Thursday, December 10, 2009

:boxing: Boxing Bits ::12.10.09:: More Breakouts, Beatdowns, and Bad Decisions

Now, the second part of today's earlier "Boxing Bits" installment, which was too lengthy to post as one single post. --HD

--Chris Arreola-Brian Minto was both what I expected (a simple mismatch) and what I wasn't (a decent slugfest). Minto had no real chance to beat him weight- or dimension-wise, but he showed an insane amount of heart in trying to withstand the much larger (in more ways than one) Arreola and his power. He should have been knocked out a few times, but he gather himself as much as he could each time and still tried to trade with him, landing a few good shots and absorbing a whole bunch more along the way. He'll probably be better served at cruiserweight, which are in the plans and where his chances should be much better. Concerning Arreola, he looks a little improved with his skill set, but he seemed more lean than fat at another career-high weight. More muscle than cellulite, possibly?

--I'll just chime in and echo everyone else's sentiment: the Paul Williams-Sergio Martinez bout was an instant classic. Similar to the fight before it, I knew it was going to be a good one (two skilled and avoided fighters with nothing better to do), but I didn't know it would turn out to be as great as it did. It was a true dead-even event that saw both pugilists in like rounds and on the losing end in others. Through it all, they displayed the kind of prowess that showed just why others are hesitant to go to war with them.

It was also an eye-opener in two respects. Though (barely) on the winning end, Paul Williams looked embarrassingly open and amateurish early in the fight as he swung around wildly, continuously left his guard down, and showed no inkling of defense whatsoever as Martinez landed clean shot after strong clean shot with little to no trouble. Thankfully, Williams caught on and changed his gameplan a bit to rectify it and aimed much better. I was not very high on Martinez after his dubious draw with Cintron and saw him as a lesser Jones/Calzaghe-esque talent that wasn't as good as his record suggested (though I thought he made for an interesting match-up with Williams when it was announced). After Saturday's meeting, I have completely changed my opinion of him. He fought skillfully and competitively, and showed a great deal of heart and fortitude. Rather than simply "spamming" on punches, showboating, or fighting with more style than substance, he fought smart and used his unorthodox stance to prime effect by moving back and staying out Williams' very long range to counter with some impressive blows.

As Williams steadily found his footing, the middle rounds went back and forth between the two, and the later rounds saw the fight tighten more as both tired but remained committed to duking it out. Martinez, in spite of his good stamina, was getting hit with more flush shots than in the first half and could barely pick himself off the ground twice after the referee broke up two clinches. In spite of that, he would immediately restarted his arsenal and fought like he still had gas left in the tank, catching Williams good on more a few occasions. It was an admirable sight and indicative of just how bad each man wanted to come out on top. Interestingly, it felt like Williams won more of the rounds (but just by one, overall), but Martinez won the fight as a whole.

The sole point of derision of the bout was the total joke of a scorecard by the now-infamous Pierre Benoist of "119-110". Giving Williams the decision was reasonable, but every round except one is lunacy and difficult make reason of (as best as Jim Lampley tried to). If not have his license revoked, he should at least be questioned by officials about why he scored it so (sounds familiar?). If the scorecard were an indication of the ratio of popular opinion of the fight--"Even" to "Clean Sweep", then I guess he's that sole "one" by a 11-1 margin. It only serves to highlight a bad string of questionable judging as of late. But even that cannot dilute the excellence that was Williams-Martinez--a high-class, "bourgeois" version of Gatti-Ward, if you will. A PPV rematch would make some good money if promoted properly.

--Chazz Witherspoon, where art thou?

--As proven last Wednesday night, pink gloves can hurt real bad. But on a more serious note, it's been great to see such widespread support of breast cancer awareness and research, even stretching into "tough guy" sports like football and boxing, of which Golden Boy Promotions dedicated the evening to. I don't think I've seen as expansive a width of devotion to the cause as I have, which is wonderful to see (and it thankfully hasn't reached to a point of "overexposure/saturation", which can be counterproductive to such movements all too often).

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