Last night’s Friday Night Fights featured two 8 found middle weight matches as part of a boxing tournament (Boxcino). But to me: the (scheduled for 6 round) heavyweight match prior to these fights (which WERE good) stole the show. Nate Heaven was an underdog to Donovan Dennis and Dennis appeared to be winning round 1 when this happened.
The middle weights: yes, Brandon Adams beat Raymond Gatica by a split decision which, well, puzzled me. On my card, I had it 79-71 Adams (too many big shots) but the judges had it: 78-74, 78-74 Adams (which I could understand; some rounds WERE close) and one had it…77-75 for Gatica (????)
In the second bout, Willie Monroe “upset” the favored Vitalii Kopylenko (not sure why Kopylenko was favored); I too had this one 79-71 for the winner. The judges saw it 79-73, 79-73, 78-74. These scores, IMHO, were more reasonable. Kopylenko did land a couple of very hard shots but was mostly beaten to the punch all night long.
I did a short “live blog” of the fight here.
You can read other accounts of the fight
When Chambers would come in punching range, Mchunu would pot shot him with jabs, right hands and straight lefts. Mchunu looked like a heavier, more muscular version of Floyd Mayweather Jr. with the way that he was able to dominate Chambers with pot shots and counter punches all night long.
Chambers looked frustrated in the second half of the fight, as he kept getting nailed by Mchunu fast shots over and over again, and there was nothing he could do about it because he didn’t have the hand speed or the skills to compete against the little known Mchunu.
This Mchunu looks for real at cruiserweight.
Mchunu (14-1, 10 KO) won on scores of 99-91, 99-91, and 97-93, the latter score closer than anyone else had it that I was able to see on Twitter or on the site here. BLH had it 100-90 for Mchunu, finding no pity rounds to give Chambers (36-4, 18 KO).
The 31-year-old Chambers just never got out of the starting blocks in this one, as he looked bewildered by the southpaw counter-puncher from South Africa, as if he had no real game plan and was just there to wing it and see what happened. Several theories were offered during the fight: Chambers’ usual speed advantage was gone, Chambers didn’t know how to fight a southpaw, Chambers ate bad Subway pulled pork, #FAMJUICE is definitely not a PED, and so on, but really, he just got outboxed and outfought for the entire fight.
Mchunu had hardly any trouble in keeping the experienced American at bay and picked his punches well throughout. Rated seventh by the WBC, Mchunu probably put himself in line for more lucrative bouts against good opponents.
He improved his professional record to 14-1, with 10 knockouts. Chambers dropped to 36-3, including 18 short-cut wins.
The 31-year-old American had fought the likes of Samuel Peter, Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin. He fought at heavyweight for most of his 13 years as a professional but recently dropped to the cruiserweight division.
Mchunu, a 24-year-old southpaw, had never fought outside South Africa before taking part in this Fight Night tournament.
Chambers lost to Klitschko and Adamek in his previous three fights and had been inactive since June last year. But he was expected to use his height and reach advantages to beat the little-known South African.
If one wants to look at all aspects of this fight, one has to give Mchunu credit for a fine performance. He was very well prepared and he shone; he fought a very smart, disciplined fight.
But I am approaching this as a Chambers follower/fan.
So here is my fan’s opinion (which, by definition is probably a mostly uninformed one):
Here is what went wrong: (follow for the first 2 minutes):
Wait: this was over 3 years ago, right? (March 2010)
In my opinion: Chambers was 35-1 coming into that fight, with just a UD loss to Alexander Povetkin. Losing to Klitschko made him 35-2. Then, after recovery, he had a sort-of lackluster (but earned) UD vs. Derric Rossy (a guy he had previously knocked out) and a controversial UD loss to Tomasz Adamek; Chambers tore a bicep muscle early in the fight and fought on anyway, and in my opinion (and in the opinion of other observers), actually out landed Adamek (causing visible damage) but lost on the score cards because Adamek was busier.
In short, Chambers has lost 3 of his last 4 fights, albeit to top competition (current champion, past champion and top ten contender, top ten contender).
But, it appears to me that he has lost something; 40 professional heavyweight fights vs. people like Sam Peter, Wladimir Klitschko, Tomasz Adamek, Alexander Povetkin and Alexander Dimitrenko will take something out of you.
I wonder if it is time for him to start thinking about *owning* a gym rather than training in it; right now his mind appears to work pretty well. He has had an excellent career.
As far as last night’s fight: Chambers has got some rather negative remarks on the social media.
