Monday Morning Round Up: Martinez, Bute, Thompson, Lundy, Lane, Guerrero, Porter, & Jones

martinezBy John Gabriel Thompson - This past weekend Sergio Martinez took the middleweight title from hard hitting Kelly Pavlik in a close decision; Lucian Bute again made an argument for being considered one of the best supper middleweights in the world after stopping the ferocious Edison Miranda; Tony Thompson took another step towards a potential rematch with Wladimir Klitschko as he stopped Owen Beck in four; and prospects Hank Lundy, Lanard Lane, Fernando Guerrero, Shawn Porter, and Mike Jones all earned impressive victories.

In the closest bout of the weekend, Sergio Martinez 45-2-2 (24 KO’s) won the WBC and WBO Middleweight Belts from Kelly Pavlik 36-2 (32 KO’s) in a twelve round unanimous decision on HBO Boxing at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Martinez was able to negate the sizeable height and weight advantages of his opponent by staying on his toes the entire fight, moving well, countering, and rarely stopping to trade against the power punching Pavlik. Martinez dominated the first three or four rounds with his movement and quick counters, opening a cut over the left eye of Pavlik in the first round..

Pavlik came back strong in the middle rounds, seeming to have figured out Martinez. It was a stark transition as Pavlik went from missing most of his punches in the early rounds to landing frequently, even staggering Martinez back on one occasion. And Martinez’s punches which had landed earlier were now being blocked by the right hand of Pavlik. Between rounds three and four, Pavlik’s trainer Jack Loew implored him to stop head hunting and go for the body and the strategy seemed to work. In the seventh round, Pavlik put Martinez down with a right uppercut, though this was mostly due to Martinez being off balance.

Feeling the fight slipping away, Martinez came out strong in the ninth round, swinging with multiple punches from different angles and opening another cut over the right eye of Pavlik. This cut was much deeper than the one on his left eye and continued to bleed badly throughout the fight. In fact, Pavlik was mostly likely blind at that point and Martinez proceeded to soundly outwork the champ in the tenth, eleventh and twelfth rounds. The judges scored the bout 115-112, 115-111, and 116-111 all for Martinez.

This was a major victory for Sergio Gabriel Martinez, who already possesses a loyal fan base in Argentina and in Spain where he lived for a number of years, though after his thrilling bouts with Paul Williams and Kelly Pavlik, the thirty five year old Argentinean now living in Oxnard, California may be on the verge of stardom. Before he can make other plans, however, Martinez may have to face Pavlik a second time with a rematch clause in their contract. Of course, that is assuming the twenty eight year old Youngstown native can get back down to 160 lbs after coming in that night at 178 lbs. If not, a rematch between Sergio Martinez and Paul Williams seems likely.

IBF Super Middleweight Champion Lucian Bute 26-0 (21 KO’s) had certainly been the favorite going into the bout with Edison Miranda 33-5 (29 KO’s) at the Bell Center in Montreal, Canada. After all, Miranda had been previously knocked out by middleweight champions Kelly Pavlik and Arthur Abraham, and manhandled by super middleweight champion Andre Ward over the course of twelve rounds; whereas Bute had recently knocked out the iron chinned Librado Andrade, becoming the first to stop the rugged Mexican. Of course a power puncher like Miranda, a fighter with multiple highlight reel worthy one punch knockouts, always has a chance.

Miranda came out as the boxer in the first round, having tried to change his style somewhat under the tutelage of his new trainer, the experienced Joe Goossen. Miranda moved well and worked behind the jab. In the second round, Miranda came out more aggressively and Bute moved and boxed. In the third, Bute landed a hard body shot, after which Miranda stopped fighting, exposed his midsection, and motioned with his glove for Bute to hit him again in the body. A little bit later in the round, Bute landed a good but not powerful combination and Miranda stopped fighting again, instead putting his hands on his hips to show that he was unimpressed with Bute’s power. Miranda then moved in with a wide punch and Bute through a left uppercut that connected hard with Miranda’s jaw. Miranda tried to grab onto Bute, who wisely stepped back, and Miranda fell face forward into the canvas. Miranda beat the count, but staggered back into the ropes, and referee Ernie Sharif immediately stopped the match.

The Romanian born and now adopted son of Montreal, Canada said to ringside commentator Max Kellerman that he believes he is the best super middleweight in the world. Andre Ward appears to be the leader of the Showtime Super Six Boxing Tournament. Though it’s true that styles make fights, Ward needed to go the distance with Miranda, whereas Bute dispatched him in just three rounds. With wins over James Obede Toney, Sakio Bika, William Joppy, Librado Andrade, Fulgencio Zuniga, and now Edison Miranda, both Lucian Bute and his resume seem to get better and better each fight.

