Sherdog's James Kinneen has everything you need to know about the notable results from the weekend in boxing.
Linares Shakes Off Lomachenko Loss With 3rd Round Stoppage
It didn’t take long for Jorge Linares to put an end to the talk that the loss to Lomachenko would have a lingering effect on his career, and it didn’t take much longer to put an end to the idea that his fight with Abner Cotto was going to be close. In his first fight at 140, Linares dropped Abner Cotto in the second round, and then floored him a couple more times in the third round until the fight was stopped.
As good as Linares looked, the far from aesthetically pleasing ending to the fight marred an otherwise great performance. Linares landed a body shot that Cotto thought was low, then pounced on Cotto as he turned with his arms outstretched to complain to the referee. After this, a series of knockdowns in which a shaky Cotto pulled Linares down in an attempt to keep from hitting the ground followed, resulting in an ugly ending.
After the fight, Linares called out Mikey Garcia for a fight at 140 and Vasyl Lomachenko for a rematch at 135. Why fighters refuse to acknowledge that Mikey Garcia wants to move up to 147 to fight Errol Spence Jr. I’m not sure. Still, a loss in this fight would have led to whispers of retirement, but with an emphatic win like this one instead the talk will be about the new force at 140 pounds.
Haney Can’t Stop, But Thoroughly Outclasses Burgos
At only 19 years-old, Blac Chyna’s former boyfriend Devin Haney already looks like he could be something special. On Friday’s Shobox card, he thoroughly outclassed Juan Carlos Burgos, ultimately winning a unanimous 100-90, 100-90, 97-93 decision. The fight was not especially thrilling, but Haney should not be completely faulted for this. Although he did have moments of inaction especially in the final round, Haney gave it a decent go looking for the stoppage, and had Burgos hurt in the sixth frame, however Burgos has never been stopped as a professional despite facing guys like Mikey Garcia and refused to be stopped by Haney.
After the fight, Haney declared himself the “new money,” a statement that would seem blasphemous if longtime boxing writer Graham Houston hadn’t echoed the idea on twitter. Plenty of “next Floyd Mayweather’s” have appeared in boxing only to sputter out due to an ironic lack of “hard work” and “dedication.” Hopefully the “new money” understands what made Floyd so great was not his financial abilities, but his relentless work ethic.
Smith Knocks Out Groves in Saudi Arabia
Whether the Saudis will become boxing fans or not is still unclear, but Callum Smith did everything he could to make sure they saw an exciting finish in the region’s first live boxing event. In the final match of the World Boxing Super Series’ 168-pound tournament, Smith landed a left hook to the top of the head, then a flurry of punches while a staggered Groves was trapped against the ropes. As more and more shots landed, Groves crumbled and was unable to beat the ten count.
Interestingly enough, while most viewers saw the fight as fairly even before the stoppage. Groves was well up on the official scorecards, meaning that Smith’s knockout was both impressive and vital. Smith called out David Benavidez after the fight, in a match that would pit the WBC 168 pound champion and the newly crowned WBA champion.
Uzcategui Wins Expected Decision After Failure to Get Better Fights
Jose Uzcategui beat Ezequiel Maderna by a unanimous 98-92, 100-90, 100-90 decision in a non-title fight that took place at 174 pounds. Uzcategui was never going to lose this fight, the Venezuelan had lost only twice; a decision to Matt Korobov and a disqualification loss to Andre Dirrell when Uzcategui hit him just after the bell, while Maderna had lost to any name fighter he ever faced.
Although the fight was uninspired, Uzcategui claimed this was on purpose, saying "Everybody expected an explosive fight, but everyone is running away from me, so my trainer [Jose Cital] and I developed a strategy to go 10 rounds so maybe the other champions will fight me. [Gilberto] Ramirez, [David] Benavidez, here I am, come fight me."
That’s obviously crap, but maybe it will work for him. Either way, next up for Uzcategui is likely Caleb Plant, the mandatory challenger to his IBF title.