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.
Showtime presented an undefeated Abner Mares move up to super bantamweight and provided Anselmo Moreno a national audience to show that he is one of the best small guys in boxing. Moreno, who came into the fight winning ten straight championship bouts, faced the confident David de la Mora. In the opening bout, Moreno dominated the first half of the round as he jabbed before unleashing a straight left, which he did twice in the opening two minutes. De la Mora attempted to go downstairs but Moreno slick boxing skills allowed him to avoid being hit.
In the second round, Moreno became the hunter as he sat down on his punches and nailed De la Mora with solid straight lefts. With forty seconds left, Moreno unleashed a right hook to De la Mora body which put De la Mora down for an eight count.
Moreno continued his mastery over De la Mora in the third round as he took his time before unloading accurate shots to the head but the body shots hurt De la Mora. Throughout the fourth and fifth round; Moreno simply boxed while avoiding many of De la Mora punches. With a minute left in the sixth round, a straight left to the body sent De la Mora down for the second time and Moreno staggered de la Mora near the end of the round with another straight left to the head. Next two rounds were simply a repeat of the whole fight as Moreno not avoided any rush by De la Mora, but Moreno continued to nail his opponent. After the eighth round, David de la Mora did not come out as he had enough of being nailed with vicious body shots.
Moreno showed himself a skillful fighter who can unleashed body shots that paralyzed his opponent plus accurate head shots and in this fight He connected on over half of his punches while rarely getting hit, showing that he mastered all phrases of the fight game. Continue reading
Manny Pacquaio faces off against Tim Bradley, who played a smart waiting game to get this fight. Bradley declined to fight Amir Khan after he defeated Devon Alexander for most of the junior welterweight titles. Bradley gambled that he could enter the Pacquaio’s sweepstakes and fighting Khan would have been a great risk. Why risk a possible or even a probable lost to Khan when there were millions more waiting on a PPV date with Pacquaio? The strategy was a high risk since a year ago; there were bigger names for Pacquaio and over the horizon, the possibility of a Mayweather mega event.
Unfortunately, the Mayweather-Pacquaio event is still on hold and both fighters have decided on different opponents for PPV events. Mayweather will be facing Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas and Bradley will be fighting the PacMan. So how do we rate the chances of the challengers in both fights? Both fighters actually picked fighters who they should beat but a loss by either Pacquaio or Mayweather could derail the mega event that could garner both men the biggest purses in boxing history. Continue reading
(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
By Tom Donelson
(Member Boxing Writers Association)
This weekend feature many stories from Devon Alexander trying to get back into championship contention while young fighters onShoBox: The New Generation, making progress toward championship belt but the most intriguing was Manuel Perez story. Perez works two part time jobs and last Friday night, he faced a more experienced and stronger fighter in Edgar Santana. Perez turned this fight into a desperation battle within the trenches as he challenged Santana in essentially hand to hand combat with gloves.
Throughout the fight, Perez used his hand speed to pepper Santana with body shots followed by head shots while taking Santana hooks ripping into his body. Perez chose to win the fight and this was a case of will and heart beating a more talented fighter. Perez got stronger as the figh entered the crucial rounds and won unanimous decision and maybe, he might pick up a bigger payday for his next bout.
Juan Carlos Burgos viewed his fight with former champion Cristobal Cruz as a stepping stone but it nearly became a disaster. Cruz kept moving forward throughout the bout and fell victim to Burgos pot shots and counter. In the middle round, Burgos look like he was taking command and that included a quick, short left hook that sent Cruz down and Burgos dominated the seventh round but by the eighth round, Cruz got back into the fight and a wide left hook delivered by Cruz sent Burgos down in the ninth and Burgos was hurt. Cruz continued his assault in the final round and it looked like a Cruz’s victory but Burgos escaped with a close unanimous decision.
On ShoBox, more drama ensued as Deandre Latimore pounded Milton Nunez for most of the first eight rounds but in the ninth round, Nunez’s right hand sent Latimore down and Latimore spent a harrowing minute surviving further Nunez’s onslaught and he hanged on to win a majority decision. Continue reading
(Member of Boxing Writers Assoc.)
Two Mexican fighters went toe to toe most of the night in the shadow of the Alamo in San Antonio. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. has the curse of the being the son of the great Julio Cesar Chavez plus he faced a hungry fighter in Marco Rubio who viewed this fight as his opportunity. Rubio had more knock outs coming into this fight but it became obvious that Rubio did not have the power to punish Chavez and Chavez pushed Rubio around the ring.
Over the first two rounds, Rubio was the busy fighter but not the more accurate fighter as he missed many shots against charging Chavez. By the third round, Chavez used his hook to slow Rubio down and there were times that one could see the father in his son as Chavez ripped left hooks after left hooks to the body. Rubio threw his own haymakers as they fought inside the boxing trenches.
In the sixth round, Chavez changed tactics as he boxed and move whereas Rubio looked temporally befuddled but it gave Chavez and even Rubio a break from the tough infighting that both were involved in over the previous rounds. In the seventh round, trench warfare returned as both men simply pounded each other as Rubio threw more punches but Chavez punches had more impact. In the final minute of the seventh round, Chavez pounded Rubio with a nice combination that included a solid right hand.
During the eighth round, Emanuel Steward observed that Rubio should move and box more since he was not a devastating puncher whereas Larry Merchant quipped that “Rubio is not as much a devastating boxer, either.” Over the last three rounds, Chavez and Rubio nailed each other with power shots including left hooks to the body. Chavez threw accurate right hands throughout the bout set up by his left hooks, showing that he can be a two handed puncher. As for Rubio, he showed grit as he was never hurt by Chavez and there were times that he connected on his own body shots including left hooks but Chavez was the more accurate puncher which is why he won the unanimous decision.
For Chavez, he beat a good fighter in Rubio but he has yet to be tested by an elite fighter and while he would love to fight Sergio Martinez, he admitted in the post-fight interview that he had to fight better than he did against Rubio. He had trouble with his weight and a DUI interrupted his training, giving one doubts if he has the same dedication as his father. He admitted the need to stay in shape if he wants to stay in the Middleweight division. Continue reading