May 17th’s Random Boxing Rants

Amir Khan’s resume is deceptively excellent, and here’s just one way to illustrate that:

Britain currently has 9 world titlists, 10 if you count Jamie McDonnell’s WBA ‘regular’ belt.

Between them they’ve faced a total of 14 men who either held a title previously, or would go on to win one.

Khan, by himself, has faced 12.

 

Love Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez and was again impressed by his domination of McWilliams Arroyo, even if it wasn’t punctuated by his typical knockout this time.

But I’m starting to get impatient for a fight I can get my teeth into. What’s the hold-up in getting Juan Francisco Estrada or Naoya Inoue across the other side of the ring, HBO?

I’d also be interested in the miniature B-Hop Amnat Ruenroeng, but he’s got the skillset and style to make anybody look bad so is unlikely to get the call.

 

Povetkin on meldonium? So many Russian athletes with chronic heart problems these days.

I went on record long ago to say that Wilder-Povetkin was never going to happen, least of all in Russia.

 

David Haye and his team were seemingly outright lying when they stated Alexander Dimitrenko would be the opponent for Shannon Briggs on his undercard this Saturday.

I’ve never rated Dimitrenko, but he’d certainly be a test for a shot Briggs and is actually a much more accomplished boxer than the unpronouncable Swiss lad that Haye will be squashing.

Dimitrenko took to social media to express bafflement at the official announcements of the fight (as well as, amusingly, quotes attributed to him in the press release), saying he’d never even been contacted regarding it.

In reality, Briggs will, if he passes his medical, be bowling over a short-notice bum.

Can’t risk that Haye-Briggs showdown now, can we?

May 6th’s Random Boxing Rants

Missed this last year, but Vanes Martirosyan calling (ex-PED peddler turned boxing strength & conditioning coach extraordinaire) Memo Heredia out on Twitter for allegedly offering him an injection for $9k during their first, and only, meeting is interesting.

Especially interesting when you see Heredia clients like Lucian Bute and Rogelio Medina look so strong and revitalized under his program.

 

Interesting that Eddie Hearn is trying to steal Chris Eubank Jr. away (for a John Ryder fight, perhaps?) from Frank Warren for his June 25th undercard, which would once again derail plans for a Saunders-Eubank Jr. rematch.

 

Victor Ortiz really does have a chin made out of kinder egg.

He was boxing quite well in the Berto rematch until the first real punch Berto landed basically ended the fight. He needs to retire before he’s seriously hurt.

 

Who in their right mind could give a shit about Danny Garcia vs. Andre Berto?

Powers that be, don’t make this dreck #ThankAlHaymon

 

Looks increasingly as if Deontay Wilder is going to go through with his fight against Povetkin.

I’ll believe it when I see the ringwalks, but props if he can go into the lion’s den & beat the rejuvenated Russian.

 

Canelo-Khan is fun, outside-the-box matchmaking, which I’m all for, but it’s unfortunately a mismatch in the ring.

It’s also ludicrous as a 155lb. catchweight contest for the lineal middleweight title.

Khan will be on his bike from the first bell, possibly winning one or two early rounds, but will be in survival mode by halfway.

The most likely outcome is a lopsided decision, but it will be interesting to see if Khan’s (overly derided) chin can take Canelo’s (overrated) power.

February 24th’s Random Boxing Rants

A week and a half away from the 2nd Grozny heavyweight freakshow, this time headlined by Uzbek-turned-conquering Chechen hero Ruslan Chagaev taking on the likable but limited Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne, one wonders what theatrics despot Ramzan Kadyrov will involve himself in at ringside.

Last time, during the terrible Chagaev-Oquendo 2014 bout, he sat on a throne alongside David Haye (how many Russian prostitutes visited his hotel room that night?) and hilariously charged onto the apron to shove esteemed trainer Fritz Sdunek out of the way & bark instructions (threats?!) at Chagaev between rounds.

Whatever the case, it’s sure to make for an interesting Instagram post or two:

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/photo-booth/the-putin-of-chechnya-shows-his-colors-on-instagram

 

Another question worth asking is will Browne escape Grozny alive if he manages the upset?

After all, Kadyrov has been known to order an assassination or two, and Oquendo claims to have had his life threatened while in Grozny if he had the temerity to actually win.

Better bring your own teapot, ‘Big Daddy’.

