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Three Punch Combo: Cruiserweights Take Center Stage, A PPV show in Miami and More

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  • Three Punch Combo: Cruiserweights Take Center Stage, A PPV show in Miami and More

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    By Matt Andrzejewski

    THREE PUNCH COMBO -- The eyes of the boxing world will be on the big cruiserweight title fight on Saturday between unified champion Oleksandr Usyk (15-0, 11 KO’s) and Tony Bellew (30-2-1, 20 KO’s) in Manchester, England. But there’s another cruiserweight fight taking place later in the day that I think steals the spotlight from an entertainment standpoint.

    First off, I completely understand why the Usyk-Bellew fight has come to fruition. Usyk has already defeated most of the viable contenders at cruiserweight. Bellew is a big name in the UK. He is coming off two big wins against heavyweight David Haye. Usyk needs some new competition and Bellew has momentum going in his career. Plus, he can sell tickets in the UK. So the fight makes total sense.

    However, in my eyes Bellew is a step down for Usyk from most of the recent competition he has faced. And in most of those fights, Usyk proved levels above his opposition. Simply put, it is difficult to envision Bellew being competitive. As such, it is difficult for me to get excited about this fight.

    Also this weekend, the second season of the cruiserweight tournament in the World Boxing Super Series continues from the UIC Pavilion in Chicago. Mairis Briedis (24-1, 18 KO’s) takes on Noel Mikaelian (23-1, 10 KO’s) in one quarterfinal with Krzysztof Glowacki (30-1, 19 KO’s) taking on Maksim Vlasov (42-2, 25 KO’s) in the other quarterfinal. While I think Briedis easily takes care of business against Mikaelian, formerly known as Noel Gevor, the Glowacki-Vlasov contest should prove to be an entertaining competitive scrap.

    Glowacki (pictured) burst on the scene in 2015 with a knockout of then cruiserweight kingpin Marco Huck in a fight that many considered the fight of the year. A year later, Glowacki would lose for the only time in his career by decision to the above mentioned Usyk. Since that loss, he’s rattled off four straight wins. He is an aggressive skilled southpaw who is not afraid to mix it up and exchange with his opposition.

    Vlasov seems like he has been around forever. The veteran pro has only lost twice by decision in 44 career fights and is riding a 12 fight winning streak since losing in January of 2015 to now super middleweight title holder Gilberto Ramirez. Vlasov likes to throw power punches in combination behind the left jab from his orthodox stance. He is more than willing to lead and get off first with his punches, but in doing so he is vulnerable to getting countered and often stands straight up in front of his opponent, making him an easy target.

    Glowacki-Vlasov should be a very competitive fight and given the styles I think we see plenty of good exchanges. While Usyk-Bellew will command the most attention, the Glowacki-Vlasov contest should not be overlooked.

    Better Late Than Never: Gamboa vs. Lopez in 2019

    This Saturday night, Yuriorkis Gamboa (28-2, 17 KO’s) and Juan Manuel Lopez (35-6, 32 KO’s) fight in separate contests on a PPV card (suggested retail: $24.95) in Miami, FL. If each is victorious, then the plan is for the two to finally meet in the ring in 2019. It is a fight that has always seemed inevitable and one that I admit still draws my interest.

    It is hard to think back but many years ago both Gamboa and Lopez were considered to be future stars in the sport. And I just don’t mean being world champions. They were each thought to be destined for greatness. The talent that each displayed on the way up was simply eye popping.

    Gamboa just had this special set of athletic qualities rarely seen in prizefighters. His hand speed was dazzling. With his quick hands, he started to become a masterful counterpuncher. And then there was the power. Gamboa scored some highlight reel knockouts on his rise.

    Lopez was an aggressive southpaw with thunderous power in both hands. He was drawing comparisons very early in his career to the great Felix Trinidad and it was easy to see why. The knockout ability along with his natural athleticism made Lopez quite a force.

    With both Lopez and Gamboa competing around the featherweight division, a matchup between the two was a fight fans dream. We all know the story from here. Top Rank wanted to build the bout into a mega-fight. They thought the bout needed to be “marinated.” In their eyes, it needed to be built into something like De La Hoya-Trinidad.

    But as history would show, Gamboa and Lopez had their weaknesses. They were so naturally gifted that those weaknesses at first were not apparent as they could get away with a lot inside the ring. First, it was Lopez whose defensive issues got exposed. Later, Gamboa’s own defensive shortcomings, along with management missteps derailed his once promising career. The fight never happened.

    Here we are now eight or nine years after the bout should have happened. By now, people have lost interest and many in boxing want to see both retire. And though I too was a skeptic at first, as I think about it more, I do want to see how this contest will play out.

    Who was the better fighter? One last hurdle to cross for both on Saturday and then we may finally get the answer.

    Thomas Hearns vs. Jay Snyder – You Never Know What Can Happen In Boxing

    November 6thwill mark the 20thanniversary of the Thomas Hearns-Jay Snyder bout that took place at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, MI. The contest, which marked a return to the ring for the legendary Hearns after nearly a two year layoff, has long been forgotten, but something very rarely seen in boxing occurred that night in Detroit.

    The plan for Hearns at this point in his career was to have a final farewell tour. He was, of course, beloved by his hometown fans in Detroit and could sell tickets there regardless of the opponent. So for the first fight of what was supposed to be the last leg of his career, a very safe opponent was selected named Jay Snyder.

    Snyder, 37, entered the fight with a record of 19-5 but had never defeated anyone who had a winning record. Moreover, all five of Snyder’s losses were by knockout and all those knockout losses occurred within four rounds. He was known as a crude brawler who lacked speed and defense who’d bring the fight to Hearns but in doing so expose his weak chin. On paper he was the perfect opponent for Hearns at this stage of Hearns’ career.

    Hearns entered the ring weighing a career high 190 pounds but still appeared in much better shape than Snyder who tipped the scales at 185. Hearns, who also had somewhere around an 11-inch reach advantage, looked to work behind the jab when the opening bell rang as Snyder pressed forward.

    About a minute into the round, Snyder threw a well-timed left jab that caught Hearns coming in just as Hearns was unloading a right hand of his own. Snyder’s jab landed first but Hearns right hand also found a home and both men fell to the canvas. It was a double knockdown!

    Hearns popped up quickly and appeared more embarrassed than anything about having fallen to the canvas. Snyder, on the other hand, was not getting up anytime soon and was counted out.

    The double knockdown is a rarely seen occurrence, but every now and then it happens. And when it does, it always seem to happen in the most unlikely of scenarios like on November 6th, 1998, in the long forgotten bout between Thomas Hearns and Jay Snyder.

  • #2
    There was an uncalled double KD in Andrade-Kautondokwa.


    • #3
      Originally posted by KO Digest View Post
      There was an uncalled double KD in Andrade-Kautondokwa.
      They are rare and as such of get missed There was also one several years ago on a Friday Nights fight card with Hank Lundy I believe where the referee missed it.
      Last edited by oubobcat; 11-06-2018, 03:56 PM.


    • #4
      The Usyk-Bellew fight does not excite me. I think Usyk is going to dominate from the opening bell.

      Glowacki-Vlasov, on the otherhand, should be a very good fight and I am certainly looking forward to that one.

      Yes I do want to see Gamboa-Lopez. And yes, I would pay for it on PPV. There is just something about that fight. It should have happened years and years ago but better late than never as long as neither stub there toe on Saturday.


      • Kid Blast
        Kid Blast commented
        Editing a comment

    • #5
      There was also a flagrant uncalled foul in Andrade-Kautondokwa.