Tyson Fury versus Deontay Wilder is officially happening.
After cruising to an uneventful decision victory over Italy’s Francesco Pianeta, the sole highlight of which was when the self-proclaimed “heavyweight Sugar Ray Leonard” did his best impression of Muhammed Ali’s famous cornered head movement routine, Wilder stormed the ring and the two undefeated heavyweights came face to face. Both fighters acknowledged that the deal was already in place, before Fury promised with some colorful language that he was going to knock Wilder out.
That is highly unlikely, as despite his size Fury has never been a knockout puncher (19 knockouts in 27 fights). Instead, this is a classic boxer-puncher matchup with Fury’s size, movement and boxing ability facing off against Wilder’s right hand from Hell. For boxing fans, this long-time coming battle will be fascinating but because of the outsized personalities of the pugilists involved, it will likely enthrall a casual audience as well.
Fury has never had a problem doing zany stunts to bring attention to himself, while Wilder is boisterous enough to have walked through Northern Ireland screaming “Bomb Squad!” (in reference to his entourage’s moniker) with zero deference to that nation’s terrible bombing history. Just this week he got into a ridiculous spat with middleweight contender Billy Joe Saunders, which resulted in Saunders hitting him with a piece of chicken before running away. Seriously.
So, we should expect, and look forward to an over the top WWE style promotion for the matchup. The buildup to this fight will probably get ugly, but it’s a fight that we are all lucky to see and should be looking forward to watching.
Frampton Stops Jackson to Set Up Fight With Warrington
The same card saw WBO interim featherweight champion Carl Frampton overwhelm his Australian opponent Luke Jackson, ultimately finishing him with a bodyshot in the ninth round. Frampton was simply better than Jackson, which was how the fight had been viewed since it was announced, but credit to Frampton for not looking past this opponent and getting the job done.
Next for “The Jackal” is Josh Warrington, the undefeated IBF featherweight champion from Yorkshire, England, in a fight that will likely take place sometime in November, likely at Manchester Arena. That fight won’t get much attention in the United States, but overseas it will be huge.
Body Shot KO Loss Proves Barnes Wasn’t Ready
After a stellar amateur career that saw him win two Olympic bronze medals, Paddy "The Leprechaun" Barnes decided to take the Lomachenko route and challenge for a world title in just his sixth professional boxing match. But, like the thousands of amateur fighters who have turned southpaw and hopped sideways on their sparring partners only to clumsily stumble before being blasted in the face, Barnes learned the hard way that he is not Vasyl Lomachenko.
Barnes was stopped in the fourth round when WBC flyweight champion Cristofer Rosales landed a right uppercut to the solar plexus that immediately ended any hopes of Barnes winning the title. Barnes stayed down, writhed in agony and left the largely pro-Barnes crowd in silence as the referee called the fight off. The image of Barnes on the canvas should serve as a warning to other highly accomplished amateurs that sometimes a slow maturation process is a good idea, no matter how old you are before your pro debut.
Jennings Gets off the Floor to Stop Dimitrenko
The weekend’s most thrilling battle was the back and forth matchup between fading heavyweights Bryant Jennings and Alexander “Sasha” Dimitrenko. Facing a daunting size mismatch, Jennings was kept at the end of Dimitrenko’s jabs in the early moments of the fight until a hard right hand dropped Jennings in the fourth round. But, Jennings survived and immediately launched a spirited comeback as his much larger opponent began to tire, culminating in two separate knockdowns in the eighth round. In the ninth, Jennings landed a big uppercut and the referee stopped the fight.
Although the fight was great, fans were not pleased with the (potentially early) stoppage and took to twitter to voice their displeasure. Either way, Jennings was on the canvas facing irrelevance but got up to fight back and win. All credit to him.
Cancio Decisions Zenunaj; Doesn’t Quite Live up to the Hype
The fight of the weekend that, while good, did not live up to the huge prefight hype was the battle between Andrew Cancio and Dardan Zenunaj. In what was supposed to be a Gatti-Ward type of battle, Cancio’s boxing ability proved to be just a bit too much for Zenunaj, who despite gamely coming forward and landing punches was never able to close the gap on the scorecards after giving away so many of the early rounds. In the end, Blythe California’s Cancio took a 96-94, 99-91 and 99-91 decision victory.
Stevenson Cruises Past Journeyman Opponent
Despite dealing with charges stemming from a brawl he was involved in two months ago, former Olympic Silver Medalist Shakur Stevenson stayed focused enough to cruise past Mexican journeyman Carlos Ruiz, winning every round in dominant fashion. Ruiz had never been knocked out, and despite landing consistent, heavy blows Stevenson could not come close to putting him down for the count either. The 21-year-old Stevenson, who is being brought along slowly despite consistent hype, moved to 8-0 with 4 knockouts.
Hart Destroys Gavronski, Wants Ramirez Rematch
Philadelphia’s Jesse Hart has lost only once in his career, a decision loss to WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto Ramirez. Hart is dying for the rematch, and knew he needed to make a statement in his matchup with Mike Gavronski to get that fight. With a third-round knockout victory, it is safe to say he did just that. Hart, the son of Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, dropped Gavronski twice in the third round forcing the referee to save a dazed but standing Gavronski from any further damage. With the win, Hart has knocked out his last three opponents.
Cuadras Returns to Winning Ways Despite Headbutt
Following his appearances on HBO’s “Superfly” cards, Carlos Cuadras was considered a top prospect. But, after losing consecutive decisions to Juan Fransisco Estrada and Mcwilliams Arroyo, Cuadras was at risk of being left behind. But, with a technical decision win over Ricardo Nunez, Cuadras has reversed this downward slide. Cuadras was cut twice via accidental headbutt, so the fight went to the scorecards in the seventh round giving Cuadras a 60-54, 60-54, 60-54 unanimous decision victory.