Friday, April 26, 2013

What’s next for Tyson Fury?

Over the course of the last two or three years several exciting Heavyweight prospects have emerged on the scene and have become fighters to watch as potential opponents for either Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko.  Although the Klitschko Brothers remain in firm control of the World Heavyweight championship and continue to dominate all would be challengers, the question most Boxing fans seem to have is who might be able to adequately challenge the brothers that this observer refers to as the two-headed Heavyweight championship monster?

In recent times the Heavyweight division has seen a group of fighters emerge as hot rising prospects on the verge of becoming legitimate contenders.  Most notably among the group are fighters such as Bryant Jennings, Artur Szpilka, Dereck Chisora, David Price, and Tyson Fury.

Both Price and Fury one might argue have received the majority of the attention of these prospects despite Dereck Chisora being a former world title challenger.  For the last two years or so, it appeared as though Fury and Price were on a collision course.  Both fighters having been unbeaten, both fighters similar in size and both with career knockout percentages of well over 70%.

It is certainly understandable why a fight between these two British Heavyweights is intriguing.  It seemed as though it was only a matter of time before the two would meet each other in the ring.  Although a fight between Fury and Price is still likely in the future, it will not be in the near future.  Price suffered the first defeat of his career being stopped by longtime contender Tony Thompson in February of this year. Due to the sudden and somewhat surprising outcome of that fight Price and Thompson are set to square off in a rematch in July. 

As for Tyson Fury, he has gradually stepped up the quality of his opposition and has not been faced with much adversity thus far in his career.  After scoring an impressive stoppage of veteran contender Vinny Maddalone and scoring a twelve round unanimous decision over former world title challenger Kevin Johnson in his last fight, Fury was poised for what would be the toughest test of his career in the form of former two-time world Cruiserweight champion Steve Cunningham.

Although all of the physical advantages in this fight belonged to Fury, it interested this observer to see how Fury would deal with someone of Cunningham’s pedigree and experience.  After all Cunningham is a former world champion and should have been viewed as a serious threat going into the fight.  As it was of interest to me to see how Fury would deal with Cunningham’s vast experience, it was of equal interest to see how Cunningham, who came into this fight after losing an extremely close decision in his second fight with former two-division world champion Tomasz Adamek would deal with a fighter with a near seven inch height advantage and who outweighed him by forty-four pounds.  The fight which was for the number two ranking in the International Boxing Federation’s (IBF) Heavyweight ratings only added to what looked like an interesting fight on paper. It is doubtful however that many expected what turned out to be one of the more exciting and competitive Heavyweight fights in recent years when the two entered the ring at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on April 20th.

For Cunningham it was to his advantage to try and box Fury. Cunningham has good lateral movement and it was clear that if he were to have success in this fight he needed to use angles to avoid the bigger fighter’s pressure.  As the fight got underway I expected Fury to look to cut the ring off and neutralize Cunningham’s lateral movement.  Fury was able to establish a solid jab in the early going. In what was an otherwise close and uneventful first round, the round was highlighted by Fury who elected to drop his hands and taunt Cunningham. 

Cunningham would respond by knocking the undefeated Fury down for the first time in his career with a flush right hand in the second round.  Cunningham had clearly established that he was there to fight and anyone who thought that this was merely a showcase for Fury who was fighting in the United States for the first time had been mistaken.  Fury arose from the canvas but did appear stunned. Fury was rocked again in the fourth round by a right hand from Cunningham however Fury began to impose his size by using his weight to hold and lean on Cunningham on the inside. 

Both fighters were able to land on the inside however as the fight progressed Cunningham’s punches seemed to lose their steam and it was Fury landing the heavier blows. Despite being deducted a point in round five for a head butt Fury was able to cut the ring off and the fight seemed to turn in his favor by this stage of the contest.  Cunningham was quite “Game” however he simply could not keep the bigger man off of him.

As the rounds went on Fury’s confidence increased despite being knocked down in the second round and rocked in the fourth.  Cunningham although presenting a valiant effort began to succumb to Fury’s pressure, Fury’s ability to use his weight to his advantage clearly affected Cunningham.  In round seven Fury brought the fight to a sudden conclusion by knocking Cunningham down with a brutal right hand along the ropes.  The “Game” Cunningham with seemingly nothing left to give on this night was counted out.

A few questions that were answered in this fight were how Tyson Fury would respond to adversity.  In this fight Fury faced a stern test from a grizzled veteran who gave Fury all he could handle.  Fury not only showed the ability to get up from being knocked down but he also showed tremendous confidence in his ability.

