Connect with us

Featured Articles

Kovalev Must Be Pretty Good Because I’m Not Sure Ward Beats Him

Frank Lotierzo

Published

on

This past June super-middleweight champ Andre Ward 28-0 (15) fought for the first time in 19 months. Ward looked sensational stopping Paul Smith 35-6 (20) in the ninth round of a 12-round 172 pound catch-weight bout televised on BET. Before his 19 month hiatus Ward thoroughly cleaned out the super-middleweight division. Some of the names on Ward’s impressive resume that he compiled in the midst of cleaning out the division read Chad Dawson, Carl Froch, Arthur Abraham, Sakio Bika, Mikkel Kessler and Edison Miranda. And to those with a sophisticated eye, they fully grasp none of the bouts were close nor were they ever in question as to who won.

There was a time when Andre Ward, before his year and a half absence from the ring, was considered no lower than the second or third best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing. Only Floyd Mayweather, who turned pro eight years before Ward, routinely out-polled him in the pound-for-pound debate. And the reason for Ward’s high ranking was, he is really that special and can do everything as a fighter in the ring. Andre is a master boxer and technician, and like Mayweather, he doesn’t need much time to figure out what his opponent doesn’t like and what their weaknesses are – and then feeds them a steady diet of it and forces them to do what they don’t want to do.

Ward has a terrific jab to the head and body, and he is tremendously effective using it offensively and defensively. He can step back and counter while allowing his opponent to lead, or at least making them think they are. He knows how to go after runners and movers, and he can fight on the inside and neutralize his opponents while doing so. He’s very strong physically, and his punch resistance and stamina have never been a remote issue for him.

The only “but” when it comes to assessing Andre Ward that you hear is,  he’s not a life-taker when it comes to punching power. However, most writers and fans don’t understand that punching power is overrated. Sure, it’s a great equalizer, but it’s only as good as the delivery system in place to get it to the intended target. Ward, like Mayweather today, Bernard Hopkins, Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes from yesteryear, punch/ed plenty hard enough to win. As we saw in many of their high profile bouts, punching power was never much of a factor in determining their signature bouts during their careers.

That said, as great as Ward looked in his last bout, Paul Smith isn’t an elite fighter, not even close. Ward did exactly what he should’ve and dominated every facet of the fight. In short, he looked terrific. But the cold-water on that is, because Smith was so far out of his league, it’s hard to gauge Andre’s showing and asses exactly where he’s at. Add to that, a new monster has emerged since Ward’s exile, and he’s only a couple pounds bigger than Andre.

His name is Sergey Kovalev 27-0-1 (24) and he’s clearly the most formidable and feared fighter in the light heavyweight division. Amazingly, Kovalev’s ascendance has been a little overshadowed by middleweight Gennady Golovkin’s emergence over the same time period. This in all honesty has befuddled me for two reasons. For starters, Kovalev is a more versatile fighter than Golovkin. I know some try and paint Gennady as an unbeatable wrecking machine, but in truth, he’s basically an attacker. Yes, I know he can box, but back him up and he, like most attackers, aren’t nearly as effective. Secondly, Kovalev has clearly beat better fighters and has compiled a more impressive resume than Golovkin.

In his last two bouts, Kovalev stopped the hard punching and former title holder Jean Pascal. Pascal fought Bernard Hopkins to a draw and had him down twice in a title bout. It’s a short list of fighters who can make that claim. Before fighting Pascal, Kovalev won no less than 11 of 12 rounds against Hopkins and managed to put Bernard down. Kovalev adjusted to the rough and shrewd Hopkins at every turn of the fight and bettered him. It didn’t matter what Hopkins tried, Sergey usually got the better of it and he was quite effective with his long game. This had Bernard searching for answers in trying to come up with something he could do so he could gain the upper hand against Sergey. Unfortunately for Hopkins, he never found a single answer and Kovalev basically ran away with the fight. At the post fight press conference, Hopkins told the assembled media not to discount Kovale’v’s showing because of Bernard’s advanced age. In other words, Hopkins showered Kovalev with high praise, something that is not a typical occurrence when Bernard comes out on the losing end of a decision.

Kovalev is scheduled to fight Nadjib Mohammedi on July 25th in Las Vegas. If Sergey wins as he is favored to do, the talk of him fighting Andre Ward early next year will gain traction and escalate. And what an intriguing fight that is to ponder. Neither Kovalev nor Ward has ever faced a fighter like the other. It’s a real tough fight to handicap and pick the winner. And the proof of that is, yes, it’s Andre Ward, and yet I can’t tell you that I would pick him to win. Kovalev’s long game and power will give Ward much to address. Will he, can he? That’s what makes the matchup so compelling and anticipated.

