Someone asked me to explain how Roman Gonzalez did not get the decision against Srisaket. I had to admit that I had no logical explanation for it. The CompuBox statistics showed that Gonzalez landed more punches than Srisaket in 9 out of the 12 rounds, he landed more jabs than Srisaket in 11 of the 12 rounds and more power punches than Srisaket in 8 of the 12 rounds. Overall he outlanded Srisaket by 441 punches to 284 and yet none of the judges saw Gonzalez as the winner. Each of the three judges had judged at over 500 fights and between them had judged at over 2000 fights and are all well trusted people, as are the CompuBox workers. It is inexplicable and unfortunately that is boxing for you. Perception is everything and electronic scoring will never be able to, or be allowed to, replace that.
It has been mentioned that a return could be mandated by the WBC over the failure to deduct a point from Srisaket for the first clash of heads and for there being no open scoring as called for by the WBC. It is interesting that Gonzalez’s team missed two chances to get a different result. If they had claimed their man was unable to continue after being badly cut in the clash of heads in the third it would have been a no decision and Gonzalez would have still been champion. They could also have pulled their man out at the end of the eighth round when he was fighting with his face a mask of blood. At that point one judge had Gonzalez in front 76-74 and two had it at 75-75 so it would have been a majority draw and again Gonzalez would have retained his title. In the incredulity of Gonzalez losing let’s not ignore the fact that Srisaket fought a great fight and what he lacked in technique he more than made up for in power and guts.
One reaction to Gonzalez losing came from Japanese “Monster” Naoya Inoue, the WBO super fly champion. There had been talk of a unification fight between Gonzalez and Inoue but the Japanese fighter has said he has seen that fade and may now move up to bantam. A pity as Gonzalez vs. Inoue would have been a great fight.
For a while there Gennady Golovkin could not find anyone to fight him but that has changed. Since he showed himself to be less of a monster against Daniel Jacobs suddenly a queue has formed. Billy Joe Saunders has thrown out his challenge and Andy Lee said it was the fight he was looking for and there are and will be others. Certainly Golovkin did not show the 100% hunting down aggressive we have come to expect but perhaps that had more to do with respect for the power of Jacobs than any blunting of Golovkin’s ruthlessness. Let’s see what happens in his next fight but I can’t see him metamorphosing into a pussy cat.
It is disappointing that Daniel Jacobs chose to skip the day of the fight weight check. It not only meant that he could not win the IBF version of the title but almost certainly indicated that he had bulked up after the official weigh-in and so would have failed the IBF required second test weight. It meant that Golovkin stuck to the rules and Jacobs did not and gave Jacobs an edge and effectively he was cheating. It might be a harsh penalty if a fighter exceeds the weight increase permitted but in this case the WBC, WBA and IBO titles were still there for Jacobs when he skipped the IBF requirement. I think it is a good idea to limit the amount a fighter can bulk up between the day before and fight time and if it is a good safety measure then all of the sanctioning bodies should adopt it.
Talking about adopting good ideas it was a pleasant surprise to see the WBA adopting a WBC-like approach to testing for banned substances. It is encouraging but it will really only apply to world title level boxers. Some Commissions/Boards are very proactive on testing but it is patchy and it is only the certainty of getting caught that will deter the cheats.
With the Marco Huck vs. Mairis Breidis fight on 1 April only being for the WBC interim cruiser title the winner will be hoping that if Tony Bellew decides against returning to cruiser he will be up rated to full champion. Huck’s IBO title is also on the line and it is an even money match. Breidis is in a different league to the usual Baltic lose anywhere bunch that turn up in European rings.
There are suggestions that on 27 May in Helsinki Robert Helenius and Dereck Chisora will face each other. They fought back in 2011 and although Chisora lost a split decision the feeling was that he had been robbed and that performance was a major factor in Chisora going on to fight Vitali Klitschko for the WBC title just three months later.
Filipino Donnie Nietes will try to join the exclusive three division world champion’s club when he faces Thai Komgrich for the vacant IBF flyweight title in Cebu City on 29 April. In the past Nietes has fought exclusively for WBO titles at minimum and light fly. This will be his sixteenth world title fight and he is 15-0-1 in those title fights. He was held to a draw by Moises Fuentes but knocked Fuentes out in nine rounds in a return contest. He is unbeaten in his last 31 fights but just does not have that career defining fight in the way that both Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire have.
Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev would be a good test for any of the current bunch of challengers and he returns to action with a fight against Kevin Johnson in Sofia on 28 April. Pulev’s only loss is a kayo by Wlad Klitschko for the IBF title in 2014 and he took a split decision over Dereck Chisora in May last year. He is No 2 with the IBF with the No 1 spot vacant so he is very much in the mix.
Having dodged a fight with Artur Beterbiev Sullivan Barrera will now face Dominican Felix Valera a former WBA interim champion in Uncasville on April 15.
Another important fight that has fallen through was the IBF bantam eliminator between Omar Narvaez and Puerto Rican Emmanuel Rodriguez in Fajardo Puerto Rico. The fight was to take this weekend but Narvaez reportedly had visa problems and Rodriguez will fight Chilean Robinson Lavinaza. On that basis, and the fact that the fight has now been postponed four times, Narvaez is trying to insist he should get a straight shot at champion Lee Haskins.
Yet another top amateur is turning pro. Armenian-born Russian Mikhail “Misha” Aloyan will have his first pro fight on 22 April in Yaroslavi. The 28-year-old Aloyan was Russian champion in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2014, won gold medals at the 2011 and 2013 World Championships and at the European Championships and was a bronze medallist in the 2012 London Olympics. He scored wins over Rau’shee Warren, Khalid Yafai, Andrew Selby and many others. Whether he should be welcomed into the pro ranks or not depends on your view of his losing his 2016 Olympic silver medal when the Court of Arbitration for Sport found him guilty of using a banned substance at Rio and disqualified him taking away the silver medal
Not sure if they jumped or were pushed but the Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council is no longer an affiliate of the WBC and is now with the WBA. The WBC must feel a bit like someone who has been cured of the plague and has infected one of their rivals.
Russian Dmitry Bivol will defend his interim WBA light heavy title against Samuel Clarkson in National Harbour, Maryland on 14 April. Typical WBA in that Clarkson is not in their top 15. You can fight for the interim title without being rated so even they don’t treat their interim titles as valid. Clarkson has never fought in any fight scheduled for more than eight rounds. Their habit of rewarding someone for fighting for one of their spurious titles really distorts WBA ratings (even further). The No 11 light heavy is Serbian Shefat Isufi. No I had never heard of him either. He won their PABA title by beating a Georgian travelling loser with a 25-10-2 record and cemented his position by beating in his first title defence another Georgian have trunks will lose fighters who was 48-21-6 and had lost his last three fights. There is no reason to have respect for their ratings as they obviously do not.
Unbeaten heavyweight Sergey Kuzmin is also scheduled to fight on the 14 April show.
The Shannon Briggs vs. Fres Oquendo fight for the secondary WBA heavyweight title is set for 3 June. Don’t forget to miss it.
Looking forward to Alvarez vs. Chavez? No not that one. This one is on 29 April in Rosario Baja California when Ramon Alvarez, the brother of Saul faces Omar Chavez the brother of Julio Cesar Jr. OK it is not as big but it is a good match.
Russian cruiser puncher Dmitry Kudryashov has won 20 of his 21 fights by KO/TKO. The other fight was a shock kayo loss to Nigerian Olanrewaju Durodola. Kudryashov will get his chance for revenge when he defends his WBC Silver title against Durodola in Rostov on 20 May. The last one went less than two rounds and with Durodola having won 23 of his 28 fights by KO/TKO this one could be over just as quick. It all comes down to who lands first.
Argentinian Brian Castano has said that he will return to the ring late April or early May to defend his interim WBA super welter title. Castano has won 10 of his 13 fights by KO/TKO but for me he is too easy to hit to go much farther.
The upcoming “fight” between Juan Manuel Lopez and trainer Albert Rivera arose from an altercation between the two after Lopez had beaten Rivera’s fighter Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. What looked likely to be a disgraceful match has changed for the better. The two contestants have come together to bring some good out of the bad. They have been going together to schools in Puerto Rico preaching the mantra of “gloves not guns” and obviously the heat that their spat generated has cooled so it will end up as a gently exhibition-I hope.
