Archive for the ‘Personal Thoughts’ Category

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What was supposed the be the marquee matchup of 2017, proved to be just that when Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KO’s) took on Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KO’s).  Sadly the fight ended in a controversial draw.  So who was at the heart of the controversy?  Yes, you guessed it, none other then judge Adelaide Byrd, if she can even be called a judge at this point.  GGG and Canelo fought all 12 rounds in what proved to be a magnificent fight, with everyone thinking that Golovkin had won at the end of 12 rounds.  I scored the fight personally, and had GGG winning 116-112, same score as Harold Letterman, which means Golovkin won 8 of the 12 rounds.  Judge Dave Morreti scored the fight 115-113 in favor of Golovkin which was a very fair score.  Judge Don Trella scored the fight 114-114, which depending what you were looking for, is not terrible, even though I clearly thought Golovkin won.  And then there was Judge Adelaide Byrd, who scored the fight 118-110 for Canelo Alvarez.  That scorecard means that she only gave Golovkin 2 winning rounds out of 12, which is completely absurd given the fact that GGG dictated the whole fight, and landed way more punches then Canelo did.  As a result for her atrocious scorecard, Byrd has been benched for the rest of 2017.  In my opinion, she should definitely be suspended for a long time and heavily fined, if not thrown out of boxing all together.  By the way, this is not her first highly questionable scorecard.  There have been a few others, including a UFC fight, but we won’t get into that right now.

Golovkin came out strong with the jab in the first round, and as a result, outlander Canelo.  In the second round, Canelo seemed to bounce back, and look a lot more comfortable, all the while countering effectively.  In the 3rd round, GGG hit Canelo with a monster body shot, the first one he threw, and for a split second, it looked like Canelo was a goner.  Since the third round, Canelo was on his horse, backing up pretty much the rest of the fight, and fighting off the ropes.  GGG also took the 4th round, in which Canelo seemed to still be feeling that body shot.  The 4th was one round that Adelaide Byrd gave to GGG.

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According to Byrd, GGG would not win another round until the 7th, when he hit Canelo with a hellacious overhand right.  Thinking he had the fight won, GGG slowed down in the 11th and 12th, and pretty much gave away the rounds.  On the flip side, it really looked like Canelo got the “you have to KO him to win” speech, because he came out guns blazing in the 11th, after no doing much the previous 2 rounds, and continually being trapped against the ropes.

These are the final punch stats for the fight.  Lets take round 9 for example.  GGG landed 24/58 (41%) punches, while Canelo landed 13/42 (31%) punches.  That’s an 11 pinch difference.  So how could Byrd have given Canelo that round?  The fight of the year was turned into a disgrace by a corrupt judge.  If she isn’t corrupt, she is totally incompetent.  Either way, she should not be a judge any longer.  By the way, what was in that envelope that Oscar De La Hoya was spotted handing to her?  This fight should be reviewed by 3 other judges that had nothing to do with it, and this decision should be overturned.  Golovkin should be the Unanimous Decision winner!

 

-David Jukic, INSIDE RINGSIDE

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Last night on Showtime Boxing, Floyd Mayweather (50-0, 27 KO’s) picked up his 50th victory, surpassing Rocky Marciano (49-0) and rhode off into the sunset for the last time.  Mayweather knocked out Conor McGregor (0-1, 0 KO’s) in the 10th round.  McGregor looked foolish in the ring from the very beginning, but managed to win the first 3 rounds simply because Mayweather was not throwing any punches.  In the 4th round, Mayweather finally let his hands go, and it was demolition of the MMA superstar.  Floyd was picking McGregor off with timely counters over and over again.

By the 7th round, McGregor looked totally gassed like he was going to collapse at any moment.  The 10th round would mark the end for Conor McGregor, who could barley stand on his feet at that point, as Floyd pinned him into the corner and started throwing combinations.  Mayweather landed a huge right hand followed by a left hook and a series of jabs.  At that point, McGregor really had nothing left in the tank.  He dropped his hands and took the shots.  Without throwing any punches back, and absorbing too much punishment, the referee stopped the fight, and Mayweather cruised to victory.

