So, the year is about to end, and we’re all ready to kick in to 2021...well almost ready, we do still have one big show left before then. Before the year is out however we’ll be taking a look over the week we’ve just had with the final The Good, The Bad, The Ugly of the year, and it’s been a pretty decent week in fairness. We’ve not had much to complain about, and we’ve had a lot more good than bad, though is certainly still some issues in the sport that we want to vent about, as well as some we want to celebrate!
1-A-Sign Card attracts solid audience
On Boxing Day we had the latest A-Sign card streamed live over YouTube and it was a genuine success. Whilst we know we exist in an echo chamber of sorts, with fellow fight fans we were genuinely amazed by how many fans, particularly those based in the West, had a genuine interest in this show, and how the online discussion grew about the contest. It was great to see Japanese boxing connecting with an audience in the West, especially given that it was, for all intents, a pretty typical domestic Japanese TV level show. We hope fans enjoyed the event as much we did, and hopefully next time there’s an A-Sign card we’ll see a similarly excited and interested audience. We know Masayuki Ito is well known in the West, and drew a lot of the attention for his involvement on the show, and he acted as a chance for fans in the west to see the likes of Jin Sasaki and Hironori Mishiro. Well done to all involved and thank you to all the fans who tuned in!
2-Jin Sasaki is a star in the making!
We mentioned the A-Sign show, and whilst many were left talking about the decision in the main event, it wasn’t one of the main event fighters that left the lasting impression. Instead that was Jin Sasaki who put a beating on Aso Ishiwaki to claim the JBC Youth 140lb title. This was just a brutal beating by the 19 year old who again ticked all the boxes of a star. He looked exciting, heavy handed, went for the finish in round 1 and closed the show spectacularly in round 3. When watching Sasaki everything gives off the vibe of a star. His cocky confidence and aura, added to his aggression, power and style, the natural charisma that oozes off him are incredible. At just 19 he is quickly becoming one of the most compelling fighters in Japan, and someone who has the ability to go a long, long way, if handled properly.
3-Upsets in Osaka!
In Osaka on Sunday we had 3 upsets, and not only that but they came in back to back bouts as Green Tsuda put on one of the most surprising cards of the year. We saw Katsunari Takayama return from more than 4 years out to beat Reiya Konishi, in a minor surprise, Akio Furutani completely ripped up the script to defeat Takayuki Okumoto and then Yuichi Ideta scored his first win in almost a decade to overcome Ryota Yada, in a bout that was regarded as a foregone conclusion. If there is a more upset heavy card this year, we’ve not seen it!
1-Morrell misses weight for mismatch, PBC scrub history
For several weeks we were all led to believe that David Morrell’s bout with Mike Gavronski would be an interim world title defense for Morrell. That changed the day before the fight when Morrell missed weight, and suddenly the bout was changed to a 10 round non-title bout. Whilst the interim title might be a joke, the way this bout was shifted, essentially after the A-side messed up, is an even bigger joke. Come on PBC, we all know Morrell is a special talent, but a bout like this, which was an horrific mismatch, and the weight issues, will only make fans feel he’s being given some suspect treatment and turn them off the talented Cuban.
2-No US outlet for Ioka Vs Tanaka
We’ve tried to not bitch too much as we’re about to end the year, and we want to do so in high spirits, but sometimes things need calling out, and one such thing is the lack of a US Outlet for the New Year’s Eve show from Tokyo between Kazuto Ioka and Kosei Tanaka. This is one of those bouts that has had genuine international buzz, it has an English language TV deal with Boxnation and Premier Sports in the UK, and Ioka has worked with a US promoter in the past. It would give the outlet a chance to further introduce the fighters to a US market ahead of some potential clashes in 2021. Instead none of the US channels have announced a deal. We really need to say that DAZN and ESPN+ have missed an easy, and relatively cheap, win here. For ESPN plus the winner could be eyed as a possible opponent for Jerwin Ancajas or Andrew Moloney, whilst DAZN have working relationships with Juan Francisco Estrada, Roman Gonzalez, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Julio Cesar Martinez, who could move up for the winner.
One of the stupidest things about boxing is the inability to see the bigger picture from the promoters, and missing out on showcasing this fight, despite the prohibitive time of day for a live broadcast, is one of those cases. The winner would be an option for two main promoters, yet no one picked up the fight.
Thankfully US audiences can pick up the fight themselves, though either illicit means such as a Boxnation stream, or a legal one, through Japanese service Isakura for about $2.50 (more about that here https://www.asianboxing.info/isakura.html), but that doesn’t defend the failure of US broadcasters on this one.
1-James Kirkland’s continued career
At one point in time James Kirkland was the man you turned to if you needed a fun action fight to watch, known that he was going to be throwing bombs from the off and that either he, or his opponent, was going to be stopped. Sadly those days are long gone, and his incredible war with Alfredo Angulo is a long forgotten memory, overshadowed by Kirkland’s out of the ring issues, his relationship with Ann Wolfe and his 2011 bout with Nobuhiro Ishida. This past Saturday he was in action again , his third bout since a 2015 loss to Saul Alvarez, and he took a brutal, vicious battering at the hands of Juan Macias Montiel. We’ve seen some compare the bout to the Ishida one, but in reality this was a lot more brutal, with Kirkland taking a serious beating, being left with blood coming out of his mouth. At the age of 36 with his reflexes gone, his punch resistance gone and father time catching up with him, this has to be the end, before he ends up seriously hurt.
It's that time of the week, once again, where we take a look over what has happened over the last 7 days and talk about the ups and downs from the past week, as we cover the Good, the Bad and the Ugly!
1-Ryosuke Nishida shines against former world title challenger
On Saturday we saw Japanese hopeful Ryosuke Nishida take a huge step up in class, and shine as he out pointed former world title challenger Shohei Omori. We know top Japanese prospects tend to matched hard and moved quickly, but Nishida went into this as a clear under-dog and wasn't really regarded by many as a top prospect. His showing however was brilliant. He started well, Omori came back into the bout and then Nishida adapted and came close to stopping Omori. This was a brilliant performance from a man fighting in just his third professional bout, and a clear sign that he has the ability to go a very long way. Certainly one of the big winners of the last weekend.
2-Hyun Mi Choi makes solid US debut
Another fighter who took a huge step forward in regards to their career was Korean Super Featherweight Hyun Mi Choi who successfully defended the WBA female Super Featherweight title. Although her performance was certainly not perfect it was great to see a Korean world champion getting a big stage again, something we've not seen in well over a decade. It's unlikely Choi's success will kick start Korean boxing again but it was still amazing to see a Korean boxer given a high profile fight, and put on a very fun performance.
3-Chris Algieri and Gabe Rosado improving DAZN
One think I think we can all agree one was the incredible additions of Chris Algieri and Gabe Rosado on the DAZN broadcast on Friday. Both men made the experience of watching DAZN really bearable and we really hope to see both men on the service more often. Algieri is, for us, one of the few top level commentators in the US, and whether it's DAZN or ESPN he always adds a real sense of professionalism to a broadcast. Rosado's role was smaller than that of Algieri but every thing he said added to the quality of the show, was insightful and showed his knowledge of the sport. If DAZN want to win viewers over, bringing these two men in to the fold on a permanent basis would be a massive improvement on what they've had so far.
4-Gonzalez Vs Estrada II!
