Commey Stops Beltran to Set up Likely Teofimo Lopez Matchup
Even though he couldn’t lose his IBF lightweight title after Ray Beltran botched his weight cut, Ghana’s Richard Commey was probably not going to get the big fights he’s looking for if he lost to a 37-year-old Ray Beltran. Fortunately, he dominated a very game Beltran, knocking him down four times en route to an eighth-round TKO stoppage.
Beltran deserves credit for continually getting off the canvas and fighting back, including landing some nice left hooks of his own, so much so that the referee could very well have let him keep fighting after he was dropped from the Commey left hook that ultimately ended the fight. Boxing Twitter’s favorite hater, Gervonta Davis, apparently wasn’t impressed with the left hook. He tweeted “Commey only have his right hand.”
Supposedly, Top Rank’s plan is to have Commey fight charismatic American Teofimo Lopez (should Lopez get by Masayoshi Nakatani in July) with the winner fighting Vasiliy Lomachenko. While a Lopez-Lomachenko matchup would be insanely fun both in the ring and leading up to the fight, a Commey-Lopez fight will be a can’t-miss one with both men having big power, but with Commey being hittable and Lopez still being green in terms of elite competition. They also both love to dance after wins, so we could get a prefight dance-off.
Jermall Charlo Ends Title Hopes of ‘The Contender’ Winner Brandon Adams
While the Showtime Broadcast team really wanted to hype Jermall Charlo as a big puncher, “The Contender” winner Brandon Adams ate big uppercut after big uppercut and never appeared hurt over the course of their matchup Saturday night. Still, Charlo would remain undefeated and retain his new, full WBC middleweight title via a unanimous 120-108, 120-108, 119-109 decision.
This was supposed to be a showcase for Charlo, which is why it doesn’t look good that Adams -- who should be fighting at 154 -- was able to both see the final bell, and mess around with a mildly successful Joe Frazier impression late in the fight by utilizing a cross-armed defense and bending at the waist.
So what happened? Well, Charlo and his trainer Ronnie Shields claim he hurt his hand at the end of the second round and had to revert to more of a boxing gameplan than to go for the knockout. That’s likely true, as after the fight Charlo was clearly wincing in pain when his gloves were taken off.
After the fight, Charlo called out Canelo Alvarez, but boxing Twitter at least is convinced Canelo is going to fight Sergey Kovalev next, as crazy as that sounds. That would leave GGG out of luck in September, but he fights on Dazn, so if he wants a middleweight belt -- remember that Canelo has said he only wants to fight GGG if he has a belt -- it would make more sense for him to go after Demetrius Andrade.
Andrade Drops Sulecki in First before Cruising to Decision Win
In his hometown of Providence, Rhode Island, Demetrius Andrade retained his WBO middleweight belt via a unanimous 120-107, 120-107, 120-107 decision over Maciej Sulecki. Andrade dropped Sulecki in the first round with a straight left hand, but couldn’t hurt him for the rest of the bout and had to settle for a wide, but not especially exciting decision.
That’s not to say he didn’t try to give his hometown fans a show. Andrade was widely ridiculed on social media for his attempt at an Ezzard Charles cake walk, that both looked awkward and was capped off with a punch that missed by a mile. Nothing will ever top Andre Ward’s bolo punch fail in terms of old showboating tactics gone awry, but it was pretty funny.
Andrade wants Canelo or GGG, but if Canelo actually tries to fight Kovalev, he’d be far better off trying to goad the Kazakhstani into a bout for his middleweight belt.
Joseph Parker Stops Alex Leapai in 10, But Leaves Fans Unsatisfied
Looking to make the most of the sudden fame Andy Ruiz’s championship victory gave the only guy to beat him as a professional, Joseph Parker entered the ring against 39-year-old Alex Leapai with a chance to get the boxing world talking about him again. However, when you face a guy you’re supposed to be light-years ahead of, anything but a flawless victory will bring out the detractors.
That’s pretty much what happened to Joseph Parker. Although he went on to stop Leapai in the tenth round of their bout, Leapai had virtually admitted he wouldn’t have the stamina to go 12 rounds as soon as the fight was signed, so a late stoppage wasn’t shocking or especially impressive. Parker blamed ring rust and noted how hard his opponent’s head is, but boxing fans were quick to call for him to hire a new trainer, or to declare that actually Ruiz was robbed in their 2016 matchup.
After the fight, Parker called out Ruiz for a rematch, but that‘s very unlikely given Ruiz’s sudden status. More likely than not, Parker will get a rematch with Dillian Whyte, who beat him last July.
Khalid Yafai Easily Outpoints Norbelto Jimenez
Norbelto Jimenez will always deserve credit for starting out his career 1-7 before fighting his way to two title shots. Unfortunately, he didn’t win the title the first time (a draw against Kohei Kono) and he didn’t win one this weekend either.
Former Olympian and current WBA Super Flyweight Champion Khalid Yafai was too good for Jimenez, consistently beating him to the punch (as well as landing a good number of low blows that went unpunished) en route to a unanimous 117-109, 118-108, 119-107 decision.
After the fight, Yafai called out Sor Rungvisai, Juan Fransisco Estrada and Roman “Chocalatito” Gonzalez. Those are the biggest names in the division, while Yafia is not that well known outside of The UK. Don’t be shocked if he ends up fighting Jerwin Ancajas instead.
Saul Rodriguez Walks Straight into Shocking KO Loss
Saul Rodriguez was 23-0 and had hard hitting Mexican journeyman Miguel Angel Gonzales reeling in the third round of their fight. After hurting his opponent, the 26-year-old American got excited against a wounded opponent, pressed him, walked forwards with his hands down and walked straight into a left hook that put his lights out. It was a huge, fight ending shot, and another reminder that if you have a hard-hitting opponent in trouble you need to use caution pressing the issue.
Claudio Marrero Wins WBA Title Shot with Decision over Eduardo Ramirez
In case you thought the WBC was stupid with its “Pearl belt,” its “Franchise Belt” and it’s actual belt, this weekend Claudio Marrero (who calls himself the Matrix, but is going to have to fight Lomachenko for the nickname, considering Loma’s kinda goofy, kinda cool himself as Neo avatar), the WBA “Gold Belt” holder won a close but unanimous 115-113, 116-112, 118-110 decision over Eduardo Ramirez to earn a shot at the WBA 126 pound title. However, because the belt situation in boxing has become absurd and worse than ever before, it is unclear if that meant Leo Santa Cruz’s legitimate WBA belt of Xu Can’s 126-pound “World” belt.