Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Thompson Derails Price: What’s next for both?

When I previewed the Heavyweight fight between undefeated hot rising prospect David Price and former two-time world title challenger and longtime contender Tony Thompson  several weeks ago, I stated that in my view David Price could be one of the fighters if not the fighter who may take over the Heavyweight division in the post-Klitschko era.  I also stated that it could be a valid argument that Price who entered into his fight with Thompson with a record of 15-0, with 13 Knockouts had not been tested on the world level of the sport. 

As questions surrounded David Price as to just how good he was before the fight, questions also surrounded Tony Thompson.  Thompson who entered the fight with a record of 36-3, with 24 Knockouts was coming off of his second knockout loss in his second attempt to lift the Unified World Heavyweight championship from Wladimir Klitschko.  In that fight Thompson was unable to put up much resistance to Klitschko and it appeared as though Thompson was beginning to show signs of a fighter who was on the decline. 

When the fight was first announced I questioned whether or not it was too much, too soon for Price.  Despite his stellar record, I wondered whether or not having only fifteen professional fights would affect Price in any way.  By the same token, I wondered what Thompson would have to offer in the fight in terms of providing a test for Price. 

Although Thompson did not look good in his rematch with Wladimir Klitschko, he was after all still a legitimate top fifteen Heavyweight and should have been viewed by most impartial observers as a dangerous opponent.  Thompson was however forty-one years old and despite being considerably more experienced on the world level than Price, was a significant underdog. 

One thing that sort of took this observer by surprise before the fight was that Thompson weighed in at 262lbs. the heaviest weight of his career.  It made me wonder what affect if any, the weight would have on Thompson if the fight extended into the middle rounds.   The fifteen pound weight disparity between Thompson and Price who weighed in at 247lbs. and who had a three inch height advantage over Thompson seemed to give validity to those who considered Thompson an underdog. 

When the fighters entered the ring this past weekend in Price’s hometown of Liverpool, England there was not much to separate either fighter in the first round.  It was a typical feeling out round that Price seemed to do a little more and probably won the round.  In the second round Price was able to briefly stun Thompson with a right hand and sent him back along the ropes. Thompson also took some body punches in this offensive spurt by Price but it did not appear as though he was seriously hurt. 

It was late in the round that the fight would be brought to a sudden and dramatic conclusion.  In an exchange of right hands Thompson was able to land on the neck of Price sending him to the canvas.  Price was able to beat the count on extremely rubbery legs and the bout was subsequently stopped by referee Steve Gray at 2:17 of the round. 

It was a shocking and unexpected conclusion because it did not appear initially that the punch that Price was hit with was damaging enough to end the fight.  This no doubt will prompt some to criticize Price’s ability to take a punch and or, whether or not he was ready to take on an opponent of the caliber of Thompson.

Although some may be quick to criticize Price, this observer will not be one of them.  For those who have read my work over the years, or have had the opportunity to correspond with me, you know that one thing that I often say is Anything can happen at any given time in Boxing and that’s what makes our sport so great.

Some may question Price’s chin however it’s worth noting that the punch that dropped Price was not absorbed on the chin.  It was absorbed on the neck and seemed to land just bellow the ear.  A punch absorbed in that area can affect a fighter’s equilibrium and can certainly explain why Price appeared to go down awkwardly and subsequently get up on unsteady legs.  Although the result of this fight cannot be questioned, it would be foolish at this stage to say that David Price is no longer a prospect. 

Prior to the knockout, neither fighter was hurt and the fight appeared to be heating up.  A one punch knockout that now opens several possibilities for not only Thompson and Price but the Heavyweight division as well.  Let’s examine what may be in store for these two Heavyweights. 

