Category Archives: Dream Fights

DREAM FIGHT: Gerry Cooney vs. Chuck Wepner

 Chuck WepnerGerry

By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer

Contributed to since 2008

Gerry Cooney and Chuck Wepner…What an interesting match up that may have been. Gerry could whack but Chuck could sure take it. Size wise they match up fairly well. Gerry had the better skills but if Chuck got inside he knew how to rough house. Unless Gerry could take Chuck out early or at least get his respect, it might have been a long night for Gerry. The longer the fight went the better I like Chuck’s chances.

I wish Gerry would have fought better competition on the way up. Beating faded fighters like Jimmy Young, Ron Lyle and Ken Norton looked good on paper but did little to test him. I feel that Young, Lyle or Norton in their prime could have beat Gerry.

Continue reading DREAM FIGHT: Gerry Cooney vs. Chuck Wepner

What if ? … James Toney vs. Michael Moorer

James Toney Michael Moorer

By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer


This is a fight that would have made sense if it was put together. Each boxer has ties to the state of Michigan.  It probably didn’t happen because by the time Toney became a heavyweight, Moorer’s star had diminished due to his one round kayo loss to David Tua.  A loss two years later to Eliseo Castillo pretty much took Moorer out of the elite class. Toney’s knockout of Evander Holyfield made him a major player in the division.
What if Moorer and Toney would have met at their heavyweight peaks ?  Who would have come out on top.  This could have been a very interesting battle. How would Toney have handled Moorer’s southpaw stance ?  What about Moorer’s quick, hard and accurate right jab ?  How would Moorer have dealt with Toney’s defensive wizardry and his pinpoint counter punching ability ?

Continue reading What if ? … James Toney vs. Michael Moorer

What if ? … Jimmy Ellis vs. Bob Foster in 1969

ellis-jimmy-11By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer

In April of 1967, Jimmy Ellis pounded out a fifteen round decision over Jerry Quarry to win the vacant W.B.A. heavyweight championship. In March of 1968, Joe Frazier halted Buster Mathis to win heavyweight title recognition in New York State. Two months later Bob Foster knocked out the great Dick Tiger to capture the light heavyweight crown. Foster felt the big money was in the heavyweight division and he began to challenge the champions. Frazier actively defended his title turning back Manuel Ramos, Jerry Quarry, Oscar foster-bob-11Bonevena, and Dave Zyglewicz. Ellis on the other hand made only one defense, a disputed verdict over ex-champion Floyd Patterson. Proposed matches for Jimmy against HenryCooper, Gregorio Peralta and Robert Cleroux never materialized. By the time Ellis met Frazier in February of 1970 to unify the crown the ring rust had settled in. After Frazier destroyed Ellis he would go on to meet Foster later on that year with disastrous results for Bob.

What if during his period of idleness before the Frazier debate had Ellis entertained Foster’s challenge? Foster as we would find out could not handle Frazier’s power, strength and aggression. How would he have fared against a master boxer like Ellis? It may have gone something like this.

Continue reading What if ? … Jimmy Ellis vs. Bob Foster in 1969

What if ?… Liston vs. Johansson in 1961

INGEMAR 0001-crop
By Jim Amato

Senior Boxing Writer

Champion Ingemar Johansson vs. Sonny Liston was a fight that very well could have happened. After Ingo shocked Floyd Patterson to win the title in 1959, he was the “man.”


At this time Sonny was just beginning to establish himself as a heavyweight to be reckoned with. By the time Floyd and Ingo met again in June of 1960, Sonny had defeated Nino Valdez and Cleveland Williams twice. One month after Patterson – Johansson II, Sonny stopped the clever Zora Folley. Then two months later he outscored the classy Eddie Machen. There was little doubt that Sonny Liston would have to be dealt with.
Think about this:  What if Ingemar would have won his 1960 bout with Patterson? There would have been no need for a 1961 rubber match with Floyd. Enter Sonny. He would have been the most logical contender. So how would a match between Johansson and Liston panned out in June of 1961?

Continue reading What if ?… Liston vs. Johansson in 1961

What if ?… Ken Buchanan vs. Mando Ramos

By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer

Ken Buchanan-crop

In the time that I have followed boxing there are many matches that could have happened and should have happened. Some, like Archie Moore-Sugar Ray Robinson and Jake LaMotta-Rocky Graziano, were before my era. They might have been thrilling matches, but for one reason or another they just never came off.

One from “my era,” the early 1970’s, was Ken Buchanan against Mando Ramos. Mr. Ramos was one of my early favorites. He was just a few years older than me when he won the lightweight title in his second try versus the talented Carlos Teo Cruz, when he was barely 20 years old. He lost the title soon after to Panama’s slick former world champion Ismael Laguna. Mando was cut up by the jabs and quick hands of Laguna. He also had trouble with Laguna’s fast feet and shifty style. Soon after Ismael Laguna handed the crown to another crafty boxer, the gritty Ken Buchanan of Scotland.

( Photo taken courtesy David Martinez at World Boxing Hall of Fame Banquet of Champions, October 20, 2001,  Westin Bonaventure, Los Angeles, California )

Continue reading What if ?… Ken Buchanan vs. Mando Ramos

Dream Fights… a Series

By Jim Amato
Senior Boxing Writer
This fight should have happened. At one point they were the two best heavyweights in the world. The public salivated for the prospect of these two meeting to settle who was # 1. Lennox Lewis wanted it. Riddick Bowe did not,thus this “Super Bout” never materialized.
What if Bowe and Lewis did meet ? This would have taken place after Riddick beat Evander Holyfield and Lewis had destroyed Razor Ruddock.It may go something like this. The battle begins with the two giants trading jabs. Bowe’s is quicker but the Lewis jab carries more power. When they do mix on the inside Bowe seems to have an early advantage. By the third round Bowe’s trainer Eddie Futch instructs Riddick to pick up the pace. He obliged by landing some flashy combinations to the head of Lewis. Bowe has also landed some nice uppercuts and appears to be getting off faster then Lennox.


By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer

How do they keep turning out such great fighters ? Jose Torres, Wilfredo
Gomez, Wilfred Benitez, Felix Trinidad and now Miguel Cotto. Puerto Rico has
put their stamp on the fistic map!

In the forty five years I’ve followed the great sport of boxing I’ve seen two
lightweights that were not only Puerto Rican standouts but in my opinion
among the greatest lightweights of all time.

I am speaking of former champions Carlos Ortiz and the late Esteban
DeJesus. Who would have won if these two fine fighting machines had met in
their primes ?

Carlos Ortiz dominated the lightweight division in the mid and late 60’s.
He was extremely strong and powerful for his weight. He was also more clever
then ever given credit for. He was a solid puncher with a sturdy chin.
Only the vastly talented Ismael Laguna was able to give Carlos problems
at his peak.

Then you have Esteban DeJesus. If there was ever a fighter who fought at
the wrong time it was Esteban. If only Roberto Duran had not been around…
DeJesus beat Duran in their first bout, a non-title affair. Roberto then
came back to twice halt Esteban in championship encounters. In between all
that Esteban won the W.B.C. version of the title by whipping Guts Suzuki.
This is not a feat that should taken lightly. Suzuki had held his own with
Laguna and Duran. He twice kayoed the respected Rodolfo Gonzalez. He won
against tough Tury ” The Fury ” Pineda and defeated future Hall Of Famer Ken

What if Joe Frazier had Fought Ron Lyle?

Joe Frazier and legendary trainer Eddie Futch

< photo courtesy Eva Futch >

By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer

What happens when the unstoppable force meets the unmovable object? Let me rephrase that. What would have happened if Joe Frazier and Ron Lyle would have hooked up in the mid-1970’s?

It is too bad this fight was never made. It was discussed on occasion, but to the best of my knowledge no serious talks ever took place. What a shame. This would have been a thrill-a-minute battle for the fans. Each boxer had the tools and the style to offset the other’s skills.

Let’s start with Ron Lyle. George Foreman showed everyone that a big, strong heavyweight with a decent jab and a solid uppercut could keep Joe from getting inside, while also punishing him at long range. Frazier was game to the core, but Big George showed that Joe could be hurt. Lyle was no Willie Pep on his feet, but he had decent mobility for a man his size. He had a fairly quick jab with some pop to it. He threw a strong right hand but he needed room for it to gather steam. His best weapons on the inside if Frazier did get past his jab were a short left hook and a scorching uppercut. Also Ron was more then willing to stand in the trenches and swap body shots. He would have been quite a handful for Joe.

What would Frazier have to do to counter Ron’s strategy? First and foremost he would just have to be Joe Frazier at his bobbing and weaving best. At times Lyle had a tendency to paw with his jab. This would have been a crucial mistake against the relentless Frazier. Joe was very adept at timing a jab and then either slipping under it or slipping to the side of it. The end result would be the same. Joe would now have his head on the opponent’s chest and he would pummel the stomach, ribs and kidneys with savage purpose.
Continue reading What if Joe Frazier had Fought Ron Lyle?

DREAM FIGHT: Arguello vs. Chavez

Julio Cesar Chavez

By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer

DREAM FIGHTS … you hear and read about them all the time. How
would Ali have done against Dempsey, Louis or Marciano? How would Roy Jones Jr. have fared against Bobby Foster? Could Bernard Hopkins hold his own with Marvelous Marvin Hagler?

Interesting scenarios and I’m sure we all have our opinions. We as
fans are entitled to these opinions. My how they differ. We will never know if Sugar Ray Robinson could have beat Sugar Ray Leonard or if Willie Pep could have outslicked Salvador Sanchez but damn it sure is fun to argue about it. With that said I’d like to venture into who would have won if Alexis Arguello and Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez would have met at 130 or 135 pounds?
Continue reading DREAM FIGHT: Arguello vs. Chavez


Ray Mancini
photo courtesy
David Martinez
private collection

NOTE: this is article #8 of a series of eight for your enjoyment from boxing writer Jim Amato. The articles are listed (in order) below and were featured from September 2009 through November 2009 with each article based on these boxing greats had they met at the peak of their careers in the ring:
1) Jerry Quarry vs. George Foreman
2) Carlos Monzon vs. Gene Fullmer
3) Joe Frazier vs. Ron Lyle
4) Manny Pacquiao vs. Roberto Duran
5) Salvador Sanchez vs. Alexis Arguello
6) Nino Benvenuti vs. Vito Antuofermo
7) Julio Cesar Chavez vs. Alexis Arguello
8) Ray Mancini vs. Harry Arroyo

Author’s Note:
Since this article was first published in th June 1997 issue of BOXING WORLD magazine, Harry and Ray have put any animosity behind them.

“Why We Missed The Battle Of Youngstown”

By Jim Amato

Let us make believe that it is 1984 again and the management of Ray Mancini decided NOT to defend his W.B.A. lightweight title against Livingstone Bramble. Instead they opt to unify at least part of the championship against cross town rival Harry Arroyo, the I.B.F. title holder. The bout would be held in their home town of Youngstown, Ohio and be televised live nationally. The whole city of Youngstown and its surrounding areas are buzzing with excitement and anticipation. The TV executives predict a bonanza rating since both boxers are proven crowd pleasers. In the days preceding the FIGHT, there is electricity in the air. The city is divided in its loyalty. Mancini seems to be the fan’s favorite, but Arroyo has a faithful contingent too. The fight has been a sell out for weeks and the local betting has been heavy. This is a bookmaker’s dream and Mancini’s going off as an 8 to 5 favorite with decent action on the Arroyo short end. Mancini, short, muscular and aggressive with his bread and butter left hook -VS- Arroyo, tall and lean with a stiff jab and a stiffer right cross. What a match up! Alas this possible scenario never took place. Why? Who is at fault, if anyone? Did one boxer avoid the other as has been hinted ? Did Ray or his management plan on a payday against Arroyo after a victory over Bramble or is it possible Harry was never in their plans ?
Continue reading MANCINI vs. ARROYO