How Do You Define A Fighters Nationality

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Strongback, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. Strongback

    Strongback Boxing Addict Full Member

    Nov 6, 2009
    A lot of fellas I know have the following criteria when it comes to deciding what country a fighter comes from:

    1) Birth place - but they also had to grow up in the country of birth and learn to box there.

    2) Titles fought for - a fighter born in a country who leaves at a young age and never returns and never fights for his birth countries belt e.g. British title would not be a British fighter.

    3) Desire to return in any capacity to the country of your birth.

    OK now for examples to illustrate the above:

    Bob Fitzsimmons (Not a British fighter)

    Leaves Britain at 9 and never sets foot in the country again. Learns to fight in New Zealand and Australia. When he arrived in American he was billed as a Down Under fighter. Became a US citizen while fighting in America.

    Jimmy McLaurin - Canadian (Not an Irish or British fighter)

    Leaves Ireland at three and learns to fight in Canada. Denounces Canada and fights in America and decides to use his Irish roots to sell himself. He was an Ulster Protestant whose family would have viewed themselves as British. Never fought in an Irish or British ring in any capacity.

    Lennox Lewis - British

    Fought for the British and Commonwealth title and based himself in Britain as a pro. He waved the Canadian flag but as a pro boxer he was British

    Barry McGuigan - Irishman but British Fighter

    Choosing to fight for Britain as an amateur "Barry the Brit" based himself in England and made his name in the English ring winning a British Title and more.

    Wayne McCullough - Irish fighter though British by upbringing in Sandy Row.

    Declared for Ireland as an amateur which would have annoyed some of his neighbours. Never fought for a British title and had no interest in it. Got himself to America at the earliest opportunity. Always fought as Irish.

    Sailor Tom Sharkey - Irish

    Born in Dundalk runs away to sea at 12 on his own and basically became a man that day. Ends up in the US Navy and starts his pro career in Hawaii. Is essentially an American boxer but always declares himself Irish. Shows his Irishness by returning to fight three times in an Irish ring. He visits Ireland and considers it his homeland. Sharkey just about makes it as an Irish fighter in my book but others see him as Irish American.

    I really believe it is difficult to say a fighter is from a country if they have never fought in that country and particularly in the cases of Fitz and McLarnin where they left their country of birth at a young age and never returned.

    I know patriotism can cloud the judgement and people from different countries want to claim good fighters but I think there has to be some fighting links or it just doesn't wash.

    That's my criteria and some example. What do others think?
  2. Pachilles

    Pachilles Boxing Addict Full Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Place of birth, bra
  3. 1_man_army

    1_man_army The Knockout King Full Member

    Mar 20, 2010
    So does that make Margarito an American to youthen?
  4. Drew101

    Drew101 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    Place of birth.
    George Crowcroft likes this.
  5. KOTF

    KOTF Bingooo Full Member

    Jun 2, 2009
    I go to boxrec (yeah yeah shut up)
  6. PH|LLA

    PH|LLA Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Feb 1, 2007
    you don't, they do
  7. anarci

    anarci Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jul 21, 2009
    Where you raised and learned to box.
  8. Addie

    Addie MAB. Full Member

    Jun 14, 2006
    Mike Cannon likes this.
  9. Swarmer

    Swarmer Patrick Full Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    However THEY define it.
    sasto likes this.
  10. bodhi

    bodhi Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Oct 22, 2009
    Does it matter?
    TBooze likes this.
  11. Strongback

    Strongback Boxing Addict Full Member

    Nov 6, 2009

    So Bob Fitzsimmons as an American citizen is seen as an America fighter????

    That's a new angle on it.

    Most see him as British or a Kiwi.
  12. Strongback

    Strongback Boxing Addict Full Member

    Nov 6, 2009

    If you look at the the number of countries claiming one fighter such as McLarnin who is most often descirbed as Canadian being claimed by Britain or by a further stretch Irish it does seem to make a difference to a lot of people.
  13. Meast

    Meast New Member Full Member

    Dec 6, 2008
    Dont think it matters all that much.

    My mate was born in Kenya but he'd never mention that, always just says he's English.

    Fitz can work both ways really, depends how you look at it, but him being American doesn't even come into it.
  14. bodhi

    bodhi Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Oct 22, 2009
    Should it matter if a fighter is white or black or latino or asian just because there are some racists out there?
  15. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    Based on which geographical border they were born in, end of.