Kubrat Pulev beats Tony Thompson

Tony Thompson, Kubrat PulevPhoto: Wende – Tonight‘s IBF eliminator in Schwerrin, Germany was supposed to be Kubrat Pulev‘s bigest test so far. He had earned his high ranking but had to wait for almost a full year for this opportunity because he was being avoided for various reasons. His opponent Tony Thompson was an avoided boxer as well and he advanced to this eliminator by beating twice Britain’s David Price. The Cobra proved to be a completely different kind of fighter and defeated the Tiger via a wide margin UD. I am tempted to say that if you read my „Analyses and forecast“ for the fight, perhaps you did not need to watch it, it is all there. Here is a quick walk through Pulev‘s winning effort:

Round 1: Both fighters started tentatively cautiously feeling out each other’s range and direction of movement. Thompson opened the score with jabs and one good left cross. Pulev seemed to be perplexed by the southpaw stance and the size of his opponent and he did not appear to move well, when he did, it wasn’t in the right direction. Pulev is a notoriously slow starter and his first good spurt was in the end of the round. TT clearly won the round.

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Amir Khan gets yet another title shot – is he a worthy contender or a stepping stone in disguise?

002KhanvsMolinaIMG_5847 Amir Khan is slated to fight Devon Alexander for the IBF welterweight title on December 7, 2013. Khan has had nothing but title fights since his first loss at the hands of Breidis Prescott. The only exception was his last fight against Julio Diaz which was a non-title bout that Amir got up from a 4th round knock down to win by UD. That makes of 12 fights for different titles and he won 9 of them.

Amir‘s loss to Prescott came in a lightweight title bout in 2008 via first round KO. It was a deep, heavy fall and it didn’t look like Khan could ever beat Prescott. My view then was that Khan wasn’t made for professional boxing despite his stellar amateur career. He bounced back and moved up to light welterweight to have all those high profile fights.

Unlike other high-profile fighters who have a dedicated fan following, Khan has a bandwagon of nay-sayers and very few fans support him even in his own country. He is someone fans love to hate.

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Saul Alvarez vs. Floyd Mayweather – style, weight and age issues

Canelo and Mayweather face offSeptember 14 is near and “The One” will stand out hopefully without controversy. I am not sure who will be favored by the politics if it comes to that. Floyd was never a KO artist and after moving up in weight he did not bring his punch with him. Saul Alvarez knocking out Floyd Mayweather is not a scenario that pundits would even consider although „Canelo“ seems to hit hard enough. The outcome will probably depend on the judges.

There are labels for matching up different styles like “a boxer vs. a puncher“, “a stylist vs. a brawler“, if I had to label the fight I’d say “a boxer vs. a fighter” but there would be a lot of “fine print“ under that label.

Floyd Mayweather‘s style is unconventional for the pro ranks as it is fundamentally based on the Olympic/amateur boxing style. His amateur boxing skills have been optimized and modified for prize fighting.

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Kubrat Pulev vs. Tony Thompson – analysis and forecast

Pulev_ThompsonPhoto: Team Sauerland – It has been a long dry season for the heavyweight division and this is a fight that could stir interest on both sides of the ocean. The fight has a mandatory eliminator status and the winner should be in line to challenge Wladimir Klitschko for his IBF title.

Both fighters are roughly the same size, Thompson is an inch taller and has a two inch reach advantage, he was also 9 pounds heavier for his last fight at 259 while Pulev weighs around 250 lbs. Their styles are different as they come from a different boxing background and different boxing schools.

Tony “The Tiger“ Thompson has 41 fights on his record and obviously has more experience as a pro. He is also 9 years older but at 41 years of age this will not be an advantage. He is a good honest pro who had to go through the motions and wait for years for his opportunity. He fell short twice against W. Klitschko but the reason he is in the mix again is because he exposed David Price twice. Price used to be a decent amateur at least on paper but could not adapt to the longer professional bouts.Thompson has a typical pro style which is individual and instinctive, he improvises with his game and this makes him somewhat unpredictable. His greatest asset against Pulev will be his southpaw stance. It will make landing the orthodox jab hard and even dangerous and the jab has been Pulev‘s best weapon.

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Sergey Kovalev vs. Nathan Cleverly – round by round breakdown of the fight

UEFA Women's Under 17's Draw(photo credit: Main Events) Sergey Kovalev has emerged as a force to be reckoned with and he is like a breath of fresh air. Fans like to see boxers winning decisively beyond doubt and leaving no room for controversy and politics. Kovalev did just that and perhaps established himself as a leading pay-per-view star. Here is a quick breakdown of his winning effort:

Round 1: Not much of initial probing and testing, the differences in their stances reflected the difference in their styles. Cleverly leaned a little forward most of the time smoothly shifting weight between offense and defense. Kovalev had a puncher’s stance and kept his weight on the back foot as a rule but shifted form foot to foot with punches. His footwork was much faster and sharper than Cleverly’s as was his hand speed. His superior range orientation allowed him to keep his guard low and the hands free for punching. His defense relied heavily on counter punching and reflex. He used the jab only as a range finder for his left hooks and right hands. Cleverly did not throw or land anything significant and this would become a worrying pattern for him.

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