Posts Tagged ‘Sakio Bika’

Kell Brook vs Shawn Porter

Photo Credit: Esther Lin/Showtime

CARSON, CA — A 10 year championship wait has ended. Kell Brook’s journey to a world title paid off last fight with a hard-fought majority decision win (117-111, 116-112, 114-114) over Shawn Porter, putting Brook in the discussion for showdowns with all top fighters in the welterweight division. It wasn’t an easy fight (or a particularly aesthetically pleasing one most of the time), but Brook showed to be unflappable under Porter’s constant reckless rushes and haymaker shots. How did Brook do it? Let’s review…

 

A FAST PACE, BUT NOT ON PORTER’S TERMS: As expected, Porter came out with a frenetic pace, leading to lots of awkward tie-ups and indiscriminate clubbing inside shots from both guys. But, there was a distinct difference between this pace and what Porter did with Devon Alexander and Paulie Malignaggi — Porter wasn’t able to have his way inside. Those aforementioned fighters found themselves being walked backward and bullied. Brook was able at times to walk and push Porter backward, leaving just enough room for Brook to land flush lead jabs and rights hands (one of the latter shots punctuated the end of the first and knocked Porter right into his corner).

A few people on Twitter expressed their displeasure at Brook’s holding whenever Porter got inside, but from my view the holding wasn’t enough to negate Brook’s punch accuracy. And even when they did get off shots in close, Brook’s work was normally better, most notably seen in the seventh when he briefly stunned and stumbled Porter with a deceptive right uppercut.

 

UK DURABLE: Due to the Carson Jones fights and even Senchenko briefly hurting Brook in his last fight, many thought Special K wouldn’t be able to physically hold up under Porter’s mauling. In the second round, Brook was already cut above the left eye due to an accidental butt. The cut wouldn’t be a factor, and ironically it was Brook who dealt with his cut better — Porter would get one above his right eye in the later rounds that left half his face wearing the crimson mask.

Kell Brook vs Shawn Porter

NO PLAN B: I interviewed both fighters last week. The most telling comment came from Porter, who said Brook was just a basic fighter, an opponent that would be less trouble than Alexander or Malignaggi. The one who ended up looking basic was Porter, who was completely lost once Brook’s clinching nullified his mauling. Anytime there was space between them, Brook made him pay with left jabs and right crosses. And although Porter was never close to going down, Brook’s heavy shots did put him in complete retreat several times during the night.

 

KHAN UPSTAGED: Remember a few years ago when Amir Khan told Brook that he needs to fight some elite competition before mentioning his name? Well, Brook’s win over Porter surpasses anything Khan as done at welterweight. He made sure to take a little dig at Khan in his post-fight interview, proclaiming himself the best UK fighter at welterweight.

“I’m ready for a mega, mega fight next,”declared Brook.”I’ll take on Keith Thurman or Floyd Mayweather. Amir Khan should get in queue now. I’m the world champion now so they’re all going to want to fight me.”

To his credit, Brook told me personally he likes Thurman’s style and feels they can make a great fight. I agree, and a fight like that would be perfect for turning Brook into a boogeyman for young US fighters. And if Khan does take and get past Robert Guerrero in November, Brook vs. Khan in the UK does great numbers.

 

DIRRELL NOTCHES WORLD TITLE WIN:  Anthony Dirrell became the first Dirrell brother to win a world title with a clear unanimous decision win over Sakio Bika (114-113, 116-111 and 117-110). No one really has it easy with Bika, but Dirrell at times made it look so with how often he was able to drill the Aussie veteran. It was still an absolutely ugly fight with referee Jack Reiss flat-out telling the guys they were looking like “shit” early with all the grabbing and fouls.

At 35, Bika finally appears to be slowing down. He didn’t have the stamina we usually see in the later rounds. This allowed Dirrell to stay off the ropes and outbox Bika at ring-center.

 












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Shawn Porter

Watch the live stream of today’s weigh-in between IBF titlist Shawn Porter and #1 contender Kell Brook, who do battle Saturday August 16 at the StubHub Center.

The weigh-in also feature the two undercard bouts of Anthony Dirrell vs. Sakio Bika, and Omar Figueroa vs. Daniel Estrada.