The big announcement from last week was that we will finally be getting the long anticipated rematch between Roman Gonzalez and Juan Francisco Estrada, a bout hardcore fans have been demanding for years. Given their first was amazing it's little wonder fans wanted to see them go again, and we expect another FOTY type war when the two step in the ring again in March. Despite being really excited about this one we do feel it should have happened a couple of years ago, and both men have shown cracks in recent bouts, and neither quite seem to be what they were in 2015 and 2016.
5-Ryoji Fukunaga and Kenta Nakagawa put on a show!
On the subject of Super Flyweights what an amazing battle we got between Ryoji Fukunaga and Kenta Nakagawa. This was a sensational 10 round fight, with the later rounds, especially rounds 8 and 9, being some of the best we've had this year. This bout alone made Boxing Raise worthy of the subscription cost for the month and saw a triple champion being crowned. If you missed it we would actively advise checking it out as soon as possible. An amazing war.
1-Szeremeta getting a world title fight
We don't want to sound too harsh here, but we really do need to query how Kamil Szeremeta got a world title fight. His record looked pretty enough on paper, but there was very, very little of substance on his record. Given he's in a fairly decent division, at Middleweight, there really was no excuse for the IBF to have ranked him as highly as they did. Sure we have some weak fighters fighting for world titles but there was absolutely nothing on his record to suggest he was anything better than European class. The leap from European level to world level was obvious just seconds into the bout. Sadly we're seeing a trend with recent IBF mandatory title fights, and that's over matched challengers, something the IBF will need to try and minimise sooner rather than later.
2-Headclashes mar Showtime show
On Saturday Showtime had a really interesting looking card, but it ended up massively disappointing, in part due to two of the bouts ending after headclashes. The first of those bouts, between Gary Antonio Russell and Juan Carlos Payano, was an interesting match up that was messy but interesting. The second however looked set to be the coming out party for Jaron Ennis, before an opening round headclash left Chris van Heerden with a brutal gash. The fact both of these both ended in to fashion was a huge shame.
3-DAZN's Saturday night commentary team
We praised the way DAZN brought in some fantastic guys on Friday, with Algieri and Rosado getting very good reviews and with good reason. Sadly on Saturday it was service as usual for DAZN who were complete clueless. Brian Kenny, again, did an awful job, especially with comments regarding the ropes holding up Callum Smith, and the commentary in general tried to sell some of the prospects as being the new Mayweather, when they looked distinctly average. The commentary needs to turn the hype down, call the action in front of them, and add to the fight, like Algieri did, rather than trying to sell a product as something it's not. For many international fans this will be one of the first shows they've seen with this particular DAZN team, and we wouldn't be surprised is many were turned of by the hyperbolic garbage spewed from the broadcasting team.
Thankfully we have no uglies this week!
This past has been a long one, a really, really long one, hence why this is being posted later than usual. Despite being long it has also been a pretty damn good week, and one we've enjoyed. With that in mind we have a good mix of things to talk about in this weeks The good, the bad and the ugly
1-Masayoshi Nakatani Vs Felix Verdejo
The big good from the weekend was the brilliant bout between Masayoshi Nakatani and Felix Verdejo on Saturday night in Las Vegas. Man what an amazing, dramatic, exciting and enthralling bout it was, with 4 knockdowns and a major come from behind win. We won't see many bouts with more drama than this one this year. Genuinely brilliant and well worth tracking down if you missed it live.
2-Ryoji Fukunaga vs Kenta Nakagawa
Talking about great bouts Monday's triple title unification bout between Ryoji Fukunaga and Kenta Nakagawa was another barn burner. The battle started somewhat slowly, with the two men trying to figure out how to fight in a southpaw vs southpaw bout, but warmed amazingly well and rounds 8 and 9 were just phenomenal. If you missed this one and have Boxing Raise check it out as soon as you can! Great action, great drama and great desire from both.
3-Misako's Double Header announcement
Every so often a show gets announced that has us instantly excited, and that happened this week with Misako announcing a show for February which will feature Ryu Horikawa Vs Yudai Shigeoka and Ryo Sagawa Vs Hinata Maruta. If those two bouts end up both taking place on the card, as announced, man what an amazing double header that's going to be! It's fair to say that 2020 hasn't been a great year, but the line for 2021 is already starting to take shape, and already starting to look amazing.
4-Florian Marku's rant
It's rare for a post fight interview to outshine the fight, but Florian Marku ripping the shit out of scoring referee Marcus McDonnell was one of those exceptions. He seemed to clearly earn a victory over Jamie Stewart on Saturday in the UK, though the referee some how had the bout even after 8 rounds, giving us the draw. Rightfully McDonnell was toasted by the fighter, and fingers crossed he'll not have any repercussions from the BBBofC for stating what everyone was thinking. Marku take a bow young man, and lets really hope this is the end of scoring referees in the UK.
1-Marcus McDonnell's score card
We mentioned Marku's rant, and it was spot on, but that doesn't ignore the fact that Marcus McDonnell has continued this growing trend in the UK, where officials seem unable to fucking score bouts! How he got a score of 76-76 for that bout is a mystery and he should be dragged in front of the BBBofC to explain his score. Sadly, as we saw recently with another British official, explaining a score in the UK is as simple as saying that's how you saw the bout. If the BBBofC don't start acting now, the sport in the UK will continue to be a joke when it comes to scoring.
DAZN covered the British show on Saturday night and they were dreadful. Again. Really awful. The repeatedly ignored the action in the ring, spent almost an entire 10 round fight talking about other fights. This was so disrespectful to the fighters on the show, the audience, the profession, the sport and the service they were working for. Brian Kenny, Chris Mannix and Sergio Mora really do need to be pulled to the side and given their marching orders. Just terrible. We complain about commentary every week, and DAZN's continues to be among the worst, of the worst.
3-Hyun Mi Choi's opponent
Earlier this year, before the world changed, we were supposed to see a sensational match up between Hyun Mi Choi and Maïva Hamadouche. Their bout was postponed, and then cancelled, and then both women signed with Matchroom. The bout seemed the obvious one to make. Instead the two have gone in different directions with Choi's opponent being announced around 8 days before her bout. Not only was her opponent announced late on, but it was also the very limited Calista Silgado. Not good enough from Matchroom, who have repeatedly under-delivered for Asian fighters in recent months. Just pathetic.
1-Donaire's false positive
Last week Nonito Donaire got a positive Covid19 result from one of his tests, forcing him out of a scheduled bout with Emmanuel Rodriguez. A bout that many were looking forward to. In the days that followed however it was seemingly shown to be a false positive with Donaire paying for extra testing of his own and negative results. This is a really ugly story that strangely mirrors the issues Reiya Konishi had earlier in the year and proves there is need for a confirmatory test after a positive, especially given the fact false positives are known about. This has been further complicated by the slow response time of the labs used by PBC for Donaire's testing.
The past week has been one that saw a lot of focus on two cards, one in the UK on Friday night and one in the US on Saturday. In reality for many fans they were the two things to concentrate on but, in reality, they were certainly not the only things taking place this past 7 days and, in all honesty they didn't really live up to the hype and hope of the promoters. In fact we'd go as far as to say they, for the most part, went as expected by the cynical fans out there. Despite that there was a lot to enjoy as we'll cover as we go back over the good, the bad and the ugly from this past week!
