Friday, July 11, 2014

Diego De La Hoya VS Miguel Tamayo: I wish his name were Victor

The set up:

Taking place on the ninth of July, DDLH weighed in just inside the Featherweight limit and Tamayo weighed in right at the Super Bantamweight limit, only two pounds official difference. We have Tamayo as the seasoned veteran journeyman, who has been in the ring with Gary Russell Junior in just his last fight. We have DDLH, who is being built as one of FS1's star prospects. Diego comes in having appeared the goods as a TV fighter, even if he doesn't hit the elite level. He's a fun prospect. His cousin, promoter and HOF fighter Oscar De La Hoya is in attendance for this match.

The action:

I cannot tell you how much I wish Diego's name were Victor, because "Vicious" is the adjective that I suspect will stick with his name. There are fighters with a good killer instinct and then there are vicious fighters. A good killer instinct is only knowing when you have hurt someone and can finish them and making good on that knowledge. But being vicious requires the willingness to kick into another gear until you can hurt a guy in the first place. A sense of urgency, a style where you take risks for the sole payoff of doing damage to your opponent. DDLH shows this viciousness the same as he had in the last fight I saw him in. He is risky, the way he lets go big punches in combination, early and often. He manages to be both risky and technically sound. He isn't reckless or unprofessionally impatient but he always tries to get his man hurt, right out of the gate, from the look of it. Against Tamayo, this is no different. He found big punches and put together hurtful combinations in round one. No real feel-out periods for Diego De La Hoya. He looks to chin-check his man as soon as possible with something big.

There wasn't much to the fight on Tamayo's behalf. Not for lack of trying. Tamayo came out looking like he wanted to convey the sentiment of "Hey, kid. Whatever you've got, I've seen it." and Tamayo has been in with some serious men who can hit, like Cesar Seda, with whom he went the distance. The way DDLH moves shows his high class as an athlete. His footwork is very good and he uses movement consistently. He's not all aggression. There's craft to this young man. In round three, DDLH seems to openly shove Tamayo to the ground. He's knocking Tamayo's head back with uppercuts and even jabs. Tamayo is firing with dedication but he's not at all sharp by comparison. By this third round, DDLH is knocking Tamayo around, stumbling, off balance, taking heavy leather to the body too. He's not reacting the same way to punches in this round. He's already been a little broken down, early as it is.

Round four saw another round of punches in bunches from DDLH, who has hurtful combinations, not shoe-shining combinations. Tamayo fires wide and slow combinations. Tamayo gets turned and turned as he sends telegraph after telegraph of what he wants to do. There is too much of a deficit of hand and foot speed with this young gun for Tamayo to overcome.

I like when DDLH fires a one-two-three, jab, straight right, left uppercut. That uppercut at the end is some kind of nastiness and expertly timed. About a minute left in the fifth and DDLH lands a huge straight right on Tamayo with a dramatic head snapping effect and they trade as Tamayo goes to the ropes and takes the worst of it. Referee Russell Mora breaks them and DDLH drives Tamayo to the ropes again with another combination and yet another head snapping right lands big. Mora stops it. Some called it an early stoppage; I call it a perfect place for the old standing eight count rule to have been implemented, were it in effect. Tamayo raised his hands as if to say "Oh, come on!" but he wasn't ever really in the fight. I won't argue Russell Mora's call, despite knowing him for one of history's worst reffing jobs ever in Abner Mares VS Joseph Agbeko I. A black mark on sports history if ever there was one, Mora left that night. I can't help but mention it whenever Russell Mora shows his face. He is forever tainted as a professional referee because of it and I am disappointed any time he is given the chance to oversee any fight on television. 

What it means: Diego De La Hoya is still must-see TV. FS1 is smart to be following him and building him up as a draw. He brings a fight. For Tamayo? His stock slipped even as a journeyman, game as he is. You can only stay relevant, even as a relevant journeyman for so long when you take damage like that. It is not a place in the sport that lends itself to longevity. I don't know how much longer he can offer any real resistance to name fighters at even as early a stage as DDLH is at. FS1 gets a thumbs up for bringing Diego back but a thumbs down for allowing Russell Mora the privilege of any spotlight on their air. Channels don't have to have authority in picking referees to make very clear that they won't televise men like Mora and, of course, Laurence Cole, the notorious regular to HBO's Texas cards, who the commentators themselves have pointed out as one of the sport's worst. Thankfully, Mora didn't have much opportunity to turn in one of his disasters this time out.

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing

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