Varför räknas inte Brian Nielsen?

Charmigt glade tungviktaren Brian Nielsen var en dum tränare ifrån att bli historisk. När han skulle vinna sin 50:e raka proffsmatch förbjöds han att dricka något under matchen vilket resulterade i en katastrof i stället för att han raderade ut Rocky Marcianos rekordsvit. Foto: Stefan Alfelt

Fredagen den 16:e april 1999 vann Brian Nielsen över Tim Witherspoon på TKO i klassiska K.B. Hallen i Köpenhamn.

Matchen som fullbordade segersviten världen har förträngt.

När Brian Nielsen slog ner sin meriterade motståndare i fjärde ronden säkrade dansken sin 49:e raka seger som obesegrad tungviktare i proffsbusinessen. Super-Brian tangerade alltså Rocky Marcianos klassiska vinstrekord 16 år innan Floyd Mayweather Jr gjorde det i fjol med segern över Andre Berto i Las Vegas.

Så varför nämns aldrig Brian Nielsen på samma vis som boxningsintresserade över hela världen pratar om Marciano och Mayweather?

Jag funderade på det i efterdyningarna till mitt tyckande om PR-folkets hissande av Gäddan Granats inledande proffskarriär och kom väl fram till att det inte finns några sanningar i boxning, det oväntades sport.

Gäddan har inte matchats hårdare än alla andra i Skandinavien. Tvärtom har han haft en uppbyggnadsstart med lite för enkla motståndare sett till potentialen som Adrian besitter. Anders ”Lillen” Eklund hade redan mött exempelvis Joe Bugner när han i sin 14:e match besegrade Steffen Tangstad och i sin 15:e ställdes mot Frank Bruno.

Kanske undrar Brian Nielsen också över varför han inte räknas, men förmodligen tar han det med en klackspark. Foto: Stefan Alfelt

Kanske undrar Brian Nielsen också över varför han inte räknas, men förmodligen tar han det med en klackspark. Foto: Stefan Alfelt

Jag satt och kollade igenom matchlista efter lista och hamnade så på Brian Nielsen.

Som jag ser det finns ingen som helst anledning till varför hans bedrift med 49 raka segrar ska förtigas.

Brian var bättre än många begripit och om Mogens Palle inte hyrt in en halvgalen sydamerikansk tränare som förbjöd Brian att dricka vätska under matchen mot Dicky Ryan hade Nielsen i dag ensam ståtat med rekordet 50–0 och kanske många många fler segrar än så. Efter förlusten där vätskebristen skapade tryck på hjärnan så att han domnade av och fick föras till sjukhus vann Brian 13 raka matcher till.

Så varför?

Förmodligen ligger Brian Nielsens personlighet honom i fatet. En glad gamäng som alltid vill ha kul. En sån person tas inte på allvar och då tas heller inte hans prestation på allvar.

Att Tim Witherspoon (som var den som brutalt knockade Lillen Eklund i Atlantic City 1989) var over the hill och efteråt även försiktigt hävdat att han inför matchen fick besök av män som krävde att han skulle lägga sig spelar in, men egentligen finns ingen som helst anledning till att vi inte ska se Brian Nielsen som en historisk proffsboxare.

Marciano och Mayweather mötte på pappret betydligt bättre motståndare än Brian Nielsen gjorde men ska vi sortera ut subjektivt kan vi så klart också bestämma oss för vem av Marciano och Mayweather vi ger ensamrätt till rekordet.

Så fungerar det ju inte.

Inte ens i proffsboxningens värld.

38 kommentarer till “Varför räknas inte Brian Nielsen?”

  1. Alexander Johnsson
    23 september 2016 kl 19:35 #

    Kollade du verkligen igenom listan noggrant? Nielsen var ju inte ens världsmästare (IBO, pfft).

    ”Som jag ser det finns ingen som helst anledning till varför hans bedrift med 49 raka segrar ska förtigas.”

    Danskens prestation tas inte på allvar av den anledning att han inte mötte tillräckligt bra motstånd, det skriver du ju själv. 🙂

    Skaffa boxningslicens Stefan så ska jag se till att du bräcker rekordet! Vi kan nog hitta 50 ”tomato cans” om vi lägger manken till, hehe.

  2. Åke Sintring
    24 september 2016 kl 10:59 #

    Instämmer med ovanstående. Brian mötte bara has-beens och never-has-beens.

    För övrigt undrar jag över varför en professionell boxningsskribent som Stefan Alfelt uppenbarligen inte känner till Ricardo Lopez. 51-0 -1 visar meritlistan. Varav 26 raka VM-matcher!

    Läs på, både om Nielsen och om Lopez. Med mera.

    • Stefan Alfelt
      24 september 2016 kl 19:53 #

      Lopez stannade på 47 raka segrar. Match 48 slutade oavgjord, så han varken slog eller tangerade något rekord.

    • Kent Hansson
      25 september 2016 kl 11:05 #

      Herr Sintring, hur många av Brians matcher har du sett?

  3. Alexander Johnsson
    26 september 2016 kl 10:36 #

    Det är fullkomligt irrelevant hur många matcher man sett Nielsen gå. Hur kan man överhuvudtaget intressera sig för en talanglös dansk som handplockar sina motståndare på det nästan löjligt utstuderade viset som ”Super-Brian” och hans team gjorde? Han höll inte en enda erkänd världsmästartitel och mötte enbart namnkunniga boxare när de var långt förbi sin prime.

    Tony Tubbs var 37 år, James Smith var 41, Larry Holmes 48, Tim Witherspoon 42 osv osv….

    Hela hans karriär är ett skämt, det måste ni väl se själva? 🙂

    Och om vi nu ska snacka ”raka segrar” så är 49 inget rekord. Julio Cesar Chavez vann över åttio matcher innan han förlorade.

    • Stefan Alfelt
      26 september 2016 kl 22:29 #

      Cesar Chavez svit är överlägsen, helt klart. Marciano och Mayweathers rekord har status för att de slutade obesegrade. Vilket ju även Brian kunde ha gjort, men det underliga var att trots att det skrevs över hela världen inför hans 49:e match att han kunde tangera rekordet så rapporterades nästan ingenting om det efter att han vann. Det är där underligheten finns. Han tilläts inte ens få känna sig historisk för en dag. Och talanglös var han definitivt inte.

