Best 10 Boxing Fights of 2016
Best 10 Boxing Fights of 2016
By: Jordan Seward
With the new year approaching it’s time to reflect on the best boxing action of 2016, so in no particular order….
Orlando Salido vs Francisco Vargas
The two Mexicans treated us to a classic right up to the final bell for Vargas’ (23-0-2) WBC World Super Featherweight title. Vargas, coming off the back of Fight of the Year for 2015 faced a true, steely warrior in the 36-year-old Salido (43-13-4). It was a back-and-fourth slug fest between two champions who don’t know when to quit. In the end the pair couldn’t be separated and the judges correctly scored it a draw.
Tony Bellew vs Ilunga Makabu
The real life rocky story that saw Bellew (28-2-1) finally crowned a world champion. Just after starring in the new rocky film ‘The Bomber’ got his third bite at the cherry facing a dangerous and feared Congolese who had chalked up 18 knockouts in 19 fights. A packed crowed inside his beloved Everton football club’s stadium were stunned when Makabu (19-2) sent Bellew rolling over at the end of the first. The Everton man climbed off the canvas Balboa esque and rallied to stop Makabu in the third with a flourish of heavy punches to claim the vacant WBC World Cruiserweight strap.
Dillian Whyte vs Dereck Chisora
This one had it all. Filled with controversy from the start these two Heavyweights threw everything but the kitchen sink. A table was thrown though. At a press conference. Which, as a result meant the British title wasn’t on the line. But after all the talk, the bad mouthing and the attempted scrapping Whyte (20-1) and Chisora (26-7) done it properly in the ring and fought out a clean and action-packed-12-rounder. Both men were rocked and absorbed a lot of punishment, but Whyte’s superior stamina was just about enough to nick it for him on the judges’ scorecard by split decision.
Keith Thurman vs Shawn Porter
Thurman (27-0) was getting in the ring with probably the best opponent he’s faced. The only man to previously have defeated Porter (26-2-1) was Kell Brook, but, in a fierce competitive fight, Thurman successfully defended his WBA World Welterweight title dishing out Porter’s second loss of his career with a 115-113 unanimous decision. Although the announcement was greeted by booing, the stats suggested Thurman deservedly had his hand raised at the end, landing 43.6% of his punches while his opponent made 35.6%.
Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev
The fight that everyone scored differently. It was a fight we all wanted as soon as Ward made the jump up from Super-Middleweight. The defensive suave of Ward (31-0) met the aggressive power of ‘The Krusher’ (30-1-1) at the T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas. The American, fighting on home turf, was put down in the second round for only the second time in his illustrious career. But Ward, as Ward does, after falling behind on the cards managed to take the second half of the fight and claim Kovalev’s WBO, IBF and WBA Super World Light Heavyweight titles by unanimous decision.
Carl Frampton vs Leo Santa Cruz
After unifying his IBF super-bantamweight title by outpointing Scott Quigg, the Northern Irishmen capped off his impressive year by adding Leo Santa Cruz’s (32-1-1) WBA Super World Featherweight belt. ‘The Jackal’ (23-0) jumped up a weight division and battled it out with the Mexican champion in an absolute barn burner. After a hard and punishing 12 rounds it went to the judges’ scorecards and Frampton, was given the nod. Now, just for us, they’re doing it all again at the MGM Grand on the 28th January. Not a bad way to start the new year.
Hosea Burton vs Frank Buglioni
Words were exchanged between the pair in what was a heated build up to this Light-Heavyweight contest for the British title. But when the fighting started it quickly turned in to a very watchable and enjoyable scrap. Both Burton (18-1) and Buglioni (19-2-1) continuously plowed forwards, in attempts to assert their dominance. They were both taking serious damage and in the twelfth-round Burton’s chickens came home to roost. The 28-year-old was slowing down and deserved to hear the final bell but with just one minute left in the bout Buglioni landed some hurtful blows and the ref waved it off.
Thomas Williams Jr. vs Edwin Rodriguez
A fiery, hard fought contest… while it lasted. At the StubHub Center, on the undercard of Andre Berto’s knockout win against Victor Ortiz, Rodriguez, (28-2) displayed courage, grit, determination, and, a chin. In this two-rounder, it was Williams Jr (20-2) who was landing the more powerful and hurtful shots but a number of times Rodriguez remained upright and proudly came firing back. In the end, it took a monster left hook to knock the resolute 31-year-old out.
