This past week has been a really interesting one for boxing, with various announcements, bouts, and action. Whilst we won't pretend it's been a an amazing week, it has certainly been an interesting one, with things that fall outside the usual realms of this series. With that in mind we'll be adding one extra category this week, making this The Good, The Bad and the Ugly...and the Weird!
1-Rentaro Kimura leaves an impression
Lets start in Asia, this week and discuss the debut of Rentaro Kimura. Boy did this guy look good! The talk from Japan was that Kimura was going to be something special, and a prospect to keep an eye on though few would have anticipated for him to shine as he did. Not only did he look exciting, skilled and promising, but he also left us with a highlight reel KO which will be played over and over. This young man is talking like someone who wants to be a star, and despite debuting in an empty arena he has already shown star potential.
2-Shinsei Live Stream
During the week news broke that there wouldn't be fans at the Shinsei show on Saturday, something that was genuinely disappointing as we had anticipated fans. Shinsei turns that into a positive however and lived streamed the two main bouts from the card, live, and for free. This meant more people could watch, including international fans, and the stream was fantastic. The bouts were well fought, even if the main event was surprisingly one sided. No complaints here at all, and Shinsei turned a bad situation into a very, very good one. Fingers crossed we'll see this done by more promoters from Japan during the current "no fan era".
It's also worth noting that the entire show ended up within 48 hours as well. Very solid stuff from Shinsei.
Okay leaving for a moment, Showtime announce their up coming scheduled and man is it ever good! From the shows they announced this week there was a great number of very good bouts, some excellent bouts and only one or two we felt were mismatches. Of course them all taking place, and not falling through for whatever reason, is something we don't expect to see but if 66% of the bouts announced do happen we'll be happy with that!
4-Berlanga and Ortiz show great potential
Of course Rentaro Kimura wasn't the only one who impressed this week and we were impressed by Edgar Berlanga and Vergil Ortiz. Both youngsters not only impressed in the ring, with very solid performances, but also outside of it. Both youngsters seemed eloquent, confident, hungry but also down to earth. Sadly ESPN spent far too much time focusing on Berlanga's streak, rather than Berlanga the man, but he came across as a very good young man and a wonderfully promising fighter, whilst Ortiz, on DAZN, came across as a fantastic prospect who is learning all the time.
We've just praised a number of young fighters but let us also tuck in one more good, and that was the hungry losers. Chris Avalos, Jayson Velez and Sammy Vargas were all big betting under-dogs. Few would have expected them to put in any kind of a fight, and instead most would have anticipated they would roll over and just lose. Instead all 3 came to win, gave a genuine account of themselves and gave viewers something to enjoy. Losing efforts like this do a lot of the sport, and we want to just give all 3 men some big time props!
1-Miranda Adkins getting blitzed
Mismatches happen, we all know that. We all know they are a common thing in the sport. Sadly though what we saw on Friday was beyond the scope of a mismatch. It was like throwing a kitten in with a starving lion. Miranda Adkins had no right to be in the ring with Seniesa Estrada and it showed with pretty much the first, and only, combination Estrada threw. The bout lasted just 7 seconds, Adkins had no idea how to defend herself and looked like a lamb to the slaughter from the off. The only positive was that the sport has a clip that has gone viral, but it should just how poorly matched this contest was. The commission need to take a series look at them selves. It's easy to claim "20-20" vision, but give Adkins was 42, had never fought anyone with a win and was going in with a world class fighter it didn't take 20-20 vision to see this was a horrible match up.
2-Nazim Richardson's passing
We're really, genuinely, sad to hear about "Brother" Nazim Richardson passing away at the age of 55. Richardson was one of the smartest men in the sport, and his loss is a huge one for boxing. A very astute mind, always worth listening to and someone who has helped pass on so much knowledge. We want to send our thoughts to his family and friends. Genuinely the sport was better for Richardson's influence and old school tricks.
3-Jack Reiss steals center stage
We often complain about officials here and unfortunately we need to do it again, but this time it's for an official we actually have a lot of respect for. Veteran referee Jack Reiss is one of the best in the business, when he's on point. He's also awfully inconsistent and this past week he was certainly putting in a memorable performance, but one that screamed "give me attention". He seemed intent on giving Vergil Ortiz a telling off and swore at Sammy Vargas in a bizarre, attention grabbing performance. When Reiss is in the mood to be a top referee there are very few who can match him, but this week he seemed like an old curmudgeon. A shame, but thankfully not something that affected the result of a bout he was responsible for.
1-Osakan Case Cluster Grows
Last week we spoke about the cases of "the ongoing situation" around a gym in Osaka. At the time there was just 5 case, that number more than doubled this week, with 11 cases associated to the cluster. Fingers crossed that's as bad as it gets and we won't see more cases, but there is a worry that it will grow and that we are still on at the tip of the proverbial iceberg. We hope everyone a speedy recovery, and hope this serves as a very clear warning to how dangerous and easily spread this is.
1-Triller to show Tyson Vs Jones Jr
And now we get to the weird. We're not really down with social media, we don't know our myspace from our faceparty, or ticktok from our bebo. This week we were introduced to "Triller" who will be showing the recently announced Mike Tyson Vs Roy Jones Jr exhibition. The service has paid an insane amount to show the bout, the two men are getting an incredible sum for the contest, and this social media company, who are apparently huge in India, are showing it. All very weird.
As for the bout it's an exhibition, we don't have anything against exhibitions, though we do wonder if this will just be about lining people's pockets or will have a charity element to it. If there is charity involved then that would be brilliant, given the way 2020 is going, but we fully understand if this is just a cash grab for two legends well past their primes.
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