Boxing

Hilario provides good example of what not to do

By Paul Strauss: "Pretty Warrior" Wilton Hilario experienced the second loss of his career Friday night at Buffalo Bill's Star Arena, Primm, NV. His fight against Luis Franco was part of the undercard for Showtime's Next Generation series. Wilton only lived up to half of his nickname. What he did was "warrior" like, but it sure wasn't pretty. He got his ears boxed off by Luis Franco, the Cuban representative at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Now, Franco's base is Miami, Florida...

Although Hilario had twice as many pro fights as his opponent, he looked raw and amateurish in comparison. It's a shame, because Wilton is a tough kid and has shown promise, but Friday the little Cuban was too smart, too fast and too experienced for Hilario. The "Pretty Warrior" fought like an ugly billy goat in heat. He kept rushing in head first, thinking his tactic was somehow going to resemble effective pressure and would somehow intimidate Franco. It didn't. All Wilton managed to do was tick off Referee Jay Nady, who exercised great restraint in not disqualifying Hilario. Leading with his head was just one of the "less than pretty" things Hilario did. Add to his offenses: hitting low, hitting behind the back, hitting behind the head, and hitting after the break and after the bell.

All of this was probably good experience for Franco, as further initiation into the pro ranks, but it did nothing to advance Hilario's career. Hilario looked awkward and unskilled. When he needed to move his head a few inches, he moved it a foot and a half. When he needed to jab, he leaned (or ran in) in with his head down. When he needed to change angles. this orthodox fighter would instead bring forward his right foot, so it was ahead of his left. Occasionally, some fighters will use this maneuver effectively as a shift or transition to southpaw. Usually the right foot will follow behind a thrown right hand. Then the fighter will, often times, immediately transition back to orthodox after throwing a left. See Ward and Dirrell for examples of how it should be done properly. Manny Pacquiao gives us the southpaw version. But, what Hilario did wasn't even a close facsimile. For one thing, he forgot the punching part.

Another thing young fighters could discover from watching this match is how not too establish proper range, and what happens when you don't.. Hilario's billy goat tactics continually took him past the imaginery line needed to punch effectively. All he did was smother himself. When inside, Hilario would bend so much from one side to the other, that there was no way he could keep focused on his target. The tactic would also place him off balance and unable to punch effectively even if he would see an opening. In his case, it was not at all. At best, when he would try to throw a right uppercut, he would badly miss on the right hand side of Franco's head? He never adjusted

This loss for Hilario is also tough for Minnesota's boxing scene. Fans there looked forward to someday seeing a matchup between Wilton and Jason Litzau. It would have drawn well. There was a nice little revenge ingredient involved since Wilton beat Jason's brother Allen. There's also a bit of history between the two in the amateur ranks, but that fight doesn't look very feasible anymore. Hilario has experienced only two defeats and one draw in his career, but he is definitely headed in the wrong direction. As they say in the engine repair business, he is do for an overhaul. In his case, it means a new mindset. He needs to realistically examine what he is doing and recognize what isn't working and why? Then he needs to go about trying to correct it. The "warrior" crap is only a small part of the picture.

Article posted on 19.09.2010



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