Gennady Golovkin vs Kell Brook
As far as unexpected fights go, this one took the biscuit. You couldn’t have called it. This was not a fight many had in mind, but, when it was made it was all the talk. The IBF World Welterweight champion, Brook, jumped up two weight division to face the feared Middleweight kingpin at the O2 Arena. Looking in great shape and as confident as ever the Englishman made a great start to the fight. However, as the fight went on we began to realise Brook wouldn’t be making history as Golovkin’s power started to take its toll and Brook’s trainer, Dominic Ingle threw in the towel stopping proceedings in the fifth round.
Anthony Crolla vs Ismael Barroso
After prizing away the WBA World Lightweight title from Darleys Perez in their second meeting, Crolla, (31-5-3)made his first defence against the man who, effectively, sent world title challenger Kevin Mitchell into retirement. As expected, the Venezuelan (19-1-2) started strong and, typical of a Joe Gallagher fighter, Crolla did not. He absorbed some early punishment and probably lost the first five rounds. It became clear after six though, that Crolla’s tactics were spot on, as the challenger noticeably began to tire. He had thrown all he had and was on empty, Crolla seized his chance and overwhelmed his opponent, eventually stopping him in the seventh.
Weekly Round Up Around the World
Weekly Round Up Around the World
By: Ben Underwood
MAKABU RECIEVES AWARD
After Llunga Makabu’s devastating loss to Tony Bellew in liverpool,England last weekend, he has recieved the Golden Gloves Africa 2016 award on June 4th for being one of the top cruiserweights in the world.Even though Makabu lost his first title shot ,he is still touted to become a world champion and this award shows that he is embraced by Africa.
LARRY EKUNDAYO INJURED
Talented Nigerian Larry ‘The natural’ Ekundayo was all set to defend his African Union welterweight title against Tanzanian Saidi Mundi on the 4th of June at London’s famous York Hall, Bethnal green. Unbeaten Ekundayo unfortunately has a serious hand injury that he recieved during training ,in which the fight has to be postponed and rescheduled for later in the year.
Ekundayo won the vacated belt by outpointing Joseph lamptey in october of 2015. The other title he has lifted is the Prizefighter trophy in 2012.
KOSEKI VACATES WBA MINIMUMWEIGHT CROWN
Talented Japanese icon Momo Koseki has given up her WBA crown that she won by outpointing Ayaka Miyao in october. Koseki will continue to defend her WBC title and also looking to expand her Japanese record setting 16 defenses of the belt.Momo’s next bout will be announced shortly. Koseki has a record of 21-2-1,7 KO’s.
OKADA DEFENDS TITLE IN JULY
As I reported a few weeks ago that Suyon Takayama will challenge for Jack Brubakers OPBF welterweight belt on July 25th, another title fight will be added to the bill,this will be a bout for the Japanese Junior Welterweight belt held by Hiroki Okada.Japanese-Brazilian Cristano Aoqui is his opponent and with a win will extend his unbeaten record to 13-0 and will possibly set him up for an OPBF title shot.
Aoqui has been awarded this fight off the back of a thrilling win over Ryosuke Takami, Aoqui will be looking to win his first Japanese title. Cristano was once touted to fight Takayama up at welterweight but it seems the lower weight is the better option for him.
KAZUKI TANAKA WILL FIGHT SAKAMOTO
At the EDION Arena Osaka, Kuzuki Tanaka (5-0,4 KO’s) will be taking a massive step up in class when he takes on Japanese ranked Hideo Sakamoto. On paper this is a mouth watering clash which sees Sakamoto coming off a stoppage loss to Kentaro Masudo ,the Japanese champion and will be looking to get back into winning ways and will almost certainly come to fight.
The supporting bout will see Fuko Komura making her debut as a professional in a 4 rounder against limited Koari Nagai (0-1). This looks to be an easy bout for the school girl Komura ,but it is the chief support on the bill and could perhaps be more competitive than people think. the show will take place on august 7th.
