The Week That Was (October 7-13, 2013)

By Teron Briggs on October 14, 2013
The Week That Was (October 7-13, 2013)
He's been a great a champion, but Marquez remains one of the sorest losers in the sport.

Boxing good guy turned villain Timothy Bradley earned a split decision victory over sour former champion Juan Manuel Marquez…

Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Bradley earns a hard-fought decision over Mexican legend Marquez

“If I get respect, great, but if I don’t, keep betting against me,” the undefeated Bradley told reporters after arguably the most satisfying victory of his career. “I’m just going to keep on winning.” Boxing good guy turned villain Bradley (31-0, 12 KOs) earned a split decision victory to retain his WBO welterweight title over sour former champion Juan Manuel Marquez (55-7, 40 KOs) by scores of 115-113, 116-112 and 113–115.

When this bout was first put together most pundits were as unsure as Brett Favre deciding on his retirement as to which fighter to pick. Though Marquez was coming off the greatest victory of his career, the glorious sixth round knockout over arch nemesis Manny Pacquiao, at 40 years old and almost 20 years removed from his professional debut many wondered if he still had it. The Palm Springs, CA resident Bradley though only 30 years old was coming off the most brutal fight of his career, a close decision victory over Ruslan Provodnikov in March of this year. Bradley felt he had something to prove after his highly controversial 2012 win over Pacquiao that made him as hated as disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong. Instead of boxing Provodnikov, like he had done to earn the majority of victories in his career, he instead chose to slug it out for 12 breathtaking rounds. He won, but absorbed so much damage he didn’t remember parts of the fight and suffered from concussion related symptoms as much as two months after it.

The heavily pro Marquez crowd of 13,000 plus at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas lavished their hero with praise as he entered the ring in black trunks with red and green trimming to match the Mexican flag. There wouldn’t be a lot more cheering for Marquez during the bout, as Bradley used tight defense to deflect most of his hard punches and a razor sharp jab to keep him off balance. Bradley’s jab wasn’t just effective—it was a game changer as he landed 82 to Marquez’s 38. Overall, Bradley connected on 168 punches out of 562 (30 percent) while Marquez was credited with 153 of 455 punches (34 percent.)

Though Bradley is often lauded for his impressive looking physique and fast hands he has one of the higher boxing IQs in the sport and that was on display in this victory. His constant movements in the ring clearly affected the older man who had trouble catching up to him. Whenever Marquez would set his feet to throw a combination the quick-footed Bradley would pop him with a one-two and step to the side. The early rounds were close as each man had his moments, but in the fifth round a clearly frustrated Marquez mocked Bradley by making some kind of exaggerated cartoon character face and smirking at him. Bradley promptly hit him with a straight left hand for that gesture.

The 10th round was the best of the fight as the two dispensed with their jabs and instead choose to exchange bombs. Marquez landed some good counters but was shook up by a hard right hand from Bradley. It returned to a tactical fight in the 11th, as it had been most of the night as the two were possibly drained from the previous round.

With the partisan Marquez crowd chanting his name to start the 12th, the 40-year old looked the sharpest he had all night as he tried to chase down Bradley. It was even up until the last few seconds of the round, when Bradley landed a head snapping left hook that buckled Marquez’s legs almost dropping him. That was the checkmate, in the fight that that had turned into chess match.

“With these six robberies I have (referring to six of his seven losses), I just don’t what my future holds at the moment,” the bitter former champion Marquez would tell reporters in the locker room, after refusing to be interviewed in the ring. As great as a champion as he’s been, Marquez remains one of the sorest losers in the sport. This was a close fight that could have gone either way, but it certainly was no robbery. Whether Marquez chooses to fight on or not, his Hall of Fame credentials are undeniable. “I want to fight nothing but the best,” Bradley said afterwards. He’s done just that in his career as eight of his 31 victories are over former champions. Even when his opponent outfights him (i.e., the Pacquiao fight) he still somehow comes away with a victory. I for one won’t bet against him.

Former champion Salido returns to glory with seventh round knockout over Cruz

Most of the talk heading into this fight for the vacant WBO featherweight title was about the sexuality of Puerto Rican fighter Orlando Cruz (20-3-1, 10 KOs) who recently came out as the first openly gay active fighter. Little was said of former titleholder Orlando Salido (40-12-2, 28 KOs) who was by far the more accomplished boxer. After brutally knocking out Cruz in the seventh round of this dominant victory, Salido is once again in the spotlight of the sport.

Orlando Cruz received a lot of media attention and praise when he announced that he was a gay man, which certainly must’ve been difficult in a sport full of machismo and chauvinism. To show his support to the LGBT community that has embraced him Cruz wore rainbow colored trunks and members of his entourage waved similarly themed flags as they accompanied him to the ring. However, the pro Mexican crowd was clearly behind the Sonora native Salido who prior to the bout didn’t want to discuss Cruz’s sexual preference… just the fight.

