After a few weeks where we've not had much to talk about the past week has been a much more engaging and interesting one, with some great bouts, some exciting announcements, some free streams, and plenty negatives to talk about as well as the positives.
1-CBC's live stream
Although CBC's stream this week wasn't of a huge show, it was, as we've come to expect from them, fantastic from start to end. The broadcaster aired the entire show from Kariya live on Tuesday, in excellent quality, with no issues, live replays, great camera angles and perfect sound mixing. Sadly for everyone else CBC have brought TV level production values to the free streaming game, and it's going to be down to everyone else to play catch up. As well as the quality of the stream the fights were also rather solid, especially the main event between Kento Hatanaka and Roland Jay Biendima, and Hiroki Hanabusa's body shot KO was sublime.
If someone else is going to do a free stream, this is level they should be aiming for. Amazing from start to end!
2-Nakatani Vs Magramo being made official!
We know we mentioned this bout last week, and actually the CBC free stream, but this week saw the confirmation of Junto Nakatani Vs Giemel Magramo! Better yet it's set for a Dynamic Glove show, meaning that we're expecting it to be shown live on G+. Not only is this an exceptional match up for the WBO Flyweight title but it's the type of bout that excites us, and is a risk for both men. Given that both fighters could have taken different routes to a world title we can't help but be proud of both fighters for signing up to this one!
3-Wanheng Menayothin gets date for US debut
With a 54-0 record WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin has the longest active unbeaten stream in boxing, along with the longest world title reign of any man in the sport. One thing he hasn't got is an international bout to his name. That changes in April after this weeks news of the Thai setting off for the US! Wanheng will make his international debut on April 25th, when he takes on Marco John Rementizo. The bout might not be the biggest, or the best, and the scheduling for it is fucking stupid, clashing with Naoya Inoue Vs Johnriel Casimero, but it's great to finally see Wanheng outside of his comfort zone.
4-Yuki Nakajima's uppercut
It's not often we'll talk about a specific punch on here but the uppercut Yuki Nakajima landed on Shisui Kawabata in round 6 was something special. Huge credit to Kawabata for not being left flat on his back, but the punch is up there with the best of them. Those with boxing raise owe it to them selves to rewatch this it was amazing.
1-Koki Inoue's injury
In unfortunate news Koki Inoue has suffered and injury that has forced him to postpone his mandatory title defense against Daishi Nagata. The talented and unbeaten Japanese 140lb champion thankfully doesn't appear to be too seriously injured, given he'll be defending the title against Nagata in May, but it is still said news that both men will delay their return to the ring by a couple of months.
2-Yudai Shigeoka's next opponent
We love the Shigeoka brothers. We see both becoming future world champions. We fully accept that both are super prospects. So we need to wonder what the idea is in having Yudai Shigeoka's next bout come against Sanchai Yotboon, the fighter that Ginjiro Shigeoka took out in 3 rounds on his debut! Absolutely pointless match up by Watanabe gym. This is a mismatch, and should be little more than a stay busy for Shigeoka, who beat Lito Dante a few months ago, and should have been matched much tougher than this.
3-Daigo Higa's comments on the future
After almost 2 years away from the ring we finally saw former WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa back in action. Higa would win his return, stopping Jason Buenaobra, but sadly comments after the bout leave us confused as to whether he will continue fighting or will leave the sport for good. Given he's only 24 it would be a massive shame if Higa hung them up now, after just 17 fights, and we genuinely hope he can find something to motivate him again. Higa, at Bantamweight, would be at a disadvantage, but given his style and tenacity we'd love to see him making a splash in the division. We really hope he continues in the sport, but if not, we're glad to have seen the destructive little marvel on his way up, and see him walk away with his health intact. It would just be a huge shame for his name to be added to the list of "what could have been".
1-Bektemir Melikuziev Vs Oscar Cortes
We understand late replacements aren't always great but Oscar Cortes was a simply awful late replacement, especially for a fighter like Bektemir Melikuziev. The Mexican was under-sized, under-powered and essentially had lost by the time he had his ring walk. Whilst we can't blame Cortes, who obviously took his pay day, and Melikuziev, who isn't responsible for his original opponent pulling out, we do need to question the California State Athletic Commission, who should have said no. There was no point in this bout, and no one came off looking good.
2-Merlito Sabillo's leg
We've yet to hear any actual confirmation on what, if any, injury Merlito Sabillo suffered but the way his leg bent and buckled as he got knocked down by Sho Kimura suggested something nasty. As did the way he was lying on the canvas. We really hope it is nothing series, but bloody hell did it look nasty, and we wouldn't be surprised, given his age and run of 4 losses, if he ends up in retirement. If he's injured, in the way we believe, it'll likely be 9 months, or longer, until he returns, and he'll around 37 by then
3-GAB's live stream
We started with a free stream, so lets end on a free stream. CBC raised the bar, with a brilliant, professional, well edited, and high quality stream. Just days later the GAB put on a stream that was inconsistent, repeatedly froze, stopped and started, low quality and was just hard to watch, and even harder to enjoy. We know the GAB streams can work and can be wonderful, as they were at the end of the show, but for the most part the show was just terrible. Fingers crossed they get these sorted in the future, as they are a really valuable asset for boxing fans, when they work. We don't expect GAB to hit the professional levels of CBC any time soon, but if they can get a consistent stream going it would be a great starting point!
(Image courtesy of A. McGovern - Top, and Boxmob - Bottom)
Once again we're back to looking at the Good, The Bad and The Ugly of the week we've just had, and if we're honest the lack of in ring action has left us with not too much good, and quite a lot of indifference, which thankfully isn't a header here!
1 - CBC confirm Kento Hatanaka's next fight will be streamed globally for free!
