Sunday, December 24, 2017

Happy Holidays

We would like to wish our readers a very Happy and safe Holiday season. We here at The Boxing Truth® are between rounds and will announce when we will kick off our 2018 schedule on Thursday, January 4, 2018. Stay tuned. “And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Saturday, December 16, 2017

A Look At Saunders-Lemieux

The landscape of Boxing’s Middleweight division over the last several years has largely been dominated by undefeated unified WBA/IBO/IBF/WBC Middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin and what this observer has called his “Path Of Destruction” through the division. While Golovkin’s reign has established him as the number one fighter in the division, the Middleweight division has seen another world champion emerge and quietly establish himself as a force to be reckoned with. Undefeated WBO world champion Billy Joe Saunders.

Saunders, a native of Hatfield, England is unbeaten in twenty-five professional bouts having scored knockouts in twelve of those bouts. After winning the British, Commonwealth, and European Middleweight championships, Saunders won a hard fought twelve round majority decision over WBO Middleweight world champion Andy Lee in December 2015 to win his portion of the World Middleweight championship.

Since defeating Lee, Saunders has made two successful defenses of his WBO crown scoring twelve round unanimous decisions over Artur Akavov in December of last year and Willie Monroe Jr. in his last fight in September of this year. Saunders now prepares for what should be called one of the toughest tests in his career as he will face former IBF Middleweight world champion David Lemieux on Saturday night at the Place Bell Arena in Laval, Quebec, Canada in a fight that will headline a card televised by HBO Sports here in the United States.

Lemieux has long been one of the Middleweight division’s feared “Knockout Artists” having scored knockouts in thirty-three of his thirty-eight career victories. Lemieux, a native of Montreal, Canada, won the then vacant IBF Middleweight world championship in June 2015 with a twelve round unanimous decision over former WBO champion Hassan N’Dam.

Lemieux lost his championship in his first title defense in October 2015 as he was stopped in eight rounds by Gennady Golovkin in a unification bout. Although Lemieux came out of that bout with a loss, he showed his mettle in defeat and was not disgraced in the fight. Lemieux returned to the ring in May of last year and has gone unbeaten in his last four fights having scored knockouts in two of those fights including a devastating one punch knockout of longtime Middleweight contender and former world title challenger Curtis Stevens in March of this year.

This figures to be a classic scenario of a boxer in Saunders against a power puncher in Lemieux. The former IBF world champion will come into this encounter with an experience edge as compared to the champion Saunders having fought sixteen more bouts in his career in addition to seemingly having an advantage in terms of punching power having registered a career knockout percentage of 80%.

From a strategic standpoint, it is logical that Lemieux will look to cut the ring off from Saunders while looking to get himself in position to throw his power punches and look to gradually break the champion down. Lemieux has shown throughout his career that he is capable of knocking an opponent out with either hand and if he can neutralize Saunders’ movement it will be to his advantage. The champion meanwhile will likely look to outbox Lemieux by establishing himself as a moving target with the intention of extending Lemieux into the mid and late rounds and outwork the challenger toward a decision victory.

 A question that some might ask is whether the winner of this fight will be a logical choice to face the winner of the potential rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Saul Alvarez.  Anything is possible and in an era where the public wants to see one world champion per weight class, it would appear to be the ideal scenario to fully unify the World Middleweight championship. This of course, will also depend on whether Boxing’s various sanctioning organizations will have their respective mandatory championship defenses before a fight for the Undisputed Middleweight world championship can be made.

For now, Billy Joe Saunders and David Lemiuex have the focus of the division squarely on them. A classic battle of boxer versus puncher have in the past produced very compelling battles. Whether or not Saunders-Lemieux will be among them remains to be seen,

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

Saunders vs. Lemieux takes place Tonight (Saturday, December 16th) at the Place Bell Arena in Laval, Quebec, Canada. The fight can be seen in the United States on HBO Sports beginning at 9:40PM EST/PST. Check your cable/satellite provider for time and channel in your area. For more information on HBO, HBO Sports, and HBO Boxing please

In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the bout can be seen on BoxNation beginning at 2AM (Sunday, December 17th Local UK Time.) For more information about BoxNation please Check your listings internationally.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Horn Stops Corcoran In First Title Defense

Undefeated WBO Welterweight world champion Jeff Horn scored an impressive eleventh round stoppage of WBO number ten rated contender Gary Corcoran on Wednesday night at the Brisbane Exhibition and Convention Centre in Brisbane, Australia. In what was his first defense of the WBO crown that he won from future Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao in July of this year, Horn dictated the combat from the outset working from distance and frequently throwing punches in combinations.

