Lomachenko v. Haney…Dissected…..A Deeper Look 60 Seconds At A Time

“Hey, don’t you worry, I’ve been lied to,
I’ve been here many times before..”

“But minute by minute by minute
I keep holding on..”

-Doobie Brothers

In 2017, I dissected the Manny Pacquiao v. Jeff Horn fight, minute by minute, round by round, days after the fight, due to the controversy. (Link here if interested… Pacquiao v. Horn…Dissected…..A Deeper Look 60 Seconds At A Time – Standing-8)

Not scoring it and watching it in real time, I had thought Pac did enough to win. After the dissection at a granular level, nothing changed my mind, 115-113 Pac. A few weeks ago, we had arguably the most disputed victory since Pac v. Horn, in Devin Haney UD  Vasiliy Lomachenko.  

No sooner did the ring announcer bellow the words “And still…….”, an old familiar adversary from the lexicon came calling…..ROBBED.

You could make a case to bag and tag DM’s pen that entered the 116-112 (w/the 10th to Haney) score card and place it into the police evidence room but other than that, this was far from a robbery, a very close, strongly contested, strategical fight.

The fight poster showing both pugilists on a chess board, was an extremely accurate visualization, and unlike some pre-fight posters, this was art imitating life.

Again, I did not score the fight while watching it live but believed Loma had clearly won. Did I miss something? Did the judges have it right?  I needed a second look. (Disclaimer for my fight night impressions… I had to attend my wife’s college reunion on the same night out of town, and was relegated to watching it on my cell phone, oh how the times have changed, where you can rent a PPV, and watch anywhere, amazing…)

The ground rules are the same as the last time with the Pac v. Horn dissection… In my review, I’ll decide who I believed had the advantage in each third of the round and then determine which overall body of work I favored. By body of work, I’m looking at the four criteria that are assumed to be used when scoring a fight, defense, effective aggression, clean punching, and ring generalship.

Protect yourself at all times…..

Round 1-

  • First Minute- Haney’s the aggressor to start the round, moving Loma back, active jab, lands a small left hook, three rights to the body. Loma’s footwork, and feints, force Haney to work off his back foot momentarily, and lands a jab, Advantage-Haney
  • Second Minute-Sharp jab by Loma forces Haney back, Loma lands a quick three punch combination, Loma’s movement forcing Haney to be the aggressor, Haney missing several jabs, Loma is in range momentarily, but Haney is too slow on the release of the jab. Haney is missing to the body, due to Loma’s movement. Haney throws a double jab to the head, and a straight jab towards the body. All missing. Both fighters throw a small flurry, each negating the other. Advantage-Loma
  • Third Minute, Loma working off his front foot, moving Haney back. Haney throwing his jab as a range finder but missing, Loma lands a solid jab, Haney with a solid shot to Loma’s stomach, Loma’s movement still causing Haney to work off his back foot, Haney popping shots towards Loma, all missing. Loma lands a solid left. Loma ends the round backing Haney into the ropes, and throwing a flurry, one decent shot landing. Advantage Loma

Outside of the first minute, Haney did not do much when compared to Loma. Loma controlled the distance and backed Haney up with his footwork and movement. Although not a lot of significant punches landed, only 6 each according to CompuBox I favored the shots landed by Loma, combined with Loma’s footwork, that controlled the real estate, and thus the round, all things considered.  

Round to Lomachenko, 10-9 (Judges, all 3 for Haney)

Round 2-

  • First minute- A lot of postering to start, Haney moving forward, controlling the action, lands a right to the body, and hook to the head, circling Loma again, Haney grazes a hook off Loma’s jaw, Loma moves forward and lands a left and ties up Haney who is leaning over, causing the referee to tell Loma to get off his head. Haney with a right to the body. Advantage Haney   
  • Second minute– Haney moving forward, controlling the action, a right to the body that grazes Loma, and a stiff jab to the head. Both fighters land a punch, with Haney countering with another shortly after, Haney with a pawing jab that lands, Haney with a solid right hand to the body, Loma chopping with punches, nothing landing, Haney with another shot to the body, Haney slips a punch of the charging Loma, and counters Loma with a right, and then a quick jab, Loma then lands a three-punch combination, flurries a bit and lands a solid right. Loma ended this minute strong but Haney’s body of work over the entire minute was better.  Advantage Haney
  • Third minute- Both fighters very tactical, Loma landing a shot or two, Haney missing with a few, Haney lands a shot to the body, a left by Loma, a jab lands and a body shot misses for Haney, both fighters land a body shot, and Loma lands two punches to end the round. Advantage Loma.

