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Vitali Gets UD, As Chisora Makes Him Work For It

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Those that want more passion, more fire and fury from the Klitschkos hoped that the weigh in slap by Dereck Chisora would spur Vitali to get out of his comfort zone, wage a shock and awe attack on the challenger in the main event which which unfolded on Saturday night at the Olympic Hall in Munich. It didn’t, as big brother was his usual disciplined self. But Chisora gave a quite solid account of himself, as he looked to press forward and land bombs, while he did connect with solid body work. In the end, Vitali got the nod, by scores of 118-110, 118-110, 119-111, but the challenger did much more to match his pre-fight bluster than say, David Haye did, against Wladimir.

EPIX showed the bout in the US.

The two touched gloves after, but things were tense after, as Wladimir had words with Chisora before the scores were announced. Chisora and promoter Frank Warren said after they’d like a rematch, or a fight against little brother Wladimir. Chisora said he was irked that Wlad watched the hand-wrap process and that he had to cut off his wraps, and re-wrap and also that Wlad pulled out twice against him.  Vital afterwards said he knows he didn’t fight his best. He hinted that maybe he injured his jab hand, and said he didn’t want to make any excuses, and wouldn’t reveal what if anything kept him from performing better. He also said that he saw everything that was thrown by Chisora, so he wasn’t all that impressed.

The 40 year-old Klitschko (43-2 with 40 KOs; born in Kiev, Ukraine, living in Hamburg and Kiev) was 243 pounds, while the 28 year-old Chisora (15-2 with 9 KOs; born in Zimbabwe, lives in London ) was 241.2 pounds at the dramatic weigh in Friday.

Guido Cavalleri was the ref, while Robin Delpierre, Bela Florian and Eddie Pappoe were the judges in a room filled with 13,000 fight fans. The challenger and the WBC champ both received a sharp video intro before first bell. Chisora talked smack to a rap track, LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out,” while Vitali promised mayhem while AC/DC’s “Hell’s Bells” played, and an immense bell tolled.

David Haye, they tell me, joined the announce crew for the “BoxNation” showing of the bout in the UK. Wow…that fella has some cajones. Didn’t really show them in his last bout, last July, when he lost a UD12 without attempting to any great extent to do anything more than survive.

Before first bell, “Del Boy,” nicknamed that because he has a similarly upbeat goofball personality as a lead in a Brit sitcom called “Only Fools and Horses,” got close to Vitali and stared him down while “God Save the Queen” started. He then spit some water in Wlad’s face.

In the first round, V landed left hooks, which he uses like a jab often, and more than few right crosses. Del Boy tried to smother him a bit but after eating some right gave him more room. V moved all the time, staying in motion and staying busy. Del Boy tried a few lopping rights but nothing much landed.

In the second, it was all V. He was calm, cool and busy. The right crosses after a few rounds, would likely take a toll. He didn’t bother jabbing all that much, more so using the left hook to keep Del Boy away.

In the third, trainer Dean Powell yelled for Chisora to, “Let your hands go.” He maybe wanted to but V is so busy, and hard to hit. Vitali comes from underneath much more than most heavies, and those shots that del Boy didn’t pick up, coming from the floor, scored well. Chisora did come forward, but not in a particularly inventive way.

In the fourth, it was hard to see what Chisora could do to change things around. He wanted to land heavy left hooks to no avail. The scores were 40-36, 40-37, 39-37 after four.

In the fifth, V tied up Chisora when he wanted to, as he did from about the third on. Apart from that, he stayed busy, punching and moving. Del Boy did land a decent uppercut backing up but not enough to sway the round.

In the sixth, Chisora, still using that crossed arm guard,  was busy and maybe took the round. He had V backing up, puffing a bit, and landed nice rights to the body. He kept on slipping punches solidly as well.

In the seventh, Chisora made V, who kept using the illegal cuff and shove move,  work again. He backed him up, made him rush. In the last minute, though, his energy lagged.

In the eighth, the round Chisora said he’d stop his foe in, the Brit didn’t stop him, but he made the judges think. He might have won his third straight round. The scores 79-74, 79-73, 79-73 after eight.

In the ninth and the tenth, the right cross from V was working as Chisora was slowing down. Del Boy looked to land some bombs but V slipped them.

In the 11 and the 12th, V stayed smart. He stayed busy, moved and dodged heavy biombs. In the 12th, Chisora wanted to land a game changer but no dice. He maybe won the round however, to his credit. We went to the cards.

POSTSCRIPT: Chris Mannix was at the presser, working for EPIX. He Tweeted that Wlad was yelling at both Chisora, and David Haye, who crashed it. Klitschko manager Bernd Bonte yelled at Haye, and told him he wouldn’t get a Wlad fight. Then Chisora screamed at Haye, asking him again and again how his toe is. The two men then brawled, with Mannix saying Haye threw first. Chisora threatened to shoot Haye. Wlad giggled as he watched, as Chisora said Haye hit him with a bottle. Chisora then threatened to kill Haye again. Haye trainer/manager Adam Booth, bleeding from his face, jawed with Chisora then. Mannix proclaimed the event “classic.”

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel.

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Canelo-Charlo Gets All the Ink, but Don’t Overlook the Compelling Match-up of Gassiev-Wallin in Turkey

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Canelo-Charlo Gets All the Ink, but Don’t Overlook the Compelling Match-up of Gassiev-Wallin in Turkey

The eyes of the boxing world will be on Las Vegas this Saturday where Mexican superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez risks his four super middleweight title belts against unified 154-pound champion Jermell Charlo. Earlier that day at a luxury resort hotel in the city of Antalya on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, there’s a heavyweight match sitting under the radar that may prove to be the better fight. It’s an intriguing match-up between former world cruiserweight title-holder Murat Gassiev and Swedish southpaw Otto Wallin, a bout with significant ramifications for boxing’s glamour division.

Gassiev (30-1, 23 KOs) and Wallin (25-1, 14 KOs) have only one loss, but those setbacks came against the top dogs in the division. Gassiev was out-boxed by Oleksandr Usyk back in the days when both were cruiserweights. Wallin gave Tyson Fury a world of trouble before losing a unanimous decision.

Since those fights, both have been treading water.

Gassiev

Gassiev was inactive for 27 months after his match with Usyk while dealing with legal issues and an injury to his left shoulder. He is 4-0 (4 KOs) since returning to the ring while answering the bell for only eight rounds. The only recognizable name among those four victims is German gatekeeper Michael Wallisch. After stopping Wallisch, Gassiev was out of action for another 13 months while reportedly dealing with an arm injury.

A first-round knockout of Carlouse Welch, an obscure 40-something boxer from the U.S. state of Georgia on Aug. 26, 2022, in Belgrade, Serbia, was promoted as a title fight. The sanctioning body was the Eurasian Boxing Parliament (insert your own punchline here). Gassiev followed that up with a second-round knockout of former NFL linebacker Mike Balogun who came in undefeated and was seemingly a legitimate threat to him.

Although he has yet to fight a ranked opponent since leaving the cruiserweight division, Gassiev — a former stablemate of Gennady Golovkin who has been living in Big Bear, California, training under Abel Sanchez – is one of the most respected fighters in the division because he has one-punch knockout power as Balogun and others can well attest. The rub against the Russian-Armenian bruiser is that he is somewhat robotic.

Wallin

Otto Wallin, a 32-year-old southpaw from Sweden who trains in New York under former world lightweight champion Joey Gamache, fought Tyson Fury on Sept. 14, 2019 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. There was a general feeling that the Swede would be a stroll in the park for Fury, but to the contrary, he gave the Gypsy King a hard tussle while losing a unanimous decision.

Wallin is 5-0 since that night beginning with victories over Travis Kauffman (KO 5) and Dominic Breazeale (UD 12), but his last three opponents were softer than soft and all three lasted the distance. In order, Wallin won an 8-round decision over Kamil Sokolowski, who was 11-24-2 heading in, won a 10-round decision over ancient Rydell Booker, and won an 8-round decision over Helaman Olguin. His bout with Utah trial horse Olguin was at a banquet hall in Windham, New Hampshire.

It isn’t that Wallin has been avoiding the top names in the division; it’s the other way around. His promoter Dmitriy Salita reportedly came close to getting Wallin a match with Anthony Joshua whose team had second thoughts about sending Joshua in against another southpaw after back-to-back setbacks to Oleksandr Usyk.

Gassiev vs Wallin is a true crossroads fight. Both are in dire need of a win over a credible opponent. At last look, Gassiev, who figures to have the crowd in his corner, was a 3/1 favorite.

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Skavynskyi and Bustillos Win on a MarvNation Card in Long Beach

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Skavynskyi and Bustillos Win on a MarvNation Card in Long Beach

LONG BEACH, Ca.-A cool autumn night saw welterweights and minimumweights share main events for a MarvNation fight card on Saturday.

Ukraine’s Eduard Skavynskyi (15-0, 7 KOs) experienced a tangled mess against the awkward Alejandro Frias (14-10-2) but won by decision after eight rounds in a welterweight contest at the indoor furnace called the Thunder Studios.

It was hot in there for the more than 600 people inside.

Skavynskyi probably never fought someone like Mexico’s Frias whose style was the opposite of the Ukrainian’s fundamentally sound one-two style. But round after round the rough edges became more familiar.

