Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sergey Kovalev vs. Cedric Agnew…The Krusher Marches On

By Peter Silkov

Last night, Sergey Kovalev (24-0-1, 22koes) defended his WBO world light-heavyweight title against Cedric Agnew (26-1, 13koes) with a controlled and classy performance that takes the Russian born champion a step closer to being the main man at 175 pounds.

In the build up to this contest, most of the talk concerning the challenger was who exactly was he? Aside from the fact that he is a native of Chicago, (but now based in Texas) and unbeaten as a professional, there was little information to enlighten us, concerning how good, or otherwise, this challenger might be. 

By the end of their world title contest, within the atmospheric confines of the Adrian Phillips Ballroom, Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, we had learned enough about Agnew to be able to say that this was not simply an unknown being led willingly to the slaughter. Even in defeat, Agnew showed enough ability and heart to prove that behind the anonymity of his career so far up to this point, he was indeed a genuine challenger, and that his pre-fight confidence was not simply a case of whistling in the wind.

Agnew did not win the battle or the title that he obviously so desperately wanted to capture, but he did leave the fight with something worthwhile, an identity. His clever and gutsy effort against perhaps the biggest puncher in boxing today p4p, will now stop people from asking Cedric ‘who?’ and pave the way for his own career to move on in a positive direction, from this defeat.

We also found out quite a bit about the champion Kovalev, in this fight. We learned that he can indeed deal with being handed a little adversity in the ring, such as suffering cuts over both eyes, being hit low, and having to travel into the later rounds of a fight, for a change. Kovalev passed these tests well, adjusting to his opponent’s stubborn cleverness, with what is fast becoming ’The Krushers’ trademark coolness.  The manner, in which the champion kept together his clinical calmness, while slowly dissecting his brave challenger, gave further proof of the depths of Kovalev’s ability.
It is perhaps no surprise that Kovalev is quickly becoming one of boxing’s most feared and avoided world titleholders, next to fellow Eastern European, and WBA world middleweight title holder, Gennedy Golovkin.

The challenger, watched by his parents at ringside, from the 1st round, showed that he was in there to try to win. Both men started off pawing at each other with their jabs, with the champion coming forward with that intelligent aggression that is fast making him such a popular figure for HBO. Agnew, fighting out of his southpaw stance, indicated early that he had his mind set on making this a difficult night for the champion, by retaliating to ’The Krusher’s early jabs, with a right-left counter that showed some surprising hand speed and power of his own.  Agnew’s high and tight, peek-a-boo defence, was also posing some questions for the Kovalev offence, as Agnew looked to defend well, but keep the champion’s respect with some stingy counters. 

In the last minute of the 1st round, as Kovalev seemed to be warming to his task a little more, Agnew landed a low blow that sent ’The Krusher’ down, wincing, to his knees.  While Kovalev took about 20 seconds to recover from his blow to his personage, referee Samuel Viruet gave the challenger a rather stern talking to, and was seemingly of the opinion that the foul wasn’t quite as accidental as it could have been.

The 1st round ended with the challenger’s tactics quite clear, to keep a good defence, while firing out occasional counters, and doing what he could to disrupt the champion’s rhythm. This was a strategy aimed at trying to take Kovalev into the later rounds and to wear him out along the way.

Between rounds, Kovalev’s trainer, former world champion John David Jackson, told Kovalev to hit the challenger’s arms, and Kovalev began the 2nd round with increased intent, and doing just that. Agnew continued to reply to the champion’s pressure with some good counters of his own, while they didn’t trouble Kovalev, carried enough upon them to earn his respect, and dissuade him from simply trying to walk through his challenger. ’The Krusher’s ability to pick his spots is impressive, and for his opponents, a little frightening. Near the end of the 2nd round, Kovalev punctuated a sparkling combination to Agnew’s arms with a sharp left-hook around the side of the challenger’s peek-a-boo guard, sending Agnew down hard onto his front. Agnew regained his feet at eight, and then was saved from further punishment by the bell ending the round. Agnew returned to his corner with an expression that said that he was perhaps reviewing his pre-fight assertion that Kovalev ’was nothing special’.

It was the first time in his professional career that Agnew had tasted the canvas, but the challenger wasn’t ready to just fold up or give in just yet, and came out for the 3rd surprisingly fresh, and throwing counters, as Kovalev jumped upon him quickly, and attempted to carry on where he had left off at the end of the previous round. Near the end of the round, Agnew was down again, after taking a left-hook to the body and being bundled down, while trying to grab hold of Kovalev. This was ruled a no- knockdown by the referee, but it was becoming plain that Agnew faced a trail of endurance if he was to stay in the contest.

The 4th round found Kovalev being a little less frenetic in his attack than he was in the previous round, perhaps aware that Agnew was now on the verge of taking him into territory that he had not visited for quite a while, and so paced himself accordingly.  The champion was now probing and pot-shotting, while Agnew continued to defend and bravely resist his occasional counters still firm and determined. In the last minute of the round, Agnew landed one of his best punches of the night, a good left hook to Kovalev’s body, and the pair clashed heads, causing a cut to open underneath the eyebrow of the champion’s right eye. With blood flowing in a thin trickle beside his right eye, Kovalev lost his rhythm and momentarily his cool, as he missed with a wild left-hook and fell to the canvas. The champion still looked perturbed as the bell sounded to end the round.

Kovalev had regained his poise by the start of the 5th round, told again by his trainer during the minutes rest to take his time, Kovalev continued his assault upon his challenger’s arms, switching now and then to the body. Agnew’s arms had begun to dip lower on occasions, as he registered the body attack. Kovalev’s work was intense but measured, with his shots beginning to spear now with an easier accuracy through the middle of the challenger’s guard. Agnew’s resistance was admirable, but his retaliatory counters had by now become expressions of a fight for survival, rather than a fight to win.

Kovalev seemed to sense that his challenger’s strength was ebbing, and as the 6th round opened, he increased his attack. ’The Krusher’ landed a left to the body, followed by a right hand, and left hand to the head, and Agnew touched down in the corner, ending up sitting on the bottom rope, and forced to take a count, despite protesting to the referee that he had not gone to the floor. When the action was waved back on, Kovalev went for Agnew’s body with an increased viciousness, his lefts digging into Agnew’s right side, provoking the challenger to bring his arm down in an attempt to cover the right side of his body. There was a short reprieve for Agnew, when his right elbow accidentally cut the champion over the left eye. However, this cut wasn’t as bad as the earlier cut opened over the right eye and Kovalev simply shrugged off this latest annoyance, and continued his assault of Agnew, switching from body to head, then back again.  On his return to his corner after the 6th, Agnew was showing all the wear and tear of being only the fourth man to take ’The Krusher’ past the 3rd round in his professional career, and only the second man to take him past the 6th stanza.  His left eyelid was swollen and his mouth was battered and bloody.          

