Tag: Heavyweights

THE REVAMPED HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION

It’s been a long, arduous steady rise since the Heavyweight division tanked out and hit rock-bottom approximately a decade ago, however slowly over the last few years, new talent has emerged from the amateur ranks to take over the division, blending in with a healthy mix of veteran hold-overs who can still box at a high level, and with the addition of a few prominent Cruiserweight’s who are looking to shoot their shot, thus culminating in a Heavyweight cast that is a very good, and interesting division once again. What do we have in the mix? we have…
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3 Olympic Gold-Medalists
1 Olympic Bronze-Medalist
1 Reigning Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion
2 Boxers Who Defeated Future Hall-of-Famer Wladimir Klitschko
1 former Lineal Champion
6 Current or Former Title Holders
4 Current or Former Unified Champions

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Anthony Joshua is a Gold-Medalist, who sits atop the division by possessing 3 belts, (WBA, WBO, IBF), and has the status of being one of the 2 biggest money draws in the sport.

Deontay Wilder (WBC Champion) will never be a polished boxer due to his late start, however his grit, fortitude, athleticism and punching power are completely unmatched, making him one of the most dangerous fighters in boxing for anyone to face.

Tyson Fury before an abrupt retirement became the Lineal Champion of the world when he dethroned long reigning Champion Wladimir Klitschko. Upon his return, he is trying to reclaim that positioning once again to recapture what he once had.

As for Luis Ortiz, no one really knows how old he is, but he’s still quick for a big man, fundamentals are still up to par, and he can still box.

New edition and Cruiserweight King Oleksandr Usyk has no weaknesses, can do it all, and is looked at as one of the best boxers in the world, with some pundits even seeing him as thee best. His major challenge for the division will be how he circumvents his future opponents size discrepancies to utilize the skill advantage that he has over everyone else.

Usyk’s Cruiserweight rival Murat Gassiev has also made the jump up to Heavyweight, and he certainly has the one punch knockout power to aid him in his efforts, while he has a multitude of different skills to hang his hat on.

While Alexander Povetkin hasn’t exactly had the most eventful pro career, that doesn’t speak to the level that he fights at, and he has proven to be a very good fighter, even at this stage of his career.

As for Dillian Whyte, there are very few fighters in the last 5 years that has improved more than he has. Since his defeat to Joshua back in 2015, he has elevated his skills drastically, turning him into a major player in the division.

Jarrell Miller has become a polarizing figure, with not much, to very little merit to the negative critique passed on his way. Too much is made of what his numbers on the weight scale says, blinding people from the reality that for such a massive individual, he is very nimble on his feet, with quality reflexes, upper body movement, and possesses the best stamina in the Heavyweight division despite him hovering around 300 lbs.

Michael Hunter is another talented former Cruiserweight who made the jump up. The son of former contender Mike ‘The Bounty’ Hunter only has one loss to his record, that coming against Usyk. Joseph Parker and Adam Kownacki are more-so middle of the pack Heavyweights, however it speaks to the health of the division that these 2 fighters are looked at as fringe top-10, with them being respectable fighters in their own right.
PROGNOSIS…the Heavyweght division is a healthy one. While a fight or two is taking too long to manifest, we now have enough depth to still get some big time quality matches to happen while things are sorted out to make those other marquee fights materialize.

Whyte And Chisora Ready For Second Battle

On Saturday December 22nd at the O2 Arena in Manchester, England, heavyweights Dillian “The Body Snatcher” Whyte (24-1, 17KO) and Dereck “Del Boy” Chisora (29-8, 21KO) will square off again in part two of their bitter rivalry.

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After losing the first meeting by controversial split decision (115-113, 114-115, 115-114), Chisora has promised to “unleash armageddon” in the ring and deliver a win via knockout. To go along with that prediction, he has also stated that he will come into the ring better conditioned for the later rounds, in contrast to the last fight, when he began to show signs of fading down the stretch.

Dillian Whyte has made Chisora’s stamina issues a point of emphasis, and has stated that he plans to “ride the donkey until his back legs give out again”. Whyte using the term “donkey” in reference to his rival is something Chisora shrugs off when asked about, but you get a sense it digs at him a bit.

