The Week That Was (April 8-14, 2013)

By Teron Briggs on April 15, 2013
The Week That Was (April 8-14, 2013)
““If Rigondeaux stands and fights,” said Bob Arum, “the son of a bitch has a lot of power.”

Just when the boo birds had packed their tents and prepared to go home, Donaire gave them reason to make another appearance…

Radio City Music Hall, New York, New York, USA

Rigondeaux wins; but fails to entertain

On Saturday night, less than four years into his professional career highly decorated Cuban amateur star and two-time gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux (12-0, 8 KOs) earned the most high profile victory of his career when he outpointed Nonito Donaire (31-2, 20 KOs) over 12 uninspired rounds. It was only the second fight to be staged in the 80-plus year history of Radio City Music Hall, home of the legendary Rockettes, unfortunately for the 6,145 fans in attendance, and the millions watching at home, the main event was anything but spectacular.

“If Rigondeaux stands and fights the son of a bitch has a lot of power and he has lot of movement, a lot of skill. But running the way he does really makes it not a watchable fight.” Those were the brutally honest post-fight comments of Rigondeaux’s own promoter, Bob Arum. The ringside judges scored the fight in favor of Rigondeaux 116-111, 115-112 and 114-113 as he retained his WBA super bantamweight title while acquiring the WBO strap. However, one must wonder if the relatively unknown Cuban star actually won over any boxing fans with his dull showing.

Rigondeaux did in some ways put on a masterful performance as he soundly outpointed a man who hadn’t lost a fight since 2001 and was considered by many boxing pundits to be one of the top five fighters in the world. Rigondeaux used his skill, speed and feet to flummox Donaire who too often seemed clueless in the ring. Rigondeaux is a southpaw with considerable power in both hands, however on this night he was more than content to use his boxing ability to coast to an easy decision win. The action didn’t pick up until the fourth round, when the fighters got into a fierce exchange before the bell. Just when fans thought things were about to heat up, the action fizzled as each fighter sized up the other, but failed to engage. What followed were more lackluster rounds of tepid fighting. Rigondeaux made full use of what seemed like a ring big enough to hold all of the high-stepping chorines, before Donaire finally awoke from his coma-like state in the 10th round. A left hand that landed squarely on Rigondeaux’s chin dropped the Cuban and brought many of the pro-Donaire crowd to their feet. Alas, a fight once again failed to break out, as Rigondeaux immediately got back onto his skates and stayed outside of Donaire’s reach. Rigondeaux put an exclamation point on his victory in the 12th round when he landed the hardest punch of the night, a huge left hand that further bruised Donaire’s badly damaged right eye and stunned the Filipino fighter.

This was not the Donaire who was awarded the 2012 BWAA Fighter of the Year award and was being compared to the only other fighter to headline a card at Radio City, the incomparable Roy Jones Jr. The version of Donaire that was outclassed by Rigondeaux was slow, unable to land punches in combinations, flat-footed and simply didn’t have much pop in his punch. Much like his opponent, he failed to do much to excite boxing fans.

After the fight, Rigondeaux told HBO commentator Max Kellerman “The people who saw this fight, the people who know boxing, saw that it was a very good fight.” Apparently fans who paid for tickets to attend the show aren’t those in the “know” because boos could be heard throughout the 12 rounds. Just when the boo birds had packed their tents and prepared to go home, Donaire gave them reason to make another appearance. “To be honest with you for my last three fights—I’m not taking anything from Rigondeaux—but I need surgery on my shoulder. I tore ligaments for about three years.” Donaire showed like many great fighters before him he was too was capable of being a sore loser.

For Donaire some surgery and time off from the ring are apparently looming. When he does return, it’s expected he will make his debut in the featherweight division. Arum has admitted he will have his work cut out for him in trying to find an opponent and television date for the hard to watch Rigondeaux.

Little Creek Casino Resort, Shelton, Washington, USA

Gonzalez hands Suavecito yet another setback

Featherweight Oscar “Finito” Gonzalez (21-2, 14 KOs) earned a unanimous decision victory over former champion Rico “Suavecito” Ramos (21-3, 3 KOs) in the main event of ESPN Friday Night Fights.

If you’ve seen one Rico Ramos fight you’ve seen them all. Ramos is a somewhat talented fighter with world-class power who seems incapable of participating in entertaining fights. He just simply doesn’t throw enough punches to win at the elite level and oftentimes his contests end with fans booing his performance. Once again Friday night, he simply refused to challenge the untested and pedestrian Gonzalez. Watching Ramos fight is like watching Louisville’s Kevin Ware break his leg, over and over and over again. It’s simply excruciating. Seemingly, the only reason he’s been able to continue to land television dates is his connection to the powerful boxing manager Al Hayman. However, after his second consecutive loss, in which Suavecito was dropped in the sixth round by a perfectly placed body shot, we shouldn’t expect to see him on the air anytime soon. Is it safe to say his career is finito?

Oscar Molina decapitates Gardner in one round

Mexican welterweight standout prospect Oscar Molina (4-0, 3 KOs) recorded a scintillating first round knockout win over no-hoper Daryl Gardner (1-2, 1 KOs).

After being badly hurt in an early knockdown, Daryl Gardner made a desperate attempt to turn the tide when he threw caution to the wind and tried to knockout the former amateur star. The two fighters attempted to exchange left hooks, but Gardner’s missed terribly, while Molina landed a massive one that left his opponent literally spinning in the middle of the ring before collapsing onto his back.

Molina was an accomplished amateur with over 237 fights, so hopefully going forward he will be matched with tougher competition.

Treasure Island Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Mamadjonov upsets Angelo Santana with ninth round TKO

Unheralded Uzbek lightweight Bahodi “Baha” Mamadjonov (13-1, 9 KOs) made a name for himself in this Don King promoted ShoBox main event when he stopped former top prospect Angelo Santana (14-1, 11 KOs) in nine fun filled rounds of action.

It was clear early on that Santana, who had stopped 11 of his previous 14 opponents, intended to record his twelfth knockout against Mamadjonov. That goal would ultimately not be meet, as the southpaw power puncher simply failed to establish any semblance of a jab in the fight. One of the few jabs he landed, a right hand as stiff as Tiger Woods in his media photo with girlfriend Lindsey Vonn, dropped Mamadjonov in the second round. However, Santana allowed his opponent the opportunity to pick off and counter his power shots, which came only one or two at a time. But by the seventh round, after Santana had sprinted out to an early lead on the scorecards, Baha began to slowly seize control of the fight. He was able to dictate the pace of the action as he mounted a sustained attack on Santana’s head and body. Baha started throwing rapid-fire combinations and began backing Santana onto his heels and pushing around the larger man. With his back against the ropes an unanswered flurry of punches forced Santana to take a knee in the closing seconds of round eight. Sensing that he was in trouble, Santana tried to reestablish his superiority…but a big left hand dropped him again. The fighters then got into a spirited toe-to-toe exchange, which ended with Santana once again getting hit with a left hand on the jaw and tasting the canvas. Veteran referee Kenny Bayless had seen enough and quickly waved it off before administering the count. It seemed like a bit of premature stoppage, because even though Santana was obviously hurt, he appeared to be able to defend himself.

Santana still has a promising future ahead of him, but there are aspects of his game that he needs to improve. Whenever, whoever and wherever Baha fights next, hopefully fight fans will be given the opportunity to watch him showcase his skills. The sport needs as many skilled, entertaining fighters as possible.

Imam masters first challenge in television debut

Twenty-two-year-old junior welterweight prospect Amir “Young Master” Imam (9-0, 8 KOs) made his television debut in style as he annihilated the best opponent of his career, Jeremy Bryan (16-3, 7 KOs).

