Gorgeous George Groves vs Chris “Daddy’s Boy” Eubank Jr.

George Groves, 27-3, 20 KO defends his new shiny WBA supermiddleweight belt against usurper IBO champ Chris Eubank Jr, 26-1, 20 KO this Saturday, February 17th @ Manchester Arena (formerly M.E.N Arena)Manchester. As fights go in 2018, this British donnybrook to be one of the biggest due to the British public, against all the odds of the last few years of depravity afflicting boxing, still largely love the sport and flock to the venues.

Both Groves and Eubank are a bit fragile as representatives of the weak top echelons of boxing these days as a dying sport, so in a turnabout for fans who might in other more golden years poohpahed such a limited title bout, fans are expecting to be packing the rafters. I picked Groves in my predictor league due to greater experience at the top and overall maturity. Both have some talents, but both also have limited mental faculties needed for a truly top flight fighter as Eubank Sr was.

So, from the first bell the match will slowly progress into an all action fistic crap shoot that fans can only hope the notoriously bad BBBC officiating doesn’t screw up. At least these guys will mostly put on a decent scrap since both are hungry for some much bigger bouts to come.

Groves vs Eubank Jr

Groves vs Eubank Jr

 

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American Graffiti~Errol Spense vs Lamont Peterson

This All American donnybrook takes place this Saturday, January 20th at Barclays, a shiny new entertainment venue located in what used to be the graffiti covered working class neighborhoods of Brooklyn before New York suits upended the residents for upscale gentrification.

The 28 year old Errol Spense, 22-0, 19 KO is the newest American hotshot in the welter division with high hopes of greatness. The 33 year old Lamont Peterson, 35-3-1, 17 KO has generally been an honorable contender and minor beltholder for this weak American generation of 3rd millennium boxers. While having some good natural physical attributes such as quickness and durability melded with the current negative defensive skills taught to modern American boxers to the exclusion of offensive excellence, he could never enter into the mix of greatness. And like many fighters in the fight game, he was led astray with some bad advice, the worst being that illicit doctor’s prescription for a testosterone implant that led to his unfortunate public moniker of Cheaterson when he failed a drug test.

Sadly, this low key fight seems to be the best fight boxing can put on in January. While a decent fight from a boxing enthusiast point of view due to Peterson’s ability to make Spence work hard for his victory, a true fan might wonder why some bigger fights couldn’t be made in such an open month as the barren January traditionally is?

Well, folks, here it is as the naked truth, there really are no really big all American fights to be made in boxing, and the boxing suits are also loath to go viewing head to head against the NFL Superbowl build up and the NBA regular season.

Spense has already needed to go overseas for his biggest fight where he acquitted himself quite well against long time British contender, Kell Brook, but physically Spense is really tight at the weight and will need to go up to middleweight for a Canelo fight if he wants a really big payday. That shining beacon of hopeful purses is not likely to be hanging around that much longer, maybe 3-4 years, and Canelo certainly doesn’t need Spense to make his money, so good luck to Spense spinning his wheels in what is left of Boxing’s barren landscape. Money Mayweather and the boxing suits sucked out all of what was noble and good about boxing, leaving vast shadows in an empty cavern of what used to be a plethora of hardnosed contenders now defensively shadowboxing each other for the privilege of a fight with what used to be the great champion, now pretend belt holders. Spense holds one of those pretend belts, the IBF.

But for boxing fans in this bitterly cold winter, it’s Spense vs Peterson who will almost certainly be boxing in a negative defensive style to take Spense deep into rounds where he may show some stamina vulnerability. In turn, I would interpret Spense’s ambition and professionalism to show up in top shape with a savvy game plan to highlight both his boxing skills and his formidable power, and more importantly, enhance his boxing media marketability. In just the battle of natural attributes, Spense wins hands down before we ever get into his excellent all around skills shown thus far. I don’t see Peterson going past 6 rounds, and will likely be whacked out by the 4th round in spite of his durability, but maybe early on he could bust up Spense’s eye or break his nose to force Spense to gut out a gritty fight. It happens.

