Archive for the ‘Fight Reports’ Category

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LONDON — Welcome to the Anthony Joshua era. The undefeated fighter staked his claim to heavyweight supremacy by overcoming a sixth round knockdown to stop former undisputed champion and future Hall of Famer Wladimir Klitschko in 11 rounds before 90,000 rabid fans at Wembley Stadium.

Although Klitschko displayed spry footwork in the early rounds, it was Joshua who was the active puncher. The titlist kept Klitschko backpeadling with pushing jabs and overhand rights. However, Klitschko remained dangerous by catching most of those shots on the gloves and landed several strong right hands in the second and fourth.

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A dramatic fifth round saw Joshua storm out and hurt Klitschko with a clubbing right hand. He continued the blitzing assault to cut Klitschko over the left eye and score a knockdown. The challenger proved resilient by crashing in multiple left hooks to stun a fatigued Joshua to close the stanza.

It would be the patented Klitschko 1-2 followed by a left hook that produced the most perilous moment of Joshua’s career in round six. He was dropped early in the round and forced to survive off the backfoot as Klitschko pursued with lead hooks. Klitschko built his momentum further by controlling the action with a ramrod jab in rounds 7-8.

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Gradually, Joshua worked his way back into the fight. He outworked Klitshko in rounds 9-10 by focusing his attack on the body. However, Klitschko still was in a position to close the bout, as evidenced by a heavy right hand that punctuated the 10th.

Joshua seized the final advantage in the 11th by exploiting Klitschko’s clinching. He rocked the former champion with a vicious right uppercut that lead to another knockdown. Joshua quickly floored Klitschko again with a right hand for a third knockdown. Klitschko rose again but was trapped in a corner and unable to hold, forcing the referee to call the bout.

Joshua improves to 19-0 and is now the unified IBF and WBA champion. A rematch clause is in place. Should Klitschko not exercise it, Joshua named-checked domestic rival and lineal champion Tyson Fury as a potential opponent.

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo Credit: Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment

BROOKLYN, NY — When you’re the one taking punches, there’s only so many years you get in this fight game. Every jab to the face rattles the hourglass, the sand hastened with every left hook to the body. If we could see former title-holder Andre Berto’s hourglass, it’d be shattered in a thousand pieces following last night’s ninth-round stoppage defeat at the hands of bulldozer Shawn Porter.

At 33 years old and 13 years of professional fighting on his ledger, Berto is closer to retirement than his prime. He looked like it Saturday night. Porter had him grimacing in pain from every body shot, and looking to the ref for help every time Porter roughed him up instead of taking matters into his own hands.

At one point in the later rounds, Berto’s trainer Virgil Hunter asked him why he kept going to the ropes and allowing Porter to maul him without mercy.

“I don’t know,” said Berto, his speech heavy with resignation and despair.

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Round nine was marked the end of the fight and Berto’s career as a top contender. A clash of heads, one of numerous during the fight, dazed Berto had him careening into the ropes. The ref didn’t break the action, so Porter, which both eyes bleeding from previous butts, pounced with brutal haymakers. We’ve seen Berto get battered before on the ropes. Luis Collazo had him reeling several times in their 2009 classic. Victor Ortiz almost stopped him early in their consensus 2011 Fight of Year. Robert Guerrero brutalized him so bad that both eyes were grotesquely swollen. And Jesus Soto Karass capitalized on an injured, one-armed Berto to stop him in 2013.

But unlike those fights, the Andre Berto from last night was missing the will power from year’s past. In every one of the aftermentioned fights, Berto was highly competitive, either by scoring his own knockdowns or stinging his opponent with big shots. Last night looked like a high school senior bullying a freshman. The Andre Berto of year’s past fearlessly went out on his shield. The Berto of 2017, inactive for a year while seeking a lucrative fight (and getting it with over $1million for this bout), reached out to the ref with desperate eyes for salvation. He received it with a merciful stoppage.

Years from now, there won’t be any Hall of Fame debates about Berto. No tearful Jim Lampley reflections on HBO. And frankly, not much goodwill from fans who, perhaps unfairly, have come to view him as the poster boy for overpaid, protected fighters post-2000. But the less cynical will see a man who overachieved in the ring with classic fights, and in his pocketbook with multiple million-plus paydays, including the pinnacle by facing Floyd Mayweather in 2015.

