World Boxing News looks into the state of the heavyweight division on the back of a shocking knockout loss for ex-undisputed champion Evander Holyfield.
Allowed to fight at the age of 58 despite serious worries over his ability to fight at those advanced years, Holyfield seemed destined for a guaranteed knockout.
WBN looked at the odds on a Vitor Belfort first-round stoppage and couldn’t believe bookies were offering +1100 odds. We snapped their hands off.
More roadblocks have to happen to stop legends like Holyfield from entering a ring at his age. There’s also a worrying trend near the tail end of the rankings.
When observing the top division, there are over 1000 active boxers at the heavyweight limit. Of those, there are some shocking records on show.
Those fighters at 0-15 with 13 K.O.’s and 0-16 with 14 K.O.’s are still getting the opportunity to fight.
Croatian-born Bosnian Mirko Crnovic boasts the 0-15 record. The Dominican Republic’s Reimundo Medrano holds an unenvious 0-16 C.V.
And let’s not forget Mehmed Crnalic, who was originally from Austria but now also fights out of Bosnia. He’s 0-10 with every loss via knockout.
Despite those three eye-popping records, all three remain active. Crnalic, 26, last fought in 2020 – one year after his previous defeat.
But Crnalic has never been past three rounds as a pro, and his last four losses came in the first round.
Compatriot Crnovic, also 26, has gone four rounds twice but has been K.O.’d in the first two rounds eleven times.
Finally, Medrano returned from a five-year absence to unfathomably get sanctioned despite an awful record of stoppages. He was halted in two rounds by Orlando Estrella in April.
There’s firmly a case for all three to get struck off. Tighter restrictions are badly needed.
NOT ONLY HEAVYWEIGHT
Also, spare a thought for Knowledge Robinson Speight, as it’s not only the glamor division that sanctions fighters who have no business being in there.
The 24-year-old American has gotten wheeled out time after time to be knocked out. All seven of his pro bouts have ended within two rounds, six in the opening session.
A sickening record that proves boxing is not his forte, and he should move on or be permanently moved on by boxing authorities.
Boxing needs a clean-up, and somebody has to take charge of our fighters’ future for the good of our sport moving forward.
The views expressed in this article are opinions of Phil Jay.