The early rounds favored Cruz who had the quicker hands and niftier foot speed. Salido, well known for his vicious body attack, wasn’t as concerned with winning rounds as he was with slowing down Cruz. The Puerto Rican fighter acted as the matador as he tried desperately to keep moving at all times, as the bull Salido charged at him relentlessly. Though Salido had been stopped on numerous occasions, Cruz was unable to dent his chin despite landing some sharp combinations.

By the sixth round, Cruz was increasingly fighting with his back to the ropes as Salido pounded on his solar plexus, liver and kidneys. Though Salido’s punches appeared to be slow and looping, they increasingly found a home on Cruz.

In the seventh round, Salido landed a crushing right hand and left hybrid uppercut that dropped Cruz face first to the canvas. Veteran referee Kenny Bayless waived off the contest at 1 minute and 5 seconds of the round.

At 32 years old the future for Cruz, who doesn’t hold one significant victory in his career, is unclear. Though he’s created a following, it doesn’t appear that he possesses the talent to compete at the world-class level. Salido, who has been fighting since he was 15, called the victory “the biggest moment of my life.” The WBO title was left vacant when Mikey Garcia failed to make weight to defend it against Juan Manuel Lopez in June. Garcia captured the title in a one-sided beating of Salido in January that left many wondering whether the latter could continue to fight at the top of the sport. Whether stopping the mediocre Cruz proves he can is anyone’s guess.

Lomachenko makes smashing professional debut

One of the most accomplished amateur boxers in recent memory the Ukrainian born Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko (1-0, 1 KO) knocked out tough veteran Jose Ramirez (25-4, 15 KOs) in his professional debut.

Lomachenko won two Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012, at featherweight and lightweight respectively. He was such a decorated and highly touted amateur there was talk of him competing for a title in his first fight. Though those goals were a bit too lofty, the man nicknamed Hi-Tech still fought a competent opponent.

The first round started the way the fight would end, with Lomachenko battering Ramirez from pillar to post. Ramirez was knocked down and almost out, as Hi-Tech landed a sick left hook to the body, followed by a right hand to the head. Ramirez barely beat the count to get to his feet, only to be punished for another three rounds. Lomachenko landed 104 of the 241 punches he threw with the 104th punch being the final one. Another savage body shot deflated Ramirez as he sank to the canvas in agony. Russell Mora counted him out at 2 minutes and 59 seconds.

Ramirez is far from a top tier fighter, but he’s a guy with decent power and close to 30 professional fights, so he served as the perfect opponent for Lomachenko. The Ukrainian star with seemingly limitless potential could get a title fight in his next bout as it’s believed he will challenge Orlando Salido for his WBO belt. If he gets that title shot, despite only have one professional fight, expect him to be the favorite.

Seanie “Irish” Monaghan stops Smith in three rounds

In the opening bout of this weak HBO pay-per-view undercard popular but untested Long Island light heavyweight Seanie Monaghan (19-0, 12 KOs) knocked out unknown Anthony Smith (14-2, 10 KOs) in three rounds.

Monaghan, maybe second in popularity in Long Island to only the legendary Billy Joel, made a successful debut with new promoter Top Rank. Monaghan, under the guidance of Lou DiBella, has become a New York City top ticket seller by fighting regularly at local shows since his professional debut in May of 2010. This fight against Smith marked the first time he fought outside the state of New York and against arguably the toughest opponent of his career.

The two combatants traded leather from the opening bell, as Monaghan was clearly the harder puncher and more physically fit fighter. In the third round, with Monaghan teeing off on Smith with heavy blows to the body and head, referee Tony weeks stepped in to the stop the slaughter at 2 minutes and 39 seconds.

To call Smith a club fighter, might be an insult to club fighters, but he served his purpose. He came to fight and he took his beating like a man, giving Monaghan the highlight reel stoppage Top Rank desired. He’s expected to return to action in New York in early 2014, undoubtedly in front of a packed hometown crowd.

The Electric Factory, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Vivian Harris pulls off surprising upset over O’Connor

Former titleholder Vivian Harris (31-9-2, 19 KOs) recorded an unexpected 10-round split decision victory over welterweight Danny O’Connor (23-2, 7 KOs) in the main event of this card at the Electric Factory.
Harris lost seven of 10 fights during a recent stretch of his career in which he was knocked out five times. He held the WBA junior welterweight title in the early 2000s and came to prominence by claiming that Floyd Mayweather was somehow ducking him.

By all accounts this was a hotly contest fight that saw Harris initiate most of the action as O’Connor was content to counter. It was only the third victory in the last 12 fights for Harris and ended O’Connor’s nine-fight winning streak. The final scores of the contest were head scratching as two judges favored Harris 96-94 and 99-91, while the third somehow had O’Connor winning in a shutout 100-90.

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Бой Василия Ломаченко - Хосе Рамиреса WBO \ Fight Vasyl Lomachenko - Jose Ramirez WBO

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  1. Ted 11:54am, 10/14/2013

    I liked that Seanie

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