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Pound for pound

[ 2009-07-31 15:59]     字号 [] [] []  
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Pound for poundReader question:

Please explain “pound-for-pound” in this passage:

But Chrome OS isn’t meant to be a pound-for-pound competitor to Windows. Though it's built on the Linux kernel, it’s really something brand new. In fact, when we look back 10 years from now, the debut of Google’s Chrome OS may well mark the moment when cloud computing finally became real.

My comments:

Pound-for-pound is a boxing term, meaning when a fighter’s actual weight (in pounds) is considered...

In pro boxing, fighters of similar weight are grouped together. This is only fair of course – not David vs. Goliath all the time, thank heaven – and we hence have heavyweights (those weighing 200 pounds or more), middleweights (154 pounds to 160 pounds) and featherweights (122 pounds to 126 pounds) and so forth.

It is easy to assess the prowess of two boxers of the same weight class. Just check their overall record and their head-to-head (between the two fighters) results. He who wins more bouts is the better fighter. However, if the two are from different weight classes, it becomes more difficult to assess which one is the better.

That’s where the term “pound-for-pound” comes into play.

Many pro fighters over the course of their career in fact fight in more than one weight classes. Evander Holyfield, for example, was originally a cruiserweight (175 to 200 pounds, the second heaviest class to the heavyweight) world champion. But he grew tired of fighting men of his own size. He therefore gained weight to move up to heavyweight.

The long and short of it is, Holyfield, who once had a piece of his ear bitten off by Mike Tyson, became the only man to win the heavyweight title four times – the great Mohammad Ali won thrice.

For his troubles, Holyfield earned the nickname “The Real Deal”, meaning this man is the real thing, a true champion.

Oh, pound for pound.

So therefore, as Holyfield weighs less than natural heavyweights, many contend that pound for pound, Holyfield is a better heavyweight than most. All things considered, with everything else being equal, in other words when all is said and done, each pound of meat Holyfield carries does more work.

Similarly, Allen Iverson, standing at 6 feet (1.83 meters) tall (or short – for a pro basketball player) and 180 lbs, is considered by many to be the best basketball player pound for pound. Michael Jordan, widely considered the greatest baller ever, is six inches taller (1.98 meters) and heavier.

Now let’s get back to the original question. When it’s argued that Google’s “Chrome OS isn’t meant to be a pound-for-pound competitor to Windows”, the author means to say that Google’s operating system is not in the exact same class as windows. That is, it is not meant to do exactly the same things Windows does. Therefore, it perhaps won’t pose a direct challenge the Microsoft system.

Anyways, here’s an article on Sugar Ray Robinson from a Philippines boxing website (PhilBoxing.com, March 5, 2009), offering an explanation as to the origin of “pound for pound”:

THE BEST POUND-FOR-POUND BOXER OF ALL TIME

Manny Pacquiao is the current pound-for-pound king as proclaimed by the authoritative Ring Magazine. Pound-for-pound is the term used popularly in boxing, as well as other combat sports like mixed martial arts, to show a fighter’s worth compared to other fighters of different weight classes.

Also closely associated with the term pound-for-pound is Floyd Mayweather, Jr. who retired while he was on top of the prestigious list. He is recently called to come out of retirement by Juan Manuel Marquez who presently is ranked number two pound-for-pound by The Ring Magazine.

Pound-for-pound is said to originate in order to describe Sugar Ray Robinson, considered one of the most successful boxers of all time. He was called the best pound-for-pound fighter without fighting much larger fighters, under the conviction that as a middleweight he can win against any combatant at heavier or lighter weights than him.

He was born Walker Smith Jr., but he is well-known as “Sugar” Ray Robinson. Born on May 3, 1921 in Ailey, Georgia, but raised in New York, it was in a Harlem gym that he got a taste of the sport he became famous for. Sugar Ray visited the gym regularly using a borrowed Amateur Athletic Union boxing card of a friend whose name was Ray Robinson.

His inborn talent in the ring began to get noticed. Coach George Gainford watched him box for the first time and observed that the young boxer’s clever technique and unpredictable motions were “sweet as sugar,” thus his nickname was born. Robinson was 85-0 as an amateur with 69 of the wins by way of knockout, 40 of them in the first round.

Robinson turned professional in 1940 at the age of 19 and by 1951 had a professional record of 128-1-2 with 84 knockouts. His supremacy included a 91 fight winning-streak. Robinson was the world welterweight champion from 1946 to 1951, and won the world middleweight title in the latter year.

He retired in 1952, but came back two and a half years later and regained the middleweight crown in 1955. He became the first boxer in history to win a divisional world championship five times by defeating Carmen Basilio in 1958 to regain once more the middleweight championship. A domineering power in the boxing ring for two decades, Sugar Ray was aged 38 when he won his last middleweight title.

Robinson was named “Fighter of the Year” twice in 1942, then in 1951. He engaged in 200 pro bouts and his professional career lasted nearly 26 years. He was never physically knocked out, although he had received one technical knockout. Altogether, he won with 109 KOs, and finished with a record of 175-19-6 with two no-decisions.

In 1997, The Ring magazine named Sugar Ray “pound for pound, the best boxer of all time.” In 1999, the Associated Press called him both the greatest welterweight and middleweight boxer of the century.

Robinson was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. He was voted as the greatest fighter of the 20th century by the Associated Press and the greatest boxer in history by ESPN.com in 2007. The Ring magazine rated him the best pound for pound boxer of all-time in 1997 and “Fighter of the Decade” for the 1950s.

Muhammad Ali called him “the king, the master, my idol.” Ali, who again and again called himself “The Greatest” throughout his career, ranked Robinson as the greatest boxer of all time. Other Hall of Famers including Joe Louis and Sugar Ray Leonard also considered Robinson the greatest fighter in boxing history.

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About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.

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