The fact that I can’t say for sure that I would pick Andre Ward to beat Sergey Kovalev tells me one thing for certain….I must think an awful lot of Kovalev.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

WATCH RELATED VIDEOS ON BOXINGCHANNEL.TV

Featured Articles

Avila Perspective, Chap. 76: Welterweights Vergil, Terence and More

David A. Avila

Published

on

Avila-Perspective-Chap-76-Welterweights-Vergil-Terence-and-More

In the words of many boxing journalists, fighters, trainers and promoters “styles make fights,” and those differences can lead to unpredictable outcomes. The weekend brings a few stylish welterweights on display from California to New York.

Welterweight ingénue Vergil Ortiz Jr. (14-0, 14 KOs) enters the world of unpredictability when he meets Brad Solomon (28-1, 9 KOs) a swift-moving veteran on Friday, Dec. 13, at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, Calif. DAZN will show the loaded Golden Boy Promotions fight card.

It’s Ortiz’s third year as a professional and fifth time performing at the Indio casino. It’s also where he made his pro debut back in July 2016 when he began his remarkable string of 14 consecutive knockout wins.

Solomon, 36, has made a career of fighting pressure fighters and making them miss or defusing their power. Only Russia’s Konstantin Ponomarev, who was trained at the time by Abel Sanchez, was able to hang a loss on the Georgia fighter’s ledger.

Can Ortiz handle the style difference?

“Vergil can do more than people think,” said Vergil Ortiz Sr., father of the lanky welterweight slugger. “He can box any style.”

As a professional, Ortiz has yet to fight someone like Solomon with his juke and move style of fighting. As an amateur he did face speedsters like Ryan Garcia. As a pro, this will mark his first in the prize ring. It should be interesting.

Power Packed Support

Knockout artist Ortiz leads a power packed-boxing card that includes a number of Golden Boy’s best knockout punchers like Bektemir Melikuziev, Alberto Machado and Luis Feliciano. All of these guys can punch and are looking to put the cap on 2019.

That’s a lot of firepower.

But also on the card is someone fighting for 360 Promotions named Serhii Bohachuk, otherwise known as “El Flaco.” Just like Ortiz, Bohachuk has never allowed the final bell to be rung against 16 foes so far. He is going for 17 when he fights Carlos Galvan (17-9-1) in a super welterweight fight set for eight rounds. Don’t expect to hear the final bell whenever the Ukrainian trained by Mexican style coach Abel Sanchez gets in the ring.

Bohachuk could be following in the footsteps of another guy formerly trained by Abel Sanchez named Gennady Golovkin. It’s still too early, but he looks pretty good so far.

New York City

Top welterweight Terence Crawford (35-0, 26 KOs) defends the WBO welterweight title against Lithuania’s Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas (21-0-1, 17 KOs) on Saturday, Dec. 14, at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. ESPN will televise the Top Rank card.

In the crowded and talented world of the welterweights, Crawford could very well be the best of them all. If only he could prove it. The Omaha-Nebraska prizefighter has tried every enticement possible to lure Errol Spence Jr., Danny “Swift” Garcia, Shawn Porter and Manny Pacquiao. Nothing works.

What does work for Crawford has been a reputation as one of the best prizefighters in the world pound for pound. Some tab him as the very best especially when it comes to speed, agility and the ability to innovate on the spot. He has few peers.

Facing Crawford will be Kavaliauskas who trains in Oxnard with a number of Eastern Europeans including Vasyl Lomachenko. They share the same management. He’s never faced anyone close in talent to Crawford. Except, maybe inside of his own gym.

“I’m not focused on no other opponent besides the opponent that’s in front of me. My goal is to make sure I get the victory come this weekend, and that’s the only person I’m focused on now,” said Crawford. “Anyone else is talk. It goes in one ear and out the other. He’s young, hungry and I’m not taking him lightly.”

Crawford has been chasing stardom for a number of years. What better place than New York City’s Madison Square Garden to showcase his skills to the public. At age 32, Crawford is running out of sand.

Lightweight Title Fight

The co-main event on Saturday at Madison Square Garden features IBF lightweight titlist Richard Commey (29-2, 26 KOs) defending against wunderkind Teofimo Lopez (14-0, 11 KOs).

But this weekend truly belongs to the welterweights.

Next Week

Southern California will be packed with boxing. It’s a last gasp before the end of 2019.

