"Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face."
~Mike Tyson

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Loaded Gloves Boxing Podcast - Episode 2

Photo: boxrec.com
Here it is boxing fans! Host Scott Jarvis and co-host Victor Atkinson talk all things happening in the world of boxing for the week of October 23rd-28th 2017. Topics include:
  • Anthony Joshua vs Carlos Takam
  • Dillian Whyte vs Robert Helenius
  • Kal Yafai vs Sho Ishida
  • Juergen Braehmer vs Rob Brant
  • The World Boxing Super Series tournaments
  • Deontay Wilder vs Bermane Stiverne
  • David Lemieux vs Billy Joe Saunders

Scott Jarvis is an independent boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on Twitter, Facebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com. You can also support Split D Boxing on Patreon!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Billy Joe Saunders vs David Lemieux: Analysis, Breakdown, And Prediction

The Boxer vs. The Puncher

Photo: boxingscene.com
The name Billy Joe Saunders (25-0-0 12 KO's) isn't a name that's exactly synonymous with excitement, quality, nor entertainment. Conversely, the name David Lemieux (38-3-0 33 KO's) gets most boxing fans talking if not excited as well. More to the point, a fight between WBO Middleweight titlist Saunders and the heavy handed and aggressive Lemieux was no more than a fantasy mere weeks ago. Most believed that Saunders, who has made a career out of fighting soft touches, would remain content to stay in England and continue to milk his WBO title for all it's worth. Few, including this scribe, would have predicted that a fight between the two would ever get made if only because Saunders isn't a fighter that takes risks.

Photo: 1.bp.blogspot.com
While rumor has it that it's 30 below zero in Hell at the moment it's a fact that Billy Joe Saunders vs David Lemieux is a go for December 16th 2017. The two are set to square off at Place Bell in Quebec Canada. What promoted Saunders not only only leave his home country for a fight but to fight someone as dangerous and as strong as Lemieux has some flummoxed. While fight fans continue to speculate this, no one is complaining. With the exception of a few hiccups along the way, 2017 has been the gift that keeps on giving. It has been an exceptional year for the sport and Saunders vs Lemieux is one hell of a way to send 2017 off into the sunset.

Fighter Analysis

Billy Joe Saunders

Photo: boxrec
England's Billy Joe Saunders is more boxer than he is puncher as indicated by his knockout ratio. In Saunders' case his lack of power may stem more from his penchant for pushing, slapping, and being somewhat inaccurate with his punches rather than a lack of raw power. Saunders doesn't fully commit his body to a punch nor does he turn his hands over when he throws his punches. Instead, Saunders is the type of boxer who comes into a fight looking to score points and offset his opponents offense with his movement. Saunders also throws a great deal of looping power shots that leave him open for counters though against Lemieux don't expect Saunders to be as liberal with his power shots as he normally is. Looking over Saunders' resume you'll notice that he's never been tested nor has he ever faced his division's top talent.  David Lemieux may not ever set the world on fire with his boxing technique but he's the best fighter Saunders has ever faced. He's also the most dangerous which makes one wonder why so many pundits are picking Saunders to outbox Lemieux rather easily and earn a unanimous decision. He may be a "boxer" but are his skills so great that they can shut down Lemieux's high pressure offense and nullify his power?

David Lemieux

Photo: boxrec.com
Canada's Lemieux may not possess the technical prowess of a Pernell Whitaker, the grace of Muhammad Ali, nor the ring IQ of a Mayweather Jr. but the man has power and plenty of it. There's no doubt David has thunderous power in both hands but like Saunders, his resume is rather thin as well. While one could argue that Lemieux has faced and defeated the better opposition of the two, who a fighter loses to and how he loses says as much about him as who he beats. In Lemieux's case he's been knocked out in 2 of his 3 losses. The first loss of his career came at the hands of tough Mexican contender Marco Antonio Rubio back in 2011. In just his very next bout, Lemieux dropped a majority decision to Joachim Alcine. He then rehabilitated his career and remained undefeated until he ran into Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in 2015. Against Golovkin he was once again stopped albeit by a vastly more talented boxer. Against Saunders however Lemieux won't have to worry about that kind of power nor are the tools in the Saunders tool box as sharp or as deadly as Golovkin's. An unfortunate side effect of having such heavy hands, most underrate or completely write off Lemieux's boxing ability. As I stated previously he's no Ray Leonard but he has shown on occasion that there's more there than just a battering ram that continually moves forward. Will David's power and relentless offense be enough to slow Saunders down and stop him? Additionally, will Lemieux be capable of catching and connecting on Saunders?