I do hope Peterson puts up a credible fight for as long as he lasts. He may not realize it, but he could well make his best purses as a credible gatekeeper test for up an coming fighters due to the woeful lack of quality boxers these days, but he ain’t doin’ a damn thing to promote fights with that mangled mess of a crow’s nest glued to his face, another reason boxing has been on the decline. Too many modern fighters don’t look and act professional anymore.  The best Americans can do for Spense is hope and pray he keeps his head screwed on as he continues his ascent. He is one of the few bright hopes American boxing fans have in these barren depression years of boxing.

Many in the archived boxing annals were the talented American fools succumbing to the temptations of wine, women, and song, and now they have to pass through the gauntlet of suits who determine fight outcomes more than the fighters do these days, so good luck gentlemen. Your futures await you.

Boxrec’s Last Ranked Heavyweight for 2017

Here we are on the verge of the New Year of 2018, and according to Boxrec’s database, the largest boxing database in the world also ranking current and past fighters in every weight division, Brandon Johnson, 1-1-0, 1 KO ranks dead last, #868 out of 868 internationally ranked heavyweight boxers with zero points accumulated.

He’s a prime 27 years of age from St. Louis, Missouri, additionally ranked #239 of 239 American boxers, so there’s plenty of time for him to turn his career around to become the #1 ranked heavyweight boxer.

All hail to Brandon Johnson for the courage to lace up them gloves and fight the good fight. I’ll check back in on January 2nd to see if anything has changed in Boxrec’s fluid, day to day rankings.

And remember, having a safe New Year means having a happier New Year, so keep them gloves up and eyes open for any of the drunken incoming.

Sayonara 2017, Buenos Dias 2018

 

 

Vasyl Lomachenko vs Guillermo Rigondeaux~Four Gold Olympic Medals

Vasyl Lomachenko defends his titles against Guillermo Rigondeaux this Saturday, December 9th @ Madison Square Garden in New York City.

This “event” is sadly a narrowly confined, amateur boxing aficionado only fight of double Olympic gold medalists in the lighter, less prominent weight divisions. Both, obviously, were superb amateur boxers, but only one has stepped up to the professional rank of greatness with ambitious matchmaking and results, and that’s Lomachenko. Rigondeaux has been a festering canker forever at 118, ignoring the bigger fights that could be had at that weight, nor willing to move up a division for more lucrative fights, such that Bob Arum finally had to wash himself of building stink. Anybody who knows the history of Arum knows he loves a good fight and is stellar in bringing his fighters along the developmental path as he makes increasingly tougher fights in trying to maximize the potential record and purse of both he and the fighter.

Rigondeaux grew up in the communist Cuban system where he was top dog in his division, thusly coddled with perks that presumably gave him a certain status with the Cuban people. American pro boxing is a much tougher task than coddled amateurs can handle no matter how talented as Rigondeaux may be claimed. As a personality, he has a sour puss demeanor and was never regaled by the larger populace in America, and point in fact, I don’t see many Cuban American’s rallying to his cause. Yeah, he has more spending money, and that’s great for him, but not the millions he was promised in making his decision to defect from Cuba. And worse, he has yet to come to grips that it’s his own damn fault for not wanting to fight. Maybe he has a great painter’s mental makeup or that of a great jockey miscast as a fighter, who can know though other than he ain’t no great fighter in the traditional sense of boxing history, nor is more talented than the thousands of talented fighters in history that got nowhere with their talents because of personal limitations such as he possesses, so he gets paid like lowly American fighters these days who have largely moved into the run and stink style so popular in this new generation while being so abhorrent to true professional boxing fans.

For such a supposed superb boxer, Rigondeaux also seems to have become habituated to being knocked down by journeyman types that bodes ill for his prospects for this fight. Lomanchenko, whilst taking an early loss in a dirty Texas jurisdiction where he had to literally throw off the joke of the referee hanging on his back, he had his dirty mugger gasping for his life and begging help from the jokester ref  in the waning minutes of the fight. Lomachenko has otherwise been absolutely stellar, nay, say perfectly dominating in his ring performances as to leave both boxing connoisseurs as well as slugging aficionados swooning in desire. Anyone who knows anything about boxing knows those two camps of fans  seldom coalesce around a single fighter, but Lomachenko has proven to be the exception that breaks all the rules. He just loves to step into the ring and run through the gears, and of late has become somewhat brawly in his haste to eliminate his opponent.

Such is the hope for Rigondeaux that he has become dependent on. He chokes, hits off the break, low blows, you name it, it’s in his dirty repertoire against the hapless journeymen he’s been facing, and he’s sure to use it against Lomachenko. Moreover, Rigondeaux has something of a run and stink style when faced with a warm body.

Somehow, in some way, Rigondeaux is going to create one big stink of a controversy to end the fight on, so I predict no sublime excellence on display, but I do think Lomachenko maintains his cool to do the business that needs to be done to move on to greater things. I was rather sad the fight was ever announced, but the good news is boxing has already sunk about as low as a pro sport can get, so this just more of the same with no improvements in sight.

Victorious

 

Alexander Ustinov Vs Manuel Charr

Alexander Ustinov,34-1, 25 KO, goes against Manuel Charr, 30-4, 17 KO, for the vacant WBA world championship at Koenig-Pilsener-Arena in Oberhausen, Germany. Charr is returning to action after having had hip replacement surgery in May, while Ustinov is a huge lump of a fighter generously avoided for that substantial reason.

Well, folks, such activity is probably needed to grease the skids for a Deyonce Wilder WBC/WBA unification down the line. Of course Anthony Joshua holds the real WBA title, the “Super” title along with the IBF title, but the WBC unification is probably way off in the future to 2019 if ever. Joseph Parker is the current WBO titlest looking for a big payday by leveraging Deyonce and Joshua for the best payday.

Regardless, Joshua is the consensus #1 Man of the division into the foreseeable future. 

“Deyonce” Wilder Defends WBC Alabama Title against Bermane Stiverne

I wasn’t going to bother with this WBC farce, but the comedy value is just too temptingly great to pass up.

Yup, “Deyonce” Wilder Defends his WBC Alabamy Mudflats Title against Bermane Stiverne in Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, of all places, Saturday, November 4th. Expect the place to be heavily papered in free and reduced value tickets since he can’t draw more than a few flies in his home state of Alabama where he usually can be found fighting the latest TBA on short notice that Stiverne represents for a bag of peanuts and popcorn.

Yup, the WBC Alabamy belt represents the highest achievement of American heavyweights since his debut 9 years ago.

Oh, he’ll moan about phantom drug test failings, something that Stiverne himself is guilty of in the most incremental way of a fail possible when you understand that 90% of the American population couldn’t pass modern day drug testing including the kids who are so addled after being drugged up by modern docs and psychologists that the American culture is ready to implode yet again. So it ain’t like dear Deyonce is some kind of holy warrior only fighting clean fighters when in fact he’s been fighting guys who nominally failed drug tests like Stiverne who couldn’t make a top 20 ranking in Ring or Boxrec, but King can pay the WBC to make him a mandatory opponent in spite of the complete lack of accomplishments after he lost his title to Deyonce.

The 39 year old Stiverne is just a single fight above being retired after their last fight almost 3 years years ago, and that against a journeyman where he hardly distinguished himself. Let’s face it, at this stage of Don King boxing is just a hobby and Stiverne is perfect for him in that he’s about a lazy a ring presence as ever existed. Everything about his first fight with Deyonce stinks as most Don King fights do when Stiverne had to be admitted to a hospital afterward suffering from “severe dehydration”, a condition almost impossible to achieve in heavyweights from never needing to drop weight to make a division limit. Moreover, their fight like most are in climate controlled environments, and like most heavyweight bouts, their’s was slow paced because neither has ever in traditionally good shape because neither has ever aspired to fight the best in their division.

Stiverne turned pro in July 2005 and Deyonce in November of 2008, and allowing the typical 3 years of heavyweight development before fighting their first touted prospect or fringe contender types, Stiverne only shows two wins over former contender Chris Arreola in 2013-2014, 8 years AFTER his debut. Wilder made that jump in 2014 over former champ long past any credible ranking, Siarhoi Liakhovich in 2014, 6 years after his debut, and mostly fringe contenders since if even that. The Ring and Boxrec top ten heavyweights have never been targeted because in general those types of top 10 fighters tend to fight each other. Since both Stiverne and Wilder are basically fringe contender types who have made a decent living holding a corrupted WBC belt, their circle of fighters has been limited to the fringes.

