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ESPN is showing some classic bouts, first the Ali-Foreman, the rumble in the jungle and Holyfield- Foreman as Foreman fell short in regaining his title at the age of 42. (Foreman would win his title in an upset victory over Michael Moorer.)
Ali was the heavy underdog against Foreman, who had already destroyed Joe Frazier and Ken Norton. Ali began the first round by moving but came to conclusion that he couldn’t keep that up against a hard charging Foreman, so he resorted to the Rope-a-dope. He stayed on the rope and countered against Foreman. This strategy was risky since Foreman was one of the hardest punchers and most fighters who would attempt just a strategy would end up on the canvas. Foreman nailed Ali with vicious shots but during the rounds, Ali countered effectively. Through the first five rounds, it was a close fight as Foreman attacked and Ali played the matador against the raging Bull Foreman.
By the sixth round, Foreman started to slow down, and Foreman’s punches lost steam. Ali landed four rights in the eighth and the final right sent Foreman down for good in one of boxing’s biggest upset.
Foreman at the age of 42 stood toe to toe against another great heavyweight Evander Holyfield and went the distance against a fighter at his peak. Foreman had his moment, but Holyfield was too quick for the older champion.
Foreman would win the title three years later. For nine round, Michael Moorer dominated Foreman and there was a question if Foreman would make it to the end. A Foreman right hand stopped Moorer in his path and Foreman with one punch erased an overwhelming Moorer’s lead.
The 1970’s was the golden age of boxing as Joe Frazier, George Foreman and Larry Holmes were three of the greatest heavy weight fighters but it was dominated by Ali as he came back from a three year exile due to his refusal to be inducted into the service and first lost a classic fight to Frazier before winning back his title in 1974. Larry Holmes would take command of the heavyweight division which he would control until the mid-80’s and his loss to Michal Spinks. He would come back from retirement and lose to Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.
The 90’s proved a second golden age as Tyson, Holyfield, Riddick Bowe and Lennox Lewis. While Tyson and Holyfield were the more popular fighters and Lewis had a suspect chin as he lost to two fights, one to Oliver McCall and Hasim Rahman by knock out, (He revenged both losses with victories.) Lewis would end up as the premier boxer of this era as he also introduced the era of super big heavyweights as he stood 6’5” and 250. Lewis was a skilled technician who combined skills and power. His last fight was a TKO victory against Vitali Klitschko.
Now in 2020, we may be witnessing a third golden age as Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder are now competing against each other. Wilder is one of the biggest sluggers of the division but Fury may be the best technician of the bunch and may prove the best of this era but there are heavyweights like Joseph Parker, Anthony Ruiz, Dillan Whyte, and Olekandr Usyk. We will see over the next three years more about this era of heavyweight.
By Tom Donelson / Author, Member of Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) … Contributor to dmboxing.com since 2008 with outstanding input and expertise – Thank You!
Tyson Fury fought the best fight of his life and adopted from his previous fight. He simply was the aggressor and dominated from the opening bell. There wasn’t a round that he didn’t lose, and he impose his will upon Wilder.
Wilder began throwing jabs in the first round to Fury’s middle to slow the bigger Fury and Wilder nailed Fury with a big right and nothing, Fury withstood the punch. Fury lands his own combinations to end the round and force Wilder to cover up.
Wilder did land a good right that forced Fury to clinch and continues his jab to Fury’s body and missed with a big right but Fury counter with a one-two that forced Wilder to hold and as the bell rang ending the second round, Fury connected on another combinations.
As the third round opened up, Fury steps up the pace and landed big right hands, and one of them sent Wilder to the canvas near the end of the round. Wilder came off the canvas on unsteady legs and blood pouring from his mouth. Fury took the fight to Wilder and while this had its risk, Fury own power made the gamble work in the third round.
Wilder fell to the ground in the fourth round, but it was ruled a slip by the referee. Wilder is barely able to slow the Fury assault and best that could be said, he survived. In the fifth round, Fury sent Wilder down again by a ferocious body shot. Fury lost a point for butting his head in a clinch but after the fifth round, it was obvious that Fury was the better fighter this evening, but the question remained, did Wilder have one big shot left to end the fight.