Round to Haney 19-19 (Judges-All 3 for Lomachenko)

Round 3-

  • First minute- Movement by both fighters trying to gain the advantage of position to start, stiff jab by Haney, Haney then misses to the body due to the slick movement of Loma to avoid the punch, Haney then lands a right to the body, and evades a counter by Loma, right hand counter by Haney, jab lands by Loma.  Advantage-Haney
  • Second minute- Misses by Haney, again due to the Loma movement, Loma parry’s away, throws a few counters that Haney defends, jab by Haney, double left lands for Loma, lead left lands for Loma, Loma backing up Haney, Haney misses an uppercut, Loma counters with a scraping left to the body, both fighters hitting on the back of the head, Loma is warned, looping right to the body by Haney, Loma responds with a jab, then ends the minute with a grazing shot off of Haney’s head, Advantage Loma  
  • Third minute- Haney begins the third minute with a right to the body, Loma walking back Haney and lands a jab, a left hook by Haney follows, big right hook by Loma, walking back Haney after the sot and lands a jab, has Haney on the ropes and lands a body shot, left uppercut, and follow by a left and a right, so fast you have to rewind the tape, Haney lands a jab, Loma counters with a slight left hook, Loma lands a solid left, Haney grazes with a right, the fighters end the round with a few grazing jabs each.. Advantage Loma

Round to Loma 29-28, Loma (Judges, 2 gave the round to Loma, 1 to Haney) (**This is a round that should have been swept by Loma on the cards, he clearly won 2/3 of the round, and was close in the other. IMO**)

Round 4- 

  • First minute- Jab by Haney lands, Haney walking Loma back, lands a right to the body, movement by both fighters, another right to the body by Haney, jab by Loma lands, he spins Haney in the direction that he wants him to go, then grazes a few quick punches off Haney’s head, jab lands for both fighters, Haney counters with a glancing right. Advantage Haney.
  • Second minute- Both fighters circling, and using the jab as finders, Loma controlling the real estate, quick short sneaky check right hook by Loma. Jab by Haney, and hook to the body, as Loma backs him up and lands a left, quick choppy glancing left/right by Haney, Advantage-Haney
  • Third Minute- Loma walking Haney back and lands a lead left, quick right jab/hook lands for Loma, Haney counters with a right, Haney misses three consecutive jabs, they get tangled up, and Loma muscles Haney to the ground, Haney lands a good hook to the body. Advantage Haney  

Round to Haney 38-38 (Judges, all 3 for Haney)

Round 5- 

  • First minute-Haney backs up Loma with a one-two, Haney with a solid right to the body, followed by another. Advantage Haney
  • Second minute-Two right uppercuts by Haney, one solid, one glancing, three lefts for Loma. Two to the head, one to the body, left scores for Haney, right scores for Loma, Advantage Loma
  • Third minute-Right hook to the body for Haney, jab lands for Haney, both fighters exchange and land punches, Loma lands a left, then a one-two, body shot for Haney. Advantage Haney

Round to Haney, 48-47-Haney (Judges, all 3 for Haney)

Round 6-  

  • First minute- Haney walking Loma back, Loma lands a straight right, two body shots for Haney, straight left for Loma. Advantage Haney
  • Second minute- Haney with a body shot and short right, Loam with a solid three punch combination, Loma with a scoring left, and then a solid right jab, two jabs from Haney, Loma with a charging combination, Advantage Loma
  • Third minute- Haney walking Loma back with jabs, right to the body for Haney, two uppercuts graze Loma, Loma scores with a slight hook, another body shot for Haney scores, solid jab by Haney, Loma flurries, with Haney responding with a flurry, nothing significant lands for either fighter, . Advantage Haney

Round to Haney-58-56, Haney (Judges 2 for Haney, 1 for Loma)

Round 7-  

  • First minute- Loma movement controlling opening thirty seconds, then he lands a quick right, and double left, another right, two jabs by Haney and a hook, another jab by Haney, and a chopping right, Haney misses a few jabs. Advantage Loma  
  • Second minute- Loma spins Haney away, then lands a jab as Haney comes in, then a left right combination, both with body shots in the clinch, chopping right by Haney, body shot by Haney, two quick lefts by Loma, double jab by Haney misses, Loma with a lead left. Advantage Loma
  • Third minute- Haney walking Loma back, lands a right, and a body shot, countered by a Loma right, body shot by Haney, Loma with a combination to the head, Haney with a solid hook, two body shots by Haney, even exchange to end the round. Advantage Haney

Round to Loma (Judges- 2 Haney, 1 Loma) Haney 67-66, the card here through 7.

Round 8-  

  • First minute- Even postering, Loma with the crisper shots, a lead jab, then moments later a right-left combo, Loma double jab, one landing, followed with a small left hook, Haney with a right to the body. Advantage Loma
  • Second minute- Haney with a right hook, Loma with a double left, Haney pop shotting and missing, Loma forcing Haney to work off his back foot, Haney moving forward now, Loma with a jab, Haney with a body shot. Not a lot in the minute, Loma’s movement controlled the majority with a slight edge in punch quality, thus- Advantage Loma
  • Third minute- Haney missing a few jabs, then Loma counters with a solid jab, looping left lands for Loma, counter by Haney, body shot for Haney, one-two by Haney, jab, and a combination for Loma to end the round. Close minute, both had moments, slight edge for Haney. Advantage Haney

