DSH Boxing Notebook: Lomachenko takes on Walters

November 25, 2016

Just a week after Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev put on a show in Las Vegas, another pound-for-pound superstar will showcase his skills against a tough foe, as Vasyl Lomachenko will take on power-punching Nicholas Walters this Saturday.  For more on this story and other boxing news, read our Boxing Notebook below:

Punch Stats favored Kovalev over Ward

In the wake of the narrow unanimous decision victory for Andre Ward over Sergey Kovalev on Saturday night, which some journalists had scored a Kovalev victory, Compubox recently released their punch stats breakdown for the fight.

Factoring in the second round knockdown, Kovalev would have taken the fight based on total punches landed, total punches thrown, power punches landed, power punches thrown, accuracy of power punches or jabs thrown. Scoring based on jabs landed would have resulted in a draw. The only metric that could have handed Ward the victory was accuracy, but he was only more accurate in throwing jabs on a round-by-round basis.

Of course, fights are not scored on stats, and Ward's ring generalship, intelligent defense, body shots, and quick jab did indeed take over the second half of the fight.

"I thought Sergey won the fight sitting ringside and it looks like the Compubox stats bear that out," Kovalev promoter and Main Events CEO Kathy Duva said. "The judges gave every close round to the challenger instead of the champion, plus the tenth round which wasn't even close. Sergey has asked for an immediate rematch. As far as we are concerned, he won the first fight and he will win the second fight too."

The tenth round, which all three judges scored for Ward, looked like a Kovalev round if one goes by the Compubox stats. In the tenth round, Kovalev out-landed and out-threw Ward in total punches, jabs and power punches.  But again, all shots are not equal, and ring generalship also must be taken into account.

This also raises another issue: Compubox's accuracy is questionable.

Many members of the DSH's staff have observed errors in Compubox stats over the years where blows have been blocked, or the action has been so furious that punches have been difficult to count.

Here's the best solution: Immediate rematch.

Leo Santa Cruz-Carl Frampton rematch set for January 28 in Las Vegas

Undefeated featherweight world champion Carl Frampton (23-0, 14 KOs) and former three-division world champion Leo Santa Cruz (32-1-1, 18 KOs) will meet again in a world title rematch that headlines a Premier Boxing Champions event Saturday, January 28 live on Showtime from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

“From the moment our last fight ended, when the decision came and I lost the fight, I knew my only goal was to get my belt back,” said Santa Cruz. “When I sat in the locker room afterward, I felt more motivated than ever to get back in the gym. All I've thought about since the fight was this rematch. There won't be any distractions in this camp. I'll be heading into the fight with a better game plan. I'm putting in 100 percent in training and I'm excited to get in the ring on January 28 to get my belt back.”

The doubleheader will also feature lightweight world champion Dejan Zlaticanin (22-0, 15 KOs) making his first title defense against fan favorite and former two-division titlist Mikey Garcia (35-0, 29 KOs).

Frampton and Santa Cruz are set to clash in a rematch of their July “Fight of the Year” candidate that saw tremendous back-and-forth action throughout the 12-round fight that ended in a majority decision for the Irish fighter.   The two men combined to land 402 power shots out of the 497 punches landed in their first fight.

"The rematch is the fight we wanted,” said Frampton. “I enjoyed our first fight in New York. The atmosphere was fantastic and the fight lived up to the hype. On January 28th I will be better and I will win more convincingly. I know the way Leo fights, he throws a lot of punches and he is brave, but his style suits me. It has always been a dream of mine to headline in Las Vegas and I cannot wait to get out there and put on a great performance for the American boxing fans and the travelling support from Ireland and the UK."

Talkin' Smack

Bob Arum:
"I would like to say this; that Vasyl Lomachenko is technically the best fighter that I have seen since the early Muhammad Ali.  There is nobody that I have seen, and there have been a lot of great technical fighters that I have seen – Alexis Arguello was one, Floyd Mayweather certainly, Manny Pacquiao – but there has been nobody with the skills that Vasyl Lomachenko has."
Vasyl Lomachenko:
"Yes, of course I would like to fight Pacquiao, but not in the next fight."
Bob Arum, on Vasyl Lomachenko's father:
"[H]is father is probably the best trainer in boxing today and I say that without any question, because look what the father produced from the Ukrainian Olympic team in London.  Oleksandr Usuyk who is now a cruiserweight champion, Alexandr Gvozdyk, a light heavyweight who you saw last week on the Ward-Kovalev pay-per-view, who is a future champion – they are all Ukrainians and they were all trained by Vasyl’s father."
Nicholas Walters on opponent Vasyl Lomachenko:
"Since he did lose to Salido, he can be as technical all he wants, but I am in the hurt business – this is a gladiator sport and I fight all of my fights like that, I fight like a gladiator."   