 

The February 5th gun attack at a Dublin hotel during the weigh-in for the latest MGM boxing promotion is one of the most shocking occurrences to rock the sport in recent memory.

One man was left dead, and two others injured.

Incidentally, my own presence at the weigh-in that afternoon was prevented only by an unavoidable family commitment, in retrospect highly fortuitously.

It is not the time to point fingers, but it’s obvious that all those associated with the individuals behind the MGM (boxers, trainers, promoters, reporters) need to take a long look at who they’ve associated themselves, and are partners in profit, with.

I can only speculate what will happen from here, but one would imagine this will be a huge hit to the MGM brand and their pretensions of doing business as a respectable boxing promoter, running regular shows in Ireland. I’d presume no more MGM shows in the Republic for the forseeable, if ever, and it cancels the plans for Billy Joe Saunders to defend his world title here in April.

The BUI, BBBofC and anybody else doing business with MGM on a regulatory level in boxing should be asking themselves whether it’s appropriate to continue doing so.

Boxing has been dragged ignominiously through the gutter again.

 

It’s surprising to hear that Charles Martin vs. Anthony Joshua is confirmed for April 9th.

The fight is an almost unprecedented case of a Haymon guy defending a title abroad, and an unexpectedly early title tilt for the unproven Brit.

That said, Martin has done nothing to prove he’s world level and I think Joshua stops him early. Then AJ can do as Deontay Wilder has, and defend against sub-top ten opposition for a while, as he continues to learn on the job.

Shrewd business from Hearn & co., and another genuinely big fight set by the Matchroom boss after missing out on Brook-Khan.

 

Speaking of big fights, we are just 3 days away from the mouthwatering Frampton-Quigg showdown.

The storylines are innumerable and the stakes are high. Ireland v England. Shane McGuigan v Joe Gallagher. Barry McGuigan v Eddie ‘Archbishop of Banterbury’ Hearn. And, to steal a line from Steve Bunce, too much pride.

This fight is something we get far too little of in boxing: a pure 50-50 affair with both fighters in their 20s, in the midst of their prime. To top it all off, both boxers come to fight with action styles.

No outcome would surprise me. Frampton is the better boxer and I could see him using Quigg’s aggression against him for a points win, or stopping him late.

However, I think a combination of home advantage and Frampton being tight at the weight before his last bout favours Quigg, who I predict wins a debatable split decision.

December 30th’s Random Boxing Rants

Via Dan Rafael on twitter: “Awesome [Tommy Burns vs. Jack Johnson] factoid from 107 yrs ago today: The promoter (Hugh McIntosh) served as referee!! 1st fight he ever officiated!”

I can name a few 21st century promoters who wouldn’t mind operating under those rules.

 

It’s been enjoyable & informative, but quite a task, to compile a list of boxing’s worst offenders in the area of officiating each month in my Judging the Judges segment which debuted this year on Pound4Pound Ireland.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…yet boxing has a way of forgetting about past sins & assigning the same officials involved in botching fights to the next big one.

With that in mind, who were some of the worst repeat offenders of the year?

Ian John-Lewis tops the list with a whopping 7 gaffes in the 11 months I covered, with countrymen Marcus McDonnell, Terry O’Connor, Dave Parris and Steve Gray all repeat offenders also.

I’ll admit that this is somewhat skewed due to my viewing of British boxing being more comprehensive than international bouts, but one can only draw the conclusion that British boxing has some of the worst referees and judges in the world.

Pat Russell, responsible most notably this year for ending Bradley-Vargas ten seconds too early with Bradley reeling, takes the boxing razzie for worst international official with 3 total offences on my scale of incompetence.

 

 

How did my prospect of the year picks for 2015 pan out?

(https://pound4poundireland.wordpress.com/2014/12/31/pound4poundirelands-2014-fight-knockout-round-prospect-upset-and-trainer-of-the-year/)

Felix Verdejo made his HBO debut and continued to progress, although a hand injury did put him on the shelf for a while.

Errol Spence made it look easy as he demolished a quartet of fringe contenders at 147. He’s ready for world level in 2016.

Oleksandr Usyk continued to rise at cruiserweight with 3 wins, and, despite middling opposition, looks ready for anybody after just 9 pro fights.

Definitely a blue chip trio of ‘can’t miss’ future titlists.

 

 

What about the fights I hoped would happen in 2015?

(https://pound4poundireland.wordpress.com/2014/12/19/fights-to-look-forward-to-in-2015/)

Unfortunately, only 3 of the 12 hoped-for fights happened, although Frampton-Quigg is set for February.