Round to Loma-76-76 (Judges 2 for Loma, 1 for Haney)

Round 9-  

  • First minute- Loma landing a few jabs, and pop shotting a few punches, slightly landing, nothing significant, but scoring, Haney missing a few punches due to Loma movement, Haney with a right to the body. Advantage Haney
  • Second minute- Chopping right by Haney, solid jab by Loma, walking Haney back to the ropes, Haney counter with a left off the ropes, left by Loma, both land a shot in a close flurry, solid straight left by Loma, grazing counter right by Haney, solid right to the body by Haney, Loma land a right/left combo and pursues Haney to the ropes and lands a four-punch combination, Haney lands a few jabs. Advantage Loma
  • Third minute- Haney the aggressor, both land a shot, solid left by Loma, Haney with two body shots, jab by Haney, Loma with a two piece, straight left by Loma, close minute, edge to Loma. Advantage Loma

Round to Loma-86-85 Loma (Judges All 3 to Haney)

Round 10–  

  • First minute- Lead right by Loma, Haney misses a wild hook to the body to end the minute. Not a lot of action in the minute. A lot of postering by both. Loma’s right was the best landed punch of the round, and his movement controlled the round, not allowing Haney to execute his plan. Advantage Loma-
  • Second minute- Loma with a sweeping hook to start a flurry, landing five solid punches on a parrying Haney, Haney with a jab, and a right, both with a small exchange to end the minute. Advantage Loma.
  • Third minute- Loma with a double jab, and a straight left, Haney with a counter left, Haney, and Loma both land a punch, Loma with a solid jab to end the round. Advantage Loma

Round to Loma-96-94 Loma (Judges 2 for Loma, and a perplexing one for Haney)

Note: This is the round that sent shock waves around the sport due to DM giving the round to Haney. Outside of the 11th, this was Loma’s most dominant round, and the uproar against DM was just.

Round 11-  

  • First minute- Loma lands a left to the body, and a solid right to the jaw, sending Haney backwards, moves forward, and lands a left hook, Haney lands a wrap around shot to the body, Loma with another solid left/right, causing Haney to hold, Loma heads in and lands a jab, Loma has Haney reeling back as he lands a left. HUGE Advantage Loma
  • Second minute-  Loma is walking Haney back, Haney lands a right uppercut grazing Loma, Loma counters with a scraping right/left combo, followed by a left, Loma walking Haney back with jabs, Loma with a left/right/left combo, straight right jab forcing Haney to the ropes, follows with a scraping left, a solid lead jab by Loma, Loma left to the body, right to the head, another left ot the body, right to the head by Loma, HUGE Advantage for Loma.
  • Third minute- Popping straight left by Loma, a lot of postering by both, Haney walking forward, Loma using movement, not allowing Haney to land, Haney with a looping right to the body missing the target, Haney has Loma backed into a corner, he does nothing, allowing Loma to use his excellent movement to escape, Haney with a reaching right to the body. Advantage Loma

Round to Loma 106-103 (Judges- All 3 for Loma)

***This was the most dominant round by either competitor in the fight. Lomachenko dominated the entire three minutes, and out landed Haney 20-2. ***

Round 12  

  • First minute- Haney the aggressor, a scrapping shot to Loma’s body, both trade a punch when they come in close, left by Loma, right by Haney, solid right to the body by Haney, followed with a left hook.  Advantage Haney
  • Second minute-  Solid right by Haney, Loma flurries, mostly missing/blocked, straight left to the body by Loma, right by Loma, combo by Haney, combo by Loma. Close minute/slight edge to Haney. Advantage Haney
  • Third minute- Loma with a left uppercut, body shot, and a solid combo, Haney counter up and under to the body, body shot by Haney, left jab by Loma, a repeat, body shot by Haney, left by Loma, two body shot by Haney in close, right by Haney, Loma with a solid right, and Haney with a solid jab to end the round. Advantage Loma

Round to Haney (Judges-All 3 for Haney)

Standing-8 Final Scorecard- 115-113 for Loma.

After a thorough review, we still have Lomachenko as the winner. I had believed this was a very close fight while watching the fight on PPV, and nothing changed in my minute-by-minute review if only to reinforce that fact.

A draw or slight edge to Haney would not have been out of the question if one favored his body of work in the close rounds, of which there were many. As such, one could make a case for the 115-113 cards in Haney’s favor, not the 116-112.

There have been worse calls in boxing, and this was far from corruption. Just a lot of very, very close rounds by two skilled fighters. I had the advantage of dissecting it by stopping the tape, and being able to see what the eye may have missed, or mind did not process, sometimes, the same few seconds reviewed over, and over, and over.

As the adage goes…to take the champion’s title, you must beat the champion…. I felt that Loma’s movement, ring generalship, defense, effective aggression, and clean punching, did just that. Loma was the smaller fighter but mostly fought like the bigger fighter. Haney was supposed to be the stronger fighter, but Loma exhibited many reasons to dispute that ideology. Haney is the younger fighter, by Loma appeared more youthful, especially in the second half of the fight. Quite simply, Loma closed the show.