Berto mentioned in his post-fight interview that he needs time to reflect with family before deciding his future in boxing. Maybe our final memory of Andre Berto will be the best one we can hope for any fighter — that he knew the right time to walk away.

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BROOKLYN, NY — WBC titlist Jermell Charlo ended an 11-month sabbatical with a one-sided technical knockout over Charles Hatley at the Barclays Center.

After suffering a cut above the left eye from a head clash in round two, Charlo took over by controlling Hatley with a stiff jab and right hands that exploited the challenger’s dangerous habit of moving straight back into punches.

A simple 1-2 floored Hatley in the third. Charlo upped the pressure and by the sixth, Hatley was forced to exchange just to survive. Hatley’s wide punches proved to be his undoing as Charlo drilled him with a straight right that ended the bout with a face-first knockdown.

The win is Charlo’s first defense of the WBC title he won last May against John Jackson. Charlo named IBF title-holder Jarrett Hurd as a potential next opponent.

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*UPDATE* 3:13AM – That’s all from fight night. More news from this night of boxing will be published on Sunday.

NEW YORK CITY — Tonight, BeatsBoxingMayhem will be live from Madison Square Garden providing live updates for every fight. Check back often here and on Twitter for commentary on the entire night of boxing.

GOLOVKIN GETS CONTROVERSIAL DECISION OVER JACOBS: This one lived up to the billing of “Big Drama Show.” There was high tension throughout the 12 rounds. Was Jacobs gaining momentum? Was Golovkin one shot away from ending it? I had Jacobs surging in the championship rounds to even it up at 104 headed into the 12th round.

The 12th was a clear GGG round; I felt Golovkin’s shots had more impact. That and the earlier knockdown (also controversial), was enough to give Golovkin a narrow 114-113 win on my card.

Neither guy’s stock should drop. GGG pressed the fight and attempted to walk down a much larger man with a dangerous punch. And Jacobs utilized a sound strategy of movement and switch-hitting to confuse Golovkin. If those boos directed at Golovkin during his post-fight interview are any indication, Jacobs will finally get some respect in his  hometown.

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RUNGVISAI STUNS CHOCOLATITO: What a war. Chocolatito was dropped by a balance shot to the body in the first, cut by a butt in the third, and facing the brute strength of a natural super flyweight. Gonzalez looked to be in trouble banging with the bigger man, but his accuracy and combinations got him back in it by the middle rounds.

From in the arena, I thought the critical mistake Chocolatito made came in the late rounds. I had him getting outworked in rounds 9-11, but sealing the deal with a strong 12th to take it 114-112. Instead, the judges had it 114-112 twice for Rungvisai and 113-113.

I couldn’t cosign the booing for Rungvisai. Yes, the favorite lost, but we got a great fight from both men. One thing that can’t be questioned is that Chocolatito is completely maxed out at this weight. This is around the age smaller fighters start to decline, so K2 needs to maximize the elite-level fights he has left, namely the Inoue and Estrada fights should Gonzalez get by Rungvisai in the rematch.

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CARLOS CUADRAS UD10 DAVID CARMONA: Carlos Cuadras’s decision win over David Carmona may have given Roman Gonzalez a blueprint for an easier rematch. The normally fleet-footed Cuadras opted for a more stationary approach that allowed him to counter with power. Unfortunately for Cuadras, he’s not used to leading, making for awkward exchanges and him lunging to initiate offense.

Cuadras never got out of first gear and it nearly cost him. In terms of excitement, the most interesting moments in the late rounds came from Carmona getting rough. He stunned Cuadras with a hard overhand right in the seventh and hurt him to the body in the eighth. Carmona also was the more active over the last two rounds. The judges saw it differently, giving Cuadras the unanimous decision with scores of97-93 twice and 96-94.

This Cuadras was a far-cry from the one we saw lump up Gonzalez last year. Maybe he underestimated Carmona. Whatever the reason, Cuadras better get it together before the inevitable Gonzalez rematch.

