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AFTERMATH: Dawson-Hopkins, Cleverly-Bellew, DeMarco-Linares, Garcia-Holt, Caballero-Barros


****

In outpointing rugged Tony Bellew over 12 bruising rounds at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on Saturday night, Nathan Cleverly took one step closer to the world stage.

In addition, Cleverly and Bellew underlined the superiority of British boxing when compared to the erratic American scene. Less than five months after causing a ruckus when he originally challenged Cleverly to a fight (a bout that was scrapped because of weight issues), Bellew was in the ring swapping punches with the man he promised to make his accountant. In America, a fight like this would take years to make, with promoters bickering, the fighters hesitant but Tweeting gibberish nonetheless, and the networks more interested in showcasing both athletes in squash matches first.

Both men immediately came out firing, exchanging hooks and vicious shots to the body in close. Bellew, a raw hard-case, seemed to be outclassed on paper, but heart and a well-timed jab kept him in the fight. Late in the second round, Bellew seemed to have Cleverly reeling, and he pursued the Welshman with both hands churning. Cleverly recovered quickly, however, and held the edge for most of the remaining rounds, though he traded shots more often than necessary.

Although Cleverly is a solid boxer from the perimeter, he showed surprising skill on the inside, where he landed thudding lefts to the body and threw hard uppercuts with either hand. By the sixth, Bellew, 16-1, looked like his legs were waterlogged, but he gamely fought back and even rallied again in the late rounds, scoring with a crack right in the 10th. His most effective weapons, however, were a whipping right uppercut to the body and a jab calculated to keep Cleverly from establishing a rhythm. Cleverly, however, clearly won the fight and can now look forward to some bigger names.

In the real world, Cleverly, 23-0, would have no problem luring Chad Dawson to the U.K., since Dawson has no fanbase whatsoever, no ratings appeal, and no pay-per-view pedigree. But Cleverly will have to play second fiddle to Jean Pascal, who can actually sell tickets in Quebec, and will likely get first dibs at Dawson.

****

Boxing passed through the interdimensional gateway again when Chad Dawson was rewarded with a second-round TKO over Bernard Hopkins at the Staples Arena on Saturday night. In the second round, Hopkins, 52-6-2-1, wound up clinging to Dawson like a man holding onto a piece of driftwood in the Pacific. Dawson, who seemed to take offense at someone else trying to be dreary in the ring for a change, sent Hopkins airborne with a neat bump of the shoulder. Hopkins suffered a separation of the acromioclavicular joint when he crashed to the mat, and just like that the fight was over.

Since referee Pat Russell did not believe the Dawson Bump to be a foul, Hopkins, after more than 20 years as a professional, notched his first loss inside the distance. According to Compubox, Dawson, 31-1, landed all of seven punches in less than six minutes of non-action. Hopkins scored with 11. Neither man seemed much interested in fighting until after the bout was over. Then Dawson abused Hopkins verbally, climbed the turnbuckle—to a crescendo of boos, naturally—as if he had just single-handedly vanquished the Axis of Evil and gave a defiant interview to Max Kellerman, where he made it clear that he did not care about the “critics.” He never has, actually, and, more to the point, he has never had to care about the critics, since they never buy tickets to his fights, do not tune into his fandangos on HBO, and will no doubt make his first foray into pay-per-view less than a stellar success.

Dawson, after over 30 fights and millions in purses, is a three-time light heavyweight champion, a Ring champion, and has been in the P-4-P penthouse for years. Dawson has plenty of talent, but his biggest wins have come against Tomasz Adamek and Glen Johnson. (Four months after losing to Dawson, Adamek returned to the ring—nearly 24 pounds heavier.) He has never beaten a younger fighter. More often than not he has been dull between the ropes. No wonder he is such a hot commodity in boxing. His ugly celebration—WWE style, which might fill some third-rate boxing reporters with glee—was rightly denounced, but the truth is there is very little cause and effect involved in the backrooms of boxing, where Dawson was concocted by network alchemists overwhelmed by toxic fumes rising from misshapen beakers. Dawson will be back on HBO sooner than later, and nothing will change. Who needs crowds, ratings, and pay-per-view sales, anyway?

