Monday Morning Boxing Coach: The Olympics Have Started And Pro Boxing Results From The Weekend
Early Olympics Observations
- Imam Khataev, light heavyweight, Khataev gave his opponent five standing eight counts en route to stopping him with two standing-eight counts in the first round, as well as one more in the second round as well as two in the third round. Khataev is one of the best fighters I have seen in the tournament. In terms of the power you want to get fans interested, Khataev has it. Might not be Floyd Mayweather, but Khataev is a mega-puncher, with an ability to think in there as well. Interested to see how he does against the number #1 seed in the next round. I am sure a mover can beat him in the amateurs, but he will be a fun pro.
- Serik Temirzhanov, Kazak featherweight, is one of the most dominant fighters I have seen thus far in the Olympics and is must-see-TV moving forward. Giving his opponent a standing eight count, and dominating the bout from start to finish. Temirzhanov will be a very good pro, but might also medal. Temirzhanov faces Team USA’s Duke Ragan next.
- Keyshawn Davis, lightweight, USA, looks to be one of the best Olympians we have had in some time, starting fast, and looking like a cross between Lamont Peterson and Shakur Stevenson. Davis will be a world champion in the pros, and it was impressive watching him start fast and have Lacruz looking bewildered. Davis will be tested in the next round facing Sofiane Oumiha of France, the man best known for beating Teofimo Lopez in the 2016 Olympics.
- Ginny Fuchs of USA, women’s flyweight, is an aggressive and sound flyweight with true gold medal potential. Fuchs, will have to go through China to get to the medal rounds, and China is a powerhouse in women’s boxing. Fuchs is a top fighter in her division.
- Nesthy Petecio(PHI), women’s featherweight dethroned the #1 seed and now advances to the round of eight as Petecio is looking like a gold medal contender. Talented, and experienced Petecio now has a path to advance to the finals. Petecio looks to be the most polished women’s featherweight in the whole tournament.
- Euri Cedeno (DOM), middleweight, Cedeno dropped his opponent in seconds, and then stopped in a little over one minute. Cedeno reminds a lot of a young Erislandy Lara, solid straight punches with a deadly left hand. Cedeno is a Capital G Guy in these Olympic Games. Euri is looking like one of the guys to bet in the division. I see him medaling
- Troy Isley, (USA), middleweight has been one of my favorite USA amateurs and that continues with his first-round win over the 35-year-old Bandarenka. Isley is able to box, but what I like the most is his ability to fight in the pocket, and match power with power. Isley will face tournament favorite, Gleb Bakshi next, I see Isley as a live dog in that bout. If Isley wins that fight, Isley should medal.
- Ceiber Ávila of Colombia, featherweight, is a southpaw pressure fighter, who puts forth pressure like a two-division world champion and former Olympian Oscar Valdez. Avila will be interesting to watch in the Olympics, but even more so in the pros.
- Albert Mengue Ayissi, Cameroon, welterweight, a bit raw, but I see a lot of talent, with even more power. Sure he probably won’t win gold, that will be reserved for Pat McCormack, but Ayissi looks to be a hidden gem, who has the potential to be a world champion and the very least be a very good pro. Ayissi stopped his opponent in the third round of his first bout.
- Delante “Tiger” Johnson (USA), welterweight, won a narrow 3:2 split decision victory over Brian Arregui (ARG). Johnson outboxed Brian Arregui, but was dropped in the second round, and had to rally back to win the fight late. Arregui looks to be the next generation of the world-class Argentian boxers that we see on American television for the past decade-and-a-half. Johnson, in my opinion, has no ceiling in terms of raw talent.
- Yuberjen Martínez, men’s flyweight, Martinez has a high work, puts forth a lot of pressure, and is just all-around solid as he outclassed Mahommed. Martinez is in the type of volume puncher fans of the lower weights tend to fall in love with. Martinez will next face tournament favorite, Amit Panghal of India, which will show a bit of his ceiling as a fighter. Martinez might be the darkhorse of the division, that we all slept on, as Martinez was a medalist in Rio 2016, and looked the part of a gold medalist in round one.
