It was the fight most likely not to end up being a shock. And it ended up not being a shock. In fact, the week began with greatness and ended with greatness as the two best fighters, arguably, in the men and women’s game came through with dominant performances to cement their legacies and demonstrate their greatness once again.
In short, they did what they had to do. I wonder if it might catch on in the UK?
Las weekend on Saturday the 27th of February inMiami, Florida, the WBC flyweight title fight between Julio Cesar Martinez and McWilliams Acroyo was called off on the Thursday before the fight due to Martinez sustaining a hand injury. It left Arroyo fighting Abraham Rodriguez for the interim title. Arroyo destroyed his new opponent in five rounds to take it.
It was the chief support for the return of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez as he stopped a mismatched Avni Yilidrim for the WBC and WBA super middleweight belts on his stool. That he lasted for three rounds was not admirable as the WBC have to take it on the chin for a mandatory defence that was as ridiculous as it was dangerous. Yildirim came through with no ill effects because his corner could see what the WBC failed to; this was no 50/50.
On the same bill was Chinese heavyweight Zhilei Zhang who appeared without his big bang and ended up with a majority draw against a bang average Jerry Forrest. Forrest hit the floor three times in the first three rounds, but that lead was still not enough to give a man touted once as a dangerous contender, the win. Looks like the end of any serious world title intentions for 2021, or 2022.
Down in Auckland, New Zealand, former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker did what he had to do and beat Junior Fa for the WBO Oriental title. The idea that Parker could now take on the winner of Aleksandr Usyk and Joe Joyce who will, fight for the interim WBO title is lost due to the Derrick Chisora fight next for Parker but also because it was a ring rusty, below par performance from Parker. That may have led to his split from his trainer, but it is also quite clear that he needs something to get into shape for his next fight apart from getting rid of any ring rust.
Over at the Copper Box, London Frank Warren as Queensberry Promotions gave us a devastating performance from light heavyweight Tommy Fury, who blasted out Scott Williams with a second round knockout. Even more entertaining is the fight online with Jake Paul and father/trainer, John giving his views in interviews but this is a very serious looking guy with mean intent.
The WBO and IBF European title fight at super flyweight between Quaise Khademi and Ijaz Ahmed with a win touted for Khademi ended in a majority decision for Ahmed against the expectations of those in the know.
Topping the bill was supposed to be the British super featherweight title fight between Anthony Cacace and Leon Woodstock. After the loss of the Frampton fight, this British battle got bumped up until Woodstock tested positive for COVID-19.
Last night we had further great action on Friday, the 5th of March with Clarissa Shields totally dominating Marie Eve Dicaire for the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO super welterweight belts. This means she has captured all four belts in two weight categories, making her the GWOAT. According to her… and to be fair there is nothing to argue about it… who next? Anyone in Ireland perchance?
In Nantes, on the same eveningheavyweight Olympian, Tony Yoka beat Joel Tambwe Djeko for the vacant EBU belt whilst his wife, Estelle Yoka-Mossely got the IBO female world title on points against Verena Kaiser. Not a bad night for the two former Olympic Gold medallists…