Saturday, September 28, 2013

Julio Cesar Chavez Junior VS Brian Vera: A Rust Coloured Affair With A Shocked Audience In UD For Chavez

Jim Lampley: ". . . the build up for which has been dominated all week by the absurd, almost comical, situation surrounding Chavez' inability to make weight. A fight originally contracted to take place at 162 pounds has been negotiated upward three times until yesterday they weighed in at 173 or less for tonight's event. . ."

Round 1: As expected, it looks like they're in two different weight classes, like they bloody well should be. Junior is the one moving around and Vera, the significantly smaller of two pressure fighters, doing the chasing. Chavez is looking slow of hand. Chavez lands a good right to the body and left to the head. They sound like belting shots. Vera is amused, like usual. He's here for a fight, like usual. Very good head movement is on display for Vera and good lateral movement by Junior. Vera really does seem significantly quicker with his hands. Some very wide hooks by both men toward the end of the round. Vera's having a good time though, smiling.  I give it to Vera. Chavez is uncharacteristically hesitant. Vera, 1-0.

Round 2: Vera comes charging out of the gates as soon as the bell sounds. Again, I can only say Junior's hands look very, very slow. Vera is the one moving forward here throughout most of the round still. I'm very surprised by this. I give this one to Vera as I score it live. You could argue Chavez's punches have heavier impact-they probably do, but Vera certainly outscored him, by my observation. 2-0, Vera.

Round 3: Again, bell rings, Vera comes rushing in. He likes this. A lot. Vera is just flatly out-hustling Chavez Junior. He's the only one jabbing also, for the most part. Boy, Chavez looks awful to me. He slips in a hard hook but he just doesn't seem to have his usual steam. Big right cross by Chavez. Vera takes it well. Again, the hardest shots, Chavez, but so few that Vera, to me, simply outworked him clearly. 3-0, Vera, for me.

Round 4: Again, Vera rushes out at the bell. Chavez really seems rusty. Very rusty. This is the worst I've seen him look in some time. Since before he stepped up in opposition. Even in his wide, wide points loss to Martinez he looked infinitely sharper and more game. Chavez gets Vera with his one solitary hard left hook, but, like the other rounds, Vera's the one putting them together. Vera, 4-0.

Round 5: Chavez lands a heavy left hook, Vera a heavy right hand. Vera still seems wholly undeterred by Chavez's one at a time pot-shotting. Chavez is starting to wake up a bit now though. A big right by Chavez. He's starting to see that it's slipped away from him, I think. Chavez complains of low blows, the referee warns for them. I didn't see the low blows. I think Chavez's shots may have been enough to take this round, this time. I give this one to him. 4-1, Vera.

Round 6: Chavez wobbles Vera with a right right hand. He lands another, and a left hook. That clearly had Vera stung but Vera comes back, flailing away. I think that was the first time in the fight that Vera was concerned by Chavez's power at all. Chavez is turning the tide in a big way in this round. He lands a good counter straight right. Chavez is able to land that counter left hook to the head about whenever he wants it. Most of the fight it's just been a matter of not throwing it. What surprises me is that he, of all fighters, isn't committing to any real body work. But, just the same, Chavez takes that round clearly. 4-2, Vera.

Round 7: Chavez is finding a home for power shots with the straight right and left hook to the head. These punches are always there when he throws them. He's starting to go to the body finally. Good straight one-two from Chavez. Vera twists and turns his way in but he's getting clocked hard. Big overhand right by Vera. Left hook to the body by Chavez, multiple shots by Vera. Vera is still muscling forward and landing. Chavez getting tagged hard. Vera seriously wobbled by a left hook at the tail end of the round! Chavez must take it for me, but Vera had almost snatched it at the end. That counter left really probably won Junior the round. Great shot. 4-3, Vera.

Round 8: I love how Vera is still stalking Chavez. But that's not to say I'd instruct him to do so, were I in his corner. I just love Vera for being Vera. He eats a big right and flurries on Chavez, bravely. Good uppercut by Vera. Vera's mixing up his harder shots with his "point-scorers" smartly. He eats another big one though. Vera is still throwing combos on Chavez. Vera wants it inside, throwing those uppercuts. I love this guy! Again, Chavez with a big shot, Vera throws a mess of shots and lands his own big uppercut. Chavez trying to tag that body. It's hard going for him. Vera, for me. He's just not letting go of this one. I think he can win this. Chavez can't keep up the pace. 5-3, Vera.

Round 9: I think Vera just hurt Chavez with an overhand right. Surprising. Chavez complains about low blows. Again. He seems to want the ref to fight some of this fight for him. Chavez tries to get Vera on the ropes to slam his body. Vera says no, he doesn't want to be there and Chavez can't do anything to keep him there either. Chavez really wants the ref to help him with the body shots. I don't think the ref is on the payroll. Vera is spurred on by all of this as he tees off. Big right hand by Chavez and Vera takes another good one soon after and seems to not care at all. Vera seems to care even less about Chavez's complaints than he does that Chavez has shown he can hurt him. Vera, 6-3, on my card.

Round 10: Another good counter left by a seemingly exhausted Chavez. Vera showing no respect and throwing punches in bunches still. Big body shot by Chavez. But he's letting Vera all over him. Good right hand by Chavez. Vera has been smiling at him in this round but I know he's felt some of these. He's still far more energetic than Chavez. Chavez is trying to muscle it but he just doesn't seem to have much left. Vera is clowning! Wow. I call it to Chavez Junior on that round. 6-4, Vera. Let's see what the judges say.

They have it a UD for Junior. His career is saved, and not from any help of himself, with everything in his favour.

The translator for Chavez says Chavez is complaining about dirty fighting and fractured hand. "20 headbutts" he says. Wow. Just wow. The crowd is booing.

Jim Lampley: "8 rounds to 2? That score is preposterous."

(For the record, that judge is listed as 98-92, Marty Denkin-Really Marty? Really?)

Adonis Stevenson VS Tavoris Cloud: Adonis Stevenson Puts On Constant Clinic, Taunting Cloud At Every Chance To A Knockout

(Rough Draft preliminary draft as it happens, will be touched up later)

Round 1: Stevenson dominates and hurts Cloud's left eye seemingly. There is a mark, but I don't think it's cut. Straight left.

Round 2: Stevenson is completely mugging for the camera. Cloud hits Stevenson in the shoulder and knocks him back to the ropes a bit. Cloud slips trying to cut off the ring on the champion. Cloud's too hesitant, too slow of foot and finds it too difficult to pin Stevenson down.

Round 3: Adonis Stevenson still thinks he's Jersey Joe Walcott with his shuffling and he's laying in multiple straight lefts flush. The champion is warned to keep 'em up.

Round 4: The champion looks to be in for the kill, right hooking, uppercuts, straight lefts...Roy Jones says the left eye of cloud now bleeding after being damaged in round one. Cloud is just clueless on getting inside save for an odd punch here and there. All Adonis here. He's as comfortable as can be and taunting Cloud. He lands a great body shot that seems to hurt Cloud. Stevenson still playing to the crowd, enjoying his championship status. I'm surprised the body shot didn't put Cloud down the way it looked. The body shot came as part of a combination. Great work by Adonis.

