Five points of reference,  boxings greatest  supernovas

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By possibly  boxings biggest fan
A greatest boxing  list really isn’t that straightforward  let’s be honest there’s to many variables  to consider.
Every boxing  list is a subjective view a personal opinion based on an individual  eyewitnesses account or a  historical interpretation   of what we as fans have seen in the ring or have researched.
Can a list be wrong? Definitely not, can  it be debatable definitely yes , can  it be a  biased view 100% yes   but that’s not a bad thing if it has a positive  impact and fuels a passion to research and study the sport of boxing and in time question and if needed change our  opinions.

Let me start by saying this is a highly personal list for me so I don’t expect others to agree,  it’s not a P4P list it’s simply Five points of reference in a boxing sence that crafted my view of the  boxings landscape and how it influenced my life and my place within it as a fan .

1#. Born in 1978 and at the tender age of 8 the explosion of Michael Gerard Tyson   as the youngest boxer to win a heavyweight title at 20 years, four months and 22 days old sparked a passion In  me that never diminished .
Like any child growing up in  the 80s with an interest in boxing Tyson was the catalyst to follow the sport he was explosive dynamic and the baddest man on the planet ,   Tyson won his first 19 professional fights by knockout and  stoppage,12  in the first round, world titles would follow first  the WBC title  in 1986 after stopping Trevor Berbick in the second round, soon after  the WBA and IBF titles would be claimed with  victorys against  James Smith and Tony Tucker in 1987  making Tyson the first heavyweight boxer to simultaneously hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles, and the only heavyweight to successively unify .

Tyson lit  the boxing  flame for me and with every fight my interest grew and so encouraged me to lose myself in boxing completely and even later in his career when he imploded I never looked back in anger but was thankful for what iron Mike  introduced me to.

#2. after the simplistic brutality of  Tyson my eyes were opened to a whole new world of boxers and my mind  a willing sponge ready to learn about the sweet science and no boxing journey can be started or ended  without falling head over heels for  the beautiful Muhammad Ali .

Having never been lucky enough to withness “the greatest” at the time didn’t stop me from finding out about the Louisville lip and learning  Ali wasn’t only a great boxer but a true fighter inside and outside of the ring an  activist,  philanthropist, and boxings greatest philosopher a man with a physical and moral granite chin.

3#. the story of Johnny Lee Tapia resonates very strongly with me , Mi Vida Loca,

At Only 45   Tapia died of heart failure, the irony of which was never  lost on me or anyone  who watched him fight because a failure of heart inside the ring  never happened with tapia . A champion boxer who I always considered  a boxing kindred spirit.

4#. the little man from the Philippines, ang pambansang kamao ( the nations fist) Emmanuel dapidran Pacquiao the fighter of the decade and the first and only 8 division world champion, as well as the 1st to win lineal championships in 4 different weights was for me  a pleasure to watch win lose or draw the expected could soon become the unexpected when Pac was in the ring as witnessed in December 2012  when  Juan Manuel Márquez landed a peach of a punch  ….ouch

5#.  London calling,  as a London boy born and bred I couldn’t  have a list without including Our ‘Enry ,
As a boxer Henry  hit the boxing  heights as   British, Commonwealth, and European heavyweight champion  several times throughout his career but  Henry’s greatest achievement in  the ring was being the  first boxer to win three Lonsdale Belts and   nearly so nearly  pulling it off against the  greatest,  Henry Cooper one of the greatest names in British boxing history and the reason why I choose to name my own  son Henry,
It’s not a perfect boxing list but it’s my boxing  Wonderwall.
authors note , the above is a collection of conversations  and memoirs  I had with Andy cloke a true boxing fan who educated me in the sweet science like nobody else.
in loving memory ,
Andrew cloke 1978- 2018

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