Boxing & The EDI Landscape…

THE boxing match, several months ago at Madison Square Garden (MSG) between two legends, as we all know now, was a thing of beauty and will be mentioned among the greatest events/fights in history. 

To a casual boxing fan, the opening line of this article, most likely would have conjured up images of male pugilists. Without taking another step into this composition, they may ponder, “Who is this writer talking about, Fury, Haney, Usyk, Inoue..?”

Most serious folks following the game, would correctly think Katie Taylor 21-0 (6) v. Amanda Serrano 42-2-1 (30), due to the MSG reference; however, there are no guarantees. 

Taylor v. Serrano was more than a highly anticipated women’s bout that did not disappoint. The first female fighters to headline a card at New York’s famous venue, unexpectedly brought boxing slugging its way back into the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI), landscape. 

It’s not as if boxing hasn’t drifted into this landscape in the past, the game, historically, just can’t seem to get it right.

If you want a look back at how we got here, please take a quick read of two articles I wrote on the subject matter (links in highlight). The first, I penned back in 2017… Million Dollar Ladies- The Resurgence Of Women’s Boxing. The second, a sequel in 2019, Million Dollar Ladies-The Resurgence Of Women’s Boxing…Round 2…Breaking Glass Ceilings.

For those who choose not to hit the link….I’ll provide a brief bit of context here-

In the 2017 article, I quoted Marian “Lady Tiger” Trimiar, who back in 1987, while enduring a month-long hunger strike aimed at bringing better conditions, pay and recognition to women’s boxing, stated, “Unless women get more recognition, we will be fighting just as a novelty for the rest of our lives. There will be no future.”

Sadly, 35 years later, the first all female card only now arrives.

Additionally, it was only TEN years ago in 2012, that women first could earn Olympic gold.

In the 2019 piece, I spoke about a potential Taylor- Serrano match, advising readers to buckle up if the match ever happens, that a “Rock cracks the glass ceiling”

So, what happened? Why is there still a struggle with regards to EDI when it comes to women pugilists? I could take the easy road and blame the root of all evil… lack of interest generating money, and along with it, greed. Or maybe, the minuscule fan interest with regards to supply and demand, and lastly, not enough marketable female boxers, but that would do a disservice to all of these fighters. In fact, lesser known and talented male boxers and YouTube stars turned fighter get more pub than the top females in the game.

One would only have to look at boxing’s sister combat sport of the UFC, and see that they have supremely marketed their female fighters for many, many years. Something is amiss in the sweet science.

Although I have a deep and unwavering love for the sport of boxing, and have followed it a few years shy of 5 decades, I’m going to challenge it herein and make it uncomfortable. Elephant in the room…beware.

Look no further than unconscious bias when trying to identify why boxing cannot get this right. Ah yes, the activation of the amygdala, causing one’s brain to make quick judgments based on past experiences. The sport of women’s boxing has no doubt suffered from unconscious bias, more specifically, gender bias. Quite frankly, most of it has been “conscious bias”. There has not been a lack of negativity from many purists of the sweet science when it comes to women.

Earlier this year, legendary promoter Bob Arum stated that “fans don’t particularly pay attention to the women’s fights” and that it was “like comparing the Premier League to women’s football.”. Once again, a judgement based on past experiences. We need these types of legends supporting women’s boxing with positive statements, not negative ones. Naysayers need to continue to learn, grow and challenge their own perceptions and biases.

As a result of unconscious biases, certain people benefit and others are penalized. Historically, in the case of boxing, men benefit, women are penalized.

Say what you want about Jake Paul, but, as far as EDI goes, he’s been an unlikely champion of the cause. A vocal voice for women fighters, and equality in pay. Paul’s first client under his promotional company, Most Valuable Promotions, was Serrano. Paul believes correctly that women fighters are “being mistreated”.

Said Paul, “I think it’s a bigger question of boxing needing a ton of change and women’s boxing being one of those verticals,” Paul said. “Bringing in a new, younger audience was one vertical I identified.”

A new generation of fight fans open to EDI, and self aware of unconscious bias, could absolutely sustain the effort.

The increase in EDI efforts across all employment sectors has picked up steam over the past year. It appears that this time, boxing is primed to be in alignment, and not behind, which has always been the case. 

Flash forward to this Saturday night in London from the O2 Arena. The first major all female fight card, ever, headlined by two must see TV match ups…

Claressa Shields vs. Savannah Marshall, 10 rounds, WBC/IBF/WBA/WBO women’s middleweight unification, & Mikaela Mayer vs. Alycia Baumgardner, 10 rounds, WBO/IBF/WBC women’s junior lightweight unification.

These two fights will no doubt pick up where Serrano v. Taylor left off, and keep the momentum moving.

The rest of the card rounds out nicely, Lauren Price vs. Timea Belik, 6 rounds, female middleweights, Karriss Artingstall vs. Marina Sakharov, 6 rounds, female featherweights, Caroline Dubois vs. Milena Koleva, 6 rounds, female lightweights, Ebonie Jones vs. Vanesa Caballero, 6 rounds, female featherweights, and Ginny Fuchs vs. Gemma Ruegg, 6 rounds, female flyweights.

These are the types of cards that will go a long way in strengthening the standing of women in the game. Quality matchups will need to be sustained. This will require quality fighters, and personalities to sell the fights, thus gaining fan interest. Further, a great marketing campaign to make some of the fighters household names, and we’re on our way. Once that happens, here come the promoters, advertisers, and networks, all of whom will never look back.

The future is bright with names like Mccaskill, Estrada, Crews-Dazurn, Kozin, Fundora, Jones, Mercado, Netisri, Daniels, and Lujan. (First names have intentionally been left off. Do some research, that’s how change begins.)

Shields is not shy on the subject saying, “My fans are going to show up for me, for sure, when you put me against a very tough opponent,” ….”The Taylor-Serrano fight proved what I’ve always said — when you give women equal pay, equal promotion, equal TV time, women’s boxing can sell.”

Shields continued, “They always try to say women can’t do this and can’t do that,” “You don’t know where women’s boxing has gotten to if you don’t give them an opportunity.” Shields criticizing all “these men who are in charge.”

Boxing must sustain this momentum. From April’s instant classic of Serrano v. Taylor, to the highly anticipated Shields v. Marshall & Mayer v. Baumgardner this Saturday, 2022 may prove to be the year that changed the path of the women, bringing EDI to the forefront.

It’s a crisp morning this Sunday the 16th. Be it on the tube in London, the Metro in D.C., or the subway in NYC, a conversation is overheard….

“What great fights last night from the O2 Arena!” states a seasoned boxing fan.

“No doubt” states a casual fan, “Claressa, Savannah, Mikaela, and Alycia, are some of the best in the game”.

All of these talented women in the game haven’t just arrived, they’ve been here all along. We just need you to notice🥊🥊🥊🥊

“It’s the magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but you”

-Million Dollar Baby

Million Dollar Ladies-The Resurgence Of Women’s Boxing…Round 2…Breaking Glass Ceilings

“It’s the magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but you”

-Million Dollar Baby 

This piece is a sequel to an article that I wrote in March of 2017 titled, Million Dollar Ladies-The Resurgence Of Women’s Boxing, if you want the backstory, the article can be found here….-

If you’d rather just jump ahead,……..protect yourself at all times….

