November 5th, 2013 By Zak "Attack" Young
MOST BORING LIST “DREW” HEAT
Los Angeles, CA- I am the type of person who likes to get the bad over with to enjoy the good. A few days ago, I detailed the most boring fighters in the sport of boxing today, from which there was a lot of blow back for having IBF (175 LB.) champ Bernard Hopkins . Now, I’d like to celebrate the most entertaining boxers.
As the b-side of two of the most entertaining fights of the year, Provo (23-2, 16 KO) has seen his stock rise from middling ESPN fighter to an HBO star. The newly-crowned WBO light welterweight (140) champion has a very admirable stance as a fighter. He does not care about money of championships. Ruslan only wants to bring the fans excitement. Just as Sylvester Stallone’s “Rocky” was adored by the public, “The Siberian Rocky” is a true people’s champion who has the heart of a warrior. Ruslan versus the winner of Pacquiao-Rios is a surefire candidate for 2014 fight of the year. Champions like Golovkin and Provodnikov prove that not all Eastern European fighters somehow manage to stink out giant stadiums like Wladimir Klitschko a.k.a. Dr. Jab N. Grab, M.D. (61-3, 3476 clinches).
So maybe Amir Khan (28-3, 19 KO) really is just “a mere con”. He still puts on entertaining fights, and it is his flaws that make his fights so entertaining. In terms of offense, Khan would get an “A” on his boxing report card. Amir has some of the fastest hands in the game and puts his combinations together very well. On the defensive side, I give him a “D”. The guy just does not get away from punches well and his chin seems to be made of papier-mâché. That being said, his fights are thrilling for the simple reason that no matter how great he looks early on, there is a great possibility he’ll be busting out dances moves on the canvas a few seconds later. Most boxing fans are familiar with the “Ali Shuffle”. Well back in 2008, Breidis Prescott (27-5, 20 KO) helped invent the “Khan Shuffle” courtesy of a first-round KO of the heavily lauded Briton years ago. A new dance star was born.
LEO SANTA CRUZ
Leo is one of the rising stars in the sport of boxing, and has one of the most fan-friendly styles out there. NBC took notice of this, and had him headline the first network TV boxing card in many years back in 2012. He will never be one of the best technical fighters, but he will always bring the fight and satisfy the fans. 2014 looks to be a breakout year for the two-division champion, as fights with Abner Mares (26-1-1, 14KO), Cristian Mijares (48-7-2, 23 KOs), and possibly even Nonito Donaire (31-2, 20 KOs) loom large.
To be honest, Rios (31-1-1, 23 KOs) tends to get on my nerves a bit with his pre-fight antics. I’ve never really been a fan of Freddie Roach, but it hit close to home when Rios mocked his Parkinson’s disease a few years ago. Losing my grandmother in 2011 to Parkinson’s made me upset when I saw Rios acting this way. He comes across as slow mentally and sounds a little punch-drunk already at the age of 27. Still, I cannot deny the fact that he puts on entertaining fights, however, and I expect his upcoming bout with Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) to be a war as long as it lasts. “Bam Bam” may be a bit of a “Bum Bum” in terms of skill, but he is one of the most entertaining fighters in the sport today.