Kovalev was on Agnew once more at the start of the 7th round, digging his left repetitively to the body, as a weakening Agnew backed up into a corner. The end, when it came, was fairly undramatic, with a left jab to the body from Kovalev, proving to be the final chop needed to bring down his brave and stubborn challenger. Agnew collapsed to his knees in the corner, and stayed there with his head bowed down, as the referee counted him out.   

In a sporting touch, which was nice to see, ‘The Krusher’ pulled back two follow up punches as Agnew went down. It is a little thing perhaps, but a rare gem of humanity in a business that too often seems embarrassed by such things.
Despite his nickname of ‘The Krusher,’ Kovalev is for the most part refreshingly gentlemanly and respectful.  He did  make an exception  in the post fight interview, when asked for his views upon the chances of a unification fight happening with WBC title holder Adonis Stevenson, describing Stevenson as a ‘piece of shit’.

With Stevenson having run over to Showtime, rather than staying at HBO, and facing Kovalev in an eagerly awaited showdown, ‘The Krusher’ may well have to look elsewhere for any potential ’superfights’.  Kovalev, with his fan-friendly fighting style, and willingness to take on anyone, allied to an ability that we have not seen properly stretched yet, may well soon pass the point of needing to fight Stevenson in order to be regarded as number one at light-heavyweight, and one of the elite champions pound-for-pound in the world today.

‘The Krusher’ rolls on, and who knows where he will stop.

Copyright © 2014 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to and

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sergey Kovalev vs. Cedric Agnew… Can Agnew Derail The Krusher?

By Peter Silkov

This Saturday, March 29,  at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey,  Sergey Kovalev (23-0-1, 21kos) makes his first appearance of 2014, when he defends his WBO world light-heavyweight championship, against unbeaten, but largely unknown challenger, Cedric Agnew (26-0, 13kos).  Kovalev will be making the 2nd defence of the title that he won in dramatic fashion from Welshman Nathan Cleverly, last August, 2013.  In taking the title, the now Florida-based Russian did not just beat Cleverly, he ‘krushed’ him, living up to his nickname, ‘The Krusher’with a display of punching power that was quite chilling in its brutal simplicity. 

Kovalev is not flashy, or given to throwing wide and wild, Marcos Maidana-like swings from each hand.  The Russian is a neat and measured fighter, whose punches tend to be straight and short, with a relaxed accuracy that can be overlooked. What marks Kovalev out from most of his contemporaries, and makes him one of the most exciting fighters of today, is the reaction of his opponents, when he lands his punches. ‘The Krusher’ has a habit of wrecking a man when he lands his gloved fists upon him.  In his 24 fights so far, of a pro career, which began in 2009, only four men have managed to make it past the 3rd round.  It is this stunning power that has made ’The Krusher’ into one of boxing’s fastest rising stars, since he ripped the WBO title from the grip of Nathan Cleverly. 

After having what was basically his ’breakout’ year in 2013, Kovalev starts 2014 looking for a big fight to take him to the next level as a champion. Kovalev has made no secret of his wish to have unification fights with the other light-heavyweight world titleholders, especially Adonis Stevenson and Bernard Hopkins. The Stevenson fight especially is one that has boxing fans salivating at the thought of a clash between two of boxing’s most exciting punchers, who both just happen to each own a world title at 175 pounds. However, for now, the proposed Kovalev vs Stevenson fight is just talk and nothing more, as Stevenson  seems to be more interested in taking on the wily professor Bernard Hopkins, rather than the big-punching ’Krusher’. Stevenson’s recent switch from HBO to Showtime also makes a Hopkin’s fight more likely and a Kovalev clash harder to make. One has to wonder whether Stevenson wants a Kovalev fight at all.

While he is waiting for a big fight, Kovalev wants to remain busy, (much like his fellow Eastern European sensation, WBA world middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin,) hence his fight with Agnew. This is a fight, which aside from supplying yet another short and concussive addition to the champions highlight reel collection, offers no real gains for Kovalev. His challenger Agnew is unbeaten, but he is also largely unknown, and untested himself.  Chicago born, Agnew, who now trains in Houston Texas, has built up his career largely unnoticed by the public since turning professionally in 2006.  He is a solid all- round boxer, who seems to do nothing spectacularly. Agnew’s standout win so far is his victory last year over tough, but faded perennial contender, Yusaf Mack, whom he outpointed over 12 rounds, for the USBA Light-heavyweight title last March 2013.

On the face of it, Agnew has little chance of causing what would be a major upset if he were to beat Kovalev. While he seems to be a solid boxer, Agnew has shown neither the kind of outstanding boxing ability nor punching power that could trouble the champion. Agnew’s challenge is made all the more difficult by the fact that Kovalev is not simply a rough and tumble slugger, like so many other big punchers, but is a well-schooled boxer, with underrated technical ability, which often gets overlooked due to his punching ability, and the brevity of his fights.

Agnew’s biggest chance comes from the fact that few give him much hope of winning at all. As Mauricio Herrera showed in his WBC and WBA world light-welterweight title fight against Danny Garcia almost two weeks ago in Puerto Rico, the underdog is a dangerous animal. In addition to being the underdog, Agnew is undefeated. There is always a bit of mystery surrounding an undefeated fighter, as one never knows quite how good they are until they have been pushed that extra bit by an opponent who either brings out the best in them, or else exposes their flaws for all to see. 
When Kovalev challenged Nathan Cleverly last August for the world title, it was he who exposed the unbeaten Cleverly, while showcasing his own, until then, largely unknown ability. However, the chances of Agnew exposing Kovalev in a similar way to how ‘The Krusher’ exposed Cleverly last year seems distinctly remote.

If Agnew is able to negotiate his way past the early rounds and take Kovalev into the later rounds, and what is for him foreign territory, then we may see ‘The Krusher’ asked some questions that he doesn’t usually have to answer. 

