11th December, 2016
How December 10th affects the heavyweight division
As the sun set on a marathon day of boxing there were a lot of talking points to cover. Highlights from around the world must surely include Kal Yafai's magnificent performance against Luis Concepcion that won him the WBA super-flyweight title, Abner Mares looking back to his best in defeating the WBA featherweight title holder Jesus Cuellar and Jermall Charlo all but wiping out Julian 'J-Rock' Williams with a wickedly brutal uppercut. Each of these performances deserves, and has, many articles dedicated to them elsewhere. This article however, is going to concentrate on the big men of the heavyweight division.
The day started with Joseph Parker winning the WBO strap with a razor-thin decision over Andy Ruiz in New Zealand. While Parker's team will be pleased with the belt, a first ever for a Kiwi heavyweight, the performance showed that there are still flaws in Parker's game, particularly defensively. That said, Team Parker should be commended for their approach this year, taking 5 solid learning fights, winning each of them and ending the year with a strap. Parker now have 120 days to agree a deal with WBO mandatory challenger Hughie Fury.
Over in Manchester Luis Ortiz picked up his second win under the Matchroom banner by bludgeoning the game but overmatched David Allen late in the seventh round. This was Ortiz's second fight in as many months and the second time he's looked underwhelming. Matchroom will look to put him in with more dangerous competition next year but his stock has certainly fallen from where it was after the destruction of Bryant Jennings last year.
Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora stole the show on the Anthony Joshua vs Eric Molina undercard with a back and forth grueling slugfest of a fight which Whyte eventually won by split decision. Chisora looked to have Whyte hurt a number of times throughout the fight, but Whyte's youth and energy, along with superior hand speed and an almost inhuman ability to take a shot may have just edged this for him. A rematch would be my preference however Whyte's team may look to capitalize on this victory to secure an April shot at WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder.
In the main event Anthony Joshua made short work a negative Eric Molina. Over the first two rounds Molina looked to cover up and smother whenever Joshua got close. An unfazed Joshua boxed smartly from the outside, taking what he could get while waiting for an opening. Predictably that opening came sooner rather than later and in the third round Joshua caught Molina with a right hand that left the Texan on his rear, propped up by the turnbuckle in the corner of the ring. Molina rose on shaky legs but the fight was over moments later following a barrage of shots from Joshua.
Longtime heavyweight king Wladimir Klitchsko then entered the ring with promoter Eddie Hearn to officially announce that he had signed to fight Joshua in what amounts to a modern day superfight on April 29th at Wembley Stadium.
Fight Scores Top 8 Heavyweights
- Wladimir Klitchscko
- Anthony Joshua
- Alexander Povetkin
- Kubrat Pulev
- Luis Ortiz
- Joseph Parker
- Deontay Wilder
- David Haye