By Aaron Klein: Fresh off his impressive 12-round unanimous decision over Bernard Hopkins last Saturday night, undefeated super middleweight Joe Calzaghe had this to say to the BBC about Bernard Hopkins’ reluctance to acknowledge his defeat: “He should get over it. He should watch the tape and accept that he lost.” This was said in large part due to the fact that Hopkins, 43, has failed to accept the loss, saying that he was the one that should have been given the decision. In that, Hopkins is in the minority, because an overwhelming amount of fans and sports writers alike feel that it was Calzaghe who ultimately won the fight.
It was close, with Hopkins starting out looking exceptionally good in the first four rounds of the fight. It appeared that Hopkins, who knocked Calaghe down in the first round with a short right hand, won all of the first four rounds of the bout. After that, however, Calzaghe seemed to get more comfortable in the ring, figuring out what Hopkins was doing – punching and immediately grabbing a hold of Calzaghe – and compensating by hitting Hopkins with quick flurries before Hopkins could grab him and wrap him up in one of his many clinches in the fight. Read the rest of this entry »
By Michael Lieberman: According to Sky Sports, IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (50-3, 44 KOs) is in talks with cruiserweight champion David Haye (21-1, 20 KOs) for a fight that would likely take place later in the year. With a mandatory defense of his WBO title to take place in July against challenger Tony Thompson, Klitschko then has immediately defend his IBF heavyweight title against number one contender Alexander Povetkin – a fight which will likely take place in November or December of 2008. That leaves early 2009 as being the most likely opening for a fight between Klitschko and Haye. That is, unless Wladimir chooses to throw away his IBF belt, abandoning it for the immediate fight with Haye.
That would perhaps be the smartest option for Klitschko, because he stands to gain little by having to defend both titles repeatedly against dull fighters that the public has little interest in seeing Klitschko fight. It’s doubtful that Klitschko will give up the IBF belt, as he’s made it known that he wants to attempt to unify the titles in the near future. It seems like a near hopeless venture, for the WBA heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev is likely to never fight Klitschko, and as for the WBC heavyweight title, it’s held by Samuel Peter, who has a potential future match against Wladimir’s older brother Vitali. If by chance Vitali should win, that would remove the possibility of a title unification bout between Peter and Wladimir. Read the rest of this entry »
By Robert Cavender: Going into his last fight with the tough Walid Smichet on February 23rd, undefeated Irish middleweight John Duddy (24-0, 17 KOs) had been on the cusp of a superstardom, on the verge of fighting middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik for a June 7th bout at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Unfortunately for Duddy, he seemed to be looking for ahead of his opponent, appearing to be thinking of his fight with Pavlik, which would be earning Duddy a huge payday, instead of the fighter in front of him. As it happened, Duddy took a tremendous about of punishment from Smichet in the first five rounds of the fight, getting cut in a couple of places on his face which required extensive amounts of stitches to repair.
With the amount of cuts Duddy received, it forced him out of circulation for three months while the cuts have slowly healed. Worse than that, however, is how bad Duddy looked against Smichet. It had been predicted that Duddy would have an easy time beating Smichet, who was pretty much tailor made for Duddy’s style of fighting – or so people though. Instead of using his excellent boxing skills, Duddy opted to get into the trenches with the powerful but limited Smichet, abandoning any thoughts of defense of finesse in hopes of impressing the large New York crowd with a big knockout win. Read the rest of this entry »
By Scott Gilfoid: In the latest boxing news, former light middleweight champion Ronald “Winky” Wright (51-4-1, 25 KOs) is reportedly highly interested in a bout with Oscar De La Hoya, whom he feels has been avoiding him for some time. This comes to no surprise to me that De La Hoya, or any other top fighter for that matter, would choose to avoid Wright, because he’s hard to beat even under the best circumstances. Since losing a 12-round unanimous decision to Bernard Hopkins in controversial fashion last July, Wright has been unable to find a top opponent that would be interested in taking him on, likely given his still largely intact boxing skills.
Wright, now 36, is interested mainly in several fighters, ranging from Floyd Mayweather Jr., Kelly Pavlik to De La Hoya. Unfortunately for Wright, each one of them have fights booked up for the remainder of 2008, and in De La Hoya’s case, he may be going after bigger fish, such as Miguel Cotto, after De La Hoya gets through with his next two fights against Steve Forbes and Mayweather. One can’t blame Wright for wanting a bout with anyone of them, especially De La Hoya, because the bout would mean a tremendous payday for Wright, likely well into the millions. Read the rest of this entry »
By Nate Anderson: In a recent conference call interview, Oscar De La Hoya (38-5, 30 KOs) didn’t rule out a fight with undefeated WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto (32-0, 26 KOs). This would, of course, be taking place after De La Hoya’s fights with Steve Forbes, scheduled for May 3rd, and Floyd Mayweather Jr. on September 20th in Las Vegas. De La Hoya, now 35, would be looking for a bout with Cotto likely to take place in December. However, for such a fight to take place, a lot of things would have to come in line before it could happen.
