Tuesday Topics: Ajagba, Rice, Tank-Garcia, Francis Ngannou, More

Tuesday Subjects: Ajagba, Rice, Tank-Garcia, Francis Ngannou, Extra

I hear it’s NFL playoff season.

However being a diehard New York Jets fan in January is usually about as worthwhile as scouting out ocean-front property in North Dakota.

Which suggests, in lieu of spending my time this previous weekend hanging on six video games’ value of punts, passes, and kicks, I flitted by way of the channels and stuffed up my pocket book.

So, within the spirit of Peter King – or whomever most resembles Peter King in soccer circles lately – listed below are a dozen issues that I feel, I feel.

12. Efe Ajagba is a handsome fighter. He’s tall, robust and fights properly in an offensive posture behind an correct jab and a difference-making proper hand. He took Stephan Shaw’s unbeaten file with a methodical efficiency that was barely past the basic degree however was however efficient sufficient to dissuade his foe from persistently opening up along with his personal arsenal.

11. However it’s exhausting to check him climbing a lot greater. He’s already been dropped and overwhelmed by way of one-sided resolution by Frank Sanchez. And, as ESPN’s burgeoning crew of Corridor of Famers – Andre Ward and Tim Bradley – can attest, he didn’t look significantly good going backward. Although he’s been competitively linked to guys like Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce, my recommendation could be to remain away.

10. Jonnie Rice is on a great roll. The 35-year-old South Carolina native dropped his personal resolution to Ajagba about two-and-a-half years in the past, however he turned issues round with consecutive defeats of beforehand unbeaten behemoth Michael Coffie. And although win No. 3 may not have come had it not been for the defective pores and skin over Guido Vianello’s left eye, it was good to see the precise man win.

9. Boxing acquired a fortunate break in Verona. Referee Benjy Esteves is an undisputed champion of those that comply with the game for a residing. Good man. Good at his job. However he was lifeless incorrect when he prompt Vianello’s lower had been brought on by a butt. No butt had occurred, however Vianello would have escaped on the scorecards had it not been for an out there replay and a successful commissioner.

8. It shouldn’t have needed to come to that. Good factor for Rice the combat was occurring on an ESPN broadcast, a ringside replay was available, and the rating official was OK with permitting it for use regardless of it not being a part of the state fee’s rule ebook. Which begs the query: Why is replay not utilized in each state? Why would boxing not depend on each out there know-how?

7. It’s the twenty first century, appropriate? Soccer makes use of replays. Hockey makes use of replays. Baseball makes use of replays. The UFC makes use of replays. And though there’s an occasional delay that leaves followers impatiently scrolling by way of Instagram feeds whereas ready for resumption, it virtually at all times results in getting calls proper. Kinda unhappy, isn’t it, that our sport has to rejoice merely when it will get a name appropriate?

6. Talking of the UFC, its loss could also be boxing’s achieve. The extended rift between Dana White and Francis Ngannou lastly led to divorce and White went public Saturday night time with information that his heavyweight champion had been launched. BKFC has already expressed an curiosity within the “Predator’s” providers and it in all probability received’t be lengthy earlier than the PFL throws its hat within the ring as properly.

5. It’s unlikely that Ngannou will win a boxing title. Although he’d in all probability be picked off technique-wise by even the fringiest of immediately’s heavyweight contenders within the ring, the 6-foot-4, 258-pounder is a real monster in the case of brutality. A protracted-discussed showdown with Tyson Fury wouldn’t be a very good thought by way of outcomes, however it’s a assure it’d promote a ton at $79.99 a pop.

4. Speaking about huge fights is getting actually outdated. Although some maintain their noses on the thought of Fury-Ngannou or the likes of Jake Paul, they’re a welcome diversion lately to the regular stream of occasions whose imminent offers are sourced with capital letters earlier than they vanish in a cloud of vitriol. Crawford-Spence already appears a distant reminiscence and others could also be headed there, too.

3. Tank-Garcia seems to be prefer it’s on the ropes. Talking of going public, Oscar De La Hoya did so on social media and claimed Monday represented a tough deadline earlier than he “moved on” to different issues with Ryan Garcia. The unbeaten “King Ry” has loads of different choices and wannabe suitors in Tank’s wake however wouldn’t be good if a combat that’s loudly promised really will get made one in every of lately?

2. Towards that finish, there’s a number of I’d actually like. If 2023 is a 12 months the place a minimum of one thing worthwhile occurs within the ring, mark me down as one who’d put Fury-Usyk on the prime of the want record. A legit heavyweight champ could be an incredible current for all of us, adopted maybe by Bivol-Beterbiev at 175 and even Inoue-Fulton at 122. The final one’s a attain, but when it occurs, it says right here Fulton wins.

1. It’s noon Monday as I write this. And the ESPN app tells me there’s one other soccer recreation tonight. So whereas watching Cowboys-Bucs is roughly equal to picking between a migraine and hemorrhoids, I’ll spin it ahead and allow you to all realize it’s the San Francisco 49ers who’ll win the Tremendous Bowl subsequent month. And talking of the Niners, search for the Jets to overpay Jimmy Garoppolo as their savior for 2024.

Completely happy Tuesday.

* * * * * * * * * *

This week’s title-fight schedule:  

No title fights scheduled.

Final week’s picks: None

2023 picks file: 0-1 (0.0 p.c)

2022 picks file: 41-16 (71.9 p.c)  

Total picks file: 1,250-409 (75.3 p.c)  

NOTE: Fights previewed are solely these involving a sanctioning physique’s full-fledged title-holder – no interim, diamond, silver, and so forth. Fights for WBA “world championships” are solely included if no “tremendous champion” exists within the weight class.  

Lyle Fitzsimmons has coated skilled boxing since 1995 and written a weekly column for Boxing Scene since 2008. He’s a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Affiliation of America. Attain him at fitzbitz@msn.com or comply with him on Twitter – @fitzbitz.  

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