Friday, July 30, 2010

Underground Operation 6

30 July 2010
From the Auckland Boxing Association

By Craig Bailey @

On the heels of the highly successful ‘Last Man Standing’ back in May came ‘Underground Operation 6’, from Lurkers Entertainment and D.C. Entertainment. Tonight we would be provided with 8 corporate fights. The DJ spun tunes and the A.B.A, which provided a more intimate setting compare with the ASB Stadium, slowly filled to capacity. Ring announcer “Lieutenant” Daniel Hennessey kicked off the event introducing us to the three lovely ring card girls. From there we were right into the action….

Sammy Anae v. Sam Davis

Round One

Both fighters start fast and Southpaw Anae lands a left hand early. In close, Davis rips two uppercuts and Anae goes to the body. Davis continues to go up stairs including a great parry followed by a right hand. Anae connects with a lead left and the crowd reacts. Davis, the larger fighter, is using his size advantage well where he lands from the outside. Anae rips a couple to the body before landing a pair of 1-2’s.

Round Two

Action is wild at the beginning of the second stanza where Davis gets home a right. Anae is coming forward, in an attempt to close the distance and go to the body, but is getting tagged on the way in. Another Davis right hand prompts a left hook from Anae that gets his attention. Anae applies pressure where connects with a lead hook. Davis catches Anae coming in with a right before the round is out.

Round Three

Anae ducks a right hand before eating another before they both start winging punches. After a hard exchange Davis implores Anae on, who obliges to shoot it out in the middle of the ring. Davis is buckled during the exchange that prompts the referee to issue a standing 8 count. Once action resumes Anae seems intent on making the most of the opportunity. A pair of stiff Anae rights forces Davis to clinch. Anae seems intent on leaving it all on the field and unleashes his arsenal on a covering Davis who survives to the end of the round.

By bringing late pressure and a southpaw style Sammy Anae comes away with a unanimous decision.

Gerardo Aguilera v. Raoul Whitford

Round One

Whitford tries to establish that long jab early. Aguilera is throwing but most is caught by the gloves of Whitford who continues to stick out his stiff jab. Aguilera jabs to the body but is having trouble getting inside. Whitford’s jab is dictating the action at the moment but some late pressure sees Aguilera land a right hook and a two-punch combination upstairs.

Round Two

Aguilera switches strategy early in the second where he looks to counter but Whitford is still in control of this fight. Whitford is getting home with the 1-2 and Aguilera connects with a left hook. Both are trading jabs where Whitford’s reach advantage really shows.

Round Three

A Whitford right hand opens the round and he follows it up with a stiff jab. Aguilera is trying to be proactive, throwing a lot of leather and closing the distance well. Whitford covers from the aggression and his own shots are being caught by Aguilera. Aguilera lands three big right hands that changes the pace of the round before ripping to the body. Whitford attempts to regain control by boxing lands a right hand before the bout closes.

By utilizing his reach and boxing skills, Raoul Whitford earns a decision.

Stefan Paladin v. Kara Gordan

Round One

Paladin brings a lot of early aggression to the much larger Gordan. It’s all on as both swing for the fences. Gordan attempts to jab but can’t keep the tenacious Paladin off him, who is closing the distance well and landing big hooks. A Paladin uppercut rocks Gordan and the follow up pressure sees the referee step in with a standing 8 count. A bloodied Gordan is able to continue but Paladin ducks his attempts.

Round Two

Gordan seems to have settled as the second round resumes but Paladin is back trying to bring the heat. Gordan is attempting to control the distance however Paladin is closing easily and landing powerful hooks. The round is all Paladin who has aggression for days and is landing on the inside at will, including a big right hand at the bell.

Round Three

Paladin continues to come forward to begin the third and Gordan is doing a better job of picking him off. This does not last however and Paladin’s relentless attack sees him landing big shots. A huge Paladin right hand knocks Gordan’s mouthpiece out. There is just no stopping Paladin at this point and he continues to batter Gordan with hooks and right hands.

In a relentless display of aggression and power punching, Stefan Paladin wins a unanimous decision.

Marcus Maxximus v. Flowy the Plumber

Round One

Maxximus lands the first meaningful punch with an overhand right. They trade jabs before Maxximus begins to up the pace of the fight and lands a big right hand. Flowy returns the favour with a right and Maxximus responds with a flurry. Two overhand rights from Maxximus force Flowy to the ropes but he lands an uppercut before the end of the round.

