One of the often asked questions on boxing forums by new fans is "just how hard is the sport of boxing?" And sadly this is a hard question to answer. Many seem to think that legendary toughmen like Lenny MClean could have competed well as a boxer and really made a name for himself had he wanted to go in to the sport rather than become an enforcer. One man supposedly toughman who did try out boxing, and found it harder than he expected was Britain's Joe Savage.

Savage was supposed to have been a bare knuckle fighter from Britain, a legitimate toughman who was apparently 41-0 (40) in street fights and the English bare knuckle champion. A bit like the Kimbo Slice of his day, if you will. With his bare knuckle credentials behind him, Savage looked to turn his hand at sanctioned boxing, and in the early 1990's he attempted to start a professional career.

In 1993 Savage was chosen as one of the fighters to take part in the up coming "People's Choice One Night Heavyweight Tournament". Sadly however in preparation for the tournament, a precursor to the likes of Prizefighter, Savage damaged his hand and was forced to pull out of the tournament. The following year however Savage did get his taste of professional boxing as he faced former world title contender "Smokin'" Bert Cooper.

Despite once being an all action exciting fighter, Cooper had been on the slide and had lost 4 of his previous 6 bouts (including his last 2) and his record read 31-13 (26). Whilst he had twice challenged for world titles he had also been stopped 9 times and was certainly seen as a fighter who, although packing a punch, wasn't as durable as he once was. In fact a fighter like Savage, with some claimed 40KO's in street fights should have enjoyed some success...the fight however showed the difference in class between a street fighter and a trained boxer. Enjoy.


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