By Tom Donelson (Member Boxing Writers Association)
Kelly Pavlik continued on his comeback trail as he faced Queens’ fighter Will Rosinsky. Pavlik stayed calm in the opening round as Rosinsky looked like the energy bunny while he constantly moved and threw punches in punches but they had little effect on Pavlik.
The second round was different as Pavlik started to pound the body and in the middle of the round, he nailed Rosinsky with a quick short right hand that sent Rosinsky down and took control of the round. At the beginning of the third round, Rosinsky attacked with multiple combinations but after the first minute of the round, he looked gas and Pavlik continued to pressure Rosinsky. While Pavlik did most of the punching in the fourth, Rosinsky movement allowed him to avoid some of the more powerful punches. Pavlik went back to his corner with cut over his left eye due to a punch.
In the fifth round, Rosinsky managed to land some hardhitting rights on that Pavlik cut eye for some of the best shots of the round but Pavlik landed the harder shots to the body and head but each round was competitive even though the HBO team gave a slight advantage to Pavlik. Max Kellerman added that a case could have made that it was nearly an even match after six.
Starting in the seventh round and thru the ninth round, Kelly Pavlik dominated those rounds with his body shots and occasional right to the head but Rosinsky had his moments, unleashing combinations that forced Pavlik to stop for brief moments and play defenses.
Pavlik continued to pursue Rosinsky, who gave a good account of his self as he threw combinations but Pavlik body shots and pressure proved to be decisive as he won unanimous decision. Rosinsky is not an elite boxer but a game fighter who showed he was competitive with a former world champion. As for Pavlik, he continues his quest for a title but the question, will he be able to compete with the elites of boxing deepest division. Pavlik looked vulnerable to Rosinsky movement and right hands.
It didn’t seem possible, but the Victor Ortiz – Josesito Lopez main event topped it. Josesito Lopez put on the surprise performance of the year and pulled off the upset of the year. I was really impressed. He showed speed, combinations, ability to lead or counter, enough power to stun Ortiz on several occasions, gameness, not being afraid to mix it up, versatility, being able to attack or box as he chose, and serious heart, for he took some mighty powerful blows that left his face puffy and marked up, and he was slightly stunned here and there, but he also showed intelligence by clinching and wrestling to take away Victor’s momentum. Fight reminded me of the Ortiz-Maidana bout in that both guys administered and absorbed a lot of punishment. Lopez was loose and relaxed, busy, in great shape, and obviously highly motivated. Ortiz showed toughness too, for he was taking bombs and bombing back, trying to make adjustments, successfully to some degree, which actually had him ahead on the scorecards at the time of the stoppage. Continue reading
On NBC, it was a night of heavyweight beginning with Bryant Jennings facing Steve Collins. Collins came into the fight with only one knock out in his last fourteen victories after winning his first eleven fights by knockout. The first round was a feeling out round as neither fighter threw much but Jennings got his jab going and started to open up.
This became more prominent in the third round as Jennings added his left hook and right hand to the mix as he started to score. In the fifth round, Jennings landed two left jabs followed by a right hand which sent Collins to the rope and the only thing that kept Collins from going down was the rope.
From this point, it was all Jennings but there were times that Jennings relaxed and allowed Collins to stay in the fight. Collins could no longer hurt Jennings after the third round and Jennings landed several combinations including upper cuts, right hands along with hooks to the body and head. The biggest flaw was his failure to finish off Steve Collins; who had nothing left over the last two rounds and wasn’t even really throwing any punches. Collins was hoping to make it through the last two rounds to end the fight on his feet. Jennings won the fight easy and showed growth but part of growth as a Heavyweight contender is to stop people who are your inferior.
In the main event featured Tomasz Adamek and Fast Eddie Chambers in a bout between two heavyweights who want one more shot at a title and a loss could end that shot. Chambers came into the fight at the lightest in his career and Adamek came in slightly heavier. Chambers began the fight by jabbing and moving while Adamek moved forward but unable to connect on solid shots due to Chambers’ defense.
On Cinco de Mayo, Mexican upcoming star Saul Canelo Alvarez faced Shane Mosley, the old veteran. The first round was a feeling around round as Mosley managed to get off punches a little quicker while Alvarez waited nearly half of the round to throw his first punch. In the second round, Alvarez went to the body against the older Mosley to set the pace and look to wear the older veteran out.A big right by Alvarez in the third round sent a buzz through the crowd and while he won the round, Alvarez suffered a cut from an accidental head butt.
