Zurdo Ramírez beats Roamer Angulo, looks to unify next

Since winning the WBO belt back in 2016, by defeating Arthur Abraham in a wide unanimous decision win, Gilberto Ramirez has had 3 title defenses. Tonight, was his 4th, when he defeated, undefeated Colombian Roamer Alexis Angulo by way of unanimous decision. The scorecards read 120-108 and 119-109 twice.

it was an underwhelming fight, in which both fighters headlined the ESPN televised card. Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez improved to 38-0 with 25 wins by way of knockout. It was another stay busy fight for Zurdo, but it did not leave a lot of folks very happy with his performance. Fans on twitter, including myself, criticized Ramirez’s lack luster performance. It was very dull, and Gilberto didn’t look impressive enough. Especially to show everyone that he’s the best super middleweight fighter.

Gilberto’s last impressive fight was against Jesse Hart, when he defeated Hart in a close unanimous decision win. Jesse made Gilberto work. A rematch may happen in the next year or so, considering that Hart is already back up high in the WBO rankings. Part of the forgetful 4 fight title defense Ramirez has had was due to the World Boxing Super Serious tournament, that took up a bunch of top 10 super middleweights. Top Rank elected not to put Ramirez in, and thus, the reason for his is weak opposition.

After the fight, Ramirez spoke with Bernardo Osuna of ESPN and stated that he was in fact, not happy with his performance against Angulo. Zurdo was then asked what he would like next, for his next fight. Zurdo called out the other belt holders, James DeGale (IBF champ), George Groves (WBA champ, and also part of the WBSS final), and David Benavidez (WBC champ). Ramirez stated he wants to unify next, and that should be Top Rank’s next priority for him.

Top Rank tried to sign David Benavidez, however Benavidez opted to stay with Sampson Lewkowicz. Fighters George Groves and Callum Smith with fight for the WBSS final later this year. David Benavidez and Anthony Dirrell will be facing each other next. That’s 4 top 10 super middleweights taken. There’s still James DeGale, who Top Rank can try to make an offer for, or go for a top 10 super middleweight in Jose Uzcategui, Caleb Truax or even Chris Eubank Jr.

Top Rank should look at the critics and really push forward for a better fight for Zurdo. They have this ESPN platform at their disposal. They need to take advantage and give the fans competitive and entertaining fights. No excuse to not try to get a unification fight next, or even a top 10 fighter in the division. Reporters like Dan Rafael and Mike Coppinger weren’t shy on twitter to call Zurdo Ramirez “ZZZurdo”. It’s good that Top Rank can keep Zurdo busy with all these ESPN dates. But that won’t be good enough. Entertaining the fans matters. Especially if ESPN’s ratings come back looking poor.

Now that the WBSS tournament is coming to an end in the 168 pound division, there should be no excuses for Top Rank to start racking up opponents for Ramirez, that were once taken due to the tournament.

Advertisements

Lomachenko stops Linares in 10

Vasiliy Lomachenko captured the WBA and Ring Magazine belt in which was his 3rd major title in his 3rd weight class in just 2 professional bouts. Vasiliy is nothing short of a special fighter. He improves to 11-1 (9 KOs) by defeating arguably the best lightweight fighter in the division.

Since his 2nd professional bout against Orlando Salido, Vasiliy Lomachenko hasn’t been in competitive fight until last night with Jorge Linares. Since suffering his first loss, Lomachenko’s been in the ring with Gary Russell Jr., Roman Martinez, Nicholas Walters, Guillermo Rigondeaux, and none of them were able to be competitive.

Lomachenko moved up to his 3rd, yes 3rd weight class in just 12 professional fights. Jorge Linares gave Lomachenko a helluva fight, and more than many people initially thought. Linares’ speed and proper foot movement gave Lomachenko issues. When Lomachenko was ready pivot around Linares, Jorge was ready and there to pivot with him.

In the 6th round, Jorge Linares caught Vasiliy Lomachenko coming in carelessly and Lomachenko was caught with a right hand that sent him to the canvas. It was a flash knockdown, Lomachenko got up instantly. It was a reminder to him that Linares’ power and speed wasn’t something to be taken lightly. Lomachenko adjusted accordingly by moving his head more moving inside of the pocket.

