RingSide Report

World News, Social Issues, Politics, Entertainment and Sports

Ringside Report’s Fight Report of Recent Results and Upcoming Bouts Around The World

By Donald “Braveheart” Stewart

UK – biggest and most notable

You can have the opportunity, a perfect platform and all of the ingredients but you still have to do one thing – deliver. And so last Saturday the 23rd of April, the chance to headline was assured, the stage was beautifully poised and two boxers willing to leave it all at the end of their gloves were primed.

And then we got a battle, worthy of it all.

At Madison Square Garden, the WBC, WBA, WBO, IBF lightweight title fight between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano ended with a split decision win for the Irish woman.

The history books for those who skim rather than understand them shall see only that headline but for those that know and are eager to know, they shall say that this was, one of the best fights in the Gardens, one of the contests of the year and a rematch in the making which could end up being the biggest event in Irish sporting history.

The story of the fight was simple. Taylor and Serrano traded at the beginning. Taylor seemed to be edging ahead. Then in the 5th round she was rocked and was hurt. She was very nearly stopped. But then she rallied, came back and surged towards the final bell. It was a win for Taylor, of that I am sure, but had it gone to the Puerto Rican, then Irish eyes may have stopped smiling, but their mouths would not have uttered a complaint. The rounds I thought Taylor won, included some rounds that could have gone to Serrano. Only the 5th round was a clear-cut Serrano round.

There are calls for the rematch in Ireland as Taylor has never fought there. The obvious venue is Croke Park in Dublin? Some of us favor a fight in between for her. It would let Taylor recover from her war and set up this exceptional boxing contest even more… But against who? And would that be a risk worth taking?

International headline in the UK

On the same evening, Saturday the 23rd of April, at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas the unification fight at super featherweight between Oscar Valdez and Shakur Stevenson saw Stevenson mount a master class as he convincingly beat Valdez on points. Valdez was knocked to the floor in the 6th round but refused to be stopped though he was beaten for the very first time in his 31 professional contests. Stevenson now has the WBO and WBC titles and is very keen to gather the rest…

What was also newsworthy was the after fight when Stevenson went to the aid, apparently, of his mother who ended up in a ruckus at the post-fight press conference.

International – most intriguing

Also in Madison Square Gardens, on Saturday the 23rd of April, the other female title fight between Franchon Crews Dezurn and Elin Cederroos for the WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF super middleweight belts ended with a wide points margin win for Crews-Dezurn. Crews-Dezurn took the WBA and IBF titles to add to her WBC and WBO belts to crown the evening as a triumph for the undisputed Queens of the square ring.

The fight was entertaining and Crews-Dezurn had a loud backing band from the crowd. She was regularly urged on by her friend Clarissa Shields who was highly vocal in the crowd. Along with Taylor and Shields herself, the idea that one or other may be the GWOAT is still out for debate… unless you have already claimed that title for yourself… heaven forfend…

Under the radar

Back at the Garden on Saturday the 23rd of April and in only his second professional fight, in the bright lights of Madison Square Garden, flyweight Olympic Gold Medalist, Galal Yafai blasted out Miguel Cartagena in two rounds for the WBC international title. Caragana was badly busted up in the second, after which it was his corner which pulled him out of the fight.

Fast Forward – the week to come as viewed from one side of the Atlantic

UK – biggest and most notable

On Friday the 6th of May, in Wolverhampton we have the EBU female title fight between Kirstie Bavington and Timea Belik. This is an example of what is needed behind the headlines for women’s boxing as both fighters are hardly household names and given that Belik had four years out, it could be argued that Bavington is a shoe in for the title, but that is on paper. It needs to be competitive, and it needs to show the small hall crowd that female boxing has something to give as well as the headline acts that are making a difference to the sport. Bavington should take the title, but I am looking forward to a real scrap for the more discerning and cultured boxing fan to watch.

International headline in the UK

We shall, of course, be all tuned into Saturday the 7th of May for the MGM Grand, Las Vegas and Dmitry Bivol v Saul “Canelo” Alvarez for the WBA super light heavyweight world title. Without a doubt this is one of the most hotly anticipated matchups for some time. Will Bivol be too big, will Canelo be too much? Is there a future for Canelo at this weight? Is it just a circus? Who cares? This is likely to be massive fight with plenty of action – what is not to like?

It is hard to think that anyone can beat Canelo. If anyone has a chance to so do, there is a school of thought which believes, it must be a bigger guy? Bivol is therefore as likely as most but there is a Kazakh waiting an opportunity on the dance card that has already made a case for his third shot at taking on the global superstar which is Canelo. GGG will be waiting, we are anticipating, and the sport gets to muse on it all. For me, Canelo may have to dig deep but he comes through and wins, probably on points.

Mentioned in dispatches

Here are quite a few small hall shows during the week in Glasgow, Stoke-on-Trent, Maidstone and Cardiff.

Future History – and the week to follow…

UK – biggest and most notable

Friday 13th May

At the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, we have the Commonwealth featherweight title fight between Nathanial Collins and Jacob Robinson.

International headline in the UK

Saturday 14th May

In Carson, California, all the belts are on the line between Jermell Charlo and Brian Carlos Castano at super welterweight.

Under the radar

Friday 13th May

On the show in Glasgow super welterweight Kieran Smith is back!

Mentioned in despatches

Friday 13th May

At the 02, London, super lightweight Harlem Eubank is in against Sean “Masher” Dodds, welterweight Josh Kelly faces Xhuljo Vrenozi and the British middleweight title is up for grabs between Linus Udofia and Denzel Bentley. Also, at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, the WBO/IBO female super welterweight title fight is between Hannah Rankin and Alejandra Ayala, the IBO international cruiserweight title fight is between David Jamieson and Dec Spelman whilst in Renfrew, welterweight Willie Limond is back against CJ Wood.