Archive for the ‘Boxing’ Category

Broner Is As Broner Does
& Other Barclay Thoughts

Monday, July 31st, 2017

By William Trillo

Sorry, but the talk that Adrien Broner still looked like a world class talent in defeat is pure horse manure in my opinion. If Broner was as talented as all that he would have dug down deep and went to the trenches with Mikey Garcia, but that would have put that suspect jaw on the line and Broner was not going to gamble like that with Garcia. Instead what we got was 12 rounds of Broner back pedaling his way to a lopsided loss. Oh sure, he had the occasional landed punch, but mostly he was shaking his head after getting tagged over and over again… far from world class.

In defeat Broner proved to be about as annoying as one could get, first thanking God and then going on an embarrassing F-Bomb laced tirade that put an exclamation point on his soon to be over disappointing career. Adrien, if you really think you’re tired wanna be Floyd act is still gonna put asses in the seats…well…you’re in for a rude awakening.

At one point in time Broner was tabbed by his management team to be the next Mayweather. But after suffering his 3rd loss it’s safe to say he is one of the biggest wastes of talent in boxing. With his fat Daddy combing his hair before the fight and his management team flashing their pre-fight toothy grins it was all fun and games as usual for the A.B. honks.

I didn’t see those pearly white management smiles after the fight nor did I see Fat Daddy Broner grooming his son’s hair.

Maybe that’s because they are all well aware A.B. now stands for “About Bankrupt”.

Did You Hear The One About The One Legged Man At A Butt Kicking Contest?

It seems to me that the worst time to compare yourself to Hall Of Famers Tommy Hearns, Vernon Forrest and Sugar Ray Leonard is right after you kicked the crap out of a one legged man. But holding true to his post fight diarrhea of the mouth form, that’s exactly what the lesser Charlo, Jermall did. Dude then went on to throw his hat into the 160 pound division.

Hey Jermall, let me help you out here.

It just took you 4 rounds to KO a guy who damn near came into the ring on crutches. You might wanna think twice before putting your name alongside a guy known as “The Hit Man” and you definitely want to think thrice about wanting to face guys like Canelo and GGG.

But…I hear Peg Leg Bates is thinking about a career in boxing. Maybe you should try him out first. Seems like more your speed.

Allow me to reiterate: Never, I repeat NEVER, sing your own praises after taking on a one legged man in a butt kicking contest.

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Charles Huerta Is Back

Monday, July 24th, 2017

By William Trillo

When “Comeback of The Year” awards go out at the end of 2017 don’t be surprised to see Super Featherweight Charles Huerta (19-5, 12 KO’s) getting his share of honors. After a hiatus of 3 years Huerta has come alive in 2017. With an overpowering KO over the formerly undefeated Ivan Delgado along with a shiny new contract with Golden Boy, Huerta is well on his way to getting right back into the thick of things. With a victory at Belasco Theatre on August 10th over a rugged Miguel Gonzalez (21-2, 18 KO’s) from Los Mochis, Mexico, Huerta will be on a path to get back into the spotlight before year’s end.

It should come as no secret to our readers that I like fighters that fight. Be it Librado Andrade, Enrique Ornelas or Francisco Vargas, I have always leaned towards the guys who want to step in the ring and let the leather fly. Huerta is cut out of that same cloth, a gifted fighter who always gives the fans a great performance.

When asked about his new contract with Golden Boy, Huerta said he couldn’t be happier, “It was exciting; especially after being off for three years and not knowing if I would be back in the mix ever again.”

Huerta had good reason for concern and in the game of boxing things don’t always go as planned, “At first I was supposed to fight on a small card but that fell through. So I called Golden Boy matchmaker Robert Diaz and told him I was ready to fight and take anything he had, that I was ready to go in two weeks or three weeks, whatever was available. Diaz said he would look at what is out there and get back to us. A few weeks later he called and offered me the Carlos Morales fight, it was a ten round fight. I told him yes, I am ready to go. A lot of people told me that after a three year layoff that was a hard fight to take, but I said I am taking it anyways. I just wanted the opportunity, so I took it. The fight didn’t go our way; but I thought I did enough to win though.”

