Fight Results August 22-August 29

Joe Smith Jr dominant in stoppage win over Eleider Alvarez: Joe Smith Jr capped off a dominant win at The Bubble in MGM Grand in Las Vegas with a brutal ninth round finish. Outside of second round surge of right hands and a seventh round right hand that momentarily buckled Smith, Alvarez was kept at bay. For Joe, everything started with the jab as his corner called for the left throughout the fight. He doubled his jab very well and did a good job not standing in place admiring his work. He made Alvarez completely ineffectual by just attacking all night long and physically over powering Alvarez in close. The below are my notes as to what impressed me about Smith. A lot of good punchers can jab well and throw the right cross. Smith has also built a reputation on his left hook. Smith has been called a one trick pony before and over reliant on his power. Below I noted examples of diversity in his offense.

-Round 3: More shoe shine combinations of lighter punches to tie up Alvarez’s hands and keep him on the defensive. Smith had been susceptible to counters in previous contests. I think when fighters throw everything hard they become easy to time and it is not easy to maintain hard punching all the time for 12 rounds. I think this allowed Smith to up the pace, surprise Alvarez and break up the rhythm which played into his own defense

-Round 4: Smith landed a solid 45 degree uppercut. This is a skillful shot and can be used to surprise an opponent at an unexpected angle. Eleider also began to bleed from his nose in this round up until the stoppage and this punch was a factor.

-Round 5: More use of the right uppercut in this round. This can be a risky punch for counter hooks but Smith was able to employ the shot safely.

For my liking Smith made Alvarez a timid survivor in this fight. Joe continued to pressure Alvarez for eight rounds and even went on prolonged assaults. The end of round five and round seven were two examples of Smith just all out pouring it on and punctuating a round. Alvarez began to really show his fatigue and started to square up in his stance in the eighth round. Smith to his credit did not take long to exploit this weakness in round nine. He came right out from his corner and ended matters swiftly. A right hand removed Alvarez from his senses and a power punch of a jab guided Eleider to the canvas and shoved him partially through the ropes and resting on the apron.

Bout: 175 lb WBO Elimination123456789101112Final
Joe Smith Jr109101010101010KO
Eleider Alvarez910999999L

On the Undercard:

The undercard on ESPN was marred mostly in one-sided and early contests

-Clay Collard advances to 9-2-3 and in old school fighter fashion won his fifth fight this year fighting once a month since June versus an opposition combining a record of 32-4. He overwhelmed 7-1 Maurice Williams in a second round TKO

-Former WBA 160 lb titlist Robert Brandt got his career back on track with a dominant fifth round TKO to bounce back from his blow out loss to Japan’s Ryota Murata to lose his title.

-Cincinnati featherweight prospect Duke Ragan debuted with a first round TKO

-Undefeated fighters Julian Rodriguez and Robert Rodriguez stopped their undefeated opponents inside the first round in welterweight and bantamweight contests

-A guy named Wendy! Wendy Touissant “Haitian Fire” scored a dominant unanimous decision

Jose Carlos Ramirez Victorious over Viktor Postol by Majority Decision

Ramirez retained his WBC and WBO unified belts in a closely contested 140 lb contest versus Postol. Ramirez is right in the middle of his prime having just unified belts last year and at 28 he has been WBC champ since 2018. He did enter on a 13 month layoff but was facing a 36 year old Postol coming off about a 16 month lay off and lots of travel. This fight failed to come off multiple times due to COVID. Both men were familiar with each other from days at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles and are coached by two of the best trainers in the sport today. What they put forth in the ring was an interesting clash of styles match up that has fans arguing over the scoring. Dave Moretti saw the fight level at 114-114 with Tim Cheatham and Steve Weisfeld going in favor of Ramirez 115-113 and 116-112. Interestingly enough a great number of observers saw round twelve in favor of Postol while all three judges scored the round for Ramirez. A Postol twelfth round would have created a draw and a blemish on Ramirez’s spotless record.

