Saturday, November 28, 2015

Smitty's Quick Take in Klitschko vs Fury

Should be a fun fight in German in a few hours although we know how boring Wlad can be with his clinch happy style if he does not get the ko. Although never one to marvel at Klitschko style or skills, anyone who knows the sport of boxing or sports in general must marvel at his conditioning, level of consistency, power, and improvement over the past decade. Once Emanuel Steward got him to mitigate the ability to touch his always vulnerable chin and accentuate his size, power and strength he has been one of the great forces in heavyweight boxing history. For Fury his best hope is that the older (39 year old) Wlad gets really old and that Fury with his youth and size and improved although lacking skills can create an upset. Fury needs to use his size advantage, something Wlad is unaccustomed to and pump the jab and not get caught pulling straight back. He must work on inside and not just let Klitschko tie him up. If Wlad does not catch him early and cannot tie him up, then frustration and age might open windows for a new Champion. Would not shock me, nothing in boxing does, but I'll go with the much more experienced, much more skilled, much more powerful Champion to remain Champion a bit longer. Joe Louis long, I don't think so. But for another night in Germany. Yes. Klitschko by TKO 7.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Mexican Superstar Powers His Way to Another Title

Photo Credit: WBC/Naoki Fukuda

This long-awaited showdown was billed as the latest chapter in the “Puerto Rico vs. Mexico” rivalry— and Canelo Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) and Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) did not disappoint.  Both showed their top-notch boxing skills, but it was the Mexican superstar who pressed more of the action— scoring a dominant unanimous decision to win the WBC and lineal middleweight title.

Youth, power and size seemed to be the difference.

Cotto tried to box in the early rounds as Canelo stalked him around the ring.  By round 3, it was apparent that Canelo was the bigger and stronger fighter—landing a number of power shots.

The best action of the fight was round 8.  They went toe-to-toe— with Canelo getting the best of the combat.  He just never seemed fazed by Cotto’s power.

The 12th and final round saw both fighters going for the knockout.  And again, it was Canelo who got the the best of the action. Cotto suffered a cut around his left eye but it was not a factor.

In the end,  it was a dominant performance by the Mexican superstar.  The judges had it 117-111, 119-109, 118-110.

James “Smitty” Smith is the host of “In This Corner TV” and a Florida Boxing Hall of Fame inductee.  He said, “Canelo fought tactical but yet aggressive and I was most impressed by his defense.”  He had Canelo winning convincingly— scoring it 119 to 109, or 11 rounds or one— adding, “this is without question the biggest win of his career.”

Both fighters showed their mutual respect and sportsmanship by embracing at the final bell.

Canelo was visibly emotional afterwards during his interview with HBO’s Max Kellerman.  He praised Cotto for his boxing ability and then, when asked, said he is ready to face Gennady Golovkin— in what would be another “super fight.”

The new WBC champ has 15 days to sign a deal to fight Golovkin, as stipulated by the governing body before the match, or he will be stripped of the title.  Golovkin holds the other two major middleweight title belts.

There were two significant fights on the under card— Japan’s Takashi Miura (29-3-2, 22 KOs) and Mexico’s Francisco Vargas (23-0-1, 17 KOs) put on a “fight of the year” contender—for the WBC super featherweight championship.  They went toe-to-toe at times and were “worse for wear” by the middle rounds. 

Vargas, whose right eye was cut and nearly swollen shut, scored a dramatic come-from-behind victory with a TKO in the 9th round to win the title. Vargas was almost stopped in the previous round but he rallied in the final moments and then, in the 9th, he knocked Miura down with a vicious left uppercut and several right hands.  Miura staggered to his feet and made a valiant effort but the referee stepped-in and stopped the fight after he took a flurry of power punches.

Former super bantamweight champ Guillermo Rigondeaux (16-0, 10 KOs) scored a unanimous decision over Drian Francisco (28-4-1, 22 KOs) of the Philippines.  The two-time Olympic gold medalist from Cuba consistently landed left hands and exhibited his extraordinary defensive skills, but apparently it was not enough for some of the fans on hand.  You could hear the “boo-birds” consistently through the fight.  Rigondeaux was stripped of his WBA and WBO titles in recent weeks due to inactivity.  Before tonight’s win, he had only four bouts since September 15, 2012.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

WBC Stips Cotto of Title


November 17th, 2015.