Round Two

Flowy shoots an uppercut and Maxximus begins winging the overhand right. It is landing consistently and he puts his back to the ropes in order to lure Flowy in. Another overhand shot forces some sloppy action and both tumble through the ropes. Flowy lands a left hook and the crowd applauds the end of the round.

Round Three

A stiff jab for Maxximus lands and Flowy seems to be a lot more wise about the overhand right. Maxximus lands with both hands while Flowy’s back is to the ropes. Exchanges from both are well blocked at this point until Maxximus gets home with an overhand. Flowy is looking to load up the right hand but the bout ends.

On the strength of his connections, particularly the overhand right, Marcus Maxximus gets the unanimous decision.

Glenn Altman v. Glenn Barrett

Round One

Altman comes out wild and is pressing the action. Barrett begins to land the right hand and Altman gives it respect. Barrett connects with a right hand followed by a lead hook and just appears to be landing the harder and cleaner punches. Altman attempts to use his feet but eats numerous right hands and a shot to the body.

Round Two

Hard exchanges mark the start of the second. Barrett connects with a straight right, an overhand and a right hand lead. He lands a stiff jab and a 1-2 and Altman just can’t adjust his strategy. Barrett gets home with a left hook before the round is out.

Round Three

Altman comes out with some purpose for the third but Barrett ducks a shot before shooting a right hook. Barrett is simply the busier fighter as he peppers Altman with straight punches and overhand rights. Barrett begins to land combinations and Altman, although aggressive, seems ineffective.

In controlling the fight from start to finish, Glenn Barrett wins a unanimous decision.

Big Mo v. Kapital J

Round One

The much larger Mo goes right to work utilising his size and lands a couple of right hands. He seems confident and is dictating the fight early. Another Mo right hand spurs J on and action becomes a little wild. Mo is the far more effective puncher as he lands a 1-2 and is generally getting the better of the exchanges.

Round Two

They exchange furiously and Mo is coming out better. J is still coming forward but is getting tagged by straight punches. Mo lands an uppercut and J responds with a rip to the body. J seems gassed at this point and Mo connects with an overhand right, uppercut and left hook.

Round Three

J comes out with renewed resolve and connects with a 1-2. Mo attempts to get back into his groove but J won’t let him settle. They trade rights and J seems to have found his second wind. A Mo right hand, followed by hooks, seems to bring some order but J is still coming forward. Mo is going a great job of slipping and blocking and is relieved to hear the final bell.

Even though the crowd’s reaction was mixed, by having the all round better skills Big Mo goes home with a unanimous decision.

Mike the Muss v. Paul Davis

Round One

Muss comes out, connects with a 1-2 and seems to have the better hands and movement at this early stage. Davis straight shots are thrown right down the pipe where he lands a stiff jab. A Muss lead hook sparks a hard exchange where the Muss lands another hook.

Round Two

The Muss goes to work with a three punch combination. Both land hard, winging shots however the Muss seems to be landing the more meaningful punches and is pushing the action. Davis is trying to come forward and they trade right hands.

Round Three

The final round begins with fire and they exchange hard punches. The Muss fires off a 1-2 followed by a lead hook. He connects with a couple of right hands with the second buckling Davis. The Muss doesn’t attempt to close the show at this point and Davis survives to see the final bell.

Mike the Muss wins a unanimous decision.

Ricky Hita v. Dizzle

Round One

After trading jabs, the action turns wild and not much lands. Dizzle gets home with a right hand to the body. He continues his attention to the body and the rest of the round is relatively uneventful.

Round Two

Wild action continues in the second. Hita connects with a body rip and both steal shots during the hard exchanges. Hita lands a left hook and a right hand counter later in the round that hurts Dizzle.

Round Three

The action doesn’t let up in the third. Hita lands a heavy jab and both load up wild punches. Although there haven’t been many clean lands, the crowd is heavily entertained. Hita fires an uppercut and follows up with a couple of lead hooks. Both are pawing their shots as the bout ends.

Dizzle wins a majority decision.

