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By Simon Harrison
Who wins in a battle of the class of 2004 against the class of 1994? Below is
my take on the battle from 126 up, as my current knowledge of anyone 122 and
under is criminally poor.
Pacquiano-Johnson at 126
‘Boom Boom’ Johnson was at his pomp around this time, in the middle of 12 successful defences of his IBF title. A lot quicker and less mechanical than MAB, Johnson would not offer Pacquiano a target. But Pacquiano is more naturally talented and possesses a fight ending power, which would be a concern for the slightly soft chinned Johnson. Johnson would build an early lead, but Pacquianos frightening physical presences would get him level by the middle rounds. Eventually by round 10 Johnson’s resistance would give way leading to a Pacquiano forcing the ref to jump in with the brave Johnson out on his feet.
Morales-DLH at 130
The 21 year old DLH would soon be jumping up to 135; but what a bout this would be. The grizzled primed Morales against the young future superstar De La Hoya. DLH takes advantage early with his edge in speed and seemingly more physical presence. But Morales would wear down the faster DLH, leading to a classic brawl for the second half of the bout. Both hit the deck in the eighth, but Morales comes out the stronger flooring DLH again the 11th and surviving a final round onslaught, to take the split nod over 12.
Mayweather-Ruelas at 135
Did you say mismatch? The lesser known and less gifted of the 2 brothers Rafael. Was a big punching but weak chinned fighter, who was probably the premier 135lber till he got smoked in 2 by DLH. Anyway Mayweather would hardly have to stretch himself in a one sided 8 round boxing lesson.
Tszyu-Randall at 140
1994 was a good year for the surgeon; it is when he took away Chavez’s 0. One of his contenders was the streaking young Russian Kostya Tszyu who was a year away from winning his first title. But anyway this is about the 2004 version of the now veteran Tszyu. Inactivity would undoubtly hurt Tszyu's cause in this bout. Randall would have enough power to make Tszyu respect him (he decked the previously never felled Chavez). And he had enough speed to give Tszyu major problems. Randall wins a fairly easy decision, as Tszyu is unable to catch up with him over the course of 12 interesting rounds.
Spinks-Trinidad at 147
Cory is probably out of his depth in this one. Trinidad had began his 90s domination of the 147 division, and Spinks is probably at this stage of his career no better than anything that ‘Tito’ fought around this time. So I got to go for a stoppage win for Trinidad in 8, maybe Cory lands a cheeky right in the sixth to score a flash knockdown, but that just generally ticked Felix off and made him crank up the tempo.
Wright-Norris at 154
Winky Wright was a fringe contender back then at 154, now of course thanks to the victory over Mosley, he rules the roost. The problem for Wright is that, back then Norris only lost to KO artists, and could outbox anyone including Wright. And as ‘Winky’ is no KO artist, I take Norris to win a comfortable decision, as Wright lacks the movement and speed to compete with ‘Terrible’ Terry.
Hopkins-Jones at 160
Of course they met in 93, with RJJ getting the comfortable decision. But the question here is could a 39 year old executioner beat a RJJ coming into his pomp? I am sure the bout would be more competitive than their 93 clash, but the result would be the same; RJJ would use his edge in speed to counter Hopkins power, in gaining a fairly routine 12 round decision.
Calzaghe-Toney at 168
If only this could actually happen, it would answer the question of Calzaghe's legitimacy. Personally I got give the edge to Toney, he was at the height of his powers back then, and would just bamboozle the heavy handed Welshman. Calzaghe would have his moments, but Toney’s great Ring generalship would see him though to a decision win.
Jones-Hill at 175
RJJ would have a tougher time of it, than when they met in 98. Hill was maybe at the height of his powers back then, and the 2004 version of RJJ has definitely seen better days. But still saying this, I still can’t see ‘Quicksilver’ winning. Hill would use his educated left hand to remain competitive, but RJJ edge in speed and ring generalship would always keep him ahead of the game; RJJ WU12
Mormeck-Norris at 190
The Bastard division, lives up to its name with this match up; who cares? For the record I take Norris on points.
Byrd Vs Foreman at Heavyweight
The Heavies were in a bad state as well in 94; Lewis was getting KO’d by a journeyman, Holyfield was having a heart attack and most shockingly of all Champ Moorer got steam rolled by the 45 year old Foreman. With Lewis’s retirement I guess Byrd tops the list of heavies for the moment. I also beleive this match up would be the 1994 Foreman’s worse nightmare. It would show how slow the ancient big man really was. I suppose there is always the chance Big George might get lucky, but 9 times out of 10 Byrd wins every round, and that is my pick Byrd by very unanimous decision.
So there we have it IMO 1994 champs beat 2004 champs 6-5.
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