If boxing has taught us anything, it’s that you can accomplish a lot in just three minutes. You can turn your life around and win everything, or lose focus for just a split second and become one with misery and despair. These selected rounds provided many of the boxing’s most thrilling moments in 2013 and reminded us why the Sweet Science is the sport where no lead is safe, down to very last second.

 

HONORABLE MENTION

Sakio Bika, Marco A. Periban

SAKIO BIKA VS. MARCO ANTONIO PERIBAN, ROUND 12

No one, and I mean NO ONE, has an easy night with Sakio Bika. Just ask then-undefeated Marco Antonio Periban, who took a cut forehead into the final round of this title challenge. Periban went through abolsute hell in taking massive hooks from Bika and landed his own arsenal of shots. As of right now, the entire round (and fight, for that matter), isn’t readily available online. But watch the below clip to get an idea of the brutality.

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Kirkland_Tapia

5. JAMES KIRKLAND VS. GLEN TAPIA, ROUND 3

Kirkland had eaten some hellacious shots in the first and started to warm up to the task in the closing minute and second round. The third round is the one where Kirkland and Tapia where at their peaks of throwing their best with bad intentions. After this career-shortening three minutes, you can start to see the toll it took on Tapia. This stanza just shades the second round.

(16:05 MARK)

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Daniel Geale and Darren Barker

4. DANIEL GEALE VS. DARREN BARKER, ROUND 6

Without question, this was the most inspirational rise from a knockdown seen in some time. Barker was dropped hard by a body shot and couldn’t breathe. 99.9% of the time, fighters stay down. But Barker, who dedicated the fight to his daughter and brother (the latter dying a few years earlier in a tragic car accident), shut out the pain and rose to beat the count.

Referee Eddie Cotton yelled “Show me something!” as Barker looked defenseless and almost turned away in submission as Geale hammered him on the ropes. Barker summoned more strength to throw haymakers which shocked and backed off Geale, driving the crowd into a frenzy. Barker’s gallant stand drove him over the second half to pull out a hard-fought split decision

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Bradley_Provodnikov

3. RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV VS. TIM BRADLEY, ROUNDS 2, 6, AND 12

Take your pick from these nine minutes of BeatsBoxingMayhem’s Fight of the Year. Bradley fought on instinct these rounds, relying on his conditioning to see him through the concussive right hands Provodnikov was landing.

(7:28, 23:28 AND 47:30 MARKS)

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Arakawa_Figueroa

2. OMAR FIGUEROA VS. NIHITO ARAKAWA, ROUND 3

A young aggressive volume puncher vs. an iron-willed veteran with a strong chin. That recipe brought us the best round of sustained action seen this year. Simply amazing.

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Molina_Bey

1. JOHN MOLINA VS. MICKEY BEY, ROUND 10

Martin Scorsese couldn’t have written a better ending. The round started with one fighter looking to close the show in emphatic fashion. It end with that same fighter desperately trying to fend off finishing blows. A great round with a breath-taking, definitive ending. Make sure to watch Floyd Mayweather and Leonard Ellerbe’s reactions in the front row.

009 Judah and Malignaggi face off IMG_0565

Catch the weigh-in for tomorrow’s Showtime Sports/Golden Boy quadruple-header with Paulie Malignaggi facing Zab Judah in the main event of a all-Brooklyn showdown. The weigh-in for the undercard includes three title bouts: Devon Alexander (IBF) defending against Shawn Porter, Erislandy Lara defending his interim WBA Super Welterweight belt against Austin Trout ,and Sakio Bika putting his WBC Super Middleweight crown on the line against Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell.

The weigh-in stream opens at 2:45 p.m. ET with fighters hitting the scale promptly at 3 p.m. ET. The card airs Saturday night (December 7) at 8 p.m. ET.

01 Malignaggi IMG_9634

NEW YORK CITY, NY — Paulie Malignaggi and a host of undercard fighters completed their final media workouts yesterday before this Saturday’s Showtime quadruple-header featuring Paulie’s “Battle for Brooklyn” against Zab Judah. Below are selected photos and quotes recapping the event. The card airs at 8 p.m. ET.

Photo Credits: Tom Casino/Showtime

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PAULIE MALIGNAGGI

I expect the best Zab Judah. [I expect] a Zab Judah who is going to be fighting for his boxing career.  I feel the same way.

If we saw each other in the gym, we would try to knock each other out. There’s no love taps. With this much on the line you can bet we’re both going to have it out on Saturday.

