A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Guinn Goes South While Brock’s Stock Pushes Upward
Dominick Guinn & Calvin Brock
NEW YORK— Last Friday night, Dominick Guinn punched sparely and manages to snatch a draw from the jaws of victory. What should have been an easy victory over Friday Ahunja, Guinn did what he has been doing over the past year- he fought not to lose as oppose fighting to win.
In a fight that should have been a one-sided affair and early evening knockout, Guinn threw a few jabs and occasional right while allowing Ahunja to stick around. What allowed Guinn to salvage a draw was that Ahunja was even less busy and less effective.
He rarely jabbed and moved forward with an X on his head, pointing to the easy target. Guinn just never seem willing to unload any significant combination on that X.
Guinn’s career is on life support and the reason is staring Guinn in the mirror. Over the past several fights, Guinn has taken steps backward as the intensity that was present in his victory over Michael Grant has now all but been extinguish. It is a pity for Guinn has the boxing skills and power to be a major player in the division.
Guinn rarely listens to his corner during a fight. Ronnie Shields and Mark Breland give good advice- like throw punches but Guinn merely sleepwalks through fights. Guinn still has the talent to be a major player but it is what in his head that is holding him back. As for the fight itself, the judges had it right. Neither man fought to win and why reward either one with a victory?
If Guinn career is going south, Calvin Brock’s career took a giant step forward on Saturday night. Jameel McCline is one of the boxing better heavyweights and at 6-6 and 265 pounds; he presented a tough challenge for the smaller Brock.
Throughout the fight, Brock used superior boxing skills and maneuvered around the bigger McCline. He jabbed his way inside and used a variety of punches. The key test came in the seventh round. McCline nailed Brock with a short right-left combination that sent Brock sprawling to the ground. Brock biggest test was upon him as he found himself pursued by a giant of a fighter.
He held on and gathered his wit. Over the last minute and half of the round, Brock nailed McCline and had McCline stumbling backward and hurt. Brock managed to salvage a 10-9 round out of what should have been a 10-8 round. This round was reminisced of the10th round in the first Holyfield-Bowe, in which Bowe stunned Holyfield only to find himself barely standing up at the end.
Brock passed his first major test. He got off the canvas of a fight that he was winning and came back to finish the job. From this point, Brock showed no fear and both men continued to fight at a furious pace. What made this fight special was that you had two fighters who knew the stake involved.
They came in shape and fought a desperate battle with the winner gaining a future shot at a title and the loser falling back in line. Brock won because he was slightly better technically but both men showed what the heavyweight division could be when two fighters fight with tenacity and with serious intent.
Another aspect is that Brock, like Byrd, showed that a small heavyweight can win against a giant. The key to Brock is that he is technically sound with quick hands for a heavyweight. Unlike Byrd, Brock has enough pop in his punches to hurt bigger heavyweights.
What to think about Mosley victory over Estrada? In the first minute of the fight, it was obvious who was the better fighter. Mosley was the superior technician and superior fighter. He had the quicker hands and more powerful punch, which were shown when he nearly doubled Estrada over with a left hook to the body in the fourth round.
So the real question is why did this fight go the distance? A few years ago, Mosley would have finished Estrada off but this night, Mosley appeared reluctant to finish the job. There were times that Mosley would dominate the more-raw Estrada but then he would put on the break. During the fight, he alternated between the boxer and being the old Mosley, who used quick combinations and superior inside fighting tactics.
Estrada is a tough and awkward fighter but he didn’t have the power, speed or skills to stand up to Mosley. He had heart but heart is not always enough. So the question remains, what does Mosley have left?
Antonio Margarito is the welterweight best-kept secret. Against the more powerful Kermit Cintron, Margarito used his reach and his own power to neutralized Cintron. Margarito is a busy fighter but against Cintron, he showed patience and skills.
He went to the body and his jab kept Cintron off balanced. The key to the fight came in the second round when Cintron nailed Margarito with a hard right and nothing happen. From this point, it was over. Cintron could not hurt Margarito but Margarito did pound the young Puerto Rican into submission. This fight propels Margarito as the number one challenger to Judah as he beat one of the best welterweights in the world.
Which brings us to another question, can Mosley and De La Hoya actually win back the welterweight title? It has been assumed that Mosley and De La Hoya would come back to dominate the welterweights.
After last night, it could not longer be assume that either man could become the king of the welterweights. Margarito is a tougher, stronger and more skilled version of David Estrada and if Mosley is not able to stop Estrada, could he actually beat Margartio?
The welterweights have some intriguing match-ups. You have Mosley, Judah, Spinks and now Margarito. And Cintron is still in the picture, so the welterweights is quietly become boxing exciting division and you still have the boxing golden cow, De La Hoya, sitting on the sideline.
Wladimir Klitschko took a break from training and knocked out Eliseo Castillo. Castillo decided that if he ran, he would either tire Wladimir out or bore him to death. Klitschko jabbed for three rounds and fought at a leisurely pace. And in the fourth, a beautifully placed right hand ended the fight. Castillo went down, stumbled to the corner and the referee had enough.
Maybe Castillo could have continued but he did not protest the decision. The referee was like the rest of us; he just didn’t want to see a fight in which one man runs for the entire fight. Klitschko did not hurt his stock but it is hard to say what this fight proved- other that Wladimir still has the power and boxing skills. The chin was not tested.
Will De La Hoya fight again?
Lately, when I see De La Hoya, I see a man who looks comfortable in a business suit. De La Hoya does not have to fight and his place within the confines of the square ring is set. De La Hoya still has a bright future as a boxing promoter and businessman. So the real question, will De La Hoya actually fight again?
There are some reasons that we may never see De La Hoya. First, De La Hoya only fights mega events. He will not step in the ring unless there are multi-million dollars involved. He is strictly PPV fighter and not interested in fighting for just millions on boxing after dark. So unless there is a welterweight that can provide him with that mega event, he is not going in the ring.
Here is the rub. He wants to fight Trinidad but at 154 or less and Trinidad is not going to lose the weight to fight De La Hoya. The other mega fight is Mosley but there is no guarantee that Mosley is capable of winning a title. If Margarito or Judah beat Mosley, then that fight disappears.
Which leaves Margartio and Judah. De La Hoya preference will most likely be Judah since he holds most of the major titles and is the recognized welterweight king. If Judah-De La Hoya fight could generate the big buck, the fight is on. If not, then it doesn’t happen.
Another reason is that De La Hoya is building up a boxing empire outside the ring. He is challenging Bob Arum for the Hispanic market and as a bonus; he is working with Hopkins. De La Hoya energy is being expended out side the ring and the longer he stays out of the ring, the less likely he will fight.
De La Hoya does not need to fight and will not, unless the conditions are right. Right now, the conditions are not lining up for that big fight.