Posts Tagged ‘Boxing’

Broner_Garcia

Showtime Sports will offer a live stream as Adrien Broner and Mikey Garcia go face-to-face for the first time at a New York City press conference today to officially announce their blockbuster showdown on Saturday, July 29. Look for Garcia to go in-depth about the weight jump, and we’ll get our first idea on if Broner is keeping his weight issues in check for the big fight.

 

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Ward 2

Photo Credit: Hogan Photos

Sergey Kovalev promised to end Andre Ward’s career. He vowed that the man he renamed “Son of Judges” wouldn’t get the chance to be saved by favorable scorecards. Today, it is the Krusher’s future that is in doubt following a dramatic and controversial eighth round stoppage loss at the Mandalay Bay. The tagline going into the fight was “no excuses,” and yet less than 24 hours removed, Kovalev and his promoter Main Events are preparing to protest the verdict and prolong the war of words between the camps. Unfortunately for Kovalev, the narrative that played out last night in the ring coupled with historical precedent does not bode well for his hopes of a reversal.

The rounds preceding the knockout showed both men were well-prepared. Ward did not repeat the sluggish start of the first bout; he looked for left hook counters upstairs to stifle Kovalev’s rushes and body work within clinches. Kovalev, now respectful of Ward’s ability, emphasized a higher work rate to counter Ward’s accuracy and inside work.

The fight was a nip-tuck affair with neither man jumping out to significant advantages. If Ward landed a good body shot, Kovalev was right back with several hard, clean jabs. If Kovalev got in a sneaky right, Ward returned the favor by getting right in his chest to maul and work the body.

As with any Ward fight, this wasn’t a clean affair. The clinching resulted in headlocks and rabbit punches from Kovalev, and borderline to clearly low blow shots from Ward. However, Ward was the more comfortable man in this domain — Kovalev’s complaints were more demonstrative and with expectations that he’d be given time to recover.

After seven rounds, my scorecard reflected an even fight (67-67), but not my eyes. Kovalev had noticeably become more labored in his breathing. His punches lacked its usual snap while Ward, never a huge puncher even at his prime weight of 168, looked more powerful and determined.

A right cross in the eighth badly hurt Kovalev. His attempts to hold were shrugged off with additional body shots. Kovalev sagged into the ropes, where Ward pounced on his doubled over opponent with shots that ranged from borderline to low. Assessing Kovalev’s body meek body language and no return punches, referee Tony Weeks opted to stop the contest. There was no protest from the former champion. 

This brings us to the big controversy of the night. Was Kovalev robbed by the non-call on the low-blow? His promoter, Kathy Duva, seems to think so. In the post-fight circus of a press conference, she was absolutely livid.

***

Here’s the big problem that Duva and Kovalev will run into on Monday. There isn’t boxing commission in the world that would have the balls to reverse a decision in a fight of this magnitude. Look no further than the undercard bout against Rigondeaux and Flores (where referee Vic Drakulich and the commissioner look absolutely terrified to make the call between a DQ, No Contest or KO).

Even more daunting is the last time Main Events filed a low blow protest. In 2011, the company was promoting Zab Judah, in the midst of one of his many comebacks, this time against Amir Khan. Judah was thoroughly dominated in every round. In the fifth, a bloody Zab was grappling with Khan in a clinch and bent forward, much like Kovalev last night. Khan fired a borderline shot that resulted in the KO. Main Events filed a protest with Nevada, the WBA and IBF that went on deaf ears to the point we never heard another word about it.

Like any sport, boxing is predicated on momentum. In basketball, teams that go on runs seem to get all the calls while the losing team’s complaints are often ignored. If your getting hands placed on you in the ring, your complaints will come off as looking for a way out, leading to a referee making a quick call like we saw last night. It’s also important to note that unintentional fouls caused by the fighters movements are usually not acknowledged. Case in point — if I’m constantly bending down and away from an opponent, resulting in boderline rabbit shots to the top/side of the head, I’m going to be the one the ref will admonish for causing the “illegal” blow. Check out the KO years back of Glen Johnson on a crouching Allan Green who complains of a rabbit punch.

***

There are certain realities you need to accept when you face certain fighters. Against Bernard Hopkins, be prepared for a night of mauling, sneaky low blows and butts. Evander Holyfield? Again, watch the butts. After 12 rounds against Andre Ward last November, Sergey Kovalev said he was prepared for the rematch, going as far as to say Ward was overrated and he had trained too hard. But last night showed that the Krusher had neither the mental nor physical ability to handle a rough and tumble fight where he couldn’t be the frontrunner.

“I was breathing, he was breathing, but I’m used to working tired,” said Ward. “I’m comfortable being uncomfortable; that’s how we work, that’s how we train. When I saw him put his arms on the ropes in between the rounds – I watch all that stuff – that’s trouble for him. I just needed to keep being smart… I think it was plain to see that I broke him mentally and physically.”

Consider the Ward-Kovalev rivalry closed.

Ward_Kovalev_rematch

Starting at 7 p.m. ET, you can live stream the untelevised undercard of the big rematch between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev. The two hours are scheduled to include the following preliminary bouts.

