The News from Philly is not Good!

Shaun GeorgeBy Coach Tim Walker - The City of Brotherly Love could have used some intense dislike in the boxing ring last night. I grabbed a cold soda, a bag of chips and sat down in my favorite chair at 8:59pm central time. With television remote in my left hand, a cold glass in my right hand and children on standby to fill my glass and rub my feet if necessary I tuned into Friday Night Fights. I was ready for some action and certain that a fight card showcasing Matt Godfrey, Shaun George and Derek Ennis would surely deliver. For a while it delivered everything I wanted then it got weird, then it went flat.

Cold Glass, Full Bag of Chips!

The first televised fight, maybe it was tape delayed, was between Shaun George and Chris Henry. Shaun George (18-3-2, 9 KOs) had previously knocked out Chris Byrd via a dominating performance back in May 2008.. George did not receive what he deemed proper credit for that victory over Byrd and intended to exact his vengeance on fellow combatant Chris Henry (24-2-0, 19 KOs) and prove to the boxing world that his win over Byrd was not a fluke. Again, for a while, at least one round, it seemed that he would do just that. George repeatedly landed upper cuts and straight right hands. He hit him hard, repeatedly and had him seemingly one punch from ending the fight. Then weirdness took over. For the next five rounds George did the polar opposite of everything he had done in the first round, nothing! As a matter of fact he landed more meaningful punches in the first round than he did in the remainder of the fight. Whether it was Chris Henry figuring him out, some mystical injury that does not allow your hands and arms to move in punch-like motions or he was distracted by the gorgeous Philly women in the audience one thing for certain is that he stopped boxing. As a result, in the sixth round George tasted the leather, tasted the canvas, then checked out of the fight via the comebacked-ness (yeah I created that word), via the punches, via the KO by Henry. It was the weirdest fight I've seen since Matt Rogan on the verge of a KO paused to allow the referee time to replace a mouthpiece that his opponent Sam Sexton had intentionally spit out. Weird yes, still watched it.

Second Glass of Soda, Chips getting low!

The waiting in limbo-bout was a match up between Derek "Pooh" Ennis and John Mackey. I recall seeing Pooh once as an amateur and he was slick even back then. Ennis showed excellent skill and power throughout the fight and just seemed to much for Mackey. That is not to say that Mackey didn't show up to fight he was just outgunned and couldn't find the answer to any of the problems that Ennis presented to him though Mackey himself is a southpaw.

For his troubles, Ennis' record improved to (18-2-1, 12 KOs) while Mackey's dropped to (11-4-2, 4 KOs). This fight had levels of excitement throughout. An interesting point to consider is that Mackey's last five bouts yield a record of (0-3-2). Odd to say the least. It might be time for him to consider feeding lower on the food chain or getting out of the ring as a fighter. Or he can just accept where he is in the pecking order and ride the wave to the crest hits land. Decent fight, enjoyed it.

Third Glass, Empty Bag and soon, Headache Medication!

Then came the Friday Night Fights main event and the news from Philly is not Good!

I can't tell you about the highlights of this fight because there weren't any. I can't tell you that both fighters fought their hearts out because they didn't. One wouldn't. One couldn't. The desired train wreck between Matt Godfrey (19-1-0, 10 KOs) and Shawn Hawk (18-1-1, 16 KOs) turned out to be merely an unwanted stop at the terminal. Honestly, what the heck was this? We live in a time where the world is globally pinching pennies. Dollars are cautiously spent because they are difficult to earn. Last night sponsors and a thousand or so boxing fans ponied up the cash in support of a MAIN EVENT where the strategies were tap-tap-tap and bob-weave-don't punch. There was no intensity. No fire! Godfrey, who is a better skilled fighter than his opponent Hawk, did what he did because he could and it was borderline disrespectful. It was disrespectful to all the people who worked so hard to put the show together, disrespectful to the knowledgeable Philly boxing fans who paid to see it, disrespectful to the corporations who dug into their budgets to advertise during the card, disrespectful to the viewers worldwide who tune into Friday Night Fights almost weekly, but it was most disrespectful to Shawn Hawk. One of the first unwritten rules of boxing is that you show your opponent the highest level of respect by decisively and thoroughly kicking his butt. Godfrey didn't beat up Hawk he just made it seem as though he has no skill as a fighter. He embarrassed him. Godfrey accomplished this feat by doing absolutely nothing, repeat, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING yet still out-boxing Hawk over ten long rounds in front of a world audience.

If Hawk were my young charge I would rather he be completely dismantled in 2 or 3 rounds or sharply touched on the chin rather than endure 10 rounds of a guy beating him whilst not doing a thing. You tell me which is worse to the mental state of a young fighter you are trying to push beyond his physical, emotional and mental shortcomings: losing by second or third round TKO or falling victim to a fighter who intentionally walks you through a ten round MAIN EVENT sparring session, a byproduct of which is a demonstration of your inability to box on a GLOBAL SCALE? Watched it, felt disrespected at the end.

For any questions or comments you can reach Coach Tim Walker at

Article posted on 13.07.2009

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