Keys To Victory

Billy Joe Saunders

Photo: http://e1.365dm.com
While Saunders is most assuredly the better pure boxer of the two, Saunders must refrain from engaging Lemieux in a firefight. In his last fight against Willie Monroe Jr, Saunders was aggressive at times and pushed the action. Against David Lemieux, Saunders will want to use his jab to keep and control distance. A good jab has proved to be troublesome for the hard hitting Canadian at times in the past so Saunders would be wise to use it often, double it when possible, and keep it in Lemieux's face. In addition to working the jab for 12 rounds, Saunders will need to use his superior footwork to stay both out of range and to work at odd angles. If Saunders can put David into chase-mode" he might just walk away with the victory.

David Lemieux

Photo: rdsimages.cookieless.ca
Saunders has never faced an opponent as dangerous and as lethal as Lemieux. Moreover Saunders has looked shaky against over matched opponents as of late. Knowing this, Lemieux should  push the action hard from the opening bell and be his relentless self. He should remember however who the boxer is in this fight and keep himself from becoming frustrated when he drops the first 2-3 rounds to the better mover in Saunders. David needs to be steady in his work and hit Saunders on the shoulders, arms... anywhere and everywhere he can. In this fight patience is key for Lemieux as is stamina since stopping Saunders may require wearing him down over the course of the fight. Speaking of which, going to the body often will serve David well in this bout. Body damage will slow the more mobile Saunders and help bring his guard down. I am not suggesting Lemieux forego the headhunting but a more varied attack will help him soften up Saunders for a stoppage.

How The Fight Plays Out

Expect Lemieux to answer the opening bell with a furious attack which Saunders avoids and/or blocks. As the more heavy handed fighter gasses a bit Saunders launches his offense which is comprised mostly of jabs. Saunders then controls the action and does most of the scoring in rounds 1-3. As round 4 gets underway Lemieux begins to connect with some meaningful punches much like Canelo did against Khan. As he lands Saunders attacks will lose steam and then eventually become  non existent. From here Saunders begins spending more and more time on the back foot until he tires and is eventually caught flush with something big from Lemieux. Once Billy Joe hits the canvas don't expect him to get up.  Lemiuex's pressure and power overwhelm and eventually exhaust Saunders.

Just as is the case with Erislandy Lara, too many people are giving Saunders credit simply because of his fighting style. Employing a certain style doesn't necessarily equate to being good, very good, great, or even elite...no matter how much some people want you to believe that. Saunders is a solid fighter but he's not the talent some think he is. On the other hand Lemieux is also a limited fighter which is part of what makes this match up so intriguing. Keep in mind though that while styles make fights, it's the level at which a style is executed that wins fights.

Winner: David Lemieux KO, Round 6

Scott Jarvis is an independent boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on Twitter, Facebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com. You can also support Split D Boxing on Patreon!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Scott And Victor Appear On BDA Boxing's Podcast

The host of The Loaded Gloves Boxing Podcast, Scott Jarvis and Co-host Victor Atkinson make regular guest appearances on BDA Boxing's podcast but this weeks appearance was especially noteworthy. The show started off well but at the 3 hour and 5 minute mark things spiraled into chaos and became one big beautiful mess.

Another guest caller whom goes by his Twitter handle, @mylowplace called in and boldly proclaimed that not only would Billy Joe Saunders outbox and defeat Middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin but that WBC Light Heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson is the pound for pound best fighter on the planet. Of course this sent the entire panel of callers into a frenzy. At one point host BDA lost control of his show and despite multiple attempts to reign everyone in he eventually just allowed his panel go at it full throttle. This was hands down one of the best episodes of any boxing podcast...ever. At it's conclusion I was happy Victor and I didn't have to go on the air with our show. I was exhausted. Give it a listen!

Scott Jarvis is an independent boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on Twitter, Facebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com. You can also support Split D Boxing on Patreon!

Split D Boxing Launches The "Loaded Gloves Boxing Podcast"!

