This time last week we were all sharing our disappointment and frustrations at Mexican fighter Luis Nery (30-0, 24), and how he had missed weight, again, forcing the cancellation of his highly anticipated bout with Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-1, 12). The bout, supposed world title eliminator, was one of the best match ups for the weekend, but again unprofessionalism reared it's head in Nery's career, something that has come up time and time again.
Heading into his August 2017 bout with Shinsuke Yamanaka, Nery was touted as one of the new stars of Mexican boxing. The 22 year old hard hitting southpaw was exciting, powerful and a full of confidence. He had a rather arrogant and yet charming personality, a real charisma and oozed that rare quality that makes him a must watch fighter. His win over Yamanaka in that bout, dethroning a long reigning world champion widely regarded as the #1 in the division should have been the performance that kicked off a huge career as a Mexican boxing icon. Instead it revealed something we didn't know about Nery. He was unprofessional ass hole.
A pre-fight drug test, taken almost a month before the fight, revealed he had taken Zilpaterol, which was similar to Clenbuterol, and would have helped him make weight. The WBC, at the time, were doing a song and dance routine about their WBC Clean Boxing Program. It was a chance for the WBC to shine, and show they were serious about drug cheats, something we now know they aren't. Instead of stripping Nery and slapping him with a lengthy ban they essentially told him off with words.
They excused his actions, they ordered a rematch with Yamanaka and ordered him to have a nutritionist. They let him keep the title, and pretty did nothing other than say "fight the guy you cheated against again"... A rematched happened only a few months later and once again Nery won under a shroud of controversy, coming in well over the limit. Yamanaka and Teiken should have told Nery to fuck off. Go back to Mexico and with your tail tucked between your legs. Instead they went on with the fight, with Yamanaka desperate to recover the title that had been taken from him, a title the WBC should have handed back when Nery's positive test came back.
For missing weight he was given an indefinite ban by the JBC, who pushed the WBC to give a real punishment. Sources in Japan reported that the JBC were close to completely cutting ties with the WBC over the situation if they didn't punish Nery in some way, cutting off a major market for the WBC.
In the end the WBC essentially suspended Nery for 6 month. A pointless ban in today's boxing environment where world class fighters fight every 6 months or so. That ban was backed dated to the day of the weigh in, and came with the caveat that he had to pay for a nutritionist for those 6 months.
Since then Nery has been unable to keep his weight under control.
He originally failed to make weigh for his 2019 clash with Juan Carlos Payano, needing to lose 0.5lbs after originally missing weight. He managed it, but it was another example of his unprofessional behaviour, the behaviour that had seen him banned in Japan.
Just over a week ago he came in at 119lbs for the bout with Rodriguez. Typically a fighter who misses weight by 1lbs will try again, after going and sweating off some excess water weight. Nery said fuck that and refused.
Thankfully Rodriguez did the right thing and said no to the fight. He said no to Nery. He said no to someone who had been able to get away with being an unprofessional. He, Rodriguez, made it clear that he is not willing to fight someone who needs an unfair advantage to face him. It was about time that someone said no to Nery and it leaves so many questions about Nery and his career going forward.
It's clear the Mexican can no longer make Bantamweight on a consistent basis. He might be able to make it, but at what cost?
In Japan Daigo Higa was unable was unable to make Flyweight to defend his WBC title against Cristofer Rosales. The JBC put their foot down, even though Higa was a rising star, and gave him an indefinite suspension and refused to let him fight at Flyweight again. The WBA did something similar when Guillermo Jones had failed a test for Furosemide, a diuretic, and then missed the Cruiserweight limit, refusing to back him for any fights at Cruiserweight.
It's now time the WBC do the right thing. If Nery wants to fight again he can. But first he should be punished, this isn't a one off act but a trend of behaviour over the last few yeas, a repeated trend of treating the sport with contempt. After being punished, with what needs to be a lengthy global ban, the fighter shouldn't be given any more opportunities at Bantamweight, and that's partly for his own health.
Whilst we would like to see boxing taking a real stance on cheats, both drugs and weight cheats, the sport it's self seems to accept both as part of it's make up. It's now time boxing comes clean, says "fuck Luis Nery, fuck cheats" and finally puts it's foot down. No more sweeping things under the carpet, no more looking at the drug testing bodies to do the job that the sport needs to do. It's now time boxing, it's promoters and it's fans make a statement. We need to stop tuning in to see cheats. If we don't do that then we need to protest during fights.
Fans attending future bouts of fighters like Jarrell Miller, if Miller fights on the under-card of a bigger show, should vocally express how bullshit should be treated in the sport and boo throughout the fight. Support the show by all means, but not the particular fighter. Similar with Nery, when he returns to the ring....likely in 3 months time in another WBC world title eliminator, fans should boo the fight, if not boycott it all together.
We need to make it clear that we don't want cheats in our sport any more!
What a bizarre week we had in boxing last week. We had some truly amazing fights, some great announcements, one decision that left a disgusting taste in the mouth of fans, and a cheater finally put in his place. Oh and we got arguably the most homo-erotic poster in boxing history...boy has this been a weird 7 days!
1 - Can Xu contines to show he can do!
