Saturday, September 30, 2017

Belated Thoughts On Parker-Fury

Undefeated Joseph Parker emerged on the Heavyweight scene when he won the vacant WBO Heavyweight world championship in December of last year with a twelve round unanimous decision over fellow unbeaten contender Andy Ruiz. The victory for Parker not only established him as a player in the division, but added him to the history books as New Zealand’s first World Heavyweight champion.

After successfully defending his world championship with a twelve round unanimous decision over Razvan Cojanu in May of this year, Parker set his sights on what would be his second title defense against undefeated WBO number one contender Hughie Fury on September 23rd at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. This was an interesting fight in the sense that it had two fighters who one might argue were still looking for the respect and recognition of Boxing fans.

Fury, the cousin of undefeated former unified World Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury entered the fight unbeaten in twenty professional fights, but was coming into the bout off of a year of inactivity having defeated veteran contender Fred Kassi in April of last year. Fury suffered a severe cut over his left eye in that fight which caused the bout to be stopped resulting in Fury winning the fight via technical decision after seven rounds. The severity of the cut was largely responsible for Fury’s layoff and it is always an interesting to see how a fighter will respond after such inactivity.

What also made this encounter interesting was both Parker and Fury are not known for their punching power, but had each shown the ability to get an opponent out of there if the opportunity presented itself. The bout was the definition of a tactical battle. A fight that was frankly difficult to score. Although the champion was consistently aggressive throughout this fight, I felt the bout was largely dictated by Fury in that he was very consistent in using movement to offset Parker’s pressure as well as regularly throwing his jab, which made it challenging for the champion to get into an offensive rhythm.

Even though the champion would have periodic success in short offensive bursts as he came forward, he just couldn’t seem to land a significant punch that would clearly shift the tempo in his favor, in this observer’s eyes. At the end of the twelve round world championship bout, I arrived at a score of 116-112 or eight rounds to four in favor of Fury. The official decision however, would differ from my scoring of the fight as Parker would retain his title with a twelve round majority decision winning the bout by a score of 118-110 or ten rounds to two on two official scorecards while the third official judge saw the fight even at six rounds a piece or 114-114 in points.

A question I get asked from time to time when discussing my years covering the sport is does it bother me when there is a controversial decision and/or does it leave a bad taste in this observer’s mouth when the element of “Controversy” arises. Of course, there will be some that will point out the obvious that “Controversy” does after all have a way of generating buzz as well as stirring discussion/debate and therefore creates interest in the sport. As longtime readers know however, I have often over the years made the counter argument as to why too much “Controversy” ultimately does more harm than good for the sport.

Some may choose to call the outcome in this fight “Controversial” based largely on the scoring of two judges, who saw Joseph Parker winning ten of twelve rounds. Although I did not agree with the score of 118-110 in favor of Parker and can see how some might take issue with my 116-112 or eight rounds to four scorecard in favor of Fury, there are some factors that should be pointed out, which may clear up the questions some might have with regard to the scoring of this fight.

This was an extremely tactical fight that was fought at a measured pace. When fights are fought at such a pace the challenge for those scoring a fight both in an official and unofficial capacity is to distinguish which fighter gets the upper hand particularly in fights where fighters are able to have periods of success in each round. Speaking for myself, it was Fury’s movement and his being able to control the tempo of the combat as well as being able to keep Parker from getting his offense off consistently, which was the basis for my scoring though there were several “Swing Rounds” due to the pace in which the fight was fought and Parker being able to execute offense in spots.

Although I felt Fury had the edge in this fight, as readers have heard me utter frequently over the years when the subject of close fights is discussed, it will often boil down to what a judge prefers in their own individual criteria in how they score based on clean punching, effective aggressiveness, ring generalship, and defense. From my perspective even though the champion was consistently aggressive, he did not land enough punches in those periods where he was able to execute offense in short bursts to sway my opinion as to who was getting the upper hand, but was able to win rounds particularly when Fury was not moving as much and was not able to keep Parker at distance, which is how I ended up with a 116-112 scorecard at the end of the fight.

One might assume that the two judges that saw Parker winning the bout by a wide margin scored based on his aggression and perhaps may have felt that he landed the harder punches of the two fighters even though he was not as active as the challenger. Only the judges themselves can comment on what they based their scores on, but it appears obvious that Parker and Fury might be heading toward a second encounter in the future. When and where a rematch between the two might take place is a question that could and probably will be debated because with the victory disputed by some or not, Joseph Parker has for the time being fulfilled his mandatory obligations by facing and defeating the WBO’s number one Heavyweight contender.