A highlight of Horn’s offense was his right hand that was frequently the focal point of the numerous combinations he threw. Despite being aggressive throughout the fight, Corcoran’s attempts to apply pressure on the champion were consistently offset by Horn’s lateral movement. Although the fight was competitive throughout, Horn’s crisper offense, ability to consistently get his punches off first, and deflect much of the challenger’s offense was the story of the fight.

The bout being lopsided in the champion’s favor however, did not prevent the fight from being entertaining. Horn suffered a cut over the left eye in round six, a cut that was actually originally suffered while he was in training for the bout, but ultimately opened cuts around both of the challenger’s eyes. The second cut, which was opened in round eight over Corcoran’s left eye gradually became worse as the fight progressed. By round eleven with his vision compromised, Corcoran could not see Horn’s punches coming and forced Referee Benjy Esteves to stop the fight. Official time of the stoppage was 1:35 of round eleven.

Jeff Horn advances to 18-0-1, with 12 Knockouts. Gary Corcoran falls to 17-2, with 9 Knockouts.

In previewing this fight, this observer stated that I felt Horn needed to make a statement in his first title defense following what many felt was a “Controversial“ decision in his victory over Manny Pacquiao. Although Pacquiao’s commitments as a senator in his native Philippines was the obstacle that has for now prevented a rematch between he and Horn from taking place, the new champion was impressive in his first defense of his world championship against a very “Game” opponent in Gary Corcoran.

While some might believe that the only way for the “Controversy” that emerged from the decision of the Pacquiao-Horn fight to be put to rest would be for a rematch between the two to occur, all a fighter can do is face the opposition that is put before them and Horn proved in this fight against Gary Corcoran that he is a fighter that can take what some might view as a distraction of potential fights falling through and do what he can do to not only combat the opposition that he did have to contend with in the ring, but by doing so in impressive fashion, was able to maintain his position atop a talent deep Welterweight division as well as open some interesting possibilities for future fights.

One such possibility appears to be Horn’s next opponent in the form of undefeated former multi-division world champion Terence Crawford. Crawford, who recently became the Undisputed Jr. Welterweight world champion with a knockout win over Julius Indongo in a unification bout opted to relinquish the championship and set his sights on attempting to win a world championship in a fourth weight class after also holding world championships in the Jr. Lightweight and Lightweight divisions in his career by stepping up into the 147lb. Welterweight division. The World Boxing Organization (WBO) has designated Crawford as its number one Welterweight contender.

The question is simply not if Horn defend his crown against Crawford, but when will the fight take place. Two things are clear,  Jeff Horn is a star that is continuing to rise that could well be fighting here in the United States when he does face Crawford and when that fight is signed, it will surely be one of the most anticipated fights of 2018.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Horn-Corcoran Preview

One of the biggest stories in the sport of Boxing in 2017 took place on July 1st at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia where future Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao took on undefeated contender and hometown favorite Jeff Horn in an encounter known as “The Battle of Brisbane.” A fight that saw the undefeated, but largely unknown Horn pull off the upset of the year dethroning Pacquiao via twelve round unanimous decision to win Pacquiao’s WBO Welterweight world championship.

The victory for Horn however, was overshadowed by “Controversy.” Despite the “Game” effort put forth by Horn during the grueling battle, many throughout the sport as well as Boxing fans felt that Pacquiao deserved the decision and it created an atmosphere where the new champion could not enjoy his victory. As readers might recall in this observer’s coverage of that fight, I was one of many in the sport who felt Pacquiao had won the fight as I scored it eight rounds to four or 116-112 in points in his favor.

While discussing what I felt was “A Great Fight With A Shadow Of Controversy “, I concluded my coverage by saying the beauty about Boxing is there is always a remedy for a “Controversy”, “A Rematch.” Although the outcome of Pacquiao-Horn certainly warrants a return encounter, a second fight between the two has not materialized and it remains unclear if a rematch will take place in the future as it is uncertain whether the former world champion and politician Pacquiao intends to continue his career as a fighter.

