Thursday, November 19, 2009

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pacquiao's Triumph, Cotto's Tragedy

Jeff Pryor gives hit thoughts on this past Saturday's big fight.

Photo © Ray Kasprowicz

He's got real welterweight power. He's got a real welterweight chin.

This past Saturday, Welterweight's around the world, even the best of the best, (Mosley and Mayweather, that's you), had to feel a little flutter in their stomachs as they watched Manny Pacquiao dispose of the otherwise resilient and courageous Miguel Cotto.

Margarito, Mosley, Judah... some of the more explosive and damaging punchers in the division, did not do to Cotto what the supposedly diminutive Filipino was able to do.

He unloaded devastating salvos that exploded across Cotto's chin and sent the world class Puerto Rican crumpling down to the mat like a rag doll.

The speed, angles, energy and fighting spirit we all knew, with 100% certainty, had made the trip up in weight with Pacquiao, but until this last bout there was a question mark on the legitimacy of his power and ability to take a punch.

Those questions have been answered.

In doing so, Pacquiao has stamped himself emphatically as the premiere fighter at Welterweight, and of the entire sport of boxing. He very likely has stamped himself as the greatest boxer of his generation, and has put forth the compelling argument that he is an all-timer that could go head to head with any fighter who ever lived and have a pretty damn good shot at winning.

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As to the fight itself; it was no cake walk. To claim it was, diminishes Pacquiao's accomplishment.

Cotto fought well, and hard, for the first four rounds. Miguel, known for being very heavy handed, though lacking explosive power, dug in hard to Manny's body, landed flush power shots to Pacquiao's shaggy head, and laid a good number of his sunday punches on the money.

The amazing thing was that nothing seemed to affect the division jumping dynamo. And while Cotto had a hard time putting the hurt on, Pacquiao was able to detonate fight altering blasts that wobbled Cotto throughout the fight.

When it came down to it, the size of the two men was about the same. The speed was relatively close. No, despite what most thought would be the deciding factors, what the fight came down too, was Pacquaio's uncanny durability.

Cotto's chin, which has held up reasonably well during his remarkable Welterweight run, could not stand up to the explosive force of Pacquiao's precision pummeling.

Perhaps taken separately, Miguel could have survived the speed deficit, or awkward angle assaults, or even the X-factor explosiveness of the Pacquiao punch, but when you combine those attributes, what makes Manny what he is now, is the combination of devastatingly explosive power, and a well tuned, yet unpredictable, delivery system.

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It would seem that the pinnacle of Miguel Cotto's life as a fighter was reached in the early rounds against Antonio Margarito. He was fluidly assaulting the tough Tijuanian, combining a fury and precision that was nearing mastery as he peppered Margarito and evaded much of the return fire. In the early going it looked like Cotto was making his case for pound for pound supremacy.

What unfolded next is a matter of record and from the tail end of those moments of brilliance on that summer night two July's ago, until now, the tale of Miguel Cotto has been one of a precipitous , though valiant, downfall.

Against the fighter, who now it can be said, is undoubtedly the best in the world, Cotto had success early on. Winning the majority of moments through four rounds. His jab was consistently snapping back Pacquiao's head, and he was able to throw combinations with some success to Manny's body and head.

Though the first knockdown was more a stroke of ill timing for Cotto; the punch catching him off balance without his feet under him, the second seemed to signal all, but the end of the fight. As he trudged back to his corner following that viciously compact uppercut which scrambled his senses, Cotto's face seemed to purport that his self belief had been knocked out of him.

He sat heavily on the stool and stared vacantly at his young trainer for the first quarter of his break; lips, thickly parted, eyes glassy and staring. Only when trainer Joe Santiago began to rub his face and head vigorously, did Cotto seem to snap out of his dazed reverie and come back to reality.

As the rounds wore on and Cotto started to retreat more and more, he looked increasingly weary in the corner. The contest becoming one merely of endurance; enduring pain and embarrassment, rather than a competition to win.

What Cotto lacked in ability to hurt Pacquiao, he made up for with a quiet showing of guts, grit and determination. Though he was forced to increasing amounts of retreat, there was never a round that he didn't fire off real blows, launching attacks with real intention to hurt, even as Pacquiao ate them up and kept coming.

As the HBO announcers astutely pointed out, tough moments for a proud warrior.

It is a revealing peak into Cotto's personality, that when told he had one more round by his corner before they would stop it, heading into the tenth, he went out and put together a determined round, one in which none of the judges had him winning, however one in which he seemed to put anything he had left into lasting just a little longer, refusing to give in.

The eleventh round saw more punishment for Miguel than a classy fighter like him should have to endure, the crowd booing as he ran out the clock, trying desperately to avoid more damage to his battered body and face. At rounds end the translator had him exclaiming wearily and with a sense of disbelieving "There's one more round?".

The look on his face said it all. Three more minutes of hell.

Cotto said later that he wanted them to stop it then... but he changed his mind. He's a fighter. He's a man. At that moment no one would have blamed him for giving in. He didn't.

Thankfully Kenny Bayless did his job, just as Cotto and Pacquiao did theirs.

Where does Cotto take that warriors heart from here? The writing seems to be on the wall, and it states plainly that Miguel Cotto is no longer that unblemished destructor that entered the ring against Margarito.

He may be in a position to face the Shane Mosley vs. Andre Berto winner. A Margarito rematch may be in the offing should the embattled brawler be reinstated and there are surely good fighters he can still beat, but at the highest level, it would seem Miguel Cotto has entered the twilight of his career.

If he is to continue on in the hopes of obtaining another marquee fight, he would be best served in taking a step down in opposition after facing the cream of the crop for the last several years.

Wherever Cotto goes from here, he has earned his millions and hopefully gets to enjoy them with great health and a sense of accomplishment for the terrific career and legacy he forged for himself.

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As for the man from Manila, Mayweather undeniably looms. As Freddie Roach has suggested, that fight may be the one to go out on. The penultimate career topper for the ferocious Filipino who has faced down the best boxing could put in front of him, from weight classes near and far.

That man is all smiles right now, just as he always is; a fact which I thought about as he walked to the ring on Saturday. Here it was the biggest fight of his life, and Manny was grinning his usual grin, winking and waiving to random crowd members.

I once asked former middleweight Anthony Bonsante whether his fearsome countenance in the lead up until the bell rang was a put on, to psych out his opponent. He told me that it was nothing of the sort. Before the fight he worked himself into a genuine rancor, one which manifest itself on his face as an almost comical parody of anger at times, but it's what he had to do, in order to get into the mindset for fighting.

Pacquiao's lighthearted grin shone strong, in stark contrast to Cotto's quiet, determined, concentration. Just before Michael Buffer intoned his famous catch phrase to kick off the fighter introductions, the last lingering grin slid off of Manny's face, like a cloud passing over him. From that moment he didn't smile again, until midway through the fight when Cotto clipped him with a flush bomb to end round five, and he smirked sheepishly at getting caught by his waning opponent, as he strode back to his corner.

Therein lies the secret to Manny's success, in life and in the ring. He flips a switch and he changes gears.

That's why the maelstrom of his training camps don't affect him. That's why he can lull an opponent into a sudden bursting combo that plants them on the deck.

And that's why anyone who steps into the ring with Manny Pacquiao is a substantiated underdog. He is the benchmark for an era, and everyone else is playing catchup.

e-mail Jeff Pryor
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Monday, November 16, 2009

One More Round With Mark Lyons: Pacquiao Smashes Cotto, Kessler vs Ward...

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

Photo © Ray Kasprowicz

Another bone breaking performance by Manny Pacquiao was the main course last week, although the appetizer was another hideous under-card from Top Rank. Coming up this week is the final, and in my opinion, the most evenly matched first round fight in Showtime's Super Six.

My Take on Saturday's Big Fight...

-- Manny Pacquiao put a vicious beating on Miguel Cotto in a fight that was exciting for a couple rounds and sad for a couple rounds. The only constant was the boss in the ring.

--Though the fight played out a lot like I predicted, there were a few surprises for me, such as Cotto's jab. I didn’t expect him to land it nearly as well as he did early in the fight. I also didn’t expect him to catch Manny with so many flush power shots, and even more surprising... how well the Filipino icon took those shots. I sure didn’t expect Manny to laugh at them.

-- I think we can put to rest the nonsense that Manny is incapable of fighting at the 147 pound limit. He weighed one pound less than Roberto Duran did in Montreal when they had same day weigh-ins. He is more naturally a Welterweight than any other weight class right now. While he will give up some size to guys there, his speed and power are a rough thing to get past for anybody and he doesn’t need any added advantages. Mosley or Mayweather at 147, simple as that.

-- As for Cotto, he was fine at the weight. He just wasn’t fine with the beast standing across the ring from him. I want to select my words carefully here because Miguel is a credit to the sport and I have long been a fan, but I think it’s time for him to start thinking about retiring. I realize he has only just turned twenty nine years old, but he fights older. It may be a bit of a Fernando Vargas situation where his career was meant to be over earlier than most others.

-- Miguel has been in a lot of wars and I’m not saying he is shot. But I do think he is done at the elite level. He honestly isn’t tough enough for the very best in the game and he isn’t a good enough boxer to back off and do anything more than take a beating. Yet he most certainly is too much of a man to not seek out the best fighters as opponents and that could lead to some unnecessary poundings. I just don’t get the backing off in the mid rounds after he sets the pace for a war. I’m not questioning his heart, it’s his body. He just can’t take what the best have to give.

-- The less said about that under-card, the better. Thanks a lot, Bob. Really? Is that the best you can do for the fans?

Looking Ahead To This Weekend...

-- Ward and Kessler close out the opening round of the Super Six and look to be the most evenly matched fighters so far. Kessler is a big/strong guy for the weight who operates behind a solid one-two but his offence lacks variety and I think Ward’s excellent footwork can get a lot done here.

-- The wild card for me is how Andre will react to Mikkel’s punch. That will tell the story of the fight in my view. I’m going to say Ward, infused by a home town crowd, keeps himself together through some rough spots and pulls out a close and probably spilt decision in a tactical but entertaining fight.

A Fight I’ve Been Thinking About...

-- Lets stick with the man of the hour and look at Manny Pacquiao vs Esteban Dejesus at lightweight. This would be tremendously explosive early, as Dejesus was very fast and powerful in his own right and I have little doubt that he would land often and hard enough to rock and possibly even floor Manny. On the other side of the Spectrum, Dejesus could be worn down by the greatest of fighters and while Manny isn’t Duran in my book, he is just a step down from him.

-- I’ll take Manny by late stoppage or a close but clear decision in a real slugfest.

e-mail Mark Lyons
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British Scene Weekend Recap: All Square Between Hatton & N'dou

Dave Oakes recaps this past weekend's British action.

