The good, the bad and the dirty in the week of boxing: From Vasiliy Lomachenko’s excellence to Jaime Munguia’s lucky escape

first_imgThe Good- Vasiliy Lomachenko continues to amaze. The prevailing thought going into his bout with Anthony Crolla on Friday night was that Lomachenko would make it look rather easy and get the Englishman out of there in short order. Not only did the 31-year-old do what many expected, but he did so with flair when he connected on a beautiful check right hook to send Crolla face-first back across the Atlantic to retain the WBA/WBO lightweight titles. From the outset, Lomachenko (13-1), showed why he is perhaps the best fighter on the planet. While the Ukranian didn’t throw many shots, he established control by cutting off the ring and feinting, which made Crolla mentally tired without Lomachenko landing any power shots. Once he figured out the puzzle at the end of the second round, Lomachenko launched his attack and put the overmatched Crolla out of his misery early in the fourth round. Early Sunday morning, Lomachenko took to Twitter and said he would return to the ring in September. But the question is, who will he face? “Hi-Tech” could add another belt to his collection and face IBF titlist Richard Commey. Lomachenko made it clear after the fight that more than anything else, he wants WBC titleholder Mikey Garcia in order to see who is the best at 135 pounds. Previously, the two have said it’s a battle they want to happen. Unfortunately in boxing these days, promoters can never get along to make the high profile showdowns fans want to see. Hopefully, the trend gets bucked, and we get to see two of the best in the world lock horns. – Claressa Shields marching forward to being the “GWOT”. Saturday’s clash between Shields and Christina Hammer had been described as the most prominent women’s fight of all time. Heading into the contest, boxing pundits felt Hammer would provide Shields with her toughest test to date.However, Shields (9-0, 2 KOs) had other plans in mind and turned it into a rout, winning a lopsided decision on all three judges’ scorecards to become the undisputed women’s middleweight champion. Shields broke through Hammer’s vaunted jab and delivered a sharp jab of her own, which allowed the native of Flint, Mich. to score repeated overhand rights.Beyond getting knocked down for the first time in her career against Hanna Gabriel last June, the two-time Olympic gold medalist has made it look rather easy winning two world titles in two different weight classes and becoming an undisputed champion at 160 pounds. Is she the greatest women’s fighter of all time? The 24-year-old’s on her way there. The only roadblock between her and that accolade is the other women’s boxing undisputed champion: welterweight queen Cecilia Braekhus. When Sporting News brought up the possibility to Braekhus in December, the native of the Netherlands was unsure.”It’s hard to say right now because she is two weight divisions above me and that’s a lot,” Braekhus said to SN. “She’s going to be facing Christina Hammer next year. I think it’s too early to start discussing (but) me and Claressa fighting would be huge.”Now with Hammer out of the way, the only thing standing in the direction of the biggest bout in the history of women’s boxing is Braekhus. Let’s hope it happens because if women’s boxing is going to prosper, big fights need to continue to occur.- Even in defeat, Dennis Hogan comes out the true winner. The 34-year-old from Ireland knew the odds were against him when he took on WBO junior middleweight champion Jaime Munguia because the latter is the harder puncher and the fact the bout was taking place in Monterrey, Mexico, the home country of Munguia.Hogan and his team told the DAZN broadcast team during their fighters meeting on Friday if he dominated Munguia, he would get a fair shake from the judges and a decision win if it went the distance.Well, Hogan controlled the action, was the better fighter and yet, Munguia earned a majority decision win. Hogan exemplified great footwork, had a great jab and to the surprise of many, fought on the inside, getting the better of the exchanges. Despite the lack of pop in his punches, Hogan wobbled Munguia with an overhand right at the start of the 11th round. When all the scorecards were read off, you couldn’t help but feel bad for Hogan. He went into enemy territory for his first world title opportunity and fought the fight of his life against a guy who people think is going to be a massive star. This wasn’t a situation where the underdog won a few rounds and gave himself a good showing. This was a case where Hogan had all the chips stacked against him, went into enemy waters and controlled the action and instead of walking out WBO champion, Hogan got a raw deal. A rematch deserves to happen, immediately.The Bad- Manny Pacquiao signs with Rizin. Looking at the news at face value, Pacquiao making a move to the Japanese promotion shouldn’t be any surprise. His rival Floyd Mayweather did it in December, destroyed Tenshin Nasukawa and made around $9 million. As of right now, it is unknown if Pacquiao, who is rumored to be in talks of fighting Keith Thurman on July 13, will fight on the April 21 show. That uncertainty makes the question of why Pacquiao is doing this sadder.This is Manny Pacquiao, boxing’s only eight-division world champion and one of the best boxers of this generation. The mention of Pacquiao’s association with a freak show event should be above the “Pac-Man”. But the lure of what is expected to be a good payday for doing little work looks to be too enticing for someone who still owes the IRS millions of dollars. The Dirty- Jaime Munguia’s gift from the judges. The judging in boxing has always been a hot button issue. Fighters getting favorable decisions in their hometowns or native countries isn’t something new. Prime examples of such actions are when Nikolai Valuev beat Evander Holyfield in a heavyweight title fight in December 2008 in Switzerland when he did absolutely nothing against the long past-his-prime champion, or the draw in the first fight between Holyfield and Lennox Lewis in March 1999, when the Englishman clearly won. The icing on the cake was the 1988 Olympic gold medal match in South Korea when Park Si-Hun received the victory over Roy Jones Jr., where Jones dominated throughout. Another black eye on the sport occurred on Saturday when Jaime Munguia beat Dennis Hogan by majority decision (114-114, 116-112, 115-113) to retain the WBO junior middleweight title at Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico, which is Munguia’s home country.Just because a fighter competes in his native land shouldn’t automatically give them an advantage. A boxing match is supposed to be about two people fighting to see who is the better fighter — nothing more, nothing less. The world saw a boxing match, and the better competitor lost. Hogan threw the more powerful shots, was the aggressor and controlled the pace. He did all the necessary things to win and still came on the short end of the stick. People will say all three judges were American. Just because they were from the United States doesn’t mean anything. Anytime Munguia threw anything, the crowd roared. Doing so affects how judges score because they were thinking Munguia was connecting on a hard punch when he wasn’t, as Hogan was in no danger throughout. Look at what happened in between the eighth and ninth rounds. Munguia twice asked his corner whether he was winning. Who does that? Not someone who is winning.The look on Munguia’s face after the scores were read told the story. A sigh of relief came over him knowing he got away with one. The 22-year-old knew he received an early birthday present that he didn’t deserve. It’s a travesty these situations are still allowed to happen. A fighter’s fate should be decided by individuals involved in the sport, not by those who are easily influenced by others. It was another interesting week in boxing. Here are the highs and lows of the last seven days.Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearlast_img

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