On The Watch “It’s All About The NBA-Who’s On Top?”

The NBA-Who’s on Top?

We are at the Quarter mark of this year’s NBA Season and both the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference have been playing some serious early competitive ball to jump start this NBA season 2019/2020.

The Milwaukee Bucks are taking claim of the No. 1 Spot on the Eastside for the time being with an impressive start of 20-3 record. The Bucks have been looking good and playing hard on both ends of the floor and although we are early in the season, they are definitely seeking to hold onto that No. 1 spot. The Boston Celtics’ 16-5 record is a well-balanced squad with Kamba Walker now leading the show and definitely keeping it interesting with their play. The surprising play of the Miami Heat 17-6 has made things very interesting.With the addition of Jimmy Butler, the Heat have improved dramatically in a competitive way. Without Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, our own Canadian Team the Defending Champs the Toronto Raptors 15-7 have managed to stay competitive at both ends of the floor and they’re not showing any signs of folding under any pressure of the competitive Eastern Conference. That being said, the Philadelphia 76ers 17-7 and the Indiana Pacers 15-8 are not to be overlooked.

The Los Angeles Lakers are also taking claim of the No. 1 Spot on the Westside with their own impressive start of 21-3 records. The powerful combination plays of LeBron James and Anthony Davis creating havoc on both ends of the court is this year’s version of showtime. The Lakers are looking to hold on to their No. 1 Spot but doing so will not be easy. The Dallas Mavericks 16-7 are surprisingly climbing up the rankings with their steady play as of late. They have a deceiving squad that can hang with the best of them on any given night. The Los Angeles Clippers 17-7 have all the goods and can turn things around in a blink of an eye. The combination of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George is certainly keeping this team in the running. The Houston Rockets 15-7 are not to be taking lightly. As long as they stay focused and competitive, they can duke it out with the best of them on any given night. The Western Conference is a battle within itself. That being said the Denver Nuggets 14-7 and Utah Jazz 13-10 can’t be slept on just yet.

Stay tuned in. This NBA Season is full of surprises.

Blaze

On The Watch “Its All About Andy Ruiz Jr. vs Anthony Joshua”

Wold Heavyweight Championship Challenge

In a beautiful display of boxing at the open-air arena in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, Anthony Joshua (23-1, 21 Kos) successfully regained his crown by defeating Unified IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO Heavyweight Champion of the World Andy Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 Kos) by unanimous decision.

A slimmed down and focussed AJ showed up tonight to silence all the naysayers who counted him out and rewrite the wrong of June 1st when he suffered his first humiliating defeat at the hands of Andy Ruiz Jr. at Madison Square Garden.

From round 1 to round 12, AJ executed the “game plan” to a “T” and never wavered from it. AJ stayed long and tall, moved and jabbed his way to a unanimous decision. The Judges scored it 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109 all in favor of Anthony Joshua.

AJ boxed and maintained his composure throughout the entire bout. Andy couldn’t close the distance or administer any type of sustained offence. AJ ‘s movement was clearly frustrating Andy as the rounds wore on.

That being said, the naysayers will still have some negative things to say about AJ ‘s win but truth be told, AJ dominated Andy in such a convincing fashion that cannot be ignored by his peers.

Hate him or love him, Anthony Joshua has now regained his rightful position in the Heavyweight Division and is now a Two-Time IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO Unified Heavyweight Champion of the World.

Congratulations Anthony on a job well done. Now on to the New Year 2020!

Blaze

On The Watch “Its All About Gervonta Davis vs Yuriorkis Gamboa”

Vacant WBA “regular” Lightweight Title

Gervonta “Tank” Davis (22-0, 21 Kos) will be moving up a Division and attempting to become a two weight Division Champion by challenging Yuriorkis Gamboa (30-2, 18 Kos) for the vacant WBA “regular” Lightweight Title on Saturday December 28, 2019 at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.

Despite Gamboa being much older than Gervonta, I’m anticipating this bout to be “Blazin Hot” when these two tough combatants meet inside that squared circle. Gamboa has been pushing an impressive 4- fight winning streak as of late and looking better and better every time out. Gamboa ain’t no walk in the park. He is a 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist and a Three-Time World Champion at Featherweight, Junior Lightweight and at Lightweight. He’s a proven warrior attempting to get back at the top one more time.

That being said, Gervonta is a young undefeated star in the making, a Two-Time World Champion ready to conquer another Division. Tank is that Dude that people can’t sleep on. He has an abundance of skill sets that have yet to be seen inside the squared circle because he hasn’t been tested. Since his power has always been the equalizer, considering his high knockout ratio, but I’m hoping that Gamboa can bring that next unseen level out of him to the point where we can really appreciate a tough, competitive, back and forth type bout.

