Jump to content

Big Buster Mathis; Has History Been Unkind To Him?


RINGNEWS24
 Share

Recommended Posts

http://ringnews24.com/media/k2/items/cache/3a914c1b9b690945d2c502c10bd9620f_S.jpg

At one time, Buster Mathis Sr. of Grand Rapids, Michigan was the best amateur heavyweight in the world. This was in 1964, after he had twice defeated another promising amateur named Joe Frazier. He was on his way to the 1964 Olympics Games in Tokyo but an injury sidelined him. Frazier took his place as an alternate. Joe won the Gold Medal and the rest is history Where does Buster Mathis stand in the annals of heavyweight history? Did he ever get the respect that he may have deserved? He was a good enough prospect to have Cus D'Amato guide his professional career. He was a a very big man for his era and was surprisingly fast and agile for a big man.

 

 

More...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: Big Buster Mathis; Has History Been Unkind To Him?

 

It's hard to be sympathetic for Buster, he was simply out-of-shape and to be honest, not all that interested in becoming a Champion. I felt sorry for him when he was crying in the Ring after getting stopped by Frazier, but he never took that and put it into positive movement forward, no matter how hard Cus D'Amato worked with him. The bottomline is that Buster was too nice a guy to be effective, he lacked the stubborn will/desire to be a Champion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...

Re: Big Buster Mathis; Has History Been Unkind To Him?

 

Where does Buster Mathis stand in the annals of heavyweight history? Did he ever get the respect that he may have deserved? He was a good enough prospect to have Cus D'Amato guide his professional career. He was a a very big man for his era and was surprisingly fast and agile for a big man.

More...

 

--- Buster had first rate talent and probably the best mentor in the business, but he wasn't possessed of great power and didn't leverage his size much. Probably too much of a nice guy for this dirty business as well.

 

Very much the same physiotype as the other Buster, Douglas, who had similar weight problems that are now known to be a common pre-diabetic condition. As such their physiotypes greatly limited their careers.

 

I must close by noting a disagreement over the notion that Ali "outclassed" Buster. Buster entered the fight after a two year retirement to take on a very active Ali that year of 1971. He was in the ballooning stages of diabetes that ultimately sees him over 400lbs in retirement like Buster Douglas when he took time off. Nonetheless, Mathis had an answer for most of what Ali threw at him and actually exposed Ali as so lacking in conditioning as to lose much semblance of fighting form. This ended as two exhausted clubfighters, Ali pittering and Mathis whaling as they bucked around. Even Ali's public mouthpiece in a hairpiece, Cosell, couldn't stomach what he witnessed.

 

Ali was duly chastised and ashamed himself, yet rose to the occasion in the post fight with quite the higher order philosophical rejoinder to Howie as he focused on the need for enough humanity in the ring that fighters shouldn't have to beat each other to death just to satisfy the public bloodlust. Maybe the best speech Ali ever came up with. They gave as much as they could even if it was one of the ugliest fights ever by a fighter of Ali's caliber. Frazier and Quarry professionally handled a much better Mathis than the rusty obese version Ali fought who was collapsing on top of himself by the end.

 

But yeah, my boxing buddy and I used to snicker about his weight and shape, but we also liked him as a fighter, so there it is. Check out the last 10 min when Buster couldn't keep himself up any more than he could keep himself down:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZ05jb_JnJk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...