This reminds me (vaguely) of what happened to me my freshman year at the Naval Academy. I had wrestled in high school and had beaten a couple of other guys who wrestled in high school. So when I took the “place out of PE wrestling” test, I was matched against someone who was recruited for the wrestling team and who had WON varsity matches as a freshman.
When I went against him: total joke. I’d try a move and …he wasn’t there anymore…he was constantly a step (or two or three!) ahead of me the entire time. I looked pathetic; as if I had never wrestled a day in my life. I failed the “place out test”.
The two guys that I had beaten (easily): they wrestled each other and BOTH placed out. Later, I wrestled both again, and had no problems; I could beat them. But I couldn’t beat a ghost.
Obviously, last night’s professional fight was at a much, much, much higher level, but I know the feeling of making a move (punch in this case) and the target being long gone and ready to counter. You get frustrated, tentative and discouraged, and that is what I saw last night.
Round one: boxers feeling each other out; both land jabs; Mchunu landed the harder shots. 10-9 Mchunu, but it was close.
Round two: not much; both fighters are cautious but Mchunu landed a bit more. 10-9 Mchunu.
Comment: it appears as if Chambers is surprised at how quick Mchunu is. No one has gotten hurt.
Round three: like the first two. 10-9 Mchunu.
Comment: it is weird to see Chambers in the ring with someone that is quicker than he is. But that appears to be the case, at least so far.
Round four: just like the first 3. 10-9 Mchunu. It is cat/mouse; not a lot of exchanges and very few connects by either fighter. Chambers doesn’t look comfortable, at all.
I hate to say it, but this looks like a fighter on his way up versus one on his way down.
Round Five: crowd boos; Chambers falls further behind. He appears to be in with someone who is too quick for him, at least too quick to fight this style. Can he brawl?
But after 5: 50-45 Mchunu.
After 6: Chambers is getting frustrated and Mchunu is taking advantage. Again, no real damage but Mchunu is landing more. 60-54.
Chambers needs knockdowns or a knock out; he needs to take risks.
After 7: nothing changed. 70-63 Mchunu. Again, the punch difference is maybe 6-7 more per round. No one is hurt, but Mchunu is outlanding him.
Round 8: same old. Chambers can’t land; Mchunu counterpunches. 80-72.
The speed advantage that Chambers is used to having is gone; it might be the drop in weight division, and it might be…age.
Round 9: 90-81. Not close at all; Chambers is not hurt but is getting outboxed. Then again, this is his 40′th fight…and he hasn’t really been the same after the Klitschko knock-out.
Round 10: same. I have it 100-90, Mchunu.
Chambers: he trained and he tried. But this is his 40′th professional fight and he is in his 30′s; unless there is something going on that we don’t know about, he is on the downside of his career.
But he has had an excellent career.
Official scores: 97-93, 99-91, 99-91. Oh Eddie, you had a rough night. But it takes guts to put it all on the line for all to see and you did that.
(title was shamelessly stolen from a comment made by Redscout3 at youtube)
Note: my back is a bit more sore than normal. I have to stretch it really well; perhaps do some yoga and a light jog.
I slept in a bit and didn’t start walking until 8:30 am. I walked the lunch course plus two 3 mile Cornstalk out-and-backs. There was some traffic but not that much. The cicadas (perennial ones) were singing their hearts out.
Speaking of athletics: here is a biochemistry professor’s discussion of latic acid and endurance.
Note: I am watching Olympic boxing on television; I am shocked that the referees got a call right.
Well, the judges just made a questionable call…again in a Satoshi Shimizu fight. This time I thought that is opponent Mohamed Ouadahi (from Algeria) won…but the score was 17-15 and his opponent got a 2 point penalty. But then again, this was an opinion and not gross incompetence.
I just watched a good fight between BETERBIEV from Russia and Usyk of the Ukraine. Usyk won though I had Beterbiev winning on my card. Interestingly, Usyk nailed Beterbiev with a body shot that resulted in an 8 count (like a knockdown) but then….got a warning from the referee? The action in the ring was pretty good though.
The Perlata (Argentina) vs. Pulev (Bulgaria) match was good; somehow Pulev got the decision though Perlata nailed him with repeated bodyshots in the last round. I had Perlata winning…go figure.
Now we had ANOTHER crappy decision….
Another note: The boxing association overturned a verdict against American Errol Spence; his Indian opponent held him repeatedly and wasn’t called for it. Spence advances to the next round and has an excellent chance at a medal.
Magomed Abdulhamidov was knocked down SIX times by Satoshi Shimizu in the last round alone, but was never given a single count. He was only told to get up. After the fight, he had to be helped to the dressing area. Yet he was “given” the victory.