In the 10th, Lomachenko landed a beautiful right hook and left uppercut to the body that floored Linares to the ground. That was a knockdown that actually hurt the fighter, and Linares was very slow to get up. Referee wasn’t convinced with the way Linares was reacting to the body punch, and wound up stopping the fight. It’s Lomachenko’s 8th consecutive stoppage. Both fighters displayed tremendous skills and heart, which lead way to being one of the best fights so far in 2018.

Lomachenko looked vulnerable for the first time since facing Orlando Salido. 135 pounds is most likely Vasiliy’s ceiling in terms of moving up in weight. Linares looked bigger, and Lomachenko is most likely best at 130 pounds. However, with there being more competition at 135 pounds, it appears that Lomachenko will end up staying at that weight class.

Bob Arum has mentioned that Lomachenko will be returning in California on August 25th. The most likely opponent will probably be Ray Beltran, who is currently the WBO belt holder at lightweight. It’s a unification fight, and it’s an easy fight to make with both Beltran and Lomachenko being with the same promoter. It would be a good fight for Lomachenko and also a stay busy fight. Beltran is a top 10 fighter in the division and has a major belt. What more can you ask?

The fight that promoters, media members, boxing scribes and fans are all salivating over is a potential huge fight between Mikey Garcia against Vasiliy Lomachenko. However, that fight may be extremely tough to make. Top Rank and Mikey Garcia had a fall out, and ended up needing to go through court so that Mikey Garcia could be released form his contract with Top Rank. There still seems to be bitter blood between the two. If that fight ever happens, certainly won’t be until at least 2019.

In the meantime, Mikey Garcia, who is a 135 belt holder (WBC Belt) will have a unification fight against another title holder (IBF Belt) in Robert Easter Jr. That fight will end up happening on July 28th at the Staples Center. In the meantime, a potential super fight between Lomachenko and Garcia will have to wait. Let the marination and bad blood continue.

Golovkin destroys Martirosyan in 2

Gennady Golovkin reverted to knocking out his opponent last night, after previously going the distance in his last two fights against Daniel Jacobs and Canelo Alvarez. Granted, Vanes had not fought in 2 years, and his previous fight was at junior middleweight. However, Gennady displayed his power and showed why he’s been so dominant at middleweight the past few years.

The first round HBO unofficial judge Harold Lederman scored the first round for Vanes Martirosyan. Vanes was able to land some nice right hands that got Golovkin’s attention. Abel Sanchez was able to get the right words out in the corner and told Golovkin to not be so stiff and to open up his offense up by using his jab more and not look for that “one shot”.

Round 2 came and Golovkin was definitely more tactical with his offense. It allowed for Vanes defense to open up a bit, which gave Golovkin the proper ammunition to land his right hands. Vanes got caught with an uppercut and was taken out by left hooks and right hands. Golovkin improves to 38-0-1 with 34 wins by knockout.

The fight with Vanes Martirosyan was supposed to be a stay busy fight due to the Canelo Alvarez fight being canceled due to Canelo being suspended for 6 months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. When asked if Golovkin thought a rematch would happen in September, he said it’s a 10% chance of happening.

Golden Boy promotions seem way more optimistic in being able to get a deal done. Golovkin and his team with Tom Loeffler want the Canelo fight as their top priority. The same goes to Canelo and his top guys with Eric Gomez and Oscar De La Hoya.

Golovkin also told the L.A. Times that he wants to fight two more times before the year ends. There are now plenty of fighters at middleweight that Golovkin can choose from, and like Abel Sanchez says, with Golovkin being 36 years old, he won’t be able to fight all of them.

Abel Sanchez stated that he would like Golovkin to face as many of the top guys as possible, but they all want big “unrealistic” money to fight him. Top Rank chairmen Bob Arum stated that he would like to make Gennady Golovkin vs Ryota Murata in Japan, possibly in December in the Tokyo Dome. Abel Sanchez really likes that fight for Golovkin, as that the fight would be pay-per-view over there and put possibly up to 60 thousand seats there.

