After the excitement of last weekend, it was inevitable that this one would be a bit of a disappointment. And, to a certain degree it was. However, there was still some interesting things happening around the boxing world that warrant mention.
The big fight of the weekend was Errol Spence Jr.'s Texas homecoming. So much was made about how he wanted to be a Dallas Cowboy when he was a kid, and how much the Dallas Cowboys had embraced him, that it distracted Showtime viewership from the fact that this fight was a terrible mismatch (Ocampo was paid 75K to Spence Jr.'s 1.2 million dollars which should tell you everything you need to know). Carlos Ocampo was never going to beat Spence, and although he looked alright for almost an entire round, he crumpled from a body shot and was counted out before he could see round 2. Body shots are becoming a calling card for Spence, who has put down numerous opponents and one husky kid on youtube with them. He called himself the “bodysnatcher” in the post-fight interview, a declaration that shows his commitment to throwing punches downstairs but should get any boxer who says it punched in the liver by an old Mike McCallum. After the fight, Spence called for a fight with the winner of Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia, which although not the fight with Terence Crawford we are all looking forward to, would still be a good matchup.
On the undercard of the Spence Jr. fight we saw LA’s Danny Roman dominate an over the specified weigh limit Moises Flores, winning a unanimous decision with scores of 120-108, 118-110 and 116-110. Flores claimed he dislocated his shoulder in the second round, citing a curious decision to switch to a southpaw stance for much of the fight. Either way, with the win, Roman retained his WBA junior featherweight (122) title, and immediately called out Isaac Dogboe and Rey Vargas, hoping to unify the titles in the junior featherweight division.
Javier Fortuna's battle with Adrian Granados was fun while it lasted but ended in one of the worst ways possible when Javier Fortuna slipped through the ropes and injured himself after falling out of the ring. With Fortuna being unable to continue the fight was stopped and declared a no decision. The sheer stupidity of having a sport where people can fall out of the ring continues to baffle, as just a few vertical ropes could end this before somebody seriously gets hurt. Yes, falling through the ropes produces dramatic images like the end of Bernard Hopkins' career, and the greatest boxing painting of all time, but in a sport where brain damage is essentially guaranteed, a little bit more safety would be a welcome addition.
In Hato Rey, Puerto Rico, Angel Acosta dramatically stopped Carlos Buitrago in the 12th round to retain his WBO junior flyweight (108) belt. Although Acosta was likely ahead on the scorecards, closing the show in the final round may help the island currently devoid of a real boxing superstar, a reason to pay more attention to the lighter weight classes.
In Kiev, Ukraine, Artem Dalakian stayed undefeated by stopping Sirichai Thaiyen in the 8th round to retain his WBA flyweight (112) title. In knocking down three times before ultimately stopping Thaliand’s Sirichai Thaiyen (who had only been knocked out once before in 53 professional fights) and earning a decision over the always game Brian Viloria in his last two fights, Dalakian has proven himself to be a force in the division. Considering he has already fought on HBO's "Superfly 2" card (the fight with Viloria), it would be nice to see him put on a bit of weight and get a shot at some of the bigger names those cards have employed.
Another weak weekend coming up, but we will get to see some good female boxing on Showtime, as their four woman tournament featuring Claressa Shields begins.
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