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Three Punch Combo: Three Makeable Fights Certain to Entertain and More

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  • Three Punch Combo: Three Makeable Fights Certain to Entertain and More

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    By Matt Andrzejewski

    THREE PUNCH COMBO -- It is easy to come up with a list of big fights that we’d like to see before the end of the year. But instead of touching upon those obvious fights, I want to focus instead on some less-buzzworthy fights that can be used to fill out the year-end schedule.

    For the purposes of compiling this list, I am focusing on fights that should be easy to put together. So I won’t be including fights with fighters aligned with rival factions.

    Dereck Chisora (31-9, 22 KO’s) vs. Oscar Rivas (26-1, 18 KO’s)

    Rivas (pictured) and Chisora just fought on the same card earlier this month. Chisora was successful in his outing, scoring a second-round stoppage of Artur Szpilka. Rivas, on the other hand, dropped a hard-fought, 12-round decision to Dillian Whyte. Chisora and Rivas are both borderline top 10 heavyweights and a fight between them to close out the year makes a lot of sense.

    Yes, I know Chisora is pursuing a fight with Joseph Parker. It remains to be seen if the Parker side is interested in such a fight. If not, Rivas would be a natural pivot for Chisora.

    Not only is this an evenly-matched fight but their styles should mesh well, making for an entertaining heavyweight scrap. Both fighters rely on aggression and pressure inside the ring. They won’t have to look hard to find one another. Each is also somewhat limited defensively. This will be a high contact fight with the winner vaulting inside the top 10 of the division.

    Yves Ulysse Jr. (18-1, 9 KO’s) vs. Ivan Baranchyk (19-1, 12 KO’s)

    The 140-pound division is absolutely loaded at the moment. There is a clear top tier and then a middle tier with not much separation. In order to make a move in the division, some of these middle tier fighters will need to face off against each other. One such crossroads type fight that could be put together is a match between Ulysse and Baranchyk.

    This fight would feature two evenly matched fighters with a clear contrast of styles. Ulysse is a boxer- puncher who likes to work behind the jab and keep the fight at a distance. Baranchyk is an ultra-aggressive, pressure fighter who likes to close the gap and fight at close range. Who could impose their style the best and come out victorious? I’d sure like to find out.

    Sergey Lipinets (16-1, 12 KO’s) vs. Jamal James (26-1, 12 KO’s)

    Welterweight is an interesting division. The top fighters in the division all happen to be very big names in the sport. But there are some very good fighters who compose the middle tier who do not have quite near the name recognition. As such, they need to generate demand to fight one of the bigger names. The only way to do so is to fight one another and separate themselves from the crowd. And one such fight that could be made is between Lipinets and James.

    Similar to Ulysse-Baranchyk, a fight between Lipinets and James would feature a contrast of styles. Lipinets is the aggressive pressure fighter whereas James is the classic boxer-puncher. Both have fine-tuned their craft after previous losses and each is fighting at a high level. This would be a fascinating fight that boxing fans would get behind and is easy to put together with both being under the PBC banner. The winner would then earn the opportunity to fight one of the bigger names in the division.

    And How About Farmer-Berchelt?

    As a boxing fan, I want to see the Tevin Farmer-Gervonta Davis title unification fight in the 130-pound division. However, given the political factions involved, that fight is unlikely to be made anytime soon.

    In a previous column, I wrote about the need to make another 130-pound title unification fight between Jamel Herring and Miguel Berchelt. However, there has been a snag and neither of these title unification bouts appears likely to happen at this time.

    Davis likely will face Yuriorkis Gamboa next and Herring will likely face his mandatory challenger in Lamont Roach. But I want to see a title unification fight in this division. And I say that since Farmer and Berchelt have no other dance partners at the moment, why not have them get together?

    Farmer-Berchelt would be a dream fight. Think about it for a moment. Farmer has mastered the sweet science. He has that rare ability to stand in the pocket and land combinations, all the while slipping punches. I once described him as a poor man’s Pernell Whitaker and I stand by that comparison.