So sad to read of the death of Rodrigo “Rocky” Valdez earlier this month from a heart attack at the age of 70. Rocky fought many of the best on his way up and did not get his title shot until fight No 57. He won the vacant WBC title in 1974 by stopping Benny Briscoe. He lost his title in1976 in his fifth defence in a unification fight with WBA champion Carlos Monzon with two judges only having them two points apart. He challenged Monzon for the titles in 1977. He had Monzon on the floor but again the result was a very close decision for Monzon. After Monzon retired in 1977 Rocky scored his third win over Briscoe to collect the vacant WBA and WBC titles. He then lost twice to Hugo Corro which saw him an ex-champion and he finally retired in 1980 with a record of 63-8-2. He had the misfortune to hit his peak at the same time as Carlos Monzon but the great Argentinian was the only fighter to beat him at that time.
Boxing is often a family business and it certainly is where the Cabral family from Argentina is concerned. At the weekend Horacio Alfredo Cabral beat Logan McGuinness in Canada to win the vacant WBC International title. McGuinness was unbeaten with 25 wins and a draw and was fighting in front of his home fans so it was a good win for Cabral. Horacio is 18-1 and this was his first fight outside of Argentina. The most successful member of the family was his uncle Alfredo Horacio who had a 35-2-4 record and after wins over former WBA super welter champion Miguel Angel Castellini and South African Elijah Makhathini was on the verge of a world title shot. Tragically Alfredo died in a car crash at the age of 23 just one week after beating Makhathini. His uncle Ruben Dario Cabral had 69 fights and was Argentinian, South American and WBC International champion. Father Osvaldo and Uncles Jose Mario, Juan Carlos and Raul fought as pros and brother Omar is unbeaten after eight pro fights. Some family business.
Some strange goings on in amateur boxing in Poland. At a recent tournament apart from a fight outside the ring by a couple of their high level female competitors some media attendants were puzzled to find official losing results for boxers who were not even at the tournament. It appears that the falsification was tied to the money clubs received for the number of boxers they sent to the tournament. Clever as they even saved on travel costs for those ghost competitors
Saturday, 25 March 2017, Singapore –
The World Boxing Council (WBC) World Silver Welterweight champion Charles Manyuchi suffered an ignominious defeat when he was knocked out in the first round of a prestigious event at the Singapore Sports Hub - OCBC Arena. The highly-touted Zimbabwean champion, who had before the fight, predicted that he would easily beat the challenger -- Uzbekistan’s rising star Qudratillo ‘The Punisher’ Abduqaxorov – found himself dumped on the canvas after being sent into the ropes by powerful uppercuts. He failed to make the count.
The spectators could hardly believe their eyes as the Manyuchi- Abduqaxorov encounter -- billed as an “Asia vs Africa” showdown with all the intensity and pound-for-pound excitement that can be expected when two continents collide – came to an abrupt end in 2 min 56 seconds.
In a post-fight media conference, a chastened Manyuchi, 27, who boasts a career of 20 wins, 12 by KO, 2 losses and 1 draw, said he had prepared well for the fight
and that he had lost to a worthy champion. His manager, Christopher Malunga was more forthright. “It was a sucker punch We are not taking anything away from the new champion. But Manyuchi was a bit careless. He should not have adopted that style of his in the first round.”
Malunga was referring to Manyuchi’s predilection to drop his gloves to tempt his opponent to come forward and try to hit him. “It was too early in the fight to do that. Maybe he would have started doing that in the second round,” said Malunga. In the end, Manyuchi paid the price when Abduqaxorov, a 23-year-old with just 10 wins under his belt, caught him on the chin not once but twice. Malunga said it was a learning experience and “we will have to go back to the drawing board” – hopefully to be ready should a rematch becomes a possibility.
In the fight cards leading to the main draw, Singaporean boxers showed they were a force to be reckoned with when both Hamzah Farouk and Darryl Edmund Kho won their bouts handily. Hamzah, 29, who trained at the famed Elorde’s gym in Quezon City in the Philippines for this fight, showed vastly superior skills forcing his opponent to his knees with flurry of blows from the opening bell. As his bewildered Thai opponent Tapanut Loetsingtaworn retreated to a corner before an advancing Hamzah, the referee stepped in and stopped the lightweight fight in just 2 min 7 seconds Said Hamzah after the fight: “My good performance tonight was a result of the rigorous training I had to go through in the Philippines. All I did was eat, sleep and breathe boxing. On the first day, I did circuit training and it was twice as hard as what I am used to in Singapore.”
