The Week That Was (September 2-8, 2013)

By Teron Briggs on September 9, 2013
The Week That Was (September 2-8, 2013)
“I’m going to embarrass this kid Seth,” Arreola told reporters. “That’s my job in there.”

Golden Boy said they would match the winner with undefeated former Olympic bronze medalist Deontay Wilder. I’ll believe that when I see it…

Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, California, USA

Arreola puts an end to “Mayhem” in one round

Prior to 2006, former Michigan State linebacker turned heavyweight pretender Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell (26-2, 19 KOs) had never stepped inside a boxing ring. For all intents and purposes his career in the “squared circle” came to a violent end at the hands of former title-challenger Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola (36-3, 31 KOs) Saturday night in the main event of a Special Edition of Showtime Championship Boxing. At the 2:26 minute mark of the first round, veteran referee Jack Reiss called a halt to the contest, preventing the further mauling of the courageous but overmatched Mitchell.

“I’m going to embarrass this kid Seth, that’s my job in there,” Arreola told reporters before facing the boxing neophyte Mitchell at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California. Mitchell is only a year younger than the 32-year-old Arreola, but in terms of boxing experience the two are as far apart in age as Suri Cruise and Larry King. Arreola took up the Sweet Science at the tender age of eight, fighting in over 200 amateur bouts and winning the National Golden Gloves before turning professional in September of 2003. By comparison, Mitchell didn’t put on gloves for the first time until he was 24 years old and fought in just 10 amateur bouts before turning professional in 2008. 

The svelte looking Los Angeles native Arreola came into the fight weighing 242 lbs., five pounds less than when he lost a WBC title eliminator to Bermane Stiverne in April. Arreola’s weight is significant because it has fluctuated more than Oprah’s. He’s tipped the scales at near 250 lbs. or more in all three of his career losses, two of which he blamed on “not training properly.” From the moment the bell rang and the combatants started exchanging punches it was clear that Mitchell’s night would be short. After landing a couple of innocuous shots against Arreola, Mitchell began eating big punches. A right hand rocked Mayhem, causing the former linebacker to lunge forward, almost tackling Arreola, and eventually falling to the mat. The referee ruled it a slip not a knockdown. In my best Walt “Clyde” Frazier voice, Mitchell was now “stumbling and bumbling” around the ring as Arreola subsequently landed a three-punch combination starting with another right hand that legitimately put Mitchell on the canvas. He gallantly got to his feet to continue, but Arreola staggered him again right a right hand, forcing the referee to stop the slaughter before Mitchell was seriously hurt.

“My heart just hurts right now,” Mitchell told Showtime announcer Jim Gray following his knockout loss. If, as it probably should, Mitchell’s career ended there he has nothing to hang his head about. Despite having to learn the sport on the job, he won his first 25 fights, stopping some fringe contenders along the way. He was simply outclassed once he approached the sport’s upper echelon. It was a nice win for Arreola, as anything less than a victory would’ve ended his title aspirations. Arreola’s promoter, Golden Boy, said before the fight they would match the winner with the heavily protected undefeated former Olympic bronze medalist Deontay Wilder. I’ll believe that when I see it.

Efrain Esquivias scores brutal TKO over former champion Rafael Marquez

“He caught me early, but I finished strong and that’s what matters,’ super bantamweight contender Efrain Equivias (17-2, 10 KOs) said after he stopped probable Hall-of-Famer Rafael Marquez (41-9, 37 KOs) in the ninth round of their 10-round bout.

Former two-division champion Marquez, loser in three of his previous five bouts, came into the fight after almost a year away from the sport following a ninth round knockout to Cristian Mijares in October of 2012. Marquez hoped the time off and the return of Hall of Fame trainer Nacho Beristain to his corner would reignite his floundering career.

