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HOW HE DID IT: More Mastery From All-Time Great Bernard Hopkins

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Bernard Hopkins proved yet again that age is just a number by becoming the oldest world champion in history for a second time after beating Tavoris Cloud in Brooklyn on Saturday night.

Although he fell a little short of matching the same level of virtuosity shown in the Felix Trinidad, Antonio Tarver and Kelly Pavlik fights (he’s getting on a bit now after all), this was still a staggering display by Hopkins. Indeed, in spite of his opponent’s technical shortcomings, many of which were exposed throughout the fight, some thought Cloud –once considered a viable opponent for pound for pound contender Andre Ward—would be throwing too many punches and applying too much pressure for the old-timer to deal with.

Hopkins’ win over Cloud shouldn’t really have come as too much of a shock for anyone, for this is not the first time Bernard Hopkins has proved the naysayers wrong. With a perspicacity that may be unrivalled in the modern era, Hopkins has built a legacy based on the mastering of fancied younger fighters with perfect or near perfect records.

Here, I’d like to highlight what Hopkins did that allowed him to subdue and control an opponent 17 years his junior.

Footwork

It’s been said here before that the fighter who can dictate his opponent’s footwork using his own footwork will usually control the fight. It was clear from the opening bell that this was Bernard Hopkins’ strategy. Because Cloud tends to load up on his punches, he’s either uncomfortable in doing so or is unable to let his hands go unless his feet are well underneath him and planted. Conversely, because Hopkins never looks to load up with anything big, he can let his hands go freely without having to set himself first. By employing lateral movement and never allowing his opponent to set himself, Hopkins was able to minimize Cloud’s offensive capabilities while maximizing his own in the process.

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Notice how Hopkins’ lateral movement forces Cloud to reposition himself or risk conceding an angle.

Bernard Hopkins is notorious for his relatively low punch output. However, if he’s faced with an opponent who struggles to cut the ring off and comes forward in a straight line, his movement causes them to constantly think about his location instead of punching.

Needless to say, movement alone doesn’t win fights. Therefore, with Cloud’s punch output reduced, Hopkins had to take advantage by producing enough offense of his own to please the judges.

Feints

In response to following him around the ring, Hopkins would provoke a reaction out of Cloud with a shoulder feint, before redirecting his movement back the other way. Almost contradictory, a feint on an aggressive fighter tends to have the opposite effect as it does on a defensive based or counterpunching fighter. Where a feint will usually draw a counter from a defensive fighter or counterpuncher making them more aggressive, a feint will usually slow down the pace of an aggressive fighter, making them more hesitant. By the mid-way point in the fight, Cloud had become over sensitive to Hopkins’ shoulder twitches and feints. As a result, any time Hopkins stopped moving long enough for Cloud to get close to him, Hopkins would feint him out of a defensive position, before nailing him with a lead left hook to the head or the body, a counter right cross, or a slight variation on his usual jab.

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Notice how Hopkins sudden level change/feint pulls Cloud’s lead arm away from his guard, leaving an opening for a right cross.

Something I noticed while watching the fight was how Hopkins didn’t really bother throwing his signature right hand lead much. There were a few occasions nearing the end of the fight when he caught Cloud coming in with it, but apart from that, it certainly didn’t feature as prominently as it has in the past. This, I believe, was due to the fact that Hopkins rarely looked to clinch or tie up his man. Hopkins often uses his sneaky right hand lead as a way of getting himself inside where he can tie his opponent up. Because Hopkins’ main strategy was to keep Cloud from getting set, using footwork to turn his man and keep the fight primarily on the outside, Hopkins wasn’t too concerned with getting tying Cloud up via his right hand lead.

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Here’s Hopkins getting inside on Joe Calzaghe using his right hand lead. This has been one of Hopkins’ primary tactics for gaining entry over the years.

The Jab

In the right hand lead’s place, Hopkins introduced a slight variation of his usual jab. The jab is boxing’s most versatile punch. Here, rather than use it to set up other punches or as a probe to gain intelligence, Hopkins used a lunging jab to disrupt Cloud’s forward momentum and to prevent him from getting to the inside.

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Here is Hopkins executing a lunging jab at various stages during the fight. Notice how Hopkins’ head is taken away from the centerline. The majority of fighters will aim their counters toward an opponent’s head. By slipping to the right as he’s stepping forward with his jab, Hopkins is taking a pre-emptive measure against a potential jab or counter from Cloud.