The 32-year old Kho, who made his pro debut kept up a steady barrage of blows to beat Malaysian Ridzuan Dahari in the light heavyweight category with a technical knockout. The referee stopped the fight in the third of four rounds. Kho, who has a background in martial arts, attacked relentlessly. Ridzuan put up a game fight but wilted under the heavy onslaught.
In another exciting encounter, crowd favourite Azizbek ‘AAA’ Abdugofurov of Uzbekistan punished Martin Fidel Rios of Argentina with his lightning quick fists throughout their 10-round but Rios, ever the game fighter, prevailed. The other Thai boxer in the night’s action fared worse in the super lightweight category. Champee Payom was knocked out in 2 min 13 seconds of the first round when he came up against the superior talent of Indonesian fighter Daud ‘Cino’ Yordan, the WBA interim lightweight world champion. In the other title fight of the night – the Asian Boxing Federation super bantam weight clash – rising Filipino star Jeson ‘Dynamite Fists’ Umbal traded punch for punch with his equally talented opponent, Tanzanian Fadhili Majiha. It was a close encounter between two fighters in excellent shape, oozing plenty of classic boxing skills. The entertaining fight went the distance and was won by Umbal on a split decision.
(courtesy of Cartel International Promotions)
This past weekend saw the 4thround of fixtures in the Asian group of the WSB and with quarter final places still to be determined there was much to play for.
Group leaders Astana Arlans aimed to tighten their grip on group C when they hosted the Patriot Boxing Team at the Taraz Arena.
At flyweight (52kg) Olzhas Sattibayev faced Viacheslav Tashkarakov. Tashkarakov got off to a bright start, managing to close the distance on his taller opponent before Sattibayev established the range with the left jab proving to be highly effective. The Russian enjoyed great success in round 3 landing with right hands repeatedly before a bad cut suffered by Tashkarakov unfortunately brought a halt to proceedings and Sattibayev won on all 3 cards.
It was then on to the lightweights (60kg) as Zakir Safiullin squared off against Artur Subkhankulov. The pair exchanged shots in a high calibre opening stanza before Safiullin pulled ahead, bloodying his opponent’s nose in round 3. Safiullin dominated round 4 and although Subkhankulov went for the KO and landed with some heavy shots in the final round the Kazak saw it through and won a unanimous decision putting the Arlans 2 nil up.
The 3rdbout was at welterweight (69kg) with Aslanbek Shymbergenov versus Shakhabas Makhmudov. Makhmudov, who was making his WSB debut proved to be an easy target for Shymbergenov who found plenty of openings against a rather crude opponent. To his credit the visitor never stopped coming forward but the far greater experience and no how of the home man proved to be the difference and the unanimous point’s victory for Shymbergenov wrapped up the match for the Astana Arlans. It was then the turn of the light heavyweights (81kg) as Arman Rysbek went up against Pavel Silyagin. Rysbek flew out of the blocks landing with heavy punches in a really entertaining opening 3 minutes. Silyagin showed some nice skills but it was Rysbek’s powerful eye catching single shots that were winning him the contest. Just as it looked like Silyagin was beginning to adapt and gain some ascendancy Rysbek forced a standing count in round 4 and he claimed a deserved split decision to make it 4 nil to the hosts.
Finally it was the Super heavyweights (+91kg) who took to the ring with Olzhas Bukayev against Magomed Omarov. Bukayev had some success on the inside in the opening stages but Omarov’s longer straighter shots then took over. As Bukayev began to tire things only got more difficult for the WSB debutant and Omarov ran away with the contest winning a unanimous decision to prevent a clean sweep for the Arlans who extend their lead at the top of the Asian group and look a formidable force and one of the favourites for this seasons competition.
The Uzbek Tigers were looking to build on their 5 nil clean sweep of the Patriot Boxing Team last time out when they took on the China Dragons at the Universal Sport Complex in the capital Tashkent.
