#StiverneWilder Review by Paul Ready

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It has been nine long years since an American, Shannon Briggs held the WBO Heavyweight title – 25-30 yrs ago that would have been unheard of.

The MGM Grand in Las Vegas too has experienced a long absence since it hosted a Heavyweight title bout – the last championship fight was a hungry Mike Tyson snacking on Evander Holyfield’s ear – some 18 yrs ago.

I must admit like many I did back the Haitian born Bermaine “B Ware” Stiverne to win, citing Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder’s lack of experience – how wrong I was.

The Tuscaloosan put on a jabbing clinic that Larry Holmes would have been proud of and nullified any threat from the WBC champion. The pre-fight talk was around who was going to land first and at the end of the second round it appeared that Stiverne was about to fold.

B Ware’s legs buckled as the 29 yr old landed a “bomb” that left the champion wobbling – resulting in a rugby/NFL take-down that floored both men after the bell sounded.

The Bronze Bomber never looked back and accelerated in to the lead on the cards as he entered uncharted territory; seeing the fifth round. As he waned towards the championship rounds, the fight was destined to go the distance with Wilder taking a majority decision – what were the odds??

“I think I answered a lot of questions tonight,” Wilder said.

“I already knew it. We knew we could go 12 rounds. We knew we could take a punch. We knew we could give it. All the hard word is done in camp.”

Whilst I was impressed with Wilder’s patience and notably his jab, I couldn’t help but feel his boxing ability has many holes that a top heavyweight would exposure. I don’t recall him throwing one meaningful body-shot, he swings erratically when he connects, which leaves him wide-open for a counter-punch.

For such a slender heavyweight (Stiverne weighed in 20lbs heavier) I would expect much slicker footwork & lateral movement, but how can you develop your ring-craft if you have nailed all of your 32 opponents inside four-rounds?

I’m pleased for Wilder as American Heavyweight boxing desperately needed a new poster-boy – crowned on Muhammed Ali’s 73rd birthday no-less. The All Access preview show documented the adversity the Bronze-Bomber has faced with his daughter’s health – I’m not ashamed to say tugged at my fellow parental instinct; the champion has secured her financial future.

For Stiverne, the 36 yr old will take sometime to reflect & regroup after a gruelling camp that commenced in August:

“It wasn’t my night,” Stiverne told Showtime’s Jim Gray after the fight.

“I felt 100 percent before the fight but once I got in the ring I couldn’t cut the ring, I couldn’t move my head like I usually do.  What can I say?  Congrats to him.

So who is next for the newly crowned champion?

The likelihood being “Uncle Al” Haymon will move Deontay from ShowTime to his newly created PBC – (Premier Boxing Champions) schedule on NBC Sport and have at least one gimme outing as WBC champion.

Wilder never the shy & retiring type made no secret about who he wanted next:

 

‘I want Fury next, then Wladimir Klitschko for all the other titles by the end of this year. 

‘Me and Tyson would be one helluva fight. We’re both big punchers and entertainers. 

‘I would love to do it in the UK, where I’ve always enjoyed my visits. No problem for me.’

 

The UK is where the future of Heavyweight boxing is at – fights against Tyson Fury, David Price, Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte in the future can and will be huge. Not forgetting his former sparring partner David Haye – should he return of course.

I think he should give a unification fight with “Dr Steelhammer” Wladimir Klitschko a wide berth for the remainder of this year at the very least. The Ukrainian is King and the young Lions coming through have some way to go before they can consider dethroning him.

 

Heavyweight boxing has finally awoken from its deep sleep, it is showered, dressed and currently posing in the mirror with some sunglasses on before it steps outside….

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

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Boxing Update 12/05 by Paul Ready

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With the WBC Heavyweight Title being won by Bermane Stiverne on Saturday evening, aptly this week in boxing history two of the greatest Heavyweight’s in history also fought for the prestigious accolade:

 

1955 – Rocky Marciano TKOs Don Cockell in 9 for Heavyweight title

1975 – Muhammed Ali TKOs Ron Lyle in 11 for Heavyweight title

1977 – Muhammed Ali beats Alfredo Evangelist in 15 for Heavyweight title

 

Haitian Stiverne stopped Arreola in the 6th to claim the belt vacated by Vitali Klitschko and can now look forward to facing Deontay Wilder in his first mandatory defence.

Promoted by Don King who still wears that battered denim jacket claimed this victory was ushering in a new era of Heavyweight boxing .