Lucian Bute reaches settlement with D.C. Athletic Commission

A settlement has been reached between boxer Lucian Bute and the District of Columbia Athletic Commission several months after an initial anti-doping test result found traces of Ostarin in Bute's urine samples this past May.

Following the World Boxing Council (WBC) super middleweight world title bout between defending champion Badou Jack and challenger Bute, which ended in a draw, a positive test result was announced.

Bute questioned the result and furnished information to the Commission that the positive test was caused by the contamination of nutritional supplements given by Bute's conditioning trainer and created by a laboratory in California.

The information apparently was favorably received by the Athletic Commission of the District of Columbia because the following agreement was reached between the parties:
  • Lucian Bute voluntarily agrees to contribute $50,000, within a period not exceeding 90 days, to the WBC Clean Boxing Program (CBP).
  • Lucian Bute also agrees that his boxer license from the Athletic Commission of the District of Columbia be suspended for a period of six months, dating back to May 6, 2016.
  • The Commission agrees to reject the disputed case immediately with the compromise reached between the parties, and does not in any way consider that this compromise constitutes an admission on the part of Lucian Bute of the alleged facts or circumstances.

"I am extremely happy that everything is now over," former IBF world champion Bute said.  "I would like to thank my family and my spouse, Helena, all members of my team, Christian Ganescu, the Grant brothers, Groupe Yvon Michel, my manager, Al Haymon, my lawyer, Howard Jacob, and my friends, fans and supporters who were many to support me and to encourage and trust me during these dark and painful hours of my life. I would also like to thank the members of the Athletic Committee of the District of Columbia and its Chairman, Mr. Adam Weers, for listening and understanding, as well as WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman for giving me the benefit of the doubt and keeping me in the rankings of the best super middleweight challengers,"

Because the six-month suspension period ended November 6, Bute may now box at the place and time of his choice. The case is now permanently closed.

"I am surrounded by the best team to guide me, " Bute concluded. "I have, more than ever, the enthusiasm and will to fight. I have a lot of years ahead of me and I cannot wait to get back into the ring in early 2017."

Lomachenko and Walters ready for battle

Two-division world champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko (6-1, 4 KOs) and undefeated former WBA world featherweight champion Nicholas Walters (26-0-1, 21 KOs) began their Fight Week in Las Vegas with a Q and A session.

Lomachenko will defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight title against Walters This Saturday, Nov. 26, at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.  It will mark the 2,000th event Bob Arum has promoted, dating back to March 29, 1966, when World Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali defended his title against George Chuvalo.

Here is what the parties had to say:

Q: How will the layoff affect you?

WALTERS:  The layoff?  I am in the motivation business, so the layoff is definitely part of the boxing business.  As a fighter I have always been in the gym working out and everything so the layoff wouldn’t even bother me and I wouldn’t take the fight if I thought I wasn’t going to be ready for the fight.  I don’t even think for a minute that I only want to please Nicholas.  I want to please the fans and my country, both Panama and Jamaica and all of my fans in Mexico and all over the world.  I am not just taking the fight for Nicholas.  I am taking the fight for everybody and come Saturday I am going to be ready for the fight – just like all of the other fights.

Q:  Where did you learn your creativity?  Were there any boxers you watch while younger that you learned from?

LOMACHENKO:  First of all, I would like you to know that everything that I have is what my father created in me and my father put everything together into me.  Secondly I am a workaholic – I work hard.  I do not cheat myself in training, I work very hard and somehow God has given me great balance that helps me put everything together.

Q:  You don’t see much development in Lomachenko and feel he is ripe for the taking with your power punching?

WALTERS:  Each fight is different and I am not going to tell you that I am going to fight Lomachenko the same way that Salido fought him.  Of course, only a fool doesn’t learn from his mistakes, doesn’t learn from his mistakes in the ring.  He has been training and working out so I know he is a more complete fighter than his first fight.  I am not even worried, so to speak, but I know that he has learned and is a better fighter from that loss.  But it is still a blemish on his record that he lost.  With that in mind he has tasted defeat and I have never tasted defeat.  We have stayed undefeated and we are going to keep it that way this Saturday.

