Category Archives: Tom Donelson

Wilder by KNOCKOUT over Ortiz – 7th Round

By Tom Doneslon / Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA)

Wilder needed one punch to erase a four-round deficit on two of the judges’ scorecard and a two-round deficit on the other card.  (I had it 59-55 and many others had it 60-54.)  Ortiz seemed in control and connected on counter punches as it would appear that Wilder hesitated to throw punches. In their first fight, Ortiz stunned Wilder in the sixth round and like in this fight, was ahead on the scorecards when Wilder stopped him. Ortiz had the power to stop Wilder and Wilder understood that, so he played it safe.

When looking at the Compubox data, the actual connect rates were close. Going into the seventh round, Ortiz only connected on three more punches, but he had a 20-8 advantage in power punches through six rounds.  Interesting enough, Ortiz only landed more punches in three of the first six rounds and Wilder landed more punches in two of those rounds with both landing two punches in the fourth round.   Ortiz was winning rounds, but he was not dominating the fight.  He succeeds in keeping Wilder off balance and never allowing Wilder to set on his punches, in particular his right hand.

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Pariah: The Lives and Death of Sonny Liston

By Tom Donelson / Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America / Contributor to dmboxing.com since 2008

Showtime special on Sonny Liston, Pariah: The Lives and Deaths of Sonny Liston, reveals the various controversy and conspiracy theories surrounding Liston career and death.  Liston, like Joe Frazier, George Foreman and even Larry Holmes were overshadowed by Muhammad Ali and his talent has often been ignored and never truly appreciated.   He was not just a powerful puncher or brawler, but he had good boxing skills to go with that awesome power. 

The problem with Liston is that the truth about his life often overshadowed his skills in the boxing ring and often led to various conspiracy stories.  There is no doubt of his connection to organized crime and his rise to prominence occurred during the time in which Mob controlled boxing and he did work for the mob as an enforcer outside the ring.

During the 50’s, mob control of the boxing became part of congressional investigation and Liston connection to the mob became part of the hearing.  This did two things.  It first delayed his shot at a title as Cus D’Amato had a good reason to keep Liston from fighting Patterson despite Liston defeating top contenders. The second thing is that reinforce Liston as a villain.

As the 1950’s ended and the 60’s begin, the Civil Rights movement was in full swing, challenging the racism existed and the documentary made it clear that many in the Civil Rights movement didn’t want Liston as a representative of their movement, a man perceived as a thug by much of American. Floyd Patterson was the polite gentleman who many viewed as a role model plus he was the heavyweight champion.

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Canelo by “KO” over Kovalev, 11th Round, to Win WBO Light Heavyweight Title

By Tom Donelson / Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributor to dmboxing.com since 2008

Sergey Kovalev has been a different fighter since the first half of the first Andre Ward fight when he looked powerful, even knocking Ward down.  Ward changed strategy and went inside Kovalev while nailing his body with shots. While you can argue who won that fight , it was close and Kovalev wore down in the second half of that fight.  In their second battle, Ward  stopped Kovalev in their second fight with a similar strategy of hitting the body and from that point, Kovalev was a different fighter.

Against Canelo Alvarez, he fought as much not to lose as oppose to win.  He threw 70 plus punches per round while Alvarez threw on only 30 punches per round and going into the eleventh round, the number of punches connected were even as both landed  an average of 11 punches per round.   Alvarez landed a higher percentage and connected on more than double of power shots while nearly 78% of Kovalev punches were jabs.  63% of Alvarez punches were power shots and interesting this may have influenced scoring at ringside. Some like Dan Rafel had Kovalev up by three rounds going into the ninth round while Kevin Iole had the oppostive score.

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Golovkin edges Derevyanchenko by Decision

By Tom Donelson / Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA)

On October 5, 2019 at Madison Square Garden, New York, Gennady Golovkin faced Sergey Derevyanchenko for the vacant IBF middleweight championship. Golovkin began the fight dropping Derevyanchenko in the first round and a left hook open up a cut over Derenyuanchenko and it look like this could be an early night for GGG and visions of a third Canelo Alvarez-GGG fight. 

