Tag Archives: ibf

All My Precious~ Kell “Special One” Brook vs Errol “The Truth” Spence

Kell Brook, 36-1, 25 KO, defends his IBF welter title in Bramall Lane Football Ground (outdoors), Sheffield, Yorkshire against American interloper, Errol Spence Jr, 21-0, 18 KO, this Saturday, May 27th. This comes on the heels of the tragic terrorist attack not so far away in Manchester at a concert venue last week.

Large gatherings of western peoples are the new candy for these terrorist organizations. While this wasn’t one the bigger fights that could be made this year, it is a decent scrap between 2 Ring top 10 rated fighters, so I’d expect attendance to be down because of last week’s attacks, but Brits are a funny, stubborn folk who may well rally round their fighter to storm the Bramall grounds.

Brook has been going at it since 2004, yet thus far has little to show save his dubious win over Shawn Porter in as ugly a performance as could be had. His moniker is “The Special One,” perhaps in tribute to the voluminous Gollum  “My Precious” references in Lord of the Rings, but who can say in this era of fighters choosing their monikers instead of fans assigning them based on fighting style as happened in most of the history of boxing.

Spence has been going at it since 2012, so he should be vastly under prepped against such an experienced foe with 8 years more experience, but nope, they’re about even in top level comp won. His moniker is “The Truth,” perhaps in honor of former heavyweight contender Carl The Truth Williams who started fast as a blazing young prospect and contender only to become too quickly derailed.

 Picked Spencer in my predictor league, but in boxing, between the KO stopper and crooked officiating, in what is close to an even fight, any result could occur. Let us pray for a safe and secured facility for the fighters and fans and let the fighters decide the result in a more fairly waged contest of wills and skills.

So, there it is for all My Precious, Special, Truthers: “The Special One vs The Truth.”

All My Precious: The Truth vs Special One

All My Precious: The Truth vs Special One

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Manny Pacquiao Giving Free Passes to Title Fight?

Manny Pacquiao, the esteemed Senator, fighter, fight promoter, pro basketball player and coach, recording artist and movie star and all around raconteur seems to be opening the doors of his latest fight promotion in the Philippines.

McJoe Arroyo, 17-0, 8 KO, defends his newly won IBF superflyweight title in Taguig City on the outskirts of Manilla September 3rd against Jerwin Ancajas24-1-1, 16 KO. Sounds like a really great fight, but the language used on the fightnews article made it sound like a freebie. Could it be yet another example of the legendary largess of Pacquiao passed along to his people?

Sounds great even if I have to pay, but alas, that round trip air fare and hotel fare is killer. Oh to be a Filipino for one day. Maybe some day!

“”The fight will be held at the Philippine Navy Gymnasium in Taguig City and will open to the public as a gift of Sen. Manny Pacquiao to fight fans.””

McJoe Arroyo arrives in Manila

 

 

Hercules Cleaning Out Al Haymon Stables~Anthony Joshua vs Dominic Breazeale

IBF Heavy Champ Anthony Joshua, 16-0, 16 KO,  ever more looking to be a modern day Hercules cleaning out Al Haymon‘s stable of heavyweights, defends against Dominic Breazeale, 17-0, 15 KO, at the O2 Arena (Millenium Dome), Greenwich, London, Saturday, June 25.

Joshua looking American & Breazeale looking British, go figure...

Joshua looking American & Breazeale looking British, go figure…

The USurper Breazeale wants us to know that he’s no Charles Martin, the soft Haymon heavyweight that Joshua blew out in two rounds two months ago. Well, bully good for Breazeale to step up for this title shot, however in his last fight where he did indeed step up for the first time against a 43 year old southpaw fringe contender, Amir Mansour, it is exceedingly rare to see a fighter so greatly outclassed as was Breazeale. Mansour swept the first five rounds on the judges’ scorecards by 50-44, 50-44, 50-44, even knocking down Breazeale in the third round for a 10-8 round.

Mansour, however, was so sick with the flu before the fight that he could barely breathe, so his trainers gave him a mouthpiece fitted for his upper teeth only. That contributed to what proved to be a disastrous injury when he almost bit tongue in half during the 2nd round when Breazeale caught him. It remains a mystery how the partial mouthpiece was even allowed by the California State Athletic Commision other than to note these are the same knucklenoggins who approved Antonio Margarito handwraps that turned out to be loaded with a few plaster crumbles in an insert. Nobody in these commissions is ever publicly reprimanded for these rules violations that they are supposed to be screening for, which begs the question, why are they even there if all they are is empty suits?

