Rigo vs Loma~ Preview + Prediction

Rigo vs Loma~ Preview + Prediction

Well what a year of boxing we have had , a year packed with massive fights and a year that has made me fall in love with boxing all over again . From watching AJ pull one out the bag and stop Wladimir Klitschko to GGG and Saul Canelo Alvarez finally getting in the ring together in another fantastic fight , then there was Andre Wards controversial yet fantastic win over Sergey Kovalev in there rematch . This weekend we have a fight that has the potential to top all of the above when Guillermo Rigondeaux takes on Vasyl Lomachenko in bout which is a boxing wet dream in New Yory on Saturday night and i for one cannot wait .

Guillermo Rigondeaux or Rigo for short is a fantastic fighter who has been a casualty of his own ability . It is widely suspected that many boxers including Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg have avoided fighting Rigo , and for good reason . When it comes to skill Rigo is one of the best boxers on the planet , a man who will punish any mistakes with devastating power and accuracy helped by his superb footwork which always sees him in position to get big shots off . This counter punching style has drawn criticism from of the boxing media , with detractors like Dan Reafel who will swear flat out that Rigo is overrated and boring , which for me is crazy talk . Dan is the kind of guy who thinks walking forward is skill , he has no appreciation of the science of boxing of which Rigo is a master . If Rigo does have a flaw it could be his temperament as we seen in his last fight against Moises Flores .In that fight Rigo was really turning it on against the Mexican when inexplicably Rigo floored him a few seconds after the bell , which seen the fight result in a no contest . Rigo is also coming into this fight as the older, smaller man which could also have an impact on how this fight plays out but admittedly Rigo looked in fantastic shape at the public workouts .

Vasyl Lomachenko is the most exciting boxer in the world . A man who’s majestic footwork is an absolute pleasure to watch . He doesn’t just beat his opponents , he breaks them psychologically by outworking , outmanoeuvring and outthinking them , showboating the whole time , like we seen against Nicholas Walters which seen Walter just quit like a dog on his stool . A massive advantage Lomachenko has is that his style is so unique i really don’t see how his opponents can prepare for him in sparring . Loma is so much more than a mover tho, due to his fantastic footwork we see Lomachenko get into unusual position and unload with devastating power , which sees him score some photogenic KOs . Lomachenko has not come up against anyone near the class of Rigo before so this unique style will be put to the test which just makes this fight even more intriguing .

Prediction:

This fight has an outrageous amount of skill and boxing smarts so picking a winner is proving very difficult . I can see a positive outcome for each fighter , I wouldn’t be surprised if Rigo walked Lomachenko onto one and KO’d him, i also wouldn’t be surprised if Loma just beats Rigo down . How do I think it will go ?. I think after a quick and frantic start the pace of the fight is more than Rigo i used to . In the later rounds i think Rigo will feel everyone of those 37 years of his age which might see Lomachenko get the KO . Realistically i think Rigo will have enough street smarts to see the fight out , which will see Loma win quite convincingly on the cards , maybe after a shaky start .

Steven Donnell

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A Heavyweight Conundrum

A Heavyweight Conundrum

Back in the the early to mid 90’s Heavyweight Boxing was as strong as it had been at any time through history , guys like Evander Holyfield , Riddick Bowie , Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson to name a few filled the top ten , bizarrely there was even a time in 1995 when there was not a Champion in Ring Magazines top 5 . Now those days have past , and to be quite frank I’ve long since accepted that they will never return , heavyweight boxing has lost that glamour , that glitz and most of all that kind of talent .IMG_0023

Fast forward to 2017 and after an optimistic few years the division is again looking very weak and that is causing big problems for British Heavyweight Anthony Joshua . Joshua is nothing short of a marketing phenomenon , from Olympic Hero to Heavyweight Champion of the World and still keeping his media friendly “boy next door” persona intact , has seen Joshua and Eddie Hearn sell out the biggest stadiums the UK has to offer , AJ truly is a once in a generation marketable asset in boxing …..There is just one problem , competition .

