JD Chapman comeback continues


Unbeaten heavyweight JD “The Natural” Chapman (30-0, 26 KOs) continues his surprise comeback on Saturday when he takes on spoiler Terrell Jamal Woods (24-49-9, 17 KOs) at the River Valley Combat Academy in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

The 38-year-old Chapman returned to boxing on June 5 after a thirteen-year layoff. Before that, he was world-ranked by just about every sanctioning organization.

Despite Woods’ less-than-stellar record, he can sneak up on you, as evidenced by his recent draw with Alexander Ustinov.

“Jamal Woods is tough and will be a good test for me as I’m rusty and nowhere close to where I used to be,” said Chapman. “However, if I can’t go through guys like Jamal, I might as well hang up my gloves and retire for good this time.”

Promoter Edward Mendy added, “JD Chapman is the ‘Next Great American Hope.’ No offense to Deontay Wilder and Andy Ruiz, but no American heavyweight today has a better shot at the world title than Chapman Period. JD has the size, the power, the skills and the experience to take on any of the top five heavyweights today. I’m so pleased with his progress, I would gladly to put him up against any other top ten heavyweight today. But first, he has to pass the Wood test.”

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  • Woods has been the distance with many good fighters, and pulls the occasional upset. Learned about Woods from his KO win over Mike Ford. Several of the folks on a USF site I visit were following the boxing career of former USF Running Back Ford, who was 5-0 (4 KOs) when he fought Woods and was KO’d. Not sure what Chapman has left these days, but Woods might be a little tougher than his 24-49-9 record would suggest.

    • this guy fought so many easy fights, i had to check to see if i matched any of them lolol

  • Is American hevyweight boxing in such a bad state that JD Chapman is “THE Next Great American Hope”?…”no offense to Andy Ruiz and Deontay Wilder”, of course…none taken, I’m sure. I remember when JD Champman was active in his earlier incarnation as a fighter and was trained by Micheal Moorer. He built up a good record, fighting guys like his current opponent, then just sort of disappeared. Wonder why he left and why he’s coming back?

    • You do have some valid points. One may guess Chapman pursued other endeavors in life and when he took a hiatus from boxing maybe life settled, got boring, plans hit dead ends, and now it’s time to come back to feel the passion once again. At his advancing age time is not on his side and the risk of injury climbs. We can all agree that Chapman has a hill to climb to make it to the top of the heavyweight division. May be too late now….

    • From an article by Keith Terceira, originally in Boxing News in 2008:

      “Responding to the comments of Adam Booth, manager and trainer of Haye, who told UK media:

      ’He said: ‘I’m not coming to England to get knocked out,” Booth said. “This after agreeing a substantial amount of money.”

      Chapman maintains that was an outright lie, but does say he never agreed when signing his deal with Scott Hirsch to be sent to England as an opponent for short money after not fighting since February. He turned down the fight with Haye because of concerns having to do with his conditioning, training, and having to take a fight of this type on less than eight weeks notice.

      Furthermore Chapman is totally disgusted with the changes that have taken place within his team and the addition of Mike Borao, who was not privy to the original promises & plans laid out by Scott Hirsch when Hirsch was Chapman’s manager. A long term plan suddenly became a rush to a promotional payday and any discussion about a mid-six-figure offer was never passed on to John David Chapman.”

      “Hirsch later became Chapman’s promoter, and according to people close to Chapman – things changed with the relationship and communication.

      In conversations with friends, Chapman revealed today that he had not even spoke to Scott Hirsch in the three months prior to being told by phone on Monday that;

      “You are fighting David Haye for a hundred thousand dollars in November and had to be on a plane the following morning for a press conference in England.”

      After being repeatedly pressured and warned of dire consequences that would make things tough for him should he turn down the offer, Chapman felt the need to return to Arkansas and at this point he has little interest in anything related to boxing and is considering all of his options regarding his career.”

  • Since I know how much Y’all love belts, I’ll point out that JD Chapman was: Former USA Arkansas State Heavyweight Champion (defeated 5-18-1 Calvin Miller in a rematch to win that), former NABC Heavyweight Champion, and former World Boxing Council Latino Heavyweight Champion.

