1. Roman Gonzalez
2. Sergey Kovalev
3. Gennady Golovkin
4. Saul Alvarez
5. Guillermo Rigondeaux
6. Terence Crawford
7. Juan Francisco Estrada
8. Andre Ward
9. Adonis Stevenson
10. Naoya Inoue
- Manny Pacquiao officially retires and, while I treat this as dubiously as I did Mayweather’s supposed final exit from the sport, it is appropriate to honour his word & remove him from the rankings
- Naoya Inoue, the impressive young Jr. Bantamweight, enters at #10
March 5th – Boxing’s latest visit to ‘dear old dirty’ Grozny, to paraphrase James Joyce via Steve Bunce, was always sure to produce some dodgy officiating.
Apri Ushtarkhanov stopped stopped Thomas Mashali after almost 4 minutes of the second round. No, that’s not a typo.
Ref Alexander Kalinkin also allowed the fight to continue when Mashali clearly was begging for a way out and not responding to instructions to step forward after collapsing to the canvas in a heap. He took some unnecessary punches as a result, all when he should have been enjoying his minute’s rest in the corner.
Home boxer Viskhan Murzabekov was upset by veteran Ali Funeka on a split decision. Sergey Litunov’s dissenting 117-111 card was openly biased.
The Browne-Chagaev heavyweight bauble main event was marred by a shoddy timekeeper.
With Browne dropped & hurt, 10 to 15 seconds were added at the end of the 6th, in hopes of Chagaev finishing the job, and once Browne had reasserted himself in round 7, the bell rang approximately 44 seconds early.
Laughable stuff. Browne eventually scored the upset win.
The foreigner’s subsequent failed VADA drug test is another matter, one which may be discussed here later once a decision has been come to by the sanctioning body etc.
A strange night too in Washington, as the Jessie Vargas-Sadam Ali vacant title fight at welterweight was marred by ref Tony Chevalier.
To quote Tim Starks of the Queensberry Rules: Chevalier was guilty of “missing a knockdown, pulling Vargas off Ali for no reason, not noticing that Vargas’ corner was waving a white towel, deciding to stop it at an odd moment, etc. etc.”
Worst card of the year? D.C. judge Lloyd Scaife’s effort in the Luis Ortiz-Tony Thompson (the home fighter) main event was quite unbelievable.
He scored round 1 just 10-9 for Ortiz, even though he dropped Thompson. He scored the 5th round for Thompson, even though Ortiz clearly dominated it. Worst of all, he scored the 3rd round 10-9 for Thompson, even though he was the the fighter to hit the deck in that stanza.
Hometown judging has been brought to a new level. Ortiz easily won by 6th round stoppage.
The D.C. commission investigated Scaife’s abomination, but it is unknown what their eventual determination was.
March 12th – Marcus McDonnell’s 115-112 card saw the Flanagan-Mathews 135lb. title bout way too close.
To these eyes, it was a virtual shutout.
In Mexico, Junior Granados escaped with a robbery split decision over Aston Palicte.
Victor Ortiz Lara (97-93) & Max Ruiz (97-94) were the offenders.
March 18th – Dive scandal in Ukraine: http://www.boxingscene.com/ukrainian-dive-scandal-golovkos-win-removed-kuts-gets-ban–102852
Pleased to see the Ukranian National League of Professional Boxing take appropriate action.
March 20th – Was initially pleased to see that the Arizona State Boxing & MMA Commission were dubious about licensing the ‘Roy Jones Jr. vs. a fan’ farce that took place last month: http://ringtv.craveonline.com/news/412445-roy-jones-jr-would-have-to-fight-a-pro-not-a-random-fan
However, ultimately, somebody convinced them to go along with it, as Roy blasted out a novice MMA fighter in two rounds on his pro boxing debut.
Talk about toothless…and I’m not referring to old man Roy.
March 26th – Ref Steve Gray was too slow to react & pause the action when Zoltan Sera’s arm got stuck in the ropes in the 4th round of his fight with Adam Etches.
This lack of attentiveness hastened Etches’ victory, as Sera was dropped (although a knockdown rightly wasn’t ruled) and given scant time to recover afterwards.
The Eubank Jr.-Blackwell British title fight brought near tragedy, as the beating Blackwell suffered meant he had to be put into an induced coma for the week following the contest.
This article is being written in early April, so, with the benefit of hindsight, we know now that Blackwell thankfully didn’t have to suffer through an operation & is awake and able to talk to friends and family. Hopefully he will be able to regain all of his faculties and live a full life.
On the matter at hand, the referee Victor Loughlin, other ringside officials and even Blackwell’s corner team have received much criticism for not stopping the fight sooner, but, to these eyes, that is a case of convenient ’20/20 hindsight’.
While way behind on the cards, Blackwell was always fighting back and there was no single moment, until the eye injury flared up, that one could say Loughlin absolutely should have stepped in.
I don’t think the blame can be placed on the referee or anybody else, and that the fight simply illustrates the dangers inherent in this sport. Blackwell being awake and lucid now is a credit to the modern professionalism of the ringside medical team and those at the hospital that he was swiftly transported to.
Prichard Colon, victim of head trauma during his October bout with Terrel Williams, was not so fortunate.
He remains in a coma today, and a Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation report into the matter is illustrative: http://ringtv.craveonline.com/news/415163-virginia-spokesperson-admits-flaws-in-prichard-colon-investigation?utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=virginia-spokesperson-admits-flaws-in-prichard-colon-investigation
Ref Joe Cooper, infamous for his botched handling of the Khan-Peterson fight in 2011, and ringside doctor Richard Ashby were both found to have committed errors during the fight, but were found to be officially not at fault for Colon’s injuries.
Furthermore, they would be unable to be held accountable anyway due to their nebulous status as “contract vendors”. The only scant consolation is that Cooper is likely to never ref a fight in this jurisdiction again.
Once more, toothless.
What a tragic mess.
1. Roman Gonzalez
2. Manny Pacquiao
3. Sergey Kovalev
4. Gennady Golovkin
5. Saul Alvarez
6. Guillermo Rigondeaux
7. Terence Crawford
8. Juan Francisco Estrada
9. Andre Ward
10. Adonis Stevenson
- Pacquiao solidifies his position near the top of the sport with another special performance, defeating Tim Bradley widely in their trilogy bout.
- Pacquiao wins his 5th lineal title, a record, and joins Henry Armstrong & Bob Fitzsimmons as the only men to win lineal crowns at 3 of the original 8 weight divisions. Remarkable.
- #5 Bradley, while valiant as always, exits the top ten.
- Stevenson enters at 10.
Bradley Skeete 116-112 Sam Eggington, officially UD, Skeete wins British and Commonwealth Welterweight titles
Tommy Langford 118-110 Lewis Taylor, officially UD, Langford wins vacant Commonwealth Middleweight title
Terry Flanagan 119-108 Derry Mathews (rematch), officially UD, Flanagan retains Lightweight title
Juergen Braehmer 116-111 Eduard Gurknecht (rematch), officially UD
Andre Ward 119-107 Sullivan Barrera, officially UD