Hope for the Royals
Williams Wins WBA/IBF Junior Middleweight Belt over Hurd … Korobov vs. Aleem a DRAW … Berchelt Stops Vargas to Retain WBC Super Featherweight Title
By Tom Donelson / Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA)
On Saturday night (May 11, 2019) Julian Williams, fighting in his opponent’s backyard and a big underdog to Jarrett Hurd, carried out the perfect game plan to produce the big upset. Williams put the pressure on Hurd throughout the bout and took advantage of Hurd’s habit of starting slowly to build up a big lead. After three rounds, I had Williams up by four points, including a second round knock down.
The Compubox numbers told the story. While Hurd threw more punches, Williams was the more effective fighter as he handed more punches, more jabs, more power shots and was the more accurate puncher. Every phase of the bout favored Williams.
From the very beginning, Williams used his accurate punches to take advantage of his opponent’s wider punches and his body shots aided his overall attack. Over the second half of the bout, Hurd tried to turn the tide but Williams kept his cool and, while both fighters were shaken by power shots, both fighters remained on their feet.
This was an action fight from the beginning and the judges had it scored correctly. I had it 116-111 but the 115-112 score was reasonable and even Hurd accepted that he lost. No complaints.
Matt Korobov entered a hard fought battle with Immauwel Aleem. I had the fight 97-93 in favor of Korobov but it depended upon how you scored the first seven rounds, which I gave to Korobov. A couple of rounds were close but Aleem won the last three rounds on most judges scorecards and I agreed with them on that. Korobov is not a stranger to close decisions as he lost a close bout to Jermall Charlo. This was a tough call for Korobov, but Aleem did come back strong after being dominated early in the fight. One key call was a Korobov knockdown of Aleem in the fourth round which was ruled a slip. If ruled a knockdown, this would have resulted in a 10-8 round and a Korobov victory.
Miguel Berchelt defeated Francisco Vargas in a rematch of their bout two years earlier. The 34 year old Vargas slipped skill wise from his previous bout and Berchelt improved. Two years earlier, the bout lasted 11 rounds before Berchelt won by TKO. This bout was a one sided affair as Berchelt landed double the punches of his opponent. Berchelt landed 48 punches in the second round followed by 41 punches in the third round, 47 punches in the fourth round, 50 punches in the fifth round, and 45 punches in the sixth round. That is complete domination and Vargas’ corner threw in the towel after the sixth round. Vargas had no problem with his corner stopping the fight.
This was an evening of great action bouts and we get a Hurd vs. Williams rematch in the future which will be a fight friendly bout.
Bert Cooper, Harold Lederman (R.I.P.)
By Tom Donelson / Author, Member Boxing Writers Association … Contributor to dmboxing.com since 2008 with expertise, articles, and input
Last week, boxing lost both Bert Cooper and Harold Lederman. Bert Cooper began as a cruiserweight but it was as a heavyweight that he fought every major figure in the late 1980’s and the 1990’s including George Foreman, Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe, Ray Mercer, and Michael Moorer. His overall record does not speak Hall of Fame with 25 losses go to with his 38 wins but many of his losses came later in his career. From the time he fought his first pro fight in 1984 to his last fight in 2012, he proved to be a warrior and willing to go toe-to-toe with any fighter. RIP Bert Cooper.
Harold Lederman educated an entire audience on the nuances of boxing and scoring through his position with HBO. Perhaps Lederman’s death symbolized the change in boxing and the new TV reality. Lederman, from his perch at HBO, was part of some of the biggest fights, and there was a time that HBO was where the big fights were; but today, HBO no longer covers boxing matches and Lederman, sadly, is no longer with us to score fights.
Lederman would tell the boxing fans that the four big ways to view a fight include ring generalship, clean scoring, defense, and effective aggressiveness. He explained how each played a role in his scoring, and I would agree with Lederman’s view the vast majority of the time.
