Holyfield Decisions Oquendo!

10.11.06 - By Scott Frake: Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfied, 44, won a close 12-round decision tonight over Fres Oquendo at the Alamodome in San Antonio. In the process, Holyfield (40-8-2, 26 KOs) knocked down Oquendo (26-4, 16 KOs) with a big right hand hook in the first round. However, Oquendo was more stunned than hurt and immediately got back up to last out the round. During the next four rounds, Oquendo, 33, dominated the action, mostly behind a jab and straight right, which had the slower Holyfield under control and unable to mount much of an offensive attack.

In the 6th round, Holyfield hit Oquendo with some punches on the belt line that hurt the Puerto Rican fighter. However, Oquendo never went down from the punches but he was clearly bothered by the shots. In the 7th round, Holyfield again had Oquendo hurt, after tagging him with another big right hand to the head. Yet, Holyfield was too slow and lethargic to follow up with enough punches to finish the job. In round 8 - 12, the action was slow with neither fighter distinguishing themselves as the clear winner.

From my perspective, it appeared that Oquendo outworked the slower Holyfield, who appeared to be looking for knockout punches much of the time. Indeed, Holyfield landed the harder punches but he just was unable to throw them in combinations, like he had earlier in his career. The final judges’ scores were 116-111, 114-113 and 114-113. Personally, I had Oquendo winning by a comfortable three-round margin. He was just the busier fighter and appeared to have much more energy than Holyfield.

Hopefully, for Holyfield's sake, he doesn't get a false sense of accomplishment from this and assume that he could successfully challenge one of the heavyweight title holders. Believe me, its one thing for him to squeak by Fres Oquendo and quite another thing fighting a top level fighter like any of the current title holders. In my opinion, I think Holyfield would be brutalized by any of the heavyweight champions, particularly by Wladimir Klitschko and Nikolay Valuev, both of who would likely swiftly take Holyfield out and badly embarrass him, if not permanently hurt him.

Article posted on 11.11.2006

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