Posts tagged boxing
Posts tagged boxing
Tyson Fury has continued his unbeaten streak, improving his record to 20-0 14KO after a wide points decision (119-110 and 119-108 twice) over Kevin Johnson, who drops to 28-3-1 13KO. Johnson, having previously fought Vitali Klitschko for a version of the world Heavyweight title, was thought to be Fury’s toughest test so far, but never really put up any real offence against the 6’ 9 Fury.
Fury showed an ability to fight to a game plan, keeping a cool head throughout the 12 rounds and using his jab to open up Johnson for his combinations. Johnson spent a lot of the fight coming forward without really opening up, he mostly stuck to his jab – but he didn’t even throw that very often. Fury spent a lot of the fight on the back foot, but when he did open up he seemed able to push the much smaller Johnson back fairly easily.
The first half of the opening stanza was mostly a battle of jabs, with both men landing a few shots cleanly. However, towards the end of the round, Fury began to open up with more power shots with some success. The second round saw Fury continuing to open up behind his jab, while Johnson maintained a very low work rate. Johnson was the generally on the front foot, but just didn’t throw enough. The third round followed much the same pattern, with Johnson failing to show any real offence, and Fury throwing shots to head and body. Fury showed a much calmer head than usual, boxing carefully and not looking to take his man out.
The fourth was a little closer with Johnson throwing a little more, but with Fury still throwing more combinations despite a slight drop in his work rate. At this point, I began to wonder if Fury may tire later as he was putting a lot more effort into these early rounds than his opponent. Fury’s work rate stayed lower in the fifth round, but with Johnson still doing very little, Fury won another round.
Fury came out fast at the start of the sixth round, throwing hard shots to the head and body of his opponent, forcing Johnson onto the back foot. Yet again, Fury takes the round. The seventh was the first and only round I gave to Johnson, as both men noticeably dropped their pace. The referee also deducted a point from Fury for hitting on the break after several warnings throughout the last few rounds.
The pace picked up a little in the eighth round, with Fury once again outworking Johnson. The crowd began to boo a little around these rounds, as both men maintained fairly low punch out puts. The ninth was another slow round which I scored even, as I didn’t feel either man really did much. The tenth round began with the referee reminding the fighters they were there to fight – something that Johnson hadn’t seemed to do much of throughout the fight. Fury once again outworked his opponent, working with his jab and landing combinations to the body and head of the American.
It looked like Fury was hoping for a late stoppage as he came out swinging in the eleventh round, once again pushing Johnson back with hard jabs and combinations of punches. Another round to Fury. Johnson began to throw a little more in the twelfth round, but it was far too little, far too late. Fury fought most of the round on the back foot, and once again out threw and out landed his opponent.
I scored the fight 118-110 for Fury, having given Johnson one round (With Fury deducted a point for hitting on the break) and one round even.
Chris Eubank Jr improved his record to 8-0 3KO with an 8 round points victory over former Commonwealth Middleweight champion Bradley Pryce, who fell to 33-12 18KO. Pryce seemed like a tough test for the inexperienced Eubank Jr this early in his career, and he gave a good account of himself.
Eubank worked behind a fast jab in the first, looking to counter-punch Pryce who was pushing forward with little success. He began to open up more in the second, landing some power shots but being pushed against the ropes by Pryce.
Pryce had more success in the third round, landing hard shots on Eubank against the ropes. Towards the end of the round he began to work the body of Eubank, with his opponent pinned in the corner.
The fourth round was close, with both men landing hard shots. Eubank started the round working with his jab from the outside again, with Pryce pushing forwards and looking to land in close. A right hand caught Eubank off balance, causing him to stumble, which began a short fire fight between the two men in the middle of the ring. I gave the round to Eubank, preferring his work from the outside throughout the round, leaving my score card at 3 rounds to 1 for Eubank going into the second half of the fight.
The fifth round was, in my opinion, was of Eubanks best. He spent the entire round on the outside, peppering Pryce with his jab. Pryce couldn’t get in close to throw his shots, having his head snapped back by his opponents fast, hard jab.
The sixth and seventh rounds were both fairly close rounds, in my opinion. The sixth began with Eubank once again working with his jab, but found himself pushed against the ropes by Pryce who landed a few shots to the body up close. I gave the round to Eubank for cleaner punching. The seventh once again began with Eubank using the jab, but he began to shut off a little in the middle of the round and let his work rate drop off. Pryce out worked Eubank, which earned him the round in my opinion.
The last round saw both men looking for big shots, Pryce looking for a come-from-behind knockout, and Eubank looking for an impressive finish. Eubank once again landed the cleaner shots, earning him the round on my card.
I scored the fight 78-74 for Eubank Jr, but the official score from the referee read 80-73 – which I, along with the Channel 5 commentators, felt was harsh to Pryce who gave a good effort in an entertaining fight.