Ontario, California will be hosting a very large Premier Boxing Champions fight card at the Toyota Center on Saturday Dec. 21.

WBC super welterweight titlist Tony Harrison finally defends against Jermall Charlo in a rematch and it won’t be friendly. These guys hate each other.

“He’s fake,” said Harrison when they last met in Los Angeles for a press conference.

It won’t be pretty when they meet next week.

Tickets are on sale. Go to this link for more information: https://www.toyota-arena.com/events/detail/premier-boxing-champions

Fights to Watch

Fri. DAZN 4:30 p.m. Vergil Ortiz (14-0) vs Brad Solomon (28-1); Serhii Bohachuk (16-0) vs Carlos Galvan (17-9-1).

Sat. Facebook 5 p.m. Diego De La Hoya (21-1) vs Renson Robles (16-6).

Sat. ESPN 6 p.m. Terence Crawford (35-0) vs Egidijus Kaviliauskas (21-0-1); Teofimo Lopez (14-0) vs Richard Commey (29-2).

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel 

To comment on this story in The Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

A Toast to Busy Bee Emanuel Navarrete, a Fighter from the Old School

Ted Sares

Published

on

A-Toast-to-Busy-Bee-Emanuel-Navarrete-a-Fighter-from-the-Old-School.jpg

In the last 12 months, super bantamweight Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete has fought five times. That’s close to Old School-type activity.

No one in Mexico gave Navarette much notice until he stopped Luis Bedolla Orozco (18-2) in Guadalajara in 2017. He turned more heads when he KO’d Filipino veteran Glenn Porras in January 2018 and fans outside Mexico began to take serious note of this no-nonsense youngster (now just 24) when he stopped Columbia’s “El General” Jose Sanmartin (26-4-1) five months later.

That win, his eighth straight by stoppage, earned him an interim belt and opened the door to a world title shot. It came on Dec. 8, 2018 at Madison Square Garden against undefeated (20-0) WBO world super bantamweight champion Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe.

Navarrete, five inches taller at 5’7”, shocked the hard-punching Brit (by way of Ghana) to win a decision and become the new champion. The scores were 115-113, 116-112, and 116-112, but more to the point, Dogboe’s post-fight face looked like it had gone through the proverbial meat grinder. The tall Mexican had fought tall and picked the much smaller Dogboe apart with precise and pinpoint punching.

The rematch proved that Emanuel’s first win was no fluke as he showed late round power in stopping Dogboe in the 12th. He again used his height advantage, showed great stamina and strength, was accurate with his punches, and once again the too-short Dogboe’s face looked like he was on the wrong end of a big city mugging.

His first title defense came against Francisco De Vaca (20-0) who is a fixture at the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix, Arizona. This one lasted three rounds as Vaquero (“cowboy” in English) used a neat uppercut to stun De Vaca in the second and then rendered a terrible beating in the third to end the fight—one that should have been halted earlier by referee Raul Caiz Sr. who seemed far more “brave” than the fighters.

On September 14, 2019, Navarrete used his signature wide left hooks and uppercuts to end matters in the middle of the third round against Juan Miguel Elorde (28-1). Juan Miguel, the grandson of Filipino boxing legend Gabriel “Flash” Elorde, made the mistake of engaging Navarrete in a firefight and lost. This one took place at the T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and boxing fans now knew who this tall super bantamweight was.

In his most recent fight — this one in Mexico — Navarrete put on another display of accurate power punching to stop Francisco Horta (20-3-1) at 2.09 of round 4. After a somewhat typical slow start, Navarrete found his groove and began serious stalking, using looping combinations at strange angles inside and outside, finally catching Horta on the ropes in the fourth, ending matters with stunning closure. It was his 25th straight win dating back to 2012 when he was defeated by one Daniel Argueta by a 4-round decision.

Navarrete, one of seven current Mexican world title-holders, is now looking to unify at 122. He also might be interested in fighting Naoya Inoue if “Monster” moves up in weight, and given Inoue’s recent fight with Nonito Donaire in which he showed that he is human after all, this one could be a sizzler.

As to his chances for “Fighter of the Year,” they are probably slim, but that has nothing to do with whether he deserves it and everything to do with poor public relations. Yes, a solid case can be made for Josh Warrington, but enough with the Canelo, Loma, Usyk types who fight twice a year.

Emanuel Navarrete is more active than any other title-holder or top contender and has a KO percentage of 84% despite the fact that his last five opponents had a combined record of 108-5-1 coming in. And he has a fan-friendly style, stalking, stunning, and closing his opponents with controlled violence. In many respects, he fights like a pre-scandal and prime Antonio Margarito, except he is more technically sound. The fact is, Vaquero, the pride of San Juan Zitlaltepec, is super exciting and doesn’t seem to have any noticeable weaknesses.

