Thursday, March 20, 2014

Shannon Briggs Makes Baffling Scene At Wladimir Klitschko's Training Camp, But Publicity Is Good

In a bizarre choice of stunts, Shannon Briggs came to Wladimir Klitschko's training camp for Alex Leapai, shouting that he trains there too, that everywhere Klitschko goes, he goes, that Klitschko's been fighting bums, and, of course, he wants the fight with Wladimir, still. Briggs has not had a fight since 2010, when he took a historically remarkable 12-round beating from Vitali Klitschko, compared to Larry Holmes VS Tex Cobb, for horribly one-sided, distance fights in heavyweight title history. He was hospitalised. He hasn't won a fight against a world class opponent since his also historically remarkable come-from-behind 12th-round knockout of Siarhei Liakhovich in 2007, for a major title. He was dominated by Sultan Ibragimov in the interim, who Wladimir then dominated thoroughly and sent into retirement in a hyped stinker. Shannon also makes this move while Wladimir has a fight scheduled with his WBO mandatory, Alex Leapai, and has an IBF mandatory, Kubrat Pulev lined up afterward, barring a large upset against Leapai.

Briggs took off and threw his shoe at Wladimir, who never bothered to stand up while having his hands wrapped, in this video posted by Pound 4 Pound TV:

Klitschko and Briggs have somewhat of a history, as Briggs was once Klitschko's likely opponent around 2006-2007, before being passed over. Wladimir continued to win, while Briggs' career fell off badly, as outlined earlier. Such a strange move might make some wonder if Briggs has lost it. I think he most likely made a calculated move to put his name out there, because publicity tends to pay off, no matter how laughable it is. That's the boxing circus. Does Briggs really want the fight? Well, for doing nothing but having a name and a lot of bluster, I'm sure he does. But does he want it bad enough to do the notoriously small amount it takes to become a mandatory heavyweight challenger these days? Apparently not, because he simply hasn't.

Just the same, I'm slightly appreciative that Briggs made any excitement whatsoever, because the mandatory the WBO are forcing down our throats isn't doing the job for the heavyweight division. That's not a knock on Alex Leapai, but the WBO only. Leapai had a very respectable upset. It's the eliminator that stunk. And that falls on the absurd choices set by the WBO in this particular instance. So, good for Briggs, who is now 42-years-of-age and inactive for over three years. Still making headlines without actually fighting? Not bad a bad move, all things considered. Unless Klitschko sues him for attempted shoe assault, of course. The shoe may have been a step too far.

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Quote Spotlight: Max Kellerman On Kovalev VS Stevenson: HBO Is HUNGRY! - THE WORLD Is Hungry!

Because it is so close, yet so far away, let's spotlight Max Kellerman when asked about Adonis Stevenson defending his championship against sensational contender Sergey Kovalev. Here he is when asked if he thinks the fight will happen:

Max Kellerman, 2013-11-30:

"Well, I mean, you just heard Stevenson. He wants Carl Froch, who, after his last fight, a lot of people probably calling for Froch. He wants Bernard Hopkins. He wants, the winner, maybe, of Pascal/Bute. So, that means that-that Kovalev is, at best, in fourth place. Here's the problem for Stevenson, who is, make no mistake about it, the Light Heavyweight Champion of the world. Lots of belt holders-Stevenson's the champ. He knocked out Chad Dawson. He's the man who beat the man, who beat the man, etc. The problem is, as impressive as his year has been, Kovalev, I believe, at this moment, is considered the best light heavyweight in the world. And I think would be favoured to beat Stevenson or any other light heavyweight in the world. So, if Stevenson's content with making money-and, after all, this is why they really do it. It's prizefighting. And-and being a kind of Canadian world champion, fighting the likes of the winner of Bute/Pacal, or an older Hopkins, or someone like that, fine. But, if his point is to become a real superstar-and you do that by proving that you're actually the best, I don't think there's a way around Kovalev in the not-too-distant future."