Fury continued his assault in the sixth and seventh round, and the Wilder corner simply threw in the towel. At this point, Fury won every round easily and there is no doubt now who is the king of the heavyweight. Anthony Joshua has a mandatory defense against Kubrat Pulev and then there will be only one fight. Joshua versus Fury which would easily fill one of the British football stadiums and be a big PPV draw.
Joshua boxed his way to recapturing his title over Ruiz but after Fury performance against Wilder, one can only surmise that the Gypsy King wouldn’t be the favorite?
As for Wilder, this was a beat down and kind of the fight that won’t be easy to recover. Wilder not only lost but he thoroughly beaten. Wilder wanted to continue but his corner decided that his future was more important. Wilder now must rebuilt his career as a contender. While Fury prepares for his bout with Joshua, Wilder must start thinking where to go from here. There are plenty of fights for him including a bout with Anthony Ruiz, but the mantle of invincibility is gone as he been defeated.
Like most pundits, I got this fight wrong and what we missed, Fury ability to adopt his style. Instead of being a boxer, he used his weight and size to his advantage while changing his style. He decided to be more aggressive against Wilder who didn’t have an answer. Fury team showed they were ready to adopt from the last fight and they won a big victory.
Wilder needed one punch to erase a four-round deficit on two of the judges’ scorecard and a two-round deficit on the other card. (I had it 59-55 and many others had it 60-54.) Ortiz seemed in control and connected on counter punches as it would appear that Wilder hesitated to throw punches. In their first fight, Ortiz stunned Wilder in the sixth round and like in this fight, was ahead on the scorecards when Wilder stopped him. Ortiz had the power to stop Wilder and Wilder understood that, so he played it safe.
When looking at the Compubox data, the actual connect rates were close. Going into the seventh round, Ortiz only connected on three more punches, but he had a 20-8 advantage in power punches through six rounds. Interesting enough, Ortiz only landed more punches in three of the first six rounds and Wilder landed more punches in two of those rounds with both landing two punches in the fourth round. Ortiz was winning rounds, but he was not dominating the fight. He succeeds in keeping Wilder off balance and never allowing Wilder to set on his punches, in particular his right hand.
In the seventh round, Wilder landed one punch and down went Ortiz. What this fight showed is that Wilder did adjust to his first fight but maybe he over adjusted and just like the Fury fight, he allowed Ortiz to set the pace before using his right hand to save the day. Against Fury, his two knockdowns salvaged a draw as Fury controlled the pace.
Fury-Wilder is now a reality in February. Wilder is not the most technically sound fighter, but he does have an effective jab and that jab sets up his right hand. Fury is a slippery fighter who for a big man can maneuver around the ring and is not an easy fighter to hit consistently, which Wilder found in their first match.
Wilder could not penetrate Fury defenses easily and equally had a difficult in penetrating Ortiz’s defense. Ortiz is a good fighter and while he is 40, he is still a very good heavyweight and the only fighter who defeated him was Wilder. Ortiz will still be a threat as contender and in addition to his power, Ortiz is a good boxer. (Ortiz has 26 knockouts in 31 wins.)
Fury easily defeated Tom Schwartz after the Wilder fight, but he had issues with Otto Wallin and had to survive a serious cut from a Wallin’s punch to win a decision. Fury was heavily favored against Wallin but a big punch nearly derailed Fury. Fury will be vulnerable to Wilder punches. Fury has the boxing style to frustrate Wilder as he did in their first fight but Wilder has the great equalizer. What adjustment would either fighters make in this fight will be interesting but for me, will Wilder be more aggressive against Fury and push the issue with his jab to set up his right hand?
Showtime special on Sonny Liston, Pariah: The Lives and Deaths of Sonny Liston, reveals the various controversy and conspiracy theories surrounding Liston career and death. Liston, like Joe Frazier, George Foreman and even Larry Holmes were overshadowed by Muhammad Ali and his talent has often been ignored and never truly appreciated. He was not just a powerful puncher or brawler, but he had good boxing skills to go with that awesome power.
The problem with Liston is that the truth about his life often overshadowed his skills in the boxing ring and often led to various conspiracy stories. There is no doubt of his connection to organized crime and his rise to prominence occurred during the time in which Mob controlled boxing and he did work for the mob as an enforcer outside the ring.
