Echo Arena, Liverpool, Merseyside, UK, (DAZN): Liam Smith 26(14)-2(1)-1 vs. Sam Eggington 24(15)-5(1), super welterweights boxing in a 12 round prizefight.
Smith, left, and Eggington in featured pic
Jab Hook, really likes Liam “Beefy“ Smith and all his brothers: Paul, Stephen, and Callum. These Merseyside boys are all good pro boxers. More importantly, they are all gentlemen and ambassadors for the sport of boxing. But sometimes good, is just not good enough when you face champions like Canelo, or Jaime Mungia. Thank goodness that Sam “The Savage“ Eggington is far from a champion. Sam is rather the ideal opponent for Liam's homecoming bout in Liverpool.
In his last bout “Beefy“ fought Munguia for the WBO title in July 2018, the same title he'd lost to Canelo in September 2016. Liam Smith got knocked down in the 6th round by Jaime Munguia, rallied in the 9th, but lost after 12 rounds. It was 118:109 on Jab Hook's card. Despite that lopsided score, “Beefy” looked good and gave Munguia a boxing lesson in rounds 1-3. Though he successfully defended the WBO Super Welterweight title that he easily took from Sadam Ali in May 2018, Munguia's lack of defense and reliance on his power rather than boxing combinations revealed his limitations.
“The Savage“ Eggington is a British undercard fighter who has faced lesser opposition than “Beefy“. But “lesser opposition“ is always a relative term, as Eggington learned in his 3rd bout as a super welterweight vs Hassan Mwakinyo in September 2018. As Sam's lazy right-hand drifted down, he got hit hard at the end of the 1st round with a left hand combination from the underdog Mwakinyo. The Tanzanian jumped on the shaky “The Savage“ at the opening of the 2nd round, beating him furiously until the referee had to stop it 1 minute into the round.
“Beefy“ Smith will tame “Savage“ Sam with boxing and patiently assess Eggington's moves, timing, and faults. Either Sam will make a foolish mistake in the earlier rounds, or he will be set up for disaster by Liam a few rounds later. One way or the other, Liam Smith will wow the Liverpool hometown crowd including his brothers, family and friends.
Jab picks “Beefy“ Smith to stop “Savage“ Sam Eggington in the 7th round.
Echo Arena, Liverpool, Merseyside, UK, (DAZN): David Price 23(19)-6(6) vs. Kash Ali 15(10)-0, heavyweights boxing in a 10 round prizefight.
Another born and bred “scouser“, David Price is coming home to Merseyside after almost 6 years away, into the loving arms of Liverpool, where it all began. The start of his life, his 1st bout as a professional boxer in the Echo Arena, and his 1st KO and 1st loss in the 2nd round at the hands of the southpaw spoiler Tony Thompson all happened here. Thompson obliged Price by stopping David again at home in the Echo Arena in the 5th round later in his unlucky 2013.
Six losses doesn't always mean that much on a veteran's record, but suffering six stoppages clearly means danger. With 3 KO's within the past year, Jab must again mention his severe concern for the neurological health of Mr Price. When will “Pricey“ Price learn that this price he continues to pay is undeniably too high. For what, for whom, for f**k sake David, what are you aiming for son, posthumous glory? Jab sincerely hopes that those who can help protect him will finally step in after this last bout. Win or lose, with all due respect Mr Price, please hang 'em up.
Kash Ali has no business in the ring with a boxer of David's background or level of skill. Brittle chin or not, Price has a nasty jab and big power, like nothing Kashuf Ali has ever before faced. Calling Kash a club fighter is almost a compliment to him, as he has dined on a steady diet of tomato soup for years on the Sheffield boxing circuit. His last three opponents had a combined record of 4(2)-10(5). So this boxer, whose only attraction is his family name, has been had picked to ensure a triumphant hometown celebration for the Price family. Jab just hopes that Mr Price's intention is to go out on a win.
Hook sees David Price winning by 4th round KO over Kash Ali in what should be David's swan song.
2300 Arena, Philadelphia, USA (ESPN): Oleksandr Gvozdyk 16(13)-0 vs. Doudou Ngumbu 38(14)-8(1), boxing 12 rounds for Gvozdyk's WBC light heavyweight title.
How about some brotherly love for Philadelphia, USA! One of America's greatest traditional boxing towns which has produced over 50 World Champion Boxers in the past 150 years including: Jersey Joe Walcott, Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier, Larry Holmes, Matthew Saad Muhammad, Bernard Hopkins, Steve Cunningham, Danny Garcia, Tevin Farmer, et al. Jab loves the boxing history and today's thriving boxing community of Philadelphia.
Doudou Ngumbu may be #1 in France, but in the USA he had better dance. A French club fighter born in Kinshasa, DouDou is a boxing veteran with more than triple the rounds and bouts compared to his Ukranian rival. If he has perfected any veteran moves or insider tricks in his 12 years as a professional boxer, then Ngumbu better roll them all out for this fight. Fighting mostly in France, this is his second stateside matchup. Last time back in 2014 he lost to Andrzej Fonfara in Chicago. Ngumbu has also lost to Isaac Chilemba and Igor Mihkalkin twice. Apparently, each time he tries to step up against a better boxer, he loses.
His calls himself “The Nail” and the unlucky 13 guys that Oleksandr Gvozdyk has hammered can corroborate that moniker. In the last three and a half years Gvozdyk has stopped 9 of 10 opponents.
