Boxing is Boxing: August 2006

Boxing on August 5th 2006

HBO Boxing sports proudly features a double header featuring former unified welterweight champion, Vernon Forrest
(37-2 28 KOs) defending his career against Ike Quartey (37-2 31KOs). Also on that night, Kassim Ouma (24-2 15 KOs) squares up against undefeated prospect Sechew Powell (20-0 12 KOs). For Powell, this can be the opportunity of a lifetime; television exposure and a chance to add a “W” under his belt against a big name in Kassim. Ouma still looks to rebound from his stunning loss to Roman Karmazin of St. Petersburg, Russia in 2005. For Ouma, it’s an opportunity to catapult himself back into title contention status as an elite fighter at 154lbs.

Forrest, 35, once defeated former weltweight champ ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley with two impressive performances. After two consecutive victories over Mosley, Forrest agreed to put up his (WBC) World Boxing Council and (WBA) World Boxing Association championships against Ricardo ‘El Matador’ Mayorga. In the first matchup in January 2003, Mayorga stunned the Boxing world by knocking Forrest out in three rounds. Six months later in the rematch, Mayorga didn’t exactly stop a more gamed Forrest, but he temporarily ended his career in an embarrasing & lopsided 12 round fight. Vernon took a two-year break to revitalize and finally return in 2005. Now, 7lbs heavier at 154, Forrest looks to recapture his status.

After two consecutive & brutal losses to both De La Hoya and Vargas, Quartey decided to escape the realms of the ring. Not many knew the whereabouts of Quartey’s absence. Suddenly, in 2005 he remerges back on the scene after a five year layoff. Since his return, Quartey has scored three impressive victories and is now looking forward to finishing out his career as a legitimate and respected contender at 154lbs.

Boxing on August 12th 2006

The Heavyweight division is still in disarray after the retirement of Lennox Lewis in February of 2004. The public still finds difficulty in discovering who the “real” heavyweight champion of the world is.

HBO Pay Per View presents the rematch!! Baltimore’s own Hasim Rahman (41-5-2 33 KOs) defends his WBC heavyweight championship against Oleg Maskaev (32-5 25 KOs). Due to the recent departure of heavyweight titles into Eastern Europe, Hasim Rahman has been labeled, “America’s last line of defense” throughout this promotion. Rahman, 33, recently defended his title against former four division champion James ‘Lights Out’ Toney which ended in a draw. Since then, the United States has lost three of his major title belts to eastern terroritory. Lamon Brewster loss his WBO title to Sereugi Lyakhovich, Chris Byrd loss his IBF title to Wladlimir Klitschko and John Ruiz loss his title to Nickolay Valuev. Rahman is
“America’s last line of national defense.”

Many boxing fans, critics, and spectators often label Maskaev as an under achiever. Since his debut in 1993, he’s lost five professional fights; all by knockout. However, lately, Oleg Maskaev has been on a ten fight winning streak. Maskaev may not be as well known throughout the boxing public as Hasim Rahman, but in the ring, popularity is irrelevant. The fact that he’s a heavyweight is enough to give him that chance for an upset. As we all know, any fighter over 200lbs can knock out any man
at any given time. Let’s not forget our history, Maskaev has already defeated Hasim Rahman once before; he literally knocked Rahman out of the ring with a solid right hand back in 1999. Now is the chance for Rahman to avenge his loss and reclaim the throne as the official heavyweight champion.

Boxing on August 18th 2006

Some call it a mistake, and others call it a comeback. 43 year old Evander Holyfield (38-8-1 25 KOs) makes his return to the ring against journeyman, Jeremy Bates (21-11 18KOs). Holyfield, known for his stubborn ability, faith in his savior and legendary status was once recognized as one of the greatest fighters on planet earth. His resume remains impressive; two victories over Mike Tyson, victories against Riddick Bowe, Michael Moorer, James ‘Buster’ Douglas, George Foreman, Bert Cooper, Bobby Czyz, Larry Holmes, John Ruiz, Alex Stewart and even current champ Hasim Rahman. There isn’t a boxing mountain that Evander hasn’t yet climbed. For many boxing historians, they find it difficult to watch the aging 4 time former champion continue this disastrous downfall of a career.

