I know we are a bit late here but we feel we have to mention something about the ill fated "comeback" of former WBA Welterweight champion James "The Mighty Quinn" Page (25-5, 19).
Page started his career way back in 1990 with an opening round blow out of Luis Silva and over the following few years he would battle his way up the WBA rankings coming back from several defeats, including a decision loss to future WBC Lightweight champion Stevie Johnston.
In 1998 Page would claim the vacant WBA Welterweight title by defeating Russian Andrey Pestryaev via a dominating 2nd round KO. As the WBA Welterweight champion Page successfully defended his title 3 times, defeating Jose Luis Lopez and Sam Carr on points and stopping "Fearless" Freddie Pendleton in 11 rounds in 1999.
Following the victory over Freddie Pendleton, Page then struggled to get fights and was eventually stripped of his WBA title. Strangely rather than the WBA putting the title up for grabs for two new fighters, they allowed Page to attempt to regain it as he faced Andrew Lewis for the still vacant belt in 2001. Sadly for Page, Lewis was too good and stopped him in 7 rounds.
After the loss to Lewis, Page gave up with boxing, instead choosing a career of crime and he got mixed in numerous issues out of the ring including robbing banks. For the bank robbing he was given 11 years, though was released early.
Page returned to boxing a few weeks ago aged 41 and faced Azerbaijan born Rahman Yusubov (9-9, 7). Yusubov had entered the bout on a run of 7 straight defeats, with 5 of those coming by T/KO sadly however for Page, that run came to an end with Yusubov stopping Page in 2 rounds, and likely ending the American's return to the ring.
We all decry the relative lack of ability in the Heavyweight division, the Klitschko's aside the division is relative poor. This issue isn't helped by the fact that a lot of much older Heavyweights are continuing to fight often beyond the point of being competitive with anyone. In the past we've looked at both Oliver McCall and Andreas Sidon and now we add the name of the once promising and often exciting Smokin Bert Cooper (38-24-0-1, 31) who will face hard punching Russian Andrey Fedosov (22-2, 18) on August 18th.
The 46 year old Cooper debuted way back in 1984 which was incidentally over a year before Fedosov was even born. On his debut the 18 year old Cooper stopped Dennis Caldwell inside a round and went on a destructive tear winning his first 10 fights (9 by T/KO) in a little over a year.
Cooper's unbeaten record came to an end in early 1986 as he quit against Reggie Gross (who would later go on to lose to Mike Tyson and Frank Bruno). Less than 3 months later Cooper was back in action and strung together 6 more wins (4 by T/KO) including notable victories over Henry Tillman (who had won a Gold medal in the 1984 Olympic games) and Willie de Wit (who had won a Silver medal in the same Olympics).
Over the following few years Cooper saw his record fall from an impressive 16-1 (13) to 22-7-0-1 (19) with losses coming to Carl Williams (TKO8), Everett Martin (UD10), Nate Miller (TKO7), George Foreman (TKO2), Ray Mercer (UD10) and Riddick Bowe (TKO2). It would have been fair to have written off Cooper already, despite the fact he was only in his mid 20's. He however refused to be written off and he bounced back by scoring 4 straight wins (all by TKO) including a 5th round TKO over Joe Hipp in a classic all action brawl.
After both Mike Tyson and Francesco Damiani pulled out of fights with the then unbeaten (26-0) world Heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield (who was the WBA, WBC and IBF champion), Cooper got the call for his first world title bout. The bout between Cooper and Holyfield was a true war with both men being hurt multiple times and both men having counts against them, the first of Holyfields career. Whilst Cooper put on a brave effort he was sadly beaten up and finally stopped by the referee in round 7 of a classic Heavyweight battle.
It would take long for Cooper to get his second world title fight as he faced the then unbeaten Michael Moorer (28-0) for the vacant WBO Heavyweight title. Like the Holyfield bout this was an hellacious slugfest with both men being dropped twice. Moorer was down, hard, inside the first 45 seconds and it seemed as if Cooper was about to crowned world champion until Moorer fought back and dropped Cooper about a minute later. Moorer was dropped for the second time in the bout in round 3 as Cooper bounced shots off his head with a vicious combination, sadly for Cooper however Moorer got up and in round 5 Moorer unleashed his own combination dropping Cooper for a 9 count before the referee waved the bout off.
