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Golovkin-Monroe: We Know How It’ll Probably Go But Still Want To Watch



He shows up for every fight with the intention to win impressively and by knockout. He’s riding a 32 bout winning streak since he turned pro and 29 of those wins have been by stoppage. WBA/IBO middleweight title holder Gennady Golovkin is an emerging, perhaps surging starm in professional boxing. And he, along with Terence Crawford and Sergey Kovalev couldn’t be arriving at a better time for the sport of boxing. As of this writing fans are starving for action-packed competitive fights, like the one we saw last weekend in which Saul “Canelo” Alvarez knocked out James Kirkland after three furious rounds. For the second weekend in a row the HBO airwaves should be blazing with an action packed fight. The presence of Golovkin all but insures that.

Golovkin, who is an attacker and is capable of boxing a little bit from mid-range if he has to, has no interest in winning rounds and going the distance. And that is the reason his popularity and star quotient is soaring. Gennady looks to force the fight and does whatever it physically takes to make his opponents fight and trade with him. His opponent this Saturday night, southpaw Willie Monroe, is a boxer with quick hands and likes to fight on the outside and pick his spots. His job will be to try and keep Golovkin from walking him down and forcing him to fight it out and trade by using lateral movement and combination punching. Keeping Golovkin at the end of his punches will be a tall order for Monroe because Golovkin enters the ring knowing that his opponent is most likely going to do everything in his power to keep the bout from turning it into a war. However, Golovkin is very good at cutting the ring off and sealing his opponents escape route – thus they’re forced to fight him off and ultimately end up fighting his fight.

The style clash encompassing Golovkin vs. Monroe is what makes the fight intriguing. Golovkin has stopped his last 19 opponents and you can rest assured he plans on making Monroe number 20. And that’s why the result of this match up will most definitely be determined by the fighter who is best equipped physically to impose themself and their style on the other.

When a “boxer” like Monroe faces an “attacker” like Golovkin, in order for the boxer to be effective he must possess enough power to where he keeps the swarmer honest so he can’t just walk him down as if he’s handcuffed. With Monroe only winning by stoppage six times as a pro that looks unlikely. Mark my words, Monroe might be the smoothest and slickest fighter in boxing, but if he doesn’t punch hard enough to give Golovkin the slightest bit of concern or trepidation in regards to pushing the fight, then what? What’s to stop Golovkin from just walking him down to the point to where there’s nowhere for him to go and then blasting him with his finishing hooks and right hands?

Back in mid-March when the bout was first announced, Golovkin said in the “This is a big test for me; I want to show everybody I can beat any style. It doesn’t matter. Strong guy, tall guy, short guy, anybody.”

And that’s why boxing fans are turning out and tuning in more and more for the next bout featuring Gennady and Sergey Kovalev. Boxing hasn’t featured a superstar who looked to win exclusively by knockout since the halcyon days of Mike Tyson. In fact the three biggest superstars at the gate since Tyson’s heyday, but not necessarily the greatest fighters, were/are Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Oscar was a boxer puncher who routinely used his jab and reach to win throughout the second half of his career when he faced the biggest names and most accomplished fighters on his record. Mayweather is a master technician; however his judicious approach as to who and when he fought elite opposition dramatically hindered any chance of his bouts being memorable or fan friendly. As for Pacquiao, he didn’t become a superstar until he was a junior welterweight and most of his bouts at 140 and above went the distance.

Today Golovkin represents two rare breeds pertaining to world class fighters campaigning at the championship level. For starters he carries one-punch fight-altering power in what seems to be both hands. There are less than a handful of those fighters among today’s elite boxers. Secondly, he is an authentic attacker/swarmer, and you may only need a few fingers to count them. This means he’s not effective unless he’s moving forward and pressuring his opponent. That said, we’ve seen plenty of fighters whose feet move forward, but they tend to follow more than pressure and head off their opponent. Just because a fighter’s feet are moving toward the opponent doesn’t automatically translate into effective aggression and pressure.

What separates Gennady Golovkin from others is this: his pressure is bell-to-bell and it forces the opponent to rush their offense in terms of getting off. And when fighters are forced to rush their punches, more often than not their heels are not flat to the surface and a lot of their power evaporates. This in turn makes it easier for him to pursue them more unimpeded. Pretty soon the fighter who is forced to rush his shots tires both mentally and physically, and once he’s winded and flat-footed he has no other option but to fight and trade…which is the predicament that the attacker/swarmer wants him in.

At the press conference announcing the fight, Willie “The Mongoose” Monroe said, “I will shock the world; I think this is an awesome fight. We have two contrasting styles and that will make for some spontaneous combustion. We will see which style comes out on top on May 16.”

That’s why we want to see this one. We know how Golovkin will approach the fight looking to drop and stop his man, and Monroe, who is stepping up in class, appears more than willing to see if he can beat the beast of the division, with his contrasting style.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at


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Michael Dutchover Remains Undefeated in Ontario, Calif.



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



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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