Eric Armit: Snips and Snipes du 13 juillet 2022 (en anglais)
19.07.2022 15:03 Uhr
Eric Armit / JS
Eric Armit est l'un des meilleurs experts mondiaux de la boxe internationale. Le profond analyste et historien de la boxe informe ses lecteurs chaque semaine des événements de boxe sur les sept continents du monde (Weekly Report). En outre, il fournit régulièrement aux personnes intéressées par la boxe des réflexions, des idées et des informations de fond intéressantes sur la boxe d'aujourd'hui et d'hier. L'Ecossais écrit également pour les célèbres magazines de boxe "Boxing News", "Boxeo Mundial" et de nombreux sites internet et exerce d'autres fonctions comme celle de conseiller technique auprès de l'EBU. Nous ne voulons pas que les dernières informations en anglais publiés sous "Snips & Snipes" échappent aux visiteurs de swissboxing.ch.
Josh Taylor being stripped of the WBA and relinquishing his WBC super lightweight belt illustrates how impossible it is for any set of unified titles in a division to be held for any extended time. The truth is that whilst those with a commercial interest might pay lip service to unified titles in practice they are seen as a considerable commercial impediment. One promoter would have exclusive control of a division and for the boxers with just one champion there would be a limited number of title opportunities and sanctioning bodies would find themselves unwontedly having to share the limelight. Saul Alvarez is the only fighter currently holding all four titles in a division at super middleweight. Artur Beterbiev holds the IBF, WBC and WBO light heavyweight but any thoughts of a unification bout with WBA champion Dmitry Bivol have been torpedoed by the WBA ordering Bivol to defend against Gilberto Ramirez and Alvarez will put his four versions of the super middleweight title on the line against Gennady Golovkin on 17 September. The only way the heavyweight titles will be unified is if Tyson Fury decides to face the winner of the Olek Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua fight being held on 20 August. It was worrying to read of Fury’s concerns over lumps at the back of his head after the third Deontay Wilder fight and confusion over how often he had been floored in the fight. Despite that he chose to face Dillian Whyte but was adamant that he would never fight again. If he feels that way then he should retire so the Usyk vs. Joshua fight could be for all four titles. He promised his wife he would not fight again after the Wilder fights and promised again after Dillian Whyte- look out missus I feel another broken promise on its way. If he does retire then that will put the WBC on the spot. They are always announcing their desire for one champion and it would be interesting to see whether they did the noble thing and recognise Usyk vs. Joshua or cobble together some lesser fight for their vacant title. If Fury is serious about his concerns over possible brain damage then they should recognise his concerns and pressure him to relinquish their title but they won’t do that if there is any chance he will fight the winner of Usyk vs. Joshua.
The WBA cynicism has popped up again. They will parrot their abhorrence of drugs in boxing and life and yet they promptly stick serial performance enhancing drugs cheat Jarrell Miller back into their ratings. He had been out of the ring for almost four years and yet for outpointing Ariel Bracamonte (11-7 and 2-5 in his last 7 fights) they slip Miller into their ratings at No 14. Don’t judge us by what we say-judge us by what we do-guilty on all counts!
Jai Opetaia’s win over Mairis Breidis was great performance but it gets even better when you realise that the New Zealander had his jaw broken twice in the fight. He suffered a break on the right side of his jaw in the second round and in the left side in sixth but went on to beat the best man in the division. Courage above and beyond….
The WBC is still struggling to garner any interest in their Bridgerweight title. Their title holder Oscar Rivas will defend the title against International titleholder Pole Lukasz Rozanski 14-0 in Cali on 13 August. It will be Rozanski’s first fight for almost 15 months which had no effect at all on his rating. There has been no support for the Bridgerweight title from the various affiliated bodies so a slow start.
