At first glance, Augustus has the moniker and the record of a journeyman much past his prime. Even as a young man fighting throughout the early 90s, Emanuel took losses in the fight game more out of boredom than lack of skill.
Countless losses on TDM's record indicate that judges granted his opponent the Unanimous Decision; most of these decisions are based on the fact that observers untrained to the boxing ring think Emanuel was a funky stylist with no real rhythm or offense... but they were wrong in their thinking. One of the most stifling (and bloody) fights Floyd Mayweather Jr. ever had was against Augustus, and not only did he claim fighting Emanuel was his most difficult test to date, but The Drunken Master was also his favorite fighter growing up.
To understand Emanuel you must watch his career from the beginning. He was always defensive minded, and he would throw the opponent off by posting with jabs and using the 'flim-flam' (or the art of distraction) to both attack and deflect at the same time. It is so hard to hit Emanuel but observers watching a fight usually follow the punches being thrown, not the punches being dodged.
An anticlimactic end to Emanuel's career came too soon because he gave too many young guys a shot at him. He was already over 50 fights deep into the late 2000s and young, strong guys like Ruslan Provodnikov were just the worst type of matchup for an old veteran. Augustus was never a slouch with his defense or durability, but even the best of em' get older. The only fighter truly undefeated in the ring is Father Time, and Augustus seemed to slow down without ever looking back.
It is disheartening at times to see legends of sport in the modern day; an amazing fight can take me to exhilarating places in my mind that make me more confident, brave, and willing to be greater... but the repercussions on the men and women involved provide a grim reality at times.
Augustus is still well and ticking but his mind isn't all there from the nearly 70 wars he took part in over 30 years time. Emanuel was also shot in the head a few years back for simply walking down the street during an attempted robbery. It was a terrible time for the former pro fighter and the boxing community, but he received an outpouring of support from former opponents and current fighters and made a full recovery. Augustus is an absolute inspiration, and I'll never forget his style. He was truly one of a kind.
Do you remember this all time great?