1-Japanese novices shine on Saturday
We're going to complain about under-cards a little bit later on, so with that in mind we need to congratulate Yokohama Hikari for putting on a surprisingly fun under-card on Saturday featuring novice bouts that stole the show. Heading into the weekend we never expected to be raving about bouts between Kanta Kawamura and Koyo Nakayama, Kenshiro Ishimori and Tomoya Tanaka or Takumi Hashimoto and Soshi Goto but these were genuinely great fun to watch. What these bouts showed was that you don't big names on under-cards, instead give us entertaining well matched bouts and we will sit there and enjoy some fun, back and forth action. In the West the under-cards, for years, have been used to pad records of prospects rather than paying much attention to fan entertainment, but bouts like these flipped that script and made for a real fun watch at Korakuen Hall.
2-Etsuko Tada with a female KO of the Year contender
One other thing we don't tend to see are female KO's but this past week we saw an absolutely beauty by Etsuko Tada, who iced fellow veteran Ayaka Miyao in a WBO female Minimumweight title bout. The two women had fought to a draw in February and it was expected that this one was going the distance as well until seconds into round 9 when a brutal left hand from Tada dropped Miyao face first. This was a sensational ending and the type of finish that makes it clear that even the little ladies can turn out the lights when they land the perfect shot. Prior to the bout it seemed like a loss would spell the end of Tada's career but instead she delivered something amazing here. It was brilliant to see.
3-Donte Dixon and Chris Bourke take chances to shine
Whilst the vast majority of the UK undercards from Friday and Saturday were forgettable affairs, of predictable mismatches, and even some incredibly dreary match making and stylistic clashes we did get 2 fighters who stood out. The first of those was Donte Dixon, who put in a thrilling, eye catching and exciting performance in his 6 round win over Angelo Dragone. Dixon's fight got moved to TV at late notice and he did everything he could to excite fans and etch his name in to the brains of fans watching. A brilliant fight with a great performance from the youngster. Just a night later Chris Bourke put on a scintillating performance to get rid of the teak tough Michael Ramabeletsa in 2 rounds, in an eye opening win. A tip to fighters being given these opportunities, especially during the current climate, is to make yourself stand out and make fans remember you so well done to Dixon and Bourke!
4-Ricards Bolotniks performance and post fight interview
Talking about making fans remember you the best example from the week was Latvian mad man Ricards Bolotniks who put in a stirring performance to stop Serge Michel in 10 rounds. The performance was a stellar one from the Latvian, who has turned his career around so much in the last few years and he was the worthy winner of the Golden Contract. Unlike most fighters who spend their post fight interview thanking everyone under the sun Bolotniks was raw joy, excitement and happiness following a career best win. He got the microphone and took his moment in the sun, roaring with joy. His performance and interview really did make fans remember him, and it's fair to say fans are going to really look forward to seeing more of him!
5-Eduardo Ramirez's KO over Miguel Flores
Another man who made their screen time matter this week was Eduardo Ramirez who fought like a man possessed from the opening bell of his bout with Miguel Flores. He set a high work rate, forced an exciting fight from the moment dot and never looked like he was there for anything but a big and impressive win. What few would have expected however was the finish, which was just brutal and seemed to almost rip Flores' top lip off his face. This was brutal, eye catching, bloody and exciting. With his win Ramirez is expected to get a world title fight, and although he would be the under-dog against any of the champions he certainly has the aggression and tenacity to be a nightmare for the top guys at 126lbs.
1-The under-cards from the Big 2 in the UK
We've mentioned Chris Bourke and Donte Dixon putting on memorable performances. Sadly the rest of the under-card bouts from those two shows really weren't interesting at all. Lerrone Richards was up against a man who wouldn't fight in Timo Laine, Shannon Courtney was in with a woman who looked like she had learned to box by watching play with each other, Josh O'Reilly looked out of his depth from the opening seconds against James Tennyson and the touted Dennis McCann was given a test but looked pretty poor for such a touted fighter, who had been compared to Naseem Hamed before, and after, the bout. Really disappointing pair of shows.
2-Anthony Yarde, Tunde Ajayi and the Lions in Camp
Of course it wasn't just the under-cards that were disappointing but also the performance of some of the main events. That was most notable by the performance of former world title challenger Anthony Yarde who looked lost against a 1-handed fighter. Yarde might be a power puncher but this performance was that of a very confused fighter lacking the tools needed to make the most of his power. He was also completely let down by his trainer, Tunde Ajayi who seemed completely confused at what to do. His advise was terrible, he was very slow to cotton on to the fact Lyndon Arthur was fighting one handed, forgot his man's gumshield, twice, and spent more time shouting about Lions in camp rather than giving his man the advice he needed to push forward and increase the tempo. This were then made worse by Yarde bitching about the decision going against him. On that subject, what the hell was Ian John Lewis watching?
3-Saunders Vs Murray again show Saunder's lack of fitness
Staying on the subject of main events in the UK the Billy Joe Saunders Vs Martin Murray bout did, slightly, exceed the very low expectations had of it. But it still stank and again showed why Billy Joe Saunders won't beat the very top guys. His fitness level. For 6 rounds Saunders looked great and beat up the old, slow, very shop worn Murray, who should never have been offered a world title fight at this point in his career. And then Saunders did his usual thing of running out of gas and taking his foot off the pedal for the last half of the fight. If the Englishman thinks this sort of tactic will cut it against the likes of Canelo or Andrade he needs to think again.
4-Musheg Adoian's injury
Sadly Lyndon Arthur wasn't the only man fighting with 1 arm as Thai based Russian Musheg Adoian also fought most of his rematch with Apichet Petchmanee 1-handed. The Russian seemed to injury himself in round 2, and never looked comfortable again. It's been reported that he injured his left elbow and it did show. Sadly this injury essentially killed off what was a very interesting match up and left him a human punch bag for Apichet. This wasn't a bad injury, in terms of visuals, but it did ruin what had promised to be a very good fight.
1-Neal Young, Santana's corner and Brian Kenny
On Saturday we were really impressed by Josesito Lopez' performance against Francisco Santana. The 36 year old Lopez looks really impressive here. What wasn't impressed by the officiating by Neal Young who was seemingly happy for Santana to take life altering punishment. Santan had been down in round 1, and had struggled to ever make a mark on the fight afterwards against a busy, accurate, and energetic Lopez. Santana was down again in round 9 and that should have been it. The referee and Santana's corner should both have called a halt to the bout there. It was pointless going on. Santana didn't have the power needed to affect Lopez, nor the energy needed to catch him, or the accuracy needed to time him. Instead they allowed him to wobble to his corner at the end of the round and head back out for round 10, in which he took further punishment. Brian Kenny, working for the broadcast, defended the referee for "doing his job", ignoring that part of his job is fighter safety, not for the bout to go the distance. All in all a disgusting ending to the fight that should have been stopped much earlier. Absolutely appalling by all involved.
2-Commentators over-hyping fighters
We've already mentioned Dennis McCann being compared to Naseem Hamed but that wasn't even the most outlandish thing said this weekend. That honour goes to the crazy Johnny Nelson who suggested that James Tennyson would stop Gervonta Davis. What the fuck is this guy doing on TV? There's supporting a fighter, there's blowing smoke up a fighters arse, and then there is complete and utter delusion. Nelson, and John Rawling, both fall well into the deluded category at times and need replacing, as do a lot of others calling fights. Brian Kenny, who defended Neal Young's terrible refereeing and was obsessed with punch numbers was also terrible this week. Come on TV channels, time for a clear out of the dull deadwood and hyperbolic halfwits.