Kovalev does not seem to be the kind of fighter who would run out of steam if he was taken into the later rounds of a fight, like so many other ‘punchers’. Unlike so many other big punchers, Kovalev does not waste many punches or swing wildly; he is instead a relaxed boxer whose punches are delivered with economy and accuracy.  Perhaps this should not be such a surprise, in addition to having an excellent amateur career before turning professional, Kovalev is also trained by former world champion John David Jackson, who was one of the best technicians of his era, in the 1980’s.

In the face of winning so many fights in a sudden and dramatic style, it has been asked of Kovalev how he will react when he finally comes up against a challenge inside the ring? Those wondering about Kovalev’s mental fortitude  would do well to remember that although he has won all his fights (save for a drawn contest early in his career),  he has already faced a huge challenge in his life and career, when opponent Roman Simakov, died after their fight in 2011. The mental fortitude that Kovalev needed to show in order to overcome this tragedy and carry on his boxing career, seems to show that he has the mental strength to deal with mostly anything that an opponent can do to him inside the ring, during a fight.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Agnew so far, in the run up to this fight, has been the quiet confidence that both he and his team seem to hold. Indeed, they seem to be revelling in having flown in under the radar for this fight. It could be a case of supreme confidence, borne from the fact that they know something that everyone else doesn’t know yet, or else, it could be that like some previous opponents they are actually underestimating just how good the ‘Krusher’ actually is. Kovalev can look even workman-like at times, but behind his no-frills approach, there is a craftsman with a knockout punch in both hands.

‘The Krusher’ needs only to look back to Danny Garcia’s recent defence against Herrera to see how easily future plans can almost be derailed by an underdog with the hunger to win. Although Garcia retained his title, his win was controversial and his reputation has taken a hefty knock in its wake. If Kovalev can keep his crown and continue his dramatic destruction of everyone put into his path then his star will continue to rise and the big fights, whether they will be against Stevenson or not, will eventually materialize. ‘The Krusher’ will be hoping to steer clear of any such slip-ups, or controversies this Saturday, and decide matters with the most conclusive judge a boxer can have, the knockout power in his gloved hands. All boxing fans love a puncher, and Saturday could be just the beginning for Sergey Kovalev, and his climb to elite stardom. 

Copyright © 2014 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to and

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Danny Garcia Squeaks By Mauricio Herrera… Bad Night in Bayamon

By Peter Silkov

One thing to be sure of in boxing is that the best laid plans will never turn out quite the way you want them to turn out and usually when you least expect it.  Last night in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and the land of his parent’s birth, Danny Garcia (28-0, 16koes) defended his WBA and WBC world light-welterweight titles, in what was supposed to be a showcase performance for him, against heavy underdog Mauricio Herrera (20-4, 7koes). This was a night for Garcia to shine and stay busy, as he waits for bigger fights down the line. 
Unfortunately, for the champion, the challenger had not read the script, turned in a performance that very nearly upset the Garcia applecart, and all of the plans they have been making for the future.

Garcia came into this contest with a run of impressive performances, culminating in last September’s victory over Lucas Martin Matthysse, which marked him out as one of boxing’s elite champions. Against Herrera, it looked as if the fire and focus was missing from the champion. Faced with an opponent, against whom he was a healthy favourite, for the first time since first winning the world title three years ago, Garcia suffered a slump in form; even fighting in front of his own Puerto Rican fans failed to reignite.

While Garcia certainly fought below his best, it would be unfair to ignore the performance of Herrera himself, who definitely had some hand in Garcia’s off night.
Herrera fought a clever and brave fight, utilizing the experience he has gathered over the past few years of facing tough opponents, often in their own backyards. Herrera is a boxer who has seldom been granted a favour and this night would be nothing new.

From the start of the fight, Herrera used his jab and movement, while Garcia looking sluggish, surprised by moving back, rather than being aggressive. Herrera was often able to get onto the inside and manhandle Garcia around, breaking up Garcia’s work and generally making the champion look uncomfortable. The boxer’s heads came together a number of times, as both wrestled on the inside, and Herrera’s head ducked below Garcia’s. Both boxers did not gel together well style-wise. As the fight developed, Garcia was having trouble letting his shots go and getting into any kind of rhythm, while Herrera fought energetically and busily, his jab a constant nuisance to the champion. 

As the fight entered the middle rounds, we knew that Garcia was ahead on points, through the WBC’s awful ’open scoring’ policy, (why not just tell us the final result before the end of the fight guys?)  But, it was a close 2-point lead on two cards and even on the other.  Despite the lead, in the corner between rounds, Angel Garcia, Danny’s father/trainer was getting more heated and frustrated as the fight rolled on.

By the middle rounds, Garcia had himself going a little more, and was landing the harder punches of the two, but he was still fighting sporadically and looking as if he was waiting for a knockout opportunity. Herrera’s success was soon being written over Garcia’s face, as his nose was bloodied by the 6th round, and continued to bleed for the rest of the night. 

The Puerto Rican fans seemed unsure of what to make of the fight early on, as this was not the dominating ‘coming home’ performance that had been expected from Garcia. There were even some boo’s early on, as the fight failed to turn into a crowd pleaser. However, by the later rounds, the crowd seemed to have come to terms with the fact that Garcia was struggling with his challenger, and got behind their newfound hero. While Garcia seemed buoyed by the support, it didn’t help him get out of the rut he had fought himself into. Perhaps he was trying too hard to impress, perhaps he simply didn’t expect such an organized and proficient performance from his challenger. 

When the fight entered its last third, and we had experienced another dose of ’open scoring,’ it was clear that Herrera would need something special to turn around the two scorecards that still favoured Garcia. Many will say that Herrera did just that, as he continued to work hard, out maneuver, and outscore the champion over the last three rounds. In the last round, Herrera found Garcia with some good shots and at the bell ,while Herrera went to his corner with his arms raised and still comparatively fresh and unmarked, the champion returned to his corner in a subdued manner, his face bloodied and marked.

The final scores were 114-114, 116-112, and 116-112; a majority decision for Garcia.  While this was not a robbery of  Chavez Jr. vs. Vera 1 or Beltran vs. Burns proportions, in what was a genuinely close fight, Herrera by virtue of his higher and often more accurate work-rate, especially in the early and closing rounds, seemed to have done enough to earn the decision. Many of the rounds could have been open to interpretation, but overall Garcia could not get going properly and allowed Herrera to outfox and out hustle him. Garcia again showed a tendency to be troubled by an opponent with a good jab, just as he was in his match with Zab Judah.   
This was a fight where the hungriest man seemed to be the challenger, and the champion seemed relieved to get home in one piece. 

