By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
The BASN Boxing Notebook
NEW YORK — There were some significant fights that have transpired in recent days including Carlos Quintana’s surprising 12-round unanimous decision against previously unbeaten WBO welterweight champion, Paul Williams.
In addition, Kendall Holt fought for the first time since his disappointing and controversial loss to Ricardo Torres last year. Andre Berto remained unbeaten and proved himself to be a valuable commodity. Also, Darnell Wilson blew an opportunity to position himself for world cruiserweight championship match.
The 26 year-old Holt (23-2, 12 KOs), fighting for the first time since his controversial WBO junior welterweight title loss to Torres, won a workmanlike 10-round majority decision against former world title challenger, Ben Tackie (29-9-1, 17 KOs).
The three official ringside judges scored the bout 98-92 (twice) and a questionable 95-95. That bout was televised live on the VERSUS network on Thursday.
“It was exactly the type of fight I’d thought it would be,” Holt said during an exclusive interview with BASN. “He distanced himself from me and I was in control of the fight. After the first round, I felt very sluggish. However, everyone knows that a jab can with you a fight and that’s what I did.”
As far as his conditioning was concerned, Holt said that he had a great training camp and he had no problems making weight. Holt also recognized Tackie’s toughness.
Tackie once challenged Kostya Tszyu for the undisputed world junior welterweight championship in May 2002 and lasted 12 rounds. Tackie, a 34, Accra, Ghana, has never been stopped in 39 professional bouts.
Holt is coming fresh off his controversial 11th-round stoppage-loss to Torres in September. Holt said that he wasn’t given a fair shake fighting in Torres’ title in his native Columbia from the time he entered the ring.
Holt believed that the referee was influenced by the rowdy audience’s raucous taunts and aggressive actions.
“All that is true,” Holt added. “I got hit in the face with a can of beer and water bottles. Someone pulled my leg. The referee jumped in prematurely. I think he was scared himself.”
Holt was ahead on two of the judges scorecards 98-91 and 95-94, but trailed 94-95 on the third at the time of the stoppage. There was talk of a rematch with Torres.
In fact, Holt filed a protest with the World Boxing Organization which was twice denied. Nevertheless, Holt is very optimistic of his chances of fighting Torres once again.
“I’m No. 2 in the WBO.” Holt added. “Hopefully, they’ll put me in the No. 1 spot. I’ll be the No. 1 challenger in the world again.”
Henry Crawford Headlined Park Theater Show
Holt, a native of Paterson, NJ, was in attendance at the Park Theater in Union City, NJ on Saturday to watch fellow hometown prospect, undefeated junior middleweight Henry Crawford headline a local boxing event.
Crawford (18-0-1, 8 KOs), a 26 year-old Paterson, New Jersey native, won an 8-round unanimous decision against Thomas Davis (12-7-2, 7 KOs), an opponent who lost three of his previous four fights — two by knockout.
Crawford displayed good hand speed and a consistent body attack. He kept Davis backpedaling and trapped in a corner for much of the fight. Crawford hit Davis with solid combinations to his body before attacking his head and had him stunned on numerous occasions.
However, Crawford simply didn’t have the power to finish the much slower and awkward Davis. The three judges at ringside scored the contest 80-71, 80-72, and 79-71 for Crawford.
Quintana Shocks Williams, Takes WBO 147-Pound Title
Carlos Quintana (25-1, 19 KOs), labeled as a quitter after surrendering on his stool in about against unbeaten WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto in December 2006, silenced his critics with a resounding 12-round unanimous decision against previously unbeaten Paul Williams (33-1, 24 KOs) for the WBO welterweight title.
Quintana’s impressive display of determination and boxing skills against Williams was the main event of an HBO Boxing After Dark telecast from Pechanga Resort & Casino in Telecula, CA.
All three judges scored the bout 116-111 (twice) and 115-113 for Quintana.
Williams, viewed by many as the most dangerous man in the 147-pound division because of his 6-foot-1 height and southpaw style, simply was not in his rhythm. Williams, from the opening bell was out-hustled. Williams, as evident from his title-winning performance against Antonio Margarito, is simply a tall and lanky fighter.
Williams kept walking straight into Quintana’s punches with his hands at chest-level. Williams didn’t cut-off the ring a followed Quintana around the ring. Quintana’s punches had more “pop” behind them and landed flush.
Quintana exposed Williams’ limitations as a fighter and proved why more elite fighters such as Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto wouldn’t fight him.
Andre Berto’s Stock Continues To Rise
Unbeaten welterweight prospect Andre Berto (21-0, 18 KOs) scored an impressive TKO victory against Michel Trabant (43-3-1, 19 KOs). Berto stopped an opponent who has never been stopped in 47 previous professional bouts and was a former world title challenger.
The fight ended after round six when an outgunned Trabant quit on his stool.
Berto was sharp. His left jabs were powerful, as well as his straight rights and combination punching. Berto punches with a lot of power and could one day become the gatekeeper of the welterweight division. He’s still a young prospect at age 24 and is about a year way from challenging for a world title.
Darnell Wilson Loses World Title Opportunity
Cruiserweight knockout artist Darnell Wilson (22-6, 19 KOs) dropped a 12-round unanimous decision against unbeaten B.J. Flores (21-0-1, 13 KOs). Flores out-boxed Wilson from the opening bell. Had Wilson, recognized for his exciting KO-punching style, won he probably would have been the leading contender to challenge IBF 200-pound champion Steve Cunningham.
Flores boxed a near perfect fight. Flores was intent on controlling the fight with his jab and skyrocketed overhand rights upside Wilson’s head. Flores continuously caught Wilson lunging straight forward with wide hooks.
The three official judges scored the bout 118-118, 116-112, and 115-113.
The highly anticipated IBF/WBO world heavyweight championship unification bout between Wladimir Klitschko (49-3, 44 KOs) and undefeated southpaw Sultan Ibragimov (22-0-1, 17 KOs) at Madison Square Garden is two weeks away.
It will be the first world heavyweight title unification bout since 1999 when Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield twice fought to unify the WBA, WBC, and IBF heavyweight titles.
In addition to Klitschko-Ibragimov, several undefeated prospects will also be in action. Middleweights sensation John Duddy (23-0, 17 KOs), “Mean” Joe Greene (17-0, 12 KOs), Jonathan Banks (18-0, 13 KOs), and “Kid Chocolate” Peter Quillen (16-0, 13 KOs) are scheduled to appear on this very much multicultural and diverse fight card.
Fighters from the United States, Russia, Ukraine, Ireland, Canada, Belarus, and Argentina will be looking to make a solid impression on perhaps the grandest stage in all of sports.