During the 50’s, mob control of the boxing became part of congressional investigation and Liston connection to the mob became part of the hearing. This did two things. It first delayed his shot at a title as Cus D’Amato had a good reason to keep Liston from fighting Patterson despite Liston defeating top contenders. The second thing is that reinforce Liston as a villain.
As the 1950’s ended and the 60’s begin, the Civil Rights movement was in full swing, challenging the racism existed and the documentary made it clear that many in the Civil Rights movement didn’t want Liston as a representative of their movement, a man perceived as a thug by much of American. Floyd Patterson was the polite gentleman who many viewed as a role model plus he was the heavyweight champion.
Floyd Patterson decided that he had to give Liston a chance for the title while many around him knew Patterson couldn’t beat Liston. Liston knocked Patterson out in one round and follow up that victory with another first round knockout of Patterson. It is here where the documentary goes in interesting directions with various conspiracy theories like the Ali-Liston fights were fixed. One individual who is listed as expert on fight fixing made the case of the first fight between Ali-Liston was fixed but anyone who saw the fight and most of those interviewed agreed with me, this was Ali beating up Liston. Ali pounded Liston, open up a cut under his eye and one individual observed, Liston may even laced his gloves with compound designed to burn Ali’s eye and blind him. Throughout the fifth round, Ali moved around the ring nearly blind, but Liston failed to finish him. At the end of the round, Ali’s eyesight returned and nailed Liston with a combination. In the sixth round, Ali nailed Liston with powerful combinations. Liston did not come out for the seventh round as he merely had enough. The indestructible Liston ended the fight on his stool. Ali won the second fight with a first round knockout. I agree with Mike Tyson view that you can get knock out by the punch you don’t see. There is not doubt that the right hand, for years called the phantom punch nailed Liston and Liston didn’t see the punch. I remember an amateur kick boxing match I fought in. It was a tough fight with both of us nailing each other with kicks and punches but the in the final round, I hit my opponent with a punch that caught him off guard and send him down It wasn’t the hardest punch of the fight but it hit my opponent perfectly. (He got back up to finish the fight, but it showed me that a punch no matter how hard landing in the right place can send another fighter down.) Liston with his contact with the mob lend itself to many conspiracy theories and why would the mob give up the heavyweight title, especially since the fighter who won it was beyond their control.
After the second fight, Liston career was pretty much over even though he would continue to fight. He was never a true contender after that and the only time that he would even been remotely liked as a fighter was the second Ali fight as more Americans feared the recent Nation of Islam convert Ali than Liston. He found himself back at the bottom of the contender ring. The reason is that his past reputation hurt him and other fighters like Jerry Quarry and Joe Frazier became the new contenders. Liston would fought sixteen more fights winning 15 of them. All of his victories but one by knock out but the one fight that ended his chance any shot at a title was his loss to Leotis Martin.
Liston was hoping for one more shot and in 1969, Ali was stripped of his title when he refused to enter the United States Army so there was opportunity for one more shot at the title. A win over Leotis Martin could have put him in the position for another title and he knocked Martin down in the fourth and was winning on points before Martin stopped him in the ninth round.
His last fight was a battering of Wepner and in the documentary, it was stated that he was supposed to take a dive against Chuck Wepner, but Wepner wasn’t called the Bayonne Bleeder for nothing as a Liston piston like jab open up a cut. If there was a fix, it would have been difficult to throw a fight when the guy you are fighting bleeding all over and the fight was stopped over Wepner cuts. Again I don’t buy this conspiracy theory.
Drug overdoes was listed as one reason for Liston’s death and while he officially listed as dying as result of an overdose, the one conspiracy theory that I can buy is that Liston was murdered and didn’t die from an overdose. The one theory is the Mob decided to punish him for money lost in the Wepner fight (even though I don’t buy that the fight was fixed. Why fix a fight with Wepner whose reputation was bleeding during the nation anthem) but he did hang out with many unsavory characters in Las Vegas and got into to the drug scene including pushing so it is more realistic that he was murdered by one of those characters who he dealt with. The special mention one raid that he was caught in by FBI, but they allowed him to go free and this may have led others to think he was informant. (FBI agents involved in the raid were shocked to see him there and decided to get him out there while arresting the others.)
