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Old 22-06-15, 16:08   #1
 
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Boxing The Hottest Boxing Storylines-Week Ending 21 June

What a fight weekend!
We have tons to get through, so let's get right into the action.


"Showtime" Shawn Porter put a beating on Adrien Broner Saturday night in the "Battle for Ohio" in Las Vegas, which is not in Ohio.
Did Showtime once again expose The Problem as nothing more than a product of hype and careful managing?


Andre Ward returned to action with an expected dismantling of overweight Paul Smith in Oakland, California.
What does Ward's win mean for the fighter and his future?


David Lemieux pounded out the closest four-knockdown win you'll ever see to win a share of the middleweight crown in Montreal.
Was this an early Fight of the Year contender?


Turning our attention to the days and weeks ahead, we look at Timothy Bradley's upcoming fight against Jessie Vargas and the seemingly pointless chirping match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Gennady Golovkin.


These are the hottest boxing storylines for the week of June 21.
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Old 22-06-15, 16:11   #2
 
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Default Re: The Hottest Boxing Storylines-Week Ending 21 June

Did Porter Expose Broner?


Steve Marcus/Getty Images


Porter dominated Broner in the main event—dubbed the Battle for Ohio—of Saturday's Premier Boxing Champions card from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, despite what the comically bad NBC commentating team would have you believe.

The fight wasn't close, and the official scores (114-112, 118-108 and 115-111) thankfully reflected that reality without any unnecessary drama.

Broner, for all his bold prognostications about being the next Mayweather, proved once again to be the ultimate front-runner who is incapable of making in-fight adjustments. His physical tools are undeniable, and when things are going well, he has the look of a potentially elite fighter.

But the minute the going gets tough, Broner gets the heck out of there.

There's no Plan B or C; you could probably even be forgiven to wonder if there's so much as a Plan A when it comes to Broner.
He wants to be a celebrity, not a fighter, and you could see that in every minute of a running, foul-filled performance against Porter that once again left The Problem with tons of problems but no answers.

Broner's only solution to Porter's grinding aggression was to hold, which he did excessively. It finally necessitated a point deduction in Round 11 from the usually solid but on this night awful Tony Weeks. Broner also used his forearms and hit behind the head on the break.

He did drop his man early in Round 12, but by then, it was way too little and way too late for him to salvage a career-worst performance.

Porter fought the perfect Porter fight.
He jabbed his way inside to put Broner on his back foot before swarming in with raking power combinations to the body and head.
Porter was content, like he said all fight week, to let his fists do the talking for him, and this win must feel like a sweet dose of revenge against a foe who did his best to drop verbal but not physical bombs on both Porter and his father/trainer Kenny.

The win places Porter right back into the loaded welterweight mix, while Broner has to once again confront questions about whether he wants to be a professional fighter, or if he even has the maturity to make it past a certain level in this game.
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Old 22-06-15, 16:14   #3
 
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Default Re: The Hottest Boxing Storylines-Week Ending 21 June

Can Tim Bradley Turn Back a Young, Hungry Champion?


David Becker/Getty Images



The last time Bradley stepped into a boxing ring, two of the three official judges, in a particularly pitiful performance, absolutely robbed him of a clear victory over Diego Chaves.

Julie Lederman—who never finds her way into any sort of scoring controversies scored the bout for the Argentine, while Craig Metcalfe saw a draw. Both were dead wrong and saddled Bradley with a draw in a fight he should have and did win.

Desert Storm, a two-division world champion, returns to action Saturday night at the StubHub Center, where he'll face undefeated Jessie Vargas for the vacant WBO Welterweight Championship.

Bradley is no stranger to that particular title. He won it from Manny Pacquiao in their highly controversial 2012 fight before dropping it back to the Filipino icon last April. It was declared vacant after Mayweather's lopsided defeat of Pac-Man in May's superfight.

Vargas is a tall, rangy fighter who likes to be aggressive and throw a high volume of punches. He doesn't have a tremendous amount of punching power—his last 10 fights have gone the distance—but he can overwhelm with his swarming ability.

Bradley is just very good at being Bradley.
He has a high ring IQ and can fight effectively on the inside when things get rough or outside where he can be a slick counterpuncher who turns an opponent's aggression against him.

Bradley only seems to get into trouble when he fights outside of himself and gets reckless like he did against Ruslan Provodnikov—in this same arena—and Pacquiao in the rematch.

This fight has flown somewhat under the radar, given the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, Cotto/Canelo negotiations, etc., but it has the potential to be a good scrap between a veteran former champ and a rising star who is looking to take his spot.
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Old 22-06-15, 16:17   #4
 
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Default Re: The Hottest Boxing Storylines-Week Ending 21 June

Did We Learn Anything from Andre Ward's Return?


Alexis Cuarezma/Getty Images



It was great to see Ward, the universally recognized champion at super middleweight and new face of Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports' boxing enterprise, return to the ring after another extended layoff, even if he was fighting two divisions above his best weight.

Ward dominated a completely overmatched Paul Smith, who didn't even seem to make so much as a cursory attempt to make the contracted catchweight, winning by stoppage in the ninth round.

Nothing about this outcome was unexpected, given the massive talent gap between the fighters, but it does put Ward back in position for some of the hugely significant fights that popped up around him during his 19 months out of the ring.