Whether or not the World Boxing Organization (WBO) mandates a rematch between Parker and Fury, who made clear his intention to file a formal protest of the decision in the days following the fight remains unclear. This observer believes it might be more likely that Parker will await the outcomes of the two remaining World Heavyweight championship fights scheduled in 2017, which will see undefeated champions Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua defending their respective portions of the World Heavyweight championship before deciding his next move. Whether that move comes in the form of an immediate rematch with Hughie Fury, an elective title defense against another top contender, or potentially facing one of the winners of either the Deontay Wilder-Luis Ortiz or Anthony Joshua-Kubrat Pulev championship bouts in an attempt to further unify the Heavyweight division is anyone’s guess.

 The year 2018 however, appears to be setting up some intriguing scenarios for the Heavyweight division. Scenarios that will likely generate discussion and debate among Boxing fans and experts as to what may or may not happen. Although the subject of “Controversy” could be a topic in such discussions, the more interesting question just might be if any of the current world champions in the division can emerge as the one “Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Of The World” in the new year. With two World Heavyweight championship fights still to come in 2017 the landscape in terms of the top of the division could change, but let the discussions of what may or may not be in store for the Heavyweights in 2018 begin.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Schedule Update

We would like to let our readers know that material discussing the recent WBO Heavyweight world championship fight between undefeated champion Joseph Parker and undefeated WBO number one contender Hughie Fury will be released on Saturday, September 30th  here on the website. We would also like to inform readers that a planned preview that was scheduled for Friday, September 29th for the scheduled Lightweight bout between former two-division world champion Juan Manuel Lopez and former world title challenger Jayson Velez, which was scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 30th in Juncos, Puerto Rico will not be released as the card has been canceled due to the effects of Hurricane Maria.

  There is no word as of this writing as to if or when that card will be rescheduled. We will keep you updated on any developments as they become available. Stay tuned. “And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
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Monday, September 25, 2017

Duno Scores Convincing Win In Second Fight In The U.S.

Romero Duno Post-Fight Photo. Photo Credit: Sanman Promotions
Press Release: September 25, 2017 By Sanman Promotions – Romero “Ruthless” Duno didn’t disappoint in his second U.S. fight, scoring a unanimous decision win over Mexican Juan Pablo Sanchez at the Forum in Inglewood, CA on Saturday  Sepmtember 23rd. (Sunday, September 24th Manila time.) Duno, who recorded his 15th win in 16 matches with 13 knockout victories, inflicted Sanchez a huge cut above the left eye in the fifth round en route to tallying the convincing victory. The three judges, Rudy Barragan, Pat Russell and Fernando Villareal, all scored the bout at 78-74 for Duno, whose first stint in the U.S. was a resounding second round knockout win over erstwhile unbeaten Chimpa Gonzalez last March 10th at the Belasco Theatre in Los Angeles.

Sanchez fell to 30W-14L-0D, 8KOs. “I’m happy with the victory. He is very tough. But I gave my best,” said the 21-year-old Duno. Duno said beating a tough fighter like Sanchez will serve him well in the future as he gears up for more tougher fights in his quest to become a world champion.
“I’m sure I will bring this experience to my next fight,” he said.

Duno’s big bosses were satisfied with Duno’s performance. “The opponent was a very tough one and also good. We are happy with the victory,” said Duno’s manager Dexter Tan, chief finance officer of the General Santos City-based Sanman Promotions. “A great win for Duno and a good learning experience.,” said Jim Claude Manangquil, chief executive officer of Sanman Promotions. Manangquil said Duno will be taking a short break before mapping out their next plan. “We will celebrate this win first then we will discuss with Golden Boy Promotions what would be our future plans for Duno,” Manangquil said.

Material and Photo Courtesy of: Sanman Promotions Used with Permission.

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Golovkin-Alvarez: The Controversy

The fight between undefeated unified Middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin and two-division world champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on September 16th had all the ingredients of a “Super Fight.” Two fighters with crowd pleasing style, who each have established themselves as being among the elite fighters in the sport. There was also the gradual build of anticipation as both fighters faced and defeated other opposition. Rather than discussing the various political elements and events that had taken place prior to the showdown between the two, an argument could be made that this was one “Super Fight” that did not take as much time to come to fruition as compared to other major events throughout the sport’s history.

Although most folks that this observer had the pleasure of discussing the potential scenarios of this fight with in the weeks leading up to the bout had expressed to me that they felt this would be one that was too close to call and gave credible arguments as to how each fighter could win, the more I thought about the encounter in the weeks prior to the fight I began to have thoughts of the September 2004 Middleweight unification bout between world champions Bernard Hopkins and Oscar De La Hoya as something that could provide somewhat of a visual scenario as to what could happen when Golovkin faced Alvarez. To be clear the bout between Hopkins and De La Hoya, which I covered when it took place, did not come to mind as something to serve as a direct comparison to Golovkin-Alvarez, but there were two similarities that did stand out.