****

Celestino Caballero outpointed Jonathan Barros in a sloppy affair at Luna Park in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Friday night. With the win, Caballero picked up a UNICEF featherweight trinket and reversed a dubious loss to Barros last July.

It was a fairly dull bout. Both fighters mixed it up in the fourth, but there were few clean exchanges over 12 mauling rounds. With decided advantages in height and reach, Caballero controlled the perimeter, landed several cuffing blows, and outworked Barros. For his part, Barros pressed behind his jab as often as possible, but Caballero was too awkward for him to hit cleanly, and the fighters often ended up clinching. Scores were 118-111, 116-112, and 116-111.

Caballero, who improves to 35-4, did not look very impressive. In fact, for a world-class fighter, “Pelechin” has some of the worst footwork imaginable. Not only does Caballero lift his back foot first when moving to the left, he also crosses it behind his lead foot. His balance is also woeful, and he throws many of his punches in a loopy, looping manner. Still, this victory might be enough to get Caballero–whose biggest wins have come against Daniel Ponce De Leon, Lorenzo Parra, and Steve Molitor–back on ubiquitous P-4-P lists, where Ratings Panels experts can pretend to be authoritative.

****

Showing no ill-effects from the beating he suffered last year against Edwin Valero, Antonio DeMarco overcame an unbridgeable points deficit to stop classy Jorge Linares in the 11th round of a spirited battle as the chief support to the Dawson-Hopkins debacle. Linares was a bloody mess at the time of the stoppage, having suffered two cuts that gushed like burst water pipes from the 8th round on.

Against DeMarco, Linares opened quickly and flashed every move in his vast repertoire to build a commanding lead until the sudden and dramatic ending. Maybe he flashed too many moves. For all his talent, Linares, now 31-2, lacks a certain resourcefulness and economy between the ropes and often makes moves without a purpose. While he played speed chess in the ring, DeMarco made his moves judiciously, without having a time clock to worry about. Still, Linares raked DeMarco with pinpoint combinations and maneuvered around his opponent with the grace of a cat burglar. But DeMarco, 26-2-1, kept the pressure on and landed his share of blows over the first half of the fight. Linares suffered a cut over the bridge of his nose in the sixth—a wound Joe Chavez could not control—and a cut over his right eye in the 8th.

Even after suffering these wounds and bleeding like a hemophiliac, however, Linares remained in control. But he was working far too hard to keep ahead of DeMarco, whose work rate left him fresh enough to capitalize when he stunned Linares in the 11th with a barrage of punches. Hindered by the wash of blood that must have obscured his vision, Linares chose to stand his ground, toe-to-toe, and paid dearly for it when DeMarco began to catch him flush during exchanges. A straight left jolted Linares, who by now resembled a Hannibal Lecter victim, and a few moments later Linares backpedaled to the ropes, dazed. DeMarco swarmed and forced referee Raul Caiz, Sr. to intervene with under a minute remaining in the 11th.

Although Linares lost, he can only benefit from having showed incredible heart, courage, and skill in a grueling fight. For De Marco, who fought with brio, the lightweight division offers some natural action fights to choose from: Brandon Rios, John Molina, Vicente Escobedo, and, of course, a possible rematch with Linares. Too bad “boxing” and “natural” are rarely in the same room together.

****

Young Danny Garcia passed his first real test when he pounded out a clear decision over Kendall Holt over 12 tense rounds at the Staples Center. Early on, it looked like Garcia was in trouble as Holt laid back and popped him with hard counters whenever Garcia opened up.

