Eric 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.
Not all of the publicity surrounding Saul Alvarez is about Floyd Mayweather Jr. He might just have to use some of the huge purse he is getting as former IBF light fly champion Ulises “Archie” Solis is pursuing his claim for damages against Alvarez. Solis alleges that Alvarez assaulted him, breaking his jaw, and the resulting forced inactivity cost him both his IBF title and a year out of his career. It is alleged that Alvarez accused Solis of messing around with his girl friend. It will be interesting to see what happens if the court case is resolved and Alvarez is found to have committed the assault-will the WBC do anything about Alvarez fighting for their title or will they just turn a blind eye. If it goes from a civil case to a criminal case would Alvarez be able to get a visa to enter the USA with a conviction on his sheet? Don’t go there Eric.
Boxing is still haunted by controversy over the use of performing enhancing drugs. Guillermo Jones’ A sample tested positive for a banned substance. After his win over Denis Lebedev The WBA have instructed him to have the B sample tested or be stripped off the title. So far that’s where it sits. Of course we have Don King sitting in the background and Jones is his cash cow. Naturally the Russian’s are trying to force the issue and saying that their Drug Agency are willing to test the B sample and that if Jones takes no action then he should be immediately stripped and Denis Lebedev given his title back. Then you can wonder that as Jones was ”Champion in Recess” does Lebedev get to be champion and champion in recess or is the champion in recess title now vacant and how soon will we have a interim champion in recess and a Silver champion in recess……….
How believable is it that Vitali Klitschko and Dereck Chisora should both coincidentally turn upon the same night at a night club in the third country. Some coincidence that-if you believe in coincidences. You would think that after a ban for stupid behavior Chisora would go out of his way to avoid any confrontations-but seemingly not.
It is not easy to sort out what is happening with Vitali Klitschko. The purse offers deadline for his defence against Bermane Stiverne have been delayed at the request of the Klitschko team but no clear reason given. Perhaps he is hoping someone will come up with $25 million for the fight. The money man behind the winning bid for the Wladimir Klitschko and Alex Povetkin fight recently stated that he was not bothered if the fight was not a financial success. Obviously he has more money than sense. If Wladimir wins he is $25 million out of pocket with nothing to show for it. If Povetkin wins there is no fight for Povetkin worth anything near that figure so he will never recoup his money.
If Vitali decides to relinquish the WBC title then the proposal is for Stiverne to fight Seth Mitchell for the vacant title. Not something that enthuses me too much. We may just realise how little talent there is in the division once the Klitschko’s go.
There is also talk of an IBF eliminator between Kubrat Pulev and Tony Thompson. A 32-year-old against a 41-year-old “Where have all the young men gone……..
As for Povetkin talk of him being trained by Freddie Roach has come to nothing. Because of his other commitments Roach was not willing to commit to spending an extended period in Russia and Povetkin was not willing to go to the USA. Instead Povetkin will be trained by Alex Zimin who trained Kostya Tszyu. The undercard of the 5 October show in Moscow will see unbeaten European cruiserweight champion Mateusz Masternak against Grigory Drozd.
If there is one amateur fighter I would put my money on to make it as a pro it is Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko. He has won gold medals at Cadet, Junior, European, World (twice) and Olympics (twice) and in London he already looked to be a professional in his style. He has now signed with Top Rank. A good few years back outfits such as Top Rank would be snapping up USA Olympians, now it is China and Ukraine. The world is changing. There are no guarantees-amateur star Matt Korobov has struggled to make an impression, and Zou Shiming is going to struggle when he comes up against the hardened Mexicans, Thais, Filipinos and Japanese, but I think Lomachenko will be the real thing. He will have his first pro fight on the Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Tim Bradley fight on October 12 in Las Vegas.
Top Rank have also signed Lomachenko’s teammate Alex Usk who won a gold medal at the 2008 European Championships, a gold medal at the 2011 World championships and a gold medal in London at 91kgs. Another shrewd signing.
Mention of Lomachenko takes me again to the AIBA scheme to have professionals boxing in the Olympics. I have severe reservations but some of the hyped up hysteria is both head in the sand and hypocritical. The modern Olympics is a professional event. The footballers are professionals, Scot Andy Murray won the tennis gold and the USA is quite happy when their millionaire basketball team win a gold medal. There is nothing amateur about today’s Olympics. In every event there are professionals. Every country that can afford it has an “elite” athletes programme which provides funding so that their athletes can be paid to train and compete. Why should boxing be any different? I am also remembering that not long ago some Americans at the WBC Convention were despairing that the amateur game was not producing the fighters who could translate into to top professionals and the WBC was seriously threatening to have their own amateur competitions. When the AIBA puts up a scheme that would address these problems those who complained are the first to scream foul.
Gennady Golovkin has said he wants to keep busy and aims to fight November 2 in New York and December 14 in Monaco. Visa problems might rule Martin Murray out of a New York date, but Monaco could be a possibility.
The new Italian champion Leonardo Bruzzese has rekindle boxing success for his adopted hometown of Ferrara. He is trained by Alessandro Duran and Massimiliano Duran. They are the sons of Juan Carlos Duran. The Argentinian-born Juan Carlos was EBU middle and light middle champion, Alessandro was WBU and EBU welterweight champion and Massimiliano was EBU and WBC cruiserweight champion. Ferrara had suffered a drought of champions for over ten years but Argentinian-born Bruzzese finally ended the drought this month.