With the growing number of payment services in boxing, and PPV's again becoming more and more prevalent, it's great to see that CBC are again showing some common sense. The Japanese broadcaster confirmed this past week that the WBC Youth Flyweight title bout between Kento Hatanaka v Roland Jay Biendima will be streamed worldwide for free. The channel have helped make Kosei Tanaka a star, streaming a number of his fights, and seem to know that getting eyes on their product is key to their fighters becoming more notable. They've done it with Tanaka and are now doing it was 21 year old Hatanaka. Well done CBC and fingers crossed others see the logic behind what they do, and try to replicate it for emerging hopefuls.
2 - Junto Nakatani Vs Giemel Magramo, sign us up!
Although not officially confirmed the reports that Junto Nakatani and Giemel Magramo will battle for the WBO Flyweight title was certainly good news. In fact it was really good news! We're expecting the bout to be confirmed next week, following the report from the gondol that the bout was set. This is the sort of match up that the sport needs more of, and the type of bout that we're always going to get very, very excited about! Two young, up and coming fighters, who could go in different directions, clashing head on for a world title! Yes please. This is the type of match up that title vacancy's should be filled by, and the type of bout that instantly gives the new champion some legitimacy, even if the title had previously been vacant!
3 - Ioka Vs Tanaka in the works!
One of the few real good points from this week was the WBO ordering Kazuto Ioka Vs Kosei Tanaka. On one hand it did feel odd that they were ordering back to back mandatory defenses for Ioka, who defended the belt against a mandatory in December, but on the other hand what an amazing match up, and this is something to get really, really excited about for later in the year! It is worth noting that Tanaka didn't seem to be expecting it to be ordered immediately, and neither did we given Ioka's last defense was a mandatory, so we wouldn't be too surprised to see the WBO delay this, as the the teams try to set it up late the last half of the year.
1 - Dubois Vs Joyce on PPV
British fans really are unlucky right now. It seems that over the coming months they are going to be getting shafted by the powers that be. The Fury Vs Wilder rematch was expected to be PPV, and we expect the Joshua Vs Pulev bout to be on PPV, and both of those are legitimately big bouts. However for Daniel Dubois to face Joe Joyce on PPV in an all British clash, between two men who have yet to break through as any type of stars. Genuinely ridiculous for this bout to be on PPV, and a very tough sell given the lack of personality both men have. Don't get us wrong, we are looking forward to the match, but this shouldn't have been on PPV, and it's a missed opportunity for both fighters and for fans.
2 - Naoya Inoue picks up a fever
After taking part in his typical training camp in Guam Naoya Inoue had to miss the annual Japanese boxing award ceremony last week due to fever. The fever is said to have been brought on by muscle fatigue, and it's a real shame. Not only did he have to miss the award ceremony but also take days out of training. On the other hand it has given the John Riel Casimero camp some more ammunition to help sell the fight, and credit goes to Casimero and Sean Gibbons for their entertaining press conferences this week.
3 - Korean boxing Hiatus
Earlier in the year we had several events in China being cancelled due to Coronavirus and now, due to the spread of the illness, we've seen a number of Korean events falling victim, with 3 planned shows being postponed indefinitely. That included the much anticipated Hyun Mi Choi Vs Maiva Hamadouche female unification bout. Whilst we totally agree with the shows being cancelled, it's still a big disappointment.
1 - Jarrell Miller's comments
Our thoughts about drugs cheats are that they need to be punished. They need to be given lengthy bans, prohibited from profiting from the sport, and made to actually feel like they've been punished. The entire system in boxing right now however seems to be the opposite, and seems to be more like a toddler being told to sit in the corner for 5 minutes. That is...unless you're Jarrell Miller. Less than a year ago Miller was found guilty of, essentially, being a cocktail of banned substances. This week he came out with a pro-drug message in what was a rather clear "fuck you" to the sport, and the others taking part:
“Minor setback for a major comeback. I’m coming for everything and everyone. No one is safe. Say hello to the bad guy,” ...“Everyone wants to portray the superhero. We don’t live in a sunshine world. I’ll never be the superhero. In my world, the majority of the time, the villain wins.”
He's not just showing no remorse for failing multiple drug tests, but is using it as part of the marketing for his return and showing contempt of the sport he's participating in. Fuck him and fuck the commissions that go on to license him. We need this sort of thing to end.
2 - Eddie Hearn admits he doesn't want to match his guys
After telling us for years that "to fight X you need to sign with us" and after telling us for months that he was trying to match some of his guys, Eddie Hearn this week came out and admitted that he wants to cheer on one guy in a fight rather than two. Given the wealth of talent Matchroom have at Middleweight, Super Middleweight and Heavyweight this has really left a sour taste, especially when he's previously blamed the fighters. Given he has fingers in the purses of fighters like Gennady Golovkin, Demetrius Andrade, Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders, at 160lbs and 168lbs, and Heavyweights like Michael Hunter, Filip Hrgovic, Joseph Parker, Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora there are great match ups to be made, in those divisions. What doesn't help is he then comes out and explains that certain men are divisional "boogeymen", as he did with with Michael Hunter this week. If you have most of the top names in the division and choose not to match them, they aren't boogeymen, they are just being badly handled!
3-Guillermo Rigoondeaux's Career Sabotage continues
Generally we expect the most talented people in the field to be the best, make the most money and develop their reputation to a point where people want to see them show what they can do. For Guillermo Rigondeaux however we once again saw the Cuban's knack of messing things up for himself shine. "El Chacal" finally fought at his natural weight this weekend, dropping to Bantamweight at the age of 39, but once again stunk the joint out, and once again showed why HBO refused to touch him with a barge pole. Unfortunately however this time it was on Showtime, who are also now unlikely to work with him. Loud boos filled the arena for his fight against former Super Flyweight champion Liborio Solis. What didn't help Rigondeaux was that he hurt Solis several times, but refused to go for the finish, particularly in the later rounds when it was clear Solis couldn't bother him. From siding with Carbie when he Gary Hyde had something organised, to shitting the bed on HBO against Joseph Agebko to his string of B tier wins over the likes of James Dickens, Rigondeaux has made himself unwatchable in a sport that is dependent on fans and TV audience. He might be among the most gifted natural athletes in the sport, but also one of the stupidest. His ring IQ might be incredible, but his inability to see the bigger picture, really shows a complete lack of business smarts and once again he's going to find himself totally frozen out by TV and big fighters. We know the purists might enjoy his style, but unfortunately for the Cuban they aren't the people in charge of the TV companies, or the ones that the fighter needs to impress. They are a small minority, and even they seem to be realising what a truly disappointing under-achiever Rigondeaux is.