You have to be stubborn to have longevity. One or two losses can quickly demote you to a second level fighter, but you have to have the stubbornness to keep going.

There’s a lot of emotion, but at the end of the day we gotta do what we gotta do to win.

I want that Broner vs. Maidana winner, first things first. I have to get through Saturday night.

A win over Zab Judah is what I want for Christmas. That suffices.

03 Malignaggi IMG_9829

It’s exciting every time you’re part of a big promotion, it’s not a world championship fight, but it still has that feel and that vibe. On Saturday night it will feel like it’s a championship fight in Barclays Center.

We’re both motivated to win, but when you’re at this level anything can get you motivated for a fight like this.

If you’re not motivated for this, you better check your pulse to make sure you’re alive.

 

08 Alexander IMG_9576

DEVON ALEXANDER

This time, I’m putting myself in Porter’s shoes, I know what its like to get excited for a world title match. His skills are limited and I’m going to come to fight.

I feel good fighting here [in Brooklyn].  It is  my second time and it definitely feels like home. They’re definitely bringing boxing back to Brooklyn.

I’ve been in camp all this time. I’m back to normal and Saturday night you’ll see it.

You can expect me to win and be explosive. I’m going to be smart and get the win. I know Shawn is hungry.   I was in that position and now I’m in this position.

I’m already there and I’m not losing to anybody.

I’ve been blessed too much to want something for Christmas. I’ll be giving this year.

After this fight we can expect bigger and better things. I’ll be a major player at 147. Whoever steps up to the plate next I’ll fight them too.

Whichever fight is available after this, that’s the one I’m taking.

 

07 Porter IMG_9097

SHAWN PORTER 

There’s a lot of excitement period.  this is the biggest fight of my career. The week is here.

We worked extremely hard this camp working on the mental and physical aspects of this fight.

We pushed hard to beat the champ.

We worked my heart out. We did 18 rounds in the gym.

We’re going to mix it up. I’ve seen a few of his [Alexander’s] fights. He’s going to scrap. He’s been booed but he won’t be booed on Saturday night.  He’ll come ready.

06 Lara IMG_9151

ERISLANDY LARA

My training went well and I’m ready to go. Dirrell talks too much.  He’s all talk and no show.

I’m a solid fighter with skills and I’m at the top of my division.

On Saturday night it will be the better boxer, better puncher and more intelligent fighter.

On Saturday night we are going to see who has the bigger heart and bigger balls.

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SAKIO BIKA 

I feel good and I want to show the people at Barclays Center that I am one of the best.

I want Barclays Center to become my second home.

I feel happy to be back in New York.

It’s going to be a good night for St. Louis. Everything we did there was good.

I’m looking to maintaining my record and win this fight.

09 Dirrell IMG_9370

ANTHONY DIRRELL

It feels great to fight at Barclays Center. It feels good to be on a big card.

I’m experienced too.  I’ve been doing it twenty years. I just know I’m an athlete I can do it all. That’s my plan, do what I want to do.

I’m going to go in and do what I need to do to win.

This is one of the hardest training camps I’ve had and I’m ready.

10 Ali IMG_9012

SADAM ALI 

My last fight was here and I want to keep boxing in Brooklyn alive.

I want to become a Barclays Center staple.  It’s always exciting to fight there.

I fought 200 amateur fights and waited for the right opportunity and the right people to get me here.

I felt a little rusty in September fighting an awkward fighter, but I feel back to normal now.

11 Browne IMG_9245

MARCUS BROWNE 

I’m ready to show my growth from the last fight and put on a show.

I like to have fun and make it look easy. I’m not trying to go eight rounds.

I want to end my year on a good note and progress into 2014.

My training was great, I was on weight a month and a half ago because I never got out of the gym.

[Regarding his opponent Kevin Engel] “He’s tall and a righty. Past fights can be deceiving, but he didn’t look fast. I’m going to use that to my advantage and work my speed.

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Judah vs. Malignaggi is a 12-round fight for the NABF and NABO Welterweight titles taking place on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.  The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Super Judah Promotions and sponsored by Corona, AT&T, Grudge Match and Casamigos Tequila. In the co-featured bout, Devon Alexander puts his IBF welterweight title on the line in a 12-round bout against Shawn Porter, Erislandy Lara defends his interim WBA Super Welterweight title in a 12-round fight against Austin Trout and Sakio Bika defends his WBC Super Middleweight title against Anthony Dirrell in a 12-round bout.  The SHOWTIME telecast begins at 8:00 p.m. ET/ 5:00 p.m PT immediately following ALL ACCESS: Broner vs. Maidana which begins at 7:30 p.m. ET/ 4:30 p.m. PT. The telecast will be available in Spanish via secondary audio programming (SAP). 

