Everybody knows that having a tattoo makes you an average of 1.5x tougher than people without tattoos. Just look at all the tough famous people who have them, like The Rock, David Beckham and Angelina Jolie. Well, mainly just The Rock.
So it should come as no surprise that professional boxers, who make their living based on their toughness already, would want to give it a little extra boost. But boxers aren’t always known for their good taste or restraint, and quite a few are now permanent monuments to that fact.
So without further ado, here are the seven worst tattoos in boxing:
Everything On Mike Tyson
The guy that designed the thing on Mike Tyson’s face is suing Warner Bros. for using it as a gag in “The Hangover 2.” If it were me, I’d probably go down the “deny all involvement” road, but each to their own. The sad thing is that the tribal thing on Iron Mike’s face isn’t the worst of his tattoos. He’s got Chairman Mao’s face on his right shoulder. Clearly he’s been reading The Little Red Book, where Mao clearly states: “All political power grows from the barrel of not giving a fuck about how stupid you look.” Opposite Mao, on his left shoulder, is Arthur Ashe. I see what he did there with that juxtaposition. Oh wait, I really don’t. Other highlights include Che Guevara and his ex-wife.
The Baby On Marcos Maidana’s Chest
OK, so this goes in in the category of “looks stupid, but adds to the bizarro scariness.” Maidana already had a weird, “ugly babyface” thing going on. Having a black-eyed baby on his chest just adds to that. His other tats include a skull that looks like it was done in jail by a blind man, a giant revolver and a naked babe/eight ball/dice design. Pretty standard. Would I want to have a freaky baby on my chest? No. Would I ever tell him I thought all this? Hell no.
Odlanier Solis’ Tank
Did Odlanier Solis watch one too many History Channel documentaries about the blitzkrieg? Do they even show them in Germany where he lives? How did he step away from the buffet for long enough to let a small child draw that on his back? I can’t quite make out the writing, but I’m pretty sure it says “no taste” or maybe “feed me.”
Cris Arreola’s Whole Body
Arreola is basically a stand-in for every boxer who has got heaps of terrible ink. Let’s start with “fear no man but god,” on his chest. God is not a man. That tattoo will be on his chest forever, and it doesn’t even make sense! Not to mention it’s surrounded by two cherubs even freakier than Marcos Maidana’s. I’m not going to quibble with the face of his wife, but the rest of him is a mess. He’s got spider webs, shooting flames, a dead mate and some skeletal shit. Pick a theme and stick with it son! And then get a logician to check it.
Kermit Cintron’s Anthropomorphic Puerto Rican Dog
Now, if there’s a modern boxer who needs a bit of help in the toughness department, it’s Cintron. But I don’t even know what to say about this. Look in the ring — Is it a man? Is it a dog? Is it a plane? No, it’s super Puerto Rican Dog Boxer Man! I’ve got a mate with a similar design, but it’s a kangaroo and Australian. Now that makes sense. A dog is just ridiculous.
Johnny Tapia’s Freaky Chest
Johnny Tapia’s Jesus on a cloud design takes stock standard Mexican Christian tattoos to the extreme. Bad position choice though. It looks like Senor Jesus is his sternum, and the rays of light beaming out from him are his ribs. The whole thing has a kind of skeletal, fleshy vibe and I’m pretty sure he was going for a holy, cathedralish one. At least his cherubs are less scary than Marcos’ or Cris’. “Mi vida loca” is pretty apt though, I wonder what el Senor thinks of Tapia’s well publicised drug problem.
Kelly Pavlik’s New Ink
Surely the ultimate example of the going crazy after losing and getting a whole bunch of tats thing, Kelly Pavlik has gone from “The Great White Hope,” to “That Kind of Splotchy Alcoholic Dude.” What has Kelly Pavlik done to himself? He’s got some kind of building on his chest, some guys saying “last call” on his back (not sure what the go is with that and Kelly’s issues with the sauce), a naked cherub thing and just a whole lot of general motleyness. There’s little more to be said, but Pavlik surely has to take the cake here.
(Next week: Boxing’s best tattoos.)