the changing of the guard in the division it took me a while to see or admit the need for new blood and fresh challengers. Ridiculous though is the sudden propulsion of Andrew Golota to a title shot. Golota has about as much right to face Chris Byrd in Madison Square Garden as Madonna has a right to perform "Like a Virgin" in St. Pat's Cathedral. Some things should just be sacrosanct.
Article posted on 20.03.2004
First of all for several months now the IBF has refused to list a number one and number two challenger to the Byrd title and continues to list Tua as the number three.
David Tua; come out! come out! Please, where ever you are! Based on reports from around the world Tua has decided he is not fighting at least any time soon if in fact ever!
I can not possibly fathom Jameel McCline, Michal Moorer, Castillo, Whitaker, or Kirk Johnson turning down the opportunity to fight for a title and a payday. Unless of course the reports of Andrew getting only $150,000 are true. Then I may understand it. Of course now I hear Jefferson is going to replace Golota as the number 15 rated challenger, even though Julius Long took him to task and Tye Field had KO'd Long in three. I have a call in to Tye Fields as well who had been the number 15 challenger but he can't get anybody to fight him so instead of the IBF putting Chris Byrd at risk against the "Killing" Field, I guess they decided to create a new #15 challenger that they could force feed the public. Has the IBF really agreed not to sanction bout after making room for Golota in the ratings? Politics is a dirty business!
That takes care of the top two rated fighters on the IBF charts, the next in line is the injured Toney so let's move on down the line. Rahman has not looked good of late and just fought ugly bouts with Ruiz and Cole. IBF should have mandated a rematch on the Fres Oquendo performance versus Byrd if they wanted to retain credibility. That match would have drawn fans where this one may draw flies!
Dominick Guinn has already stated he felt slighted by the end round the IBF ran on him. Pity that just when I thought the Garden was going to revive a bit this farce needs to take place. Or maybe it was a case of low-balling the contenders to create the vaccum for this bout!
I have a tendency to believe in right versus wrong, good vs. evil, justice, hard work, and fairness. Often I am reminded of a little wisdom that was passed on to me by a mentor "There is the way things are and then there's the way things should be." Well the way things are is what is being given to us in Byrd vs. Golota, call it Champarama, Dial-a-title, Belts-R-Us, or call it as it looks "Pug in Play." This fight is not a title fight, this bout is a match between a pretender in Byrd who lost his rep to Fres Oquendo and the unranked contender Golota who lost his shot years ago but was beamed down from the Starship Fallacy to sell tickets and fill a need.
When Golota slid below the radar after the "Munch Match", "the Cannibal Championship", or "The Biters Brawl" in 2000, a lot of us let out a long sigh of relief. For the uninformed the match I'm talking about was the Tyson - Golota stinker in Michigan.
Let's flash back to Auburn Hills where Ironweed Mike stomped a mud hole in Andrew's pasture. Tyson had been so worried about Golota that somehow reefer showed up in his urine sample. For those who don't remember Golota attempted to take a chunk out of Samson Po'uha's shoulder in 95 and of course Tyson who was the "Ear-ly" favorite against Holyfield. The fight turned out the be a "Lobe of Manure" as well.
So, the IBF wants us to believe that all 11 other higher ranked fighters were unavailable to challenge Chris for the title. Let alone Levin, Valuev, Samuel Peter, Fields, Calvin Brock and a whole host of other more deserving fighters.
Personally, I hope I awake early on the morning of the 18th of April and Andrew has fulfilled finally, the vast potential that we all first thought he had a decade ago. It would also serve the IBF right to have to live with what they created at least for a little while. Or perhaps this is a huge April fool's joke, or perhaps that is the description of fans that will pay hard-earned money for tickets to this event.
More likely the Garden will look like a certain arena in China in April of 2000 when Golota fought Marcus Rhode, minus the Monsoon but just as Empty!
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