Other top fights to make in the division would be against Billy Joe Saunders, Jermall Charlo, Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Demetrius Andrade and a rematch against Daniel Jacobs. Bob Arum has also mentioned Zurdo Ramirez (168 super middleweight fighter) to face Golovkin in the future as well. There are plenty of options for Gennady Golovkin, and if he continues his trend to fight 3 times a year, he could face a lot more tougher competition to end his career.

Terence Crawford: New journey, same goals.

June 9th will be the return of Terence Crawford, as he looks to make his welterweight debut against tough Australian Jeff Horn. The fight will take place in Las Vegas on ESPN+ and it will be for Horn’s 147 WBO belt, in which he won last summer when he defeated Manny Pacquiao in Brisbane, Australia.

Last August, in front of his home town in Nebraska, Terenece Crawford became the first fighter to be undisputed champion in recent years at 140 pounds, the junior welterweight limit. He defeated Julius Indongo, and climbed up to be many people’s top pound for pound fighter.

After dominating the junior welterweight division, Crawford has his eyes set at dominating the welterweight division. This division is no doubt much more competitive than the previous division he was in. Besides his opponent Jeff Horn (WBO), there’s also Errol Spence (IBF), Keith Thurman (WBA), Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia will fight for the vacant WBC belt, Jessie Vargas, Lucas Matthysse and Manny Pacquiao.

Just recently, Pacquiao and Matthysse have agreed to a fight in July in Malaysia. Both fighters are in their mid to late thirties, and are both way past their primes. Pacquiao probably won’t even go near Crawford, if he gets past Matthysse. There’s already talks of Pacquiao possibly facing Vasyl Lomachenko by years end.

The rest of the group at welterweight are all on the PBC universe side. Keith Thurman is viewed as injury prone. Which is extremely unfortunate since he has two world title belts and has only fought twice in the past 2 years. Keith Thurman was slated back to return on May 19th, after having surgery on his elbow. His last fight was March of 2017, when he defeated Danny Garcia to take his second belt. But again, suffered an injury during camp, and will postpone his return.

The rest of the PBC fighters in the meantime will look to stay active. Errol Spence Jr will fight again June 16th in his home state of Texas. Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter were both considered mandatory opponents for Keith Thurman to defend his belt. But with Thurman’s new injury, he decided to vacate one of his belts and have Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia fight for it. It was a good move by Thurman, who is scheduled to return August 4th.

That leaves Crawford at a bit of a disadvantage at looking for quality opponents at welterweight. Majority of the PBC fighters are locked up fighting each other. In a post fight press conference, after Spence defeated Lamont Peterson, promoter Lou DiBella practically stated that a fight between Thurman and Spence would be much easier to make than a Crawford vs Spence fight. This is despite Thurman publicly stating that he would not be ready for a Spence fight, until at least 2019.

Top Rank Vice President Carl Moretti stated that Crawford has the ability to face Amir Khan as a potential opponent. Top Rank also has a sturdy welterweight contender in Egidijus Kavaliauskas. Aside from those two, and possibly not counting Manny Pacquiao, theres not much left for credible opponents for Crawford. Top Rank will really have to work hard with Haymon and try to lure some PBC fighters to fight Crawford.

Regardless of the circumstances, theres no doubt that if fighters in the welterweight division want to be considered top pound for pound fighters, then they’re going to have to get past Terence Crawford, especially if he beats Jeff Horn in June. Skill alone, Terence Crawford is the best in the division, but he needs to prove to everybody that he belongs and can be the best. Crawford has it all, speed, power, footwork, ring intelligence and solid defense.

At 32-0 with 23 wins by knockout, he’s primed to take over the division. Hall of fame trainer Freddie Roach has been very vocal about not having Pacquiao go near Crawford at this point of his career. In an interview with Marcos Villegas on Fight Hub TV, Roach stated that he’s a complete fighter. “He can move or he can come forward, I do think he’s the best fighter pound for pound, and the only guy that may be able to challenge him right now is Errol Spence”. Look for Crawford to fight at least twice this year.

