Sunday, July 15, 2007

Four Sided Fight Night

I didn’t think anything, let alone boxing, could ever match the liveliness and exhilaration that is the octagon. Sorry, I mean Octagon. In fact, I’ve found my best articles are written when I construct a stop sign shaped outline around my desk and computer. My keystrokes get sharper, my mouse clicks more punishing, and my backspaces less frequent. Saying all of that, this boxing thing, even though held in a shape that is only half of what the Octagon is and ever will be, proved me wrong. I just hope Chuck Liddell doesn’t blog on Sundays!


Saturday’s HBO coverage went coat to coast with fights from Atlantic City to California and produced a night full of action, laughs, and the usual HBO boxing stupidity. The night started in Atlantic City at 9:00pm when Kermit Cintron and Walter Matthysse took their nearly unblemished records into the ring for a fight that many fans had high hopes for. Cintron boasted a record of (27-1) with 26 KO’s, and Matthysse had been almost as equally impressive with a combined record of (26-1) with 25 KO’s.

From the bell, Cintron seemed to be landing the crisper, more accurate punches and scored his first knockdown of the fight during the final minute of the 1st round. Matthysse was down for the first time in his career, but I’m here to tell you it wouldn’t be his last. Just moments into the 2nd round Cintron landed another brutal combination that sent Matthysse to his knees. He would have been best served staying down as Cintron finished him off about 10 seconds later with a vicious uppercut and a decisive right hand that left Matthysse lying motionless on the mat. Now that’s what I’m talking about! Cintron, whose career had been derailed by the beating he took from Margarito two years ago, had again established himself as one of the top welterweights. He called out Shane Mosley during Larry Merchant’s stirring interview immediately following the fight and could be setting himself up for a big payday after his performance.

Needless to say, I was fired up! The Octagon wasn’t going to control me anymore. I’ve since vowed to run every stop sign for the next month to prove to myself that I’ve completely moved on.


The next fight on the Atlantic City card featured Arturo Gatti and Alfonso Gomez. Gatti, 35 yrs old, came into the fight with a record of (40-8-1). In many circles, he is considered the most exciting fighter of the last decade. I advise anyone to watch his epic trilogy with Mickey Ward if you don’t believe me. Gatti was at the very end of his career, but his camp believed Gomez was the perfect opponent. Gomez came into the fight with a very unimpressive record of (16-3-1), scoring only 7 KO’s. His most noteworthy accomplishment was finsihing third on the garbage that is ESPN’s “The Contender”. He wasn’t known for being a big time puncher and hadn’t fought anyone as seasoned as Gatti.


Saying all that, Gatti believed he would be able to give his legions of fans one more knockdown, drag out fight; while not putting himself in danger of further damaging the punching bag that is his brain.

He was very wrong. Gomez came out strong and continued pressing the action with a relentless assault of straight left jabs and quick rights to Gatti’s exposed left side. Gomez occasionally mixed in a sharp left hook to the body, and Arturo looked like he had fought one too many times. I had given all 6 rounds to Gomez already, and the 7th round produced the stoppage that was becoming more and more inevitable as the fight wore on. Gomez landed a number of blistering combinations that left Gatti defenseless. As Gatti scrambled around the ring helplessly trying to avoid being finished, Gomez caught him on the ropes and delivered a huge right hand that further opened a massive cut on Gatti’s upper lip. Gatti’s blood shot onto Gomez’s shoulder, and he feel to the mat face first. The NJ boxing commissioner ran into the ring, and the fight was stopped. Gomez scored the knockout and proved a lot of people wrong; including me! Gatti had fought for the last time. He would announce his retirement to Max Kellerman moments after the fight. Congratulations Gatti, you had a terrific career!

Before I get into Margarito vs. Williams, I’d like to briefly comment on HBO’s boxing team and my belief that they are intentionally trying to get me to turn the channel during their coverage:

1. Jim Lampley, who heads the coverage, is one red nose and wig away from full party clown status. Not a famous one like Bozo, but one of those who works local birthday parties and drives around a beat up Astro Minivan with a plastic bag covering a busted out window. His commentary is unexciting and uninformative. He brings absolutely nothing to the table (I felt really weird making Lampley look like a clown.)

