Mikey Garcia: Reconfirmed he is the real deal and immediately called out Errol Spence, which would represent another rise through the weights to 147lb.
I don’t think you can argue with his aspirations (or perhaps his desire to avoid Loma), but you can argue that a new promotional deal is required before he goes anywhere near the top Welterweights. Writes Adam Fuller.
Garcia’s purse for the night was reported to be $1m. Somewhat underwhelming for a unification fight between America’s two top men in the Lightweight division, his opponent being, Robert Easter Jr. With the likes of Jorge Linares and the great Vasyl Lomachenko, there are certainly attractive fights to be made at 135lb for Garcia, but I get the impression his mind is set on targeting the Welterweight division, and with Crawford, Spence, Pacquiao, Garcia (Danny) and Thurman, it’s hard to argue against that decision. Garcia is rumoured to be in negotiations with Matchroom USA, a deal that would give the promotional outfit the big name they promised, after a somewhat disappointing initial roster revealed in recent weeks.
Luis Ortiz: Back to winning ways, after losing his World title challenge for Deontay Wilder’s WBC belt last time out, he dispatched of Razvan Cojanu in the 2nd round. Cojanu is known for going 12 rounds with Joseph Parker, after stepping in at short notice in May 2017. The former regular sparring partner of Parker made it a difficult night back in 2017 and an extremely dull affair. It’s interesting to see where Ortiz goes from here with the very few Heavyweights showing much interest in fighting the technically sound Cuban. I wouldn’t rule out a re-match with Wilder.
Anthony Fowler: Overall from start to finish, this was my performance of the night. Fowler looks like he’s ready to step up and take on new challenges, and having watched all of his pro fights, I’d say it was his best showing to date. A fight with Scott Fitzgerald next and then the winner of Ted Cheeseman v Asinia Byfield, certainly whets the appetite.
Dave Allen: The people’s Champion! A great win, getting him back in contention for British level fights. As we all know, Dave Allen has never backed down from a challenge, taking on far superior opponents such as Luis Ortiz, Dillian Whyte and Olympic champion, Tony Yoka, only 5 weeks ago. No doubt the reward for beating these men would have been great, but in all honesty, it was never going to happen. That’s 3 of his 4 defeats against 2 World level opponents and, no doubt, a future World title challenger, in the Frenchman, Tony Yoka.
His other defeat coming against Lenroy Thomas, which was undoubtedly a poor performance with redemption not being available when he got cut early on in the rematch. Where to now? Saturday’s fight with Webb was supposedly a British title eliminator. Let’s be honest, whoever wins the final eliminator will be fighting for a vacant title, not going head to head with current champ Hughie Fury, as he looks likely to agree an IBF World title eliminator against Pulev. Probably for the best, Fury showed in his fight against Joseph Parker, he’s already capable of competing at World level and would have an easy night against the majority of his young compatriots.
Next for Allen could well be former British title holder Sam Sexton or the man he beat to win the title Gary Cornish. With Nathan Gorman, Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce (probably best avoided) the division is certainly warming up, but it may well need an MTK mediation to get an agreement between Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren’s young guns. A fight with the before mentioned Sexton or Cornish, may be the most likely.
Conor Benn: There are many area level fighters superior than Conor Benn, who get little to no recognition because they don’t have a Dad called Nigel. Saturday night’s rematch with Peynaud, was entertaining, sure. Peynaud fought the whole fight as a southpaw and gave Benn something different to think about. But, this was a small hall fight adding very little to the PPV card. Benn is 21 years old and a novice, we’re told continuously by Matchroom and Sky, that’s fine. I agree. So don’t have him on a PPV card purely because he’s the son of a legend. Let him learn his trade away from the bright lights, it will serve him better at this stage of his fledgling career.
Joshua Buatsi: The complete opposite to Benn. Someone who has got to where they are off their own back and is rightly praised by Matchroom and their mouth piece Skysports. This guy is the real deal, regardless of opponent, you can just tell he has bundles of ability. So let’s get him in the ring with Anthony Yarde! Wishful thinking! I can’t see Warren risking his man, and a quick look at his record supports that. I suspect the fight with Ricky Summers will be remade next for Buatsi in November / December, if not earlier on the Joshua V Povetkin undercard.
