The past weekend was filled with intrigue, the return of Lucas Matthysse against what we thought to be another Asian sensation in the making in Tewa Kiram, Jorge Linares contesting a tough fight on paper against the Freddy Roach trained Mercito Gesta and of course, we got the Super Series Semi-final that involved Oleksandr Usyk in a tussle with Latvian Mairis Briedis, all in all, it proved to be a very busy time for boxing scribes.
Pens, Laptops, Ipads/tablets at the ready, TopClassBoxing had all avenues covered, some of our writers coming away more satisfied than others from their stay at ringside.
Starting with Lucas Matthysse’s comeback against Kiram, on reflection was a laboured affair for the most part, disappointing of a fighter who at one time was considered a stone cold killer in the 140 Pound division, maybe I was expecting a little too much, knowing as we do his time out of the boxing ring.
Kiram to his credit came to upset the odds, giving a decent account of himself until a right hand landed in the eight which signalled the beginning of the end to his title challenge, suggestions of a dive were brought into context but that may have been a little reaching knowing as we do the power Matthysse exhibits.
Matthysse called out the divisions top dogs shortly after, which on that performance alone must have been like a bark from a small dog, still, he now holds one of the multiple WBA titles so that will give opposition impetus to face him
The main event in LA witnessed Jorge Linares clock up his 13th consecutive victory, defending his WBA lightweight title in rather straightforward fashion, never really acting to bring the forum to their feet as he collected wide scores of 117-111, 118-110, and 118-110 against Mercito Gesta.
I posted the fight report shortly after the bout, sharing out to our social network to find one comment from a knowledgeable boxing head saying “Linares always looks good but never great” which after having a brief thought on the subject is something which I would have to agree upon.
There is talk of him facing Vasyl Lomachenko next so perhaps he will give us a more definitive answer.
I’ve probably missed out a few more high profile fights such was the busy nature of the weekend but the one which caught my attention most was the World Boxing Super Series Semi-Final between WBA ruler Oleksandr Usyk and WBC king Mairis Briedis.
Living up to billing with an engaging, enthralling encounter which left most, including myself on the edge of our seats.
The promotion was fitting for the contest, heightening the bar with a light display in Latvia which was only matched by the performance of both men on the night, that also shone brightly.
Our fighter of the week was adjudged to have done enough at the end of the twelve rounds to take the decision victory, Oleksandr Usyk taking his place in the final with an eager eye on Saturday’s bout which will produce the outcome of his dance partner in the final.
That it for this weeks FOTW, as we look towards another packed night as the action, comes thick and fast.