Boxing nicknames come in all shapes and forms with many of them being simply ridiculous. One of the most ridiculous was that used by Richel Hersisia (32-3, 25), a fairly obscure Heavyweight from the Netherlands who went by the moniker “The Dutch Sonny Liston”. Whilst the real Sonny Liston was a legendary Heavyweight in the 1950's and 1960's beating the likes of Floyd Patterson, Zora Folley, Cleveland Williams and Eddie Machen his Dutch counterpart was much less successful.
Herisia turned professional in 2001 after having had a reported amateur record of 25-0 (23) and swiftly advanced his professional record to 8-0 (7) scoring wins in a number of European countries including the Netherlands, Germany Poland and Denmark. Over the following 2 years Herisia would add a further 13 wins to move to 21-0 (16) against abject opposition whilst also claiming three professional titles including the Dutch national title and the very lightly regarded WBF Heavyweight title. It was to be the WBF title that would help Herisia have his first major moment in the sun.
In 2004 Herisia would have his most well known bout as he travelled to London, England to face Olympic Gold Medal winner Audley Harrison who was challenging for the WBF title held by Hersisia. At this point in time Harrison's fights were shown on the BBC and he was 14-0, with a lot of expectation on his shoulders and this allowed the British public their chance to see “The Dutch Sonny Liston” in action. After 3 very dull rounds Harrison would eventually spring to life in round 4 stopping Hersisia after a wonderful combination that sent the “champion” down.
Following the loss to Harrison Hersisia would go back to fighting in obscurity against limited opponents winning his next 8 bouts (7 by knockout) to move to 29-1 (23). With his confidence rebuilt Hersisia would then face the still promising Taras Bydenko (who was then 22-2) in a bout for the WBA Inter-Continental heavyweight title. Whilst Hersisia made a solid account of himself he was still beaten by Bydenko on all 3 cards.
Following the loss to Bydenko Hersisia would fight just 4 more times recording 3 wins and a notable loss to former world champion “Merciless” Ray Mercer (who was 47 years old at the time) before hanging up his gloves in 2009 with a final career record of 32-3 (25). Hersisia's reign as “The Dutch Sonny Liston” seems to have finally ended.
The videos below show the bout (and introductions) of Hersisia v Harrison and are both thanks to AudleyHarrisonFights
When it comes to the very worst nicknames in the sport of boxing one that stands out is "Sugar Poo" the nick name used by former Super Middleweight contender Henry Buchanan (20-3, 13). The roots of the nickname seem to have started back in his childhood where we've been lead to believe that he was called "Poo" by family members. Whilst that would seem like bullying to us, it became an affectionate name and one that stuck with Buchanan who later added the "Sugar" due to his style of fighting which apparently resembled Sugar Ray Leonard.
Buchanan started his professional career in 2004 and got off to an amazing start scoring 10 straight stoppage wins in just 14 months. He was touted by some as an excellent prospect and by October 2006 he had advanced his record to 14-0 (11) with the idea that he was going to be moved into title contention sooner rather than later. The brakes were put on his career soon afterwards as Frenchman Jean-Paul Mendy scored a wide unanimous decision over "Sugar Poo".
Following the loss to Mendy Buchanan would take a year out of the ring before returning to action and defeating Ted Muller over 8 rounds and followed it up with 2 more wins before facing his most well known opponent to date, Andre Ward. Ward would dominate Buchanan over 12 rounds and take a complete shut out as he progressed his own career the heady heights that he has now reached.
Over the following 18 months Buchanan tried to rebuild his career and scored 3 more victories including one over respectable journeyman Julius Fogle (who was then 15-2-0-1 (10), though is now 15-7-0-1 (10)). He was then supposed to face former Light Middleweight champion Fernando Vargas (who was ending a 4 year retirement) but that bout was cancelled and Buchanan would actually be out of the ring until earlier this year. On his return to the ring, Buchanan, who had been away from the ring for over 20 months was out pointed by Shawn Hawk.
At 33 years old we may well see "Sugar Poo" in the ring once again, though it's fair to say he no longer has the career momentum that he once had and may well be better off watching his nephew, NFL star Shawne Merriman. In terms of Nicknames Merriman certainly has the better on as he known as "Light Out" a nickname he shares with boxing great James Toney.