Archive for the ‘Fight Reports’ Category

Machado_Corrales

Photo Credit: Matt Heasley/ Golden Boy Promotions

VERONA, NY — Puerto Rico has a new world champion and a lineal one at that. Alberto Machado looked overmatched and outgunned before landing an eraser left hook to put down favorite Jezreel Corrales at the Turning Stone Casino.

Machado, who had never gone ten rounds nor faced a fighter of Corrales’ pedigree, struggled with his opponent’s explosiveness and wild attacks. But a glimmer of hope could be seen early on — Machado occasionally time a counter hook that would stop Corrales in his tracks.

It would be Machado who  first tasted the canvas in the fifth off a haymaker southpaw left. Machado weathered the storm and hurt Corrales badly with a short hook in the sixth. Corrales would hold on for the rest of the round, but the larger Machado extracted a price for this tactic by placing a forearm in Corrales’ throat every time.

After a tit for tat seventh with hard-fought but sloppy exchanges, Machado landed a short left hook that Corrales did not see coming. The champion slumped to the canvas and barely beat the count on unsteady legs. The referee ruled him unfit to canvas despite the protests.

After Corrales failed to make weight for this bout, I started to feel like maybe his Uchiyama victories were simply the result of being in the right place and at the right time against a declining champion. Since then he’s looked nothing like the guy some expected to be a force at super featherweight. He was floored twice by journeyman Robinson Castellanos and barely escaped with a technical decision win. Tonight, we was even more so reckless with his defense and attacks against Machado and it cost him dearly.

Corrales was vocal about wanting a rematch, but I don’t see how it’s feasible if he can’t make 130 safely. Plus, this bout wasn’t exactly eye-pleasing. The late exchanges and drama don’t make up for a first half mostly filled with awkward cliching and clumsy punching.

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UNDERCARD RESULTS

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DEMETRIUS ANDRADE UD12 ALANTEZ FOX: Andrade’s career-reboot continued last night with a lopsided unanimous decision. Fox was severly outclassed, landing less than 60 punches over the entire fight. While not an exciting bout, it was one that showed why most observers feel Andrade has untapped potential: length, punch accuracy and an excellent jab from the southpaw stance. Outside of a questionable knockdown, Andrade dominated. This was the first time he’s fought twice in a calendar year since 2013, so to state he needs to keep active is an understatement. With HBO’s backing, I’m expecting Andrade to be in the mix for bouts against the 160 elite by this time next year.

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RYAN BURNETT UD12 ZHANAT ZHAKIYANOV: This was a good fight to introduce U.S. fans to Ryan Burnett. The 25-year-old from Belfast, Ireland had a tough out against a bull of a fighter in Zhakiyanov, but the boxed well and battled in the trenches when necesssary. The scores rewarded his varied attack and skill (119-109, 118-110, 116-112). Now he’s a unified champion with the WBA and IBF super bantamweight titles. None of the top fighters in the division are locked up by the PBC or Showtime, so this is division, much like super flyweight, that HBO can showcase exclusively.

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LR_WBSS-FIGHT NIGHT-GASSIEV VS WLODARCZYK-TRAPPFOTOS-10212017-3539

Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/ Ringstar Sports

NEWARK — Murat Gassiev ended the World Boxing Super Series quarter-finals with a crushing third round stoppage of Krzysztof Wlodarczyk at the Prudential Center.

Gassiev stalked his foe behind a tight guard from the opening bell. Wlodarczyk tried to implement a countering strategy off the backfoot, but his ponderous movement allowed Gassiev to cut the ring off and line up the right cross. With his opponent now focused on that punch, Gassiev uncorked a double left hook to the head and body that put Wlodarczyk flat on his face for the ten count.

“I had a great opponent tonight,” said Gassiev. “I prepared myself for a tough fight but it is boxing and anything can happen. We do a lot of work in the gym and I just listened to my coach round after round and he told me what I needed to do. That’s all I needed.”

Gassiev’s semi-final opponent is a fellow undefeated power-puncher and IBF titlist Yunier Dorticos, who knocked out Dmitry Kudryashov last month.

“Dorticos is a very good fighter with great experience,” said Gassiev. “He’s undefeated and I can’t wait to give all the boxing fans the big gift of a great fight against Dorticos.”

Dorticos, who believes Gassiev’s record is the product of weak opposition, vowed to add Gassiev’s WBA strap to his collection.

