Saturday night's alright for fighting....
Get a little action in.
Prepare for a fight, or two, and bring your friends.
The Sweet Science is coming to Flatbush Avenue. No ... Gleason's Gym isn't relocating.
This evening, championship boxing - the heavyweight division - returns to Kings County.
Finally, 115 years later to be exact, Barclays Center will host the Borough's first heavyweight title fight since May 11, 1900, when a crowd of roughly 8,000 assembled in Coney Island to witness 25-year old James Jefferies successfully defend his title with a 23rd round knockout of 33-year old challenger James Corbett, in a scheduled 25 round fight.
On June 9, 1899, Jefferies became champion by defeating Bob Fitzsimmons in 11 rounds, then defended his title later that year against Tom Sharkey. Both fights also took place at Coney Island.
Simply said, the present condition of boxing as a whole, and the heavyweight division in particular, have become so astonishingly inferior when compared with the divisions of pugilists I grew impassioned with throughout the 1970s and 80s (and even 1990s), much less the countless legends which precede my existence...
Like any faulty enterprise, there are numerous reasons for the deteriorated state of boxing. This blog, however, is no place to conduct a symposium on the matter.
That being said, this latest bunch of heavyweights come peddling more decorative belts than a curbside vendor at the Fulton Mall.
In Saturday night's main event, WBC champ Deontay Wilder will defend his title against Artur Szpilka. This will be his third title defense since dethroning Bermain Stiverne - whom incidentally, became the only opponent to ever make Wilder go the (12 rounds) distance.
At 30-years of age, Deontay "The Bronze Bomber" Wilder hails from Alabama, and is trained by none other than Brooklyn's own, Mark Breland. He's tall and lean (like his trainer was), At 6'7" and 228 pounds, his ability to absorb punishment has yet been tested. He nevertheless boasts an unblemished 35-0 record with 34 knockouts. He's maneuverable, and throws a lethal right hand.
The challenger, Artur Szpilka, a southpaw, hails from Poland. At 26-years of age, he is traditionally stockier at 6'3" and 233 pounds. Artur boasts a 20-1 record with 15 knockouts. His lone defeat came in 2014 at Madison Square Garden via TKO in the 10th round against Bryant "Bye Bye" Jennings. He since went on to win four straight fights.
The second championship bout on this evening's card owes its genesis to Tyson Fury, whom won a decision over Wladimir Klitschko, relieving the former champ of his WBA, WBO, and IBF belts. When Fury agreed to a rematch with Klitschko, the IBF stripped Fury of the belt, thus setting up this evening's bout between the IBF's #1 contender Vyacheslav Glazkov and Charles Martin for the vacant title.
Charles Martin is 6'5", and 249 pounds, and boasts a 22-0-1 record with 20 knockouts. Glazkov is 6'3" and 218 pounds, with a 20-0-1 record and 13 knockouts.
- Tyson Fury is still WBA, and WBO champion.
BROOKLYN BORN HEAVYWEIGHTS
Floyd Patterson * Mike Tyson
Riddick Bowe * Shannon Briggs * Eddie Mustafa Muhammad
Prior to Mike Tyson ever becoming the youngest fighter to win the heavyweight title in 1986, there was Floyd Patterson, whom originally became the youngest boxer to gain the title back in 1956.
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