For Tony Thompson his win over Price reestablishes himself as a contender for either Unified WBA/IBF/IBO/WBO champion Wladimir Klitschko or, for WBC champion Vitali Klitschko.  Thompson for his part said following the fight that he wants to face undefeated Heavyweight contender Tyson Fury who much like David Price, is a rising prospect.  If Thompson were to fight Fury and be successful it would be hard to argue that he would not have earned a third opportunity at the Heavyweight title against either of the Klitschko brothers, for Thompson would have rebounded from defeat to knock off two of the Heavyweight division’s hottest prospects both of whom were unbeaten. 

Thompson has accomplished part one of that goal. Would he be able to defeat Tyson Fury?  Only time will tell.  There are however other worthy prospects and contenders in the Heavyweight division like Bryant Jennings, Denis Boystov, Robert Helenius, among others who would likely welcome the opportunity to face Thompson not only due to the new found notoriety Thompson now has off of his conquest of Price, but also keeping in mind that Thompson is a fighter who has fought for the Heavyweight championship of the world twice. A win over Thompson may indeed springboard a prospect/contender into a world title shot. 

Although Thompson may indeed have his sights set on Tyson Fury for his next fight, one possibility that should be considered is a rematch with David Price.  Thompson’s victory was after all sudden, dramatic, and came out of nowhere.  Many fans, odds makers, and experts alike may have written Thompson off prior to the fight.  Thompson now finds himself in the position to be able to potentially garner more in terms of money for a rematch with Price than he earned for this fight. A rematch would no doubt be a hot ticket draw in the UK and may perhaps garner significant attention here in the United States as well.

Would David Price be open to a rematch?  It is often said that it is how a fighter handles defeat that may determine just how good they are.  David Price for the moment has been knocked off his course as he was on the path to a potential world title shot in the not too distant future. 

Although Price must now deal with a setback in terms of his career; it is important to remember that it is a setback not a career ending blow.  Price is still a prospect and still may find himself in position to challenge for the Heavyweight championship in the future.   I believe the best option for Price is Thompson if a rematch can be made.  Tyson Fury may also be in his future. 

For those who may criticize Price off of this knockout loss it should be noted that many of the top fighters in the Heavyweight division are not undefeated.  As well many former champions lost fights prior to winning versions of the World Heavyweight championship.  John Ruiz, Bruce Seldon, Frank Bruno, and let’s not forget Wladimir Klitschko just to name a few.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What’s next for Dierry Jean?

When undefeated Jr. Welterweight contender and current North American Boxing Federation (NABF) Jr. Welterweight champion Dierry Jean entered the ring to square off with late substitute Juan Jesus Rivera this past weekend he entered as the number one contender in the World Boxing Council’s (WBC) Jr. Welterweight ratings.  Jean who entered the fight with an impressive record of 23-0, 15 Knockouts, with a career knockout percentage of well over 60% would seem as a likely world title challenger in the not too distant future. 

Jean did not disappoint the crowd in attendance at the Hilton Lac Leamy in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada. Jean out classed a fighter in Rivera who took the fight on less than a week’s notice when original opponent Cosme Rivera had to pull out of the fight.  Jean also faced a fighter in Rivera who weighed in for the fight a full seven pounds over the 140lb. Jr. Welterweight limit.  Jean’s quick hands and measured timing were clearly too much for Rivera to overcome.  Jean dropped Rivera in the first round with a perfectly timed counter left hook at the end of the round and brought the fight to a conclusion in the closing seconds of the second round, flooring Rivera for the second time with a devastating right hand.  Rivera gamely made it to his feet before the bout was stopped by Referee Michael Griffin.

One thing that any fighter must show at some point in their career is the ability to adjust.  In this fight Dierry Jean showed that not only could he adapt to a change of opponent but he could also dominate a fighter who had a size advantage.  Although on the surface this fight did not answer too many questions in regard to just how good Dierry Jean is, one should not take away from what was an impressive performance.  The argument of some could be that perhaps Jean has yet to be tested against world class opposition thus far in his career.  This observer respectfully disagrees.  Prior to his knockout win over Rivera, one could argue that Jean was tested against two seasoned veterans.