The World Boxing Council worked tirelessly through a process that began over two years ago to secure the celebration of the highly anticipated fight between Miguel Cotto and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. The WBC is proud of that accomplishment that is giving boxing fans around the world a very important fight to see.
After several weeks of communications, countless attempts and good faith time extensions trying to preserve the fight as a WBC World Championship, Miguel Cotto and his promotion did not agree to comply with the WBC Rules & Regulations, while SaĂșl Alvarez has agreed to do so. Accordingly, the WBC must rule on the matter prior to the fight.
The WBC hereby announces that effective immediately has withdrawn recognition of Miguel Cotto as WBC World Middleweight Champion. If Saul "Canelo" Alvarez wins the fight against Cotto, he will be recognized as the WBC middleweight world champion.
The WBC's decision is premised on the fact that Miguel Cotto and his camp are not willing to abide by the governing WBC Rules & Regulations, and the specific conditions the WBC established to sanction the fight. Simply put: they are not willing to respect the very same rules and conditions which applied to Cotto becoming WBC champion. The WBC wishes Miguel Cotto the best of luck as we truly regret the course of action which led to them taking such decision.
The WBC is a non-profit governing organization founded 53 years ago. The WBC has implemented all of the current rules in the sport, paving the way to a much safer boxing. The WBC creates, implements and enforces, its Rules & Regulations to bring safety, order, unity, justice and equality to a sport that was marred with abuse and unfairness. Since the first day of existence of our organization, the WBC has taken countless actions for the protection of the boxer and it is a fact that most if not all boxers dream of conquering the green belt.
The WBC stands by its honorability and will not participate in the abuse of power and greediness, which has taken our boxing world to regrettable actions from different parties. The WBC wishes the promotion great success and we are satisfied that this great fight for boxing will be enjoyed by millions of fans around the world.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Andre Ward is Leaving the Super Middleweight Division

NEW YORK (November 12, 2015) -  In advance of his upcoming move up to the light heavyweight division, WBA Super Middleweight World Champion Andre Ward (28-0, 15 KO's) is vacating his title. Ward originally claimed the belt in November 2009 with a victory over long-time champion Mikkel Kessler in his opening fight of the Super Six tournament.
"I won the WBA belt for my first world title in 2009 and have defended it six times and it's been a wonderful ride with the WBA," Ward said. "Gilberto Mendoza and his team have shown me nothing but respect and I'm looking forward to moving up and hopefully winning the WBA light heavyweight belt." 
"Andre Ward has been one of the finest champions in the WBA super middleweight division's history," said WBA President Gilberto Mendoza Jr. "We have always been honored to be represented by such a great athlete, gentleman and incredible role model. We wish him the best success in the future and hope we can facilitate the path to him becoming a two-division world champion at light heavyweight." 
Ward's six successful WBA title defenses came in victories over Allan Green, Sakio Bika, Arthur Abraham, Carl Froch, Chad Dawson and Edwin Rodriguez.
Known for his strong character and integrity outside the ring and his warrior's instinct inside it, Ward's skill and talent were apparent early in his outstanding amateur career. He racked up every title in the books, culminating with a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. As the only male American boxer to claim Olympic gold since 1996, Ward joined the likes of Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya. He turned professional on December 18, 2004, scoring a second round technical knockout victory over Chris Molina at Staples Center in a fight that was televised live on HBO. He has gone on to rack up 27 more victories since then, building an ever-growing legion of fans in the process. After rising to the number two spot on the pound-for-pound list and winning the 2011 Fighter of the Year Award (ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Ring Magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America), it was announced that Ward signed an exclusive promotional agreement with Roc Nation Sports in January 2015, opening a new chapter in his storied boxing career. The Bay Area product returned to the ring on June 20, 2015 at the Oracle Arena in front of his hometown fans in Oakland, California and scored a ninth-round knockout over Paul Smith, continuing his unbeaten streak which dates back to when he was a 13-year-old amateur. Ward recently stepped in front of the camera for a completely different role, a part in the upcoming New Line/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Warner Bros. feature "Creed," hitting theaters on November 25, a few days following fight week. Fellow Bay Area natives, director Ryan Coogler and the film's star Michael B. Jordan, reached out to Ward so that he could provide his expertise for the film. In addition to working in front of the camera with Ward, Jordan spent time at Ward's home gym in preparation for his role as Apollo Creed's son.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Andre Ward Withdraws from Nov 21 Bout


NEW YORK (November 4, 2015) - Roc Nation Sports regretfully announces that Andre Ward will be unable to participate in his previously scheduled Saturday, Nov. 21 bout at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. A replacement fight for the HBO Pay-Per-View produced and distributed event is currently being worked on.
Ward has been suffering from significant inflammation and constant pain in his right knee that is severely restricting his mobility. He has been advised by his physician to immediately rest and begin rehab on the knee to reduce the inflammation.
"I'm extremely disappointed that I'm missing this opportunity on November 21, but at the same time, I'm encouraged," said Ward. "Anytime I have had a minor or major setback in my career, by the Grace of God, I've come back stronger and this will be no different. I'm looking forward to a big 2016. Thank you to all my fans for your support and patience."
"Andre's injury is a huge disappointment not only to him, but all of us involved with this promotion," said David Itskowitch, COO Boxing of Roc Nation Sports. "We have no doubt that Andre will come back stronger than ever once his knee heals and that he will be a force in the light heavyweight division. We are working diligently to make an intriguing fight that will deliver a level of excitement commensurate with this great event."
"While we feel terrible for Andre that he has encountered this setback, we have no doubt that Andre will return stronger than ever in 2016," said James Prince and Josh Dubin, Ward's management team.