Posts Tagged ‘TKO’

Wilder vs Stiverne 2 - November 4_ 2017_11_04_2017_Fight_Ryan Hafey _ Premier Boxing Champions

Photo Credit: Ryan Haney/Premier Boxing Champions

BROOKLYN — Deontay Wilder said before last night’s rematch he feared for Bermane Stiverne’s life. Two minutes and 59 seconds later, we found out why as Stiverne failed to land a single punch and was on the receiving end of three knockdowns before being left motionless at the Barclays Center.

At 39 years old and having not fought in two years, most weren’t expecting much from Stiverne. Wilder wisely pounced on him early, showing a sharp jab. As Stiverne tried to plod in, his guard was split by an accurate straight right that put the former titlist on the seat of his pants. Any semblance of fighting spirit left Stiverne as he vainly claimed it was a rabbit punch. Wilder taunted him with a statue pose before unleashing two haymaker left and right hooks for another knockdown seconds later.

With under 10 seconds left, Wilder landing a sliding right hook and two left hooks that put Stiverne out cold against the bottom of the ropes.

Wilder’s win now gives him the distinction of knocking out every man he’s ever faced. In the post-fight interview, he challenged Anthony Joshua, who he accused of using performing enhancing drugs. Wilder also rebuffed the public offer from Joshua’s promoter Matchroom Boxing, who want him to face Dillian Whyte to earn a Joshua unification.Wilder did acquiesce that he would be willing to travel to the UK for Joshua.

Last night’s knockout was Wilder’s sixth successful defense of the WBC heavyweight title.

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A good knockout can make you forget the details. Stiverne was a dead man walking the minute this fight was announced. Shopworn, 39 years old, and inactive for two years (and in his last fight, was dropped), Stiverne was facing a man in Wilder at the peak of his physical powers and it showed quickly.

But the fact Wilder scored a huge KO, and Joshua seemed to “struggle” a week ago vs. Carlos Takam, has led some to claim not only will Wilder win, but that AJ is ducking the American champion.

When comparing resumes, Joshua holds the clear advantage. If Wladimir Klitschko was washed up, then Stiverne was the walking dead. And even more ironic is that Wilder’s next opponent is likely Dominic Breazeale, a man Joshua easily knocked out in seven rounds last year.

Now make no mistake, the fight needs to happen to unify the division. But Wilder has to realize he has zero leverage. Last night’s win was not even a sellout, while Joshua easily filled and set an indoor boxing record of over 70,000 with a replacement opponent in Takam. Much like Canelo-GGG, Joshua has all the cards and can delay the fight or have Wilder jump through as many hoops as he pleases.

Don’t expect this fight to happen until late 2018, early 2019 at the latest.

 

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The Truth has arrived. Errol Spence Jr. lived up to his nickname by silencing critics (myself included) by overcoming an early deficit to batter Kell Brook into an 11th round stoppage and claim the IBF welterweight title.

The fight was fought on a very high level. Early on, Brook held the advantage when he kept the challenger at long-range and on the end of his right hand and jabs. But Spence would force the action and remain relentless in clubbing the body. The biggest difference over the first half was Brook had a better grasp of ring generalship; he knew when to pick his spots on offense and smother Spence’s attempts to respond. Through six, I had Brook with a 4-2 lead.

Then things started going south for the Sheffield native. Brook’s punch output dissipated drastically as Spence’s accuracy and pressure gradually increased every round. Now Brook was a step slower in clinching, allowing Spence to work the body and land punishing jabs.

By the eighth, bad swelling surrounded Brook’s left eye. The toll of making the 147 limit from welterweight, in addition to Spence’s pressure and body-punching, had Brook’s resistance withering by the minute. There was nowhere to hide as the challenger punished Brook with blistering power shots whenever the champion sought refuge on the ropes. Brook was forced to take a knee in the 10th and was on the verge of being stopped before a dramatic late rally got him through the round.

Spence promptly continued his workmanlike assault in the 11th. Brook once again took a knee, later claiming the left eye damage had badly compromised his vision. This time, his corner wisely saved him from further punishment.