Counterpunching

Whenever the action took place at close quarters (Cloud’s best chance of winning the fight) Hopkins managed to get the better by way of his superior counterpunching ability. One of the things that I noticed during the fight was how much Cloud telegraphs his punches, particularly his wide swings in close. On the few occasions when Cloud found himself in a more advantageous position, Hopkins managed to neutralize much of what Cloud was throwing by threading shorter, crisper blows inside of Cloud’s wide swings.

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Here’s Cloud trying to work inside with wide hooks. Hopkins, the superior craftsman in close, thwarts them easily by rolling and countering with shorter hooks and uppercuts.

Part of what makes Hopkins a truly special fighter is his ability to draw leads from his opponents by offering them false targets, creating specific openings for specific punches. Although Hopkins’ reflexes and reaction time are excellent for a 48 year-old fighter, they are greatly enhanced by the fact that he knows what punches his opponents are likely to throw in certain situations.

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Here is Hopkins in the aptly named Philly shell/half guard defense. As is often the case with when an orthodox fighter is confronted with this defense, Cloud attempts to land a right hand toward the seemingly unguarded area of Hopkins (left side). Although its main purpose is for defending, the half guard defense is great for drawing right leads. Here, Hopkins knows what punch is likely to be thrown and as a result, rolls with the blow and lands a right hand counter. What seems like split second reflex timing is really down to probability.

Here’s another example.

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Notice how low Hopkins is carrying his gloves in the first still. This is no coincidence. Hopkins’ low gloves (particularly his rear) are designed to draw a left lead from an opponent. Sure enough, Cloud obliges and Hopkins slips to the outside of the jab and counters with a right cross.

Although the official decision was that the cut above Cloud’s eye was caused by an accidental clash of heads, in reality, it stemmed from a short left hook and from Hopkins’s ability to draw a lead and counter.

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Here, as Cloud leads with a jab, Hopkins slips to the outside of the blow and comes back with a short left hand after missing with his initial right hand counter.

Defense

Although he’s starting to get hit more often these days, Hopkins’ defense is still world class. It’s one of the reasons why he’s never been seriously hurt or rocked in the ring. Apart from solid fundamentals (correct balance, tucked chin, body angled slightly to the side etc.) Hopkins elusiveness in the ring can be attributed almost entirely on the pre-emptive measures he takes. Prior to a fight, it’s well documented that Hopkins leaves no stone unturned in scouting his opponents –how many times during the past have we seen a Bernard Hopkins opponent have their primary weapon taken away from them?

Although many (Andre Ward during the HBO telecast included) believed that Cloud’s best weapon was his right hand, I think his left hook looks like his most dangerous punch. After watching the fight, I think Bernard Hopkins felt the same way.

Although Hopkins was circling both left and right, he seemed to be moving more to his right (to Cloud’s left) during the fight. Although this may suggest that Hopkins was indeed trying to avoid Cloud’s right hand, moving toward a blow with the intention of crowding it (not allowing it to reach its maximum velocity or power) can also be a way of stuffing that particular blow. By circling toward Cloud’s left hand, Hopkins was able to square Cloud up. If Cloud were to throw his left hook after being made to turn to his left, Hopkins would see it coming due to the wide, highly telegraphed angle the blow would now be coming from.

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Here’s Hopkins moving to his right (Cloud’s left) with his non-working hand glued to the side of his head. As Cloud throws his left hook, Hopkins stuffs the blow, taking it on his right arm.

Here we see it again.

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As Hopkins is tending to his right, Cloud has to square himself up to throw his left hook (2nd still). This time, Hopkins is able to circle out and away from the blow. Notice how Hopkins has his non-working hand glued to the side of his head ready to block the left hook in the second still. This type of pre-emptive measure is one of the reasons why Hopkins has rarely been hit clean during his career.

All in all it was a masterful display from Hopkins. Although Cloud kept it competitive throughout, there can be no argument as to who the better fighter was (I scored it 117-111 for Hopkins). Using clever footwork, subtle shifts, broken rhythm (changing the tempo of his punches and movements) along with feints and short combination punching in close (a rarity in a Bernard Hopkins fight these days), Hopkins neutralized Cloud’s predictable linear attacks in what was possibly his cleanest, most aesthetically pleasing performance since the Kelly Pavlik fight. I found it ironic that Hopkins’ trainer, Nazim Richardson, referenced Joe Louis’ short punching during one of the rounds. As I was watching the fight, I thought Hopkins’ movement was eerily similar to that of Jersey Joe Walcott’s when he out boxed Joe Louis in their first fight but failed to get the decision.