- Sulemanu Tetteh (GHA), men’s flyweight, Tetteh looks like he could be a world champion in five pro fights. Tetteh is incredible, and experienced, as well as a three-time Olympian. The talent at men’s flyweight is plenty, and could be one of the best division to watch in the next few rounds.
- Galal Yafai (GBR), men’s flyweight, the brother of Kal and Gal Yafai, not looks pro-ready, but looks to be one of the most impressive fighters in the deepest bracket I have seen thus far. Yafai is a big puncher, who has a style that will easily transfer to the pros, and is one of the most exciting fighters in the tournament, thus far, of any bracket.
- Irma Testa, Italy, women’s featherweight, a solid mover, with an awkward style, and good timing. Testa is a good test for anyone wanting to advance to the medal rounds. Testa already has two wins under her belt, and is the only real test I see for Petecio.
- Sena Irie (JPN), women’s featherweight, Irie defeated Hilmi, and looks like Japan’s best bet for a medal, though I wouldn’t count her out to win gold she has at least two very hard fights in front of her, if not three. Irie has a path to get a medal, and has a technical-style that will cause many problems.
- Benjamin Whittaker, light heavyweight, GBR, A pure boxer with personality and charisma, as long as he can take a professional punch Whittaker should be an upper-tier draw in the U.K. with the potential to come to America. Whittaker has a style to win this tournament by being elusive, fast hands and throwing combinations. I am curious to see how he does against Khataev if the two meet.
U.S. Boxing Results
- Duke Ragan beat an awkward opponent Samuel Kistohurry of France in a foul-ridden fight that saw Kistohurry employ a bunch of dirty tactics, in a frustrating fight to watch, and probably an even more frustrating fight to be in for Ragan. With the win, Ragan will now face Temirzhanov on Tuesday in America, and Wednesday at the Olympics.
- The only U.S. Olympian to lose thus far was late-replacment Yarisel Ramirez, who on my scorecard won her fight against, Nikolina Cacic (CRO). Ramirez boxed well, but it appeared that joining the team late and possibly not being able to fight in international competition hurt Ramirez at the Olympics. She will be a fine pro, or an extremely good amateur regardless.
Charlo vs Castano II In Trouble
The IBF has ordered a super welterweight bout between IBF world champion, Jermell Charlo, who also holds the WBC and WBA world titles, to face his #1 contender Bakhram Murtazaliev, who is trained by Vergil Hunter. The bout is a far cry from the bout most hoped for, a rematch of his draw last weekend with Brian Castano, the two sides now have 30-days to figure out what is next.
Both Charlo and Castano have stated they want the rematch next.
Crawford vs Porter Ordered By The WBO
Terence Crawford is one of the best fighters of his era, but still lacks a sexy career-defining winning as Viktor Postol and Yuriorkis Gamboa serve as though for him currently, as the WBO on Wednesday night, per Jake Donovan, ordered a welterweight title bout between Crawford, and Shawn Porter. Porter is a two-time world champion, who gives everyone a hard fight and could easily win this bout. The sides have 30-days to figure out the deal before going to purse bid. This bout is great for boxing – hopefully it can get made.
Joshua vs. Usyk
Anthony Joshua may hold three world titles, but despite that and fighting a list of ranked opponents, a lot of his career still feels undefined, and somewhat built as Joshua’s defensive flaws still linger large in my mind. Enter Oleksandr Usyk, an undersized heavyweight, who unified all four belts at the cruiserweight division as well as a fellow Olympic gold medalist, and now will challenge Joshua on September 25th. Credit to both sides for making the fight. A battle of two Olympic Gold medalists in the pros is never bad.
De La Hoya vs Belfort Not An Exhibition
The September 11th PPV return of one of this generation’s best boxers, “The Golden Boy” Oscar De La Hoya taking on former UFC champion Vitor ‘The Phenom’ Belfort will land at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. The clash will be a professional boxing bout, that will be sanctioned in California with a PPV price of $49.99.
