Canadian Boxing: Buzz Grant Wins; Irishman Willie Casey scores Late TKO to defeat CBF Champ Tyson Cave

boxingby GM Ross: Canadian Boxing Federation (CBF) super bantamweight champion Tyson Cave suffered the first loss of his career last night, Thursday, April 8, in a featherweight contest at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, Ontario. Cave's opponent was rising Irish prospect Willie Casey. According to Monty Mosher of the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 'Big Bang' Casey scored a total of four knockdowns in the fight one in the third, one in the fifth and two in the eighth and final round. The TKO puts Casey's knockout percentage to 80%, the Limerick resident having stopped opponents in four of his five fights.

In lightweight action, Buzz Grant of Orangville via Shelburne, Ontario, had an easy time with Michael Kelly of Ireland, the judges giving him the unanimous eight round decision: 100-90, 98-92, 99-91. This was Kelly's first defeat, moving his professional record to 8-1-1. For Grant, on the other hand, the bout stretched his winning streak to six fights. Grant and the lightweights should provide for some intriguing match-ups down the road as the CBF looks to fill the vacancy atop the division. The CBF's top four are, in my mind, all legitimate contenders for the lightweight crown..

Here is what I suggest for Canada's lightweight division. One of the most important things to overcome in such a geographically vast country as Canada is regional bias (this has come up time and time again in responses to this column). Its a shame when Canadian titles, for political reasons, amount to little more than provincial championships. In the lightweight division the top four ranked(CBF) fighters represent three different provinces: Tony Luis, Quebec and Ontario; Buzz Grant and Logan McGuinness, Ontario; Steve Claggett, Alberta. I can already hear cries of foul play and regional favoritism resonating in the blogosphere regardless of which two men are matched for the title. With four legitimate contenders, however, the CBF is presented with an excellent opportunity, not available in every Canadian division: To hold eliminator bouts. Here is what I propose. Based on the current rankings (which may change following Grant's win), I would match the fourth ranked fighter against the first ranked, and second ranked against third ranked. This would mean match-ups between Buzz Grant and Tony Luis, and Steve Claggett and Logan McGuinness. The winners of these matches would then square off for the title, adding legitimacy both to the title-holder and the CBF's ranking system. It would build hype and anticipation for a Canadian title fight and perhaps draw more casual fans than we have seen in recent years (outside Quebec, that is).

Instead of the limited advertising period presented by merely matching two top-ten Canadians for the title, a championship bout firmly rooted in an obvious, immediately discernible eliminator-tournament rationale, would be the underlying principle of two fight cards (Grant vs Luis, Claggett vs McGuinness) prior to the event. Thus, the title event would be implicitly and explicitly advertised, and legitimized, through these first two bouts. Furthermore, this format incorporates all four legitimate contenders from east to west. Structure like this may be improbable, but its not impossible. Its these seemingly unobtainable pugilistic day-dreams that will someday manifest themselves as serious reforms and, with the right men in charge, bring boxing back from the fringes of Canadian sport. Perhaps such reform will come via the newly reorganized Canadian Professional Boxing Council (CPBC). At the moment, however, its still to early to draw serious conclusions regarding the CPBC's success and future.

Article posted on 10.04.2010

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