Calvin Brock: The Forgotten Heavyweight

calvin brock18.10.06 - By Coach Tim Walker – He’s not seven feet tall and he doesn’t weight 350 pounds. In fact, at 6’2” and about 220 pounds he closer to Muhammad Ali’s fight size than he is to the man he will face November 11 for the IBF Heavyweight Title.

But don’t discount Brock because of his stature. He has endured monumental disappointment and setbacks from the time he first went to a boxing gym. Boxing is the sort of sport that separates the men from the boys and even when you win you usually take a butt whipping in the process. Brock certainly endured his share of whippings early as an amateur. He lost his first 6 amateur fights and that would have made most boxers, man and boy alike, hang up their gloves in search of greener sport pastures. But Brock hung in there and eventually represented the United States in the 2000 Olympics.

This sounds like the stuff that boxing fans around the world should love but for the most part Calvin Brock is overlooked. We live in the day and age of the mega-heavyweight. All four of the recognized heavyweight champions are larger than Brock. Wladimir Klitschko is 6’6” and Nikolay Valuev is at least 7’0”, Serguei Lyakhovich is 6’4” and Oleg Maskaev is 6’4”. Maybe that is why he disregarded. He doesn’t have the massive physique that many of the heavyweights possess. We really can’t see him lasting let alone beating one of these colossal beings.

But Brock just seems to take all this in stride and keeps doing the one thing that will ultimately earn him a place among the heavyweights of today. Winning! He has faced bigger guys before but to be honest he hasn’t faced anyone close to the four champions. As true as that maybe, they haven’t faced anyone like Brock either.

Many experts figured Clifford Etiene would get rid of Brock but he was knocked out. Brock was then fed up to Big Time Jameel McCline as a get your feet back in the ring type bout for McCline after he lost to Chris Byrd. Brock was more dominating in his win over McCline than Byrd was. After a few preparatory fights he was paired with the unbeaten highly touted Timor Ibragimov. Many analysts believed this would be the ceremonial exit of Brock but he thoroughly dominated Ibragimov and earned a title shot with the man considered the best heavyweight on the planet.

So what is to be made of Calvin Brock? Church usher. College graduate. Financial advisor. Spare time tap dancer. Olympic boxer. Will his hard work and dedication to the sport that tried to spit him out finally pay? While no one can tell the future I believe that both Calvin and Wladimir’s futures will be revealed to us all on November 11. If Calvin Brock is victorious I hope that people will finally begin to embrace him because he represents boxing in the brightest light possible.

Article posted on 18.10.2006

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