Terence Crawford In The Money Pot With Amir Khan

Terence Crawford gets a tiny taste of the money pot in what may be his biggest purse ever against the biggest name he has ever fought, Amir Khan. Crawford, 34-0, 25 KO puts his WBO bauble on the line. Khan, 33-4, 20 KO, has never fought for a welterweight world title and last held a junior welterweight title 7 years ago, but don’t cry for him Argentina. He makes outsized money just based on his name recognition, yet never managed to land his dream Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather Jr fights due to excessive purse demands.

On paper this fight looks like a blowout given that Crawford outstrips Khan in every natural fighting attribute known to mankind as well as in skills, but Khan, currently ranked #10 in Boxrec, does have fairly swift feet and can run and flurry with the best, so however long the fight lasts, it may well be a stinker. As their presser shows, Khan also seems to have some modest size advantage for this fight.

Crawford is signed to Top Rank and the ESPN+ platform for an unknown period, and with the majority of the best welters being signed by  Al Haymon who generally hates to even have his top fighters fight each other, “Bud” may well have to endure a frustrating period in his prime years watching fighters not as accomplished as him like Khan commanding larger purses while fighting lessor talents.

The fight all of boxing truly want to see is Crawford vs Errol Spence Jr, but the moguls who control the sport will seemingly be marinating that fight for a couple of years until perhaps a chink appears on one of the fighter’s arsenal.

The Good News is both Boxrec #1 Crawford and #2 Spence agree they want to fight each other, but for now a sacrificial lamb in the form of “King Khan” stands in their way with Crawford posed at the scratch line like a tiger in waiting for the first dinner bell to sound, so all is well for the here and the now with the future looking so bright and hopeful, we may all need to to be wearing shades…Enjoy!

VADA Knocks Out Big Baby Miller

Big Baby Miller got knocked out of the lucrative Anthony Joshua US debut by yet another specious VADA drug test. What’s up with that?

The marriage of the boxing suits with BALCO Vic’s VADA drug testing operation based in Vegas is making shambles out of a historically poorly run sport littered with n’er do wells and other assorted exploitative sociopaths. That overall boxing has proven to be cleaner than the combined megalith of the NFL/MLB/NBA is beyond question given that their drug testing amounts to cartoon standards. However the negative publicity generated by VADA and the boxing suits is bringing financial ruin to boxing not to mentioned the lifetime ruination of fighter reputations when found guilty of nanogram ghost traces of banned substances too often legal over the counter stuff or found in various foods.

In this latest Miller case, did it really take a month to return the results of a March 20th drug test? This is unacceptable oversight, and moreover the test values are seldom released because it’s becoming extremely embarrassing to see just how low level is the alleged contamination, not even the equivalent of a 4 year old kid stealing a gumball out of a candy jar.

So there is precious little drug testing transparency in boxing, and though the Miller substance cited is something I never heard of, GW1516, there’s a good chance it’s something found in typical over the counter stuff nutritional stuff including bottled “energy drinks” that moderns quaff in multitudes.

The irony of Miller accusing Joshua of  being a drug cheat hasn’t been lost on the toxic social media platforms, so perhaps some nonboxing Karma may be in play here. No matter the replacement fighter this June the 1st, Miller can kiss his thug persona in the ass as he delivers the latest illicit boxing drama. 

Jarrell Miller denied license by NYSAC, Anthony Joshua seeks replacement foe

Vasiliy Lomachenko Continues Comeback vs Anthony Crolla

Vasiliy Lomachenko looks to continue his post surgery comeback when he defends his WBA/WBO titles against a former title holder, Englishman Anthony Crolla, this Friday, April 12th@Staples Center, Los Angeles.

Bit odd having Loma fight on a Friday that makes me think his shoulder may still be a bother after shoulder surgery, hence a fight against a guy nobody has heard of in LA. In his last outing, Lomachenko was still pretty much a one armed fighter that sorta bodes ill for his future, so by necessity this is not designed as a superfight like most of his fights have been since he turned pro. By now he’s Ring P4P #1 and well established as a very rare, very elite fighter with very rare and very elite skills that have largely proved to be baffling to his previous opponents and absolutely amazing to boxing aficionados who understand the sweet science.