After this disappointing performance, you would think that Garcia’s chances of a mega fight with Floyd Mayweather in the near future would have taken a blow, but then again, in the often topsy-turvy world that is professional boxing, it may well have the opposite effect. 

One positive to come of this fight for Garcia maybe the conviction that his days at 140 pounds have come to an end, and that it is finally time for him to move up to welterweight. Being tight at the weight would certainly explain Garcia’s lack of spark last night and his willingness to spend much of the contest on the back foot, when being more aggressive and moving forward seemed to be a better strategy against the challenger. Such a move to 147 pounds would not hurt Garcia’s chances of a Mayweather match either. 

In all, Danny Garcia is not likely to forget his ’homecoming’ in a hurry.  Next time he might want to make it a purely recreational visit.

As for Herrera, he comes out of this fight with a huge amount of credit, after being dismissed by some as being a class below Garcia and past his best.  Herrera showed that he can compete at the top level and has more to offer if given the chance.  Whether he will find it easy to get another title shot is another question. With his awkward, bustling style, it is unlikely that any of the other light-welterweight ’world champions’ will be too eager to put their belt on the line against him anytime soon.

The undercard to Garcia vs. Herrera featured two fights that were both explosive and controversial.

In what was being hailed as his ’breakout’ fight; Deontay Wilder (31-0, 31koes) took on his most dangerous opponent to date in Malik Scott (36-2-1, 13koes). What looked like an intriguing fight on paper was over in just 96 seconds of the 1st round. The action started quietly with both men sizing each other up, Wilder stalking, and Scott moving about the ring.
Scott seemed content to stay on the outside and reluctant to engage with Wilder, who tried to edge close to Scott and did a good job of cutting off the ring.

Scott then found himself momentarily cornered on the ropes; Wilder landed a left hook to the side of Scott’s head, then a straight right to the face, which seemed to have been blocked by Scott’s gloves.  Scott was already going down from the left to the head. Collapsing into a heap in the ropes, as if he had been shot. Malik struggled to rise, as the referee toiled the count, but didn’t seem to be able to get his legs to work, much to the derision of many in the audience and on the net.

Questions have been raised about the genuineness of this result, but heavyweights are notorious for going down and out from seemingly innocuous punches. The punch to the side of the head that floored Scott was similar to Tony Thompson’s first knockout win over the previously unbeaten David Price last year. Price got up, but had totally lost his legs.  Last night, Scott couldn’t get up it seemed, due to the incapacitating quality of Wilder’s shot to the temple. Punches to the temple are known to rob fighters of their balance and control of their legs, even though they may seem to be perfectly clear-eyed. This is especially true when heavyweights are involved, where one accurate shot, with all of 230+ pounds behind it, is often all that is needed.

Looking over both men’s careers, up to this point, the result should perhaps not be so surprising. Wilder has made a career of knocking his opponents out in often brutal, leg twitching, fashion. While most of his opposition has been limited at best, the impressive thing about Wilder’s victories has been how he has demolished all those put before him, often with single punches.  Malik Scott was fancied by some to have the technical skills to take Wilder past the middle rounds of a fight for the first time in his career, to test the ‘Bronze Bombers’ own stamina and endurance.  But he was always going to need the durability to handle some of Wilder’s power on the way to  those later rounds. The clue that durability was not in Scott’s arsenal can perhaps be found in the selective way he has been matched for much of his professional career, and his performance last year against England’s Dereck Chisora. After out-boxing Chisora for the best part of 6 rounds, Scott collapsed after taking a rather innocuous looking shot behind the ear, and then was counted out (though the fast counting referee didn’t do him any favours that night.)

The evidence points to the fact that Scott does not respond well to being hit cleanly about the head, by a heavyweight of decent power.      

We still don’t know whether Wilder is really for ‘real‘.  How will he react when he is finally tagged on the chin? Or is taken into the later rounds for the first time?
Until Wilder takes on a fighter with proven durability at the highest level, we will not know whether ‘The Bronze Bomber’ really is the heavyweight that American fans have been longing for since Evander Holyfield got old, and Iron Mike Tyson grew rusty.

The old adage that the last thing a fighter loses is his punch was proved correct again in the night’s rematch clash between Juan Manuel Lopez (34-3, 31koes) and Daniel Ponce De Leon (45-6, 35koes) for the vacant WBO International Super-featherweight championship. This was a rematch of the pair’s first meeting back in 2008, when a then young and fresh Lopez had deprived De Leon of his WBO World super-bantamweight championship, with a 1st round stoppage.  In the years since, both men have taken part in more than their share of give and take wars, but it was generally thought going into this match up that De Leon, despite being three years the senior at 33 years of age, was the better preserved of the two warriors. 

While De Leon has become more ring wise and cagey over the years, Lopez has simply become ring worn and battle scarred. After defeating De Leon in 2008, Lopez engaged in the best part of a dozen world title fights, most of them wars. His two stoppage defeats to iron man Orlando Salido in 2011 and 2012 seemed to indicate an erosion of ability in Lopez. This erosion seemed to be dramatically confirmed last June, when Lopez was stopped in the 4th round, of a one sided match, by Mikey Garcia, in their WBO world featherweight championship fight. Lopez’s performance that night seemed to confirm that he was a shot fighter, who would be better off saying good-bye to the ring, rather than stepping into it again. But Lopez is still only 30 years of age; an age where any man, let alone a fighter, can find it hard to accept he is no longer the man he once was.

In the 1st round, Lopez was very cagey, while De Leon went after him aggressively, trying to land one of his bombs, the two men swapping southpaw jabs, with Lopez looking to counter De Leon’s aggressive attacks. Both men connected with some good punches towards the end of a lively opening. The 2nd round started in the same manner with De Leon marauding forwards and putting everything into the punches he was throwing. Lopez was mainly on the retreat and countering. Then a big left-hook floored Lopez momentarily.  Lopez bounced up straight away though, blinking, but steady on his legs.  De Leon rushed in, now looking for the finish, and both men swung at each other wildly, but it was Lopez who connected, with a short right hand to the wide-open De Leon’s chin. De Leon crashed down flat onto his back and when he got up was wobbly legged. As Lopez came in to the attack the still wobbly De Leon tried to grab hold of him, and instead fell onto his knees on the canvas. Getting up again, he was given the 8 count, and waved on to continue. At this point, De Leon’s legs seemed stronger than they had when he’d got up from the first knockdown. 

