Connect with us

Featured Articles

THE BREAKDOWN How Donaire Beat Arce

Published

on

Donaire Arce 121215 008aThe case can be made that Donaire is the best pound for pound fighter in the world. (Chris Farina-Top Rank)

On Saturday night, Nonito Donaire capped off a sensational year –one which will surely see him take fighter of the year honors- after knocking out Jorge Arce in the third round of their fight in Houston, Texas. Arce, who announced his retirement from boxing in the ring to Larry Merchant, was simply no match for Donaire, who was able to control and dominate the tough little Mexican from start to finish. Here, I’d like to illustrate how Donaire was able to end the fight so efficiently and abruptly.

Instead of coming out all guns blazing, Jorge Arce, who was as powerfully built as I’ve seen him look, defied reputation and came out far more passively than he usually does. It was actually a very smart strategy from Arce, given the way in which the heavy-handed Donaire has dispatched of overly aggressive opponents in the past. Arce knew that by staying on the outside before coming in behind single punches, then getting back out again, Donaire would be forced into taking the fight to Arce, thus, possibly eliminating his counter-punching threat. What continues to impresses me with Donaire, more so than any of his other vast physical gifts, is his mind…he’s constantly thinking. Where a lot of fighters may have resorted to applying relentless pressure in this situation, feeling somewhat frustrated by Arce’s negative tactics, Donaire sought out another way of opening his opponent up. Instead of trying to cut the ring off, eating up the distance using sustained pressure, Donaire applied subtle pressure using small shuffling steps, along with feints and single jabs, looking to draw a lead out from Arce. Donaire wanted the fight to come to him.

donaireArceBreakdown 1

Notice here how Donaire is approaching Arce in a subtle manner. Donaire is edging forward, taking small shuffling steps before taking a half step back. By doing this, Donaire is giving Arce a false sense of distance, hoping that he’s going to lead off so that he can counter. Even though Arce doesn’t react to it here, one can see Donaire’s intentions –edge forward, half-step back, draw out a response and counter.  

Donaire vs Arce    

In this sequence, Donaire’s subtle pressure pays off. Here, as Donaire is edging forward, Arce responds by leading with a right hand. As Donaire takes a half-step back and leans away, Arce falls short and is now off-balance. Donaire is now in a perfect position to counter and lands a short left uppercut to the chin of Arce.

This was also one of the many subtle baiting techniques that heavyweight knockout artist Joe Louis used.

donaireArceBreakdown 3

Here’s Joe Louis doing what he does best. After edging forward, Louis baits his opponent into leading by sticking a left arm out. As his opponent responds and leaps in with a left hook, Louis takes a half-step back and counters with a short left hook on the inside, sending his opponent down to the canvas. Louis, like Donaire, was brilliant at forcing his opponents into opening up and making mistakes by applying subtle pressure.

The more frequently Arce was tagged, the more he began to open up. Donaire’s subtle pressure, along with those single jabs and feints, really drew out the attack from Arce, who, at heart, is really a blood and guts fighter. As a result, even more counter-punching opportunities came along for Donaire.

donaireArceBreakdown 4

Here, Arce leads with a jab but is countered by a Donaire jab. Notice how Donaire blocks Arce’s jab using his rear glove as he’s landing his jab. Donaire has an astute understanding of timing and distance. He knows that his superior speed and length will allow him to reach and find the target before Arce can.

The first knockdown in the fight illustrated one of Donaire’s signature counter-punching techniques perfectly.

donaireArceBreakdown 5

Here’s Donaire parrying and countering over the top of a jab. As Arce leads with a jab, notice how Donaire turns his rear hand over so that his palm is pointing towards the punch. Donaire intercepts the jab and counters with a short right hand over the top. Although the knockdown was a little scrappy, there was still a lot of skill involved.