In December of 2002, Evander Holyfield was childishly outboxed by then IBF champion Chris Byrd of Flint, Michigan. For many observers at ringside, the loss to Byrd signaled the end, and many couldn’t ponder why Holyfield continued on with his career. By October of 2003, Evander was again outfoxed and outboxed by James ‘Lights Out’ Toney. Evander started off brilliantly; thrusting power punches at every way James Toney leaned. After being ahead on the judge’s cards until the third round, Holyfield took a 180-degree turn. He slowed down dramatically and barely fought back as Toney unleashed his assault.
A combination of punches followed by a brutal body shot floored the aging champion. Holyfield’s corner had saw enough and threw in the towel. After a year off, again, Holyfield made his return in November of 2004 against Larry Donald. The matchup with Donald wasn’t any different; he pummeled Holyfield with quick combinations for 12 rounds straight.
Every now and then, observers saw shades of the old Evander; throwing punches from his forty-year-old frame. At times he’d throw three or four blazing punches but return to his old self. The result showed Donald with his hand raised in victory and Holyfield hand over his third loss in a row.

Now he looks to make yet another comeback to the ring against the virtually unknown Jeremy Bates of Ashland, Kentucky. For Bates, 32, a victory over Holyfield at this stage in Evander’s career doesn’t signify much in the heavyweight division. Infact, many professional fighters, promoters and managers aren’t exactly taking the chance to knock around this 42-year-old senior citizen of the game. His aging body and stubborn mentality have driven him from the lucrative deals he once could smell miles away. As for Evander, a win against Bates doesn’t change many minds about his place in the sport.

Boxing on August 19th 2006

Sharmba Mitchell (57-5 30KOs) is gunning for his 60th career victory when he squares up against undefeated
Paul Williams (30-0 22KOs). Mitchell looks to resurrect his decorated career. He recently captured his 57th career victory by outboxing Jose Luis Cruz just a few months ago. At sixty-two career fights already, he isn’t getting any younger and retirement may be around the corner for him very soon. Within a 2.5 year span, Mitchell has lost two devastating defeats at the hands of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Kostya Tszyu. For Paul Williams, he looks forward to the television exposure and the option to defeat an elite and respected name in the boxing community.

2004 Olympic Gold medalist Andre Ward (9-0 5 KOs) will also be featured that evening. Ward is looking to continue his development within the middleweight division. The Oakland native possesses quality skill that reminds many fight fans of an era Roy Jones Jr. once ruled. Ward is blazingly fast, moves well and he’s improving with each fight

What to look for this month:

It may be wise to tune into the Forrest-Quartey showdown scheduled for August 5th, that matchup proves to contain two gladiators who will be giving it their all as they battle for their careers.

Former two time undisputed champion, “Iron” Mike Tyson will be commentating at the Hasim Rahman vs. Oleg Maskaev PPV event. Unfortunately, for many Tyson fans, he won’t be commentating on the regular HBO announcing team consisting of Larry Merchant, Jim Lampley and Emmanel Steward. Tyson is a true boxing fanatic and he looks to offer his insight and wisdom to viewers around the world who are due to tune in. Congratulations Mike!

After turning down supposedly an eight million-dollar payday to face Antonio Margarito, Floyd Mayweather Jr is looking forward to soon announcing his fight plans for November 4th, 2006. Many have questioned his decision to turn down a Margarito date, but Floyd seems quite comfortable with his decision. His hopes are to lure ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley into a November 4th, matchup, but Mosley has already stated that he doesn’t plan on fighting the rest of 2006. Will Shane Mosley go back on his word?? What’s to come next month?

Stay tuned boxing fans, August will soon be here!

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