Featherweights: Tremaine Williams (10-0) vs. Christopher Martin (30-8-3)

Super Middleweight: Fabiano Pena (19-7-1) vs. Vaughn Alexander (9-0)

Light-heavyweight: Junior Younan (11-0) vs. Zoltan Sera (29-13)

Welterweight: Enriko Gogokhia (4-0) vs. Jonathan Steele (7-0)

Ward_Kovalev

Today, BeatsBoxingMayhem will live stream for the official weigh-in between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev. Yesterday, Kovalev brazenly abandoned the final press conference. Will he have words with Ward in their final face to face? The live stream kicks off at 5:30 p.m. ET. The grudge rematch airs tomorrow on HBO pay-per-view at 9 p.m. ET.

Canelo_GGG

We have a venue. The year’s biggest fight in Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez will take place at T-Mobile Arena, Golden Boy Promotions confirmed this afternoon.

Alvarez, who was featured in the first boxing card held at the venue when he knocked out Amir Khan last May, will be making his third appearance at the arena in September. Last month, he scored a lopsided unanimous decision there over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Although there was briefly talk of the fight landing in Texas at the AT&T Stadium, the star power and mystique of Las Vegas ultimately won out.

“For the best fight on the best date in boxing, there is no better venue than the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Fans won’t only be treated to a classic battle between the two best boxers in the sport, they will also be able to enjoy an incredible week of activities marking Mexican Independence Day. This will be a can’t-miss event for hardcore and casual fans, alike.”

The fight will mark Golovkin’s first appearance in Las Vegas. Since his 2013 HBO debut, the middleweight champion has strategically split time between Los Angeles and New York to make himself a live attraction on both coasts. His team believes this schedule will pay off come September.

“This is the result of many years of hard work for Gennady, traveling around the world fighting world champions and top contenders to become an undefeated unified middleweight world champion,” said Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions. “Gennady’s reward and the fans’ reward will be battling in the biggest and best match-up in the sport of boxing.  Gennady is ready for his date with destiny.”

Golovkin vs. Canelo airs live on HBO pay-per-view on September 16. Press tour and ticket information are expected to be released later this week.

StevensonKO

Nearly a year out of the ring hasn’t dulled the potency of Adonis Stevenson’s straight left hand. The lineal light-heavyweight champion needed less than two rounds to repeatedly blitz Andrzej Fonfara to force a ring apron stoppage from trainer Virgil Hunter.

Fonfara never recovered from getting caught with a left-hand counter early in the first round. He was dropped by the shot and nearly stopped as the bell rung. The second was a continuation of the first before Hunter saved his client from a more brutal stoppage.

What would have been an intriguing rematch 2 years ago was rendered pointless by recent developments. Since Fonfara’s notable showing in the first bout, he’s had a brutal Fight of the Year candidate against Nathan Cleverly and got destroyed in one round against Joe Smith Jr. That wear and tear seemed notable in Fonfara looking more like a pinata than a fighter Saturday night.

As for Stevenson, we can say a lot about his putrid level of competition over the last 5 years. However, what can’t be debated is he remains one of the more lethal hitters in the sport (he hurt Fonara badly while backpedaling). Like most PBC fighters, he affirmed in his post-fight interview that he’ll fight whomever Al Haymon puts in front of him. Logically, that should be the winner of Kovalev-Ward II or Eleider Alvarez. Otherwise,  it’s just more of the same for a 39-year old champion whose time at the elite level can end at any given moment.


Alvarez_Pascal

ELEIDER ALVAREZ MD JEAN PASCAL: This was an entertaining scrap. At this stage, the 34-year old Pascal doesn’t have the same explosive athleticism that won him the light-heavyweight title from Chad Dawson. But he still has a huge heart, and it allowed Pascal to go the distance despite being rocked several times by Alvarez. Whenever it seemed like Pascal might be going out, he fired back with body shots and occasionally landed some flashy left hook counter upstairs.

In the end, it was Alvarez’s consistent jab that kept Pascal controlled to take a majority decision (117-111, 116-112, 114-114). The win positions Alvarez as a top contender for Stevenson’s WBC title.

 

garcia

After several weeks of rumors, former champion Adrien Broner and current WBC lightweight titlist Mikey Garcia have agreed to a junior welterweight superfight at on July 29.

Broner last competed at welterweight in February, defeating Adrian Granados by split decision. His last fight at 140 pounds was a 12th round TKO win over Khabib Allakhverdiev in October 2015. Over the last five years, he’s won titles in four different weight classes.

Garcia is coming off his world title-winning effort over Dejan Zlaticanin, who was stopped in three rounds on January 28. Junior welterweight will be a new division for Garica as he’s never weighed in over 138 pounds.

Showtime will carry the fight and made the official announcement this afternoon. A venue has not been determined.


Now this is an intriguing fight. On paper, I favor the more disciplined fighter in Garcia. With the fight in less than two months out, making 140 will be a struggle for Broner. Nonetheless, The Problem will be the bigger man and has a chance if Garcia has trouble with the power differential.

If Barclays gets this fight, I might have to make the trip.