First up at flyweight (52kg) Abrorjon Kodirov took on Yong Chang. Both men were looking to counter which lead to a very tight and closely fought bout. Kodirov’s speed then began to tell as the contest wore on and despite a late charge from Chang it was the Uzbek who claimed the unanimous point’s decision. Next up at lightweight (60kg) Murodjon Akhmadaliev was up against Sen Wang. Having lost his opening bout in the 2017 season Akhmadaliev had a point to prove and he immediately stamped his authority on Wang, forcing him backwards. The world and Olympic Medallist continued to land powerful combinations and despite the visitors best efforts Akhmadaliev won a unanimous decision, putting the Tigers 2 nil up.
Up at welterweight (69kg) Shakhram Giyasov had the chance to put the match beyond doubt against Wei Liu. Giyasov quickly assumed command and never let go and dominated across all 5 rounds winning another unanimous decision for the hosts. Liu, who is an experienced WSB campaigner never got going and simply couldn’t find his way in to the fight and the Uzbek’s had an unassailable 3 nil lead.
The penultimate fight of the evening saw Bektemir Melikuziev square off against Jiabin Huang at light heavyweight (81kg). Not much of note was landed early on but Melikuziev soon got in to his stride and things were looking ominous for Huang. The Chinese boxer was clearly out of his depth and the Olympic and world Silver Medallist piled on the pressure to force a stoppage in round 2.
With the match long gone there was only pride at stake in the super heavyweight (+91kg) bout between Bakhodir Jalolov and Haipeng Mu. Jalolov took the opening round and the golf in class between the pair was evident. The Uzbek continued to score freely and 2 counts in round 3 brought an end to the contest sealing a whitewash for the home side in the process.
After a sticky start the Tigers look to be back to their best and next up they host group leaders Astana Arlans. As for the Dragons, a win on the road against the Patriot Boxing Team is now crucial.
British boxing again showed its financial strength over the weekend. David Haye and Tony Bellew shared just over $8.5 million (£7 million) for their fight with Haye taking down just over $5 million (£4.2 million) and Bellew just over $3.4 million (£ 2.8 million). In contrast Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia each received $2 million so Haye alone took down more than Thurman and Garcia combined. It was good to see a fight with no title attached as the top paid attraction at the weekend. It goes to show that a fight does not have to have a spurious title tag to sell.
In the end neither fight was a classic. Once Haye was injured it then really became a question not of who would win but whether Haye could go the distance. As for Thurman vs. Garcia both fought in too controlled a fashion to generate the heat that might have made it a classic. At least we “only” have three world welterweight champions. For me the Kell Brook vs. Errol Spence fight feels like it will be a much better fight than Thurman vs. Garcia. Then of course you have Manny Pacquiao defending his WBO title against whomever.
Pacquiao vs. Horn on-off. Bob Arum says no way Pacquiao vs. Amir Khan-then it was on. Now it appears to be off again as the $38 million dollars proved to be a mirage. Horn thinks it still might go ahead now that the Khan fight appears dead in the water and Khan thinks it is not dead in the water. Bob Arum thinks Pacquiao should fight Adrien Broner or Terrence Crawford both of whom are promoted by Top Rank so he would say that wouldn’t he. I know that Pacquiao wants to get paid the most he can and does not want to end his career on a loss but come on Manny. On/off/on/off its like a prostitute’s knickers on a busy Saturday night ( not that I have any experience related to this of course) so put us out of our misery and pick someone-so that then we can criticise your choice of opponent!
Pacquiao has earned the right to look for multi-million dollar purses and of course availability of TV/PPV dates has a big influence on when is a good time to put a fight on. Oh how the world has changed from the days when it was bums on seats and a million dollar purse was a pipe dream. It took years for Pacquiao and Mayweather to meet and it is almost certain they will never fight each other again. On 5 February 1943 Sugar Ray Robinson had his winning streak halted at 40 when he lost a wide unanimous decision to Jake LaMotta. How long did it take for their return fight to go on? One year? Two years? More? They fought each other again just three weeks later! It was a different world in boxing then.