Another quality night of boxing from the Lurkers and D.C. crew. Although there were no stoppages bouts were highly contested affairs that didn’t skimp on the action. Stefan Paladin was particularly impressive with his aggressive, non-stop action style. I last saw him drop a decision at ‘Fists of Steel’ and he seems to have responded positively since then. Marcus Maxximus also performed very well and that overhand right of his is a grenade when it lands.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Put Up or Shut Up

A full partisan crowd braved dreadful weather to attend ‘Put Up or Shut Up', a Craig Thomson and PunchFit promotion, and were rewarded with an entertaining night of corporate and professional boxing. Those early to arrive were treated to UPFM's DJ Rowie spinning his own special blend of hip-hop, funk and soul tunes.

As the show began, ring announcer "Lieutenant" Daniel Hennessey greeted the crowd and introduced the two stunning ring girls; both named Jo, I was assured that they weren't clones even though that kind of thing is possible. We are to be served up fourteen delicious bouts, which included exhibition sparring, male and female amateur bouts with a couple of professional fights as the headliners.

Exhibition Sparring
Albert Choi vs Hadley Donald

Round 1

Donald, the much taller fighter, comes out jabbing early and is controlling the ring well with his reach and aggression. He lands a solid left hook and Choi appears, at these early stages, to just be outgunned. Donald lands another four-punch combo and Choi is not covering well and seems very aware of his opponent's power.

Round 2
Donald begins sticking that long jab to start the second round and Choi is doing well to answer. Donald is using great movement and parrying to stifle Choi's attack and even as Choi lands a right hook Donald goes straight back to pressing the action and gets home with a right hand. Donald is just overall a skill set above and Choi is no match for anything he brings to the table. He's simply too accurate, too strong, too fast and too skilled and forcing his jab halfway down Choi's throat.

Round 3
Choi tries to make amends starting proactively in the third but he is tagged with a straight right for his efforts. Donald returns to sticking the jab and parrying which makes Choi seem a little out of his depth. He ramps up the aggression and clubs a covering Choi with hooks from both hands. Donald has exerted his superiority from start to finish.

Bout 1. Corporate Welterweight Contest 3 x 2 minute rounds

Tera Moki, 66.60kgs vs Matt Arbuckle, 66.60kgs

Round 1
Arbuckle begins the round by feinting and trying to close the distance but is caught by a jab on the way in. Both are tentative and trying to figure the other out. lands a one-two but it appears glancing as Moki is able to move away from the worst of it, which is something he is doing well in these early stages. There is not a lot connecting through the first round however an Arbuckle right hand snaps Moki's head back before the round is out.

Round 2
Arbuckle starts the second aggressively but eats a jab coming in before landing a jab of his own. He then connectsanother jab however Moki's footwork allow him to evade the follow up right hand. Moki gets home with a jab and Arbuckle charges in and wears some leather for it. Another stiff Moki jab but Arbuckle is once again rushing forward and he manages to trap Moki on the ropes where he lands a couple of body rips followed by a shot upstairs. Arbuckle has been pressing the pace in this round however he should be using his reach to control the distance as he is constantly getting caught coming in.

Round Three:
An Arbuckle right hand starts the round and he follows it up with a lead right. Moki seems tentative at this point and is not really pushing his punches. They trade, Arbuckle connects with a right and Moki goes back to moving around the ring. Arbuckle is able to close the distance and brings sustained heat however Moki is covering. Being on the ropes and not responding the referee issues Moki with a standing eight count. Moki returns to using his footwork to evade the sustained Arbuckle offensive that follows. He, however, finds himself on the ropes where Arbuckle punishes his body. Moki just seems to be punished by his lack of offence; he has great movement and timing but no real firepower.

In an aggressive display, Matt Arbuckle earns a unanimous decision.

Bout 2. Corporate Welterweight Contest 3 x 2 minute rounds

Vanvan Cagney, 59.85kgs vs James Chao, 64.50kgs

Round 1
Southpaw Chao starts the bout by landing a hard overhand, he is certainly coming on strong at these early stages but can't connect with anything of note. Cagney is moving well and lands a right hook but seems to be unwilling to exchange. He lands a jab before the end of the round.

Round 2
Choi opens with a right hand to the body and Cagney comes forward and throws but is countered by a Choi left. Choi is showing great movement and picking close to all of Cagney's shots. Cagney seems frustrated, gassed and is starting to get a little wild. One of these gets home which Choi acknowledges before bringing the heat and, although Cagney is covering, they still seem to take effect.

