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Rehydration: Another Controversial Issue in Canelo vs Jacobs

J.J. Alvarez

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Canelo vs Jacobs

When analyzing the successful career of the Mexican boxer Saúl “Canelo” Alvarez, we must specifically acknowledge his promoters and the masterful job they’ve done in choosing the most convenient opponents or contractual terms that have allowed for the smoothest career path possible. This is not to undermine his quality of boxing nor his accomplishments inside of the ring.

As a result of his success, “Canelo” Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 KOs) is currently the biggest draw in boxing, commanding the throne previously occupied by Floyd “Money” Mayweather, who like King Midas, turned everything he touched to gold.

But just as with Mayweather Jr., Canelo’s opponents must conform to the requirements made of them if they wish to secure the massive purse that comes with facing the Guadalajara born champion. Because of his champion status and potential to bring in vast amounts of spectators, Canelo is the “A” side in this matchup. Jacobs, being the “B” side, is forced to accept contractual conditions that only serve to provide the champion with advantages.

The politics behind protecting “Canelo” have now led to a conversation about a controversial topic that neither boxing organizations nor scientists can agree upon: Rehydration.

JACOBS COMPLAINS ABOUT THE LIMITS ALLOWED

For the unification fight between the Mexican Saúl Alvarez and the American Daniel Jacobs at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Golden Boy Promotions included a clause in the contract which does not allow a gain of more then 10 pounds in the middleweight division (160) in the second weigh-ins, which take place the morning of the fight.

Alvarez will put his WBA super world middleweight title and WBC world middleweight title on the line, meanwhile “The Miracle Man” Jacobs (35-2-0, 29 KOs) risked his IBF World Middleweight Title, which he acquired in his last bout against the Ukrainian Sergiy “The Technician” Derevyanchenko, last October 27that the historical Madison Square Garden in New York.

When referring to the demands made by Golden Boy Promotions regarding rehydration, Jacobs, 31 years of age, stated that in the beginning they wanted to fine him $250 thousand dollars per additional pound gained, but later on agreed to a $100 thousand dollar fine, with the intention being not to allow his body the proper rehydration it requires, thus benefiting the Mexican, who is four inches shorter in stature.

Jacobs found himself obligated to sign the contract with said restrictions in order to have the opportunity to face “Canelo”, in a fight which would bring him monetary gain like no other. “I don’t know if we would’ve gotten the fight if we didn’t accept the terms that Golden Boy set out,” said the man who went to war with and defeated cancer, thanks to his unbreakable will and help from science.

WHO IS BENEFITED BY SIZE?

Due to his larger size and body mass, Jacobs has had to sacrifice the most in order to comply with the contractual demands. “The Miracle Man” at the very least will need to rehydrate in the last 24 hours if he is to show up in optimal conditions. And it would not be irrational to suspect that Golden Boy Promotions set these rehydration clauses to force Jacobs to enter the ring in a weakened state with less physical ability, making it more difficult for him to endure the rigorous contest.

This will likely lead to Jacobs implementing a lot of movement, establishing his jab, staying on the outside, and attempting to land counterpunches to the Mexican’s body in the beginning rounds. But as the fight goes on and the American begins to slow down (due to being unable to rehydrate properly), “Canelo” will implement his game plan and take control of the fight’s rhythm, taking advantage of his superior physical condition to neutralize Jacobs movement and proceed to cripple him with body shots. Once this begins, Jacobs minutes will be counted, and the Mexican’s victory secured.

“We are the two best fighters at 160 pounds and that’s the truth. He is a world champion, he is a great fighter and making the fights between the best against the best is my goal,” stated Canelo who views Jacobs as being a more complete fighter than Golovkin. “He is a difficult opponent to see his weaknesses because he is a complete fighter, who thinks in the ring, who knows how to handle the ring, has two guards, but obviously we are going to cover all of our bases,” explained Canelo. “Eddy knows what we’re going to do and I just have to obey his orders and if I have to improvise then I’ll improvise.”

JACOBS HOPES THAT “THE JUDGES WILL BE FAIR”

Experts, as well as the general public, believe Jacobs will need to accumulate a significant advantage throughout the 12 rounds if the cards are to lean in his favor. It should not be questioned that Jacobs will ultimately depend on the knockout, if not he runs the risk of leaving it in the hands of the judges who often times lean towards the wrong side.

Jacobs, 31 years of age, stated with vehemence that the star from Kazakhstan won both fights against Canelo, the second being the first and only defeat for the European, who lost his WBA Super World Middleweight Title, WBC World Middleweight Title, and IBF World Middleweight title.

