Posts Tagged ‘knockdown’


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.


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.


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.



Photo Credit: Tom Casino/Showtime

The fight that was supposed to determine the best super middleweight in the world has only fueled more doubt as WBC titlist Badou Jack and IBF beltholder James DeGale battled to an entertaining majority draw at the Barclays Center.

The fight was a tough one to score with DeGale getting a flash knockdown in the first and using his faster hands and nimble footwork to outwork Jack in three of the first four rounds. But then the tide shifted. As DeGale slowed down, Jack landed more telling blows, particularly body shots that visibly hurt DeGale in the sixth. On my card, the middle rounds were dominated by Jack’s more effective shots as he took rounds 5-8. In contrast, most of DeGale’s offense consisted of shoe-shine punches that couldn’t penetrate Jack’s guard.

Bruised and bloodied, DeGale dug deep in the championship rounds. His stronger work rate earned him rounds 9-11 on my card despite constantly losing his mouthpiece. Referee Arthur Mercante Jr. threatened several times to dock a point, but DeGale’s tendency to fight on kept the ref at bay since no rest advantage was attempted.

But there was a severe penalty for DeGale’s bravery (or stupidity depending on your view).


No mouthguard meant unprotected shots to the mouth and DeGale is a few teeth lesser for his troubles.

The dramatic 12th round was punctuated by Jack flooring DeGale with a short right uppercut. To the IBF champ’s credit, he weathered a minute-plus of Jack’s follow-up assaults to see the final bell.


One judge, Glenn Feldman, felt DeGale had built enough of an early lead and gave him the fight 114-112. He was overruled by Julie Lederman and Steve Weisfeld, who both had it 113-113 (also my score).

REMATCH ISSUES: This fight seems like a no-brainer for a rematch. Unfortunately, Jack was quick to disclose he can no longer make super middleweight and the fight would have to take place at 175. DeGale scoffed at the notion and countered that the return bout should take place in London.

Now Floyd Mayweather’s behavior this week makes sense. He told media that Virgil Hunter was a bad coach and that Andre Ward would be a good opponent for Jack. Mayweather obviously knew Jack can’t stay at 168 and wanted his fighter to be the main option if Kovalev-Ward falls through.

Who do you think won the fight? Do you want to see a rematch? Sound off in the comments.


Manny Pacquiao has reached the point where the years of hard fights are supposed to have taken their toll. He should be susceptible to younger fighters that are faster, stronger and hungrier. Saturday night that fighter was supposed to be Jesse Vargas — 10 years younger, 5 inches taller and possessing a 4 inch reach advantage. Instead, Pacquiao showed that he remains an all-time great way ahead of most competition by scoring a second round knockdown and winning a unanimous decision to recapture the WBO welterweight title.

It wasn’t a flawless performance by any means. Pacquiao isn’t the whirlwind of motion he was six years ago. Vargas had his moments were he caught Manny flush with right hands and appeared to have him stunned on a few occasions. But this fight made it clear that outside of Floyd Mayweather, there are few fighters from 140-147 pounds that can get the job done against Pacquiao.


FIRST HALF CHESS MATCH: Vargas’s game plan was to play the role of counter-puncher and catch Pacquiao when he rushed in behind the straight left. When they got close, he’d fire off short body shots (some went low) that forced Pacquiao back outside to reset. Occasionally, he’d lull Manny to sleep on the outside and catch him clean with a right cross.

The strategy resulted in enough clean, effective punching for me to give Vargas rounds 1, 4, and 6 over the first half. However, Pacquiao held a 57-56 advantage on the scorecards due to nailing Vargas with a counter left for a flash knockdown.


SECOND HALF WIPEOUT: Once Pacquiao figured out Vargas’ rhythm, it ceased being competitive from a scoring standpoint. Vargas would land the occasional solid right hand, but they couldn’t negate the volume of straights lefts and right hooks that caused swelling over his right eye and split open his face. On my scorecard, Pacquiao swept rounds 7-12 for a 117-110 score. Official scorecards had Pacquiao winning 114-113 and 118-109 twice.

NEXT ORDER OF BUSINESS: Hardcore fans have been clamoring for a “passing the torch” match with Pacquiao taking on young star Terence Crawford. After some pressure from Stephen A. Smith, Manny eventually said he wouldn’t mind facing Crawford at 140 pounds. Considering Pacquiao hasn’t competed at 140 in seven years, and his management team previously dismissing Crawford due to his “style,” I doubt the fight ever happens. A fight against the winner of Danny Garcia vs. Keith Thurman at the end of 2017 is a little more feasible, but I’d wager Pacquiao takes a safer contest like Amir Khan. Or, considering he was at ringside, we could get a rematch no one wants to see in the sparring contest that was Mayweather-Pacquiao.



BEIJING, CHINA — The boxing upsets just keep coming in 2016. After drawing with Nicholas Walters last December on HBO, Jason Sosa can now call himself a titlist after knocking out Javier Fortuna to pick up the WBA World super featherweight title.