Round 5:The ref has to break them and warns the guys for not breaking when he says and continuing to fight. Adonis muscles Cloud to the ground, blatantly. I didn't see a warning from the referee.The commentators are saying Stevenson's corner has instructed him to work the body in this round. Adonis still rarely letting Cloud set himself at all. Cloud can't fight his fight like this. Not even close. Adonis tags him at will.

Round 6:  Stevenson fires straight to the body, the ref warns him for going low. I didn't notice it was low. I hope they replay later. This is a route regardless. Stevenson is fighting like, well, the champion. Cloud is fighting like, well, the opponent. All rounds for Stevenson, who taunts Cloud still.

Round 7: Roy Jones says, terrific comment that it is, that Adonis is sacrificing a little of his immense power for speed and movement. I think it's true and he's doing incredibly well with it. Cloud is stumbled off balance. Stevenson is teeing off on him all over the place, taunting him still. Cloud's too slow and now his right eye is bleeding too! Merciless stuff here. This is sad for Cloud. That's all I can say. It's sad to see a former titlist get dominated like this and taunted. Cloud's hurt and stumbled again. He tries to fight back and Adonis darts out effortlessly.

Cloud's corner stops the fight. That's it. As the viewer next to me says "Might as well." That's fair enough. TKO/RTD7, Adonis Stevenson.

Adonis Stevenson put on a complete clinic, no rounds won by the challenger, and he was conscious of it every second of the fight, it seemed, rubbing it in the entire time. The lineal light heavyweight title of the world does not change hands this night. On to Kovalev for Stevenson? I hope so. 

Max Kellerman asks Stevenson about Kovalev. Stevenson says, essentially, that he's fighting champions and Kovalev needs to beat a few too (even though Kovalev did recently defeat two titlists, as Stevenson has just done). Oh, well.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dereck Chisora VS Edmund Gerber: Quick Stoppage, Good Performance

Former British Heavyweight Champion Dereck "The Hitter Spitter" Chisora took on Kazakhstan-born German Edmund Gerber in a battler for the European Heavyweight Title released by Kubrat Pulev, live on BoxNation Saturday. Here is how I saw the official TKO5 win for Chisora:

In round one, Dereck Chisora dedicates himself to body shots and right uppercuts in this round and Gerber, a solid fighter but out of his comfort zone, is forced to take whatever body shots Dereck has to offer. That's it. He's got nothing to prevent them in a phone booth. Chisora takes the round.

In round two, Gerber is trying to hang in there with Chisora but it's Chisora's fight all the way, at his preferred range and pace as he fires constant left hook, right hook combos to the body and left hook to the body, right uppercut to the head combinations. Two rounds in the bag for Chisora, here.

In round three, despite an oddly unChisoralike bit of jabbing from Dereck early, he stands most of the round in front of a flat-footed Gerber, bashing him with hooks on the inside, both sides, head and body, as Gerber shows that he owns a pair of earmuffs and little else this round. Gerber goes to his corner, nose bloody. Chisora has three rounds in the bag.

In round four, the referee cautions Dereck to keep his punches up after a pair of hooks he seems to think need a warning. About half way through the round, Gerber pulls back and shoots a sharp, stinging right hand on Chisora's button and Chisora skips back, lighter on his feet than he ever normally looks, but doesn't seem to be panicking so much as saying ''Look at me dance, you clocked me, but I'm just fine." Gerber walks after him and Chisora, having danced back into a corner lifts his hands up to the sky to show he's ready, seemingly, and perfectly lucid and balanced, but as Gerber arrives, he dances laterally almost the full way around the ring with his hands down. Why? It's Dereck Chisora. You'd have better luck figuring out a Rubik's cube while suffering from a major stroke.

Gerber walks over and clocks him with another right hand. Dereck still puts his hands down, looking more as a matter of machismo than helplessness, yet continues to lazily dance away. He shuffles and shuffles as Gerber stalks him and he even raises his hands again, though he's not fighting. Why? It's Dereck Chisora. You might as well ask Miley Cyrus about Goldbach's Conjecture. I don't know. Finally, Chisora decides to try and go back to work before the round ends but Gerber is now fighting with him and far more confident, understandably, than any time in the previous three rounds. This is his round, of course. 3 rounds to 1, Chisora leading, but with a look for the tide to have turned.

In round five, it's a sluggish, mauling, grappling round in the first half. The second half saw Chisora step it up predatorily, back to his left hook, right hook pattern, clubbing Gerber back into the corner. Chisora engages him again and Gerber throws one missed, wild right hand over his head and Chisora cuffs him with another left and right hook, and in what I found to be an unsatisfyingly quick call, referee Guido Cavalleri decided that it was his duty to stop the fight right here.

Admittedly, Chisora was looking as though he thought he was close to putting Gerber away and he very well may have been. That said, to me, it was without any tellingly dramatic reaction from Gerber calling for it and there were only seconds left in the round. Being a referee is a mostly thankless job and I'm not about to call referee Cavalleri into question over this, but I'll remark once more that I felt it was quick and plenty of fans have voiced that opinion across the Internet community as well. No good fan wants to see a helpless fighter getting punched, but none want to see someone unproven as being helpless getting their shot at a victory snatched from them when they have a good chance either. I call it early but it's in the books now and though I may have missed it, I did not see Gerber causing a fuss, so I am not too concerned if he wasn't. 

None of this is to take away from Dereck Chisora putting in a good performance in winning the same title, the European Heavyweight Title, held by the last three men who would go on to be Ring Heavyweight Champion of the World, the universally regarded top man, ABC organisations being damned. Congratulations to Dereck Chisora. He's one of the best inside fighting heavies around at the moment and a very brave fighter who I want to see again soon. He's looking to be around a while too, causing a rumpus wherever he will be, undoubtedly.

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing

Monday, September 16, 2013

Quote From Teddy Atlas Regarding Boxing Corruption, Absence of A National Boxing Commission & Judge C. J. Ross On ICE SPORTS

I simply wish to spotlight this quote regarding Saturday's showdown for the lineal light middleweight title between Canelo Alvarez and Floyd Mayweather Junior. I plan to post my own thoughts on the fight at some point but for right now, here is the transcript of the televised exchange about this issue, verbatim, or as high an accuracy as I am capable in this post. It's my understanding that it aired on something called ICE SPORTS, of which I am not familiar and can find nothing, but it seems to be connected to ESPN's Sports Center, from the clip I viewed on Youtube.

Robert Flores:

"It was a decided pro-Canelo Alvarez crowd Saturday night in Las Vegas but Floyd "Money" Mayweather silenced them and his opponent to run his record to a perfect 45-0. Welcome inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Robert Flores, joined alongside Teddy Atlas. For Floyd Mayweather, Teddy, it was a dominant-it was a surgical performance over Canelo Alvarez. But not a unanimous decision. C. J. Ross, the lone judge to have it a draw, and another dubious decision for this judge, the same judge that scored Timothy Bradley a win over Manny Pacquiao last June. Your thoughts on the draw by C. J. Ross?"

Teddy Atlas:

"And Another dubious situation and another black eye for boxing and guess what? Boxing is like the cyclops. There's no more eyes left to blacken. This is really destroying the boxing industry and it takes us away from the marvelous performance of Floyd Mayweather. Look, we're in the betting capital of the world. They put a betting line on anything. You can bet on the coin toss in the super bowl. You can bet on the under/over for how long the national anthem's going to go in the super bowl. But I can guarantee you, one line that will not be up in this town tomorrow. And that will be the line of whether or not C. J. Ross, that criminal, that-that corrupt or incompetent, whatever you want to call her, I don't know what she is, but this is the second time she's done this just- as you just finished saying. There will be no line up tomorrow whether or not she will be reprimanded by this commission, or any commission. Because she won't be. Because it doesn't happen in boxing. Boxing is unregulated. It has no national commission like the other sports and it's destroying itself."

Robert Flores:

"Well, that's a subplot of this Saturday, that this magnificent night for Floyd Mayweather-But the headline is "Money" Mayweather stays undefeated, stays dominant."

A currently active available Youtube clip of the exchange:

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing

Thanks for stopping by our place. Here are some other pages you might enjoy:

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George Chuvalo Gets Slapped & Insulted: Reaction GIF Spotlight

Friday, September 13, 2013

Marco Antonio Periban VS Badou Jack: Majority Draw Makes Few Happy

Coming off a loss to rough and rowdy Sakio Bika for a "vacant" major world title and defending his regional, North American title, Marco Antonio Periban matches against undefeated former Olympian Badou Jack. It's a meaningful contest in a division that is overflowing with good names.

In round one, Periban working his jab with dedication among his combinations. Periban gets warned for a low blow-it didn't look low to me. Both men committing to the body early on. A sloppy hooking flurry from Periban to the head on a hesitant Jack. Periban edges the round for me. Jack seems cold.

In round two, still competing closely at the start but Periban is more free with his punches and runs away with the round as it goes on. Jack is hesitating more. He's unsure and waiting on Periban, throughout his flurries.

In round three, Periban's getting outworked, and clearly. He can't keep up the pace Periban is setting. Periban is rarely throwing one punch by itself. Very rarely. Periban is not discouraging his output either. There is a headbutt that affects Periban on the cheek, it looks. 

In round four, Jack is starting to step it up and step into his punches more in this round. When he lets the punches go, he is good. Periban is still going as before, high volume. He's eaten some nice looking shots in this round though, as Jack is finally taking advantage of the openings more. Both men commit to the body well. Periban is cut above the right eye. This round is close. I'll edge it to Jack. 3-1, in rounds, for Periban. All 10/9 rounds.

In found five, though the pace suits Periban far better, Jack is in this. Close to Periban, but it easily could've gone the other way. I can't help but think some of the steam has come off Periban's punches in this round but he was still landing enough to edge it on my card. 4-1, Periban.

In round six, Periban keeps chugging along, at his own high pace. He never settles into Jack's pace. He never gets lazy. Jack catches him on one good, hard right hand. He just won't sustain his attacks in any way, relative to what Periban has been doing. Periban's offense still flows like water. Temporary excitement when Jack connects with a right and Periban stumbles a bit. I don't think he was hurt, only stumbled. It seems misleading to me but will no doubt convince many scoring the round to give a clear advantage to Jack. Which is fair. The best single punch in the round was still the original right hand I mentioned from Jack, but he was still easily out-hustled. He's simply not mobile enough to avoid all these combinations or throwing enough to meet them. His guard is not enough to block all of this and that guard is his whole defense. He's not getting it done for me. 5-1, Periban.

In round seven, some solid shots from Jack but he won't put them together. He's still not comfortable punching while Periban is putting together combinations and moving. Periban keeps shaking his gloves like a tick. Periban looks like he's now reacting more to Jack's punches than he has but it's not stopping the constant work by Periban and Jack's so flat-footed compared to Periban. His guard is, again, inadequate for Periban's constant stream of combinations. I have to edge it to Periban in still a close enough round, trying to find exactly where quality and quantity separate themselves from each other (think Calzaghe/Hopkins). Again, single shots that are the best looking, the best, perhaps two, were Jack's, but he refuses to let his hands go enough to get the round. Periban is landing. A lot. 6-1, Periban.

In round eight, punch stats have Jack landing more punches through seven than Periban. So, when the punch counters were little, they weren't hanging with Sesame Street's Count von Count, I theorise. They were likely in the dumpster with Oscar. As a result, they stink. Amusingly, Paulie Malignaggi adds "Those numbers aren't necessarily facts."It looks like Periban has a bloody nose now. Periban is moving far less on his feet entering this round and Jack is landing more. His punches do have authority. He's finding the target more inviting. Periban is starting to look bad but the punches keep flowing for him. I do feel Jack has done the better work in this round. Not more work, but the difference in quality of punches is the round, this time, for me. A Jack round. 6-2, Periban.

In round nine, I still have the impression that Periban's feet getting flatter make the fight much more conducive to Jack. He seems to want to do damage now. Jack is landing some good, thudding shots. Jack's jab is really coming off in this stage of the fight, now that Periban is no longer moving particularly well. Jack is finally having more exchanges throwing in combination than one at a time. And it's working so well, it illustrates to me how mistaken he was not to put his foot on the gas just a bit more early on. When he fires, you know the punches are doing damage. You know he can trade with Periban. This is easily Jack's round. 6-3, Periban.

In round ten, Periban's combinations are coming off very weak and ineffective now. He's still throwing them but they're very inaccurate and lack pop. Jack seems to have adjusted well to the more stationary Periban and timed him. Periban fires one of his big body shots, and it looks to stray low, but I don't hear the ref mention it. It didn't seem deliberately dirty so much as a result of arm-weariness. He's worn out from the pace he himself set and Jack is hitting a much softer target as a result. Periban is landing on the gloves a great deal in this round, but all ineffective now. Periban tries to dance a bit but you can tell he's not got the legs anymore. Jack expended so little energy early that he doesn't seem to have any less in the tank than he had to begin the match. Another late Jack round. 6-4, Periban. My card totals 96-94 for Periban.

Outcome: One judge matches my card of 96-94 for Periban. Two judges have it a draw, or 95-95. This means a majority draw, with Periban keeping the North American title.

Summary: Periban, to me, was a fairly dominant frontrunner and Jack a fairly dominant closer in this ten-rounder. However, I have Periban putting away just slightly more in the bank before wearing out than Jack was able to pick up late, considering that it was over ten, instead of twelve. There's no question Periban ended worse, but boxing isn't about who finishes best in a decision fight as the last word. In a distance fight, finishing best isn't guaranteed winning. This was not an ineffective aggression issue early on, as I saw it. Many fans feel differently, as I'm reading real-time on the forums. He landed, damn it. The punches landed for Periban were many and if they weren't impactful, then why did they seem so discouraging to Jack early on?