There is still no love loss between these two, but everything has been calm leading up to the battle in comparison to 2016, when a press conference went from trading insults, to Chisora picking up and launching a table at Whyte. Don’t expect any blow ups like this as Chisora has stated that everything in his life is different now after finding God.

While we may not get the same pre fight antics this time around, hopefully we get action in the ring that is equal to the first bout if not better.

The first fight had many of the rounds too close to call and scoring came down to what style, the pressure of Chisora or countering of Whyte, was more pleasing to the eye of a particular judge. For what it’s worth, I had the fight scored a draw at 114-114.

Both men have said that round two will top the first meeting, and a possible crack at the golden ticket that is Unified Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua, adds incentive outside of the good old fashioned genuine dislike the two have for one another. If all goes well, we the fans could have a late Fight of the Year candidate on our hands.

 

 

 

 

No More Gentleman Joe? Joseph Parker vs Alexander Flores

Joseph Parker (24-2-0, 18KO) vs Alexander Flores (17-1-1, 15KO)

12 Round Heavyweight Bout

It has been a rough road for former WBO Heavyweight champion Joseph Parker in 2018.

In April, Parker took his belt on the road to Cardiff to challenge Anthony Joshua only to suffer a loss on the cards that in his own honest assessment, he felt he gave away. That loss was followed by a battle with Dillian Whyte where Parker was put down twice but also sent Whyte to the canvas in the final round. Whyte was able to get to his feet to hold on to beat Parker by unanimous decision.

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Joseph Parker suffered his second loss of the year to Dillian Whyte at the O2 Arena in London.

Parker returns home to his native New Zealand Saturday with the goal of beginning the rebuilding process of being a championship contender.

“I’ve given myself until the end of 2019. That’s when I want to be back fighting for the heavyweight championship of the world,” Parker said.

While he is on his way back Parker intends on adding an element he has never had, a mean streak. Parker has always been known as the consummate nice guy and gentleman of boxing, he and his team intend on adding a bit of an edge from this point forward, along with more power.

“It’s true, in this camp I’ve seen Joseph wrestle guys to ground, hit them low, hit them on the hip. Obviously, you can’t overdo it because the sparring partners haven’t been paid to be treated that way, but Joseph understands now that if he is to continue competing at the elite level it’s a part of his game he can’t neglect.”.  Parker’s trainer Kevin Barry said.

As to adding power to Parker’s arsenal Barry says, “Normally with fighters I’ve had in the past I’m trying to find ways to improve their hand speed. With Joe I have no such worries, in fact I’m asking him to slow down his hands a touch, so we can generate more heat on his punches.”

Standing in the way of the Kiwi fighter, will be Mexican-American Alexander Flores who is signed to Roy Jones Jr. Boxing and comes in with 15 knockouts in his 18 fights. Flores believes that he is being underestimated and overlooked in this matchup, and thinks that the lack of film available from any of his previous fights will make it hard for Parker and his team to prepare for him.

Flores has been very inactive, only two fights in the past three years, but he attributes this to a poor promotion team which is what led him to Roy Jones Jr. Boxing. His last fight was in June, an eight rounder in Tijuana, Mexico that ended in a first round stoppage.

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In June, Alexander Flores fought for only the second time in three years, but he intends on playing spoiler in Parker’s hometown fight on Saturday.

Flores is expecting to deliver a knockout on Saturday.

“I feel like he thinks I’m a guy that he’ll walk through but it’s not going to happen, it’s going to be a lot harder than he thinks. Parker is flawed,  I’ll knock him out.”

While Flores has been in New Zealand, he has become a big fan of coffee, which provided Parker with his response to Flores and his knockout prediction.

“After I knock him out I’ll buy him a coffee.” Parker said.

 

 

 

 

To The Winner Goes The Spoils

 

Sports Arena, San Diego, California
NABF Heavyweight Title

March 31, 1973

 

Ken Norton is held aloft while celebrating his shock upset win over Muhammad Ali.

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Ken Norton (29-1-0, 23KO) wins the NABF Heavyweight title after defeating Muhammad Ali (41-1-0, 31KO) by split decision.

Ali was outmaneuvered by Norton’s unorthodox fighting style, which involved jabbing from below and using a cross armed guard for defense. At the final bell, Norton won on a split decision. Soon after the fight, Ali was treated in hospital for a broken jaw, an injury sustained in the last round of the contest.