As is often the case in a Holt fight, however, the turning point came suddenly. When Garcia rattled Holt with a combination in the third, he gained confidence and put Holt on the defensive. Holt, 27-5, is that rare—and frustrating—boxing anomaly: the reluctant KO puncher. With power in both hands, Holt could make things a lot easier for himself by taking the lead more often and working for openings. Too often, however, he waits for his opponent to make a mistake and then he unleashes wrecking ball counterpunches. This kind of waiting game is a gamble, especially for a fighter who loses focus as often as Holt does.

Although Garcia, now 22-0, reaches too much, he took big some shots well, advanced behind a steady body attack, and showed the kind of poise that the veteran Holt lacked. Garcia might not have the defense and footspeed needed to succeed at the highest levels, but he showed some ring smarts against Holt and has now proven himself to have two qualities it takes years for most prospects to demonstrate: stamina and a quality chin.

****

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Tags: Antonio DeMarco BERNARD HOPKINS Celestino Caballero CHAD DAWSON Jean Pascal Jorge Linares Nathan Cleverly Tony Bellew

  • JohnPaulFutbol

    CA,

    good stuff. I wish I’d seen that Bellew/Cleverly fight, sounds like a good one by all accounts. I guess I’ll have to enter the murky world of internet streams.

    Screw Dawson. I don’t get all the post “fight” chest thumping. For what? Certainly Hopkins initiated contact, but I don’t see how that throw isn’t a foul. Then again, I haven’t bothered to look at it again since it was replayed on the monitor at the Staples Center. I hope HBO declines that 3rd Hopkins fight and he retires on way or the other. Hell, I wish Dawson would retire. Total jackass.

    I really enjoyed that Linares/DeMarco fight, but who didn’t? As a guy a slugs it out with other stiffs sparring every once in a while….I was in awe at how Linares was rattling off combos and then just slipping out. That lead uppercut he was landing was pretty nifty too. But he does seem too “bouncy.” I didn’t think it would matter, even after he got the cut over the nose. But perhaps it played a part, certainly a lot of wasted movement. I’ve always sort of respected DeMarco, and full credit to him for hanging in there and getting it done. Maybe more importantly knowing how to close the show once he smelled or saw blood! However, I’m now a huge Linares fan. I can’t wait to see him again. He enters my latest P4P at # 9, just ahead of Dewey Bozella who debuts at # 10.

    Holt vs. Garcia was entertaining. As you point out, Garcia fought a smart fight. I was somewhat impressed by that.

    Jared Shaw live is something to behold. What a spaz. His daddy had to restrain him at ringside from completely making an ass out of himself screaming all night at the ring. It was pretty hilarious to see him enter the ring and attempt to calm Dawson.

  • JohnPaulFutbol

    CA,

    good stuff. I wish I’d seen that Bellew/Cleverly fight, sounds like a good one by all accounts. I guess I’ll have to enter the murky world of internet streams.

    Screw Dawson. I don’t get all the post “fight” chest thumping. For what? Certainly Hopkins initiated contact, but I don’t see how that throw isn’t a foul. Then again, I haven’t bothered to look at it again since it was replayed on the monitor at the Staples Center. I hope HBO declines that 3rd Hopkins fight and he retires on way or the other. Hell, I wish Dawson would retire. Total jackass.

    I really enjoyed that Linares/DeMarco fight, but who didn’t? As a guy a slugs it out with other stiffs sparring every once in a while….I was in awe at how Linares was rattling off combos and then just slipping out. That lead uppercut he was landing was pretty nifty too. But he does seem too “bouncy.” I didn’t think it would matter, even after he got the cut over the nose. But perhaps it played a part, certainly a lot of wasted movement. I’ve always sort of respected DeMarco, and full credit to him for hanging in there and getting it done. Maybe more importantly knowing how to close the show once he smelled or saw blood! However, I’m now a huge Linares fan. I can’t wait to see him again. He enters my latest P4P at # 9, just ahead of Dewey Bozella who debuts at # 10.