      • Alexander Johnsson
        26 september 2016 kl 23:30 #

        Nej, talanglös var han givetvis inte. Känns bara surt hur dåligt han förvaltade den talang han hade. Nielsen var ju grym som amatör, men hans proffskarriär förtjänar tyvärr inte att tas på allvar.

  4. Åke Sintring
    26 september 2016 kl 18:23 #

    Två. När han ställdes mot Tyson och mot Holyfield. För att jag ville se de två amerikanarna. Övriga tillställningar har inte varit värda att se. Nielsen avfärdades nyligen i Boxing News som ett skämt. Att plädera för att han jämställs med Marciano är litet lustigt.

  5. Thomas Jensen
    28 september 2016 kl 03:10 #

    I dont’t hear anyone say, that Brian Nielsen was better than Rocky Marciano. He wasn’t. But he sure was underrated.

    I would call him one of the most underrated heavyweigt fighters in the world in the 90’s. And he shouldn’t be judged solely by the performance against Mike Tyson. He was well past his prime by then and didn’t have much left in the tank.

    But for a fighter who had his first amateur bout at 23 and didn’t turn pro before he was 27, I think he performed quite well inside the ring. I wonder what he could have accomplished had he picked up boxing years before.

    Mogens Palle turned down offers to fight George Foreman in 94 – Axel Schulz were giving the chance instead and almost caused the upset. Perhaps the money were small, but what a mistake. That could have been the breakthrough for Brian, although he weren’t that experienced at that time. In 99 an offer to fight Lou Savarese in the States were turned down as well. I would have loved to see Mogens Palle take a few more risks on behalf of Brian, because I seriously think he could have beaten both fighters. And that might have giving him the chance of earning more money later in his career. With great performances you can create a name even if you lose. Unfortunately we didn’t see him in chances like this in the States.

    Eventhough he was very popular inside and outside the ring a lot of journalists and so-called boxing experts didn’t give him enough credit. He sure didn’t look like a perfect heavyweighter. The body weren’t close to the likes of Arnold Swarzenegger. And his wild hooks and swings didn’t look beautiful. He sure didn’t float in the ring like an Muhammad Ali either. But boxing is not a beauty contest. And you don’t have to dance like Muhammad Ali to win a fight.

    His body image looked sloppy, because he used to weigh 140 kilos, before he started boxing. The skin will hang loose, when you slim down after that and can only be removed by cosmetic operations. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t strong.

    Brian Nielsen was effective! His great workrate and the massive amount of punches thrown in every round could cause problems for everyone. He could take punches as well. If you were able to land a clean punch, he would just come back at you even more.

    And you simply don’t compile an amateur record of 103 – 8 (63), if you aren’t effective. He only lost to the best Cubans (Roberto Balado twice) and the best Eastern European fighters. A few of those losses were even questionable as well.

    I have talked with a few danish trainers, who have watched Brian square off against several sparringpartners. Overall he looked really good in the 90’s. Ofcourse you cannot judge fighters on sparringsessions only. Fighters are constantly on- and off season and are set to peak at different times. Brian sparred with Tim Witherspoon in New York just before the 1992 Olympics and according to the reports, he performed quite well allready then only as an amateur. And later with Frans Botha, who he managed to dominate, according to several reports, when he visited Las Vegas in 94. He even floored Hasim Rahman a few times in Washington in 96, when he trained under Janks Morton together with Larry Donald among others.

    I think Brian peaked in 98. According to the objective computerized ranking systems from that time (Independent World Boxing Rankings) and The All Time heavyweight Ratings he peaked just before the first loss in 99.

    Year/Rating/Notable Wins:

    1992 # NR
    1993 # NR
    1994 # 41 Ross Purrity, James Bonecrusher Smith
    1995 # 18 Tony Tubbs, Carlos de Leon
    1996 # 13 Phil Jackson, Mike (The Bounty) Hunter
    1997 # 10 Larry Holmes
    1998 # 4 Lionel Butler
    1999 # 22 Tim Witherspoon
    2000 # 8 Jeremy Williams
    2001 # 16 Orlin Norris
    2002 # 13

    He fell from #3 to #22 in June 99 after the dehydration loss to Dick Ryan.

    He was Team Palles cashcow in Denmark and fought as often as 8-9 fights per year sometimes. If you fight that many times – even against poorer opponents – its quite surprising if you don’t run into a few more losses.

    Yes, it’s called matchmaking, and he did meet a few folks, that were “over the hill”. But they were not bad at all.

    * Brian Nielsen defeated Larry Holmes in 1997. Only one and a half year earlier Holmes was very close at winning the WBA belt in a clash with Oliver McCall (113-114, 114-115, 112-115). He was in command in that fight with his jab but ran out of steam in the end.

    Are you terrible, when you are that close of winning one of the big belts?

    Holmes had just (technically) left the top 10 (The Ring Magazine), because he had announced his retirement, but he took a few more fights, and I will say, that he was around top 10 just, when he faced Brian Nielsen.

    Of course he was much stronger in the 80’s, but we are talking about one of the all time greatest in heavyweight. He wasn’t bad, when he reached 40. A lot of other top 20 fighters would have crashed against Holmes during those years.

    * Brian Nielsen stopped Tim Witherspoon in 1999. After the loss, Witherspoon defeated strong guys like these:

    David Bostice (25-2-1)
    Elieser Castillo (20-1-1)
    Darroll Wilson (26-5-2)
    Ahmad Abdin (30-2-4)

    He also lost a controversial split decision to Monte Barrett (24-2).

    I would call Witherspoon a fighter, that also peaked in the 80’s, but a fighter that was still strong and capable and definitely not shot.

    * When Brian Nielsen stopped Tony Tubbs in 1995, then the same Tubbs had only two months before lost a majority decision to Alexander Zolkin (a guy whom Tubbs had defeated earlier). Boxing magazines in the States ranked Zolkin just around number 10 durings that time.

    * When Brian Nielsen early in his career in 1994 stopped a fading Bonecrusher Smith, then the same Bonecrusher Smith the very same month had lost a controversial points decision to Axel Schulz in Germany.

