Erdei Stops Blades in 11th round TKO

zsolt erdei18.06.07 - By Gary Jones: Making his eighth title defense, WBO light heavyweight champion Zsolt Erdei (27-0, 17 KOís) stopped hopelessly overmatched American George Blades (21-3, 15 KOís) in the 11th round on Saturday night at the SYMA Sport & Leisure Center, in Budapest, Hungary. Erdei, 33, originally from Hungary and now training in Germany under trainer Fritz Sdunek, had little trouble with Blades, ranked # 15 in the WBO.

In fact, from the opening bell, I wondered why Blades was even given a shot at the title considering his low ranking and meager skills. He never had chance, as it turned out, because Erdei completely dominated him in the process of giving him a boxing lesson for 11-rounds until the fight was stopped in the 11th after Erdei staggered Blades with a left jab, right hand combinations.

The referee, Joe Cortez, immediately stepped in and stopped the bout, although it would appear it was a bit premature because Blades looked okay and ready to continue fighting. However, given the enormous amount of jabs that Blades ate for 11-rounds, and his lack of any semblance of an offensive of his own, the stoppage probably was the smart thing to do.

From the first round on, Erdei controlled the fight with his lightening jab, and right hook, which he constantly stuck in Bladeís face. Though he tried to respond with his own punches, Blades was rarely able to connect due to his slow handspeed and pawing jab, most of which Erdei easily ducked or blocked. Worst of all, however, was Bladesí lack of power, which gave him few alternatives in slowing down Erdeiís constant jab/right hand combination. That said, Blades, 33 did appear to have the better stamina, as he seemed to look a little fresher as the fight wore into the late rounds, despite the punishment he endured.

In the fourth round, the only round I have to Blade, he was able to land several right hooks to Erdeiís head and a number of hooks to the body. He showed excellent punching form in the round, though his shots were very slow, and did enough to keep Erdei from maintaining his onslaught.

In rounds 5-11, the fight was all Erdei, as he steadily threw jabs, and making Blades look like a punching bag. Due to the one-sided nature of the rounds, even the Hungarian fans seemed to grow bored with the fight, because there was no suspense involved whatsoever. When the end finally came in the eleventh round, after Erdei connected with a left jab, right hand combination that staggered Blades Ė briefly Ė and causing the referee to halt the bout, the crowd seemed relieved, probably because they didnít have to witness any more of the boring bout.

With this victory, Erdei moves to 27-0, but the real question is, ďwhen is he going to start fighting quality opposition?Ē Like many German based fighters, heís somehow managed to sidestep more formidable opposition. Case in point, despite his eight title defenses, Erdei has never fought an outstanding light heavyweight, such as Antonio Tarver, Paul Briggs, and Glen Johnson, to name just a few. At this point, Iíd pick any one of them to beat him, which, I guess, answers my questions as to why Erdie hasnít fought better fighters. Against Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson, Iíd give Erdei next to zero chance at winning, so maybe he should continue fighting 15th ranked opposition like Blades, that way Erdei can hold onto his belt for as long as possible, even if itís only symbolic.

Article posted on 18.06.2007

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