There were hardly any upsets this weekend, but that doesn’t mean that the boxing was anywhere near to being sub-par. Friday delivered victories for Jean Pascal, Eleider Alvarez and David Lemieux. Saturday began with George Groves, Billy Joe Saunders, Liam Smith, Neil Dawson and Arthur Abraham as the vanquishers. The day continued with triumphs for Leo Santa Cruz, Errol Spence Jr., Joseph Diaz Jr. and Marcus Browne. Following the preceding matches were victories for Amir Khan, Deontay Wilder and Alfredo Angulo. Welterweights Shawn Porter and Julio Diaz fought to a draw on the same bill. Nonito Donaire won his match. Paul Mendez continued his run of form with a stoppage victory.
Read on for the full ‘Weekend Round Up.’
As always, this is some of what’s being televised and what I’ll try my best to watch.
FRIDAY 14TH DECEMBER:
Jean Pascal improves to 27-2-1 as Aleksy Kuziemski is now 23-5-0. Cruiserweights, 12 rounds.
- Jean Pascal campaigned just above the light heavyweight limit for his match with Aleksy Kuziemski. The first round was slow for Pascal with Kuziemski being the busier of the two. Pascal noticeably increased the aggression in the 3rd, highlighted by a three-punch combo in addition to several other missiles. The 4th round saw Pascal’s left hand getting caught on the ropes, mid punch and causing an injury to his shoulder, essentially making his left arm useless. Kuziemski pressurised for the remainder of the round and landed some effective right hands around Pascal’s guard while the Haitian-Canadian was on the ropes. In a sign of what was to come, as the round ended, Pascal connected with a big right hand. The remainder of the match was mostly all about Pascal countering with his right or simply beating Kuziemski to the punch, all with his right hand. Kuziemski found some success with the jab, but that didn’t overcome Pascal’s dramatic moments, which included a nice uppercut. Kuziemski was knocked down in the sixth round and again in the 10th (you guessed it, by a counter right), but he got back on his feet. Final scores were 100-88, 98-90, 98-90 for Jean Pascal. Apparently Pascal was scheduled to rematch Chad Dawson in March (not sure what happened to the Tavoris Cloud match up), but the jury’s out on whether his latest injury will affect matters. Pascal’s promoter is supposed to provide an update during the week.
Eleider Alvarez (11-0-0) vs. Danny ‘The Big Mac’ McIntosh (13-4-0). Light heavyweights, 10 rounds.
-Eleider Alvarez justified my faith in him by knocking out Danny McIntosh. The bout started off closely with the jab on display. Both guys are big light heavyweights so the jabs and power punches that were thrown seemed just that, powerful. Round 8 gave Alvarez his first knock down, off a combo set up by a right and then another right. Immediately after McIntosh got back on his feet, Alvarez went in for the kill, but McIntosh initially defended well. Unfortunately for him Alvarez was able to land a pile driver of a right cross, which landed flush and thuddingly dropped McIntosh. 8th round K.O. for Alvarez. Eleider Alvarez continues to be one to watch.
David Lemieux (28-2-0) vs. Albert Ayrapetyan (20-4-0). Middleweights, 10 rounds.
-David Lemieux knocked down Albert Ayrapetyan twice in the first two rounds. Wasting no time, Lemieux pounced on the hurt Ayrapetyan, ending matters with a jab and a cracking straight right. The referee stopped it in the second round. 2nd round T.K.O for David Lemieux.
SATURDAY 15THDECEMBER & SUNDAY 16TH DECEMBER:
‘Saint’ George Groves rises to 16-0-0 as Glen ‘the Road Warrior’ Johnson falls to 51-18-2. Super middleweights, 12 rounds.
