So, fine, this blog has been slacking heavily. Life has gotten in the way, and since I get, you know, paid to do other things in life plus am trying to keep a semblance of a social life there just hasn’t been time to crank up the ol’ WordPress and write about totally irrelevant things like literature, boxing or the next big band that blows people’s minds at 2 AM. Which is probably a mistake as said band linked to my review of their show and skyrocketed the views to this site earlier this month, which was ultimately wasted as I responded by not writing on here for weeks. What up, momentum! But, I digress, and goddammit I’m going to try to remain as consistent as possible.
This past weekend held a lot of boxing. Unfortunately, most of it was shit. That said, there were some things that went on that are worth talking about. There was also a lot (like the Russian card with Ruslan Provodnikov fighting a washed up husk of Jose Luis Castillo and Mickey Rourke fighting a homeless man) that will not be touched here.
Fight Recap: Terence Crawford UD12 Ray Beltran
Sometime the Wolf score: Crawford 119 – 109 Beltran
Terence Crawford (25-0, 17 KO), a fighter-of-the-year candidate and a budding HBO star fighter, dominated top lightweight contender Ray Beltran (29-7-1, 17 KO) in a fight that was never really that close. Crawford, who said after the fight he was moving up from the lightweight division, was defending his WBO lightweight title for the second straight time in Omaha, Nebraska, where he is a legitimate local draw and turned in a star-making performance back in June as he wiped the floor with contender Yuriorkis Gamboa in an exciting and action-filled fight.
Last night’s match was not an exciting, action-filled fight. While Crawford was utterly dominant, often switching fighting stances in mid round and keeping Beltran at the end of a sharp jab (fighting out of southpaw, Crawford’s right jab in particular was nasty), Crawford was able to outwork and outclass Beltran in every way. Beltran deserved the title shot and is a tough, veteran fighter who is as good as the (admittedly weak) lightweight division has to offer. But Crawford was on another level from start to finish, robbing the fight of any drama.
Crawford is a cerebral fighter, one with great technical skills and decent pop but not one who is going to take any unnecessary risks or start a slugfest unless one is brought to him, the way Gamboa did over the summer. His performance last night, though dominant, is not going to make him a household name. He seems like a nice kid, but his personality is a quiet one and is not going to carry him into the limelight on its own. He will need dance partners to become the king. He looks talented enough to be a pound-for-pound star–let’s see how he looks against a higher level of competition as he moves up in weights.
Fight Recap: Tyson Fury TKO10 Dereck Chisora
Meanwhile, in London: in what was a horrendous fight with no redeeming qualities, Gypsy fighter Tyson Fury (23-0, 17 KO) stopped an over-the-hill looking and punchless Dereck Chisora (20-5, 13 KO) when Chisora quit on his stool after ten rounds of getting repeatedly jabbed in the face as he slowly stumbled towards Fury and made vague punching motions at him. In a year with a lot of really terrible fights, this was up there as one of the worst, and announcers reported that 2/3rds of the crowd had left by the time this ended. Fury is a huge dude with some skills, but this was terrible and let’s never speak of it again.
Fight Recap: Billy Joe Saunders SD Chris Eubank Jr.
Sometime the Wolf score: Saunders 114-114 Eubank Jr.
In what was the best fight of the weekend and a matchup of up and coming 25-year-old prospects, Saunders (21-0, 11 KO) took a close split decision from Eubank Jr. (18-1, 13 KO). Saunders started fast, Eubank Jr. came on in the middle rounds and then they seemed to fight on even terms through the end of the fight. Both fighters probably came out of the bout respectably–Saunders’ experience showed through and he probably deserved to take the decision, and Eubank Jr. showed his talent and athleticism and with better work from his corner and a better gameplan could have taken this fight.
If Eubank Jr. puts in the work, he could be decent–he looked fast and had power, though he was a bit sloppy and clumsy looking. Saunders will likely always be a Euro-level fighter rather than world-class–he just doesn’t seem to do anything on an A-level. I’d guess his ceiling to be maybe Matthew Macklin-level, with a couple title shots but never being known as the top dog.