Round 3
Cagney starts the round proactively however his shots have nothing on them as he seems too aware of getting tagged. Seeing this, Choi ramps up the aggression and has Cagney covering. A great Choi hook shakes Cagney who is attempting to cover up and move away. Cagney is way too defensive to be in this fight as he just seems frustrated by Choi's southpaw style and skills.

James Choi wins a unanimous decision.

Bout 3. Corporate Cruiserweight Contest 3 x 2 minute rounds

Danny Ugapo, 87.00kgs vs Beau Milner, 80.90kgs

Round 1
Milner opens with a right to the body and Ugapo responds with a lightning fast one-two. Milner goes to the body followed by a left hook upstairs yet Ugapo answers right back and only seems willing to engage. A stiff Milner jab backs Ugapo off and he also lands a jab to the body followed by an overhand right. Although both engage willingly, Milner has been the more aggressive in the first round.

Round 2
Milner misses with a wild right hook to start the second and Ugapo gets home a shot to the body. They exchange right hands however Ugapo's is the more decisive and Milner covers. They again trade rights and clash heads as their exchanges, although hard, are becoming wild. Milner is still pressing forward but eats a nice uppercut from Ugapo on the ropes. He lands a ripping right to the body but Ugapo's punch resistance is strong.

Round 3
The final stanza sees a return to the hard action that has defined this bout and neither shows signs of tiring. Ugapo is starting to land more frequently and connects with a good right hand. Milner is coming forward and throwing vicious shots, which Ugapo is eating for lunch and still seems hungry. Milner lands a left to the body and is caught by an uppercut coming in. Ugapo starts bringing the heat and connects with a one-two. Milner seems discouraged from exchanging with the late pressure.

By having a busier first and second round, Beau Milner wins a hard fought split decision

Bout 4. Corporate Middleweight Contest 3 x 2 minute rounds

Ben Vaughan, 72.00kgs vs Adrian Bentley, 69.80kgs

Round 1
Both start fast, Bentley flurries but not much lands. A Vaughn left hook and right hand wobbles Bentley on the ropes but he manages to move away. Vaughn is loading up his shots successfully and he backs Bentley into the ropes where they clinch and the ref breaks them up. He displays great early parrying as he is able to block most of Bentley's punches. A Vaughn right hand has Bentley covering on the ropes. He tries to move and Vaughn chases until Bentley backs him off with a jab.

Round 2
Vaughn eats two uppercuts from a Bentley but he is showing good head movement and is able to parry most of the offence. Bentley throws a lead hook, which Vaughn returns and then savages Bentley's mid before delivering an overhand right. Bentley responds with a jab, which is blocked, followed by a right hand. He tries to flurry but Vaughn's defence means it is all picked off. Two more overhand rights have Bentley backing up.

Round 3
Vaughn feints and lands a left hook that backs Bentley up. Another overhand right gets Bentley's attention but he is unable evade the following. The action is all Vaughn as he connects with hard hooks to the body and lands a counter right when Bentley attempts to throw. Bentley is backed against the ropes and lets fly with a couple of uppercuts that don't really land.

Although Bentley was game, Ben Vaughn simply had the better hand and earns a unanimous decision.

Bout 5. Corporate Heavyweight Contest 3 x 2 minute rounds

Niko Muliagatele, 103.60kgs vs Matt Hay, 110.80kgs

Round 1
The early going sees Hay attempting to jab and box the considerably shorter Muliagatele, who is throwing looping shots but not connecting. By keeping his jab in Muliagatele's face, Hay is not allowing him to close the distance andMuliagatele's punches are becoming even more wild as he stalks Hay and gets home an overhand right and body rip.

Round 2
Muliagatele unleashes a thudding overhand right but Hay shakes it off and returns to sticking and moving. He is doing a great job of boxing the stalking Muliagatele who slips a punch and responds with a left hook. He lands another cracking overhand right that is partially blocked and Hay responds with a right hand. The action is becoming sloppy and Hay catches Muliagatele coming in before the round ends.

