The Week That Was (April 22-28, 2013)

By Teron Briggs on April 29, 2013
The Week That Was (April 22-28, 2013)
Zab Judah, the former world champion and Brooklyn native, persevered through adversity.

Judah put on one of the gutsiest performances of his 17-year career in front of his hometown Brooklyn fans, but came up short at the end…

Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA

Garcia tops Judah in a “helluva fight” at the Barclays

“Regarding the bad blood: It’s gone. It’s a respect,” Danny Garcia would say after completing a highly entertaining 12-round fight with former hated rival Zab Judah. But when it was all said and done, after months of nonstop trash talk and near press conference brawls, Danny Garcia (26-0, 16 KOs) and Zab Judah (42-8, 29 KOs) embraced in the middle of the ring. The war they had just concluded left both fighters visibly battered and bruised, but it made them blood brothers forever. Garcia was awarded a unanimous 12-round decision victory by scores of 116-111, 114-112 and 115-112 to retain his WBA and WBC light welterweight titles.

“It was a helluva fight,” the Philly fighter said after the two warriors thrilled the crowd of 13,048 in the house that Jay-Z built. It was one of the most anticipated fights of the year. It was also of the gutsiest performances of Judah’s 17-year career in front of his hometown Brooklyn fans, even though he came up short at the end.

When Judah was knocked down for the 10th time in his career, with a straight right hand, it appeared that he was just moments away from having his title challenge fail. He was taking a beating in the middle rounds after getting off to a relatively good start. Zab’s footwork and upper body movement had provided fits for Garcia, until the champion wisely decided to attack the challenger’s body. Despite the animosity between the two fighters, they engaged in a strategic battle in the first few rounds, both looking for openings to capitalize on. By round five, Garcia started to land some big right hands against the southpaw. In the sixth round, Judah was in full retreat mode as Garcia started walking him down and landing an alarming number of power shots. Judah’s legs buckled on a number of occasions as he struggled to stay upright. For the umpteenth time in a fight, Zab was cut, bleeding and in danger.

Just when it appeared that Judah would suffer the fourth knockout loss of his career something unlikely happened. The former world champion persevered through adversity and landed a head snapping left hand that that visibly hurt Garcia. Judah took control of the fight in the last three rounds—all three judges gave him the championship rounds—as he fought with a sense of urgency and seemed inspired by the partisan crowd that chanted his name from ringside to rooftops. Alas, Garcia had put enough rounds in the bank to earn the decision.

“You will see me again,” Judah told Showtime reporter Jim Gray, nixing anyone’s thoughts that he might just call it a day and walk off into the Brooklyn sunset. “Why would I go anywhere?” Golden Boy promoter Oscar De La Hoya believes Zab is “still in the mix” to compete for a world title. Garcia will need some time to heal from a nasty gash he received on his forehead from an accidental headbutt, but when he returns it’s expected he will face the winner of the upcoming fight between IBF junior welterweight champion Lamont Peterson and Lucas Matthysse.

Kid Chocolate retains WBO belt with seventh round TKO

Unlike the main event on this Showtime Championship Boxing card, Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (29-0, 21 KOs) and Fernando Guerrero (25-2, 19 KOs) showed each other mucho respect going in. Unfortunately for Guerrero, Quillin showed him zero respect once they stepped into the ring. Kid Chocolate battered him for seven rounds before referee Harvey Dock mercifully stepped in to save the badly hurt challenger.

The WBO middleweight titleholder Quillin, a Chicago native but adopted New Yorker, entered the ring to cheers from crowd, but the cheers turned to jeers by round two because both fighters refused to engage. Maybe the taunting lit a fire under the Kid because just seconds later he landed a beautiful left-right combination that hurt and dropped Guerrero. He got to his feet, only to have Quillin back him against the ropes and knock him down again, this time with a three-punch combination. At this point in the fight it seemed like Guerrero would want to leave town faster than the Brooklyn Dodgers, but he somehow fought his way back into the fight. He was able to get inside of Quillin’s sizeable reach advantage, despite having very little head movement, and achieve some success by roughing him up and landing some good shots on the inside.  Quillin would say later “my corner kept telling me what to do and I did that.” Whatever they told him in-between the sixth and seventh rounds it worked, because Quillin came out determined to end the fight. Two knockdowns later, the last coming from a bone crushing right hand, the referee was forced to call a halt to the contest at the 1:38 mark of the round.

