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American & Heavyweight Debut of Oleksandr Usyk vs Chazz Witherspoon

Ukranian all everthing, Oleksandr Usyk, 16-0, 12 KO, makes both his American and heavyweight debut against long suffering American fringe contender, Chazz Witherspoon, 38-3, 29 KO, this Saturday, October 12 @Wintrust Arena, Chicago, Illinois.

Witherspoon is the nephew of former heavyweight champ Tim Witherspoon and winner of the 2004 National Golden Gloves Heavyweight Tourney, so wondrous things were expected as he’s a big heavyweight and obviously a good boxer, but 3 losses to top fighters have prevented him from gaining traction. Yet he soldiered on to stay busy enough such that at age 38, the gift of a lifetime fell into his lap after the previous Usyk opponent got popped for drug violation by VADA.

Usyk was last seen defending every Cruiserweight World Title known to man in England against a surprisingly game Tony Bellew last year who retired after his beatdown. So after a torn biceps training injury canceled Usyk’s previous debut, here we are with Chazz salivating over the opportunity to test out that dinged up arm of his.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plus a couple of lively undercard fights with the lovely Jessica McCaskill vs  Erica Anabella Farias as well as Lightheavy champ Dmitry Bivol going against Lenin Castillo.

I suspect Usyk who is a cautious slow starter preferring to rack up early boxing points as he works out his opponents will eventually want to make a KO statement. Of Chazz’s 3 losses, the last two were by KO, and in the first loss he was on the verge of being knocked out at the bell when his team got on the ring apron as the ref administered a count that triggered a DQ ruling by the ref, so make of Chazz’s chances what you may.

Gennady Golovkin vs Sergiy Derevvanchnko

Gennady Golovkin, 39-1-1, 35 KO, dresses back down to the middleweight limit after a brief flirtation with Supermiddle, but this time for vacant IBF/IBO middleweight titles vs Ukrainian Sergiy Derevyanchenko, 13-1, 10 KO @Madison Square Garden, New York, New York this Saturday, October 5th.

Sergiy, aka The Technician, hasn’t much pro experience, but what he has is solid including a disputed split decision loss to the highly regarded Daniel Jacobs, so this is no walk over for Golovkin. At soon to be age 35 this month, his Olympic credentials may not make a perfect match for Golovkin’s silver medal, but according to ESPN, he compiled a amateur mark of 390-20, which included him representing his country in the 2008 Olympic Games in China. He was “beat” in the semis by the eventual Cuban Silver medalist Emilio Correa Jr whose father won Gold in 1972 Olympics. Every one knows the host, China in this case, always gets favorable sway in the judging, and Cuba one of the few pure Communist countries left, so a lot of favoritism me thinks. Sergiy’s Ukrainian years included the company of current highly rated champs in Vasiliy Lomachenko, Oleksandr Usyk and Oleksandr Gvozdyk with whom he sparred with, actually holding a record of 1-1 against Usyk. In the “semipro” WSB” league, he was 23-1, 7 KO, so both his amateur and pro record is very deceptive indeed although I am still somewhat suspicious about that amateur mark ESPN reported.

Though Golovkin has not looked the sharpest ever since Saul Alvarez destroyed his mythical mystique in boxing while thus far snubbing their trilogy, instead preferring a bigger fight for a Light Heavy challenge against the harder hitting Sergey Kovalev. The 37 year old Golovkin came under fire for fighting the lightly regarded Steve Rolls, and though looking tubby and rusty and perhaps jaded in that fight, it’s hard not to see him as winning this fight, but then again Sergiy looks supremely confident unlike other Golovkin foes who looked dead on arrival as soon as he was able to crack them.

As to any knockout, Sergiy seems to be very durable, but Golovkin would be the biggest puncher he ever faced, so it could be a very good technical fight for both with perhaps some fireworks by the end. Props to both and perhaps best not bet the farm on the favorite for this one…just sayin!

