Boxing


"FIREWORKS IN MYAMMY"

13.07.04 - By Wray Edwards: Going down Highway 95 to Miami, the closer we get to the city, the less the speed limits have any meaning, and you are suddenly in the movie "Fast and Furious". Having survived the hair-raising ride through all the lumpy construction, one takes the off ramp to Biscayne Boulevard, and suddenly sees what looks like a GIANT nurse's hat. It is the American Airlines Arena, site of the Casamayor/Seda and Castillo/Moorer boxing matches.

After dropping a few names, ESB is given full press credentials (the ones with the RED dot), and we are ushered to the hallowed enclave at the apron of the ring. Tito Fuentes is playing Latin music so loud your teeth hurt. Antonio Tarver who is dressed all in white, and wearing a lot of silver and diamond bling, is sitting behind us with friends. Two rows behind Antonio sat Leila Ali. Both boxing celebs are gracious, and pose for pictures. Tarver spends time between fights signing autographs, and schmoozing with fans and insiders. He seems to know that it's nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice.

THE UNDERCARD

Michael Moorer, weighing around 250 or so, stepped into the ring wearing Kelley green satin trunks and a serious look. His opponent, Eliseo Castillo, carrying about 35 pounds less, in white satin, was all business. The first six rounds were composed of Moorer, plodding forward to attempt haymakers thrown from his considerable foundation. Castillo's answer to that, was to use continuous footwork, looking for opportunities to throw combinations.some of which were effective, and to clinch when Moorer got close enough to roughhouse inside. He did tag Michael pretty good once, and, as Moorer squared to resume combat, he gave Castillo a nod of respect for the shot. That made "Stormin'" Norman Wilson, Castillo's trainer, sit up and take notice.

Along about the seventh round, Moorer, for some reason, leaned against the ropes for about two minutes, while Castillo sort of burrowed into him with his head, and delivered three or four series of furious, winging body shots, reminiscent if Oscar's torso flurries against Sturm. It was at this point that Castillo sustained a hairline fracture in his right hand. He fought on through the pain to the end of the fight, the tenth round of which, was pretty much a track meet, with Castillo the faster man. Castillo got winded at a couple of points in the fight and Moorer looked just plain tired for rounds nine and ten. Castillo got the decision, and went off to the hospital for x-rays. Castillo, like Gatti, may just have to accept the fact that it's likely he will break his hand from time to time. Unlike Gatti, he has not shown a willingness to really rip it up for fame and fortune.

THE MAIN EVENT

Joel Casamayor (133 pounds) and Daniel Seda (133pounds) stepped into the ring for a ten round Jr. Lightweight match. These two were much more festive than the heavyweights, dancing around the ring, and stirring up the fans. Seda (20-0) came out confident, with a lot of head movement, and divided the moving forward pie with Joel about 50/50. Casamayor's superior reach enabled him to stay just out of Daniel's range, which saw a lot of pretty hairy hooks and crosses which just missed Joel's noggin.

Casamayor moved to his left more effectively than he did against Corrales in his last fight. His corner, in the person of Buddy McGirt, warned him not to stand in front of Seda. About the third or fourth round, Joel stepped straight back from a close encounter, at which point Seda rewarded him with a poke in the snoot, which put Casamayor neatly on his keester. Whenever this happens to Joel, he just sits there for a second with a look in his eyes which says, "Aren't I supposed to be standing up now?" The knockdown was about half punch, and half falling back. Joel did not look hurt. Casamayor was down two other times. Once when he just overthrew a punch and staggered.

The other fall was from a different cause. The canvas had a painted graphic in the corner which was so thick, that the texture of the canvass was rendered ineffective. With no grip, his boxing shoe just slipped as he threw. We were sitting with a Florida State Boxing Commissioner who agreed that the graphic paint was too thick.

Seda mixed it up pretty good with Joel and made him work for the decision, which made the considerable contingent of Cuban fans very noisy. The arena was about half full, but considering the size of the place, that was enough of a crowd to give Showtime plenty of cheering and movement by the thousands in attendance.

PRESS CONFERENCE

At the press conference afterwards, ESB asked what plans Micheal might have for the future. "I'm going to go back to the Gym to take care of the necessary things that I need to take care of to get back on top of my game. People talk about my weight.I'm a heavyweight. I jumped from one hundred and seventy-five to two hundred and some pounds, and people didn't say nothin' about that. They wanna sit there and analyze me just because of my weight. I'm a fighter. I'm not no muscle-bound guy.that doesn't bother me. I want to say thank you to all my fans for supporting me for so long." Mr. Moorer has a lot of work to do.

Castillo, Seda and Casamayor were all complimentary and sportsman like during the news conference. Seda showed interest in a rematch, and thanked the public for supporting his career.

There were no earthshaking developments as a result of the six matches presented here tonight. Just some good old-fashioned fisticuffs which entertained those in attendance, and the viewing audience. The principle benefactor of the evening's fare, was Joel Casamayor, who found enough of a challenge in Seda, to prevent ring rust while his managers plan his future fights along the comeback trail after his loss to Corrales. He will undoubtedly figure in upcoming matches as things shake out between Frietas, Corrales, Morales, etal.

ESB would like to thank the management and crew of the American Airlines Arena for their professional work. They were helpful, courteous and generous in providing us with complete access to this event. Also, ESB thanks Team Freedom, Santa Barbara Management and Cedric Kushner Productions, LTD for their cooperation.

photo (c) Tom Casino

Article posted on 13.07.2004



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