Two fighters, one interesting boxing weekend

By Tom Donelson
Updated: February 8, 2009

Boxing Gloves IOWA CITY — Andre Ward has taken the long path to a championship title as he has managed to fight only 77 rounds over the past four years and the question is when will Ward make the jump from prospect to contender?

Ward appeared on SHOBOX: The New Generation taking on Henry Buchanan, a fighter with only one loss in 18 fights. Buchanan, like Ward, was a counterpuncher and one fighter had to take the lead to make this tango worth watching.

The challenge for Ward was to change his style and still be effective. When a boxer turns attacker, the boxer finds himself open to other fighter counter punches. Ward began the fight on the attacked and for the entire 12 rounds, he didn’t stop.

The left jab set up quick rights and combinations flowed upon Buchanan’s face the entire fight. And when Ward was not aiming high, he aimed for Buchanan’s bodies. He used his offensive barrage as defense and Buchanan spent the entire evening defending himself as oppose to developing his own offensive response.

Throughout the fight, Ward dominated this fight and hit Buchanan any times he wanted with no fear of retaliation. This was an easy evening for Ward as he won his 18th straight.

He won every minute of every round and it was to even give Buchanan as much of any second as Ward simply swept Buchanan away in a polished performance.

If Ward had an easy night, Yusaf Mack had much tougher fight as he took on the tough Chris Henry in a light heavyweight fight. Mack came into the fight as the smaller fighter as he was moving from the Super Middleweights to light heavyweight division and fighting a top ten fighter in Chris Henry.

In the opening round, Mack right hand found a target on Henry and for the first seven rounds, Mack hand speed proved decisive as he consistently nailed the aggressive Henry.

He kept moving forward and merely put himself in harm ways. In sixth round, Mack nearly stopped Henry as he staggered the bigger Henry a long right hand.

In the last 30 seconds of the round, Mack combinations nearly derailed Henry but by the end, Mack was as exhausted in hitting Henry as Henry was getting hit.

Starting in the eighth round, Henry began to pressure Mack and the fight started to change. Henry’s mauling style slowed Mack and going into the twelfth round, the fight was close.

Mack started the round with snappy rights but Henry survived the first minute of the round and turned the rest of the round into the Brawl. Mack’s right hand was the decisive factor as he took a split decision over Henry and showed that maybe, he might belong in the top ten of light heavyweights.

For many Washington DC area fans, they were more excited over the undercard bout featuring a local favorite Fernando Guerrero.He started the first round over the veteran Gabriel Rosado with snappy jabs and quick straight lefts from a southpaw position.

He proved to be a tough customer as he not only survived the opening round but took the next two rounds. In the third, a Rosado right sent the young Guerrero down but Guerrero came back over the second half of the round; but Rosado came into the fourth round with a possible two point lead.

From this point, Guerrero’s skills took over as he took his fight game to a higher level. Moving side to side and using his superior hand speed, Guerrero started to hit Rosado at will.

In the fifth round, Rosado retreated for the first time in the fight and in the seventh, Rosado appeared to have Guerrero trapped before Guerrero spinned off the rope and nailed Rosado with a nasty combination. He played a little four corners in the final round as he boxed his way to clinch his 13th straight fight.

In the opening fight of the SHOBOX fight, the young John Molina destroyed Kpakpo Allotey in three rounds. In the third round, Molina nailed Allotey with a tough body shots but the referee called it a low blow.

(Replays showed it was a legitimate punch and should have ended the fight right there.) Allotey rested for three minutes but Molina finished off his opponent in short order; leaving no doubt who was the boss in the ring.