Super Middleweight Dennis Sharpe, The Bayonne Ringer!
Editorial By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
We have all heard of heavyweight Chuck Wepner, The Bayonne Bleeder, who made it into the 15th round with Muhammad Ali, and was the inspiration for the Rocky movies.
Chances are you have never heard of ‘The Bayonne Ringer’, an obscure middleweight named Dennis Sharpe of 16 years and 42 bouts professional experience, who will be fighting Marcus Willis at Six Bends in Fort Myers, Florida, on September 17, 2016.
To define the meaning of ‘ringer’, it means a professional boxer who intentionally loses a bout he or she is clearly and obviously capable of winning by innate ability and natural talent. Most boxers lack promoters, managers and sponsorship, and have to keep their day jobs. This means many boxers will take paycheck bouts unprepared fully for the task at hand. A sponsored well-prepared boxer has a six to eight week camp minimum preparing for a pro bout. A late substitute boxer rarely has time or sponsorship to enter a bout well-prepared. Still, many boxers train on their own, only to get inappropriately ‘robbed’ on the decision victory they rightly deserved. Ringers often get paid a ‘extra check’ in addition to the purse to insure they lose the bout. Some ringers appear in better shape than world champions. One such fighter, Peter Buckley in England, managed to fight 300 bouts for pay, losing 256 of them. Buckley magically won his retirement bout. Go figure.
Super middleweight Dennis Sharpe went undefeated in his first 20 professional bouts, including four draws, knocking out or stopping opponents Earl Allen, Osama Metwally, Ron Krull, and Don Labbe in four rounds or less. Then, as suddenly as he went undefeated in his first 20 bouts, Sharpe managed not to win his next 22 bouts, with one draw.
A trial horse ringer, Sharpe has managed to lose to world champions and top contenders such as Giovanni Lorenzo, James Kirkland, Pawel Wolak, Ronald Hearns, Andy Lee, James McGirt, Peter Quillin, and Deandre Latimore. Thirteen of Sharpe’s opponents had an incredible combined record of 156 wins, no losses, and two draws when he fought them!
It was not a mismatch on July 16, 2016, when Sharpe fought his first 10 round bout at age 41 against 21-5 Virginia southpaw super middleweight contender Frankie ‘Freight Train’ Filippone. Sharpe, a master of the dramatic dive, must not have been paid off, and fought all 10 rounds trying to win! The 10 round Norwalk hometown decision went to Filippone!