Bad Angel Steals McGirt's Win

17.01.09 - By Paul Strauss: Strange goings on in the Keyes last night. Both James “Buddy” McGirt, Jr. and his father Buddy, Sr. were confidently awaiting the judges' decision in their corner, fully expecting a one sided decision to be announced in their favor. But, Papa Hemmingway must have been working behind the scenes, because the judges apparently were seeing things.

First, they came up with a MD decision in Angel Hernandez' favor? The McGirt's (especially Dad) vehemently protested. There must have been an error in tabulating the scores Buddy, Sr. argued. Check them again. So, they did. They agreed, there had been an error. It wasn't a MD, it actually was a UD in Hernandez's favor! Papa was undoubtedly happy. He always appreciated fighters who lead with their faces..

All this took place at Mallory Square, in Key West Florida on the undercard of what was supposed to be a matchup between Carlos Quintana and Eromosele Albert. Quintana suffered an ankle injury in training, so Germaine (Silky) Sanders was picked as a last minute substitute. He was a safe choice for Albert, as Silky is really a welter or junior. welter, so "Bad Boy" Albert had a sizable height advantage.

Silky, at age 38, is also past is prime, and never has been a big puncher, so there wasn’t much of an anticipated threat. But, Silky still had enough defensive skill to make things a little interesting, providing the hope that he might be able to slip and counter with a damaging punch.

Silky did his best, but the Bad Boy's relentless attack was energy depleting for Silky. He did his best to keep moving, and to slip and duck, but he couldn't move out of the way of the body shots and finishing right. Although, he went the distance, the scoring was one-sided in Albert's favor. All three judges scored the fight 100-90. Undoubtedly, Albert now feels a little better since his last two outings were pretty tough for him. First, he got KO'd in the first round by James Kirkland in May of 2008, and then suffered a draw in Sept against little known Ossie Duran. The truth is Carlos Quintana's ankle injury might have been a break for the Bad Boy.

Let’s get back to the semi-main event between McGirt and Hernandez. What really happened? Who deserved the win? Beginning with a quick look at the two adversaries, you find a younger, taller and better conditioned James McGirt, Jr., who would be enjoying a 5 inch height advantage. In the other corner, Angel Hernandez appeared to be pudgy, and in fact weighed in at 163lbs. He had lost six of his last ten bouts, including a one-sided loss to someone named Vanes Martirosyan. One would think McGirt, Jr. should be enjoying a easy night of target practice.

Well, Toro Hernandez must not have read the pre-fight analysis. He decided to make it a tough, brawling type of fight, and Junior cooperated. Angel was unfazed by Junior's punches, and proved willing to walk in, usually straight up, winging his own shots to the body. He would get tagged with jabs, and right hooks, but would just keep the pressure on Junior. Occasionally, he would mix in a few short straight rights to the head.

It was expected the plump Angel would wilt under Junior's leads and counters, and it appeared he might be doing so, as in the latter rounds, he was content at resting when inside, laying his arms at the sides of Junior. But then he would get a resurgence of energy, and start attacking once again.

Junior negated his own height advantage by leaning down and in, making him vulnerable for a right uppercut, which Angel obliged him with on several occasions, But, Junior was still throwing more and landing more.

Neither fighter is a big puncher, so neither one was showing much wear and tear in the way of swelling or bruises. However, Angel did sustain a cut over his left eye in the sixth round. He has suffered so many cuts in his career, and has so much scar tissue over both eyes, that the cut might have been due to a bump one of his corner men accidently gave him between rounds. (Just kidding)

A pattern developed in the fight where Angel would start fast and then would tire. There would be a lull in his action, and Junior would land sharper, straighter shots. Then Angel would get rejuvenated a bit, and step up the pace again, but not with quite the same fierceness. That pattern seemed to repeat itself.

After the fifth round, Teddy Atlas talked at ringside with former light heavyweight champion Glen Johnson. Johnson had sparred with Junior, so he was very familiar with him. Both Teddy and Glen felt that McGirt, Jr. was not using his skills enough in his fight against Hernandez. Johnson said, "McGirt, Jr. needs to show more confidence. He needs to step around Angel more." Teddy agreed.

After the eighth round, Teddy Atlas had McGirt, Jr. ahead by two points. By this time, Angel was playing to the crowd a bit as the rounds ended. He would raise his arms like a conductor leading the band, hoping the audience would respond with cheers on his behalf and influence the judges. It apparently worked.

Henandez continued to try and keep it rough, but he didn't have the energy left to sustain any kind of serious attack. By this time, Teddy Atlas had the fight scored 97-94 for McGirt, Jr. Then came the announcement of the judges' official decision. Two judges scored the fight 96-94 for Angel, The third judge, Mike Ross, scored it 95-95, so it was a majority decision for Angel. The father-son McGirts were truly shocked in their disbelief. There has to be a mistake, their expressions implied! Well, there was, and once a re-tabulation was conducted, Ross' score now read 96-95, so Angel had himself a unanimous decision, and Junior and Senior wondered, "What the hell just happened!"

Article posted on 17.01.2009

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