Over the next three rounds, Alvarez continued to jab to set up his power shots as he forced Mosley to retreat. At the end of the seventh round, Mosley faced started to swell as the younger Alvarez appeared too young and too strong for the 40 year old Mosley. In the eighth round, Mosley unleashed some nasty jabs after grappling Alvarez in an effort to slow the younger fighter aggressive style.While Mosley managed to get Alvarez to the rope, Alvarez fires back with some rights but Mosley took the shots.
In the ninth round, both men fought on the inside with the best punch being an Alvarez left hook to the body that temporary stunned Mosley and Mosley came out in the tenth round knowing that he needed a knockout. He went after Alvarez but there was nothing left on his punches and any punches that came back in his direction, came back harder. This continued into the eleventh round as Mosley was determined to win the fight but an Alvarez right hand nearly sent Mosley through the rope. Continue reading
Bernard Hopkins faced a possible final battle against the younger Chad Dawson, a light heavyweight coming into his peak. Hopkins and Dawson engaged in a controversial two round bout that ended up in a no-contest. Hopkins has continued to surprise as he continues to be one of the best light heavyweights in the world at the age of 47 and over the years, he has managed to upset younger fighters including Jean Pascal, Antonio Tarver, and Kelly Pavlik. It seems whenever pundits bury Hopkins’ career, Hopkins comes back to pull off an improbable victory.
Like Archie Moore, the Old Mongoose, Hopkins has managed to keep fighting at high levels late in his career. Moore depended upon his knowledge of the sweet science, an inner toughness and a knockout punch. Hopkins doesn’t have Moore power but he has Moore ring smarts and his knowledge of the ring has allowed him to control the action and fight at his pace plus he can still adjust to the situation. Dawson wanted to show Hopkins that he was the master of light heavyweights and the master of Hopkins.
In the opening bout, televised by HBO, rising, undefeated Heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell faced veteran Chazz Witherspoon, who came in the fight with a 30-2 with 22 knockouts. Witherspoon started jabbing and controlling the real estate before Mitchell hit Witherspoon with two wicked body shots. Witherspoon shot a right hand that shook Mitchell and followed with several short rights that put Mitchell on wobbling legs. Mitchell barely made it through the first round and it took will just keep standing.
(Boxing Writers Assc.)
Bryant Jennings took on the veteran and former champion Sergei Liakhovich as he attempted to take a major step forward toward a championship bout. Both fighters fought a fast pace for heavyweights in the first round as Jennings quick hands may have given him the advantage but Liakhovich managed to land a few body shots to the shorter and quicker Jennings. Jennings opened a cut over Liakhovich’s left eye and just as he did in the first round, Jennings jab and follow up rights were the major scoring points.
The fourth round began with a vicious exchange as Jennings nailed Liakhovich with left hooks and power right hands but Liakhovich managed to connect a few solid shot including a right hand. Jennings moved around the ring, which allowed him to throw successful combinations as Liakhovich followed the faster Jennings around the ring. Jennings punctuated the round with right hand and left hook. Jennings continued his domination of the fight as he exploded over the final minute of the fifth round with a five punch combination. A Jennings upper cut in the seventh round told the story of the first seventh rounds as Jennings lifted Liakhovich’s head and may have busted Liakhovich’s nose, Going into the final three rounds, Liakhovich nose and eyes were swollen. The eighth and ninth round repeated the pattern of the previous rounds as Jennings faster hands were landing with impunity and there were times that Liakhovich was ready to go but only his will kept him up. Liakhovich’s corner ended the fight after the ninth round since their fighter was getting pounded and there was no way he was going to stop Jennings. Jennings showed that he could become the next great American heavyweight.
Tomasz Adamek fought Nagy Aguilera in the second event as Adamek was trying to get back into the heavyweight contention after losing to Vitali Klitschko. Adamek used his superior boxing skills to win the first round against Aguilera but in the second round, it was Aguilera who walked the Polish fighter down as he managed to land some solid overhand right hands that forced Adamek to retreat. Adamek began the third round by jabbing and combinations but in the middle of the round, Aguilera right hand found a home over Adamek’s jab but with ten seconds left, Adamek nailed Aguilera with a left hook and right hand nearly knocked Aguilera down but the bell saved Aguilera from further punishment. Continue reading
(Member Boxing Writers Assc.)
