Monday, November 2, 2009

One More Round With Mark Lyons: Haye/Valuev, Dawson/Johnson, Agbeko/Perez, Super Six, etc...

Mark Lyons is back with his take on some recent and upcoming fights.

After a couple of slow weeks we are heading into a great stretch of boxing. I’ll keep my comments brief on the Super 6, and will focus my thoughts on the two big fights coming up in what really is a fantastic month for combat sports.

My Take On Some Recent Fights...

-- Perez and Agebko put on a heck of a battle Saturday night. It wouldn’t make my list as a FOTY year candidate because it lacked some drama, but it was right on the cusp. Perez proved to be just a bit stronger and while I thought the fight was much closer than the final cards, the right man had his hand raised. Is it me, or is their an influx of bruising fighters entering the top level from South America?

-- Leave it to Boxing to institute instant replay to battle some controversy and completely ignore the ability to overturn what shouldn't be a knockdown. A three point swing in what most saw as a close fight isn’t worthy? Yes, I know, baby steps, but if something like that can't eventually be handled by replay, the system will never be of much use.

-- Last week's brawl between Ryan Rhodes and Jaimie Moore would make my short list of the year's best fights. I have to admit to becoming a Moore fan after his epic war with Macklin and I was a bit sad to see him lose before getting a shot at the world level. That being said, Rhodes story is a pretty remarkable one. This late career renaissance has been pretty special and I hope he gets the opportunity to challenge for world honors.

Super 6 thoughts……

-- I can’t say I was surprised by either result. Abraham was my favorite going into the tournament and nothing changed. I thought it was a dominant and brilliant performance. His style is frustrating at times, but incredibly effective. Winky Wright/George Foreman. while many dislike his cautious approach, he always tries to close the show in style when he doesn’t need to and I think that should be respected. Lost in his numbing power is one of the toughest defenses in the sport and a very underrated ring IQ. King Arthur knows what he is doing every second of every round.

-- I don’t have much good things to say about Froch/Dirrell. Andre had the skill to win, but not the will. His mid round performance was akin to watching a horny dog hump a leg, chair, table, etc… This was John Ruiz quality holding, but at least Ruiz had the excuse that he needed the tactic to compete. Dirrell on the other hand has a world of talent, which he showed in the 11th round when he sat down on his punches. But even then, he held Froch after clearly hurting him. I scored the fight for Dirrell by a point but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t happy to see that kind of fighting go without reward. Maybe he will learn from it, but I’m expecting him to give us a Usain Bolt impression against Art.

Looking Ahead To This Weekend...

We have a rematch of fight more remembered for the scoring than the sizzling action, and David Haye finally gets the opportunity to walk the walk.

-- The first time Chad Dawson faced off against Glen Johnson I expected the veteran to give Chad his toughest fight but fall short to the young man's immense talent by a 8-4 type decision in a solid fight. The Road Warrior far exceeded that and it was one of the years better fights with far wider scores than should have been. Don’t ever accuse me of learning from previous errors, as I believe Dawson’s speed and resilience controls the action and gets through some rough spots for an 8-4 type decision on Saturday night. It should put to rest the outcry of robbery from the first fight. BTW, I scored that one a draw.

-- I’m not sure if it’s the sleep inducing boredom of watching Wladimir be the most reluctant knockout artist in the history of the ring or the lack of viable challengers to face his more willing brother, but I’m all in on David Haye. Yes I see the flaws, but I don’t care. He is entertaining in the ring and outside of it. If a 47yr old warlord legend was too fast of hand and foot for the lumbering giant sleeping pill that is Valuev, Haye should be able to land as he pleases. David will exhibit more smarts in there than people give him credit for, avoiding Valuev’s hugging, slamming home some hard body shots and becoming the first man to floor the Yeti with a blinding right hand. The winner by seventh round knockout and a much needed breath of fresh air... David Haye!

A Fight I’ve Been Thinking About...

-- Here is one between two rough and tumble HOF fighters that tend to get overlooked. How about Joel Casamayor vs Jeff Fenech at 130? Bruising inside action would be the main course for this evening. Jeff’s relentless pressure meets the Cuban's toughness and boxing skills. I think it would certainly have ugly moments, but there would be a ton of action and it's likely to end up a tight decision. Give me Fenech by split decision in a fight that neither man is hurt, with about ten swing rounds. Joel is once again outraged by the judges and if they do it ten more times, it’s ten more split nods.

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