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RYAN MARTIN TKO8 BRYANT CRUZ: Ryan Martin improved his undefeated record with a dominant stoppage over Bryant Cruz. Martin used his size and reach advantage to keep the bout at mid-range where his size and reach allowed for repeated left hook counters and body work. Although Cruz remained scrappy, the punishment began visibly taking a toll in the fifth when he was hurt by a straight right.

The remaining action was one-way traffic with Cruz getting strafed any time he went to the ropes. It was this scenario in the eighth that put an end to the fight. Martin’s record improves to 18-0, 11 KOs.

 

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ANDY LEE UD8 DE’ANDRE LEATHERWOOD: 14 months of inactivity resulted in a disappointing return for veteran Andy Lee, who won a lackluster unanimous decision over unheralded De’Andre Leatherwood. Lee spent most of the fight waiting for big counter punching opportunities that never came. While Leatherwood’s output was equally low, the career journeyman did manage to land at least one or two clean right-hand counters per round that kept Lee cautious.

The crowd began letting both men have it just two minutes into the fight. Yells of “Wake up, Andy!” and ‘C’mon, Andy!” were heard periodically throughout the night from diehard supporters.

Sensing the fight slipping away, Lee took m0re chances in rounds 6-8. Lee got the better of their sporadic exchanges via his formidable left hand, but Leatherwood was never in serious danger. Nonetheless, Lee aggression was viewed favorably by the judges, and he won the decision via scores of 80-72, 78-74, and 79-73.

 

 

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Juan Francisco Estrada moved closer to a WBC title shot with a thorough deconstruction of Anuar Salas last night at the Arena Ciudad de Mexico.

After a slow first round that saw Estrada buzzed by a hook, the former unified flyweight titlist began picking apart Salas with 1-2s and digging body shots. Salas attempts to counter were futile as Estrada’s left hooks and right uppercuts continuously caught him out of position.

The fifth round saw Salas hit the canvas twice. The first was off an angled left hook to the liver. The second and final knockdown came courtesy of a right uppercut to the solar plexus.

The victory gives Estrada the WBC silver super flyweight title and puts him in line for a much-anticipated rematch with WBC champion Roman Gonzalez, who defeated Estrada via close unanimous decision in 2012. Estrada is currently #3 in the WBC’s super flyweight rankings.

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VERONA, NY — We’re only in March, but it’s unlikely David Lemieux’s knockout of Curtis Stevens will be topped for the rest of the year.

The two powerful sluggers did what they do best — go for the kill. Lemieux came out throwing right-hand bombs through Stevens’s guard, while the Brooklynite tried to catch and counter with hard left hooks. Lemieux’s chopping right hand hurt Stevens twice over the final minute and allowed the Canadian to abuse him on the ropes with digging body shots.

Lemieux controlled the second round with the same aggression and higher punch output. As the pace slowed in the third, Lemieux came in with a right hand and beat Stevens to the punch with a short left for the fight-ending knockout.


The high-profile KO puts the Golden Boy promoted in contention to face Canelo Alvarez should the Mexican star emerge victorious against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in May and not be able to make a Gennady Golovkin super fight in September.

GAMBOA RETURNS WITH DECISION WIN: Yuriorkis Gamboa ended a year-plus sabbatical with a unanimous decision win over Rene Alvarado.  Scores read 97-93 and 97-92 twice.

 

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(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

DETROIT, MI — Claressa Shields capped her historical headlining card with a fourth round stoppage over Szilvia Szabados at the MGM Grand.

What Szabados lacked in skill she made up for with durability and aggression. Shields did most of her damage with hooks to the head, particularly the left hand. Szabados would bull forward into Shields’ chest, but didn’t have the tools needed to take advantage.

The one-sided beating came to an end midway through the fourth when Shields’ left hook counter made Szabados’ neck do an 180. Although Szabados look clear-eyed, referee Harvey Dock thought the punishment was too one-sided and called off the bout.

The win is Shields’ first professional knockout and improves her record to 2-0.


Amazing to think that last night was the first time a woman headlined a premium network card. Kudos to Showtime for investing in Claressa Shields. She’s still very raw at the pro level so I hope Showtime is patient enough to let her develop for 10 fights. Her footwork and patience are the two glaring areas. She’s so anxious to bomb gals out that she neglects the body and gets into unnecessary brawling. But at 2-0, her future looks very bright.