(Image of Rigondeaux Vs Solis courtesy of Amanda Westcott / SHOWTIME)
Another week is over and we again get to look over the good, the bad and the ugly from the boxing world! We've had some great moments, some frustrating moments and of course a really ugly moment, that we suspect every fan has already seen on social media.
1-Inoue Vs Casimero is Official!
The worst kept secret in boxing was finally confirmed with Ohashi holding a press conference in Japan to announce Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) would be facing WBO Bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero (29-4, 20) on April 25th bout with the WBO, IBF and WBA "super" titles all on the line. The bout was one we seemed to know about weeks ago, but it was still the highlight of the week to see it being announced and confirmed. Although April seems a long way away it's great to see this finally being confirmed and fans now able to get flights and hotels sorted for what promises to be a fantastic fight.
2-Raymond Guajardo vs Clay Collard
Man oh man, oh man! The first round to this PBC bout was something sensational! With 3 knockdowns, and an all out dramatic war this was special from the opening bell. Raymond Guajardo had come into the bout as a supposed prospect, having blown out all of his opponents early on. Clay Collard on the other hand was a tough guy with an under-rated record against stiff competition. This was a gut check for the youngster and one he failed to pass, but did come out with an enhanced reputation. The only problem was seeing people complain about the match making afterwards. Sorry to say chaps but bouts like this should be applauded, rather than letting Guajardo running up a 20-0 record it's better to see him checked out early and being asked questions. He now knows areas to improve, and fans now know his name!
3-Tevin Farmer's reign comes to an end
We're sorry if it sounds like we're being harsh but the IBF Super Featherweight title reign of Tevin Farmer will go down as a dreadful reign when we look back in the history books. The skilled southpaw won the title in August 2018, beating a wash Billy Dib, then made 4 defenses in less than a year. That sounds great until you look at the level of his competition during that reign, and note that he faced 0 fighters above the European-type level. For all the attention and the press Farmer got his reign was dreary so it's a good, in our eyes, that Jo Jo Diaz, a much more exciting and interesting in ring fighter, ended his reign. Whilst Farmer has a great out of the ring story the in ring action he has given us since winning the title has been awful.
4-Murodjon Akhmadaliev takes unified crown!
Whilst we'd been impressed by Murodjon Akhmadaliev's rise through the ranks we though he was getting his shot against Daniel Roman just a fight to soon. Well he sure as hell made us eat our words! What a fantastic performance by the young Uzbek who announced himself on the world stage in a brilliant way. This young man is a brilliant fighter and you could tell what the win meant to him in his interview. Also big respect to the post fight behaviour of both men, who had class and dignity through out. Big props to both "MJ" and Danny Roman for conducting themselves in the way they did pre fight, in the fight and post fight.
1- Juding in the God's Left Final
The God's Left Bantamweight final did not go the way we had expected. We were expecting a war, an all action tear up which wouldn't see the final bell. Instead we saw Seiya Tsutsumi using a lot of excellent movement and a fantastic gameplan to stop Nakajima from using his power shots. This was a great tactic to win the early rounds, though sadly the judges didn't seem to appreciate the raiding attacks of Tsutsumi, who was denied what seemed like a clear win. This was poor from the judges, and really was harsh on the Kadoebi gym fighter who deserved the victory and the tournament prize.
Celebrity fights are nothing new, and they certainly shouldn't be pushed out of the sport, despite what some might think. However Jake Paul's bout with Ali Eson Gib is one where the commission need to take a look at themselves. In fairness to Paul he seemed to have some idea of what he was doing, but also he also appeared a natural weight class, if not 2, bigger than Gib who didn't look like he'd ever had any real training. Gib just looked bizarre and like a man who had learned to box from a video game or something. As a spectacle it was acceptable, and neither were the worse fighters we saw this weekend, but trying to build an event around them, and then having the post fight fake beef stuff. These bouts could be used to attract attention to a good show, but in reality this just felt like one guy who knew how to fight picking on a smaller, clueless kid. Commissions, if they are to allow these types of bouts, need to make sure the fighters are both similarly sized and abled.
3-Inconclusive ending to Pedro Taduran vs Daniel Valladares
The IBF Minimumweight bout between Pedro Taduran and Daniel Valladares was great, don't get is wrong. It was our fight of the week. Sadly though the early headclash and early finish, resulting in a technical draw, was an inconclusive and disappointing end to what should have been a great fight. Fingers crossed we get a rematch between these two after the mini-war we got here.
1-Gervonta Davis - Public Display of Aggression
For a second week running WBA "regular" Lightweight champion Gervonta Davis makes it into our ugly, and again it's for something that a top level boxer shouldn't be doing. This time around he was effectively man handling a woman at a basketball game, and was caught on film. Whilst some will say he didn't actually hit her, this was still a worrying act of aggression towards a woman, who is reportedly the mother of his child. Thing is if he's willing to do this in public then what goes on behind closed doors? The talented fighter really isn't having a great 2020, and it may take someone close to him to make him sort out this reckless behaviour, before it's too late.
2-The judging for the Farmer Vs Diaz fight
We think it's fair to assume that most people had Jo Jo Diaz taking a near shut out against Tevin Farmer, who was out worked, out punched, out powered and out fought from the early stages. Some how two of the judges had the bout just a single round off a draw. Richard Green and Alex Levin really should be pulled aside by the commission and explain their 115-113 cards. Absolutely pathetic scorecards and ones that look like they were from two men who didn't want the action in the ring.
