It’s the third week of Matchroom Boxing’s Fight Camp, and although there have been some entertaining scraps on the previous cards, this week gives us a quality Heavyweight clash that should be explosive. Veteran Heavyweight world contender 🇯🇲🇬🇧Dillian “The Body Snatcher” Whyte (27-1-0, 18KO) has his status as WBC mandatory at stake , and a win here cements him a shot at the belt. Continue reading “A WBC Title Opportunity is At Stake in Fight Camp Heavyweight Battle”
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…
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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