|CURATING THE BEST IN SPORT|
|November 24-30, 2020|
Does boxing really need a new weight class?
The World Boxing Council announced that they will be implementing a new weight class, called the “Bridger Weight”, in honor of a kid that saved his sister from an attacking dog. The first World Title fight will happen next year, but does boxing actually need a new weight class? World Boxing Council President, Mauricio Sulaimán, claims it does because Heavyweight Champions have grown in size, leaving boxers that weigh between 200 (90.72 kilos) and 224 pounds (101.6 kilos) without an appropriate weight class.
In his late dad’s (José Sulaimán’s) blog, Mauricio points out at 24 Heavyweight World Champions from the XX Century, of which the first 19 weighed below the 200 pounds, but he then turns to the XXI Century Champions and the lightest is Deontay Wilder (USA), at 219 pounds. The rest are 238 or heavier. He says that natural human growth is pushing for this new weight class in the same way that weight classes have overall doubled in number in the last century.
Now let’s take a look at the top fighters that have weighed between 200 and 226 pounds in their last two fights: top man would be Oleksandr Usyk (UKR), who is 18-0 and dominated 255.5-pound Dereck Chisora (ENG) in his second Heavyweight bout (Usyk was previously the Cruiserweight Unified World Champion). The other top fighter could be Alexander Povetkin (RUS), who knocked Dillian White (ENG) out cold with a powerful shot for the WBC interim Heavyweight title, three months ago, weighing in at 224 pounds.
Another World-Class contender would be Michael Hunter (USA, 18-1-1, drew with Povetkin last time out). Murat Gassiev (RUS, 27-1) weighed in 198.25 when he lost to Usyk for the Cruiserweight title before he had his Heavyweight debut -at 230.5 pounds!- with a 1-Round KO. The other top 25 fighter according to Boxrec would be Bryant Jennings (USA, 24-4) and the only other top 35 would be Frank Sánchez (CUB, 16-0).
I thought about Tomasz Adamek (POL), who was World Light Heavy (2005-07) and World Cruiser (2008-2009) Champion before jumping up to the Heavyweight, where he was never able to equate his success. But interestingly two of his five defeats would have been against fighters eligible for the Bridger division while he did defeat heavier boxers, so weight might not have been the issue.
Some media (Ring) and experts have complained and tried to mock the WBC but we will give the WBC the benefit of doubt in this one. There are a few boxers that could make for great fights (especially of we consider the heavier Cruiserweights) and it could potentially save injury while we could also not be making boxers try to gain more weight as soon as they are on the Heavyweight division (Gassiev, for example) and it could provide for a smoother transition. And hey, if someone like Usyk or Povetkin could rock the Heavyweight division then worst case could be that they could be World Champions in both weight classes.
Time will tell if the Bridger weight is redundant but so far no new weight class has proved to be, even if some people were reluctant to change and to their adoption at first. What is a fact is that even if you are a Heavy 200-pound boxer, facing a 273-pound Tyson Fury (ENG) is still fighting a boxer that is 73 pounds heavier. At that weight class, punches hurt bad.
|Five things to know from last week|
- Bob your Skeleton. Martins Dukurs (LAT) won both Skeleton races at the IBSF BMW World Cup for Bobsled and Skeleton at his home track in Sigulda, Latvia. He now has a total of 55 World Cup wins. Francesco Friedrich (GER) also won two World Cup races at the track, but in the 2-am Bobsled Category and with a different breakman each time (Alexander Schueller and Margis Thornsten). Meanwhile in Finland, Petra Vlhova (SVK) won both Slalom races at the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup in Levi and now has a record five consecutive World Cup Slalom wins. (Watch – FIS SKI)
- The Dragon is back. Ma Long (CHN) defeated Fan Zhendong (CHN), in a fantastic match (13-11, 11-7, 12-10, 9-11, 11-8) to take the ITTF Finals in Zhengzhou, China. Fan was the defending Champion that last week won the Men’s Table Tennis World Cup. With this title, Ma now was a record of six ITTF Finals won. In the women’s division, Chen Meng (CHN) beat young Wang Manyu (CHN) (11-9, 11-13, 14-12, 11-8, 11-5) to become the first player to win four consecutive ITTF Female Finals (Watch Long vs Zhendong’s Final highlights – ITTF).