With a second encounter with Pacquiao not likely at least in the near future, Horn will make the first defense of his WBO Welterweight world championship against current WBO number ten Welterweight contender Gary Corcoran on Wednesday night at the Brisbane Exhibition and Convention Centre in Brisbane, Australia. The fight, which will be televised live on Wednesday morning here in the United States by ESPN has an interesting similarity to Horn’s battle against Pacquiao.

Much as was the case when Horn stood across the ring from Pacquiao earlier this year, Corcoran is not particularly well known outside of his native England and has never fought outside of the United Kingdom in a similar way as the champion, who  has not fought outside of Australia and New Zealand in his career thus far. The challenger will also enter into this fight with a similar record to Horn of 17-1, with 7 Knockouts compared to the champion who will come into the fight with a record of 17-0-1, with 11 Knockouts.

In his only defeat as a professional, Corcoran was stopped in eleven rounds at the hands of former British and Commonwealth Jr. Middleweight champion Liam Williams in July 2016. Since that setback Corcoran has won two fights including earning a twelve round split decision over Larry Ekundayo in his last bout in July of this year. Where the similarities between champion and challenger end one might argue is in regard to experience. Despite his impressive record, Corcoran has not scored a victory over a fighter that most would consider to be a household name in his career thus far. This differs from Horn, who had scored knockouts of former Welterweight world champions Ali Funeka and Randall Bailey prior to facing Manny Pacquiao earlier this year.

Although neither Funeka or Bailey were at or near the top of the Welterweight division at the time Horn fought them, the experience of having faced and defeated two former world champions gives Horn the edge, despite neither fighter being necessarily well known to the casual Boxing fan. Stylistically, this appears to be an encounter between two offensive-minded fighters who are known for being aggressive and like to throw punches in bunches.

Despite being out landed by ninety punches in his world championship win over Manny Pacquiao, Horn was consistently aggressive throughout the fight and that in addition to out throwing Pacquiao by fifty-two punches was perhaps the key component that left an impression on the official judges that ultimately resulted in Horn winning the fight via decision. Corcoran is a fighter who much like Horn likes to come forward and apply consistent pressure from the outset.

The difference in this fight might come down to who is able to land the more distinguishable offense as both fighters are capable of throwing combinations and each are capable of establishing an attack to the body and head of their opponent. This could cause a conundrum with regard to the scoring of the fight should it go the distance because it may not be as simple as being able to establish which fighter is able to dictate the pace and control the combat because the styles of the two fighters are similar. If the fight materializes into the action fight it appears it could be on paper, there might be fireworks in this encounter.

What is at stake for the champion Jeff Horn beyond obviously his world championship is he needs to make a statement in his first title defense. A statement not only to continue establishing himself as a significant player in the traditionally talent deep 147lb. Welterweight division, but also to attempt to answer some of the criticism he has faced since winning his championship from those who feel he benefited from an unjust decision, despite the “Game” performance he put forth in that fight.

It is in some ways a similar position as former multi-division world champion Timothy Bradley found himself in following his own victory over Pacquiao in 2012. Much like Horn, Bradley was believed by many to have benefited from an unjust decision that resulted in significant backlash from Boxing fans and experts including yours truly.

Although much of the criticism that followed the first of what ultimately became three fights between Bradley and Pacquiao was directed at the Nevada State Athletic Commission and the three official judges who scored the fight, criticism was also unfairly directed at Bradley, who despite the controversy showed his mettle in that fight fighting injured with pulled ligaments in his left foot throughout the entire fight. In his first title defense following the victory over Pacquiao, Bradley engaged in a twelve round war with Ruslan Provodnikov in a battle that was named by many media outlets including Ring Magazine as 2013’s Fight of the Year.

If one were to take a survey of a group of Boxing fans or experts and ask the question of whether Bradley truly recovered from the backlash that was unjustly thrown in his direction following his victory over Pacquiao, you would likely get a healthy difference of opinion when results were tallied. The battle with Provodnikov clearly established Bradley however, as a fighter who was willing to get in the ring and defend his championship, the same crown that Jeff Horn currently holds against all challengers. A quality that regardless of how one feels about Bradley’s victory over Pacquiao should be respected and applauded by all Boxing fans.

It is now time for Jeff Horn to show in spite of the controversy that like Bradley, he too is a fighter’s fighter and take the first step toward putting the controversy behind him. Before potential fights with the likes of Pacquiao, Keith Thurman, and Errol Spence can be discussed, Horn must pass what could be a tough test. As Horn proved earlier this year, Boxing is truly a sport of opportunity and it only takes one fight for a fighter to go from a relative unknown to a rising star. Can Gary Corcoran capitalize on the opportunity that now awaits him? We will find out on Wednesday, December 13th.
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

Horn vs. Corcoran takes place on Wednesday, December 13th at the Brisbane Exhibition and Convention Centre in Brisbane, Australia. The fight can be seen live in the United States on ESPN beginning at 6:30AM EST/3:30AM PST and will also be available on the ESPN and Watch ESPN apps. There will be a replay of Horn-Corcoran aired on Wednesday evening on ESPN 2 at 9:30PM EST/6:30PM PST. For more information about ESPN, ESPN Boxing, and the ESPN and Watch ESPN apps please visit: Check your listings internationally.

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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Upcoming Schedule Closing Out 2017

We would like to let our readers know of the upcoming schedule for material, which will close out 2017 here at The Boxing Truth®. On Tuesday,  December 12th a preview for the upcoming WBO Welterweight world championship fight between undefeated world champion Jeff Horn and current WBO number ten rated contender Gary Corcoran, which will take place on Wednesday, December 13th in Brisbane, Australia will be released here on the website.

On Wednesday, December 13th material recapping Horn-Corcoran will be released. Following the release of post-fight material for Horn-Corcoran, a preview for the upcoming WBO Middleweight world championship fight between champion Billy Joe Saunders and former IBF Middleweight world champion David Lemieux will be released on Saturday, December 16th prior to the fight later that night. Following this, we will be taking a break between rounds for the holidays.

An announcement regarding when we will kick off our 2018 schedule will be released on Thursday, January 4, 2018.  Stay tuned. “And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Friday, December 8, 2017

CES Boxing 12/7/2017 Results

Rising Welterweight prospect Khiary Gray rebounded from his recent loss to Jr. Middleweight prospect Greg Vendetti earlier this year by scoring a close eight round majority decision over Philadelphia-based veteran Greg Jackson on Thursday night at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, RI. Gray was able to control the tempo of the fight in the early going landing combinations and being able to get on the inside of the taller Jackson’s reach.

Jackson however, would gradually work his way into the fight and it evolved into a close contest where Gray’s greater activity appeared to give him the benefit of the doubt giving the Worcester, MA native a hard fought decision victory. Official scores were 76-76, 78-74, 80-72. Khiary Gray advances to 15-3, with 11 Knockouts. Greg Jackson falls to 8-5-1, with 2 Knockouts. The win for Gray, who had previously competed as a 154lb. Jr. Middleweight earned him the Interim New England Welterweight championship in his first fight at the Welterweight limit of 147lbs.

Also on this card, in the Women’s Welterweight division prospects Aleksandra Lopes and Natasha Spence fought to an eight round majority draw. This was a fight where neither fighter was really able to stand out clearly from the other as both women had periods of effectiveness in almost every round. Lopes being effective when she was able to use her reach to keep Spence at distance and periodically land counter punches, Spence more effective when she was able to on the inside particularly in the late rounds. At the end of the bout two of three official judges scored the fight four rounds a piece or 76-76 in points, while the third judge scored the fight in favor of Lopes 77-75, resulting in the draw. Unofficially, I had the same score as two of the judges 76-76.  The fight was fought at a measured pace and when two fighters are each able to get things done in rounds it can be very challenging to score. This can be more apparent when one factors into the equation that rounds in Women’s Boxing are two minutes in duration and as such fights like this can result in “Swing Rounds” where the winner of the round is determined by moments rather than which fighter was able to control the combat for most, if not all of the duration of a round, which can subsequently cause a difference of opinion as to who got the upper hand.  This fight was simply too close to call and this observer can see an argument for either fighter deserving the decision. Aleksandra Lopes advances to 18-4-3, with 1 Knockout. Natasha Spence advances to 8-3-2, with 6 Knockouts.

In the Lightweight division Michael Valentin advanced his unbeaten record to 3-0 with a four round unanimous decision over a “Game” Efren Nunes, who was making his pro debut. Valentin controlled the action from the opening bell consistently beating Nunes to the punch and landing combinations. Nunes could not find a way to land consistent offense on Valentin and missed some of his offense by throwing wide looping punches. All three judges scored the fight 40-36 in Valentin’s favor, which was the same score as this observer had unofficially.

Also in the Lightweight division undefeated prospect Jamaine Ortiz scored a six round unanimous decision over veteran Derrick Murray. Ortiz used lateral movement and combination punching to dominate the action over the course of the fight. Although he appeared to be tactically out gunned and might have been on the verge of being stopped Murray hung in and made it to the final bell. At the end of the six round bout all three judges scored all six rounds or 60-54 in points for Ortiz.  Jamaine Ortiz advances to 7-0, with 4 Knockouts. Derrick Murray falls to 13-4-1, with 5 Knockouts.

Fellow unbeaten Lightweight prospect Anthony Marsella scored a first round knockout over Oscar Quezada. Marsella brought the fight to its conclusion in the final seconds of round one with a left hook to the body that sent Quezada down for count. Official time of the stoppage was 3:00 of round one.  Anthony Marsella advances to 7-0, with 4 Knockouts. Oscar Quezada falls to 7-5, with 4 Knockouts.

In Super-Middleweight action Unbeaten prospect Kendrick Ball advanced his record to 8-0-2, with 5 Knockouts by scoring a stoppage of Alshamar Johnson, who fell to 1-2-1, with 1 Knockout in his career, in the final round of a scheduled six round bout. Ball appeared as though he might have been able to get a stoppage of Johnson in the early going, but Johnson showed his mettle hanging in there and was able to have success in his own right periodically as the bout progressed. Ball however, would bring an end to the fight with a combination of hooks to the body and head of Johnson forcing Referee Joey Lupino to stop the fight. Official time of the stoppage was 1:22 of round six.

Bobby Harris advanced his unbeaten record to 2-0 with a four round unanimous decision over Amadeu Cristiano, who was making his pro debut on this card.  Official scores were 40-36 (On two scorecards), and 39-37 in Harris’ favor.

 Jarel Pemberton also advanced his record to 2-0 with a four round unanimous decision over Rene Nazare, who fell to 0-2 in his professional career. Official scores were 40-36, and 39-37 (On two scorecards) in favor of Pemberton.

The card also marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of promoter Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment and Sports a milestone that was celebrated throughout the evening as CES Boxing celebrated its storied history. Overall this card provided a look at some prospects who are at varying stages of their development in their respective careers and as CES Boxing celebrated twenty-five years of success, the future does look bright for the both Classic Entertainment and Sports as well as the fighters in its stable.

Although it remains uncertain as to what the future may hold for fighters like Anthony Marsella, Khiary Gray, Kendrick Ball, and Jamaine Ortiz, just to name a few it will be interesting to see how all of these fighters progress in 2018 as all of them look to make the transition from prospects, to contenders, with the eventual goal of fighting for world championships.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

The card was streamed live on Facebook by Linacre Media’s FightNight Live and can be viewed on demand on the FightNightLive Facebook page: For more information about CES Boxing please visit: For more information about Linacre Media please visit:

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

CES Boxing 12/7/2017 Weights

The official weigh-in for Thursday’s Boxing card promoted by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports headlined by an eight round Interim New England Welterweight championship fight between rising prospects Khiary Gray and Greg Jackson took place on Wednesday in Lincoln, RI. The official weights for the entire card are as follows.

Main Event: Vacant Interim New England Welterweight championship – 8Rds.

Khiary Gray 148lbs. vs. Greg Jackson 148lbs.

Women’s Welterweight – 8Rds.

Akeksandra Lopes vs. Natasha Spence 145lbs.

Super-Middleweight – 4Rds.

Bobby Harris 167lbs. vs. Amadeu Cristiano * 167lbs.

Lightweight – 4Rds.

Efran Nunez* 133lbs. vs. Michael Valentin 137lbs.

(* Cristiano and Nunez will be making their respective pro debuts on this card.)

Super-Middleweight – 4Rds.

