By Anthony “Zute” George – Jordan Gill’s one-punch knockout victory over Karim Guerfi was nothing short of amazing. Not only was ‘The Thrill’ dropped in round seven but he was also slammed on his head courtesy of a DDT move. Yes, that DDT. Jake The Snake Roberts would have been proud. With his legs all but gone, Gill was weathering the storm in his corner in round nine, as well as nursing a grotesque haematoma above his right eye; you all but wondered exactly when Gill’s demise would come. Then, against all odds, a heavy counter punch exploded on the chin of Guerfi. That was all she wrote. Brilliant.
A great ending to a fantastic give and take, all-action fight. It is already the fight to beat for knockout of the year.
This fight and the rest of a high-octane boxing weekend proved something to me that, honestly, I already knew… in terms of the action that takes place inside the ropes, there is nothing wrong with boxing today.
The irritation of what I call ‘Oldmanidous’ is at an all-time high for me. Regardless of what great talent fights today, we have a certain amount of people who diminish boxing today.
This performance by Jordan Gill is an excellent example of that mindset needing a severe overhaul. A fight and performance worthy of all the lead-ins of the sports news cycle, and all the headlines of the print press, but it will get none of that coverage, especially in the United States of America.
In a word, delinquent.
I am sure most of you who read this will laugh. ‘Nonsense, boxing was way better…’ In my opinion, a moot point because I am under the belief that comparing eras is impossible. Fools gold. I have no desire to wonder how Joe Louis would have performed against Wladmir Klitschko any more than I spend time thinking about how American politics would be different if just everyone would exercise their right to vote. Neither has a chance of ever happening, so…
The only thing I know for sure is both Louis and Wladimir had a ton of title defenses and were both great.
All I want to express is there are a lot of great fighters and fights happening in boxing today – the one constant in the sport- and it deserves our respect.
The last time I checked, it is still pretty dam cumbersome for the average person, even formidable athletes, to last even one round without gassing out or getting hit so hard they…. The last time I checked, most fighters who lace up the boxing gloves never make it to the championship level-even with ‘all these belts’ the likelihood of an inspiring boxer competing in a championship bout… The last time I checked, boxing is still a highly life-threatening sport. Or have there not been any ring casualties ever since fighters began scoping the opposition on boxrec?
The last time I checked, the total disrespect thrown at the fighters of today is sinful. I wish it would stop.
Does boxing have issues? Sure.
Can it get better? What cannot?
However, the major issues of the sweet science have little to do with the product taking place in the ring. It amazes me that so many people cannot separate the obvious apples and oranges of boxing.
Even in the era of Covid 19, boxing has shined when allowed to perform. Oleksandr Usyk, Shakur Stevenson, and Terence Crawford have all been brilliant in their last fight, Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder put on a heavyweight fight for the ages, Jose Zepeda and Ivan Baranchyk’s 2020 fight of the year was equally breathtaking, Teofimo Lopez has been on both sides of the upset of the year. Even Canelo Alvarez has been prolific, and dare I say, impressive. And that is not even the first layer of the onion. Fights and fighters worthy of the same praise of any era.
The painful truth is there is nothing I can say to cure most of those who suffer from Oldmanidous. But I will never stop calling you out on it. All I need to do is point to the exciting boxing weekend we just had as evidence that the sport is thriving inside the ropes. The major hiccup of the weekend was poor scorecards. A stain on the sport for all-time.
Let me be clear (President Biden voice) there is nothing wrong with celebrating and embracing boxing history. It has the best history in all sports. I promise you I spend more time watching old fights than most of you. As a proud member of the International Boxing Research Organization, few stimuli are more enticing than studying the history of boxing.
It is a mystery to me why embracing that history comes hand in hand with disparaging the sport currently.
Newsflash, one thing on my journey of becoming the best possible boxing historian I can be is that Oldmanidous is nothing new. Indeed, if you go back and read any boxing magazine of the past-I do not care from what era-scribes throwing dirt on active boxers will be present. Oldmanidous reared its ugly head on many telecasts of fights as well.
One example is the ABC broadcast of the Carlos Monzon vs. Emile Griffith rematch. Indeed, it was a bore of a fight that deserved accolades from no one ever. However, was Jim McKay out of line when he described Monzon and Griffith as a far cry from the days of Sugar Ray Robinson?
Indeed, both Monzon and Griffith deserved better, and they stunk out the joint. Why can we not marvel at the efforts of the Jordan Gill’s, the skillsets of the Shakur Stevenson’s, and the timeless wars of Zepeda v Baranchyk, Fury v. Wilder etc., the same we now do the Monzon’s and Griffiths of the world?
Oldmanious is a cancer on boxing, second probably only to terrible decisions (there are more, but I think I used up my malaise content for one article) Any fighter of any era deserves the same respect and honor as the fighters of ‘your day’ when they do indeed bring it in a way that most of us can only dream of.
Say his name… Jordan Gill.