The Week That Was (June 25-31, 2013)

By Teron Briggs on July 1, 2013
The Week That Was (June 25-31, 2013)
The Good Boy showed no mercy in ruthlessly stopping Matthew Macklin Saturday night.

Triple G, Good Boy, Kazakh KO King and God of War are just a few of the monikers Gennady Golovkin has been tagged with…

MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut, USA

Triple G steamrolls over Matthew Macklin in three

As Kazakhstan native Gennady Golovkin’s (27-0, 24 KOs) legend grows so does the list of his nicknames. Triple G, Good Boy, Kazakh KO King and God of War are just a few of the monikers he’s been tagged with as he continues on one of the most impressive tears in recent boxing history. Not since Mike Tyson, aka Kid Dynamite, aka Iron Mike, aka the “baddest man on the planet” has a fighter on the big stage crushed his foes in this manner. On HBO Boxing After Dark, the Good Boy showed no mercy as he ruthlessly stopped former two-time title challenger Matthew “The Knife” Macklin (29-5, 20 KOs) in the third round of their 12-round bout.

“I felt great,” Triple G said after he recorded his 24th knockout in 27 fights and 14th straight stoppage victory. “This was an easy fight for me.” Macklin wasn’t supposed to be an easy opponent for Good Boy, quite the opposite. Macklin twice before challenged for world titles against two of the best fighters in the division and to most observers went one and one in those contests. He was handed a highly controversial decision in the hometown of WBA titleholder Felix Sturm in 2011 and was stopped in the 11th round of a very competitive fight against middleweight champion Sergio Martinez in 2012. After Saturday’s knockout loss, the humbled Macklin called Triple G “the best” fighter he had ever fought.

As they stood across from each other at the start of the first round it was reaffirmed that Triple G was facing the first legitimate middleweight fighter of his career. Yes, he had beaten 160-pounders before but never anyone who was as accomplished in the division as Macklin. The Knife looked like the naturally bigger man when the two stood face to face. However, despite the size advantage and his previous 20-plus rounds of championship experience, Macklin was clearly very leery of Triple G’s punching power. Macklin looked Frank Bruno-esque as he tried to avoid exchanging shots with the vicious puncher. Before the end of the round, Good Boy landed a right hand to the top of Macklin’s head that buckled his legs, causing him to stumble into the ropes. Veteran referee Eddie Cotton didn’t rule it a knockdown, but if the ropes didn’t save Macklin he would’ve ended up in the ringside seats.

By round two, Good Boy somehow looked the bigger man as he began to walk down the quickly retreating Macklin. He raked him with right and left hands that were as pinpoint and hard as Matt Harvey’s fastball. A straight right hand opened up a cut over Macklin’s eye midway through the round as Golovkin started to land brutal combinations in succession. Macklin landed his best punch of the fight in the third round when a left hook clipped Triple G, but it didn’t slow down his onslaught. Then, with 1:22 left in the third round and Macklin’s back against the ropes, the Kazakh KO King unleashed a wicked, toe-curling left hook to Macklin’s body that finished the challenger and dropped him like a dead weight. It would be minutes before he would regain the strength to get back to his feet. “I heard that shot. It sounded like something cracked,” Macklin’s promoter, the former HBO boxing executive Lou DiBella would say after the fight. “That was the hardest body shot possibly I’ve ever seen.”

Macklin has become a gatekeeper in the division as he came up short in his third try for a title. With so many alphabet belts around it wouldn’t be hard to see him getting another title shot if he can put together some good wins. The true champion at middleweight is Sergio Martinez but you would be hard-pressed to find someone who would pick him to topple the undefeated Golovkin. That fight won’t happen this year, if it ever happens, because Martinez is currently shelved due to injury. “I want to fight the best,” Triple G said at the post-fight presser. Will the best want to risk their health by facing him?

Oosthuizen fails to impress as he escapes with a draw against Gonzales

South African super middleweight Thomas Oosthuizen (21-0, 13 KOs) barely escaped the MGM Grand at Foxwoods with a draw against unheralded but surprisingly tough Brandon Gonzales (17-0, 10 KOs). After getting off to a slumberous start the favorite Oosthuizen stepped up his work rate in the latter half of the fight to earn a draw. The judges scored the bout 98-92 Gonzales, 96-94 Oosthuizen and 95-95 even.

