Cleat Geeks

Uppercuts & Count Outs

On the way up…

mike-tysonBoxing misses Mike Tyson. During his prime, fans loved watching him enter the ring and lay waste to his opponents. He would often flatten them in the first round like a crazed beast. Tyson was electrifying. He was a very troubled man outside of the ring, and that aspect of Mike Tyson’s life is well documented, but from a pure boxing standpoint he was an icon. Ever since Tyson hung his gloves up, fans of the heavyweight division have been looking for the next spectacular KO artist — the next “Iron Mike.”

The wait may be over …

Anthony Joshua is looking more and more like the next big thing in the heavyweight division. Not only is he 15-0, he is 15-0 with all 15 wins coming by way of KO. Guess who else started his career 15-0 with 15 KO’s… Mike Tyson.

joshuapunchJoshua isn’t drawing comparisons to Tyson just because he is knocking his opponents out. He’s drawing comparisons to Tyson because he’s knocking his opponents out quickly, easily, and in impressive fashion — just like Tyson used to.

Here’s a quick comparison between the early careers of each fighter:

Joshua’s First 10 Fights

  • Total time elapsed: 2,218 seconds
  • Average match length: 3.69 minutes
  • Average time of KO per fight: 41.4 seconds into the second round.

Tyson’s First 10 Fights

  • Total time elapsed: 1,875 seconds
  • Average match length: 3.12 minutes
  • Average time of KO per fight: 7.5 seconds into the second round.

These numbers reveal that Joshua prefers to finish his opponents early in fights, much like Tyson did.

Boxer_Anthony_Joshua_featJoshua, like Tyson in his prime, physically looks like a heavyweight superstar. He may even look the part more so than Tyson did. Tyson’s physique was intimidating, not many would argue against that. The guy was pure muscle. But Tyson was less than six feet tall. He had to get inside to unleash his power. Joshua doesn’t have that problem. He’s 6’6” and weighs around 235 pounds. Plus, he is every bit as muscular and ripped as Tyson ever was. Opponents who face him have to be at least a little intimidated by his stature alone (if not very intimidated), which gives him a bit of a psychological edge in most of his fights.

Not only does Joshua have the physical tools to be great, he has the boxing ability too. He had a stellar amateur career that culminated with an Olympic Gold Medal in 2012, and he has already beaten a few decent fighters in his young professional career — most notably and recently Dillian Whyte, who was previously unbeaten.

Anthony-JoshuaJoshua is only 26 years old, and he has only been boxing since he was 18. That means he has plenty of time, and plenty of room, to improve. The sky is the limit for this young, up-and-coming heavyweight.

Tyson Fury, the current WBO, IBO, The Ring, and WBA heavyweight titleholder, already knows that a date with Anthony Joshua is looming sometime in the future after he defends his title in the mandatory rematch against Klitschko. Fury has been publicly calling Joshua out recently… be careful what you wish for Tyson Fury.

 

On the way out…

pacmanbeltsManny Pacquiao turned 37 years old last month, and he has recently announced that his upcoming fight on April 9th against Timothy Bradley Jr. will be the last time he steps into the ring. The time has finally come for boxing fans to bid farewell to one of the greatest pound-for-pound boxers the sport has ever seen.

Pac-Man’s accomplishments include winning world titles in eight different divisions and winning the lineal championship in four different weight classes. He is the only boxer to ever achieve such feats. He also boasts one of the most impressive resumes in the history of boxing in terms of how many legends he has beaten: Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Márquez, Érik Morales, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, and “Sugar” Shane Mosley.

Unfortunately for Pacquiao, the Floyd Mayweather Jr. ordeal left a smudge on Pac-Man’s legacy. In 2010, when both fighters were in their primes, fans wanted to see the two all-time greats square off. Due to contract disputes over blood testing, the fight did not take place that year. Mayweather’s camp basically insinuated that Pacquiao wouldn’t submit to the blood testing requirements that had been outlined due to the fact that Pacquiao was doping. Pacquiao’s reputation was damaged, and the fight between he and Mayweather wouldn’t take place for another five years.

Mayweather-v-PacquiaoWhen the fight finally did take place, in May 2015, it was billed as the “Fight of the Century,” but it wound up being more like the “Disappointment of the Century.” Mayweather’s defense was superb (as always), and he defeated Pacquiao by unanimous decision, but many fans were outraged at the manner in which Mayweather won. He seemed to simply avoid Pac-Man throughout the fight, never giving the fans the action that they craved after such a long buildup. To this day, Pacquiao still believes he did enough to win that fight, but the record books say otherwise.

mannyPacquiaoOn April 9th Pacquiao will face Timothy Bradley Jr. for the third time. In their first fight, Bradley won a split decision. It was one of the most controversial decisions ever, so a rematch was scheduled. Pacquiao won the rematch by gaining a unanimous decision. The rubber match between Bradley and Pacquiao on April 9th will most likely be a great fight because Bradley is now in his prime as a fighter; meanwhile, Pacquiao definitely wants to end his career on a high note. Pac-Man fans would love to see their hero ride off into the sunset with one more victory under his belt, but Bradley will look to use the opportunity to announce to the world that he is now the gold standard in the welterweight division.

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