The main similarity was much like Oscar De La Hoya, Saul Alvarez had fought his career below the Middleweight division, despite briefly holding the WBC Middleweight world championship in his career. De La Hoya briefly held the WBO Middleweight world championship prior to facing Hopkins. In his Middleweight debut in June 2004 where he won the WBO crown, De La Hoya earned a controversial decision over Felix Sturm in a fight where De La Hoya started the bout strong, but gradually wore down perhaps due to fighting for the first time at a heavier weight than he had previously in his career. It was obvious despite his aggression early in that fight, that De La Hoya’s offense did not have as much of an impact as compared to when he fought opposition in lighter weight classes and it appeared that Sturm outworked him by the end of the fight.

As was the case in his fight with Sturm, De La Hoya was able to hold his own against Hopkins, but was unable to land anything significant to discourage Hopkins from coming forward. As the fight progressed Hopkins gradually wore De La Hoya down and was able to score a knockout of De La Hoya in the ninth round with a left hook to the body. What made this fight come to mind specifically was in several of Alvarez’ recent fights he had opted to fight with a “Catchweight “ stipulation rather than competing in a weight class, despite winning and then successfully defending the WBC Middleweight crown in two fights fought under such stipulations.

This observer has long been on record in expressing my strong dislike of the concept of “Catchweight” fights. Such a concept, which usually consists of a fighter facing an opponent who competes at a higher weight at an agreed upon in between point rather than the fighter who competes at a lighter weight having to face the fighter who competes at a heavier weight in that fighter’s weight class, creates an advantage for the fighter moving up from a lighter weight because it forces the fighter at the heavier weight to come down in weight where they are theoretically compromised and not at full strength. thus creating what often times can be a disservice to both fans and the sport in my eyes.

Given that this fight was fought at the full Middleweight limit of 160lbs. it was logical to question both what affects would Alvarez’ punches have on Golovkin and how Alvarez would respond to a Middleweight’s punch.  Although it was somewhat surprising to see a more tactical fight being fought by Gennady Golovkin early on given his reputation as a “Knockout artist”, I felt the fight was largely dictated by how well he was able to execute his jab and how he controlled the tempo of the combat.

This was a fight that it became apparent early on that it would be a question of whether Golovkin’s greater activity would get the nod of the judges over Alvarez’ ability to execute his offense in spots. Even though Alvarez was able to have his moments throughout this fight, I felt that Golovkin was overall the effective aggressor and was the fighter who as the fight progressed brought the fight to Alvarez in being able to consistently push Alvarez back to the ropes and outworked him. Alvarez was also unable to land something significant to discourage Golovkin from coming forward in my eyes.

It goes without saying that there can be a difference of opinion both before and after a major event such as this as to who may have gotten the upper hand. As is the case in fights that are considered close, there were some rounds in this fight that could be considered “Swing Rounds” where there can be moments that determine who got the upper hand in an otherwise close round.  This was not a close fight in my eyes as I scored the bout 117-111 in points or nine rounds to three in favor of Golovkin.

My scorecard was based on Golovkin’s greater activity and effective aggression. Alvarez simply did not throw or land enough punches particularly in some rounds that were close in order to sway my opinion. Although I stand by my scorecard, there could have been one or two rounds both in the first three rounds of the fight as well as down the stretch where depending on one’s perspective Alvarez could have gotten the upper hand, which could have resulted in scorecards of 116-112 (eight rounds to four) or 115-113 (seven rounds to five) in favor of Golovkin.  I do not believe that this was a fight that could be separated by two rounds, but I can see how one could come to an eight rounds to four scorecard in favor of Golovkin.

The end result of this fight a split decision draw has been met with much criticism in particular the scorecard of Official Judge Adalaide Byrd, who scored the fight 118-110 or ten rounds to two in favor of Alvarez. As is the case with most controversial decisions, there have been accusations of corruption and calls for investigations by Boxing fans.

This observer has been known over the years as someone who has been critical of judges who produce scorecards that differ from a consensus opinion as to what happened in a fight.  Although I obviously do not agree with Byrd’s scorecard as I feel it does not accurately illustrate what took place in this fight and did not give credit to Gennedy Golovkin for his performance, when something like this happens it is up to the respective state athletic commissions and respective sanctioning organizations to investigate.  As I have often said over the years with regard to controversial decisions, even though the ultimate decision regarding investigations and/or potential action falls with the athletic commissions and sanctioning organizations, it is up to Boxing fans who tirelessly support the sport both by supporting the fighters themselves and with their money as well as those of us involved with the sport in various capacities to call for change.

