Snips 'n' Snipes

About The Author

eric portraitEric Armit, who is a Director of the CBC and its former Chairman, is renowned worldwide as an authority on boxers records and also as a satirical and cynical observer.

Eric Armit writes in his capacity as a boxing journalist and not as a director of the CBC. His views and comments are his own and have not been the subject of prior discussion or consideration by his fellow directors, nor form official CBC policy.

5 September 2012

Women’s boxing made a big breakthrough in the London Olympics. For Britain the star was Nicola Adams, for the USA Claressa Shields and for Ireland Katie Taylor. Women’s boxing was watched just as enthusiastically as the men’s boxing and the triumphs acclaimed loudly and proudly. There was a feeling that these achievements would give a boost to women’s boxing both in the amateurs and the professionals. It will without doubt have inspired some young women to don the gloves. The Olympics demonstrated clearly the large steps that women’s boxing has made in the amateurs with strength in depth in many countries and divisions. There will be a trickle through to the professionals, but women’s professional boxing has not achieved the success that could have been expected. There are some very talented women boxers, who are big attractions, but when you scratch the surface there is not the strength in depth required to build the professional side of women’s boxing. To give some examples: Britain, where Jane Crouch MBE fought a successful court case to be licensed, Boxing Records Archives list only two female boxers over the 17 divisions. The EBU ratings list just 48 female boxers over the 17 divisions. In twelve of those divisions there are only three or less fighters rated. For any sport to be healthy it needs a critical mass of competition and neither the British nor the EBU show those numbers being there. It is not only the numbers, but also the geography. Boxing Records Archive show six Commonwealth boxers rated at flyweight. Three are from South Africa, two from Canada and one from Australia which makes matching them impractical. Even looked at world-wide it is little better. Boxing Records Archives list 25 women at lightweight, but they are spread through 16 different countries. It must disappoint the pioneers such as Christy Martin, Crouch and Deirdre Gogarty who fought so hard to get women’s boxing off the ground. In the case of Gogarty with women’s boxing banned in Ireland she was forced to leave her home country to fight She spent her time as a boxing gypsy. The fight against officialdom in Ireland almost drove Gogarty to suicide, before she found a home in Louisiana and went on to win a world title. Her story, which she recounts in her book “My Call To The Ring”, is a story that must have been mirrored by those who literally fought for women’s boxing and paved the way for women such as Katie Taylor. The 2012 Olympics’ will give women’s boxing a shot in the arm, but there is still a long long way to go before it becomes little more than a side-show.

We seem to be getting some good fights signed or nearly signed. We have Miguel Cotto vs. Austin Trout for the unified WBA title (it shows how mad boxing has become that we can have a unification match for two titles in the same division for a sanctioning body) and it looks like Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez is about to be set. There was always the danger that if Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr kept avoiding each other the fight would be devalued and that is what has happened.

It must be frustrating for Tim Bradley. No matter who he beats he still finds himself with his nose pressed against the window gazing at the high value fights which never come his way.

If Pacquiao vs. Marquez does come off, currently set for December 8 in Mexico City, and the winner gets a hotly disputed decision, do we go to Pacquiao vs. Marquez V? Will these two still be fighting each other when they have to wear incontinence pants instead of a protector?

It is still traditional to build a fighter by fighting down and publicising up. Take only sure wins and trumpet them as great achievements. The big sin is to get your guy beaten by a nobody in a nothing fight. Losses are looked upon as a disaster to be avoided at all costs. However, even a heavy defeat is not the end. Amir Khan vs. Breidis Prescott is a prime example. Two other examples are Canadians Bermane Stiverne and Adonis Stevenson. Both have recovered from bad losses and are now close to world title fight. Stiverne’s banana skins were Demitrice King and Charles Davis and Stevenson’s was Darnell Boone. Stiverne had won his first twelve fights inside the distance, nine in the first round. His wrong pick was Demetrice King a guy with an 11-15 record. King crushed Stiverne in four rounds. Stiverne looked to be back in the groove as he ran up five more wins, four in the first round. The plan was to keep it easy and it could not look easier than Charles Davis. He had a 17-17-1 record and had lost his last nine fights. The best Stiverne could do was a draw. Not the performances expected from a guy who is now No 2 with the WBC. Let’s ignore how farcical it is to be able to climb to No 2 in the world by beating Kertson Manswell and Ray Austin. Stevenson’s path to a fall was similar. He won his a first 13 fights, seven in the first round. Boone fitted the “Charles Davis” model; he had a 16-15-2 record and had lost his last five fight. Boone crushed Stevenson in two rounds. The lessons from this is that there are no sure things in boxing, that a loss, no matter how crushing, is not the end of a career and lastly watch out for fighters born in Haiti (both Stiverne and Stevenson were born there) who win most of their fights inside a round. It is a sure sign that they will find a banana skin in even the most unlikely of places. Stevenson will become the mandatory challenger for Carl Froch’s IBF title if he beats Don George on October 12.