Tony “The Tiger” Thompson 34-2 (22 KO’s) headlined the ESPN2 Friday Night Fights event at the Omni New Daisy Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee. Thompson appeared the much bigger man at 6’5” compared to his opponent Owen Beck 29-5 (20 KO’s) at 6’2”. Born in Jamaica, Beck moved to Nashville at age twenty three, though the hometown crowd did little good for Beck as Thompson knocked Beck down in the first round with a right that came crashing down on Beck’s head. Beck came out more aggressively in the second round, though Thompson covered up well and then came back in the last minute of the round driving Beck into the ropes. Thompson continued to hammer Beck against the ropes for a moment and it looked as though the ropes were holding him up.

In the fourth round, Beck tried to press forward and stay inside against his larger opponent, but Thompson was able to connect and again sent Beck into the ropes. As Thompson began to pepper Beck with shots, the ropes again seemed to hold him up, and Beck’s corner threw in the towel. Thompson has just two losses on his record - one coming by a four round decision in just his fifth pro bout, and the other via eleventh round knockout to heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. Again solidifying his position as one of the top ten heavyweights in the world, Tony “The Tiger” Thompson has already lost in his first title bid, putting on a sorry effort (which he blames on an injury), and must keep winning in this impressive fashion in order to get another chance.

In the under card, Philadelphia native “Hammerin’ Hank” Lundy 18-0-1 (10 KO’s) dominated the previously undefeated Tyrese Hendrix 18-1-1 (7 KO’s) of Gainesville, Georgia. Lundy came out aggressive and in the first round both men experienced the extremely rare double knockdown as Lundy backed Hendrix into a corner and both men connected with lefts. Unfortunately for Hendrix, the referee did not see his punch and only counted one knockdown against him. The fight continued and Hendrix attempted to jab and move, but Lundy came on strong and put Hendrix down for a second time in the round with a combo to the head. Lundy dominated the rest of the fight, showing off and taunting his opponent in the third round, and knocked Hendrix down again in the sixth round after connecting with a fierce right hook and following up with combination punching. Lundy won convincingly on all three judges’ score cards, almost earning a total shutout.

Full-time Houston firefighter Lanard Lane 12-0 (7 KO’s) made another impressive appearance on ESPN2 shutting out the experienced veteran John Brown 24-18-2 (11 KO’s) over the course of six rounds. Brown, who had faced the likes of Lamont Peterson, Herman Ngoudjo, Rolando Reyes, Steve Forbes, Diego Corrales (RIP), Shane Mosley, Angel Manfredy, and Jesus Chavez, had no answers for the talented firefighter who looked sharp and worked behind the jab. Lane had Brown hurt badly at the end of the final round, but Brown was able to hold on and make it to the final bell.

Fernando Guerrero 18-0 (15 KO’s) and Shawn Porter 14-0 (11 KO’s) each stopped their respective opponents early at the Wicomico Civic Center in Salisbury, Maryland. Originally from the Dominican Republic but now living in Salisbury, Guerrero put on an impressive display of power and aggression in front of his adoring hometown crowd. Guerrero hammered away at his opponent, the thirty one year old Michael Walker 19-4-2 (12 KO’s), dominating the first round. Guerrero came on strong again in the second round, pinning Walker against the ropes with shot after shot, forcing referee Malik Waleed to stop the fight. Cleveland native Shawn Porter also stopped his fighter in impressive fashion, laying into Raul Pinzon 17-5 (16 KO’s) with body shots, then landing an overhand right which put Pinzon down and forced referee Gary Camponeschi to stop the bout in just the first round. Pinzon has now been knocked out by Porter, Saul Alverez, Ricardo Torres, and Mike Jones.

Speaking of Mike Jones, the Philadelphia native fought on the non-televised under card of the Pavlik vs. Martinez event at the Boardwalk in Atlantic City. Mike “M. J.” Jones 21-0 (17 KO’s) looks to be a welterweight worth watching as he dismantled Hector Munoz, forcing referee Benjy Esteves Jr. to stop the bout in the fifth round. Mike Jones defended the NABA Welterweight Title for the first time and picked up the vacant WBO NABO Welterweight Title in the process, and should now be looking for a big name fight in the talented welterweight division.

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Article posted on 19.04.2010

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