Gurov loses disappointing decision to Cantatore

24.06.07 - By Miguel Velasco: Cruiserweight Alexander Gurov (39-6-1, 33 KO’s) lost a disappointing 12-round decision to Italian Vincenzo Cantatore (33-4-1, 27 KO’s) for the vacant European cruiserweight title on Saturday night in Rome, Italy. However, the 6’5” Gurov appeared to have easily won the fight, winning 11 out of 12 rounds on my scorecard. Gurov, a natural southpaw, controlled the fight from the opening bell, landing powerful straight left hand shots and hooks against the slower Cantatore.

alexander gurovIn fact, Cantatore rarely landed more than ten punches per round, mostly missing his shots badly or being content to clinch, which he did quite a bit of.

Actually, that’s pretty much all Cantatore did do all fight long, clinch any time Gurov got close to him. As soon as they were broken apart by the referee, Cantatore would come lunching in with a powerful bear hug to prevent Gurov from landing any shots.

This was perhaps the single worst case of clinching I’ve ever seen in a bout, which says a lot because seem some excellent clinchers in my time, but Cantatore is in a class all by himself. The worse part of it, however, was that he didn’t receive any warnings from the referee, at least none that I could see. The Italian crowd didn’t even seem to mind, I suppose this is something their used to seeing from their fighters.

Whatever, the case, poor Gurov had Cantatore constantly draped on him for the entire bout, and only rarely was he able to pry him off of him for any length of time to get in some good action. He did, however, land a ton of good shots while Cantatore was rushing in for one of his many clinches, badly bruising the Italian’s face, causing swelling under both eyes and a bloody nose. He looked terrible by the sixth round.

cantatoreFrom my vantage point, Gurov gave Cantatore a boxing lesson in rounds 1-10, but still the Italian would keep coming forward looking for more clinching, as if that was a way of scoring points. The Italian crowd would get into it every time Cantatore would make one of his lunches for Gurov, prompting me to think they were humoring the guy because they thought he was special. It pretty much stayed this way, Gurov pounding Cantatore’s face, and him responding by clinching or badly missing a punch.

In the 11th round, however, Cantatore actually decided to throw some punches for a change and landed a number of them, though nothing particularly impressive to talk about, but the crowd loved it, especially Cantatore’s girlfriend, who went to his corner and screamed her head of in rapid Italian gibberish. She seemed pleased with his brief flurry, which was over in an instant, as he started up with his clinching once again. In one interesting moment, he threw a wildly amateurish punch and fell into the ropes face first, teetering there for a moment as if he was going to flip over them, at which point Gurov turned towards him and clocked him on the side of the head. So much for Cantatore’s good round. I did, however, give the round to him, even though he spent the rest of the round with Gurov’s left hand attached to his face.

In the 12th round, Gurov went back to work and resumed pasting Cantatore every chance he would, which as it turned out, was quite often due to the Italian’s wild attacks which left him open for anything that Gurov threw. At the final bell, I figured it was an easy 11-1 victory for Gurov, possibly 10-2, if the referees wanted to throw in a sympathy round for the badly beaten up Cantatore. I should have known better. As it turns out, the judges’ scored it 116-114, 116-114, and 114-114 for Cantatore. At first I was surprised by the scores, but when I took a look at the crowd, all of them screaming madly, and Cantatore’s girlfriend leading a badly sung chorus of “We are the champion,” I knew Gurov never stood a chance.

Article posted on 24.06.2007

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