Posts Tagged ‘highlights’

GGG_Martirosyan_KO2

CARSON, CA — Gennady Golovkin returned to his crushing knockout ways with a second-round stoppage over Vanes Martirosyan tonight at the Stub Hub Center.

Martirosyan, who hadn’t fought in two years and was moving up to middleweight, displayed a sharp jab and managed to briefly stun Golovkin with a right-left combination to close the first. The champion heeded his trainer Abel Sanchez’s instructions to “settle down” and “go to work,” leading to a fast start to the second that saw Martirosyan’s knees buckled with a counter right uppercut. Martirosyan briefly took a knee, but the reaction has delayed enough that the referee opted to not rule it a knockdown.

The end would come moments later when a Golovkin overhand right drove Martirosyan to the ropes. Golovkin unleashed a series of power shots punctuated by a left hook that put Martirosyan out before he hit the canvas.

After stating earlier this week that the Canelo rematch has a “15% chance” of happening, Golovking backtracked and affirmed he wants the fight for September. He also acknowledged the growing crop of younger challengers in the division, telling Max Kellerman he welcomes fights with the likes of Demetrius Andrade, Jermall Charlo and Sergiy Derevyanchenko.

“I want them all, it doesn’t matter who I face,” he said.

The win is Golovkin’s 20th successful middleweight title defense and equals the record set by Bernard Hopkins.

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LR_SHO FIGHT NIGHT-LARA VS HURD-TRAPPFOTOS-04072018-2214

Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime

LAS VEGAS — Jarrett Hurd needed a big finish last night and delivered a cracking left hook for a 12th round knockdown to gain a razor-thin split decision (113-114, 114-113 twice) over Erislandy Lara at the Hard Rock Casino.

The fight followed an early script of the southpaw Lara scoring clean straight lefts on his stalking foe. But unlike pre-fight predictions, Hurd was getting inside as early as the third and working the body with left hooks and uppercuts through the guard. Hurd’s size also allowed him to throw off Lara’s clinches and give the Cuban little time to reset. Hurd also alternated the speed and power on his shots, making it hard for Lara to anticipate and counter.

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Despite this, Lara accounted himself well. After a tough eighth and ninth round where Hurd’s jab and bodywork kept the Cuban in a shell, Lara upped his workrate for a bounce back 10th where he stood his ground and punched in combination.

Hurd remained undeterred and his body punching left him with stronger reserves in the final two rounds. He outworked Lara in the 11th and had the Cuban in serious trouble in the 12th after dropping him with a left hook. Only 34 seconds remained and Lara had just enough elusiveness to hang on for the final bell.

The scorecards reflected the closeness of the bout with Hurd needing the knockdown to pull out two 114-113 scores in his favor.

“It was a tough one, but I went out there and did exactly what I said I was going to do – fight all 12 rounds and get the victory,” Hurd said. “I didn’t feel like that (I needed the knockdown). I feel like I was in control the whole fight, applying the pressure.”

Lara, who suffered his first defeat since a controversial split decision to Canelo Alvarez in 2014, thought he did enough for a clear win.

“Besides the last round, I thought I was winning this fight easily,” Lara said. “That’s not to decide the fight.  I was winning the fight.  One punch in a fight doesn’t determine the fight. “It was a great fight for the fans. I stood there, fought and it was fun. I thought I clearly won the fight. Once again a decision goes against me, but hey we just have to do the rematch.”

Should the rematch not happen, Hurd will have the opportunity to add another title against the winner of Jermell Charlo (WBC) vs. Hugo Centeno next month.

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This is the first Lara fight that’s received universal since his 2013 war with Alfredo Angulo. He turns 35 in a few days and I believe he’s slipped just enough to where he’ll have these attrition fights against younger elite guys.

As much as Lara’s pride tells him to push for an immediate rematch, it wouldn’t be wise. The punishment tonight put some serious miles on him and jumping right back in with a massive pressure fighter like Hurd probably results in a quicker loss. I’d have him rest through the summer and come back with a tuneup in September then shoot for the winner of Hurd/Charlo. It also wouldn’t surprise me to see more fighters jump at the chance of facing Lara thinking he’s now lost a step.

Speaking of Hurd, he needs to tighten up that defense to beat Charlo. He gets hit clean way too much and like previous iron-chinned pressure fighters (Margarito comes to mind), it will eventually get cracked. Charlo has been putting guys to sleep in recent fights (Lubin, Hatley, Jackson), plus he’d be the first elite guy Hurd has faced that’s close to his size.

All in all, one of the better fights I’ve seen this year. The junior middleweight division is heating up and by this time next year, we might have one champ with all four belts.

Joshua_Parker

21 fights, 3 belts and one more to go. Anthony Joshua went the 12-round distance for the first time last night and taking a wide decision over formerly undefeated Joseph Parker before 80,000 fans at Principality Stadium.

