One of the best things about boxing is that anyone can participate, no matter what shape or size their body. It’s almost difficult to believe that junior flyweight Ivan Calderon and heavyweight Cris Arreola could play the same sport. At the same time, boxing produces some of the world’s most stupidly buff athletes.
Let’s follow the advice of The Flight of the Conchords and try to set aside the homosexual undertones (overtones?) of admiring the bodies of other men: “Not in a gay way, just in a ‘hey mate, I wanted to say that you’re looking okay’ way.” That said, I couldn’t help but notice the many handlebar moustaches and eerie similarities with The Village People among the buff men of boxing.
Inspired by @linusesq’s twitter conversation with Timothy Bradley [Ed. update: or a fake Timothy Bradley, anyway?], here are the ten most stupidly ripped men in boxing today.
Timothy Bradley, junior welterweight
It’s been suggested that Bradley should change his nickname from Desert Storm to The Situation. The guy is just insanely muscular. Tim (Starks, I’m not on first name terms with Bradley) once told me that looking at Bradley’s abs made him feel a little sick – so don’t stare too long. Apparently it’s all down to his vegan diet, which kind of destroys the stereotype of weak, pale, dreadlocked hippies munching tofu.
The Klitschkos, heavyweights
Wlad and Vitali are pretty impressive physical specimens. Outside of the NBA, I’ve never seen a 6’ 7” bloke look that buff. Like Tim Bradley did for vegans, the Klitschkos have challenged my mental image of tall skinny beanpole dudes. Wlad’s call out video for David Haye isn’t exactly helping with the hetero-ness of this post either…
David Haye, heavyweight
Haye must lift weights more than he calls out Klitschko brothers. Apparently his non traditional training regimen, featuring lots of heavy lifting and sprinting rather than normal roadwork, is responsible for his chiselled look. He’s even done some male modelling – perhaps the David Haye Centre for Kids Who Can’t Punch Good is on the way?
Firat Arslan, cruiserweight
Despite tiring late and copping a terrible hiding from Steve Herelius in a cruiserweight scrap a few weekends ago, the German based Turk is one of the fittest looking guys in the sport. Again though, what’s with the mo?
Steve Cunningham, cruiserweight
The USS Cunningham has a cool nickname, a crowd pleasing style and a career emerging from a rut. Not only that, but he’s built – as we would say Down Under – like a brick shithouse. He might not have a mo, but he was in the Navy…
Andre Berto, welterweight
Say what you like about Berto, but he’s still ripped. Lucky HBO didn’t train their super slow mo cameras on his guns when he tore one en route to knocking out Carlos Quintana earlier this year. The sight of his well defined bicep rolling up like a piece of parchment would probably have been too much for even the most bloodthirsty boxing fan to stomach.
Arild Haugen, heavyweight
He’s not exactly a top flight boxer, but you wouldn’t want to meet former World’s Strongest Man competitor Arild Haugen in a dark alley. The dude is just massive. Apparently he’s 130kg. I don’t know what that is in the old system, but it’s definitely a Cris Arreola and a bit (or two and a half Ivan Calderons).
Evander Holyfield, heavyweight
Holyfield has got to be one of the all time buffest men in the sport: so what if maybe it wasn’t all natural. Even today, at 47, he looks like a GI Joe action figure (ears not included). Even down to the handlebar mo…
Mikkel Kessler, super middleweight
Mikkel is probably one of the buffest fighters in the game. But I mainly included him because:
a) He doesn’t have a handlebar moustache.
b) This way I could round out the post with a picture of his ‘friend’, Danish tennis player Caroline Wozniacki.