- Iberian wins. Spain had a good week with their national football team defeating Germany 6-0 in a UEFA Nations League game, the largest defeated suffered by Germany in over 50 years, albeit this game did not have all of their top players, but superstar Manuel Neuer was the goalkeeper, indeed. In Motorcycling, Albert Arenas (ESP) clinched the Moto3 World Championship while Miguel Oliveira (POR) took the MotoGP season finale at home in Portugal. Enea Bastianini (ITA) won the Moto2 World Title (Watch the last laps of the MotoGP of Portugal).
- Russian wins. Dmitry Medvedev (RUS) had the best tournament of his life to win the ATP Finals, by beating Rafael Nadal (ESP) and Novak Djokovic (SRB) before facing US Open Champion, Dominic Tiem (AUT) in a very good Final that he won. Wesley Koolhof (NET) and Nikola Mektić (CRO) won the Doubles Title. In Paralympic Sport, Vera Muratova (RUS) won the Online Powerlifting World Cup Final, which utilized a system that combined all men’s and women’s weightclasses compete together in a single points-based tournament. She was followed by fellow Russian Anastasiia Mamadamirova and by Jainer Cantillo (COL) (Paralympic).
- Feeling fresh? Deiveson Figueiredo (BRA) quickly defeated Alex Perez (USA) with a submission to defend his UFC Flyweight Championship and it looks like he might be fighting again on December 12th, against #1 ranked Brandon Moreno (MEX), who defeated Brandon Royval (USA) by TKO in the first round as well, as part of the undercard. Valentina Shevchenko (KYR/PER) won defeated Jennifer Maia (BRA) with an unanimous decision to successfully defend her UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship (Fight recap – MMA Weekly).
|GLOBAL PODIUM OF THE WEEK|
Gold: Larry Roeseler/Luke McMillin
(United States of America, Auto Racing)
The Baja 1000, held in Baja California, México, is the world’s most prestigious Off-Road race. Larry Roeseler, aged 63, won a race-record 14th Baja 1000 in the Overall classification, for a total of 18 Class wins. He first won the 1976 Baja 1000 in the Motorcycle category before retiring from Motorcycling in 1994 and transitioning to cars, where he had last won in 2008. 12 years later, he has won again, on a Trophy Truck. He shared driving duties with 27 year-old Luke McMillin, who took the truck at the 430-mile. They had finished third last year. With this result they are the SCORE Desert World Champions.
Watch the truck fly at the Baja 1000 (Dirt to Glory)
Silver: Cali Condors
(United States of America/International, Swimming)
Cali Condors absolutely dominated the Finals of the second Swimming World League with a total of 561.5 points over 464.5 by Energy Standard (FRA), who they also beat on the Semifinals. They won 15 of 39 events in the Final and the top two swimmers in the MVP Standings were from their team: Caeleb Dressel (USA, 96 points) and Lilly King (USA, 71 points). Captain Dressel won a total of five Finals and imposed two short-course World Records in 40 minutes, in the 100-meter butterfly and the 50-meter freestyle. The next day he broke his own 100-meter Individual Medley World Record -set last Monday- and he is now one second faster than anyone else in history. Captain Dressel was the MVP, followed by teammate Lilly King (USA).
These were the swimmers that competed for Cali Condors this season:
Tomás Peribonio (ECU), Khader Baqlah (JOR), Marcin Cieślak, Radosław Kawęcki, Kacper Majchrzak (POL), Eddie Wang (ROC), Mark Szaranek (SCO), Haley Anderson, Bowe Becker, Gunnar Bentz, Erika Brown, Veronica Burchill, Kevin Cordes, Kelsi Dahlia, Caeleb Dressel, Sherridon Dressel, Kelly Fertel, Nic Fink, Hali Flickinger, Townley Haas, Molly Hannis, Natalie Hinds, Tate Jackson, Lilly King, Melanie Margalis, Lia Neal, Beata Nelson, Justin Ress, Allison Schmitt, Meghan Small, Olivia Smoliga, Coleman Stewart (USA),
Watch the Finals Day 2 Highlights (ISL)
Bronze: Justin Morgan/Mark Samuels/Justin Jones
(United States of America, Motorcycling)
They have done it again. After having won the Baja 500, this trio of riders also won the Baja 1000 to win the SCORE Desert World Champions undefeated. The most impressive is that team No. 1x Slam Life Racing Honda CRF450X won its 10th consecutive SCORE Desert Series race title with Justin Morgan, who has 14 race wins over four years, and has now won 5 Baja 1000 races, while Morgan and Jones now have 4 Baja 1000.
SCORE Desert Series had a livestream from the starting line
|GLOBAL SPORTS AGENDA|
Formula 1 has the first of its two races at Bahrain having already crowned Lewis Hamilton (ENG, Mercedes-Benz). Will Sergio Perez (MEX, Racing Point) have another optimal race to persuade Red Bull he deserves to be on the 2021 grid?.
The third leg of the Polo Triple Crown has its most important tournament starting: the Abierto Argentino de Polo. Ellerstina (Facundo Pieres, Hilario Ulloa, Gonzalo Pieres (son) and Nicolás Pieres) are favorites after having taken the previous two legs without dropping a single game: the Tortugas Open and the Hurlingham Open, where they defeated RS Murus Sanctus by 16-11. Ellerstina has won the Triple Crown twice.
The Grad Slam of Darts Final is underway as we send this newsletter, between Jame Wade (ENG) and débutant José de Sousa (POR). Also underway is the UEFA Champions League, where Chesea (ENG) and Sevilla (ESP) are close to the Round of 16.
In Golf, the Ladies European Tour has its final tournament. Will Emily Kristine Pedersen (DEN) win again after she won both tournaments in Saudi? Japan also has its important Tour Championship Ricoh Cup.
It is also Big in Japan as the Super GT has a race, the Nippon Series (currently dominated by SoftBank 2-0 over Yomiuri) concludes, and the Japan Cup for Horse Racing will see three unbeaten Triple Crown winners: Almond Eye (JAP) -in his last race-, Contrail (JAP) and Daring Tact (JAP). This right after Gran Alegria (JAP) won the Mile Championship.
Table Tennis concludes its ITTF RETURN series with the WTT Macao, which is meant to showcase a new form of world-class Table Tennis.
NFL Regular Season
UEFA Champions League Matchday
Shanghai International Marathon (Platinum)
FIA Formula 1 (Sakhir, BAH)
Super GT (Fuji Speedway, JAP)
Nippon League – Nippon Series
KBO – Korean Series
IBU World Cup Finland
WPA – Mosconi Warm Up Matches
WPSBA World Snooker Tour – BETWAY UK CHAMPIONSHIP 2020
World Boxing Council World Minimum Title – Chayaphon Moonsri (THA) vs Panya Pradabsri (THA)
Champions Chess Tour – Skilling Open
Speed Chess Championship Main Event Round of 8 (Possible)
Men’s T20i New Zealand vs West Indies
Men’s T20i South Africa vs England
Men’s ODI Australia vs India
FIS World Cup Finland
2020-2021 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup
PDC Tour – BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts Final
PDC Tour – Ladbrokes Players Championship Finals
Arena of Valor (King Pro League Fall 2020)
PUBG Mobile Global Championship Season 0 starts
Quake Pro League Season 2: Stage 1 Ends
ISU Grand Prix – Japan
Ladies European Tour – Andalucía Costa Del Sol Open De España
Japan LPGA Tour Championship Ricoh Cup
Gran Premio Maipú, Gran Premio Palermo, Gran Premio Nacional (Derby Argentino) (Argentina)
Winterbottom S. (Australia)
Japan Cup (Japan)
Clásico Derby Nacional (Perú)
Summer Cup (South Africa)
Stewards Cup, Trinidad Derby Stakes (Trinidad & Tobago)
FIL World Cup Austria
Nordic Combined Skiing:
World Cup Finland
Autumn Nations Cup
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race Leg 9
Trophée Jules Verne
MotoGP™ eSport Championship Final
SRO E-Sport GT Series Asia
FIS World Cup (Finland)
*This agenda is based on official information at time of publication. All events are subject to change and/or cancellation.
Sport’s best values
|Excellence: Ernesto Canto|
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“I lived my profession 100 per cent to the maximum that I possibly can and for a while now that has been getting harder. Sometimes you don’t choose the end, it happens all by itself.”
Javier Mascherano (ARG)
The most capped player for the Argentinian national Association Football team
Two-time Olympic gold medalist
On his retirement announcement