This is your early Knockout of the Year in 2012 via super middleweight Adonis Stevenson, one punctuated by a somewhat sickening reaction from Ernesto Gonzales, what with his arms stiff above his head and twitching. This was what Gonzales got for using the pre-fight hype to highlight Stevenson's criminal past from 1998, which features its own bit of sickening: Stevenson, "a rising boxing star, was arrested in November as part of a gang which forced young girls into prostitution. For entertainment, Adonis would make the girls box each other in the nude. When there was no champ, he'd administer the K.O. blow himself."
The other big (leaping) KO was from Thomas Dulorme, one of the many subjects we'll discuss in this week's Weekend Afterthoughts. Oh, and usually I elaborate a lot on the immediate post-fight results posts for the weekend's biggest bouts, but we had so much good discussion in the comments sections of those entries that I don't see the need to do so. Check them out here and here. (And Andrew Harrison's post, here.)
- Vitali Klitschko's injury. Add this to the list of reasons why Vitali might not have looked so hot: He had a torn ligament in his left shoulder. Some have been quick to write off the heavyweight as over the hill after a tough performance against Dereck Chisora, and that might be the case. But he also might've been weakened by Chisora's body attack and he also might've had trouble throwing that left; statistically, he used it a lot less than usual. Next for Vitali is physical rehab, presumably. But after that, if it's not a Chisora rematch (and it might not be for reasons soon to be discussed), I don't know what it is. The David Haye fight doesn't interest me and negotiations have fallen through plenty, so, I dunno -- an Odlanier Solis rematch? Alexander Povetkin? Does any of that do it for you? On the other hand, I wasn't sure Klitschko-Chisora would do it for me, but it worked out OK.
- The post-bout fallout. Between the slapping and the spitting and the post-fight brawl with death threats against Haye, I'm off the "Heh, ain't that Chisora a delightful stinker?" tip. I mean, no doubt, he's still not boring, and boxing can always use a little not-boring. But there has to be some degree of comedy to a boxer's classlessness for me to endorse it, and this stuff has accumulated to the point -- in just a mere handful of days -- where it's just a bit tired and unamusing. For what it's worth, Haye comes across to me as the instigator of the brawl with his loudmouthery and the one using the most classless techniques in the brawl itself, but then, Haye has long since ceased to amuse me with his antics. It takes two to tango, though, is the thing, and Chisora rightfully apologized afterward. Haye is still wanted by the police or something. Haye can, for all I care, fuck off, which has been my David Haye Policy for a year or two. As for Chisora, he could be facing big trouble with his boxing license. Maybe that will convince him to be less of a psychopath? Or maybe not. If there's any good to come out of this, at least Wladimir, Vitali's brother, got to watch two men who were beyond uncool to him disgrace themselves.
- Chris Arreola's fight. Chisora wasn't the only heavyweight doing fun things inside the ring and questionable things outside them this past weekend. Thanks to Showtime's most excellent new commitment to showing undercard fights on Sho Extreme, we got to see a cracker of a one-rounder when Arreola got rocked, then came back to knock out Eric Molina. Whatever Arreola does next, I want to see it. I still wouldn't pick him to beat a Klitschko brother, but if he gets one of them, we know he'll bring maximum effort and excitement to the degree possible against a Klitschko. And I give him more of a chance than I used to, what with him getting his act together physically and mentally. He's still no sculpted god in the ring, so he could be doing even better than he is, but he's been consistently better than he used to be, and, basically, acceptable.
- Chris Arreola's post-fight interview. If a Post-Fight Interview Hall of Fame existed, Arreola would belong. It's its own show: Will he cry? Will he curse so much the WBC threatens to fine him? Will he say, as he did Saturday, that he likes getting hit because his own dad used to hit him so much? And he added another element to his post-fight interview ecosystem Saturday when he badmouthed Don King as a "racist," something that sent me to looking up what he was talking about, whereupon I discovered that King had called Arreola's people "wetbacks." Showtime's Jim Gray thought that "racist" comment was unnecessary, and whether it was or not, the comment itself doesn't sound inaccurate based on King's words and his sheepish explanation of them.
