Monday, June 29, 2009

The Boxing Bulletin Pound-For-Pound Top 15

With nearly two months worth of fights in the book since our last P4P list, we decided it was about time to update our top 15.

With many of the top names inactive since our last update, there isn't too much movement, but you'll notice there are some changes in position from #6 on down, as well as the reappearance of Rafael Marquez who returned to action after more than a year off.

Photos © Ray Kasprowicz

1. Manny Pacquiao

The Filipino Fighting Machine looks unstoppable right now. In May he added The 140 lb World Title to his collection with a spectacular 2 round destruction of Ricky Hatton and made himself the biggest star in boxing. Reported to be up next for Pacquiao is another P4Per in Miguel Cotto, who will have a significant size advantage over the Pacman when they meet.

2. Juan Manuel Marquez (vs Floyd Mayweather - September 19)

Marquez proved that fighting the Pacquiao even over 2 contests was much more than a style thing when he became the first to knock out both Joel Casamayor and Juan Diaz. The World's Lightweight Champion now has his sights set on Money. He'll be taking on former P4P #1 Mayweather in September at 144 lbs. He's the best Floyd has fought in years.

3. Bernard Hopkins

He's got it all. Perhaps the most complete fighter to come along in the last 2 decades. We haven't seen the old master since his complete handling of Kelly Pavlik last year, but it seems like he's shopping around for a farewell.

4. Shane Mosley

Old Sugar Shane has some of the same stuff that made the old version of Sugar Ray Robinson so great. He's hitting like a truck right now and still has that granite jaw. You're not going to beat this guy with firepower. Sadly, he's stuck in a familiar spot- coming off a huge win with nowhere to go for another splash.

5. Paul Williams

You know what's scary about The Punisher? He hasn't even reached his peak yet. His mix of size, energy, body attack and will make him a dangerous opponent for anyone from 147-168. If he continues to improve, we could be looking at the future of P4P. I certainly think so.

6. Vic Darchinyan (up 1, vs Joseph Agbeko - July 11)

Darchinyan wasted no time rebounding from his first loss to Donaire. He got right back on the horse, took on the best available opponents, and that's why he's as high on the list as he is. In July we'll see his special brand of violent offense against a rugged bantamweight, King Kong Agbeko.

7. Chad Dawson (up 1, UD over Antonio Tarver - May 9)

Bad Chad has rare athletic talent that makes you think of a prime Roy Jones. He's loaded with gifts and appears to have a good head on his shoulders. The man knows his game, but he'll dig down and scrap with ya too, as we saw in his fight with Glen Johnson. We get to see it again later this year!

8. Ivan Calderon (down 2, Draw vs Rodel Mayol - June 13)

Iron Boy dropped a couple of notches after his 6 round technical draw against Rodel Mayol last month. Despite being so good for so long, he'll have to do better in his next outing to keep his name on the list. Still, no one else on here does the "hit and don't get hit" thing better than this guy. At 34, he's lasted longer than most fighters around his weight thanks to his impeccable defensive skills.

9. Nonito Donaire (up 1, vs Rafael Concepcion - August 15)

He destroyed #6, but hasn't done much since. Donaire is scheduled to fight for some interim strap in August against a guy he should definitely beat. Far from inspiring stuff. He's young and full of talent, but he'll need to get a little busier against better opposition if he's to keep moving up the list.

10. Juan Manuel Lopez (up 2, TKO 9 over Olivier Lontchi - June 27)

Lopez has had all the right moves so far. Earlier in the year he went loco on the cranium of Gerry Penalosa, and just pounded out the formerly undefeated Olivier Lontchi last Saturday night. While guys like Marquez and Vazquez are far more grizzled, and perhaps more respected, there are many who would pick the young stud to upset either man in the ring.

11. Fernando Montiel

Montiel made his debut on the P4P lists with a shocking blowout of Martin Castillo at 115 lbs a year and a half ago. Since that time he's moved up to bantamweight, but hasn't really done much more. At 30 years old, now is the time to make a serious move if he's going to make some good money and create a legacy.

12. Miguel Cotto (down 3, SD 12 over Joshua Clottey - June 13)

Cotto did just enough to eek past Clottey, and his reward is 12 rounds with Manny Pacquiao later this year. Many feel that perhaps Cotto has fallen off a little since the Margarito fight. While it's possible, I think you have to give Clottey's defense a lot of credit for shutting the Puerto Rican down. Either way, he's going to need all his ammo to deal with Manny.

13. Mikkel Kessler

Maybe the most frustrating situation in boxing. Kessler sits atop the absolutely loaded 168 lb division, yet he doesn't fight. Think of all the fun to be had at super middle right now... he might miss out on it because of some managerial issues that have kept him on the shelf for way too long now. UGH!

14. Rafael Marquez (NEW, TKO3 over Jose Mendoza - May 23)

The younger Marquez got back into the ring after a year or so, stopping his first opponent in 3 rounds. We're still not exactly sure where he's at, but his deadly power makes him dangerous for anyone. While a fourth fight with Vazquez is possible, I'm not sure it's for the best or if I'll be able to watch. The trilogy is as perfect as it gets in boxing. Let's leave it at that for their sake.

15. Celestino Caballero

His last effort was not his best at all. The struggle to make 122 lbs finally caught up with the lanky Panamanian bomber, who is now moving up to 126. Perhaps he's not the most popular choice in this "what have you done for me lately" business, but you can't argue with his overall resume. I think he'll do just fine at featherweight, and I'm looking forward to his debut there. Caballero-Gamboa anyone?

Just missing the cut...
David Haye, Lucian Bute, Glen Johnson, Carl Froch, Arthur Abraham & Timothy Bradley
Also receiving votes...
Wladimir Klitchko, Ricky Hatton, Nate Campbell, Kelly Pavlik, Chris John, Jean Pascal, Hozumi Hasagawa, Joshua Clottey & Juan Diaz
Not ranked due to inactivity...
Israel Vasquez & Floyd Mayweather

To make our top 15, a fighter must have had at least 1 bout during the previous 12 months.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

British Scene: Jason Booth vs Rocky Dean Preview

Having claimed the title after stepping in on 12 days notice last time out, British super-bantamweight champion Jason Booth makes a quick first defense against the always game but limited Rocky Dean at the historic York Hall in East London on Tuesday evening.

Matt Chudley has the preview.

Check out Matt's recap of the show: Booth vs Dean Recap

Tuesday June 30

Jason Booth vs Rocky Dean (Sky 2)

By Matt Chudley

A former holder of the lightly regarded IBO flyweight title, the classy Booth looked at home in the 122lb division in thoroughly out boxing and stopping the previously unbeaten Mark Moran last time out. Booth, also the holder of the Commonwealth bantamweight title had been scheduled to challenge Lee Haskins for the British super-flyweight crown in April, but stepped up to take on Moran for the 122lb version after both Haskins and Moran's opponent Matthew Marsh pulled out.

With his future still likely to play out in the bantam and super-flyweight divisions, the Nottingham man will be looking to stay sharp but may have more trouble than expected if he is already looking ahead to bigger fights with the likes of Haskins, Malik Bouziane or a rubber match with Ian Napa.

While his eagerness to take on all comers has seen him successfully fluctuate through the weights at home it has also cost him on European title level. All three of his previous attempts at the blue belt have seen his fate resting in the hands of the judges overseas in defeats to David Guerault, Alexander Mahmutov and a technical decision loss to Mimoun Chent who had been cut by an accidental headbutt.

The 14-10-2 Dean is best known for his exciting trilogy with former British Champion Matthew Marsh. Though he may have lost all three, Dean gave a good account of himself in losing the first two fights by a couple of rounds and the third on a majority decision.

Renowned as a tough, game fighter on the UK circuit the man from the Fens will have to rely on his natural size advantage as a career featherweight and super bantam if he is to find any success against the Nottingham slickster. Dean will be looking to lean on Booth against the ropes and drag him into the trenches otherwise he will likely be picked apart by the skillful smaller man.

The co-featured British title eliminator and potentially most competitive fight on the card sees highly regarded prospect Akaash Bhatia (14-0) taking a decent step up in class against the Welsh based Jamie Arthur (14-2). Bhatia has shown flashes of potential thus far but has been matched carefully and would suddenly find himself in line to fight the likes of Martin Lindsay, Paul Appleby and John Simpson should he be successful this time out. Despite the 2 losses, Arthur has also been kept out of harms way and will find himself an underdog for the first time in his career.