Laid Back Errol Spence Jr vs Wildman Shawn Porter

Al Haymon brushes the rust off his stable of welterweights when Errol Spence Jr, 25-0, 21 KO, and Shawn Porter, 30-2-1, 17 KO, tangle @ Staples Center, Los Angeles over the baubles of the WBC and IBF.

This something of a rare fight in that both participates have not been covered in inglorious tattoos as is the modern era of young Americans in general. Both are quiet, consummate pros always in shape with no excuses to let their fists do the talking in the ring with contrasting styles. The laid back Spence is a careful, calculating boxer-puncher whereas the effusive, newly sprouted wildman Porter a squat, muscly, rugged in your face pressure fighter who can box some when the need arises. Neither has ever been KOed or seriously hurt as I recall, but that a bit of an illusion in that at this high level every fighter has been buzzed at one time or another. Nonetheless, Spence is the A side of this promotion and Porter the party pooper looking for his rightful place in the pecking order.

An interesting parallel is that both are trained by little known trainers, Shawn by his pop and Spence by a nondescript journeyman, Derrick James.

The boxing buzz has the victor winning the Senator Manny Pacquiao sweepstakes, as big a fight in the welter division that exists today. Porter as Manny’s #1 sparring partner during his early welter step up seems especially pumped up with his new wildman look.

So, I don’t have much to say other than the fighters and their Uncle Al want you to watch their fight that should be a good one, but only if absent the usual officiating blunders endemic to modern boxing.

Big Tyson Fury vs Otto Wallin on Mexican Independence Day

When Canelo was “forced” to vacate his slot in Las Vegas on Mexican Independence Day weekend, September 14th, for unknown reasons other than the problematic phenomena of becoming bigger than boxing, the Larger than Life Irish Traveler Tyson Fury, 28-0-1, 20 KO, vowed to take over the Mexican Holiday, and so here he be @MGM Grand, Vegas, going against the undefeated and untested Double Aught, Otto Wallin, 20-0, 13 KO, a Swede fighting out of Sweden…Viva Mexico!!!

Here’s Tyson with his new promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank.

It ain’t a stretch to say in Fury’s return as the so called “lineal heavyweight champion” to boxing after a 2 year absence has been mostly a charade, but it is also true he has looked weak as a new born kitty and needed to fight himself back into shape, so here he is against another undefeated lamb led to slaughter.

Insert a five foot diameter Mexican sombrero for his ring entrance, and we got a Mexicano fight stampeding in Furylandia as unruly Irish Travelers storm Mexican Independence Day.

To be fair to the promotions, there will be a ranked Mexican champ and contender on the undercard plus this lovely latina, Ms. Maricela Cornejo vying for a title:

No doubts about the Tyson Fury trademark. He will clown around while having fun as he slowly picks Otto apart to get in some much needed rounds for the Looming Giant Fight against Anthony Joshua, but only if Josh beats Andy Ruiz Jr their rematch this December.

 

YouTube Donnybrook~Logan Paul vs KSI

Folks, for better or farce, American Logan Paul to rematch his dubious civilian youtube fight against Englishman KSI(Olajide William Olatunji) from last year as they make their official pro debuts under the auspices of DAZN and Eddie Hearns.

It Happens!

They will relocate from the previously sold out O2 in merry aulde England to sunny California this November 9th, a Saturday in the Staples CenterLos Angeles with an undercard reputedly featuring new DAZN signee and WBO supermiddle weight champ, another Englishman name of Billy Joe Saunders.

Some of the previous action here.

The draw result.

WTF?

with

Hype the rematch with the old match!

This example the way the bout pretty much went with Paul landing the biggest, cleanest shots while KSI stirred up the breeze, but of course this being a sorta Kiddie glitterboy boxing debut, a draw the best result to kick them down the road for their official “Pro” debut where they had to take a drug test and pass a physical.

 KSI and Logan Paul will turn pro for their November rematch in LA

Fast Eddie with freshly signed Billy Joe Sanders. Ouch, BJ on the undercard in support of fresh Noobs who couldn’t last 30 seconds against him…only in boxing folks!!!

