Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Beijing 2008: Boxing

Boxing in Australia concerns itself mostly with current and ex rugby league players, and to be honest why not. Professional boxing has gone down hill - fast and I blame one man, Mike Tyson. He could have been a contender, he could have been the fucking best. But no, he had to throw it all away for some bitches and hoes. His multiple comebacks to professional boxing in order to pay legal fees, which was hyped up by cross promotional walk on roles in films like Zoolander and Crocodile Dundee 3, resulted in more humiliation as old man Holyfield's ear went flying across the ring. This final act of stupidity left a bad taste in the mouth of most boxing fans as the sport continues to spiral out of popularity with its only lifeline in Australia coming in the form of Choc Mundine and other over hyped, overpaid rugby league players - I'm talking about you Willie Mason. But to talk only about Tyson, Mundine and Hardy would be to overlook one of Australia's forgotten battlers Kosta Tszyu and the beauty of watching two hard man having a dig at each other.

Notorious Olympic boxing winners include Muhammad Ali (1960), Joe Frazier(1964), George Foreman (1968), Sugar Ray Leonard (1976) and Lennox Lewis (1988).

Amateur boxing is the true battle ground of this noble and majestic sport, and Olympics is its pinnacle. Your 2008 Australian warriors are:

Stephen Sutherland (VIC) [48-51kg flyweight]
Luke Boyd (NSW) [51-54kg bantamweight]
Paul Fleming (QLD) [54-57kg featherweight]
Anthony Little (WA) [57-60kg lightweight]
Todd Kidd (QLD) [60-64kg light-welterweight]
Gerard O'Mahony (ACT) [64-69kg welterweight] (c)
Jarrod Fletcher (QLD) [69-75kg middleweight]
Brad Pitt (VIC) [81-91kg heavyweight]
Daniel Beahan (QLD) [+91kg super heavyweight]

Only team captain O'Mahony and team-mate Little have represented Australia at an Olympics before, with the rest of the team young but with blood on their teeth (metaphorically not Tyson style).

Olympic boxing is a mens only knockout competition, with 2 bronze medals (for the two losing semi-finalists). There are only 4 two minute rounds, there is a panel of 5 judges and a point is only awarded when 3 or more judges award a point with in a second of each other - no Lennox Lewis v Evander Holyfield bullshit judging. During a frenzy of blows landing on both boxers, judges only award one point to the boxer who comes out the better of it. A boxer can not be "saved by the bell" and the count will continue until the boxer gets up - except on the final bell. The rules of Olympic boxing are both fair and ridiculous. For example there is a maximum age of 34 (no Holyfields or Foremans clinging on to their past fame) but at the same time facial hair is restricted to a small moustache no longer than that of the upper lip - no beards, handles or chops!

If communism can produce one thing, its Olympic boxers. In the Athens games Cuba dominated winning 5 of the eleven gold medals, Russia winning 3 and the USA winning only one gold, equal to that of Thailand and Kazakhstan. Australia have never won a Gold medal in any of the boxing divisions - ever. Our closest efforts were that of a silver medal in 1908 by "Snowy" Baker and a silver in Seoul (1988) to "Spike" Cheney. In fact Spike's efforts in 88 was the last medal Australia has won in boxing, while the biggest achievement in the sport was that Australian Tony Madigan lost to Cassius Clay (Ali) in the Semi-finals of 1960.

Can O'Mahony and the boys lift gold in Beijing? Not likely, but you know when you watch boxing that someone is going to get the shit bashed out of them - old school, and isn't that what the Olympics are about? Mono v mono, champion v champion, 8 minutes of pain and only one gold medal, fire up Australia, its the Olympics.

1 comment:

Captain Carnage said...

I don't know whether to put on the Rocky theme music or Eye Of The Tiger! I'm amped!