3-Viviane Obenhauf's arrest
To end this we need to sadly get into the realm of the very serious, and worrying story out of Switzerland concerning former female fighter Viviane Obenauf who was arrested last week following the death of her 61 year old husband. Details are worrying with her husband dying from "massive injuries due to blunt instrument". Obenhauf appears to be the prime suspect in the case which has also brought up her history, which includes several other cases of out of the ring violence. We'll await the investigation to see how this ends up, but it is still an ugly situation for one of the more popular female boxers of recent years, and a fighter who was certainly notable for facing some of the best out there.
What a weird, weird, week we've had in the world of boxing. We've seen a champion admit to crashing when he was drunk, we've had an Olympic champion essentially turn off an international audience, two 50 year olds put on a show, a YouTuber scoring a KO of the year contender, a 16 year old shining, and some other real oddities in a week that in many ways over delivered!
With that said lets take a look at the Good, the bad and the ugly from this past week!
1-Wanheng Vs Panya delivers a thriller!
It's really rare that a Minimumweight bout will get international attention and will have fans asking us where to watch, and how to stream it. This week was an exception as fans around the globe wanted to watch the WBC Minimumweight title bout between Wanheng Menayothin and Panya Pradabsri. With fans tuning in there was pressure on the bout to shine, and that's exactly what it did with a pulsating, action packed 12 round contest that swung back and forth. This was just brilliant stuff, and whether you agree with the decision or not it's hard not to come away feeling like this was a great showcase for the smallest men in the sport.
2-New date set for Takayama Vs Konishi!
Talking about small men it was fantastic to see a new date being set for the highly anticipated bout between Katsunari Takayama and Reiya Konishi, who had their bout cancelled on the day of the event after Konishi had a positive result from a PCR test. It appears that test was a false positive and we can now look forward to this potential thriller on December 27th. Fantastic to see both men quickly working to secure a new date and for giving us fight fans a post-Christmas cracker!
3-Phoobadin shines... again!
Thai 16 year old Phoobadin Yoohanngoh did it again this week with a career best win, stopping Atchariya Wirojanasunobol in 6 rounds. The teenage sensation showed fantastic ring IQ and maturity, he boxed brilliantly early on, took the sting out of Atchariya's shots with his movement, countered excellently, and then turned up the head to stop his man. This was brilliant and it was so easy to forget we were watching a 16 year old 9-0 fighter in action. We really can't help be get excited about Phoobadin, who may well be the best young prospect in Asia today. He might only be 16 but he's shining against fully grown men, and is rising the bar for what is expect of boxing prodigies.
4-Joyce Vs Dubois delivers
Another bout that delivered this past week was the British Heavyweight showdown between Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois, who put on a thoroughly enjoyable battle on Saturday. This fight wasn't the most exciting, or the highest skilled, but it was truly entertaining, incredibly engaging, and a real battle of tactics. Dubois, the younger man, fought like his only chance was bombing out the iron chinned Joyce, and he did seem to stagger his man several times. It's unclear how Joyce took the shots but he did! Joyce on the other hand was fighting behind a slow, thudding, consistent jab, that burst up and broke down Dubois face. With Dubois' left eye a swollen, damaged mess, and his heart broken he made the wise decision to take a knee and take the 10 count. The only negative take away here was how the referee and corner essentially forced Dubois' hand. His corner really should have stepped in before he had to take the ultimate call to end the bout.
5-Seki-chan and Sakana stream event from Aichi!
On Sunday morning Japanese fight fan Seki-chan along with Japanese boxing video master Sakana ran a free YouTube stream of an event from Aichi and what a stream it was. It was in wonderful quality, with a solid camera position selected. It was basic, simple, but it really worked and gave an insight into the often over-looked Central Japanese boxing scene. Real credit goes to the two-some for organising the stream, and the subsequent video uploads. Fingers crossed this won't be a one off as it was a genuine success, and one of the true highlights of the week. We'll admit the bouts weren't big ones, but that hardly mattered, they were even match ups, exciting to watch, and in high quality. Thank you guys!
6-Tyson Vs RJJ ends up... being good!
Whether we like it or not boxing is a weird sport. On Saturday night/Sunday morning we saw how weird it was as we got the exhibition between 54 year old Mike Tyson and 51 year old Roy Jones Jr, and a bout featuring a YouTuber and Basketball player. What made it even weirder was the fact that Tyson looked fantastic, moved well, kept a great rate through 8 rounds and in terms of effort would have embarrassed some of the younger fighters, Jones, despite being younger and fighting much more recently, looked old and exhausted. It was also made even weirder when Jake Paul scored a genuinely brutal KO against Nate Robinson. We wouldn't say it was worth the PPV price but we dare say those who did pay walked away happy with what they got. It was weird, it was wacky, and it was genuinely enjoyable.
1-Jacobs and Rosado stink out the joint
Now we get into the bad and, thankfully, most of the bad was actually in the ring, with weak performance poor under-cards. Sadly the worst of those bouts was the sleep inducing 12 round bore-a-thon between Daniel Jacobs and Gabriel Rosado. Man was this poor. Jacobs put in an effort akin to an office worker sleeping at his desk, and whilst Rosado tried, he didn't really have the offensive skills needed to turn the bout into anything watchable. Absolutely dire bout, and probably the last we see of Jacobs on DAZN. It's fair to say pressure is on Matchroom US to begin delivering interesting bouts, as this was the second recent main event of theirs that has stunk the joint out.
2-Frank Warren under-card
Of course it's hard to talk about Matchroom and Eddie Hearn and not also criticise Frank Warren who's under-card for the Joe Joyce Vs Daniel Dubois bout was dreadful. The under-card dragged on, was full of mismatches and had very, very little drama. We understand the card not being packed with big bouts, but to not have a single competitive bout on the entire under-card was shameful. What made matters worse was that, for the most part, the fighters on the card never really came close to really shining. Hamzah Sheeraz cruised through rounds, Jack Catterall showed some nice touches, but lacked urgency, Jack Massey boxed to orders and David Adeleye was in with a horribly over-matched opponent. Such a poor undercard made the pacing feel awkward and the who show just felt like it dragged, massively. Thankfully the main event delivered, big time, but the under-card was torture to watch
3-French card ends up being a turn off
Over in France we also had a nightmare of a show to watch. This was just a mess. The touted Estelle Mossely looked incredibly poor against a very inexperienced opponent, the wrong winner was announced in the Welterweight bout between Aboubeker Bechelaghem and Volkan Gokcek, the bell was used for both the end of the round and as the 10 second clacker and then we had Tony Yoka. Given the hype, and the build up for Yoka, the Rio Olympic Super Heavyweight gold medal winner, his performance just flat out stand. He dropped to the floor like a soccer player every time Hammer was up close, he showed no urgency, his corner team seemed to tell him to take it easy and the entire bout became a chore to get through. With fans in the UK and US tuning in through Boxnation and ESPN+ this was Yoka's chance to capture an international audience but instead he crapped the bed.
It's a shame for boxing in France that this show was so amateurish, and that the Golden couple, Yoka and his wife Mossely, really looked flat and limited. This was a rare spotlight on French boxing and it was a spotlight that may not be back any time soon. A huge missed opportunity!