 Billy Joe Saunders will be on the undercard for the YouTube fighters' scrap

Paul fired up the controversy in advance by threatening, “I’m going to f******murder that dude bro, actual murder bro. Deontay Wilder said this, boxing’s the only sport that you can kill a man in the ring and get paid to do it.”

Paul earned his previous Youtube notoriety by filming the dead body of a Japanese suicide victim to put on Youtube. Yeah, light in the loafers morbid with no respect for the dead or Japanese culture, but KSI not much better as a flash rapper wannabee, the new young generation of vacuous crotch grabbing, tongue hanging males.

Well, there it is, November 9th. Be there on DAZN or risk being the new Youtube boob on the block!

 

Vasiliy Lomachenko Unifies Titles vs Luke Campbell

All Universe Lightweight, Vasiliy Lomachenko, will be unifying the WBC, WBA, and WBO titles against Englishman Luke Campbell, 20-2, 16 KO, @O2 Arena, Greenwich, England this Saturday, August 31st. Takes a brave champ these days to go into the challenger’s back yard, and more especially he will be giving up size and reach to Campbell, but then again, that’s what Ring’s #1 P4Per expected when he moved to lightweight.

Loma was never a big fella, yet well compensated with sublime skills and reflexes never before witnessed at the level he employs them. His reputation has so quickly grown so that his new moniker is “No Mas Lomachenko,” in honor of making his baffled opponents quit in maddening frustration of being hit again and again with no defense possible save that of running from the little guy. 

Campbell is currently Boxrec #5 and his only two losses have been by split decision again’t world class fighters, so on paper coupled with a great size advantage, he’s competitive. On the undercard, the 24 year old cousin and training partner of Tyson Fury, Hughie Fury, 23-2, mans up to a top ten contender and former WBA champ, Alexander Povetkin, 34-2, 24 KO. Povetkin is coming off a hard KO loss against Anthony Joshua while Hughie Fury is coming off his best win ever, a knockout of former WBA champ Samuel Peter. Povetkin still retains a high boxrec ranking, #5, while Hughie is #22, so that differential represents the hurdle Hughie needs to overcome, yet Hughie entering his prime years, 24 to 40 years that the now aging Povetkin has to overcome along with his last knockout loss. 

Last Chance Saloon Showdown?

If Povetkin wins, that may well create the grudge match against Tyson, grudge fights being the mother’s milk of boxing.

In the meantime, these are excellent viewing matches from a competitive standpoint, so sit back and enjoy boxing history being made.

Don’t Blink~Vergil Ortiz Jr vs Antonio Orozco

A blazing 21 year old Texas prospect, Vergil Ortiz Jr, 13-0, 13 KO, takes on Boxrec #19, supposedly USA born but self identified Mexican contender, 31 year old Antonio Orozco, 28-1, 17 KO, as the headline bout @Verizon Theatre in Grand PrairieTexas this Saturday, August 10th.

Why Vergil ain’t rated higher, Boxrec #50, is a mystery to me after his textbook dismantling of longtime contender and fighter boogeyman, Mauricio Herrera, in his last bout that can be seen one of today’s mysteries of boxing. If this kid can keep his noggin screwed on to ignore the collection of soothsayers, con men, sycophants, and women of dubious repute soon to be flocking to this charismatic dynamo, he can literally write his own future and fortune.

At a listed 5-10 height in the superlightweight division, his potential for division belts is potentially 5-6 divisions all the way up to lightheavy. Even if he accomplishes half of that, that is still a substantial career, but I’m here to tell you his talent level and ring maturity is far beyond substantial. The Herrera deconstruction was an old school fistic work of art against an experienced contender hungry for another title shot with a win over a young overblown prospect that Vergil represented.

Boxing has historically proven through more than a century of Marquis of Queenberry era rules to chew up and spit out more great talents than it has nourished, so now the unproven specter of out of the ring of intelligence and lifestyle discipline will have a say so in young Vergil’s development, which if you think about it, is a strong determinant of most of our fates, so boxing is no different than the everyday in that regard.

