Wednesday, October 14, 2009

One More Round With Mark Lyons: Lopez/Mtagwa, Vasquez & The Super Six

Mark Lyons is back with his weekly take on the previous weekend's boxing action, as well as a look ahead to what's coming up.

Photo © Marty Rosengarten /

We had an old school type of war in New York plus the return of a warrior. Next on tap is the long awaited opening of the Super Six, to that all I can say is….Lets get ready to rumble.

My take on this past weekend's action...

While many were slamming Roger Mtagwa (pictured) as a challenger for the young Puerto Rican star in the making, Juan Manual Lopez, I was quietly looking forward to the fight. It reminded me of an 80’s network match-up when champions were more active and brutish warriors that toiled on small cards were given a chance. There is always the potential for a Rocky Balboa moment and we got one last weekend. Roger was willing to walk through a Sherman tank to get his licks in and prove once again the record never measures the man.

It was a tremendous fight that was packed with drama. If you weren’t on the edge of your seat in the final two rounds, you should probably stick to watching sitcoms. Mtagwa fell just short and though I found two of the cards to be a bit wide, I agreed with the decision.

I also wouldn’t jump the gun on damning Lopez to being overrated as this was a bull strong challenger who refused to go away. Juanma needs to go back to setting up shots with his jab and lets all hope Mtagwa gets another payday out of this.

Anybody get the impression that Israel Vazquez would go to war with a cheerleader? He knows no other way.

While it was a bit concerning that he struggled so mightily with a journeyman. There was rust involved and a style change at this point probably got him thinking too much in there. But when the fight is tight and the blood is flowing, the man needs no council on how to close a show. I’ll reserve requests for retirement until I see him again. But it was strange to have such an entertaining battle concern you as much as it entertained you.

Looking Ahead...

Arthur Abraham is going to brutalize Jermain Taylor, no maybes about it. Nothing in the style match up favors the gutsy American.

You have to applaud Taylor for his ambitious schedule, but he is up against it bad here. Abraham will block his shots and counter with thunder, hurting Taylor early and often. Only Taylor’s courage will get this fight to the midway point and possibly beyond. But it will take several trips to the canvas to last that long.

I’m picking Carl Froch over Andre Dirrell in the other fight, but with a bit more reservations.

Dirrell has obvious athletic gifts, but they come with some evident flaws and a gut feeling that he will fold under pressure. Now, he can certainly laugh at that gut feeling and may turn out to be more than advertised, but I really think this is a rough spot for a coming out party. He may have the ability to stink it out, but I’m hard pressed to see him take a decision in Carl’s hometown by running.

My take is Froch adjusts to the speed after a few rounds and begins to break Dre down before stopping him late.

A fight I’ve been thinking about...

Frank Bruno vs Tommy Morrison

Bombs away! Bruno was a bit sturdier, but Tommy was faster and probably had an edge in heart. Impossible to predict this with any conviction. They would both almost assuredly see the canvas and it’s highly unlikely to see the final bell. In a 51/49 moment, I’ll take Morrison to survive a couple early knockdowns and flatten the big Brit in the fourth.

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Anonymous said...

well your wrong on both picks.

Jermain Taylor by late tko, and Andre Dirrell by dec.

Write that down.

The jump in weight will really affect Abrahams power IMHO.

Mark Lyons said...

Duly Noted Anonymous, consider your picks written down. Taylor has no hope, but Dirrell is an unknown commodity so you may be right.

Anonymous said...

:) I figured youd like my comment hahah. I just feel Abraham doesnt match up well with Taylor, but he'll prolly gas down the stretch so might be right.

Mark Lyons said...

That's why they get in the ring, I love any comments. Especially dissenting ones.