As the fight finally played out, Mansour had to retire on his stool after gulping a quart of his blood. He was rushed off to the hospital to undergo five hours of surgery requiring 36 stitches to sew everything together. Amazing the amount of heart he showed under such painfully debilitating conditions to dominate for as long as he did.

So while we have to credit the 30 year old Breazeale for enduring such a terrible beatdown, and he did come up with some big punches that hastened the end over his wounded prey, as far as demonstrable skill levels goes as to what normally constitutes a contender, he miserably FAILED his first real test. Thus the prime aged, rampaging Joshua will be the big favorite with Breazeale in desperate need of a Hail Mary punch.  If the flabby Breazeale makes it halfway through round four, the “over” wagers would triple their money, so the oddsmakers are anticipating a huge flux of wagers on the KO of Breazeale before 3.5 rds is up.

That’s just the way it is for this one. If the 26 year old Joshua’s ego doesn’t swell up up beyond containment from the ease of his victories, and he stays in training and progressing, he could finish out as one of the best ever and maybe even undefeated to boot. Gonna be a platoon of big boys out there in his future just waiting for that one shot to obliterate him, so this one more step at a time, easy as she goes sailor.

The Mesomorph vs The Endomorph

The Mesomorph vs The Endomorph

Joseph Parker To Tangle With Carlos Takam

Joseph Parker, 18-0, 16 KO, takes on his most difficult challenge yet when he tangles with Carlos Takam, 33-2-1, 25 KO, in a 12 round heavyweight IBF elimination bout, Saturday, May 21 at the Vodafone Events Centre, Manukau City, New Zealand. The winner gets a crack at the winner of the upcoming Anthony Joshua IBF title defense against Dominic Breazeale.

Carlos Takam vs Joseph Parker

Carlos Takam vs Joseph Parker

Takam, a 35 year old France based Cameroonian, gave former WBA champ Alexander Povetkin one of his toughest fights in 2014 before succumbing. Listed on Boxrec just under 6-3 and in the 240 lb range, here he is standing slightly back from the listed 6-4, 240 lb Parker, so even allowing for that diminishing perspective factor, likely Takam is slightly shorter than listed and/or Parker slightly taller.

No matter, it’s who wins that matters to the fighters, not size differences which are but one of a myriad factors in any fight. New Zealand born and recently relocated to Las Vegas,  the 24 year old Parker is the young gun projected to be the favorite and the winner, but even at his best it’s likely to be a tough bout for him. It goes without saying that Takam is the hungrier, more experienced fighter here, a very dangerous proposition for any heavyweight no matter how credentialed.

We’ll see how well Parker responds to this new challenge of Takam that both need to advance further through the ranks, so fair play all and a big thanks from the boxing public for making such a good bout.

Al Haymon Ships Charles Martin Down Big River For Anthony Joshua?

In a surprise move by the always hidden under ground and out of sight of daylight, garlic, and holy crosses, Al Hayman, he has struck a landmark deal to ship his freshly crowned IBF heavyweight champ, Charles Martin, across the pond to defend against Anthony Joshua , Saturday, April 9th at O2 Arena Millenium Dome, Greenwich, London.

BTW, noted boxing scribe Thomas Hauser after his wonderful expose of the Floyd Mayweather TUE drug testing debacle, has compounded that seminal work with another 5 part series on the mystery of Al Haymon here:

What we know about Al Haymon: Part V

Why is this fight so surprising you might inquire? Well, Hayman has proven to be the antithesis of a bold, high risk promoter as far as the fights he makes, generally preferring his large stable of fighters to fight each other in “shooting fish in a barrel” type productions where the favored fighter takes little risk against the lesser. Charles Martin scored big time when in spite of doing next to nothing in the ring for his title shot, his hapless opponent, Vyacheslav Glazkov, ended up mysteriously collapsing in a severe knee tear. Probably it was a long time disability that his team hid hoping to last long enough to make the scratch line for a rare opportunity to go up against the raw, untutored Martin for a bogus title that was stupidly stripped from Tyson Fury.

