The Week That Was In Boxing.....Pretty Good
03.03.07 - By Alden "The Kid" Chodash: Not a bad week in boxing. Some tremendous match-ups, a couple national superstars, and Vic Darchinyan, whose name speaks for itself. A world championship changed hands, a vacant title was won overseas (both mild upsets yet stirring performances by the victors). We also viewed two early "Fight of the Year" candidates, and an excellent prospect in much-hyped Elio Rojas.
Article posted on 04.03.2007
Friday March 2nd, we had a choice to view either an intriguing IBF Lightweight boxing eliminator between two cagey veterans, Nate Campbell and Ricky Quiles on ESPN, or two prospects headlining a SHOBOX card in Indiana. The undercard of the Campbell-Quiles bout consisted of a relatively unheralded prospect in Sam Miller and a supposed fading journeyman in 39 year old Darrell Woods. The bout produced unexpected fireworks from the opening bell as Miller stormed out, dropped Woods, and had him nearly out before the bell saved the seemingly beaten veteran.
As Compubox proved, Woods landed only 6 punches compared to Miller's 49 in the opener. Woods came back, however, and put Miller down in the second and third rounds. In the third, after Miller hit the deck, Sam was on the verge of a stoppage before the bell saved Woods. Amazingly, ringside commentator Teddy Atlas scored the round even despite the knockdown scored against Miller. After the first three blistering rounds, the pace slightly slowed and Woods won rounds 4,5, and 6 using his height and jab. He also controlled the 7th before a right by Miller nearly put Woods down for the second time in the bout.
The time in the round was far too late to suggest that Miller could finish his opponent but he did have an additional three minutes to try to score a victory in a bout in which he was looking like he was coming up short. Both were obviously fatigued heading into the final frame and both fought like they were as well, producing by far the dullest round of the fight. The majority vote favored Woods despite the strong finish by Miller who never pressed the advantage in the final round. The bout was suggested by Atlas and partner Joe Tessitore as the leading candidate for "Fight of the Year" so far.
The main event was a nice exhibition of Nate Campbell's boxing skills at their best. Going up against a slick boxer in Ricky Quiles, who converted to an approach of swarming and crowding Campbell, Campbell dominated possibly every round and towards the end, referee Jorge Alonso and the corner of Quiles somehow allowed the beaten Quiles to continue while out on his feet. Quiles went down once, in the 12th, and survived the round. Two judges gave Quiles a round and one judge scored a complete shutout. All, of course, in favor of Campbell who now puts himself in line to face IBF lightweight champion Julio Diaz. No date has been issued yet though the bout appears to be a natural.
Meanwhile, on SHOBOX, undefeated prospects Devon Alexander and Elio Rojas both emerged victorious against very awkward adversaries. Devon Alexander appeared in the co-feature against Scott Ball. Alexander pressed his dramatic advantage in hand-speed and skill, dominating the outclassed Ball until the referee stopped the bout in the 7th when Ball hit the canvas twice. Elio Rojas was pitted up against undefeated Johnnie Edwards who claims to have been trying to land this bout for quite some time. However, after Rojas wobbled him late in the first, Edwards didn't look entirely like he was in there to win as his perpetual clutches made the bout ugly. Rojas was as impressive as a fighter can be under these circumstances and won an easy 10-round decision.
Saturday the 3rd was the day many true boxing fans have been awaiting for. It showcased champions Chris John, Israel Vasquez, Rafael Marquez, Miguel Cotto, and Vic Darchinyan. The only fighter in the pack unsuccessful was Israel Vasquez though still impressive in defeat. After Marquez's skill brought him to a lead after two, Vasquez landed a counter left hook which put Marquez down for the first time since the year 2000 against Genaro Garcia. Marquez was obviously hurt by the shot and held on for the remainder of the round. Marquez did come back well in the fourth and in the fifth, it appeared that Vasquez might have hurt his nose badly as a result of the stiff and powerful jab of Marquez. After scoring well in the seventh, Vasquez quit on his stool claiming he had trouble breathing. A rematch is already in the works as a result of the unfortunate ending of their bout.
In the co-feature, Vic Darchinyan dominated his outclassed challenger in Victor Burgos until the twelfth round when referee Jon Schorle stopped the bout. Burgos was put down in the second and was beaten up by the drastically bigger puncher in the reigning champion Darchinyan. Burgos did score on occasion but won very few rounds. Burgos after the bout was placed on a stretcher and was said to have been frequently gaining and losing consciousness.
In Puerto Rico, Miguel Cotto made the first defense of his WBA Welterweight crown he won from Carlos Quintana in December. Otkay Urkal, the opponent, was by no means a puncher and was stopped by Vivian Harris in his last notable bout. Cotto easily swept the opening rounds, survived a gutsy rally from the German, and was awarded the bout when Urkal's corner threw in the towel in the 11th. In the fifth round, Cotto suffered a cut as a result of a head-butt but fought through it. There have been rumors the cut may prevent a super-fight between Cotto and Judah which is already scheduled. Hopefully for Cotto and the event, the injury is treated properly.
The televised co-feature featured a highly anticipated rumble between undefeated Allan Green and the dynamic Columbian Edison Miranda. Miranda outworked Green and might have swept the first seven rounds with plain aggressiveness. In the eighth, Green turned the tables on Miranda and decked him with a left hook. Green failed to follow up and Miranda recovered, won the ninth and was on the verge of a knockout in the tenth. Green went down twice before the bell saved him. Miranda was given the verdict by scores of 96-91 (twice) and 97-90.
Alden "The Kid" Chodash is a member of the Boxing Writers Association Of America as well as operator of AldenBoxing.com
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