Posts Tagged ‘results’

Joshua_Takam

CARDIFF, WALES — Last-minute substitution Carlos Takam proved no match for unified WBA/IBF champion Anthony Joshua, who used his massive size to dominate the inside fighting and score a 10th round stoppage at the Principality Arena.

Takam had a sound strategy of working off the backfoot and seeking to take the fight into the late rounds. Early on, Joshua struggled with cutting off the ring and allowed Takam to wing overhand right counters. Takam also made the champion uncomfortable in the second by leading head first and breaking Joshua’s nose with an unintentional butt.

But at 6’6 and 254 pounds, Joshua’s size began to take its toll. The challenger was lacerated above his right eye by a short left hook. Getting inside was supposed to be Takam’s best chance, but it became a no man’s land where Joshua got off first with right uppercuts and hooks that sent the challenger reeling backwards. Takam went down off such a barrage in the fourth and was later cut above his left eye.

The Frenchman remained competitive and started having limited success as Joshua sought to pace himself. Takam arguably won the seventh and ninth rounds on activity as his overhand right counters forced Joshua to briefly give ground and hold.

In the tenth, Joshua went on the offensive with a right uppercut. A stunned Takam retreated to the ropes while taking several unanswered punches, prompting the referee to quickly jump in amid protests from the challenger.

The win improves Joshua’s record to 20-0 (20 KOs). According to promoter Eddie Hearn, the three targeted bouts for 2018 are WBC titlist Deontay Wilder, WBO title-holder Joseph Parker, and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

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Considering Takam was a last-minute replacement on less than two weeks notice, I won’t be too critical of Joshua’s performance from a technical standpoint. However, his weight and stamina are a growing concern. 254 pounds is a career-high for him and it showed which his decreased punch output over the second half of the fight. The fight was even being fought at a torrid pace. I don’t even expect Joshua to be a high-volume guy due to his muscle mass, but getting in the 245 range would do wonders for his fluidity and deter some of the arm-weariness we see at times.

As for the future, the post-fight presser showed that Wilder likely isn’t next on the cards. Between Hearn and trainer Rob McCracken, there doesn’t seem to be a rush to make the fight, and high importance is placed on keeping all the belts and fulfilling mandatories. Also, it isn’t like Wilder has any leverage — the American slugger won’t even sell-out his November 4 fight in Brooklyn against Bermane Stiverne, while Joshua-Takam just set an closed arena attendance record with 78,000. Joshua has zero reason to travel and can pretty much put Wilder on ice much like Canelo did GGG for a full year.

Expect Parker and Fury (should he return) to get looked at first before Wilder.

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Canelo and GGG Battle to Contentious Split Draw

Posted: September 17, 2017 by Ismael AbduSalaam in Fight Reports
Tags: , , , ,

 

Canelo_GGG_draw

LAS VEGAS — Leave it to one judge to screw up a great fight. Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin battled tooth and nail over 12 rounds in a highly competitive fight that was mired by judge Adalaide Byrd’s wide 118-110 scorecard for Canelo, creating a split draw decision.

In an eerie replay of the early rounds of Marvin Hagler vs. Sugar Ray Leonard 30 years ago, Golovkin was gunshy in the early round. This allowed Canelo to get off first at ring center with flashy combinations and jump out to a 3-0 lead on all scorecards.

From there, Golovkin became the stalking predator that’s made him famous.

Golovking upped the pressure and forced Canelo to the ropes with his jab. Canelo was visibly uncomfortable trying to maintain movement as Golovkin repeatedly cornered him and worked right hands around the guard. While Canelo did manage to occasionally back up Golovkin with hard counter shots, it was the middleweight champion’s pressure, jabs and right hands that consistently dominated the action through the ninth.

Sensing he was in a hole, Canelo dug deep in the championship rounds. Despite being fatigued, he exploded strategically with clusters of eye-catching power shots before retreating under Golovkin’s relentless pressure. This tactic proved to be a lifesaver as Canelo out-landed Golovkin in power shots over the last three rounds and swept them on the judges’ cards.