For many decades, as you listened to the chatter in major cities the world around, be it on rapid transit, at airports, or in pubs/bars, you’d hear it, conversation on the purest of sports, the sweet science. “Did you see that knockout?” one would say,  “The knockout? What about that body shot and the beautiful boxing?” another would chime in.

In year’s past, the temporal lobe of an eavesdropper would immediately envision a male pugilist with red gloves hitting an adversary.  Or, their minds eye may think more specifically to any number of current or past male champions landing an assault as described.

However; in 2019, it wouldn’t be a shock if said eavesdropper thought of a female fighter first when envisioning the combatant. Some of the best fighters in the game today are not only male..but female. Gender be damned.

The most astute boxing observers of the bunch will know what I’m talking about. If I was to reference Taylor’s relentless combination punching and sick skillset, Mayer’s excellent work behind the jab with disciplined movement and defense, Shields’ straight right, wicked left hook, and ferociousness, Hammer’s all around game, the constant relentless brutal pressure and counter punching of Serano, or the undisputed, undefeated Braekhus…you just know.

If you don’t know, you’ve been missing out on some of the best pugilists in the game today. These fighters are moving in on new territory. They are headlining cards and are the attraction. There is momentum with some huge fights on the horizon and the sky is the limit.

In no particular order, let’s take a deeper look at these skilled fighters.

Because she’ll be in action tonight, we’ll start first with Ireland’s Katie Taylor (12-0 5 KO). Already the WBA world lightweight champion to start 2018, Taylor had a heck of a year beginning in April as she captured the IBF title besting Victoria Bustos. All Taylor did the remaining eight months is defend her titles three times, setting up her first bout of 2019 against WBO titlist Rose Volante (14-0 8 KO).

Katie Taylor Credit- Katie Taylor Twitter

   Credit- @KatieTaylor Twitter

As Taylor told the Independent-

“Ever since I won my first world title as a pro my goal has been to unify the Lightweight titles so this is obviously a massive step towards that, “Volante is unbeaten so I’m expecting a tough fight but that’s exactly the kind of challenge I want. I think the better the opponent and the bigger the challenge, the better I will perform”

Taylor Volante Credit Matchroom Boxing'

       Credit- Matchroom Boxing

If she is successful, she will add the WBO strap and look for a unification fight against once beaten WBC champ, Delfine Persoon, who just defended her belt on March 9 with a TKO7 against Melissa St Vil.

“For now my focus is on Volante but of course after that fight I would love to have all the belts as soon as possible. Hopefully the Persoon fight can finally be made for the summer and then there are some other huge fights out there as well for the rest of my career.”

If all goes as planned, that fight is rumored to be on the undercard of Anthony Joshua v Jarrell Miller on June1.  Rock hurled at glass ceiling…..

I’d be perfectly fine watching Taylor on a black and white TV, she is a throwback fighter. The hand speed, angles, body work, and forward attack. If I ever have the honor of covering one of her fights live, I’m going to wear a derby with “Press” inserted in the band as I bang away on the keys of my Smith Corona typewriter smoking a cigar.

Another interesting matchup for Taylor down the road is against Amanda Serrano (36-1-1 27 KO). Taylor beat her sister Cindy by shutout on all three judges scorecards last October, now, younger sis wants revenge.

What can you say about “The Real Deal” that hasn’t been said already? An unheard of seven weight world champion, she has simply dominated. You have to go back seven years to locate the one and only loss on her record and ten years for the draw.


         Credit- YouTube

In her last fight, Serrano didn’t let her opponent Eva Voraberger survive the first minute of the fight, stopping her in about thirty -five seconds. In true Serrano fashion she attacked from the opening bell moving forward as always and landed a wicked left hook to the body, which crumbled Voraberger…game, set, match. Oh, did I mention that Serrano dropped six weight classes to go after that seventh belt? Brutal.

Serrano would welcome the fight against Taylor but as she told DAZN, she’s looking to first knuckeup with “Raging Raja” (Amasheh)-

“I think seven is good and I will probably want to keep this one for a while and defend this against the so-called real champion Raja… maybe she won’t take the fight”

Regarding Taylor-
“If that fight comes, I hope she is ready for it, but right now I have other sights on my mind. But she better be ready for me.”

Serrano had began to navigate to MMA; however, after her promoter Lou DiBella signed a co-promoted deal with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing for a three fight deal that feeds exposure on DAZN, she is poised to stay for the moment.

As she told The Sporting News-

“Thanks to the platforms DAZN and Matchroom Boxing, they’re actually giving women a platform to fight on,”

They’re paying the women what they deserve, so that’s exciting for me. I was just tired of the way [women’s] boxing was going. Now, it’s going up and even if I could continue to open doors for female fighters and make history, and have girls have someone to look up to, I’m happy to do that. But I don’t have much more in me in boxing.”

If a Taylor- Serrano match is made, buckle up. Rock cracks glass ceiling….

When you call yourself “The Greatest”, or “GWOAT” (Greatest Woman Of All Time), you are stepping into rarified air.  That said, when your resume documents history as the first U.S. amateur boxer to win two Olympic Golds, the capturing of three middleweight world titles after only eight fights as a pro, and fighting on April 13th for a chance to unify the division in only your ninth fight?…. You might have a case for said acronym.

Referencing of course IBF/WBA/WBC World Middleweight Champ Claressa Shields (8-0 2KO), or T-Rex, as you will. A nickname that stuck when she first began the sport because of her short arms, and continuous punching.

Claressa Shields Credit Stephanie Trapp.jpg1

Credit- Stephanie Trapp-Showtime

Shields is street. There are many definitions for the word; however, used here to reference, as the Urban Dictionary defines it, “The cold reality of day to day life and achieving” as in growing up in Flint, Michigan and achieving success, and “Someone who is ready to defend themselves at all times and jump on any opportunity to level up”…that’s Shields, always on point.

Like Taylor, Shields is a throwback of sorts. When I think of her training, I see an old hole in the wall gym, all business. Goof around here and get knocked out, or thrown out on your ass. You don’t play boxing here…. bring your A-Game every time out. Every second, every minute, be it sparring, on the heavy bag, or the speed bag. This is the stuff that forged her.

Shields probably possess the strongest Ring I.Q.. She is a student of the game and it shows in her approach. She can attack or sit back and box from the outside. It’s her call and whichever she chooses, her adversary would be wise to adjust their own game plan.

On April 13, she will face Christina Hammer (24-0 11 KO), the winner, a chance to become only the second woman in the four belt era to unify a division.

Said Shields at the first press conference for this monumental bout-

“This has been long overdue. I’m just glad that Hammer is here and the fight is set. She’s been at my fights before but I can’t wait to get inside the ring and show her I’m the real champion………..April 13 you’re going to see someone fold. I promise you, it will not be me. Make sure you all tune-in” 

“I think for women’s boxing this is a true super fight that we’ve never gotten before. We’ve never had a fight like this in women’s boxing. It’s great to make this happen and us being from two parts of the world makes this fight even better.

“I want to make her quit. I don’t want her to just know I’m a good fighter, I want her to know I’m great.