The 38-year-old Marquez got off to a fast start as he landed some crisp one-twos against the man eight years his junior. Esquivias allowed the older man to fight at a deliberate pace, enabling him to have early success with his precisely timed punches. By the third round, however, Esquivias finally kick-started his offense by increasing his punch output and focusing on attacking Marquez’s body. Marquez, much like Naomi Campbell, can’t seem to avoid a fight and found himself in a hard scrap by the fifth round. Esquivias’ shots forced Marquez into a defensive shell, as Efrain’s non-stop assault was starting to take a toll on the former champion. A ferocious five-punch combination at the beginning of the sixth hurt Marquez, as Esquivias was now bouncing around on his toes. In-between rounds Nacho Beristain was pleading with his charge to give him more energy. Marquez has always had issues avoiding punches, but his reflexes after countless ring wars began to fail him. However in the seventh round, with the lively pro-Marquez crowd screaming his name, the Mexican warrior landed some accurate combinations punctuated by a big right hand before bell. Esquivias to his credit regained control of the fight in the eighth, finding success with some devastating left and right hooks. In round nine, with Marquez badly fading, Esquivias dropped him with a straight right hand on the chin. Marquez was able to get up, but was unsteady himself on his feet, forcing referee Raul Caiz Jr. to step in and wave off the fight.

After being examined by the ringside physician following the fight, Marquez was taken to the hospital where it was determined he suffered an orbital fracture. Marquez said in his post-fight interview that he would consider retirement. If he does, he thrilled boxing fans for 18 years, capturing titles at bantamweight and featherweight and engaging in one of boxing’s greatest trilogies against Israel Vazquez. When asked by reporters what it meant to beat the legendary Marquez, Esquivias said “it means everything.” Esquivias was 0-2-1 in his last three fights, so whether he’s a contender or just lucky to have faced an old champion on his last legs is yet to be determined.

Scottish Exhibition Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Incompetent and/or corrupt judges give WBO lightweight titleholder controversial draw

“It’s difficult for me to score the fight with an emotional attachment. My gut feeling when I got in the ring was that Beltran had it after a close fight,” Eddie Hearn, promoter of lightweight titleholder Ricky Burns (36-2, 11 KOs), tweeted after the fight. It might have been “difficult” for Hearn to score the fight, but it wasn’t difficult for anyone else that watched Ray Beltran (28-6 17 KOs) do more than enough to take Burns’ title. I scored the fight 117-111 for Beltran. One judge somehow had Burns winning 115-112, another had Beltran ahead 115-113, and the third scored it 114-114.

The resurgent contender Beltran was given as much of a chance of winning in Scotland as the inept New York Jets were of beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Burns was making the eighth defense of the WBO title he won from Roman Martinez in September 2010. His ability to maintain his composure throughout the bout, despite fighting in front of thousands of screaming Scots, was commendable. After a slow first round, he was able to continually march forward and force Burns into retreat mode for most of the night. Burns spent increasingly more and more time with his back against the ropes trying to defend himself. Beltran employed a simple style that saw him stand straight up and fight behind a hard stiff jab that continually kept Burns off balance. Burns would have some success landing single punches at a time but he never once hurt the challenger. After mixing it up early, by the latter rounds Burns was more than content to hold whenever the two got into a fierce exchange inside. A huge left hook by Beltran at the start of the eighth round dropped Burns flat on his back and brought an eerie silence to the previously delirious crowd at the Scottish Exhibition Center. Burns, though hurt badly, refused to back down as he desperately flung hard shots at Beltran, even connecting with a nice left hook before the bell. Burns continued to make the same mistake all night long as he tried to avoid Beltran’s punches by pulling straight back, as opposed to stepping from side-to-side. Burns probably did enough to win the 12th round, fighting like a man who knew he was in danger of losing.

The UK boxing star suffered a broken jaw in the second round that required him to have a titanium plate; yeah, that’s how bad of a beating he took. It will be awhile before he’s able to return to ring so it would be premature to talk about a rematch or any title defense. It should have been Beltran’s fourth win in a row and his first world title, but unfortunately his efforts were wasted. Regardless, he should be in a significant fight the next time he returns to the ring.

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Ricky Burns v Raymundo Beltran • Extensive Fight Highlights ₀₇₋₀₉₋₂₀₁₃

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  1. Ted 07:36am, 09/14/2013

    The Arreola massacre was one of the easiest picks in recent memory. Seth needs to seek a new line of work. Nice kid but….....

  2. Ted the Bull 07:34am, 09/14/2013

    Ray has the goods and is improving with each outing. Here, he got f—ked. His defense is subtle and he is a sharp counter puncher. Sparing with Manny has improved him tremendously. He bears watching.

  3. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 05:51am, 09/10/2013

    Teron Briggs-.After Ray’s war with” Buzzsaw” Lundy it was clear to this Monday morning quarterback that even with everything in his favor including home cooked officiating that Burns was going to be” fighting a lion with a switch”.

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