For instance, Cotto is facing Antonio Margarito on July 26th at New York’s Madison Square Garden, and that’s a fight that Cotto will have a hard time winning given Margarito’s size, experience and punch output advantage over the smaller Cotto. As such, there’s a good chance that Cotto may end up losing to Margarito, which would wipe out De La Hoya’s plans, if he is at all serious, about wanting a fight with Cotto. Likewise, De La Hoya, an aging fight that is no longer nearly as dominating as he once was earlier in his career, has bouts against Forbes and Mayweather to deal with. First things first, Forbes, a smaller light welterweight for most of his career, still has a lot of skills, enough possibly to beat De La Hoya. Read the rest of this entry »
By Chris Stein: After watching undefeated Joe Calzaghe struggle for 12 dull rounds against a 43 year-old Bernard Hopkins last Saturday night in Las Vegas, Nevada, I couldn’t help but feel slightly unimpressed with what I was seeing. I’d only seen a couple of glimpses of him fight previous to this on youtube, and frankly I wasn’t enthralled with who Calzaghe was fighting in the video. In most cases, Calzaghe was going up against fairly average super middleweight fodder and it came to no surprise to me that he was ultimately successful in winning the fights.
However, against the old ring veteran Bernard Hopkins, who Calzaghe should have been able to easily defeat, if he really is as good as many people say he is. Calzaghe looked nothing like a champion in the ring. In fact, Hopkins looked much like the better fighter, both in power and ring skills. When Calzaghe would attempt to trade with Hopkins, all he could offer up were harmless slaps which did nothing against the tough-chinned Hopkins. Mostly, though, Calzaghe’s punches were blocked by Hopkins, who would fire back with powerful right hands of his own. Read the rest of this entry »
By Dan Ambrose: Undefeated junior middleweight prospect Joe Greene (19-0, 14 KOs) had a harder than expected fight on Wednesday night, stopping last minute replacement Joshua Okine (18-4-1, 12 KOs) in the 9th round of a scheduled 10-round bout at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, in Hollywood, Florida. Greene, the 2004 National Golden Gloves Middleweight champion, struggled early on with his accuracy, ultimately costing him a point in the 2nd round after the referee penalized him after his 2nd low blow in the round. This had the effect of changing Green’s offensive fighting strategy, which usually includes a lot of body punches, causing him to throw next to zero body shots in the remainder of the fight.
Greene also took a lot more shots in the fight than he normally does, as he seemed unable to prevent the southpaw Okine from landing an occasional powerful left hand. In the later rounds of the fight, Greene, 22, seemed distracted, often looking out into the audience as he fought. As a consequence, Greene was hit on a number of occasions with shots that he probably wouldn’t have if he had stayed focused exclusively on his opponent in from of him. Read the rest of this entry »
By Dan Ambrose: Former IBF light welterweight champion Juan Urango (20-1-1, 16 KOs) won a stunning 4th round KO of the tough Carlos Wilfredo Vilches (53-8-2, 31 KOs) of a scheduled 21-round IBF light welterweight title eliminator on Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, in Hollywood, Florida on Friday night. Also on the card, welterweight contender David Estrada (22-4, 13 KOs) stopped a badly overmatched Alexander Pacheco Quiroz (14-6-1, 12 KOs) in the 2nd round.
Urango, 27, from Colombia, was making his third fight since losing his IBF light welterweight title in a one-sided 12-round unanimous decision to Ricky Hatton in August 2007. Despite not having done much since that time, beating Nasser Athumani in a war in which he was hurt early on, and then afterwards defeating Marty Robbins, the powerful punching Urango found himself in a IBF title eliminator against the veteran Carlos Willfredo Vilches, 31, for a chance at taking on champion Paulie Malignaggi. It was immediately clear early in the first that Vilches didn’t have the power or the chin to be able to stay in against the hard-punching Urango for long. Read the rest of this entry »
By Eric Thomas: Based on how his career has evolved, winning championship belts in the super featherweight, lightweight, junior welterweight, welterweight and junior middleweight divisions, should Floyd Mayweather Jr. (39-0, 25 KOs) be considered as an all time great in boxing? Although his career is far from finished at this point, and he still has a lot left to prove before he’s finished, is his credentials good enough to match up with other boxers such as Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammed Ali and Jake Lamotta? There’s the some who would say no, suggesting that Mayweather saw fit to side step around the best in each division, staying away from fighters like Kostya Tszyu, Miguel Cotto, Paul Williams and Antonio Margarito.
For that, Mayweather has come up lacking, instead taking on fighters a shade below each of them, yet still saying that he’s the best in the division without having beaten the actual top guy. However, I’m not sure whether Mayweather needs to waste his time with trying to fight all of the top fighters when he probably already knows in his mind that he’s better. He doesn’t have to prove it to the fans, if he already knows inside that these fighters are beneath his dignity to even bother fighting in the first place. To be sure, I don’t see Tszyu as being able to hold a candle to Mayweather, for he’d likely get beaten just as easy as Hatton did, probably even worse than him. Read the rest of this entry »
By Michael Lieberman: As light welterweight Ricky Hatton’s (43-1, 31 KOs) prepares for his bout against Juan Lazcano (37-4-1, 27 KOs) on May 24th in Manchester, the question remains whether Hatton is still the same fighter he once was after suffering a devastating 10th round stoppage to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in December 2007. Many fighters, especially ones that were previously unbeaten, are often never the same after experiencing particularly bad losses. In Hatton’s case, his loss was made even worse in that the entire world was watching and it was so badly one-sided.
Afterwards, Hatton looked humiliated, almost like an ostrich wanting to hide his head in the sand but finding only hard canvas as he roots around looking for a hole to place his head. Perhaps it was only Hatton, as well as a few delusional fans of his, that felt that he had a winning chance against a fighter of Mayweather’s class. For most people, it was a given that Hatton would not only lose but lose in spectacular fashion. In that, Hatton succeeded. However, it’s the psychological part that concerns me. I have no doubt that his body and his brain wasn’t damaged by the knockout loss, yet I wonder if the loss has effected his confidence. Read the rest of this entry »