So this weekend past has seen another high profile PPV promoted by Eddie (Edward) Hearn and the sky team and a fight of the year contender over in the Brooklyn, New York with Keith Thurman v Shawn Porter, Two of the best welterweights in the world.
Firstly in London we had Anthony Joshua v Dominic Breazeale , which was Anthony’s first defence of the IBF Heavyweight Crown and retained it with a 7th round stoppage where he knocked down Breazeale twice in quick succession . First in the first round it was clear that Anthony would not be rushing in to knock over Dominic within a round and was cleaver in trying to lure Dominic into traps . Quick jabs were used break the guard and unsettle the taller opponent. The most telling punch was a left hook that slightly buckled the legs of the American but Dominic shook his head in defiance. The second round was when Anthony Pushed the pace a lot more and started to throw his trademark hooking combinations with some success although mostly were blocked or deflected so much of the sting was removed on impact. Although another left hook shook up Breazeale at the end of the world with the affects visible with a stagger back to his corner. The 4th round was to me where Joshua started to get frustrated as he could do anything he pleased due to his speed of movement but Dominic was very cute defensively with lots of punches blocked on his gloves or upper body movement taking away the sting away from the punches. Again this happened in the 5th but this is when Anthony got a little too eager as Dominic began to land some right hands of his own with Joshua getting too attack minded. This brought back his flaws in his performance against Whyte in terms of not being aware of what’s coming back. Same again in the 7thround with Dominic landing his right hands and damaging the nose of Joshua and although Joshua dominated every round he was showing signs of frustration that he couldn’t get the American out of there. Top Marks to Breazeale for his defensive capabilities. Then the 7th round Joshua at last got through with his proven power with two knockdowns with Howard Foster not bothering with the count after the second knockdown. So what next for Joshua? Well there is talk of a potential fight in the USA and that would be very achievable with the recent Showtime deal to promote stateside. Potentially against Wilder but we will have to wait and see. Joseph Parker is a strong possibility with his position as mandatory challenger which could easily be brought forward and with Parker very eager for that matchup. There is little point of talking about the possibilities of Haye or Fury due to various commitments from both fighters.
The co-feature of this bill was the highly anticipated match up of George Groves and Martin Murray, The fight was hyped as loose and retires to the looser. George started off on the front foot as expected and Martin with a high guard covering up well. George was using his jab to good effect and seemingly more mobile to come in and out of range with his footwork. On the Offensive George showing his right hand is still a very potent weapon with shots through and around the guard then slipping out of range. Martin in the 3rd round started to pick up the pace after a tentative start from himself where he corned groves on several occasions and unloaded his shots to good affect . The same again happened in the 4th round with martin on the front foot and pushing groves back into the ropes with martin having success and cutting groves with a left right combination on the right eye of groves. The 5,6,7,8,9th rounds were all in groves favour with George showing his physical advantages over Murray with his ability to push his opponent back and sink some quite beautiful body shots and rocking right hands to the head which deflated any good work Murray did during these rounds. The 9th round could have been scored a 10-8 round to groves with his dominance of martin with nothing being fired back in return. This prompted Oliver Harrison the trainer of Martin to issue a final warning of any more of that and I will pull you out. Martin then responded in the 10th round with his best round with brutal body punches which slowed George down a lot and was catching groves flush on the chin and buzzed him as groves fell onto the ropes. Martin had spurned his chance with clever holding from George to force the referee to break up the fighters. The 11th round was again a strong round for martin with similar tactics as the 10th but George undone all of martins work with one shot which rocked Murray back on the bell to deflate the St Helens native. The 12th Round was all or nothing for Martin as he again he had to force a stoppage but Groves was to clever and counted any wide shots which Murray threw. All three judges scored the contest 118-110 in favour of George Groves. The fight was billed as an eliminator for a shot at Fedor Chudinov to contest the soon to be vacant WBA super middleweight title due to Felix Sturm failing a doping test. The looser Martin Murray was defiant in saying I will not be retiring and shall recoup myself and sit down and discuss what’s next.
Chris Eubank JR produced a chilling fourth round stoppage win over Tom Doran to stay on course for an ambitious world title shot against Gennady Golovkin. In the first round Eubank JR received a telling off seconds in for remaining still in the corner and not coming to centre ring. After this debacle JR sprang into life with succession of jabs and hooks which buzzed Doran but safely survived the round. The second was similar with JR using his jab to create the space required for him to unleash his recognizable uppercuts and hooks and defenses of Doran started to unravel. Doran’s defence let go under a ferocious assault in the third round, with Eubank hammering in spiteful hooks, and a glancing right uppercut sent his dazed opponent to the canvas. Doran staggered his way back to the corner and the bell only offered brief respite to Doran, who was floored three times on the way to defeat in the fourth. Another uppercut dumped Doran back on the canvas and he was dropped twice more by a flurry of punches before McDonnell mercifully waved off the fight. After the fight Eubank JR was calling out the usual suspects of Golovkin and Saunders and unless his working attitude is to change he can forget about fighting Saunders. Saunders has admitted that the Eubanks refused to sign any deal for a rematch and called the Eubank team “DELUDED “. The Golovkin fight is more realistic but in the post-fight presser Eubank SR was doubtful of the fight happening due to concerns from Sky but we will have to wait and see.
There were wins also on the bill for Connor Ben with a 1st round stoppage of whom looked more relaxed and comfortable. Dillian Whyte returned to action after injury with a 6th round stoppage of Ivica Bacurin. John Wayne Hibbert’s world title ambitions were ruined by a sixth round stoppage defeat against Andrea Scarpa. There were wins also for Felix Cash, Ted Cheeseman, Kal Yafai and Anthony Ogogo.
Over to Brooklyn where the welterweight showdown between Keith Thurman v Shawn Porter took place. The fight was contested for Keith’s WBA welterweight crown. They say styles make fights, and that adage was never truer than it was Saturday night, as this is a candidate for fight of the year. Porter’s hard-charging style makes all of his opponents uncomfortable, and Thurman was no exception. In the second and third rounds, he bullied Thurman against the ropes and cut the angles, eliminating the champion’s ability to escape. Thurman regained the control he established in the first round by countering Porter when he was lunging. He rocked the Akron, Ohio, native with hard right hands and wobbled him in the fourth round. Ever the rugged warrior, Porter regained his wherewithal and returned fire. Around the fifth round, it was clear: We were witnessing a special bout. Through the middle rounds, the back-and-forth action drew a tremendous roar from the Barclays crowd and even two standing ovations at the end of frames. Thurman continued to rip counter power shots, and Porter did his best work with Thurman’s back against the ropes. Judging these rounds was no easy job, as Porter’s aggression or Thurman’s more accurate, effective punching could have swayed the scoring either way. The judges scored the contest 115-113 in favour of Keith Thurman who has since called out WBC champion Danny Garcia for a unification Bout. However there is public interest in a rematch with Shawn Porter and would be highly anticipated again considering how good the fight was.
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