Still on money Hughie Fury is looking at a career highest purse in the $1,204,400 he will get for challenging Joseph Parker for the WBO title in Auckland on 5 May. Parker’s purse will be $1,806,600. A lot of water will have to pass under the bridge before it happens but imagine that if everything went their way the Fury’s could hold all four versions of the heavyweight title as the Klitschko’s did but don’t hold your breath.
With all of that money sloshing around in British boxing I am surprised that the highest bid for the Andre Dirrell vs. Callum Smith fight came from Dirrell’s promoters and it will probably end up in the USA in early June. With all due respect to Dirrell he is not a high profile fighter and I expected Matchroom to win the bid but there are other big fights to go on in Britain and I guess there is only so much money to spread around. Whoever wins will have to follow the championship fight with two mandatory defences with the first being against unbeaten Turkish boxer Avni Yildirim.
So sad to read of the death of Lou Duva. With the help of his family he did such a great job of building the Main Events outfit and was a great manager and trainer and is rightfully in the Hall of Fame. I can honestly say I never met anyone who was as passionate about his fighters as Lou. A giant of a man. RIP Lou.
More hypocrisy from the WBA. They have trumpeted that they are aiming towards one world champion in each division. I guess in their language that means one super champion. On 18 March their super champion Gennady Golovkin fights their secondary (world) champion Daniel Jacobs with the IBF and WBC titles also on the line. However they have now said that Ryota Murata and Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam will fight for their secondary (world) title so they don’t even plan to have just one WBA champion-rubbish.
I admire what the WBC is doing to try to eradicate the taking of banned substances. I was not sure how serious they were but the strong action they have taken towards Alex Povetkin is what we need to see. It has to be clear that if you take a banned substance there are serious consequences and it is also encouraging to see how many fighters have signed up to their testing programme. Hopefully their proactive approach will shame the other sanctioning bodies into either climbing on board with the WBC or starting their own programme. Of course none of the sanction bodies actually run day to day boxing. That is in the hands of the various Commissions and Boards. The sanctioning body can only ban a boxer from fighting for their titles. The EBU have suspended Erkan Teper for two years but that only stops him fighting for European Boxing Union titles and since there are ongoing legal investigations his home body cannot suspend him.
The IBF have taken strong action in excluding Povetkin from their ratings for twelve months. That seems to be a move on their part to show serious they are over the use of banned substances. When it was reported that their then champion Lamont Peterson tested positive for a synthetic testosterone in a random test in 2012 they took no action. Now they have come down hard on Povetkin-or have they? Don’t look closely or you might realise that the last time Povetkin was in IBF top 15 was May 2015!! Some punishment, boy I bet that really worried Povetkin.
Former IBF super feather champion Jose Pedraza was hit hard by his loss to Gervonta Davis but is ready to bounce back. The Puerto Rican is moving up to lightweight and will fight again on 5 June but no opponent named yet.
Former interim WBC super bantam Julio Ceja is also looking to fight again soon. After losing his title to Hugo Ruiz in February last year he suffered an injury to his right foot which has kept him out of the gym but he is back and just awaiting a name and date for his return.
The pairing of Noel Gevor and former WBC champion Krzys Wlodarczyk looks a really good match. They face each other on 13 May in Poznan giving Wlodarczyk home advantage. This is effectively a final eliminator for the IBF title with Gevor currently their No 3 and Wlodarczyk No 4. The first two spots are vacant. Gevor can’t be No1 With some clever management he has become the IBF’s highest ranked fighter without facing a top 15 opponent so can’t be No 1.
Another IBF eliminator, this one at bantam, will see oldie Omar Narvaez face Puerto Rican Emmanuel Rodriguez. The 41-year-old Argentinian already holds the Argentinian record for most world title fights at 31 and if he were to go on to win the title at bantam he would be the first Argentinian fighter to achieve that feat. The 24-year-old Rodriguez is 15-0. Again the positions 1 and 2 in the IBF ratings are vacant as neither Narvaez nor Rodriguez have beaten a rated bantamweight. The winner will be the mandatory challenger to Lee Haskins.
With the controversy over the result of their last fight it is no surprise that talks are on-going for Mundine vs. Green III. No agreement yet but there is enough money on the table to make it happen. They are 1-1 at the moment and hopefully the outcome is clear enough to not require a Mundine vs. Green IV.