    Chapman’s resume reminds me of another Heavyweight from that era by the name of Faruq Saleem. Saleem was 6’7″, and was 38-0 (32 KOs) before he was stopped by a guy with a 3-4 record. Chapman’s competition level was a little tougher, but Saleem comes to mind when Chapman’s name pops up. Too bad they couldn’t arrange a bout between those two back then.

    Just curious, anybody ever see Saleem fight? I used to see his name kicked around from time to time, but there is literally zero footage of any of his fights.

    • I actually did see one of Saleem’s fights on TV back in 2002. The commentaters were touting him as a major prospect and I was wondering why. He was big and slothy as I recall and the guy he beat was even slower and slothier. In the interview after the fight he was calling out the Klitsko’s and Lennox Lewis, and I was thinking “either I am completely missing something, or this guy needs to get a grip”. Yeah, he too faded off into oblivion. He was from Newark, NJ

      • @Kris I used to watch A LOT of boxing when Saleem was active, and to this day I’ve never seen that dude fight. You’re description of him is about what I would have expected him to look like. There is only one clip of him that I could find, and it was just a post-fight interview on YouTube. He was calling out Klitschko and Sam Peter there. Too bad he didn’t get one of those fights. He would have made a lot more money getting KO’d by one of those two than he did getting KO’d by 3-4 Shawn McLean

        • He fought on an undercard on Fox Sports I believe it was. It was an all heavyweight card featuring up and coming heavies. It definitely wasn’t one of those HBO cards that featured young heavies in the 90’s. Remember when David Tua flattened Quiet Man Ruiz in like 30 seconds? Also Shannon Briggs got Ko’d by Darroll Wilson on that card. I’m rambling off point, but yes, that was in 1996, the Faruq Saleem card was in 2002 and on Network TV, or as Conan O’Brien would say, Basic Cable

          • Yep, remember both those fights very well. I remember Wilson getting in Briggs’ face after round 1, then knocking him out a couple rounds later. It was Briggs though who would go on to win a “major” belt, not Wilson . Same with Ruiz going on to win a belt and not Tua. Tua-Ibeabuchi was another excellent fight around that time.

            Now for my own rambling off point. I’m assuming you’ve seen the Leland Hardy-Ike Padilla fight? If not, YouTube that.
            Great fight. Hardy was a Stock Broker, Sports Agent, Founder and Chairman of Racial Bias Dot Org, Inc, was an actor and producer, and spoke something like six languages. Not your typical boxer. ABC World news did a feature story on him. It’s on YouTube.

          • No, never seen that fight. I vaguely remember Hardy. Was he a heavyweight?…Yeah that Tua-Ibeabuchi fight was a war in 1997 I believe. I think Ibeabuchi was the last heavyweight who was the complete package: had great footwork, great hand speed and power, size, and through combos. He would have been champion for sure if he weren’t such a nutcase.

          • OK- just saw it. Unbelievable fight-thanks! I do remember Hardy now, but I never saw that fight. Probably after that, he fought on the undercard of an HBO fight or something. Impressive dude! He had some serious skills and polish in the ring. I’m guessing he started late and never learned the finer points. He’s still around making moves!

          • Hardy weighed in at 196 for that fight, which was considered Heavyweight in those days (I believe the Cruiser limit was 190 at the time). He ended up with a 4-4-1 record, so he wasn’t all that great, but I’ll always remember that fight of his with Padilla. Absolutely great fight. He also knew when to get out of the sport. He had too many other options to continue taking punches.

            Too bad that Ibeabuchi couldn’t stay out of trouble. Would have been interesting seeing where his career went. Lewis was Champion when Ibeabuchi was active. That fight would have been interesting, but unfortunately the guy couldn’t stay out of trouble with the law. The guy could have made some serious money in his career.

          • Hardy was definitely skilled and you said, but his inability to take a punch prevented him from going very far. Too bad. The guy was fun to watch.

  • If JD is a “great fighter” then maybe I oughta give it a try. And I’m going on 81 yrs young. No offense to JD, but I kinda doubt he’d have been a heavyweight champ in any era.

    • It’s awesome to have an octogenarian chiming in! You’ve seen boxing at it’s absolute finest!

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