Boxers whose names were bestowed on racehorses
Boxing and horse racing are two sports that have captured the public imagination for generations, especially in places like the UK and Ireland, where fighting and equestrianism came hand in hand for such long periods of their respective histories.
In this article, we take a look at those horse owners and trainers who took their love for pugilism to the next level and named some of their prized thoroughbred racehorses after fighters of past and present.
Professional prize fighters are exactly the sort of inspirational battlers that racehorse owners want their steeds to emulate
2019 was a year in which Tyson Fury went about hyping his rematch with Deontay Wilder, after their first fight had been controversially declared a draw.
In a year that saw Fury continue to announce his return to form both in the US and back in the UK, the fervor around his incredible weight loss and fighting spirit spilled over into horse racing, as horse owner Phil Cunningham approached the heavyweight king in the hope he would agree to his name being given to a potential Epsom Derby runner.
Fury eventually agreed to the proposition, but the horse did not run in the Derby. However, the Richard Spencer trained horse did register two wins from three starts in 2020 and could be a threat on any online racecards that pop up throughout 2021. Who knows, maybe horse and boxer will become undisputed rulers of their respective fields by the end of the year.
There are no punches thrown out on the racetrack, but racehorses are every bit as brave and determined as boxers are
Frazier was involved in perhaps the greatest fight trilogy ever witnessed as he ultimately came up short in his final two fights against Muhammed Ali.
However, the man is known as “Smokin” Joe Frazier now has a racehorse named after him. The 3-year-old colt out of Kentucky already has a race win under his saddle, as well as another podium finish. That is not too bad for a young horse, although it remains to be seen if he can live up to the name he carries. Trainer Brad Cox will be hoping that Frazier starts regularly KO’ing the racing opposition.
Cuban boxers have always been renowned as some of the best amateur fighters in the world, combining slick foot movement with lightning-fast hand speed.
One of the very best talents to come out of the communist country is Teófilo Stevenson, who is part of a small elite club of boxers who have claimed gold medals at three Olympic Games.
Since his passing in 2012, multiple entities from all around the world have honored his name, with Russia bestowing their highest sporting honor on him and Irish racehorse trainer and breeder Jim Bolger naming a horse Teofilo in memory of the boxer.
The horse was a useful operator as well, winning all five of the high class races he entered before his career was cut short by injury.
The lower weight classes in boxing often get overlooked with fighters like Román González having to prove themselves twice as much as a middleweight or heavyweight.
One fighter whose prowess was ignored for too long because of this prejudice was Japanese flyweight/bantamweight Masahiko Harada, who was commonly known as Fighting Harada.
Harada boasted one of the best jabs ever seen in the lower weight classes, and he is still held in such high regard in Japan that he now heads-up Japan’s main boxing association.
Just as the boxer came from good fighting stock, so too did the horse who adopted his name, with Haradsun being sold to Coolmore Stud for a whopping $20m in 2007. You can understand why when for each mare serviced. His owner received upwards of $30,000.