The fighter from Albany, New York left quite an impression as he finished off the fringe contender with an elementary but beautiful one-two combination. Iman flicked a left jab into the face of Bryan, which served as a temporary distraction, before following up with a wicked straight right hand that flattened his foe and raised his record to 9-0.

It was already the third fight of the year for the “Young Master” and hopefully we’ll see him in the ring again soon.

American Bank Center, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA

The Baby Bull rides again

Returning to the ring for the first time in almost three years, former champion Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz (36-4, 18 KOs) returned with a sixth round knockout over Pipino Cuevas Jr. (16-10, 14 KOs).

Diaz returned to the division where he won multiple world titles and dominated a man best known for his famous father. All you need to know about Cuevas is that he started his career 11-0, only to lose 10 of his next 15 fights. It was six rounds of work for Diaz, which must have been what his handlers wanted since he hadn’t fought since July of 2010. Cuevas was never in the fight, though it’s being reported he protested the stoppage.

Diaz built a huge following in his native Texas in his heyday and participated in several thrilling fights during his career. If he still has something in the tank at the age of 29, he could prove be to a force in the division.

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2013-04-12 Rico Ramos vs Oscar Gonzalez

BOOM! Amir Iman's overhand right hand puts Jeremy Bryan to sleep. What a kncokout!

Juan Diaz vs Pipino Cuevas, Jr.

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  1. Tevfik 01:54am, 12/12/2013

    Great fight betweeb Rios-Acosta. They both left evyenthirg in the ring. Both were game. Maybe its just me but, doesnt Rios fight exactly like Margarito?? Straight forward walking his opponents down. Taking punches to dish his own punches out. Also, a pretty good chin. It had a little Cotto-Margarito feel to it. With Acosta winning the early rounds and Rios breaking down Acosta later in the fight. Great fight to watch though.

  2. Tiger 03:17pm, 06/02/2013

    So Rigondeaux, the fighter who threw more punches and landed WAY MORE, gets the blame for boring fight. Meanwhile, Donaire gets to make up a laundry list of excuses for his slow speed, his inability to cut off the ring and his not-so impressive power who didn’t hurt Rigondeaux at all.

    Donaire-Narvaez? It was Narvaez fault that DOnaire is one-dimensional and could not get a punch through because Nonito has no angles.

    Donaire-Nishioka? Boring as hell… but hey, Donaire is the hero. A guy with 12 fights outclassess a top 5 p4p fighter and somehow, that does not impress this writer or Arum? I call that butt-hurting Donaire fanatics.

  3. raxman 08:57pm, 04/15/2013

    sonny bales - 100% agree. rigo did a lot more than just run. he did classic make em miss make em pay boxing; and on many occasions got off first. but in a world where jmm’s counter punching against pac in jmm v pac #3 was dismissed as well i’m not surprised by peoples attitude about rigondeaux in this fight. as you say donaire was clueless - it was up to him to cut off the ring, to feint, to set traps, but I think he believed all the pre fight hype, that all he had to do was catch Rig with the left hook and it’d be all over.
    all that said Teron - I still appreciate your week that was updates!!

  4. sonny bales 06:03pm, 04/15/2013

    can’t stand when some fool says a fight is “uninspired” because guys are not giving each other concussions. Rigo was great, he did what he does. If you want to mad at someone blame Donaire who was completely clueless

  5. Meinhard Schmidt 04:44pm, 04/15/2013

    I know it.

  6. Ted 03:38pm, 04/15/2013

    Meinhard, you know the old saying, “Never pick a fight with an old man. He will just take out a gun and shoot you.”

  7. Meinhard Schmidt 02:28pm, 04/15/2013

    The 1-2… so simple, yet so beautiful and effective (especially in a bar/street fight lol).

  8. Ted 12:12pm, 04/15/2013

    Amir Iman’s overhand right hand puts Jeremy Bryan to sleep. KO of the year so far.

  9. Ted 11:54am, 04/15/2013

    Good stuff teron

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