Quintana steals the show! Brock chases Ibragimov for the win!

24.06.06 - By Izyaslav “Slava” Koza: Carlos Quintana put an exclamation point on his own pedigree is he completely shutdown the one HBO was trying to hype for his opponent Joel Julio. Quintana’s performance could best be classified as an all around clinic seeing as he beat Julio in every aspect of the fight. The reason as to why I mention the undercard bout first is because the main bout of the evening was quite simply pathetic, with Timur Ibragimov displaying some horribly weird combination style of Audley Harrison and John Ruiz to last long enough to go down by decision. More on that later, however, as the real hero of the hour was Carlos Quintana from Puerto Rico..

The key to Quintana’s victory was using one of Julio’s key strengths, or what many perceived to be a strength, against him. Ever since I have heard the name Joel Julio I have heard one word describing his brutal and accurate punching style, that being “patient.”

Quintana for his part exploited this beautifully as his constant movement never allowed Julio to set up some of those patient and telling blows. By constantly moving in circles, Julio was looking to find an opportunity to fire more so then to actually let his hands go. In between those rare instances when he did, and missed or hit glove, he ate jabs, straight leads, uppercuts, and hooks, basically almost any and every punch in the book. To his credit, he was patient throughout but that lack of a sense of urgency completely cost him the fight, as Quintana who was working overtime, had nothing to worry about once he started moving away.

The only bright moment for Julio came in the first when he landed punch that caused Quintana to lose his balance and touch down with his glove. Even with that knockdown, however, it was difficult to call the round 10-8, because as with the rest of the rounds it was the Puerto Rican all the way. I had the fight a complete shut out, and its not because I was being too eager to jump on the Quintana bandwagon but because he truly was the more effective cleaner fighter in every round.

This is why it is with a heavy heart that I report one of the judges somehow had the fight 115-112 for Quintana as opposed to a more lopsided score. I cannot fathom how that is even possible, except for the fact that the judge was not doing her job. I think it’s a matter of where if a judge actually goes out on a limb to score fights that way then they are accused of showing bias rather then showing sound and objective judging. However, looking to give the other guy rounds just to say you were being fair does not exactly say much about your judging ability.

Coincidentally, I have no idea why Buddy Mcgirt was telling his fighter as late as the 11th round when the fight was all but done NOT to look for the knockout. In the Tarver-Hopkins fight, I had a feeling Tarver would get Koed if he wouldn’t try to survive, but Joel Julio is young and TOO patient which is why that seemed like the wrong kind of advice. It is the trainer’s job to protect his fighter, both from his opponent and himself. In some instances fighters will be too eager to show they are brave, but here Julio was being too confident in his patience, which if he continues to do that will definitely cost him fights. It was disappointing to see a top trainer like Mcgirt give such uninspiring advice.

In other boring action…….

Calvin Brock won a snoozer of a decision against “there to survive” Timur Ibragimov. It is difficult to praise or criticize Brock because he was unable to showcase anything seeing as his opponent was looking to tie him up any chance he got, or move away from any sort of opportunities where exchanges could have occurred. Perhaps it was the heat but really that effects both fighters so Ibragimov is not excused, especially when he is from Uzbekistan, and as my grampa always told me Termez where he survived, was the hottest location in all of the former USSR.

In any case, family stories aside ,Brock was definitely the better fighter, as he was more willing to let his hands go, although they rarely hit something, and fight. Sure it wasn’t terrific, far from it, but it was banking him rounds, pun intended, and making the fight easily lopsided. Again, I cannot praise enough the tactic of shoving the arm in the face of the opponent when he tries to clinch, which is what Brock did very well. Furthermore, Brock also didn’t just resign himself to being tied up and at points actually grabbed Ibragimov’s arms and twisted them to get him off of him.

Ibragimov really put on a pathetic performance, and although it could be later found that he was injured or something of that nature, that does not erase what we saw tonight. For the first few rounds, he looked to throw maybe two combinations and the rest of the time looked for the one punch that was never there, and considering he was going backwards, it seemed even less likely. It’s a shame, too, because he did seem to have decent handspeed and good balanced movement but like Audley Harrison, when a fighter is trying to not get hit, primarily and connect in the secondary, he just won’t get much done. At least before he clinched, Ruiz would fall in with a punch, which none the less, is boring, in some sense gave him something, Ibragimov was nowhere near willing to try and take this fight.

Brock came on strong in one of the middle rounds and had Ibragimov reeling, yet because of the clinching and holding, obviously Ibragimov was able to survive. In the 11th, Vic Drakulich finally realized he could commend both fighters as he pleases and used that opportunity to tell Ibragimov he had enough of the clinches. After that, I would say the only brief instances of life came from the Uzbek fighter as he finally tried to throw Brock down and fight out of a few clinches that Brock had initiated. My only question is where was Drakulich before? I have seen so many of these clinch fests allowed to go on for the duration of the entire fight that I just plead with the TV asking for the referee to do his job. We all know what excessive holding is, and even so, the only referee I have ever seen do something about it is Jay Nady, as well as Mills Lane who actually disqualified Henry Akinwande in his bout with Lennox Lewis. If either of them two were there, I would bet something much more interesting would happen. As it is, everyone including the fighters were disappointed. I wouldn’t have been upset if Ibragimov came out and got knocked out but swinging for the fences as he took his licking like a true prizefighter.

As in the previous fight, I have no idea where one judge can score this fight at 115-113. Considering, I can count the number of effective punches Ibragimov landed on one hand. Those punches would have barely been enough to win him one round, let alone five.

Finally, I understand Calvin Brock is trying to market himself, but talking after the fight, saying how good Ibragimov was in this fight, isn’t the way to do it. If he is really such a smart cat, he should have told it like it is, that being Ibragimov was there to survive and he had to carry the show. We as fans, at least those of us who are not blind, could very well see how “good” Ibragimov was and nobody is being fooled. Potential does not equate to being “good,” just look at Audley Harrison and don’t contact Karen Belford on the matter. At one point during the fight, they showed Mike Tyson with a look of agony pass a towel to someone next to him. I think they suggested it was the heat that was getting to the iron one, but in my opinion it was the terrible performance his friend Timor was putting on.

Bottomline: Show Quintana more often, give Brock another chance, and get Audley Harrison and Timor Ibragimov to face off to see who can put a crowd to sleep faster.

Article posted on 25.06.2006

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