Over the past few weeks, some of the sport’s biggest names strutted their wares—to contrasting results. Some fought according to potential, while one fighter seems on his way to obscurity if he doesn’t snap out of it.
It’s time to hand out our report cards. Class has started.
GRADE A: Last Dec. 13, Naoya Inoue faced off against Paul Butler in the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan and won via stoppage. The only thing preventing me from giving “The Monster” an A+ is the fact that it took him 11 rounds to finish off Butler as he seemed content to feel him out first, toy with him before dishing out a vicious beating which led to the knockout in the penultimate round.
In doing so, Inoue added Butler’s WBO title to his collection of IBF, WBA and WBC trinkets, making him the undisputed champion in the bantamweight division.
Is there anyone left to challenge him? Methinks not, and it’s time for him to move up to bigger challenges at the super-bantamweight division.
GRADE B: Heavyweight behemoths Tyson Fury and Derek Chisora promised fireworks. Instead, we got a one-sided beatdown as Chisora’s best years are clearly behind him and he couldn’t cash the check his mouth was writing. In fairness to Chisora he fought hard, but hard isn’t enough against Fury, clearly the best heavyweight on the planet.
Fury showed off his full arsenal against Chisora, firing off jabs and stiff uppercuts.
The merciful end came in the 10th round after a Fury flurry left Chisora reeling, prompting the ref to call for the denouement of the fight.
That being said, I couldn’t give Fury an A despite a dominating performance, not after beating the same opponent for a third time.
GRADE C: Teofimo Lopez hasn’t shown much improvement a year after that split decision loss to George Kambosos Jr. Last week at the Madison Square Garden Arena in New York, he was lucky to escape with a split decision victory over Sandor Martin.
Martin scored an early knockdown after clipping Lopez at the side of the head in the second round, causing the latter to fall forward, off balanced. That punch may not have hurt, but it gave all indications that Martin was in there to fight, and fight he did. Lopez was the aggressor but Martin countered him well. For all intents and purposes, Lopez won this fight via his aggression alone, as his offense was at times ineffective, and he often waded into Martin’s counters with his hands down.
I used to think Lopez was the goods, but this kid is a fight or two from walking into a huge knockout punch.
LAST ROUND. It’s on newlyweds, lawyer M.E. Zosa and Nicole Villar Zosa who recently tied the knot. Congratulations to my law office colleague and dear friend and to his lovely wife. Cheers!
December 22, 2022
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