In his fights with Lanardo Tyner and Ivan Cano, Jean not only stepped up in class of opposition but he was also able to show that he can go deep into fights. He was taken to the twelve round distance for the first time in his career in his bout with Tyner when he won the NABF Jr. Welterweight title and was able to score an eleventh round stoppage of Cano in his last bout prior to meeting Rivera. 

All boxers eventually have to answer questions in regard to their stamina and how they perform against world class opposition.  Thus far Jean has done all you can really ask of a top contender, win and win impressively in order to maintain and generate interest as he awaits his shot at a world title. 

One might argue however that Jean could be viewed as an odd man out currently in the Jr. Welterweight division.  Despite being rated number one by the WBC, Jean actually is number two behind Lucas Matthysse who currently holds interim status in the WBC and of course unified WBC/WBA Jr. Welterweight champion Danny Garcia who is scheduled to defend his world title against multi-division world champion Zab Judah on April 27th.

The IBF world champion in the Jr. Welterweight division Lamont Peterson is scheduled to defend his world title this week against former champion Kendall Holt. The WBO world title in the Jr. Welterweight division is arguably up in the air as it remains uncertain as of this writing as to whether or not the current WBO champion Juan Manuel Marquez intends to return to the division following his thrilling knockout victory over Manny Pacquiao in their fourth fight last December. 

The current world championship picture in the Jr. Welterweight division at least in the short-term future would appear as though Jean would not be in the discussion for a world title shot.  So, the question is what is next for Dierry Jean? 

The most logical option in this observer’s eyes would be to see Jean face Lucas Matthysse who is coming off of a devastating one punch first round knockout over Mike Dallas Jr. in January of this year.  Conventional wisdom would be that Matthysse the fighter who currently holds interim status in the WBC would face the next available/highest rated contender in Dierry Jean and the winner of that fight would then face the winner of the Danny Garcia-Zab Judah bout.  If however conventional wisdom does not win out, there are a few opponents that could pose for interesting match ups for Dierry Jean in the not too distant future. 

Amir Khan:  Khan is probably the most notable opponent currently that Jean could seek a fight with.  Khan has gone 3-2 in his last five fights and is coming off of an impressive performance in stopping previously undefeated Carlos Molina in December of last year.

Khan is in the rebuilding process after losing title fights in 2011 and 2012 to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia.  It is certainly possible that Khan may view a fight with Jean as a way to springboard himself back into the world title picture.  Like Jean, Khan has quick hands and will almost definitely be viewed as the toughest test for Jean thus far.  One thing that may work to Jean’s advantage if he should meet Khan is Khan has shown in the past that he is willing to mix it up against his opponents but has also shown that he can be vulnerable as was the case in his fights with Bredis Prescott, Marcos Maidana, and Danny Garcia. 

Both Prescott and Garcia were able to knock Khan out.  For a fighter with the speed and power of Jean it certainly would be to his advantage to force Khan into a fire fight early.  A fight between the two could be a significant draw in either the UK or Canada where Jean is based.  A fight that is a hot ticket seller would be an obvious win/win for both fighters and if the fight takes place this year, it could end up being one of the more interesting fights that can be made.

Pier-Oliver Cote: Much like Jean, Cote is an undefeated hot rising Canadian prospect.  Much like Jean, Cote has a career knockout percentage of well over 60%.  The comparisons between the two don’t end there.  One might argue that both have yet to be in against top caliber competition however, a fight between the two may very well produce fireworks. 

Cote is currently rated number five by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and could view a fight against fellow undefeated Jean as his opportunity to get a world title shot.  Like Jean, Cote fights at a fast pace and has shown speed and power.  Cote’s most notable fight to date took place in November 2011 when Cote scored a second round knockout over American contender Jorge Teron. 

Cote showed in that fight that he can be explosive with his offense however there was a brief moment where Teron was able to wobble Cote with a right hand while being on the defensive.  What makes a fight between Jean and Cote interesting in addition to the similarities between the two is the question of how Cote would be able to deal with someone who has speed and power that is similar to himself but also, can Cote deal with a fighter with such precision timing and ability to counter punch as Jean? 

