Thursday, March 29, 2012

"The Gatekeeper"

The Gatekeeper is a very good boxer and a well rounded fighter.  One of two things qualifies a fighter to gatekeeper status.  They do not have what it takes to become a champion.  Or once was a champion/contender now on the downside of their career.  In many cases the actual definition of gatekeeper is open to interpretation. 

Some characteristics of a gatekeeper could include any one or more of the following:
-         Impressive resumes, filled with some of the best fighters in their division/era
-         Top talent that never one a title or successfully defend a title
-         Lost title and are on downside of career
-         Students of the game
-         Not overly popular

Gatekeepers are essential to the success of boxing.  It’s the final test for a prospect to graduate and become a contender.  Many cases it may be the final test of a contender to become a champion if a vacant belt if on the line.  Erik Morales showed he was game, but could have been viewed as gatekeeper in his most recent bout with Danny Garcia.  The same night many viewed Zab Judah in a similar position.  Instead the once proud champion schooled the young pupil Vernon Paris.  Paris failed his final test, Garcia graduated.

Paul “Magic Man” Malignaggi

I resign Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi to gatekeeper status.  Paulie is a former world champ, but for a limited period of time.  Paulie has been hovering in between contender status, champion, and stardom for close to 6 years.  Paulie has 4 loses, each standing out as a gatekeeper quality lose.  His lose to Miguel Cotto propelled Cotto to better opportunities in which he took full advantage.  Ricky Hatton was coming off the Mayweather lose and needed to test himself against a top level guy, Paulie provided him that.  The same could be said for the Baby Bull Jan Diaz after his lose to Marquez.  Paulie got revenge in what might be the exception to the rule.  Most recently Paulie lost a fight to Amir Khan which again propelled Khan.  On the horizon we have the Magic Man once again playing gatekeeper to 32-0 Vyacheslav Senchenko.  If Sanchenko wins he will set himself up for a nice fight, if he loses he will have failed the gate keeping test like many others.  

Fun fact, Paulie’s opponents combined record of when he lost to them is an astonishing 126-4-0.

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