Sadly the loss to Moorer would be the end of Cooper at the highest level as his record continued to slip falling from 27-9 to 33-15 over the following 3 years as he suffered losses to anyone he faced with a pulse. Interestingly amongst his wins over that period he scored a notable victory over Bare Knuckle fighter Joe Savage which we will talk about in more detail in the future.
In 1995 after being stopped by Alexander Zolkin it appeared that Cooper had retired from the sport though for some reason, 21 months later, Cooper returned to the ring. Up on his return to boxing Cooper would be widely out pointed by future champion Chris Byrd and then lose, by TKO to Samson Po'uha. Cooper stopped the rot by scoring a very unexpected victory over the then unbeaten New Yorker Richie Melito. Melito had selected Cooper as an opponent expecting to get a high profile win on his record seemingly however Melito had forgotten that Cooper could still punch and inside a round Melito was lying on his back with his eyes glazed over. The victory over Melito was the last one of note for Cooper who has fought on and off for the last 15 years winning 4 of his 11 subsequent bouts.
In a career that dates back almost 30 years Cooper has faced a Heavyweight who's who including George Foreman, Ray Mercer, Riddick Bowe, Evander Holyfield, Michael Moorer, Mike Weaver, Corrie Sanders and Chris Byrd. Sadly however the punishment from those bouts has likely accumulated and with 15 stoppage losses against him, we wouldn't be shocked if Fedosov manages to not only beat Cooper but stop him.
Whilst Cooper was one of the most fun Heavyweights to watch, his style has seen him take excessive punishment and when you add that to his lengthy career it's perhaps time that Cooper was saved from further punishment.
This coming weekend sees the 40 year old boxing veteran Luis Ramon Campas (100-16-1, 79) fighting in his 118th bout as he travels to Queensland, Australia to face Les Sherrington (28-6, 17) a man a decade his junior.
Campas, better known as "Yori Boy" started his career an amazing 25 years ago debuting back in 1987 as a 15 year old kid. Aged just 19 Campas won his first title, the Mexican Welterweight title. After an amazing 56 fight winning streak (with 50KO's) to start his career Campas lost for the first time when fought Felix "Tito" Trinidad for the IBF Welterweight title back in 1994. Despite dropping Tito in the 2nd round and with Tito being deducted a point in round 3 for low blows, Campas himself was stopped in round 4 under a volley of shots from Trinidad. Sadly Campas took a number of clean solid, hard shots to the head before the stoppage but refused to go down.
After adding 8 more wins to his record to move to 64-1 Campas fought in his second world title bout, this time against Jose Luis Lopez the then WBO Welterweight champion. Against Lopez, Campas was retired on his stool after 5 rounds, suffering just his second loss. Sadly, like most of Campas' losses his lack of a defence and teak toughness saw him taking more shots than he really needed to take.
Following the loss to Lopez, Campas moved up the Light Middleweight. As a Light Middleweight Campas captured the IBF world title by stopping Raul Marquez, he then went on to successfully defend the title 3 time. Campas lost his title in his 4th defence as he faced the then unbeaten Fernando Vargas who was simply too good, too powerful and too fast. Against Vargas a swollen and bloody Campas retired in his corner after 7 rounds. The loss to Vargas saw Campas' record falling to 72-3.
Campas continued to campaign at Light Middleweight as a credible challenger for world champions but suffered losses every time he stepped up a level losing to the likes of Oba Carr (TKO8), Daniel Santos (TKO11)-in a WBO Light Middleweight title fight and Oscar De La Hoya (TKO7)-in a WBC/WBA Light Middleweight title fight.
Since losing to De La Hoya back in 2003 Campas has fallen to acting more of a gate keeper than contender and has lost at a much more regular rate. In fact since 2003 Campas has lost to Eric Regan (UD12), Matt Vanda (SD12), John Duddy (UD12), Eromosele Albert (UD12), Amin Asikainen (TKO7), Matthew Macklin (Pts 10), Saul Roman (TKO9), Marcos Reyes (MD12), Hector Camacho Jr (SD10) an Jorge Cota (TKO8). Taking a lot of punishment combined in those bouts.
Amazingly Campas scored his 100th win earlier this year defeating Mauro Lucero to become what many feel is "The Last Centurion" of boxing. Sadly Campas hasn't the money to walk away from the sport and sadly he lacks the education that he'd need to get a "normal" job, meaning he is sadly trapped doing what he knows. Hopefully someone can help Campas out of the sport before he becomes another tragedy but sadly the length of his career and the amount of punishment he's taken will have taken it's toll on him.
Hopefully the bout with Sherington will pay nicely for a man who really needs to hang them up before he's seriously injured.
Generally we feel many professionals simply go on too long but in the case of German Heavyweight Andreas Sidon (38-12-0-1, 32) it's not the length of his career that concerns us but his current age, 49 years old.
Sidon, a former kick boxer and amateur boxer fought as an amateur until the ripe old age of 36 at which point he was deemed to old to continue fighting in the amateurs. Rather than walk away from the fight game altogether Sidon decided to finally turn professional and in 1999 Sidon made his professional debut defeating Zoltan Nagymihaly.
Over the following 13 years Sidon has faced a number of well known Heavyweights including Nikolay Valuev (in a bizarre fight that we hope to look at sometime soon), Alexander Dimitrenko, Taras Bydenko, Odlanier Solis and Andrzej Wawrzyk. Whilst he failed to defeat any top opponents he has actually carved out a pretty solid professional career picking up a number of titles including the German Heavyweight title and the very lightly regarded World Boxing Board Heavyweight title.
Despite a clear love for the sport Sidon, who fought 5 times in 2011 has become little more than a journeyman and has started to lose almost as often as he wins with a 6-6 record in his last 12 bouts (dating back to October 2006). An embarrassing split decision loss in 2011 to Portuguese novice Fernandez Agybane should have been enough to force Sidon to hang them up but sadly he's remained active since and actually has a scheduled bout for later this week. On Saturday night a 49 year old Sidon will be facing 44 year old Henadzi Daniliuk (12-5, 12), hopefully, win or lose Sidon (and Daniliuk for that matter) will both hang them up.
Whilst we aren't fans of Sidon's continuing career we can't help but feel he could be a very well respected coach. With over 30 years experience in the fight game Sidon has nothing left to prove.
Video below shows a 44 year old Sidon against Odlanier Solis. Solis a former Cuban amateur star was making his professional debut in the bout. Video thanks to arenaboxing
This weekend sees the return to the ring of former Nicaraguan great Rosendo Alvarez (37-3-2, 24) who at 42 years old is going to be fighting for the first time in over 6 years and a weight much, much higher than he has ever fought at before.
Alvarez first fought back in 1992 where he scored a 3rd round TKO over Pablo Torres and within 3 years he had picked up the WBA World Minimumweight title by defeating Thai Chana Porpaoin. Alvarez would run up 4 defences of his title between 1995 and 1998 before facing the amazing Ricardo “Finito” Lopez in a WBA/WBC unification bout. In that bout Alvarez dropped the Mexican great in the second round before Lopez fought back and scraped a lucky draw.
8 months on from their first bout Alvarez would again face Lopez. Sadly for Alvarez he was unable to make the 105lbs Minimumweight limit and was stripped of the WBA title on the scales, he was then controversially defeated by Lopez suffering the first loss of his career up to that point.
Alvarez would string together 3 wins (including one over Tomas Rojas, who would later go on to win the WBC Super Flyweight title) before being disqualified in a bout against Beibis Mendoza in a bout for the WBA World Light Flyweight title. In a rematch against Mendoza Alvarez managed to scrape a controversial split decision to win the title and become a 2-weight world champion. Alvarez would defend his Light Flyweight title 3 times, including a draw in an IBF unification bout Jose Victor Burgos.
