By Jon Uddin & Tré Berry III | 04/23/2021
Tré Berry III and Jon Uddin tackle various topics relevant in the boxing world with events that have taken place this month. We discuss Demetrius Andrade, and what steps he needs to take going forward in order to secure a mega-match. We will also address Tony Harrison’s ⚓place in the Super-Welterweight division, and we will speak about the budding superstardom of “Boots” Ennis.
ANDRADE’S PLIGHT TOWARDS GETTING MAJOR FIGHT THAT HAS ELUDED HIM
JON UDDIN – By scores of 116-111 on one judges card and 118-109 on the other two, 🇺🇸Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade retained his WBO World Middleweight Title against 🇬🇧Liam Williams. While Andrade won the fight comfortably on the cards and never found himself in any real danger, he didn’t light the boxing world on fire and deliver the explosive performance fans have been clamoring for.
There’s never been any question about the talent, its clearly there but at 33 and 13 years as a pro, Andrade still doesn’t have a signature fight on his resume and until he gets it I’d like to see him get a tough but linear one dimensional guy like Williams out of there.
As mentioned earlier, Andrade is 33 and the clock is ticking. Even Matchroom head man Eddie Hearn finds himself banging the drum for someone to take on Andrade, sounding frustrated that IBF Champion🥈🇰🇿Gennadiy Golovkin seems to be waiting it out for a New Years clash in Japan with WBA Champion 🥇🇯🇵Ryota Murata and gaining no traction with WBC Champion 🇺🇸Jermall Charlo who needs a signature fight at 160 himself, and with whom Andrade has had a verbal rivalry with for years. At worst you would hope there could be a matchup set with 🇲🇽Jaime Munguia but the skeptic in me predicts that would be held up due to Golden Boy hopes of making an all-Mexico clash between Munguia and cash cow 🇲🇽Canelo Alvarez.
With all due respect to Liam Williams, Andrade is on a path where the rest of his career will be fought out against more of the same and he will never be in the top bout where iron sharpens iron. At this point what can he be doing in and out of the ring to force the issue because boogeyman of the division label won’t continue to stick if the fans aren’t behind you?
TRE BERRY III – Andrade is in the pivotal spot of his journey, one where he feels left out of the fray of the moving parts at the top of the Middleweight division. As an analogy, he shares the same expertise as those who are the head of the class, however he finds himself 🔒locked out of the establishment, while the others have options to bounce off of in progressing their careers forward, while Andrade is forced to watch all of the action outside, looking through the 🪟window.
There’s been a litany of reasonings, and rationale floated out there to explain, or justify why Andrade has come up short in enticing the big dogs to take the bite, to sign on to fight him. First things first, I understand the nuanced plight of a prizefighter, with the emphasis being on 💵prize, but the approach of a prizefighter should come with parameters, and limits as to how far they will go to protect, or cultivate their monetary value. Because there is no such thing in place, it gives high revenue fighters the excuse to not go down the path of fighting someone who is deemed high risk/low reward, based on their lack of draw power, and someone like Andrade is feeling the full brunt of it.
How can Andrade flip the script? I’d say he did a very good job in addressing it during his 🎙️post-fight interview, where he questioned why top fighters would neglect taking the risk with aspirations of attaining belts in Unification situations, and hey, clear cut and dry…he has a point. Though it seemed like a simple thing to point out to the boxing world watching, this was the first time where he stated his position calmly, getting straight to the point, and it got his message across far clearer than when he constantly went off on tangents and tirades, which often muffled, and contradicted his own view points.
Because of that, the pressure is now on. Promoter Eddie Hearn knows what he is doing, being someone with the skills of a politician to be able to draw out the opposition. Gennadiy Golovkin has been eyeing a Unification fight with Ryota Murata (which is a fight I personally like a great deal), BUT that is being targeted for a potential 🗓️December 31st date for Bank Holiday in Japan – The problem with that is…what about the 7-to-8 months in between, and why can’t the 39 year old Golovkin fit in another assignment before then?
Despite brother Jermell Charlo holding 4 of the 5 belts at Super-Welterweight right now, it is clear to me that Jermall Charlo, despite holding a lone belt, is the far superior boxer in the family, and operates 1 level higher as an all-around fighter. With that being said, unlike his twin brother, Jermall has been having trouble getting major fights as well (with the exception of 🇺🇦Sergiy Derevyanchenko), and he seems stuck in the mud similar to Andrade.
