Terry Pettifer's Analysis of World Boxing over the past 50 Years - by Terry Pettifer

In September this year your scribe celebrate 35-yeras of ringside reporting and African Ring publisher Jeff Ellis thought it appropriate to have me recount some of the highlights of the sport so many of us love. Ellis stressed that my observations should encompass both the international and local boxing scene and stretch over a period of 50 years (1960-2010). In effect yours truly began following the sport in 1962, when Sonny Liston won the world heavyweight title and now after almost five decades of in depth research and until articles (That traces all the way back to Theagenes of Thaos in 450 BC) I'm perceived as one of this country's most frequent contributors of ink-stained copy.

Impertinently the Pettifer pen has scribbled words; alimentary as well as elementary, had run-ins with promoters, managers, trainers, matchmakers, officials, fellow writers and fighters alike, and posterity will recall that I had the gall to question and highlight some of the serious shortcomings of a seemingly endless parade of administrators, incurring the wrath of several appointed "impersonators" in the process.

No matter, boxing has survived and hopefully will continue to do so as long as there are those individuals who comprehend the relativity of violence!

Here then for what it is worth, are my personal recollections of the last 50 years in boxing history!

LOCAL FIGHTS THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE:

Brian Mitchell vs Dingaan Thobela
Charlie Weir vs Gert Steyn
Adries Steyn vs Nkosana Mgxaji

WORST LOCAL DECISIONS

Luvuyo Kakaza vs Aaron Kabi (Third fight). Even Kakaza's trainer Shorty Smook apologized for the decision in his boxer's favour.
Bushy Bester vs Gert Steyn (first fight).
David Vinger vs Nkosana Vaaltein (first fight)

MOST DEVASTATING LOCAL KNOCKOUTS:

Kallie Knoetze vs Isaak Hussein
Kallie Knoetze vs Mike Schutte
Elijah Makhatini vs Charlie Weir
Kosie Smith vs Gianfranco Macchia

MOST UNFORGETTALBE LOCAL BOXING GENTLEMEN:

Dougie Miller, Piet Crous, Pierre Coetzer, Johnny Wood

MOST UNFORGETTALBE BOXING EVENTS HELD IN SOUTH AFRICA:

Gerrie Coetzee vs John Tate (Pretoria) - October 20, 1979
Lennox Lewis vs Hasim Rahman (Brakpan) - April 22, 2001

MOST POPULAR LOCAL DRAWCARD:

Charlie Weir: Apart from oozing charisma, he had a Machiavellian quality that electrified crowds and made him a promoter's dream! Ask Rodney Berman.

MOST UNFORGETTALBE FIGHTS ON SOUTH AFRICAN SOIL:

Arnold Taylor vs Romeo Anaya (November 3, 1973)
Victor Galindez vs Richie Kates (May 22, 1976)
Willie Ludick vs Jean Josselin (August 6, 1966)
Hasim Rahman vs Lennox Lewis (April 22, 2001)
John Tate vs Gerrie Coetzee (October 20, 1979)

MOST UNFORGETTABLE VICTORIES BY SOUTH AFRICAN BOXERS OVERSEAS:

Brian Mitchell vs Tony Lopez (September 13, 1991)
Gerrie Coetzee vs Michael Dokes (September 23, 1983)
Thulani "Sugarboy" Malinga vs Nigel Benn (March 2, 1996)
Corrie Sanders vs Wladimir Klitschko (March 8, 2003)
Peter Mathebula vs Tae Shik Kim (December 13, 1980)

MOST DOMINANT WORLD CHAMPIONS SINCE 1960:

Heavyweight: Muhammad Ali
Cruiserweight: Evander Holyfield
Light heavyweight: Bob Foster
Super middleweight: Roy Jones
Middleweight: Carlos Monzon
Junior middleweight: Thomas Hearns
Welterweight: Sugar Ray Leonard
Juior welterweight: Julio Cesar Chavez
Lightweight: Roberto Duran
Junior lightweight: Alexis Arguello
Featherweight: Salvador Sanchez
Junior featherweight: Wilfedo Gomez
Bantamweight: Carlos Zarate
Junior bantamweight: Khaosai Galaxy
Flyweight: Muguel Canto
Junior Flyweight: Michael Carbajal
Mini flyweight: Ricardo Lopez
Footnote: Because Manny Pacquiao is still active, I consider it inappropriate to rank him in any of the seven divisions in which he won world titles. That he belongs on this resume is indisputable and the author will update the list once "Pacman" officially retires from the sport.

MOST DOMINANT BOXING PERSONALITIES SINCE 1960:

Muhammad Ali and Don King

10 BEST "POUND-FOR-POUND" FIGHTERS SINCE 1960:

(In no particular order): Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Julio Cesar Chavez, Roberto Duran, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, Roy Jones, Alexi Arguello, Miguel Canto and Salvador Sanchez.

BEST SA PROMOTER SINCE 1960:

Rodney Berman

BEST SA BOXING ADMINISTRATOR SINCE 1960:

Stanley Christodoulou

MOST CONTROVERSIAL FIGHT SINCE 1960:

Muhammad Ali vs Sonny Liston (return bout)

BIGGEST RING UPSETS SINCE 1960:

Cassius Clay vs Sonny Liston (1st fight)
James "Buster" Douglas vs Mike Tyson
Hasim Rahman vs Lennox Lewis (1st fight)

GREATEST FIGHT SINCE 1960:

Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier (3rd fight)