A critical look at the past week in boxing
Don’t listen to representatives of sanctioning bodies defending their championship policy after they were criticized by Ryan Garcia.
The junior weight contender says your opponents are more important than the increasingly meaningless championship belts, which couldn’t be more true. And he should be applauded for making the obvious because so few people do.
This is not complicated. There are 68 champions if you accept the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO as the main organizations and grant them one champion in each of the 17 divisions. That number is much larger if you count the extra titles, which many people are willing to do.
80 world champions? Ninety? The sanctioning agencies, who charge huge fees for their precious belts, are pulling you quickly.
Garcia said in an interview with DAZN: “It’s just, for me, that the straps are loose.
I understand that every boxer dreams of winning shiny championship belts ever since they entered the sport. That’s one reason why trophies remain the focus of the sport. And, of course, “championship” is used to sell matches, which makes sense.
However, when all is said and done, they don’t make much sense. When we look back at the careers of legendary figures like Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard, we think about the fighters they beat more than the belts they collected. And titles meant more in their day than they do now.
Garcia gave a good example to illustrate my point.
“I win the championship will just give people more confidence to be like, ‘Oh, Ryan is this,'” he said. “I don’t care about that. I needed to know, in my heart, that I beat the guy I felt was unbeatable. If I beat the Davis Tank, or when I beat the Davis Tank, I would feel like a champion, regardless of whether he had a real belt or not.
“I would feel like a champion because the name carries weight, his name carries weight.”
I hope everyone is listening.
A controversial stop is never good. It diminishes a boxer’s victory and raises the notion that the opposing man or woman may have been tricked.
That was the unfortunate scenario at the end of the 140-pound match between the undefeated Gary Antuanne Russell and the old general Rances Barthelemy on the Garcia-Benavidez card.
The two engaged in a spirited fight, back and forth for more than five innings when Russell landed his right arm on the side of the Cuban’s head, placing him on the tarp and apparently injuring him.
Barthelemy was on his feet and looked ready to continue but referee Shada Murdaugh decided Barthelemy could not continue and stop fighting 50 seconds into Round 6.
Barthelemy (29-2-1, 15 KOs) and members of his team vehemently oppose Murdaugh’s ruling but his decision is final. Russell had the 16h knockout with the most matches.
“This is the most bitter loss of my career,” Barthelemy said. “I am destroyed. Don’t get me wrong, this is not Russell’s fault at all. I’m a veteran, and I’ve been through something similar many times in my career. The referee treated me like a rookie instead of me being a two-time world champion.”
I think the fight stopped too soon in real time. Barthelemy was definitely buzzing but he seemed sober enough to continue after getting up and following Murdaugh’s orders to walk towards him.
I don’t believe the deposit amount will play any role in such a decision but it’s a huge fight for Barthelemy, who, at 36, is hoping for another world title. . A win would be a big step in that direction for him.
That makes what was supposed to be an early stop all the more sad.
However, I don’t want to be too harsh on Murdaugh. He stared into Barthelemy’s eyes after the boxer approached him and he clearly didn’t like what he saw. My gut told me to give him the benefit of the doubt.
It’s a pity that the war ended that way. It was a good, competitive battle.
Danny Garcia couldn’t be more dominant in his team victory decides the majority via Jose Benavidez Jr. on Saturday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Former two-tournament owner, debuting at 154 pounds, beautiful shot, hard landing, eye-catching synergies and smashing Benavidez’s body from start to finish. And he’s much busier than his enemies. According to CompuBox, he overcame Benavidez in all 12 rounds.
That’s why two referees won Garcia, 117-111 (three innings) and 116-112 (eight for four). I had it 118-110 (10 loops into two).
Third Judge? New York’s Waleska Roldan? She somehow got it 114-114. That doesn’t beat CJ Ross’ 114-114 score in a Floyd Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez fight back in 2013 but it’s not far off.
Roldan actually gave Benavidez the lead after 11 rounds, meaning Garcia had to win 12order round to earn a draw on her card.
Garcia said he was surprised when Jimmy Lennon Jr announced Roldan’s score before the other two.
“At first, I said, ‘Yo, why are they taking so long with the scorecard?’, he said. “Whenever they take a long time with the scorecards, you know something is wrong. … I’ve been doing this for a while. I was like, ‘Something’s wrong.’ I feel he won three, four [rounds] In most. I gave him a couple of rounds, I think I let him win.
“But other than that, I felt like I dominated the fight. I feel like card 117-111 is the best card. I thought, ‘Damn, isn’t this my hometown, Brooklyn?’
Ross retired as a referee due to a defeat after the Mayweather-Alvarez bout, which I scored 120-108 for Mayweather. I wouldn’t suggest Roldan do the same thing but I know some people are thinking exactly that.
Reason for cancellation August 6 Jake Paul–Hasim Rahman Jr. The fight seemed clear to me: Rahman couldn’t drop to the contracted weight. The boxers agreed to weigh no more than 200 pounds the day before the fight and then rehydrate no more than 215. Rahman’s team then informed Paul that the former heavyweight champion’s son couldn’t reach 200 pounds and won’t fight unless the weight limit has been raised to 215. Paul is said to have suggested increasing the limit to 205 but Rahman and Co. refused. This seems to be on Rahman. … Benavidez said after the fight with Garcia that he thought he had done enough to win but even he didn’t seem convinced. Super middleweight’s brother David Benavidez didn’t win that bout. He did more poses than punches, which was evident to the two judges and most of the others. He doesn’t embarrass himself; He had a solid performance. He was simply beaten and trained by a better boxer. That said, I think he can beat some elite opponents if he fights regularly and hits his cards more than he did on Saturday. …
Adam Kownacki went from hot heavyweight to basically finishing in three games, two knockout losses to Robert Helenius and a unanimous-decided to step back against Ali Eren Demirezen on the Garcia-Benavidez card on Saturday. Kownacki (20-3, 15 KOs) performed well but couldn’t keep up with Demirezen, who overcame his famous opponent with a strong punch. Kownacki said he wants to win, meaning he will likely face a second-rate opponent before leaving. Meanwhile, Demirezen (17-1, 12 KOs) has taken a nice step forward in his career. The 2016 track athlete from Turkey has won six consecutive matches since he was eliminated Efe Ajagba in 2019. The 32-year-old is a capable boxer who was in terrible shape on Saturday. He threw 915 punches, according to CompuBox. That’s a big number for a heavyweight. I don’t know if Demirezen will decide the world title or not but he is clearly a player of the tournament.