We've had another relatively quiet week of action, barring one US show, but it's a week that has also seen a lot of fighters taking part in press conference to announce that they would be turning professional this year, and a cancelled show. So lets take a look at the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from the week ending February 23rd 2020!
1 - Top amateurs turn pro
Over the last week we saw no less than 5 Japanese amateur standouts turn professional. Whilst not all of them will reach the top we are really excited to see the development of Keisuke Matsumoto, Ryutaro Nakagaki and Toshihiro Suzuki, who were all genuinely exceptional talents in the unpaid ranks. Of that trio we expect to see them all fight for, if not win, world titles, and wouldn't be surprised at all to see them being just the first wave of amateur stars turning professional before the Olympics. It's an exciting time in Japanese boxing, that's for sure!
2 - Mark Breland doing the right thing
We often have coaches who are too brave for their fighters, but Mark Breland was the bravest of them all, making the right decision in stopping Deontay Wilder from taking further punishment on Saturday. By the time of the stoppage Wilder was a bloody, beaten mess and he looked completely hapless. He had been unable to back up Tyson Fury, and was being tagged repeatedly. Whilst Wilder might want to complain the reality is that his trainer did the right thing and saved him for another day. Wilder's future might not look great in the sport, but at least he has a future. Had that bout gone on a round or two longer there's a chance Wilder wouldn't have much of a future at all as a fighter. Well done Mark Breland for doing the right thing.
3 - Tyson Fury backing up his words
Staying in the wider world it was fantastic to see Tyson Fury back up his words. We assumed he was taking the piss when he spoke about going out with the intention of knocking out Deontay Wilder, but for him then to go out and batter the then reigning WBC Heavyweight champion was just fantastic. We wouldn't go as far as to say it was the greatest performance by a British fighter, as some have suggested, but it was one of the rare times that we've seen a long term champion undressed and embarrassed. This was a showcase from the best Heavyweight in the world, and hopefully we won't see Fury facing any more weak opponents, as he did in the build up to this fight.
1 - A lack of action
Whilst not every week will be busy we were really surprised by little action took place this past week. It wasn't helped that there was an interesting looking Filipino event cancelled due to coronavirus and a card in Korea cancelled for the same reason. Thankfully we do have action coming up, and it does appear this was a one off quiet week.
2 - Muto gym tax evasion news
In a weird story from Osaka it appears the Muto Gym, and chairman Takashi Edagawa could be in some hot water over some issues with tax, and more exactly evasion of tax. It's unclear how serious the issue is, but it doesn't sound great with the gym accused of faking real estate purchases among other things. Even if the gym is innocent, or has corrected the issue, there will be a cloud over their head going forward, and it doesn't sound like the first time the gym have been accused of something like this.
Whilst we have stated we were impressed by Mark Breland, who made the right decision in stopping Deontay Wilder from taking too much unnecessary punishment. Sadly post fight comments from Wilder's other trainer, Jay Deas, were just ugly. They were full of excuses, blaming the attire Wilder wore into the ring, and criticised Breland. We understand the idea of doing what's in your bosses interest, but here Wilder needed a unified team to help him after his loss and to look after him in the ring. Deas seemed to want to blame Breland for the loss, rather than accepting their man was beaten, and was able to come again thanks to pulling the plug on the bout before took potentially life changing punishment.
This past week we've not seen much action at all, with only a few small shows scattered around the globe. Of course there's a huge event tonight, and we did see a rather large show in Korea being planned but then cancelled. Sadly though boxing missed a big trick this week, a trick that would have allowed it to use the focus that is being given the sport and spreading it.
With so much focus on the Deontay Wilder Vs Tyson Fury fight, it would have been a great week ton have had several other mid week shows. Fight fans are in Las Vegas anyway, the audience for some small, yet noteworthy bouts, are there. A card on a Thursday or Friday night appealing to British fans, in the US for Fury, would have been ingenious, or a TV card featuring two lower level Heavyweights, both of whom could have been sold as viable future challengers for the winner of tonight's fight.
Given all the outlets boxing currently has, especially in the US, it feels like it's one of, if not the, worst marketed sport out there. When other sports have a major event they pack the calendar around it, in boxing no ones seems to think about the bigger picture. In fact no one seems to look outside of their own little bubble.
I know some of our readers are wrestling fans, and they'll know all about Wrestlemania week. Not only do we see the WWE put on their biggest show, but they also put on an NXT event, a Hall of Fame event, and other fan events, along with smaller promotions hosting shows around the same week. The "sport" of professional wrestling embraces the fans by giving them a lot of options before the main show on a Sunday evening.
Boxing could have done something similar.
We could, and maybe should, have had some kind of small show on Thursday night in, or around, Las Vegas, and something on Friday night.
The silly thing here is that it could have been the same promotional teams behind Wilder and Fury, trying to hype tonight 's show to any undecided viewers further, or it could have been a rival promoter jumping on the coattails of the event. Both could have made use of the focus boxing is getting, both could have used the event to help put some wind in the sails of a show.
Instead all we got was a small card in Florida, featuring a pair of fringe world class little guys, with Jonathan "Bomba" Goonzalez beating Sual Juarez.
Now sure, the argument is that the event wouldn't have gotten much press attention, going up against such a big show. That argument however falls on it's face given the lack of press attention boxing gets in general. It would have been a chance for the promoter to literally have fans coming to them, being in the area on a Friday, or Thursday, and getting the chance to see a few fights before the big one on Saturday.
We've seen Golden Boy Promotions doing it in the past before a Canelo fight and we used to see it before a Mayweather fight. This was an event where it would have worked, but was very much a missed opportunity.
Boxing in 2020 is set for an interesting year, with the Olympics and fighters turning professional before the games, as well as the whole ESPN Vs DAZN Vs PBC wars, but if the sport keeps missing opportunities like this we do need to really wonder what promoters are thinking...then again maybe no youtube stars were free this week...
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.
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