Whether or not this latest decision will lead to significant change remains to be seen, but a rematch between Golovkin and Alvarez might be more likely before change that would benefit the sport overall in the long-term will occur. If a rematch does indeed take place in the future one can only hope that it will be “Free of Controversy.”

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Parker-Fury Weights

The official weigh-in for Saturday’s WBO Heavyweight world championship fight between undefeated champion Joseph Parker and undefeated WBO number one contender Hughie Fury took place earlier today in Manchester, England. The official weights for the entire card are as follows.

Main Event: WBO Heavyweight world championship – 12Rds.

Joseph Parker (Champion) 245lbs. vs. Hughie Fury (Challenger) 234lbs.

British Bantamweight championship – 12Rds.

Josh Wale (Champion) 117lbs. vs. Don Broadhurst  (Challenger118lbs.

Vacant WBO Intercontinental Jr. Middleweight championship – 12Rds.

Kilran Kelly 154lbs. vs. Stiliyan Kostov 153lbs.

Jr. Middleweight – 10Rds.

Shayne Singleton 153lbs. vs. Peter McDonagh 154lbs.

Light-Heavyweight – 6Rds*

Josef Obesio vs. Lyndon Arthur

Jr. Welterweight – 12Rds.

Matty Fagan 136lbs. vs. Joe Murray 137lbs.

Jr. Lightweight *

Yusuf Safa vs. Simas Volosinas

(*Weights for the Obesio-Arthur and Safa-Volsinas bouts are unavailable as of this writing. Both fights are scheduled to take place as of this writing.)

Parker vs. Fury takes place tomorrow night (Saturday, September 23rd) at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. The card can be seen on a pay-per-view basis on YouTube Pay-Per-View beginning at 3PM ET/12PM PT (U.S. Time) and on select cable and satellite providers in the United States for $24.99 (U.S. ) £9.99 (UK) and €11.99 (Ireland). For more information and to order Parker vs. Fury please visit: or contact your cable or satellite provider for ordering information.

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Brief Update

We would like to let our readers know that a feature discussing the recent battle between undefeated IBO/WBA/IBF/WBC Middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin and former two-division world champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is currently in the works and will be released on Saturday, September 23rd. Following this, our normal schedule will resume. Stay tuned. “And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Golovkin-Alvarez Weights

The official weigh-in for Saturday’s pay-per-view showdown for the Unified Middleweight world championship between undefeated IBO/WBA/IBF/WBC world champion Gennady Golovkin and former two-division world champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez took place earlier today in Las Vegas, NV. The official weights for the entire card are as follows.

Main Event: IBO/WBA/IBF/WBC Middleweight world championship – 12Rds.

Gennady Golovkin (Champion) 160lbs. vs. Saul Alvarez (Challenger) 160lbs.

North American Boxing Federation (NABF) Jr. Featherweight championship – 10Rds.

 Randy Caballero (Champion) 121lbs. vs. Diego De La Hoya (Challenger) 122lbs.

WBC Continental America’s Lightweight championship – 10Rds.*

Ryan Martin (Champion) 135lbs. vs. Francisco Rojo 135 1/2lbs.

(*Rojo weighed in a half pound over the 135lb. Lightweight limit. Fight still scheduled to take place as of this writing. The vacant WBA Intercontinental Lightweight championship will also be on the line in this bout.)

Featherweight – 12Rds.*

Joseph Diaz 126lbs. vs. Rafael Rivera 127lbs.

(*Rivera weighed in one pound over the 126lb. Featherweight limit. Fight still scheduled to take place as of this writing.)

Jr. Middleweight – 4Rds.*

Serhii Bohachuk  150lbs. vs. Joan Jose Valenzuela 154 1/2lbs.

(*Valenzuela weighed in a half pound over the 154lb. Jr. Middleweight limit. Fight still scheduled to take place as of this writing.)

Jr. Welterweight – 6Rds.

Vergil Ortiz 140lbs. vs. Cesar Valenzuela 140lbs.

Women’s Flyweight – 4Rds.

Marlen Esparza 111 1/2lbs. vs. Aracely Palacios 110lbs.

Women’s Jr. Bantamweight – 4Rds.

Alexandra Vlajk 114 1/2lbs. vs. Nicola Adams 115lbs.

