A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Oliveria And Augustus: Two Warriors
Emanuel Augustus NEW YORK
NEW YORK— Ray Oliveria is a lunch pail, blue-collar fighter who comes to fight every time he steps in the ring. It was not until his fight against Ricky Hatton did he ever fail to finish a fight. Then there is the mystery that is Emanuel Augustus.
Augustus is one of those tricky fighters with quick hands and unorthodox in his approach to the sweet science. Augustus fights are always entertaining as he moves as if pulled from a puppet string and throws punches from every angle possible. The real mystery is how this guy ever managed to lose 24 fights.
When these fighters met on July 8th, these two warriors put on a clinic of professionalism and showed what it took to be a professional fighter. Throughout the evening, these warriors averaged over 200 punches per round!! There was not a second of non-action as the punches came fast and furious.
For Oliveria, the wear and tear showed in this fight. Throughout the fight, he appeared one split second behind Augustus and his defense remained porous. Augustus punches hit bull eyes with every shots and nearly one of every two punches found their target.
As for Oliveria, he continuously moved forward and never quit. Yet his punches rarely connected solidly on his elusive opponent.
Augustus was well Augustus. He never stayed in the same place twice and punched at angles I never thought possible. Oliveria kept plodding forward but proved unable to slow his opponent down nor did he have an answer for Augustus various riddles within the ring.
A fighter at the end of his career shows many different signs. The hands never seem to react as quickly as the mind commands and punches that did little damage early in one’s career have more impact.
Until he faced Hatton last December, Oliveria never was stopped in his previous fights. In this fight, the wear and tear of a long and honorable career showed.
In the eighth, Augustus nailed Oliveria with a one two combination. The first nailed Oliveria flushed and as Oliveria moved, the second tapped him on the back of the neck. Oliveria immediately grabbed the opposite side of his head.
His trainer, Ice John Scully, look concern as he saw his warrior in trouble. Oliveria was not going to quit and the referee Steve Smoger had the ring physicians examine him. As Scully looked on from his corner, the doctor allowed the action to continued.
From this point, the fight took on a different tone. Augustus held back his punches but the grimace on Oliveria face told Smoger everything he needed to know even if it failed to tell the doctor.
Oliveria continued to move forward but at a slower pace. As he moved back to the corner, Oliveria looked wounded and Smoker ended the fight.
For Oliveria, he did what warriors are supposed to do. Go out on their shields. If the bell rang for the ninth round, he would have gone back into the center of the ring. At this point in his career, there was no more need to fight. Smoger acted humanely as he allowed Oliveria dignity at the end while protecting him.
There are fights that remind us of what boxing can aspire to. Oliveria and Augustus showed skill and courage within the ring and for those in attendance, they saw two professionals fighting the way you are suppose to.
For Oliveria, his days as a fighter are over for he has given all to the sport that he loves. As for Augustus, maybe he will realize his potential. With quick hands and ring savvy, Augustus is too good of a fighter to have a barely .500 record or to be a mere journeyman.