Truth be told the fight that came at the end of 2016 should have been a victory for Huerta. The fight was nip and tuck but Huerta was dominant. Not only did he cut Morales over his nose and eye, Huerta also dropped Morales in round eight and then spent the rest of the fight trying to chase down a fighter who clearly did not want to engage. Somehow Morales was awarded the split decision nod. I don’t expect “The Solution” will be looking to give Charles a rematch anytime soon.

“Even though I lost the fight against Morales I feel like I won that night”, stated Huerta, “I proved a lot of people wrong that night. I am back!”

Not letting the loss set him back Huerta looked to rebound in 2017 and it didn’t take long for him to get that opportunity. “After the Morales fight Diaz called me and offered me the Ivan Delgado fight and I was excited for that”, said Huerta, “and as you know we knocked him out. I knew these guys, (Delgado and Morales), didn’t have the experience I do. I have been in this game a while so I just wanted to go show them that they are not on my level.”

Huerta went on to say, “Diaz wasn’t there at the Delgado fight but he called me the next morning and said “Hey we have a proposal for you; I want your Dad and you to come in on Monday.” So we went in and everything looked good. We went home and looked it over and talked about. I was excited about it so we went back about two weeks later and signed the contract.”

All this came after a three year layoff that left many, including Huerta wondering where his career was headed. Reflecting on that moment in time and the reasons for the layoff Huerta shared, “It was just through frustration. The Arellano fight came up quick and I jumped on it. But fights weren’t being given to me and I just started getting frustrated. My Dad is real old school; he wants me in the gym always training hard. So it was hard focusing and dedicating myself while being in the gym not knowing if or when I would have a fight. So I just decided to take some time off and for six months I stopped completely from going to the gym. But then I started getting the hunger watching fights on TV and seeing things coming across on social media. But I wasn’t going to any fights or showing my face around, I just wanted to kind of disappear for a while. But then I got back in the gym. And you know how it is, boxing people promise you stuff and then you end up waiting. But I started training and little by little I got myself ready and by the time I took the Carlos Morales fight I was in the best shape of my life.”

Having lost the fight to Morales and dropping some other fights early in his career Huerta knows both the sweet taste of victory as well as the taste of a bitter loss. But, Charles also knows that a loss is not a death sentence. Huerta explained, “I know a lot of people want to be undefeated, and yeah not having a loss is great. But you see a fighter 20-0 against a 10-10 fighter. If the 10-10 fighter has better quality opponents there is a good chance he can beat the 20-0 guy. We have never ducked anyone. If you look up and down my record all you will see is experienced people, I have never shied away from any fight.”

The upside to a 3 year layoff is a lot less ring miles on your body and Huerta is well aware of that and he believes it will serve him well in future fights. “I feel like a very young 30”, said Huerta,” I will be turning 31 next month. I haven’t been in that many wars, I have never been cut. I feel like I am just getting into my prime in strength and maturity. The time is now and things are supposed to happen for me.”

As to the immediate future Huerta will have his hands full next month against a tough fighter from Mexico, but if his record tells us anything it’s that Charles doesn’t mind taking tough tests. “I will be fighting Miguel Gonzalez from Los Mochis his record is 21-2,” Huerta stated, “I said I wanted a decent opponent because I don’t want to take a backward step right now. I don’t want any easy fights; I want to challenge myself with each and every fight.”

The future of Huerta’s career literally rests in his own hands right now and he knows it, “If everything goes as planned Diaz told me this will be my last fight at Belasco. This is a stay busy fight but he wants me to get on ESPN in my next couple of fights. There are names at 130 pounds that Golden Boy has that he can match me up with,” said Huerta.

The business of boxing always seems to go into directions no one would expect or plan. I’m sure if you asked Huerta he would have never planned it like this and quite frankly he most likely did not see this positive twist coming. As Charles shared, “When talking with Robert Diaz, he asked me where I was six months ago? The answer was I was in the gym just hoping to get a fight. And now I am back headlining cards, I just signed with Golden Boy and there is a buzz going on about me again now. That’s a lot to have happen in just six months.”