Liston had a stellar career with 50 wins and only four losses, that in between violent crimes, prison and allegations of fixes and he was not just a powerful fighter but a technically skilled to go with his power. He couldn’t read or write, a black man with a troubled past and while he appeared as tough and sullen, the documentary showed that he was sensitive and loved to be around children. Throughout his career, Sports writers attacked him and labeled him a ignorant thug and he didn’t talk to them. When he won his championship, he thought that he would be treated differently but there were no parades or even acknowledgment of his accomplishment.
Before the Ali fight, he was considered indestructible, but Ali destroyed Liston image as the tough guy in the ring and while he continued to fight, he became invisible to fight fans as the thug was defeated and boxing fans moved on.
The documentary viewed Liston as a black man lost in 1950’s and 1960’s America as much of the Black leadership flocked to Floyd Patterson, and more radical blacks as well as the political left drifted to Muhammad Ali. Liston was abandoned by his own race and much of America as well, he was the villain throughout his career except for one brief moment in Lewiston Maine but that fell apart in one minute.
The Donelson Files@Donelsonfiles·7mFor years the NBA was the social warrior league, willing to take stances against what their coaches and owners viewed as injustice. The recent China-NBA has exposed something ugly.
The NBA is not the only businesses kowtowing to the Chinese but Charles Barkley in a statement defending the NBA made it clear. It is about the billion of dollars the NBA has at stake. Barkley is not wrong and while you may disagree with his stance, he is being truthful.
The question that will be raised, does this hurt the moral authority of the league, players and coaches who speak out on other issues. I would say yes, others may disagree.
NBA is not the only business that has surrender to the Chinese but it does show a disturbing trend, the number of companies willing to censor themselves to keep making billions. Chinese have succeeded in getting Americans give up principles for money.
We are getting a taste of what Chinese dominated world will look like. It will be a dark age for liberty and rise of National socialistic or fascist states throughout the world, subservient to China.
As for American companies, the very people who were the biggest defenders of free market will look askew at these companies and capitalism in general when they see companies giving up their freedom for almighty dollars.
For years the NBA was the social warrior league, willing to take stances against what their coaches and owners viewed as injustice. The recent China-NBA has exposed something ugly.
Astros vs Yankees for American league pennants and Cards vs Washington Nats. Thoughts, Astros go for second World Series in three years, Yankees haven’t won a title in a decade, which is a lifetime for Yankee fans. Cards were not the powerhouse but they did win Central.
Plus they have won more world series than any other National League teams and number two behind Yankees. Two World Series this century. This is the third edition of Washington baseball.
The original Senators ended up in Minnesota, the second Senators went to Texas and this edition came from Montreal. No fans from Washington have seen a team in the World Series since 1933 and seen a winning World Series since 1924. They won the AL pennant in 1924 and 25.
By Tom Donelson / Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA)
On October 5, 2019 at Madison Square Garden, New York, Gennady Golovkin faced Sergey Derevyanchenko for the vacant IBF middleweight championship. Golovkin began the fight dropping Derevyanchenko in the first round and a left hook open up a cut over Derenyuanchenko and it look like this could be an early night for GGG and visions of a third Canelo Alvarez-GGG fight.
Derenyuanchenko sensing time was running out, came out fighting in the third round as he hit Golovkin from angles including body shots. This round saw Derenyuanchenko sending a message, “I am not done yet.”
During the fourth round, Golovkin landed a four punch combination by a left hook as he targeted his opponent cut but Derevyuanchenko showed great chin as he took this onslaught and landed a left right combo that for a brief moment stopped Golovkin in his track and during rounds, the doctor looked at Derevyanchenko’s eye but Derevyanchenko came out for the fifth and in the round, he nailed Golovkin with a left to the body and then landed a combination that stunned Golovkin near the end of the round. Referee broke up the action and that gave Golovkin quick moments to recover before the bell ended the round.
