Under Buddy McGirt, Sergey Kovalev Storms Back to Avenge KO Loss to Eleider Alvarez
In their first fight, Eleider Alvarez was outboxed for the majority of the bout before landing a huge right hand that sent Sergey Kovalev to the canvas and began his demise. In his first fight under hall of fame trainer James “Buddy” McGirt, Kovalev was able to maintain his composure throughout, outboxing Alvarez and ultimately winning a unanimous 120-108, 116-112, 116-112 decision.
Rather than the “Kovalev is back” narrative you would expect from the media, the dominant story that came about was that this was a new version of Kovalev, and that McGirt had worked wonders on him like he did with Arturo Gatti. This idea neglects that Kovalev was outboxing Alvarez in the first fight as well, but is a better marketing tool than the weird “Kovalev the bully” promotion ESPN seemed so intent on forcing on viewers.
What is next for Kovalev is unclear, mainly due to the legal issues he is facing, but odds are it will be the UK’s Anthony Yarde, which would be incredibly fun considering the punching power of both men. Either way, depending on how you saw it, either “The Krusher” returned this weekend, or a new and improved version of Sergey Kovalev emerged. Either way, the light heavyweight division should be fun to watch going forward.
Teofimo Lopez KO’s Diego Magdaleno in Seven in Fight Marred by Late Stoppage
Good lord. That’s a devastating KO by Teofimo Lopez. pic.twitter.com/BDlUJnqigi— Josh Katzowitz (@joshkatzowitz) February 3, 2019
Teofimo Lopez dominated Diego Magdaleno, so thoroughly outclassing the 32-fight professional that he resorted to clowning and posturing, including attempting a behind the back punch off of a pivot that missed but would have been very cool if it landed. Eventually, Lopez would knock out Magdaleno with two straight left hooks on the chin before celebrating with a combination of the motorcycle revving dance, Fortnite’s “Hype” dance, and a backflip in the center of the ring. Lopez’s abilities combined with his polarizing attitude inside the ring make him must-see TV, and this was another star-making performance. Unfortunately for Lopez, that is not the story the national media is conveying.
Magdaleno’s corner, as well as the referee, are being lambasted by the mainstream sports media for failing to stop the fight earlier and letting their fighter take so much unnecessary damage. In an article that was on the front page of Yahoo.com, Kevin Iole compared the bout to Leavender Johnson’s dying in the ring at the hands of Julio Cesar Chavez before chastising Magdaleno’s corner and the referee, saying, “This is a sport. It’s a great sport which has saved so many fighters from who knows what kind of life, but they pay a price for that. They need the referees and their trainers to be there for them when they’re being so brave and to take the heat if they stop a fight that fans, the media and, yeah, the fighter, thinks was too early.”
While Iole is correct that Magdaleno’s corner and the referee failed him, we need to acknowledge they failed Lopez as well. Teofimo Lopez deserved the Sunday morning spotlight for how well he performed and how entertaining a fighter he is, but their bad decisions took that away from him. The more pressing question is what their poor choices took from Magdaleno.
Oscar Valdez Beats Carmine Tommasone, Tommasone Gets Engaged in Bizarre Scene
Showing no signs of demise after a broken jaw that had him eating out of a straw for two months last March, Oscar Valdez returned to the ring and dropped Italian Olympian Carmine Tommasone four times before the referee stopped the fight in the seventh round after watching Tommasone crumble from a Valdez uppercut. This was Valdez’s first fight under Eddy Reynoso, and though his opponent showed limited skills and had never fought outside of his native Italy before, it was a good win considering the circumstances.
The oddest part of the fight was when, after losing terribly, Tommasone proposed to his girlfriend in the center of the ring. She said “yes”, and everybody cheered, while boxing writers around the country wrote paragraphs stating that he “was still a winner” solely because his future wife was so attractive.
Richard Commey Scores Monster Knockout to Set Up Lomachenko Fight in April
Richard Commey wanted to bring another world title back to Ghana and moved to Brooklyn to train under Andre Rozier to make it happen. All that hard work and sacrifice paid off on Saturday night, as Commey won the vacant IBF lightweight title that Mikey Garcia abandoned, with a two round destruction of Russia’s Isa Chaniev.
In the first round, Commey threw a left hook that missed, but perfectly disguised the straight right hand behind it which dropped Chaniev and had him on shaky legs for the rest of the bout. In the second, Commey landed that left hook which dropped Chaniev, before blitzing him with an assault that ed the referee to stop the fight. While Commey is now the IBF lightweight champion, the biggest test in boxing lies ahead for him.
Commey is expected to face pound for pound king Vasyl Lomachenko in a title unification bout in April. While Lomachenko will be a huge favorite in the fight, with Mikey Garcia facing Errol Spence Jr. there aren’t many opponents that would have a chance against Lomachenko anyway, so at the very least Commey will have a puncher’s chance. Considering Loma’s size and the fact that we’ve seen him get dropped before, the fight could be interesting, or at the very least, watchable.
Sergio Garcia Too Good for Ted Cheeseman
Sergio Garcia beat Ted Cheeseman by a unanimous 119-109, 119-109, 115-114 decision on Saturday night in a fight that had people simultaneously lauding Cheeseman’s courage and deriding Cheeseman’s corner. Outrageous 115-114 score aside, it was clear Cheeseman was taking far too much punishment, but to his credit he stayed in the fight and never sought an exit. To his corner’s fault, they never gave him one.
Surely this meant Sergio Garcia captured the Spanish media’s undivided attention for the weekend, right? No, it did not. Unfortunately for Sergio Garcia, the more famous Sergio Garcia was disqualified in a golf event in Saudi Arabia for intentionally damaging the greens which had the players behind him complaining about his childish behavior. Yes, in a weekend where boxing’s Sergio Garcia did great things and the more famous Sergio Garcia did childish and stupid things, the media was still enamored with the more famous Sergio Garcia. For the boxing Sergio Garcia, the win over Cheeseman was not enough to get Spain’s attention, but it was a good start.
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