Jab Hook’s Epilogue for the MSG Theater, NYC, Friday, Jan. 18



Jab Hook’s Epilogue for the MSG Theater, NYC, Friday, Jan. 18
Ed Mulholland pics

It was a very entertaining night of boxing. Jab predicted the last three bouts and called the same matchups on the boxing nightshift from 3am to 6am Munich time. And these bouts turned out to be interesting and contrasting. It was an honor and pleasure to call them.

The first fight was a grinding affair with a excellent referee stoppage by Mike Ortega with 0:44 remaining in the 11th round of a first time defense of a belt. 

TJ “The Power“ Doheny defended his IBF Super Bantamweight Title in dominant fashion as he literally pounded Ryohei Takahashi into submission over 11 rounds. Truth be told, he did not submit. At just the right moment in the bout referee Mike Ortega saved Ryohei Takahashi from himself, mercifully and with style. Jab had it 100:89 after 10 rounds for the champion Doheny.

The second bout was a shocking upset, the biggest one so far in this young boxing year. It was the explosive derailment of a storied career, right in front of our eyes. Jorge Linares went down in flames when Pablo Cesar Cano came out smoking from the first bell.

Linares submitted to the hard hands of Cano.

It was over before it was over from Jab's perspective. In the his prediction for this bout Jab said: “…“El Niño de Oro“ has been a professional boxer half of his life. He's fought ten grueling rounds fifteen times in his career. This followed by twelve rounds in four consecutive fights, including twenty four rounds battling Anthony Crolla. Then a brutal TKO loss to Lomachenko. In the “Old school” we talk about the substance of the man and what he pays in the ring as boxer. Win or lose, a boxer sacrifices a part of himself with every bout. When is it enough? It is unbearably hard for champions to walk away from the ring… „“

Time for some serious reflection for Jorge Linares. And time for some serious celebration for the bad luck kid, Pablo Cesar Cano whose luck has finally turned.

The main event was a dominant, but sometimes distracted effort in an otherwise successful, first time title defense. Regrettably, the courageous efforts of the losing opponent were spoiled by a terrible referee stoppage. Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade outboxed Artur “Wolverine” Akavov as they fought hard against each other, giving the fans some nice action. Jab had it 110:99 after 11 rounds.

Mercante with Akavov after the stoppage on Friday.

Enter the infamous Arthur Mercante Jr who intervened with only 0:34 left in the 12th round without due cause. This woeful referee, whose reputation precedes him, went to Akavov's corner after the 11th round and attempted to convince the Russian to quit. “How about calling it a night?“ Mercante Jr asked him. This seemed so strange to Jab that he pointed it out immediately to commentator Jan Platte during the DAZN livestream; Jab commented that the danger of a referee intervention was now high. 

The ref's warning between rounds, his last second halting of the bout without a specific reason, and his bizarre manhandling of Akavov were very strange, at best.

The last part bordered on inappropriate touching by Mercante Jr, as poor Akakvov could hardly the keep referee's hands off him, despite a half a minute of stopping Mercante Jr's hands and trying to walk away. What a way to spoil Andrade's moment of triumph in his maiden defense of the WBO Middleweight Belt. Why would Arthur Mercante Jr stop the bout of nowhere? Maybe it was the ghost of Beethaeven Scottland clouding his perception of Akavov's condition.

Let's get back to the “Champ.” Honestly, Jab remains unconvinced that Andrade really wants to fight the best, as he loudly claims outside the ring. But in the ring we find him with Kautondokwa followed by Akavov. Where's the beef “Boo Boo” ? It is high time to man up.

Jab Hook predicted both title bouts correctly, but missed the crazy Cano upset of Linares.

Jab Hook's 2019 predictions: 6 of 8 correct on January 19th = 75% 

(2018: 92 of 112 correct = 82.1%, to date 98 of 120 correct = 81.7%)

Check for more of Jab Hook's boxing predictions in the coming days.

“Jab Hook”, aka “Brooklyn” Joe Healy is a boxing expert commentator for, a professional cutman from the BOXWERK gym, and a licensed referee/judge in amateur boxing. A lifelong aficionado born in Brooklyn and living in Munich, “The Sweet Science” is his passion. Please feel free to contact him as Jab Hook on FaceBook, at [email protected], or on Twitter

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