That is a lot to have go down in half a year for any fighter, and there is still plenty of time in 2017 to make yourself known again. A victory here and a good performance on ESPN there and suddenly a career that seemed to be stalled for a moment will shift into high gear. It’s the perfect time to put the pedal to the metal for Charles Huerta.

Dedicated, hard working and a guy who brings it every time he steps into the squared circle, it’s hard not to like a boxer like Huerta. Check him out next month at The Belasco Theatre. You will not be disappointed.

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SHOCKER: Karma KO’s The 800 Pound Gorilla

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017

By William Trillo

After a last-ditch effort to beg their readers for donations to save the site, the self-proclaimed 800 pound ape came up short and are now nothing more than a “cookie cutter” blog.

Oh how the Mighty, (Joe Young), have fallen.

After years of unscrupulous and dictatorship type behavior it appears karma has reared its ugly head and taken a big bite out of the Baboons backside.

Long time and high-priced advertisers have jumped ship and don’t appear to be coming back anytime soon…if ever.

It’s hard to be sympathetic to their cause since this is the same monkey that mistreated their staff until they left for other boxing sites. Soon thereafter the monkey contacted promoters demanding they never credential those terminated writers again… or else…

Like most self-appointed dictators the end is never pretty. Sometimes it takes longer for the axe to drop than others, but inevitably the hatchet does fall. When it does it can be a very humiliating experience. Considering the big ape has never displayed a humble bone in his 800 pound body, it looks like he finally got served up a long overdue dish of humble pie.

Truth be told, that 800 Pound Gorilla had a very impressive run and at one time they were the hands down standard for boxing websites. We wish them well as they head in their new, but albeit unexpected, direction.

Good Day!

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Monday, July 3rd, 2017

By William Trillo

As defined by hornswoggle,
get the better of (someone) by cheating or deception

Whether you think Jeff Horn was awarded the victory over Manny Pacquiao through cheating or deception the fact remains Horn was handed a gift victory and the WBO 147-pound strap. He quite frankly did not earn or deserve either. Truth be told, Horn did a fine job in a hometown arena filled with over 51,000 down under fans, but…

As the fight was drawing near it’s conclusion I was formulating my fight report in my head and figured I would write the obligatory line, “Horn has nothing to be ashamed of”. But that was because I was certain Manny had done more than enough to earn the nod.

With the way things turned out I now have to say, Horn has plenty to be ashamed of as does everyone involved with that rendered decision, whether they be the ref, the judges or anyone else you think could have influenced that hornswoggling.

On any other night, the huge viewer ratings reported by ESPN would be reason for celebration. But given the fact that a lot more people tuned in to see the legend Pacquiao, there are a lot more people who know this was deception on an epic level. Social media is ransacked with the “fix is in” conspiracy theorists and experts across the globe are ripping apart this botched decision.

Former Heavyweight champ Lennox Lewis said after the fight, “Wow! PAC loses by UD? One judge had it 117-111? 😳 Wasn’t the fight that I saw! This is what’s wrong with boxing. Horn was very game but I’m hard pressed to see how he could have won that fight by any stretch!”

Promoter Lou DiBella said, “There’s no way on God’s earth that a rational person who knew anything about boxing could have scored the fight for Horn. He showed great heart but landed fewer than eight punches a round.”

Even actor Samuel L. Jackson chimed in, as only Jackson can saying, “Uhhhhhhh, can U Say B*llsh*t??!! Manny got F*cked!!! That’s the Face of a Winner??!

For the record, I don’t think anyone was involved with cheating here.

Now, is referee Mark Nelson the most inept third man in the ring to be seen in many years? Of course he is. On any other day I might say Nelson was involved with some plot to help Horn win by letting him break a few rules here, there and everywhere. But my gut feeling is Nelson is just a piss-poor ref, the likelihood of seeing him involved in any other big fights in negligible at best.

