Boxing

Gutierrez vs Smith, Rigondeaux pro debut on ESPN Friday Night Fights TONIGHT!

22.05.09 - By Coach Tim Walker – This Friday, May 22, Friday Night Fights will showcase an excellent main event bout in boxing cliché style as seasoned veteran heavy hitter Richard Gutierrez (24-2-1 KOs 14) is challenged by upstart slickster Antwone Smith (15-1-1 KOs 8). Folks this is what boxing is all about. Two distinct styles from two very distinct fighters at distinctly different stages of their careers tossed into a 10 round pressure cooker in front of a nationally televised audience where only one can be the victor. All of this highlighted by the cityscape of Miami Beach’s alluring Fountainbleau Hotel. If you’re ever in Miami the Fountainbleau is a great place to take in the nightlife and spend the night. This is a dangerous fight for both fighters albeit for vastly different reasons..

Antwone “The Truth” Smith Smith has not gotten massive amounts of respect in his hometown though he has continually proven to be a quality fighter. Take a look at his resume. He hasn’t been babied in the ring. In his first four fights he faced no-name brand competition but then jumped right into a good jumble with Jose Angel Roman. Roman’s record isn’t impressive with wins but is packed with quality. Roman has some talent but is not a very coachable fighter hence the double digit losses. Next, in his sixth fight, he was convinced to take on Ed Paredes. Either Smith was unmanaged at the time or mismanaged badly because he should not have taken a fight with Paredes at that stage of his career.

Nevertheless, though he lost the Paredes fight, the experience ultimately helped Smith. He continued his career by mixing it up with quality opponent after quality opponent (Juan Nova, Nasser Athumani) the greatest being highly touted Mexican fighter Norberto Gonzalez. He easily defeated the favored Gonzalez. As a reward he is pitted against Columbian swinger Richard Gutierrez. Gutierrez is the perfect fit for the counter-punching style of Smith. If you’ve never seen Smith fight expect to see excellent shoulder rolls, good defense, 3 and 4 punch combinations with a good head body mix. If there is a negative about Smith’s game is that he is susceptible to right hands while in his defensive posture (turtle style defense).

Richard “La Lámina” Gutierrez Gutierrez’s name is mentioned so often when talking about Columbian fighters that you might think he is or has held a world championship. In reality he has not yet fought for a world title. Still, Gutierrez is the definition of a problematic fighter. His style is all over the place. When you think he’s going to jab he throws a combination. When you think he’s going to step away he runs in. He typically offers a very difficult puzzle which seems only solvable by the more elite fighters such as Joshua Clottey and Alfredo Angulo.

Fringe boxers like Teddy Reid and Jose Varela were unsuccessful in their bids to answer the riddle that is Gutierrez.

Gutierrez is a game fighter. Even when outgunned he doesn’t stop. The prevailing question is which Gutierrez will show up? Will it be the fighter that battled Joshua Clottey in a losing but highly contested majority decision or will it will be the fighter that completely buckled under the pressure of Alfredo Angulo? Gutierrez seems to sometime lack focus even during fights that he is winning. It will be interesting to see which one shows up.

Turning Point This is a turning point fight for both fighters. For Gutierrez winning this fight will keep him in the mix of world title contenders. However, after being knocked out by Angulo, a 12 bout fighter at the time, and fighting to a draw with Jerome Ellis, a bout he was supposed to easily dominate, Gutierrez is close to being consigned to journeyman status. A loss will virtually end his career. For Smith, who has passed his tests, this fight is important in a different way. Smith is not yet truly ready to be considered a contender but this fight will definitely keep him pushing forward. It will gauge Smith more than Gutierrez. Unlike the Norberto Gonzalez, Gutierrez has considerably more experience against better competition. Still, it seems as though promoters have been throwing this guy to wolves but he just keeps winning. Does he have yet another win in his arsenal.

Advantages/Disadvantages

Speed: Smith (Speed highlights his boxing game, combination puncher, not a one punch knockout
artist)

Power: Smith (Though not heavy handed his power is generated from his speed, Gutierrez on the other hand generates his power from forcible swings which typically take more energy)

Defense: Smith (Excellent shoulder rolls, Turtle defense a bit too long, still better defensively than Gutierrez) Ring

Generalship: Smith (Gutierrez uses the ring well but Smith’s side steps and angles are excellent)

Experience: Gutierrez (Wins over Teddy Reid and Jose Varela and a close bout with Joshua Clottey gives him an edge in quality matchups)

Prediction: Smith by Unanimous Decision

Article posted on 21.05.2009



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