Early Thoughts: Triller puts together entertaining cards, especially when it is pure chaos. I am expecting De La Hoya vs Belfort to have a lot of the appeal that Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr. had, as the 20-year nostalgia rule will see middle-aged men spending money to reflect on memories of their youth.
In a tribute to the 20th anniversary of ShoBox: The New Generation on SHOWTIME®, super middleweight prospect Isaiah Steen, fighting out of Soul City Boxing Gym in Toledo, Ohio, graduated to a contender as he outboxed Kalvin Henderson on Friday night.
Steen, a 24-year-old fighter, and brother of 2016 Olympian Charles Conwell had to work for it, but a good gameplan and use of distance allowed him to edge the fight on the judges’ cards.
“It was a close decision because in the first few rounds I wasn’t going by the game plan and was just trying to get him out like I usually do in my fights,” said Steen. “It would have looked good to have the knockout, but beating him as I did was more amazing.”
In the co-feature pitting a pair of 22-year-olds, Shinard Bunch (15-1-1, 13 KOs) and Janelson Figueroa Bocachica (17-0-1, 11 KOs) fought to a controversial split draw that had the internet going nuts in this 10-round welterweight bout. One judge scored the fight 97-93 in favor of Bunch, one 96-94 in favor of Figueroa Bocachica, and the final judge 95-95 – the fans at home seemingly all favored Bunch along with the ShoBox commentators.
The bout wasn’t pretty, and the numbers make the fight seem closer as 399 landed punches for Bunch to the 390 for Figueroa Bochachica don’t tell the whole story. Bunch nullified Figueroa Bochachica’s power and made it an ugly fight, the kind that he needed to win the bout.
“Of course I thought I won the fight,” said Bunch. “I honestly feel like I won it. Even his coach said I won the fight. I landed the more powerful shots, even boxing-wise; sticking and moving. The only thing I could do better was getting a knockout. I feel like I hurt him plenty of times. I don’t know what the judges were watching.”
The TV opener saw Martino Jules (11-0-2, 2 KOs) scoring a unanimous win over Aram Avagyan (10-1-2, 4 KOs) in an eight-round featherweight affair. Jules dropped Avagyan late in the fight in a dramatic manner en-route to the win.
Olympic Trails runner-up, featherweight David Navarro won off-television on this card.
BKFC – End Of The Road For VanZant?
Paige VanZant was once the sweetheart of the UFC, a young attractive female fighter in the upstart flyweight division not unlike Sage Northcutt, another model-looking fighter who might be her male counterpart, who fell on hard times in recent years.
In the rematch of one of her UFC bouts that she won prior, Paige VanZant lost a five-round decision to Rachael Ostovich, as the bout was sold on the sex appeal of both fighters as much as their in-ring achievements. Ostovich was too strong as her overhand-right landed seemingly at will, and VanZant doesn’t seem well equipped to win fights bare-knuckle boxing if we’re being totally honest as her wrestling is null and void in this sport.
After the fight, VanZant left the ring once the decision was announced and didn’t attend the post-fight press conference. VanZant posted a message on her IG saying she will be back, but now major questions linger if VanZant should looking for future endeavors, as she is 0-2 in BKFC since entering the organization.
Britain Hart defeated Jenny Savage, in a grudge match. Hart had defeated VanZant prior in the previous PPV and seems like an obvious headliner against Ostovich for a future PPV. Hart is an interesting character who could be a homegrown star for the company.
Rap superstar Blue Face defeated Kane Trujilo, after bout Blue Face got into a scuffle with someone who entered the ring.
Ukrainian Olympian Retires Artem Lobov
Olympic silver medalist Denys Berinchyk stopped and retired Artem Lobov, as Berinchyk is having an interesting career, albeit one that most western fight fans are not probably all that aware of. Berinchyk was part of one the best Olympic boxing teams ever, the 2012 Ukrainian Olympic team which featured Lomachenko and Usyk. The bout was called between the fourth and fifth rounds.
