Sunday, July 16, 2006

Other weekend boxing notes

By JE Grant

Half a world away from the Shane Mosely dismantling of Fernando Vargas, results from two European cities produced some fireworks that may have rippling effects on the boxing scene.

In a Saturday night fight card in Hamburg, Germany former junior middleweight belt-holder Javier Castillejo from Spain upset German Felix Sturm to win the so-called “world” WBA middleweight title. (This is obviously a cynical arrangement by the WBA that allows fee collections for two “world” champions in the same weight class. You’ll remember that Jermain Taylor is the one true middleweight champion – including recognition by the WBA as a “super” champion. Don’t try to figure it out).

The bout was stopped in round 10 with reports that Sturm may have suffered a broken jaw.

The result was all the more stunning given that many thought Sturm outworked Oscar De La Hoya before coming out on the short end of a decision in 2004.

Despite the name of the title, it is clear that Sturm was in the hunt for a shot at the champion Taylor. The loss to the shopworn 38 year-old Castillejo destroyed any chance of gaining a near-term title shot for Sturm. Indeed it puts him in the back of a very long line to the potential riches a fight with Taylor would mean.

As for Castillejo, Fernando Vargas, American fans may recall, trounced him less than a year ago in a junior middleweight contest. If nothing else, the win puts him in line for a signficant payday.

On the Hamburg undercard, unbeaten Uzbekistani Ruslan Chagaev, now 21-0-1 (17 KOs), stopped veteran British heavyweight Michael Sprott. The southpaw, nicknamed “White Tyson” recently edged out Vladimir Virchis (see below) in a battle of unbeatens and will likely move on to rated competition.

In another heavyweight bout on the same card, Ukrainian Vladimir Virchis stopped Italian Paolo Vidoz, in six rounds to gain the European Boxing Union heavyweight title. Virchis is now 21-1 (18 KOs).


In another European bout of note, WBA light-heavyweight titlist Fabrice Tiozzo returned to the ring after an 18-month layoff to stop someone named Henry Saenz in five rounds in a non-title affair in Le Cannet Cote d'Azur, France.

What is noteworthy, besides the fact that the WBA has allowed him to retain his title for 18 months without having defended it, is that he weighed a whopping 195. Of course a few years ago he held a cruiserweight belt (at the old limit of 190) before returning to the light-heavyweight division where he had briefly held a title.

We just have to wonder if he plans to ever return to the light-heavyweight division.


Blogger BiLL Earl said...

Hey JE...what is your comment and prediction on the Maskaev vs. Rahman WBC heavyweight belt fight on August 12? Personally, I think Rahman is just a slightly below-average journeyman fighter, who got lucky once when he KO'sd Lewis.The fact that he's WBC champ now shows how pathetic the heavyweight division has become.

5:36 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Actually it is an interesting matchup. I think Maskaev has slipped considerably since the first meeting -- and don't forget he was clearly behind before the big KO of Rahman. I won't be surprised to see Rahman win a 12 round decision...but I'm still thinking about it.

7:55 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Boy...This one (Sturm-Casteliejo) was a bit of a shocker. I honestly didn't even think that Javier was a particuarly 'live underdog' at this stage & age. As for who is the best 160-pounder? The true world champ is Taylor (despite the close and somewhat controversial draw) but I think that young Arthur Abraham may be tops possibly...

12:49 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

As for Rahman, I don't think the world of him, but slightly BELOW average??? Hmm...Don't know about that. I actually think that while Maskaev has the proverbial 'puncher's chance' here, he stands a far better chance of being 'punched out'! I think Oleg is a bit too slow and old at this stage, and will suffer an early or mid-round KO/TKO.

*I do think the world's currently best two hvy's (Klitschko & Liahkovich) would definetly beat him though.

12:53 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

BTW- I don't know which is a worse nickname; "The Boxing Banker", or "The White Tyson"...


12:55 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Also - Rahman doesn't have a steel chin, but I think people tend to forget how 'chinny' Maskaev is...

2:21 AM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Oleg has only one chance and we all know what it is. I'm not inclined to think he is going to be able to repeat.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Quite honestly guys, I took Rahman at minus 2-1, and I think I got a bit of a bargain. (I figured he would have been at least a 3-1 favorite.) I think he stops him, and stops him fairly early, and with relative ease...

6:08 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

I'd like to see both of them in their training camps.

5:33 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

I believe Fabrice Tiozzo had a truly underrated career (Tiozzo only lost to ONE guy, in two divisions, in over 50 pro fights. And showed alot of dedication in returning to the 175-pound division at the age of 35 and beating a legit top-10 guy!) However, the 18 months of inactivity, and his keeping of the trinket, has me a bit puzzled and bothered about the Frenchman and his 'status', not to mention the offending 'organization'.

Enough said...

2:06 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

JE- Maskaev - despite his limitations - is always in good shape. He's very professional that way. (As much as I cringe to say it JE, this seems to be a common trait with the Euro/Russian Hvy's, more so than the American and African ones of late.) As for Rahman; he's been a bit 'spotty' in that regard throughout his career, but I fully expect him to be in optimum condition here, and his weight in the 230's. (Possibly even 220's.) Like I've said...I don't think the world of Rahman, I give Oleg a slight chance for another KO, but I like Rahman here - and I like him BIG. ("Bigger" than 2-1!)

10:28 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

* Unless I can round up a few guys though (Or at least one) I unfortunately won't be watching it live though. If I had 'money to burn', perhaps I would. But it's kind of a matter of principle as well. (i.e. this is a HBO/SHO level fight, but not a PPV one. And especially not a 40 or $50 one.)

10:32 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

It wasn't worth $54.95, based on the undercard for sure, but the main event was at least a solid contest.

7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed a lot! »

5:10 PM  

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