Charles Martin vs Anthony Joshua

Charles Martin vs Anthony Joshua

The diminutive chap behind beltholder Martin above is a long time personal chef to the wealthy now turned boxing manager, Paul Cain, a scouser from Merry Olde England in another very odd couple type of pairing for boxing. Martin is the rawest of the raw type of talent with little amateur background to speak of, but here he’ll be, blinking in disbelief at his career high purse and media frenzy most fighters could only dream of. The highly credentialed Olympic Superheavy Gold Medalist, Joshua, has already been able to parlay his accolades into gobs of high level pro sparring and fights for stellar pro development and big purses. It’s almost an unfair fight save for the unknown X factor that Charles may have hidden deep with his wellspring, just waiting for the right moment for greatness to emerge.

Both Martin and Joshua seem likable, hardworking gents overall compared to the many bad apples in boxing, so my take is that win lose or draw, each should grow further into the division. Joshua of course is the overwhelming favorite as the local hero in a hometown environment for him. Few fights this year will ever be as big and raucous with the potential to sell out this high end sports and entertainment centre, so Martin will certainly be starstruck, a big handicap to overcome, but the adrenaline rush come first bell should wash away those stars. Americans have traditionally been reluctant to travel because their dominant boxing history allowed them to control the venues and officiating, but it’s a new, softer American era now as the easy going Martin represents with his doughboy profile in the ring. Joshua will look like Hercules in comparison. No matter, these are two, really big, modern superheavyweights, so Martin being a little tubby is not a big deal in the 12 round title era, but for now rather more indicative of his relatively new entrance into boxing. He was a carpenter and shipping clerk as recently as 2012 if I extrapolate his background correctly.

In a Big Boy fight like this, both around the 6-6, 250 lb mark, one punch is more likely to completely change the argument more than any other division. Stay tuned to the local channel near you come fight night as it will be widely available in the UK, Europe, and US. 

Fall Fireworks~Gennedy Golovkin vs David Lemieux

The somewhat under appreciated David Lemieux has surprisingly agreed to put up his freshly minted IBF middleweight bauble against the WBC/WBA baubles of new age juggernaut Gennady Golovkin in what promises to be a fan friendly slug’em up. That would be at Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, Saturday, October 17th, supposedly on HBO PPV which ain’t shabby fare for an Armenian-Frenchman from Montreal and a refuge from Kazakhstan. Them fur’nrs is takin’ over American Boxing, and thank goodness for that or we would never have any decent fights in the US.

That said, Lemieux, who gamely fought his way back from ignominy after a couple of stinging losses, me thinks he’s well overmatched here. He used to be listed as having only has a 64 inch reach, meaning he has to be in pretty close to land any punches regardless of what his short reach really is. Golovkin is unfortunately for him the superior long distance sharpshooter who likely boxes in a technical, counterpunching way to let his natural power eventually take out Lemieux who will be charging in like a bull, but now a more mature and nuanced bull, so Golovkin needs to be very careful. It’s a shame really to see Lemieux sacrificed so early in his career just as he reached the top echlon, but then I get the feeling he’s near the best he’ll ever be and may not be planning on a long future in boxing. Then again he may prove to be the bull in this china closet, shattering the expectations of all his naysayers as he as been doing most of his career.

So take the money now and leave the rest to sort itself out later in the fight as the saying goes by real fighters, a dying breed in the boxing world these days.

The Hawaiian Punch

The Hawaiian Punch

The supporting undercard is a very dynamic and perhaps somewhat mysterious bout between the acclaimed, fast rising, undefeated, newly crowned Ring #1 P4P…whew…that would be Roman Chocolatito Gonzalez, and the always popular fan favorite, the Hawaiian Punch, Brian Viloria. The highly credentialed Viloria tends to fight very hot or very cold, usually up to the level of his opponent, so it’s hard to predict the nature of outcome other than to note Chocolatito will be a substantial favorite to defend his WBC flyweight title for the very good reason of consistency and youth. He has become the proverbial beast, and he sure better be ready come fight night, because if Viloria can work up a head of steam early, there may be no stopping him. I’m guessing this could also well be the fight of the night if not the year if Viloria is really dialed in.

