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.
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