Our year is starting with The Birthdays of the seven great fighters from The States and The East-European countries. January 2, was the day when were born the champions of the amateur and the professional boxing, each of them wrote his name in the history of Boxing!
Pernell Whitaker was born 1964 in Norfolk, Virginia. Whitaker earned the nickname Sweet Pea and is considered as one of best light and welterweights on the professional ring ever. He won four WBA, WBC and IBF belts in the four different weight divisions, defending them for twelve successful times. Pernell had an outstanding amateur carrier, having 201 win in 214 fights. His the best achievements were the Silver of 1982 World Championships in Munich, the Gold of 1983 PanAmerican Games in Caracas and, of course, The Gold medal of 1984 Los Angeles Olympics at lightweight (60 Kilo). Whitaker was the worst rival of the legendary Cuban, two-time Olympic Champion, Angel Herrera. They met 6 times, of which Pernell won 4!
As the pro, Whitaker was known as, probably, the best ever defensive fighter. Fast and slicky southpaw, he was very hard to hit. In his 17-years-long carrier, Whitaker has the record of 40(17 KO)-4(1 KO)-1, he was the world champion at the light, light-welter, welter and light-middleweight divisions. He fought all the best guys of the time, including Jose Luis Ramirez, Julio Cesar Chavez, Wilfredo Rivera, Oscar de la Hoya and Felix Trinidad. Now, Pernell is the couch, one of his most notable students is multiple times world champion, Zab Judah. Today Pernell Whitaker is celebrating his Big Day- 50-th Birthday Party!
Nicolae Linca is the only Romanian Olympic boxing Champion. Linca was born 1929 in the village, near to Blaja town, Romania. He won 1956 Melbourne Olympics at welterweight (67 Kilo) division. Being the popular athlete in his country during his youth, he has been forgotten, ill and poor getting old. In the early 90's, Romanian media found him living in deep poverty. The public outcry by Linca's situation made the Romanian Parliament vote a law by which all, past, present and future Olympic medalists would receive a monthly pensions from the Government, until their death. Nicolae Linca died 2008 in the village of Feisa, he was 79. Today, he would celebrate his 85!
Bohumil Nemecek was born 1938 in Tabor, Czechoslovakia. He is one of the best Czech boxers, after he won the 1960 Rome Olympics at light-welterweight (63.5 Kilo). In 1967, also in Rome, Nemecek became European welterweight (67 Kilo) Champion, in the finals beating the future Olympic Champion, The German Manfred Wolke. After the retiring, in the 70's, Bohumil worked as the Czechoslovakian National Team coach. Bohumil Nemecek died 2010 in Usti-nad-Labem, he was 72. Today is his 76-th Birthday!
Tommy Morrison was born 1969 in Gravette, Arkansas. Tommy got famous before his boxing championships, being the co-star with his friend Sylvester Stallone in the movie Rocky V, in 1990. He was the WBO heavyweight champion in 1991, beating by points the great George Foreman. He lost his title the very same year to Michael Bentt, by KO in the 1-st. He earned the nickname The Duke. After that, Tommy had a lot of problems related to the alcohol and drug use. In 1996, he was tested positive for HIV. Whatever, ten years later, another test showed that he has no HIV. Morrison got back his license and fought three more fights. Tommy Morrison has the record of 48(42 KO)-3(3 KO)-1. In August 2013, Morrison's mother Diana disclosed that Tommy had "full-blown AIDS" and was "in his final days." On September 1, 2013, Morrison died at a hospital in Omaha, Nebraska at the age of 44. Today, Tommy would become 45-years-old!
Glen Johnson has two IBF light-heavyweight belts. He is the real example of mental power, patience and self-believe in the human-being. Glengoffe Donovan Johnson, or The Road Warrior, was born 1969 in Clarendon, Jamaica. When he was 15, he arrived to Florida and started to box only at the age of 20. His first title shot was against Bernard Hopkins in 1997, for the IBF middleweight title. Glen lost it by TKO in the 11-th. Johnson was always taken by the promoters and the crowd as the jorneyman, that's why he often got robbed in the winning fights. But, by the end of the day, Glen earned the glory and the fortune. He beat the stars as Roy Jones Jr., Antonio Tarver, Montell Griffin. Today, Johnson still active, his record is 53(36 KO)-18(1 KO)-2, and it is his 45-th Birthday!
Roman Karmazin is one of the best Russian boxers on the professional ring ever, also he can be counted as one of the greatest European light-middleweights. Roman was born 1973 in Kuznetsk, Russia. He started his pro-carrier in 1996, in Sankt-Petersburg, and eight long years fought around Europe without a chance on the real title-shot. In 2004, Karmazin travels to LA, where under the guidence of Freddie Roach wins the IBF title, beating Kassim Ouma of Uganda. In July, 2006, Karmazin lost his belt to Cory Spincs, with the very close and doubtful decision. For the last time, Roman fought in 2011, and retired with the record of 40(26 KO)-5(3 KO)-2. Today is Roman Karmazin celebrates his 41-st Birthday!
Robert Helenius was born 1984 in Stockholm, Sweden, but later on his family decides to move to Robert's father's native country, Finland. From then, Helenius always will represent Finland. Nicknamed The Nordic Nightmare, Robert is, probably, the best ever professional boxer from this country. On the amateurs, he wins the silver on the 2006 European Championships in Bulgaria, at super-heavyweight (over 91 Kilo). Helenius turned pro in Germany, he is 6'6 feet tall, awkward and hard-hitting orthodox boxer. In 2011, Robert wins the vacant European heavyweight belt, in the very hard battle beating The Brit, Dereck Chisora. Even before that, three former world champions got knocked out by Helenius- The American Brewster, The Nigerian Peter and The Belarus Liakhovich. Now, Helenius is unbeaten in 19 fights, with 11 KO's. Today Robert Helenius has his 30-th Anniversary!