The sixth round saw Derevyanchenko swarmed all over Golovkin as he nailed the Triple G’s with body shots and while Golovkin countered with right hands, Dervyanchenko smacked Golovkin back with his own punches. Not even Alvarez pushed Golovkin like Dervyanchenko did in the sixth. As we approached the halfway mark, it was a tight fight and Golovkin found himself in a battle. Forget about Alvarez, Golovkin needed to win this fight and after an easy first two rounds in which he knocked down his opponent and cut him, he was now in a war.
Throughout the seventh round, Derevyanchenko threw crisp combinations but Golovkin landed big shots and this was his round as Derevyanchenko eyes was still bleeding. In between rounds the ring doctor reexamine the eye as the corner worked hard to stop the bleeding.
The eighth round was another Golovkin round in my estimation but Derevyanchenko scored as he maneuvered out of harm’s way on couple of times when it appeared that Golovkin had the advantage.
(During fights I do keep tabs on various sites and twitter and one of my favorites is Rosie Perez who is not only a good actor, but she is avid boxing fan who knows the sport. After eight rounds, she observed, “Derevyanchenko has better footwork and mobility than I thought going in. GGG is exhibiting a fine display of economical offenses and accurate power punching but he’s being outworked not necessarily out pointed.”)
The final four rounds proved tough for triple G and the fate of his future in boxing hanged in the balance Golovkin snapped Derevyanchenko head back with is jab but Derveyancheno was quick to counter in a round that was hard to judge and could have gone either way. Derevyanchko came out cracking in the tenth as he landed a flurry of punches and just like previous rounds, Derevyanchko countered whenever Golovkin landed his heavy shots.
Going into the championship rounds, the eleventh and the twelfth, Derevyanchko got inside and tried to push his way into triple G’s chest to force the action as his blood spattered over the both fighters. The last two rounds were close and could have been scored for either fighter.
This is the problem with this fight. It was close affair and the Compubox numbers show this. Golovkin connected on more punches in 6 of the 12 rounds while Derevyanchenko connected on more in punches in 5 of the rounds with one even. Golovkin connected on slightly more punches 243 to 230 and his connect percentage was slight higher, 34% to 31%. Golovkin was more effective with his jab and connected on a higher percentage of his power punches but Derevyanchenko threw more power punches and landed more.
Rosie Perez observed, that most ringside observers had the fight for Derevyanchenko, but she scored the fight 115-112 for triple G’S which is the same score I had but she noted that a 114-113 score would be fair as would a draw. When fans booed the decisions, she remarked, “Broke my heart they booed a great fighter. How quick and easy, fans turn on a great fighter,” and she added that there were fights that Triple G’s may have been robbed.
Golovkin looked old and even Rosie remarked how many shots he has taken in past fights and certainly in this fight as well. He looked like an older fighter and there were times that quite frankly that he would wilt but champions find ways to win.
Boxing fans have seen some great fights including the recent Porter-Spence fight and Tyson Fury who survived a severe cut to win 12 round decisions to maintain his lineal championship claim against Wallin. What boxing fans witnessed is what happens when promoters put great fighters against each other in the ring, they get to see great fights that create the excitement and increase the interest in other great fights down the road. In the heavyweight division along with welterweight and Middleweight division, there are some intriguing match ups worth getting excited about. Let hope that they happen.
By Tom Donelson / Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA)
The Welterweight division is the most competitive division in boxing today with every top fighter nearly equal to each other and when the elites of the division fight each other, it is often a dog fight. On September 28, 2019 at Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, Spence versus Porter was just like many of the key fights in the division over the past few years. It was a tight, tough event, not necessarily easy to score but in my view, the last two rounds determine the fight.
Spence is a technically sound fighter with all the classic tools that any boxer would want. He can box, move but he also has the power to stop an opponent. Porter is awkward fighter who bores in his opponent and throws punches from various angles and his punches are hard to always see coming. Both styles were on display and Spence found himself getting hit with punches he rarely got nailed with in past fights, but Porter also found that there were many moments in which Spence boxing skills diffuse his inside game. Another aspect of the fight was Spence ability to fight inside and this allowed to Spence to neutralize Porter. This showed up in the last two rounds.
The first round set the stage for the rest of the fight as Porter bulled his way and even landed a big right, but in the process got caught with jabs and a couple of effective Spence’s body shots. The firefight began in the second round as Porter’s attempts to bully his way into Spence’s midsection was greeted with body shots. Near the end of the round, Spence left uppercut landed and Porter landed a big right.