We need to start this by talking about someone who has been such a great ambassador for Asian boxing this year, Can Xu. A year ago he was an unknown outside of Asian fight fans but today he sits as the WBA Featherweight champion, with 2 defenses behind him, 3 great wins in 2019, and as one of the revelations of the year. Those who saw him struggle past Enrique Bernache in September 2018 will hardly believe the same guy has gone on to beat Jesus M Rojas, former Super Bantamweight champion Shun Kubo and the unbeaten Manny Robles III. If a fighters year is to be marked solely by how far they've come in a year then Can Xu is up there for Fighter of the Year. As only the third Chinese world champion it's faint praise to celebrate him as China's greatest ever professional fighter, but it really is getting hard to argue. This charismatic young action fighter is someone we should all be celebrating.
2 - Hajime No Ippo Tournament 20th anniversary tournament
From one great fighter to a great tournament! The Hajime No Ippo 30th Anniversary tournament began last week with 3 quarter-final bouts and 2 of those were breath taking fights. For those who have a Boxing Raise subscription and missed them we need to advise you to check out Tsuyoshi Tameda's war with Jae Woo Lee and the up and down battle between Shungo Kusano and Qiang Ma. These might not have been high profile contests but my god they were something special. Even the third quarter-final, between Daisuke Watanabe and Koshin Takeshima, was worthy of a watch even if was the worst of the bouts by far. Who ever managed to put this tournament together deserves a huge round of applause for making a tournament that has already provided 2 incredibly bouts, and looks likely to give us more in the next round!
3 - Jhon Gemino
The "Disaster" struck again with another upset. The hard hitting Filipino might not have a dangerman's record but this was his third upset in 12 months, all in different countries, and it's becoming clear that if a prospect isn't legit he will be more than a handful. With double digit losses to his name he's not some unbeatable fighter, but he's crafty, rugged and has power in both hands, and will be someone who is always a danger. As fans of seeing "opponents" come to win we can't help but love Jhon Gemino and his willingness to travel for fights against unbeaten hopefuls....and show up more than a handful of those unbeaten foes.
1 - The poster for Dangan 231
We've seen some poor posters in our years of Asian boxing but maybe the poster for Dangan 231 is perhaps the very worst. We really have no idea what those behind the poster, excuse the pun, were thinking here and it's taken what was a great fight on paper and made the poster a bigger talking point than the fight. Had the fighters been either clothed or completely silhouetted out this might have worked, but with both guys being naked it's a poster that has given us more questions than answered. Still we guess it's gotten more people talking about the show than we would have had anyway...even if no one likes the poster.
2 - NHK's coverage of the All Japan Championships
We understood scheduling can be a problem but this year's All Japan Championships were bizarrely televised by NHK who showed some of the bouts on BS1, some on BS1's sister channel and then more on BS1. We are pretty sure that a year ago it was all on one channel as a coherent broadcast, but this year it split by a sumo tournament. We understand sumo is huge in Japan though surely with NHK having so many channels they could have shown all of both events with no real issue, using NHK General, BS1 and BS Premium.
3 - Felix Alvarado's illness
We were all looking forward to the planned WBC/IBF Light Flyweight unification bout between Kenshiro Teraji and Felix Alvarado, a bout that had the potential to be a late FOTY contender. Sadly however Alvarado was forced out of the bout due to illness. It's hard to hold the illness against the fighter, but it's still a bad to see the fight being cancelled. Obviously we wish Alvarado a speedy recovery, and seeing his twin, Rene, win a world title at Super Featherweight in a big upset on Saturday was certainly a positive for the Alvarado in what has been a very mixed week for them.
1 - The poster for Dangan 231
We need to return to that damn poster for our first ugly....like seriously what was the idea behind it? It's not just bad, it's down right laughable. Honestly look at it! How can anyone take the fighters seriously with that poster being used to promote the fight...
2 - Matchroom's show at the weekend
We don't really want to use this weekly section to complain about one promoter or another but unfortunately for Matchroom boxing they are making it hard to not criticise them. The £24.95 price for Anthony Joshua is bad, but this past weekend's show was just baffling from start to end. They had the best fight of the show on Facebook, for a few thousand viewers, on a geo-locked feed. They had Anthony Fowler fight someone who made for an awful stylistic match up, in a really, really ugly fight that did neither guy any favours. They then had a main event marred by some of the worst scorecards of 2019. If Matchroom were hoping to sell their product ahead of their up coming PPV this did the opposite. It made it seem like they had no idea about bout placement on a card, it looked like their match makers struggle to make Fowler look good, honestly have him in with a fellow come forward fighter not a mover! And it looked like the judges were certainly told to lean one way in their scoring of the bout. Overall a terrible advert for what Matchroom should have seen as a big chance to sell themselves.
3 - Luis Nery
The drug taking, weight cheating son of a gun struck again! And this team people had had enough. Nery once again missed weight, forcing the cancellation of a world title eliminator against Emmanuel Rodriguez. Unlike in the past, where fighters, promoters and world title bodies have all accepted Nery's unprofessional Rodriguez said no. Rodriguez didn't sell out for a bump in his pay packet, he didn't bend over to Nery and his team and essentially told Nery to fuck himself. Somethings others should have said earlier. If this was a one off then fair enough but unprofessional behaviour is coming a constant with Nery who should be given an actual punishment after this mishap on the scales.Well done to Emmanuel Rodriguez for standing his ground, and hopefully he'll be rewarded with a WBC title fight, as it wasn't him the forced the eliminator to be cancelled.
(Photo by Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/GoldenBoy Promotions)
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