 

“Imagine you have your jaw broken and have to fight ten more rounds.” – Muhammad Ali after the fight

Thanks to Roy Bennett of Vintage Boxing Archives

 

 

 

Wilder vs Fury: Dancer vs Destroyer, Fight and Aftermath.

What. A. Fight.

Talk about two prizefighters that possess the true heart of a champion.

WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder (40 – 0 – 1, 39KO) and Tyson Fury (27 – 0 – 1, 19KO) squared off in front of a packed house at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and gave everyone in attendance their moneys worth.

The fight started with Fury exhibiting his trademark herky-jerky head and upper body movement, constantly moving to keep Deontay at bay, while Deontay came out trying to gauge the timing of Fury’s constant feints. As the fight wore on, Fury started getting comfortable, slipping most of Wilder’s power shots, peppering him with the jab, and landing some counters along the way. Fury was extremely cognizant of Deontay’s devastating right hand, evading it at all costs, while Wilder wasn’t making it easy on himself by rounding the right hand out instead of firing it straight, making it easier to see for his opponent.

As the rounds continued, Fury got more and more comfortable with exploiting some of Deontay’s weaknesses, and keeping him off balance, pop-shotting him here n there, and making him pay with combinations whenever he was cast out of position.

In the mid-rounds Wilder decided to widen his stance and slightly changed his tactics, where he found a little more success, landing a couple body shots and shooting more jabs upstairs, but Fury continued to be an elusive target that Deontay was having problems finding, and Fury continued to outbox him.

The 9th round is where Wilder started to string a few punches together and was successful in knocking Fury down. Fury may have been a little off-balance, but Deontay connected with a good, sound shot, and it was a legitimate knockdown. Culminating the 9th, 10th and 11th round, we got the sense that Deontay was in serious need of a knockout to retain his title-belt.

Both entered the 12th round very confident, and we were blessed with an unbelievable finish. Wilder, instead of winging the right hand as he did for most of the fight decided to straighten it out, and ark it downwards as Fury tried to duck under it, but he got caught with the big power shot on the ear, and then a dynamite left hook followed, knocking Fury straight on his back, with his head hitting the canvas. One of the most devastating sequences witnessed in boxing in quite some time, it looked like Fury was out cold, and that there was no way in hell that he was going to get up from what looked like a shoe-in for Knockout of the Year, but with serious determination, serious heart, and serious fortitude, Fury somehow got up just in the nick of time to beat the 10 count.

A swell took over the Staples Center as everyone was collectively in shock that Tyson got up from such a nasty combination. Doing everything he could to convince Referee Jack Reiss to continue, he survived, and Wilder, dead tired and running on fumes emptied his entire arsenal trying to put Fury out for good, but Fury countered him with a 2-punch combination that rocked Deontay as he was pushing forward on his onslaught. Both men hurt, and completely spent, emptied their last bullets leading up to the final bell of the 12th round.

Both men exhibited high inordinate amount of respect towards one another after the fight, as they should. Combat aside, they’re both actually fond of each other, and both have gained a greater deal of respect for each other after the fight. The scorecards were about to be read and was announced that it was a split-decision. Assuming with a split-decision in play that we were going to get a winner, it was announced that it was ruled a SPLIT DRAW, therefore Deontay Wilder reclaims his WBC title, and Tyson Fury still claims what he believes is the Lineal tag to his name in terms of being the actual Champion of the division. An interesting fight, a thriller down the stretch, and an otherworldly explosive finish to cap the night off, but somebody’s ‘O’ had to go? not so…..here is our scores & the scores of the official judges.

PROJECT COMBAT SCORECARDS:
JON UDDIN = 115 – 111 TYSON FURY.
TRE BERRY = 115 – 111 TYSON FURY.

OFFICIAL SCORECARDS:
ALEJANDRO ROCHIN = 115 – 111 DEONTAY WILDER
ROBERT TAPPER = 114 – 110 TYSON FURY
PHIL EDWARDS = 113 – 113 DRAW
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Disagreements aside with the scoring, this fight was another booster shot in the arm for a Heavyweight division that is slowly beginning to resurge, and I speak for all of us when I say that we’re all for it, as the Heavyweight division has always been an integral part in mounting excitement to the landscape of the sport.