The close fight was correctly reflected in the scores of Dave Moretti (115-113) and Don Trella (114-114). But Byrd’s egregious 118-110 card made for the split draw. The crowd lustily booed the verdict and Canelo, who declared he won at least eight rounds. Golovkin chastised Canelo for “running” and affirmed his willingness for an immediate rematch.

The result marks a sour end to a superfight that was 18 months in the making and marketed as the antithesis of the “Mayweather-Gregor circus.”

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Well, at least the people who bet on a draw get to clean up at the sportsbook. I’ll write more about this tomorrow, but let me close your evening with a few points.

  1. Adalaide Byrd should never judge another fight. She gave GGG two rounds.
  2. This verdict sullies Canelo’s reputation and paints him as a protected fighter. We’ve seen too much scoring favoritism in his high-level fights against Trout, Mayweather, Lara,  and now Golovkin. Getting booed out the building on Mexican Independence Day weekend says it all.
  3. I had GGG winning 115-113, but his stamina is becoming a concern at 35 years old. He never stopped the pressure after round three, but his punch output dropped heavily in the championship rounds, giving Canelo the wiggle room to escape with the 114-114 score.
  4. If you’re wondering why GGG looked so happy about arguably being robbed, keep in mind he’s thinking about another career-high payday in the rematch.

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Photo Credit: Hogan Photos

In what became a grudge match after a contentious weigh-in, Diego De La Hoya bruised up and outclassed a game Randy Caballero on the Canelo-GGG undercard.

Even with a 10-pound weight advantage, De La Hoya was the faster man. He peppered Caballero with quick inside combinations off the backfoot. By the third, Caballero was already sporting an angry mouse under his left eye. When Caballero tried to apply pressure in the fifth, De La Hoya hurt and drove him into the ropes with uppercuts to the body and left hooks upstairs.

Caballero threw up his hands in frustration at the end of the sixth, signaling he was out of answers. De La Hoya’s heavier hands carried the later rounds despite Caballero continuing to come forward.  Caballero was briefly wobbled in the eighth by a left hook to the body and staggered several times in the ninth from repeated right hands.

Final scorecards read 100-90 and 98-92 twice. Caballero suffers his first defeat (24-1) and a major setback after only his third fight in the last 19 months. De La Hoya improves to 20-0.

 

AJ_champion

LONDON — Welcome to the Anthony Joshua era. The undefeated fighter staked his claim to heavyweight supremacy by overcoming a sixth round knockdown to stop former undisputed champion and future Hall of Famer Wladimir Klitschko in 11 rounds before 90,000 rabid fans at Wembley Stadium.

Although Klitschko displayed spry footwork in the early rounds, it was Joshua who was the active puncher. The titlist kept Klitschko backpeadling with pushing jabs and overhand rights. However, Klitschko remained dangerous by catching most of those shots on the gloves and landed several strong right hands in the second and fourth.

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A dramatic fifth round saw Joshua storm out and hurt Klitschko with a clubbing right hand. He continued the blitzing assault to cut Klitschko over the left eye and score a knockdown. The challenger proved resilient by crashing in multiple left hooks to stun a fatigued Joshua to close the stanza.

It would be the patented Klitschko 1-2 followed by a left hook that produced the most perilous moment of Joshua’s career in round six. He was dropped early in the round and forced to survive off the backfoot as Klitschko pursued with lead hooks. Klitschko built his momentum further by controlling the action with a ramrod jab in rounds 7-8.

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Gradually, Joshua worked his way back into the fight. He outworked Klitshko in rounds 9-10 by focusing his attack on the body. However, Klitschko still was in a position to close the bout, as evidenced by a heavy right hand that punctuated the 10th.

