By Tom Donelson / Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America … contributor to dmboxing.com since 2008
Leo Santa Cruz fought Rafael Rivera, who took the fight on a three week notice in his first shot at a title.
Rivera had a competitive first round as he launched combinations and body shots and looked sharp but it seemed to have little effect upon Santa Cruz. Rivera is a good fighter up against a great fighter and after the second round, the great fighter took over. Rivera had lost two of three his previous fights and was replacing Miguel Flores but this was supposed to be a tune up for Santa Cruz and it proved mostly that even though Rivera had his moment.
By Tom Donelson / Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) … contributor to dmboxing since 2008
Sergey Kovalev recaptured his WBO Light heavyweight title from Eleider Alvarez, who previously knocked the Russian light heavyweight down to win the title. He managed to revenge only the second person who defeated him and did so in dominating form. Kovalev began by winning the first two rounds, connecting on combinations while Alvarez slow in starting .
In the fifth round, Kovalev looked in control but in the
sixth, Alvarez got the better of exchanges with his right hand but the rest of the
fight, it was Kovalev who looked strong and in the last round, Alvarez looked
tired as he took big punches. The key
punch was a big right hand that nailed Kovalev in the sixth round, but Kovalev
didn’t budge or appeared hurt. From that point, Kovalev took over the fight and
won it easily.
The Compubox numbers tell the whole story as he connected on
the double the punches, was consistently more active. Kovalev landed 213 punches over those twelve
rounds, whereas Alvarez landed only 111, less than 10 per round.
I had the fight 58 to 56 going to the second half and Andre Ward of ESPN had it 59 to 55. The seventh round saw Kovalev pound Alvarez throughout the round and the rest of the fight was not much different. Kovalev not only took control of the fight, he dominated every aspect of the fight as he jabbed and box effectively while landing solid body punches. Alvarez simply couldn’t gain any momentum in the second half of the fight as Kovalev moved in with body shots before moving out boxing with effective jabs. Alvarez rarely connected on a right hand and that was why Kovalev easily won. There was only one round that Alvarez landed more punches and that was eleven. I gave the third and the sixth round due to Alvarez landed some big rights but those rounds could easily been given to Kovalev. While two judges had 116-112, this fight could have ranged from 117-111 to 120-108 in my view. I simply couldn’t find four rounds to even give Alvarez.
After a 22 month injury layoff, Keith Thurman (29-0 / 22 by KO) won a competitive fight against a game Josesito Lopez (36-8 / 19 by KO) by a twelve round majority decision at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
dropped Lopez with a left hook towards the end of round two and easily won the
first six rounds, before Lopez really came on in rounds seven and eight. In those rounds Lopez completely dominated
Thurman and was very effective with straight right hand leads, to win both
Round nine was the best round of the fight as Thurman would start to take back control of the fight and pull away.
As the twelfth began, it was apparent that Lopez needed a knockout to win and even though he won that final round, it wasn’t enough on the judge’s scorecards.
By Tom Donelson / Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America
Manny Pacquiao showed
that at age 40, that he is still a very good and Adrien Broner is still a very
good opponent against elite fighters as he did very little, allowed Pacquiao to
set the pace, throw most of the punches and connect on most of the punches.
The most humorous aspect of the fight was at the end when Broner jumped on the
rope and acted like he won the fight. He easily lost the fight as
the Compubox numbers showed.
Pacquiao threw nearly
double the punches than Broner, including twice as many power punches and
nearly three times as many jabs. Can’t win fights if you moving
backwards, not throwing punches and incapable of hurting your opponent.
In the seventh round was an example on why Pacquiao won this fight easily. He chased Broner with jabs, forcing Broner to backpedal. When Broner did land a punch, Manny simply pushed the issue and kept up the relentless pressure. Manny landed a big flurry, hurting Broner. Broner try grabbed Pacquiao but Manny simply kept throwing haymakers and Broner just survived the round.
boxing website dmboxing.com picked Giovanni “Gio” Cabrera
Mioletti as one of 2018’s top prospects! On Friday, January 11, 2019 he showed
us why! In a 10 round main event presented by Brian Halquist Productions, at
the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington, Gio took out former world rated
veteran Antonio Escalante in just 3 rounds.