    Holt vs. Garcia was entertaining. As you point out, Garcia fought a smart fight. I was somewhat impressed by that.

    Jared Shaw live is something to behold. What a spaz. His daddy had to restrain him at ringside from completely making an ass out of himself screaming all night at the ring. It was pretty hilarious to see him enter the ring and attempt to calm Dawson.

  • dennis wise

    Love the Aftermath column. If any one steals it, let me handle it for you. I’ll take care of it. Unless its the Auxiliary. That guy scares the heck out of me.

    I am always excited for those occasional big matches from the UK on a Saturday afternoon. Good streams aren’t hard to find. The arena is usually packed with excited/drunk fans so its a good vibe. And you are right, this main event and the last I saw had young, undefeated fighters. And they were good scraps with the always desirable swings in momentum. I really don’t care if Cleverly or Degale or any of the other UK prospects/contenders become elite at the world class level.

    I am a Linares fan, have been since I first saw him on maxboxing years ago. Great fight, brutal ending. Is it possible Wildcard actually rubbed off on him in a really negative way? I know he has trained there before, but not as a Freddie Roach fighter. That was way more flash than I had previously seen from him. And it seemed like Linares imitated Khan imitating Pacquiao, with that arms raised glove clapping response to getting tagged. Khan barely got away with it versus Maidana. Linares wasn’t so lucky. Both are tremendously talented, but neither is a pure fighter like Pacquiao is.

  • dennis wise

    Love the Aftermath column. If any one steals it, let me handle it for you. I’ll take care of it. Unless its the Auxiliary. That guy scares the heck out of me.

    I am always excited for those occasional big matches from the UK on a Saturday afternoon. Good streams aren’t hard to find. The arena is usually packed with excited/drunk fans so its a good vibe. And you are right, this main event and the last I saw had young, undefeated fighters. And they were good scraps with the always desirable swings in momentum. I really don’t care if Cleverly or Degale or any of the other UK prospects/contenders become elite at the world class level.

    I am a Linares fan, have been since I first saw him on maxboxing years ago. Great fight, brutal ending. Is it possible Wildcard actually rubbed off on him in a really negative way? I know he has trained there before, but not as a Freddie Roach fighter. That was way more flash than I had previously seen from him. And it seemed like Linares imitated Khan imitating Pacquiao, with that arms raised glove clapping response to getting tagged. Khan barely got away with it versus Maidana. Linares wasn’t so lucky. Both are tremendously talented, but neither is a pure fighter like Pacquiao is.

  • safesideOTR

    Reports indicate Cleverly fought with a busted rib and that Bellew might have caught a sniff of it — might explain why he went to the body with such relish. Could be a load of tosh, of course. If I’d busted a rib I wouldn’t have elected to stand in close and exchange punches with a swatter (and a head banger) like Bellew.

    Since Adam Smith took up the ropes as Head of Boxing on Sky, we’ve had an abundance of evenly matched contests. He has the likes of Warren, Hatton and Maloney scrapping over TV dates, meaning they’re now gambling with their best fighters more keenly than I can ever remember.

  • safesideOTR

    Reports indicate Cleverly fought with a busted rib and that Bellew might have caught a sniff of it — might explain why he went to the body with such relish. Could be a load of tosh, of course. If I’d busted a rib I wouldn’t have elected to stand in close and exchange punches with a swatter (and a head banger) like Bellew.

    Since Adam Smith took up the ropes as Head of Boxing on Sky, we’ve had an abundance of evenly matched contests. He has the likes of Warren, Hatton and Maloney scrapping over TV dates, meaning they’re now gambling with their best fighters more keenly than I can ever remember.

  • thenonpareil

    @JohnPaulFutbol

    Hi JPF,

    Fans/consumers have been saying “Screw Dawson” for years, but that doesn’t matter. Somehow, he was lucky enough to win the HBO lottery and the affection of superior bloggers and p-4-p compilers. That’s all that matters these days. Over the last decade or so, HBO, PPV, and sanctioning bodies have slowly taken the “professional” out of professional boxing, and guys like Dawson have become the beneficiaries. Here’s hoping that in the future someone has the common sense at HBO to say, “No ratings, no fans, no p-p-v sales, no excitement, no personality–get the fuck out of here!”