On the under card, Andrew Tabiti (15-0, 12 KO’s) defeated Steve Cunningham (29-9-1, 13 KO’s) in their Cruiserweight bout by a 10 round unanimous decision.  Gervonta Davis (19-0, 18 KO’s) went at it with Fransisco Fonseca (19-1-1, 13 KO’s) and disposed of him with a very questionable TKO victory in the 8th round.  Davis hit Fonseca in the back of the head, and the referee deemed it a clean hit and a TKO for Davis.  Badou Jack (22-1-2, 13 KO’s) was spectacular in his 5th round TKO victory against Nathan Cleverly (30-4, 16 KO’s).  In his first bout at Light Heavyweight, he bloodied the naturally bigger Cleverly, and took the WBA Light Heavyweight title home in a very impressive victory.

Back to the topic of Mayweather VS McGregor, this analysis will be very opinionated.  The fight was a joke, plane and simple.  I have never seen Floyd not punch at all, even though he usually tends to be a slow starter.  The whole thing just seemed scripted on Floyd’s part, even thought Conor McGregor was most likely not aware of it.  It pains me to say this, being a huge TMT and Mayweather fan, but I almost wish this fight didn’t happen.  Was telling my friends form the beginning, even before fight night, Floyd is going to try to make this a show and let McGregor fight, and then when he decided it was necessary, he would take him out.  People were praising McGregor for fighting a brilliant start to the fight.  He actually did not.  He looked awkward and unsure of himself.  The reason he “looked great” in the first 3 rounds is because Floyd wasn’t fighting.  McGregor is not an experienced boxer, and if Floyd fought rounds 1-3 the way he fought 8-10, he would have taken McGregor out in the first round or two.  But then that wouldn’t have been a show!  Once Mayweather decided that it was time to fight, he was landing at will.  If he decided to not let Conor have a chance at all, and fought the first half of the fight, the show would have been over early, but at least it would have been real!!!

 

-David Jukic, INSIDE RINGSIDE 

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This Saturday night will be an interesting one for the boxing world as Adrien Broner (33-2, 24 KO’s) takes on Mikey Garcia (36-0, 30 KO’s).  This will be Mikey Garcia’s first fight at 140 pounds, as he moves up in weight again for better competition.  Garcia has flourished every time he has moved up in weight, so there is nothing to warrant the thought of failure here.  Broner has moved up in weight several times as well, but failed when he tried his luck at 147 pounds, so he will move back down to 140.  This is an interesting fight because it will show if Adrien Broner has peaked and is on the decline, or if he still has what it takes to defeat (or at least hang with) a top tier fighter in or around his weight class.

So the question arises, does Adrien Broner have a chance to defeat Mikey Garcia?  In my opinion the answer is no.  But how will he lose?  Will he be totally wiped out like he was against Marcos Maidana?  Or will he make it an interesting fight and take it the distance?  Broner was once upon a time one of my favorite fighters in the game.  Lack of focus and bad life decisions however, have somewhat derailed his once very promising career.  Broner was on the rise back in 2012 and 2013, obliterating everyone that stood in his way, and was on the fast track to the top of the boxing world.  He defeated his toughest opponents to date in those 2 years (Antonio DeMarco and Gavin Rees) with relative ease.  He was seemingly boxings golden boy, with all the talent in the world.  Then he stepped up in competition to face Paulie Malignaggi, a decent fighter with no power, and Paulie gave him fits even though Broner escaped with a Split Decision victory.

Broner would step up the competition again after that in a fight with Marcos Maidana.  Maidana exposed Broner for what he really was, a super talented fighter that just couldn’t get his head in the game.  Maidana destroyed Broner in December of 2013, and that was the beginning of the decline.  Since then, Broner has gone back to fighting second tier fighters, to collect some wins.  In June of 2015, Broner tired his luck against a top fighter in Shawn Porter, and guess what, he lost again.  Broner then took 2 more easy fights against relative no names and won easily.  In February of 2017, Broner took a fight against Adrian Granados, which I think he should have won easily, and even though he did win, Granados gave him fits.  It ended in a split decision victory for Broner.  The time has come for Broner to test himself again.  Broner will lose this fight against Garcia, simply because Garcia is amazing in the ring, but will he look good doing it?  If Broner makes it a tough fight, he still has a future in the sport.  But if he gets totally wiped out, he will become a forgotten talent.