1-Kenshiro's drunk incident
Only one ugly this week and it's the news that WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji was involved in a drunken incident in the summer. Despite happening months ago the news only got broke this week, and his planned December world title fight is off. It's unclear what, if any, punishment he'll be given by the JBC, though he has issued an apology. We are massive fans of Kenshiro, but this is disappointing news to say the least and, hopefully, it's a one off mistake, and error in judgement and not a sign of something worse in his out of the ring activity. Thankfully it appears the only damage was to the vehicle of a victim, and no one was harmed, but still, this is not what we were expecting from the "Amazing Boy".
Note - We had originally stated "drink driving" though it now appears that Kenshiro's actions were more drunken tomfoolery than driving. Thankfully.
We're on Monday again and once again we get our weekly look over the good, the bad and the ugly. This week has been mostly good, but it's not been perfect and we will have our typical whine about the sport. Thankfully it does feel like the sport is turning corner and heading in the right direction. At least in most places. It's just a shame that greed still exists in this sport, when really it needs to be curtailed during what is, very genuinely, a tough time for a lot of people.
1-Ring City USA leaves a good first impression
On Thursday night we got the first episode of Ring City USA, with the simple premise of making even bouts and putting them on TV with no promotional link to either promoter, a bit like some of the Dangan cards we get. Whilst the bouts on the show didn't really live up the idea of being even bouts they were all interesting contests, with a unique vibe and look and although there are changes that need making we really enjoyed the broadcast and hope it's a success. The idea of giving both fighters a chance to shine in a bout is great, and needs to be done more, the broadcast team were solid, and the venue, the parking lost outside the Wildcard Gym, was certainly an usual and unique one. Fingers crossed that this is a success!
TV Osaka and A-Sign both put on free shows earlier today and boy were they both great. The TV Osaka card, spread over two parts, gave us some thrilling action and well matched bouts with some very notable names. It wasn't an amazing show, by any stretch, but it was a really solid, well put together show that made sense, showcased some talent that rarely gets a chance to shine and was thoroughly engaging. The A-Sign card was less notable, but has a thrilling 6 round war, a show case for Jin Sasaki, and the announcement of Sasaki's next bout, a thriller with Aso Ishiwaki. For those who against PPV, or claim they want to support boxing, today was a great day and we got some real treats for free!
3-Conor Benn has really improved!
Over in the UK on Saturday we had the chance to see Conor Benn take on Sebastian Formella, in what was a legitimate step up for the second generation British fighter. This turned out to be a sensational performance by Benn, who looks a completely different fighter to the one who had struggled against Cedrick Peynaud back in 2017. Yes it's still very early in his career but this was a great performance by Benn who suddenly looks like he can go a long way in the sport. Fair enough he didn't look heavy handed and he did slow down, notably, by the later stages, but just 2 years ago we would never have assumed Benn would be anything like this. Well done to him, and fingers crossed these improvements continue!
4-Sanman Promotions "The Restart"
Althugh boxing has been back in Japan, Thailand, South Korea and China for months we've not really seen much boxing from the Philippines. Thankfully this weekend we got the second card from the Philippines since boxing returned to the country thanks to Sanman Promotions. The show, dubbed "The Restart", wasn't the best show we'll see this year but was a solid one with decent fighters, such as Joey Canoy, Aston Palicte, Marlon Tapales and Dave Apolinario. It's going to be exciting to see what happens with Filipino boxing when it gets back up to speed, but shows like this are a good start, and hopeful will continue to come through the coming weeks and months.
1-Fights falling through
At the moment we are seeing a lot of bouts fall through for one reason, or another, and sadly we had three very interesting bouts that were supposed to take place this week needing to be cancelled at short notice. One of those was the Japanese Youth Super Flyweight title bout, between Suzumi Takayama and Hiroto Yashiro, another was the step up for Ryosuke Nishida, against Shohei Omori and the third was the anticipated bout between Reiya Konishi and Katsunari Takayama. All 3 of of these bouts appears to be among the most interesting for the week and it really did suck that they were cancelled very late in the day.
2-Covid19 continues to be a stumbling block
We mentioned that Reiya Konishi and Katsunari Takayama had their bout cancelled, and that was due to Konishi testing positive for Covid19. Prior to that cases had been picking up, and a gym in Hyogo has been pretty much closed, whilst there's also been a case in Kanagawa recently. It's clear that cases around the globe are picking up, and we suspect more bouts will be cancelled in the near future as boxing is seemingly heading back to the ropes once again.
1-PPV bollocks from Hearn
We have, very openly, been anti-PPV and we will continue to be so, especially during a pandemic. So with that in mind we really need to call Eddie Hearn out on not only having a PPV less than 2 weeks before Christmas but just 10 days after England comes out of a 4 week lock down, during a recession. And at a higher price than usual. We can hear all the crap about this is the only way to make big fights, but the reality is that this was a mandatory, not some huge money mega fight. It could have gone to purse bids and he could have bid what he felt the fight was worth if he felt the fight was something so special, and we could have seen Pulev's team pony up the cash that they felt the bout was worth. The reality is that once again fans are being taken for a joyride in the UK. Not only is the bout PPV in the UK, at close to £25, but it's being shown worldwide on DAZN, for less than it's being shown to audience in the UK. As Hearn and co. know there will thousands of people illegally streaming it, but what else do they expect? Really.
2-More PPV bollocks
Mike Tyson Vs Roy Jones Jr is an exhibition, yet that is also covered by PPV bollocks in the UK, with a £20 price tag. This is just greed by two shadows of former greats. Yes Tyson and Jones are both legends, genuine legends. But that doesn't change the fact that both men are essentially retired, fighting in an exhibition and charging a premium during a pandemic. The under-card, although interesting, is certainly not worth subsidising an exhibition for and it's one we really can't get behind as a fight. Exhibitions can be great to watch, don't let anyone try to convince you otherwise. Julio Cesar Chavez and Jorge Arce put on some really fun exhibitions, and in the 1990's we had Khaosai Galaxy Vs Jiro Watanabe, and Jiro Watanabe Vs Katsuo Tokashiki, and they were entertaining, fun and unique. This feels more like a cash grab. Thankfully for those interested the bout will be on WOWOW, which is available on isakura, at a singificantly lower price than the PPV in the UK.
Lets start this be being totally honest. This past week was terrible! There was a lack of action, issues with health, bouts cancelled, and some awful garbage going on with a Top Rank show, that has left a bad taste in everyone's mouth. The past 7 days are certainly not going to stand out in the memory of many, at least not for positive reasons. We will, as always, start with the positives, and then go through the bad, and the downright ugly.
1-Dangan announce double header for January
This past week Dangan announced that they would be promoting two Japanese title bouts in January, on the same card, giving us a sensational double header to look forward to. And seriously we are looking forward to this card so much right now! The bouts in question will see the always fun to watch Yusaku Kuga defending the Japanese Super Bantamweight title against Gakuya Furuhashi and the Japanese Super Featherweight champion Kosuke Saka defending his belt against Takuya Watanabe. If these two bouts go off without a hiccup, we will forgive the boxing gods for this crap week.
2-Female lead card in the UK
We don't get to sing Matchroom praises a lot here, but well done to them for having a female dominated show on Saturday night in the UK. It seems Eddie Hearn is going all in on female boxing, signing some major international talent, and putting on a triple header of female fights, headlined by Katie Taylor. Not only did the show get treat like a special event, and promoted hard, but it was also made available for free on YouTube and Facebook, and promoted like it was a major change in how boxing will be done in the UK. We're just hoping that this is the next step towards something bigger and better, and not just a fad during the no-fan era of British boxing. Although the card was great for female boxing, it wasn't perfect and Hearn will need to step up the quality of match ups if he does something similar in the future. It's a good step, but there is a lot of improvement needed for female boxing to catch on with a British audience.