In other action, former European Bantamweight champion Ian Napa (18-7) stays active against the 4-0-1 Stuey Hall over 6 rounds ahead of a July 24th challenge for the British 118lb title against Gary Davis.

Also in action is Beijing bronze medalist Darren Sutherland who takes on 2-1 Ukranian Gennady Rasalev in a super-middlewight contest over 6 rounds. With promoter Frank Maloney ready to crank up the pace, Sutherland will find himself back in the ring 10 days later in Sunderland should he come through unscathed.

e-mail Matt Chudley
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Maidana Forces Himself Into Forefront With Scintillating Upset

Micheal Nelson gives his thoughts on Marcos Rene Maidana's stirring come from behind upset win over Victor Ortiz.

Marcos Rene Maidana wore a discouraged look on his face, having just suffered his third knockdown within two rounds. His young opponent threw quicker, shorter punches to go along with jolting power Maidana had not yet encountered in his career.

He continued to fight on, looking to land the same right hand that deposited Victor Ortiz on the canvas in the opening round. But the speed and technique deficit became increasingly apparent in rounds three and four and the momentum was firmly in Ortiz' corner.

Still, the hard-hitting Argentinian confidently came forward. He had been here before, having engaged in a gut check four months earlier in Germany against WBA titlist Andriy Kotelnik. It went into the books as a split decision loss, but most who viewed the fight had a healthy respect for the grit Maidana displayed in the championship rounds as he tore into Kotelnik in hopes of taking the verdict out of the hands of the judges.

The 22 year old Victor Ortiz, while looking phenomenal in making short work of most of his victims, had never gone through anything close to that in a professional prize fight.

So perhaps it shouldn't have been a shock when Ortiz came away from a violent exchange in the middle of round 5 a changed man. While Maidana was becoming more comfortable with the young man's power, Ortiz was beginning to unravel. He had a gash over his eye from one of Maidana's slashing right hands. He got hammered with two more big right hands as the round ended and walked back to his corner on unsteady legs.

When his trainer threatened to stop the fight, Victor was silent. His fighting spirit had been broken by his aggressive opponent. He came out for the sixth, but Maidana ended the proceedings quickly as Ortiz crumpled under an onslaught of right hands. In conjunction with the fight doctor, he decided he had enough.

Having now been in two of the top ten fights of 2009, Maidana's future is promising. He makes for an excellent bout with any of the best that 140 has to offer. The winner of the July 18th matchup between Andriy Kotelnik and Amir Khan could be a natural fight to make... given that a Kotelnik win sets up an appealing rematch. I have my doubts that Khan's trainer Freddie Roach is ready to throw the explosive, but iffy-whiskered Brit into the lion's den.

A fight with fellow South American bangers Juan Urango or Ricardo Torres would be a treat as well. The jr. welterweight division has developed into a vibrant mix of young personalities within the last year, and with his scintillating victory over a highly touted knockout artist in a headlining HBO bout, Maidana has pushed himself out of obscurity and near the forefront.

Meanwhile, the way Victor Ortiz ended the fight and the subsequent comments made in his interview with Max Kellerman ("I'm young but I don't think I deserve to be getting beat up like this") can't be encouraging to fans hoping for an ascent to stardom for the Golden Boy Promotions (and by default, HBO) prodigy. But he's young and talented enough to bounce back. There's a good chance that the loss can make him a better, tougher fighter.

His time may still come. For now, Maidana has the spotlight. There's little doubt that he'll use it to make boxing a little brighter.

e-mail Michael Nelson
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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Live Blog: Lopez vs Lontchi & Ortiz vs Maidana

Welcome to The Boxing Bulletin's live blog coverage of Saturday night's twin-bill action with round by round updates of both the Top Rank PPV and HBO BAD shows.

Coverage will start at 9 PM EST with the under-card of the Top Rank show. We'll then jump over to HBO at 10 PM to cover Victor Ortiz (pictured right) vs Marcos Rene Maidana, and then back to Top Rank in plenty of time for the main-event between Juan Manuel Lopez and Olivier Lontchi.

Thanks for joining us for tonight's Boxing Bulletin live blog coverage. If you've been with us before for a live blog, welcome back. If this is your first time, thanks for checking us out. Feel free to participate by giving your scores and comments.

Top Rank PPV starts at 9 PM EST

Main-event: Juan Manuel Lopez 121.5 lbs (25-0) vs Oliver Lontchi 120 lbs (18-0-2)

Also on the show: Vanes Martirosyan vs Andrey Tsurkan (10 rounds at 154), Cornelius Bundrage vs Yuri Foreman (12 rounds at 154) & Jorge Arce vs Fernando Lumacad (12 rounds at 115)

HBO BAD starts at 10 PM EST.

Victor Ortiz (24-1-1) 139.7 lbs vs Marcos Rene Maidana (25-1) 140 lbs

Vicious Victor Ortiz pictured right in his quick TKO win over Jeffrey Resto last December, photo © Ray Kasprowicz

Just one fight on the HBO show due to the cancellation of the rematch between Chris John and Rocky Juarez.
If you are here early, check out The Boxing Bulletin's previews for tonight's big fights:

Victor Ortiz vs Marcos Rene Maidana Preview

Juan Manuel Lopez vs Olivier Lontchi Preview

Refresh this page often as updates will be frequent

Coverage will start at 9 PM EST.

8:15 EST... The Boxing Bulletin's live blog coverage of tonight's events will start in 45 minutes. Please join us then.

9:05... Martirosyan and Tsurkan will open up the show. Jimmy Lennon Jr. will be handling the intros momentarily.

9:06... Jimmy Lennon... "Welcome to Boardwalk Hall..."

9:07... Steve Smoger is the ref.

9:08... Intros are complete. Smoger with the final instructions.

9:09... We're underway.

9:12... Vanes landed a couple of nice right hands. Tsurkan is the one coming forward, and he's getting caught clean on the way in. Vanes just went to the body hard with a hook, and was warned for straying a little low. 1:00 left in the opening round. Tsurkan keeps plodding forward, while Vanes is circling and landing all the clean shots. There's the bell for round 1.

9:16... Vanes just landed a good upper-cut just over a minute into the second round. Much the same pattern as the first with Tsurkan moving forward, and Vanes circling away and loooking to counter. Vanes is also sticking the jab home. Tsurkan is following but not too busy and when he does throw is having a tough time landing clean. Meanwhile Vanes is landing clean jabs, while mixing in the occasional right hand. Round 2 in the books.

9:16... Tsurkan's corner is telling him he needs to get busier in there.

9:20... Raul Marquez just commented that Tsurkan is lunging in and starting to look like a walking punching bag. Vanes just nailed him with a clean right upper-cut. Tsurkan keeps moving forward, but he's having a tough time getting set. When he does open up, he's also getting tagged. Vanes just landed a nice combo. Vanes looking very comfortable in there. That's it for round 3.

9:24... Marquez just commented that it's 3-0 on his card. That goes without saying. It's been one way traffic. Vanes just landed a solid shot on the button that buckled Tsurkan's knees. About 50 seconds left in the 4th, and Vanes just landed a nice hard combo that seemed to momentarily stagger Tsurkan. There's a clean upper-cut as well. Round 4 coming to a close. This is starting to get a bit pointless.

9:25... The doctor is in Tsurkan's corner having a look. He's getting tagged flush a lot, and there's a swelling developing under his left eye.

9:28... About 2:00 minutes left in round 5. Tsurkan just got drilled with a clean right hand. He's taken a lot of punishment and it's still early. Clean shots on the button. Raul Marquez comments that Tsurkan is just taking a beating. Rich Marotta says Tsurkan needs to get inside and rough Vanes up. He's not quick enough. Let's be honest - there's really nothing he can do here. He's outclassed. There's the bell.

9:29... "Don't put me in a position here, you've got to throw shots!" - Tsurkan's corner. I imagine that's a threat that they'll stop it if he doesn't get back in the fight. I'd say if round 6 resembles the previous 5, that's a very good idea.

