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LOTIERZO'S LOWDOWN Haye, Where Has That David Been?

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CelebsMayweatherCotto Carpenter 14What a difference there is when a fighter is totally confident and not afraid to let his hands go. That's what separates the greats from the near greats. The genuine greats show up with that mindset every time out regardless of who the fighter is in the other corner. The near greats, not every time.

Hooray for heavyweight David Haye 26-2 (24), who fought the most complete and purposeful fight of his career this past weekend. Haye, who the last time we saw him was running like a thief in the night against heavyweight title holder Wladimir Klitschko last July, out boxed and out fought Dereck Chisora before stopping him in the fifth round. Haye dominated the fight from the onset and erased the stench from the Klitschko fight and has injected himself into the heavyweight title picture once again.

For Haye, this performance came at the perfect time. After his showing the last time out, he knew to become relevant again he couldn't just get past Chisora, he had to take him apart and deliver a memorable performance so the fans would be talking about him and clamoring to see him again. Consider it mission accomplished.

Going into the fight everyone knew that Haye was the predominately better skilled fighter/boxer and puncher. However, due to the fact that he talked for two years about how he was going to take Klitschko apart, then became a ghost for 36 minutes during the fight, he needed his actions to speak for him this time. And Haye showed that when he's not afraid of his opponent and lets his hands go, he's a terrific offensive fighter.

His jabbing and turning kept Chisora following him around the ring, therefore not allowing him to get his feet set to punch. In addition to that, Haye was trying to hurt the incoming Chisora instead of pot shotting him. I think he figured out pretty early that Chisora didn't have much real power, that his physical strength wasn't connected to anything he could use in the ring. It was obvious that as long as Haye kept Chisora at the end of his punches, he'd be alright. But he added a new twist…after cutting loose with straight lefts and rights, he either took a half step towards Dereck and smothered his punching room…and when he didn't do that, he pulled the incoming Chisora into him and again prevented him from getting off.

Granted, if Chisora would've moved in punching ala Joe Frazier, Haye, like Muhammad Ali, would've paid a big price for opening up his arms and pulling Chisora in. But as we all know Chisora ain't no “Smokin” Joe Frazier. The bottom line was Chisora had no chance of breaking Haye walking in like a hornless bull and winging big shots like you'd expect from an NFL linebacker.

No, this night belonged to David Haye, whose punch variation was never better. It's easy to say that Chisora's predictability had a lot to do with why Haye looked so sharp, but I don't think that's accurate. Haye's speed, sharpness, confidence and punch assortment had everything to do with why Chisora looked even more raw and crude than he has in the past.

Now the question becomes, is this the real David Haye or will he show up and fight like a church mouse once Vitali or Wladimir Klitschko are in front of him again? It was easy to take liberties with Chisora because he's very limited offensively. Haye's right hand leads and counters were the perfect foil to stun Chisora before he could get himself out of the mud coming forward. But those right hands will have a much different trajectory punching up at either Klitschko. As we saw against Wladimir, the few times Haye got in cleanly with his right hand he was almost off his feet and in the air, thus even if he landed, he came down out of position and never once during the fight did he land a combination or successive punches.

And then there's the question of David's confidence and mindset. Sure, he'll sell the fight and sound better than Floyd Mayweather with the trash he'll talk before it. Only the problem this time is, both Wladimir and Vitali are supremely confident that they own Haye and also believe Haye's bluster is nothing more than hot air. The brothers also know that what worked against Chisora will have to be totally rebooted and adjusted against them. Remember, the Klitschkos don't have to knock David out to handle him. All they'll need to do is impose themselves enough to the point to where his punch output is reduced and his only hope is to land a lottery shot.

Let's assume that we see Haye fight Vitali Klitschko. It's doubtful that Haye can break Vitali's defense and get in with his right hand while Vitali is pressing the fight. Vitali's unorthodox punch variation and punch anticipation may be just enough to where Haye doesn't cut loose like he did against the plodding Chisora, who never gave Haye a different look once during the five rounds the fight lasted.

That said, if Haye does fight Vitali next, there's no doubt he's catching him at the right time and an upset is not out of the question. Although there'll be plenty of time to analyze and break that fight down, the important thing right now is based on his fifth round stoppage of Dereck Chisora, David Haye has injected himself and a little excitement into the heavyweight division……..Thank You, David.

It's amazing how one really good performance at heavyweight puts you right back in the picture.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

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Michael Dutchover Remains Undefeated in Ontario, Calif.

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ONTARIO-Calif.-Transplanted Texan Michael Dutchover needed a little time to figure out Costa Rican Bergman Aguilar but when he did it was over quickly on Friday.

Lightweight prospect Dutchover (11-0, 8 KOs) knocked out southpaw Aguilera (14-4-1, 4 KOs) in the fifth round with a barrage of body blows that left the Costa Rican limp at the Doubletree Hotel.

