Archive for the ‘Fight Reports’ Category

 

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CINCINNATI, OH — A barrage of accurate hooks in the last 30 seconds turned out to be the difference for Adrien Broner, who won a close split decision over Adrian Granados in a back and forth 10-round war of attrition.

This was a highly entertaining fight with neither man holding an advantage for more than one round. Hell, sometimes barely 30 seconds in a round. In the end, Broner showed his usual mixed bag of promise and alarming trends for his immediate future.

EARLY VERSATILITY: The first three rounds displayed a Broner who was accurate with his counters and not a sitting target. Instead of previous Mayweather shoulder roll imitations, he showed nimble footwork to evade Granados’s long right hand. On the inside, he ripped counter uppercuts and looked sharp despite being outworked in pockets.

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STILL UNCOMFORTABLE WITH PRESSURE: Much like his efforts against Maidana and Porter, Broner is still wilts under constant pressure. He spent too much time grappling and holding (with little warning from the hometown ref). But unlike Porter, Granados was not passive in the clinches and ripped home body shots in every round. Those shots had Broner visibly weary in the late rounds.

CONTROVERSIAL SCORECARDS: The judges scored the bout 97-93, 93-97 and 96-94 for Broner. The last scorecard had Broner winning the 10th, and that likely came down to Broner scoring several hard hooks in the final seconds despite Granados controlling most of the round and forcing clinches.

Personally, I had it 95-95 with Granados taking two of the last three rounds. I had the Chicago native taking rounds 2, 4, 5, 8, and 10. I gave Broner rounds 1, 3, 6, 7, and 9. The two scorecards that had it 7-3 in rounds for each guy felt too wide.

WELTERWEIGHT FOOD: Unable to make 140, Broner’s camp was able to switch this to 147 in the final weeks. The problem for Broner is he’s now a fighter without weight class. Perhaps now too big to safely make junior welter, and too small to successfully challenge the elite at 147, as evidenced by the sound defeats to Shawn Porter and Marcos Maidana, and close decision wins over Paulie Malignaggi and now Adrian Granados.

Should Broner continue testing his luck at 147, or has this fight convinced you he’s better suited for 140? Sound off in the comments.

 

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CINCINNATI, OH — Lamont Peterson claimed the WBA World welterweight title with a hard-fought unanimous decision over David Avanesyan.

The rangier Peterson held the advantage at long range with an educated jab and lateral movement. However, the majority of the first-half was fought up-close with each fighter having success with short hooks and guard-splitting uppercuts. Avanesyan maintained the higher, more consistent work-rate while Peterson landed the harder single shots.

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Peterson displayed his class in the second half with lateral movement to score creative body shots around Avanesyan’s guard. Starting late in the seventh, Avanesyan was forced to give ground due to Peterson’s bullying and prolonged body assault.

Final scorecards read 115-113 and 116-112 twice for Peterson, putting him in play for the winner of Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia on March 4.

 

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WILMINGTON, DE — Roy Jones Jr. scored a dominant eighth-round stoppage over Bobby Gunn last night at the Chase Center.

The 43-year-old Gunn, who came in winless since 2009, was completely overmatched by the 48-year-old Jones’s speed and skill. Jones kept Gunn subdued with snappy jabs, and scored at will with hard rights. Gunn was busted open in the sixth and badly wobbled by a 1-2 in the last minute of the seventh. Although Jones allowed him to finish the round, Gunn’s corner called off the bout before the eighth.

Jones picks up the fringe WBF cruiserweight title and improves his record to 65-9 (47 KOs).

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Chris Eubank won his first title Saturday night by easily defeating Renold Quinlan in ten rounds to pick up the IBO super-middleweight title.

This was Eubank Jr.’s first appearance at the weight and he had no issues battering Quinlan in every round. The fight ceased any semblance of competitiveness after a sixth round that saw Eubank stun Quinlan with a left hook and punish him on the ropes before the bell. Eubank spent the remaining rounds alternating between showboating and outpointing Quinlan before a barrage of shots forced the tenth round TKO.

In his post-fight interview, Eubank Jr. was adamant that he can still make 160 to face Gennady Golovkin or rematch Billy Joe Saunder. At 168, he wants a UK showdown with James DeGale.

“I’m coming for everybody,” said Eubank Jr. “DeGale, I want the rest of those teeth. I’m putting them on my mantle. I’m coming for you… Of course I want Golovkin, of course I want Saunders. Step up. We’ve got the platform now, let’s get these fights going.”

 

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LONDON — David Price’s hopes of returning to heavyweight relevancy may have been dashed for the last time. Last night, Price ran out of gas against a determined Christian Hammer and suffered the fourth stoppage loss of his career.

When there was any distance between them, the 6’8 Price was able to work the jab and target the body. But in close, the bullish Hammer would smash away with clubbing shots when Price tried to rest on the ropes.

Price’s best moment came in the fifth when he floored Hammer off a counter right uppercut. But Hammer recovered and Price exhausted his reserves midway through the sixth. Over the next two rounds, Hammer battered him on the ropes and eventually forced the ref to call off the bout.


