What is it about the sweet science and singing? Pugilists gravitate to the mike with alarming frequency. Witness Roy Jones Jr., who's set to release his debut rap album, Round One, in May. Here's a one-to five-glove rating of some other warbling warriors.
After his boxing career the Raging Bull opened a Miami nightclub, where he often sang standards. He also appeared onstage in a Broadway production of Guys and Dolls; Walter Winchell called his performance "surprisingly good." Crooner rating:[2 Punching Gloves with Mike]
Joe Frazier (left)
Played gigs from Atlantic City to Las Vegas in the 1960s and 70s, first as the front man of Joe Frazier and the Knockouts and later with Smokin' Joe's Revue. In February 1977, The New York Times said, "He has a warm and pleasant voice and an easy, gracious manner." Crooner rating:[4 Punching Gloves with Mike]
Dueled with Frazier in the Battle of the Singing Heavyweight Champs in June 1987 in Atlantic City. Holmes opened with the rap Boxing Politics. Sample lyrics: "I trained real hard/To do the job/But I got robbed.... Everybody knows I beat Spinks/Everybody knows boxing stinks." Crooner rating:[1 Punching Glove with Mike]
Oscar De La Hoya (right)
His eponymous album, which blends romantic pop numbers with ballads in English and Spanish, was released last year. Said Billboard, "A surprisingly pleasing experience, with more expressed talent than any number of successful artists." De La Hoya is up for a Grammy next week for Best Latin Pop Album. Crooner rating:[5 Punching Gloves with Mike]