Mikey Garcia is a beast.  He continues to move up in weight and demolish everyone in his path.  His career reminds me of the career of Andre Ward.  Garcia has never shied away from facing the best fighters in his weight class.  Combine that with the long layoffs and still having the ability to dominate when he returns to the ring, their paths are very similar.  Garcia’s future is bright.  He has moved up to 140 pounds, which is one of the most exciting divisions in boxing.  He has plenty of opportunities to make great fights with other great fighters.  If he defeats Broner, he will no doubt draw a lot of interest for other fighters.  Broner is still a name that looks good on a fighters resume if he can defeat him, which i believe Garcia will.  Garcia packs dynamite in both hands.  He can hurt you with his left or his right, which is what makes him so dangerous.  I believe he will carry his power up to Junior Welterweight and stop Broner in the later rounds.

 

-David Jukic, INSIDE RINGSIDE

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Next Saturday June 17th 2017, will be the rematch between Andre Ward (31-0, 15 KO’s) and Sergey Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KO’s), which is poised to be one of the biggest fights in 2017.  It is the battle for Light Heavyweight supremacy, with 4 titles on the line.  Ward will defend the WBA/WBO/IBF/TheRing Light Heavyweight titles, which he took from Kovalev last November, in a very close decision victory.  A lot of doubts were cast on Ward, and a lot of questions were raised about if he actually did beat Kovalev, in what was the narrowest decision in recent memory.  Many fans, and of course Kovalev, did not agree with the decision, and so we have the rematch.

So, is there any reason to think that Ward won’t be victorious this time around?  Between the 2 fighters, only Kovalev has fought someone twice.  He defeated Jean Pascal via TKO back in March of 2015, and then completely destroyed him in their rematch back in January of 2016.  But was Kovalev better in the rematch?  Or was Pascal just that much worse?  Pascal was very gun shy in their second fight, and Kovalev took complete advantage of that fact.  Never the less, it was a complete wipe out in their rematch.  In my opinion, this would be the only evidence that could support a possible Kovalev victory.  In the first fight with Ward, Kovalev knocked Ward down in the first round, but was unable to knock him out.  He will have to do that to win, because going to the scorecards after 12 rounds with Ward, will most likely not be favorable for any fighter for that matter.

Andre Ward on the other hand, has literally beaten everyone relevant in or around what ever weight class he has been in.  In his Super Middleweight days, he went on a rampage.  Ward was predicted to be one of the first eliminated from the Super 6 tournament.  Guess what.  He went on to win it.  He defeated all the top fighters at Super Middleweight which included Mikkel Kessler, Sakio Bika, Arthur Abraham, and of course the great future hall of famer Carl Froch.  He then went on the defeat the once feared Chad Dawson, to completely take over the division.  Ward has made a career out of fighting and beating the best, so there is no reason to think otherwise here.  If anything, he has learned from the first encounter with Kovalev, and will defeat him more decisively this time around.  Kovalev needs a knockout to win here in my opinion, which is definitely not out of the question.  If it does go to the score cards after 12 rounds though, look for another close decision, but Andre Ward will be victorious.

 

-David Jukic, INSIDE RINGSIDE

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One of the most anticipated fight cards of the year, turned out to be shockingly anticlimactic.  What we expected, and what we got, were two completely different things.  The most exciting fight of the evening was Roman Gonzalez (46-1, 38 KO’s) VS Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (42-4-1, 38 KO’s), which turned out to be a shocking upset, and in my opinion bad decision.  Sor Rungvisai put Chocolatito down in the first round on a flash knockdown, but Gonzalez wasn’t really hurt from it.  In the second round, one of many clashes of heads happened and it opened up a deep cut over the right eye of Chocolatito.  Blood kept gushing out from the eye for the rest of the fight, and was clearly bothering Gonzalez.  Gonzalez however, fought hard and in my estimation won the fight.

Gonzalez ended up throwing right around a 100 punches less then Sor Rungvisai, and landing around a 100 more, at a much higher percentage.  He also out landed Sor Rungvisai in nearly every round, even if not by much.  The final scores of the fight were 113-113 (draw), 114-112 (Sor Rungvisai), and 114-112 (Sor Rungvisai).  How is this possible you ask?  Well, its not the first questionable decision that Judge Julie Ledderman has been involved in.  Some of he betting odds of this fight went as high as -2000 in favor of Gonzalez.  This just had Vegas call written all over it.  Now without jumping to conclusions, at least 2 of the 3 judges could have potentially made a lot more on this fight that any fine they could potentially receive.

