Following a defiant seventh-round knockout of previously unbeaten Jose Pedraza (22-1, 12...
An entertaining night in the ring
IOWA CITY (BASN) — Last Saturday night featured two of the best junior middleweights in the world fighting as middleweights. It reminded us what happens when two elite fighters get together.
Paul Williams and Sergio Martinez fought a great fight that produced action from the opening bell.
Williams sent Martinez down early in the round and he nearly ended the fight at the end of the round with a solid right hand that drove Williams to the canvas and sent him back wobbly to the corner.
In the early part of the fight, Martinez looked the quicker and punched more accurately.
Williams became the pursuer and consistently attacked.
This made him vulnerable to Martinez’s counterattack but as the fight progressed, he managed move closer to his opponent.
Martinez’s foot movement slowed and he was forced to fight the taller Williams.
Yet, he showed an inner toughness and matched Williams’ own will as he proved willing to fight Williams toe to toe.
In the eighth round, a Martinez counter left snapped Williams head but the ninth round saw Williams return to the attack.
The 10th simply demonstrated the ebb and flow of this bout when Martinez countered with right hand hooks and straight left to crack Williams’ head back, but he struck back with solid body shots and straight lefts to the head.
Going into the championship bout, it was anyone’s fight.
In the 11th round, both fighters connected on 30 plus punches as they fought in the no man land that populated the middle of the ring.
Neither fighter demonstrated the desire to hide as they went after each other.
The toe to toe action that represented the 11th round continued into the final stanza.
Williams won a majority decision that could have gone either way. While one judge had the fight 119- 110 in Williams’ favor, the other two judges had a more accurate reading with one judge scoring it 114-114 even and the other judge scored it 115-113.
The only rub of this fight was a 119-110 decision in favor of Williams.
There is no problem with declaring Williams the winner. Even the HBO announcing team was evenly divided on that, but there was no way that Martinez just won one round.
For boxing fans, this was a fight to be enjoyed.
Chris Arreola has the potential to be a championship fighter but despite just fighting nearly three months ago, he weighed more than he did for his loss to Vitali Klitschko.
In 2008, Arreola weighed 239 pounds, but his gradual gain in weight may show a fighter who has yet dedicated himself to his craft. Arreola’s body had the soft look and his fight against Brian Minto was meant to be nothing more than a warm up or as one HBO announcer quipped, “This was a get Arreola into the ring as quickly as possible.”
Arreola showed patience as he jabbed and boxed, keeping Minto off balanced in the first round.
He nailed Arreola a solid right in the first 30 seconds and nothing happened.
He won the opening round as he used his jab to set up his combinations. When Arreola punches connected, Minto backed up.
In the second round, both fighters begin to exchange punches with Arreola getting the best of it, but Minto connected with sharp punches of his own.
He proved to be competitive but Arreola’s experience and size started to take hold.
An Arreola left hook opened up a cut over Minto’s right eye. An Arreola right hand produced a swelling under Minto’s left eye.
In the fourth round, an Arreola right sent Minto down, but he got off the canvas and started to fight back.
Minto then unleashed right hands that connected but he could not compete against the more skilled Arreola.
Arreola threw a volley of punches that shook his smaller opponent and with 20 seconds left, he nailed Minto with a right hand that sent him spinning nearly 360 degrees.
Arreola hit Minto with another right, sending him down for the second time.
While Minto manage to drag himself back up, the referee called the fight as Minto’s face told the story.
His left side was swollen and there was nothing more to gain to continue the fight.
Minto is more a cruiserweight than a heavyweight and while he is a game fighter, he is not a top twenty fighter.
Yet, Minto connected on many sharp punches and if he was a bigger fighter, Arreola would have been in trouble.
He looked sharp but he was facing a smaller fighter who was not even six foot and Arreola did not have to fear Minto’s power.
So nothing was proven in this fight but Arreola have left boxing fans with one question, how dedicated is he?
It is not enough to depend upon skills or power, a fighter must dedicate himself outside of the ring to be a superstar in it.
If Arreola wants to fight on the Klitschko brothers’ level, he must be more dedicated outside the ring.
Championship boxing is a year round business.