The Week That Was (August 19-25, 2013)

By Teron Briggs on August 26, 2013
The Week That Was (August 19-25, 2013)
Gonzalez reclaimed the WBC featherweight title he lost in September 2012. (Naoki Fukuda)

An electric crowd of 7,686 pro-Mares fans cheered on the California-based fighter as he entered the ring with his trademark bandana covering his face…

StubHub Center, Carson, California, USA

Jhonny Be Goode! Gonzalez shocks the boxing world and KOs Mares

“I thought I’d better take care of him now because he could recoup and I didn’t want that to happen,” newly crowned WBC featherweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez (55-8, 47 KOs) told the stunned audience at the StubHub Center and on Showtime after his unexpected first round blowout of the previously undefeated Abner Mares (26-1-1, 14 KOs). Gonzalez reclaimed the WBC title he lost in September of 2012 when he twice knocked down the heavy favorite Mares before referee Jack Reiss waved off the contest at the 2:55 minute mark of the round.

Mares entered the fight as the consensus favorite, not because the 31-year-old Gonzalez was viewed as an over-the-hill former champion, but because the 27-year-old young lion was considered that good. Over the last three years, the former Mexican Olympian had bested some of the most elite fighters in the bantamweight and featherweight divisions, as he collected three titles and became one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.

An electric crowd of 7,686 pro-Mares fans cheered on the California-based fighter as he entered the ring with his trademark bandanna covering his face. Thanks to an active schedule of fights on the West Coast, engineered by his promoter Golden Boy, Mares has been built into quite the attraction. This wasn’t the first time the two men had stared across the ring at one another; in 2006, Gonzalez brought in a then-untested 20-year-old Mares to spar with him when the older man was the WBO bantamweight titleholder. Coming into Saturday’s fight their fortunes had changed dramatically since then as Mares entered off a ninth round TKO in April over Daniel Ponce De Leon, the same man who stopped Gonzalez last year to take his WBC belt.

As both fighters tried to establish their rhythm Gonzalez struck first, landing a massive left hook that caught Mares squarely on his chin, removing his legs from underneath him, and dropping him to the canvas. The champion, now visibly hurt, got to his feet and attempted to turn the tide as he furiously flung punches at his former sparring partner with just seconds to go in the round. Gonzalez, who had 46 knockouts in his previous 62 fights, didn’t let Mares escape as he cracked him several more times with left hooks that eventually knocked Mares flat on his back. As he lifted up his head from the canvas, with eyes as glassy as Dina Lohan after a night at an open bar, referee Jack Reiss called an immediate halt to the fight.

“He beat me. He was the better man. When I got up I wasn’t hurt in my head, but my legs were not there,” a humble Mares said after suffering the first loss of his career. Mares has an immediate rematch clause in his contract that he can enforce, but after such a brutal knockout don’t be surprised to see him take some time off and come back against an easier opponent. For Gonzalez, who called the knockout victory “the single greatest and most glorious moment of my life,” Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer has already said if Mares opts not to fight him, he would love to match him against decorated amateur, but unproven professional Gary Russell Jr. Russell doesn’t have one notable name on his record in 23 professional fights, so I don’t see what he’s done to earn a title shot.

Santa Cruz crushes Terrazas to claim his IBF bantamweight title

Leo “Terremoto” Santa Cruz (25-0-1, 15 KOs) recorded the most spectacular victory of his career when he stopped now former IBF titleholder Victor Terrazas (37-3-1, 21 KOs) in the third round of their brawl. The 25-year-old rising star, fighting out of Rosemead, CA, inflicted a brutal beating on Terrazas before the bout was stopped and he was awarded the second world title in his career.

Neither fighter was interested in feeling out the other as both guys came out throwing hard shots as soon as the first round bell rang. Santa Cruz, who always seems as composed as Michael Corleone, methodically traded with Terrazas who tried desperately to make him uncomfortable. As Santa Cruz employed nifty footwork he began to pick apart Terrazas, causing a welt under the latter’s right eye. By the start of round three, that welt had quickly grown into unsightly swelling that was completely closing the eye. As Terrazas attempted to block the oncoming shots, Santa Cruz angled a left hook that went around his gloves and landed on his face, dropping him to the canvas. The game but overmatched champion got up but started to absorb a tremendous amount of punishment. A right hand on the side of the head forced Terrazas to take a knee. While administering the count veteran referee Lou Moret was told by the champion that he could no longer see out of his eye, forcing the fight to be stopped.

