Following a defiant seventh-round knockout of previously unbeaten Jose Pedraza (22-1, 12...
By Tom Donelson, BASN boxing writer
Updated: October 30, 2011
IOWA CITY, IOWA, (BASN)—On November 3rd, Atlanta Corporate fight night will hold their annual charity night which features fights between corporate types, who fight for glory and charity. The audience will feature members of the 1984 Olympic boxing team including Evander Holyfield, Tyrell Biggs, Henry Tillman, Pernell Whitaker, Virgil Hill and Frank Tate. This team was responsible for nine Gold Medals, an accomplishment that can’t be diminished even though many Eastern Bloc countries and Cuba boycotted the Los Angeles Olympics.
There were many heroes and few disappointments for many of these Olympians after 1984, but there also collection of many titles. Many boxing fans will be familiar with some of these Olympians like Pernell Whitaker, who was one of the greatest pound for pound fighters of his generation and dominated much of the junior welterweights and Welterweights. His greatest fight may have been the one that he did not win but only draw. In 1993, he out boxed the great Julio Cesar Chavez in the ring only to have two judges call it even and only one seeing the true artistry in the ring. Sports Illustrated cover for the post fight was “Robbed!” Today, Whitaker is now a trainer and still active in the great sport like his fellow Olympian Mark Breland, who won World Welterweight championship along with his Olympian Gold Medal.
Evander Holyfield was one of the top heavyweights in the 1990′s during one of the heavyweight better eras but before he invaded the heavyweight, he wiped out the Cruiserweight division. Fellow Olympians Tyrell Biggs and Henry Tillman never reached Holyfield heights. Tillman failed to win the Cruiserweight division being thwarted by Holyfield who stopped him in seven rounds and later was crushed by Mike Tyson in one of his many comebacks. (Tillman managed to win twice over Tyson in the amateur rank but when they both met as professional, Tillman was not in the same league of Tyson.) Biggs began his heavyweight career and he had his date with Tyson. Using his height and boxing skills, he attempted to out box Tyson but Tyson power wore Biggs out. Biggs never obtained his goal as champion but he did manage 30 wins in a professional career of 40 fights. The biggest problem for both Tillman and Biggs, they were heavyweights in the era of Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe and Lennox Lewis
Frank Tate had a brief hold of the IBF Middleweight championship and was a constant contender for the both the Middleweight and light heavyweight champion. Another fighter from 1984 Olympics often overlooked is Virgil Hill, who was one of top light heavyweights in the world throughout the late 80′s and 90′s before grabbing a Cruiserweight championship late in his career. The reason that many boxing fans may not have the same memory of Hill as oppose to Whitaker or Holyfield could be due to the fact that Hill biggest losses came on the biggest stage including losing a decision to Thomas “Hitman” Hearns and suffering a spectacular knockout loss to Roy Jones, Jr. Hill won 25 championship bouts, which means that he fought some of the best fighters in the world, and showed himself to be very good fighter, not quite in the stratosphere that very fighters reigned.
Holyfield and Whitaker belonged to all-time greats. Whitaker was one of the great defensive fighters and at his peak, he rarely got hit by his opponent whereas Holyfield fought in one of the Heavyweight great eras but often is overlooked was his career as a Cruiserweight champion. Both men were elite fighters in different weight divisions and even late in their careers, their guiles allowed them to be competitive against younger fighters.
As for the charity, StandUp For Kids is designed to keep homeless children off the street. This organization is staffed by mostly volunteers, this organization works to create a safer environment for children; who often find themselves with no place to go and vulnerable.
The event coordinator is Terri “The Boss” Moss, the oldest woman ever to hold a title and now a trainer. Working with her is Xavier Biggs, Tyrell Biggs brother and noted trainer in his own right with 35 years of experience. On November 3rd, boxing fans will be treated to history combined with amateur live action for a wonderful cause.