The Matrix Reloaded, Game Set Match…….

Canelo Edges GGG By MD In Middleweight Thriller

Golden Boy Promotions Tom Hogan

Photo Credit- Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions

It’s not often that a rematch outdoes the original, but on Saturday night from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the 2018 version of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (50-1-2 34 KO) v. Gennady Golovkin (38-1-1 34 KO) was far superior than its 2017 counterpart.

Arguably, you could credit Canelo’s sustained aggressiveness being the difference in 2018.  In 2017, Alvarez fought well in many rounds but only for a small portion of the round, he did win some rounds in 2017 but the majority were clearly controlled by Golovkin. Standing-8 scored the 2017 fight 115-113 Golovkin.

Alvarez vowed to move forward and be more aggressive in the rematch promising a knockout, he accomplished all but the latter.

Alvarez moved forward from the opening bell and took the fight to Golovkin. Alvarez used some of the best head movement of his career in slipping many of Golovkin’s punches throughout the fight and his ring generalship and footwork were solid.

Although Golovkin’s jab was strong, Alvarez did something that had not been seen in a Golovkin fight with consistency, he backed up the former champion repeatedly onto his backfoot.

Alvarez also attacked the body early and often which visibly affected Golovkin and took a bit a steam out of his punches at times. Both fighters landed power shots throughout the fight and showed equally impenetrable beards. Both fighters were cut, Golovkin a slight cut over the right eye with an abrasion below it, no doubt a product of his adversary’s left hook, and the much more prominent laceration over the new champions left eye, a product of the Golovkin right.

Just when it seemed that Canelo was controlling Golovkin and beginning to brek him down, the former champion rallied late and controlled most of the final third of the fight, visibly stunning the new champion in the tenth.

Although Golovkin had the higher output, it was Canelo’s power and accuracy that most likely won him the swing rounds on the judges score cards.

Standing-8 scored Rounds 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9 for Canelo and Rounds 1, 4, 8, 10, 11, and 12 for Golovkin. Standing-8 final card, a draw, 6 rounds to 6, 114-114.

The official scorecards-

Golovkin GGG Scorecards

This epic battle between two top pound for pound fighters was fought at the highest of levels. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find one clinch in the fight, there simply was not one, or at least one that I remember. You never saw the referee, he wasn’t needed. Prizefighting at its best, the sweet science on full display.

Said Canelo after the fight, “I’m very excited Viva Mexico” a fitting comment on Mexican Independence Day.

“I looked for a knockout, but he’s a great fighter….He was connecting punches but they were few and far between…If the people want another fight, we’ll do it again”.


Golovkin left the ring and did not provide a post fight interview prior to the end of the telecast.

Usyk Paints A Masterpiece

Aleksandr Usyk 15-0 (11 KO) dominated Murat Gassiev 26-1 (19 KO) in route to winning the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight final and capturing the first ever Muhammad Ali trophy.

Oh, and by the way, he also unified the cruiserweight division for good measure, the fastest ever to do so.

In order to know how Usyk got here, we have to take a quick peek backwards…..

Usyk, actually not only ended the first ever bracket in the new World Boxing Super Series, he actually started it back on September 9, 2017 in Berlin against Marco Huck.

WBBS Cruiser

In the fight against Huck, Usyk, an odds on favorite even at the beginning to best the cruiserweight field, stopped Huck in the tenth round. Huck was game but Usyk wore him down forcing the stoppage after a barrage of unanswered punches.

Next up was Mairis Briedis this past January 27th. It was a close fight from the onset with both fighters giving as good as they were getting. The cut from a head butt in round three no doubt affected Usyk a bit but it was hard to tell as Usyk fought tough throughout landing big shots on Briedis. Usyk closed each round strong which probably favored him in the eyes of the judges, When it was all said and done, Usyk scored a MD, 115-113 X2, 114-114.

As such, the stage was set for the fight with Gassiev, a fighter who had stopped both of his tournament opponents, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk and Yunier Dorticos.

Many had today’s fight 50/50 coming in. A contrast of styles, the puncher vs. the boxer puncher. An expected, ahem…fight-of-the-year candidate.

It was everything but.

Usyk controlled all aspects of the fight from the opening bell. The biggest key to his success was the utilization of his jab. His jab in this fight was a thing of beauty. Usyk popped it early and often and it never gave Gassiev a chance.

Usyk would jab high to negate anything Gassiev was about to do, then he would land hooks and straight lefts behind it, and again, jab to the body then back to the head. Usyk moves about as well for a cruiserweight that you will see.

Usyk’s defense was improved from past fights through his foot movement. Gassiev swung at air many times.

Gassiev did have some moments, like landing solid body shots from time to time and his best punch of the fight, the big right at the end of the 4th that seemed to stun Usyk momentarily. That’s said, Gassiev’s demise was his inability to sustain anything.  In addition, he was inept at cutting off the ring and always kept looking for one big shot. Maybe Abel Sanchez thought he could GGG his way to victory?

