Posts Tagged ‘2012’

Golovkin_nyc

Next Saturday (January 19), WBA¬†middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin¬†will defend his title in Madison Square Garden against Gabriel Rosado on HBO. Later today, I’ll be interviewing Golovkin¬†and be in attendance at MSG to cover his bout. For those unfamiliar with K2 Promotions’s power-puncher from¬†Kazakhstan, check the below highlights. Our full one-on-one interview will be posted early next week.

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Amir Khan, Danny Garcia

It only takes one punch to make the best plans go awry. In boxing, a fighter looking ahead to future opportunities can find himself on the canvas with his dreams crushed. 2012 saw its fair share of established champions and prospects experience this emotional and career devastation. Here are the most notable.

 

linares-thompson

5. SERGIO THOMPSON TKO2 JORGE LINARES

Jorge Linares has not had the superstar career that Golden Boy Promotions envisioned, but he seemed to be on the right track even after suffering a bloody TKO defeat to Antonio DeMarco. That bout had been dominated by Linares until the later rounds and it was one of the best fights of 2011. Linares was scheduled to have a highly anticipated rematch with DeMarco on July 7 as long as he took care of business against Sergio Thompson on Match 31.

Thompson had other plans and took complete control of the fight midway through the second with a huge overhand right. Thompson hammered him on the ropes relentlessly to score a knockdown and produce a gaping cut above Linares left eye. After a brief consultation with the ringside doctor, the bout was called.

At 26 years old, Linares’s career is now back at square one.

 

Sillakh_Grachev

4. DENIS GRACHEV TKO8 ISMAYL SILLAKH

“I will break Ismayl¬†Sillakh.” – Denis Grachev

The pre-fight Ivan Drago quote was cute, but no one seriously gave the unheralded Denis Grachev¬†much chance against Ismayl¬†Sillakh, the undefeated Ukranian¬†that had been beating the drums in the press for a matchup with the likes of Jean Pascal or Lucian Bute. For most of the fight, Sillakh¬†easily avoided Grachev’s¬†wild haymakers with good movement and counter-punching.

Grachev¬†began to time right hooks in the sixth but Sillakh¬†took them well and began coasting, a tactic he paid for dearly in the eighth when he was badly staggered by a short right hand. Sillakh¬†stumbled to the ropes and opted to cover up instead of hold, resulting in Grachev¬†turning Sillakh’s¬†head into a living speedbag. The punishment was quick and brutal with Sillakh sagging to the canvas for his first defeat.

The showing would earn Grachev a fight with Lucian Bute this past November. Sillakh has yet to make his comeback.

KO SEQUENCE BEGINS AT 38:48 MARK

 

jaro_wonjongkam

3. SONNY BOY JARO TKO6 PONGSAKLEK WONJONGKAM

Going into this fight, Pongsaklek¬†Wonjongkam¬†had not lost a fight since 2007 and never by KO. It was Wonjongkam’s¬†fifth defense of his WBC flyweight title while Sonny Boy Jaro, whose record going in was 34-10-5, was not considered a serious threat. Maybe¬†all the talk of being a pushover angered Jaro, because he came out with bad intentions. He dropped Wonjongkam¬†with a cuffing left hook in the first and made a concerted effort to work the body. Wonjongkam¬†hit the canvas again in the third and twice in the six to signal the end of the fight. The final sequence was especially brutal as the ref’s attempt to give the future Hall of Famer every chance to fight off the ropes just resulted in¬†Wonjongkam having¬†his boxing career beat out of him. ¬†

Afterward, Wonjongkam¬†would reel off four wins over a four-month¬†span. It was simply fool’s gold as his next step up against Rey Migreno, a fighter Wonjongkam¬†had previously beat twice, resulted in another emphatic TKO defeat. Wonjongkam wisely called it a career with a final record of 87-5-2 with 46 KOs.