Freddie Flintoff made his professional boxing debut last night, winning a 4 round decision over American Richard Dawson (2-1 1KO) despite being knocked down in the second round. Flintoff, having only taken up boxing 6 months ago was never going to look like the second coming of Sugar Ray, and indeed he didn’t. It would be easy to criticise Flintoff’s boxing – but that’s not the point, is it? What Flintoff did could be very, very good for boxing.
Being such a popular sporting personality, the fight has gained the interest of many who otherwise wouldn’t look twice at a story about boxing. And the documentary ‘From Lords to the Ring’ on Sky went a long way to showing an insight into how hard the sport can be. Split into two halves, the documentary followed Flintoff’s training camp over a few months, giving insight into the sort of lifestyle fighters need to follow in order to reach the heights of the boxing world.
It was never going to be one for the purists, but I think that Flintoff helped get boxing some media exposure that can only be a good thing.
David Price (15-0 13KO) continued his unbeaten streak with a second round knockout of former British, Commonwealth and European Heavyweight champion Matt Skelton (28-7 23KO). It was the second defence of the titles that Price won against Sam Sexton (16-3 7KO) earlier this year.
Skelton came out looking to put pressure on Price, forcing him against the ropes as soon as the bell rang. He had some success up close, but couldn’t land anything cleanly as Price tied him up whenever he got into range. Price looked to establish his jab, but also had trouble landing cleanly early on. The only notable punch of the round was a hard right hand that knocked Skelton back, but didn’t appear to hurt him.
In the second round, Skelton was warned for use of his head after continuing his rough-house tactics. It didn’t matter though, as the fight didn’t last much longer. Another hard right hand from Price seemed to momentarily shake Skelton, but the durable 45 year-old shook it off and raised his hands, taunting Price. Later in the round, a left hook to the body hurt Skelton, who retreated to the ropes and covered up. A barrage of punches to the head and body from Price sent him to the canvas, and his corner threw the towel in. The referee failed to see the towel, but Skelton didn’t beat the 10 count, giving Price his 9th straight stoppage victory.
Price didn’t look comfortable with the pressure and rough-house tactics at times, but it’s hard to say how he would have adjusted later in the fight. At this point, there are still some questions surrounding Price, but one thing is obvious; he carries serious power in his right hand.
Frank Maloney, Price’s promoter, says they are looking for a step up for Price against American Tony Thompson (36-3 24KO) in February. Thompson, a former 2 time world title challenger, was stopped in 6 rounds by Heavyweight kingpin Wladimir Klitschko in his last outing, and should provide Price with his toughest test to date.
Earlier in the evening, Denton Vassell (20-0 10KO) defended his Commonwealth Welterweight championship against Ronnie Heffron (11-1 5KO). Although Heffron started well, he was outgunned against the more experienced Vassell and was stopped in the 6th round.
Heffron won the first few rounds on my card, landing cleaner shots and working well behind his jab. However, it was clear that he was putting more into these early rounds than his opponent, and seemed more tense that Vassell; who was more experienced fighting at this level. In the 6th round, Heffron was looking the more tired of the two, and was shaken up by a hard right hand from the champion. Vassell finished the fight with a left-right uppercut combination, which seriously hurt his opponent. Heffron managed to stay on his feet, but the referee jumped in and ended the fight.
Also on the undercard, 26 year old Welterweight Bradley Saunders (5-0 3KO) dominated Irish journeyman Peter McDonagh over 8 rounds (18-27 2KO). Saunders showed very good offensive skills, landing fast combinations to the body and head of McDonagh throughout the fight. Saunders won the fight on points, 78-74.
Jorge Linares and Kelly Pavlik were touted as future superstars at one point in their careers, before sudden setbacks hit them hard. Jorge Linares was stopped late last year by Antonio DeMarco, and last night suffered another stoppage loss, this time to Sergio Thompson. As for Pavlik, the former middleweight champion has a list of setbacks longer than his title reign, including losses to Bernard Hopkins and Sergio Martinez, alcohol issues and injuries that stopped a Paul Williams fight from ever happening.
Linares (31-3 20KO) looked to bounce back from his TKO loss to DeMarco last night against Mexico’s Sergio Thompson (22-2 20KO). He looked sharp early on, moving well, using a quick jab and landing some shots on the Mexican when he opened up. His lack of head movement and leaky defence showed up early in the fight, with Thompson landing some good shots on the ropes around a minute in.
Around two minutes into the second round, Thompson landed a hard right hand shot, going on to drop Linares with a flurry of hard shots. The referee called time after Linares rose, taking the fighter to the doctor who stopped the fight on a cut.
Linares clearly has the attributes to succeed in the sport, but a leaky defence and a lack of head movement is leaving him too open to operate at the higher levels of the sport. Now coming off two straight stoppage losses, it may be time for Linares to go back to the drawing board and take a couple of easy fights to rebuild his confidence.
