Kovalev “Krushes” Pascal!
In what turned out to be a very entertaining and competitive fight on Saturday night, Sergey Kovalev knocked out Jean Pascal in the 8th round of their championship bout. Pascal was beaten from pillar to post, but he also landed some very telling blows on the champion. Pascals quick counters and unorthodox movements gave Sergey some trouble just like they have to all Pascals past opponents, but the difference being that Kovalev was just too powerful and too good a boxer. Pascal and his camp claimed that the stoppage was early, and they may have a point, but the writing was on the wall as Kovalev was going to get the KO regardless.
Right now, there is simply no one in the division that is going to beat this guy. He is a very good boxer with great power, and he is willing to take chances to get knockouts. If Adonis Stevenson or Andre Ward do somehow exhibit some intestinal fortitude and sign to fight Sergey, I would not give either one much of a chance to win. But since they are making sure to avoid him right now we may never truly know.
PBC on Spike
As much as I was unfulfilled by the PBC on NBC, I was equally pleasantly surprised by the PBC on Spike. The commentating was better, and the fights were most definitely better. Even though the co-main event took a hit when Garcia became ill, the heavyweights put on a good slugfest to make up for it. If these type of fights would have been on the NBC broadcast, I think it would have come across better to everyone from the casual to the hard-core fans.
Berto (and referee) Stops Lopez
Andre Berto got a TKO victory over Josesito Lopez in the main event of the PBC on Spike card Friday night, but he did not really impress too much. He was losing the fight as he was being easily outboxed by Lopez until he got the TKO and on top of that the stoppage was a little questionable as well.
The biggest thing that I come away with in this fight is that Berto has failed to improve under Virgil Hunter. (not that anyone really has)Berto also he relies far too much on his athleticism due to his lack of fundamentals. As far as Lopez goes, it seems it is time for him to go back down to 140lbs and get some easier opposition. He went up to fight Ortiz and won, but he has lost consecutively to Canelo, Maidana and now Berto all by KO. Berto will move on and fight someone with a bigger name at 147 most likely and most likely lose if he fails to work on his boxing skills but at least he will have a puncher’s chance if nothing else.
Arreola Wins 8Rd UD Over Curtis Harper
In the battle of heavyweights on the PBC on Spike card, Chris Arreola earned a decision victory over a game Curtis Harper. Arreola, who claimed he “relapsed” on pizza before the fight, was fighting Harper, who looked like he “ODed” on cheeseburgers, but surprisingly the fight was entertaining. Barring the 1st round knockdown by Chris, the fight was pretty much even throughout except that Chris was definitely the more powerful puncher even though he looked to have hurt his right hand early on. This fight definitely enhanced the show and gave the fans a nice little back and forth bout that served as an appetizer before the main event. As far as where each fighter goes from here, I say Arreola will get a big name like Tarver or another Haymon fighter while Harper will also get another opportunity on a PBC card due to his good showing.
Porter Beats Replacement Fighter Bone
Erick Bone was as late a replacement for Garcia, who ended up with some poisoning or illness and couldn’t make weight for the Shawn Porter bout. Bone was a game challenger, but he was coming up from 140 and just didn’t have the seasoning to beat a guy like Porter. Porter was supposed to showcase some new skills and show he could box but to most people he still fought like a bull in a China shop.
Shawn got the victory and came out unscathed, but he did not do much else to raise his stock. He will still have problems with bigger fighters that he can’t bully, and he may end up being a “one trick” pony if he can’t improve his boxing skills. Porter is exciting to watch, and he translates well to TV but if you had to put money on him beating Brook in a rematch, I’d say don’t do it. Until he can show that he can box without rushing in head down, there is no reason to think that the outcome of Brook – Porter 2 would be any different than the first fight.
Mayweather – Pacquiao Update
• The Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Press Conference was held this week, and there were some 600 media members there from all over the world. All the key players got to go to the podium and have their say (except Floyd Sr.) as usual but there was not the big crowd of fans that we normally see at these types of events. Nonetheless, the press conference still added more hype to the fight and made us even readier for May 2nd to get here.
• Jimmy Lennon was a little noncommittal in a prediction for the fight but said “We got two great fighters, and it’s going to be close, it’s a very hard one to predict.” He also thinks that the fight will break all sorts of records and that there will be no problem with the two networks working together.
