Bell Proves To Be Too Crafty for Mormeck

08.01.06 - By Travis Marks @ ringside, photo Tom Casino / Showtime: The most intriguing match up from last night fight card at Madison Square Garden was O’Neil “Supernova” Bell versus “The Marksman” Jean Marc Mormeck. In this bout we had two very strong champions who are at their physical peak fighting to unify the three major titles in boxing. Mormeck entered the bout as the WBA and WBC champion and Bell entered as the IBF champion. Mormeck was considered the number one cruiserweight by The Ring magazine following his dominating decisions win over Guyanese, Wayne “Big Truck” Braithwaite. Bell was the underdog and was coming in two fights removed from a fight with Dale Brown in an elimination bout that most observers thought that he lost.

In handicapping this match up there were a few things that very obvious. Mormeck is an impressive physical specimen. He’s built like an Adonis. His back in huge has a sculpted body and is just looks really strong and sturdy. He looks more like a body builder than a boxer. Bell is pretty tall and lanky with a great reach. He has real knock out power but has also been vulnerable to knockdowns but saved for his second career fight (which he lost by KO to Mohamed Benguesmia) he has always gotten up to gain victory. Both men fight coming forward and love to engage in wars.

So the table was set for an action packed bout between these two warriors. Bell came out early trying to establish the jab. He was able to accomplish his goal and that enabled him to hit Mormeck with short rights to the head and body. Bell looked very comfortable early. The most surprising thing about the fight was that Mormeck was not able to impose his strength against Bell early as he was unable to push him back.

The first round revealed a lot about the fight. Most of the opening round saw Bell using his boxing ability and outworking Mormeck, however every time Jean Marc landed a punch to Bell’s head, his neck would snap back causing the crowd to “oooh” and “ahhh”. Mormeck was apparently landing the harder punches and even though the punches looked effective there was no real residual damage because Bell continued on with his battle plan.

This was of those fights where you have a boxer versus a puncher, a slugger vs. thinker. Bell’s experience and craft showed in the fight. He started every round by running over to Mormeck’s side of the ring forcing him to the ropes behind a strong jab. Psychologically that was a bit much for Mormeck to deal with. He usually imposed his will and strength on everyone he fought. But in Bell, he had a man in front of him that was not afraid and was not going to spend much time backing up. Mormeck found himself with his back to the rope, a place that was unfamiliar to him.

To his credit Mormeck was able to dominate at times. There were moments where he threw vicious combinations that left everyone attending in a frenzy. To the naked eye he appeared to hurt Bell. There was a moment in the fourth round where Bell looked like he was going to be knocked out because he was being overwhelmed by Mormeck. Mormeck had Bell cornered on the ropes and was unrelenting with power punches. O’Neil used head movement to avoid some punches but after the barrage he went right back to his game plan. Mormeck was winning the fight with his cleaner punches but close examination of what was occurring in the ring saw Mormeck tiring and Bell working a patient plan.

After a while the pattern of the fight became predictable. Bell would control the action for most of the round and then Mormeck would have an impressive response in the form of effective power combinations only to see Bell back him up with his jab. As Mormeck tired, Bell began clowning around a bit but continued to apply pressure with his jab. In the seventh round Bell landed a big over hand right had that saw Mormeck staggering to the ropes. Jean Marc did well to keep his head low and avoided a lot of punches. Mormeck to the crowd’s delight even invited Bell to trade with him while he was hurt. Mormeck survived the round but it took a lot out of him.

Bell’s plan worked. He survived the early onslaught and saw that he had much more energy in the tank than his opponent. When Mormeck crumbled to the floor after a ferocious assault in the tenth round it was quite obvious that he was not going to get up. Although Bell fouled Mormeck several times by hitting him behind the head, the damage was done early as O’Neil stuck to his game plan by jabbing and applying pressuring all the while wearing the big man down. The referee called the end of the fight at 2:50 of the tenth round. At the time of the stoppage Judges Tom Kaczmarek and BobWeisfeld had Bell ahead with scores of 87-84 and 86-84 respectively. Judge Tom Schreck had Mormeck ahead 86-85.

Bell is now the undisputed Cruiserweight champion of the world. His next step is to defend his titles against the young lion in the division, Steve Cunningham. Cunningham already holds the distinction of being Bell’s mandatory. That should be a great match up. It’s now back to the drawing board for Mormeck, maybe he can fight Guillermo Jones or have a rematch with Braithwaite. He fought well but not well enough. He will be back.

Article posted on 09.01.2006

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