Tag Archives: World Boxing Association

Mr. Klitschko Goes To Moscow for Mr. Povetkin

Maybe Wladimir Klitschko goes to Moscow to look up Alexander Povetkin for a score to settle, or maybe not. Povetkin has already pulled out of two signed deals from years back, leaving the Klitschko promotional team scrambling for last minute replacements.

Big and Bigger?

Big and Bigger?

It may be revealing that in spite of both fighting mainly out of Germany and having signed contracts for the third time now, Wlad says he never actually met Povetkin until weeks before they step into the ring. This promotional poster follows the precedent of Mayweather/Alvarez promotions that had Floyd in two inch lifts to make him incrementally the bigger fighter. Povetkin will actually be dwarfed in the ring come fight night contrary to the illusion of the poster above.

Meanwhile, if boxing couldn’t get any more blatantly ridiculous after the refereeing of Alvarez/Mayweather and subsequent scoring controversy, the WBA which seems to have the say so in the officiating of Klitschko/Povetkin, well, one of their judges, Ted Gimza, he’s on probation confined to his house, yet will be released for duties for the duration of this match. We couldn’t make this up. The WBA provides all necessary materials for our horror:

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/klitschko-povetkin-judge-on-probation-wears-electronic-ankle-bracelet-227825

Slipped a Super Mickey

Slipped a Super Mickey

Lot’s of potentially ugly nationalist politics brewing for this fight. “Russian agents” were thought to have poisoned the former Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko a few years back that almost killed him and most certainly knocked him back many rungs in his ability to function. The Klitschko team had a similar experience, claiming Wlad was drugged in the the Lamont Brewster fight. He dominated the action and was on the verge of an early stoppage of Brewster before a mysterious collapse left him weak as a newborn lamb before Brewster ever landed the few glancing blows on him that weren’t even necessary at that point.

Add in the suspicious financing of an incredible $23 million purse bid for this fight that seems to be the largest purse bid in history, lots of potential for the usual monkey business of boxing for this fight. Then the controversy on whether a Russian or German drug testing cartel would be doing the drug screening for this match, the validity of often nebulous drug testing procedures and the dubious ethics of the “cartels” being as much a question mark as the athletes themselves. Let’s be clear though, Wlad is a huge favorite over Povetkin who was never that well experienced or accomplished and has been on a downward spiral from the promise he showed as a hot prospect several years back. I can’t see anything but monkey business being able to derail Wlad for this fight, so we’ll see soon enough what kind of sportsmanship is on display by the promoter and local commish.

Late breaking news shows big players greatly reducing the odds with a surge of Povetkin bets. A tsunami of Brewster bets from the UK actually shut down the bookies several days in advance of his “upset” of Wladimir, so the duplicitous history of boxing seems to be in full swing for this promotion.

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/late-money-flowing-in-on-povetkin-227994

Previous international type of fights in Russian have been pretty much above board that I can recall, so there you have it, October 5th in Moscow. Tune in to bear witness on the current health of boxing.

Ricky Hatton Comeback Against Vyacheslav Senchenko?

Ricky Hitman Hatton is coming back from “retirement” this Saturday, November 24th to fight former WBA welter champ Vyacheslav Senchenko at the MEN Arena in Manchester, England, that much is certain.

Redemption

Redemption

What isn’t certain is how serious Hatton is about continuing his career and how much he has left to fight in a very competitive division. What is certain that he will mint plenty of coinage, more than any other fighter in the world not named Pacquiao, Mayweather, or Klitschko thanks to his loyal support base of fans and morbid curiosity seekers wondering if he still has the Hatton magic that made him such a megastar.

How ironic can it get in boxing that 35 year old Vyacheslav Senchenko is about as little known and undersung as it gets, fighting all his bouts in Ukraine, a hot bed of talent but not a hot bed of pro boxing. His opponents have all been the usual Eastern European suspects found on any top Euro fighter resume, a solid but limited record. His big step up was against Pauli Malignaggi who stopped him on cuts, so it’s fair to say at age 35, he looks for redemption just as much as Hatton is.

