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Golovkin Leaves No Question To Who The Alpha Fighter At 160 Is



Let’s be honest, he looked terrific…though his opponent was very limited but did, however, really try and do everything in his power to compete and make it hard for him to score his 27th career stoppage in 30 professional fights.

Yes, I’m talking about WBA middleweight title holder Gennady Golovkin’s third round stoppage over challenger Daniel Geale 30-3 (16) this past weekend at Madison Square Garden. If Geale really is one of the top three middleweights in the world, the gulf between Golovkin and the other two is wider than the length of the George Washington Bridge connecting New York and New Jersey.

Golovkin 30-0 (27) barely broke a sweat against Geale. He did whatever he wanted from the onset of the bout and had Geale fighting to survive and in retreat for the 8:47 that the bout lasted. The end came swiftly and suddenly in the third round a split second after Geale landed his best punch of the fight, a right cross to the temple, and then was countered immediately by a Golovkin right to face. The punched dropped Geale, who beat the 10 count but was in no position to continue and the fight was correctly stopped.

It’s amazing how the very second that Geale landed his best punch of the fight, Golovkin not only wasn’t hurt by it, but maintained his footing and cut loose with his own right that ended the bout. Two things are rare about that sequence and are seldom seen. Firstly, Golovkin wasn’t moved at all physically by the impact of Geale’s right hand. No, Geale isn’t close to being any kind of a puncher, actually, he’s a below average puncher. But it was a money shot and he had his weight into it and it didn’t move Gennady a bit. Which tells you Triple G is very strong. The other impressive thing about the ending was how Golovkin was able to get off such a quick counter with not everything on it and was still able to finish a solid fighter who had never been stopped before as a professional.

Think about this. Golovkin starts out throwing his right hand somewhat blindly, basically just reacting automatically to having gotten nailed. Halfway through the punch, he opens his eyes, hones in on where he wants the already on its way punch to go, and pinpoints its landing perfectly. End of fight. Amazing.

Unlike some other writers and fans I’m not about to declare Golovkin an all-time great, yet. And that’s basically because I’m about who a fighter beat and knocked out, not just how many. What Gennady has exhibited to this point is really something, but fighters are ranked on who they beat. Everybody kills Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko saying they haven’t fought anybody. And to a degree that’s true. However, that also gets old and rings hollow. I don’t care what era we’re talking about, when the alpha fighter in the division keeps beating all the top contenders with relative ease every time out, he’s got something going on. The heavyweight division that Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko dominated and continue to dominate is about as pedestrian and ordinary as the middleweight division that Golovkin is starting to cause havoc in. If that’s not the case than why does he have to look at a former junior welterweight (Miguel Cotto), a welterweight (Floyd Mayweather), a junior middleweight (Saul Alvarez) and a super middleweight (Andre Ward), for a challenge and big fight? Because the middleweight division is experiencing one of its most severe droughts in its existence. Daniel Geale is a good fighter, but ask yourself if he’d be a legitimate belt holder in any other middleweight era.

Golovkin has the makings of a special fighter and perhaps even a great one. He does what he’s supposed to do when confronted by middle of the road opposition. He gets rid of them relatively fast and makes it easy for all to see the disparity in ability and power separating him from the pack. I love his calmness and confidence. You can see that he’s so confident in his power and just knows that once he touches you good, he’s going to hurt you and your thoughts will go from trying to win to trying to last and survive. He pressures in a way that makes you constantly use your legs and feet, which of course is very taxing physically if you’re the fighter he’s coming after. But more than that he cuts off the ring and he also makes you use your hands and forces his opponents, at least to this point, to punch at him under duress. And that accomplishes two important things. It makes his opponent rush their punches so they can occupy and hopefully slow him down, only they can’t get everything on their shots because they’re rushed and being forced back. Secondly, punching at Golovkin opens them up better for him to rip his lefts and rights in to a more open target.

Gennady was very impressive against Geale, who was undone by all the physicality and aptitude that Golovkin brings to the ring as a fighter. Geale tried to move and box, and that didn’t work. He tried to attack from odd angles, seeking a weakness, and there wasn’t one. He tried to hold his ground and hit Golovkin with a fight altering shot and that ultimately got him stopped. Geale did everything a fighter could do to try and defeat a more physically skilled and superior fighter and it wasn’t enough. This is a situation that more than likely the rest of the top contenders in the middleweight division will find themselves in when they face him. If there’s a middleweight out there today who has something to challenge Golovkin with, I haven’t seen him.

In short, today’s middleweight division is very shallow and Golovkin is marching through it like a potentially great fighter should.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at


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Fast Results From London: Joshua Takes Out Povetkin in the 7th



UK sporting

It was a very wet night at Wembley Stadium, but the dampness didn’t diminish the enthusiasm of the crowd which welcomed UK sporting hero Anthony Joshua into the ring with a thunderous ovation. And Joshua didn’t disappoint. After six relatively even rounds, he found his range in the seventh and became the first man to stop Alexander Povetkin. A three punch combo that began with an overhand right sent Povetkin sprawling into the ropes. The Russian beat the count, but Joshua smelled blood and as soon as the ref allowed the proceedings to continue he moved in for the kill. The official time was 1:59.

Povetkin started fast and in the eyes of many observers won the first three rounds. A sharp right hand in the waning seconds of round one reddened Joshua’s nose which leaked blood in the next round. The tide began to turn in round four when Povetkin suffered a cut above his left eye.

Povetkin (now 34-2), was the lighter man by 23 pounds. Joshua had a four inch height advantage and a seven inch reach advantage. And it mattered greatly that AJ was the younger man by 10-plus years. Povetkin wasn’t intimidated by Joshua and had several good moments but, at age 39, his reflexes betrayed him once the fight had crossed the midpoint.

Joshua, who owns three of the four meaningful heavyweight title belts, improved to 22-0 with his 21st stoppage. His next fight is penciled in for April 13 of next year against an opponent to be determined. His promoter Eddie Hearn has reserved that date at Wembley Stadium.

Other Bouts

In a 12-round lightweight bout, Joshua’s Olympic Games teammate and fellow gold medalist Luke Campbell (19-2) avenged the first loss of his career with a unanimous decision (119-109, 118-111,116-112) over France’s Yvan Mendy (40-5-1). This was Campbell’s second start since coming up short in a bid for Jorge Linares’s lightweight title and his first fight under his new trainer Shane McGuigan.

In their first meeting in December of 2015 at London’s O2 Arena, Mendy won a split decision that should have been unanimous. Campbell insisted that he had improved greatly in the interim and tonight’s fight bore witness. However, he needs to develop a harder punch to rank among the top lightweights in the world, a list headed by Mikey Garcia. As this fight was framed as a WBC title eliminator, Campbell is next in line to meet Garcia, but Mikey has indicated that he will pursue bigger game.

Lawrence Okolie, a 2016 Olympian who trains with Anthony Joshua, won a Lonsdale belt in only his 10th pro start with a 12-round decision over defending BBBofC cruiserweight champion Matty Askin in a messy fight. The undefeated Okolie had a point deducted in round five for leading with his head and had two more points deducted for holding, but banked enough rounds to get the nod on all three cards: 116-110, 114-112, and 114-113. Askin, who declined to 23-4-1, had won five straight heading in.

A 10-round heavyweight match between Sergey Kuzmin (13-0, 1 NC) and David Price (22-6) ended suddenly when Price retired on his stool after four relatively even rounds. The six-foot-eight, china-chinned Price claimed to have aggravated a biceps tear.

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Michael Dutchover Remains Undefeated in 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.



Michael Dutchover

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



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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