Not a good haul.

Some of the fights on the list (Canelo-GGG & Brook-Khan, for example) just might be ready to ripen in 2016, while others (Stevenson-Kovalev & Lomachenko-Walters) seem unlikely to ever take place.

 

Wrap-up of the two big UK cards that ended the boxing year: Saunders MD12 Lee: a purist’s exercise in fistic chess.

I was very impressed by Saunders, and expect him to be matched right (think more Tommy Langford than GGG) & hold onto the belt for quite a while.

He showed great improvement from the Eubank Jr. contest a year ago. His strategy was spot on, he kept his composure throughout, showed surprising power, and, even though he again faded to a degree late, it seemed less due to conditioning than to playing it safe with a healthy lead in hand.

As for Lee, his luck was bound to run out sooner rather than later, but he showed great heart as always to survive the torrid third round. He can come again right back into a significant fight, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him in the ring with Danny Jacobs next year in NYC.

 

Joshua KO7 Whyte topped the card of the year on December 12th.

I’m not usually given over to unqualified superlatives, but this was a night of thrilling entertainment that left me breathless.

Two upsets were authored by Barroso knocking out Mitchell (to earn a shot at Anthony Crolla) & Luke Campbell floundering, and Bellew-Masternak was fun.

All heart, no head from Eubank Jr. in the co-feature. I couldn’t believe I was watching an Adam Booth fighter in there. He’s nowhere near ready for Danny Jacobs (whom he’s now mandatory for) & I’d be surprised if he’s sent to New York to fight him next year.

Perfect stoppage by Spike’s corner after round 7. It boggles the mind that the same corner let Frank Buglioni absorb a full 12 rounds of hellacious punishment against Fedor Chudinov in September. Maybe they’ve learned a valuable lesson.

The Campbell loss was one of the biggest upsets of the year, as he was one of the sport’s brightest prospects.

He’ll learn a lot from the defeat but was seriously exposed at this stage of his development. His weak, amateurish punches hardly penetrated Yvan Mendy’s guard at all, and, as a bantamweight amateur, clearly he had trouble dealing with pressure from a decently skilled, natural lightweight. In fact, Mendy has gone 12 rounds with divisonal leader Viktor Postol at 140lbs.

A lot of work for ‘Cool Hand’ to do, but I still think that someday he will win a world title. However, the expected showdown next year with Anthony Crolla is down the tubes.

I knew the AJ journey would be exciting, but the main event was a surprisingly early test of his mettle. He flirted with disaster and it’s telling of how raw he is that he struggled so mightily the first time he faced somebody with ambition, a decent chin and who threw punches of his own in return.

A world level fighter would likely have ended matters in the 2nd, which puts the kibosh on the hype merchants who would have us believe that Joshua is already one of the best in the world. His defence needs to be improved, and he lacked fluency in there at times, appearing stiff in the shoulders. Those improbable muscles had him gulping oxygen mighty early too.

On the plus side, he’ll have gained a lot of experience & his composure from round 4 onwards to break a tiring Whyte down was admirable, as was the spectacular finish.

Spike & Whyte both see their stock rise in defeat, and can come again. I see Joshua-Whyte II in the future. In Joshua’s immediate future, perhaps it will be Chisora next on April 9th, or Helenius for the European title?

 

Funniest boxing moment of 2015?

My vote goes to the belated realization of Alan Partridge’s concept of Chris Eubank reviewing youth hostels.

 

Bonus Eubank hilarity to end the year’s ‘random rants’.

Frank Bruno could never dance that well.

Happy 2016 everybody!

nescafe-thimply-the-best-small-84381

December 9th’s Random Boxing Rants

After 9 1/2 long years of Klitschko dominance, the heavyweight division has been shaken up by 27 year old Tyson Fury.

Thus ends the 2nd longest heavyweight title reign in history after 18 successful defences.

Whether this is truly a new era will only become clear after the rematch, which has been confirmed and will likely happen in May or June.

 

This contractually obligated rematch has caused a domino effect, as Fury has been stripped of his newly won IBF belt for failing to next face mandatory challenger Vyacheslav Glazkov.

For those blaming the IBF for their decision, they are simply following their rules to the letter, something the other sanctioning bodies notoriously don’t do. Fury was under no pressure to agree to a rematch clause because he was a mandatory challenger, but chose to take some extra Klitschko money knowing that, if he won, the IBF belt would have to be immediately relinquished.