 

garcia_khan

2. DANNY GARCIA TKO4 AMIR KHAN

Angel Garcia may or may not have gotten in Amir Khan’s head in the lead-up by saying Pakistanis can’t fight, but there was no doubt about the impact of Danny Garcia’s left hook on Khan’s cranium. Khan was winning this fight handily but still getting clipped with left hooks in exchanges. It would be one in the¬†third that landed on the neck that began Khan’s downfall. The ramifications of this upset loss were huge — it ended Khan’s hope of facing Floyd Mayweather¬†and¬†severed his 5-year professional relationship with trainer Freddie Roach. Credit to Khan — the man went down swinging and took a bunch of hellacious shots in the fourth.

 

victor-ortiz-v-josesito-lopez-20120623-201212-639

1. JOSESITO LOPEZ TKO9 VICTOR ORTIZ

With a Canelo¬†fight on tap next, nothing could be safer for a big welterweight like¬†Victor Ortiz than facing a guy that’s a career 140-pounder, right? Tell that to Victor Ortiz’s jaw which is still recovering over five months later after being broken in several places at the hands of Josesito¬†Lopez, who showed absolutely no fear, or respect for that matter,¬†to Ortiz. Lopez weathered Ortiz’s dirty tactics (rabbit punches), and focused on powerful haymaker hooks throughout the fight that gave Ortiz pause and produced huge ohhs¬†and ahhs from the crowd. On replay, you literally see the moment in Ortiz’s eyes when Lopez’s jaw-breaking power knocks the fight out of him.

Lopez’s performance would earn him¬†in a headlining slot against Canelo Alvarez at the MGM Grand this past May.

Every year, the boxing community gets several painful reminders why we’re one of the most corrupt sports in existence. Boxing is one of the few sports where saying the “fix is in” is not something referencing a bygone era. While it wasn’t as bad as some years, 2012 had its share of blatant, shameful robberies. Here are the worst of the bunch.

 

Kirkland_Molina1

5. JAMES KIRKLAND DQ10 CARLOS MOLINA

This was a case where the blame fell on the referee instead of the judges. Molina was supposed to be a decent challenge before Kirkland got a ppv showdown with Canelo Alvarez in September. Instead, Molina completely frustrated Kirkland with clinches and strategic punching to take a lead on two scorecards headed into the 10th round. Kirkland finally found his range and stunned Molina with two right hooks before landing a glancing left to score a knockdown with the clock winding down. The bell sounded and Molina’s corner jumped in the ring to begin setting up their corner, not realizing that referee Jon Schorle was still administering his eight-count. After a quick review with ringside officials, Schorle made the decision to award the match to Kirkland by disqualification.

Yes, Molina’s trainer did technically break a rule by entering the ring before the round officially ended. However, the referee always can use his discretion on deciding whether any infraction is worth a disqualification. The oversight by Molina’s trainer had no impact on the fight and this is a case of Schorle using either extremely poor judgment or deliberately trying to salvage a Kirkland win (and in essence an opponent for Canelo). Regardless of where you stand, Schorle robbed both fighters — Molina got jobbed of an opportunity to hang on and gut out a victory while Kirkland’s chance at a dramatic comeback was stifled. That’s Texas for you.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9PKqOQd2WI&feature=youtube_gdata_player]

 

Cunningham_Adamek_rematch

4. TOMASZ ADAMEK SD12 STEVE CUNNINGHAM

Apparently two of the judges (Tom Miller and Dave Greer) for this fight in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania are very partial to fighters who walk forward into stiff jabs, right hands and miss flurries. That’s what happened to Tomasz Adamek in the majority of the rounds last week when he faced old rival Steve Cunningham. For most observers, Cunningham took this fight 8-4 in rounds AT WORST (that was my scorecard). Instead, Adamek walked away with an inexplicable victory via scores of 116-112, 115-113 and 113-115. This fight took place a few days before Christmas, but that didn’t stop Adamek from getting his gift early. And to stick the knife even deeper, the fight was first announced as a split decision draw before being changed to a victory for Adamek.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygo4cOjL2Uw&feature=youtube_gdata_player]

 