Undercard fights added to B-Hop versus Smith card

Rounding out a quality card featuring boxing legend Bernard Hopkins, undefeated featherweight contender Joseph Diaz, and WBO Cruiserweight World Champion Oleksander Usyk, several prospects in the Golden Boy Promotions stable will look to move to the next level on December 17 at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood, California.

Following back-to-back knockouts that earned him the WBC Latino Middleweight Title, undefeated southpaw Yamaguchi Falcao (11-0, 4 KOs) will return to the United States to put his title on the line against German Perez (10-2-3, 3 KOs) in a 10-round match-up.

Ireland's own Jason "El Animal" Quigley (11-0, 9 KOs) will continue his record of taking on tough challenges by stepping into the ring against the knockout artist Jorge Melendez (28-7-1, 26 KOs) in a 10-round bout.

18-year-old lightweight Ryan Garcia (6-0, 5 KOs) will make his highly anticipated Golden Boy Promotions debut on the card against Durango, Mexico's Antonio Martinez (6-7, 5 KOs). In a professional career that just launched in June, the 15-time national champion has already won six fights, including five by way of knockout.

Danny Roman wins again

Danny Roman (21-2-1, 7 KOs) pushed his winning streak to thirteen with a sweep of the scorecards against the previously unbeaten Marlon Olea (12-1, 11 KOs) Friday night in the "New Blood" main event from the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Calif.  The judges all scored the bout 80-72 for Roman.

The Los Angeles based Roman was the aggressor from the start, and despite Olea's quick movement, was able to dominate the fight from beginning to end.

Roman had a bit of adversity to deal with as he suffered a cut on the top of his forehead at the closing seconds of the opening round. The accidental clash of heads would cause blood to stream down Roman's face for much of the fight.

"The cut on my forehead was unfortunate, but that's boxing," said Roman, who entered Friday's contest as the No. 5 challenger on the WBA rankings (122 lbs.). "I didn't let it bother me. I had a job to do and I did it. On to the next one."

In the early rounds, Roman found success landing heavy body shots, while Colombia's Olea had a hard time landing anything of substance. Roman did an excellent job in cutting off the ring and making Olea engage on his terms.

Thompson Boxing signs prospect Manuel Mendez

Thompson Boxing Promotions signed rising lightweight prospect Manuel Mendez (13-1-2, 9 KOs) to an exclusive promotional deal.

"It's a big load off my shoulders to sign with Thompson Boxing," said Manuel Mendez, who is trained by Joel Diaz and managed by Ernesto Torres. "It was a proud moment for myself and my team."

Thompson Boxing began featuring Mendez on its monthly Southern California boxing cards beginning in August of 2015. He was matched against quality opposition and delivered on every occasion.

"Manuel has a fan friendly style," said Ken Thompson, president and founder of Thompson Boxing Promotions. "Fans love watching him come forward and go after knockouts."

Demond Brock wins bout at Knockout Night at the D

The incredible journey of Demond "Body Shot" Brock continued Friday night in the "Knockout Night at the D" main event on CBS Sports Network that aired live from inside the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center tent.

From the Louisiana Penitentiary, where Brock (13-3, 4 KOs) learned how to box while serving a 15-year sentence for armed robbery, to his salvation in the boxing ring, the 35-year-old boxer from New Orleans captured his second title, taking a 10-round split decision (96-94, 96-94, 93-97) from defending North American Boxing Association USA lightweight champion Reynaldo Blanco (13-3, 7 KOs).

Brock predicted that fans would see a completely different fighter, after being trained for this fight by future Hall of Famer and 10-time world champion Roy Jones, Jr.

Jones was calm in Brock's corner throughout the fight. "I'm always calm in the corner to get the best out of the fighter," Jones noted. "To do that I need to remain calm."

Brock threw effective punches in bunches, aggressively fought inside against the taller Blanco, and he outworked his opponent, who suffered a cut over his left eye midway through the fight and had his right eye swell a few rounds later.

"I was having fun, enjoying myself," said Brock.  "I had to pick up stuff working with Roy and some rubbed off on me. With Roy's help, my confidence was built up and I learned techniques, especially with my hand-and-feet coordination. I found what I learned was more effective."

Mexican upset specialist Norberto "Demonio" Gonzalez (22-3-8, 13 KOs) did his thing in the co-feature, taking an eight-round split decision (76-75, 76-75, 74-77) from Puerto Rican junior middleweight Daniel "El Duro" Rosario (11-2, 10 KOs).

Gonzalez overcame a second-round knockdown. "I didn't come here to lose," Gonzalez commented. "I knew we had to work hard to get a decision."

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services

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