Photo © Ray Kasprowicz

Lovemore N’dou retained his IBO belt on Friday night after he and Matthew Hatton (pictured) fought to a draw in an uneventful fight in Stoke.

Neither man stamped their authority on the fight; N’dou seemed to start slowly before picking up the pace slightly in the middle rounds, whilst Hatton looked one-paced and lacking in any ideas throughout the fight.

The first round could’ve gone either way with both fighters seemingly content enough to check each other out whilst hardly throwing any noteworthy punches. Hatton took over the fight for the next few rounds, although that was more down to N’dou’s lack of ambition rather than anything Hatton was doing. Hatton was avoiding most of the South African’s desperate lunges and was having the occasional success of his own, usually with the straight right.

N’dou never really got going early on, he landed two decent looking body shots in the fourth but was looking like an old fighter trying to regain what he used to have. Despite having a well-known name there for the taking, Hatton still looked devoid of ideas as to how to deal with him.

Hatton was allowing N’dou’s disjointed efforts to look far better than they were. Hatton seems to be stuck in a style which is 99% jabs and straight rights; he sporadically throws a hook to the body and the occasional hook to the head but he’s embarrassingly limited for someone who’s had forty plus fights.

With a lot of the previous rounds having been close, Hatton inexplicably let N’dou outwork him in the eighth and ninth rounds. N’dou tried to increase the pace in the two rounds but it was Hatton’s lackadaisical approach to the rounds that swung them in N’dou’s favour. If Hatton had kept plodding along at the pace he had been doing, he would’ve won the rounds comfortably.

To his credit, Hatton realised he needed to finish strongly and forced himself onto the offensive in the final three rounds. He outworked N’dou as he finally let his hands go; he forced N’dou backwards with a steady output of jabs and straight rights, helping him to take all three rounds on my scorecard.

I had the fight scored 115-113 in Hatton’s favour but wasn’t surprised when the official scorecards made it a draw. One judge had Hatton winning 115-114, whilst another had in N’dou’s favour by the same score; the third and decisive judge scored it 114-114.

Hatton was furious after the fight but I feel he’s only got himself to blame. He let a fight that he was capable of winning slip through his fingers, if he’d shown the passion of the last three rounds earlier on, there would’ve been no purported controversy with the scoring.

Hatton has improved over the past eighteen months but still seems a mile away from being capable of winning a domestic title. N’dou, despite retaining his lightly regarded world title, looks like a fighter whose best days are very much behind him. He’s still teak tough but seems to be slowing down in both speed of foot and hand, the best he can hope for in the future is a couple of good paydays before retiring.

e-mail Dave Oakes
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Nonito Donaire Sr. Discusses Marvin Sonsona's Upcoming Fight

The Boxing Bulletin's Ivan Montiel had a chance to chat briefly with Filipino southpaw Marvin Sonsona's co-trainer Nonito Donaire Sr (pictured) about this Saturday's fight against Mexican Alejandro Hernandez.

Photo © Giordano Ciampini

Ivan Montiel: I've heard Sonsona still has to lose a bit of weight. How's that coming?

Nonito Donaire Sr: Well Sonsona is 6 pounds over at this point in time, but he’s doing just fine.

IM: What do you know about his opponent, Alejandro Hernandez?

ND: We’ve seen his last fight against Wilbert Uicab, and yes sure Hernandez has speed but he lacks power.

IM: What kind of approach will Sonsona bring to the fight this time around?

ND: We will see how Hernandez comes into the fight but it doesn’t matter because Sonsona will counter attack whatever he does.

IM: Sonsona was knocking all of his opponents out and never had gone 12 rounds until his last fight against Lopez. What has Sonsona learned from going 12 hard rounds?

ND: I was surprised that fight went the distance. Lopez got hit a lot yet I believe once this guy gets hit he will go down and out. Sonsona is always ready to go rounds, but with his power he will knock this guy Hernandez out

IM: Any predictions?

ND: I say 4 to 5 rounds so we can go home with no bruises (laughing).

IM: Well seƱor Donaire thank you for your time, and all the best to Team Sonsona!

ND: Thank you Ivan.

e-mail Ivan Montiel
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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Manny Pacquiao vs Miguel Cotto - Round by Round Coverage

Welcome to The Boxing Bulletin's live blog coverage of tonight's HBO PPV event featuring Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto.

Our coverage will begin with the start of the broadcast at 9:00 PM EST. We'll be providing detailed round by round updates of the main event, as well as periodic updates of the under-card bouts.

If you're watching at home, please feel free to contribute by posting your scores and opinions of the fights.

Manny Pacquiao 49-3-2 (144) vs Miguel Cotto 34-1 (145)

Daniel Santos 32-3-1 (154) vs Yuri Foreman 27-0 (154)

Julio Cesar Chavez 40-0-1 (160) vs Troy Rowland 25-2 (159)

Alfonso Gomez 20-4-2 (145 1/2) vs Jesus Soto-Karass 24-3-3 (147 1/2)

Refresh this page often as updates will be frequent

6:45 PM EST... Please check back in a little over 2 hours for the start of our coverage.

7:50... The wait is almost over. Updates will start at 9 PM EST. Just over an hour to go until we're up and running with tonight's show.

7:55... If you're here early, check out Jeff Pryor's preview of tonight's main event: The Rise & Fall of Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto.

8:30... 30 minutes until we're underway.

8:50... Almost fight time. Get your snacks and drinks ready.

9:00... The show's starting.

9:02... Live from Las Vegas at the MGM. Jim Lampley is introducing tonight's line-up. First up will be Gomez vs Soto-Karass.

9:04... Gomez has re-hydrated to 152 tonight, while Soto-Karass is up to 158.

9:05... Neither of these two welters are world beaters, but both come to fight and this should be a good one.

9:06... Michael Buffer is doing the intros.

9:07... Vic Drakulich is the ref.

9:08... Final instructions are being given.

9:09... Larry Merchant is with Lampley in the booth.

9:12... Round 1... Action in the middle of the ring to start this one. Gomez is warned to keep them up after straying low with a body shot. Manny Steward is the 3rd man in the booth. He just commented that we haven't had any clinches. Solid action so far. Both guys willing to trade. "More mean intentions on Gomez' punches." - Larry. Good first round. Both men used the jab, both looked to go to the body, and both had their moments.

9:13... Lederman has it 1-0 for Gomez.

9:16... Manny Steward just said that he feels Soto-Karass has already shown he's got more pop and is looking more authoritative with his jab. "Very tough fight to score." - Steward. "Because Soto-Karass will have a good 20 seconds, and then Gomez will have a good 20 seconds." - Lampley Steward is impressed with Gomez. "He's very sharp and accurate." Gomez' mop of hair is drifting over his eyes, and he's had to brush it away with his gloves on a couple occasions. Gomez just landed a really nice combo. Soto-Karass just came back with a solid body shot, but Gomez responded nicely. Very good fight so far.

9:16... 2-0 on Harold's card for Gomez.

9:20... "More snap and intensity in the punches of Gomez, but more strength in Soto-Karass." - Merchant. Action in the middle of the ring, as it's been more most of the fight. No clinches, just good action. Soto-Karass is edging forward ever so slightly, but Gomez backs him off with a couple of nice right hands. There was an accidental clash of heads, and it looks like Gomez has been cut by his eye. The doctor is going to have a look at it. Action resumes. A real nice exchange in the middle of the ring, punctuated by a low blow from Soto-Karass... and he's going to lose a point for it. Action resumes again. Soto-Karass a little wide with his shots. Gomez a little sharper, and more accurate. Gomez with another nice combo, as the round comes to a close.

9:21... The cut is just on the side of Gomez' eye. Harold has him up 3-0, plus the deduction. 30-26.

9:24... Gomez sticking his jab in nicely, and landing his right as well. Soto-Karass just drilled him low again, and Drakulich is taking another point. Gomez is looking a little messy with the blood. It's streaming down from the eye. if this one is stopped, it will go to the cards and Gomez should have it, so Soto-Karass might start to think about throwing caution to the wind and going for something big here. Soto-Karass is going hard to the body, and straying low. There's always the chance of a DQ at this rate before the fight might be stopped because of the cut. Gomez with a nice sequence to close the round.

9:25... The cut is on the side, but also a bit above the actual eye. It's not in a good spot, and they aren't have much success stopping the flow of blood so far.

9:25... 30-24 on Harold's card.

9:28... Soto-Karass is edging forward, and ripping shots downstairs. Gomez is doing a nice job of catching him on the way in. He just landed a really nice combo, and Soto-Karass responded with a very nice right hand. "Soto-Karass far more aggressive in this round." - Lampley A good series from Soto-Karass, punctuated with a couple nice body shots. Good round for Soto-Karass here. Gomez is still bleeding freely. he just wiped away the blood with his glove. Very good finish to the round from Soto-Karass. A bit of the snap might be going from Gomez.

9:29... Miguel Cotto is at ring-side watching the fight.

9:29... 4-1 on Harold's card. 49-44.

9:32... This one is scheduled for 10 by the way. Not sure if I mentioned that yet or not. Gomez is looking a little disheveled, with his hair and the blood. The HBO crew are suggesting that the corner of Gomez stop working on the cut so that they can get a stoppage. Steward points out that the blood just hasn't stopped flowing. Gomez keeps pawing at the cut. It's in a real bad spot, and it hasn't stopped flowing. Drakulich has just taken Gomez over to the doctor for a look at the cut, and this one is over.

9:33... We just saw a replay of the clash of heads that caused the cut earlier in the fight. At the same point as their heads clashed, Soto-Karass landed a low blow. Larry points out the double foul with a chuckle.

9:33... We await the cards. The 6th round will be scored as well.

9:35... 58-54, 57-55, 57-55 all for Alfonso Gomez.

9:36... While the decision was being read by Buffer, Gomez' was having the belt (whatever belt this was for) wrapped around his waist. "That does kind of take away from the suspense." Lampley points out.

9:38... Manny Pacquiao arrived at his dressing room a couple minutes ago.

9:39... Manny Steward's keys to victory for Pac. Stay off the ropes - use footwork and upper body movement - attack up the middle - maintain poise.

9:40... Manny on what Miguel needs to do. Maximize size edge - work the body - force an inside fight - back Pac up.

9:41... Santos is 173 tonight. Foreman is 161. That's just crazy.

9:43... Yeah, the rules are the same for everyone, but fighters are making a mockery of the system. 19 pound weight increase? We've got a light heavy vs a middle in this one.

9:43... Jay Nady is the ref for this one.

9:44... Final instructions are being given, and we're moments away from starting.