This promises more of the same, and a well deserved pittance for an orchestrated heavyweight title fight for the WBC Alabama title. Deyonce has never fought much less beat a legit Ring or Boxrec top ten heavy. The list of top 10 names he has failed to even bother negotiations with would include a who’s who of top Ring and Boxrec contenders over the past 10 years since his debut that would only partially include:

RING:

Wladimir Klitschko
Vitali Klitschko
Ruslan Chagaev
Alexander Povetkin
Nikolay Valuev
Sultan Ibragimov
Samuel Peter
Oleg Maskaev
Juan Carlos Gomez
Alexander Dimitrenko
Eddie Chambers
David Haye
Denis Boytsov
Tony Thompson
Tomasz Adamek
Robert Helenius
Kubrat Pulev
Tyson Fury

Current BOXREC:

1 ➡ Anthony Joshua
2 ➡ Alexander Povetkin
3 ➡ Deontay Wilder
4 ⬆ 1 Luis Ortiz
5 ⬇1 Kubrat Pulev
6 ➡ Tony Bellew
7 ➡ Joseph Parker
8 ➡ Christian Hammer
9 ➡ Dillian Whyte
10 ➡ Adam Kownacki
11 ➡ Jarrell Miller
12 ⬆ 1 Dominic Breazeale
13 ⬆ 1 Malik Scott
14 ⬆ 1 Charles Martin
15 ⬆ 1 Andy Ruiz Jr
16 ⬆ 1 Johann Duhaupas
17 ⬇5 Lucas Browne
18 ➡ Eric Molina
19 ➡ Carlos Takam
20 ⬆ 1 David Haye

As you can see, he has at least fought and beat the current boxrec #13 and #18, hardly a Murderers Row in the Pantheon of all time feared heavyweights, and that’s it. Yet somehow in today’s heavyweight division where most fighters tend to avoid their fellow top ranked peers in the weakest heavyweight era in history, this 32 year old marshmallow has somehow wormed his way into a high Ring and Boxrec rating on dint of a long career @37-0, 36 KO where 3/4ths of his opponents weren’t above a 300th Boxrec rating.

As to the fight, I’d expect Stiverne to get hit plenty as he did last fight, but this time they’ll call for an early stoppage to save Deyonce for the only big fight of his career where he might clear $5 million, and that’s over in England against Anthony Joshua who’s the hottest thing going in boxing these days. Of course Stiverne could catch Deyonce as he did last time, only harder, but I expect no favors for him by the judges or the ref. Watch it and weep for the good ol’ days when men were men and American heavies the real champs with nobody to dispute them. 

Anthony Josua vs Kubrat Pulev AKA Carlos Takam

Josh 19-0, 19 KO, was to defend against an long established challenger in Kubrat Pulev 25-1, 13 KO, but alas, the best laid plans of mice and men and all that, so now Josh and Carlos Takam, 28-3-1, 15 KO, are gonna tangle for his belts. That would be Saturday, October 28th in olde Wales in a surprise, Principality StadiumCardiff, probably due to this being a short notice replacement for Pulev that was orignally scheduled in England in a much bigger fight than this.

Joshua vs Takam

Joshua vs Takam

This storyline follows the traditional Arab warning of being careful for what you wish for. Now that Wladimir Klitschko retired after a truly epic fight with Josh to cap an incredibly long and productive HOF career as long wished for by his numerous critics, the heavyweight division is indeed finally bereft of credible contenders or champs save Josh who is an unrepentant Englishman. Oh dear, and a Boo-Hoo-Hoo for the few American fans who had looked forward to reclaiming their rightful birthright as American heavyweight champions, only to see their hopes dashed upon the rocks of their own ignorance of heavyweight boxing.

Oh sure, they got their prison tattooed WBC chump, Deyonce Wilder, who has scarcely surfaced but for every 5th blue moon to take on some fringe contender in a TBA, short notice fight buried deep in the mud flats of Alabamy for few bags of salted peanuts stakes. Their chump can’t draw flies to his fights in spite of the fragrant fetid whiffs of stink fanned out to the press and unadoring public by his promoter AKA “manager,” yup, you guessed it, Al Haymon.

