BoxingFight Recaps

Boxing Was A Mess This Weekend

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Triller.

58-year-old Evander Holyfield, pretty much regarded as the best cruiserweight in the history of boxing, and one of the best heavyweights ever, was knocked out in under 90 seconds by a 44-year-old Vitor Belfort, a UFC legend in his own right, and it could best be described as a fitting ending to a chaotic mess, that was Triller lastest venture into boxing PPV.

The event, which was moved from Los Angeles, California, to Florida, because the aging boxing veteran, wouldn’t be licensed in California. It set an ugly new precedent of ignoring standards, practices, and humanity for the sake of greed. Holyfield, should not have been in the ring tonight, yet they found a state that often holds renegade events such as bare-knuckle fights, and put the fight on.

Even though as Dan Rafael reported yesterday, the only bout on the main card that wasn’t an exhibition bout, was Jono Carroll versus Andy Vences, meaning they were not honest about the product being brought forth to the consumer.

My only thought was it was sad, and it was fitting that Donald Trump and his son calling the fight alongside UFC legend Junior Dos Santos and Todd Grisham, was more noteworthy than seeing an older legend try to fight.

We didn’t need to see the effects of aging on display, yet it was put behind a paywall and put forth as the latest celebrity boxing venture. I wonder how far we are away from seeing senators, congressmen, and other elected officials or former officials fight, as that seems to be the natural progression – in which we are headed.

In the co-main event, we saw UFC hall-of-famer Anderson Silva knockout a seemingly ill-prepared UFC hall-of-famer Tito Ortiz, as the bout felt more like a mess than a competition. Ortiz, a decorated wrestler, made novice mistakes standing too tall and over-committing which lead to him getting brutally knocked out in a bout that felt weird.

Anderson Silva now has two wins in boxing this year defeating Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and now Tito Ortiz, with how awful boxing has been this year, you could make a case, he is in the running for Boxer of the Year.

I can’t lie – I wouldn’t be mad at seeing Anderson Silva versus Jake Paul this year or next?

Carroll Outlasts Vences

A depressing weekend for people I knew was put in a perfect capstone, when veteran 130 lbs fighter Andy Vences from San Jose, California, who I have watched since his pro debut in Sacramento, Ca, couldn’t quite edge a decision over Jono Carroll, in a closely contested bout.

The two mirrored each other’s weaknesses, as Vences is a great distance fighter with good punches placement, but often waits to counter, and sometimes can throw less than the number of desired punches the fans want to see whereas Carroll is a brute, who enters mid-range with aggression and volume.

Carroll, who fought with only one eye in the second half of the fight won on two of the three judges’ cards by a total of 97-93, with one having it a draw.

The doctor gave Carroll a stern look in the tenth and final round, but didn’t call a halt to the bout, which is of note as well.

The tough break now will be for the winner goes the spoils. Carroll has won four out of his last six with his losses being to Maxi Hughes at lightweight and Tevin Farmer 130 lbs. The win puts Carroll as the WBA mandatory at 130 lbs, but with the chaos of the WBA, which had multiple titleist per division, and in the wake of the awful decision against Myke Fox, who was robbed of a world title win over Gabriel Maestre, the WBA has begun to consolidated titles. What does this mean – in short, Roger Gutierrez will now defend his title against Chris Colbert, and hopefully, Jono Carroll will face the winner, or Mark Urbanov who holds a form of the WBA 130 lbs title, that was recently seemingly dissolved.

For Vences, he has now lost three of his last four fights, his last two bouts were razor-thin decision losses, but that being said, most people don’t watch fights like that, and just look at the record. The issue for Vences has always been volume, though some have said it is combination punching, I disagree. I think he has a habit of at times waiting to counter and gets stuck throwing a low output, while the opponent he is facing is being the aggressor coming forward, even if ineffective – the judges seem to favor his opponents for some reason. In close fights, small tendencies like that can create the result. I know it is not over for Vences, but now he will have to sit back and reflect, as his life-long dream of fighting for a world title, is a bit further away now.

Haye Beats Fournier

Joe Fournier accomplished a life-long goal as he fought a friend, and former world champion David Haye in a bout Haye controlled and looked more like friendly sparring than anything else.

Haye dropped Fournier with a jab early in the bout.

Undercard

130 lbs spoiler Diuhl Olguin did what he does as he took one-loss pro, Anthony Chavez to a draw in a fight Olguin made his own.

Anthony Chavez had a chance to get some exposure as he is a prospect still, despite one loss in ten fights, and Olguin being the king of the upsets, especially after his win, over 2019 Olympic Trials runner-up, David Navarro, made the fight tough especially since Olguin took the fight on five days notice. I left impressed with Olguin, who is a veteran tough guy.

The first fight of the card saw Eliezer Silva win a rather lackluster fight over Terry Roscoe.

The big issue was, Silva never separated or looked different than his opposition despite facing a tough-and-limited fighter. I am not sure the ceiling is much higher than this for him.

Did Robson Win?

(Photo Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images)

It was an awful week for Oscar Valdez who had both his a-and-b sample test positive for phentermine, a stimulant that Victor Conte, an anti-doping experience says has performance-enhancing capabilities, but also the WBC stated would not be grounds for Valdez to lose his belt.