Round 3
Hay begins the third with a right hand to the body followed by a stiff jab. Muliagatele is still winging wild shots and losing the exchanges to the tighter Hay who connects with a one-two. If only Muliagatele was a sharper boxer, as he seems to have the desire and power. He finally connects with a right hand but has been failed by his inaccuracy.

By displaying the better boxing and the straighter punches, Matt Hay wins by unanimous decision.

Bout 6. Corporate Women's Super Featherweight Contest 3 x 1 minute rounds

Kelly van Dorsten, 58.50kgs vs Elayna Verhaaren, 56.30kgs

Round 1
Verhaaren lands a one-two off the bat. Van Dorsten is coming forward and seems the stronger fighter. Any notion of defence is out the window as both land at will. Verhaaren connects with a jab and then goes to the body. Van Dorsten is utilising her long jab and, given that her opponent looks more like a cheerleader than a pugilist, it is almost a shame to see Verhaaren getting punched in the face. They exchange right hands before the end of the round.

Round 2
Van Dorsten's reach advantage is starting to show however Vanhaaren gets in a right hand. Vanhaaren is starting to evade more and attack the body but there is not much hot sauce on her punches. She lands a one-two to Van Dorsten's jab and follows up with a left hook. Van Dorsten uses her hard jab to back up her opponent before firing an overhand right.

Round 3
Van Dorsten lands a right hand they both exchange jabs. Vanhaaren throws the one-two with the two getting home. They both paw with the jab before Vanhaaren lands a right hook. They both exchange hooks and Vanhaaren is surging although it is a little wild. Van Dorsten's jab is almost gone and Vanhaaren finishes the stronger fighter.

Given the nip-tuck nature of this bout, it was no surprise that it ended in a draw.

Bout 7. Corporate Heavyweight Contest 3 x 2 minute rounds

Jarrod Murray, 90.10kgs vs Glen Farr, 93.00kgs

Round 1
The bout begins with an exchange of jabs. Farr lands a counter right before they trade right hooks. Murray is doing a good job of controlling the centre of the ring but he misses with wild shots and Farr counters. A left hand to the body staggers an off balance Murray.

Round 2
Murray lands a hard right hand early and the follow up assault has Farr down but he rises and beats the count. They trade wildly then Murray lands a hard jab and a right hand to the body. Farr's solid jab just can't back Murray off him and he flurries on a covering Murray.

Round 3
Far connects with a left hand and starts to pour it on. Not much lands for him and Murray responds with a right hand that backs him up. Farr is still sticking that stiff jab in his face but it is doing little functionally to Murray other than bloodying his nose. Farr lands two uppercuts off the ropes but can't keep Murray off him as the bout ends

Jarred Murray wins by split decision

Bout 8. Corporate Light Heavyweight Contest 3 x 2 minute rounds

Scott Thomson, 77.30kgs vs Leroy Morris-Peneha, 79.30kgs

Round 1
Peneha opens by landing a right hand to the body and using his head movement to evade the pawing jab of Thomson. Peneha goes back to the body, slips a punch then gets home with an overhand right. They both trade and Peneha connects with a right hand. He is displaying great movement and connects with a pair of jabs to the body. A right hand shakes Thomson to his shoes and Peneha pours it on with dynamite right hands. Thomson is in serious trouble but is saved by the bell.

Round 2
Peneha, sensing Thomson hasn't recovered, is looking for a big shot. He moves and slips punches before delivering a big hook to Thomson's mid. Thomson answers with a right hand and is then forced to weather Peneha's arsenal. Thomson eats a massive right hand which has him on unstable legs and Peneha keeps firing shots through the loose guard of his opponent. Thomson goes down hard and the referee doesn't even bother to count.

Leroy Peneha puts his explosive power on display in a KO win over Scott Thomson

Bout 9. Corporate Women's Middleweight Contest 3 x 2 minute rounds

Courtney Sweeney, 75.50kgs vs Flo Alesana, 68.80kgs

Round 1
Sweeney is using her considerable height and reach advantage to full effect in deploying her jab. Alesana lands a big right hand but Sweeney is able to shake it off. Sweeney gets inside Alesana's range and eats another right hand. Alesana unleashes two hooks to the body but they have little behind them. Sweeney is able to get back in control of the distance using her jab and straighter punches. Alesana is really loading up her shots but Sweeney is landing three to every one.

