SATURDAY'S FIGHT REPORT,
Boxing after Dark held three big fights with the beginning match featuring Marvin Quintero challenging Miguel Vazquez for Vazquez lightweight title. Vazquez moved around the ring in the opening round and kept his distance as Quintero pursued but with little efficiency. By the fourth round, Quintero moved closer but still failed to connect on any meaningful punches while Vazquez' movement kept the fight on the outside.
In the fifth round, both fighters connected on some solid punches within the last minute of the round; Vasquez landed a solid right and body shots whereas Quintero nailed Vasquez with a left hand. Both fighters landed essentially the same number punches. At the halfway point, HBO Harold Lederman had the fight even but it was hardly rousing bout. In the eighth round, Vazquez moved less as he attempted to test Quintero chin with solid right hands and occasional left hook while Quintero continue to chase Vasquez around the ring without any real damage being done.
Quintero managed to land some power shots over the last minute of the ninth round as his left connected on Vazquez’s face. Over the tenth and eleventh round, Vasquez managed to land a few combinations while Quintero missed with his own combinations. After a rather inconclusive final round, it was one of those fight who if you liked aggressive fighters, you may have given the fight to Quintero but if you like accurate punches, then it was Vazquez. Miguel Vazquez won a split decision to defend his title.
Mauricio Herrera faced Karim Mayfield in a battle of junior welterweights. In the second round, Herrera started to connect on power shots and putting combinations together as Mayfield looked ineffectual. During the fourth round, Mayfield finally connected on a couple of left hooks and three rights over the second half of the round as Herrera won the opening the minute of the round with combinations. During the fifth round, Mayfield managed to connect on some body shots and right hands while Herrera connected with a left hook to the body and a right to the body. Going into the sixth round, Herrera looked to have the advantage as a result of being a little more aggressive and little more active. HBO Harold Lederman gave the edge to Mayfield due to the fact he was landing the harder punches. Herrera was the busy fighter, Mayfield more accurate.
Going into the seventh round, Mayfield were connecting on right handsbut Herrera managed to land to solid right of his own that got Mayfield attention. However, Mayfield started to land his right starting in the fifth round, and at the beginning of the eighth round, Mayfield started out fast with a combination. Throughout the eighth round, Mayfield connected on some solid power shots starting with his right hand at least five or six times. In the ninth round, Herrera connected with solid right hands and for the first time since the fifth round, took control of the bout. Throughout the tenth round, Herrera threw more punches including left hooks to the body and right hands as Mayfield connected with a series of short rights. This was a fight that Herrera threw more and connected on more punches but Mayfield punches were the harder. Mayfield won a close decision and his power made the difference as he took a step forward against a solid opponent.
Carlos Luis Abregu took on prospect Thomas Dulorme and Abregu only loss was to the undefeated Tim Bradley. For Dulorme, this would be his toughest fight. Over the first three minutes, Dulorme boxed and jabbed but neither fighter threw an effective combination. While Dulorme looked the faster of the two, Abregu nailed Dulorme with a right hand at the halfway mark of the third round that sent Dulorme down. Dulorme struggled to survive the round but over those ninety seconds Dulorme moved and clinch to make sure he made it to the minute rest between rounds. Dulorme switched southpaw but Abregu was landing his right hand that continue to bother the Puerto Rico prospect.
Throughout the fifth round, Dulorme stayed in the southpaw stance but he failed to change Abregu momentum. The sixth round saw Abregu continue to assault Dulorme with power shots. In the opening minute of the seventh round, Abregu right hurt Dulorme and he jumped on Dulorme. Abregu nailed him with another right followed by a left, a right and concluded a left hook that sent Dulorme down. While Dulorme got up, his corner seen enough and threw in the towel. Abregu showed that he ws still a tough hombre and one of the better junior welterweight. As for Dulorme, he is still a prospect and tonight showed that he needed more experience before he is ready for the elite.
Saying Goodbye to Steward
Emanuel Steward was one of the great trainers and his death has cost boxing one of the sports classiest guys. Steward came to fame by pushing Detroit Kronk’s gym to the forefront of boxing. Detroit had its rich history of fighters including two of the greatest in Joe Louis and Sugar Ray Robinson but Steward brought forward some of boxing best out of Detroit and on the main stage of the boxing world. His first champion was Hilmer Kentry but the fighter that he was most identified with was Tom “The Hitman” Hearns. Hearns was involved some of the greatest fights in the 1980’s, including his first fight with Sugar Leonard and Marvin Hagler, the greatest nine minutes of boxing before Hagler stopped Hearns.
He would go on to train Lennox Lewis, who became the dominant heavyweight in the 1990’s and early 2000’s before retiring and after that, he trained Wladimir Klitschko, who would become the man of the heavyweight division along with his brother Vitali.
In between training champions over the past decade, he would be part of the HBO boxing announcing team and educating a generation on the nuance of boxing. Steward was the master in the corner and the number of champions Kronk produced is evidence of this. RIP
Morales, The Warriors Last Fight
Erik Morales faced the end of the road against Danny Garcia as father time simply proved too much. A left hook send Morales body twisting 360 degree and as Morales hit the ground, so did his career. Morales belong to the Hall of Fame with a career that includes fights with some of the greatest of his generation.
It was thought that David Diaz ended Morales career back in 2007 when Diaz pounded him in a unanimous decision for the Diaz version of the lightweight title and before that bout, he had lost to bouts to Pacquaio and Zahir Raheem. The Diaz loss was Morales fourth loss in a row and all things pointed to Morales saying goodbye.
Three years later, Morales came back as a junior welterweight with an idea of becoming champion and there was no reason to suggest he could win. After two wins in a row, he faced the hard slugging Marcos Rene Maidana and most pundits feared that Morales would get hurt. Morales lost the bout that was close and even some pundits felt he won. In defeat, Morales rose in the eyes of the public but this was more of a false signal that Morales was back but one fight against a hard slugging fighter with defensive deficiencies. He showed the old Morales over the first six rounds of his first bout with Garcia but over the second half, Garcia took control of the fight as he pounded Morales, who managed to survive.
Morales was given a rematch but what we saw was not the Morales of old but an old Morales. By the end of the third round, Morales looked exhausted and a beaten fighter. Garcia was simply pounding Morales from one end of the ring to the other. Morales career ended like most great boxers who fought one fight too many, by defeat.
Morales style represented that of any Mexican warrior who prefer to stand and fight as oppose to boxing away from trouble. He been in his share of wars including three with Marco Antonio Barrera and three with Pacquiao; those wars left their mark. At 36, Morales was no longer an elite fighter and you can contrast Morales to Juan Manuel Marquez. Marquez is still one of the elite fighters and preparing for a big money fight with Pacquiao at the age of the 39 and part of his success was his ability to box and counter punch. This style allowed him to survive late into his career whereas Morales prefer to fight in the trenches. Morales proved to be a great fighter and given the fans their money worth but he is no longer what he was. It is time to say good bye.
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