Foreman, Clottey & Mendes are Winners on Versus

By Paul Strauss: The highlight of the night was probably a good natured debate between announcers Nick Charles and Wally Mathews about rabbinical law! Specifically, Mathews mentioned Yuri Foreman was a rabbinical student, and his studies of rabbinical law included one about not harming another human being. Mathews suggested that might be why Yuri had so few knockouts (8 KOs)? Nick Charles said, I am not buying it. His feeling is Yuri just doesn't have the punching power, and will have a tough time challenging for a title with his style of fighting, when the unspoken rule is you have to take the title.

Thursday's fight was no different for Yuri. He threw pretty much of a shutout in his super welterweight fight against Saul Roman. Roman was frustrated in his inability to corner Yuri, and even when he thought he might have him trapped, he would get tagged with a sharp counter. He sustained cuts over both eyes. The cut over his left eye was due to right hands, but the cut above the right eye might have been due to a head butt, of which there were many. Roman needed to be aggressive and close the distance, but Yuri Foreman proved to be too elusive. In the end, Roman was given two rounds by two of the three judges, and a gift of three rounds by the third judge. Actually it was difficult to believe he won more than one.

Joshua Clottey got a quick stoppage in the 5th Round against Jose Luis Cruz. In fact, Nick Charles and Wally Mathews, the announcers, called referee Ricky Gonzales' stoppage unbelievable! Cruz did present bit of difficulty in that he is unorthodox, rough and crude in his movements (elbows) and punches. He does have a decent left hook to the body, but he sends a message before it's thrown. Both Charles and Mathews thought Clottey should have been able to take Cruz apart.

Clottey seemed overly cautious, though, but did start to sharp shoot a bit in the second round. Cruz also sustained a cut to his upper forehead in round two as a result of a clash of heads. Clottey continued sharp shooting in the third, and Cruz cooperated by repeatedly ducking into left hands. He also got hit with a few quick lead rights.

Cruz seemed to think gestures of being "macho" would get him some kind of edge. Meanwhile, he accomplished nothing. In the fifth round Clottey landed several unanswered punches, which proved enough for the referee to jump in and stop the action. After the fight, referee Ricky Gonzales told Wally Mathews that "....with each punch Clottey landed, Cruz would wince, plus he wasn't really throwing much in return." He felt the safety of Cruz was in question, so he jumped in and stopped the fight. Hence, Clottey got the win, but it certainly wasn't an impressive win.

Due to the early stoppage in that fight, they squeezed in a six round fight between prospect Argenis Mendes and Oscar Dela Cruz. The undefeated 21 year old Mendes made the fight

harder than it should have been, but he still managed to stop his 31 year old in the fifth round with a flurry of sharp punches that followed a good left hook. Mendes shows promise, but Dela Cruz wasn't exactly a good test. At age 31, he had only fought once in the past year, and had a six year lay off before that. But, Mendes did come away with his 10 Win and 7 KO, which is not

a bad start for this lightweight prospect.

Article posted on 04.04.2008

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