Round 2
Alesana turns up the tempo early and backs Sweeney into a corner. Sweeney is far more accurate and active as well as having the better feet and speed. Alesana lands two right hands, the second of which rocks Sweeney who continues to throw straight punches and use her movement.

Round 3
Sweeney continues to use her reach and control the distance. Alesana connects with a right hand and Sweeney rallies and is pouring on straight shots. She is just the more proactive fighter whereas Alesana keeps looking to load up the right hand. A nice one-two lands for Sweeney but Alesana wears it without blinking. Alesana is still coming forward and walks into an uppercut before being attacked to the body. The bout ends with Sweeney firing straight shots.

In being more accurate and active, Courtney Sweeney wins by split decision.

Bout 10. Corporate Women's Cruiserweight Contest 3 x 2 minute rounds

Sabine Brooke, 84.10kgs vs Faith Gabriel, 89.00kgs

Round 1
Brooke is an absolute amazon in contrast to the solidly built Gabriel and attempts to establish the jab early. She is not controlling the distance well enough which allows Gabriel to rip at her body. A pair of lead hooks do nothing to cease Gabriel's advance, they exchange jabs and Brooke lands a right hand.

Round 2
Brooke looks to box and Gabriel is putting all her faith in her right hand. Brooke eats one and returns to jabbing, unfortunately she is just pawing it which doesn't keep Gabriel out of range.

Round 3
Gabriel starts the third with a big overhand right. Brooke continues to box and Gabriel throws a wild right that spins her around. Brooke lands a great three punch combo and that ends with a lead hook however Gabriel is still pressing forward. Brooke's composure disappears briefly and eats a pair of huge right hands. Gabriel continues to land right hands which forces Brooke to tie her up. Gabriel senses that Brooke is tiring and starts to push the pace.

It was too little, too late for Faith Gabriel as Sabine Brooke edges by with a split decision.

Bout 11. Corporate Heavyweight Contest 3 x 2 minute rounds

Scott Murray, 113.00kgs vs Phineas Mann, 108.50kgs

Round 1
Mann starts off attacking the body of Murray and moving his head well. Murray unleashes a looping left hook that finds home. Murray is fairly wild in his attack but, being the larger fighter, he manages to catch Mann coming in. Murray is showing little to no movement but is dominant through his superior timing. Another Murray left hand buckles Mann and the follow up assault sees the referee step in and administer a standing eight count. Mann goes back to the body and manages to back Murray off with a lead hook. The trade hooks before the round ends.

Round 2
Murray lands a couple of his long jabs to start the second. Even though Mann seems the more athletic fighter, he just can't make it work and Murray lands another jab followed by a right hand to the body. Another big Murray right hand sees the referee step in again and give a standing eight count. Murray is just landing the cleaner, harder punches at this point and he tees off on Mann on the ropes to which Mann responds with hooks of his own.

Round 3
Murray seems content to pot shot whilst Mann is unsuccessful in his attempts to string together any offence. They exchange right hands, with Murray's being the harder of the two. Murray presses Mann on the ropes and wings away with hooks, one of which snaps Mann's head back. Mann attempts to fight out of it but eats a hard right and just begins winging punches. Another Murray right hand sees Mann clinch.

With the harder punches and the better timing, Scott Murray comes away with a unanimous decision.

We take a break in the card to showcase some "big glove action." Two merry competitors are lead to the ring for a one-minute, all-out brawl with the audience deciding the victor. Instead of touching gloves the blue corner takes the chance to land a cheap shot. The blue corner obviously has no grasp of the sweet science as he holds and hits and generally fights dirty. The red corner gets home with a hard right and the audience applauds and the blue corner throws him to the ground. The red corner gets up and displays tenacity in landing another right hand. From here the skill really dissipates as the blue corner takes off one glove in order to make it a "fair" fight. The round ends and the red corner is deservedly awarded the victor.

Bout 12. Professional Heavyweight Contest 4 x 3 minute rounds

Clarence Tillman(USA), 138.60kgs vs John Argall, 123.30kgs

Round 1
Argall starts fast and lands a right to the body followed by a one-two. Tillman is covering but seems fairly lethargic. Bothcircle and Argall's wide shots are blocked although he sneaks another right to the body. Tillman's jab is snaking but Argall seems sold on landing that right to the body. Argall throws a stiff jab before going back to the body. An exchange sees Tillman get home a right hand.

Round 2
Tillman puts his overhand right to work early. Argall lands and Tillman pretends to wobble before coming forward and landing a one-two that makes Argall respect his power. Argall returns the one-two and Tillman once again plays to the crowd before delivering a huge left hook. Argall clinches where Tillman finds space to throw some uppercuts. They break and Tillman corners Argall and catches him with a massive right hand which puts him down hard. Argall makes it back to his feet but Tillman applies pressure and lands another right hand that returns him to the mat. The ref begins to count but it is clear that Argall doesn't want it anymore.

Showing massive power, Clarence Tillman wins by knockout.

Referee: Andrew Bell
Judges: Carrick Belton, Geoff Belton, Greg Burgess

Result: Win to C. Tillman, TKO2. 2mins 59secs. 19/18, 19/17, 20/16

Bout 13. Professional Heavyweight Contest 4 x 3 minute rounds

Jamieson Bostic (USA), 84.00kgs vs Vini Mahoni, 95.00kgs

Round 1
Southpaw Bostic starts by sticking out that long jab and landing a one-two. He repeats the process and shows greatfootwork in being able to evade Mahoni's shots. Mahoni connects with a right but Bostic fires back immediately. Bostic is using his jab well and causing Mahoni to miss. Bostic is firing off more jabs than the beginning of flu season when he feints and throws a straight left that puts Mahoni on his pants. He spends the rest of the round looking for a big finishing shot.

Round 2
Mahoni flurries but Bostic moves away from most of it. Mahoni throws and is countered by an uppercut. Bostic is pawing the jab, controlling the distance and Mahoni just can't close effectively. Bostic lands an uppercut and lead hook and Mahoni's efforts are glancing at best. A pair of big overhand right lands for Mahoni which don't faze Bostic and he returns to deploying that long jab.

Round 3
Bostic comes out aggressively at the start of the third but walks into a straight right hand. He is wearing shots well though as Mahoni ducks and shoots a right hand to the body.Mahoni covers from a Bostic combination which ends on a connecting right hook to the body. A big right hand for Mahoni has the crowd on their feet. Bostic rallies with an uppercut and two left leads and Mahoni responds with a right hand.

Round 4
Mahoni is wild and Bostic's movement means that he is gone before Mahoni's punches get there. Mahoni shoots inside and is caught by an uppercut before landing a right hand. Bostic tries to clinch and Mahoni fires an uppercut. Two left hand leads land for Bostic who is still moving really well and making Mahoni chase him. Mahoni just can't land anything.

Using superior reach and movement, Jameson Bostic wins a gritty split decision against a game Vini Mahoni who only took the fight on short notice. Even though the decision is unpopular, Bostic simply was the superior fighter.

Referee: John Conway
Judges: Carrick Belton, Geoff Belton, Greg Burgess

Result: Win to J. Bostic, Majority Points. 38/38, 40/35, 40/35

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Opinion: Tua - Barrett

This Sunday (NZ time) we see heavyweight David "The Tuamanator" Tua take on former world title challenger Monte "Two Gunz" Barrett. Tua has been relatively active since October ’09 after a two year absence from the ring due to legal and managerial issues. This will be his third comeback bout which included a second round destruction of heavyweight countryman Shane Cameron and a decision win over the granite chinned Friday Ahunanya. A win for the WBO #2 ranked Tua would mean that he would inch closer to a title shot (David Haye also used Barrett as a springboard) however he would have to do so emphatically. A loss for either man would spell the end of their respective careers as both are inching closer to 40 and Monte Barrett, in particular, will be trying to halt a three fight skid.

We all know how David Tua rolls – left hooks to the dome. In fact, he seems to do so with such success that it seems to be his only major offense. And, hell, why not? If nobody can stand up to it then is there really any need to develop anything further? Of late, however, Tua’s offense seems a lot more well rounded as anything he threw put Cameron on the mat and he varied his attack in his last bout with Ahunanya. That left hand still has ‘kefe’ written all over it, as shown against Mexican Heavyweight Champion Saul Montana.