• This past week Mike Tyson told ESPN that “I thought from the start that Pacquiao is going to win. This guy is perpetual motion. He comes from every angle. He’s all energy, always throwing punches. Never stops. Floyd tucks in and picks his shots, and he is more accurate,” explained Tyson. “It’s unlikely he can knock Manny out so if he wants to win he’s got to change. Unless he throws more punches, he can’t win the rounds.” These comments can be taken with a grain of salt of course because it is well known that Tyson does not like Mayweather. As far as Floyd changing, I say why change perfection. Maidana threw more punches, and he lost twice. If Manny can’t hit Floyd then it doesn’t matter how many punches are thrown now does it.
• Juan Manuel Marquez (JMM) had a more sensible take on the fight than Tyson did this week when he spoke to Boxingscene.com. He stated that “Floyd’s style and technique has given him 47 wins, so why take a risk in the biggest fight of his career, Floyd is a technical fighter who can make it a boring fight if that suits him. But I think for me, in terms of the fight if it can be a quiet fight for Floyd – he’s going to take that and look to get a clear decision.” As a guy who has fought Mayweather as well as Pacquiao, you would think that he would have more insight than most and if anyone could predict what either fighter could do I would say it is JMM.
• Teddy Atlas switched his opinion on Mayweather-Pacquiao this week as well. For what seems like forever, Teddy was saying that Floyd would win and outbox Manny but now for some reason he is changing it up. He doesn’t seem to be the only one either. I hear some fans starting to change their pick or allow doubt to creep into their minds. Atlas and everyone else has a right to their opinion but on fight night some of us will be wrong, and some of us will be right. If you let the hype or your heart make your pick, then you may be regretting it later. Then again, unless you make a monetary wager on the fight, then you really have nothing to lose right?
Douglas Eats up Cornflake
Antoine Douglas beat down Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna in the 6th round of the ShoBox main event on Friday night. As I watched this fight, I felt bad for Cornflake because he was at such a power and speed deficit. Douglas was just bashing him around the ring like Clubber Lang did Rocky in the first fight and Cornflake had no power to gain any respect. I was really shocked the fight lasted as long as it did to be honest, and this should be a lesson to all fighters that have an inflated record. If you haven’t truly been tested then take your time before you step up and get in the ring with a power puncher, or you may end up soggy just like Cornflake did!
Cunningham Gets Screwed Again
Vyacheslav Glazkov was awarded a unanimous decision over Steve Cunningham in an IBF title eliminator fight for a shot at world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. From my seat at home it looked like Steve won a majority of the rounds and should have earned the victory. For the judges to give 8 rounds to Glazkov is a complete joke. This is the second time Glazkov has gotten a gift decision in the last 5 fights, and this is the 2nd time Cunningham has gotten “robbed” in his last 5 fights. I would like to think that judging will get better one day, but hope is fading fast.
Boxing Tidbits and Talk
Broner vs. Khan anyone? Broner said he is down to fight Khan and Khan says the same. Do I want to see this fight? Nope. I know that Khan is going to easily win and that win may result in him getting a Mayweather fight which I don’t want to see. Broner is too flat-footed and doesn’t throw enough punches to beat a fast fighter like Khan, who can box. Not to mention Broner does not seem to have the same power he had at 135, so the chances of him cracking Khan’s fragile chin are not too good either.
Team Rigondeaux is trying to force the WBA regular champion Scott Quigg, into a fight with WBA Super Champion Rigo. I guess they are tired of the other champions ducking them and are using Rigo’s super champion status to make a fight. I would be surprised if it happens but if it does I think it may be a decent scrap. However with a bigger money fight with Frampton on the horizon I don’t know why Quigg would risk it against a master boxer like Rigo.
Al Haymon won the purse bid for Dirrell-DeGale with a $3.1M bid through Warriors Promotions. This is a good payday for both fighters since the bid will be split 50-50. It is also a good fight for the fans, and hopefully they get the particulars figured out so we can see this fight ASAP.
That’s all we got for this week but that is by far not all there was to talk about. Make sure that you catch Tha Boxing Voice weekly radio show live every Thursday and Sunday starting at 7pm (EST) or catch the podcast to get more insight and opinions on the world of boxing.