The undefeated Gio, fighting out of Chicago, Illinois tipped the scales 129.2 while Escalante, fighting out of El Paso, Texas, weighed in at 128.8, but that’s as close as the fight ever got! Before a packed house, Gio went to work from the opening bell. His movement and ring generalship clearly sent a message to Escalante, that this wasn’t going to be his night. In the second round Gio dropped the veteran with a crisp left hand on the button. Escalante got up and survived the round, but the writing was on the wall. In the third, southpaw Gio stepped on the gas and midway through the round used a right jab to set up a picture perfect combination, left uppercut followed by a right hook. Escalante staggered back and as he was about to hit the deck, Gio added another left hand for good measure. Escalante, again, managed to get up. However he was in no shape to continue and referee Bobby Howard decided it was time to say goodnight to Mr. Escalente. The time was 1:48 of the third round. The win upped Gio’s record to 15-0 w/ 6 KOs while Escalante falls to 29-10 w/20 KOs.
Author, Member Boxers Writers Association of America
Boxing is the theater of the unexpected and one of the most unpredictable thing to predict is how a judge will view a fight. Jermell Charlo / Tony Harrison fight was one of those fights that many of us watching the fight saw Charlo the winner but the judges had it for Tony Harrison. Charlo was the aggressor throughout the fight and landed an average of three punches more per round and I had him up by 117-111. While much of the audience were stunned, Charlo allowed Harrison to stay in the fight. He never dominated the fight as the favorite he was and while he stunned Harrison in the last round, he could not finish off Harrison. Compubox saw that Charlo landed more punches in 9 of the 12 rounds but many of these rounds were close and decided by a punch or two so we saw many close rounds, very similar to the Fury – Wilder fight in which there were many close rounds. The difference in the Charlo-Harrison fight was that Charlo never had Harrison in trouble until the twelve whereas in the Fury – Wilder fight, Wilder twice nearly stopped the bout but for the ability of Fury to remained standing against two very brutal knockdown that would have stopped most fighters.
Jermell Charlo may have shown that he would certainly be an underdog against Jarrett Hurd, who is probably the best Super Welterweight in the world and who stopped Harrison when they both fought. Charlo fought a tactical fight and while he was the aggressor, Harrison did effective counterpunching at selected times in the fight. In my view, there were four rounds easy to score but there were eight rounds that were close as Compubox numbers attest. The judges gave most of those rounds to Harrison and they were more impressed with Harrison’s counter punching than Charlo aggressive tactics.
Dominic Breazeale scored a one-punch knockout of Carlos Negron in the ninth round of an entertaining heavyweight bout. Breazeale, with his eyes on Wilder’s belt and with Wilder in the audience watching, was hoping to make a statement. While Breazeale dominated most of the fight, it was not an easy fight as Negron landed a few solid shots of his own as a counter puncher. Breazeale nearly ended the bout at the end of the fourth round when he landed a big right as the bell ended the round, but in the fifth and throughout the sixth, Negron came back with counterpunches of his own and gave himself a chance at an upset. Breazeale finally got control of the bout in the seventh round as his strength took hold and in the ninth, he ended with one big right hand.
Breazeale went on to challenge Wilder after the fight for a shot at his title but we won’t know whether Wilder will give him that shot or look for a bout with Anthony Joshua or rematch with Tyson Fury. Regardless, Breazeale got himself in line for a title shot but right now, the heavyweight has a logjam as Fury draw with Wilder has produced a three way jam at the top with Fury established as a legitimate threat to Joshua-Wilder reign as the best heavyweight and Dillion Whyte late stoppage of Dereck Chisora puts him in the conversation as a title contender, maybe in front of Breazeale.
By Tom Donelson / Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America
Last Saturday, Saul Canelo Alvarez defeated Rocky Fielding in easy style as he sent the taller Fielding down four times in three rounds and won a easy victory but the real story is Canelo’s next move as he is the main feature for the streaming DAZN and in his first fight at 168 pound, he sold out the Mecca of boxing, Madison Square Garden.