The question from Andrade’s vantage point though is….can’t Jermall get a better fight than the one he’s signed up for next? which classifies as a true mismatch. Typically when two fighters in a division are heavily avoided, they end up facing each other, since no one else will, and then create a snowball effect off of it with their names, forcing others to step to them, so Charlo and Andrade SHOULD get together, and have their people hash out, and draw up contracts.
Not getting into the politics, but strictly based on the fighters themselves, Jermall doesn’t seem all too interested in taking the assignment with Andrade, so the best Demetrius can do is continue to poke the 🐻❄️bear, especially with Jermall, because he more than any other Middleweight is susceptible to verbal call outs, and taunts directed his way – due to Charlo’s ego…so if I were Andrade, that would be my main 🎯target, drawing Jermall Charlo out for a fall, or winter showdown.
THE VULNERABLE NATURE OF HARRISON
JON UDDIN – 🇺🇸Tony Harrison, the former WBC World Light-Middleweight Champion, returned to the ring this past Saturday after a 16 month absence from the ring. That absence of course was heavily attributed to covid 19, but also during that time Harrison lost his father/head trainer Ali Salaam.
The Detroit native took on Bryant Perrella of Ft. Myers, Florida, and the majority of fans feel that Harrison was more than fortunate to leave the ring with a draw and that Perrella deserved the nod. You can expand on how you feel about the draw, for what it’s worth I had Perrella 116-112, but I want to focus more on where Tony Harrison stands right now as a fighter.
Harrison has gained the reputation, more than fairly, of a five to six round fighter, who is ripe for the picking any round after that. All three of his losses came by way of stoppage in the ninth round or after in fights he was either in control of early, 🇺🇸Willie Nelson TKO 9, 🇺🇸Jarrett Hurd TKO 9, and in his 2019 rematch with 🇺🇸Jermell Charlo TKO 11.
In this fight Harrison didn’t even resemble himself in that manner. He looked vulnerable and unsure of himself early on as Perrella picked up steam and found his timing round after round, keeping the heat on Harrison appearing to take the majority of rounds.
After seeing this version of Harrison, where do you feel he now fits in the division? Fighters like 🇺🇸Julian “J Rock” Williams and 🇩🇴Jeison Rosario are coming off losses and will be looking to bounce back and they make for solid matchups. There is also a prospect that appears to be ready for the next step up in 6’5 🇺🇸Sebastian Fundora, who faces Jorge Cota May 1st, that PBC may be willing to put Harrison in with after the lackluster performance we saw.
TRE BERRY III – With all transparency, I didn’t watch this fight live, and I forgot to set up the DVR, so I didn’t see it. I haven’t found a copy of the full fight either to view, but I was able to watch an extended highlight package of the bout. Now because I haven’t watched the fight in its entirety, it wouldn’t be fair for me to talk about the scoring, although I do get the feel of a 115-113 type of fight…for Perrella.
From what I gathered, Perrella early on figured that Harrison was open to constantly get peppered with the step-around right jab as a counter, and worked it often. To me, Tony Harrison exemplifies the word mediocre when it comes to world class fighters, and of course that isn’t a slight to him in any way. The reason why I’ve felt this way are some reasons that resurfaced in his fight on Saturday.
For one, Harrison seems to always be stuck in neutral when it comes to his punch speeds, and his work activity, relying on what appears to be cagey defense, and picking his spots, but despite the optics, he squares up too often, and gets hit more than you would think for someone with his style. One could say that he took the blueprint of 🇺🇸Bernard Hopkins (who was a master at this), and ran with it, but the main difference was Hopkins ability to defend, and him always changing speeds on the ⚾fastball, lulling you to sleep, and catching you off-guard, which is something that Harrison does not do.
Harrison may have a W over Charlo in the official record books, but most (including I) don’t feel that he did nearly enough to take the belt, though he comported himself better in the rematch from my vantage point. Now…a very important component regarding the Perrella fight that you brought up…no one should ever diminish the impact felt by a man, and an athlete who have lost their father, and Ali Salaam juggled both of those duties as a father, and Head-Trainer.
