title bout [Updated August 2000]

   18   19  20    20


Bruno Passacantando, CT

2000 Champion

2nd: Dennis Nicholson, NY

3rd: Marshall Collins, CT

4th: Ken Gutermuth, GA

5th: Terry Coleman, CA

6th: Derek Landel, NJ
Event History
1991    None      -
1992    None      -
1993    David Walrath      16
1994    Terry Coleman      20
1995    Ken Gutermuth      26
1996    Ken Gutermuth      20
1997    Bruce Reiff      24
1998    Dennis Nicholson      32
1999    Jim Bell     16
2000    Bruno Passacantando     16
AREA Ratings
 1    James Bell      5400
 2    Peter Staab      5200
 3    Terry Coleman      5100
 4    Daniel Hoffman      5100
 5    Lind Pratt      5000
 6    Derek Landel      5000
 7    Jonathan Lockwood      5000
 8    Dennis Nicholson      5000
 9    Chris Palermo      4900
10    Steven Caler      4900

Kissing the Canvas to Victory ... "Rocky" Passacantando

It was a vintage year for "the sweet science," which once again drew 16 would-be heavyweights into the tournament ring. Alas, 16 - the perfect number for a four round, single elimination event - wasn't enough to keep it in the Century but there's always hope for next year. Ali and Joe Louis were forced into retirement by the ruthless GM, who ruled his event with an iron fist. A former champion selected the boxer who had emerged victorious in 1999. A Civil War gaming veteran showed that he knew a little bit about 20th-century pugilism. Last year's champ pulled a big draft-day move, and a long-time sports gaming GM pulled off the upset of the tournament.

Dennis Nicholson, determined to prove that his win with Ali two years ago was no fluke, drafted early and chose Jack Dempsey. Given Dennis' penchant for sluggers (he chose George Foreman last year), it was hardly a shock when Dennis knocked out "Gentleman Jim Corbett" (Jonathan Lockwood) and Derek Landel's boxer, the oft-underrated Tommy Burns, on the way to the semis. Derek made the quarterfinals for the third straight year by upsetting "Iron Mike" Tyson (John Reiner), but couldn't avoid Dennis' firepower.

Gordon Rodgers, a Title Bout regular, denied former champ Bruce Reiff another plaque by winning with Peter Jackson over Sonny Liston. But Gordon fell to another former champion, Ken Gutermuth, in the quarters. Ken picked in the middle of the draw, but was able to select one of his favorite boxers, Sam Langford. Able to fight defensively or to go all-out knockout, Ken was able to use his experience to handily outpoint Charles Severance with James Jeffries in the first round, and then Gordon in succession.

Against Dennis, however, Ken couldn't come up with the KO he needed, and eventually lost out in the sledgehammer fist contest. A nasty cut reduced Langford's control factor, and Ken was unable to overcome the scoring deficit. The big question now seemed to be, would Dempsey win two years in a row?

The other half of the draw held a lot of surprises. British pride was upheld when John Ellman (who runs the excellent March Madness event year after year), almost by sheer force of will, steered Bob Fitzsimmons (the last undisputed British heavyweight champ) to a win over Harry Flawd (with Gene Tunney). For this, John won the Biggest Upset Award for the event, a prize of the book "King of the World : Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero" by David Remnick. John's success was short-lived, however, as he fell immediately afterwards to Marshall Collins, who understands how to use a class boxer in the TBT system. Marshall also defeated Chris Bauch (Ezzard Charles), in an battle of two precision punchers.

In the lower half of the draw, Terry Coleman pulled a mild upset with Joe Jeannette over Chris Nolan and Joe Frazier. But the wildest bout of the tournament had defending champ Jim Bell taking on Bruno Passacatando (with Rocky Marciano). Jim was one of the last people to select a boxer. So, he picked a lower-rated boxer, Cleveland Williams, in order to benefit from the
handicapping rules used at the event. Jim was leading on all scorecards, and he had knocked down Bruno's boxer twice, while suffering a bad cut and a knockdown of his own...when Marciano's fists finally landed enough to give Bruno a TKO victory in the late rounds.

Kissing the canvas became a theme for Bruno, who had to get up off the mat ten times during the tournament. Marciano trailed in every single fight, but Bruno kept his calm through a tight quarterfinal, outpointing Terry Coleman, and swept three of the last four rounds in defeating Marshall in the semis (meaning that no one has yet won this event with Jack Johnson).

The final was a wild affair, with both boxers falling to the mat more than once. Dennis' boxer, Dempsey, soldiered on with an incredible seven cut points, and despite this, was well ahead on all the judges' score cards. After knockdowns, intentional butts, more cuts, and hits that would have stopped lesser men, Bruce finally landed one big bomb too many, and Dennis was denied his second Title Bout crown.

Lower-rated boxers gained a free point in each round, and if there was a big enough gap in ratings, the lesser boxer won close rounds (the "hometown rule). The handicapping resulted in a lot of close games, and seemed to be well-received. Marciano's victory made for four different winning boxers in the last four years -- a good indicator of play-balance.

The final tally of victories gave a slight edge to boxers over sluggers 8-7. However, the two finalists were both sluggers, so draw your own conclusions.

 GM      Terry Coleman [2nd Year]  NA
    NA   NA

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