Whilst there is little doubt that many of the sports pages are struggling to keep up with latest announcement of fights and boxing news, it is a little quiet on the action front domestically with the States is making the headlines.
Last weekend and last night it certainly manged to draw our attention across the water as a number of very decent fights were played out to dramatic conclusions – none more so than the stopping of the legendary Jorge Linares in the very first round!
But before we get there, let us begin with last weekend in Los Angeles where the super middleweight clash between Jose Uzcategui and Caleb Plant for the IBF title ended with the first surprise of 2019; Plant took it on points. It was Plant’s 18th undefeated fight and was only the second time he had gone the distance. Rightly emotional after the fight it was clearly his time is now, and he can look forward to some massive nights with greater riches.
Moving on to last night in Madison Square Gardens, Matchroom USA brought us further talking points and results that have shaken things up and made the boxing world take note – just who is next in the firing line for this list of champions is in its own right quite a collection of star names.
Let us begin with the IBF super bantamweight belt where the Australia based Irishman, TJ Doheny managed to stop Ryohei Takahashi in the 11th round; Doheny may have snuck up on us quietly but he has announced his arrival with quite a bang! Will it get him a unification fight? Roman? Vargas? Another defence? We are now eagerly watching that space…
The welterweight fight between Chris Algieri and Daniel Gonzalez, ended with Algieri taking a decent 10 round points win and next up for him will be a better opponent but with his sights on a world champion fight sooner rather than later. Will he want the winner of Crawford/Khan?
The vacant WBO female super flyweight title was settled between Amanda Serrano and Eva Voraberger in under 40 seconds! Serrano, whose sister has already lost to Katie Taylor, became a 7-weight world champion and is looking for a scrap with Taylor in 2019; maybe not immediately but this would, in my eyes, be the biggest female boxing fight so far…
The shock of the night was in the WBC international belt battle between Jorge Linares and Pablo Cesar Cano, where the heavy hitting Cano took out Linares in the first round. It was a tough watch given the skill and the history that Linares brings to the ring. Cano is now the name on everyone’s lips. This is a stacked division and who knows whether the current World Boxing Super Series will get past the rumours of it falling and drifting apart for there to be opportunities against those fighters who may be looking for decent fights very soon – too soon for Cano?
Finally, the WBO middleweight battle between Demetrius Andrade and Artur Akavov ended with a points win for a dominant Andrade. It was a very decent performance but not one that will worry too many people.
Andrade was very good but he needed more than very good in a division with Canelo, GGG and others lurking. Andrade has dismissed Billy Joe Saunders as a future opponent though maybe Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn can manage a love in with the double bill of Billy Joe, Boo Boo and AJ/ Fury on one night in Wembley – sounds like a number 1 hit for Christmas…