WAKE VS GUZMAN DOUBLE HEADER WITH IOKA VS LARA
On July 20th at the EDION Arena it was leaked that Kazuto Ioka (19-1, 11) will be defending his WBA Flyweight title against Nicaraguan Keyvin Lara (18-1-1,6 KO’s). This will be Lara’s first voyage into a world title fight and will be looking to take home the belt that Ioka won from Juan Carlos Reveco via a majority decision and retained it in a rematch by TKO. It must be noted though Lara looks to be up against it as Ioka is a former minumumweight world title holder (WBC and WBA), a Light Flyweight world champion (WBA) and after a split decision loss to Amnat Ruenroeng for the IBF Flyweight bauble came the Reveco fight that made him a 3 weight world champion.
The other title fight on the card shows Shingo Wake (20-4-2, 12) go head to head with unbeaten Jonathan Guzman ,who has 21 vicories all inside the distance with 1 draw, for the vacant IBF Super Bantamweight title. Southpaw Wake of Tokyo, is former OPBF champion will have to have his witts about him as Guzman’s record suggests that he is obviously a banger. This bout is the co-feature and has been said to be in the negotiation phase for several weeks.
Also on the card Takahiro Yamamoto will be defending his OPBF belt against Filipino Rex Wao. Rex (11-2,9 KO’s) has lost 2 of his last 3 and surely needs to make a statement to keep his career alive.
Junior Middleweight Yuki Nonaka (29-8-3, 9 KO’s) will also be defending his Japanese title against Ryosuke Maruki (12-3-1,7 KO’s)that he won in a bout with Kengo Nagashima for the vacant title in 2014.
SHIMIZU DITCHES THE VEST
There has been much speculation over the career of London 2012 bronze medalist Satoshi Shimizu. Within the next 2 weeks it is said that Shimizu will end his career in the unpaid ranks and will be turning professional with the Ohashi stable of talented fighters.It is believed that Satoshi is looking to face top opponents fairly quickly as he has not really got time on his side having turned 30. The Amatuer stand out has a good relationship with the Japanese amatuer body and will be welcome back to the amatuers should he ever want to return. The announcement will be between June 10th and June 15th and we will look to see him out before the end of the year.
MARUTA IN BID FOR WBC YOUTH TITLE
Hinata Maruta has been fast tracked to his first title bid when he comes up against fellow unbeaten Wilbert Berondo in a 10 rounder for the WBC youth title at the Sumiyoshi Ward Centre on 31st July.Maruta is a big prospect and is expected to quickly work his way to world contension and this is a step in the right direction. Having only his 3rd fight with 1 stoppage Maruta is a heavy favourite to win the title but little is known about his Filipino opponent. Berondo has wins over Ricky Oyan and Arjet Caballes and he made his debut in 2014,nevertheless any unbeaten fighter will want to remain unbeaten and with 53 rounds under his belt is vastly more experienced than Hinata with a record of 10-0,4 KO’s.
KANEKO,SUEYOSHI AND OTO ALL VICTORIOUS
Records can be decieving as Daiki Kaneko a loser of 3 of his last 6 came out a deserved winner against Ribo Takahata at the Korakuen Hall via a 10 round decision (98-91 on all cards). While Kaneko was seeking a knockout throughout the fight the old tale came true ‘when you go looking for a knockout ,it never come’,and for his efforts Daiki had to settle for the decision. Now Kaneko can improve to 23-5-3, 15 KO’s ,while Takahata slumps to 12-7-1,4 KO’s.
In a minor upset Masaru Sueyoshi (12-1, 7 KO’s) recorded his 9th win in a row by outpointing Shingo Eto (17-5-1, 9 KO’s)as he stepped up in class to claim a hard fought 8 round decision with scores of 77-75,78-75, 78-74. Although many of the rounds were hard to score ,the right man was victorious.
Kenji Ono scored an 8th round stoppage over Takumi Suda ,which may mark a step towards the Japanese title. Ono (11-1,6 KO’s) is a very exciting fighter and he did not disappoint as his talent was shining through and was simply too much for Suda who now has an a record of 12-12-2, 3 KO’s.