- Friday Night Fights. I don't think I properly explained the grotesque quality or precise mechanism of the Shawn Estrada-Terrance Woods "buffer rule" fight, so I leave it to Dan Rafael here. Also, Estrada doesn't look like a fighter who should've been good enough to represent us in the Olympics; he doesn't do much right or well. The main event was not quite so grotesque -- junior welterweight Mike Dallas, Jr. did a lot less holding than usual in a good performance and was overall more offensive-minded, too, so maybe the trainer switch to Virgil Hunter helped him. Or maybe it was the totally awesome end-of-the-year-award-worthy fashion decision of Miguel Gonzalez to shave the phrase "POW!" with jagged action lines into his hair, which while totally awesome and end-of-the-year-award-worthy, might have been too much positive reinforcement for Dallas to connect cleanly. In Gonzalez' own mind, surely he was thinking, "That's me, POWing this guy all over the place!" but in Dallas mind he was Batman landing POWs directly on Gonalez' noggin. So I assume. Anyway, more onomatopoeia in boxing, please.
- ShoBox. No, welterweight Thomas Dulorme wasn't fighting anyone all that amazing, but the fight once more displayed the kid's raw gifts of speed and power. He was way out of position when he landed the telling blow. It's time for Dulorme to step up once more, for real. Friends of the site @perfectjet and @markeortega (a staff writer) and I discussed the possibility of a Lovemore Ndou, but we also wondered whether Dulorme was beyond that level of test. Also, nice work by Billy Lyell doing everything a ShoBox card is supposed to for the awful-tattooed and awful-eyebrowed junior middleweight Jonathan Gonzalez. Lyell lost, but gave Gonzalez a nice dose of hell. I'm not sold on Gonzalez, but maybe a fight like that will make him better.
- The rest. King doesn't have hardly anybody left in his promotional stable and still struggles to get his guys fights on TV, or often at all. Light heavyweight Tavoris Cloud should try to leave, a la Cornelius Bundrage and the rest. If there's any good news for Cloud in the knock on his esteem after the Gabriel Campillo fight, it's that the IBF could order a rematch -- they do tend to do that a lot -- and Showtime, surely, would and should want to air Campillo-Cloud II. I'm not saying that fight is any easier for him the second time around, but at least it's got a built-in TV demand that King hasn't been able to muster for Tavoris... It's great that Epix is in the boxing game, but their logistical problems actually delivering the fights to viewers are amassing. Me and my pal Jim both tried to sign in and/or get free trials online, to no avail -- the screens simply froze up. I went and downloaded the Epix app on my XBox 360, but when I finally got the thing downloaded I clicked on it and I was told, "sorry, Epix is not available at this time." This isn't the first time that Epix has had problems with this. Get it together, guys, or what's the point?... Thanks to Showtime for airing one of my tweets midfight. Me, Jim and the gf agreed -- independent of the brief celebrity it provided me -- that this was a nice new feature, to see what people were saying about the fights... Heavyweight Malik Scott did look awfully sharp for such a long layoff, albeit against Kendrick Releford, but he will apparently never be a puncher. As long as he's aggressive on offense, I will still enjoy watching him work his craft... Nice career highlight for the previously 3-5-1 Justin Williams to upset Alfonso Lopez... I leave you with every punch from the movie "Road House," via friend of the site @jwarminsky.
Haye was involved in the British coverage of the fight and my goodness did he look sickened at all of the praise going Chisora's way. The fact he got in there and gave it a whirl and backed up his pre-fight talk in a way Haye didn't seemed to be eating away at Haye every time he spoke.
That non-effort last year will nag away at him forever. The Klitschkos know it, too. That's why he's been given the boot.
Haye started the trouble afterwards and his sucker punch holding a bottle was disgraceful. If I was Chisora, I'd have wanted to murder him too.
