The Week That Was (December 10-16, 2012)
After a slow start that saw his opponent land a surprising number of clean shots, El Perro did enough down the stretch to earn the victory…
TOYOTA CENTER, HOUSTON, TEXAS
“When I sit down on that left hook, I will knock out anybody.”
Those were the words of a satisfied Nonito Donaire (31-1, 21 KOs) after recording his first highlight reel knockout since flattening Fernando Montiel in two rounds in February of 2011.
Jorge Arce (61-7-2, 46 KOs) provided junior featherweight titlist Donaire and his handlers at Top Rank Promotions just what they had been yearning for. A fighter who continually comes forward, undeterred by Donaire’s incredible speed and power, that ultimately ends up stretched out on the canvas. At the 2:59 mark of the third round, Donaire unleashed what HBO analyst Jim Lampley called a “brilliant left hook” that instantly finished the fight and, according to Arce, his celebrated career in the ring.
Prior to the knockout, Donaire was in clear control as he used a succession of rapid-fire jabs to lasso the man nicknamed the “Mexican Cowboy.” It became clear in the first round that Donaire’s size and reach advantage would make it very difficult for Arce to impose his will in this fight. The first knockdown of the night was a result of Arce’s aggressiveness as he ate a short right hand while coming forward, forcing his gloves to touch the canvas. In total, he was dropped three times in the fight while failing to land one significant punch of his own.
Arce lost for the first time in his last 12 fights, but insisted that despite his recent success it was time to call it quits. If the always-entertaining Arce is indeed done fighting at age 33 with 61 victories and world titles in four weight divisions, the sport says goodbye to one of the most accomplished boxers in recent history. For Donaire the obvious next step is to face the undefeated fellow titleholder Abner Mares. Despite the fighters’ mutual desire to face each other, due to the ongoing Cold War between their respective promoters, Top Rank and Golden Boy, it’s unlikely that fight will happen. That’s a shame for the fighters, as it’s the most lucrative fight available for both of them, and for fight fans that are being deprived of a chance to see two of best fighters in the sport square off.
SPORTS ARENA, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
King for a day
After suffering back-to-back losses, Amir “King” Khan (27–3, 19 KOs) returned to the winner’s circle after his opponent Carlos Molina’s (17-1, 7 KOs) corner mercifully threw in the towel at the end of the 10th round.
Carlos Molina was picked to fight Amir Khan in this Showtime main event because he had an undefeated record and, most importantly, he couldn’t punch his way out of wet paper bag. His key to victory was to pressure the naturally bigger junior welterweight former titleholder with the suspect chin. Molina failed to do that, as Khan looked very comfortable showcasing the sick offensive arsenal and nifty footwork that helped make him a champion. By the fourth round Molina was taking so many punches that his corner asked him if he wanted them to stop the fight. He mistakenly chose not to.
Despite Khan’s dominant performance, he still displayed some of the flaws that have factored into his three losses, two by knockout. Molina was able to land accurate counters when Khan opened up, despite the teachings of new trainer, defensive guru Virgil Hunter. Hunter, a former trainer of the year, has to get Khan to stop pulling back straight and leaving his head exposed. Luckily for Khan, Molina’s lack of punching power prevented the latter from capitalizing on those defensive lapses.
Molina showed that despite his lack of world-class skills he’s a tough and durable fighter. After the fight Khan stated he wanted a rematch with Danny Garcia, who knocked him out in July of this year. If Garcia beats Zab Judah on February 9th, don’t be surprised if we see Garcia vs. Khan II.
The Price was right
With one massive right hand 2004 former Olympic Bronze medal winner Deontay Wilder (26-0, 26 KOs) knocked out Kelvin Price (13-0, 6 KOs) and displayed the kind of raw power that have many calling him the next great American heavyweight.
Before we crown him heir apparent to Ali or Tyson it’s important to remember that Kelvin Price is Kelvin Price. That is a guy with just one amateur fight who, despite his undefeated record, hadn’t impressed anyone with the subpar opposition he feasted on. Prior to the knockout, both fighters fought tentatively and seemed very awkward at times. In the third round, Wilder missed with a straight left hand, and then quickly followed up with a right that left Price sprawled out on the bottom rope.
