What a weird week we've had this week. We had some amazing action, some real times to be happy, we had a real life hero in the sport, some amazing performances. We also had some people not giving it a real try, some mismatches, and some officiating that left so much to be desired.
With that said lets look at the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from this week!
1-A-Sign show surpasses expectations
The week began on a high with a brilliant Japanese domestic card being streamed live, around the world, by A-Sign Boxing. This card really had a bit of everything. It had skills on show, thanks to the highly talented Hyoga Taniguchi and Kosuke Tomioka, it had drama in the thrilling bout between Ryugo Ushijima and Ryukyu Oho, action in the brilliant main event between Shoki Sakai and Hironori Shigeta, and a sensational performance from teenager Jin Sasaki. This was brilliant, free, and a great sign of what great match making can do. Hats off to Ichitaro Ishii and the team at A-Sign Boxing.
2-Jesse Rodriguez wows
The Light Flyweight division is one of the sports most interesting, but sadly seems to get almost no attention at all in US and in Europe. This past Saturday however we saw Jesse "Bam" Rodriguez put on a show that saw him look amazing and had people actively talking about the 108lbs weight class. Rodriguez look absolutely amazing as he destroyed Janiel Rivera, dropping him 3 time in just over 2 minutes. Aged just 20 the US have a real potential star in the lowest weight classes, and the weight classes have someone that could open the door to a US market. Whether we see him getting big in the US or not, he's certainly one to watch. A brilliant, destructive, exciting prospect.
3-Samir Ziani and Alex Dilmaghani trade blows in a war
Talking about brilliant and exciting the European Super Featherweight bout between Samir Ziani and Alex Dilmaghani was something amazing. This had everything we could want to see in a fight. The early rounds were competitive, there was controversy with Dilmaghani using his elbow, there was then determination and fire from Ziani who stepped up the tempo, there was some awful refereeing in the later stages, and then Ziani pulled it out with a TKO with just seconds left. If you've not seen this one you really need, it was a true FOTY contender
4-Such much boxing for free!
It's fair to say that we hate PPV, and have never hidden our dislike of PPV. We understand subscription services, and whilst they still aren't perfect they are generally very good value for money, and we will never have a problem paying for a service like Boxing Raise. Saying that however the best thing is free boxing and in the last 7 days we have had a lot of free boxing. There's been live shows in Japan, Russia, the UK and Thailand and a tape delay broadcast in Japan. The old idea of PBC making boxing "free" was great but now we are actually getting a lot of free boxing, and it's set to continue, with more free Japanese and Thai shows coming up in the next few weeks. We might all have had a horrible year, but thank you boxing gods for all the free content!
5-Deandre Ware, the real life hero
It was great to hear about American fighter Denadre Ware playing life saver this week, with the fighters good heart and medical training kicking in as he gave CPR to Top Rank official Pete Susens. It's a shame he didn't finish the weekend off with a win, but regardless of the result of his bout he proved himself a real hero. Well done Deandre, and it's fair to say the whole boxing world respects what you did! Whilst the 32 year old might not be a world class fighter he's a world class person, and that is much, much more important.
1-Shota Hara's effort
We loved the A-Sign, genuinely it was brilliant, but Shota Hara's effort against Kosuke Tomioka was terrible. He seemed unwilling to make a fight of things and as a result the bout became an awkward one to watch. We all know Tomioka is being viewed as a special talent, but Hara looked like he had no intention of trying to fight here. A real shame as the event deserved a fun, fan friendly opening bout and instead got an awkward stinker between a counter puncher and a fighter unwilling to do anything.
2-Chainoi Worawut in another mismatch
We need to start this by saying we like Chainoi Worawut, a lot. Sadly however he is being given too many light touches to pad his record. He's world ranked and holds a number of minor WBC titles, so it's time he was matched like a fighter going places rather than a fighter beating up poor competition. Joel Kwong, who Chainoi beat this week, shouldn't have been in the ring with the unbeaten Thai and whilst he tried he really was no match for the Thai. Come on WP Boxing and Nakornluang, lets see Chainoi facing a test now, rather than a full year of mismatches and easy wins.
1-Tony Weeks and the commission forget the rules
The ending of the WBO Super Featherweight title fight between defending champion Jamel Herring and challenger Jonathan Oquendo was a clusterfuck. The bout was a messy slop fest at times, due to Oquendo barging in head first, and although Herring showed some great skills they were glimpses, and he didn't do enough to make Oquendo think twice about being a human billy goat. That however wasn't the big issue with the bout, that was the ending. The ending saw Tony Weeks essentially offering Herring a way out of an ugly bout with a win, which he took. The cuts around his eye were a mess and had come from fouls. However the question is how did both Weeks and the commission officials both forget the rules here? It should have been a technical decision, not a DQ. The mental gymnastics to get to the DQ is beyond us. Had the doctor stopped the bout based on the damage, which he really should have done, we'd have gone to the scorecards, and we'd have had a clear decision for Herring.
Do not get us wrong, Herring was the deserved winner, and the much better fighter, but for an experienced referee like Weeks to blow this was just ridiculous.
2-Andre Ward's scoring
Staying with the Herring Oquendo fight, we need to wonder what on earth Andre Ward was watching. Ward, who recently signed an extensuion with ESPN, left us confused when he seemed to have no idea how much of an inside Josh Taylor was, but this week confusion rose to new levels. In a fight where Oquendo's clean punches could be counted on one hand, whilst his headbutts would needs all your fingers and toes, Ward somehow had the bout scored 76-74 for Herring. What was he watching? Ward may have been one of the best fighters of his time but the reality is that he is really disappointing as an analyst, and has now had a few very odd scorecards whilst working on ESPN. Given ESPN have some excellent people working on their "B Team", for the international feed we really do wonder how Ward, and Timothy Bradley, have managed to keep their feet at the table for the main broadcasts.
3-Idris Virgo acts like a pillock
If there was a class clown this week it was Idris Virgo. The 27 year old British fighter showed that he was a total prick in the way he treat Scott Williams ahead of their fight. For an unbeaten prospect to treat a journeyman the way he did was pathetic and shows a real lack of decency. We understand fighters trying to sell themselves, and make themselves marketable, but Virgo has just made people think he's an absolute pillock. Given the level he's fighting at it would have made far, far more sense for him to focus on improving, rather than turning the British boxing world on him. He perhaps should ask Prince Patel how the "be a prick with an ego" tactic has works. Idris should maybe take a leaf from Deandre Ware in his to be!
4-Giuseppe Quartarone's bizarre attempt to be a referee
Italian official Giuseppe Quartarone was the third man in the ring for the brilliant bout between Samir Ziani and Alex Dilmaghani and seemed to be the only negative from the fight. He let Dilmaghani off with elbows early on, and then ignored a clean knockdown, before letting a clearly out of it Dilmaghani continue, in the hope that the Englishman would make it to the final bell. Absolutely awful decision making to the point where he made accusations about him being bias very easy. This is the same referee that neutralised Joseph Parker's inside work against Anthony Joshua in 2018 and he's made our "Shit list" this week. He was terrible!
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