Kelly Pavlik (38-2 33KO), the former middleweight king, also looked to continue his comeback last night against Aaron Jaco (15-3 5KO) at Light-heavyweight. Pavlik pushed forward behind his jab early in the first round, landing a short left hook to drop Jaco towards the end of the round. Jaco fought most of the fight on the back foot and didn’t pose the former champion any offensive problems. Early in the second, another left hook dropped Jaco hard, who told the referee he was done, giving Pavlik a TKO victory.
Pavlik’s left hook looked much sharper than it has in the past, although it’s hard to tell how much he’s changed until he steps up in competition again. The 1-2 combination that was Pavlik’s bread and butter in the past didn’t show up as often as usual, which may show he is trying to mix his game up a little.
After beating Prince Aaron for the British title, Rose was looking to avenge his only loss in a rematch with Max Maxwell. The reception Rose got in his hometown of Blackpool was nothing short of warm, and probably a lot more than that.
The fight took on a predictable formula; Rose kept his hands high and blocked Maxwell’s shots when he was pushed against the ropes, countering with hooks and uppercuts. At range, Maxwell found himself picked off by the champions jab and right hand.
The first round began with Maxwell pushing forward, moving his head a lot, and throwing hard shots. Rose started slightly slower, only using his jab for the first half of the round. Around halfway through, Maxwell got through with a hard right hand – the same shot that knocked Rose out in their last meeting. Rose upped his pace towards the end of the round landing hard counter shots inside.
The next four rounds looked almost identical, with the champion winning every round easily in my opinion. Maxwell pushed forward constantly, and landed with some uppercuts and body shots in close, but was met with hard shots on his way in and hard counter punches when he got inside.
The sixth round – the round Rose was stopped in last time – was closer than the previous five, with Maxwell landing shots more cleaning, but still being met with hard counters.
Rose picked up the pace against in the seventh round, landing jabs and right hands at range, turning Maxwell in the centre of the ring and landing hard counters off the ropes. The fight carried on like this through the next few rounds, with the champion arguably winning the first ten rounds straight. Sky Sports gave the tenth round to Maxwell, I believe, but I felt Rose was still landing enough clean shots to win the round.
The pace finally seemed to catch up in the eleventh round, with the champion beginning to look tired, giving Maxwell an opportunity to take over. As in the last ten rounds, Maxwell pushed the champion back against the ropes and ripped him with hard shots, except Rose wasn’t throwing the same hard counter shots now. I gave Maxwell his first round in the fight, leaving the champion winning ten rounds to one.
The twelfth round was action packed as both fighters threw hard shots throughout. Maxwell, knowing he was behind on point, desperately looking for a knockout with Rose fighting to keep the challenger off with harder counter punches. Rose landed hard jabs and straight rights in the middle of the ring and continued to counter against the ropes, doing enough to win another round.
I had the fight 119-109 for the champion, Rose. The fight was entertaining yet repetitive, as one commentator observed, you could swap most of the rounds in the fight around and hardly notice as so many of the rounds looked identical.
On the undercard, Rick Godding scored his 16th straight victory with a DQ win over Martin Welsh. Welsh was disqualified in the sixth round for excessive use of the head.
Godding, cut in the first round by a clash of heads, outboxed Welsh (now 10-2) in the middle of the ring for most of the fight. Welsh pushed Godding against the ropes often in the second and third rounds but was usually tied up before he could land anything significant. In the fourth round, Welsh had a point deducted for use of the head.
In the fifth round, a counter left hook seemed to hurt Welsh, who looked to be tiring, near the end of the round. The sixth continued with Godding landing clean counters, as Welsh mounted an offense that seemed, at times, desperate. Welsh was pounded by a barrage of shots against the ropes in the last minute of the round, before being disqualified for use of the head.
After the fight, Godding said he felt robbed of a stoppage win over Welsh and feels he may be ready for a British title fight in a couple more fights.
The rematch between Brian Rose and Max Maxwell tonight for the British Light-Middleweight championship gives the reigning champion a chance to avenge his only loss. In 2010, Maxwell handed Rose his only loss by sixth round stoppage. Since then, Rose has won four straight with one stoppage. He picked up the English title by wide decision over Lee Noble 2010. Rose went on to win a split decision (116-113, 117-113, 114-115) over Prince Aaron last time out to capture the British title. On the other hand, Maxwell has gone 3-1-1, and is coming off a point win over Rocky Chakir (6-11).
It seems that the odds makers don’t put much stock in Maxwell’s previous victory over Rose, and have him as a 9/2 underdog.
On the undercard, Rick Godding (15-0 2KO) takes on 10-1 1KO Martin Welsh in an 8 round Welterweight fight.
A fantastic interview with Sugar Ray Leonard. I would say it’s worth watching, if you have the time.