I expect the 32 year old Crolla to provide quality rounds as a benchmark to let us know where Loma’s health is. He’s well experienced, currently 34-6, 13 KO, and a bigger, stronger, and quite durable former title holder and won’t go meekly as many opponents did by their end against Lomachenko.

With over 300 amateur fights and competing to as near to perfection as possible in that venue, the 31 year old Lomachenko is generally acknowledged as the best ever amateur, so it may be time to prepare for a soft landing and retirement since all our mortal bodies, no matter how strong and well trained, eventually wear down before breaking down, and not necessarily in that order. That’s an unbelievable amount of time at the highest level obtainable. His pro record looks spare, 12-1, 9 KO, but it’s packed with 12 world title bouts. 

I’d think most fans and insiders in boxing appreciate the art of Lomachenko’s aggressive matchmaking that has upended the usual novice boxing developmental model. A bout with the 40+ Manny Pacquiao, currently ranked as the #8 P4P and #3 Boxrec welterweight just below Ring P4Per welters Terence Crawford and Errol Spence, has been floated by Bob Arum as a superfight for a few years now. It could be made at 140 lbs to provide the perfect vehicle for a well deserved retirement for both, but will they ever take it?

In the here and now, “Million Dollar” Crolla serves up a decent enough fight for a minor viewing spectacle showcasing sublime Lomachenko skills that kicks both he and boxing down the road for further development. Stay tuned.

Bobby Mac Sez This Ain’t Yer Pappy’s Top Ten Heavyweights in History!

A directive was recently issued to me, that of a compilation of the greatest top 10 heavyweights of all time, a daunting task for the serious aficionado full of disputation to be sure. The criteria ain’t specified other than the assumption of my own unique perspective, so with me and myself having seen and made so many such lists as to become fuzzy over time, I am going to recreate two lists based on two distinct criteria; that of the overall excellence of record, and that of looking at heavies who had the biggest impact on boxing and the world in which they lived, both leavened with the unique opportunities and obstacles of their eras.

The first list is the boxing and world impact, both of which have the biggest influence in boxing.

1.Joe Louis…It don’t get any bigger worldwide than the rematch with Max Schmeling on the eve of WW2 in a bout that was relayed worldwide via the nascent radio of the era. Joe was the first black American heavyweight the overwhelming white majority could rally around and set the stage for the post WW2 integration of Major League Baseball and the US armed forces and subsequent civil rights movements. Need I add that Joe was also a major inspiration in the development of Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King as young boys avidly listening to his fights on the radio?

2.The Klitschko brothers…Their collective was 109-7, 94 KO and never once took a ten count that averages ot to 55-4, 47 KO. Between them they moved the heavyweight division to Germany and knocked Don King out of the heavy division to usher in the continuing saga of East European dominance of the heavier boxing divisions.

3.Bob Fitzsimmons…A rare trifecta of being part the first proposed full length feature cinematographic project by Thomas Edison’s Black Maria Studio, the first title fight against James J Corbett to be held in Dallas, Texas, circa 1895 that was cancelled when the Texas Legislature made prize fighting illegal. The always overly dramatic Corbett publicly forfeited his title that was then fought over near Langtry, Texas by Fitz and Peter Maher.

Maher had previously claimed the forfeited Corbett title in November of 1895 against Steve O’Donnell with a 1st rd KO. Fitz and Maher were situated in 1896 on a spit island in the middle of the Rio Grande(Bravo) for the first failed full length feature cinematographic project by Thomas Edison. Tragically the crew could not not get properly set up in misty conditions before Maher became his own victim of a first round KO as his claims to the title transferred to Ruby Robert. Whatever may have been filmed has thus far been lost in time though hope springs eternal that it may possibly turn up.

The 1897 Corbett vs Fitz fight held in Reno, Nevada, the first ever successful full length feature film that additionally became the first ever national and international blockbuster that established art of cinematography permanently in the world. Subsequently James J Jeffries helped develop the art of cinematography further when he knocked out Fitz to claim the title though sadly almost all of the Jeffries film has be either lost or waiting to be rediscovered. The first non boxing blockbuster featuring actors was The Great Train Robbery 6 years later in 1903, a film of only 10 minutes for perspective that introduced the first ever silent screen star to the public, Bronco Billy.