As both Kovalev and Stevenson plan to fight within a couple months of each other, as they trade insults, as HBO has had them on the same broadcast more than once, always asking Stevenson about Kovalev, as fans on the forums froth at the mouth about it, the boxing world awaits one of the hottest potential matches in boxing. Sergey Kovalev will be the heavy favourite against Cedric Agnew, the 29th of this month. Adonis Stevenson will be the heavy favourite against Andrzej Fonfara in May.

If they both come through as expected, no disrespect to the lurking upsets for their opponents, but if they do, how on Earth, with boxing fans excited, with them both publicly fired up and signed to the same channel and the channel so excited to push them together, could this not take place by the end of 2014? If it doesn't, this would easily be one of the biggest failures of the sport this year. Kovalev is the standout contender to the light heavyweight throne. Make no mistake on that. Don't let this cake burn in the oven, boxing.

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing

Fight Preparation Stories: Quote From Jim Lampley About Adonis Stevenson

As we get ready for Adonis Stevenson, current Light Heavyweight Champion of the world, to make his third title defence against Poland's 26-year-old contender Andrzej Fonfara in May, I wanted to spotlight a quote. It's Jim Lampley during Stevenson's walk to the ring, in his last defence, against Tony Bellew, during the live HBO fight broadcast and about Stevenson's supposed fight-day preparation, quirky as it might be.

Jim Lampley:

"Earlier this afternoon, Adonis Stevenson ordered from room service at his hotel enough ice to fill a bathtub to the brim and he emerced himself up to the neck in ice, taking a full-body ice bath, he says, to wake himself up for the fight. Roy, he could've accomplished the same thing, simply by stepping outside here, where the temperature is minus eleven centigrade but I've never heard of a fighter taking a full ice bath on the day of a fight."

Roy Jones Junior: 

"Well, different fighters do different things to get themselves loose, and get themselves to where they can go perform. For him, he probably felt like he was a little sluggish, I mean, he gained fourteen and a half pounds. So, that could be a little sluggishness on him. More than likely, he used the ice to shock him, to get his muscles ready, and to wake himself up because he knows what he's up against."  

Stevenson defeated Bellew by a dominant sixth round TKO. I hope his next hotel has enough ice.

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Judge Javier Alvarez VS HBO: Spotlight On Commentators VS Judges

Judge Javier Alvarez somehow found a scorecard with 115-112 for Vanes Martirosyan when Martirosyan and Demetrius Andrade squared off for a chance to win a vacant major world title on HBO live boxing, back in November. I don't know how, but now that some time has passed from this match, I thought I would spotlight this in case of future matches with Javier Alvarez judging. Cheers to HBO for deriding his card. Anybody can see a fight differently, but not that differently. I saw no valid total that can be turned in for a Martirosyan win and do fully support HBO's team in this one.

Perhaps Martirosyan was more in the fight than given credit for. If you said that, I wouldn't argue. If you said it was closer than HBO's commentators made out to be? Fine. Not an invalid statement, to me, considering that Kellerman didn't even seem to like Steve Weisfeld giving Martirosyan three rounds. Vanes hung tough and made it awkward as he normally does. Maybe some of the rounds were close enough that you couldn't argue much Martirosyan edging them when HBO's commentators didn't see it that way. Fine. Maybe some. But to see a card turned in where Martirosyan actually won? A card reflecting that he somehow got the better of this fight by any scoring method? I really hate to pick on judges and they have to turn in a highly contentious card that I can't see a competent, uncorrupted judge turn in for me to draw attention to it. But here is one.

I have recently reviewed the fight from my DVR and it was just as bad a scorecard in my mind as I found it that night, late last year. Some folks looking this one up on boxrec may see the scores and that Andrade was knocked down in the first and assume it was one of those matches where a knockdown can make all the scoring difference, like a Cotto/Clottey type score. It wasn't that. I would never write off a judge completely after even a card I find this bad. Not for one night of bad judging. But it's a red flag and I want to spotlight this because if it becomes a pattern, we, to protect our sport, need to take action and tell the boxing establishment that we will not stand for a judge that develops such a pattern (C. J. Ross) and take action like turning our backs on watching these matches live and hit channels in the pocket by lowering the ratings we give them if they air fights with judges we know have a pattern of bad cards, be those cards bad via corruption or ineptitude or severe bias of some kind.

