HBO Show Disappointment for Fans

Daud Cino YordanBy Paul Strauss: The anticipation was high for a great night of boxing. How could it be anything else when you have Robert Guerrero, James Kirkland and Victor Ortiz fighting? Well, as the night unfolded, there was one disappointment after another. First, the HP Pavilion (The Tank) crowd got a blow to their enthusiasm when local hero Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero suffered a fight ending cut as the result of an accidental head butt.

The cut was over the right eye, and it was shaped like Angelina Jolie's lower lip and was about as inviting, but only to his opponent Daud Cino Yordan. After their clash of heads, blood immediately flowed into the eye and affected The Ghost's vision. When the fighters came out of the collision, Robert immediately rubbed his right glove by the eye, gesturing to referee John Shorle, who acknowledged that an accidental head butt caused the injury.

A few more seconds passed, and then the referee stopped the action, and walked Guerrero to a corner where the ringside physician could look at the wound.. At first the doctor didn't seemed inclined to stop the fight, but the referee said," It's right above the eye", and Guerrero seconded him, adding that "(I) he (can't) couldn't see". The doctor nodded his agreement and the referee stopped the fight.

Strange as it may sound, it might have been a good thing for Robert. Granted, no one realistically knows how the rest of the fight might have progressed, but up until that point, Yordan was giving Robert fits. He was too fast and elusive for this Ghost. He fired off good combinations, and his speed of foot and hands was too much for Robert. Early on in the fight, Robert was trying to press the action, but was a fraction too slow. He also was over extending, and smothering his own efforts. It also was placing his head in danger, because Yordan too was purposely moving inward to smother the Ghost.

Just a little unimportant side light to the action, be advised that the official ending time to the contest is 1:47 of the 2nd round. However, the referee first acknowledged the accidental head butt at 1:13 of the round, and by the time the referee had checked with the doctor, and stopped the fight, the clock was at least 1:55 of the round. How or why they settled on 1:47 is a somewhat of a mystery?

The next big disappointment came in the form of Mike Arnaoutis, who was supposed to be a bit of a step-up for Victor Ortiz. Well, there was no "up" with this one. It started out with two overly cautious fighters. There was just about nothing happening in the first round; although, Ortiz did make a bit of an effort to make contact. Toward the end of the round, he had managed to sneak in a bit closer, unbeknownst to Arnaoutis.

In the second round, Arnaoutis finally stepped out with a jab, which is exactly what Ortiz wanted. He slipped the jab and threw his own hard straight left to Mike's head. It didn't knock Arnaoutis down, but he was literally knocked side-ways. He turned toward his left and moved back against the ropes. All this time, he was looking down, and not at his opponent. He was there for the taking, and Ortiz was in the mood for more. He unleashed a salvo of punches from all angles. When the referee saw a right uppercut land that momentarily made Arnaoutis drop his gloves to his sides, he stepped in and stopped the fight. The official time was 1:27 of the second round. It’s onward and upward for Ortiz.

The main event was a one-sided war. James Kirkland's trainer Ann Wolfe was in her usual combat gear, peppering her advice to James with expletives. Kirkland had been quoted as saying every morning he wakes up knowing that when he goes to train under Wolfe's guidance, "Nothing is going to be fun." Well, Saturday night nothing was fun for Joel Julio. From the opening bell, he was under attack. He was supposed to be the big puncher, and the dangerous one. But, Saturday he was in panic retreat. He never could set himself long enough to get off any real power shots. He did land plenty of right hands, but they lacked his normal power, because he was always going backwards.

In between rounds, Ann Wolfe warned James to stop running into the right hand, and to use his jab more, and to double up on it. Julio's corner told him defense was very important. I could just hear Homer Simpson saying, "Dah!" He probably wanted to reply, "How the hell do I defend against this onslaught?" For him there was nothing but pressure and more pressure being applied by Kirkland. James wasn't giving him enough room to breath.

Already by the third round, Julio was very tired, and he had a cut above the right eye, and a bad bruise below the eye that was starting to swell rapidly. To make matters worse, there was no let up in the pressure. Jabs and combinations were coming with no let up. When Julio would land something, it did nothing to stop his attacker. He was getting demoralized. Kirkland was sharp and accurate, and mixing things up to the body and head. He was impressive!

After the fifth round, Julio's corner spent most of their time dealing with the cut, and not enough time with ice on the bad bruise. Hence it ballooned up dramatically. In the sixth, Julio was in ultra panic mood, and appeared very sloppy in his movement and wild swings. In the remaining seconds of the round, his arms dropped to his sides, which was indicative of things to come.

In the corner, referee Raul Caiz, Jr. and the ring physicain joined the corner men in taking a close look at Julio. It was obvious to all that he was one beaten fighter, who was no longer able to defend himself. The official time was 3:00 of the sixth round.

Whoever hands James his first defeat is going to need the complete package. He will have to be elusive and a good counter puncher with power. And, did I mention, he better have incredible stamina, because James certainly has it.

So, maybe Saturday was not such a disappointing night if you're a Ortiz or Kirkland fan. Their efforts certainly make you want to see more. On the other hand, if I were in The Ghost's camp, I might not be so eager to seek rematch with Daud Cino Yordan.

Article posted on 09.03.2009

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