Countered Hammer-

“I’m looking forward to April 13. I want to show the world who I am….This is a big risk to come from Germany to the U.S., but I believe the best should fight the best and I did what I had to so that this could happen. This fight can be a game changer for our sport” 

“This fight is the real deal. This is going to be a game changer for women’s boxing. I think we’re going to inspire a lot of female athletes who want to live their dream. It’s motivation for everyone…..I’ve had the title for a long time. I always push myself. This is the fight I wanted to show everyone who is the best. I will be the undisputed champion.”

“Shields is beatable……….I want to finish the job if I get the chance…….Anything can happen in boxing. I’m prepared to go the distance. Knockout is the goal but most importantly, I want to win.”

Hammer Shields 1st Press Conf Stephanie Trapp SHOWTIME 3

              Credit- Stephanie Trapp-Showtime

Hammer has held a strap for nine years. It’s no coincidence. She simply knows how to use her physical attributes to execute her game plan. She uses her jab to perfection as she sets up her power behind it. She works the body and navigates the ring on her terms using some great footwork in the process. And beware, her timely sneaky uppercut is lethal as is her right cross.

Hammer Shields 1st Press Conf Stephanie Trapp SHOWTIME 7

Credit-Stephanie Trapp- Showtime

Yes, Hammer v. Shields fighting for the unified title is must see TV. Glass ceiling is shattered.

The only woman to ever unify a division?  None other than The “First Lady” of boxing, undefeated and undisputed…..Cecilia Braekhus (35-0 9 KO). A champion for ten years, and a pioneer of sorts for those coming through the ranks now.

In 2018, Ring Magazine awarded Braekhus with their first ever women’s pound for pound ranking and championship belt. In addition, she became the first woman to be featured on HBO Boxing.

Braekhus’ footwork is no doubt the key to her success. She effortlessly moves in and out while picking her shots. It is at the core of everything she does. Very skilled in all aspects of the fight game, we need to see her more on the big stage. It is a shame that she has been this dominate and has not gotten mainstream exposure until recently. It’s not that she hasn’t been a star and on PPV, it’s just that it was mostly across the pond. Let’s hope that changes soon and we see much more of her. It has been rumored for awhile that a match against MMA legend Chris Cyborg is a possibility. No doubt a Mayweather-McGregor result….

cecilia-braekhus-sporting-news.jpg                                         Credit- Sporting News

It is rumored that Taylor and Braekhus may get together at some point. That should solve the problem.

No article would be complete without a rising star. One who has exhibited everything needed to become a champion but is on the cusp just waiting for their opportunity.

Enter Mikaela Mayer (10-0 4 KO). Top Rank has a hidden gem in this pugilist, and they knew that early on as she was the first woman signed by the promotional company to a multi-year deal.

Mayer YouTube


Well, not so hidden now, as Top Rank has done a great job in getting her exposure on some high profile cards.

Mayer may be the purest boxer of the bunch. Her skillset is very solid and polished, she’s well schooled in the sweet science. Like Braekhus, her footwork is excellent as she sets up her arsenal. She uses her length well and fights tall working off of her active jab. Be it solid left hooks, straight or overhand rights, body work, or defense, she brings just about a complete package into the ring.

We’re looking forward to seeing Mayer get that title shot, and like her as the next big star.

While there are many more female fighters that are on the brink of greatness and are beginning to become regular names in boxing circles, I chose to profile the ones herein because they are on the doorstep of becoming household names, even to the casuals.

Just give me one FOY candidate out of the scheduled or rumored bouts mentioned above and women’s boxing can rise to another level and be sustained.

If that happens, the ceiling is shattered for good and long overdue.

Pay these ladies what they are worth and get them the exposure they deserve. They are not at any less risk then their male counterparts.

Just refer to them as a boxer.

Gender equality is a beautiful thing.

The time is now ladies……we see your dream!!






Sweet Science Snippets

It’s been awhile, April of 2018 to be exact, since I last posted Sweet Science Snippets, formerly known as…Snippets On Arguably The Hottest Topics In The Sweet Science This Week.

I’m looking to get back to posting this feature regularly. For those that do read it, thank you and enjoy!

Check out some past Weekly Snippets and then scroll down for this week’s edition…..

Past Snippets…..

This week’s Snippets….

Don’t Let The Bed Bugs Bite……

Joshua “Don’t Blink” Greer Jr. (20-1-1, 12 KOs) brings a pillow to press conferences and in the ring that reads, “ZZZ  Night Night”. The pillow is a prop to signify what he will do to his opponents….put them to sleep.

On Friday night, his past pillow actions almost went the way of a cautionary tale. He was dropped by challenger Giovanni Escaner (19-4, 12 KOs) at the end of the third round. It was a shot right on the nose that was more of a surprise and wake up call than anything else.

Greer went on to recover and stop Escaner by a wicked body shot in the eighth to extended his knockout streak to seven.

Vote Mikaela For Mayer!!!…Of The Ring

Mikaela Mayer (10-0 4 KO) did what she does best on Friday night….box beautifully and win. In a workmanlike effort, she took a unanimous decision over Yareli Larios,79-73, 78-74, and 80-72. 

Larios was scrappy and just skilled enough to get under Mayer’s length early looking to land counter shots. Mayer is too skilled though and adjusted her approach after a few rounds and then began to impose her will en route to the win.  

You know what you will get with Mayer, an excellent active jab which sets up everything, a powerful left hook, a disciplined body attack, overhand and straight rights, and a killer instinct. Ya, pretty much the whole package. Very well schooled.

If there was one area that she could benefit from, it would be to use her size and fight tall. There were many times in this fight where she fought small, allowing her shorter opponent to have some success.  

One things for sure….can’t wait to see her again.  

Look for her soon in Standing-8’s sequel to March 2017’s  article- Million Dollar Ladies, The Resurgence of Women’s Boxing.

How’s The Weather Up There? En Fuego….

At 6’7, Sebastian “Towering Inferno” Fundora (12-0 8 KO) is not your typical super welterweight. In watching him Saturday night, I observed qualities rarely seen by a tall fighter. He covers his midsection well. The belly would be an area for a shorter fighter to exploit but Fundora uses his elbows well in protecting his core. As soon as he throws his punches, his arms move back defensively. No doubt, instinct that was ingrained in him early.  

On Saturday night, he dusted Donnie Marshall (10-1 6 KO) in less than three rounds. He dropped Marshall with an uppercut and then unloaded a barrage of punches to force the stoppage after Marshall returned to his feet. 

Does Fundora have things to work on? yes, but again he’s young and he can learn the things that will make him better. The positive here is that he already knows the things that are hard to learn. So, in that sense, he is well ahead at this point in his career. 

A few more observations that jumped out at me. 

  1. His ability to take a punch. Because of his height, most fighters will have to punch upwards which will take a bit of sting off of their assault as opposed to a fighter throwing shots at parallel or just above parallel rage.
  2. Bad intentions. He appears to have a mean streak and knows what to do with a hurt opponent.  

Byrd Box

Channeling their inner Byrd scoring system, the judges for Omar Figueroa (28-0-1, 19 KOs) v. John Molina Jr. (30-8, 24 KOs) must have been told this before the fight….. “Under no circumstance are you allowed to take off your blindfold. If I find that you have, I will hurt you. Do you understand?”

Molina Jr. fought his ass off. His body of work clearly won the majority of the rounds. Figueroa did well in spots but it was clear that his layoff and ring rust were his demise.

