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Who Won The Week: The ‘Boxing Is Back’ Edition

Michael Woods

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It’s easier to find losers more so than winners in this period of time in America, which is experiencing a level of tumult, from more angles than it arguably has since…well, pick a time span.

Coronavirus being over-taken as topic A to obsess over by the George Floyd murder and resulting blowback, with that omni present dark cloud over hang of planetary deterioration fueled by our Bigfooted carbon foot-print…yes, it’s not as easy to be an optimist these days.

But y’all know what this series is called. Who WON the weekend. We consciously find and share and stay parked in a zone of positivity with this regular offering. And damnit, positivity, pockets of light, that is needed today as bad as ever. So, the NYF crew weighs in, and yes, being candid types, not prone to pulling punches, we don’t work with blinders on. Winners are lauded, and losers, too, get their just due.

The “verbal agreement” between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury won the week and weekend,” said NYF assistant editor Abe Gonzalez. “There were no contracts signed, just an agreement on facing each other twice in 2021 and how the pie will be sliced initially for each fight. It sent social media into a frenzy with oddsmakers and fans weighing in. The reality is that nothing is really done until both men sign on the dotted line and until that happens, it’s just all talk. I do hope it happens but there are large obstacles to overcome prior to even going down that road.

Fury knows how to make news, keep his name on the tips of tongues. He did it last week, with talk of a two fight deal with AJ, in 2021.

Baseball lost the week as things aren’t looking good for them to return,” Abe continued. “The billionaire owners don’t want to pay the players the same since there won’t be any crowds and the players want to play more games than what the owners want in an effort to salvage the year financially. Some players have incentives tied to their contracts so the extra games gives them more of a chance to reach those and make up for lost money. Whichever side you take if any, one thing is for sure, baseball lost the week and may even lose their fans if this continues. ”

“My winner and loser is the same person: Mikaela Mayer,” said David Phillips. “The latter because she tested positive for COVID and now has had two fights canceled (one because of the initial outbreak and the second because of the positive test). This means Mayer has been through two training camps without getting paid. A tough deal in the not all that lucrative world of women’s boxing. Why is she a winner too? Because she is asymptomatic and feeling fine. Which is of course, great news. Mayer actually believes her test was a false positive, but because Top Rank and the Nevada Athletic Commission don’t have a protocol for re-testing to confirm initial results, she’s on the outside looking in for the moment. Mayer had been tested before she went to Vegas, and the test found antibodies, which means she had the virus and fought it off already. After the positive, she left Vegas, drove to her residence in Colorado, and she says that a COVID test she took in Denver came back negative. She is pushing for more refined protocols for testing to account for false positives.”

Poised to win, then losing an opportunity to shine. It was a rollercoaster week for Mayer, who maintains she got the short end of the stick because of a false positive COVID test.

The week was absolutely won by Top Rank,” said Chris Glover. “Fantastic matchmaking from Brad Goodman and Bruce Trampler which saw some top quality talents on display. Adam Lopez emerged a winner in a fantastic scrap for the NABF title, but my overall winner is the team at Top Rank for putting together and excellent setup at the MGM Grand’s ‘Bubble.’

“Looks like the big winner from this end this weekend in my world of sports was that boxing finally got back underway in Germany,” said Pete Carvill. “Agon Sports had a seven-fight card that was held sans audience at the Havel Studios on the outskirts of Berlin. The whole thing was broadcast on BILD and was the first card in months. However, I did miss it, as I was on a camping trip with my eldest. And in the interests of self-publicity, I’ve just set up my own website to promote my work (www.petecarvill.com).

“While I’m at it, kudos to Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions, Sky Sports Boxing, and the other promoters and TV companies over the last couple of months as they’ve been uploading a lot of their old fights, in 1080, to their respective YouTube channels.”

“Who won the weekend or week? 1. Adam Lopez: I’m going to jump out the window and vote for my guy Adam “BluNose” Lopez in saying that he had the best weekend of all,” said Xavier Porter.

“The young man returned back to his official fighting weight of 126 pounds to score a hard fought victory, to win the NABF featherweight title, and a No. 9 ranking in the United States in his division. If you know the back story of this man, you’d root for him all the time.

Adam Lopez got the W in the first week back for live fights from Top Rank.

2. Shakur Stevenson: the young world champion did exactly what he needed to do with an overmatched opponent. In his first official fight at 130 pounds, Stevenson pitched a clear shutout through six rounds, ultimately knocking his opponent out with a devastating left-uppercut to the midsection.

3. Top Rank (Bob Arum): Top Rank once again showed the world why they get many votes as the premier promotional brand in the sport of boxing. Bob Arum is made up of many different parts: lawyer, businessman, owner, fan… his passion, his drive, and how much fun he has are so evident. This may explain why Top Rank functions and overcomes adversity time and time again. Thank you Top Rank.”

Who won the weekend, Vladimir Lik? “If I’m being truthful UFC is the winner and it’s NOT EVEN close,” Lik answered. “They continue to bring competitive events with the biggest stars in the sport and the undercards are compelling top to bottom and often times the favorites lose to the underdogs. Boxing has ways to go before they can challenge what UFC is doing but hopefully the Top Rank shows and soon to follow PBC and Golden Boy shows will provide excitement and much needed entertainment.”

Winner this week: Every fighter who said to Top Rank, ‘Hell yes Uncle Bob, count me in!’ on boxing’s return in the U.S.,” said Gayle Falkenthal. “These are the ambitious guys (and gals, save a bad COVID19 test) who decided the exposure and the chance to make an impression on fans was worth the experiment. Credit Top Rank for putting it all together, but they need the talent in the ring to do it. Leading the way in week one: Adam ‘BluNose’ Lopez, who proved his performance against Oscar Valdez wasn’t a fluke. Loser: Mikaela Mayer, who missed out on her opportunity due to testing positive. At least it seems The Bubble system is working. Aside to Top Rank: Why aren’t you putting Top Rank branded masks on everyone? At least the Top Rank Knockouts? And selling to fans? If Dana White can do it…”

“Life is far from the normal that we once knew, but at least boxing has returned to offer a semblance of the ordinary,” responded Jeremy Herriges, when asked who won and lost the week. “In the opening week for the sweet science, young featherweight Adam Lopez stole the show. His bout with Luis Coria is an instant pandemic classic. Lopez (click here for his Twitter) looked troubled for the first two rounds, but he showed the depth of his boxing I.Q. by switching things up stylistically against a very aggressive and tough opponent. Lopez’s style is fan-friendly, and he gave fight fans a performance to enjoy. The loser of the week has to be Mikaela Mayer, through no fault of her own. The (apparent) false-positive test result that bounced her out of the June 9 co-main event is a stark reminder that nothing is definite in regards to our knowledge of COVID-19 and that the tests available are far from perfect. Hopefully, she will get a chance to shine soon, but you have to feel for her string of bad luck. It’s further proof that these are tumultuous and uncertain times.”

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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