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An Historic Weekend
IOWA CITY (BASN) — Saturday’s opening bout featured Alfonso Gomez challenging Jesus Soto-Karass.
The former Contender star, Gomez began boxing efficiently as he snapped jabs and followed with solid rights to Soto-Karass.
Karass did not help his cause in the third round when he lost one point for a low blow after repeated warnings.
As the fourth round began, Gomez’s face was busted open as a result of a head butt.
Karass lost a second point deduction in the crucial fourth round, giving Gomez a large lead. Gomez’s boxing skills troubled Karass, in spite of the blood streaming from the head butt.
Karass began the fifth round with renewed dedication as he moved forward, snapping punches at Gomez. But in the sixth round, the blood dripped into Gomez’s eyes and the referee stopped the fight.
This sent the fight to scorecard and Gomez won a decision 58-54 57-55, 57-55.
For Gomez, this was his best fight as he showed a variety of attacks including sharp jabs and short accurate rights.
As for Karass, there were times that he fought tentative and then there were times, he fought stupidly as he nailed Gomez with low blows that cost him the fight on two scorecards.
Yuri Foreman versus Daniel Santos
For Foreman, he turned this bout into a track meet as he moved away from Santos power while pot shooting his opponent.
In the second round, two controversial moments occur.
Santos quickly left startle Foreman in the final minute of the round and Santos followed with an over head right that nearly knocked Foreman down.
As Santos moved forward, Foreman nailed him with a quick combination.
As Santos attempted to hold, Foreman nailed him with his own overhead right while pushing Santos down simultaneously.
The referee called it a knockdown and this was a moment in which Santos lost two points on the judges’ scorecard.
In the early part of the fight, Santos allowed Foreman to pile up points while waiting for the right moment to go for the knock down.
In the fourth round, Foreman nearly stopped Santos with a solid right with 30 seconds left.
Santos’ leg buckled and Foreman threw combinations with Santos trapped on the rope.
He survived the round, but found himself falling further behind Foreman.
As the fight progressed, Foreman’s boxing style and speed gave Santos trouble, forcing Santos to become one punch fighter.
He delivered his left hand only to be off balanced after delivering his big punch.
Foreman’s punches started to swell Santos’ eyes and while Foreman had only eight knockouts in 27 wins, he had enough pop on his punches to go with the speed.
During the 11th round, Santos suffered a cut over his swelled face and his face told the story of a beaten fighter whereas Foreman improvise as much as he fought for many of his punches came from unusual angles.
One of those punches sent Santos down for a second time as Santos got caught with a left hook counter that he didn’t see in the final round.
When the final scorecard was announced, Yuri Foreman became the new WBA junior Middleweight champion.
Troy Rowland versus Julius Cesar Chavez, Jr.
The son of one of Mexican legends, Chavez was fighting his first fight as a Middleweight against Rowland, a light punching Midwestern Middleweight.
After 41 fights, Chavez had enough professional experience on paper but somehow, he never seemed to fight contenders and the question that remained, when does he move up in competition?
Rowland began the fight by shooting punches after punches but they appeared to have little effect whereas Chavez’s body shots had more result.
Throughout the early rounds, Rowland threw more punches but it seemed that Chavez punches produced loud whopping sounds whereas Rowland’s punches simply had silence.
In the sixth round, Chavez’s punches looked like they were beginning to have their effect as Rowland started to slow down and what power he had, disappeared.
Chavez started to shoot right hands over Rowland’s left jab and maybe it looked that he could end the show early.
He couldn’t for simply while his power made impressive sounds, he couldn’t stop Rowland and never had him in trouble.
He moved forward without jabbing and became vulnerable to Rowland own power shots.
What saved Chavez was Rowland’s lack of power, which is why team Chavez signed him to fight.
Chavez, who has been fed a diet of tomato cans, did not show that he is a championship caliber fighter, but he is a popular fighter because of his name.
Chavez has headlined his own PPV but he has been protected and after 41 fights, we are still asking the question, “how good is Chavez?”