Manny Pacquiao v Timothy Bradley

3. TIMOTHY BRADLEY SD12 MANNY PACQUIAO

Karma for the Pacquiao robbery over Juan Manuel Marquez in 2011? Devious, Sith-lord like maneuverings from Bob Arum to continue keeping Pacquiao away from Mayweather? Just bad scoring? Whatever take you have on this decision, it signaled that all bets are truly off when arguably the most popular fighter in the world can get screwed on the scorecards. There were a lot of sad and angry Filipinos on this night.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quItmzFfufg&feature=youtube_gdata_player]

 

Campillo_Cloud

2. TAVARIS CLOUD SD 12 GABRIEL CAMPILLO

Surprise, surprise — more boxing fuckery from that state of Texas! Tavaris Cloud looked headed to a dominate KO victory when he dropped Campillo twice in the opening round. That was until the second stanza when Campillo damn near turned into Sugar Ray Leonard by ripping off blistering 3-4 punch combinations to hold off Cloud. Campillo’s southpaw left kept Cloud befuddled and the champion could only manage sporadic success over the remaining rounds. Campillo was in complete control at the final bell, but two of the judges (David Robertson and Joel Elizondo) had a trademark Texas rally on the scoecards for the house fighter to give Cloud a victory with scores of 116-110 (SMH!), 114-112 (hmph) and 111-115. Note Cloud’s mother fainted at the verdict — she probably was expecting her camp to get struck down by lightning at that moment. Campillo filed a protest with the IBF immediately afterward to no avail. Campillo will be facing Sergey Kovalev on January 19 while Cloud gets an HBO-televised bout with Bernard Hopkins on March 9. Go figure.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oR5KHn4h42I&feature=youtube_gdata_player]

 

Abril_Rios

1. BRANDON RIOS SD 12 RICHARD ABRIL

Brandon Rios engaged in one of the best fights this year when he knocked out Mike Alvarado. But the fight before he was made to look like a club fighter by Richard Abril, who completely nullified the power and pressure of the rising star from Oxnard, California. Abril used his wiry frame and reach to repeatedly smack Rios with long jabs and right hands. Rios’s normally strong inside game was shut down through clinches and Abril using his shoulder to pick off shots. It literally looked at times like someone play-fighting with their younger brother. But with Rios being groomed by Top Rank to take over for Manny Pacquiao, the undefeated fighter wasn’t going to lose no matter how badly he got exposed. Judge Adelaide Byrd had the only correct scorecard, giving Abril the victory 117-111. The other two, Jerry Roth and Glenn Trowbridge, made a mockery of their profession with respective scores of 116-112 and 115-113. The only reason the outrage wasn’t worse is because this robbery took place in front of a limited pay-per-view audience.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4X8f2GHheR0&feature=youtube_gdata_player]

MikeJones_KOd

With 2012 all but finished, it’s time to look back on the best of boxing’s signature ending…the knockout. There were plenty of fighters rendered unconscious during the calendar year and below is a short collection of 10 of the most memorable. Feel free to add on your own favorites that I might have missed.

 

10. TERRANCE CRAWFORD TKO5 ANDRE GORGES

This beatdown took place on Top Rank’s pay-per-view undercard for Brandon Rios vs. Richard Abril. Gorges was getting thrashed almost from the very start and every power shot seemed to badly rattle him. By the fifth round he was a shambling mess and Crawford’s overhand shot ended the carnage.

KO SEQUENCE STARTS AROUND THE :50 SECOND MARK

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTEME8qBB28&feature=youtube_gdata_player]

 

9. ALFREDO ANGULO KO1 RAUL CASAREZ

Take a look at Raul Casarez’s face after Alfredo Angulo plants him on the canvas with a perfect counter hook. It’s the look you normally have when you’re awakened suddenly from a good sleep. In this case, Angulo’s power placed him in a bad nightmare.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZ9iIWd9xLA&feature=youtube_gdata_player]

 

8. ADONIS STEVENSON KO1 JESUS GONZALEZ

I think Jesus Gonzalez was reaching for the angels to come take him home after eating this massive left hook from Adonis Stevenson. If you watch the whole video, you’ll note the late, great Emanuel Steward working Stevenson’s corner. Damn good hang time on the post-fight celebration jump from Stevenson, too.