Carlos Molina started fast as he popped the slugger James Kirkland with solid combinations including right hands that landed fleshed into Kirkland’s face throughout the first round. Starting in the third round, Kirkland landed a few solid body shots but Molina landed the bigger blows as he nailed Kirkland with solid combinations. Even when Molina retreated, he connected with solid left hooks and right hands plus there were times that he pushed Kirkland to the ropes just as in the fourth round, when he landed a five punch combination that shook the retreating Kirkland.
Starting with the fifth round, Kirkland come out strong as he connected on some solid lefts and he dominated the first half of the round. Molina came back to win the rest of the round as he forced Kirkland to retreat with solid combinations. After an even sixth round, Kirkland looked like he was behind in the fight by a wide margin as he kept following Molina while Moline effectively countered.
The seventh round saw Molina returning to his form of the first four rounds as he nailed Kirkland with solid combinations while Kirkland threw one punch at a time. Kirkland looked confuse in the eighth round as he tried to out box a boxer instead of going after Molina. Kirkland instinct is to brawl but over the first eighth round, he fought cautiously as oppose to all-out attack.
After a fighting a lackluster nine rounds, Kirkland hurt Molina with two big right hand hooks at the opening of tenth round. Molina attempted to smother Kirkland to prevent Kirkland momentum. Molina struck Kirkland with a solid right hand that forced Kirkland to the rope but with less than ten seconds, Kirkland landed a right hook and straight left hand that knock Molina down but then chaos reigned.
As the knockdown was being counted, Molina’s corner came out of the corner and into the ring as they heard the bell ring ending the round. What they didn’t realize was that the count was still going on and the referee disqualified Molina since the corner came into the ring while the round was technically was still on. Ann Wolfe, Kirkland trainers, told HBO Max Kellerman that she wanted to see the fight continued. Two of the judges had Molina winning easy even though another judge had Kirkland winning; leaving one with the question which fight was this official watching. Molina was winning the fight and maybe the fight should have continued but the fact was that it didn’t and Kirkland was declared the victor. Continue reading
Madison Square Garden was once the mecca of boxing but today, it is one of many venues where boxing matches occur and happens but can anyone truly say there is the Mecca of boxing today? The answer today is no for while Las Vegas has replaced the Garden as a place where big fights happen in the United States, the heavyweight divisions biggest fights over the past decade have happened over in Germany where Klitschko’s made their home. The last time a big heavyweight fight occurred in the United States, where the world care was Lewis versus Vitali Klitschko but after that; nada.
Sergio Martinez brought his show to the Garden and put his Middleweight championship on line on Saint Patrick against the rugged Matthew Macklin. In a place where many of great middleweights have fought, Martinez brought his unique skills to the garden. Martinez came into the boxing world late and depended upon his athletic skills to get by but as he got more experience, he developed improved boxing skills to go with his hand and foot speed. Even at 37, he still had the speed but against Macklin; he was facing a tough fighter who grinded out victories.
Before the major event, slicking boxing Edwin Rodriguez faced the big bombing Donovan George and Rodriguez gave George a boxing lesson. Throughout the fight, Rodriguez moved and jab while setting up some slick combinations. George was never in the fight as he was easily outpointed even though he managed to win four rounds on one judges’ card. Continue reading
In a fight that was as spectacular as it was billed, WBO Featherweight champion Orlando Salido came back in round ten to retain his belt over Juan Manuel Lopez last Saturday night in San Juan, Puerto Rico, a fight that was aired by Showtime.
After a feel-out round in the opening stanza, these two boxers certainly put on a show for the ages. Salido had a terrific round three and was winning round five until he was knocked down by Lopez. From that point on, the bout was toe-to-toe action, with round nine being a candidate for “round of the year”. In round ten, Salido put Lopez down with an uppercut and as Lopez tried to regain himself, referee Roberto Ramirez wisely halted the contest 32 seconds into the round.
I was surprised that Lopez chose not to box tactically using his lead right hand jab, but instead was determined to slug with Salido which led to his demise in this classic rematch. At the time of the stoppage, the ringside judges had it 85-85, and 86-84, 86-84, both for Lopez. On my personal unofficial card, I had Lopez ahead 86-84.