Standing-8 had it 2-2 after 4, 3-3 after 6 and 6-4 Molina at the end. Yes, you can make a case for a draw if you gave the swing/close rounds to Figueroa or even a one or two point edge for him; however, the fact that the three judges gave Molina only 1, 2 and 3 rounds respectively is an outrage.

Molina clearly won more than 1-3 rounds. It took forever for the cards to be tallied and read and we all know what that means…. and they didn’t disappoint.

“If you hear something in the ring, you tell me. But you never ever take off your blindfold. If you look, you will die. Do you understand?”

It’s clear they did. 

Leo The Lion

Featherweight champ Leo Santa Cruz (36-1-1 19 KO) did what he was supposed to do to a three week late replacement for the injured Miguel Flores, he dominated. 

With his trademark body punching, Santa Cruz softened his game, tough opponent, Rafael Rivera (26-3-2 17 KO), early and often. He popped his straight right solidly and his defense was a bit sharper than I remember seeing from him in the past. 

His trademark uppercuts were on full display and he backed up Rivera constantly, who clearly has an inability to work off his back foot. He was tailor-made for the champ. 

Standing-8 scored the fight 119-109. Official cards, 119-109 X3. 

Nuff said…

Back To the Gypsy That I Was….

Tyson Fury (27-0-1 19 KO) signed a co-promotional deal with Top Rank/ESPN on Monday under the watchful eye of promoter Frank Warren, Queensberry Promotions. Deal is contingent upon two fights a year. 

Unclear now is the rematch with Deontay Wilder (40-0-1 39 KO). Wilder advisory, Al Haymon, the guy everyone wants to thank but is about as common a sighting as a Yeti, is a servant leader who would flourish in any business. He prefers to leave the spotlight to those that he leads. 

It has been said that Haymon and other promotional companies have reportedly not played nice in the sandbox. Hopefully not another cold war….just when boxing, more specifically the heavies were heating up….say it isn’t so…

Playing the Dozens….AJ Dislikes Oxymorons

Anthony Joshua (22-0 21 KO) and Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller (23-0-1 20 KO) will face each other on June 1 at Madison Square Garden. If the build up and the fight match today’s opening news conference, we are in for a wild ride. 

Joshua and Miller did their best of “playing the dozens”. 

You had “the push”, “your mama jokes”, bitch references, drug references, knockout threats, etc… 

Good times…Keep is Classy San Die….uh, New York….


The Matrix Reloaded…The Return Of Vasiliy Lomachenko

Everybody…get on your feet right now…..For Loma….the best pound for pound fighter in the world…Whoever don’t agree….you know what?….Y’all musta forgot” 

We last saw P4P great and WBA lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko (11-1 9KOs) in the ring on May 12 against the rugged Jorge Linares (44-4 27 KOs), at the time, the current WBA lightweight champ. Linares had been the top dog of the division for several years. Lomachenko moved up to face Linares in an attempt to capture his third title in as many weight classes.

Said Lomachenko before the bout- “The life of a boxing athlete is short, so I don’t have time to waste, or time to take tune-up fights or whatever…….I want the best, and to get the most out of my short boxing career by fighting the best that I can”

Through the first five rounds, Lomachenko cut off the ring, got inside Linares’ length, pressed the action, showed the great footwork forged by years of dancing and competitive sports, and did what Loma does.  Linares, who did land some good shots at random times, began to get visibly frustrated. 

In the sixth, Linares, the skilled boxer and champion that he is, landed a straight right and dropped Loma. Although Loma was a bit off balance, take nothing away from Linares, he did something that had not been seen before. Not overly hurt by the shot Loma regroups to finish the round and carries over his strategy of reassessing his attack to the 7th, allowing Linares to take the round. 

In the 8th, Loma is back on the attack and opens a cut over Linares’ left eye and goes after it throughout the round.  Both gave as good as they got in the 9th in a close round as Linares landed a good uppercut but Loma was offensive as well. 

In the tenth and final round, Loma paints his masterpiece, the movement, the precise combination punching, the one-two’s, the quickness, the step over and hook to the body. BANG! Game-Set-Match.


“Will there be another Loma? Probably not. Stopped Jorge Linares with a body shot. See y’all musta forgot..”

A world title in his 3rd weight division, and also sets a new record for capturing world titles in three divisions in the fewest fights, 12, beating the previous mark by 8. 

The win against Linares didn’t come without a price. Lomachenko injured his shoulder early in the fight. He stated to ESPN that it had popped out but had gone back in; however, it was providing challenges for him throughout the fight.  After  seeing a specialist, he found out that he had tore his labrum. 

He had surgery on May 30. As Dr. Neal ElAttrache told ESPN, he believed the surgery to have been a success- 

“The tissue was very nice and we were able to achieve a very nice sturdy repair that should provide him with stability in his shoulder, and I am optimistic for an excellent prognosis”  

This Saturday night, from The Theatre at Madison Square Garden, Lomachenko is back and in true modus operandi fashion, facing a tough opponent…….his first fight back from shoulder surgery. This time out he’s going to knuckle up in a unification bout with the man they call “The Sniper” once beaten Jose Pedraza (25-1 12 KO), the current WBO lightweight titlist. 

The only loss on Pedraza’s resume is Gervonta “Tank” Davis, a TKO 7 in January 2017. Loma will no doubt have an added incentive to get Pedraza out of there before the 7th to best Davis’ effort. There has been plenty of Loma v. Davis rumblings in the past.

In August, Pedraza beat tough as nails Ray Beltan by UD. Pedraza showed an active jab and fought from both stances. Beltran, not known for his speed, couldn’t handle Pedraza’s.  Beltran tried to brawl and force the fight but got cut early and was dropped in the 11th. In the end, it was youth and speed that earned the UD for Pedraza. 

In watching tape of Pedraza, and from memory of watching his fights, he throws an active jab, goes to the body, and has good speed and movement. That said, there is one glaring flaw in his game, his inability to go defensive after he throws his shots or while he is throwing them. He is wide open up the middle and as a fighter that moves forward, is susceptible to walking right into an uppercut. As he throws his jab, the openings are there to be exploited. 

Pedraza would be wise to tread lightly here with his approach. There are different levels in this game and when fighting this Ukranian, you’re pretty much at the peak. If your defense is not tight and you make mistakes, you then enter The Matrix.  

As we understood post-fight, Loma was not 100% against Linares, which may or may not have explained the knockdown and the uncharacteristic shots that were landed on Loma. Even with an injured shoulder, he stopped a tough champion. Assuming the shoulder is fight ready, as it should be, I look for Loma to do what Loma does. The beautiful movement, combination punching, tapping his punches to find the range then adding his power, utilizing the trade-mark step over while throwing with bad intentions, and so on…..

As Lomachenko recently told Teddy Atlas-

“I want to unify titles. It was my first goal when I came into the pros. I tried to unify titles at 126, 130, now I try at 135. Maybe this weight will be lucky for me. … I want to prove my father is the best coach, a genius of boxing. That’s why I do this. But it’s not his plan, it’s not his choice about second titles, third titles, it’s my choice. I want to put my name in boxing history.

“My father watched when he won his title, and he explained what I need to do in the training. … My father is the gamer, I am the game. … We have a little secret for this fight, we’ve changed a little bit of the strategy. So we’ll see in the ring.”

