Fight Stoppages

By Matt Andrzejewski on April 8, 2014
Fight Stoppages

In the past month, the sport of boxing has seen its share of controversial stoppages. Alfredo Angulo, Daniel Ponce De Leon and Tureano Johnson all suffered major career defining defeats when their respective bouts were called to a halt early by the referee. The hotly debated question amongst fight fans has been whether or not these stoppages were justified. In the piece below, I will give my opinion on each respective stoppage.

Alfredo Angulo was well behind on all three judges’ scorecards and had been absorbing quite a beating at the hands of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez entering the tenth round of their bout. With three rounds remaining, Angulo still had hopes of landing a big shot to turn the course of the bout in his direction. However, early in the round referee Tony Weeks suddenly jumped in and called a halt to the contest after Angulo absorbed a left uppercut from Canelo.

In my opinion, Tony Weeks was completely justified in stopping this contest. Angulo had taken a tremendous amount of punishment for nine rounds. His eyes were swollen and his punches were having little impact on Canelo.

Was it possible that Angulo could have landed a big shot that changed the course of the fight in the next three rounds? Yes it certainly was possible. But was it worth the risk he had to go through after absorbing all the punishment he absorbed during the first nine rounds. No it was not. There comes a time where the risk far outweighs the reward. And Tony Weeks made the right call in this case saving the fighter from himself.

Daniel Ponce De Leon and Juan Manuel Lopez engaged in an epic second round that may end up being round of the year. Ponce dropped Lopez early in the round and looked to have him badly hurt. However, Ponce got careless going in for the finish and was dropped himself by Lopez with a flush right hook.

When Ponce got up, his legs were shaky and he was in trouble. He would go down again but that appeared to be more from the effects of the initial right hook than anything recently Lopez landed.

Ponce would get up from the second knockdown and appeared to be slowly shaking off the cobwebs. Lopez came in once again to try to finish and put Ponce against the ropes. Though Ponce was not initially throwing back, he was making Lopez miss with most shots and blocking others. However, referee Luis Pabon thought Ponce was defenseless and rushed in to stop the fight.

This was a bad stoppage in my opinion. First, unlike the Angulo stoppage Ponce had not taken a long sustained beating. Ponce was hurt by one punch albeit a big right hook at that. Secondly, when Ponce was against the ropes he was picking off or making Lopez miss with most shots. Yes some did get through but those that did were partially blocked. The referee should have seen this and taken that into consideration before suddenly stopping the fight.

Tureano Johnson entered his fight against Curtis Stevens as the opponent and underdog. Though undefeated, Johnson was unknown and untested. But for nine rounds, he consistently beat Stevens to the punch and amassed a comfortable lead on all three scorecards entering the final round.

For first half of the tenth round, Johnson was once again in control. But Stevens is known for his punch and with a minute left in the fight landed a well-timed vicious left hook in between Johnson’s punches. Johnson was hurt and wobbled back to the ropes.

With Johnson on the ropes, Stevens simply let his hands go. Not much was landing and not much was behind his punches but his hands were moving. Johnson was not answering back initially and trying to avoid the punches that were coming in fast. Only a few seconds went by with Johnson against the ropes and Stevens throwing when referee Gary Rosato suddenly stepped in to stop the contest.

This was a very poor stoppage in my opinion by Gary Rosato. Johnson had not really taken much punishment entering the final round of the fight. He was got by a solid left hook and was hurt. He wobbled back to the ropes but once against the ropes was making Stevens miss with the punches that were coming his way. Johnson was not allowed much time to hold, respond or take a knee when the referee suddenly jumped in. Given the fact that he hadn’t taken much punishment in the fight and most punches from Stevens were mostly missing, Johnson should have been allowed more time before the fight was stopped.

The decision of whether or not to stop a fight can be a very difficult for a referee to make. When all is said and done, it is a split second judgment call by the referee that can impact the lives and careers of both ring participants.

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  1. Bernard 03:03pm, 04/15/2014

    Angulo had nothing in his punches from the get go… good stoppage

    I agree, Ponce was doing enough to keep on fighting

    Johnson also had demonstrated throughout the fight that he coulkd manage with Stevens power…  That said he looked dazed, had glassy eyes and massive damage was awaiting…  I thought that was a good stoppage.  Johnson will certainly be back on TV…  Thanks to the referee.

  2. Bernard 03:02pm, 04/15/2014

    Angulo had nothing in his punches from the get go… good stoppage

    I agree, Ponce was doing enough to keep on fighting

    Johnson also had demonstrated throughout the fight that he coulkd manage with Stevens power…  That said he looked dazed, had glassy eyes and massive damage was awaiting…  I thought that was a good stoppage.  Johnson will certainly be back on TV…  Thanks to the referee.

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