Light at the end of the tunnel

By Tom Donelson
Updated: May 17, 2009

Boxing IOWA CITY — What does a fighter learn from a previous lost? Every fighter — with the exception of one Rocky Marciano — will experience a lost in his or her career. It is what one learns from the defeat that determines a fighter’s future.

Jorge Teron lost his previous out to Aldo Valtierra and now he had his cahnce to redeem the only lost in his career. Teron had lost his previouls bout to Valtierra and now he had his chance to redeem the only loss in his career.

In his previous bout, Teron lost because he allowed Vatierra to dominate the early rounds and build up a big lead on the judge’s scorecards. A second half rally in their previous bout was not enough to overcome a lackadaisical first half of the fight.

This time, Teron came out smoking with a effective jab that determine the real estate between him and his smaller opponent. He had both the height and quickness advantages which allowed him the ability to control the pace of the fight.

The early rounds saw Teron pop the jab followed by an occasional right which showed his opponent that this evening will not be a repeat of the previous bout.

Valtierra could not move inside without payong a price and Teron’s jab allowed the fight to be fought from the outside. This changed in the fourth round due to Teron’s wiliness to move inside and he connected on some nasty left hooks to Valtierra’s body.

Teron dominated the inside like he did the outside and Valtierra could not take advantage of those moments that Teron gave up his height to fight inside. His quicker hands forced Valtierra to clinch and in the fourth round a Teron right stunned Valtierra and from that point, it was Teron’s fight to win.

Teron moved outside at will and when he wanted to fight inside, he did exactly that. Valtierra could do little about it on this evening. In the 10th and final round, a Teron’s left hook nearly ended the fight with 30 seconds left but Valtierra stayed upright but it was an easy decision win for Teron.

There was very little questioning from the judges, the fans, the pundits or either corner who was the winner this evening. Teron learned his lesson from the previous bout, to fight every minute of every round and don’t give away rounds early in the fight!

Kevin Johnson came into his bout with Devon Vargas with a reputation as a boxer with very little power as his 8 knockouts in 21 previous wins would attest to.

The Vargas camp counted on his 300 amateur bouts to go along with his 17 straight wins for their advantage. But what they failed to see was that Johnson had fought some quality opponents early in his career.

In his fourth fight, Johnson fought undefeated prospect Timor Ibragimov to a draw and in his sixth fight, he defeated the veteran Robert Wiggins. While Johnson had yet to fight a top ten heavyweight, he had been challenged for a prospect.

His list of recent victories included wins over another undefeated prospect Damien Wills, as well as veterans Bruce Seldon and Terry Smith. For both Johnson and Vargas, the stakes were high and Team Vargas took this fight on short notice.

ESPN’s Teddy Atlas noted that Vargas came into this fight the lighter than his previous bout and Johnson actually came in at his heaviest weight.

The first two rounds, Johnson fought his cautious fight plan as he picked his spots to lay out his more accurate punches whereas Vargas tried to overwhelm Johnson’s defenses with volume punches.

The first two rounds were close but the end of the third round determine the fight. As Vargas retreated to the rope, a Johnson right hand would send him down.

He beat the count and wobbled to his corner. Johnson showed which fighter had the power and accuracy to win the fight. He continued his accurate punching and another Johnson left hook punctured Vargas’ right ear drum.

Johnson’s power proved to be lethal and as Atlas observed, Vargas had to make a deciscion to fight through the pain of a punctured ear drum. There are those moments that a fighter has to do more than survive but to win even when it appears all is lost.

Vargas looked confuse throughout the fouth and fifth round as he often glanced into the corner with a look that said, “What next?” Johnson once again trapped Vargas along the rope in the fifth and sent him down for the second time.

As the sixth round began, Vargas had the look of a beaten fighter and Johnson did not allow him to reach the seventh. He retreated to the rope and Johnson nailed with another devastating combination that left Vargas defenseless.

As Vargas’ eyes rolled back and motionless against the rope, his corner threw in the towel. For Johnson, this was his third straight knockout win as he finally looked like a fighter learning to put power into his punches and slowly graduating toward contender status.

Andrew Ward had been taking the slow oute to a title shot since his Olympic days and the undefeated Super Middleweight faced his biggest challenge, the tough brawling contender, Edison Miranda.

Miranda had the power to give the slick boxing Ward a lesson in pain and from the early going, Ward found the lesson absorbing as a head butt open a cut in the opening round.

Ward acted like a veteran as he refused to let the cut affect his game plan and he used his boxing skills to produce angles in which to hit Miranda. In the early rounds, Miranda’s power and brawling style prevented Ward from gaining a rhythm but in the second half of the fight, Miranda slowed down enough for Ward to take into another gear.

From this point, Miranda hope was his fearsome right hand to knock Ward out but Ward’s defensive skills prevented that from happening. With a big lead on the scorecard, Ward did not sit on the lead in the final round as he went for the knockout.

Ward fought like a champioon in waiting and came out with a unanimous decision. The scorecard did not reflect the competitive aspect of the fight or the roughenss of it.

In defeating Miranda, Ward defeated an legitimate contender and became one himself. A regular on the SHOBOX series that featured up and coming prospect, Ward is now ready to a regular main event fighter on Showtime.

Along with fellow 2004 Olympian Andre Dirrell, Ward gives American fans a hopeful future in the Super Middleweights and maybe in the light heavyweights division along with Chad Dawson.

This weekend, boxing fans saw a possible glimpse into a brighter future in both the Heavweight and Super Middleweight divisions, divisions that have been dominated by the European fighter.