The WBC super featherweight world champion, more than likely was outpointed by Robson Conceicao in a rather lackluster fight in Tucson, Arizona. Conceicao’s length troubled Valdez, and a jab followed by a straight right-hand land far too much.

Valdez pressed forward and was the aggressor, but was outthrown and outlanded by Conceicao according to punch stats provided by the ESPN+ telecast. Though that only tells a small picture of what happens it is often an indication of a trend in the fight.

“He’s over here yelling in my face. We’re grown, men. Don’t be yelling in my face,” said Valdez after the fight. “He might be upset. Of course, you want to be a world champion, but don’t point at me, don’t be yelling in my face. I’ve been through enough this week, man,”

Conceicao said, “This is boxing. I cannot go with his game. I played my game. Look at his face and look at my face. I have nothing on my face. Oscar’s is all fu—- up. I won this fight.”

My two cents, Oscar Valdez struggled and I think the fact that he was allowed to fight after failing a drug test did him no favors, as something was off with him mentally for this fight.

Lesser Known Lopez Beats Gabriel Flores Jr.

Luis Alberto Lopez beat Gabriel Flores Jr., who many stated in private conversations was very ill all week en route to a 10-round unanimous decision in the 130 lbs division.

As someone, who knows Gabriel and his father, it was hard to watch. I think it is easy to judge from the outside, but you would not wish this on anyone, as this was a hard moment, for all involved.

Flores is very young 21-years-old, and has fought nearly a whole professional career from 17-years-old-to-21-years-old, it will now be about redemption, and how he is willing to humble himself in defeat.

The loss moves him from a contender back to a prospect, something no one ever wants in this money-driven sport.

Nakatani Beats Acosta

Angel Acosta was given no benefit of the doubt against Junto Nakatani as in the first round Acosta suffered a major nose injury, only for referee Rocky Burke and the ringside physicians to halt the bout in the fourth round. The bout that was heavily anticaped by hardcore fight fans turned out to be nothing more than boiling soup on the stove, on a cold winter’s day. Anticlimatic.

“I caught him in the first round right in the nose and I was able to use my pace to fight him, so that worked out really well, Nakatani said. “I knew (I had broken his nose). I thought it was a good win. I want to unify the titles.”

In undercard action:

Xander Zayas made his debut at 154 lbs against Jose Luis Sanchez, as Zayas impressed since Sanchez comes from a fighting family, and was not going to lose without a fight. Zayas had to not just rely on his power, which at the next level will be vital and despite getting hit a bit, I feel this fight will help improve him more than some of his impressive KOs. Zayas dropped Sanchez in the sixth-and-final-round.

The heat got to me a little bit in the later rounds. We knew it would be hot here in Arizona. We also knew that Sanchez was a tough opponent,” Zayas said. “He comes from a tough fighting family, and he’s a proud Mexican warrior. I knew he was coming to fight. We did the job, I listened to my corner, boxed him, and got the unanimous decision. That’s the most important thing.”

140 lbs contender and 2016 Mexican Olympian Lindolfo Delgado, who now works with Rick Mirigian stopped Miguel Zamudio in two rounds. Delgado is a big puncher and could be in some interesting action fights. Delgado’s not well known as with his previous promoter, he was far too inactive.

130 lbs René Telléz Girón got a seventh-round KO of Eduardo Garza. Giron is managed by Espinoza Boxing, and holds a win over 2019 U.S. Olympian Karlos Balderas. That rematch could be in the future soon as Balderas posted on his IG story that he was watching the fight as well.

Smaller Show Results

Tony Yoka vs. Petar Milas

Friday, September 10th, 12 PM PST – ESPN+

Tony Yoka is a French 2016 Olympic Gold Medal super heavyweight who picked up a seventh-round KO win over the weekend in France. Yoka has been entering into the discussion of the top-10, and so on, but has been brought along very slow, as of now. The fighter trained by Vergil Hunter, is a fighter, that I hope we see in a big, and meaningful fight soon.

2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist Souleymane Cissokho also got a knockout win on this card, as Cissokho got a highlight-reel KO performance.

Filip Hrgovic vs. Marko Radonjic

Hrgovic got a dominant and one-sided KO win over Marko Radonjic in a fight that seemed to be a tune-up bout for Hrgovic before a world title eliminator for the IBF heavyweight title. Martin Bakole seems to be the fighter that more than likely would face Hrgovic. Hrgovic is looking to be in a rut currently as his opposition is not improving and he simply looked bored and uninspired in the ring this past weekend, despite dropping his opponent multiple times.

Kerman Lejarraga won a split-decision over Dylan Charra in a bout that looked like the start of the final credits in a major film. Lejarraga just doesn’t seem to be the same after a pair of losses to David Avanesyan.

Christian Carto made a return to the ring after a two-year absence after getting knocked out by Victor Torres in 2019. I will always remember that fight since I watched it at my aunt’s house. Two years later, my aunt isn’t alive. It is very telling how seemingly small moments may define major life memories. I wish Christian the best in his comeback.

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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle