Tag Archives: O2 Arena

Mighty Joe Parker vs Dillian Whyte With Chisora vs Takam Too

The heavyweight clash between Dillian Whyte and Joseph Parker has now officially sold out after final production holds were released this week. Whyte and Parker collide for the WBC Silver and WBO International heavyweight crowns this Saturday at the 20,000-seat O2 Arena in London.

Parker’s last fight against Boxing’s all everything Big Dog, Anthony Joshua, saw him lose his undefeated WBO champ status in a rather bland performance by both exacerbated by the Italian imported referee who refused to allow the big boys to fight, breaking up all their action.

The face first brawling Whyte has no such genteel notions as to adhere to instructions by a lowly ref and looks to muller pretty boy Parker anyway he can. Longtime top 20 contenders Derek Chisora fights Carlos Takam as the main supporting undercard, yet another all action heavyweight duke’em up.

I picked Parker and Takam in my predictor league, so it’s now up to my boys to prove my genius.

Mikkel Kessler Rematches Carl Froch @ O2, London

Dateline: May 25, Saturday, the O2 Arena in London. Mikkel Kessler and Carl Froch look to reprise their first classic encounter 3 years back that featured paralyzing exchanges and dramatic shifts in momentum as they battled ferociously to the final bell.

Last Time Out

Last Time Out

Kessler pulled away in the championship rounds to edge a unanimous decision,  winning the battle as it were, yet losing the war when he was forced to withdraw from the Showtime tourney, citing double vision. Froch went on to fight in the finale against Andre Ward in Madison Square Garden, losing a tough decision where he finished as the stronger fighter.

After taking a year off for rest and recovery, Kessler has staged a comeback against lesser competition to win back his WBA title. Meanwhile, Froch continues to fight the best opposition in boxing today, dethroning undefeated P4P phenom Lucian Bute who had scarcely dropped a round in his dominant multiple IBF defenses.

As such, Froch is expected to be the favorite, but there is no counting out Mikkel Kessler yet. With a record of 46-2, 35 KO, he knows a win here will further cement his already stellar career when he retires. Carl Froch is up there in credentials as well, even while sporting the lessor record on paper of 30-2, 22 and the slightly older age, 35 to Kessler’s younger 34 years.

The title fight numbers favor Kessler at 10-2 to Froch’s 7-2 record, but numbers won’t tell the story of this fight. I expect Kessler to box smarter this time as the more “damaged” fighter. It remains to be seen if he can in fact win a fair decision in England, but he took the fight knowing that Carl Froch has never been knocked out nor even buzzed much while on his run at the top levels of boxing, so the money available for such a prestigious fight was just too tempting to pass up.

Froch for his part knows that he could have boxed a bit smarter going down the stretch last time. He’s grown as a fighter, using previously untapped ring smarts since the Kessler battle and knows he’s the stronger fighter on the upswing. Whether he has the skills to tap into that strength to beat Kessler is his unknown in this fight. While doing a textbook job on taking Lucian Bute out of his comfort zone with unbelievable pressure, Froch arguably cracked as well when he and his promoter, Eddie Hearn, engaged in terribly unseemly celebrations in the ring as the beleaguered out of his league referee , Earl Brown, administered a count to Bute after a knockdown. Such transgressions in properly officiated fights almost always result in a disqualification for the fighter who’s training team entered into the ring while the fight was still in process.

Could be a great fight with proper officiating that does justice to the high level these fighters will be operating at, so the BBB of C has a chance to correct their sloppy oversight of the Bute fight. The fighters have relatively clean styles, usually foul and controversy free, so their fights are usually fan friendly  throwbacks to textbook boxing and slugging in context to the past history of great fighters.

The Rematch–Jean Pascal vs Bernard Hopkins

The Jean Pascal vs Bernard Hopkins rematch next Saturday, May 21st at the Bell Centre in Montreal took an ugly turn when Hopkins was accused of using performance enhance drugs in his last dance against Pascal.

Truth be told, Hopkins took the ugly turn long ago when he chose to become a stinker/spoiler type of fighter as he got older and then started whining about the results and acting out in the ring. I was astounded as anyone else to see him turn back the years after suffering two early knockdowns to roar back and actually take the fight to another fighter as he did in his prime.

Pascal vs Hopkins

Pascal vs Hopkins

But this is Jean Pascal who is not noted for his power, but for his fading stamina in big fights, and sure as shootin’, he was running on empty by the end which gave the oldtimer Hopkins room enough to claim he was robbed, which he does with every loss anyway, so no big deal there.

It’s a shame Golden Boy hasn’t done more to clean up the drug issues they started with their accusations against Manny Pacquiao, yet Oscar has been typically silent on accusations against one of his business partners and done nothing to clean up drug testing in Golden Boy much less boxing as a whole.

Since there only few examples of boxers using performance enhancing drugs, it’s not clear boxing needs a drug rinse, but hopefully down the road a few more procedures can be implemented to get ahead of the curve and put down these ugly, useless rumors.

I hope Pascal and Hopkins can pull their acts together and give us a definitive result this fight instead of histrionics. I won’t hold my breath since I’d guess Pascal will be content to pace himself better and it’s doubtful Hopkins will be as “up” as he was for their first fight, a classic in the beginning that  digressed into sloppiness by the end when Pascal got too tired to fight with Hopkins too slow to capitalize.

A better fight for me next Saturday is young Nathan Cleverly attempting to “unify” the WBO interim Lightheavyweight belt against regular WBO champ Juergen Braehmer. Both fighters are still in their athletic primes and talented although 32 yr old Braehmer has a significant edge in experience over 24 yr old Cleverly.

Brits seem to have taken to Cleverly who made a splash when he graduated with his Mathematics degree, so the O2 Arena in Greenwich should really be rocking for this. The British hoopla may offset Braemer’s advantages coming into the fight since he’s been strictly a Germanic zone fighter, even becoming deathly ill in his last canceled outing against Shumenov in Kazakhstan, his sole travel outing . Braehmer also has over a year’s worth of rust.

The odds should be fairly even, so take your pick.

Finally, sadly I close with the news that Roy Jones Jr. is bent on going out on his shield against a very powerful cruiserweight Denis Lebedev at Sport Complex Krylatskoe in Moscow. Jones has had no legs left to manuever for some time now with his punch resistance wearing thin as well.

So, that’s the Saturday, May 21st lineup, a decent weekend for boxing.