Lomachenko Decisions Campbell in London
Vasiliy Lomachenko was just too good for “Cool Hand” Luke Campbell, and there was nothing either he or the London crowd that came to support their local hero could do about it. Campbell fought hard, but was dropped in the eleventh round and ultimately lost a unanimous 118-109, 119-108, 119-108 decision.
When explaining the fight, Teddy Atlas noted that “For me the difference and turning point in the fight was the jab. Campbell was that dog barking behind the door and Lomachenko was FedEx delivering the package. Noise vs action. Action is loudest. The delivery was made.”
That’s confusing, but what is very true is that the much taller Campbell struggled to actually land the jab. Instead, he seemed to be pawing with it to try and track Lomachenko’s head movement, which didn’t work especially well. What did work well was digging body shots into Lomachenko’s midsection, which remained relatively stagnant no matter how much he moved his head. If Richard Commey ends up fighting Lomachenko next, that could be something to watch for.
Is Commey next for Lomachenko? Probably. After the fight, Lomachenko reiterated that he wants all the lightweight belts, and at this point the only one he’s missing is the IBF belt that Richard Commey currently holds. Commey and brash 22-year-old American Teofimo Lopez are fighting in December, and Lomachenko will likely face the winner, which he believes will be Commey. It should also be noted that Gervonta Davis is supposedly abandoning his 130 pound belt to fight at 135, though the odds of a Davis-Lomachenko fight are highly unlikely.
But, this week another name emerged from out of nowhere that would make for an even more interesting opponent for Lomachenko after he faces the Commey-Lopez winner. Supposedly, if Lomachenko unifies the lightweight titles, Japanese knockout artist Naoya “The Monster” Inoue wants to fight him at 130. That would be a legitimate hall of famer versus hall of famer, top five pound-for-pound matchup, and one where Lomachenko would be in serious danger from the opening bell.
Povetkin Decisions Hughie Fury in Atrocious Fight
Before he fought veteran heavyweight contender Alexander Povetkin this weekend, Hughie Fury promised fans that “On Saturday night, you’re gonna see a show.” Surely, Fury must have been talking about the Lomachenko fight, because his own fight was dreadful, and it was dreadful because of him. Fury was accused of running throughout what was ultimately a unanimous 117-111, 117-111, 117-111 decision loss.
Fury is only 24, but it seems he’s never going to become an elite fighter. Povetkin is in the more interesting situation. He is almost 40 years old, but still good enough to at least compete with the best in the division. They say he now wants Tyson Fury, but there’s little reason for Fury to take that fight and it seems highly unlikely it happens. The Usyk fight was really a perfect one for him, Usyk is smaller and unproven at heavyweight but many consider him the next big thing in the division. Hopefully, Usyk will rethink his stance against that fight and make it happen.
Jeff Horn KO’d by Zerafa, Loses Murata Fight
All Jeff Horn had to do was win this weekend. With a big money fight in Japan against Ryota Murata all lined up, Horn took a stay-busy fight against fellow Australian Michael Zerafa. Whether he was looking ahead to the Murata fight or was always just a bloated welterweight fighting at 160, in a fight in which he was heavily favored, Horn got beaten down. Zerafa looked crisp, while Horn was slow and sluggish throughout. In the second round, Horn was dropped, then after a failed rally attempt, he was dropped again in the ninth. At this point, it appeared Horn’s trainer tried to stop the fight by climbing onto the ring apron, but the referee didn’t see him and the fight continued. Horn was hit with some more punches, crumbled again and the referee stopped the fight.
Where does Horn go from here? Retirement probably. After the fight he said he was tired of getting hit so much, and without a big fight coming he’d have to try and climb his way back up the ladder. What’s next for Murata? Maybe Zerafa. While Horn lost his chances at a big money fight in Japan, Murata lost a well-known opponent (Horn is still a big name because of the Pacquiao victory) who was willing to fight in Japan and who wasn’t especially dangerous. Now, he needs to find another opponent that fits those criteria. Unfortunately for Murata, beating Horn isn’t going to make Zerafa a star anytime soon, so he should probably look elsewhere.
One other thing that warrants mention is that the Horn fight did not have ring girls, it had men in suits playing that role instead. This is because local women’s advocacy groups spoke out against the long-held tradition, and the promoters backed down. Make no mistake, this is a battle that’s coming to every boxing card soon enough. This was just the first of many events that are going to feel immense pressure to abandon them.
Erislandy Lara Stops Ramon Alvarez in Two
It would be hard to oversell how much better Erislandy Lara was than Canelo’s brother, Ramon Alvarez on Saturday night. In the first round, Lara hit Alvarez with almost every jab he threw and used his lead right hand to counter over the top of almost every Alvarez jab. At the risk of hyperbole, it looked like when a professional spars a guy off the street, because there are no pros at the gym and he needs a workout.
In the second round, two straight left hands sent Alvarez through the ropes. Alvarez got up but ate a flurry of punches, and the referee stopped the fight.
What’s next for Alvarez? While his family name means there will always be a market for him, this was a terrible showing. First, he missed weight by over four pounds and blamed it on his team bringing a wrongly calibrated scale with them, then his in-ring performance showed he is far from world class. Now 33 years old and having been beaten eight times and stopped in four of those bouts, he should find another career. If not, give him Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
As for Lara, he is now the WBA “Regular” 154 pound champion (Julian Williams is the WBA “Super” Champion at 154) and must fight Michael Soro.
Charlie Edwards Keeps Title after Taking a Brutal Body Shot While Down
In the ranking of boxing’s cheap shots, Julio Cesar Martinez’s body shot to a downed Charlie Edwards ranks alongside some of the worst in the sport’s history. Already known as a knockout puncher thanks to his stoppage of Andrew Selby, which came on a body shot, in the third round of their fight Martinez came on strong and put Edwards on a knee with a brutal assault of body shots. Then, for whatever reason, he felt the need to land a left hook on the liver of the clearly down Edwards. At first, Martinez was declared the winner and new WBC Flyweight champion. However, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman came in the ring soon after and declared the fight would instead be declared a no-contest and Edwards would keep his belt.
On the one hand, it’s a shame because Martinez had Edwards in serious trouble and was likely about to win the fight. On the other hand, there’s no question that no-contest was the right call as that body shot was absurd.
Sebastian Fundora and Jamontay Clark Fight to Split Draw
Sebastian Fundora, the tallest 154-pound fighter around at 6 feet, 7 inches tall, hit a bump in his path to a world title this weekend against Jamontay Clark. Fundora, who had been keeping everyone on the outside and knocking people out with long uppercuts, struggled to keep Clark away from him, though he did get his shots in. In the end, one judge scored it 98-92 Clark, one judge had it 96-94 Fundora, and the third judge had it 95-95, resulting in a split draw.
Spong Stops Minda in Two to Setup Usyk Fight
Unlike Jeff Horn, former kickboxing champion Tyrone Spong didn’t botch his opportunity at a big fight by getting upset in a warmup bout this weekend. Needing to beat Ecuador’s Jeyson Minda in Mexico to potentially fight Oleksandr Usyk in October, Spong took care of business, knocking Minda down twice in the second round and forcing the referee to stop the obvious mismatch. If the rumors are true, that means he gets Usyk Oct. 12 in Chicago.
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