The Hitman has proven to be the superior fighter at a much higher level than Senchenko, but Hatton has been out of the ring for well over 3 years. His accomplishments during that time have been sordid revelations of drug abuse, a recent fight with his dad, and food and alcohol binges of a man circling the drain of life. He did become a promoter of some note, an up and comer doing well for now, and he has business ties to Golden Boy Promotions. A fight between him and Oscar de la Hoya has been long rumored, so who can say where he goes in an era where fighters move seamlessly in and out of “retirement” at will?

I expect Senchenko to be the typical tough, well schooled Eastern European who has an excellent opportunity on his hand, much bigger than when Malignaggi came to town, but how he reacts to the raucous MEN crowd cannot be predicted.

I expect Hatton to come out pressing and swinging, that’s what short armed fighters have to do. Hatton also used to have some underrated boxing nuance, so at very least we will get an all action fight out of the thing, and if lucky, a high end drama and spectacle.

No title is on the line that I can see, nor do I know the contract weights, but surely 150 lbs would be the limit. Hatton enters with a career record of 45-2, 32 KO and Senchenko at 32-1, 21 KO. Both are coming off losses in their last fight.

The card also features British stars Rendall Munroe and Martin Murray and is presumably promoted by Hatton, so it’s a good night for British boxing.

Käpt’n Marco Huck Sails Into Heavy Waters Looking For Povetkin

 Käpt’n  Marco Huck sails into heavyweight waters with his debut against WBA titlest Alexander Povetkin this February 25th at Porsche-Arena in Stuttgart, Germany.

The Great White Surfacing

The Great White Surfacing

Alexander Povetkin is the heavyweight version of the seldom sighted Great White Whale of Lore, Moby Dick. At one time he was an up and coming heavyweight contender and former Olympic Gold Medalist with some solid fighting qualities. Then he dived deep into the dark depths where it became difficult to watch him as he made one after another excuse why he wouldn’t exercise his hard fought status as the mandatory to Wlad Klitschko. Instead he hired an off the rails celebrity trainer for ponderous combat against a plethora of hand selected journeymen types well short of contender status.

Povetkin did finally step up to beat fellow Russian Ruslan Chagaev for the WBA consolation strap left over after Wladimir Klitschko had already swept out the WBA dustbunnies that had previous claims to the infamous WBA belt. Povetkin nominally outworked the Hepatitus plagued Chagaev in a lackluster fight before defending against 40 year old fringe American Contender Cedric Boswell.

Greetings from Lebedev

Greetings from Lebedev

Marco Huck is similar in stature to the chubby Povetkin as he steps up from his longtime anchor spot in the cruiser division as former EBU and WBO champ. Both fighters are fairly aggressive though Huck got away with attacking in straight lines because of his size and strength. That style became problematic for him against Russian Denis Lebedev who has a similar crouching style to Povetkin albeit from a lefty stance.

Povetkin will be bigger, stronger, and busier from a right handed stance, so we’ll have to see if Huck breaks out a new style in the more powerful division and how and where he packs on his extra pounds. He has the advantage of being at a traditional athletic peak age of 27 to Povetkin’s 32 years, and also with the more ring experience, 34-1, 25 KO in 227 rounds to Povetkin’s 23-0, 16 KO in 130 rounds. 

In short, Huck will be the best fighter Povetkin has faced over the past 3 years, so plenty of unknowns indicate this fight could go either way although Povetkin will likely be the substantial favorite. And to think that the winner will go on to face the #1 mandatory contender, 39 year old Hasim Rahman, last seen at 284 whale blubbering pounds when he surfaced briefly last year in the Mississippi mud flats with a resounding thump of Galen Brown.

Such is life in the WBA great northern white whaling fleet.

The Robert Helenius Finnish Homecoming Vs Dereck Chisora

A rare title fight takes place December 3rd in Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, Finland when new WBA titlest Alexander Povetkin puts boxing’s softest title on the line against 42 year old Cedric Boswell.

It goes without saying the little known Boswell was brought in to lose, so he best bring his big punch because he is not likely to outwork the busy Povetkin who at least has a work ethic going for him.

The Finnish Finish

The Finnish Finish

The serious heavyweight action takes place when the Finnish Nordic Nightmare Robert Helenius has a homecoming against Dereck Chisora who recently was well lumped by young heavyweight phenom Tyson Fury.

Helenius has been on a tear everytime he steps up in class, but to be fair, Chisora lacks the credentials of previous champs Helenius has knocked out. Chisora is a young, strong, tough fighter who was on a rampage in Britain until Fury derailed him and did briefly hold the British Commonwealth title. He also broke into the Boxrec top 10, so in his comeback he could prove to be a tougher fighter this time around.

Del Boy in his pomp

Del Boy in his pomp

Both Helenius and Chisora are the same age, 27, with the same number of fights, 16, and near the same rounds, 81 for Chisora to Helenius 79, so they are evenly matched in raw numbers with the Helenius record at 16-0, 11 KO edging out Chisora at 15-1, 9 KO.

This vacant EBU title challenge could be quite entertaining since both are big, strong, prime heavies who come to fight with some big punches, but only if Chisora can step up his game from his Fury effort. He was doughy looking and overweight, sometimes a by product of fighters looking for extra mass when they go against giants such as Fury or Vitali Klitschko. More to the point, he was clumsy without a gameplan other than landing the big punch.

Helenius is on an undefeated upswing and should be the big favorite with the oddsmakers. Chisora has seen his star plummet after the Fury loss, but therein lays his hope. Sometimes a fighter in his big homecoming against fighters they are supposed to beat can get caught up in all the hoopla of “The Magnificance of Me” and lose their focus by the time of the first the bell.

The Chisora style is that of a straight ahead puncher, and in boxing, one good punch could mean a huge payday in his next fight, so this is his puncher’s chance. Helenius can be a slow starter as he dials in his timing and punch placement, but for a big man he has shown some bruising, eyecatching combinations when he gets going for impressive stoppages.

Is this copromotion a preview with the winner getting a crack at the WBA “regular” title currently held by Povetkin? That would likely be Helenius who is signed to the same promoter, Sauerland Events.

Russian Roulette–Povetkin vs Chagaev–Helenius vs Liakhovich

An amazing Russian heavyweight elimination tourney of sorts takes place in Messehalle, Erfurt, Germany on Saturday, August 27 when Alexander Povetkin squares off against Ruslan Chagaev for the WBA “Regular” Championship while Robert Helenius takes on Siarhei Liakhovich for the WBA/WBO Intercontinental belts.

OK, Robert Helenius and Siarhei Liakhovich are the odd men out, being only the amiable next door Finnish and Belarussian neighbors rather than pure Russian rivals, but it’s a great time to cash in on the Russian connection while they’re still around.

Ruslan Chagaev

Ruslan Chagaev

Povetkin has the most impressive amateur credentials with his Olympic Gold Medal, but Chagaev comes in with his World Gold medal. Both were heavily promoted all action style fighters at the start of their pro careers, but have petered out of late due to an overwhelming lethargy in their fights and careers.  

Perhaps there really is only a single bullet left in their collective chambers that they mean to use up in this Russian Roulette elmination bout. A few years ago and interest in the bout would have been notable, but today, who really cares that much other than their mothers?

Helenius and Liakhovich were also heralded amateurs before rising to some acclaim in the pro ranks.

Robert Helenius

Robert Helenius

Helenius, however, is the only legitimate threat to the Klitschko reign, being a supersized heavy himself with plenty of heart, chin, and punch to handle all previous challenges.

Liakhovich is no wilting flower, though. The former WBO champ had considerable talent that he never fully realized, so this looks like the last go round for him and one huge obstacle to overcome since his last big bout, a wide decision loss to big Niko Valuev some 3 yrs ago.

The White Wolf has the coolest boxing moniker by a long shot, but he’s the oldest and most inactive of this foursome, age 35 with only two fights in last 3 years, both knockouts over modest opposition. Helenius gives the impression of a young Cassius, a lean and hungry look about him at only age 27 and improving fight by fight. The White Wolf may have other plans, so they got to fight to prove who really wants it.

Could really be a corker if Liakhovich shows up in great shape ready for a fight.

White Wolf

White Wolf

Returning to the scene of “The Big Names,” Povetkin and Chagaev have spent the last few years circling the collective drain at what should have been their peak years. Chagaev at least has the excuse of a debillitating blood disease, hepititus, whereas Povetkin just up and quit on himself after a great start. His brain trust has tried to remake him in the image of Teddy Atlas, but that was like a really bad hair day everyday with a future as rosy as a Viva Las Vegas Sunday morning shotgun wedding.

Povetkin

Povetkin

I like Chagaev’s experience here, but likely this is a decision and we all know judges don’t always respect the sweet science as much as they do cushy offciating assignments. Any close decision is likely to go to Povetkin who has no such health restrictions in making fights as does Chagaev with his blood testing woes.

Be nice for the division and future development of boxing in Russia if these guys put forth a dynamic bout, but their current realty is more like a sedentary effort suffices.

It’s gonna be up to Helenius and Liakhovich to salvage the card, but regardless, Helenius looks to be a headliner for the next few years, so there you have it, new talent rising and old talent falling off as it should be.

Wlad Klitschko’s 50th KO Celebration, aka Mr. David Haye

Flash back 8 years ago and few of Boxing‘s cognescenti and broadcasting wunderkinds would have been predicting the dominant title reign of Wlad Klitschko, but my how the landscape has changed. He’s even been mooted for IBHOF entry by some, but of course a few certain others who need no identification have been publicly picking against him for the duration.

Well, there’s no accounting for their public affinity for self flagellation, but the masochists have a new white knight in shining armour to make their wildest dreams come true when, or rather IF Mr. David Haye takes the long walk to the ring to toe it up against the Ring/IBF/WBO/IBO champ who already beat up the geniune undefeated WBA champ, Ruslan Chagaev some two years ago.

I say IF only because Mr. Haye has delivered a series of soft level WBA fights after announcing he would move to the heavy division and clean it up in between walking out on several Klitschko fights. The beleaguered British public failed to read the fine print that it was actually the WBA heavyweight division where he would be taking out the rubbish, so they made Mr. Haye something of a reality media star. By natural progression of their modern reality world, they figure this fracas is to be Mr. Haye’s coronation into King David, so they will be flocking to tune in come what may of the result.

Hayemaker Time

Hayemaker Time

At one time Mr. Haye was actually a blood and guts action warrior who briefly held the cruiserweight titles, but that seems ages ago. As a heavyweight contender, he has followed the three ring circus approach much in the way of Odlanier Solis who was demolished in the first round by brother Vitali last March.

I imagine Mr. Haye’s brain trust looked at that fight and plan to break out his fleet footed strategy that takes him into later rounds where presumably he will have a better feel for having his face jabbed into mincemeat.

I will be more than happy to give Mr. Haye due credit if he upsets the big favorite, but given the farcical nature of his heavyweight career with his general disrespect of fans and boxing, Mr. Haye has earned a level of disrespect that cannot easily be dismissed.

WBA Beatdown #1

WBA Beatdown #1

The easy prediction is Wlad notches his 50th knockout in a walkover . His trainer, Manny Steward has been predicting all these great things Wlad is going to do, but he’s a very cautious technician who prefers to set his own tempo, so I look for a late KO as he carefully walks down Mr. Haye much like he did Eddie Chambers.

If Mr. Haye wants to come straight at Wlad early, that would be thrilling for fans, but Wlad made easy work of the previous WBA champ, Ruslan Chagaev, and similar results are expected against their newest WBA hopeful, Mr. Haye.

Objectivity deserves a better place in boxing though, so Mr. Haye either has to produce a dynamic performance well above his previous efforts, not likely at this stage of his career, or Wlad has to revert back to the form of one of his 3 losses.

Could Mr. Haye leverage one of those off performances?

The best and most comprehensive win over Wlad was when the tricky fast handed South African southpaw Corrie Sanders put him down 5x for the TKO stoppage, but what is forgotten in that fight was the unintentional headbutt to Wlad before the first punch landed.

The strangest loss was to Lamon Brewster who absorbed a ferocious beat down and survived two knockdowns when Wlad mysteriously ran out of steam and collapsed after the bell ended the 5th round. Oddsmakers suspended betting on that fight days before because of a mysterious surge for Brewster who scarcely landed a punch on Wlad.

Wlad’s first ever loss was to big journeyman, Ross Puritty, who also absorbed a beatdown for the ages through 11 rds, a fight he could’ve been stopped for being noncompetitive. He surprised the tiring 22 year old Wlad with a sudden attack good enough that Wlad’s trainers threw in the towel.

This is Wlad’s 59th pro fight and a fighter only has so many bullets to fire, so even Clint Eastwood had to ask the punk, “Are you feeling lucky today?

