Sam Soliman-Enrique Ornelas: Judges Begrudge Sam The Win

sam soliman18.11.06 - By Wray Edwards - Photo: Tom Casino/Showtime - One constant piece of advice to those who enter the world of manly pursuits is ďDo what you love.Ē If there is any fighter on earth who loves his work more than Sam Soliman it would be a surprise. Ringside at Mohegan Sun ESB witnessed the advent of his American cred as he battled Ronald Wright to a close finish in favor of Winky. His broad smiles and energetic heart won the crowd.

They cheered the new guy as enthusiastically in defeat as they did Wrightís victory. Last night in San Jacinto, California Enrique Ornelas and Sam (King) Soliman thrashed away at each other for ten rounds full of punch and counterpunch. On what was pretty much Ornelasí home turf, the Aussie Soliman entered the ring a happy warrior in contrast to the hooded and deadpan Ornales (brother to Librado Andrade). Once again the sport of Boxing experienced an astoundingly quirky decision. Hereís what happened:

The fight started off with the commentators making somewhat biased comments about Ornelasí chances in this one. As the fight wore on and it became obvious that Sam was taking control, their tune was markedly changed. Because of his pacing and counterpunching I gave Enrique the first four rounds, 39/35. There was a hectic flurry at the end of the First, and the Fourth was a turning point.

In the Fourth there was a head butt (ruled accidental by ref Ray Corona) which caused a two inch cut above Ornelasí left eye which ran a bit of blood. Though Soliman was winning the round, a very questionable KD was awarded by the ref when Enrique whiffed a right across the back of Samís head as he was pulling away to his right and, off balance, touched the canvass. I reluctantly awarded the eight to Sam, but only nine to Enrique because he was convincingly out-pointed by Sam during the rest of the round.

Rounds Five through Ten, with the possible exception of Eight, I awarded to Soliman as he escalated his attack and won the hand-speed and counterpunching contests. Sam continuously charged in as Ornelas grew more and more withdrawn waiting for Samís rushes and eschewing the take charge approach he exhibited in the early frames. Time after time Sam drove the fading Ornelas to the ropes and beat him to the punch. Solimanís corner was very effective in prompting changes as needed to turn the tide.

This fight was the complete opposite of the Briggs-Lyakhovich tableau of stultified ponderosity (is that a word?). These middleweights, demonstrating one of the better combinations of size and speed, pretty much fought a messy brawl mixed with classic feints, combinations and movement. Samís unorthodox approaches which gave Wright so much bother, were just too much for Ornelas.

It did appear that Enrique was not as well conditioned and possibly not as genetically gifted as Sam Soliman. Sam also appeared to have a little bit better chin.

The one fly in the ointment was the totally weird majority decision. Judge Lou Filippo scored the match a draw at 95/95, while judges Raķl CaŪz and Marty Denkin both frittered out a squeaker for Soliman 95/93 which was more a function of their having to go along with the marginal KD of Soliman in the fourth than anything else.

The commentators were aghast at the marginal awards. Judge Filippo must have been (IMO) distracted by the round card girls which Showtime generously included in the show. The outcome of this contest was not at all helpful to Ornelas. Heís young, but now has to pay a lot more dues to find his way back in the hunt.

King Soliman undoubtedly gained more fans and respect, not mention setting his anchor more firmly in top ten middleweight territory. Both fighters showed great sportsmanship after the fight and it was good to see Enrique crack some smiles and lend honor to the profession. Who should Soliman fight next? I would like to see him take on John Duddy. That would be a war. Their styles in concert are perfect for action and excitement. See you at the fights.

Article posted on 19.11.2006

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