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Old 08-20-2007, 05:44 PM   #1
bumdujour
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Default Pipino Cuevas does not belong in the Hall of Fame!

FIRST OFF……..
To me, the greatness (or lack of) can only be judged by the opposition that the fighter in question fought and how he fared against those fighters.
With Cuevas, there is one thing to remember: his prime was very short. It is confined only to his title reign that started in 1976 and ended in 1980.
His pre title fights were insignificant and his post championship fights were simply disasterous! He went 8-8 after losing to hearns, going down to every significant fighter that he met from then on.
So in favour of Cuevas, lets assume that he was shot after the knockoutloss to hearns!
So lets look at the opposition that he beat during his reign:

THE CHAMPION HE DETHRONED…..
Angel Espada was your typical run of the mill alphabeth titelist. A journeyman in essence, he beat fellow veteran Clyde Gray on a 15 round decision for the WBA belt that had been stripped from jose napoles. Clyde Gray said it was a hometown decision. What he had done to earn that shot is a mystery anyway. Just two fights before fighting for the belt, he lost to a guy who had a record of 0-0-0. Whatever.He defended the belt once on a decision over journeyman johnny grant, then lost it to cuevas.
A very ordinary champion all in all.

NOW….
For the challengers. I have devided them into groups: Great Fighters, Top ten contenders, fringe contenders, bums.
So here we go:

GREAT FIGHTERS….
Well, this is easy. He only met one ATG and that was Tommy Hearns. Now we all know that he lost to Tommy…….that is not the problem. It’s the manner in which he lost is what is somewhat disturbing.
When he was facing his previous challengers, he bolted from his corner and chased them around the ring.
But after sampleing Hearns power for just a second he started, well, running away. He had no chance of outboxing Hearns, but instead of trying to „ go down guns blazing", he ran.
Sure, Hearns was awesome at welter. But many other welters put up credible fights vs hearns before going down.
Had Cuevas at least given him a bit of a struggle I would find it easier to view Cuevas as an ATG.

TOP TEN CONTENDERS (deserving challengers)…..

1. Pete Ranzany
I always liked Pete. A tall, neat boxing welter with a good punch, Ranzany is to me, the best of the fighters Cuevas beat. A fine amateur that led him all the way to the olympic trails (losing to sugar ray seales), Ranzany beat the likes of Randy Shields, Sean O´Grady and Clyde Gray. He also held the NABF belt and was a truly deserving challenger.
For Cuevas to blow him out in two was IMO his best performance.

2. Harold Weston
A pure boxer who only scored 7 ko´s in 27 wins, he managed wins over the likes of Andy Price , Rocky Mattioli, Vito Antuefermo as well as a draw with Wilfred Benitez.
Cuevas wore him down and stopped him with a broken jaw in 9. His second best performance.

3. Randy Shields
Another really slick boxer, Shields lost competative fights to most of the top talents around, sometimes getting stopped on cuts.
Hearns stopped him in 13, McCroy in 8, Benitez and a lightweight called Saldivar both in round six.
He did manage to go ten with leonard in Rays 15th bout.
His best win was over former lightweight challenger Ray Lampkin.
Cuevas beat him on points over 15, but the decision was very controversial. The Chicargo Tribune had it 11 rounds to 4 for shields.
Anyway, not one of Cuevas good performances.

THE FRINGE CONTENDERS ( undeserving yet competent challengers)

1. Shoji Tsujimoto
The champ of Japan. Fought only at local level. Never fought a contender………never deserved a shot!!

2. Miguel Angel Campanino
Mr. „Superrecord". He was a staggering 81-4-4!!!!
Only one problem: he never fought outside of Argentina and fought mostly local opposition. never fought a contender…….never deserved the shot. Numbers alone don’t make you credible. Just ask Buck Smith.

3. Clyde Gray
Already a veteran at this stage, one would think Grey should be in the „contender" bracket. But he doesent cause in the fight before challenging Cuevas, he was ko´d in a fight for the canadian welter belt by someone called ray guerrero.
Such a loss certainly puts you out of the welter top ten. And should have disqualified him from fighting cuevas. But somebody probably thought he was easy pickings.

4. Billy Backus
Billy had been a champ 7 years ago…….but was basically shot by the time he fought cuevas. He even said in an interview that he was surprised he got the shot. And it was his last fight.
At this stage, he was about as credible a challenger as Michael Dokes was when he challenged Riddick Bowe.

