BACK TO K-9 KIM’S CORNER

By Steve Kim Updated on July 11, 2022

Slobbernocker

Coming into this past weekend, nobody was really looking forward to the rematch between heavyweights Derek Chisora and Kubrat Pulev. They met back in 2016 in what was a rather forgettable affair that saw Pulev win a split decision.

At this stage of their respective careers you could state that both are heavyweight gatekeepers. Pulev is 41, while Chisora, 38. Many observers wondered what was even the point of this match-up which was scheduled for the O2 Arena in London.

Well, as the great Larry Merchant would say: "there's a reason why you fight the fights"

Because these two old war horses put on a spirited 12 round slugfest. You could debate if it was truly a great fight, but the bottom line is that both Chisora and Pulev emptied the bucket over 36 grueling minutes and put on a memorable show.

Mark Robinson for Matchroom Sports

And when it was all said and done, it was Chisora winning a split decision by the scores of 116-112, 112-116 and 116-114. Yeah, there are some who believe it was Pulev who should've had his hands raised in victory but this verdict was more debatable than controversial. 

This was an old-fashioned slobberknocker between two big proud men. 

You could certainly see the age in both boxers throughout this contest. Their movements were labored, and they fought at a pace that was more methodical than frenzied. But there was consistent action that saw both men land clubbing shots on one another.

Mark Robinson for Matchroom Sports

There were times when Chisora seemed to be huffing and puffing as he laid on the ropes, only to explode with counter over-hand rights that stunned Pulev.  It's clear that both combatants are far from their physical prime and nowhere near top 10 in the division, but this was a well-matched bout for 2022. 

Chisora actually came into this bout on a three fight losing streak. But he remained a fan favorite because of his rough-and-tumble style, and willingness to tangle with anyone. He's moniker 'War' is apt, in a sense that he's a fighter, first and foremost.  The game needs a few more hard men like him. 

There is an old-school feel to him, down to his record which now stands at 32-12 (23 KOs). In an age of glossy records and boxers who are risk averse, Chisora harkens back to a time and place in the sport when the numbers of losses didn't completely define you as a prizefighter. There's a reason why he has retained, maybe even built, on his popularity the past few years despite his setbacks.

Riding off into the sunset with a victory of this nature would seem to be a perfect end to a colorful career. But Chisora stated in the post-fight interview that he'd like to face Deontay Wilder next. Which on the surface seem to be a terrible idea given Wilder's power. 

Mark Robinson, Matchroom Sports

Yet, as well-meaning as many are in being concerned for his short and long-term health, it's impossible for any of us to understand why he wants to keep fighting on. For Chisora, boxing isn't just what he does, it's what he is. 

It reminds of that classic line from the original 'Rocky' when Adrian asks him why he fights. To which Rocky replied, ''Because I can't sing or dance."

Chisora wasn't ever meant to sing or dance.

 

SHOWTIME

Meanwhile on Showtime at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, a solid triple-header took place that featured Rey Vargas becoming a two-time world champion by dethroning Mark Magsayo for his WBC featherweight title. Despite a trip to the canvas in the ninth, Vargas came out on top via split decision after 12 rounds.

Tim Cheatham and David Sutherland had him up by the score of 115-112, while Jesse Reyes had the Filipino at 114-113.

Ryan Hafey for  PBC

In the past I've stated that Vargas wasn't.....uhhh, the most aesthetically pleasing fighter in the world. Oh, let's not lie, flat out, he and Miguel Vazquez were two of the most boring Mexican champions I've ever seen. Well, on this particular night, he was much cleaner with his work on the outside, and there was far less clinching and awkward mauling that is a trademark of his bouts.

By his standards, this was actually a very entertaining bout. 

In the co-feature, Brandon Figueroa, was simply too much for Carlos Castro, stopping him in the sixth. Castro had pockets of success as he threw the straight shots down the middle but his relative lack of power (12 stoppages in 29 bouts) couldn't dissuade the hard charging Figueroa, who kept coming in waves.

Ryan Hafey, PBC

He floored Castro and nearly stopped him in the third, and then broke the dam in the sixth with a barrage of punches. Figueroa, a former 122-pound belt-holder, that gave Stephen Fulton all he could handle last fall, looks like he'll be a handful as a featherweight.

The broadcast opened with a bout between the undefeated Frank Martin and late replacement, Jackson Marinez. After six rounds the fight was fairly close, with Marinez -- who gave Rollie Romero fits a couple of years a back -- having some momentum.

Ryan Hafey, PBC

But to his credit, Martin bit down and shifted gears and became more assertive, taking back full control of the bout and wearing down Marinez. He scored a ninth round knockdown, and then ended the fight in the 10th. Martin, who is a part of Derrick James' talented stable, improved to 16-0 (12 KOs) and showed that he will soon be a lightweight to contend with.

 

BUZZKILL

It's a shame that the bout between Israil Madrimov and Michel Soro ended the way it did with Soro unable to continue after an accidental clash of heads in round three left a large gash near his left eye. Up until that point, Madrimov was dominating the action.

Mark Robinson, Matchroom Sports

This bout was a rematch of a bout that took place in December that was marred by a strange ending when the referee did not hear the bell to sound the end of the ninth, as the Soro was being struck with a barrage of punches. While this bout was still ruled a ninth round TKO victory for Madrimov, the WBA ordered an immediate rematch as this was a final eliminator at junior middleweight.

At this point, the WBA just needs  to rule Madrimov it's mandatory challenger (to Jermell Charlo) because the last thing we need is another Terry Norris-Luis Santana-like trilogy.

 

FINAL FLURRIES

'Speedy' Rashidi Ellis made his PBC debut by stopping Jose Marrufo in one round in San Antonio. He had been dormant since defeating Alexis Rocha back in the summer of 2020...Buzzkill: the talented Keyshawn Davis has been pulled from this upcoming ESPN card on Friday at the Pechanga Casino citing an illness...Jake Paul will now face Hasim Rahman Jr. on August 6 on Showtime PPV.....I can be reached at k9kim@yahoo.com....

 

 

 

 

About Author
Slobbernocker
  • Hosted 'the Main Event' on KIEV 870, and then later XTRA AM1150 ( a three hour show devoted to boxing) from 1996 to 1999.
  • Joined one of the first boxing websites, 'House of Boxing' in 1999, and then later became one of the founders of Maxboxing, that started in 2001, till his departure in 2014.
  • From 2014 to 2018, he was the lead columnist for UCNlive.com.
  • Was a boxing reporter for ESPN.com from 2018 to 2020.
  • He has written for Ring Magazine, International Boxing Digest and Boxing News.
  • Is the co-host of 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez, which has become of the most popular boxing podcasts the past several years.
  • Steve has also served as an announcer and analyst for RingTV, Thompson Boxing, 360 Promotions and CBS Sports Network.