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Who Won the Weekend? Final Four Largely Bumps Boxing, But Fights Still Took Place

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Basketball won the weekend, one could argue.

Final Four action led boxing progammers to by and large give NCAA the stage. But, there was action to take in; ShoBox unfolded on Friday, and in Germany, our own Jab Hook sat ringside and was reminded about that whole “theater of the unexpcted.”

NYF squad, how about it…who won the weekend?

Manny Pacquiao won the weekend,” said John Gatling, “by inking an unknown pact with Japan’s RIZIN. It is becoming more and more clear that “Pac-Man” has learned how to gobble up serious portals of business acumen during his turn as Congressman and now senator in his native Philippines. By ripping a page from arch nemesis Floyd Mayweather and his playbook, Pac can earn cool coin (reportedly in an event as early as April 21) by making an exhibition appearance that doesn’t involve thrashing a young novice (Pac told yours truly that KOs in an exhibition is a no-no). We’ll monitor this closely, as the Filipino icon and reigning WBA “Regular” welterweight champion is tentatively slated to officially return to the ring in July, against a rumored narrow pool consisting of WBA “Super” welterweight champion Keith “One-Time” Thurman, or former WBC welterweight champion Danny “Swift” Garcia if he’s successful on April 20 against Adrian Granados.”

“Sanity won the weekend! The proliferation of TV and streaming outlets showcasing the sport of boxing is great, but with all the fights we get to watch these days there are too few truly meaningful bouts,” said Kelsey McCarson. “This weekend could have been like any other recent weekend in that there could have been 12 hours of one-sided fights strung over three different viewing platforms on Friday and Saturday. Instead, there was only one Shobox tripleheader and we got the rest of the weekend off.”

Who won the weekend, Joe Healy? “Ryan Ford won the weekend! “The Real Deal” is a consummate journeyman boxer.

Ryan Ford flipped the script in Germany this weekend.

Ryan Ford flipped the script in Germany this weekend.

 

“Ford has fought in Thailand, Singapore, Russia, and three times in Germany since 2018. Former MMA and he’s only been an active, professional boxer for three and half years at 37 years old. Wait, it gets worse. Ryan Ford had lost 4 of his last 5 bouts by 12 round decisions before going into a bout against the best boxer he’d ever faced. Serge Michel is a decorated, international amateur and Olympic boxer, an undefeated pro prospect who was essentially boxing for a hometown crowd. Michel had won 4 of his last 5 by KO before meeting Ford. Unimpressed by boxing pedigrees, unfazed by his recent, row of defeats, Ryan Ford came in as clear underdog. But this dog was game and used a Joe Frazier formula of forward pressure, bob and weave, box small, don’t back up, break his heart, WIN! It was a major upset for the locals and the pundits. “Deja vu all over again…”, flashback to the last time Jab Hook was ringside on October 14, 2017 in the same room. That night another journeyman boxer stepped up and beat the clearly favored opponent. Kevin Johnson surprised us all when he looked better than Francesco Pianeta early in the bout, and when he stopped Pianeta in the 7th round, it was amazing. Ryan Ford won the weekend. Thank you for reminded the boxing world that anything can happen in the square circle. Mr Ford, you have earned your nickname, for real!”

“In an incredibly slow weekend, I’m giving the W to the rumor mill,” said David Phillips. “Specifically the notion that Floyd might fight Errol Spence. If he takes that big of a risk with his ‘O’, I will eat my hat. But boxing abhors a vacuum and this is what filled it. So go on rumor mill, do your stuff. Just know that I expect to see Floyd in the ring with a real live jackalope before he climbs through the ropes to face off with Spence.”

Who won the weekend, Josh Friedman? “Artem Lobov (below) – what a brutal fight!”

Artem Lobov fought Jason Knight April 6, 2019.

Blood spilled copiously in the Lobov v Knight fight. Phil Lambert pics.

End notes from publisher: I’m siding with Jab Hook…gotta love it when the script gets flipped. Love it when
“journeymen” do the unexpected…and like Jab noted, we all do need those periodic reminders that things have to play out in the ring, not on paper.

Congrats, Ryan Ford, you won the weekend!

Regarding Mr. Lobov…his face-off with Jason Knight was a bloody collision. He’s supposed to fight again in June, against Paul Malignaggi..I asked the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships boss David Feldman about that. First off, Feldman said he thought Lobov did indeed deserve to get the decision over Knight.

“He should be OK for the June 22 fight,” Feldman told me. “We will know by Friday. He says ‘yes,’ for sure.”

Hear what Lobov thinks of Malignaggi here.

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About Michael Woods

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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