    Berchelt, on the other hand, has only offense in mind. The bell rings and he comes forward, abandoning all defensive principles, firing away power shots. He throws from all angles and has heavy handed power in both fists. And he doesn’t take his foot off the gas.

    So we would have the defensive wizard in Farmer against the all-offensive minded power punching Berchelt. And both are very good at what they do best. I would characterize Farmer-Berchelt as not only the best fight that can be made at 130 but one of the best potential fights in any division. Since neither has an opponent lined up and both have proclaimed to want big fights, I say make it happen.

    Under the Radar Fight

    Boxing returns to FOX on Saturday with a tripleheader from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The card is headlined by what should be a slugfest between heavyweights Adam Kownacki (19-0, 15 KO’s) and Chris Arreola (38-5-1, 33 KO’s). While that fight is garnering most of the publicity, there’s a very interesting welterweight fight on the televised undercard between Andre Berto (32-5, 24 KO’s) and Miguel Cruz (18-1, 12 KO’s).

    Berto-Cruz is the type of crossroads showdown we used to see on a weekly basis on the old USA Tuesday Night Fight Series in the 80’s and 90’s. I know a lot of fans may not be excited about this bout, but I like it a lot. I think the two fighters are evenly matched and that we are going to get a much more action-packed contest than is being anticipated.

    Coming up the welterweight ranks, Berto had enormous expectations placed on his shoulders. Early on he showed some dazzling speed to go along with thunderous power. But though he has had plenty of success in his career, he is now seen as being a bit of an underachiever due to those enormously high expectations. Now 35, he is seeking one more big shot in his career.

    Cruz is a very solid professional fighter. There is nothing that particularly stands out in his game but he is a grinder who does a lot of things well. There are some solid wins on his resume with the most notable being a pair of decision victories over Alex Martin. But that said, Cruz did struggle the one time he really stepped up in class against Josesito Lopez. At 29, Cruz is just entering the prime of his career and needs a signature performance to make a move in the division.

    We all know that Berto has been involved in some clunkers. But he has also been involved in some shoot-outs. It is all dependent on the style of his opponent. Cruz is a come-forward pressure fighter who is not afraid to mix it up as he showed in that aforementioned contest against Lopez. I think Cruz presses the action and engages Berto, who has never been known for his defense, in some exciting exchanges.

    Don’t sleep on this fight. It is going to be much more entertaining than most are forecasting.

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

  • #2
    Note: Two hours after this story was published, it was announced that Andre Berto suffered a torn bicep tendon while sparring on Saturday (July 27) and had to pull out.


    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      He would have lost in any event. He is shop worn.

  • #3
    Berto is such a dud.

    Thanks for the write-up Matt. 👍


    • #4
      Originally posted by KO Digest View Post
      Berto is such a dud.

      Thanks for the write-up Matt. 👍
      Thanks Jeff. My luck the Berto fight got pulled within hours of the write up. But that happens. And I agree with KB, the more I watched of Cruz last week the more I thought he'd win albeit in a much more entertaining fight than was being expected.


      • #5
        Originally posted by KO Digest View Post
        Berto is such a dud.

        Thanks for the write-up Matt. 👍
        He is and Berto never should have been a dud. Young Berto had some really good tools. However, after the earthquake in his homeland, and some reported laziness in training, his career went off the rails real quick.


        • #6
          Originally posted by The Good Doctor View Post

          He is and Berto never should have been a dud. Young Berto had some really good tools. However, after the earthquake in his homeland, and some reported laziness in training, his career went off the rails real quick.
          I agree, coming up the ladder the talent just oozed out. He did accomplish a lot but could have done so much more.

          His biggest issue in the ring was lack of focus on defense. Never moved his head and often squared up to his opponents. It was something noticeable in his early fights but something too that I thought (and many others did) would get corrected at some point. It never did. First really somewhat exposed by Luis Collazo and then later by Victor Ortiz.