Tua also seems to have a lot more momentum going in. A draw with Hasim Rahman in March ’03 is the only blight on his ledger since he was outboxed by Chris Byrd way back in August of 2001. That’s almost nine years without a loss. Since his career “went to the Byrds” Tua has stopped the undefeated Fres Oquendo, former heavyweight titlist Michael Moorer, and contenders such as the aforementioned Cameron and Ahunanya. Sandwiched between these bouts, however, are some truly awful opponents and Barrett will be the most credible foe he has faced in a number of years.

"The Tuamanator's" chin and defense has always been completely underrated. He was knocked down after the bell at the end of his draw with Rahman but, being completely unprepared to take a punch, Tua was undoubtedly going to react. Before that incident, the last time Tua touched down was when he was stopped by three time Olympic champion Felix Savon at the 1991 World Amateur Championships. He has never been seriously hurt in a bout and hardly ever takes a backward step, which is also due to his head movement and parrying ability.

Tua's condition has been unreliable at best. For someone who first turned pro weighing 200 pounds, he has ballooned up to as much as 253 and not looking in the best condition. These fluctuations put a serious damper on Tua’s productivity and, at the worst of times, he has looked like a world class puncher who doesn’t want to throw a punch. To his credit, Tua has been under 240 for his last four bouts and, the last two in particular, have seen Tua put massive emphasis on his physical conditioning. This focus on conditioning seems to have drained Tua of some of his power and his shots are not landing with the same force we have come accustomed to but, if he is throwing more of them, then at least a proactive style will mean he is not in a position where he is behind on the cards and has to look for a stoppage late in the bout. It is exactly this position which has forced him into seeking desperate late knockouts over the likes of Oleg Maskaev, Hasim Rahman and Fres Oquendo.

As much people love to talk about Tua’s left hand, we must note he has been almost entirely reliant on it which has made him rather one-dimensional. Anyone with any semblance of a jab and the movement to stay out of the way of the left has a better than average chance of coming out on top. Barrett is a tall heavyweight and, if he can assert any kind of stick and move and control the distance, may just be all Tua can handle.

At 6’3’’, Barrett will be the tallest opponent Tua has faced in a long time. At (a billed height of) 5’10’’, Tua has massive problems with taller fighters who can establish the jab and control the distance. Hell, Tua only scraped by with a split decision over the 6’4’’ Cisse Salif in October of ’05 as he had difficulties trying to get inside and when he could, he just couldn’t dent him. However, to date, of Salif’s 17 losses only one has come via the short route and Barrett’s chin is certainly not of that calibre.

Barrett also has the edge in competition faced of late in facing a bevy of the heavyweight elite. True, most of these were in losing efforts however has notable wins on his ledger including stoppages of the then undefeated Owen Beck, overhyped challenger Tye Fields and a decision win over former contender Dominic Guinn. His notable losses have been against Odlanier Solis, David Haye, Nikoly Valuev, Hasim Rahman and Wladimir Klitschko. The 2008 first round stop of Tye Fields is his best win of late.

Although not a legitmate show-stopper, Barrett has a pretty hard uppercut. If Tua does manage to get inside of him then there will be plenty to think about before letting his hands go. This tool may be vital in controlling distance with Tua, which is the time-tested method to beat him.

The most glaring of all Barrett’s weaknesses is his obvious lack of punch resistance. Five of his nine losses are by stoppage with two of his last three ending with him on his back. Albeit these were to two big punchers in the form of Solis and Haye however Valuev, who has only moderate power, stopped in 11 rounds in defending his WBA strap in ’06 and the 25-12-2 Cliff Couser decked him in 2 rounds in the very next fight. Against a world class power puncher like Tua, Barrett has no chance of withstanding the heavy exchanges and would hope to keep himself at a distance.

Although against decent opposition, Barrett is 3-5 in his last 8 bouts and 4 of those 5 losses have ended with Barrett unable to make it back to his feet. At 39 years old, Barrett is a shadow of the second tier contender that he was in his prime. True, Tua is 38 also but there is relatively little wear on Tua in comparison and he certainly hasn’t been knocked out four times in the last four years.

Even with a solid game plan, there just doesn’t seem to be a way for Barrett to win. He simply isn’t physically able to withstand what he is undoubtedly going to eat. Failing sudden cardiac death, spontaneous combustion and alien abduction, Tua should walk through Barrett with relative ease. Doing so impressively should help further thrust him into the heavyweight title picture.

Tua KO