    * Jeremy Williams, who was humiliated in the ring against Brian Nielsen in 2000, a few years later dominated Attila Levin (29-1), when people still thought Levin could make some noise. After the defeat to Brian he also beat a guy like Andre Purlette (35-1), so he wasn’t completely over the hill either.

    * Orlin Norris, who was outpointed by an over-the-hill Brian Nielsen in 2000, had enough power to come back and beat the former IBF cruiserweight champ (1999-2003) Vassily Jirov (35-3) in heavyweight.

    Every time Brian won those fights, the Brian-haters came up with the same explanation: That specific opponent had “an off-day” or he was “shot” etc.

    Could the real explanation perhaps be, that Brian Nielsen was better than some people expected? I think so.

    I personally ranked Brian Nielsen just around number 10 in the world, when he peaked. If you don’t think, he was in the top 20 at any time, then I would really like to see you name the 20 fighters above him in … let’s say new years evening 1998/1999.

    Still, I don’t disagree, that his promoter should have put him in some tougher challenges. Also I’m convinced that he could have picked up the EBU European heavyweight championship rather easily. He was in position for that a few times, also against poor champions/challengers. He earned millions, but I think his legacy would have been bigger, had he won the EBU title for instance.

  6. Åke Sintring
    29 september 2016 kl 09:50 #

    Thomas Jensen,

    Let me a few minutes after reading your text just make some short remarks.

    1. As for Bonecrusher Smith he was in 1994 banned from boxing in England. His eyes were not as they should be for somebody confronting a boxer in a ring. Why was he allowed to box in Denmark?

    2. As for Jeremy Williams he had some things to say about his fight in Denmark. I quote from the article in the US:

    – He (the promoter) took me out to eat the night before, and after I ate, dude, I was sick as a dog, man. I don´t know why this guy is being so friendly to me an all that, but I think he knew that I would´ve whacked that guy out in like seconds . I think that if they had tested the the water or the food that guy gave me, I just think that would´ve been one of the largest scandals ever, man. That this guy is doing this stuff to fighters. It´s kind of funny to me, that I would let myself be put in that situation. Because I always figure I´m too smart for something like that, but I´m just so irritated whith that whole situation. What are you gonna do? Sue? I said he did, he said he didn´t, what are you gonna do? Let´s do it again. I guarantee, winner take all, I will knock him out.

    You, Thomas Jensen, wrote about Nielsen:

    – He shouldn´t be judged solely by the performance against Mike Tyson. He was well past his prime by then and didn´t have much in the tank.

    Are you really not aware that this can as well be said about all the opponents of Nielsen in his professional career?

  7. Thomas Jensen
    29 september 2016 kl 19:31 #

    Åke Sintring,

    I never said that Bonecrusher Smith was great. I only mentioned, that Axel Schulz was awarded a dubious decision against him in Germany and was booed out of the arena, and that Brian Nielsen the very same month (very early in his career) stopped the same Smith. Still some people rank/ranked Axel Schulz higher than Brian Nielsen in those years, which is beyond my belief.

    And that quote from Jeremy Williams. Do you seriously believe in that bullshit? How many times have we seen American fighters travel overseas – lose fair and square – and then hear them they go home and make up bad excuses for their losses? Especially in the time when online videos of fights weren’t that widespread like now a days. I can find hundreds of examples. But you are the only one, who actually believe in those excuses. It makes you sound like a novice in the game.

    Jeremy Williams was a bit of a nut case. In the fight he tried in the first two rounds, but quickly found out, that Brian Nielsen (never stopped, floored only once) had no intentions of backing down but kept coming at him. It was the same pattern we saw in so many fights. The opponent started out with lots of will power, but eventually faded.

    By the way: You have only seen two of Brian Nielsens fights. In all respect I think it makes it a little difficult to take your views seriously in this specific case.

  8. Åke Sintring
    30 september 2016 kl 18:37 #

    Dear Thomas,

    Thank you for your letter.

    1. Bonecrusher. My point was that he,before he met Nielsen, was stopped by BBBoC in England. The doctor discovered that his eyes were not good. And my question in my latest letter was how come he was allowed to box in Denmark. Do you know? Shouldn´t he be stopped even in Denmark? Can´t you rely on BBBoC?

    2. As you can see I did not comment on what Jeremy Williams said when he was back in the US. I just quoted.

    Besst regards

    Åke S.

  9. Anders Nilsson
    30 september 2016 kl 20:03 #

    What a fucking joke of a discussion. Thomas, Åke and Alexander and Stefan. We have a Swedish prospect that seems yo be something extraordinary. His name is Adrian Granat. Can you answer why he was mentioned by Boxing News as a top five prospect?

  10. Åke Sintring
    30 september 2016 kl 21:02 #

    Hej igen, Thomas!

    Jag har nu kollat en boxare, Ross Purrity. Kommer att ta flera framöver. Menar du att Ross Purrity var rankad som 41:a i världen, när han mötte Nielsen? Det undrar jag, det. Purrity hade då en matchlista på 6 vinster, 6 förluster, ingen oavgjord. Vinsterna, alla på KO/TKO noterades mot en som hade 0 segrar, 3 förluster och 1 oavgjord. En annan hade 3 vinster, 8 förluster, 0 oavgjord. En tredje hade 1 vinst, 7 förluster och 1 oavgjord.

    Sedan hade han besegrat 3 debutanter. Två av dem gick bara den matchen i sina karriärer, mot Purrity. Den tredje finns inte med i boxrec över huvud taget. En man med hans namn kan däremot ses på Internet klädd i boxningskläder plus en BH.

    Jag betvivlar att Ross Purrity med dessa meriter rankades som 41:a i världen.

    Hälsningar

    Åke S.

  11. Alexander Johnsson
    30 september 2016 kl 21:23 #

    …och Holmes var 49 år och blev rånad på poängsegern i mötet mot Nielsen, haha! Det är bara danska fanboys som tror på sagan om Super-Brian. Att ens nämna honom i samma mening som Mayweather och Marciano, herregud.

  12. Thomas Jensen
    7 oktober 2016 kl 19:00 #

    Åke Sintring, let me answer your first question regarding Bonecrusher Smith.

    Yes, he was stopped from entering a fight in London by the BBBoC.

    But after that incident he fought in Denmark, Germany, Canada, Australia and USA.