The contest pitted the mobile and active jabbing Viktor Postol of Ukraine against the pressure fighting Jose Ramirez of Mexican American descent. The contrast in styles could not be anymore apparent early on as Postol used the entire ring to offset Ramirez’s inside work. Postol dedicated himself to the jab early on in the fight and Ramirez desperately pursued in order to trap Postol and land whatever he could in the brief moments he had Postol trapped. To Postol’s credit he would get cornered at times but only would let his back touch the ropes or the corner post for a matter of a second or two before adeptly escaping and restarting the process of chase and trap. Ramirez would be limited to a left hook to the body or a right hand from in close. Round seven was the highlight of the fight with Ramirez stunning Postol with a left hook that he lunged in with. Postol to his credit survived and then landed a hard right cross near the end of the round. Ramirez was crafty in his pressure as he varied his approach. Sometimes he stood in front of Postol and just waited for Postol to react. Ramirez was the slower handed fighter so letting Postol stop to throw and then throw in between was a great strategy. At times he could landed solid over hand rights by going over the jab. Postol started to counter these attempts by going right down the middle with his faster right hand. Ramirez in kind would change pressure to throw away punches to land the pay off shot. This is how he landed his big left in round seven. He would take large steps in with extended shots but that was to corral Viktor to where he needed him before landing the shot he intended to land.

A lot of rounds were very close. Postol moved and jabbed well and was very active. Ramirez came forward all night and landed the power punches and did damage. That is not to say that Postol never hurt Ramirez, he did in round ten for certain with a right hand. He also spun Ramirez around in the tenth and caught Ramirez again as he seemed to get stuck in the ropes and caught totally by surprise. Both men rose their gloves at the final bell and both had plenty of cause to as this was a close fight.

Bout: Unified WBC&WBO 140123456789101112Final
Jose Carlos Ramirez1091010910101099109115
Viktor Postol91099109991010910113

Undercard:

Daniel Dubois Records Easy 2nd Round TKO

Undefeated UK heavyweight prospect Dubois just ran through Dutch victim Ricardo Snijders to advance to 15-0 (14) and dropping Snidjers to 18-2. Despite the pretty record Snidjers was in well over his head as a moved up cruiserweight he gave away thirty pounds to the 22 year old puncher. Dubois did not waste much time as he had Snidjers on the deck three times in a 10-6 opening round. Dubois focused his energy to the body and dropped his opponent four times in under six minutes to score a technical knockout. In fact I don’t recall a meaningful punch coming from Snidjers or surprisingly Dubois scoring a big head shot. He folded Snidjers on a very aggressive body assault. Dubois continues to roll through his opponents in easy fashion and has yet to really be tested. He is taking a massive leap in class to fight Joe Joyce reportedly in his next fight. That should be a slugfest and great indicator of how “for real” Dubois is.

Erislandy Lara Retains WBA 154 lb Title in Unanimous Decision

On paper Lara was expected to easily defeat Massachusetts’s 22-3-1 Greg Vendetti in a Premier Boxing Champions main event at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. After twelve rounds of boxing Lara fulfilled that prophecy with scores of 116-112 and 117-111 twice. I admittedly have not watched the entire fight just select rounds. Vendetti was very game and pursued Lara for twelve rounds always looking to make it a brawl and tried to score with looping right hands. Lara is definitely aging and slowing down but is still crisp with the left hand down the middle. He buckled Vendetti badly in round four with a hard left cross. Lara was much more stationary than in previous fights and the had speed and accuracy was enough to run away with this fight.

Most notably on the card 38 year old long time veteran Alfredo Angulo suffered a shocking decision loss to Mexico’s Vladimir Hernandez. Angulo scored a big win in 2019 when he defeated Peter Quillin in a fun 168 lb tilt with IBF implications. Angulo got his chance at Quillin when Quillin was originally supposed to meet Caleb Truax in a rematch. When Truax and Quillin first met it was an IBF elimination fight between ex IBF 168 lb titlist Truax and former 160 lb titlist Quillin and the result was a lackluster no contest due to a clash of heads. Oddly enough the IBF #3 Truax was set to meet the #12 Angulo but an illness the night before set the stage for Hernandez on a day’s notice to fill in. Hernandez threw over 1,000 punches to take the decision. Now Angulo was ripe for the fall given his age, ring wars and being well above his best weight class but this really took many observers by surprise. Truax lost out on a nice win to push for a Caleb Plant title tilt and Hernandez cashed in!

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