The Big Question: what's your favourite / the most bizarre ring entrance ever?

Boxing Monthly
09/08/2018 7:05am

Ukrainian lightweight Denys Berinchyk is making a habit of 'out there' ring entrances, such as the one above on a horse. We asked members of the Boxing Monthly online team about their favourite ring entrances, as well as the most bizarre they've seen...

 

I once saw a clip on YouTube from an unlicensed contest somewhere where the fighter was led out by an elderly Elvis impersonator, who swaggered to the ring and beat out a hip swivelling rendition of one of the King’s classics. He got pulverised in four rounds and ended the fight enveloped in the paternal arms of the jump-suited king of rock ‘n’ roll. Best of all was Homer 'The Brick Hit-House' Simpson in his brief cartoon boxing career, walking out to 'Why Can’t We Be Friends?' by 'War' ahead of his guaranteed annihilation at the hands of Mike Tyson caricature Drederick Tatum. The curmudgeon in me eschews the theatrical - Naseem Hamed and his magic carpet still leave me cold. Give me 'Iron' Mike Tyson’s stripped down ring walk anytime. Who needs gimmicks when you have a thousand yard stare and bad intentions that speak for themselves? - Garry White

 

My favourite ring entrance is Lewis vs Golota. Lewis fans had been on an agonising journey with Lennox, hoping he'd fulfil his potential. When he strode out to Sly and Robbie's funked up version of Ennio Morricone's 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' score, it was obvious Lewis was ready to stand up and be counted. Most bizarre? Wilbert 'Vampire' Johnson coming out in a coffin springs to mind. - Andrew Harrison

I liked Berinchyk's earlier ring entrance as a deathrow inmate, shackled and snarling in his prison orange overalls. But my
favourite has to be Arthur Abraham's bizarre Smurf entrance, replete with smurf hat, smurf theme song and, of
course, bikini-clad 'Smurfettes' spray-painted gold. It's a shame that he was ordered to cease and desist by Lawyer Smurf who determined he was breaching copyright by using the song and outfit. - Anthony Cocks

Floyd Mayweather being carried out on a throne against Arturo Gatti was brilliant and upset a lot of the crowd in attendance back in his lighter years. Seeing him walk out with the Burger King 'King' (and Justin Bieber) was a bit surreal against Manny Pacquiao, though, considering it was dubbed 'the Fight of the Century'! Ricky Hatton's 'Ricky Fatton' suit was great too and, of course, who can forget the immortal Usman Ahmed? - Lee Gormley

 

Favourite is Eubank vs Rocchigiani in Germany. Not the most bizarre but the ending to Monte Barrett's against Haye still gives me a laugh. Mayweather on the throne vs Gatti makes me cringe every time. - Shaun Brown

The most surreal entrance I've ever seen was Ghanian journeyman Issac Quaye coming into the overcrowded main banqueting hall in the cedar court hotel, Bradford, to the strains of 'Loyal' by Chris Brown. He was flanked by a huge entourage who carried a giant Ghanaian flag. The hotel in question isn't exactly top draw, and it was a fight against local boy Tasif Khan for something called the Global Boxing Union super flyweight title. He was booed out of the building (or room..) but the national pride on display was a sight to behold. On a more serious note, I echo Lewis with 'big payback', Hatton vs Tszyu, Hamed's flying carpet, and any Mike Tyson during his brief peak. - James Oddy

Usman Ahmed's ringwalk was funny within itself, but I think it was the fact that Ashley Sexton pole-axed him, sharpish, which made it even funnier (I'm sure I remember an early Johnny Nelson opponent/fight/scenario which was along the same lines as that, but being before the advent of the internet and youtube I haven't seen the footage in years).  I liked Monte Barrett tumbling over the top rope (poor sod) when facing David Haye.  Naseem Hamed had several good entrances - he got panned for the McCullough fight entrance with the tombstones, but I think my favourite of them was the flying carpet. However, for all the razzamatazz and showbiz side, I liked the menacing ring-walk.  It just shot 'fear' into the air.  I liked Andrew's pick of Lewis vs Golota (Lewis meant business that night), but in general I just think my pick has to be any 'Iron' Mike Tyson entrance during his run as heavyweight champ in the 80s. No music, small gang of entourage, and get to the ring quickly as the air turns 'sacrificial'. - Colin Harris

 

Mexican Jorge Arce rode to the ring on a horse too, if I remember correctly. There have been some great ring entrances down the years. But one of my personal favourites is Alvin Hayes wearing a mask and cape whilst doing the moonwalk to Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ before being KO’d in brutal fashion by Kronk lightweight Jimmy Paul on the undercard of Hearns vs Duran. Wilbert ‘Vampire’ Johnson might just take the award for best ever ring entrance though. At the height of his career he would have pall bearers carrying him to the ring in a coffin and then the casket would open slowly to reveal Johnson ‘awakening’ from a deep sleep before the fight began!  - Danny Winterbottom

I’ll go with the first thought to come to mind; Riddick 'Big Daddy' Bowe walking to the ring for the first Evander Holyfield fight to Phil Collins’ ‘In the air tonight’. As a huge fan of both fighters I vividly remember watching live as a kid with goose pimples in the early hours, as Bowe and manager Rock Newman walked in to the lyrics “I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life”. It was a lean, focussed Bowe and the ring-walk seemed to reveal exactly the right mix of focus and adrenaline. I loved Andrew’s pick of Lewis vs Golota and equally enjoyed Lewis’ choice of James Brown’s ‘The Payback’ for the Rahman rematch which – plug, plug - featured briefly in a BM piece I wrote about ring-walk music a couple of years ago   

 https://www.boxingmonthly.com/stories/now-thats-how-to-make-an-entrance/

 

Mike Tyson has been a popular choice among BM online colleagues and rightly so. I always found it interesting how the post-Douglas Tyson from 1990 onwards adopted similar no-nonsense entrances to his earlier incarnation, but the intimidation factor – from Steve ‘Crocodile’ Fitch shouting, co-managers dressed like old school gangsters or matching team Tyson ‘Kick ass’ baseball caps – seemed a little more conspicuous and forced than in the Kid Dynamite days. - Chris Williamson

 

Chris Eubank Sr rising on a crane before his fight with Henry Wharton and looking down on the Manchester crowd as if gazing upon hell itself (which it is for Scousers). - Mark Butcher.