As we see out the year of 2014, boxing fans will look back and be nothing more than truly excited about the year to come.
Whilst there may not have been many real legacy defining super-fights, many new contenders have emerged, ready to pose a threat to those that dominate. Some divisions have opened up and could be conquered by anyone, while others have contenders vying for an imperious champion.
At featherweight a true legend in Nonito Donaire was put away by Nicholas Walters. Sergey Kovalev was not able to do the same to Bernard Hopkins, but he showed he is a worthy successor to the oldest champion in boxing history.
2012 Olympic heavyweight gold medalist Anthony Joshua (9-0, 9 KOs) took care of business on Saturday night in dismantling a shorter, older and far slower Denis Bakhtov (38-10, 25 KOs) in scoring a 2nd round stoppage to win the World Boxing Council International heavyweight title at the O2 Arena in London, UK. The win sets the soon to be 25-year-old Joshua up with a fight against Michael Sprott on November 22nd on the Bellew-Cleverly 2 card in Liverpool, UK.
Joshua, 6’6”, hurt the 5’11” Bakhtov with a right hand in the 2nd round. Bakhtov was against the ropes at the time and pretty much helpless with nowhere to go. Joshua then opened up with a storm of shots to the head resulting in the referee Ian John-Lewis separating the two fighters for some reason.
This coming Saturday at the O2 Arena, London, two top-level pugilists will be putting it all on the line in a clash that will define exactly who has the right to fight Evgeny Gradovich for his IBF World Featherweight Title.
The Australian, Joel Brunker, has fought twenty-seven men so far and he’s beaten every single one of them. Brunker’s last victory was in Atlantic City, USA, over the respected Mike Oliver whom Brunker beat comfortably, as indicated by the unanimous decision. In support of Brunker’s unblemished professional record is his supreme level of fitness and conditioning which is a result of his sheer hard work and dedication to being the best that he can possibly be. The IBF ranks Brunker at number 3 in the world.
San Diego, CA – May 17, 2014 -Lee Selby earned a shot at WBC Featherweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez with a 12-round unanimous decision over Romulo Koasicha in a WBC title elimination bout as well as a WBC International title fight at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales.
Selby was effective with the volume of punches by just doing a solid job of keeping Koasicha on the receiving end of three and four punch combinations. Koasicha had a few opportunities in round’s five and seven as he got through with some solid left hooks but he was not able to capitalize on his few effective moments. Down the stretch, Selby was not challenged in the least as he boxed and moved well and cruised home to the victory to the tune of 119-109, 119-109 and 119-110.
British featherweight champion Lee Selby (18-1, 7 KO’s) had an easy time defeating former World title challenger Rendall Munroe (27-4-1, 11 KO’s) by a 7th round stoppage on Saturday night to win the vacant European featherweight strap at the Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. The fight was one-sided, but the stoppage was somewhat controversial due to referee Ian John Lewis halting it while Munroe was still upright and not quite out of it.
The official time of the stoppage was 1:31 of the round. Munroe wasn’t going anywhere even if he had survived the round, because he couldn’t handle the speed, power and size of Selby. Munroe was a very good fighter at one time, but he didn’t look it tonight. He looked like a fighter past his prime facing someone much too good for him. Leading up to the stoppage, Selby hurt Munroe with a right hand that sent him backwards into the corner where he was taking shots until Lewis stopped the fight.
Lee Selby (16-1, 6 KO’s) proved that he’s world class tonight in beating WBC International featherweight champion Viorel Simion (16-1, 7 KO’s) by a 12 round unanimous decision at the Craven Park Stadium, Hull, Yorkshire, United Kingdom. The judges scored the fight 118-110, 115-113, and 116-112.
I had the fight scored a draw. Selby proved that he’s world class by the simple fact that the 31-year-old Simion is ranked #4 by the WBC. However, Selby showed that there is a wide gulf between him and the current WBC featherweight champion Abner Mares.