#TEAMEVERLAST ATHLETES BOXING FEATURED

A Winning Weekend for Miller, Shields and Hooker

A Winning Weekend for Miller, Shields and Hooker

By David Greisman

Jarrell Miller Finishes Dinu in Four, Awaits Bigger Heavyweight Fights

Source

Pressure bursts pipes — and boxers as well.

That’s what happened to Bogdan Dinu on Saturday night. Try as he did to box well and avoid Jarrell Miller, ultimately Miller got to him. And once Miller got to him, the fight didn’t last much longer. Miller scored the fourth-round knockout, dropping Dinu twice in the process.

Dinu is 6-foot-5 and in-shape at 237 pounds. Miller, meanwhile, is 6-foot-4 and came in nearly 80 pounds heavier, at about 315 pounds. But for all the focus on Miller’s weight, he’s rather capable in the ring, with good hand speed and combination punching.

Dinu did the right thing in the first two rounds by sticking and moving, landing blows and then stepping out of range. He couldn’t keep it up. Miller closed the distance in the third round and went to the body, trying to lessen Dinu’s ability to move. One left hook veered too low, a foul that dropped Dinu toward the end of the round.

Miller dropped Dinu in earnest about 50 seconds into the fourth round, sending two right hands to the body, following up with a right uppercut and finishing with a left hook. Dinu remained on one knee until the referee reached nine, composing himself before rising. Miller soon sent him down again with a right hand. This time Dinu remained kneeling, listening to the referee and then standing up only once the count was over. He’d had enough.

Miller is now 23-0-1 with 20 knockouts. This was his second fight in a month and a half. He’s stayed busy to build momentum toward a bigger fight with one of the top heavyweights. Miller wants Anthony Joshua in particular, but he also acknowledged that Joshua might have another fight next instead. And so Miller also expressed interest in Dillian Whyte (who has a rematch against Dereck Chisora in December), unbeaten Trevor Bryan, Dave Allen and the ever-chinny David Price.

Dinu suffered his first loss and is now 18-1 with 14 KOs.

 

With Hammer Fight Delayed, Claressa Shields Adds Third World Title

Claressa Shields was supposed to be taking on a much tougher opponent in a much bigger fight this past weekend. But when Christina Hammer pulled out of their bout for medical reasons — a fight that was supposed to produce an undisputed champion in the 160-pound division — Shields opted to stay busy.

Shields picked up her third win of the year, and her third world title at middleweight, with a shutout of Hannah Rankin. All three judges saw it 100-90, or 10 rounds to none.

“I knew the girl was tough,” Shields said afterward. “She showed her heart.”

For all her heart and skill, Rankin didn’t exactly come in with the glossiest of records. She was 5-2 with 1 knockout and was coming off a loss to Alicia Napoleon.

“The gap in amateur experience is massive between Claressa Shields and Hannah Rankin,” tweeted Ryan Songalia of RingTV.com as the fight got underway. “Shields is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, while Rankin had a handful of white-collar bouts, zero amateur fights, and learned primarily from sparring top European middleweights.”

Shields’ talent prevailed. She moved to 7-0 with 2 knockouts, and now she’s hoping to move on to tougher challenges.

She now has three of the four world titles at middleweight — she picked up the WBC title, which was left vacant when Hammer pulled out of the fight. The Hammer fight hasn’t been rescheduled yet, and so Shields is setting her eyes on Cecilia Braekhus, the undisputed 147-pound champion and the fighter regarded as the best female boxer in the world.

Shields, who started her pro career in the 168-pound division, has said she could make 154 pounds to fight Braekhus there. And to help try to sell that potential fight, Shields could fight again in less than a month — on the Dec. 8 undercard of Braekhus’ next fight, which will be aired on HBO. That’s according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, who also broke down why making a fight between Braekhus and Shields may be difficult.

“Braekhus has minimal interest in moving up to 154 pounds to face Shields, two sources close to Braekhus told SI.com, citing Shields’s size and the likelihood she would rehydrate to a significantly heavier weight,” Mannix wrote. “Braekhus would be interested in facing Shields at 147 pounds, a weight Shields’s nutritionist has told her she could safely make—but one Shields isn’t interested in.”

Maurice Hooker Stops Alex Saucedo, Sets Up Unification With Ramirez

Maurice Hooker keeps going into hostile territory and getting the job done.

Earlier this year he went to Manchester, England, and defeated Terry Flanagan by split decision. That earned him a world title in the 140-pound division, but he still wound up going to another fighter’s hometown to defend it.

And so Hooker went to Oklahoma City this past Friday, performing in front of a partisan crowd that had come to support Alex Saucedo. That crowd roared when Saucedo dropped Hooker in the second round. But they saw Hooker get back up, take over the fight, and score a seventh-round technical knockout.

The fight started off at a fast pace. Saucedo is an aggressive fighter who was just coming off a barnburner victory over Lenny Zappavigna. Hooker wasn’t about to be intimidated. Saucedo needed to get closer given his style and Hooker’s long arms. Hooker kept throwing to try to keep Saucedo off him, and he tried to catch Saucedo coming in. They combined for 187 shots in the first round alone, Hooker going 28 of 109 while Saucedo was 20 of 78, according to CompuBox.

Saucedo was able to score big about 50 seconds into the second round. Hooker attempted a one-two combination. Saucedo ducked to his left and countered with an overhand right to Hooker’s exposed head. Hooker dropped but got up quickly. He seemed steady. Saucedo approached as if Hooker was hurt, hoping to land flush again. Even though Hooker looked to have his wits about him, he wasn’t throwing much and tended to remain on the ropes.

In the final minute of the round, Hooker burst forward with his own barrage, landing three quick rights, digging to the body with a left hook soon thereafter, following up with a right and putting Saucedo in retreat.

By the fourth round, Hooker was confident enough to keep his gloves down at his sides at moments. He was boxing better, landing when Saucedo was close, and took another Saucedo overhand right fine. Hooker punctuated the round with a foul, landing a shot after the bell, the second straight round in which that happened. It wouldn’t be the last.

Saucedo took over the fifth, though. He had Hooker back on the ropes for most of it. Saucedo didn’t seem to be landing often; Hooker blocked and dodged much of what came his way. Then again, Hooker wasn’t scoring either, at least until the final seconds, when he came forth with a huge flurry, as if to send a message.

The sixth round belonged to Hooker. Once more he struck after the bell, this time with a few shots. Saucedo walked to his corner with blood from his eye, reflecting the damage that he’d taken throughout.

“The cut started getting in my way. I couldn’t do anything,” Saucedo said afterward. “I couldn’t see out of my left eye. I started getting hit more.”

Hooker capitalized in the seventh, letting his hands go with impunity, Saucedo unable to block or avoid most of them. Each shot seemed to land with emphasis. Saucedo was shaken early, then was buckled by a pair of one-twos, staggering back into the ropes. The referee ruled it a knockdown. Hooker followed up with a handful of clean blows, and the referee rightly stepped in.

Hooker is now 25-0-3 with 17 KOs. He spoke in the ring afterward about wanting to face Jose Ramirez in a unification bout.

Ramirez and Saucedo are both promoted by Top Rank. And that’s a fight that can still be made despite Saucedo’s defeat. Ramirez vs. Hooker would be much bigger. The winner would have two titles and would be the best junior welterweight who’s not currently participating in the World Boxing Super Series tournament (which features guys like Regis Prograis and Josh Taylor).

Saucedo is now 28-1 with 18 KOs.

 

Luis Arias and Gabriel Rosado Fight to Draw

You can’t predict a fight based on records alone.

Luis Arias had lost just once, against the very good Daniel Jacobs. Gabriel Rosado had lost 11 times, including six defeats in his last 10 fights. And while those six had all come against notable names — Gennady Golovkin, Peter Quillin, Jermell Charlo, David Lemieux, Willie Monroe, and Martin Murray — you could be excused for picking against Rosado.

Rosado more than held his own against Arias, though. Their fight ended as a split draw. One judge had it even, 114-114, or six rounds apiece. Another judge had Rosado ahead, 116-112, or eight rounds to four, while the third judge saw Arias the winner by the same margin.

That says more about Arias than it does about Rosado. A top-flight middleweight shouldn’t be held to a draw against Rosado. Arias, who is now 18-1-1 with 9 KOs, was coming off a yearlong layoff following the Jacobs defeat. We’ll see in his next fight whether that ring rust played a role in this performance or if he has hit his ceiling.

Rosado is now 24-11-1 with 14 KOs. He’ll continue to fight on, a perpetual B-side hoping for one more chance to prove that he has what it takes to win big when it counts most.

David Greisman
About the Author:

David Greisman. David Greisman is an award-winning boxing writer based out of Washington, D.C., who has covered the sport since 2004. He is the senior staff writer and "Fighting Words" columnist for BoxingScene.com and a reporter for The Ring magazine. Greisman is the author of the book "Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing." Follow on Twitter @fightingwords2

Comments