Tony Bellew (30-3-1 20 KO) brought the fight to undisputed Cruiserweight Champion Oleksander Usyk (16-0 12 KO) early and often but couldn’t sustain his effort.

After a true feeling out first round, Bellew seemed to surprise Usyk with his boxing ability and movement over the next two rounds. It was Usyk after all who was the pure boxer here, not Bellew the puncher.

Usyk had his moments but it was Bellew with the cleaner shots, better defense, and ring generalship in the first three rounds.

In the 4th, Usyk began to take over applying more pressure by working off of his front foot and began to throw his left from calculated angels. This would be his blueprint for the impending KO.   The next two rounds were close but edge to Usyk for landing the cleaner, harder shots, controlling the majority of the round, and out boxing Bellew.

Standing-8 had it 3-3 after six.

There were signs in the 7th that Usyk was beginning to break Bellew down. Usyk walked Bellew down more in this round than the first six combined and did damaging work with Bellew on the ropes. Bellew looked fatigued and showed signs that the Usyk’s work was getting to him.

In the eighth, Usyk hit Bellew on the bottom of the chin with a short choppy straight left that stunned Bellew. Usyk then pulled back his money maker and let it rip directly back to the same exact spot……BANG!

USYK KO Bellew credit Guerrero via DAZN

With the KO, Usyk remains the undisputed, undefeated cruiserweight champion and most likely has placed himself into the “Fighter of The Year” discussion. Fellow Ukrainian, the great Vasyl Lomachenko was the 2017 FOY.

If I ever see Usyk or Lomachenko at a bar, my response to the bartender….”I’ll have what their having”………



Snippets On Arguably The Hottest Topics In The Sweet Science This Week

Late Snippets-

Too Swift For His Own Good

Danny Garcia (31-1 19 KO) had his moments but it was not enough. Keith Thurman (28-0 22 KO) was just better. Thurman was masterful early using excellent movement while landing jabs, powerful combinations, and doing just enough body work to keep Garcia honest. The Garcia beard was as good as advertised. I still don’t know how he stayed on his feet with the early shot he took right off the chin that spun him around. As was stated, Thurman was masterful early. Thurman’s activity level greatly reduced in the second half of the fight. It appeared to me that he had hurt his right hand because he wasnt throwing it late as he was early, but that was not the case. Thurman simply stayed away and gave a few rounds away believing he had done enough to win. He was partly right but only because Garcia failed to cut off the ring with any regularity and while Garcia won rounds late, it wasnt enough.

Trojan Warrior 

Standing ovation for Tony Bellew (29-2-1 19 KO) for his mammoth victory over David Haye (28-3 26 KO). Granted, Haye fought injured from about the sixth round until the stoppage in the eleventh but such is sports. As we all know now, Haye tore his Achilles but really, before that happened Bellew was giving as good as he was getting. This was a good old-fashioned donnybrook with two warriors giving their all. While we praise Bellew for the victory, Mr. Haye deserves just as much credit if not more in defeat. When you tear an Achilles, you basically lose the use of the leg that sustained the injury. For Haye to have lasted almost five more rounds in a street brawl with that type of injury is nothing short of extraordinary.

Now Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Program…..

Girl Power

The resurgence of women’s boxing is amazing and will continue to grow. On Friday night, two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields (2-0 1 KO) stopped a game Szilvia Szabados (15-9 6 KO) in the fourth in front of her hometown fans of Flint/Detroit Michigan. This fight was entertaining in that Shields was throwing bombs on an opponent with a granite chin, while also showing a good chin of her own. I know Shields was hyped up at home for the knockout but she will benefit from working behind the jab to set up her power. Shields made this fight much harder than it needed to be but we’ll chalk that up to her excitement in that she was headlining the first ever women’s main event on a premium network.

Hot Shots-Part Lemieux

David Lemieux (37-3 33 KO) landed a left hook on Curtis Stevens (29-6 21 KO) that is still sending shock waves through the middleweight division. We knew the Canadian can bang but that short hook was a thing of beauty. To be fair, there was a right hand that landed before the KO shot but the short distance + the textbook hook on the chin sweet spot was lethal. The bout was entertaining until the stoppage with both men landing huge power shots. Lemieux did some great body work in the first which was the difference in the round. The second a bit closer, then the KO of the Year shot that ended things in the third. It was a blessing that Stevens was ok.