Golovkin vs. Alvarez takes place tomorrow night (Saturday, September 16th) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. The fight card can be seen in the United States and Canada  beginning  at 8PM ET/5PM PT on cable and satellite providers on a pay-per-view basis on HBO Pay-Per-View as well as www.Fite.TV for $79.95. Contact your cable/satellite provider or visit www.Fite.TV for ordering information. For more information on HBO Sports, HBO Boxing, and HBO Pay-Per-View please visit: In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the fight card can be seen on a pay-per-view basis on BoxNation Box Office beginning at 1AM (Sunday, September 17th Local UK Time) for €21.95 HD/ €16.95 Standard Definition. (Fight card will be included at no extra cost for existing BoxNation subscribers as part of their subscription.) For more information about BoxNation and to order Golovkin-Alvarez please visit:

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Hurricane Irma Update

We would like to let our readers know that we have returned following Hurricane Irma and will be releasing weigh-in information for Saturday’s WBA/IBO/IBF/WBC Middleweight world championship fight between undefeated world champion Gennady Golovkin and former two-division world champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez later today here on the website. We will be resuming our regular schedule going forward. We would like to thank our readers for their patience and apologize once again for any inconvenience that has been caused due to the unintended downtime. Stay tuned. “And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Update: Hurricane Irma Notice

Due to the uncertainty of the track of Hurricane Irma, we would like to let our readers know that we here at The Boxing Truth® are between rounds and will resume our regular schedule once the storm’s path is apparent and we have been given the all clear. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause and we will update the website once more details are made available on when we can resume.  Stay tuned. “And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Thai Fighter, ALA Gym Pug Due For GenSan For “Road to Stardom” Boxfest

Press Release: September 7,2017 (Originally released September 5, 2017) – By Sanman Promotions Thilander Jakkrawut Majoogoen and Cebu City-based Rhey Waminal  are set to arrive in General Santos City on Wednesday, September 6, for their respective assignments in the “Road to Stardom” fight card slated Saturday at the Polomolok Gym in Polomolok, South Cotabato.   Jim Claude Manangquil, chief executive officer of Sanman Promotions, said the weigh-in for the much-anticipated card will be held on Friday at the Polomolok City Hall.

    Majoogoen (19W-1L-0D, 11KOs) will be seeing action in the main event against Sanman Boxing Gym’s prized ward Jade Bornea (8W-0L-0D, 5KOs).  Bornea will be putting on the line not only his unbeaten slate but also his IBF Youth Super Flyweight belt.    “I’m ready to shock Bornea,” said Majoogoen in a previous interview.   The ALA Boxing Gym stalwart Waminal (11W-1L-0D, 6KOs), on the other hand, will be taking on another Sanman fighter Ben Mananquil (14W-1L-2D, 3KOs) in the co-main event. Waminal has vowed to pull off a knockout victory, a bold declaration that didn’t sit well with Mananquil.            

    “I will use as my motivation what Waminal and his coach told the media that he is going to knock me out,” said Mananquil. The undercard fights will be led by Randy Petalcorin (26W-2L-1D, 19KOs), who will battle Jetly Purisima (21W-23L-4D, 7KOs) in an eight-round duel under the 110-pound division. Eden Sonsona (36W-7L-2D, 13KOs) will face Jaime Barcelona (36W-61L-1D, 10KOs), Jayson     Mama will clash with Bimbo Nacionales, Rimar Metuda will test Gabby Simpo.

    The rest of the card will have John Mark Apolinario versus Jestoni Makiputin; Mark Antonio against Michael Padayag; Dave Apolinario versus Rudy Salaton; Jerven Mama against Jerry Tabamo; Michael Garcedo versus Jason Tresmonte and Jaeger Bereno against Jessie Boyles.
    The card will be streamed live via the Sanman Promotion’s Facebook page SANMAN Live

Material Courtesy of: Sanman Promotions Used with Permission.

For more information about Sanman Promotions and to watch the Sanman Live series please visit Sanman Promotions’ official Facebook page

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

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Was Mayweather-McGregor A Win For Boxing?

The night of August 26, 2017 was highlighted by an event that was heavily criticized throughout the Boxing world. An event known as “The Money Fight” Mayweather vs. McGregor. All the negativity that surrounded the encounter between the former multi-division Boxing world champion Mayweather and the two-division MMA world champion McGregor did not stop the questions of what may or may not happen from developing a legitimate curiosity among the public.

Curiosity that not only attracted the interests of fans and experts of both the sports of Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), but perhaps more importantly the casual sports fan for whom observing combat sports is an occasional occurrence. The curiosity of course was whether McGregor, a veteran of twenty-four MMA fights, who has held world championships in both the Featherweight and Lightweight MMA divisions, could compete effectively in a Boxing match against a fighter of the caliber of Mayweather. What made the curiosity/question of how McGregor would fare against Mayweather, a future Hall of Famer who entered the bout unbeaten in forty-nine professional fights, was McGregor was facing him in what was his first fight as a professional boxer.