Lopez came in firing punches, drove De Leon into the ropes, where he crouched over, and covered his face with his gloves, as Lopez swung with both hands. The referee then decided to step in and stop the contest, much to De Leon’s disgust. De Leon seemed to know what he was doing and was blocking most of the shots coming at him. It would have made more sense had the referee stopped the fight after the first knockdown, when De Leon really seemed out on his feet, but at the time of the stoppage, he seemed to have partially recovered, and to be trying to ride the storm. In a fight like this, with two vulnerable big punchers, one punch either way could turn things around. De Leon was deprived of his chance to try and turn things back into his favour. While safety is always paramount, this is world-class boxing and in a fight where both men have just tasted the canvas in the same round, the referee jumped the gun a little too soon, and pulled the plug on what was developing into a classic multiple knockdown shootout.

Victory certainly saved Lopez’s career, while De Leon was left to ponder his second stoppage defeat in a row.

After his win, Lopez said he would like another match with the iron-chinned Orlando Salido. It was a challenge that says much about Lopez’s fighting heart, and lack of concern for his own personal safety. While a third meeting between Salido and Lopez is likely to be another almost darkly entertaining brawl, it will also very probably end upon the same disastrous note for Lopez, as their previous two fights.   

Copyright © 2014 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to and

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Danny Garcia vs. Mauricio Herrera…Can Herrera Spoil The Garcia Homecoming Party?

By Peter Silkov

On Saturday, March 15, Danny Garcia (27-0, 16kos) enters the ring for the first time in 2014, to defend his WBA and WBC World Light-welterweight titles against rugged veteran Mauricio Herrera (20-3, 7kos) at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. 

This will be Garcia’s sixth world title fight in a row, going back to his March 24, 2012, clash with Mexican legend Erik Morales, which saw Garcia win the WBC world light-welterweight title belt with a spirited point’s verdict over Morales. Since then, Garcia has beaten Amir Khan, Erik Morales again (this time via a destructive 4th round knockout), Zab Judah, and Lucas Martin Matthysse; in a run of victories, that has established him as one of the best of boxing’s current champions. Garcia has marked himself out as one of the few world champions around today who can lay claim to being the number one in his weight class, in what is one of the most competitive and talent-laden divisions in boxing at the moment. 

Despite his impressive run of form over the past two years, Garcia has not had an easy time gaining respect for his talent or achievements. In many ways, the Philadelphia native has had to do things the hard way, while other fighters gain plaudits for fighting at catch weight, or beating fringe contenders. Garcia has faced five former world champions in his past seven fights. Yet, much of the respect Garcia received after these fights was grudging, and in many ways he continued to operate under the radar, entering each of his previous world title fights the underdog. 

Ironically, it was Garcia’s victory over a fighter, who has not held a world title belt, that has seen him finally receive some genuinely overdue recognition. When Garcia fought the big punching Lucas Matthysse last September, the general consensus amongst both fans and media was that Garcia was really going in over his head this time, and that the Argentine’s punching power would make short work of him. There were even comments concerning Garcia’s heart and willingness to fight Matthysse.  Garcia’s subsequent victory over Matthysse, with a clinical and gutsy display of box fighting, silenced the critics, and proved to be Garcia’s breakout victory. 

People are now finally coming to see Garcia as one of the elite champions and perhaps even, the next ’big thing’. While Adrien Broner has been making a big noise outside the ring, but disappointing inside it, Danny Garcia has been doing just the opposite.

Garcia’s father and trainer, Angel Garcia, is now also getting some credit for guiding his son’s career. Angel has gained a reputation as a rather cantankerous and controversial figure, in contrast to his much quieter son, but his partnership with Danny, is so far turning out to be one of the more successful and happier father/son partnerships seen in boxing in recent years.

Saturday’s fight will be a form of homecoming for Garcia as he fights for the first time in his parent’s native Puerto Rico. Even though he grew up in Philadelphia, Garcia has always spoken of his pride regarding his Puerto Rican heritage, and his desire to be Puerto Rico’s next great boxing champion. This fight offers a different kind of challenge to Garcia, in comparison to his recent bouts. For the first time since he first won the WBC title, Garcia goes into this fight the favourite, rather than the underdog. Herrera is a rugged performer who has become a favourite amongst many fans due to the number of exciting contests he has been involved in over the past few years. Herrera is not a big puncher, but has a good jab, footwork, and likes to throw punches in combinations. Herrera has a willingness to engage in wars, despite his boxing ability, and has done so in recent fights with the likes of Ruslan Provodnikov, Mike Dallas Jr, Mike Alvarado, Karim Mayfield, and Ji-Hoon Kim.
Herrera’s standout result is his point’s victory over current WBO light-welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov. However, the Provodnikov victory was back in 2011 and has been followed by hard fought point’s defeats to Alvarado and Mayfield. At the age of 33 years old, with seven years of often hard fighting behind him, the feeling is that this big chance has come a little too late in the day for Herrera.
The challenger does come into this match with a two-fight winning streak from 2013, but trail horse Miguel Angel Huerta, and rugged, but limited, Ji-Hoon Kim, are both a number of levels below Danny Garcia.

If Herrera has a chance, it is to be found in his jab, as Garcia has been troubled in previous fights by the jabs and speed of Judah and Khan. Despite his lack of power, Herrera has good speed and a good jab, and if he can get his jab going and use the ring, then he could cause Garcia some early problems. Garcia is usually a slow starter, who studies his opponents and adapts to what they are doing. His ability, to either slug it out or box, has been well illustrated in recent contests. Garcia is likely to go for Herrera’s body early on and look to wear down the older man. Herrera has never been stopped, but at 33, with Garcia approaching his prime and looking for a showcase performance in front of the Puerto Rican fans, the chances of a late stoppage victory is possible. 

