Kahn, Diaz shine in the ring

By Tom Donelson, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: May 16, 2010

IOWA CITY (BASN) — In the first match on Friday Night Fights, Dominic Salcido lost his last two of three fights by knockout and faced the undefeated prospect Guillermo Sanchez.

After insignificant first round, Salcido pulled a little gamesmanship as he stared down Sanchez, who responded by kicking his chair and refusing to sit down between rounds. Sanchez attacked in the second round as oppose to box and got nailed with several solid punch.

From that point, he went back to boxing but he failed to discourage Salcido.

Salcido pressured Sanchez but in the fourth round, Sanchez caught Salcido with a straight left when Salcido bounced in front of Sanchez. From the fifth round to the final bell, Salcido went back to pursuing whereas Sanchez failed to take advantage of his fourth round success.

Salcido’s pursuit of his prey gave him a unanimous decision and handed Sanchez his first defeat. Sanchez did not adapt and failed to counter effectively whereas Salcido continued to move forward. Neither fighter proved accurate in their punches but Salcido was more effective as the pursuer.

Julio Diaz and Herman Ngoudjo fought in one of those classic crossroads fights in which the winner continues as a title contender and the loser has decisions to make about his career.

For the first three rounds, Diaz boxed and moved while tying up Ngoudjo when he got close.

Ngoudjo seemed contented to fight from the outside and couldn’t figure out how to take advantage his natural strength.

In the sixth round and seventh round, Diaz movement allowed him to set up good shots as he maneuvered around Ngoudjo for quick combinations. In the eighth round, Ted Atlas made an observation that I have not heard.

After Diaz got nailed with a right with one minute left in the ring, Atlas observed, “Diaz needed to get out. If a fighter can’t get something done in 2 seconds, get out.”

From that point, Diaz followed up Atlas’ advice and moved throughout the final two rings. Unfortunately for Ngoudjo, he violated the Atlas rule more often than Diaz and this showed up in the ninth and 10th rounds as Diaz took advantage of Ngoudjo aggressive nature, but whose aggressive nature was ineffectual.

Diaz’s legs proved decisive as he avoided many of his opponent bigger punch while piling up a lead on the scorecard. He won a unanimous decision and his career continues.

As for Ngoudjo, he did not get beat badly but he lost because he couldn’t get a rhythm but he was never hurt.

Diaz fought a discipline fight and never allowed himself to get into a shoot out. Diaz has been involved in many wars over the years and as Teddy Atlas observed, he was an old 30.

Diaz’s problem in the past was that he often participated in boxing version of trench wars and this did not work to his strength.

Against Ngoudjo, he boxed throughout the entire fight and Ngoudjo failed to effectively pressure Diaz.

The failure to pressure allowed Diaz to keep his legs throughout the fight.

SATURDAY’S ACTION

Boxing After Dark saw Nate Campbell fight Victor Ortiz and Paul Malignaggi challenging Amir Khan. The 140-pound division is deep with talent and this evening showed off a portion of that talent while answering the questions of the pecking order, who stands where?

Victor Ortiz is a young fighter who finds himself with a crucial fight against the veteran Nate Campbell, the former undisputed lightweight champion. Ortiz has talent but his loss to Argentina fighter Marcos Maidana that had some questioning Ortiz’s heart.

Nate Campbell goal was to cut off the ring and force Ortiz into trench war.

The end of the first round there was a controversial knockdown. Ortiz landed a punch into the head that caught Campbell off balanced and hisl hands hit the canvas.

Campbell jumped back up quickly but he lost a point and from that point, it was Ortiz’s fight. Campbell walked through a hail of Ortiz’s punches to force a brawl and while Campbell connected on some solid body shots, he was taking punishment from Ortiz.

Through the first five rounds, Ortiz’s hand speed and precise punching scored consistently as Campbell suffered from what HBO’s announcer called, ” Can’t seem to pulltriggeritis.”

He never seemed able to get off consistently but once in a while, Campbell looped right hands that caused Ortiz to wince.

As the fight entered into the second half of the fight, Ortiz moved and stepped out of harm way against Campbell, whose punches never seem to find its target.

Campbell followed Ortiz around the ring but he didn’t throw many punches nor was he effective in cutting off the ring.

Campbell’s left eye started to swell as result of getting nailed by Ortiz’s right hand jab. This was an easy fight to score as Ortiz won almost every minute of every round and he put himself back on track for contender status in the junior welterweights.

As for Campbell, he barely threw 25 punches per round, which showed an aging fight who couldn’t pull the trigger.

He looked old and amateurish as he simply followed Ortiz around in a death possession for his career.

In the main event, Amir Khan surprised Paul Malignaggi by outboxing the super boxer Malignaggi and added power shots to go with it.

If there were any nerves about his first trip to the Big Apple and United States, Amir Khan didn’t show it as he consistently out punch Malignaggi.

While losing the third round,, Malignaggi threw his best punch, a left hook counter half way through the round. Unfortunately for Malignaggi, these counters were few and far between.

Khan dominated the first half with jabs that upset the fluidity of Malignaggi and this continued throughout the second half of the fight.

At the end of the eighth round, HBO’s Max Kellerman nailed Malignaggi’s dilemma by equating him as a team of single hitters down 10- 0 in the bottom on the ninth inning.

Malginaggi did not have the punch to score the 10-run homer with one shot. Kahn jab controlled the fight with accuracy that could be seen on Malignaggi’s face, filled with welts.

Going into the later rounds, Kahn right hand continued to connect and his jab set up the right that started to show their effect upon Malignaggi, who not only was becoming a punching bag for Kahan but started to show the wear of fighting wars against much stronger fighters.

As Kellerman, observed, Malignaggi is a B+ in a division filled with many A fighters.

After the 10th round, the ring doctor and referee warned Malignaggi that they would give him one more round. Halfway through the 11th round, Malignaggi got nailed with a vicious left hook and the referee decided that the challenger had enough by stopping the fight.

Team Amir Kahn picked the right fighter in Malignaggi for Malignaggi has no power and Kahn had enough speed to compete with Malignaggi.

Kahn outboxed the boxer.

As for Malignaggi, he has to look into the mirror and decide what is next. After fighting many rounds and a few wars with sluggers like Miguel Cotto and Ricky Hatton, Malignaggi showed erosion as he did not have enough legs to show his opponent angles.

At 29, Malignaggi looked older and the question remains, what is his future?

He has fought some of the best in the division and he has lost to them.

As he told Kellerman after the fight, “Maybe I am getting old.”

His words show a fighter who might want to reconsider what his future is.