News Worthy

Who Won the Weekend? But First, A Message To the Promoters and Platforms…

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Top Rank ran Friday and Fightnight Live, Showtime, DAZN and PBC put up fare on Saturday–this is the new normal.

An embarassment of riches, one would think.

But we are in fact seeming to be in a Golden Corral, not “Golden” era of pugilism.

Boxing bigs need to be better at being more willing to take risks, and put their A sides in with other sides...and not just on PPV.

Boxing bigs need to be better at being more willing to take risks, and put their A sides in with other sides…and not just on PPV.

 

The quantity is there but the quality, well…It’s not to say we aren’t seeing it, but as often as we should, with the money being slung around?

OK, maybe this is a work in progress as we let the chips fall, with the massive corps working to get a foothold in their OTT spaces. Looking forward, I think everyone mentioned, to varying degrees, needs to offer a better ratio of showcase to coin-flip fights.

OK, polite rant, put forth to give the fans a voice in the matter, and, yes, to speak up for a strategy that will better serve the long term growth of the sport, ended….

NYF Squad, talk to me…Who Won the Weekend?

“Vasiliy Lomachencko won the weekend,” said Abe Gonzalez. “Mr. “Hi-Tek” showed that the fight against Pedraza was an “off night” and that he is still one of the top pound for pound fighters. He showed his power is there and his feints, balance and speed are still working at a high level. With Bob saying that bad blood will not get in the way and that it’s “all about the Benjamins,” let’s hope that we finally get the fight between Lomachenko (in Mikey Williams pic) and Mikey Garcia next.”

Loma had his way with Crolla, who said after he might be leaving the fight game real soon.

Loma had his way with Crolla, who said after he might be leaving the fight game real soon.

What say you, Kelsey McCarson? “Claressa Shields won the weekend. Shields defeated Christina Hammer and became the first ever female Ring Magazine champion in any weight class. She’s also the first woman to become undisputed middleweight champion and just the second to do it in any weight class. Shields looked fantastic against Hammer. In fact, this was probably the first time as a professional that she looked like she might actually live up to her GWOAT moniker. Congrats to Claressa, who is on her way to changing women’s boxing forever.”

Says David Phillips: “Claressa Shields for sure. I thought her stock may have dropped some after being dropped by Hanna Gabriels before picking herself up and winning a UD a little over a year ago. To be honest, I was a little underwhelmed by the start of her pro career. The power she seemed to have in the amateurs didn’t translate as fully as I expected (still not sure it has). But Saturday night, she looked like a new fighter. Her endurance was tremendous, her punches straighter, and her defense was exceptional. I thought her scrap with the Lady Hammer was a 50/50 fight. Shields made a fool of me. Much credit should go to her trainer, John David Jackson, who clearly has cleaned things up significantly. My only gripe with the fight is the same one I have with every women’s match: the two minute rounds. It’s nonsense. The women can handle going three minutes. This reminds me of when it was believed that women would be putting themselves at risk to run a marathon and were therefore disallowed for many years to do so. They are plenty tough enough. Get out of their way. Were there three minute rounds, Shields would have had an excellent chance for a knockout. Not only did she deserve that opportunity, fans deserve it too.”

Joe “Jab Hook” Healy submits a vote for Shields. “Who won the weekend? “T-Rex“ devoured it! When an exceptional boxer emerges as a phenomenal talent and innovator in the ring and in the gym, when he does it in harmony with his father thereby refuting conventional wisdom on nepotism in the corner, and when he robs a man of his consciousness in midair with a perfectly placed shot that tangentially curved across the cranium, the weekend’s winner would seem obvious and easy to choose. But this weekend we witnessed something equally important and impressive on planet pugilistica. A milestone in the sport.  Jab Hook watched the best female professional boxing match he has ever seen. Despite being less than competitive, the matchup was compelling and the action was exciting. All props to Christina Hammer, who took it like woman and survived till the last bell. Halt die Ohren steif Champ! Claressa Shields has emerged a complete pro boxer in only her 9th bout. Not a wiff of “l’odeur d’amateur“ on the real World Champion from Flint. “T-Rex“ came out focused and ready to do damage and Hammer knew she was in deep trouble after less than  20 seconds into the bout as Claressa’s 1st of many right hands smashed the face of the German boxer. Gone were the wasted movement and thoughtless punching, the show-boating and the loading up on shots. Shields took the plan that JD Jackson developed for her and flawlessly implemented it. She was patient, mature, and creative in her boxing. Claressa Shields has certainly earned the right to be called “Champion“ in perpetuity. She won Jab’s weekend, hands up and chin down.”

And your vote, Chris Glover? “You have to say Shields really. She’s a great fighter but her shouts of being the greatest woman of all time are still off the mark for me. Great performance and I’d like to see her move through the weight classes and test herself against the best and drop the apparent arrogance when she’s at it.”

Shields impressed much of the NYF squad, who noted her improvement after this second camp with Jackson.

Shields impressed much of the NYF squad, who noted her improvement after this second camp with Jackson.

Vladimir Lik weighed in: “Vasiliy Lomachenko won the weekend! He’s one of the top 3 boxers in the world today and easily decimated his opponent Friday night. Anytime a top 3 fighter wins it’s difficult to say they didn’t win the weekend. Claressa Shields had a great weekend too but she defeated a fighter many boxing fans prior to the promotion never heard of. Although she unified a division which is rare and remarkable, Lomachenko is a savant and when he fights people outside of the casual boxing fan tune in.”

Jonathan Leir sees it this way: “Claressa Shields won the weekend in a landslide of No Decisions and mismatched bouts,” he said. “She completed her goal, has all the belts and importantly backed up the heavy amount of chatter before the fight. Good for her and for womens boxing.”

“Claressa Shields won the weekend,” said analyst Matt Andrzejewski. “She thoroughly dominated an undefeated world class fighter and ascended to the throne of pound for pound the best fighter in women’s boxing.”

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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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