The classic case of fight low and publicise large is Deontay Wilder. He certainly showed fast hands and power in destroying Kertson Manswell, who had lost 5 of his last 7 fights, so you might expect his people feel that they can now turn him lose on real opponents and not has-beens or never were’s. No, Wilder next big test will be on September 8 against Damon McCreary, a 39-year-old who has had just one fight since 2007 and that was a four round bout in November against a guy with a 2-1 record. Real risk takers the Wilder team. Most of these opponents would not last a round with Gene Wilder.

Is a punch something that can be passed on through the genes? It seems to be possible in the case of Maysonet father and son. Jorge Maysonet Senior finished with a 22-11 record with all 22 wins coming by KO/TKO, seven in the first round. Jorge Junior is just starting out. He can’t match dad’s feat of all his wins coming by KO/TKO, as he already has a decision win, but his other eight fights have all been one round blitzes, so he is already one up on dad in first round wins.

Few fighter in boxing history can match the record of Thai Pongsaklek Wonjongkam. The 35-year-old former WBC fly champion has an 86-4-2 record and looks capable of going to 100 fights. Two of losses came in his early career, inexplicably to modest Filipino Jerry Pahayahay. Between the second loss to Pahayahay 1996, and his next loss in July 2007, he ran up 56 consecutive wins, including revenge over Pahayahay, and 17 title defences. Since his loss in 2007 he has regained and lost the WBC title again taking his total of title fights to 23, and he is 19-2-2 in those fights. Pongsaklek is hoping for a shot at the WBC title, but he may find himself in the queue behind the winner of the WBC eliminator between former champion Sonny Boy Jaro and Edgar Sosa set for December 13.

Former WBO super bantam and featherweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez is back in training. He is still under suspension until March 2013 following accusations he made against the referee after his second loss to Orlando Salido. Since he has kissed and made up with the referee there are efforts to get the ban shortened, but it looks unlikely he will fight until 2013.

Oleg Maskaev is another boxer announcing plans for a comeback. The former WBC heavyweight champion has been inactive since his first round loss to Nagy Aguilera in December 2009. There is always a place for former champions even, as losers to the guys on the way up.

Boxing is truly an international sport, and American money is still a big player. The fight for the secondary WBA middleweight title was held in Verona at the weekend between a fighter from Kazakhstan and one from Poland. Also on the show were fighters from Puerto Rico, Ukraine, the USA, Bahamas (two), Canada and Colombia. The only American fighters on the show were in four or six round fights with one in an eight round fight. With TV the main payer who needs local attractions?

Loved the name of one of the fighters on the Verona show. Borngod Washington. Looks like his parents decided to cover both the religious and patriotic angles. If the name was meant to inspire him it has failed. Borngod’s record is 2-12. Perhaps they should have gone for Satan Benedict Arnold.

All news becomes old news after a while. However the proceeds from Shinsuke Yamanaka’s title defence against Tomas Rojas in Sendai on November 3 will go to help the victims of the Tohoku earthquake and resulting tsunami. It was only March last year, but it is no longer news, so this gesture serves to remind of the terror and destruction it wrought.