5. Harold Volbrecht
Volbrecht was the reigning south african welter champ when he met Cuevas. He was 21-2-1 when he met cuevas and his southpaw stance presented some problems for him.
Was he credible??? Lets put it this way: his best win came against Baby Lux Kambule!!!
In other words: NOPE!

THE BUMS……
Scott Clarke.
This guy was a joke. Only fought in Orlando Florida against bums…..and still managed to lose one.
A BUM. Nuff said.


FINAL COMMENT….
Don’t get me wrong, I´m not a Cuevas hater. He was one of my favorite fighters growing up. And at first I was happy that he made it to the Hall.
But then just for fun I looked over his record again. Then I looked at some of his fights.
Anyway, the naked statistics speak against Cuevas as far as greatness is concearned.
He beat a mediocre alphabeth champ and three top ten contenders. The rest were undeserving challengers. That in itself should disqualify him.
Then you have to add the fact that his prime spanned only 11 fights, which is very very short. I cant recall a fighter who can base his greatness only on a spann of 11 fights.
And when he finally met a future great fighter in Hearns, he put up a pathetic performance.
And another problem: Cuevas always looked like a devestating puncher in his defenses, which he certainly was.
But he never met a fellow puncher in the defenses he won. All the other guys were boxer-punchers at best. Most of them were weak hitting boxers.
That made it easy for Cuevas to display himself as a stalking monster of a puncher.
The only time he met a big hitter who backe him up, he got blown out. Sure, Hearns was pure poison, but what would have happened if someone like say Simon Brown had been in the other corner?? Or at least someone like Tyrone Trice?? Would Cuevas have been so brave vs such fighters??
This is doubtfull to some extent.
All in all, I think Cuevas was a well managed fighter during his reign. He was a good champ who beat some solid fighters. Nothing more and nothing less.
He was a great puncher and he was a great television fighter. A great fighter for the fans.
But not a great fighter. Not in the Hall of Fame sense.
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Old 08-20-2007, 06:27 PM   #2
brooklyn1550
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Default Re: Pipino Cuevas does not belong in the Hall of Fame!

He met TWO ATGs - Tommy Hearns and Roberto Duran
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Old 08-20-2007, 06:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: Pipino Cuevas does not belong in the Hall of Fame!

I'd agree.

He was an overachiever for sure, though i'm not sure i'd single him out considering the standards just now.

Were they to start removing fighters from the hall Cuevas would not be first in line.
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: Pipino Cuevas does not belong in the Hall of Fame!

In an ideal world he probably does not quite belong in there but in it's current state he's more than worthy. Too much riff-raff in the HoF for my liking.
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Old 08-21-2007, 12:20 AM   #5
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Default Re: Pipino Cuevas does not belong in the Hall of Fame!

I don't understand how he could be such a dominant force and so destructive in the late 70's but such an impotent loser afterwards.

HOF? Too many people there anyways. I'm making my own list in a couple of days decade by decade.
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Old 08-21-2007, 12:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: Pipino Cuevas does not belong in the Hall of Fame!

A four year title reign is nothing to sneeze at, No matter who you are. As a Welterweight Cuevas holds the record for most consecutive title defense wins by knockout (10). During Cuevas' reign Noone wanted to fight him. Cervantes didn't want to step up and challenge Cuevas. Palomino? Cuevas & Palomino wiped out the division. Name someone Either of them ducked? Just a shame they didn't get to fight eachother. Sure he lost to Hearns, But how many jaws had Hearns broken? Or Leonard or Tyson for that matter! Cuevas' prime was short but spectacular, But he did definatly made his mark!
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Old 08-21-2007, 12:42 AM   #7
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Default Re: Pipino Cuevas does not belong in the Hall of Fame!

I tend to agree that he doesn't belong. He was an exciting contender, but his WBA title doesn't count for much since there was a lineaer champion the whole time. Had he fought and defeated the real world champion then I would take more note of him.
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Old 08-21-2007, 04:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: Pipino Cuevas does not belong in the Hall of Fame!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Street Lethal
I tend to agree that he doesn't belong. He was an exciting contender, but his WBA title doesn't count for much since there was a lineaer champion the whole time. Had he fought and defeated the real world champion then I would take more note of him.
Harsh. By that reckoning Tommy Hearns was just an exciting contender too for much of his career. Cuevas was one of the most feared champions in the world during the late 1970s but I agree that ideally he shouldn't get in the HoF, if only because I think the HoF should only contain the absolute best of the best. In the current incarnation of the HoF though Cuevas deserves to be there.
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