(Images courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Sometimes we have more positives to take away from a week than negatives. This past week was not one of those weeks sadly. In fact this past week is one where the positives were really hard to find, whilst the negatives were just themselves at the sport, as if they were trying to keep the sport relevant.
1-The week is Over
Yup! We have struggled to come up with anything positive to talk about from the last 7 days. The week had little other than rumour and speculation. No big bouts were announced, nothing seemed to happen in the ring, and it was pretty much a bland week of waiting for something.
1-Olympic Qualifying getting rescheduled
This was a bad, but an understandable bad. The Olympic Qualifiers which were set to take place in Wuhan in February have been rescheduled. This is a bad but, not an awful. The situation in China is terrible, and we are sending our thoughts to those in Wuhan, and across China, in these terrifying times. In regards to boxing it's a good thing to see the event has been rescheduled quickly and will now take place in Jordan in March.
2-Ramirez Vs Postol being cancelled
Another event that has been a boxing victim of the coronovirus in China. Again it's hard to complain at the event being cancelled, as it's the right thing to do, but it's still a bad from both a boxing point of view and a terrifying from a human perspective. Again we're hoping for a quick resolution to what appears to be an horrific situation, not just in China but now globally with the virus being found all over the globe.
Whilst there was a massive lack of fights this last week that's not going to be enough to excuse Showtime for putting on a pile of shite. Their card was just, just awful. Whilst Stephen Fulton Vs Arnold Khegai was a decent enough bout anyone who sat through the co-headline bouts will be wondering whether they can charge Showtime for wasting 2 hours of their life. Their was no urgency from either Jarrett Hurd or Danny Garcia against over-matched opponents. The talk is that both men are eyeing bigger bouts down the line is fine, but that again doesn't excuse Showtime for televising the over match ups, or the two men for putting in such tame performances against over matched and under-sized opponents. One show case bout per show is....acceptable, but two of them on the same show, come on. We know Stephen Espinoza likes to get in twitter arguments about the quality of other shows, but this is very much a time to look inside and ask how the fuck he allowed this double-header-of-dullness.
We understand the Chinese events falling through, and completely understand the decisions made. We do not understand what Showtime were doing.
1-Adrien Broner begging
This week former multi-weight world champion Adrien Broner went to Instagram and essentially begged his followers for money, posting a now deleted post that read
“I’M SORRY I HAVEN’T BEEN POSTING ON SOCIAL MEDIA BUT I’M GOING THROUGH SOME TOUGH TIMES AT THIS MOMENT,” SAID BRONER. “IF YOU CAN SEND ME $10 ON CASHAPP $ABOUTBILLIONS89 I WILL APPRECIATE IT. #SUPPORTMEANDIFIGHT4U.”
If this doesn't constitute an ugly we don't know what does. The talented and controversial American fighter was once seen as the face of the sport, touting an "about billions" catchphrase but is now, seeming, about broke.
2-Gervonta Davis writing a bad cheque
Whilst it's unfair to suggest that Gervonta Davis is going to have a career similar to Adrien Broner it's clear that both were in the wrong this week. And both appear to be having financial problems. We mentioned Broner's Instagram post above, but Davis has also got himself in a financial pickle as he's apparently been writing counterfeit cheques for jewellery in the US. Shyne Jewelers have stated they want around $250,000 of jewellery back from Davis, or the payment to be made with interest. We're not sure why anyone needs so much jewellery, but that's not the issue. Davis paying, or rather not paying, with a cheque that he is accused of know was bad is a problem. Whether he has the money or not doing something this stupid is just ridiculous, and could end up causing all sorts of issues with his career.
Come on guys sort your shit out! You're both talented fighters, both have time to make serious money in the ring, so how about you both stop being fools, make the most of your talent, and then let loose after you retire!
Another week is over and it's another week where we've had good, we've had bad and we've again had some ugly. In fact we seem to have some recurring uglies, sadly.
1-Roman Gonzalez gets another chance
Roman "Chocolatito" is one of our favourite fighters, and we know we're not alone there, so to hear that he'll be getting another world title fight in February is great news. Better yet it's an a very winnable one for the little Nicaraguan master as he takes on the weak link of the Super Flyweight champions. Although Kal Yafai is unbeaten this is a step up for him, and a test to see what Gonzalez has left in the tank. An intriguing match up and something that we're looking forward to. Better yet this comes on a very good card, and it's a great sign that DAZN are eyeing up ways to keep hardcore fans onside.
2-The Champion Carnival Bouts
Although the Champion Carnival bouts didn't have any actual surprises it's great to see them all, barring the Minimumweight bout, now being known and it's even better that so many of the bouts have the dates set. We've a lot to look forward to in the first half of 2020 and the Champion Carnival plays a major part in that. Special mention needs to go to the April 9th edition of Diamond Glove, which features a brilliant Champion Carnival double header and already looks like a highlight to mark on the calender, even this far out.
1-Biney Martin's officiating in the Takahashi vs Doronio fight
We want to start this by stating that we rate Biney Martin highly as a referee. This week however he "done goofed", big time. The veteran referee, himself a former fighter, really should have done more after unbeaten Japanese fighter Takuma Takahashi landed a combination on Leonardo Doronio, after Doronio was dropped. The fact Takahashi did it twice was a disgrace and it's a shame that Martin didn't take points and give Doronio time to recover what what were flagrant fouls. Regardless of Martin's officiating, this bout was tremendous and well worth a watch for those who missed it live.
