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Hopkins upsets Wright; retains Light Heavyweight Championship

Last night, I made my way over to the Bistro Sports Bar in East Hanover on Rt 10. In my humble opinion, that is the number one sports bar in NJ for sporting events like big boxing matches. Back on May 5, I made my debut visit to the Bistro for the De la hoya vs Mayweather fight, and the bar was pretty much packed to maximum capacity. One must take into account that that was also on Cinco De Mayo weekend.

Anyway, I went there again last night for Hopkins vs Wright fight, which was the second biggest fight of the year from a promotional standpoint behind De la hoya vs Mayweather. There were not as many folks at the Bistro last night, but the attendance was still pretty substantial. Fans in the background were chanting, "You'll be collecting social security after tonight, Hopkins! ..... Way to take on Freddy Roach as a trainer .... he really helped Oscar against Mayweather!" and so on and so forth. But, as you can see....

Bernard Hopkins UD12 Winky Wright
Retains World Light Heavyweight Championship

Hopkins vs Wright represented a showdown between two of the best pound for pound fighters in the sport today.

As it turned out live at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV last night, Hopkins won a unanimous decision over Wright by scores of 116-112, 117-111 (twice). Immediately upon hearing those scores, I felt as though they were too wide. The fight was closer in my opinion, as Boxing Chronicles scored it 115-113 for Hopkins. Due to an unintentional headbutt in round two, Wright fought most of the way with a deep gash over his left eye.

The fight, in my eyes, was closer than the judges saw it. The official scores were definitely way too wide, but the fight itself pretty much went exactly how I predicted. Hopkins, being a notoriously slow starter, lost the early rounds to the busier, more aggressive, and more effective Wright. By the middle rounds, however, Wright was not firing his shots as frequently and Hopkins began to throw punches in bunches (whether or not they were landing cleanly). He was outworking Wright, and many people felt it would be the other way around. Not bad for a 42 year old veteran.

Hopkins also initiated a lot of holding and clinching, more than I wanted to see. It was pretty ugly, but if he could get away with it, more power to him. He wasn't JUST holding. I saw him firing combinations, and then tying up Wright. Wright faded down the stretch as I suspected would be the case. Hopkins goes from cold to hot and Wright is just the opposite. Hopkins sealed the deal in the last four rounds. Having said all of that, BOTH men are past their primes. Max Kellerman is spot on with that assessment.

Where do both combatants go from here? It was pretty clear last night that Wright is no light heavyweight, as he openly admitted prior to the fight. I'd like to see Wright move down to 160 or even 154lbs. A fight with Oscar probably makes the most sense for him at this time. I'd like to see that fight. Wright should either try to milk the Golden cash cow Oscar De la hoya for a fight at 154lbs, or come to some sort of agreement for a rematch with Middleweight Champion Jermain Taylor at 160lbs.

As for Hopkins, he made it clear that he would like to fight the Calzaghe/Kessler winner in late fall or winter. Whoever the winner of that fight (Calzaghe/Kessler) ends up being probably stands a very good chance of defeating Hopkins whenever that fight ensues, if it does.

Jorge Linares TKO 10 Oscar Larios
Wins Interim WBC Featherweight Title

Jorge Linares displayed some beautiful text book combination punching and ring generalship to dominate and beat down former Super Bantamweight Champion Oscar Larios. The fight was mercifully stopped in the 10th round. Linares, undefeated with a record of 23-0, 14 KOs, is vastly becoming a player in the feather weight division. He's hot young contender with plenty of skill and ability. Perhaps he can fight the winner of the IBF Featherweight Title fight between Champion Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero and Rocky Juarez. His dominant performance over Larios last night impressed me!

Michael Katsidis UD 12 Czar Amonsot
Retains Interim WBO Lightweight Championship

Michael Katsidis remained undefeated against Czar Amonsot, but fought with the physical handicap of two deep cuts above a rapidly swelling left eye as well as a cut underneath his right eye. Katsidis left eye immediately began to swell in the 2nd round, product of an Amonsot punch. Therefore, Katsidis was always in danger of having the fight stopped in his opponent's favor, due to the state of his face. Katsidis managed to drop Amonsot in round 2, but lost rounds three and four when Amonsot momentarily boxed his way back into the fight behind his southpaw right jab. Katsidis would get a second wind, as he once again began to pressure Amonsot and throw the bombs that he was throwing in the first two rounds. As the cuts and swelling got worse, and the referee took Katsidis over to the doctor for examinations in a couple occasions, urgency set in and Katsidis went all out with hard combination punches to once again drop Amonsot in the 1oth round. Katsidis will to win and ability to fight under fire and pressure really impressed me. He went on to win a unanimous decision by scores of 116-110, 115-111, and 114-112. Boxing Chronicles saw it 116-110 for Katsidis. Katsidis has the face of an Arturo Gatti and the fighting style as well as punching power (for a lightweight) of a Mike Tyson. He also has a major will to win. Through adversity, and two badly damaged eyes, Katsidis remained undefeated and raised his record to 23-0. 20KOs. This fall, WBA Lightweight Champion Juan "Baby bull" Diaz and IBF Lightweight Champion Julio Diaz are set to meet in a unification fight. Katsidis showed me that he's a terrific television fighter and he's a fighter with a lot of heart. I really want to see Katsidis against Juan Diaz. That matchup has Boxing After Dark blue-plate special written all over it. That would be an exciting, intriguing, and perhaps inspiring showdown!

Librado Andrade TKO 2 Ted Muller

Coming off a punishing one sided decision loss to WBA/WBC Super Middleweight Champion Mikkell Kessler, Librado Andrade returned with a win last night, beating up and stopping Ted Muller in two rounds. Muller didn't even appear to belong in the same ring and class with Andrade. Andrade, soundly beaten by Kessler in his previous fight, still showed fans nonetheless that he comes to fight and gave viewers an exciting two round destruction to enjoy leading up to the rest of fights on the card.



merjoem32 said...

I'm glad that Amonsot is alright. He gave it his all and tried his bet to give glory to Pinoy boxing or Philippine boxing. I hope he recovers completely and fights again in the future.

B. Bradley said...

So do I. Amonsot fought a brave fight, but he took a lot of punches. I pray for his recovery, and apparently he was released in good condition, so he'll be OK. I believe he's permanently retired though. I'm glad he didn't get hurt in the ring.