Tuesday, May 28, 2019

SNB Stock Report 5-28-19

After a long hiatus and a particularly busy fight weekend, it's time for another edition of the SNB Stock Report. See which fighters' stock rose (Up), sank (Down) or remained unchanged (NC).

Jamel Herring (Up): Less than two years ago, Herring lost to Ladarius Miller, capping off a 1-2 run that also saw him knocked out by Denis Shafikov. After that second defeat, Herring decided to make some changes in his career. He signed with Top Rank, moved down to junior lightweight and joined up with head trainer Brian McIntyre, known for his work with Terence Crawford. After three victories, Herring faced junior lightweight champ Masayuki Ito on Saturday. Despite being a significant underdog, Herring controlled the action in the ring. Boxing beautifully behind his right jab, Herring used his considerable technical skills to befuddle the one-dimensional Ito. It was a proud moment for the Marine, who won his first championship belt on Memorial Day weekend. 

Herring (right) controls Ito with a right hook
Photo Courtesy of Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Masayuki Ito (Down): There's no questioning Ito's toughness or determination. But he needed more than just that and a right hand to defeat Herring. Ito was able to land a couple of solid rights early, but most of the night he spent out of range or unable to hit the target. Ito didn't have an amateur career and frankly, his lack of pedigree was exposed on Saturday. When Plan A wasn't working he had nothing in his arsenal for a Plan B. Ito remains a rugged junior lightweight, but he's going to need more to remain a factor at the highest level in the division. And at 28, time isn't on his side. 

Devin Haney (Up): Haney had perhaps Saturday's best moment, a KO of the Year contender in the seventh round against Antonio Moran. Although he had controlled the action up to that point, Haney unleashed a whipsaw of an overhand right that sent Moran to the canvas for several minutes. Although not blessed with A+ power, Haney's punch variety, accuracy, ring craft and poise will make him a factor in the top reaches of the lightweight division. With defensive moves learned from the Mayweather gym and ring maturity well beyond his 20 years of age, the sky is the limit for one of the sport's best boxing prospects. 

Haney (left) unleashes a right hand
Photo Courtesy of Ed Mullholland

Terrell Gausha (Up): When last in a meaningful fight, Terrell Gausha was overwhelmed against Erislandy Lara, dropping a unanimous decision and not competing for large portions of the fight. But on Saturday against former champion Austin Trout, Gausha looked fresh and menacing. He repeatedly connected with his best right hands and seemed to have consistently landed the more telling blows throughout the fight. Although Trout was able to crawl back into the match in the second half, Gausha did more than enough to win. Unfortunately, he could do no better than to receive a split draw on the cards, but to my eyes he won a clear six or seven of the ten rounds. 

Austin Trout (No Change): Very few fighters have taken on the level of competition that Trout has: Cotto, Canelo, Lara, both Charlos, Hurd. The former junior middleweight titlist has been in a lot of wars and perhaps at 33 he is starting to slow down. Trout spent a considerable amount of the first half of the fight against Gausha absorbing punishment or in retreat. Ultimately, he was lucky to get a draw, but he still displayed his customary toughness and ability to rally in the second half of a fight. He remains useful in a division stacked with up-and-comers (for example, Lubin and Booker) needing a professional opponent. 

Chordale Booker (Up): Booker got a late start to his professional career and at age 28 has only had 15 fights. But as he displayed on Saturday against veteran gatekeeper Wale Omotoso, Booker looks to be ready for the top reaches of the junior middleweight division. Featuring an excellent jab, an abundance of technical skills and solid movement, Booker commanded the ring. Omotoso represented the best opponent of Booker's career, but Booker appeared to be two or three levels above him. If all goes right, expect to see Booker land his first title shot within the next 12-18 months. 

Carlos Canizales (Up): From Venezuela a jurisdiction certainly not attracting top international boxing cards these days, and fighting at junior flyweight (108 lbs.), a weight class that only seems to be of interest to a very few, Canizales had perhaps his highest-profile opportunity of his career on Sunday, defending his title against former flyweight champ Sho Kimura as part of the WBA annual convention in China. Canizales boxed-and-moved beautifully all night and was particularly effective off the back foot. He was the fresher fighter and forced Kimura to stalk ineffectively throughout much of the bout. Canizales won by a wide unanimous division and made his claim as the top fighter at junior flyweight, a division short on big names, but it includes a number of talented boxers. 

Sho Kimura (Down): Matched against another aggressive fighter, say, Kosei Tanaka or Toshiyuki Igarashi, Kimura can look like one of the most exciting boxers in the sport. Constantly coming forward and throwing high punch volumes, Kimura overwhelms specific types of opponents. However, Canizales wasn't such a foe. Canizales used Kimura's aggressiveness against him. Kimura consistently missed the target and loaded up with big shots; meanwhile, Canizales would get in and out with quick combinations. Kimura doubled-down on his aggression as the fight went to the back half, but Canizales never needed to make any serious adjustments. Kimura remains a threat at 108 or 112 lbs., but he'll need an opponent who will stay in front of him if he wants to win another title.

Can Xu (Up): Can defended his secondary featherweight title on Sunday by stopping former junior featherweight titlist Shun Kubo in the sixth round. Although Can doesn't possess one-punch power (in fact he only has three knockouts), his volume and accuracy can badger an opponent. Kubo just didn't have the defensive prowess to keep up with Can and as the fought wore on, it turned into an onslaught. Can fights in a similar style to featherweight titlist Josh Warrington, and while it's unlikely to see them in the ring together any time soon, that matchup could break all 126-lb. punch stat records for punches thrown. 

Michael Hunter (Up): Hunter continues to impress as a heavyweight. Now 5-0 after moving up from cruiserweight, Hunter will never be big for the division, but he has a few facets that will make him competitive against the bigger names at heavyweight. His punch placement is uncanny. He lands shots that opponents don't expect or even see. In addition, he has an exceedingly large punch arsenal for a heavyweight. Any punch in the book, he throws. He destroyed Fabio Maldonado in two rounds on Saturday and his right hand looked truly menacing. Hunter's a welcome addition to a still-thin division. He's ready to face an opponent in the top-ten, and I wouldn't count him out. 

Adam Abramowitz is the founder and head writer of saturdaynightboxing.com
He's a member of Ring Magazine's Ring Ratings Panel and a Board Member for the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board. 
Email: saturdaynightboxing@hotmail.com.
snboxing on twitter. SN Boxing on Facebook.

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