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Sat Sep 8, 2012, 02:06 PM

Boxing! (9-8-12)

Sept. 8
At Oakland, Calif. (HBO): Andre Ward vs. Chad Dawson, 12 rounds, for Ward's WBC/WBA super middleweight title; Antonio DeMarco vs. John Molina, 12 rounds, for DeMarco's WBC lightweight title;

At Moscow (HBO): Vitali Klitschko vs. Manuel Charr, 12 rounds, for Klitschko's WBC heavyweight title; Abdusalamov Magomed vs. Jameel McCline, 12 rounds, heavyweights.


There is some very interesting HBO coverage of boxing scheduled for today. This includes the documentary film “Klitschko,” about brothers Vitali and Wladimir. Later, there is a tape-delayed replay of Vitali defending his “title” against an inexperienced, likely way overmatched victim. (I say that without intending to blame Klitschko for the lack of competition in the division.)

Though not televised, my friend Jameel McCline will fight in the co-feature of that Moscow card. “Big Time” has gone 2-and-2 since returning to the ring late last year. He has had good results in Russia in the past. However, Magomed looks to be a tough opponent. He has not fought anyone at Jameel’s level yet, but it is fair to say that McCline has not been consistent in those last four bouts.

Magomed has won every bout by knockout. With but two exceptions, his opponents have all been around his size -- 6’ 3” and 225 lbs. Jameel is 6’ 6”, and 275 lbs. If he can bring the bout into the later rounds, his size could become a big factor. On the other hand, McCline has generally done his best against other “super-sized” heavyweights, and has experienced more difficulties with smaller, faster opponents. Good luck, Champ!

The DeMarco vs. Molina bout promises to be the type of toe-to-toe slugfest that appeals to the general sports fans. I favor DeMarco, but anything can happen in the ring. I’m hoping that cuts are not a significant factor in deciding the outcome, though I expect that they will be a factor.

The most important fight will be Ward vs. Dawson. On paper, it could easily be 2012’s “Fight of the Year.” In the ring, it is likely to appeal more to boxing purists than to the general sports fans, however.

Andre Ward is the junior middleweight champion, who recently won the Showtime “Super Six” tournament. Although he has not been defeated in a bout since he was 12, and that he is the USA’s last Olympic champion, Ward was considered by most “experts” as the least likely to win the Super Six. I favored him, because while he was not the most explosive puncher or the most exciting to watch, I had heard him say as a young professional that his goal was to become so good, that he could force every opponent to fight how he wanted them to fight. And I love boxing’s best “chess players.”

Ward upset tournament favorite Mikkel Kessler to capture the WBA title; won all twelve rounds against Allan Green in the next bout; took on tough Sakio Bika in a competitive non-tournament bout; easily defeated Arthur Abraham; and then totally dominated Carl Froch in a bout Ward entered with a fractured hand.

Chad Dawson is the light heavyweight champion. In recent years, he twice beat former champion Glen Johnson; twice beat Antonio Tarver; beat top contender Adiam Diaconu; and faced Bernard Hopkins twice. In their first bout, Dawson won by 2nd round TKO; the referee’s ruling was later overturned by the state commission, making it a “No Contest.” In April, Dawson won a convincing decision over the aging B-Hop.

Also during this time, Chad would drop a decision in his fight with Jean Pascal. It was a dreadfully boring bout, in which it was evident that Dawson was grossly under trained for. He has apparently learned from that error in thinking.

At 6’ 1”, Dawson is listed as having an inch over Ward; in real life, it appears to be more than an inch. He also has a 5.5” reach advantage, something that could be more of a factor than his being a naturally heavier man than Ward.

Ward is 25-0 as a pro, with 13 knockouts; Dawson is 31-1, with 17 knockouts. Neither man has explosive, one-punch knockout power. Both win the vast majority of their big fights by decision. Still, as Ward is an uncanny technician, and Dawson a classic boxer, both have the ability to catch the other and hurt them. More, they are each capable of finishing off a hurt opponent.

