UN­FUL­FILLED PO­TEN­TIAL

Boxing News - - LETTERS -

I READ with great in­ter­est your ar­ti­cle (Oc­to­ber 18) on Ro­man Green­berg (no re­la­tion). I met up with him a num­ber of times and went to many of his fights, and he came to my house for din­ner and met my fam­ily. Make no mis­take, Ro­man wasn’t a good prospect, he was a phe­nom­e­nal prospect and a lovely fel­low. The first time I saw him was when Is­rael sent an am­a­teur box­ing team to Eng­land to fight an Eng­land team for char­ity. It was held, as I re­call, at the Grosvenor Ho­tel in Lon­don. With the score in matches stand­ing at 5-4 to Is­rael, Ro­man had to face off in the last bout of the evening against the then­reign­ing ABA heavy­weight cham­pion – a very ex­pe­ri­enced older guy whose name I can­not re­call. Ro­man had just come out of the Ju­niors. The ABA cham­pion was ex­pected to win eas­ily. How­ever, Ro­man was like a young Cas­sius Clay, danc­ing around and punch­ing his op­po­nent at will, knock­ing him down twice and be­ing robbed quite bla­tantly of the de­ci­sion. By a quirk of co­in­ci­dence, a few days later I went on a flight to Is­rael and there was Ro­man with his trainer, both still fum­ing at how they’d been robbed. I’ve been an avid fol­lower of box­ing for over 60 years now, and I’ve re­ally only ever been ex­cited by two prospects in that time. One was Naseem Hamed and the other was Ro­man. It’s a real shame that Ro­man never ful­filled the po­ten­tial that he had. Stu­art Green­berg

FALL­ING SHORT

I THINK that amid the promis­ing heavy­weights who ul­ti­mately fell short of ex­pec­ta­tions (Oc­to­ber 18 is­sue), An­drew Golota must surely be ranked in the top three. Golota had both the phys­i­cal at­tributes and the tech­nique to be­come a great, but he didn’t have the men­tal strength. He was beat­ing a prime Rid­dick Bowe to a pulp twice, be­fore be­ing dis­qual­i­fied for low blows both times. This, in my opin­ion, was the be­gin­ning of the end for him, as he never re­cov­ered from the ac­cu­sa­tions of be­ing sick­minded. I also remember how Golota was the first to ex­pose the weak­nesses of Michael Grant, be­fore in­ex­pli­ca­bly quit­ting dur­ing a fight he could still win. Of course, Grant was crushed by Len­nox Lewis later on. Mas­simo Ricci

RA­DIO OVER PPV

MAY I add my sup­port to Der­mot Bol­ger’s ex­cel­lent Let­ter of the Week in the Oc­to­ber 4 is­sue. As I pay an an­nual sub­scrip­tion to both Sky and BT Sport, I de­cided to opt out of the pay-per-view of­fer­ing of the Ge­orge Groves-cal­lum Smith match, as it came so soon af­ter the An­thony Joshua-alexander Povetkin PPV. Fight fans’ pock­ets are not bot­tom­less. I lis­tened to the TALKSPORT ra­dio commentary pro­vided by John Rawl­ing and Glenn Mccrory in­stead. Their su­perb cov­er­age painted a pic­ture that, for me, suc­cess­fully re­placed the live TV show. And, of course, it was en­tirely free. David Hib­bert

CAUSE FOR CON­CERN? THE story of An­thony Joshua is well doc­u­mented – how he took up box­ing late, won Olympic gold, se­cured a world heavy­weight ti­tle ahead of sched­ule when an open­ing came up against Charles Martin etc.

I thought that his de­vel­op­ment was on track when watch­ing him out­box Joseph Parker with his jab.

How­ever, I was dis­turbed to see him make him­self an easy tar­get for the dan­ger­ous Alexander Povetkin in the early rounds. The very best cham­pi­ons make their de­fence im­preg­nable when at the top of their game. Per­haps there is some cause for con­cern for Joshua in this sense. Olug­benga Ro­timi

Photo: AC­TION IMAGES/REUTERS/MIKE SEGAR

WHAT WENT WRONG: Golota should have had the at­tributes to do some­thing spe­cial

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