Tune in live on SHOWTIME Saturday night December 28, 2019 at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia and witness an exciting year-end event.

Blaze

On The Watch “Its All About Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz 2″

WBC Heavyweight Challenge

Don’t blink! -Is what the WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder (42-0-1, 41 Kos) said before defending his WBC Heavyweight Championship Title last night against Heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz (32-2, 26 Kos) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The “Bronze Bomber” spoke it into existence when he knocked out “King Kong” for the count. Real Talk!

A slim and trim, focussed Ortiz stepped inside that squared circle last night and executed his “game plan” to perfection. He boxed beautifully, composed, sure of himself and was clearly winning every round from 1 to 6 hands down until round 7.

Wilder, who had zero offence throughout the first 6 rounds only needed one opening, one second, one well- connected demoralizing right hand “Bomb” to close the show in round 7. Once Wilder connected, Ortiz could not recover in time to beat the count. Just like that, Ortiz’s hard work to that point went out the ring.

Your Boy Wilder is a real problem to the Heavyweight Division. That Thanos-type power that he carries in that right hand is the “End Game” whenever he connects. Once again Deontay has put the entire Heavyweight Division on notice. Good luck to the competition. Whomever wants to take the WBC route to the Championship Belt needs to be mentally and physically prepared and even with that in mind, there is no guarantee you will succeed once you enter that squared circle and Deontay Wilder in standing across the ring from you.

Until your next contestant, congratulations on your win Champ.

Blaze

On The Watch “Its All About Tony Harrison vs Jermell Charlo”

WBC Super Welterweight Challenge Take II

It has officially been announced.  The highly awaited rematch between newly crowned WBC Super Welterweight Champion Tony “Superbad” Harrison (28-2, 21 Kos) and Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo (32-1, 16 Kos) is set to take place Saturday December 21, 2019 at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, California.

It’s clear from their latest press conference in Los Angeles that these two Dudes definitely don’t like each other. The disrespect is real, and the “heat” is building up whenever they’re in the same building. Real Talk!

Charlo wants that payback asap, that controversial loss to Tony ain’t sitting well with him but snatching that WBC Belt from Tony won’t be easy. Tony is out to prove that him beating Jermell last year wasn’t no fluke. The “game plan” that he executed worked to his advantage duplicating the same result would definitely silence all skeptics out there hating on him.

That being said, Charlo is that hungry Lion determined to recapture that gold back by any means necessary. Jermell wants to put a hurting on Tony in a bad way. But as the saying goes, styles make fights, and Tony is a smart technical boxer that can easily disrupt an aggressive style like Charlo’s when he’s dialed in and his defense is on point.

It will be interesting to see whose “game plan” will prevail when it’s all said and done. Trash talking aside these two combatants will have no choice but to step inside that squared circle and settle their differences one time live on FOX Deportes Saturday December 21, 2019 at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, California.

Blaze

On The Watch “Its All About Canelo Alvarez vs Sergey Kovalev”

WBO Light Heavyweight Challenge

Middleweight “King Pin” Champion Canelo Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 Kos) added another chapter to his history-making career last night at the MGM Grand Arena when he knocked out WBO Light Heavyweight Champion Sergey Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 Kos) in the eleventh round.

This bout was a chess match played at the highest level. Kovalev’s “game plan” was clear and executed to perfection. Sergey proceeded as instructed with his stiff jab and doubling up whenever permitted. As good as Kovalev’s jab was all night it literally came down to who had the better tactical approach on the night.

Canelo showed exceptional patience from the start. He did not let Kovalev’s jab deter him from the plan at hand which was making every punch count with controlled aggression. Canelo showed absolutely no fear towards the visibly bigger Kovalev. It was a thing of beauty to see how Canelo was systematically breaking down Kovalev’s body attack round by round.

Kovalev showed great boxing IQ throughout the very close bout but seemed to tire in the later rounds. All though the pace of the fight wasn’t that fast, Sergey was visibly looking weaker and ready for the “end game”. By round 11, Canelo went in for the kill with a devastating two-peace combo that flattened Kovalev into the ropes. Nuff said.

With this win, Canelo has once again conquered his fourth Division and becoming the fourth Mexican boxer to accomplish such an achievement. That being said, Canelo is now the only active boxer to concurrently hold world titles in the Light Heavyweight Division, Super Middleweight Division and Unified Middle Weight Division.

Congratulations Canelo on another great accomplishment. You are truly defying all odds and literally creating your own History.

Until the next chapter Champ.

