Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Juan Carlos Reveco v Masayuki Kuroda

Argentinian Juan Carlos Revecco (30-1, 16) scored the first defense of his WBA Flyweight title since being upgraded from interim status as he traveled over to Japan and beat former Japanese Light Flyweight champion Maayuki Kuroda (21-4-2, 13) in a thoroughly engaging 12 round battle.

The fight started somewhat slowly though started to pick up from round 3 and by the end of round 4 both men were starting to land clean blows on the other. Revecco, the more skilled man of the two was easily landing the cleaner looking blows and the better combinations though Kuroda wasn't to be out down and landed a number of rangy looking body hooks to the torso of the champion.

Despite the copious amount of action, and punches landed by both men, neither man really seemed to have the other in any difficulty at all as shots simply appeared to have no effect on either man which did take some of the gloss out of what was a genuinely watchable encounter.

Sadly for the challenger his inexperience at the world stage and over the 12 round title distance showed as he often looked just a little too limited and a little bit too easy to hit as he lost numerous close and competitive rounds. He was brave though sadly lacked the spark needed, on the day to try and claim the title from the visiting champion.

For Revecco, who said he had a 2-fight plan to face Brian Viloria (with this being fight 1) all I can say is that I hope fight 2 is a big improvement, or Viloria will simply eat him up for breakfast with his power, speed and technique. In fact from the evidence on show here, Revecco should be hoping that that Viloria never faces him, or the Argentinian will be in for a very painful night.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Cornelius Bundrage v Ishe Smith

In the biggest win of his career so far, the talented but yet under-rated Ishe Smith (25-5, 11) claimed the IBF Light Middleweight title as he claimed a split decision over former champion Cornelius "K9" Bundrage (32-5-0-1, 19).

The fight, which started slowly as the styles  really clashed, wasn't pretty by any stretch of the imagination though it was often engaging, even if it was in hope of seeing a clean, solid punch land from either man. Despite the slow pace of much of the fight, the better, classier work came from Smith when the challenger decided to open up against the defending champion.

Despite the slow start the fight finally came alive late on as a tired Bundrage started to come under real pressure from Smith, who wasn't going to be denied in his big chance. Although Smith couldn't put away the champion he appeared to clearly dominate vast swathes of the fight, notably the final 6 rounds after the 6 messy opening rounds.

Whilst many viewers felt that Smith was the clear winner, one judge, Dave Hess, seemed to feel that Bundrage had done just enough to retain his title, an opinion not even shared by Bundrage who admitted that he lost fair and square. Whilst Bundrage admitted he made a tactical mistake not following the game plan, an emotional Smith cried in relief at his crowning glory to a 13 year career.

For Bundrage, who had been champion since dethroning Cory Spinks back in 2010, this is likely the end of the line. Aged 39 (and turning 40 in just a few weeks) there is little to really achieve, in fact in all honesty Bundrage was an over-achiever scoring wins over Walter Wright, Michael Clark, Kassim Ouma, Zaurbek Baysangurov and Cory Spinks (twice) and can hold his head up high after having had an excellent career.

Smith on the other hand may well look to cash in on his title and try to look for fights with either the winner of the upcoming Saul "Canelo" Alvarez v Austin Trout bout or even try to lure Miguel Cotto into a bout. Though it's unlikely Smith would do enough to defend against any of those men.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Lamont Peterson v Kendall Holt

The controversial Lamont Peterson (?-?) made the first defense of his IBF Light Welterweight title as he stopped former WBO champion Kendall Holt (?-?) in 8 rounds and a thoroughly impressive victory.

The fight started quietly with a slow opening round which was dominated by Peterson's rangy jab that kept Holt out of range. After a good opening round for Peterson Holt then rallied well and appeared to easily claim rounds 2 and 3 with his own work rate and his ability to neutralise Peterson by tying him up when things got close.

Round 4 saw the fight turning around completely as the pace heated up significantly and became a real firefight. The tough Peterson took whatever Holt was throwing then seemed to really hurt the challenger before landing a massive right hand that sent Holts legs wobbly and the follow up attack sent him down. Although Holt was obviously hurt he managed to keep his sense and recovered to his feet at the count of 8 and managed to just see out the round almost being saved by the bell.

Holt's confidence had been shattered and in round 5 Peterson continued to dominate as he started to walk through everything coming at him. It was obvious that Holt was starting to mentally crumble and he tried to do everything to survive, including holding the ropes to wrap up Peterson, an indiscretion that he was admonished for by Tony Weeks. It was obvious from the on that it was only a matter of time before Holt was going to be stopped.