    So apparently he was cleared and approved to fight in five different countries after the cancelled bout in UK. And no, I don’t think that all the boxing commissions in those countries were corrupt.

    It just happens that fights get cancelled. Sometimes fighters from foreign countries forget to bring their needed medical papers. Sometimes they do have a temporary condition or a problem that needs to be fixed, before they can fight.

    It was not an important or career defining win for Brian Nielsen. It was just a fight at an very early stage of his pro career. And that same opponent deserved the decision against Axel Schulz the very same month.

    • Åke Sintring
      8 oktober 2016 kl 16:45 #

      Professional boxing is a jungle. No coordination when it comes to rules. One national Commission can stop one of its boxers from further boxing. Or, as in the case of Bonecrusher Smith, the Commission can stop a foreign boxer, since the examining doctor discovered something. This happens all the time. The examinations are of different qualities.

      I can mention two examples.

      1. Maria Lindberg is a Swedish boxer. The Swedish Commission has stopped her from boxing. Nevertheless she fights on in continetal Europe.

      2. Danny Williams was denied a licence by his own Commission years ago. He was shot. Nevertheless he fights on, with a license from Lituania! He even ”fought” in Sweden 2011. Nobody informed the public about his condition or that he did not have a Bristish licence. Since then he has ”fought” I think 18 times losing 15 of them. He was even knocked out by a Swede. Not on Swedish soil, though.

  13. Thomas Jensen
    7 oktober 2016 kl 19:02 #

    Oh, and one more thing, Ake Sintring.

    You misunderstand the rankings mentioned in my first post.

    #41 is NOT Ross Purritys ranking. It is the ranking of Brian Nielsen by the end of that specific year.

    Go ahead and check old issues of the computerized rankings of Independent World Boxing Rankings (the most accepted and reliable ranking system used by promoters and media in the 90’s) and All Time Heavy Weight Rankings.

    I just mention Ross Purrity as a fine result looking in hindsight. Only four months after Brian Nielsen easily defeated Purrity, the same Purrity fought heavyweight contender Tommy Morrison (41-2) to a draw. Morrison was by many ranked around number 10 during those years.

    Purrity wasn’t just a lucky guy that night against Morrison. He later went on to defeat top 20 types like Jorge Luis Gonzales and Joe Hipp.

    Anyway, I would rank Brian Nielsen around #10 – #15 in his prime. So to call him a joke is itself a joke.

    If you don’t believe, that he for instance was in the top 30 at anytime, then I would really love to see you list up your top 30 as of January 1999, Åke Sintring.

    I don’t expect Anders Nilsson and Alexander Johnsson to be able to that either. It’s just one liners and no in depth analysis from their side.

    Nobody said that Brian Nielsen was better all time than Rocky Marciano. I couldn’t care much about that record. But he was much better than some of you guys think.

  14. Åke Sintring
    12 oktober 2016 kl 09:51 #

    Thomas Jensen,

    You got to explain someething for me. I have looked att the ranking lists in 1998, when Nielsen, according to you, peaked. After his match against Lionel Butler November 6, 1998, you say that Nielsen was ranked 4th in the world. However Butler was not himself ranked by The Ring among its top ten or by WBC, WBA or IBF among its top 23. And those Nielsen beat before that in 1998 were by no means any worldbeaters. So how come Nielsen ”peaked in 1998”? And how come you can say he was ranked # 4?

  15. Thomas Jensen
    14 oktober 2016 kl 07:12 #

    Åke Sintring, once again I personally didn’t rank Brian Nielsen at #4. As I said I would rank him at around top 10 or just inside top 10 in 1998/1999.

    It was Independent World Boxing Rankings, who ranked him as high as number 4 during that time. He was inside the top 10 two times and for a few years.

    IWBR was a credible, honest rankings system, which you can compare to the ELO-ratings of chess. It was sent in a printed format to almost every corner of the world to boxers, managers, promoters, tv companies on a subscription basis. I collected every issue. Sadly IWBR, who had financial trouble, was later bought by Ed Levine IBO, who slightly manipulated the formula and crushed its credibility.

    Anyway, the basic idea with the rankings (when it was still credible) was, that they were based on the man who beat the man who beat the man by using a complex algorithm. They didn’t credit many points for quick, one-round blowouts against meaningless opposition etc.

    I don’t give a crap for the governing bodies ranking system. They are rigged and now a day you can pay to get ranked by fighting for numerous international, intercontinental, regional, francophone or whatever they call those bogus pseudo titles.

    IWBR was better at placing the best fighters in order. Rankings produced by facts, not fiction. The rankings were rarely wrong. If a fighter was in the top 30 he was a world-class fighter.

    But here comes a shocking fact: As you may top 10 fighters rarely fought each other.

    So here comes my point: Fighters ranked below Brian Nielsen didn’t fight better opposition than the quality of Brian Nielsens opponents. Simple as that.

    It doesn’t matter, whether Lionel Butler was ranked in the top 10 at the time of the fight or not. He wasn’t.

    Brian Nielsen entered the top 20 after beating Tony Tubbs in fight number 22.

    When he later entered the top 10 list of the IWBR, the quality of his opponents was all in a better, than the quality of the opponents of the guy, who was ranked at nummer 11.

    When I say he peaked in 1998 and 1999, it’s due to the fact, that he lost to Dicky Ryan in June 1999. He was sick that night and dehydrated in the ring. Just like Wladimir Klitschko did against Ross Purrity in 1998. Of course Klutschko was all in all better than Purrity, and Nielsen beat Ryan in a rematch. But a loss is a loss, and naturally Brian was demoted in the rankings after that fight, and didn’t regain top 10, before he knocked out Jeremy Williams in 2000.

    But let me ask you a question. Where did you rank Brian Nielsen in let’s say april 1999? Was he inside top 10, top 20, top 30, top 40 or where would you place him?

    If you say he was not even in the top 30, then I would really like to see your top 30 of that specific date.

    But I guess you perhaps will also say, that Brian Nielsen wasn’t either a top 10 fighter as an amateur in the 90’s, even though he was ranked in the top 10 on the AIBA world ranking list and won a bronze medal at the European Championships in 1991 and a bronze medal at the Olympic Games in 1992.

