Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Boxing Banter

Short post today -- it's my birthday and I'm off doing a number of things. I did want to comment briefly on three fights from this weekend:

1.) Ricky Hatton/Paulie Malignaggi was a non-starter for me. The fight just wasn't all that exciting, with Malignaggi diving inside a ton to try to short-arm Hatton, and with Hatton (especially early) grabbing Paulie whenever that happened. After the first round, Hatton dominated the fight (which contributed to the lack of excitement). I expected something better out of two fighters who had only two losses between them coming in, but the combination of styles just didn't lead to a great fight and I ended up being relatively disappointed. Bizarre decision by Paulie's corner to wave the towel in the middle of the 11th round, also. Malignaggi wasn't going to win the fight, and doesn't have the power to legitimately hope for a miracle knockout, so on that level I understand. However, at the time he wasn't really in danger physically, and I'm not sure why they wouldn't have let him keep going until and unless he did get himself in trouble.

2.) Speaking of bizarre fights, the James Kirkland/Brian Vera fight that came right before the Hatton/Malignaggi main event qualifies. Kirkland hammered Vera mercilessly, and knocked him down three times, but two of those falls looked more like slips or pushes and Vera took punch after punch after punch. The referee ended up stopping the fight in the 8th after a defenseless Vera took a particularly nasty punch. For several rounds before that, the british announcers who I was listening to were mortified that Vera's corner wasn't stopping the fight -- but I understood their decision. Vera was occasionally landing big right hands to Kirkland's chin, and Kirkland was occasionally getting winded. Whereas Malignaggi in the main event had no realistic hope of landing a knock out punch, Vera did seem to have that hope. The referee made the right decision in stopping the fight when he did, but I also think Vera's corner was correct in keeping their fighter in the bout.

3.) I didn't get to see the Celestino Cabellero/Steve Molitor junior featherweight unification fight, but I wish I had. Caballero dominated the previously unbeaten Moliter, knocking him out in the fourth round. It sounds like he wants to fight the other champions in the division, and I'm hopeful we could see a fully unified junior featherweight champion in a year or so.

4.) There aren't a lot of big fights next weekend, but HBO's November 29 card has a couple of semi-interesting bouts. Verno Phillips and Paul Williams will battle for the vacant WBO junior middleweight title, and that's a weight that I enjoy watching. There's also an IBF heavyweight eliminator on the card between Cristobal Arreola and Travis Walker. Neither one has a hope of beating IBF champ Wladimir Klitschko if they get a title fight, but at least this is a heavyweight bout between what passes for a couple of high level fighters -- it probably won't be that entertaining but I'll still give it a shot. And don't forget that in two weeks we'll all get to witness the likely disaster that will be De La Hoya/Pacquiao. How great would it be if Pacquiao somehow pulled off an upset in that fight, by the way? I'd find it hilarious, although it'll almost certainly never happen.



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