2-Pedro Villegas getting world title shot
Whilst it's great the WBO haven't gone the route of the WBA, with multiple "world" champions, or the WBC, with ceremonial titles left right and center, they don't really seem to value their own titles. This week we were informed that the 12-0 (4) Pedro Villegas would be getting a shot at WBO Minimumweight champion Wilfredo Vazquez in February. On paper that doesn't look like something to complain about, however the devil is in the detail of that 12-0 record. The unbeaten 21 year old Ecuadorian has scored just 5 wins over opponents with a win to their name, only 1 opponent with a winning record and has only been scheduled to do 8 or more rounds twice. The one fighter with a winning record he beat was 35-24-3 entering their bout, was 40 years old, 6 removed from a win and hadn't fought at all in over a year. According to the WBO rankings Villegas is unranked, so we do wonder if the plug will be pulled on this one, as it bloody should be!
1-Continued speculation of Alejandro Jimenez's gender
Can we just fucking stop this? It was bad enough when she won the title but it's actually got to the point where the WBC, yes those ass clowns, have been able to get the moral high ground on boxing fans. Thankfully this did begin to subside at the end of the week, but in the middle of the week this was still a subject that boxing fans were being absolute imbeciles about.
2-Antonio Brown Vs Logan Paul
We want to speak about boxers boxing. We want to talk about fighters fighting. This week however we've seen more talk about a former disgraced, but talented, NFL player fighting Logan Paul than we've seen talk about actual fights. DAZN and Eddie Hearn, have opened the floodgates to these freak fights on US soil and it's not a good thing. Japan had them in PRIDE and Australia have for Aussie rules players fighting quite often, but...yeah we shouldn't be encouraging this.
3-Wilder Vs Fury II Under(developed)card
What the fuck is going on here? A massive card, with the eyes of the world boxing should be used as an advert for the sport. The main event will grab the fan attention and the under-card is a chance to show either great match ups or promising prospects. With 5 weeks go until February 22nd this card is still pretty much an undeveloped mess. Promising and good looking bouts have been linked to the show, but it appears they aren't going to be taking place on the show and instead we're left with a void. Awful work from the promoters who look like they have completely and utterly missed the opportunity to make this show something to build off.
Another week has passed us by and it's time, once again, to look at the good, the bad and the ugly from the last week! And this has been a week where the good have outweighed the bad and the ugly. It's not been a perfect week, but it's certainly been a week that has started the see things move forward for the year.
1-Boxing is back under way!
It's fair to say that 2020 has moved slowly, we might only be 12 days into the year but after the hive of activity to end 2019 it sort of feels like boxing fell off a cliff after the clocks rang in the new year. Thankfully the last few days we have seen normality resume and we've had some great action, some fantastic performances and we have so much more to look forward to. It's take a little while, bot boxing is back baby!
2-Guts Fighting set to bring us Shigeoka Vs Loreto
Whilst it was a huge shame that TBS didn't air the New Year Eve's bout between Ginjiro Shigeoka and Rey Loreto, especially give that they could have put it on one of the satellite channels that TBS run, it's now been confirmed that the bout will air on free to air TV later this month! The bout, along with Miyo Yoshida's world title defense, are set to be aired in just over a week. As a bonus it appears one of the TBS sister channels is also set to air Yoshida's world title win from the summer at the end of January! Infact TBS have been great so far, showing a number of semi-recent bouts on TBS and doing a special "Chihara Junior Presents Boxing Champion Legend Revived Great Game! KO Collection" last Friday on BS TBS. They might not have given us Shigeoka live, but credit to them for pumping out a lot of stuff since the new year.
3-Female Fights shine in the US
The last few years we've seen a lot of female fights on TV, and we've seen a general backlash from fans who were "sick of having them forced down our throats". We've always taken a different view on female boxing. We are sick of mismatches involving female fighters. This weekend we had two excellently matched bouts, with Elin Cederroos and Alicia Napoleon Espinosa giving us a sensational bout on Friday night before Alejandra Jimenez and Franchon Crews Dezurn followed up with a cracking fight the following night. Female boxing can be great, genuinely female fights can be amazing. But they need to be well match. These two were well matched, and they were great fights. They will have done more to improve the standing of female boxing than almost anything else in recent years. More of these please folks! Less trying to force fabricated records down our throats and more giving us evenly matched bouts.
4-Boxnation is given a life line!
The best bit of boxing news this week came from the UK when it was revealed that British boxing channel Boxnation had been given a life line thanks to a new strategic partnership with Premier Sports. Fingers crossed the channel can be run profitably going forward, and can help give British fans a wider outlet for international fans. The British fans need a third player in the game after being let down in recent years by Sky Sports and BT Sports, so fingers crossed Boxnation, with the backing of Premier Sports, can play a major factor in getting more eyes on the sport and giving an outlet to shows that would otherwise not be picked up.
1-Knock Out Dynamite Tournament gutted
When the Knock Out Dynamite Tournament Final card was announced we were really excited. We were set to get 3 tournament final bouts, the return of Shuhei Tsuchiya and an interesting bout for Shohei Omori. Sadly though one of the finals was cancelled, Omori's replacement was an under-sized Filipino, who proved to be tough nut not particularly competitive, and Tsuchiya's bout was cancelled due visa issues in regards to his opponent. With this being the first Japanese card of 2020 it wasn't a good sign, and will hopefully turn out to be little more than a stumble to begin the year, than an omen for the year to come.
1-Speculation regarding Alejandra Jimenez's gender
Sometimes boxing fans are complete dicks! We've all seen it over the years, and unfortunately a small number of fans have shown this again this past week suggesting, with some confidence in some cases, that Alejandra Jimenez's is a man. Whilst she might not look like the most "girly girl" out there, speculation like this doesn't help the sport and in fact helps makes fans in general seem like cave men. Lets stop being stupid, stop making forum posts stating she's a man, or that she used to be a man (as we saw on one forum), and realise people look different to each other. She put in a great performance and credit to her for it.