9:45... "Santos blames his inactivity of almost a year and a half on Don King." - Larry

9:48... Steward points out Foreman's edge in speed. Santos is trying to edge forward, while Foreman is boxing from the outside, looking to get in and out. Foreman just landed a couple quick rights. We've got a lefty/righty match-up here I should mention, so there's always the danger of a clash of heads. Santos is the southpaw. Not much happening so far. Santos in the middle of the ring, edging forward but not very active. Foreman circling, also not too active. Not really a big surprise. Santos just managed to get close enough at the end to land a couple shots.

9:49... Santos 1-0 on Lederman's card.

9:52... Not too much happening in round 2. Steward points out that Foreman is moving nicely, but hasn't really managed to land any of his combos upstairs. Now there's a clinch, and Foreman whacks Santos as they break free. Action in the middle of the ring. Santos just landed a solid counter left. Foreman quickly backed off and Santos chased him, but then Foreman fired back and Santos went back to looking to counter. Foreman just landed a nice right, and Santos fires a hard left hand counter which almost knocked Foreman down. Now Foreman puts Santos down! Santos is claiming it was a shot to the back of the head, but it's ruled a knockdown. We'll have to see that again.

9:53... Let's see the replay. They were in the clinch, and Foreman landed a right hand to the side of Santos' head, and down he went. Perhaps their feet might have got tangled as well, but tough to tell on the replay.

9:56... 19-18 on Harold's card for Foreman. Action slow to start round 3. Santos stalking, with Foreman circling. Foreman with a quick shot to the body. Steward comments on Foreman's movement bothering Santos. Santos tries to press forward, but Foreman slides off to the side. Santos is slow on the counter with a left. Steward feels the fight will continue in this pattern with Foreman being too fast. Foreman comes forward with a little flurry. Steward comments that while Santos appears like the bigger stronger man, Foreman is doing well in the clinches. Foreman with a clean right hand. There's the bell. Santos really not doing much of anything so far. He'll have to pick things up.

10:00... Harold has it 2-1 Foreman. 29-27. Foreman with a lead right that lands. "The way I see this fight, Santos is just not doing enough." - Harold. Santos with a left hand that lands. Foreman with a right, and then grabs on. Foreman with a little flurry. he's picking his spots nicely. Santos with a 1-2 into the guard. "Santos trying to land that one big left that could change the fight." - Lampley. "That's the only punch he's trying to land." - Steward. "In the meantime, Foreman is picking up points." - Steward. Santos with a left hand, and then Foreman with a hard right hand counter that lands. Santos is hurt and backs up into the ropes. Foreman goes hard after him, and Santos holds on. Some excitement to end the 4th.

10:01...Foreman followed up the first hard right with another as Santos backed up into the ropes.

10:01... 3-1, 39-36 on Harold's card for Foreman.

10:04... Foreman with another hard right hand early in the 5th. Foreman will have to be careful when he jumps in there, but he's having success so far. Foreman with a little counter hook that lands. Now Santos is edging forward, showing a little more urgency, as Foreman circles away. Foreman jumps in with a right, and holds on. Foreman comes with a little flurry, and Santos backs up. "This is fascinating, because Santos is fighting in such a placid style that he's making Foreman look like the aggressor." - Larry. There's the bell.

10:05... 4-1 Foreman on Harold's card.

10:08... Santos just went down, but it was from a slip. Lampley thought Foreman may have landed to the body at the same time. Santos is now backing up, as Foreman flurries. We just got a clash of heads, and Foreman is cut. Not sure how bad it is. We'll find out after the round. Santos still not doing much. He's getting beaten to the punch, and not having much success finding the mark with left hand counters. Santos by the way missed the fighter meetings because he was struggling to get down to 154. Foreman tries to jump in with a shot, and Santos gets him in a headlock. Both fighters are warned for the roughness. Foreman offers his glove to Santos, but Santos declines to touch up. Foreman tries to jump in, and there's another clinch. Not a thrilling round.

10:12... 5-1 on Harold's card. "19 pound weight gain or not, Daniel Santos better get busy." - Harold. "It's like watching a totem pole, this guy standing in the middle of the ring doing so little." - Harold. Santos just landed a decent left hand. Lampley seems to think maybe Santos is ready to step things up. Santos just went down, and it's ruled a clash of heads by Nady. According to Lampley, it was a headbutt as someone on the crew just watched the replay and told him. Nady just took Foreman over to the doctor to check out the cut. The "action" has resumed. "All Foreman has to do is make Santos miss the big left hand shot, and then do what he has to." - Steward. "Foreman's in and out footwork is causing a big problem for Santos." - Steward. Santos just missed with a big left. Foreman tries to jump in with a right, but he misses and they clinch. There's the bell.

10:13... The cut is on Foreman's left eye. We just saw a replay of the "knockdown". It was definitely a clash of heads.

10:13... Harold has it 5-2. Foreman up by 4 points.

10:16... Nady warns Foreman about the head clashes. Foreman is jumping in with rights, and occasionally his head is running into Santos. I don't think it's intentional, but we've got the southpaw/righty thing happening. Foreman with a right hand that lands. "Santos is acting like a baby now." - Steward on Santos' complaining. Santos just misses with a left hand. Foreman jumps in with a body shot. Not much action here, and it's kind of awkward when they do exchange. Santos is edging forward, hoping Foreman opens up so he can fire the left. Instead we get a clinch. Santos with a left, but it doesn't land flush. There's the bell.

10:17... Manny Pacquiao is having his hands wrapped. Two members of Cotto's team are watching carefully.

10:20... 6-2 on Harold's card. By the way, Manny is wrapping his own hands. Not much happening here with Foreman and Santos. Santos edging forward, with Foreman circling. Neither man opening up. Foreman just tries to jump in with a right, but misses. Foreman now misses with a left. Foreman lands a lead left. Foreman with a little shot on the inside. Santos with a left that lands. Every once in awhile Santos lands a left, but it hasn't had any effect on Foreman. Santos just landed a decent combo, which got a reaction out of some of the Puerto Rican's in the crowd. Foreman with a nice right hand. Santos responds with a decent uppercut. Foreman though responds nicely with a couple good rights. Some decent action there. Now Santos presses forward with a little urgency as Foreman backs into the ropes, but he can't land anything. Not much action, but Larry mentions it's an interesting fight anyway.

10:24... 6-3 on Harold's card. Foreman just landed a nice right hand counter. Santos edges forward and lands a left. There's another clash of heads. That looked a little rough, as Santos immediately turns away. Santos turned away in similar fashion to the way Agbeko did against Perez, but thankfully Nady was on top of things. Santos edging forward here. Foreman jumps in with a body shot. "Santos is still looking for one big shot." - Lampley. Foreman with a lead right that lands. Foreman with a left to the body. Foreman with a nice hard right hand that lands clean. Santos comes forward and lands a jab, and then they clinch. Foreman jumps in with a little flurry. Foreman makes Santos miss and lands a right hand. Good round here for Foreman. Santos trying to press forward, but Foreman circles away. There's the bell.

10:25... Cotto is having his hands wrapped. I imagine the footage is being shown in the arena, as the crowd starts buzzing.

10:29... Foreman catches Santos with a right to start the round. Another right from Foreman. He's up 7-3 on Harold's card. Plus, the knockdown and it's a 5 point fight. Foreman with a nice right hand that backs Santos up. Now Foreman presses Santos in the ropes and flurries. Now the action moves back into the middle of the ring. Foreman with a jab, and they clinch. Santos tries to whack Foreman in the clinch. Santos edging forward with some purpose here. Foreman circling away though, and he catches Santos with a little hook on the way in. There's another clinch. Santos misses with a left in close. Lampley comments on how every once in awhile Foreman stops and catches Santos. There's a bit of blood coming from the right eye of Santos. Santos trying to push forward and rough Foreman up, but can't land anything. Santos is now being taken over to the doctor by Nady to have a look at the cut. The doctor gives the go ahead to get back in there. Santos following, but not landing here. Now he lands a shot as the round comes to a close.

10:30... "You're ahead, now don't get stupid!" - Foreman's corner.

10:33... There's a clinch to start the round. Santos misses with a left over the top. Santos trying to get close, pressing forward. Foreman ties him up. Now Santos just misses witha left. He's showing some real urgency here, but Foreman's playing it real safe. Now Foreman with a little right hand. Santos following, and Foreman ties him up. Santos just short with a left. If only he'd shown this kind of agression earlier. Nady tells Foreman not to hold. Always nice to see a ref actually doing something about holding. Santos with a left hand that partially lands. "Unless there is some very unusual scoring, if Foreman can stand up for another minute, he'll have achieved something very big for him." - Lampley. Foreman's mouth piece just came out, and his corner put it back in. Santos just walked into a left hand, and down he goes. He's up quickly. 35 seconds to go. Foreman with a right hand that lands. "That probably cements the victory." - Steward. Santos trying to close the gap and Foreman ties him up. Foreman on the move here as the seconds wind down. This one's over.

10:34... The left hand tht put Santos down looked like it landed just behind the ear on the inside.

10:35... We await the cards.

10:36... 116-110, 117-109, 117-109 all for the winner Yuri Foreman.

10:37... I'm guessing the next time we see Santos will be as a middleweight. At his age, you have to assume that all the weight cutting has caught up with him. That wasn't scintillating, but Foreman did what he had to. He stayed away from Santos' left, moved in and out nicely, and won going away.

10:40... Next up is Chavez Jr. vs Rowland.

10:43... Tony Weeks is the ref. No fight night weights for this one.

10:43... We're ready to go.

10:44... Troy Rowland's brother is in a medically induced coma after coming down with swine through. Best wishes to Troy's brother and the Rowland family.

10:46... "Chavez is trying to get to the inside and land his left hook to the body." - Steward. Decent action so far. Both guys fighting it out in the middle of the ring. Rowland just threw a nice flurry downstairs. Lampley comments that Rowland has been the busier of the two fighters. There's the bell.

10:47... Harold gave the opening round to Chavez.

10:50... Larry feels that Chavez while not as busy, is the one landing the heavier shots so far. He's digging hard to the body with the left. he's having the better of things here early in the 2nd. He just landed a decent right hand. Rowland responded with a couple of shots. Lampley points out that Rowland doesn't have much pop. Steward has a feeling that Rowland can't hang in there for too long. He's doing okay so far though. A nice right hand from Rowland with 10 seconds left. Good action in the middle of the ring to end the round. "Both fighters fighting like the other guy can't hurt them." - Larry

10:54... Lampley mentions that Rowland threw 74 punches in both the 1st and 2nd rounds. Steward mentions that while he's busy, his shots just don't have much pop. maybe so, but he's letting his hands go, landing a fair bit, and making a solid fight of it. Chavez with a solid left hook. Action in the middle of the ring. Both guys letting their hands go. "Even though Rowland is landing a lot of punches, Chavez is walking him down." - Steward. "At this weight, I don't think Chavez Jr. is much of a puncher either." - Larry. He's landing that left hook, but it hasn't seemed to bother Rowland much.

10:55... Harold has it 2-1 for Chavez.

10:58... Rowland having a little bit of the better of things early in the 4th. he just backed Chavez up with a flurry. Action now starts to slow a bit. "Rowland definitely not afraid being in Vegas for the first time." - Lampley. "I think this is a disappointing match-up for a big night like this." - Merchant. Rowland doing nicely this round. he's had Chavez backing up, and he's tagging him. Rowland with a couple right hands that land. Chavez tries to flurry as the round comes to a close.

11:02... Harold gave the last round to Chavez. They are battling it out in the middle of the ring, while the HBO crew blathers on about whether or not Margarito's gloves were loaded when he faced Cotto. Chavez digs a nice left hook to the body. Rowland keeps throwing though. he's staying busy, as the two men battle it out. I don't think we've had a cinch so far by the way. Both fighters landing. Rowland has been landing his jab, and his right hand. Chavez' best shots have been his left hook. Each time Chavez lands, Rowland pops him right back. Chavez with a nice right hand. Rowland responds with his own. Chavez with a left hook, followed by a right hand to end the round.

11:03... Harold has it 4-1 for Chavez.

11:06... Steward comments that the absence of a jab is a bit of a worry for Chavez, as he's not a big enough banger to get away with it. Chavez with a decent right hand. Lammpley comments that Rowland's punch output has dropped this round, and he's looking a little tired. Lampley also mentions that the difference in power is audible. Rowland keeps plugging away though. He's sticking the jab, following up with right hands. Going to the body as well. All arm punches, but he's landing shots. Rowland is starting to swell a little around both eyes.

11:07... Merchant just mentioned that Manny Pac is consuming 8,000 calories a day to keep the weight on. Harold has this one 5-1 after 6.

11:10... Harold points out that Rowland's face is starting to bust up. Neither Harold or Lampley though are confident on Chavez' ability to fight world class opposition. Chavez is starting to back Rowland up a bit. he's landing some solid right hands to go with the left hooks. Rowland still throwing back though. Chavez with a decent left hook. Chavez with another left hook. Rowland still plugging away though. Now he fires a right hand, and backs Chavez up, although it looks like Chavez is just taking a bit of a rest. now Chavez responds with a right hand. Chavez with another decent right hand. Rowland looks like he's fading a little.

11:14... 6-1 on Harold's card. Rowland keeps pressing forward here. perhaps he's still got something in his tank. Now Chavez backs him up with a right hand and a left hook. Chavez with a decent right hand. Rowland responds with a 1-2. I think Rowland is a bit tired. Chavez with a flurry as the round comes to a close.

11:17... We're in the 9th round of this one. 2 to go. This round is more of the same. Between rounds, Larry merchant talked with Manny Pacquiao about tonight's fight with Cotto, as well as Z Gorres, the Filipino fighter that Manny co-promotes who was critically injured last night. Manny will be praying for him. You always hate to hear about something like that, and The Boxing Bulletin extends our best wishes to Gorres. Let's hope he pulls through this okay. Larry mentioned that after the interview, Manny came up to him and told him that in the Philippines when he was younger, a fighter died in his arms. "This is what we do. This is what we signed up for." Pac said to Larry.

11:23... Rowland still hanging in there. Chavez Jr. still landing the harder shots. Not much else to say about this one. I think we're definitely seeing some of Chavez Jr's limitations. Very easy to hit, and perhaps not much pop at 160. It's hard to see him as much of a threat to anyone near the top of the division in the near future. Rowland keeps plugging away. "Troy Rowland has fought all the way through this." - Lampley. The final seconds tick away.

11:24... Here's Buffer with the decision. 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Chavez Jr.

11:25... The prelims are over. The main-event awaits.

11:28... Michael Buffer is back. Time for the anthems.

11:36... The Anthems have been performed. We're moments away from the ring walks. No fight night weights by the way. No surprise there, since Cotto is fighting.

11:37... When was the last time Miguel weighed in for HBO? I don't remember. It would be nice though to have some idea of what the actual weight difference is. I'd guess Pac is around 148 and Cotto somewhere around 158.

11:38... Manny has left his dressing room, and is making his way towards the arena.

11:39... Here comes Manny. He's got a grin on his face as he waves his glove to some well wishers.

11:40... Manny looks very relaxed. He's bouncing up and down, and having a hard time holding his smile in as he makes his way towards the ring.

11:41... "Has ever a man smiled so much on route to such a serious task?" - Larry Merchant. Steward says Manny reminds him of Roberto Duran.

11:42... Cotto is now making his way from his dressing room to the arena entrance.

11:43... Quite a contrast between the two men. Cotto is almost expressionless.

11:43... "This is a very serious individual." - Lampley "Very serious and very realistic." - Steward

11:44... Here's Buffer again with the intros.

11:45... Buffer is going through the sponsors.

11:46... Byrd, Ford and Moretti are the judges. Kenny Bayless is the man in charge.

11:47... The intros are over. The crowd is buzzing. This one is mere moments from getting underway.

11:48... Bayless with the final instructions.

11:51... We're underway. Both guys sizing each other up in the middle. Cotto with a solid jab to start. Pac flicks out his jab. Cotto leans in with a hook that misses. Now Manny with a little right hand that glances. Cotto is short with a right hand. ACtion in the middle of the ring. Both men lookin for openings. pac probing with the jab. He just misses with a left. Steward comments that Cotto is pushing Pac back when he jabs. manny comes forward and lands a straight left. Steward feels it was blocked. Cotto edging forward behind the jab, and tries to dig to the body. Cotto short with a jab. 1:00 to go. There's our first clinch. manny is short with a left. Cotto commanding the middle of the ring, while Pac circles to his left. Cotto with a little flurry on the inside. Cotto misses with a hook and Pac lands a counter. pac with a left to the body. Cotto fires back, but misses with a body shot. There's the bell.

11:52... Cotto's corner is happy with their man's opening round.

11:55... Harold has it 1-0 for Cotto. manny is short with a straight left. Cotto is short again. Cotto tries to counter, but he's short with his return fire. Cotto edges forward, working behind the jab. Now Manny lands a left hand up the middle. Cotto fires the jab out there. Manny moving to his left. Cotto with a left to the body, and Manny responds with a left. Manny with another left. Cotto tries to dig the body, and then lands a jab. manny with a nice combo up the middle. Manny with another nice combo and catches Cotto with a left hand. Cotto fires back with a body shot. Now Manny with another straight left. Cotto with a solid left hook that got Manny's attention. Cotto edges forward, and fires a right hand to the body. Bayless warns him to keep it up. Pac walks forward and fires a hard left hand up the middle. Cotto fires to the body. Pac digs hard to the body. Pac with another shot to the body and Pac with a very quick combo. Pac having a very good stretch here. Pac with another straight left. Cotto tries to dig to the body. Pac with another hard left hand. Pac with a nice combo. Cotto fires back hard with a right. Cotto digs to the body. There's the ball. Fantastic action over the final minute of the 2nd.

11:56... Cotto's corner not so happy after this round. "Use your jab!"

11:59... 1-1 on Harold's card. Cotto comes out trying to push Manny back with the jab like his corner asked. Manny circles away to his left. Cotto again firing out the jab. Cotto with a glancing hook. Manny with a right hook that lands. Manny with a straight left. Cotto with a jab. manny with a right hook and down goes Cotto! He's up quickly though. Bayless counts to 8. Cotto says he's okay. We're back at it. Manny sticks a jab to the Cotto's body and circles away. That looked more of a flash knockdown than anything else. Now Cotto with a left hook that lands. Cotto trying to back Manny up here. Manny fires back though. Cotto digs to the body with a hook. Cotto with another solid body shot. Manny with a left hand. Manny with a right hook. Cotto digs to the body, and there's a clash of heads. Now Cotto rips the body with a combo. Cotto pressing manny back here, but Manny circles away. manny flicks out his jab. Manny misses with a combo. Manny with a left hand that is short, and Cotto lands a solid counter hook. Cotto with a combo upstairs. Cotto with a solid uppercut. Now Cotto rakes Manny's body. Cotto is fighting back hard since the knockdown. There's a clinch and Cotto pushes manny's head down. There's the bell. Heck of a round.

12:00... Cotto had a real strong close to the round. Landed some heavy shots. Freddy Roach is not happy about it. "Stop fighting his fight!"

12:04... 2-1 on Harold's card for manny. 29-27. Cotto comes out aggressively here in the 3rd, backing Mannyup with the jab. Manny circles away. Both lookin for openings. Cotto digs hard to the body, and then lands a hook upstairs. Now Manny fires back with a left hand. Manny with a body shot. "Pac seems to be taking Cotto's shots well." - Merchant. Now there's a clinch and Bayless quickly gets the action moving. Pac with a nice combo. Cotto presses forward with the jab. Cotto just short with a hook to the body. Now Manny with a straight left to the body. A big combo from Manny. Cotto responds with a left. Manny fires back with his left. Now Cotto pushes Pac back, and fluries with Pac along the ropes. Pac with the gloves up, taking this flurry. Steward thinks Manny is taking a breather. Now Manny fires back. Cotto presses forward though and keeps Manny's back to the ropes. manny finally circles away. Now manny fires back and lands a big left hand. manny with a big counter right hook! Down goes Cotto!! Cotto is up quickly again. he looked a bit hurt though. manny tries to press his advantage, but there's the bell! This is FANTASTIC stuff! Tremendous action so far.

12:04... It was a left hand that put Cotto down.

12:07... Cotto comes pressing forward to start the 5th. Cotto trying to work the jab, as Pac circles away. Cotto with a decent right hand. Pac takes it well and slips away. Cotto with a solid jab. Pac circling to his left. Cotto pressing forward behind the jab. manny moving from side to side, looking for opening. Now Pac explodes with a 1-2 combo that lands. he makes Cotto miss and drills him with a left. he lands a solid hook. Lampley thinks Cotto is slowing down. "His punches don't have the same snap." Action now in the middle of the ring. "Pac's 2 hands have been better than Cotto's 1." - Merchant. Cotto just landed a decent little uppercut. Manny catches him with a right on the way in though. Manny with a left, and Cotto lands a shot to the body. Now Cotto presses Pac back agaist the ropes and lands an uppercut. Cotto with a solid uppercut. Pac with a straight left. Pac with a jab. Pac just misses with a straight left. Cotto tries to respond and they clinch. Pac tries to flurry at the end of the round, and there's the bell.

