Sweet Science Scene: Titles change hands, drama abounds, just another week in boxing

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Welcome back to another week of the Sweet Science Scene and it’s been a real interesting week, to say the least.

There has been fight confirmations and the avoidance of purse bids. We have seen fights announced as well. We also have a bad decision in a fight, haggling over fight dates, and we have seen a new unified heavyweight champion crowned. It’s been a great week and it began with what can be a great few months to end the year for the Sweet Science.

Sweet Science Fight of the Week

In a great atmosphere in Tottenham, England, the unified heavyweight championship was up for grabs as Oleksandr Usyk challenged reigning champion, Anthony Joshua. Not only was the fight a great one, but challenger Usyk left the UK with Joshua’s belts — much to the chagrin of English Sweet Science fans.

oleksandr usyk sweet science scene
Image: Getty Images

It was something that Usyk has regularly done in traveling to his opponent’s country and beating them. In this fight it was an early jump out by Usyk and then a response from Joshua that had the crowd hyped. The second half of the fight really belonged to Usyk as he pulled away and closed the 12th round with a barrage of shots as the bell rang. The scorecards read (117-112,116-112, 115-113) all in favor of Usyk who has shot back up the pound for pound lists. Joshua has stated he will activate his rematch clause, so we will see Usyk vs. Joshua again.

The undercard of Joshua-Usyk brought some memorable moments. First, there was former super middleweight champion Callum Smith landing possibly the knockout of the year in his light heavyweight debut against Lenin Castillo. Smith announced his presence in the division, but attention quickly went to Castillo for how his body shook once he hit the canvas. Castillo was sent to the hospital but was released and cleared. WBO cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie made his statement by body shot knockout. The controversy on this card came as Campbell Hatton son of the legendary Ricky Hatton was somehow given a victory. Hatton was consistently hit throughout the fight and though the fight was good most observers believed he lost. He took on Sonni Martinez and was awarded the victory. The crazy thing is nobody believed he won, but everyone seemed to believe he would be rewarded with the decision. Just another night in the Sweet Science, I am afraid.

Lopez vs. Kambosos drama heats up Sweet Science Scene

sweet science Teofimo Lopez

In the continuing drama that is Teofimo Lopez against George Kambosos the fight again is in flux. In this instance Triller which won the purse bid after originally placing it at the Hulu Theater at MSG then wanted to move it over to the Barclays Center on October 16th moved from October 4th. Lopez had signed off on it and Kambosos has not and now MSG took the event off their site of events. This fight has seemed doomed from the get-go. At first, Lopez couldn’t agree with his promoter Top Rank on the money so the fight went to Triller who has had issues putting it on. June 5th to June 19th and nowhere in October coming with this attempted move. For both fighters, it’s been bad as they have had their careers and lives on hold and for Lopez all the momentum from his big win versus Vasiliy Lomanchenko last year has dropped. Here’s to hoping it gets done right and both go on their way and Sweet Science fans can move on as well.

Sweet Science Quick Hits

  • In the ShoBox main event this past weekend Saul Sanchez took on took on the favored Ja’rico O’Quinn and delivered the performance of his career. Sanchez landed a left hook in the fight and dropped O’Quinn and followed up with a nonstop assault that included two more knockdowns which led to the fight being stopped. It was a big win for Sanchez as he improved to (17-1 10 KOs) and entered his name for fights in the bantamweight division.
  • The long-discussed matchup between Jaime Munguia and Gabriel Rosado has been set. The pair will meet November 13th and will be promoted by Golden Boy and distributed by DAZN. It will provide Munguia with a real solid test and Rosado a chance to give himself another run at a title. A sweet science gem folks will look forward to.
  • Jamal James (27-1, 12 KOs) will take on James Butaev (13-0, 10 KOs) in a Showtime main event October 30th. In the co-feature Jarron “Boots” Ennis (27-0, 25 KOs) will take on veteran Thomas Dulorme (25-5-1, 16 KOs) in a match for Ennis that will provide more test as he continues to rise.
  • October 30th will be a busy day for the Sweet Science as that same day 140-pound contender Jose Zepeda will take Josue Vargas as both men look to place themselves in the mix for a title shot. Zepeda looks to hold court and possibly challenge Josh Taylor or be in line if the titles become vacant while Vargas looks to make his mark and stamp himself as a contender.
  • In a purse bid avoided for the WBA super junior lightweight title Roger Gutierrez and Chris Colbert were able to come to a deal. The teams were able to agree to the match and avoid a Purse bid.
  • In a purse bid that went through Top Rank beat out TGB for the rights to hold the WBC light heavyweight championship match between Artur Beterbiev and Marcus Browne. The date has not been announced but the fight should be happening.

Not to be Rueda…but

Let me say this in the nicest possible way to those talking down on Anthony Joshua. Shut all the way up. Joshua is not a fraud nor a hype job he has taken on the best and has been the unified champion for years and the hate I’ve seen from not just fans, but some Sweet Science media is appalling. Joshua is a fighter who has tested himself and gave it his all and because he has a couple of losses on his record now it does not mean he is a fraud or a hype job. This social media era of boxing has given many people a platform and voice when a lot of them don’t deserve one. A fighter losing a few fights means nothing. The greatest most revered fighters in the Sweet Science have all had losses in their careers. The fact that I have seen two sites who are known in the boxing world disrespect Joshua by calling him a fraud or a choke artist is an embarrassment and the fans who have tried to discredit Joshua as well. We really must do better a loss does not drop a fighter in class and it definitely doesn’t mean they are frauds, and we also don’t need to put down one fighter to try and lift up another. Let’s do better and to this media clowns very simply put shame on you.