Vyacheslav Glazkov and Charles Martin are expected to contest this title in the new year, a dire vacant title fight if ever there was one.

Expect this belt to be the one targeted in the future by Eddie Hearn and Anthony Joshua.

 

Glazkov was lined up to be the challenger for Deontay Wilder’s belt in mid-January, but now there’s a frantic scramble to find a replacement at short notice.

Expect the worst, but, as far as bottom-feeder ‘challengers’ go, surely Eric Molina & Johann Duhaupas (who ?) can’t be topped.

 

It’s fair to say that Tyson Fury made Klitschko look like a big stiff idiot.

 

British boxing is truly buzzing right now, with 10 world titlists (the most ever?).

This weekend’s Anthony Joshua-Dillian Whyte/Chris Eubank Jr.-‘Spike’ O’Sullivan PPV card, worthy of the 22 euro pricetag or not, continues the momentum.

The former sees the first live opponent for arguably the sport’s top prospect, Joshua, and the winner of the latter will be mandatory for Daniel Jacobs’ dubious 160lb. trinket, and likely see the son of a legend take an important step towards potential crossover stardom.

 

 

When is it going to be publicly acknowledged that Anthony Joshua is actually trained by Robert McCracken (best known for training Carl Froch), as is speculated by many to be the case, rather than Tony Sims?

McCracken is currently barred from working the corner of his Great Britain amateur boxing team, with whom he has had great success (leading Joshua & Luke Campbell to Olympic gold), while simultaneously training professional boxers.

Perhaps this conflict of interest will end post-Rio next year, and the secretive charade will end.

 

Campbell has been training with Joshua in Tenerife, and is another guy whose cornerman is rarely mentioned, supposedly an old amateur coach.

My belief is that he’ll be revealed as another McCracken pupil, and, before you ask, yes, I am partial to the odd tinfoil hat.

 

Pacquiao-Bradley III is expected to be announced Friday as the April return match for the ex-pound for pound king.

It should surprise noone that Pacquiao selected the easiest comeback fight (similarly to Mayweather in September, don’t believe the hype that it will be his final fight), facing a guy he’s already de facto beaten twice, rather than the far more difficult stylistic puzzles of Terence Crawford or Amir Khan.

Still, the 24/7 should be fun because of Teddy Atlas, and it would give Pacquiao an opportunity to surpass Mayweather’s lineal title haul by becoming champion at a 5th weight.

As the generally recognized top two ranked fighters at welterweight, the clash would fill the lineal vacancy left by Mayweather’s retirement, temporary though it may be, and I actually give Bradley a good shot at the upset against an inactive Pacquiao coming off surgery & a lopsided defeat.

November 3rd’s Random Boxing Rants

It will take place a whopping 21 months after the last big one, but Eddie Hearn has finally delivered a genuine domestic superfight with the finalization of Carl Frampton vs. Scott Quigg for February 27th

 

Quigg now apparently a full world titlist due to Rigondeaux (also stripped by the WBO) being effectively stripped by being named “champion in recess” by the WBA.

But does this make sense?

Sure, Rigondeaux has been making a mess of his career with Caribe ‘promotions’ hindering him, but he’s been inactive just 11 months, whereas Andre Ward hasn’t defended his WBA 168lb, belt in 23 months and hasn’t been stripped.

On top of that, Floyd Mayweather is retired and hasn’t defended his 154lb. title in 26 months, and is yet to be relieved of his belt.

The WBA nonsense continues to get worse, recently screwing over Jesus Cuellar (to favour Leo Santa Cruz/Abner Mares) and Jose Benavidez (to favour Adrien Broner), as well as laughably having two interim beltholders at middleweight simultaneously, all in the name of more sanctioning fees.

Surely, the WBA’s decision re:Quigg/Rigondeaux could have nothing to do with getting a slice of the Quigg-Frampton unification pie, right?

Utter bullshit.

 

The Carl Froch “Cobra’d Hall of Fame”: Jermain Taylor, Andre Dirrell, Lucian Bute, George Groves, and, now, Yusaf Mack.

(Credit to @jacktor2013 for that gem)

 

A pall must be cast over all of Antonio Tarver’s achievements after his second PED test failure.

Steve Cunningham must have the worst luck in boxing.