HASEGAWA TO FACE HUGO RUIZ
Japans 2 -weight world champion Hozumi Hasegawa will make an attempt to become a 3-weight world titlist as he is set to take on WBC Super bantamweight champion Hugo Ruiz in Japan.There is no date set for the fight ,but it is rumoured to take place either in August or September . Hasegawa (35-5, 15 KO’s) is looking to impress in his home town and a win could make him a bigger icon than he already is and put him up there with the greats.
VIJENDER SINGH TO FIGHT KERRY HOPE
Indian superstar Vijender Sing is looking to extend his unbeaten record to 7 when he faces former European champion Kerry hope of wales for the WBO Asia Pacific Super middleweight title.Hope is fighting for the first time as a Super middle and has portrayed himself as the bad guy and has made it crystal clear that he is not there to make up the numbers. This marks Singh’s first bout in India having fought exclusively in Britain and the Republic of Ireland. the fight will take place at the Thyagaraj Stadium in New Delhi on July 16th.
RICHIE WINS OPBF BELT IN STYLE
Hikaru Nishida was confused and had no answer for the skills of Aussie Dwight Richie as he lost a lop-sided decision with scores of 118-110 on two cards and 119-109 on the other. For the first four rounds Nishida trying to pressure Richie but the speed of his light hitting opponent left him frustrated and while he had some success in the 6th round, it seemed to be a masterclass from the Australian. Nishida didnt have a plan B and Richie was the boss throughout the bout to run out the winner . Dwight improves to 14-0-0-4 with 1 KO and also claims the OPBF title in his first bout outside of his native Australia ,while Nishida is now 15-8-1,7 KO’s and is still the Japanese champion. Hikaru will defend his title in September
Bellew Fulfilles Dream by Beating Makabu
Tony Bellew Vs Ilunga Makabu – Fight Report
Jordan Seward reports ringside at Goodison Park
Tony Bellew (27-2-1)17ko turned his dream into a reality by knocking out Ilunga Makabu (19-2)18ko in three rounds to capture the WBC World Cruiserweight title.
After two failed attempts at a world title it was third time lucky for the Everton man, but it could have been all so different. The Bomber had to rise off the canvas like a true champ, Rocky Balboa esque if it were, after a heavy knockdown in the first round.
As Everton FC echoed around the ground the two engaged, sizing each other up. Bellew marched onto the front foot with the fans urging him on. The 33-year-old was noticeably the bigger man and had Makabu tied up on the ropes early on in the first, switching from upstairs to down at will. Then, the noise came to a sudden halt. The man from the Democratic Republic of Congo silenced the arena as he landed one single left, flush on the chin which sent Bellew rolling over. The home crowd were stunned, but their man dragged himself up off the deck to beat the eight count.
Bellew came into the second round tentative, even a jab seemed to wobble his legs. As the round went on he came into it more, edging forward and had Makabu on the ropes again landing right hooks to the head and lefts to the body. In the third round the Bomber showed his own power, backing Makabu up with a left hook. He had his man on the ropes and was patient, picking each shot carefully.
Makabu was well out of his comfort zone and looked like a sitting duck, but replied with a solid looking left of his own. The 33-year-old walked through it and landed a left to the body sending his opponent back to the ropes again. The initial left hook had rocked him. An uppercut, a chopping left and a couple of right hooks later, Makabu was out cold. Only the ropes held up his sagging body as the referee waved it off.
Tony Bellew sank to his knees in celebration, he done it, a world title in his home city. It wasn’t quite the script he had planned for sure, it was more like a Sylvester Stallone one in truth, but nonetheless the result was the same. The win ended Makabu’s 19 fight win run and is Bellew’s seventh win out of seven fights since moving up to Cruiserweight.
After the fight the new WBC World Champion said “This was a terrible camp, I had no idea how I was going to beat Makabu. But there is not a man on this planet that want’s it more than me and I scare myself, the lengths I’m willing to go, I was willing to die tonight. There was no way I was losing at Goodison Park; my career would have been over.
“When I went down I wasn’t hurt, but he broke my nose immediately and he punches like a truck believe me, but there is so much punishment I can take and give at Cruiserweight. Losing was not an option, it didn’t go according to plan but everything I have ever dreamed of came true and I cannot believe it. I am the best Cruiserweight in the world and now I want Denis Lebedev and I want to unify the division before the end of the year”.