9:32... Marotta comments that Vanes is doing a great job not letting Tsurkan get set to throw. He's moving nicely and disrupting his rhythm with his jab. About 1:30 left in the round. Tsurkan just landed a decent left hook. Give him credit for battling on. Just not quick enough to get inside. Round 6 coming to a close. It's been a quieter one for Vanes. There's the bell.

9:33... There's a conference in Tsurkan's corner. Tsurkan wants 1 more round, but it looks like he's being overruled. This one is done. Good stoppage.

9:35... Jimmy Lennon with the announcement. He tells us that the ringside physician suggested Steve Smoger call this one off.

9:36... Next up is Cornelius Bundrage vs Yuri Foreman. This one's an eliminator and scheduled for 12.

9:38... Rich Marotta says that Foreman is on his way to becoming a rabbi. At 28, he's the younger man by 8 years.

9:39... Eddie Cotton is the ref for this one.

9:41... Jimmy Lennon giving the intros. Bundrage is wearing light blue with yellow trim. Foreman is wearing black with gold trim.

9:45... Marquez comments that Foreman's not a big puncher - "big asset is his footwork." We're about a minute in, and nothing's happened so far. A few catcalls from the crowd on the lack of action. Foreman then bulls Bundrage into the corner, and they clinch. A bit of rough stuff there from both guys as Bundrage reacted by whacking Foreman in the back of the head while in the clinch. Marquez says that Bundrage can't be waiting here, he's got to put the pressure on or he'll get outboxed. Round 1 coming to a close. The crowd not enthusiastic about this one so far.

9:46... Just a reminder, we'll be jumping over to the HBO for Ortiz vs Maidana, and then coming back to the Top Rank show. Foreman's corner by the way told him to stop feinting with the jab and actually throw it.

9:49... Curt Menefee just commented that Rich Marotta's having some technical issues. I assume his mike is not working. Not much for Rich to comment on. Not much for me to comment on either. Round 2 is almost in the books. Bundrage has been a little more aggressive, but the action has still been limited.

9:53... Bundrage just tried to land a right, but Foreman pulled away. Now they clinch. A lot of clinches so far. A lot of moving, feinting, clinching... not many clean shots landed. Foreman using his jab. Bundrage trying to attack here and there. Rich Marotta (he's back) just said that Bundrage can't be backing away. He's got to get aggressive in there. Foreman jumps in with a quick combo and gets out quickly. Bundrage is trying to land his right hand, but not having much success. There's another clinch. Foreman just landed a nice hard overhand right that really got Bundrage's attention, and Marquez think that buzzed Bundrage a little bit. Bundrage just whacked Foreman on the break and is warned by Eddie Cotton. There's the bell.

9:54... Foreman was cut in that round around the right eye from an accidental headbutt.

9:55... This one is over, and it's a no contest. That cut is nasty. Just over the right eye.

9:57... The clash of heads actually took place immediately after Foreman landed that hard right hand.

9:58... Jimmy Lennon... "Yuri Foreman the recipient of an unintentional head-butt and deemed unfit to continue by the ringside physician... no decision."

9:58... Up next is Jorge Arce vs Fernando Lumacad, but we'll be heading over to HBO.

10:01... First though, we've got Rich Marotta interviewing Juan Manuel Lopez, who's having his hands wrapped. Through the translator..."I'm excited. This is where I won my title a year ago." Is he effected by the raised expectations? "No pressure, of course I know the expectations are out there, and I'm looking to deliver on those expectations, but no pressure at all." Marotta asks about Lontchi - "We've seen a lot of tape... he doesn't have the style to beat me..."

10:02... "We have to come prepared for every fight. It's not a question of being over-confident. It's a question of doing your work and being confident about what you've done."

10:03... Off to HBO.

10:05... Bob Papa, Max Kellerman and Emanuel Steward handling the commentary.

10:06... This one's at Staples Center in LA.

10:10... HBO's showing a little feature on Victor Ortiz' story. I'll have to watch that later, but for now let's flip back to the Top Rank show, as a quick check reveals that the fighters are in the ring and ready to go.

10:12... Arce and Lumacad is underway.

10:14... Arce edging forward. He just tried a sweeping right hand, and missed as Lumacad ducked underneath it. Action in the center of the ring. Every so often, Arce edges forward, and Lumacad backs away and circles. Arce flicking out a few jabs. He's now short with a hook. Caution action here so far. Lumacad now tries a hook that misses. there's a clinch with a bout 20 seconds left. Very much a feeling out round. There's the bell.

10:15... We'll stick with this one for a little longer. Maidana is entering the arena over in LA. I'd say that one's still at least 5 or 6 minutes from starting.

10:18... Marquez comments that this isn't the Arce we usually see. "We usually see him start fast." Arce comes forward with a hook that is short, and a right hand that misses as well. Lumacad is moving nicely here. Marquez says Arce needs to get more aggressive and try and work the body. Arce tries to throw a right, that's blocked. He's showing more initiative than Lumacad, but hasn't had much luck yet. Lumacad is moving side to side, circling. Under a minute left in round 2. Lumacad ties Arce up as he tries to get inside. Lumacad now misses a hook. Lumacad goes to the body and then ties Arcue up again. Lumacad is moving when he can, and looking to try and beat Arce to the punch and tie him up in close. This round is coming to a close.

10:19... Arce suffered a cut just under his eye at some point during the round. It apparently won't be a problem.

10:20... Maidana and Ortiz are in the ring. The intros are underway.

10:20... The ref is Raul Caiz Sr.

10:21... Heading back quickly to Arce vs Lumacad... and it's over. Wow. Okay, let's see what happened here.

10:21... Hopefully I can catch a quick replay before heading back to the start of Ortiz vs Maidana.

10:22... Here's the replay. Huge right hand counter over the top of Lumacad's left jab. Right on the chin. That was that.

10:23... Wer're back with Ortiz and Maidana. Round 1 is underway.

10:26... Maidana off to a good start early. He just landed a nice counter right hand as Ortiz came inside. Ortiz though kept coming, and landed his own shot. Maidana tried to fire back, and was dropped along the ropes. Now Ortiz is down by a huge right hand! Wow. They traded knockdowns. Ortiz doesn't look good. He's unsteady and Maidana is after him. Ortiz is trying clinch. Maidana is banging the body. Now Ortiz comes back hard and drives Maidana into the ropes. 20 seconds left in the round. Maidana tries to bang the body and Ortiz holds on tight. Ortiz now fires a combo. Maidana fires back! There's the bell. What a round!

10:26... Crazy action round 1. Immediately after the fight resumed after the first knockdown - which was a right hook by Ortiz - Maidana landed a short straight right on the button.

10:27... Harold has it 10-10. I gave it to Maidana. His knockdown was certainly the better one, and I thought he had a slight edge in the round.

10:30... Maidana is putting the pressure on, trying to make this a brawl. He just landed a hard looping right hand. He's getting inside on Ortiz, and digging the body as well. Ortiz firing back with a straight left, and Maidana backs off. Terrific fight so far. Maidana is short with a right hand as he backs Ortiz up. He's got Victor backing up here. Now they clinch along the ropes, but both guys working in the clinch. 50 seconds left in round 2. A little clash of heads, but no blood. Now Ortiz just loaded up with a huge left. He missed. But he came back with another huge right, that caught Maidana and dropped him. Ortiz trying to finish now! Maidana trying to survive the round. 10 seconds left. Maidana is down again. He's up quickly. There's the bell. Wow!

10:31... Here's the replay of the knockdowns. A big right hook dropped Maidana the first time. The second time looked like a right hook as well. Not quite as crisp though.

10:31... 10-7 round for Ortiz on Harold's card. He has it 20-17.

10:34... Maidana just missed with a wild hook. Ortiz patient so far this round. He's not going full out trying to step on the advantage he had at the end of last round. Maidana catches him with a good right hand, and Ortiz responds by coming back hard with a flurry that drove Maidana into the ropes. Maidana came right back with a right hand though. 1:30 to go in round 3. Action now in the center of the ring. Maidana looking to line up the right. They clinch, but work out of it. Caiz yelling for them to let go. Ortiz just got the better of a good exchange. Ortiz misses with a hook, and Maidana counters to the body. They clinch again. 30 seconds left in round 3. Maidana is just short with a hook. Ortiz just misses with a big left hand, and follow up right hook. Steward comments that Maidana is getting a little wide with his punches. There's the bell. Round 3 is in the books.