 

Can’t wait to see the Tim Bradley/Teddy Atlas combo take on Brandon Rios this weekend.

 

The proposed Roman Gonzalez vs. Amnat Ruenroeng fight is tremendous, and Gonzalez is doing what a pound for pound king should: seeking out the biggest challenges, no matter how awkward stylistically.

 

Delighted that inactive and entitled, but brilliant, 168lb. champ Andre Ward has agreed a 3 fight HBO deal, which will culminate in a 175lb. showdown against the fearsome Sergey Kovalev next Autumn.

However, it’s a pity we have to sit through the dross of Ward’s fight with Alexander Brand on the Cotto-Canelo undercard first.

August 14th’s Random Boxing Rants

Are unnecessary asthma inhalers being used as a PED by Olympic boxing teams?

Victor Conte says ‘yes’: https://pound4poundireland.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/japan-times-talks-to-victor-conte-on-athletics-ped-scandal-who-claims-asthma-enhalers-used-as-ped-by-majority-of-2004-olympic-us-boxing-team/

 

Thomas Hauser, when asked what 3 words come to mind when he thinks of Wladimir Klitschko: “Intelligent, powerful, PEDs”

 

Andy Lee vs. Billy Joe Saunders moved from Limerick’s Thomond Park rugby stadium (32k capacity) to an indoor arena in Manchester.

Official reason given: a virus affecting Lee. More credible reason heavily rumoured: poor ticket sales.

Very disappointing that Ireland couldn’t pull off a stadium fight, at least without the support of Sky and/or RTE, the national Irish broadcaster

 

I don’t know which is a bigger waste of time & money for American boxing fans: $65 for Mayweather-Berto (initially teased as a freebie on CBS) or $50 for the 40+ edition of Mosley-Mayorga II?

Fans would be well advised to keep the money in their wallet for the excellent Golovkin-Lemieux PPV card or long-awaited Cotto-Canelo showdown

 

As for Mayweather-Berto, what better way to follow up victory in the fight of the century for Mayweather than to fight a badly faded fighter who’s 3-3 in his last 6 fights?

It’s an incredibly insulting mismatch, made even worse when you consider that Berto’s best win is a disputed decision over Luis Collazo a whopping 6 1/2 years ago. Berto is in nobody’s welterweight top ten & lost each round in my view against a faded Josesito Lopez before scoring a sudden ko in his last outing, a performance laughable graded an “A” by the brazen Mayweather.

Ladies and gentlemen, the last man to beat Berto:

CK99tq1VAAAXrTx

 

 

Salt water cured Manny Pacquiao’s ‘torn rotator cuff’: http://bloguin.com/queensberryrules/2015-articles/manny-pacquiao-thinks-salt-water-cured-his-shoulder-or-hes-lying.html

Could’ve used a swim in the sea pre-Mayweather…P.S. the comments section to this brief Tim Starks article is amusing

 

Showtime exec, aka Al Haymon’s neutered pet poodle, Stephen Espinoza actually thinks Ramadan lasts 8 weeks: http://www.boxingscene.com/espinoza-on-berto-being-selected-over-khan-thurman–94407

My reaction:

CEoSXf_UUAAi9gW

 

 

Danny Garcia-Paulie Malignaggi (coming out of semi-retirement)

Keith Thurman-Luis Collazo

Adonis Stevenson-Sakio Bika/Tommy Karpency

Floyd Mayweather-Andre Berto on PPV

Omar Figueroa-Antonio DeMarcoa (coming out of retirement)

Peter Quillin-Michael Zerafa (a part-time stripper)

Beibut Shumenov-BJ Flores

Lucian Bute-Andrea Di Luisa

Deontay Wilder-Eric Molina/Johann Duhaupas

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Miguel Reyes

Anthony Dirrell-Marco Antonio Rubio 

 

Just a selection, but who do these fights have in common?

A stable of approximately 200 boxers and this is the best you can do?!

#ThankAlHaymon

June 29th’s Random Boxing Rants

Hassan N’Dam put Paul Smith & Adrien Broner to shame with his incredible display of bravery against David Lemieux.

While Smith and Broner took their big paydays & put in gunshy non-efforts, N’Dam (who sadly had to settle for a paltry $50k purse) got up from 4 heavy knockdowns, and, more than that, never stopped firing and trying to win.

He is a real warrior, as evidenced also by rising from 6 knockdowns in his prior loss to Peter Quillin.

