Posted by MICHAEL AMAKOR on Feb 6, 2011
First Round Flurries from 2011

First Round Flurries from 2011

By Michael Amakor

With the year 2010 just recently behind us, the world of boxing eagerly looks forward to 2011 dreaming and hoping that this year would shape up to be the best year in boxing ever. Perhaps 2011 would be the year many exciting fights would get made including the highly demanded super fight between Floyd Mayweather,Jr and Manny Pacquaio to name a few.

On our journey towards exploring what 2011 is revealing to us, follows a selective first round recall from the world of boxing in January 2011 and scheduled to go twelve rounds for each successive month hereafter through to December.

First up to start the year was the unification bout in the Light Heavyweight division scheduled on January 8, between World Boxing Association (WBA ) and International Boxing Association (IBA) champion Beibut Shumenov (11-1, 6 KOs) and Juergen Braehmer (36-2, 29KOs) the World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion that did not take place to the righteous outrage of some of the vested participants.

Apparently, a few days before this super fight in Kazakhstan that was to have been attended by the country’s prime minister, Juergen Braehmer allegedly developed a case of diarrhea and returned back to Germany without notifying the promoters according to team Shumenov. Perhaps to head off any complaints that he was ducking Shumenov, pictures of Juergen Braehmer on a hospital bed surfaced on some boxing websites, but Shumenov remained inconsolable.

“Braehmer was scared” he complained bitterly, “He should have been examined by the federation doctor in Shymkent his team cried.

However that card was saved as three time world champion William Joppy (39-7, 30KOs) was brought in as a last minute replacement and Shumenov got to hold unto his IBA & WBA belts via a 6th round knockout of William Joppy. That result may not have happened if he had gotten into the ring with the vastly more experienced Juergen, but at least Shumenov would have had the chance to prove his mettle and might have emerged victorious. But we will never know now and in the end boxing was denied a unified champion and the momentum and excitement that a newly minted unified champion might have brought to bear if he challenged either Tavoris Cloud the International Boxing Federation (IBF) or Jean Pascal the World Boxing Council (WBC) champions respectively for a unification showdown.

Speaking of promotional disasters, an entire fight card in Germany was cancelled when IBF Middleweight Champion Sebastian Sylvester (34-3, 16KOs) caught a virus infection. The under card was to have featured Steve Cunningham (23-2, 12Kos) who would have made the first defense of his International Boxing Federation (IBF) Cruiserweight Title that he won back in June of 2010.

On January 22, Legendary four time heavyweight champion and the current World Boxing Federation Heavyweight titlist Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield (43-10-2, 28KOs) still on his mission to once again become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world got involved in a no contest decision via a second round accidental clash of heads against Sherman Tank William (34-11-2, 18kos) in remote West Virginia. Undeterred Holyfield is scheduled for another payday against Brian Nielsen in Denmark. Despite our remorse about Evander continuing in the game at prime age of 48, we have no choice but to wish the Real Deal the best of Luck.

On the 29th, the much hyped and eagerly awaited unification super fight between champions Devon “The Great” Alexander (21-1, 13 KOs) and Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley (27-0, 11 KOs) the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and World Boxing Council (WBC) champions respectively eventually took place in economically depressed Pontiac Michigan. However the anticipated war never took place as both fighters put up more than less of a scintillating performance for ten out of the scheduled twelve rounds before the fight was stopped due to the upteenth time clash of heads. Pontiac Michigan holding true to accounts of the economic onslaught that has savaged that region was unable to provide the fans to fill up the seats of the enormous Silver dome arena where the fight took place.

Many boxing writers were incensed enough to author pulitzer worthy articles about how disappointing the fight turned out to be, others lamented about how this fight showcased the decline of boxing. Other writers and fans also told tales about tickets being given away and circulated pictures to document the poor fan turnout in the super sized arena. Yet despite all they recriminative finger pointing about the location of the bout, and HBO’s involvement in the decision making leading up to this forgettable encounter, a new unified champion emerged and his name is Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley. He may be the American answer to the priming Amir Khan the WBA titleholder. We shall see and hope that match-up can be made.