While Dawson has some very real physical advantages -- which he knows exactly how to use -- I believe that Ward’s superior “mental toughness” will decide the outcome. He does everything well inside the ring. In discussing the bout with my son Darren, he pointed out that Ward has to be given at least a “B+” in every measure as a fighter. One of the most important aspects of this is his ability to adjust to an opponent’s strengths and style during a fight. That’s a huge plus in any sport, none more so than boxing.

Opponents have correctly noted that Ward “uses his head” in other ways inside the ring. Although he presents as an intelligent, articulate, and gentle person outside the ring, he will butt an opponent, as well as make great use of his elbows during in-fighting. I expect that this will be a source of frustration -- and injury -- for Chad Dawson tonight.

Still, Dawson has a very good chance at winning. If he is at his best, Dawson has the potential to become one of the greatest in his division. His loss to Pascal was entirely due to distractions and overconfidence; he really should be undefeated, as there is no light heavyweight talented enough to make a close fight with him.

I’ll pick Ward by decision. I consider him the second-best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, after Floyd Mayweather. (Floyd rates Dawson as the #2 PFP best.)

If you have the opportunity to, definitely watch tonight’s bouts on HBO.

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Reply Boxing! (9-8-12) (Original post)
H2O Man Sep 2012 OP
digonswine Sep 2012 #1
H2O Man Sep 2012 #2
H2O Man Sep 2012 #4
ketz Sep 2012 #3
H2O Man Sep 2012 #5

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 05:05 PM

1. I miss cable pretty much only for the boxing-

I can't justify the cost, but it is close. My wife pays most the bills and does not get me and boxing-considering I watch no other sport.

Do you know anywhere, other than Youtube, to get recent past fights(or even live ones)?

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Response to digonswine (Reply #1)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 08:04 PM

2. When my son

gets here, I'll ask him; he's familiar with where to find bouts on the internet -- sometimes live.

Jameel was TKOed in the second round. I'll talk with him this coming week, when he returns, to see what his plans are. If he's serious about fighting on, he might benefit from a change in his training camp. Or perhaps, at 42, he should retire for good. He's a great guy, capable of doing many important things outside the ring.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #2)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 12:13 PM

4. He suggested going

to ESPN's web site; the boxing forum has films of recent fights.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 08:18 PM

3. Spam deleted by Warren DeMontague (MIR Team)

 

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 12:36 PM

5. Review:

The documentary "Klitschko" is outstanding. While I've long respected the brothers' boxing skills, I haven't found them to be particularly exciting figures -- either in or out of the ring. But this film presents them in an honorable light.

Vitali easily TKOed his victim in 4 rounds. Charr waited until after the bout was stopped on cuts, to show any desire to fight. He made Jerry Quarry's behavior after the first Ali fight appear as the very model of good sportsmanship.

DeMarco TKOed Molina in :44 seconds. "Hit 'em fast, and hit 'em hard," Rubin used to tell me. While the announcers on HBO expressed the belief the ref ended it too early, Molina did not complain. Good sign.

Chad Dawson won the first round on two of three judges' cards (and on mine), and then faced the most intense Andre Ward to date. Despite Chad's ability to create angles and side-step in close, and his skill at using his height, reach, and larger size and strength, Andre was brutal.

Ward decked Dawson in the 4th and again in the 5th, with short hooks. He out-jabbed Dawson, by coming under Chad's stick and blasting him with his own. And when the shorter man lands under the jab, it tends to be uplifting, thus forcing the opponent off-balance.

Dawson was well prepared for Ward's head and elbows: the "dirty" in-fighting was equal. But nothing else was.

At the beginning of the 10th round, I told my son that the only question was if Ward could take Dawson out? Darren noted that Ward was sitting down more on his punches, and that Dawson's legs were not good. Shortly after that, Ward landed a four-punch combination -- and in the classic manner of each consecutive punch becoming harder -- and Dawson took a knee. When he rose to take the 8-count, he told the referee that he was done.

I don't think that this was a bad loss for Dawson: he's still the light heavyweight champion. He fought a gutsy fight, and earned the boxing community's respect. He can continue to have a good career.

Ward has likely secured a higher ranking in the "pound-for-pound" ratings of boxing writers. And the boxing community will want to see him test his skills against the best possible competition. But there will be very few fighters -- and even less trainers/managers -- who will want to risk meeting Ward at this point in time. He really is that good.

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