Friday, June 19, 2009

:boxing: Boxing Bits ::06.19.09:: Cotto Decisions Clottey

This month's, and season's, first Boxing Bits installment was very light in its first week, with not too many other notable fights in the second week. This summer's boxing preview will be coming shortly, but in the meantime, below are some of the more noteworthy recent bouts.

[C] WIBA Welterweight Champion Holly Holm TKO4 Duda Yankovich

Phil Williams TKO7 Antwun Echols (Super Middleweight)

Keith Holmes UD(8) Willis Lockett (Super Middleweight)

George Foreman III KO1 Clyde Weaver (Heavyweight)

Robert Guerrero TKO8(RTD) Efren Hinojosa (Super Featherweight) [ESPN2]

Odlanier Solis TKO1 Dominique Alexander (Heavyweight)

[C] WBO Welterweight Champion Miguel Cotto SD Joshua Clottey [HBO]
--I had been anticipating this match-up for sometime, as both are tough fighters with similar attributes and posed a serious threat to one another. Often, "dream matches" don't quite live up to expectations--if not flat-out miss them--but Cotto-Clottey proved to be a strange mixture of success and slight disappointment. On one hand, it was the rough, spirited battle it was projected to be, but on the other hand, an accidental headbutt that opened a nasty gash above Cotto's left eye and an awkward full body-plant onto the canvas by a charging Clottey as Cotto nudged him off--resulting in a knee injury of some sort--marred what could have been a great and very interesting fight, as both fighters weren't at their full best.

Regardless, what came of it was a good-to-very good fight that saw Clottey being the better fighter overall, but Cotto winning it on points, thanks to the flash knockdown at the end of the first round and the round following Clottey's pratfall, where he absorbed a continuous barrage of punches from Cotto. What also lent to Clottey's downfall was his overcautiousness in the final rounds, especially the twelfth. It was an understandable decision, given his shape and who Cotto was, but he should have done more to stay active and give the judges the impression he was in control (an absolute necessity, considering he was in NYC...), be it moving around the ring more or trading more punches.

Even though I thought Clottey won the match as a whole, by scorecard, I had him losing by a round, so I wasn't terribly upset at the split decision (except for that blind score of 116-111 for Cotto...). I would really like to see both in a rematch, sans injuries and mishaps, but that is likely to be on hold for a possible megafight between the Puerto Rican and Manny Pacquiao in November. Even so, I see their paths crossing again in the future...

[C] WBO Light Flyweight Champion Ivan Calderon T-D Rodel Mayol

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