Posted: Monday March 20, 2006 12:52PM; Updated: Tuesday March 21, 2006 4:40PM
Man's ability to create beautiful art and successfully undertake remarkable scientific endeavors never ceases to amaze me. The things of which we are capable is astonishing. Which brings me to this question: We can put a man on the moon, but we can't produce two grown men who can beat the crap out of each other?
The James Toney-Hasim Rahman heavyweight title fight Saturday was ridiculous. Toney, who fought at 190 pounds less than three years ago, waddled into the ring at 237. Rahman, who got his belt when fighter-cum-politician Vitali Klitschko retired, threw upwards of 1,000 punches ... and maybe two of them staggered the big fella. The fight was ruled a draw (charitably, if you're Toney, in my opinion), meaning that the biggest winner of the weekend was Klitschko, who drew even in polls for the Kiev mayoral elections.
Sadly, Toney and Rahman are the best the heavyweight class has to offer. Which means the best thing about watching a heavyweight fight is HBO's broadcasting team.
The contrast in Harold Lederman (sounds like he just inhaled a handful of greenies) and Larry Merchant (looks like he needs to be wound every 25 minutes like a bad wristwatch) is always fun to take in. And Emanuel Steward isn't afraid to criticize, which he did Saturday by pointing out that Toney was out of shape.
As for the action between the ropes? Pretty bad. The early rounds provided some excitement; the crowd gave the fighters a standing ovation at the conclusion of the third round.
After that, though, Toney started huffing and puffing and stopped moving. But thanks to his remarkable gift for slipping punches, Rahman couldn't hurt him. It was impressive to watch such a cagey fighter ply his trade. It was not, however, exciting.
The sad part is, there are some fantastic boxers and storylines in the lower weight classes. But the casual fan is always going to judge boxing by what's happening with the heavies. And right now, unless you're a fan of politics in the Ukraine, that's -- sadly -- not much.