Truax, Alvarado and More! Impossible Wins! Biggest Upsets of the Month
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
When we say upset, we mean the result was unpredictable. Some boxing results do not stand to reason. Then again, in lookback reflection, sometimes the impossible upsets do actually make sense. Take a look at the biggest monster upsets of the month, and reason why they occurred when in theory they should not have happened in the first place.
Caleb Truax, 29-3-2 with 18 knockouts, Osseo, Minnesota, is the new International Boxing
Federation World Super Middleweight champion. From Minnesota? Sven Ottke or Joe Calzaghe he is not. Truax’s record includes 10 round draws with Phil Williams and Ossie Duran, a 10 round loss to former World Middleweight champion Jermain Taylor in which Taylor came off the canvas to win, a 12th round stoppage loss to Daniel Jacobs in a WBA World Middleweight title bout, and a first-round stoppage loss to former WBC World Super Middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City last year. This reporter, providing the principal ringside coverage for the Atlantic City bout, can verify with authenticity Truax showed absolutely nothing against Dirrell in the brief 109 seconds of the bout.
How then did Truax upset IBF champion DeGale in United Kingdom enemy territory,
With DeGale unable to win one of the three judges’ scorecards in home territory?
DeGale, a 2008 Olympic champion, had undergone months of rehabilitation after tearing his right should in his championship draw with Badou Jack 11 months earlier. DeGale was reluctant to use his recovering right hand against Truax, who sensed an opportunity and came forward like a man possessed, bloodying DeGale’s nose in the fifth round and never letting DeGale into the fight. Truax was smart enough to move and keep moving, jab and move, and DeGale lacked the reply arsenal with only one arm to answer Truax. Perhaps DeGale returned to the ring too soon.
The Truax corner evidently had a good scouting report and took advantage of the situation to expose DeGale as not yet healed. Truax had at least the right kind of experience to feel out the postsurgical version of DeGale much in the same manner as Miguel Cotto did with Sergio Gabriel Martinez. Round five was a disaster for DeGale, with Truax landing big right hands and short head and body shots while trapping DeGale along the ropes.
DeGale dominated Andre Dirrell over 12 rounds in 2015, yet lost to a fighter, Truax, who could not go one round with Dirrell. DeGale’s leg movement, and ring generalship, are clearly on the decline. DeGale needs a new strength and conditioning coach, because he is unable to move around the ring, nor dictate the tempo, as he once was able to do.
Japanese Super Featherweight champion Kenichi Ogawa of Tokyo, Japan, never seen outside of Japan, came to Las Vegas, Nevada, and fought a rock’em sock’em robot type give and take affair with Tevin Farmer, and won the IBF World Super Featherweight vacant title on a 12 round split decision upset. Ogawa, 23-1 with 17 knockouts, upset Farmer, 25-5-1 with five knockouts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in a bout Andre Ward felt was a robbery. If Farmer won one more round on the scorecards, the bout would have been a draw.
Rough tough Miguel Roman, 58-12 with 45 knockouts, Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, a loser of WBA Featherweight and WBC Lightweight world title bouts, came in at super featherweight and knocked down fellow Mexican Orlando Salido, 44-14-4, 31 knockouts, in rounds four, eight and nine, stopped him in the ninth round and retired him. Salido was good enough to retain his WBO World Featherweight title in 2014 by 12 round decision over Vasyl Lomanchenko. Go figure.
28-8 Nicaraguan super featherweight Rene Alvarado scored a 10 round split decision upset over 38-5-1 Russian southpaw Denis Shafikov. A clash of heads in the second round cut Shafikov on the left side of his scalp, and cut Alvarado over the left eye. Alvarado lucked out when Shafikov took a standing eight count in round five, giving Alvarado a 10-8 round on the scorecards. Video replays showed Shafikov had in fact accidentally tripped over Alvarado’s foot.
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