Pound4poundireland’s March 22nd POUND FOR POUND top 10

1. Andre Ward

2. Manny Pacquiao

3. Sergey Kovalev

4. Terence Crawford

5. Gennady Golovkin

6. Suriyan Sor Rungvisai

7. Roman Gonzalez

8. Vasyl Lomachenko

9. Keith Thurman

10. Naoya Inoue

  • Rungvisai enters at #6 after a shock win over former #1 Roman Gonzalez, who slips to 7th, after a valiant effort in narrow defeat.
  • Golovkin sees himself bumped to #5 as a result, but his disputed win over Danny Jacobs isn’t enough to see him rise any higher.
  • Canelo Alvarez exits for now.

March 8th’s Random Boxing Rants

Still no UKAD ruling on the Furys’ nandralone failures from February 2015, and all this with Hughie lined up to challenge Joseph Parker in May and Tyson supposedly returning the following week.

For the record, I’m doubtful that either of these fights take place as scheduled.

The latest ballpark date for a hearing is alleged to be mid-April, but this has turned into one of boxing’s longest running farces.

 

Part of me feels sorry for David Haye, whose ignominious defeat to Tony Bellew last weekend was ironically also the scene of his greatest display of bravery and heart, qualities it was doubted by many that he possessed.

It was a case of past sins coming back to haunt Haye, whose achilles vulnerability was leaked on fight week, and Haye, who might otherwise have pulled out of the fight, soldiering on because doing so would have irrevocably destroyed an already-frayed reputation with the British boxing public.

As has consistently been his gameplan at heavyweight, Haye sought the path of least resistance to the biggest payday, but, this time, his body gave out.

Despite a comfortable points lead going into the 6th round against a reticent Bellew, Haye looked horrible and a shadow of his past self. Wild swings and misses reminded me of the Ricky Hatton that showed up against Senchenko. People in the back row were ducking for cover.

Then the sudden injury, and, while Bellew must get credit for the big upset (a hope that Haye’s body would let him down would surely have been part of a gameplan to extend the fight to the second half), he beat a shot fighter, and did so in laboured fashion, gassing himself before summoning enough energy to eventually get the stoppage in the 11th.

Can we really imagine the silly spectacle of Bellew challenging Wilder or Parker for a portion of the heavyweight title? It might happen…as could a Haye rematch at some stage.

What about Bellew vs. Tyson Fury?

The Liverpudlian has cracked it, transcending a lack of natural gifts to carve a quality career that’s surpassed the likes of his more talented former foe Nathan Cleverly.

As for Haye, he has had surgery and says he will return, but we’ve seen enough from Hayemaker 2.0 to know that any third iteration will be a sad shell of past glories trotted out with the aim of cashing in on his remaining name value.

 

Let’s end on a lighter note:

Named and Shamed: Judging the Judges (January & February 2017)

January 28th – In Indio, California, Miguel Berchelt enjoyed a breakthrough ko win over Francisco Vargas at super featherweight.

It’s just as well he closed the show with a stoppage, because judge Rey Danseco’s 95-95 card threatened to make matters dodgy had this increasingly one-sided fight gone the full twelve.

 

February 2nd – Yordenis Ugas eked out a split decision over Levan Ghvamichava, a result marred by the 99-90 score of judge Ressie Allen.

 

February 18th – Lamont Peterson decisively beat David Avanesyan at welterweight. Phil Rogers’ 115-113 offering was unrealistically close for comfort.

 

Earlier on the same card, Marcus Browne stopped Thomas Williams Jr. in 6 rounds.

The moment of interest as far as I’m concerned happened in round 2 and involved the questionable and confused decision-making of ref Ken Miliner.

Via Tim Starks of the Queensberry Rules: “Browne flirted with disqualification after the 2nd round knockdown by hitting Williams while he was down, but the ref instead counted Williams out, then changed his mind, deducted Browne a point and let Williams recover. The ref then made a weird decision that he was going to start a new round, before being informed there was half a 2nd round left to go. OK.”

 

The night’s main event served up an evenly matched bout between Adrien Broner and Adrian Granados, ending in a split decision in favour of an increasingly unimpressive Broner.

Steve Weisfeld’s 97-93 card was simply not reflective of the good work Granados did in the fight.

 

Some old news here, from one year ago, but it’s astonishing enough to merit mention.

The California Commission (boss Andy Foster) actually licensed a 200lb. female boxer, Keela Byrd Byars, to make her debut aged 59 (a controversial decision win over a 40-something, near-300lber) and fight a second time aged 60 (a ko loss to a 46yo).

Zach Arnold of FightOpinion reflects on this farce of all farces:

http://www.fightopinion.com/2016/03/27/boxing-andy-foster-california-keela-byrd-byars-60-years-old/

 

Feb. 25th – After a slow start, Deontay Wilder stopped Gerald Washington in 5 rounds to retain his heavyweight belt.

Not that Keith Hughes (39-37 Wilder) saw it that way. Home cooking.

Also, while the timing of the stoppage of the fight was ultimately correct, ref Michael Griffin’s indecisive in-and-out movements during the fight’s conclusion threatened to marr the outcome, most notably when he stepped between the boxers to pause the action briefly at a moment in which Washington was in particularly trouble.

Luckily, Wilder would land enough punches to end things anyway in the following moments.

 

In Britain, incompetent official extraordinaire Ian John-Lewis had another one of his nightmare nights.

First, while refereeing the Luke Campbell-Jairo Lopez fight, he stepped in to separate the fighters for literally no reason with Lopez reeling from some hard Campbell shots. (This is his specialty — Michael Griffin is just an imitator)

While it didn’t affect the result and Lopez would capitulate not too long afterwards, it was a typical example of John-Lewis’ skittish and incomprehensible decision making.

In the main event between Gavin McDonnell and Rey Vargas, the home hope McDonnell was defeated soundly. John-Lewis saw things differently though, handing in a 114-114 card that was met with widespread derision.

How many more times does this moron have to screw up for the BBBofC to take some damn action?!

 

Speaking of the British board, a report in the Sun newspaper has claimed that up to 89 British fighters in recent times may have faced foreign opposition with falsified records:

http://www.boxingscene.com/british-board-tackling-issue-foreign-fighters-falsifying-records–114032

One hopes that the British Boxing Board of Control actually address this issue properly, and their stated concern isn’t simply lip service…but I suspect it will be brushed under the carpet (Robert Smith: “we…are satisfied that things have been done correctly”), and Latvian lemmings will continue to fall over in a round in many a British ring.

Sham records and sham bouts are almost certainly here to stay.

 

Pound4poundireland’s January 29th POUND FOR POUND top 10

1. Andre Ward

2. Roman Gonzalez

3. Manny Pacquiao

4. Sergey Kovalev

5. Terence Crawford

6. Gennady Golovkin

7. Vasyl Lomachenko

8. Naoya Inoue

9. Saul Alvarez

10. Mikey Garcia

  • Garcia enters at #10 after impressing in his first real fight in 3 years, demolishing the solid Dejan Zlaticanin. The former heir apparent to the top spot in American boxing is back on track.
  • Rigondeaux exits for now, without having faced a top ten opponent in almost 4 years. At least he gets a chance to address that in a few weeks against mandatory Moises Flores but it’s guesswork as to how much this great pure boxer has left.