If you’re a top welterweight not named Errol Spence, tonight performance has put you on notice. The most impressive thing for me was Spence’s defense, which I had previously underrated. He proved to an elusive, small target and took away the potency of Brook’s right hand.

WBA/WBC champion Keith Thurman, who’s currently recovering from elbow surgery, wasted no time responding to Spence’s unification challenge.

Although many see Spence as the future kingpin of the division, Thurman has a good chance of derailing it. One Time is highly athletic and has the footwork needed to keep Spence from getting set and also exploding with flashy and damaging combos. However, we know Spence’s specialty is body-punching and Thurman has been hurt badly twice from shots downstairs against Luiz Collazo and Shawn Porter. Ideally, a Spence and Thurman unification should be one of PBC’s major fights in early 2018.

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What’s next for Kell Brook? A LONG break. He has suffered orbital bone fractures to both eyes in his last two fights. A titanium plate had to be inserted into the right one after the brutal defeat to Gennady Golovkin last year. The same procedure will likely be required for the left eye that Spence smashed tonight. The eyes will be targets from here on out, and Brook’s best bet would be to take the rest of the year off and cash out with an all-Sheffield showdown against Amir Khan in spring 2018.

As for Spence, there’s no need to sit around while Thurman convalesces. Luis Collazo or the winner for the just announced Robert Guerrero vs. Omar Figueroa (assuming they don’t kill each other) bout would be solid stay-busy fights to close out the year.

Whatever Spence does, you can be rest assured we’ll all be watching very closely.

 

 

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Photo Credit: Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment

BROOKLYN, NY — When you’re the one taking punches, there’s only so many years you get in this fight game. Every jab to the face rattles the hourglass, the sand hastened with every left hook to the body. If we could see former title-holder Andre Berto’s hourglass, it’d be shattered in a thousand pieces following last night’s ninth-round stoppage defeat at the hands of bulldozer Shawn Porter.

At 33 years old and 13 years of professional fighting on his ledger, Berto is closer to retirement than his prime. He looked like it Saturday night. Porter had him grimacing in pain from every body shot, and looking to the ref for help every time Porter roughed him up instead of taking matters into his own hands.

At one point in the later rounds, Berto’s trainer Virgil Hunter asked him why he kept going to the ropes and allowing Porter to maul him without mercy.

“I don’t know,” said Berto, his speech heavy with resignation and despair.

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Round nine was marked the end of the fight and Berto’s career as a top contender. A clash of heads, one of numerous during the fight, dazed Berto had him careening into the ropes. The ref didn’t break the action, so Porter, which both eyes bleeding from previous butts, pounced with brutal haymakers. We’ve seen Berto get battered before on the ropes. Luis Collazo had him reeling several times in their 2009 classic. Victor Ortiz almost stopped him early in their consensus 2011 Fight of Year. Robert Guerrero brutalized him so bad that both eyes were grotesquely swollen. And Jesus Soto Karass capitalized on an injured, one-armed Berto to stop him in 2013.

But unlike those fights, the Andre Berto from last night was missing the will power from year’s past. In every one of the aftermentioned fights, Berto was highly competitive, either by scoring his own knockdowns or stinging his opponent with big shots. Last night looked like a high school senior bullying a freshman. The Andre Berto of year’s past fearlessly went out on his shield. The Berto of 2017, inactive for a year while seeking a lucrative fight (and getting it with over $1million for this bout), reached out to the ref with desperate eyes for salvation. He received it with a merciful stoppage.

Years from now, there won’t be any Hall of Fame debates about Berto. No tearful Jim Lampley reflections on HBO. And frankly, not much goodwill from fans who, perhaps unfairly, have come to view him as the poster boy for overpaid, protected fighters post-2000. But the less cynical will see a man who overachieved in the ring with classic fights, and in his pocketbook with multiple million-plus paydays, including the pinnacle by facing Floyd Mayweather in 2015.

Berto mentioned in his post-fight interview that he needs time to reflect with family before deciding his future in boxing. Maybe our final memory of Andre Berto will be the best one we can hope for any fighter — that he knew the right time to walk away.

Shields Szabados Boxing

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

DETROIT, MI — Claressa Shields capped her historical headlining card with a fourth round stoppage over Szilvia Szabados at the MGM Grand.