We are literally running out of superlatives to describe Bernard Hopkins. For me, he’s not only the best fighter of his era, he is among the greatest fighters ever, period. This once in a lifetime phenomenon won’t be around too much longer, so let’s just savor the moment and enjoy him while he’s still around.

 

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George Groves and Callum Smith Finally Meet in the WBSS Capstone

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168-pound

The 168-pound tournament of the inaugural World Boxing Super Series, an 8-man invitational, kicked off on Sept. 16 of last year with a match between Callum Smith and Erik Skoglund at Liverpool, England. Tournaments of this nature in boxing almost never play out as planned and this tourney was no exception. But on Friday we will finally crown a winner when Smith meets George Groves at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, of all places. At stake will be the coveted Muhammad Ali Trophy and the bundle of cash that comes with it and Groves’ WBA “super” world super middleweight title.

Despite the odd location, this is a domestic affair. Groves, the top seed, and Smith, the #2 seed, are both Englishmen. And if the fight were on British soil, it would have certainly drawn well. In the UK, Groves is enormously popular. His second fight with Carl Froch attracted a crowd of 80,000 at Wembley Stadium, a British post-war record eventually broken by Joshua-Klitschko.

Groves (28-3, 20 KOs) suffered his lone defeats at the hands of Froch, who defeated him twice, and Badou Jack, and there’s no shame there. Carl Froch, in the minds of many, has a plaque waiting for him at the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Jack, a title-holder in two weight classes, is currently ranked #1 as a light heavyweight by the WBA and WBC.

Although both fights with Froch ended inside the distance, both were nip-and-tuck until Froch closed the curtain. Badou Jack defeated Groves by split decision in Las Vegas.

Groves has a high boxing IQ as he demonstrated on Feb 17 in Manchester where he scored a 12-round unanimous decision over Chris Eubank Jr. Groves, observed ringside reporter Gareth Davies, “was just a step too far, too strong and ultimately too technical and experienced in the championship rounds.” Eubank’s father and trainer Chris Eubank Sr. saluted Groves for fighting the perfect fight.

The victory was bittersweet as Groves dislocated his left shoulder in the final round. It required surgery, pushing back the finale until this Friday, a full two months after the conclusion of the other WBSS tourney, for cruiserweights, the finale of which was also pushed back from the originally scheduled date. For a time the promoters seriously considered bumping Eubank into the finals in place of the incapacitated Groves but eventually thought better of it. (Eubank will appear on the undercard in a stay-busy fight against Ireland’s J.J. McDonagh.)

Callum Smith (24-0, 18 KOs) is the youngest of four fighting brothers, each of whom captured one or more regional titles. In the family, the relationship between talent and birth order is inverse, which is to say that Paul Smith, the oldest of the foursome, wasn’t as good as his younger brother Stephen and Stephen wasn’t as good as younger brother Liam.

Liam “Beefy” Smith accomplished what his two older brothers could not, winning a world title. He won the WBO 154-pound diadem in his twenty-second fight and successfully defended the belt twice before it was sheared from him by Canelo Alvarez who knocked him out in the ninth round.

If Callum Smith wins on Friday, he will be recognized by hardcore fans as a more legitimate champion than was the case with his brother Liam. That’s because Callum, who stands six-foot-three (none of his brothers is taller than 5’11”), was touted from the very onset of his career as the most gifted of the fighting Smith brothers. He solidified that opinion in November of 2015 when he knocked out Liverpool rival Rocky Fielding in the opening round. Fielding went on to win the “regular” version of the WBA 168-pound title and that remains the only blemish on his record.

In recent bouts, however, Smith hasn’t looked that sharp. His last two opponents, the aforementioned Skoglund and Neiky Holzken, lasted the full 12 rounds. The obscure Holzken, a converted kickboxer from the Netherlands, was a late sub for Juergen Braehmer who was forced to bow out of the tournament with an illness.

George Groves was a slight underdog to Eubank. On Friday, the odds favor him, but only slightly. At last look it was 13/10 which portends a very close fight. Groves has the edge in experience and in ring savvy and has fought tougher opposition, but Smith will have a three-and-a-half inch height advantage and is judged to be the harder puncher.

Fight fans in the U.S. can access the fight on the new DAZN app. Keep in mind that Saudi Arabia is seven hours ahead of New York and other precincts in the Eastern Time Zone and adjust accordingly.

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

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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

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In Dismantling Povetkin, Joshua Recaptured His Swag among the Heavyweights

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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

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