Joshua seized the final advantage in the 11th by exploiting Klitschko’s clinching. He rocked the former champion with a vicious right uppercut that lead to another knockdown. Joshua quickly floored Klitschko again with a right hand for a third knockdown. Klitschko rose again but was trapped in a corner and unable to hold, forcing the referee to call the bout.

Joshua improves to 19-0 and is now the unified IBF and WBA champion. A rematch clause is in place. Should Klitschko not exercise it, Joshua named-checked domestic rival and lineal champion Tyson Fury as a potential opponent.

 

 

 

 

 

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LAS VEGAS — It was dubbed a fight to crown the Pound 4 Pound best and it delivered. Andre Ward was hurt in the first round and dropped in the second, but mounted a gradual comeback behind a strong body attack to take a narrow 114-113 win on all scorecards.

Ward was stunned by a jab in the opening round and forced to hold. In the second, Kovalev floored the challenger with a perfect right hand. Kovalev continued his aggression behind the stiff jab and right hand, but Ward responded strong in the third by countering to the body and working the left hook.

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The remaining rounds were a seesaw of momentum on both sides. Ward got more moments for inside mauling where he slowed Kovalev with hard body shots. Although Kovalev was not able to replicate the clean shots landed in the opening rounds, he still manged to back Ward up with counter jabs and right hands.

The fight would come down to the 12th, where Kovalev landed the harder head shots, but Ward continued his solid work downstairs. Ultimately, the judges preferred Ward’s offense, and he won the round on all the judge’s scorecards.

The win gives Ward the WBA, WBO and IBF light-heavyweight titles and sets the stage for a lucrative rematch.


What a fight! On my scorecard, I had 115-112 for Kovalev, believing the knockdown pushed him ahead in a close bout. I had Kovalev taking rounds 1, 2 (w/ knockdown), 4, 6, 9, 10, and 12. Ward took rounds 3, 5, 7, 8, and 11. However, there were at least two close rounds on my card where I had some doubt before I tallied the final score. In Vegas, judges prefer aggression and for whatever it’s worth, Ward was the one who looked fresher and landed the most consistent punches on the second half — the body shots. And while the crowd should not influence judges, we know it does and there were wild cheers for Ward’s comeback likely played a part in the favorable scoring.

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Photo Credit: Hogan Photos

CARDIFF, WALES — Guillermo Rigondeaux killed time this Saturday by breaking the jaw of an overmatched James Dickens for a second round corner stoppage at the Ice Arena.

Ridgondeaux fought at his usual measured pace. The punch output was low, but Rigondeaux controlled both rounds with excellent accuracy with the looping southpaw left. One of those shots in round two resulted in the apparent jaw fracture.

Dickens, who failed to land a significant punch, immediately let his corner know about the injury and retired.

Rigondeaux improves to 17-0 (11 KOs) with his seventh defense of the WBA super bantamweight title.

Joshua_Breazeale_punch

LONDON — Dominic Breazeale vowed that he would not meekly surrender like Charles Martin did against Anthony Joshua. Breazeale lived up to his word, but received a methodical beating as the bloodied and bruised American was floored twice in a seventh round stoppage defeat.

Joshua established distance from the outset with a consistent, hard jab and jarring left hooks. His formidable right hand was used as a secondary weapon and Breazeale looked a step behind in every exchange. A counter right uppercut badly staggered Breazeale in the second. By the third, the challenger’s right eye was swollen shut from the counter hooks and jabs.

Breazeale briefly picked up his energy output in the sixth after drawing blood from Joshua’s nose. That carried to the seventh when Breazeale landed a solid right. Joshua smiled, and responded with guard breaking right hands that floored Breazeale against the ropes. The second knockdown again saw Breazeale trapped on the ropes and absorbing power shots, prompting the referee to halt the fight sans a ten count.

Joshua, who named Joseph Parker and Tyson Fury as potential opponents, notably spoke highly of WBC titlist Deontay Wilder as his main future target.

“One day we’ll get to experience what each other’s about,” said Joshua.

The win is Breazeale’s first defeat and Joshua’s first defense of the IBF title.