Derenyuanchenko sensing time was running out, came out fighting in the third round as he hit Golovkin from angles including body shots.  This round saw Derenyuanchenko sending a message, “I am not done yet.” 

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Errol Spence Jr. “Split Decision” Over Shawn Porter

By Tom Donelson / Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA)

The Welterweight division is the most competitive division in boxing today with every top fighter nearly equal to each other and when the elites of the division fight each other, it is often a dog fight.  On September 28, 2019 at Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, Spence versus Porter was just like many of the key fights in the division over the past few years.  It was a tight, tough event, not necessarily easy to score but in my view, the last two rounds determine the fight.

Spence is a technically sound fighter with all the classic tools that any boxer would want.  He can box, move but he also has the power to stop an opponent.  Porter is awkward fighter who bores in his opponent and throws punches from various angles and his punches are hard to always see coming.  Both styles were on display and Spence found himself getting hit with punches he rarely got nailed with in past fights, but Porter also found that there were many moments in which Spence boxing skills diffuse his inside game.  Another aspect of the fight was Spence ability to fight inside and this allowed to Spence to neutralize Porter.  This showed up in the last two rounds. 

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Tyson Fury Wins “Unanimous” Decision Over Otto Wallin

By Tom Donelson / Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America / contributor to dmboxing.com since 2008

On Saturday, September 14, 2019 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Tyson Fury found himself in a battle of survival against Otto Wallin.  Yes, Fury won the decision decisively on the scorecard but forget the scorecard, Wallin proved to be a tough competitor and not the easy tune up that Fury and pundits thought it would be.  While the first round was uneventful, the second round saw Fury using his reach and right hand to keep Wallin at bay.  The third round saw the dramatic moment of the fight as Wallin right hook open up a major gash over the left eye in around that Fury was winning.

The cut challenged both Fury’s corner, who had to stem the bleeding enough to keep their fighter in the bout and Fury, who now had to take his fight game to another level with the distinct possibility that the fight could be stopped. If the fight was stopped, Fury loses since this was caused by a punch. Throughout the fourth round, Wallin targeted the eye and started to connect.  By the end of the fourth round, Wallin even had a slight advantage over Fury with punches connected.

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Knockout Over Yarde… Kovalev Comes Through; Now What?

By Tom Donelson / Member Boxing Writers Association of America

Sergey Kovalev faced Andrew Yarde but it also appears that he was facing Father Time as an opponent for at 36, he has been involved in a few wars recently and in the eighth round, he nearly saw his boxing career ended.  The eighth round was the dramatic round of the fight as Kovalev came within a punch or two as former champion and Andre Ward observed from being stopped.  Yarde dominated the round and hurt Kovalev with a series of punches including body shots.

Kovalev used his jab effectively in the beginning of the fight but as the fight wore on, Yarde used a body shot, a strategy that worked for Ward in his two fights against Kovalev, and started to make an impact.

The eighth round looked like a repeat of his first fight with Eleider Alvarez who won by a stoppage in their first bout, but Kovalev survived the round. Buddy McGirt told his fighter, either show signs of life in the next round or he stops the fight.  Kovalev went on the attack and it was the older fighter who started to wear out the younger challenger as a left jab in the eleventh round stopped Yarde.  From the ninth to the end, Kovalev looked like the Kovalev of old, using his jab to set up punches and it was a slam hammer left jab that ended the fight.

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Pacquiao “Split Decision” Over Thurman

By Tom Donelson / Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA)

Tom Brady, though past the age of 40, can still sling a football for the Patriots and may still be the best quarterback in the NFL, and a 40 year old Manny Pacquiao showed that he can still win a tough fight against an undefeated younger opponent. This was a close fight in which Keith Thurman reversed his usual M.O. of being a fast starter and often finding himself in pitched battles over the second half of fights.  Part of the reason for that was Pacquiao, who came out smoking, moved side to side while landing his jab which set up a right-hand hook that sent Thurman down in the first round.

Pacquiao dominated the early rounds and I had him winning the first three. Thurman’s jab was ineffectual throughout the bout and that is one of his key weapons.  By winning the early rounds, Pacquiao had a nice lead on the scorecards going into the second half.  In the fifth round, the Pac-Man nailed Thurman with vicious body shots. 

From the sixth, the momentum seemed to change as Thurman connected on power shots.  In the ninth round, Thurman forced Pacquiao briefly onto the ropes but Pacquiao landed a vicious left to Thurman’s body at the two-minute mark of the tenth round that hurt Thurman and forced him to retreat. This disrupted Thurman’s momentum and allowed Pacquiao to regain control of the fight. Both fighters landed a flurry of punches in the final round but Pacquiao won the round and clinched his victory.

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Tyson Fury Demolishes Tom Schwarz in Two Rounds

By Tom Donelson / Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America and contributor to dmboxing.com since 2008

Tyson Fury put on a show in Vegas on Saturday night and sent a message to the rest of the heavyweights. Fury faced Tom Schwarz, an undefeated German heavyweight.  Schwarz was a heavy underdog but he probably thinking that maybe lightening would strike like it did Anthony Ruiz upset of Anthony Joshua.  The different between the two is Ruiz had faced top competition whereas Schwarz had not faced any topflight competition and stayed in his native Germany to fight plus two fights in the Czech Republic.
Fury threw jabs after the jabs at Schwarz as the German pursued Fury but not with effectiveness.  Fury jabs were accurate, and he had no problem hitting his target with his jab.  As the round progressed, the right hand followed the jab and he looked relaxed. 

In the second round, Fury came out in a southpaw stance and Schwarz looked totally confused as he chased Fury, but he looked more like he was chasing a ghost.  Fury unleashed the right jab with occasional right hook and straight left.  Schwarz thought he had Fury trapped in the corner, but Fury managed to deflect or dodge every punch. Six punches came in Fury’s direction but Fury using his upper body, dodge every punch.  A jab followed by a straight punch sent Schwarz down for a five count, but it was only a matter of time as Schwarz’s nose looked a bloody mess.  Fury trapped Schwarz in the corner as time was running out of the round and landed multiple punches.  Schwarz merely covered up and the referee stopped the fight.

This was a mismatch from the opening bell and Schwarz looked the part of an opponent, but Fury foot movement looked divine as he merely danced around the ring with no worry.  He had no worry of being knocked out since he was barely touched.  Against Schwarz, Fury had an easy time and certainly, he found out quickly that he had nothing to fear.

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Ruiz Upsets Joshua to Win IBF/WBA/WBO Heavyweight Championship

By Tom Donelson / Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA)

Anthony Joshua left the British Isles and made his first visit to Madison Square, once the mecca of boxing but still a venerable boxing location.  His opponent Anthony Ruiz was four inches shorter and Joshua had an eight-inch reach advantage. Ruiz previous loss was a majority decision loss to Joseph Parker in Parker’s native New Zealand.  Ruiz is hardly looking the part of the fit heavyweight with a flabby middle, but he had won 32 heavyweight fights and going into the fight, had 21 knockouts.  Four weeks ago, Ruiz was told that he would be Joshua’s opponent as Jarrell Miller flunked drug tests.  Joshua was the heavy favorite, and this was to be a tune up for a future Wilder fight, and coming to the Garden was his introduction to American fight fans. 

Joshua’s job was simple, win big and start the countdown to a big fight with either Tyson Fury or Wilder. The first round was a feeling out round, as Joshua threw jabs; and the height and reach looked obvious.  The sculptured, well-built Joshua looked the part of the Champion, but in the third round, the fight changed.

Joshua knocked Ruiz down early in the third round and all looked right with the world except Ruiz got back up. Joshua smacked a right hand to Ruiz’s jaw, but Ruiz moved forward and landed a right on Joshua, sending Joshua down.  Ruiz turned into a battering ram as he kept nailing Joshua and one more big right sent Joshua down a second time. Joshua looked in serious trouble.

Ruiz kept the pressure up in the fourth round, but Joshua survived. In the fifth round, Joshua appeared to have weathered the storm and won the round with his jab and landed the best punch of the round with a left hook. In the second half of the sixth round, Ruiz let his hand loose and started to hurt Joshua.

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