Herrera is a tough and seasoned campaigner, but with all the physical advantages and better all-round boxing ability, the biggest danger for Garcia in this fight could be if he starts to regard it as a showcase fight, rather than a genuine challenge. The underdog is always a dangerous animal, especially when he is well seasoned, with a good chin. This is Herrera’s big chance to burst into the big time; he has everything to gain, and nothing to lose in this fight. 

It seems unlikely that either Danny or his father Angel will take their eyes off the ball at this point, having worked so hard to get to where they are now. Garcia will be looking to win this fight in some style, and then move on to bigger matches later this year.  Perhaps even a match with the man everyone wants to fight, Floyd Mayweather.

This looks like being an interesting fight early, with Herrera using his jab and movement and offering the champion an awkward target. Garcia will get his own jab working and look to land to the body. As the fight goes into the later rounds, Garcia will start walking through his lighter hitting opponent, and take control of the match. The heavier artillery of Garcia will gradually prove too much for Herrera and Garcia is likely to force a stoppage somewhere in the last three or four rounds.

Copyright © 2014 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to and

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Jimmy Wilde: Boxing’s Mighty Atom

By Peter Silkov

Through the years of Boxing’s varied history, fighters have always come in different shapes and sizes, but few have seemed so unsuitable for their pugilistic employment as a pale waif called Jimmy Wilde. Born in Merthyr Tydfil Wales, on May 15, 1892, Wilde stood just 5’ feet 2” and a half inches and during his fighting career weighed between 95 and 108 pounds. Wilde was not just short in stature, but frail in build, with a sunken in chest and visible rib cage, scrawny legs and pipe-stem arms that seemed barely strong enough to hold the weight of the boxing gloves placed upon his hands. Jimmy’s appearance was capped by a pale and hollow face that seemed to be that of a child rendered old before his time.  Hence, his most well known nicknames were ‘The Ghost with a hammer in his hand’ and ‘The Mighty Atom.'

As a fighter, Wilde was a sight to behold. He fought with his hands at his sides and often crouched and feinted, which served to make him seem even more diminutive.  Wilde was fast of foot and hand, and rather than block punches the normal way, he would dodge shots with a slight move of his head, or sway of his upper body.
It was Wilde’s punching prowess that was the most astonishing thing about this little man.  Throughout his boxing career, Wilde would stun spectators with his ability to knockout opponents often far heavier than himself. The secret of Wilde’s punching was an almost uncanny sense of timing, coupled by his precision and speed of punch.
Wilde often knocked opponents out with punches that travelled mere inches.
Long before he had retired, Wilde had become a living legend, due to the combination of his unconventional appearance and his dynamic fighting ability.

Despite his size, and frail build, at 12 years old he weighed barely fifty-six pounds), Wilde grew up with dreams of becoming a boxer and engaged in frequent street-fights. He idolized fellow Welshman  Freddie Welsh, who was making a name for himself boxing in America, and would go on to win the World lightweight championship. Yet, Wilde seemed destined to follow his father into the mines instead and started along this grim path after leaving school at just 12 years of age. Fate then took a hand and brought Wilde together in the pits with an old mountain fighter Dai Davies.  While working the coal seams alongside Davies, Wilde listened to his stories of the legendary bareknuckle fights in the mountains, which would often last for dozens of rounds and hours at a time.

Davies would also give Wilde the only formal boxing lessons that he ever received, when the two of them would spar together in the older man’s tiny bedroom, with his furniture piled up upon the bed to give the two men standing room. Wilde’s relationship with Davies served to make what seemed a frivolous and unlikely dream of becoming a professional boxer, a possible reality. Wilde would also marry Davies’ daughter, Elizabeth. 

If there was any doubt of Wilde leaving the pits in favour of boxing, then an accident when he was 15 years old decided things. One day while working in the mine, Wilde tripped and fell underneath the steel ropes upon which the coal-laden trucks would run. He found himself pinned down, as the steel rope ripped into his leg.  By the time he had finally freed himself and crawled away to safety, Wilde’s calf was torn down to the bone. At first, it was feared that Wilde would lose the lower portion of his leg, such was the depth of his injury, but slowly he started to recover, although he would spend months convalescing on crutches, while his wound healed. The accident served to make up his mind that his future lay in boxing, rather than the hazardous realm of the pits.

When he was 16 and sufficiently recovered from his accident, Wilde joined the boxing booth of Jack Scarrott and was soon demolishing men sometimes twice his size. It was around this time that Wilde married Dai Davies’ daughter Elizabeth.  Wilde’s new wife was at first dead against his following a career in boxing, in any shape or form, and Wilde had to promise to give up his hopes of pugilistic fame and glory in order to gain Elizabeth’s acceptance of his marriage proposal.

However, in the early months of their marriage Wilde continued to box in the booths on the sly, but was soon found out by his sharp-minded wife. The ructions this discovery caused ran on for some months, until Wilde’s wife came to realize how successful her husband was in the booths and that this line of work carried far more hope for them and their future together, than a life reliant upon the mines.

Eventually Elizabeth would become one of the first ‘boxing wives’ to be found regularly at ringside, supporting her husband, and she was also known to help him with sparring, wearing a metal breastplate, as he worked on his defence and footwork, by dodging and ducking the punches coming his way from her.

Wilde’s appearance would often lull prospective opponents into a false sense of confidence, while spectators would cry out in protest at seeing the skinny man climbing up into the ring to fight it out with a man seemingly more than twice his size.
Usually within a few minutes, the protesting spectators would be suddenly stunned into silence and then just as quickly burst into applause, as the latest hapless opponent was either carried or helped back to their corner, wondering what it was that had just hit them. 
Wilde soon outgrew the booths and looked to make his name in the more conventional boxing arena by officially turning professional on December 26, 1910, with a 3- round no-decision match against Les Williams. Just as he had done in the booths, Wilde was soon knocking out all comers with astonishing regularity, despite often giving away a stone or more in weight.

At this time, there was no official flyweight division, although perversely, there were many formidable fighters of that size operating. Britain especially, was overflowing with little men of great talent, but Wilde defeated them one by one. 

For the first three and a half years of his career, Wilde fought exclusively in Wales, but eventually word of his performances reached London, and he was invited to show his wares in Britain’s boxing centre. When Wilde appeared in London, the promoters were so shocked at his frail appearance that they refused to let him fight at first and only did so after much cajoling by Wilde and his manager Ted Lewis.  Once Wilde was allowed in the ring, he became an overnight sensation in London.