Whatever the results on the night, this is an all action card with some serious hurt being doled out as limp bodies splatter the canvas for the count, the history of boxing packed in nutshell this one.

When Two Worlds Collide

When Two Worlds Collide

Mexican Carlos Molina vs Cornelius Bundrage

Mexican Carlos Molina as opposed to American born Carlos Molina finally has a chance to defend his lightly regarded IBF junior middleweight title against 41 year old former beltholder Cornelius Bundrage on Oct. 11 in Cancun, Mexico. Cancun ain’t a bad place for a deported Mexican “sexual offender” to land given his entanglement at the good ol’ US of A Homeland Security detention facility. Could have easily been a much worse outcome had he not had some high level suits working on his behalf.

His situation is similar to that of former lightweight champ Jesus Chavez who was deported on criminal charges and had to work his way in Mexico back to the US of A through legal means. Likely Molina makes that attempt in a much more difficult climate rearranged under ever more stringent “Homeland Security” regulations that encourage permanent deportations amidst the ongoing US/Mexico border crisis that contemptible political establishments have created for illegal economic gain for some 30 decades now.

This fight has a look of a dying gasp at the top for Bundrage who has been a rated contender in a weak division without ever looking to be a top fighter, so here we go again for him against another weak contender cum current ABC champ. The good news for him is that Molina technically won’t be the hometown fighter after having lived his most relevant years in America, but the bad news is Molina is a Haymon signed fighter and tough to knockout which is just about the only way Bundrage can win this fight.

Aggressive offense goes against the grain of the defensive nature of Bundrage even if the aggressive pressuring Molina can’t pop a cherry with a pile driver. The fight is likely be a dreary, sloppy affair like most Molina and Bundrage fights, but hey, ho, boxing does sloppy as well as any other profession, so there you go.

Only In Mississippi~Sam Solimon vs Jermaine Taylor

The 40 year old freshly crowned IBF middleweight titleholder Sam Soliman and the 36 year old former undisputed champion Jermain Taylor will be heading up the Beau Rivage fight card October 8th down in the Biloxi mud flats of Mississippi. That’s a mid-work week Wednesday for a proper alert in this under the radar bout.

Wow, where to start with this bout that had all the nuance of an unexpected thunderclap bolt of lightning from clear blue skies when it was announced? How Taylor managed to line up a new set of suits to bankroll this nonstandard title challenge is worthy of a chapter in book about the seedy underpinnings of boxing. He is currently out on bail after a shooting altercation with his cousin in Arkansas that you can catch up with here:

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/jermain-taylor-arrested-in-shooting-altercation/

As to the fight, we can start with the formidable size advantage Taylor will hold assuming he is able to drop 40 lbs from his substantial 200 lb frame in the 7 weeks from the time of his arrest. Soliman is not a big fighter in spite of winning the Aussie cruiserweight title in only his 2nd pro bout. What he is is something of a training fanatic, always being in fantastic condition for his light punching but very busy box and move style. I’m guessing Taylor will weigh 180-185 lbs come fight night to Sam’s 165-170 lbs, but the styles guarantee this bout won’t be decided on size.

Soliman vs Wright

Soliman vs Wright

Taylor can punch some and used to a solid boxer, but I haven’t seen his most recent reincarnation. His past weakness has proven to be his stamina usually interrelated to his chin. Soliman can exploit his stamina, but with a lowly 30% KO ratio, he’s not likely to put a dent in the Taylor chin. The biggest advantage Taylor holds is the home style environs of Mississippi. Soliman lost a widely disparaged decision against 185 lb Winky Wright 9 years ago that American fans rightly booed then. Wright was going into the Bernard Hopkins title challenge that the suits could hardly jeopardize, but they foolishly tried their best by scheduling Soliman without knowing his capabilities.

While I wish Jermain all the best after his recent altercation and rough years in the backwater ports, I suspect this fight will be quickly forgotten, unless…

…Because of the ass backward backroom scoring method boxing uses for decisions, especially “hometown decisions,” Taylor is in this hunt in spite of being well past his best. I expect Soliman to largely outbox and befuddle Taylor, but whether Sam gets proper credit is a whole ‘nother ball of wax.

We’ll see soon enough.

Future Destiny In Waiting~Wladimir Klitschko vs Kubrat Pulev

***Fight postponed due to Wladimir injury reported alternately as a hamstring pull or left bicep tear. Sad but true perhaps this warning shot across the bow of the aging Klitschko juggernaut as he dragged Shannon Briggs across the landscape that left him shaking his right hand. Not much else in the story, but link here for confirmation:

http://www.espn.co.uk/boxing/sport/story/336929.html

Wladimir Klitschko is back in action to defend his myriad collection of world title belts against IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev at O2 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany on Saturday, September 6th. He is coming off a successful defense against his WBO mandatory Alex Leapai who was well tenderized before being knocked out in the 6th round, but there’s much more at stake than just this upcoming title defense.

The Combatants

The Combatants

Klitschko is currently 23-2, 17 KOs in title fights coming into his his 26th title fight. Only the immortal Joe Louis was in more heavyweight title fights, sporting a 26-1 record with the 26 all consecutive wins, one record heavyweights will likely never break. A win against Pulev puts Wladimir within two title fights of tying Joe’s 26 title wins record and breaking his 27 total title fights record.

Records are fascinating reflections of the eras in which they occur and most will eventually be broken as the rules and culture changes, but boxing has a history of pulling the plug on modern fighters approaching Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 heavyweight record. The Joe Louis records may be even more revered as we may discover once Wlad tries to cross that threshold. This is the first recorded instance of a modern heavyweight champion also simultaneously approaching the Joe Louis final record of 66-3, 52 KO, dead square within his sights with Wlad currently at 62-3, 52 KO and still on top of his game. There will be much moaning and wringing of limp hands about this heavy division being soft by the grandsons of the same moaning critics of previous eras who were never satisfied with the greats who do pass through their eras, always preferring the good old days of their misguided besotted youth when the biggest impressions are made on the soft clay of their memory.

The perfect modern era example of that misanthropic thinking is the stellar record of two division champ Dariusz Michalczweski who was the long time “lineal” lightheavyweight champ according to the varied arcane claims kept by persnickety purist “boxing experts” as he waged one of the best title runs in history. He approached the Rocky Marciano career mark of 49-0 as he also made a bid to tie the Joe Louis record of 26 consecutive title wins. During his span of 9 years the aptly monikered “Tiger” defended his WBO lightheavy title while adding the WBO cruiserweight title that he never defended and the IBF, WBA, and “lineal” titles when he beat HOFer Virgil Hill.

The Fates could not have arranged for a more eventful challenge to boxing history, but being such fastidiously fickle sisters, they upped their ante on this poor Polish boy by booting him into Germany where he became a huge star with the expected accumulating hubris as he played out his preordained destiny before adoring fans.

They also made sure that Michalczweski was to be infamously and quite immediately stripped of his hard won WBA and IBF baubles that Roy Jones Jr then moved up to claim to much more acclaim that in turn secured his own lock as a first ballot International Boxing Hall of Famer that Dariusz currently remains locked out of. Roy fought many of the same fighters Dariusz fought, often after Dariusz had already taken care of business in advance. As Dariusz approached those legendary boxing milestones, he and his team obviously developed a sense of history and wanted affirmation from American media that historically define prevailing boxing media content. They flew to America for an HBO televised Jones title match where he publicly lobbies for a Jones unification fight to no avail. Jones and his HBO paymasters blithely snubbed what would have been the biggest money purse in Roy’s career. You could ask them why, but I doubt there will be any truth forthcoming. You see, all that big money was only if the fight were held in Germany with a German broadcaster that HBO either could not or would not match in a home setting for Roy. Nor would Roy travel abroad for a big fight much like the the current crop of acclaimed undefeated American P4Pers whose names are already forgotten in the span of time.

Instead Roy settled for the much touted Don King canned WBA heavyweight challenge against John Ruiz with King contractually keeping that title “in house” for well over a decade before his own inevitable decline finally saw him lose his grip. So King held the WBA heavy option on Roy for one year to no avail when Roy simply refused to defend, instead holding a King’s Court as suitors supplicated themselves before him with a dozen heavyweight and cruiserweight big fight offers before vacating the heavyweight title which, cough, cough, immediately reverted back to the justly maligned John Ruiz.  Roy did finally return and beat Antonio Tarver to an unexpected savaging by critics who finally saw their estimation of his otherworldly talents and career dashed on the rocks of their own misguided expectations of Roy cleaning out the heavyweight division.

‘T’ain’t ever easy being the best ever in the best of times when the times savagely turn on you.

The discouraged Dariusz instead held his historic bout against the light swatting Julio Gonzalez whom Roy had previously beaten in 12 lackluster rounds. Gonzalez was the best Dariusz could find under the circumstances, yet a poor substitute that showed in his own lackluster performance where he looked to be sleep walking underwater for the first half of the fight as the gentle pitty-pattering rain of Gonzalez racked up the points. Then the switch gets turns on as Dariusz finds his timing and desire to chase and pound on Gonzalez down the stretch. I thought Dariusz showed the heart of a champ under adverse conditions to win those rounds, but instead the judges denied him that fight and his place in history with a razor thin split decision loss.

Dariusz record here: Dariusz Michalczewski

The modestly equipped Gonzalez could do nothing with the belt but to promptly drop it to talented undefeated Hungarian Zsolt Erdei who had his own problems making big fights with Americans. So the great Roy Jones thus became something of arcane anomaly after all his storied dozens of title fights in never having once held the “Lineal” belt holder in any of the four divisions he held the belt.

So the extensive history of the above/\ is the backdrop setting in this upcoming international fistic play as we get back to the robust upcoming challenge ahead to Wlad’s own considerable legacy.

The 33 year old Bulgarian Pulev is a rugged 6-5, 250 lbs who doesn’t give away any size or strength worth noting. He has recently beat 3 “giant” heavyweights in a row, knocking out top 20 contenders Alexander Dimitrenko and Alexander Ustinov and then beating top 10 Tony Thompson by decision. Though his record pales compared to Wlad, only 20-0, 11 KO, he seems like the type of fighter who fights up or down to the importance of the fight and this his biggest fight ever.

The Klitschko brothers’ K2 Promotions won the IBF mandatory purse bid over Pulev promoter Saureland promotions which was the only way this fight could have been made since both are big German promotional rivals who seldom work with each other unless circumstances force them.

Sound familiar?

Pulev has managed to go a bit further in the prefight than previous Wlad opponents, claiming he, Pulev, is drug tested 6x per year and demanding Wlad take his same tests. Wlad only undergoes post fight drug testing under the auspices of the German Boxing Federation, approximately 2-3x per year dependent on his fight schedule, so no Olympic drug testing controversy this one. The recent Felix Sturm/Sam Soliman bombardment of vicious charges and counter charges over the legality of a nominal compound used in vitamins and supplements highlights the shameless incompetence of cartels and commissions who crudely rule over this untidy sport. If the illicit cartels and commishes ever establish themselves to be as well tested and competently trained as the fighters that they attempt to pass judgement on, then some day the public might take these clowns seriously. Yeah, fat chance that, but such is the way life is everywhere, so we the people of the world adjust to modern prefight and prework drug testing posturing the best we can.

The Cannon Iced!

The Cannon Iced!

And speaking of going further than normal in prefight posturing, a special mention must be made for the grotesquely abnormal pre-prefight posturing of Shannon Briggs in a frothing, rabid state of hysteria during the weeks to the lead up to this fight. He had been stalking Klitschko in his Florida training regimen with what looked like staged video setups, the first of which showed him taking off a shoe to throw at Wlad who was having his hands taped. OK, just some harmless goofy stuff that gets the usual suspects all riled up, but five weeks away from the Pulev fight Briggs stormed a restaurant Klitscko was dining at, screaming hysterically before grabbing his plate to wolf down Wlad’s meal. Wlad blithely joked around before pouring ice water over his bald noggin which flashed Briggs to sweep the table clear in a shattering violent explosion before a bodyguard wrapped him up to cart off outside where Briggs fled to the local hospital with cut hands and feet. Wlad may have cut or broken his right hand as well as he was looking at the palm and shaking something off.

So, Wlad has to effectively negotiate through Shannon “The Loose Cannon” Briggs first who may well be stalking him in his return to Germany as he has done in the past before Wlad can fight Pulev. We shall see soon enough if these were publicity set ups if and when Wlad schedules the desperate Briggs for his next fight. Video here:

At the very least the best heavyweight champion of this era will meet yet another of his main rivals, something that seldom happens in the US at the lesser weights they represent these days.

It should be noted that Wladimir’s brother Vitali was recently elected mayor of Kiev in Ukraine which is currently engaged in a tragically escalating border war against Russia. Hard to say how those political and war distractions add up, but Wlad should be the betting favorite by a good margin over Pulev who looks like he’s durable enough to be dangerous over all 12 rounds.

The usual anti social media monkeys male bonded in a fury of vitriol over Klitschko’s excessive holding against Russian Alexander Povetkin last year and then piled on over the quality of Alex Leapai as a fighter. Wlad looked like a proctologist grown weary of his profession as he gazed down upon Povetkin in a reflective pause before donning the rubber gloves for the perfunctory examination, but look a little closer and you can almost see a return to the original London Prize Ring Rules with 3 hard knockdowns and otherwise manhandling the surprisingly game Povetkin to toss him about the ring old school style into the ropes and onto the canvas like a rag doll. This Pulev fellow looks too strong and densely built for that, but at the end of the day, Wlad has been executing his various mandatory defenses by the textbook, meaning Pulev is likely well pulped by the end of their session however the means.

Is Pulev made of greater stuff than just another lumped up, lopsided heavybag twisting on the chains for Wladimir? Been much bigger upsets than this one which could be interesting on many fronts. Just you watch and wait and see history in the making…

The Essentials

The Essentials

Heavy Ides of March: Adamek vs Glazkov & Wilder vs Scott

My, my, The Fates have left the two best American based foreign national heavyweights fighting each other in America this Ides of March while the two best American heavyweight prospects have been sent packing to Puerto Rico for a showdown. That would be Saturday, March 15th when grizzled veteran Tomasz Adamek of Poland takes on his natural prime aged rival Vyacheslav Glazkov of Ukraine at the Sands Resort and Casino in Bethlehem, PA, a prototypical Eastern European fight held on American soil these days.

The 37 year old two division champion “Goral” has a stiff task in the 29 year old 2008 superheavyweight Olympic Bronze Medalist “Czar.” Adamek’s 49-2-1, 29 KO record makes the Glazkov 16-0-1, 11 KO record look a bit puny, but things should be spiced up since this is the IBF #2 Eliminator and both fighters are fairly offensively oriented and hungry for a crack at the Wlad sweepstakes all everything that counts title.

The Fates may have gotten their shipping orders mixed up when they sent the last American boxing Olympic medalist, heavyweight Bronze winner Deontay Wilder and his opponent Malik Scott to Bayamon, Puerto Rico in support of the undercard of the Danny Garcia/Mauricio Herrera mismatch. The saving grace might be some nice Caribbean sun and surf relaxation for them after their gig as winter storms continue to torture much of the western world.

Incredibly the 28 year old Wilder is in his 7th year as a pro with 30 wins by 30 knockouts, yet he has never fought another title contender yet in spite of being aligned with the powerful Al Hayman/Golden Boy Promotional combine. Here he goes against what passes as a modern day American gym legend, the 33 year old Malik Scott best known for nursing along his undefeated record for years against the usual spate of blue collar journeymen, currently at 36-1-1, 13 KO.

Once Malik stepped up his competition, first there was the stinker of a draw against Glazgov and then an unseemly knockout loss in Britain to Dereck Chisora. Scott couldn’t be bothered to step up his end of the action in those two breakout fights for him, but now he gets another chance, a mighty big one, but will he take it? Wilder currently holds a scruffy WBC Continental Americas bauble, but rumors say this match might end up being a WBC eliminator with the winner fighting the winner of the Bermane Stiverne/Chris Arreola battle for the vacated WBC title. Team Wilder’s long developmental path has thus far targeted the easiest path path possible to a belt, so enter the bewildered Scott.

I tend to think the Adamek/Glazonov bout will be action packed and favor Adamek in a hard fought decision where Glazkov earns new respect by the end of the fight. Scott’s negative defensive boxing is likely to make Wilder look like stink early on, but I have to think if Wilder doesn’t gas out, a possibility given his lack of professional rounds, only 53 rounds recorded thus far compared to Scott’s 223 rounds, that eventually Wilder catches up to whack out Scott.

It’s now up to the fighters. I await their verdicts.