The bout for the vacant WBA Inter-Continental Cruiserweight title was a one-sided event…for eight rounds.
Sam Hyde and Richard Riakporhe were both undefeated when they entered the ring in Manchester, England last Saturday in a match that was scheduled for 10 rounds.
Hyde dominated, and Riakporhe was trailing on all scorecards until he connected with a right hook that caught Hyde just outside the eyebrow.
Swelling was immediate and severe.
Within seconds it looked like a Hyde had a baked potato on his forehead. A big one, loaded with cheese, bacon and onion.
Hyde’s corner wisely tossed in the towel before the potato got mashed.
Richard Riakporhe (8-0, 7 KO’s) took home the belt.
The main event looked like a bowl of alphabet soup.
On the line were the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO World Cruiserweight titles.
Undefeated Oleksandr Usyk (which looks like a bad tile-draw in a game of Scrabble) laced them up against Tony Bellew.
Bellew played the fictional “Ricky Conlan” the on-screen opponent of Michael B. Jordan’s “Adonis” in the 2015 movie release, Creed.
Usyk is a rangy southpaw that sticks out his lead hand like a curb feeler (does anyone remember those?) to find his distance and discourage attacks.
It did just that…the opening frames were a lackluster pas de deux.
It’s tough to score a bout where both boxers are keeping a safe distance between fist and face. But Usyk was the more affective aggressor. Bellew did little more than back-peddle and counterpunch.
The judges must have been confused because they had Bellew leading on two scorecards. Fortunately, Usyk cleared that up for them in Round 8.
He started peppering Bellew’s chops with stiff jabs followed by left hooks. Usyk trapped him in a corner and continued seasoning Bellew’s jaw.
Slipping out to the side, Bellew took a few unsteady steps before Usyk landed the same jab-hook combination directly on the chin.
Bellew had a bad reaction to all that spice, and fell flat on his back.
He attempted to beat the count but the referee could see he was done, and called a halt to the contest.
Good call, ref.
Oleksandr Usyk (16-0, 12 KO’s) collected all four titles.
BTW, Usyk’s middle name is “Oleksandrovych.”
Coming off of their only defeat this season (against the Saints, 45-35) the Los Angeles Rams hosted their NFC West rival, the Seattle Seahawks.
These two teams met in week 5, and L.A. squeaked out a 33-31 win in Seattle.
Sunday’s game wasn’t any easier.
The Hawks scored on their first possession.
Rams quarterback Jared Goff answered with a 10-play scoring drive that featured running back Todd Gurley rushing three times and receiving one through the air for a combined 41-yards.
Seattle found the end zone quickly and Los Angeles managed a field goal to start the Second Quarter trailing 14-10.
Gurley rang up another 47-yards and a touchdown, to take the lead into the locker room, 14-17.
Back from the half, Los Angeles Kicker Greg “The Leg” Zuerlien added 3-points on a 37-yard field goal.
The lead switched on a Seahawks touchdown…and back on a Rams TD.
But the 2-point conversion failed and the final Q started with the Rams leading, 21-26.
The teams exchanged FG’s.
On their next possession, Seattle fumbled deep in their own territory.
L.A. recovered, and one play later, wide receiver Brandon Cooks scored on a 9-yard rush, 24-36.
But the Seahawks would not sit still for the plucking. They moved 90-yards on a 12-play drive that ate the clock down to the 2-minute warning before Seahawks QB Russell Wilson tossed a 3-yard TD pass, 31-36.
The Rams went 3 & out, and Seattle got the ball with 1:24 left in the game.
They moved all the way to the Rams 35-yardline…and gave up the ball on downs.
Goff knelt once, time expired and the Rams secured another win.
Barely. It was a close shave.
God Bless and mind your spelling.
Mark Ferenc Felicetti should NOT make fun of the names of others. Reach him at email@example.com.