Rene Nazare 165lbs. vs. Jarel Pemberton 162lbs.

Super-Middleweight – 6Rds.

Kendrick Ball 163lbs. vs. Alshamar Johnson 164lbs.

Lightweight – 6Rds.

Anthony Marsella 137lbs. vs. Oscar Quezada 135lbs.

Lightweight – 6Rds.

Derrick Murray 135lbs. vs, Jermaine Ortiz 134lbs.

CES Boxing: Gray vs. Jackson takes place Tonight (Thursday, December 7th) at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, RI. The entire card can be seen free on Facebook and the Facebook video app on Linacre Media’s FightNight Live Facebook page: beginning at 7:55PM U.S. EST. For more information on Linacre Media please visit:  For more information about Classic Entertainment & Sports please visit: and their Facebook page:

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Cotto-Ali Thoughts

On December 2nd the spotlight of the Boxing world shined on a familiar and historic setting the legendary Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY. A venue rightfully known as “The Mecca Of Boxing “and “The World’s Most Famous Arena.” A venue truly rich in Boxing history and through its several incarnations has been sight to so many memorable battles and historic moments.

Through the years many boxers have largely established their base in The Garden. One of those fighters has been future Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto. Cotto, a fighter who has won world championships from the 140lb. Jr. Welterweight to the 160lb. Middleweight divisions has truly had an illustrious career and has been one of the marquee draws of Boxing and of the sport in Madison Square Garden for many years having fought many of his significant battles inside The Garden’s ring.

After nearly seventeen years and forty-six professional fights, it was fitting that Cotto’s final battle would come in the venue he had largely established as his home. The thirty-seven year old would defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) Jr. Middleweight world championship on that December evening. Cotto’s opposition on this night would come in the form of former United States Olympian Sadam Ali.

Ali, a native of Brooklyn, NY represented the United States in the 2008 Olympics entered the fight against Cotto with a professional record of 25-1, with 14 Knockouts. Ali’s lone defeat as a pro came in March of last year when he was stopped in nine rounds by Jessie Vargas in a bout for the vacant WBO Welterweight world championship. Since suffering that setback however, Ali had gone unbeaten in three bouts, winning one by knockout, and entered the bout against Cotto rated number nine in the world in the WBO Jr. Middleweight ratings.

Despite being eight years the junior of his opponent, his Olympic pedigree, and his momentum coming into the fight there was little disputing the significant experience disadvantage that faced Ali in the form of Cotto, who himself had an Olympic pedigree having represented his native Puerto Rico in the 2000 Olympics and who come into the bout with a professional record of 41-5, with 33 Knockouts. Even though it appeared Cotto had both an experience and power advantage over Ali, this appeared on paper as though it would be a difficult fight stylistically for Cotto.

Ali is a slick boxer with good lateral movement and quick hands. If Ali could withstand Cotto’s punching power, it interested this observer to see whether or not the champion Cotto would be able to nullify Ali’s elusiveness and be able to break the challenger’s will as he had been able to do to numerous opponents throughout his career. It is a task however that is often easier said than done even when one is discussing a great fighter as Miguel Cotto is.

Ali’s strategy appeared clear from the outset to use his movement to establish himself as an elusive target and in the process offset Cotto’s gradual pressure style. The champion appeared clearly bothered by Ali’s hand speed early on and the challenger was clearly intent on proving that he had come to fight and that this would not be the showcase farewell performance of a future Hall of Famer that some had anticipated.

It was the challenger who landed the first significant punch of the fight as he staggered Cotto with a flush right hand to the jaw in the second round. Despite appearing to have clearly hurt the champion, Ali appeared somewhat hesitant to press the issue perhaps out of awareness and respect for Cotto’s punching power.

Cotto, as he has shown throughout his career, was able to regroup and appeared to get a slight advantage in the third round. As the fight progressed and evolved into a tactical battle, it became apparent as is sometimes the case in strategic Boxing matches that rounds in this fight would be determined more so by moments that can sway opinion as to who got the upper hand in rounds rather than one fighter being able to stand out clearly from the other for the entire duration of a round.

This was primarily due to both fighters having periods of effectiveness throughout. A challenge that can be present when it comes to tactical fights that often end up being close for both official judges as well as observers watching a fight is to look for small, but distinguishable differences between the two fighters and what they are able to accomplish during periods when they are effective.