4.John L Sullivan, 39-1-1, 33 KO. John L was the first and only unified Bareknucks and Gloved Queensbury champ and the first American to consolidate titles that had previously belonged exclusively to the British. John L first set up the worldwide heavyweight stage in a growing age of literacy and media expansion, where they remained save for a nanoblip by Ingemar Johansson for a century before Lennox Lewis upset the American monopoly.

5A.Jack Dempsey, 55-6-8, 45 KO. Established the modern spectacle of boxing that is seldom matched and never exceeded.

5B.Muhammad Ali, 56-5, 37 KO. Perhaps the 2nd best known fighter in the world only exceeded by the modern phenomenon of Manny Pacquiao and his 3 billion Asian population base enhanced with modern communication broadcasting.

5C.Mike Tyson, 50-6, 44 KO. Youngest ever champ who cleaned up the derelict post Ali era to unify the titles and temporarily wipe Don King’s slate clean. He had already held the record for career purse earnings before King and Robin Givens ever sunk their claws into him.

OK, now, and what about the greatest records?

1.Joe Louis, 66-3, 52 KO. Nominally his 26(27)-1 heavyweight title records were exceeded, but, overall never surpassed. The 27th was Lee Savold who claimed both the white heavy title and the BBBC heavyweight title that Joe is seldom credited with after knocking him out.

2.The Klitschko brothers, 109-7, 94 KO and bukos title fights with nary a 10 count between them. Collectively they smashed the Louis record, and though individually Wlad exceeded his total career heavyweight title fights, he fell short of the overall Louis record. They may well hold the heavyweight record of the most winning rounds scored as overmatched opponents seldom penetrated their defense.  More importantly they put down Don King for years of 10 counts and transferred heavyweight title fights to Germany-HERESY to be sure!

3.Rocky, 49-0, 43 KO. The most iconic record in all of boxing. My next door neighbor who knows shinola about boxing can recite Rocky’s record like a mantra.

4.Sam Langford, 178-29-39, 126 KO. Mere numerical records FAIL to capture Sam’s greatness, not the least being the sheer number of fights he had against HOF fighters that greatly exceed all such fights by other fighters.

5.Anthony Joshua, 22-0, 21 KO. Going into his 8th title fight as a unified belt holder, no heavyweight as yet has done as much with such a limited number of fights. I always like to include a current great in rankings just to PO dusty mossbacks not understanding that all the greats in the making were moderns in their day as Josh is.

Consolidating the two lists by working backwards using my fighter ratings as their points totals, that’s Josh with 5 points, Sam with 4 points, Rocky with 3 points, The Ks with 2, and Louis with 1.

Then we have Dempsey, Ali, and Tyson tied with 5 each, John L with 4, Fitz at 3, the Ks at 2 and Louis at 1.

Adding up the two lists with fighters not appearing on both lists being assigned a place value of 6 to keep my rankings on keel, That’s Louis 1+1 with 2 pts, the Ks 2+2 with 4, Fitz 3+6 with 9, John L 4+6 with 10, Dempsey, Ali, and Tyson, all 5+6 with 11 each, Josh 5+6 with 11, Sam with 10, Rocky with 7. Divided by 2 to get the final point rankings in numerical order:Louis 1, Ks 2, Rocky 3.5, Fitz 4.5, John L 5, Sam 5, and Dempsey, Ali, Tyson, and Josh 5.5

Translated into standard numerical ranking order:Louis 1, Ks 2, Rocky 3, Fitz 4, John L 5A and Sam 5B, Dempsey, Ali, Tyson, and Joshua 7A, 7B, 7C, 7 D.

So technically that 11 heavyweights if we split the Klitschko brothers, but they were such a dominating force in boxing that they really have to be consolidated as one unit to understand their impact.

Honorable mention goes to Manny Pacquiao who has a super duty heavyweight heart encapsulated into that compact frame. He’s become a huge name both here and in the largest potential boxing market in the world, the Asian culture. His dynamic style and willingness to take on, beat, and knock out the most Ring P4Pers in history at the start of the 3rd Millennium after being born into one of the poorest families in history in the 3rd world resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of career purses, most of which was returned to his native peoples in the forms of schools, hospitals, and other desperately needed infrastructure developments as well as holding Congressional duties as well as too many other interests to stagger reality.

Yeah, I know it ain’t yer Pappy’s top 10 heavyweight rankings, but I ain’t much for feeling like your pappy. It’s my list and the one I’m sticking with for now since their is no agreement on how to rank fighters. I at least gave my methodology combining two important elements. Another ranking method many use is who beats who in a fantasy fight. While interesting from various physical and stylistic attributes, seldom do these rankers specify uniform rules and rounds that would average out the wide ranging eras of  the competing fighters and always disputes as to who beats who even before fighters glove up with each other today.

Fighting is the nature of boxing!

The Greatest “What If” Project in Boxing~David Price

The Greatest “What If” Project in Heavyweight Boxing, David Price, will be fighting a young, presumably game never was, Kash Ali, as an undercard support in Liverpool, England this Saturday, March 30th.

“Pricey” as he is still affectionately known by Brits has a record of 23-6, 19 KOs with all his losses by KO. That’s 29 fights total featuring 25 total KOs, a 83% KO win percentage with a total 86% of his fights ending in a KO win or lose.

Kash has a 15-0, 7 KO record against a “who’s that” cast of jelly beans. The only nondescript fighter he faced with a winning record he did manage to knock out though.

In comparison, Price is a 2008 Olympic Bronze medal winner who after several years of careful development, fired up in a meteoric flash across boxing’s horizon with resounding KOs of fellow fringe contender, Tom Dallas, followed by highly credentialed Brits, John McDermott, Sam Sexton, Audley Harrison, and Matt Skelton over a 2 year span. The world was his oyster as fans ooohed and ahhhed his every conclussive, concussive knockout to anoint him the savior and uncrowned champion of heavyweight boxing.

Alas, Tony Thompson, a cagey, highly experienced American southpaw makes his first of 2 entries to knock Pricey into Never Never Land that started Price’s 8-6 run with nary a win over a decent opponent while losing every step up fight. Previously adoring fans were now ravaging him over the internet, but his loyal fans remained steady, and so now he is at another seminal junction not only in his career, but as in Kash Ali’s career as well. Who you got?

Little Man Mikey Garcia Fires Up For Big Man Errol Spence

T’is the silly season raining down upon us for 2019 when Little Man Mikey Garcia challenges Big Man Errol Spence Jr for a whole lot more than his IBF bauble in Jerry’s World@Cowboy Stadium, Texas this Saturday, March 16th. To paraphrase a noted American political leader best forgotten, “It’s the legacy, stupid!”

Note the planned pose here when a surprise presser announced this unexpected fight. Mikey being out in front enhances his size while also reducing the comparative size of Spence.

Could it be fortuitous for Mikey and Boxing to duck that fateful Ides of March day when Brutus was fatally stabbed in the back by young lean and hungry Cassius?

Or more probably piling on disastrous? After all, they will conduct the weighin on the Ides of March where Mikey officially debuts his SNAC enhanced body for the literati and illiterati alike to carefully inspect so as to further shape their odds of winning.

And, yes, I must confess that I remain skeptical of Mikey’s chances, but I must applaud his reach. “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what’s a heaven for?” Or perhaps “How sad and bad and mad it was – but then, how it was sweet,” both courtesy of that great bard Robert Browning who was blessed with much wisdom before our times. Four division champ Mikey has been dancing around with lesser talents between lightweight and juniorwelterweight, but in both talent and size wise, the still untested  southpaw Spence would appear a bridge too far, or at least so say I in conjunction with most everyone who follows the sport.

My biggest regret of this fight is to see a super savvy family pro boxing team now headed by former champ Roberto Garcia spanning several decades of top level experience fall for the disgraced shaman of the notorious BALCO PEDs scandal, Victor Conte. The miscreant heads the physical training facility of the modern science of weight gains, strength, and speed enhanced with his VADA sponsored SNAC PEDs and high tech training routines, ie intermittent hypoxic training to simulate high-altitude conditions without the drawbacks of dangerous high-altitude climates. A hypoxicator mask pumps low levels of oxygen into Garcia’s lungs, literally starving him of oxygen before immersing him in yet another chamber infused with extra oxygen to rebuild him. There’s also the SNAC Dome, a huge structure capable of approximating altitudes as high as 20,000 feet for him to work out in. The idea is to artificially increase increase production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to the body.

Used to be athletes could steadily draw their own blood for storage, and then centrifuge a dense cluster out and inject their own blood back into their bodies, but athletes using their own blood is considered cheating, yet using VADA approved PEDs and a multimillion dollar facility to get the same is perfectly legal, I mean go figure how these modern scammers get away with this right in front of the public eye?

http://www.espn.com/boxing/story/_/id/26220284/how-mikey-garcia-overhauled-training-fight-thought-take

It’s sorta like, “When is cheating not cheating?”

Answer: When cheating laundered through Uncle Vic’s SNAC supplements and training program sad to say. Poor third world boys need not apply, but rock and movie stars are always a welcome bonus in the off hours, especially when they come bearing grrls…only in boxing!!!

Nuevo SNAC Mikey

Nuevo SNAC Mikey

Win, lose, or draw, Spence will be the loser in that it’s already been near etched in stone that he will win the fight in a dominant way. In the Ring Poll of experts though, Mikey got surprisingly strong results, 15 for Spence, mostly by KO, with 8 for Mikey, and one Draw. Spence probably got more money to go to England to dethrone Kell Brook for the IBF belt, and although this will be another stellar payday and his biggest exposure of his career, the average American will be wondering. “Why is Spence picking on a little guy?”

Answer: The little guy aggressively clamored for the challenge and brings the $$$$$$$$, so of course Spence has to take the money or look foolish for ducking the little tyke. On a P4P basis, they are oddly juxtaposed mirror images of each other in Ring and Boxrec P4P ratings with Spence being 10th and 7th respectively, and Mikey 7th and 10th.

Also interesting to note that Spence ain’t signed onto WBC’s clean boxing program that was alleged to be mandatory for champs and contenders, meaning that since he already owns the IBF belt, he falls into that gray area of WBC rules. According to Conte he’s got strict implementation of drug testing for Mikey who is signed on, but presumably Spence falls under a different set of rules, and none of this is what the boneheads in the media used to screech about when TUE 50-0 and Golden Boy first made false claims of wanting to do “Olympic Drug Testing” to clean up boxing, so this fight is not only highlighting their own ignorance of the science of drug testing, but that of the media and fans becoming so dumbed down these days they have to rely on illicit punch monkey stats to bolster their speculations.

An unknown to me, Derrick James, is the Spence trainer, so given the level of success they have had, he must be developing into a good trainer, but definitely as a larger team, Mikey has a massive advantage. I don’t know if Spence carries a physical trainer and nutritionist through his training camps to offset that Mikey advantage.

One of the better developments in boxing is the ongoing development of Ring’s new female wunderkind, Cynthia Conte, here interviewing the B side of this promotion in this youtube clip. She has a breathless, zany kind of disarming feminine charm to to draw out sometimes reticent fighters into the limelight for a good personality profile.

So, with Spence expected to win, just how does Mikey go about his craft to wrest the title from him?

I would suggest Mikey keep the action fast and furious inside to negate as much power as he can. He’s most open to being picked apart by power shots at distance. If he can aggressively make Spence move in reverse for some good punching space, that might look like Spence is running from the smaller fighter. Duran managed to carry a lead on the cards after 12 rds with Hagler that forced Marv into a furious rally the last 3 rds that pulled out that fight for him. Most were giving Duran no chance before the first bell, so sometimes the herding instinct in the boxing media to gather around the obvious can betray them. Yeah, on paper it’s all Spence, but Mikey ain’t gonna be reading no damn paper, so I don’t discount his chances no matter how slim they may look.

And 50,000 screaming yahoos bouncing off the roof in Jerry’s World may well have some say so too!!! This fight could well set the stage for more big stadium fights. 

How about some fun with some Mugshots? Spence looks like a lazy country boy ready to fall asleep on the job at the first lull, and Mikey looks like a serial killer destined for Death Row.

Regardless, both seem to have a high degree of respect for each other and for the art and the craft of boxing, so I expect no lowbrow monkey business between them at the weigh in, but of course the pressure dynamics of such a big fight as this may disrupt their tranquility for some unsavory outbursts, so we shall see.