10:35... Round 4 is underway.

10:35... Harold has it 30-26.

10:38... Maidana just caught Ortiz with a little right hand, as Harold is explaining his score. Kellerman comments that Maidana is getting a little sloppier, but is still very dangerous. Ortiz just landed a nice straight left hand. He's backed Maidana up for a moment. Another good left from Ortiz. He's just short with another one. Maidana trying to dig to the body with his left hand. Steward comments that if Ortiz utilized his right jab a bit more, he'd be having an easier time. 30 seconds left in round 4. Maidana tries to jump in with a right, and they clinch. Action a bit slower here. Ortiz fires off a combo and landed a left hand. He landed it just after the bell.

10:39... Round 5 is underway. 39-36 on Harold's card.

10:42... Ortiz with a hard right hook, that started off a nice flurry. Maidana ties him up. Steward comments that Ortiz just doesn't need to trade his much. Maidana lands a solid right. They clinch and Maidana is warned for hitting behind the head. Ortiz with a nice right hook. Another clinch. With Ortiz fighting out of the southpaw stance, they are coming together awkwardly a bit, resulting in a lot of these clinches. Maidana tries to come forward, and lands an uppercut. Ortiz responds with a combo. They exchange power shots. I think Maidana got the better of that exchange, but Ortiz fires right back immediately. Great action there. 45 seconds left in the round. Ortiz was cut during that exchange. Might have been a clash of heads. Ortiz misses with a counter hook, as Maidana tried to come inside. They clinch with about 15 seconds left. Maidana with a hard right hand down the middle that snapped Ortiz' head back. Another huge right hand by Maidana as the round ends. Some solid shots there.

10:43... The ruling was a punch caused the cut. Ortiz' corner is frantic. They aren't pleased with defensive lapses. It was a right hand on the eye that caused the cut.

10:44... Maidana immediately comes out and rips Ortiz with a right hand. Maidana is landing his right hand clean almost at will. Ortiz is in trouble. He's backing up. Maidana is going after him. Victor is in big trouble. Down he goes. The ref is taking him over the doctor. This is over. Marcos Rene Maidana with a stunning stoppage victory over Victor Ortiz.

10:45... Ortiz got up after the knockdown, but didn't look eager to continue, prompting Caiz to took him over to the doctor.

10:46... That's a nasty cut just over Victor's eye. The time of the stoppage is 46 seconds of round 6. Terrific fight.

10:47... Back over to the Top Rank show. The main-event still looks like it's at least a few minutes from starting. Neither fighter has made their entrance yet.

10:49... Back to HBO. Max Kellerman interviewing Maidana. He's asking how badly hurt he was early in the fight. "I was okay. My legs were a little shaky, but I was okay."

10:50... Max asks Maidana how he was able to get up from the knockdowns. "I was well prepared. Well trained." Maidana also says Ortiz was making some mistakes and he knew that he could eventually take him.

10:54... Victor's eyes don't look good. He's being interviewed now. Big swelling under the left eye. Nasty cut over the right eye. Victor says after he'd put Maidana down twice in the 2nd round, he was still in a bit of a daze. Kellerman asks Ortiz what convinced him to stop fighting. "I was hurt. I'm going to lay down on my back for nobody. That way I can sleep well when I'm older."

10:54... Over to the Top Rank show. Juan Manuel Lopez is ready to make his entrance and the crowd is buzzing.

10:56... Both men are in the ring. Jimmy Lennon Jr. with the intros.

10:58... From Montreal Quebec, by way of Cameroon... Olivier Lontchi. A very mild reception for Olivier.

10:59... The crowd with a big ovation as Lopez is introduced.

11:00... The ref is Alan Huggins.

11:00... We're underway.

11:03... JuanMa is stalking already. He's short with a right hand. Lontchi circling to his left, now to his right. He lands a jab, and Lopez counters. Lopez now comes forward behind his jab and fires off a combo, as Lontchi backs away. Lontchi ties Lopez up on the inside. Lontch tries to come inside, and trips over JuanMa's foot and goes down. No knockdown. 1:30 to go in round 1. Lontch tries to throw a right hand, but gets hit with a counter left. JuanMa misses with a hook, and Lontch tries to clinch, but gets pushed down by Lopez instead. No knockdown there either. Almost a clash of heads there. Lontch is doing a lot of holding early. He's playing spoiler here early. JuanMa pushing forward, misses with a left, but digs a hook to the body. Lontchi lands a right hand and quickly gets on the move and then ties up Lopez. There's the bell.

11:04... Lopez' trainer telling him that he's got to throw the right hook.

11:04... Round is underway.

11:07... Lontch tries to work the body, but he's not standing in. He's throwing one shot quickly and getting out of there real quick. Lopez steadily pushing forward. He just missed with a hook, and Lontchi ties him up. Lopez edging forward. Lontchi bouncing around on the move. Juanma tries to dig downstairs with a hook. Olivier not standing still at all. And I said that, he got caught in the corner... and down he went. He's up quickly. 1:30 to go. Lopez trying to jump on him. Lontchi looks to have his legs here. He's on the move again. Juanma is chasing. Lontchi trying to jab and move now. He's in full scale defense mode. Lopez with a combo as he catches Lontchi on the ropes. Lontchi quickly gets out of there and tries to throw a right hand, but he's short. Marotta comments that Lontchi is getting the occasional shot home, but it's not enough to discourage Lopez from steadily coming forward. Round 2 coming to a close. There's the bell.

11:08... Howard Grant asks Lontchi if he was hurt. "No, I'm okay." The knockdown was a glancing right hand that caught Lontchi maybe a bit off balance.

11:11... Lontchi moving from side to side. Lopez tries to jump in with a hook, and they clinch. Lopez stalking Lontch from one side of the ring to the other. Lontchi backing away and circling. Lopez just short with a left hand. Lopez chasing. Lontchi running. Now Lontchi clinching. Come'on Olivier... let's get in there. Now Lopez tries to back him up along the ropes, but can't get Lontchi to stand still. Now Lopez backs Lontchi into the corner, but gets tied up. Lopez is getting frustrated from all the holding. Lopez with a counter, and Lontchi ties him up again. This is not thrilling stuff. Round 3 is done.

11:12... "Relax Juan, the knockout will come." - the word from Juanma's corner.

11:15... Lontchi tries to jump in with the occasional shot, but it always seems very hesitant. He's kind of jumping in, looking to maybe land and then hold right away. Now JuanMa pushes him back into the ropes and tries to flurry, but Lotchi fights his way out of danger. Lontchi throwing a few more shots this round. Juanma misses with a left, and Lontchi tries to flurry. Again a bit of a flurry by Lontchi. He's letting his hands go a little more. Lopez steadily coming forward. Lontchi standing his ground a little bit more thoug. Now Juanma pushes him back again, and they clinch. Marquez comments that Lopez needs to put his punches together a little better. Lopez throws a right, and Lontchi ducks under. Another clinch. 20 seconds left in the round. Another clinch. More holding and grabbing, as Lopez misses and gets tied up. That's it for round 4.

11:16... Lontch is being told he needs to hold ground more and throw some punches. I think we'd all like to see it as this isn't very entertaining so far.

11:19... Lopez is not having much luck with his straight left. Lontchi is ducking under it almost every time. Now Juanma comes forward, tries to throw a combo, but gets tied up. Lopez again misses over the top. If Juanma went to the body a little bit more, I think he'd have some more success. Suddenly Lontchi lands a decent right hand. Now Lontchi disgs to the body. Lopez tries to counter, and they clinch again. Lontchi looking a little bit more confident. Lontchi again lands a clean right right. That was on the button. Suddenly things are looking up from the man from Canada. Lopez keeps pushing forward. Lontchi firing back though. Good round from the big underdog. Lopez a little frustrated as he pushes Lontci back against the ropes. Lopez is short with a left hand. Lopez tries to flurry, as Lontchi dances away. Much better performance from the challenger.

11:20... "You've got to use your jab, JuanMa" - Lopez' corner.

11:20... Round 6 is underway.