In 1913, Wilde took part in 33 contests, without a defeat. After fighting multiple opponents every day in the booths, taking on an opponent a week was almost too easy for Wilde in his prime. On January 1, 1913, Wilde won the British Paperweight championship by stopping Billy Padden in 18 rounds. The paperweight title had a weight limit of 98 pounds and was a pre-curser to the Flyweight division, with its limit of 112 pounds.

Wilde was a big name now and with every victory, his reputation grew. When WW1 broke out in 1914, Wilde joined fellow fighters Johnny Basham, Jem Driscoll, and Freddie Welsh, amongst others, in enlisting as an instructor. These boxers were part of a group of fighters known as ‘The Khaki Boxing Squad.  He eventually became a Sergeant Instructor, but Wilde was still able to box, fighting twenty times in 1915 and ten times in 1916. 

On January 25, 1915, Wilde suffered a rare defeat, when Tancy Lee stopped him in 17 rounds, in their battle for the newly introduced British and European Flyweight titles.  Wilde went into this contest while suffering from an illness that had rendered him bedridden in the days before the fight, but Wilde would not hear of pulling out of the match. By the fights conclusion, Wilde had been so badly battered that one of his ears was almost detached from his head. Some versions of Wilde’s boxing record shows this as being his first defeat in 95 official professional contests, others have it as his 3rd defeat, if we take into account two obscure 6 rounds point’s defeats in 1911 to a Dai Davies and a Dai Jones. Either way, Wilde was almost a total stranger to defeat, to an astonishing degree.

Wilde soon bounced back from the Lee defeat, and on February 14, 1916, he defeated Joe Symonds in 12 rounds to win the British Flyweight championship (Symonds having won the title from Tancy Lee.) 

Even with the war raging on, Wilde defended his titles, gaining revenge over Tancy Lee on June 26, 1916, when he stopped Lee in 11 rounds and added the European Flyweight crown to his British title. Years later in his autobiography, Wilde was to offer an insight into what those days were like when battles in the ring gave spectators relief from the grim battle raging outside the ring.

“The Boxing world suffered as any other during the War. For some time it was almost melancholy to enter the doors, knowing who would not be there, and sad when one entered the ring, to see scarred faces of men who had suffered badly."

On September 18, 1916, Wilde became the first official World Flyweight champion, when he stopped Young Zulu Kid in the 11th round.  After almost a decade of destroying everyone in his path, Wilde was now officially a world champion.
Wilde’s main problem now was that he had more or less fought himself out of competition, and his fistic activity dropped down in 1917-1918, partly due to this reason.   

Wilde’s fame had spread internationally and in 1920, he went to America and did a very successful tour, and fought a number of fights, becoming an instant hit with the American fight fans.

Wilde was 29 years old and in semi-retirement when he got the offer in early 1921 to fight the brilliant World bantamweight champion Pete Herman. It was to be Wilde’s first fight in eight months. Not such a huge layoff for these days perhaps, but for a fighter who had been as active as Wilde was in his prime, those eight months off would prove to be disastrous. The two men fought on January 13, 1921, and a combination of Herman coming into the fight far heavier than had previously been agreed, (Wilde ended up giving up around 20 pounds to Herman) and Wilde’s encroaching age and inactivity, resulted in an out of sorts Wilde being given a fearful beating. The much bigger and sharper Herman took the best that Wilde could muster, and finally forced a 17th round stoppage defeat, after the referee Jack Smith had finally seen enough and literally dragged a pitifully beaten Wilde away from Herman’s fists, saying as he did so, “I’m sorry Jimmy, I have to pick you up, because you don’t know how to lie down.” 

The beating by Herman should have indicated the end of Wilde’s amazing career, and for a while, it looked as if it had, as he recuperated from the defeat, and settled in comfortably into non-boxing life for over two years.  But, Wilde still officially held the world Flyweight championship and in 1923, he received an offer to travel to America and defend it against Pancho Villa in New York. Part of the reason Wilde took the Villa fight was the wish to end his career in a blaze of glory, rather than with the Herman defeat. Another reason was the not insubstantial £15,000 purse offered to Wilde.

Villa was actually a replacement for Frankie Genaro, who was the first proposed opponent for Wilde’s defence. While Genaro was a clever and fast boxer, Villa was a pocket dynamo, and a whirlwind of fists and aggression, not the ideal opponent to be taking on after two and a half years of inactivity.  

Despite his long layoff, Wilde went into the match with Villa underestimating his little Filipino foe, but soon realised that he was in trouble in the first round, when he was very nearly overwhelmed by the Filipino’s furious attack. In the 2nd round, Wilde used all his experience and gameness to try to get a grip of the contest, and ride the storm coming his way, and while he lost the round, he managed to negate some of Villa’s attacks.  At the end of the round however, any chance Wilde had of turning the fight around was taken from him by a savage blow that Villa threw clearly after the bell sounded to end the round. The punch caught Wilde square on the chin and sent him down heavily. Somehow, Wilde’s seconds dragged him to his corner and managed to revive him enough to send him out for the 3rd round. Why Villa was not disqualified for his foul blow was debated for many years after this fight. 

Wilde came out for the 3rd,   but was out on his feet, and simply fighting from instinct.  For the next 5 rounds, Wilde took one of the worst beatings ever seen in modern times, with only his fighting heart and instinct pushing him on. Round after round he came out and barely able to hold his hands up, and went forward into Villa’s merciless fists.

The end finally came in the 7th round, with Wilde being counted out face down on the blood-splattered canvas. After the fight, Wilde was in a coma for hours and unaware of his surroundings for weeks afterwards. It would be months before he would be anywhere near recovered from the Villa beating, and his memory would remain impaired for the rest of his life. Unsurprisingly, Wilde never fought again. Wilde’s final record was 132(101koes)-6-2 his tally of 101 knockouts… an astonishing achievement for a fighter of his size.

While in the years since there have been great flyweights such as Benny Lynch, Pascual Perez, Miguel Canto, and Ricardo Lopez, it is hard to deny Wilde his place at the top of the flyweight tree. Even when comparing him to Jimmy Barry, who fought before Wilde as a Bantamweight, before the Flyweight division had come into existence.
Wilde was a punching genius, who on his best day would have been a good pick over anyone one within the 100 to 112 pounds range.

‘The Mighty Atom’ remains the mightiest mite ever seen in the ring, even to this day.

