Convicted Artist Magazine

Feb 23rd
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boxing glovesIf Darren Barker really has to retire due to hip replacements backing up on him, his win over Geale is even more extraordinary.  Sturm's reign will likely be a short one if he steps up, or a long one, if he returns to his protected ways in Germany, but this win was very impressive.  I have never been much of a fan, but he handled business, and went against his own nature to facilitate it.  Kudos to Barker for getting up twice, as well, and was even stopped while firing back.
Speaking of surprise results, was Rigo the only one who did what was expected on 12/7?  I know Kirkland won in a way he has before, but that fight with Tapia had so many potential outcomes, none could be considered a surprise.  Porter shocked Alexander.  Paulie Malignaggi pulled the slight upset.  Unbeaten and skilled Lamar Russ was outhustled by a recently wounded Macklin.  Even Dirrell could not get the title from Bika.  Trout vs. Lara may have had the winner a lot were predicting, but virtually no one thought it would be a rout.  Kudos to Rigo for winning as easily as we all expected.
Speaking of Rigo, we will not really know how consistent he is until he faces a busy fighter.  He has stunk it out when others do not make the fight, yet most of the aggressive fighters would likely walk into their own destruction.  He does not have an iron chin, but like Ward and Roy Jones in his early career, Rigo gets hit so rarely, that it does not matter.  If they can turn Lomachencko into a volume puncher, maybe the Cuban will have some competition.
Speaking of  Vasyl Lomachencko, he is indicative of the first real divide in Top Rank/Golden Boy strategies.  For all of their feuding, they have essentially been the same company.  Building talent, promoting stars, taking advantage of ethnic fan-bases, and network deals.  However, GBP signed almost all the US amateurs, while TRP went after the successful ones from other countries.  It remains to be seen which strategy will produce better results long term... but the money has been following Top Rank so far.

Chris Strait

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