RECAP: CANOY WINDS UP WITH A NO-DECISION, BARRIGA LOSES AND THE NAIL-BITING WILDER-FURY TITLE FIGHT
By Rene Bonsubre, Jr.
03 Dec 2018
Joey Canoy left the Philippines without any fanfare. But he and his team were brimming with optimism that his second trip to South Africa would yield a title belt.
Canoy was the challenger against South African Simpiwe Konkco for the International Boxing Organization (IBO) minimumweight title.
The southpaw Canoy used his speed effectively in the opening round. He was in control when the fight was in the center of the ring. In the second round, a volley of punches sent Konkco down.
But the champion survived the round and regained his bearings in the third and fired back. Canoy effectively avoided any attempts by Konkco to corner him. But a head clash in the fourth opened a cut on Konkco. The cut was initially allowed by the ring doctor to continue and Canoy pounced on his wounded adversary. But the referee signaled Canoy once again to the neutral corner and called the ring doctor to examine the cut again.
Simphiwe Konkco and Joey Canoy (Right) during their weigh-in in South Africa.
The fight was stopped and Canoy thought he had won. The referee had to remind him and his cornermen that this was the fourth round of a title fight. The fight was declared a no decision and Konkco remains champion.
This writer viewed this bout on a video uploaded on social media by Team Canoy. The quality of the cellphone video did not make it possible to look closely at the cut but the rules do state that if the fight is stopped due to a cut ruled by the referee as inflicted by an accidental headbutt before four completed rounds, the fight is a technical draw or a no contest.
The December 2 fight is recorded in boxrec as a no decision.
This was a case of hard luck for the 25 year old Canoy, who in February of last year, lost to another South African Hekkie Budler, when his corner signaled that he would not answer the bell for the eighth round. That bout, also held in South Africa, was for the IBO light flyweight world title.
Canoy, who is now 14W-3L-1D and 1ND,7KO’s, was a familiar face in fight cards held in Cebu when he was under RWS Promotions. He is now under new management with MB Promotions. Konkco is now19W-5L-1ND,7KO’s.
Canoy’s big wins on local shores were against two world ranked fighters - Toto Landero and Melvin Jerusalem.
Mark Anthony Barriga (R) and Carlos Licona.
Mark Anthony Barriga’s attempt to win the vacant IBF world minimumweight title received more media attention. He was fighting on a big stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on the undercard of the highly anticipated heavyweight clash between WBC champion Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury.
Considering that two unbeaten heavyweights fighting for a world title is a rarity, the whole world was watching.
But the former Olympian came up short. Mexican-American Carlos Licona got a split decision win, with all three judges coming up with identical 115-113 scores, two of then voted for Licona.
Barriga is known for his defense and counterpunching. Neither boxer has a big punch but Barriga’s lack of pop is a handicap when he fights on the road. Barriga drops to his first career loss at 9-1,1KO. Licona improves to 14-0,2KO’s.
Wilder vs Fury did not disappoint. The challenger used his length effectively to win most of the rounds, working behind a jab in a tactical contest. Wilder could not unleash his feared right hand until the ninth when he knocked down Fury with a right hook to the top of the head.
Wilder scores first knockdown on Fury in the 9th round (above photo) and in the twelfth round (top photo).
The fight was literally hanging in the balance after that knockdown, with one judge scoring the fight even, one had it for Fury, the other for Wilder going into the last three rounds.
All three judges had Fury winning rounds ten and eleven. But in a dramatic finish, Wilder uncorked a right and left hook combo that sent Fury on his back. He seemed out of it and 99 percent of heavyweights on this planet would have stayed down.
But Fury somehow opened his eyes and found to strength to finish the fight.
The scores – Alejandro Rochin – 115-111 for Wilder, Robert Tapper- 114-110 for Fury, Phil Edwards – 113-113. Fans and pundits will be talking about this split draw in the days to come. And yes, there should be a rematch.
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