I’ll be honest here in that 36 year old Takam is better than anyone Deyonce has defended against, but he is so outclassed by the concussive form Josh has been showing in his thus far short pro career, that lasting 4 rounds would be a stretch for Takam’s survival. Boxing has truly sunk to it’s lowest ebb in history when they can’t even field a credible contender for a dynamic young champ as Josh has proven to be. Josh compares favorably to the greats, but what if a great showed up at boxing’s doorstep today and there was nobody of any credibility to fight him?

Well, praise be to boxing’s grazing herds of boxing experts, here we are…

1896~Modern Cinematography Birthed with Bob Fitzsimmons vs Peter Maher Heavyweight Title Fight

Yupsir, the first ever attempt to film a modern length full feature film was scheduled on a Friday, February 14th, a fight lover’s Valentine Day, 1896, over 121 years ago. The heavyweight title was in dispute after James J Corbett retired in a huff after a Dallas hotel lobby spat with Bob Fitzsimmons, thus the impetus for Thomas Edison’s attempt to film the first full length cinematographic feature in Langtry that Judge Roy Bean helped to put together as the “host” as it were. We could say thus began the love story over all things Langtry, Texas and Judge Roy Bean in Texas lore. You could read all about it here:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/bobby-mac/an-anthology-of-short-stories-for-o-henry/paperback/product-23360297.html

The fight was an unadorned, unapologetic, unrelentingly savage beating with percussive punches mixed in the roar of thousands of fans perched on the canyon rim echoing off the walls of the Rio Grande canyon. Never before nor after has such a magnificent natural theatrical backdrop been staged in boxing. Waged pillar to post in the middle of a spit island floating atop the Rio Grande river on one side, the Rio Bravo on the other, the fight could never last but 60 seconds before Fitz popped the cork on the game Peter Mahrer with a counter right hand.

Modern boxing poseurs, with a few notable exceptions like Manny Pacquiao who is as old school as they come today, they simply can’t compare to the oak twisted hardwood of ol’ Timers like Bobby Fitzsimmons and Maher.

So, pray tell us what they did after the one minute knockout? Well, they did what sports from time immemorial have done, they threw the biggest party Langtry has ever seen. With an able assist by Judge Roy Bean who had set up a sort of tarp city with some complaining it was a trapped city, he packed it with local adult refreshments, mystery meat jerky vittles, and plenty of freshly grilled mystery meat offerings, jackrabbit being the most prevalent.

Unfortunately, the making of the fight was a political and logistic nightmare, compounded by the furious action under misting conditions, net result being that either the fight never got recorded before the 60 second KO, or the footage was lost. Yet it may still be possibly existent in someone’s collection of fight or cinema memorabilia, or just in a dusty box in the attic of ol’ grandpa’s meager possessions.

Thankfully a year later in March of 1897, James J Corbett and Bob Fitzsimmons put together a fight under ideal filming conditions in Reno, Nevada that did get filmed in it’s dramatic entirety of the first ever recorded “Phantom” one punch knockout that got all the “boxing experts” of day boiling over in competing theories of the moment.

Such were the days and history of boxing and the US of A with cinematography now completely democratized internationally and as local as the girl next door with a plethora of video enablers like YouTube one example of dozens.

Mighty Joe Parker vs Hugie Fury

This Saturday, September 23rd, Mighty Joe Parker defends his WBO heavyweight title against Irish Traveler Usurpist Hughie Fury, he of the notorious heavyweight champion Tyson Fury traveler stock @ Manchester Arena (formerly M.E.N Arena), Manchester, England.

This donnybrook of undefeateds has the prevailing look of the  “weird beards” of modern boxers, so of course the notoriously unreliable BBB of C enlisted the notoriously unreliable referee Terry O’Connor for 3rd man duties in the ring. Also, by modern heavyweight standards these are veritable kids, only 25 and 23 years old respectively, and Hughie ain’t even ranked by Ring or Boxrec, the two most dominant rankings. By WBO in house rankings which are bought by the fighters, young Hughie bargained his way into a mandatory ranking, so here we are with this the rescheduled version of the fight after Hughie literally left Parker in a lurch by pulling out two days before their last fight, citing a “back” injury.