A fact that drew the ire of many throughout the Boxing community, who called the fight everything from dangerous, to a mismatch, to an outright fraud. This observer was himself critical when the fight was announced because although it was not unprecedented for fighters throughout combat sports to venture into a sport outside of their primary discipline, most fighters who venture into Professional Boxing begin their careers competing in bouts scheduled for a four or six round distance. This fight would be fought at the world championship distance of twelve rounds.

It was understandable based on this how some would expect the opposite of a competitive fight when Mayweather and McGregor did battle at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. As is often the case in combat sports however, no matter what one might expect prior to a fight, a wise approach is to “Expect The Unexpected.”

The primary question I had going into this fight was essentially the same as most previous Floyd Mayweather fights. How would the opponent deal with Mayweather’s precision timing, incredible defense, and hand speed? After all, many world-class professional boxers, some of whom are either already enshrined in or are destined to be in one of the sport’s Halls of Fame have been bedeviled by Mayweather’s Boxing style. It was a fair question to ask of a fighter who was competing as a professional boxer for the first time given that even the best of the best have been unable to solve the puzzle that is Floyd Mayweather.

In previewing this bout, I stated that it appeared McGregor was facing an uphill battle on paper due in large part to Mayweather’s credentials and the fact that McGregor was making his pro debut. McGregor however, had shown throughout his MMA career that he was more than capable of using his hands having scored knockouts in eighteen of his twenty-four career wins and was undefeated in fights that ended via knockout. This observer also stated that McGregor needed to show early on that this was a fight and not an occasion in the history of the sport that would be known more for “The Event” and also needed to show that he could land punches more than occasionally against a fighter who at his best is one of the most elusive fighters in the history of the sport. A task that has proven to be difficult for many opponents throughout Mayweather’s career.

McGregor showed from the outset that he had come to fight. The primary thing that stood out was McGregor’s awkwardness in that he seemed to use a wider stance than is the custom in Boxing. This allowed McGregor to throw punches from awkward angles and Mayweather appeared clearly bothered by McGregor’s approach early on in the fight. It was this approach that allowed McGregor to get the better of the action for much of the first three rounds.

What impressed me in particular about McGregor’s performance was the relative calm he had as the fight progressed in being able to dictate the combat behind a consistent jab, but also how he frequently switched between an orthodox and southpaw stance. This along with varying his attack and changing angles posed an interesting challenge for Mayweather, who unlike many fights throughout his career was more willing to engage with his opponent and was not as defensive-minded. An approach Mayweather would state following the bout that was due to his wanting to give the public an entertaining fight.

Although Mayweather gradually increased his activity as the bout progressed, McGregor did have success making him miss and even was able to score periodically with counter punches. Despite all the criticism and hyping that took place prior to this encounter, if one chooses to look at the fight objectively it would be clear after four rounds that this was not the mismatch and not as damaging to the sport as some had predicted. Much like many fights throughout Floyd Mayweather’s career, this was a tactical chess match that went from being a curiosity to an intriguing battle.

After six rounds, I had McGregor ahead four rounds to two on my scorecard. This was due largely to the way McGregor was able to control the tempo of the combat early in the fight as well as Mayweather not being as active with his offense particularly in the first three rounds. It is important however, to remember that Mayweather is a fighter who typically takes a few rounds to study his opposition before gradually stepping up his pace.

For a fighter in McGregor, who was more or less dismissed by some prior to this fight, his performance throughout should be viewed as validation of his credentials and what he did bring into the fight. The ebb and flow shifted in the second half of the fight as Mayweather found success landing his right hand on McGregor.

It should not be overlooked that this was also a fight that saw some roughhouse tactics where McGregor did land some punches to the back of Mayweather’s head periodically that could be described as the Boxing equivalent of an MMA “Hammer Fist.” Mayweather also did a lot of bending down and periodically turned his back to McGregor, perhaps a tactic by the veteran boxer in an attempt to get McGregor frustrated to a degree where he would revert to fighting in a manner he would if it were an MMA fight.

Although Referee Robert Byrd would admonish both fighters throughout the fight, there were no points deducted from either man. Despite putting on what was an impressive performance and one that was well paced, McGregor seemed to be fighting fatigue during the second half of the fight. This could be attributed to the fact that McGregor is used to going the championship MMA distance of five, five-minute rounds for a total of twenty-five minutes if a fight goes the distance as well as being asked to go far beyond a distance where most fighters make their Professional Boxing debuts.

It was perhaps because of this fatigue that McGregor became increasingly susceptible to being hit by Mayweather’s right hand as the fight went on. By the tenth round, McGregor badly fatigued was unable to avoid much of Mayweather’s offense and it was a flush right hand to head that set off a flurry of punches by Mayweather and resulted in Referee Robert Byrd stopping the fight.

Even though the end result of this fight was what most in Boxing expected, it was still a very competitive fight that frankly exceeded expectations. As there always seems to be in Boxing however, there was a segment or more of an element of “Controversy.”

