The week in boxing July 22 - Bernie's Rant
King of the cruiserweights
Saturday night Oleksandr Usyk of the Ukraine 15-0 (11) decisioned Murat Gassiev 26-1 (19) for the full unification of cruiserweight titles in what was a one-sided affair.
Usyk is the most skilled boxer north of middleweight. He showed with his masterful footwork, impressive ambidextrous punching prowess, a flawless jab and superior ring generalship. He coasted to an easy win over the previous unbeaten Russian Saturday afternoon in Moscow. Usyk employed perfect balance and a stick-and-move offense and was barely hit.
I attended the Lomachenko-Linares fight in New York and ran into Oleksandr on the street, unnoticed, after the fight. I shook his hand and told him I was a big fan. He didn’t speak any English but seemed to understand and was very appreciative that someone like me recognized him.
For the Usyk fight, I heard there were major problems with the broadcast through the streaming network, KlowdTV, who had exclusivity in the US. With all the streaming sites popping up and controlled by the likes of Bob Arum and Eddie Hearn, I strongly recommend TVAndVideoGuide.com as an alternative.
For $35.00 a year, they offer major fight broadcasts from all over the globe and is seemingly not tied to a specific promoter’s agenda. I've seen PPV matches and boxing from all over the world, including Australia and Japan. It has certainly increased my awareness of the world boxing scene.
The investors and promoters have their own respective PR and Marketing teams that work closely to the Boxing media in this country to give attention to their fighters and create showcase fights (or mismatches) in order to optimize revenue and enhance their particular brand. Let's face it, without a major promoter a fighter's chances to be a popular draw are limited.
Zhang with a bang
Chinese undefeated Heavyweight Zhilei Zhang 19-0 (15) KO'd his Kazakhstani opponent Eugen Birchmueller 11-3-1 (8) in the first round at the Winnavegas Resort and Casino in Sloan Iowa. Zhang won the silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in the Super Heavyweight division representing China. He is a very relevant and viable player in the future of the heavyweight division.
Still going strong
Former Jr. Welterweight Champion DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley 51-35-1 (28) lost a unanimous decision against former Champion Vivian Harris 33-25-2 (19) with both fighters scoring knockdowns.
The enigma about Mr. Corley is at the age of 44 he can still fight. He's still fights in competitive matches and sometimes pulls out a win. He beat a star prospect in Gabriel Bracero in 2012 who boasted a 19-0 record and his resume consists of a who's who in boxing over the years. In over 20 years, he's gone the distance with the likes of Viktor Postol, Ruslan Provodnikov, Marcos Maidana, Devon Alexander, Zab Judah, Junior Witter and Floyd Mayweather. Other bouts opponents include Miguel Cotto and Lukas Matthysse.
And against Mayweather in 2003, he buzzed Floyd with a shot that rocked making him momentarily unsteady. Corley fights out of Washington D.C. and has stepped in the ring 18 times since 2015.
Pascal and Welliver
Former Light Heavyweight Champion Jean Pascal is now campaigning at Cruiserweight and yesterday he defeated MMA fighter Steve Bosse in Lavel, Quebec. Bosse was no match for Pascal who scored two knockdowns en route to an 8th round KO.
Also, Native American boxer Chauncy Welliver 56-12-5 (23) fighting out of Spokane, Washington beat MMA veteran Ruban Roundstone via a first round knockout win.
I've been trying to gather some information on the whereabouts of former Middleweight Champion Jermaine Taylor. Taylor was always of great interest to me, not only for winning an Olympic Medal and becoming a two-division champion but because he also distinctively stood out as a genuine, nice guy. He ran into some problems with the law with associated domestic and family disputes and seemed to have dropped off the planet.
After some investigating, I learned he is alright living and somewhere in Arkansas. I truly believe that boxing would be in a better place if he was involved back in the game on some level.
Bans and boycotts
The Danny Garcia-Sean-Porter fight will take place at The Barclays Center in September. Despite being a prime matchup, will the revenue be compromised?
A loosely organized group of hardcore fans is protesting mismatches and female fights. The group that call themselves "Salmon Swim" and have already called boycotts on fights this past year such as Wilder-Ortiz, Jacobs -Sulecki, and Lomachenko-Linares. Perhaps this ban/boycott explains why venues are reaching less than 75% capacity for boxing cards.
Too much hip-hop at Barclays
Why does the Barclays Center inundate its patrons with relentless top twenty hip hop music during their fight extravaganzas? I am personally not on board with this and Im sure a lot of people who represent the 40 and over crowd are in agreement. Why isn’t a healthy mix of Classical, R&B, Country, Jazz and American Standard promoted at these events also. What audience are they trying to target market here?
Why do organizers of these shows and promoters continue to dummy down to the lowest common denominator?
Finally, lets not make Jamie Munguia 30-0 (25) the next Marvin Hagler revisited here. His fight with Liam Smith 21-2-1 (14), which was televised by HBO, was entertaining as long as it lasted. Munguia showed marked vulnerabilities against the Englishman, showing a lack of defense and a failure to implement a plan B when his opponent did well offensively.
Instead of hypothetically creating fights in the Middleweight division for him in the future, talk about him getting in the squared circle now with Lara, Hurd and Charlo.
N.B: Bernie's views are simply his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of this website or others who write for FightSaga.
Bernie Campbell is a graduate of Wagner College and has been writing about the fight game for the past several years. He resides in New York City in which he brings to life his 50 plus years of experience in reporting and observing about the "hard knocks" of the world of pugilism!
He has had a renaissance man-like existence, working as a porter, pizza driver, data technician, mailman, and social worker. He tries to see through the smoke screens of professional boxing, and he prefers to “tell it like it is!”
Bernie also does freelance reporting for the Boxing Newspaper publication, USA Boxing News!