This counter-punching technique requires great hand speed as well as excellent hand eye coordination. It was also one of Roy Jones Jr’s favorite countering techniques.

donaireArceBreakdown 6

Here’s Roy Jones Jr. parrying a jab with his rear hand and countering over the top with a left hook/straight right combination. Notice how Jones’s left glove is carried low in the first picture –this draws the jab out. There are a lot of similarities between Jones and Donaire. Especially the way in which they counter after a parry.

After the knockdown, Jorge Arce began taking more chances on offense and started to take the fight to Donaire. It wasn’t too long before the inevitable happened.

donaireArceBreakdown 7

Here is where the second knockdown took place. As Arce leads with a left hook, Donaire ducks and rolled under to the outside. As Donaire pressed his left elbow into Arce’s right shoulder, freezing Arce, he fired a right hand over the top and outside of Arce’s line of vision. Even though Donaire threw another two left hooks that sent Arce to the canvas, the right hand landed here was the real damaging blow.

The finale will likely be remembered for being another picturesque left hook knockout by Donaire. However, I thought his composure in taking out a hurt fighter was particularly noteworthy. In the same scenario, you’ll often see a fighter throwing wildly in trying to close the show. Not Nonito Donaire.

donaireArceBreakdown 8

With Arce hurt, Donaire moves in calmly. Instead of swinging for the fences, Donaire tries to bait Arce into opening up again. See how Donaire edges forward and tries to counter Arce’s jab with a right hand counter. Arce manages to avoid Donaires first attempt at closing the show.

donaireArceBreakdown 9

Undeterred, Donaire moves in calmly again. This time, he launches a right cross followed by a left uppercut. Both shots partially land and Arce manages to survive yet another Donaire assault.

Donaire’s patience finally pays off.

donaireArceBreakdown 10

Here, Donaire manages to finally close the show via his spring-loaded left hook. Donaire’s left hook, either as a counter or a lead, may just be the best punch in all of boxing. It’s certainly the one shot that I’d select for encapsulating both boxing’s brutality and beauty in a single moment.

All in all, it was another spectacular performance by Nonito Donaire. Sure, nobody really gave Jorge Arce a real chance of winning the fight, but Donaire must be given credit for taking Arce away from his initial game plan, and out within a few frames. Last week, we saw a sensational counter-punching finish by Juan Manuel Marquez when he knocked out Manny Pacquiao with an over-hand right at the end of the sixth round. In the dying moments of that fight, we saw a fighter pay the ultimate price for being overly aggressive. Ultimately, Manny Pacquiao’s deliberate and predictable attack left nothing to the imagination and pretty much made Marquez’s mind up for him. Marquez also had close to 42 rounds of in-ring experience with his familiar opponent prior to that fight ending moment. Jorge Arce is certainly no Manny Pacquiao, but during the early going of this fight, Donaire found in front of him an unfamiliar and unwilling opponent. Regardless of ability, I’ve always felt these are the most difficult fighters to put away -the Joshua Clottey’s against Manny Pacquiao, and some of the early career opponents of Mike Tyson or a light heavyweight Roy Jones. As good as Manny Pacquiao is, his style accommodates that of a hard hitting counter-puncher.

Donaire, by way of his superior ring intelligence, assessed the situation and managed to figure out a way of opening up an opponent who wasn’t really looking to open up. As I’ve already mentioned, once Arce was floored, we saw him resort back to something more like his old self where Donaire would soon put the finishing touches on yet another masterpiece, but this clearly wasn’t the case at the beginning of the fight.

I really don’t want to delve too deep into all of the PED talk that seems to be dominating boxing right now, but Nonito Donaire MUST be applauded for his participation in the 24/7/365 VADA testing that he’s currently undergoing. There’s an obvious problem out there at the moment and Donaire is doing his best in trying to eradicate it.