Whilst it is refreshing to see a non Klitschko holding a belt, Bronze Bomber Wilder would knock-out Stiverne inside 7 rounds for me.

 

Eubank Jnr v Swierzbinski

 

Another easy night for Eubank Jnr, he toyed with his opponent and regardless of an injury he obtained sparring Carl Froch that prevented him from throwing jabs, he should have finished him sooner.

Scoring 7 knockdowns, Jr was forever searching for that killer uppercut to win in spectacular style.

An emotionless 7th round stoppage by the referee brought down the curtains on a tedious encounter for spectators.

“I injured my shoulder sparring Carl Froch which is why I didn’t throw my jab and why I didn’t throw many combinations. I knew I had to go in there calm as, by using foot movement I’d be too tempted to jab.

So I had to calm his pace down and it worked out for the best. The guy was going down but credit to him, he has a big heart.”

After going to 15-0, we still don’t fully know how good Eubank Jnr really is.

I believe he is talented but we need to benchmark him against a credible 160lb fighter.

A sterner test must transpire sooner rather than later,  I would really like to see him face John Ryder, Nick Blackwell or of course Billy Joe Saunders.

When asked about Saunders in the post-fight interview, Jr responded:

“Who is this Billy Joe Saunders? I’ve never seen the guy fight. I don’t know him, but if he ever gets the privilege of facing me in the ring, he will wish he hadn’t”

Shy and retiring is our Eubank Jr. Not to be out done by his son, Chris Sr spoke about where he rates his son currently:

“Only one fighter in the world beats my son now and that is Andre Ward. That’s because he is a thinker and only come forward when he wants to”

My first reaction?

Laughter of course like the rest of the country, but to make a statement of that magnitude sums up the self-belief with in the Eubank camp, which you have to admire.

With rumours of Kerry Hope facing Jr on the Fury Chisora 2 card being quashed in some outlets this weekend, I really do hope he is matched better moving forward.

 

Gethin v Mathews

Derry Mathews won a split decision over Martin Gethin on Saturday evening.

Mathews won the British Lightweight title after some confusion on the scorecards being read out.

“Dirty Derry was deserved winner in a great bout and still harbours a dream of winning a world title.

Experience and guile won Mathews the early rounds and down the stretch out-boxing Gethin.

Mathews can look forward to an outing on the Fury Chisora bill 26th July.

Fury Chisora 2 

Earlier on Saturday afternoon, down the M62 in Manchester we had a meeting between both men in the Printworks with Steve Bunce as mediator.

As expected, things got heated and if you haven’t watched any footage yet, watch the below video courtesy of IFLTV.

 

Second Coming – Cardiff 17th May

The Matchroom roadshow takes us back to Cardiff on Saturday evening.

With a busy few weeks in store with a maiden outing to Leeds on Wednesday 21st May followed by Froch Groves 2 on 31st May at Wembley.

Lee Selby v Romulu Koasicha

WBC International Featherweight title & Eliminator for WBC Featherweight title

 

The self-proclaimed Welsh Mayweather fights in a WBC eliminator on Saturday evening, Koasicha (21-3: 12KO’s) holds the WBC US Featherweight title, the Mexican sports a 50% KO record and will certainly be game come Saturday evening.

For Selby this represents the final hurdle before he challenges for a World Title against champion Jhonny Gonzalez.

 

Nathan Cleverly v Sean Corbin

Vacant WBA Inter-Continental cruiserweight title

Nathan Cleverly makes his long-awaited bow as a Matchroom fighter and as a Cruiserweight.

9 months ago Clev was stopped in brutal fashion by Sergey Kovalev and takes the first footsteps on the path to becoming a 2-weight World Champion.

 

Gary Buckland v Gavin Rees 2

The rematch I thought we would never have.

I genuinely felt Rees would call it a day after both men threw the kitchen sink at one another in February.

It was a scrap that would have done a final fight scene in any movie justice and personifies exactly why I love this sport.

Rees has vowed to bow out in style in front of a partisan home-crowd Saturday;

 

“I will leave everything I have in the ring on May 17 and I am proud of everything I have achieved,” said Rees. “Winning a World title was a dream come true and of course all British fighters want to win the British title and claiming that for the first time in 2010 was a huge honour.

“Gary Lockett has done a brilliant job getting me through training camps in the last few years but I can’t keep doing it. I’ve had a fair few injuries and they are catching up with me, but I’ve still got a great fight left in me and I plan to empty everything left in me out in Cardiff and put on a real show for the fans who have been great to me.