The ending sequence saw Sosa nail Fortuna with a right-left hook combination for a face-first knockdown. Fortuna beat the count, but was deemed in no condition to continue.

The victory is Sosa’s first world title win and improves his record to 19–4. Fortuna suffers his first defeat and falls to 29-1-1.





VERONA, NY — Demetrius Andrade put his promotional issues behind him last night with a masterclass 12th round stoppage over Willie Nelson.

Andrade was in control from the opening bell. His strongest weapon was the counter southpaw right hook, which dropped Nelson in an exchange at the end of round one. Andrade kept his offense varied by crisp combinations to the head and body, straight lefts that split Nelson’s high guard, and occasional flashy lead right uppercuts.


Nelson usually begins to come on in the later rounds as opponents tire (see his efforts against Tony Harrison and Vanes Martirosyan). Andrade never gave him the opportunity and smothered Nelson the few isolated times he landed a solid uppercut or right hand.

The right hook sent Nelson’s mouthpiece flying at the end of the eighth. That punch floored Nelson to end the 11th and set up the definitive finish in the 12th. Andrade scored his third knockdown off a left/right hook, and then finished matters with a right uppercut and hooks that put Nelson down for a fourth and final time.

Coming in, Andrade only fought once in the last two years after a failed attempt to sign a new promotional contract with Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports. Now, he’s ready to challenge the other champions in the junior middleweight division.

“I didn’t lose no time,” said Andrade of his layoff. “I’m ready for them Charlo boys. I want them!”

Would you favor Andrade over the Charlos and Erislandy Lara?


On Tuesday night’s edition of Premier Boxing Champions, undefeated Gennady Golovkin stablemate Murat “Iron” Gassiev delivered a chilling one-punch knockout of Jordan Shimmell. The left hook bomb came in the first round and is the latest example of why the cruiserweight division is criminally overlooked in today’s boxing landscape.

Remember Gassiev’s name. Jordan Shimmell definitely will.



CARSON, CA — Five years is a long time to carry regret. Tonight, Andre Berto used a right uppercut to knock out Victor Ortiz and exorcise the demons from their 2011 Fight of the Year. Was this fight anywhere near their first encounter in terms of action and drama? Absolutely not. But fans were treated to high tension, multiple knockdowns and a definitive ending.

ORTIZ’S EARLY POISE: For most of the bout, Victor Ortiz opted to be the boxer and counter-puncher. The smaller Berto struggled to establish range and found most of his shots falling short. Ortiz was able to land his southpaw straight left and used it to score a flash knockdown in the second.

THE CONFIDENCE SWING: Before the landing that crushing right uppercut, Berto looked jittery. His offense was sputtering, and his eyes showed were that of a fighter not prepared to chase after Ortiz. When he got the knockdown, his war yell announced he was back in the fight. To his credit, Berto seemed to remember the knockdowns traded in the first bout and didn’t get too wild. Berto trapped Ortiz on the ropes and downed him quickly with power shots.

As with every Ortiz fight, the question is his heart. In a replay of the Collazo fight, Ortiz had a “deer in headlights” look after both knockdowns. He gave referee Jack Reiss no choice but to call it off when he failed to respond to questions about wanting to continue.

ORTIZ DONE, MORE PAYDAYS LOOM FOR BERTO: Ortiz proclaimed after the fight he’ll be back and just needed a “vacation.” This statement was made while some of the Mexican fans in attendance hurled slurs. Frankly, we’ve seen more than enough Ortiz vacations as he’s only fought five times in the last five years. His heart is not in the sport. This KO loss puts his stock at rock bottom. Sure, the PBC brand can put him on undercards in inconsequential fights. But why bother?

As for Berto, he jump to the top of the list for a showdown with Danny Garcia in late summer. Should Garcia opt to face the winner of Thurman-Porter in June, Berto could sit or be an option for rising contender Errol Spence.


THOMAS WILLIAMS TKO2 EDWIN RODRIGUEZ: Bombs away! These two wasted no time throwing huge shots in the opening round. Rodriguez was the sloppier one — his shots were badly telegraphed and his footwork plodding. The southpaw Williams was landing flush left hands at will. Although Rodriguez held up in the opening round, there’s only so many clean shots you can take. In the very next round, Rodriguez started to wilt and got laid out in devastating fashion.

Williams highlight-reel KO puts him on a collision course to face WBC light-heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson. I like Superman to retain in that one via early KO. But with Williams’ power, you can’t count him out.



JORGE LORA KO1 FERNANDO MONTIEL: After 20 years, it’s time to say goodbye to Fernando Montiel. The multi-division champion was floored four times and brutally stopped with a right hook by Jorge Lara, who referred to Montiel as “his idol.”

With Montiel’s best days being at super flyweight and bantamweight over five years ago, it wasn’t surprising to see Lora overpower him at feathweight. A sad end to a great career, but one that’s inevitable for most fighters.