Lederman spent six decades involved in the sports and now his daughter, Julie, carries on the legacy. Lederman was known more for his scoring fights on HBO, but he judged over 1000 fights as a judge and those six decades gave Lederman a unique perspective on the sport as well historical insight. He also was not afraid of the new technology, such as Compubox, and used them in his analysis. (While Compubox has its limitations, it does give a fan insight into the sport and, explained correctly, it does give you insight on why a boxer won or lost a fight.)
I met Lederman at a bout in New York that was part of an ESPN telecast in the early part of this century. He was the perfect gentleman and gave both myself and my daughter great insight into the fight game that evening.
Lederman originated the practice that every broadcast now does, which is combining the scoring with his view of the boxing match. HBO over the past several years was eclipsed by Showtime and other cable outlets. Showtime is now where the boxing action is, but ESPN still has a hand in boxing along with UFC, while FOX Sports has their own broadcasts, as well. Harold Lederman still provided excellent analysis until the bitter end of HBO. Harold Lederman RIP.
On Saturday night, while Terrence Crawford was preparing to enter the ring against Amir Khan, Danny Garcia had already put on a show by pounding Adrian Granados, a tough fighter who never been stopped and came into the fight with a reputation as a pressure fighter who threw punches in bunches. First round saw Granados do what he does best, box and then move forward while throwing volume of punches, winning the first round on my card.
Second round saw the fight turn badly for Granados as halfway through the round, Garcia threw the short left hook that sent Granados down. Garcia continued to press the action as Granados looked wobbly. With seconds left in the round, Garcia launched a right hand that sent Granados down. Garcia dominated the action in both the third and fourth round as he pressured Granados and throwing the most accurate punches. Granados was not throwing punches in bunches but fought in survival mode as he moved away from Garcia.
Garcia sent Granados a third time in the fifth round and Granados’ corner was ready to pull the plug after the round as Garcia was chopping Granados apart. Granados changed strategy in the sixth round and for the first two minutes, he crowded Garcia to minimize Garcia power but Garcia adjusted as he moved a couple of steps back to give him enough space to counter. Over last minute, Garcia nailed Granados with several big shots and there was very doubt how this fight was going. The Fox team had the scorecard 50-42 and I had it 49-43 so there was no real doubt about the scoring.
Garcia ended the fight in the seventh round as he trapped Granados, landing with a big shots before Referee stopped the fight. This was the best I have seen Garcia in a long time and he sent a message to the rest of the division that he is back and ready to rumble with the best of the division.
The Welterweight is loaded at the top beginning with Terrance Crawford who simply dominated Amir Khan. (David Martinez, which my blogs appear on dmboxing, told me prior to the fight that he saw this as a one sided affair and he was certainly right.) Crawford easy victory now opens up Welterweight for a semi play-off where the best started fighting each other. Thurman, Porter, Garcia, Spence, Crawford are all excellent fighters and then there is Pacquiao whose at 40 still provides big dollar potential for those willing to fight him.
As for Crawford, more print was spent on the ending in which Khan corner essentially threw in the towel while he was recovering from an accidental low blow but Crawford was headed for a victory and Khan’s corner knew that.
And, Garcia sent his own message that he is a contender ready to capture his title back and there is enough talent to have some great fights if promoters allow those fights to happen.
Daniel Jacobs did what he normally does in the big fight vs the best of his division, he came up short. Jacobs is one of those fighters one can easily admire, a man who conquered cancer but he has yet to conquer the two elite fighters of his generation in Middleweight division, Canelo Alvarez and the triple G’s.
Compubox numbers show the story accurately. Jacobs threw nearly 200 punches more than Alvarez but landed nearly sixty less punches as Alvarez connected on two out of every five punches compared to Jacobs who connected only one out of five punches. Over the last half of the fight Alvarez averaged 20 punches connected per round versus 13 punches per round for Jacobs. Alvarez connected more jobs and power shots in particular body shots.
Alvarez had a more diverse attack throughout the bout and showed more flexibility in his punches thrown.