Listen now!
Split D Boxing is proud to announce the launch of it's boxing podcast titled "The Loaded Gloves Boxing Podcast". It's first episode aired on October 14th and featured Split D Boxing owner Scott Jarvis as host and Victor Atkinson as the show's co-host. No topic is taboo in the "no bullshit" zone and both Scott and Victor's passion for the sport carry the show seamlessly through its two hour run time. The show itself follows a traditional though flexible format as Scott and Victor preview and review fights, talk boxing news, and discuss the business and politics of the sport.

Scott Jarvis is the 44 year old host of The Loaded Gloves Boxing Podcast and has been a boxing aficionado for 32 years. A keen observer of the sport, Scott has a passion for boxing that few can match and this passion helps drive him in creating interesting and entertaining boxing content for the larger Split D Boxing network. Co-host Victor Atkinson on the other hand is a 24 year old astute fan of the sport who's sharp eye and opinionated voice can cut through the politics and the hype surrounding networks, fighters, fights, promoters, etc.

When asked why Split D Boxing launched a podcast before anything else Split D Boxing owner Scott Jarvis had this to say. "I want Split D Boxig to become a home not only for those who already have a passion for the sport but for those who might have just discovered it as well. Given that podcasts are so popular amongst boxing fans and so easy to find the format made the most sense."

The Loaded Gloves Boxing Podcast airs live every Sunday (time of day to be determined) and can not only be heard at Blog Talk Radio but across Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube as well.

Scott Jarvis is an independent boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on Twitter, Facebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com. You can also support Split D Boxing on Patreon!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Super Heavy And Super Sloppy - A Boxing Rant

Photo: d13csqd2kn0ewr.cloudfront.net
On October 6th it was reported that the World Boxing Council is seriously exploring the idea of creating a new weight class, that being a Super Heavyweight division. The idea isn't exactly a new one as sanctioning bodies have considered doing so a number of times in the past. At first glance the idea may seem like a good one but when you take a critical look at things you'll find it's much more complicated than simply throwing a new division out there. Heavyweight boxers have continually grown larger over the years and many pundits argue that a fight between a boxer who weights 210 lbs and another whom weighs 260 lbs simply isn't fair. There's also persons whom argue that such weight disparities pose serious risks to smaller fighters. Every division in boxing, save for the heavyweight division, has a weight limit so why are there no limits placed on the big men or the giants of the sport?

Photo: http://ringsidereport.com
Splitting the glamour division of boxing into 2 separate weight classes carries with it some serious repercussions for the sport,  those who follow/support it, and of course the fighters affected by this split. First off doing so presents a somewhat slippery slope setting a precedent for further weight class splits. Will there be a limit to the Super Heavyweight division and if not...why split the Heavyweight division into two at all? Seems like an exercise in redundancy does it not? If the Super Heavyweight division does receive a weight limit what is that limit and why not split that division into two as well? Would boxing not need an Ultra or Supreme Heavyweight division to ensure fair fights and keep serious injury or deaths to a minimum?

Setting aside the problem of ad infinitum for now, let's talk about boxing's original 8 weight classes for a moment. These were as follows:

  • Flyweight: 112 lbs 
  • Bantamweight: 118 
  • Featherweight: 126 
  • Lightweight: 135
  • Welterweight: 147
  • Middleweight: 160
  • Light Heavyweight: 175 
  • Heavyweight: 201 (no limit)
In the era where only these 8 weight classes existed fighters would use catch-weights not as shields or as means to avoid a fighter but rather in order to allow boxers of different weight classes to face one another. As the latter half of the 20th century rolled on the Jr.'s and Supers of each division were added until there were the 17 weight classes the sport has today. There are a great number of people who bemoan the large number of weight classes in the sport and aren't exactly excited about another seemingly inessential division.