I had Spence winning the first three rounds but in the fourth, the tide ebbed toward Porter as he landed several hard shots against Spence. This continued into the fifth round as Porter landed uppercuts to go with left hooks and overhand rights. Spence started to look uncomfortable. The sixth round saw both fighters nail each other in a very competitive round.
Porter forced Spence to the rope as he pounded away and was getting the better of the exchanges in the seventh round. Throughout the eighth and ninth round, the rounds were tight but I gave the advantage to Porter. I had the fight even after ten rounds and other ringside observers were similar to my card. It was close and the final two rounds would decide the winner.
Spence landed a body shot and Porter countered with an uppercut and overhand right but then Spence landed the punch of the night as he sent Porter down with a straight left hand. Porter got back up and attempted to regain the advantages lost but this punch turned the fight not just on the scorecard but in the ring. Porter attempt to neutralized the knockdown came of no avail and Spence had a crucial 10-8 round.
The final round saw both fighters throwing haymakers, but Spence was the more effective puncher. Spence landed left hands while Porter threw right hands, and both connected. Spence at one time had Porter on the rope before Porter spin away. Spence won the final round on my card, but it was like the rest of the right, a gritty tough round. I had Spence winning by 115-112, similar to ESPN Dan Rafael and others. (Sporting News had it 114-113 for Spence.). The judges had it a split decision with two judges scoring it 116-111 for Spence and one having it 115-113 for Porter. While the majority of the scorecards favored Spence, a case could be made for Porter winning but the overall numbers as shown by Compubox favored Spence. This would indicate the 115-112 or 116-111 in Spence favor as the more correct number. For me the eleventh round decided the fight and the Spence knockdown was the most decisive blow.
Spence is the king of the Welterweight but only barely. He didn’t dominate Porter and over the horizon, there is the undefeated Terrace Crawford. Spence has plenty of great fights left including Garcia, Thurman and Crawford or even Pacquiao if team Pac Man is willing to allow the old fighter to take on the new guard.
As one individual on twitter reminded me, there are plenty of young welterweights waiting in the wing. So there are plenty of great fights left for matchmakers to make over the next two or three years.
I am long time Washington Redskins fan and under the Snyder’s era, a long suffering fan. Jay Gruden should have been fired this past week and the reasons are as following:
Gruden at best is an average coach. Between 2015 and 2018 he was .500. Some of those years he had numerous injuries but there were two years that he had a few horses and still just above .500
Who is responsible for picking the Defensive coordinator? Joe Barry and Greg Manusky are simply bad coordinator. There are some talented players, in particular at the front seven but every game, there are plays in which some one misses an assignment. I think of DeSean Jackson second touchdown in which there were no Redskins in 10 yards of him.
There are times that this team overall never seem to look prepared and rarely does this team comeback to win games. The opening game in Eagles, the Redskins played a perfect half but the Eagles adjusted at halftime and the Redskins didn’t. Not able to comeback to win games could mean a coaching staff that doesn’t make adjustments.
Finally and this is most important. Jay Gruden is suppose to be offensive genius or at least have offensive mindset. It has been reported that Gruden and the coaching staff didn’t want Haskins. He is only of top Qb prospects in the past draft and he fell into the Redskins’ lap. Gruden doesn’t believe in Haskins and Haskins had no real reps over the past month for going into the Giants gam. One pundit believes that Gruden is setting up Haskins for failure. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmXp6XK7LPs
It is Gruden job to prepare Haskins for the future and if he can’t or won’t, he should be fired now.
Gruden isn’t to be blamed for all of this since Bruce Allen and Daniel Snyder play a key role in getting this team together. Trent Williams hold out is a sign that this is a dysfunctional franchise since Williams major complaint was his medical treatment for a tumor. I can’t imagine a top flight coach coming to Washington and they are looking at Kevin O’Connell as a long term option and who is suppose to be a potential offensive genius. My own view is time to give O’ Connell the offensive coordinator title and maybe hire Bill Callahan as intern coach. It is time to give Greg Manusky the boot.