Despite suffering the first knockout loss of his career, Steve Cunningham showed his mettle in this fight and one might argue that this loss actually will benefit Cunningham in the future.  During this fight Cunningham threw multiple overhand rights to the head of Fury that missed.  It appeared as he threw those punches that he took his eye off the target much as to be a good hitter in baseball you have to see the ball all the way through the swing.  If those punches had landed one could conclude the fight may have had a different outcome.  Good fighters such as Cunningham will review the tapes of the fight, get back in the gym, and work on the weaknesses. 

So what is next for Tyson Fury?  With the win over Cunningham Fury now moves into the number two position in the IBF’s Heavyweight ratings.  The logical assumption would be that Fury would next look to face fellow unbeaten contender Kubrat Pulev, currently the IBF’s number one ranked Heavyweight to determine who would be the next mandatory challenger for Wladimir Klitschko. 

In the eyes of this observer Fury is a force to be reckoned with however I don’t believe he is ready for the Klitschko Brothers.  Fury has defensive flaws that could be his downfall against either Wladimir or Vitali, both of whom are masters of the craft of Boxing.  Let’s not forget Fury will not be the big man when he faces either Klitschko and his pressure style will have to be adjusted for him to have any chance to succeed.

Whomever he fights next almost certainly it will be an entertaining fight. Fury’s style along with his crowd pleasing antics makes it an event that you want to attend.  Let me add to the quotable saying “ HELL HAVE NO FURY,  But Boxing Does…”

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tyson Fury Feature in the works

We want to let our readers know that there will be a feature on Undefeated Heavyweight contender Tyson Fury that will be posted on Friday.  Stay tuned “And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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

Friday, April 12, 2013


A feature of this website that we will be doing periodically will revolve around reader interaction.  We value the opinions of our readers and we will be polling the readers of our website from time to time concerning various issues currently in the sport of Boxing or events of historical significance in the sport.

For our first reader poll; the rematch between IBF Super-Middleweight champion Carl Froch and former Super-Middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler is scheduled to take place on May 25th in London, England.  

POLL QUESTION:  Who will win and why?   

Please submit your predictions in the comments section or on Twitter at:

We look forward to hearing from you. 

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Is Gennady Golovkin on a collision course with Sergio Martinez?

Undefeated Unified WBA/IBO World Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin has become one of the hottest fighters not just in the Middleweight division but of the entire sport of Boxing.  Golovkin a fighter with a near 90% career knockout ratio has the kind of crowd pleasing style and punching power that can turn heads. 

Golovkin first burst on the scene here in the United States by scoring a devastating knockout win over a game but overmatched Grzegorz Proksa  in a fight where Golovkin knocked Proksa down  in rounds one, four, and then knocking him down face first in round five forcing the bout to be stopped.  Golovkin clearly established in one fight that he was a fighter to watch. 

Golovkin followed that win by punishing Jr. Middleweight contender Gabriel Rosado who was moving up in weight to the Middleweight division.  Golovkin dominated from start to finish cutting Rosado in the second round and continuing to punish the game challenger before Rosado’s corner stopped the fight in the seventh round. 

Off of the strength of those two performances some began anointing Golovkin as the heir apparent to WBC World Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, the man widely considered as the top fighter in the Middleweight division.  Despite the intimidating statistics of a near 90% career knockout ratio and having stopped twelve consecutive opponents I wondered who might be able to provide a test for Golovkin before I began calling for a Martinez-Golovkin showdown. 

When it was announced that Golovkin would defend his title on March 30th against Nobuhiro Ishida my initial thought was that this could be a competitive fight.  Ishida was best known to American Boxing fans as the fighter who scored an unexpected upset of previously undefeated Jr. Middleweight contender James Kirkland, knocking him out in the first round. 

Ishida was coming into this fight having lost his last two bouts to former Welterweight world champion Paul Williams and losing to former WBO World Middleweight champion Dmitry Pirog in his last bout prior to taking on Golovkin.  Ishida however entered as a former world title challenger who had previously held interim status in the World Boxing Association’s (WBA) Jr. Middleweight ratings in his career.  Despite those losses, Ishida was competitive in both fights and had never been knocked out in his career.  Based on this it looked as though some questions regarding Golovkin could be answered because it appeared likely that Ishida would be able to extend Golovkin into the middle or even late rounds. 

