By Tom Donelson (BWAA)
Author, Member of Boxing Writers Association of America
After his defeat of Chad Dawson four years ago, Andre Ward was one of the top pound for pound fighters but after only two fights over the previous four years; Ward is now moving toward a match against the best light heavyweight in the world; Sergey Kovalev. Ward faced a number one contender, Sullivan Barrera, and won an easy decision but the fight left more question than answers.
Ward inactivity showed itself as Ward did not look like the old fast quick self of four years ago. Ward was the quicker of the two fighters against Barrera but to the naked eye, it looked like Ward was millimeter slower than he was against Dawson. The old boxing skills was in place and Ward looked healed from shoulder surgery as he nailed Barrera with both right hands and left hooks with ease. Barrera connected on less than 20% of his punches and while he went down from a left hook, he was back up quickly.
Continue reading Ward Wins, But Can He Beat Kovalev?
By David Martinez / Bioxing Historian
How Kermit Cintron was granted a title shot to fight Saul Canelo Alvarez is beyond me, considering in 2010 and 2011 he had lost two of three coming into this fight; but on Saturday night at the Plaza Mexico in Mexico City, this bout took place, and was televised by HBO.
From the opening bell, Canelo was in complete control. In round four Canelo dropped Cintron with a right hand from which Cintron barely made it back to his corner as the bell sounded to end the round. A friend watching the fight with me said that Cintron’s corner never should have let him come out for round five. My only comment to that was that his corner should never have let him come out to this fight to begin with. The predictable end came at 2:53 of the fifth round, when referee Hector Afu stopped the bout with Canelo completely dominating the round and the fight.
Canelo retains his WBC junior middleweight championship and, at this point in his career, certainly needs to step up the competition at 154 pounds. After four rounds, my scorecard was 40-35 or 4 rounds to none in favor of Canelo.
By Tom Donelson
( Member of Boxing Writers Association and International Boxing Research Organization )
In their last bout Bernard Hopkins fought Jean Pascal to a draw or maybe we should say Pascal fought Hopkins to a draw. Hopkins lost his shot at a title when he hit the canvas twice against Pascal in the first three rounds and went into the final nine rounds; five points down on the judges’ scorecard. The wily veteran Hopkins found a way to turn the fight around and Pascal helped by not putting on the afterburner and allowed Hopkins to set the pace.
Hopkins wanted to become the oldest man to win a title and at 46, he still had the skills but he faced a younger opponent but the real issue was did he face a hungrier opponent? ESPN Teddy Atlas concluded that this was Pascal fight to lose; that at 26, he could do more things and push the issue. Pascal did not do that in the last fight despite having Hopkins in trouble over the opening three rounds. The key to the fight would be if Pascal would force Hopkins to fight at a more intense level, round after round. With the advantage of hand speed and power, he held the upper hand. Hopkins advantage laid in his ability to out think and take advantage of Pascal’s lapses.
Before the main event, Chad Dawson fought Adrian Diaconu an important bout in the light heavyweight division as both men have been victim of Jean Pascal. Dawson, now trained by Emanuel Steward, looked to get a shot at the winner of the Hopkins-Pascal fight and be back at top of the light heavyweight division.
In the first round, Dawson used his jab to keep distance and pick his shots as Diaconu did very little throughout the round. Dawson looked relaxed in the second round as his jab maintained the distance and this allowed Dawson to strike combinations while Diaconu had to lunge with his power shots but of no avail.
Continue reading Hopkins Wins
By Tom Donelson
(Member of the Boxing Writers Association and International Boxing Research Organization)
Manny Pacquiao faced the wily veteran Shane Mosley, who was hoping to find the fountain of youth for one more fight, one more shot at glory. Before the main event, there were three important bouts with future implications.
Undefeated Mike Alvarado faced Ray Nath and over the first three rounds, Alvarado simply dominated the fight as he started to connect on solid rights without much response. After three rounds of being beaten, Ray Nath simply did not come out for the fourth round and Alvarado won his 30th straight.
Kelly Pavlik in his comeback fight as a Super Middleweight faced a tough competitor in the undefeated Alfonso Lopez. The first two rounds saw a rusty Pavlik as Lopez managed to outbox the former Middleweight champion but in the third round, Pavlik looked sharper with his punches and even landed a solid right that shook Lopez.
In the fourth round, Lopez got inside of Pavlik to score effectively but in the process, an accidental head butt opened up a cut over Pavlik right eyes. Pavlik managed to connect with some rights in close quarters that may have allowed him to win the round. Lopez began the fifth round by attacking but by the middle of the round, Pavlik power started to back Lopez up. Lopez was breathing heavily at the end of round as Pavlik landed the best punch of the round with a left hook in the middle of the round.
Pavlik dominated the sixth with solid body shots, making Lopez wince but the seventh round was a close affair as both men scored with solid shots; Lopez with a solid combination whereas Pavlik scored with solid left hook near the end of the round for his best shots. The eighth round repeated the sixth round as Pavlik landed hard shots after shots as Lopez looked like he was fading.
There are moments that a fighter must make a stand or accept defeat; Lopez decided to go toe to toe with Pavlik in order to make something happen. Lopez saw the fight slipping away and both fighters gave as they took as punches flew from both fighters. The tenth round was no difference as Lopez began with combinations but Pavlik buckled Lopez with a solid left hook but Lopez found a way to respond with combination. Pavlik countered back with a right hand that stunned Lopez but it did not deter Lopez as both fighters went at each other with last charge.
Pavlik won a majority decision with two of the judges gave him 98-92 and 99-91 scores with another judge scoring the fight even. Pavlik made his comeback against a worthy opponent as he won a tough grinding decision. This gives the Super Middleweight yet another star in one of boxing most talented division!
Continue reading PACQUIAO – MOSLEY FIGHT CARD RECAP
By Tom Donelson
(Member of the Boxing Writers Association, International Boxing Research Organization and contributes to numerous boxing publications)
Paul McCloskey challenged Amir Khan for Khan’s version of the junior Welterweight title. For Khan, a victory meant a big dollar fight with Timothy Bradley and who knows from there? Khan decided to take the action to McCloskey and while neither fighter appeared to hurt each other, Khan’s activity won the first round as he threw more punches and connected on more.
Khan led with the right twice in the first minute of the second round but did little damage but McCloskey played a waiting game as if looking for the right moment to strike back or was it that he was simply unable to solve Khan’s hand speed? Khan started to throw more effective combinations at the end of the round but still did not hit McCloskey with solid shots.
By the end of the fourth round, McCloskey was fighting defensively and soaked up the harder punches of Khan but this strategy was hardly winning rounds. Halfway through the sixth round, Khan stunned McCloskey with a combination and an accidental head butt open up a cut over McCloskey left eye. The fight went to the scorecard and this resulted in an easy decision for Amir Khan as he won every round.
Andre Berto defended his version of the Welterweight against Victor Ortiz, a talented fighter who had a disappointing loss to Marco Maidana and a majority draw against Lamont Peterson, fights that had many questioning his heart.
Continue reading Two undefeated champions, Berto and Lopez, lose their belt and their zero!