11:23... Raul Marquez gave Lontchi the 5th round. Marotta agrees. Lopez edging forward. Lontchi gets away from a left hand and tries to jump in with a combo, and then quickly dances away. Juanma again missing over the top with a left. Juanma should be using that jab, going to the body. He's not having much luck going upstairs. Lontchi with a right hand. Decent left by Lopez. Lopez is short with a left. 1:00 left in the round. Lopez with a couple of left hands. Lontchi fired back though. Lopez fires off a left, and there's another clinch. Now Juanma goes downstairs hard with a couple shots, but Lontchi responds again by throwing back. There's the bell.

11:24... "You've got to get inside and hit him in the body." - Lontchi's corner.

11:28... Lontchi fires off a right hand into the guard. Lopez short with a left. Lontchi with a right hand into the guard. Lopez with a nice left hand to the body. Lontchi gets caught with an uppercut. Lopez follows up with a hook, but it's over the top and misses. Lontchi fires back with a right, but it's ahort. Lopez keeping plugging forward, trying to land his power shots. Lontchi dancing away to his left. He flurries, and gets out quickly. Lopez witha hard digging left hand to the body. Lonchi with his guard up, is vulnerable downstairs. Lopez with a hard combo and drives Lontchi into the ropes. Lopez forces Lontchi in the corner, and flurries, only for Lontchi to fight his way out of the corner. Lotnch now grabs a hold of Lopez in close, trying to buy a few seconds. Now much time left in the the round. Lopez comes forward and digs another hard hook to the body as the round ends. That's really what he should be doing. Lontchi has the guard up, but he's open downstairs.

11:29... I should mention The Boxing Bulletin's Michael Nelson said he thought Lontchi had a good chance to go the distance. He's almost 2/3rds of the way there.

11:31... Lopez is making a concerted effort to go to the body here. Lontchi on the move. Lopez with a nice combo. Lontchi trying to come back with something, and they clinch. Lontchi's legs perhaps starting to show the effect of all his moving. He just landed a decent counter right though. Lopez keeps coming forward though. Lopez with a decent combo. Lontchi ties him up though. Lontchi tried to hold on there, and Lopez pushes his head down. Lopez with a decent uppercut. A clash of heads. Looks like no damage. They touch gloves. Juanma pushing forward. He's digging downstairs. Now he catches Lontchi with a little hook. Very good round here for Lopez. Lontchi is looking a little ragged as the bell rings.

11:32... Lontchi's corner tells him he's losing energy moving so much. He's got to stand and try and work on the inside. Easier said than done with the power of Lopez.

11:36... Round 9. Lopez backs Lontchi into the ropes, and flurries. He backs Lontchi into the ropes and bangs him downstairs. Lontchi fires back, but it's low and Lontchi is warned. Lopez takes a quick breather, and gets back in there. Lopez fires over the top with his straight left. Lontchi tries to fire his right, but misses. Lontchi back on the move. He tries to stop and throw, and then quickly back to circling. Lopez with a big left hand. That landed flush, and down goes Lontchi. He's up. He doesn't look steady though. Lopez patiently comes in to try and finish. He catches Lontchi with another hook. Lontchi managing to hold on though. Lontchi has a hold of Lopez' left. Lontchi hanging in there and now throwing back. 10 seconds to go in the round. There's the bell.

11:36... The knockdown came from a jab, followed up by a straight left.

11:37... This one is over. Lontchi's corner has stopped it. Good move. He wasn't going to win, and he was starting to get banged up.

11:38... Raul Marquez applauds the decision to call it a day.

11:40... Jimmy Lennon Jr. with the official announcement. "Upon advice of the corner, the fighter is unable to continue... winner by knockout, Juan Manuel Lopez."

11:44... Rich Marotta with Lopez for the post-fight interview. "Every fight is a learning experience. Tonight I learned a lot. He was a difficult tough guy style wise." Juanma says he took his time, he knew he had him. Marotta mentions the 5th round where Lontchi landed a few clean rights, did they hurt? "I did feel his punches. He doesn't have a lot of knockouts, but he does have a hard punch." Marotta asks about Juanma's body punching... "In the corner, they told me don't forget the body, you go to keep throwing there to slow him down. I listened to my corner and it worked." Who's next? "1 more defense at 122 in September or October, then moving up."

11:46... That's it for The Boxing Bulletin's live coverage of tonight's shows. We'll be back in a couple weeks for Vic Darchinyan vs Joseph Agbeko on July 11.

Check out Michael Nelson's story on Maidana's come from behind win over Ortiz: Maidana Forces Himself Into Forefront With Scintillating Upset

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Molitor Edges Past Ruiz

Andrew Fruman recaps last night's Casino Rama main-event between Steve Molitor and Heriberto Ruiz.

Scattered boos met the action last night in Rama, Ontario as Steve Molitor laboured to a split decision win over Mexico’s Heriberto Ruiz. It was hard to blame the crowd’s frustration, as the fight was a listless affair from the get go with shows of initiative rare by either man.

Molitor had his best success when he came forward throwing combos, with his straight left and right hook finding the mark when he did let his hands go. It was however not a common occurrence as The Canadian Kid appeared tight and overly tentative throughout the dull 12 rounder.

A little caution was understandable given what took place last November against Celestino Caballero, but with a clear edge in speed and skills over the plodding, wide swinging Ruiz, it was frustrating to watch Molitor lay back round after round.

Ruiz was just as guilty for the lack of action, seemingly content to sit back and look for countering opportunities. He landed the occasional decent right hand, but was mostly too slow to react and came up short with most of his counters.

Adding to Molitor’s struggles was a nasty gash high on the left side of his forehead suffered during a 7th round clash of heads. It was the typical southpaw-orthodox situation with Molitor trying to come inside with a left hand as Ruiz leaned in to throw a right.

To his credit, Molitor apologized to the crowd after the bout and promised better in the future. He’ll have to deliver on that, because this type of performance won't get the desired results against the elite of the division.

The scores were 116-112 twice for Molitor, and 116-112 for Ruiz on the other card.

After the bout, promoter Allan Tremblay said Molitor will likely meet the winner of Kiko Martinez and Takalani Ndlovu next time out. That will possibly take place on September 4, but it could happen as late as November, depending on when Martinez and Ndlovu go at it.

e-mail Andrew Fruman
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Juan Manuel Lopez vs Olivier Lontchi Preview

Andrew Fruman previews Saturday night's Top Rank PPV main event between Juan Manuel Lopez and Olivier Lontchi.

This Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, in the main event of Top Rank’s Latin Fury PPV show (on Super Channel in Canada) unheralded Montreal super-bantamweight Oliver Lontchi takes on arguably the sport’s most talented young star in Puerto Rico's Juan Manuel Lopez.

Make sure to check out The Boxing Bulletin's live blog coverage of this event

The fight will be a huge jump in class for the 26 year old Cameroonian born Canadian, who only a little less than 3 months ago had his hands full with Cecilio Santos. While Santos has challenged for titles at lower weights, and held his own with world class opposition, he’s nowhere near the same level as Lopez.

This isn’t the first time GYM has rolled the dice, sending an unproven fighter into the lion’s den. Back in January of 2007, Herman Ngoudjo another Cameroonian born Canadian (Ngoudjo and Lontchi arrived together as part of Cameroon's team at the 2001 Francophone games held in Ottawa) from the GYM stable took on former lightweight champ Jose Luis Castillo as part of an HBO double-header that also featured Ricky Hatton and Juan Urango.

The card was designed to hype a Castillo/Hatton showdown, with the little known Ngoudjo expected to be no more than cannon fodder. Instead, Ngoudjo very nearly upset the planned showdown by pushing Castillo to the brink in narrowly losing a split decision.

Can Lontchi pull off a similar surprise by giving Lopez a run for his money?

The odds are certainly stacked against him – more so than they were against Ngoudjo.

While it’s true that Castillo was considered a P4P fighter at the time, it’s also safe to say that he was on the downside of his career. Plus, the bout was at 140 pounds, and the grinding physical style that Castillo employed was bound to not be as effective with the jump in weight.

Juan Manuel Lopez on the other hand has likely not even reached his peak, and looked better than ever last time out against Gerry Penalosa. The crafty Filipino managed to last until the end of the 9th round, but took a beating for his troubles.

Prior to that, Lopez had been on a destructive run that had seen him knock out Sergio Manuel Medina, Cesar Figueroa and Daniel Ponce de Leon all in under a round.