“I really wanted Gassiev to win, because he’s going to taste the power of a real man against me,” said Dorticos. “His opponent tonight was past his time. I’m ready to show him what a champion looks like and give him a challenge he’s never faced before. I want to take his belt. I want to get in the ring and destroy Gassiev.”

Gassiev improves his record to 25-0 (18 KOs). The semi-final unification matchup between Gassiev and Dorticos is targeted for early 2018.

RosadoTapia_Hoganphotos

Photo Credit: Derrick Hogan/ Hogan’s Photos

LAS VEGAS — In a clash of battle-weary veterans desperate for a career-reviving win, Gabriel Rosado made good on his vow to display his skills in dominating Glen Tapia with superb counter-punching in route to a sixth-round TKO at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino.

A pattern emerged quickly over the first three rounds. Tapia would start the round strong by scoring with the right hand and getting inside with hooks to the body. Rosado would weather the storm and hurt The Jersey Boy with counter rights over the jab and mix in sneaky left hooks. Rosado implemented this strategy off the backfoot but would come forward with combinations anytime Tapia was stunned or backpedaled (which was often).

By the fourth round, Rosado knew he had a lesser fighter in his domain and unleashed every right hand with bad intentions. Tapia’s attempts to hold were pushed off. In the fifth, he was trapped on the ropes and had his head repeatedly snapped back by vicious overhand rights. Going inside for Tapia now proved equally dangerous with Rosado mixing in uppercuts.

Tapia_beaten

The beating was written all over Tapia’s face — a growing hematoma on the left side of his forehead, bloody nose, and swollen lips. Referee Robert Byrd warned Tapia to “show him something” before the sixth.

The only thing Tapia could show was a fighter in need of being saved from himself. Rosado started the end with a lead left hook that exploited Tapia’s low guard. The latter staggered backward to the ropes and avoided a few follow-up rights before being sent to the canvas by another left hook. Tapia rose and tried to right back, but was rocked by several more rights before the bout was mercifully called.

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Tapia would be wise to officially retire. Now at 23-5, he’s lost four straight (two by stoppage). Should he continue fighting, it likely won’t be under the banner of Golden Boy Promotions. In a truly macabre irony, Rosado’s win gives him the mantle of Golden Boy’s goto veteran for the meat-grinder, meaning the name opponent for its fledgling prospects, and potentially a stay-busy future opponent for its big-punching stars in Canelo or David Lemieux (who stopped Rosado in 2014).

Last night’s win snaps Rosado’s two-fight losing streak (Willie Monroe Jr., Martin Murray) and improves his record to 24-11.

Charlo_Lubin_KO

Jermell Charlo told Erickson Lubin that he wasn’t ready. It would take the WBC super welterweight title-holder less than three minutes to make those words true as he scored a shocking one-punch KO.

What looked to be a feel-out round with each fighter probing jabs evaporated when the southpaw Lubin ducked a jab and ran blindly into a right uppercut. The shot crumpled Lubin sideways on the canvas, where the former Prospect of the Year convulsed rigidly in an unsettling, arms-outstretched pose. The referee killed the count midway to give Charlo the second successful defense of his title.

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There was a little drama afterward with Jermell claiming someone ringside threw a chair at his twin brother Jermall. In an emotionally-charged scene that resembled the aftermath of Jermall’s KO win over Julian Williams, Jermell yelled into the mic about taking on all comers and how Lubin was not in his league.

There are those who will be turned off by the Charlo’s “sore winner” antics. I’m not because it’s clear they take the prefight hype personally to fuel their fire inside the ring. You can’t argue with the results — both brothers are knocking out all comers, including wiping out fellow young guns that most observers predicted would give them tough fights (J-Rock, Lubin).

Like it or not, the Charlos are legit and a danger to any fighter competing from 154-160. You’ve been warned.

As for Lubin, this crushing defeat will start raising more questions about how the PBC has moved their prospects. For all his natural talent, Lubin didn’t have any competition to prepare him for a champion like Charlo. Not even a decent gatekeeper on the level of a Gabe Rosado or Vanes Martirosyan. He’s still young and probably more embarrassed than sustaining any significant physical damage, but you never know the psychological effects of that first defeat on a fighter.

 

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SAN ANTONIO — The quarterfinal World Boxing Super Series battle between punchers Yunier Dorticos and Dmitry Kudrayshov ended swiftly and in brutal fashion with Dorticos’s right hand earning him a second-round KO last night at the Alamodome.

The fighters spent much of the first round exchanging power shots behind high guards. Dorticos scored most of his points by penetrating the guard with straight and overhand rights. In contrast, Khudryashov exploited Dorticos’ high hands by going to the body with short hooks.