Copyright © 2014 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to and

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Beats Brian Vera…Catchweight Hero.

By Peter Silkov

After two fights and twenty-two hard fought and controversial rounds of fighting, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (48-1-1, 32koes) finally gained a legitimate victory over Brian Vera (23-8, 14koes) last night, March 1st at the Alamodome, San Antonio,  in Texas, for a redemption of sorts…depending upon your point of view.

The fight was entertaining, as the mixture of styles and limitations of both sides mixed well to produce a free-swinging contest that had more in common with a barroom brawl, than the sweet science. We had been told in the run up to this rematch that Chavez Jr. was in shape for this fight and that in their encounter last September he had only been 50%. 

This time it would be different; we were told. This time we would witness the real Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, lurking beneath the bluster and blubber of what we have seen recently. To a certain degree, we did get to see a better Chavez Jr. this time, compared to the one who was gifted a decision over Vera last September. This was a fitter Chavez Jr, rather than a ’different’ man, as some pre-fight stories had tried to claim. 

The action followed a similar pattern of the first fight, with the main difference being that Chavez Jr. was more active and more aggressive than in their first encounter. 
Chavez Jr. made a fast start with some big punches, as if, with the intention of getting Vera out of there early, but Vera took the punches well and came back with an attack of his own. As the rounds progressed, it became clear that although Chavez was sharper and more active than in the first fight, but he was still going to have his hands full with Vera. The two were involved in some good exchanges on the inside, with Chavez Jr. landing the heavier punches, but Vera still was busier. Chavez Jr. started complaining early to the referee about Vera’s head, although it is Junior’s own habit of bringing his head down as he tried to work on the inside that was the cause of most of the bumping. 

As usual, Chavez Jr. seemed to be under the impression that the referee was present to assist him, rather than officiate the contest in a fair and balanced way. Unfortunately, the performance of the said official, Rafael Ramos, indicated that he was indeed present for Chavez Jr.’s convenience, rather than give both fighters fair and equal treatment. Vera was warned early for use of the head and other perceived infringements, which Chavez Jr. chose to bring up in his frequent complaints to the official. It came as no surprise when Ramos deducted a point for Vera in the 8th round, for pushing Chavez Jr’s head down, while Chavez Jr’s own frequent infringements, which included pushing and low blows, were blatantly ignored by Mr Ramos.
Vera was as brave as in their first bout and replied to Chavez Jr’s heavy blows with his pugnacious smile, before retaliating with punches of his own. Despite Chavez Jr. being in much better condition this time round, this was not, an overwhelming defeat that some people had been expecting, but another close and competitive fight. Vera’s volume of punches and tenacity kept him in the fight with the far bigger Chavez Jr.
Both fighters engaged in some brutal exchanges; much to the crowds delight. Vera made the mistake of staying on the inside with Chavez Jr. too much and not using his jab as often as he did in their first fight, which resulted in him taking more punches than he would have done if he had been more mobile. In the later rounds, Chavez Jr.’s size and increased fitness was more of a factor, as Vera tired somewhat, but every time it seemed Vera was wilting under the ponderous heavy blows from Chavez Jr., he would come back with an attack of his own.

Following a big 11th round, Chavez Jr. showed a lack of class in the last round by running round the ring with his hands down and taunting Vera. This display of Chavez Jr.’s bully mentality did not go down well with the fans and he was rewarded with a chorus of boos from his own fans.

The win for Chavez Jr. this time was expected, but the scores of 117 to 110 upon the scorecards of Ruben Carrion and Max Deluca seemed harsh to Vera, after what had been another close fight. Judge David Sutherland’s scorecard of 114 to 113 seemed fairer and more accurate of the actual fight that had just taken place.

Did Chavez Jr’s victory equal a redemption? While in the immediate aftermath of the fight there were certainly those ready to jump once more upon the Chavez Jr. bandwagon, the fact remains that even when as fit as he can apparently get, Chavez Jr. was still forced to go 12 hard competitive rounds with a fighter whom he dwarfed in size. Vera entered the ring little more than a pumped up middleweight, while Chavez Jr. once dehydrated, looked to be of Cruiserweight proportions.

The bandwagon will roll on once again now, and Chavez Jr. will be guided into a big fight this summer. One candidate seemed to be Gennady Golovkin, the popular WBA world middleweight titleholder, (although this match may have to be put onto the back burner due to the recent passing of Golovkin’s father.) Another option seems to be a possible rematch with WBC Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, if he gets through his upcoming bout with Miguel Cotto. It’s no accident that Chavez Jr’s brain trust would prefer that their man carry on tackling middleweights for now, rather than facing off with a true super-middleweight. One thing that has emerged from the two Vera fights is that even when he is only required to get down to the super-middleweight limit on weigh in day, Chavez Jr. still struggles against any fighter who has the heart and toughness to stand up against his bullying strength and power.

Sakio Bika’s coronation as WBC world super-middleweight champion last year, after the title was shamelessly ripped from the head of an injured Andre Ward, was a blatant maneuver to secure a ’safe’ title holder at 168 for Chavez Jr. to challenge.  However, Chavez Jr. has had his limitations exposed in both of his fights with Brian Vera and there is no guarantee that even the ring-worn, but awkwardly tough Bika, would in reality be a ’safe’ target for Chavez Jr. None of the current super-middleweight titleholders looks to be an easy option for Chavez Jr., bearing in mind that he would still be out-weighing them on fight night by at least 14 pounds. If Chavez Jr. can struggle with a fighter like Vera, while holding a huge weight advantage over him, then the top Super-middleweights would present a much bigger problem for Chavez Jr. to get over.    

As for the light heavyweight division, Chavez Jr. would find it even harder in a division populated by knockout artists Adonis Stevenson and Sergy Kovalev, and the ageless technical genius, that is Bernard Hopkins. Therefore, Chavez continues to look at the middleweight division for opponents, even though he is now unable to continue the charade of pretending that he himself is a genuine middleweight.

Perhaps the answer is for the WBC to introduce a new championship, just for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., the catchweight championship. Chavez Jr. could defend against all- comers, as long as they were from the Middleweight division or lower. The results would almost be guaranteed to be entertaining. 

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Catchweight king, has a kind of pleasing ring about it.  It is likely to be the last true title that this poor little rich boy will win.

Photo: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Copyright © 2014 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to and

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