DAZN roared to the number one free app as result of the Canelo fight. It was not that most people didn’t expect any different result of the fight but it does show that Canelo still is a big attraction and capable of carrying DAZN. Golden Boy Oscar De La Hoya noted that at 168 and 160, he has expanded his opponents including British Callum Smith and Gilberto Ramirez at Super Middleweight, a rematch with triple G or a fight with Jacobs, all big money winners.
With the demise of HBO as a boxing powerhouse and the rise of other alternatives like DAZN, we are seeing boxing entering a new world of streaming. Boxing is now moving forward on all fronts to bring fights to a new generation of boxing fans.
On Saturday night WBA World Lightweight Champion Vasiliy Lomachenko (12-1 / 9 by KO) scored a twelve round unanimous decision over WBO World Lightweight Champion Jose Pedraza (25-2 / 12 by KO). With both titles on the line, the bout took place in the Hulu Theater, at Madison Square Garden, New York, and was televised nationally on ESPN.
This was really a tactical matchup with Lomachenko controlling the action. Although Pedraza certainly came to fight, he did his best to make it a competitive affair. This may well have been Pedraza’s best performance ever, but it came against, arguably, the best “pound for pound” fighter in the world today and it just wasn’t enough.
Lomachenko put an exclamation point on the fight in round eleven as he battered Pedraza in a dominant performance and scored two knockdowns! A gutsy Pedraza was reeling and ready to go, but was saved by the bell.
While some may have thought the fight was close, Lomachenko clearly won round after round. The official scores were: 119-107, 117-109, 117-109, while I also scored the bout 117 -109. All in favor of Lomachenko.
With competition in lightweight division relatively thin, Lomachenko has called out undefeated WBC World Lightweight Champion Mikey Garcia (39-0 / 30 by KO). But that will have to wait until after Garcia’s March 16, 2019 showdown with undefeated IBF World Welterweight Champion Errol Spence Jr. (24-0 / 21 by KO).
In the meantime, potential fights that would make sense for Lomachencko would be with undefeated WBA World Junior Lightweight Champion Gevonta Davis (20-0 / 19 by KO) or once beaten Miguel Berchelt (34-1 / 30 by KO) … assuming they can agree on the issue of weight.
Last Saturday night, there was another decision in a high-profile boxing match that had me wondering about the state of judging in professional boxing. Are these judges in the pockets of the promoters or are they simply incompetent?
Just when I thought the Canelo win over Golovkin might take the cake as the worst decision in 2018, here comes Wilder and Fury.
At the Staples Center in Los Angeles, before a packed house of 18,000 fans, undefeated WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (40-0-1 / 39 by KO) and undefeated lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (27-01 / 19 by KO) fought to a split decision draw.
The official judge’s scores were, a ridiculous 115-111 for Wilder, 114-112 for Fury, and 113-113 a draw … my scorecard was 8 rounds to 4. I gave Wilder two 10-8 rounds due to the two knockdowns he scored, which totaled in points to 114-112 for Fury.
By Tom Donelson / Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America
Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury fought an entertaining fight in which most pundits viewed Fury as the winner. This was not the controversial decision everyone made it out to be. Many of the rounds were close and while Fury fought a good defensive battle, most of the rounds were decided by one punch or two. The closet to dominant rounds according to Compubox numbers for Fury was the third in which he connected on 11 punches to 4 for Wilder and the tenth in which Wilder was credited with only one punch landed to Fury’s ten punches. Contrast those rounds to Wilder dominant rounds in the ninth and twelfth round in which he sent Fury down.
Dan Rafel of ESPN had the fight in favor of Wilder 114-112 and I could easily see that decision and the 113 to 113 draw was equally reasonable since this card had Fury winning 7 rounds but when you lose two rounds by 10-8, which is negative four points for those rounds. 115 to 111 card was reasonable since that judge had Fury winning 9 rounds and that is not reach either. Could you give Wilder 7 rounds as one judge in his scorecard 115-111? Yes, you could since many of these rounds were simply too close and throughout the bout Wilder was the aggressor. There is no doubt that the two knockdowns matter since on the 113-113 card, those two knockdowns matter as the judge gave two 10-8 rounds as he should have. Those two knockdowns allowed Wilder to keep his version of the titles as if Fury had not been knockdown twice, he would have won the fight.