The thing I like most about the Olympic Games is the aftermath. Suddenly a whole batch of talented young fighters who have either realised their Olympic dream or seen it fade away pour out into the professional ranks and you can start to look for the next star names. Women’s boxing is a typical example with Nicola Adams, Katie Taylor and Claressa Shields moving over to challenge established champions who will be looking to knock some spots of these newcomers. Whether it is Michael Conlan, Joe Cordina, Paddy Barnes, Shakur Stevenson, Robinson Conceicao, Tony Yoka, Mohamed Rabii, Souleymane Cissokho, Misael Rodriguez, Gary Russell or any one so many more their presence can only be good for professional boxing. Of the class of 2012 Anthony Joshua, Vasyl Lomachenko, Zou Shiming, Olek Usyk, Oscar Valdez and Rau’shee Warren have come through to win world titles and somewhere in those new professionals are tomorrow’s stars.
A run of 61 wins in a row sounds impressive but when it only gets you rated No 6 in the WBC flyweight ratings it tells you all you need to know about the quality of Noknoi Sitthprasert’s 61 victims. What is strange is that he was 1-4 in his first five fights. Now 61 wins in a row. I didn’t know there were that many second rate flyweights in Indonesia.
They say time marches on but when you get to my age time seems to develop a warp drive that would leave the Star Ship Enterprise far in its wake” My first ever boxing idol was Joe Louis way back in the days when he was the world heavyweight champion-no secondary or interim champions in those days-as he dodged no one and overcame much of the resistance to black fighters caused by the controversial Jack Johnson. Eventually time caught up with Joe and he lost his title, his money and eventually his life. Part of his legacy was the city of Detroit’s decision to name the major sport arena in the city the Jose Louis Arena. Now time has even caught up with this part of Joe’s legacy. The crumbling edifice is to be torn down and a new arena built in the city. However it won’t be named the Joe Louis Arena but instead the Little Caesars Arena. I guess there was money involved in the choice of a name but it is so sad to see a city just dumping the symbol of one of their most famous citizens. Detroit may forget Joe Louis but I won’t.
Sometimes when you follow the career of a boxer and he suddenly disappears from view you wonder what happened to him. Did he suffer a career ending injury? Did he have too many other things going on in his life? Did he leave the sport in disgust over a bad decision etc? There is always the possibility of him going off the rails and ending up in jail. That’s not a cause that happens too often but it is what happened with promising Matt Remillard. The Connecticut fighter came up through the amateur ranks and went on to win his first 23 fights collecting the NABF and NABO titles on the way. His winning streak came to an end in 2011 when he was floored three times and retired after ten rounds in losing his titles to Mikey Garcia. Remillard then foolishly got into an argument where he allegedly beat someone up with a baseball bat. He has always denied the baseball bat part of the story but was jailed for five years. He is out now, back in the gym and looking to pick up his career again with a fight on 1 April. He is only 30 so all is not lost but it will be an uphill struggle.
It is amazing the disadvantages that some determined people overcome to fulfil their dream. Danish fighter Frederik Hede Jensen suffered from Legg-Calve-Perthes which is a disorder that effects children and leads to loss of bone mass and it particularly affected Jensen’s thigh bones. He was in a wheelchair between the ages of 4 and 9 and that should have ended any hopes he had of becoming a boxer. However he overcame the handicap and was Danish champion last year. He has now signed with Team Sauerland and has his first professional fight in Aarhus on 18 March so I wish him well. Remillard may have thrown his dream away but for Jensen it is a dream realised
We’ve now reached the 3rd round of action in the Asian group of the World Series of Boxing and with much to play for this was a pivotal weekend with all 4 sides jostling for a spot in the quarter finals.
Group leaders Astana Arlans took on the China Dragons at the Culture and Wellness Centre in Atyrau
The 1st bout of the evening was at light flyweight (49kg) as Temirtas Zhussupov went up against He Junjun. The opening stages were closely contested with little to separate the pair. As the fight progressed Zhussupov engaged his opponent and forced him on to the back foot. The visitor attempted to counter but only left himself open and Zhussupov picked off his man to win a unanimous decision.