Jack looks incredulous at the decision. I see nothing outrageous with the cards, considering I said a few of the rounds I gave to Periban were close enough-swing rounds. I don't feel anyone has a right to complain here. It was a good contest and one worthy of a rematch. Periban showed a fine display of a workhorse attitude that suits him despite really causing himself to flag late by overexerting himself a bit and Jack displayed a fine level of precision though he was flawed with waiting on a high volume fighter too much to count on a decision. It was a good fight. I do believe a rematch would test each man's ability to learn and adjust. Those are my two cents anyway. Take it or leave it.

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing   

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Errol Spence VS Jesus Tavera: TKO1, No Sweat For Spence

Tonight, in a billed light middleweight contest held at MGM Grand, undefeated prospect and 2012 Olympian Errol Spence Junior faced off against similarly experienced young pro Jesus Tavera for a scheduled 8 rounds. Spence comes out patiently. Patience is a virtue but despite his virtuous demeanor he did not slow down the near-inevitable. While controlling Tavera's head with his right arm he puts a left to the body that takes Tavera down. That southpaw left hook to the body would have made Lucian Bute proud. Before round one ends Spence's killer instinct ends the match on a sustained attack, with perhaps no one punch doing the damage. The ref steps in with no level of hesitance. In the post fight interview Spence says he noticed at the weigh-in that Tavera's body was looking a little soft and he thought he'd test it. Fortunately for Spence, Tavera failed the test. Maybe he didn't recover from that initial knockdown and the better part of the fight was taken out of him there. Regardless, a nice showing by Spence and another win on his record, as well as good exposure on the FS1 broadcast.

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing    

Diego De La Hoya VS Luis Cosme: The Golden Kid Is A Vicious Man In Debut Fight

Tonight, in a billed super bantamweight contest, new representative of the De La Hoya family and debuting fighter, Diego De La Hoya, matches significantly more experienced Luis Cosme (8-3-1). In round one, Diego comes out confidently trying to work the body and the jab. His jab seems very stiff, fitting into the family tree. He's got fast hands and though he takes a few good shots, he clearly wins the round and isn't put off by the disparity in experience or getting caught. 

In round two, excellent straight punches are on display by Diego. They're fighting rough and pushing each other around, in addition to the punches thrown. But Diego is throwing a lot more leather and his punches are mostly belting shots. Clear round for Diego, that.

In round three, mostly Cosme seems looking for mistakes of DLH to throw an odd shot in. You can tell Diego's power is something to be respected. Diego puts his pedal to the metal and puts together enough to put Cosme down. It's an incredibly long assault and wouldn't have been advisable in a longer scheduled fight. The ref calls it. I think it was initially a right uppercut that did the most damage by itself but he wouldn't have gone down if DLH hadn't have committed to such a long assault. He really was all over Cosme like a rabid dog.

In closing, this one looks to be a crowd pleaser, whether he becomes a champion or not. Good luck to him and congrats on his vicious debut.

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing    

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Danny Jacobs VS Giovanni Lorenzo: The Golden Child IS The Miracle Man!

Perhaps we should switch over to "The Miracle Man" which I think is his preferred moniker now. Danny Jacobs has a nice preamble piece on this FS1 broadcast leading into the fight which begins "I was born in New York City. This is the mecca of boxing-the capital of the world."  He says his heroes in boxing were the likes of Roy Jones Junior, Sugar Ray Leonard and Muhammad Ali. He also says "You can play basketball. You can play volleyball. You can play soccer. But you can't play boxing. You have to fight." and touches on his nightmarish cancer battle with, specifically, osteosarcoma, where he received 25 counts of radiation and was told he'd never box again. He says his biggest motivation to beat it was his drive to become a world champion.

The stare-down during referee instructions is humourous. Lorenzo is exaggeratedly licking his lips like a German Shepherd staring at a baked turkey that's been carelessly set down at his eye level and Danny is looking at him with a polite smirk. He might as well be looking at an annoying bank teller, let alone a guy ready to take his head off. Dave Bontempo muses "Danny Jacobs, not buying into the stare-down there. I guess when you've been fighting cancer, what's a stare-down in the ring? He smiled at him."

In round one, the first serious and arguably most meaningful punch landed in the round is about a minute in, a banging overhand right that lands flush to Lorenzo's face. Jacobs, is thoroughly in control and maintaining any distance he wants. He's throwing a hungry Lorenzo off completely with his movement and also the jab. Jacobs is putting distracting jabs out to the head and body and keeping Lorenzo from setting himself to throw. Jacobs is too quick and too smart through round one. He's coming off slick against Lorenzo, a former Olympian and former world title challenger. This is very good stuff from Jacobs.

In round two, Jacobs' athleticism and ring IQ are in a different league to Lorenzo. Lorenzo is very frustrated here, I think. Jacobs is just preventing Lorenzo from getting into the fight in any way. Jacobs has the head movement, the footwork, everything on Lorenzo. Lorenzo gets warned for a blatant rabbit punch, which is likely a result of pure frustration. As in, if you can't get them clean, get them dirty. He's certainly not getting Jacobs clean. Lorenzo is trying to take Danny's head off, but Danny's head isn't there, to his chagrin. Jacobs didn't throw too much in this round but he still won it, as much as he nullified Lorenzo. I can almost feel Lorenzo's anger at his inability to pin Jacobs down.

In round three, Lorenzo looks to stray low on Jacobs and is called for it. The ref is on the ball here and lets Danny take a moment. It could be further sign of a frustration from Lorenzo, wanting to get Jacobs any way he can, and slow him down, but to me it doesn't really look intentional there. Who knows? Lorenzo, by punch or shove or stumble, I cannot tell, finds himself between the top and second rope. The ref interrupts to make sure he's out before action continues.

Jacobs seems to be offering apology for whatever maneuver put Lorenzo there, so it must not have been clean punching. I think Lorenzo commits another intentional rabbit punch on Jacobs who is tying him up and turning away at the same time. They start brawling as commentator Bernard Hopkins is mentioning a cut under Jacobs' left eye. Jacobs switches from boxing craftily with superb defense to forcefully slugging Lorenzo back to the ropes. It's the first time Lorenzo's been more than fleetingly forced back in the fight, I think. He was stalking up to this point.

Jacobs is all over Lorenzo and his edge in hand speed and his sharp shot selection sees him finish with a face-distorting left and right hook to demolish Lorenzo, falling face first to the canvas. Lorenzo goes down, tries to get up, but he's out of it and the ref knows. It's over. What a finish! Lorenzo gets stopped for the first time in his career. As Jacobs connects with the crowd, Hopkins adds "When Danny realised he was cut, he went into another mindset, and that's the way you do it." The punch stats are very deceptively close. They were actually a perfect example of why punch stats are often awful indicators of what has happened in a match, as counter-intuitively as this may strike some fans.

I am so pleased that Jacobs is a hot prospect again. A great story, a guy with personality who can box with real skill and put your lights out? Terrific. I'm very impressed with this man and think he's a definite player in a rich division. The division he's in is absolutely overflowing with challenges for a young, hungry lion like Jacobs. Good luck to him. This shows me he's ready to jump in with the other top ten men whenever he likes and if we're lucky it'll all be getting appropriate airtime. 

PS: This match aired on the nineteenth of August, 2013-I've just received my DVR back to post about this match recently.

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing   

Monday, September 9, 2013

Gary Beriguette VS Kamal Muhammad: Swing Fights Happen

"Swing fights happen" should be a saying. In a listed light middleweight contest on FS1, the relative unknowns Gary Beriguette and Kamal Muhammad squared off. They didn't know if they'd be getting their chance for the cameras, waiting in the wings, in case earlier fights ended quickly enough, and they came out dry but hungry.

In round one, Beriguette fought as roughly as he could, as they incessantly found themselves tying up, in clinches for a large part of his offensive assault, with Beriguette trying to out-wrestle and out-hustle Muhammad. Commentator Paulie Malignaggi says he's winning through activity though smothering his offense. Muhammad simply cannot seem to punch with him on the inside and is not doing well until he catches Beriguette for an apparent glove touch as he stings him just enough while trying to barrel his way inside. Even at that, this was not the cleanest looking knockdown. Beriguette gets a standing eight count (he's perfectly fine, it looks to me) and that is the only reason Muhammad gets that round. It's customary to give a 10/8 when there's a knockdown. I am too bothered by it being one single, not particularly impactful shot to win him the round and I would have it only a 10/9 for Muhammad.

In round two, Beriguette comes out highly aggressive and powers Muhammad to the ground with some punching and what looks like a headbutt on top of that, earning his own knockdown. It's about as good as Muhammad's knockdown. Messy. He's not letting a four-rounder get away on a weak knockdown. Beriguette digs into Muhammad's body mercilessly. He is a complete mugger in his style. Perhaps he is smothering some of his own work, sure, but he's smothering almost all of Muhammad's work in the process. Muhammad has no idea how to breathe in there, let alone wage his own offense. Slow motion replay shows Beriguette come in with fist and head and Muhammad dip down with his own head, causing the head clash that put a gash high on the side of Muhammad's head.

In round three, Muhammad does what is in his limited power to keep the fight long but Beriguette is simply much stronger and takes control every time. Beriguette is cut too, on the eye, by likely more headbutting. Beriguette has been putting forth one nasty, nasty fight, and it's worked just fine. In round four, the final round, more bullying from Beriguette. If this is representative of his style, "The Bully" Beriguette would not be a bad nickname at all.

He clubs and mauls and pushes and pins Muhammad back to the ropes and doesn't lose a whole minute of any round while doing so. Muhammad simply has nothing to either prevent this or wage a fight from that range and Gary takes this round as well. Muhammad tried pushing out a few jabs with little purpose behind them. That was, in essence, all he showed capable of doing to prevent being bullied. A clear decision for Gary Beriguette, UD4. It isn't pretty, but swing fights happen.

PS: This match aired on the nineteenth of August, 2013-I've just received my DVR back to post about this match recently.

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing  

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Chris Arreola VS Seth Mitchell: A Puncher With A Chin Is Mitchell's Nightmare

The action itself:

Mitchell gets off first, landing a sharp one-two. Mitchell is faster of hand and foot than Arreola and a more well-conditioned athlete. As a matter of fact, Mitchell was schooling Arreola with these advantages, apparently...For almost the first minute of the fight. He almost made it out of the first full minute of the first round without clearly getting hurt. After plodding forward and taking sharp shots from Mitchell for fifty-something seconds, the big right hand of Arreola landed flush and caused Mitchell to clutch for dear life. The good? Mitchell knows to clinch now, as he didn't seem to when he was stopped by Johnathon Banks. The bad news? Clinching the torso instead of the arms instinctively isn't good. But, more so, he just doesn't take a big shot very well, as observed before. He simply doesn't show the ability to take a big shot without getting significantly hurt. What else can you say?

Mitchell clutched onto Arreola as best as he could but Arreola has been clutched this way before, nothing new, and he was having none of it, throwing off the stout former American footballer and sending him crashing to the canvas. Referee Jack Reiss calls it correctly, not a knockdown, although, well, he wouldn't have ended up down this way if he weren't rather hurt. Mitchell does his best to continue fighting off of the back foot again, and he lands a few but as soon as Arreola initiates a trading session, Mitchell takes the bombs and is hurt again. Arreola's sledgehammer right hands came crashing down on a hunched over Mitchell and on the canvas he goes for the first official knockdown of the round. Arreola goes right back to work and Mitchell tries to work with him but he ends up hurt and staggering/running away and into the ropes. Jack Reiss has seen enough at this point and calls it.

Mitchell doesn't want it called, but Reiss knows he simply isn't taking this kind of fight well enough to let him back into it. I think it's a good call. I'm sorry, I know Mitchell wanted it, and I like Seth and appreciate what he's done in his second serious sport as an athlete, but Reiss struck me as correct. It would've been a disservice to Seth to let him continue on with this. He was not a match for Chris Arreola. Arreola KO1 Seth Mitchell. After the stoppage, Arreola begins doing push-ups in the ring. Because he's a big, Mexican Jack LaLanne! The commentator says it's the first time in his career he can't get enough work. Hah!

Who is Chris Arreola?

Chris "The Nightmare" Arreola is a man we must appreciate for what he is when everyone wants to be disappointed by what he's not. We must appreciate what he is...or we'll get no satisfaction at all. He's not built like a man who enjoys hard work at the gym. His floppy physique is notorious. He doesn't look like an athlete of any kind. He never will. It ain't him, babe. No, no, no. If you want heavyweight that look like an athlete, it ain't him you're looking for, babe. If you want pretty boxing or pretty bumps, don't expect it from Cristobal Arreola. It's not worth the disappointment. This man likes his ice cream. What you should expect, and what you should appreciate is that Arreola, who has been boxing since he was a small child, will always be able to flat-out fight, hit with real power from both hands and bring the action. Appreciate it, because finding a heavyweight with the ability and willingness to take anything to land everything with any significant pedigree, experience and class stopping power to stand out from the pack...these guys are rare.

Arreola lets his fists do the talking, but he censors himself about as well as he inhibits his appetite when he does open his mouth and he's colourful outside of the ring, as well as inside. Lets appreciate this man for what he is instead of harping on what he isn't. Tonight, we saw the faster, more athletic, far better physique in Seth Mitchell get blown out early. It wasn't a devastating looking KO, it was a ref's conscience TKO, but it shows that if you're not a proper contender, once again, Chris Arreola will sort you the heck out. Arreola can smell it on you when you're not a hard, class fighting man with some savvy. Arreola took some hard, fast shots from Mitchell. Mitchell got off first, if you look at the fight, but Arreola can take a shot and come raging back with both hands in a way that separates the regular man from the class of the world. Arreola's three losses are not byproducts of his conditioning. That doesn't fly with me. They're byproducts of class fighters putting the screws to him regardless of his conditioning. Just as his losses aren't byproducts of his flab, his wins aren't byproducts of less of it either. They're byproducts of having the right combination of talent, physical tools, experience and grit. I'm not saying he shouldn't put the effort in-of course he should-only that we've seen his level and it's a good, not great level, no matter what his weight has been throughout his heavily fluctuated career weights.

Where to for the loser?

Where does this leave Seth Mitchell? People are going to write him off completely after this and the two matches with Johnathon Banks, despite him winning one. As far as world class fighting, I think that's fair. As far as any boxing career at all? I don't know if I'm throwing my support behind outright retirement. This has not been a failed experiment. It is not as if he did not get good television spots, win a good regional title, get a chance to rumble with some good names. If he was unceremoniously ruined by somebody you never heard of, fine, it was a bad career. But, he's not in bad company at all. But I have to say that Mitchell's speed and power and dedication to his conditioning are there and there are decent heavyweights out there that are simply not punchers, if he wants to continue. I think giving him a few "gimmes", then trying to match him up against someone like Jason Estrada or Dominick Guinn could bring him some good money without doing what they just did to him and matching him up in a way that was predictably bad for him.

Now, about this matchmaking, I look at his difficulty in surviving Banks and I wonder how his management really assesses him, for sending him in against, as I said, a puncher with a chin and fine pedigree. To me, this was a predictable match-up on paper. Was I 100% confident Arreola would win? Knowing that Mitchell is a genuine puncher and it's tough to count on Arreola in the big matches, like him or not, no; I wasn't 100% confident. But, that said, if someone had a gun to my head, the only prediction I could've given was an early Arreola knockout. Did Mitchell's backers assume the same? Because, it seems to me that they have him as written off as any kind of contender as most fans likely do now. Why else would they have put this fight in front of him? Because, forget getting what you likely can out of the game, sink or swim when we know you're not really a swimmer? I don't know. Something about this match-up irks me.

Still, this loss isn't definitively an end to any further career. As I said, the company isn't bad. Arreola fought two honest heavyweight prizefighters in Eric Molina (2012) and Joey Abell (2011) and they were done in the exact same way-KO1. I think the bottom line is that Seth is not a serious contender, but he's no bum either. It's a matter of if you aren't an honest to goodness top 15 type of heavyweight, Arreola will likely annihilate you. That's what he does. His position in the sport is a loser to top 15 types and a killer of anyone that doesn't fit in that company. I think that's exactly where he is and it's no disrespect to say that. It's a fine class. So, is it anything damning for an entire career to lose to that class? I think Mitchell could go on, matched well. His style though, an aggressive one that gets the most out of his pure physical strength, it doesn't match his chin. If that can't be dealt with, using a change in style, there's not much hope for more than some good matchmaking. But his ability to pull off an upset with his power and get a big fight? It's there. The question is whether or not that seemingly lower level potential for a name fighter is worth it. Either way, good luck to both men, as they are usually always enjoyable heavyweight bangers.

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing  

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Eddie Gomez VS Steve Upsher Chambers: Gomez Proves Ready For A Big Step Up!

(Aired on the nineteenth of August, 2013-I've just received my DVR back to post about this match recently)

In round one, Gomez boxed casually throughout the first half of the round, not letting the significantly taller Chambers bother him with his solid jab at all, and catching him with a few sharp left hooks. In the second half of the round Gomez let it go from slightly leading what would've been a 10/9 round on my card to bludgeoning Chambers in an easily called 10/8 round, despite no knockdowns. There would be some refs who would've jumped the gun in there, toward the end of the round. Steve Smoger, the referee of this bout, is not prone to such things. Some may even nitpick that Gomez took a chance at punching himself out but the way Chambers looked, it seemed a fair call to jump on him as aggressively as he did. Chambers didn't even seem clearheaded enough to clinch.

Gomez did not enter the ring with a high kayo ratio but he seemed very heavy-handed from the start of this one. The weigh-ins from these two may go against their height difference, as Gomez seems to be the naturally heftier man. Steve is the younger brother of Eddie Chambers, by the way. In round two, Gomez comes storming out of the gates, having smelled blood in the first. He did not appear to have any notion that Chambers got his bearings between rounds. Even as Gomez calms down, he's still, as commentator Paulie Malignaggi points out, plowing right through Chambers' guard whenever he feels like it. Chambers' guard is woefully inadequate as a single facet of defense against the arsenal of Gomez. He's not moving his head or feet or rolling his shoulders. It's all earmuffs and Gomez is loving it. This is a clash of different classes for certain. Gomez is far more offensively and defensively dynamic and has far more power and confidence behind that skill level.

In round three, Gomez is still blasting Chambers. Even jabs are landing with the thudding authority of power punches. Gomez pulls a little Jersey Joe Walcott style showboating, turning his back and walking away, no fear of Chambers following. He's smiling, he's having a good time. Chambers just doesn't belong in the ring with Gomez, by the looks of it. Gomez can pot shot, put blistering combinations together, he can essentially do anything he wants so far without any concern for the level of threat Chambers seems to carry.

In round four, it is still clear that Chambers is in over his head here. He's adjusting his trunks and eating shots because of it, as in more than once. He's trying to use Eddie Chambers' way of putting the guard up but also bending backwards and out of the way of punches. It's almost a rope-a-dope without the rope. Frankly, he just cannot do that. He does not have close to the timing and he is getting tagged cleanly while trying to do this. Chambers begins following Gomez around without throwing any punches, just allowing Gomez to tee off whenever he likes, no jabbing while stalking a man who has been hurting him consistently. I don't know if this is representative of Chambers' ring IQ at its best, but any strategy he may have had in this fight could've been knocked out of him in the first round.

I think Chambers realises here that in an 8-round fight, with him not being a puncher, he needs to be dramatically active and lay it all out on the line. To his credit, he does want to give it his best shot to do so and this leads to the most sustained trading between them. But Chambers' legs are not sturdy and as Gomez wades in for the last time and knocks him around like a rag doll, even Steve Smoger says it's all for not and calls the fight against a lucid but hurting and frustrated Chambers. Gomez's TKO4 over Chambers is a clinic and a beating. The young Bronx "Eboy" looks the goods as a light middleweight prospect. Chambers looks to need a long trip back to the drawing board. You can't take many fights like that.

There's some talk about Smoger calling it when he did, as Chambers had probably been hurt just as bad, if not worse, at multiple points in the short match. Bernard Hopkins mentions that Smoger has the opposite of a reputation for stopping fights early-which is certainly true-and that in the end you basically must defer to his viewpoint from in the ring. I think it was a good call. Chambers had the heart to make his stand as best as he could but Smoger knew he was having little to no effect on Gomez and taking very considerable punishment. Gomez and Smoger get an A from me. Somebody, please get Gomez in there for his next step up and make sure it's on television.

Miscellaneous notes:

*Bernard Hopkins, Paulie Malignaggi and Dave Bontempo are the commentators for the night on this FS1 broadcast.
*Final punch stats have Gomez landing at 52%, 304 thrown, 158 landed and Chambers landing at 24%, 192 thrown, 47 landed. I didn't count each punch. But it's believable from my view in this dominant showcase.

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing  

2012 Ohio Olympian Terrell Gausha VS Austin Marcum Ends Painfully In Two

(Aired on the nineteenth of August, 2013-I've just received my DVR back to post about this match recently)

Middleweight prospect Terrell Gausha got a good television spot to open FS1's boxing broadcast in August against Austin Marcum. If you liked what you saw from the Cleveland native, he's also slated to fight on the twelfth against Bruce Runkle on the MGM grand card which has fellow Ohioan Sean Porter in his rematch with Julio Diaz scheduled.

In round one, Gausha calmly pops his jab throughout. He looks the naturally bigger man. He significantly hurts Marcum, who is pumped for a fight, and puts him down into the ropes at the last moment of the round. The ref counts and proceeds to let him to his stool, satisfied that at least with the minute's recovery time he should be allowed to continue. It was really three punches, a left and two rights, that all looked to hurt Marcum by themselves before he finally slumped down onto the middle rope. I am very surprised Marcum was able to compose himself and come back for the second round after the way he went down there. It looked to be a close to the show at that point, honestly.

In the second round, Marcum gave a flurry to Gausha's body, shoe-shining type punches, it seemed. Not long after that, with a perfect example of class difference, Gausha took Marcum down on mostly body shots. Instead of a flurrying, they were crushing blows that brought Marcum crumpled to the canvas. He endured some serious punishment for a two-rounder. A game showing from Marcum but a promising showing from Gausha. He was calm, confident and overall impressively professional for his number of pro fights, having come to the ring with only four.

Miscellaneous note: The night's commentators were Paulie Malignaggi, Bernard Hopkins and Dave Bontempo.

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing  

Friday, September 6, 2013

Jairo Castaneda VS Warren Stewart Produces Fast Paced 4-Round Action On FS1

FS1's Monday Night Fights aired San Antonio's massively rangy prospect Jairo Castaneda's third professional fight against Warren Stewart. Now, Stewart had weight issues, was coming off an almost exactly three-year layoff and was only a one-fight pro at that.  These are certainly things to keep in mind when assessing Castaneda's four-round unanimous decision victory. All of that said, Stewart was game and presented a nice early test of small man fighting on the lanky Castaneda. This was contested at the welterweight limit for Castaneda, as he was three pounds above the light welterweight limit, though I believe he's aiming to be a light welterweight prospect (built a lot like Amir Khan for the weight class) with Warren coming in with his weight trouble a bit above the welterweight limit, within the light middleweight limit at 148.5, if boxrec has it listed correctly.

Through rounds one and two Stewart's punches are clearly wide and slow. Castaneda landed almost at will through these rounds. Castaneda did not control Stewart from range, as you'd think would be the smart game plan but he still beat him thoroughly. The third round was extremely high in action, Stewart's openness is looking almost deliberate and he's as aggressive as a pit bull, but he still doesn't get the better of the round. Castaneda abandons a good, effective jab for the most part to get into a brawl. With a guy like Stewart, this is the kind of mistake a young, excited fighter tends to get into. Not surprising, but not good either, save for the audience's entertainment.

The final round saw Stewart again starting like gangbusters on Castaneda, as he did in the last, doing his best to be a fully fledged pressure fighter. I don't know if his chin is above average or if Castaneda just has very little stopping power. For certain, Jairo has a good offensive diversity and was throwing and landing every type of punch at Stewart throughout the match. Stewart still never seemed concerned about Castaneda's punching power, even while being tagged flush with his hands down, multiple times. After the strong start of Stewart, again, Castaneda comes back to batter Stewart throughout the majority of the round.

I'd like to see Castaneda commit to his jabbing more consistently, and straighten out his right hand for a more one-two oriented arsenal, with his height and reach. I scored the match 40-36, as did all three of the judges. But much credit to Stewart's tenacity. The punch stats had both men throwing 250+ punches over four rounds. Nice television match, this was. Castaneda's fight wasn't the smartest, to me, but he was unarguably dominant and fan-friendly against a very determined opponent. This was yet another good call for FS1's programming. I was very pleased with their card.

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

3-Time Ohio Olympian Rau'shee Warren UD's Omar Gonzalez in Dominant Fashion

Cincinnati native and highly decorated former amateur Rau'shee Warren took on Omar Gonzalez on the back of Gonzalez's surprising 4-round victory over Raul Martinez on FS1's Monday Night Fights. The baffling speed of Warren had Gonzalez on the canvas for two flash knockdowns in the opening round. One on right hooks and one apparently on a stiff jab! Gonzalez had a bloody nose when he went back to his corner after the first round and Warren was looking excellent in this rare match (rare for being two southpaws). The first round was a good indicator of everything to follow, save for it actually going the distance.

In round two, Warren still displays one cracking right hook and terrific reflexes but it gets scrappier as the ref has to step into Warren's spotlight a bit. Gonzalez hits the deck, and it's correctly not ruled a legit knockdown. In round three, Gonzalez lands a little bit but is mostly countered simple and likely realises fighting on the front foot or off the back foot, he's not getting into the fight that much. He's trying to adjust, respectably, but it's not winning him the round. In round four, Gonzalez excites the crowd in a largely ineffective sustained attack on Warren while having him on the ropes. Warren is seeming to get excited as well and gets a warning for shoving Omar. Gonzalez's wide, wide shots are connecting now, and he's getting into this, surprisingly as it is. He's not getting countered as badly throughout this round so far. Warren seems to realise Gonzalez is getting into it and starts to get very aggressive. He forces a legitimate knockdown, quickly stamping out Gonzalez's great effort throughout most of the round. Omar has his mouthpiece placed back in after the ref gives him his count.

In round five, boxer/commentator of the night (and doing a lovely job at it), Paulie Malignaggi notes that Warren is likely baiting Gonzalez so that he can shine with his counters and I agree. He seems to want to play on his counter-punching, smartly, until he realises a round is getting away from him. Then he has no trouble leading. Warren dominates this round in style. In round six, the final round, yet again, seemingly as soon as Warren thinks Gonzalez is having more success than he should be having, getting into the fight just a little bit, he takes it away from him. He won't let his opponent win a round just because he can afford to lose it. Gonzalez pinned him on the ropes a bit and teed off on his body and soon after he is down again, on a right hook to the side of the head, I believe. This is the fourth knockdown.