The WBO should also be held accountable for appointing Dewey, Cheatem and Howe as the judges for this one…. what were they expecting?

But was this deception? The jury will be out on this for a while but right now the stench of a three day old Shrimp on the Barbie is wafting through the air and plenty of boxing fans equate that stank to some Tom Foolery in the works.

Surprise! Surprise!

There is a rematch clause in place and it looks like Pacquiao is planning to exercise it. Feel free to assume the rematch won’t be shown for free on ESPN but instead will be a PPV promotion broadcast from the land down under. You will pay to see that one.

You can also assume Pacquiao will regain his title by knocking out Horn inside of 8 rounds.

Look, if the punchstats of this fight don’t speak for themselves, (Pacquiao was ahead in all stats by a 2 to 1 clip if not more), then Horn’s contorted grill should do all the talking anyone needs. Dudes face was riddled with lumps and bumps.

Yeah, Horn did way better than anyone expected and the bloody fight was close, but there is no way Manny lost this one…no way.

Stephen A. Smith

The A stands for A-hole. If you do not know who Ali Funeka or Randall Bailey are you have no business sitting in the studio during a boxing broadcast. Hearing you bump your gums on topics you know nothing about is almost as difficult as having to look at Dan Rafael waddle his way through the chow line in the media room on fight night.

Timothy Bradley

I am 100% convinced Bradley thought he was in Argentina and that dead silence after his slip of the tongue was due to the fact Joe and Teddy realized that Bradley genuinely did not know what side of the world he was on. They were speechless.

And thanks for letting everyone who tuned into the record breaking telecast know you were suffering from indigestion and/or diarrhea. TMI Timmy, TMI !

And just to help clear things up for “Desert Storm”, the huge Asian contingency at the fight were Filipino’s and not Japanese, or as Bradley referred to them, “Japans” …?

Good Grief. Can we never put a microphone in front of this guys Pie Hole again… please?

ESPN Friday Night Fights: Oscar Negrete

Can we now put to rest the stigma that Oscar Negrete does not have any power. On his way to capturing the NABF Bantamweight title the high volume punching Negrete dropped Sergio Frias early before forcing him to quit on his stool before round nine. After the fight Negrete stated he wants Randy Caballero. I can neither confirm or deny the rumor that Caballero twisted his other ankle while high-tailing out of the Coachella Valley. I can tell you that like the other injury, there is no medical evidence to confirm Caballero is truly hurt.

Isn’t it great to have real fights put on by real promoters back on the ESPN airwaves?

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ROC Bottom

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

By William Trillo

As defined by “Rock Bottom”: A state of being wherein you feel as if you cannot sink any lower emotionally, psychologically, or physically.

As I walked into The Event Center at The Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on Saturday night to cover the ROC NATION promoted Ward vs. Kovalev rematch the only palpable buzz surrounding the event came from the busloads of EDC (Electric Daisy Carnival) attendees who were busy doing whatever it is they do at their event.

Outside of that there was not enough electricity coming from the event to charge a cell phone. That should have come as no surprise to me or anyone else as the weigh-in for the fight just the day before produced maybe a handful of interested fans.

Considering this was a highly anticipated rematch between two legitimate Top 10 Pound4Pound contenders it seemed odd a fight like this could fly so far under the radar. Only a few months earlier the fight promoted by Main Events produced a whole heck of a lot more interest.

ROC NATION took the reigns as lead promoter for this event Saturday night and for all intents and purposes it looked like they were driving this one right off a cliff.

Maybe things would get better once I got inside the arena.

They didn’t.

As I walked into the media room the first person I saw was our ace reporter Daniel Cloutier sitting at a table watching the fights on the media room TV. Cloutier informed me that his seat in the arena was all the way up at the top of the Event Center, visibility was negligible at best. This is how ROC NATION treated one of boxing’s best and longtime reporters. Cloutier flew in on Sunday from Montreal to cover the event and was one of the few whom covered all the events during fight week. His thanks from ROC NATION was the nose bleed seats. To add insult to injury was the fact that ROC NATION handed out premium media passes in mass quantities to their posse and their women, none of whom had any intention of reporting.

