Bill Tibbs recaps the weekend in boxing
Lots of boxing’s biggest names, in some big fights over the weekend, and other boxing news – let’s take a look.
-In London – Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Luke Campbell. Loma was looking to collect all the belts at 135-pounds so his WBA and WBO belts were up for grabs and both fighters were looking to snag the WBC strap. Before the fight, ESPN broadcaster Andre Ward said, “I think Loma gets in done on the other side of 6”. Well, after a game and spirited effort from Campbell, Loma did get it done but needed all 12 rounds to do it. Scores were 119-108, 119-108, 118-109. In the end, he dominated and will now look to take the IBF belt when he gets the chance. Including his amateur career, Loma is 416-2…wow!!
Now, with Lomachenko holding 3 of the 4 belts, here’s hoping that Loma steps in to face the winner of the (proposed) match between undefeated lightweight star Teofimo Lopez and IBF champion Richard Commey which they are talking about for December. After the fight, when asked if he would like to fight Lopez, Loma replied, “Of course I would like to fight him next but I don’t think he will beat Commey”.
-On the undercard in London at the O2…
-Former WBA world champion Alexander Povetkin (35-2, 24 KO’s), who will be 40-years old in a few days, scored a UD 12 over Hughie Fury (23-3, 13 KO’s). Povetkin, swept the cards 117-111 across the board in a disappointing outcome for hometown favorite Fury.
-In a WBC flyweight battle, (champion/then former/then champion again) Charlie Edwards (15-1, 6 KO’s) barely held his title against rugged Julio Cesar Martinez (14-1, 11 KO’s). Martinez dropped Edwards in round 3 but then hit Edwards with a shot to the liver while he had a knee on the canvas. Edwards couldn’t beat the count and Martinez was announced as the new champion. However, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman, in attendance, reviewed the video and ruled the bout a no contest. A direct rematch will be ordered. Not sure if Edwards will want any part of Martinez (although after the fight he said he wanted an immediate rematch) because Martinez was lighting up the champ all night long before the (almost) stoppage win.
-In Minneapolis – Arislandy Lara vs. (the other) Alvarez - Ramon. Alvarez-light (who showed up as Alvarez-heavy) came in 4.5 pounds overweight. So, the title was only on the line for former champ Lara who was looking to regain his WBA super welterweight title.
Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara (26-3-3, 15 KO’s) is a champion again, regaining the vacant WBA super welterweight title with a TKO 2 drilling of Ramon “Inocente” Alvarez (28-8-3, 16 KO’s) on Saturday night at The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Alvarez came into the ring tonight at 177 pounds while Lara re-hydrated to 169. Lara looked good but the difference in skills was evident early and often and this was one was not going to go too long.
In Other news…
-WBA #3 middleweight Jeff Horn (19-2-1, 13 KO’s) suffered a KO 9 against Australian Michael Zerafa (26-3, 16 KO’s) in a scheduled twelve rounder in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia on Saturday. After the fight Horn stated, “I fought like crap”.
-Just announced, the World Boxing Super Series final between IBF junior welterweight champion Josh Taylor and WBC interim belt holder Regis Prograis for October 26 at the O2 Arena.
-WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr and former champion Anthony Joshua kick off a worldwide press tour next week to pump the tires for their December 7, “Clash on the Dunes”, rematch in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. Wednesday, they hit (the fight site) Saudi Arabia. The next day it’s a presser in New York City and then they’ll wrap up the three-day press tour in London on Friday.
-It was officially announced this past week that unbeaten (former undisputed cruiserweight champion) Oleksandr Usyk would make his heavyweight debut on October 12 at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago. This is going to be interesting watching Usyk (who already looked like a heavyweight when he was a cruiserweight…this is a big guy!!!) make his mark on the heavyweight division.
-Sad news in Canadian boxing – Maureen Black, who had long supported amateur and professional boxing in Winnipeg, Canada, on a local and national level, died suddenly and unexpectedly last week. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. RIP Maureen.