Judah TKO's Paris; Molina DQ'd against Kirkland; Morales looks good but Garcia's youth triumphs
By Paul Strauss: Zab Judah boxed beautifully tonight at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn, NY. He had his way, turning, stepping around, jabbing, moving, ripping off combinations and moving his combinations up and down. Paris was very cocky going into the fight, and might have been over confident.
Brooklyn is Zab birthplace and he loves fighting there and tonight it showed. He was fast and smooth. He remained poised and relaxed, so much so that he was smiling between rounds.
Vernon Paris fought foolishly. He followed Zab around, and wound up with his shots, telegraphing them for the most part. A few times he did land when he straightened out his shots and doubled and tripled up on them, especially with the right, first going to the body and then head.
However, for the most part Zab controlled things, and stayed calm, looking for the opportunity when he could really open up. He came close several times, including the first round, but Paris was managed to keep relatively safe by going into a tight shell to avoid Zab's follow up hard shots..
That wasn't the case in the ninth and final round. Zab landed a particularly hard left. He saw that Paris was hurt, so he exploded with a barrage of hard shots, bouncing several off of Paris's head. Referee Steve Wilis saw that Paris was in bad shape, so he jumped in and called a halt to the action at 2:27 of the round. Now, Zab is in a prime spot to take on the winner of the Amir Khan vs. Lamont Peterson fight.
Another veteran almost pulled off an upset on HBO at the Reliant Arena, Houston, TX. Carlos Molina had things going pretty much his way against the fiercesome James Kirkland. Molina is not a slickster or particularly gifted fighter, but he is skilled in an unorthodox way.
Tonight against Kirkland, he managed to take Kirkland out of his game plan. He did it with deception, angles, clinching and timing. Kirkland had one helluva time getting his punches off. For most of the fight, he was throwing them one at a time. It's lucky for him that Molina is not a big puncher, because he was getting tagged quite a bit throughout the contest.
In the post-fight interview, James tried to give Max Kellerman the impression that that was his intent, that that was the game plan. Well, if that was true, someone forgot to tell his trainer Ann Wolfe, because she just about had a stroke between rounds chewing him out for failing to fight the way he should. She kept up a profanity laced verbal scalding, letting him know in no uncertain terms that he was fighting a stupid fight. He was standing right in front of Molina, letting him dictate the course of the action. She wanted him jabbing, and moving his head, and attacking with combinations. She also wanted him to take the rough play away from Molina.
There were few moments when she got her wish. For the most part, Molina showed what a crafty fighter he is. He wisely used distance, smothered James, ducked under his shots, held when needed, and beat him to the punch when he could with lead rights, followed by the left hook. He was masterful, as he piled up the rounds.
Wolfe's badgering finally sparked something in James. Maybe it was when she reminded him that he was the gorilla, and she wanted him to goe "balls to the wall". James tried, and in a tangle of feet and legs, the southpaw managed to land a pretty good right hand. The punch and fact that Molina was off balance or tripped caused Molina to go down.
This happened right at the end of the tenth round. The bell rang, but referee Jon Schorle continued the count. When he got to four or five, one of Molina's cornerman tried to enter the ring. Schorle waived him, and resumed the count at sixth. Molina was up, so when Schole reached eight, he stopped and gestured and verbally instructed both fighters to go to their corners. Then Schorle went across the ring to the scorers' table, leaned through the ropes to confer with someone and then pulled back into the ring, only to declare that Carlos Molina was disqualified because his cornerman enter the ring before count was completed.
It was a terrible break for Molina. He was clearing winning the fight; although, judge Gale E. Van Hoy inexplicably had Kirkland ahead? That's not to say that James wouldn't have got to Molina before the end of the twelfth round, but he too was deprived of that opportunity.
Molina was incredulous over what happened, and seemed resigned to having a black cloud hanging over his career. Many think the deserved wins against Chavez, Jr. and Erislandy Lara. The only remaining positive note for him was when Ann Wolfe approached him after the fight, you could clearly see she was telling him that he was winning the fight before the bizarre ending. Both Molian and Kirkland want a rematch, and that seems likely considering the circumstances.
In was interesting to hear unofficial scorer Harold Lederman's thoughts on the matter. He felt that it was the commission's fault, as they have representatives in each corner, and according to Harold it's their job to prevent someone from entering the ring prematurely. Let's hop the rematch comes off.
Finally, Erik Morales did a good job exposing some of the flaws in upcoming star Danny Garcia. He boxed well, and showed good generalship for a good portion of the fight. He used a good jab, and kept his punches straight, whereas Garcia seemed to loop his at times.
But, Erik just didn't have enough left in the tank to avoid them all. Finally, youth started to take over in the later rounds, and Garcia started to land some pretty good shots. It was only Morales' experience that kept him upright. In the end, Garcia got a UD. The veteran proved he still had a few things to show the younger fighter, but there was just too much to overcome. Danny Garcia is now the WBC light welterweight title holder.
Danny Garcia UD 12 Erik Morales
118-109, 116-112, 117-110
James Kirkland DQ 10 Carlos Molina
Jermell Charlo TKO 5 Shawn Wilson
Daquan Arnett TKO 1 Fabian Cancino
Lanard Lane TKO 8 Milton Ramos
Jamie Kavanagh TKO 5 Cesar Cisneros