Monday, December 24, 2018

SNB Stock Report 12-24-18

After a jam-packed weekend of fights, it's time for another edition of the SNB Stock Report. Whose stock has gone up (+), whose has gone down (-) and whose has remained unchanged (NC)? 

Jermall Charlo (NC) Charlo had a difficult time with late replacement Matvey Korobov. Jermall escaped with a unanimous decision victory, but there were large stretches of the fight where he was second best. Head-hunting, Charlo was trying to knock Korobov out with seemingly every punch he threw. This provided Korobov with ample opportunity to counter or step out of range. Charlo did land his fair share of power punches, but overall his performance didn't answer many questions, just raised more. Charlo needs to remember that he once had a solid boxing foundation; abandoning his fundamentals to sell out for a knockout, he has become more one-dimensional in the ring.

Jermell Charlo evades a jab from Tony Harrison
Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Trapp

Jermell Charlo (-) Jermell lost a controversial unanimous decision to Tony Harrison. Most ringside media had Charlo winning, as did the Fox broadcast team, but many on social media thought that the fight was close, that no robbery occurred (sometimes a bout plays differently in the arena than it does on TV). Charlo was certainly the aggressor in the match but it's up for debate as to how effective that aggression was round by round. Like his brother in the main event, Jermell spent too much time loading up on big shots trying to get a knockout. He did have moments where he landed effective hard punches, but Harrison also befuddled him at points with sharp counterpunching and movement. Although this loss won't be devastating to Charlo's career, it did derail a title unification fight with Jarrett Hurd, and the career-high payday that would have accompanied it. 

Dereck Chisora (NC) Through 10 rounds Chisora was running neck-and-neck with Dillian Whyte in their rematch. Chisora landed his fair share of hard left hooks to the body and sneaky right hands to the head. But in the 11th, Whyte unleashed a pulverizing left hook. And that was that. When in shape and focused, Chisora remains a threat to top heavyweights and a great action fighter. At 34, it's too early to give up on him. He may yet spring another surprise or two before his career is finished. 

Michael Conlan (NC) After 10 professional fights, it's not clear if Conlan has an elite skill. He certainly doesn't have punching power. His hand speed is good not great. His defense can be penetrated. He's an athlete, but not an exceptional one. On Saturday he won a wide decision over Jason Cunningham, a C-fighter, but didn't dazzle. Right now Conlan appears to be going through the motions somewhat. He's getting in his rounds, working on things, but not necessarily looking like a future champion. To win a title he will have to rely on ring generalship, guile and intelligence more than an overwhelming skill set. It's a good thing that Conlan is now aligned with trainer Adam Booth. Guile is Booth's calling card. 

Warrington (right) digs a right hand into Frampton's body
Photo Courtesy of Elliot Foster

Carl Frampton (-) Josh Warrington attacked Frampton with such gusto during the first two rounds that Frampton looked like he was in danger of being knocked out. But Frampton bore down, regained his composure and worked his way into the fight. He fought his ass off in the trenches and tried his best to thwart Warrington's aggression. However, Warrington would not be denied on Saturday. His work rate and relentlessness earned him a unanimous decision victory. Frampton was supposed to have had the superior power and boxing skills in the matchup, but he couldn't match Warrington's physical output or will to win. On the technical side, Frampton lacked accuracy with his left hook and at times had trouble pulling the trigger. It's clear that Frampton is no longer a fighter in his physical prime. 

Tony Harrison (+) In his notable fights earlier in his career, Harrison demonstrated that he possessed the boxing skills to be a champion, but he lacked endurance, which led to knockout defeats against Willie Nelson and Jarrett Hurd. Leading up to Saturday's fight, Harrison claimed that his stamina issues were now resolved. He attributed his past problems to over-training. Well, it looks like there was something to that. Not only did he last the full 12 rounds on Saturday, but he won a unanimous decision over Jermell Charlo, claiming his first championship belt. Charlo-Harrison was a difficult fight to score. Charlo came forward and landed his share of shots, but he also missed a lot. Harrison did some very clever countering throughout the contest. Often, boxers on the back foot don't necessarily get the nod in close fights, but there's no rule that says judges have to pick the fighter coming forward. Irrespective of what the scores could have or should have been, Harrison performed with aplomb.