Every round 1-12 was a carbon copy of the next. Usyk dominated in the scoring disciplines of ring generalship, defense, affective aggression, and clean punching.

One things for sure, Usyk has learned a thing or two from the best P4P fighter in the game, Vasyl Lomachenko. The footwork and defense was greatly improved.  From time to time, you could see a bit of Loma in the ring today, the sneaky quick shot up through the middle, the hook followed by the movement.

Standing-8 had it a shut out for Usyk 120-108, with one official card matching our score and the two others a point off 119-109.

One look at the dominance of the Ukrainian fighters, and I can’t help but say…”I’ll have what their having”.


Speed Too Much As Pacquiao Stops Matthysse in 7

From the opening bell Manny Pacquiao 60-7-2 (39 KO) was way too much for Lucas Matthysse 39-5 (36 KO).

The speed. The Pac Man speed. The relentless movement, the in and out, the blistering combinations. Even at 39 and over a year removed from the ring, The Pride of The Philippines dominated in route to a 7th Round KO of Matthysse.

Sure, The Machine is basically flat footed most times and was basically tailor made for Pacquiao; however, that said, his punching power could have equalized matters at any given moment.

Despite this being Pacquiao’s  first fight in sixteen years sans the legendary Freddy Roach as the Chief Second, he looked like, well, Manny Pacquiao.

Replacing Roach was longtime close friend and Pacquiao entourage staple, Buboy Fernandez.  Buboy has been around the game and may have learned a few things under the tutelage of Roach but let’s face it, there is not much an inexperienced trainer is going to provide to a world titlist in a record eight weight divisions.

The speed of Pacquiao set the tone early and Matthysse never got on track. When Matthysse utilized his jab, he began to have moments but he could never sustained his attack.

At the end of the third, Pacquiao dropped Matthysse with a chopping sharp left uppercut. Not overly hurt, Matthysse was up and fought to the bell.

It would be a sign of things to come.

In the next round, Matthysse had a moment or two but they were negated by how well Pacquiao was controlling most every aspect of the round through his distance, defense, and combination punching.

In the fifth, Matthysse was closing the round well but took a shot off of his temple and went down to a knee. Probably more stunned than anything, Matthysse was up after a moment or two with the round ending several moments later.

The sixth was more of the same, the speed too much, Pacquiao was visibly beginning to break Matthysse down.

In the seventh, that sneaky left uppercut again dropped Matthysse. This time he stayed on one knee and did not make an attempt to beat the count, conceding the fight and through his actions, implying that he had had enough.

Pacquiao officially came into this fight off of a loss; however, Standing-8 scored the Horn fight for Pacquiao-


Most pre-fight predications were contingent upon what Pacquiao had left at 39, or what to expect after a year layoff. What we got was Manny being Manny.

Win number 60 was sweet in that he capture Matthysse’s WBA Welterweight strap, and as previously mentioned became a world titlist in a record eighth weight division.

Of course after the fight, the Pacquiao v. this guy and that guy conversation started. The usual suspects, names like Lomachenko, Garcia (Mikey + Danny), Spence Jr., Crawford.

We need to take the victory against Matthysse for what it was. A good matchup for Pacquiao to showcase his skillset. Matthysse is not a masterful boxer and although he can get you out of there if you get careless, speed is his nemesis. Additionally, he really hasn’t been relevant in years.

Yes, Pacquiao looked good, he was suppose to. Lets see him against a fighter with a bit more tools in their toolbelt before we put him in there with the elite.

One thing’s for sure, he’s an all-time great and truly special fighter.





Born To Be The King, 12 Fights In, This Aptly Named Ukrainian Is Making Boxing History

In order to achieve greatness in a particular area, skill, or sport, one must continue to surpass what others have done before. Go beyond the status quo and enter uncharted waters. There are levels here and if you choose to go beyond them, greatness awaits.

Enter Vasiliy Lomachenko. A two time Olympic Gold medalist and arguably the best amateur of all time with a mind-boggling 396-1 record, the Ukrainian is now reaching legendary status in the pro game after only 12 fights. Yes, you read that correctly, legendary and twelve career fights in the same sentence. Unheard of in boxing, ever.

On Saturday night at a legendary venue, Madison Square Garden, Lomachenko (11-1 9 KO) moved up to lightweight and stopped champion Jorge Linares (44-4 27 KO) with a perfectly timed liver shot.

After having captured belts at 126 and 130, the strap here at 135 makes him the fastest three division champion in the annals of boxing, again, after twelve fights. Faster than Oscar De La Hoya 22 fights, Floyd Mayweather 34, and Manny Pacquiao 41 as we were reminded several times during the telecast :), and the previous best record of 20 held by Jeff Fenech.