Some of the “Controversies” that emerged from this fight ranged from those who felt the fight was prematurely stopped by Robert Byrd, to those who felt that the fight was “Fixed” to go Mayweather’s way, to a legitimate “Controversy” of those who were unable to access “The Event.”

Although I do not intend to address every one of these “Controversies” that have emerged in the one week since the fight took place, I will instead offer readers brief observations on some of the more “Controversial” elements that emerged out of this fight. The first thing that stood out was the criticism that some pointed in the direction of Referee Robert Byrd and the way he officiated this bout. In listening to and reading some of the reaction of fans shortly after the fight it appeared that some felt Byrd’s pre-fight instructions were in their words biased due to his appearing to focus more of his instruction in McGregor’s direction rather than focusing on both fighters. There were some who also questioned why Byrd did not penalize Mayweather for periodically turning his back over the course of the fight as well as some feeling that his stoppage of the fight was quick.

It is important to remember that McGregor was competing as a professional boxer for the first time. Despite his experience as an amateur boxer, McGregor was out of his element and I feel Byrd’s pre-fight instruction was an effort to ensure that rules and regulations were explained as clearly as possible the same as one might expect a referee who primarily officiates a different combat sports discipline such as MMA to explain the rules to someone who is competing for the first time.

In regard to the stoppage of the bout, I felt that it was a little quick, but was the appropriate call. Conor McGregor had put forth a great effort in this bout, but by the tenth round was suffering the effects of fatigue and was unable to intelligently defend himself. This along with appearing to be out on his feet gave more than enough justification for the bout to be stopped in my eyes. It is also worth noting that there have been times where there have been accusations made of fights being stopped quickly in MMA as well. The one constant in both Boxing and MMA is when fights are stopped it is done to protect the fighters from sustaining long-term damage.

Robert Byrd is a Hall of Fame referee who is regarded as one of the best referees in the entire sport. Although it can at times be tempting to say that a referee stopped a fight too soon, it is important to keep in mind that combat sports have obvious dangers attached to them and a referee should never be criticized when he or she only has only two objectives. To make sure rules and regulations are followed and to above all look out for the safety of the fighters who are competing.

The more legitimate “Controversy” in this observer’s eyes as far as the fight itself was in the official scoring of the bout in that two judges, Guido Cavalleri and Burt Clements each had Mayweather ahead in the fight by a margin of eight rounds to one at the time of the stoppage. Although it is no secret that there has been a rivalry between the sports of Boxing and MMA for many years with key figures in both sports criticizing the other sport, scores of eight rounds to one for either fighter was not an accurate depiction of what took place in this fight in my eyes and could leave the door open to questions of potential bias and/or corruption.  This is due largely to Mayweather not stepping up his pace until the midway point of the fight, which allowed McGregor to seemingly get the upper hand by being the more active of the two fighters even though he did not always land cleanly with his offense.  Only Judges Cavalleri and Clements can comment on what they based their scores on, but I felt McGregor got the upper hand during the first half of the fight. It is indisputable however, that by the time the fight was stopped the momentum was in Mayweather’s favor and he should have been ahead on the official scorecards.

Much as was the case with Floyd Mayweather’s fight with Manny Pacquiao in May 2015, there was also an issue with pay-per-view outages with various cable and satellite providers, which caused a delay before Mayweather and McGregor could get in the ring. As was the case in the fallout of Mayweather-Pacquiao, there was a class action lawsuit filed earlier this week by angry consumers.

Unlike Mayweather-Pacquiao however, the lawsuit that was filed concerned the OTT streaming feed of the Mayweather-McGregor card from consumers who purchased the fight from Showtime Networks’ and the Showtime PPV app, who could not access the Mayweather-McGregor bout or bouts that took place on the undercard due to issues with the stream of the event including grainy video as well as video and buffer error messages. The lawsuit filed in Oregon as reported by several outlets including USA Today alleges that Showtime engaged in unlawful trade practices and unjust enrichment. The lawsuit filed by Zack Bartel, who purchased the event via the Showtime PPV app through iTunes is seeking $200 in statutory damages or actual damages for each person in the class action lawsuit, whichever is greater. The price of the pay-per-view event on both cable/satellite providers as well as, the Showtime PPV app, and UFC.TV was $99. 

For their part the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), who was not named in the lawsuit stated shortly after the lawsuit’s filing that they would issue refunds to customers who purchased the event through the UFC.TV platform. In a statement released to media outlets as well as the UFC’s social media platforms UFC President Dana White stated quote “We always try to put on the biggest and most exciting fights, we want our fans to have the best experience when watching our events. Unfortunately, we didn't deliver the way we wanted to on Saturday because of NeuLion's technical issues on UFC.TV. As usual, we always take care of our fans and will fix this. We have started processing refunds immediately for anyone that could not access the fight after purchase.