- George Groves did as was expected by most, if not all, and defeated the well over the hill Glen Johnson. Johnson was certainly one of the best, but that was several years ago. Groves dominated the boxing match, with Johnson only able to truly trouble Groves in a few rounds. Johnson’s age was painfully obvious as the fight progressed, but Groves did what he had to do with jabs, several emphatic power punches and calculated movement. Final scores were 120-107, 120-107, 119-109 all for George Groves. I’d expect Groves’ promoter, Frank Warren, to make an announcement about what’s next for Groves sooner rather than later.
‘Superb’ Billy Joe Saunders (16-0-0) vs. Nick Blackwell (12-2-0). Middleweights, 12 rounds.
- Billy Joe Saunders and Nick Blackwell fought a close, enjoyable match. It essentially boiled down to Saunders utilising his superior boxing technique against the more powerful Blackwell. That isn’t to say that Blackwell didn’t display some nice boxing as well, it just wasn’t on par with Saunders. Blackwell’s superiority in the strength department allowed him to keep advancing and landing clearly heavy punches, but Saunders did a great job of accurately sticking and moving. The final round featured fists flying from both guys. Final scores were 117-112, 116-113, 115-114 for Billy Joe Saunders.
Steve O’Meara is now (16-3-0) as Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith improves to (13-0-1). Light middleweights, 12 rounds.
-Liam Smith earned a unanimous decision over Steve O’ Meara in a match that was apparently entertaining and had several close moments. Smith was given credit for a knockdown that wasn’t actually a knockdown. Scores were 116-112, 116-112 and 118-110 for Liam Smith.
Tony ‘the Conqueror’ Conquest is no longer undefeated at (10-1-0) vs. Neil Dawson (11-1-0). Cruiserweights, 10 rounds.
- I had expected this to be a competitive fight, but boxing has a way of changing things. Neil Dawson ended things in the first round by stopping Tony Conquest with a debilitating right hand in the first round. 1st round TKO for Neil Dawson.
‘King’ Arthur Abraham (36-3-0) vs. Mehdi Bouadla (26-5-0). Super middleweights, 12 rounds.
-Arthur Abraham stopped the non-world beating Mehdi Bouadla in the 8th round. The punishment accumulated over the course of the match, resulting in the referee halting it in the 8th. Not that it matters the tiniest bit to Abraham, but if he wants to be taken seriously again, he should step into the ring with Andre Dirrell.
Leo Santa Cruz (23-0-1) vs. Alberto Guevara (16-1-0). Bantamweights, 12 rounds.
-Leo Santa Cruz continued his winning ways, but Alberto Guevara was by no means out of his depth. Guevara started the match boxing perfectly by staying on the outside by using the jab and intelligent movement to great effect. As the match progressed, Santa Cruz’s advantage in strength, combined with him beginning to box more, slowly began to take their took their toll on Guevara. By the 11th round Santa Cruz had landed a lot of clean power punches while Guevara’s punches weren’t having much of an impact. In the 12th, Guevara summoned all of his remaining energy and started connecting with heavier punches but Santa Cruz still did more damage of the two boxers, especially with a resounding body punch. Final scores were 116-112; 118-110; 119-109 for Leo Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is apparently considering moving up in weight.
Joseph Diaz Jr. (1-0-0) vs. Vicente Alfaro (5-3-0). Featherweights, 4 rounds.
- Joseph Diaz Jr. won a unanimous decision over Vicente Alfaro. Judges scores were 40-35, 40-35, 40-35.
Marcus Browne (2-0-0) vs. Ritchie Cherry (3-6-0). Light Heavyweights, 4 rounds.
-Marcus Browne beat up Ritchie Cherry on route to a 1st round T.K.O.
Errol Spence Jr. (2-0-0) vs. Richard Andrews (5-3-3). Welterweights, 4 rounds.
-Errol Spence Jr. keeps doing the right things in the ring and definitively stopping Richard Andrews in three. 3rd Round TKO for Spence.
Amir ‘King’ Khan (27-3-0) vs. Carlos Molina (17-1-1). Light welterweights, 12 rounds.