2-James Kinney's scorecard
Whilst we find the comments made about Jimenez genuinely disgusting there was one man who certainly wasn't commenting on the looks of Mexican Super Featherweight. That was James Kinney, who seemed to be blind on Saturday night whilst scoring the Jesse Hart vs Joe Smith Jr fight. He was almost certainly the only person who, some how, found a way to score it to Jesse Hart and we need to question how he managed to get the 95-94 score in favour of Hart. This wasn't like two fighters looked the same or could be easily confused. This was a judge who really needs to be quizzed, and potentially kicked out of the sport. The card was absolutely terrible from Kinney, and leads to a lot of questions, questions the commission should be asking Kinney in the coming days.
So we're into a new year and we've already had some good, some bad and some ugly! Yes the year waits for no man!
1-Da Won Gang - Korean teen to get excited about
Korean teenager Da Won Gang went pretty under the radar in 2019, despite winning the Battle Royal at 140lbs. It seems hard to imagine him still being under the radar at the end of 2020 though, and in fact it seems very likely that he will end up winning the KBM titles before the end of the year. A really exciting one to watch.
2-Ginjiro Shigeoka - The Rising Shines Again
On the final of 2019 Ginjiro Shigeoka took a huge step up to face Rey Loreto, and stopped the Filipino veteran in 5 rounds. Whilst the stoppage, by the referee, wasn't amazing there was little to take negatively from Shigeoka, who looked sharp, tough, exciting and heavy handed. There is obviously still work to do, but the youngster already looks like a nailed on future world champion, and given his lazy of physical stature it's likely he'll be at 105lbs for a long time.
3-Jhunriel Ramonal - New Japanese Killer on the Prowl
The Philippines may well have the spiritual success to Jess Maca at last, Jhunriel Ramonal completed a 2019 that saw him earn the Japanese Killer tag. Maca, for those unaware, was a thorn in the side of Japanese boxers in the late 90's and early 00's and after the year Ramonal had he's now set to take that same tag. In 2019 Ramonal travelled to Japan and upset Shingo Wake before returning and scoring another upset over Yusaku Kuga. The reality is that Ramonal is beatable, but no one can take liberties with him, and he'll almost certainly be back in the Land of the Rising Sun in 2020, with Japanese fighters looking for revenge and Ramonal looking to build on his current moment.
1-Korean Promoters streams on a phone?
The first Asian show of 2020 was streamed on Youtube on January 5th, and it appears that it was streams on a phone left on top of a corner. Whilst a stream, even one this bad, is better than nothing, it's still a shame that they couldn't have a better quality stream. The card it's self was exciting enough, but the blurry image didn't do it any favours. It was also strange that it seemed the fights were fought in a ring set up in a corner in a gym. Very weird set up overall.
2-No set TV date for Shigeoka Vs Loreto..if it will ever be televised
Japanese boxing on TV is awkward at times. The G+ shows, which air the full card live, and the Boxing Raise cards, which are either live or on demand, are great. Sadly though shows on Fuji TV and TBS are less great as a viewer. For the most part the channels only air world title bouts live, and then put other broadcasts together with tape delay footage. In theory they should, at some point, show Ginjiro Shigeoka's win over Rey Loreto on tape delay but as of the time of writing there is no set date for that. The leads to another bad. Both TBS and Fuji have alternate channels, available through satellite, which tend to show rather random stuff at the best of times. Why the channels don't put undercards on those is a genuine mystery. Come on Japanese TV channels, sort it out! Give us the undercards dammit!
Thankfully we've not really had any ugly so far this year. Though we haven't really had much of anything so far. Action does pick up in the middle of the month, so expect some questionable decisions, poor stoppages and bizarre boxing politics to kick in in a week or two, but for now nothing is ugly as such!
In saying that however it does leave a bad taste seeing the January 30th show in Florida being sold primarily on the back of Jake Paul Vs Ali Eson Gib...this appears to be the way of modern day boxing folks!
So the year is almost over, and we are heading into the very final stretch of the year. With that in mind lets have a look over the last week, and cover the good, the bad and the ugly!
1-Ryota Murata ends the year with super fights in sight
We don't think any other fighter has had quite as stark turn around in 2019 as Ryota Murata, except one man we'll get on to in a few minutes. Murata began the year looking down the barrel of retirement, a loss in his rematch to Rob Brant would have spelled the end, and that was the outcome the bookies were picking. Now after 2 wins in a solid year there's talk of landing super fights with Gennady Golovkin and Saul Alvarez. Good stuff indeed!
2-Ju Wu shocks...Switzerland!
We rarely see Asian fighters winning in Europe but this past week Chinese youngster Ju Wu scored his biggest win over in Berne. The youngster out boxed Alain Chervet over 10 rounds to claim the IBO International title and continue his climb through the ranks. Whether Wu becomes the next Chinese star or not is pretty irrelevant this was still a huge win for him and the kid deserves real credit for taking the bout, and for picking up the win.
3-Akira Yaegashi's and Moruti Mthalane's willingness to give a show
It's hard to ever complain when you see an Akira Yaegashi fight, and that was shown again this week when he and Moruti Mthalane gave us. This wasn't quite the FOTY contender it could have been had both men been a few years younger, but it was still a sensational fight, and round 4 in particular belongs in the conversation for round of the year. If this is the last time we see Yaegashi in the ring then it's a great way for him to go out, despite the loss.
4-Jean Pascal and Badou Jack deliver
Yaegashi and Mthalane sadly weren't able to claim the honour for the best fight between men with a combined age of "mid 70's" as Jean Pascal and Badou Jack delivered something even better. Boy these two left it late but put in a genuine FOTY contender, with both men being down, both being hurt and both having strong stretches during a fight that swung one way then the other. This might have only been the co-feature on Saturday night but if we're being honest this was the show stealer!