@safesideOTR Can't agree with blaming Haye. He didn't say anything until Boenke started chipping away, then didn't say anything about Chisora until *he* started having a chip himself.
Then Chisora decided to walk twenty metres over to him with his entourage in tow whilst taking off his jacket and - metaphorically - rolling up his sleeves.
Try that on Saturday night in the Bigg Market and see what happens.
The scenes afterwards were totallly down to Chisora - its not like the fella is particularly well balanced when Haye isn't around, is it?
@FunkyBadger I get your point but if you're a trained professional heavyweight you just can't go around sucker punching people - he could have killed Chisora (and poor Don Charles). It wasnt like they'd squared up - he launched him with a sneak shot. Haye was super-hyped and only Charles spotted the potential rucus. He repeatedly asked for Haye to be removed (and wound up being smacked himself for his good sense).
Chisora's previous antics undoubtedly made Haye shoot first but a bare fisted punch while holding a bottle was disgusting. I understand why Chisora blew up after that.
UNDERCARD!!!!! *blasted predictive text
@FunkyBadger you're right, it was just ugly from both. Cheers on the write up - didn't think anyone had read it! Also was too bleary eyed at 4.30 am to include the undressed stuff, which was pretty good.
@safesideOTR Having said all that, probably talking about this little spat far more than its worth. Great write-up on Galahad and Eubank Jnr, btw :)
@safesideOTR I'm lucky enough to have never been in that situation, a friend of mine who has, on occasion, got into scrapes in public houses always hit first, whenever he thought someone might go for him. It is self-defence.
I couldn't see clearly how Charles got thumped so won't comment on that, but Chisora can't have expected anything less. (Incidently, Haye had as much right to be there as anyone else - a more pertinent question might be how he got hold of a microphone, which he certainly didn't walk in with).
Not sure how a punch holding a bottle, is worse than one without - he didn't actually hit Chisora with the bottle. Seems the only one Haye properly connected with was Booth...
@safesideOTR I'm with you -- more blame to Haye than Chisora. And your read on his motives strikes me as probably quite accurate. In some of the post-fight commentary, Haye kept talking about how much trouble HE would give Vitali, based on how well Chisora did.
What was up with Jim Gray apologising about Chris Arreola? They scared of offending Don King? Like you say, it's not like he's got any fighters to put on the network anymore.
@ham_napkin Good questions. I guess he didn't want to allow personal attacks like that? I have no idea.
Id love to see Arreola - Chisora / Haye fight , the press conference and weigh-ins would be legendary!!!
Oh Starks, I'm disappointed in you for turning your back on Chisora. This guy strolled into Germany and shook up the boxing world for the entire weekend. He had two fights in one night!
You say that "there has to be a degree of comedy in a boxer's classlessness" for you to endorse it, and I agree - comedy is certainly one way to get away with the antics Chisora pulled. But another, much better, way to do it is to back your "classlessness" up in the ring. Which is exactly what Chisora did. He made a Klitschko fight entertaining. A monumental achievement. A classy achievement.
Chisora has proven himself to be a world-class, ENTERTAINING heavyweight over his last two fights. This is something that can't be said of any other heavyweight in the world. He has committed zero crimes, and for what it's worth, I thought his wearing a bandana covering most of his face during the staredown was pretty dope.
Chisora will be defending his Undisputed Heavyweight Championship of the World later this year against either Tyson Fury or David Haye and it will be gloriously entertaining and you will love it.
But yes. There are more than one ways to offset classlessness. I do like that he made a Klitschko fight entertaining, and that he's shown himself to be on a high level. Inside the ring, my fandom remains.
@Pretty Toney @tstarks He may be able to chew unassisted. But my point wasn't about the fighters. It was about the minor theatrics and staged antics. They seem almost more important than the boxing. Kind of like a soap opera for men.
In fact, I remember reading once about this young boxer who saw the wrestler Gorgeous George doing his shtick, and openly admitted to being inspired by and borrowing hisantics. I think his name was Cassius Clay or something like that. Would he have been better suited to professional wrestling?