If you would have told me before the Terrance Crawford (24-0) and Yuriorkis Gamboa’s (23-1) Saturday night tilt (contested in Omaha…known the world over as the fight capital of Nebraska) that Crawford was going to win by a tenth round stoppage I would have said…okay, fine. Crawford is a talented, skilled boxer fighting in his hometown. He’s also significantly bigger than Gamboa, both in terms of height and natural weight class, and he’s looked far sharper in his recent bouts. So yeah, a tenth round stoppage seems about right. But if you would have told me that Crawford and Gamboa would also be sort of a spectacularly entertaining life or death slugfest, and probably the leading candidate for fight of the year, I would have said no that won’t happen: I don’t care if you’re clairvoyant or from the future or whatever your deal is, but you’re wrong. A blown-up featherweight coming off a slow paced tap-fest over a year ago against a defensively responsible counter-puncher could never be a fight of the year candidate and really, it’s idiotic to suggest otherwise. And yet Saturday night happened. Continue reading
The best way to score a boxing match would probably be to have each fighter begin the event by punching all three judges (jabs, uppercuts, straights, hooks, etc.) to aid the judges in answering the mythical question hanging over every fight of punch valuation—how many of fighter A’s jabs equal an uppercut of fighter B, etc.. Now, there are many practical concerns with enacting such a policy—for example, who will judge the fight should the judges get knocked out? So, absent that, the next most logical way seems to be to simply watch how each fighter responds to other’s punches—thereby sorting out not only when a punch is thrown, but whether it lands in a clean, effective manner. Fortunately, the human body reacts in predictable ways when struck with clean, effective punches—knees buckle, the head gets snapped back, the body is staggered, or in some cases knocked down.
The Canelo Alvarez—Austin Trout tilt from Saturday night bears, according to some, the “controversial” label, but it shouldn’t. Though Alvarez found his target less frequently than Trout (124 versus 154 in total punches landed), he clearly landed more of the clean, effective punches described in the above paragraph—and if you didn’t see that then you either didn’t watch the whole fight, are one of the two judges who somehow thought Chavez swung-and-missed his way to a draw with Whitaker a decade ago, or got distracted trying to figure out if Trout has a Mohawk or just a receding hairline that looks like a Mohawk—while Trout held a decisive edge in insignificant punches landed (the kind where the guy getting hit doesn’t react or seem to care). Continue reading