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Chocolatito’s Stunning Victory Highlights This Week’s Edition of HITS AND MISSES

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  • Chocolatito’s Stunning Victory Highlights This Week’s Edition of HITS AND MISSES

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    By Kelsey McCarson

    Boxing fans headed into the weekend wondering whether Mikey Garcia could legitimately compete in the welterweight ranks but likely left it in awe of former pound-for-pound flyweight king Roman Gonzalez.

    Chocolatito's stunning victory over previously undefeated WBA junior bantamweight titleholder Khalid Yafai was the highlight, overshadowing other happenings all over the place that vied for our attention.

    Here are the biggest HITS and MISSES from the latest weekend in boxing.

    HIT - Roman Gonzalez's Vintage Performance Against Khalid Yafai

    Former flyweight king Roman Gonzalez seemed handpicked by Khalid Yafai's handlers to be the first big name on the 30-year-old's resume. Instead, Gonzalez (pictured on the left) handed Yafai the first loss of his professional career, and he did so in stunning fashion by scoring a ninth-round stoppage.

    I'm not really sure why Yafai tried to stand in front of a historically great pressure fighter like Gonzalez and tried to outwork him. Sure, he was presumably bigger, faster, stronger and younger than the 32-year-old Gonzalez. But it was a dumb move made even dumber by the fact that he never abandoned the plan when it became clear he was losing the fight.

    Regardless, Gonzalez has a title belt again, and the big win sets up the future Hall of Famer for even more riveting matchups down the line.

    MISS - The Entirely Unnecessary Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder Rematch

    Tyson Fury beat the brakes off Deontay Wilder last weekend in Las Vegas, but the following weekend Wilder enacted his rematch clause to force the third fight.

    In scoring the dominant seventh-round stoppage win the prior weekend, Fury proved, without doubt, he was the far superior heavyweight. But Wilder shockingly laid at least part of the blame afterward on his ring walk costume.

    Nevermind that Fury had already proved he was the better boxer than Wilder in December 2018 and that only Wilder's tremendous power had saved him. Nevermind how Fury completely dismantled Wilder in the rematch. Wilder blamed a costume.

    Look, it's not so much that Wilder doesn't deserve the rematch someday. Wilder held the WBC belt for half a decade. He certainly deserves the chance to get it back again.

    Rather, it's that Fury looked so much bigger, stronger and just plain better than Wilder during the second fight that there seems virtually nothing Wilder could possibly do before July that would give the fighter a reasonable chance to win.

    Wilder-Fury 1 was awesome. Wilder-Fury 2 was definitive. Wilder-Fury 3, or we should probably call it Fury-Wilder 3 now, is completely unnecessary.

    HIT - Mikey Garcia's Obsession With Capturing a Welterweight Title

    If Mikey Garcia were in Herman Melville's Moby Dick, he'd most definitely be Captain Ahab and the White Whale would be any of the 147-pound title belts. So, Garcia entered his fight against Jessie Vargas with huge plans despite the thumping he'd taken against Errol Spence last year in the same weight class.

    But Garcia's single-minded obsession with the idea netted fans a solid scrap. Garcia earned the nod from the judges, but it sure wasn't easy, at least not until Garcia hurt and dropped Vargas in the fifth round.

    In beating Vargas, though, Garcia proved he can compete at 147. I'm still not convinced he can win a world title against the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Terence Crawford or Spence in a rematch, but I'm certainly interested in watching him try.

    It's rare for a lightweight like Garcia to try his hand at winning a world title two weight classes above where he probably should be fighting. Rarer still for one to stay there when almost nobody else seems to think it's a good idea.

    But Garcia believes in himself and wants the test. I'd much rather see great fighters try and fail than what most other people do.

    MISS - Deontay Wilder's Obsession With Death

    Deontay Wilder has been one of the most surprising stories in the history of heavyweight boxing. He didn't start boxing until he was an adult. He never looked like he'd be able to build enough skill to become a world champion. He's likable, fun and super accomplished.

    All that's awesome.

    But his whole thing about wanting a body on his record is dumb, and the additional idea that Wilder is ready to die in the ring is also lame.

    Friday, Widler released a video on Instagram referring to himself as "The King" and saying "the war has just begun." Admittedly, the 34-year-old is probably just trying to rally support as he heads into the third Fury fight later this summer. But wanting a body on his record? Being willing to die to get it? War?!

    Boxing is a sport. It's a dangerous sport, but it's a sport, and Wilder's rhetoric has grown super tiresome over the years, as is the idea that seemingly nobody on his team or anybody making money off his name has the good sense to help him figure out why that's the case.

    HIT - Joseph Parker and the Depth of Boxing's Glamour Division

    Did New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker come onto the scene at the wrong time? I remember watching Parker train in 2015 with Wladimir Klitschko and how excited HBO's Peter Nelson was about him as a prospect.

    Indeed, Parker went on to capture a vacant world title against Andy Ruiz in 2016. After two defenses, Parker lost that belt via decision to Anthony Joshua in 2018. He subsequently lost later that same year to Dillian Whyte in a close fight but has won three straight since, including his fifth-round knockout of Shawndell Winters on Saturday.

    When Nelson was excited about Parker five years ago, it seemed likely at the time that he'd be one of the best heavyweights in boxing someday. Sure, he's legitimately one of the top contenders in 2020, but with the likes of Fury, Joshua and Wilder, it's sort of been lost in the heavyweight mix just how solid a heavyweight Parker is.

    But the fighter should get plenty more chances to prove himself against other top contenders going forward, and having heavyweights around like Parker is helping make heavyweight boxing in 2020 as exciting as it's been in the last 25 years or so.

    Photo credit: Ed Mulholland / Matchroom Boxing USA

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

  • #2
    MISS: My Choco-Yafai pick. All miss. Miss Me.


    • #3
      "Stunning" and SATISFYING