The early rounds were slow but what actions was dictated by Alvarez but over the second half of the fight saw both fighters have their moment. In the tenth round, Jacobs became the aggressor as he pushed Alvarez to the ropes but over the course of the round, Alvarez countered back and seemed unfazed by Jacobs aggressiveness. Canelo Alvarez resumed the role of aggressor in the eleventh round, but Jacobs went toe to toe as he landed his left to Alvarez’s body. Alvarez landed solid rights back and the final round saw Jacobs slip to the canvas while throwing a wild punch. Both fighters landed combinations with Jacob starting with body shots before moving up to Alvarez’s head, while Alvarez landed enough of his own combinations to win the round in my view.
The judges had the fight 115-113, 115-113, and 116-112, which was an accurate view of the fight. I had the fight 116-112 but 115-113 for Alvarez was a reasonable score.
We had a fight that was correctly scored for the winner with no controversy and while Jacobs had his moments, Alvarez was the better fighter. His defensive skills allowed him to slip many of Jacobs punches while effective jabbing set up combinations. Jacobs could not land consistently as Alvarez simply moved quickly out of range.
The question is what next and maybe what is next could be a third Golovkin-Alvarez fight. While Alvarez has one win and a draw against triple G’s, many boxing observers viewed the first draw as a Golovkin win and it could easily be two wins for Golovkin. Both fights were close affairs and worth a third bout. As for Jacobs, he has lost two bouts to both fighters and while one could see a second triple G’s-Jacobs or a second Jacobs-Alvarez but while both bouts would be entertaining, does anyone expect the results to be different? I don’t. A third Golovkin-Alvarez may be what the Middleweight division needs.
By Tom Donelson / Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) … contributor to dmboxing since 2008
Sergey Kovalev recaptured his WBO Light heavyweight title from Eleider Alvarez, who previously knocked the Russian light heavyweight down to win the title. He managed to revenge only the second person who defeated him and did so in dominating form. Kovalev began by winning the first two rounds, connecting on combinations while Alvarez slow in starting .
In the fifth round, Kovalev looked in control but in the sixth, Alvarez got the better of exchanges with his right hand but the rest of the fight, it was Kovalev who looked strong and in the last round, Alvarez looked tired as he took big punches. The key punch was a big right hand that nailed Kovalev in the sixth round, but Kovalev didn’t budge or appeared hurt. From that point, Kovalev took over the fight and won it easily.
The Compubox numbers tell the whole story as he connected on the double the punches, was consistently more active. Kovalev landed 213 punches over those twelve rounds, whereas Alvarez landed only 111, less than 10 per round.
I had the fight 58 to 56 going to the second half and Andre Ward of ESPN had it 59 to 55. The seventh round saw Kovalev pound Alvarez throughout the round and the rest of the fight was not much different. Kovalev not only took control of the fight, he dominated every aspect of the fight as he jabbed and box effectively while landing solid body punches. Alvarez simply couldn’t gain any momentum in the second half of the fight as Kovalev moved in with body shots before moving out boxing with effective jabs. Alvarez rarely connected on a right hand and that was why Kovalev easily won. There was only one round that Alvarez landed more punches and that was eleven. I gave the third and the sixth round due to Alvarez landed some big rights but those rounds could easily been given to Kovalev. While two judges had 116-112, this fight could have ranged from 117-111 to 120-108 in my view. I simply couldn’t find four rounds to even give Alvarez.
Oscar Valdez came back from an 11 months respite from the ring and pounded Carmine Tommasone from the first round. Tommasone landed jabs after jab to keep Valdez and for the first three rounds, Valdez looked rusty and missed many shots but Tommasone simply couldn’t hurt him. In the fourth, two knockdown, one from a counter right and another from left hook to the body.
Tommasone nose was bleeding due to the hard punching Valdez and it was obvious that Tommasone was not going to have the power to make Valdez fear him. Valdez simply continue the assault as he sent Tommasone down the sixth before ending it with a right hand uppercut.
As the fight continued, Valdez rust went away and connected with more accurate punches. Tommasone undefeated record went up in smoke and Valdez won his 25 fight without a loss plus he kept his version, the WBO featherweight title.