Haney Dominates Burgos

By Caryn A. Tate on September 29, 2018
Haney Dominates Burgos
Haney beautifully demonstrated the essence of the sport he’s practicing. (Showtime)

It’s not always necessary for a fighter to stop his/her opponent—what matters is their mastery of the craft…

Nineteen-year-old Devin Haney (20-0, 13 KOs) took on former world title challenger Juan Carlos Burgos (33-3-2, 21 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight bout in tonight’s main event of ShoBox on Showtime.

Haney is a highly athletic boxer-puncher who utilized his polished footwork to create angles on Burgos throughout the match. Early on, Burgos was more difficult than some had perhaps expected. He presented a more mobile target, making accurate punching more challenging. But Haney met the challenge, controlling the pace and flow of the fight from the beginning.

Haney showed Burgos different looks throughout. While Burgos showed a ton of heart and his experience paid off in dividends, ensuring he was able to survive some of the more brutal rounds where Haney was having his way, it was always Haney’s fight.

Unfortunately the commentary veered into the “why isn’t Haney stopping Burgos?” territory as the bout went on. It’s not always necessary for a fighter to stop his/her opponent—what matters is their mastery of the craft. Some people seemed to want Haney to stand in the pocket and slug it out. If a fighter is throwing and landing punches, what does it matter what distance he’s doing it from? Haney beautifully demonstrated the essence of the sport he’s practicing: boxing.

In the end, one judge had it 97-93 and two scored it 100-90 for Haney. It’s unclear how one judge had scored three rounds for Burgos.

Prior to the main event, lightweights Thomas Mattice (13-0-1, 10 KOs) and Zhora Hamazaryan (9-1-1, 6 KOs) faced off in an eight-round rematch of their first bout from July. In that fight, most saw the winner as Hamazaryan, but Mattice won a dubious split decision.

For the rematch, Mattice got off on a bad foot: he missed weight by 3.5 pounds, weighing in at 138.5, while Zhora weighed 134.5. It wasn’t a good look, particularly in this type of proving fight.

It was a decent fight, though a bit sloppy, with Zhora hurting Mattice in round three. It led to Mattice doing a lot of holding in that round, trying to recover. But recover he did, and in the end the fight was a close, back-and-forth affair.

The judges’ scores read 77-75 for Hamazaryan, 77-75 for Mattice, and 76-76 even. It was a split draw, which was disappointing as far as the feel of the two contests between these fighters, but in tonight’s case, it was an accurate result.

In the first contest of the broadcast were super middleweights Cem Kilic (12-0, 7 KOs) and DeAndre Ware (12-1-2, 8 KOs) in an eight-rounder. Both undefeated, Kilic has the benefit of being a full-time prizefighter while Ware boxes on top of being a full-time firefighter. As DeAndre stated to me back in June, he doesn’t have the benefit of a promoter yet, and he took this bout on two weeks’ notice, as he has many of his fights.

Kilic outworked Ware early, though Ware’s punches seemed to hurt Kilic more. It was a back-and-forth type of fight, with neither fighter utilizing enough defense. In the rounds Kilic won, it was because he was more active than Ware; in the rounds Ware won, it was because the number of punches were relatively close and his shots clearly affected Kilic more. In the end, it seemed either fighter could have won a close decision, or that it could be a draw.

The judges scored it 78-74 once and 79-73 twice for Kilic. Those cards, particularly the two that had Ware winning only a single round, were somewhat bizarre for such a close fight. Perhaps in the close rounds, they scored for the fighter with a promoter and a famous trainer (Kilic is trained by Buddy McGirt).

Regardless, Ware put in a very good showing against a favored fighter, particularly for taking the contest on two weeks’ notice and for having a serious full-time job aside from boxing. Hopefully ShoBox will have him back soon.

Check out more of Caryn’s work at http://www.CarynATate.com and follow her on Twitter@carynatate

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