It is also time for the players themselves to perform in particular on defense.
Firing Gruden will not salvage this season and the Redskins will not make the playoffs but it will be a new beginning. And it is time to prepare Haskins and coach him up. Daniel Jones has done well for the Giants but he also was prepared. He beat the Redskins without Barkley, a talented young running back nor can anyone view the Giants receiving corps among the elites of the NFL. But they had their young quarterback ready to take over for Eli Manning. What Haskins need is a coach and organization that is behind him and ready to coach him up, preparing him for success and not failure.
By Tom Donelson / Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America / contributor to dmboxing.com since 2008
On Saturday, September 14, 2019 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Tyson Fury found himself in a battle of survival against Otto Wallin. Yes, Fury won the decision decisively on the scorecard but forget the scorecard, Wallin proved to be a tough competitor and not the easy tune up that Fury and pundits thought it would be. While the first round was uneventful, the second round saw Fury using his reach and right hand to keep Wallin at bay. The third round saw the dramatic moment of the fight as Wallin right hook open up a major gash over the left eye in around that Fury was winning.
The cut challenged both Fury’s corner, who had to stem the bleeding enough to keep their fighter in the bout and Fury, who now had to take his fight game to another level with the distinct possibility that the fight could be stopped. If the fight was stopped, Fury loses since this was caused by a punch. Throughout the fourth round, Wallin targeted the eye and started to connect. By the end of the fourth round, Wallin even had a slight advantage over Fury with punches connected.
The fifth round was close as both fighters connected on big shots with Fury using his height to land right hands and uppercuts but Wallin managed to bore into the body. As the sixth round, ended, this was anybody’s fight. During the sixth round, the referee stopped the fight to allow the ring doctor to examine it and Fury begged to continue. I had the fight even, but it could easily be scored in Wallin favor at the halfway mark.
Fury turned the momentum in the seventh round as he imposed his size and will through the eleventh round. Right hands followed by uppercuts started to have their impact on Wallin as his face started to swell. In the ninth and tenth round, it even appeared that Fury could end the fight as Wallin looked dazed and exhausted at times. A Fury left hand at the end of the eleventh round nearly ended the fight but Wallin survived. Fury had the fight in hand on my scorecard and only a knockout or a stoppage could win the fight for Wallin. I had it 107 to 102 going into the last round in Fury’s favor.
Wallin went for broke as he opened up the cut with a big left hand and hurt Fury. This round was similar to Fury’s fight with Wilder in which he survived a vicious knockdown to stay upright in the Wilder fight and now he was once again fighting for survival. Blood streaming from his eye, Fury was moving backward as Wallin is throwing haymakers in an effort either to knock Fury’s down or at least get the referee to stop the fight with Fury’s pawing at his bleeding eye.
Just as he did against Wilder, Fury survived against Wallin and won the fight by decision. I had the fight 116-112 as did one of the judges, the other two had it 117-111 and 118-110. This was a competitive fight but there was no doubt that Wallin lost. While it is possible to have the fight 115-113 in Fury’s favor, the judges scores were not unreasonable including 118 to 110.
Compubox showed Fury’s advantages, in particular in the seventh through eleventh round but Wallin connected on nearly double the punches than Fury’s most recent opponents including Wilder.
For a big man, Fury has good movement within the ring and usually is not an easy man to hit but Wallin was able to get inside Fury’s longer reach to do some damage to Fury, something that past opponents failed to do. Fury also showed that he is a vulnerable fighter and while he dominated the fight, this is the second fight since his comeback that he was both hurt and on the brink of losing. Fury however managed to survive, showing a toughness and championship heart.
While Wallin showed some weakness in Fury’s arsenal, Wilder may not be able to take advantage since he is a different fighter. Wilder has more power than Wallin but Wallin was able to get inside Fury, a style that Wilder is not comfortable with. Wilder prefers to use his jab to set up his massive right hand and against Fury, Wilder’s jab was neutralized. Wallin is also a southpaw and this also led to his ability to get inside and disrupt Fury’s at time.
Sometime in February, the rematch will happen with the winner most likely to take on the Ruiz-Joshua winner and by the end of the 2020, we may see a unified recognized Heavyweight champion.