If there was a criticism to be levied against Lopez it was that he was perhaps too reliant on his devastating right hook – but against Penalosa he mixed up his punches together nicely in steadily hammering out a dominating win.

While mostly untested at the world class level, it’s clear that the quick handed Lontchi also brings some solid attributes to the table.

Besides fast hands, he’s a determined body puncher. He throws more than one shot at a time downstairs, and often finishes combinations up by firing off a couple salvos to the mid-section. It’s paid off well, especially in his last two fights, as he finished off Santos with a left hook to the liver, and stopped Ruben Estanislao with a right hand to the solar plexus. Both men dropped in agony.

While some speedy fighters try and get in and out quickly, Lontchi instead prefers to fire off multi-punch combinations from mid-range. It’s a style that makes him exciting to watch but also vulnerable to getting tagged in return. He keeps his gloves up, but he isn’t particularly slippery and can be countered.

In a nutshell, he’s quick and scrappy, but not really a slick operator, and it’s hard to imagine Lopez not catching him clean – so how well he does will come down to his durability. He’s going to have to take some hard shots, and in order to last, his capacity for punishment will need to be world class.

Realistically, the underdog from Canada's chances are slim. There are few tougher opponents to make a splash on the world stage against than Lopez. But Lontchi has enough ability to make a really solid showing, and if he can give the Puerto Rican knockout artist some trouble, it would dramatically raise his stock.

e-mail Andrew Fruman

Make sure to check out The Boxing Bulletin's live blog coverage of this event

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Score it!.. Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez II

Earlier this month, The Boxing Bulletin's Score It! feature went back to May 8, 2004 for the first of the two dramatic battles between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez. For this edition, we're going to take a look at last year's bloody and equally contentious rematch.

The lightning fast Filipino southpaw came away from the Mandalay Bay that night with the win, but many fans felt the Mexican maestro deserved the verdict, leaving supporters of both warriors hotly debating the rightful winner.

Did the judges have it right? Let's take a look at our scorecards...

March 15, 2008 - Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez II

The Boxing Bulletin judges for this one are:

Lee Payton, Michael Nelson, Jeff Pryor, John Vaci and Andrew Fruman.
"This is much more of a chess match
than what took place in the first round
of May 8, 2004." - Jim Lampley

10-9 Pacquiao

“Pacquiao landed about half a dozen right jabs and light right hooks, mixed in with a few body shots, while Marquez didn't land much of anything except a big straight right. Marquez' shot was by far the hardest punch of the round, and made it razor close on my card.” – Michael Nelson

“Very close round. Pac was the busier of the two, and landed more, but the best punch of the round was a hard straight right hand by Marquez with just over a minute to go. Not enough to turn the tables however.” – Andrew Fruman

10-9 Marquez

“In a mostly quiet opening 3 minutes, Marquez landed the most significant punch of the round with an eye catching straight right hand that snapped Paquiao’s head back.” – John Vaci

10-10 Even

"JMM landed the best punch of the round, but was outworked, so I made it even. It really was round 13 in many ways. I scored the 12th round of their first fight even and I am going to do the same here. The respect they have for each other is obvious." - Lee Payton

Official Judge's Cards

Tom Miller 10-9 Pacquiao, Duane Ford 10-9 Pacquiao, Jerry Roth 10-9 Pacquiao

10-9 Marquez

“Tit for tat until the beautiful combination that rocked Pacquiao in the final seconds. Marquez is starting to time his counters well in this round, particularly whenever Pac reaches for his body. He's also landing a sweeping left hook behind Pac's guard.” – Michael Nelson

“Through minute one, each man has landed a few solid body blows. Pac lands a punch that nails Marquez's cheek, Marquez lands a right that twists Manny's head. With two minutes to go they fence with multiple swings none of which land. JMM lands another sweeping right that rakes Pac's head around. Then they take turns driving one another back. Manny is more effective, causing Juan's knees to buckle for just an instant. Marquez is unfazed and continues countering effectively until the end of the round. A right hook-left hook combo nearly decapitates Manny and causes him to stumble for a moment. Ding! The Bell saves him. Not surprisingly, Manny grins in the corner.” - Jeff Pryor

Official Judge's Cards

Tom Miller 10-9 Marquez, Duane Ford 10-9 Marquez, Jerry Roth 10-9 Marquez

"Marquez almost went down a second
time and and he almost went to the wrong
corner as well!" - Jim Lampley

10-8 Pacquiao

“A minute in and another sweet straight right lands right in the mush for JMM. It appears he's successfully lulled Pacquiao into a chess match, only to get suckered into a battle of exchanges near the end of the round and pays a huge price as a perfect short left hand finds his chin and deposits him on his trunks. It was a devastating punch, but he somehow gets up at 3 or 4. His first instinct is to fight back as hard as he can (Ya Gotta Love it!) and they trade wildly for the last 5 seconds and Pac lands a right hook to the temple that has Marquez dazed and staggering around in a fog after the bell." - Lee Payton

"Late in the round, Manny catches Marquez flat footed with a straight shot. Marquez tries to counter, but he's off balance from the blow. He might be more hurt by that then he lets on. Moments later they flurry along the ropes and Pacquiao clips Juan with a cross to the body, followed by a short left hook that sends Dynamita flailing down to the mat. Marquez is stung, he gets up and unloads both barrels in an effort to survive as the two of them engage in a whirlwind. Marquez catches Pac with three brutal straight salvos, but the Filipino keeps swinging, buckling Marquez's knees again. The round ends and Marquez is still standing, trying to catch his breath, trailing after Manny in a daze. The ref pulls him around, and he plods towards his own corner.” - Jeff Pryor

“Marquez landed a hard right hand in the first minute, which was the only real punch of note until Pac started to find the range with his left hand. He landed a couple good ones in the last minute, before finding the mark with a huge counter left that put Marquez flat on his back. Marquez tried to rally, but was almost put down for a second time as the round ended.” - Andrew Fruman

Official Judge's Cards

Tom Miller 10-8 Pacquiao, Duane Ford 10-8 Pacquiao, Jerry Roth 10-8 Pacquiao

10-9 Pacquiao

“Pac comes out to test his man and Marquez lets him know it is gonna be another long night. Every time Manny lands something, Marquez tries to come right back. What a chin! He's taking some bombs in this round and is standing up to them quite well. At :53 Manny threw something similar to the shot that nearly beheaded Hatton and JMM took it. Things calm down a little and Marquez whips out a lead left hook that Pac seems to enjoy. Pretty awesome round that belonged to the Pac-Man.” – Lee Payton

“The first two minutes were all Pacquiao, as he smacked Marquez upside the head with the straight left. Marquez rallied a bit the last minute of the round, but not anywhere near enough to win it.” – John Vaci

10-9 Marquez

“The first minute is solid action. Manny steals a page from Juan and sweeps a left that just misses, the clean-up right bangs off Marquez's face. Marquez asserts himself and drives Pacquiao to the ropes, peppering him with blows. Manny nods his head. The second minute ticks by with minor skirmishes, then they explode again, each landing big shots, generally ramrod rights and lefts. Pacquiao smacks Marquez with a left hook upside the head. Marquez takes it. A moment later, Marquez cracks Pacquiao with a sweeping left hook flush to the cheek. Paquiao takes it. Nods. The rounds a dead heat. Marquez hears the sticks, and darts forward flinging a couple hard shots, just nudging things his way.” – Jeff Pryor

Official Judge's Cards

Tom Miller 10-9 Pacquiao, Duane Ford 10-9 Pacquiao, Jerry Roth 10-9 Pacquiao

Totals after 4 rounds

Tom Miller 39-36 Pacquiao, Duane Ford 39-36 Pacquiao, Jerry Roth 39-36 Pacquiao

"There's the right hand again. That's
the scoring weapon for Juan Manuel
Marquez. He has managed to keep it a
boxing match in this round." - Jim Lampley

10-9 Marquez

“Little to choose between the two for the first 1:30 and then JMM gets home with a straight right, followed by a short combination that puts Manny on the defensive. A little right counters Pacquiao's long left attempt. Marquez has cut Pacquiao's activity down in a big way by circling to his own left and staying set offensively. A cobra-like right with :20 to go seals the round for Marquez.” – Lee Payton