It’s heart breaking for Roman Gonzalez, because he loses 4 things now.  The first is his undesfted record.  He was just handed his first loss, and it came via extremely questionable decision.  The second thing he lost was his WBC Super Flyweight title.  He is now no longer a champion.  The third thing he lost, was his #1 spot on the Pound-For-Pound list.  And the 4th and most important thing that he will now lose, is public interest. Guys in weight classes that low, struggle to get fans on their back, because not many people care about 115 pound fighters.  Hopefully Gonzalez figures out how to get big fights after this travesty.

 

-David Jukic, INSIDE RINGSIDE

Image result for vasyl lomachenkoThe 2016 fighter of the year was a bit more challenging for me to choose.  There were three that stood out over everyone else.  The first was Carl Frampton.  Frampton accomplished a ton this year.  He defeated Scott Quig, who was ranked number 2 in his division (behind Frampton), then he moved up in weight, and fought one of the best fighters in his new weight class, Leo Santa Cruz.  Frampton also defeated Santa Cruz and actually won 2 titles in 2 different weight classes.  The second was Terence Crawford, who just demolished every opponent he faced this year.  But the level of competition was just not enough for Crawford to get the nod.  He is simply too far ahead of everyone he faced skill wise.  So, my winner of the INSIDE RINGSIDE 2016 Fighter Of The Year goes to Vasyl Lomachenko (7-1, 5 KO’s)

In 2016, Lomachenko unofficially established himself as the toughest fighter to beat.  Even with only 8 professional fights, he is already ranked 6th on The Ring Magazine pound-for-pound list, and can be found somewhere on most pound-for-pound lists out there.  Even though he only fought twice this year, Lomachenko breezed through top opposition.  He won every round that he fought in 2016.  On June 11th, he faced off against Roman “Rocky” Martinez, and demolished him in 5 rounds, which by the way was also almost rated the knockout of the year.  In that fight, he won the WBO Junior Lightweight title.  On November 26th, Lomachenko successfully defended that title, against the best possible opponent he could find in or around his weight class.  That opponent was the hard hitting knockout artist Nicholas Walters, who Lomachenko dispatched with ease.  Lomachenko won every second of that fight, and after the 7th round, with absolutely no point to continue, Walters quit in the corner on his stool.  When you take two opponents that are that good, and make them look like amateurs, that says something about the skill level that you possess.  For these reasons, Vasyl Lomachenko wins the award of the INSIDE RINGSIDE 2016 Fighter Of The Year.

-David Jukic, INSIDE RINGSIDE

Image result for francisco vargas vs orlando salidoAny time a fight reminds someone of Diego Corrales VS Jose Luis Castillo, it will be a definite candidate for Fight Of The Year.  Francisco Vargas VS Orland Salido was just that.  It was a can’t miss when you really think about it.  Francisco Vargas (23-0-2, 17 KO’s) has been unofficially characterized as the most exciting fighter in boxing, for his ability to take big punches, and also because of his push output per round.  Orlando Salido (43-13-4, 30 KO’s) is also a can’t miss action fighter, due to the fact that he throws power punches almost exclusively.  He has the lowest jab output of any significant fighter in the sport, so almost all his punches are heavy shot.  When you mesh the two together, you are all but guaranteed to see the Fight Of The Year.  This is precisely why Francisco Vargas VS Orlando Salido is my unanimous choice for the INSIDE RINGSIDE 2016 Fight Of The Year.

It took about midway through the first round for the bombs to start flying, and the fight was just as entertaining throughout the remainder.  It is extremely rare for two fighters to step into the ring and just keep throwing and absorbing huge shots through all 12 rounds.  The only difference between this fight and the Corrales VS Castillo fight (fight of the decade), was the fact there were no knockdowns.  There were a few moments where near knockdowns occurred, however, the final punch stats were absolutely astonishing.  This really showed why this was the choice for Fight Of The Year.  Francisco Vargas landed 386 of 1184 (33%) punches in the fight, while Orlando Salido landed 328 of 939 (35%) punches.  As Jim Lampley would say, “How do men do this?”  That question simply cannot be answered, and this is the reason why Francisco Vargas VS Orlando Salido takes home the honors of the INSIDE RINGSIDE 2016 Fight Of The Year.  It was very fitting it ended in a draw.

-David Jukic, INSIDE RINGSIDE