1-Luke Campbell and Nordine Oubaali (among others) testing positive Covid19
Early in the week it was announced that Luke Campbell, Nordine Oubaali and several un-named fighters in Japan had tested positive for Covid 19. This has forced Campbell's bout with Ryan Garcia to be pushed back, if not cancelled, Oubaali's with Nonito Donaire to be put on ice for now, and a trainer in Japan to be isolated in hospital. It's clear that current protocols aren't 100% effective anywhere, and things perhaps do need a major over-haul to try and prevent more spread through out the boxing world.
Thankfully it appears Campbell's result was a few weeks ago, rather than this week, but it's still come to light this week with the delay of his bout. A bout that was supposed to help the global launch of DAZN.
Oubaali on the other hand has been promoted to WBC "champion in recess" whilst Donaire will face Emmanuel Rodriguez for the vacant world title. Well done to the WBC, for once, for making the best of a bad situation, credit where it's due.
2-Top Rank and ESPN's timing
If you're from the UK and you stayed up to watch Terence Crawford's TKO win over Kell Brook, you probably went though have a jar of coffee, and some matchsticks to keep your eyes open thanks to ESPN completely shitting the bed here. There under-card flew by on ESPN+ but instead of going to the co-feature when they could have, they essentially paused the broadcast with Joshua Franco and Andrew Moloney waiting in the rings. The reason for this was to take the broadcast to ESPN. A great idea until you consider that there was almost quarter of an hour of a college football game to get through first. Not just that, but the game was over a competition by then, with a score of 56-28. They were in garbage time, and the boxing was going to wait. Then we got the Franco and Moloney fight and had an issue with replay, more about that later, then we had national anthems, and promotional videos, for the fight we had tuned into watch! By the time the fight started the sun was rising in Brook's homeland, and even the American audiences were complaining about the start time. Come on ESPN you can do better. Much better! Given this was on pay TV in the UK, though Premier Sports, it would have left a really nasty taste in the mouths of fans.
3-ESPN's general lack of professionalism
Yeah we're ragging on ESPN again, and it won't the last time so if you work for the "Global Leader" you may want to just forget about this week. But what the fuck were their team doing? Seriously that was one of the least professional broadcasts we've ever seen, with both Joe Tessitore and Mark Kreigel coming across as despicable, unprofessional arseholes. Tessitore's comments about Brook taking his $2,000,000 came across as crass, underhand and almost as if Brook had spent his isolation in a room having his way with a close relative of Tessitore's. Kreigel on the other hand asked pretty much the same question of Brook several times, trying to get the Englishman to run with his narrative, rather than accepting the answer given by Brook. We've really tired of Kreigel, who might be a fantastic "essayist" but he's a terrible broadcaster, and ESPN really need to think about getting someone else on board, maybe someone less obsessed with fighters parents.
1-Replays cause confusion and a fucking mess of things!
And we go for the tri-fecta on the ESPN card, although in fairness this wasn't all down to them but it was on their show. Let us start by saying that technology in sport is a good thing, or at least it can be. The video replay in NFL is great, Hawkeye in Cricket and Tennis is fantastic. The idea is that a decision can be rendered correctly and quickly, and everyone can see where the decision has been made, and how the officials have reached their conclusion. Sadly however technology isn't the answer for incompetence, as football fans are seeing with VAR and now boxing fans are seeing with ringside replays. The Joshua Franco Vs Andrew Moloney rematch was stopped due to swelling over Franco's eye, that Russell Mora had ruled, in real time, was due to an accidental headclash. In reality had that call stood we wouldn't be complaining, whether it was right or wrong it "looked" right, and was understandable. Instead we had imbeciles sitting around a monitor watching replays over, and over, and over, and over...for more than 20 fucking minutes, before rendering a decision. And with all those replays they concluded the referee was right. As fans watching, we couldn't see a headclash that caused the cut, and from the replays it seemed a clear punch, albeit with an accidental but legal thumb in the eye, caused the issue.
Their was confusion, there was anger, their was a waste of time, and their was, seemingly, an injustice.
We've mentioned this in the past, but if a replay is to be used in boxing it should be used as "live", and give the ringside officials the 1 minute between rounds to make a call based on what they see. That allows the fighters to know where they stand and alter their tactics. For example, if Franco had been told his injury was from a punch it would have given him a chance to go all out, but he was fighting under the assumption it was a clash of heads.
We are for replay in boxing, but it needs to be sorted out. Nihito Arakawa's bout with Daniel Estrada saw it being badly used, and more recently Jose Pedraza's bout with Mikkel LesPierre saw it being fudged. Get it fucking sorted guys, or can it off.
This past week has been a really, really strange one. We've had some great highs, and some awful lows, and it feels like a week where boxing lost a lot of the momentum it had been building in recent weeks. Despite that feeling the sport actually had a lot to celebrate, and that ekpt coming right through to this morning when we had some really great news break in Japan.
So, lets ask our selves, what were the good, the bad and the ugly's for this week?
1-Junto Nakatani announces himself on the world stage
Lets start with a real high and talk about the new WBO Flyweight champion Junto Nakatani who put on a star making performance on Friday at Korakuen Hall. The excellent Japanese youngster, who's still just 22, battered and beat down Giemel Magramo in a very one sided show case. This was supposed to be a legitimate 50-50 type fight, Magramo was expected to be able to hold his own, and make the most of his big shot at the top. Instead however Nakatani beat him every which way. The tall and lanky Japanese fighter showed he could win up close, win at range, and was better in every way. This was a man who was given a platform, and made a statement.
2-Amnat Ruenroeng Vs Pungluang Sor Singyu
When we saw Amnat Ruenroeng and Pungluang Sor Singyu stand in the ring opposite each other a few weeks ago to announce their bout we knew to expecting something interesting. What we didn't anticipate was a legitimately fantastic bout between two veterans who were despite to win, and put on one of the most interesting and entertaining bouts of the week. If you missed this one it is genuinely worth watching, and was the perfect mix of styles. It was match making at it's finest, pitting two guys who were stylistic opposites but very evenly matched against each other other. Pungluang brought the heat through out and Amnat countered through the bout, giving us a really brilliant, high tempo, and exciting fight. More like this please!
3-Thitisak Hoitong shines on debut!
Staying in Thailand we really need to rave about Thitisak Hoitong, who looked like a star in the making. The 24 year old debutant looked sensational on his debut, completely schooling Samartlek Kokietgym over 6 rounds, in a performance that allowed the youngster to show a bit of everything. It can be easy to get over-excited about Thai hopefuls, and we have done it a lot in the past, but it's hard to look back on Thitisak's performance and not think that Thailand have unearthed a new world champion here. The guy looks sensational.
4-Canelo is free!
After being out of the ring for more than a year news broke this past week that Saul "Canelo" Alvarez is a promotional free agent and that his deal with Golden Boy Promotions has come to an end, as has his broadcast deal with DAZN. This is all an ugly affair, that now appears to be over, and talk seems to be that Canelo will be back in the ring in December. On one hard this is really bad news for DAZN, which needed some major names on it's platform for it's global release in December, on the other hand it does mean that we'll see Canelo in action, and it appears that DAZN will have more budget for better shows, something that it desperately needs given how poor 2020 has been for the service.