KO at 1:40 MARK

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGX3_1I944w&feature=youtube_gdata_player]

 

7. JOSE CASTRO KO1 CARLOS ACEVEDO

Trust me, the whole round is worth watching as it was bombs away in this one. Castro hit the deck first off a short hook inside and returned the favor with a massive hook that made Acevedo nearly do a full tumble roll on the canvas. The final knockdown came courtesy of a left hook that had Acevedo resemsbling the death throes of a mortally wounded animal.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elfMFgMVGXc&feature=youtube_gdata_player]

 

6. DANNY GARCIA KO4 ERIK MORALES

If Erik Morales ever considers returning to the ring, I hope he takes a look at this video. Even months later this KO still makes me wince.

1:13 MARK

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItOokL6doWM&feature=youtube_gdata_player]

 

5. LUCAS GERMAN PRIORI KO3 PEHUEN ROBERTO CORREA

This was a beautiful KO that most of us discovered courtesy of @Sweetboxing. Everything about this KO is amazing from the placement of the shot to the way Correa falls in slow motion to the canvas. Makes sure you watch the video to the end (or skip to the last minute after the initial KO) to get the full effect of the impact from Priori’s shot.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2w9YAcXmPrc&feature=youtube_gdata_player]

 

4. MIKKEL KESSLER TKO4 ALLAN GREEN

This is the best KO of Kessler’s career and likely the one that signals the end of Allan Green’s career as a serious contender.

KO AT 14:05 MARK

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_2Fl7CzeNw&feature=youtube_gdata_player]

 

3. RANDALL BAILEY KO11 MIKE JONES

Randall Bailey escaped what looked to be a sure-fire decision loss starting with a hard right cross knockdown two rounds earlier and then turning Jones’s lights out in the 11th with a crushing right uppercut. Simply a murderous shot.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWeAzDS7XVM&feature=youtube_gdata_player]

 

2. SHINSUKE YAMANAKA KO7 TOMAS ROJAS

Was that an overhand left or a hammer that hit Tomas Rojas? He sure fell like he had been cracked with a mallet. A perfect example of “rag doll physics.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShspBBSAob4&feature=youtube_gdata_player]

 

1. JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ KO6 MANNY PACQUIAO

Let’s be clear — if Pacquiao is foolish enough to get back in with Marquez straight away for a fifth fight with no tuneup, we’ll likely see this same result if not worse. Marquez, even as he nears 40, showed why he’s still one of the best counter-punchers in the game. Pacquiao never saw it coming and neither did most of us. Since HBO is still being very aggressive in removing any clips of the original KO, we’ll have to settle for watching it again in the company of a tearful Filipino family (Oh my God, he’s dead!)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJyewjF1PXE&feature=youtube_gdata_player]

Raekwon_neither_one_of_us_cover

A simple (and familiar)¬†melody proves the backdrop¬†while Raekwon’s¬†narrative does the rest. I can’t help but wonder how this would’ve sounded chopped and/or sped up, but I’ll assume that was tried and the final product was from the “Why mess with perfection?” line of thinking. Be on the lookout New Year’s Day for Rae’s announcement on his next album.

RAEKWON “NEITHER OF US”

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Wale_TatsOnMyArm

The Mayan doomsday calculation for today seems to be off, so for now it’s a pretty good bet we’ll make it to Christmas Eve for the drop of Wale’s new Folarin mixtape. The track, produced by LG, will be featured on the project. I love Wale over this type of production — it’s pretty close to his go-go days and he sounds the most comfortable over it.

 

LupeFiasco

Lupe Fiasco announced on Twitter last night that he’s taking a break from social networking until next month. He was kind enough to leave fans with a nice verse over Common’s “Communism,” off the classic LP Resurrection. As expected, Lupe sounds great over this and you’re left thristing for more after just a little over two minutes. Coupled with his last album, Lupe’s about made up for Lasers, right?

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