For the Love of the Sport

WHOA! ELeonard, Let me first clarify, my knowledge as a fight fan alone qualifies me to say whatever I want. But so happy you posted your opinion and expertise on the sport of boxing, it forced me to revisit my favorite fighters and fights.

I don’t normally carve time to watch youtube videos,  I tend to wait for great HBO specials. I was able to confirm why I love who I do, and that James Toney will still escape my favorite fighter list. His style will still never excite me like the explosive nature of Marvin Hagler who can switch it up, always drive forward and make a jab reach from 10 feet away.  Or Oscar de la Hoya who was always gracious to me when I had to interview them while covering boxing in Vegas.  He and Chavez brought technical fortitude to the game and some of the first to understand the concept of cross training, which truly evolved boxing athletes.  I certainly will not spend much time pointing out how Sugar Ray Leonard was the depiction of the sweet science itself (Leonard vs Hearns, Leonard v Hagler, Leonard v Duran – need I say more?). But I am most gracious to you because I re-watched Teofilo Stevenson who my mother adored, a Cuban exile, and recalled when we found out that he won the Gold in the 1980 Olympics for Cuba ( a 3 time Gold Olympian).  And then I remembered who I forgot to add to yesterday favorite list –  my sweet, sweet Felix Savon who brought beauty to the sport of Olympic boxing.  Additionally, your comment helped me reminisce over meeting him while visiting the Cuban Boxing Team in the Pan American Village in Havana -I give him a pair of new boxing boots and I received a kiss on the cheek from an amazing Olympian and Cuban National Hero.

So yeah, I know a thing or two about boxing.  But thanks for trying to keep me on my toes.  Don’t get me wrong maybe Toney should stick with MMA, but a better match up would have been Butterbean, a little more fair.

Below is a slide show for your viewing pleasure.

Comment from disgruntled reader.

Katalin, please don’t pretend you know anything about boxing.  It’s as embarrassing reading your analysis of boxing as it was for Toney to get manhandled by Couture.  You say you are not a fan of James Toney
because you don’t like “big, flat footed, sloppy boxers that swing just heavy hands.”  If you have ever — ever once — seen a single round of a James Toney fight, you would know that he is not sloppy or a brawler,
but one of the smartest, cageist, hardest to hit fighters ever.  He is a boxer-puncher.  He rarely gets hit in a boxing match.  He is not sloppy in the least.  Ask anyone who remotely knows anything about boxing:  they will tell you that Toney is a more skillful fighter than the fighters you profess to love because of their boxing abilities:  Julio Cesar Chavez, Teofilo Stevenson (never a pro fighter!  how did you come up with him? Ha!!!), Oscar De la Hoya and Marvin Hagler. You are a joke! 



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  • Katalin, I enjoyed your analysis today. I take back what I said about Stevenson. Obviously you know who he and Felix Savon are. It's a shame they never got to fight as pros. To the point, though, I don't need you to love James Toney as a boxer. To each her own. The only issue I had is your suggesting that Toney was a sloppy boxer without good technique. In fact, I think most boxing experts would agree that James Toney is one of the most talented technical defensive boxers we've seen in the last 50 years. I also believe that most boxing experts would agree that Toney's technique and ring acumen was better than any of the boxers on your list, save Sugar Ray Leonard. So I apologize for the tone of my earlier e-mail, but I felt that I had to correct your statements about Toney.

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