Sunday, September 03, 2006

So I took another look at the fight

Toney over Peter 114-113. I don't know what fight the two judges with 116-111 saw, but it wasn't this one. I looked hard at the twelfth round especially; it was a critical round. I counted punches, and examined the match; Peter did not win that fight. However, that should be moot. Toney took too many punches: way more than I've ever seen him take. He's a lion and a fighter, but he's spent too much time in the ring. I love James "Lights Out" Toney, but I can't watch him fight any more. I prefer to remember him at his best during the Jirov fight. He's the last of the truly great boxers.

In many ways, the Holyfield-Toney fight was the last clash of skilled heavyweights. I also think it's fitting that James Toney won that fight. The rest of the new heavyweights rely on weight to carry their huge frames over smaller fighters. Something's wrong with any weight class system that allows for fifty pounds of difference between legitimate competitors. I'm quickly becoming a fan of boxing outside of the heavyweight division. It's not even the fighters' fault most of the time: it's just damn hard to beat someone fifty pounds heavier in pure fisticuffs.

MMA is a little different: small guys can submit huge guys given appropriate circumstances. However, now that Pride gives out penalties for grappling for a stalemate, and the UFC is breaking stalemate grappling by standing the fighters up, the big men turn over more and more wins over smaller opposition, just like the huge boxers. Vitali Klitchko, Lennox Lewis, and Tim Sylvia always had more brawn than skill. Even a novice fan can see that. After about 205 lbs, sport fighting is fast becoming a yardstick and a scale more than a competition of courage, strength, and skill.

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