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Three Punch Combo: Notes on Tevin Farmer, The BWAA Watch List and More

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  • Three Punch Combo: Notes on Tevin Farmer, The BWAA Watch List and More

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    By Matt Andrzejewski

    THREE PUNCH COMBO -- Like many who love this sport, I feel there are way too many belts and too many fighters who are considered champions. In a perfect world, there would simply be one champion per weight division. The sheer number of titles per weight class can leave fans confused and waters down the meaning of being a champion.

    But belts do matter in boxing. In a few instances, the number of belts available can create opportunities that deserving fighters might not otherwise receive.

    Let’s take the case of Tevin Farmer. He lost his professional debut by knockout in February of 2011 and after being stopped by Jose Pedraza in October of 2012 his record fell to a pedestrian 7-4-1. Farmer seemed destined to be headed to journeyman status.

    Something happened following that loss to Pedraza. Farmer (pictured in a 2016 fight against Orlando Rizo) began to put things together. The natural talent started to come out. With his record and low knockout percentage, he received opportunities as the “opponent.” He was brought in to lose but instead was flipping the script, winning these contests.

    However, after a string of wins, word started to get out about Farmer and the opportunities of fighting as the “opponent” started to dry up. The management teams of the top guys in the 130- and 135-pound weight classes were not eager to throw their guys in with Farmer. A southpaw with quick feet and quick hands, he had evolved into a skilled fighter.

    Farmer continued at it and took fights whenever offered. In July of 2016, Farmer had to move out of his natural weight class of 130 to take a fight at lightweight against the naturally bigger Ivan Redkach. Once a top prospect, Redkach was considered a contender at lightweight at the time. It was a high risk low reward fight for Farmer but he used all his skills to cleverly outbox Redkach to win a ten round decision.

    The win was impressive but that did not mean that Farmer would automatically get a bigger fight. Again, he is a stylistic challenge to face in the ring. But he was creeping up the IBF ratings at 130. Eventually, he did get to fight for their vacant belt at 130 but would lose a controversial decision to Kenichi Ogawa. But the result would be changed to a “no contest” after Ogawa failed a post-fight drug test and Farmer would be given another opportunity to fight for the vacant IBF belt. And last Friday in Australia, Farmer defeated Billy Dib by unanimous decision to win that belt.

    Without his status in the IBF rankings and without the belt at stake, Farmer never fights either Ogawa or Dib. Now with the belt, Farmer can attract names that would otherwise have no interest in facing him. One such name is WBA 130-pound champion Gervonta Davis. With no belt for Farmer, there would be little incentive for Davis to face Farmer. But with the belt, Farmer may get that fight and the nice payday that would go along with it.

    Belts do matter in boxing and sometimes can create opportunities for fighters who otherwise may not have ever received such a chance.

    The BWAA Watch List

    This past week, The Boxing Writers Association of America announced they will post a quarterly list on their website of officials who exhibited poor performance during the previous quarter. This list is meant to hold boxing officials accountable for their actions.

    I applaud the BWAA for taking this action. For years, I have been a proponent of a system for holding officials accountable and this is a positive first step. We need to weed out those who consistently do a poor job.

    However, I do have a few words of caution. There are times when we have disagreements when it comes to decisions. And due to the subjectivity of boxing, disagreements are just part of the nature of the sport. But there is a difference between disagreeing with someone’s scorecard and a flat out bad scorecard.

    On its first official list, the BWAA referenced the cards of two judges who scored an eight round lightweight fight in Sloan, Iowa, between Thomas Mattice and Zhora Hamazaryan in favor of Mattice. Those were unquestionably bad cards.

    Four years ago, fight fans debated a decision between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Erislandy Lara that went in favor of Alvarez. The fight featured many close rounds where the subjectivity of scoring came into play. Some argued that the card of Levi Martinez who had it 117-111 in favor of Alvarez was outrageous. But with so many close rounds, there was a clear path to see how Martinez could have come up with that score.

    Officials are human and do make mistakes. Just because they turn in a bad scorecard or have a bad night as a referee does not make them poor officials. We have to be careful not to dismiss officials for a bad night. What we are looking for is a pattern of poor performance.

    There are certainly times we as fans may have scored a fight incorrectly; I admit I have done so myself. As a fan, I attended the Naseem Hamed-Cesar Soto featherweight title fight in Detroit in 1999. I sat ringside and scored the fight in favor of Soto. My card differed greatly from the three official judges who had it in favor of Hamed (116-108, 115-110, 114-110). The next day, I watched the tape and scored the bout much differently, favoring Hamed. The judges were correct and my scoring would have landed me on the watch list.

    To this day, I don’t know what I was watching ringside that night in Detroit. Can I score a fight? I’d like to think so, but I had a bad night scoring that particular fight. And I don’t think I am alone. My point is that officials do have bad nights. Let’s keep that in mind as this list evolves.

    Under The Radar

    The streaming revolution is in full swing. Recently, Golden Boy Promotions and Main Events announced a partnership with Facebook to stream live fight cards. On Saturday, this series will debut with an event promoted by Golden Boy that is headlined by a featherweight title fight between Jesus Rojas (26-1-2, 19 KO’s) and Joseph Diaz (26-1, 14 KO’s).

    I absolutely love this fight and think the contrast of styles should make for a very entertaining fight to kick off this series. Rojas is a pure pressure fighter and volume puncher. From the opening bell, he comes forward, looking to break the will of his opponent with constant pressure. He will abandon defense and eat punches to get inside to unload his own heavy handed shots. In his last fight, Rojas used such a relentless pressure style to break down and stop Claudio Marrero, winning an interim featherweight belt in a mild upset.

    Diaz is a classic boxer-puncher. He is athletic and possesses quick hands and quick feet. Diaz will look to use movement to set up angles to land combinations. Like Rojas, Diaz is also a volume puncher and not afraid to get into exchanges.

    There is no way given the styles of Rojas and Diaz that this won’t be an all-action fight. Diaz has the better skills and is more athletic. But how will he handle the constant pressure of Rojas? Plus, with both not being afraid to let their hands go, the leather will be flying. It is an interesting fight and a nice way to kick off the new streaming series on Facebook.

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel



  • #2
    Some really good info on here. Bigly good stuff.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Kid Blast View Post
      Some really good info on here. Bigly good stuff.
      Thanks KB

      Comment


      • #4
        Speaking of the BWAA, big up to new member Ted Sares!

        Comment


        • Kid Blast
          Kid Blast commented
          Editing a comment
          Why thank you Jeffrey. That was most kind of you.

      • #5
        Originally posted by KO Digest View Post
        Speaking of the BWAA, big up to new member Ted Sares!
        Congrats Ted, very well deserved.

        Comment


        • Kid Blast
          Kid Blast commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks Cat

      • #6
        I have long been an admirer of Tevin Farmer's. He kind of fell into the Winky Wright situation. Nobody wanted to fight him because of his slick style, athletic ability and skills exhibited inside the ring. Without multiple belts available, he does not get this opportunity. Sometimes this current system, though many of us dislike it, works in favor of fighters as it presents some with an opportunity they may not otherwise get. Now, a Gervonta Davis fight may be in the offering for Farmer. Without the belt, no way Davis comes anywhere near Farmer.

        Joseph Diaz-Jesus Rojas is going to be a very good professional fight. I love the contrast of styles. Don't just assume either Diaz is going to win. Rojas has perfected his aggressive style and sprung a couple upsets. He is at the very least going to let Diaz know he was in a fight. It will be interesting to see how Diaz handles the pressure of Rojas. This is going to be a good entertaining scrap in my opinion.

        Comment


        • #7
          I like Diaz. He can go to the body and he can take it to the body. One tough guy.

          Comment

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