Again weight problems would plague Alvarez who would lose his Light Flyweight title on the scales prior to a 4th bout with Beibis Mendoza in 2004. Soon afterwards Alvarez moved up again and in 2006 he faced Mexican warrior Jorge Arce in a bout for the WBC Super Flyweight title. Against Arce Alvarez was stopped for the first (and so far only) time in his career.
This coming Saturday Alvarez is returning to the ring for the first time since losing to Arce to face Alvaro Perez (21-4-1, 12) in a bout signed at the 122lbs Super Bantamweight limit. Quite what Alvarez is expecting to achieve from this is a mystery though we hope it will just be a one off for one of Nicaragua's greatest ever fighters.
We know boxing is like a drug, both to fighters and to fans. Generally fans are safer with their addiction than the fighters themselves, in fact sometimes fighters need saving from themselves. Sadly we feel that the return tonight of former Light Heavyweight challenger David Telesco (30-7-1, 15) is a case of a fighter who needs saving from himself.
Telesco, once a very promising young fighter started his career in 1991 and despite losing 2 of his first 6 bouts he ran up an impressive 19 straight wins. Those 19 wins helped Telesco land a world title fight with the great Roy Jones Jr with the WBA, WBC and IBF titles all on the line. Whilst Telesco showed a lot of courage in going the distance he was simply out skilled by Jones who barely seemed to to get out of second gear.
Following the loss to Jones in their title bout Telesco moved his record to 28-3-1 (23) which included scoring a notable win over the hard hitting Julian Letterlough. Soon after then however things started to turn downhill for Telesco who would lose 3 of his following 4 bouts, including a KO loss to Julio Cesar Gonzalez and a points loss to Eric Harding.
Following the loss Harding Telesco seemed to hang up his gloves until he emerged from the boxing shadows in 2009, over 4 years after the Harding bout. Initially Telesco was successful scoring a 2nd round TKO over journeyman William Gill. That success however was short lived and Telesco would himself be stopped in 2 rounds by former world champion Byron Mitchell.
The loss to Mitchell seemed, until this week, to have been the final bout in Telesco's career though now we've discovered that Telesco will be fighting tonight against 26 year old Puerto Rican Cruiserweight Vincent Miranda (14-1, 8). Sadly we can't help but feel that Telesco should have just left them hanging up.
A mugshot of McCall
At 47 years old most fighters have hung them up and walked away from the sport, though some do fight on. One man who continues to fight is former WBC Heavyweight Champion Oliver "The Atomic Bull" McCall (56-11-0-2, 37).
McCall is a name that all boxing fans will know for one reason or another. He famously stopped Lennox Lewis in 1994 to claim the WBC Heavyweight title and then even more famously broke down in tears in their rematch in 1997. As well as the bouts with Lewis McCall has faced a who's who of Heavyweights including Frank Bruno, Larry Holmes, James "Buster" Douglas, Bruce Seldon, Tony Tucker, Francesco Damiani, Oleg Maskaev, Henry Akinwande and Juan Carlos Gomez in a career that dates back to 1985.
McCall now looks forward to his next bout which takes places in the next 24 hours as he battles unbeaten Italian prospect Francesco Pianeta (25-0-1, 14). The 27 years old Pianeta had just turned 1 when McCall made his professional debut and yet McCall struggles on in battles inside and outside of the squared circle.
Whilst McCall has taken part in almost 60 professional bouts so far inside the ring his biggest battle has been with cocaine which has plagued, especially in recent years where he twice been arrested with it in his possession. As well as the cocaine issues McCall has had numerous run ins with the law which helped derail his career a number of times.
Whilst once a very good (and very under-rated) fighter McCall is now a fighter who is looking his 47 years and is sadly showing signs of being genuinely "shop worn". It's a sad tale, and we really don't know how good McCall could have been had it not been for his out of the ring issues