As for Lemieux, while he’s still quite raw, his performance was revelatory & was the sort of powerhouse display at world level that those who saw him as one of boxing’s top prospects a few years ago hoped to see one day, and that seemed improbable after his back-to-back 2011 defeats.

He’ll be a priority for Oscie & co.at the new downsized Golden Boy, and expect at least a couple of moneymaking hometown defences before they even think about putting him in with someone like Golovkin

 

Broner it seems is more Zab Judah than Floyd Mayweather: a good fighter who will lose more often than not when in against B-level competition and up.

There’s no shame in that, but his trash talking is increasingly embarrassing & it’s frankly a relief that we won’t have to tolerate his antics at the very elite level for the next decade, as was the fear when he was streaking his way through the lower weights & getting premature ‘pound for pound’ plaudits.

Thank you, Marcos Maidana, for taking it all away from him

 

Kell Brook vs. Brandon Rios is a good fight if it gets made

 

Bravo to Lee Haskins for earning the title shot he’s always craved, with an impressive KO of the favoured Iwasa

 

Andy Lee vs. Billy Joe Saunders has been set, against my expectations, for Thomond Park rugby stadium, Limerick in September. What an outdoor event it will be.

I’ll be there live & it’s the biggest fight in Ireland since at least Bernard Dunne’s nationally-televised heyday and loss to Poonsawat.

As for the fight itself, it has the potential to be a war, and could go any number of different ways. I see Saunders building up an early points lead before being stopped down the stretch

May 23rd’s Random Boxing Rants

* A few reflections on ‘shoulder-gate’:

So Manny Pacquiao refused the fight in 2010, and one of the reasons cited was a fear of needles, but now the complaint is that he wasn’t allowed to have an injection 90 mins. prior to the first bell? The irony.

Freddie Roach said countless times that Mayweather’s legs were “shot” & that he had refined a gameplan over the years to beat him, only to accuse Mayweather of “running” post-fight. The shameless irony.

Can anybody imagine the earth-shattering hate that would have befallen the already widely-despised Mayweather had he lost in one-sided fashion, only to claim that he won, while simultaneously blaming the loss on an injury?!

We’ll never know just how serious Pacquiao’s injury was, and if pulling out of the fight when it flared up in training would have forced a cancellation due to the necessity of surgery, or whether the fight could simply have been rescheduled for July or so after the shoulder had been given a rest (after all, Pacquiao’s camp have said that the shoulder had been a recurrent problem since at least 2010).

Certainly, the immediate post-fight shoulder surgery that Pacquiao has undergone is a smart PR move, whether it was strictly urgent or not.

I expect a rematch, unnecessary from a competitive sporting standpoint but still the most lucrative fight in boxing, to happen next year.

Rematch or not, and whatever anyone thinks about the excitment factor of the contest itself, we finally have our answer: Mayweather is the best boxer of his generation.

* I wonder if Al Haymon will allow Deontay Wilder anywhere near mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin, after he blew away Mike Perez in a round yesterday.

Povetkin’s Russian backers are one of the few who can outbid Haymon’s hedge fund in a purse bid scenario.

* Incidentally, it’s sad to see Mike Perez’s career fading away.

A textbook case of a talented Cuban defector who hates training.

* A pity to see the end of ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights series, which is being replaced by one of Al Haymon’s PBC time-buys.

* So USADA have dubbed baseball player Alex Rodriguez’s doping program the most potent they’ve ever seen: http://espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/story/_/id/10297946/alex-rodriguez-doping-plan-most-potent-ever-seen-usada-says

But what about Yuriorkis Gamboa’s doping regimen, also designed by Bosch?

Is anybody in boxing ever going to investigate this?

* Despite Frank Warren’s best efforts, Saunders-Eubank Jr. II has fallen apart due to unsurprisingly unreasonable demands from the Eubank side regarding the interim trinket he picked up in his last fight.

Maybe Andy Lee against Saunders will finally happen now…

May 1st’s Random Boxing Rants: pre-Mayweather-Pacquiao edition

Prediction: Artur Beterbiev is the one to bump off 175lb. champ and ‘one-armed bandit’ Adonis Stevenson, sometime in 2016.

 

Badou Jack’s upset of Anthony Dirrell is great news for George Groves, who will now enter his mandatory title shot later in the year as the favourite to win.

 

The WBO 160lb. title quagmire, raging on for almost a year since Peter Quillin vacated due to Al Haymon’s enmity with Jay Z/Beyonce, gets more and more convoluted.