-Amir Khan’s stoppage of Carlos Molina is detailed on the front page. Nice performance from Amir Khan, which bodes well for his future with Virgil Hunter. Final result was a technical decision in Khan’s favour as Molina’s corner wouldn’t let him leave his corner after the end of the 10th. During the post-fight interview, Khan rightfully said that he wants a re-match with Danny Garcia.
Deontay ‘the Bronze Bomber’ Wilder (26-0-0) vs. Kelvin ‘the Price is Right’ Price (13-1-0). Heavyweights, 10 rounds.
-Deontay Wilder knocked out Kelvin Price in the third round. Wilder took his time in the first round and Kelvin Price took advantage by connecting with a nice body shot. Price also used his jab in the first round quite a bit and Wilder connected with one of his own. Rd. 2 was similar to the first in that Wilder didn’t do much except for landing a jab and missing with the following right hand. Kelvin Price’s defensive shortcomings didn’t help matters either. The third round was D-day for Price as Wilder hurt Price with a right cross. The boxers got tangled and the referee seperated them. Wilder wasted no time in Price in shooting a distracting jab then landing a jaw shattering and night ending right hand. 3rd round K.O for Deontay Wilder. In an earlier interview with Fight Hype UK, Wilder promised major developments in 2013.
Alfredo ‘Perro’ Angulo (22-2-0) vs. Jorge Silva (19-3-2). Middleweights, 10 rounds.
-Alfredo Angulo and Jorge Silva battled to a unanimous decision for Angulo. Jorge Silva’s last showing was gritty, entertaining stuff and he showed more of that determination against the more experienced Angulo. Silva started off nicely with several power punches. As the fight progressed both boxers definitely traded power punches, but Angulo showed a bit more depth than I’m used to seeing by incorporating the jab in his offence. His defence certainly needs some improvement, but there were moments where Angulo rolled with the punches and avoided some of Silva’s loaded punches. Another protégé of Virgil Hunter, Angulo hasn’t abandoned all of his bad habits, but he certainly seems to be moving in the right direction. Judges scored the bout 97-93, 97-93, 97-93 for Alfredo Angulo
Shawn ‘Showtime’ Porter (20-0-1) vs. Julio ‘the Kidd’ Diaz (40-7-1).
-Shawn Porter and Julio Diaz put on a thoroughly entertaining contest. The boxing match was a see-saw affair as Porter’s faster hands allowed him to land eye-catching and powerful combinations. Diaz’ experience allowed him to pick his moments and counter punch with success. Porter also used his jab well, as did Diaz. Diaz was the taller boxer, who also had power as his punches clearly had heft to them. Porter incorporated body punches as well as the uppercut on the inside. It was a close bout that the judges ruled a draw with scores of 96-94 Porter, 96-94 Diaz, 95-95. My impression was that Porter won most of the rounds, but a draw was perfectly fine too.
Nonito ‘the Filipino Flash’ Donaire (31-1-0) vs. Jorge Arce (61-7-2). Super bantamweights, 12 rounds.
-Nonito Donaire stopped Jorge Arce in the third round. The bout is reviewed in full on the front page. Now I just want Donaire to fight Guillermo Rigondeaux so that he can live up to his claims and shut up all of the people like me who consider Rigondeaux to be the top super bantamweight
Paul ‘el Gallo Negro’ Mendez (11-2-1) vs. Leter ‘el Cubanito’ Gonzalez (12-8-4). Super Middleweights, 10 rounds.
-Paul Mendez stopped Leter Gonzalez via 5th round TKO. I’m looking forward to seeing Paul Mendez on the big stage at some point in the near future.
CHECK OUT MY NEW NOVEL: www.lastnightseries.com
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: www.twitter.com/@FIGHTHYPE_UK_SS
FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER: www.twitter.com/@C_N_Hesse
LIKE US www.facebook.com/fighthypeukblog