Jacksonville heavyweight Curtis Harper has now featured in boxing news for two very different reasons. In Plant City on Saturday he faced Germany’s much trumpeted prospect the 6’9” Christian Thun who was 8-0 with 6 wins by KO/TKO. Harper had lost five of his last six fights and was giving away weight and seven inches in height but he floored Thun and walked away with the majority decision. The other time he was in the news was back in 2018 when he set a record that can never be beaten. He was matched with Efe Ajagba. Harper was incensed over money matters and when the bell went for the first round just stepped out of the ring and headed back to the dressing rooms losing on disqualification at 0.01 of the round!
They old saying that you can lead a horse to water but can’t make him drink applies to two fights ordered by sanctioning bodies. The WBC ordered a cruiserweight eliminator between Thabiso Mchunu and Noel Gevor Mikaelyan but received no bids and the EBU put out a match for the vacant EBU heavyweight title between Zhan Kossobutskiy and Umut Camkiran and also received no bids. The EBU will try again with different boxers and I guess the WBC will do the same.
There’s delusional and there is a step beyond that to Jake Paul. The media creation is already talking up his chances of becoming a world champion. So far he has had five fights and won them all. That’s the good news. The bad news is that not one of those five opponents had won a professional fight and they had combined records of 0-1! Next up is Hasim Rahman on 6 August but since Rahman is rated No 218 in the BoxRec ratings Paul will still be a guy with big drumsticks (his mouth) and no drum (his record).
It is too early to say whether Filipino Donnie Nietes, 40, will retire after his wide points loss against Kazuto Ioka in a challenge for the WBO super flyweight title on 13 July. If he decides to retire he will go out as one of the most successful fighters in the history of boxing in the Philippines. The defeat to Ioka was the first he had suffered in almost eighteen years and snapped a thirty-five bout unbeaten run. He has won titles in four divisions from minimumweight to super flyweight and before the loss to Ioka he was 17-0-2 in title fights including a win over Ioka for the WBO super fly title in 2018 before losing the title through inactivity. The only down side is that when at his peak he has never able to land a fight against one of big names of the little divisions.
Plenty of fights to look forward to in the rest of July. Joet Gonzalez and Isaac Dogboe meet in a featherweight eliminator on 23 July, the Commonwealth and European cruiserweight titles are on the line when Chris Billiam-Smith defends against unbeaten Isaac Chamberlain on 30 July and on the same night in Brooklyn the card includes Danny Garcia vs. Jose Benavidez, Sergey Derevyanchenko returning against Joshua Conley, Adam Kownacki vs. Ali Eren Demirezen and Gary Antuanne Russell vs. Rances Barthelemy and all shows with good undercards. Someone’s going to be busy and I am afraid it is me.
Conjestina Achieng and Lehololo Ledwaba both brought honour to boxing in Africa. Kenyan Achieng became the first African female boxer to win an international title. She turned pro in 2002 and won the minor Global Boxing Union middleweight belt in 2004, which hardly counted, and in 2005 she won the vacant IBF title which did count. She went on to collect the WBFederation title and challenged for the WBC and WBA titles before retiring in 2010 with a 17-6-4 record. Unfortunately further down the line she suffered spells of mental illness being in and out of mental hospitals and last week was again back in hospital. She has had a hard life succeeding as a boxer despite having very little in the way of facilities and had to support her own and her extended family through her ring earnings and it is understandably that the constant stress undermined her mental health but it is hoped that care and treatment will give the help she needs.
A tribute show for the late Lehlohonolo “Hands of Stone” Ledwaba is being staged in Soweto, South Africa on 31 July. Ledwaba, a stylish and talented boxer, won the IBF super bantamweight title in 1999 making six defences in two years before losing his title to Manny Pacquiao in 2001 with his record at that time being 31-1-1. He was also WBU bantam and feather title holder and South African super bantam champion. He died on 2 July last year at the age of 49 due to complications arising from COVID-19. The show will feature a South African title fight and former undefeated WBO title holder Harry Simon in an exhibition with his son Harry Jr 16-0 also fighting on the card and former stars such as Brian Mitchell, Welcome Ncita, Vuyani Bungu, Moruti Mthalane and others in attendance. A deserved tribute to one of Africa’s greatest boxers.