A critical look at the past week in boxing
Shields might be wise to stop worrying about knockouts. Women have a harder time serving because of the two-minute rounds, especially against capable opponents like Maricela Cornejo. And let’s face it: Shields is not a great puncher. Otherwise, she will have more than two KOs in 14 fights. She is said to be her nickname (GWOAT) suggests, the best female boxer of all time without much stopping. Isn’t that enough? Shields (14-0, 2 KOs) clearly doesn’t think so. The undisputed 160-pound champion said in her defense against Cornejo on Saturday that she was training her punching power, thinking there would be more knockdowns. And she was clearly trying to end the match against Cornejo early, getting ready and unleashing massive punches – some of them wild – aimed at impoting Cornejo. The problem for Shields is that the challenger is persistent and smart enough to accept the punishment and survive to hear the final bell. As a result, in a sense, Shields failed. She won the decision to close but didn’t realize her stated goal was to get KO #3, which left her a bit frustrated. I believe that dominant, unanimously decided victories are enough. Shield should fight like she did in the late game against Cornejo, not in a sloppy way in the early rounds. Jab, throw combo, unleash fierce vortex. If the knockout comes, fine. If they don’t, that’s fine too. Shields is great and a big attraction.
Shields doesn’t have many great options ahead of him. She mentioned the possibility of fighting the winner in a July 1 bout between the 168-pound champion Franchon Dezurn Crew And Marshall Prairie in her next battle or participate in a “Four Queens”-style showdown with Crew Dezurn, Marshall and Green Shadasia. The problem with that plan was that she defeated both Crews Dezurn and Marshall convincingly. Green is the hottest potential opponent even though she’s relatively unproven. The New Jersey fighter is 12-0 with 11 takedowns, albeit against a second-rate opponent. The reality is that the 160- and 168-pound talent pool isn’t deep. … It’s nice to see big boxing back in Detroit, where it’s been in production Joe Louis and many other great martial artists. I just hope Michigan’s Unarmed Combat Committee learned some lessons from the card on Saturday. In particular, the ending of Ardreal Holmes–Wendy Toussaint The battle was chaotic. Toussaint suffered a deep cut on his forehead from a head collision in the 1/8 round. The ring doctor allowed the match to continue, but the referee White Gerald decided to stop it as soon as it continued. White should be applauded for taking decisive action but he should never have engaged the doctor after making his decision. The referee has the sole discretion to decide to make any move he considers appropriate. I guess the Michigan officials will look at the card and do better next time. … Holmes-Toussaint results – decided to split for Holmes – was immediately deprecated as Toussaint seemed to control the second half of the teamfight and took all his momentum when it was blocked. Holmes should give Toussaint a rematch.