A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Smith, Fields Headed In Opposite Directions
IOWA CITY, Ia . — Terry Smith needed a knockout and had only 180 seconds to produce it. He was consistently outboxed by Missouri’s Rob Calloway throughout the first nine rounds. As ESPN’s Ted Atlas noted, this was one of the in between fights, fights designed to keep the fighter busy while bigger things show up.
Calloway was selected since his record looked impressive on paper and he failed at his previous bouts when he moved up the competition level. When he stepped up to challenge the better heavyweights, he lost and lost decisively.
Calloway spent his career alternating between cruiserweight and heavyweight, but he often proved too light for the better heavyweight and decided to concentrate on the cruiserweights. The lure of a big fight in his native state was enough to get him in the ring versus Smith.
Smith was the favorite since he possessed the harder punch and a natural big heavyweight, the kind of heavyweights that gave Calloway trouble. Throughout the fight, Calloway fought smart and outslicked Smith.
Smith depended upon his big punch and failed to cut off the ring, allowing Calloway to escape. Calloway moved and used angles as he consistently moved out of harm’s ways.
Smith seemed just half second behind as his punches often hit air or parts of Calloway’s body. Calloway used his feet for defense and for the first nine rounds; he never got clocked with a solid shot.
At the end of the eighth round, Calloway nailed Smith with the perfect right just before the bell. Smith tumbled toward his corner and collapsed on the canvas. He survived the 10 count and struggled to the rest of the way to his stool.
If this punch had happened 30 seconds earlier, the fight would have ended then and there. Calloway continued the ninth as he ended the eighth by nailing Smith with combinations.
Smith saw his career threatened and needed to knock out Calloway in the final stanza.
Smith came out swinging. Calloway made one mistake as he moved straight back to avoid a Smith haymaker.
Instead of moving angles as he did in the previous nine angles, Calloway moved right in the way of the Smith’s right.
With two minutes left, it was Calloway now was fighting for survival. Smith kept throwing big bombs after big bombs against the smaller Calloway. Just two minutes away from his biggest victory, Calloway needed to hold on and Smith saw his own career threatened.
After Smith’s initial blow, both men faced their own crossroads and the final 120 seconds saw desperation. Calloway tried to hold but Smith wouldn’t allow it.
Calloway moved side to side and started to regain his legs but Smith kept moving forward.
As the final bell sounded, Calloway was still standing and Smith’s career suffered a severe blow. Calloway showed that sometimes skills and heart can overcome talent.
Smith was hoping to use this fight as means to attract bigger fighters and opponents. At 36, Smith suddenly found himself at another crossroad.
If Smith was wondering about his future, Tye Fields showed what a well managed career can do for a heavyweight. Fields is a big 6-foot-9 specimen but his style is cumbersome and his punches don’t often arrive with speed. What’s missing is natural boxing instinct and fluidity.
His last fight sums up his career as he fought journeyman Dominic Jenkins, who took the fight on short notice. While he had fought nearly half of fights that Fields has; Jenkins had fought better quality opponents.
The first round set the pattern as Fields moved forward with steadiness and Jones merely played punching bag. Jenkins fought off the rope or should I say, he defended off the rope.
Jenkins preferred survival as opposed to fighting and after six rounds, his corrner ended the fight.
Fields began his career in the Midwest and now trains in Las Vegas, with the idea of promoting bigger pay days for the Montana native.Fields doesn’t have the skills to be a top ten fighter; much less than champion, even in this day of diluted championship.
Contrasting Fields with either Smith or Calloway shows the difference.
Both Calloway and Smith have fought top 10 fighters and it shows in their skill levels. Fields has been protected and his record reflects this protection as oppose to skills.
He can’t keep fighting second tier or over the hill opponents, he eventually has to make that jump to bigger challenges.The question on whether Fields is simply another opponent or a real contender will be answered soon.