The tragic outcome of his last bout must weigh heavy on his mind. While Oleksandr prepares to step into the ring to defend the lineal light heavyweight championship and belt he took from Adonis Stevenson four months ago, a former champion is learning to walk again in the halls of a Ouébec hospital. As one is trying to find his way back into an independent and whole life, the other is preparing to become a boxing star by unifying all the belts.
Jab could say more, as he often does, but who needs statistics or punching anecdotes when the match up is so transparent. The French boxer from the Congo is about to have a bad experience in the ring. A “Ukranian Nightmare” will be standing in the neutral corner as Doudou Ngumbu wakes up cursing in French.
Jab is convinced that “The Nail” hits the head until the job is done in the 8th round, TKO win for Oleksandr Gvozdyk.
2300 Arena, Philadelphia, USA (ESPN): Egidijus Kavaliauskas 21(17)-0 vs. Ray Robinson 23(12)-3(1) boxing 10 rounds in a welterweight prizefight.
Egidijus Kavaliauskas is the Lithuanian welterweight contender fighting out of Oxnard, CA by way of Kaunus. “The Mean Machine” has been calling out “Bud” Crawford since his 6th rd TKO of David Avanesyan in February 2018. His last bout in November 2018 versus Roberto Arriaza was announced as a WBO eliminator for Terrance Crawford's World title.
Egidijus Kavaliauskas looked better than ever against Roberto Arriaza, who came forward and applied pressure from the outside. But “The Mean Machine” used excellent footwork and slick counter-punching to punish Arriaza. By the 3rd round Kavaliauskas had him timed, then he was able to pin Arriaza on the ropes and put him down with a combination that finished with a right hook to the temple. Roberto Arriaza did not get up before the 10 count.
Three and a half months later and Kavaliauskas is still holding his little dance-card, but “Bud” Crawford has bigger fish to fry. In three weeksAmir Khan will stand in the center of the ring waiting for the Crawford in the mecca of boxing, Madison Square Garden. Jab thinks this run-around game may make “The Mean Machine” even meaner.
“The New” Ray Robinson is a Philadelphia product who has fought almost only on the US east coast boxing circuit since his debut in 2006. Robinson will be fighting at home for the 6th time in his career, with the last time being two years ago. “The New” Robinson is certainly no comparison to original “Sugar” Ray, but very few boxers are. The 21st century Robinson is a slick southpaw that can box well. He got stopped via TKO as the referee Robert Byrd waved it off in the 7th round 13 months ago when Yordinas Ugas overwhelmed him with punches. It was “The New” Ray's 1st loss in 15 bouts dating back to 2010 when Shawn Porter beat him by unanimous decision.
Coming off a very disappointing defeat and a 13 month layoff to face a surging contender with 81% stoppages is not a good formula for success. But boxers from Philadelphia take the bouts they can, believe strongly in themselves, and suck it up like men when a tough fighter comes to town. “The New” Ray can count on one thing, his hometown fans would never disappoint him and will be out in droves cheering him on to become the personification of the “Rocky” dream.
But when the lights fade on Philadelphia's 2300 Arena, and the bulk of the fans are already back at their neighborhood bars having their nth brew, “The New Ray” will feel a little less new. He'll go to the after-party and be smothered in hugs and handshakes, because that's the way they roll down in Phillie.
Jab Hooks sees “The Mean Machine” gaining momentum as he rolls over Ray Robinson. A bad cut could influence the course of the bout, as Egidijus Kavaliauskas wins via TKO in 5th round
2300 Arena, Philadelphia, USA (ESPN): Kudratillo Abdukakhorov 15(9)-0 vs. Keita Obara 20(18)-3(3)-1, boxing 12 rounds in a IBF welterweight eliminator.
Kudratillo Abdukakhorov calls himself “The Punisher”. The 25yo, undefeated Uzbek boxing out of Malaysian capitol of Kuala Lumpur has been a professional boxer for two and a half years fighting mostly in Malaysia and Singapour in small to medium venues. This is his USA debut and a critical step if he wants to enhance his earning power. It has been over 10 months since his last bout, an 8 round united decision over Twaha Kiduku. Even the Tanzanian's mega cool name could not help him, as he lost every round to the dominant Abdukakhorov fighting in Tashkent, his home country's capital.
Keita Obara fights out of Tokyo, Japan. The 8 year Japanese veteran has boxed almost exclusively in the popular Korakuen Hall. This will be his 2nd time boxing in the USA. Obara has fought a range of opposition, including the very tough Russian Eduard Troyanovsky who knocked him out in Moscow in 2016. That was his 2nd KO loss, while his 1st KO occurred in his debut in 2010. An additional TKO that came last August versus Filipino fighter Alvin Lagumbay was avenged by Obara's 3rd round TKO of Lagumbay 4 months later.
If you read between the lines, in just a couple brief paragraphs Jab Hook's analytic tendencies are coming to light. In an action-packed match up with lots of in-fighting and hooks flying like boomerangs, this bout will end rather sooner, than later. “The Punisher” will look great in his maiden dance in the USA.
Abdukakhorov will live up to his boxing name as “The Punisher” when he puts a nasty stoppage on Keita Obara in the 3rd round. The grand prize is the dubious right to contend for Errol Spence Jr's IBF belt. Jab says, “you are not ready for “The Truth” yet young man.”
Check back on NY`Fights.com this Sunday for the Epilogues on these bouts from Jab Hook.
“Jab Hook”, aka “Brooklyn” Joe Healy is a boxing writer, an expert commentator for DAZN.de, 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 or https://www.linkedin.com/in/jab-hook-box-aficionado/ , also on Twitter https://twitter.com/BoxAficionado