Linares is a very skilled pugilist and showed it early and often as he landed excellent combinations and committed to the body. He was having many, many good moments and more than Lomachenko’s past several opponents combined. That said, he did begin a bit dirty landing on the back of Lomachenko’s head with rabbit punches, possibly channeling his inner Salido. This occurred mostly in the first few rounds then subsided, albeit in exchange for some punches south of the border. But after a warning here and there, it was mostly a clean fight the rest of the way through.

But Loma does what Loma wants to do, when Loma wants to do it. After taking a few rounds to study the champion he began to back up the bigger man with his blazing hand speed, dazzling footwork forged by years of dancing, slick combination punching, and ring generalship.

Lomachenko began to systematically break Linares down as he has done to every opponent; however, in the sixth, he uncharacteristically got a bit careless on the way in and was dropped by a perfectly timed right hand. It was a solid legit knockdown and almost seemed to be a delay in him dropping after being hit. He got up and made it to the bell several seconds later.

That is what happens when you seek out the best and move up in weight to do so. The opponents will be bigger and they will hit harder. In the case of Linares, he also has speed. The likelihood of these things happening greatly increases. High risk, high reward. How you respond after facing adversity is what champions are made of.

“It was a great fight. That right hand [that knocked me down], it was a great punch. It happens,” said Lomachenko

Over the next few rounds, Lomachenko was in Hi-Tech mode landing Matrix like combinations, sneaky pot shots, and increased his work to the body. All of that said, Linares was also doing good work in spots; however, Lomachenko’s body of work was, as it always is, at another level. In addition, the challenger cut the champion over the left eye and went after it like a shark smelling blood.

In the tenth, Lomachenko landed a four punch combination culminating with a wicked left hook to the body. It was so quick amid the flurry that initially it was a bit unclear what crumbled the champ to the canvas. Replay revealed a perfectly timed left hook scrapping the weak part of Linares’ core. Game over.

“I prepared for the last few rounds, and my father told me, ‘You need to go to the body.’ said Lomachenko

Not exactly No Mas but another stoppage win for the top P4P fighter in the game. Make that eight stoppages in a row to be precise.

It is a lonely time when you go down to the canvas at the receiving end of a right hand to the chin, especially when it is your first time down as a pro. You are supposed to be the top P4P fighter, this is not supposed to happen. “Let’s stay cautious” says the brain, “Like hell” counters the heart.

We learned a lot about the Ukrainian’s resolve in the first real panic moment of his career. He showed that if the fire gets hot he is more than up to the challenge. Not only did he not fight cautiously after the knock down, but fought as if it never happened. We knew his mindset was strong but after several “no mas’s” in a row from his opponents, this was new twist, a foe with return fire. Lomachenko welcomed the change and showed it through his actions.

As we like to say at Standing-8, Loma is “Part throwback, part modern-day, and quite frankly, something from the future”

On February 17, 1988, in a hospital in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine, Anatoly and Tetiana Lomachenko welcomed their new baby boy into the world and named him Vasiliy, meaning “king”.

Thirty years later, the prophecy is being fulfilled.

This Bud’s For You…

Terrance Crawford (32-0 23 KO) dominated Julius Indongo (22-1 11KO) to become the undisputed junior welterweight champion. A four belt unified champion is a pretty rate feat being only the third man to accomplish it joining Bernard Hopkins and Jermain Taylor. 
Indongo was tailor made for Crawford as he swings wildly while throwing his shots. Couple that with Crawford, being one of the sharpest punchers in the game and it was only a matter of time.

Indongo was game to start but it was clear that his skill set was underpolished compared to Crawford’s. 

At the end of the second round, Crawford dropped Indongo with a crisp right. Indongo made it out of the round a bit wobbly. 

In the third, a thing of beauty ends things as a perfectly timed right-left to the body that crumbled Indongo and he could not recover.  

Crawford is one of boxing’s biggest stars and a move to 147 is apparently the direction. A fight with Errol Spence would be epic and there are rumblings that he could face the winner of Manny Pacquiao v. Jeff Horn 2. 

Berchelt, Corrales, & Barrera All Capture Decision Wins

In HBO’s Saturday triple-header Main Event, Miguel Berchelt (32-1 28 KO) unexpectedly dominated Takashi Miura (31-4-2 24 KO) with scores of 120-109, 119-108, 116-111 in defending his WBC super featehrweight belt for the first time.

A quick Berchelt combination surprised Miura dropping him at the end of the 1st Round. Miura was not hurt but this made it a 10-8 round and an early two-point lead for Berchelt that Miura could never overcome.

Miura did not look like his usual self. Although he had a few moments, they were few and far between. His balance and movement looked a bit off. He was true to his trademark style of the attacker but this played right into Berchelt’s hands as he banked rounds by continually landing straight rights on the incoming Miura.

In other action, Jezreel Corrales (22-1 8 KO) retained his WBO 130 title with a majority decision over Robinson Castellanos (22-11 14 KO), although it wasnt easy.

The title-fight did not go the scheduled 12 as an accidental head butt to Castellanos in the tenth deemed him unable to continue and ended the fight. The judges scored the fight 94-94, 94-93, 96-92 for Corrales which included the tenth, all thirty or so seconds.