In his previous twelve bouts leading up to this fight Golovkin had only been stretched as far as the tenth round once, in his fight against former Jr. Middleweight world champion Kassim Ouma in 2011.  It interested this observer to see whether or not Ishida could deal with Golovkin’s come forward, pressure style and find a way to nullify Golovkin’s power. 

One might argue that what worked against Ishida in his fights against Williams and Pirog was that he allowed both fighters to outwork him.  There were periods in both fights where Ishida would be on the defensive and elect to stand in front of his opponents and not let his hands go. This allowed both Williams and Pirog to win some close rounds by landing combinations.  I wondered going into this fight if Ishida would look to utilize his jab and box from the outside using lateral movement to avoid being a stationary target for Golovkin.  It was clear in my mind that Ishida could not stand in front of Golovkin and be successful. He had to be illusive in order to have a chance for success. 

When the fighters entered the ring at the Salle des etoiles in Monte Carlo, Monaco Ishida attempted to control distance behind his jab in the first round and had periodic success landing it.  It was Golovkin however who was able to slip the majority of Ishida’s offense with precision head movement while coming forward behind his own jab.  It was clear in the opening round that Golovkin’s jab had more power as it was able to snap the head of Ishida back whenever it landed. 

In the second round Golovkin began to open up more landing uppercuts, right hands, and left hooks.  Ishida did not have an answer for the power of Golovkin but most troublesome he had no answer to avoid Golovkin’s offense.  By this point in the fight Ishida was in a defensive mode it was clear that Ishida could not provide the test for the champion that many observers, this one included thought he might have been capable. 

Golovkin brought the fight to a sudden and dramatic conclusion in round three landing a perfectly timed overhand right flush on the jaw of a back peddling Ishida knocking the challenger out cold and halfway out of the ring. Referee Stanley Christodoulou immediately stopped the fight. 

There are likely to be some who will look at this latest knockout by Golovkin from a skeptical point of view by simply saying that he faced a fighter who really couldn’t offer much resistance and that Golovkin needs to face more serious opposition. Let’s examine things from a statistical perspective. 

Gennady Golovkin not only scored his thirteenth consecutive knockout by knocking out Nobuhiro Ishida but he had also knocked out a man who had never been stopped in thirty-four previous bouts. From an entertainment standpoint it is hard to argue that Golovkin’s knockout of Ishida is not a candidate for Knockout of the year.  Although skeptics may remain it is clear that Gennady Golovkin has proven that he belongs in the discussion of not only the top Middleweights but also Boxing’s mythic pound for pound debates. 

Is Golovkin on a collision course with Sergio Martinez?  There is no doubt that a potential fight between the two world champions is certainly mouth watering and likely to garner significant interest and would be a solid pay-per-view draw if and when the fight is made.  In the immediate future however it may be more likely to see Golovkin defend his title against top contenders like former two-time Middleweight world champion Felix Sturm, former champion Dmitry Pirog, Matthew Macklin, and even potential unification bouts against current IBF champion Daniel Geale and WBO champion Peter Quillin.

As for Sergio Martinez, he will next defend his title on April 27th in his native Argentina against top Middleweight contender Martin Murray.  Depending on the outcome of that fight one may be justified to assume that Martinez would likely look to face former WBC champion Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. the man  Martinez beat in September of last year to regain his world title.  If that is indeed the plan for Martinez should he successfully defend his title against Martin Murray, it would be hard to blame Martinez for seeking what is likely to be a very lucrative rematch. 

Although Sergio Martinez may not be in his immediate future, there are certainly plenty of options of the table for Gennady Golovkin.  If Golovkin continues to win or more specifically continues to win by destroying any and all challengers put before him; the demand for him to face Martinez assuming Martinez continues to win will only increase. 

Martinez is a boxer and a southpaw. In his fight with Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. Martinez clearly out boxed Chavez and was able to evade Chavez’ pressure and power for the first ten rounds.  In rounds eleven and twelve Chavez was able to hurt Martinez and knocked him down in the final round. If the fight was scheduled for fifteen rounds, the outcome may have been different.

 Chavez is a fighter who moves forward with his head to get on the inside, Golovkin moves forward with a punch.  Martinez would be put in a position to defend against the punch of Golovkin rather than stick and move to evade as he was able to do against Chavez. As we all know, anything can happen in the sport of Boxing.  It remains to be seen if Martinez and Golovkin will meet. Who would win?  Anything is possible.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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