Posts Tagged ‘TKO’

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Monsters are real. Just ask Jamie McDonnell, who was relived of his WBA bantamweight title in merciless fashion as Naoya Inoue needed less than two minutes to score a crushing knockout victory.

At 5’9 to Inoue’s 5’5, McDonnell sought to made it a long-distance affair by pumping the jab and and circling. But Inoue easily breached the distance gap by darting in with a lead left hook to the body. The shot pushed McDonnell to the ropes where Inoue let loose with a quick combination.

McDonnell attempted to regoup by targeting the stomach with a body jab, but was quickly countered by a left hook to the top of the head. The shot wobbled him and a knockdown, via a left hook downstairs, quickly followed.

McDonnell rose and was met with a series of shots punctuated by a left hook for the final knockdown with 1:08 remaining.

The win is improves Inoue’s record to 16-0 (14 KOs) and gives him a third title in as many weight classes at the age of 25.

Expect this to just be the beginning of his reign of terror as the new title-holder will participate in the World Boxing Series bantamweight tournament.

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Tony Bellew delivered on his rematch promise to defeat David Haye quicker by putting on a counter-punch clinic with three knockdowns for a dominant fifth round TKO.

Haye carried the first two rounds by keeping distance and landing long jabs and straight rights. But when the fight went inside, Bellew’s sharper technique took over by forcing Haye to exchange. He dropped the former heavyweight title-holder twice in the third with counter right hands. On the second knockdown, Haye grimaced in pain and held his right ankle. Despite this, Haye had enough of his bearings to move and survive the round.

Haye was evasive enough to make it through the fourth but looked perilously close to being stopped any time Bellew attacked. The Hayemaker punch to turn the bout around wasn’t there due to Haye’s poor balance. In the fifth, he threw a wide left hook that put him in line for Bellew to deliver a compact, textbook left hook of his own, resulting in  Haye careening face-first to the canvas.

Haye beat the count but couldn’t mount a strong defense, prompting the referee stoppage. Afterward, Haye offered no excuses and dismissed the speculation he was injured in round three. Although the 37-year old Haye wouldn’t commit to retiring, Bellew said he hoped his rival would call it quits.

“This is a young man’s game. I told the referee after the third to stop the fight,” said Bellew. “The only reason I gave him a chance in the fourth was because he’s so heavy-handed. I hope he makes a (retirement) announcement in the next few days.”

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Haye’s been on borrowed time for years. The explosive athleticism that defined his cruiserweight and early heavyweight run have completely eroded from injuries. He’s still in good shape, but the added weight from age and muscle makes him lethargic and predictable in the ring. There is absolutely no reason for him to continue on at 37.

As for Bellew, his domestic star is bright. He called out a myriad of opponents but sounded most interested in luring Andre Ward out of retirement. If Ward isn’t swayed by the possibility of a high-level UK fight, Bellew has a few other opens at heavyweight (Fury, Whyte) and cruiser (Usyk-Gassiev winner) to keep him occupied. Not bad for a 35-year old looking to close out a career on favorable terms.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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.