Terrazas hadn’t lost since 2010 before this one-sided knockout. At only 30, with some notable wins in his career, he should be able to fight himself into contention for another title. Santa Cruz was being mentioned as a possible opponent for Mares, before the events of the night unfolded. That bout obviously won’t happen now, but expect to see Terremoto in a marquee matchup next.


Best Buy Theater, New York, New York, USA

Brooklyn middleweight Jacobs scores highlight reel knockout over Lorenzo

The man nicknamed “Miracle Man,” because he beat spinal cancer that nearly left him permanently paralyzed, Danny Jacobs (26-1, 23 KOs) nearly decapitated longtime contender Giovanni Lorenzo (32-6, 24 KOs) when he stretched him out face first in the third round of their 10-round bout.

Fighting in the main event of the first ever Golden Boy Live boxing card on Fox Sports 1, Jacobs dominated the former two-time title challenger. Lorenzo had faced some of the toughest fighters in the division and came up short, but he had never been stopped in 37 professional bouts. A vicious Jacobs’ right hand landed on the side of Lorenzo’s head, nearly snapping it off his shoulders, and dropped him to the canvas face first. The Brooklyn-based Dominican Republic native, tried to get up but collapsed, causing referee Steve Willis to stop the bout. Prior to the knockout, Jacobs did a great job of utilizing his rangy jab to soften up Lorenzo before connecting with his power shots.

With the knockout loss, Lorenzo has now officially slipped below contender level. Jacobs gained his most notable victory since he returned from a 19-month hiatus from the ring between 2011 and 2012 as he battled cancer. He is on the cusp of a title shot if he can secure another notable win or two.


Sport and Congress Center, Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

Pulev wins IBF heavyweight eliminator over Tony Thompson

“I still have a lot of work to do as I need to get better for this challenge,” Bulgarian heavyweight Kubrat Pulev (18-0, 9 KOs) said after defeating Tony Thompson (38-4, 26 KOs) to earn a mandatory shot for the IBF belt.

Thompson, who twice lost by knockout when challenging for Wladimir Klitschko’s IBF belt, was arguably the best fighter the 32-year-old Pulev has faced as a professional. Thompson entered the bout following his two upset knockout wins over the heavily hyped British prospect David Price.

After allowing the American Thompson to take some of the early rounds, Pulev gradually pulled away from the 41-year-old DC native to win the final rounds in decisive fashion. Pulev was awarded a unanimous decision by scores of 116-112, 118-110 and 117-111.

Thompson is a durable southpaw with good power who could continue on as a contender if he chooses. Pulev’s last three opponents prior Saturday’s fight had a combined record of 95-4, so no one can argue that he hasn’t earned a title shot. However, if that shot is against Wladimir Klitschko, who defends his three titles against Alexander Povetkin in October, he’s going to need a Danny Jacobs type miracle and not just “work” to win.

Abraham earns a decision in a tougher than expected tune-up

Former two-division champion Arthur Abraham (37-4, 28 KOs) is a shell of the fearsome fighter who tore through the middleweight division a few years back, but he had enough in the tank to beat Willbeforce Shihepo (20-7, 15 KOs) at the Sport and Congress Center in Germany.

Shihepo somehow earned a top ten ranking in the WBO super middleweight division by beating a bunch of unknown, unranked and untested fighters in his native Namibia. Abraham rarely punched in combinations, as he was content to cover up and fight in spots, while Shihepo simply threw away too many early rounds. Scorecards read 116-113, 116-112, and 117-111 after twelve rounds.

If Abraham’s people don’t cash him out soon with a marquee fight, possibly a third match with WBO titleholder Robert Stieglitz, he could very well end up losing to a no-name opponent.


Turning Stone Resort and Casino, Verona, NY, USA

Mendez retains IBF title with majority draw in a good scrap

In the final installment of ESPN Friday Night Fights for 2013, Argenis Mendez (21-2-1, 11 KOs) battled to a majority draw with tough challenger Arash Usmanee (20-1-1, 10 KOs). The judges scored the fight 115-113 for Usmanee and 114-114 twice.