Fortunately the Japanese team filed a protest and the protest was correctly upheld; Shimizu should have been given a knock-out win after the third knock down.
Frankly, I think that the referee should have stopped the fight after the second knock-down, but what the heck.
See the above link for more photos.
There are more videos and stories here.
In other action, Joseph Diaz fought well against World Champion Lazaro Alvarez but lost a decision that I thought was too wide; the judges gave Alvarez a 4 point win in round 2 that I just didn’t see. I can see Alvarez getting the decision, but this was a grueling, competitive fight.
There were a couple of other questionable decisions:
Iran’s Ali Mazaheri cried foul when the heavyweight was disqualified after being warned three times for persistent holding against Cuban Jose Larduet Gomez despite leading by two points going into the second round.
I really didn’t see much that warranted Mazaheri getting DQ’ed.
Then: superheavyweight Joshua Anthony was given a decision against Cuban Erislandy Savon that I didn’t quite understand. Anthony was head by 2 points going into the final round which Savon won by one point; on my card Savon won the last 2 rounds by 3-4 punches each.
Also in the super heavyweights, Zhang Zhilei of China knocked out Johan Linde of Australia with a huge right hook to the head. Zhilei can hit.
Workout notes: walked to the gym; ran 2 miles on the treadmill (21 minutes), then ran 2 more on the track: 16:18 (8:24, 7:53) Ok, the second mile was 1 second slower than last week, though the overall time was 10 seconds faster. (this equates to about a 26:08 5K, but I did this run solo). I then walked .5 miles and ran 2.5 more (10:30 pace)
Then I went outside to walk 3 more miles to get to 10 total.
I am enjoying the Olympic boxing matches.
However, these are scored differently from the professional matches that I currently watch and used to watch.
In a recent light heavyweight boxing match, US boxer Marcus Browne had a lead going into the final round, but was overcome in the last round to lose 13-11 to Australian Damien Hooper.
The Olympic matches are NOT scored on a round by round basis. Basically, when the five judges think that a scoring blow has been landed, they click a button for the boxer. Then at the end of the round, the “3 similar” scores are tabulated and averaged and that is the score at the end of the round. If no 3 scores are “similar”, then the high and low scores are discarded and the middle 3 are averaged and rounded.
In other words, individual punches are what are scored.
On the other hand, the professional matches are currently scored on a “10 point must” system; that is, the winner of a round gets 10 points and the loser gets 9 or fewer (ties are allowed). Typically, 3 judges score the fight round by round in this manner and typically, if there is a knockdown (or standing 8 count), the judges will score the round 10-8. Or, if one boxer is unusually dominant in a round (say, has the other boxer in serious trouble), then the round might be scored 10-8.
So which system is “more fair”?
We’ll lets see. Suppose we have a professional system and the blue boxer barely wins the first two rounds, only to see the red boxer dominate in round 3..but fail to score a knock down. Then under professional rules, the blue boxer wins 29-28; the extra dominance of the red boxer in the third round could not overcome the first two rounds.
On the other hand, in the Olympic system, the blue boxer won the first 2 rounds by, say, 3-2 each and therefore had a 6-4 lead going into round 3. But then the red boxer dominates and wins the last round 4-1; that gives the red boxer a well deserved 8-7 win.
On the other hand: Suppose red and blue are tied going into the final round. Then during the round, the blue boxer lands 4 decent but unspectacular jabs. The red boxer lands, say, 2 jabs but then lands a crushing hook which drops the blue boxer but doesn’t knock him out.
Under Olympic rules, the blue boxer wins the last round 4-3 and wins the fight. But under professional rules, the red boxer wins the round 10-8, which means a 29-27 victory (assuming it was 19-19 going into the 3′rd round). The professional outcome is clearly more fair in this case.
So which system is better, or is there a perfect system?
The answer is….neither is better than there is no perfect system!
The statement about there being no “perfect system” is not a “common sense” observation but a consequence of what is known as Arrow’s Theorem in mathematics. Arrow’s Theorem says, informally, that in situations are aren’t a simple “head to head” one time contest (say, runner A runs against runner B and we see who wins) there is no perfect way to obtain a “fairest” ranking from a ballot that allows for 3 or more choices.
How does this apply to boxing? Well, in boxing you are really trying to add up results on a ballot that includes rounds of varying degree of dominance or punches of a varying degree of effect; hence here, the ballots really consist of ordered pairs (c, d) where c is the color and “d” is the degree of dominance of either the round, or the punch.
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