“The first fight was a classic and you could not argue with the decision going either way. Of course I thought I did enough to get it but there were no complaints. Gary is a fantastic fighter and you know what you are going to get with us – all-action for 12 rounds.

“It’ll be an emotional night for me knowing that it’s the end of a brilliant road, so I want to bow out in style and say I ended my career with a great win in Cardiff.”

Rees is a great character and British boxing will be all the poorer without him.

Callum Smith v Tobias Webb
WBC International Super Middleweight title

Mundo takes on Tobias Webb in what will be his toughest fight to date. Callum is my favourite prospect on these shores and i’m looking forward to another comprehensive victory.

 

Other fights making up the rest of the undercard are:

Chris Jenkins v Miguel Aguilar

Dale Evans v Mark Douglas

Mitch Buckland v Daza Usher

Robbie Turley v Marc Callaghan

Alex Hughes v Mark Till

 

International

Forum, Inglewood – California

Juan Manuel Marquez v Mike Alvarado

The renovated Forum hosts a cracker this weekend between Marquez and Alvarado.

Marquez is man who needs no introduction, Alvarado has been in some wars of late with Brandon Rios and Ruslan Provdonikov, expect both men to stand in the middle of the ring and trade until the sunrises.

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

 

Marquez can’t weather the Desert Storm… Frampton, Price/Booth By Paul Ready

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Evening,

Belated blog. I’ve been to London, Leeds and Nottingham this week for work and pleasure. Early starts, late finishes. Graft. Feeling baked.

Before we recap last weekend. Who remembers this game from their youth?

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Desert Strike. Mega Drive. Old School.

I thought this was actually called Desert Storm, maybe Bradley’s favourite console game as a boy. Hence this nick-name. But it’s not. My bad. #Awks.

Action packed card at the Thomas & Mack Centre in Vegas, headlined by Tim Bradley v Juan Manuel Marquez. Lets look at the one of the supporting acts:

Lomachenko v Ramirez:

Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko the two-time Olympic Gold Medallist, who is the arguably the greatest amateur of all time. Sporting a 368-1 Amateur record which is jaw-droppingly impressive.

I was expecting big things, 4 horseman of the apocalypse big. He didn’t disappoint.

First observation was that the 25 yr old was making his debut in a 10 rounder against resilient Mexican Jose Ramirez (25-4 15 KO’s).

Who has a debut fight set at 10 rounds? Unheard of. It was never going to go the distance. It could of had a 20 round distance and wouldn’t of made a shred of difference, but it’s the point that 10 rounds was set which is unreal.

20 seconds in when he floored Ramirez, with a superb body shot, you knew you were watching the birth of a future P4P World Champion. He has everything in his locker. He can bang, he can move. Connects with every other punch thrown.

Ramirez proved to be resilient for all of 4 rounds. When he was rocked again with an even better body shot. His theatrical roll was certainly not staged. I felt that from my living room.

Lomachenko is being lined up for a world title bow in his 2nd outing. Against newly crowned Orlando Salido (40-12-2, 28 KOs),

Demonstrates the belief that Top Rank have in him. Big things round the corner for him. He can easily move up to Lightweight, a definite multi-weight World Champion. Might be a tad too soon for a World Title fight for me, could easily go pear shaped.

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Monster

Bradley v Marquez

The forever underrated Timothy Bradley won a tactical master class over 40 yr Juan Manuel Marquez. Bradley, who didn’t drop a round, made Marquez box his fight.

He won on another contentious split decision. Contentious in his favour on this occasion.

How Marquez had won by one judges scoring defies belief. Bradley controlled the fight with ease, and only had to get out of 2nd gear in a handful of exchanges. He stifled Marquez’ power and made him look very much 40 and 10 yrs his elder.

bradley_marquez

I backed Marquez before, favouring his counter punching power and heart to steer him to a narrow victory.

Bradley is the American Amir Khan, in the sense that he isn’t rated by the boxing community there.

He isn’t your traditional self assured American boxer like a Floyd or Broner. Nor is he the people’s champion that has a strong following. After this victory he certainly warrants being on the podium in the P4P rankings, but you feel there still is a piece to his jigsaw missing.

A piece that should mirror his boxing brain and undefeated record. He’s been in with the division’s best and always delivered.

I for one hope he isn’t one of Floyd’s remaining 4 opponents as it would be an extremely dull match up. A game of chess would ensue, with neither willing to gamble. He has even adopted the famous Mayweather shoulder roll into his defence.