So his personal character will determine his fate more than individual opponents, but win, lose, or draw, guaranteed Vergil will put on a show, so stay tuned for this young fighter to wreck further mayhem in boxing during the coming years.

Announcing the 2020 Fighter of the Decade~Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao as the Fighter of the Decade from 2000-2009, opened up 2010 with successive resounding bombshells. First he knocked his main rival, Floyd Mayweather Jr, out of his scheduled fight date of March 13th at the MGM after their fight talks evaporated over the terms of drug testing. Manny then roared back with a huge flurry to debut both himself and brand new Cowboy Stadium that March 13th to establish Cowboy Stadium as the premiere stadium fight in all of America. Longtime welter contenders, Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito, both of whom were ducked by Mayweather and got what was coming to Mayweather instead…ouch!

Here are the current Boxrec top 13 P4P fighters as of the date of this article:

1 Canelo middleweight
2 Terence Crawford welterweight
3 Gennady Golovkin middleweight
4 Errol Spence Jr welterweight
5 Vasiliy Lomachenko lightweight
6 Oleksandr Usyk cruiserweight
7 Miguel Berchelt super featherweight
8 Callum Smith super middleweight
9 Leo Santa Cruz featherweight
10 Manny Pacquiao welterweight
11 Shawn Porter welterweight
12 Sergey Kovalev light heavyweight
13 Andy Ruiz Jr heavyweight

The Ring has most of the Boxrec top 10 in a different order, but The Big Names having beat at least one P4P and/or HOF type fighter in Boxrec order are:

Canelo, 22-1-1 for the decade with 3 P4P/HOF fights, Golovkin, 21-1-1 for the decade with 2 P4P/HOF fights, Manny, 12-4 for the decade with 7 P4P/HOF fights, and Kovalev with 28-3-1 record for the decade and 3 P4P/HOF fights. So while the other prime big guns compiled larger numerical wins and less losses, by P4P/HOF criteria, the sheer density of the quality of Manny’s opposition screams out.

Let’s take a closer look at Manny’s record from 2010 to 2019 while he was pulling duties as an elected Philippine Congressman and then Senator, thus making him necessarily a part time fighter for the decade. In it you will find 7 P4P/HOF fighters, 11 or more ranked contenders, 6 undefeated fighters, Zero(0) Hometown fights. and 14 Knockdowns with one Knockout. We could allow a half dozen more Knockdowns with the Chris Algieri fight with 6 official KDs and at least 6 unofficial ones where Manny knocked him into the ropes the whole of the fight. The kid proved to be extra tough to last the distance, but it was a needless beatdown of a new contender who has struggled ever since. The cornball ref for that fight according to Boxrec was Genaro Rodriguez, but if you click on the link another name comes up, and if you do a search a number of identical names come up much like an Ed Smith or Tom Jones search, so no matter the ref’s true identity, for that fight that ref was a joke.

In short, Manny did not just dare to be great, he was insistent upon being great as an extension of his BWAA Fighter of the Decade 2000-2009.

At the start of 2010 Manny’s record was 50-3-2, and at the close of 2019, his record was 62-7-2. That translates to 16 fights resulting in a 12-4 record during the decade. He averaged 1.6 fights every year he’s been an elected member of the Filipino Congress, near half of them being against P4P/HOF fighters with the entire scope of his fighting and political life melding seamlessly into the whole of his life that is not only unheard in those two pursuits, yet scarcely comprehensible in the limited modern scope of understanding history in the making before our very eyes.

He has fought in Brisbane, Australia and Macao, China and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as well as inaugurating the brand new Cowboy Stadium with 2 epic shutouts over Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito to establish Cowboy stadium as the premiere boxing stadium in the US not to mention his epic forays in Vegas. He goes to where the $$$ is, wisely I would say.

There is no modern great who brought the “great” fight to so many diverse peoples in this decade.