The once promising prospect Guerrero doesn’t appear to be as good as many predicted but he does posses talent and heart, so I expect to see him challenge for a world title again. For the Golden Boy promoted Quillin, hopefully a title unification showdown with another champion not under the promotional banner of rival Top Rank looms.

Jacobs easily disposes of Collins in four rounds

Brooklyn middleweight contender Daniel Jacobs (25-1, 22 KOs) beat down Keenan Collins (15-8-3, 10 KOs) over four lopsided rounds before this “contest” was stopped.

It’s only the third fight for the popular Brooklyn kid since he returned to the ring from a life threatening battle with a rare form of cancer. Jacobs, who has used his illness to help inspire suffering from the same disease, showed no compassion for Collins. From the opening bell, Jacobs started pounding Collins to the ropes with vicious punches from both hands. By the fourth round, Jacobs seemed to realize Collins was no threat so he unloaded a barrage of head and body shots. After the second knockdown, the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight.

Jacobs has been very active since his return, fighting three times in the last seven months. He walked away from this fight without suffering so much as a hangnail, and we’ll hopefully see him return to action in the near future against a better caliber opponent.

Club Atlético Vélez, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Martinez outshines Murray in a rain drenched soccer stadium

In a scene that seemed like something out of a movie, think “Rocky 11: The Italian Stallion Fights in Italy,” universally recognized middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (51-2-1, 28 KOs) entered the ring to the screams of 40,000 delirious Argentineans. By the final round of the fight, Martinez needed every last one of those fans to help push him to victory over the surprisingly tough Martin Murray (25-1-1, 11 KOs).

WBC middleweight champion Martinez defended his crown on HBO World Championship Boxing Saturday night, fighting for the first time in his home country since 2002. In his last outing, Martinez regained the WBC belt with a dominant 12-round decision over boxing superstar Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in a bout that saw Martinez win the first 11 rounds before almost being KO’d in the 12th.

Once again, Martinez had to pick himself up off the canvas before securing victory. This time, though, the fight was a lot closer. “I knew it would be difficult to get a decision in Argentina,” Murray told HBO’s Max Kellerman after the bout. The judges awarded the champ a unanimous 115-112, 115-112 and 115-112, though most observers had the fight closer. Some even had Murray winning the fight.

Constant rain and a slow start to the fight didn’t dampen, no pun intended, the mood of the crowd.  Before the fight, Martinez promised to knock Murray out but it was obvious, based on Murray’s size and tight defense, that that would be difficult. Murray allowed the champion to steal a number of the early rounds by simply not throwing enough punches. In the middle rounds, Murray went on the offensive. He began to find a home for his straight right hands and used vicious body shots to slow down the always-moving Martinez. Martinez would find his spots by punching over or around the Englishman’s tight guard. In round eight Murray silenced the adoring crowd when he put their hero on the seat of his trunks with yet another right hand. After a tumultuous 10th round that saw a possible knockdown ruled a slip, Martinez came storming back like fellow countryman Che Guevara marching toward Havana. Before the final bell rang, Martinez landed some of his biggest punches of the night.

Murray was handed the first loss of his career but he certainly has nothing to hang his head about. His only regret should be failing to apply consistent pressure that would’ve allowed him to win more rounds. He’ll certainly remain on the world stage following this valiant effort. Martinez will be out of action for the rest of the year, due to a broken left hand suffered during the fight and a re-injury to his right knee, which he previously hurt in his bout against Chavez Jr. When he does return, it would appear that at the age of 38, his days of being an elite fighter are nearing an end.

Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario, California, USA

Stiverne beats up Arreola to earn mandatory shot at WBC crown

Bermane Stiverne (23-1-1, 20 KOs) served notice on the heavyweight division that he’s a force to be reckoned with as he outboxed and beat up former title challenger Chris Arreola (35-3, 30 KOs) to earn a unanimous decision win.

Sometimes you can look at two fighters at the end of a fight and tell who got the worst of it. By the end of 12 rounds at the Citizens Business Bank Arena, Arreola’s face and expression looked like that of a beaten man. His nose appeared broken, and his features, upper torso and trunks were spattered with his own blood. Previously unheralded contender Bermaine Stiverne put on a boxing clinic.

