By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
BASN Boxing Notebook: Corrales Suffers Brutal Beating, Loses Welterweight Debut
NEW YORK — Former world champion Diego Corrales’ welterweight debut was ruined when Joshua Clottey (31-2, 19 KOs) pummeled Corrales (40-5, 33 KOs) through ten one-sided rounds to win a unanimous decision on this past Saturday, at the Shrine Mosque in Springfield. The loss marked Corrales’ third consecutive.
Corrales’ highly anticipated welterweight fight was a special one fight broadcast presentation on Showtime Championship Boxing.
Clottey dominated Corrales, earning two knockdowns in each of the final two rounds. Corrales was also docked one point for spitting out his mouthpiece after being floored in the final round. All three judges scored the bout 100-87, 98-89, and 97-90 for Clottey.
Clottey, a 30-year-old from Accra , Ghana , previously challenged WBO welterweight champion, Antonio Margarito in December. Clottey gave the champion all he could handle before injuring his left hand before the fourth round. Clottey ended up on the short end of a twelve round decision loss.
Corrales, 29, whose last six fights included a trilogy with Joel Casamayor, two against Jose Luis Castillo, and one with Acelino Freitas, had difficulty making the 135-pound weight limit. Corrales moved up two weight classes to face Clottey in a very intriguing welterweight match at 147 pounds.
Everyone in boxing knew of Corrales power as a 130 and 135 pound fighter. Although Corrales would appear to be stronger at 147 in his 5-foot-11 physique, there were questions as to whether he could handle the punch of a natural welterweight.
The 5-foot-8 Clottey was clearly the more effective and solid puncher. Clottey caught Corrales with sharp left jabs and left hooks in the opening round. Corrales was confident and comfortable, but couldn’t hurt his opponent. Clottey stunned Corrales with a left jab and right-cross combination that stunned Corrales at the end of the first round.
Corrales applied more pressure in the second round by fighting inside. But Clottey kept hammering Clottey with sharp left hands to the body and hooks to Corrales’ head. Clottey was difficult o hit inside, as Corrales had difficultly punching through Clottey’s guard. Clottey’s punches were sharper, harder, faster, and landed more consistently in combinations.
“My corner asked me if I wanted to continue, and of course I did,” Corrales said. “I have a lot of respect for Clottey. He caught me with two great shots.”
What was a tactical boxing match quickly turned in to a slugfest. Clottey was the dominant fighter. Corrales’ couldn’t stop Clottey’s left hand from landing flush throughout the entire fight. Both Clottey and Corrales slugged with one another during some headed, non-stop exchanges.
In the ninth, Clottey hurt Corrales with a barrage of punches before throwing him onto the mat with a forearm behind Corrales’ head. Clottey legitimately dropped Corrales following a series of right hand combinations to his chin.
A laceration above his right eye, a pair of bloody nostrils, and a swollen jaw wasn’t enough to force Corrales to quit. Corrales fought bravely in the tenth needing a knockout to win, but instead he tasted the canvas again after absorbing a right uppercut to his chin.
Perhaps the move up to welterweight was too huge a step for Corrales, who has not won a fight in two years. The last time Corrales was victorious was in May of 2005. He came from behind to score a tenth round TKO of Castillo. Corrales has to reevaluate his career otherwise he could be used as a stepping stone with a solid name to be put on the resume of a younger fighter.
Calzaghe Makes 20th Defense, Stalks Joe Louis Record
More than 35,000 fans packed Millennium Stadium in Cardiff , Whales to witness Joe Calzaghe’s 20th defense of the WBO super middleweight championship. Calzaghe (43-0, 32 KOs) TKO’d Peter Manfredo, Jr. (26-4, 12 KOs ) at 1:30 seconds of the third round.
Manfredo, trapped against the ropes stopped throwing punches when Calzaghe turned up the heat using his hand speed and combination punching to force a halt to the mismatch.
Calzaghe is five title victories defenses shy of tying the legendary late heavyweight Joe Louis’ all-time record of 25 consecutive title defenses.
“For my 20th defense, to be fighting in my stadium in front of such a tremendous crowd – it’s amazing after years and years of hard work,” Calzaghe said. “This is where I’ve always wanted to be and finally, at nearly 35, I still feel great and sharp and I’m finally reaping the rewards. It was a great night.”