Right, now let’s get back to Donaire’s boxing ability. Personally, I think Nonito Donaire is the most creative offensive fighter in the sport right now. He’s at the opposite end of the spectrum to the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Andre Ward who are always looking to stymie and stifle. Yes, Donaire’s different. He’s looking to unlock and unload. He’s always searching for the knockout. And what’s even more worrying for future opponents is the fact that he’s becoming a more intelligent fighter with each passing fight. During his last three outings, Donaire has shown that he now has the deciphering skills to figure out an opponent’s style and adapt to it accordingly -we saw him pressurizing and getting inside on a taller opponent in Jeffery Mathebula, and against Toshiaki Nishioka and now Jorge Arce, we’ve seen a more strategic, trap setting Donaire. A few fight ago, relying on nothing but his speed and power, Donaire seemed to be a little left hand happy. This is no longer the case.

Hopefully, promotional issues can be put aside for once and boxing fans will get to see Nonito Donaire versus Abner Mares in 2013. Should that fight be made and should Donaire win, which is not beyond the realms of possibility, then I think Nonito Donaire would have a very good case on his hands for being recognized as the very best fighter in the sport.

Comment on this article

Featured Articles

Three Punch Combo: A Bouquet for “ShoBox” and More

Published

on

new television

THREE PUNCH COMBO — We are embarking into a new age in boxing. There are new television contracts and digital platforms available that are making the sport more visible than ever before to the masses. But with all these new deals and platforms, it is important not to forget some of the consistent programming that has been around for some time. There is no better example of this than the ShoBox series on Showtime.

ShoBox, more formally ShoBox: The New Generation, began with a simple premise of matching young prospects in with tough opposition. To get their fighters on this series, promoters would have to find credible opponents who could potentially test and maybe even upset their prized prospect. This premise has led to consistently competitive and entertaining fights in the more than 200 broadcasts since the inception of the series in 2001.

This past Friday, we saw just how this premise works once again. There was a four fight card that featured competitive fights on paper in all the matches. However, in two of those matches there did seem to be clear favorites though each of the respective fighters was being matched with their toughest foe to date.

James Wilkins and Misael Lopez opened the telecast in a 130-pound contest. Wilkins was featured in a documentary that aired on Showtime just prior to the card and was expected to make a smashing television debut. He was a knockout artist and the thought was that he would put on a show to open the telecast. But instead, Wilkins got a boxing lesson from Lopez who was busier from the outside and managed to mostly avoid the power of Wilkins throughout the contest in winning an eight round unanimous decision.

The main event featured Jon Fernandez facing O’Shaquie Foster in another 130-pound contest. Fernandez had been getting a lot of buzz and many in the sport considered the Spaniard a future star. This was supposed to be a test for Fernandez as Foster (pictured on the right) represented a step up in class, but nonetheless many expected Fernandez to pass the test with flying colors. Instead, the power punching Fernandez was clearly out-boxed by Foster for ten rounds in an entertaining fight.

These two fights showed once again that when young fighters are matched tough we often get better than expected fights that can sometimes deliver surprises. This coming Friday, the series returns with highly touted lightweight prospect Devin Haney (19-0, 13 KO’s) in the main event taking on former world title challenger Juan Carlos Burgos (33-2-2, 21 KO’s). This is a fight in which Haney is favored but one in which he is facing the toughest challenge of his young career. At the very least, this should be a test for the highly touted 19-year-old Haney and I am certain we get a compelling fight.

ShoBox is boxing’s most consistent series and one that just continues to provide fight fans with high caliber, competitive fights.

10 Percent or 10 Pounds – How To Combat Fighters Who Blow Up In Weight

It is time to address the issue of fighters gaining an absurd amount of weight following the weigh-in. There is a reason why we have weight classes in boxing. If one fighter enters the ring weighing significantly more than his opponent, it gives the bigger fighter a big advantage. This can make for not only non-competitive fights but potentially dangerous situations. I have a simple solution that I think can combat this problem.

In past articles, I have touched on the issue of fighters who miss the contracted weight. My argument has always been to implement a system with stiff financial penalties. So in a similar aspect, I think stiff financial penalties can combat the continued problem of fighters blowing up in weight after the official weigh-in.

