Corrie Sanders – Days of Glory: A Sniper is Laid To Rest

By Phenyo Molefe: Corrie Sanders’ life was celebrated as more than a thousand friends, family and sports personalities from various disciplines gathered on Monday to bid him farewell in a ceremony held in Pretoria, South Africa.

Just over a week ago one of boxing’s own sons sustained fatal gunshot wounds while attempting to shield his daughter from harm. Speculation has flared an investigation into claims his death could have been averted had he not been turned away from first hospital he was sent to. His murderers made their first court appearance earlier this week and remain incarcerated. The coming weeks or months may give us greater detail pertaining to events leading to his death however the details pertaining to his boxing career remain clear to us.

Read moreCorrie Sanders – Days of Glory: A Sniper is Laid To Rest

Corrie “The Sniper” Sanders…shot dead at age 47

By Joseph Herron – It’s been confirmed that former WBO Heavyweight Champion Corrie “The Sniper” Sanders has died this morning after being shot in the stomach at the “Thatch Haven Restaurant” just outside of Pretoria, South Africa.

The 47 year old southpaw was attending his nephew’s 21 st Birthday party when three unknown assailants entered the restaurant and robbed several customers before opening fire in and outside of the establishment.

The proprietor of the establishment, Johan de Jager, described what transpired yesterday evening at 8PM SAST (South Africa Standard Time), which is six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

“Three guys came inside and just started shooting. Unfortunately during the shooting, they shot Corrie.”

The hard punching Heavyweight was rushed to Kalafong Hospital for emergency surgery but died at 4AM SAST this morning due to complications associated with the injury.

Former trainer Harold Volbrecht was understandably emotional when news of his fighter’s passing had been publicized

“This is very sad. My heart is broken. It’s just terrible. I can’t believe this has happened.”

Read moreCorrie “The Sniper” Sanders…shot dead at age 47

20 Years Ago Next Month, UK’s ‘Dark Destroyer’ Nigel Benn Wins WBC Crown

Boxing History - By Rick Murray - Doesn't time fly. It was early October 1992, and Nigel Benn -long-time labelled on both sides of the Atlantic as boxing's most exciting fighter- is preparing to face awkward, cagey Italian spoiler and WBC 168lb. ruler Mauro 'Rocky' Galvano. Known for his smothering, ring movement, clinching and countering, as well as being a former light-heavyweight (Benn was a former middleweight), Galvano started as the betting favourite and pre-fight tip by all pundits.By Rick Murray – Doesn’t time fly. It was early October 1992, and Nigel Benn -long-time labelled on both sides of the Atlantic as boxing’s most exciting fighter- is preparing to face awkward, cagey Italian spoiler and WBC 168lb. ruler Mauro ‘Rocky’ Galvano. Known for his smothering, ring movement, clinching and countering, as well as being a former light-heavyweight (Benn was a former middleweight), Galvano started as the betting favourite and pre-fight tip by all pundits.

Benn, known for his aggressive power-punching and bob-and-weave style, ripped up the odds sheets and tore into the Champ relentlessly for four rounds, cutting off the ring and landing body shots and right hands. Tough man Mauro was breathing heavily and bleeding profusely and the fight was halted. New WBC King, Nigel Benn -who would hold the crown for a further 10 (often-exhilarating) defenses.

Benn switched over in January 1987 after beating every man he faced in the amateur ranks as an Army boxer and ABA competitor. This included future pro prospect Rod Douglas -ranked in the top-five in the World amateurs- and other very good amateur stand-outs in Mark Edwards, Roy Andre and Johnny Melfah. He had 24 knockouts in 28 fights for the West Ham ABC in 1985 and 1986, and in the early eighties won every tournament he entered in the Army ranks.

Read more20 Years Ago Next Month, UK’s ‘Dark Destroyer’ Nigel Benn Wins WBC Crown

Foreman Vs. Tyson: The Heavyweight Explosion Of Heavyweight Explosions!

Boxing History - By James Slater:By James Slater:

“Boxing is the theatre of the unexpected,” Larry Merchant

“Fighting Tyson Would be Like Bird hunting for me; a bird’s nest on the ground,” George Foreman

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard Mike Tyson talk about potential 1990’s rival and fellow former heavyweight king George Foreman. Never once. Maybe, just maybe, this is because at no time did “Iron Mike” want anything to do with the old warrior he is famously alleged to have referred to as “that animal” when telling Don King what he could do with his lucrative idea of fighting Foreman. Maybe not.

Still, to me, and millions of other fight fans, Foreman-Tyson, Tyson-Foreman is the ultimate Dream Fight; one that was tantalizingly close in 1990. The two greats fought on the same bill in June of 1990 – Foreman taking out Adilson Rodrigues in quick time, Tyson rubbing out Henry Tillman ever faster – and the idea being floated around then was for the two to engage in another double-header that September (Tyson Vs. Alex Stewart, Foreman Vs. Francesco Damiani) and then meet in a blockbuster in December.