For two rounds Aguilar used an awkward counter-punching style that had Dutchover a little tentative. But once he figured out that combination punching was the key, he opened up with barrages and floored Aguilar with body shots at the end of round four.

That signaled doom for Aguilar.

The fifth round saw Dutchover target the body with impunity as Aguilar tried holding, running and covering up with no success. Referee Wayne Hedgepeth signaled the fight over at 2:31 of the fifth round giving Dutchover the win by knockout.

In a bantamweight clash Santa Ana’s Mario Hernandez (7-0-1, 3 KOs) and Mexico City’s Ivan Gonzalez (4-1-2, 1 KO) fought to a majority draw after six back and forth rounds.

Hernandez targeted the body against the taller Gonzalez who relied on long range counters. Both found success but neither could prove superiority after six turbulent rounds.

After six rounds one judge saw it 58-56 for Gonzalez but the two other judges saw it 57-57 for a majority draw.

Other bouts

South Central L.A.’s Ruben Torres (7-0, 6 KOs) extended his undefeated streak with a knockout over Mexico’s Eder “El Koreano” Amaro (6-6, 2 KOs) in a lightweight fight. But it wasn’t easy.

Amaro switched from southpaw to orthodox and was matching Torres for two rounds until the taller local fighter began blasting away to the body and head with precision. Many in the crowd cheered “Koreano” in unison but it couldn’t help once Torres zeroed in.

At the end of the fourth round Amaro could not continue and the fight was stopped giving a knockout for Torres.

Richard Brewart Jr. (2-0) mowed through Edward Aceves (0-5) flooring him with body shots in the first round then overwhelming him in the second. After seven unanswered blows referee Eddie Hernandez stopped the fight at 1:32 of round two giving Rancho Cucamonga’s Brewart the win by knockout in the super welterweight bout.

Southpaw David Ortiz (1-0) won his pro debut by unanimous decision after four rounds in a welterweight match against San Diego’s Mario Angeles (2-11-2). Ortiz lives in Bloomington, Calif. and is trained by Henry Ramirez. No knockdowns were scored.

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Charr-Oquendo Scuttled When Charr Tests Positive; the Odious WBA Saves Face

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Manuel Charr

Manuel Charr and Fres Oquendo were scheduled to fight in Cologne, Germany, later this month (Sept. 29). Charr would be defending his WBA world heavyweight title, the “regular” version of it, not the “super” version which rests in the hands of Anthony Joshua.

The bout was quickly cancelled when it was revealed that Charr had tested positive for two banned anabolic steroids. The test was performed by VADA, the anti-doping agency identified with Las Vegas neurologist Dr. Margaret Goodman.

The 33-year-old Charr, born in Lebanon but a resident of Germany since the age of three, won the belt in his last start with a unanimous decision over 281-pound Russian behemoth Alexander Ustinov in Oberhausen, Germany. The title was vacant. Charr won the right to fight for it with a 10-round decision over Albanian slug Sefer Seferi. The victory over Ustinov elevated his record to 31-4. He has been stopped three times, by Vitali Klitschko, Alexander Povetkin, and Mairis Briedis.

If it wasn’t for bad luck, as the old saying goes, Fres Oquendo wouldn’t have any luck at all. For various reasons, his fights keep falling out. Before long he’ll be drawing social security. Well, not exactly, but he turned 45 in April and hasn’t fought in more than four years.

Oquendo has competed for this belt before. In his last ring appearance in July of 2014, he lost a majority decision to Russia’s Ruslan Chagaev in Grozny, Russia. As a concession for taking the fight on short notice, Team Oquendo negotiated a rematch clause in the contract, but a shoulder injury prevented Fres from activating it. When the injury healed, he had to go to court to compel Chagaev to fulfill his obligation. But then the Russian retired, muddling the water.

The WBA was legally bound to find Oquendo a title fight and in desperation turned to ancient Shannon Briggs. But the Oquendo-Briggs fight, scheduled for June 3 of last year in Hollywood, Florida, fell out when Briggs’ urine specimen showed an abnormally high level of testosterone.

Fres Oquendo was dogged by bad luck even before these recent developments. His professional record, 37-8, is somewhat misleading as six of his eight defeats were razor-thin including his 2003 setback to Chris Byrd and his 2006 setback to Evander Holyfield. However, Oquendo, something of a cutie, was never a crowd-pleaser and in none of his narrow defeats was there a public clamor for a rematch.

The cancellation of Charr-Oquendo cuts the World Boxing Association out of a sanctioning fee, but one would think that the WBA honchos are actually rather pleased by this turn of events. The fight, more precisely the WBA’s world title imprimatur, would have brought more unwanted publicity to the Panama-based organization.

