The Championship Rounds: This and that from last weekend
– Two great fights last weekend…
– On Saturday night, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin waged war for 12 rounds with Canelo, 50-1-2 (34), walking away with a majority decision in an extremely close fight. Had GGG won the 12th round, the fight would have been scored a draw. The question is, how exactly did Canelo get the nod on two of the three judges cards in the 12th? There were some close rounds but that one clearly should have gone to Golovkin, 38-1-1 (34). It was a great fight of which fans would be happy to see a third installment in May. Here’s hoping.
Despite the pre-fight feuding and shots at each other, both fighters were respectful post-fight.
“My plan was to score the knockout. I had a tough opponent but we got the victory. I am satisfied with the work we did today. I’m happy that’s what got us the win. This is a very important victory for me and my country,” said the new WBA/WBC middleweight champion Canelo.
“We can say a lot of things but first we have to congratulate Canelo,” said Golovkin. “We can talk about a lot of things. I feel like I’m a champion and he is a champion. I felt really comfortable in there and feel that I did enough to win. I really don’t feel that he fought a Mexican-style fight. Nothing special but I want to congratulate him.” Golovkin said.
Unless a huge offer comes in from somewhere else for Canelo, look to see these two complete their trilogy next spring.
– On Friday night, the evening before Canelo-GGG II, in Fresno, California. The Central Valley, California franchise Jose Ramirez turned back the challenge of rugged, all-heart Antonio Orozco. The thrilling slugfest between two undefeated fighters saw WBC junior welterweight champion Ramirez, 23-0 (16), drop Orozco twice en route to a hard-fought, unanimous decision. The game Orozco dropped to, 27-1 (17), with his first loss. The overachieving Ramirez is as tough as they come and works harder than anyone in the ring. He’s gonna be a tough out for anyone because he brings it all night long.
– On the Ramirez-Orozco undercard, the co-featured bout saw 2012 U.S. Olympian Jamel Herring, 18-2 (10), capture the vacant USBA junior lightweight title with a 10-round unanimous decision over John Vincent Moralde, 20-2 (10). Herring comes from the camp of WBO welterweight world champion Terence “Bud” Crawford and is a United States Marine veteran, who served two tours of duty in Iraq.
– On the same card, 18-year old Gabriel Flores Jr., 10-0 (5), earned a six-round unanimous decision over Roger Gutierrez, 7-2-1 (4), in his ESPN debut. However Gutierrez got Flores’ attention when he dropped him to the canvas in round one. To his credit, Flores got up, regrouped and dominated the fight for its remainder. Credit to Flores, who realized Gutierrez had the power to pose some problems, so he controlled him from the perimeter with his jab/right hand combinations. A hard fought win and a good learning experience for the teenage Stockton, California, phenom.
– Another option for GGG or Canelo, if they can’t hook up again in May for a third go-round, would be Canadian David Lemieux, 40-4 (34), who scored a great one-round KO over hype job Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan, 28-3 (20), on the Canelo-GGG II undercard. (Note: If I’m managing anyone at 160 pounds, unless he possesses a granite chin, he isn’t going anywhere near that Montreal monster banger.)
– He’s back! Nicaragua’s former four-division world champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, 47-2 (39), knocked out Mexican Moises Fuentes, 25-6-1 (14), on the undercard of Canelo-GGG II. A textbook left followed by a right hand laid out the Mexican challenger for the full 10 (they could have counted to 50) count.
– A left and a right = “Punches of the night.” Roman Gonzalez’s short, right howitzer destroyed Moises Fuentes and David Lemieux’s left hook dropped and stopped Ireland’s Spike O’Sullivan. Both punches were of the highlight-reel variety.
– Just announced: Josh Warrington will defend his IBF world featherweight title against Carl Frampton, live from Manchester, England. Warrington became Leeds, England’s first ever world champion when he upset the odds and beat former champ Lee Selby in May.
– Retired – and perhaps soon un-retired – Floyd (I’ve still got lots – but she comes harder than she goes – and nothing pays like huge pay-per-view boxing events) “Money” Mayweather took to Instagram this weekend and posted, “I’m coming back to fight Manny Pacquiao this year. Another nine-figure payday on the way.”
Really? It may or may not happen but let’s get the obvious statement out of the way. If you thought the first one was a snooze-fest, this sparring match will make that one seem like Arturo Gatti vs. Micky Ward! A retired (safety-first when he did fight) fighter and a soon to be 40-year-old, who is far past his sell-by date, locking horns is a cash-grab only. Let me be clear: I hope it happens and they both line their pockets. I know some good people connected to both fighters who would benefit financially from this event and good for them. Boxing is a tough industry in which to make money. So anytime boxing people can grab some loot – go for it. As for Floyd and Manny, they both have resumes that have more than qualified them to a have a soft landing or two near the ends of their careers. So I hope it happens for them also. It would be a fun event and it would be good banter and chatter for the boxing world but as far as a real, anticipated prizefight? It ain’t that. It is what it is.