Oxon Hill, MD - MGM National Harbor hosted it's second professional boxing card in as many weeks as Showtime Boxing featured a televised event in front of a local crowd of over 2,000.
The main event featured a scheduled 12-round, Light Heavyweight title fight between Interim champion Dmitry Bivol of Vesvolzhsk, Russia against Samuel Clarkson from Cedar Hills, Texas. No physical advantage was evident before the bout, as the height and reach stats were near even for both men. But, what was not apparent on paper revealed itself early at the start of the Round 1.
Clarkson, wearing white trunks and fighting in a southpaw stance started out trying to establish his jab early. Bivol, fighting orthodox was happy to play counter puncher for the moment absorbing the jabs and responding with right hands to the body. Clarkson didn't have a lot of movement early on and was missing the subtle foot advances initiated by Bivol. With every jab or response to a jab, Bivol would take away one inch of canvas with his left foot to the outside of the right foot of Clarkson. With the dominant angle and a power advantage over Clarkson, Bivol dropped level to deliver a powerful right hand to the body of Clarkson inside of a minute into the first round. Clarkson didn't appear to be hurt but he felt the power of Bivol with that punch and gave ground immediately. With Clarkson backing himself to the ropes, Bivol shuffled in to take space and delivered right, left, right, head shots, finishing with a left hook that dropped Clarkson to his left knee. But the way Clarkson took the knee as well as the way he was bending over when he stood, indicated to me that the body shot was the one he was still smarting from. The headshots were an annoyance but they didn't do any real damage. Once Clarkson was cleared by the referee to continue, Bivol picked up where he left off with power shots coming from both hands backing Clarkson into the corner and out along the ropes. A straight left to the body followed by a cross to the head crumpled Clarkson again to the canvas. When he rose at the count of five by referee, Harvey Dock you can bet he was thinking that he probably should have put more core work in his training leading up to the fight.
Clarkson was able to get out of the first round. But he was still reeling from the body shots. At the start of Round 2, Clarkson had a couple of spurts where he put together some nice combinations to try to get Bivol's attention but nothing landed that prevented Bivol from proceeding with a methodical lead right hand, set-up by his superior footwork throughout the fight. Round 3 saw Clarkson again in retreat mode and now having felt the power of Bivol, he was more susceptible to feints and set-up shots. Clarkson doesn't appear to be lacking skill, he was just being out classed by a more powerful and more technical fighter in Bivol.
The final shot that ended Clarkson's evening wasn't really a clean shot at all. Bivol had been patient up to this point and was happy slowly breaking Clarkson down over the course of the fight. The body blows and head trauma began to pile up points and Clarkson's punches were now lacking balance and follow-through. On a lung punch by Clarkson, Bivol simply stepped aside and helped Clarkson to the canvas with a grazing check hook to the head. Clarkson hit the canvas for a third time in the fight and couldn't maintain his balance as he rose which prompted referee to stop the fight at 40 seconds into the 4th round. A TKO win for Dmitry Bivol.
Clarkson remarked after the fight, "He caught me with a good body shot for the first knockdown. I thought I was back in the fight in rounds two and three. In round four I got caught, I stumbled and my balance was off." CompuBox, a computerized scoring system that captures the punch output of each fighter, showed Bivol's total punches at 262 vs. Clarkson's 152. Clarkson landed 35% of his total punches and Clarkson 15%. But the power punches told the story, 61 out 134 power punches for Bivol at 46% and a mere 15 of 86 for Clarkson at 17%. Bivol was pleased with his performance, "I thought I would finish him in the first round, but I think it was better that it went to four rounds because the fans were able to see the way I fight." "I'm definitely ready for my title shot again Nathan Cleverly in my next fight. I'm ready."
SHOBOX: BIVOL VS. CLARKSON RESULTS
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About the Author:
Darryl Keeton is an avid striking, grappling and wrestling fan living in Upper Marlboro, MD. He holds a black belt in ITF Tae Kwon Do with additional training in Combat Jujutsu, Boxing and Muay Thai.