The State of the Game 2004

By Jeff Young


The State of the Game 2004

Stop the crying, No one gave Meehan credit to begin with!!

Since the conclusion of Saturday's main event between Lamon Brewster and Kali Meehan, the internet has blown up with people talking about the bad decision, corruption, and most are blaming Don King. There is a problem that does lie within this fight and the outcome can be disputed, but the underlying factor in this fight is that no one gave Meehan, much less Brewster, any credit anyway. Coming into this fight, no one cared one way or the other about Brewster vs. Meehan and no one has ever even considered Brewster to be one of the elite of the division, but what did we as fans get. What we got was an exciting fight between two heavyweights with a lot of heart and two men that showed courage and at the end showed class in a sport that is really not known for that aspect as so much negative attention is what the main stream press thrives on.

Brewster's WBO reign has been tainted since he walked out of his fight with Vladimir Klitschko. Most fans did not give credit to Brewster for winning the fight, but gave most of it to Klitschko losing the fight instead. Brewster got lucky, Klitschko was drugged. Excuses ran rampant. Allegations flew, but the bottom line was that Brewster was and is the WBO champion, and he is proud to wear the belt. Not only is he proud, but he worked hard to get it. He had a game plan in the Klitschko fight and he survived the onslaught, executed his plan, and won. It wasn't pretty, but you cannot deny him that fact. When you look at Klitschko's record it has a loss at the hands of Brewster on it.

When Meehan was announced as the opponent for Brewster, many fans out there shouted garbage. Most did not even know who Meehan was. Most knew he was big, most knew that he sparred with Brewster, but still it did not matter to most. It is not a legitimate championship fight. Brewster is a joke, Meehan is a joke. The fight is terrible and no one cares about it.

What we as fans were treated to was a very competitive fight between two big men. It was not the lumbering, boring heavyweight fight that has been hurting the division. Both fighters took it two each other. Both were hurt in the fight. Both landed huge punches. It does not matter who won, the fans won, and it is worth seeing again. Sure many feel Meehan won, what most fans do not realize is that watching a fight on the ring apron is totally different from watching it at home.

On the ring apron, sure you get to see the blows up close and
personal, but there is a lot that you miss as well. If you are on one side of the ring and the fighters are in the opposite corner, you actually miss a lot of the landed shots and a lot of time you are blocked by the referee and in some circumstances, the ropes can also be a factor. From press row, it can be even worse. Many of the press get put in positions where you cannot even watch the fight. You have to deal with people walking back and forth, television cameras, and of course the people operating the equipment. On the apron, it is hard to explain just how crowded it can be for a big fight. Everyone is beyond elbow to elbow and in certain circumstances the photographers are right up on the judges.

From a judges perspective, have you ever noticed how old many of the judges are. I am not knocking the elderly, but I have seen judges that I am not even sure the can pass the eye exam at the DMV. From a personal story from one of my experiences, I was at a fight one time and was taking pictures. I was right next to one of the judges, now granted the fight was of little significance, but that is not the point. The point is that the fight was horrible and I was just bored to death watching the affair. Well needless to say, so was the judge as he was talking to me while the fight was going one making fun of one of the participants. So the point is that judges are distracted as well and can get caught up in the fight good or bad. They may see a big punch land and forget about all the other things the other guy has done in the round. No one can say for sure what goes through a judges mind.

I felt that Meehan won the fight, but it is not the biggest robbery
that has happened. It is not even the biggest robbery that has
happened this year. What gets me is that since no one gave credit to Brewster, and that most did not even care who Meehan was, why was Meehan a 10-1 underdog. It was a fight that either could win. I can see him being at the most 5-1, but in a fight like this I firmly feel that it was an even fight going in. By suggesting a 10-1 it clearly shows that Meehan was not given any credit and that many felt he did not have a shot to beat Brewster. So what does the future hold for both.

For Brewster, this fight could actually hurt his claim to the top of
the division. Since most feel he lost and since most did not look upon him that highly anyway, Brewster has to get a major fight as soon as possible and he has to look sharp. He really has to get a fight with Vitali Klitschko. If he can get that fight and look impressive it will do a lot for his standing. He has to move carefully and he cannot take any cream puff opponents while awaiting his chance at Klitschko. I can also see him actually fighting the winner of Vladimir and Davaryll Williamson.

For Meehan, do not get to down about him not getting the decision. Things tend to work themselves out in the long run. Look at Monty Barrett, for an example. Meehan looked impressive, but he also showed some weaknesses that could land him another title fight as a so-called tune-up between mandatory challengers. I can see Ruiz beating Golota and taking Meehan as his next fight. Meehan will get another opportunity, I bet he will even get another crack on Showtime.

This fight was a good fight and we as fans should take pride in that we got to see it. It was an exciting fight and it was credible. It was evenly matched and no one should be down on either guy. They did not have anything to do with the outcome, they gave their all and left it in the judges hands. Do not blame them.

Quick hit on Spinks-Gonzalez

Cory Spinks put on a fantastic display Saturday night, but that is not the issue. The issue is how can Gonzalez be one of the top contenders to the undisputed welterweight championship of the world. I mean, the guy has not fought in a major fight since 1999 and has fought very limited opposition and even lost one of those bouts.

It is not a knock on Spinks. He did his job, but this fight was a joke and should have never been allowed to take place to begin with. I take my hat off to Spinks for not overlooking Gonzalez, but it is a disgrace to him at the same time and the WBC should be ashamed for sanctioning the fight. I have nothing against Gonzalez, but he did not deserve the shot.


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