The spring anime preview has taken much longer than I had anticipated, having written far more than I had predicted for so many shows. A usual one week job has taken twice as long, and so, we have this belated edition of "Boxing Bits" (the loaded spring boxing preview will be following the completion of the massive anime one). There were a few names that came up to prominence and a few surprises that have occurred over the last two weeks, so let us get to the review...
But before then, I decided to twink the championship designation to acknowledge minor belts that are up for contention (labeled as "[c]"). I'm not a big fan of random "alphabet soup" or "regional" titles, but I see their benefits and it wouldn't be as right to completely ignore them as it would to list them alongside the major ones listed in the blog's sidebar.
Delvin Rodriguez UD Shamone Alvarez (Welterweight) [ESPN2]
Demetrius Andrade TKO1 Tom Joseph (Light Middleweight)
Deontay Wilder TKO1 Shannon Gray (Heavyweight)
Elijah McCall D Alvaro Morales (Heavyweight)
Steve Forbes TKO2 Jason Davis (Welterweight)
Victor Ortiz TKO2 Mike Arnaoutis (Light Welterweight) [HBO]
James Kirkland TKO6 Joel Julio (Light Middleweight) [HBO]
--The Ann Wolfe-trained Kirkland channeled some of the great female boxer's tenacity in his dispatching of the formidable Julio. He clearly couldn't take his offense despite his efforts (with Kirkland largely unfazed by his own) and it was only a matter of time until he succumbed. Kirkland did prove to be worth the hype, but as good as he was, his defense is in definite need of work (and just needs to be there), as he was getting caught flush with too many easily-blockable shots. Implement better head movement and defensive skills and he could be a real force in the division--and others.
Robert Guerrero ND(2) Daud Cino Yordan (Super Featherweight) [HBO]
Mike Alvarado KO10 Emmanuel Clottey (Light Welterweight)
[C] WBC Bantamweight Champion Hozumi Hasegawa TKO1 Vusi Malinga
[C] Takahiro Aoh UD WBC Featherweight Champion Oscar Larios
[C] IBF Super Middleweight Champion Lucian Bute TKO4 Fulgencio Zuniga
[C] IBF Middleweight Champion Arthur Abraham UD Lajuan Simon
[C] (Vacent WBO Inter-Continental Lightweight Championship) WBA International Lightweight Champion Amir Khan TD Marco Antonio Barrera
--I thought that it was far too soon for the young Khan to take on someone of Barrera's caliber (however faded) in only his second fight following that nasty KO loss last year. However, reports had him in command for the five rounds of action before a bad cut on Barrera's hairline that caused blood to flow into his left eye caused the fight's stoppage (coincidentally, the second consecutive time this has happened to him, following his TKO-by-DQ win in January due to an intentional headbutt).
[C] (Interim WBA Bantamweight Championship) Nehomar Cermano SD Cristian Mijares
--Things really haven't been looking up for Mijares since his embarrassing performance against Vic Darchinyan last year, now losing a split decision in his first fight afterwards...
[c] (Vacent WBO Oriental Bantamweight Championship) Z Gorres TKO7 Roberto Carlos Leyva
Oleg Maskaev KO1 Rich Boruff (Heavyweight)
Edison Miranda TKO5 Joey Vegas (Super Middleweight)
[C] WIBF, WBA Female Flyweight Champion Susi Kentikian UD(10) Elena Reid
--The undefeated "Killer Queen" is one of the biggest rising stars on the female side of the sport, extending her record to 24-0.
Ruslan Provodnikov UD(6) Esteban Almaraz (Light Welterweight) [ESPN2]
--Provodnikov looked like a promising star-in-the-making with his impressive win over Almarez. Definitely a name to keep notice on...
Demetrius Andrade TKO2 Arnuflo Javier Romero (Light Middleweight) [EPSN2]
--Second fight of the month for the 2008 U.S. Olympian...
[C] WBC Heavyweight Champion Vitali Klitschko TKO9 Juan Carlos Gomez [ESPN Classic]
--Good fight, with Klitschko doing less jabbing and technical work and more mixing it up with former cruiserweight champion Gomez. The heavyweight champ was in control for much of the action despite the odd deviation in tactics and his uncharacteristic style, and an accidental clash of heads that opened a cut over the game Gomez's eye seemed to get to the challenger. Klitschko, undeterred by a hairline gash from a separate incident, continued to trudge along, steadily zapping him of his strength.
The seventh round saw Gomez barely surviving it after a devastating knockdown, but the ninth provided for a sublime ending. Klitschko was still pounding away on the fading Cuban, who looked like he wanted to quit not long earlier before reversing, when he was oddly deducted a point for a supposedly intentional headbutt. This really set the champion off, and Dr, Iron Fist was all over Gomez, chasing him down like an angry brawler and battering him into finally quitting. It was almost as if Klitschko was either trying out a more (American) crowd-pleasing style (in Germany) or he was just not in the mood and was not having it. Whatever the reason, he fought well enough against a far more spirited opponent than the "Nigerian Dream Opponent" Sam Peter, and looked reasonably fresh for only his second fight in the last four years...
[C] Bernard Dunne TKO11 WBA Super Bantamweight Champion Ricardo Cordoba
--Dunne delivered his native Ireland quite the St. Patrick's Day (week) present by knocking out titlist Cordoba in the first major championship bout in the nation in over a decade. It sounded like a doozy of fight, too, with Dunne (down twice in the fifth) knocking Cordoba (down once in the third) down three times in the penultimate round, and out of the ring on a stretcher...
Roman Karmazin TKO7 Antwun Echols (Middleweight)
Roy Jones Jr. TKO5 Omar Sheika (Light Heavyweight) [PPV]
Chris Byrd TKO4 Matthias Sandow (Cruiserweight)
--Sliding former heavyweight champion Byrd slid down to cruiserweight and took out Sandow--who had a 4-3 record...
Miguel Espino TKO6 Alejandro Garcia (Middleweight)
Ricardo Williams Jr. KO3 Harrison Cuello (Welterweight)
[c] (Vacent WBC FECOMBOX Middleweight Championship) Marco Reyes UD Luis Ramon Campas
--Campas really needs to hang it up, though that may be difficult to tell a fighter if that's all they have going for them in terms of providing for their family or making a living...
Tony Thompson TKO5 Adnan Serin (Heavyweight)