Cosme Rivera: A fighter who should not be forgotten in the list of potential opponents for Jean is Cosme Rivera.  The biggest obstacle that seems to stand in Rivera’s way right now is resolving visa issues that would presumably allow him to travel outside of his native Mexico.  He has been scheduled to face Jean twice, however recurring visa problems have stood in the way of the fight taking place.

Rivera however is a grizzled veteran of fifty-four professional fights and is a former world title challenger.  One might argue that in terms of experience Rivera might be the leading candidate, a would be gatekeeper that Jean should have to get passed before he sets his sights on the elite of the Jr. Welterweight division.

No matter which route Dierry Jean decides to take for his next fight, one thing is clear. Jean is the latest highly touted prospect to come into the 140lb. Jr. Welterweight division.  A division that has seen many great fights between all time greats over the years. Will Dierry Jean be the next elite fighter of the Jr. Welterweight division?  Only time will tell. 

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Look At The Botha-Williams Controversy

What one might feel to be of controversy was why Botha vs. Williams? You have an aging Heavyweight who has fought many of the best throughout his career, yet still is 44 years old and Rugby star Sonny Bill Williams although 5-0, still a Rugby star. Obviously the draw is exactly what you could call controversial. This however would not end questions of controversy this night, for unusual events were yet to take place.

When I was first made aware of the recent Heavyweight bout between longtime Heavyweight contender Francois Botha and Rugby star turned unbeaten Heavyweight Sonny Bill Williams, I wondered whether or not the fight would be competitive.  After all Williams was entering the fight having only competed in five bouts previously in his career, against Botha who had fought in sixty-professional fights in his career.  In comparing the two it would be hard to argue that Williams was not at a disadvantage in terms of experience. 

The forty-four year old Botha has fought a who’s who of the best Heavyweights of his era and despite entering the bout having lost three of his last four fights, he would have to be considered the favorite.  For the twenty-seven year old Williams the question was whether or not he could compete effectively with someone as seasoned as Botha.  It clearly was a major step up in class for Williams who’s previous opponents registered a combined record of 18-21-2, with 9 Knockouts. 

Williams’ status as a Rugby star brought up memories of several notable American Football players throughout the years who have tried their hand at Professional Boxing with mixed results.  Although Williams entered this fight undefeated, the question of whether or not he had bitten off more than he could chew against a fighter of the caliber of Botha was certainly valid.  It was clear however that the crowd support would likely be in Williams’ favor when the two entered the ring in Queensland, Australia on February 8th.

When the fight got underway I was impressed with Williams’ ability to utilize his jab to keep Botha at distance. Botha however showed late in the first round that he had the punching power that could give Williams trouble connecting with a solid right hand in the final minute. Williams showed that he could take a punch and as the fight progressed it was Williams who was the more active of the two mixing jabs to the head and body with combinations. Williams also was able to make effective use of the ring using good lateral movement to turn Botha and avoid being trapped for lengthy periods throughout.  Botha however was himself effective when he was able to come forward with periodic bursts of offense. 

As the fight progressed Williams appeared in my eyes to be ahead on points due to how he was able to control the tempo of the fight.  Despite Williams’ impressive performance, Botha was clearly the harder hitter of the two and the question became would Botha be able to cut the ring off and land on Williams more than occasionally as the fight entered the middle rounds. 

One thought that came to mind, was the thought of perhaps Botha saving himself for the later rounds.  One should consider that it could have been part of Botha’s strategy to extend Williams whom had not fought past six rounds in his career as deep as he could before stepping up his pace.  It was hard to argue however that what Williams was able to accomplish in this fight through seven rounds was impressive for a fighter who had only fought five professional bouts previously. 