    DeMarco-Linares looked like a hell of a fight to see live. I’m glad you got to see it, even though it took four tickets to do so. Linares certainly is a technician in the ring–and his moves must have been even more impressive live, where you get to see them in the context of ring geography–but he does seem a little fussy in there. I was reminded of Anthony Peterson against Rios, when Peterson tried to hit “Bam Bam” with some sort of 25,000 punch combination….Rios waited him out and smacked him in the face, hard. Of course, Peterson has 1/3 the talent of Linares, but you get the point. I hope. Linares, I thought, was going to win if not for the blood, which obscured his vision and might have caused fatigue, but DeMarco never gave up and took his opportunity when he saw it.

    I like both Linares and DeMarco. I just wish it was 25-30 years ago and these guys would be fighting 4 times a year and against some of the names I threw out above. FYI: Linares has long been on The Cruelest Sport’s P-4-P list!

    Jared Shaw…good grief, I don’t know what to say about that fella, except that pet therapy apparently hasn’t worked out for him yet….

  • thenonpareil

    @JohnPaulFutbol

    Hi JPF,

    Fans/consumers have been saying “Screw Dawson” for years, but that doesn’t matter. Somehow, he was lucky enough to win the HBO lottery and the affection of superior bloggers and p-4-p compilers. That’s all that matters these days. Over the last decade or so, HBO, PPV, and sanctioning bodies have slowly taken the “professional” out of professional boxing, and guys like Dawson have become the beneficiaries. Here’s hoping that in the future someone has the common sense at HBO to say, “No ratings, no fans, no p-p-v sales, no excitement, no personality–get the fuck out of here!”

    DeMarco-Linares looked like a hell of a fight to see live. I’m glad you got to see it, even though it took four tickets to do so. Linares certainly is a technician in the ring–and his moves must have been even more impressive live, where you get to see them in the context of ring geography–but he does seem a little fussy in there. I was reminded of Anthony Peterson against Rios, when Peterson tried to hit “Bam Bam” with some sort of 25,000 punch combination….Rios waited him out and smacked him in the face, hard. Of course, Peterson has 1/3 the talent of Linares, but you get the point. I hope. Linares, I thought, was going to win if not for the blood, which obscured his vision and might have caused fatigue, but DeMarco never gave up and took his opportunity when he saw it.

    I like both Linares and DeMarco. I just wish it was 25-30 years ago and these guys would be fighting 4 times a year and against some of the names I threw out above. FYI: Linares has long been on The Cruelest Sport’s P-4-P list!

    Jared Shaw…good grief, I don’t know what to say about that fella, except that pet therapy apparently hasn’t worked out for him yet….

  • thenonpareil

    @JohnPaulFutbol

    By the way, I don’t know what kind of shenanigans you pulled to get me down to 0 points, but I’ll find out, and when I do–it’ll get ugly!

  • thenonpareil

    @JohnPaulFutbol

    By the way, I don’t know what kind of shenanigans you pulled to get me down to 0 points, but I’ll find out, and when I do–it’ll get ugly!

  • thenonpareil

    @dennis wise

    Hi Dennis,

    The title, “Aftermath,” was swiped for a little while by someone, but he seems like a nice guy, so I won’t kick. I generally only go after nasty pricks or superior meatheads like Auxiliary Mike, who is Lou DiBella’s lapdog and “writes” 150-word “articles” that read like the back of cereal boxes. I hate to say this, but even Paul Manblow has more talent than Mike Coppinger.