There is obviously no points win in all probability for Gonzalez from very early on but he keeps trying to get into it. He's a strong-willed fighter. But, again, it's Gonzalez trying to get into the fight and Warren dashing his hopes of being competitive as immediately as he can after any success at all. I love that instinct in a fighter. That's a ring general. Gonzalez takes yet another knockdown from Warren, with a few hard shots, with his mouthpiece out again. It wasn't likely one telling punch but a few hard shots from the better man while hoping to get a stoppage on his TV date. He survives about forty more seconds to the final bell of this six-rounder.

Gonzalez was so utterly outclassed in suffering his five knockdowns in six rounds that I don't believe he could have done anything more than what he did. He fought a courageous fight, tried to use his head and adjust a bit, stayed mentally strong, never quit, but Warren was simply coming from a very different neighbourhood, both athletically and intellectually. I'm speaking of that neighbourhood, skillwise, but geographically speaking, perhaps Warren and Broner will be in some sort of red hot Ohio, USA era. I know Warren wanted that stoppage and everybody likes a stoppage to get excited about someone, but he cements himself as a hot prospect for my liking. Both men gave a credit to the opportunity they received to be on television. This was another good choice from FS1, I feel. No, not for competitiveness, in retrospect, but for showcasing someone worth showcasing - someone who could be a future champion and has skills a purist can appreciate. Congrats to Rau'shee Warren. I believe he's listed as a Bantamweight, so I'm looking for him to step it up there, although this match was technically contested within the Super Bantamweight limit.

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing

FS1 Super Bantamweight Scrap Ends Without Satisfaction: Daniel Quevedo VS Raul Martinez

Airing on Fox Sports 1 this past Monday, tough Journeyman Daniel Quevedo gave two-time world title challenger (Flyweight & Super Flyweight) and former North American Super Flyweight Champion Raul Martinez fair work to rebound from his highly unlikely loss from earlier this year to then listed 5-8 Omar Gonzalez. Martinez was apparently looking for confidence and/or redemption and may have found very little of either with this limited outing. Quevedo began the night looking very physically imposing, stalking after Martinez in round one. In round two, Martinez started to stand his ground and oblige Quevedo. This was very scrappy and much of it in a phone booth which most likely lead to a cut on Quevedo's eye, via headbutt.

Martinez has been trying to improve under the tutelage of the very fine former 130-pound titlist Jesse James Leija, it is mentioned. In round three, while Martinez was consistently showing the natural athlete between the two, it was still a fight, through and through. For all Martinez's advantage in hand and foot speed and overall class, there was Quevedo, 13-13-3 record, finding him, competing evenly enough. That signifies a ring generalship problem for Martinez. When you know the advantages are there, but they're not preventing the other man from scoring competitively, the ring generalship is just not there.

In round four, Martinez shows he's heating up and even staggers Quevedo a bit at the end. For most of the round, Martinez and Quevedo looked like you'd think they should look together, with their records. It was perhaps during that time which Quevedo injured himself, because Quevedo retired with an injury between this round and the next and did not answer the bell for the fifth round. He did so believably, as he was game and wanting more throughout the match, never seeming particularly discouraged or impressed with his opponent.

It's gone down in the books as an unsatisfying TKO5 outcome for Raul Martinez, though the action itself was good and showed a good choice for FS1. To me, as rocky as the rounds were for him, Raul is still looking a very cool prospect, as opposed to hot, when looking for the next man to be made champion. It was Quevedo who fought well for the role he plays in boxing and Martinez who simply got the job done and while I have to give respect to both, I'd be very hesitant betting on Martinez in his next match. I do not think he's in a comfortable place right now. All the best to both, however, as they suit television just fine for me. They made a good match together.

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing

Monday, September 2, 2013

Tommy "The Duke" Morrison Passes Away at 44: RIP To A Classic Heavyweight Warrior

Morrison's rise to fame from his harsh upbringing? Classic American dream stuff it was. That he was sensationalised with poor American racialist taste as a great white hope fighter? A classic controversial heavyweight boxing theme anywhere between Marciano and Klitschko. Considering Tommy's fair hair and skin allowed the concept to take root despite being half American Indian, it shows how much the tradition of boxing race-baiting is based on ignorance and stupidity (like race-baiting in general). Tommy's mother is half Otoe, half Ponca. You'll find even Wikipedia prefers to over look it at this time, listing The Duke only under the category of "American people of Scottish descent". Morrison's bizarre career end and post fight life? What can I say? What does it matter now? The years of rumours, incessant chatter about his failing health every few months and his legal troubles, his non-boxing combat career, his family dramas, controversial political and medical opinions, they're all things I've been getting fed steadily in my circle of friends. But forget the legendary partying that became less and less of a party or the strange quotes from Morrisson and everything else, save his boxing career.

What matters is that Tommy Morrisson was truly a classic heavyweight warrior. What was true, regardless of scandals and sensationalism is that Morrisson had one of the most vaunted left hooks the heavyweight division has ever seen and he loved to lay it all out on the line in a fight. He put on some of the most entertaining matches in one of the best heavyweight eras. He mixed it up with Lennox Lewis, Ray Mercer, Razor Ruddock, George Foreman and more. He fought through all manners of injury and became the kind of fan favourite that there aren't too many of anymore at heavyweight. He was, to me, perfectly described with a term that may have been coined by Jim Lampley when he used it on another fighter: A high class brawler. A man who knew how to box, but he usually applied it during real fights full of risky exchanges. He rarely seemed too interested in taking a win on points (80% knockout ratios don't happen across 50+ fights for no reason). That's why good fans, of all colours and creeds could appreciate him. They didn't have to be fans, nor did they have to be engaged in the race-baiting, but they would be watching.

You had to watch Tommy Morrison. He was must-see TV. I've also always heard that while he was healthy enough he always took time to converse with fans and that is something that I have always respected. When these guys give their time, time from their personal lives that they are NOT obligated to give, to share a special moment with the people who love their sport, that's what makes me appreciate them as much as their fighting.

What boggles my mind, as a long time fan, is that at 44, Morrison, having left the sport so young, it seems like he was around a lot longer than he was (so much action was delivered) and it seems like he's been gone a lot longer than he actually has been (almost like we've been through three eras since he's been gone). Tommy Morrison, age 44, Vitali Klitschko, 42, Tony Thompson, 41, Tomasz Adamek, Steve Cunningham and Wladimir Klitschko-36, 37 and 37. I can hardly believe the numbers when I think about it and that Morrison's peak was perhaps, what, 1993 or so? Can it be two decades since he beat George Foreman for the WBO heavyweight title? Morrison turned pro young, rose to fame young, lived very fast and burned out just as fast. Now, he's passed away at only 44?

Again, as a fan, I don't care about the controversies surrounding his death so much as a classic fighter from my youth dying, and doing it at this age. I've heard there was a lot of suffering over at least the past year (at the very least, all things considered) and the end of that is the only good thing I can focus on with the news. He's been relieved of that suffering. The important thing to me is that we remember this was one hell of a fighter to watch, which is what I think he'd have wanted us to remember. If there's peace to be found for him yet, rest in peace, Duke.

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing

PS: Go and enjoy some of his many fights spread across the Internet. I will be doing just that.