Well, the Sweet Science is the gift that always gives. This week there have been discussions, contract talk on Twitter, title changes hands and a fighter pull out. Also, a family of some heavyweight legends left their mark over the weekend.
Shakur Stevenson, a fighter lauded for his talent and skill, put everything together Saturday night. Stevenson took on reigning WBO Junior Lightweight champion Jamel Herring and put forth his best effort as a pro. Stevenson was the aggressor from the onset and never let up. Even when Herring began to come on and start to land a bit and possibly take some mid-rounds, Stevenson pressed forward.
As the fight progressed it was apparent that Stevenson was ahead it was a question if the fight would be stopped as Herring was getting hit, but never looked on the verge of going down. In round 10 with blood streaming from the corner of Herring’s eye and Stevenson throwing blows, the ref jumped in and waved it off to award Stevenson a TKO victory.
This fight appears to be the coming-out party as Stevenson has etched his name among the best young fighters in the sport. In Herring’s case, he could possibly move up to lightweight and challenge for a title there as they are more than likely soon to be vacant, stay at 130, or possibly retire as Herring did earn a career-high payday. Herring is nothing but class and gave Stevenson plenty of praise following the fight. The question for Stevenson is now will he get the fight he truly wants with WBC Junior Lightweight champion Oscar Valdez?
Teofimo Lopez and George Kambosos finally have a date and venue for the lightweight title match. The Sweet Science matchup will be on Nov. 27 from the Hulu Theater in New York. This fight has been on-again, off-again this entire year. It seems now the saga will finally give us a fight. The card will be streamed by DAZN and put on by Matchroom Boxing. If Lopez wins most believe he will move up and possibly challenge super lightweight undisputed champion, Josh Taylor, next year. If Kambosos pulls the upset, then he may take on possibly Devin Haney should Haney get by JoJo Diaz.
The new world title presented by the WBC the Bridgerweight belt has its first owner. Oscar Rivas defeated Ryan Rozicki in a slugfest by unanimous decision (116-11, 115-112×2) to become the first Bridgerweight title. The belt was created as a gap between the big and small heavyweights. The irony here was that Rivas outweighed Rozicki by 19 pounds, but it doesn’t take away from how good the fight was. The legitimacy of how fighters will take this is yet to be seen, but the first title fight was a good one. Winners abound thanks to another good one for Sweet Science fans
Sweet Science quick hits
- The heavyweight tilt due to take place between Dillian Whyte and Otto Wallin is no more following Whyte suffering a shoulder injury. Whyte suffered the injury and was advised to not go forward with the fight and now Wallin is left without nothing as many suspect Whyte will move on to a match with Tyson Fury.
- Super Middleweight fighter Edgar Berlanga underwent surgery on his left biceps. Berlanga injured it in his last fight and has cost him the opportunity to participate in a fight Dec. 11. Berlanga will be sidelined at least three months and hopes to return in early 2022.
- Yordenis Ugas was hoping to have a fight with Errol Spence Jr once Spence was cleared to return. Spence is cleared to resume training Nov. 1, but the WBA told Ugas he must participate in their four-man tournament or lose his belt. Ugas is understandably upset by this as he wanted to go into his big match up in a three-belt unification but must now wait.
- Undisputed super lightweight champion Josh Taylor suffered a knee injury and has had his title defense postponed. Taylor was due to face Jack Catterall on Dec. 18 and the fight will now move to Feb 26.
- On the Herring vs. Stevenson undercard, a young Puerto Rican prospect continued his ascent up the ranks with a TKO Victory. Nico Ail Walsh, grandson of Muhammad Ali, won by second round stoppage and Evan Holyfield son of Evander Holyfield won by knockout in round two. Having another Ali in the ranks certainly brightens up the Sweet Science — no matter how you slice it.
- This weekend’s cards should be interesting as Jose Zepeda takes on Josue Vargas in a possible crossroads matchup on ESPN plus. On Showtime, there will be a three-bout card headlined by Jamal James taking on Radzhab Butaev. My eyes are on Jarron “Boots” Ennis Thomas Dulorme as Ennis continue his rise. Earlier on Saturday on this side of the pond DAZN will have a card headline by Chantelle Cameron and Mary McGee in a women’s junior welterweight unification as part of a tournament. Those cards all possess some interesting fights and expect fireworks.
Not to be Rueda…. but
We need to stop anointing Sweet Science fighters before they truly arrive or do something, and we need to stop trashing a fighter for a loss. The sweet science in this era of social media has a habit of one fighter having a loss or some tough outings and suddenly, they are a hype job or exposed.
Then we have fighters building up their records against limited opposition and fans claiming them to be the next best thing and if you don’t agree then you’re a hater. We need to let fighters grow against the right opposition before we crown them and a fighter testing themselves against another fighter and suffering a loss does not mean they are hype or fake things happen.
I’m tired of the Sweet Science social media fans telling me that these fighters are God’s gift only to see them struggle and they say it was an off night. Then we see them chastise a good fighter for taking a test and suddenly, their trash. Fairweather fans run a much and it needs to stop.