The Floyd Mayweather experiment

Floyd Mayweather will go down as one of the best fighters to ever lace up. Most definitely one of the best defensive fighters to ever live. He started off his career signing with Top Rank, and beating quality guys like Jose Luis Castillo, Diego Corrales and others. Floyd decided that he deserved more money, and took the same approach as Oscar De La Hoya did, creating his own promotional company, and accelerating his career by promoting himself the way he thought could make him one of the highest paid fighters in the sport.

Undoubtedly, Floyd had the perfect tools to accomplish exactly what he wanted. Floyd exploded his financial career by getting high pay days against Oscar De La Hoya, Canelo Alvarez, Manny Pacquiao, Conor McGregor, Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto and others. Not to mention, his 6 fight deal he signed with Showtime/CBS worth $250 million. Floyd definitely lived up to his nickname “money”.

Throughout his career, Floyd took calculated risks on when he would be fighting his opponents. It was risk vs reward. How can Floyd capitalize on his career, without suffering set backs. A possible Pacquiao fight got dragged out from 2010 all the way to 2015. Sure, it wasn’t all of Floyd’s fault that the fight didn’t happen when it should’ve. But in the end, the ball was in his own court, and he was his own boss. If that was a fight that he absolutely wanted next, the fight could’ve happened sooner. Instead, Floyd made tons of excuses on why the fight wasn’t going to happen, too many to even name.

Going back, respected writer Thomas Hauser spoke with hall of fame match maker Bruce Trampler, who remembered a time when Floyd was still a Top Rank fighter. Bruce stated that Al Haymon, a long time advisor of Floyd’s and hundreds of other fighters, did not want Bruce to mention Antonio Margarito to Bob Arum as a possible opponent for Floyd. Back then, Margarito was regarded as one of the most dangerous welterweights in the sport.

No one in boxing is really shocked by it. Floyd also didn’t fight a lot of the fighters he fought in their prime. This has nothing to do with knocking off Floyd off any all time great lists. Floyd got the job done by beating every opponent that was put in front of him. Although, many thought that he suffered his first loss to Jose Luis Castillo in their first fight. But besides Margarito, Floyd never fought heavy puncher Kosta Tszyu and a couple other fighters.

Flash forward to today’s date. Floyd now being “retired”, is focusing on other business aspects in his new career. One of them is his own promotional company in Mayweather Promotions. His top fighters are Badou Jack, Gervonta Davis, Thomas Dulorme and prospects like Andrew Tabiti. It’s not a overwhelmingly popular stable of fighters, but certainly has some respectable guys at his disposal.

Perhaps Gervonta Davis is his prized pupil, in which he hopes he can bring up the ranks as a possible pay-per-view attraction. Davis is currently 23 years of age and has a record of 19-0 with 18 of those wins by knockout. He fights in the junior lightweight division and is regarded as one of the most talented in the weight class.

Last January, Davis fought Puerto Rican Jose Pedraza for the IBF belt. A win would classify Davis as one of the best in the division and a clear title holder. Davis won in exciting fashion, by knocking out Pedraza, who himself, was regarded as one of the best in the division. A few months later in the United Kingdom, Davis knocked out Liam Walsh, and made himself a clear standout in the division. A division in which Vasily Lomachenko was dominating.

After the Walsh win, people began the talk on a possible Lomachenko vs Davis fight. In the post fight press conference, a reporter asked the idea of fighting Vasyl Lomachenko. His promoter chimed in quickly.

“Let me answer the question. I’ve said this before, there is no rush, as you guys see, Lomachenko has to rush, he’s 30 years old, I don’t know how old he is, he has to rush. This kid is still young, theres no rush, we’re going to take our time. But one thing I want to say is, we’re not ducking or dodging any opponent”.

Shortly after, Floyd stated that he wasn’t interested in matching Davis up with Lomachenko because the Ukrainian fighter didn’t command enough revenue for the fight to be made, and wasn’t a star. Davis had yet to headline a fight in the United States, and meanwhile Lomachenko was fighting regularly on HBO and ESPN main event cards.

