New Zealand's GOAT heavyweight boxers

By: Blogger

Sideline Sid
Sports correspondent & historian

Sideline Sid believes that "Career on the line for Joseph Parker" is a perpetual headline that New Zealand sporting media pull out each time the Kiwi boxer enters the ring in combat.

Parker is a outstanding ambassador for his chosen sport, with a record that speaks for itself.

This weekend, Parker continues his professional boxing journey when he climbs into the ring with Derek Chisora at the AO Arena in Manchester on Sunday morning (NZ time).  

Some time ago, a mate asked me who is the best heavyweight professional boxer to emerge from the land of the long white cloud.

While it is an impossible question to answer, it got me thinking.

My criteria is that they have to have fought on the big stage, which means appearances in rings in America and Europe.

The obvious nominees in the new millennium are Joseph Parker and David Tua.

Parker's credentials are led by his WBO world heavyweight title, beating Andy Ruiz, who would latter topple Anthony Joshua for the (almost) unified title.

David Tua's feats in the ring need no explanation to boxing fans, dispatching numerous future and former world champions while on his way to a 52 win, 5 loss, 2 draws record.

However, the mists of time shadow the achievements of several other candidates for Sideline Sid's Greatest Kiwi Heavyweight Of All Time.

In the early days of the Marquees of Queensberry rules of boxing, Timaru blacksmith Bob Fitzsimmons won the World Heavyweight title by beating Jim Corbett in Carson City in 1897.

The Heavyweight crown was bookended by the World Middleweight title during 1891 and the newly minted World Light Heavyweight belt in 1903.

Gisborne's Tom Heeney challenged World Heavyweight titleholder Gene Tunney in 1929 for his crown.

In spite of a brave performance, Heeney suffered defeat in the 11th round.

Heeney proved himself in the top draw of world heavyweights in a 13 year career.

Little known today, Maurice Strickland compiled a 40-13-2 record from 1936 to 1942.

Strickland fought in such venues as Wembley Arena and Kings Hall in Belfast in the UK, and the Chicago Stadium and the NewYork Hippodrome in the USA, where he meet some of the world’s best.

In the twilight of his time in the ring, Strickland fought (and defeated) the legendary Kid Alabama, who Box Rec credits with a 206-60-23 lifetime record.

Jimmy Peau/Thunder was another to ply his trade around the world.

Thunder beat three former world champions in Tim Witherspoon, Tony Tubbs and Trevor Berbick, winning a couple of lightly regarded world titles in his 49 fight career.

Further Sideline Sid's nominees are Olympic silver medalist Paea Wolfgram, Kipa Tasefa, Shane Cameron and Kali Meehan.

Taking 'Ruby Bob' Fitzsimmons out of the equation, as it is impossible to compare post bare knuckle fighters with today's professional boxers,

I put forward David Tua, and what Joseph Parker may achieve in the future, as my nominations for New Zealand GOAT Heavyweight boxer.