Bernie's Rant | Week in Boxing, Nov 10Written by Bernard Campbell
Usky vs Bellew... Not all that
In what was hyped as the most difficult challenge to undisputed Cruiserweight Champion Oleksandr Usyk to date, it was business as usual for the Ukrainian as he stopped Tony Bellew in Round 8 at The Manchester Arena, Saturday night.
The match was a tactical one until the final round with both players splitting the match on the scorecards.
Bellew appeared confident and stood his ground, scoring with right lead potshots that kept the Ukrainian honest. The former champion also seemed to stifle and neutralize Usyk's potential offense with effective counter punching.
Usyk, on the other hand, used lateral movement, periodically trying to create an opening and somehow you got the feeling this was not going to continue to go on without results being achieved. The momentum started to pick up for Usyk in the 6th round where he scored effectively with unanswered combinations.
In the 8th round, Usyk landed a 1-2 combination ending with a straight left to the jaw of Bellew and - end of story.
It was academic that Bellew hadn't been Usyk's best opponent as the latter had been notorious for avoiding fighters that would upset his apple cart from 175lbs-throughout the 200+ range. Usyk's tougher opponents in his 16 fights have been Krystov Glowacki, Micheal Hunter, Mairis Briedis, and Murat Gassiev and all would have been able to beat the Englishman on any given Tuesday.
The knowledgeable Dave Bontempo called the fight on the streamed network and did his usual credible job. He brings a lot to the table in terms of experience and honest commentary. New commentators could learn a great deal from him.
The undercard saw the judges rob Indonesian challenger Daud Yordan of an obvious decision over the popular British boxer Anthony Crolla in the preliminary to the main event. The fight was competitive but Yordan outworked and outscored his counterpart overwhelmingly throughout the 12 round trek. The judges had scored the bout for the hometown hero 116-112 across the board.
At the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Cruiserweight activity was also in vogue for the remaining quarterfinals in the WBSS tournament. Number 8 seed Noel Mikaeljan surprised, overwhelmed and outworked former WBA Champion Mairiis Briedis with an effective jab and a series of overhand rights to completely stifle the Latvian's offense only to lose a ridiculous unanimously scored decision.
With a large Latvian contingency of fans in the audience, Mikaeljan kept proper distance and dictated the action throughout the bout. Briedis could not get uncorked displaying very non-typical offense for him and it wasn’t until after the bout that he owned up to the fact that he didn’t take the proper time once training started to heal from his previous bout.
The judges should have been executed because of the poor assessments. It is evident in the sport of boxing that investors with more money than God engineer things and not the promoters and manager/fighters that get all the ink.
There apparently is major collusion abounding in this sport with an agenda. Considerations are given to politics, trends, and political correctness that are not relevant to what actually goes on in the ring. A boxing card took place in Chicago a month ago. Where was that bloody 30 second whistle that they tried to push down everybody’s throats before the end of the round this time?
In the finale former Cruiserweight Champion Krzysztof Glowacki showed why he may be the favorite to win the Muhammad Ali Trophy. Displaying power and relentlessness and punching to the head and body, Glowacki overwhelmed the challenger, Maksim Vlasov. Glowacki puts everything into his atomic bombs and floored the Russian en route to his overwhelming victory.
It was a testament to Vlasov that he took Krzysztof's punches well and was able to make a reasonable account of himself despite being tagged repeatedly.
Kudos to political correctness because they have fine-tuned the pronunciation of Glowacki’s name over a period of time? What's that all about, Friscoes?
Politics, race and nationality
Furthermore, I’d like to know why is ethnicity and a fighter’s hometown so important in the promotion of this sport? This does not happen for the most part in any other form of athletic competition like it does in boxing. It is all balderdash and poppycock to me. Fighters get decisions for and against them because of their race, nationality or religion.
I once was told that the only existent forms of racism that are acceptable in society are in boxing and pornography.
Media jumps the gun
Floyd Mayweather, businessman and entrepreneur, has come out with allegations against the media for falsely announcing an upcoming match in Japan. He was apparently supposed to put on an exhibition for a small group of wealthy businessmen there. If I were Floyd, I would sue whoever was responsible for publicizing his comeback.
Beterbiev vs Smith canceled... You've gotta be kidding
In the same breath, Light Heavyweight Champion Artur Beterbiev's fight with Joe Smith jr. has been cancelled by Beterbiev. The reason, according to Beterbiev, is that he still has to recuperate from his last fight.
Something doesn’t smell good here. Beterbiev has had major issues with his promoters shutting him down and not fully paying him when he does fight. After interviewing him a few times in the past, he appears to be on the level and has been blackballed because he is that good. Why should he pull out of a high profile card with a defense against Smith? Something was behind it. Something is rotten in Denmark.
Polish heavyweights collided
A brawl in Poland that was completely ignored by the media saw former heavyweight title challengers Artur Szpilka and Mariusz Wach go at it. The result was a split decision victory for Szpilka who was decked in the final round and had to hang on for dear life.
Congratulations to Juanma Lopez, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Josh Kelly and Ricky Burns for wins over the weekend.
Mauro Ranalllo has been desperately trying to hold onto his depreciating career by continuously promoting Tyson Fury as the next poster boy of Mental Health awareness in professional sports. It’s a very sad thing to see.