Shortly after, Davis fought in the Mayweather-McGregor undercard. Despite it being a good platform for Davis, which it turned out the fight itself did 4.4 million pay-per-view buys, he fought relatively unknown Costa Rican fighter in Francisco Fonseca. Davis wind up missing weight and lost his belt on the scales. He’s now set to return April 21st on Showtime, against Jesus Cuellar. A fighter who hasn’t fought since December of 2016. Cuellar’s last fight was against Abner Mares, which he ended up losing by split decision.

Risk vs reward. Thats what Floyd is currently instilled in Gervonta Davis. The notion that Gervonta Davis wasn’t ready for a potential unification fight against Vasyl Lomachenko was a poor excuse. It’s clear that Davis now holds the same ideology that his promoter believes in. Lomachenko ended up calling out Davis on social media, and to that response, Davis replied “you can’t rush greatness, baby”. His promoter’s CEO Leonard Ellerbe also played a roll into the idea that Davis doesn’t have to fight Lomachenko . Ellerbe responded to Davis’s tweet by saying “we move to our own music”.

Its clear that they wanted no part of Lomachenko. Creating the notion that Davis was in no position to have to face him. Tireless arguments are that Davis is still young, and needs to develop. Well, if that was the case, why fight for a title? when it comes to winning a belt, the time of “developing” comes to an end. Floyd could’ve easily pulled Davis out of the Pedraza fight, if they really felt that Davis still needed more seasoning to his game. Once you win a title, you’re good enough to fight for other belts in the division, and fight the best, instead of holding the belt hostage.

Davis does only have 19 fights under his belt. Which, isn’t much for his professional career. However he does have 221 amateur fights under his belt, which more than gives him enough development to be able to compete with the best in his division by now. Despite all the talk and excuses, it appears we won’t see that fight take place anyway. Lomachenko will move up in weight for his next fight, and will either face Jorge Linares or Ray Beltran for a lightweight belt. Perhaps in the future, when Lomachenko continues to age, and Davis Is ready to move up in weight, they may meet. But until then, when it comes time to talk about Gervonta Davis as possibly one of the best fighters in the world, look back at the time when he wasn’t “ready” for a hard fight against Lomachenko.

Vasyl came into the pros with 397 amateur fights. Lomachenko faced Orlando Salido and Gary Russell Jr in his 2nd and 3rd professional fights. He lost by split decision against Salido, but despite suffering his first loss, it appears that Lomachenko learned from his loss and returned even better. So what if Lomachenko would’ve been the considerable favorite against Davis, and so what if Davis would’ve loss. Fighters can learn from losses, and it tends to make them better fighters in the long haul. Saving a fighters undefeated record is the most overrated thing in boxing and it doesn’t equate to being the best. Considering who you face, and when you face them.

In the end, fighters earn more respect in the sport by going out of their way to fighting the best. Money eventually comes to fighter’s ways when they’re skilled enough and have the backing of fans to be willing to watch them in big fights. Davis would’ve gotten more credit in fighting Lomachenko. Instead, he’s viewed as ducking top competition, because his team is more concerned of protecting his undefeated record.

Davis is a talented fighter, his journey at fighting for another title begins this April. If he wants the money, big fights and recognition, he needs to go out of his way to ask for those fights, and not hide behind his promoter. Lomachenko suffered his first loss as a pro in his second fight. Now, with 11 fights under his belt, his stock is even better than it was before. Having a loss on your record isn’t the end of the world and it isn’t a major setback. Perhaps Davis will never be “ready” to face Lomachenko.

Rungvisai and Estrada go to war

The second installment of “Super Fly” took place this Saturday night on HBO, and just like the first edition, it lived up to expectations. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai came off of knocking out Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez in the first part of this brand new series. Rungvisai and Estrada was a compelling 50-50 type of match up, and that certainly was the case.

Juan Francisco Estrada had previously faced Roman Gonzalez a few years ago and came up short in 2012, when both were still at the flyweight division. With Gonzalez working his way back up from getting knocked out, this fight was viewed to be mentioned as the top fighter at 115 pounds.