We didn’t know him at the start of 2000 when he was still fighting as a super bantamweight in the Philippines, but by 2001 this skinny little Filipino made his US debut at the new MGM in Vegas with a sensational KO for his first superbantam world title, kicking off the irresistible, irrevocable Manny Pacquiao era that has been with we the boxing folk, ever since. He may well have become the most internationally known boxing icon since he has basically opened up the vast 3 billion Asian market to boxing beyond their traditional Southeastern Asian boxing that has always been there.

Manny’s opponent list for 2010-2019:

20 Keith Thurman 29 0 0 MGM Grand, Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas
W-SD World Boxing Association Super World Welterweight Title

2019-01-19 Adrien Broner 33 3 1 MGM Grand, Las Vegas
W-UD World Boxing Association World Welterweight Title

2018-07-15 Lucas Martin Matthysse 39 4 0 Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur
W-TKO World Boxing Association World Welterweight Title

2017-07-02 Jeff Horn 16 0 1 Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
L-UD World Boxing Organisation World Welterweight Title

2016-11-05 Jessie Vargas 27 1 0 Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas
W-UD World Boxing Organisation World Welterweight Title

2016-04-09 Timothy Bradley Jr 33 1 1 MGM Grand, Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas
W-UD vacant World Boxing Organisation International Welterweight Title

2015-05-02 Floyd Mayweather Jr 47 0 0 MGM Grand, Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas
L-UD World Boxing Council World Welterweight Title
World Boxing Association Super World Welterweight Title
World Boxing Organisation World Welterweight Title

2014-11-23 Chris Algieri 20 0 0 Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort, Macao
W-UD World Boxing Organisation World Welterweight Title

2014-04-12 Timothy Bradley Jr 31 0 0 MGM Grand, Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas
W-UD World Boxing Organisation World Welterweight Title

2013-11-24 Brandon Rios 31 1 1 Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort, Macao
W-UD vacant World Boxing Organisation International Welterweight Title

2012-12-08 Juan Manuel Marquez 54 6 1 MGM Grand, Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas
L-KO

2012-06-09 Timothy Bradley Jr 28 0 0 MGM Grand, Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas
L-SD World Boxing Organisation World Welterweight Title

2011-11-12 Juan Manuel Marquez 53 5 1 MGM Grand, Las Vegas
W-MD World Boxing Organisation World Welterweight Title

2011-05-07 Shane Mosley 46 6 1 MGM Grand, Las Vegas
W-UD World Boxing Organisation World Welterweight Title

2010-11-13 Antonio Margarito 38 6 0 Cowboys Stadium, Arlington
W-UD vacant World Boxing Council World Super Welterweight Title

2010-03-13 Joshua Clottey 35 3 0 Cowboys Stadium, Arlington
W-UD World Boxing Organisation World Welterweight Title

With Pacquiao soon to be 41 years of age and entering his 4th fight decade, he will be looking in 2020 to make another great fight if he can, great being how he always tackles a brutal, blunt force sport in such a joyous manner against the best. He is the embodiment of The Alpha and The Omega of Boxing wrapped up in the most compactly framed welterweight in history.

Folks, Thurman was a young gun at the top of P4P lists until his health recovery interim, 29-0 in the full flower of his rejuvenated youth, yet Pacquiao steadily took the fight to him for 12 rounds, charging and prodding and then firing himself at Thurman with superhuman energy. Thurman, whose face was blotchy and bleeding before the end of the first round, did not know what to make of it; there’s no chance he’d ever experienced this form of relentless mayhem. He was in the ring with a maniacal fighter fighting for something nobody else can see, his beloved Filipino peoples.

Manny’s superhuman P4P strength is like that of the great Achilles, born flesh, blood, and bone to be controlled magnificently by a one off fighting brain and neurons that ultimately must succumb to the ravages of mortality as all mortals must do in their stages. So, in the interest of his health and that of his family, I propose he take the riches that an Amir Khan fight in Dubai would bring to settle the score against another fighter Mayweather ducked before riding off into the sunset of our yesteryears.  He will always be the most riveting fighter of his generation and for generations well past this one.

 

 

Adam Kownacki vs Chris Arreola~The Loser’s Bracket?

Heavyweight title contender Adam Kownacki  goes looking for more experience against former contender Chris Arreola at Barclay’s in Brooklyn, New York this Saturday, August 3rd.

This is the first of current “Loser’s Bracket” fight series even if Kownacki, 19-0, 15 KO, is undefeated. Poor Arreola, 33-5-1, 33 KO, has never in his career defeated a top 10 fighter, and at age 38 ain’t likely to start now, so now Kownacki’s judgement and willingness to fight the best has been called in for critical review after he turned down a life changing $5-6 Million to fight the undefeated British juggernaut and unified champ, Anthony Joshua. Kownacki has also never beat a top 10 contender, so his lack of confidence seems to be part of the spreading wildfire to ever more American based fighters also turning down Joshua life changing money such as the Cubano defector, Luis Ortiz, and Deontay TBA Wilder who may well qualify as the Biggest Idiot in America after turning down a stupendous $100 Million three fight deal offered by Eddie Hearn, more than 10X Deyonce’s career earnings. Brooklyn based Jarrell Big Baby Miller previously got the royal boot in his homecoming challenge against Joshua at Barclays when he stupidly got popped for multiple PEDs in advance of his title challenge.

Big British names Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte also turned down the Joshua title challenge, all of the above names angling to fight the more winnable WBC beltholder, Deyonce, in the future, the weakest link of the heavyweight titles. Folks, no need to lament the long gone glory of the American heavyweight era, it’s still there in film and print for those of us devoted to this once great division possessing scarcely a nanogram of public awareness in the American psyche in today’s modern construct. These current heavyweight scavengers are all circling their future roadkill emanating from the growing stink emanating from his WBC/TBA defenses.

Gonna be a whole lotta jigglin’ at Barclays when these two fatboys belly buck up to the scratch line. At least we still have Andy Ruiz Jr and Joshua soon hopefully hammering out a deal for the lucrative unified rematch between them. The first was a very underrated great fight, and the 2nd promises to be even better…In Boxing We Pray…

Mighty Mo Hooker vs Jose Yes I Can Ramirez

Mighty Mo is, of course, a native Texas born and bred Texas boy name of Maurice Hooker who looks to unify his WBO juniorwelt title with the WBC juniorwelt title of California born and bred Jose Carlos Ramirez in College Park Center, Arlington, Texas this Saturday, July 27th. This a rare win/win in advance of what looks like a good fight for both the fans and the fighters.

The 29 year old Mighty Mo, 26-0-3, 17KO, had a curiously long apprenticeship of 7 years before winning his first title, and now this will be his 3rd title defense. Jose “Yes I Can,” 24-0, 16 KO, is only 26 and a 2012 Olympian, yet curiously took almost as long to win his first title with this his 3rd defense, so on paper these two are like mirror boxing images.

One distinct advantage for Jose have been his trainers, the first being  Freddie Roach until  Robert Garcia took over in 2018. Mo’s trainer is Vincent Channing Para, an unknown to me. Another factor is Jose can be seen as the country boy growing up in a tiny agricultural community, and Mo the big city slicker if we want to have fun with regional Country Boy vs City Slicker stereotypes. Or Texas Saviors being the destination point for California Refugees fleeing the imperious cornflakiness of that state and so on and so forth.

They are both near the same height according to Boxrec and tall for the division, but Mo has a significant reach advantage of 80″ to Jose’s 72,” so I suspect in the ring face to face on fight night, Mo might actually be as much as 3″ taller. Mo important to Mo is he signed a lucrative deal with Eddie Hearn of DAZN notoriety, whereas Jose with Bob Arum’s Top Rank, meaning Jose by default is the hungrier fighter at this point…hmmm…Things could get mighty interesting from that standpoint.

And where do we go from here? Gonna have to body up to College Park Center in Arlington or subscribe to DAZN or bootleg an illegal stream if you want to see a good fight. Only the choicest of choices, it’s what’s for dinner this Saturday…only in boxing!

 

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