15. What fighter's nickname is Boxcar? ——————.
1. Tony Tubbs
2. Pinklon Thomas
4. Larry Holmes
5. Come on, think real hard
6. Weaver, because he has more hair on his head
7. Too close to call
8. Michael Spinks
10. Michael Spinks
11. Rocky Marciano
12, 13, 14. Keep these responses to yourself; we're not touching them
15. Ed Hospodar of the Philadelphia Flyers
In 1,000 words or less explain how things got so thoroughly messed up in the heavyweight division. For your guidance, here is a sample essay provided by Pat Putnam, a noted student of boxing.
When Muhammad Ali went into the ring against Leon Spinks on Feb. 15, 1978, he was the undisputed heavyweight boxing champion. Undertrained and overconfident, he was upset by Spinks, whose reign as undisputed champ lasted all of 42 days. Since then it has been all downhill for boxing's most glamorous division. That was the last time the world had one heavyweight champion, and it will remain that way until someone, most likely promoter Don King, who admits that even he has grown weary, collects all of the crowns and places them on one head. In the last seven years there have been 37 so-called heavyweight title fights involving 32 boxers, 13 of whom have at some time claimed a title as champion. "I'm sick of it," says King, who has controlled the division since December 1982. "I'm tired of looking at it. I'm tired of the pace."
But, first, let's look back at how the planet wound up with three champions—or, if you will, with Larry Holmes and the guys wearing the WBC and WBA belts. At the moment, Holmes, after six bright years as the WBC champion, is the IBF and true world champion. At least he's ours—you can have anybody you want.
After his defeat of Ali, Spinks was given two choices: He could keep the WBC half of his title by fighting No. 1 contender Ken Norton, or he could keep a promise and give Ali a rematch. Spinks chose Ali and a defense of the WBA portion of his crown, and the WBC chose, in March 1978, to give its championship to Norton, who had already been beaten in championship bids against George Foreman and Ali. In his first defense, Norton lost a split decision to Holmes. That was in June 1978, three months before Ali reclaimed the WBA title from Spinks.
The following year, Ali struck again. He retired, leaving John Tate and Gerrie Coetzee to fight for his abandoned title. "Big John," said Bob Arum, who promoted Tate's 15-round decision over Coetzee, "is the greatest heavyweight I have ever seen."
Arum's enthusiasm for the giant from Knoxville, Tenn. lasted until Mike Weaver (who had already been stopped by Holmes) knocked out Tate five months after he had won the title.