    Anyway, the U.K. scene seems to produce better matchups more frequently than the American scene, which is weighed down by corporate incompetence, greed, backroom machinations, cynical promoters, etc. They don’t have to, in my opinion, be the greatest fights or fighters on earth, but competitive pairings are what’s important. Of course, the British would disagree with you on the “elite” issue–they always hope to see one of their own make it on the world stage. This sometimes makes for a fanatical/parochial attitude and I’m pretty much against obsessive nationalism in boxing. My criticism of David Haye–fairly mild compared to that of others–lost me half my British followers on Twitter and some of my Brit regulars here seem to have disappeared as well. Still, it’s that kind of support that makes good fights possible, because healthy gates make it easier to produce solid events.

    Interesting point there re: Linares and the Wildcard. Is it possible that his style has become so imitative that it may hinder him? One thing is certain–it’s absolutely absurd that Linares has been fighting an average of twice a year for something like three years, while he was in his early/mid-twenties. And he fought mostly unexceptional competition over that span. Modern boxing has produced a generation of gym-ready fighters and their skills can only atrophy by fighting so sporadically. That said, Linares is a hell of a gym-ready fighter.

  • thenonpareil

    @dennis wise

    Hi Dennis,

    The title, “Aftermath,” was swiped for a little while by someone, but he seems like a nice guy, so I won’t kick. I generally only go after nasty pricks or superior meatheads like Auxiliary Mike, who is Lou DiBella’s lapdog and “writes” 150-word “articles” that read like the back of cereal boxes. I hate to say this, but even Paul Manblow has more talent than Mike Coppinger.

    Anyway, the U.K. scene seems to produce better matchups more frequently than the American scene, which is weighed down by corporate incompetence, greed, backroom machinations, cynical promoters, etc. They don’t have to, in my opinion, be the greatest fights or fighters on earth, but competitive pairings are what’s important. Of course, the British would disagree with you on the “elite” issue–they always hope to see one of their own make it on the world stage. This sometimes makes for a fanatical/parochial attitude and I’m pretty much against obsessive nationalism in boxing. My criticism of David Haye–fairly mild compared to that of others–lost me half my British followers on Twitter and some of my Brit regulars here seem to have disappeared as well. Still, it’s that kind of support that makes good fights possible, because healthy gates make it easier to produce solid events.

    Interesting point there re: Linares and the Wildcard. Is it possible that his style has become so imitative that it may hinder him? One thing is certain–it’s absolutely absurd that Linares has been fighting an average of twice a year for something like three years, while he was in his early/mid-twenties. And he fought mostly unexceptional competition over that span. Modern boxing has produced a generation of gym-ready fighters and their skills can only atrophy by fighting so sporadically. That said, Linares is a hell of a gym-ready fighter.

  • thenonpareil

    @safesideOTR

    Hi Andrew,

    thanks for checking in. I’ve read similar reports; if they’re true, then Cleverly is one bad hombre, because Bellew was really digging shots to the body. Both men were visibly affected by a couple of body blows, in fact.

    Your last sentence should be tattooed on some HBO executives. By letting it be known that Sky is only interested in paying for the best fights, Smith has forced promoters to deliver them. What a novel concept! Who would have thought of that? And, in the end, Warren has come out of the Cleverly-Bellew fight with two commodities…and, unlike some of the bozos over here, he actually realizes it.

    Networks are exhibitors and, theoretically, at least, owe their subscribers/viewers quality programming. In America, HBO long ago ceded control to advisors/managers/promoters at the expense of entertainment. It’s absurd, actually.

  • thenonpareil

    @safesideOTR

    Hi Andrew,

    thanks for checking in. I’ve read similar reports; if they’re true, then Cleverly is one bad hombre, because Bellew was really digging shots to the body. Both men were visibly affected by a couple of body blows, in fact.

    Your last sentence should be tattooed on some HBO executives. By letting it be known that Sky is only interested in paying for the best fights, Smith has forced promoters to deliver them. What a novel concept! Who would have thought of that? And, in the end, Warren has come out of the Cleverly-Bellew fight with two commodities…and, unlike some of the bozos over here, he actually realizes it.