Broner_Rees

Last night’s HBO main event between Adrien Broner and Gavin Rees was deemed a mismatch and that soon became clear with Broner needing just just five rounds to overwhelm the much smaller Rees in route to a TKO stoppage.

Maybe the 80-1 odds against Rees were a little harsh, but once Broner found Rees’s rhythm in the third it was just a matter of time. Nonetheless, Rees made good on a few of his prefight predictions and showed why we shouldn’t think Broner will just waltz to the top of the Pound4Pound rankings.

REES’S GAME PLAN AND CRITIQUES: Gavin Rees said beforehand that Broner’s recent record was made up mostly of guys who stood in front of him flat-footed. Rees showed the success a fighter he can have when they give Broner angles. Rees used upper body movement in the first two rounds to evade Broner’s shots while ripping his own to the body. In addition, he reminded everyone that timing works just as good as speed when he was able to punch with Broner to land left hooks.

Unfortunately, it was a game plan that Rees just didn’t have the physical dimensions or skill to keep up for long. Broner started to time Rees with his own left hook and head-jarring lead right potshots. The gulf in punching power was massive as Rees’s shots seemed to do little more then annoy while Broner’s clean shots to the body and head had a visible damaging effect.

Two big knockdowns off a right uppercut and the other from a slashing left hook to the body had Rees reduced to hapless displays of taunting bravado by the fifth round. His trainer Gary Lockett rightly threw in the towel to end the beating, and Rees had high praise for the man he previously called an “arrogant prick.”

“He’s [Broner] the best I have ever been in [the ring] with,” said Rees. ‘It’s not a case of whether he will go on to be a super star… he is already there. I made a lot of mistakes and I believe I have a better skill set than that.”

“I knew he [Broner] hit hard, but his power just stunned me. I got reckless and that was the end of the night, but I was always going to get back up. I would have gone on until I was knocked out cold. I disagree with Gary pulling me out, but he knows that I would have gotten hurt. We are good friends and he was just looking out for me.”

BRONER’S QUESTION MARKS: Broner looked to be two weight classes bigger than Rees last night so it stands to believe his days at lightweight are numbered. Once he moves up to 140, here are the questions that we need to see answered.

1. Fighters His Size. Broner has proven to be a legit puncher at lightweight, but will it translate on fighters he doesn’t have a distinct weight advantage over?

2. Dealing with Speed and Pressure. Broner has destroyed the pressure fighters he’s faced thus far at lightweight. Rees correctly pointed out they simply came at him head-first. At 140 there are pressure fighters who are much more craftier in their attacks in addition to possessing heavy hands. Guys like Lucas Matthysse and Brandon Rios would connect just as Rees as able to do. Does Broner’s chin hold up? Would Broner be able to outbox a guy like Lamont Peterson, who would keep coming all night?

On the speed end, the guy that stands out who could match Broner at 140 is Amir Khan. Rees over those first two rounds made Broner reach with his punches. Unfortunately, Rees’s short reach prevented him from really being able to counter. How Broner’s defense holds up under faster hands would be intriguing.

BRONER’S LAST LIGHTWEIGHT BUSINESS: Before leaving the lightweight division, Adrien Broner has one more assignment. The WBO (Ricky Burns) and IBF titlists (Miguel Angel Vazquez) will face off to unify their belts on March 16. With the WBA strap being vacant, the winner of that matchup should be Broner’s #1 target by the summer. Either one is a tough assignment (with Vazquez maybe being a bit trickier because of his running tendencies). Burns is the favorite to beat Vazquez, but let Broner tell it at last night’s post-fight press conference, Burns is another night of easy work.

“If I fought Ricky Burns, he would get burnt out,” he boasted. “I want to fight him, but if he doesn’t want to fight me. Oh well.”

Broner made an offer to Burns to be last night’s opponent, but the low money made little sense considering Burns has a considerably bigger fanbase in the UK. We’ll see how much money becomes an issue in sealing this one should Burns get by Vazquez.