2. Larry Merchant, the resident old timer of the group, might be even more annoying than Lampley. My ears start bleeding every time he starts out on one of his 5 minute mumbles. I’d rather listen to a really angry Edward Scissorhands scratch a chalkboard. (forced joke) Euthanasia never seemed more appropriate. (Just right)

3. Manny Steward is a decent trainer and is somewhat informative at times, but he too puts together long streams of incoherent mess. Remember, he was the guy who didn’t even know what round it was when he was in Klitchsko’s corner for the Brewster fight a couple weeks ago saying, “I told you we could finish him off in the 7th. Let’s get him this round. Wasn’t that the 6th round?” His quote was in between rounds 3 and 4.

4. Max Kellerman is the only commentator who keeps me sane. However, some of his analogy’s tonight were a stretch to say the least, and it looked like he had a little herpes flare up on the left corner of his lip. Thank god I can’t afford HD!

Back to the fighting. The featured bout between Margarito and Williams lived up to its hype. I decided to test my boxing knowledge and keep a scorecard of the fight.

Here
it is
:

















































1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Total

PW10

10

10

9

10

10

9

9

10

9

9

10

115

AM9

9

9

10

9

9

10

10

9

10

10

9

113

I thought Williams came out and really had Margarito on his heels. He dominated the early action with his quick jabs and countless punch angles. He kept Margarito at perfect distance and used his speed, height, and reach advantages for the first four rounds. I actually considered giving Williams the 4th round as well, but Margarito landed a couple decent shots and finished strong. The middle rounds were a lot closer as Margarito gained confidence and let his hands go a little more. He was able to get to Williams a few times, but Williams continued to throw more punches. He was throwing 2 times the punches of Margarito and landed nearly the same percentage. Round 11 produced the most drama as Margarito put together three or four huge flurries that almost had Williams in big trouble. He landed 5-7 huge straight rights, and I was beginning to think Williams wasn’t going to be able to hold in. It was the first time one of William's fights had gone into the “championship” rounds and it showed. He was in deep water, but did just enough to hold on. I was impressed by Williams as he handled Margarito’s onslaught and proved he was willing to trade punches with the fighter both Pretty Boy and Mosley have ducked for the last two years! The fight was up for grabs in Round 12, but Williams reasserted his distance and jab and was able to prevent Margarito from getting in close.

The two California judges scored the fight as I did 115-113 in favor of Willaims, while another had it at 116-112. Williams escaped with a unanimous decision and solidified himself as one of the upper echelon welterweights. It’s back to the drawing bored for Margarito as he won’t be able to fight Cotto now. I am looking forward to seeing how the Welterweight division plays out over the next few months as it is stacked with worthy fighters who all want a shot at Floyd’s pound for pound title.


Winky Wright and Bernard Hopkins face off next week on PPV. Do yourself a favor and keep your money unless you want to see two men fight who’s ages, when combined, equal death. That’s all for now!

9 Comments:

Buzzsaw said...

First, I applaud you for your efforts to break out of the octagon and I agree about the fights last night, they were pretty awesome. I wished we would have seen a few cuts/injuries in the Williams/Margarito fight, but the boxing was good. Lastly, I think it'd be much more odd for Lampley to not look like a clown in that picture, but I know I'm probably the minority.

Daris said...

ya, same here. good job taking williams by the way. he's just too much for most fighters. Its a real rarity when you see a fighter who loses a UD look as good as margarito after that fight. He had only a little swelling under the left eye, which proves he really was blocking a lot of the stuff williams threw.

Guy said...

I was posting on the BigLots family couch in the basement and watched the fights with buzzsaw. So here is my chance to let this out. Buzzsaw, I think you have an unhealthy crush on Arturo Gatti. There. I said it.

Buzzsaw said...

It's only unhealthy if you're a homophobe.

BigLots said...

I was unable to watch the fight because I could not stop watching A.C. Slater as he was entirely too into the fight while sitting ringside. Also, we were trying to figure out who Williams looks like. I say either Eddie Pope or Torii Hunter. Buzzsaw goes with Chad Johnson.

Daris said...

he looks most like chad johnson, and I didn't see AC Slater. I wish I would have. I felt like being aroused on Saturday night.

Guy said...

Buzzsaw "guaranteed" that he looked most like Chad Johnson. I'm not sure if you can guarantee something like that. And I stand behind him on the Ocho Cinco call.

Buzzsaw said...

Thanks for the support guys, I can understand if someone doesn't agree, it's much easier for me to picture since I saw Williams when he was younger with his bleached blond mohawk.

merjoem32 said...

Gatti should retire after getting KO'd by Gomez. he has contributed a lot to the fame of boxing and he has been in too many wars. He should now walk away before he becomes permanently injured.