Katie Taylor: Easy win, with a good finish. Women’s boxing, and in particular, Katie Taylor, are a good addition to televised boxing. However, these were the only world title fights on the line on Saturday’s O2 card. As popular as Katie Taylor is, she’s not a PPV star. I’m sure she’ll headline a big card soon, but if that card is PPV, people who thought Saturday was worthy of PPV, will have reaped what they sowed.
Dereck Chisora: The fight was going as I predicted, although a bit more entertaining (meaning Dereck turned up and gave it his all), I couldn’t see any result other than a Takam win on points. And then……….. BANG. Where did that come from?
Take away the slightly early stoppage against AJ and the knock out against a juiced up Povetkin, no one had ever done that to Takam, but here was Del Boy, rolling back the years and getting himself in a position to be chief support on another big night of boxing (I think Hearn’s suggestion of a fight against Wilder is a bit unrealistic, but you can’t rule it out).
Also, at 37 years of age, you could say it was Takam’s last role of the dice, however, he’s gone from a man the Matchroom fans hadn’t heard of in October 2017, to a man where most would be happy to see his name on any undercard.
Therefore, despite being distraught in defeat, you wouldn’t be surprised to see him make an appearance on a future Eddie Hearn card, maybe even in the US as he looks to get his first DAZN night off to a lively start. Just goes to show, sometimes if you give your all and still go on to lose, twice, you can still be rewarded. Not sure who he can fight after that, but if Hearn wants him on an undercard, don’t rule out David Price, if in the UK.
Dillian Whyte: A comfortable win, against an opponent who appeared to only fight 3 of the 12 rounds. Chisora summed it up well in his post-fight conference; Parker doesn’t need / want it any more, he’s made in excess of £10m in his last 2 fights, and he didn’t seem to have the fight in him. A surprise? not really, had you seem him against Hughie Fury, Razvan Cojanu and even Andy Ruiz Jr, when he won the cant WBO title, you could argue that he hasn’t looked at his best for quite some time. The fight against Anthony Joshua was massive step up in opponent, and fair play for taking it, but he looked out of his depth as Joshua jabbed his way to victory.
On Saturday, for the first 2 rounds, he looked sharp but as soon as Whyte started to make it a rough and uncomfortable fight, he didn’t fancy it any longer. With a trainer such as Kevin Barry, there were very few suggestions of what he can change coming from the corner. In the end, all he was left with was one last ditch attempt in the 12th round. He caught a tired Whyte, who smartly took a knee, but one more big shot thereafter would have probably ended the fight.
It’s also important to remember, that 11th hour attack, probably made the fight. Other than the early knock down from a clash of heads, and the cracking left hook to send Parker down legitimately, it wasn’t a quality match-up. Which, in a nutshell, sums up the Heavyweight division. There are competitive fights to be made, for sure, but the level of quality isn’t particularly high, certainly in comparison to other weight classes or even yesteryear. This doesn’t prevent there from being an entertaining match-up, but it’s a very long way from the sweet science.
Next fights? I thought Whyte would lose this on points, and would have fancied the Chisora rematch had he done so (assuming Chisora beat Takam), but now, that fight doesn’t make much sense to me and best kept in Hearn’s back pocket should Whyte lose in November. Who does Whyte fight in November? Maybe Jarrell Miller, and then the winner versus Joshua in April? Maybe Wilder, again the winner versus Joshua in April? Whoever Whyte doesn’t fight, expect Chisora to do so. Rember, Ortiz is sniffing around, and without a Wilder rematch, these are 2 big potentials for him, unlikely Hearn would risk Whyte, but certainly would consider Chisora.
Pay Per View: The yard stick needs to be set higher, it was a great night of boxing, no doubt, and worth every pound of a SkySports subscription. However, you can’t just be happy with a couple of 50/50 fights with no titles on the line. As a direct result of people declaring their happiness for this only being £20, don’t be surprised if we end up with PPV+ in the future where you have to pay an additional fiver to see the likes of Anthony Joshua. In terms of P4P status (Boxrec for reference) we had 1 fighter in the top 70 on the O2 card, this simply isn’t PPV quality.