Wilder/Stiverne, Rios/Alvarado and Froch: a Week in Summary

By Joseph McNally [Twitter/instagram: @Joseph_McNally]

I’ll be the first to admit when I’m wrong and last Saturday evening I was wrong about the predication for the WBC heavyweight contest between Deontay Wilder and Bermane Stiverne (I was very confident that Stiverne would know too much for a rugged Wilder) however, there is one thing I believe I called right – a little controversy.

Now, before I go all conspiracy theory on you I will give credit where it’s due: Wilder proved he can do the rounds, which I doubted, and box to a game plan over the course of a championship fight. However, the recent revelations about Stiverne being highly dehydrated and being hospitalised for a number of days to receive UV drips (I believe) are very suspicious.

Why? Because Stiverne is a heavyweight which means he didn’t have to make weight therefore, he has been nowhere near a sauna, sweatsuit, Epsom salt baths or water loads during fight week. Also, we have seen time and again with the lower weight categories a fighter come in to the ring dehydrated and be weakened, specifically not being able to take a shot due to the toll that making weight has had – Stiverne was soaking up massive shots all night and smiling. He was totally coherent in the corner and was trying to carry out instructions. What’s more, this is a world champion training out of Floyd Mayweather’s gym and people are telling us that he had no nutritional advice or monitoring through camp?

So, why didn’t Stiverne let his hands go like we seen in the two Arreola fights? Because it became very apparent, very earlier that Wilder’s size and reach advantage was too much for the Canadian. Wilder’s very impressive jab was causing Stiverne massive problems and he didn’t have an answer for it – Arreola is a top fighter but he isn’t as big or powerful as Wilder and it showed – when a man of Wilder’s size pumps a jab in your face every time you throw you will become gun-shy very quickly.

The reason I don’t believe that Stiverne was dehydrated is that the promotional teams behind the two fighters need a reason or an excuse to justify the one sided nature of this fight so that they can make a rematch. Stiverne will want/need to get back in to title contention as soon as possible and Wilder (even though he is the champion) doesn’t have too many options if he wants to keep hold of that belt.

As many questions as Wilder answered on Saturday evening, he posed more. He was just as wild as ever, seemed very easy to hit (when Stiverne actually threw) and looked shaken on more than one occasion when tagged with glancing shots. Therefore, I can’t see his team putting him near a dangerous opponent for at least his next three fights – in the mean time they need a fighter who has a decent reputation but causes Wilder no problems- they need a Bermane Stiverne. And that my friends is why the dehydration fabrication has come to light. Let’s not forget, Don King has his filthy fingers in this heavyweight pie…

This coming weekend sees the rubber match between Brandon ‘Bam Bam’ Rios and Mike ‘Mile High’ Alvarado with the score currently reading one apiece. However, will we see a fight as exciting as the first two? I don’t think so.

The first fight between these two took a lot out of both fighters – Alvarado seemed to adapt marginally for the second fight but subsequently has taken massive punishment in two recent back-to-back losses to Marquez and Provodnikov whereas, Rios took a hell of a beating from Pacquiao and was in another tear up against Chaves in a DQ win last time out.

I guess what I am trying to say is that both fighters seem to be past their best and that is in no way a criticism of two top, world level fighters it is merely an observation from a fan of these ‘brawler’ type fighters. Their exciting styles have been their undoing in not only recent losses but also in the two fights with each other.

There are multiple arguments which can swing the opinion of fans when picking a winner of this fight however, at 28 (Rios) and 34 (Alvarado) it is difficult to tell who has more mileage on the clock: Alvarado is older but Rios has fought in absolute wars with world level opponents for a lot longer. I also think Rios hits harder than Alvarado but he’s not a natural welterweight, neither bring in great form etc.

Alvarado does come in to this fight on the back of two devastating losses which cannot do his confidence much good as well as the weight of potential imprisonment on his shoulders for gun charges which I think could be telling.

My prediction is that Rios will take the victory via a stoppage within 8 eights however, what I will say is that the outcome of this fight could massively depend on the mind frame of both fighters and who has declined most.

Carl Froch revealed earlier this week that his proposed and highly publicised potential dream fight with Julio Cesar Chavez JNR in Las Vegas has been shelved (potentially only temporarily) with Froch picking up an elbow injury.

Froch is a marmite kind of kind guy, you either love him or hate him however, as a fighter I can’t understand how anyone can dislike him. Sure, he’s unorthodox and doesn’t box in a typical way but when he bites down on his gum-shield and produces moments like he did in the 4th round of the Lucien Bute fight or the 12th round of the Jermaine Taylor fight it makes my hairs stand on end.

He has a chin that is only bettered by the size of his heart and his determination to win, he has fought everybody in and around the top of his division for the best part of seven years and I will genuinely feel for the guy if he doesn’t manage to secure that fight in Las Vegas that he so desires.

I am unsure if this delay will now tempt Froch to take a massive risk and face James DeGale – the awkward southpaw could make anybody in the super middleweight division work for their money – however, if rumours are to be believed and DeGale lands a fight for a world title with Mikel Kessler and wins then another potential Wembley summer showdown could be on the cards for Froch.

Personally, I really want the Froch v Chavez fight to happen as: Froch deserves a swansong, he deserves a final payday and us as boxing fans deserve to see Chavez JNR get a beating.