Is This the Worst World Title Challenger Ever Seen in the UK?

Jul 6, 2019
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Think I was at this. I was at most of Harrison's title fights, but I can't remember for sure. I went to a lot of live shows during that period, and they all just kind of blur into one another.

Tried to go on boxrec to jog my memory, but most of the away fighters on the card don't even have pictures. Clearly some safety first matchmaking going on.

Did find out that Kebede had 3 years off after this and then made it to the 2nd round with Yurkis Gamboa before retiring. Gambia was only 5 - 0 at the time.
 
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May 8, 2016
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My word just checked Kebedes record...certainly has to be up there as one of the worst.

In terms of hype and media coverage despite lack of talent Dmitry Salita turned out terrible...

 
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Jul 25, 2015
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I know its computerised rankings are flawed, but they generally aren't a million miles off so we can make some judgement based on the number of Boxrec points a challenger had before a title fight.

Looking at the names here so far:

Samuel Kebede 30.25
Dmitry Salita 34.91
Tocker Pudwill 13.55 (!)
Damon Reed 42.65

Interestingly Takoucht has just 15.59 points going into tonight's fight, which is only enough to rank him #130 in his division on Boxrec and puts him up there with the very worst.

Would be interesting if anyone could find a fighter with a worse rating than Pudwill.
 
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Jul 25, 2015
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Caleb Truax had just 51.01 points going into the DeGale fight, probably one of the worst ever to actually win a world title.

Scratch that, Stuart Hall 38.95!
 
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Jul 6, 2019
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Paul Weir has a few. Boxrec points from before the fights:

Lindi Memani: 36.26
Fernando Martinez: 29.99
Josue Camacho: 16.03
Rick Magramo: 11.35
Paul Oulden: 10.90


I know the WBO was lightly regarded back in the early 90's, and the low weight class might play a part, but that's a poor run of rankings for title fights.
 
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Jun 14, 2012
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We've seen some bad ones since the introduction of the IBF and WBO, but Samuel Kebede challenging Scott Harrison takes some beating:



Note: watching the footage will make you yearn even more for Ian Darke to return to boxing commentary.
Fuck me that was a shambles.
 
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Jun 6, 2012
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Bobby Gunn came along with some reputation as a bareknuckle hardcase and promptly got obliterated by Enzo Maccarinelli in one round.
yeah, thats what came to my mind as well.
Amazingly, he got wheeled out for fights against Adamek, Toney, Johnson and RJJ a few years later as well
 
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Apr 19, 2014
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Boxrec points and mathematical rankings are abysmal, they had some 12-7-4 guy who had lost his last 3 and beaten one guy with a winning record as number 1 in the world not too long ago, truly awful rankings system. At least Pudwill went the distance with Ottke and was a late sub for Thomas Tate. The worst challanger might be Joseph Laryea, had one good win against an awful Appleby and got knocked out by every top 100 guy he faced
 
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Apr 19, 2014
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My word just checked Kebedes record...certainly has to be up there as one of the worst.

In terms of hype and media coverage despite lack of talent Dmitry Salita turned out terrible...

Salita got his reputation from his story of fleeing anti-semitism in Ukraine and apparently being silky smooth in the gym, they used to say he 'fought black' but he was a very very average fighter who often struggled with below par opposition. He used to claim Kotelnik was ducking him despite having not one recognisable name on his record, Elie Sechback used to LOVE him and made an infamous video declaring him p4p number 1, before almost having a breakdown when Khan ended his career in under a minute. For everything we always hear about the American school being so much tougher(Atlas trots this shit out every time even if its two non-US fighters in America), Salita was able to get to 30-0 with HBO hyping him up while being a relatively basic boxer
 
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Jun 6, 2012
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Boxrec points and mathematical rankings are abysmal, they had some 12-7-4 guy who had lost his last 3 and beaten one guy with a winning record as number 1 in the world not too long ago, truly awful rankings system. At least Pudwill went the distance with Ottke and was a late sub for Thomas Tate. The worst challanger might be Joseph Laryea, had one good win against an awful Appleby and got knocked out by every top 100 guy he faced
They're rancid, and I hate the way they're gaining more credibility.
 
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Jul 6, 2019
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They're rancid, and I hate the way they're gaining more credibility.
I had a laugh about them in a thread in the world forum recently.

They are all over the place. Chris Eubank Jnr is ranked 19th in the world. Not at supermiddleweight, but pound for pound.

To put that into context, not only is he above the likes of Usyk, (27th!), but he is 67 places higher than BJS. A fighter who is undefeated, has a win over Eubank, and has been world champion in the two divisions Eubank has operated, and failed to win titles in. Madness.

Computerised rankings work for sports with set schedules where competitors regularly meet one another. Boxing doesn't provide enough comparable data for meaningful results.