What I propose is second day weigh-ins where fighters would not be permitted to put on more than ten pounds or 10 percent (whichever is more) of the contracted weight limit. If they are over, the fight still goes on but the fighter who misses the second day weight limit pays a substantial fine. This simple adjunct can be easily administered by the various state commissions in the United States (or any other commissions worldwide).

Here is an example:  Let’s say we have a fight contracted at 130 pounds and each fighter weighs in at 129 pounds. The second day limit would be 10 percent of 130 pounds which was the contracted weight. So each fighter could come in at a maximum of 143 pounds. Now let’s say one fighter comes in at 146 pounds. The penalty I propose would be 20 percent of that fighter’s purse per pound over the weight. And this money goes directly to their opponent. Under this example, the fighter over weight would lose 60 percent of his purse.

Zero Shouldn’t Mean That Much

We are in an era, largely due to The Floyd Mayweather Jr. Factor, where fighters are often overly protected to keep that precious zero in the loss column. But to do so, they are frequently matched with soft opposition and learn little from dismantling their overmatched foes. There is little to no growth in their career during this period and though the record may get glossy, the development of the fighter may be stunted.

Setbacks can humble fighters and make them see what needs to be done so as not to experience that feeling again. They become better overall fighters and put themselves in a better long term position in their career.

This past weekend, we saw two once promising prospects bounce back with career defining wins after suffering an early unexpected defeat. They are both now in prime position to have their respective careers blossom which may not have otherwise been the case.

Earlier I mentioned O’Shaquie Foster’s upset win against Jon Fernandez. Three years ago, Foster was a highly touted prospect. He had a good amateur background and was blessed athletically with dynamic speed. After building up an 8-0 record against less than formidable opposition, he lost in a dreadful performance to Samuel Teah. Another loss would follow several months later to Rolando Chinea. But Foster clearly learned from his mistakes in these fights and bounced back, layering his natural athletic ability with much improved skills in frankly outclassing Fernandez. Foster’s losses made him take a step back and re-evaluate what needed to be done inside the ring. He is now in prime position to become a contender in the 130-pound weight division.

Luke Campbell was a 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist and considered a can’t-miss future star in boxing. But in his 13th pro fight, in a rather shocking development, he was put on the canvas and lost a split decision to veteran Yvan Mendy. Another loss followed two years later against Jorge Linares but Campbell performed well while losing a split decision and flashed signs of improvement from the Mendy setback.

The rematch with Mendy for Campbell took place this past weekend and Campbell did what many expected him to do in their first encounter. He boxed effectively from the outside and mixed in precision combination punching to easily avenge the defeat. It was a dynamic performance by Campbell and put him in line for a big fight at lightweight.

Luke Campbell is a vastly different fighter from the one who lost to Mendy three years earlier and appears primed to potentially live up to the once high expectations. He is in a better spot today in his career due to what he learned from that first loss to Mendy.

Photo credit: Dave Mandel / SHOWTIME

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

To comment on this article at The Fight Forum, CLICK HERE.

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

In Dismantling Povetkin, Joshua Recaptured His Swag among the Heavyweights

Published

on

experienced opponent

He was in against a very crafty and experienced opponent in former WBA titlist Alexander Povetkin 34-2 (24). And although he was troubled by the dangerous Russian fighting small as he tried to inch his way in and time him, AJ adjusted well and started to take the initiative and dropped and stopped Povetkin in the seventh round, retaining his WBA, WBO, and IBF heavyweight titles and thus becoming the first fighter to ever stop Povetkin, something Wladimir Klitschko failed to do.

During the fight AJ was forced back. He had to adapt to Povetkin making him punch down and that caused him to be a little tentative, especially after being bloodied from a broken nose in the first round. And early on, AJ was a little confused and busy trying to keep Povetkin occupied from outside so he couldn’t get in on him. His most effective weapon in doing such was his left jab, delivered to the head or body, although the fight really turned when he began putting his one-two together. Then after a fairly evenly-paced bout, AJ slowed some with the hope it would lure Povetkin to close in a little harder, and he did.