Golovkin makes the most sense, but Sergey Kovalev is also intriguing, particularly if Ward decides to wave goodbye to 168 pounds and campaign just north at light heavyweight.
He's probably going to need to jump on one of those fights if he wants to return to the good graces of his longtime network partners at HBO.

HBO declined to pick up what was a high-priced sparring match against Smith, which instead ended up on BET, and HBO is not likely to commit to Ward again unless it receives some guarantee of a big fight in the near future.

GGG or The Krusher would both fit that demand, but whether or not those fights happen remains to be seen.

Ward hasn't proved to be a big draw, despite his clear and undisputed elite-level skill, but he's a tough negotiator who is unwilling to play second fiddle to anyone. But you could argue that certainly GGG, and possibly even Kovalev, have already surpassed SOG in terms of star power.

And that makes negotiations very tricky.
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Old 22-06-15, 16:19   #5
 
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Default Re: The Hottest Boxing Storylines-Week Ending 21 June

Why Are Floyd and GGG Sniping at Each Other?


Jamie Squire/Getty Images



Let's get this out of the way up front: Mayweather and Golovkin aren't going to fight, nor should they fight.
But, apparently, that's not going to stop the chirping between the sport's pound-for-pound king and the man who is most likely to ascend to that throne once Money inevitably steps down.

Golovkin told TMZ last week that a Mayweather bout would be his "dream fight" and that he was "ready for anybody," including the boxing's undisputed top draw and consensus best fighter.

Mayweather didn't take too long to respond to GGG's somewhat innocuous comments, telling (h/t TMZ): "He [Golovkin] can't beat me. I seen him in his last fight, I didn't even know who that guy was. If I'd have worked with the guy that guy could've beat him."

Mayweather made it clear that he respects Golovkin's accomplishments in the ring but that he doesn't believe the Kazakh destroyer would have a chance of taking his elusive zero.

We can debate this question endlessly.
And we'll do it to no real end.

For this fight to even be a remote possibility, Golovkin would need to drop down at least to 154 pounds—where he's never fought in his professional career—and the weight drain would immediately compromise the competition.
Is it a dream fight?

Maybe.

But like so many other dream fights, it will and should remain that way.
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Old 22-06-15, 16:23   #6
 
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Default Re: The Hottest Boxing Storylines-Week Ending 21 June

Is Lemieux's Win over N'Dam an Early Fight of the Year Contender?


It's a damn shame that the best fight of a loaded boxing weekend will likely turn out to be the least watched.

Lemieux captured the vacant IBF Middleweight Championship with a four-knockdown performance against former champion Hassan N'Dam on Saturday night at the Bell Center in fight-crazed Montreal.

This fight probably got lost in the shuffle of Broner vs. Porter and Ward's return, but fight fans need to check this one out, if for no other reason than to see a future star in Lemieux and N'Dam's otherworldly will and determination.

And if you do, you'll see a fight that absolutely doesn't reflect the lopsided final scores.
Lemieux won by scores of 115-109, 115-109 and 114-110, but that only reflects a 7-5 edge in rounds on two cards and an even fight on the third without the knockdowns.

But there were plenty of those.

Lemieux recently signed a deal with Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions—which is snagged up in court now by a lawsuit from former promoter Yvon Michel—and he rewarded his new boss with a world championship.

The shots he landed might well have been enough to put down any other 160-pound fighter for good, but N'Dam kept getting up and fighting back, despite the brutal nature of the punches he was swallowing. He remained in the fight with a chance to win until the final bell.

The Canadian, who has developed a loyal following in his native Montreal, now holds a nice bargaining chip in the form of the IBF title. He has been mentioned as a possible foe for Golovkin later in the year.

De La Hoya was clear after the fight that he'd be
also expressing an interest in signing N'Dam to a promotional deal.

Golovkin vs. Lemieux would sure promise fireworks for however long it lasts, which, given what we've seen, probably wouldn't be more than a few rounds.
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Old 22-06-15, 16:25   #7
 
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Default Re: The Hottest Boxing Storylines-Week Ending 21 June

Will Oscar Valdez Impress?


Jeff Gross/Getty Images



Oscar Valdez has a huge opportunity Saturday night.
The 24-year-old Mexican featherweight faces veteran journeyman-type fighter Ruben Tamayo on the Bradley-Vargas undercard in a bout that was only recently added to the HBO broadcast.

Valdez, a 2012 Olympian for Mexico, has an impressive resume with 14 of his 15 wins coming inside the distance. His last three fights have been against competition on par with his far more recognizable compatriot, Leo Santa Cruz.

Tamayo isn't a world-beater, and barring something nobody expects, he'll probably get flattened by the powerful and speedy Valdez. Jesus Cuellar knocked out Tamayo in a challenge for an interim world title in December.

This is a good but not great fight—though Tamayo is a step up in class—except in the sense that it gives HBO and Top Rank a chance to showcase a blue-chip prospect that they hope will turn into a future star.

Valdez gets this opportunity largely through the bad luck of Humberto Soto, who saw not one but two fights fall through due to circumstances outside of his control. These are the types of breaks that happen in boxing, and you need to be ready to seize them.
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