Cleat Geeks

Uppercuts & Count Outs

On the way up…

STOP… Hammer time!

hammertime

He calls his right hand “Jackhammer” and his left hand “Sledgehammer,” and he is known as “The Hammer.” His real name is Erickson Lubin, and he’s a young, up-and-coming boxer who is looking to make a name for himself as a legitimate title contender in the super welterweight division this year.

His nickname fits because he does seem to have hammers for hands, and his 71% knockout rate backs that nickname up. He has been very impressive thus far in his pro career, compiling a record of 14-0-0 with 10 victories coming via knockout. Lubin is a southpaw who possesses knockout power in both hands, so his opponents never know where the big punch is coming from.

erickson-lubin-boxerHe’s only 20 years old, but he already possesses the skills of a crafty veteran in the ring. His game is built on accuracy and discipline; therefore, he rarely throws wild punches. He is very, very controlled in the ring, taking only what his opponents give him and never forcing the issue.

He demonstrated his patient and precise style in his most recent match against Mexican fighter Jose De Jesus Macias. He proved in that fight that he doesn’t have to knock his opponents out in order to win, he can simply outclass the competition for 10 rounds if needed. Lubin thoroughly dominated Macias, winning every round in the fight.

erickson-lubin_KOLubin’s handlers have done a nice job of putting their boxer in the ring with pretty good competition lately. His last three matches have all been of the 10-round variety, and his opponents for those fights had a combined record of 70-14-4.

Many boxing experts believe that Lubin has what it takes to be a future champion. If he continues on the path he is currently on, it’s hard to imagine him not winning multiple belts.

 

On the way out…

It’s time to turn the lights out on James Toney’s illustrious, 27-year career.

James_ToneyJames “Lights Out” Toney’s chin is legendary. He may have the strongest chin of any boxer in history, but just because he can still take a punch, doesn’t mean he should. At this point, it has become downright shameful that his handlers, friends, and family have allowed him to continue getting in the ring.

Toney will turn 48 this August, and he still hasn’t officially hung up his gloves. It’s obvious that the only reason he’s still fighting is because he needs the money, which is unfortunate and sad. His abilities have diminished considerably over the past seven or eight years, and he really should not be allowed to box anymore from a medical safety standpoint because he can barely defend himself.

Last summer he lost to a 40-year-old journeyman boxer, Charles Ellis, in a 10-round unanimous decision. Ellis is not a good fighter, but he looked great against Toney. The embarrassing loss to Ellis is just one more piece of evidence that Toney should have retired a long time ago.

jamestoney_punchSpeaking of a long time ago, Toney used to be one of the best boxers on the planet. The Ring magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America both named Toney as their “Fighter of the Year” in 1991 and 2003, which proves that he was a very good boxer for over a decade — Toney began his career in 1988. His career record as a professional is 76-10-3 with 46 wins coming by way of knockout. He has been a world champion in three different weight classes, and he is widely considered as one of the best defensive boxers of all time because of his excellent head and shoulder rolls, his ability to fight off the ropes, and his ability to take a punch.

Toney has never been knocked out, but he has taken a lot of punishment through the years. He has sustained a considerable amount of brain damage in the process. We love the sweet science as fans, but the long-term effects of a lifetime in the ring are scary and depressing to behold. The video below depicts just how differently Toney sounds when he speaks now compared to how he sounded earlier in his career…

It’s impossible not to notice the extremely slurred speech due to all of those years of absorbing repeated head trauma. Hopefully he will retire soon… the sooner the better.

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