Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report

Talking all things boxing!

Kovalev Pummels Cleverly in Four to Win WBO Lightweight Title

Cleverly - Kovalev

(Photo By. Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

By. BrotherJR

8/18/13

Going into this much talked about Light-Heavyweight battle between defending WBO champ Nathan Cleverly and WBO #2 ranked contender Kovalev, it was Cleverly that was considered the underdog.  Even though Cleverly was undefeated going in and fighting on home soil in Wales, it was Kovalev who was the fighter receiving all of they hype and much of the attention.  Kovalev has been one of the more talked about fighters and rising contenders in the sport.  He has been the talk of boxing fans based on largely on his 3rd round destruction over former WBA Light-Heavyweight champion Gabriel Campillo this past January as well as his follow-up TKO over Cornelius White in June.  On Saturday night in Cardiff, Wales Kovalev more than lived up to the hype, overwhelming and stopping the previously undefeated Cleverly by 4th round TKO to win the WBO Light-Heavyweight title.

Kovalev (22-0, 20 KO’s) got off to a hot start early, setting the pace by establishing the jab as well and landing combinations to the head and body in round one.  Generally known as a boxer, Cleverly (26-1, 12 KO’s), elected to mix it up early with the hard-hitting Kovalev. However, by the end the first round he was in defensive mode feeling early on the power of Kovalev.  It was much of the same in round 2 as Kovalev stayed on the front foot, landing a variety of shots to the head and body of Cleverly who couldn’t get going as he was unable find his rhythm.  The defending champ couldn’t land any telling blows of his own and was in constant defensive mode to avoid the hard shots from the powerful challenger.  Kovalev suffered a cut over his right eye a minute into round 2, but it didn’t matter as he was in control early on.

As rough as it was for Cleverly through the first two rounds, it became worse for him in the third.  With 65 seconds to go in the round, Cleverly was hurt by a Kovalev left hook.  A follow-up assault from the Russian challenger, culminating with a right hand, put Cleverly down for the first time in his professional career with 45 seconds to go in the round.  Cleverly was knocked down again in the round with 30 seconds to go, this time via another right hand by Kovalev.  Cleverly was very luck to survive the round and was visibly hurt at the end of the ring and was very wobbly as he headed back to the corner, with some help from referee Terry O’Conner.  In fact, the argument could be made that the only reason Cleverly was able to survive the round and not have the fight stopped at that point is because he was fighting in his home country.  It would not matter however as in round 4, Kovalev attacked and swarmed a still wobbly Cleverly.  With Cleverly hurt and at the end of another assault by Kovalev, referee O’Conner had no choice but stepped in and call a halt to the contest with 21 seconds into round 4.

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With this win, Sergey Kovalev is now a major player in the Light Heavyweight division as well as one on the hottest and fastest rising boxers in the sport. He is a fighter that has star potential.  The 175 pound division is becoming one the better divisions in boxing.  At the top of the Light Heavyweight landscape is current IBF Champ Bernard Hopkins.  However, what has many hardcore boxing fans mouths watering throughout social media, is a potential unification bout with the hard punching WBC champion Adonis Stevenson. Stevenson has an upcoming bout in September against Tavoris Cloud, but should he win that, a Kovalez-Stevenson bout sometime in 2014 would be explosive and guaranteed TNT.  Other interesting bouts for Kovalev would be a bout against former Light Heavyweight champ Jean Pascal as well as bouts with current Super Middleweight top dogs Andre Ward and Carl Froch.   As for Cleverly, not all is lost.  He’s still only 26 years, young enough to come back and still be a future player in the Light Heavyweight division.  Kudos for Cleverly even facing such a daunting task and fighting such a dangerous opponent.  In the end, this fight just proved to be a case of Cleverly facing a stronger and ultimately better man in Sergey Kovalev, who is proving himself to be the real deal and a emerging force not just in the Light Heavyweight division, but maybe throughout all of boxing.

August 18, 2013 Posted by | Blog, Boxing | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report 8/15/13 – Is Deontay Wilder the Next Big Thing?

 

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By BrotherJR

8/15/13

To listen to and download podcast, click here: http://p4pboxingreport.podomatic.com/entry/2013-08-14T23_53_41-07_00

On this episode of the P4P Boxing Report we discussed:
Fight News
– Is Deontay Wilder the Real Deal?
– It’s time for Gary Russell Jr to step up.
– Is Shinsuke Yamanaka the best Bantanweight in the World?
– What’s the future for Akira Yaegashi?

Boxing News
– Andre Berto to have shoulder surgery, can he recover?
– Curtis Stevens turns down 300K to fight Gennady Golovkin, and why we’re ticked off about it.
– Marcos Maidana in line to fight Adrien Broner

Fight Previews:
Nathan Cleverly vs. Sergey Kovalev
Daniel Geale vs. Darren Barker

All that and more!!!

Information:
Introduction – “P4P Drop” by. The 8BitAnimal
Music – “Waves” (Instrumental) by. Joey Bada$$ and “Midnight Moves” by. The Stuyvesants
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August 15, 2013 Posted by | Audio, Blog, Boxing, Fights, Podcast | , , , | 2 Comments

Pernell Whitaker vs Juan Nazario 8/11/90

By. BrotherJR
8/11/13

Paying homage to one of my favorite fighters, 6 time, 4 division world boxing champion Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker. On this day 23 years ago, the great Pernell Whitaker became the undisputed lightweight champion with a rare 1st-round KO! Watch and enjoy the great “Sweet Pea” during his prime putting in work.

August 11, 2013 Posted by | Blog, Boxing, Fights, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

Why HBO is Wrong Regarding Their Attitude Towards Guillermo Rigondeaux

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By. BrotherJR

August 4, 2013

Last month, it was reported that HBO is not interested in airing any future bouts of WBA/WBO Jr. Featherweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux, following his one-sided victory over Nonito Donaire this past April.  According to Rigondeaux’s promoter, Bob Arum, whenever “Rigo” was mentioned to HBO, the network “throws up”.  This has been part of the ongoing backlash by more than a few folks within the boxing community following Rigondeaux’s win over Donaire.  It seems that in the aftermath of his biggest win and one of best boxing exhibitions in 2013, Guillermo Rigondeaux is being indicted for it.

In light of HBO’s decision and salty attitude towards Guillermo Rigondeaux, a few questions arises.  Why such disdain towards Rigondeaux?   Now if we’re gonna be completely honest, Rigondeaux doesn’t always fight in the most exciting fashion, and can be overly cautious at times. Even during his win over Donaire, he was criticized for stepping off the gas during the fight.  Now the flip side of that is Rigondeaux is a master boxer whose skills are elite.  And if that’s part of the reason that HBO has such an attitude with Rigo, then they are being somewhat hypocritical.  Keep in mind this is the same HBO that televised master boxers like Pernell Whitaker for a number of years, the same Whitaker who didn’t change his style and didn’t have that ‘it’ factor as far as personality goes.  This is the same HBO that made Roy Jones a mainstay on their network for a decade when on many occasions, Jones fought cautiously during bouts. And also, keep in mind that when Rigondeaux destroyed Teon Kennedy on the under-card of the Manny Pacquiao – Timothy Bradley PPV fight in June 2012, they were heaping praises towards him and his fighting style. If HBO went out their way to make Roy Jones and Pernell Whitaker household names with mainstream appeal, why couldn’t they work to do the same with Guillermo Rigondeaux?

Another issue could be the ongoing beef between Bob Arum and Golden Boy Promotions.  When you look at the landscape between Jr. Featherweight and Featherweight (122-126lbs), a couple of future opponents could be WBC Featherweight champ Abner Mares and former Bantamweight champ Leo Santa Cruz who is moving to Jr. Featherweight, fighters promoted by Golden Boy.  Because of the Arum-Golden Boy beef, maybe it’s their contention that those fights could not be made.  Problem with that is, this is boxing. Bring enough money to the table and those issues would get quickly resolved.  Besides, because Jr. Featherweight and Featherweight is so loaded right now, there are plenty of other fights out for Rigondeaux, including terrific potential fights with Mikey Garcia and IBF Featherweight champion Evgeny Gradovich.  Another reason could be the language barrier.  The Cuban born Rigondeaux, who currently resides in Miami, doesn’t speak English.  My response to that is, if HBO could work with the likes of Felix Trinidad in the past and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr now, they can work with Rigondeaux.

Now let me get to the reason in which I suspect that HBO is throwing all kinds of shade towards Rigondeaux.  In one night, Guillermo Rigondeaux spoiled all their plans for Nonito Donaire.  It wasn’t that Guillermo Rigondeaux just defeated Donaire this past April 13, he comprehensively out-boxed Donaire in such a decisive manner, absolutely no one could question it.  The bottom line is that HBO was giving Donaire a big promotional push and touting him as the best pound for pound fighter in the world not named Floyd Mayweather.  He was gonna be their replacement for Manny Pacquiao as king of the little giants.  In short, Rigondeaux destroyed the myth of Donaire, but spoiled many of their future plans to make Donaire a possible mainstream attraction, and HBO is still upset about it. What HBO should do instead is embrace Guillermo Rigondeaux and invest in him. What you do HBO is put Rigondeaux in the ring with the right opponents that bring out the best in him. Rigondeaux is an educated boxer at his core. That’s how he was taught growing up and that’s what he believes. He’s not gonna change that for anyone, and why should he given the success that style has brought him both during his amateur and professional career. If HBO were smart is search for the right opponents, quality fighters that come forward and make “Rigo” fight, or put him in the ring with an equal quality of boxer. Yes I know that there’s a lot of politics and red tape in boxing that can get in the way. However this is HBO, still the most powerful network in the sport. They can cut through much of that red tape and make the best fights for a Rigondeaux. If they were willing to do that to make the Oscar De La Hoya – Felix Trinidad fight happen in 1998 and the Lennox Lewis – Mike Tyson fights happen in 2003, they could certainly do that in regards of Guillermo Rigondeaux. Instead, they got on their high horse and proceeded to throw shade towards him.

HBO is guilty of punishing Guillermo Rigondeaux for his greatest victory of his career. Now Guillermo could move over to Showtime and still make a career, and even become a star because there are options for him. However, that is not the real point.  The issue is boxing’s premiere network and their beef towards a fighter who is obviously one of the better fighters in the sport. HBO is not only wrong with their stance towards Rigondeaux, but are guilty of having a double standard and its high time for their dismissive attitude towards him the be called out for what it really is.

August 4, 2013 Posted by | Blog, Boxing | , , , , , , | 2 Comments