12:08... Roach is telling Pac to "back him up with the in and out motion." Cotto's corner is trying to build up his spirits. "You can do it. You can turn it around."

12:12... harold gave the 5th to Cotto. he's got Pac up by 3 points. Cotto treis to press forward behind the jab, and throws his right. Steward comments that pac is just fresher and crisper with his punches. The crew commented between rounds that Cotto's corner sounded desperate. manny with a nice combo, punctuated with a hard left. Manny with another combo. Manny with a left. Cotto responds with a left. Pac with a right hook. pac jumps in and almost got caught with a hook. But he lands a hard shot, and then backs Cotto up. pac with a a big right hook. Pac with a straight left. Manny with a jab. Manny with another straight left that lands. Cotto comes back and just misses with a hard left hook. Pac responds with a combo and backs Cotto into the ropes. Cotto gets out of there though. Pac with a digging body shot. There's a clinch. A nice exchange in the middle of the ring where they both land shots. Cotto comes forward and firs a combo into the gloves. Cotto with a jab. manny with a jab, and Cotto misses witha counter hook. manny presses forward and nearly puts Cotto down with a solid left. Cotto responds though with a solid right. Manny grins as he walks away.

12:12... Cotto's corner is telling him to stay off the ropes and jab and move.

12:15... Harold has Pac up 4-2 and by 4 points overall. Harold is raving about Pac as he gives his score. pac with a solid right hook that lands. pac with a big flurry. Cotto tries to fire back, and they clinch. Cotto is warned for pushing Pac's head down in the clinch. Pac with a jab, and a left hand. pac with another jab. Cotto tries to dig the body, as pac circles away. Pac with a left hand. pac just beating Cotto to the punch over and over. Cotto tries to fight back by digging the body. pac with a right hook. Pac with a combo. "It doesn't look good for Cotto." - Steward. "It looks like just a matter of time." - Lampley. Cotto tries to fire back. he's now on his toes tryng to fight fromt he outside. Manny is stalking. Cotto is the one circling on the defensive. Cotto stops and tries to fire a hook, but it's blocked. Manny with a left hand. Manny with a hook. Cotto is trying to win this from a distance with his jab, and it's not happening.

12:16... Manny's father give the thumbs up to the HBO cameras.

12:16... A member of the commission went to Cotto's corner between rounds just to check on him. Cotto told him he was fine.

12:19... 5-2 on Harold's card after 7. 5 point difference for Pac. Cotto trying to work the jab here early in the 8th. He's on his toes. Circling away from Pac. Pac looking for openings as he edges forward. Manny with his gloves up catches Cotto's fire as Cotto stopped to throw a combo. Manny stalking, as Cotto circling away to his left. Manny catches Cotto on the way in with a jab. Cotto circles away again. manny with a jab, and a straight left. Cotto fires back with a 1-2 of his own. Manny is pressing forward here. He catches Cotto wtiha right hook. Now he drilles Cotto with a left hand. Cotto is backing away. "He seems to be in full tactical retreat." - Larry on Cotto. Cotto on his toes, backing up and circling away. Manny catches him with a left hand. Cotto with a decent right hand as he catches Pac coming in. Pac with a combo. pac pushes Cotto back againt the ropes and lands a flurry. Cotto gets away and backs away to the other side of the ring. There's the bell.

12:20... Cotto needs to do something here. he can't just back away and give these rounds up. He needs to try and make one big stand and go for it.

12:23... Steward says if he was in Cotto's corner he would be thinking about stopping the fight. 6-2 on harold's card after 8. manny with a left hand. Cotto tries to fire back with a combo. Now Cotto bangs the body. Manny responds with a left hand. Cotto standing his ground a bit more here. Cotto lands a jab. Action in the middle of the ring. Cotto with a decent hook, and then circles away. Cotto now on his toe again. now Cotto tries to come forward witha flurry. manny fires back with a combo and lands a hard left uppercut. Now Manny bangs Cotto with another flurry and forces Cotto intot he corner. manny trying to unload as Cotto backs up. Cotto tries to counter, but he's too slow. Manny pushes Cotto into the ropes again and flurries with both hands. Cotto gets out of there and backs away. Manny chases him down and lands a hard left. Manny with another hard left. Cotto is in retreat here. Cotto land a decent combo, but manny just fires back and again chases Cotto into the ropes. now they clinch. Cotto trying to jab and move. Manny following him. Manny firing his jab. manny with a hard left hand. Cotto backs away. Manny is chasing. Cotto is backing from one side of the ring to the other. It's all Manny here. Cotto is taking a beating.

12:24... Cotto's corner is going to give him 1 more round.

12:27... Cotto's wife and son left the arena at the end of the last round. 7-2 on Harold's card. Harold says that they should stop this fight. Larry feels that Cotto deserves the chance to go out on his terms. Cotto misses with a left hook. Pac patiently stalking. Pac lands the jab as he comes forward. Cotto misses with a jab. Cotto tries to flurry wtih a combo. Cotto with a hook that is blocked. manny edges froward as Cotto cirles away to his left. This has been a slow round so far. Steward feels Pac is taking a breather. Now Pac starts to attack and Cotto circles away. Pac pressing forward now. Cotto dances away to his left. Cotto tries to fire back but not much on his shots here. Pac fires a straight left that lands. Pac presses Cotto into the ropes, but Cotto flurries and gets out of there. 30 seconds left in the round. Cotto with a flurry intot he gloves. Pac with a left hand. Cotto with a decent combo that lands. pac tries to flurry as the round comes to a close. He lands a straight left just as the bell rings.

12:28... Cotto's corner wants another round like the previous one.

12:31... We're in the 11th. 8-2 on Harold's card. Lampley is pondering Mayweather vs Manny. Cotto is moving from side to side here. Pac is following. Pac looking for openings as he follows. Cotto on his toes, circling away. Cotto with a hook that is way short. Pac probing witht he jab as Cotto backs away. Now Manny gets Cotto on the ropes and rakes him to the body with a combo. Now manny flurries upstairs and Cotto backs away. Manny looking to attack here. Cotto fires a jab in there and moves away. Manny lands a right hand as he backs Cotto up. Cotto is in full retreat. 1:00 to go in the 11th. manny again gets Cotto along the ropes and flurries, but Cotto gets out of there. manny with a jab. Cotto backing up. Manny now stands in the middle of the ring and tries to get Cotto to come to him. He doesn't and manny gets back to following. Cotto on his toes, backing away, moving from side the side. Manny with a jab as he chases Cotto. The crowd starting to boo here.

12:32... Cotto's face is a swollen bloody mess.

12:32... Cotto's corner is telling him to keep with the plan. The survival plan I assume.

12:34... Manny chases after Cotto to start the 12th. Cotto back away. Cotto in full retreat. Pac looks at Cotto and then looks at Bayless, perhaps wondering what the point of this continuing is. Manny with a hard left hand as Cotto backs away. manny immediately tries to press his advantage and Bayless showing very good judgment, jumps in there and stops it. We didn't need to see Cotto laid out. Good move from Bayless. This one's over. A masterful performance from the best fighter in the world.

12:35... Lampley asks if Pac is good enough to beat Floyd? Let's hope we get to see it in the near future.

12:36... Michael Buffer with the official announcement. 55 seconds of round 12 is the time of the stoppage.

12:38... I imagine Larry will be with the winner shortly.

12:40... Here's Larry with Manny. "Our plan for the fight was to be careful in the early rounds." - Manny. Larry asks if Cotto ever hurt him. "I was trying to test his power in the early rounds. I wanted to get hit in the body and the head. Then when I wanted to control the fight, I got aggressive.

12:41... "I heard he was bigger and stronger than me. That's why I wanted to fight him toe to toe." Larry asks Manny what his thoughts were late in the fight. "I made sure I was cautious. He was looking for a big shot. I kept pressuring, but I was careful of his counters."

12:42... Merchant asks Manny about a potential Mayweather fight. "My job is to fight in the ring. It's up to my promoter Arum to negotiate that fight."

12:43... Manny tells Merchant that he won't be going up to 154, after Merchant asks if this is the last weight class Manny intends to compete in.

12:45... Freddy Roach is now with Merchant. "Early in the fight, he was laying on the ropes a bit too much, but he eventually got into his rhythm." Roach admits he was a little worried early in the fight when Cotto was landing some decent shots.

12:45... Roach wants Mayweather next for Manny.

12:47... Cotto is now with Merchant. Larry asks Cotto if Manny's ability to hit him with shots he couldn't see make a big difference. Cotto acknowledges that it was key. "Manny is one of the best of all-time." - Miguel

12:47... Merchant asks Cotto if he will continue to fight. "Yes, I will."

12:49... That's it for our coverage of tonight's show. I hope you enjoyed it, and please check us out again for more of our live round by round blog coverage.
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Friday, November 13, 2009

Manny Pacquiao vs Miguel Cotto Predictions

The most anticipated fight of the year is just about here. Just one more night until Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto will do battle at the MGM Grand in Vegas.

The fighters weighed in a little less than an hour ago, with Cotto tipping the scales at the agreed upon limit of 145 pounds. Pacquiao came in 1 pound under the limit at 144.

Let's get to our writer's picks...

Manny Pacquaio vs Miguel Cotto

A lot of the common perceptions of this fight come from each man's two previous bouts (excluding Jenning's for Cotto). I think of it this way; how would Cotto have looked against De La Hoya and Hatton? How would Pacquiao have looked against Margarito and Clottey? I believe Cotto would have put Oscar on the floor and dismantled Hatton much like Pacquiao did, though perhaps more methodically. Pacquiao probably would only survive the Margarito that busted up Cotto by running and should he have suffered a cut like that against Clottey he may have shown more fold than Cotto.

So, all that, only to say this; I think this fight is a 50-50 prospect. I could see a blowout either way, and I could see a tooth and nail, knockdown, drag-out firefight. I'll go out on a slight limb and say that Pac's high earmuff defense betrays him on the ropes and Cotto damages Pacquiao to the body. This, after he takes Pacquiao's best and stalks him down like the Cotto of yore. Cotto ought to play Duran here, winging borderline shots and being as rough as can be. When Barrera turned punk in the Manny rematch, Pac didn't respond well, and it wasn't the first time he's been thrown off his game by chippy gamesmanship or a cut. Whatever happens I hope the fight is a classic and both men are elevated by nights end. Again, in a fight that could swing either way, I'll take Cotto by TKO.

- Jeff Pryor

Check out Jeff's Preview of the fight: The Rise & Fall of Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto

I'm picking Pacquaio. Too fast and too sharp. This is a great little man against a good - but vulnerable - big man.

That said, do I think Cotto can win? Yes. But to do so, I think he needs to show the type of fearlessness missing from his recent performances. He's the bigger man here, and he needs to really fight like it... press forward behind the jab, work the body hard, maybe get a little rough in the process and keep Manny on his back foot. Yeah, that kind of aggressiveness might mean he walks into something really damaging early, but I think it gives him a fighting chance... certainly a much better chance than trying to out-box Manny.

- Andrew Fruman

I see the fight being very competitive, Cotto has been written off by a lot of people and most fans think Pacquiao will destroy him. I believe they are massively underrating Cotto, this is a fighter who's only been beaten once (in a somewhat controversial manner) and has 27 knockouts on his record – he’s no mug.

There’s always been a doubt about Cotto's chin but it's looked much better at 147 than it did at 140, and we're yet to see how well Pacquaio can take a shot from a genuine welterweight. I believe both fighters have the ability knock one another out but I've got a gut feeling that Cotto will be the victor. The end could come early or late but if I was pushed to pick, I’d say the end will come somewhere between rounds four and six.

- Dave Oakes

I see Pacquiao beating Cotto to the punch with his straight left hand from the opening bell. Cotto will score some here and there during some exciting exchanges but Pacquiao will dominate this fight on the cards and bust up Miguel’s face en route to a mid to late round stoppage. I hope I’m wrong and the fight meets the world’s expectations. But I’m expecting another clinic from Mr. Pacquiao.

- Mark Lyons

I got Pacquiao winning by either late TKO or decision though I can certainly see Cotto winning by knockout. Both are likely to get busted up, but I disagree with the notion that Cotto handles facial damage better. He tends to fight off his back foot when his vision or breathing becomes compromised and he won't beat Manny that way.

The main advantage Pacquiao has though is that Cotto is left hand dominant; his right hand isn't nearly as powerful and the fighters who give Manny the most fits have very strong right hands.

- Michael Nelson

As much as I will be hoping for Cotto to win I just can't see Miguel being able to handle Pacquiao's speed. Cotto has also shown a suspect chin in the past and I have my doubts about his ability to absorb Pacman's shots. I also don't believe he's mentally the same fighter he was before the Margarito fight.

My prediction... Pacquiao either stops Cotto sometime after round 9, or wins by decision.

- Ivan Montiel

Pacquiao is too fast, and Cotto will get tagged, no matter what style he plans on using. I'll take Manny by TKO in 8, in a fight that should be fun while it lasts.

- Lee Payton
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

British Scene: Matthew Hatton vs Lovemore N'dou Preview

Dave Oakes previews Friday night's welterweight match-up between Matthew Hatton and Lovemore N'dou.

Photo © Marty Rosengarten / Ringsidephotos.com

It must be hard fighting in the shadow of your brother for the whole of your career, but Matthew Hatton has the chance to step out of the shadow and enhance his reputation as a fighter in his own right this Friday night, when he takes on former world title holder and the current IBF #15 rated Lovemore N’dou at the Fenton Manor Sports Complex, Stoke.

N’dou, 47-11-1 (KO31), is the far more experienced fighter, he’s been a pro since 1993 and has fought much better opponents than Hatton has. He’s been in with five world champions – Junior Witter, Sharmba Mitchell, Miguel Cotto, Kermit Cintron and Paul Malignaggi, who he’s fought twice. He lost against all five but has always proved to be a hard opponent.

The high point of N’dou’s career came when he defeated Naoufel Ben Rabah to win the light-welterweight world title. N’dou and Ben Rabah put on a wonderful display of courage and passion, both fighters gave everything, but in the end it was N’dou’s superior fitness and chin that helped him survive the ferocious exchanges to outlast Ben Rabah. He lost the title in disappointing style in his next bout, a wide points defeat against Paul Malignaggi, before coming close to recapturing it, narrowly losing on a split decision against Malignaggi.

Hatton’s career has been a slow burner so far; he’s been a pro for nine years but has only ventured into domestic title class once, a points defeat to Craig Watson in a Commonwealth title fight eighteen months ago. He’s been criticised for being a protected fighter but what a lot of people fail to realise is that he hardly had any fights as an amateur before turning pro. It’s been a case of learning on the job for the younger Hatton.

The added pressure of being a Hatton has also put him under more pressure and in the spotlight more than most fighters. Having an older brother as famous as Ricky has been both a help and a hindrance for Matthew. Big things were expected of him purely because of his name and he’s received a lot of criticism for not setting the world alight like Ricky did when he turned pro. That said, he’s had the benefit of being on the undercard of big fight cards on both sides of the pond and has benefited from training in the same gym as Ricky.

Hatton, 37-4-1 (KO14), has gone four undefeated since the defeat to Watson, including wins against tough veterans Ben Tackie and Ted Bami. He seems to be improving as a fighter but still lacks versatility and punch variety; he only looks comfortable fighting at mid-range and seems content to throw jabs and straight rights for the most part.

N’Dou is ten years Hatton’s senior at 38 and has been there, done it and bought the t-shirt. It remains to be seen as to how much he’s got left in the tank at this stage of his career; he’s showed no major signs of deterioration as yet, although, I’ve got a feeling Hatton may be facing him at the perfect time.

I’d be extremely surprised if the fight ended early, N’dou’s got a granite chin and Hatton has never been in serious trouble in his career either. I believe Hatton will make the better start; out-jabbing and out-working N’dou before surviving a spirited late charge by the Australian based South African to edge a close and maybe controversial points decision.

e-mail Dave Oakes
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

One More Round With Mark Lyons: Dawson, Haye & Pacquiao/Cotto

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

Photo © Ray Kasprowicz

Another dominant, yet criticized performance from Chad Dawson (pictured right) and a farce of a PPV card on Friday night. There is a new alphabet title holder at Heavyweight and everyone is ready for the big one this weekend.

My Take on Last Weekend's Fights...

-- Chad Dawson may well be the best boxer in the world. While he remains unknown to the casual fan, he is becoming quite a polarizing figure in hard core boxing circles. He doesn’t hold and he doesn’t run, but most fans are always expecting and wanting more from him. Knocking out Glen Johnson is something that shouldn’t be expected of any fighter but that doesn’t stop people from complaining that he didn’t.

-- Dawson boxed beautifully from the outset, controlled the distance and peppered the Road Warrior with crisp jabs and body shots. Never once was he in any danger and I saw a resounding victory against a man that many thought beat him in their first fight. Color me impressed by not just his incredible skils, but his ability to adapt.

-- David Haye got the job done against the giant. But his bark was way louder than his bite in what was truly a dreadful fight. Hearing that he hurt his hand early makes his tactics more understandable, but it doesn’t give me back that thirty six minutes. With Ruiz on deck, Haye is in danger of another stinker and getting a reputation for engaging in boring fights. That wouldn’t really be fair after his thrilling Cruiserweight run, but like life, boxing is never really fair. Here is hoping he smashes Ruiz in style. But that is far easier said than done.

-- Yes, I watched the Judah/Casamayor card. The most entertaining moment was a ten minute interview with Erik Estrada by the way out of his element Michael Marley. Needless to say I didn’t agree with Marley about Judah’s low blow knockout being electrifying.

Looking Ahead To This Weekend...

-- Fight fans are buzzing for this Saturday night as Manny Pacquiao takes on Miguel Cotto at what I feel is a ridiculous catch weight. If the belt's on the line, the champ shouldn't have to weigh in 2 pounds under the division limit. That being said, it’s two of the best P4P fighters in the world and that is reason for excitement.

-- Cotto is a warrior and really is everything good about the sport. He seems to be stuck in a bizarre style transition where he isn’t sure if he is a boxer or a slugger. His only chance in this fight is to bore inside with almost reckless abandon and try to rough Manny up in close. I’m reading people talk about Miguel’s jab being a key and I don’t see him having any success with that punch. He needs to use it, but just as a means to get inside and not as a weapon. Body work is his key to victory.

-- Pacquiao, just has to be Pacquiao. Using his blazing speed of hand and foot to get there first and take advantage of Cotto’s shoddy footwork. Cotto is not capable of moving and punching at the same time, which is absolute hell against a guy like pacquiao who can change his angles in the blink of an eye. The only real question for me is how Manny will respond to a Welterweights punch, he hasn’t been hit by anybody since he left Jr. lightweight.

-- I see Pacquiao beating Cotto to the punch with his straight left hand from the opening bell. Cotto will score some here and there during some exciting exchanges but pacquaio will dominate this fight on the cards and bust up Miguel’s face en route to a mid to late round stoppage. I hope I’m wrong and the fight meets the world’s expectations. But I’m expecting another clinic from Mr. Pacquaio.

A Fight I’ve been Thinking About...

In lieu of Kelly Pavlik’s apparent desire to never stare across the ring at Paul Williams, lets look at a Middleweight that would relish the opportunity.The highly underrated and extremely rugged Mustapha Hamsho. While Paul has dealt with the pressure of a Margarito, Hamsho’s was of a different variety. His head was in your chest and he could smother Williams on the inside while Paul would enjoy a decided advantage at midrange and outside. In an exciting and bruising affair it will really come down to the judges preference. I’ll take two of three judges to reward Williams more aesthetically pleasing work and he gets a hard earned split nod in a fight that could go either way. One thing is for sure, it will go the distance and they both will almost certainly spill blood.

e-mail Mark Lyons
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Monday, November 9, 2009

British Scene Weekend Recap: McCloskey & Sexton Win in Northern Ireland

Matt Chudley recaps this past weekend's British boxing action.

Friday saw mixed fortunes for two of Northern Irelands most popular fighters as Paul McCloskey claimed the European Light-Welterweight title in Magherafelt, while Martin Rogan failed to regain the Commonwealth Heavyweight title less than 40 miles away in Belfast.

First to enter the ring on the night was McCloskey, who found himself in a favourable matchup against Daniel Rasilla for the European strap after champion Souleymane M'Baye withdrew less than two weeks before.

Giving away 3 inches in height to the Spaniard, McCloskey swept the first three rounds with the greater volume and accuracy as he bobbed and weaved from side to side in his customary style to avoid the oncoming. Renowned for his sharp reflexes, the local fighter’s quicker hands allowed him to fire out a more authoritative range finder, as he managed to out-jab the taller Spaniard in the early going, while showing more pop as well.

In the 4th, a slightly discouraged Rasilla started to open up, and McCloskey responded by bringing his right hook into play, briefly stunning Rasilla at the back end of the round.

Unable to cause any serious punishment with Rasilla pressed up against the ropes on a couple of occasions in the 5th and 6th rounds, the Dungiven southpaw became more patient in his approach and looked to pick Rasilla apart as opposed to pressuring him.

