.@DanielJacobsTKO survives an intense, hard-fought effort from @SDerevyanchenko to secure a split decision victory, continuing his run as one of the absolute best middleweights in the world. pic.twitter.com/U6C0GtPJnl— HBOboxing (@HBOboxing) October 28, 2018
Fury Falls to Pulev in Bulgaria
Give Hughie Fury credit; after so many fighters scoffed at the idea of travelling to Bulgaria to face a fighter as talented and seasoned as Kubrat Pulev, he stepped up to the plate with zero hesitation to face the gritty veteran in his home nation. However, while Tyson’s cousin deserves credit, after 12 rounds in the ring with Pulev he did not deserve a victory, succumbing to a rather non-controversial, unanimous 117-111, 118-110, 115-113 decision.
Fury was cut from a Pulev jab in the second round (Fury’s trainer claimed it was a cut suffered in training for the bout that Pulev reopened), and it was clear throughout the fight that the wound was giving Fury vision problems. Still, Fury fought on and even rocked Pulev in the eighth, though he was unable to capitalize on the brief opportunity.
Aftert the fight, the surprisingly wise Tyson Fury tweeted his support for Hughie, writing, "Well done in the Pulev fight. You can only do your best & @24 years old fighting the top-level fighters in the world it’s amazing achievements. You will come back stronger & more experienced! Chin up cuz proud of you!"
After being viewed as at best a clown, things like Fury’s appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast where he discussed his struggles with mental illness and his vocal support for his lesser known family member, may work to change how we view the “Gypsy King” before the biggest fight of his career.
Prograis Decisions, But Can’t Stop Flanagan
The buzzsaw that is Regis "Rougarou" Prograis hit a bit of a snag on Saturday night, as the New Orleans native failed to keep his seven-fight knockout streak going fighting in his hometown. Still, Prograis dominated former WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan, dropping him in the eighth before ultimately winning a dominant 119-108, 118-109, 117-110 unanimous decision.
Flanagan was a tough veteran, so it’s not shocking he was wily enough to keep from getting stopped in the eighth, and to his credit Flanagan did land enough clean punches to keep Prograis from simply walking him down as he had to so many previous opponents. With the win, Prograis advanced in the World Boxing Super Series to face Belarus’ Kiryl Relikh in what should be a fun fight between two power punchers.
Jacobs Wins Split Decision Over Training Partner Derevyanchenko
In the weekend’s marquee matchup, former longtime sparring partners Daniel Jacobs and Sergiy Derevyanchenko went back and forth for 12 hard rounds under the lights of Madison Square Garden, until Jacobs was ultimately awarded a split decision victory. Two judges scored the fight 115-112 in favor of Jacobs, while the third judge scored the fight 114-113 for Derevyanchenko. Early on, it did not look like the fight was going to be close as Jacobs dropped Derevyanchenko with a right hand that landed on the top of the head. However. Derevyanchenko rallied in the third and went on to press Jacobs with consistent bodywork and pressure which allowed him to close the gap on the judge’s scorecards the early knockdown put him in.
Ultimately, however, Jacobs was too seasoned for Derevyanchenko. Showing some advanced boxing skills that included moves like occasionally turning to southpaw and masterfully rolling Derevyanchenko’s right hands while resting against the ropes, Jacobs proved a bit too slick for his foe as the fight wore on. Roy Jones Jr. was also quick to point out how few left hooks Derevyanchenko was throwing, something he remedied in the championship rounds but ultimately proved too little, too late. Whether this tactical flaw would have been fixed earlier had Derevyanchenko been cornered by his longtime trainer Andre Rozier can never be known but is something that may play a role in the Ukranian prospect’s future.
After the fight, the newly crowned IBF middleweight champion indicated that he would like to fight Saul Alvarez next, as even though he would love a rematch with Gennady Golovkin, he wants to win championship belts and Canelo now has GGG’s belt. With Jacobs in search of a new network to fight on and Alvarez all over the place about what he wants to do with his career, there’s no guarantee that fight is anywhere close to happening.
Hardy Wins Rematch in Fight She Lobbied to Get on HBO
After making a plea to get her rematch with Shelly Vincent broadcast on HBO, Heather Hardy won an exciting, but not as exciting as the first go-round unanimous 97-93, 97-93, 99-91 decision victory. With the win, Hardy, the former MMA fighter who fought for Bellator, became the WBO female featherweight champion and moved to 22-0 as a professional boxer. This was a nice victory, but the more important one was that Hardy got her sport on one of the final HBO boxing broadcasts ever, a fact which will reflect well upon both her and HBO boxing when history ultimately judges the network’s impact on the sport.
Machado Knocks Out Evans in One Round
With Puerto Rican boxing royalty Miguel Cotto looking on, Alberto Machado showed his power is no joke by stopping Yuandale Evans in the first round of their fight on Saturday night. Much like when Evans was stopped by Javier Fortuna, the hard-hitting Southpaw was able to stagger Evans with grazing power punches that had him on shaky legs. After a couple of volume knockdowns, the Freddie Roach-trained Puerto Rican put Evans’ lights out with a clean right hook out of the southpaw stance.
During the brief bout, Jones Jr. floated the idea that with his height and knockout power, Machado would be a difficult future opponent for pound for pound king Vasyl Lomachenko, while others believe a Mexican opponent would be the best next move, using the famous Mexico-Puerto Rico rivalry to boost Machado’s star power. Either way, HBO has created a star at a time when creating a star does nothing for them.
Ryder Knocks Out Sirotkin
Andrey Sirotkin should have kept fighting former MMA fighters and boxing has-beens, because when the Russian super middleweight stepped up in competition against the UK’s John Ryder, it did not work out well for him. Sirotkin was knocked out in the seventh round of their fight in London when Ryder landed a crippling right hook body shot that left Sirotkin writhing on the canvas. Sirotkin did well early in the fight, despite deciding to fight out of an orthodox stance rather than his traditional southpaw stance and opened a cut over Ryder’s eye that left the hometown fighter bleeding throughout the fight. After the fight, Ryder indicated he would like to fight fellow Brit, the undefeated Callum Smith in his next bout.