    Networks are exhibitors and, theoretically, at least, owe their subscribers/viewers quality programming. In America, HBO long ago ceded control to advisors/managers/promoters at the expense of entertainment. It’s absurd, actually.

  • JohnPaulFutbol

    @thenonpareil C’mon CA, you’re back up to 17pts. I don’t know what I’ve done to get 40pts. Must be providence.

  • JohnPaulFutbol

    @thenonpareil C’mon CA, you’re back up to 17pts. I don’t know what I’ve done to get 40pts. Must be providence.

  • dennis wise

    The thing I like about a lot of the British fights I see is that there is a palpable sense that there will be consequences to the result. Not just financial, but having an actual fan base raises the stakes and importance to winning for a fighter. The proper build up to a fighter’s career makes that a factor as well. Bellew looked heart broken afterwards, and that isn’t fun to see, but it does give the sense that the fight mattered. Victor Ortiz’s reaction to a draw against Peterson as much as the loss to Mayweather suggests what I watched didn’t really matter. Ditto Dawson, except of course Saturday, where he was really really happy with the result. @thenonpareil

  • dennis wise

    The thing I like about a lot of the British fights I see is that there is a palpable sense that there will be consequences to the result. Not just financial, but having an actual fan base raises the stakes and importance to winning for a fighter. The proper build up to a fighter’s career makes that a factor as well. Bellew looked heart broken afterwards, and that isn’t fun to see, but it does give the sense that the fight mattered. Victor Ortiz’s reaction to a draw against Peterson as much as the loss to Mayweather suggests what I watched didn’t really matter. Ditto Dawson, except of course Saturday, where he was really really happy with the result. @thenonpareil

  • thenonpareil

    @nealo

    Hi Neal,

    thanks for writing. Sorry for the delay in response–I’ve been on Planet X for the last week or so.

    The Brits are on a roll for certain and it continues tomorrow with Katsidis and Burns facing off. Even the chief support–Groves and Smith–does not look like a foregone conclusion. Smith is a dangerous man for a fighter who can be hit, and Groves can be hit. It seems to me that DeGale had a harder time pressuring Groves than Smith will, although DeGale has beaten Smith. One of those weird boxing things. I’m not sure DeGale was prepared to see Groves box.

    Frank Warren knows what he’s doing and it’s nice to see a promoter who understands that his job is to produce events people want to see, an almost alien concept in America, where some of the best-paid fighters have few fans and draw poor ratings. There are politics everywhere in boxing, of course, the UK included, but in the States, they take precedence over good fights far more often than they seem to in Britain. And there is no equivalent in America to the relatively politics-free Lonsdale belt. Winning a Lonsdale belt probably means more than a “world” title at this point, and it’s a real achievement.

    Richie Woodhall is the man!

  • thenonpareil

    @nealo

    Hi Neal,

    thanks for writing. Sorry for the delay in response–I’ve been on Planet X for the last week or so.

    The Brits are on a roll for certain and it continues tomorrow with Katsidis and Burns facing off. Even the chief support–Groves and Smith–does not look like a foregone conclusion. Smith is a dangerous man for a fighter who can be hit, and Groves can be hit. It seems to me that DeGale had a harder time pressuring Groves than Smith will, although DeGale has beaten Smith. One of those weird boxing things. I’m not sure DeGale was prepared to see Groves box.

    Frank Warren knows what he’s doing and it’s nice to see a promoter who understands that his job is to produce events people want to see, an almost alien concept in America, where some of the best-paid fighters have few fans and draw poor ratings. There are politics everywhere in boxing, of course, the UK included, but in the States, they take precedence over good fights far more often than they seem to in Britain. And there is no equivalent in America to the relatively politics-free Lonsdale belt. Winning a Lonsdale belt probably means more than a “world” title at this point, and it’s a real achievement.

    Richie Woodhall is the man!