Price is 37 and has little chance of accomplishing much at this stage in his career, but at 6-foot-seven and 240 lbs. he would be an ideal sparring partner for someone preparing to face a super heavyweight. Wilder, who’s being positioned as one of the future superstars in the sport, called out fellow undefeated prospect Bryant Jennings and if matched together the winner of that bout could call themselves America’s brightest heavyweight hope.
Can’t teach an old dog new tricks
Junior middleweight contender Alfredo “Perro” Angulo (22-2, 18 KOs) captured a much harder than expected 10-round unanimous decision victory over unknown Jorge Silva (19-3, 15 KOs) by scores of 97-93 on all three scorecards.
After a slow start that saw his opponent land a surprising number of clean accurate shots, El Perro did enough down the stretch to earn the victory in this entertaining scrap. Fighting for the second time with new his trainer Virgil Hunter, Angulo didn’t earn any rave reviews for his performance. Silva, who was supposed to be a human heavy bag, took the fight to Angulo early, rocking the more accomplished fighter with simple straight right hands and one-twos. Angulo’s always been rather slow for an elite fighter, and in this fight he plodded ahead and failed to block many of the punches that Silva threw. For the first four or five rounds, the talent gap between the two seemed almost unnoticeable. But in the latter half of the fight Angulo’s size—he’s the natural junior middleweight—and conditioning proved to be the difference. In the round 10, Perro had his most dominant round of the night as he viciously pounded Silva.
Silva is only 20 years old and despite some early knockout losses in his career, he could still have bright future in the sport. Angulo is being positioned for a title shot in 2013, but he better perform at a higher level than he did Saturday night if he hopes to become a champion.
BELL CENTRE, MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA
Pascal schools Kuziemski with one hand
Former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal (27-2-1, 16 KOs) returned from a 19-month hiatus as he won a lopsided unanimous decision over Poland’s Aleksy Kuziemski (23-5, 7 KOs) by scores of 100-88 and 98-90 twice.
Pascal suffered what appeared to be a left shoulder injury in the fifth round and was forced to use only his right for the reminder of the fight. That wasn’t an issue, however, as Kuziemski simply didn’t posses enough talent to test even a one-armed Pascal. Pascal floored Kuziemski twice in the second half of the fight, once in the sixth round and again in the 10th. The few punches that Kuziemski did land seemed to have no effect on the former champ.
Pascal was scheduled to face Ring Magazine light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson in March in a rematch of their 2010 fight that only HBO seems to be clamoring for. With Pascal’s shoulder injury, it looks like that fight is now in jeopardy.
EXCEL ARENA, DOCKLAND LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
Time remains undefeated
“I feel like the end of the road is here. Time is undefeated. I see no reason to move forward if I can’t win a fight like this.” That’s what Glen Johnson (51-18-2, 35 KO’s) said following his loss in July of this year to Andrzek Fonfara. He changed his mind and decided to end his retirement to face undefeated George Groves (16-0, 12 KOs) Saturday night at London’s ExCel Arena. Hopefully after the one-sided beating he sustained in this fight, he will wisely decide to hang up the gloves for good.
Groves was simply too young, too quick and too talented for the past-his-prime Johnson to compete with. The only thing that Groves failed to do was become the second fighter in Johnson’s 71 fight career to knockout the iron-chinned former champion. Groves did convincingly win the fight on all three judges’ scorecards by scores of 119-109 and 120-107 twice. Johnson had very few moments during the fight as he looked like a shell of the man who was once one of the top light heavyweights in the world.
After a decorated career that saw him compete at the elite level of the sport for many years, with any luck this is the last time we see the proud Road Warrior in the ring. Groves appears to be returning to the ring in February and poised for a possible title shot in late 2013.
ARENA NURNBERGER VERSICHERUN, NUREMBERG, BAYERN, GERMANY
Deutschland über alles
WBO super middleweight titleholder Arthur Abraham (36-3, 28 KOs) retained his crown in dominant fashion by scoring an eighth round TKO against no-hope contender Mehdi Bouadla (26-5, 11 KOs).
Abraham, who captured the title in August with a win over Robert Stieglitz, won his fourth consecutive fight after losing three of four fights in 2010 and 2011. The referee stepped in to stop the contest at the 2:11 mark in the eighth round after Bouadla’s vision was affected by blood streaming from a cut. Bouadla failed to mount a significant offense during the fight and never once challenged Abraham.
The 10,000 fans that came out to support Abraham only reinforced that his star still shines bright in the sport. He will certainly compete in another high profile bout in 2013.