What Szabados lacked in skill she made up for with durability and aggression. Shields did most of her damage with hooks to the head, particularly the left hand. Szabados would bull forward into Shields’ chest, but didn’t have the tools needed to take advantage.

The one-sided beating came to an end midway through the fourth when Shields’ left hook counter made Szabados’ neck do an 180. Although Szabados look clear-eyed, referee Harvey Dock thought the punishment was too one-sided and called off the bout.

The win is Shields’ first professional knockout and improves her record to 2-0.


Amazing to think that last night was the first time a woman headlined a premium network card. Kudos to Showtime for investing in Claressa Shields. She’s still very raw at the pro level so I hope Showtime is patient enough to let her develop for 10 fights. Her footwork and patience are the two glaring areas. She’s so anxious to bomb gals out that she neglects the body and gets into unnecessary brawling. But at 2-0, her future looks very bright.

 

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Photo Credit: Ryan Hafey/ Premier Boxing Champions

WBC heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder used a sneaky right hand to erase a growing deficit and score a come from behind knockout of Gerald Washington.

The prevailing narrative before last night was that Washington, a former football player with limited experience at the elite level, wouldn’t be able to hang with a nine-year veteran like Wilder. But for the majority of the five rounds this lasted, it was Wilder who look indecisive and unable to deal with Washington’s offense. Washington outboxed Wilder by pushing him back with jabs and landing short power shots before clinches. The strategy had Wilder reluctant to get off first and dropping the first four rounds.

Lucky for Wilder, his immense power remains the equalizer. One short right hand dumped Washington on the canvas. He beat the count and was hit with a few more clean shots to force a debatable stoppage.

This was Wilder’s comeback fight from right hand and bicep surgery, so he’s entitled to a pass. However, there should be no more wasted time against no-hopers. Nine years in and having a competitive record comparable to Anthony Joshua is not a good look. The alleged plan of unifying with WBO titlist Joseph Parker and then against the winner of Klitschko-Joshua needs to be executed with no excuses.


 

 

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Photo Credit: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

Jarrett Hurd proved his resiliency by weathering an early deficit to break down Tony Harrison and score an emphatic ninth-round stoppage to win the vacant IBF super welterweight title.

Harrison did well in the first half of the contest by exploiting Hurd’s modified crouch and crab stance. Hurd’s lead left was crossed over his body, allowing the faster Harrison to land first in exchanges with his jab and later counter rights. Hurd weathered the storm and continued being the aggressor Eventually, Hurd began to get inside and land short hooks.

The tide noticeably turned at the end of the fifth when Hurd wobbled Harrison with a right uppercut. Afterward, Harrison’s equilibrium was shaken any time Hurd landed a clean shot. Harrison was nearly dropped in the seventh and eighth stanzas for trying to exchange and finally tasted in the canvas in the ninth from a counter right hook. Harrison beat the count but spit out his mouthpiece, prompting the referee to call off the bout.

Going in, a lot of pundits had this as an even fight. From my viewpoint, I heavily favored Hurd due to continued questions I have about Harrison’s durability. If an opponent can take his power and apply pressure, Harrison seems to fall apart despite his obvious talent. Harrison is still only 26, but I believe he’s reached his ceiling.


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Photo Credit: Manny Montreal/TheFightCity.com

QUEBEC CITY — Lucian Bute’s 14-year career may be over after suffering a one-punch knockout loss to undefeated contender Eleider Alvarez tonight at the Centre Videotron.

Bute, who was making is debut at light-heavyweight, displayed a high activity rate over the first four rounds. An errant head butt benefited Bute dispute a cut nose, as Alvarez received a laceration that streamed blood down his face. The injury seemed to affect Alvarez’s focus and allowed Bute to get off first with straight lefts and inside-out offense.

The success proved to be fool’s gold. Bute lingered too long inside, allowing Alvarez to counter him with an overhand right. The punch froze Bute long enough for Alvarez to floor him with a short right hook. With Bute too dazed to continue, referee Marlon Wright waved the bout off.

As a WBC title-eliminator, the victory puts Alvarez in place to face champion Adonis Stevenson later this year. Stevenson has a voluntary defense against a yet to be determined opponent on April 29.