Three weight classes, three titles (or just two, depending on the last one), three bouts...all in one installment of Boxing Bits!
:Sat.07.21.07: Hopkins Out-Masters Winky
Bernard Hopkins defended his belt successfully against Ronald "Winky" Wright, via Unanimous Decision, in a fight that was both entertaining and ugly at times. Hopkins stuck to his usual pattern of starting off slow in the first four rounds and later mauling his opponents down as the fight wears on. Winky was game and the more active of the two, but his ineffective punching (in terms targeting, as both had identical punch stats per round) to Hopkins' more pinpointed flurries aided in his defeat. What also did not help was the class of Light Heavyweight, which no doubtfully had a role in his sluggish movement and pacing in the latter rounds. Hopkins, a poster boy of dedicated conditioning, looked as if he had become a little too comfortable at that weight, as he had a noticeable belly coming in the ring and looked fatigued by the sixth round. However, both fighters burnt off much of that excess fat as the bout went on, looking more like their usual selves at the end. As much action it contained, the fight itself had a good deal of clinching and holding (more from the champion than the challenger) and the actual combat itself looked less than masterful. If this was at middleweight, it could have been a much better fight--and an easier one for both. So if this sort of action couldn't cut it...
:Sat.07.28.07: Forrest Mows Down Baldomir to a UD...and Retirement
...the bout the following Saturday surely did. Vernon Forrest made another run at returning to championship glory by winning the vacant WBC Super Welterweight title against former champ Carlos Baldomir in a one-sided, yet still entertaining, affair. Forrest was able to outbox him and showed a willingness to get into it, which led to some dicey moments in the fight--including a brief altercation after the bell. In the end, however, there appeared to be no bad blood between the two and both were gracious on their respective sides of the Unanimous Decision. As Baldomir bowed out of the sport, Forrest was eager to get after the man that beat him twice--Ricardo Mayorga, who will be fighting Fernando Vargas in the fall. With his shoulder injuries hopefully behind him, a fresh Forrest can still make his way back to the top. But as good as this one-sided fight was...
:Wed.08.01.07: Fatton vs. Floyd is On!
...this one could make it look like the first one. Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. have agreed to fight on December 8 at an venue yet to be determined. The former, after his last bout, called out the latter, and now the "superfight" will finally take place. This is in parentheses because, as I said for a while, it is a major mistake for Hatton to take on the Pretty Boy, whose hand speed and quickness is the Brit's Achilles' Heel. Hatton may get lucky if he exploits Mayweather's apprehensiveness to getting touched in the ring and pulls him into a brawl, which would play more to his own strength. It certainly won't be an easy night for The Hitman, who stands a better chance at being embarassed in the ring, but it would be wrong to completely count him out. Either way, it once again shows that the Welterweight class is the hottest division in boxing this year.