  16. Åke Sintring
    17 oktober 2016 kl 15:40 #

    Thomas,

    I have problems with my computer. So I write my message in two pieces.

    1. Tony Tubbs withdrew after three rounds. The doctor found ”…. at least one broken rib”. Tubbs had up til then fought frequently. Now it took two years to his next fight. Probably in order to heal the rib(s).

    2. Lionel Butler, on the other hand, did not fight at all the year before he met Nielsen. After the fight, if I remember right, he was picked up from Istedgade. He was in pretty bad shape. It took three years before he climbed into a ring again. He was nowhere near top-ten.

  17. Åke Sintring
    17 oktober 2016 kl 15:44 #

    Continued.

    3. I have checked two months´ranking lists in The Ring 1998. In April there were Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield, Ike Ikeabuchi, Michael Grant, Mike Tyson, David Tua, Andrew Golota, Hasim Rahman, Chris Byrd and Shannon Briggs.

    In November Rahman and Tyson were out. In came Michael Moorer and George Foreman.

    You write that those in top-ten did not fight each others. Not true.

  18. Thomas Jensen
    17 oktober 2016 kl 20:53 #

    Yes, Brian Nielsen broke at least one rib on Tony Tubbs that night. Pretty good, right? Breaking down your opponent is part of the game, and you should give credit to the winning fighter for that.

    What is your point in that matter?

    Gennady Golovkin broke Kell Brooks orbital bone early in their fight, and Brooks trainer pulled him out of the fight later on.

    Don’t you want to credit Golovkin for that win as well? Or is it not a real win in your book, if someone has their orbital bone or rib broken and has to pull out of the fight?

    Yes, Lionel Butler experienced personal problems a few years after the fight in Copenhagen, when he was a working as a sparring partner in Europe, and so what?

    He was nowhere near top 10, you say. I guess you haven’t read or understood, what I wrote earlier:

    “It doesn’t matter, whether Lionel Butler was ranked in the top 10 at the time of the fight or not. He wasn’t.”

    I say he wasn’t. He was probably around top 30-35, which is still good.

    Don’t you understand the idea behind a ranking system like BoxRec or IWBR?

    Adrian Granat just beat Franz Rill (ranked number 50 on BoxRec). And therefor Granat now advances to number 29 in the world, because he has faced better opposition that most of the guys in the top 100.

    That’s how it works.

    You don’t pass Adrian Granat (or Brian Nielsen back in the 90’s) in the rankings, unless you beat opponents, who all in all are better than their opponents.

    Also I didn’t say that the top fighters never fight each other. They rarely fight each other, which is why, it’s good to computerized rankings like BoxRec instead of the bogus rankings from the alphabet soup.

  19. Åke Sintring
    18 oktober 2016 kl 00:24 #

    GGG.s trainer threw in the towel because Brook took a beating. He had a hopeless task against one of the most feared boxers to-day. Brook fought a boxer two weight cathegories higher than himself, at that. Mission impossible.

    IWBR disregarded meaningless KO´s in the first round you say. This must have caused problems. How did they draw the line, qualitywise, between boxers, bad, average or good?

    If a boxer does not qualify in any of the organisations top 10, or top 23, lists it must mean something.

    I have checked two issues of The Ring, the year when Nielsen peaked, according to you 1998. In February the top ten included, from # 1 downwards, Holyfield, Lewis, Foreman, Moorer, Mercer, Byrd, Briggs, Grant, Ibeabuchi, Tua.

    In November Golota was # 10, otherwise the same boxers (Mercer out).

    Naturally these boxers do not fight so often. The matches are hard, taxes a problem. In 1998 Briggs still fought Lewis and also Botha. Byrd fought Ibeabuchi and also Elieser Castillo. Golota fought Bowe twice in 1996, Lewis once in 1997 and Corrie Sanders and Witherspoon in 1998. Nielsen fought more frequently, yes. But which boxers? At the end of 1998 he fought

    Garing Lane (16-18-2) Oct. 16,
    Lionel Butler (27-13-1) Nov. 6
    Dan Murphy (44-17-3) Nov. 27

    That´s the time Nielsen peaked?

  20. Alexander Johnsson
    19 oktober 2016 kl 16:21 #

    It all boils down to that Nielsen might’ve been top 20 in the heavyweight division when he peaked in 98/99. And that his most notable win during that period was against an over the hill Lionel Butler most definitely answers the question of this very topic: ”Why doesn’t Brian Nielsen count?”.

    He never fought for a world title, or even tried to get one. Instead he (or his management) chose to fight in Denmark against ”decent journeyman X” or ”boxer way past his prime Y”. And we, as boxing fans, are supposed to take his pro career seriously? No man, not even from my scandinavian point of view am I able to do that.

  21. Åke Sintring
    22 oktober 2016 kl 22:47 #

    Det tar tid för Thomas Jensen att formulera sitt nästasvar. I väntan på det kan jag ju beta av några motståndare Nielsen besegrade när han var som bäst dvs i årsskiftet 1998-99. Den 27/11 1998 vann Brian på TKO mot Dan Murphy.

    TRE DAGAR TIDIGARE, DEN 24 NOVEMBER, HADE MURPHY UPPTRÄTT I INDIANA. HAN VANN DÅ PÅ KO MOT HERB SHAW.

    Hur många dagar, eller, timmar, före matchen mot Nielsen anlände Murphy till Danmark? Jetlag någon?

    Shaw boxades åtta matcher under två års tid. Han förlorade alla — på TKO eller KO.

    Matchen mot Nielsen var Murphys sista. Han var sedan länge slut som boxare. Han var alltså en av dem Nielsen mötte, när han, Brian, enligt Thomas Jensen var som bäst. Hur formulerade promotorn önskemål om kvalitet påBrians motståndare inför denna match? ”Jag vill ha en kvalificerad boxare för min topprankade boxare”? Eller …?

    Heja!

    I väntan på Jensens svar kommer jag att granska några andra motståndare till Brian Nielsen, en efter en.

  22. Thomas Jensen
    25 oktober 2016 kl 05:09 #

    Åke Sintring and Alexander Johnssson,

    Please answer this simple question. Otherwise it’s meaningless to carry on the discussion: Where did you rank Brian Nielsen in April 1999?