By size these two are near equal, and by styles Parker has resisted the brutish Samoan stereotyping to become a very underrated boxer with some pop. Hughie is also a boxer type without any apparent pop, so this is not likely to be an action fight, but rather tit for tat moving smoothly about the ring. Parker has been in with vastly better competition though and should pull this off rather easily, but he’d better bring his knockout punch because the decision rendering business in boxing these days is more akin to crap shoot than a studied analysis, and the ref  certainly won’t be doing him any favors.

Nor will Big Tyson, the King of Verbose Gaseous Vapors missives will be suffocating Parker all night. It should be further noted that both the Furys may or may not have been involved in a minor Performance Enhancing Drugs mishap that the BBB of C seems to have had a hand in, but in that the alleged parties have largely remained mum on the issue, and thus ignored, the issue steadily receded to be now rattling around the dustbins of dubious history. But, wait, wait, the BBB of C cut a new stacked deck with the reassignment of O’Conner to judge duties with a new British ref, Marcus McDonnell.

Well, folks, it’s a new millennia, a new era of English heavyweight boxing, and such monkey shines are the current state of English boxing, indeed, boxing is just about every jurisdiction sad to say, but lookie-lookie, both the fighters properly shaved their beards!

 

Ace of Spades~Canelo vs Golovkin For The Glory

Saul Alvarez, 49-1-1, 34 KO and former WBC champ challenges unified middleweight champ Gennady Golovkin, for all his titles, HOWEVER, Canelo still holds the Ace of Spades in this dust ’em up, the Ring middleweight title he won off Miguel Cotto 2 years ago. That would, of course, be this Saturday, September 16th, in Las Vegas at T Mobile.

Canelo’s last fight was supposed to be an old school Mexican heavyweight shootout against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, but Canelo amazingly unveiled a new, high octane, bob and weave aggressive offense utilizing lateral in and out movement that proved to be way too much for Junior as the complete pounding of him demonstrated. This was the best anyone has seen out of Canelo, so now he risks health and legend going against a modern day MONSTER in Golovkin, 37-0, 33 KO who only just lost his 23rd consecutive KO streak, accumulated over a 10 year span in his last fight against a running Danny Jacobs. Speculation ran rampant when training pics 3 weeks out showed Canelo ripped to the gills as usual, and, gasp, the titanium forged Golovkin looking like the Pillsbury Dough Boy.

Canelo 3 weeks away: 

Golovkin 3 weeks away:

Naturally the frothing, slobbering anti-social media experts concluded that Golovkin must be SHOT now at 35 years of age, but of course they already knew that Canelo would never fight him after savaging the Canelo name across the internet, pretty much exposing them had they any honor, which of course they do not.

Canelo and Golovkin have some favorable history together as sparring partners upon arriving in America to make their chops where the teenage Canelo actually had more pro experience. Anecdotal reports recall the teenager holding his own  as a welterweight in some lively spars, and now here he is all grown up in the greatest years of his prime as Golovkin enters his last prime years, so it’s a win/win for boxing if boxing can clean themselves up from the fetid mess they splattered themselves with a few weeks back with McGregor vs Mayweather. Yes, we have to hold our collective breath just to talk honestly about boxing these days as we scramble for our gas masks just to survive the outrages.

Best Buds

Best Buds

And, yupsir, that orchestrated hoax in advance took some of the wind out of the promotional sails of this fight. Canelo is still P4P #1 on boxrec while Golovkin is #4.

Golovkin, blessed with a naturally sunny disposition that belies his unceasing brutality as a fighter, is the expected favorite, the approximate odds 3 weeks out being Canelo +140 to Golovkin -160. I suspect the close odds reflect that he’s a slugger with all the attendant bias against sluggers who let their opponents go the distance as happened with Jacobs. Canelo is the money fighter in this donnybrook and could very well nab the decision in a corrupt jurisdiction as Vegas is whether deserving or not.

Forget the dubious scoring and prejudicial actions of the ref in Vegas.  For those wanting to actually enjoy boxing without being emotionally bound to a wager, it should rightfully be The Big Drama Show of a hotly contested ebb and flow of a classic that even the most pedestrian non-fan can savor. Who cares if one or the other wins the always dubious Academy Award by the end? If the combatants play out their roles as expected, we’ll have a fight to savor ’til the end of time.