You can watch David Price and see the talent. His size and offense are formidable when he’s on. But his flaws, suspect stamina and chin, are absolutely fatal in the heavyweight division. At 33 years old, I see no point in continuing unless Price is ok being a stepping stone for domestic UK prospects.

Tonight, HBO’s latest edition of its Boxing After Dark series reminded us that boxing is a blood sport. The stars of the card, Takashi Miura and Francisco Vargas, shared the ring in 2015 and delivered a consensus Fight of the Year. This time, they were engaged in battle with younger, less accomplished foes. But instead of delivering showcase performances, both veterans gave the sport a pound of their flesh in savage, bloody affairs.

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MIURA KO12 ROMAN: This was 12 rounds of PAIN. Miura did great work to the body but was still hurt badly several times in the early rounds. Defense wasn’t a priority for either fighter and the fight started to favor Roman in the middle rounds. Miura looked exhausted and close to being stopped as Roman increased his combinations. But showing his heart, Miura hung tough and kept pounding away at the body.

The body assault’s effectiveness manifested in the late rounds. Roman was visibly slowed by the shots in the ninth and put on his knees in the 10th by a slashing left hook. He beat the count, but for the remaining roounds Roman was simply outgunned by the surging former champion. A barrage of punches on the ropes put Roman down again in the 11th, and two southpaw lefts floored Roman for good in the 12th.

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BERCHELT UPSETS VARGAS: There’s a good chance tonight was the end of Francisco Vargas as a top fighter. On the surface, that might sound strange when talking about a fighter who just suffered his first defeat. But the brutality of the 32-year-old Vargas’ last three fights against Miura, Salido and now Berchelt is more punishment than most fighters endure of their entire careers.

Against Berchelt, a fighter who was unproven at the elite level, Vargas looked slow. He couldn’t keep his head away from Berchelt’s straight right nor his left hook, which produced constant images of Vargas’ head getting snapped back.

To Vargas’ credit, he bravely battled and even hurt Berchelt with an overhand right in the second, and in the middle rounds with a sneaky body shot. But by the seventh, the contest ceased being competitive and turned into a bloodbath. Cuts were opened above both of Vargas’ eyes with the left being a ghastly injury leaving a flap of skin affecting the champion’s vision.

Based on Vargas’ pedigree as a comeback fighter, referee Raul Caiz gave him every opportunity to turn things around being finally calling it off in the 11th.

WHAT’S NEXT: Last night’s developments have shaken up the 130-pound division. Vargas will spend the rest of the year convalescing, eliminating the possibility of a quick rematch with Berchelt. Miura remains the #1 contender and will likely face Berchelt next in what promises to be another brutal shootout. Despite Roy Jones saying he favored Miura because of his punching power, I view Berchelt-Miura as 50/50 due to Berchelt’s speed, Miura’s lack of head movement and the tough fights he’s endured (including tonight).

This leaves Orlando Salido out in the cold. He was in attendance and no doubt hoping to get a rematch with Vargas, the man he battled to a draw in 2016’s Fight of Year. It’s still possible he can entice Berchelt to fight him since it would be a more lucrative contest than the Miura defense.

Also looming in the distance is WBO champion Vasyl Lomachenko, an HBO staple and the division’s most talented fighter. Then there’s Jason Sosa, who has a version of the WBA strap and has fought on HBO before. Don’t forget Jezreel Corrales, who holds the other version and scored another victory over former lineal champ Takashi Uchiyama last month. And finally young gun Gervonta Davis, who picked up the IBF strap earlier this month. Mix and match any of these fighters together and you have a compelling matchup.

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LAS VEGAS — Leo Santa Cruz knew he couldn’t beat Carl Frampton by brawling, so he did what all great fighters do by adjusting his game plan. The pressure fighter morphed to a boxer-puncher to take a majority decision and regain the WBA featherweight title.

From round one, the feel of the fight had a pronounced difference from their first encounter last July. The taller Santa Cruz worked behind his jab and forced Frampton to become the aggressor and takes risks to get inside. When Frampton succeeded, the challenger took a step back and scored with short flurries inside, forcing Frampton back outside to reset.

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This pattern continued until the sixth round when Frampton began to wear down Santa Cruz with hard body shots and mauling. The punishment and pace slowed Santa Cruz’s jab, giving Frampton more opportunities to close the scoring gap in the seventh and eighth stanzas.

In the ninth, Santa Cruz’s jab and high activity returned. Frampton couldn’t equal the challenger’s punch output, and found himself being out-landed 3-1 in exchanges.

Despite the masterful game plan, Frampton’s success in the mid rounds and desperation push in the 12th made for close scorecards. Judge Burt Clements had it a draw, 114-114. He was overruled by Dave Moretti and Glenn Feldman, who both had it 115-113 for Santa Cruz.

The most impressive moment came afterward from Santa Cruz, who stated in his post-fight interview that he wants another fight to make a trilogy. You heard that right. No mention of needing to talk with his manager or promoter. Santa Cruz lauded Frampton for giving him a rematch, and feel he’s obligated to return the favor.

I’m sure not a single boxing fan will have an objection.