As i write this there are two other World Champions in the mix in Joseph Parker and Deontey Wilder , both of whom have nowhere near the status of Joshua but that might not matter when it comes to negotiations . This week we have heard Parkers promoter David Higgins say that Eddie Hearns offer for a unification was “An insult” , reports suggest that the offer was in the region of 10% , which would be Parkers biggest ever pay day but with Higgins suggesting they where looking for closer to 40% both parties seem way off and it’s a similar story with Wilder as he is demanding a 50/50 split which again seems crazy , or is it ?.IMG_0022

It seems to me that Parker and Wilder have realised that the lack of talent at the top of the heavyweight division increases there stock to a more than there talent or popularity deserves to be valued at . It would also seem that Joshua needs Wilder and Parker more than they need him . I have no doubt that Wilder and Parker would happily fight other lower opposition leaving AJ and Hearn in the cold with more and more pressure building on them as each fight passes from there massive fan base to get the unifications made , Hearn will need to pay far more than Wilder and Parker are actually worth to get these fights made , this could bring a whole new meaning to “Earn with Hearn ”

Steven Donnell

Kovalev vs Ward II :Preview and Prediction

With 2017 being one of the best years for boxing in a long time we are about to be treated to another fantastic matchup , no I’m not talking about Paul Smith vs Tyron Zeuge, I’m talking about Andre Ward vs Sergy Kovalev II .

Since Andre Ward’s  contriversial points win in November to take the Russians titles  , Kovalev and his team have been on the offensive in the build up to this one. When i first seen some of the comments Kovalev was making i thought “He’s trying psych Ward out” but now i genuinely believe he is out to really hurt Ward .

Sergey Kovalev “I don’t have a prediction. I just have one goal to beat Andre Ward and beat all the s— from him because he doesn’t deserve the belt and the status of a champion. I want to put him back in his place.”

Now to a mere man like myself, I would be fucking shitting myself to go in the ring with Kovalev after seeing this , but Andre Ward is no normal man. Ever since the first fight Kovalev vigorously disputed the cards, and for me he has let that turn to hate , there have even been allegations of racist comments toward Ward which i won’t go into . This hatred can go one of two ways for Kovalev, the hate might bring out a performance like Frazier/Ali I, if that hate can be focussed there is every chance he could become a killing machine when doubled with his frightening power , or we could see the hate manifest like it did when Tyson took on Holyfeild and result in Ward picking him off and humiliating the big Russian.

Andre Ward is the superstar that never was , a man who gets nowhere near the credit he is due . Ward’s life has everything a great story needs, from a very hard upbringing with drug addict parents, to Olympian ,to now one of the best P4P fighters in the world ,so why isn’t he a household name ? . Well to be fair Ward looks like a difficult person to deal with,he is also very paranoid about the media ,with good cause . This makes Ward a bit of a hit or a miss with fans . Ward again as he did in the first fight has done very little to promote this grudge match ,which leaves all the soundbites for Sergy Kovalev to fill , which in turn wins the Russian more fans but leaves Ward like a forgotten man, well until fight night at least . All Wards personality comes out in the ring, he really is a master at taking your strength away from you , for him to just pick you off . Watching Andre Ward in the ring isn’t like watching any ordinery boxer. Ward turns the fight into a game chess, where every move must be thought out well in advance .

Andre Ward on fight “I think the first fight was a great fight. I think there was a lot of drama in the first fight, more drama than I wanted,” said Ward. “I think it was a tremendous fight and I believe, round two is going to be a tremendous fight.”

Prediction :

This fight boils down to Aggression/Power vs Skill/Ringcraft , Can Kovalev set out to hurt Ward without being exploited ? , I really don’t think so . Nobody has ever solved the equation of how beat Ward but i doubt its with brute force and anger , chances are Ward will take Kovalev’s aggression and ill temper and use it against him . Kovalev has fantastic power which sent Ward to the canvas in the first fight, he has that one punch power and a fantastic jab, so he has every chance of beating Ward. Who’s my pick ? ….i will say Andre Ward on points, i just feel Ward knows what to expect this time and will look to nullify Kovalev early , i also still have doubts about Kovalev’s gas tank .

Steven Donnell

 Jack Johnson , most inportant world champion of all time ? 