Castellanos was game, knocking down the champion twice in the 4th and continued to give him hell throughout.

Corrales scored a flash knockdown in 7th. As Corrales landed, Castellanos actually blocked it with his glove; however, the force of the blow pushed Castellanos’ glove against his own face causing him to fall.

It was unfortunate for Castellanos that the fight had to be stopped.

Light heavies opened the night where the much hyped Joe Smith Jr. (23-2 19 KO) was facing the once beaten Sullivan Barrera (20-1 14 KO).

At the opening bell, Barrera was utilizing his excellent boxing skills to dictate the action; however, towards the end of the round, Smith Jr. caught him with a left hook and dropped him. Barrera was able to survive the round and then went on to control most of the fight en route to a 96-93, 97-92 X2 unanimous decision.

Barrera’s active combination and counter punching were the difference. Barrera worked the body early and often which seemed to slow Smith Jr. and decrease the effectiveness of his power.

When Smith Jr. watches the tapes, he will see that he rarely utilized or worked behind his jab which limited his ability to set up the power shots that he is known for.


Surprise Down Under..Horn By UD Over Pacquiao

Photo Credit-Chris Hyde, Getty Images

In order for a live dog to win in boxing, they must be mean and nasty and willing to win at any cost. 

On Sunday afternoon in Brisbane, Australia, Jeff Horn (17-0-1 11 KO) was a junk yard dog in defeating future Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs), by unanimous decision, 115-113 X2 and a What The Hell Fight Were You Watching score of 117-111. 

The new champion brought the fight to the Pac Man early and often showing no respect for his elder. Horn is awkward and it took Pacquiao a few rounds to get his timing down. 

In the 3rd, Pacquiao began to find his range but Horn made all of the ensuing rounds close with his awkward aggressiveness. Horn would hold and hit anything he could while in the clinch. 

Horn was visibly the bigger man and used his length well when he had to. He looked to rough up Pacquiao on the ropes every chance he got and obliged the former WBO champion in toe to toe exchanges.  

Pacquiao got cut on both sides of his hairline from head butts and returned the favor by brusing, swelling, and bloodying Horn’s face. 

Pacquiao had arguably his best round in the 9th where he pummeled Horn from pillar to post in true Pacquiao fashion. In between rounds, the referee told Horn and his corner that he would give Horn an opportunity to show something in the next round or he would stop the fight. 

The 38 year old Pacquiao was visibly weary in the tenth from his ninth round effort allowing Horn to work his way back into the good graces of the referee over the next two rounds. 

There was a bit of controversy after the scores were read and for good reason. Pacquiao outlanded Horn and arguably could have had at least one 10-8 round. Horn was aggressive but most of the effort wasn’t effective aggression which boxing is scored on.  

Horn was rough and tough, landed some good punches but again, questionable if it was enough to take the title. 

Maybe it was that he did better than most would have thought, outperformed expectations? The judges probably scored the close rounds for Horn because a less than dominating Pacquiao made it seem so. 

Standing-8 didn’t score the fight, but although very close, believed Pacquiao had done enough to retain his title. We’re going to have to go back and score this one, update to follow. 

It wasn’t a robbery, close yes, but the 117-111 score notwithstanding, the 115-113 scores for Horn (or had it gone the other way for that matter) were not outrageous in a fight with very close rounds. 

The word “robbery” once again rears its ugly head in the squared circle. A shame really after a competitive, tough, close fight. 

He’s All In, Ward Stops Kovalev By TKO In The 8th

Photo Credits David Spagnolo- Main Events

In Standing-8’s fight preview for Ward-Kovalev 2, we asked the question, “Is Andre Ward All In?

On Saturday night, Ward (32-0 16 KO) provided the answer with an exclamation point by stopping Sergey Kovalev (30-2-1 26 KO) in the eighth round.

Like the first fight, there were a lot of close rounds. Kovalev started fast and was the aggressor but Ward was gauging the distance and creating angles. It was all in his master plan. Prior to the fight, there were rumblings out of Ward’s Camp that they believed they could stop the former champion with the Ivan Drago type of persona. After the fight, Ward’s Trainer Virgil Hunter confirmed just that.

” I have only trained Andre for a knockout twice, the first was Chad Dawson [in 2012], and the second was tonight. And they laughed at me. But I knew what was going to happen, because he was healthy. Now we have quieted all those who were whining and thought we didn’t get it the first time.”

Through seven rounds it was close but you could feel that it was Ward’s fight to lose. Throughout the fight, Ward’s body work was setting the tone; however not met kindly by Kovalev who had complained to Referee Tony Weeks several times.

In the eighth, Ward hit Kovalev on the belt line which caused Kovalev to stop and move away thinking Weeks would give him a few minutes to recover from what he thought was a low blow. Weeks signaled for Kovalev to continue causing Ward to reinstate his onslaught.  Ward hit Kovalev with a big shot to the body and followed it with a powerful thudding right hand that rocked the challenger.