5-Kazuto Ioka Vs Kosei Tanaka is a done Deal!
On Monday morning we awoke to the great news that a deal is now done for the WBO Super Flyweight title bout between Kazuto Ioka and Kosei Tanaka, who have now put pen to paper to face off on December 31st in Tokyo. This isn't really a surprise, but more the relief that some normality can exist in boxing, and we can still enjoy a huge end of year bout from Japan. For Ioka this will be his second defense of the title, that he won in 2019 by stopping Aston Palicte whilst Tanaka will be looking to become a 4 weight champion at the age of 25. This is the match up we all wanted, and one to get really, really exited about!
1-Hiroto Kyoguchi suffers Covid19
The first bad of the week came at the start of the week and saw the WBA Light Flyweight "Super" title bout between Hiroto Kyoguchi and Thanongsak Simsri being cancelled at late noticed after Kyoguchi, and a trainer, both tested positive for Covid19. This was bad on a number of levels, including the fact the fight was off and Simsri's 2 weeks in quarantine seemed to be all for nought. But since then it appears the virus has really gotten into the Watanabe Gym, and that is a bad in it's self. It's unclear where the cluster came from, but it's a real shame that it struck when it did and we hope everyone makes a full recovery, and that the bout is rescheduled for later this year.
2-Povetkin gets Covid19
In for a penny, in for a pound with the Covid stories! Not only did we lose Kyoguchi Vs Simsri this week but we also saw a serious delay being put into the planned rematch between Alexander Povetkin and Dillian Whyte. That was because Povetkin tested positive, and it's now forced the bout to be posted until 2021. Given that Povetkin is already 41 we do wonder just how much of him will be left by the time the rematch takes place. Yes he scored a win in the first bout with Whyte but he is very much an old fighter and if the illness has any lingering effects on him it could end up pushing the bout further and further back.
3-PBC show on Saturday Night
PBC promised us a card of Heavyweight action on Saturday night with a card of completely comprised of Heavyweight bouts. Sounds great we thought! Going to be fun! Going to be knockouts and big guys swinging shots at each other. Sadly it turned into a complete farce with the combined 5 bouts lasting a combined 11 rounds. Only 1 of the bouts got beyond round 2 and there wasn't a single round of actually competitive action on the show. As for the action, we saw Carlos Negron and Rafael Rios both look like they'd done a marathon before stepping into the ring, and both looked exhausted by round 2, Joey Abell injured his arm to suffer his 11th loss and Alexander Flores seemed to injure himself when caught by the wind of Luis Ortiz's punches. This was a disgraceful show of boxing and it didn't belong on TV.
4-DAZN show stinks
Okay we mentioned the PBC card, and that was bad. It was really bad. Embarrassingly however the DAZN card was even worse. As if that was possible. There was no redeeming factor here at all. We again had the insufferable DAZN commentary, and we really do wonder what their team have on the DAZN owners to keep their jobs, the match ups were all garbage, we don't think a B side won a single round on the card. With DAZN around a month away from their global launch they really need to put some quality control in place and prevent garbage like this being shown on their service. Their service isn't free, it's a premium. It's a luxury. A luxury that laid a giant shit on the floor this week and tried to pretend that it was a worthwhile show. Not a single bout on this card was interesting, exciting or worth watching. If you missed this to get your colon examined, you missed nothing. It also had a very dreary, unexciting, and dull main event that saw further shine being taken off one of the big hopes of US boxing.
Sorry folks, if you tuned into the boxing on Saturday night in the US you really were let down. No wonder neither promoter did much to promote their events!
1-Kaokhor Galaxy's crash
Over the weekend news from Thai was that former world champion Khaokor Galaxy had been involved in an automobile accident. Khaokor, the twin of Khaosai, was in the car with his wife when the accident occurred, crushing a good portion of his car. Images from the accident looked terrible, though thankfully reports are that no one is badly hurt and it seems like everyone was very fortunate not to be seriously injured. This could have been so, so much worse.
One thing we all, as boxing fans, tend to do is linger on the bad but this past week has been one that has almost universally been well liked. Whether you agree or not with out comes one thing that we all have in common is, at some point this week, we all saw something that made us remember why we love this sport. It might treat us badly at times, but weeks like this one show why we stick with it!
With that said, lets looks at some of the good, the bad, and the ugly from the past 7 days!
1- Channel 5 getting Davis Vs Santa Cruz
One of the truly unexpected positives from the week was British TV station Channel 5 getting the Gervonta Davis Vs Leo Santa Cruz bout live. This meant British fans, who have been gouged by PPV's in recent months, got the chance to enjoy some genuinely great action. It's a shame Channel 5 didn't air the full show, like we think some fans assumed they would, but world class boxing on terrestrial TV is always a positive! Fingers crossed this is the start of something long term!
2-Big KO's keep coming
Talking about the Gervonta Davis Vs Leo Santa Cruz bout, what an amazing KO that was by Davis, and the reality is that it was one of a huge number of brilliant finishes from the week. We saw other spectacular knockouts from the likes of Naoya Inoue, Shu Utsuki, Wanchana Menayothin, Jongo Jongo, Oleg Misiura and Claudiomar Pedra dos Santos. If you like KO's you didn't have to look far to find a special one!
3-Kompayak Porpramook and Derek Chisora showing he is still a live test
This past week we saw two veterans with similar styles both showing that they are very live tests. On Saturday morning former world champion Kompayak Porpramook put in a real shift to test a Thai prodigy, pushing him all the way for 10 rounds a really tough, test. Around 12 hours later former world title challenger Derek Chisora served a similar type of performance against with Oleksandr Usyk, over 12 rounds. Both of these veterans suffered their 10 loss, but the reality is that both are better than their records suggest, and both are very much servants to the sport. We want to give a heads up to both guys, and fingers crossed they don't retire too soon, as they are both very live fighters.
4-Isaac Cruz is a beast!
Where the fuck was this guy hiding? Isaac Cruz is some one we weren't aware of going into the weekend but his one round blitz of Diego Magdaleno made us instant fans. He looked like a mini Tyson in there, and ran through Magdaleno like a knife through hot butter. Take a bow kid, you were phenomenal and we suspect we weren't the only ones impressed here!
5-Inoue impressing on Las Vegas debut
There are a number of fighters we have unfair expectations of. The truly elite. The men who are head and shoulders above the rest. These are the men with real pressure on their shoulders. One such fighter was Naoya Inoue, who not only had the pressure of expectation on his shoulders, but also the pressure of making his Las Vegas debut, live on ESPN+ in what was the first world title fight with a Japanese man since March. He answered that pressure in style, stopping Jason Moloney in 7 rounds, and showing no issues at all with a lengthy lay off. The pressure on him to make the most of this opportunity didn't show at all, and instead he became the first Japanese fighter to successfully defend a title in Las Vegas since July 2014!
1-DAZN Not airing full show on Friday
We have two complaints with DAZN, we'll get on to the second a little later, but the first was the bigger issue here. Why the fuck did they now show the full show on Friday? They don't have TV schedules and timing constraints of typical TV, they are in charge of their own product, and yet they missed out on showing Bektemir Melikuziev, arguably the hottest of the emerging Uzbek hopefuls and a must watch fighter, and Lamont Roach, a promising American contender. With DAZN announcing their global expansion this week, this was not a smart idea. They need good will right now, they need people being positive, and word of mouth. Sadly word of mouth is that they only show parts of shows. Ridiculous!