Up at bantamweight (56kg) Ilyas Suleimenov faced Wang Long. Suleimenov has been in good form in the WSB and this good form continued as Wang struggled to get anything going at all throughout the contest. The Kazak dominated proceedings and won a unanimous decision leaving Wang still winless in the WSB and the Dragons facing a mountain to climb if they were to take anything away from this encounter.
In the nights 3rd bout at light welterweight (64kg) Dilnurat Mizhitov had the chance to seal the points for the home side against Liu Yang. Mizhitov started the contest brightly and after 3 rounds he look to have the ascendency. 2 knockdowns in round 4 left no doubt who would be victorious and Mizhitov cruised to a unanimous decision, putting the points in the bag for the Arlans in the process.
At Middleweight (75kg) Saparbay Aidarov made his WSB debut against Zhao Minggang. Aidarov looked to dictate the distance early on and managed to establish a lead. Despite the best efforts from the Chinese boxer the Kazak southpaw remained in control and earned a unanimous point’s victory to make it 4 nil to the Arlans.
With not even the possibility for a point for the Dragons it was only pride to play for at heavyweight (91kg) as Anton Pinchuk faced Siarhei Novikau. Pinchuk displayed a solid temperament and a good array of skills on the road in his win in Russia in the first round of this year’s competition. Pinchuk carried on from where he left off showing excellent movement and landing with classy combinations to leave the Dragons Belarussian import in a daze. Novikau was unable to get in range often enough and Pinchuk was declared a unanimous decision winner to make it a clean sweep for the home side and barring something dramatic the Arlans will reach the play-offs and look a force to be reckoned with this season.
Still looking for their first win in this season’s tournament the Uzbek Tigers badly needed the points against the Patriot Boxing Team at the Universal Sport Complex in Tashkent.
To kick things off Abdulkhay Sharakhmatov squared off against Dmitrii Sharafutdinov at bantamweight (56kg). Both men enjoyed success in a tight opening stanza before Sharakhmatov stepped up the pace landing with stinging southpaw left hands and driving Sharafutdinov backwards. Despite possessing a height advantage Sharafutdinov failed to turn the tide and Sharakhmatov dominated proceedings to score a shutout on the cards and give the Uzbeks the ideal start.
Attention then switched to the light welterweight (64kg) division as Elnur Abduraimov took on Radmir Abdurakhmanov. Having been unable to box against the China Dragons Abduraimov was looking for his first win of WSB 7 and landed the cleaner more memorable punches to shade a close opening round. Abdurakhmanov landed some good right hands in round 2 and there was very little to split them going in to the last round. Abduraimov showed his class to land with the decisive shots in round 5 to prevail via split decision in a gruelling and absorbing encounter.
Middleweight (75kg) Israil Madrimov had the chance to sew up the points for the Tigers when he went up against Radzhab Radzhabov. Madrimov showed no nerves on his 1st WSB appearance drilling Radzhabov with explosive combinations constantly throughout the 1st 3 rounds. Radzhabov showed nowhere enough urgency and simply allowed Madrimov to do as he pleased and the debutant eased his way to a shut out on the scorecards, giving the Tigers all 3 points in the process.
It was then on to the Heavyweights (91kg) as Zukhriddin Makhkamov fought Islam Tekeev. Both men came out with aggressive intent and landed plenty of power punches in the opening 3 minutes. Tekeev continued to pour forward but Makhkamov picked off his opponent showing terrific movement and punch variety. The Russian never stopped pressing and showed an incredible engine but it was the home man who got the unanimous verdict in what was a high quality affair.
It was now time for Olympic gold Medallist Hasanboy Dusmatov to take to the ring with Bator Sagaluev the man in the other corner at light flyweight (49kg). Having not seen much action since Rio Dusmatov took his time early on but it wasn’t long before the supreme boxing ability that makes him one of the finest fighters in the unpaid ranks was on full display. Sagaluev, a quality operator in his own right was made to look second best and Dusmatov won every round to give the Tigers a 5 nil victory and put them right back in contention in group C.
A huge thanks to Marcus Bellinger for this guest article, for those interested in following Marcus his twitter handle is @marcusknockout
These articles are submitted by guest writers and sites. They aren't submitted by the usual folk behind Asian Boxing and don't fall in line with our editorial stance, giving a fresh view on various boxing issues from the Asian boxing scene.