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Title Fight 2001 for the PC
Excellent Detail
Intelligent Ratings
Lacks Polish
Limited Management

Computer boxing sims have been few and far between over the years. Flashes of gold has been found in the murky depths of fight gaming of the past however, from the ground breaking polygon based 4D boxing and the Atari ST's World Championship Boxing Manager to the console hit KO Kings 2001 on the Playstation. It now appears Title Fight 2001 will become the new star of the PC boxing ring, boasting perhaps the most accurate boxing simulation ever. TF2001, which took over two years to implement and fine tune provides the gamer with a whole boxing world of matchmaking, training, pre-fight and in-fight management, fight card organization, purses and even a touch of Las Vegas gambling - but that is just the tip of a very large iceberg. Either match together two legends of the past (There are literally thousands of them from 17 weight classes!) or create your own fight world with their own names, styles, boxing abilities and even temperament. 

The simulator allows for the matching up of fights across the weight divisions. Put together fights from different weight classes and TF2001 will make the sufficient adjustments to compensate for the weight differences - a nice touch. I had Tito Trinidad in a 3 round exhibition with heavyweight veteran Garing Lane and a swinging Lane took out Trinidad's legs with literally the only punch he landed in the 3 minutes. Trinidad up at 3 went on to make him pay and had Rudy Ortega jumping in between them waving it off 10 seconds before the 3 minutes were over.

All the major governing bodies (WBC, WBA, IBF) and as many others as you wish to add can be in the game. TF2001 also uses an intelligent ratings system based on performance points - not dissimilar to the IBO, so doing a Brian Nielsen and blitzing clubfighters and tomato cans will get a padded record, but your rise up the ratings will be a slow one. This may sound simple but so many other fight games have fallen short here. 

Title Fight 2001 is incredibly flexible, even down to changing the referees/cut mans/cornermans competency ratings. Selecting the venue of the fight is also to the gamers discretion and this in turn noticeably effects the purse and TV coverage of the fight card. Again a *very* nice touch. TV revenue provides fighters with an increased purse and training a fighter in one of five different areas has the media providing their pre fight reaction to its effectiveness and condition of the fighter before the bout. This all adds to the atmosphere of the game.

The game allows you to mould your own fight world, something that has never been sufficiently achieved in any of the other major boxing sims to date. So where is the challenge, you may ask? Well.before fight time toggle the "computer controlled opponent" and you go head to head with the computer AI, which doesn't just control the boxer, but uses the boxers corner to do its damnedest to get its guy's hand raised at the end of the fight (within the fighters and corners abilities of course).. and its smart. 

Tell your fighter to jab and move and the PC will much of time get his guy to press (although it might well be the fighter has other plans) or maybe your guy is home and dry going into the last round, then dont be surprised to see the computer get his fighter to go all out and seek the lucky punch.

The developers have brought across all the characteristics of the real life boxers nicely. I've already had Andrew Golota thrown out 3 times while working his corner. Which while frustrating, is very true to the volatile Poles boxing career. Such realism makes you realize TF2001 has certainly been designed by true fans and experts of the sport. The detail to not just the boxers, but the events surrounding a bout is very refreshing indeed.

The judges are excellent. Some are very different, giving their own sense of uncertainty, with their own preferences and perceptions of what is a won round. Judges are also subject to 'hometown favourites' and 'defending champion' bias which mystifies things further.

Each fight gives you a break down of the action in the round in terms of punches landed, knockdowns etc. Fight action is described by commentary and the ongoing fight report is pretty good fun. Alot of the text intelligently draws from what happened earlier in the fight, giving a true sense of realism. References back to earlier knowdowns and good/bad training are all touched upon during the fight.

Particular fun for me was to create an Olympics or local Golden Gloves championship for 16 of my leading (self generated) amateurs over four, two minute rounds. This is made possible by using the Tournament mode of TF2001. Which allows for 16, 8 or just 4 boxer brackets.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about TF2001 is the customization. Almost anything can be edited whether it be a fighters punch power right down to the likelihood of him fighting as a slugger/boxer or orthodox/southpaw. All this together with the realism, the ability to be the governing body, the manager, the match maker and the coach if you choose to be ...all make this one a little bit special.

With three updates already and a lively fan following behind it, it looks like Comp-U-Sports and the Trunzo brothers have come up with a winner to best even their previous creation, APBA Boxing which was released in 98. Graphical masterpiece it is not, so dont expect ground breaking visuals to test your new 64Mb graphics card. Hardened boxing junkies and statisticians however will simply love it!

For those wondering, Muhammad Ali outpointed Joe Louis over 15, but was dropped in the second round, Roy Jones stopped Felix Trinidad in the 12th and final round after being behind on points, De La Hola took a close decision over Ray Leonard, Hearns dropped Mosely in the 2nd and 3rd rounds and TKO'd him in the 8th and Lennox Lewis vs Mike Tyson... well .. I'll leave that for you to simulate for yourself...

Steele issues a warning to Golota
Trinidad takes it by unanimous decision
The New England Golden Gloves Tournament!
. . .
Pre Fight Rules
What The Papers Are Saying
Engineer Monzon vs Minter

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