2-Sirimongkol Singwancha continues on but why?
On Friday former 2-weight world champion Sirimongkol Singwancha stepped into the ring in Tanzania. He was out of shape, several years beyond his best, and really didn't look like he was ever much of a fighter. He didn't look a shadow of a fighter, he just didn't look like a fighter. He retired, citing a shoulder injury, and then spoke about not training and wanting a rematch. At his best Sirimongkol was a fantastic fighter, genuinely in the 1990's an early 00's he was brilliant. In 2020 however he's a shadow, of a shell, he's over weight and, given his comments about training, he can't be arsed. Sorry dude, hang them up. Unlike Kompayak and Chisora, who we mentioned earlier, there is no point you setepping in the ring again
3-Robson Conceicao getting a Christmas present in October
On Saturday night we had something special, turn into something rotten within seconds. We need to start by saying that the 10 round bout between Robson Conceicao and Luis Coria was sensational and had everything. From Coria's hot start, dropping Conceicao in round 2, to Conceicao battling back, needing to over-come two deductions for low blows and managing to fight through a bloodied and swollen face. This bout was brilliant. Sadly the judges left the bout being one we do not want to go back and watch. Some how all 3 judges saw this in favour of Conceicao, and we really can't see how. We're putting this down to someone owing the 32 year old Brazilian a Christmas present or something as there was no excuse for Coria to be denied the victory he deserved. Great effort by Conceicao, but no where near enough to earn him a win.
We mentioned we had a second gripe with DAZN, but this isn't explicitly with DAZN. Instead it was with Sky, DAZN and ESPN+ who all had some terrible commentary over the week. DAZN's US team on Friday spent too long bickering, and arguing about "passion", rather than the action in the ring. The Sky team on Saturday night had people essentially being cheerleaders for their mates, and doing an awful job of staying professional, and the ESPN team on Saturday were seemingly unaware of details regarding the fighter in the main event. We know we complain about commentary regularly, but it's not hard to get it right! We don't expect everyone to be as good as the likes of Crystina Poncher, Jim Lampley, Al Bernstein Andy Clarke, or Ian Darke, but the stuff we had to endure this week was dreadful.
The stuff with Sky was beyond a joke, and really needs to be changed going forward. There is no point having so much bias in a broadcast. It's off putting, it's irritating, it's unprofessional and it's down right shite to listen to!
1-Tureano Johnson's Lip
Well we got a pretty visual ugly this week with Tureano Johnson suffering a brutal facial injury in his bout with Jaime Munguia. Johnson's top lip was sliced by an uppercut from the popular Mexican and just looking at the damage to Johnson's face leaves an automatic "ouch" from us. This was nasty, and one of the most visually ugly injuries we've seen in a long time. Thankfully we don't imagine it'll be as serious as it looks, but oh boy did this look ugly!
This past week has been a rather odd one. For the most part it's been a quiet week, but what we've had in the ring has been great. The only real issues we've had with the sport have been out of the ring, and for that we need to thank the boxing gods for getting it right...for once!
With that said lets take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly!
1-"Super Fly 4"
On Saturday night we essentially got the spiritual successor to the "Super Fly" shows and boy did it ever deliver! Or at least didn't the two main bouts deliver! Sadly the card started badly, dragged on for a long time and wasn't helped by Julio Cesar Martinez making light work of Moises Calleros, but when it got to the two main bouts it was brilliant! Roman Gonzalez looked great in his win over Israel Gonzalez, who played his part in a very good fight and refused to wave the white flag. We then saw Juan Francisco Estrada and Carlos Cuadras give us something truly fantastic, with Estrada being aggressive and making the fight and Cuadras turning in a much better performance than we expected.
2-Gonzalez Vs Estrada II on the horizon?
Following their wins on Saturday it seemed very much like the plan was to now move on to a rematch between Roman Gonzalez and Juan Francisco Estrada, who clashed in 2012. It's the rematch that hardcore fans have been calling for for years, and if we get that on the back of this weekend then we'll be very, very happy!
3-Junto Nakatani Vs Giemel Magramo is on!
The on again, off again, on again, off again, saga regarding the WBO Flyweight title bout between Junto Nakatani and Giemel Magramo is finally sorted and it's going to be sooner than any of us likely expected! The bout was announced this week for November 6th and we are excited! It's been one that we've been waiting for most of the year and, on paper, it has the makings for something very special! The two guys have styles that should gel well, both are young, fresh and in their primes, and both men can fight. We genuinely think we might have something amazing here and credit to both guys for getting in on, when it would have been easier to walk away and go in their own directions for a bit.
4-Seki-chan hits 1000 subscribers!
Last week we mentioned the plan of Seki-chan, who runs the Japanese Boxing Directory, to try and buy rights to show fights, legally, on YouTube. To do that he needed 1000 subscribers on YouTube, to essentially open up the ability to do super chats. This past week that target was reached, meaning they will now look to secure the rights for Splendid Boxing on November 29th! To those who have began subscribing thank you, to those who haven't the channel is available here Boxing player directory and to Seki-chan we at Asian Boxing Info owe you a huge thank you!
1-Billy Joe Saunders Vs Martin Murray
There's bad fights and there's bad fights. Matchroom's big announcement for Billy Joe Saunder's next fight is, sadly, a bad fight and is the latest in a long line of poor fighters for Saunders. Given the talent Matchroom have at Middleweight and Super Middleweight there is no excuse to serve up this fight, and Demetrius Andrade Vs Dusty Harrison Hernandez. There was an obvious bout to be made here and some how the brain trust at Matchroom have ended up with two fights no one wants. Murray at his best, years ago, would have been a very interesting opponent for Saunders, but that was years ago and not in 2020. In 2020 this fight is legitimately trash and shouldn't be defended.
2-A Super Quiet Week
Other than fan dubbed "Super Fly 4" and the Showtime card on Saturday there was very, very, very little to really talk about. It's not there was nothing just, very, very little worthy of any real attention. This was particularly notable in Asia where the majority of the action was low level Chinese shows. We know there will be gaps in events, but it seemed like everywhere had a gap on the same week. The again given how the next few weeks are this was a wonderful time to catch out breath before the chaos ahead!
1-British Boxing Board of Control
Just over a week ago a number of poor scores were put in by judges on a Matchroom show. One of the judges, Terry O'Connor, had to appear in front of the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) to explain his score for the bout between Lewis Ritson and Miguel Vazquez. In the end the BBBofC accepted the explanation as to how the judge scored one of bout and have essentially cleared him of any wrong doing, accepting that was how he saw the bout. Sadly this really says it all about the BBBofC. If that is how one of their trained and experienced judges saw the bout the judge in, then it's simple. That judge not be involved in the sport. If the judge saying that's how he saw it is a valid excuse the BBBofC have shown that they need a clean out, from top to bottom, and have now opened the door to allow any judge to turn in any scores using that excuse. The board have long been accused of burying their head in the sand and not punishing officials when they need to and this was a prime example. They had a clear case to begin cleaning out the dregs and proving they had the balls to punish their own officials, but instead they decided to accept a poor explanation of something, that seemed to be an admission of ineptitude from the judge.
This is just an opinion, maaaan! It's easy to share our opinions, and that's what you'll find here, some random opinion pieces