In the third round, Stiverne flickered out a harmless jab that didn’t come close to landing, but he succeeded in setting up a colossal left hook that dropped Arreola. He made it to his feet, barely, but now sported a broken nose that began bleeding profusely. The fighters engaged in some heated exchanges over the rest of the fight but Stiverne’s educated jab, better conditioning and world-class composure allowed him to remain in control. Arreola had a few good moments, but he couldn’t dent the confidence of his opponent. Stiverne’s effective bodywork and Arreola’s lack of conditioning prevented him from ever posing a serious threat. When the final scores were tallied, 117-110 twice and 118-109, it wasn’t surprising that Stiverne was the consensus winner.

Andre Ward, sitting behind the mike for HBO, voiced the feelings of many who have followed Arreola’s career when he expressed disappointment in the Mexican’s lack of fitness. Arreola fought at 247 pounds, about 10 pounds heavier than his ideal weight. After the severe beating he took he’s unlikely to be back in action for some time. Bermane redeemed his reputation after fighting to a draw with human stiff Ray Austin a couple of years and is now the mandatory challenger for Vitali Klitschko’s WBC title. It would be great to see him get more rounds under his belt against formidable opposition, but he’s unlikely to pass up his title shot, even though he’s probably not ready.

Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Khan wins, but gets his chin tested…again

The fictional character King Kong is an insanely strong beast whose lone weakness is his affection for Ann Darrow. Amir “King” Khan (28-3, 19 KOs) is an immensely gifted fighter with exceptional offensive skills, whose weakness appears to be his chin, which is more of a damsel in distress than Darrow ever was. In his 12-round unanimous decision win over a past his prime Julio Diaz (40-8-1, 29 KOs), Khan’s arsenal once again rescued him and his chin from another knockout loss.

Khan returned to his native England after suffering back-to-back losses to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia last year. Diaz, known affectionately known as The Kidd, despite being a grandfather in boxing years, almost turned back the clock to hand Khan his third consecutive loss. Everything was going according to Khan’s plan until a left hook in the fourth round dropped the former titleholder. Though he won the majority of the remaining rounds, Diaz hurt Khan on several occasions with several big shots. At the end of 12 rounds the scorecards read 115-113, 115-112, and 114-113, all for Khan.

Diaz will remain a gatekeeper for the division as he turned in his second good effort in a row, this on the heels of a draw with top prospect Shawn Porter last year. Khan is now working with well-respected trainer Virgil Hunter, who’s trying to help Khan improve his defense. If he can find a way to replace King Khan’s chin with that of King Kong, he could earn himself another Trainer of the Year award.

Wilder knocks out hapless Harrison in one round

Deontay Wilder improved his unblemished record to (28-0, 28 KOs) by knocking out Audley Harrison (31-7, 23 KOs) in the first round of their bout on BoxNation. Wilder threw a few jabs before landing an overhand right that dropped Harrison, leaving him slumped in the corner. Wilder immediately attacked his fallen prey, throwing bomb after bomb, before referee Terry O’Connor stepped in to save Audley.

It was the fourth time Harrison has been knocked out and the third time in the last few years he was stopped without putting up any fight whatsoever. The less said about him the better. Wilder’s record certainly looks impressive, but almost 30 fights into his career he has yet to take on a competent opponent. Hopefully that will happen before the year is out.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Recap: Danny Garcia vs. Zab Judah - SHOWTIME Boxing - Peter Quillin vs. Fernando Guerrero

Audley Harrison vs Deontay Wilder - Full Fight

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  1. Ted 07:07pm, 04/30/2013

    BK, It was a great weekend. I chose to watch Martinez & Stiverne on HBO. I think I should have watched Showtime. Difficult to surf when you have guests over. Next time I watch alone so I can surf like a madman while I smoke large and foul smelling cigar and sip some amber juice on the rocks.

  2. Bk Don 07:49pm, 04/29/2013

    Ted - understood bro. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the fights Saturday night/afternoon. Three pretty compelling major cards, if you ask me. Can’t tell you how excited I was to talk about them afterwards, however I didn’t feel that same spark when i sat down and wrote. Thanks for the honest critique, I appreciate it. Thanks, Irish. No idea if Bermane can be a real force in the HW division b/c I honestly have no idea where Arreola is at this point in his career, but I can definitely tell you I’m interested in seeing B. Ware in the ring the next time he fights.

  3. Ted 03:21pm, 04/29/2013

    Yes they are. But in a strange way, I was let down a bit this week maybe because my expectations were so great.  I wanted more explosions and what I got were flash grenades.

  4. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 01:39pm, 04/29/2013

    Teron Briggs-Gotcha! it was Bermane’s monster overhand right that was the game changer in the third round….still….your round ups are the best by far!

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