Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Potential Options for Chazz Witherspoon Following Victory Over Guivas

A recurring theme recently here at The Boxing Truth ® has been to take a look at fighters who are attempting to reestablish themselves as contenders in their respective divisions. One such fighter who has been working his way up the ranks is Heavyweight contender Chazz Witherspoon. Witherspoon carried a three-fight winning streak into his fight against prospect Nicholas Guivas on August 15th at The Playground in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The story of this bout as this observer said prior to the fight was whether or not Witherspoon, who entered the fight with a record of 33-3, with 25 Knockouts, could continue to build momentum on his comeback and if he were successful whether a victory could lead to a fight against someone who is rated in the top fifteen in one of the sport’s respective sanctioning organizations. Although one might argue that the thirty-three year old Witherspoon was in a “Must Win” scenario in regard to his future as a contender, he did have a significant experience advantage over the thirty-six year old Guivas, who entered the fight with a record of 11-2-2, with 9 Knockouts.

What impressed me about Witherspoon’s performance in this fight was the measured way he approached his attack of Guivas. Witherspoon patiently awaited his opportunities to execute his offense and was able to capitalize on those openings when Guivas would leave an opening. Witherspoon’s jab and right hand were particularly effective in allowing him to more or less pick his spots.

Although Guivas was quite “Game” and was willing to engage with Witherspoon, he simply could not establish a rhythm in this fight. Witherspoon was able to drop Guivas with a right hand midway through the second round. Even though Guivas was able to survive the round, he was unable to land anything to discourage Witherspoon from continuing his attack. The systematic attack by Witherspoon would continue into round three before the fight was stopped at 1:07 of the round.

As I stated prior to this fight if Witherspoon were to look impressive his storyline of a fighter looking to get back in the mix could be one that will continue to generate buzz. Witherspoon simply did what was expected of him in this fight and dominated a “Game”, but overmatched opponent. Now with four victories in his comeback, all coming by way of knockout under his belt, the question is what is next for Chazz Witherspoon?

Whether or not Witherspoon will face a fighter who is ranked in the top fifteen or top twenty in either of the sport’s five major sanctioning organizations in his next fight remains to be seen. One potential opponent that this observer believes would be an interesting fight would be an encounter between Witherspoon and Heavyweight contender Travis Kauffman. Kauffman, who recently scored a first round knockout over Richard Carmack on August 14th, is a fighter who much like Witherspoon is trying to reestablish himself as a contender in the Heavyweight division.

Kauffman has only lost once in thirty professional fights and has been undefeated since 2009. A fight between Kauffman and Witherspoon could offer both fighters the chance to get into position to potentially fight for a top ten ranking. Both fighters have career knockout percentages of 70% and based on the styles of the two fighters I believe this could be a good fight if it were made.

Other possibilities for Witherspoon could be a potential rematch with Chris Arreola who defeated Witherspoon in 2008. Arreola, who last fought in July and earned a draw against Fred Kassi is not currently rated in the top fifteen of any of the sport’s five major sanctioning organizations and could view a rematch with Witherspoon as potentially a way to elevate his standing in the rankings.

With several fighters either ranked in the top fifteen of a sanctioning organization’s respective rankings and other fighters all looking to elevate their standing in the division with the ultimate goal of challenging either unified IBF/WBO/WBA/IBO Heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko or undefeated WBC world champion Deontay Wilder, the Heavyweight division is one that is very much open and if Witherspoon can continue to win regardless of who he fights next, it is not difficult to envision him possibly being a top contender in the not too distant future.

Chazz Witherspoon however, should be considered a fighter to watch and it will be interesting to see what is in store for the next chapter of his comeback.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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