“Well, do you Mr. Haye?”

Alternately entitled Dirty Wlad’s WBA Beatdown #2, coming soon enough(we hope and pray with fingers crossed xx), Saturday, July 2nd at Imtech-Arena, Hamburg, Germany.

The Brandon Rios Challenge of WBA Champion Miguel Acosta

Bam Bam Brandon Rios challenges the newly crowned WBA lightweight champion Miguel Acosta in his first bid for world title this Saturday, February 26th at Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Combatants

The Combatants

The 32 yr old Venezuelan Acosta has been boxing since 1999 in an up and down career going nowhere until he caught fire in two consecutive away bouts, torching the undefeated records of Urbano Antillon and Paulus Moses with big knockouts in their home environs for the WBA interim and regular titles in Mexico and Africa respectively.
 
Moreover, Acosta, 28-3-2, 22 KO, has been undefeated since 2004, so now he arrives at the apex of his career, his first defense of his title in another away bout as the headliner in the capital of boxing.

Quite a career turnabout by Miguel Acosta that merits big time respect, harkening back to the days of Danny Little Red Lopez going over to Africa to dethrone champ David Kotey and defending his title against a series of thrilling hometown challengers.

The 24 yr old Rios is just as easily undefeated since his pro debut, 2004, and already nailed his signature win over the equally undefeated Anthony Peterson at the Palms Casino Resort in a WBA title eliminator, so now he has his own fireworks showcase just for him in a comfortable home style setting not that far from where he lives and trains in Oxnard, California.

I’m guessing Acosta will be the favorite, however I’ve learned that odds can be strangely puzzling sometimes. Mainly the fighters seem evenly matched and I only note projected odds as part of the sport, not wishing to direct any betting.

In the Rios corner will be Robert Garcia, the hottest up and coming trainer in the biz. One notable attribute about Rios is his size, entering the ring bigger than most middleweights in history, but Acosta is hardly a dainty flower himself and may be the hungrier, more self made fighter than Rios who still has a bit of the kid in him needing direction.

The undercard features fast charging 21 yr old featherweight prospect, Robert Marroquin, stepping way up in class against an experienced Mexicali fringe contender, Gilberto Sanchez Leon along side some other Top Rank prospects.

Great card to see some of the future names in boxing, so peel your eyeballs off in that direction this coming Saturday if you like action packed knockout type of fights.

Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, World’s #1 Superflyweight

Another Thai boxer will be the top fighter this coming weekend, longtime WBC flyweight champ, Pongsaklek Wonjongkam who will defend his title against Thai compatriot, Surivan Por Chokchai in Thailand.

Just this last week, the other top Thai fighter, Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym shockingly dropped his WBA Superbanty title to Japanese fighter, Ryol Li Lee in an away defense in Toyko, Japan.

The “fancy dan” fashion in which Lee sprang the upset on Kratingdaenggym may have been questionable, but in the comfortable confines of Thailand, it is highly unlikely a fighter could pull off such a stunt against a Thai legend that Wonjongkam has become.

Chokchai is a very young 21 yrs old with nothing in his record suggesting he would even be a favorite against a top 10 contender, much less the Ring champ and ranked p4per that is Wonjongkam at this point in his career.

Ring Champ

Ring Champ

However, Wonjongkam has the wear and tear of being 33 yrs of age with 80 pro fights and 521 rounds chalked up in a long career. There is an old saying old salts are want to quote that sometimes a fighter ages overnight come fight night.

Chokchai is extremely fresh and very hungry compared to the old mossback Wonjongkam, but he has little demonstrated power which has been the traditional preferred way to pull off the upset. He would have to pull off a fancy dance combined with eye catching counters to have any chance of upsetting the applecart, but stranger things have happened.

Regardless, from my perspective, it’s been a great opportunity to get these little Thai warriors out in a public cyberspace for some well deserved plaudits in a slow period of activity for top fighters.

These little champs like to fight often and risk much by putting everything on the line against less than stellar competition, but they always make up for it by eventually going up against the best and prevailing as any quick glance at their records will show.

It may be difficult to catch this fight, but at least you’ve been alerted to what may well turn into a war for as long as it lasts.

Tough Thai Battle

Tough Thai Battle