ESPN’s Dan Rafael, who has the largest platform of any boxing writer, has been a persistent critic of the organization which once recognized 41 “champions” in 17 weight classes. In 2009, Rafael wrote, “(The WBA) has become such an absolute farce that even somebody like me, who follows boxing closely, sometimes has a hard time keeping track of all the nonsensical so-called world title belts the WBA has been doling out at an alarming rate. It almost reminds me of the ladies at Costco who hand out various samples on a busy Saturday afternoon.”

Rafael took note when WBA president Gilberto Mendoza promised to cull the herd by eliminating “regular” titles, and then became more caustic when Mendoza didn’t follow through. Recently, in one short, punchy diatribe, Rafael blistered the WBA as wretched, vile, and rancid.

Regardless of your opinion, it’s hard not to feel sorry for Fres Oquendo who keeps getting stranded at the altar. No, he’s not fun to watch and a man of his age shouldn’t be taking any more punches, but he has always been an honest workman and by all accounts he’s a very decent man. Born in Puerto Rico but raised in Chicago, Oquendo pitched right in when the island nation of his birth was ravaged by Hurricane Maria. He was personally responsible for relocating Puerto Rican boxing legend Wilfred Benitez and Benitez’s sister, his caregiver, to Chicago where their lives wouldn’t be as hard.

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Bob Arum Hails Terence Crawford (not Lomachenko) as Boxing’s Next Superstar

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Arum says Terence

Top Rank’s Bob Arum says Terence Crawford will become this generation’s Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao–elite boxers who became worldwide celebrity sensations. Arum, who promoted both Mayweather and Pacquiao on the way to their historic crossover statuses expects big things from the undefeated Crawford over the next few years.

“He’s the best fighter in the United States, and he’s so charismatic,” said Arum. “He comes from middle America, and In the next year or so, he will be huge.”

Arum’s assertion is noteworthy for two reasons. First, Arum is also the promoter for Vasyl Lomachenko. Lomachenko is ranked No. 1 pound-for-pound by The Ring, the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board. More importantly, Lomachenko seems to have a groundswell of support behind him both in the media and among fight fans.

Lomachenko has also been heavily featured through Top Rank’s television partnership with ESPN. While Crawford has achieved more in his career than Lomachenko (at least in my eyes) and, as noted by Arum, is a homegrown American talent, Lomachenko seems to be considered the more marketable commodity to that network judging by the amount of promotional materials ESPN has pumped out about the fighter over the last year.

The other reason Arum’s claim about Crawford is interesting is the performance of Canelo Alvarez over the weekend in his majority decision rematch win over Gennady Golovkin. Besides Mayweather and Pacquiao, Alvarez is the clear PPV leader among all of boxing’s current commodities, and his status as boxing’s new money fighter should only grow stronger after the best win of his career.

Still, Crawford is one of the few very elite fighters in all of boxing. He’s ranked No. 2 pound-for-pound by The Ring, the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board.

While Lomachenko and Alvarez are also candidates to become boxing’s next big thing, there’s no doubt Crawford is also one of the few boxers in the sport right now with the right things in place to become the next Mayweather or Pacquiao.

Omaha’s Crawford is in the midst of an historic run. When he stopped Jeff Horn in round 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in June, Crawford captured a world title in his third different weight class, welterweight. This after Crawford had already captured two lineal boxing championships, as well as multiple alphabet titles, in both the lightweight and junior welterweight divisions.

By any measure, Crawford is truly one of the best boxers in the sport. Not only does he look the part in the ring on fight night (something more and more writers seem to value most when voting for pound-for-pound lists), but the fighter has already accomplished so much in his career that it seems Arum is doing more than the fiduciary duty of promoting his fighter when he ascribes to Crawford such lofty praise.

Crawford, still just 30 years old, is already halfway to matching Mayweather and Pacquiao’s shared record of most lineal championships. Over the course of his career, Mayweather captured lineal championships at junior lightweight, lightweight, welterweight, and junior middleweight. Pacquiao won his as a flyweight, featherweight, junior lightweight, and junior welterweight.

In order for Crawford to grab lineal championship No. 3, most believe he’ll have to go through welterweight phenom Errol Spence. While promotional entanglements might keep this superfight on the shelf for a while, Arum said he had no problem pitting Crawford against Spence in what would be one of the best matchups in recent memory.

“Absolutely,” said Arum when asked about working with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, who represents Spence, to make the fight. Could any response from him be more exciting? Crawford vs. Spence might be the next superfight in boxing. Both fighters are among the very elite, and unlike what ultimately happened with Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, who fought each other well past their peak years, both would be in the prime of their careers.

Winning that fight would certainly go a long way to making Arum’s vision of Crawford’s future come true. And who knows? Maybe Crawford really is the next Mayweather or Pacquiao. Heck, for all we know, he could even be on his way to doing something more.

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