It was also clear as the fight entered the ninth round that Botha had become increasingly frustrated due to not being able to land effectively on the inside when he was able to come forward. This was due to Williams’ ability to tie Botha up and thus preventing him from following up.  Ironically despite how frustrated Botha appeared to be, it was in the ninth round that one might argue he had his best round of the fight.  Despite being deducted a point for hitting on the break in the final minute of the round, Botha was able to land more frequently than he had been in previous rounds and connected with a couple of solid right hands that  had it not been for the point deduction may have been a round he would have won.  

At the end of nine rounds I had Sonny Bill Williams ahead seven rounds to one, with one round even.  There was little dispute as to who was ahead in the fight.  As there always seems to be in Boxing however elements of controversy would arise. 

In between rounds nine and ten the referee of the bout went into each corner informing both fighters that the last round was coming up.  This bout was announced as a “Twelve Round” fight. It seemed a bit odd seeing as it was announced prior to the fight beginning that it was a twelve round fight that the referee would say “Last Round” as the fight was entering round ten.

As someone who has seen and covered countless fights, this is the first time I can ever remember a fight being announced as being scheduled for one distance but seemingly being changed in the middle of a fight.  It certainly seemed strange to say the least.   

In what would be the final round of the contest Botha was able to press forward and land on Williams who seemed to be out on his feet in the closing stages of the fight.  Williams did a lot of holding on the inside which eventually led to a point deduction against Williams with twenty-six seconds remaining in the fight. 

Williams was able to survive and hold on for a lopsided unanimous decision victory.  Although there is no disputing as to who was ahead and who won the majority of the rounds, questioning and attention should be paid as to how and why the scheduled number of rounds of this fight was seemingly changed in the middle of the bout.  Was there a major lack of communication prior to the bout or was the bout indeed originally scheduled for ten rounds? 

Regardless of the decision; after ten rounds one would indeed be justified to argue that Botha could have indeed scored a stoppage had he had the benefit of rounds eleven and twelve.  He was clearly behind in the fight however it is hard to argue that the momentum of the fight was not turning in his favor by the end of the tenth round. 

In regard to the controversial  scheduled distance of this fight, it seems odd as an observer that no one would know why the bout was changed from twelve to ten rounds. If someone did know, why was there no announcement made prior to the fight? 

In the days since the fight there have been several reports of alleged allegations of a failed drug test from Botha. Allegations  that have been denied by Botha.  Sports books in Australia refunding bets made on Botha while still paying bets to those who put their money on Williams.  There were also brief questions as to the validity of the World Boxing Association’s (WBA) sanctioning of this fight for their International Heavyweight title. The WBA has since confirmed that the bout was indeed sanctioned by the governing body. 

The latest allegations regarding this controversy come from Botha who has alleged that he was offered $150,000  from Williams’ camp to take a dive three days before the fight.  The allegations have been denied by Williams' manager Khoder Nasser. 

 As someone who has tried his best to put controversial situations into perspective and to put things in a way that everyone can understand; frankly this one has me at a loss of words.  All I can say is I do believe a rematch is in order.

For now the dark cloud of controversy looms over Australia.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.

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Monday, February 11, 2013


Due to scheduling issues we want to let our readers know that updates will be posted between Monday and Wednesdays for the foreseeable future.  The next edition of The Boxing Truth® will be posted on Wednesday.  Stay tuned.  “And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.

Follow Beau Denison on Twitter

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Geale and Soliman emerge victorious to set up potential Australian Super Fight

When two-time World Middleweight champion Daniel Geale entered the ring to make the fourth defense of his IBF world title in a rematch against former two-division world champion Anthony Mundine on January 30th  he was looking to avenge the lone defeat of his career.  In their first bout in 2009, Geale then holder of the IBO Middleweight title lost a close split decision to Mundine.

In the years following the first bout Geale rebounded to win the IBF Middleweight title in 2011 by beating Sebastian Sylvester and successfully making two defenses of the title. Geale then briefly unified the IBF and WBA titles in September of last year by defeating longtime WBA champion Felix Sturm before being stripped of the WBA title for opting to fight Anthony Mundine rather than the WBA mandatory challenger/Interim champion Gennady Golovkin.

