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Best Boxers of All Time From Kansas
Jess Willard Hits The Heavy Bag
Jess Willard (Pottawatomie County, Kansas)
The Pottawatomie Giant is the former heavyweight champion of the world. He beat Jack Johnson for the crown and eventually lost it by brutal knockout to Jack Dempsey. Jess Willard retired from the squared circle sporting a record of 26-6-1 with 2 no contests and 20 knockouts to his credit. Known for his tremendous size and big punching power in both fists. His biggest drawback would be his lack of foot speed and he lacked on defense. On the other hand, Willard's offense served as his defense to a large degree and he kept many boxers on the outside because they were weary of his one punch knockout power.
Jess Willard's biggest ring victories came from beating Jack Johnson, Frank Moran, Floyd Johnson and Carl Morris. Jess Willard was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2003. Had he been more dedicated, Willard would have really went to new heights but even so he accomplished plenty and should be full of pride.
Jess Willard's Best Wins
Samuel Stewart (Topeka, Kansas)
Samuel Stewart had an excellent amateur boxing career which made him an eventual Olympian. Stewart competed in the 1920 Olympic games losing to the eventual gold medal winner Ronald Rawson in the heavyweight division. Stewart to a large degree was self taught but if he had of went pro and had instructions by someone such as Ray Arcel. One can just imagine what he would have did with polished skills to go along with his raw talent.
There is no telling how far he could have went and what he could have achieved as a professional boxer had he decided to go that route. Mr. Stewart had solid skills complemented by a sophisticated jab and fast, accurate combination punching.
Which weight class, in boxing, is your favorite?
Herbert Acevedo (Garden City, Kansas)
Herbert Acevedo, who is still active as of 2017, boxes in the junior welterweight division and his current record reads: 12-2 with 6 knockout victories to his name. Acevedo has shown tremendous heart and an excellent chin in his short career but, he needs to improve his footwork and jab if he plans to advance in the 140 pound rankings. Acevedo lacks power even though he does his best work on the inside especially with the body punching. One compliment about this prizefighter is that he always gives his all and he is never, so far anyway, in a dull bout.
The best opponents that Herbert Acevedo has beaten thus far in his career are the likes of Marcos Herrera, Rynell Griffin, Eddie Ramirez and Fermin Canedo.
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20 Minute Home Boxing Workout (Video)
The Island Girl
Sumya Anani (Overland Park, Kansas)
Sumya Anina is a former two division world champion, winning crowns as a lightweight and as a welterweight. The Island girl, as she is called, retired with a mark reading: 25-3-1 with 10 knockout wins. Anina had fast hands and her chin was proven to be solid. Her best attribute was the fact that she fights equally on the inside and on the outside and she always took on all comers never once ducking any challenge.
The "Island Girl" has some good, solid victories but her top wins came from toppling the likes of Elizabeth Mueller, Britt Van Buskirk, Jane Couch and Lisa Holewyne.
Quentin Breese (Leonardville, Kansas)
"Baby" Breese fought as a welterweight for most of his pro career and left the sport with a mark standing at: 54-28-9 with 29 knockouts on his docket. In his prime and when he was properly prepared Breese only lost to the best such as Hall of Fame prizefighters Lew Jenkins and Sammy Angott. Even then Baby Breese put up a solid effort. Not an especially fast fighter but his overhand right and his right hook for that matter could ravage any boxer. Breese has a deceiving record that looks bad but on a second look it is not. He lost to top boxers and several of his losses are disputed and very close decisions.
Quentin Breese participated in some entertaining bouts during ring career but his top wins came from beating Eddie Dunne, Tony Marteliano, Jackie Kid Berg and Norment Quarles.
The Legendary Jess Willard (Video)
Nico Hernandez (108 pound)
Nico Hernandez (Wichita, Kansas)
Nico Hernandez won a Bronze medal for the U.S. in the 2016 Olympic Games. He boxed out of the light flyweight AKA the junior flyweight division. Nico also won a gold medal at the National Junior Olympics in 2011 and 2012. Even at a young age this boxer showed lots of poise and skills.
Hernandez plans on turning professional in the near future which I pan on watching to see how he does. Hernandez seems to have a solid foundation on offense and defense plus he has excellent hand and foot seed which he has showed consistently. This guy could be the goods and he can only go up from here.
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© 2016 Buster Johnson