Ah yes, Anatoly, aka PAPAChenko, the master mind, the former amateur boxer with the unique forward thinking training methods, not only physically, but mentally. The total package……. Hi-Tech Training…..

You see the greatness not only with his son but also on all that he touches, providing wise guidance in the past to …..Oleksandr Usyk, the undisputed cruiserweight titlist and odds on favorite for Fighter of the Year, and newly crowned WBC light heavyweight champion Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk just to name a few. 

When you watch Vasiliy and Anatoly work, you can’t help but see it…..respect between a fighter and coach, but also the love between a father and son. 

Yes, this is The Matrix Reloaded………………




The Weight of The Matter, Making Weight and A Case for Same Day Weigh-Ins (Repost of 2014 article)

In light of the recent dehydration incident with Danny O’Conner, I thought I’d repost an article I wrote and contributed back in 2014. Some points still relevant, some, possibly a bit outdated.

Disappointed is the fan that pays hard earned money to attend a title fight only to see one of the fighters not make weight. When this happens most of the governing bodies will, as a general rule, make the fight a “non-title” affair; however, it gets a bit more interesting from there. Generally, the alphabets are the same in that, if the champion did not make weight at the time of the weigh-in or during the two-hour extension, their title is “forfeited or lost on the scale”. The title then becomes vacant, and typically, the fight if held would become a “non-title”, “non-sanctioned”, or “overweight” fight; however, if the challenger made the weight and wins the fight, they would be awarded the vacant championship. Conversely, if the former champion wins, the title remains vacant. If the champion makes the weight and the challenger fails to do so, the fight still may be staged with the understanding that the champion will retain his title whether he wins or loses the bout. And lastly, if both fighters fail to make weight and the fight is held, the title is not on the line and remains vacant by some of the governing bodies while others choose to allow the champion to retain their title win or lose.

Making weight also carries a monetary incentive. For instance, in the WBA, fighters not making weight will forfeit 35% of their purse, 25% going to the promoter and 10% to their opponent. The penalty increases another 10% to 45%, 35% to the promoter and 15% to the opponent when the fighter doesn’t even make an effort to lose the weight prior to the deadline. Fighters not making weight are usually the exception and not the rule. When it does happen, it is disrespectful to the sport, the opposing fighter (assuming of course, that they made weight), and to the fans. A prizefighter’s job is to train, make weight, fight, and hopefully win. Their training routine should be tailored to ensure that weight will not be an issue. With the “fighter friendly” day before the fight weigh-in routine, it’s amazing that some fighters continue to not make weight. Now, let’s talk a little about that day before the fights weigh in……

Boxing weigh-ins the day before a fight are pointless, there I said it, now that the elephant is out of the room, let’s move on. Let me clarify. By pointless, I do not mean the practices and processes intended to protect the fighter’s health and safety, I’m all for that. I get it; we don’t want the fighters dropping weight and water weight so unhealthily that it could have fatal consequences. I’m referring to the pointless aspect of allowing an early weigh-in so that a fighter can simply rehydrate and gain excess weight prior to the fight only to be one, sometimes two, or in the most extreme cases three weight classes higher if not more by the time the first bell rings. What’s the worth of a championship won at 140 when the winning fighter is weighing well above the authorized limit at fight time, sometimes 10-20 pounds? Fights should be fought at natural weights because we’re not really watching a master craftsman at 140; we are watching a heavier fighter claim a title at a lower weight class against a lighter opponent. If the case is made for safety and health with regards to early weigh-ins and weight loss, the same should be made for fighters who fight a heavier opponent and suffer damage as a result.

Same day weigh-ins ended sometime in the early 1980’s. As the story goes, the process changed due to growing concern over parched fighters not properly re-hydrating which had the potential to jeopardize their health and safety in the ring. Dr. Flip Homansky was the leading advocate for the change and upon his recommendations; the Nevada State Athletic Commission changed the weigh-ins to “day before” with the sanctioning bodies adjusting their rules to conduct the check anywhere between 20-36 hours prior to the fight.

Enter the case for the return of same day weigh-ins. Hold the weigh-in the morning/afternoon of the fight. This would generally be 8-12 hours from the first bell. Understood that the same problems may exist where the weight is cut and then the rehydrating begins but it would be far less likely because it would lead to putting the onus back where it belongs, on the training camp. The preparation needs to begin the first day of camp and should be tailored with this in mind. The training and the eating plan should be coordinated so that the weight is on no less than a week before the fight and then maintained and monitored. In addition, keep some of the current practices in place such as the following rule from the WBC: “Impose a 30 day weight check where the fighter’s weight cannot exceed 10% of the weight limit for the bout four weeks out from the contest and also a 7 day weigh in where they cannot exceed 5% of the weight limit for the bout”. We want the fighters to be successful in making weight so enforcing these types of current practices will do just that.

While writing this article I couldn’t help but think of the upcoming March 1, rematch between Bryan Vera and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. In their first match up last September 28, Chavez Jr. failed to make the 168 pound limit which saw Vera receive a six figure incentive to move forward with the fight, albeit at 173. Chavez was awarded a controversial decision in the first fight to go with his excess weight. The rematch is again set for the 168 pound limit. Agreed upon by the promoters, Chavez will award Vera $250,000 if the scales go against him again.

When same day weigh-ins were eliminated, it may have been for all the right reasons but over time these reasons have been offset by the very process that it has created. What was intended to protect a fighter’s health has perhaps done just the opposite. When a fighter disregards proper eating habits and eliminates water in an effort to make a weight, it’s very strenuous on the body. Factor in the rehydration phase of the recovery and the body is again put through a taxing process.

As the saying goes, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” but something in this process is flawed and needs to be shattered. The sanctioning bodies need to collaborate on a process to successfully transition this change across all of the alphabets and move the sport in the right direction by bringing back same day weigh-ins and fights at natural weights.

Long Island Tough, No Ordinary Joe

The definition of toughness can generally be described as the state of being strong enough to withstand adverse conditions, the ability to deal with hardship or to cope in difficult situations.

On December 16, 2017, I witnessed all three.

On this night, at some point in the second round, Joe Smith Jr. (23-2 19 KO) knew something was wrong. He had after all, been down this road before when he sustained his first loss as a professional.

The jaw, the damn jaw. His own private Achilles heel hell.

He knew his jaw was fractured courtesy of his opponent that night, Sullivan Barrera (21-2 14 KO), but the blue collar lunch pail work ethic forged by years of construction work would not let him quit. It’s simply not in his DNA.

“Just quit on the stool, nobody will blame us, they’ll understand” said Smith Jr.’s jaw.

“Like hell we will” screamed Smith Jr.’s heart.

Heart-10 Jaw-8 

Smith Jr. made it to the final bell, eight rounds later, but was not himself throughout the fight.  He had dropped Barrera in the first round with the hands of stone power but the pain sustained from the injury a round later no doubt affected his ability to execute his game plan.

“I truly gave it my all. Sullivan Barrera is a great, tough warrior. I have a lot of respect for what he did, I had a good first round. I dropped Barrera. I knew he would get back up, and he did. He came back strong, and he landed a few good shots from that point on. It was not going as planned, as you all saw. Somewhere during the second round, I was injured and was in a lot of pain, but I did not want to let it show, and I refused to quit, As the fight went on, it got much tougher for me, as the pain was just increasing more and more,” Smith Jr. said. 

Said his promoter Star Boxing CEO Joe DeGuardia-

“Joe knocked down Barrera hard in the first round, but in the second round, he sustained a broken jaw. It’s a similar injury to the one he suffered five years ago, and frankly, it’s amazing that he continued to valiantly fight over the next eight rounds and finish the fight.”

“We at Star Boxing are extremely proud of Joe for fighting this fight under such extreme conditions, as are all his fans who came to the fight from Long Island and those who watched on HBO. Joe Smith is a true warrior and epitomizes what a real fighter is supposed to be.”

No argument here.

A brief look back at the recent rise of a Common Man……..

By the end of 2016, the light heavyweight division had a new sheriff in town and his name was Joe Smith Jr.

The Long Island, New York native had two huge wins in the second half of 2016. In June,  he was almost a 20-1 underdog when he blew out light heavyweight contender Andrzej Fonfara in the first, capturing the WBC International light heavyweight strap. Punching power on full display.

Oh, and for an encore in December, nothing much, just lands a 4-5 punch combination and knocks the legendary Bernard Hopkins through the ropes, an 8th Round KO, or in this case, one rude retirement gift.

Quick game of Jeopardy da da da da……

“Boxing for $600 Alex”

“The only man ever to stop BHop”

“Who is Joe Smith Jr.?”

“Correct! For $600”

Smith Jr. is recovered and ready to roll on June 30 as he makes his return against Melvin Russell from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Smith Jr. surely is eager to get back at it in another installment of Slugfest At The Sun.

“I cannot wait to get back in the ring on June 30th,” he said via press release. “I have been looking forward to this day since I was told I needed surgery. I plan on showing why I am still one of the best in the light heavyweight division.” said Smith Jr.

Added DeGuardia-

“I believe he is the hardest hitting light heavyweight, and he proves it every time he is in the ring. I am very excited to have him back on June 30th at the beautiful Mohegan Sun Arena.”

Smith Jr. had every reason to quit the night of December 16, but that would have been against everything that built him. Toughness and a disciplined work ethic forged by years of waking up early just to work hard labor on construction job sites. Knocking down infrastructures with a sledge hammer, carting heavy debris to the dumpster, exerting physical labor all day.

His reward after clocking out for the day? A trip to the gym and hours of training, just to do it all over again the next day.

It’s toughness w/ mental discipline you can’t teach, you either possess it or you don’t.

Welcome back Smith Jr., the next steps in your journey await.

“When the sun rises
I wake up and chase my dreams
I won’t regret when the sun sets
Cause I live my life like I’m a beast
I’ma mothafucking beast”

—-Rob Bailey & The Hustle Standard



Bad Intentions- Boxing’s Junk Yard Dogs

Junk Yard Dog……An especially nasty, vicious, or savage person……Of a person, often used in the phrase “meaner than a junkyard dog.”

There is beauty in their savagery. You can see it building round by round as they impose their will and look to inflict fight ending damage on their adversaries. They don’t care what comes in return, willing to take one to land two or more with triple the force.

They don’t exhibit the tactics of a bar room fighter swinging wildly with reckless abandon, to the contrary, they are very calculated in their approach throwing damaging power with precision. Their vision is some of the best in the game combining the lethal and rare combination of boxing skills with fight ending power.

They seem to enjoy hurting their opponents, not with the intent to cause serious bodily injury but in a “I’m going to shut your mouth” kind of way…..and they sometimes smile while doing it. They are slick in their attack and very surgical while they look for that one moment when fear, weakness, or vulnerability is shown. Once that happens, they are like a junk yard dog protecting their domain and will not stop until the threat is neutralized.

Although there is no particular order here in discussing the four that were profiled, we’ll start first deep in the heart of the Lone Star State. The slogan “Don’t Mess With Texas” can appropriately be inserted here as we first acknowledge the baddest brothers in the game, The Charlos.

Taught at an early age that purpose is nothing without patience and persistence, the Charlo Brothers are slowly climbing their way into the P4P discussion. Apologies to their “Lions Only” slogan it’s top game and appropriate; however, for this piece junk yard dogs will have to suffice.

First Jermall-


(Photo credit: Janer Bigio/Mayweather Promotions)

In an interview with, Jermall once stated,

“I want to take them out, I wan’t to break them down, I wan’t to hit them with something they’re not ever gonna see and not wake up..The whole time I’m training, I train with that in my mind, I wan’t to punch them with something they won’t see, won’t know about, and it’s going to hurt, I pray on it,…I pray that I hit them with something that they never see, murder intentions..”


At 27-0 (21 KO), Jermall captured his first title, the IBF World Super Welterweight strap stopping tough as nails veteran Cornelius Bundrage in 2015. Since then he has stopped three out of four opponents, to include a KO over hard punching prospect Julian Williams and a UD over the very skilled Austin Trout, both in 2016. In his last fight, July 29 2017, he stopped Jorge Sebastian Heiland, a fighter who had never been stopped in 35 fights and had won 8 straight, including a stoppage win over Matthew Macklin.

We recently saw Jermall on April 21st against the once beaten Hugo Centeno Jr. The fight was originally scheduled for March 3; however, Centaro sustained a rib injury which delayed the bout.

After having captured a title at 154, Jermall headed north to 160 to face Centaro.

Said Jermall before the fight-

“I want to send a message to the world that I’m going to dominate the 160-pound division, while my brother proves he’s the best 154-pounder on the planet,”

“Once I get my shot, you will all see what I’m talking about. Hugo Centeno Jr. is just in the way of that process. After April 21, you’ll be able to see what I’m really made of.”

“I’m still improving as a fighter, I’ve gotten faster, sharper and I’m able to take more punches than I used to. I’ve been working hard to increase my punch output as well. Nobody can do what I’m doing in the ring.
“Boxing is all about adjusting and that’s what I’m good at. That’s my best attribute and my team has worked with me so I can make that adjustment on fight night. We always go into the ring ready to fight a different fight than the time before.”

“Hugo is in the way of my process right now,” said Charlo. “I’ve got to go through him to get to my goal. We’ll see if he’s able to hold up against the power, speed and athleticism that I have. If not, I’m going to hurt him, real bad”

Standing-8’s assessment of Charlo/Centaro before the fight-

{Jermall is focused, ready and in tremendous shape. His speed is underrated, he throws a sledgehammer disciplined jab, and his right hand is dynamite, especially the sneaky uppercut.

Centaro is a slick boxer with an active jab but he’s in deep here. It’s doubtful he can withstand Charlo’s power and things may end violently for him. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Charlo attack the body to expose the recently recovered midsection.}

After seeing all he needed to see from Centaro in the first, Charlo wasn’t playing in the second. The new interim champ landed a four punch combination culminating with a massive right hand, sending the message he was looking for to the 160 pound division.

“It’s been an amazing journey to get here. I’m a two-time world champion…bring on Triple G! I want that fight……..I’m 27-0 with 21 knockouts. Everybody sees it. What more can I say?”

Jermall should now be the mandatory for Gennady Golovkin who, by no surprise made quick work of Vanes Martirosyan on May 5.

It would be great to see Jermall get that shot because he would make things very uncomfortable for the Pride Of Kazakhstan. The old adage…styles make fights…

Now Jermell, 30-0 (15 KO)-

Charlo Jermell

Photo Credit- Dave Mandel/Showtime

The “younger” Charlo has stopped his last four opponents, most notably a first round destruction of the highly touted Erickson Lubin in his last fight, October 14, 2017.