The WBO will keep their light middleweight title bringing in the sanctioning fees. After stripping Zaurbek Baysangurov of the title, Vanes Martirosyan and Demetrius Andrade will fight for the vacant title in Los Angeles on 7 September. Both fighters are unbeaten and both are former Olympians. Neither managed to win a medal at the Olympics, but Andrade won the World Amateur title. Neither has been tested too severely as a pro so it will be interesting to see which one comes out on top.
Erik Morale is still not ready to hang up his gloves. The Mexican great says he is planning to have a fight in Cancun in October and then one more fight before retiring.
Juan Manuel Lopez also has plans to return to the ring. He is looking to get back into action in December with another fight early in 2014.
The talk is that Andre Ward will face either Caleb Truax or Dimitri Sartison when he returns to action. HBO will cover it, but neither of those opponents is a “big” fight name. It is almost ten months since Ward last fought so he will need to ease back but then there will a queue waiting for him.
Julio Cesar Chavez will return against Brian Vera in Los Angeles on 7 September. Vera has won his last four fights including victories over Sergio Mora and Serhiy Dzinziruk. He is No 1 with the WBO with Chavez No 2. According to Chavez his aim is to win this one and then challenge Sakio Bika for the WBC super middle title.
What price a world title? The winning purse bid for the IBF flyweight title fight between South African Moruti Mthalane and Silvio Olteanu only had one bid and that was Euros 11,500 (that’s about $15,000 or £10,000) from German promoters SES. I can only assume there was no bid from South Africa because under the South African Boards rules promoters can’t tie fighters to any more than one fight. So you put in a high bid to get the fight and then the champion wins and says thank you and goodbye and uses another promoter next time. Another factor could be that although he is good little fighter Olteanu is not a well known name and would be difficult to sell.
Still on purse offers the EBU has now put out the request for offers for Sergey Rabchenko to defend his light middleweight title against Frenchman Cedric Vitu. The offers have to be in by 20 August. The call for bids is taking place since Ruben Varon lost his chance to challenge Rabchenko after a shock stoppage loss against Rafael Chiruta earlier this month.
You can’t help but admire people who against all the odds decide they are going to do something-and do it. Two such people were in the news this week. Craig “Gator” Bodzianowski died on Friday. Craig turned pro in October 1982 and won his first 17 fights but then his career leveled off as he met better opposition. However, in July 1990 he fought Robert Daniels for the WBA cruiserweight title. He lost a wide unanimous decision and after seven low level wins he retired in December 1993 with a 31-4-1 record. Nothing really outstanding there until you realise that Craig had a prosthetic leg. He lost his right leg below the knee in a motorcycle accident in 1984. He got his prosthetic leg ignored all of those who said it could not be done and twas back in the ring a few months later. He never sued the other driver in the accident. When asked why he said “ I can’t go to court. I won’t have a leg to stand on”. The other remarkable man in the news was Dodie Boy Penalosa who watched his son Dave win on the Macau show. The amazing Dodie Boy suffered from polio at birth and as a result had one withered leg. It of course severely hampered his movement but despite this severe handicap he won IBF title s at both light flyweight and flyweight. Craig and Dodie Boy-two very remarkable people. RIP Craig. Good Health Dodie Boy.
Russian heavyweight Denis Boystov has signed with Sauerland which should give his stuttering career some much needed impetus. He was previously with Universum but they went out of business and one of their principals is awaiting trial for alleged blackmail and extortion. Loses to Vyacheslav Glazkov, Alex Ustinov and Andrzej Wawrzyk have given Boystov a lot of rebuilding to do.
Ukrainian Vyacheslav Senchenko returns to the ring for the first time since his win over Ricky Hatton as he faces Argentinian Carlos Jerez in Donetsk on 24 August. He needs to have an easy night as he will not want to miss his date with Kell Brook in October. Cruiser Ismayl Sillakh is also scheduled to appear on the show.
Nice to see young Australian prospect Jake Carr following in his father’s footsteps. Turning pro in 1987 dad Rod won the OPBF super middle title in 1988, added the Australian title in August 1989 and the Commonwealth title in October with a kayo of Ray Acquaye. That was the peak for Rod as he lost his Commonwealth title to Lou Cafaro in 1990 and lost twice to Brit Henry Wharton in Commonwealth title fights in Leeds in 1991 and 1992. He bowed out in 1995 after losses to Rick Thornberry for the IBO title and Tony Bigeni for the PABA light heavy title. Jack is just a nose in front of dad. Jack won the Australian super middleweight title in his fifth fight whereas dad did not win his first title (the OPBF) until his sixth fight. One to watch. He is trained and managed by former IBF super feather champion Barry Michael. Barry did not win the Australian lightweight title until his 30th fight, but he did go on to win a world title. I guess young Jack could not care how many fights it takes to get to where Barry climbed as long as he gets there.
Ratings watch; Julian Yedras fights Carlos Buitrago for the interim WBO strawweight title-without even being rated in their top 15. Japanese lightweight Nihito Arakawa loses to Daniel Estrada in November so naturally Estrada goes to No 1 with the WBC and Arakawa to No 2. Well at least until March when suddenly without either of them fighting Arakawa goes to No 1 and Estrada to No 2 just in time for Arakawa to fight Oscar Figueroa for the interim title. The PABA are a sub set of the WBA and they are more then doing their share to maintain the lowest possible standards. On July 26 in Bangkok Teerachai retained his PABA welterweight title with a second round stoppage of Australian Ashley Sean Byrne. Teerachai is rated No 10 by the WBA and has a record of 21 wins 15 by KO/TKO. Byrne is not rated in the top 15 welterweights by the Australian Federation. Not surprising when you realise that he was having his first professional fight!! What a disgrace.