It was clear from the opening bell that Geale was the sharper fighter often beating Mundine to the punch and landing in combinations. This was complimented by solid defense from Geale and along with steady pressure was able to disrupt Mundine from having a consistent offensive flow throughout the fight.  Geale’s convincing unanimous decision victory over Mundine only validates that he is a force to be reckoned with among the cream of the crop of the Middleweight division.  

Before Geale can set his sights on unification of the Middleweight division against the fellow champions Sergio Martinez, Gennady Golovkin, and Peter Quillin he must first make a mandatory defense of his IBF championship.  Two short days after Geale successfully defended his title against Anthony Mundine, an IBF elimination bout was held in D├╝sseldorf, Germany between Felix Sturm and longtime Middleweight contender and former world title challenger Sam Soliman.

Soliman who has been a top Middleweight contender for several years has long been considered one of the top fighters in Australia. He has faced a who’s who of top contenders and former world champions including Winky Wright, Howard Eastman, Sakio Bika, and Anthony Mundine just to name a few. 

Despite having a fine career of fifty-three professional fights and riding a seven fight winning streak leading up to his clash with the former champion Sturm, Soliman at thirty-nine years of age one might argue could have been getting perhaps his last opportunity to position himself to fight for a world title. A point some might argue is that despite having a solid career, compiling a record of 42-11, 14 Knockouts that he has had mixed results when he has been put against world class opposition including three losses to Anthony Mundine fought at the 168lb. Super-Middleweight limit. 

It was on this basis that many thought Soliman was an underdog leading up to his fight with Sturm.  What also did not seem to play in Soliman’s favor was the fact that this fight would be fought on Sturm’s home turf in Germany where previous opponents have found it difficult to earn decisions in fights that some observers feel should have gone their way.  Most notably in the opinion of this observer Sturm’s controversial draw in a title defense in December 2011 against British contender Martin Murray in a fight where many observers this one included felt that Murray was the busier fighter down the stretch and deserved the decision.

One thing of interest as this fight approached was the question of how Sturm would perform coming off his loss to Daniel Geale.  One thing that Geale was able to accomplish against Sturm that I felt would potentially be an asset for Soliman was how he was able to outwork Sturm with a high work rate and consistently had Sturm on defense.  For a fighter who has a high work rate as Soliman has; I felt that it would be a vital to his success in this fight to start fast and get his punches off first before Sturm could land. One thing Soliman would have difficulty with was Sturm’s ability to counterpunch.  I wondered how Soliman’s defense would fair against Sturm who fights in spurts but tends to land crisp, accurate combinations when he lets his hands go. 

When the fight got underway I was somewhat surprised with how easily the former world champion Sturm was able to land his right hand on Soliman who seemed to have trouble getting into a rhythm early on in the fight.  In the second round Sturm floored Soliman with a massive right hand and it seemed that Soliman was in serious trouble.

Soliman arose from the knockdown and despite being staggered periodically throughout the early rounds managed to find his stride in the second half of the fight.  Although I scored the first four rounds for Sturm including a two point round for the knockdown in round two, I was impressed with Soliman’s ability to recover and how he was able to gradually work his way back into the fight.  In the second half of the contest I felt Soliman just did a little more than Sturm even though there were periods that Sturm seemed to land the cleaner punches. 

This was a case of what I often say is what a judge prefers clean accurate punching and defense, or high volume of punching and combinations.  For most of the second half of the fight it seemed as though there were times that Soliman was able to keep Sturm on the defensive and was able to land three punches to Sturm’s one punch. 

At the end of the twelve round bout it seemed logical that the fight would be close.  No matter which way the fight went I felt that Sam Soliman deserved a lot of credit for the determined effort he put forth later in the fight. Despite the gutsy effort of Soliman there was a part of me that felt that it wouldn’t be enough.  After all, this fight was fought on Sturm’s home ground and it would be hard to argue that he didn’t have a decent lead on most scorecards midway through the fight and that Soliman had a hole to climb out of. 