So it begs the question. Who is next for Bradley? I’d love to see him fight Canelo at a catch weight of say 150. If Canelo doesn’t fight Cotto of course. Bradley has got the frame to make that weight comfortably and it’s a fight for two who have a point to prove. It would be a fascinating encounter.

Carl-Frampton-Jeremy-Parodi-IBF

The Jackal

Moving closer to home, in Belfast this weekend. We have the maiden event hosted by newly founded Cyclone Promotions, headed by Barry McGuigan. Headlined by Carl Frampton and aptly named “Frampton Comes Alive”, it pits him against relatively unknown Frenchman Jeremy Parodi.

It’s a fight that Frampton should win at a canter. I’ll be staggered if he doesn’t stop him inside 4.

Interestingly the mind games have already began against domestic rival Scott Quigg and ex promoter Eddie Hearn.

It was leaked on Twitter and later confirmed on camera that Matchroom have made an offer to Cyclone for a Quigg v Frampton match up in March 2014.

The timing is very convenient in my eyes, it’s the week before his fight to Parodi. After a long absence since earlier this year, Frampton needs to be 100% focused on the task in hand.

Are they aiming to unsettle him, make Frampton take his eye off the guy in front? Absolutely.

Frampton and his camp don’t suffer fools gladly and can see what stunt they are trying to pull.

Making the below quotes on the timing of the leak and a fair assessment of Quigg’s last fight:

“I thought Salinas won the fight by a round but they both looked very ordinary. The Cuban only lost the fight because he became lazy in the later rounds,” Frampton told the Belfast Newsletter.

“He could have won every round if he had continued to use his jab and I thought his tactics at the end of the fight were very strange. I think we all saw what Quigg has to offer on Saturday night and I think I could take him out in three rounds. He was wobbled on Saturday night by a couple of jabs and because of that he was too nervous to throw shots,” he added.

Quigg’s camp talked about facing IBF World champion Kiko Martinez, a fighter the undefeated Frampton has back in his sights, after the bout, but the European ring king believes that would prove a bad move.

“Kiko would blow him out of the water. He would destroy him.

“Quigg looked ordinary on Saturday night and hopefully we can meet in the future,” added Frampton.

I love that. This has a soap opera all over it. Love rat, jilted ex, new boyfriend.

Brilliant.

I’d have to back Frampton in 1st half of the fight as I believe his is technically a better fighter. Quigg possibly 2nd half of the fight on points. But he’d have to come out of the blocks Usain Bolt style against Frampton, as the fight could be over in 6 if he boxes like he did against Salinas.

Regardless, I hope this develops in to a real rivalry that spans a trilogy of fights, like Marquez v Pacquaio and a genuine animosity towards one another.

British boxing needs that. Bad blood sells. I’d go as far as to say I would prefer to see that fight than Brook v Khan. I really would.

My final point this week is David Price. The Liverpudlian Heavyweight who was much lauded as our next great Heavyweight, lost two shocking defeats to Tony Thompson this year.

He has surprisingly appointed “The Dark Lord” Adam Booth as his new trainer, which has surprised many people, myself included.

Firstly, for Price it’s a superb move. Gives him a much needed confidence boost, and having the best British trainer in his corner.

Adam-Booth---Dave-Hayes-t-001

Plenty to ponder…

A man who is renowned for his conditioning of his fighters, meticulous almost OCD approach to devising a game plan to defeat his man’s’ opponent.

For Booth, he has nothing to lose. If he turns Price around, it’s his finest achievement to date. If he fails, Price was already finished.

Price looked mentally and physically shot to shit in his 2nd fight to Thompson. He gave up, wasn’t returning any punches.

You have to question what mind-set Price is in. How much does he want it? Is he still hungry?

50591_3

He must be to a certain extent, or has displayed a sufficient amount to convince Booth to be in his corner.

You know that Booth will have him fitter than he ever has been. Sparring with Haye will do him the world of good, he’ll learn more than fighting many in that division.

I just have reservations of his boxing ability at the highest level.

Price is fortunate that he is in an era where we have a limited number credible Heavyweights. It is improving mind.You have the Klitschko’s, Haye, Fury, Wilder and Joshua in the future. Winning a title is still a strong possibility for Price.

With Booth I’d fancy him against anyone outside of the above list. So good luck to the guy and lets all get behind him.

Right, that’s your lot from me tonight. Need to get an early night in.

Tune in next week.

Cheers

Paul

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingBlog