Apr 18, 2010

Saturday Night Fights

As mentioned before, tonight had some pretty good fights on paper and to a certain degree, they delivered. I wasn't floored, but I was very entertained and saw some very interesting outcomes for future fights.

First off: Edison Miranda Vs Lucian Bute

Held in Canada, Lucian Bute is the hometown favorite to put it lightly. This means the crowd will be partisan, the judges could be partisan and the referree might look uot a lot more for the best interest of the Romanian born Canadian superstar. That said, the matchup poses one of the best 168 pounders in the world against a guy who can punch through walls. Here's a brief sumup of what happened.

Round 1

Both fighters come out tentative and the biggest surprise for me is how controlled and disciplined Miranda looks and is boxing. I see a jab, some defense and footwork that wasn't there before. Apparently work with Joe Goozen has been kind. Regardless of the improvements in the first round, Bute scores more in a slow round so he gets the extra point.

10-9 Bute

Round 2

Another slow round. Miranda still looks composed and starts putting some punches together. Close round but I thought Miranda did enough with some jabs and some aggresiveness to score the round.

10-9 Miranda

Round 3

Bute comes out and putting punches together. He hits Miranda with a solid shot and slightly stuns the Columbian born slugger. Miranda poses not once, not twice but three times after getting tagged with solid shots. After the third pose and me kind of minding his clowning around, Bute lands an uppercut that almost rearranges Miranda's jaw. Miranda goes down. Beats the count but looks wobbly and the ref waves it off.

Lucian Bute wins via knockout


Lucian Bute is without a doubt one of the best super middleweights in the world and he's not fighting in the Super Six tournament probably because of contractual obligations more than anything. When he shortens his punches, it's a great thing to see and apart from good skills, he's got pop. I just mind the refereeing in Canada a bit because I think Miranda could have continued if only to get finished in the same round. I'm not saying I want a fighter to receive more punishment than is humane, but he deserves the fight to go on a little more than that. Was Bute's shot solid? You bet. But could Miranda continue? I think so. But that's a judgment call more than anything and it shouldn't take away from Bute's great performance.

Second for the night and the fight I wanted to see: Kelly Pavlik VS Sergio Martínez

Ever since his loss to Hopkins, Kelly Pavlik has had a tough time inside the ring and out. He's lost street credibility for having negotiations for a Paul Williams fight fall through a couple of times. So he's fighting for respect more than anything. Sergio Martínez just came off a very close split decision loss to Paul Williams in a fight I thought he won, but two judges saw it otherwise. One who scored a credible scorecard and some other schmuck that wasn't watching the fight. ON paper, Kelly is the bigger stronger guy but Martínez is the faster guy and he can run from Boardwalk hall to his native town of Quilmes and back and still have enough to spar a few rounds. Here's what I saw.

Round 1

I hear Mickey from the Rocky movies in my head. The name of the game is speed and Martínez makes Pavlik look like Frankestein. Big and powerful but slow. For his efforts, Pavlik is rewarded with a cut on his left eye.

Martínez 10-9

Round 2

The phrases outclassed start creeping into my mind and Martínez is almost making Kelly look foolish.

Martínez 10-9

Round 3

Martínez controls the speed and distance of the fight. He lands single shots and combinations and isn't tagged with most anything worth mentioning.

Martínez 10-9

Round 4

Martínez is busting up the left side of Pavlik's face. his counter right hook and right jab have found a home, and the address is the left side of Kelly's face. No one is throwing or landing pretty much anything on the body.

martínez 10-9

Round 5

Kelly finally starts to close the gap in the ring. He lands a couple of good shots and is effectiveluy pushing Martínez to the ropes. I still think Martínez wins the round, but the momentum is on Kelly's side.

Martínez 10-9

Round 6

Kelly establishes his jab. He starts jabbing on top of Martinez's jab and starts blocking the Argentinian's punches. Kelly inspires memories of his fight against Jermain Taylor. Resurging to clearly win the sixth round through solid boxing, effective defense and crisp counter punching.

Pavlik 10-9

Round 7

Pavlik really starts letting his hands go and you see the immediate effect. He continues to block shots and starts tagging Martínez with lefts and rights. Midway through the round, he cuffs Martínez behind the back of the head, and tags him with a solid right that sends him to the floor. Say what you will, it's still a knockdown and the momentum is all Pavlik.

Pavlik 10-8

Round 8

Pavlik continues to pick off shots and Martínez starts to look weary and tired. Kelly pushes forth and continues to catch his opponents punches and offer out answers.

Pavlik 10-9

Round 9

Martínez lands a left hand on the right eye of Pavlik and opens up a gash. The sequence of punches and the sheer dominance of the Argentinian offers up a display that could eventually put the guy in the pound for pound rankings. All of the momentum Pavlik had was sapped away and it's all Martínez.

Martínez 10-9

Round 10

Martínez continues to throw punches with both hands and connect with both hands. It wasn't the washout that was the 9th round, but it was close. Kelly can't see the punches and he doesn't have anything to answer the Argentinian. To boot,Kelly's corner has no chance of closing the cuts on both of Kelly's eyes.

Martínez 10-9

Round 11

Kelly simply can't see the punches coming and Martínez obliges his blind spots by continuing to pepper both eyes with straight lefts, left hooks, jabs, and counter right hooks.

Martínez 10-9

Round 12

Martínez lowers his output slightly but Kelly is gassed and barring a knockout has no chance of winning. Except he's not in the ring fighting as if he needs a knockout. Martínez controls the action and dominates exchanges until the end of the fight.

Sergio Martínez Wins the Middleweight Bout


Sergio Martínez was the worst opponent for Kelly Pavlik for all the right reasons. He's a south paw, he's got speed and he's got stamina. Add to that natural gifts that show flashes of true pound for pound brilliance and you've got a world class fighter that can fight twenty rounds. Kelly actually did magnificent when he changed tactics and adjusted to the Argentinian's speed and style. He was countering everything and things were looking bright for him until he got cut in a bad spot. Then it was all downhill. Martínez connected at will and showed true grit to win a very appropriate unanimous decision to take the title away from Pavlik. That said, this is probably one of the last two or three fights for Kelly at middleweight. He came into the ring basically twenty pounds heavier than at the weigh-in and I'm sure that had something to do with his performance. Sergio Martínez though, showed why he's a fighter to watch out for. He's slick, fast, has pretty good boxing skills and a ton of heart and resolve. He won the title fair and square after some very questionable results. Next for him is probably a rematch with either Pavlik or Williams. The fight we want to see is with Williams, but Kelly definitely deserves the rematch because if he hadn't gotten caught, I'm sure the result would have been very different. What can't be denied though is the true sportsmanship from both Martínez and Pavlik. A lot of respect in both camps, no trash talking, and just a solid fight. (Three things a certain self proclaimed best boxer ever should consider learning)

Regardless though, a good if not great night for boxing. The bouts were entertaining, and we saw Lucian bute put himself in a position to rain on the parade of any of the super six super middleweights. Miranda would have fared better if he hadn't clowned around and I truly hope his next fight is a victory for him. Pavlik suffers yet another detour in his career and Sergio Martínez commands the audience.

So to the boxers that put on good fights, the promoters that negotiate good bouts and fight nights without the BS, sans the reality tv antics, and with just good boxin, I salute you.



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