    I say he was ranked just outside top 10 (maybe 10-15), when he peaked in 1997/1998/1999.

    You both claim that he was never a top 30 fighter. Fair enough. Then please provide me with the names of the 30 fighters ranked above of him as of April 1999.

    This is going to be fun, because you won’t be able to do this without looking ridiculous, when we go through your names.

    If you are not able to do it or refuse to do it, then you both commit intellectual laziness. That’s the refusal to explore the facts about opinions you hold. Intellectually lazy people are those who hear a rumor and immediately assume it’s truthfulness, no matter how outlandish, and run with it.

    That’s what you do with your short one liner statements (“He was never ranked in the top 30” etc.) and ADHD-way of backing up your statements. You don’t take a moment to objectively look at a statement and weight its validity.

    If I for instance claimed, that your big hero Adrian Granat was not a top 50 fighter in October 2016, then I at least should be able to name 50 fighters, that I would rank above Granat. Well, here comes the shocking truth: I can’t. I actually believe that the current BoxRec ranking of Adrian Granat (# 29) is pretty accurate and close to the truth.

    He just celebrated the best win of his career, when he beat Franz Rill (ranked 55 the night before the fight). He was struggling before he landed the KO-punch (against a guy just outside the top 50 in the world), but I don’t take anything away from his win. A win is a win, and I respect it. And therefore I find that it’s fair, that Adrian Granat now advances in the rating system and enters the top 30.

    But it seems like you guys only agree with the computerized rankings, when it fits your personal view or distaste of a specific fighter.

    Åke Sintring, you ask this question: “How did they (Independent World Boxing rankings) draw the line, qualitywise, between boxers, bad, average or good?”

    The answer: Just like the ELO ranking system does it in chess. Just like the Fifa rankings does it in football. Just like BoxRec does it now a days. You don’t win many points, if you beat a crappy opponent. I’m not going to explain in detail how such systems work. Do you own research. It’s a mathematical algorithm with lots of added factors and reservations. The computerized rankings of IWBR was the most accepted and reliable ranking system used by promoters and media in the 90’s, before it was sold.

    What difference does it make, that you pick out names like Dan Murphy, a late substitute? I can find many of those kind of lower ranked names in different fighters record lists. It doesn’t make a difference. It’s like focusing on the fact that Sweden beats Cyprus in a soccer match. It wouldn’t cause any big changes in the rankings, unless Sweden lost.

    Active fighters often choose to have so called ”keep busy fights” in between the bigger fights. Just like marathon runners are only able to prepare to peak two to three times a year, fighters often don’t engage in that many make or break fights per year like in the old days.

    Again it doesn’t give you much advantage in the rankings, that you beat a guy, that you are supposed to beat. You just put yourself in risk of losing a hell of a lot points.

    Oh, and why do you guys, Åke Sintring and Alexander Johnsson, all of a sudden conclude, that Lionel Butler was Brian Nielsen most notable win??

    Brian Nielsen beat Larry Holmes (a guy just around or just outside top 10 at that time) – and – Tony Tubbs, Phil Jackson, Mike Hunter, Lionel Butler, Tim Witherspoon etc. (the last five guys were ALL inside top 30 at the time of the fight and therefor higher ranked than Franz Rill, who Adrian Granat struggled with but eventually beat and thereby entered the top 30.

    So when Adrian Granat enters the computerized top 30 ranking, it’s all OK and reflects the truth. But when Brian enters the computerrized top 30 ranking, then it’s all of a sudden not reliable?

    Can you see how inconsistence your argumentation looks?

    Brian Nielsen also entered the top 20 and later the top 10 (both the IWBR and the retrospective historical BoxRec version).

    I do take a few reservations and therefore say, that it’s possible he was “only” ranked just outside the top 10, when he peaked, but I overall find the computerized rankings to (almost) reflect the truth.

    PS: I do however agree, that Brian Nielsens handlers should have taken more chances in other big fights earlier on in the career.

    Brian Nielsen was an Olympic bronze medalist (1992) and a European bronze medalist (1991) with a fantastic amateur record of 104-7. Impressive of a guy, who didn’t start boxing until he was 21 years.

    He should have tried to capture the European title right away as a professional. He was actually the number one rated mandatory contender four times. Henry Akinwande (1994), Zeljko Mavrovic (1995), Julius Francis (1997), Vitali Klitschko (2001), Sinan Samil San (2002).

    I think it’s fair to say, that Brian Nielsen would at least have beaten Julius Francis from that list to capture the title.

    But ever since George Foreman mentioned Brian Nielsen as a possible opponent in 1994, they were chasing the big money fight.

    He was also offered a fight against Lou Savarese in the States. A guy he could also have easily defeated, which would have opened up other doors.

    But still, that doesn’t mean, that he wasn’t a top 20 or top 30 fighter.

    And you can’t convince me otherwise, before you at least provide me with 30 fighters, who deserved to be ranked above – based on merits and results.

  23. Åke Sintring
    28 oktober 2016 kl 18:22 #

    En knapp månad efter det att Brian Nielsen fått på moppe av Mike Tyson fann man tydligen det lämpligt att köra upp honom i ringen igen. Egendomligt, men så var det. En annan Murphy än den jag beskrev förra gången bjöds in. Den här gången hette motståndaren Ken i förnamn.

    Denne Ken Murphy har en matchlista som nog är unik – men modell för många amerikaner, som kallas till Norden för att möta hemmaboxare. Han vann alla sina 19 första matcher. 15 av dem noterades som KO eller TKO.

    Av de nästkommande 27 matcherna fick han oavgjort i två – men förlorade resten dvs 25 stycken. Därav 13 på KO/TKO.

    Alltså, först 19 raka vinster. Sedan ingen vinst alls på 27 matcher.

    Brian Nielsen mötte Murphy i amerikanens 24:e match. Då hade Murphy hunnit förlora på KO/TKO tre gånger inom en tidsrymd av två år.

    Men när han kom till Köpenhamn kunde han ännu etiketteras som knockoutkung. Jag utgår från att reklamen pumpade i publiken att här kommer en farlig man, han har 19 raka segrar varav 15 på KO/TKO. Och bara fyra förluster. Han skulle inte komma att notera en enda vinst till. Däremot 20 raka förluster. Det var en KO-kung på dekis, som Nielsen mötte.