In this fight Miguel Cotto appeared in my eyes to have trouble cutting the ring off from Ali and also had trouble landing solid punches on the challenger consistently. Although Cotto did get the benefit of the doubt in some rounds on my scorecard based on effective aggression in being able to keep Ali on the defensive for periods of time, Cotto was not able to land consistently and was even made to miss punches he threw during periods where he was able to get Ali on the ropes where it was theoretically to his advantage. This was due to Ali’s lateral movement and ability to avoid being a stationary target for lengthy periods of time. It was also noticeable that Cotto was unable to establish a constant attack to the challenger’s body, which could have had an impact on Ali’s ability to use his movement to evade Cotto’s pressure and deflect the champion’s attacks in the middle and late rounds.

At the end of the twelve round world championship bout I arrived with a scorecard of eight rounds to four or 116-112 in points in favor of Ali. Although Cotto was able to be effective throughout, I felt the overall difference was Ali’s ring generalship in being able to dictate how the fight was fought as well as his hand speed. Given that this was announced as Cotto’s final fight it would be understandable how some might have felt that Cotto may have and perhaps should have been given the benefit of the doubt given how competitive and close the fight was.

It is important to remember that contrary to the beliefs of some, Boxing is supposed to be scored and officiated objectively though there have been several instances throughout Boxing history where a champion/marquee attraction has been given the nod in close fights that could have gone the other way. In this instance however, it would be Ali who was declared the winner by twelve round unanimous decision via scores of 116-112, the same score as this observer, and 115-113 on two official scorecards or seven rounds to five making Sadam Ali the new WBO Jr. Middleweight world champion.

As is often the case when it comes to close fights, there could be some rounds in this fight that could be open to interpretation. Rounds that I have often referred to over the years as “Swing Rounds” where there can be a healthy difference of opinion as to which fighter got the upper hand. Even though I feel Ali got the upper hand in this fight, Miguel Cotto was consistently aggressive throughout the fight, but was unable to be consistently effective in that aggression and this along with Ali’s speed and ability to periodically hurt Cotto throughout is what I based my score on. If there is one thing that may have made the fight appear more definitive in Ali’s favor that one could point to and say he did not do consistently was when he was able to periodically stagger Cotto with right hands, hooks, and uppercuts, he did not always press forward and despite being respectful of Cotto’s punching power and ability to counter punch, some could say Ali did not make the most of those opportunities when Cotto appeared to be in trouble.

Ali’s tactics were however, enough to score points particularly down the stretch in the late rounds when the fight was on the table. Although as I have also said over the years a scorecard of eight rounds to four may give the impression and appearance of a lopsided fight, in reality it often is an illustration of a close bout where one fighter was able to do a little more than his opponent. Speaking for myself, I felt Ali did enough to win two out of the last three rounds of the fight. If Miguel Cotto had won rounds ten and twelve on my scorecard, I would have ended up with a draw at the end of the fight. For those who scored the fight seven rounds to five in favor of Ali, the margin would be one round that would be the difference between a fight where a winner is declared and one that ends in a draw.

Unlike some bouts in the recent history of the sport, there was not an element of controversy, but rather this fight was one where one fighter simply bested the other in a close and competitive fight where both former champion and challenger turned new champion showed the class and sportsmanship that truly makes all of sports great when it is on display. Absent from the aftermath of this fight were accusations of a bad decision and/or questions regarding the scoring of the fight.

After what he insists was the last time he would step into the ring as a fighter, Miguel Cotto in his final act showed why he was a great fighter, world champion, and future Hall of Famer by first congratulating his opponent Sadam Ali on his victory and then expressing his appreciation for the support Boxing fans have given him his entire career. Whether or not the end of Miguel Cotto’s era as a superstar of the sport of Boxing will now signal the beginning of the era of the rising star of Sadam Ali remains to be seen. It is my hope however, that the “Class” these two world champions displayed before, during, and after their fight will be something that others in the sport and the fans who support it worldwide will follow as it was one of the highlights of a great fight on yet another historic night of Boxing at it’s “Mecca” Madison Square Garden.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Friday, December 1, 2017


We would like to let readers know that we will resume our regular schedule on Tuesday, December 5th. 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: