The Oklahoma City Thunder have been ready to get this season under...
Another Win, Another Lesson
NEW YORK – When will fighters realize that if anyone stands directly in front of the Klitschko brothers they will lose? Juan Carlos Gomez, a former WBC cruiserweight champion, is the latest to discover why any fighter shouldn’t stand in front of a Klitschko.
Making the first defense of the WBC heavyweight title he won from Samuel Peter in October, Vitali Klitschko (37-2, 36 KOs) stopped Gomez (44-2, 35 KOs) at 1:49 seconds of the ninth round.
Standing directly in front of either Vitali or Wladimir is a tremendous mistake because either brother can control a fight using their range and distance. In addition, Wladimir, the IBF/WBO and unrecognized IBO champion along with his WBC champion sibling, have incredible power.
Professionally, the Klitschkos are a combined 89-5, 82 KOs and control three of the four major world heavyweight titles in their possession. To be recognized as a world heavyweight champion, a fighter must unseat one or perhaps both of them.
Dethroning a Klitschko will not happen if an opponent absorbs jabs and right hands, which is what Gomez experienced on Saturday in front of a packed house in Stuttgart, Germany.
Gomez absorbed a lot of clubbing left jabs that swelled and cut his right eye after the fourth round. Gomez was off-balance, so when Vitali hit him with his right it was effective. The right hand was so effective Gomez went down to one knee in the seventh round.
Vitali was docked one point in the ninth after an accidental head butt left a second cut on Gomez’ face. After taking more punishment, the referee decided that Gomez had taken enough punishment.
Next, Vitali must make another mandatory defense. His opponent will be former WBC champion Oleg Maskaev.
Roy Jones, Jr. returns
Roy Jones, Jr. (53-5, 39 KOs) may have gotten older, but don’t tell the 40 year-old he’s done. The Pensacola, FL native returned home four months after his 12-round shutout loss to Joe Calzaghe to dismantle Omar Sheika (27-9, 18 KOs) inside five rounds at the Pensacola Civic Center on Saturday. The win was Jones’ first by stoppage since his win over Clinton Woods (TKO 6) more than 6 Â½ years ago.
Jones, a former world champion at 160, 168, and 175, won the WBA heavyweight championship by outclassing John Ruiz through twelve rounds in March 2003.
But since moving back to light-heavyweight to dethrone Antonio Tarver of the WBC/IBF 175-pound titles in November the same year, things have gone steadily downhill for Jones. He was KO’d in a 2004 rematch against Tarver, who also won the rubber match. Jones was also KO’d by Glen Johnson in an IBF light heavyweight title fight in 2004.
Jones won bouts against unrecognizable fighters like Prince Badi Ajamu (W 12) and Anthony Hanshaw (W 12), but has been outclassed by world-class opposition in the last six years. In fact, Calzaghe survived a first round knockdown before taunting, blooding, and outworking Jones through twelve rounds at Madison Square Garden.
Calzaghe retired weeks after the bout, while Jones, a future Hall of Fame candidate continues to beat-up on inferior opposition like Sheika. Every time Sheika stepped-up in class, he was outclassed himself. Joe Calzaghe, Thomas Tate, and Scott Pemberton stopped him. At one point, Sheika hadn’t won a fight in three years. In fact, Sheika’s last fight, a four round stoppage against Tiwon Taylor, was more than 1 Â½ years ago.
Jones vs. Sheika wasn’t worth pay-per-view for $29.95? The event also included IBF No. 1-ranked cruiserweight contender, B.J. Flores (23-0, 14 KOs) won a 10-round decision against Jose Luis Herrera (16-6, 16 KOs). There were also a couple of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fights. One of them featuring former WWE superstar Bobby Lashley.
The Amir Khan-Marco Antonio Barrera PPV card was five bucks less and had a much better card.
Andre Dirrell & Ronald Hearns on ShoBox
A pair of unbeaten prospects are scheduled to make their anticipated return to “ShoBox: The New Generation” on Friday, March 27, at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma.
Undefeated super middleweight sensation Andre Dirrell (17-0, 12 KOs), a former Olympic Bronze medalist in 2004, challenges Derrick Findley (13-2, 8 KOs) to a 10-round main event bout. Ronald Hearns (21-0, 17 KOs), the son of the legendary Thomas “Hitman” Hearns, battles another unbeaten, Yorgey (21-0-1, 9 KOs).
Dirrell, is currently ranked No. 1 by the WBO. That organization’s champion is Karoly Balzsay (20-0, 14 KOs). In January, Balzsay unseated Dennis Inkin on points to claim the title. Balzsay won 231 of 260 amateur fights and competed in two Olympics (2000, 2004). Dirrell vs. Balzsay would be a very good fight between two young upcoming fighters with solid amateur credentials.