CreditDavid Spagnolo Main Events

Seeing that Kovalev had buckled, Ward jumped on his prey and worked high and low with shots from all angles as Kovalev fell into the ropes. One of Ward’s body punches did land on the belt line which caused Kovalev to slouched down on the ropes and bend over. It appeared that Kovalev thought that Weeks would jump in and stop the action due to a foul. He was right on one account, Weeks did jump in; however, it was to stop the fight.

It would be a controversial stoppage. The opinion here is that Weeks should have afforded Kovalev a standing eight count at a minimum. Not that it would have mattered, Ward was breaking down the former champion so it was only a matter of time but deservedly so in such a close fight and all that was on the line in a rematch.

In Ward’s defense, Kovalev was bent at the waist so any punch to his mid section would hit both the stomach and just below the belt line and clearly a result of the body position rather than ill intent. It was Weeks’ job to jump in while Ward was hitting Kpvalev to the midsection if Weeks felt they were fouls, he did not, so Ward did what he was supposed to do.


Credit David Spagnolo-Main Events

At the time of the stoppage, Ward was up 67-66 on two cards and down 68-65 on the third. Ward also had a clear advantage in power shots which was always Kovalev’s strength.

After the fight Ward stated “He’s a great fighter, not a lot of people are going to beat him. When you fight great fighters you got to raise your game to the next level”

Ward continued, “When I saw him react to the body shots that were borderline, I knew I had him. I hurt him with a head shot”

Kovalev had complained about low blows several times in the fight which he discussed in his post fight interview.

“Both of us were better this fight. I didn’t feel like I was hurt by legal punches, only low blows” “I don’t know why they stopped the fight. I could have continued. I wasn’t hurt, He didn’t hurt me. I continued to fight, I want to fight him again and kick his ass”

Kovalev had said that he tired out in the first fight and would not allow that to happen again but he looked fatigued several times over the last several rounds and his power appeared to be non-existent.

Ward imposed his will landing the harder shots while meeting the aggressive Kovalev head on. Ward implemented and executed a systematic break down of his adversary and left no doubt this time around. At times, Kovalev looked beaten and almost like he wanted a way out.

In our fight preview, we questioned if we had observed, on some level, a decline in Kovalev over his last few fights. His performance in this one has added to the conversation.

As for Ward, he spoke about going up to cruiserweight or even heavyweight at some point down the road. When asked about a fight with Adonis Stevenson, Ward said if it makes sense it may happen; however he made it known that when he moved up it was to face the top guy in Kovalev, something Stevenson had a chance to do but never did implying that Stevenson didn’t warrant an opportunity.

While we were on record in our fight preview that Ward wins the rematch easier the second time around, we did question Ward’s commitment to the game that, if not fully commited, would contribute to problems in the rematch.  That said, this performance and listeneing to him in the post fight press confrence ended all doubt here.



Linares Technically Brilliant In Dominance Of Crolla

Back in September, in a very close fight, Jorge Linares (42-3 27 KO) beat Anthony Crolla (31-6-3 13 KO) by unanimous decision 115-113, 115-114, and the “What in the hell fight were you watching?” score of 117-111. Standing-8 had it 115-113 Linares.

The stage was set for a rematch. Just like the first fight, they knuckled up (today/tonight depending on where you were watching from) at the Manchester Arena. Crolla would again have a chance to be special in front of his hometown fans, but this time would be worse than the last.

From the opening bell, Linares was masterful in his execution. His movement and ring generalship was just about perfect relevant to his opponent. It was obvious he learned from their first encounter and tightened up the areas that needed it. Linares moved effortlessly while landing a piston like jab, damaging left hooks to the body, quick accurate combination punching, and mixing in a sneaky right uppercut from time to time. Throughout the fight, Crolla was able to move forward backing Linares up but the champions ability to fight off his back foot negated any advantage that Crolla could possibly have.

The begining of the fight was almost a carbon copy of their first. Linares the more active fighter banking rounds. Crolla went to the body in the third and even though Linares won the round it was closer. Body work was key for Crolla which would make sense when facing a moving target. The problem is Crolla did not continue the body work in an effort to slow his adversary. In the fifth, Linares landed some nice left hooks to the body and was getting closer to landing a big right uppercut. It was painfully obvious in the sixth that Linares was begining to break Crolla down pysically which would be telling in  the next round.

In the seventh, Linares dropped Crolla with a textbook left uppercut from distance.

Crolla beat the count and actually landed some effective punches to close out the round. If there is one thing that Crolla did in this one it was show the heart of a champion. Case in point, after being dropped in the seventh, he arguably came back to win the eighth, one of only two rounds that Standing-8 gave him.

A few close rounds to the final bell but edge to Linares in most with the exception of the twelfth on the card here. Interesting to note is that in the eleventh, it appeared that Crolla’s corner wanted to stop the fight but Crolla’s warrior heart would have none of it as he finished the fight.

Standing-8 had it the same as all three judges, 118-109.

A unification fight with Mikey Garcia could be up next for Linares.