By Derek Bonnett: In boxing, it’s a shame that value is measured in pounds and familiarity. A pair of flabby mediocre heavyweights are typically deemed more significant than a pair of world class strawweights. The bigger boys are certainly better compensated for their efforts, which typically do not measure up to that of their smaller counterparts. Some of the best fights this year did not occur on the big (American) stage. Fight of the Year leaders such as Tommy Coyle TKO 12 Daniel Eduardo Brizuela, Giovani Segura TKO 10 Felipe Salguera, and, now, Francisco Rodriguez Jr. W12 Katsunari Takayama went grossly overlooked after their action unfolded, mostly because there were no "sexy" names attached to the marquee. Instead, fights such as Lucas Matthysse KO 11 John Molina and Terrence Crawford TKO 9 Yuriorkis Gamboa dominate the FOTY talk due to their high profile network status and name recognition.
All five fights deserve mention, make no mistake. However, the action of all three lesser known FOTY contenders, at worst, matched the more popular candidates; they are just seen as less important by many. This could largely be because of weight and the fact that all three occurred off of U.S. soil. Both Segura’s and Rodriguez’ wins were televised on Spanish-spoken broadcasts and not Showtime or HBO like Matthysse and Crawford’s. Matthysse and Segura are actually quite similar in status. Both are huge punching contenders near the top of their divisions. Both had wildly entertaining contests with fighters whose names would do little to enhance their ranking. Neither bout offered any serious divisional shaping developments. But, Segura is a two-division world champion and Matthysse has yet to win a world title. The significance factor doesn’t really work here. Rodriguez-Takayama was a unification bout, which had considerable impact on the shaping of the top three at 105.
Significance, in this discussion, really means exposure. HBO and Showtime bouts certainly garner greater exposure, but does it really make them better fights or more deserving of FOTY status? Coyle and Brizuela knocked each other down four times each. The bout looked like it could have been stopped several times in favor of either man. Assign these traits to any HBO or Showtime main event and you have a shoe in for Fight of the Year. Put it on a less publicized show in the United Kingdom and you get something on the brink of obscurity for many fans. So, before the close of 2014, boxing lovers should take the time to view the full scope of candidates on the ballots for FOTY (or any other boxing superlative). It’s a tight race, but there just might be a few significant horses in the race that fans aren’t aware of due to their own viewing deficiencies.
SecondsOut ranked fighters On the Move:
On Friday, August 8, at Gimnasio Yuyin Luzcando, Betanio, Panama, Liborio Solis scored a second round stoppage of José Carlos Vargas in a bantamweight bout. Vargas was dropped in the first and second frame before the stoppage came at the 1:00 mark. Solis won for the second consecutive time above the bantamweight limit and raised his record to 18-3-1 (9). Vargas crashed to 14-10-1 (9).
Solis remained SecondsOut’s number six ranked bantamweight in the world.
On Saturday, August 9, at Auditorio General Arteago, Queretara, Queretara, Mexico, Andres Gutierrez won a unanimous decision over Mario Macias in a twelve round super bantamweight bout. The three judges scored the bout 118-109, 117-110, and 116-110 in spite of a seemingly closer contest. Gutierrez was dropped in round three, but remained unbeaten 30-0-1 (22). Macias fell to 26-13 (13).
Gutierrez remained SecondsOut’s number nine ranked super bantamweight contender.
At Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, Francisco Rodriguez Jr. won a unanimous decision over Katsunari Takayama in a twelve round WBO/IBF minimumweight unification bout. The Fight of the Year candidate was scored 119-108, 116-111, and 115-112. Takayama was knocked down in round three. Rodriguez improved his resume to 15-2 (10). Takayama fell to 27-7 (10).
Rodriguez jumped from fourth to second among SecondsOut’s top-rated minimumweights. Takayama fell from second to fourth.
At Emperor’s Palace, Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa, Thabo Sonjica won a unanimous decision over Roli Gasca in a twelve round super bantamweight bout. Sonjica scaled over the 122-pound limit for this contest and ran his record to 20-2 (14). Gasca dipped to 22-5-1 (6).
Sonjica retained is number eight SecondsOut ranking at super bantamweight.
At Sands Bethlehem, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA, Vyacheslav Glazkov labored to a majority decision over Derric Rossy in a ten round heavyweight bout. Glazkov prevailed by scores of 98-92, 96-94, and 95-95 to remain unbeaten. Glazkov raised his ledger to 18-0-1 (11). Rossy slid to 29-9 (14).
Glazkov held onto his number six heavyweight ranking at SecondsOut.
At Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA, Danny Garcia scored a KO of the Year type stoppage over Rod Salka in the second round of their welterweight non-title bout. Garcia thrice dropped Salka in the second. The fight was waved off at the 2:31 mark. Garcia improved his record to 29-0 (17). Salka crashed to 19-4 (3).
Garcia remained SecondsOut’s number one 140-pound fighter.
Lamont Peterson broke down Edgar Santana for a tenth round TKO in an IBF junior welterweight title bout. Peterson made the third defense of his title and lifted his dossier to 33-2-1 (17). Santana fell to 29-5 (20).
Peterson kept his number six ranking amid SecondsOut’s top junior welterweights.
Also On the Move, Dmitry Chudinov, 14-0-2 (9), climbed back into the SecondsOut middleweight rankings at number ten after an impressive third round stoppage of Mehdi Bouadla. Hasan N’Dam N’Jikam was bumped out to make room.
SecondsOut ranked fighters in action through Sunday, August 17, 2014:
On Friday, August 15:
At Chumash Casino, Santa Ynez, California, USA, Rustam Nagaev versus Denis Shafikov in a twelve round lightweight bout
On Saturday, August 16:
At Messehalle, Erfurt, Thüringen, Germany, Yoan Pablo Hernandez versus Firat Arslan in a twelve round IBF cruiserweight title bout
At StubHub Center, Carson, California, USA, Shawn Porter versus Kell Brook in a twelve round IBF welterweight title bout; Sakio Bika versus Anthony Dirrell II in a twelve round WBC super middleweight title bout; Omar Figueroa versus Daniel Estrada in a twelve round WBC lightweight title bout; Deontay Wilder versus Jason Gavern in a ten round heavyweight bout
To check out Derek’s SecondsOut rankings click on the link below www.digenie.net/sorankings/p_so_world.asp
For further boxing discussion, contact Derek DBO Bonnett on Facebook.