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Anthony Crolla got outboxed, worn down, beaten up and stopped in four one-sided sessions. Who saw that coming? Well, everybody really. Aside from a few online trolls or blinded boxing patriots it was plain to see that Crolla had next to no chance of upsetting a fighter as supremely talented as Vasiliy Lomachenko.

Lomachenko refused to play with his food. Immediately Crolla was not on his level, the Ukrainian removed his challenger with the minimum of fuss. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez did a similar job on Rocky Fielding last year. When the elite find themselves matched with an inferior foe they enjoy slicing them up quickly – which is the correct way to go about business. Richard Commey or Luke Campbell are in the frame for Loma next. Fans would like to see the likes of Mikey Garcia, Gervonta Davis or Teofimo Lopez find a way into the queue at some point.

Fueled by youthful exuberance Claressa Shields often describes herself as the GWOAT (Greatest Woman of All Time). She’s undoubtedly one of the best women boxers around today. That said, the pool of talent is hardly swimming with sharks, and Ms Shields is a step or two ahead of her nearest rivals. WBO champ Christina Hammer entered the Boardwalk Hall on Saturday night with a stellar 24-0 record, but her stiff, upright style was never likely to trouble Shields, who twisted and turned her way to victory over 10, increasingly one-sided, frames.

Hammer adopted the Wladimir Klitschko jab and grab approach -so often used by European fighters- only she lacked the raw punch power that Wlad possessed. Outspoken and brash, Shields clearly has talent. However, Katie Taylor’s superior skillset makes her the best female fighter out there.

Aided by a baffling two-minute round insistence, that encourages more madness than method, the Showtime main event was a high energy affair. The same could not be said for the lethargic supporting cast. They expect you, the discerning boxing observer, to actually sit and watch this stuff.

Presenting a platform to tubby, uninspiring heavyweights can definitely be deemed as a matchmaking mistake. Who thought bringing back Samuel Peter (who lost by the way) would make for a good television experience? Unbeaten Jermaine Franklin fared only slightly better. Opponent Rydell Booker was almost a contender during his prime in the mid-2000s. Now he’s just a body. The fact that Franklin struggled with 25-2 Booker already shows his ceiling in the game.

The final two heavyweight hopes were unable to even reach a satisfactory conclusion in their proposed 10-rounder. One week before Attila Levin returns to the ring (some nine years after he was last seen getting knocked out by Robert Helenius), another Swede trying to make a name for himself only ended up with a messy finish. Otto Wallin and Nick Kisner clashed heads in the first round which led to both being cut. In between the first and second session, Kisner indicated that he could not see out of the affected optic and the bout was rightly turned into a “No Contest”. There can be no other explanation for podgy Kisner’s nickname being “Slick” other than it merely rhymes with Nick. Wallin, meanwhile, resembles the aforementioned Helenius in his ring style. If Wallin gets further than the Finn, then he will have done well given his limited ability.

Finally, a quick shout out to Dennis Hogan who was widely perceived to have been on the end of a bad decision in his WBO super-welterweight title tilt in Mexico. It was always going to be tough boxing on away soil against a hometown hero. Especially one being groomed as the next big thing. What it showed is that the winner, Jaime Munguia, has plenty to work on if he is to take on the role as Oscar De La Hoya’s incumbent superstar as and when Canelo finally fades away.

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Steve Wellings
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Honorary graduate of the Prison Canteen. Covering boxing since 2005 ~ Wolves fan ~ wannabe boxing raconteur.

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