The Week That Was (Jan. 28 – Feb. 3, 2013)

By Teron Briggs on February 4, 2013
The Week That Was (Jan. 28 – Feb. 3, 2013)
Carlos Molina took the fight to the former undisputed welterweight champ from St. Louis.

It was obvious from the opening bell that Cory Spinks’ legs were gone and would no longer allow him to compete at the world-class level…

UIC Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois, USA

The Jinx is broken

After a successful 16-year career that saw Cory Spinks (39-8, 11 KOs) win multiple titles in two different weight classes, a one-sided beating at the hands of Carlos Molina (21-5-2, 6 KOs) in the main event of ESPN Friday Night Fights marked the end of road for the man with the famous last name.

It was obvious from the opening bell that Spinks’ legs were gone and would no longer allow him to compete at the world-class level. Carlos Molina, who is only five years younger than the 34-year-old Spinks, but about 20 in fighter’s years, took the fight to the former undisputed welterweight champion from the first round on. Spinks spent the rest of the night in retreat mode as he tried to prevent himself from being knocked out for the third time in his last five fights. Spinks was once a highly skilled boxer who was able to use nifty footwork to make his opponents miss, but those days are long gone. He was forced to fight in the pocket, where his not-too-subtle head movement failed to confuse Molina who consistently hit Spinks with flush shots. By the 10th round Molina was in full attack mode, as Spinks had been unable to mount any kind of effective offense. Spinks’ trainer Anthony Hamm could be seen in the corner holding the towel as he contemplated saving his fighter from further punishment. The former champion made it to the final bell, barely, after being knocked down in the 11th round and was given a standing eight-count in the 12th. It was academic by the time the judges’ scores were read. One judge scored it 120-106. The other two had it 119-106.

After the fight, Cory’s wife told that her husband had decided to retire following the defeat. If Spinks sticks to his word he should be commended for having an outstanding career that saw him make a name for himself outside the shadow of his legendary father and uncle. He burst upon the world stage in 2003 when he upset and “jinxed” the heavy favorite and undisputed champ Ricardo Mayorga. Molina once again proved he is one of the top light middleweights in the world and hopefully he will get a much deserved title shot before the year is over.

Castillo unable to turn back the hands of time

In June of 2007 Ricky Hatton stopped an old and faded former champion Jose Luis Castillo (64-12, 55 KOs) in four punishing rounds that saw the latter counted out from a vicious shot to the liver. Fast forward to February 2013 and Castillo at almost 40 years old is still being allowed to fight, though hopefully after being shutout for 12 rounds by junior middleweight contender Antwone Smith (23-4-1, 12 KOs), he’s finally ready to call it a career.

Antwone Smith doesn’t do anything extraordinary in the ring, but he’s a consummate pro who outworks and outhustles his opposition. He used a sharp double jab and decent foot movement to keep off balance and confound the older, slower Castillo. Though Smith rarely landed any big punches, he consistently was able to land his jab against Castillo who wasn’t able to match Smith’s high work-rate. As if Smith’s youth and size, he’s naturally the bigger man, weren’t enough, Castillo also had to deal with an overly officious referee. The third man in the ring insisted on having a say in the outcome of the fight and consistently warned the fighters for very borderline low blows, even taking away a point from Castillo in the fourth round. Castillo was able to land his trademark left hook and some other decent shots but not nearly enough to win. The judges scored it in Smith’s favor 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92.

Castillo can no longer compete anywhere near the elite level of the sport, yet he continues to soldier on, probably because he needs the money. If he’s going to continue, his past accomplishments shouldn’t be enough for him to warrant a television date that should be given to a younger more worthy fighter. Smith is a tough fighter who would make a good gatekeeper for the division, but he doesn’t appear to have the talent to capture a world title.

ISS Dome, Dusseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

Soliman turns in Balboa-esque performance

“In terms of Rocky Balboa finding something after getting dropped and then finding something to come home to try and win the fight in that movie, in real life it just makes it a bit more glorious,” middleweight Sam Soliman (43-11, 17 KOs) told the media following his gutsy and stirring come-from-behind victory over former titleholder Felix Sturm (37-4, 16 KOs) in Dusseldorf.

Soliman was dropped in the second round and seemingly down on all of the scorecards following a slow first three rounds. After his early troubles however, it was all Soliman as he was simply too much for Sturm. Soliman’s awkward style and relentless attack were enough to earn him the decision with scores of 116-111 and 114-113 twice.

It was the second straight loss for Sturm, who was outpointed for his WBA title in September of last year by Daniel Geale. At 34 and with some recent questionable decisions in his favor we’re left to wonder whether Sturm’s days at the top of the sport have come to an end. Soliman at 39 appears to have earned himself one final shot at a world title.

Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez, Bayamon, Puerto Rico

Juanma returns with a TKO victory

One of Puerto Rico’s brightest stars, Juan Manuel Lopez (32-2, 29 KOs) returned to the ring with a dominant ninth round TKO over the pedestrian Aldimir Silva Santos (18-4, 9 KOs).

As long as he’s not fighting Orlando Salido, Lopez seems to be a solid bet to win. He easily dismissed the unknown Santos whom Lopez battered and knocked down twice over nine lopsided rounds.

Juanma, who fought at a catchweight of 128 lbs., said after the fight he intended to campaign in the super featherweight division after previously claiming titles at junior featherweight and featherweight.

Entertainment Centre, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Geale shows Mundine who’s The Man, again

“He came prepared and he gave me a hard, hard fight,” said IBF middleweight champion Daniel Geale (29-1, 15 KOs), who retained his title in a unanimous decision victory over Anthony “The Man” Mundine (44-5, 26 KOs) in one of the biggest fights in recent memory in Australia.

While Geale was expected to win, Mundine turned in a surprisingly respectable effort that unfortunately for him wasn’t enough to win over anyone who watched, specifically the judges who scored the bout in champion’s favor by scores of 116-112 and 117- 111 twice. The only two people alive who seem to believe Mundine was victorious are his buddy and well-known Australian athlete, Sonny Bill Williams, and himself. Afterwards, Mundine claimed to have been “robbed” and “ambushed” by the decision but no one else raised an eyebrow.

The 37-year-old Mundine lost to Geale for the second time in his career, but he acquitted himself well and is still a durable contender in the division. Geale recorded his second straight high profile victory after previously defeating Felix Sturm, and almost certainly will face a noteworthy opponent or fellow titleholder before the end of the year.

Convention Center, McAllen, Texas, USA

Felix Jr. scores unspectacular win over Robles

Undefeated Mexican prospect Jose Felix Jr. (23-0-1, 18 KOs) claimed a unanimous decision victory over Gerardo Robles (18-10, 9 KOs) by scores of 98-91, 97-92 and 96-93 in the first Solo Boxeo card presented by Top Rank Promotions in over three years.

The fight was difficult to watch at times as the limited Robles did his best to rough up the top prospect by simply charging at his foe, with little coordination and seemingly no game plan. Felix Jr. was able to use his superior boxing skills to easily coast to a decision

The Matrix is triumphant in long awaited return to the ring

Former title challenger and Super Six contestant Andre Dirrell (21-1, 14 KOs) returned to the ring for the first time in over a year as he easily defeated the little known Michael Gbenga (14-7, 14 KOs) by unanimous decision with scores of 100-87 across the board. As the scorecards suggest, Gbenga never posed much of a challenged.

Dirrell, a southpaw super middleweight who’s only lost to titleholder Carl Froch, has loads of talent but his inactivity has made it difficult for most fans to follow, or for that matter even get excited about his career. It was only the third fight for Dirrell in the last three-plus years and the second time in as many years he’s been out of the ring for more than a year between fights. Dirrell was previously managed by boxing’s top power broker Al Hayman but is now being advised by rapper 50 cent. In order to get back onto the world stage Dirrell will have to fight more often and against better opponents then the Gbengas of the world.

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  1. the thresher 04:06pm, 02/06/2013

    Plus De Leon has improved 100%

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

    don’t imagine Lopez ever rising above the De Leon/Jhonny Gonzalez competitive bracket again. his sudden KO of Ponce was impressive but, based on Lopez’s losses to Salido, obviously misleading. otherwise, De Leon has the unrelenting style that will eventually break Lopez down. a rematch is the best and most profitable bet for Lopez. risk-reward is no longer a promotional formula that can be applied to Lopez. two convincing, hometown losses to Salido make him a contender without the privileges reserved for undefeateds and heir-apparents.

  3. the thresher 12:21pm, 02/06/2013

    Soliman is a tough customer. He lost to Mundine three times, but he sucked it up and kept going. Now he is in a better spot than Mundine was.

  4. Bodyshots 10:58am, 02/06/2013

    I can recall watching Soliman give a still-prime, post-Shane Winky absolute Fits in their bout. IMO, all marketing and promotional concerns aside, an argument could’ve been made favoring a “W” for Soliman. At his best, Soliman can be an exceedingly frustrating and durable opponent to track, neutralize, and dominate. although, i wasn’t aware that Soliman had that much best left in him(?!). then again, i don’t think it takes the very best to defeat the chronically underwhelming Sturm.

  5. the thresher 07:25pm, 02/05/2013

    Thanks Teron. Keep ‘em coming.

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