So, IN CASE Javier Alvarez develops into a judge with a pattern of this, let's draw attention to it. If you spot a fight that he's judging that I haven't seen or taken notice of, where he has turned in another score like this, please, by all means, comment on this page and tell me what to look for and I'll try to locate it and view for myself to see if I agree it needs attention. Here is the talk of the scores as the HBO crew goes off on Judge Javier Alvarez:

Max Kellerman: "What a stinking score card, that fifteen/twelve for Martirosyan-and that better be a m- that better be a misprint-a misread."
(Kellerman seems fairly flustered)

Jim Lampley: "Otherwise you'd have to wonder what fight that judge was watching."

Kellerman: "What's the name of that judge who gave the fifteen/twelve scorecard?

Steve Weisfeld: "Javier Alvarez."

Kellerman: "And what did you say about him, Steve?"

Weisfeld: "I said he doesn't have tremendous judging experience."

Kellerman: "Yeah, or eye sight, apparently."

Lampley: "Javier Alvarez, in scoring the fight 115-112 for Martirosyan, scored the first five rounds of the fight, all for Vanes Martirosyan. I mean, that's-that's pure blindness. I'm sorry. It's embarrassing to us and to the sport when a score card like that turns up in a situation like this. . . Final Compubox numbers for the benefit of the blind judge who scored this for Vanes Martirosyan. . ."

Lampley: "Mondo Bizarro. A very, very strange score card."

Also of note: Please notice that Javier Alvarez was assigned the Keith Thurman VS Jesus Soto Karass match the following month! Awful! So, we have one black mark/red flag for Javier Alvarez. Let's hope that this is an anomaly and he turns out to be a better judge than this would indicate.

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing

Thanks for stopping by our place. Here are some other pages you might enjoy: 

BGB's Classic Boxing GIF's page

What do Light Middleweights normally rehydrate to?

Andre Ward's Jolting Power Jab: GIF Spotlight

A List Of Steve Weisfeld's Unofficial Scorecards For HBO Broadcasts

For those looking for a reference to the unofficial scoring of Steve Weisfeld, who is also an official boxing judge, but has been taking part of the unofficial HBO scoring responsibility from regular HBO scorer Harold Lederman, please bookmark this for future reference, and I will try to keep it updated and add as many of his scores as I can.

For Harold Lederman's unofficial HBO scoring history:

Link to HBO Boxing:



Chris Algieri VS Ruslan Provodnikov:

Total Score: 117-109, for Provodnikov

Algieri Rounds: 1, 2 & 4-7, 9, 11 & 12 (Round one was a 10-7 round, with two knockdowns)
Provodnikov Rounds: 3, 8 & 10

Demetrius Andrade VS Brian Rose:
Total score, the round before the stoppage: 60-52, for Andrade

Andrade Rounds: 1-6
Rose Rounds: None 


Thomas Dulorme VS Karim Mayfield 
Score: 96-94, for Dulorme

Mayfield Rounds: 3, 6, 7 & 10
Dulorme Rounds: 1, 2, 4, 5, 8 & 9


Mikey Garcia VS Juan Carlos Burgos
Score: 119-109, for Garcia

Garcia Rounds: 1 & 2012
Burgos Rounds: 2 only

Bryant Jennings VS Artur Szpilka (to the round before the stoppage, for anyone's interest)
Score: 88-82, for Jennings

Jennings Rounds: 2-3 & 5-9 (6th round scored 10-8 for a body shot KD)
Szpilka Rounds: 1 & 4



Matthew Macklin VS Lamar Russ
Score: 97-93, for Macklin

Macklin Rounds: 1, 3, 4 & 6-9
Russ Rounds:  2, 5 & 10


Demetrius Andrade VS Vanes Martirosyan
Score: 117-111, for Demetrius Andrade

Andrade Rounds: 2-4, 6, 7 & 9-12

Martirosyan Rounds: 1, 5 & 8

Special note: Though there was a knockdown scored for Martirosyan in the first, Weisfeld basically says that Andrade was winning the round apart from the knockdown so he reasons a 10-9 round for Vanes, as opposed to the more conventional 10-8 score. I personally consider this a legitimate call.

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing