Badou Jack put George Groves down in the first round on Saturday night on his way to winning a 12-round split decision to retain his super middleweight title.
Jack and Groves put on a spirited fight that was still in doubt when it went to the judges’ scorecards. One judge favored Jack 116-111 and another had it 115-112 in favor of the champion, while the third judge favored Groves 114-113.
The fight was on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather Jr-Andre Berto bout.
Jack, a Swede who lives in Las Vegas, dropped Groves with a pair of right hands in the first round, but Groves got up quickly to finish the round.
Groves took the fight to Jack in the middle rounds and the two were trading punches all the way to the bell in the final round.
“I should have gotten the knockout, but I didn’t,” Jack said.
Jack was making the first defense of the WBC title he won in April from Anthony Dirrell.
He was favored by the ringside punching stats that showed him landing 210 of 506 punches to 154 of 721 for Groves.
Groves was coming off a two-fight winning streak after dropping two fights in his native England to Carl Froch.
“I thought I won the fight decisively,” Groves said. “Losing a world title fight is the worst feeling in the world.”
In another fight, Orlando Salido attacked Roman Martinez from the opening bell and the two battled to a draw in their junior lightweight title fight.
Salido, who lost a decision to Martinez in April, threw far more punches than Martinez and was the aggressor in the bout, but Martinez landed some hard blows and was sharp when he had punching room on the outside.
One judge favored Martinez 115-113, while another had Salido winning 115-113. The third judge had it 114-114.
CHARLO V BUNDRAGE
AFP, NEW YORK
Undefeated Jermall Charlo wrested the IBF junior middleweight title from 42-year-old Cornelius Bundrage on Saturday, dethroning boxing’s oldest champion by dominating a third-round stoppage in Connecticut.
The 25-year-old Charlo, who improved to 22-0, knocked Bundrage down four times before referee Johnny Callas put an end to the carnage at 2 minutes, 33 seconds of the third round.
“You never put a dog in a pen with a lion,” Charlo said.
Charlo sent fellow American Bundrage to the canvas once in round one, once in round two and twice in the third at Foxwoods Resort and Casino.
Callas had seen enough by the fourth knockdown, waving off the fight without a count.
Bundrage (34-6, 19 knockouts) failed to muster any kind of offense or keep the younger Charlo at bay.
Detroit’s Bundrage was boxing’s oldest current world champion and the oldest junior middleweight world champion in history.
Charlo pressed the attack, taking advantage of his reach advantage to land a sharp overhand for the first knockdown. He dropped the champion in a heap with a straight left in round two and then unloaded on him again with another barrage in the final round.
“I’ve finally made it to the championship status. To be classified as a world champion, it’s history,” Charlo said.
Bundrage landed just 20 of 73 punches as he suffered his second defeat in four fights.
“You win some, you lose some. I was in there with a good fighter, who has been active and is hungry,” Bundrage said.
On the same card, former WBO middleweight champion Peter Quillin scored a fifth-round knockout over Australian Michael Zerafa.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is buying the Forum for US$400 million, ending the billionaire’s legal fight with Madison Square Garden Co (MSG) and clearing the way to build a new arena for his NBA team down the street in Inglewood, California. Ballmer on Tuesday announced his cash purchase of the venerated arena. Ballmer, a former Microsoft executive, and Clippers vice chairman Dennis Wong are making the transaction through CAPSS LLC, a newly formed entity that would continue to operate the Forum as a live music venue. “This is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future,” Ballmer said.
DISSENT: The US track and field body joined sports officials in Norway and Brazil, as well as Indian athletes, in calling on the IOC to postpone the Tokyo Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 organizers have started drafting possible alternatives to holding the Olympics this summer, two sources familiar with the talks said, in contrast to the Japanese government’s stance that postponement is not an option. While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted sports events around the world, Japan has been steadfast in saying that the Games would go on. A Japanese government spokesman on Wednesday said that Tokyo was not preparing for postponement. “Finally, we have been asked to make a simulation in case of a postponement,” said one of the sources, an official close to the organizing committee who is involved in drafting the
PROUD, BUT BOWING OUT: The Dallas center missed all of 2018 due to Guillain-Barre syndrome, but Travis Frederick returned to be a standout again last season Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick on Monday stunningly announced his retirement. Frederick, who turned 29 on Wednesday last week, was a Pro Bowl selection in five of his six NFL seasons. Frederick revealed his retirement in a lengthy letter, beginning it by writing: “After much consideration, discussion, and reflection, I have decided to retire from football. This was not an easy decision.” Frederick cited his bout with autoimmune disease Guillain-Barre syndrome as a factor. He missed the 2018 season due to the illness in which the body’s immune system attacks the nervous system, but he returned to be a standout again last
EXPENDITURE: Tokyo Games organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said that ‘additional expenses are going to be quite massive’ to reschedule the Olympics The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is working with sports bodies to arrange a July-to-August window next year for the postponed Tokyo Olympics and hopes to confirm the schedule within a month, Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun reported yesterday. John Coates, head of the IOC’s coordination commission for the Tokyo Olympics, told the newspaper that the Games would have to be held between the tennis Grand Slams of Wimbledon, scheduled to end in mid-July, and the US Open, which starts in late August. “We want to more or less finalize the dates in four weeks’ time,” the newspaper quoted Coates as saying. Coates, who is also