McCloskey's patience was rewarded in the 9th when he caught his wide open opponent with a short counter right on the inside that put the man from Santander down. With plenty of time left in the round, McCloskey missed with a few wild uppercuts before catching Rasilla coming in again, this time with a straight left. The second knockdown prompted Rasilla's handlers to enter the ring and save him from any further punishment.

Improving to 20(10)-0, McCloskey can now look forward to bigger fights against the likes of Junior Witter, Souleymane M'Baye and Andreas Kotelnik, who all occupy the upper echelons of the European rankings.

Another possibility for the Matchroom Sport fighter is a clash with the winner of Matchroom’s December 4th edition of the prizefighter tournament which features 140lb fighters, 3 of which are already ranked by the EBU.

Over in Belfast, Martin Rogan once again found himself at a packed out Odyssey arena despite a much less stellar supporting cast than his last visit. Spurred on by his massive support, he came out more aggressively than the previous fight and tried to throw a barrage of hooks to the body of Sexton, who had seemed to have some stamina issues last time out.

With Rogan wanting to work on the inside, the 25 year old champion did his best to hamper the action in close by holding, while trying to keep the fight at longer range where he could use his snappy jab and straighter punches.

The best punch of the early going was a solid right from Sexton in the 3rd which stunned Rogan, but Sexton noticeably slowed down in the next two rounds. An overhand right in close quarters shook him in the 5th, but Rogan smothered much of his follow up attack, and the 38 year old challenger was unable to capitalise.

After composing himself in the interval, Sexton settled back into the contest with his trusty jab and began to catch Rogan with right hands as the 6th wore on. The closing moments of the round saw a despondent Rogan with his hands low and his head bowed.

After returning to his corner with a look of resignation, trainer Paul McCullough was left with little choice but to pull his fighter after a distant Rogan offered nothing back, later citing an arm injury.

With the loss, it looks like Rogan's unlikely run in the heavyweight division may have come to an end. If that’s the case, it’s still fairly remarkable what he’s been able to accomplish after turning pro at 33 years of age.

With the contest doubling as a British title eliminator, Sexton can look forward to challenging an old and shop worn Danny Williams for the Lonsdale belt next.

On the under-cards...

On the undercard in Magherafelt, British featherweight champ Martin Lindsay improved to 15-0 with an 8 round shutout of Ghanian Alfred Tetteh, while the 22 year old Barry McGuigan managed 122lb prospect Carl Frampton advanced to 3-0 with a third round stoppage win over 1-6-2 Hungarian Ignac Kassai.

In Belfast, local favourite and former WBO welterweight challenger Neil Sinclair (33-7) dispatched 38 year old Hungarian Janos Petrovics (18-29) with a vicious body attack, eventually forcing the referee’s stoppage in the 4th round.

e-mail Matt Chudley
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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Round by Round Blog: Chad Dawson vs Glen Johnson II, plus Angulo vs Yorgey

Welcome to The Boxing Bulletin's live blog coverage of HBO's Championship Boxing Show, featuring the rematch between Chad Dawson and Glen Johnson. Also on the bill is a junior-middleweight clash between Alfredo Angulo and Harry Joe Yorgey.

The HBO broadcast starts at 9:30 PM EST, and we'll be doing detailed round by round updates for both fights.

If you're watching at home, please feel free to contribute by posting your scores and opinions of the fights.

Chad Dawson 28-0 (175) vs Glen Johnson 49-12-2 (173 1/2)

Alfredo Angulo 16-1 (153 1/2) vs Harry Joe Yorgey 22-0-1 (153 1/4)

Refresh this page often as updates will be frequent

6:45 PM EST... Check back in with us at 9:30 PM EST for the start of the show, as round by round coverage will begin with Angulo vs Yorgey.

9:20... Coverage will start in 10 minutes.

9:31... The show's starting. Updates will begin momentarily.

9:35... With Angulo's fight up first, Lampley and Kellerman are going over the top names at 154 to start the show.

9:36... Angulo is 164 tonight, while Yorgey has re-hydrated to 166.

9:37... The fighters are in the ring, and the introductions are underway.

9:38... From Bridgeport, PA... Harry Joe Yorgey.

9:38... From Mexicali, Mexico... Alfredo Angulo.

9:39... We're ready to go.

9:42... Manny Steward is joining Kellerman and Lampley in the booth. Angulo coming forward, with Yorgey fighting from the outside to start things off. Angulo presses forward, firing hooks and rights and pushes Yorgey into the ropes. Yorgey slips away, but Angulo keeps the pressure on. Yorgey moving side to side, as Angulo presses. Yorgey flicking jabs out from the outside. Angulo with his elbows tucked, and gloves up, edging forward. He's sticking out the jab as he moves in. 1:30 to go in the round. Yorgey keeping his distance here. Angulo jabbing his way in, and then hooking to the body. Yorgey trying to jab and move. Angulo backs Yorgey into the ropes, and unloads and lands a solid right. Yorgey on the move, Anuglo stalking. Yorgey trying to counter off the ropes, but he's not doing anything to keep Angulo honest right now. Angulo digging in as he pushes Yorgey to the ropes to end the round.

9:47... I don't think this one's going to last too long. Angulo's closing the distance and managing to unload in close when he does. Round 2 underway. Harold has it 1-0 for Angulo. Yorgey moving to his left, then to his right, and flicks out a jab. Angulo pumps the jab as he moves forward. Yorgey backs into the ropes and then fires a combo, but Angulo keeps stalking. Angulo jabbing his way in, and Yorgey slides away to his right. Angulo lands a right to the body. Angulo presses Yorgey into the ropes and fires a right. Yorgey gets out of there, but Angulo is on him right away and gets him along the ropes again. Yorgey is strictly fighting from the outside, while Angulo stalks. Angulo with a hard shot with Yorgey along the ropes. That hurt him. Anuglo goes after him. Yorgey in trouble along the ropes. Angulo pouring it on and down goes Yorgey. He's up, and takes the count. He's on the move, but Angulo's after him hard. Yorgey is in bad trouble. Angulo is pouring it on, landing hard shots. Hooks, right hands, shots to the body. Yorgey is in desperate trouble, as he can't keep distance. Angulo pouring it on with Yorgey on the ropes. Yorgey to his credit is trying to fight back, but he's taking a real beating here. There's the bell.

9:47... It was a hard right hand that hurt Yorgey.

9:49... Angulo immediately starts chasing to start round 3. Yorgey is in trouble, but he's fighting back. He's taking a beating though, and down he goes. He's up immediately, but the ref should really think about stopping this. Angulo pours it on, as Yorgey retreats to the ropes. He's getting pounded here. The ref would be very wise to stop it. Angulo with a huge right hand and down goes Yorgey. He's out.

9:50... Yorgey really didn't need to take that last shot. He was in desperate trouble BEFORE the round started. When he went down early, it was enough. There was no need for that final flurry. Why let a fighter clearly out of his depth take all that extra punishment??

9:50... That was vicious. It was a left hand, right hand combination that ended the fight. Yorgey is finally up. Good to see he's okay.

9:51... The official time - 1:03 of round 3.

9:57... There was an odd sequence late in the 2nd round which I should mention. Not sure exactly what happened, as I was struggling to type as fast as the action, but I just took another look. Yorgey was on the ropes, and kind of turned around as he came off the ropes and Angulo hit him in the back of the head. The ref came between them and Yorgey retreated to the other corner, and Angulo didn't chase, but seemed to wait for the ref to rule, but the ref backed off and the action started up again.

10:00... We just got a shot of Johnson and Dawson warming up in their dressing rooms. They both look ready to go, so despite the short nature of the first fight, it looks like this one might be starting reasonabl soon.

10:04... I just watched the first knockdown from the second round again. Very questionable decision making from the ref. Yorgey was clearly down, being held up by the ropes and Angulo was teeing off on him, and the ref didn't do a thing. Oh well... not like the result would have been any different, but the man in charge certainly didn't do Yorgey any favors.

10:05... Dawson is 191 tonight, and Johnson is 189. Supposedly Dawson is intersted in fighting in the super six. Hard to imagine him getting all the way down to 168, if he's re-hyrdating all the way up to 191. I think he was around 185 for Tarver II. Either way, it looks like he's filled into a big light heavy.

10:07... Glen Johnson has just stepped into the ring. He's decked out all in yellow, with black trim.

10:08... Dawson is making his entrance. He's in black, with orange trim.

10:09... Mark Lichtenfeld with the introductions.

10:10... Michael Ortega is the ref.

10:11... Johnson looks all business as his name is announced.

10:11... Chad Dawson gets a nice ovation. He's the hometown man.

10:12... Final instructions have been given. We're ready to go.

10:15... Here we go. Johnson immediately begins moving forward. He lands an early right hand. Johnson circling away to his right. Dawson flicking his right jab out. Johnson pressing forward. He's firing the jab, and then coming with the right hand. Dawson staying at long range for now. He's flicking mostly jabs. Glen with his gloves up, pressing forward. He flicks a jab out, and then lands a right hand. Action in the middle of the ring now. Dawson sticking out his right, but not getting close enough to really land it. He's cautious so far. Johnson with a right hand over the top. Dawson with a jab, and a straihgt left to the body. Dawson flicking the jabs out. Now he lands a left hand. Johnson short with a right hand. Dawson comes back with a left, but is short. Johnson moving his head, as he flicks the jab, and tries to comg in with a right hand. Dawson backs away as it misses. Dawson now lands a left hand. Chad doing better in the last minute of the round, while Johnson had the better of things early. There's the bell.

10:15... Dawson's corner tell him they want to see more jabs.

10:16... Glen's corner also wants to see him jabbing.

10:19... Lampley is spouting off punch-stat numbers. Harold has it 1-0 for Dawson. Action in the middle of the ring to start the 2nd. Johnson edging forward, as Dawson slides away to his right. Dason sticking the jab in there. Glen following, trying to get in range. Glen is short with a jab. Dawson is short with a counter left. Johnson with a jab. Dawson misses a left. Dawson sticking home a jab. Glen just misses with a right hand. Now he misses again as he shoots it over the top. Johnson short with a right hand. Dawson flicking out the jab, keeping Johnson from getting off here. Dawson lands a left. Johnson with a jab, and fires a right to the body. Glen edging forward, and is short with another right, as Dawson slips away to his right. Johnson is flicking out the jab, "pawing with it" Lampley points out. Dawson with a left hand. Now Johnson with a right to the body. Johnson now pushes Dawson to the ropes and tries to flurry, but Dawson gets out of there. Now Dawson responds with a nice combo. There's the bell.

10:19... Might be my imagination, but Glen looks like he's pushing his shots a bit. Doesn't seem to have the sting he did during the first fight.

10:23... Round 3. Harold's got it 2-0. Not sure about the first, but Dawson definitely won the 2nd. Dawson with a combo, and slides away to his right. Johnson follows. Dawson flicks the jab out, and Johnson tries to fire a right hand but misses. Dawson moving from side to side, keeping Johnson from getting set and loading up. Johnson follows, and gets tagged with a left. Dawson with a jab. Johnson is short with a right hand. Johsnon now misses with a right hand as Dawson ducks underneath. Now Dawson unloads with a nice 3 punch combo. Dawson looking good this round. Johsnon follows and fires a jab/right, but Dawson avoids both shots. Dawson now lands another combo. Good round for Chad here. Glen fires a hard right, but misses with it. He's just not finding the range with that right hand. Dawson lands a straight left. Johnson edges forward, and misses with another right. Dawson really keeping his distance nicely. Now he lands a left hand. Johnson keeps following, keeps edging forward, now he tries to flurry, but again Dawson slips away without any damge. They exchange with about 10 seconds left. There's the bell.

10:24... Glen's corner telling him he's got to go to the body.

10:27... Johnson comes out moving forward, while Dawson slides off to his right, now his left, and then again to his right as Glen follows. Dawson flicks the jab out to the body and moves away again. Johnson follows, flicking his jab out and then fires a right hand. Might have glanced off Dawson there. Glen pawing with the jab, and trying to follow up with a right, but misses. Glen now jabs, and fires a right to the body. Action in the middle of the ring. Dawson with a jab, and a left hand. Johnson presses forward, and fires the right, but I don't think it landed. Dawson moves things back to the middle of the ring. Glen flickign the jab out, trying to line up his right hand. Now he bangs a right to the body. DAwson responds with a left. Dawson flicking out the jab and moves. Now DAwson fires a hard left. Johnson comes forward with the jab, and fires the right to the body, but Dawson backs away and it doesn't land. Now Glen misses with a hook. Dawson with a nice jab. Dawson flicking out the jab, and Johnson not so eager to attack at this stage as the round comes to a close. There's the bell.

10:28... Johnson's corner is trying to get their man moving. They are telling him he's down 4 rounds. That might be the case, although he may have taken the opening frame.

10:31... Harold has it 4-0. Johnson pressing forward to start the round. Dawson circling. JOhnson trying to get close, but Dawson slides away to his right. Dawson keeping his distance here. Johnson with a 1-2 that lands. Johnson pressing, with Dawson circling to his right. Now Dawson moves to his left and Johnson chases. Johnson with a right hand to the body. Johnson with a right that misses. Dawson lands a jab and then gets out of there. Now Glen closes the distance, but Dawson immediately gets out of there. Dawson with a combo, and then gets on the move again. Dawson was standing his ground a lot more in the previous rounds. He's strictly on the move in this one. Johnson following, but not having much luck. Glen with a 1-2, and Dawson then slips away. Dawson flickng the jab and moving. Glen with a jab, and tries to go to the body with a right. Dawson throws a left. There's the bell.

10:35... Round 6. Harold has it 5-0 for Dawson. I think Johnson had a good argument for the 5th. Dawson circling and keeping his distance. Johnson following, trying to get close enough to land his right. Dawson is flicking that jab, and keeping Glen from unloading. Now Glen with a nice jab. Glen with a nice right hand downstairs. Action in the middle of the ring here. Dawson flicking the jab out. Glen probing with his jab. Glen just misses with a right hand. Dawson coutners with a left. Johnson with a jab. Glen edging forward, and Dawson slides away to his right. Glen comes forward and I think he landed a right hand. Glen with a jab. DAwson coutners with a left. Dawson with a nice left. Dawson on the move again. Johnson short with a jab, and misses witha right hand. Johson with a right hand, and Dawson lands a counter left. There's the bell.

10:36... Johnson's corner is telling him he hasn't won a round.

10:40... Harold gave Johnson the 6th. He's got it 5-1. Glen pressing forward as usual to start the 7th. Lampley says he think if Johnson's won a round, it was the 5th. I agree with Jim. Johnson moving forward, but Dawson circling and picking his spots nicely. He just landed a nice body shot. Glen is stalking, but just not finding the range. Dawson's moving very nicely, and landing most of the clean punches. Action in the middle of the ring now. Glen is not steadily coming forward as much as he was earlier. Now he edges forward, as Dawson circles away to his right. Dawson with a straight left. Johnson tries to fire back with a right. Glen misses with a right hand. Glen now pawing with the jab as he edges forward. Dawson firing the jab out. There's the bell. Not a thrilling round. Johnson looks like he's slowing down a little, and given what the scorecards probably look like, that doesn't bode well for him.

10:43... 6-1 on Harold's card. I'd guess the official judges have similar scores. Johnson presses forward, but Dawson circles away. Now Dawson stops and fires a combo. Glen gets on the attack, but again Dawson stops and fires a combo. Dawson now with a straight left, and turns Johnson and slips away. Johnson follows, as Dawson moves away to his right. Now Dawson moving to his left, as he flicks a couple of jabs out. Glen now presses Dawson into the ropes and fires a right, but again Dawson slips away. Dawson in control here. Glen edging forward, flicking the jab out and trying to find the range with his right, but he's just not landing it. Dawson nicely slips away to his right, and then peppers Glen with a jab/left. Glen keeps coming though. He jabs to the body and follows as Dawson backs away. Dawson now circles to his right, and pops Johnson with a couple jabs. Johnson fires a right hand, but misses with it. Dawson on the move here and Johnson unable to get close enough to land. There's the bell.

10:44... Lampley just said that this is the closest Johnson has ever looked to being an "old fighter". I'd have to agree. He just doesn't seem to have the same snap on his shots as he did last time. He just looks slower all around.

10:47... Round 9. Harold has it 7-1. Glen comes forward, and Johnson smacks him with a combo, and then slides away to his left. Dawson now bangs home a couple of body shots. Johnson keeps coming, as Dawson slides away to his right. Johnson trying to get close, but not having any luck. Dawson flicking out a couple jabs that land. Glen tries to fire a right hand, but doesn't get through. Now Glen lands a decent right hand. Dawson though fires back with a left and slips away. Glen presses forward and tries to dig downstairs, but it's Dawson that responds with what looked like the harder body shot. Now Johnson fires a right hand that may have landed. Dawson though slips away, and then stops and lands a combo. Glen with a right hand into the guard as Dawson backs away. Dawson looking very comfortable. Johnson with a 1-2 that's short. Action in the middle of the ring now. Glen was pressing early in the round, but now he's eased up. He fires a right hand that lands. Dawson responds with a left. Now DAwson with a combo. Johnson might have got a right hand in return. Dawson fires a combo, and Johnson responds as the bell goes.

10:51... Round 10. Alfredo Angulo is ringside, and he gives the thumbs up to the cameras. Glen comes out pressing, while Dawson circles to his left. Now Dawson goes right. Glen pushes forward, and lands a right hand. Glen digs to the body. Dawson responds with his bown body shot. A nice combo from Dawson. Harold has it 8-1. Dawson now flicks the jab as he backs away. Glen follows, but Dawson on the move, keeping a comfortable distance. Glen trying to jab his way in, but Dawson circles away. Glen trying to jab his way in again, and he gets Dawson along the ropes, but Dawson slides off. Now Glen fires a right hand that glanced off Dawson. Glen edginf forward, as Dawson backs away. Dawson stops and fires a shot to the body, and then a straight left. Now Dawson gets on the move again, flicking out his jab. Glen comes forward and misses a right hand. Glen just looks slower tonight. He's again short with a right, and Dawson lands a left in response. Glen closes the gab, and fires a 1-2. Now he misses with a shot. Dawson responds with a decent combo. There's the bell.

10:52... Dawson's corner tells him he's won every round. "Just don't get careless."

10:52... Glen's corner tells him that when he sees Dawson sliding along the ropes, he's got to take chances and go after him.

10:55... Harold has it 9-1. Johnson edges forward, as Dawson slips away, flicking the jab as he does so. Glen flicking out the jab as he comes forward, but he's not getting close enough. Glen fires a hook that misses. Glen is short with a 1-2. Glen lands a right hand. Dawson fires back with a combo. Dawson stuck around a traded there, but then slips away. Now Glen backs Dawson into the ropes and rips a couple shots to the body, but Dawson takes them and slips away. Johnson is short with a couple jabs, as Dawson backs away. Dawson lands a nice left hand. Dawson with a nice combo. Glen keeps coming though, but Dawson circles away. Dawson now rips a left hand on the inside that just missed. Glen edges forward, but a little tentaively now. Dawson hanging around on the inside for a moment, and now flicks the jab out and slips away. Another round in the books.

10:56... "Keep the jab going," Dawson's corner tells him. "You can't stop swinging." - the advice from Johnson's corner.

10:59... Round 12. 10-1 on Harold's card. Johnson with some urgency here, moving forward, while Dawson circles away to his left. Now Dawson moves to his right. Glen with a jab that lands. Glen digs hard to the body. Glen now tries to follow up with a right, but it whizzes over DAwson's head. Now Glen keeps pressing. Dawson backs away. Dawson now fires back with a real nice quick combo and gets out of there. Glen presses forward. He's jabbing his way in, and trying to land a right. Dawson fires off another quick combo, and that drove Johnson back into the ropes. Dawson gets on the move again. He's moving to his right. Action now in the middle of the ring. Glen tries to land a right, but is short. Glen flicking the jab out as he edges forward. Dawson sticks his jab out and moves. Glen gave a good charge to start the round, but now is looking a little tired, as he's not pressing. Dawson circling, but Glen can't get close. Now Glen tries to edge forward, but he's a little tenative and there's the bell to end it.

11:00... Johnson raised his hands at the end, but I'm sure he's aware that he's come up well short. He gave it his all, but he was in wtih a younger, fresher, quicker fighter tonight. Dawson was on the top of his game.

11:01... Harold gave the 12th to Johnson.

11:02... Here are the scores. 115-113, 115-113, and 117-111... all for Chad Dawson. I'm surprised at how close those scores were.

11:04... That wasn't thrilling, but Dawson did what he had to. He moved very well, picking his spots, and managed to have things mostly his way.

11:05.... Dawson is with Kellerman for the post fight interview. "I outboxed him every round. I used my legs. I used my speed. I outclassed him."

11:07... Kellerman mentions Jean Pascal and Tavoris Cloud as possible opponents, and asks Dawson who he'd like to fight. "Bernard Hopkins." Dawson acknowledges that if he can't fight Hopkins, he'd like to fight Pascal.

11:08... Looks like we're not going to hear from Glen Johnson. I think that kind of sucks. Yeah, he didn't come close to winning, but I think it would have been nice to give him a chance to say a few words.

11:09... Well that's it for our round by round coverage. I hope you enjoyed it.
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