EPISODE: Episode 22
Montell Griffin | The Scoop with Bola Ray | Talkin Fight
Montell Julian Griffin is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1993 to 2011, and held the WBC light heavyweight title in 1997.
Hey folks uh in my ongoing series dedicated to why i believe that roy jones jr was the greatest middle super middle and light heavyweight of all time.
I think i’d be remiss if i didn’t include this one fighter in his trajectory to legendary status.
Um this fighter was that i’m showcasing today be a super legend like james tony, twice um and he did at his own game.
Well, roy was cruising along with his career, destroying absolutely absolute legends like vinnie, paddenzianza and mike mccallum.
He runs into the most controversial fight in his career, which i didn’t see as such, which resulted in his first loss.
This event shook up the boxing world simply because no one could have ever seen this coming.
Roy was actually cautious for the first time um in the first rounds and really didn’t know how to deal with this athlete.
It seemed at least on the surface until you actually recognize the genius within this is a sign of roy.
I could not say i’ve ever seen him display before but uh.
Well, my name is bola raymond and this is the scoop born june 6.
1970 in chicago illinois was none other than the ice montel griffin by 1992.
Monto was living in california and fighting on the national level amateur national level uh.
He won his spot on the 92 barcelona olympic summer games team and went on to earn a silver medal due to one of the most controversial and greatest robberies in amateur boxing history.
I don’t have the complete details, but what i could collect is that there were some judges that were either those the judges or the computer or some which way should perform um.
Where awarding points that were supposed to go to montel was going to his his opponent.
Um torsten may of germany and um.
Shortly after returning back to u.
s soil, he announced his retirement from amateur the amateur ranks and he’s moving into the pro ranks.
I don’t have an accurate record of his amateur campaign, but he was a well-seasoned athlete with a great deal of success.
That’S no joke! Now! Uh february 16, 1993 montel steps into the square circle for the first time as a professional and laces up against one jose.
Luis or niallis, this ended a second round stoppage and montel was off to the races.
Montel’S professional campaign was going along great, with 14 wins, no losses and eight stoppages, and then his phone rang montel was offered the opportunity to fight for the international boxing.
Federation’S intercontinental light heavyweight title against james lights out tony: this is hands down the biggest fight in his career, uh or maybe even in his life he’s had no other choice.
He accepted now um february 18, 1995.
The dance was on the fight starts off and to the surprise of pretty much all the common commentators me included.
Montel wasn’t just winning the fight, but he was beating tony at his own game, montel being the shorter fighter which isn’t every day for joint for for tony um was able to out bob and slip tony’s offenses, it was incredible um it was.
It was genuinely a spectacular contest for a student of the game like me, like i’ve watched this fight, like i don’t know how many times now um mantel would counter punch, tony’s, jab and being a much shorter light heavyweight.
This was his style, mixing it up inside stepping to tony it was positively magical.
Montel actually stepped around tony after a combination only to smoke him from the new vantage point, which tony had no idea where he was oh, my word.
This was what boxing is about.
George foreman was commentating at this was the first time he had ever seen a much taller fighter in tony attempting to go to the body as much as he did, which was so telling tony had made it his thing, uh to wear his opponents down via chopping Them down with a solid body of salt and den in the latter rounds catching with a well-placed hook or uppercut to the head um.
This didn’t work this time.
His tony style also is one where he destroys his opponents on the inside, with constant pressure and tying him up, and what have you? But this time his opponent was much shorter than him and had a similar tight guard.
Tony found great difficulty landing anything clean to the body of montel, while the other way was not the same um.
How this fight was seen as controversial is beyond me.
Tony threw a lot of punches, but they did not land clean because montel, shorter and tighter stands.
It was just impossible, like all i can think of, is well done.
My men well done.
Montauk goes on with his career to amass another 10.
More fights win streak to his already 15 fight streak, only to meet up against tony again december 6.
They face off again, but this time is for the world boxing union light heavyweight, strap.
Everyone must remember that i am a huge james, tony thing, but i call it as a seal, and this was a continuation of where they left off.
That’S all i saw tony just did not have an answer for the shorter version of himself at this weight clause.
To be completely honest, i gave tony the first round because he was using his jab so much more than he did in the first dance um, which is exactly what a taller fighter is supposed to do.
He just isn’t accustomed to fighting against a shorter opponent.
Tony, more than doubled his job jab output, um that he put out in the first contest averaging around 40 jabs in the second fight, at least in the first couple rounds um in comparison to the first time when he was averaging 16.
The second round was a different story: montel had better footwork, which was confusing, then launched a second attack once he reached his actual destination.
Um montel continuously was circling tony’s uh to his left side, really close to him only to like punish him once he got there.
This worked beautifully now for the second fight tony tried to countered this effort by throwing his right hand throwing his right hand, as his opponent was circling to the left of him.
