By Tom Donelson (BWAA)
Author, Member of Boxing Writers Association of America … contributing writer for dmboxing.com since 2008.
This past weekend, action occurred around the world beginning in Madision Square Garden where Vasyl Lomachenko simply took Guillermo Rigondeaux apart and forced Rigondeaux to quit on his stool. Rigondeaux moved up in weight and Lomachenko was the bigger fighter, who bullied Rigondeaux throughout the bout.
What was supposed to be a bout between two of the better technician, Rigondequx hardly looked disciplined or technically skill as he rarely could connect on punches much less through combinations. He ended up holding and delivering low blows, a tactic that cost him a point in the sixth round. Both men had won gold models in consecutive Olympics and this was a bout between two former two time Olympic gold medalist but alas, Rigondeaux looked every bit of his 37 years of age and never was in the fight. Lomachenko made the case that he is one of the best pound for pound.
In Las Vegas, Tevin Farmer boxed his way around the ring and in return, he got nothing but a loss. Farmer began his career winning only seven of his first twelve fight in a career that looked headed toward mediocrity. He then ran off eighteen straight wins and now was fighting for a shot of IBF version of Super featherweight. While his opponent, Kenichi Ogawa had his moment and fought an aggressive fight but Farmer had the better of most exchanges, landed more punches including power shots and more accurate. Two of the judges had Ogawa winning eight and seven rounds in a fight I had him winning only three rounds. One of the three judges had it right with a 116-112 in favor of Farmer. My own view is that many judges don’t reward boxing and defensive skills but will reward aggressive styles, even if it is ineffectual. Farmer was robbed of an important victory.
Orlando Salido fought Miguel Roman, a hard luck fighter but on this night, Roman attacked and often forced the normally aggressive Salido to back up. Former champion and HBO announcer, Andre Ward noted after the fight, “It should be (his last fight). He has nothing else to prove. Yesterday at the fighter meeting he was saying all the right stuff but he looked tired. You could see it in his face. He has been in many wars. It is time and it is okay. He has sixty some odd fights.” Roman seemed on step ahead of Salido and got the better of exchanges and finally ended it in the ninth. Roman was a big underdog against Salido but the biggest upset occurred over in England.
Caleb Truax faced IBF Super Middleweight champion James DeGale. Truax was anywhere from 11 to 1 and 100 to one underdog. He lost his last bout by a knockout. Truax has been a good fighter, ranked in the top fifteen of Middleweights but never one of the elites. Truax’s job was to be an opponent for DeGale before DeGale moved on to another “elite boxer” for big bucks.
Truax pressured DeGale throughout the bout and nearly had DeGale out in the fifth round and Truax scored heavily in the 10th as well. The fight went the distance and while one judge had it even, the other two scored it for Truax decisively.
The Sun Newspaper summed it up when they wrote, “In his first fight back for 11 months after shoulder surgery, DeGale went into the fight the overwhelming favourite at incredible odds of 1-100…But Truax didn’t read the script at the Copper Box Arena in London and upset the odds to secure a huge victory. In truth, Truax put in a much better performance and well deserved his win. Truax showed that regardless of the odds, the unexpected happens.