At age 35, Calzaghe, Hammersmith , England , clearly was the more skillful and surprisingly much faster fighter. Manfredo, 26, Providence , Rhode Island , is a former fighter on ESPN’s “The Contender” series. It wasn’t Calzaghe’s best performance, as he missed a lot of punches.
Overall, Calzaghe landed 61 of 210 punches, Manfredo connected on just 40 of 114 punches thrown.
However, Calzaghe was under matched and that Manfredo couldn’t handle the champion’s hand speed. After dominating the second round with his southpaw right jabs, Calzaghe pressured Manfredo behind fast flurries.
Although Manfredo wasn’t knocked down, he did not fight back. Manfredo was a stationary target, as Calzaghe unloaded continuously which prompted a stoppage of the fight.
Calzaghe won the WBO 168-pound title following a 12-round unanimous decision against Chris Eubank in October of 1997. However, it wasn’t until Calzaghe decisively defeated unbeaten Jeff Lacy to unify the WBO/IBF super middleweight titles in March of 2006 that Calzaghe received recognition as being the man at 168 pounds.
The only serious threat to Calzaghe at 168 pounds is unbeaten WBA/WBC champion Mikkel Kessler of Denmark . Kessler, like Calzaghe is a huge draw in Europe , and is the No. 2 man to beat in the super middleweight division.
There is also talk of Calzaghe eventually meeting light heavyweight, Bernard Hopkins or middleweight champion, Jermain Taylor in the future.
Walker Survives Garcia
Undefeated heavyweight prospect Travis Walker (23-0-1, 17 KOs) barely avenged an Olympic amateur loss to unbeaten George Garcia (13-1, 4 KOs) on April 6, at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Walker was victorious, via 10-round split decision.
The bout was the main event of a ShoBox: The New Generation series.
All three judges scored the bout 95-93 and 95-94 for Walker, who was docked one point in the final round for landing a low blow. Garcia was ahead 96-93 on the third scorecard.
Walker ’s 6-foot-4, 235-pound frame towered over the 5-foot-10, 250-pound Garcia, who didn’t appear to be in the best of shape. It appeared as though Garcia was overmatched. He struggled to land his overhand rights and hit Walker cleanly.
Garcia was left rolling on the canvas following a left hook to his pudgy stomach in the second round. The thought was that it was only a matter of time before Walker landed something significant that would send Garcia to the locker room early.
That wasn’t the case at all. Garcia showed a lot of determination and literally moved forward. Garcia was able to move his much taller and trimmed target backward consistently throughout the fight.
Walker didn’t capitalize on his 81” reach. Walker ’s hands were below his chin and at times below his chest. This allowed Garcia to land glancing blows across Walker ’s head and chest.
Walker was hit with shots that had they came from a Wladimir Klitschko, a Sam Peter, or a heavyweight with power, Walker would have been in serious trouble.
The fight was very close going into the final round. Walker was the busier fighter, as Garcia threw one punch at a time and clinched.
Butler Stunned By Binkowski
In the co-feature to Walker-Garcia, Raphael Butler (25-4, 20 KOs) was ahead on the three judges scorecards before getting TKO’d by Art Binkowski (15-1-3, 10 KOs ) at 2:23 seconds into the final round of a scheduled eight-round heavyweight battle.
Butler , a 23-year-old from Rochester , MN , appeared to have clinched a first round KO when he dropped Binkowski three times in the first round to the delight of his hometown audience.
Binkowski was floored by an overhand right before going down again after another solid right to his head. Butler hit Binkowski so hard with a right hand that Binkowski’s rubbery legs carried him into a corner before going down on his knee.
After the first round, the fight surprisingly became increasingly tougher for Butler . An increasingly fatigued Butler fought with his back against the ropes and clinched Binkowski a lot. This allowed Binkowski to battle his way back.
Binkowski, 32, turned his own demise into an interesting contest of will and determination. Binkowski suddenly had a puncher’s chance of winning going into the final round.
In the eighth, Butler kept his hands noticeably below his chest. Binkowski landed a solid right to Butler ’s jaw. Butler wobbled out of the corner on rubbery legs with his chin in the air.
Binkowski landed barrage of unanswered punches which floored Butler on the mat. An exhausted Butler returned having twice spat out his mouth piece to have the fight waved with only 27 seconds remaining in the final round.