On the 29th Franklin “Yah-Yah” Lawrence 14-2-2, 9Kos) stopped Jason “Big Six” Estrada via a tenth and final round tko to clinch the WBC Caribbean Heavyweight Title, and Chris Arreola (30-2, 26 KOs) perhaps on a quest to redeem himself scored a first round TKO over Joey Abell (27-5, 26 KOs) on the 28th both proving that heavyweights have power.

Also on the 29th. Julio César Chávez Jr. (41-0-1, 30 KOs) won a ten round decision over Middleweight Billy Lyell (38-9, 4 KOs) in front of his teaming fans in Mexico to keep alive hopes that he might face Sebastian Zbik (30-0, 10 KOs) for the vacant WBC Middleweight title. Why the jury is still out on Chavez who has remained undefeated in 41 pro fights is indeed puzzling. Could it be the assumption that he has been protected and has only fought tomato cans through out his career, or is it that he is being unfairly compared to his famous father the legendary Julio Cesar Chavaz. HBO’s ringside Commentator Larry Merchant aptly summarized Chavev’s predicament and was once quoted as saying that (for chavez, jr) having his father is “His Blessing and Curse”. What do you think? Only time will tell.

Switching gears from the fights to boxing issues and politics, the Boxing Promoters Association (BPA) held a well attended meeting on the 15th in Las Vegas where the group decided to reach out to U.S. Senator John McCain to discuss both past and present issues with boxing legislation. The group in its press release also stated that they would address the Muhammad Ali Act and the bill being proposed in the U.S. Congress. Joe DeGuardia the president of the BPA in a recent interview on FightKings Radio spoke at length about the monumental issues facing the infant BPA and the first steps that the BPA could take towards improving the sport of boxing.

On January 25, former two-time world heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs (51 -6-1, 45KOs) filed a lawsuit in a New York State Court against his promoters and business partners alleging that he only received $25,000 out of $750,000.00 allegedly promised to him for his title challenge of Vitali Klitchko (43-2, 38KOs) for the WBC heavyweight title. His complaint alleges several other misdeeds that had they boxing world recoiling in itself. Following the announcement of his lawsuit, boxing websites were awash with pictures showing a grotesquely swollen Briggs in hospital after the brutal beating he received at the hands of Vitali Klitchko that made everybody realize just how much physical damage Briggs had suffered from that brutal fight.

The world of Boxing also heard about a complaint by Demarcus “Chop Chop” Corley (36-16-1, 22 KOs) who lost an eight round decision to Lucas Matthysse (28-1, 26 KOs)for the Vacant WBO Intercontinental super lightweight title on January 21 that seemed to be conveniently swept under the rug.

Corley’s irate manager stated post fight “What happened last night to my fighter, former world champion DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley, in Argentina against Lucas Matthysee was a travesty. He recently fought Marcus Maidana in Argentina and lost without any complaints, but last night was an outright injustice and another black eye for boxing”.

He went on to detail several misdeeds that highlighted the kinds of under handed tactics that could be employed in the sport of boxing to tip the scales against a fighter and which causes many fighters to be extremely apprehensive about fighting outside their home turf.

Whether or not you believe or agree with the allegations made by these two fighters, one thing is clear, the fraternity of boxing needs to come together to formulate a comprehensive set of rules to protect all participants from and against the sport of boxing.

The bell just rang to close out this round. I’ll knock you all out in Second Round Boxng Flurries from 2011 next month. Remain Vigilant!

Michael Amakor is the Chief Scribe of FightKings.Com

About MICHAEL AMAKOR

Michael Amakor has written 174 post in this blog.

Michael “Keep Punching” Amakor has been the Chief Scribe of popular boxing website FightKings.Com since 2003. He has written over 100 articles about boxing that have been vicariously read and extensively blogged across the internet and on major boxing websites. He can be seen regularly at the fights giving round by round commentary and he is a regular commentator on the boxing radio and TV circuit.



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