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HBO Boxing After Dark (March 7)

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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:04 AM
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HBO Boxing After Dark (March 7)

SATURDAY - at San Jose, California (HBO) - 10 rounds, light welterweights: Mike Arnaoutis (21-2-2, 10 KOs) vs. Victor Ortiz (23-1-1, 18 KOs); 10 rounds, light middleweights: James Kirkland (24-0, 21 KOs) vs. Joel Julio (34-2, 31 KOs); 10 rounds, junior lightweights: Robert Guerrero (23-1-1, 16 KOs) vs. Daud Yordan (23-0, 17 KOs).

HBOs Boxing After Dark (BAD) will feature a high-quality Golden Boy Promotion tonight. The card includes potentially tough tests for three of GBPs top young fighters, and each of the three fights could be a "main event" under usual circumstances. It is evidence that Oscar de la Hoyas promotional company is one of the best things that has happened to the sport of boxing in the past two decades, and further, it is a step in the right direction for HBO. In the recent past, HBO has too often featured Don King-style promotions, in which top fighters have been showcased in virtual mis-matches.

Both Victor Ortiz and Robert Guerrero are talented, exciting fighters. Ortiz has the personal history and personality that makes him one of the warriors that fans find attractive. Guerrero is a former two-time IBF title holder, moving up in weight. Each is facing a serious opponent, who has the ability to defeat them. More, their opponents will be motivated to try to upset their GBP opposition, in order to secure an opportunity to challenge for a world title fight.

Still, the most interesting and important fight on the card will be junior middleweight James Kirklands match against Joel Julio. Kirkland, 24, is probably about a year away from being fully prepared for a title fight. At 5 9", with a 70-inch reach, he is known for his explosive power. Although he feels prepared to fight anyone ranked above him now his manager is moving him along at a good pace. This is becoming rarer these days.

Julio, also 24, is 5 10" tall, and has a 72-inch reach. He had been one of the sports rising stars, but his manager moved him up a little too quickly, and he lost 12 round decisions in both of his biggest fights to date. In todays world, an undefeated record is given far too much significance, and what is too often overlooked is if a young contender learns from his experiences including loses. Losing two decisions is distinct, for example, from being KOed twice. It is unlikely that James Kirkland is going to enter the ring tonight, looking to outbox Julio.

Like Kirkland, Julio is known for his explosive punching power. Both fighters are fully capable of taking the other out with a single punch. More, both have the ability to throw powerful combinations, with each punch thrown becoming progressively harder. They also share a lack of defensive skills, and a tendency to become frustrated by an opponent with classic boxing skills that allow them to avoid being hit twice in a row.

While it is possible this fight will go the distance, it seems far more likely that it will end by knockout. Thus, two things will be important: first, which fighter is able to deliver their punches; and second, which man makes the least defensive errors. Kirkland is favored to win, but it would not be surprising if Julio comes out on top. Styles make fights, and anything can happen in that ring. As my friend Rubin used to remind me before my fights, every time you step into that ring to kick another mans ass, you need to remember that you have your own, right behind you.

Enjoy the fights!
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:37 PM
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1. Victor Ortiz!
Whoa, that kid is GOOD.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 05:51 PM
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2. Yes, he is!
Buddy McGirt said that the fight was stopped too early. I disagree. The first punch -- the one that sent him stumbling into the corner -- hurt him seriously. The flurry that followed wasn't a lot of wasted shots. Ortiz went from the head, to the body, then back upstairs with a vicious uppercut. The guy's gloves dropped, and he was not able to defend himself, much less offer any resistence. I've seen that fellow fight a few times, and using those fights as a measuring stick, it looks like Ortiz is going to be one of the top fighters, and I expect he will have a heck of a career. He's the type of fighter that the sport needs.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. My hubby and I had the same disagreement, lol
I saw one replay from the near side in the corner. About 3 punches before the ref stopped it, one of those punches made the guy go limp, he was almost out on his feet. I kinda think the next punch of Ortiz sent him the other way or he would have fallen down. I don't think someone could see that from any of the other views.

I really like nice clean punchers who know how to finish a fight. It doesn't hurt that he has a really nice personality too.

The Kirkland fight was pretty good too. Hubby likes hard luck cases. We cheered for Mike Tyson until the bitter end. I still wish he'd figure out some way to get himself together.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. It was a good fight card.
The first fight ended in a disappointing way. Yordan was doing what I remember welterweight champion Curtis Cokes doing against a southpaw challenger, Willie Ludick, years ago: he was circling to his left. But he did so coming forward, in aggressive little rushes. Add to that, he was tying up and wrestling more than punching as he came in. Guerrero had been butted a couple of times before the one that opened that ugly cut. I was surprised that he hadn't adjusted, in a way that should have put Yordan's tactics in check. Good footwork is a must, and Ortiz provided the best example of being able to create the correct distance between himself and his opponent in any of the three fights.

Kirkland is very impressive. Julio seemed intimidated by his strength and power in the first round, and made the mistake of trying to keep too much distance between them by being on his toes every second. Not only is that tiring, but he never really took the risk needed to plant his feet, and throw his most powerful punches. Even though he was able to hit Kirkland, and avoiding many of Kirkland's punches, he appeared afraid of him. His hand speed could have allowed him to punish Kirkland for some of his defensive errors.

I've always liked boxing's "bad guys." I just finished a book on Sonny Liston, and have started another on Jack Johnson. I liked Mike Tyson, and being aware of what terrible things happened to a short kid with a high voice while incarcerated in our state's youth detention centers, I understand some of the rage that fueled his anti-social behaviors. (I have an OP on DU:GD, where I discuss seeing a friend who I worked near decades ago. Tyson was a kid who pushed a broom in that building days. He was always polite to everyone there, as far as I know.) When he was with Cus D'Amato, he still had problemed behaviors, but there was some discipline, too. After Cus died, that structure was no longer there. Rooney drank heavily, and Atlas had moved on, because he couldn't stand Tyson. Then the parasites moved into Tyson's life. I'm not discounting Mike's responsibility for his own behavior, but I do understand it.
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ReliantJ Donating Member (680 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
5. Feel bad for those with tix
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