Dorticos started quickly in the second with clusters of power shots that forced Khudryashov to give ground and exchange for breathing room. Within a minute, Dorticos’ faster hands were controlling the action.

Khudryashov made the fatal mistake of throwing a lingering jab. Dorticos came over the top with a snapping overhand right that sent Khudryashov to the canvas. With eyes rolling and rubbery legs, Khudryashov was ruled unfit to continue with 51 seconds remaining.

The victory comes in Dorticos’ first bout since defeating Youri Kalenga by knockout in May 2016. He advances to the WBSS semifinals and will face the winner of Murat Gassiev (IBF champion) vs. Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, taking place on October 21.

 

 

Canelo and GGG Battle to Contentious Split Draw

Posted: September 17, 2017 by Ismael AbduSalaam in Fight Reports
Tags: , , , ,

 

Canelo_GGG_draw

LAS VEGAS — Leave it to one judge to screw up a great fight. Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin battled tooth and nail over 12 rounds in a highly competitive fight that was mired by judge Adalaide Byrd’s wide 118-110 scorecard for Canelo, creating a split draw decision.

In an eerie replay of the early rounds of Marvin Hagler vs. Sugar Ray Leonard 30 years ago, Golovkin was gunshy in the early round. This allowed Canelo to get off first at ring center with flashy combinations and jump out to a 3-0 lead on all scorecards.

From there, Golovkin became the stalking predator that’s made him famous.

Golovking upped the pressure and forced Canelo to the ropes with his jab. Canelo was visibly uncomfortable trying to maintain movement as Golovkin repeatedly cornered him and worked right hands around the guard. While Canelo did manage to occasionally back up Golovkin with hard counter shots, it was the middleweight champion’s pressure, jabs and right hands that consistently dominated the action through the ninth.

Sensing he was in a hole, Canelo dug deep in the championship rounds. Despite being fatigued, he exploded strategically with clusters of eye-catching power shots before retreating under Golovkin’s relentless pressure. This tactic proved to be a lifesaver as Canelo out-landed Golovkin in power shots over the last three rounds and swept them on the judges’ cards.

The close fight was correctly reflected in the scores of Dave Moretti (115-113) and Don Trella (114-114). But Byrd’s egregious 118-110 card made for the split draw. The crowd lustily booed the verdict and Canelo, who declared he won at least eight rounds. Golovkin chastised Canelo for “running” and affirmed his willingness for an immediate rematch.

The result marks a sour end to a superfight that was 18 months in the making and marketed as the antithesis of the “Mayweather-Gregor circus.”

****

Well, at least the people who bet on a draw get to clean up at the sportsbook. I’ll write more about this tomorrow, but let me close your evening with a few points.

  1. Adalaide Byrd should never judge another fight. She gave GGG two rounds.
  2. This verdict sullies Canelo’s reputation and paints him as a protected fighter. We’ve seen too much scoring favoritism in his high-level fights against Trout, Mayweather, Lara,  and now Golovkin. Getting booed out the building on Mexican Independence Day weekend says it all.
  3. I had GGG winning 115-113, but his stamina is becoming a concern at 35 years old. He never stopped the pressure after round three, but his punch output dropped heavily in the championship rounds, giving Canelo the wiggle room to escape with the 114-114 score.
  4. If you’re wondering why GGG looked so happy about arguably being robbed, keep in mind he’s thinking about another career-high payday in the rematch.

DiazRiveraWeighIn_Hoganphotos

Photo Credit: Hogan’s Photos

Joseph “JoJo” Diaz received a solid test but ultimately prevailed over last-minute replacement Rafael Rivera in the co-feature of the Canelo-Golovkin pay-per-view card.

The southpaw Diaz was the stalker and able to feint Rivera into straight lefts at mid-range. His offense became to wear down Rivera in the fourth, where Diaz stunned him with a right hook upstairs. But Rivera, undefeated himself, showed good power with his right hands that kept Diaz from overwhelming him.

Ultimately, Rivera’s lack of a consistent jab put him at a severe disadvantage. His offense came from dangerous lunges and waiting on Diaz for countering opportunities. Because of Diaz’s superior technical skill, those opportunities were minimal. The ninth round was particularly brutal as Diaz unleashed 35 power shots (many being uppercuts and hooks inside).

Final scorecards were 119-109 twice and 120-108. The win was a title eliminator for Gary Russell Jr.’s WBC featherweight title.