Parker, playing the role of spoiler, fought exclusively off the backfoot while shooting multiple jabs and looking to steal rounds with isolated right hands. This allowed Joshua to methodically press the action behind sporadic straight shots to the body and clipping left hooks inside. Parker showed good defense in avoiding Joshua’s deadly uppercut, but couldn’t get anything going inside due to an inexperienced ref breaking action too quickly.

The slow action through four rounds made the stanzas close, but Joshua continually held the edge due to his aggression and harder shots, particularly when he forced Parker to give ground from jabs. Parker got more aggressive in the middle rounds, briefly stunning Joshua with a short right hook in the fifth and outworking his foe in the seventh. But Parker failed to take any risks afterward and seemed content to make it to the final bell.

The scores reflected this in Joshua winning unanimously 118-110 (twice) and 119-109.

The big news from the contest was the post-fight interview where Joshua declared he wanted Deontay Wilder. I’m still not convinced we get it next, but the public banter will continue building the hype internationally. My gut tells me Wilder does bite and take the Dillian Whyte fight while Joshua gets a massive domestic payday against Tyson Fury. Should Joshua and Wilder retain, we’ll finally get the final unification sometime around May 2019.

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Povetkin_Price

It was a matter of time. The narrative was how bad the knockout would be when Alexander Povetkin finally landed a series of hard shots on David Price. The fall was appropriately chilling when a flush left hook bounced Price’s head off the canvas in round five.

When the 6’8 Price fought tall, he found success in countering the 6’2 Povetkin with left hooks from mid-range. This shot resulted in Price scoring a flash knockdown in the third. But overall, Povetkin’s quicker hands and technique allowed him to get inside and punish Price with snapping hooks. The punishment opened a cut above the left eye to accompany a bloody nose and mouth.

This should absolutely be Price’s last time in the ring. He’s 34 and this was a Hail Mary chance to get back in contention. Furthermore, it was an audition to make Povetkin credible as an opponent for Anthony Joshua or possibly even Dillian Whyte should the Wilder bout fail to materialize.

 

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Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland

How confident are you in your abilities? Enough to bet $150,000? That’s essentially what Sullivan Barrera did when he turned down a career-high payday ($400,000) to face WBO title-holder Sergey Kovalev last night at Madison Square Garden. Insulted by the fact Main Events wouldn’t commit to a second fight with a higher purse, Barrera opted to face blue-chip prospect Dmitry Bivol for $250,000, believing a good showing would lead to better standing at the negotiating table with Kovalev.

It was a showcase alright — Dmitry Bivol is now in line for an eventual Kovalev fight after dismantling Barrera over 12 one-sided rounds and scoring a late stoppage.

There was little to criticize from Bivol. He outlanded Barrera 243-77, and controlled range by out-jabbing the Cuban 97-10. Barrera tried to make it a rough affair, but his tendency to lunge forward after power shots resulted in Bivol clipping him with 3-4 punch combinations. It was reminiscent of how Juan Manuel Marquez would punish foes for wayward punches.

The finishing combination was a 1-2 right down the pike. Barrera beat the count but was in no shape to continue on.

In only his fourth year as a pro, I wouldn’t rush Bivol into a Kovalev unification just yet. The Krusher should set his sights on the winner of Badou Jack vs. Adonis Stevenson, which would give the 13-0 Bivol at least two more fights to hone his craft.

As for the rest of us, let Barrera serve as a shining example not to bet against Bivol.

 

 

GeorgeGroves

Chris Eubank’s expected a coming out party and instead received a boxing lesson from George Groves, who worked diligently behind a disruptive left jab to score a clear unanimous decision (117-112, 116-112, 115-11) at the Manchester Arena.

It was clear early on that Eubank didn’t come into this fight with a Plan B. He fully expected his athleticism would allow him to get inside and use his explosive power. Instead, he found himself stuck on the outside and eating jabs. When he attempted to barrel through, Groves would tie him up and force a reset at ring center. This essentially was the pattern of the entire fight.

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As the fight wore on, Eubank’s attempts to get inside got more and more reckless. We got errant fouls from both, but Eubank would get the worst of the legal and illegal actions. He received a bad cut over his right eye from a clash of heads. He was lucky in the middle rounds when the referee missed a flash knockdown.

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Eubank found his best success when he took risks and worked from mid-range. Groves would give ground to the ropes and Eubank had space to pound the body and exchange upstairs. Eubank particularly did this well in the championship rounds where Groves’s stamina began to wane.

We would find out later that Groves suffered a dislocated left shoulder early in the 12th, robbing him of the left jab that kept Eubank’s contained. The challenger took full advantage and dominated the stanza, but Groves showed durability and slickness by rolling with of Eubank’s power shots.

At press time, the severity of Groves’s injury is unknown. All are hopeful it won’t be an extended delay as Groves is set to the meet the winner of Callum Smith and Jurgen Brahmer (February 24) in the World Boxing Super Series Finals. Usually, recovery time can range anywhere from six weeks to three months.