  24. Thomas Jensen
    29 oktober 2016 kl 02:35 #

    Did you read my post above (October the 25th)?

    I mention the concept ”keep busy fights”.

    And I ask you a very substanial question about you own top 30, so we can compare Åke Sintrings top 30 with the one from IWBR.

    Or is that too tough of a task for an amateur like you?

  25. Åke Sintring
    31 oktober 2016 kl 11:26 #

    Let´s look at another of those boxers Nielsen met when he, according to Jensen, reached his peak.

    I wrote earlier about Lionel Butler and Dan Murphy. Brian Nielsen fought them 1998-11-27 and 1998-11.06. Keeping busy, I guess. he 1998-10-16 fought Garing Lane.

    Lane was a pretty good fighter- but mismatched in a brutal way. If he had been raised in any of the Nordic countries, and got the matchmaking a boxer in our countries get, he would have been one of the best heavyweights in his era. But he was not. He was repeatedly thrown to the wolves. In his 8th fight he met Ray Mercer. In # 9 and 10 Riddick Bowe. In # 11 Anders Eklund! Then came matches versus boxers like Berbick, Snipes, Larry Holmes, Corrie Sanders and Buster Mathis. Always loosing, of course.

    During the 14 months before he fought Nielsen he met, and was defeated, by Obed Sullivan, Lance Whitaker, Lamon Brewster and Hasim Rahman. By then he was so softened that he was deemed fit enough to bring to Copenhagen to meet Mark Hulström. Who defeated him on points. This encoureged the Danes to bring him back again, a month later, to box Nielsen, ”# 4 in the world”.

    Half-a-year later Lane collapsed in a match , convulsing on the canvas. He was on the floor for 21 minutes. At the hospital he was told that he suffered from a ”post-traumatic seizure”, which sometimes follows traumatic head injuries.

    Of course he fought on, welcomed to Odense, Copenhagen and Vejle – to name a few places.

    So much for ”keep-busy-opponents”. At the height of your career.

  26. Thomas Jensen
    31 oktober 2016 kl 16:29 #

    Give me your top 30 of heavyweights as of April 1999, Åke Sintring.

    Why do you avoid this simple task?

    It’s end of discussion on my part, if you are not even able to provide me with the names of 30 heavyweights, since you say he was not a top 30 guy at any time.

    Well, provide me with the facts. I’m still waiting.

  27. Åke Sintring
    2 november 2016 kl 09:56 #

    Next time a bonus: ”The Man of Steel” , whom Nielsen knocked out in the second round, winning the IBO ”Championship”. Stay tuned.

  28. Åke Sintring
    2 november 2016 kl 12:48 #

    Come on, Jenssen, when did I say that he was not in top 30? Please inform me. You find all my letters above. It´s a ”simple question”.

    You, on the other hand quotes som organization that ranked Nielsen as # 3, 4, 8, 10 and 13 at different times. You didn´t disagree in your text. Number t h r e e ! Jeeez.

  29. Alexander Johnsson
    2 november 2016 kl 13:55 #

    I never claimed Nielsen wasn’t top 30. So why would I have to make you a list? But he never was a top contender, and his professional record is still a bloody joke.

    Tyson, Lewis, Golota, Grant, Ibeabuchi, Tua, Jefferson, Maskaev, Holyfield, V. Klitschko, Moorer, Briggs, Rahman, Byrd. These guy were the top contenders of 97-99, and Nielsen didn’t fight anyone of them during that period? Too bad. Makes it hard to rank him properly doesn’t it?

    And speaking about the fight vs Holmes, which you now claim is his most notable. Again, Holmes was 48 years old. Holmes was NOT a top contender at the time. And the most important point of it all, Nielsen would’ve lost that fight anywhere outside Denmark. It was a hometown decision, and you claim it to be his most significant victory? Wow, that just says it all.

    So much for your ”depth analysis”.

    The more you write Jensen, the more convinced I am that Nielsens pro career was a freaking joke. You can call it a one liner if you want, it doesn’t make it any less true.

  30. Åke Sintring
    2 november 2016 kl 14:48 #

    November 14, 1997 Brian fought for IBO`s ”World´s Championship” in boxing. He had by then 38 straight victories. His opponent, Don Steele from USA had 41 wins by KO/TKO and 1 NC (No Contest). This would be somethin´. A real fight between two KO-kings.

    It did not turn out that way. Steele was knocked down three times in round 2. End of titlefight.

    If you check the record-list of Steele you will see, that he fought just t h r e e (3) boxers with winning records ( 3-2-0, 3-1-1 and 1-0-0 ).

    The year before fighting Nielsen he met boxers with records 14-15-0, 2-18-0, 14-81 (!)-2, 14-41-1, 0-0-0( =debut), 7-8-0, 0-5-0 and 7-34-1.

    Boxing News wrote: On paper, to the uninitiated, this probably looked like a terrific match. In fact, Steele was even more manufactured than Nielsen.

  31. Thomas Jensen
    5 november 2016 kl 07:53 #

    Åke Sintring, once again I personally didn’t rank Brian Nielsen at #3 or #4. As I said I would rank him at around top 10 or just inside top 10 in 1998/1999.

    But allright, I will give you guys this: I thought I saw you write, that he wasn’t even a top 30 fighter. I now see that you Alexander Johnsson actually wrote, that he “might’ve been top 20 in the heavyweight division when he peaked in 98/99.” And you, Åke Sintring, didn’t mention anything about that at all.

    Fair enough. I take those words back. Then our disagreement is maybe not that big after all.

    Still I will maintain, that Brian Nielsen was just around number 10 in the world in two time frames. And I still think, that you will have a hard time finding 20 fighters, that deserved to be ranked above him.

    I found an old issue of IWBR from 2000. This is AFTER the time, that I personally think Brian was peaking.