Said Jermell after the Lubin fight-

“They were giving him a lot of attention. I was quiet the whole time,they said they were going to come take my title. I had to defend it. They didn’t know what I was brining into this and I think (Lubin) was worried about the wrong things.”

Two title bouts against two mandatory challengers in Lubin and Charles Hatley since winning the vacant WBC World Super Welterweight Title against John Jackson, and… all by knockout leaving no doubt that he is here to stay.

Next up for Jermell a June 9 date against former champion Trout. You probably can consider Trout a gatekeeper of sorts at this point in his career. He is a tough out; however, if you’re not on your game or you take him lightly, you can find yourself at a disadvantage quickly.

But don’t expect Jermell to be overlooking Trout with a rumours about a date with Canelo Alvarez making rounds on social media-

“Every fight in my life is important because the man standing across from me is there to beat me. Kobe Bryant used to talk about how he knew everyone was going to come at him extra hard, whether it was practice or a game, because of who he was and the status he had. I know that I can’t take anyone lightly.” Said Jermell

Jermell will also have added motivation here, trying to better the UD that brother Jermall had against Trout back in 2016. That said, Trout has a different take on the matchup

“When I fought his brother, I remember people counted me out and said history had been made before I even stepped into the ring. I’m here again to try to stop the ‘Charlo Show’ and start the ‘Trout Show.” Trout said.

“We’re ready to keep putting on shows for everyone,” Jermell said. “My brother just did his thing in Brooklyn, and we’re taking it to the West Coast. I love Los Angeles. I live here and I love training here. Me and Jermall both have knockouts at Staples Center, and we’re going to turn it out on June 9.

Bottom line- you’d be wise to respect the Charlos because they feed off disrespect or.. you can #KeepRunninYaMouth and find out……..

Said Jermall, “This is going to be a big year for me and my brother, we’re going to keep showing everyone why we’re so feared”

No argument here……

If you look close enough, you can see it as he inflicts pain, sometimes he doesn’t even try to hide it….the million dollar grin of Errol Spence Jr. 23-0 (20 KO).

Spence Smile Esther Lin Showtime

Photo Credit- Esther Lin/Showtime

He knows when his opponent is done, you will know when you see the smirk. He revels in the anguish he is about to unleash. His combinations are some of the tightest in the game and he does not waste energy. Most every punch is calculated and he loves to systematically break his opponents down.

Even if he is landing at will to the head, he will purposely go to the body to break his opponent down even more. It’s then back upstairs as he looks for the shot that will have ringside observers yelling #MANDOWN, a phrase heard a lot at Spence Jr. fights as he has stopped his last ten opponents.

Spence Jr. (Stacey Verbeek)

Photo Credit- Stacey Verbeek

In his last fight, Spence was so dominant his foe’s corner threw in the towel. Oh, by the way, it was against former two division world champion Lamont Peterson. From the opening bell, Spence stuck a blistering jab in Peterson’s grill following it with big right hands while destroying the body. He simply relegated a solid opponent and former champ into a sparring partner.

Spence is one of the most complete fighters in the game today. He brings a combination of power, superior boxing skills, and a high ring I.Q. to go with a very disciplined approach.

In the fight against Kell Brook you could actually see him enjoying the pain he was inflicting at the end of the fight. Although it was tight at times with both getting as good as they got, Brook began to fatigue due to his output. Spence then began to seriously impose his will around the 7th round, culminating with a 10th round knockdown and the impending stoppage in the 11th.

You could see Spence taking his time, picking his shots, enjoying the punishment. Everything he does is calculated. He does not waste energy, everything has a purpose. His skill set and approach are about as unique as you will find in the game today. He is a throwback of sorts, well schooled using the jab and committing to the body. The body work against Brook was the blueprint.

Spence Jr. continues his #Strapseason on June 16th against Carlos Ocampo, an undefeated fighter with no notable opponents. This will be Ocampo’s first fight outside of Mexico. If this already looks like a huge mismatch, you’re not seeing things.

Why Ocampo then for the rising star in Spence Jr.?

Well, mostly because he was ordered to do so by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) as a mandatory. Seems like the IBF should have better rankings? Their # 1 and 2 slots were vacant so #3 Ocampo enters the picture.

Spence Jr. is destroying top quality fighters with solid resumes so a defense against a lowered tier fighter should be quick; however, Spence does like to have fun in there just because he can.

Caution: Beware when you see the smirk.

Here is a prediction for Spence Jr. v. Ocampo-


In the ring, Terence Crawford 32-0 (23 KO) is far from being your “Bud”, quite frankly, just the opposite. He is your enemy and you’d be wise to find a white flag.

Crawford Credit-

Photo Credit: AP / Frank Franklin II

The proud native of Omaha, Nebraska is just flat-out tough. He will play with you for a few rounds and even let you land a few shots all in an effort to discover your weaknesses. His opponents get a false sense of achievement as they believe they are executing their game plan but Crawford is just setting his trap. An orthodox fighter who will turn southpaw just to challenge himself and have a bit of fun from the port side.

Crawford is very adept at adjusting his game plan during the fight to create better distance and angles. An on the job training of sorts with severe consequences for his opponent.

In his last fight, he faced fellow belt holder Julius Indongo for a chance to make history and unify the division. Just over two rounds later he landed a fight ending left to the body. Crawford usually takes a few more rounds to figure out his opponent but knew the body would be there so he exploited it and ended things.

Said Indongo- “I couldn’t breathe, it hurt so bad… not only did it hurt, it took my mind away, I couldn’t think”

Not only does Crawford beat opponents, for some, their loss against him has a way of stopping any momentum they might have had in their career.

Take Ricky Burns, he had not lost in 22 straight fights before being bested by Crawford. Afterwards lost two out of three.

Yuriorkis Gamboa was undefeated and as rising a star in the game at the time as there was. After being stopped by Crawford, he simply has not been the same fighter. Since the Crawford fight, Gamboa has fought mostly lower tier competition and was beaten by a fighter with twelve losses.

And most recent, the highly regarded undefeated Indongo, after being stopped by Crawford, or maybe more like exposed, he was stopped again seven months later.

Crawford will knuckleup with Jeff Horn this Saturday. The only name of note on Horn’s resume is Manny Pacquiao. Accoring to the scorecards, Horn defeated Manny Pacquiao July of last year. He’s had one fight since, a TKO over Gary Corcoran; however, he was pushed heavily in that fight and showed gaps where he was visibly fatigued prior to the stoppage.

Pacquiao is not the puncher he once was and had not stopped an opponent in eight years when he fought Horn, and….was two years shy of forty. On a few occasions, Pacquiao sunned Horn and although I’ll agree Horn did some things well against Pacquiao, the scorecard here was 115-113 Pacquiao. (My recap here, minute by minute-

That said, we see Crawford doing what he usually does. He’ll study Horn while scoring points with his underrated combination punching. He’ll allow Horn to be effective on portions of this gameplan to create a false sense of accomplishment. Then when Crawford sees what he is looking for, he’ll start landing his jab with more meaning setting the tone for Horn’s demise. Crawford will drastically increase his body work, and then he will stun Horn with a punch he does not see coming and once that happens, you’ll see it, the smile, Bud knows, it’s almost time to end things.

