Well the last week has certainly been an interesting one. We've had some amazing fights, some crazy officiating, some interesting announcements as a big event in Pakistan. It's been a really varied week, and now we'll try to round up the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the week we've just had!
1 - Toshiki Kawamitsu Vs Kenshi Noda
On Saturday from Japan we got something a little bit special as Toshiki Kawamitsu and Kenshi Noda gave us an absolute thriller of a fight. The two unbeaten prospects gave us high intensity action, brilliant exchanges, amazing back and forth and this was easily one of the best fights we've seen in Japan this year. Given that the fighters were 4-0 and 2-0 coming in to this one we really did get a treat, and the two out performed any expectations we had. A really, really good bout and, were it not for something absolute amazing later in the day, this would have been the bout of the weekend.
2 - Usman Wazeer scores big win for Pakistan!
It's fair to say that we want to see boxing spread to more countries. We want typical boxing strong holds, like Japan, Thailand, South Korea, the UK, the US and Mexico to continue producing great fighters, but we also want countries without big boxing scenes to join the party. For that to happen those nations will need their own stars, and will need someone to act as a figure head. It now appears Pakistan might have their man in the form of Usman Wazeer, who appears, already, to have a huge Pakistani following. His win this weekend was massive for Pakistani boxing and fingers crossed it will act as a catalyst to Pakistan having a thriving boxing scene in the future.
3 - Great all Thai bouts being announced!
It's fair to say that 2020 has been a really, really crap year. However for all the crap that's gone on there have been some positives to take from it all and one of those has been the interesting all-Thai bout's we've been seeing. In recent months we appeared to have been getting more and more good, solid, all-Thai bouts. We had Srisaket Vs Amnat Ruenroeng a few months ago, and we had Campee Phayom Vs Pungluang Sor Singyu, and Nattapong Jankaew vs Samartlek Kokietgym. This week we saw a trio of interesting all-Thai bouts being added to the schedule to look forward to. We love the look of Nattapong Vs Petchbarngborn, Amnat Vs Pungluang and Wanheng Vs Petchmanee. Well done to the Thai promoters for finally giving us what fans have been screaming for for years, good, solid, competitive looking, and interesting All Thai bouts!
4 - Jose Zepeda Vs Ivan Baranchyk
In less than 5 rounds Jose Zepeda and Ivan Baranchyk put on a bout with more action, more drama and more excitement than many full shows have. For those that haven't seen this stop what you're doing. Go and find this fight online. Enjoy. For those that have seen it, go watch it again! And again! With 8 knockdowns, a KO of the Year contender, several Round of the Year contenders the bout is a clear front runner for Fight of the Year. We knew this would be good, the styles of the two men was always going to give us something great, but this exceeded even the wildest of expectations. We saw something truly amazing, and given 2020 has been...2020 this was the escapism that we needed. This was the type of fight 2020 needed, and we dare say this is the fight we all needed.
5 - Daniel Dubois Vs Joe Joyce is on!
Talking about bouts that we need it now appears the on again, off again, on again, off again saga between Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce has been sorted, at last. The bout is now expected to take place behind closed doors in November or December, and was one of the bouts that British boxing really needed. This was the bout British boxing needed and the logical bout to eliminate one of the two unbeaten Brits from the world title conversation. Well done to the two guys for agreeing to this one!
1-Terrible state of judging through out the weekend
We know judging can be terrible, but we don't think there's been a day recently with more "WTF" scoring.
In Thailand we had two judges giving Apichet Petchamee 6 of the 8 rounds he fought with Musheg Adoian, only giving Adoian the two where he scored knockdowns.
In Japan had judges missing the success of Kiyohei Endo in Japan, in what was a super close fight.
In the US we had poor scorecards turned in by Lou Moret and Rudy Barragan, both scoring Paul Kroll beating Lucas Santamaria 99-91, and both turning in confusing scores for Mark Magsayo Vs Rigoberto Hermosillo, a bout that Barragan had 100-90 and Moret had 96-94 the other way, Chris Flores and Patricia Morse Jarman, who both had Kingsley Ibeh and Guido Vianello fighting to a draw and Adalaide Byrd scoring Frevian Gonzalez Robles' bout with Carlos Marrero a draw.
Things didn't get better on Sunday when Ian John Lewis, the scoring referee, had John Hedges beating Jan Ardon in their 4 rounder. A pathetic score bit of officiating to try and save the supposedly talented debutant, at the cost of someone who deserved the W.
Judges world wide turning in such dud scorecards really does harm the sport, and needs to be sorted out. Now!
2 - Eddie Hearn being infected
Given Eddie Hearn's push to have fans back at boxing and Snooker we're not hugely sympathetic to the recent news that he had to leave the bubble following a positive PCR test. In many ways it was almost expected that someone who thought just eating properly and having a healthy diet would prevent him from being ill. However it is still bad news and we do hope that Eddie gets well soon. Sadly him being ill did force the cancellation of a planned meeting between himself and Frank Warren, which could have been huge for British boxing.
1 - MMA Heavyweights in Boxing
On the same show as the amazing bout between Jose Zepeda and Ivan Baranchyk we also saw a bizarre, but very short, bout between James Barnes and Mitchell Sipe. The two fighters, who both have an MMA background, really shouldn't have been a televised fight. In fairness to Sipe he looks like he could box a bit, even though he was making his debut, he also looked like a professional athlete. Barnes on the other hand looked like he really needed to hit the gym, hard, and learn how to box. He seemingly had no idea what he was doing in the sport, though some how has a win under his belt. Whilst this was stupidly entertaining, it doesn't do the sport any good to see fighters like Barnes being licensed and NSAC really shouldn't have let him in the ring.
2 - No Social Distancing in Pakistan
Whilst our complaint about Barnes is a bit of a moan we do have a genuine worry here, with the show in Pakistan. The rest of the world have generally brought in mask wearing in public and social distancing but in Pakistani there was neither of those things. There was also crowds storming the ring to celebrate Usman Wazeer's win, and anyone could have been carrying something. Whilst want boxing in Pakistan to survive, we also need it to be safe, and hopefully in future we'll see some general well being brought in to the country when it comes to the sport. If Wazeer's big win becomes a super spreader event or if the next card there sees someone getting stabbed, or a brawl breaking out it could kill the sport before it's even off the ground. Come on folks, show a bit of common sense!
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