Ouma and Spinks Fall
This past weekend proved disastrous for two of the most recognizable 154 pound fighters out there, as Kassim Ouma and Cory Spinks both dropped decisions.
Ouma (25-5, 15KOs) faced the durable but limited Cornelius Bundrage (28-3, 16 KOs) in a Friday Night Fights main event. This was also Oumas first bout since consecutive losses to Jermain Taylor and Saul Roman. From the start Ouma seemed listless, not showing any of the famed workrate he built his reputation on. While Ouma was content to throw jabs, Bundrage pressed the fight and scored with right hands.
Ouma had a quick offensive output in the fourth when he saw Bundrage cut from an accidential headbutt. However, Bundrage kept his composure and landed the harder, cleaner punches down the stretch to secure the bout. The scorecards read 96-93, 95-94, and 96-93 all for Bundrage.
This loss effectively puts Oumas career in limbo. In order to make another run at the top, hell have to put himself through a hellacious schedule to get the attention of name fighters in the 154 pound division. Three bouts in the last two years is horrible for a workrate-based fighter like Ouma (and as we saw with Paul Williams last month). It remains to be seen if Oumas heart is still in the sport of boxing.
In an untelevised bout, 38 year old Verno Philips (42-10, 21 KOs) upset Cory Spinks (36-5, 11 KOs) to win the IBF 154 pound title.
While both men were coming off long layoffs (since early 2007), Spinks showed more rustiness.
The Jinx was unable to showcase his normally nimble footwork and avoid Phillips attacks.
Opting to brawl, Spinks found little success since hes always lacked the firepower to compete with solid punchers.
Final scorecards read 116-112, 113-115, and 115-113 for Phillips.
This is Spinks second loss in a row after dropping a unanimous decision to Jermain Taylor last May.
To make matters worse, Spinks has now split with his longtime trainer and manager Kevin Cunningham.
Hatton Engages in More Doublespeak Regarding Witter Bout
www.setantasports.com recently spoke with Ray Hatton(Rickys father) regarding a proposed showdown with longtime rival Junior Witter. Witter has been calling out the Hitman for years, in what would be a lucrative and huge showdown for UK fans. Hatton, Sr attempted to explain why his son has not accepted the challenge:
No disrespect to Junior, we've met him and he's a nice guy. I just basically think people around him have advised him wrongly and read Ricky Hatton wrong. You'll never meet a nicer person than Ricky, but he does have a stubborn streak when he digs his heels in.
Regarding his sons comments on Witter, Hatton, Sr went on to say:
"He said: 'Dad, one day I think I'll wake up and say make the fight now, get it made now. But I want to feel that I'm making the fight. I don't want to feel that I'm forced to make the fight.'"
Of course, this is a load of garbage from Hatton. Luckily, there are not too many options at 140, and Hatton is woefully undersized to try and make another attempt at welterweight. This fight is 50-50, and its high time Hatton man up and face Witter. If the Mayweather rematch rumors fizzle, expect Hatton to finally face Witter after taking care of Paulie Malignaggi.
Judah-Mosley Spar with Words
Now that their bout has been confirmed for May 31st, the trash talk has begun heating up from both camps. Check out the youtube link for highlights from their last press conference.
This will be an exciting fight, but also an easy one to predict. Mosley has proven in fights against Forrest, De La Hoya, and Cotto that he has a world class chin. He will be able to withstand Judahs early firepower and wear the Brooklynite down with brutal body punching in the bouts second half. Expect Judah to get walked down from round six on and get TKOd by the 11th.
Arthur Abraham Clips Ayala, Eyes Pavlik
Talented Arthur Abraham (26-0, 21KOs) defeated Elvin Ayala by TKO this past Saturday. Abraham retained his IBF middleweight title and further made a case for a possible unification bout with linear champion Kelly Pavlik. Both men are hard punchers, meaning wed have an explosive fight on our hands. While Abraham is not well known in the states, a showcase HBO card with both men against lesser opponents could quickly change that.
Kessler Backs Out of Miranda Bout for 175 Pound Title Shot?
Mikkel Kessler was set to face Edison Miranda on May 24th, but then Kesslers camp abruptly withdrew without reason. Miranda has gone on his usual verbal rampage, but Kesslers camp has remained strangely quiet since the move.
According to www.boxingscene.com , Kesslers cancellation may precede a surprise jump to light heavyweight. Rumor has it Kessler is looking to get ranked by the WBA, whose title has just been vacated by a retiring Danny Green. The move would allow Kessler to face Hugo Garay for the vacant title, and start the path to other stars in the division like Clinton Woods or Chad Dawson.
If true, this was a very unethical move on Kesslers part. However, one cant help but be intrigued by the wealth of potential matchups: Kessler vs. Dawson, Woods, Johnson, or Calzaghe II?
Valero Cleared to Fight in the U.S.!
Undefeated KO artist Edwin Valero (23-0, 23 KOs) has been cleared to fight in Texas. The Lone Star state is the first U.S. jurisdiction to clear Valero since he was medically suspended back in 2004. The WBA 130 pound champ will first look to secure a U.S. promoter before making noise, and best believe he will. His next fight will be June 12th in Tokyo against mandatory challenger Israel Perez. These two met previously in the 2000 Olympic Games, which Perez won.