Those who periodically call for a return to the sports orginal 8 weight classes shouldn't hold their breath. Don't let the phrase "Non-profit Institution" fool you into thinking that the sanctioning bodies don't love money. More weight classes means more champions, more champions means more titles, more titles means more belts, and more belts mean more sanctioning fees. You would also do well to remember that there isn't just one champion per sanctioning body anymore either. There are:

  • Regular Champions
  • Super Champions
  • Champions Emeritus
  • Interim Champions
  • Champions In Recess
  • Silver Champions
  • Diamond Champions
  • Eternal Champions
  • Super Hyper Regular Diamond Champions In Recess
Photo: fightsaga.com
Ok, so I had a little fun with that last one but I did so to illustrate a point. That point being that it's difficult, even with the internet, for the sports hard core fans to keep track of which fighters hold which titles in which divisions. Imagine how confusing it must be for casual observers to try and make sense of it all. Creating a Super Heavyweight division adds to an already confusing and overcrowded championship landscape and in the process moves the spotlight off the most famous division in boxing's storied history. Quick side note...many of today's Heavyweight fighters are fat Cruiserweights. Does a Super Heavyweight division give these fighters an even bigger excuse to remain overweight, under-trained, and undisciplined? Would some of the super heavyweights not be fat heavyweights dealing with the same issues?

Will It Happen?

WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman has stated that it will be a minimum of 6 months before his organization makes a decision either way and even if the WBC decides to move forward with the split it won't happen overnight. If yours truly were a betting man I'd bet that it does finally happen however. Perhaps the time has come for a Super Heavyweight division. More importantly, perhaps the WBC has found a way to make this split financially viable. Time will tell.

Scott Jarvis is a boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on Twitter, Facebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com. You can also support Split D Boxing on Patreon!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Heavyweight High Blood Pressure - A Boxing Rant

Luis Ortiz
Photo: steroid.com
Just as soon as news of heavyweight Luis Ortizs' failed blood test broke on September 28th I jumped at the opportunity to write a piece about it. At that time there was very little information about the failed anti-doping test and I, like many others, assumed that his November 4th battle with WBC Heavyweight titleholder Deontay Wilder would be called off. As the details of the failed test were disseminated throughout social media however things grew ever more complicated. The Cuban born Ortiz, who has previously tested positive for banned substances, was found to have chlorothaizide and hydrochlorothiazide in his system. According to VADA these two substances are masking agents that fighters can use to hide performance enhancing steroids.

Photo: drfuhrman.com
So Ortiz is guilty as charged yet again? No, at least not yet. Ortiz and his team have gone on record as stating that the chlorothaizide and hydrochlorothiazide found in his blood stem not from an attempt to cheat but rather from the fighter's taking of prescription blood pressure medication. Lending some weight to their defense, team Ortiz has even gone so far as to post pictures of these prescriptions on Twitter. While Ortiz does indeed have prescriptions for Atenolol and Losartan which help control high blood pressure/hypertension it's uncertain, at least at the time of this writing, just how long he has been using these to keep his cardiovascular system in check. More importantly however fans and media members would love to know exactly how and why Ortizs' prescriptions where not disclosed to the anti-doping agency VADA before the program began. One would think that any fighter who had previously tested positive for banned substances would be sure to disclose any and all prescription medications to the firm testing for their next bout. Furthermore where was Ortiz's team in all of this? If there were language barriers, problems with forms, communication issues, etc. could they not have stepped in and up to ensure that VADA knew of these important medications? This type of negligence, while not necessarily an indicator of an attempt to cheat, certainly looks sloppy and raises eyebrows.

Given Ortiz's history with banned substances, yours truly was ready to throw the book at Ortiz not long after the initial news found it's way onto the internet. While I don't really have a problem with athletes taking performance enhancing drugs (more on that another time), I'm an ardent believer in a fair fight so as long as these drugs remain impermissible no one should get away with using them. I remained steadfast in my belief that Ortiz was probably guilty until I listened to Victor Conte talk about the situation on Steve Kim's "The Next Round" this past Tuesday morning. At one point Conte was convicted and imprisoned for helping boxers use performance enhancing chemicals but since his release he has remained at the forefront of the clean sport movement. To say he knows a thing or two about using steroids, how to mask attempts to cheat, and anti-doping testing protocols would be selling the man short. You can listen to Victor's entire guest spot on The Next Round here but Victor does not believe there was any intent to cheat and provided some very sound and persuasive arguments to back his position up. Conte also stated that in his opinion the Ortiz-Wilder fight should move forward. After listening to Conte's arguments I changed my position and now feel as Victor does with regards to the Wilder fight moving forward.

Enter The WBC

Since 1963
Photo: thesweetscience.com
Not long after it was reported that Ortiz had once again tested positive for banned substances, there was mention of Deontay Wilder expressing interest in the fight moving forward regardless. At the same time, team Ortiz offered to submit hair samples for further testing in hopes of proving their fighter's innocence and to keep the title fight alive. No one but those closest to the WBC champion however can attest to just how serious Wilder was in wanting to fight Ortiz but that became a moot point when the World Boxing Council stepped in and withdrew their support for the fight. The organization asserted that they are putting the health of Luis Ortiz first and want him to see a doctor in order to determine if it's safe for him to fight. Additionally they ordered Wilder to face his mandatory challenger...one Bermane Stiverne. There are plenty of examples where a sanctioning body forcing a fight between a champion and his mandatory challenger have proven to be good for the sport but this is not one of them.

If a "mandatory challenger" is a boxer that has worked hard, defeated other top talents in his division, and done something special to earn a shot at the champion, Bermane Stiverne is the absolute antithesis of that. Making matters worse for fans and for the heavyweight division, Stiverne was beaten convincingly by Wilder in a unanimous decision back in January of 2015. Since that loss to Wilder, Stiverne has fought just once against journeyman Derric Rossy (30-10-0 15 KO's) in a fight where he won a decision but saw himself hitting the canvas in the first round after Rossy connected with a right hand. Unworthy and vastly over matched mandatory challengers are a staple in the sport but Stiverne is the type of fighter that gives those fighters a bad name. It would be generous to say that Stiverne has done nothing to earn the title shot he's being given though it is worthy of noting that Stiverne is promoted by Don King. It's also worth noting that Stiverne himself tested positive for banned substances just last year and spends more time eating and partying than he does training and fighting. If boxing fans and the sports media seem less than thrilled with the November 4th Heavyweight title fight you now know why.

Final Thoughts

In this writers opinion Wilder vs Ortiz should have gotten the go-ahead from everyone, including the brass at the WBC. Instead fans will be subjected to a farcical match up and one that has the potential to retire Stiverne. 2017 has been the best year boxing has had in a good long while yet even in a year such as this there are bound to be bumps in the road. In closing and in the interest of objectivity...it's entirely possible that Ortiz obtained his blood pressure medications in order to mask other banned substances. It's also possible that the WBC is sending Ortiz to a doctor to determine whether or not he actually needs those medications. Pundits on both sides of this issue have legitimate concerns, especially since Ortiz has been caught cheating before. However in this case I do not see any evidence of cheating nor an attempt to. Remember that correlation doesn't necessarily imply causation.

I swear this over-the-hill racquetball player isn't masking anything! Oh...and my doctor strongly encouraged regular and vigorous exercise while she was writing this prescription out. Food for thought.

Scott Jarvis is a boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on Twitter, Facebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com. You can also support Split D Boxing on Patreon!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

My Guest Appearance On The BDA Boxing Podcast

Another week and another appearance on the BDA boxing podcast. We talked Eubank Jr. vs Yildrim, the World Boxing Super Series, Deontay Wilder and several other boxing topics. Lots of fun. I come in at 19:40. Be sure to follow BDA on Twitter and subscribe to his YouTube channel!

Scott Jarvis is a boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on Twitter, Facebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com. You can also support Split D Boxing on Patreon!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Please Support Split D Boxing On Patreon!

Yes, that time has come! In an effort to help grow the Split D Boxing network we are humbly asking our readers and followers to support our endeavors. With your support we will gain the ability to not only cover more fights live but we will be able to take our plans for podcasting and video production from blueprint to reality. Moreover, we have a number of lofty goals and additional plans for content in the works here at Split D Boxing but they are currently mired and stymied by financial barriers. With support from our audience, those that run Split D Boxing can dedicate more of their time to the network and place a heavier focus/emphasis on producing content and delivering unbiased agenda-free boxing content and coverage.

By supporting Split D Boxing through Patreon you are not only helping us in smashing through the aforementioned barriers but you are also entering yourself into drawings for giveaways and many other types of rewards/prizes. All levels of support are immensely appreciated and help. Thank you and enjoy the fights! Be sure to visit our Patreon page for all the details!

Scott Jarvis is a boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on Twitter, Facebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com. You can also support Split D Boxing on Patreon!