Colour me dubious, but current titleholder Andy Lee, fresh off his draw with an overweight Quillin, now supposedly has an injury that will keep him out of action until the autumn, meaning longtime mandatory Billy Joe Saunders would have to wait until September or October for his title shot.

But will Saunders do the smart thing (if he wants to be world titlist that is, something that’s actually questionable given that he’s already turned down 4 separate title shots) by either waiting on the sidelines for his mandated shot, or taking an easy stay-busy fight for the WBO’s vacant interim trinket?

Nope, because as predicted by yours truly all along, Saunders will instead put it all on the line in a big-money rematch Chris Eubank Jr., pencilled in for June 27th.

Simply put, world title ambitions are a distant second to $$$, one suspects in the eyes of Frank Warren more than anybody.

Wasn’t it only weeks ago that Saunders was blasting Eubank for holding the interim ‘world’ trinket of a different sanctioning body, but now he’s happy to fight for one of his own? Boxing is full of contradictions.

Final point: why would Saunders risk his hard-earned and winnable shot at glory against Lee to fight Eubank in a matchup which he will enter as the underdog?

The Eubank rematch will always be there and will always be worth a lot of money. He’ll look like a genius if he beats Eubank again, but I think the gamble will come up snake eyes.

 

18 defences and counting for Wladimir Klitschko, after jabbing past his 5th unbeaten contender in his last 6 fights.

Tyson Fury would be a fun next defence & I’m even willing to admit that an admittedly ludicrous Klitschko-Briggs promotion would amuse me.

At 39, Klitschko’s dominance of the divison shows no signs of abating (although, on the evidence of his last two defences, he does look to be past his best days), and the records (25 defences over 11 years and 8 months) of Joe Louis loom ever closer.

 

Oscar suing Haymon – http://www.si.com/boxing/2015/04/27/golden-boy-promotions-al-haymon-lawsuit

It’ll probably end out of court, but wouldn’t it be fun if Haymon had to take the stand to answer for his Ali Act violations?

 

Andrzej Fonfara really beat up Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

The same knockout fate is likely to meet Brandon Rios also, as he continues to eat himself up in weight and no longer possesses the size/strength advantages which he has relied on for so long.

 

Now that Julio is out of the picture, if James DeGale loses to Andre Dirrell, who is there for Carl Froch to fight next? Bernard Hopkins, maybe?

The longer he stays out of the ring, the more likely it is retirement that beckons, in my opinion.

 

Andre Ward-Paul Smith is truly a thing of hilarious beauty, and well done to HBO for rejecting it.

Eddie Hearn has done wonders for the limited Smigga, getting him 3 big fight paydays in a row off the back of 3 meaningless wins over journeymen.

 

Miguel Cotto-Daniel Geale and Timothy Bradley-Jessie Vargas are also rubbish in my view, but Cotto-Canelo is reportedly agreed upon for the autumn.

 

For various reasons, chief among them that it’s become too time-consuming, after this Saturday, I will no longer be sharing videos of the weekly fights on this site. I recommend @ThatSimbros on Twitter and http://www.allthebestfights.com for boxing uploads if you can’t catch the fights live.

 

Similarly, with the exception of my pound for pound list, this site will no longer compile weekly divisional rankings. In recent times, this endeavour (begun at this site’s inception in the 2nd half of 2012) has seemed relatively redundant, especially with the terrific Transnational Boxing Rankings Board out there. 

The TBRB is a collaboration between over 40 boxing journalists & observers of note worldwide, who discuss and implement changes in rankings across the 17 weight classes on a weekly basis.

I am a member and contribute to their ratings updates, which can be viewed at http://www.tbrb.org, and I’d encourage anybody who is interested in authoritative and wholly independent divisional ratings to look no further than the TBRB.

 

Despite these changes to the blog, my occasional ‘original articles’ and ‘random rants’ will continue, as well as the monthly ‘Judging the Judges’ and ‘Scorecards’ segments, and the regular sharing of videos and articles by others on the fight game which I deem interesting.

 

Mayweather-Pacquiao prediction: Mayweather wins 9 rounds on my card, but the judges score it a lot closer.

I suspect a split decision.

My biggest hope for tomorrow night, when more eyes will be scrutinizing the sport than ever, is that the judges and referee get it right, and things end decisively & without irrevocable controversy.

May the best man win…