1-Gervonta Davis fails to shine on Lightweight debut
Hard hitting American star Gervonta Davis was supposed to shine on Saturday. He was up against an old, shop worn Yuriorkis Gamboa, a Gamboa who was injured in round 2, gun shy through out and lacked much in terms of threat. Instead Davis, who struggled to make weight despite moving up a division, looked lethargic, limited, and almost lazy. His explosive power and speed were still there, but their was little intensity against a man who fought for around 10 rounds on one leg. Don't get us wrong, Davis is a tremendous talent, but this would not have been the performance he'd have been wanting for his debut at Lightweight, and he did nothing to put pressure on the bigger names in the division, and his team also won't rush to put him in there with the better fighters at 135lbs.
2-Showtime Geolocking under-card
Firstly a big "well done" to Showtime for streaming their under-card, that's brilliant, but why on earth do they geo-lock them? What market are they wanting to lock out? This is just a bizarre act, especially in 2019 when those of us who want to watch such a stream will find a work around. And we also know some will defend Showtimes action here and argue for a VPN. VPN's are great, but the effort needed to get one to work on an Amazon Fire Stick or an Xbox 360 aren't worth the effort, and instead it was the laptop for me. Come on Showtime, stop being idiots, and give the world your undercards, show case those fighters without making international fans jump through hoops!
3-The year is about to end
It's fair to say that 2019 has been an amazing year for being fans, all around the globe. It's a shame the year is set to end, and we risk things going backwards in 2020. Fingers crossed the new year continues the same momentum from this year and we continue to see more and more great fights, fantastic performances and fighters willing to prove themselves against the best.
1-It's the end of year
So lets not bring it down with an ugly!
Have a great new year everyone! See you on the otherside!
We may be heading to Christmas but we've not had to wait to December 25th for boxing Santa to deliver some great stuff to us, with this past week being another that has a brimful of amazing action, fantastic moments, and a lot of surprises. So with that said lets have a look at the latest "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly".
1-All Japan Rookie of the Year
It's not like the All Japan Rookie of the Year being amazing was any kind of surprise but even that it exceeded expectations with 2 bouts being particularly deserving of extra attention. The Light Welterweight shoot out between Kodai Honda and Yasutaka Fujita is one of those those must watch bouts, which has everything. It has drama, action, intensity, huge shots and great heart. This really is a very, very special fight Wihilst Honda Vs Fujita was the fight of the day it was given a run for it's money by the Welterweight clash featuring Yuta Ashina and Homare Yasui. If you have the chance make sure you watch both of those incredible fights before the week ends.
Filipino prospect Mike Plania took a huge step towards a world title fight as he dominated Nicaraguan foe Giovanni Gutierrez. Plania is a talented Super Bantamweight and his win this past weekend was a huge statement for the 22 year old, who is likely to be a real break out star in 2020, if he can receive the financial backing he needs to kick on.
Aged 15, yes that's a 1 and a 5 and isn't a typo, Phoobadin Yoohanngoh won "The Fighter" this past weekend in Thailand taking a 6 round victory over 22 year old Thotsaphol Thongplew. For those unaware "The Fighter" was TL Promotions answer to Rookie of the Year and matched a bunch of novice in a quick fire knockout tournament, spread over just a few weeks. Phoobadin managed to notch wins on 4 consecutive Saturdays to win the tournament. Whatever we think about fighters this young it's hard not to be impressed by the young prodigy, who is already 8-0 and has been a professional since July 2018, when he was just 14!
4-PBC's card on Saturday Night
Whether it was intentional, fluke, or something in between Saturday night's PBC card headlined by the Harrison Vs Charlo rematch has to go down as one of the most entertaining cards of the year. It had everything ranging from huge upsets, to controversial refereeing calls, fantastic knockouts, amazing action and world class fighters. We wouldn't go as far as to call it the show of the year, but it's certainly in the running and was one of the most amazing cards top to bottom. If more shows ended up like this the sport would be much, much better and fans would care about the while show, not just the main event. Well done to all involved in putting on truly brilliant show.
Tommy Fury might be a bigger celebrity in his homeland due to his appearance in Love Island, rather than his boxing career, but his opponent for this past weekend was little more than a joke, and should never be allowed to box in the UK again given his hapless performance here. Przemyslaw Binienda, really was awfully and in deserves to go into the boxing bin for his performance which was an embarrassment to the sport and the show. Whoever decided to put this on in the chief support bout should also be given some tough questions to answer. We understand Fury is a "cross over star" but the arena failed to react to his comments and it was clear that even his "fans" were so nonchalant about the win that it likely did more harm than good for his career.
Whilst there have been rumours about Jhack Tepora not liking training or taking the sport seriously, as soon when he missed weight for a bout not too long ago, few would have expected him to lose his unbeaten record in the way he did. The touted and talented Filipino was blitzed inside a round by the out of form Oscar Escandon, and stopped in the opening round by a body shot. Whilst a loss isn't the end of the world there does seem to be a lot more going on behind the scenes for Tepora, and this all needs to be sorted out if he's to reach his potential. He can bounce back from a loss, but given the rumours it may not be just a simple case of just rebuilding and instead it sounds like he will need to make notable changes in terms of his lifestyle as well.
We've only got 2 ugly's this week but my my, they are repulsive. The first of those was referee Ray Corona, who should be forced to explain his actions during the Carlos Balderas v Rene Tellez Giron bout. The referee should have stopped the bout after the first knockdown, when Balderas clearly wasn't fit to resume after being dropped, hard in round 3. That was the first of several botched calls from the official who struggled to hide his favouritism through the contest. Allowing Balderas to continue in the state he was in could have left him taking shots that he was unable to defend against, and could have turned out horrific for his career, and longer term health. The fact that Corona stopped the bout the way he did in round 6, in a very similar situation, seemed to suggest Corona knew he had bottled the earlier call, but that didn't excuse what was a disgusting performance from the official.