The Larry Hazzards (-) Larry Hazzard Sr. was Fox's unofficial judge during the Charlo card while his son was an official judge for the Charlo-Korobov main event. Both stunk. Senior failed to credit Tony Harrison for his solid boxing throughout the fight. But that was nothing compared to Junior's abominable 119-108 card for Jermall Charlo. Let's not sugarcoat it: Hazzard Jr. should be suspended for that card. Korobov did some great work during the fight; it's a shame that Hazzard Jr. finished his before the bout even started. He embarrassed the sport on Saturday. 

Matvey Korobov (+) With it being four years since his last fight of note and receiving only a week's notice to face Jermall Charlo, not much was expected of Korobov. Yes, he had been in training camp, but he was preparing for an eight-rounder above the middleweight limit, not a fight against one of the best talents in the division. But surprisingly Korobov troubled Charlo throughout their fight. Although he lost by unanimous decision, more than a few observers thought that Korobov had done enough to win. He consistently punished Charlo with an array of counters. Whenever Charlo would reach with a right hand or overcommit with a shot, Korobov was there with something in return. Korobov could have been busier, but his performance exceeded all realistic expectations. He will get another meaningful fight based on how competitive he was on Saturday. 

Martin Murray (-) Murray's fight against Hassan N'Dam was essentially a last chance for two perennial middleweight contenders. Murray started brightly, attacking N'Dam from the jump and landing a number of solid right hands. But as the fight progressed, Murray's work rate dropped and he couldn't figure out N'Dam's unconventional combinations and tricky rhythms. Ultimately, Murray dropped a majority decision and announced after the fight that he would be retiring. Murray had a solid career and with different judges he could have (and perhaps should have) been a world champion. 

Hassan N'Dam (+) In his previous bout against Ryota Murata, N'Dam's corner stopped the fight after he had taken numerous hard right hands. That had been 14 months ago and it was unknown how N'Dam would look in his return against Martin Murray. After a few rounds of shaking off ring rust, N'Dam used his legs, angles and unique combinations to get the best of Murray. He won via a majority decision, but the fight wasn't all that close. N'Dam remains a tricky opponent; however, he is only truly threatening against those who lack power. 

Josh Warrington (+) Nobody told Josh Warrington that he was supposed to lose to Lee Selby and Carl Frampton this year. But Warrington believed that he had far more to offer than just being a scrappy "opponent." He would go on to attack Selby and Frampton ferociously and neither was able to match his intensity level. Although not considered a big puncher, Warrington had Frampton hurt several times during Saturday's fight. Featuring a whirlwind of movement, body punches galore and a rock solid chin, Warrington slugged his way to a unanimous decision victory in his first title defense. It's safe to say that Warrington will no longer be underrated. He's a real force at featherweight and no fighter is going to enjoy getting in the ring with him. 

Dillian Whyte standing over a fallen Dereck Chisora
Photo Courtesy of Dave Thompson

Dillian Whyte (+) It's easy to pick apart Whyte's flaws in the ring: His footwork is ponderous, his focus can drift in and out, his defense can be inconsistent. However, he can certainly fight. On Saturday he knocked out Dereck Chisora in the 11th round with an absolutely beautiful short left hook. Whyte's money punch is the hook, but he's not a one-trick fighter. He used his physicality to beat former champion Joseph Parker earlier this year. In addition, he possesses a fairly large offensive arsenal and can really dig to the body. Whyte has continued to improve since his loss to Anthony Joshua in 2015. An afterthought in the division three years ago, he's now among the top five heavyweights in the world. 

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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