It was a huge past Saturday in the sport. Here are a few hi-lights in no particular order.
Like A Fine Wine
Amir Khan was masterful in his defeat of Devon Alexander on Saturday night. Khan looked better than he has in the past few years. Using his long reach, excellent lateral movement, and blistering speed he absolutely dominated Alexander. Early in the first round, Khan connected with a few solid power shots which in my observation, set the tone for the rest of the fight. Alexander was just not active enough and I think those early power shots and the speed in which they were delivered really put him on the defensive. I don’t ever remember Alexander in a fight in which he was so inactive and tentative. Khan’s height and reach advantage were too much for Alexander. Also impressive was that Khan appeared to be just as fast in the last round as he was in the first round. It was all Khan with a unanimous decision win and scores of 119-109, 118-110, and 120-108.
After the fight, Khan was pleased with his performance “I think this is one of my best performances. I was under my feet, I’m the best boxer with the quickest hands in the world. Virgil Hunter has been teaching me what positions to be in. I’m getting better as I’m getting older I just turned 28”
Yes, he appears to be a better version of the old Khan. Even his beard held up well as Alexander landed some telling shots in the bout and Khan withstood them better than we have seen him do in the past. Future opponents beware, at 28 and with Hunter guiding him, he may be just now reaching his peak and settling in for a sustained run. There’s talk of a Floyd Mayweather fight if the mega bout with Manny Pacquiao isn’t made but I’d love to see a match up with Kell Brook.
The Truth, The Whole Truth, Nothing But The Truth
Remember the name folks, Errol Spence Jr. If you follow the fight game, you are already aware of this up and coming prospect, if not, you will be in 2015. From the Lone Star State, D-Town more specifically, he appears to have the goods.
A fast, accurate, and powerful southpaw, he delivers snapping jabs, straight rights/lefts, commits to the body, has excellent footwork, a tight guard, and can fight from the outside or inside.
On Saturday night, he defeated Javier Castro by fifth round TKO and landed an amazing 71% of his power shots while exhibiting all of the aforementioned skills. His competition has not been a who’s who of the sport thus far but the talent is evident and this kid is a rising star.
Don’t mess with Tex…Uh, Errol
Always A Groomsman Never A Groom
Mauricio Herrera can’t catch a break. In a fight against Danny Garcia in March, he appeared to do better than two of the judges gave him credit for if not squeak out a victory but there he was a majority decision loser.
This past Saturday, he controlled the fight against Jose Benavidez and once again appeared to have done enough only to have the following scores tallied against him: 116-112 X2 and 117-111.
Benavidez is an up and coming prospect with a solid pedigree but school was in session as “El Maestro” controlled the majority of the rounds with excellent head movement, constantly working Benavidez to the ropes working his body and landing power shots at opportunistic times.
This is not to suggest that the student didn’t have a few moments. It’s just that his performance didn’t justify the scores he received.
Herrera is what is right about the sport and he is wronged repeatedly.
A hard working blue collar fighter who gets better every outing. He defended his title, the kid surely didn’t beat the champ and take the title.
Timothy Bradley knows now how Manny Pacquiao felt after their first fight. Control a fight with speed and movement, land power shots, and do enough to win only to find out that you did not win. In this case, Bradley didn’t lose either but a draw after his performance against Diego Chaves was just like a loss.
Bradley won this fight. Chaves simply didn’t do enough and did a poor job cutting off the ring and allowed Bradley to move and score points all night. Chaves did do well early landing combinations behind an active jab but he stopped jabbing and was looking for one shot at a time for the majority of the fight.
He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Bro
The twin Charlo brothers were both in action this past weekend. Jermall knocked out Lenny Bottai in the third round while Jermell won by unanimous decision over Mario Lozano.
He’s Not Just An Actor, He’s Not Just A Dancer, He’s Also A Fighter
Victor Ortiz returned to the ring with a 3rd round TKO win over Manuel Perez. Ortiz has apparently rededicated himself to the sport and has a new trainer, Joel Diaz. So far, so good. For some reason, I can never get the image out of my head of Ortiz saying “I’m young but I don’t deserve to get beat up like this” after his loss at the hands of Marcos Maidana.
A Blessing From Above
Andy Lee vowed to win a title to honor his trainer, the late great Emanuel Steward. On Saturday night, he did just that stopping Matt Korobov in the sixth round. Lee landed a picture perfect right hook which rocked Korobov. Lee then jumped all over Korobov causing Kenny Bayless to stop the fight. Great win for Lee, one of the good guys in the game.
Even in heaven, Steward continues to be the trainer of champions.
Ooooh That Smell, Can’t You Smell That Smell?
When scorecards like the ones in the Tyson Cave fight, and the aforementioned Herrera and Bradley fights rear their ugly head, the stench in the sweet science is overbearing.
“The Smell Of Death Surrounds You.”