*There’s not enough room to print what this writer has to say about this fight so why don’t I begin by talking about how this fight compares to one of the greatest fights in boxing history.
You see, way back a little over 100 years ago on April 5, 1915 in Havana, Cuba in front of a crowd of nearly 40,000 roaring fight fans world heavyweight champion Jack Johnson came into the ring to defend his title for the ninth time against a big 6ft. 6in. 238 pound guy named Jess Willard who was considered to be the “White Hope” that could be finally the one that could dethrone the very first African American heavyweight champion.
And in what turned out to be a grueling match that was scheduled to go 45 rounds it all ended 1:26 in the 26th when Johnson was laying on his back from getting knocked out by Willard.
Jack Johnson held the title for a total of seven years before it all came down to that devastating knockout in Havana and what makes this so much of a significant match tonight with similarities is the fact that Deontay Wilder is a the current WBC world heavyweight champion who ready to put it all on the line tonight as he goes against the latest “White Hope” contender who is eager to take it all away from him.
These two guys are really big and tall heavyweights with Wilder being 6′ 6″ 212lbs and Fury coming in at 6′ 9″ 256lbs as of the weigh-in on yesterday. And this is what makes this comparable to Johnson vs Willard as these two are set to go against each other tonight at the Staples Center in an event that will be telecast live on Showtime pay per view as the whole world will be watching to see if history will repeat itself as it happened back on April 5, 1915. As I always say we’ll see what happens.
(l-r veteran broadcaster Jim Grey, Lennox Lewis, Evander Holifield, Riddick Bowe, Gerry Cooney, Michael Spinks, and Earnie Shavers. Not pictured is James Buster Douglas )
Folks I got to tell you something, my hat goes off to Steve Espinosa the head of Showtime Sports and Chris Deblasio for inviting come of boxing’s former heavyweight champs and legends to participate in a round table discussion yesterday at the media center. It nearly brought tears to my eyes to see these guys all come together and still be alive to talk about their careers and give their thoughts about the fight tonight. They all are people whom I had the great fortune to meet when I first started hanging around the sport in 1982 at Ceasar’s Palace. May Allah continue to bless all of them.
“When the tide goes out, that’s when you’ll find out who’s been swimming naked- Warren Buffet.
(Mohammed Mubarak with Gerry Cooney at Ceasars Palace 1982)
Jack Johnson 72″x 96″ oil and acrylic
Mohammed Mubarak can be reached at [email protected] for your comments. He is an artist as well and you can go to mubarakart.com and qmubarak06 on instagram and view his works.