Heavyweight Joe Joyce knocked out Carlos Takam in six rounds. Joyce, who dressed up like Juggernaut from the ‘X-Men’, Juggernaut also happens to be his nickname, hurt Takam with the first punch of the round, and landed more shots until the fight was stopped. Joyce is 13-0, and an Olympic silver medalist in the 2016 Olympics, and despite being 35-years-old, has no clear path to any of the big three heavyweights in his division, Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua or Deontay Wilder.
A good next opponent for Joyce in my opinion would be Otto Wallin, a former world title contender, or Cuban heavyweight world title challenger, Luis Ortiz.
Welterweight Ekow Essuman stopped Chris Jenkins, Essuman is the current IBF welterweight European champion.
Club Show Results
Former world champion Murat Gassiev fought his second bout at heavyweight scoring a knockout.
The WBA Super Lightweight interim world champion Alberto Puello picked up a 12-round decision over Jesus Antonio Rubio. The WBA has four world champions at 140 lbs, Josh Taylor, Gervonta Davis, Ismael Barroso and Albert Puello. We might see Ismael Barroso and Puello fight in the near future for a bit of clarity.
On the Friday night card, Lightweight Nahir Albright beat tough veteran Jeremy Hill, as Albright is proving to be one of the crown jewels of Philly’s RDR Promotions. Albright feels like a fighter ready for a ShoBox-type bout, next.
Cruiserweight Muhsin Cason picked up a 3rd KO of Tristan James, Cason is a promising undefeated fighter, and super lightweight Steven Galeano picked up a hard-fought win over Marquis Hawthorne.
On the Saturday night card, Mark Dawson Jr. got an eight-round decision over Ivan Pandzic, super featherweight Rasheen Brown had a notable win on the card as well.
RDR Promotions ran cards on back-to-back nights, which is a cool concept, that also gave a lot of fighters a chance to be active.
Mexico Stay-Busy Fight Results
Heavyweight contender Arslanbek Makhmudov, won in Mexico, and one of my favorite American prospects in terms of upside, Angel Perez of PA, also got a win on this same card.
Women’s Lightweight Shayna Foppiano picked up a first-round KO of Vanessa Marie Grimes. Foppiano with a few more wins should land a big fight, as women’s boxing moves very quickly at the professional level.
Seemingly the most talented fighter based on my assessment is lightweight Alejandro Paulino with a solid amount of amateur experience, stopping on overmatched Celiel Castillo-Pimentel, who didn’t have one win to his record, in one round.
The main event saw welterweight Harry Gigliotti get a majority decision over Brandon Higgins in a good local fight.
MMA Results In 500 Words Or Less
Two-time UFC world champion, came off a two-year suspension from an EPO performance-enhancing drug suspension to beat the #2 contender, Cory Sandhagen in an entertaining bout that ended in a split decision. Dillashaw had a massive cut over his right eye that he had to fight with in order to win the fight.
UFC featherweight Darren “The Damage” Elkins stopped Darrick Minner via TKO in the second round. Elkins is a UFC veteran, who I would consider a legend, who can take a ton of punishment, and give out just as much. Elkins is known for losing the first round, only to come on strong in the later rounds.
UFC women’s flyweight Maycee Barber defeated Miranda Maverick via split decision. Barber is looking to regain the momentum she had in the UFC prior to her loss to Roxanne Modafferi. Barber was once touted as the next young UFC star.
UFC favorite, welterweight Mickey Gall submitted Jordan Williams in the first round. Gall gained fame by beating famed pro wrestler, CM Punk, in Punk’s UFC debut.
In her women’s flyweight debut Sijara Eubanks stopped Elise Reed in the first round and will now enter the title picture.
The opening bout saw women’s strawweight Diana Belbita defeated social media influencer, Hannah Goldy. Goldy needs to improve her head movement when it comes to striking, was hit far too much.