Originally Posted by fists of fury
Amen to that, bro.
I have always had a particularly soft spot for Weaver, partly because he came to these parts three times to fight, and I was privileged enough to watch him fight live one time.
Of course you well know what I'm about to describe, so this is for the benefit of newer fans to the sport who are less familiar with him.
Anybody who is percieved as having improved themselves, and made the most of what they had, ought to be highly regarded for that. Weaver certainly fits the bill, dramatically surpassing what the so-called "experts" in boxing predicted for him. He was originally considered a muscular looking tanker whose physique concealed a lack of conditioning, and who faded late with little endurance. He converted that weakness into a strength, and ironically came to be more widely percieved as a slow starter. He posted some fine decision wins for all the power he had. His performance over Scott LeDoux was a fine 12 round display of jabbing and boxing skill. A real road warrior, winning his biggest victories in his opponents hometowns.
Joey Curtis robbed him of his WBA title after barely a minute against Dokes. In their very next match, he gave Dokes 15 rounds of hell, and deserved to have his title restored (not a likely outcome against a Don King fighter). After his brilliant TKO win over Carl Williams, he suffered another another devastating single round loss to Bonecrusher Smith. Yet he kept on going, and nearly four years to the day that Smith blasted him out, he found himself in first round trouble against Bonecrusher again, but climbed off the deck to go the full 12 rounds. For a particular competitor to go the distance against two different opponents who have previously posted one round stoppages over them is a rare demonstration of mental toughness and resilience.
He was 41 years old when he decisioned 27 year old Smokin' Bert Cooper over 12 rounds for something called the NBA Heavyweight Title, and 44 when he successfully defended it over the 12 round distance for the final time. This is somebody who has been very candid about how advancing age has sapped him of his abilities. Yet over 15 years elapsed between the time he took fine 28 year old 15-0-0 prospect Bill Sharkey out of the unbeaten ranks, to his win over Cooper. That's a pretty impressive run for somebody who the boxing press originally derided as a tomato can. (Sharkey could well have been a cruiserweight champion had he come along a few years later, and he was used as an example of why such a division was needed, by advocates of the idea.)
One top of all that, he's also an excellent piano player, like many other boxing champions who are fine musicians. (That makes perfect sense, with the timing and rhythym required for both.)