Tony looked lost out there, and he no longer had that familiar face and voice in his corner to help him see through activity put forth by a pretty good Perrella, so Harrison authored up one of his worst performances in the last few years, and Tony is aware of it, as he had expectations coming into the fight of securing a stoppage.
When a death like that occurs, I’m reluctant to overanalyze the performance, because it is difficult to determine whether the performance was just a one-off, or if a fighter will never be the same. If he is affected in the long run, he could be relegated as a stepping stone for the names that you have mentioned such as Fundora, Rosario, 🇺🇸Erickson Lubin, etc.
Now those opponents could be in for a rude awakening if that performance was in fact a one-off, to where Harrison could return to form, and give them each suitable competition. Viewing him in training for his next assignment, and seeing the tangible effect of the training in the bout will undoubtedly tell us what the 30 year old Harrison has left as a contender.
SPECIAL YOUNG TALENT BY THE NAME OF BOOTS TAKING THE WORLD BY STORM
JON UDDIN – A fighter whose performance has the boxing world buzzing is 🇺🇸Jaron “Boots” Ennis. Ennis dissected and broke down the tough and durable 🇰🇿🇷🇺Sergey Lipinets, stopping the 32 year old Kazakh in just six rounds. The Welterweight division has been held hostage with talks of a Crawford vs. Spence Jr. matchup that seems less realistic than ever at this point, so fresh faces are welcome and Ennis fits the bill with in ring talent and engaging personality.
Ennis wants the best at 147 and he let it be known post fight after mowing down one of the top 10 fighters in the division. What are your thoughts on the 23 year old Philly native and where do you place him in your Welterweight rankings?
TRE BERRY III – In the last couple of weeks, there appears to be an endless list of superlatives that the 23 year old Boots Ennis has had heaped upon him after his demolition job on world class boxer Sergey Lipinets, who clearly ranks as one of the ten best Welterweights in the world – a division, which is boxing’s deepest, for context on Lipinets placement.
Philly has a long, proud, chronicled history of gritty, talented fighters dating back a century, and has some good, solid representation going today, including fighters like WBO Super-Bantamweight Titlist 🇺🇸Stephen Fulton Jr.…but by far the best thing going for Philly right now is Ennis, and his rapid ascension ripping through the Welterweight ranks.
In my personal opinion, I will say that Jaron Ennis is the most, skilled, talented fighter to come out of Philly perhaps since someone like George Benton in his fighting days, and others of that era, which says a lot in terms of what is possible for the young upstart to accomplish.
Now, where does he rank for me in the Welterweight division, I won’t dance around it at all, and will show readers what my ranks look like. I view Jaron Ennis to be considered a top-5 Welterweight going today, and I personally have him currently ranked third.
Who rounds out my top 5? here is my list….
#1 🇺🇸Terence Crawford
#2 🇺🇸Errol Spence Jr.
#3 🇺🇸Jaron Ennis
#4 🇺🇸Vergil Ortiz Jr.
#5 🇵🇭Manny Pacquiao
If people are wondering, Pacquiao was ranked #3 by me following his incredible victory over Keith Thurman at the age of 40, but I had to penalize him for heavy inactivity since then.
1 and 2 should come to no surprise by anybody reading this, as both Crawford, and Spence are universally regarded, and recognized as 🔱Top-five P4P boxers, and some people may even favor flipping the 1, 2 order in the Welterweight division. My next two on the list, are the dangerous, young guns Ennis, and Ortiz that are doing their part in driving the talented division that has become stagnated in recent time.
Now certainly there are fighters at Welterweight that have more impressive resumes than Ennis, and Ortiz, but resume’s “do not” get in the ring and fight, and it is abundantly clear to me that both young fighters would beat everyone in the division not named Crawford or Spence (at least for right now), and both would not just beat, but dominate half of those who are looked at as top-10 fighters in the division.
It’s pretty amazing that two 23 year old’s, such as Ennis and Ortiz can possess that level of skill this early in their campaign. This isn’t unfathomable when you knife through history, but still it isn’t all that common either, and it should noted when someone under the age of 25 is able to hone skills that garner a serious threat to the top of their division, especially when their division is a deep one, just like this current crop of top Welterweight talent.