Ted Sares can be reached at tedsares@roadrunner.com

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel 

To comment on this story in The Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

NEWS FLASH: Leon Spinks Hospitalized; Reportedly Fighting for His Life

Avatar

Published

on

News-Flash-Leon-Spinks-Hospitalized-Reportedly-Fighting-for-his-Life

The gossip site TMZ is reporting that Leon Spinks is hospitalized in Las Vegas and is fighting for his life. TMZ acquired this information from Spinks’ wife Brenda Glur Spinks after spying her social media post. “It’s been a tough year for us,” she wrote. “Leon has endured a lot of medical problems. I’m reaching to ask that you pray for my Beautiful Husband Leon. So that he may overcome the obstacles that crossed his path.”

Her sentiment was echoed by Leon’s son Leon Spinks III who posted this message on his facebook page: “My Dad isn’t doing so good now and his wife Brenda Glur Spinks and I ask that u pray that he weather’s this storm. My dad is all I have left and I really appreciate it if yall let God know that he is not in this battle alone.”

A gold medal winner at the 1976 Olympics, Spinks, 66, is best remembered for upsetting Muhammad Ali in 1978 to win the world heavyweight title. He lost the title back to Ali in his next fight.

This is a developing story. As new details emerge, we will share them with you.

To comment on this story in The Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading
Advertisement
From-Womb-to-Tomb-Sonny-Liston's-Fate-Was-Seemingly-Preordained
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

From Womb to Tomb, Sonny Liston’s Fate Was Seemingly Preordained

12-Rounds-in-Lo's-Gym-Book-Report-by-Thomas-Hauser
Book Review4 weeks ago

“12 Rounds in Lo’s Gym” by Todd D. Synder: Book Review by Thomas Hauser

GGG-The-End-Game-for-the-Big Drama-Show
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

GGG: The End Game for the Big Drama Show

Ortiz Accuses Wilder-of-Criminal-Tactics-Wilder-Takes-Umbrage
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Ortiz Accuses Wilder of ‘Borderline Criminal’ Tactics; Wilder Takes Umbrage

Thomas-Hauser's-Latest-Book-A-Dangerius-Journey-is-Another-Peach
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Thomas Hauser’s Latest Book, ‘A Dangerous Journey,’ is Another Peach

New=Zealand-Heavyweights-Fa-and-Ahio-Have-a-Home-Field-Advantage-in-Utah
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

New Zealand Heavyweights Fa and Ahio Have a Home Field Advantage in Utah

Ruis-Joshua-2-Cash-on-the-Dunes
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Ruiz – Joshua 2: Cash on the Dunes

Abel-Sanchez-Had-a-Very-Pleasant-Trip-to-Paris
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Abel Sanchez Had a Very Pleasant Trip to Paris

The-Official-TSS-Wilder-Ortiz-2-Prediction-Page
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

The Official TSS Wilder-Ortiz 2 Prediction Page

Callum-Smith-Britain's-Best-Boxer-Has-a-Date-With-a-Gorilla-on-Saturday
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Callum Smith, Britain’s Best Boxer, Has a Date With a ‘Gorilla’ on Saturday

Carlos-Morales-and-Mercita-Gesta-Fight-to-a-Technical-Draw-in-LA
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Carlos Morales and Mercito Gesta Fight to a Technical Draw in L.A.

Tony-Harrison-and-Jernell-Charlo
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Tony Harrison and Jermell Charlo; They Just Don’t Like Each Other

Giovani-Santillan-Returns-with-KO-win-at-Ontario-Calif
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Giovani Santillan Returns with KO Win at Ontario, Calif.

Australia's-Moloney-Twins-Keep-on-Truckin'
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Australia’s Moloney Twins Keep on Truckin’

Fast-Results-from-Las-Vegas-Wilder-Knocks-out-Ortiz-Emphatically
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Fast Results from Las Vegas: Wilder Knocks out Ortiz Emphatically

Avila-Perspective-Chap-74-Cancio-Wilder-Santa-Cruz-and-More
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 74: Cancio, Wilder, Santa Cruz and More

Teddy-Atlas-Keeper-of-His-Late-Father's-Flame-Called-to-a-Higher-Mission
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Teddy Atlas, Keeper of His Late Father’s Flame, Called to a Higher Mission

Boxing's-Thrill-Factory-Then-and-Now
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Boxing’s Thrill Factory: Then and Now

Rene-Alvarado-and-Xu-Can-Win-Title-Fights-at-Frantasy-Springs
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Rene Alvarado and Xu Can Win Title Fights at Fantasy Springs

Deontay-Wilder-May-Be-a-One-Trick-Pony-But-What-an-Extraordinary-Trick-It-Is
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Deontay Wilder May Be a One-Trick Pony, But What an Extraordinary Trick It Is

Avila-Perspective-Chap-76-Welterweights-Vergil-Terence-and-More
Featured Articles3 hours ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 76: Welterweights Vergil, Terence and More

A-Toast-to-Busy-Bee-Emanuel-Navarrete-a-Fighter-from-the-Old-School.jpg
Featured Articles9 hours ago

A Toast to Busy Bee Emanuel Navarrete, a Fighter from the Old School

News-Flash-Leon-Spinks-Hospitalized-Reportedly-Fighting-for-his-Life
Featured Articles1 day ago

NEWS FLASH: Leon Spinks Hospitalized; Reportedly Fighting for His Life

Crawford-Kavaliauskas-is-the-Main-Go-but-The-Takeover-is-the-Stronger-Allurement
Featured Articles1 day ago

Crawford-Kavaliauskas is the Main Go, but ‘The Takeover’ is the Stronger Allurement

Will-U.S.-Olympic-Boxers-Fare-Better-in-Tokyo-Thanks-to-Yesterday's-Ruling?
Featured Articles2 days ago

Will U.S. Olympic Boxers Fare Better in Tokyo Thanks to Yesterday’s Ruling?

HITS-and-MISSES-from-a-Boxing-Weekend-Spearheaded-by-a-Biggie-in-Saudi-Arabia
Featured Articles3 days ago

HITS and MISSES from a Weekend Spearheaded by a Biggie in Saudi Arabia

Three-Punch-Combo-Breakout-Fighters-Crawford-Kavaliauskas-and-More
Featured Articles3 days ago

Three Punch Combo: Breakout Fighters, Crawford-Kavaliauskas and More

Congrats-to-AJ-But-Ruiz-Obliged-Him-by-Forgetting-History
Featured Articles4 days ago

Congrats to AJ, But Fat Andy Obliged His Redemption by Forgetting History

In-the-Evening-Hours-After-Joshua-Ruiz-There-Was-a-Lot-Going-On
Featured Articles4 days ago

In the Evening Hours After Joshua-Ruiz, There Was a Lot Going On

The-Hauser-Report-Ruiz-Joshua-2-from-Afar
Featured Articles5 days ago

The Hauser Report: Ruiz-Joshua 2 from Afar

News Flash-Joshua-Flummoxes-Ruiz-in-a-Monotonous-Fight
Featured Articles5 days ago

News Flash: Joshua Flummoxes Ruiz in a Monotonous Fight

Today's-Deep_Boxing-Menu-Kicks-Off-with--Heavyweight-Super-Fight
Featured Articles5 days ago

Today’s Deep Boxing Menu Kicks Off with a Heavyweight Super-Fight

Remembering-Leotis-Martin-who-KOed-Sonny-Liston-50-Years-Ago-Today
Featured Articles6 days ago

Remembering Leotis Martin who KOed Sonny Liston 50 Years Ago Today

Downtown-LA-Fight-Results-from-the-Exchange
Featured Articles6 days ago

Downtown LA Fight Results From the Exchange

Thomas-Hauser-Enters-the-Boxing-Hall-of-Fame
Featured Articles7 days ago

Thomas Hauser Enters the Boxing Hall of Fame

The-Official-TSS-Joshua-Ruiz-II-Prediction-Page
Featured Articles1 week ago

The Official TSS Ruiz-Joshua II Prediction Page

Repping-Texas-Virgil-Ortiz-Jr-Hector-Tanajara-and-Joshua-Franco
Featured Articles1 week ago

Repping Texas- Vergil Ortiz Jr., Hector Tanajara and Joshua Franco

New-Orleans-Native-Bernard-Fernandez-Enters-the-Boxing-Hall-of-Fame
Featured Articles1 week ago

New Orleans Native Bernard Fernandez Enters the Boxing Hall of Fame

Scoping-Out-the-Heavyweight-Unercard-in-Saudi Arabia
Featured Articles1 week ago

Scoping Out the Heavyweight Undercard in Saudi Arabia

Hits-and-Misses-from-the-Last-Weekend-of-a-Livery-November
Featured Articles1 week ago

HITS and MISSES from the Last Weekend of a Lively November

Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Advertisement