Gonzales, who fights under the tutelage of former Trainer of the Year Virgil Hunter, didn’t start boxing until he was 19 years old and before Saturday night he had never fought in contest more than eight rounds. His lack of experience didn’t hurt him early, as he had no issues dealing with the 6’4” southpaw former amateur standout. Gonzales looked very sharp in the first few rounds as he used a stiff left jab to knock sweat off the South African’s face. Oosthuizen, who has world-class skills but not world-class power, simply couldn’t establish a rhythm against the hard charging Gonzales. Oosthuizen remained calm on his stool in-between rounds even though he had to be falling far behind on the cards. Hunter’s game plan for Gonzales was right on. The Sacramento-based fighter took away the taller Oosthuizen’s long reach as he continually backed him against the ropes with an assortment of punches. There was a subtle shift in the sixth round as Oosthuizen finally awoke from his slumber and took the fight to the Gonzales. He started to land crisp combinations and made the inexperienced Gonzales finally have to focus on defense. Much like Vanessa Williams, Oosthuizen saved his best for last as he repeatedly tagged Gonzales in the 10th and final round.

“I thought I won the fight,” said Oosthuizen after the disputed decision was announced. Gonzales told reporters, “I absolutely won the fight.” I thought Gonzales did enough to get the victory. He didn’t get the decision, but his stock nonetheless rose with his valiant effort. Oosthuizen took a hit because this was a fight he was expected to win. I look forward to seeing both fighters in action again.

Nelson wins but seems ripe for the taking

Willie Nelson (21-1-1, 12 KOs) persevered through tougher than expected adversity to top Luciano Cuello (32-3, 16 KOs) in this 10-round super middleweight fight.

The Cleveland native Nelson, who stands at 6’3” with the 81-inch reach of Dr. Steelhammer, had his hands more than full with Cuello who was suppose to provide him with a tough test, but certainly not one this rigorous.

The contest started as a firefight as both guys landed heavy artillery in the first two rounds setting a face early pace. Jack Lowe, the former trainer of middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik, pleaded with his man, Nelson, to use his jab and reach to keep the fight at a distance. The early infighting and power punching was certainly to the advantage of the less skilled Cuello. In the third round, Cuello began attacking the long body of Nelson and a head-butt opened up a cut over the latter’s right eye. By the middle rounds Nelson had ditched his fan friendly style for a more conservative offensive approach. Cuello came on strong in the seventh as he caught Nelson and landed an excellent left hook that sent the Cleveland fighter careening into the ropes. The two men ended the round throwing bombs as Nelson’s head was rocked by a short uppercut to the chin before the bell. In the 10th frame Cuello, sensing he was behind on the cards, threw caution to the wind. He quickly closed the distance and opened up a cut over Nelson’s left eye with a right hand. I kept thinking to myself if this were a top junior middleweight with any kind of a punch he would’ve leveled Nelson. As Nelson was repeatedly hurt he finally started to hold on for dear life as he barely made it to the end. The judges awarded Nelson the decision by scores of 97-93 twice and 96-94.

Cuello had won six fights in a row since being beaten down by Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in 2010. At 29 and after this spirited effort he be would be a good litmus test for other prospects/contenders. Nelson has a touching story, having been raised by his 17-year-old sister after his parents abandoned him due to drug abuse. However, unless Lowe instills some defense in him it doesn’t seem as if his ceiling is high in the sport.

Veteran’s Coliseum, Jacksonville, Florida, USA

The Latin Snake still has some bite

The chant from the fans of “Mora, Mora, Mora” could be heard on ESPN Friday Night Fights as Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora (24-3, 7 KOs) bested Grzegorz Proksa (29-3, 21 KOs) over 10 entertaining rounds. Somehow the LA based Latin Snake had gotten the Jacksonville crowd behind him as he cruised to a decision by scores of 98-92, and somewhat questionable 96-94 twice.

This was pretty hard to believe because a couple of years ago fans wanted to see less of the former Contender television show winner, not more. Coming into this bout he had lost three of six fights and received a draw in a stinkfest with Shane Mosley in 2010. After losing a decision to Brian Vera in August of last year, the second time in two years Vera outpointed him, the Latin Snake found it increasingly difficult to get high profile bouts.