In the meantime, Chris Eubank has to take a long hard look in the mirror. It’s time to stop believing his own hype and get with a new trainer. Naseem Hamed was commentating and absolutely ripped him, going as far to say Eubank showed he’s not a world-class fighter. It’s hard to argue with that considering Eubank was rendered clueless by Groves’s jab and look like an amateur throwing wild haymakers.

28 years old doesn’t exactly make Chris Eubank an old fighter. The question becomes whether it’s too old to unlearn the bad habits he’s internalized.

 

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Photo Credit: Amanda Wescott/Showtime

BROOKLYN — The great thing about the truth is it’s uncompromising. Emotionless. That reality manifested last night at the Barclays Center in the form of Errol Spence Jr., who showed why he’s the most feared man in the welterweight division by breaking the will of Lamont Peterson over seven one-sided rounds.

With both men having fought once in the last year, the big question was who would show more ring rust and if Spence could handle the Jekyll-Hyde style of Peterson, who likes to apply heavy pressure after slow starts. Spence not only breezed through that test but revealed other truths which will be very concerning for the rest of the division.

CERTAIN DOOM: If you stand in front of Spence, bad things will happen. Peterson tried to wear out his foe by keeping a high guard and catching punches on the gloves and elbows. The problem was the southpaw Spence’s offense was too versatile; he alternated between shooting straight lefts to the pit of the stomach, uppercuts that split the gloves, and looping hooks around the guard. These shots kept Peterson hesitant to throw more than one counter at a time. And these were powerful, thudding shots you could tell were wearing down the reserves to prevent Peterson’s usual middle rounds comeback.

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YOU CAN’T SLUG YOUR WAY OUT: Peterson went down off a left hook to the top of the temple. The shot whipped around his guard and he didn’t see it coming. Peterson has been dropped eight times over the course of his 14-year. The Matthysse loss aside, he’s got up and prevented KO losses by turning the contest into brief slugfests. Last night, that strategy invited a worse beating for the D.C. challenger, who witnessed Spence smile and shrug off his best right hands to maul him with powerful hooks. When Peterson stumbled into the ropes, the beating continued with uppercuts and more hooks.

The severity of the punches and lack of Peterson return fire let us know this time would be different. There would be no last hurrahs for Peterson. The one remaining question was if his corner would be perceptive enough to realize when they needed to save Peterson from himself.

 

AN HONORABLE TRAINER: Peterson’s cornerman, Barry Hunter, is more than just a trainer. He was the man who took a teenage, homeless Peterson off the streets of Washington D.C. Father and son-like relationships don’t always lead to the best decisions in the heat of combat. Many times, the father figure “freezes” and either fails to give adequate instructions to his losing fighter or lets a beating go on for too long.

Hunter saw the writing on the wall early and told his man by the fifth he’d stop it if he couldn’t turn the fight around. The beating continued through the sixth and seventh, with a dejected Peterson telling Hunter that he couldn’t box him and his only hope was making it a slugfest. Hunter asked him if he wanted to stop it. And the prideful Peterson affirmed the hopelessness of the situation while still relying on his father figure to make the hurtful call.

“If you want to stop it, I understand. It’s your call.”

Having never heard anything close to that over Peterson’s career, Hunter knew his man had enough.

WELTERWEIGHT SUPREMACY IS UPON US: In his post-fight interview, Spence affirmed his desire for a unification showdown with WBC title-holder Keith Thurman, whom he derisively referred to as “Sometimes Thurman.” The match is one of the biggest showdown in the division and between two undefeated, prime fighters both under the PBC banner. To this date, Thurman has been non-committal and appeared comfortable with letting the fight “marinate” until 2019. The public won’t allow that, and there’s nothing that can happen between now and 2019 that would suddenly make either of them pay-per-view stars.

Its actually fights like Spence-Thurman that can catapult a fighter into becoming an pay-per-view attraction. Spence has the ambition to bet on himself and take the risk now. Does Thurman?

THE REAL SUPERFIGHT FOR 2019: If there’s any fight that I would accept waiting next year for, it would be Spence taking on Terence Crawford, who has his own welterweight title shot in April when he takes on WBO title-holder Jeff Horn. With Crawford under Top Rank and Spence with Al Haymon, the promotional rift will keep them separated for some time. Should Spence beat Thurman, he would still have guys like Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter to tangle with. And Crawford can feast on the endless list of WBO mandatories and Top Rank guys before looking Spence’s way.

But by 2019, those lesser options should be exhausted and we’d have a true super fight. How would it go? Right now, I’d lean towards Spence having a come from behind victory. Crawford has the superior footwork where he could control Spence by turning him and using that jab (southpaw and orthodox) to keep him from getting set to punch. However, Spence has great punch placement and a massive skill advantage when he gets inside. I see the naturally bigger Spence wearing Crawford down for a close but clear decision.

In the meantime, let’s continue to enjoy Spence’s path of destruction.