Read moreForeman Vs. Tyson: The Heavyweight Explosion Of Heavyweight Explosions!

The History of Boxing with Emanuel Steward Part IV: Amateur Boxing

Boxing History -  “A lot of guys try to emulate him, but there will never be another Pernell Whitaker”—Emanuel Steward

“A lot of guys try to emulate him, but there will never be another Pernell Whitaker”—Emanuel Steward

Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani – With his vast wealth of knowledge, experience, and an amazing track record of success, Emanuel Steward is undoubtedly one of the greatest trainers the sport of boxing has ever seen. In fact Steward has trained and/or managed 41 World Champions, including the reigning heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko. This is Part Four of an ongoing series with Emanuel that will explore past champions, historical fights, mythical match-ups, great rivalries, memorable fighters, and Steward’s own personal experiences as a world class trainer. This edition focuses on theme of amateur boxing. Steward (*pictured to the right, standing over Eddie Gonzalez during the semi-finals for the National Golden Gloves Championship, in Chicago, on March 6, 1963) spoke about his own experiences as an amateur National Champion. He also provided opinions on the American amateur boxing scene, the Cuban program, and various amateur boxers he has both seen and worked with over the years, including: Sugar Ray Leonard, Mark Breland, Floyd Mayweather Junior, Tommy Hearns, George Foreman, Pernell Whitaker, Howard Davis, Ronnie Shields, Roy Jones Junior, and more! Here is what the Hall of Fame trainer had to say:

The Stages of an Amateur Boxer:

Well the stages of a person’s amateur career I think are very important, and it’s something that I refer to in life often now. When you first go into the gym as a kid you start learning how to hold your feet and hands properly, or at least you did then. They don’t even do that nowadays, hardly. Everybody wants to just jump right on the pads now and go pop-pop-pop-pop-pop! But at the time when I came up, you learned how to do everything basically and fundamentally sound. Then you get to where you feel very comfortable doing that. It’s like a game where you can hit a bag or do whatever you’re supposed to do, and block a punch, and punch back. Then when you’re comfortable doing that, all of a sudden the actual boxing starts.

Read moreThe History of Boxing with Emanuel Steward Part IV: Amateur Boxing

Mike Tyson Vs. Evander Holyfield: Which Fighter Has The Greater Legacy?

Boxing History - by James Slater: Somewhat as it is with Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, the names Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson are destined to be forever linked. Though they only fought twice, with Holyfield winning on both occasions, Tyson and Holyfield had a long running rivalry, with a genuine grudge element added. The two were  talked of as natural rivals as far back as 1987, when “The Real Deal” was a cruiserweight, but we had to wait - for one reason or another (jail, injury, etc) - until 1996 before the two mesmerizing heavyweights clashed in ring centre.by James Slater: Somewhat as it is with Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, the names Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson are destined to be forever linked. Though they only fought twice, with Holyfield winning on both occasions, Tyson and Holyfield had a long running rivalry, with a genuine grudge element added. The two were talked of as natural rivals as far back as 1987, when “The Real Deal” was a cruiserweight, but we had to wait – for one reason or another (jail, injury, etc) – until 1996 before the two mesmerizing heavyweights clashed in ring centre.

Today, quite amazingly considering the infamous “bite fight” of 1997, the rematch, the two have become pretty good friends (with Evander today releasing a Twitter pic of himself wearing a T-short mocking the bizarre DQ win he engaged in with “Iron” Mike. But who was the overall greater fighter, who has the greater legacy – Tyson or Holyfield?

Though many would ordinarily jump right on an article that prompts a debate about who was the better man between two fighters when one of them has beaten the other twice, I have a feeling this will not be the case here. Sure, Holyfield twice defeated Tyson, but this is “Iron Mike” we are talking about after all – a fighter with one of the most rabid and vocal groups of supportive and idolising fans in modern day boxing history.

Read moreMike Tyson Vs. Evander Holyfield: Which Fighter Has The Greater Legacy?

Iceman John Scully: “I think Riddick Bowe potentially could have been one of the best heavyweight champions ever”

Boxing History - Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani - I was recently afforded the opportunity to have a very nice discussion with ‘Iceman’ John Scully. As a professional boxer, Scully posted a record of 38-11 with 21 wins coming by way of knockout during a career that spanned from 1988-2001. Scully shared his views on many of his contemporaries, including some of the biggest names in boxing from his era, including: Roy Jones Junior, Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe, Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker, George Foreman, Julio Cesar Chavez, Hector Camacho, Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad, and more! Here is a complete transcript from that interview.

Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani – I was recently afforded the opportunity to have a very nice discussion with ‘Iceman’ John Scully. As a professional boxer, Scully posted a record of 38-11 with 21 wins coming by way of knockout during a career that spanned from 1988-2001. Scully shared his views on many of his contemporaries, including some of the biggest names in boxing from his era, including: Roy Jones Junior, Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe, Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker, George Foreman, Julio Cesar Chavez, Hector Camacho, Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad, and more! Here is a complete transcript from that interview.

