Today, September 28 is the Birthday of many world's great boxers and one of the greatest mixed martial arts fighter
Max Schmeling was born 1905 in the small German village near Schwerin city, called Klein Lukow. He started to box at the teen age and won National amateur championship at light-heavy in 1924, the very same year Max turned pro. the first big succes came 1927, when Schmeling became European light-heavyweight champion, in Hannover beating by KO in 14-th, Belgian Fernand Delarge. One year later, Max moved to heavyweight and traveled to show himself in US. After the five succesful wins, Schmeling is offered to fight for the world title. At June, 1930, in NY, Schmeling fought Jack Sharkey for the vacant NYSAC and NBA belts. The fight was wrote into the history as the only heavyweight championship bout, in which the winner was voted by the disqualification of the opponent. In the 4-th, Sharkey puts the heavy low-blow, which after Schmeling couldn't continue. Max Schmeling becomes the first European heavyweight World champion! In 1932, both meet each other in the rematch, Sharkey got the split decision in 15 rounds, but most of the boxing reporters called it as a very bad decision! Later on comes a few very memorable fights; 1933 in NY, the final eliminator fight against the future champion Max Baer, Schmeling lost by TKO in 10-th, but it is named as The Fight of the Year! 1934, in Barcelona, 12 round draw against the tough Spaniard Paolino Uzcudun, later the same year in Hamburg, Schmeling KO's in 9 another German star, Walter Neusel, the fight still has the record attendance in Europe- 102 thousand viewers!!! Schmeling becomes the national hero in Germany and also the favorite of Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler! They call him "The Black Uhlan of Rhine". But the greatest ups and downs of his carrier, Max just has to face... In June, 1936, on NY Yankee Stadium, Schmeling meets the legendary, unbeaten Joe Louis and....knocked him out in the 12! The fight was proclaimed as The Fight of the Year, but Schmeling as the best heavyweight on the Earth! Exactly two years later, 1938, at the same stadium, they fight each other again, but this time for NYSAC, NBA and absolute World titles. In Germany all adds are on the favorite, Max Schmeling, The Fuhrer even deny the thought that The Great Arian Hope can be beaten by black Louis, but..... Max stayed on the ring for 2 minutes only, before Joe knocked him spark out! Returning to Germany, Max got feel fully the disgrace of Nazi regime. In 1939, he knocks out in the 1-st another German champion, Adolf Heuser, for the European heavyweight belt. The attendance in Stuttgart is 70 thousand, but the attitude were still not the same. After The World War II and the seven inactive years, Max returns to the ring for a while, but without any succes. His final record was 56(40 KO0-10(5KO)-4. With his family, Schmeling settled down in Brandenburg, West Germany, and lived very long life. Schmeling died on February 2, 2005, just little more than half-a-year before his 100 Birthday! Looks like Max liked a large numbers.... Max Schmeling is decided as the one of the best heavyweight champions and one of the greatest German athletes ever! Today he would cheer his 107-th Birthday!
In 1968, Witbank, South Africa, was born Francois "The White Buffalo" Botha. Botha was 4 times WBC, IBF and WBO heavyweight challenger of the world title. He never became world champion, but some time ago he was considered as the one of biggest contenders. Botha had clashes against the grands as; Moorer, Tyson, Briggs, Lewis, Wladimir Klitschko and Holyfield. Against Shannon Briggs he fought 10 round draw! Without a great succes he participated also in K-1 and MMA, but decided to return to boxing. Botha is considered as one of the best heavyweights came from Africa. Today Francois Botha is celebrating his 44-th Birthday and still active on the ring! His latest record is 48(29 KO)-8(7 KO)-3.
Stevie Johnston was born 1972 in Denver, Colorado. Earned the nickname "Lil' But Bad" he was a great amateur, winning PanAmerican Games in 1991 and had just little short to qualify to Barcelona Olympics. As a pro won and eight times defended WBC lightweight title. The most notable fights were; the victory over Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Mendy, loss and win against the Mexican Cesar Bazan, loss and draw against the another Mexican Jose Luis Castillo and the win over Alejandro Gonzalez, also from Mexico. Johnston retired in 2008 with the record of 42(18 KO)-6(4 KO)-1. Today Stevie Johnston is living in Vero Beach, Florida and celebrating his 40-th Jubileum!
Fedor Emelyanenko was born 1976 in Rubezhnoye, Ukraine. Later on, his family moved to Stariy Oskol in Russia, where Fedor, at the age of 10, started Judo and Sambo wrestling. Fedor, also, took to the gym his two younger brothers, Alexander and Ivan, who became the MMA fighters, too. Achieving the medals at the Russian National championships in both, sambo and judo, Fedor starts to concentrate more on Combat Sambo, in which punches and kicks are allowed. In 1997 he becomes European champion in Tbilisi, later on he wins 7 Russian National and 3 world titles. Paralelly, since 2000 Emelyanenko also fights professionally in MMA. He has fought in all most prestigious versions and has achieved many different world titles in Russia, USA and Japan. Fedor has victories over such a famous fighters as; Englishman Lee Hasdell, Duch Semmy Schilt, American Mark Coleman, Antonio Nogueira of Brazil, Croat Mirko "Crocop" Filipovic, Mark Hunt of New Zealand, the huge Korean Choi Hong Man, Andrei Arlovski from Belorus. From June, 2010 to July, 2011 Emelyanenko suffered three losses in the raw, two from Brazilians Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Silva and one from Dan Henderson of US. Many thought that Fedor must quit, but he came back to has three straight wins. After the fight on June 21, 2012, Fedor oficially reports about his retirement from the fighting sport. Emelyanenko has a record of 34(26 KO)-4(4 KO) and 1 NC. Many of MMA fighters and observers decided Yemelyanenko as the greatest MMA fighter ever. Today, Fedor Emelyanenko is co-owner of "M-1 Global", the biggest Russian mix-fighting promotional company and the member of Belgorod area Authorities in the matters of Sport and Health. Also, his charachter is taken for the computer game Electronic Arts. We wish to Fedor all the best in his 36-th Birthday!
Frankie Gavin was born 1985 in Birmingham, England. He became the firs Brit, who won amateur World Championships gold, 2007 in Chicago, on the way to the medal beating 2-times Olympic Champion, Alexei Tishchenko of Russia and future world champion, Domenico Valentino of Italy. Frankie was the biggest British hope on 2008 Olympics in Beijing, but could not make a weight- lightweight (60 Kilo) division. In 2009 Gavin turns pro and now his record is 13(10 KO)-0. Today, Frankie Gavin is 27!