By Jim Amato

The heavyweight division of the late 60′s and early 70′s was one of the most
talent laden and competetive of all time. It gave us Ali and Frazier. Foreman,
Norton, Shavers, Quarry, Lyle and Ellis. The list is almost endless. Bonavena,
Middleton, “Blue” Lewis, Mac Foster, Buster Mathis, Chuvalo, Thad Spencer,
Leotis Martin.

In the late 1970′s former
Olympian Duane Bobick emerged as a legitimate contender.Although kayoed by Teo
Stevenson in the Olympics, Bobick was guided through the pro ranks by “Smokin’
Joe Frazier himself. Duane racked up quite an impressive resume on his way up
the ratings ladder. There was Chuck Wepner and Larry Middleton.” Young Sanford”
(a.k.a) Fred Houpe and Bunny Johnson of England.

As big and strong as Duane was I saw some serious flaws in the new “White Hope”.
Bobick ws exposed when he fought and beat Bunny Johnson who was in reality a blown
up light heavyweight. Johnson boxed Duane’s ears off until Bobick’s size and
strength wore him down.

I was not at all shocked when Bobick was kayoed by Kenny Norton. I was shocked that it had ended
so soon. There was really no shame in losing to Norton at that stage of his
career. Norton was Numero Uno and some of the best of all time have been caught
cold.

The loss that really damaged Duane… In fact it ruined Bobick’s
career was his KO defeat to Kallie Knoetzee. Talent wise Bobick was head and
shoulders above this guy. Alas his chin betrayed him. Kallie by KO in three.
Duane would come back with an eight fight win streak that led to a bout with highly touted Big John Tate.

The streaking Tate would destroy Duane in round one. That was really all there was to be for
Bobick. As in most cases he hung on for a while but was never again a major
player in the heavyweight sweepstakes.

It is too bad because Bobick had the size, the punch, the backround and the overall
talent. Where did it all go wrong?

I hear a lot of people today refer to Bobick as a “Bum” or “The Great White Hoax.” This
is so untrue. Duane Bobick could fight.Has boxing history really given Duane a fair shake ?

Make no mistake about it. If he were
active today, he would be right in the mix.

Jim Amato

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