The three fights this weekend could easily have been the least memorable boxing card of 2014. Robert Guerrero in a tune up fight, the boring Devon Alexander and a tactical bore fest with two featherweights. How wrong that was.
Devon Alexander is a serial offender when it comes to dull fights and generally isn’t someone I have particularly liked despite some decent wins (Marcos Maidana, Lucas Matthysee to name but two).
This weekend though he went toe to toe with Jesus Soto Karass for the scheduled ten and it was a really fun fight to watch. Alexander has to be given credit for getting Karass out the way and to bounce back after defeat to Shawn Porter, his next fight should be a big one, probably not Floyd, but he feels one step away if he can take out Amir Khan or someone of a similar level.
His movement looked very solid and he got out-of-the-way of danger well in the pocket whilst landing some big blows of his own. Like Guerrero he doesn’t possess concussive power but he is skilled enough and it showed as he just had too much for Karass.
Robert Guerrero may not have underrated Yoshihiro Kamegai but most certainly did. Despite obviously winning the fight Guerrero took some heavy punishment and did well to last the full 12 with his right eye in such a bad state.
Kamegai landed some huge rights and even uppercuts on the inside that clearly caused Guerrero problems. The Ghost doesn’t have the power to bother too many at welterweight but his work rate is good and he can clearly take a punch. He keeps jabbering on about getting a Floyd rematch but he can suck it.
Guerrero looked decent against a B level opponent and whilst styles make fights there is no way he is anywhere near the top of the queue unless he can beat a named opponent. You know what, stick Amir Khan on that list too, Guerrero needs to beat someone of value next otherwise he will slowly fade to the level of the aforementioned Alexander.
Both are at very curious points in their careers and taking on a better opponent is the best option for both of them.
As for the fight of the evening, Vasyl Lomachenko finally won his world title besting Gary Russell Jr in a mixed decision over twelve rounds. Loma landed some really good shot, especially to the body but Russell took them and despite having faster hands he couldn’t land much in return. Rough stats show Loma landing around 180 to 80.
Russell must be given credit for taking the step up to take on a really dangerous opponent given he has been held back for a long time but Loma was a step above all night. Quite how Russell Jr managed to get a draw on one of the scorecards is beyond me.
Russell Jnr was the only fighter going into the big three fights on the card undefeated and he has probably gained more fighting a good opponent and losing that another no name and winning.
Keith Thurman recently said he isn’t afraid to lose a fight if it means getting in with a dangerous opponent. Given all six of these fighters have tasted defeat, it rings very true and all come away with credit from a great fight card.
So all in all the three of the favourites won and they won by decision. We didn’t get a knockout but we got some juicy action. It didn’t detract from what was a great night for boxing and all fighters should look forward with some level of confidence.
It will be very interesting to see what direction Guerrero and Alexander go in next as both are perhaps a named victory away from getting a huge fight.
For Lomachenko, I really think he is learning his craft at the pro level with aplomb now and he will surely break the top ten P4P if he continues to win fights with his style that even the judges seem to be warming too.
More like this for the rest of the year please.