2-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr
Oh man where do we start on Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and his week? He should have been banned, for refusing a drugs test, ahead of his bout with Danny Jacobs but an injunction saw the ban essentially being bypassed. The bout should have been called off when Chavez came in 5lbs over weight. It should have seen the promoter and Jacobs call out Chavez for his unprofessional actions and cancel the bout, taking Chavez to the cleaners for breaching his contractual obligations. But instead the bout went ahead and Chavez, who had shown no respect to the sport in the build up to the fight quit, citing a hand injury. The crowd finally turned on the Mexican, and his father's expression said it all. Really this should be it for Chavez's career. He doesn't need the sport, and the sport sure doesn't need him. Instead however it sounds like Chavez is already pencilling in his next bout, for March. Any promoter who uses him going forward is to blame for the shit show that he's involved in, and they are as much to blame for using someone they know they can't trust, as he is for his actions.
As boxing fans we love to complain about the sport, and talk about the negatives. We highlight so much bad that we sometimes forget why we even enjoy the sport. This week however we remembered why we love boxing, and for one of the few times this year we had a week that had a lot more good than bad. It wasn't a flawless week, but it was a great week, both in Asia and internationally, with some great fights, amazing action and brilliant match ups. We had some bout, of course we did, but that bad was easily outweighed by the good.
As a result we've mixed up the format for this week's "The good, the Bad and the Ugly" with extra goods, and fewer negatives...after all 'tis the season to be jolly!
1 - Hironori Mishiro Vs Yoshimitsu Kimura
Seeing bouts exceed expectations is sort of a hope now a days in boxing. We don't often see it though, and more often than not a bout fails to meet the bare minimum that we'd expect. This week the OPBF Super Featherweight title fight between Hironori Mishiro and Yoshimitsu Kimura easily out did anything we'd have expected, with the two men putting on a really competitive, exciting and action packed fight. Their was a lack of drama at times, but it was a fight that was consistently good for 12 rounds and swung one way then the other. This was a captivating and truly enjoyable bout where both fighters came out looking better than they had going in.
2 - Mammoth Nakayama's massive KO against Lerdchai Chaiyawed
On Sunday in Kariya the 20 year old Mammoth Nakayama scored a late contender for KO of the year as he completely cleaned the clock of Thai visitor Lerdchai Chaiyawed. The hard hitting Nakayama had been out of the ring for over a year and was taking on an opponent who had never been stopped, and had taken some good fighters the distance, but was totally laid out by a monster of a left hand. This is as sweet a shot as Nakayama will ever land and boy did it look sensational to see Lerdchai's body instantly turn off.
3 - Yuki Beppu Vs Ryota Yada video released
A week ago Yuki Beppu and Ryota Yada battled in a FOTY contender, with 6 knockdowns, power shots from both, excitement through out and serious amounts of heart. Their was a worry that the bout wasn't going to be made available, but in the middle of the week it was finally uploaded to the A-sign boxing youtube channel and, man what a fight!
4 - Yudai Shigeoka shines
We love prospects being fast tracked, and they are rarely put on a trajectory quite like that of Yudai Shigeoka, who beat OPBF champion Lito Dante in just his second professional bout! Whilst this was a 6 round non-title bout it was clear that Shigeoka had the gameplan to beat Dante over a longer distance and it seems very clear that the Watanabe Gym will be pushing their talent youngster into a title bout of some kind in the new year. We love fast tracking, and it's hard not to love the ambition of the Shigeoka brothers.
5 - Bek Bully shows a softer side
After disposing of his first 3 opponents in just 6 rounds Bektemir Melikuziev wasn't expected to show he could box this week, but he did. And by that we mean he completely boxed the socks off the tough Vaughn Alexander, shutting out the American over 10 1-sided rounds that saw him not only land at will but essentially shut down the American, who failed to land more than a handful of shots per round. As mentioned already we love seeing fighters fast tracked and it's clear Melikuziev is being fast tracked. Better than just seeing someone being fast tracked is to see them showing something different to their game, and to see Melikuziev box and move, with the ease he did, was a real positive for his career going forward.
1 - The WBC choose to create another Lightweight title!
It wasn't that long ago that the WBA were alone in creating new titles, but now the WBC have seen the benefit of giving world titles out like they are candy. In the space of just a few months we've gone from having 0 WBC Lightweight champions to having a Franchise champion a Champion in recess and a now vacant title, which will have it's vacancy filled in 2020. We couldn't understand why they made the decision to make Vasyl Lomachneko the Franchise champion or why Devin Haney, who has no legitimate world class win, was given the full version of the title. The WBC should have just made it clear that Haney would get a shot in 2020, either at Lomachenko or the winner of the planned 4-title unification bout. Instead they have made a mess, and it was a mess that never needed to be made.
2 - Michael Conlan Vs Vladimir Nkitin
We're trying to be positive, really we are, but it's hard to take many positives from the 10 round stinker between Michael Conlan and Vladimir Nkitin, round 8 aside. This was just purely dull, unexciting and did little to make us want to watch Conlan again. As a person the 28 year old Irishman is someone we like, he comes across as honest, and a BS type of guy, but in the ring his bouts are tediously dull and unexciting. We understand why this bout was made, and the story behind it, but did next to nothing to make us want to see either man again.
1 - Danny Williams's situation
The world of boxing is a strange one at times, and Saturday night in Germany it got strange, strange turn of events. British Heavyweight veteran Danny Williams had been scheduled to fight in Germany but then pulled out. Unlike most pull outs however it doesn't appear that anyone other than the fighter himself knew he wasn't going to be fighting. Most day of fight pull outs see the fighter make the promoter aware. Williams however got to the ring, dressed in street clothes, and then just flat out told the fans he wasn't going to be fighting. We understand a fighters health being the utmost priority but there are so many issues with this bout that Williams' health needs to be questioned to begin with. Why are promoters still using him? Why didn't Williams let the promoter know that he would be cancelling the bout before he got in the ring? And why the fuck is Danny Williams still fighting?
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