“Marquez landed 3-4 good left hooks to the body, got his jab working, and nailed Pacquiao with a few hard right hands to clearly take the round.” – Michael Nelson

"These guys are the best of the best; when they land, it tends to be flush. Marquez is showing a little more tenacity right now, and towards the end he presses forward unleashing a flurry of punches. Again, just putting out a little more and nipping the round.” Jeff Pryor

Official Judge's Cards

Tom Miller 10-9 Marquez, Duane Ford 10-9 Marquez, Jerry Roth 10-9 Marquez

"Alright, I want you to get busy out there. When you're first, you control him. Let's
be first out there with that jab. Control
him with that jab." - Freddie Roach

10-9 Marquez

“Two perfectly set up counter rights take the first minute for JMM, who continues to circle intelligently. Pac is frustrated and just tries to explode but is tagged with a right hand to end an exchange. Beautiful left uppercit-straight right comination for JMM who is very comfortable. He's totally messed up Pac's rhythm thus far. Another laser right to the side of the head to punctuate a perfect round for Marquez. He landed all of the clean punches.” – Lee Payton

“What control... Marquez starts the motion for a straight right, hesitates just an instant until things line up and then flings it out, smacking flat into Manny's face. Again, things have slowed a little. Marquez lands a right counter over the top clean. Manny catches Marquez standing straight and clips him. Pacquiao hooks inside; left, right to good effect. Follows with a hard straight. Marquez makes Pacquiao's whole body flail sideways with a right hook. They trade brutally, on even terms, then Marquez shoots a couple inside, scores and pistons quickly back out to distance and safety. Marquez catches Manny standing straight and clips him. Once again the sticks clap, and Marquez puts together a couple impressive punches. While both men do tremendous work, Marquez out slicks him when necessary, out punches him when all else fails.” – Jeff Pryor

Official Judge's Cards

Tom Miller 10-9 Pacquiao, Duane Ford 10-9 Pacquiao, Jerry Roth 10-9 Marquez

"Marquez is going to have to fight him. You can't outbox this guy. You've got to fight him." - Emanuel Steward

10-9 Pacquiao

"The exchanges were pretty even, but I gave Pacquiao the edge because I thought he landed a couple really hard, clean punches while forcing the action.” – Lee Payton

“I'm tempted to call this an even round. There were frenzied exchanges after the headbutt that seemed to favor Pacquiao, but neither man landed much. I give a slight edge to Pacquiao for two left hands near the middle of the round that seemed to be the most definitive punches of the stanza.” – Michael Nelson

“The first third of the round Marquez gets the better of it. Pacquiao forcefully bangs his gloves together once again. Midway through, a clash of heads and blood trickles from the right corner of Juan's eye. Blood seeps from his nose too. Pacquiao enlivened by the crimson, pours it on, ferociously attacking. Marquez responds in kind and they go toe to toe, tit for tat, with Pacquiao having slightly the better. Things settle and the round is still up for grabs. Neither seals it in the final seconds, though for me Pacquiao's work in the frenetic final minute puts the round in his column. Pacquiao is cut by the rounds end as well.” – Jeff Pryor

10-10 Even

“Each man had their moments in a round with some great exchanges. I felt like Marquez had the slightest of leads at the one minute mark, with Pac evening things up in the second third, with neither man separating themselves in the final minute. I watched it a second time, and still wasn't comfortable choosing a winner. Even on my card.” – Andrew Fruman

Official Judge's Cards

Tom Miller 10-9 Marquez, Duane Ford 10-9 Marquez, Jerry Roth 10-9 Marquez

"An amazingly even fight... and
the straight right hand by Marquez
hurts Pacquiao!" - Jim Lampley

10-9 Marquez

"Marquez beat Pacquiao up in this round.” – Lee Payton

“Marquez lands a right hand that results in a bad cut over Pacquiao right eye, then hurts Pacquaio with a left hook to the body shortly thereafter. Over the next two minutes, he lands several more right hands to close out a dominant round.” – Michael Nelson

10-8 Marquez

“The ABC scoring guidelines state that: No knockdowns, but a clear dominating winning of the round – 10-8.

I think this round qualifies. Marquez was dominant. He cut Pacquaio early, and proceeded to lay a steady hurting, landing several of the hardest punches we've seen so far in the fight. By far the most one sided 3 minutes by either man since the opening frame of the first fight.” – Andrew Fruman

Official Judge's Cards

Tom Miller 10-9 Marquez, Duane Ford 10-9 Marquez, Jerry Roth 10-9 Marquez

Totals after 8 rounds

Miller 76-75 Pacquiao, Ford 76-75 Pacquiao, Roth 76-75 Marquez

10-9 Pacquiao

“Another extremely close round. It could be called even, but Pacquiao's punches caused more damage. A big left hand opened a nasty gash over Marquez' right eye.” – Michael Nelson

“Unsurprisingly, Pacquiao comes out ruggedly determined to turn the tide and press things. For the first half of the round he makes it happen, landing several big shots over the course. Then Juan lands two big straight right hands, reopening Manny's cut. Pacquiao shotguns a straight left into Marquez's face, and then gets a little wild and they come together awkwardly. After a few heated exchanges where Pacquiao continues to slimly edge it, Marquez's face is smeared with blood again. The doctor takes a look. Marquez has a second cut on the same eye. Marquez comes out looking to reestablish himself, but it's just simply Manny's round. His shots are landing, and Juan's are coming up short. Manny, does a brief Ali shuffle as the bell sounds, underlining his solid bounce back round.” – Jeff Pryor

“This was another really close round, in which Pacquiao did just a little bit more. I said this in my comments on the first fight – but having the ½ point option which is now available to judges in some places would be nice for a round like this.” – Andrew Fruman

Official Judge's Cards

Tom Miller 10-9 Pacquiao, Duane Ford 10-9 Pacquiao, Jerry Roth 10-9 Marquez

"Another left hand rocks Marquez
and the blood begins to flow in his
right eye. Big round for Pacquiao
so far." - Jim Lampley

10-9 Pacquiao

“Pac staggers JMM with a weird, wide left hand that come out of nowhere. He followed up like a mad man with JMM on the ropes. Of course, Marquez sings right along with him and quiets things down with a nifty move that turns him off the ropes. Pac lands his own big counter punch in response to a missed right. JMM seems to be standing his ground more and is eating lefts for his bravery.” – Lee Payton

“In the first 15 seconds of the round Marquez gets aggressive and pays. Pacquiao lands a prequel to the punch that would end Hatton's night, a short right hand that he lands while slipping Juan's attack. It's a thing of brutal beauty and sends Juan staggering to the ropes. Manny shoots forward trying to capitalize, but Marquez dodges much of the attack, like a matador. He seems unfazed and is firing back, but nothing by either man really lands. The next two minutes, Marquez rights the ship and they fight on even terms. Both men are damn near indomitable. Manny, punctuates the round with a final blow and bags another stanza.” – Jeff Pryor

“After hurting Marquez with a left hand counter early in the round, Pac went on the offensive and had much the better of things for the first minute and a half – and then Marquez steadily worked his way back into the round, having most of the good moments over the final minute. After the rough start, he made it close, but not close enough to overcome the big early deficit.” – Andrew Fruman

Official Judge's Cards

Tom Miller 10-9 Pacquiao, Duane Ford 10-9 Pacquiao, Jerry Roth 10-9 Pacquiao

"You're not pressing him. You're not
pressing him. You're waiting. Come'on.
Press, press. There's only two more
rounds Juan..." - Nacho Beristain

"Blood is drama. We have blood,
we have drama." - Larry Merchant

10-9 Marquez

“I thought Marquez won it close but clear with a handful of solid punches upstairs and down. Manny was tamed for the most part.” – Lee Payton

“The first half of the round is an even affair. A punch by Juan strays minimally low, Manny takes the opportunity for a breather. He looks shop worn. Midway through, Marquez lands a string of straights that drive Pacquiao back to the ropes, asserting his lead in the round. It tightens up a little, as both men land effectively, but Pacquiao seems to be tired and isn't throwing as much. Very slight edge to Marquez. Lampley thinks Marquez may need a knockout to win, Marquez probably thinks the same thing himself these days.” – Jeff Pryor

10-10 Even

“Both guys had their moments, each landing a handful of clean punches in a very closely contested round. Neither one separated himself enough from the other to pick a winner on my card.” – John Vaci

Official Judge's Cards

Tom Miller 10-9 Marquez, Duane Ford 10-9 Marquez, Jerry Roth 10-9 Marquez

"I have the fight 6-5 for Marquez, which
means I have an even fight, because
of the knockdown by Pacquiao" - Larry Merchant

"Sometimes judges score blood, and
it's Marquez that has had blood running
down his face for the last three rounds
of the fight." - Jim Lampley

10-9 Marquez

“Marquez closed out the fight by having his way with Pacquiao tactically. He controlled the pace of the round and countered at will. Clear round for Juan Manuel.” – Lee Payton

“A clear round for Marquez, as he put together some of his best combinations of the fight. He seemingly out-landed Pacquiao 2 to 1.” – Michael Nelson

“The first minute, Marquez is just doing more. Much is being blocked, but some are getting through. Manny seems to be holding himself in reserve. Second minute, they trade. Marquez looks tired and off balance which is quite rare for him. Marquez lands a couple big rights over the last minute, but is more economical. Pacquiao is pressing, but largely ineffective. They both have minor rallies. Overall Marquez, takes the round.” – Jeff Pryor

10-9 Pacquiao

“Marquez had his moments, but I thought Manny landed enough straight lefts and outfought Marquez in close quarters to take it.” – John Vaci

Official Judge's Cards

Tom Miller 10-9 Marquez, Duane Ford 10-9 Pacquiao, Jerry Roth 10-9 Marquez

Final Scores

Official Cards

Tom Miller: 114-113 Pacquiao
Duane Ford: 115-112 Pacquiao
Jerry Roth: 115-112 Marquez

The Boxing Bulletin Cards

Lee Payton: 114-114 Draw
Michael Nelson: 114-113 Pacquiao
Jeff Pryor: 114-113 Marquez
John Vaci: 115-113 Pacquiao
Andrew Fruman: 114-113 Marquez

The Boxing Bulletin Official Scorecard

R1: Pacquiao
R2: Marquez
R3: Pacquiao (10-8)
R4: Pacquiao
R5: Marquez
R6: Marquez
R7: Pacquiao
R8: Marquez
R9: Pacquiao
R10: Pacquiao
R11: Marquez
R12: Marquez

Overall, we scored the bout 6-6, which comes out to 114-113 Pacquiao with the knockdown.

However, we were deadlocked 2-2-1, with two scorers favoring Pacquaio, two going with Marquez and one even card.

Marquez swept 4 rounds on our cards (2, 5, 6, 8) as well as taking a 4/5ths share in rounds 11 and 12, while Pacquiao had the unanimous edge on 3 cards (3, 9 & 10) and a 4/5ths share of rounds 4 and 7.

In 11 of the 12 rounds, at least 4 of us had the same score.

Notable differences to the official cards:

All 3 official judges gave Marquez round 7, while 4 of the 5 Boxing Bulletin judges scored the round for Pacquiao.

All 5 Boxing Bulletin judges gave round 6 to Marquez, while 2 of the 3 official judges scored the round for Pacquiao.

Please join us again next month when we give the round by round scorecard treatment to another controversial fight from the past.

Previous Editions of Score it!

Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez I

Nigel Benn vs Chris Eubank II

Larry Holmes vs Tim Witherspoon

Erik Morales vs Marco Antonio Barrera I

Sugar Ray Leonard vs Marvin Hagler
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Monday, June 22, 2009

British Scene Weekend Recap

This past Friday night at the Bellahouston Sports Centre in Glasgow, Ricky Burns defended his Commonwealth super-featherweight title against Kevin O'Hara. The show also featured the return of Edinburgh's Alex Arthur.

Dave Oakes has the recap.

Check out Dave's Preview of the Show: Ricky Burns vs Kevin O'Hara Preview

Saturday June 13

Burns Scrapes Past O'Hara

By Dave Oakes

Ricky Burns survived a tough test on Friday night to retain his Commonwealth super-featherweight title at the Bellahouston Sports Centre, Glasgow.

Burns never seemed to find his rhythm and struggled to establish himself against a fired up Kevin O’Hara. O’Hara has been guilty of underachieving when he’s taken a step up in class in the past, but it was a different story this time as he jumped on the champion early and tried to force the pace of the fight.

The first four rounds were very even, with O’Hara pressing but not landing many punches and Burns back-pedaling whilst also not landing many punches.

Burns fared slightly better in rounds five to eight, he wasn’t dominating but he was out-hustling O’Hara to edge the rounds. O’Hara was starting to look a touch tired in the seventh but continued to press forward where Burns met him with a jab before clinching. This was to be a pattern in the fight, Burns didn’t look comfortable when O’Hara was on the inside and was content to tie him up rather than trade with him.

O’Hara seemed to get a second wind in the last few rounds; he was pressing with more authority but was still landing very little. O’Hara was only throwing left-hooks; Burns had noticed this early in the fight and was now catching most of them on his gloves.

Despite the predictability of his opponent, Burns wasn’t doing much other than throwing the odd jab and left hook to the body before tying O’Hara up on the inside. Surprisingly he didn’t seem capable of countering O’Hara and looked uncomfortable and awkward all through the fight.

O’Hara was deducted a point in the ninth for deliberate use of the head. With the fight looking to be very close, it was a daft thing for O’Hara to do. As it was, it didn’t make any difference as the judges scored the bout surprisingly wide in favour of Burns. The judges scorecards read: 117-110, 117-111 and a much more sensible 115-113.

All in all, this wasn’t a particularly entertaining fight and has to go down as the worst performance by Burns since he lost to Carl Johanneson a couple of years ago. He didn’t seem to be motivated and was lucky that O’Hara was one-dimensional in his attacks; if O’Hara had mixed it up a bit more he could’ve pulled off a shock win.

Burns may be in need of a break to help recharge his batteries before making another defence of his title later this year. I don’t think it would be wise at this stage of his career to go looking for fights against Kevin Mitchell and Roman Martinez like he’s been talking about. Both of those fighters would make very easy work of Burns based on Friday night’s performance.

On the undercard…

Alex Arthur made a successful return to the ring by blowing away the hapless Mohamed Benbiou inside ninety seconds. Benbiou was down three times and looked hurt every time Arthur landed. It was a big left hook to the body that brought the mismatch to an end. Arthur is now campaigning at lightweight; it’ll be interesting to see how he does there after a fairly successful career at super-featherweight.

e-mail Dave Oakes
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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Photo Gallery: Fernando Guerrero vs Brian Norman

Photographer Cheryl Nemazie was ringside at the Wicomico Civic Center in Salisbury Maryland to capture all the action from Friday night's Prize Fight TV show.

We've got the key moments from the main-event that featured exciting middleweight prospect Fernando Guerrero's stoppage victory over Brian Norman, plus a selection of shots from the undercard bouts.

Fernando Guerrero vs Brian Norman

Photos © Cheryl Nemazie / - Click on the images to enlarge.

Norman had the better of the opening round, but in the second frame Guerrero started to find the range with sharp uppercuts and digging body shots.
After a hard right hand to the body strayed a little low, Guerrero hurt Norman with a combination along the ropes. A series of power shots, culminating in a right hand eventually put the tough veteran down.
Despite never fully regaining his legs, Norman tried to slug it out and was quickly in trouble again. Guerrero unloaded with a series of clean power shots that had the visiting fighter on the canvas for the second time.
Guerrero waits in a neutral corner, as referee Kenny Chevalier picks up the count. Norman managed to make it to his feet, but Chevalier didn't like what he saw and stopped the fight. The time was 2:35 of the second round.

The Undercard...

Highly touted super-middleweight prospect Dominic Wade stopped Anthony Cannon at 1:45 of the second round. The 19 year old former amateur star improved his record to a perfect 3-0.
Fighting in his pro-debut, cruiserweight Alex Guerrero (pictured above left throwing a right hand) used an effective jab to take a close majority decision over Rodrika Ray.

Shawn Porter made quick work of late substitute Brandon Wooten. It was clear shortly after the two fighters touched gloves that the bout wouldn't last long - and it was over in just 2:08. The 2007 National Golden Gloves champion turned pro less than a year ago and has quickly jumped out to a 9-0 mark.
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