Sunday, October 28, 2018

SNB Stock Report 10-28-18

After another busy weekend of boxing, with notable fights in Bulgaria, England, New Orleans and New York City, it's time for another edition of the SNB Stock Report. Whose stock rose (+), whose fell (-) and whose remained unchanged after the fight action (NC)?  Find out below: 

Photo Courtesy of Ed Mullholland/HBO

Ivan Baranchyk (+) Baranchyk seems to be one of those fighters who splits opinion among boxing enthusiasts. His detractors would say that his punches are often way too wide, he loads up on almost every shot and his defense is more theoretical than actual. Baranchyk's supporters could point out that he hits like a mule, is well-conditioned and has positive intangibles like self-belief and a desire to improve. I tend to view him positively. Yes, a good technical fighter can beat him, but Baranchyk won't be an easy day at the office for anyone. In fact, Baranchyk's opponent on Saturday, Anthony Yigit, a decorated amateur and 2012 Olympian, was supposed to be such a fighter – crafty, good feet and stellar punch placement. Well, evidently no one told Baranchyk that he should struggle with that style; he went through Yigit like a human buzz saw, grinding him down with ferocious power shots and relentless pressure. By the seventh round, Yigit's left eye had completely closed and the fight was wisely stopped. Although still crude technically, Baranchyk has improved under trainer Pedro Diaz, incorporating more combinations into his offense and varying his attack to the head and body. 

Sergiy Derevyanchenko (NC) Derevyanchenko put forth a commendable effort in a split decision loss to Daniel Jacobs on Saturday. He was knocked down early in the fight and was trailing (perhaps substantially) at the halfway mark of the bout, yet he closed the match strongly. Derevyanchenko spent much of the fight on the front foot and there were many stretches of the bout where he seemingly trapped Jacobs along the ropes. But from my perspective, Derevyanchenko wasn't consistently effective with his aggression and he let Jacobs get away with too many cute things along the ropes. Nevertheless, he provided Jacobs, his stablemate and frequent sparring partner, with a spirited challenge. Derevyanchenko remains a contender at middleweight, but as it stands now, he seems to lack that little bit of extra skill or flash to beat the top fighters in the division.

Terry Flanagan (-) Although Terry Flanagan was a former champion at 135 pounds, since moving up to junior welterweight he hasn't demonstrated that he has the power to be a factor in the division. In June he lost an attempt at a vacant belt, dropping a split decision to Maurice Hooker. On Saturday he was thoroughly outclassed by Regis Prograis, losing a wide unanimous decision. Flanagan hit the deck in the eighth round and never posed a threat throughout the fight. Although he can handle himself in the ring and is well-schooled, he lacks the physical attributes to be among the best at 140. I'm not sure where he goes from here. 

Hughie Fury (-) Just over a year ago, Fury was robbed in a title shot against Joseph Parker. Fury back-footed Parker expertly and although the fight wasn't scintillating to watch, Fury used his hand and foot speed to get the better of the action. On Saturday, Fury had another opportunity to establish his presence in the upper echelon of the heavyweight division against former title challenger Kubrat Pulev in Bulgaria. Instead of seizing his opportunity, Fury turned in a plodding, listless performance and dropped a wide unanimous decision. Fury featured none of the athleticism that manifested against Parker and seemed gun shy throughout the fight. A nasty cut, which opened up over his eye in the second round, certainly didn't help matters, but Fury fought with little ambition or resolve. Overall, it was a disappointing performance. 

Daniel Jacobs (+) Jacobs won a split decision over Sergiy Derevyanchenko on Saturday. He knocked down his opponent in the first round with a menacing overhand right. He also featured strong power shots to the body and an impressive array of defensive moves. Over the years, Jacobs has learned to relax better in the ring, which has helped him on offensive to pick his punches better and on defense to avoid getting caught with big shots, which had been a problem earlier in his career. All of those positive attributes were on display on Saturday. But Jacobs did seem to lose focus towards the end of the fight and didn't match Derevyanchenko's energy or punch volume, allowing some rounds to slip away. With Saturday's win Jacobs confirmed that he is among the best fighters at 160, but he has yet to put together 12 consistent rounds against a good opponent. At age 31 and with 37 professional fights, I still don't have a great read on him. Depending on the night, he could probably win or lose against any of the top fighters in the division. If that sounds like I don't have a lot of confidence in him, that's true; I don't.  

Alberto Machado (+) Machado established himself in 2017 with an upset victory over junior lighweight titleholder Jezreel Corrales. Machado was dropped in the fight and Corrales dominated stretches of the action, but Machado, packing some serious weaponry in both hands, was able to turn the tide and win by knockout. Earlier this year Machado dominated overmatched challenger Rafael Mensah. On Saturday, Machado barely had time to break a sweat, knocking down Yuandale Evans three times in the first round to pick up a KO 1. Machado has continued to improve under trainer Freddie Roach, adding to his punch variety and becoming a solid combination puncher. He finds himself in an exciting division at the moment with no dominant fighter, but several intriguing candidates to be the top dog. Here's hoping that Machado gets a meaningful fight in 2019; I think he will mix in nicely with the best in the division. 

Photo Courtesy of Amanda Westcott/WBSS

Regis Prograis (+) Although it wasn't his flashiest performance, Prograis's dominant decision victory over Terry Flanagan may have been his most impressive as a pro. Tightening up on his defense and reducing the wild swings that often left him vulnerable to counters, Prograis fought intelligently in the pocket and consistently got the better of the action. A beauty of a straight left hand sent Flanagan down in the eighth and although Prograis wasn't able to get the stoppage, he asserted his dominance throughout the fight. Saturday's contained performance was an important sign of maturation and an indication that Prograis can be much more than a go-for-broke knockout artist. He'll fight Kiryl Relikh in the next round of the World Boxing Super Series 140-lb. tournament in what should be an intriguing style matchup. 

Kubrat Pulev (+) At 37 and with more than 18 months out of the ring, it was certainly possible that Pulev would begin to see a rapid decline in his physical skills. But fighting Hughie Fury at home in Bulgaria on Saturday, Pulev, beat back Father Time and demonstrated that he can still be a factor in the heavyweight division. Although there was nothing Pulev did that was overly flashy, his consistent effort, physicality, and short, sharp punches were more than enough to earn a wide decision victory. Pulev had to drop out of an Anthony Joshua fight last year due to injury and it's possible that he could face the heavyweight titleholder next year. It's hard to envision a scenario where Pulev beats Joshua, but with wins over Dereck Chisora and Fury, he certainly has earned the opportunity to fight for another title shot (he lost to Wladimir Klitschko in 2014). 

John Ryder (NC) In one of the stranger fights of 2018, John Ryder was getting summarily outboxed by Andrey Sirotkin for six rounds, and then Sirotkin suddenly hit a wall. Sirotkin's frenetic movement subsided in the seventh and Ryder took advantage of the opportunity, unloading pulverizing body shots. Late in the round a beautiful right hook to the body sent Sirotkin to the canvas and he didn't want any more. Ryder remains a fringe contender at super middleweight. He has some pop but is fairly vanilla in the ring. I imagine with Eddie Hearn as his promoter that he will get another opportunity for a big fight. He wouldn't be favored against the best in the division, but he certainly would have a puncher's chance.

Anthony Yigit (-) On paper Anthony Yigit possessed many advantages over Ivan Baranchyk – hand speed, athleticism, coordination, and a larger punch arsenal – but he used none of them in the ring on Saturday. For some strange reason, Yigit decided to slug it out with Baranchyk instead of attempting to box him. Yigit paid the price for that decision, eating some enormous shots throughout the contest. His left eye completely closed from Baranchyk's punishing right hands and after the seventh round, the doctor and referee stopped the fight. Yigit, a former amateur star, is not without talent, but he demonstrated a poor ring IQ on Saturday and will be out of action for an extended period of time as his body heals from Saturday's beating.

Adam Abramowitz is the founder and head writer of saturdaynightboxing.comHe's a member of Ring Magazine's Ring Ratings Panel and a Board Member for the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board. 
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