As I am sure most people are aware of the prejudice black athletes faced in the past and how over the the past 100+ years boxing has lead the way in tearing down racial barriers to some extent bit by bit, thanks to the brave men who stood up to be the best when it seemed the world was against them. Jack Johnson is one who laid the path to help get boxing to where it is today.

At a time when lynching of black men  was common place, any black man with the balls to not just go in the ring with a white  man ,but to knock them out time after time takes bravery that we just can’t comprehend in today’s world , that’s the kind of man Jack Johnson was . 

Once Jack Johnson had cleaned out all the black heavyweights to become “black heavyweight champ” he embarked on a tour round the world chasing down then World Champion Tommy Burns, who himself was touring beating the best every country had to offer .Johnson could be seen Ring side at each and every one of those fights heckling the champion, telling the crowds “this man has nothing on me,I would destroy this man” . Burns finally lost patience with Johnson in Sydney,Australia agreeing to fight Johnson for a purse of $30,000 on Boxing Day 1908 .During the the fight Johnson  humiliated Burns,taunting him in the ring before punishing Burns that much that the local police entered the ring and stopped the fight for fear there would be a fatality naming Johnson the winner,now let that sink in ….a black man as the best heavyweight boxer in the world .

On his return to the US there was uproar that Burns had even given this 2nd class citizen a shot at the title as you could imagine the race was on to get this man back in his place,the press even printed pictures playing up to stereotypes picturing Johnson in cartoons with big lips or monkey arms .But in true Jack Johnson style he would not bow down or be phased by hate and set about destroying every single white challenger they put infront of him . In there frenzy to find someone to get the title back in white hands the media and press went searching for a great white hope .That came in the form of retired undefeated world champion James J Jeffries who agreed to come out of a six year retirement to take on Johnson. Jeffries didn’t bother himself with Johnson  and was really badgered into this fight and given an offer of $120,000.

The fight was billed as the fight of the century and with all the racial tensions that surrounded all alcohol was banned in the arena in Reno .This was also one of the first fights where pre recorded rights had been sold, with the view of packing out cinemas to show the world “the great white hope ” taking back the world title. Well Johnson didn’t read the script,with his counter punching style he nulled Jeffries ,and after having him down twice Jeffries corner threw n the towel , an action that had reverberation across America . The riots that followed Johnson’s victory saw destruction and violence unseen since the Civil War .There was actually murders attributed to Jack Johnson taking the picked man apart ,Infact it got that bad US congress passed a law banning the recordings being showed ,a law that would be in place for the next 20 years .

If what Jack Johnson  was doing in the ring was causing white America to go crazy ,what he was doing outside the ring was making him public enemy No1. Johnson like many heavyweight champs loved the party lifestyle,he also used to love white woman ,marrying Etta Terry who he cheated on repeatedly causing the woman to end her own life . His next wife who he married a month after Etta’s death was Lucile Cameron,this marriage actually had two state governors calling for him to be Lynched and his marriage annulled because again she was a white woman ,these governors might not have got there wish but it did show the target on Johnson’s back. Before Johnson  had married Lucile she had went on tour with him as part of  his auntrage crossing over state line as Johnson went on beating the best the sport had to offer, this would prove to be his downfall. Investigators had been told to find something,anything to bring Him down and after months of checking every aspect of his life the only thing they could come up with was He had violated the “Mann act”  a law which ironically was brought in to combat slave trading .The state accused Johnson of taking a prostitute (Lucile,Johnson‘s now wife) across state lines for “immoral purpose” but his wife would not take part in so the case collapsed but a few months later the a similar charge was brought because He had took another white woman over state lines before the Mann act was even in place . An all white jury sentenced him to a year in jail causing the champ to go on the run .

After all these blatant attacks on Johnson over his full life the man was still a patriot to his country. When the Second World War kicked off Jack Johnson  was in his 70s he was still putting on exibitions to raise money to fund the American War effort still with that smile on his face which he had his whole life, no matter what was thrown at him. I firmly believe Jack Johnson  laid the foundations for the next generations to take up the fight .

Steven Donnell