Apparently, their main reason for being there was to cheer for their fighter from media row, (highly frowned upon), and jeer and laugh at anyone who they deemed enemies. It was deplorable but it looked like ROC NATION not only approved but were joining in on the less than professional outbursts. Hear me loud and clear, whether you are a media member or not, cheering for your guy from media row is as bad as it gets. The media area was a circus. I am surprised any legitimate and working media member was able to get anything accomplished at all.

And hey, thanks for that awesome spread for dinner. Who did you have cater this affair? The Las Vegas County Jail Commissary? I am still trying to decide if those were burger patties or hockey pucks.

As to the show itself, when the PPV broadcast started the chirping of crickets and a smattering of fans was all those who were watching the broadcast could hear and see. The announced attendance was 10,592 but I am told by a reliable source that officially ticket sales barely broke the 1,000 mark. The remaining 9,000 who showed up moments before the main event were there courtesy of ROC NATION papering the house. I can’t wait to see the amount of PPV buys this dog generated.

The post fight press conference was abysmal. Jeers and laughter directed at Main Events came from those credentialed posse members who had no business being in attendance. And let me ask you this. When Kovalev’s manager Egis Klimis took the microphone why was it okay to mock his Eastern European accent out loud and poke fun at him? Had the shoe been on the other foot would it have been okay to run with some uneducated ghetto smack? I think not. I am sure anyone who attempted that would have been drug out of the room by his heels. Reverse racism is just as bad as claiming racism where it doesn’t exist at all, maybe worse. That is not opinion…that’s fact!

What is also fact is that this was as poorly orchestrated a promotion from top to bottom that has blown through Sin City in years.

There, I had to get that off my chest.

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Ward vs. Kovalev II: Borderline

Monday, June 19th, 2017

By William Trillo
Photo: David Spagnolo – Main Events

If there is one thing we know about Light Heavyweight Champion Andre Ward is that he knows how to win no matter what it takes. He has been called a dirty fighter by many at times. After his TKO victory over Sergey Kovalev many will say his tactics were right on the borderline. In fact that is how the low punches delivered by Ward on Kovalev’s belt line have been described, right on the borderline. Whether or not you think those punches were legal or not it’s clear those blows took Kovalev out of his game.

Numerous times thundering blows landed on Kovalev’s belt line and with each and every shot you could see Kovalev’s power and strength dwindling. No one including Kovalev will argue that fact.

The crushing right hand Ward landed in round eight was the beginning of the end and Ward jumped on Kovalev with body shots that forced Kovalev to take a seat on the ropes. Ref Tony Weeks had seen enough and waved the fight off at that point. It also can be argued Weeks stopped the fight too early, but that is merely hindsight now.

I think the telling moment was in the previous round when Kovalev turned his back on Ward looking to escape the onslaught.

Kovalev’s promoter Kathy Duva believes it’s those borderline shots that weakened her fighter and she plans on protesting the stoppage. The NSAC has already stated that all the blows were legal and it appears her protest will fall on deaf ears.

For Andre it looks like he is literally looking for bigger things ahead as he mentioned a jump to cruiserweight while his trainer Virgil Hunter suggested Ward could beat Heavyweight Champ Anthony Joshua. That could be a bit of a stretch.

It’s hard to tell where Kovalev will go from here.

Ward/Kovalev 2 will be argued for weeks to come but the fact remains Ward did what he had to in order to win.

“Borderline, Feels like I’m going to lose my mind” Madonna

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Boxing Troops Rally Around Injured Franco

Monday, June 12th, 2017

By William Trillo

Featherweight Daniel “Twitch” Franco suffered a severe brain injury in his match on Saturday night in Sioux City and had immediate emergency surgery to stop two brain bleeds. Along with his Father Al, Franco remains in the Iowa hospital under the watchful eye of medical specialists.