I have no idea what he’s thinking this always had the right hand hitting nothing but air, and sometimes we even have him off balance twice in the second round.
He looked like it.
Looked like 20 got, rocked bad due to him being off balance and montel catching with virtually a nothing punch.
At the same time it was it literally looked.
He threw the punch in an attempt to catch him and he was off balance and martel flicked, something and because he stumbled it looked like he was actually rock when actually yeah it was self-induced.
It was only apparent that montel’s punches didn’t cause tony to stumble, but it was lack of balance once it was shown on replay, which was which the judge didn’t have at their disposal.
I totally see how they could have awarded montel rounds, even though tony threw more uh punches and landed more.
It looked like he got, hurt and that’s to be fair.
Um, that’s the scoring in boxing it’s at least in the professional ranks.
Yeah vending punches count, but also, if you are in trouble, if you get caught with a good punch, that’s that weighs heavily on the judging and to do it twice.
That’S definitely year-round.
The next round held the same scenario in that tony still didn’t have an answer for montel’s movement, but this time after he stumbled twice and eventually actually fell, um, which was ruled a slip, thankfully, because it was but uh tony shut down for the remainder of the Round and montel landed some a great deal, a second of scoring blows from here on in it was great back and forth dog fight with tony, never really finding an answer to montel’s footwork, but still finding success, because well it is james.
Tony the fight was ruled.
A unanimous decision this time, as opposed to a split decision last time, um with two judges giving um montel eight rounds to four and one judge, giving him all but one round to montel.
Now people saw this as controversial, even though i gave jamie uh james way.
More rounds than than 11 or so than one i saw the contest, like the other.
Two judges had seen it um.
This win, earned montel the fight against the wbc light heavyweight champion at the time mr roy jones jr march 21st 1997.
They square off.
You know one of the most tactical fights i’ve ever seen now, jones being taller and faster footwork was fighting behind the jab, but for the most part it was coming.
Nowhere close to landing like at all um roy threw a fair uh, a fair, greater rate um than montel, but montel landed at a far greater rate.
What jones game plan was to counter punch the counter puncher, so what he was doing made sense once you see it from that lens, the commentators didn’t see it and his strategy and were commenting that he was throwing an 18-inch jab at an opponent that was 36 Inches away now, what they didn’t understand was he was trying to give him something to attempt to counter punch.
If he counter punches it, then he could come back with something but mantel wasn’t biting and because he wasn’t biting it.
Looked like roy was just constantly flicking shots short, the fight continues and roy in the later rounds of the contest starts landing with greater regularity, but the fight by my scoring was still montel’s going into the ninth round roy catches montel with a flirty and then after A five punch combination montel, is down on one knee when roy does the unthinkable and smokes one tell with the right hand, left hook, montel lands flat on his face and really is justifiably disqualified.
When asked why roy said that montel’s head was low and he didn’t have time to look to see if he was down on one knee or not so quickly, he just finished him off.
I can totally see his argument in martel is knowing known for slipping, beautifully and bending relatively low, with the advantage, with an advantage that is incredibly short person for a weight class that he would use to his advantage.
But the rules are the rules.
One tells five.
Seven roy is almost six feet i and he this is what made it so hard for james tony to understand, with with montel pretty much sitting on the floor and bending same thing held true.
So but again, the rules are the rules.
Now, almost five months later, there was a rematch august, 7th 1997.
I don’t know what was in roy’s head, but the animal that came out of that corner.
I’Ve never seen before, nor have i ever seen after his in his career roy, threw caution aside and took it to montel, knocking him out in the very first round of the fight and regaining the wbc strap um.
He was a man on a mission like wow montal goes on to have a spectacular career where his next 12 fights he has 11 wins and nine stoppages.
Now um, the one loss was to an unknown uh southpaw named eric harding, which was a highly controversial um decision due to the fact that mantel actually knocked him down and not just out punched him, but outlanded him in accordance to the punch stats.
So how did he lose a fight? Montau’S next fight was close with a darius mikhail winski, where even though he was actually winning the first three rounds, he suffered a cut in the second round and which assisted him in being caught and staggered twice in the fourth round and finally stopped so um montalo Mass six, more wins only to run into the man himself, antonio tarver, where he was completely outclassed and lost a unanimous decision by uh an incredible margin.
Now post this fight, montel was a shell of the of his former self and eventually retired he’s.
He is still remembered for the man who not only beat james tony twice at his own game, but delivered the man his first loss.
He truly was great, and yet he was still beaten by roy another example of how great roy truly was um.
He i wish him all the best in his retirement.
He is currently doing amazing work in chicago uh coaching and dealing with some at-risk youth issues.
Um he’s a genuine asset to boxing and boxing history tip my hat to you, sir, and with that that’s my episode.
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It’S your boy, bola and that’s scoop.