British vet Callum Smith stopped Mathieu Bauderlique, knocking him to the mat in round four and then finishing him with a harsh left hook on the Usyk-Joshua 2 undercard in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Saturday. The ex standout at 168 looked solid against a certain level foe in his second scrap at 175.
The time of the ending came at 1:53; the Frenchman Bauderlique (33 years old; southpaw) was in it to win it, he threw, but his defense lagged as the fight wore on, and Smith (now 29-1), who debuted in 2012, knew what to do. His trainer Buddy McGirt wanted body work, but he was head hunting. A left hook high on the head dropped Bauderlique (now 21-2), and his energy dropped when he got up. It ws just a matter of time on the Usyk-Joshua 2 undercard.
Smith, who didn't have luck versus Canelo in a mega step-up fight, has been talking about wanting to tango with 175 ace Artur Beterbiev. Should he be careful what he asks for?
After the win on the Usyk-Joshua 2 undercard, Callum spoke about the effort. He'd fought in Saudi before, against George Groves in 2018, when a WBA 168 strap. Callum said yes, Bauderlique caught him a few times. He and McGirt are jelling, he said. “Tonight put me one step closer (to a fight with Beterbiev). I just wanna keep winning, at some point I will become world champion.” Promoter Eddie Hearn was asked if Callum would take another fight, or would he wait for Beterviev? “We want him to box again in November or December, if he's ready,” Hearn said, noting that Callum had been off 11 months coming into this tango. “I got the power at 175,” Callum said, “I want that belt, whoever's got it.”
Jack Gets The Nod In Tight Fight
The veteran with the resume and the higher profile got the nod in a cruiserweight battle as part of the Usyk-Joshua 2 undercard in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Saturday. That comes as no surprise to fight watchers who've been around. Badou Jack, a titlist at 168 and 175, is a known quantity, and even though Richard Rivera threw more, CompuBox had Jack landing more, and that's what the judges saw
Rivera has been a club fighter who has been craving a step up fight, and he got it. Will he look back and wish he'd thrown more? Maybe, because he should have been told again and again that he came to the arena two points down versus the likable hitter born in Sweden.
You were maybe rooting for the underdog Rivera (age 31; now 21-1), who has fun with a persona, as “Popeye the Sailor Man,” who was a popular cartoon character in the later 20s into the 1980s. Popeye derived strength when he ingested spinach, and that allowed him to vanquish brutish Bluto, who sexually harassed Popeyes' gal Olive Oyl.
Rivera needed that spinach, maybe two cans, because Jack, who turns 39 in October, enjoys the spoils of his high profile on this Usyk-Joshua 2 undercard.
On social media, some folks thought the decision was hogwash, while others didn't think the result was off. Now, that eighth round, THAT was off. The round ran long, almost 4 minutes, and that extra time benefitted Jack.
Jacob Rodriguez from NYFights didn't howl, while our man Mr Humphries couldn't contain his disgust with this Usyk-Joshua 2 undercard bout.
Pundit Jake Donovan of Boxing Scene shared his thoughts on that long round Twitter:
Basically, this one was business as usual for boxing. There was controversy, and folks debating the decision after, when the better known boxer got the benefit of doubts on the Usyk-Joshua 2 undercard.