By the later rounds of this action fight, first time promoter “Iron” Mike Tyson could barely contain himself in his seat, as the two fighters tried to beat each other senseless. Mendez, the more skilled and accurate puncher, effectively countered the hard-charging Usmanee for most of the fight but ate a fair amount of leather over twelve rounds. Usmanee had his best success when he bullied the taller man into the ropes and threw bombs from every imaginable angle. Mendez eventually used his feet to defend himself, as his side-to-side movements made it more difficult for the fundamental, come-forward Usmanee to land clean shots.

Though ESPN color commentator Teddy Atlas had the bout scored very favorably for Mendez, he bashed the judges for doing a poor job scoring the contest. I thought it was a pretty even fight that Mendez won by two or three points. Both fighters have exciting styles that will almost certainly have them featured on network television again, especially the IBF super featherweight champion Mendez.

Cuellar cries tears of joy after earning decision to win WBA featherweight title

Argentinean Jesus Marcelo Andres Cuellar (23-1, 18 KOs) earned the most notable victory of his career when he won a unanimous decision over previously undefeated Claudio Marrero (14-1, 11 KOs). The judges scored in favor of Cuellar 115-112, 114-113 and 116-111. With the victory, Cuellar became the WBA interim featherweight titleholder.

The two featherweights fought at a whirlwind pace for 12 rounds. Marrero, who was the house fighter and fights under the Iron Mike Promotions banner, wasn’t able to dig as deep as the hungrier Cuellar. Though Marrero possessed the faster hands and higher ring IQ, he allowed the brutish Cuellar to turn it into a dogfight. In the end, Cuellar had the bigger bite as he dropped Marrero in the sixth round and rightfully earned the decision.

In the ring afterwards, Cuellar cried tears of joy as he embraced his equally ecstatic cornermen. There are few things in the sport more touching than watching a man be engulfed by emotion after a hard fought victory.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Recap: Abner Mares vs. Jhonny Gonzalez & Victor Terrazas vs. Leo Santa Cruz - SHOWTIME Boxing



2013 08 19 Daniel Jacobs vs Giovanni Lorenzo



Kubrat Pulev Кубрат Пулев vs. Tony Thompson



abraham vs shihepo.russia 2



Argenis Mendez vs. Arash Ushmanee



Jesus Cuellar vs. Claudio Marrero



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  1. Bodyshots 08:13am, 08/31/2013

    i’m not surprised that Mares invoked his rematch clause. his entire M.O. has been to seek-out and challenge the best competition. it’s only logical that he would eagerly seek to redeem his first loss. i’m also not surprised that Gonzalez will reciprocate. neither of these ring-warriors have ever exhibited any fear of risk or losing. as Mares himself stated, “I didn’t get into Boxing to remain undefeated. I got into boxing to face the best”. spoken and adhered too like a true ring-warrior.

  2. Bk Don 12:36pm, 08/29/2013

    I have to say, i’m surprised to see that Mares has decided to enforce his rematch clause and will be fight Jhonny in Dec or Jan. whoaahhh!

  3. Bk Don 09:10am, 08/29/2013

    Thank you Irish Frankie!

  4. Ted 06:40pm, 08/27/2013

    Arghhh

  5. Clarence George 02:44pm, 08/27/2013

    Ha!  Don’t worry about it.  You’ve obviously been traumatized by some ghastly (and how could it not be?) opera-going experience.  I empathize, believe me.  We’ve all been dragged to at least one “culture, culture, culture!” venue by some interfering female woman.

  6. Ted 02:29pm, 08/27/2013

    GOT ME! Rats!

  7. Clarence George 02:24pm, 08/27/2013

    The opera?

  8. thresher 02:14pm, 08/27/2013

    This is from the Sweet Science article:

    “From what has been posted on most reliable platforms, Morrison is battling Miller Fisher Syndrome/Guillain Barre Syndrome and not HIV/AIDS as most media and fans assumed. According to Fightnews.com, Miller Fisher Syndrome/Guillain Barre Syndrome is a very rare nervous disease that causes abnormal muscle coordination, paralysis of the eye muscles, absence of the tendon reflexes, muscle weakness and respiratory failure. A largely unknown disease, it has touched the sports world before as former NFL quarterback Danny Wuerffel suffered the same diagnosis a few years back and was successfully treated.”

    “The only thing that can be said for certain is that Tommy Morrison is going through a tough patch in his life and hopefully everything will work out for him in due time..”.