Neither fighter was ever damaged but all three judges saw Skavynskyi the winner by unanimous decision 79-73 on all three cards. The Ukrainian fighter trains in Ventura.

Bustillo Wins Rematch

Applerose2

In the female main event Las Vegas’ Yadira Bustillos (8-1) stepped into a rematch with Karen Lindenmuth (5-2) and immediately proved the lessons learned from their first encounter.

Bustillos connected solidly with an overhand right and staggered Lindenmuth but never came close to putting the pressure fighter down. Still, Bustillos kept turning the hard rushing Lindenmuth and snapping her head with overhand rights and check left hooks.

Lindenmuth usually overwhelms most opponents with a smothering attack that causes panic. But not against Bustillos who seemed quite comfortable all eight rounds in slipping blows and countering back.

After eight rounds all three judges scored the contest for Bustillos 78-74 and 80-72 twice. Body shots were especially effective for the Las Vegas fighter in the fifth round. Bustillos competes in the same division as IBF/WBO title-holder Yokasta Valle.

Other Bouts

In a middleweight clash, undefeated Victorville’s Andrew Buchanan (3-0-1) used effective combination punching to defeat Mexico’s Fredy Vargas (2-1-1) after six rounds. Two judges scored it 59-55 and a third 60-54 for Buchanan. No knockdowns were scored.

A super lightweight match saw Sergio Aldana win his pro debut by decision after four rounds versus Gerardo Fuentes (2-9-1).

Photos credit: Al Applerose

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Tedious Fights and a Controversial Draw Smudge the Matchroom Boxing Card in Orlando

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Matchroom Boxing was at the sprawling Royale Caribe Resort Hotel in Orlando, Florida tonight with a card that aired on DAZN. The main event was a ho-hum affair between super lightweights Richardson Hitchins and Jose Zepeda.

SoCal’s Zepeda has been in some wars in the past, notably his savage tussle with Ivan Baranchyk, but tonight he brought little to the table and was outclassed by the lanky Hitchins who won all 12 rounds on two of the cards and 11 rounds on the other.  There were no knockdowns, but Zepeda suffered a cut on his forehead in round seven that was deemed to be the product of an accidental head butt and another clash in round ten forced a respite in the action although Hitchins suffered no apparent damage.

It was the sort of fight where each round was pretty much a carbon of the round preceding it. Brooklyn’s Hitchins, who improved to 17-0 (7), was content to pepper Zepeda with his jab, and the 34-year-old SoCal southpaw, who brought a 37-3 record, was never able to penetrate his defense and land anything meaningful.

Hitchins signed with Floyd Mayweather Jr’s promotional outfit coming out of the amateur ranks and his style is reminiscent in ways of his former mentor. Like Mayweather, he loses very few rounds. In his precious engagement, he pitched a shutout over previously undefeated John Bauza.

Co-Feature

In the co-feature, Conor Benn returned to the ring after an absence of 17 months and won a unanimous decision over Mexico’s Rodolfo Orozco. It wasn’t a bad showing by Benn who showed decent boxing skills, but more was expected of him after his name had been bandied about so often in the media. Two of the judges had it 99-91 and the other 96-94.

Benn (22-0, 14 KOs) was a late addition to the card although one suspects that promoter Eddie Hearn purposely kept him under wraps until the week of the fight so as not to deflect the spotlight from the other matches on his show. Benn lost a lucrative date with Chris Eubank Jr when he was suspended by the BBBofC when evidence of a banned substance was found in his system and it’s understood that Hearn has designs on re-igniting the match-up with an eye on a date in December. For tonight’s fight, Benn carried a career-high 153 ½ pounds. Mexico’s Orozco, who was making his first appearance in a U.S. ring, declined to 32-4-3.

Other Bouts of Note

The welterweight title fight between WBA/WBC title-holder Jessica McCaskill (15-3-1) and WBO title-holder Sandy Ryan (6-1-1) ended in a draw and the ladies’ retain their respective titles. Ryan worked the body effectively and the general feeling was that she got a raw deal, a sentiment shared by the crowd which booed the decision. There was a switch of favorites in the betting with the late money seemingly all on the Englishwoman who at age 30 was the younger boxer by nine years.

The judges had it 96-94 Ryan, 96-95, and a vilified 97-93 for Chicago’s McCaskill.

In the opener of the main DAZN stream, Houston middleweight Austin “Ammo” Williams, 27, improved to 15-0 (10) with a 10-round unanimous decision over 39-year-old Toronto veteran Steve Rolls (22-3). All three judges had it 97-93. Rolls has been stopped only once, that by Gennady Golovkin.

Photo credit: Ed Mulholland / Matchroom Boxing

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