As Povetkin, who came to fight, became more assertive, he became more vulnerable. AJ found the openings for his big right hand and left hook. With the first really solid right hand that bounced off his chin, Povetkin buckled and instinctively went back. Joshua pursued him and then, with near Joe Louis-like accuracy, put his right hands and hooks together, along with a beautiful right to the body in the middle of the assault and finished his game opponent.

Once again it was shown that trading with AJ is almost certain suicide. Povetkin was in great shape and would’ve been a handful for any other heavyweight in the world because he no doubt brought his A-game. Sometimes it takes AJ a little while to get going, and if you don’t do anything to bother him or wake him up, he doesn’t fight with the urgency of a “Smokin” Joe Frazier. However, when you wake him up and force him to cut loose, he’s so dangerous that he doesn’t need too many clean shots to end it. And making Joshua more lethal is that he has both short and inside power in both hands.

After months of hearing how Povetkin was the most serious threat to Joshua, that’s now finished business. Prior to the bout The Ring magazine rated the top six heavyweights in the world as follows…..Joshua, Wilder, Povetkin, Ortiz, Whyte and Parker, in that order. Now Joshua is 3-0 (2) versus Povetkin, Whyte and Parker which squashes the narrative that he has fought weaker opposition than WBC title holder Deontay Wilder 40-0 (39) who has only faced Ortiz among the top six.

Today, the most widely levied criticism of any elite fighter is that he didn’t fight the best man or men in his division. Fighters can’t control who their contemporaries are but they can control fighting the best of their era. Rocky Marciano’s era wasn’t stellar, but he fought every top fighter who was in line to challenge him. Floyd Mayweather fought in a stout era – the difference is an overwhelming majority of his bouts with big name opponents were strategically manipulated so that he faced them on the downside of their career – and that’s a fact, not a theory.

Forty years after his last victory in a title fight, Muhammad Ali is respected and revered as a fighter even by those who don’t claim to be a fan of his. Why? He wasn’t the most fundamental boxer in heavyweight history nor was he the biggest puncher, and not all of his fights were edge of your seat exciting. The thing that’s often cited as to why he was a marvel is that he fought the best of the best during one of the deepest eras in heavyweight history. There were a few times between 1975-77 that he held a win over every fighter ranked among The Ring magazine’s top-10. Sure he fought a few Brian London’s and Jean Pierre Coopman’s, but London was encompassed by Sonny Liston and Ernie Terrell during the 1960s and Coopman by Joe Frazier and Ken Norton during the 1970s.

Anthony Joshua hasn’t yet sniffed the greatness of Ali on many levels, but he is on the same trajectory in regards to meeting and defeating the best of his generation. By the end of this month, the WBC heavyweight title fight between Deontay Wilder and former champ Tyson Fury will likely become official with them meeting in early December. And regardless of who wins, Joshua, if he really wants to etch a great legacy, must pressure the winner to meet him in their next bout. In addition to that, he must tell his brain, aka Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn, to forget about winning the purse war if it is the only stumbling block. If the winner of Wilder-Fury is impressive, he will have earned a 50-50 split.

During the faux negotiations between the Joshua and Wilder camps this past summer the purse split was the focal point. And prior to the prospect of Wilder and Fury meeting, Joshua clearly held the better hand based on his resume and owning three titles to Wilder’s single title.  But the Wilder-Fury winner will have closed the gap and Joshua needs to be next while the fighters are at or near their prime. The fact is Joshua versus the Wilder/Fury winner will be the most widely anticipated fight in the heavyweight division since Lewis-Tyson and maybe even since Tyson-Holyfield I. The onus is on the fighters to make it happen and they both have the clout to make sure it does, especially Joshua.

Interviewed in the ring after dispatching Povetkin, AJ said it didn’t matter to him who he fought next as long as it’s Wilder or Fury, but it was obvious that he preferred Wilder. A lot depends on how Wilder fares with Fury, but until then, here’s what we know…..Alexander Povetkin and Luis Ortiz are about on the same level; having never faced each other, it’s a tossup as to who’d win. Both Joshua and Wilder scored impressive stoppages over Povetkin and Ortiz respectively…AJ needed seven rounds and Deontay needed ten rounds. During his bout with Ortiz, Wilder was knocked around the ring and had to endure a few big exchanges, some of which he came out second-best. Wilder was also nearly stopped in the seventh round but battled back, summoning great courage and reserve to win a fight he was losing. Against Povetkin, Joshua was more troubled than he was beaten up. And once he found his range and pace and began putting his punches together, the fight ultimately ended when AJ got off with his best stuff. In essence, Joshua was more impressive against Povetkin and had fewer close calls than did Wilder against Ortiz.

Between now and the time Wilder fights Tyson Fury, it’ll be debated as to who was more impressive – Joshua against Povetkin or Wilder against Ortiz; the answer is clearly Joshua for the reasons stated. Moreover, when analyzing a fight, A + B doesn’t equal C. Joshua will be favored over either Wilder or Fury, but probably along the line of 7-5 and nothing will change that.

The thing that emerged from Joshua dismantling Povetkin is that AJ recaptured some of the limelight and swag he ceded to Wilder this past March. AJ is again the fighter to beat in the heavyweight division and will probably get the bigger purse split regardless of whether he faces Wilder and Fury.

That said, he better not let the fight fall through over it!

Between 1977 and 1982, Frank Lotierzo had over 50 fights in the middleweight division. He trained at Joe Frazier’s gym in Philadelphia under the tutelage of the legendary George Benton. Before joining The Sweet Science his work appeared in several prominent newsstand and digital boxing magazines and he hosted “Toe-to-Toe” on ESPN Radio. Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@gmail.com

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

To comment on this article at The Fight Forum, CLICK HERE.

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

Tanaka vs. Kimora: A Monday Morning Treat For Serious Fight Fans

Published

on

Kosei Tanaka was just 4-0 the first time he was appraised on The Sweet Science back in 2015; the question then was, is Tanaka the world’s brightest boxing prospect? The question now is whether or not Tanaka is about to add a strap at a third weight to an already glittering career that has seen him annex belts at 105 and 108lbs in just his first eight fights.

Now 11-0 with seven knockouts he prepares, this coming Monday, to duel Sho Kimura in Nagoya, Japan and with a lot more than just the WBO trinket on the line.

Hearts and minds, as always, translate into dollars and yen. The winner of this all-Japanese contest will find himself buoyed in fame, glory and gold in his home country, which also happens to be one of the few places on the planet where a boxer can collect a small fortune without ever leaving his native shores. Should the winner dare to dream a wider dream, then that too can be facilitated by the win.  Even fistic denizens of boxing strongholds in Japan and Britain feel a shiver run down their spines when the words “Las Vegas headliner” are whispered into their ear.

The favored man among the hardcore in the west is Tanaka. He is still very young at just twenty-three years old and is slick and quick, what the west expects of a Japanese force. Interestingly enough, however, the Japanese seem to be leaning towards Kimura: older, at twenty-nine, armed with a superb work-rate, good power, limited technique but the conqueror of Chinese superstar Shiming Zou who he stopped in the summer of 2017. Zou may have had his bubble burst by the Thai brawler Amnat Ruenroeng in 2015, but it was Kimura who sent him stumbling into retirement and at a time when the talk was of China stealing Japan’s thunder as boxing’s home in the east.

Kimura was indeed impressive that night in Shanghai. He maintained pressure with wonderful variety, eschewing the jab, perhaps, for spells, but filling those gaps with an assortment of wonderful punches, most of all his body attack, which was persistent, withering, and apparently went unscored by two of the three judges who somehow had the Chinese ahead at the time of the eleventh round stoppage. Zou had shown a skill for flurrying while fleeing and Kimura had shown him how to fight.

Now a strapholder at 112lbs, Kimura staged two defenses in the following twelve months. The first was against Toshiyuki Igarashi, the man who beat Sonny Boy Jaro, the man who had beaten the superb champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam before a softer fight against Froilan Saludar. He won both by stoppage.

Kimura, then, rather came from nowhere but made the most of his arrival. What he displayed in all three of these fights was a determination to offer pressure and footwork educated enough to do it while taking many fewer steps than his harried opponent. A tad overrated as a puncher, I suspect, he places himself in hitting position often enough that his default fight plan – chase, harass, throw – makes him capable of hurting his opponents by way of persistence and pressure.

He left Zou, Igarashi and Saludar, broken in his wake.

In short, he is the type of opponent Kosei Tanaka has been waiting for.

There have been calls for Tanaka to be considered a pound-for-pound talent should he overcome Kimura this Monday. I understand the impulse. Tanaka, were he to triumph, would become a three-weight world champion and he hails from a boxing territory which has little direct control over the meaningful pound-for-pound lists, if such a statement is not a contradiction in terms.

In short, it is felt he would be undervalued.

Tempering these calls is the fact that he has never beaten a divisional number one and that Kimura would be, by far, the best opponent he would have bested, and the most proven. Some Tanaka opponents have come good after he defeated them, some were ranked in the lower reaches of their respective divisional top tens when he matched them, but none are scalps as impressive as those dangled by the likes of Errol Spence or Anthony Joshua, who populate the nine, ten and eleven spots in reputable lists.

But this is neither here nor there; the key is not what Kimura does not represent, it is what he does represent. He is the best that Tanaka has met and, I would argue, the first truly elite fighter that Tanaka has met. He is the litmus test and he is one with a stylistic advantage.

Tanaka can punch. Here we will find out whether or not he punches hard enough to keep Kimura off him. Personally, I doubt it and that means that Kimura is going to hand him a serious gut check.

Interestingly, it will not be Tanaka’s first. The first time I wrote about him I stressed that his chin was essentially untested. That is no longer true. Tanaka, who is reasonably sound defensively, can be lazy in minding himself and foolish in pursuing the attack.

Thai puncher Rangsan Chayanram checked him in 2017, delivering a serious eye injury among other ignominies before succumbing in nine; puncher Angel Acosta, a ranked fighter if not a great one, hit and hurt Tanaka repeatedly late in their 2017 contest. If Tanaka has been learning these lessons, expectations concerning his potential may be realized. If he is not, he will fall short. Kimura is the man to test him.

Kimura’s experience and seemingly limitless twelve-round stamina are to be pitted against Tanaka’s skill, proven heart and taut footwork. It sees a superior technician – Tanaka – who has shown a propensity for being drawn into a cruder fighter’s wheelhouse matching an aggressive stalker – Kimura – who specializes in drawing technically superior foes into knockdown-drag-out scraps.

It is framed both as a fight that is likely to finish a future pound-for-pounder’s education and a fight where a young pretender is found out by a grizzled veteran.

Best of all, it is a fight that fight fans can watch for free, simply by clicking here.  The Asian Boxing website has secured exclusive international rights to the fight and will broadcasting it, free of charge, to anyone with an internet connection. As can be seen here, the fight is due to start at 4pm Japanese time.

All the reader has to do is find out what that means for timing in their own corner of the globe and a potential fight of the year will unfold before his or her eyes free of charge.

World class boxing being broadcast for free and including two of the best below 115lbs; a stylistic crossroads contest that opens up the on-ramp to pound-for-pound recognition for at least one of the combatants – on a Monday.  All facts worth keeping in mind the next time that someone tells you boxing’s prime was any number of decades ago.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

To comment on this article at The Fight Forum, CLICK HERE.

Continue Reading

Trending