BIKA DOMINATES: With new trainer Kevin Cunningham in his corner, a more patient Sakio Bika had an easy time outboxing (!) Nikola Sjekloca. Bika worked behind the jab and did his best work inside with vicious body shots. The issue was after about the sixth, you felt like Bika wasn’t upping his output to knock out Sjekloca. The crowd began to share those sentiments and boo despite the bout having solid to decent action in most rounds. Funnily enough, this fight has made Bika the #1 contender to Andre Ward’s title. Ward already holds a tough (but clear) victory over Sakio. I don’t think there’s any doubt that a rematch will not be happening. Whenever Bika gets his next title shot, it’ll be his fifth crack at a super-middleweight strap.

Let’s hear you thoughts. Are you convinced that Broner is a “problem” that no one at lightweight and junio welterweight will be able to solve?

FULL FIGHT LINK

Andre Ward used his skill, toughness, and own foul tactics to overcome any equally rough Sakio Bika to take a clear, but grueling unanimous decision.

Ward, who bullied his two previous Super Six opponents in Mikkel Kessler and Allan Green, appeared flustered in the beginning by Bika’s rough-house tactics. Ward complained of headclashes up close, and found himself getting thrown around in clinches. Whenever there was space, Ward was able to work the jab on the slower Bika. In the third round, Bika has very nice moment where he raked Ward with five hooks to the body while in a clinch.

Ward settled down by the fourth, and began working his offense from mid-range. A Ward left hook stunned Bika, and the South African mauler responded with a hard right hook. The two men briefly brawled, with both refusing to retreat. In the fifth round, Ward tried to gain further respect by timing a clean right hook. Bika simply walked through it, and crashed home a left hook. The infighting continued to be punishing, with neither fighter gaining a significant advantage. However, Ward nicked the round with a clean 1-2 in the closing 30 seconds.

The sixth went to Bika, who was way more active in the clinches with body shots. The seventh stanza proved to be pivotal for the champion. Andre Ward, cut over both eyes and bruised, began to maul Bika with short elbows and butts. Bika, notorious throughout his career for fouls, began complaining to the ref in vain. While nearly all of Ward’s shots were glancing blows, he controlled the round and prevented Bika from mounting any serious offense.

The ninth round signaled that Andre Ward had complete control. The referee warned Bika for an elbow. Ward showed his savvy by responding with a blatant elbow of his own against the ropes that the referee missed. The foul stunned Bika, and Ward pressed his infighting to take the round.

Sakio Bika was desperate in the championship rounds, but simply didn’t have the offensive arsenal or defense to turn the tide. Andre Ward mixed up his attack with infighting and boxing, leaving Bika tentative and unsure of what was coming next. Each fighter’s face wore the damage of a ugly, foul-filled fight going into the 12th. Both were warned for fouls, a humorous development considering the referee’s stance came too late to have much bearing. Bika was more active in the clinches, but his strong finish came too late to alter the inevitable decision.

Fighting his third consecutive fight in his Oakland hometown, Andre Ward got wider scores than the fight would imply (120-108 , and 118-110 twice for Ward).

Ward acknowledged the bout wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. At the same time, the Oakland native explained what he went through was essential to his development as a fighter.

“Personally, I love to win and look good doing it. But these kind of fights are necessary, fighting a tough, rugged guy like Bika and finding a way to get the job done,” Ward said. “We knew he was going to bring it. But you have to get through this if you’re going to be great. I’m far from it, but I’m trying to get there.”

Next, Andre Ward will defend his WBA super-middleweight title against Arthur Abraham in the Super Six semi-finals. Ward remains the tournament leader with six points, and believes Abraham, who lost badly last night to Carl Froch, has hit a wall regarding his potential to improve this late in his career.

“I think it’s definitely a downside for him, and it may be too late to change that,” Ward explained. “How can you if you’ve done that all these years, and been a champion and been successful? How can you change now? I think he’ll be the same old Abraham.”

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Somewhere, Bernard Hopkins was smiling last night. Ward-Bika was the type of fight the Executioner made his name on. When the contest was announced, I wrote a piece talking about how Ward would be tested, and he sure was. Ward was cut over both eyes, and you could see the pain on his face in some of those clinches.

Andre Ward’s style isn’t for everyone. But no one will argue his talent, and now he’s proven he can take the rough-housing as well as give it.