We don’t know but right now, there is very little to suggest that he’s a championship caliber fighter. Chavez fights like his father but he lacks his father skills and power.
He won his decision but hardly look impressive.
Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto
Cotto began the fight with strong jabs and surprised Pacquaio with his speed, forcing the PacMan to fight backward.
For the first time in a long time, team Pacquaio found themselves forced to adjust to an opponent.
Halfway through the second round, Pacquaio nailed Cotto with a slick combination but Cotto shrugged them off. 30 seconds later, Cotto nailed Pacquaio with a left hook and both both men exchanged punches in a boxing firefight over the last minute with Pacquaio getting the better of the exchanges, barely.
In the third round, a right hook from Pacquaio sent Cotto down but he countered with body shots after the knockdown.
Over the last minute, both men exchanged punches and Pacquaio was getting hit more than he has in his previous bout.
Despite the first knockdown, Cotto looked capable of staying in the fight.
If he not suffered the knockdown, he may have won the round.
In the opening moments of the fourth round, Cotto tried to trap his smaller foe on the rope and for thirty seconds, he succeeded but Pacquaio moved away with quick punches.
Cotto pursued and again appeared to have trapped Pacquaio, but his straight left sent Cotto to the canvas with ten seconds left. From this point, it ceased to be a competitive fight.
The fifth round saw Pacquaio at his best as the Pac Man pounded his Puerto Rican opponent in the middle of ring but Cotto finally reached Pacquaio in the last seconds with a left hook.
Unfortunately for Cotto’s fans, his offense started to fade as this left hook would be his last meaningful punch. In the sixth round was all Pacquaio as his hand speed started to take hold.
Cotto weakened as he took different combination from Pacquaio and beginning of the seventh round, he continued where he left off in the sixth round when he ended the round with a thundering straight left.
Cotto quit pursuing and decided to box Pacquaio.
In the eighth round, Pacquaio played the pursuer and Cotto played the boxer as hiso strategy attempted to buy time as he tried to figure out how to win. In the beginning of the fight, it was Cotto who attempted to trap the Philippine fighter but as the round progressed, it was Pacquaio who attempted to trap Cotto on the rope.
The roles then reversed.
In the minutes of the first round, Cotto could match Pacquaio’s hand speed but as the fight progressed, Cotto lost his hand speed and power as Pacquaio took control of the fight.
At the end of the ninth round, Cotto looked beaten as his faced swelled and blood streaming from his nose.
His wife walked out of the arena and took their son with her.
Cotto’s wife could no longer see her husband take a beating.
As Cotto came back to his corner, he was told , “One more round, I will give one more round.”
His strategy ceased to be strategy of finding victory to simply surviving.
From the 10th round to the conclusion of the fight, Cotto moved away from Pacquaio but he ceased trying to fight back.
Over the final two rounds, Pacquaio looked in charged but even he had bruised eyes, mostly coming from Cotto punches in the early rounds.
In between the 11th and 12th round, Cotto’s father wanted to stop the fight but others in the corner wanted one more round.
Pacquiao continued on his seek and destroy mission as he nailed Cotto with a big combination, forcing him to the rope for the final time.
Cotto went defensive as punches came in his direction. The referee stopped the fight as Cotto had nothing left.
For Pacquaio, this victory now clears the way for his big fight with Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Two years ago, no one would have given him a chance against Mayweather, but Pacquaio has now knocked out four fighters in a row ranging from lightweight to the welterweight division.
Mayweather would be the favorite, but no one would be surprised if Pacquaio could win.
As for Cotto, he is a very good fighter but he faced an all time great fighter in Pacquaio; who may be the best pound for pound fighter over the past 30 years.
Pacquaio has become one of the boxing great fighters and one of the sport biggest gate attraction to go with his skill.
As a fighter, he has become the complete package who improves with every fight.
Pacquaio now fights for his legacy as he wants to leave the sport as the best.
And that means beating Mayweather.