Heavyweight mailbag

By Alex Stone


Heavyweight mailbag

I would like to thank everyone for writing in to post their comments, opinions, and questions on my rankings. Here are some notable entries. Feel free to e-mail anytime. Who knows, you could on here soon.

“You did a good job, I can't even begin to "Fathom" the division or to think of it realistically because i haven't seen half the friggin' guys fight!!! They haven't been on American TV... But...
THE QUESTION....I got to Boxrec for records sometimes, it's great, RUSLAN CHAGAEV... his nickname there is "White Tyson" --- what does that mean?  His KO record doesn't reflect that of a KO artist... so, if you could tell me that would be great, and i'm VERY upset about this division... The Unification fight... I thought that was important... Now an IBF tournament with Chris Byrd?  Holyfield back in the pic after being dominated by Larry Donald, and hell, I give the "wrong deal" a good chance cuz he KNOWNS this may be his LAST chance... hope to hear from ya... bob from philly.... HOPKINS RULES!!!!!!!”

Stone’s Response: I appreciate your praise to my rankings, as it is uncommon for everyone to agree with me, lol. To be quite honest with you though, I have absolutely no idea why Chagaev nick-named himself White Tyson. I have no idea why most boxers nick-name themselves the things they do. Zab Judah calls himself "Super" or "Superman"... since when has Superman been allowed to lose three of his last four fights and get KTFO from time to time? The things that run through the mind of people baffle me. However, I can think of a few reasons why they may have named him "White Tyson". Nick-Names are given early in a career, Chagaev won 13 of his first 15 fights by KO before the sixth round... very Tysonesque. Also, Chagaev isn't very tall by heavyweight standards, standing a bit under 6'1. Though Chagaev may have won his last two fights by decision, they were against John Ruiz, who has only been stopped once in 50 fights by the ridiculously hard punching David Tua, and next against Nikolay Valuev, who is seven-feet tall and 325 pounds. I don't think most heavyweights could even reach his head, let alone put him down. Well, there you have it, that was my logical breakdown of the "White Tyson" alias. Best wishes.

“I disagree with the way you said that Maskaev was trying to avoid fighting Peter. It indicated fear. At the same time you gave him credit for twice KO ing Rahman, a far better fighter that Peter at the time. I'm sure you know that the real reason for the Maskaev "avoidance" was because, according to the WBC's OWN rules, the real, LEGAL #1 challenger was Vitaly Klitschko. Also, a fight between them in Moscow would probably have broken ALL world records at the box office. Also V. Klitschko was a far more dangerous opponent than Peter, and had been out of the ring less than 14 months when he announced his return, and was already in the gym for a couple of months, therefore not very rusty. Just one more thing. I notice, that you, like many other commentators or writers, very superficially credit Peter with a 3 knockdown of W. Klitschko, but usually don't mention that the first was a blatant rabbit punch, for which by rd.5 he should have already been long DQ'd.  The second wasn't a punch at all, but an elbow-point  rabbit punch plus a shoulder grab and push down. The analysts all caught both of these fake KD's but the "ref" Neumann, didn't. or so it seemed. The 3rd KD was at very best merely a graze, but likely just missed, as W.Klitschko was fast backpedalling and overbalanced into the ropes, bouncing off to the canvas. Since he got up right away and continued his boxing lesson, it was obvious that it wasn't a real KD. Also except for the 2 rounds in which the supposed 3 KD's occurred, Peter lost every round, and was completely outclassed. Also nearly KO'd himself in rd 12.” 
Sincerely, Edgar G. Wallace  

Stone’s Response: Thanks for writing. Like I said in the opening of my article, these are my rankings, and just because I am a journalist does not mean I can't have an opinion. Some articles are strictly objective, others are my thoughts and opinions. You are entitled to your opinions, and I respect them, but my friend, everyone sees a different angle to these stories. While I agree that V. Klitschko vs. Maskaev would have been huge in Europe (maybe not the all time record) that is part of my argument as well. Before you get all crazy, know that according to WBC rules, Vitali Klitschko was not the immediate number one contender because there was already a mandatory title defense in the works. With Klitschko’s champion emeritus status, he would have been granted an immediate shot at the winner of Maskaev – Peter. Maskaev also knows if he fights Klitschko or Peter, one way or the other, he is most likely not coming home with that green belt of his. Therefore, I personally believe he wanted to at least get one more huge payday in losing his title to the ever-so-brittle Klitschko - who once again hurt himself and pulled out for the fifth consecutive time - rather then get KO'd for a decent payday against Peter. Maskaev is a good fighter, I did rank him fourth. But we are talking about the same guy who got stopped by Oliver McCall, right before he broke down crying against Lennox Lewis. Weather or not Samuel Peter's shot's to big Wlad were to the back of the head or not, the reason they were not called was because they were also due to Klitschko's head and body movement... watch the replay, it doesn't lie. You say Vitali is a bigger threat than Peter? I say come on, be logical. I have been boxing since I was fifteen, If I had been out of the ring for 3 years, a few months in the gym would not shake off any substantial rust. I do totally agree with you that Brock is overrated. His opponents have been very carefully and cleverly picked, but he is slow, and Chambers will take it to him. Thanks for writing and keep on reading.

“I honestly, though, could not even MAKE an ATTEMPT at ranking the heavies, since I haven't seen Chagaev or some others fight.  Tony Thompson, or Tompson, I know he beat Guinn by that's all i know of him.  There's a few more i don't know much of and the seven foot Russian, I've seen him fight once and he does NOT look comfortable with his size, i mean, it was kind of FUNNY looking watching him swing his huge arms around poor Monte Barrett, lol, i mean, the guy has NO coordination and I mean, five foot eleven Tyson would have gotten him out of there in seconds... and whatever happened to David Tua?  Was there a reason he dropped off the planet?” Jonny – NYC baby!!

Stone’s Response: Yeah, I know where you're coming from. If you want to see some of these heavyweights, go to youtube.com and type in one of their names, there are plenty of good videos there. If you look over my rankings again, you'll see my degrading of Valuev. He is too slow, doesn't hit as hard as a seven foot 325 pound man should, and can be defeated easily with the right game plan. And though he may be awkward, he has defeated Jameel McCline (even though he lost all 3 rounds before McCline got hurt, lol) Monte Barrett, Owen Beck, and John Ruiz... that in itself is impressive. Thompson has stepped up in competition recently, Guinn wasn't his only significant win lately. He has also defeated Timor Ibragimov (the younger brother of WBO champ Sultan Ibragimov) and Luan Krasniqi, who is probably the toughest of his wins so far. Krasniqi, if you remember, was leading on all scorecards against Lamon Brewster before Brewster came back to knock him out. This is when Brewster was still the WBO champ. Thompson got screwed so we can watch Holyfield go for another title… yay for old guys who make lean mean fat grilling machines!!! Thompson will get screwed with the winner too, because neither of them will want to fight him. The good news, however, is that the winner will likely be involved in a unification fight, this time against Klitschko for the WBO/IBF titles. A unification fight involving Klitschko means more than a fight between any of the other title holders. As far as David Tua, he just fought recently, and is making a quiet comeback. Injuries, personal issues, and legal disputes with his management team and promoters have kept him inactive for the past few years. Peace out bro... feel free to write anytime.

“Great job on your article sweetie. You are the best writer and best looking journalist in the whole world!”
Valerie Stone – New York

Stone’s response: Um, thanks… mom.