Boxing


Franklin Lawrence Upsets Lance Whitaker, Scores 7th-Round KO

By James Slater - All but lost amongst the big world title fights taking place over the weekend, was a clash of heavyweight fringe contenders in a reasonably important fight. Lance “Mount” Whitaker and Franklin “Yah Yah” Lawrence met at The Convention Centre in Riverside, California, and 34-year-old Lawrence, best known for his losing fight with former WBC heavyweight champ Oliver McCall, upset 38-year-old Whitaker’s hopes of one day landing a fight with one of the Klitschko brothers..

Lawrence, 13-2-2(8) scored the biggest win of his five-year pro career, as he KO’d the huge heavyweight formerly known as “Goofi” right at the end of the 7th-round with a big left hook to the head. Whitaker, now 35-7-1(28) went down for the count, with just a second left on the clock at the time of Lawrence’s big win.

This loss, the third stoppage loss of the 6’8” Whitaker’s career, almost certainly ends his time as anything approaching a top contender. Whitaker, who was possibly in the frame for a fight with Tomasz Adamek (who feels he needs further experience against giant heavyweights so as to get fully prepared for his seemingly inevitable challenge of one of the Klitschkos), didn’t have to take Saturday’s fight, and now he must wish he hadn’t. Back in June, the veteran managed a good win over the decent Andrey Fedosov; out-pointing the Russian hope over 12 close rounds. This win proved Whitaker had something left, but now any momentum that win got him has gone.

Lawrence, a largely unknown fighter from Indianapolis, has been stopped just once in his 17 pro fights - with an arm injury, suffered when throwing a missed punch, serving to TKO him in the 1st-round of a bout back in 2006. A July 2007 draw with fellow fringe contender Friday “The 13th” Ahunanya wasn’t a bad result, and the loss to McCall, in August of last year, was quite a close one, with two of the three judges scoring the fight for “The Atomic Bull” by just two rounds. Maybe Lawrence can do something in today’s heavyweight division?

Both guys took Saturday’s fight on short notice, and by the middle rounds Whitaker was looking tired. Lawrence took his chance and capitalised, and maybe now he can earn himself a nice payday or two. It’s tough not to feel bad for Whitaker, though - a fighter who may have to look at retirement now.

Article posted on 12.09.2010



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