*Since 1982 when I was fortunate enough to start hanging around this sport, I’ve been blessed to meet and greet so many people good and bad. And I’ve seen so many people come and go. And not just fighters, but managers, trainers, sidekicks, con men, and even promoters. And throughout the history of this sport we’ve seen some of the greatest fights go down especially when guys let their fists do all the talking. There’s an old saying “It’s best to keep your mouth closed and be thought of as a fool, than to open it up and remove all doubt.”
In 1908 Jack Johnson became the first black man capture the world heavyweight title by beating Tommy Burns at Ruscutters Bay in Sydney, Australia. And for the next seven years he held on to the title until he went against big 6’7″ Jess Willard in a grueling bout that lasted some 26 rounds in 100 degree heat. These guys were really letting their fists do all the talking. And although Johnson ultimately lost the title to Willard, (many people believe he threw the fight in an arrangement with the Feds in order to get back into the country) the greatest thing that we saw was two guys that didn’t talk a lot of trash to each other, but respected one another by letting it all hang out In the ring. And that folks, is what boxing should always be about.
As a black man, it makes me proud to see Bermane Stiverne who is 24-0-1 defend his WBC heavyweight title against a very talented Deontay Wilder who comes into this one with a very impressive ring record of 32 wins, and 32 knockouts. These two guys are set to go at it this Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in an event that will be telecast live on Showtime Championship Boxing, and promoted by the one and only Don “Only In America” King in association with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions.
There are those naysayers out there who believe that this could be Don King’s last stand. Folks, I got to tell you something. This man has been promoting some of the biggest fights in the sport since he first got started with the great Muhammad Ali in the early seventies. From the “Rumble In The Jungle”, to the “Thrilla In Manila”, to Tyson vs Holyfield I and II, this man who is now in his mid eighties is not ready to stop now so expect him to. If Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins can still put of a good fight, (who by the way just turned fifty) what makes you think that Don King is going to call it quits?
Let’s just hope that Wilder lets his fists do all the talking Saturday night. because he’s been running his mouth a lot leading up to this one. As I always say, we’ll see what happens.
Mohammed Mubarak’s Ringside Update can also be read in the High Desert Inland Valley News, and the Pace News. He is an artist as well and you can go to his website mubarakart.com, and he can be reached at [email protected] for your comments.