Rungvisai came out being aggressive, and Estrada came out cautious to start off the fight. Despite Srisaket being wild with punches, he was landing the harder punches in the early going against Estrada. Rungvisai’s punches moved Estrada clearly through the beginning to middle rounds of the fight.

Towards the second half of the fight, Rungvisai began to slow down, and Estrada started taking advantage of it. Estrada used his pin point boxing technique and accuracy to land cleaner the punches. Countering Rungviasi coming in, and scoring better through the rounds.

The 12th round came, which provided us for an early favorite of round of the year. There were no knockdowns, but both fighters went out on their shields. Both guys were susceptible to being knocked out, which had both guys throwing hellacious punches.

The final scorecards were 114-114, 115-113 and 117-111 all for Sriskaet Sor Rungviasi in a majority decision win. The last scorecard was a bit wide for my liking. I personally scored the fight a draw and I could see either fighter getting 115-113. It was a close competitive fight. Tom Loefler, promoter of 360 promotions, made it clear that a rematch will be the top priority for the third installment of Super Fly.

Final punch stats provided by Compubox gave the edge for Srisaket Sor Rungviasi as he threw 879 punches, landing 194 of them at a 22% rate. Juan Francisco Estrada threw 671, but was more accurate by landing 189 punches at a 28% rate.

The Super Fly weight division is extremely stacked, possibly and arguably the best weight class in the sport. However, its looking more and more likely that Naoya Inoue, who is the current WBO belt holder, will move up to bantamweight.

Current IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas is one of the best in the division, but may be difficult to secure fights with other guys in the division due to his new promotional contract with Top Rank, who just signed a deal last year with ESPN. Top Rank and HBO had a split last year, and its highly unlikeable Top Rank sends any of its major fighters to HBO.

In the co main event, McWilliams Arroyo handed Carlos Cuadras his second consecutive loss in his professional career. Cuadras has gone 1-3 in his last four fights, losing to Roman Gonzalez, Juan Francisco Estrada, and now Arroyo.

Carlos Cuadras had Abel Sanchez in his corner, and it simply didn’t help. Cuadras went from arguably being one of the best in the 115 pound class, to now being in danger to becoming dangerously irrelevant in the division. To his credit, there is no shame to losing to Gonzalez and Estrada. But a guy like Arroyo is someone that Cuadras should’ve been able to beat. His next fight could definitely be telling on where he stands in the division.

Groves outpoints Eubank Jr to secure a spot in the final

The World Boxing Super Series has been an instant success. Kalle and Nisse Sauerland, who are the co founders of the series itself, can tap themselves on the back for the jobs they’ve done. The production crew has been great, and the fighters are just the icing on top of the cake. So far, we’ve had three straight weeks of good fights. Usyk vs Briedis, Gassiev vs Dorticos and yesterday with Eubank Jr vs Groves. Next week in the last super middleweight semi final we’ll get Smith vs Brahmer.

The fight has been hyped up for the past several months in the United Kingdom, and it lived up to expectations. Chris Eubank Jr suffered his first loss several years ago when he was at middleweight and fought Billy Joe Saunders. Chris was a young fighter, and his hopes were that the would learn from that fight. Unfortunately, he hasn’t made the necessary adjustments since that fight.

George Groves was able to out box Chris Eubank Jr comfortably. Eubank was overly swinging his punches wildy for the majority of the fight, and Groves was able to use his jab and throw cleaner and more effective punches. Eubank was never able to adjust throughout the fight, and Groves simply proved to be the more intelligent fighter throughout the majority of the rounds. Groves sustained in what appeared a dislocated left shoulder in the 12th round.

“The jab was landing correctly all night. When he had success, it was because I was doing something wrong. He was strong, he was aggressive, but obviously wasn’t enough tonight.” -George Groves

George Groves ended up improving to 28-3 (20 KOs) and the judges scorecards read 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113, winning by unanimous decision. No controversy, and the judges got it right. The world boxing super series has been lucky that the tournament itself has gone as smooth as it has. There haven’t been any delays in terms of injuries, the judges have scored the fight fairly. In May, we’ll see the final in the cruiserweight division. Shortly after we’ll see the final in the super middleweight division.