When A Title Fight Isn’t Really A Title Fight

By Tom Donelson
Updated: February 3, 2009

Boxing Gloves IOWA CITY — Herman Nguadjo’s recent fight with Juan Urango represents all that is right with the sport of boxing and what is wrong.

These fighters are top ten fighters but they are not the best, simply near the best in the junior Welterweight but yet they were fighting for the IBF version of the title.

What has helped harm the sport is the various championships and lack of clarity when dealing with champions.

Ring Magazine can’t even declare or is willing to declare Shane Mosley the official Welterweight champion despite beating the best Welterweight in the world and beating Margarito easily.

There is no reason Nguadjo and Urango shouldn’t be fighting for a title but this doesn’t mean they are not bad fighters; they do not deserve a championship bout.

This fight was more of a triple AAA high minor league championship — a cut above a North American Boxing championship but a cut below the upcoming Hatton-Pacquiao fight.

This is not a reflection on the two fighters for they are both good fighters and they put on a spirited battle that was not reflected in the final score card. Urango began with solid body shots in the first round whereas Nguadjo boxed and popped from a distance.

The first and second rounds were close but the third round saw Urango nearly end the fight. As Nguadjo moved straight back, Urango nailed Nguajdo with a straight left upper cut.

Nguadjo got up shaken and Urango went for the kill.

Succeeding in knocking Nguadjo a second time, he failed to finish the job. In the fourth round, Urango continued his power surge and it looked like it would be an early night for Nguadjo.

Starting in the fifth round, Nguadjo slowly got back into the fight as he threw straight punches that hit Urango before Urango wider punches hit Nguadjo.

His boxing skills may have or should have won him a round. Over the next three rounds, Nguadjo boxing skills kept him in the fight and going into the 10th round, it appeared to be a close fight.

It may have been close in the ring but not on the scorecard as the final decision showed. Urango went back on the attack and by the 11th round; Nguadjo looked weakened as Urango’s body shots early in the fight took their toll.

With the final round bell rang, Urango shot out like a windmill as he tried to overwhelm Nguadjo but while Nguadjo survived the round, he did not win the final round as Urango power and punch output clinched the fight.

While Nguadjo showed the ability to come back after a bad third round; the judges had this as an overwhelming victory for Urango. One judge gave every round to Urango.

The judge favored the aggressive Urango style and while there was no doubt the victor was; it was not as wide as the score card had it.

In one of the undercard, Antonin Decarie fought Dorin Spivey, a last minute replacement and for Decarie, this was another step but this fight showed the weakness of the young Canadian fighter.

He showed himself to be a technically sound fighter but against a smaller and weaker opponent, he showed many flaws that will hurt him in the future.

In the opening rounds, Spivey out hustled and out fought Decarie, as he threw punches in bunches but he failed to make much impact. By the third round, Decarie took control of the fight and as the fight continued, Spivey slowed down and went into survival mode.

Decarie started to nail Spivey with combinations and while Spivey couldn’t longer effectively defend himself, his lack of power failed to end the fight. While Decarie won the fight, he did not show the stuff that champions are made up.

His career has been carefully planned but he showed no real quickness and no real power. As he moves up in the Welterweight, the combination of not real quickness or power will hurt him as he faces tougher combination.

Urango’s victory gave him a championship belt and a claim on the junior welterweight division plus it will give him leverage in any future negotiations. A championship belt gives him a claim, no matter how undeserved.

Urango is a good fighter, but he is not a elite fighter. Yet.