The World Boxing Association has ordered a purse bid for the mandatory fight between their "secondary" featherweight champion Celestino Caballero (36-4, 23KOs), and mandatory challenger Nicholas Walters (21-0, 17KOs). Both sides had until September 2nd to reach an agreement. Caballero was previously ordered to face Mikey Garcia, who instead will target a November fight with WBO champion Orlando Salido. The purse bid opening will take place at 11am at the WBA's office in Panama, with Vice President Gilberto Mendoza Jr. overseeing the bid. There will be a 75-25 split in favor of the champion - and the minimum bid is $120,000 dollars.

Where have they gone to? Matt Korobov and Karl Dargan both had all the right amateur credentials to make them hot prospects. Korobov, a double world champion as an amateur, got good notices as he won 8 of his first 10 fights inside the distance. He has not had a fight since November 2011. Perhaps having just two wins inside the distance in his last seven fights are the reason. Dargan a muli-tournament winner who took the gold medal at the 2007 Pan American Games, turned pro in December 2007. So far he has had just ten fights in almost five years. He fights again on September 8 in a six round fight. That’s not much progress in five years.

IBF’s two top rated light middleweights Charles Whittaker and Gabriel Rosado meet on a Russell Peltz show in Bethlehem on September 21 with a shot at Cornelius Bundrage as a reward for the winner. Bethlehem-how come Borngod is not on the show? In addition to the IBF eliminator Sergey Kovalev gets a big test against former WBA light heavy champ Gabriel Campillo and Ronald Cruz faces Antwone Smith. A good line up.

Juan Jose Montes will face Oscar Ibarra on September 22 for the vacant WBFederation title super fly title on September 22 in Puerto Penasco. It will be interesting to see the scoring. Last time they fought one judge had it 118-109 for Montes and one had it 114-113 for Montes! Jorge Arce takes a keep busy match with veteran southpaw Mauricio Martinez in Los Mochis on September 22. Arce is looking towards a fight with the winner of Nonito Donaire vs. Toshiaki Nishioka fight.

Nestor Narvaez, the younger brother of Omar Narvaez gets a shot at the WBC flyweight title when he challenges Toshiyuki Igarishi on November 3 in Japan. This is on the same show as the Yamanaka vs. Rojas fight. How Narvaez is rated highly enough to get the shot is a puzzle as he has never beaten anyone in the WBC top 40 and the only two fights he has had in the last 16 months have been six round fights.

Flyweight banger Giovanni Segura is looking to get back into action. He has been inactive since losing his WBO title to Brian Viloria in December. Since then he has been waiting out the expiry of his promotional contract.

Show this weekend:

Friday:

Flemington, Australia: Cruiser: Daniel Amann vs. Pieter Cronje: Heavy: Solomon Haumono vs. Franklin Egobi.

Halifax, Canada: Super Bantam: Tyson Cave vs. Steve Cannell.

Muelheim, German: Heavy: Francesco Pianeta vs. Frans Botha.

London, England: Cruiser: Tony Conquest vs. Ian Timms.

Saturday

Oakland, USA: Super Middle: Andre Ward vs. Chad Dawson. Light Antonio DeMarco vs. John Molina.

Moscow, Russia: Heavy: Vitali Klitschko vs. Manuel Charr. Super Middle: Max Vlasov vs. Khoren Gevor. Heavy: Vyacheslav Glazkov vs. Konstantin Airich. Heavy: Magomed Abdusalamov vs. Jameel McCline.

London, England: Light Heavy: Tony Bellew vs. Edison Miranda. Welter: Lee Purdy vs. Gumersindo Carrasco

Mexico City, Mexico: Bantam: Daniel Rosas vs. Julio Cesar Miranda. Bantam: Felipe Orucuta vs. William Urina

Celaya, Mexico: Middle: Marco Antonio Rubio vs. Carlos Baldomir.

Costa Mesa, USA: Light: Luis Ramos vs. Noe Bolanos. Heavy: Deontay Wilder vs. Damon McCreary. Middle: Demetrius Hopkins vs. Quinton Whitaker.

Trenton, USA: Heavy: Tomasz Adamek vs. Travis Walker. Heavy: Steve Cunningham vs. Jason Gavern. Heavy: Bryant Jennings vs. Chris Koval.

Las Vegas, USA: Light Welter: Lucas Matthysse vs. Ajose Olusegun.

Read about them here first.