Heavyweight hopeful Roman Greenberg is arguably the most talked about heavyweight that hasn’t achieved anything. His Jewish background, youth and fast hands encouraging the Fight Academy promotional team to utilise every conceivable vehicle to issue a press release, and for a time their frequency and flashes of excellence in Greenberg’s embryonic outings convinced enough observers to track the chunky fighter.
Five years on and the story has grown stale. True the fresh faced Russian is still only 24, which in a heavyweight division unburdened by the distracting presence of talent, charisma or a puncher offer him around two more decades to establish his credentials. On the current rate of progress he may need every week of those twenty years to approach world-class contendership.
I’ve seen Roman live about five times now, his victory over Kendrick Releford one performance that strongly suggested he needed matching ambitiously or the appetite for the fridge may prove greater than his appetite for improvement. He didn’t sit on his punches, was incredibly easy to hit with the right hand, appeared to lack authority and was too willing to trade, grapple and sacrifice the range that would utilise his hand speed.
The latest release from the Greenberg camp proposes Nate Tubbs is next on the ‘learning curve’; a fighter inactive for 9 – count ’em – 9 years until a first round win over Audley Harrison’s first opponent Mike Middleton – the part-time detective. An isolated victory over Corrie Sanders, a result contrary to the rest of his sparse resume, presumably used to substantiate his credentials. Credentials severely undermined by inactivity and knock out defeats to David Tua and Lawrence Clay-Bey immediately prior to his ‘sabbatical’. For reference, Tubbs, who has fought for 2 minutes 38 seconds in the last 106 months, is a sprightly 43 years of age.
All this tells me one of two things; i) Greenberg is a fraud and his promoters know it or ii) Greenberg will be kept active to hone his weight against any tomato can they can find until his record takes on irresistible appearance and he’s dumped in at the deep end to cash in on the money invested. Or, I guess, both are true.
Certainly, there is little faith in his ability overcome a peripheral contender or even capable journeyman like for example, Zuri Lawrence, Danny Williams or Paulo Vidoz.
Come on guys. Either he has it or he doesn’t. Quit bluffing.