“Let’s hope the judges are fair. I’m definitely one of the strongest opponents Canelo has faced. ‘GGG’ is not as fast as me. I am taller, I have more range, and I think I’ll win, I’ll use my best attributes, and I’ll win by decision or even by knockout,” Stated Jacobs. “I am a completely different athlete, I am multifaceted, I do not have to study what Golovkin did (against Canelo), it is not new for me to achieve the impossible, I won the opportunity and I am proud, my legacy is at stake.”

“If he (Jacobs) is thinking about the judges’ work, it’s just an excuse for the loss he’s going to experience the 4thof May”, affirmed Canelo when referring to the comments made my Jacobs. “That mentality favors me, but I’m going for the knockout, I always go that route”

Translated by E.G. for J.J. Alvarez of Boxeo.tv

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Tyson Fury Roared and Deontay Wilder Remained Silent at their L.A. Presser

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TSS special correspondent LAUREN RODRIGUEZ was on the scene for the Top Rank Promotions press conference in downtown Los Angeles on June 15 at which the third meeting between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder was formally announced. Here is her report.

The third fight between Tyson “Gypsy King” Fury (30-1, 21 KOs.) and Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) will go down July 24th in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena. This continued mash-up between the two comes 16 months since their last bout. The first fight, in December 2018, ended in a draw and their second in February 2020, ended in a victory for Fury in the 7th round.

Fury carried the press conference while Wilder remained largely muted.

The WBC champion Fury remains undefeated, a status he is adamant in maintaining. The heavyweight boasted a white suit patterned with images of himself in a crown and wearing the belt he won off Wilder.

“This is a reminder of what happened to him last time, this is a remembrance suit of Deontay Wilder’s ass-kicking.”

The “Gypsy King,” an entertainer, left little words unsaid as he berated his silent opponent.

“It shows how weak a mental person is, it shows the emotional effect the last fight had on his life… I was worried about him after the defeat I gave him,” said Fury.

An Alabama native, Wilder has a 93% knockout rate, the highest rate for any heavyweight.

Wilder wanted no part in other questions from Q/A moderator Christina Poncher, or the media, as he remained silent with headphones and sunglasses to shield him from questions.

Wilder’s trainer, longtime friend and former heavyweight contender Malik Scott answered very few questions for the fighter as tensions rose.

“He’s very stubborn, like most legends and gifted people they have their things with them. As long as he gives me what I want in the gym, I don’t care about the stubbornness cause we’re going to get this done,” said Scott.

If it’s one thing Fury and team all agree on, it’s that history will repeat itself in this third fight come July.

When it comes to what we can expect this time, Fury’s trainer SugarHill Steward stated, “All I have to say is, over time, he [Fury] now has power to knock a man out with one punch. His boxing IQ is one-punch knockout power.”

In Gypsy King fashion, we will have an entertaining show come next month. Fury intends on moving his weight all the way to 300, so he can give Wilder a bigger knockout in the ring and fans a bigger show.

“This time I’m hoping to take him out early, one, two, three rounds max.”

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Tokyo-Bound Aussie Heavyweight Justis Huni Stops Rugged Paul Gallen in the 10th

Arne K. Lang

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Had Justis Huni fought Paul Gallen two months ago, the match would have been trashed as little more than exhibition. During his record-tying 19 years in rugby, Gallen evolved into one of Australia’s most well-known sporting personalities. When Gallen took up boxing in 2014, it was thought that he did it as a lark; as a way of cashing in on his name recognition. And his first 11 opponents were a motley bunch of former rugby players, MMA fighters, 40-somethings, and boxing novices.

Then came the night of April 21, 2021. In a shocker, Gallen demolished former WBA heavyweight titlist Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne in less than two minutes. “Gallen transformed from a rugby league player to a bona fide prize fighter before our very eyes,” said prominent Australian sports journalist Andrew McMurtry.

That knocked Lucas Browne out of a lucrative match with Justis Huni and vaulted Paul Gallen, who turns 40 in August, to the head of the queue. They met Wednesday night (Australia time) at a convention center in Sydney and Huni, five-and-a-half inches taller, 15 pounds heavier, and the younger man by nearly 18 years, saddled Gallen (11-1-1) with his first defeat.

Heading into the fight, Gallen conceded that the heavily favored Huni was faster. However, he thought that he could wear the bigger man down. “If I get through those first four to five rounds, I’ll be in his face the whole time and I think I can knock him out late,” he said.

It proved to be the other way around. Huni dominated the fight and when he knocked Gallen down in the 10th with a big right hook, the referee stepped in and stopped it. But Gallen, who had a bum shoulder from his rugby days and thought that he fought most of the fight with a broken rib, showed tremendous heart.

It was the fifth professional fight for Huni (5-0, 4 KOs) who won the Australian heavyweight title in his pro debut. Of Dutch, Swedish, Samoan, and Tongan heritage, he quit school at age 15 to give boxing his full attention and will represent Australia in the Tokyo Olympics which start next month.

