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Deontay Wilder’s Vulnerabilities Were on Display vs. Gerald Washington



Deontay Wilder’s Vulnerabilities – This past Saturday night WBC heavyweight title holder Deontay Wilder 38-0 (37) made the fifth successful defense of his title. His opponent, Gerald Washington 18-1-1 (12) was in command of the fight and was clearly getting the better of it until Wilder froze him with a big right hand and then dropped and stopped him in the 5th round. Prior to the bout I was pretty tough on Washington and called him a novice who really didn’t belong in the ring with Wilder.

Well, before he was caught clean on his temple and stopped, Washington looked more like the champion than did the fighter who entered the ring with the title. In fact, for the first four rounds of the fight, you could make a strong case that Gerald Washington never boxed more purposeful and was controlling the fight with his reach and left jab. Wilder was totally befuddled by a fighter who was his equal in physical stature and who was fighting without trepidation as if he belonged. During those first four rounds, Washington exposed in Deontay so many things that his critics have elicited.

Although physically gifted and possessing what appears to be fight altering power in his right hand, Wilder really doesn’t have a defined style and his inability to strategize is glaring. Wilder tends to have an amateurish style and tends to get very wild, especially when he has his opponent in trouble. He’s not a boxer and I can’t say that he is an attacker either. He’s certainly not a counter-puncher and his style doesn’t measure up to being a boxer-puncher, at least in the conventional sense. In addition to that, his balance is bad and he has a tendency to freeze when he’s rattled, as we saw for the majority of the bout versus Washington.

During the entire fight Washington was able to keep Wilder under wraps with just his jab. He was beating Deontay to the punch and at the same time had him looking for an answer offensively – that he never found. That was until Washington decided to stop jabbing in the fifth round and backed off of Wilder and became an observer, thus his undoing.

Wilder can be out-boxed and fight like an amateur but his big right hand, at least up to this point in his career, has been the equalizer. Luckily, for some reason in the fifth round Washington began to step away from Wilder as opposed to stepping toward him as he’d been doing during a majority of the fight. Without the threat of a serious jab coming at him, Wilder became bold and cut loose with a right hand that dropped Washington. When they resumed fighting, Wilder flailed away and, to quote Muhammad Ali, Deontay looked like the “Washer Woman” as he tried to finish Washington. After a few glancing blows the referee stepped in and prematurely stopped the fight. But in all fairness there’s no way Washington would’ve survived the round with more than a minute and a half remaining in it.

Yes, Deontay Wilder won and did so by stoppage. But he was being totally out-boxed by a fighter who lacked experience and whose jab could best be described as pawing. Even without the threat of a right hand behind it, Wilder was behind in the fight. Had Washington continued to do what he was doing when he was winning the bout, inching forward with subtle head movement behind his jab – who knows, maybe Wilder loses on points. But Washington gave him the space and confidence to get off and once again the right hand saved the day for Wilder.

Deontay Wilder’s Vulnerabilities

Deontay Wilder has no defined boxing style. Other than looking to uncork the right hand, there’s not much to his style. He has bad foot work and often over-reaches for his opponent. This leaves him open, but as of yet it hasn’t cost him. However, a fighter the likes of say IBF title holder Anthony Joshua, who is disciplined and punches with great form and balance, would probably be his undoing.

On the under card of Wilder-Washington, former Joshua challenger Dominic Breazeale stopped undefeated Izu Ugonoh. Breazeale 18-1 (16) didn’t show up in great shape and was dropped in the fourth round, but summoned great reserve and heart to come back and stop Ugonoh in the next round. Breazeale took a pounding from Joshua last June but finished on his feet. Now, due to a lobby altercation after they both fought, Dominic is being mentioned as Wilder’s next opponent. And you know what – Wilder should try to avoid that fight because if Breazeale is in shape, Wilder is certainly not a lock to come out on top.

Actually, Wilder needs to fight Joshua, preferably the day after Joshua fights Wladimir Klitschko. Seriously, it’s not a moment too soon. A fight between Joshua and Wilder with three title belts on the line would be Fort Knox financially, especially if both are undefeated and it takes place in the UK. Joshua and Wilder are both former Olympians and the two most talked-about heavyweights in the world. In 56 fights between them, 57 if you count Joshua stopping Klitschko in April, which I believe will happen, they have 56 knockouts between them. Add to that them being from opposite sides of the pond and a fight between them would be the most anticipated heavyweight title bout since Lennox Lewis of the UK fought Mike Tyson of the US back in 2002.

Moreover, Joshua vs. Wilder has to happen soon. If I’m managing Wilder, I fear he could lose before he gets to the super-fight with Joshua and blow the monumental payday. Conversely, if I’m managing Joshua, I want him to fight Wilder while he’s still undefeated…..because based on what Wilder showed against Gerald Washington and others, Deontay could be no more than a couple punches away from losing to anyone he chooses to fight.

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Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at

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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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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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