In the aftermath of the tragic event I have seen the boxing community step up like never before to rally around the fallen fighter. As I write this article the gofundme page set up on his behalf has generated over $20,000 worth of donations. The money will help with the costs of so many things we never think about until a time like this, hospital bills, hotel accommodations for his family to stay close by his side, travel expenses and the aftercare that Franco will need when he is released from the hospital.

I have had a chance to communicate with Franco’s father Al over the past days. Being there with his son but not being able to do anything to help is admittedly the toughest thing he has ever been through. Franco is very thankful for the outpouring of love and prayers that are coming their way.

I am asking everyone to keep those prayers coming as “Twitch” was taken back into surgery as he is bleeding in the brain again. Let’s all gather together and pray that the buildup in pressure will go down and the bleeding stops with this surgery.

It seems like just yesterday when we attended and videotaped a show in Pomona CA that the young Franco was fighting in his second professional fight. You could see even in his early career that Franco loved his sport and with his father close by his side in his corner they had a good career ahead of them.

That was early in 2011.

It’s mid-2017 now and Franco faces the toughest fight of his life and just like in all his other bouts, his Father Al is there in his corner right by his side. In times like these it’s difficult to express in mere words how to address these kinds of situations. I can tell you that the Franco’s are a well-respected and loved family in the boxing community here in California. They will have all our support during this chapter of their lives.

Please see the link below for Daniel’s gofundme page.

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The Lowest Common Denominator

Monday, June 5th, 2017

By William Trillo

As soon as Adonis Stevenson clubbed Andrzej Fonfara on the top of the head and virtually incapacitated the Polish fighter my immediate thought was to wonder if this is another in a growing line of fighters who have went to Virgil Hunter for help only to find themselves getting steamrolled into oblivion. It’s hard not to consider the facts when it comes to Amir Khan, Alfredo Angulo and now Fonfara. No one will argue their respective careers went south when they went to the training camp up north, (Northern California that is).

Hunter’s claim to fame has always been his association with Andre Ward and he has gravy trained that into some other high profile fighters corners. That is an indisputable fact. Now… there are plenty who say any trainer could have trained the naturally gifted Ward into Super Stardom but I will not go that far simply because I think the bond Hunter has with Ward is something special but…I am not convinced Hunter can take fighters like Angulo and Fonfara and turn them into anything noteworthy. Let the record speak for itself.

Just thinking out loud…Can someone explain to me why Fonfara would go into a rematch with Stevenson and go toe to toe with him from the opening bell? Seems to me the smart thing to do would be to stay outside, use your jab some, move a lot, clinch and grab after throwing punches…you know…kind of what Andre Ward does throughout the fight, in every fight. It’s as boring as hell and awful to watch but hey…Ward has taken that routine to the top. And by the way, it’s a hell of a lot safer than putting yourself in Superman’s wheelhouse and allowing him to bounce thunder off the top of your head.

In Hunters defense, I will say he made the right call in stopping the fight. Fonfara was finished before round one was over. Sending him out in round two at least gave the fighter a chance to redeem himself. But alas, it was clear in seconds his night was over. There was no need for it to continue.

I will be curious to see if there will be any fighters in the near future who will be so anxious to head to Oakland in search of Hunter’s tutelage. My guess is Virgil’s run as Flavor Of The Month is going to come to a grinding halt sooner rather than later.

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P.S. And if Hunter is all that then why did Team Ward reach out to Sergey Kovalev’s trainer John David Jackson to ask him if he would jump camps and help Ward in the rematch? Unless of course you just did it to try to muck up the chemistry in Camp Kovalev. Why else would you leak false rumors about Jackson reaching out to your side first?

Brook Gets DiSPENCEd

Monday, May 29th, 2017

By William Trillo
Photo: Amanda Westcott – SHOWTIME

It was apparent the game plan for former welterweight champion Kell Brook was contingent on Errol Spence either fading from fatigue in the latter rounds or to be overcome with the enormity of the moment and collapsing under the pressure.

Not only did Spence throw a Monkey Wrench into those ill-conceived plans but he took the champions belt and snatched the hearts of Brooks hometown Sheffield, Yorkshire crowd along the way.

With his victory Errol Spence Jr. exemplified everything a polished number one contender from the United States stands for. He went to the Champion’s backyard and without the pomp and circumstance that a good number of his like promoted peers perceive they deserve, Spence proved inside and outside the ring he is more than worthy to be called a champion today.

In a fight that looked to be clearly going the way of the champion Brook in the early stages Spence remained focused and calm. Not once did the raucous crowd nor the talented Champion deter him. Spence stayed the course and by the 7th round his diligence began to pay dividends and Brook faded fast down the stretch.

No discredit to Brook who apparently was working with another broken orbital bone in the final rounds. Down in round 10 Brook rose to his feet and fought through the pain to make this one of the most memorable rounds of the year.

But in the next round the pain was too much. With double vision and memories of the GGG injury fresh on his mind he had no choice but to take a knee. The night was over and so was his title reign.

I do not want to hear one word about the courage of Brook. He did everything he could but Spence proved he is the superior fighter.

Now that Spence has that 147 strap we can look for him to target Keith Thurman. Thurman has made more than his share of derogatory comments about Spence. Now it’s time for that to get sorted out.

Personally, I am concerned about Brook. In his last two fights he has suffered the same injury to both sides of his face. Now there are rumors of him moving up to 154 pounds and the bigger punchers. Quite frankly I think Brook could hold his own and most likely defeat many of the top fighters in that division. But if the orbital bone injuries plague him you must ask yourself if it’s worth the risk.

Boxing fans were once again treated to a very entertaining fight that lived up to the hype.

At the midway point of 2017 it’s safe to say boxing is having a very good year.

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The Mail Pouch: McGarry Weighs In

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

By William Trillo

As has become customary, our faithful reader David McGarry has thoughts on the big fights from across the pond. I must admit McGarry has a firm handle on the event from Sheffield. Check out what he has to say:

Dear Mr. Trillo,

Later today there are two world title fights taking place in Sheffield, England. Super middleweight George Groves has his fourth attempt at winning a world title when he takes on Fedor Chudinov and IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook defends his title against mandatory challenger Errol Spence.

For Groves, this is almost certainly his last shot at the big time, and he could not have asked for a more suitable opponent. Chudinov is an aggressive fighter with limited skills, inactive since February 2016, who lost a controversial decision to Felix Sturm in his previous bout. The London-born Groves should find it fairly straight forward to counter Chudinov’s advances with straight right power punches.

The main obstacle to an easy night for Groves is a possible reaction to his previous fight last November. He beat Eduard Gutknecht by a wide points margin, but his opponent collapsed and went into a coma a few hours later and has still not recovered. Boxers who win fights like that often never fully recover from the trauma, so it remains to be seen how Groves will cope.

My prediction: Groves wins a points decision by a wide margin, but fails to finish off a completely outclassed opponent.

The main event features, arguably, the best two welterweights in the world. For the champion, the main issues are how will he react to his first ever loss, how will he adjust to going from middleweight to welterweight again and how will his broken eye socket hold up against a hard puncher.

We do know Brook took the weight off slowly, and was only a few pounds over the limit three weeks ago. He looks in great shape. Will he have the same stamina and punching power as before?

For the challenger, we have yet to see how he performs against a world class opponent and how he handles fighting thousands of miles from home in front of a hostile crowd.

My prediction: while this is a genuine 50-50 contest in terms of trying to pick a winner, I don’t expect a close fought bout. After an initial feeling out period, one of these boxers is going to dominate the other completely en route to a stoppage around the fourth or fifth round. Could the body attack of Spence halt a weight-drained champion in his tracks? Or will Brook take advantage of his opponent’s lack of head movement to deliver some crushing right hand blows? My gut feeling is that because Brook chose his opponent and the venue and trained for 20 weeks to prepare for this fight at the stadium of the football team he supports, he will seize his chances.

The pick of the undercard fights could be a brief outing for big cruiserweight Lawrence Okolie. He will be making a name for himself in the heavyweight division before too long.

Thanks again to David for his on point contribution.

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