Blaze

On The Watch “Its All About Regis Prograis vs Josh Taylor”

World Boxing Super Series Super-Lightweight Ali Trophy Final

Tonight’s World Boxing Super Series Super-Lightweight Ali Trophy Finals at the O2 Arena in London between WBA Super-Lightweight World Champion & WBC Diamond Champion Regis Prograis (24-1, 20 Kos) and IBF Super-Lightweight World Champion Josh Taylor (16-0, 13 Kos), came down to the wire.

This bout was a back and forth tussle from the jump with both fighters trying to assert themselves round by round while working their respective “game plan” and each looking for that advantage.

Taylor came to fight tonight and he wasn’t about to let this big opportunity pass him by. Regis, on the other hand, started a little slower and in doing so, to me, kept the fight a lot closer than it should have been. The visiting fighter Regis, should have kept his foot on the peddle and kept that pressure coming by being busier round by round.

That being said, this bout was a strategic chess match with both fighters performing at a very high level of boxing IQ with neither fighter backing down.

As damn close as this bout was, to the Judges’ eyes they scored it 115-113, 117-112 and 114-114 in favor of Taylor. Josh backed his trash talking by keeping his IBF Super-Lightweight Title and picking up the WBA Super-Lightweight World Championship Belt, the vacant Super-Lightweight Ring Magazine Belt and the prestigious Ali Trophy.

By defeating the No. 1 seeded Regis Prograis and collecting all that hardware, Josh has officially captured the No. 1 Spot in the Super-Lightweight Division. Next on the hit list is a unification bout with WBC/WBO Super-Lightweight Champion Jose Ramirez (25-0, 17 Kos) to decide the Undisputed Champion in the 140-pound Division.

Until then Josh, congratulations on your latest accomplishments. The road to undisputed is on the horizon .

Blaze

On The Watch “It’s All About The NBA Season 2019/2020”

The NBA Season 2019/2020

The NBA Season is set to start this upcoming Tuesday October 22, 2019, and our own newly crowned Canadian Defending Champs the Toronto Raptors will be looking to start the season right where they left off. However, they will be looking to repeat without their star player and Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. With Kawhi jumping ship, the Raptors’ chances of repeating have definitely slimmed down but with the emergence of last year’s Most Improved Player Pascal Siakam they may have found another go to player to help them restore the balance needed to get back to the Finals and defend their Championship.

With the season that they had last year the Milwaukee Bucks will be looking to bounce right back into contention considering that their squad is still intact with a few new faces to help maintain their status quo as one of the top teams that could possibly reach the Eastern Conference Finals if all goes right for them.

After falling short at the buzzer to the Toronto Raptors in the Easter Conference Finals, the Philadelphia 76ers had a hard look at their team and decided to fine-tune their roster to hopefully have that edge needed to conquer the Eastern Conference and set foot to the NBA Finals. As it stands right now, they may have the biggest starting line-up this year if all goes as planned with 6-5, 6-9, 6-10, and a big mobile 7-footer. Defence this year should not be a problem, but Philly will definitely be gunning for that No. 1 Spot. Their time is now.

The lack of chemistry that the Boston Celtics displayed last year cost them dearly and with the departure of Kyrie Irving and Al Holford, they might have slipped a little but I’m not counting them boys out just yet. Coach Brad Stevens is a proven winner and with Kemba Walker now running the show along with a young athletic squad, the Celtics will still be in contention and may be the sleeper team in the Eastern Conference.

The Brooklyn Nets acquired Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant over the off season in a serious power move, but we won’t be able to see the two heavy hitters share the court together until possibly next season since Kevin Durant is expected to miss the entire 2019/2020 season recovering from his Achilles injury. I expect the Nets to be competitive but not ready yet to steal that No 1 Spot in the East.

That being said the Eastern Conference is still steadily improving. The Indiana Pacers, the Miami Heat, the Detroit Pistons and the Washington Wizards will keep it interesting throughout the season.

Out West the tables have changed dramatically, with the departure of Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson sidelined until possibly after the All-Star break. The Golden State Warriors will have no breathing room or any easy nights in the Western Conference. This season might be their toughest to date. The Warriors are not ready to concede the season just yet. Counting them out with a healthy Stephen Curry and Draymond Green still holding it down until Klay comes back is not something I’m willing to bet against at this time.

The two LA teams have done some power moves of their own and in doing so may have reignited the Lakers/Clippers rivalry. The Los Angeles Lakers will start this season with a well-rested and healthy LeBron James and newly acquired Anthony Davis. The Lakers have revamped their squad and are already talking Championships. However, their neighboring team the Los Angeles Clippers have also added two valuable pieces to their already proven squad in the form of reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Now that was an unexpected chess move by the Clippers. Both teams have easily vaulted themselves into contention but in the WESTSIDE, nothing is as easy as it’s sounds. The road to the Western Finals is a never-ending gauntlet. There are quite a few contenders willing and ready to snatch that No. 1 Spot.