It has become the norm to see a closely fought battle in most of Felix Sturm’s fights. This bout was no different…  While waiting for the official scores to be announced I almost out of instinct began having thoughts of the controversial decisions in Sturm’s recent battles against Martin Murray and Matthew Macklin. In bouts that could have gone either way.  I wondered if this fight would add to the opinion of some that it is very difficult if not next to impossible to get a decision victory over Sturm in Germany. 

Of course the rare exceptions to that theory were Sturm’s first fight with two-division world champion Javier Castillejo whom stopped Sturm in the tenth round in what is to date the lone knockout loss of Sturm’s career and Sturm’s loss to Daniel Geale last year.  Nevertheless I felt that no matter the outcome of this fight that it would be the subject of much debate in the weeks and months that follow.

When the official decision was announced, I was initially confused as to the result due to a mishap by legendary ring announcer Michael Buffer who initially began announcing Sturm as the winner only to quickly correct himself and announce twice that Soliman had won by a narrow unanimous decision winning the fight by one point on two official scorecards. 

What did not strike me as overly out of the ordinary was the scorecard of Judge Benoit Roussell who scored the fight 116-111 for Soliman.  Unofficially I had the fight scored the same as Judges Mickey Vann and Steve Weisfeld who scored it 114-113 for Soliman.  In all truth and honesty I would have no complaints had this fight been scored a draw. The fight ended up being very close and competitive in the second half of the contest and even though I felt Soliman was just the more active of the two and outworked Sturm in the later rounds, I can certainly see how some might feel that the fight could have gone in favor of Sturm. 

As for why the scorecard of Judge Benoit Roussell did not strike me as out of the ordinary?  It is not uncommon in the sport of Boxing particularly in high profile fights to see a scorecard that may differ from the other judges involved in the scoring or the consensus score of fans and experts alike.  As I have often said over the years it often all boils down to what a judge prefers in their own individual criteria of how they score a fight.  Other factors such as where a judge is positioned at ringside and their ability to clearly see the action may also play a factor but overall it comes down to what a judge looks for when scoring a fight. 

Just as the consensus is that this fight was close so too is the opinion of many observers, this one included that Soliman’s victory was in many ways an upset that may have a long term impact on the Middleweight division. Never the less Soliman pulled out the victory and has earned another shot at the title.

As for Felix Sturm?  After suffering back to back losses one may argue that Sturm may be set back a bit in terms of his positioning as a top tier fighter in the Middleweight division.  It would be foolish however in the eyes of this observer for one to think that Sturm may be through as a fighter.  One thing that will work in Sturm’s favor is he was clearly was not disgraced nor dominated in his fights with Geale and Soliman and much like his fights with Murray, Macklin and, Oscar De La Hoya could have gone either way.  It will be interesting to see what Sturm’s next move will be but with three world champions in the division and several prospects and contenders looking to position themselves for world title shots, I believe it is safe to assume that Felix Sturm remains very much in the mix.

For Sam Soliman the victory over Felix Sturm is in many ways a career defining moment.  It now sets up what may just be one of the most talked about and anticipated fights in Australian Boxing history.  The obvious storyline going into that fight of can the grizzled veteran Soliman finally break through the glass ceiling by lifting a world title from a world champion whom one may argue is just entering his prime will surely have people talking. 

The two fights that have taken place over the last week to now set up what looks to be an intriguing battle to presumably take place in May of this year is yet another reminder that all of sport has turned international and that the sport of Boxing needs to be viewed on a global scale. 

I wait with great anticipation of what could be a great fight. Boxing’s Center stage will now shine on the Australian Boxing scene much as it has the UK and Germany in recent years and of course the focal points of Boxing here in America.  I for one cannot wait to see the attention of the entire Boxing world focused on Australia.  It’s long overdue.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Brief Update:

We want to give our readers a notice that the website will be updated on Wednesday this week.  We apologize for the delay.  Stay tuned. “And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison. All Rights Reserved.

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