Meet Me In The Trap, It’s Going Down, Meet Me In The Mall, It’s Going Down, Meet Me In The Club, It’s Going Down, Anywhere Ya Meet Me Guaranteed To Go Down

Ok, it’s really like…Meet Me In The T-Mobile Arena It’s Going Down, such is the carousel of the Floyd Mayweather v. Coner McGregor rumored fight. The latest rumour is a June 10 matchup. A quick check of the hotels showed a 5X increase on June 9 and 10 at most Strip hotels. See the State of The Game article for Standing-8’s thoughts on this money-making circus act.

Boxing’s March Madness, Well, Sort Of

Super stoked for the World Boxing Super Series. The brainchild of former GBP CEO Richard Schaefer, now heading Ringstar Sports, and prominent UK promoter Kalle Sauerland, this bracketed tournament by weight class has us intrigued. The winner of each tournament (weight class) will win the Muhammad Ali trophy. A newly designed award approved by the Ali family. For more information, see World Boxing Super Series press releases on main page.

Miracle on 33rd Street

 This Saturday night, Danny Jacobs (32-1 29 KO) will get his shot at the title. Problem is, the titles are guarded by Gennady Golovkin (36-0 33 KO). Jacobs has a well chronicled story, a champion in the ring of life against one of the most feared assassins, cancer. He was told he would never fight again but here he is in with GGG for the right to wear the middleweight straps. Standing-8 has always thought that a stiff jab gives GGG problems, thing is, his opponents are so worried about what will be coming in return they deviate from the game plan. Jacobs is not known to have a great jab so there may be trouble already; however, another Standing-8 observation is that GGG can be exploited up through the middle. Throw a shot from the floor to the bottom of his chin and you will hit pay dirt. In Standing-8’s preview of the Kell Brook v. GGG bout, The Case For Kell Brook, we speculated that if Brook, who throws a great uppercut could land that punch, it may impact the fight. Brook did land the punch and we saw GGG truly rocked for a moment but again, worried about the return artillery, Brook was unable to sustain his plan. Jacobs throws a decent uppercut so again, there may be opportunities. That said, we have seen Jacobs rocked a few times in his career against lesser punchers which is not good. Jacobs has already defeated a foe more formidable than any opponent he will see in a ring, why not a miracle on 33rd street?

Snippets On Arguably The Hottest Topics In The Sweet Science This Week

Axe Handled 

Vasyl Lomachenko is good, that is all. Note: See Pound4Pound Roalty article.

Don’t Quit, Suffer Now And Live The Rest Of Your Life Like A Champion…Or Not…

Nicholas Walters didn’t want to continue after the seventh round against Lomachenko, not exactly what we would expect from an undefeated fighter who was considered to be entering the peak of his career. In his defense, he was facing Lomachenko but WOW. He stated after the fight that a shot from the champion off of his temple had damaged him to the point where it would have been unsafe to continue. Cue the “No Mas” references in 5,4,3..

Luck O’The Irish 

Terry Flanagan (32-0 13 KO) was mentioned as a future opponent for Lomachenko by Bob Arum. Although as expected, he defeated Orlando Cruz (25-5-1 13 KO, by 8th round stoppage) he is going to need some better opposition prior to that opportunity. 

“Haye No Fair, Bellew Gets That Work With Hayemaker?”  

David Haye (26-2 24 KO) and Tony Bellew (28-2-1 18 KO) at the O2 in London on March 4th?? Why?? Bellew who just beat the career long under-achiever B.J. Flores last month gets to move up and face Haye? I’d rather see Bellew against Mairis Briedis than getting Rod Salka’d by a Hayemaker. 

More Than Meets The Eye

At the conclusion of the Kovalev-Ward scrap, I had Kovalev winning by a slight edge without scoring it. After hearing the decision, thought it was wrong but after scoring it, had Ward as the winner oddly with the same score as the judges; however I rightly gave Kovalev the 10th, unlike all three judges cards. Ward 114-113, with Rounds 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 11.