Spoiling has stumbled back into fashion of late. After Cuban cephalopod Richard Abril put the dampeners on Ugandan Sharif Bogere within hours of England’s Matthew Hatton and South African Chris van Heerden hugging one another to professional death, fight fans were left to pine after a performance that might clear the airways. Unfortunately, the stink left over from Abril and co. lingered into an additional week after Bernard Hopkins nullified another unbeaten patsy with his efficacious brand of marring.
Fighting ugly is no sin -- at least not for its practitioners. In boxing -- perhaps more so than in any other sport -- a winning record can generate hot money whether achieved through excessive clinching, uncomely pacifism or ungallant conduct. Here follows a handful of boxers that were adept at it -- that could spoil, maul or flat out bore as well as anyone in history.
“Sweet” Saoul, a Jheri curl-sporting Jew from the South Bronx, carped of a bloodlust inherent in the American fight crowd, and if anyone was well-placed to contrast international viewing habits then it was the cosmopolitan operator Mamby. A superbly conditioned Vietnam veteran from Spanish-Jamaican descent, he sought his fortune across the globe in an astonishing 39-year career -- racking up wins in Jamaica, Zambia, Quebec, Seoul and Paris.
An attraction at New York’s Felt Forum back in the early 70s, Mamby’s expert technique and nimble brain allowed him to control the pace and rhythm of a bout. He could buffer things down to a crawl when the need came, and mess a man up inside as required. And rarely was he hit.
He matched wits with the likes of Roberto Duran, Edwin Viruet, Buddy McGirt, Billy Costello, Antonio Cervantes, Maurice Blocker and Esteban De Jesus -- names from cojoining eras -- in 85 contests that returned him a version of the super lightweight world championship when he starched South Korea’s Sang-Hung Kim in February 1980.no comments