It should be no secret to regular readers and those who follow this observer on social media that I am a big supporter of Over The Top (OTT) streaming technology and am on record in stating that it is my opinion that OTT digital distribution is the future of television consumption. Readers may recall a column I wrote here on The Boxing Truth® on December 17, 2015 titled “Is It Time For “Big Time” Boxing To Go Over The Top” where I discussed the evolution of what we know as “Pay-Per-View” in the sport of Boxing, the general decline in pay-per-view buys for a majority of Boxing events in recent times, and the rise of Over The Top (OTT) television as a distribution model and the success of subscription-based OTT services such as the UFC’s UFC Fight Pass service as well as WWE Network.

Although my stance on the benefits of OTT technology as well as my opinion as to where television consumption is heading has not changed, I do believe that perhaps some fans who purchased Mayweather-McGregor via Showtime’s website, the Showtime PPV app, or UFC.TV would not have been as angry if lifetime on demand access were offered with purchase of the event instead of simply a live feed as is the norm with traditional pay-per-view television offered via cable and satellite providers for most major Boxing events. The UFC offers on demand access of their pay-per-view events on their Fight Pass service, which cost $9.99 a month on a delayed basis. Subscribers to WWE Network meanwhile are offered on demand access immediately after a pay-per-view/network special event airs on the network’s 24/7 live channel for the same price. It is unclear as of this writing if the UFC will offer the Mayweather-McGregor event as part of it’s Fight Pass service after a certain period of time.

Although there will be some who will remain angry for a time about not being able to access the Mayweather-McGregor event in full or at all due to the various streaming issues or issues experienced via the cable/satellite medium, this could be something that may convince promoters as well as premium networks that have dipped their toes into OTT distribution for pay-per-view events to offer lifetime on demand access to those who purchase events via OTT platforms as not only an incentive to order via the OTT medium, but also by offering lifetime access to a purchased event as is offered by some OTT digital network platforms such as Fite TV for pay-per-view events, it could prevent instances like the litigation that took place following Mayweather-Pacquiao in 2015 as well as the pending lawsuit over Mayweather-McGregor.

The potential for technical difficulties always exists whether one purchases an event via the cable/satellite medium or via an OTT platform. OTT technology however, has the advantage of being able to archive events via various methods that the traditional cable/satellite medium cannot do and I feel that it is time for promoters to think of a contingency plan so that in the future consumers are not left with anger if in the event technical difficulties occur during an event such as Mayweather-McGregor.

As for the fight itself, I spent much of the last week quietly observing what folks had to say not only about the fight, but also the issues experienced by some who were unable to access Mayweather-McGregor and decided to take some time before sharing my own thoughts.  If one views things objectively, Mayweather-McGregor as a fight exceeded every expectation that was hyped up by “The Event.” 

It remains unclear as of this writing as to how well the event did on pay-per-view across both the traditional cable/satellite medium as well as OTT platforms, but excluding the technical issues experienced by some, for an event that consumers were asked to pay $100 for, the fight lived up to the hype and it should be viewed as a win not only for the sport of Boxing, but also for the sport of MMA as Conor McGregor more than held his own against one of the greatest boxers in the history of the sport. 

As for what’s next for both fighters, the forty year old Floyd Mayweather stated after the fight that this was his last fight as was the case after he defeated Andre Berto in September 2015.  Obviously, one could assume that if the right offer came along that Mayweather, who advanced his record to 50-0 with his win over McGregor, would consider the idea of another fight, but the question would be against who would that fight be and how much would be on the table for Mayweather after making an estimated nine-figure payday against McGregor. Mayweather has definitely earned his place in Boxing history and outside of something that would be worthy of a label of a “Super Fight” that would attract the interests of the masses including the casual sports fan, he has nothing more to prove as his name sits along with a select group of fighters who have retired undefeated.

For the twenty-nine year old Conor McGregor it is logical to assume that the two-division MMA world champion will return to MMA in the near future as UFC President Dana White stated he would prefer McGregor to do at the post-fight press conference.  McGregor however, proved to many including this observer that he could hold his own in a Boxing ring and it would not surprise me based on his performance to see McGregor compete as a boxer in the future.

With Mayweather-McGregor now in the books, Boxing now awaits it’s next big “Mega Event.” In an era where pay-per-view prices are ever increasing and where more often than not no matter what happens in the ring, fans are left unsatisfied, it is my hope that the next “Mega Event” will not be marred by technical issues and will be a fight that will be worthy of being the type of event that garners the attention of the masses and an event that will benefit the sport in the long-term.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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