    Independent World Boxing Rankings as of May 2000:

    1 Lennox Lewis, GB, (37-1-1), 4440 points
    2 Evander Holyfield, USA, (37-4-1), 3109 points
    3 David Tua, NZ, (36-1), 1628 points
    4 Mike Tyson, USA, (48-3), 1605 points
    5 Larry Donald, USA, (38-1-1), 1329 points
    6 Chris Byrd, USA, (31-1), 1272 points
    7 Vitali Klitschko, UKR, (27-1), 1180 points
    8 Michael Grant, USA, (32-1), 1164 points
    9 Brian Nielsen, DEN, (57-1), 1062 points
    10 Hasim Rahman, USA, (33-3), 1056 points
    11 Henry Akinwande, GB, (37-1-1), 1052 points
    12 Andrew Golota, POL, (36-4), 1006 points
    13 Oleg Maskaev, RUS, (20-2), 929 points
    14 Orlin Norris, USA, (50-6), 903 points
    15 David Izon, NIG, (26-3), 869 points

    Brian Nielsen beat Orlin Norris, who was ranked at number 14 in this issue. Ross Purrity and Jeremy Williams, both of whom Brian Nielsen had defeated earlier, were both ranked in the 20’s as well this month. So it would look stupid to rank him below three guys, don’t you think?

    You don’t reach top 10 or top 10-20 just by beating “has-beens and never-has-beens”. I think that phrase was yours, Åke Sintring.

    And first you (Alexander Johnsson) called him “talentless”, even though you might not find more than one or two Swedish fighters with more talent from the amateur ranks in the last 50 years. Then later you said, that perhaps he wasn’t talentless but still a joke as a pro. “Bara danska fanboys som tror på sagan om Super-Brian.”

    Is Adrian Granat a joke too? He just entered top 30. So he must be a really big joke, if we go by your standard 🙂

    I will – by the way – contest your statements about the Larry Holmes fight.

    Yes, Larry Holmes was old and not as strong as in the 80’s. But we are talking about an all time great. And he was still a top contender in the 90’s.

    Only one and a half year before the Brian Nielsen vs. Larry Holmes fight, the very same Holmes was ahead on points in most of the world championship bout against Oliver McCall, and he didn’t lose it until the last few rounds, when he ran out of gas. Two of the judges scored that bout 115-114 and 114-113 for McCall. So you tell me, that Larry Holmes was not a top contender? How close at winning a major title must you be, before you can call yourself a top contender?

    He was over the hill, yes, but he could still compete with the very best in the 90’s.

    And just to check the facts. Larry Holmes was just around number 10 in most magazines at that time. Then he announced his retirement and was naturally erased from the lists, but he came back just six months later.

    He was number 16 in the Boxing Illustrated / International Boxing Digest after his last bout just before the Brian Nielsen fight.

    About the fight itself. It’s pretty simple: Holmes outjabbed Nielsen in the first few rounds. After that Nielsen outworked Holmes with his much higher workrate. Holmes didn’t throw many punches in the middle rounds. After the 10th round Nielsen was clearly ahead and could not lose on points.

    But then his trainer Jean Schmücker gave him an advice, that – looking in hindsight – was bad. He told him to hide and keep safe in the last two rounds, because they knew, that Brian was well ahead on points. Brian, who was in top shape and could easily have pressured Larry in those two rounds, basically gave the rounds away to a very exhausted Holmes. The victory was never in danger. They just didn’t want him to be caught by something stupid, and that suddenly made the fight much closer, that it should have been.

    You say, that Brian Nielsen would have lost anywhere else in the world. Well, interestingly it was actually the highly respected American judge Pete Podgorski, who scored it 116-113 for Brian and the Scandinavian judge Erkki Meronen, a former Team Palle-fighter, who scored it 116-115 for Holmes. So that surely doesn’t back up your point.

    If this had taken place in another country, I’m pretty sure too, that Brian Nielsen would have fought his ass off in the last two rounds. Especially if they were unsure about the scoring.

    Anyway, it has been an interesting discussion. As I said I do apologies and take back my words about you claiming, that he wasn’t a top 30 fighter.

    I do however think he deserves a little more respect. He did his job and beat almost all of the guys put in front of him. Yes, I do agree, that his team focused too much at getting the biggest cash fight and waited much too long instead of chasing more top fights, when Brian was actually peaking.

    PS: Åke Sintring, you can keep on finding examples, but no one who followed the scene closely in the 90’s ever claimed, that the victory against Don Steele added anything to Brian Nielsens resumé. And if you read this thread I never mentioned that fight in this discussion either. It sure wasn’t the Don Steele fight, that made Brian Nielsen a top 10 or top 15 fighter.

  32. Thomas Jensen
    5 november 2016 kl 07:59 #

    Small correction to my post above: Brian Nielsen beat Orlin Norris the following year and not before this ranking as of May 2000. Just a minor detail that doesn’t change the big picture.

  33. Åke Sintring
    8 november 2016 kl 10:58 #

    Thomas Jensen, I think we could call it a day by now? But first I want to quote from a text after Brian Nielsen met Witherspoon in April 1999. That´s Nielsen´s peak time, right?

    Headline: NIELSEN´S ”HISTORIC” 49th WIN A TOTAL FARCE.

    – ”… a farce, a match between a limited European and a big-name American who made little or no effort… Witherspoon, I am told, spends money like water and desperately needed the cash. Danish papers said he was paid in the region of 250 000 dollars, a small fee considering such a result may secure Nielsen a bout with Mike Tyson worth millions…. Witherspoon blamed his defeat on a bad back. He hobbled back to his corner after being counted out, aided by his two seconds as though he had injured his leg and could not walk. Witherspoon, so durable throughout his career, staggered from innocuous-looking punches from the first exchange. He dropped to one knee at the end of the first, the final punch being a right to the body, and his corner appeared to be working on his right arm which he never used, during the interval… When he went down once more, from nothing in particular, the referee more or less encouraged him to get up without starting to count, as though he had missed the blow which did the damage…. This time (=next knock down) he struggled up, failing to beat the count in a theatrical way, and Nielsen´s corner celebrated jubilantly. It all aroused my suspicion.”

    Written by Claude Abrams, one of the very best scribblers after Nat Fleischer.

    I started writing after Stefan Alfelt wondered why Nielsen´s record list is not considered in parity with Rocky Marciano´s and Floyd Mayweather J:r´s. I hope that I have explained why I do not share Alfelt´s thoughts. If not, I am willing to write more about Nielsen´s oppponents.

    Otherwise I, the poor ”amateur”, stop here.

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