*It’s not that often that you have two promoters that have two different events taking place on the same night at two different locations in the same city, and being televised on two of the biggest television networks in the world.
But somehow this feat was pulled off by Bob Arum of Top Rank Inc., and Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions. Right now these are the two biggest promoters out there, and you couldn’t expect anything lest than that from them. That old saying, “working together works” definitely applies here folks.
There were so many big fights going on last Saturday night, that I don’t know where to start. You had Amir Khan going against Devon Alexander, Keith Thurman going against Leonard Bundu, and the two Charlo Twins (Jermall and Jermell) being featured at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. An event that was telecast live on Showtime Championship Boxing.
And down the street at the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Resort, you had Timothy ” Desert Storm” Bradley going against Diego Chaves in an exciting welterweight slugfest, With Benevidez going against Herrera and this was telecast live on HBO Championship Boxing.
Before we get started on what happened Saturday night folks, let me just say this. That I think it’s a great thing that’s happening with the cooperation we’re now seeing between two of boxing’s biggest promoters. There’s been an apparent thaw in the “cold war” that had been lurking with these two boxing giants for quite a while and now it seems that people are coming to the realization that the biggest losers in all of this is the fans. And frankly folks, there needs to be more of this coming from them if they really want to give the fans what they want and that is, good fights.
Prayerfully, it is our hope that the world we live in can become a more perfect one in which we can see power brokers like the eccentric Al Haymon who manages and advises quite a number of big named fighters like Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Leo Santa Cruz, Keith Thurman, Peter “Kid Chocalate” Quillan, and Andre Berto (just to name a few) could one day set aside the differences, and work out the issues that keep a lot of these fighters from coming together, and give the fans exactly what they want which is first class boxing entertainment. As I always say, we’ll see what happens.
Okay folks, let’s now talk about the fights first at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“Vicious” Victor Ortiz who’s been seen recently on “Dancing With The Stars”, and has tried his hand at acting being featured in the motion picture “The Expendables”, made an exciting comeback in the ring Saturday night and scored a third round knockout over a game Manuel Perez. Ortiz showed us that he’s still got it and let all the doubters know that they shouldn’t count him out. With this win we’re sure to see more of him in the near future.
Next we saw a new kid on the block by the name of Earl Spence Jr. go against Javier Castro. This kid really has the goods folks, and he showed us that by stopping Castro in the fifth round with a barrage of punishing shots to the head so much so, referee Robert Byrd stepped in and called a halt to the bout at 2:43 of the fifth. And what’s amazing about this kid is that he’s a real puncher as evident in the punch stats recorded out of 317 power punches thrown, he connected on 224 of them. So remember that name, Earl Spence Jr.
Next we saw the Charlo twins showcase their talent with Jermell getting in the ring first against a game Mario Lozano. This bout got off a little slow, but as time went on Jermell displayed superb boxing skills with combinations, stiff jabs, and lateral movement. He hails out of Houston, Texas and he and his twin brother are both trained by the great Ronnie Shields. And at the end of ten rounds, he was declared the winner by unanimous decision over Lozano and improved his record to 25-0 with 11 coming by way of knockout.
And right behind Jermell we saw his brother Jermall who came into this one with a record of 19-0 and 15 knockouts go against Lenny Bottai who hails out of Livorno, Italy.
This was originally suppose to be a title bout against Demitrius Andrade, but because Andrade wasn’t happy with what he was getting paid for this one to defend his WBO title, he decided to pull out. Thus we saw Jermall knockout Bottai 38 seconds into the 3rd round with a devastating right hand. Next in line for Jermall is a bout with Corneilius Bundredge who has a mandatory defense of his IBF tile. As I always say, we’ll see what happens.
Keith “One Time” Thurman came into the ring next and went up against a 40 year old but game Leonard Bundu who hails out of Italy.
There wasn’t a lot of excitement in this one as it started off slow paced although Thurman scored a knockdown early in the first. It became more of a cat and mouse game after that as they both seemed to not want to really engage with one another, but rather fein shots, and every now and then throw a jab, or shot to the body. All and all, this was a very boring fight, but at the end of the day, it was all Keith “One Time ” Thurman on all three judges scorecards.
And in the main event It was Amir “King” Khan going against Devon “The Great” Alexander in a twelve round contest that went the distance with Khan winning by a unanimous decision.
And it was a totally different story over at the Cosmopolitan Hotel as Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley went against Diego Chaves of Argentina in what could be considered the most rugged fight he ever had. Chaves came out in the opening bell as if he wanted to take Bradley’s head off.
This was a very grueling contest between these two folks, as they went at each other throughout the bout as if they were in a war. And it showed as Bradley’s left eye was nearly shut closed, and Chavez suffering severe swelling over his left eye as well as his cheek. Earlier in the fight they were head butting constantly on several occasions in which referee Tony Weeks warned each fighter without taking a point from either one.
They quite often found themselves in the “phone booth” with each other, and a lot of inside shots to the body were landed, as well as uppercuts to the head.
At the end of the day, there was a three way split amongst the judges.
Julie Lederman scored it 116-112 for Chaves. Craig Metcalfe scored it 114-114, and Burt Clements scored it 115-113 for Bradley. Thus, the bout was declared a draw which most ringsiders think was ridiculous. The punch stats clearly shown at the end of the bout that both fighters were fairly even with the total number of punches thrown ( Bradley 572, Chaves 570) except Bradley landed 225 compared to Chaves landing only 152 shots. Bradley landed 79 jabs compared to 44 landed by Chaves. And even when it came to power shots, Bradley landed 146 compared to 108 by Chaves, so how could that be a draw?
At the end of the day I had to ask myself, what fight were they watching?
Something needs to be done to improve the way these situations are handled, it just can’t go on like it did last Saturday night. As I always say, we’ll see what happens.
And finally, I hear that the Bermane Stiverne vs Deontay Wilder WBC championship fight is set for January 17 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and will be telecast on Showtime Championship Boxing.
“When the tide goes out, that’s when you’ll find out who’s been swimming naked”- Warren Buffett
Mohammed Mubarak’s Ringside Update can also be read in the Pace News, and the High Desert Inland Valley News. He is an artist as well, and you may go to his website mubarakart.com, or reach him at [email protected] for your comments.