We the people wish to pray for a fairly officiated boxing classic, so let’s see if our reach and their grasp can exceed that of the new boxing normal currently in derelict disarray to show us what God is for…

Just Another Joe Named Smith Earns DAZN Debut

The American working class hero Joe Smith Jr will finally be graced with his first title challenge against one of the toughest, most accomplished lightheavies in the division, WBA champ Dmitry Bivol, Saturday, March 9th@Turning Stone Resort & Casino, Verona, New York.

Joe, who is currently 17th ranked in boxrec, wandered off of a construction site in New York City to first take the boxing world by storm when he obliterated Andrzej Fonfara, an established contender often credited with beating up WBC champ Adonis Stevenson to no credit by the judges. That mission accomplished, his team waited for title shot offers that either never came, or tried to lowball this gritty fighter emerging out of nowhere, but one fighter targeted him for his easy retirement fight. Bernard Hopkins was looking for an easy mark like the raw, untutored construction worker to low blow, butt open and otherwise monkey around with to the cheers of the motley n’er do wells who populate the Hopkins fan base.

Alas, the best laid plans of mice and boxing exploitation men found them unexpectedly derailed after the grittiest, most comprehensive Knockout of the decade, blasting Hopkins helplessly through the ropes onto the concrete floor below. Women were sobbing as the sobering reality of Hopkins’ Grand Finale sunk in.

Bivol chose a more conventional boxing route from his birthplace of Kyrgyzstan to that of Russia where much boxing opportunity exists for the youth to pursue. Bivol is 28 years of age, and Joe 29, so they are in their traditional athletic primes. Joe has certainly got enough boxing skills to knock out just about anyone, but has been held back by his Achilles heel, that of an easily fractured chin, something less than sharp hitters than Bivol have accomplished in the past.

Just looking at the face off you can see the incredible thickness of Joe’s neck in comparison. He’s taller than his boxrec 6-0, so how he makes 175 lbs with that amount of musculature is the story of modern boxing. I don’t recall anyone listing his fight weight, but I would suggest over 190 lbs. That’s British promoter Eddie Hearns who was one of the players instrumental in launching the game changing DAZN streaming platform.

All I can say is it’s about time boxing manned up to Joe with a title shot and this one has a chance to be a doozy. Good luck gentlemen. May the best man win.

 

 

Chayaphon Moonsri Shines Brightly on Tatsuya Fukuhara

Chayaphon Moonsri, 52-0 continues to bury the Floyd TUE 50-0 Mayweather Jr perfect record as he defends his WBC minimumweight title against Japanese challenger Tatsuya Fukuhara, 21-6-6, 7 KO, Friday, March 29th in Thailand.

This is the tiniest division in boxing, but perhaps more notably is that Fukuhara is a southpaw and this a rematch of his decision loss two years ago. Fukuhara is boxrec ranked #10, and Moonsri is #1 or 2 depending on Boxrec’s daily updates. Fukuhara is ranked #9 by Ring, and Moonsri #2 by Ring, currently near 8 consecutive years of rankings, an outstanding achievement in consistency.

Oh, and Moonsri’s alias in the dizzying fashion of Thailand’s multiple naming cultures is Wanheng Menayothin, making it hard for Americans to keep up with Thai boxing even if they have an interest in the tiny division.

I guess it’s no secret that Moonsri is favored and likely to win, but I suppose there could be an upset. He’s only 32 years of age with 210 rounds in the bank, but the incessant call of wine, women, and song can topple the best fighter when he passes that tipping point, but for now, it’s Fukuhara he has to do the business on.

 

 

 

All Brit Grudge Match~Chris Eubank Jr vs James DeGale

Fallen Rising Star Chris Eubank Jr finds himself in a handbag slanging match against former champ, James DeGale this Saturday, February 23rd@O2 ArenaGreenwich  “mean” time, the standard reference point by “wich” the 24 global time zones use to set their own 24 hour day.

The southpaw DeGale, who turned pro as a lauded Olympian gold medalist, won and then defended a vacated IBF title a few times before losing, but then winning it back before vacating. Stylistically he was a lackluster snoozer in his boxing performances and may be a bit jaded by now, perhaps only motivated by the barbarous slings and arrows hurled his way by Junior.

As to Junior, he seems to have the requisite summation of fine physical attributes and conditioning to be a well regarded champ, yet also has under performed, seemingly never having learned how to fully box and utilize sound ring strategy, nor being a “natural born” fighter to pull him out of the abyss, an attribute that most of the greats had. Blame is generally offloaded onto Chris Eubank Sr, a brilliant and stylistically and intellectually bizarre boxer of British legend who stands accused of stealing all the limelight in Junior’s fight corner by his incessant ring posing and posturing in his role as manager and trainer.

Not all has been woe and gloom and doom for Junior, after all he did win an IBO supermiddleweight bauble with a somewhat credible performance over the ancient German great, Arthur Abraham before defending and then losing his title much like DeGale lost his. It is this “lost” IBO title that will be fought for.

The undercard features latest of the supersized British heavyweight prospects when Olympic silver medalist Joe Joyce aims to step sprightly down the well trod path of the grizzled 40 year old former WBC champ circling the drain these past few years, Bermane Stiverne. “B’Ware” seems to have lost most of his few skills and punch resistance, yet remains hungry for another dance on the championship stage that he held for a nanosecond. The boxing aphorism here is that power is the last thing to leave a fighter, so the thought is Stiverne may have a slight punching chance, but that’s pretty much it for him barring that miracle.

Junior in his last week before the fight announced he’d signed a 3 fight deal with mogul puppetmaster Al Haymon, so perhaps now has more financial motivation than ever on paper, but if DeGale upsets him, DeGale could cash in on his next fight if he chooses. That’s the way boxing works, so here the fighters only need to step to the scratch line for a mighty fine opportunity.

 

 

 

 

Sergey Kovalev to Avenge His Eleider Alvarez Defeat?

Sergey Krusher Kovalev has bravely claimed his rematch clause against his victor, Eleider Storm Alvarez, to be held at The Ford Center at The Star, Frisco, Texas this Saturday, February 2nd. That’s in the Dallas Cowboys headquarters compound and training facility for the uninitiated. The WBO Lightheavy title is the bauble at stake, but the pride of avenging a catastrophic loss against Alvarez may steal the show with another knock down, drag out fight like the first ended.

In that fight, Kovalev was mauling the game but hapless Alvarez until the worm turned. It was and is the only legit KO on Kovalev’s record, and Alvarez deserves all his accolades as he became dynamically explosive and concussively conclusive, the best kind of win to have with no shaky judges involved. In any rematch, especially an immediate one after such a devastating loss, the whole world changes for the fighters. The loser has to rebuild both his strategy and psychology as the winner navigates all the backslappers and new “friends” wanting to hang with his new eminence.

The tough Colombian Alvarez now resides in much cushier digs in Montreal than he grew up in. He’s 24-0 with 12 KOs, so he not a big puncher and thus cannot count on a return bout KO. Can he change his strategy to actually outbox Kovalev?

There have also been a plethora of rich and famous lifestyle changes for Kovalev that include a serious felony assault charge of causing a grievous injury to a woman that we found out belatedly was the unknown backdrop going into the first Alvarez fight. As to boxing adjustments, he had already ditched his long time trainer John David Jackson before the Andre Ward rematch. That left him without any gravitas in his corner when Ward commenced a comprehensive low blow body attack in one of the most shameless refereeing efforts seen in the sorry Vegas venue by Tony Weeks. The cards were split at the stoppage 67-66 x2 for Ward and 68-65 for Kovalev, so we can clearly see the illicit strategy was needed to quell Kovalev who was the “People’s” consensus winner in the first fight in spite of being saddled by the boxing suits with his first loss.

Kovalev didn’t need to take the pauper’s purse of those two Ward fights, and certainly didn’t need an immediate rematch of a hard knockout loss against Alvarez, but apparently the fighter in him left him with no other choices. Alvarez couldn’t just abandon his hard fought title and newly found respect without a fight, so here we go again.

For this fight Kovalev is under the tutelage of the respected former fighter now trainer, Buddy McGirt, so he’s got the corner gravitas back. The fighters only need to make weight today before resting up, and then on to Saturday and (((BooM))) as fists start flying. Who ya got?