The Houston Rockets will be starting two former NBA MVP’s in James Harden and Russell Westbrook. This is an intriguing backcourt but one that I am definitely looking forward to seeing in action at this point in their careers. The pace that these two can play at might be the key that gives them the edge and push them over the hump.

The Denver Nuggets are no longer flying under the radar. That squad balled out of their minds last year and are determined to give it another run at the No. 1 Spot. These Kats have a well-balanced squad who plays that team ball the proper way. No game is an easy game against them. They have arrived and are definitely in the mix.

Fresh off their Western Conference Finals showing, the Portland Trail Blazers have retooled their squad to give it another run. Their goal remains the same as all the top contenders in the Western Conference and that is Championship or bust. They have one of the best backcourts in the league in Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Now it’s all about putting the right pieces together and making every game count.

Again, the Western Conference is so competitive that you cannot afford to sleep on any team on any given night. That being said, be on the lookout for the New Orleans Pelicans, the San Antonio Spurs, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Dallas Mavericks to ruffle up the pecking order and create their own havoc in the Western Conference.

Tune in Tuesday night October 22, 2019 and be part of one of the most interesting NBA Seasons.

Blaze

On The Watch “Its All About Artur Beterbiev vs Oleksandr Gvozdyk”

IBF/WBC Light Heavyweight Unification

Last night’s Light Heavyweight Unification bout between undefeated IBF Champion Artur Beterbiev (15-0, 15 Kos) and previously undefeated WBC Champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk (17-1, 14 Kos) at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, did not disappoint us.

It was clear from the “jump” that Gvozdyk’s “game plan” was to jab stick and move at all times and not get caught in a standstill unless he saw an opening to do so but, as the rounds wore on, I noticed some early fatigue coming from Gvozdyk due to Artur’s relentless pressure. Gvozdyk boxed well and made it harder for Beterbiev to work his “game plan” but truth be told, whenever Beterbiev connected with any leather he damn made sure it counted. Real Talk!

Beterbiev’s power was on full display last night. Artur looked focussed and fresher throughout the rounds and determined to administer pain to his opponent. Artur’s inside fighting was visibly breaking Gvozdyk down. Although Oleksandr tried his hardest to hang on in the later rounds, it was noticeably clear that fatigue had settled in by the 10th round when Artur started walking Gvozdyk down to eventually dropping him down three times in the round prompting the referee to stop the unanswered onslaught.

With this convincing win Artur is now the Unified IBF/WBC Light Heavyweight Champion of the world and still maintains his status as the only current Champion with a 100% Ko percentage.

Beterbiev has once again put the Light Heavyweight Division on notice. It’s going to be hard to beat this man inside that squared circle but until your next challenge, congratulations are in order Artur and thank you for bringing home the WBC Championship Belt back to Canada.

Blaze

On The Watch “Its All About Gennady Golovkin vs Sergiy Derevyanchenko”

Vacant IBO/IBF Middleweight Championship Challenge

Last night’s DAZN Main Event card at Madison Square Garden in New York City between Gennady Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 Kos) and Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 Kos) was nothing short of exciting from start to finish. Real Talk!

We all know by now what “GGG” brings to the squared circle night in and night out but last night “GGG” had to dig really deep and walk through hell and back for this one. Although “GGG” came out the gate early in the first round and dropped Sergiy with a left hand for an 8 count and managed to cut Sergiy on his right eye in the second round, the remainder of the fight was not as smooth.

Sergiy “The Technician” that he is, sensing the urgency of the bout went into full attack mode from round 3 to round 12. The effective steady pressure that Sergiy applied round by round turned this bout into war and definitely caught “GGG” off-guard at times and forced him to take more head and body shots than usual.

Sergiy stuck to the “game plan” at hand and executed it beautifully. Sergiy let his hands go and forced “GGG” to fight his fight. By that point Golovkin had clearly abandoned his “game plan” and resorted to slug it out with “The Technician” by administering substantial and efficient power shots that may have swayed the Judging.

Golovkin, visibly looking tired throughout the bout, still managed to finish the championship rounds with cleaner punches and controlled aggression down the stretch.

That being said, all three Judges scored it 114-113, 115-112 and 115-112 by unanimous decision in favor of Gennady Golovkin.

It was a hell of a close fight and the fans in attendance showed their displeasure with the score cards by booing loudly and rightfully so. This was not Golovkin’s best showing but undeniably one of his toughest bouts to date.

With this win Golovkin is once again IBO/IBF Middleweight Champion of the World.

Congratulations Gennady on becoming a two-time Middleweight Champion. The “Drama Show” continues.

Blaze