Peterson continued to dominate in round 6 and started to beat the snot out of Holt late in the round as the challenger got pinned to the ropes and sent down again. The referee seemed to be looking closely at stopping the bout but Holt did just enough to survive the round. After the huge sixth round for Peterson he then came out very quietly for round 7 and just forced Holt to work to maintain distance. Although Peterson threw almost nothing in the seventh he had effective broken Holt mentally who had realised that Peterson wasn't going to get out of his face.

After the quiet seventh round from Peterson's perspective he came out with renewed energy in round 8 and soon afterwards pinned Holt on to the ropes, where he then unleashed shot after shot after shot forcing Tony Weeks to step in and wave off the bout.

After the fight Holt seemed to hint at retirement whilst Peterson called out Danny Garcia and said he wants the WBA belt back (a belt that was stripped from Peterson following his positive test for banned substances back in 2012). A fight between Peterson and any of the top guys in the division, including Garcia, Lucas Matthysse, Brandon Rios or even Khabib Allakhverdiev would be thoroughly entertaining and a great sight for boxing fans who want to see the best fighting the best.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Jonathan Romero v Alejandro Lopez

In one of the most bizarrely scored fights of the year, Colombian Jonathan Romero (23-0, 12) claimed a split decision victory over Mexican Alejandro Lopez (24-3, 7) to claim the previously vacant IBF Super Bantamweight title.

From the opening bell the quicker, more talented Romero set the tone of the fight landing at will on his slower, clumsier Mexican rival. Although Lopez was game he was simply unable to neutralise the clear advantages that the visiting Colombian had over him. Lopez, fighting in front of his home crowd was valiant round after round as he struggled to connect anything of note.

Although Romero was clearly dominating the bout, he rarely, if ever had Lopez in any real trouble as his lack of world class power was shown up by the fact that Lopez repeatedly took his shots. Sadly for Lopez however he lacked any sort of an equaliser himself to ever try and turn the fight in his direction.

Despite having a point deducted in round 12, it was hard to see the bout as anything but a shut out by Romero, though oddly when the cards came back, the scores of 115-112 (each way) and 111-116 (Romero) were genuinely a shock. Lopez hadn't clearly won a round yet one judge saw him, some how, winning 7. Thankfully, despite the atrocious cards the right man won and claimed the title. Despite the victory, on foreign soil, for Romero it's hard to imagine him giving any of the top Super Bantamweights any real trouble. His speed is solid but his lack of power really will limit him at the higher levels, where fighters like Nonito Donaire will walk through his shots with ease.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Adrien Broner v Gavin Rees

After rapping his own entrance music WBC Lightweight champion Adrien Broner (26-0, 22) had to do something impressive and that's exactly what he did as he broke up and stopped Welshman Gavin Rees (37-2-1, 18) who was saved by his corner man close to the end of round 5.

The opening round was excellent for the challenger who showed an aggressive mindset and high work rate to really out work the champion who took his time to study the challenger and get used to Rees' speed and and size. From then on however the champion started to go throw the gears and appeared to hurt Rees in the second round as he started to show why he is so highly regarded. Despite hurting Rees in round 2 the challenger against made a strong case for the round on his work rate.

Whilst the second round had been close, Broner continued to go through the gears and in round 3 his class started to tell as he exploded in to action rocking Rees and pinning him on to the ropes before unloading. This was the first time Broner really opened up though it was obvious from then on that the bout was a lost cause for Rees who refused to just back down and instead showed his Welsh grit and kept coming forward.

Rees was punished for his bravery in round 4 as an excellent uppercut from Broner dropped him hard. Although Rees got up from the knock down the round turned into a painful one for the diminutive Welshman who was really tagged repeatedly as Broner continued to show his impressive power. Whilst Rees himself was landing plenty of shots they merely seemed to bounce off Broner whilst every shot from the American rocked the challenger to his boots.

If round 4 was painful round 5 was excruciating as Broner went up yet another gear and made Rees pay for the Welshman's own show boating. Broner scored a controversial knockdown with a body shot before beating the ever loving snot out of Rees for the remainder of the round before Rees' trainer Gary Lockett (himself a former Middleweight title challenger) waved the towel with a second of the round left.

Although Rees was a worthy challenger, Broner proved that he was by far and away the stronger, bigger and better man as he hurt Burns every time he landed. With the IBF/WBO unification bout between Miguel "Titere" Vazquez and Ricky Burns coming up, it'd be fair to say that the winner would be best off avoiding Broner who on this sort of form would take the best they have before stopping them.