Heading into tonight’s rematch in Las Vegas it was tough to predict who would come out victorious in the rematch between Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao. It was also interesting to see how this fight would play out a second time and what would change. Early on it was a very different fight where Bradley looked like a poised veteran coming forward with confidence and landing hard punches that looked like they hurt Pacquiao. Manny looked slower, vulnerable, and behind at the midway point. As the sixth round came near the close Bradley dropped his hands to taunt Pacquiao and bobbed and weaved out of harm’s way. However, this was the turning point as Bradley took his foot completely off the gas and in reality it was hard to find a round after six to give to Bradley until the eleventh. It was hard to tell whether Bradley got tired, cocky, or hurt something because he stopped fighting and spent the next couple of rounds posing and taunting rather than fighting and it gave Pacquiao a lead on the cards but he robbed himself of the momentum. Continue reading
Eighteen months off for Victor Ortiz resulted in just below six minutes in the ring as he was shocked by a right hook from Luis Collazo. Tonight was all about Victor Ortiz who for awhile was being pushed along by Golden Boy Promotions as the next possible star and after a bumpy road this may be the final set back. Ortiz in the prefight hype claimed he never really left the gym despite having a badly broken jaw and that his physique should show it. Well Ortiz looked to be in great shape but he came out tight in the first round and was wide with his shots. He won the first round and was aggressive. His lead hand work was pretty good as his jab and right hook appeared to be on point. Luis Collazo fought a relaxed and intelligent fight looking to set up the left hand in the first round. The second round became interesting as both men traded left hands early in the round. Continue reading
Marco Huck successfully defended his WBO Cruiserweight championship for the twelfth time Stuttgart, Germany in front of a raucous crowd. The fight was a rematch of their November 2012 fight which ended in a very controversial unanimous decision that went Huck’s way despite Firat Arslan dominating the fight and beating Huck clearly. Arslan drove Huck to the ropes and attacked constantly in every round and Huck could not keep him away and his heavy hands could not hurt Arslan. Going into the rematch Huck was forced to make the adjustments in there as Arslan was going to and did storm forward the whole fight. For Arslan the questions surrounded his age and if he could do it again and if he did would the judges give him a decision. Early on it was clear that Arslan had the crowd on its side and it was also clear that this was going to be a good fight. Continue reading
Boxing and reality television have always made an interesting marriage. 2013 brings us a new installment on the interesting network choice of the Discovery Channel. The show follows the Boston area amateur boxing scene with a focus on trainer Peter Welch and his dream to revive the Boston boxing scene which he feels is dying. According to Welch, as the boxing dies so does the youth and young men whose avenues are left to drugs and reckless behavior. For anyone who has seen the Mark Wahlberg film The Fighter or ESPN’s Unguarded about Chris Herren this is not new territory. So Peter Welch wants to revive boxing in Boston, his dream is being put into real action by an arrangement of gym versus gym fight cards hoping to draw crowds and spark up interest. The first episode fell a little flat but the show appears to have momentum going into episode two. Continue reading
After a long and extended delay, perhaps the highest profile fight in Canadian boxing history has finally ended. A fight that seemed inevitable has finally occurred despite the roadblocks. The fight itself turned out to be an underwhelming affair after all the accolades leading up to it. Lucian Bute held sturdy and was not stopped like many of his detractors declared would happen but he lost in a way that many could not expect. He lacked offensive urgency, his uppercut to the head and viscous liver shot never once became a factor. Bute had several sharp jabs and some occasional left hands.
Then suddenly in the final three minutes Bute assaulted Jean Pascal with everything in his arsenal. A first it was hard to tell if he was playing possum because Pascal then jumped out and sprung into attack. Then, Bute went back onto the assault once again until the end of the round. When the fight was over and the twelve rounds were completed there was no doubt about who would win and the right man was given the nod on the scorecards by margins of four points on one card and seven on the other two. Continue reading
Opening up for the HBO broadcast from the Bell Center in Montreal, Canada were two relocated heavyweights. The contest pitted two relocated fighters in late starter Carlos Takam born in Cameroon fighting out of France and Mike Perez born in Cuba and fighting out of Ireland. The bout seemed like it was going to be a forgettable one as the first three rounds saw very little action.
Then a cut on the right brow of Perez opened from an accidental head butt in the third round and neither man got particularly desperate despite facing a possible no contest. Then suddenly the fight picked up. The much larger Takam spent the early goings backing away from Perez and trying to box the former Cuban amateur and the perceived better boxer. Perez appeared to be ahead after five rounds as the fight remained at a slow pace with no real engagements. In round six the fight became stationary and toe to toe and Takam began to dig to the body and work in the uppercut. Continue reading
WBC Cruiserweight Champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk successfully defended his title last night at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois. This victory completed his trilogy of fights with Italian former champion Giacobbe Fragomeni and was also his sixth defense of the WBC belt. Wlodarczyk displayed a true veteran’s poise in the ring tonight and put on a flawless performance. Fragomeni was giving up several inches in height and reach but sometimes it felt like a foot. Wlodarczyk’s footwork was also put on display as he rarely if ever let Fragomeni get inside, the only place the challenger could get any solid work in.
The highlight of the fight was most certainly the left hook in round four that knocked Fragomeni to the canvas. It was a strange knockdown on a very short punch. The two came close together and the referee came over and it looked like there was going to be a break and Wlodarczyk just threw a punch. Fragomeni went down to his stomach and was shaking his head as the count picked up and it didn’t look like he was going to make it. Continue reading
There was no bump in the road last night for a possible light heavyweight showdown between Sergey Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson. In two fights with a very showcase feel both belt holders took care of business with definitive knockout wins. Kovalev’s came very early and was very destructive. Ismayl Sillakh, a Ukrainian challenger now fighting out of Simi Valley, California was out cold from an overhand right that had him out on his feet.
Two jabs assisted his fall as the referee Marlon Wright was waving it over immediately. Sillakh fell under the bottom rope and the doctors struggled to get him back under the ropes so they could examine his condition. People sitting ringside stuck out hands to prevent him from crawling off the ring and onto the floor. Kovalev had shattered the once promising contender with two solid overhand rights. Continue reading
Eleven months removed from his last fight, a crushing knockout, there was some doubt surrounding Manny Pacquiao’s career moving forward. Tonight in Macau, China Manny Pacquiao got the job done and won a near shutout after twelve rounds of welterweight action. Brandon Rios was facing a real tall order in Pacquiao as he went up in weight yet again to meet his best opponent to date. Despite being taller and heavier and seemingly carrying the weight well Rios just could not stylistically impose himself. The fight from round four on turned more and more into an exhibition of Pacquiao’s hand speed and his ability to create angles. A puzzled Rios was greatly limited offensively as he just could not get the geography he needed to become effective.
The first round of the fight was a very interesting round as Pacquiao attempted to shake off the cobwebs that have developed after such a long layoff. Brandon Rios fought the first round very tactically and more measured than usual. He did not come barreling in and was really doing his best to establish his jab. Continue reading
(Photo Credit: Top Rank/Chris Farina) Brandon Rios was chosen for a reason tonight. The pay per view welterweight feature fight in Macau, China is a chance for Manny Pacquiao to rebound his career against an opponent that is designed for him to win and win big. At his best, 2009 to 2010, Pacquiao absolutely demolishes Brandon Rios with relative ease minus the occasional hard connect. This fight has shades of his destruction of Ricky Hatton and his dominant and punishing decision over Antonio Margarito. Margarito of course was trained by Robert Garcia who will once again attempt to lead his fighter over Manny Pacquiao and his trainer Freddie Roach.
When a major pay per view event is announced usually the gut feeling is the correct feeling as most of these pay per view events have not been much of a mystery at announcement. Then the hype machine gets put in motion and the fight begins to get closer in perception as people either become convinced it’s a good fight or they want it to be a good fight and over think the outcome too much. After the dust settles and the outcome has been decided the same people lash out in disappointment and feel robbed by the expensive pay per view price they paid for a fight that they “foresaw” when it was first signed despite getting wrapped into the prefight emotions. When Top Rank Promotions announced that Manny Pacquiao’s next fight would be against the former lightweight titlist Brandon Rios the gut feeling was this fight is a mismatch. Continue reading