Politics and games are part of boxing, we all know that but sometimes it's a bit of a joke and we saw that tonight as Marcus Oliveira (25-1-1, 2), somehow ranked #1 by the WBA despite no real quality wins, fought for the "vacant" WBA Light Heavyweight title. The WBA, who had promoted Beibut Shumenov to "super" champion prior to this bout, should really be seen as a joke. Not only for upgrading Shumenov or for ranking Oliveira #1 but for having Juergen Braehmer (42-2, 31) fight Oliveira for the vacant title.
I have nothing against Braahmer, who is a world class fighter, but he should have been fighting Shumenov and not Oliveira.
In regards to the "games and politics" it didn't take long for us to get to the games as Don King refused to let his man enter the ring first and instead made us all wait for Braehmer to have his ring walk before Oliveira. This turned the already partisan crowd against his man. Unfortunately this seemed to lead to Oliveira freezing.
I say freezing because, in all honesty, the American did nothing for the first 8 rounds. His shots were massively off target, his foot work was poor and his mindset seem to be that of a survivor and not a fighter. It wasn't just disappointing but somewhat shameful that the #1 ranked fighter wasn't really fighting.Sadly things weren't helped by Boxnation trying to tell us what a warrior, and strong powerful fighter Oliveira was all the while he was stood being out boxed by Braehmer
Unfortunately, for those wanting this to finish early, Braehmer lacked the aggression to see off Oliveira in the early and middle rounds, though he did hurt him notably in round 7 with body shots, including a border shot that sent Oliveira down though was ruled low.
Braehmer's domination of the bout left everyone knowing Oliveira needed a stoppage in the final 4 rounds. Surprisingly in rounds 10 and 11 it was Breahmer going for the KO and he really seemed to really rock Oliveira at one point, as well as scoring the bouts only "ruled" knockdown, which was as debatable as the low blow/body shot from round 7.
It had been disappointing from Oliveira but then, suddenly, in round 12 the American came alive and hurt a tiring Braehmer. By then though it was too late, he needed to stop Braehmer not just hurt him and that was never going to happen I'm afraid.
Oddly despite the bout being 1 sided for 11 rounds the judges managed to be very nice to Oliveira with cards of 117-110, 117-110 and 115-112 making the bout look much, much closer than it was. Thankfully they did all have the right winner.