FNF- Martin Honorio scores easy win over Wilton Hilario

by Paul Strauss - The crowd at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, Ca expected a close, tough fight for the favorite Martin Honorio. Expectations were the younger stronger undefeated Wilton Hilario would bring a lot of pressure along with a bigger punch. The "Pretty Warrior" did bring those two things, but he forgot to bring a jab and combinations. In fact, he forgot to bring the delivery system. When in range, he just couldn't let his hands go! The consequence was Honorio's ability to pick him apart and simply outwork him, both on the outside and inside.

Initially Wilton Hilario's game plan was a simple one. He wanted to get in Honorio's face, and stay there. He was hoping to tire Honorio and then start unloading his shots as opportunities presented themselves.. For the puncher, that should start happening if and when he gets into range. So head down and hands up was the way Hilario charged forward.

Wilton also knew Honrio tends to dip down with his head when jabbing, and that he also drops his left on the way back, so he is somtimes open for a counter right. From Wilton's body language, it seemed he understood that and was attempting to position himself to fire off the counter right, but something seemed to be holding him back. His timing just wasn't there.

The way the fight started was the way it ended. The punch output for the twelve round fight was totally one-sided in Martin's favor. In the later rounds, he was able to punch in flurries without any worry of being countered. On those few occasions when Wilton would attempt a counter, it was in the form of a wild single punch swing.

Wilton continually came into range face first, with gloves up tight to his face. But, he would be squared up and leaning forward. Honorio would throw punches from all angles, and as the fight progressed, he started to widen the arc a bit so he was clubbing Wilton to the side and back of the head. In the sixth round, one such flurry put Wilton down. He seemed a bit wobbly and was vulnerable. Honorio seized the opportunity, and got in a good straight right hand to the chin, and down went Wilton for a second time. This time it appeared he was in serious trouble, and unfortunately for him, there was a lot of time left in the round. Wilton put on the ear muffs and also attempted to clinch. By the time the bell sounded to end the round, he was starting to punch back a bit, and it was obvious he had no intention of quitting.

In between rounds, Wilton's corner let him know that Honorio punched himself out, and would now be vulnerable and that he should go out and get him. Wilton tried to muster up an attack, and actually had a pretty good seventh round, which demonstrated his courage, but he lacked consistency. During infrequent moments, he would come in behind a jab, but just not often enough. He also tried with limited success to shoot a straight lead right, but he failed to put anything else along with those attempts and Honorio's experience enable him to easily avoid any problems.

By the ninth round, it was obvious that Wilton's only hope was to score a knockout. But, it was also obvious that that was just not going to happen. He continually took shots in order to get into range, but once there he failed to let his hands go. His inexperience had him trying to load up too much, and when he finally would let something go, it was usually in the form of a one punch wild swing. Honorio had no trouble seeing those pathetic attempts and avoiding them.

When the final bell rang, the only question remaining was, "Did Wilton win a round?" Two of the judges showed a little generosity. They scored the bout 119 - 107. The third judge scored the fight 120-106, which seems accurate, especially considering Honorio had Hilario down twice.

The last year or so has proven costly to Minnesota fighters. It seems every time one of them has a chance to step up, they come up short. Matt Vanda suffered a lopsided loss to Peter Manfredo, Jr. He also came up short twice against Cesar Chavez, Jr. Phil "The Drill" Williams got kayo'd by Don "Da Bomb" George. Wilshun Boxley has had a couple of tough losses out of state, and most will remember the quick demolition of Andy Kolle by Paul Williams. Then there's Anthony Bonsante's forty-five second possum play up in Canada against Adonis Stevenson. So what's wrong? Is there something detrimental in that cold Minnesota air? Now there's talk of Jason Litzau meeting up with Rocky Juarez. If that gets finalized, can Litzau reverse the trend?

Several times over the years, ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas has made reference to certain areas of the country that are known for padding fighters records with easy fights, only to have them appear totally outclassed once they get matched with a legitimate opponent. Friday night Teddy once again made that reference, and this time it was about Minnesota fighters. Along with the comment he posed a question about whether the process was really a disservice to the fighter, implying that the fighter gets a false sense of his abilities. As a result, the fighter mistakingly thinks he can really take guys out with one punch. He mistakenly thinks he doesn't need to develope a proper jab, or punch in combinations, and he fails to learn how to incorporate offense into his defense. Teddy's got a point!

Article posted on 06.03.2010

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