That said, if Horn is disrespectful during the build up, especially during fight week, it will most likely determine if Bud decides to end things quickly…..or captures the hornet in a glass bottle and tortures it until the end.

Lesson learned herein….

If you walk to the ring and you see this

You’re In Deep…….

Sweet Science Snippets

GGG Sleeping Well, Not Having Nightmares

Inside the wrapper of a recently purchased chocolate bar, Vanes Martirosyan (36-3-1 21 KO) found a golden ticket. The ticket represents the opportunity of a lifetime for Martirosyan as this Saturday night he faces Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1 33 KO). Filling in on less than a month’s notice for the recently suspended Canelo Alvarez, Martirosyan is considered to be the sacrificial lamb that ensures the coveted Cinco De Mayo date was filled. Most do not believe that the Armenian born California-based Martirosyan has a chance and for good reason.

For starters, although Martirosyan has decent pop, he’s not a huge puncher and you had better be able to keep Golovkin honest or at least give him something to think about. Secondly, he is trained by Edmond Tarverdyan of Rhonda Rousey/MMA fame and when Rousey fought Holly Holm, a highly skilled former boxing champion, it was Holm’s boxing that set the tone for the KO of Rousey. Tarverdyan’s tutelage of Rousey in the sweet science for the Holm fight was not good. The same for Rousey’s fight with Amanda Nunes. It was said that Tarverdyan had trained with her to box more in the Nunes fight but Rousey was stopped in the first and had no answer for Nunes’ boxing.

Lastly, it will be a few weeks short of two years since Martirosyan last fought. He is a professional and a gym rat so no doubt he will be ready to go but we should expect a certain amount of ring rust. In the past, Martirosyan has shown fatigue during the second half of fights which may not bode well for him here.

Martirosyan has never been stopped and has only been down a few times during fights, coming back to win both. Kassim Ouma was one of the Martirosyan opponents who dropped him, the same Ouma who gave Golovkin pockets of difficulty before he was stopped.

If there is a silver lining here it is that Martirosyan can box. He is one of the most complete boxers in the game and very underrated , layoff notwithstanding. He had competitive distance fights with Erislandy Lara one loss, one draw, Jermell Charlo UD loss which some thought was much closer, and a Demetrius Andrade SD loss. The kid can flat-out box and gives his opponents trouble at random times throughout the fight.

Again, it is his lack of firepower that will be the difference. Martirosyan has a warrior’s mentality and will engage but unless he catches Golovkin with something significant, he will be in deep. Golovkin is adept at cutting off the ring and uses his jab well which should at least negate some of the boxing that the challenger will utilize. Once Golovkin figures out the timing of the slick Martirosyan, he will begin to land his power to the body and head and begin to systematically break down the underdog.

One thing’s for sure, Saturday nights venue, The StubHub Center never disappoints. That said, it should be good while it lasts. Golovkin by 7th Round TKO.
Gender Equality-This First Lady Is P4P Royalty, Gender Be Damned

Undefeated Unified Welterweight Champion Cecilia Braekhus (32-0 9 KO) has made twenty-two consecutive title defenses since capturing her first title in 2009. Kind of Mayweather like in her approach, Braekhus uses her jab extremely well to set up straight rights and her movement is some of the best I’ve seen. Her opponent this Saturday night is Providence Rhode Island’s Kali Reis (13-6-1 4 KO). Reis, a former campion enters having won six of seven, her only loss to highly touted champion Christina Hammer by UD.

Braekhus, the Columbian born Norwegian has longed for a defining fight in the US, as all but one of her fights have been abroad. Although the fight against Reis is not career defining, we know we are very excited to see her on HBO as part of the Golovkin-Martirosyan card.

Kudos to HBO for following Showtime’s recent move to make an effort to air coverage of women’s boxing. Understood that both have done so in the past but let’s hope it is sustainable this time around.

Speaking of women’s boxing, here is a link to Standing-8’s featured piece from last year on the topic-

Gender Equality-Gender Be Damned P4P Part 2-

Ireland’s Katie Taylor (9-0) achieved her goal of being a unified champion with a UD (99-91 98-92 and 99-91) over Victoria Burgos (18-5). She now holds both the WBA and IBF lightweight world titles.

Taylor used excellent movement and combination punching to bank rounds early but changed directions and began to exchange more in the later rounds.

Taylor is highly skilled and it is beautiful to watch her work her craft. Arguably the fastest hands with a killer left hook. We have not seen the best Taylor yet and as her opposition increases we will be in for a show.

HBO and Showtime- get Taylor on a card soon. Thank you.
Brownsville In The Hous….Brooklyn In The House

Danny Jacobs (34-2 29 KO) defeated Maciej Sulecki (26-1 10 KO) by UD (117-110, 116-111 and 115-112) in a tough, tough fight. Sulecki had some moments but Jacobs was more effective throughout culminating with his knockdown of Sulecki in the final round.

Jacobs is a throwback fighter in his approach and style. Every time I watch him, I want to put the broadcast in black and white, don a “Press” derby, light a cigar and start banging away on a Smith Corona.

After the fight, Jacobs stated, ”If Brooklyn wants Charlo, then Charlo it will be”, more specifically Jermall of the #LionsOnly twin siblings.

That would make for one hell of a fight.
For The Love Of The Game

On Saturday night, WBO World Junior Featherweight champion Jesse Magdelano, (25-1 18KO, and mandatory/interim WBO champion Isaac Dogboe, (19-0 13 KO) showed us again why we love this game.

A tough fight with both warriors showing incredible heart throughout. Although Dogboe stopped Magdelano in the eleventh and we saw the title change hands, there were no losers.

True warriors giving it all for the love of the game.
Bye-Bye A-Side, Bye Bye B-Side

Bryant Jennings (23-2, 13 KOs) has had opportunities in his career only to underachieve when the lights are the brightest, most notably the Klitschko and Ortiz fights. If he ever wants to reach that level again, he has to dispatch lower tier opponents. Even though he beat Joey Dawejko (19-5-4, 11 KOs), by UD 98-92 X3, he was unspectacular in doing so considering the opponent. I know Dawejko is a tough dude, but I need to see heavies making statements.

Anwser..An Oxymoron Or Paradox Nickname??

Question- What is Big Baby?

Jarrell Miller (21-0-1, 18 KOs) beat Johann Duhaupas (37-5, 24 KOs) by UD in a WBA world heavyweight title eliminator on Saturday night. Duhaupas is a gatekeeper nobody likes to face but they do it because they have to. After doing so, you’ll know you were in a fight. That said, I won’t go all Jennings on Miller but he should have gotten Duhaupas out of there.

For all the big man skills Miller has, he is technically flawed and when the quality of his opponents increase, the likelihood of them being exposed does as well. I can’t help but think he would be tailor-made for the tall heavies with the long reach. A stiff jab followed by power would be trouble for him.
Yo Riverside….I Did It…

Josesito Lopez (36-7, 19 KOs) turned back the clock and had one of his best wins in sometime beating Miguel Cruz’ (17-1, 11 KOs) by UD.

Fighting for the first time a few weeks over a year with new trainer Robert Garcia, Lopez used a relentless attack with excellent combination punching and committed body work.

Lopez is always in exciting fights and this performance should garner some attention.