Audio:

GEOFFREY CIANI: Hello everyone. This is Geoffrey Ciani from East Side Boxing and I am joined by trainer Iceman John Scully. How’s everything going today, John?

JOHN SCULLY: Everything is spectacular. I’m very happy to be here with you.

Read moreIceman John Scully: “I think Riddick Bowe potentially could have been one of the best heavyweight champions ever”

Nigel Benn: Great Britain’s Most Exciting Fighter Of The ‘80s and ‘90s!

Nigel BennBy James Slater – As those fans who were lucky enough to have seen him fight live, in the flesh (really lucky!) or from their armchair (must-see T.V!), Great Britain’s great middleweight/super-middleweight Nigel Benn rarely if ever disappointed in the action stakes.

Today, long after “The Dark Destroyer’s” final fight (a disappointing corner retirement loss to a Steve Collins who twice caught up with Benn at a time when he was way past his best) fans on both sides of The Atlantic remain interested in the whole Benn mystique. Far more than just a slugger (although Benn’s power was legendary), Nigel had heart, guts, skill and a far better chin than it was once thought (“this man ain’t chinny!” insisted former arch-rival Chris Eubank after the first of their two epic encounters had just come to it’s violent conclusion.)

There really was plenty to enjoy when Benn was in action:

Who can forget his amazing Oct. 1988 battle with Jamaican-born Anthony Logan? Defending his Commonwealth middleweight title for the first time, Benn almost came a cropper.

Read moreNigel Benn: Great Britain’s Most Exciting Fighter Of The ‘80s and ‘90s!

All Time Historical Survey Series Recap – The Original 8 Weight Classes & P4P

Boxing History - by Geoffrey Ciani - Over the course of a sixteen month period beginning in June 2009, I conducted a series of surveys that all began with a very simple question: Who are the ten best heavyweights of all time? While contemplating my own list of top heavyweight pugilists, I decided gathering the input of others might help display a more accurate portrayal of what a 'true' top 10 list should look like. Now of course this is not an exact science by any means. In fact, quite the opposite, it is an extremely subjective topic that is often skewed by personal bias, differences of opinion, individual tastes and preferences, and most importantly the absence of a universally agreed upon criteria with which to judge past fighters. Even with these inherent obstacles playing their natural role, however, we can still establish some degree of consensus.

by Geoffrey Ciani – Over the course of a sixteen month period beginning in June 2009, I conducted a series of surveys that all began with a very simple question: Who are the ten best heavyweights of all time? While contemplating my own list of top heavyweight pugilists, I decided gathering the input of others might help display a more accurate portrayal of what a ‘true’ top 10 list should look like. Now of course this is not an exact science by any means. In fact, quite the opposite, it is an extremely subjective topic that is often skewed by personal bias, differences of opinion, individual tastes and preferences, and most importantly the absence of a universally agreed upon criteria with which to judge past fighters. Even with these inherent obstacles playing their natural role, however, we can still establish some degree of consensus.

The guidelines were simple. I had every person who voluntarily participated in each survey provide me with a chronological list of who they considered to be the ten best (heavyweights, middleweights, etc) in boxing history. Ties were not permitted, just a straight-forward list from one to ten. I then used a weighted-points system to assign values to fighters based on where they appeared on each individual’s list. First place votes received 25 points. Second place votes were worth 15 points, third place votes were 12, and fourth and fifth place votes were worth 10 and 8 points respectively. After that, the point differential was constant, with sixth place votes getting 5 points, seventh place votes getting 4, eighth getting 3, ninth place 2, and tenth place 1.

Read moreAll Time Historical Survey Series Recap – The Original 8 Weight Classes & P4P

Top Ten British Fighters of All Time

Boxing History - by Rick Murray: After all, the British invented modern-day boxing, as we know it, in 1867 when John Graham Chambers and his friend, Sir John Sholto Douglas, the eighth Marquis of Queensbury, introduced rules to the game that changed it dramatically. They outlawed wrestling, required fighters to wear gloves, provided for a one-minute rest between rounds and gave a fighter 10 seconds to rise after getting floored.by Rick Murray: After all, the British invented modern-day boxing, as we know it, in 1867 when John Graham Chambers and his friend, Sir John Sholto Douglas, the eighth Marquis of Queensbury, introduced rules to the game that changed it dramatically. They outlawed wrestling, required fighters to wear gloves, provided for a one-minute rest between rounds and gave a fighter 10 seconds to rise after getting floored.

In the ensuing 140 years, dozens of great fighters have emerged from the birthplace of the fight game, and what follows is one man’s listing of the 10 best. It’s never easy deciding who gets left off of a list like this, but not everybody can make the cut. If they could there would be nothing to fight about. These are the best of the best.

Jimmy Wilde
131-3-2 (99), 13 no-decisions

Read moreTop Ten British Fighters of All Time