    What are these “most reliable [platforms?” Not questioning Frank’s credibility but I want to see sources before I conclude that Morrison is not suffering from AIDS.

  9. Ted 02:07pm, 08/27/2013

    Here is the article from the Sweet Science: But the author relies on an article from another site. WTF!

    http://www.thesweetscience.com/news/articles/17136—tommy-morrison-dont-ever-question-his-character-or-constitution

  10. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:36am, 08/27/2013

    “are” BS free!

  11. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:35am, 08/27/2013

    Teron Briggs-Great reporting….I really enjoy these roundups….you have a keen eye and your take aways on BS free!

  12. Ted 04:56am, 08/27/2013

    I did say, “....depending on what article you choose to believe…”


    Somehow I can’t see him on a ventilator gasping out his last breaths but the articles are all over the place so who really knows.

  13. Clarence George 02:52am, 08/27/2013

    Just about everything needs to be taken with a grain of salt, but Frank Lotierzo over at The Sweet Science writes that Morrison is suffering from Miller Fisher syndrome.  I did some research:

    “Miller Fisher syndrome is a rare, acquired nerve disease that is considered to be a variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome. It is characterized by abnormal muscle coordination, paralysis of the eye muscles, and absence of the tendon reflexes. Like Guillain-Barré syndrome, symptoms may be preceded by a viral illness. Additional symptoms include generalized muscle weakness and respiratory failure. The majority of individuals with Miller Fisher syndrome have a unique antibody that characterizes the disorder.

    “Treatment for Miller Fisher syndrome is identical to treatment for Guillain-Barré syndrome: intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) or plasmapheresis (a procedure in which antibodies are removed from the blood) and supportive care.

    “The prognosis for most individuals with Miller Fisher syndrome is good. In most cases, recovery begins within 2 to 4 weeks of the onset of symptoms, and may be almost complete within 6 months. Some individuals are left with residual deficits. Relapses may occur rarely (in less than 3 percent of cases).”

    Worth lighting a candle for Tommy.

  14. Ted 05:50pm, 08/26/2013

    FD, Leo Santa Cruz looks like Margo!

  15. Dr. YouTube 05:49pm, 08/26/2013

    http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/9588582/tommy-morrison-latest-big-fight

  16. Ted 02:52pm, 08/26/2013

    BTW, Speaking of John Wayne, I see where Tommy The Duke Morrison is on death’s bed depending on what article you choose to believe. Full blown AIDS seems to have caught up with him but it seems strange that it would take this long. Maybe Larry Link will post something on this later.

  17. FrankinDallas 02:45pm, 08/26/2013

    I could be wrong about Mares’ chin, but you got to admit….he’s a Khan look-a-like.

  18. bk don 02:38pm, 08/26/2013

    I really almost got in a tear in my eye from that one, Ted. Those guys give soo much of themselves in the ring, in training and w/their health it’s good to see them rewarded. FranklinDallas I really beg to differ with you man. When you look at Mares’ recent stiff competition and the fact he was only knocked down once, in the fight w/Vic, and he’s fought most of those guys for 10 or 12 rds you can’t compare his chin to Khan. To me, that’s why the 1st ko was so shocking. Marrero’s technique def was suspect by the end, but i thought that had to do w/the punishment he was taking and fatigue.

  19. Ted 02:37pm, 08/26/2013

    Geezuz!

  20. FrankinDallas 02:30pm, 08/26/2013

    Wayne had it twice….he beat it once and lost once.
    Record of 1-1.

  21. Ted 02:18pm, 08/26/2013

    No, Wayne didn’t beat it FD. He lost.

  22. FrankinDallas 01:46pm, 08/26/2013

    Danny Jacobs is like John Wayne..he beat the Big C!

    Mares not only looks just like Amir Khan, his chin is just as vulnerable.

    Props to Marrero, but man he was winging wild shots. Should be easy to counterpunch him.

  23. Ted 12:47pm, 08/26/2013

    Teddy Atlas says Danny Jacobs is really not a KO type of hitter. WTF. He looks like a KO artist to me.

  24. Ted 08:25am, 08/26/2013

    Leo “Terremoto” Santa Cruz is NOW a star. No longer rising. He is here and established as an active and exciting killing machine.

  25. Ted 07:29am, 08/26/2013

    “There are few things in the sport more touching than watching a man be engulfed by emotion after a hard fought victory.” I just might steal this one, Teron.