Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Boxing Banter

A shortened BB post tonight as I prepare for my last final (ever!) as a law student tomorrow. Here are some brief thoughts on what we saw the past few days:

1.) I hope you had a chance to watch Tomasz Adamek take the IBF Cruiserweight title off of Steve Cunningham on Thursday night. The card was on Versus, and also included an IBF Bantamweight fight won by champion Joseph Agbeko. Both fights went the distance and were entertaining (this was a great free card), but the Adamek-Cunningham matchup provided a great deal of drama. ESPN's boxing page even lists it as a contender for fight of the year. Adamek managed to knock Cunningham down three times (I believe he had only been down once in his entire career to that point) while staying on his feet despite absorbing a lot of punishment, and that proved to be the difference. A stunning round 4 sums up the fight -- Cunningham dominated the round, to the point that the announcers were discussing awarding the round to him 10-8 instead of the standard 10-9. Then, out of nowhere at the end of the round Adamek landed a right to the face that dropped Cunningham. Under the scoring rules in effect, that mandated a round victory for Adamek, and he ended up winning the round 10-9. That was a three point swing in that one round, and had he not picked up the knockdown (all other things staying the same) the fight would have ended in a draw -- one judge for each fighter and one with an even card. Great fight, great card, great job by Versus putting it together.

2.) Wladimir Klitschko easily defeated Hasim Rahman in Mannheim, Germany yesterday to hold onto his IBF and WBO belts. Rahman was a replacement fighter for Alexander Povetkin, who was supposed to get the mandatory fight against Klitschko but was injured in training. This was a ho-hum fight that was never in doubt, as Rahman spent painful amounts of time against the ropes and Klitschko was clearly the better, stronger fighter. It ended in the sixth roung when the referee stopped it following three brutal shots from Klitschko.

3.) Elsewhere in heavyweight land, it was all about the old guys. Riddick Bowe returned to the ring for the first time in three years and picked up an 8-round unanimous decision, while James Toney beat Fres Oquendo by split decision in a 12-rounder. I would like to say that these results are meaningless because both fighters are far beyond their prime, but with Evander Holyfield getting a title shot next weekend I guess I can't quite make that statement.

4.) The Kendall Holt-Ricardo Torres rubber-match was called off because Torres was hurt, but Holt still faced a challenge on the Showtime card on Saturday night when he faced previously undefeated challenger Demetrius Hopkins. Holt retained his WBO Junior Welterweight belt by split decision. The judge ruling for Hopkins was sort of on an island, with her point spread very different from what the other two judges had. Normally with a split decision in that situation I'd say a rematch is likely, but the cards of the other two judges weren't that close. Still, a rematch would be nice to see if Holt could do it again. I'm guessing Holt still wants Torres for a third time, so maybe that will come next.

5.) There are some fights next weekend, but there only appears to be one world title on the line -- WBA Heavyweight champ Nikolai Valuev defends his belt in a sham fight against Evander Holyfield, who came out of nowhere when he signed this fight. This thing has no business going beyond three rounds, if that. Holyfield is 46 and hasn't been a meaningful fighter in years. Valuev is a monster who is 11 years younger and has 34 KO's in 51 matches. The only reason this fight was signed at all was that Holyfield needed money and Valuev needed an easy end-of-year opponent, presumably for a tuneup. If Holyfield is even remotely competitive in this fight, Heavyweight boxing should just give up and crawl away.



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