Brisbane-born Huni is already being talked-about as the best-ever Australian-born heavyweight. The rap against him is a lack of one-punch knockout power which won’t be a detriment in Tokyo.

In undercard bouts of note, Brisbane middleweight Isaac Hardman (11-0, 9 KOs) scored a 4th-round stoppage of Emmanuel Carlos (12-2) and middleweight Andrei Mikhailovich, a Russian residing in Auckland, New Zealand, advanced to 16-0 (9) with a second-round stoppage of previously undefeated Alex Hanan (13-1).

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Three Pros are Joining the U.S. Olympic Boxing Team, Ruffling Some Feathers

Arne K. Lang

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USA Boxing, the agency that controls amateur boxing in the United States, has a rule that prohibits professional boxers from competing in their tournaments. That rule remains in effect, but yet three pro boxers – middleweight Troy Isley, lightweight Keyshawn Davis, and featherweight Duke Ragan – will suit up for the United States in the forthcoming Tokyo Games. The announcement, which fell largely under the radar, came on June 7.

USA Boxing is subservient to AIBA, the sport’s international governing body, and to the International Olympic Committee. The Boxing Task Force of the IOC changed the rules to allow Isley, Davis and Ragan to compete and the honchos at USA Boxing are none too happy about it.

Blame the Covid-19 pandemic which forced the postponement and ultimately the cancellation of several qualifying tournaments including the “Americas” tournament in Buenos Aires at which boxers from 42 national federations – including the United States — would be competing for the Olympic slots allocated to this region. A total of 286 boxers from around the world will compete in Tokyo in the eight men’s and five women’s weight divisions with the coveted slots dispersed among four Continental Regional Divisions.

With no tournament, the Task Force redesigned the quota allocation process using world rankings to determine the national squads. The rankings were formulated using a point system from events held between January 2017 and October 2019.

The re-jiggering opened the door for Isley, Davis, and Ragan to rejoin the team. Isley and Davis had their first pro fight in February of this year. Ragan turned pro in August of 2020.

Team USA protested that the BTF allocation was unfair to the boxers that finished first in the final domestic qualifying tournament (December 2019 in Lake Charles, Louisiana), but their claim was denied. Isley and Ragan were knocked out of that tournament before reaching the finals; Davis finished first when his opponent in the finals took ill and had to pull out, but he was subsequently booted off the team, reputedly for missing too many practices which he attributed to a family health emergency. That unfrocking has been rescinded.

Before he left the team, Keyshawn Davis was considered the U.S. boxer with the best chance of winning a gold medal in Tokyo. A southpaw, he earned his spurs at the Alexandria Boxing Club in North Alexandria, Virginia, which was also the home gym of Troy Isley who lived right down the street.

The common thread between all three of the returnees is Kay Koroma who coached Davis and Isley at the Alexandria club where he was the top lieutenant to the club’s patriarch Dennis Porter and at the Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs where he served as an assistant to Billy Walsh. Duke Ragan, who hails from Cincinnati, is Koroma’s nephew.

Koroma came to the fore in 2016 when he earned raves for his work with Olympians Claressa Shields. Shakur Stevenson, Charles Conwell and others. But Koroma, one of the hottest young trainers in the sport, won’t be available to work with the 2020/21 team before it heads off to Tokyo. “My plate is too full,” he told The Sweet Science.

Koroma, like many of his former pupils, turned pro himself. He continues to work with Shakur Stevenson, whom he has known since Shakur was 13 years old, he assists veteran coach Al Mitchell with Mikaela Mayer and he recently replaced Ronnie Shields as the head trainer of rising heavyweight contender Efe Ajagba.

Isley, Davis, and Ragan comprise three-fifths of the men’s Olympic team. Super heavyweight Richard Torrez Jr and welterweight Delante “Tiger” Johnson flesh out the quintet.

USA Boxing released a letter to its membership expressing frustration over the decision of the IOC Task Force which killed the dreams of seven boxers who hoped to snare an Olympic berth at the Buenos Aires tournament or, barring that, the Last Chance tournament in Paris which was also a casualty of the pandemic. The letter can be read at the USA Boxing web site.

The seven boxers who were fenced out are:

Darius Fulgham (heavyweight, Houston, TX)

Rahim Gonzalez (light heavyweight, Las Vegas, NV)

Joseph Hicks (middleweight, Lansing, MI)

Charlie Sheehy (lightweight, Brisbane, CA)

Bruce Carrington (featherweight, Brooklyn, NY)

Anthony Herrera (flyweight, East Los Angeles, CA)

and

women’s flyweight Andrea Medina (San Diego, CA).

USA Boxing insists there are no plans to allow professionals to compete for the United States in the 2024 Olympiad and beyond. This is a one-shot exception forced by a unique circumstance. But, needless to say, when it comes to amateur boxing, nothing is etched in stone.

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