What looked like an even matchup on paper didn’t prove to be an even matchup inside the ring. Mora simply landed the cleaner and harder punches throughout the fight. Proksa, who’s best known for getting starched in five rounds by middleweight bad ass Triple G, didn’t pose any problem for Mora. The Polish fighter’s herky-jerky style prevented Mora from timing him, but also prevented Proksa from landing more than one shot at a time. When the man nicknamed Super G, which doesn’t seem fitting since he’s been anything but super on American TV, threw shots he left his head wide open for counterpunches. In the seventh round, possibly Mora’s best, he dug into Proska’s body with ripping left and right hooks that slowed down the former title-challenger. As the 10th round opened, both of Super G’s eyes had abrasions under them from Mora hitting him repeatedly.

Proska has 21 knockouts in the 27 fights he’s had outside of the US, but it appears that he doesn’t know how to bring his power with him from his adopted home in the UK. After this performance I don’t expect to see him on the American airwaves again. It was a nice win for Mora, and just as important it was a fairly crowd pleasing fight. “Hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to face this so-called killer (Gennady Golovkin),” Mora would say before his win, “and I’ll show you what skill can do against killers.” I for one don’t think the Latin Snake can last three rounds with Golovkin.

Teixeira decisions Willis over 10 rounds 

Brazilian middleweight Patrick Teixeira (20-0, 17 KOs) recorded a victory in his first fight on American soil when he beat Floridian Marcus Willis (13-3, 3 KOs) over 10 rounds.

Before the fight, Willis compared himself to Apollo Creed in the movie Rocky IV. I don’t see the similarities since Teixeira is from Brazil, not from Russia like Drago, in addition to the fact that Creed got killed in the ring. Luckily for Willis, he only lost the fight and not his life.

Teixeira is a tall southpaw with some pop who could cause trouble for some contenders in the division. He never hurt Willis, and rarely displayed the kind of power that his 89 percent knockout ratio would lead you to believe he has, but he did look good. He flashed above average hand speed and threw sharp combinations to Willis’ body and head. Willis, who had only three knockouts in 15 fights, simply didn’t have the power to keep Teixeira honest. 

In the seventh round a right hand counter by Teixeira badly hurt Willis who quickly grabbed hold of his opponent as he tried to stay on his feet and stifle the Brazilian’s punches. When the decision was read it was pretty academic as Teixeira clearly won the fight. I look forward to seeing his progress as he steps up his level of competition and faces some contenders.

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Sergio Mora vs Grzegorz Proksa - Full Fight

2013-06-28 Patrick Teixeira vs Marcus Willis

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  1. Leigh 11:24am, 07/02/2013

    I’m not hitting on macklin guys trust me I admire him for his efforts in boxing his heart and his fight anyone attitude but I’m not even sure he’s the best middleweight in England although there could still be some good domestic tear ups on the horizon which is where I see his future now. I do think Lou DiBella done a fantastic job getting Macklin $300,000 for the fight tho I must say .

  2. FrankinDallas 04:15pm, 07/01/2013

    Gonzales seems like a nice guy. Family, wife, speaks well without trashtalking. I was rooting for him. I hope he gets more bouts and paydays.

    Mora is not fun to watch. The Pole did nothing to make the fight entertainting either but all talk of Mora-GGG is crazy.

  3. Ted 04:07pm, 07/01/2013

    GGG made the week.

  4. bk don 01:53pm, 07/01/2013

    Thanks fellas. I def appreciate it. I’ve been contributing just one column a week recently so I try to make it as good as possible. Plus, we’ve had a string of some pretty decent high profile fights recently. Def makes it that much easier and fun covering them. Anyone have a middleweight, or any fighter around that division, they would like to see Triple G fight next? the 160 lb division is so week. Quillin would be great but he’s with gb on showtime and I think HBO would pay mucho bucks to keep Triple G w/them.

  5. Ted 12:01pm, 07/01/2013

    Slick as snot, Teron. Good stuff.

  6. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 10:07am, 07/01/2013

    Teron Briggs-What is the word?.....incisive…..that’s it…more than that….your reports are sharp as a tack!

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